Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Salem for the Region 4 Championships - Western Pleasure Junior to Ride

Part 1

Fortunately for my Arabian horse, I saw Mary Jane Brown of Diamond B Training Stables. I knew that Mary Jane and her husband, Russ, are firm believers in chiropractic for horses and that they use a very good chiropractor for the Arabian horses in their care. If anyone knew where to find a good chiropractor it would be Mary Jane.

It turned out that the chiropractor that Russ and Mary Jane use was right there on the showgrounds. Mary Jane called him for me on her cell phone and I was able to set up an appointment for Dandy before his class that afternoon with Rachel. I felt much better making our way back to the stalls that Dandy would get some relief and Rachel would still get to ride.

I didn't feel better for long. The chiropractor arrived and found poor Dandy was a mess. I think there wasn't a place on his poor body that wasn't sore to some degree. The worst area was that right shoulder that he was dropping so badly. Then the opposite hip was also very sore. He was also sore in his neck and at the poll. Poor Dandy, no wonder he was having a hard time doing what I asked.

I felt so bad that I hadn't figured out sooner what was going on with him. The chiropractor said not to beat myself up. That lots of times this kind of soreness builds up gradually and is difficult to notice until it just erupts like it had on Dandy that morning. That made me feel a bit better but in all honesty, I was feeling like a pretty bad horse mother!

In addition to doing chiropractic, this man (whose name escapes me at the moment) also does acupuncture. After he was done, he performed that treatment on Dandy as well. I was really glad to have that available. Dandy has had that kind of work done before and it has also provided him immediate relief. It was beginning to look like Rachel might make her class after all.

Once the chiropractor was finished, we let Dandy rest. The plan was not to take him up for the class until the last minute. I would ride him up to the warm-up flexing and bending the horse all the way. Then with a brief warm-up I would put Rachel on just in time to go into the class giving the horse as much time between the treatments and working as possible.

When I first got on the Arabian horse I could tell immediately that Dandy was feeling better. He easily moved away from my leg driving up deep underneath himself. It was nice to have my old horse back.

Everything went as planned and Rachel rode into the arena for her class on a nice round horse. He was a little bit fast at the jog but my guess is that was tension from Rachel and not so much the horse. Sometimes when she gets tense she tends to "push" him through her seat making him go faster than he should. When she remembers to slow her body down, the horse slows down as well.

Other than that she had a pretty nice ride except for a brief break at the lope the first direction. All the horse's transitions were smooth and his lope was nice and soft both directions. I think had they not had that break at the lope and if the jog had been correctly rated, Rachel and Dandy might have even placed in that class.

When it was all said and done, I was really pleased with how my Arabian horses had done at this show. Legs had improved on each and every ride and Dandy had done his usual and given us everything he had to give. I was even thinking that I might just still be hope to take Legs to US Nationals this year.

On the other hand, things with Rachel had not gone well. She had an attitude the entire week and we had finally had a not too pretty confrontation. It turns out that she'd changed her mind about wanting to be at the show. She's decided it would be a lot more fun to be home with her friends. Instead of making the most of it, she just took her feelings out on me. It was a long, hard 8 days living in a tent with a brooding teenager who was talking to everyone around but me. I can't say I've every tolerated that kind of treatment well.

"Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse" are on pretty rocky ground. This horse thing is what I do for me to keep me sane, I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up for granddaughter who doesn't seem to appreciate it anyway. Region 4 was only the beginning of a downhill slide. I'm still not sure where that slide will take us.

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  1. Hi MiKael
    So glad that you figured that out and that Dandy got instant relief. You dont have to tel me about brooding teenagers, I went through a lot with my daughter after her Dad was killed in a car accident and she had to come and live with me in 1999 in England, it sucks.

    I really think you should concentrate on your sanity and enjoyment, sont let other things get in the way. I am starting to implement that a bit in my life when I can. Last evening I put a bridle on Wiggle again and took her riding down the drive and then into the field we have reseeded, it had just been mowed) and although she only knows one gait Walk!!!! it was great even riding bareback. I can see why you get out to ride as much as you can, it is exhilerating. Just a pity I have to deal with the fall out at home afterwadsm just spoils the whole good experience.

    Looking forward to your next post and keep things at a manageable level, you can only do so much. ((((Hugs)))))


  2. Glad Dandy got a treatment. Sounds like he's feeling better.Sometimes teenagers well, just have to be teenagers. She may lose interest in the horses, let her go, and when she matures, she'll probably come back to it. The key thing is it's what keeps you sane and you should enjoy it!

  3. I'm so glad you were able to find someone so quickly and still get Rachel in her class.

    I also must say how sorry I am that things have taken a turn for the worse with Rachel. It's a fine line we walk with teenagers, but you must be true to yourself first Mikael. ((hugs))

  4. I'm happy to hear that Dandy got the treatment he needed. Hope he is still feeling great.
    As for your granddaughter, well, don't push it, if she doesn't want to ride, so be it. Someday she may change her mind. It's not for everyone, but it is for you so enjoy it every minute you can. We're not getting any younger you know, we have to do it while we can.