Dressage dreams and an update

24 Jan

I’ve been a dressage-a-holic as of late, I just can’t seem to get enough of it. I received a Chapters/Indigo gift card for Christmas and after meticulously scouring store shelves, I opted to purchase two books online (better prices, free delivery for orders over $25, and more selection!). After tracking their delivery status for over a week, they finally arrived yesterday!

I chose, “101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider” by Jec Aristotle Ballou, and “Dressage 101” by Jane Savoie. I started reading through both of them last night (how could I choose just one?) and subsequently had dreams about dressage exercises last night.

My excitement for dressage has further been re-invigorated because the 2013 draft show calendar has been released. There are a tonne of schooling shows this year, pretty much one every other week, if not every week to choose from. New locations too, including the barn where Corona was born! This has me wondering whether or not he’ll remember it there and whether this could result in a calm attitude on show day(s). I’m not going to be doing every single show, unfortunately the bank account and the fact that I need to work for a living prohibit that, but I’m hoping to get to at least 5 shows, plus two hunter paces over the season.

All I need now is for Corona to get better, and for the icy riding conditions to subside – how on earth can I practice all of these new found exercises and theories on a fractured/swollen horse on the ice rink that is the barn, not to mention the -36 degree Celsius weather that we’ve been having all week. Oh summer, how I miss you.

As for a Corona update – he is improving. The vet (the boss vet) was out last week and took an interest in Corona while the other vet (who he saw a few weeks ago) worked on the racehorses. Apparently there is no more infection, but he has developed a passive edema which is what is making his leg swollen. He recommended that we put ichtamol around the wound for 3 days, then leave it for 3 days, and repeat this pattern until the swelling subsides. He mentioned that we shouldn’t be alarmed because the ichtamol will make the leg swell, but eventually it will get less and less each time we apply, until it returns to normal again. He said that there’s a chance that the affected knee may always be a bit bigger than the other, but that it’s nothing to be worried about. Also, he said that I can begin to hand walk or ride (walk only) Corona around the track to assist with the swelling.

I started this regime on Saturday. We did some groundwork in the coverall and I was super impressed at how good Corona was despite us not having done this in probably 2 months. He remembered what I’d taught him and was very well behaved. I decided to try to hand walk him around the track but unfortunately it was pretty icy with a layer of light snow over it. Corona was pretty good about it, he has a very forward walk which is good, however it’s not so good when you have a silly human at the other end of the rope trying to stay on her feet over the ice. He was getting a bit full of himself going around and being held back by me so I started asking for some halts and backups in an attempt to prevent any sort of taking off. It worked but I could tell he was getting rather annoyed. We lasted one full lap of the track and then I decided that before things turned sour, I’d take him back into the coverall to do more groundwork and then call it a day.

Again, he was great, and then he found a place where the dirt wasn’t covered in snow…he began to paw…I realized he was going to roll…He was still on the lead line at this point and I didn’t want him to roll while I was attached to him, and also because it meant he wasn’t paying attention to me. At that moment he started going down onto his knees and to my surprise, when I said, “no Corona” he popped back up and looked at me! I was pretty impressed at this and decided it would be a good place to give him a reward and end our session. I walked him back over to the gate where I took off his rope halter and let him loose to go roll. Of course when I did this, he decided to just stand there with me for a minute, then he decided to go sniff around the other piles of manure that were on the ground, then he went over to his spot and had a good roll. Then up, other side! He was covered in the dirt and looked pretty pleased with himself. At one point he squealed (it appeared like a squeal of joy to me), did a little jump to complement this, and then looked around to see what to do next. I walked back over to the gate, picked up his halter and rope and approached him to put it on thinking he may have decided he liked the idea of being free, but nope, he stood quietly as I put it on him, gave him a good pat and laughed at his filthy face, and off we went back to the barn for a good brush and some treats.

Hopefully the footing will be better this weekend and I can take him for a walk while sitting on him….the forecast is calling for -21 degree temperatures and a northwest wind, so it may not be pretty…but I gotta get this horse healed!

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