Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lot's of fun stuff, not much riding...

The weather is making life tough... so much for California's mild winters.

Just after the last post, I did a 5k run the weekend before Thanksgiving and I probably shouldn't have because I felt like I was getting a cold and it was FREEZING out there! Alright, maybe just above freezing, but way colder weather than I chose to run in. I did it anyway, and ended up with laryngitis, I was miserable with no voice for the trip to Portland for Thanksgiving, and then I got a sinus infection in time to have an extraordinarily painful flight home. All in all I spent about two weeks feeling too sick to do much with the horses.

Its been a frustrating week since then too. On Saturday I had the shoer come out and trim Bear's feet and he talked me into buying boots for his front feet since I don't really want to put shoes on him. They're the type that are kind of like sneakers for horses that you can just put on for trail riding. I'd been thinking about it for awhile, and these are used a bunch in endurance right now, so I figure they must be good. So he tells me to just put the boots on and just turn him out to let him get used to them. I'd like to tell everyone now, if you've just spent 90 bucks on boots, don't let your horse play in them! He ran around a bit, and it seemed fine, and the shoer says, "See what I told you, there great!" And I figure if he can be bucking and spinning in the pasture, they MUST really be great. So I pay him, he leaves and then I go out to take off the boots only to realize that I have no idea how to get them off! The shoer kept taking them off and it seemed easy, but I hadn't tried it myself, and nothing seemed to be working for me! They are the kind that are really form fitted to the hoof, so they are tight and sort of suction on. I think I just don't have the strength in my hands like he did. So I go in to think about it and look for a screw driver (he mentioned you could kind of pry them off) and Bear gets to running around again. So I go out, and sure enough, he rips one boot off while I'm out there, but the leg wrap that goes around the ankle is still attached! So he's continuing to gallop around with his boot dragging off his ankle. UGH! I get him stopped, and undo the Velcro wrap part and he's torn the upper Velcro part halfway off the boot! It didn't last 30 minutes! So I'm frustrated because I had wanted to ride down the gravel road with them on Sunday to test them out, AND now Bear has ONE boot on, and I still haven't figured out how to get it off! I finally pried it off with a screwdriver, called the shoer (who came back and fixed the boot the next day), and hoped the drama was done for the day, but no. I came back out to say a quick hello to him that afternoon, and found his nose looking like this...

I swear it looked nastier in person! I was all freaked out by it! Only thing can thing I can think is that he got it caught on the fence some how. Maybe harassing the dog? He likes to nip at the German Shepard through the fence and make her crazy.

Then Sunday the saga continued. It started with the weather reports saying it would snow that night. It never snows here, so we hardly believed it, but I pulled a blanket out for the old mare anyway. Normally we blanket Bear and just let the old mare grow a heavy winter coat. They get put in a pen with shelter anytime it rains, and its usually 30 degrees at the worst during the winter, so she's fine. Since the reports said 20's and snow, we figured we better be prepared. So Sunday morning I pull out an old blanket to try on her. Now Bear wears a blanket all winter long, and never had an issue with the blanket going on for the first time. But the moment he turned around and saw that the bay mare was now a light blue color and made a rustling noise when she walked, his head shot up in the air and he started prancing and snorting around. They were separated while eating, so he couldn't get up close to smell her. So he ends up getting the old mare worked up with his spooking, and she started running around, which spooked him more! So he ends up slipping and falling on his side! Stupid horse! So I let the old mare down to the pasture with him, he sniffs her and keeps harassing her like she's a new horse now that she has a blanket on, and she finally gets fed up and just lays into him! Double barrel kick to the ribs! So I take off both blankets and get him to trot around to see if he had hurt himself. He looked a little stiff, and how wouldn't? But not lame. So I got little bits of video since my camera was still in my coat pocket. Silly boy just awkwardly hops over the logs in the way! Turn down the sound since I'm not tech savvy enough to mute it! (The camera clicks weirdly.)

REALLY short and not too interesting, I know. He was more interested in me holding the camera, and kept coming back to check it out. You can see he needs a younger playmate since the old mare doesn't buy into the need to gallop around the pasture 10 times a day despite his best efforts to get her to join in! Then they second one is a tiny bit more interesting... a fun half spin and one more pass over the logs! And if you didn't turn your sound off for the first time, you'll get more weird clicking AND me yelling at the dog!

So Sunday I couldn't ride in the morning as planned since we were waiting on the boot to be repaired, but I did sneak in a short ride Sunday afternoon to try them out. They're all fixed, and we did a walk, trot, canter test under saddle in the pasture, and they seem great! I can't wait to hit the rocky trails I've been avoiding! AND I figured out I can pry them off really easily with a hoof pick, so I'm happier.

Then Monday morning, despite all our doubts, we woke up to snow! My corgi Piper LOVED it. She ran around eating it! So cute that I couldn't resist putting a picture up! It wasn't much snow, but the surprising part was that the snow stuck for the next couple days! We never have snow! My boyfriends house got 8 inches and it stuck until Thursday! So between the snow during the week and the solid downpour of rain this weekend, Bear hasn't done anything, he hasn't even had his blanket off during the day. So he'll be glad for a break in the rain Monday when he'll get his blanket off and get back out to the pasture. Then hopefully we'll get out to do something this coming weekend. Like try to boots out again!


dazey said...
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Eventing at Midnight said...

Wow, so how tall is Bear? He looks really leggy, and very cute.

I have an ApHC that I am also training on my own. He just turned three and I've been on him maybe a half dozen times. Cowboy is still learning to stop and turn so we're way behind the curve but next year I hope to be eventing him at the very lowest levels.

I love when other people show their spottys in something other than western events. Appys are versatile!