Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smoke and Stanton

Short flap= funny looking pads.
With all the state around us (and us as well) on fire, it has been basically like living in chimney around here. Upon returning from Montana, I had a migraine everyday for two weeks. It was miserable. That, combined with 100+ degree weather, made for very short ride/work periods. Between trying out a new dressage saddle (details to follow) and AniMed Histall, Bacon was feeling pretty great though. Soft and relaxed and quiet, even jumping bareback over 3'6" with her schooling dressage bridle.
Right where the rein goes. Oof.
We made the drive up on Thursday. It was still smokey and hot as balls, but everyone traveled well and Bacon quite enjoyed her stall. It is a struggle to keep her relaxed in all parts of life, but she seemed very content. After a while, we saddled up and hopped on. Here is where I should probably tell you a different story. I recently cancelled my health insurance to be put on my husband's work insurance plan. When I went to pick up my prescriptions, I realized I was never given a new card, so I had to leave them there. I asked hubs if he ever got a card, and puzzled, he said no. After further investigation, his company decided that he had declined insurance. Even though he selected a plan for us both, including dental and vision, and the amount to be withdrawn out of his check. This left Blake pissed, because they couldn't "do anything about it" until January. So, this trip has been sans drugs. Which was not good...
Grass on the right, alfalfa on the left, happiness in the middle.
We started out having a nice easy hack through the woods, but that plan was cut short when we ran out of trails and started ending up on property with no trespassing signs. Eventually, we ended up back at the warm up ring. Since this show was Training A, I wanted to give it a whirl because Bacon and I had never run through it before. Bacon was exactly being cooperative, which made riding for me more difficult. I kept getting bad side cramps and having to stop and try to relax. The finger that she had ripped the skin off of was burning under my glove, because even though it was healing, it kept cracking back open. I made another attempt at the last canter and stopped when I felt a sharp pop by my ribs. It was stinging and making it hard to breathe, and I don't know what caused the tremors to come out, but they came full force. I laid my head on Bacon's neck and tried to breathe through it all, with E coming over to check on me. She works in hospice, and noted that I looked like an end stage Parkinson's patient. It was the worst feeling. Once I was a little more stable, we headed back to the barns.
I have determined by this point that this is not going to go well.

At least we have good outfits?
Blake was concerned with me competing after that episode, but I am a stubborn turd. I don't know if it was the heat, smoke, no meds, or combo, but it didn't leave me feeling great. Especially with this show being a one day. I slept hard but woke up early on Friday. Bacon was calm and happy. I took her out for another prep to see if the same thing was going to happen. It was slightly cooler, and Bacon was feeling a little more generous. We worked through the test again, as well as stretchy trot and our lengthenings. And those damn transitions. I was able to ride without dying, so we were good to go for Saturday.
Pleeeaaase cooperate.

Our lengthening. At least she didn't break to the canter and increased her step.
Come Saturday morning, I got Bacon braided all up and headed out for our test. Warm up went really really well. I was so pleased with how soft and quiet she was, happily trotting around stretching on a loose rein and listening to my seat and legs. Even when we kept getting cut off by a crazy appaloosa lady. Like, almost T-bone collisions because she was all over the place. Oi. Soon, it was our turn to head down the trail to the show rings. Bacon was chilled waiting for our turn, and we headed in. Unfortunately, the second I entered the ring, all hope was lost. That calm and relaxed pony I had vanished, and I was sitting on an excited pogo stick who was constantly on edge for a canter transition. She forgot what straightness was, or that there was a person on her. The only time she remembered I was there was when I would half halt and ask for anything, and she would decline. NO, I don't want to bend. NO, I don't want to soften or slow down. NOOOOO NOT LISTENING.
Oh boy

My big bay turkey
I am not sure if she has learned that I can't really get after her in there, or if I am giving off some nervous vibe (probably). But I swear I was confident and excited to go in there after that lovely warm up, only to be frustrated with the tension I had to battle. I came out of the ring, flustered, with more side cramps, and knowing we would be at the bottom of the pack. We were a decent last place with a 42.6. I know I can get a nice test in there, it happened at Camelot, I just don't know how to replicate it. Back to the drawing board.
Tight neck. 
Oh hey, looks like I am about to fall off the side. That's good.
Also, a side note. If everyone could send positive thoughts to my mom, that would be very appreciated. She will most likely be going into hospice care, and I am just broken. Thank you very much.


  1. i'm sorry about your mother :( sending thoughts her way

    im also sorry bacon went cranky bay mare in the sandbox. when i was riding my trainer's mare she would frequently warm up AMAZINGLY and then as soon as i went in i wa slike.... why am i suddenly riding in salvage mode?? WHAT HAPPENED

    and then i'd be in solid last. o well.

  2. Oi vey you have a lot going on lady.

  3. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers <3

  4. Hugs to you <3 I hope things get better.

    I am glad you have been able to do more with Bacon this year - hopefully the meds thing gets figured out

  5. :( My good thoughts for your mom

  6. I am sorry for your mom. It's not easy, I know from personal experience, but they will take good care of her.
    Irish would do exactly what Bacon did. I realized that, in my case, it was because i became all 'business' when we went in ring (let's to do this!) and he felt the change. And he didn't like it. I am not trying to give a diagnosis over the internet- it is likely something completely different. I'm just sharing my experience.

  7. So sorry to hear about your mom. Good thoughts your way for sure

  8. So sorry to hear about your mom. Glad I can follow along on your blog. Hope she is doing ok.

  9. I"m so sorry to hear about your mom; you have my heartfelt sympathies.

  10. I'm so sorry about your mom. Regarding your insurance, if your husband filled out the forms correctly and on time, his company can fix it now and are, in fact, obligated to do so. I work in HR. If they messed up, they need to fix it. I hope you get it worked out.

  11. Ugh, insurance stuff is the worst. ): I hope that you guys get it sorted so that you can get back on your meds etc. And I'm really sorry to hear about your mom - sending good thoughts to you all.

  12. Best of luck resolving the insurance issue. I had Blue Cross for two years before they could manage to send me my insurance cards. You can be sure there are few bureaucratic issues that manage to slow down processing our payments...

    So sorry to hear about your mom.