To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A pocketful of cherries

Dr. Steward arrived as scheduled on Monday; it was great to see her again after so many years. The last time was over 15 years ago, back when neither of us were moms and both of us were actively competing in dressage; how time flies and life changes!

Her assessment of Lance was that his issues were not huge or long-standing; she thought they were from the last three to six months. His biggest issue was at his poll, followed by a subluxated SI resulting in a dropped left hip, with some minor problems in his neck. She adjusted all those areas on a moving target; Tina called Lance "a worm." I have heard others say that their horse relaxes into the work and even "shows the chiropractor where it hurts," but not Lance!

She also showed me how she does neck stretches now; she extends the neck out to the front and then around to the side rather than asking them to curl their neck to the side or flank. Makes sense to me! There are a couple other stretches she showed me years ago that I have been using and will continue to use.

Tina checked my saddle fit just sitting on Lance's back and in use; she thought it was a great fit for both of us. Yay! (She also thought he had three nice gaits and a very balanced canter; she may say that to all her clients but I'll take it.) Can you believe what I ended up with is a really inexpensive used Wintec Dressage 250 with CAIR I found at Gallops when I returned the two expensive "banana" saddles? Hey, whatever works! (And my Black Country saddle is winging its way to a new home in CO; double-yay!)
Nice, even sweat marks

Tina recommended that I put Lance on daily MSM (probably good advice for both of us), said it's really important to keep his hindquarters up under him in downward transitions (echoing Julie), and suggested lots of walking. In fact, she said "If you have time," (at which both of us laughed) "it would be great to take him out for an hour's walk every morning, and then school him in the afternoon." Yeah, like I have time in my life for that on a regular basis, but it told me that Lance can be used, which lifted a burden off my heart. I can now look forward to our trip to Perrydale Trails a week from Sunday, and maybe even think about showing again sometime this year. If my Mike Corcoran saddle sells, I'll even have the funds to show!

Thanks to my MIL keeping Brian for a couple days as an anniversary gift to Rick and me, I was able to take Lance out for long walks Tuesday and Wednesday. The first time we had to give the winery construction site a wide berth, but Lance was much braver the second time (it helped that there weren't workers swarming the framework with air hammers on day #2). The Royal Ann cherries in the orchard down the road are ripening, so on both rides I stuffed some in my pocket to eat along the way. Life doesn't get much sweeter than a good horse, a beautiful day, and a pocketful of cherries!


shelly hancock said...

I'm so happy to hear that Lance doesn't have any major problems and that you can ride him. He may learn to relax into his treatments once he knows they make him feel better.

Alanna M. said...

I'm glad you got good news and found a saddle. I have used Tina before and I've always liked her.