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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Friday, May 15, 2009

No Rest for the Wicked

I'm tired. I'm reallllllllllllly tired. I work really hard and I never seem to really catch a break, or feel refreshed after my days off. This weekend should be lighter, because Vicki and a bunch of clients are at shows, but I still find myself crashing at around 8:30 at night unintentionlly, only to wake up at 11, annoyed at myself and STILL exhausted. It's hard to complain when the world is so fresh and green and beautiful, but man, life is hard when you're a broke kid who can't afford to eat enough greens or protein to not feel utterly exhausted during the day, or to get more than four consecutive hours of sleep... ever, much less four hours total a night.

Hence my lack of posts this week. I've been a zombie.

And yet, training and conditioning goes on. Monday was a day off, and Tuesday I took her for a lovely half-hour walk hack around our property - not that there's much property to hack around. I looped the GORGEOUS orchard a few times (full of dogwoods in full bloom, enough to make you dizzy from the smell), went around the paddocks, went up the driveway, went back around the orchard... etc! It's pretty small here, and I have to get creative sometimes.

The dogwoods.

Wednesday it was back to dressage work, and Gogo just seemed to know she'd been a rock star last weekend, because she went right out and strutted her stuff right off the bat. She really worked with me right from the very start. We had a few moments somewhere about a half hour in where her neck got a hair short, but as soon as I went back to some slightly less complicated stuff, it dissapeared immediately. We did tons of transitions, leg yields and some shoulder-in, and at the end of the lesson I played around a bit with some walk pirouettes and even a bit of reinback. She understands the concept of the walk pirouette, actually better now than ever before (don't just plant that hind leg and pivot, USE it!), and the reinback will take more time but it's coming. In the past, the reinback totally FREAKED her out and she'd rear like a maniac (I introduced it to her before I went to New Zealand and she understood, but when I got back and Crazy Trainer had messed her up, it was totally out of the question for a little while), but as long as I take little baby steps, I can eradicate that behavior. Praise, lots of praise. I was totally pleased with her and she was totally pleased with herself.

Back to gallops on Thursday! This week's work schedule was totally messed up so I had Wednesday and Thursday off instead of Friday and Saturday, so I was up early before the rain rolled in in. The grass in that field is growing out of control, and I'm not sure that the landowner has any plans to mow it, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do - I don't know how accessable it's going to be as the summer progresses. As it stood Thursday, it felt a little bit like riding in deep snow, only less dramatic. By the end of our third gallop set, she was tired and so I was.

Warm-up: 20 minute walk hack
Sets: Trot 5 minutes
Walk 2 minutes
Trot 5 minutes
Walk 2 minutes
Trot 5 minutes
Walk 2 minutes
Canter 4 minutes, 350mpm
Walk 2 minutes
Canter 4 minutes, 350mpm
Walk 2 minutes
Gallop 5 minutes, 470mpm
Cool down: 15 minute walk hack home

I had to push a bit the last minute or so, and we were both tired. Back at home, she got a nice cool rinse, a liniment bath, and a good half hour of grazing while I lazed in the grass nearby. Safety first!

And today, it was back to work, and it's going to be a long, seven-day stretch this time. She seemed to know I was delighted, however, about my truck arriving yesterday with my parents, and pranced around for them like a pretty fancy dressage horse (they came to watch). She was right there from the get-go, for the second time this week. I did a whole mess of leg yields right from the start, which helped connect her - Vicki said today, and after most gallop days, her body is a bit disconnected, like the area in front of the saddle wants to do dressage but the area behind it wants to gallop. A lot of leg yields really seemed to help that, and we did some fabulous trot work, including a bunch of high-quality lengthenings. The compression at the end of the lengthenings is what really helped bring her body part all back together, I think. On days after gallop days, I will have to rememeber to focus mostly on quality walk-trot work - the canter just wasn't there today and I wasn't going to push it. I had some small moments of good quality canter and I left it alone otherwise.

I was going to hack tomorrow BUT A) I'm supposed to trailer a horse to a show (WITH THE NEW TRUCK!) during work hours no less, B) the Preakness AND Rolex are both being aired on TV, also during work hours, and C) a former boarder and friend of ours want to take us out to dinner at 7, so I think tomorrow will be a day off, and then we'll hack or jump on Sunday, and then do the other of whatever we were supposed to do on Monday.

14 days until Mystic Valley H.T.!!!! Can you say R-E-P-E-A-T!!


Alighieri said...

That's very true about the being exhausted all the time thing. I was a working student for six months and worked hours similar to yours. Did it through competition season as well. It was supposed to be for two years originally, but by the end of six months, I was clinically depressed, had lost my appetite, was losing weight, sleeping all the time, and crying every day. It was a disaster.

So I came home and went back to college for a second degree, one other than my animal science degree.

I just want to warn you that it never really gets better once you hit the exhausted stage. Even going home for a week over Thanksgiving didn't really recharge me.

Good luck though! Some people can push through it!

And congrats on your first place!

Meghan said...

THANK YOU for telling me about Rolex! It was supposed to be on the day after the Derby, but it was pre-empted due to a stupid hockey game going into overtime, and I had given up hope that it was going to be on, but I just checked my local listings and it's on right before the Preakness, and NO hockey right before it! :D YES!

Good luck at your next competition. I don't compete, so it's fun to read about your successes. And GoGo is so gorgeous, although I would never want to own a Warmblood. I've heard too many stories about them being kooky!

cierarosaline said...

Aww that stinks! I hope it gets better and the orchard looks beautiful! Where I am, there are several apple orchards nearby so we go ride in them and eat the apples and nectarines. Sooooo good! Anyway, Good luck with your workload! :)