Friday, September 27, 2013

Product Review: Canter Mane and Tail Conditioner

Okay, most of you know that I am a big fan of Cowboy Magic products. Well in this case I have to cheat. Though I don't know if it is really cheating when they do not offer a spray conditioner. Anyway my new favorite product is Canter Mane and Tail Conditioner.

Peggy has used it for awhile, but we normally have Showsheen on hand. With Winston who gets dreds in his mane and DaVinci with a kinky tail and Roscoe with an overabundance of tail hair that insists on corkscrewing a great spray on detangler is a must. I have used Showsheen on Roscoe's tail and watched the hair go back to a corkscrew. Such a pain.
When we went to Peggy's for the show preparation, we used her bottle of Canter. This spray got through Roscoe's mass of hair and stopped the curling.



Canter used on his dirty tail for pictures before his bath, photo credit Lisa Brezina


This description is taken from Smart Pak:
Canter Silk Mane & Tail Conditioner is an award winning formula that keeps the mane and tail sleek and tangle free. Canter Silk Mane & Tail Conditioner reduces breakage and repels dirt, leaves the hair manageable, luxuriously soft and with an immaculate oil-free shine. Contains citronella to help repel flies.

Brushing the tail was so much easier and left the hair looking neat. They say the effects can last up to two weeks. That I can vouch for. Roscoe's tail is still corkscrew free even now. Mom went out and bought a bottle for us to have at the barn. Very happy with this product.



Still looked this neat well after the show.
 It is not the cheapest product, at about $17 a bottle, but well worth the cost. Plus it looks as if some sites offer larger amounts which may help with the price.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thumbs UP for Winston!!!

After four months, it was time for a check up for Winston. He has been looking great, but we wanted our vet's opinion. So Mom sprung the visit on me and the morning of I ended up trimming his feet before going to work. Winston had grown more foot than he ever has before. No way was I going to  let the vet see his feet looking so long.
I called Mom later to see what the vet thought. She felt he looked great though he could lose a little more weight to be safe. Once the grass goes dormant he could even graze with a normal muzzle. When we showed her our modified muzzle, she said he must not get much. She watched him on the lunge and cleared him to start work under saddle. He will be so happy to start working again. A total thumbs up visit.
She also checked his pulse points and foot temperature. Those, too, were normal. The biggest reminder of his episode is the event lines on all four feet. Hooves do not lie and can tell so much about what happens in a year.
The scary part, Comrade has the same event lines on all four feet. According to the vet, he definitely had and episode. I think we caught him faster because Winston's situation made me react strongly to Comrade's increased weight. In hind sight, Comrade was a little foot sore around that time. I remember talking to Peggy about him mincing across the gravel. Winston showed the same kind of soreness in the weeks before his full blown laminitis hit. These signs will be like neon lights in the future for us all.
While the vet was there, we had her pull Coggins. As she looked at each horse she commented on their overall body condition. Dottie and DaVinci: Looks great, especially for their ages. Rosemary: Still needs to lose weight. She thought this was due to lack of work, but Mom told her Rosemary works the most. So Rosemary may join the Hannibal Lecter club with Winston and Comrade. Roscoe: Needs MORE weight. Oh the joys of a boy amidst a growth spurt. We told her after Winston, we don't even let Roscoe graze without a muzzle. He does get extra food though.
Overall a positive visit which resulted in this:


Super happy and CALM pony. Our normal worry wort was so relaxed. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gymnastic Work

Comrade was completely full of it today. I asked Mom to set up a gymnastic to get him focused and working. The exercise evolved and changed every time we went through. What amazed me was that he never balked at the mass of wood and PVC poles with jumps in between. He got right to work figuring out how to handle the challenge ahead.

video


At the start it was five jumps at the middle height of cavaletti, first three with 1 stride in between and the last two had 2 strides and poles set at trot pole widths.
video

As we went through my Mom either rolled ground poles in or out and raised a jump at a time. Even when settings were not perfect, Comrade was handy enough to get himself through. I just got off his back and used my shoulders to half halt when needed.

video

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By the end, all the jumps were set to the higher cavaletti setting and almost all the poles were set to ground lines.


The final look

video

All during the passes, I felt him drift to the right. I could not understand why I could not keep him straight, until towards the end I looked back down the line and realized the first jump was set almost a foot more to the right of all the others. Geez, I cannot believe none of us noticed that. Goes to show how well Comrade adapted. We are also dealing with a slipping saddle again, since he has lost so much weight. Bobby said he is looking really fit. Coming from a three star eventer, that is a compliment. He thinks Comrade needs more weight. I would not go that far. He still has a crest and some around his tail head. I like his energy level now, so maintaining where he is at would work for me.


New slimmer look

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Visit From the Past

7 years ago, a friend and old student of my Mom's asked if we would be interested in taking her horse since she was headed to college. Knowing the training he received during the years he was with her, we said yes. This was around the time that we knew Barry would have to be retired, so another rideable horse would benefit us. She did consider sending him to Findlay College, but at his age (17) that kind of environment would be tough. We told her he would stay with us till the end and he would get more attention than at the college. In the end, she shipped him from CA to arrive to our barn at 230am. From that day forward, DaVinci became an integral part of our herd and took a large part of our hearts.

DaVinci and Sherman
Over the years I have shared pictures with his previous owner to keep her in the loop. He had some issues that we have worked through, both in the saddle and on the ground. Slowly we saw him change from the uptight, worried pony into a more laid back version. So, when his owner contacted us about visiting, we were torn, but said it was okay. Horses have very long memories. Sherman would not take an apple from his previous owner, even after years of us owning him. We wondered if DaVinci would revert to past behaviours or not.
We waited until the morning of the day they were to visit before Mom told him about the visit. She made sure to tell him that he was not going anywhere. DaVinci showed Mom a picture of HJ (owner) hugging and talking to him in a stall. And yes this was mentally. Mom has an awesome ability to "talk" to the animals. Nothing flashy, but it is there. My grandmother says it runs in the family. Anyway we felt better about the visit knowing he had a good memory about HJ.
HJ and her Mom arrived and we waited to see his reaction. He remembered them and promptly started begging for treats. He pleased HJ by doing some of the tricks she taught him. Mom and I breathed easier after they said they were happy with how he looked. Then came the real test of how far DaVinci has come: a ride.
It went much better than I expected. HJ, who has not been riding recently, tried not to ride too heavy handed and ended up with too long of reins and her hands in her lap. But with all that, DaVinci stayed quiet. He totally took advantage of her by going about lazy and on his forehand. Mom eventually started to talk her through packaging him with out HJ reverting to bad habits.


The one photo she really wanted

Rosemary checking in with DaVinci
After playing with DaVinci we let her ride Rosemary and then Mom took them both for a drive. Overall the day went well. It is a little bittersweet when you think about that at 25yrs old, this was probably the last time HJ will see DaVinci. I am glad for both that the visit was a happy one.

Days after we were thinking DaVinci was looking really settled. It was as if seeing them again and not having to leave reassured him he was home for good. He had one moment when he stressed. When we pulled the trailer up to the barn to bring the Cobs to Peggy's for the show, he totally paced in his stall. I told him he was not going anywhere. Then I let him run outside to the sacrifice area. He ran, rolled and flipped his tail. That boy said he was not going. So seeing his old owners, OK. Seeing a trailer after seeing his old owners, NOT GOOD.
Fortunately he did not hold onto the stress. We think he looks the most relaxed he has ever looked. Even our vet was impressed with his changes. She has seen him at his worst when he was injured and at rest, so for her to recognize his new relaxation says a lot.
This visit from the past took the last shred of worry out of DaVinci's mind and let his old owners know he is doing well. We could not have asked for more.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Hunter Pace Our Way

A lot of good things have happened over the last couple weeks. A change, I know, from my recent posts. So I am playing catch up.

Starting with Peggy's and my Hunter Pace adventure. Every year a group holds two Hunter Paces at scenic farms in the area. I missed the spring one and wanted to make it to the fall one. Since it fell on the weekend after the Welsh show I knew Mom could not go. Peggy said she would ride Comrade. After much back and forth, I decided to ride Rosemary. She really needs the experience of trails and other horses.
Of course, I had to get up crazy early. What fun horse things happen late? Mom helped by parking the trailer by the barn and I loaded everything but the pony the night before. The morning of, I gave the remaining horses some hay before getting Rosemary. Well... she decided it was a great time to run, buck and do general Cob antics. I could have stressed about running late, but instead I took pictures and a video :)
Gingerbread Girl

I called Peggy to let her know that I had not even loaded yet and as such would be late. Rosemary finally settled and let me nab her. I walked her straight from the field, right onto the trailer. Bless her, she loaded and stood while I went behind to put up the butt bar. One last check of the barn and we were off. This was my first solo drive of the trailer with a horse loaded. It actually was a little easier with Rosemary's weight stabilizing the trailer. I still asked Peggy to do the long drive because I so was not ready to take on Hwy 95.
We loaded Comrade's hay, which Rosemary promptly started eating, and then the pony. All the bonding the previous weekend, made them great trailer buddies. The drive was smooth, except for the one turn we missed. Still don't know how we missed that, but we got there.
The Hunter Pace is suppose to mimic the speed and terrain found during a hunt and has different divisions depending on what you want to do. They have Fast Timers, Optimum Time, Best Dressed, Best Pair. The groups go by age too and whether you jump or not. For us the only choice was Senior Optimum Time. All the participants in the group do the ride and the times are recorded. Then those with the time closed to the average wins. The last time we did this the three of us came away in third. We mostly do it because it is a great ride and good experience for the horses.


Ponies ready to go

When we had the horses tacked and our numbers on, we headed for the start of this 5 mile adventure. Rosemary was a little up being around so many other horses, but she was not acting stupid. Once we were on the trail she settled right into her ground covering, hip swinging walk. Poor Comrade had to work to keep up. Mainly he figured trotting was easier. The first down hill was a challenge. Rosemary is still learning to sit on her butt, rather than her forehand. When we came to a clearing we picked up a trot to see if Comrade would settle. Mr. Show Off Cob trotted off leaving Rosemary in the dust. Hard to keep up with all that suspension and push. Really pretty to watch though. The clearing changed back to woods and Rosemary had to stop and look at the dip in the ground, but not too long since Comrade was going around a bend. The things she noticed on this ride were amazing. She could probably tell you how many different footings and dips there were the whole ride.


I loved watching her expressive ears during the ride

Next we walked onto a power line and I noted the batch of forgotten hot wire. This lead to the road running at the front of the farm. Rosemary had to stop and check out the horses turn out across the road. As we went back into the woods, the trail narrowed. Comrade had to go ahead of us, so that Rosemary could see nothing was going to eat her. She never pitched a fit, just quietly said "Nope, not going first." Then she would follow right behind. We passed the water, got kick out of the ponies reaction to the glare off the water and the canoe laying by the trail. Rosemary's little ears were working over time checking everything out. When an long straight opened, we did some trot. It was tough since it was also a gentle down hill, but they handled it well. The end brought a wooden slat bridge. Rosemary suprisingly walked on, stopped, looked then kept going. We were at another power line.
Now this is where things get interesting. We are talking and laughing going up and down hills. Then I glance down and notice a batch of forgotten hot wire. Hmm.... Did'nt I see that before? Further along, we saw the road looming before us. Geez!!! Head slap. We missed a turn. Dumbfounded we contemplate redoing the path or backtracking. As we decided to backtrack, a number of other teams came our way. We had to pull over to let them pass and answer the inevitable "Why are you going the wrong way?" One team was part of the organizers and was like "You should not have gone over a wooden bridge, we made the turn go up a hill." Yep leave it to us to take a detour. Both ponies handled the fact that other horses were going one  way, while we went the other.
So back over the hills, the bridge and back up the path we went. Cough, cough, I think we added an extra mile with our little side trip. When we finally saw the turn, I knew exactly what had happened to make us miss it. A DAMN HORSEFLY!!! I had my phone out trying to take a picture, which was not working because I had to keep it in my bra and it got sweaty. About that time Peggy asked if we could trot to get away from a huge horsefly. So I was tucking my phone away and then the horse fly came after Rosemary. During all this we both walked right by the turn, then trotted off in ignorant bliss. Ah well, the weather was great for the extra mileage.


Rosemary "Why a I in behind?" Me "Because I want a picture :)"

 Back on course, we followed the path which lead to a logging road. Along this road Rosemary was fascinated by the junk yard stuff. Luckily this was a wide area because a few teams came up fast behind us, which Rosemary thought was really rude, and we pulled over to let them pass. One team asked "Are those Morgans?" I took it as a compliment since I do see some Morgan in the Cobs, but we told them their breed.  As the teams trotted off, both of ours we okay being left behind. The logging road lead to soy bean fields. At the start the person said to try not to trample the beans. I thought that was odd until I heard the hounds. The course went all around the beans, but you had to pass by kenneled hounds and a few just on ropes. These were not nice sounding hounds. They barked and growled. At first I thought Rosemary would walk by okay, but then she stopped and faced the dogs as if realizing bad vibes came from that way. Comrade, too, was hugging the beans trying to stay far away. Peggy was able to get Comrade walking, and Rosemary tucked herself so he was between her and the dogs. I have to admit, we trampled a few beans.
When we finished the loop, we again pulled over to let a group by. I was surprised to recognize a friend in the group. Quick introductions were exchanged before we all continued the ride. We looped through trees, trotted and open hard packed path and even had a wooded portion that reminded us of home. I could tell Rosemary was tired. Comrade continued to do his trot catch ups with endless energy. I guess we have improved his fitness. One last downhill was steep and shadowed. Rosemary started down, but her tired butt and unknown footing made her stop. Comrade to the rescue took the lead. Then all she had to think about was her own butt. I could not have been more proud of how she handled and improved during the ride.
The last portion edged a field before going up a little hill to the finish. We could see a number of teams, so we took our time. As we started up the hill, a guy with a cone on his head was walking with the propery owner who was mounted. Our horses both looked at the guy, and decided to go wide around the scary cone. The owner was impressed with the ponies and even asked "Is he a Stallion?" When we said no she said "Well he should be." Considering Rosemary was glued to his side at the time, he would have had to be an exceptional stallion to deal with a mare that close.
The finish was in sight and we both picked up a trot to cross the line. Our beautiful, long ride was done and we both totally appreciated our ponies after seeing some of the others. By the time we untacked the horses were not even sweaty anymore. With a nice breeze, we were able to load them on the trailer to stay cool. All the Welsh shows have taught them patience and they just settled to eating hay out of Rosemary's bag. Finally after lunch, drinks and a chat with my friend we noticed the ride had caught up with Comrade. He was snoozing with Rosemary.
Oh and I must say we were dubbed "The Lost Ones." Some of the teams that saw us backtracking, did not see us again on trail. They were happy when they recognized the ponies at the trailer realizing we had found our way and would not need rescuing. Leave it to Peggy and me to spice up a Hunter Pace.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mid Atlantic Recap: Part 2

Now we get to the ridden portion of the show. Although I had my normal show nerves at the beginning of the day, they seemed to go away by time I needed to ride. I think they were exhausted away. The 3am wake up was starting to hit.
The tricky part was figuring out when to tack up Comrade. They changed the class order to put the kid classes earlier. After Comrade's blow up at his lesson, I wanted to keep the pony happy. Both of us sat half dressed for a bit before seeing the other Cob head to the arena. Then it was warm up time.
If you remember last year, than you know warm up was the beginning of a very bad series of events. I tried to keep a "Come what May," attitude as I walked around. I knew the other Cob would take the class so anything we accomplished would be a personal win. I put Comrade through his paces. Except for a wrong lead one time, he did everything I asked. He needed more time for suppling, but I also did not want to overwork him. I will take a bad frame over a grumpy pony. Considering how warm up went last year, this one was awesome. I could have cared less how we placed after finally getting a good warm up. I'm weird, I know.

Screen shot of Comrade

When the class started, I was feeling really comfortable. The first part is a judged hack. Walk, then trot, into canter then down to walk. Reverse and repeat. We had another wrong lead, but he quickly let me make the change. The ride was not our prettiest or most effective on my part, but he was obedient, forward and SOUND. The second part is a judged test, similar to a dressage test. I found this a little hard this time because the judge lined us up on the short end instead of the long side. This made some of the movement placing tough. This judge was really nice and went over how we could improve. For us we needed to think deeper corners and better extensions. Comrade lack of suppleness was showing. All I could think was, Redemption. We finally got to show some of his moves. The final part was confirmation. At the end we were, of course, second place. In my head we were total champions.
Here is the first class's video. I will warn you that Peggy got distracted watching us, she kind of forgot to follow with the camera. You can see he had nice forward motion. Everything else will come eventually.


Next up was the A/B class so we got a break before the champion class. The champion class had the two cobs and the one B. Lisa had already told me the champions normally take the class. I got to use the class to improve from the previous without the stress of trying to compete. It ran the same way as the first one, a hack then the test. Comrade hit all his leads and we did better corners during the hack. In the test, I kept thinking "step, step" to get him stepping under and suppling better. Our extensions were better and the final gallop was like freedom. We had achieved what we came to do and I was perfectly happy. No tears and no lame pony leaving the ring that day. The judge was happy with our improvements and seeing him round up at points.
Here is the second class's video. This one Mom took, but there is a part she was trying to find a better spot so it gets rough.


So I was chatting with Peggy when they announced the standings. They called my number as Champion. Say What???? Oh yeah, that's right the judge wrote the standings wrong. She was horrified. "He is a great pony, but you were my third place." I told the other Cob rider she won. She was so sad looking thinking I was hurt not winning. I told them both I did win, maybe not a ribbon, but for Comrade and I just finishing the two classes was better than a ribbon. Gosh, I think everyone else felt worse about me not winning than I did. Ah well, it went along with the rest of the day.

Finally after the super long day we could pack up the ponies and go home. This time the boys were tied on the same side loaded sideways. As we are driving down the road, Peggy notices a tail flying out of the trailer. I looked back and could tell by the color it was Comrades. His tired butt was sitting on the trailer. Peggy said she was going to have to stop and braid his tail. She did not want his tail damaged by blowing. We pulled onto 66, a two lane highway, with the thought of pulling over in Marshall. Then Peggy realized her truck was running at high RPMs. Sure enough out of 6, it was at 5. Slowing down did not help, so we had to pull over.
Mom and I took the time to braid Comrade's tail, while Peggy talked about the problem with a guy who had been there with his motorcycle. Then I called Peggy's husband to let him know and Mom called my brother who is a mechanic. In the end, the motorcycle guy figured it was a bad gauge. The truck did not sound like it was having troubles and there were no smells. We headed back onto the road cautiously.
 At this point it was after 6pm. We were dragging. The plan was to drop me and our ponies at our barn, then Mom and Peggy would go to her barn to unload there. I fed the ponies, but could not put them out because Rosemary and Roscoe's muzzles were in our car at Peggy's. So I picked poop, checked water and generally tried to stay awake. When Mom came we turned the horses out, settled Winston and headed home at about 10pm.

I did mention this was the longest show ever, right? Now you know why it took so long for me to do the write up. I had one hell of a horse show hangover.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mid Atlantic Welsh Show Recap: Part 1

Yes, that's right this is going to take more than one post. Everything about this show seemed to take longer. From show prep, to the show and even the drive home. And now the recap :)

After a visit by the farrier for Dottie and DaVinci, we packed up Roscoe and Rosemary to spend the night at Peggy's. Lisa flew in to handle the ponies for us and was on hand to help load them up. She had me questioning my sanity by telling me horror stories of hauling a stallion with mares. Fortunately, Roscoe did not do anything untoward with Rosemary in the trailer.
First on the schedule was a photo session with Roscoe. More on that hopefully when the pictures are ready.
Then we did bathes, in decreasing order of white quantity. Lisa made sure to graze Roscoe after his so he did not roll. By time we got to Rosemary, the drains were overflowing so we had to move her bath outside. Which meant battling the monster horse flies. Thankfully she is dark and has only a little white.  Finally we were able to settle them for the night. Roscoe had to have the upper portion of the dutch door closed since he and Peggy's Anglo Arab were playing studly games. We had visions of new bite marks. Not what you want before a show.
Mom and I went and parked our trailer back at our barn, before heading home. Then I had to shine the brass on the stallion bridle Lisa brought for Roscoe. Despite everything I did ahead of time, I still went to bed at 1am with a 3am wake up.
Blurry eyed we were pleased to find the horses stayed clean and we actually loaded on time. Peggy's trailer is a stock style with a divider in the middle. We put the boys in the front loaded straight and Rosemary in the back. Even before we drove off, Roscoe had pushed his butt towards Comrades head. Comrade did not seem bothered by it so we left them alone. Well Mom and Peggy got a surprise when they went to unload at the show.
Roscoe greeted them at the door with the breakaway trailer tie hanging from his halter. Then they realized two of his shipping boots were off. Right about that time they heard the sound of Comrade peeing. Seriously, talk about bloopers. He peed on the two Roscoe boots AND the one boot Roscoe took off Comrade. Well they would not be wearing those on the drive home.
Once we stopped laughing, we had to kick it into gear and do spot cleaning on the ponies. Roscoe was so much calmer than in the spring. We could bridle him at the trailer and he wore a metal bit for the first time. Lisa also brought a white halter with a chain for Rosemary. She can be a drama queen and the chain will help control her. Comrade just wore his normal bridle.
The classes started a little late because some people got lost on the way showing up just before the classes were due to start. Once they begin, everything goes fast. So here is how it went:

Roscoe was 1st place 2yr old Colt (only entry), Champion Colt under one judge and Reserve under the other, and the biggest win for him,  Grand Champion Cob under one judge. He beat out some really nice horses. I was walking away thinking he was done when I heard his number called. Super results and even better behavior from Roscoe. He did not place in the Supreme class against the more mature stallions and mares.







Rosemary was 2nd place 5 and over Yeld mare under one judge and 3rd under the other. She also showed more maturity in the ring than last year. She got to be part of the peanut gallery after not placing in the Champion Mare class. Since that meant she got to eat grass, she was totally all for spectator status.







Comrade was 1st place Cob Gelding (only entry), Supreme Gelding under one judge and Reserve Supreme under the other. And guess what, NO FAT COMMENTS !!! A judge did wonder why he was gelded.










When I say this was a long show, here is what I mean.  Cob classes start at 8am, with us arriving at 730 (later than normal for us). Classes take less than an hour and then we have to wait for the Supreme classes. Most shows, the breed classes are done by noon or 1pm. This time it did not get done until almost 3pm. The horses stood at the trailer for 4+ hours. At one point I had taken Rosemary to be measured, Roscoe decided to take a nap. He just laid down while tied to the trailer. He soon realized it was not an ideal position and got up.The boys shared a hay bag while Rosemary had her own area. They ate, drank and snoozed during the wait. I think I enjoyed that time the most.




After breed classes, we had to wait for Ridden Welsh.

And that is a recap for another day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Duct Tape+ Plastic Mesh= Happy Winston

Recently we noticed that Winston was getting grumpy. All our horses like to work, but with the wet weather he has not done much. So we tried taking him out for spins on the longe. That helped somewhat. I started racking my brain for what to do.

I figured he needed time to be able to run in the big fields. The sacrifice area just is not enough room. Then the question is, what to do about the grass? The Hannibal muzzle is way too open for the pasture and even the Best Friends type of muzzle is a bit big.

As I was cleaning around a blanket box, I found one of our spare rubber muzzle bottoms (cut off damaged muzzles). That got a idea brewing. Using the muzzle piece, I cut out a piece of plastic mesh we use to wrap hay in to slow down eating. Then I used the duct tape to attach the mesh to the muzzle piece. Finally that combination was attached to his full muzzle with duct tape. This cut the eating area down to about half what it is normally. The two rubber pieces protect the mesh from damage.

View looking into muzzle
 With this muzzle we let Winston go out with the boys in the pasture for 1-4 hrs depending. Most of the time he comes in looking for easier food before we think about going to get him. Then he goes in his little area for the night. He seems happier just being able to flat out run if he wants to and that he gets to be with the boys. And Mom and I don't have to worry about him overeating.  Plus he is less grumpy. He even played over trot poles set on a circle like he has done them forever. Small things can make a big difference.


"Hey, this is tough"
Finding balance between a happy horse and prevention is challenging, but after getting the opportunity for Winston to get the Laminil all the steps are worth it. His videos are now helping promote Laminil and hopefully raise funds. According to their video, all 42 horses showed improvement. Here is the link: http://vimeo.com/72319445
Hearing about the number of people who applied to be part of the trial the first day and knowing that I applied a couple days after the announcement, makes me realize how lucky we were Winston was an ideal patient. It was a high point after a bad work day.

Now it is onto show preparations. My list is almost done :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rotten Pony Alert !!!

Today was the day for mischievous Cobs. I was alone at the barn since my Mom had a work class. This meant I had a lot to get done in a short period of time. I was doing well, getting things done. Then I put the horses out. To save time they were going out on grass in muzzles. Turned out the boys, muzzled Jenna and then went to let the girls out. I had their gate wide open. I also had a narrow gate between the boys and girls area open, but blocked by our little spreader to get ready to pick poop. Well Dottie went right out to the field. Rosemary on the other hand went right to the narrow gate, stepped over the tongue of the spreader and went off to play with the boys. OH SHIT!
Now I get to see how Roscoe will behave with a girl on the loose. He tried rubbing his head on her butt and following her. Rosemary kind of looked and said "What the heck are you doing?" Then they all took off running and bucking. It has been over a year and a half since they were last together. I was torn between the clock ticking in my head and awe over watching them move. Cobs and Arabs are animals of beauty especially in motion. After a few unsuccessful attempts at nabbing Rosemary, she finally ran into the sacrifice area with Winston. I quickly shut the gate.
Of course she was still running around not wanting to be caught. I had to slip Winston out before she let me get a hold of her. "Back to your field Pony Girl!"
Somehow even with the escapee pony I made it to work on time. As I diligently clicked away at my computer, my cell rings. It was Peggy. She had a lesson with Bobby today. I was interested to hear how it went since on Sunday Comrade decided right lead canter was not going to happen. He did have a fresh kick on his right hind, so I gave up after a bunch of attempts. With the show coming on Saturday, I asked Peggy to see how his canter was today. So Peggy said Bobby got on and rode him in the grassy area. He picked up both leads. They moved to the sand arena and he again picked up both leads. Not sure why, but they moved back to the grassy area where Comrade stated he was done with the right lead. Bobby told him he was not allowed to say no.
And this is where as Peggy puts it, Comrade had his "Come to Jesus" moment with Bobby. She said at points, Comrade just tried taking off out of the arena. Oh, pony this guy rides bigger, badder horses than you. Bobby was absolutely amazed at the change in Comrade's attitude. Cobs can be wonderful, but if they think they are right it takes a lot to change their minds. Comrade was determined he was not getting off that inside shoulder going to the right. Eventually, Bobby got off and worked him in hand putting him on a small circle almost to the point of doing a shoulder in.
By time they finished, the rotten pony was drenched and huffing. They walked back to the barn and Bobby told his wife "He was a bad pony, I did not expect that." Yep, that's right those cute faces can hide the most stubborn animals on the planet. Fortunately these rebellions don't happen often, but seriously Comrade could have picked a better time. I really hope he is in a better frame of mind by Saturday. For now, Peggy made sure to dig out the bute and lineament. It is really hard work being rotten ;)