lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I was able to make time to work Tru-D again this afternoon betwern lessons and had a bit more luck. Part of that was because of a tack change.

My grand plan is to work Tru-D bitless until she has a full mouth. I was lucky with Z in that she never got any wolf teeth in. I had hoped to do the same with her, but the option I had at the time, just a lungeing cavesson, wasn't workable with the long lines or the reins. The signal just wasn't clear enough because the rings were too high up the nose and I think they tended to stick a bit too. I can't remember now other than the fact I deemed it unworkable so Zetahra worked in the bit much sooner than I had intended.

With Tru-D I have since found a bitless bridle that I really like and I had long lines made to work with it. The first time I used it the cross-under configuration was a bit much for Tru-D. She was very sucked back and I ended up using it as a sidepull for a time. This was all well and good, but I wanted a littke more possible pressure before hooking her to anything. After a few months I did try the cross-under again and she did well enough in it and had pulled the tire a half dozen times since.

One thing I was really aware of yesterday was Tru-D's tendency to drift backwards. She has a really nice stop on her, but I wasn't sure why she kept drifting back. This backwards drift is not a good thing, especially when you're pulling things. Yesterday she drifted back while I had paused a moment to help Kelhan and she ended up with the reins completely in front of her (yes, shame on me leaving the lines on the ground).

The reins I am using now are either 1/2" or 5/8" betathane. I'd have to measure them, but they are narrower so that they would be lighter over their 25' length because the usual 3/4" width the maker uses on her normal reins would have been pretty heavy. I like them, they have a good feel in the hand, but I was starting to wonder if the weight of them might be causing Tru-D to drift, especially with as light and sensitive as she can be in all other aspects of her training. My other thought is maybe they don't slide through the rings on the surcingle quite as freely because the beta material is grippy, unlike my MCR long lines I use with the regular bridles and the sidepull which I also like, but they slide quite readily when allowed.

The last thing I ordered before cancelling my Savvy Club subscription (all two months of it, acquired to save a bunch on the driving training dvd and then the On Line Savvy set) was a set of their "feather lines." One more tool in the toolbox, right?

I wasn't sure if I would like them because they are incredibly thin. Supposedly they are made out of the same material as their Savvy Strings, which are a little over 1/4" in diameter with a loop on one end and a little leather popper on the other.

I decided to experiment and put the feathet lines on the sidepull rings of Tru-D's bridle. I didn't put snaps on them so I just fed the string through itself to secure it. Eventually I'd like to put a little leather strap with a buckle on the end to secure them because I've gotten less fond of snaps on the end of reins or lines over time. Looping it through worked well enough, especially since I didn't need to take them off.

We worked in the arena walking and trotting and doing some direction changes (so nice not having to dodge large wet spots guys!). Her halts were nice and prompt and no backwards drift! She also was less pushy with her nose.

Once she was warmed up I introduced the pvc "shafts." They are two different sizes and the smaller one pretty much slid right out of the shaft loop as soon as she stepped forward. The larger one stayed in better and she dragged a single one on both sides. There was a little uncertainty about it pushing into her hip a little, but she settled and did just fine. Now I need to get some bailing twine and jury rig them to stay in place better so I can use both of them at once and get her used to them rubbing and pushing on her.

So my experiment with the lighter lines was a success! Unfortunately I changed two variables by having lighter lines and using the sidepull rather than the cross-under method. I think I am going to take a moment tomorrow and see if I can get them to work as cross-under reins and then see if she drifts the next time I work her.

Traurig

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:18 pm
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
I was cleaning out a drawer today because eventually clutter gets to me and I am more sensitive to clutter than I used to be (Chris is rubbing off on me), even if it is in a drawer. The drawer is just above the pull out garbage can in the kitchen so getting rid of the rubbish is pretty easy, but it's been a while and I use it as my magazine stash. I am subscribed to a ridiculous number of horse magazines (Equus, Practical Horseman, Horse & Rider, Dressage Today, Eclectic Horseman, Driving Digest, Riding Instructor, Fjord Herald, and USDF Connections ... three are for organizations, two bi-monthly and two quarterly) plus National Geographic. The "active" magazine gets to wander around to wherever I read it, usually the counter or table while I munch breakfast and the unread ones sit on one side of the drawer as the read ones sit on the other side until I move them to the "archive" in the little house. I used to pull out interesting articles and file them away, but I haven't done it in a few years.

Well apart from the magazines other random things have made it into the drawer from time to time and it was starting to pile up. One stack of papers I came across and as I glanced at the top I felt some tightening in my chest. As I flipped through the pages to determine how many there were tears threatened. It was all the medical stuff for Zetahra from her initial assessment when she arrived at the clinic to the release for euthanasia.

Two and a half years and it still sucks.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
Kathryn's friend who I did two lessons with the last month lost her mare this week. They were trying for their first 100 mile ride Saturday and her mare, Sassy, "hit a wall" at the 70 mile vet check. She rider optioned and not long after her mare was getting IV fluids and it wasn't long before they were hauling her to the clinic for further diagnosis.

Sassy seemed to be responding to some treatment when she suddenly spiked her heart rate, fever, and collapsed before she was gone.

The necropsy revealed a 5" tear in her cecum that was not fresh. They suspect that it had been leaking for some weeks which caused her to go septic. Crazy, stoic, wonderful mare showed zero distress until after going 70 miles. Of course there's no saying that she wouldn't have had an issue the same day without the ride.

I'm reminded of losing Z and how upbeat and content she was, even in those last few weeks as her heart started to really struggle to function.

I guess that's the worst part about horses. They are strong, powerful creatures, but at the same time their lives can be so fragile.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
After we lost Zetahra I was looking for things I could have made to remember her by. I settled on a ceramic pendant that used a few of her hairs to burn a pattern onto the piece. I usually just wore it on Sunday and Tristan liked the look of it. A couple months ago he got into my jewelry box and pulled it out as I was finishing lessons and Chris was trying to clean up. Tristan claimed that Kelhan broke it, but either way it was broken.

The lady who did the original piece had retired and turned her studio over to someone else. I contacted him and he said he'd be able to replace it. I also contacted a lady in the state draft horse group who does something similar.

A few weeks ago I received the replacement pendant(s!) from the first studio. Not only did he replace the pendant, but he sent two more plus the leather necklaces to hang them!

This week he emailed me asking how they arrived and sent a link for the video showing the process, which was pretty cool.



I mailed a hand-written "thank you" today including a sketch of Z.



I also sent Christina one, but failed to take a picture of the drawing before I sealed the envalope.

Here are the resulting pendants:



The round ones are from Dancing Fire Pottery and the tear-dropped shaped one is from Christina at FlyingMane Pottery.



The backs of the Dancing Fire pieces have "Z" stamped on them.

They all have their unique design and it didn't take much hair at all. The nice thing is that you don't have to have particularly long hair or a great amount of it to do these unlike the braided horsehair jewelry you see. They are also pretty sturdy, though I wouldn't recommend trusting them to a four year-old...

Overall I'm very pleased with how they turned out.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)


Tristan helping fill Zetahra's water bucket four months before.

I'm okay when I don't think about the end too much.

As Tru-D comes along I can't help but compare the two. Z had a bit more sass and self-confidence, but she was ultimately respectful and wanted to please (though I am sure in other hands she may have been more self-serving!) Tru-D is more cautious and a little more reactive, but she lacked the 10 months of handling that Zetahra had from the start. She is coming around and is much more social and wanting attention and is always seeking the answer to the questions I ask her.

They have a surprisingly similar build (I need to get some good conformation shots of Tru-D as it cools down) and I think Tru-D's mane is going to be almost as ridiculous and is in desperate need of a good brushing, but there's more pressing things I need to do while sweating it out outside like mucking, teaching, and doing general care of the herd.

I'm hoping Tru-D comes along just as well as Zetahra did and I look forward to seeing her develop and mature, fingers crossed. Tru-D and Zetahra are four years and two days apart in age and I can't help but think that there isn't some purpose and connection in there somewhere. There's no replacing Zetahra, certainly, but Tru-D has been helping to fill the gaping hole that Z left behind.

Short update on Chewy. We have had some poop! Three piles yesterday even, but nothing yet today, however her input has pretty much sucked so there isn't much passing through. Yesterday we took her in for her teeth and they are definitely showing her age. She doesn't have much chewing surface left on the top and had some points that were starting to cause some cheek ulcers, which probably weren't helping. Dr. Roach (filling in for Chatham since his knee surgery three weeks ago) also found two small abcesses that had started. The vibration caused by the electric float caused them to rupture slightly so we're looking at a long course of antibiotics. I have some SMZs left over from Dakota last year and they are good until October so I will be using them up. The timing is surprisingly good and while Chewy hates that I'm shoving more stuff in her mouth twice a day hopefully it'll make her more comfortable in her mouth and get everything back in order. I'd love to have her healthy and sound another five years, but at twenty-five already I know it is going to take conscientious maintenance a bit of luck to get there.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Six years ago today...



We said hello to Zetahra.



She and Panda were pretty adorable together.

After her first bath

She was pretty fancy from the start. Here she is at six weeks.

Man, if things were different what would we be doing now?
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
dass ich so trauig bin.

Points for knowing the poem whose first line that is.

August is going to be rough. August is rough.

I wonder at trying to build what I had with Z with another horse. As I bring Tru-D and E-va along will it be similar?

Yes Kash is my heart horse. He was my first and we have learned much together. He is comfortable and familiar. I brought him along with a green bean six to a nice eighteen.

Zetahra was fresh, she was to step into Kash's place, coming into her own over the next five years as Kash would undoubtedly be winding down. She had the future ahead of her, we had so much to do together, but that's gone. That has been gone for almost a year now. I don't quite see the same big dreams and plans with these other young ones. I don't know if that is my heart holding back as it still mends or simply that there will be no other horse that will quite fill that piece of my heart that is beyond the veil now.

At this point I wonder at times if I really had such a great relationship with Z or if I have been building it up beyond what it was because she is gone. I remember being so excited. So thrilled at what the years ahead held for us and it is gone. I wanted to be so much better for her because she was so good. She was amazing. She was too good to be true and so it was.

If I don't think about it I am okay. The tears are coming more frequently the last couple weeks, but I think that is to be expected. It ebbed after the first month or so and now it is flowing back and I wonder if each August will be like this. The weather is miserable anyways, too hot and humid to do much outside to distract me.

A year later and still processing. A year later and still pushing forward.

Another horse will never replace Zetahra, but I can at least share what she taught me. Comparing her to anther wouldn't be fair. She was too much of everything that I had hoped even with her funny little off-set pinprick of a star.

Zetahra 3 years face II

Miss you babe.

Dang

Jun. 15th, 2015 10:52 am
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
I was reading an article in Dressage Today about the benefits of working with older horses and a few of the horse-and-rider combos had been together for twenty plus years and I thought about Kash who is 18 and what might come in the next 10 or so years, but then it wandered to Zetahra and all the years we don't get and I started tearing up and am again.

Another month and it will be a year since she started showing signs.

Yep, still sucks.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)


The day after she was born.



Miss you babe.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
zatthreencori

And there are moments where it still burns.







This is going to hurt for a very long time.

Long Days

Jan. 9th, 2015 09:37 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Yesterday started late. I hung out with the boys until about 9:30 when I loaded up the trailer and headed off to get Bud. I also loaded up Appy because she was past due to go to the groomers. I had trimmed her a little between and also gave her a bath Sunday, but they have the good stuff that really cleans up the eye goopies and do a good job of spiffing her up.

I loaded Bud, oh, did I mention that I worked Bud with the soccer ball Tuesday? His initial reaction didn't give me much hope (spin back and forth trying to figure out how to run away from the monster at the far end of his turnout over 100' away), but he settled nicely and kicked it several times and even let me bump it off his legs.

So Bud and I went out with Roxanne and Gypsy to the San Tans and took some meandering trails. We wandered Little Leaf, which I haven't been on in years and took it to Goldmine halfway up the namesake peak before splitting off to San Tan trail. We were out for over two hours and did some good hill work and a bit of trotting once we got on the service road.

To start Bud felt a little "up" but didn't actually do anything stupid. I was sure to refocus him any time his mind wandered and worked him back and forth past some "scary" parts, which aren't nearly so scary as half of the things in his neighborhood other than. the fact that he hasn't seen them before.

He settled out as we went and kept the pace pretty well.

Donna sent me a text saying her husband wants her current horse sold before she buys another, pfft. She's still coming out for lessons, though, which is good. Part of me is tempted to ask about a straight trade, though I don't think Chris would be thrilled as the idea was to reduce the herd. Of course we'd still have six if Z was still here and he IS a potentially fancy Dressage horse ... Obviously I would have to try him out first before REALLY contemplating anything ... But if I don't think he'd be good under students I'm in the same place as I am with Panda. The only think holding Z back from doing lessons was the fact she was under five. She was broke well enough last year that others probably could have ridden her and that I could have stopped wearing the vest, but both of those conditions were set as minimum five years quite a while ago because it is a good idea to have a horse well-broke and mentally mature before contemplating putting students on them.

I taught lessons Thursday and ran to Fry's, but didn't make it to the bank. I didn't make it today either and it is driving me a little nuts having cash and checks sitting around because it is quite the sum! I am apparently three weeks behind on my bookkeeping, which is bad. I checked Sue's account yesterday because I knew we had to be close only to discover I was two weeks behind reminding her to pay me! Whoops! The good news is my bank account is perfectly happy despite all this and I am sure I have at least one if not two others due if not past due for payment.

Today I had one lesson in the morning and one in the evening. The time between was pretty much spent on the roof helping Chris pigeon-proof the areas next to the dormer windows and other overhangs. We got four out of six done. Things go faster when you put your energy into problem solving instead of being angry at the problem. I actually had fun with the challenge of getting the wire mesh tondo what we needed and wanted it to do. Chris was not nearly so happily engaged with the project.

We didn't get around to laying out the arena, maybe Sunday or Monday.

Oh, the lesson this morning we rode at the property. The student was on Kitt and I took Kash. Kitt had no problem other than trying tobeat the small bits of grass that didn't quite get turned under and pushing towards the gate. Pretty much good for any of my students to be on her over there. Kash on the other hand ... we're going to have some discussions. I tried demonstrating what I was talking about and while I think I managed to get some of it across Kash was being a complete knucklehead. He popped his front end, crow-hopped, throwing his butt almost vertical on me, tried to charge off and swapping gaits without permission. He also tried to get me to overbend him, which that trick doesn't work on me any more (almost every time with students though!). I imagine it was quite thebride to watch! A shame there was no video. Of course knowing Kash for 11 years now it was just working through and dealing with it. Funny how familiarity makes it feel like less of a deal!

Short version: Kash is not ready for students at the new property.

Tomorrow I am booked solid from 8am-2pm and then have a brief break before Sue and Bud 3-4pm. I will be picking up the block for the arena tomorrow and probably hooking up to the red trailer when I get home and seeing if I can't load up some of the poles for the arena fence.

I am so busy it's ridiculous. Time to stash as much as possible to prepare for the drought brought on by the summer heat!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
We got our new planner refills for the coming year. Yes, we both still use paper planners. I find electronic ones annoying and clunky, especially since I can just put a bookmark in my oaper one and flip to the current date and page through others without having to do single dates at a time. I am trying a different layout this time. We'll see if I hate it or love it by the end of the year.

Getting the new ones in meant pulling out the monthly tabs for the old ones and deciding what to do about the lingering pages between. I fingered the pages starting at the end of July and going into August. I read the temperatures and heart rates, the start of the antibiotics, the number and directions for the clinic in Cave Creek and finally the contact information for the place that would take her away.

I thought about pulling them out and tossing them like I usually do the weekly pages after I process the lesson information on them (payments, who rode what horse, etc.), but I didn't. I tucked them behind August and filed it away with the rest of the months.

I still need to contact the registries. Maybe after Christmas.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
I need to print out the form for my state dressage organization and mail in my membership dues. I've only been meaning to join for years...

They had the information for their young horse qualifications on the front page. "Z and I could be doing that," I thought. The same thought came when I finally got my book of all the Dressage tests a couple montha ago and I flipped to the four year old horse tests and thinking that they were completely do-able with where we were and where we could have been by now.

If I think about it too much my eyes still tear up, like now. My throat tightens and my nose runs and I hope no one notices these quiet, private moments of continued mourning for what was and what is and what will never be.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Tuesday I took Kash to training. For only getting out once a year for the last four years he did very well. We had a couple little goobers here and there, but he settled in nicely. We worked all gaits and did some trot poles. No jumping as he was still wanting to rush the poles until the very end and at that point we didn't want to open up a new issue without enough time to address it.

Kitt had ruptured an abcess on her hind heel and was vaguely off in one direction, but fine in the other at the trot on a small circle so I took the boy. The next two lessons will be Kitt under saddle (so long as her heel is good) so we can get her consistent over the jumps.

Sunday I was actually able to sit down and and work on Shifting Times. It was SO NICE. I sketched out the two page spread for the opening and started reworking the script for the first few pages. I think in all the script is still good, but the first few pages were tied to the visual along with the fact that they were written over eleven years ago so a little repolishing is to be expected. I really like the landscape format for the pages. I think it is going to stick. Now it is figuring out how to do them. What medium. Traditional, digital, black and white, greyscale or full color? I may have to get the full pencils done on thr initial spread and scan it in order to play with it from there. Decisions, decisions!

I have been thinking about Z a lot, which has lead to some melancholy moments. I guess it will just come and go and it will for a long time. I took Bud out today with Kathryn and her boy Oakley and couldn't help but think that I'll never have a chance to ride with them and Z. We were close, but never quite made it work.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
I have been slowly putting things back in the tack room since the first storm last September. Things that don't get used as much have lingered like the Western draft saddle and the second bareback pad. I have been glancing at Z's halter as I have pulled things out of the workshop and worked around in it. That didn't really bother me. I was aware of it, but it was in the periphery.

Today I picked it up along with Jed's riding bridle and the bridle my grandfather Robinson gave me as well as a few other things. Thinking of it I am still tearing up. I didn't think it would grab me that hard, but I guess there was a subconscious reason I hadn't moved it back to the tack room yet.

It had been Chewy's first, but Z took it over once she fit it and Chewy got a new one for her 20th birthday. It holds a lot more memory than I thought.

I don't really know where this is going. It's been over two months now. I still haven't called Hope to tell her. I haven't contacted the registries either. Part of it is I guess she isn't gone if I don't do those things.

In happier contemplations the permit is approved. I plan on heading down to pick it up tomorrow and see what all we need so far as inspections go (hopefully just a final drainage clearance when we are done). The fence should be starting this week if not next.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
There were so many things that Zetahra and I were going to do both in the short and long term that everything I had planned has had to be reshuffled.

The trail rides will be going to Cinnamon and getting her more than green.

The shows are going to Kitt and maybe even Kash at this point, depending on if Panda is still here her too. Kitt was already planned, but I hadn't really thought about the boy. At 17 and having had some issue with show environments before I wasn't really thinking about Kash as didn't think I would have the time to work him through it.

Driving has gone to Kitt mostly, though I think I will take Charm-N for a tune-up lesson or two. Panda is getting a little work here and there towards driving again, but it is very scattered as the reason for her being for sale is my woeful lack of time for her. Plus I have one student at the moment who I trust to ride her, which is the other big thing. Zetahra wasn't used for lessons because of her age. Next year I would have felt comfortable putting students on her (whether or not I wanted to share her was another matter!), her mother not so much, too sensitive.

The far off goal of bringing a horse up the levels? Trying towards USDF medals? I don't know when that will happen. Of course I don't know how far Z would have gone, but the glimpses she had given me were so promising. I will be working Kash and Kitt up as I can. I think Kash may go farther than Kitt, but we'll see.

Wendy has a white dun Fjord colt that will be coming two next year. I mentioned I may be looking for another project and she seems to think he would do well as a dressage horse. It's a thought, but Panda has to sell first (hmm ... Fjord team doing CDEs...).

Life changes and you have to shift and move with it.

Like Waves

Sep. 5th, 2014 02:35 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Most of the time now it is still. It is so calm the water barely ripples. On occasion there is a splash, a wave, it crests and beats the shore for a brief moment, like after I loaded Kitt yesterday, having finished my lesson on her. I looked back in the truck's mirror and saw the slats on the side of the trailer where Zetahra's forelock would often get caught in the wind and flutter along outside as I drove down the road. I am not going to see that again. This morning going over the papers with Chatham there were occasional ripples, little moments where I would feel my throat catch slightly, my chest tighten, or the emotion rise. I don't think it was outwardly obvious, but the movements were there. I felt them.

Tuesday we received the condolence card from the veterinary hospital, which caused me to tear up a bit reading the sweet note from the young vet who assisted on Zetahra's case. Just now I wrote back in response to the e-mail with Z's paperwork and that was pretty emotional too.

I do believe that I would like to write a case report. My first thought is submitting it to EQUUS (hands down favorite horse magazine), though Chatham mentioned the AAEP journal (American Association of Equine Practitioners), which could also be a possibility. Heart failure wasn't even on my radar until I followed her symptoms through one of my books. It was crushing. It was, essentially, a death sentence. You don't really come back from heart failure. You don't do heart transplants on horses. Anyway, it is the thought that I am having. It is something I would like to pursue. I would like to get more information out there for the lay horse owner and I would like to continue to digest and process this as feels right and this idea feels right.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Nabbed from [livejournal.com profile] velessa's journal because I wanted a copy of it here, and changed it for a filly. It made me cry, it's a bittersweet thing.

MY GRANDEST FOAL
(author unknown)

I'll lend you for a little while
My grandest foal, He said.
For you to love while she's alive
And mourn for when she's dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months, you see.
But, will you, till I take her back,
Take care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief,
You'll have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But, there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.
I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
With trust, I have selected you.
Now will you give her your total love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come
To take her back again?
I know you'll give her tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known!
Forever grateful stay.
But should I come and call for her
Much sooner than you'd planned
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you'll understand
For though I'll call her home to Me
This promise to you I do make,
For all the love and care you gave
She'll wait for you, inside Heaven's Gate.

Marty and I sat down and went over Z's paperwork today. I was okay until she started crying. She was basically a Physician's Assistant for a couple decades before it was an official degree-specific thing (infectious diseases were her doctors' specialty) so she helped translate some of the things for me. I still plan on meeting with Chatham to go over it more.

You know, with something like this I was expecting to look back and go "oh, yeah, I could see that." The signs were there, the result obvious, but they weren't.

Even with the wreck two days before she got obviously sick, when I pulled her out that evening her breathing was fine. She was happy to work and willingly moved into the collar. Monday evening it was just her being disinterested in her psyllium, she still ran out to join the herd for dinner. Tuesday she was breathing heavy and I could hear her heart pounding up by her hip as I listened for gut sounds. Before then? Nothing. Marty mentioned today that back in June when we were in Utah that Z was less keen on getting into and messing with the water bucjet, but that could just be her starting to mature and growing out of being as much of a baby (plus we've been discouraging her hose eating/pulling and bucket splashing behavior.

I just can't think of a time when she acted excessively winded or tired after or during work. I can't think of a time when she ever showed any sign of sickness. She was never lame a day. She was perfect until the very end.

She should have looked and acted a lot worse than she did considering the shape (both literal and figurative) her heart was in. What a strong girl.

Processing

Aug. 26th, 2014 08:53 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I have been pushing and confronting Zetahra's death. Part of me wanted to hide from it, but there isn't any way to hide from the emptiness that is her not charging out of her stall in the evening, or into it in the morning. Playing with the hose as I try to fill the water buckets. A thousand little things that you notice when they are no longer happening. I think the active pushing has been helping me process. If I were to hide it and stuff it I don't think I'd be able to talk about her like I can now. Yes, there are still tears, but they're quieter. The lump is smaller, the pain less sharp, but it's still there and it will be there for a long time.

I took Cinnamon out for her third trail ride. She's even with Z now.

I tried Kathryn and Suzy, but they were unavailable. Keara and Roxanne were open, but Toby and Gypsy had both thrown a shoe in the last week so they borrowed Kitt and Kash. Kash probably hasn't been out in two years, poor boy. Keara handled him fairly well when he decided to be a bit oh, Arabish when we turned for home.

Funny, I was on the green horse and was turned back giving her advise about how to work him down. Lots of shoulder-in and changing bend and refocusing him and challenging him intellectually.

Cinnamon did pretty well. She pitched a fit about crossing over the logs used to define the car parking spots. She pawed and popped her front end and half-bucked and backed up and I kept my cues quiet and insistent. She doesn't do well with escalating cues because she escalates her negative response, whereas if I keep it quiet she hits a roof and doesn't go above it before complying.

She finally went over and gaited a bit as she rushed after it. I gave her a few strides and bent her around before sending her over several times in different places. She kept gaiting or trotting after so I started bending her as soon as she accelerated and she finally walked over once and I called it good before we officially started the ride. Keara had fun jumping Kash over them and Roxanne was enjoying walking over them as they waited for me.

We had a half dozen bikers on the ride. The first group didn't slow down much, the second turned away and the final lone biker stopped, which apparently wierded out Cinnamon more than the guys that zipped past!

Cinnamon led pretty much the whole way and was marching forward nicely the whole time. She eyeballed the first and only puddle, but walked nicely past it coming back.

More trail rides to come this winter and hopefully Cinnamon will be pretty well broke at the end of winter (finally!). She'll be eight in December.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I rode The Stink today. I decided to just climb on instead of lunge her first and see how it goes. She's not the smartest one, but she does tend to get recalcitrant when she is bored and maybe lungeing plus riding around in a circle is too much.

She got slightly humpy once, but overall was nicely forward. Either the not lungeing made a difference or the fact that every time she got humpy last week I threw her on the line for trot-canter transitions. One of the two and perhaps a combination of both.

So we were working on our trot and we started doing this thing, or rather she started doing several things. They were faster than a walk, but it wasn't a trot and posting was not happening. I think we were pacing and stepping pace and a little fox trot and perhaps some flat walk and a little racking and I am sure Susanne (working student) was confused because I kept laughing.

She did pick up the canter well both directions (once she figured out how to work her legs that way) and it was a short and sweet ride. I'm ready to start taking her out again.

Chris was there so I had him take a short video in order to show Marty. Cinnamon (also known as The Stinky Monster Baby Horse) by a Fox Trotter stallion out of Marty's QH mare Sunny.



I forgot about this video. I didn't think I had any videos of me riding Zetahra, but there is this one from last year. It's our fourth ride.

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