Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rosemary Driving Distracted

Well, we should have known it was going to be interesting when we unloaded Rosemary and got resounding neighs from the Stallion. Which she of course answered.
Bazemore, the stallion, was told he had a mare coming today so he thought Rosemary was the one. He stayed by the fence the whole time we were in the arena and even moved to the long side really distracting Rosemary. She started wringing her tail and bracing her neck. The trainer decided that it was not worth risking a blow up while she was so distracted.
The trainer is thrilled with the progress Rosemary has made and even said she may be her best student this summer. Next she wants to get her driving out of the arena. Plus mom still needs to try her hand at driving.
Anybody remember Bambi? This is a Twitterpated Rosemary!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012


For about 3yrs I have been trimming a couple of Appies that share the farm with my horses. Like me their owner is part of the working poor. She pays me $50 for the two trims. My Dad and farrier constantly harp on me to raise the price. But I know how hard it is to make ends meet sometimes and she works hard helping me do the trims. She also pays the money for the drugs to make Rebel sleepy. Plus I am still learning and do not do farrier work for a living so I figure she deserves a discount for my learning curve.
Anyway Sunday was their four week trim and she gave us a check. This time though she said she had to explain the amount. Part of the amount was to cover hay she bought from us. Next she said that she knew that my work was worth more than she paid, so she added $10 more for the trims. Finally, since she refinanced her house she put an extra money as a thank you for our help with her horses. She felt like we do so much for her and she could not reciprocate. I told her that just knowing that she counts heads in our fields when she comes makes us feel better about our horses. She always watched out for my sister when she came to feed the horses. She also helped us when we bought Rosemary and dealt with a pregnancy for the first time.
This is what I love about my circle of horse people. They are always willing to help each other. So many people have helped me and any time I can pay it forward I do.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Ride I Never Thought to Have

Today was much better temperature wise, but I felt horrible when I got to the barn. I took some headache medicine and sat down to let it start working. No weed whacking today.
As I waited to see if I would do anything, my horses snoozed under their fans. Luckily the medicine did the trick and I felt more human later. Now I had to decide who to ride.
The day was quiet and I was feeling confident, so I picked Winston. In my post "Mindset" I told about the challenges we have had with Winston and how I have to be in the right frame of mind to ride him. Mom rode him yesterday helping make my decision.
I really only wanted to get him moving. He is our fattest horse, so he needs the work. What I got was better than I could have ever expected.
My rides on Winston normally consist of walking and a little trotting to the left, right is his trouble side. Today I felt no uneasiness when I got on him. We walked to warm up, working on corners. Then Winston decided that it was time to trot... going to the right. I took a breathe and went with it. Gradually I was able to ask for more trot and ask for him to round. We trotted both directions for 15-20mins. I have not trotted him that long in 3yrs. He has such a smooth, open gait that was enjoyable. I was not nervous and I actually had fun riding him today. After the last time I came off him, I did not think I would ever be able to trust him enough to have fun.
Winston loves to work and I was really comfortable, so I asked him to open and close his trot. I have worked him in hand and on the lunge a lot using vocal commands. I used the same commands to help him understand what I wanted. We did a corner and then moved on, then repeat. He responded really well. Plus he was rounding nicely. I was nearly done and asked for another "trot on." Winston moved on, did a little canter skip, went on trotting. I used my inside leg to bend him after I felt the skip. Surprisingly, he picked up CANTER. It was the smoothest transition I have ever felt. Then my heart skipped a beat. We were cantering, OH Boy. The last time I was on him and he took off in a canter I ended up on the ground. Again I took a breathe, then put my shoulders back and after a couple strides he smoothly transitioned down and halted. I was absolutely amazed. I gave him sugar and loved on him. Mom has been thinking about cantering him, but it never even crossed my mind.
I will admit that I was a bit shaky from adrenaline. I asked him to trot a bit more then hopped off.
We both ended the ride feeling great. It was probably the first time I did not sigh in relief when I had my feet on the ground. This time I was happy and filled with our achievement. Winston got a big hug and scratches.
I know that the next ride may not be the same, but I will always have this ride to treasure.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Locks of Love

3 yrs ago I decided to grow my hair out to donate. My decision was for two reasons.

First, almost 16yrs ago my sister was diagnosed with Alopecia. This is an auto immune disease where the body attacks it's own hair follicles. Hair loss can be in areas or total. My sister always had gorgeous long, red hair so when she began getting bald spots, the change was noticeable. Unfortunately, she did not get a wig in time and had to face high school. I watched my sister's strength be tested each day her hair continued to fall out. Eventually my parents were able to buy her a wig similar to her own hair color. Traditional wigs are not that comfortable or secure. After a while she went to wearing hats, scarves or bandannas. Now she has a great collection to match her wardrobe.

Second, during this time we had so many vet bills and more came the next year. By growing my hair out, I could lengthen the time between my hair appointments and cut my bill in half. A little savings that helped in the overall financial situation.

Years after, too late for my sister, we found a foundation that provides real hair wigs for people up to age 18. Locks of Love takes donations to make wigs made for kids. These wigs fit better and are more comfortable giving the wearer more confidence. What is great, is that many of the donors are children. Anyone can donate if they meet the minimum rules, at least 10 inches and no bleached hair.

So now 3 yrs of growth has given me, I think, about 11 inches. Most likely in the fall I will make the cut. Until then I have to figure out how to deal with the length. When I bought my current helmet my hair was shorter and my stylist thinned it some. With all my hair now it makes a tighter fit. I have never been able to get all my hair under my helmet. I am always impressed when I see people that can. Braiding has become my main method of containment in the heat wave we have been having.
I will get a better picture before I cut it
If anyone is thinking about going shorter, think about donating. About six donations are needed to make one wig. And yes they do take grey hair too. They sell the grey or shorter hairs to fund making the wigs, so every little bit helps.

Back to horsey news tomorrow. They have been melting in the heat and enjoying their fans. For everyone showing this weekend, Good Luck and drink lots of fluids.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Birthday, Birthday

Yes that was three Happy Birthdays.

It is:

Woo hoo, Roscoe's 1st Birthday
Hours old Roscoe, Castleberrys ReFflection

Our baby is growing up.
Roscoe's Sire, Castleberrys Ffame ap Culhwch 5th Birthday
3yr old Ffame

5yr old Ffame in CA at dressage show making a splash (photo by Whitney Harrington)
And finally:
Kayla's 9th Birthday
Hard to believe we have had her for eight years now.

Still keeping up with the horses and boys
I want to get yearling pictures and a video of Roscoe, but he has to get cleaned up and the weather must be better.
So June 19th is a great day for a Birthday.
PS It was Barry's Birthday too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

DaVinci and the Tower of Books

Weird title, I know but there is an explanation.

Today brought rain. When we got to the barn it was only lightly raining so we told the college girl to come over. To start with we had her groom DaVinci and let him get to know her. We explained that DaVinci is a more sensitive, hotter horse than Dottie and can be tougher to ride. She came back with that she rides hot warmbloods at school. In my experience a hot Arab vs a hot warmblood is two different situations. I think she underestimates DaVinci because he is only 14.1h.
The rain slacked enough that I told her to ride, though she was still not convinced he could handle her size. Mom tacked him up so he was more comfortable. CG mounted and what do you know she did not look bad on him...surprise.
DaVinci gave her his wonderful "8" walk over to the arena, testing her a little by "spooking" at the little red wagon. CG has the tendency to lean forward when tense, not good on a horse like DaVinci. Mom talked her through and they walked on. Walking was good. DaVinci stretched down and chewed. Then she asked for the trot, tensed and he just went fast. His head went up, her shoulders came forward and her hand went down. One big ball of building tension. Oh boy.
Mom to the rescue. She told her to lift then roll she shoulders back and down bringing her weight down into the saddle and bringing her vertical raising her hands. I told her to breathe. Crisis averted. DaVinci started to settle and find his working trot. Sometimes she was able to get him to round, but most of the time he looked like a tourist on a European tour.
One thing we noticed is her left shoulder drops lower than her right. Just like horses if we have discrepancies it can show in our riding. While riding Dottie she mentioned the saddle slipped to the right. We did not have the same problem, but with that shoulder she could be compensating by stepping heavy on the right stirrup causing the shift. With the DaVinci I noticed tracking to the left he was almost always bent to the outside. Could be she leads with the lower shoulder too.
Another thing we noticed is that she is like me, tall in the torso. When riding smaller horses or ponies that height can easily shift a horses balance. We saw that happening to DaVinci. Mom tried to explain what was happening to CG in non horse terms.
If you are carrying a tower of books and they begin to tip forward what is the normal reaction?
The carrier tends to quicken their pace to get under the tipping tower.
A horse can react the same way to a forward shift in balance of a rider. DaVinci will teach CG about keeping her shoulders back and finding her center. Being centered helps a rider be much more solid in the saddle. Okay moving on.
Anyway her trot work improved enough we told her to ask for canter. I told her to ask for left lead since he is not as strong that way. He is trained to pick it up with the inside leg with outside rein half halt, so that was different for her. He surprised her with the transition, a very nice one, and she kind of leaned forward and grabbed the reins. Another snowball moment building, but again Mom talked her through. The downward had a bit to much hand action so DaVinci protested a little. Overall it was not as bad as it could have been.
Hopefully she will be smart and go slow with him for her sake. I trust my horses opinions and neither has had a negative reaction to CG.
Do you think she will take DaVinci a little more seriously now :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Driving, Riding, Eating... PARTY

We decided  while sitting around for hours at the Welsh show last month that we, my family and Peggy and Larry, would do a cook out to celebrate a year with Roscoe. So this Saturday, instead of going to the Eastern National Welsh show, we hauled Rosemary and Dottie (yes Roscoe did not get to go to his own party) over to Peggy's for what turned out to be an awesome weekend.
When we arrived, the girls went out in one of Peggy's turn outs. Rosemary delighted in showing Dottie where the trough was and the run in and the boys.
We went about getting the food ready and waiting for Dad and my sister to show up. The dogs provided entertainment. Little Griffyn vs Large Shadow,

Shadow lays down to give Griffyn a chance.

Play stopped when Dad came and he and Larry went to grill the meat. Dog noses followed the meat tray.
Male bonding. Fire, meat conversation
When the food was finally ready, the dogs tried really hard to say they were starving.

Nothing better than a good meal with friends and family. Well maybe driving and riding with friends.
After the meal, while the men talked the ladies headed to hook up Rosemary for Peggy to drive. We used her headstall and Peggy's brown harness. Rosemary was a superstar. She was able to trot and make the turns in the arena. Three weeks ago she could barely trot in the same arena. Peggy had a lot of fun driving.
Shadow and Griffyn decided they wanted a ride.
As Peggy and I were unhooking Rosemary from the cart, we could not figure out why we had to work so hard to push the cart off her. The answer...
We all just laughed.

After a lovely desert of coconut cake, chocolate cake and pudding pie with a wine toast the four girls went for a ride. This would be my sisters first trail ride. Unfortunately she was a bit nervous since earlier in the week Dottie bucked with her college girl. Since it was later, the light was going and the pictures did not come out well. We did a short ride to give my sister a taste. Once we got the right order, Rosemary then Dottie then Comrade followed by Addie, the ride smoothed out. All our ponies were great.
We were all having fun and did not want to leave, so we decided the girls could spend the night and go home on Sunday. Dogs, people I think we were all exhausted.

Sunday dawned another beautiful day. We met Peggy in the morning. The girls survived the night and did not work over Larry too much. He is a sucker for mares.
Again we tacked the ponies and went for a longer trail ride. With out my sister we could go on a more difficult path. Comrade took care of Peggy, Rosemary worked her butt off and Dottie was in heaven. The unplanned overnighter turned out to be a great idea. And we got a better picture.
Left: Mom and Rosemary, Peggy and Comrade, Me and Dottie

DaVinci did scold us for not telling him the girls were staying out all night. He had sleepy eyes today, so I think he was waiting for them to come home.
Tomorrow weather permitting, Dottie's college girl will be trying to ride him. Their first attempt did not go well so she backed off and waited for us to be there. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rosemary Driving Training part 6

What a gorgeous day. At the rain finished yesterday so we could train today.
It started well, Rosemary got on the trailer with the help of a banana. That girl loves bananas, peel and all.
Rosemary wore the same harness, but we used our headstall with her bit from her riding bridle. (three piece korsteel snaffle) The cart from last week was a snug fit so the trainer brought out a bigger cart. While she gathered the parts and pieces needed, Mom ground drove her around the arena. Gradually she focused and got down to work. We can tell when she settles because she goes from stomping her feet to a nice open walk.
It took us a little bit of time to hook her up to this cart causing Rosemary to wiggle. Finally all the pieces were in place and she could go to work. This is the point when the video starts.
She was much more comfortable trotting this time than she was a couple weeks ago. She handled the turns like they were nothing. As the session went on she even got some suspension to her trot. I cannot wait until she learns to really push.
The trainer thought that trotting was Rosemary's niche. Makes sense since Cobs are trotters. She felt that Rosemary had no issues with the cart or harness and drum roll please... the bit was the right one. Nice to know we have been riding her in a bit she likes. Now we need another.
The trainer ended by checking Rosemary's memory by asking her to back the cart. Rosemary gave a couple steps back and moved forward and halted when asked. All of us were thrilled.
Next week Mom will drive her with the trainer in the cart to help her. The trainer believes Mom can handle Rosemary which is a good recommendation. We shall see.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beware the MARE

Sunday promised to be another hot day and it did not disappoint. I did a short session in the arena with Comrade before walking out on trail. Peggy walked the whole way on foot in front of us. Comrade followed her any where she went. He even gave her more room going down hills. I love seeing how he thinks.
By the time I made it to my barn it was about 2pm. I cleaned stalls, filled water, filled hay bags and brought in sawdust for the horses. I was a little distracted when I noticed the barn owl in the loft. He has the coolest face. Unfortunately the barn swallows are not keen on sharing the space, so they pester him.
Even though my outdoor to do list is long, and getting longer as the grass grows ;), I decided to give partial baths to the three who have not yet been cleaned this year. I let the boys come in and then I let the girls in. As I led Rosemary to her stall, Dottie decided to visit the boys. I headed down to nab her. I walked up next to her butt, talking to her the whole time.
Next thing I know she kicks out and connects with my leg just and I mean just above and to the outside of my knee. It was a definite "OH S#%T" moment. Funny what you think about when things like this happen.
My first thought "Well there go my plans"
Second "How am I getting home?" (I drive a manual transmission)
Third "Darn Mares in season!!!"
Then I realized Dottie was still standing there and since she was in season there was a chance she would pee all over the aisle. I hobbled over and walked her to her stall, where she promptly peed.
Luckily her size 4 shod foot only scraped a little skin and badly bruised the area. Keeping moving felt better so I continued with my bath plans after icing my knee. In all my years around horses I do not remember being kicked before Roscoe and Dottie. Lets hope I can make it this week without a repeat. I can report that I did bathe DaVinci, Winston and Dottie. Plus gave Rosemary and Roscoe a scrub too.
After my hour drive home, I was as gimpy as Comrade was after the show. Ice and a heated mattress pad to the rescue.
Ah whats a little more color in my life? Black and blue are not too bad :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Comrades Back

Today was a hot day and not much on our to do list got done. Instead all our horses were ridden or ground worked. I even used a bit of Clinton Anderson thought process to work on Roscoe's mane. Roscoe absolutely believes he should have a long mane. Mom and I believe he should have a shorter mane. Before today, he was winning.
I grabbed the old clipper blade and had Mom hold him. Then I began using the blade on his mane. I kept going even when he backed, wiggled, shook his head or moved forward. Eventually he stood still and I stopped. After scratches and praise, I started again. This time he stayed still and only shook his head a little. Finally the third time he did not even shake his head at all. These Cobs are so smart. I am glad there is hope of shortening his mane.
On the Rosemary vs trailer issue it is going well. Since the training on Wednesday we have fed her breakfast on the trailer. Mom walks her to the trailer, I hold her food at the front. Rosemary has decided she wants to walk on by herself. Well the joke is on her, we are thrilled at her self loading. Once she is on I let her have a few bites and then tell her to back. With only the verbal command she backs off the trailer. We repeat the process until she finishes her food. Each day she has gotten better. Hopefully we will be able to load her with only one person in the future.
And to end the day we went to Peggy's to ride Comrade. This was the first time that Mom had seen Comrade since the show. I knew when I started walking him around that he was feeling much better. After using some lateral to warm him up I asked for trot. For the first time since the show he gave me push from behind. And he rounded softly.
Then he surprised me by moving into Right lead canter. He has done that going to the left, but not the right. I went with it for a few strides, then brought him back to trot. Then I asked for the canter on the short end and asked him to open on the long side. He opened so smoothly and closed up when I asked. We crossed the diagonal and I set him up for a simple change. This is something new that I asked of him and he took it, ha ha, in stride. Both Mom and Peggy were impressed. I worked the left lead in the same way. It was so nice to have him feeling "normal" again. To end I asked him to open his trot and he did. Luckily going lame after a lengthening at the show did not discourage Comrade.
His reward was to go jump on trail. There are two jumps near the trail head and nearby coming up a hill are three small jumps in a row.  So we trotted down the hill and made the turn to the three jump line. He trotted flat over the first and second and gave me some effort over the third. I moved him on to the two jumps and he was a bit lazy. Take 2 was better. I asked him for more and he gave me a better jump. He rounded nicely over on of the upper jumps. By this point he was doing his cocky trot and basking in Peggy's praise.  We did the set one more time. Mom had me think canter before the jumps to get the push. Comrade made the turn to the first jump, focused and planted and pushed over the fence landing at canter. He maintained the canter to the next jump and over. I had to check his speed to the third and he waited, added a stride and jumped it great. He continued to canter to the fourth, up and over and on to the last. Heading towards home he got a bit strong, but came back to me before the last jump. It was an excellent effort.
Mom had us do trot canter transitions up the hill to finish the lesson. It took him a few transitions to figure out he needed an extra push on the hill. Overall after the last two weeks of lameness, Comrade came back stronger and ready to work.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Black and Blue Bday Gift

Roscoe decided that he would give me a lovely black and blue bruise just below my left collar bone for my 30th birthday. Surprised the heck out of me. He got pushy in his stall so I started making him move around. His stall is 14x10 so he has room.
Roscoe has his mother's attitude made worse by being a young boy. He knows the right answers, but sometimes he cannot resist giving his opinion. During this session he was listening well, only adding a few comments. I asked him to move on, then took a step back when he did. Next thing I know he kicked out with both back feet. And wait... oh yeah he got me.
Those baby legs have gotten longer and he aimed really well. Unfortunately, I am not that brave and he noted my ouch moment and thought to try again. I made him move away until my Mom could come and work him. She is the "head mare" in our barn and has more guts than me.
Since the breeder worked with him before the show he does not take as long to come around, which is good. Mom and I do not want to do a lot of lunging or round penning since he is so young. Peggy recommended we watch some Clinton Anderson videos. We have only watched a short part of his training. I was impressed with how he explains why and how to do the methods. Much of what he does, we have addressed with Roscoe in a different way before. Consistency is the biggest point he stresses. What you do on one side of the horse you need to do on the other.
I decided to try the first lesson on Roscoe. Desensitizing using a lead line. So I set myself up the way he recommends and began swinging the lead line along Roscoe's top line. He stood for a bit then he tried to come into my space from the front end. I realized I forgot to use my other hand to block. Once I corrected my position he did not try to much. When he moved a little, I easily stayed with him maintaining the rhythm of the lead line. This session I only did the top line on both sides. When he was good I gave him a scratch and turned him out.
The next time I addressed the top line and then moved onto the legs. Roscoe did not move at all during this session. He actually cocked a leg and let me do my routine. Time for me to watch the next lesson.
The hellion is still in there. He pulled the kicking stunt on Mom today, and she had to get after him. He chewed and settled pretty quick. It is a bit scary working with a yearling, knowing that this is information he will carry for the rest of his life and will shape that life too. I would say it will get easier once he is gelded (another long story), but he has had this attitude since he was born. So more to come in Roscoe's big boy lessons. Hopefully no more bruises :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rosemary Driving Training part 5

The rain gods cooperated yesterday and we were able to bring Rosemary to the trainer's. We used the trainers harness, bit and cart so things fit Rosemary a little differently. She did not mind the chickens clucking and the rooster crowing. She did wonder about the huge horse cross tied behind her. He must have been 17h +. The trainer breeds Cleveland Bays and fox hunts so most of the horses she has are huge.
We were not sure the bit placement would work because her head is so short, but she only got her tongue over the bit once. Luckily she was not in season. The trainer's stallion is in a pen right next to the arena.
See the cute Stallion in the corner
As she started walking around, we all noticed something funky going on in her back end. She did not seem upset or sore, but something was there. We kept her working and watched.
The cart we used was a tighter fit which actually worked to keep her straighter. I was impressed at how tight she was able to make turns. Rosemary still pulled her tests, starting to trot, reacting to the whip and not wanting to halt. The trainer talked her through it and they both worked well together.
One aspect the trainer started to work on last week was backing with the cart. Rosemary had no clue. When I rode her on Saturday and on Monday I worked on backing under saddle using hand and voice commands. She actually gave me at least a couple steps each time. So of course just after I stopped recording, the trainer asked her to back. At first it seemed she would not do it, but then she backed two steps. I love when training transfers.
It was a reserved lesson, but the advances she made were great.
Now if only we could figure out why she has decided not to get on the trailer?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2 Cobs and an Arab

That was the pattern for my weekend.
I started both days by riding Comrade, who is much improved. His canter had push both directions and was willing. I did not work him too hard though. We ended by going out on trail. Sunday I let him take some of the jumps. Sometimes he just needs to play. He gave me a cocky, suspended trot afterward. Happy boy.
Saturday was beautiful so I was determined to ride my guys. First I had to trim my barefoot ponies. I try to keep them on a four week schedule, especially the Cobs. Roscoe is so nosy. He always wants to check out my hoof stand. At least this time he stood better. Winston was a star, standing loose in the aisle while I worked. Rosemary and I had to have a conversation about standing still. Hmm, do you sense a theme in what Rosemary has to "learn." She thought that since Dottie was out being ridden, she needed to take a head count. Her role as barn monitor is very serious :) We survived and her long toes got trimmed. Whew, good for another month.
Now it was time to play. Or so I thought. Rosemary decided that she could hear Dottie calling just fine, but listening to me was too hard. After her airs above ground at Peggy's, I took it slow trying to get her head on the ride. So we walked and then I breathed in and as I let the breathe out we halted. Very calming for me and it helped get her attention. At the trot she wanted to really lean going to the left. To help her I moved both my hands to the right and verbally asked her to "Step, Step" as we entered corners. From groundwork she knows what I mean. Sometimes I would even come down to walk to make it easier on her. By the end of the ride she was able to complete a couple corners bending correctly and softly. She is a smart girl when she listens. This ride made me remember a comment that was made by a French Cadre rider, "Do what is needed for the horse to learn and don't worry about pretty." He showed us that if he had to drop his shoulder to get the horse to learn to move off his inside aids, then he would do that. Nuance comes later. A good thought to remember when riding a green horse.
From young to mature. DaVinci was ready to work. He went straight into trot. I made him work though. After warm up, we started doing volts (small circles) where he had to step under and push. Out of a volt I had him open his trot, then go into another volt. DaVinci is really fun to ride because if you ask right he will give you the right answer. He has helped my lateral work immensely. On the other hand, if he gets distracted using lateral work to get his attention does not work. He can do that stuff in his sleep. Transitions, direction changes and these volts seem to get his attention. It was a great ride to end the day with.
Sunday brought rain when I arrived at my barn. I organized the tack room and waited for a break in the weather. Eventually it came. I worked Roscoe in hand. More on that in another post. Then with the little time I had left before heading home, I took DaVinci out for a stroll. He enjoys trail riding or in our case field exploring. As we neared the pond he decided to take the loop around it. Griffyn went for a swim and Kayla waded. We stopped to enjoy the view as the sun began to set.
DaVinci was disappointed I pulled out my phone instead of sugar :)

Not a bad way to end a productive weekend. 2 Cobs and and Arab got their feet trimmed. 2 Cobs and an Arab got worked on Saturday and on Sunday. Lets see how the week follows.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Balancing the Benefits

Just a short post for now. I will breakdown the weekend later.

Part of that weekend included Dottie's college student coming and riding her. She seems to mostly take her out and hack around the fields. The day she came, I told her that Dottie was very dirty. It rained the night before and she found a nice muddy spot.
I was surprised when a short time later she was already tacking her up. Dottie is a 16h draft cross so there is a lot of body mass to brush. I bit my tongue and kept working.
That evening as I was fly spraying and applying bug balm, I found that Dottie's belly was covered with dirt. She had not touched her belly. Closer inspection found some dirt at the upper part of her neck too. Geez, I do not mind a quick groom. We keep our horses pretty clean. But if I do a quick brush I make sure to groom the places where tack makes contact or are prone to sweat.
So the question is do we address the issue with the girl? She is only here for the summer and Dottie is starting to get into shape.
Most likely we will monitor Dottie closely to make sure she does not get any chafing or sores. It is hard  because she loves to be groomed.
Right now her riding is more beneficial than her lack of grooming is detrimental, so we shall see. We do not micromanage her, but we want to be aware of what is happening with Dottie.