Sunday, 25 September 2011

RC Training Day

This was our first proper outing post-injury was to our riding club's training day at SNEC, perfect opportunity to go out and have fun with no pressure or stress. :)
Warming up- very keen!

First up was a Le Trec taster session, which was good fun.  We did the control of paces first (canter a distance as slow as possible without breaking to trot and walk the same distance back again as fast as possible, again without breaking to trot) and scored pretty well on the slow canter (even with a spook halfway round at someone sitting in the seating area! Luckily we stayed in the cones and didn't break pace), we didn't score quite as well on the fast walk but at least stayed in walk and didn't break into jig-jog or trot.

"Controlled" canter!
We then did a replicated "bridge" of rubber mat between two plastic blocks and tarpaulin between two poles (about 8ft long) both of which earned suspicious looks from Hopalong but she went over first time.  Standing with dropped reins was a success also although we didn't have to do it unmounted- I'm not sure she'd stay put for that?!  She was really good at the rein back in a corridor of poles, just scuffing a pole with one foot when I over corrected a squinty step.

Showing off her "games pony" moves
with the bending cones exercise.
We also tried the bending poles exercise- 6 cones within a 4m corridor, not sure how far apart they were, but I'm sure they got closer and closer as you went along the corridor?!  My intention was to trot this but she broke to canter and instructor said if you break pace you lose less marks staying in the pace you've broken to, so finished in canter!  We tried a second time intending to stay in trot but she broke to canter before even starting, so just did it in canter the whole way- got to love small, numble ponies! :)

Looking longingly at the SJ lesson?!
Another fun exercise was a corridor of poles 50cm apart and about 20ft long. You have to ride through it without touching the poles or stepping out of them and get more marks the faster you go. 50cm looks really narrow!  We did once at walk, then trot and then attempted canter and she did it perfectly- maybe it helped that she doesn't like to touch poles when SJing?!  The instructor's top tip was to keep looking up and straight ahead and it definitely worked.

She then had another chill out in the trailer with haynet for an hour and a bit before her dressage lesson.  She's been feeling good at home but definitely takes about 15min to properly warm up and soften properly.  Same again today but once we'd gotten over spooking at the coffee bar/judges box/table and jig-jogging everytime I tried to shorten my reins, she was really good.

Got some lovely, relaxed trot work in a nice soft outline (lots of serpentines, transitions and some leg yielding are my basics when warming up and working her) and even got some nice, almost round canter work.  Trainer was pleasantly surprised at how well she was going and said she thought she looked better than last year pre-injury, really pleased to hear that.

So maybe there is an inner dressage diva wanting to break through over winter?!

Photos from the Le Trec session posted with permission and courtesy of Chris Rushton at SFE Technical Solutions, many thanks. :)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Final post-injury vet check up

So with it now being almost a year since Hopalong injured her stifle, we were back to Andrew McDiarmid for a final check up and to see how he thought she'd coped with coming back into work.

Did the usual trot up and lunging;
 Andrew was happy with her, just noticing a slight "rolling" of her right hind (opposite side to injury), but nothing he was concerned with, so very good news. :)

He took some x-rays of the stifle again just to make sure there had been no changes since the first lot taken and again, the good news is that there wasn't. :)

So he gave us clearance to carry on riding as normal, start schooling again and then all going well, we can look to reintroduce jumping again next year, around about Feb/Mar time.  He thinks 90cm (intro) height would be perfectly fine to aim for as long as she feels happy and doesn't go lame again, so fingers crossed we can get back out to doing some intro BE events next summer. :)