Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lesson Time.

Whohoo! Today is Wednesday and that meant lesson time. I haven't had a lesson in AGES! It was definitely long overdue. So what exactly did we work on for nearly an hour? Serpentines. Leg yields. Rinse and repeat.

After warming Gus up on the lunge line (which for once, he was nearly an angel) we started up with undersaddle work. First it was just me getting him to give to the bit. Once I had a little be of flexion going on, we proceeded to trot serpentines (3-loop). Once we got to the short side again, we rotated from doing a leg yield down the long side to doing a (hence forth, b.t.t.w.l.y). It took a bit of convincing from B to get Gus to yield his butt to the wall, but he ended up being a pretty good sport. The first couple b.t.t.w.l.y's ended up more like a shoulder-ins, which would have been great had I asked for that ... but eventually Gus got the point of the exercise and we had some nice steps.

Once we had a walk break, we ended the lesson with basically the same exercise, except with the canter added. We began with a three-loop serpentine, once we were finishing the last loop, I asked for the canter. We cantered down the long side then turned down the center line and trotted through the trot poles that were set up. Then changed directions at the end of the center line, began the three-loop serpentine again, thus repeating the same exercise.

He was definitely more comfortable going to the left, with his right stifle being the issue today. We actually had some lovely canter strides from time to time. B even commented that for a brief second, I had the old Gus back. Then that Gus was gone, only to be replaced with the current one. B did note that while he's not lame or even off, he is very ouchie on his front end. I do hope that corrective shoeing will help, however we have to wait until the mud comes and goes before we can attempt that.

So, while we still have a lot of issues and problems, it doesn't seem like having a month off did too much harm.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Winter Blues

I hope I'm not the only one who has been battling the winter blues this year ... And of all years, this winter has been unseasonably WARM here in Minnesota. Nearly down right hot, by normal standards. [Relatively speaking, 30s-40s is hot ... when it's typically at or just above zero in January/February]. So, I'm not entirely sure why I've been so anti-riding/anti-barn lately, but I have been. So part of the reason why I haven't updated this blog lately is because nothing has happened. The other part is sheer laziness.

I haven't had a lesson since the beginning of January. The first Wednesday in February, I signed my life away on a new, 2011 Volkswagen Jetta - the SE with the convenience & sunroof package. It's a sweet, kick a$$ car. Granted, I miss my Mazda Tribute - that was a nice SUV, but it was getting old and I was going to need a new vehicle sooner or later. Then, the next Wednesday, I came down with a nasty cold bug. I'm still fighting it off but now I'm down to just the nose stuff. Then, this past Wednesday, I was stuck at work all day. So no lesson.

So, that means that Gus has been living the high life these last few weeks. When he's been worked (work? what work?), it's been more then interesting. On Friday morning, we had our first real session in a while. And I can sum it up in just a few words. If the rodeo was in town, Gus would've definitely made their rodeo string for bucking broncos. He had some nice, back-cracking, movements. Thankfully everything happened while on the lungeline ... though undersaddle he was still a piece of work. I'm still not sure though if he's sound or not. I thought I felt something off in the front ... but sometimes I think it's just my imagination working in overdrive. Just to be on the safe side, he did get some bute after the ride. I'm hoping this afternoon he's back to his usual self. We shall see.

The next time I work with Gus, which is hopefully this afternoon, I plan on working him over poles. It's sad how fast he deteriorates when he's not in work full-time, or at least more regularly then once or twice week.

Hopefully the next time I report back, it'll be better news :-).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Of hooves and horses

Long overdue for an update on Gus's hooves, so here goes.

The following photos were taken on January 27th, five weeks post trim. I am NOT happy with how the hooves are looking. In my uneducated opinion, they are long in the toe and the heels are growing forward, not necessarily downward. 

Yikes. That's about all that I can say about Gus's hooves.

So, the next set of shots were taken from February 2nd - just a few hours after Gus was trimmed last.

A close up of the weird crack/separation on Gus's white line. Per J, currently there are no issues with Gus's white line.

So, I was able to FINALLY talk to J, the farrier. He agreed with me that Gus's hooves are changing ... and not in a good way. Moreso we are dealing with issues in the fronts ... they are looking more and more like a laminitic horse's. 

J recommends applying durasole ... which I had been doing faithfully back over the summer, and looking at applying shoes come spring. I'm glad I was finally able to talk to him, cause I agree that things need to change. I'm really worried about Gus's hooves ... 

So, now on to the horses part. Today we had some lovely hoar frost, that lasted until nearly 3pm. It made for one gorgeous day ... and a great day for outdoor photography. 

Without further ado, here's some good shots of Gus from today.