Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lessons and Hooves

Today was lesson day. I decided to switch things up and ended up giving Gus bute before my ride, rather then after. And I think it made a world of difference. 

B commented on my nice, quiet legs today. I was so pleased with that comment. I've been trying VERY hard over the last two weeks to keep my legs nice and quiet, only asking when needed. 

We ended up working on the same ol' stuff again today. After about 15 minutes of lunging, we proceeded to undersaddle work. First up, after walk work, was 15m trot circles at every major letter (ABCE). Once we got Gus bending well on the circles, we started working on 3-loop serpentines. Eventually we switched directions and repeated the exercises the opposite direction. We finished the trot work with shoulder-fores. At the beginning of each long side, we did a small 10m circle followed by shoulder-fore down the longside, ending with another 10m circle before proceeding along the short-side of the arena. 

Canter work started with countercanter, right off the bat. Instead of making perfect corners and a nice rectangular-shaped arena, we made the arena a giant oval. Gus had a lot of difficulties with the countercanter when going to the right (so on the left lead). He constantly and consistently wanted to break down to a trot or change leads. When keeping him up off his right shoulder (inside shoulder on the countercanter ) he was able to maintain his leads better. 

We switched directions and worked on the countercanter to the left (so on the right lead). This was a lot easier for Gus and we didn't have any baubbles, whatsoever. We ended the canter with just a regular ol' right lead canter, going to the right. 

My goals for the next week are to continue working on the canter, perhaps throwing in more true canter now that Gus's hind end has gotten stronger. B could tell that Gus's hind end has strengthened and bulked up since earlier in the year, but I still think we are dealing with weakness issues. I guess that will be an on going battle. 

B thinks that a lot of Gus's issues stem from weakness and sensitivity. Granted he should NOT be sore following a trim, it's quite possible that given his older age and his arthritis, trimming isn't as easy for him as it used to be. She brought up a good point about possibly doing hoof blocks this spring. So it'll be something I plan on thinking about if we have hoof issues again this spring. Hopefully we won't have to go there.

Moving along to Gringo. Today Gringo had his hooves trimmed again. He was at 9 weeks today and definitely needed the trim. Here's the photos from today. As usual, they are taken from left fore to the hinds and back to the right fore.

Gringo was so dusty/dirty today... it wasn't even funny. I tried hard to get him as clean as I could, but there's only so much you can do without throwing soap and water into the mix. Oh well, once it snows once or twice I won't have to worry. Gringo seems to self-clean come winter... that definitely comes in handy. 

Gringo also was subjected to a deworming today as well. Just a dose of plain ol' Ivermectin, but it was definitely needed, that's for sure. Who knows if that'll help with the pot belly, but definitely won't hurt - that's for sure. 

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