Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ups and downs

I corralled Hubby on Sunday after a failed attempt to do pretty much anything else productive and got a few videos as an update on Opie's training thus far. I was excited to share them with a progression write up, but...things are moving at such an incrementally slow pace that I got nothing.

So then I was bummed and thought about shelving them until I do have leaps and bounds to write about, but at that point they'll probably be defunct and not an accurate depiction of what we're working on.

Random small updates with video and picture interludes it is!

listen to this with the sound up to see why dopie earns his gold
stars on the daily. #notaspookyhorse

Saddle rubs: After having the fitter out to check everything over as the first course of action, I went ahead and body clipped. I wanted to get it done anyway before the vet came out to take pictures for Coggins, but also because I've never shed out a horse before in my life. I. Hate. Hair. If we didn't keep getting a new fucking blizzard literally every single week, I would have clipped my spotty dog by now, too. Hair. Is. Everywhere. CLIP ALL THE THINGS!!!

being naked revealed the extent of his rain rot
i've been battling for a couple months now. hopefully
having it out in the open helps it finally clear up.

The body clip made the rub on his left side disappear completely, but there's still a visible rub on the right. Which means it's probably something I'm doing. Will have BM assess in our next lesson.

Trailer loading: Also accomplished on Sunday while I had Hubby on hand. I loaded and unloaded him twice before my ride and once afterwards. He wasn't sure he wanted to get on the very first time. He put his front feet on the ramp and then stood there, not even budging for a cookie. I didn't want to get into a fight with him so I simply picked up the longe whip and re-presented. He marched right on both times after that, and didn't need it at all after our ride. 

I had Hubby bang around the butt bar and generally be a presence behind Opie once in the trailer, and while that made him a little wide-eyed, he ate his cookies and didn't budge. 

LOUD NOISES

While he was quick to scamper off the ramp the first time, by the last time I backed him out I was able to put some pressure on the lead rope and have him not panic. Instead he thought it through, listened, and slowly backed all the way down the ramp. Copious cookies and praise and back out with his buddies. Another good session in the books!

quietly munching on a carrot and checking things out after
our ride. 

All the other shit:

i do love his walk though.

I can't quite put my finger on what I think is wrong with Opie. No, he's not lame--though you might catch a step or two of "head bobbing" where he's not quite through in the connection and/or he gets jammed up in his shoulders, both constant things on the To Work On list--he's just...lacking.

That seems harsh, especially for a green horse that goes around as naturally lovely as he does (I have a serious crush on him when he's not about to bash me in the face with his head.). Part of me wants to jump down his throat and simply call it a lack of work ethic. 

certainly lacking in steering sometimes as he almost canters
directly into the wall instead of turning

He does the job, he doesn't get particularly upset about having to do the job, he's just not in it to win it. You know the horse that would turn itself inside out to please you? Opie is not that horse. Things just kind of come easy to him, #childgenius, but when I start to push for something a little harder, or maybe one step forward out of the comfort zone we were previously working in, he's a quitter.

Some of it is lack of strength of course, some of it is that he doesn't always know what the fuck I'm asking of him. But some of it is that when given the choice to dig in and try, he'd rather quit. Long walks on the beach eating candy and hanging out with friends? Sign Opie up. Training for a marathon? Sign Opie out. Hard pass.


To be fair, I am one hundred percent the same way. Candy on the beach sounds great to me, too. I do, however, also really love satin and poor Opie got stuck as my partner in the satin hunt. We've both got to put our heads down and slog through this boring shit especially in this never-ending winter. I'm curious to see if he starts to put forth more effort into his life once I can get him out and about more, doing fun things and workin' on our fitness.

In the meantime, the horse abuse must continue. I'm going to keep working on those horrible transitions from trot to canter canter to trot okay, fine, just everything about the canter in general. I know it's in there. He's given me glimpses one lap at a time before, well, quitting.


i swear some days it's really not that bad at all.
this was not one of those days.

We've got a long list of things to work on, and sitting around feeling sorry for myself that I can't ride outside and do more fun things isn't going to train the horse.

And can I really feel sorry for myself when my baby horse finishes every single ride without fail on something that makes me jump off of him and swoon because he's so amazing? No. I cannot. The bitch work is worth the good work this kid gives me in between smoking his weed and lounging under a beach umbrella when he should be tuning me in. 


In good news, the dentist comes out to float him right after the vet is done with him on Thursday. I am super interested to see what else he finds in there, and if it helps with the neck flinging at all!

33 comments:

  1. He's looking good! It's hard to remember that no made horse is made in a day, its all this tedious day to day work that really makes them shine later in life.

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    1. It's been such a long time that I was at the green as grass stage it's easy to lose track of that!

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  2. Lol maybe I have low standards but I think he looks really good for a TB only a few months off the track!
    Did you try loading both sides of the trailer?

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    1. No, just the driver's side. It's not worth the drama for me right now to train the other side when there's no reason he ever has to be on it. I'll tackle that project next winter when it doesn't matter if I make him hate the trailer for awhile while doing it.

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  3. Looking lovely! Maybe he just needs more time to bond with you. I feel like my horse was the same way (not an OTTB) and took 2 years before I felt we were a team. He's all overtry-perfectionist now... just like me. :)

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  4. If you haven't already put the krudzapper on the rain rot!
    Maybe Opie will have more motivation once you can get outside. A lot of horses are dull indoors. So impressed by his non reaction to the ice coming off the roof! That is definitely one thing I don't miss about riding indoors!

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    1. I've been putting it on every time he gets to keep his blanket off! It leaves a patch of greasy herb stank under his blanket otherwise. If it would stop blizzarding every five seconds I'm sure it would clear up in no time.

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  5. Maybe Opie will find his motivation when spring is here. That always helps me! 🙂 He's damn cute regardless.

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    1. I hope the great outdoors will give him a little inspiration.

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  6. Regarding your trailering - I HATE backing a horse out of a step-up trailer. It totally freaks me out. But..everyone around the barn is throwing shade on me for wanting to get a ramp. What is your position? Or the position of anyone here? Also, just to really throw gas on the flames, straight load or slant load?

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    1. Just my 2 cents, but I have a slant load with a ramp because one of my horses has a corneal scar and it was not worth how scared he got to back him off. The slant allows him to turn around and ramp means he doesn't think about jumping down. Easy mode.

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    2. I had a step up for my last trailer that neither of the two horses I owned when I had it had an issue with. It was a pretty low rider though. Some of the step ups have a drop that's like stepping off a fucking mountain and I'm not about that. I definitely prefer the ramp and wouldn't get a step up of any kind again.

      Not a fan of slant loads at all. I don't like how cramped they feel, and I don't like the mechanics of getting a horse tied and untied once in their slot.

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  7. I'm sure once he gets more into the rhythm of being your horse he'll get more into it! He looks SO good right now, I swoon a little when you post videos of him on instagram :)

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  8. He's such a nice horse! For what it's worth, I think that you're doing a great job with him and I love seeing the progress you are making. It always seems like less progress than it is when you are the one riding him, but it seems like he's come a long ways in the months that you've had him.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! That means a lot coming from you!

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  9. Replies
    1. I mean I really can't judge him. Being a stoner with perpetual munchies is basically a dream life.

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  10. He looks great. Sloughing through the beginning is tough and indoors get so boring by the end of winter. Hopefully he steps up a bit more for you once he realizes there is more to his new life then w/t/c inside the box

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    1. Hopefully. Trail rides for life once we can see the ground again!

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  11. BAHAHA I loooove the pic of him with his worried face in the trailer!!! Such CUTE.

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  12. Indoors make Doc dull too. And me. Actually winter makes me dull in general. I don't want to try, I want to sit on my couch and eat mac & cheese. Or run away to a beach. I bet he perks up when his world expands a little more!

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    Replies
    1. Sitting on the couch with mac&cheese sounds like the ideal life to me.

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  13. oh dopie, such a good little snoot!! and you might not see leaps and bounds of improvement yet, but.... let's just say that by this point in charlie's training he was still a card carrying member of the short bus club (let's be real, he still is now too...)

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    1. But like a really, really long short bus because no Charlies are going to fit on a short bus. jk Charlie, we all love you and think you're #elegantAF

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  14. He sure has come a long way in just a few short months!!

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  15. He’s looking super good, it takes lots of time plus, ring work is particularly tedious. Spring/getting outside will help. Trust that if you just keep him moving forward forward forward over his back into the contact, the fitness will come along. Dude is just now after MONTHS of this able to canter without completely crapping out or trying to break my face.

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    Replies
    1. Breaking my face is something I am intimately familiar with lol

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  16. Replies
    1. He makes it easy! (Well, when not falling down...;) )

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