Friday, April 25, 2008

well, ouch!

So, Keebler’s stitches are healing well and I started riding him again Monday. 2 weeks in the stall, but we gave him a shot of dopa and he seemed pretty calm. Walked Mon, walked and trotted Tuesday, added canter Wednesday and decided to have a lesson yesterday (Thursday). Got on in dressage saddle (had been riding in jump saddle), got halfway around the arena at a walk and got launched (very impressive bucking!). Hit the ground hard, but didn’t hit my head. Ice and rest while Henry braved rush hou traffic to come out to the barn and get me, then 4 hours of quality time in the Penn trauma bay. My friends in trauma surgery must be getting tired of my calls that start, “who’s on?” Final tally Is a mild nasal fracture, a loose tooth and associated lip and chin lacerations, a fractured, but not displaced wrist, a fractured L-3 transverse spinal process (ouch!!!), and a nice gouge in the knee, which was the source of astonishing pain when they injected the knee to be sure the wound didn’t go through into the joint capsule. I’m guessing at least 3 weeks until I’m back in the saddle, but feel pretty lucky given how nasty a fall it was. Excellent care in the trauma bay and follow-up appointments Monday with plastic surgeon for face and hand surgeon for wrist. The vertebra just gets advil

Monday, April 21, 2008

Volunteering at Fair Hill

I spent this past weekend volunteering at Fair Hill, one of my favorite events. Keebler is just back into walk work after his 10 days off for stitches in his front ankle. He is healing well and has been very sensible about having to stay in his stall and was surprisingly quiet when he came out and had a walk and a graze over the weekend. Friday, I was the dressage steward at the Foxcatcher area, where there are three rings running. It was a busy day, but everything stayed well on track. Kudos to riders, grooms, trainers and moms who were all polite, smiling, on time and on top of where they were supposed to be and when. It makes it nice for the volunteers! Saturday, I scribed for the advanced dressage. It was very interesting watching the tests at that level. Tips for those of you doing/thinking about that level (at least from this judge’s viewpoint); 1) keep your horse engaged and round as you push for the medium and extended trots; 2) the flying change is a forward movement and the horse must change behind first – there were many 4s given on this movement; 3) the extended walk does not involve a loose rein, a few riders seemed to do a hybrid with free walk, 4) work to get your horse to take clear steps in the rein back, 5) accuracy is sill important, but less often missed at this level. Meanwhile, cross country was going on. I heard that Boyd Martin missed a fence for a TE, comforting to know it happens to the best of us. Sunday, I scribed for stadium jumping and completed a stadium jumping apprenticeship with Marilyn Payne. It was very interesting. Boyd was very cute when he humbly asked permission to jump stadium (of course, there are legions who think Boyd is always very cute). It seemed that the Intermediate horses/riders looked better than the CIC**, perhaps the latter were more tired or fried from XC. We heard the report that the advanced XC went well, with no serious incidents. There were two falls, one unfortunately T, when Teddy tripped up the bank from the sunken road. The weather was glorious all weekend. Saturday and Sunday evenings ended with lovely seders, 1st night at Henry’s dad’s house and 2nd night at his brother’s and their neighbors place. Both were great food and fun. I’m looking forward to getting Keebler back in work. We are aiming at the May 3rd dressage schooling show and then June 7th at Plantation. Keep me posted on your riding plans.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Volunteering Fun at Plantation

One of the great things about eventing is that even if you are not competing, you can be a part of the action by volunteering. I scribed for dressage on Saturday and got to see some very nice rides and some interesting issues. Accuracy is good! So is a well behaved horse. And nothing can beat real adjustibility for improving the scores at the upper levels. Sunday, I hung out in XC control and got the best seat in the house to watch all of the cross country, accompanied by Dick Thompson's informed and oft hilarious commentary. Denis gave out gift certificates for amateur and junior riders who turned in safe and elegant cross-country rounds. Kudos to that idea! There was one fall in the water. Bet that was really cold. Another fall where horse headed off to graze on the hill waaaay far away, but rider did eventually remount and complete the course (I was wondering if she would still be within time allowed). Several TEs for missed fences or wrong fence jumped, mostly at the lower levels. I got to spend a little time with Cathy, who was riding Rita at intermediate and Coast at training. Lisa was there with Springer doing his first intermediate and Brett Huard had a very cute, and energetic green bean. Wendy Bebie and Hoover won the prelim again! Great fun to see a master amateur rider doing so well. Sarah Connell and her band of short people (although some of them are now taller than I) did the usual masterful job of keeping everything running smoothly. Boyd, Phillip and Sally reappeared again and again as is so often the case. The ambulance people were bored, most excellent. Photos available at