I started off at my in-laws place to work with Gringo. Same ol', same ol' with him. I tacked Gringo up and we went to work in the pasture. We started off just w/t without the side reins. Gringo remembered what we worked on last time, so the whoa was easier to establish this time around. After going around both directions for a couple minutes, I added the side reins. I placed them on the lowest ring on each side and tightened both reins by two holes. I think I may have done too many things at once with that move. While Gringo did move out once the side reins were added, he did so a bit unwillingly. Our only real issue was going to the left, he shook his head (due to the nasty flies everywhere) and freaked a bit when he realised his head was attached to the side reins. After going backwards a couple steps, he stopped (found out the whoa does work) and waited until I came up. So, while we had a moment, it was a learning experience and nothing bad came out of it.
I did attempt to ask for the canter this time around. After the episode I had a few weeks prior, I was a bit leary. We did get a nice canter to the right but I was never able to establish a canter left. So, we left that for another time. I'd rather Gringo have a nice, calm workout then one where he ends up frustrated and freaking out.
Note for next time, bring out a lunge whip. I haven't used one since I was working with Gringo at the vet's place (where I boarded him for a while). So, that'll need to be introduced slowly, but I need a bit more control of those hindquarters and I think I'll be able to get that with the lunge whip.
Gus and I had a really nice ride today. Nothing too amazing, but we did w/t/c/hand gallop outside. I had to take advantage of the weather and decent footing...
So, we started off without lunging today. First time I've just hopped up on him in ages. He started off stiff but worked out of it. We began the ride in the stadium field and trotted over a few of the downed jumps/cavalletti. After that, we proceeded to walk and trot down the field service road. This road runs on the north side of the property and is minimally maintained. So there are pot holes and rocks like you wouldn't believe.
We then ended up on the cross-country course. After walking up and down the new bank jump, we did some canter work. Gus was hesitant to pick up the right lead in the field, but I was able to get the correct lead after making a small circle prior to asking for the canter.
At the end of the ride, we had some nice long canters. I was trying to get a hand gallop on the left lead but Gus was more interested in just cantering along. When we turned back for the barn, I was able to get a very nice, forward right lead canter and then a hand gallop on the right lead. Gus was actually having a little too much fun then.
Our cool out consisted of walking the field service road again and the inner perimeter of the cross-country course.
Both boys got sponged/hosed off after their workouts. Gus got the added benefit of a bath, complete with shampoo and conditioner.
I took some new photos of Gus and his hooves again today, as I noticed that the hoof walls on the fronts were breaking up again. This trim is only 3 weeks old and he's already chipping the hoof walls up. I'm hoping to not have to put shoes on Gus this summer, but if he needs them then they'll be added.
In the last photo above, you can just barely see what's left of the nasty hoof crack that originated back in October 2010. I think with just another couple months, it should hopefully be fully grown out. I'm still debating about keeping Gus on a hoof supplement. I'm sure it doesn't hurt him at all to be on it but does he need it?
These next photos are some new body condition photos. Kinda hard to take photos in the barn and with my cell phone, but I think they do justice.
That last photo shows Gus's topline or rather, lack thereof. It's a work in progress, but I'm hoping that if I can keep him sound we'll have a nice, strong topline back before we know it. Least one can hope.