Monday, April 26, 2010

I succeeded in working two horses tonight!

I didn't actually ride him... just lunged. I let him out to charge and buck in the arena, then called him over and lunged him. Perfectly relaxed and controlled walk-trot-canter. He's so funny. He'd just been galloping around calling for Lola, but the moment I put him to work he's Mr. Manners. I love my boy.

So then I lunged him over some trot poles since we now have an arena that I can leave trot poles in! YEAH! (I haven't seen a western saddle yet.) Then I lunged him over a little bitty cross bar, maybe six 10 inches, maybe more like 8 actually. He was nice and relaxed and cantered over it right in stride. So we did it three times and called it a day! A good start. Then I had to get going with Lola, but at least he got out. I'm determined to get him going again so that I can launch into his training full swing the moment I find Lola a home or at least a rider to lease to. I'll be deciding on a price (tricky thing that is) and listing her this week. The longer I keep her the harder it will be to let her go, so its gotta happen soon.

Rain is coming in again tonight... so it will be a couple days before I can be out in the big arena again. I'm looking forward to having poles to work him through some low gymnastics. This summer we'll be focusing on dressage, with hopes of competing next fall. So as far as jumping goes, we'll just be doing poles and gymnastics to get him to learn to put his feet where they need to go and develop some muscle from picking up his feet. I am so excited to have a big arena to do it in, with lots of cavelettis, blocks, and short jump standards.

So far I LOVE the new barn!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Officially moved...

I am feeling so much better. I found an awesome place to board just 5 minutes from work. Its quite a bit more expensive, but I will actually be saving a ton in gas.

They've got a dressage arena, a big outdoor arena with jumps, a round pen that is big enough that I can have something small and safe for beginner riders, and in indoor arena that is at least big enough to lunge in and keep working through the bad weather. They'll be in a large pen. So no more grazing out in pasture, but that pasture was going to turn to dry weeds soon anyway.

So I am looking forward to the new place! I am only 4 miles from the staging area for some of the most amazing trails in northern California. Literally access to 100 miles of awesome trails, I'm so excited.

I guess thats the first good news on the spotty appy front for awhile! Should be back to work soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The straw that broke the camel's back...

Bear is hurt again. Now this is just getting ridiculous! Pretty much I haven't been on him since mid February for one thing or another. Its not any one serious thing, but a bunch of little things that I'd rather give him a few days off for, but they're back to back. What an insane spring. He's had soft heels so wet and squishy I was afraid he'd bruise or split them, a cough, a banged up front leg bump and cut, and a heel bulb ripped open (partly due to being too wet again). I wasn't out there for a week solid. Lots of overtime at work, then a few days get away to recover from a crazy four months at the office. I got out on Sunday to take Lola to a little show only to find she had some cuts on her left hind leg and swelling from mid cannon bone down. Not terrible, and not lame, but not going to a horse show! So I clean her up, baby her, and I head out to get Bear to ride instead. Guess what, he's even worse off!
His hock over all was the size of a small melon, with lots of swelling down to his hoof. Once I cleaned it up I found a puncture wound on the side of his hock. Since I haven't been out there all week I don't know how long they had been injured. Could have been a week, could have been two days... long enough to be infected! I was SO frustrated. He also has a pretty big cut on his front forearm and lots of bite marks across his back. After cold hosing the leg for a while, the scab came away and it started to drain some, which is probably good. Bear is now on anti-biotics and cold hosing for the week. The two horses are in a large pen for the time being, and I'm spending this week figuring out a game plan.
I'm guessing its not just a coincidence they are both hurt at the same time. Something happened. I don't know what, and I never get a straight story from anyone out there. No one noticed that my horses we're hurt, even with what I think is obvious swelling. They're being flexible about allowing me to have the horses in a small private pasture while I deal with this, but I can't ask them to help feed the meds because I don't trust it will happen. So I'm going out at 5am to do it before work! I love having Bear out where he can run, but he's managing to hurt himself pretty regularly out there, plus they don't check the pasture horses for wounds, plus they keep changing the herd and stirring up trouble, plus I just plain don't trust them anymore. Its time to move.
Bear has never lost his slight rib showing rangy look out there, and he's been mildly hurt for ages. So I'll be telling them the situation is not working out for my horse, and that's that. No point in telling them I think they're horse care sucks, I don't want to make enemies in a small vengeful horse community, and I've got a feeling they'll figure it out themselves as people start fleeing with their horses.
I felt like the situation was too good to be true when I moved there, and it was. I've found another place that seems like it has what I need. He'll be in a paddock, which I'm not sure about, but with pasture turnout every other day. I have May and June, then I'll be gone for 6 weeks and I think it would be best for him to be back in my parents' pasture then. So I guess if I don't like the place after two months, I'll just take him home for the summer, and figure out a new place from there.
I'll be going out a second time to the new potential place after the rain to see how the property handled it, and to ask all the questions I forgot to ask the first time. I'm trying to be thorough with my questions without seeming like I'm badgering them or subjecting them to a job interview, but thats what it is. Wish me luck!