Monday, April 30, 2012

Almost There

We (well, just Jessie and I ) got in two rides this weekend.  Let me go back a bit.  On Thursday, we had some time for some groundwork.  Practiced more of the backing in angles.  Not sure why I can't get that one down a little better.  She was trying and that was a good thing.  We also did a few other exercises like out and back and changing eyes 3.  She has those both down to my satisfaction.

Dusty has been off for two weeks now.  I think he's had issues in two areas and while we were focused on the front, he strained something in his hind.  He got the weekend off.  Ranae got to ride Charlie, our neighbor Susan's horse. 

Charlie was one of the first horses I worked the method with some 6-7 years ago.  It was right after Ranae got Dusty and then hurt her back.  I rode Dusty for three or four weeks to keep him in shape and shortly after that Susan banged up her knee and couldn't ride for 6 weeks or so.  Charlie and I did a lot of groundwork, and even though I didn't own a horse, I had invested in  a stick and string, halter, dvd, and cowboy hat. 

Most of  our workout sessions were early morning and sometimes we worked in the afternoon.  Charlie helped me learn a lot.  Because we hadn't ridden him in quite awhile, we started at the beginning with flexing and desensitizing.  He picked most of it up quickly.  We practiced one rein stops and, when we were certain he could do those, we headed out to our usual haunts.

We did some trotting and Charlie was kinda stuck in high gear.  Ranae kept working with him and she did a great job of working on her horsemanship.  We kept talking about how easy it is to get in a rut just riding one horse.

Sunday we went out to the river.  We're not sure what is going on with the team sorting, but nothing has been scheduled.  I wonder if we can find another group.  We had a nice long ride around the river.  Jessie and I warmed up in their arena.  We did quite a bit of loping the first half hour.  All in all I think we had about a three hour ride.  I rode Charlie for the last half hour or so and Ranae rode Jessie.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sometimes You Just Feel Like ...

Sometimes it just feels like you're in a vortex.  A couple of weeks ago Jessie stepped in a hole while loping and was limping.  Ten days ago Max, my 10 year old Aussie did a turn in the yard while playing and tore up his knee, then last weekend Rane's Dusty pulled up lame.  What's going on?!?!

Jessie looks like she's back to about 90%, Max is still about 40%, and I'm not sure what's going on with Dusty.  I just know I'm watching MY step.

Since we didn't ride much last weekend I watched some of the dvd's and worked on some GW III exercises.  We worked on the Out/Back, Backing Angles, and Changing Eyes Stage III.  We had a pretty good time, actually.  I love groundwork, just wish we had a better place and more time to spend on it. 

It was good to dust off the old dvd's too.  I've got a couple I haven't even look at yet.  If my horse stays healthy, maybe I won't ever get to them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Whip Crackin'

We had a nice ride on Sunday. The horses, while not 100%, are much better. I decided to take the Aussie stock whip out with us and "practice". I also took the camera. Do you ever get the feeling you are carrying too much crap? Anyway, it was a fun ride and we took just a little video of the brief whip crackin' session.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hey, Doc. It Hurts When I Do This!

Then don't do that.

I got Jessie out last night and did some groundwork.  Before I started, I stretched her front legs.  I could tell there was a certain position I got the right leg in that caused a twinge.  It was a position that put pressure in the shoulder area.

On LFR she demonstrated a head bob at the trot.  It was slight, but easily visible.  We worked for about ten minutes at what I would consider a low energy level.  Then I put her up.

Have I told you that she will sometimes kick up when I go out to feed her?  It's not always.  She gets her ass up in the air quite high sometimes!  I do always make her calm down and walk over and let me touch her face before she gets her hay.  This morning she did it and didn't seem to feel any pain.  She was NOT trotting mind you, she was just kicking up. 

We are looking forward to a ride on Saturday....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here mostly becasue we'v been working on the podcast and time has been at a bit of a premium. One thing that has kinda blown a tumbleweed in our path happened a couple of Saturdays ago. Ranae and I were riding in the nine acre lot by the airpark. We were both doing our loping exercises in separate areas. Jessie stepped in a gopher or squirrel hole and I could feel her sink. She's done this a number of times and I've learned to just drop the reins and get out of her way until she catches her balance.  Everything happens so fast and I'm not exactly sure what, but this time she dropped a lot lower than I had felt before.  My brain had actually started to plot the emergency dismount sequence. 

She did catch herself in time and, because I didn't feel she was paying close attention to where she was placing her feet, we kept loping.  A little later in the ride, at a trot, I noticed a head bob when she placed her right foot down.  I dismounted and checked for stones and tried to palpate for soreness.  I found one stone in her hoof and thought that was the problem, but when we trotted again, she showed me it was sore.  She didn't try to stop trotting, she just kept the head bob.

Sunday it rained and there was no riding.  I gave her some bute for a couple of days and had a chance to do some groundwork on Thursday.  The head bob was significant when we started and lessened as the session progressed.  We were working on LFR stage 2 and trying to get our rollbacks better in anticipation of team sorting on the weekend.

Our Saturday was very busy I went out to shoot some photos at a team roping north of town.  (The finished photos)  By the time I got home there was only time for a short ride.  After evaluating Jessie I couldn't really decide if this were anything serious.  She still had the bob at the trot, but I could not palpate any pain and she willingly went into a lope on both sides.  My general policy with my animals is to try and work them until something definitive is revealed or they show reluctance to move.  Since neither of these conditions had surfaced we went for a short walking ride.  We did a little bit of trotting from time-to-time and we even loped a few strides on each lead.  She did these exercises without resistance, but there was a slight bob at the trot.

Sunday was supposed to be team sorting but a weather front moved in and we got the day off.  With Easter this coming weekend, I'm not sure how much riding time will be available.  We hope to at least ride Saturday.  It does add a bit of anxiety to our loping to know that she could injure herself like this.  We're just going to have to find a place with an arena ;>)