Let’s Discuss: Chemical Help

Musings from this morning…

I’m pretty sure the bane of most first world countries has to be using a fork to spear crispy bacon. Am I out of alfalfa at the barn? “Give love, get love.” (Thanks Yogi tea bag)

But mostly, I’m wondering…

What kind of chemical help can I give Jack so that he doesn’t turn into a distracted spazoid in the dressage ring?

That is basically to say that we went to the show on Saturday, where I just did my dressage test and scratched all the jumping. I thought I was getting closer to unlocking what Jack needs in the warmup, before entering the actual dressage court and blowing all the good work out of the water.

Admittedly a 34.8 isn’t the absolute worst score, but to me those 6’s are frustrating to see on a scoresheet. There were lots of comments about him being resistant, which mostly came down to his getting tense or distracted by things that I feel he really truly isn’t scared of (such as people walking the course in the distance). The overbending comes down to my attempts to get him soft through the underneck, and I would definitely prefer to have him straighter and more under- the whole test felt mostly forced with a few decent movements. Highlights including the fact that I almost got a 7.5 on my rider score, and Jack giving me a solid left lead canter depart for a 7. And I mean, the beautiful horse comment- because who doesn’t like hearing that?

At least he’s pretty?

In making a game plan for our next outing (namely the big Recognized show in 3 weeks where I would like to actually be competitive in the dressage), I would like to help Jack a little bit mentally. I’m mostly not a fan of lunging a horse down because I feel that is counter productive in many cases when XC and SJ are to follow (not to mention putting unnecessary torque on fragile legs), and I of course want to stay within the legal allowances for any chemical aid.

So I’m looking at a few of the calming pastes on the market that might help. Perfect Prep products are one I have heard are well used in the H/J rings, but I know less about eventers who use them. B highly recommends Nupafeed Magnesium  for its effectiveness on her similarly-minded Chimi. I’m willing to give anything a shot, so long as it’s legal and has no real side effects that could make things worse for one palomino worry-wort.

What do you guys think? Have you ever used the above products? Anything that isn’t listed that you suggest? What are your previous experiences with calming agents at shows?

Resolution Check-In

photo 1 (5)

Since we’re about to end the first quarter of 2014, it seems a good time to see how we’re doing (or not doing) on our resolutions for the year. Let’s take a look 🙂

The Horse

Resolution 1: Move up to Novice with final score below 35 (or >67% in dressage)
We have gotten so close to this… or rather, the dressage score. Our score at the only Horse Trials this year is not worth noting, since I goofed so badly at the end of the XC course. If I hadn’t, we would have finished on that 35. At the Combined Training a couple weeks ago, we got a 66% in dressage… So this one is definitely doable, but not accomplished yet!

Resolution 2: Nail canter transitions
Well, this one we haven’t worked on pretty much at all. I’ve been babying him because of his fitness/condition and so avoided anything tough, like making him use his hind end to transition rather than his neck. With that said, he has actually gotten 7’s on them at the two shows this year! Sure surprised me!

Resolution 3: Not be embarrassed by lack of trot lengthenings
Nope, haven’t even touched this. Soon, hopefully!

I should have added 'not do shit braids' to my resolution list...

I should have added ‘not do shit braids’ to my resolution list…

The House

Resolution 1: Landscape front and backyard
We’ve made lots of progress in the backyard, taking out the big mamajama pine tree and lots and lots of scruffy small stuff. Now what we’re looking at is 6″+ of leaf mold/debris in most areas, that will have to be hauled away before we can seed. We’re trying to get this done soon before the summer hits and nothing grows, else we’ll be waiting till fall!

Resolution 2: Kitchen Transformation
Oh, this one I am *so* excited about! Right now we are collecting quotes for all the different projects, and hopefully we will have either wood floors or granite countertops by the summer! Squee!!

Resolution 3: Replace grody couch
Done!! The cats kind of pushed this one along, as *somebody* (cough, Elliot), decided to let us know he had a UTI by peeing on the couch, thus grodying said grody couch to the point that we didn’t want to even sit on it. We have now replaced it with a pretty new leather couch! Yay!

Hardwoods in the kitchen? Yes please!

Hardwoods in the kitchen? Yes please!

 

The Rest

Resolution 1: Take calcium supplements
So far so good! I found these caramel flavored ones that are like a little treat for me! Easy peezy!

Resolution 2: Not be a Red Bull zombie
Hahahahaha. Nope!

Resolution 3: Be more positive
Making some progress! Headed in the right direction, at the very least 🙂

A surprise outing for the husband's birthday, in which I proved I cannot bowl worth a crap, but did not embarrass myself otherwise!

A surprise outing for the husband’s birthday, in which I proved I cannot bowl worth a crap, but did not embarrass myself otherwise!