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We Are Flying Solo

February 27, 2011

Bad Boy's Back!

It was 72 degrees today (don't hate the player...) so I decided some jumping was in order!  Which of course meant I had the perfect excuse to try out the new helmet cam.  So, the end result after two hours of fidgeting with the crappy software it came with?  Your 18 seconds of entertainment...

No, I have not yet figured out how to make it fit within the column. Or how to upload it to our YouTube channel. Or how to even truly crop the video. Or how to make it not sound like there is a hurricane on my helmet. Thus far, we can only get it onto the camera manufacturer's website, sigh... Baby steps.

While Solo did get very tired quickly, his stride felt good and his jump felt GREAT. He was rounding and using his back end to get over the fence again and seemed comfortable even hopping through a bounce. Oh, I hope this is only the start of good things to come!

February 26, 2011

Looking Up

Dr. Bob gave Solo two thumbs up during a brief visit on Friday. Now all we have to do is keep building those blood levels back up. We definitely won't make our planned March HT, so our level move-up schedule is getting pushed back, snif, BUT if the goddesses are kind, we can make our April event. Please be kind....

In other good news, the ever-lovely SO gifted us with a helmet cam for my birthday (that's it right there, on the left)! So Solo's galloping adventures shall be recorded in HD from the saddle. Thanks, baby! I can't wait to try it out!!!

February 24, 2011

I KNEW Dr. Bob Was Awesome!

Look, he was on my favouritest TV show of all time!!!

(Thanks, RiderWriter, for reminding me of my other favourite Dr. Bob!)

February 21, 2011

Butt Velcro

First off, happy 15th birthday, Mr. Shiny McJumpy Pants!

Rehab is boring.  But the slowness of it forces you to work on things you might otherwise pass over.  Since Solo has the energy level of a dead sloth right now (low red blood cell levels, etc.), I can't exactly practice much high energy stuff.  I decided, why not hop on bareback and practice walking on the bit at a speed somewhat faster than a death march (always a weak spot).

We wove in alternating curves around our dressage arena cones; left bend, right bend, left shoulder popping, now!....right bend, left bend....stay on that outside rein!...right bend.  We marched straight  approximately down centerline and bent around a 20 meter circle, all at a walk I tried to maintain without nagging, focusing on a steady, supple contact.  If Solo started to lock that left side of his jaw, I just massaged it with the bit on that side until he let go again.

Stretch break!

Then I couldn't resist a single lap of canter on each lead. The arena is not huge and I wasn't going to make him be round, just to stay balanced and rhythmic. Having just gone to Mr. Physical Therapist today too, I wanted to experiment a little with my seat; my constant problem is that I am unable to unlock my lower back and hips. They are generally tight and sore, so I cannot simply "relax and swing" with the horse as one is directed to do. But things have been improving, so I gave it a go.

Once we picked up the canter, I imagined that there was velcro between my butt and the saddle: the hooky side was on my butt and the soft side (you know what I mean) was on the saddle. My goal was to keep them stuck together without rubbing or moving, they just had to stay stuck. Above all, I didn't want to mentally "hear" that scritching sound you get when you rub velcro sides together. I imagined PLANTING my half of the velcro onto the saddle's half and smooshing it there.

Crazy? Possibly.

Successful? Yes! It did help a lot. I suddenly could feel and realize how much motion there must be in the lower back and pelvis to swing with the canter. And it's a LOT of motion! But my velcro did not scritch and slide all over the place very much, although I didn't have eyes on the ground to confirm this. 

I have obviously invented some priceless horsemanship secret and will now become a millionaire! HA! But it may be worth giving a try, it just seemed to help my body make sense of what I was asking it better than me screaming at my ass, "Stay put, you sorry bastard!" Does it help you? Do you have another image that works for you? Do share!

February 20, 2011

We're Going Pro

No, I have no delusions that I am the next coming of Boyd Martin.  But....We Are Flying Solo has an honest-to-god address of its very own!  That's right, look up -- up there in the URL bar, you should see our new home: Don't worry though, Blogger will still redirect you if you are linked to or came in via  Hopefully you will notice few changes during the carry-over.

Excuse me while I give in to an inappropriate level of excitement.

Carry on...