Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bobby critiqued

Wouldn't you know, even with the new feed in individual baggies with supplements added, BO still got confused. He had to ask CL how he was supposed to feed. Yes, I did leave a note that I thought explained it all. "B and R are on new grain. R gets fed the same thing AM/PM, B has different supplements AM/PM, so his bags are labeled. The bags are in the black buckets." I even put Bobby's bags in in order of feeding, so all he has to do is take the bag off the top and dump it in the bucket. I really thought it was fool-proof, but BO proved me wrong!

Red loves his new dinner.
So yesterday was the day CL's trainer came out to try Bobby to see if he would work for CL's daughter to take a weekly w/t lesson on. No big surprise, he passed with flying colors. He can get a little silly sometimes when he's feeling good, but he really is one of the most even-keel ponies on earth and he doped along.

Trainer is a total huntseat rider and went around with zero contact on the reins. She wanted to put him in draw reins (of course) to make him break at the poll. I don't have a problem schooling in draw reins every now and them as evidenced by earlier posts, but this is the same trainer for CL's friend's daughter who rides her green arab in draw reins every single ride, and I am not down with that. I want my horses to go around with a proper head carriage because they're strong and balanced, and not because their heads are stuck in that position from going in draw reins. There was a TB mare at college who was broke out in draw reins and she could not go around without them. It was really disguisting.

I know I can get ahead of myself when it comes to training and wanting results, but I do try to be really smart about it and take myself back sometimes to regroup and go about it the right way. Which is why no more standing martingale for Bobby and very limited draw rein usage. I'm going to a tack swap Saturday to pick up a new bit for him too. Maybe a full cheek. I also ordered a breastplate for him yesterday.

Trainer did throw out some good observations on him however, though nothing ground breaking. She said he needed to use his back more and that would help him use his hind end, though he doesn't want to because of his stifles. Said his right stifle seemed worse than the left (true, since that's the one that was warmer and more inflamed when he was so sore the other week). Said his feet were really tiny (durh).

They'll probably start lessons next week. CL said she and her friend were trying to get after BO to drag the arena--yay!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back to the barn

I felt guilty not having been to the barn in three days. Yesterday I went out and finally bought my own grain. I decided on Purina Omolene 200 with Amplify. I really liked the analysis on it and the vet's assistant recommended it. I measured out individual baggies for both Red and Bobby for AM/PM, put both of Bobby's supplements in, and left them in buckets so all BO has to do is dump the baggies in. I feel so much better knowing that the horses are getting quality feed and the right amount of it. Now I won't feel so bad about it if I miss a day going out there. The mill grain they're on now just went right through Bobby; you could see whole oats and the cracked corn in his poop. No wonder he was getting so skinny.

watching me add his supplements to his bags of grain.

I tacked up Bobby to head out to pony again because at this point the arena is destroyed--completely unusable if it doesn't get dragged from people turning their horses out in it because BO doesn't want his paddocks torn up with the mud. Too bad for those who want to ride. I was rather unprepared for getting on and getting around. I had both horses and the mounting block, and had to slide the door closed. Bobby walked directly into the mounting block, spooked into Red who spooked because he was standing on concrete, and I lost my grip on both and off they went....right across the road. I ran into the barn and grabbed a scoop of grain, only to come back out to see Red standing in the middle of the road and Bobby grazing in the neighbor's yard with two cars stopped in the road. Of all the times to see a car in an otherwise quiet road, that would have to be it. Grabbed Red and moved him over, then went and grabbed Bobby. Got everything together and got on Bobby.

dick head.

Took the long route out to the gamelands and both boys were good. Had to keep dragging Red up to my leg because he was just moseying along. Trotted all the way out our usual way. Both horses were pretty good about going where I wanted them. The ground was pretty hard, especially the few gravel parts, so Bobby was a little mincy on those areas. He'll definitely need shoes if he's going to compete. Tried to do a little cantering on the way back, but Red was faaaar more eager to return than go out so he kept trying to charge ahead of Bobby. Finally, after fighting with both of them, I stopped and threaded the lead rope through Red's halter to use as a shank since my shank was destroyed by the horse I sold in January. Kept it at a trot anyway, and Red was better.

Planned on doing some dressage schooling in the arena with Bobby afterwards, but there was just no way I could do anyhting in there. Let him do a little cantering in the field and worked on getting him to do so straight. I really need a breastplate for him and his ten mile high withers because his saddle keeps slipping back.

CL called to say her trainer will be out tomorrow afternoon to start lessons, which means her daughter will start using Bobby once a week or so. Maybe either she or her friend can get BO to drag the arena because I don't see how they'll be able to do lessons in it with the way it is.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Old pics

Thought I'd share some older pictures of the ponies from Cobleskill!

Me torturing our ex-roper turned pony horse over the summer while I was working at Saratoga.

Before he left for Fingerlakes.

While in training, learning to pony.

In training, probably around 20 months.
As a long yearling.
Just after getting gelded.
Red's halloween costume.
Bobbing for apples.
Red's first ever show! ...where he proved he was not made out for the hunter ring by going at mach speed. But he did get a 1st and 3rd at Bridle Path Hack, earning him Reserve Champion.
Bath time is the best time.

Future purchases....and the future in general.

Well, I want to start on the positive first. Hubby is fully dedicated to buying me a horse trailer! I found what looked like a great trailer for our price range (under $1,000) on craigslist, but when I went to stare at it again today, the ad had been deleted by the poster, which probably means it was already sold. Serious bummer. So I found a couple more, one with pics that show it needs serious paint and is a little more, and one without pics but is cheap! Emailed the one person for pictures and Hubby will call about the other tonight.

Also need a new show helmet. My CO crash helmet is just fine, but my IRH helmet has a crushed visor and I don't know about the soundness of the rest of it. I really like the look of this one, and I really, really like the price. It's on the list. Also really friggin need a new show coat since mine is too small. At least my boots and breaches fit well; and at least I already have a vest!

Now for the negative: I'm not actually sure at this point I'll even be able to even this year. A horse trailer will really help for sure because I won't be struggling to find someone up here to travel with. However, Hubby's truck is a company truck so of course he doesn't want to use it to haul a trailer to shows; understandly, and under desperate measures, he probably would anyway.

Also, it's going to be a struggle just affording entry fees. I still want to make this work somehow, and make it down to go cross country schooling anywhere, but that's money for gas and/or shipping, a schooling fee, and just finding a day that Hubby could go if he's the one that has to take me. I guess I can still keep hoping, but I'm already so bummed out just at the prospect of not being able to do it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pony horse!

Taught Robert a new game today. For some reason I got the urge to try to pony off of Bobby. As with all other OTTBs I've worked with, he took up neck reining like he was a well-trained western pony. He was a little unsure of Red following him so closely since Red likes to bite him, but we walked and trotted once around the arena each way just fine. Had a quick self-photo shoot, then headed out for the field across the road.

Walked halfway around with zero problems from either pony (I've tried to pony off Red before and he likes to kick the other horse. However, he loves BEING ponied.). Trotted up the hill and down one straight side, then turned on the straight, long side across from the barn. Had to get Bobby really cruising at the trot to stay even semi-ahead of Red, so he picked up a nice little lope on his own. Red kept trotting and Bobby was going along nicely on a loose rein. Let them finish at that since it was pretty mucky out. I might take them down to the gamelands tomorrow, depending on whether or not Hubby comes down or we go up to his parents.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick pony visit

Felt guilted into driving out to the barn even though there was no way I was riding. Everything was sloppy and gross and windy and cold. I threw the ponies outside for a romp while I put hay and grain in their stalls. Brought them in and brushed them off quick and picked their feet, gave them some cookies, and left.

Farrier visit and James Bond driving

Had the farrier out for the first time since we moved down here in September of last year. Now don't go raving psycho neglectful owner on me. Red's feet were fine and there was nothing wrong with them. Hubby is quite good at filing barefoot horses and that's all Red has ever needed done.

Bobby came down in December. He got his feet trimmed and front shoes put on December 2nd. The day after, he lost one shoe. The day after he came to me a week later, he lost the other. The farrier for the college is ridiculous. I rasped his feet after that incident just to get all the jagged edges off, but his feet were soooo small I didn't want to take any off.

So the new farrier is Bill Welshans who is apparently a reining rider. He had lots of tips for Hubby (who wants to get into roping and general cowboy-ness) on where he could do team penning and who the local ropers are. He seemed pretty nice, and he's cheap. He also has no respect for how CL handles her horses; and rightfully so since they were walking all over her while she was holding them for him.

He trimmed Red in two minutes flat, and moved on to Bobby. He nipped off maaaybe a quarter of an inch off of one hind, less than that on the other, and none at all on the fronts. He was like, "I don't want to take much off this horse." Ugh. 3 and a half months later and his feet are still so tiny they can't have anything taken off. But he did a good job smoothing them out making them look nice.When he was done, he asked, "Does this horse have any leg issues?" "He's always had stifle issues, but nothing wrong with his legs." "Oh, yeah. I can see that." Boo.

Only $50 for the two of them, and I have an appointment for 8 weeks, but if I have the money, I'd still like to get front shoes on Bobby. I guess it all depends on if we can actually afford to go to any events and when.

Then, on the way home, I almost got into a serious car accident. It was raining and snowing on and off all day which is why I didn't go down to the barn until 5 for the farrier. On the way home, it was thundering, lightening, and sleeting. Just outside of town, I started hydroplaning--no big deal, I've been there before. As soon as the car got out of the lake it was swimming thorough, it hit ice on the road and promptly careened head-on for the guardrail in the next lane at 50mph. Now this is a big deal. Because I do not want to die. So I slammed on the brakes hoping that if I did hit it, I would at least have slowed it down enough not to total my poor little Saturn.

Well, of course once I hit the brakes I started spinning. But the wonderful car did slow waaay down and it stalled and came to a stop with its ass right up against the guard rail. So now I'm cross-ways in the middle of two lanes with a dead car. Does the Saturn say "screw you!" and not start? Oh, no. It fires right up and I get over to the shoulder, let the other cars pass me, and pull off into the grocery store parking lot where I call up Hubby sobbing to come get me. No one hurt, not even the car.

The Saturn is a pro at my crazy driving. When driving out to IL one summer, I was in OH and went to change lanes at the EXACT same moment that another car did; neither on of our's fault, just one of those crazy things that happen. So I braked and swerved back over and immediately started fishtailing from fresh oil on the road. Now I do not generally panic when things go crazy because I learned to drive in winter in a Chevy Colorado with no weight in the back in upstate NY. But fresh oil is mother-effing slick and away went the Saturn, spinning around 3 full times in front of moderate traffic on I-90. Again, no one hurt, no accidents, and the Saturn started up again and we moved on.

Knock on wood, I have a car god watching over me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 35

I had a really shitty morning and I didn't even want to go to the barn, but I felt guilty enough missing yesterday that I forced my grouchy ass to drive the 40 miles and go see the ponies. Then, I didn't even feel like riding.

I got on Red bareback and wandered aimlessly about for a few minutes while watching the amish spread manure and the calves frolic about.

Ooh, scray things!

Then I decided I'd be ambitious and jump today, so I set Red free to go stare and snort at the belgians while I dragged a plywood board, probably about 4 feet wide and 10 feet long under one of the poles set as a vertical, then lay 2 barrels on their sides and brought the standards in close to them. Attempted to reel Red back in, but he was prancing and snorting like a moron, though the other horses were out of sight by this point. Finally found a mint in my pocket and managed to corral him in the corner.

Where Red is is the "holding pen" I mentioned last post.
Tacked Red up and tied his naughty self to the stall because he kept wanting to push past me and stare outside in case the belgians returned. He was not pleased.

We had a few minutes of fighting and trying to get his punk ass to pay attention at the walk before I kicked him into the trot (with several smacks of the whip to get him to pay the fuck attention) and he slowly regained some semblance of brains. We did a short t/c warm up before I gave him a looksie at the jumps, but did he so much as glance at them? Nope. The horses were getting put away. So when I turned him towards the vertical with the board underneath, he was just fine going up to it.....until he realized there was something under it! God forbid. He slammed on the brakes and swerved. I gave him a solid crack on the ass and took several deep breaths since at this point my morning was continuing to go quite shittily.

Brought him around it again and he jumped it with about ten feet  to spare on the landing side. You never know when these boards might come running after you so you better make sure you have a head start on them.

Then I took him to the barrels. Now, back in the golden days, Red had no problem leaping barrels both on their side with poles stacked above them or barrels standing on their ends. Red is a crazy good jumper when he feels like being smart. However, this time, he was being such a snorty fool for the barrels, I figured we were going to play one of our favorite games: "You can't make me go over this!" "Oh, really? Try me."

But no! He cantered right over it, though he did have his knees to his eyeballs--again, there have been reports of jumps eating horses, so you have to be cautious. Cantered to the left over the line of the two and he went over them totally calmly and sanely, and jumping like a normal horse. Nothing like my trusty Red Pollard to make me feel better. Kept it short for his leg and put him away with lots of cookies.

I still wasn't sure I wanted to ride Bobby, but since I'm not sure I'll be able to get out much this week because of lack of gas funds, I sucked it up and got on. I switched bits to my thin dee after a COTH discussions in which I apparently haven't trained my all. Whatevs, guys. The dee was a horrible idea as he kept flipping his head with it; and yes it was fitted on the bridle properly, it did fit his mouth correctly, and there were no rough edges on it. He just doesn't do well in it, and he does do well in the slow twist. So pfffft.

Anyway, I love trotting with short stirrups because I feel so much more secure and like I'm riding so much better. Before I got on, I led the beast around the jumps since he's still a greenie. I also knocked the vertical over the board to a one-sided cross rail and led/jumped him over the barrels so he knew he could get over them. W/t warm up, then over the board a couple times with zero difficulties. He kept glancing at the barrels as we circled past them to get to the board, so I thought he might be a jerk about them. I kept a lot of leg on and pointed him at them......and he popped over like it was no big.

Cantered him over the line both ways a couple of times and he was feeling soooo good! I think that Conquer really helped. He was letting out little bucks and silly Bobby rears when I told him good boy after the fences and you could tell he was really enjoying himself. AND, we also had a very straight ride today.

After I had both ponies rubbed down with alcohol and stuffed with hay, crazy lady's friend showed up. She put her two horses out first, then one of crazy lady's babies, then the other. BO showed up after both her horses were our and we were talking about how he's getting two new horses in and blalblahblah. When CL's friend went tot ake final pony out, all 3 other horses were at the gate and wouldn't let her in with climbing all over her and baby. So then baby 1 and arabian got out to the holding pen, then baby 2, then baby 3. So they're all running around like assholes; I go to help CL's friend and get CL's 2 in and she manages to chase the other 2 back in.

Then she went on a rant to BO about how the 2 babies "HAVE. TO. BE. SEPERATED." (They share a stall.) Then I decided I liked her a little bit more for having a bit of a brain. But though BO has 2 open stalls even after these 2 horses come in, I guess he likes to keep them open for whatever reason.

And the farrier for CL and co. is supposed to come tomorrow so he's going to get a call and see if he can trim both boys.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 34

Soooo nice outside yesterday. 60 and sunny with no wind to make it chilly.

Went out around 1:30 with plans on having Hubby walk and lightly trot Red around the arena while I worked Bobby, but crazy lady and her friend with both their daughters were there. They were lunging the arabian with another baby in the arena when we first got there. I gave Bobby his lunch and both horses some hay while waiting to see what the fuck they were going to do. Crazy lady's friend's daughter got on arabian (Horse is 6 and still green, daughter is 13 and they ride her every time in draw reins. Which is not ok by me.) and crazy lady put her baby in the "holding pen" between arena and barn. Great use of space guys. Really. That just pisses me off beyond reason. Maybe because I already don't like them. So Hubby and I took the dogs to the gamelands for half and hour in hopes that by the time we came back, they'd be done monopolizing the entire fucking barn. Again.

No such luck. This time they had crazy lady's 2 babies in the holding area, arabian was still being ridden, and crazy lady's friend's other baby was being "lunged". These women are clueless. I mean, I understand that they're new to horses and everything, and they have a trainer for their horses, but they're the type of people that the more they try to do and the more they try to learn, the worse they come off as.

But I am an elitist when it comes to horses, and a large part of my personality is enjoying people looking bad--especially when it makes me look better--and being very.....protective? selfish? of the things I do well, and not wanting others to go anywhere near those things. At least not when they're not my friends. And while not a great personality to have, I'm not ashamed in the slightest.

Anyway, back to ponies getting ridden. We decided to go for a trail ride since it was so gorgeous outside. We went they way we don't usually go since there's a fallen tree across the path, but we walked by it with the dogs and decided the horses had enough room to sneak by. A fisherman came out of the woods right next to Bobby and he had a little snort at that, but he was far more concerned with the screeching child walking with her mom. Fortunately, the mom got the kid to shut up (I'm not much of a kid person) as we passed, so no one spooked and got trampled.

We walked the whole way until we got to a really long, but not really steep hill that I trotted Bobby down while Red walked. I had a spaz when a woodchuck went blasting through the woods next to Bobby and I on the way back, though Bobby was hardly concerned, and Red didn't even seem to notice it.

Their clips look better under saddle.

I made Bobby canter up the hill, and he was like, "neeehhhhh", but I gave him a kick and he picked it up strongly, then cantered back well.

You see now where the straightness work is always coming into play.
Really fun ride all together once we got away from the barn. When we got back, the crazy lady posse was gone and Shiraz (a ridiculously cute paint across from Red who's always mooching for treats and who never gets enough attention.) was out being ridden with a pile of treats and general pony goodies outside his stall. Doped up Bobby on Conquer for the last time until he goes cross country schooling (hopefully sometime early to mid April).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 33

Borrowed clippers from one of Hubby's friends. He said they were livestock clippers he's used on cows and horses and that they quiet, but Holy Hades were they loud. But all three of us made do. I haven't clipped in a few years so it took some getting used to, and Bobby definitely came out crooked. Oh, well.

Bobby wasn't too excited about it, and I'm not sure he's been clipped since two. He was stupid ticklish on his belly and armpits, so I'll have to take my trimmers to him tomorrow for some touch ups, but I cleaned him off pretty good. I did a trace clip, only much higher up than usual; he had belly hair like a yeti.

Looking for an escape route.

Not pretty, but at least he won't get too hot.

I gave Red his customary shoulder and chest clip and was done with him in twenty minutes max. His leg was still a smidgen puffy, just barely noticable, and I probably could have left it open, but I wrapped it with alcohol for one more night. I might get on him and walk him around a little tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 32

Red's lunch diet was short lived as I stopped feeding him noon-time grain since he's just sitting there with his little hurt leg. It did seem less swollen today and not quite as warm, but I kept his walk short again with lots of pausing for grazing and staring at the Belgains across the field.

Cold hosed him again, but of course no hose should ever be turned on without getting Red's face wet, so we played in that for awhile.

I swear he loves it.
Let him eat his hay with no wrap on so I could feel it again when I was done with Bobby.

Speaking of Bobby, I groomed and tacked him up in his stall hoping we wouldn't have a repeat of the girth fiasco of yesterday. Aaaandd....we didn't! So I may stick to that for awhile.

(As a non-pony sidenote, whenever my house phone rings, my grey kitten comes running from wherever she's been doing something naughty, jumps onto the shelf it's on, and stares it down. Oooooh, ringing phone! Sooooo exciting! She's sitting there with her head on sideways right now.)

Put the flash on so he wouldn't be fighting with me quite so much, and brought the whip out again since no spurs. He was walking like he was a hiar off again, so I got off and took a look at his feet to see if there was a rock in there, but saw nothing. Took his boots off and checked his legs (it felt like the LF when I was on him), but besides being warm from the boots, nothing there either. But I kept the boots off and when I got back on he was fine. The boots must not fit him well, or he just doesn't like them. I usually ride in splint boots, but these were open-front jump boots.

Wake up, Bobby! Time for work!
Lots and lots of work at the walk working on keeping him straight. He tilts his nose to the R and falls into the L with his body, no matter what direction we're going in. I think I just need to keep working on keeping him straight since I can't afford a chiro. I wonder if I sit a little crooked from my L knee being previously wrecked. I have to ride with that stirrup a little shorter because I can't carry my leg quite as well as my R. I'll have to force Hubby into video duty if I can get the arena without the crazy lady posse.

Moved on to the trot and worked on keeping him straight still and worked over the ground poles. Definitely harder to keep from falling in when circling at the trot. I feel like I should wear a spur just on my left boot. Bleh. Did get one good straight trot on the long side.

Went over the x-rails singly twice each time to the left. I had to tell both him and myself outloud "Straight approach!", but once I got him straight to each one, he jumped great. Also had to go forward! No more lollygagging about towards fences! He is not Red. He will not canter to them, or even trot with a ten thousand foot long stride! Anyway. Trotted the line to the left and made sure to stay straight and forward. And he landed the second fence in a canter on the correct lead, so I let him have at it to go around again. "Straight approach!!" I reminded us both, and TAAAAHHHHDAHHHH!!!!! He jumped both at the canter on the left lead, STRAIGHT, and he was soooo good! So of course I left it at that and fed him lots of cookies.

Wrapped Red's legs hopefully for the last time with alcohol. Rubbed Bobby's front legs, hocks, and stifles down with alcohol, too. Also gave him his first of for-now 3 doses of Conquer.

"Hi, Red!!"
"Hand over your hay."
"But it's my hay! In my stall! Nooo, wait! Don't bite me! Take it!"

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Fed Bobby his U-Gard by hand to ensure he doesn't dribble any on the floor and miss some when he tries to clean up. Checked on Red's bum leg and lo-and-behold, it's warmer than yesterday and poofy. Took him for a short, slow walk around the field so his hind legs won't stock up, then cold hosed (making sure to spray him in the face in the process--not torture, his favorite part of bath time), poulticed and wrapped it up again.

All wrapped up with no place to go.
Took Bobby out to get ready for an easy w/t ride finally since the arena--where not churned into disguisting-ness--was actually pretty good. We had a pretty serious battle about girthing up, which he's been getting worse with. Come on, U-Gard! Finally relented and dropped the other side a hole and cranked it to get it on the first hole. Dick. Put the draw reins on, strapped on the spurs, and stuck the whip in the back pocket.

Relatively good w/t ride with lots of circles and leg yields and working on straightness. He was getting kind of ticked at me getting kind of ticked at him and starting leaning on the bit, so I stopped with all the circles and put him over baby x-rails one time a piece, then trotted him over the line. Wasn't exactly perfect because of lack of impulsion and forwardness so he jumped pretty flat, knocking over one of the poles, but he cantered off on the correct lead. I let him leave it at that since I didn't want to go crazy first day. Back. As long as the weather stays good, we're going to stay in the arena and get some serious schooling done.

Aaaaand, miracle of miracles, my Conquer came today so I can drug Bobby tomorrow! Yay!

And again...

New keyboard and we're back in business! Luckily it happened with just one month left on the warranty, so besides paying to get the hard drive backed up, it was free. I like free things. Not free things: the Equine Affaire. I decided not to go; it would just be way to expensive to ship out there since I don't have my own trailer. On one side, I'm really disappointed I won't get to go because I really, really wanted to, but at the same time, I'm glad the pressure of trying to find the money and figure everything out is off. Also not free things: cross country schooling. I still am absolutely 130 percent determined to get down there to do it early next month, but same thing with the Equine Affaire: logistics. At least two and a half hours away is more do-able than six. As long as Bobby gets sound and I get a friggin' arena to start working on jumping in. Pull out the drag, BO! Do something right!

Monday 3/14:
Started giving Bobby corn oil with his lunch until I figure out if we can afford to buy a different grain for him. Also started to give Red a little grain with his lunchtime hay since he's ribby too, and starting to get into more work. Groped Bobby and he seemed better than before, so I considered doing some light w/t work with him in the arena. But after Red's ride, I left him alone.

Took Red out to the arena and worked really hard on his leg yields at w/t since he's been getting lazy with them. Once more, the key to really good ones was staying off his face. Helloooo. Why did none of my instructors ever tell me this with him? He's so much better with everything when I just stop playing with the bit. Not rocket science, clearly, but I'm glad I'm doing it now. Did a few flying changes across the arena, and with spurs he was really nailing them without rushing too much.

Started some jumping exercises by circling in on the bigger x-rail. First six strides out, then knocking one off with each turn until we were down to two going to the right. It was a big, wide turn to get to it from that way, so it was pretty easy for him to get. The fence was much closer to the rail going to left, like a really tight roll back to get to it. But turning is Red's speciality, so I wasn't concerned. Cantered to the L over the 4 canter poles, came around the short stride, seven strides down longside to roll back to 3 strides to x-rail, landed on R lead, cantered R, made a 15m circle. Beast. He was like, "Finally! Something interesting!" Did that exercise about 3 times, and let him go back to his precious food.

Tuesday 3/15:
Forced Red to the gamelands for a gallop. Screaming his head off the whole way out there, but he went willingly enough. Trotted him halfway out, then cantered rest of way. Really strong gallop on the way back, and when I pulled him up, he wasn't even breathing hard, let alone sweating, even with 50 degrees and four inches of bear fur. Went out with much shorter stirrups than I usually ride with on Bobby, and I wasn't nearly as tired. Also rode in my CC saddle instead of AP, which might have attributed to it. I'll have to try it with Bobby next time I take him out there, once I switch out the stirrup irons; I love my bendy, heavily padded AP saddle irons. Poulticed both Red's front legs and wrapped him up.

Took Bobby out to the round pen and lunged him w/t. I don't know if it's because I haven't watched him from the ground in awhile, but his hind leg action still looks off. It's like because his stifles hurt, he over-uses his hocks, which I can just see leading to hock pain sooner if not later. Get here soon, Conquer! I let him loose to goof off a little and he cantered a bit, then got scared by noisy geese.

Beware the Bobby eating geese!
Took him out to go back to the arena and he was nutty. Had to give him several good smacks to stop bolting in front of me. Oooh, scary geese! Retard. Once he was inside, he was fine.

Wednesday 3/16:
Pretty overcast and muggy out, so I wasn't planning on doing much today. Considered waiting around to see if my Dover order with the U-Gard would show up, but I didn't want to sit around until 2:30 for the mail on the chance that it didn't come and miss feeding the boys their lunch. Decided to pull Bobby's mane since it was looking long and gross. Took me about 10 minutes, he was a really good boy, and it actually came out looking really nice. (I am not the pro mane-puller because I don't do it pretty much ever because it's such a PIA.)

Showing Stormy his nicely pulled mane.
With serious dread, I moved on to Red. Ugggghhhhh. I don't think Red has had his mane pulled since we picked him up at 2005. I just cut it since it is unbelievably thick. Like, twice as thick as my hair. But I wanted him to look like a real TB who really does do english, and I think a pulled mane is the only way to go. So I sucked it up and started yanking. Fortunately, another wonderful thing about OTTBs is that they're using to being poked, prodded, and yanked on, so he just stood there looking a little pissed. I got halway and had to stop to take Bobby out for a little bareback walk around the arena, just to give my poor hands a break.

Are we done yet?!
 Finally finished about an hour and a half later, but was too distracted by crazy lady blabbing to take a pic. Felt his legs after his hard work yesterday and noticed a touch of heat in the delicate RF. Did an open poultice on it since I still haven't bought rubbing alcohol. Hopefully that will take care of it.

My U-Gard and paddock boots finally came! Only took a week, Dover! Tried on the boots, and way too small. Same brand and size of my tall boots which fit perfectly, and these are easily a size too small. So I'm sending them back for a different brand. Boo.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Catching Up

My fat orange cat got his head stuck in my glass of water 2 weeks ago, and when he tried to pull his head up, he knocked the glass over right into my keyboard. So off it went to Geek Squad, hopefully to return by the end of the week. In the meantime, I've scribbled down a few things for each day to stay on task.

Thursday 3/3:
Back to the gamelands since the arena is still slop, trotted out, cantered back. He plowed through one of the puddles and got strong after so I pulled him back and made him trot one field, then cantered the next. Galloped Red around the field outside the barn. He's such a beast. I really let him get rolling and he just stuck his chin to his chest and went along like a good boy. This is an amazing change since he was at Cobleskill, as he was quite fond of taking off with me. Poulticed both boys, just for a little pampering.

Friday 3/4:
Washed the polutice off, gave both a good grooming, and cleaned Red's sheath. Red is perverted, in that he loves getting his sheath cleaned. He drops right down for you and just stands there.

Sunday 3/6:
Handed out peppermints at the barn with Hubby. Bobby followed along while Red licked the stall. Groomed both of them again since it was pouring outside. Again. We went home and lost power at 5:45pm, and didn't ge tit back until 10:30 the next morning.

                                                   Bobby helping give out cookies.

Monday 3/7:
We got about 6 inches of snow. Hubby got his truck stuck in the snow when the back tires went off the road pulling out of the driveway on his way to work. What a great way to start the day after still having no power by that point. Finally got it shoveled out just as his boss showed up to pull him out. Shoveled the Saturn out to get to the barn that afternoon. I love my little car. It's a mauler in bad weather.

Took Bobby to the gamelands since the snow was drifted pretty deep in the arena. Melting snow kept falling on his head which would make him throw it up every time it happened. He also had a baby spook when a huge load slid down the trunk of the tree he was passing. Got to the halfway point of the path to get to the real road part of the gamelands, and a tree had fallen over from the weight of the snow. Got off Bobby to assess the situation, decided if it was tall enough for me to duck under, it was tall enough for him. He agreed and walked right under it. I'm not sure if he's brave, or just not smart enough to realize that bad things can happen to good ponies. Which is just fine with me! Actual path  wasn't too bad since most of the snow had already melted back there so we did the routine trot out canter back. Went up the steep little path to get back so I wouldn't have to get off again.

                                          Under the tree he goes!

Tuesday 3/8:
Forgot about the fallen tree until I was already almost to it so I got off again and led him through again. Cantered him out this time instead of trotting, and while he took it in stride, my legs were waving the white flag. Alternated between trotting and cantering back, hand galloped the final field.

Waited around for the vet since she was supposed to come "early afternoon". Of course, with a vet, that could be anywhere between noon and 4. Took the dogs out for a run, went to grab a Snapple at the gas station, and came back to find that vet had called BO and told him she's be there after 5 (it was 2:30 by this point), and BO drove to the barn to tell Fran, who was the only one there, instead of calling ME. So I drove home, got in the shower, and as soon as I got out, crazy woman called me, not the BO again, to tell me vet had called her to say she'd be there in 45 minutes. Well, it takes me 45 minutes to get to the barn, so I threw some clothes on and went back out.

Waited around for about 45 minutes while crazy woman's pony got gelded and coggins/shots done. Coggins and Rabies for Red, Coggins, Rabies, and 4-way for Bobby. I was ready to pound my head against the stall when vet was done explaining shots to crazy woman and her friend. A) She thought horses got shingles instead of stangles, B) she had no idea what 4-way or 5-way entailed, C) she thought that because her friend's horse had a cold last year, it was Rhino. Vet was amazingly good at not laughing at everything that came out of this woman's mouth. I mean, really. You own horses, you own baby horses no less, do some frigging research instead of relying on your vet for everything!

Wednesday 3/9:
Ordered new paddock boots finally (Saxon brand for $30. I love cheap boots, not going to lie. I love my Saxon tall boots), and U-Gard for Bobby which I'm going to give him myself with his lunch. I'm also going to start giving him oil with his lunch. He needs to gain some serious weight because of the sucky feeding arrangements.

Today was Bobby's birthday!

                                                    Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Gave him some carrots that he had to share with the rest of the barn. It was the first time I've seen Knotty (an OTSB across from Red who's mostly blind) look alive. Apparently, he's a carrot whore. Groomed Bobs and let him have the day off with lots of hay. Worked Red in the round pen w/t/c. I had to chase him down to get him to canter. He was like, "There is hay in my stall and it's cold and rainy out here. Canter around in a cricle yourself."

                                         Bobby as a weanling! Now you can tell how
                                         he almost got the name Beatwithuglystick.

Thursday 3/10:
Raining like crazy, so I put on the newly purchased $20 rainsuit from Walmart and headed out on Bobby. I thought he sounded a tenny, tiny sliver off walking down the road, but he wasn't moving differently and didn't seem uncomfortable in any way. Trotted out through literal lakes on the path from so much rain and snow melt. Turned him around to trot back and he automatically picked up the canter. That lasted all of 5 strides before he pulled himselg back up to the trot. It was too slippery for cantering. Wrapped him up in his cooler when we got back and dried him off really good.

He was stomping his RH in his stall as he was eating his hay, so I groped him a little. No serious reaction, except for some ear pinning, but I was "getting awfully close to [his] shaft!" (The Hangover) Gave him a good rub down over his hips and stifles with rubbing alcohol anyway. On a plus note, when I first bought him in December, you could run your fingers down his back and he would literally sit down he was so sore. Now, you do the same thing and he dips a teeny bit on the right side, but already so much better and stronger.

                                          Fair Hill is going to look like a puddle by the time we get there.
Friday 3/11:
Arena semi-ok to ride in so I took Red out finally. W/t/c both ways, had a minor beat-down when he kept trying to spook at a pile of snow on the other side of the fence. Had 2 x-rails set up for the 7 stride line to try to do with Bobby later, so I put Red over them a couple of times off a circle, trying to knock down as many strides as we could before the fence. Back in his prime before I sold him, he was down to 3 strides in front of a 2'9" fence. Now, he's at about 4 with a 2'3" fence. But he'll get back to it.

Worked on canter mostly with Bobby, but he's really crooked down his back and neck. I need a chiropractor for him. Riiiiight. Do you take checks? Post dated checks? Just another thing to work slowly through myself and do what I can with what I can. I can't wait for no more rain so I can really use the arena again! He needs alot of flat work. Tried him over the x-rails a couple times, but he kept taking them down, so I ended when I got one time over the line with nothing down, incredibly crooked and disorganized as it was.

Checked out his stifles again, and still same half-assed response. Mixed him up a heavy alcohol/cold water bath and soaked his back end.

Saturday 3/12:
Today was my kelpie's birthday! Two years old. She got some icecream for McDonalds and was subjected to wearing the birthday tiara.

                                                    Happy birthday, Darcy!

Went down to the barn with Hubby. It was packed with people I would prefer not to have it packed with. Crazy lady and her friend, plus both their kids, their trainer, and their trainer's kid. They had recently gelded pony and crazy lady's other pony out in the arena, then turned out the other baby out there too. Then they just stood there as the horses stood there. Good use of the arena, guys! So I decided to hop on Red bareback and walk him down the road a little, but crazy lady's friend had her arab on the crossties in front of the doors, so I led him out the doors towards the arena where there's another gate out to the road--but you don't go near actually going in the arena to do so. So I walk out and crazy lady's like, "Are you putting him out here?" Uhhhhhh, am I RETARDED? No, no I am not. (Not retarded, not putting him out with your stupid babies.)

Hubby and I fucked around with Red for a little bit, and when they brought their horses in, we went to the arena and fucked around a little bit more. Took Red over one of the x-rails, which he amazingly deigned to pick his feet up over. Put him away when crazy lady's friend brought her arab out for her daughter to lunge and the horse was going crazy. Red was unconcerned, but I wanted nothing to do with it. Gave him his 4-way, with his only reaction being annoyance that he couldn't have his head buried in his hay.

Checked on Bobby's butt, and his stifles did seem a little warm and more tender today. Another alcohol bath, and I ordered some Conquer paste in hopes it works like bute. Because $15 is better than $50. Hopefully that gets here soon, since Dover has been sucky about getting their orders here lately. I'm still waiting on my U-Gard and boots.

                                          Fancy bareback dressage pony.