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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear Mr. Kitty (and an update)

Dear Mr. Kitty -
My apologies for using you as my clipping guinea pig.  You see, I found a pair of cheap very *old* clippers and wanted to see if they were a waste of my money, like my last *very old* ones were that I purchased.  Right on the box it said "small animal" clippers, and even though you are very fat.....I mean "substantial" you are still technically a small animal and there you were just staring at me sitting on your stool. 
Please accept my deepest apologies and please to not feel like you need to retaliate by destroying yet another part of my apartment.
I jogged with Farley ~30 minutes last night and she looked good.  And strong.  I'm starting to think the only reason we used to go the same pace was because she was sore.....Maybe I should invest in a pair of roller blades and just ski behind her?  I tacked her up and rode for ~10 minutes at a walk in the arena afterwards and BOY does she feel GOOD.  What a difference!  Back a'swinging, light, responsive, and REALLY moving off that hind end. 
Regarding the wither soreness - It was present on Tuesday morning, with the right side being more sore.  Tuesday evening it was completely gone.  I checked my saddle fit and the saddle appears to still be fitting properly.  I have a couple of thoughts.
  • I saw the same study as AareneX and as a result I do 90% of my mounting from a mounting block, fence, pickup truck etc.  Don't want to tweak her little back (or mine)!  The 10% I do mount from the ground I do equally from both sides.  I also don't require her to stand still while I mount.  I feel like she can use her motion to help balance my mounting, which causes less strain, so I let her.  So....based on all this I'm thinking mounting is not the major factor in this.
  • My saddle may need to be reflocked.  I have to have it shipped out to do it and I keep putting it off because of my competition schedule.  I don't have a second saddle that fits Farley and I can't afford another used Solstice (~$1200 average) right now.  I've been looking for a used broadback thorowgood dressage saddle because I think it might work in the interm while I send this off for reflocking etc....but haven't found one used for a good price.  Txtrigger had a very good suggestion of contacting the dealer for the ACS and seeing if they might rent or loan me a replacement while I have the work done on it. 
  • It might be my riding.  I rode ATROCIOUSLY at the end of the 100.  And I mean atrociously.  I was embarrassed.  However, it's been almost 6 maybe, maybe not?  My centered riding lesson was very good at identifying the crookedness in my riding and I've really been working on it.  I may start asking for feedback with people I ride with on what looks uneven while we trail ride.
  • It might be compensation pain.  The fact that it dissapeared 36 hours after the hock injections seems to support this.  I'll have to see if it reappears as we return to regular work.
So there's my ideas.  Got any other theories?  It's gone for now and I'll be watching carefully for it's return.  It will be interesting to see if that particular pain returns at exactly the same time her hocks need to be reinjected....also if anyone local wants to let me use their solstice wide while I get my reflocked....I'm all ears!  (I know - yeah right!)


  1. I clipped the lower half of "Coony" our very large, Maine Coon cat recently. He gets so much fur, it had to go, because of the tangles.

    He is embarrased...

  2. I'll mail you my longhair and let you shave him. I think this could be a profitable sideline business for you!

    Glad to hear Farley's bounced back :)

  3. LOL at the clippers. I'm sure the cat won't really consign your soul to Hell. Probably he won't. Maybe. You did buy a Costco case of tuna just for him after you clipped him, right?

    Sounds like you're doing a bunch of right stuff for Farley's soreness. We endurance riders are hyper-sensitive to this kind of thing, I guess. I see "somewhat lame" horses out on the trail all the time, with saddles that totally don't fit, and riders that need to hit the treadmill even more than my own plump self, barefeet that look to have been trimmed by the barn's dog or shoes that were tacked on by an autistic toddler, and they seem to muddle through okay.

    However, once an endurance rider, always an endurance rider , and once you've arrived at that, you'll never look at tack fit, foot trimming, equine nutrition, electrolyte balancing, or pain management the same way ever again.

    Which isn't a bad thing....

  4. I'll send you an email re. flocking. I use a local saddlefitter (well, a bit further up North for you) who can do this for you right then and there, so no need to ship the saddle.

  5. If you can get Judith to spin the hair, I'll knit you a nice pair of orange tabby socks with the clippings.

  6. Wow, your clipping story had me in tears... My cat would never forgive me!

    Glad to hear Farley is doing better!

    How long would it take for your saddle to be reflocked? I would just ride bareback until I got it back...

  7. Hey, I found that Equus "mounting block" study!

    It was originally published in 1995, and the conclusions were exactly what we both remembered: Get a leg up when you can, use a mounting block whenever possible, mount from the ground only when you must.

    (and YOU claim to be OCD? Girl, you need to try being a librarian...! We are the ultimate compusive researchers)

  8. Ooooh, you know what's really interesting about that study? Mounting does not exert more pressure than riding. (Bottom of page one, riding is up to 4.5 psi and so is mounting.) It just produces different and unbalanced pressure. I guess it makes sense though - bouncing along sitting a big trot is a lot of force, too.


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