Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Clinic and Trail Ride

Right? Doesn't it sound like Bobby has been up to so many things the past few days?

Spoiler alert:

"hai! cookies?"

He has not been.

Our barn hosted a jumping clinic with Dave Kendrick over the weekend. I didn't participate because Bobby is not (yet?) in two hours of flat and over fences work shape, but I did audit and try to get some pictures and videos for my barn mates.

The main takeaway I got was that I really need to invest in a new camera. One that doesn't randomly take pictures on its own and then turns around and shuts off my video recordings before I'm done filming. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?!

big brown moose loves snuggles

I wish I could give you an in-depth clinic report, but...I didn't get any ground breaking information I feel is worthy of sharing. Dave was very strict about proper flat work, and he spent a long time warming everyone up with good, solid dressage instruction (and no stirrup work, poor suckers). The course for the first group was a slight deviation of a hunter course, while the second group was more focused on jumper turns--which really highlighted how important dressage is in every discipline.

The second group finished up with a tight roll back turn:

Everyone had some degree of difficulty with it, and I was being very grabby hands in wanting to get on my own horse and show them how easy it actually was. So, uh, I got Bobby out of the field when they were done, popped him over the green diagonal once as a warm up and then came right around to the roll back exercise and nailed it with ease the first time. Dressage, people. It makes everything cake.

We also jumped the triple bar once even though Bobby hasn't jumped a stadium fence in two months. He was literally perfect, and then proceeded to flat around for another ten minutes like a light, fluffy, lateral work slaying butterfly.

Even though I didn't get a whole lot of new information out of the two sessions, I liked Dave as a clinician a lot. If he comes back, I'd definitely see about getting a private with him as I think he has a lot to offer.

pig dog is maybe not the biggest fan of ponies, but she's also too dumb to resist
when i call her into the paddock and then gets tricked into this.

Bobby had Sunday off. I was planning on a dressage ride Monday morning, but my car was in the garage racking up a bill to rival Bobby's vet work so I was left with my truck. As I was doing chores, I kept walking by my truck...and my trailer...and it was almost 60* and sunny out in the middle of November...

I rode Shooter quickly first. He was in full spookasaurus mode which I was not in the mood for because he was spooking at LITERALLY NOTHING. "Oh, is that my reflection in the mirror that I've ridden past FIVE HUNDRED TIMES ALREADY? LET ME SPOOK AT IT." "Is that a SUN BEAM I see? OH GOD, RUN AWAY SLOWLY."

We had a go-round where I finally kicked him (hard) in his fat, flabby sides and made him trot until he decided maybe spooking wasn't worth the effort and he could actually just go around and do his fucking job. I was able to work on getting some correct shoulder-in out of him instead of just him bending his neck too much and doing strange things with his haunches, but I got off feeling like it was a wasted ride. I forgot how much retraining horses sucks.

never going to be able to retrain this thing to not
spend an hour soaking whenever it comes across water

When I was done with Shooter, I hooked up my trailer, threw Bobby into it, and drove the half hour down to Mendon Ponds Park for a glorious walk only trail ride.

how could i not with this weather?

Bobby may be a lot of bad things at times, but I'm forever grateful for his ability to self load onto the trailer and be unloaded literally anywhere without a care in the world. We stuck to the pond side of the road which is flatter with perfect footing instead of venturing across the road into the woods and hills. The great thing about this park is that you can come here a hundred times and never have to take the same trail. It literally goes on forever, and while not a horse park, the miles of beautifully manicured fields are never off limits, and most of the trails are limited to hikers and horses only.


Because I kept it to a walk, and because Bobby had to have at least fifteen solid minutes of soak time whenever we got to the water (as in, no amount of kicking would get him out), it took us about two hours to circle the main pond. I packed his feet when we were done, rubbed his legs down, and then gave him a gram of Bute when we got back just to be on the safe side, but he was right as rain this morning.

one of a trillion perfect galloping fields

I don't know why I don't get down there more often. It's easy to get to and not that far from the barn. I'll make it a point next year, and maybe we'll be able to get in another ride or too before the snow comes!

creeping on a driving horse before heading home


  1. I wish Fiction loved water as much as Bobby! I've always wanted to take him for a soak/swim.

  2. That trail ride sounds awesome! Hopefully the clinician comes back soon, sounds like a tough/fun experience :)

  3. I must have missed that we was cleared to jump again. That's awesome!

    Auditing is interesting bc it really depends on the clinician for what you will take away from it.

    1. Well it was only four whole jumping efforts. :) He's basically cleared for whatever he'll hold up to. Since we were never able to produce an actual answer for wtf was wrong with him, we've been crossing the possibilities off as I increase his work load. Navicular changes in the hoof, yes, but a definite no to navicular syndrome. The next best guess was soft tissue, but as I've incorporated a few minutes of canter and significantly more trot work on various terrain, he hasn't had so much of an ounce of fill in his leg and certainly hasn't been lame so we're crossing that off the list too.

      We'll be bringing his shoeing angle down a degree each cycle so that should tell us if it's the angle of his coffin bone that was cause of his lameness.

      I probably should have just done a whole post on his current soundness saga. :P

  4. Next time you should probably bring some bubbles and Epsom salts for Bobby to soak in... maybe some scented candles? Adds ambiance you know.

  5. That park is gorgeous, I'm so jealous! And Bobby having to soak is cracking me up.

  6. Bobby - just be well enough to jump again kthanks!

    Also, that trail riding park is GORGEOUS. I am envious of you and the driving horse!

  7. I'm jealous of your park. That looks like a glorious day!

  8. That looks like such a GORGEOUS place to ride!!

  9. <3 Mendon. I want so badly to go riding there !!! How I managed to never do so before really blows my mind lol

  10. The Bobby part sounds so pleasant! I'm so glad things are turning around for you two!
    As for the beluga whale... I feel you.

  11. This has absolutely nothing to do with your post, but I giggle EVERY TIME I see a photo with Bobby wearing is halter neck strap thingy.


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