Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back In Action

Last Thursday, I longed Harley, and all seemed good. 

Saturday, in the western saddle (translation: oh sh!t handle), I cautiously longed him including the neck stretcher, and then very carefully rode for 15 minutes.  All three gaits.  Only weird I noticed, was he wanted me light in the seat at canter, and light posting trot. 

Sunday, western saddle again, I longed and rode, 20 minutes total.  A bit more "in the seat" at the trot and canter.  Longer canter work than Saturday.

Tuesday, I put the dressage saddle on, prayed, and warmed him up the same.  Rode, total work 40 minutes.  He was good. Fought the bit, argued about contact, but at least he was good.  Took a sideways step at the canter-left one stride, but settled down quick.

Wednesday, dressage again, I asked for a bit more.  I was rewarded with some really sweet collected trot, and a bit more canter, on light contact.  I asked for turns on fore and haunches, something I knew better than to try on sore feet, and he was excellent!

So Harley's back.  It is really nice to see him back to his quiet, cooperative self.  :) 

Romeo had a few days here & there.  He's not as easy to tell when he's sore until he starts tip to-ing funny.  Today he was about normal, flying around the arena at a hand gallop, 40 minutes total work. 

In other news, CRNG has had a mini dozer at his house the last two days.  He has managed to have cleared nearly every bit of brush between his house & mine.  *gag*  I guess no more sprinting to weekend AM feeds in my pj's, and no more quiet evenings on the front porch.  Nosy nasty CRNG.  Oh well...

Busy two days ahead, and I'll be back in the tack on Sunday.  Cheers ya'll!!  Way to go Jessie on the awesome videos with that mustang mare!  And SunnySD, YOU ROCK!  All those fancy ribbons!  Clap clap clap!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

4-19-12 Feets Update

4-16, Monday evening, Harley, Romeo and I met with Mr. Eddie Drabek.  Check out that website - looks all fancy n stuff.  He and I exchanged some emails prior to his visit, and all sounded good.  He found Romeo's hooves to be pretty short, but in decent shape.  Mild bruising evidence on two, near the walls. 

When I went for Harley, he was pretty unhappy, and walked off at my first effort to catch him.  I am not entirely sure of the cause.  Sunday, he and I had a pretty ugly argument, right about the time I asked him to canter bareback in the arena.  :(  I went splat, he took off, yeah, not pretty.  He longed out nice, but was pretty unhappy when I got on.  I apologized to Eddie, and said, "I don't know if he's afraid you're going to trim more & hurt him, or if he's just mad at me from our argument yesterday.  He's normally easy to catch." 

Retrieved, Eddie took a careful look at Harley's hooves as well.  All four, sole bruising near the walls, no softness or other soreness, but too too short for routine work.  As we talked a while and Harley grazed, Eddie said, "I'm kind of surprised he's sound just standing there grazing.  It's probably because the ground is nice & soft.  I bet if you took him out on that gravel road right there, he'd be lame pretty quick." 

Eddie is scheduled to come back May 24, and will trim then.  From my discussions with him, this is the right way to go.  I'll be around for at least the first trim in-person, to see how he interacts with the boys, and how they feel about him. 

4-17 Tuesday evening, I walked Romeo across the gravel road in front of the house.  He was crunching rocks, smoshing through the gravel.  I took it as a good sign, so I dressed him and we headed to the arena.

Longe warmup was fun, and fresh.  He let out some wild galloping circles, but came back pretty easily.  I hopped on, and we had about 20 minutes total ride.  No lead change work, all the gaits on a loose rein.  I wasn't expecting much.   Total work 35 minutes.

4-18, I caught Harley, donned my tough leather gloves, and, in his knotted halter, we headed for a hand walk down the road.  I was delighted when Harley started walking across the gravel near the house, smoshing rocks, and pushing dirt quietly with his hooves.  We made it probably a quarter mile down the road away from the mailboxes.  He stopped to peer at CRNG sawing on something with some power tools, and snagged a few stalks of tall grass.  On the way back towards the house, he meandered to the ditch edge all on his own.  I got the hint, and checked my watch.  10 minutes.  As we approached the house, I remembered the land next to my house towards the mailboxes are for sale.  I walked Harley over to it, and he briefly considered it dangerous until his nose touched and nothing happened.  Another neighbor was on his zero-turn power-mower, so we stood a bit and watched him zoom around.  Still nothing wild.  I decided it was time, and walked Harley home.  After a few steps on the rocks, he realized his feets were starting to be sore again, and he aimed for grassy yard.  Back at the wash rack, his feet weren't hot, and I didn't see the same bruising marks we saw on Monday.  Perhaps some of that hoof has worn off already wandering the pasture.  Or maybe it was all hidden by dirt.  I might hose them off tonight for a better look.

Both boys started some hoof supplement last night as well.  Not permanent for Romeo, but probably for Harley.  I'm hoping for a quick turn around, and some strong growth.

The Romney's Dressage Hobby
So apparently ABC thought it was necessary to take a swing at Mrs R's dressage hobby.  "Thousands of dollars spent monthly" on vet, massage, and maintenance care. 

Huh.. Screw you ABC, Screw you.  I ride dressage.  I don't own a "6 figure horse", I don't spend thousands every month, and I still compete.  Am I at her level?  Nope, but I have a hunch she had a few dozen years' head start on me.

Who wants to investigate POTUS's golf bill?  Or what Mrs O spends on vacations with the little kidlets every month?  Or perhaps their private school monthly charges? 
If this election is going to turn into a jealous "he makes more than me, that's not fair", then come on with it.

Romney, 2012
Not my first pick, but WAAAY better than that moron we've got now.

You can keep your "hope", I'd like the "change" back, please.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4-12-12 Still Sore

Harley's still warm, all the way around.  Not hot to touch, like they were, but warm... Daily cold hosing and lots of rest ..

Romeo felt good yesterday - no heat, no swelling, all was well.  Headed to the arena with the longe line and bareback pad. 
FAIL.  On the line, his trot was rushed and short-strided.  I put the bit in, and hopped on.  Stayed at the walk.  Romeo kept walking over along the pond long side of the arena, and stopping in the grass.  He wanted no part of walking in the sandy, but only in the grass.  The fluffier the grass, the happier he was.   After his third walk independantly over to the water, I got the hint.

We walked up to the "gate", I unlatched things, and walked him to the pond.  We stood in the soft damp mud near the pond.  He let out a heavy sigh.  I let him sniff the water, and without any hesitation, Mo stomped through the splashy muddy pond.  Passed through the water, stopped, turned around, and he happily splashed through again, this time getting water on my boots & jeans.

As we walked back to the arena to gather my water jug and the longeline, I noticed he was moving a bit better.  Didn't take long, however, before he was short strided again. I concentrated.  Front... Right...

Back at the wash rack, I hopped off, took his pad and bit off, and felt the feet.  Front. Right. Warm. I pulled the hose over to the wash area, and as I turned it on, Mo let out a huge heavy sigh. 

Momma gets the hint, son... You're still on vacation until it doesn't hurt ,,, sorry 'bout that. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4-10-12 Harley from Here

I gave the boys a break on Saturday, and went on a road trip to Houston.  Easter morning, I caught Harley, saddled, and headed to the arena. 

His trot was short, choppy, and he wouldn't bend.  I gave up after a few minutes, and headed back to the house.  Unsaddled, I found all four hooves hot to touch, and pulsing at the heels.  Cold hosed his legs and hooves, gave him some bute, apologized for trying to work him, and headed back inside.   The evening check found more of the same - heat, pulse, and unsteadyness.  As I began hosing him down, I noticed he was shifting his weight a lot.  Kind of rocking left/right and front/back, as if he couldn't find a comfortable place to stand.

He's still on break.  I'll update again when we're back to work.

Romeo wasn't as bad.  He was warm Sunday, and almost normal yesterday.  I'll give him a go tonight, see how things are. 

I don't fully understand this whole trimming thing, but it's clear to me something's not right.  More changes to come, and I will post when I know more as I begin to understand more.

Monday, April 9, 2012

4/9/12 Harley

Harley did good for the two days after his bucking wild fit. I switched to the dressage saddle, and I don't know if it was the hard work, routine, my body language, or the saddle.. But he was a complete gentleman yet again. :) I was almost considering trying some simple lead changes, it was *that* good.

Both boys got trimmed Friday late morning. Here's the result for Harley.

Front Left

Rear Left

Rear Right

Front Right

Momma, why are you using that beeping magic box on me? Can we go play now? Ooh! Grass! Momma, grass! Can I have some??? Pleeze Pleeze Pleeze??? Momma!! Grass! Oooh.. wait,, It's supper time. Can we eat now??

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4-4-12 Progress Update

Things with Romeo amble along. We had a few light rides last week, all bareback. Earlier this week, we had a fantastic ride filled with many simple lead changes. I was delighted to get some in a row that were correct, and quiet. As he grew tired, the changes weren't always correct, and he started rushing the canter as a response. Realizing it'd been a long ride, I asked for one correct, and then we cooled down. He's doing well, minding well, and back in his shank bit, behaving like a true gentleman.

I stuffed antibiotic ointment in Harley's cracked heels for a few days. I sprayed them well with Vetericyn when I wasn't stuffing ointment in them. I longed him Sunday, things looked good, minus a little bucking temper tantrum. More on Tuesday, nice again, longer work, no bucking, no weird wildness.

Last night, I saddled him up, and headed to the arena. He tried to start bucking silly, kicking his entire rear end up and out in the air. I disciplined with some sharp halts. He relaxed. So I put the neck stretcher on the bit, and sent him back out on the line.
And that's when the fight started. Harley figured out how to twist his neck and bend his nose in just enough to stretch out of the neck stretcher. My solution to that will probably be side reins, as I'm not going to tolerate the complete disrespect sneaking out of work. I argued with him a while, as he even pulled the line straight out of my hands. It was "hold on, get rope burn hands, and be drug around the arena, or just let go. I chose let go. He calmed down again, so I affixed my helmet, and hopped on.

Walk, okay. Trot, choppy and hollow. Asked for canter, and within two strides, he bucked up and out in the rear again. Splat I went, as the buck caught me completely off guard, and dumped me right over his shoulder. Harley took off with a galloping speed, and when I caught him, I found the bit hanging out of his mouth, and the bridle broken. My show bridle, broken. My own punishment for #1 falling off, and #2 riding him in training in the show bridle.

I sent him back out on the line in the halter. Got a little "Clinton Anderson" on him - lots and lots and did I mention LOTS of direction changes. In case you missed it, he had LOTS of direction changes. I didn't ease up until he needed pushed to go forward, and even then, until a slight movement in my body caused him to stop completely and give me two ears and distance of respect, I still kept pushing. At this point, I'm not even real sure how long that went on. Five minutes? Ten, maybe?

Huffing and puffing, I put my helmet back on, tied the reins to the halter, and got back on. Walk, good. Trot, good. Canter, fine. Cantered one circle, then he started speeding up again, so I asked for trot. More trot, followed by a bit more canter. Back to walk. Things were good. Changed direction, with more of the same results. No bucking, no hissy fits, and the one time he tossed his head around a bit, I hollered "knock it off". His head popped straight up, and he got tense, but he quit fighting it. Harley argued with the halter knots pressure, and while I'd like to say I felt bad, I don't.

We're going back to work tonight as well, whether he likes it or not. After the ride, hosing him off, I checked the back feet. I stuffed my fingers in the gaps in his heels, and pushed, vigorously. No reaction. Therefore, no pain. Therefore, unless I find some wild good reason tonight, he's got no excuse for the new behavior. The only reasonable excuse I can see right now, is a desire to not work, and stand around in the pasture. He's perhaps learned dumping Mom is the best way to get a shorter work out and a break. Perhaps bucking up good and galloping around will earn him a longer vacation. While I'd like to think his breeding gives him a better attitude than that, currently, I'm not so sure.

I'll work tonight in the dressage saddle, eliminating any excuse at all for saddle fit problems. I'll also run some stiff knuckles down his topline and search for pain. I don't think there's a problem, though. Just a bad attitude.