Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

My next horse will be administered an IQ test before I say "I'll take him."

Poor River.  Poor sweet, dumb River.

I decided to switch River from SmartPaks to my own homemade supplement cups.

Princess apparently decided he doesn't like something in them...  I think it's Tri-Amino, which doesn't make sense because he's been on it for months.  But it's River and making sense is optional.  I found a bunch of powder in his feeder yesterday morning, so I gave him a little more grain and added some water so the powder would stick.  I went to the grocery store and got a few packets of Jello (which, in case you were wondering, was invented not too far from us!).  I got Raspberry, Strawberry, and Strawberry-Banana. 

Stopped by the barn last night to see if he ate his un-Jelloed supplements and there was still some left over. I had grabbed the Strawberry-Banana Jello out of the bag and so I sprinkled a little Jello on it.  He was intrigued but couldn't figure out to, you know, taste it.  Put some powder in my hand and held it out--sniff sniff, I don't understand what this is....  I even tried pulling his lip out and sprinkling some Jello in his lip.  Didn't work.  Finally I admitted defeat and got some grain, added a little water, dumped it in the feeder, and sprinkled Jello on top.  Oooooooh, I'm supposed to eat it!  Why didn't you say so??  He seemed to like the Jello okay, so I added it to his supplement cups... we'll see if he eats it any better.  And by the way, I think Strawberry-Banana Jello powder is pretty tasty.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I kept telling myself "my next horse will be intelligent, my next horse will be intelligent."

I rode yesterday morning and he was such a lazy butt.  And he was being a jerk about mounting.  Normally he stands at the mounting block like a champ, but yesterday he had no interest in holding still.  Yet when I got on, he wasn't too keen to move... at least, not keen to move the way I wanted him to.  I ended up not riding for very long because he was annoying me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Princess and the Pea, also Pretty Princess

FYI, Sore No More liniment gel can be irritating.  I used it on Riv's front legs with wraps when he was randomly swollen before the clinic.  Well, he ended up with scabs on the backs of both front legs, right on the tendon.  The scabs still haven't gone away, and since they bleed I don't want to pick at them.  (Although I might put diaper rash ointment on them to soften them up.)  I mentioned it to my BO, and she said she used it on her gelding without wraps and he had a really bad reaction.  It's weird, because I've used this stuff on him before under wraps, and there was no problem.  *shrug*  I'll be much more careful with it in the future.  But just a warning... I've always thought of SNM as pretty benign, but if your horse is a delicate princess, be careful.

I videoed myself riding last night... enjoy a compilation of 6 second clips.  (I spent quite a while on my phone trimming the original 2:40 video to get rid of the almost-2 minutes of blank wall.  You're welcome.)

And a couple fuzzy stills....

 Look at that stretch!  I'm telling you, River wants to be a Western/Wenglish/HUS horse!  My BO (who is a Western person) was watching and at times she said he was too low and going like a peanut roller.

I asked my vet about Adequan... she's going to check pricing and let me know.  There's nothing really wrong with him, but I don't think any horse can run 90 races and not be in need of some joint stuff.

Speaking of pharmaceuticals...  Back when my dearly departed gelding, Wilson, was close to being departed but not quite there yet, I asked my dad if he could order Previcox for Wilson's pain.  (In case you're not familiar, Previcox is the same as Equioxx, except Previcox is for dogs and is much cheaper.)  Before it came, Wilson was euthanized, so I gave it to my dog.  Well, I found some yesterday morning that I'd forgotten about, so I gave a pill to my dog with his breakfast.  He's a 13 year old Lab who is built like a tank (I've had people insist that he's part Rottweiler, he can't possibly be pure Lab) and has hip dysplasia.  Last night he seemed to be moving better.  But morning is the real test...

Usually first thing in the morning, he's very stiff.  He has to carefully get up and walk like an old man to the door, where he contemplates the steps down and very carefully and stiffly navigates them so he can pee.

This morning?  He bounded out of the house and down the steps.  When he was done, he run back up the steps.  It's been a long time since he could do that.  Previcox is good stuff.

Here's a picture of Amos on his 13th birthday:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Does my Thoroughbred ex-racehorse need an energy supplement???

He's so pokey!

I can't quite remember when I rode last week.  I think Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday?  I didn't ride Saturday or Sunday.  But even with a day or two off here and there, he's so lazy!  Not obscenely lazy, like kicking him nonstop, but he's definitely not going to take the initiative to be nice and forward.

But that aside... he's so good!!  He's miles better than he was a week and a half ago.  I can't wait for Jeff the dressage trainer to come back.. maybe we'll even be cantering!

Oh, and guess what I did last week?  I trotted without stirrups!  The funny/sad thing is River is so used to dropping stirrups = all done that it was a little hard to actually get him to trot.  I posted without stirrups maybe twice around the ring, making this my first no stirrup work in, oh, 3.5 years.

Notice anything different?:
Maybe you can't tell...  How about here?:
Muahahahahaha!!!  I couldn't find the spurs I wanted (short POWs), so had to settle for the big ol' knob spurs.  Nothing gets my heel down and my leg still like using spurs on a particular horse for the first time.  He was pretty good about it.  A wee bit twitchy here and there, but no big deal.

Here's River from... I don't know.  A while ago.  6-10 months, maybe?

Here's River from last night:
OMG HIS NECK!!!  His head no longer looks like it's attached to his body with a broom!  He's actually developing some good muscling!!

Sad news....
Going to have to buy a new cheekpiece soon..  Sigh.

ALSO!  New limited edition saddle soap!!!!!  It's yummy, go buy it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Amazing clinic!!

River and I are moving to Florida so we can ride with Jeff all the time.

Saturday--The really exciting thing was he only had to follow us with a longe whip for half the ride!  Yay!!!  We sorta kinda have some forward, even if it doesn't last too long.  He needed the longe whip for all of Sunday, though..

The biggest thing I got out of it was to stop treating him like a delicate flower who will break.  I've been very very light with the contact, and if he stiffens at all or puts his head up, I think "oh, poor baby, I'm being to hard on him, I need to have even lighter contact!"

No.  I'm no longer afraid to take solid contact.  If he ignores me, a strong vibrating tug.  Voila, it works!

We worked a lot on counterflexion and true flexion, getting him to soften to both sides of the bit.  Turning with the outside leg.  Keeping my position correct--it's amazing what a difference that makes.  To the right, I felt like I was constantly getting pushed off balance and I was fighting to stay balanced AND ride.  Once Jeff reminded me to keep my inside leg right at the girth and the outside leg a little back, it was much more comfortable and easy to stay in the middle.  We did some leg yielding head to the wall... I'd thought about trying before the clinic, but didn't think Riv could really handle it.  He was confused, but he did it!  We did a lot of taking up contact for a bit, let him stretch for a bit, pick it up a bit, stretch a bit.

I rode last night and OMG he was so good!  He was even going soft and round at the walk!  And staying soft and round going from true flexion to counterflexion and back to true flexion!!

River was so darn good.  The only kind of annoying thing is hearing "he's really good for a Thoroughbred" or "he's really well behaved for a Thoroughbred" or "he's so quiet for a Thoroughbred."  Why do people find it surprising that a Thoroughbred is good, well-behaved, and quiet?  You wouldn't say "you're really good at math for a girl", would you?  But then, I am sort of a breed snob....  Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbreds all the way.  I don't know why we even need all those other breeds, Thoroughbreds can do everything and do it better than another breed.

Also, the barn got in a big load of second cutting hay, so the horses who need to gain some weight or are at a good weight but are hard to keep there are getting beautiful second cutting hay.  Do I even need to explicitly state that my horses get the fancy new hay?  Sunday was River's first time getting it because he stayed at the farm where the clinic was overnight.  He had a big pile of fancy hay, and like half a flake of the regular first cutting hay leftover from Saturday in his stall.  He sniffed at the first cutting hay, sniffed at the second cutting hay, and dove right in to the fancy new stuff.  Yummy!!

Yesterday morning, my BO texted me this picture:
Saying she can't make him gain weight if he won't eat!  Dumb spoiled boy was probably like "um, excuse me, this is the peasant hay.  I get the Special Hay.  Now fix this travesty before I report you for animal abuse!"  Sorry, Princess, everyone gets first cutting hay outside... yes, even you

After I rode last night I checked him and The Mare to make sure they had plenty of hay...  Princess had enough, but The Mare is a freaking hoover!  She had maybe half a flake left, so she got a flake of first cutting.  (4+ flakes of second cutting is plenty; if she eats it all, she gets first cutting so she has something to munch on.)

Also, I forgot to tell a kind of funny story from last week...  River has decided he doesn't want to be a princess anymore:
Me:  Princess!
Him:  *silence*
Me:  River Mountain Rd?
Him:  *neeerrrrrhhhhhrhrhrhrhrhrrrrr*

Silly pony!

Planning on riding tonight and then pulling his shoes.  Super-Awesome Farrier is coming next Thursday and I want to pull Riv's shoes for the winter.  SAF prefers to pull shoes at the end of the cycle and leave the feet for a week or two before trimming, so the horse can adjust to being barefoot with a little extra foot while they transition.