Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ride #2 Great Progress! Ride #3 Okay...

Hey again! So I have two rides to blog about! First our ride on Tuesday, which was awesome. Daisy took everything we went over Monday and doubled how well she did it! Steering was much improved, as well as her lateral flex. She was awesome at that! I got the second half of my ride on video this time, so its not QUITE so boring. Still hard to see a whole lot and my battery was dead in my video camera so we are still with the Nikon!

We also did some vertical flexing, this is the first time I've ever tried this with her and she did great. Any little bit of movement with her nose towards her chest I rewarded and by the end of the ride she was dipping her nose nearly to her chest! One especially good one was what I quit on and jumped off and loosened her girth as extra reward.

I did mostly trotting this ride, my posting was much improved although after watching the video I see I was on the WRONG diagonal nearly the whole ride, well, at least all that was on video! How embarrassing. I also did a lot of two point this ride. I feel like I struggle a lot with keeping my leg under me. (which is confirmed by the video) I read somewhere that that can sometimes mean your stirrups are too short so I decided to try lengthening them a hole next ride.

Daisy did really well with a bunch of distractions as well. Of course Stormy was calling for her, and then two little ankle biters (some sort of fuzzy mutt and a weenie dog) came running at us in the round pen from BEHIND and she just flicked an ear at them, even while I was yelling and waving at them to go away, lol. (there is a house behind the round pen that they belong to) There was also a bunch of chainsaws going off a little ways away and the husband and his brothers and dad were walking around in and out of the woods near us, etc. Such a good girl!

Think thats about it for that ride! Here are a few video stills:

I also got to ride yesterday, even though the husband was not home to watch little girl. I gathered our stuff up and headed out there hoping the mother in law might want to watch her. I feel kind of guilty about it because she watches her Mon and Tuesdays while Im at work, then this week I have pawned her off to the husband while I ride all afternoon! I then finally get to see her around 7 or 7:30 when I'm done with Daisy. What a bad mommy! Its hard to have an extracurricular life with kids, it really is. I'm having so much fun, but also theres this guilt that I'm putting other things before Chloe. Sigh. What do you mommys do?? I guess when she gets older and able to ride with me it will get better...

Anway my mother in law wasn't home so I decided to just get Daisy out and groom her again and practice on her mane for Sat. I'm thinking of the running braid like I do on Dixie sometimes:

Problem is I've tried it twice on Daisy so far and it gets too low before I can get all the hair in, grr. I watched a few videos today so hopefully I can get my act together. I also thought of doing something like this:

Isn't that AWESOME!? But just imagine how LONG that would take? And I'd never get it that pretty. I also think its a bit 'western'. So we will just go with the running braid I think.

So I grabbed Daisy while my father in law watched Chloe for a minute and then parked her in the yard there to brush her. Sweet baby helped of course! She loves any sort of animal. The FIL got on the other side and started scrubbing her too and did my side to shame! He is a lot rougher then I am! There was hair all over the ground on his side, lol. Then I asked him if he had any clippers (he used to show at the QH shows in halter back in the day and has nice clippers) he said yeah so I got her bridle path and whiskers trimmed up! Also the long hairs under hear chin/throat. She looks so much less shaggy. I wish I could do her legs but I have no idea how to do it without making it a hack job and I worry about the flies. Also the reason I left her ears.

Then I decided to try banding her mane a bit so we walked over to the round pen where I left my bands. By then a brother in law had shown up and was able to babysit Chloe. After about 4 bands I decided that was for the birds and ripped them out. Then I set about doing another running braid. This one came out better so I left it in. It's probably STILL in since I forgot to take it out! D'oh! I still had about two or three more sections to get in. I'll try again today if it's not raining!

The wonderful mother in law made it home about then so I had a chance to ride! I'm wanting to squeeze in as much saddle time as possible for both of us. I highly doubt I'll get to ride today or tomorrow :(. Stupid rain! At least there is only a 30% chance Saturday of scattered showers. Scatter around us!! If it does rain I believe the arena is partially covered so we should be good as long as we are in the arena, haha.

So by the time I got her tacked up it was, well, dusk. The sun had set and it was cloudy. Boo. I knew I had limited time so I wanted to make the best of it. I planned on doing lots of trotting sans stirrups and lots of posting with stirrups. So I hop up, Daisy didn't move! Points for her! Then did our pre ride flexing. And I waited. And waited. And waited. Sigh. Minus points Daisy! I kept looking around and seeing how dark it was getting and my plans flitting away. So finally I got some decent response out of both sides, and some good vertical flexing. I had flipped my stirrups up already so we set off at a walk for a good bit, I know the old mare needs lots of prep before trotting, and I don't feel like I gave her enough. By the time we moved on to sitting trot she was okay, but at the posting I could feel that head bob 'off' feeling I talked about after riding her day three a few years ago. So I walked her some more, then moved off in the trot again, posting. She felt fine. :shrug: I think she just has some creaks, I dunno. I did quite a bit more trotting (a lot on a small circle trying to get her to flex to the inside) and never felt or saw her bobbing her head again. I think a day off or two will be beneficial and hopefully she will be good for Saturday. Like others said before I know she still short strides on that left hind for whatever reason, mostly at the trot. And I'm sure she has arthritis! Maybe I can get the vet that is there to answer questions to take a look at her.

Also, I noticed a HUGE chunk out of her hoof Monday that I hadn't see last Saturday. I was like what the?? Here are a few pics of it, what can you hoof people tell me?? I bought some Fiebings hoof dressing and have been putting that on her for the dryness. Her hoofs are so dry right now. But she has never had anything that looked like that before! It doesn't seem to be bothering her, I dunno... I know she is ready for a trim. I hope you all aren't about to tell me its something awful!

 I wish I had some good barefoot trimmers out here, its hard to find anyone to do good horse work around here. I ALSO may get the farrier that is there to answer questions to look at her too if I can! Hey, why not take advantage, haha.

 So the ride went okay, I don't think Daisy was thrilled about running around in the near dark and was ready to go eat her hay. Thus not cooperating as well. I finally quit when I could just still see and took her back to the pasture. Thank goodness its staying darker lately!  

I did have my video camera this time, I set it up on a chair but the panels still block a lot. And it got so dark you can't see much anyway. For some reason it shut off after 25 mins as well. So no posting trot, just some walking and trotting without stirrups. I put both days together, I'm having troubles getting it uploaded so I'll put it up whenever its done.

I feel SO much more secure and in good position without stirrups. I dropped them a hole and felt better but still not as good as without. What am I doing wrong? Just not enough riding? Another big thing I need work on is riding with contact, Daisy too. She immediately wants to halt or slow down when I take up the reins to make contact. I try to be real flowing and keep my leg on. Its just hard to remind myself to do it instead of just letting them be all floppy.

Oh! I almost forgot! I got my booootssss in today!

They are sweeet. I can't wait to ride in them. So soft and supple. They are a tad on the long side but I also was trying them on with no socks so we will see! I know they will be a vast improvement.

So I have yammered on long enough! Until later!
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