Sorry I've been missing for long - I am TOO BUSY! But there you are, that's life at a big barn for you!
As December wears on I am feeling increasingly excited for the upcoming year. When the clock rolls over to 2010 we'll be just beginning 10 minutes of trotwork (if she continues to be sound, of course), and I'll be able to really put my goals for next year all in order. I have some pretty lofty ones, but if she continues to be sound there's no reason to think we can't achieve every one of them. I've got eyes for all the bigger events around here - Groton House, Millbrook, Fitch's, GMHA, Stuart - and of course, hopefully the 2010 AECs. That is a bloody long way to go for a show but that's the hopeful plan, if everything goes well. I feel a little behind the ball due to the fact that as of January 1 this past year, we were gearing up for heavy dressage work in anticipation of the earlier start to the season. The old saying is that shows are not won in June, they're won in January, and I completely agree. We won't have this chunk of time to work on new things and advance like we normally would be able to. As that stands, it may put us back a season but that's all right. You never know how these things work out.
Dr. A came out today to work on Gogo and one of my boss' horses. Even by Dr. A standards he was a little weird today, and I think my boss wasn't totally sure what to think because he told her that Athos had liver qi stagnation. I don't even know what that MEANS! Well, I mean I get the idea of qi (and my own qi is... seriously off) but I had to look it up to understand it better than how he explained it. But it does make sense - I guess this is responsible for soft tissue issues, digestive upsets, and the like... all things this horse is displaying currently. It was very interesting to see Athos standing in the crossties totally covered in acupuncture needles! Poor kid. As for Gogo, there was less crazy Chinese medicine and more chiropractic work to be done with her, but it was surprisingly less than I thought. As predicted, her SI had some pain, but not nearly what I expected. She had mild soreness around her withers as well, which surprised me until Dr. A mentioned that her posture was pretty bad. That hadn't occured to me.... I guess it makes sense though. Standing around in a stall for 3 months like a bump on a log will definitely bring out your weaknesses, and if your topline isn't strong to begin with, well... you start to sag around the middle! Here's where Dr. A got a little weird again... he took three polos and made a sort of body wrap that I cannot describe with words - I will have to get a picture of it! This supposedly makes her more aware of her body and that she has a butt and that she needs to bother using it. She'll wear this 3 or 4 times a week on the treadmill. My suspition is that she is going to get used to it and not care, but you never know. We did some belly lifts with her and BOING! Her back went right up to where it's supposed to be and she actually held it for awhile. We will need to do PLENTY of those to re-engage her abs as she gets back to work.
All in all I was pretty happy with the news. Athos did not fare so well. We'll be keeping an eye on him... he is his own mystery. We actually have a couple mysteries and I would like to write about some of these horses some more when I have time. They're all fabulous but some are just... odd.
The progress we're making is fantastic. She went out yesterday in the medical paddock for the first time without Ace (which was actually a staff miscommunication and my guys went to go bring her out for me before I could get over there with drugs), and she was GREAT. Obviously this is not going to work every day, but there you are. The blue mullen mouth bit of this past year has been switched out for a big-girl bit again, the double jointed loose ring, and she is going fantastically in that, as I thought she might. The blue bit was a training device and it served its purpose. Nevertheless, as it was blue, I am of course sad to see it go. Work under saddle is GREAT, and she is behaving herself - hooray! Or well, mostly. ;) And the best part is that we are finally starting to wean her off wraps. She is going in them nightly only, and during the day those legs have stayed very tight and cool. I LOVE THAT!
Happy, happy progress. Of course now that it is December, it is 17 degrees... that's the crappiest part of the whole deal.
Off to see a horse off to surgery (yikes).... enjoy the awful weather!
Zac's 3 week update
18 hours ago