Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pondering the direction to take.

I've got a boatload of stuff to do before I go to bed at 9:30 (Work at 5am, woo. Not)

But I wanted to pause for a minute to blog.

Amber will be getting her injection next week. The vet said she will be good to go back into work, lightly at first of course, in a few days after that.

I've just kind of decided subconsciously that we won't be jumping though. I'm not a good jumper myself in the first place. I probably could be, but right now I don't have a horse to learn on. And I just don't think I want to put the extra stress on Amber's hocks by doing any "serious" jumping with her. Maybe we will do x-rails now and again for fun, but if I've decided not to jump her, then I'm not even going to play around at 18" when I know we probably won't get over 2' competitively and staying sound. Or at least saying sound and encouraging the longevity of her hocks.

So that leaves us with a few things.

1. Retire her and make her a trail horse again. Yeah, that's just way too boring. Trails are fun, but I'm the kind of person who is only content when my horse and I are improving together towards a real goal.
2. Instead of pleasure trails, do endurance. And again, I'm not so sure that any serious endurance competitions are going to be healthy for her hocks either!
3. Do hunter under saddle. This may work, except it seems incredibly repetitive. It's not going to take me long to teach her how to carry herself for that, and when she gets there, all we have to do is pose for the judge for 5 minutes w/t/c. No offense to any hunters! Well, I guess there's no way not to offend hunters with that's just not enough of a life-long challenge for us. Maybe if I was bringing several horses to a high level, but I have one horse...hunter under saddle is NOT going to be a life goal!
4. Do dressage and just keep going as far as she can learn. This sounds most appealing. While hunters appeals to me, because it is laid back and we wouldn't have to do much...we wouldn't have to do much. This was my original hope for her. Now we are back to it. Honestly, I think dressage is my calling as well as Amber's calling, given how quickly she learns and enjoys technical work. Yes, she does like to gallop around, and XC would have been a blast for her, but it would have been a real blast on those hocks. I think it's our calling though, because it's what we started out wanting to do, and now because of her hocks it seems to be one of the only things we can do (at least, if I want the injection to last and her hocks to be sound for life) and it's the only one of those things that really seems appealing.

So yeah. That's pretty much it. I was told that she won't be limited whatsoever, and I know that that's true, but when I think about it, my whole basis for wanting to event and jump was, a) she got super excited about jumping, and b) she loves to go fast. Neither are truly valid reasons to have her do it competitively. She's got that classic, foundation QH conformation (except for her head, which is more Appendix-y). She really isn't built to succeed in jumping.

I do, however, think she is built to fair pretty well in lower-mid level dressage...


  1. Many hunter/jumpers get hock injections as a regular course to keep them sound. Depending on what is wrong with her hocks, any kind of riding you do--save for endurance or reining, where hills and sliding stops on the hind end--would probably be just fine. If the hock issues are something that will fuse over time, then exercise is good. If not, then it's just something to manage, using her reactions to different types of work as a measure of what you can do.

    And, generally, hock injections are not a one shot deal. There's a good chance you will have to do it again in the future. (Or try something like Adequan or Legend.) And too, putting her on joint supplements would be a good idea.

  2. You're most likely right. I think I may be just being over protective...

    Still though, I'm kind of re-accessing things anyway. I want to do something she is good at. But I keep thinking "Well, QHs typically don't go far in dressage", or "A TB or Appendix would probably excel more in eventing".

    Which, it's silly for myself to try to pick what we do based on her breed, because QHs are some of the most versatile horses in the world. I could do anything with her, really. But getting how far? I just want to find out what's right up her alley and go for it. Obviously I can get Bob and Emma's opinions on what she looks like she has potential for...but I may want some outside opinions too.

    And that is true, and I do realize that. I also thought about joint supps, but I wanted to ask the vet for a recommendation.

  3. Dressage is the basic training for whatever you want to do. It made my hunter so good in the undersaddle classes he went undefeated for years!!
    And his jumping was super too. You will not go wrong by any dressage schooling you do.