Saturday, October 26, 2013

I rode Cash, in the arena

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And he was fantastic!

Due to the off and on rain/snow we've been getting the round pen has been quite muddy and rather unusable... so the arena was the only option.  I lunged him last Tuesday but didn't ride, then yesterday I finally got out again and lunged him, and he was being incredibly lazy and very very good.  No spooking, no craziness, just nice n' easy.  So, I decided to get on.  We walked and trotted a bit, did some figure 8s, transitions, rein backs, and just had a real positive ride.

Today I did the repeat, and again Cash was GREAT.  I got on, rode around (in which today he was stiff to the right whereas yesterday he was still to the left... ok) and then decided why not, lets canter.  So we did.  And whaddya know, he was fantastic!

The best part?? All in a rope halter.

WIN

He was calm, steady and relaxed the entire time.  And, can I just wonder for a moment on how it's way easier to sit the trot in a stock saddle instead of a dressage saddle?  Not fair I tell you.

Anyway, off to bed.  My weeks are insanely long at this point, need my sleep!

Cheers,
Emily

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cash Gets a SmartPak!

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Well, to date I have tried just about every training method I can think of to get Cash over his fear of the far end of the arena.  And the results?  Well, we can end the day on a great note with him totally relaxed... but the next day he is back to snorting and throwing a fit about it.

The only thing I haven't done is have his eyesight examined, it is a shady part of the arena, and should he have issues with his eyesight (i.e. an enlarged corpora nigra) this would help explain things.  Though... I've dealt with a horse who did have an enlarged corpora nigra (and actually had little cysts growing on the bottom part of his pupil) and it was not the same behavior--it's hard to explain, you'll have to take my word on it.  Also, I've worked with him at all times of the day, not just when that part is in shadow, and it's always the same.  So, I feel fairly confident that it's not his eyesight, though again I'm no expert.  But at this moment, I just don't feel a pressing need to dish out a bunch of $$ on an eye exam.

So, I broke down and ordered a SmartPak for Cash that includes a Calming supplement.  I'm really not one to run to supplements such as these unless I've really tried any other option available to me.  I've seen horses over-supplemented before and it's not pretty... so I'm always extremely cautious trying out something new.  But, I'm really hoping that it'll work!  I don't mind a hot horse, I enjoy them honestly, but this jitteryness, tenseness, and nervousness just eats on you after awhile.  Fire breathing dragon because of excess feel-good energy is one thing, fire breathing dragon because of a bundle of nerves is another and much, much harder to deal with.

Anybody else have any success with calming supplements?? I'm really crossing my fingers it works!

Cheers,
Emily

Monday, October 14, 2013

Making progress!

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For the first time in awhile I'm actually feeling like I'm getting somewhere with Cash instead of taking steps backwards.  I'm continuing to ride him in a stock saddle -- which I gotta ask, how is it that it's so much easier to sit the trot in one of those versus my dressage saddle??  It's not fair.  I've also started riding him in a rope halter, I decided either it'd be crazy or it would work, and so far it's working!  It's definitely forcing the both of us to rely more on leg/seat cues.  Also, the roundpen is continuing to be very beneficial in teaching Cash to bend around the circle and stand up and respect my inside leg.

I've also starting using a little exercise that I saw Nicku of (insert blog here) use.  She described it as 10-10-10, that is: 10 strides walk, 10 strides trot, 10 strides canter, repeat.  I loved the idea of really instilling precision in your horse so I adapted it to my own use.  Granted I am not doing canter right now, but still doing the 10-10 walk and trot was plenty!  So far I'm loving the results, Cash is listening much better and it forces me to be very precise yet subtle with my aids.  I also mix up the strides because Cash is a smart bugger and picked up reeeaaally quick on the 10-10 pattern.  So I do something more like 5-10-8-20-10-6-9... and so on.  But I make sure to pick a number in my head right as I'm changing to the new gait so that it's not a "ooohh we've gone 10, how 'bout three more."  Nope!  Gotta be precise.

I'm hoping in a couple weeks, assuming I'm able to keep up semi-regularly with riding, we'll be able to move back into the arena.  I've been really focusing on keeping him in tune with my body on the lunge line.  He tries really hard to get in front of or behind me in the scary area, but when I don't let him do that it's amazing how quickly he drops the game.  Love it.

On a fun note, yesterday my friend and I went down to the Colorado Horse Park to help with the cross country phase for the Area IX Championships.  My friend went and jump judged and I got to be the Warm-up Ring Steward.... THAT was wild!! 

Beginner Novice was some crazy variation of cat herding... if you think riding in those beginner warm ups are crazy, try orchestrating it from the ground... making sure the riders were actually there, calling out their 2 minute warning over the bullhorn (which was interesting as it was a good 2-3 acre warmup area AND the wind was blowing like crazy... I'm not sure how well I was heard haha), letting them know how many riders ahead of them, sending them to the start box, if we had a scratch seeing if they wanted to go early, as well as grabbing pinneys from the riders headed back to the barn from finish. I was a very busy bee all day long. 

The intermediate warm up was decidedly less crazy than the rest of the day
But I thoroughly enjoyed it and despite a gnarly sun/wind burn I will totally do warm up steward again. Go Eventing!

Cheers,
Emily

Monday, October 7, 2013

In which Cash pulls his shoe off

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Yep, third time this summer.  I dunno what the gig is, this farrier is just as nice and tight and tidy with his shoes (if not more so) than the farrier I was using last summer, yet Cash has pulled a shoe off out of all but one set.  Maybe it's the shoe itself?  The shoes this farrier uses are heavier than those used by my last farrier.  Weird.

This video is taken probably about two laps after he pulled it (the man was being a klutz over those poles!!)... it's pretty self explanatory!
Just waiting to hear back from the farrier now as far as when we can find time to slap the thing back on.

Update: About 20 minutes after I posted this the farrier called and said he just so happened to be down the road and could swing by and put the shoe on. Hopefully he keeps it on.  The farrier said that if he fits it any tighter he'll be short shod.  So, we'll see.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mmmm fall is here!

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I love this time of year... until it rains on my day off!

I've made the executive decision to start riding Cash in a stock saddle... having that little bit extra to hang on to really helps when all of a sudden he is going the other direction in an astonishingly quick fashion.  So I'm borrowing a barrel saddle (not my first pick, I'd prefer a ranch/roping style saddle) from Rosemary to use on him.  I'm kinda wishing I hadn't sold that stock saddle, but how was I to know I'd  end up using it again! Ah well, it was probably too wide for Cash anyhow.


Sooo... I'm poking around on Craigslist and Ebay looking for a saddle to get.  But, it may not be for awhile, I have vehicle registration due this month as well as some back taxes that I received a notice on last month (really, Colorado?).

In other news, yes I have been messing with the blog appearance.  I really like this color scheme, but for the life of me I can NOT figure out how to get the title/banner to adjust to my picture. I've been through every line of the CSS and have tweaked so many numbers I lost track... I just don't fully know which div classes override which and so on.  It's like a puzzle and unfortunately I don't have time to sit and figure it out. So either a) I'll find another template, or just re-make a banner to fit this one.  Just another thing on the to-do list for my "free time". (which, at the moment, said free time is spent chasing around an incredibly fast toddler... OY!)

And, lastly... I'm thoroughly, completely, and utterly furious and disgusted with our government and Obummercare.  I won't get started but in short, it is very likely going to be cheaper for me to pay the tax penalty versus insurance premiums. Affordable Health Care? Yeah right.

Just another day in the life of a middle class horse owning kid toting American!

Cheers,
Emily