Monday, April 6, 2015

Long Time, No Post

I know I've always been pretty bad at keeping this blog regularly updated but man I really failed big time recently!

It is safe to say that a lot has changed since I last wrote!

Shortly after the Lyme Horse Trials last August, Ben had some on and off lameness issues. There was no apparent injury, no swelling, no heat, no sensitivity. I was pretty baffled and had myself convinced that something horrible was happening.

I finally had the vet out who watched him go and then decided to nerve block just the outside wall of his right front hoof. Bam, instant soundness. Ben had had a horizontal crack on the hoof for about 6 months on his right front that was pretty high up but wasn't very deep and didn't appear to be worrisome. He had been sound on it since he got it until this point.

My vet recommended corrective shoeing, so I spoke with my awesome farrier who worked his magic and I had a sound horse again. He dug out all of the hoof around the crack which revealed some bright purple bruising and the lameness all made sense.

Here are some photos of his hoof with the crack and the corrective shoeing throughout the whole process:

He's now down to just a plain bar shoe which we hope to get rid of completely for the next shoeing or the shoeing after that. Here is what his hoof looks like as of his last shoeing:

So we're almost there!

In other news, at the end of last September I was hired as the barn manager and the assistant trainer at the facility where I board Ben which is an amazing opportunity and basically my dream job. I work extremely long hours and I'm also still attending college online with a full time credit load so I'm very busy but I love what I do and it really doesn't get better than that.

That also explains why I haven't had a spare moment to write for this blog!

We had an awful winter this year so Ben didn't do a whole lot. I tried to ride whenever I could but between the temperatures being far too cold to ride for most of the winter and the long, exhausting work days of caring for more than 20 horses and dealing with all the extra projects that come along with running a barn in the winter such as shoveling paths to paddocks and constantly breaking ice on frozen water troughs, he really didn't get worked as much as I would have liked him to.

He got a ton of turnout this winter, however, and kept himself fit enough messing with his friends outside so he's doing pretty well coming back into a regular workload. I can't wait to get jumping again, the most he did was a couple jump schools in early winter and a little gridwork a few weeks ago.

Thanksgiving Day jump school back in November

Gridwork night at about 8pm a few weeks ago after a long work day

We've been working on our flatwork and his trot work is coming along quite nicely, his canter is still a work in progress as always but as he gets fitter and fitter he's starting to sit and collect more and more. Pretty soon we'll be out doing trot and canter sets on the grass track and hacking out in the fields now that the snow has finally melted!

This was the "first day of spring" at the barn if it gives you guys any idea what this winter was like:

Now that the weather is warming up again I have a lot more motivation to get riding again and get show season started. Waking up at the crack of dawn, changing blankets and turning out 20+ horses, mucking stalls, turning in, feeding, blanketing again, and then teaching lessons doesn't leave much gas in the tank for riding at the end of the day but it's definitely easier when the sun is out and its not in the single digits. 

The first stop on the show schedule is a dressage show at the end of the month. I'm taking Ben to do Novice B and Training A and one of our new school horses to do Beginner Novice A and B as a test to see how he does for his first trip off property. 

The plan is then to do a combined test with Ben in mid May and hit up the first event of the season for us in early June. I then have plans to participate in a Dom Schramm clinic with Ben at the end of June which I'm really excited for. I'm also going to try and get some of the greener lesson horses out and about and start a couple of them over fences. 

Now that the outdoor is rideable again my plan for tomorrow is to set a nice course and jump two of the greenies and Ben. I also want to try out my new GoPro that I won in a raffle back in November at the Equine Affaire. 

I feel ready to take on this summer and get out of the winter funk that pretty much everyone up North got into this year. I'm ready to improve my riding further, get a bunch of horses out competing, and hopefully start posting on this blog more frequently (but we all know how that goes...) 

As always, thanks for reading!

I've recently discovered Ben's love of raisins