The blog is about our continued journey together as I attempt to make him my dream all around horse who can do anything from dressage, competitive trail riding, driving, mounted archery, working equitation and anything else we want to try.
We went for a fun, short ride around the property today as our way of celebrating the holiday. The ride was shorter than I intended at twenty-twenty five minutes because someone showed up and interrupted the ride. I was irritated, but it was probably for the best since Chrome is so out of shape.
I was going to work on walk/trot transitions, but Chrome's right stifle gave out with every downward transition. After the ride I looked at his hooves and his toe on that side is getting too long so it's time for me to rasp them again. I'll do that before the next ride and see if it makes a difference. It usually does.
Chrome gets excited about having neighbor horses across the street again.
After a ten plus walking warm up and a few failed walk/trot transitions I trotted him the entire length of the driveway. On that downward transition his stifle didn't give out so I did it again and cantered him for a few strides. After that his stifle never gave out again no matter what we did. We trotted, cantered, backed up, turned circles, etc. It's so weird how he seems to warm up out of it. I just need to do his ground work again with backing, stepping over things, etc. to strengthen his stifles back up. Time off just does not treat this horse well at all physically. Mentally it's like we never took a day off. He's such a good boy.
Look at how fleabitten his cheeck is!
Other than the stifle issues, the one random fly and getting interrupted it was a good ride.
Look how flexible my boy is! his tail is touching the ground!!
I couldn't pass up the chance to ride today since it was the first time in sixty years that Easter and April Fool's Day landed on the same day (I do still have a goal to ride on every holiday hehe). This is supposed to happen again in eleven years if I remember right, but why wait that long?
Sorry I only got one picture, it was starting to rain so I just snapped a quick one and got on with my ride. I rode bareback, only for fifteen minutes. I wanted to see if he felt sore from the ride yesterday. He started out a bit stiff, but worked out of it quickly (we only walked with two very short trots). I worked on some backing up and I could hear and feel him dragging his right hind leg back instead of picking it up. That makes sense because that's the side his stifle is weaker on. I'll get back into his stifle exercises during the week when I feed since it only take a few minutes in hand to get him strengthened back up for riding.
He felt really good and was happy to mess around in the yard again. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and April Fool's Day!!!!!
Finally! A weekend without rain! It was a gorgeous day and I was so excited to get back in the saddle. Chrome seemed happy to be doing something different too. I actually forgot to get his sugar cube until he started trying to grab the bit out of the air! I completely forgot about the training we did with taking the bit. So I ran inside, grabbed a piece of sugar and then held the bit up for him. He took it without hesitation and I gave him his sugar. So funny that he remembered and I didn't.
I spent a bunch of time grooming him. There was snowy fur flying everywhere. He is shedding like crazy. He enjoyed the full grooming immensely.
This is a view I missed!
It's funny because the days leading up to this weekend I was actually nervous. It had been over a year since I had last been on Chrome and I was worried he would be stupid or I would just suck at riding or something. Once I had him groomed, tacked and I got on I wasn't nervous at all!
We goofed around in the yard for thirty minutes. I had him do several short trots and even a few canters, just to see if he could still do it and to see if his canter scared me again. None of it did at all. Even when he ducked his head and felt like he wanted to crowhop the first time. I corrected him and he didn't try it again. He was very eager to canter and we had fun. I haven't felt that carefree cantering him probably ever. It felt so effortless and easy. His stifles gave out a couple of times and he was doing the whole slow walk away from the house and fast walk toward it, but overall he was great. We also worked on some backing and learning how to yield his hindquarters from the saddle without a ground cue (needs work lol).
He sweated a little, but never even got his heart rate up. I was worried I could hurt him even though that makes no sense. I was relieved to see him galloping around and bucking in the pasture when I turned him loose later (I trimmed and soaked his hooves after the ride). He was so wound up and obviously felt good.
He was a total butt during his hoof soaks (but fine during the trim that we did beforehand) and I think it's because hubby left and he couldn't see where he was, but he could hear him feeding the goats. He was such a brat that I didn't feed him when I put him back in the pasture. I can't stand when horses act up in anticipation of food. It put a damper on my mood after such a fabulous ride, but I'm not going to let it get to me. He was just feeling good and being a turd.
It was a wonderful ride to get back into things and I can't wait to ride again. Also I really want to thank you all for your comments on my last post. I don't know why weekend warriors have such a negative association in my area, but you're all right. If I'm smart about it and take things slow, he will be totally fine. So thank you all so much. Also thank you for sticking around. I know I've been very absent. I appreciate my loyal friends.
I just wanted to share a few pictures of Rocky and Zep too, so you guys don't think they are ignored.
Rocky giving his classic side eye while I photograph his icky coat. They sure love winter mud lol.
Zeppy is so cute.
He's still as feral as ever. I'm beginning to think the only way I'll be able to tame him is if I trap him in a stall.... maybe when we finish building the barn I can try it. I just don't 100% trust him because he has kicked and threatened to bite before. Hopefully if trucks and tractors will stop breaking and if animals will stop needing vets maybe I can get him gelded finally. That should help. I know someone who had a twenty something year old jack that they gelded and it completely changed his personality, even though he had been breeding for years. Zep has never been bred so maybe the change will be even more drastic. We shall see.