Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring Trail Ride!

With the weather improving day by day, and hunter paces looming in the future, I decided it was a good time to invest in a helmet camera.

There was not much room in the budget for a GoPro, so I settled for a knock-off I found on amazon. It was a third of the price, had pretty good reviews, came with it's own water-proof casing, remote control and GoPro compatible mounts so I figured why not! I'll be writing a review on it once I've had a chance to use it a few more times.

I headed out to a local trail with a fellow barn-mate (who had a trailer), and I was so excited to capture some neat video. Unfortunately I made the rookie mistake of not hitting the record button ..gah!

The only thing the helmet cam captured was a picture I took after the ride, sigh.

No matter, the trail ride went very well considering it was their first time out in a while. Max was all uppity and hot and raring to go. He gave a few happy bucks when we cantered up a hill and I nearly slid off! Naughty boy!

After that we decided the horses were getting a little too excited so we took it at a walk the whole trail. Fine by me because I had to trot Max anyway to catch up. He's got such a hokey walk! The first few times I asked for trot he'd give a small buck but after he settled in it was quite pleasant.

Again I wish I had recorded the damn ride because we explored a new trail which had our horses half jump over a rocky ledge and climb up and down a super steep hill. But ahwell..what can you least the memories are there!

Happy ride deserves happy grazing!

Today though I made SURE I hit record so at least I got some neat video of an arena ride, and a walk through the home-trails.

He's been such an angel under saddle lately. On the aids, forward, willing. It's been a pleasurable ride each time. Looks like spring is blowing away the winter blues for the both of us!

He'll be turned out on grass next month so I'm slowly introducing him to it by hand-grazing him by the field. He's going to be so happy to have all that space to run around in!

<3 <3 <3

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lessons, braids, and photos!

Today I got the barn waaaay before my lesson with J so I could practice yarn braiding Max. I'm starting to really like yarn in comparison to bands. It holds much better, and there's no chance of breakage. Yarn also allows me to keep his mane long, but still create button braids! I love it!

Max looking real pretty.

The lesson went incredibly well. We had ample time to warm up so I tested out Max's willingness to listen to my aids. The doxy must really be kicking in because the past few rides he's been really nice about giving me whatever I ask. Glad to see a lot of his resistance has gone away with his discomfort, understandably so!

During the lesson we mainly focused on getting his hind end under him. J had me do a few cross overs at a walk before transitioning into the walk and then into canter. There was some resistance there but after he figured out what I was asking he went ahead with it willingly enough.

"I want to stick my neck and tail up in the air like a hot Arabian stallion!"

We then practiced Intro B and Intro C for our upcoming show on May 3rd! It is going to be our very first show together and I cannot wait. He did wonderful in practice, albeit a little quick! Hot potato!

As if the day couldn't get any better, a good friend and barn-mate stopped by with her camera and took tons of pictures and videos of us. It was so very nice of her, and I sure was glad I braided him to the neck for our ride!

Here are some of her pics:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Today Max turns 14 years old! I hand-walked him around the outdoor rings and he got to sniff every piece of poo in the arena! 

"Hmm this one belongs to that cute bay.."

After that he got rewarded with a bucketful of apples, carrots, and sugar candies! I bet he can't wait till his next birthday!

"Happy foal-day to me!"

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jumping Clinic.

We signed up for this clinic way back, but unfortunately Max was diagnosed with chronic Lyme a week before it. Luckily the clinician brought three of her own horses! I had the privilege of riding her gorgeous chestnut quarter horse named Solo. He has a pretty rad registered name too - Unorthodox Jukebox!

Whaddya know..a Max look-alike!

I have to admit I was quite nervous at first. Solo felt completely different from Max. For one he was taller (even though he's 15.2 hands..and Max is 15.3...odd!). His saddle felt super slippery and boy was he forward, and bumpy! I guess I've been spoiled by Max's cushion-like suspension.

But this horse knew his stuff and after a few stumbly bits, my trust in him grew. Instead of micro-managing, like I tend to do, I learned to trust and let go. It was just a blast!!

I also got to ride my handsome boy before the clinic so it really is a cup-runneth-over type of day!

Enjoying some light exercise in the sun

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I can't believe it..

We have our house back! On February 16th we had a huge water pipe break and gush water all over our office. It has taken almost two months to get it all sorted out and today we finally had the room patched up and painted AND we moved all the furniture back in!

It feels so good to sit down on my computer again to blog. It's so infuriatingly slow and buggy to blog on my mobile device so I put blogging away till I could have access to a working keyboard again. Woohoo!!

There's quite a bit to talk about this handsome guy, so I'll get to it!

After I put Max back in a regular training program with my trainer, he seemed to settle down. I'd make sure to lunge him in side reigns before I ride to get all the kinks out. He still continued to feel a little reluctant here and there, but I assumed it was just the horribly cold and long winter days. It was really irritating everyone!

About a week or so ago he started to have an on/off wandering lameness. My trainer immediately requested we pull a Lyme Titus test.

True enough, Max has chronic Lyme :( The vet says he's had it for a while too, which makes me feel awful about how I've been pushing him. It could explain the behavioral changes in him (bucking, scooting forward, reluctance to move forward).

Listen to me dammit I'm ouchy!!

He's now on a month's supply of apple-flavored doxy, with Probios for added tummy comfort. Hopefully the meds will kick in soon and make him feel comfortable again.

Next month I'll be starting him on grass turn-out. I'm very excited to have him out in a field. He's gotten a bit thin so I'm a little concerned about his weight. The b.o. added more grain to his meals and an extra flake at lunch. Hopefully that and some juicy grass will help fill him out! I am also starting him on SmartGut and SmartDigest to help his tummy and hindgut, so we'll see what happens.

Today I took the day off to meet up with the saddle fitter and hang out with Max. She was happy with the fit and only had to remove some small lumps on the left side, so that was great. After she tweaked his saddle, I hopped on and tack-walked around. He was so good, as usual. He's been a bit spooky in the indoor lately but today he tried his best to stay in work mode and we did some serpentines, loops, halt transitions, and leg-yields with no drama.

Hopefully more to report soon! Fingers crossed the Doxy kicks in soon!