Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Trimmed Rio. Missing horse time. Dark and cold after work. Pity, party of one please?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Doc checks out Gemini

Today, I had Doc McCall come out and take a look at Gem's swollen hock. I had x-rays taken a couple years ago at Littleton Large and I had shown them to Doc McCall before T-day week. He wanted to take new x-rays and see how much progression had occurred.

Luckily, when he palpated the hock, he changed his thoughts on the hock. It turns out to likely be a hernia on the tendon sheath. Gem isn't lame or anything, so Doc says we just need to watch it and do nothing at this point until it seems to be bone related. For now, it's a blemish and nothing more.

What a relief!

I'm really missing horses. It's been a rough month for horse-time between family vacation and the winter weather moving in. This weekend is our last group lesson, so I'm looking forward to a day with Gem and spending time talking about horses with my horse friends.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More fun with Jess!

Rain, Starlet - loaded them up and drove to Jess' place. It was a great day and the girls were a breeze to load and go.

Deuce and Rain moving cows - a huge herd of big angus heffers were at Jess' property line, so Rain, Deuce and I played with pushing the cows. Deuce was afraid at first, but he got more courage as we went. Rain LOVES pushing cows and she was all in from the start. Really enjoyed her!

Starting Starlet on 7 games. Starlet no likey cows. She was afraid and was quite RB most of the time. She didn't like seeing Rain walk away while she stayed tied to the trailer. She is a horse of course, but I hope to grow her confidence over time so she's more courageous on her own.

COWS! are fun. I need some.

Jess rode Kade and they are looking pretty good. Glad to see Jess make progress with her horse.

It was a great day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A great horse goes home...

I've had Tina in my training program for about 1 year. She's been a challenging horse, but she came around and now I enjoy her immensely. It's hard to imagine her not being here, but it's time for her to move on.

I showed the owner how to keep M's mouthiness under control and they were happy to see his black coat and slightly improved hoof condition. I wish I'd had time to do more to his feet.

Reka was easy to catch and halter and we lead her back to the barn with M. I was glad to see her show her comfort with this.

The horses loaded great, with the mares in one stall and M in the other.

It was a nice, short visit and sad to say goodbye to those horses - especially Tina. I look forward to seeing them again soon.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cantering and Trimming

... in the snow! Not a lot of snow, but a cold, cloudy Colorado day nonetheless.

I started with Tina. We warmed up and then rode in the arena. Worked on getting the canter depart lighter, leg yielding, and a soft feel on the bit. A great session and her work ethic is fantastic. She sometimes loses momentum when I ask her transition down, so worked on keeping her forward motion in the down transition. She's great with her leads naturally and I get some unexpected lead changes from her quite often. Her canter felt more from behind today, it's better every session.

I played with Reka in the round pen. I haven't been playing with the young ones for November, but she goes home in a couple days and I wanted to spend a little time alone with her and make sure she's in a good place for leaving. She's an introverted horse and I believe her to be more left-brained. She saw my Great Dane in her winter blanket for the first time and was startled and wary, but her very next move was to go closer and check the dressed dog out. (My Dane in her winter coat typically takes every horse by surprise!) She was fine in the round pen with me, easy to play with. We did a little porcupine game, working on her yield to pressure. She's a sweet, sweet mare.

I then pulled M out and got his fronts trimmed. I'll trim his hinds and touch up Reka before they go home on Wednesday. It's strange to think of them not being here. I'm going to miss Tina terribly. :(

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Catching up

Had a rough week for horse time due to my travel and Steve being out of town. I wanted to play with Gem and Tina, first and foremost. Then, I really wanted to get some more feet trimmed.

I started with Gem and decided to start some trick-training with him. I've been pushing him to be more exhuberant and I believe I need to attack it from a different place. So, I'm choosing to teach him a few tricks with hopes of improving our relationship and motivating him to put more effort into it on his own. We worked on the Spanish Walk today and the spin. I've never done either with Gem, but he learns amazingly fast. He was having a good time - I could tell by how much he was willing to do! I also taught him to rear. He already offers this sometimes in our groundwork, so I want to get him doing it on my ask and controlling when it's offered. I also hopped on and played with getting his backup softer. I hopped on bareback which I realize I've hardly done with this horse. He has a comfortable back for bareback riding and in the winter it keeps me warm! It was a fun session with him. I enjoy this type of training quite a bit and Gem is a great horse for low-energy play like learning tricks. We'll get back to the 45' line for groundwork soon enough.

I put a trim on Cowboy as it started to snow and I thought I'd have to ride Tina tomorrow. However, it didn't snow for long so I pulled Tina out, trimmed her hinds and played with her on the ground. We worked on the clippers also. She had a very hard time with this so unnatural tool for grooming. She's getting better and I really wanted to send her home confident with clipping. I've got a few days to focus and I'm sure I can get her good enough to cope with clippers. Tonight I was able to rub them all around her face when we finished and have her smell them while they were running. She's so skeptical and the trick for me is not lose her trust.

I also brought M and Reka into the barn today for the weekend. I want to get fresh trims on them before they go home and I wanted to spend some time with Reka before she leaves. They both look really great - nice coats and full bellies. They seem to enjoy the west pasture.

It was a cold winter day, but I enjoyed a couple horses and look forward to tomorrow! I also need to catch up on my blogging.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tina and Cowboy take a ride

Loaded up Cowboy and Tina for a day at my great friend's house. Jess has land and cows on the adjacent property and it's a great place to go ride around. Tina had a fantastic day. Our big goal was to get more balanced in the canter. Having eyes on the ground (Jess) was very helpful so that I could get a better canter from Tina.

The wind was slightly obnoxious, but it was a great day regardless. We built a better canter depart and I rode a few amazing flying lead changes (Tina is a master at changing leads). I found that if I asked for a faster canter, she gathered herself up better and got lighter in the front. After about an hour of off and on cantering, she felt much better! Her canter was much smoother and she was more willing to get into the canter and stay there. Her best gait to me is her trot, but her canter will continue to develop and will be very nice in time. I also wonder if she's still growing and once she gets slightly higher in the wither she'll come together more.

Jess was able to get her L2 Freestyle audition completed and filmed, which was great. She's been wanting to get that done for some time.

The neighbors' cows came up to us at one point and I was on Tina at that point. She was so curious about the cattle! She was wary for the first minute or so and then she wanted to go to the cows. We got as close as we could on Jess' property, but Tina wanted more. I had to ask her to watch from where we were, but I was dying to go through the gate and see what Tina really would do with those cows. They were bigger cows than I've ever moved so it was just a bad idea. The fact that she wanted to get closer vs. run from them was huge to me. Her attitude about new things has so drastically improved.

Chrissy had some rough moments with Cowboy, but she really got it together after a bit of time. She got on him at one point, but didn't stay on long. I rode him for her as Tina had been pushed enough for day. He felt really nice! He's been a bracey horse, but he was quite soft in the mouth and neck today. I enjoyed riding him! He had good forward movement and offered the canter with ease. We worked on getting more suppleness in his body and neck especially. He was quite fun and felt very willing.

It was a very fun and productive day! I was very, very proud of Tina.

Tina Reaches a New Peak of Confidence!

I saw Tina push Rio around today. Wow! It is absolutely astonishing how much she's changed in a year. She now is higher on the ladder than Starlet, Rio, and will push M around.

Rode her in the arena today. I had planned for the front pasture, but got out late today. Chrissy wanted some help and time so Tina and I gave her assistance together. We worked on leg yielding, the beginning of haunches in, canter work, and extended trot. Her trot is so amazing and has become very powerful.

Worked with Chrissy on building up to sideways. From the ground, Cowboy is moving sideways nicely. She hopped in the saddle to she me how she can isolate the ends. We worked on getting him to understand to move only one end and I helped Chrissy develop that ask in the body. I was able to demo end isolation with Tina pretty well. It was good for Tina to just stand with me on her back and relax versus have me constantly asking for something.

Wanted to get more trimming done. More tomorrow...

Friday, November 5, 2010

More time with Tina

Rode and played with Tina. We rode in the front pasture and just enjoyed the warm evening and the beautiful sunset. We trotted figure 8's and played with end-isolation. I also trimmed Tina's fronts. Nice night!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick ride on Tina

Tacked her up for a quick ride moving her out at the trot and building more balance in the canter. Her isolation on the ends is much better, too. We did some large figure 8's and then some passenger lesson.

Brought Gem out for more building of maintain gait and driving from zone 3. Got some very nice and energetic trot departs on the circle.