Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scratches Begone, and Super Awesome Jumping Lesson

Well, sometime last week we gave in and I shaved McKinna's legs to better deal with the scratches. It was still spreading despite our best efforts, and while I wanted to leave the hair to protect her against the mud, at this point it was hindering more than helping.

So, zip went the clippers and her legs are now naked. We also have been leaving her inside over the last couple weeks, which isn't as bad as it sounds because she still has a run and the barn owner has been turning her out in the arena to blow off some steam. McKinna seems perfectly happy with the situation, and best of all it has really helped with the scratches. (Or so I assume - since we clipped, kept in, and medicated all at the same time, I suppose there's no causation established).

It's been a pain dealing with. Scrub legs with antimicrobial/antifungal shampoo, dry with towel, wait to dry more and/or dry with a hair dryer, apply lovely mix of antibacterial/antifungal/desitin/etc to all the scratches-y spots, repeat ad nauseam. On the plus side, it's almost completely gone now! Just a few little splotchy pink spots. We've been treating it just about every day, and we'll continue to do so, but it's mostly taken care of (which is nice, because I have the Show Jumping rally this weekend).

Speaking of jumping, everything is going awesomely. I went to a lesson with Devin last week which REALLY helped get me out of my riding funk. Next time I am whining lots about not wanting to ride, ask me how long it's been since I've had a @#*@!(&% lesson with my regular instructors, okay? Not that I'm not allowed to whine, but I've forgotten how much fun it is to ride with them. I went in, told Devin I wanted a solid, simple confidence-boosting jumping lesson, and proceeded to have possibly the best ride ever.

We worked on establishing a forward, powerful canter stride from which McKinna can collect or extend easily. And wow, what a canter! We did a lot of course work, and I ended on short course of 5 fences. Most of them were 3'3, and the natural vertical was 3'6. Yeeeeeeeah baby.

I love her expression. She is SO calm and confident about it, and really in tune with me. It sounds silly, but I can't tell where my thoughts end and her responses begin. We just kind of adjust everything together and it works. I had another jumping lesson yesterday where we worked on more technical courses, and it went very well too. McKinna is working hard to keep her rock-star status!

I'm doing the 2'6 - 3'3 division at the rally (ridiculous range, I know. And jumpoff can go up to 3'6). It should be a great chance to practice jumping flashy courses with show nerves, so wish us luck.
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