Upper level dressage and event prospect for sale.

Kisses from Derby’s pasturemate, Remy. If you’re looking for an athletic dressage horse (or eventing prospect) you should check out my buddy Rems. He’s for sale.

Well, as you’ve undoubtedly surmised, I’m taking a bit of downtime to help my knee recover.  Interestingly, I was diagnosed with a tight (and angrily inflamed) iliotibial (IT) band.  I say “interestingly” because if you’ve read a few of my posts, you know that I kvetch about tightness in my hips – and that’s where the IT band starts.

The physical therapy is focused on loosening that band, improving its strength and flexibility, and the prescribed exercises concentrate on the hip.  As I work through them,  I can feel the entire band working, down to my knees, which is interesting.   Needless to say, in addition resolving the pain, I’m interested in seeing the benefits that accrue from this work when I’m back in the saddle and really riding. Right now, when I do get on, I’m riding very defensively, protecting the knee.  Which pretty much means hanging out in two point and getting off when it hurts too much.  I’ve actually taken the last few days off, and have a call in to the doc to clarify exactly what I should/shouldn’t be doing during this time.

In other news, I thought I’d take a second to write about my good buddy Remy.  Remy is Christy’s fancy young horse.  He’s also Derby’s pasture mate.   Remy didn’t get the memo that he’s a horse.  He thinks he’s a Golden Retriever, albeit a 17-hand one.  I have never met such a friendly, goofy horse.  Whenever I go to get Derby out of the field, I have to first receive welcome kisses from Remy.  I don’t mind, he’s such a sweet and gentle fellow. The goodbye kisses, on the other hand, I am not looking forward to.  Doe anyone else fall in love with their trainer’s sale horses?   And no, don’t look at me.  Remy is a big, fancy, athletic horse with powerful gaits that I am certain I could not ride.   Personally, I am dreaming of the day that I see him at Rolex.  He’s doing most of the dressage needed for a 4-star already.  He also loves jumping and has a big, ground-eating stride that seems suited for long-format three-day events.   Anyway, Rems is for sale.   You can see fancy pictures and video of him over on his sale page.  As nice as those are, though, I think I like the one of him kissing me best!

Getting back in the swing of things

It was a gorgeous evening!

It was a gorgeous evening!

I’m back home (for a few weeks at least) and am getting back onto my daily schedule. I’m creaky, my bad knee is playing hell with me and I feel like a soup sandwich up there in the saddle, but nonetheless, enough good things are happening that I feel encouraged.

In my lesson tonight we were able to diagnose what I was doing that was causing some problems with left bend.  I love the fact that Christy makes “headroom” in lessons, taking time to think rather than just yelling “Bend! More bend! Come on, bend him!” as I’ve seen other trainers do.  At the walk, as we talked, I was moving Derby all over the arena, doing little serpentines, small circles and changes of direction from my seat and legs.  However, at the trot, I was a mess going left. We picked at it, and I realized that I was allowing my outside leg to creep forward, which pretty much negated my aids.  Once I repositioned myself, and made a point of keeping that leg long with the hip open, placing it a bit further back than my inside leg, things improved quickly for us.

My endurance is for crap at the moment but it’s getting a bit better each ride.  I’m hoping to be back at full strength soon.

In other news, over the last month, Derby has also had two chiro visits. Remember the awful canter video from a couple posts ago, in which he was swapping behind? I had Dr. Heinze of Fox Valley Equine see him, and he adjusted him, with immediate results.  The very next day Derby cantered comfortably both directions.  However, a few weeks later, he started showing signs of discomfort again.  I had Dr. Heinze back out,  and we’re hoping that Derbs will be able to go longer between adjustments, especially as he builds strength on his right side.

It should be pretty nice this weekend.  If I have time, I know two stinky horses that are at risk for bubble baths!

I ended the evening watching Christy ride Austin bareback.   She was having a great time – his gaits are smooth and very comfy, and according to her, his back is soft and comfy too.  Both definitely enjoyed themselves.

We also found out this week that this cute red boy can jump like the dickens.  He’s a cute and versatile horse and looks like he could be a cute children’s hunter, pony club wonder horse or a fun mount for an ammy who wants to dabble in everything.  He’s also for sale, but I get the sneaking feeling that Christy wouldn’t mind to much if he hung around for a while. 😉