Okay. First of all I thought you all should know that Gogo has a secret ambition to be a show hunter. Why? Oh I dunno. I have to say, I think that's as correct as I've ever seen her form be. She is always very tidy with her legs, but doesn't often have that kind of bascule, nor are her front legs so evenly matched usually. Lovely. And as for me? Let's just say I need to get it together because I am the STAIN in that otherwise GORGEOUS photo! As you can tell I was on DEFENSIVE OVERKILL. I guess you can't blame me given the entire month of July. Well, at least it's better than it was earlier in the summer, that's for sure. But I have not regained my former poise over fences that I was almost achieving last year. But just look at her go. That was a nice lopey canter for her, really. Can you just imagine when she's actually galloping?
Gogo is back to serious work as of yesterday and has been a right snot about it, followed by a dash of fabulous. Generally, after a bit of downtime I start back up with a hack, but I wanted to get on her and test the gears, and get down to a bit of work given our dwindling time before the AECs! She was understandably a bit body-stiff when we first started out, but some w/t/c on the buckle sorted her out and loosened her up. It took awhile, but she eventually unkinked her body and became quite supple. We didn't do much beyond w/t/c, transitions, leg yields, and a few very minor lengthenings, but that was enough. She didn't have a lot of adjustability within gaits, but she was starting to tire a little by the end, so I called it a day on a perfectly square halt. Today, we went back out for another dressage session and she, for whatever reason, was NOT in the mood to play at first. Given the fact that she's, well, Gogo, I gave her some room to be herself, and she fussed, fussed, fussed, fussed. After about 45 minutes of mediocre fussy work, I finally halted and had her stand there on contact for a few minutes. Sometimes, this is all she needs to really let go and relax for whatever reason, and it worked today. She then gave me about 15 minutes of absolutely LOVELY work - incredibly supple both directions and very adjustable within gaits. We schooled some very nice leg yields, played with shoulder-in, did rapid-fire transitions (which completely blow her mind when she's not relaxed, but really engage her when she IS relaxed), and played with shallow loops in canter. To my great delight, she swelled like a sail and filled both reins during these, and gave me some very good ones going left. Now, given our previous difficulties going right, and our previous difficulties with counter-canter to begin with, I haven't done a successful shallow loop in canter going to the right on her.... well, maybe ever. Today, with minor trepidation and curiosity, I attempted one going right after a few going left, and lo and behold, she gave me an absolutely magnificent one, better than the ones going left, and as we rounded the corner I asked for a canter-halt, and BAM! Perfectly balanced, perfectly square. I ended on that, how could I ask for better? It was like she was gearing up over the past two rides to be perfect at the end of this one. We're dressage-ing for the next two days as well, and then HOPEFULLY getting an XC school in as well as some conditioning work. Valinor is holding open schooling on their course this week and weekend, but - alas - it is three hours away. That sounds like GREAT fun, but three hours....? That's a bit far. I've tried to get in contact with Mistover, but haven't heard back via e-mail, so I will try to call tomorrow instead. Maybe back to Red Rock? I dunno. I need WATER! Real up-down, in-out WATER!
I am happy to say that the weird mystery swellings in Gogo's front legs finally have an actual cause - NASTY SCURF! She had a rather extended bit of time off last week, long than I wanted, because I was so paranoid about the S word and the residual puffiness. It didn't seem to make sense though, her weird puffiness in relation to the S word, because she's been sound this whole time, and literally within 10 seconds of walking out of her stall, all the puffiness vanished. No heat, no residual swelling... just excess fluid, so it seemed. As it turns out, she had scurf forming under her hair, and linimenting and wrapping only served to make it explode. GROSS. I ended up clipping all hour lower legs today (which I didn't really want to do but I HAD to get it under control!), and scrubbing them with anti-gross shampoo. Most of the scurf went away - yay! - but you could tell when I was clipping her that it was REALLY bothering her. She spent most of her time jerking her legs away from me when I went to clip the scurfier spots, which was just tons of fun for me, let me tell you. So PHEW to that. We'll see tomorrow morning if it made any difference in the puffiness. I also managed to pull her mane in a way that thinned it without shortening it at all. Mad skills. Her buttons require a slightly longer mane than typical hunter braids would call for, but it needs to be fairly thin at the same time to really look good. Her mane would really love to be THICK and all over the place, so it's a constant uphill battle of epic proportions. It's actually been laying down all on the right side this week all by itself, so I must be doing something right.
Saturday I managed to get ALL THIS STUFF DONE!:
Take everything out of trailer tack room and vacuum the floor
Go through all boxes in trailer
Remove dirty blankets from trailer
Go through all buckets in trailer – clean everything in them!!
Call IL Ag Dept
Put health papers in CAR!
Organize show clothes
Don’t forget show BELT
Put show pads in trailer
FIND STOCK PIN! (Which was a fail... I seem to have lost it.)
Put show clothes in trailer
Pick up coats from drycleaners and put in trailer
Go through all stuff in trailer, figure out what I need to replace
Get SAFETY PIN for my dressage coat (I need a new one... this one fits horribly!)
Clean safety vest
Sunday I was much less productive:
Get new boot shine for tall boots
Wash/clean Gogo’s boots
And today I managed to get these few things done:
Put boots (inc. new bells) in trailer
Order needed supplies (Showsheen, poultice, hoof polish)
On our merry way, we are. Once the clock rolls over to midnight, 9 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(2008 AEC Picture of the Day: Gogo and I getting ready for one booty-kickin' XC run!!)
From a frog to a prince
41 minutes ago