Wednesday 5/7: Double date with my TB buddies. Love it when that happens because A) if some is good more is better and B) it gives my Type A obsessive-compulsive (yes in the legit diagnosis sense, not the omg I am like so OCD I hate when my socks don’t match sense) self a chance to go wild with planning the Absolute Optimum order in which everyone gets brought it, extra feed, ridden, cooled out, etc. Also, maaaayyyyy have ditched work to go riding because when I committed to riding the boys I maaayyyy have not put two and two together that it was my brother’s birthday and I needed to be home for dinner.
Got Eliot, who is a doll and meets you at the gate because you never know when a two-legged creature might have cookies.
Eliot hung out in his stall eating his mush and extra hay from LBP. Tacked up and rode the Derbinator. We took a stroll around the property for a warmup.
I so love getting to do that. I am an outdoor child, and when I can help Derby get a handle on his inner weenie (no, not like that) I think he enjoys the change of scenery as well. When we got back to the arena we had a nice forward walk and trot that was easy to work with. Kept it light on the canter, then had an even nicer trot to come back to. Good boy Derbs.
Tacked up Eliot, which took a bit as he was busy looking around due to goose migration overhead. Derby was cool enough for his mush by the time we were done, so he got that while I rode Thing 2. Boom, efficiency.
Had a long warmup to get the baby brain back between the baby ears. We did lots of changes of bend within changes of direction (love an empty arena). Had a bit of a scattered trot and then a switched flipped and he was like OH I got my working pants on and we had such a nice adjustable bendy trot. He is such a little kid…he would get so focused on his work, and then he’d look up for whatever reason and go OMG who put that mounting block there, and I’d go hey kiddo I’m up here still and he’d go ohhhh right yes lady here you can hold my hand and we will work. Cutie pants. Hand grazed him a little til he was cool and dry, put him back in his stall for more hay/pee, put Derby back out with some grass along the way, removed E’s sweat marks and put him back out. And that still took like allll morning/early afternoon so honestly I don’t get the “wah wah people with grooms aren’t real horsemen” because no way could I get ride more than three in a day and still get other stuff done (lessons if I were a trainer, other work if I didn’t ditch the office) if I was getting them all ready myself.
Friday 5/9: Removed approximately 3 (three) opossums worth of hair from the mare, which was a great way to postpone the inevitable.
Did the inevitable, which was pop the mare on the lunge to see
if that she’s still lame. I mean, I’m not surprised– she’s not limping around or anything, but when she trots in the pasture she still looks NQR, and the smaller circle makes it much more obvious (duh, that’s why we use small circles when checking for lameness).
So, not surprised, but yeah, disappointed. Breaks my heart for both of us, especially when she’s like NO MOM TWO CIRCLES OF TROT IS NOT ENOUGH LET’S JUST KEEP GOING I DON’T REALLY MIND I SWEAR. But she is so stinkin’ sweet, and I will do whatever it takes and she’s stuck with me no matter how much or little she ends up able to do in the future and also her face is the cutest thing in the entire universe.
On a lighter note, we then went to go ride Derby. Carson wasn’t entirely recovered from the latest calf-chunk-ectomy to go about a walk, but she did a stellar job warming Derbs up. Probably at least 20 minutes in all, with lateral work and everything (and she did even remark he’s not as “off the leg” to the left inside leg, which is true at all gaits but a good reminder that you can Work On Stuff at the walk).
I got on, and oh wow. It really was such a cool experience getting on and right away having Warmed Up Horse underneath me…one of those boiling frogs things where you don’t really notice as it’s happening in real time, but as a comparison it’s quite stark. We were able to get some really nice work done, too. His trot felt great, and his left lead has come leaps and bounds. Right lead is still tricky– he can pick it up and hold it for a bit, but then he can’t and he swaps (and sometimes swaps back). It’s also very obviously something he gets worried about– he may not have as much of the forward work ethic, but he does have the TB need to please– so in between shorter canters there was lots of “it’s OK dude, I’m not mad, help me help you.” Good thing T’s hard lead was his left one, else I’d be giving myself an “oh god I make horses unable to canter on the right lead” complex.
Saturday 5/10: Spa day! Mare prepared by making sure she was nice and dirty for the big event.
How on earth does it take this much crap to bathe two horses? I don’t know, it just does.
I should figure out how to bottle Clean Horse Smell. I’d be rich.
Then I went with Lauren to assist with bathing Eliot because we didn’t know how he was going to be. He could give Pearl a lesson in bathtime manners, it turns out.
He’s starting to shed out all nice and shiny.