dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mud Wrestling

In retrospect that might not be the best blog title. I wonder if it will increase my 'hits'?

Oh well, sometimes you have to go with the most apt title and let the chips fall where they may.
I can't believe that you would imply that I would ever
engagein such a thing....

Back in early February my friend Paula asked me if I was interested in participating in a Cindy Ishoy Clinic the end of March. Cindy was a member of Canadian Dressage team that won a bronze in 1988 and she came fourth individually. She comes to Nova Scotia regularly to provide clinics.  I have watched these clinics in the past and even done an article on Cindy and Sue (the stable owner) for a local magazine.

Sure, why not?  I thought. I figured that by then we would have started back to schooling and the timing would be good to get us going.

And then the weather worsened. And despite my best hopes there was a day here and there but not enough to get in our groove.

I had hopes for last weekend and this week but honestly the ring has not been great. I did get a ride in on Saturday (it was great). Yesterday the ring was okay but not great so all I could do was walk. Carmen was happy with that and it was a good session for what we could do.

In the past I would have been freaking out about this. But I really wasn't. I figured the goals of the clinic would be to get us going again and see what I need to work on.

Today was sunnier but the wind was cold. So the ring never really thawed until this afternoon. My farrier came out around lunch time. Which was great but it takes about 2 hours to do the two of them.

When I checked the ring was 3/4 clear but there were a lot of puddles. The footing under the puddles was fine so I figured we would be okay.

picture this with multiple puddles, like 40 or so....
I started on the lunge and she was pretty good. When I got on she was initially good but then decided that the wind blowing the trees was just too much. I sat out a medium spook and got her back under me. I kept on expecting her to work and to keep her brain in the ring rather then outside.

After a couple mini melt downs she gave a huge leap/bolt. I sat it out, put my feet back in the stirrups and brought her around in a circle and got her stopped. She continued to have a fit so I decided to dismount and hooked her back on the lunge.

Honestly I think that my light riding has set her up to expect that she doesn't have to work, not really. I then began to work her butt up and down the room. She clearly needed to work out her issues and I found it much easier from the ground (although part of me was pissed at myself for getting off. I was also pissed at myself for not asking for more from the ground so I could have seen this coming. Also pissed for not being psychic and knowing always what I should do).

Once I had set up my expectations from the ground I got back on.  I am not getting off if you just 'behave'. We need to work.

And by 'work' I was just looking for a bend, forward and basically not losing her mind over possible demons in the trees. I made sure that I was really paying attention to her tension and when it happened I would immediately start a 10 metre circle.

On the plus side, puddles are not an issue for Carmen. She will walk, trot and canter through them with no issues.

When I had a lovely trot to halt transition across the diagonal I hopped off. Both of us were spattered in mud.

I sighed. Why did I have to buy a grey horse?  We are going to look like pigpen in the clinic. My girth was brown with mud- you couldn't seen any black at all.

Her tail is a mess and it's too cold to wash it. I did dip the end in a bucket of warm water. Which turned the water brown but the tail looks the same. I did manage to get the worse of it brushed off.

So two (slightly dirty) marshmallows are heading to a clinic with no real work behind us. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh well. We're going to the clinic and we're going to have fun. I'm sure that Cindy is quite used to dramatic, reactive mares. I hope to get some insights on how to get her loose over the back and tuned in as well as some ideas on conditioning.

 I have enough self-confidence that I won't let Carmen be overworked or made sore.

Me, I'm fair game.

Wish us luck.

Two marshmallows about to be toasted


  1. Gray horses that I can't bathe for more than 7 months of the year are a big reason that I have no desire to show anymore! Can't wait to hear how the clinic went.

  2. Sounds like a pretty good ride for setting the stage for a clinic - reminding Carmen that she does in fact have a job and reminding you to keep on it. I hope the clinic goes really really well for you both!! And if it's any consolation, it's been much warmer in Maryland but still quite cold and all the horses at the show last week were pretty scruffy and fluffy and dusty. Tis the season I suppose!

  3. Have fun at the clinic! My horses have all been either grey,white and brown paints or a very dirty palomino. So I feel for you.

  4. You'll do great! Have fun and bring back lots of pictures!


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