Inconsistent

I had to force myself to ride yesterday.  I’m always glad I rode when I’m done,  but getting geared up to go is sometimes a massive battle of willpower.  It’s difficult to want to ride when you can’t feel your fingers.

We were almost out of daylight by the time I got to Joy, so only a really short ride for her.

They were not the most productive rides.  A few trot circles in the “arena”  and done.  I would not call this “dressage training”.  This is what I call “survival” riding.

I have to say, I was very impressed with Joy. I haven’t actually ridden her in a month. I’ve lunged her some, and we’ve done some desensitization training, but no riding. I really expected a spazzed out, flighty pony on my hands. Instead, it was actually quite relaxing and pleasant. I was super impressed.

It snowed and snowed and snowed yesterday…

Ava was waiting on her treat.

I’m having a hard time riding consistently.  Between my lack of energy and the the bad weather/footing, I haven’t been able to do more then one or two rides a week (and those were short rides).

I can’t express how badly I envy people with indoor arenas right now.

. . .

My farrier was out last week to trim the mares.  Ava is a badly behaved,  evil beast when anyone unfamiliar is in the barn.  This time she was charging the stall door when the farrier was near it,  and then turning and double barrel kicking at him.  It’s not specific to him.  She does it to the vet,  the dentist,  pretty much anyone except my husband and I. She’s an indiscriminate a-hole.

Anyway… Farrier went after her (with my blessing). I gave him my whip and when she charged the door he burst into the stall and scared the bejesus out of her (he didn’t touch her,  just scared her).  I need to pay him more.  Poor guy.  Has to discipline my horses for me.  *sigh*

She used to do the same to me when I was handling Joy or Jessie, but after several “come to Jesus”  moments,  she no longer even thinks about it.  I think the issue now is that she knows I won’t get after her when strangers are around.  It’s hard to hold a horse for the vet and charge into a stall to put the fear of God into a horse.

She sure makes Joy seem like the happiest,  best behaved pony in the world.  🙂

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Outdoor Riding All Year

In Michigan, an indoor is rather mandatory if you want to ride consistently all year round. Without it, you’re at the whim of nature, and let me tell ya, nature isn’t too kind around here in the winter.

I haven’t ridden since December 26th. Everything has been covered in a layer of ice. It finally melted late last week. I was able to lunge Joy Friday, but Saturday it rained all day, today it is snowing like crazy (and it’s only in the 20’s), and tomorrow I leave for Texas.

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January is not looking like it’ll be very productive for under saddle training.

I worked on getting Joy used to the clippers yesterday. That went far better than I had expected. At first she snorted and moved back a bit, but within 5 minutes she was ignoring them completely.  I didn’t actually touch Joy with the clippers running yesterday. Only with them off. Since I have the time, I figured I’d do small increments of desensitization with a slow progression (since I have a tendency to rush these kinds of things).

Ava, who was snooping through the stall bars, got all kinds of wiggy when I turned the clippers on. Snorting and blowing and acting like she’d never heard these strange contraptions before. She’s never been super about clipping, so I suppose this is a good thing for her too. It just surprised me that she would react as she did when she’s been clipped a good number of times in her life.

This is one of the aspects I love about having my horses at home. I have the time and ability to spend a few minutes every day just working on clipper desensitization. Heck, I can hang the clippers from the stall wall if I want. Whatever I need to do to help the horse get used to them, I can do, because I own the joint. Haha. It’s really nice to have that freedom.

Oh, and it is so freaking awesome to have outlets at each stall. It meant I could plug the clippers in anywhere I needed them. No more extension cord running the entire length of the barn getting wrapped up in legs and stepped on. Woo Hoo!

Ava Update:

I’ve got Ava on one really small handful of grain twice a day in order to give her her supplement. Then she gets pretty much free choice hay, but its mainly in a slow feeder hay bag. I know she’s lost weight since she developed laminitis, but it doesn’t seem like she’s losing very much. I’m not sure what to do about that. The weather makes it really difficult to exercise her. I’m not gung-ho about limiting her hay.

October 12, 2015
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She developed laminitis November 26, 2015.

January 9th, 2016
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I have to get the vet back out, do a full work up on her. See what else is needed, or what I need to change, so that I can get Ava back to full health. I know she’s not sneaking anyone else’s grain. She’s only getting crappy grass hay. There’s no grass in the pasture. She doesn’t get any treats or extra feedings. Nothing. I’m beginning to think the mare can live off air. Which is extremely sad, because Ava so enjoys her food.

Joy’s also been on a diet, and she’s lost quiet a bit. I actually have Joy on more grain then I have Ava on. Double the amount of grain (same amount of hay). Both have had nearly the same amount of exercise this past month.  Yet Joy is losing weight, and Ava doesn’t seem to be losing very much.

 

Here’s a comparison from Dec to Jan:

Dec2015

 

She almost looks heavier now then she did in December!

Crap like this makes me want to sell all my horses and throw in the towel! I have no idea what I’m doing….

Winter Riding

Do you want to go riding, Joy??

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Haha

It’s all ice on top of the snow. I don’t even fall through when I jump on it.

I really wanted to ride today, but I don’t think it’s safe (footing wise).

*sad face*

Yeah, I cut Joy’s forelock. Yeah it looks silly. 

She’s got half her forelock growing out, so I trimmed it to be all one length. It’ll look better by spring.

The great debate: do I pull Joy’s mane so she looks like a dressage pony, or let it grow long? I’m leaning toward short. However, running braids are the easiest and fastest braid ever. I could throw a really nice one in within 3 minutes. Button braids… I haven’t don’t those in 20 years.  And what I remember is a lot of swearing, numb arms, and sore fingers.

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.