First Snow

I click Add New Post, and then stare at a blank page for several minutes. My life lately is all backyard rider type stuff. Nothing exciting, nothing neat. It’s just day to day stuff.

It snowed like the dickens all day yesterday. I shoveled the back deck and a path to the barn four times yesterday, and each time, within an hour it looked like I’d never touched it. We must’ve gotten at least 6 inches. 

I’ve been keeping the old mare, Jessie, inside at night when it’s below freezing. I don’t think Jessie minds.  Yesterday morning I was trying to let her out… which involves going outside to open and latch her stall door open. Normally this is a 2 second event, but yesterday Joy was flying around and snorting, rearing, bucking, and at one point utterly bit it and wiped out. And Ava was being snarky and over bearing, and refused to give me enough space to let Jessie out. Ava and Jessie will go at it if either is cornered,  and Jessies stall opening is in the corner of the paddock. I didn’t want to let Jessie out just to have them launch into an all out attack while I’m pinned against the barn wall.

So I finally got Jessie outside, and Joy is still flying around like an Indy car, Ava’s ducking and diving to get around me to get to Jessie, Jessie’s doing her arthric little trot to get out of Ava’s way, and and all I could think was “My God, It’s only a bit of snow you morons!”

Ugh.

Today, everyone was a polite little angel.

Which was good, because I nearly fell under Ava, but she just stared at me and waited until I regained my balance.

I want to go for a trail ride today. It’s gorgeous out. It’s deer season though, and I’m not really sure where I can ride at where I won’t get shot.

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I’m also incredibly sore from all the shoveling. Really, really sore. Muscles I forgot I had are screaming today.

Escalating Issues & Popped Shoulders

I’ve had some time to think about the ride I had on Monday, and how poorly it went. These issues have been escalating the past few rides. Monday was the worst, and I felt rather defeated and unsettled by the ride.

Joy is hollow on the right, stiff on the left.  Up until lately I could bend her to the right without her popping her shoulder out too much. I felt I had control of her outside. However, the past few rides, that shoulder pop’s left bad. No matter how hard I kick with the left leg she ignores it, half-halting the outside doesn’t help, and dragging her right doesn’t help (heh).

Here’s the video from the 2nd (Monday):

You can see the overly bent neck and popped shoulder in the video (above) at 43 and 53 seconds (etc).

Here’s the video from the 5th (Thursday). This is with a whip to back up the left leg aid:

I’ve also been working on my position more, although it’s not going so well. My arms have developed a life of their own. I’m riding around pleasantly when all of a sudden I realize my hands are in my face. How did they get there?!  It’s embarrassing!

Feel free to chime in with what you see (I’m a little hesitant to say that because I know it looks horrible, but give it to me straight!).

 

In other news:

Joy saw her first deer this week under saddle. I know she’s seen them in the pasture numerous times (the deer like to cut through my pasture), but I’ve noticed that for some reason if a horse is under saddle then wild animals are FEARSOME CREATURES that are intent on killing all horses. Joy did pretty well with it. The first one we saw was standing about 15 feet from us, Joy and I were alone, and I was praying it wouldn’t move as we passed it. It didn’t. The second and third time they were much further away and we were with another horse, so it wasn’t as scary. The third time (alone again) we only heard the deer crashing through the woods, and although Joy got a bit snorty and prancy at first, she stayed level headed about it and settled down quickly (Win!).

We also had our first car pass us (not close). Joy shot forward like the hounds of hades were on her tail. I ran her up the butt of the gelding that was with us.  Who doesn’t love a stoic, wise gelding? Best horse to have with us that day.  Joy regained her composure a bit after realizing the steady eddy wasn’t scared, but she still jumped and shook horribly when the second car passed us. I was very happy that she improved with the second car. I don’t think it’ll take her much time to realize the cars aren’t scary.

The other thing I was proud of Joy for… I was riding up to the neighbors barn, her horses were in the pasture which borders the path I take to her barn. Her horses come up to the fence and start to follow us. Then they get a mad hair up their butts and they just take off! Madly galloping around, bucking, farting, the works. Joy immediately wants to bolt off too. After an initial “Eeeeekkkk! I’m going to die!” I got Joy back and we did bendy lines at a walk all the way to the neighbors barn. She actually came back really quickly. I mean, she was still a wound up ball of tension, but she listened! And once we got to their barn she just stood there calmly while I chatted with the neighbor. Yay!!

Thursday, Joy and took our first solo ride around the back field. It has some pretty scary things going on back there. There’s a house and a pole barn being built in two different areas, and lots of weird things to hear and see (hammering, saws, flappy things, tractors, and weird soil to walk over). Joy was tense, but she kept her composure. That was the furthest we’ve gone without having another horse with us, and overall I thought it was a big success. It wasn’t calm, but she was well behaved and listening.

We’re going to be curtailed in our trail riding soon (hunting season), so I’m trying to get in as much as I can before the 15th.