Dashing through the not-snow to Christmas

So today officially starts my vacation! I’m off work until the 2nd, so I have plenty of time now to catch up on all the things I haven’t done yet. Like cleaning. And riding a little more. Or at least bareback rides. I wanted to ride Wednesday but the winds were gusting up to 50mph. It’s the time of year for Vegas to be windy, but at least it’s not frigid here, too. It did actually get pretty low last night – 30 degrees! Amber still has very little winter coat, so she got her heavier blanket last night.

Her check up for her tooth is in about 5-6 weeks. She looks good – she’s eating well, still slurping up her grain with 15 SMZs in it which makes me infinitely happy. She’s been head shy though, and a bit stand off-ish. I completely understand why, especially if they were spending the better part of an hour getting her tooth out and she wasn’t completely anesthetized. But she’s definitely more like herself now; I think she’s just still mad at me for not only leaving her at the vet to get that done but also for not being able to spend much time with her recently. She still demands her scratches and blanket treats, though, so she’s not really hurting for attention. She’ll eventually not be mad at me lol.
But she has been dashing, a bit literally, around. My friend visiting made an interesting point – her OTTB had ended up needing a year to just be a horse. A 7 yr old turning 3. Which, after racing for so long, I agreed with her that “turning 3” wasn’t bad – in certain ways he still had a baby brain. But what really struck me was that she said she tried riding him, but he would keep injuring himself. And I wonder about Amber. She’s moved a lot in her life, following me from Colorado to Vegas for a year then to Texas for a year before having to move back to Vegas and subsequently 3 different barns. Not counting the year and a half that she was injured and I didn’t ride her, she’s been in work since she was about a year and a half. She hated the last barn (and I think she hated everything about it) and I almost never turned her out because the ground was so hard and slick and she’d slip constantly. I was so afraid she’d injure something. Now, after one last move for a long while, she’s super comfortable at our place, and loves the arena. I’ve asked my mom to turn her out a few times, and when she has, Amber has finally done what I’ve wanted to see her do for a while – run and jump and buck and play and have a blast. Dashing through the sand and enjoying being a horse that is so excited about the cooler weather.

Interestingly enough, in all the videos my mom has sent me, her stifle actually hasn’t looked bad. A bit short here and there, but not like before. She’s also had “injuries” in the past few months – all very close together, and I wonder if she needs to be a horse again. If I need to turn her out every day and let her play, then just start by doing very simple rides – no frame, no expectations, just w/t/c and have fun. All with a neck rope, btw, no bit. Perhaps as excited as I am to get into eventing, she’s trying to tell me she needs a break. Which is fine with me. We’ll go back to when our days were low key, calm hacks, but we’d just ride and do something. Perhaps she needs that, and perhaps I do, too.
So that’s my plan for my time off. Spending time with my pony. Sitting out there on the mounting block as I watch her play and run and then letting her stay out there and lay flat out napping in the sun. Then go out there, tack up (or no tack) and just go w/t/c or wherever we want. I’m just so glad that in turning her out, she actually does want to run and play. She hasn’t done that in a while, and I’ve always desired her to be a horse above all else, and a competition partner next. So we’ll see how this ends up.

I’m going to ride a bit – easy things, but to assess how she does and get more information while her jaw heals before she goes in for the arthroscopy. But we’ll see how taking things easy goes. She’s doing well – fat and happy and still loving food. She unfortunately doesn’t get anything for Christmas except a pulled tooth, but shhhh don’t tell her lol.
Probably the only thing I’ll get for myself this Christmas is the helmet cam. I’m hoping the Cambox goes on a Christmas sale, but we’ll see. I unfortunately got all turned around on the Black Friday sale so I missed out, but I’d like this cam to help with my lessons. It’ll be from my perspective instead of a full visual for me to see, but I’ll still be able to catch Trainer G’s words and mine to rewatch and listen to. Also media for you guys lol.

What about you? What did you guys get your horses for Christmas? Did you get yourself anything for Christmas?
Merry Christmas everyone!

6 Comments on “Dashing through the not-snow to Christmas

  1. Wow I’m super jealous of all your time off! Enjoy!!

    Fwiw re: the helmet cam, I find it *very* difficult (honestly kinda impossible) to evaluate my ride from the perspective of a helmet camera, esp bc the fish eye lens. If I’m trying to get video specifically to study what happened in a lesson, setting the helmet cam or my phone on the fence or a jump standard is far more useful, even tho it only capitals a fixed field of vision. If you’re interested in investing in a tool specifically to use during lessons to evaluate and study, maybe the Pixio or SoloShot might be more on target? Just my two cents but regardless happy shopping and merry Christmas!!

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      • Dammit, phone posted too soon sorry – was gonna say “actually if you’re interested I can probably find examples of the same course ridden as recorded by normal spectator video and by helmet cam so you can compare what the videos look like”

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    • Haha no worries! Actually yeah that’d be nice! I’d love to see comparison. It is a good point since from helmet cam I can’t actually see what’s happening so thanks!

      And I am VERY lucky to have such kind bosses lol. Definitely why I like working there!

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      • ok i have a couple examples for ya! it turns out i don’t have any direct comparisons for arena jumping bc…. if there’s video from phone or something i’ll always upload that over the helmet cam haha.

        but i do have some clips from a cross country run taken on a phone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm732dW1E_0) compared to the helmet cam footage of the same ride (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLBUCAovSeg). it’s not a super fair comparison bc xc is where the helmet cam is at it’s most useful…. but you can see that it’s easier to evaluate the rider from the cell phone video (esp in the first couple jumps on course).

        here’s an example of the helmet camera video quality when put on a jump standard. the fish eye lens distorts things a little bit and it’s not very high quality, but it works!

        and here’s a stadium round recorded only by helmet cam. you can get a sense for the ride and a sense for what went well and where the mistakes were…. but for the purposes of evaluating the actual ride, it’s not very useful.

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