Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's COLD outside.

Kinda like how that song goes... "Baby, it's cold outside". Well, here in MN I think winter has finally arrived. It's really getting cold outside.

It's been a couple weeks since I last updated, but nothing has changed drastically. I haven't seen Gringo in ages (due to a crappy work schedule), but tomorrow we have a "date" set up - hopefully. Otherwise I will for sure be out over the weekend to give Gringo some much needed attention.

My lesson last week (November 30th), went over well enough. I can't remember what all we worked on, but I do know for a fact that we worked for a while on slightly raised cavalletti. Gus was so incredibly stiff and anti-forward, that the poles were probably only twoish "feet" apart (by "feet", I mean two of my size 10 foot spaces). As the lesson progressed, we were able to move the poles out a little bit more, but they were still much closer together then what a normal trot stride would be.

I think we also worked on the canter a bit. Can't remember for sure, but Gus's canter has been improving. Nothing spectacular, but it never was to begin with. He does have a nice left lead canter now though and most days his right lead looks good as well. We still have issues maintaining the left lead canter when going to the right (so in countercanter).

Between last week and this week, I was actually able to make it out to the barn a couple times. On Monday, Gus had just had his teeth floated so rather then riding, I opted to just lunge him in his halter. He was a pretty good boy. I was only really interested in getting him to move down and out, and we quit on a good note.

Tuesday, I was able to get some half-way decent work with Gus. I dragged out the poles again and set them at three feet and four feet intervals. The three feet ones were in a group of five, the four feet had just two poles. Gus managed the poles well enough, did a bit of stumbling though to begin with.

I had another lesson yesterday and I thought that it ended up being fairly productive. We did manage to spend about thirty minutes with Gus on the lunge line, trying to get the best configuration of the side reins. Final verdict? Between the legs and at the pommel (I use vienna side reins). With that configuration, Gus can't really hide behind the bit... and when he attempts to, I ask for more forward and he ends up popping himself back up at or near vertical. B said it was okay, in this instance, for him to be slightly above the bit.

Under saddle, we ended up working on the same principles. He needed to keep himself up and level (ideally his withers and poll were at the same height) and if he dropped contact, he was pushed forward to seek more contact. It sorta, kinda worked and we had some nice steps in there. Like B said, she hasn't seen Gus move so evenly in a while. Hopefully we're on the up and up again.

We also worked on some trot poles as well. They were spaced about 1 canter stride apart on the long sides, near E and B. We changed up from trotting over and doing 10m circles around the poles to doing a 10m circle between the poles. Gus definitely had some bad steps starting off on the trot poles but ended the lesson nicely. No canter work (except that which was done under saddle) yesterday.

And to amend an earlier post, Gus did have a round of Adequan back in May/June. I hadn't really returned to blogging back then so forgot to mention it. Anyways, after doing stifle injections (Legend IA mixed with some Depo Medrol) in both hind legs at the beginning of May, I opted to follow up with a round of Adequan a week later. Then in August, I do believe that Gus had another Legend injection, IV this time. Followed by another IV Legend a few weeks back. I plan on doing another IV Legend in another couple months, probably early February.

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