Monday 3/3: Grace was supposed to go back home, but her flight got cancelled due to– surprise!– snow, so when in doubt, go to the barn. First we stopped out at Pearl’s place. Tried to see if we could handwalk in the arena, but the snow was a bit deep yet…
She’s a sensible thing though, and for all her shenanigans she knows how to get us out of a tight spot. After that failed experiment, we settled for walking up and down the driveway.
And of course modeling for obligatory portraits, because in case I haven’t pointed it out yet, she’s flippin’ gorgeous.
Seriously, I wish I could write in to Smartpak or something and be like “look my horse is broken but also really pretty; can you take some pictures of her wearing your stuff and pay me money and then I can use it to fix her or at least find out what’s wrong with her.” Hahahahaha oh reality.
Also, horse herd instincts/dynamics are so funny. For all that Pearl bosses poor Tucker around outside (he gets back at her by pinning his ears while I lead her past and he’s safely tucked into his stall), there was much calling back and forth when they couldn’t see each other.
Then K had a migraine, so I went to go ride Prior. Who continues to be such a doll.
The horses had been in for a couple days because of endless snow and ice so I was prepared for it to be one of Those Rides but had G videotape anyways. While simultaneously fending off molestation by one of the barn cats…she’s very talented. We’e still at the point where we have some giraffitude going on at the beginning of our rides, but she’s really starting to put the pieces together and you can pretty much see the wheels turning. We can do a tiny bit of baby-shoulder-in (aka controlled wobbling) and baby-leg yield (aka move sideways without going “omg leg = go faster”) at the walk, and usually get to the point where we can spiral in and out pretty decently at the trot. And sometimes things click together and we get pretty stretchy floaty mare
And I watch the video and go “damn, that’s a nice little horse.” No, it’s not consistent and on command and yes we waver over the line between stretch and lean, but we’ve had what, maybe 20 rides spread out over 4 months…not bad. Everyone else can continue to steer clear of chestnut Thoroughbred mares… all the more for me 😉
Wednesday 3/5: Just my one girl on my list today. Still not handwalkable in the ring, but shedding season is upon us, so plenty of grooming to do.
She seriously loves her window. When I get my own barn, windows (preferably runs actually) to the outside are a must.
Friday 3/7: Two-stop shop! Ladies first– we had a grooming sesh and then wandered around the driveway some.
Unfortunately, the stall rest + less handwalking is really doing a number on her arthritic hocks. She’s always done a sort of “can I snatch my leg away or are you really going to make me hold it up” thing when picking up her hind feet as long as I’ve known her (read: even before I bought her, so it’s not just that I let her sprout bad habits or worked her into the ground) but it’s been…extra pronounced. Obviously she gets told off for so much as thinking about acting like she’s going to kick, but I do try to get the job done as quickly as I can. I put her Back On Track hock booties on, since they seem to help a teeny bit. Poor creaky lady.
Then I had a date with the Derbinator while his mom was off at SXSW, which took me an entire weekend of NPR-listening/Tribune-reading to realize is in fact pronounced “South by Southwest.” Culture, what’s that? Eeeeeeeveryone lost so much muscle thanks to the winter from hell, so the whole barn are on a topline recovery mission. Derbs was having a bit of a grumbly day air-wise, so we stuck to mainly walk work and w/t transitions.
Saturday 3/8: Yep, definitely “don’t wear Chapstick or polar fleece to the barn” season. Got a mid-sized opossum worth of hair off the mare, found that the BOT boots overnight did help with the hock creakies, then we went for driveway walkies.
This now constitutes more hillwork than we’ve ever done in our lives. Now watch it turns out she has a low suspensory injury and shouldn’t be doing hills or something like that.
Next up, we had Derby modeling stripes and green
Oh yeah and I rode him too. Breathing was better than yesterday so we worked a bit harder. He was a good dude and the transitions tuneup the previous day seemed to have helped with the ol’ “yes, you really do have to listen to my inside leg” thing. I noticed I had a bit of a harder time bending him right than left– probably largely a fitness thing but makes me wonder if it’s also got something to do with riding Prior more lately– Pearl’s easier direction was to the right and I always felt like I had an easier time going right even on other horses, but Prior’s a leftie and I wonder if I’m doing that thing where
humans turn into their animals your body gets all crooked unconsciously compensating. Hmmm.