Saturday, March 31, 2012

First Show for Pants

Pants went to his very first show today and he was such a good boy! We loaded up and hit the road around 5:30am. Pants we pretty nervous to start but the longer we hung out the better he did. He got 1st place in his weanlings/yearlings halter class, and 2nd place in his thoroughbred and 1/2 thoroughbred stallion/gelding class. He received lots of nice compliments and it was a very successful outing.
Pants with his ribbons
Pants and I
He didn't even mind the ribbon on his halter. He was hoping he could eat it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Problem Children

When I arrived at the barn last night I found Rhythm with a banged up leg. It's certainly not bad but it looks like he kicked the inside of his right hind. He has a small scrape and it's puffy. I cleaned it up and hopped on him to see how he felt. He was slightly off. He stayed inside today and his leg was bigger tonight. I cold hosed it for 10 minutes, took him for a 20 minute walk, and wrapped his legs. Hopefully it will look better tomorrow!

Then, I stopped to feed Mr. Roz. He has continued to stay in his paddock since he got hurt. When I was applying ointment to his cut tonight I noticed that he pulled a shoe on his left front. Ugh! I'm grounded for the time being....which I suppose is just fine since I have 2 horses that need medical attention. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun in the Sun

After our crazy snow this week we had a beautiful, sunny, Friday! I had taken the day off work to attend the NW Horse Fair and Expo with Tarra. We found a couple of great deals at the Gallops Saddlery shopping booth and we got to watch the cutest mini-donkey showcase. We have decided that we need driving mini-donkeys.
This one was being driven by a kid and was super speedy. 
This was a young one, around 8 months old.
The cute collection of mini-donkeys.
 When we got done at the expo I took Roz down to the arena to see how he looks. He was a bit of a dork walling down the road, but I expected that since he has been on "paddock rest" the past 2 weeks. He looked decent on the lunge line, a bit off but that was to be expected. As it is the cut is not all the way healed and I'm sure it's uncomfortable as it is stretched when he moves.

Is that a cute pony or what!?
 When we got back the barn I decided to give him a couple of hours on the pasture. I was really hoping he wouldn't run around since I had just finished working him. He was SO happy to have grass to eat and I don't think he did anything other than eat the whole time he was outside. It's supposed to start raining again so I figured I should take advantage of the sunny day. He is going to continue to stay locked in his paddock for another week or two. We'll see what the weather does and how his cut is looking.  I plan to take him walking on the trails the next couple of days and then will take him back down to the arena to lunge sometime next week.

Video of him on the lunge line today- http://youtu.be/surC9EtUfhA
This is the very best his tail has ever looked. It took six long years but it's finally respectable! 
Grass!

One happy horse

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Snow

Today is the second day of spring and we woke up with snow. We rarely get snow anyway but to get it this late in March is quite unexpected.

An updated picture of Roz's owie. It's been just about 2 weeks. 

Mr. Cranky Pants, NOT enjoying the snow

Our lambs running in the snow

They were having a blast

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Overdue Update

It has been a while since I last posted. Roz's cut seems to be healing up pretty well. He was being a wild boy today! We have been keeping him locked in his stall overnight, and then out in his paddock during the day. I fed him his hay and grain before opening his stall door. He left his grain to go outside and roll. Then he was trotting in and out of his stall, neck arched, tossing his head, snorting and blowing. He would grab a quick bite before heading back outside. 

I have definitely missed having Roz to ride the last week. I've only gotten to ride twice since the show, as I typically just ride Rhythm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We had a light ride on Tuesday but put in our normal work on Thursday. We got our best traver yet on Thursday. It was so easy! 

Yesterday, Tarra, April, and I headed up to a big tack sale to sell items for our fellow barn mates and also to sell these awesome tote bags that April is making. We had a fun time, even though we had to get up super early! We lucked out with our booth place and ended up in the one building that had heat and a bathroom.  We were happy! 

Tarra and a customer modling the bags

The bag display
 If you are looking for a fun bag here's a link to her etsy site! http://www.etsy.com/people/NeverDoneFarmTotes


Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Show Horse

Yesterday, we discovered we have a show horse. Rhythm was fantastic for his first outing. My first ride wasn't until 3pm so he got go out in the field for a couple of hours in the morning before I brought him in to bathe and braid. We loaded up around 12pm to head to the fairgrounds. He hadn't been in a trailer for almost 2 years but he got in on the second try. He came off the trailer quietly and we took him and Mystic over to the warm up arena to check the place out. While we were in there they decided to drag the arena and let people move to one of the competition arenas for warm up. I was really thankful for the opportunity to walk him around in there so he could check out the dressage court and the judges table. He was a bit looky but not too bad. Since we had arrived early with plenty of time we had time to just relax and look around. Tarra rode at 2:30 so after walking around we headed back to the trailer for her to get ready. I braided Mystic's forelock while Stephanie unwrapped Rhythm.


Once Tarra was set, I began getting changed and we got Rhythm tack up. I spent a while walking on a long rein in our warm up. Rhythm took the crowded arena in stride. Several times we had to make a quick change of plans and he was great. Our first test was First level test 2. He was quite a bit more looky in the arena with me on him than when I was walking him around. I struggled to get him into the corners, especially near the judges stand. The arena was also quite a bit bigger than where we practice so I totally messed up some of our lines and one of our circles. Oops! This summer we are going to set up a full court arena on the grass at our barn. I think that will be really helpful. Some of the main things we need to work on are his shoulders not falling right, specifically in the halt, our canter transitions and the canter itself, and those darn leg yields! 

I had about an hour between my first and second test so I got off and let Rhythm relax. With 25 minutes to go I hopped back on. He was definitely tired and I felt like I had trouble keeping him going and together. This test was in arena we hadn't been in yet. It's open on 3 sides, with the 4th side being open in the middle. The wind was blowing so hard it was buzzing through the middle, and there was a lovely piece of green plastic blowing around during our test. We crossed paths with it 2 or 3 times. Rhythm was a start and largely ignored it. As we were coming out of the arena the rider who was coming in commented on what a good boy he had been to not be bothered by it. We had many similar comments in this test. We've got to nail those canter transitions and get him more balanced in the canter. We also need more downward stretch in both our free walk and stretchy trot circles. We got a 60% on both tests.






Tarra and Mystic did fantastic with high scores and winning both of their classes. Another boarder from our barn did well with her horse earlier in the day. Team NDF represented well!  
Overall I was super pleased with how good Rhythm was. Now we need to get back to work.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Next time...

Next time the vet asks if I would like to pay more for injectable antibiotics my answer will be, YES! I was asked if he is a picky eater and he can be a little bit, but normally if you leave his feed long enough, even mixed with something he doesn't like, he will eat it. I put his 3 scoops of antibiotics in his grain last night and although he ate his grain there was probably a third of it still in his feeder. This morning I left his supplements out and just mixed his grain in with the remaining powder. I bought applesauce on the way to work and decided I would just use that to syringe his meds in tonight. It didn't really go over that well. Tomorrow we are going to try the grain again. On the upside, he does appear to be much more comfortable today and was moving around happily.

It's a lot easier to see the cut skin in this photo from today

Antibiotic, applesauce mix

Me wearing the lovely mixture

The sad pony wearing it too
On another note, Tarra and I had a tack cleaning party at the barn. It's hard to beat pizza, pepsi, a movie, and good company. Three hours later I think we are mostly ready. Tarra wanted to pose as number 1's and although I think she was thinking blue ribbons with this pose I can think of many firsts that it represents. It's my first show in almost 2 years. It's my first time riding First level at a show. It's Rhythm's first show ever. It's our first show together. And...it's the first show Tarra and I have competed at together 2 years. I'm guessing it will only get better!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

If it's not one thing it's another

It all started out like a normal day...until I checked my cell phone during my morning break at work. I had a text message and 2 voice mail messages from Roz's lease family. He had a cut on his foot this morning and was limping. I debated what I should do and tried to get a hold of Tarra. She didn't have her phone with her but replied a while later that she would head right out to check on him. A short while after that I received the call that I really should come look at him. He didn't want to walk and although the cut was bleeding it didn't seem very big. Sure enough, when I got there he was trying to rest his right front. I cut his bell boot off and saw that his pastern was hot and swollen as well. He was also quite tender to the touch. The vet was called and we waited.  While we were waiting Tarra and I visited and I realized that this is the first emergencyish vet call I have ever had for Roz. That's a pretty good record over 6 years!

It turns out he has a fairly large cut on his coronet band. We checked to be sure that the cut didn't communicate with the joint capsule in his foot. Thankfully, it doesn't. For know he has a wrapped up foot, is on bute, and antibiotics. He also needs to stay in his stall for the next day or two, and then his paddock. It's a pretty big gash and may take a while to heal up. At this point we expect him to be off work for a couple of weeks. What I wonder is how in the world he managed that kind of cute WITH bell boots on. Silly boy. On the upside, he was sedated while the vet was out and I got to pull his mane!

Owie foot

Getting sleepy

A little bit cranky he is inside

All bandaged up

His cute (short) mane

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

20 years

Rozzy Ridge turned 20 years old today. I can't believe he is already that old. I think he will always remain 15 years old in my mind. He's such a good boy and I am so thankful for the time that I have had with him. I hope we have at least 10 more years together. I stopped off at his house tonight to give him a kiss and a Happy Birthday apple.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fantastic

I had a fantastic ride on Rhythm tonight. He came out ready to work and got right down to business. He was much softer through the bridle and I was able to flex him in and out throughout my ride with out any big fights. Our trot to canter transitions are getting consistently better. I have really been focusing on getting him soft and through before the transition along with a strong half halt before the request. We will continue to work hard throughout the week and will see where we end up on Saturday.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Funny

I saw this on facebook tonight and I had to laugh. This could totally be Rhythm!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Show Countdown

We have less than 10 days until our first show. Tonight was a lesson night which was nice preparation for the show next weekend. Horses have been in the last couple days due to nasty stormy weather and some snow today. He definitely came out more resistant than normal but it was good horse show practice. I need to be more stay a little more on top of him and be more insistent in telling him that he has to stay down and round. Given a choice he pops up and tightens up across his back. The longer we worked the better he got, and by the end we were lengthening and and shortening his stride at the trot on a circle with him staying round and down. We were really getting it and he felt wonderful! We also addressed our trot/canter transitions as this is one of his biggest sticking points. Again he tries to pop up, tighten his back, and drag you into the canter. They are getting better but I really need to keep on him and ride every step to nail those transitions. At the walk we worked on picking him back up from a loose rein to contact. My first attempt was too quick and forceful and he was not a happy camper with it. What we decided on is a tactful 2 step approach were I pick him up some, soften him, and then put him together a little tighter. This seemed to work quite a bit better for us. We worked on some leg yields and unfortunately they were not super good. I could either get him to cross over with his shoulder popped out or if I had him straight (or counter flexed) he wasn't crossing over. It's always something! That will definitely be something we work on this week. We did traver at the trot both directions, and then tried a little bit of half pass right. It fell apart at the end leaving me saying "Oh dear." It's definitely something to work towards. :)