Monday, January 27, 2020

Health Check: Baby Bronc

anuary is my month of inventory at work so riding has been nil. The weather has also been wet so I have not really missed too many riding days. But Mom and I do try to work Ember when we are both there.
After the last ride where we cantered, he was a bit sticky. Ember would trot a little bit then stop suddenly. He has not done that since the very beginning. With all the mud we have had, we worried he pulled something and was a bit sore. So we moved on to him following Rosemary and learning about being in company. We chose her because either of the boys might incite him to jump and play. Ember was pretty quiet and followed her around. We even did a little trotting. That got him a bit excited and he thought he could play with Rosemary. Luckily he settled down. Mom trotted Rosemary while I had him stay in the middle and then we made him trot while she stood in the middle. Not too bad for his first time.

Last week we were together again so we tacked him up. This time I put the bit in his mouth which is the first time he has worn it while I was on him. The reins were still on the halter. He was still a little sticky but more willing to work through. He was a bit of a drama king, stomping his foot. I just moved him on. The wind picked up as we rode. Ember did not do anything that would lead me to believe he would be very dramatic. So I wanted to canter.

My difficulty was that he kept going high on the rail where there is a bank of sand which tripped him up. Added to not having much steering, the transition was interesting. I like to ask going into the solid fencing rather than the temporary one. Well Ember picked up canter and proceeded to do his impression of a bronc.

 I had a death grip on the horn as I just tried to stay on. The entire episode lasted about 6 seconds, but it was pretty amazing. I did manage to stay on and I kept him going at a trot.

 The next canter was smoother, but faster. Ember does a good job of staying under me even with all his funny business. We did a little to the left before ending the ride with a walk in the big side of the arena.

Though people would see it as Ember being naughty, I choose to see it in the positive. He picked up canter when I asked, only his second time under saddle. I was physically able to ride his drama. We all know six months ago it would have been a disaster. And after all the fun, he was still listening and willing to work. I shared it on Facebook because it was an accomplishment for me. For once the video matched what it felt like. No one should think less of Ember because he was a baby bronc. I have always heard some of the most talented horses can be difficult. He has time to grow up and I have time to let him. We also scheduled a chiropractic appointment to give him a tune up. And can you believe Mr. I HATE Needles actually let her put acupuncture needles in his butt??? Even Roscoe won't put up with them.  Ember had some tightness in his pole and his right hind. Hopefully he will be feeling better.

Next time I am not putting the bit in his mouth, maybe he will be less distracted. Yes I may still have to shell out some money to get a pro on him, but I am not ready to give in yet. I passed that health check, bring on the next.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Flying High

This year has been the hardest one yet after losing both my grandmothers and hitting rock bottom health wise. But I have an amazing support system in my family, friends and my online cheering squad. So I am skipping the year end review and focusing on the recent high points.

First I felt a bit lost when I received my blogger gift exchange person and she did not want stuff. For the last five years my sister and I have done a framed cross stitch. So we had to think of a way to still give our person a personalized gift that did not fall in the category of stuff. Fortunately I remembered my sister gave my mom and I shirts with heads of our horses painted on them. My person had a cute picture of her two horses wearing bows, which sparked the idea of putting Christmas bows on the painted heads. My sister was the mastermind for this project and she really pulled it off and even made her own ribbons using an infant sized ribbon. The best part was when our person asked if it was okay to frame a t-shirt.  Of course now I have a ton of Christmas movies to watch since I did not have late nights cross stitching.
Painted Portion

With external bows

Second riding has been at a minimum due to the weather. The times I do ride I enjoy fully. On New Years Eve I did short rides on the three older Cobs. Roscoe volunteered to go first. I nearly regretted the choice to ride bareback. My core was screaming, but having muscles to scream was refreshing. We are not perfect, but I feel like the move to first level is doable.

Up next was Rosemary. She has come so far in the nine years we have had her. I was pleased she did not have any hind end issues after all the mud we have had. She is always full of drama, but also willing to try. We made her day today by taking her for a drive. Her heart is really between the shafts.

Then it was Comrade's turn. He is still recovering and healing his tongue wound. His weight has improved and he looks healthier. I was not sure how much he could do since like me he lost a bunch of muscle. Surprisingly, we walked, trotted and cantered. He had a literal bounce to his step, that again had me questioning the bareback pad. I think he was really happy to work.

I was totally glared at by Ember, but since I was solo I could not ride him. He had to wait until today.
Which brings us the the third point, my awesome baby boy. On Christmas we did another ride offline and he was better. He still had some stops and our steering is nonexistent. He had some spring in his trot and we actually did one stride of canter.

 I shared a bit of his trot and a Cob breeder said it was "suspended and reachy." The next day was the first time we have been able to work in twice in a row. He was even better and listened mostly to me instead of mom. At the end we opened the little area and walked him into the bigger side of the arena. He stayed next to mom and was pretty brave.

Today it was all me and Ember. Mom took video while we walked and trotted. I carried a whip for the first time and used it to keep him from falling in and to encourage him to keep going. Man I was so happy with what he was giving me. I decided to try for canter. Mom had to help so no video. Ember once he picked up canter was actually pretty smooth. I am flying high with how good he is doing. I can't wait to see what happens next time.

Bring it on 2020!