Monday, February 25, 2013

I don't understand him sometimes.

Saturday a friend came out to ride Riv.  Started off tense and giraffe-y.  Put out a single ground pole, he kept jumping it.

Put out two ground poles.  He started settling down.

Elevated the ground poles and placed them 3 canter strides apart so we could try doing a line for the first time.  He quietly trotted over them and was relaxing and reaching for the bit afterward.

WTF?  He is the exact opposite of my other horses, who are nice and pleasant until the poles come out, then they go nuts.

An amazing thing happened... he cantered on the right lead (right as in opposite of left, not synonym for correct, although it was also the correct lead) almost an entire way around the ring!  This is much more exciting to me than it probably should be.

Here's a video of him doing the little line:


I almost rode him this morning.  Then I remembered the tractor is parked in the corner of the indoor, so I longed him instead.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Silly boy

Rode Friday night... put two groundpoles out off the rail, one around B and one between K and E.  Started off the ride being an idiot.  River, not me.  On what planet do we need to jump groundpoles?  Give me a break.  We'd come up the long side off the rail and he'd start tossing his head up and rushing.  Really, dude?  Give me a break.

He did settle down and was a good boy by the end.  I'm not sure when he went from "plowing through low jumps and refusing to pick up his feet" to "leaping over 3" high poles", but....  he figured it out eventually.

No riding since then...  Saturday was yucky weather, Sunday I was horribly sick and near death, Monday I was taking it easy after my near death experience.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I've brought River in for three days now, and each day he has been better..  not that he was ever actually bad, but he wasn't perfect.  Tonight, I'd say he was perfect.

Yesterday we rode.  He was... eh.  Ok.  Much more forward than normal.  Which is to say, he was forward, period.  Set up an elevated pole, walked him over it, and he jumped it.  What??  Normally you need to kick him or tap with the whip to get him to jump from the trot.  But I guess we haven't done poles in a while, so I guess he was just being goofy.  Next time, I'm going to put ground poles in a couple places and start from there.  Also, when we were riding the neighbors were riding snowmobiles around, so he was a little tense.  Then the leaf blower got turned on to blow out the aisle, and we halted and I jumped off before I could find out if it spooks him.

I'm debating ear plugs.  I don't know that he actually needs them, but I kind of think they might make me feel a little better.  I turn on the radio in the indoor to help drown out noises from outside, but ear plugs might help.

No riding tonight, I had another commitment.  But great news:  my car is done, so I have my paddock boots and half chaps back!!!!!  I hate riding in muck boots, partly because they're too wide for my stirrups and partly because they hurt my ankles.

We are going to the show in a few weeks..  eek!  My plan is to start putting out a "course" of ground poles, then gradually working up to crossrails and little verticals.  I'm not worried about the walk-trot dressage tests, we'll get all the practice we need for them just doing normal riding.  I put in a request for the crossrail jumper classes to be single fences, mayyyybe one long line, with all the fences being plain and simple.  I've already told one person that she may very well have to school Riv for me if I get scared.  LOL, my wimpyness is pretty darn amusing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good boy!

(As I'm starting this post, a commercial came on for the Finger Lakes Racetrack about all the things you can do there... I'm like "you can get a new horse!")

River was a good boy tonight. I got to the barn and brought him in alone. He got a tiny bit squirrelly at first, but settled right down and came in like a good boy. Put him in his stall, brought in The Mare, and tacked up Princess.

He was such a good boy when I rode! He felt like he wasn't going to be good, but he tried hard and was so much better than I was expecting. As soon as we picked up the trot, he was reaching for the contact. He still hasn't worked out contact at the walk, but he's good at the trot. He even Managed to keep it down a long side! Normally he struggles with staying on the bit when we're not on a circle.

Also, really exciting news: his butt cheeks touch!!!!

Couple pics:

Horses are too stressful.

So apparently Princess has been being a Very Bad Boy.  People try to bring him in and he's rearing and striking.  Really really really not good.

We're cutting his grain.  Giving him beet pulp instead of alfalfa.  Yesterday I chased him around the indoor for a while to get the sillies out.  Tonight I'll probably ride or longe.

Last night one person brought in River and one person brought in The Mare, so they both came in at the same time and he was fine.  So maybe he just needs to come in at the same time as her?  That would make sense, because I never have a problem with bringing him in and I always lead them together, whereas everyone else brings them one at a time.

BO is being really good about it.  She's not happy with his behavior and it can't continue, but we're going back and forth on different things to try.  I told her I'm willing to try anything to stop it.  Dangerous behavior is not allowed, period.  I'm very grateful the BO is working with us to figure out a solution.  There are no words for how much I do NOT want to have to leave this barn.

On the bright side, his condition is the best it's been since I've owned him:
Yes, he has demon-eye from the flash, but he's not gross!!!!!!!!  I think his weight is pretty much where it should be, now he needs muscle.  Which means I need to, you know, ride him.

Speaking of riding him...  I might take him to a tiny in-barn schooling show in about a month.  Maybe.  Depends on if they can find a stall so I can bring him the night before and see how he behaves.  If we go, it'll be a couple of Intro dressage tests and crossrail jumpers (which we would most certainly not be riding as jumpers... not that anyone who is at crossrail level should be riding like a real jumper course).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Oh dear...

Yikes it's been a long time since I posted.  Let's see..

1.  Last Friday I rode River for the first time in like 3 weeks.  It wasn't a very good ride, but that's to be expected.  Probably should ride him more frequently than almost never.. In my defense, it's been yucky and cold and I just haven't felt like riding.  I need to suck it up and just ride, but that will be a problem because....

2.  Took my car in for repairs yesterday.  Left my paddock boots and half chaps in the car.  Ooops.  Speaking of my car...

3.  Estimate from a shop that just took a quick look:  $1,100.  Estimate from the shop doing the work with a Geico adjuster on site:  $2,854.96.  Holy crap!!!!  Now I don't mind having to pay $500 for the repairs anymore...

4.  My dog is doing very well!  He got a bath yesterday because he was all gross and stinky.
Not.  Impressed.  He's a disgrace to Labrador Retrievers everywhere...

But now he gets to wear his pretty new collar!

5.  Super-awesome farrier was out yesterday.  Not only did Princess and The Mare get their feet done, I got a great lesson on recognizing crooked limbs and how to trim for said crooked limbs.  Yes, my horses are crooked legged.  But really, compared to The Mare, Princess' legs are pretty darn straight.  Of course, compared to an actually straight legged horse, they're crooked...  but oh well.  Princess ran 90 races on his wonky legs, he's fine.