Thursday, March 17, 2011

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 Highcliff.....in 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.

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