Monday, November 23, 2009

Thoughtful Ride

Mellow Monday

I did not sleep well last night. For some reason, I had a bit of a bout of anxiety about the surgery situation. I pretty much have everything under control, but I guess an occasional sense of worry is pretty normal. Not sleeping would have been OK, normally, but I had a breakfast date with a group of friends which included a meeting with my lawyer to finish signing my living will.

OK, so maybe that's what had me a little emotional about the surgery. I will guess most of you know what a living will or an advanced directive is. If not, it is, in short a legal document explains how you want to be taken care of should I no longer be able to make medical decisions regarding my care. This includes sustaining life by artificial means. In some ways, it's kind of a scary thing to do as it makes you contemplate your mortality, but at the same time, it's an important step to take.

Well, that said, the paperwork was finished up at breakfast and we all had a nice time visiting. When I got home, I ended up taking a rather long nap for most of the afternoon. But, my brain was still working.

My one friend is R's aunt and told me that R really enjoyed her riding lesson, so that was nice to hear. And, that lesson was a bit of an inspiration for me in several ways.

For one, R is getting a little big for her pony/horse. I have a feeling she would look just great on Chance. Since she/her mom will be helping while I am laid up, there should be some time for her to ride him. If that works out well, perhaps we can work out some way for her to do a bit more with him--perhaps even show him if she wanted to. I'll play it all by ear, but I kept saying he would be a perfect equitation horse for a young rider. It might give him something interesting to do beyond the training and riding I do with him.

The lesson also reminded me of the basic training issues I am still working out with Chance. The very things R's horse was doing wrong are the things Chance does--typical green horse not carrying himself well issues. So today, I gave him a pretty solid schooling session.

Chance is pretty soft to the left, but on the right rein, he tends to block with his shoulder. I find myself tending to ride too much off the right rein in an attempt to soften him on that side. But when I do that, he overbends his head and neck to the right and falls out to the left. That tends to put me too much on my right seatbone which then simply contributes more to his falling out.

After working a bit to get him to react to the left outside rein, I had to very consciously sit to the left--essentially straight. This brought his body back underneath me where it belonged. This was trickiest at the canter. As a lateral gait, it is very easy for the horse to one side or another at canter. Again, it is the right lead that poses a problem for Chance. When he does fall onto the shoulder, he breaks gait as he loses his balance. It's a relatively easy fix when you think about it, but lose focus for just a moment and....oops.

We finished up with a little more trot and a short ride through the closer wooded trails just as a relaxing reward since he'd worked so well for me.

I lunged Tucker for just a few minutes to see how he looked. Yesterday at the end of the lungeing session, he took a few limping steps on his left front again. He looked pretty good today, but I am still suspicious as when he trots on the right rein, he flattens his ears a little and makes a "face."

I am going to keep a close eye on this. When Scott comes to shoe again, I'm sure he will give that hoof a good going over in case there is a bruise somewhere. In the meantime, I will just take it easy and not insist on too much from him.

Rain is in the forecast again, but today there was only a super fine mist once in a while. I really hope it stays dry for a while so the footing stays good.

Or is that just too much to ask for this time of year?


  1. Jean - best wishes & positive vibes for your surgery.

  2. It certainly seems normal to me to worry about something like surgery, and good for you for getting your paperwork in order - that's important.

    Sounds like R is a good candidate for your boy - that would be fun!

    And you even got some good work done - another busy day!

  3. I think that it would be a great idea for Chance. It also will give you a motivation/goal. What better than training a horse for a child? I love the idea.

    I hope you are feeling less worried now. It is pretty heavy paperwork to deal with!

  4. Hey Jean, I was just catching up on your blog and heard about your surgery. You have to be real careful about no lifting anything heavier than a phone book because of internal healing. You may feel better after a couple weeks but internal healing takes a lot longer and there is very little pain until you have gone too far. I know you. You are going to get frustrated and start lifting heavier stuff. You'll get out of shape, but will avoid a followup surgery to repair internal bleeding. I wish I could be there to help. I'll call you in a couple days.

  5. I would be surprised if you had no pre surgery anxiety. Let that translate into being very obedient after the surgery. That's your part.

    We had a living will drawn up before we came to England. For sure, it's an unwelcome reminder of your own mortality but it also gives a measure of peace of mind, especially when you have kids or animals that need to be considered.

  6. the thing that most of us put off - living wills and ordinary wills! no wonder you were sleepless.

    sounds like a good plan for chance!