Monday, October 24, 2011

Adding to the Foundation

Well, we had an exciting weekend at Thalia Farm!  It started Friday, with the exciting news that we are about to be full!  We have two horses arriving on Friday, since our boarder decided the rescue horse she had on trial is not the right fit.  Thankfully, she is going to stick around and do a lease on Samson, so we will still have her at our barn!  So the weekend started off with great news!  We walked the farm and came up with plans to put out our roundbales, add a shavings bin, figure out trailer storage, and get our lighting project going.  We settled on using the cleared area behind the barn as our winter ring, and the big field will stay our jumping field to be used when it is light out.  There were too many logistics to run lights that far, so we are going to focus on the easier project to start out with.  We are also going to add in a pathway between the two gates the horses come in through, by using railroad ties and pit gravel that we are getting for free!  We have been planning to tackle the mud issue that cropped up over the last few weeks, but thankfully we held off and made some great connections that are going to save us a ton of money!

Gorgeous winter grazing coming up!

Saturday was farrier day, which ate up most of the day.  It was just in time, because April ended up pulling a shoe during our workout Friday night, so it was perfect timing for Bryan to show up!  She got her shiny new shoes put on, and everyone else had beautiful trims done.  On Sunday, I was motivated enough to clean nearly every piece of tack I had, and then conditioned it really thoroughly.  I love having clean, soft leather - I don't know why I don't make time for it more often!  Then we headed off to Waxhaw to pick up the trailer and load up April for our first lesson with Ivy.

Part of our mare exchange deal was that I would take at least a monthly lesson so she could keep an eye on our progress together.  April was a very difficult horse when Ivy first got her, and it took her three months to even get the mare to go forward instead of straight up.  (And now look at her!!!)  She really loves the mare and wanted to make sure it is a good fit, so this was one of her conditions to keep an eye on things.  So we trailered to her farm over in Lake Wylie for a 4 o'clock lesson.  I have to admit, I was nervous.  I am always nervous riding in front of people I don't know very well, but especially in a lesson format.  Thankfully I had Robyn with me as ground crew, and she also ended up being my calming force.  I know she could see my nerves getting cranked up while I was tacking up, and she was my voice of reason.  Before I knew it, we were in the ring having an awesome lesson.  Ivy goes a million miles an hour, but not so fast that I can't keep up.  We worked on the flat, and had some of the best canter work I have had on the mare!  It was great, because she helped add in little pieces to the foundation that Kelsey has been laying, and everything just built on each other and complimented the general principles that we have been working on.  I love working with multiple trainers, because one person can explain it one way, whereas another might present the same technique with a different explanation that just expands the theory that much more.  It is so exciting to be really working on my riding, and I am so excited to have a horse that I can learn so many things on! 

We checked out a few of Ivy's horses when we were finished, including a new spitfire of a mare she just brought back from Kentucky.  We loved on "Eve" (formerly Delilah!) for awhile too, and got an update on her progress.  They have been working closely with Susan Chandler to do a series of chiropractic adjustments.  After her first adjustment, they discovered she was severely out in her ribs and her poll.  It was amazing, because she had always turned to bite at my left leg at times, and we had thought it could be ulcers or hormonal issues - sure enough, it was being out in her ribs.  She did the same thing to Ivy on the first couple rides, and after having her ribs adjusted, it hasn't cropped up since.  Her poll was out so severely that she was curling behind to keep herself from being in pain.  Ivy said the mare has literally been running because she was in pain.  Since her first two adjustments, she now has rhythm and tempo, and can be ridden at a perfect tempo without even using a bit!  I can't wait to see her go, because it sounds like she has made some major progress.  I am hoping to go out next weekend and watch a few rides, including hers!  I am learning a lot about some of the alternative methods used on horses; things I would have never thought to look into.  I hate that I missed looking into chiropractic treatments, I just never thought of it.  We had run the gamut of ideas, and totally missed the fact that the mare was in pain.  I feel like I let her down for so long, but I guess what matters is that she is on the right track now, and hopefully on to a solid future!

I will post pictures of my ride tomorrow.  Robyn was an awesome paparazzi for me, but of course I overslept this morning and couldn't find the cord to my netbook!  It was a chaotic morning, but I am looking forward to it settling into a better day, followed by a good ride tonight!

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