Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lauren and Lu

Here are some photos of Lauren and ponygirl from this week:

don't they look fantastic?!

a "moment"

dapples are coming through :D

Does anyone have experience with hoof boots? I am looking into buying some for Lucy's hind feet to hopefully make her more comfortable while we try to transition her to barefoot. Dover has a few brands, including Easy Boot, BOA, Cavallo, and Old Mac. I think she will benefit from something with a good thick protective sole and I have had some experience with Easy Boots and think they are anything but "easy", but I don't know much about the other brands.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

tack sale finds

Some friends and I went to a local tack sale on Sunday last weekend. I've been to this tack sale every year but I rarely buy anything. I just enjoy looking through all the random strap goods that no one takes the time to clean, yet they expect to sell it all.

Occasionally you can find really good deals amongst the junk. I've been looking for saddle bags I can attach to my English saddle for a while now, and at the tack sale I found a hideous but very functional saddle pad, with two good-sized pockets for storing stuff in. During the winter, the "stuff situation" isn't too difficult because I am always wearing a jacket with pockets, but in the warmer weather, I typically wear a t-shirt and my riding pants, neither which have pockets for my cell phone, little camera, and any other things I want to take along.

Another thing I've been looking for is some kind of a seat cushion. As much as I love my saddle, it has the typical Stubben hard seat and lately with all of this trail riding, I've had a hard time getting comfortable. I scored a well-loved sheepskin seat saver for $5 at the tack sale and it works perfectly.

The third thing I've been looking for is an extra midweight blanket for Lucy. I have an extra sheet for her, but I'd like another MW for when I take her regular one home to wash.

The bargain of the day was this perfectly functional MW Rambo blanket, that I paid $8 for:

I think I did quite well!!

Here are some photos from my ride Sunday afternoon:

Monday, March 19, 2012

spring shots, tongue update, Cairo at the beach (again)

Today was Spring Shots, Round 1. Lucy was her normal superstar for the vet to do his thing. She got a blood-draw for her Coggins, and she got the Rabies and EWT vaccines, and she practically slept through the whole shebang. In addition, the vet checked out a bump I found on the inside of one of her back legs and determined it was a cyst and I didn't need to be worried about it unless it started growing. He also checked out her tongue to make sure it was healing properly. This is what it looked like today:

So if you can imagine that, but three times the size, plus lots of blood, that's what the original wound looked like.

The wound currently looks very healthy and is healing quite well. It has closed up considerably and thank goodness there doesn't seem to be much scarring so far. What is left of the injury isn't bloody or raw; it's pink and filling in nicely. My vet said I didn't even need to rinse her mouth out anymore.

Lucy got the rest of the day off to sunbathe in the 80 degree heatwave we're getting (I AM SO HAPPY) and Kenny and I took Cairo to the beach again:

she was so happy

taking a moment to snuggle with my handsome husband

people were out walking in shorts and t-shirts. I wasn't quite that brave, donning
a long-sleeved shirt, but I did wear a skirt!

she started doing the puppy scoot/run thing, you know, where they just go
absolutely wild

she promptly got a bath when we got home. I don't think you can blame me...

If I were a lion, I'd be scared.
It's going to be in the high 70's/low 80's allllllll week here. I am PSYCHED :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

the first seventy-five degree day

It was beautiful outside today and I took full advantage of the weather. Cairo and I spent an hour at the dog park this morning, where she played with some doggie friends and got thoroughly tuckered out. I dropped her off at home and went to the barn, where it seemed like everyone was out enjoying the weather. There were four horses in the outdoor when I got there, and I think that may have been brain overload for Lucy, so I did my barn chores first before riding. By the time I tacked up, the ring had cleared out and I was thrilled to be outside with the warm sun on my face.

Lucy had two weeks off and since we got back into work, we've been doing mostly trail riding. Today was the first time since the thrown shoe/mouth injury debacle that I rode in the ring and really asked something of her. She was quite stiff and riding in the hackamore is so weird to begin with, so the ride wasn't all that wonderful. Plus I got on without working her on the ground and she was a giant wench. I ended up getting off, grabbing the rope halter, and going over some basic ground work with her. When she started listening and thinking instead of just rushing around, I put her bridle back on and we tried again. I had a totally different horse the second time around, and she was very nice to ride.

After about 20 minutes of work, we headed out for a trail ride. We went to the boat launch area, where I had sent her into the water on one of our walks in-hand. She waded around in the water and then we moved on to a neighbourhood that links to the trail system. We walked along the road, past the houses as people soaked up the sun and got working on their yards in preparation for the flowers to start blooming. Little girls squealed in delight to see a horse plodding down the street, and Lucy added a few members to her fan club.

We got back to the barn after exploring the trails for an hour and a half, and had another quick ride in the ring so my friend could get some video:

Then Lucy got the first bath of the season, which she was very good for. She even let me clean her teats, something I've tried to do in the past but I was met with a raised hind foot and pinned ears. Today she was totally cool about it and I'm honestly not sure why she had a change of heart. Maybe the E/Se/Mag supplement making her much less sensitive? No idea, but I am glad I was able to get her squeaky clean because she badly needed it.

I let her graze in one of the grass paddocks for about ten minutes while she dried off. She was so happy:

Tomorrow the vet will be here for spring shots, and he's also going to look at her tongue so we can see if it has healed yet.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cairo at the Beach

full throttle

all four off the ground! sproing!

no doggie friends were hurt in the making of this photo.

she cracks me up...she got her feet wet so she shook her whole body.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

bitless and in the wild

I picked up a hackamore at Dover on Wednesday so Lauren could ride Lucy in it.

On a small side rant, Dover had two hackamore options:

1. Herm Sprenger Comi Hackamore for $185
2. Herm Sprenger Short Shank Hackamore for $94

SERIOUSLY, Dover?! That's all you have to offer? SmartPak has a cheapie $25 hackamore that is not overly pretty to look at, but it does the job!

Anyway, I chose the $94 version and I still can't believe that of all of the Herm Sprenger products I could have spent $94 on, it was a hackamore that I bought.

The GOOD news is that Lu seems to really like it! Lauren had a good ride yesterday (Wednesday) and today, and though I need to doctor my bridle a bit to allow the hackamore to sit higher up on her face, she really does seem so much happier in it than she is in a bit.

Maybe it wasn't such a bad expense, afterall. I mean I could have bought three cheap bits that she would have probably hated.

Anyway, I had a crappy day today, so even though Lauren already rode, I decided to take Lucy and Cairo on a trail ride. It is really hard to be sad, upset, and stressed out when I'm out in the woods with my dog and my horse. Jeez I am beginning to sound like a country song!

Lucy did really well. She was a bit looky at first, but I let her stand still and survey everything when she needed to. We went along the trails and around a big field, about an hour in total, though most of it was walking. We did trot a bit and we had a little canter, but Cairo got very excited and went into hyperactive mode when Lucy started cantering, and though Lu didn't do anything bad, I chose to mitigate any potential blow-up and just bring her back down to a walk.

On the walk back to the barn, I recorded a little video so you could all see Lucy's newest trick:

She's a clever muffin :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

hackamore success!

I tried Lucy in a hackamore today for the first time, and here are the results:

So, YEAH, not bad at all!!!

She got a little excited, Lucy style, when we picked up the canter, but I didn't feel out of control and I definitely had brakes. This hackamore was a Western style one that I was able to borrow for the day from a friend, and tomorrow I will be picking up an English hackamore.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

snuggle session

I really hoped I could ride today but Lucy's cut still needs time to heal. It looks very healthy and very clean, with no sign of infection, but it hasn't filled in at all. I am sad we'll be missing some unseasonably nice weather this week, but I am not going to ride her before she's completely healed.

I AM contemplating trying her in a hackamore, though. Any thoughts?

Anyway, because I couldn't ride, Lucy got a good grooming and then a 1/2 hour snuggle session with Kenny while I cleaned her paddock.

poor Cairo!

yes Cairo, we know you're jealous.

I took this photo and then said, "ok, now please get out from under my horse!"
Silly men...

ground work, and lots of it

While we wait for Lucy's mouth to heal, I've been working with her a lot on the ground. Boring, right?

not boring :)
She has progressed enough that I can send her over jumps, through two obstacles (so between a tree and a rock or something similar), into water, and down the steps.

first I led her up and down the steps

and then I was able to send her down

jumping the log pile, and you can see here how I use my hand/arm
to show her where I want her to go.

after finishing up, I went for a walk with Cairo and Lucy on the trails

the trails go to a lake with a nice boat launch. I can't wait to take her swimming
once the weather warms up!

sending her into the water

on the bridge!