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We Are Flying Solo

August 10, 2012

Stormy Surprises

Lightning snapped as the stormfront wind brushed, refreshingly cool, across both our bodies.  Encore & I, both tired of sweating, welcomed a chance where time & bearable weather finally intersected.

Despite the flashing bolts of electricity, there was no rain, just the breeze, & Encore was bothered by neither.  On Monday, Dr. Bob visited to dispense spring shots & had given Encore his first chiro adjustment post-injections.  His thoracic spine felt great, he just had some rotation in his sacrum & hips that was easily restored to proper order.

As I tacked up, I felt his left hip muscle & hamstring, both usually tight & in need of stretching.  Today, though, both were soft & matched the right side; money well spent.

It was just a short school in the dressage area, but it restored my hope & was not what expected that day.  I've been struggling to snatch riding time from our field schedule, so consistency has not been involved in our training much.  There has been much sweating & llama-riding & more energy than we know what to do with.

But this time, Encore stepped into the bridle easily, working gorgeously round over his back.  I concentrated on not locking my left arm & shoulder -- if I lost my focus tracking left, his head would tilt askew to the inside, reminding me to BE SOFT.  Then I would consciously relax every muscle from shoulder to wrist, without losing the contact, & he would quietly move forward, straight & strong.

We only did left lead canter, his weak side (Mr. Anticipation doesn't get to assume we do both leads every time, he's too smart!).  I let him warm up his back in two point, then I sat down as much as I could in the jumping saddle & rode with my seat & core.  Suddenly there appeared steps of a round dressage canter & Encore flicked an ear as I laughed with glee.

Spring 2012.  You won't believe the new body he has now...
The session finished with just three jumps.  We trotted back & forth over a 2' crossrail -- he can be quite strong & pasture sour at home so we have been working on that.  Today, he stayed in a rhythm & didn't race to the jump.

I decided to go ahead & canter around to a last jump -- about a 3'1" double rail vertical I set up to come off a bend.  As he came to the base & I kept my leg on, he curled up & over the jump so carefully, I could feel his front legs not daring to touch wood.

Our entry show of the  fall is a schooling jumper show in town in two weeks.  Then our first horse trial will take us back the Carolina Horse Park for Five Points HT in September.

I have a good feeling & hopefully this time, it won't be a prelude to disaster...


  1. You guys sound awesome, though I am curious about the broken martingale. ;-)

    Keep your head up!

  2. HHHHMMMMM me dreaming :) Sound slike you are guys are ready!!!!!

  3. Thanks, I hope so!

    SB, Encore was copping an huge attitude about anticipating the canter and I made him bend to force him to balance and he yanked his naughty little nose up, giving me the finger, and the seam just gave at the ring.

  4. Solaris,
    Glad Encore is feeling better. I am a firm believer in chiro adjustments! They have made a world of difference to my mare. Good luck on your upcoming shows!
    -christy and Malibu
    ps-finally posted an update and video of her in equisearch. You will have to check it out!!

  5. Oooo, going to see Malibu, I love her!

  6. Sounds like the injections and chiro went a long way!