Thursday, August 29, 2013

New House. Again.

I don't even know how to make my posts not boring right now. In the Adventures of the Slightly Crippled Thoroughbred and His Slightly Crippled Owner, big updates to me are not really worth reading about to you.

For instance....

On Tuesday, I went down to the barn to hang with Sarah on her birthday and test out some of the settings on my replacement camera. Bobby got to graze while Memphis got his booty worked.

fancy dutch hippo.

he was dead set on taking off from sixty feet away.

As they were cooling out, I jumped on my heavily Show Sheen-ed pony and took him for a canter circle each way. He stepped right off as soon as I closed my legs and seemed happy to go. Not unfix-ably broken. Yay!

chased by a UFO.
that's what i get for not wearing my helmet!

On Wednesday, I pulled the stirrups off my saddle and did twenty minutes of walk work in the indoor. The ride was all about leg yields, and Bobby showed that he's better to the left than he was earlier this summer, but that he needs a visit from the chiro eventually. He shut down doing them to the right, throwing on the brakes and glaring at me (no one can shoot you the Death Stare like Bobby can) before turning his refusal of moving forward into a spinning tantrum. Nice to have you back, Robert! We finished with an acceptable leg yield to the left. Add a hip cracking to the growing list of things he needs.

pig dog!

pig dogs love balls!

Today, I stuck my stirrups back on and went back to the indoor. Bobby was all, "Walk? Why not trot? Trot? Why not canter?" So I let him do his thing. It was about a thirty minute ride and it was done primarily at the walk, but he did get some trot work in and even a tiny canter. Instead of leg yields, I focused mostly on the shoulder-in and doing a lot of counter bend. Gosh, his shoulder-in is so fab. It's taken him forever for him to give me a correct one, but today it just clicked for him. Soooo good both ways.

I let him do one canter circle before taking him across the diagonal and doing a lap of counter canter. Repeat in the opposite direction. I gotta admit, I'm really jealous of Sarah who asked Memphis to flying change over to the counter canter on the long side and they carried on like it was no bigs. One day, Robert.

We finished with our first go at a medium trot. For having feet that look like a neglect case, it was pretty fab itself. Maybe next year we'll actually be able to show First at the beginning of the year and finish out with Second 1?

feet today.

watching the hounds. he's not a fan of dogs. 

Since he's been so sound in the indoor, and he's been walking up the driveway better each day, I decided to leave him in his stall overnight so he can try to go out with Simon tomorrow morning. I'm sure he'll be appreciative of the extra grass and having a buddy again. Hopefully his feet hold up to it. If not, he can always go back to his pen. He'll probably have the next.... four-ish days off. Hubby's littlest bro is coming out to do manly things all weekend, and I feel as though I should be around the house to supervise.

baby kelpie dog.

if i can't give you exciting pony updates, at least i can give you cute puppy pics!

We'll see how my foot feels tomorrow, but I actually had my feet in the stirrups for trot work and didn't feel as though I was going to die. It's been almost two weeks and I'm supposed to be resting it for four, so maybe with my continued routine of copious amounts of Aspercreme, ice, and wrapping I can get it down to three. Being a gimp is a drag.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UPD Mounted Police

Since there is nothing particularly exciting going on in the world of Bobby and I, I wanted to share this article from the college I went to about UPD's mounted police.

Click here to read about Jack.

Jack came to the school the year after I graduated, but I remember seeing him in the barn when I went to stalk visit Bobby when he retired. Kind of a homely dude with a bit of a pissy attitude, but it looks like he's taken to his new job.

Why the tiny campus of Cobleskill needs a mounted police officer is slightly questionable, but whatevs. If you got it, flaunt it, right? Kind of a cool story.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Toes pictures.

What kind of weird fetish hits will I get off of that title?

Pictures of Robert's toes on Sunday when he was feeling extremely uncooperative about standing still:


RF, with its stank ass thrush crack. 



Trying to use up what I have on hand before my broke ass has to buy more things, I treated the thrush crack (which smells fucking awful, but less fucking awful than Thursday) with some Today. I'm going to finish that off before probably buying the White Lightning.

grazing under the apple tree. life could be worse.

The plan for Mr Magee is to let him finish out the week in his pen, tiny paddock, and arena turnout before hopefully resuming his previous turnout schedule--going out from 7am to 2pm with Simon. I think he'd be fine out in the big paddock right now, but he has to walk up a steep, really rocky hill to get there. I walked him up Sunday to graze by the round pen and he was hurting. One more week ought to do it. Fingers crossed, at least.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to saddle him up for some no stirrup riding in the indoor. My broken foot was feeling better at the end of last week, so I helped Hubby move furniture. Bad idea. Really bad idea. Now it hurts worse than it did before. Healing is so fucking boring.

In better news, the camera that Hubby dropped in the creek on our trail ride a few weeks ago was replaced this weekend. Holla! Always buy a warranty plan, kids. Best Buy didn't have our Sony anymore, so we got a higher quality Nikon instead. Okay, Best Buy. If you insist. I'm not a professional photographer by any means, and all we really want a camera for is Facebook quality pony pictures and various other fun things we  do (like....?). Look for high quality hoof pictures to replace my cell phone pictures soon. Because things are that interesting around here.

recovered pics from trail ride off of old camera.

hubby and dollar.

Aaaand that concludes one of the most boring posts ever.

You're welcome.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


So of course NF didn't pull Bobby's shoes when he returned Thursday. He did leave me a very endearing note on the board in response to my plea to take them off himself:

"Not today, but soon."

Soon, NF? Would soon be in three weeks when Bobby was due for a reset? Or would soon be six weeks when you actually got around to showing up? I can only assume that regardless of a time frame, soon really means when he's ripped his shoes off and taken half his foot with them.

Raging with hormones, I dug out my rasp and accepted BM's pair of nail pullers from under her car seat (proving to be a true horsewoman, especially since all of her ponies are barefoot), and I got to work on yanking steel. I was sweating like I had just run a marathon in the Amazon, but they eventually all came off. It helped that Bobby put up with my awkward maneuvering of his legs. Eventually I just set his hind legs on an overturned water bucket and he rested them there as I pulled out nails. It also helped that when I got around to the LF, I pulled out one nail, pulled the second nail, and the whole shoe came with it. Yeah, he definitely could have waited.

bitch, please.

Bobby's feet smelled awful once the shoes were off--like rotting foot. I know some people at the barn don't agree with me pulling his shoes, but I am so glad I did. I have both Farrier Barrier and Double Strength Farrier's Formula on the way. BO also suggested Knox Gelatine, so I bought a big box of that yesterday and started him on two packets a day. I'd never heard of using it before, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.

front feet. 

Yesterday I freed him from his pen and he went bucking around the arena like a wild man without a short step. At least that footing agrees with him. I took him for a field trip to the barn and he was a little short walking up the driveway, but not nearly as bad as I thought he was going to be.

visiting with friends. 

I jumped on him once we were back in the indoor with just his halter and lead on and we walked around for ten minutes. He didn't feel off, so I'm hopeful that once my foot is better we can do some work in there. In the meantime, I've begun the painful search for a legitimate barefoot farrier. Not holding my breath, though maybe I'll get lucky.

his current "stall"

In the meantime, Bobby is enjoying wandering in and out of his pen at free will, eating extra hay to make up for lack of grazing time, and getting fed cookies for no reason.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Foot Troubles

A quick update to my Equine Aid post: I brought Bobby in around 11 for the farrier and in the hour he hung out in his stall waiting for his turn, he drank his entire bucket of Equine Aid and didn't touch the plain water. Definitely investing!

When I last updated on Robert-doings, we were cruising around the arena all by ourselves in the cart. Okay, so we only walked, but we walked with no header and no tantrums. My horse is kind of a big deal. I decided to follow that up by heading up the road the next day to the local state park and explore their horse trails. Hubby wanted to take the canoe out on the lake, so Bobby and I hitched a ride.

I can tell you right now that whoever designated the equestrian trails at this park has clearly never seen a horse before. Not that it was impossible to ride, but it was a two mile uphill climb that was almost solid rock. Not ideal pony prancing circumstances. It was, however, apparently excellent training circumstances as I met three women almost to the summit (like we were scaling Mt Kilimanjaro or something). Two of them were in the Army, and the other one was doing reps up this particular trail to get in shape for climbing Mt Everest. I mean, really.

I ended up leading Bobby up the last part of the trail and I had to lead him all the way down. Bobby was a perfect gentleman the entire time, despite being by himself somewhere he'd never been before. He plodded along at the end of the reins behind me unless we were going down a seriously steep section. Then he was able to slide down faster, but once he got his footing secure again, he stopped and waited for me to catch up on his own. No screaming, no trying to get back to the trailer, just accepting his poor pony fate.

at the top of the trail.
We both came back slightly worse for wear. Bobby lost a hind shoe in the trailer on the ride home, and I annoyed my right foot enough that I now have a stress fracture.

All of that leads to Wednesday's farrier appointment. Warning: there will be copious amounts of swearing.

NF has been harping to me for months about how if he has to keep nailing missing shoes into Bobby's feet that the hoof is going to be useless and it's never going to be salvageable and so on and so on. I can't afford glue-ons so that's never been an option. However, pulling his shoes and letting his hoof grow out to something semi-respectable has been. I've just been pushing it off to keep competing. Well, competing got kicked to the curb awhile ago and now that my foot is broken, riding has temporarily been kicked to the curb.

So I told NF that instead of putting the pulled shoe back onto a hoof that was torn to shreds, I wanted to pull all of his shoes. NF said no. NF said that his hind feet aren't really that bad and that he refuses to pull his front shoes. NF said Bobby was going to be dead lame if we pulled them and he might never truly be sound barefoot. So NF put his hind shoe back on.

Ok, let's break this down really quick before I continue with the story.

Here's the RH that got the shoe put back on:

looks like a hoof i'd want to keep sticking nails in!
Secondly, obviously he's going to be lame. He's going to be so fucking sore that he probably won't be able to walk on hard ground for at least a month. I'm not fucking delusional here. I'm not expecting him to get his shoes pulled and his feet magically go "Tah dah! We're all better now!"

And as far as being completely sound barefoot--that's not my goal either. I would like him to grow a healthy enough foot so that he can hold a shoe for more than three weeks next year and I don't have to scratch shows because he got a loose shoe tacked back on the day before competition and he's sore.

Needless to say, I was really pissed. I waited for BM to arrive because NF also said that our turnout plan is not acceptable and I was ready to cry and then punch someone out at that point. I told BM that NF wanted to change the turnout again and BM went stomping over to NF to ask WTF he wanted her to do. I was really happy to have BM on my side. I wouldn't want her yelling at me.

BM: What do you want me to do with this horse, NF?!

NF: Do you want me to tell you what my first preferred option would be? I would pull all his shoes and keep him in his stall 24/7.

At which point I almost walked away.


In another circuitous conversation, BM and I agreed that Bobby could live in the big (like 12'x60') pen off the back of the indoor. There's a tiny little paddock off the back of it that he can get locked out of when it's raining, and he can get turned loose in the indoor at night. BM was even going to try to come up with a buddy he could get turned out with at night. That way he could go from a foot of shavings to a foot of arena footing without ever coming in contact with hard ground until his feet toughen up. Great plan, yes?

I repeated for the hundredth time to NF that Bobby could have as much time off as he needed and he was going to live in the arena so he wouldn't be walking on stone. So what did NF do?

He left.

With my horse's shoes still on.

Granted, he's supposed to be coming back today to finish up the rest of his horses, but what are the chances Bobby's shoes will actually be off? I'm going to say zero. And then I'm just going to pull them off myself. Bobby is going to be barefoot. Period.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Product Review: Equine Aid

Every spring, I compile a giant list of things I need to get ready for the show season. Occasionally big items crop up: a new saddle (or two), a helmet to replace the one I landed on my head in, or new galloping boots. Mostly, though, it's a grocery list of smaller items:

  • Black gloves--because although I start each year with several pairs and keep adding more throughout the months, once I clean out my show trunk they're just...gone. 
  • Knee socks--because like black gloves, their soul mates tend to leave them all by themselves. One time I even found a loner in the back (as in bed) of Hubby's truck like a month after a show.
  • Hair nets--because I inevitably skewer them with bobby pins to try to tame my very thick, very long hair and then I get frustrated at how long it takes to remove them and just rip the hair net to shreds.
  • And speaking of bobby pins....
i mean, really.
Last year on my list of things to replace was my bucket of Horse Quencher. Bobby loved the taste of this when I first bought it in 2011, but by the end of 2012, he slowly began ignoring it and opting for his plain ole H2O. When he wouldn't go near the stuff this year, I started to keep my eye out on something else that would encourage him to drink.

Bobby is an excessive sweater. He stands around when it's hot, swishes his tail, and BAM--he's lathered in sweat. He's never been a bad drinker, but doesn't drink like a horse who sweats so much should. This turns into a bit of a war at horse shows when he doesn't have access to nonstop water on the trailer and he's only had half a bucket to drink in the six-plus hours he's been away from the barn. 

While he does drink a good amount coming off of cross country, he doesn't drink at all after dressage, and usually he doesn't drink while waiting for the jumping phases to start. In PA, where the chances of running an event in 90* heat is high, that's no bueno. 

Back in July, I saw this blog post on Equine Aid. I like any concept of getting my horse to drink, and I bookmarked the page. Then I saw Kate's giveaway on her blog. Free samples? Heck yes! Unfortunately, I didn't win, but fortunately, the wonderful people at Equine Aid contacted me and offered some samples anyway. Ballin'!

I got them today and took them to the barn. It's cool today--in the seventies--so this was definitely going to be a good test if Mr I Don't Drink Unless It's Five Thousand Degrees Out and I Just Ran For Ten Minutes would like the product. I brought him in just before his dinner and dumped the packet in. He was very interested in the crinkly wrapper, but once in the water, he ignored me and took a good chug of his plain water. To be fair, it does kind of make the water look like a Louisiana swamp.

As I was grooming him, he started to lip at the Equine Aid water, and then he started playing in it. It was like he loved the smell of it (sooo good--it smells like delicious muffins!), but couldn't bring himself to drink funky looking water. 

I hung around while he ate his grain, helped BM turn out horses, and then glanced into his stall again. A quarter of the green water was gone! He continued to choose the Equine Aid water over his plain water as he went to work on his hay. Mission accomplished.

I'll definitely be adding these to the show list next spring. I like how compact the packets are so I don't have to lug around a bucket, and I also love the price of them. I really think these will really help Bobby drink more which will hopefully keep him from coming back from a BN or N event looking like he instead ran around the Grand National. Twice. 

because who goes so slow around a BN course that they
pick up time faults, but looks like they just made time at A?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Maiden Voyage

sir sassy pants objects to ground driving warm up

i swear i'm not three feet taller than him

one week after his first time ever wearing a harness. 

minor steering miscommunication.
aka almost running into the rail. 

having a squeal with K who was about to get on ranger.
"i'm driving my horse!"

such a good pony britches.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back aboard

Bobby earned an entire sheet of gold stars for his driving session Thursday. Got him hitched, drove him halfway around the ring, and BM hopped in the cart. Zero issues. He walked off when asked, he stood quietly when halted, and he was actually leaning into the harness to pull BM's added weight. He was doing so well that he even trotted off and made two full laps before we asked him to walk again. We came down the center line and halted halfway.

Bobby seemed totally pleased with himself and hung out with a hind foot cocked. BM decided that to end we'd walk a full lap around the arena to get to our unhitching spot facing away from the gate. Well, Bobby thought he had done more than enough for the day and started to bunch up like he was going to throw a fit. "You want me to do what? I did more than you asked me to. It's time for me to get my cookies and go back out! My job here is done."

So we gave him another second to just chill until he decided to walk off on his own. We made the turn onto the rail and he picked up the trot again. He trotted all the way around to his unhitching spot and then stood like a gentleman while he got unhitched and fawned over.  Hopefully he's figured this out enough so that when I attempt it tomorrow without BM for the first time (K should be around, and Hubby will be with me), no one will die. Stay tuned.

out of driving pics, so here's my stripey kitten instead. 
Today, I had planned on giving him a rest, but he was so full of himself yesterday that I opted for a trail ride instead. We trotted almost the entire time and he was chugging along like a beast. He ignored the deer crashing around in the trees next to him, but spooked at some tree bark on the ground. After he had a little dance around it and gave it a warning snort, he trampled right over it. Another Bobby mantra: "When in doubt, stomp it out."

We hung out in the creek for awhile, snorkeling and splashing until we were both thoroughly soaked. We even had a frolic over the downed trees on the path. Trail riding and jumping logs? It's just like we're eventing! Right?

Unfortunately, his standing still manners in harness seem to have not carried over to under saddle. After a minor discussion, he stood still for his bath. Naughty horse.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Product Review: Ponytails Bubbles and Bucks Shampoo

I was just about to start typing this post and the monthly testing of the sirens went off. We have a massive siren for the nuclear power plant literally across the road from our house. Longest, loudest three minutes of my life.

I received my bottle of Bubbles and Bucks Conditioning Shampoo from Hillary's contest yesterday afternoon.

First impression? So pretty. What's not to love about a classy black bottle and a shiny gold top? Second impression? I started reading the label on the back and in the very first sentence, the third word was a typo--what should have been "will" was "with". Very....strange?

Since I had already been to the barn, I used it on myself first. No. That's not weird. The shampoo itself has a runnier consistency than most, but I like that about it. I'm sure I'll like it even more when I get to the bottom of the bottle and I'm not banging it against things and shaking it upside down to get the last bit out.

I didn't feel or see much of a difference after one wash of my own hair. No surprise there, as I get out and immediately put my hair in a ponytail. However, I did almost get back in and wash it out. The smell was awful. It smells like Vicks Vapo Rub mixed with rosemary. The minty fresh smell I was expecting after reading Hillary's review was overpowering and not at all flattering.

Regardless, after Bobby got worked this morning, I put a big glob in my bath bucket and gave him a thorough scrubbing. The smell wasn't nearly as overpowering when cut down in a bucket, and BM actually walked by and commented that it smelled really good.

The shampoo washed out really easily and didn't leave any residue behind, which was nice coming off of just finishing a bottle of Microtek that takes forever to get all the suds out. Bobby sun-dried and I brushed him off afterwards. He had a soft, fluffy post-bath coat that didn't feel dried out.

Overall, I probably won't be replacing this bottle with another when it's done. I have a solid dark bay horse so I don't have to be picky about what shampoo he gets. As it is, I usually pick shampoo out by its smell, and the Bucks and Bubbles was not a pleasant odeur.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kick ass driving session!

I lied yesterday. I did end up going to the barn precisely because it was raining. Bobby's been being babied with his turnout to keep his precious toes dry, so he had to stay in yesterday. Homie don't play that game. I got to the barn and he was showing his distaste at jail time by letting loose his shrill princess whinny every time a horse went by. I ended up riding him for nearly an hour because he was being so good. Counter canter, leg yields, shoulder in, lengthenings--all there for the taking. He was probably trying to tell me he would be a good baby dressage horse from now on as long as I didn't hook him back up to the cart.

Tough luck, Bobby!

getting to graze after yesterday's ride. 
BM and I went back up to the outdoor today after doing the barn and I ground drove Bobby while she made a phone call. We worked on doing tiny figure eights before I asked him to halt. It was like I asked him to stand there and get eaten alive by fucking sharks. I went to his head and backed his ass up to the next county since he likes doing it so fucking much. Then I parked him in the corner and made him stand there for several minutes. I finally picked up the lines again and sent him off, making him stop and stand without picking up a single hoof every five steps. After that, he was ready to be handed over to BM.

BM took over and did something to horribly offend Bobby. Who knows what it was. She probably blinked one too many times. I mean, really. It was a completely uncalled for tantrum and BM went after him for it. That, of course, pissed him off even more and they had their own go-round before getting back on level ground.

Things were not looking up for cart time at this point, and then his girth broke. BM dug up two more--one too small, and the other one whose buckles were too small to fit in the straps of the saddle. So I went down and borrowed Artie's fancy girth and, ten minutes later, we were back in business. BM worked with him a little more without any monumental blowups and we were ready for hitching.

being good for bm.
Once again, zero problems getting him hitched. He really could care less about the cart being back there. I hooked up to his halter and we went off at the walk. He lasted about halfway around the ring this time before throwing a fit. I caught him just as he went to spin, BM was ready for his tricks, and between the two of us we got his head straightened back out and kept him immobile. With that option gone, his wheels started turning on how he could get out of work this time.

His front legs slowly started to buckle and he went halfway down. BM and I just stood there and let him crouch in this obviously uncomfortable position for as long as he wanted. The split second his shifted to stand back up, BM asked him to walk on and he got huge praise when he did. See, Bobby? Isn't walking way more fun than being a dick?

We kept telling him what a good boy he was all the way around and he didn't try any naughtiness. Once in awhile he would stop and look like he was going to try something, but we'd let him stand there and praise him like he was doing exactly what we wanted before asking him to walk on again. This worked so well for him. Was he being a little bit of a brat by stopping when he wasn't supposed to? Yes. But because we weren't fighting him over it, he was totally willing to walk on when asked again.

Eventually, things were going so well that we stopped to pick up a passenger BM named Cooper--one of the tires used as fill for jumps. Bobby stood like a rock as BM threw Cooper in the cart and then walked right off when asked. We repeated the praise for halting when he stopped and more praise when he walked on and he didn't once throw a fit. After two laps each way with Cooper catch riding, we ditched our passenger and Bobby trotted right off with his lighter load.

We ended on that note and got him unhitched, driven back down to the barn, and halted in front the barn doors without him dancing around. Smart pony!

We're definitely going to do it again tomorrow, and he'll get Friday off for sure. Pony Pants has worked hard this week!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Introduction the the cart

Since Bobby had two whole days under his belt with the harness on, I figured, "Eh, let's hook you up!" I helped BM do the barn Monday morning in exchange for her help hooking up my future driving OTTB. We started off digging through BO's copious amounts of driving stuff and she managed to piece together a new saddle without a soon-to-be broken girth strap. She ground drove him up to the outdoor while I pulled the cart up. Holy cow, that thing is heavy!!!! For being a fucking two wheel pony cart, I barely made it up the hill!

BM drove Bobby around for a few minutes while I caught my breath and then we went for it. He kept stomping and kicking out out the flies while BM got him hooked at mach speed. Then, once hooked, he found out the joy of swishing his tail over the lines which rendered them useless for things like...oh, steering.

We set off with BM on the lines and me with a longe line on his bridle at his head. He was completely unconcerned, so after a lap, BM boosted herself onto the seat. Bobby continued on without a reaction until we were about halfway around at which point he came to the same conclusion that I had: that cart is heavy! We agreed on that, but not on how to handle it.

Bobby threw on the brakes and tried to do his fave evasion trick by spinning around and backing up. Well, that's really hard to do when there's a cart behind you. When that didn't work for him, he tried laying down. I was like "O.O" but BM had the situation in hand and yelled for us both to go forward no matter what. Going forward to Bobby meant bolting, but BM and I were like, "Yay, good pony!" and he quickly came back to the walk.

We repeated the whole process multiple times, once losing BM off the back of the cart to the dirt. I whipped around when I heard her call my name and she was jumping back up laughing hysterically. I thought Bobby was being pretty naughty, but she just laughed and said she's seen much worse. And that's why she got recruited!

We kept trying to end on a good note with having him walk to so-and-so spot, halt, walk a few steps, and be done. But he kept throwing a tantrum before we could reach our spot. BM was trying to help him out and basically push the cart for him, but he hasn't learned how to really lean into the harness yet and actually pull.

We finally just gave him a mental break, let him chill in the middle of the arena for a minute, and when he started walking on his own, we gave him big praise, stopped him a few strides later, and got him unhitched. The good news is that he didn't once give an indication that he was scared of the cart. He was inclined to throw fits, yes, but it was more of a "This is SO hard, and I don't WANNA! You can't MAKE ME!" I'll give him that--it is hard. But he's going to do it anyway.

He ended his session with BM trying to blow out of the open gate and earned himself a trot figure eight and passes in front of the gate until he remembered his manners. He ended his session with me with a CTJ moment when I halted him in front of the open barn door and he saw no reason to actually stand still. After our discussion, he stood.

He's getting today off because it's pouring out, and he's probably feeling the work and acrobatics he did yesterday. Poor princess.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Further Adventures

I continued torturing  training Robert with the harness on Saturday. I brought Hubby out with me so I could try dragging the tire and whatever else I could dig up.

I took Bobby up to the outdoor on the off chance that he showed any reaction to dragging things. I ground drove him in between a bunch of standards and over the trail bridge with zero incident first.

Ok, there was one incident:

You don't see anything? Ok, good. Then you're not judging me for running like a total freak in the deep footing. I was just having a prance is all.

Hubby and I got the tire hooked up to Bobby and we set off again. Since he'd already pulled Hubby on skis in the snow, I wasn't expecting him to protest, and he didn't. Even when I almost steered him into a jump. Whoops.

homie don't care.

hard work! for me at least.

Since that was boring, we headed back down to the barn and dragged out a cart. I pulled off his bridle so he could see what was going on, and then I let him sniff the cart, didn't let him chew on it, and bounced it around him. He didn't care.

I had Hubby lead him down the driveway while I pulled the cart along right next to his flank. Didn't care. I bounced it around him again and bumped his hips and sides with the shafts. Didn't care. So I called our driving boarder buddy over--we'll call her K--and had her help me hook him up. He didn't care. We decided for his maiden voyage to keep everything unbuckled and just kept the shafts pushed through their shaft holder things (ok, I know the name of most of the harness parts--I'm still learning all of them).

Hubby led him down the driveway again so I could give the cart a good shove to get it rolling with the hope of not freaking him out when he hit the weight of it right off. I stayed by the cart as Hubby led, but Bobby didn't care. He turned his head once to see what was going on behind him before deciding it was no big deal and carrying on.

We had a pretty good sized space to turn him around, but K hadn't come down with us so I was hesitant to turn him in it for the first time by myself. Instead, I got him unhooked and pulled the thing back up myself...and then hitched him back up so we could get our picture taken with Bobby's first time in front of a cart!

one of us was super enthused!

Since we're using Star's cart, it', not quite his size, but to get him going around the farm, it will work for now. I'm also going to see if he'll fit in Artie's saddle (ha! see?) since the girth strap thing looks like the leather wants to go on this current one. I'll see if I can find a local Amish guy to stitch on a new one asap.

Today, I put an actual riding saddle on Bobby, Hubby tacked up Dollar, and we went for a two hour trail ride. It only lasted so long because we walked the entire time since Dollar's not exactly in fighting shape packing camp kids around all summer, but I think he enjoyed the reprieve. Bobby, on the other hand, was a complete tool. No manners at all. It's been too long since he was out there. I had pictures of that, but Hubby sent our brand new $300 camera floating down Fishing Creek. Awesome. We bought a pretty extensive warranty with it so hopefully "water damage" is covered.

Also! Bobby got another turnout change. Since he was spending his time pacing the indoor and trying to tear his face off with the pony:

bm's comment: you think your horse is a unicorn now?
wait till you see what he did this time!

He got a little ribby, and he hated it, so BO pulled her gelding out from his current pasture so he can go out at night and Bobby gets to go out on a smaller paddock with the retired senior citizen Simon from 7am to 2pm. Less time outside, less space to roam, less rocks, and hopefully less time in wet grass. Bobby was ecstatic when I turned him loose. Grass! Someone who won't pick on him!

"is this for real?!"

couldn't even make it further than the gate.

He did come running up to me when I went to grab him this morning because the flies were pretty bad. I hope he doesn't start stamping shoes off again and gets put back on turnout detention.