So far so good. All my classes seem really interesting but not overly difficult. We're finally starting large animal gross anatomy so I'm really excited for that. Plus immunology, pathology and physiology. Lots of -ology's! Plus I've got to do lots of fun veterinary-related horse stuff recently. I did my first dental, first castration and my first ultrasound of the tendons in the lower leg (lameness exam). So this term is off to a good start!
|Spoiling Jetta by picking grass for her. And it's her mini-me!|
|Jetta's mini-me, Chester. I am going to steal this adorable pony|
I'm loving the extra light, while the actual transition of time for Daylight Savings was rough, now I feel like I can get out of school and actually go ride before heading home to study. But then again the study load isn't that heavy yet, so we'll see how well I stick with my plan of riding at least 3 times a week.
|Lots of riding outside|
|Love my new gloves|
She's doing well with the leg yields and we've even started doing them at the canter! I stole the fun idea for canter leg yields to flying changes from the Jumping Percheron. They're really fun! The main problem we're having is that our leg yields are too steep (I've never had this problem before) so I have a few new exercises I want to try and get a better angle to the leg yield.
|We need to work on her posing skills. But she's cute!|
|Four off the floor!|
|This is the trot lengthening we need...|
|At least she's pretty|
I went to audit a clinic with Eric Smiley with a vet school friend over spring break and it was really fun. It was outdoors and the weather was quite bipolar (it's raining! now it's sunny! now it's cloudy and windy! and so forth) but I really enjoyed listening, he seemed like a great clinician to ride with and I definitely picked some things up and since then I have been torturing poor Misty with lots of trot poles. I think the main take away that we need to work on is that Misty needs to take ME to the jump, I shouldn't have to be pushing her over the jumps. If she's being lazy I can correct it and tell her to wake up and get it together, but I shouldn't be having to do the work of pushing her over every fence. That and he also told a couple riders that if the course didn't go like you wanted, then change something. I know I'm definitely guilty of this as well, riding the same pattern over and over and hoping that one of these times it'll work out correctly, but I'm not changing anything about it in order to help it work.
Other little tid-bits
- If you know you're off of your striding, he advocates for pushing them forward (lengthening their stride) instead of holding them back
- Recognize if your striding is off when you're 3+ strides out. You shouldn't be changing your length of stride 1-2 strides before the jump
- Don't ride corners, they're hard. He did a lot of circle work
- He set up lots of narrow ground poles perpendicular to the jump to make the horses straight, he would even stand directly in front of the jump to the side a bit to make the horse jump through the middle (slightly nerve-wracking to watch!)
- It's the horse's job to pick up their feet and pay attention, hence the trot poles
And lastly, I finally got to go for a trail ride last Friday! First trail ride of the year and first trail ride in such a long time. It was gloriously nice weather, the trails were very empty and we had a short, fun ride. It was perfect!
While Misty's feet are awesome on gravel, I wanted to be extra careful not to throw a wrench in our plans this spring and get a stone bruise since it's still pretty wet out so Misty's hooves are a tad soft. So I discovered that Jetta's easy boots that go on her hind feet fit Misty's front hooves absolutely perfectly! They didn't rub her scar at all, though it was a little tight getting the gaiter to shut on her scarred foot. But they did perfectly even when we had ourselves a nice little gallop.
|Her "tennis shoes"|