Friday, March 16, 2012

Mixed Messages

Good Thing #1: The saddle fitter returned some of my money - my jumping saddle didn't need to be touched, and the dressage saddle only needed a partial reflocking.

Good Thing #2: I arrived at the barn to see Tris getting the very end of his massage; he was a happy mellow boy. I got to talk to Eva about my concerns, that he had been having trouble with picking up the right lead and that I was getting a bit worried about his hocks. She shook her head quite firmly: his hind end really felt fine, apart from being tight in the hamstrings, which didn't say to her hocks - just general work. His back also felt great for not having been worked on in so long, so more good news there.

She did bring me over to his right shoulder and point out to me that he was really quite sore in the muscle that ran along the line of his shoulderblade there, and felt that that accounted for the problems in picking up the canter. I asked her what I could do to alleviate that, and she said that with the caveat that she is not a riding instructor, she would stay out of his way and not tip forward over his shoulders when he strikes off, and try to let him reach out more freely with his front end. That made sense to me.

I tacked up and did about 40 minutes of interval work, putting him lightly into contact and getting him stretchy at the trot, and pushing him through at the canter. It wasn't terribly hard work, and he felt good: springy, smooth, and he picked up his right lead and held it with no problems. Success on all counts!

I spent a while fussing over him and organizing things after the lesson, and ended up talking to T. briefly about my proposed schedule. I was a little sad to hear that he thinks we should get out more in order to prepare Tristan for a recognized event in the fall. Sad is perhaps the wrong word - conflicted, maybe?

My life will become much easier when I finish grad school later this spring, but money and time will still be tight. I'm going to have to work hard to find creative places to take Tris that don't bankrupt me, or alienate my boyfriend entirely. T. suggested finding places with "structure"; anything where we go and Tris has something expected of him when we get there, meaning not just trail rides but schooling shows. It makes perfect sense, and T. pointed out that he really needs to be on top of his game to get to a recognized, and it wouldn't be fair to him to push him there without the right preparation. Again - perfect sense. But I do wish for once I could take the simpler route with something...


  1. Yay, Eva! She is the adorablest.

    Scheduling does make a lot of sense, but I hear you re: the need to find yet s'more available time. Feel free to hit me up if you need a sounding board or adventure buddy, though!

  2. She was saying what a treasure he is too, and was shocked to hear that he's 17. Granted, I always love when people love my horse, but she's pretty great.

    I'm waiting for an email back to see if hunter paces would count as "structured" and T. suggested adding more of the Beland shows to the schedule. I'm going to look tonight - will let you know.


  4. Maybe he should come limited-distance riding after all! :-D


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