Riding Update

The first few days after the show I just rode bareback on the lunge line at walk and trot, and ride Savanah some. The bareback is to help me get a better, more relaxed and quiet seat on Rogo. I do it on the lunge because he gets excited about it, and also because I want to just think about relaxation and balance. He's getting used to it now, but I think I'll stay on the lunge for awhile as it really helps to focus. I can see / feel an improvement already. I have to be careful not to make his back sore though - he isn't used to sitting trot or bareback, so I only do it for 5 or 10 minutes.
I'm riding Savanah more because Doug's arthritis is getting worse and right now he finds it too painful to ride. This is very sad because he is a good rider and Savanah is very fun to ride. He'd planned to show again this summer with her (they did very well last summer), but he won't be able to. We're going to see what we can do medically to try to improve things for him and get him back in the saddle.
Savanah is living proof that good basics are the building blocks for moving up the levels. She has only been trained in Training Level, with Level 1, test 1 two years ago. Since I've started riding her more I'm trying lots of level 1 and 2 movements, and she can pretty much do all of them, even though she hasn't schooled them. They would need practice and polish for a show, but it would come fast. She is just so supple and responsive to the aids that you can ask her for anything within reason and she'll do it. We did three loop canter serpentines with canter / walk / canter simple changes over the center line and she picked it up really fast - 2nd try and she had it. I'm going to talk to Joan about starting her schooling flying changes. She did the same with shoulder it - just ask for it, she confirms "you want this?" and then we can trot effortlessly in a shoulder -in with no previous practice. All the training level training has gotten her ready for more for sure.
Rogo was full of it today. I lunged and rode and focussed on getting just a little bit of forward and round in each gait. When I got it we quit, because it was raining out. Then I spent the morning, two hours, discussing Rogo's training with Joan, drinking coffee and eating banana bread that Doug had baked. It was a fun discussion. She has a better understanding now that I need her to work with us and to do basics in order to get any better with Rogo; I can't just do on my own with him what she did with Savanah and I. It will be questionable whether she can spend much time with us though as her husband Roy isn't well.
I just posted some pictures of our new land on our facebook page if you're interested.
I had a great weekend with the R.I.D.E.R.S.  Board (our dressage club). We met in the Annapolis Valley, then toured Hobby Horse Farm, the location of our July test riding clinic, and then my co-chair Alison took me to see Sue and Jane Fraser's equestrian center. Sue is a level thee dressage coach and a  judge - an amazing resource for dressage in Nova Scotia.


lynn said…
Carol, I just started on cymbalta and it is for oesteoarthritis pain, nerve pain, etc so maybe it is something Doug would like to try. My stupid drug plan doesn't want to pay for it because they are trying to say it is only for diabetic nerve pain but it is advertised by the drug company for much more and it is helping me. Just a suggestion from someone who has tried everything!
juliette said…
Sounds like nice relaxed bareback riding and coffee drinking and banana bread eating! Yum!

I hope Doug sees improvement soon. That is horrible not to be able to ride. You know me - I recommend running (even slow beginning walk/jog movements) to help arthritis. Sounds counter-intuitive, but running has been known to help with arthritis.

I tried to take the survey just now, but I think it is for Nova Scotia only - oops! Sorry!
Carol said…
Thanks so much Lynn. I've passed it along to Doug and we'll look into it.
Carol said…
Juliette the survey is for everyone. I'll look into why it didn't work. It should have. Thanks for trying!
smazourek said…
That piece of land is gorgeous! So jealous right now.
A dietary change Doug might want to consider...

When eating members of the nightshade family-

tomatoes (and tomato products)

always combine the nightshade with a dairy product. Many cuisines naturally do this anyway... eggplant parmesan, tomatoes with fresh mozz, cheese stuffed peppers, baked potato with sour cream etc.

The dairy replaces calcium, which if eaten alone, nightshades tend to leach from joints as part of the absorption process. (Some people cut out the nightshades entirely.)

Sorry for the long comment, but this has helped me tremendously with joint issues and has only good side effects :)
Jan said…
Carol, Sounds like you have good ideas about working on lunging and on bareback, and Savannah can help you as well! You often have very good plans about what to work on with Rogo - keep it up and believe in yourself!! You and he are doing great- there are videos to prove it! :)

Sorry to hear about Doug's arthritis. Hope you can come up with some treatment options.
Excellent news with Savannah, it's fantastic how quickly she picks new ideas up! Can I ask a quick question? What is meant with 'training levels' and 'training level training', as we don't have this in the UK. Thanks
achieve1dream said…
Sounds like things are going great! Well except for your husband. That's really sad. My dad has bad arthritis and it makes him miserable so I feel for him. I hope you can fine something that will help get him riding again. My dad tried Cetyl M which is all natural and he said it worked. :)
achieve1dream said…
I should say the Cetyl M helped, not worked. It doesn't cure arthritis obviously, but every little bit of relief helps. :)