Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaching a new horse/human partnership

Today I helped a boarder with ground work. She was having some trouble getting her horse to move his feet more than her own. I hope I was able to shed some light on getting things going better.

Quick session with Gem on the ground, then some undemanding time with grazing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trotting the property

Me and Kendall. We planned for 1 hour of trotting. Rain was tough for Kendall today and I'm guessing Rain is having a tougher cycle (spring menses).

Trimmed gem and touched up Z.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Horses for stress relief

I took a new role last October and it's been quite a challenge. I travel nearly every week and I have tough deliverables and prep-work for important meetings regularly. I won't say I regret taking the role because it's been a good push for my career and professional skills. Last week, I presented to 100 people - a big challenge for me.

Subsequently, I'm more stressed out these days. Now that days are getting longer and temps are warmer, I'm getting my butt out to the barn for more than just feeding and an occasional ride. I'm reminded how helpful it is to me to take this kind of time with my horses. Riding loosens my tight neck and shoulders from sitting at my desk with tense shoulders. Riding helps my remember to breathe and slow down. Riding gives me immense joy, gets me smiling again. Connecting with one of my equine partners can heal the wounds of the day... or even the entire week. So grateful for my horses.

Tonight I took Miss Ellie out front to put some time on in the wide open space. She was a rock star. She was calm and easy - no brace. We trotted and walked. She was a pleasure and I think she enjoyed the new environment. I had Kyle hang out with Rain while Ellie and I did our thing (figure 8's, trot transitions, etc...). Kyle just laid across Rain's back and stood still, hanging out. I think he was feeling the sheer joy of a horse, too.

Then, for the first time in months, I played with and rode my big boy Gem. What a PLEASURE that was! He felt great! He was soft and offered vertical flexion with ease. He gave me great canter departs and nice soft sideways. I've missed that horse.

Ellie will go home in a few days and I then will devote time to Gem regularly. He's a star waiting to get his chance to shine. I'm missing dressage, but I've made the choice to focus on endurance this year. I just can't do it all. His hock can't handle the rigors of dressage, but certainly we have lots to develop and he enjoys the time spent. So happy I have him in my pasture.

Got two of his feet trimmed (the lefts!). My plan was to do all 4, but I did the front and rear left side and ran out of steam. I know better. Should have done the fronts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Riding around the pasture - FAST!

Touch up trim on Z

Rode Z with Kendall and Rain in the front, then passenger at the trot and canter in the arena. She was full of energy and go today! She wanted to gallop everywhere. :) I can't wait for the endurance races this season.

Kendall did passenger lesson on Rain in the arena, too. She loved it and you could hear her yelling, "This is soooo fun! I could do this forever!" while cantering around. Love to see her have so much fun.

Gotta get Gem trimmed and do some fecal samples.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

walking and riding

with chrissy and kyle
cowboy, rain, z
walked 4 then rode 2 back
rode cowboy a bit
chrissy did great
kyle walked rain some (i think he and Rain were not getting along great)

lesson with kris in the morn
she and rio did 20 mins of passenger!!
great, great sideways
figure 8
mounting is improving

rode ellie - great ride
lots of trot and feeling her move out
rope hack, want to get back to the bit
she's ready for more

Saturday, March 10, 2012

coaching and riding

Kris trimmed Rain today.

Tougher day with Rio and Kris - so much wind!
The arena was flapping, but the horses did ok.

Rode Ellie, also. She did great with the distractions but was not as partnered up as I'd like today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

6 miles with Z

It's time to get serious about conditioning Z. With my walking, I have a lot of opportunity to bring her along and walk some, ride some. Today, I took her for 6 miles and I walked 3 and rode 3. I walked the first 3, straight out from home. I then got on to ride back. Well, Z had a little more interest in going home than I expected and I ended up with a lot of horse under me! I had Deuce and the sun was setting fast. For a minute, I thought I had gotten myself in a jam.

I called Steve to come get Deuce as I was worried about it getting dark and cars whizzing by on the dirt road. I then went to work on Z partnering up with s-bends and sidepassing. After about 1/2 mile, she was with me and good to go. We came home in the dark, but the moon was so full we still had a shadow. Z was so great after the initial few minutes and I just love that mare. I asked her to trot some and she went straight into her ground-covering extended trot. Boy, that mare can fly!

I had boots on her fronts - her frogs are a little unhealthy right now. Hoping to turn those frogs around quickly with white lightening gel treatments, trimming and keeping them extra clean.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Come on, SPRING!

The weather finally gave us a reprieve today. It was warm (about 50) and only a little breezy. The snow is finally melting and the horses are starting to shed. I had a little pep in my step! I maybe did too much, as I was absolutely exhausted by bedtime.

Started with a short trail ride with Kendall and Chrissy. Chrissy and Cowboy left the property confidently, but unfortunately the country road sights and sounds were a little too much. We only went about a mile before we decided to turn around. Z was excited but responsive. It was great to ride away after a few months of indoor arena and riding only on the property.

I trimmed Z's fronts and Ellie's fronts. Z is struggling with some thrush so treated again with white lightening and managed her frogs. Ellie has a very flat foot but some good structure to work with. I didn't get to her hinds as she was having a hard time standing still with the herd out of sight.

I then rode Ellie in the indoor. She was full of energy and again, worried about the herd. She actually reared with me in the saddle for the first time. Surprised me! I brought the herd closer with some hay outside the indoor and we were able to have a better ride. We worked on the trot and circling and figure 8's. I thought she'd be going home today, but looks like she's here for a few more days. I will ride her some more while she's here. I want to build on the new attitude she found after yesterday. I had to hop off after the rearing and do some focused ground work. She worked up quite a sweat, but her idea of partnering with me was much better and she was ride-able.

After that, Steve and I fixed fence so I could re-open the west pasture. It's been closed due to down fence for 2 months. There's still 1-2 feet of snow in that pasture! This will be a huge melting week.

After all that, I had my 4 miles to walk for Avon training. I was so tired, it was more like a stroll. But I did it! Great day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Got Rio and Cowboy dewormed with Equimax. Should have done this weeks ago. Realized today that I bought it but forgot to administer it.

Applied thrush meds to Rain, Gem and Z. All 3 need a soak - which is no surprise. The ground has been the worst I've seen it since moving in. So much snow and they are living in a small area, off the track. Need to do some trims and soaks this week.