Sunday, April 28, 2013

Conditioning Comrade and ...

Roscoe news.
I swear I was only going to write about Comrade, but I got home and saw the mail. Some of you mentioned you were interested in the process. Well the other side to Roscoe getting ready to breed, is the paperwork side. Both his breeder and I thought we would have more time to process his paperwork with the Welsh Society. Not quite.
It ended up being all the paperwork had to be done before he bred any mare with artificial insemination. In other words, ASAP.
So here is what we had to do:
1. Order a DNA test, $40. Then pull hair and mail to lab in CA. Check.
I am happy to say, Roscoe is in fact his father's son.

2. Get a 4x6 color photo. Check.

3. Send in his registration to get registered as a Stud, $75. Check.

4. Send in Artificial Insemination application for permit, $100. Check.

I sent in all the paperwork about a month ago and saw the check cashed a week ago, but still had not received the new registration and permit. He has a welsh show next month and the entry has to be mailed by May 8th including his registration. I was getting worried, then...
Today his paperwork finally arrived.
Roscoe officially permitted to dispense :)
Beyond getting him to the collection center and sending in the Stallion Service report, a list of mares bred to him, our part is complete. Now I have to think about a breeding contract.

And now onto Comrade.
Comrade has done really well since he has been on the joint supplement, but his right side is still weaker. Not unexpected. Two years of protecting that side has taken its toll. When I attended the clinic, Yvonne told me to lunge him with side reins and work the canter. This way he learns to carry himself. Last weekend I put him in the balancing system, which I prefer to side reins because it connects the front end to the back end.
The exercise was informative. He was really lazy behind to begin with. Then he started to relax into the contact. His trot work improved enough I felt comfortable asking him to canter. To the left, he was willing to pick up the lead. Comrade got a little quick while figuring out how to manage the gait on his own. The right lead was much harder on him. The system sets the parameters for him to work with in and Comrade was not thrilled at the limits. Moving correctly is so tough. I did get him to canter to the right, but not for very long. I was okay with that. Better a few steps of correct canter, than a lot of bad. We ended by going to the left lead canter again, so he ended on a positive. The balancing system works them hard and only needs a short session. I learned Comrade needs to strengthen his hind end and core.
Today I decided to work on conditioning. Peggy has a very steep hill at the back side of her property which she had a path graded into so we could get to the bottom. This hill is a butt kicker for human and horse. Evil thoughts abound.
Years ago, Barry and I stayed at my trainers farm. We traveled around to different cross country fields to train and we also visited a huge hill. My trainer told me local eventers used the hill to do suicides with their horses. Transitions on hills are really good muscle builders. So I told Mom, that I was taking Comrade to the killer hill Peggy has. First Mom had me warm up in the arena. We worked shoulder in, going straight and on a circle. Then we played with half pass. Small success for a first attempt, but nothing great. Mom had me use the should in on a circle to prepare him to push forward. Half circle of shoulder in, straight, push, move forward.
Not fast or quick, which Comrade tried, but step under and forward. We only did a few steps of forward, before collecting and circling to begin again. I found I had to sit the trot so I could reinforce the push with my seat and also get him back if he went too quick. Soon he started to fix himself, checking his front end and sitting behind. I could feel the push from behind.
Now he was ready for the hill. We walked down and up to check the footing. Comrade was already realizing this hill is tough. Mom told me to do walk, halt transitions going down the hill and walk, trot transitions up the hill. His halts improved as he learned to stop using his hind end, not falling on his fore. We turned around and started up. Walk to trot for a few strides. Walk, breathe then trot. Each upward transition had better push from behind and his response was quick. At the top, he huffed out a relieved sigh. Whew!
We decided he could handle another go. Mom said it would be nice if he could do trot, canter transitions, but we did not figure he would have the umph today for that. She told me to open and close the trot up the hill. Comrade responded well and he even surprised me with a couple great canter transitions. I love that he offered the canter. He utilized what we worked on in the arena and applied it to the killer hill.
Comrade's core was tucked up and he looked pretty great after the ride.He enjoyed a warm shower on his tired muscles. I was really happy with his work today.
I had hoped to go to a combined training next weekend, but Roscoe's unknown return date, a death in Peggy's family and a soon to be born baby in our family nixed that idea. Ah well it gives us more time to prepare. There is another show at the end of the month. I still have not decided whether or not to bring him to the Welsh show on the 18th. It would almost be worth a chance to do Ridden Cob again. Decisions, decisions.

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of red tape to have a registered stallion, very interesting!