...I'm just living in a world without internet connection or power (besides my trusty car charger for my iPhone). I've been back at Stanford for six days now and am thoroughly enjoying being back in the California lifestyle, but will also be excited for next Friday when I can actually move into my housing for the year and can stop hiding out on my mattress in the peak of my trailer, eating nothing but warm diet coke and pb&j sandwiches* and taking cold showers in the equestrian team locker room (but hey, it's better than the sink!).
Both the ponies have settled in really well, though not without a bit of drama on the way. Kiki had a small and almost entirely healed cut on the front of her cannon bone on her LH that of course in the process of the five day road trip managed to get completely infected and blown up. Great. She has remained completely sound but the swelling has proven quite stubborn despite a complete round of antibiotics, sweat wraps every night, and now a three day course of steroids. Grrr. I have yet to ship Kiki to Stanford without something crazy happening to her left hind leg. It's cursed, and is begging to just get chopped off so I don't have to worry about it anymore (kidding. Sort of.). Fortunately the vet came out and gave her the go ahead to keep riding in the meantime, but I'm still running on stress level: midnight over trying to get the inflammation down.
Ringo, despite a round of scratches cropping up right before we left, travelled and settled in beautifully. Then in a moment of total hare-brained stupidity I decided to take him to the beach, which turned out to be a total disaster. Ringo hated everything: he thought the waves were going to eat him, the kids were going to eat him, the seaweed was going to eat him, even the ground itself was going to open up and swallow him whole. There was a lot of rearing and running sideways. Worse though, the sand was super deep right down to the surf, even though we went at low tide, which meant that I was totally convinced that he was going to rebow his tendon. There is still a slight irregularity that I can feel where the bow was, and so the next few mornings were spent very restlessly wondering if the lump had gotten bigger or if I was imagining things. Fortunately I think I diverted disaster, but seriously. The stress. I thought I was going to have a stroke.
In good news, though, I had a great lesson with Kiki today with Dayna Lynd-Pugh. We jumped a little bit but the big take away was a strategy for getting her steadier in the bridle without pissing her off or making her defensive. Bottom line: I need to cut the nagging with the right rein. Curretly I try to solve every problem I feel by cranking on the right rein, when what I really need to be firmer with is my right leg while staying following with my hand. So simple, so effective! I really liked Dayna's teaching style and am excited for another lesson next week. It's really exciting to have jumping be so fun again!
And then... Horse show? What? It's snuck up on me, but Ringo and I leave for our second level debut on Friday morning. There are definite rough spots in the usual places (simple changes = nemesis) but in general I'm feeling pretty well prepared. Ringo feels stronger and more relaxed than I've ever felt him, so even if we're not perfect I think it will be a good learning experience for us. Now, if I can just briefly convince him to forget that he has beautiful, clean changes that are wayyyy easier than counter canter :D
*(Don't worry Mom and Pa, I swear that's a bit of an exaggeration)