Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Recalibration!

Weeell, so much for all my super-duper hopes about skipping around all the Training fences at Inavale on Saturday. McKinna just wasn't on her game like usual - it was actually a really similar feeling to the jumping lesson we had a few days before. Nothing major, but when I asked her to power up the energy just wasn't there. She'd gallop when I sent her forward and half-halt when I asked, but "it" just wasn't there. You know, "it". Her usual bold, controlled attack of the fences, that feeling that I can just wind up all that power and let it launch us over any fence.

I know it's not her feet, because at one point we were cantering through an empty water complex (= gravel footing) to jump up a bank, and she was 100% fine. Yay for rock-crunching barefoot feet!

And it's not like she was jumping terribly. She was her usual fantastic self up and down banks, through the water, and over the smaller stuff, jumping everything out of stride as usual. It's just...the bigger stuff she wouldn't give me the strength, didn't want to attack the fence, and wanted to hesitate just a tiny bit on takeoff. We still schooled some rolltops and one Training-level log pile, and it all went fine. To anyone who doesn't know her, nothing would seem out of the ordinary. But I know her really well, and I know that she just wasn't quite on.

So, no big deal. We still had a good, positive schooling session. As for now, I'm guessing she's just feeling a little overworked and maybe a bit sore. I sure felt like hell after a week of trying to adjust to four hard classes while throwing in a dressage, jumping, and XC lesson all two days apart from each other. McKinna confirmed this suspicion by spending Sunday and Monday turning around and walking out into her run every time I came into her stall ;) Sometimes she does that just because, but a lot of times she does it when she's getting worn out.

So this week is a light week. Sunday we finished up her clip and she is officially only hairy on face, legs, and a saddle patch on her back. She's very cute and you can see her little paint spots very clearly! Then Monday was another relaxed day involving a thorough washing of her tail and that's it. Tuesday was another day off, and today Mom and I each took a turn taking a nice relaxed ride. There's a derby coming up that I'm debating going to, and after that just some Pony Club lessons and clinics.

I know that her general stickiness over bigger fences *could* be her hocks, so don't think that we are ignoring that possibility. It seems unlikely given past indications, but we're thinking of doing radiographs of her hocks before I get thoroughly into next eventing season - not because we think there's anything wrong, but because it would be very nice to get a baseline on this super-sound 16something year old mare! Then we can know if Adequan might be a good idea, etc. My money's on her just being tired after a long week, though. The chiro is coming on Saturday, so I'm expecting that after an easy week and an adjustment she'll be good as new.

In other news, my stirrup pads, Nathe bit, and big bodyclipping blade arrived Monday (just in time for me to be done with bodyclipping round 1, of course). Can't wait to put those stirrup pads on my jumping saddle! I tried out the bit tonight. Nothing too conclusive as we were just moseying around, but she certainly didn't object. I'll have to try a dressage lesson in it to see what kind of connection we're going to get - I'm suspecting that the connection will be good but the lateral clarity might suffer a little since it's a straight bar mouthpiece? We'll see.

I hope you all are enjoying the last vestiges of warmish weather. Tonight was lovely at the barn and it was a perfect evening to just relax and enjoy the company of a great horse. It's nice to know that despite all our big competition goals, the constant minutiae of improving dressage and the hours of jumping, one of the best things to do is just go out there on a beautiful evening and spend time with a horse you love. It doesn't get much better than that.

4 comments:

Hurricanes12 said...

i know what you mean about jumping without the 'it' energy there! so frustrating, i tried feeding my horse oats over summer when he got really ..flat?.. but nothing worked.
& he wears shoes, which don't make a difference so you're probably dead right it's not to do with her feet!

manymisadventures said...

It's definitely a bit of a frustrating experience! I wasn't upset with McKinna, just concerned that something was up with her.

I'm pretty curious to see what the chiro finds, actually. It's been a little while since she's been checked out - I've been trying to get him out for several weeks now. We'll see what he says on Saturday!

Did your horse ever perk up again? Did you try anything else?

Cara said...

Very intersting. After 16 years with my horse, I am used to the cycle of his hair. In the super hair growing time, he is a bit off. It seems most if his energy is going to growing new hair. It happens every spring and fall, right at the very end of the shed when the new summer/winter coat is bursting out. It lasts a week or three, then he is fine. Reiner Klimke wrote about something similar in his biography of Alerich.

Hurricanes12 said...

he perks up now and again, mostly depending how he feels on the day.

the only thing that works, is cutting his jumping down to half the length of time i'd usually jump school, and doing it less frequently- which sucks. but he does seem to be a lot more enthusiastic when he finally gets to have a jumping lesson!

i hope the chiro finds something simple, it would be a relief if you could pinpoint a problem and fix it :)

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