It is definitely great to have warmer weather. I seem to get more done and generally feel better overall. That could just be the longer daylight hours and that there is so much more work to do this time of year, but I am thinking positive.
Saturday M and K came to ride the girls. Dottie was so excited to get to work and K seemed happy to end her riding drought caused by her broken bone. I worked with both of them to make sure they were moving in the right direction. With the bad winter, the older horses lost a lot of muscle and need slow work to get it back. Dottie is not a fan of walking, so I had K doing transitions. Making sure she had Dottie actually moving forward and not just plodding. I also made her exaggerate carrying her hands higher, so we did not have a repeat of her fall. For Rosemary, M needed to work on softening her neck and poll. Rosemary was getting a bit inverted with M before winter. I had her do circles or bending lines. As she circled the inside rein came in, turning the thumb like a hitchhiker, to get the bend in the neck. When Rosemary gave and stretched she brought the hand back in line and added leg to keep her moving forward. If she stiffened, M repeated. Sometimes I had her bring the inside rein back against her neck with the inside leg also asking her to move over into the outside aids. The best part was that Rosemary showed when M was not asking enough and when she was doing it correctly. To the right, M really had to make sure Rosemary was looking inside because she was quick to cheat by looking out. When they put it together, they had a lovely open trot with a nice long neck line.
After they cleaned up the girls, I asked if they could stick around while I got on Winston. When they agreed I got a piece of Rescue Remedy gum and tacked him up. Talk about a big difference in his weight. I was able to use DaVinci's saddle and girth. The saddle is a size down from his usual and the girth is 2 inches shorter. Plus it was up four holes on both sides. I was a bit nervous when I first got on since he was shifty. M held him while I picked up my stirrups. Then we headed out to the front of the barn. He was cool and I got better as I relaxed. He did keep leaning on the left side, which is a change. With inside leg he moved off and into the outside aids. We gradually picked up trot, more for me than him. I think he was happy to be working again. This was his second ride since the laminitis last year. By the end I was able to just enjoy his floaty trot and chatting with M and K.
Then the work began. I had the never ending task of picking the sacrifice area, which takes awhile right now after the wet winter prevented us from keeping up. I let all the horses go out and graze while I tackled the picking. A special treat for Winston. When I quit that task, I had to address Roscoe's feet. The influx of spring grass had brought on massive toe growth. Let me tell you that boy is so flexible. I can put his foot on the stand to trim the bottom and he will play with the floor mats or anything close by. As long as he does not yank his foot away and I can work, I let him be. It was probably the best he has every been during a trim, so I was really pleased. The better he is, the quicker I can get done.
Well, I figured I would attempt to work on his mane. Another ongoing process. I have used grazing as a distraction before and thought to try again. Ah, Nope. The grass was not enough, so it came down to my patience versus his evasions. I won...barely. He eventually figured out I was not pulling, just using a clipper blade and stood somewhat still. Short manes look great but are a total pain in the ass to get that way.
And then on Sunday, I got nothing done except Rosemary's feet because my nieces came to visit. Lily first said she wanted to ride the "White" horse, but then changed to the "Brown" horse. When I pointed out that Dottie is the "Brown" horse and Rosemary is the "Black" horse, she changed her choice to "Black." Rosemary was super, even with the crazy winds. I even let her trot after asking Lily if she wanted to go fast. Lily soon decided slow was better. She also decided she wanted to ride the "White" horse. So we put her down and then put Anna up.
|"NO HANDS" :)|
The helmet was really big but we made it work. She would not hold on, so my brother had to make sure she stayed put. Lily led Rosemary around for her sister. Anna was happiest when the pony was moving so it worked. Then Lily said we had to go back to the barn, so she could get the "White" horse.
Well DaVinci ended up taking US for a walk. He kicked in his cruise mode and we had fun keeping up. Lily even asked my brother to hold on which she normally hates. I guess that's what happens when the pony has not worked in a while. When we got back to the barn, I figured she was done. Yeah Right! She walked over to Roscoe and said she wanted to ride him. Lily has had a connection with him since she saw him the day he was born. I told her she could, but Daddy had to keep a hold of her.
|Matching Braids :)|
Roscoe made things difficult by letting out a big breath after we got her on and then not having enough holes to make it tight. He was a little worried by the new situation combined with the wind. Lucky me got to fend off nips, his bad habit he reverts to. But he really was a good boy. We told Lily she was helping to train him and she enjoyed that fact. Since he is so narrow and walks so big, she really felt the dips which worried her a little, but she stuck with it. When we got to the arena, I had her get off so I could work him a little. Burn some of that energy with a familiar exercise. Then Lily decided that while she wanted to ride, she did not want to put her helmet on. Sorry little lady, no can do. No helmet, no ride and she knows it too. So we all walked back.
Meanwhile, Deliah and Bailey had been keeping Anna company as she enjoyed the freedom of running in the field. Prepare for cuteness overload :)
|Free face washes!!!|
A fun day, but exhausting too. Roscoe and Rosemary both needed naps afterwards.