Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It's always something

Opie has been up to some CRAZY STUFF over the past week or so.

One day we wandered around bareback in a halter and then he ate grass while I sat on his back and talked to BM.


Another day he learned about steering with the cart in the indoor. There was a tantrum. He learned tantrums don't get you anywhere with a cart attached either. And then I had steering again.


I rode him on Friday which was a lot of starting to go out to the rail to trot before getting psychically run into, cut off, or chased by a woman who leases one of the Haffies who could not steer to save her life--or Opie's. I finally just parked it in the middle of the ring between standards and the mounting block until she was done unapologetically careening around. Opie shares my vast displeasure of riding with people who have no ring manners, but once we were able to navigate without having to duck into a corner or slam to a stop he was was super.

He then got the weekend off, and I climbed back aboard Monday for another dressage ride. NY finally decided to get on the rain train and is catching up for a summer of drought conditions in earnest so our trail riding seems to have finally come to a close.

exactly my feelings.

The rain has come with weird temperature swings. Over the past few days we've had low 40s with wind and rain, low 40s with wind and sun, and upper 50s with wind and rain. Sometimes in the same day. Just the worst. Opie felt pretty lethargic and sluggish when I got on him yesterday--an upper 40s with wind and rain day. I didn't think too much of it as he's naturally a pretty lazy horse, but we'll come back to it later.

Aside from having to keep legging him on, he was in one of his #childgenius modes. The upward canter transitions are finally getting there. No surprise it's come from getting him super connected in the bridle first and then he just steps right into them. They're maybe not as sharp as they could be, but I'll come back around to that once I feel like he's confirmed with the through-ness.

The down transitions are still not where I want them. They're progressing, just at a glacial pace. I'm struggling with getting him to stay forward into them when he wants to die and splat the second he thinks I'm asking him to come down. We'll get there eventually. The canter itself, at least, is amazinggggg.

"duh, lady. now give me candies."

He has randomly developed an aversion to the letter E. But only tracking right. Every time we pass--be it at walk, trot, or canter--he bulges way out away from it. Nowhere else in the ring, and never going left. Whatever, bro. Straight lines are overrated I guess.

We finish the real work part of the ride with sitting trot. I incorporate lateral work throughout the ride, but usually come back to the leg yields quickly and then finish with shoulder-in and haunches-in. The leg yields are now easy, but they'll need some outdoor love to work on the geometry in the First test because I run out of room in the narrow indoor.

The shoulder-in is much more relaxed although they can still get better. The haunches-in is currently still riding the struggle bus. At the walk they're fine. At the trot he loses all bend and just wants to stare at the wall while his haunches wing out to the inside of the track. He needs his front half and his back half to work together but apart which is too much for his brain at the moment. But honestly he used to be so awful at the shoulder-in too that I didn't it was ever going to be a thing and now it is. So I shall persevere!

what a mug

I was going to ride him again this morning, but when I went into his stall to groom him I noticed he had barely touched his breakfast grain. I shook it around and convinced him to eat a couple mouthfuls while I stood there, but he quickly shunned it and went back to his hay. Opie is a pretty aggressive eater--you can go in while he's eating, but only if he knows you'll smack the shit out of him if he tries anything--and he basically lives with his face buried in his bucket until every molecule has been cleaned up, so that was definitely weird.

he's really quite a tiny tyrant the majority of the time tbh

He was chowing down on his hay though, his gums and gut sounds were normal, his poop looked normal, and his temp was normal. He wanted candy (as always), and was alert and interested. BM offered him a handful of a different grain and he happily cleaned that up. I started him on Empower Boost last weekend which is a rice bran type grain supplement that he gets twice a day, but he's been cleaning that up without issue.

I ended up giving him the day off and riding Chance instead who was a very good boy. When I walked back past Opie's stall afterwards he was sullenly picking out one pellet of grain at a time and eating it. Confident he wasn't going to fall over and die I left him to it, and when I got home BM texted me that he was viciously eating the rest of it.

So possibly he was just having a childish tantrum over life or he has Eating Cancer, I dunno. With the lethargy yesterday and the wild weather swings I'll be keeping a closer than usual eye on him in the meantime.

21 comments:

  1. no, Opie, no Eating Canter allowed!! ugh.... i swear sometimes these TBs are too picky for their own good. they're like kids who will only eat chicken nuggets, and nothing else.

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    1. Emphasis on being kids. I swear he's a complete toddler sometimes.

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  2. Could just be a bad bag of grain, I find that happens with my guys sometimes. Like it has a weird smell or something! Hope it was just a fluke.

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    1. Whatever it was, he was over it this morning out of the same bag. Stupid horses.

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  3. Maybe it tasted weird for some reason. I hope that's all it is! Sounds like things are going great otherwise!

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    1. At least he's mostly good under saddle even if he's a weirdo on the ground!

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  4. he looks great in purple just saying> Glad he seemed to just be a drama llama and not sick!! He just cracks me up. His expressions always are skeptical and like wtf lady. :) And ha ha ha on losing your power steering in the cart...glad you found it again :)

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    1. He best look good in purple because he has to rock it on the daily! :P

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  5. Fingers crossed that he was just not feeling his grain that morning and is completely back to normal now!

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    1. Seems to be the case. He ate with his usual angry gusto this morning!

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  6. Literally always something. But hopefully not eating cancer. Get it together Dopes! 🙃

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    1. We seem to be out from under the threat of eating cancer for the moment!

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  7. There clearly weren’t enough cookies in the grain.

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    1. I tried that trick and he even rejected the cookies in his bucket because they were sitting in poison OBVIOUSLY. But somehow they were okay to eat from my hand. Whatever, child! :P

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  8. Temperature swings make me nervous. I’ve had bad bags of grain before that the horses didn’t like so hopefully it was just that and he is back to normal shortly.

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    1. It didn't seem to be the bag as he ate from the same bag this morning with his usual relish, but I do wonder if it had to do with the wild weather yesterday making him feel weird.

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  9. Eating cancer ><!

    The letter E aversion could be worked on with some strategic Sesame Street watching maybe? This episode brought to you by the letter NO BULGING ALLOWED.

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    1. The letter E is brought to you by a swift kick in the ribs. But apparently that's something he enjoys?!

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  10. My horses will go off grain once or twice a year for no reason at all while still liking everything else around them...and then want to eat it the next day or if I offer it to them an hour later.🤷 I've decided it's just one of life's great horse mysteries lol.

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.