Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An Overdue Update

I haven't updated my Blog since October 7th. To those of you that follow, I'm so sorry, but I had some fairly good reasons for not updating before now. The biggest reason being that there was absolutely nothing to report. Bastian was still just "off" I was only getting out the barn about once a week and we were doing nothing..... No shows, no lessons, no training. But now that November is already half-way over we're finally back on track :)

I tried for a few weeks to get a Chiropractor out to check up on B, but to no avail. I think I was causing bad chiropractic luck, both of the chiros I called had to cancel due to having their own chiropractic emergencies and being unable to work on horses. So after week five I hopped on Bastian to see if he still felt a little funky and he felt FANTASTIC! So I opted to listen to what the powers that be were trying to tell me and decided not to attempt to reschedule for the time being. So far, so good, Bastian has continued to be amazing and he is back to engaging his hind end and using his back.

I also had my Hastilow Concept Saddle reflocked by the amazing saddle fitters at Hastilow Competition Saddlery. It had been a year since I had had it looked at and it was due for a bit of maintenance. The best part was that despite how absolutely wonky Bastian is in his hind end due to his bout with EPM as a three year-old, he actually still moves quite correctly and evenly under saddle.
(Check out this picture! He is standing square, that is how 'off' he is in his hind end, yet he still moves lovely, we usually score 7 or 8 on gaits!) The fitter told me that the flocking was even on both sides and it did not indicate that the saddle was unbalanced or that he was moving unevenly. I'd also like to take a moment to mention that I have seen Hastilow fit some odd shaped horses and that their saddle fitters are good. I've got some horror stories (don't we all!) about saddle fitters that are linked to other companies and in my experience I have yet to have a bad experience via Hastilow. So any saddle fitter that can make a saddle fit my wonky horse definitely has my respect! I just ordered a Neue Schule bit from Hastilow as well and am looking forward to trying it out, I'll be sure to give a full report once its here.

We haven't been doing any exciting work, just getting his muscling back and getting our groove back. Both of us are fighting a lack of fitness, but we're back up to 45 minutes of solid work and going strong.
(Bastian, while very glad to be back to work, is thinking that its a bit tiring....) We're focusing on building up those back muscles again and getting our balance up and back over the hocks, lots of transitions and building on our lateral work is doing the trick. I also think that I have figured out what I'm doing wrong when we halt. Bastian has a bad habit (induced by me!) of bringing his left hind leg up underneath of him and resting it when we halt. Tres annoying and I have been trying EVERYTHING to figure out how to get him to halt square (When Tawny rides him she gets a square halt pretty much every time so I know its me!). Finally I tried putting on an insane amount of right leg and despite him tracking sideways away from it, he halted square! So now I've just got to figure out how to keep him from going through my left leg....oy vey the joys of riding dressage, right??

On a much more awesome note, check out the sweet dragon that I managed to clip onto my horses booty:
Yup, I did that and it looks pretty cool. We're ready for some winter work, Third Level Approach-th ;)