Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  Ike was out of commission for a few days as we puzzled through the lameness issues and I was too busy duct taping diapers to his hoof to think about writing. Then, I disappeared to the beach for a week for some fun in the sun.

I believe things were still in limbo when I last updated you on Ike’s status.  I was still thinking “Crap! My pony is broken.”   I never saw any swelling or obvious neon signs noting the exact problem, and my highly scientific “poke and prod” method also turned up nothing.

No abscess ever appeared. Had the vet out for my peace of mind, and fortunately, she found nothing amiss.  Long story short, we changed Ike’s farrier and shoes and went back to work for 3 days before vacation.

And I wish I could say that our Fix-A-Test was a smashing success for our first attempt at Second Level Test 2, but I cannot.  Note to self: Do not schedule a clinic or show less than 24 hours after arriving home from vacation and after 8 days of not riding.  And no, a 3 hour beach trail ride does not count as practice.

My Second Level riding skills are still elementary at best, so when I don’t practice regularly, I digress quickly.  It also doesn’t help that Ike likes to get spooky at new venues.  “Rhythm change” AKA spooking into canter when you should be starting your medium trot will earn you a well deserved score of 4 for the movement.  I also suppose I really should buckle down and school our turn on the haunches as well.  Our total points for both turns were 9…I will let you do the division.  Yeah, it will be hard to crack 60% with numbers like those.

It also does not help that the rider blanked out in the middle of the test and started the countercanter half circle a letter before the test requires.  Does laughter count as using your voice in the test?

But, before you start thinking we should go back to First Level, we did manage some decent scores for a few movements.  Our right lead countercanter earned some 7’s and there was even an 8 for our first canter transition. Now we just need to figure out how to get those 4’s to shape shift into 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s.

While the test left much to be desired, we came away from the Fix-A-Test with some excellent tips from the judge.  She was very tactful with her comments which I truly appreciate.  She also had laser sharp vision and easily noted our weaknesses that need to be addressed now in order for all our future work to be successful.  So we will get back to work with our pointers in hand.  I will try to keep the laughable moments to a minimum.

Until next time,



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