Friday, April 22, 2011

Long days… warm weather… LOTS of hair!

I have been sort of ignoring everyone’s complaints about shedding horses because Lola has been sleek and shiny since that warm weather we had in January! A box stall and blanket will do that for a horse. Plus she’s worked hard and groomed regularly. I forgot that my pasture ornament wouldn’t be exempt from the spring shedding craziness! I snuck out to see Bear right after work last night in order to get a quick ride in before the 7pm Maundy Thursday service at church. (He’s sort of on the way.) So I scurried out, grabbed a saddle and grooming bucket, and he was waiting by the fence as usual. I pulled his sheet off (we had a rainy spell again), and I started currying only to find he’s one hairy mess!

With the sheet on I don’t think he’s been very effective in rolling any of the hair off his body himself, so he had hair matted to him! CRAZY! He hardly grows a winter coat, none of this long belly and neck hairs that Lola gets, so I was surprised that he had that much to come off! He certainly enjoyed the curry, and as long as it doesn’t rain again, he’ll be done with that rain sheet. The poor guy is probably itchier than all get out! So at least he can start rubbing it off rolling.

After getting all this off... we didn’t have much time left. So we took off down the road for at least a half hour ride. We did our usual walk down the back roads, and I am just always amazed what a good boy he is! He hasn’t been out for a two weeks, and hasn't been regularly ridden for months! Yet he was a perfect joy to ride. He stopped and looked when the donkey snorted at us, he got a little prancy when the crazy arab rushed the fence at us, and he flipped his head once while we were climbing a hill and a tractor started up (loudly) behind us somewhere. That’s it! So very impressive for a horse that is out of work right now, and all pumped up on spring grass!

I’m realizing that if I do want to get serious about putting him back into full work this summer, I better be consistent about our conditioning. The trailer is at the boarding facility with Lola, so trailering him anywhere will just be a lot of work, but we’ve got enough back roads and trails from there to at least give us a 2 hour walking ride. From there I’ll need to either start trailering out to the local arena or get him back to the boarding place. We’ll see how long it takes to sell Miss Fancy Pants. She’s doing SO well right now, I feel like she is a really marketable horse. We’ll see though. It has to be the right home.

Such a good boy, if only he’d hold still for his picture. But he sees the camera and comes to sniff it. Does it every single time!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I was in a Derby!

I was in a derby!!!! But it was on Lola...
By the next on in October Bear will be the horse choice, I'm sure! I have big plans for him this year!
In the mean time, check out our awesome success on Lola's blog...

<--- click there...

or go here:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bear takes the back seat... as usual

Bear gets the lush pasture of spring grass while Lola does all the work. When I put it that way, Lola is getting the raw end of the deal! I, however, can't help but feel guilty for not balancing the two.

We're doing lot's of fun stuff with Lola, but writing about it on her blog means this one has seriously dwindled over the last year too. I am a worrier and a guilt traveler (a guilt trip only works if you take that trip, right?). I am a sucker for guilt trips. If there isn't someone around to give me a guilt trip, I misread peoples comments to make it into a guilt trip (my poor fiance is so patient with me!), and when that fails, I just create my own guilt trips for myself because I am not perfect and I cannot live up to my unrealistic training expectations while working full time. There of course being the catch 22, because I can't afford the horses without working full time!

So I move on, and do what I can, and every so often I call myself out on it! So here I am again, justify (to myself) why I haven't completely ruined my horse through my neglectful behavior.

He is happy! He has two acres of pasture to play in. He's always cared for, vaccinated, wormed, and trimmed. He's gets excellent care.

He is already off to a good start. He just turned five and he has more training on him than some horses get their whole lives. By starting him early we opened up his options, I can take him trail riding, alone, with friends, or with completely new horses. I can take him to canter across the big open beach at the lake. Some horses are never under control enough to do that! He can put up with a beginner rider! Probably 10 years down the road I will be so happy that I gave him such low impact/ low stress miles in the beginning. Whatever happens to him physically later one I'm just going to blame myself for anyway! So I guess this is a blessing to have one less item of guilt later.

Its spring, and he's full of it. That's the decision I've made on the uncomfortable or naughty debate. We went for another walk last Saturday. I tacked him up and walked about 15 minutes then rode the rest. He was perfectly fine. He seemed happy, and he was relaxed. It helped that I convinced the whole entourage to come with us! My fiance came and walked our dog, my dad walked their crazy energetic German Shepherd, and my mom walked the old mare (who was THRILLED to get to come along, and was out walking my mom!). Even walking back up the big hill with me on him he seemed comfortable and no signs of head tossing as he tried to push himself and my weight up the incline.

I think the chiro work has done its job. I think Bear needs to get down to business to get this head tossing/half rears in check. I fee like this spring will give us a chance to slowing move back into working condition through trail riding, and this summer maybe we can get back into training mode. Its time I asked more of him on the flat, and this is his year to get started over fences.

He's got a bright future ahead of him. I think its ok that he's not there yet, we still have time.