And by all the riding I mean none.
Monday: worked late! Can’t ride!
Tuesday: oh yeah, doing Insulin Resistance testing Wednesday morning, can’t ride!
Wednesday: vaccinations and teeth, can’t ride!
Thursday: MAYBE I WILL RIDE THIS DAY
Friday: Avengers with friends! Can’t ride!
Saturday: LESSON. YOU HAVE A LESSON.
This is not really how I envisioned the last real week to get shit done before the show going.
Surprisingly, I was able to tell myself that if NEED BE, we COULD do our test tomorrow. It’s not like anything in the next few rides is going to make or break us. The surprising part is that I actually believe that. (Clarification: I believe that right now. I make no promises for, say, an hour from now.)
My Saturday lesson of “ALL THE MEDIUMS” went really well. We have mediums! Sometimes we can stop, too! Mostly not. Mostly there is a lot of forehand faceplanting. However, with a few tweaks of how I think about them/ride them, the downward transitions are a lot smoother. Namely: Ride her into the rail (like, literally. Make her think she is going to crash. This is probably not going to work so well in a plastic dressage arena) and think “SHOULDER-FORE” at the last second rather than “SHIT SLOW DOWN.”
Homework: These are the things we would have done this week if we could ever ride:
-shoulder-fore in all the things, especially down the quarterline. And in the canter. This = straight in the canter.
-voltes until your legs fall off (this really helped get her sitting for the mediums)
-no canter-walk transitions. Lots of canter-trot transitions.
We re-evaluate on Saturday. So. I guess we’ll see if we’ve improved at all with our whole 2 rides.
A note on the Insulin Resistance testing:
We have always operated (by we I mean me, my vet, and where I boarded in MN) under the assumption that Cho is insulin resistant. At one point she needed thyro-L to lose weight (this was after regular exercise was not quite cutting it), and after that I kept her on it to maintain a healthy weight and not get fat. She has always been on about 4-5 hours of pasture during the day in the grass growing months, dry lot the rest of the time. The “grain” I fed her was just a grass balancer to make sure she got all of her vitamins and minerals.
I didn’t ever have her tested because the whole blood draws every 15 minutes for hours would have sucked for everyone involved, and she responded well to her diet and meds.
Before we moved, I started feeding her a little more as she didn’t quite have the muscling I thought she should. Then we moved and she lost more weight. Note: she’s been on grass since we got here in October. Granted a lot of that was dormant and brown, but still eating for her 8 hours of turnout.
Spring grass came in. I didn’t have her grazing muzzle put on, as I still thought she could gain some weight. She is just now where I want her to be. Her topline has filled in nicely and her booty is better matching the front end.
But because this is me, I can’t just leave it alone. She’s not on thyro-L for the first time in a very long time. She’s obviously gaining weight and muscle and looking good, but I don’t want her to go the other direction and get too fat again. I also worry about laminitis – not that she’s ever had it, but if she’s IR it is a risk.
So, in order to put my mind at ease and be able care for her to the best of my abilities, I’m getting her tested.
And, unfortunately, the grazing muzzle I bought is huge, cumbersome, and I just don’t think she’ll be able to breathe well enough (especially in the heat!). I bought another one that seems to be lighter and have more breathing room. If she is IR, I’ll figure it out from there. There are no dry lots at this barn but I want her to have as much turnout as possible.
She is being tested with this method:
This test was recommended by my MN vet. Perhaps more on that later, as the world of IR internet gurus were quick to tell me that was a bad test and I am risking laminitis by giving her karo syrup. There is one vet that runs this group/page/does some IR research (I guess? Are these actual publishes studies? I don’t know. She works for a nutrition company?) and for some reason, these methods are only pushed amongst these people. Meanwhile, other vets at other institutions that are actively doing research that is published in veterinary journals recommend the karo syrup test because regular bloods tests often MISS IR DIAGNOSES COMPLETELY. Oh, and despite the fact that the not very informative website states “join this group for more information!” all people did was send me more reading material when I had questions…by the same vet that runs the page. Not actual published journal articles, mind you. Just recordings from meetings she runs (that cost money) and free downloads of the summaries of said recordings.
Sorry, I try to save my snark for after lunch. I really was trying to be open-minded and gather as much information I could in a short amount of time, as I like making educated decisions on my horse’s health. But when all I get is “THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY SHE SAID SO AND WE ALL LISTEN TO HER!” and “Oh if you want answers to those things you asked you should go read the things that SHE wrote about it!” I’m going to get very annoyed, very quickly.
…Have some pictures of Choface, as taken last night because I couldn’t ride or feed her treats.