Friday, November 30, 2012


Apollo BUCKED.  Under saddle.   *gasp!*

I have to laugh, though.  It was a straight up and down buck, not the buck and twist that Reveille could get going.   He didn't drop his shoulder, just humped up and bucked.  Hee.

He only did it at the canter, only late in the ride, only on the right lead, and only three or four strides after the depart.   He bucked a little; I said "quit that" and asked for the transition again.  He bucked again; I growled "Stoppit," took off my spurs so as not to be inadvertently spurring him and causing it, and asked for the transition again.  He bucked a bigger buck; I said "FUCKING STOP THAT!", hopped off, and longed him at a canter for several minutes.   He didn't really want to canter or keep the canter, but I had to make a point.   I'd already conceded the point by dismounting, but even though I wasn't having any trouble riding the bucks, I don't need a fall right now.  So I found a different solution.

So we'll see how he is today, whether he's sore or what.   I hope it was just attitude after not getting ridden Wednesday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Last night, I don't know what it was, but when I walked out of work, it just seemed like the cold was that damp cold that seeps into your bones.  Misty, dark, wet, and cold evening.  I'd been tired to begin with, my ankle and my shoulder/elbow hurt after Tuesday's gym session ... so I decided I needed to rest.

I think this was a really good decision, even though I didn't ride.  I always feel terrible when I don't ride, like I'm letting someone down, but at the same time, my various joints feel better this morning, and I got some really restful rest.  Some really desperately needed rest.  I could have slept another few hours this morning, but gotta get to work.

I'm looking forward to riding tonight -- it shouldn't be nearly as ugh this evening, and I want to see my 'pollo pony.  :)   Note to self: grab spare blanket before going into the barn.   I really, really hate that he lays in his pee spot.   Can haz pen naow plz?    At any rate, must wash blanket.  Blech.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a video of a new favorite artist, Tim Barry.  No horse relation here, just a good song.  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Good horse.

Well, Apollo is fine.  Hooray!  Just being a horse, with random off-ness; he must have slept on it funny or something.  The left pastern was still noticeably warmer than the right, but ... well, he's sound on it.  So we rode.  Sort of.  :)  I didn't have a lot of time, but I got to play with all three gaits both directions.

And I rode in spurs.  I don't think this will need to be a constant thing, but it did help with the lazybones bit last night.  I will still need to warm him up slowly and completely, but other than that, there's no reason why I shouldn't be riding him like a normal, sound horse in training, so let's get ON with it!

For the first time in a while, I got a gorgeous, sound right lead canter.  :)  It's his better lead, and that canter is  just so fun to ride!  Now, to get the left lead to match.   I should probably schedule some dressage lessons to get some assistance on the places we're lacking.  

For instance:

* Certainly when we're just getting started and sometimes when we're good and moving, if I go to bend him (especially to the left) or take a feel on the outside rein, he slams behind my leg and slows down.   I actually think this is something I can resolve on my own by getting him pushing from behind and truly connecting through the rein, riding from back to front.   Practice required.  I see a sweaty horse in my future.

* Getting the left bend dialed in, loosening the left side of his body.

* Working on my position in the canter transition and in riding the canter.  Getting us both in the habit of long canters.

* Staying connected and round through transitions up and down -- see the first bullet, I think.

* Keeping me sitting up and my shoulders back.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm thinking about work at the moment, so.  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In which I edit my post to add:

In which I raise an eyebrow, slightly concerned:

Hrm.  Got out to the barn, ankle notwithstanding, got on the pony, and he was quite off.  In a new sort of way.   I kept working, thinking he'd work out of it.   20 minutes or so after I got on, I decided that it wasn't getting better and that the head-bobbing was new.

His LF was hot, though not swollen, and it had no visible injury.  It was hotter in the pastern than the cannon or the knee, and hot down to the coronet.

*wrinkles forehead*

TW said she'd give him a once-over this morning, since it's hard to pinpoint heat after a horse has worked.   I'm hoping it's nothing.  I'm hoping he's just being a horse, which does entail occasional random, unexplained off-ness.

If it's something, I'm hoping it's nothing more complicated than an abscess.   That would be a real PITA, but it'd also be a known quantity.

But let's hope it's nothing.   Especially because he was working well (other than the ouchy foot) and I was riding well last night.

EDITED TO ADD:  TW says no filling, no heat today.  There was no filling last night, no injury, so I'm somewhat unsurprised that there's no fill today ... and quite relieved.    She'll check him on the longe quickly after lunch to be sure.  Whew.  I am hoping he looks perfect on the line, too.   Yay for TW!!

In which I consider saddles I might like:

So I won't be able to buy a new jump saddle for a good while yet.   But I am considering what I might like to try when it comes time to buy.   And putting my intentions out there for the right opportunity to come along when I'm ready.  :)  A little woo-woo, but hey -- who doesn't need all the help they can get?

Anyway, I'm thinking definitely a used saddle; new ones are right out of the budget.  (Remind me to buy a lottery ticket.)   And I'm thinking Black Country or, if I can find one at my price point, County.   Another girl (woman, really; I think I shall christen her Badass, because she is) at the barn rides a monoflap Amerigo and loves it, and she's liked a monoflap Devocoux as well.   ME and LH both ride County Conquest saddles, and the saddles made an immediate and noticeable difference in their position over fences.   TD and MT ride County saddles too.   It's a strong argument.

Badass offered to let me try her Amerigo; I think I'll take her up on it when we both have some time.  I've never ridden a monoflap before, and I'd be interested in trying.   Devocoux is a possibility, but I have no idea.

Might see if I can sit in one of the Countys floating around the barn, see how they fit, how I like them, what sizes are too small or just right for my butt.

So:  The list of RIGHT OUT or at least I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM I AM includes:  Barnsby; Ainsley; Courbette; Wintec; probably Bates; Collegiate (sad); HDR

The list of PERHAPS BUT NOT EXCITED ABOUT IT NOR INCLINED TO TRY TOO HARD includes:  Stubben, Crosby, Circuit, probably other low-end saddles

The list of NO FRAME OF REFERENCE includes:  Prestige, Devocoux, Revere, Amerigo

The list of YES PROBABLY includes:   County, Black Country

And meanwhile:  Covet covet.  County Stabilizer, 17.5, M.  Not a bad price, either.    I might prefer a Conquest, but I don't have enough data yet.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Annie Underfoot

Lesson on Saturday -- we did some little grid work.  I'm still working on keeping from stepping into my stirrups just in front of the jump and on keeping a nice, positive rhythm to the jumps.  Overall, it was better than the last lesson, and I think I might remember how to ride, here soon.  :)  

I find that with Apollo I'm not concerned about the height of the jump, or even the jump at all, really ... at least, in my mind I'm not.  I would guess that MT would say, from my position and the stepping into stirrups, that I'm very focused on The Jump, instead of position and approach.   I guess what I mean is that I'm not concerned about whether Apollo is going to jump or if he's going to do something dishonest.   I know that I can think about line, position, preparation, etc.

So it was a good lesson.  Lots of work on position, heels down, patience, leg on, etc.   I'm getting better.

After MT looked at my saddle, it's official: one of the holes for the gullet screws is a bit cross-threaded.  It needs professional repair.  The piece of hardware that anchors that screw is supposed to be held down to the whole apparatus with a staple, as well ... Said staple came out.  So the right outside tree attachment is kind of floating at the moment.  Must get it fixed.   MT said it's okay to ride in for now, that the velcro will hold it together well enough to use.   He also said on the topic of a new saddle that he's a fan of using what you have and making it work.   That's certainly going to be how it is for the next while ... new-to-me saddles cost money.

So that was Saturday.

Sunday I was dressed and ready to go for my lesson.  I ran upstairs -- accompanied by my girl corgi, Annie -- to grab my inhaler case.   I came downstairs -- also accompanied by Annie.  She was excited and ready to go to The Fun Place, and she got tangled in my feet somehow.   So I slipped/fell down the last few stairs.

Ow.  Ow, ow, ow, my ankle.  Grrr.

Lesson was definitely not happening.   It's not broken, probably not even sprained badly -- but the bruise is going to be impressive.  I spent yesterday on the couch with ice and ibuprofen.  Good thing: I watched all of Downton Abbey season 2.  Bad thing:  No lesson!   I was looking forward to that second day of jump practice, since I am always better on day 2.   Hmph.    Dammit dog.

But I can't be too mad.  She's a dog.  I need to figure out how to train her to either heel or stay at the top of the stairs and let me get all the way down before she runs down.   Bad dog trainer!  Bad dog trainer!  No biscuit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

This is SO not happening

Absolutely not.  The island is NOT sinking.

Apollo has NOT changed shape.   I do NOT need a new jump saddle.  Mine is SO NOT bridging.  It doesn't rock.  NO.

No ... please ... I don't want to have to saddle shop.  I definitely don't want to do it on a budget like mine would be.

I mean, I could get away with it for a while yet.  At least until I had some money.   I wonder if there's one to borrow?  Sigh.  Just ... sigh.    It fit so well when Apollo first came to the barn ... but now it's just not working.  He grumps when I put it on and tighten the girth, which he didn't do when he came, and he grumps when I go to take it off.  I wonder if any of my newly discovered jumping position problems are attributable to this?   Meh.  Just meh.

I think a riser pad in the meantime, unless there's one I can borrow, which is unlikely.  Then, once I have some money, after February or so, I might be able to sell this one and shop for a new one.   I am going to have to think long and hard and come up with the best possible plan if I need a new saddle.   And I have the sinking (ha!) feeling that I do.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Survey time.

Real entry one back, if it's not showing on your list.

To make up for silence, have a survey entry.  I swiped it from L. Williams at Viva Carlos.   :)

Splurge or save: 

1. saddle: Save, but get the best you can.
2. board: Splurge, I guess.  Spend as much as you can afford; care matters.
3. halter: Save
4. bit: Save
5. bridle: Splurge, if I'm any example
6. saddle pad: Save
7. trailer: Splurge ... like the board question, get the best you can. Safety matters.
(See, this category is hard for me, because my thought on all of this is that you should spend as little as you can on the best possible items.  Find quality stuff, and find a way to save money on it.)

First thing that comes to mind: 

1. Haflinger:  Jellybean, Kylie's pony.
2. Quarter Horse: Short, brown, good-using, versatile horse.
3. Thoroughbred: Racehorses in mid-gallop.
4. Warmblood: Big, round-barreled thing.
5. Welsh Cob: Stocky, good bone, handsome animal.  The picture of the Welsh Cob in the horse breed book I have.

This or That:

1. English or Western:  English mostly, Western on the trail
2. tall or short:  I'm short.  I like horses medium.
3. trail ride or beach ride:  Trail ride
4. long mane or short mane: Short
5. hunters or jumpers: Eventers!
6. XC or barrel racing: XC
7. outdoor arena or indoor arena:  For what?  Jumping - outdoor.  Dressage - indoor.
8. trot or canter: Canter
9. canter or gallop: Gallop
10. paddock boots, tall boots, or cowboy boots: Tall boots
11. horse shoes or barefoot: Shoes
12. saddle or bareback: For what?  Mostly saddle, but I like bareback.

About you: 

1. How long have you been riding? Consistently from 8-16, inconsistently from 17-24, consistently at 24, inconsistently from 25-30, consistently from 31 to now.  So 14 years consistently.  But I'd say I only really started to learn to ride correctly when I came to this barn.   And you thought this was an easy question.
2. Do you own or lease a horse?  Own.
3. Breed? Age? Height? Name?  8 yo Thoroughbred gelding, 15.2 1/2, Apollo's Double.
4. Do you have any other pets?   2 cats and 2 corgis.
5. If your horse was a person, what kind of voice would he have (you can use a celebrity for an example)?  Hm.  He'd be friendly and laid back, but he'd have kind of a joke to him.  Kind of a teenager's voice, or a young adult's.  Taylor Lautner would work for a celebrity.
6. Does your horse have a “color”? If so, what is it, and what do you have in that color?   Royal blue and white.  My helmet cover, show pad, show boots, and lead line are all royal and white.  I have a white polo I use for xc, too -- I stitched royal chevrons to the sleeves.  Clever.  :)  Harder to see with my new vest, though, as it has shoulder pads.  My polo wraps are royal ... basically, if I can find something in royal I do.  Funny: our "official" barn colors are hunter green and black, since that's what TD rides in.  We kind of have three color groups of riders: greens, blues, and burgundies.   Green is TD and Andrea, blue is me, Katie, ME, and Bandit's mom, and burgundy is KR, TG, and I think LC.   I guess you could say LH is red, and Bandit's mom is partly red.  But I claim her for the Blue team!
7. Does your horse do any tricks?  Not that I know of.
8. Have you ever dressed your horse up for Halloween?   I dressed Reveille up once.


1. Breed?  TB, Trakehner, or Knabstrupper.
2. Discipline?  Eventing!
3. Coat color?  Leopard spotted.
4. Famous horse?  Charisma.
5. Horse race/competition?  Rolex.
6. Brand of tack?  Bridles: Five Star Tack.  Saddles: Hennig, or County.
7. Thing to do with your horse?  Play, groom, and general brush n' hug.  And jump, of course.  :)

The haps

I feel like I should have something to write here -- things have been happening -- but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Let's see.  I judged a local schooling jumper show on Saturday.  Classes went from ground poles to 3'3, and participants ranged from teeny kids on ponies to a local trainer and a very good event rider.   It's not a recognized show in any way, shape, or form, which is why I could actually judge it.  ;)   Requirements: Know the rules, be willing to sit in the cold all day, be patient with people.   Check, check, and check.   I actually had a pretty good time.  I got to see some good rides, some good lines and choices on turns, and some incredibly cute kids on ponies.   I had at least three mini heart attacks, too, which I maintain ought to incur penalty points.  First refusal, 4 faults. Lower the height of the jump, 4 faults.  Scare the judge, 1 fault.

Anyway, I'm hoping I can actually get to and compete in one of these shows this year.  All depends on confidence and how Apollo's doing.

The first part, confidence, is going to be fine as long as we keep doing what we're doing.  We had a jump lesson on Sunday, and Apollo was -- as expected -- a total gentleman.  I had issues with sorting out my position, remembering the course, and getting all caught up in OMGJUMPING!   By the third time through the course -- bending line to bending line with bounce to 3/4 cloverleaf to bending line with bounce -- I had calmed down some and was able to ride some of it.   All the pieces are in here; I just need to get them rearranged and get them moving at the right times.  

It seems that I've gone from being behind the motion and sitting too straight, not enough angle in my hips, to being a little ahead of the motion and coming too far forward.  I have no idea how this happened.   Other main issue is I've not re-locked-in the part of my leg that needs to be on for a jump.  If I can remember to get my heel out of Apollo's side and close my leg at my knee and thigh, things go beautifully.   It takes some reminding (like every stride) for me to get there at first, though.   Sigh.    I think that's a combination of Apollo being a different shape from Reveille (who I did ride for five years, so it makes some sense) and just being out of practice.  Since the last jumping lesson I had with Reveille in June? July?, I've now had a total of four jumping lessons.  Maybe five if my counting is wrong.   So I'll keep improving, get stronger, and get more confident.

Especially because Apollo is just the most wonderful horse on the planet.   Patient, willing, honest, and athletic.  I get all frazzled and he just keeps coming on to the jump quietly.  He doesn't charge jumps, and he keeps a lovely steady rhythm (unless I foul him up).   He jumps well.   MT said in the lesson on Sunday that he doesn't think I could have bought a better horse.   :D   I agree.    Apollo's just the most amazing fellow ever.   (er, except for the troll-brony thing.)

So I'm thankful for Apollo.  I'm thankful for what seems like a second chance.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I could've sworn I had words here

A few brief thoughts before sleep ...

Is there anything better when you're not feeling good than a normally-cheerful horse who's in an extra-good mood?

Clean mirrors are scarier than dirty mirrors.

Even so, Apollo's spook was easy to ride, easy to see coming, and easy to defuse the next million times past the mirror of doom.

I am pretty sure I had something else, but it's gone now. Gnight.

EDITED TO ADD: oh yeah. Why the fruitbat do I not have an electric heati pad??

And have I mentioned lately that my horse is the best? He is. Fuzzy and sweet. Except when trolling other horses.

Hey, if you haven't been over to Katie's blog, wander over: She's the working student at the barn, and she makes a mean YouTube video. And clipping stencil.

Monday, November 12, 2012

You are SO GROUNDED, young man!

So yeah.  My horse is the asshole in the pasture.  Sigh!!   I'm so embarrassed -- but at the same time, it's not like I trained him to beat the crap out of other horses or am saying "oh no, it couldn't be Pookie's fault! He's an angel!"   I mean, he IS an angel ... to me, and when in his own area.  ;)    Sounds like he probably deserved and provoked the kick that hurt him, though I'll argue that I didn't deserve the heartache and wallet ache!  Heh.

Anyway, for the meantime, he's back in Folsom Prison for aggravated assault.  As soon as there's a pen for him, he'll go out in a pen.

I know I had it coming;
I know I can't be free.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


OMGiH I loff my horse!! I loff him so very much. :)

We had a very successful lesson today - only jumping tiny crossrails, but dude! Jumping! It was so nice to get back into a lesson and jump! It's been 8 weeks or so for us.

And pony was sound and cheerful through all of it. O mein Gott in Himmel, I loff that beast. :)

EDITED TO ADD: gah, how embarrassing. My sweet fellow is the kid who got kicked out of kindergarten for biting other kids. *facepalm*. I guess they can't be all perfect, but gah. My kid's the bully! And I can't exactly take him to counseling. :/ Talk about the walk of shame!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Could it be?

I think my guy is feeling better. :) And my sweet horse turned into A Thoroughbred (tm) today. Fortunately, he turned back into a sweet horse fairly quickly.

I didn't get to the barn last night due to something or other I ate laying me low, so Apollo didn't get worked at all. He was anxious to Get Out! and Do Something! today, a desire he expressed quite clearly in the cross-ties. I didn't even bother wondering and just got the longe line before I got him tacked up, ready to go.

Apollo really hadn't run around on the longe yet since I got him. Been longed, yes, but raced around with his tail flagged, no. I wasn't too worried about his leg, since I started him to the left and he wasn't showing any evidence of pain or even discomfort - just energy and loving the feeling of running. He'd race around, kicking up sand clods, then spook cheerfully away from the sound the dirt made when it hit the metal walls. Then kick up more dirt. Rinse, repeat. I had to laugh - it was pretty darn funny.

After he got the squirrellies out, I hopped up. And he was quite gentlemanly. :). Really, how cool is it to ride a horse whose default mode is cooperation and obedient?? He didn't start seeming uncomfortable on the leg for quite a while, so that's a really good thing.

Of course, we'll see how his leg is in the morning, make sure he held up to the high spirits as well as I think he did, but I suspect we're almost there, almost to the end of the ordeal. I hope. Knock on wood.

We have our second or third lesson together tomorrow, too. :) Here's hoping!! And if he's doing well, he also gets to go back out to pasture tomorrow. Yay!! Crossing my fingers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I think I'll take TED's advice and go for the fecal analysis.  What's another vet bill, yeah?  *maniacal laughter*   In all seriousness, it won't be too expensive.

Meanwhile, Apollo did well last night again.  I realized that he is now as sound on his right (lame) side as he was on his left (sound) side two-three weeks ago.   Woot woot!  Progress!

Had some actual fun (*gasp*) in the canter last night.  Hee.   And started working on little lengthening and shortening in the walk and trot.  Very doable in the walk; in the trot, though, he goes "walk? fall on my face? head in the air? all three at once?"  Which means we need to do more of it and work on his balance.   This is what we've been doing all along,  but lately more side to side balance than back to front.  Not that we haven't been working on back to front balance, but I have mostly left it secondary.    I have been working on transitions between gaits and getting him to move FORWARD into the down transitions rather than fall onto his nose.  We got some good work on the trot/walk transitions last night, and the walk/halt is coming, so we'll keep working on that plus ground poles.  (Of course, shortening in the trot is good for ground pole work and vice versa.)

I think I'll keep working on getting a true, strong canter both directions before I work too hard on lengthening/shortening it.   And getting prompt, balanced up transitions.   His canter/trot transitions are pretty good, if canted somewhat onto the forehand.

So we increased intensity but not necessarily duration last night.  Yay us.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yuck, good, and yay.

Oh bleargh.  Further worms in waterer.   I'll spare you the grisly details, but I am fully grossed out and tempted to deworm him weekly!    Obviously I won't do that, but ICK.    TW says let's check him in two weeks or so and go from there; probably deworm him again then.

Daily wormer is a thought; I don't know how much more effective it is than monthly/bimonthly paste, though. And it won't happen until the 15th anyway due to money.  (Stupid money.)

Meanwhile, we did trot poles again last night, and added a bit more canter to the mix.  I can see that he's not totally comfortable in the right lead canter, but he's not acting like he's in pain either.  So we'll keep doing a little bit every day or every other day, and I'll keep doing left lead canter as well.   Must try to keep his work balanced on right and left.

I am SO glad everyone's home from Galway!!  Finally!  Woot woot!   :D

Also.  I'm finding that the stronger/fitter I get, the more confident I get in the saddle.  Hard to say whether that's causation or correlation, though, because it could be related to Apollo himself or to the fact that I've been in the saddle or on the end of the longe/lead line every day for the last six weeks.   I think the exercise is a major factor at least, though.  So we'll keep it up.  :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Heart that horse.

Ground poles are a definite win for Apollo now.  He was really into it yesterday!  Nice lift to his trot, ears forward, neck and back round and tail arched.  

 ... yeah, he was a little enthusiastic.  :)

When we went to do a little bit of canter, he took the left lead once tracking right, but I brought him down and asked again, careful to have my weight aid correct and bump him with my inside seatbone as I asked for the transition with my outside leg back.   He bounced into the right lead canter.  It was a short stride, but it was a true canter, and he probably could have kept it up.  I chose to not push it to the right.  

The left lead canter ... heh.  I giggle.   He's done this move on the longe a few times, rock back onto his hind end and give the first part of the stride with his front end some ... expression.   It's usually accompanied by an arched neck and a tossed mane, sometimes a snort.   It's terribly poetic, terribly cinematic.  And funny.  I bet this will be his move when we leave the start box for XC, too.    Anyway, he did that as we launched into the left lead canter.  I started out a little startled, but then had to laugh, because he was perfectly fine in the canter, didn't try to leave town or anything.

And the poles were just terribly fun for him.  I was working on keeping my leg on, the trot steady and forward, maintaining a soft contact, and keeping straight through the line (unsurprisingly, easier tracking left than right), and he really likes that ride.  He swept through the poles like nothing.  I mean, of course it's nothing, but ... yknow.   This also means that the poles were set at the right stride length for where he is now.    Go me.

Anyway, I'm glad the barn is getting back from Galway soon.  I need some advice on rehab and work.  How far is too far to push, am I pushing far enough, are there other exercises I should be doing (cavaletti?  Go right 75% of the time?), ought we get him ultrasounded, et cetera.   I am in an experience desert here!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nature is gross

Guaranteed to make me want to shower.

Me: Do earthworms ever get packaged in with hay? Two days in a row I've found an earthworm in apollo's waterer. Doesn't look like a horse worm, just a regular worm

TW: Probably not an earthworm then. I would deworm him again

Me: Ugh yuck yuck yuck yuck
Me: Horror

TW: Just nature

Me: Ivermectin or pywhatever?
Me: Nature is gross

TW: Yup
TW: Ivermectin

Me: K. Blech

Yuck. I just dewormed him four weeks ago. And I clean out his waterer every day; he's a mouth-rinser.

Anyway, due to his impending tummy ache, I chose not to do much exercise-wise with him tonight. Just a bit of work, then back to the stall.

And then home to wash my hands for the third time, then shower. And never eat again. :/

Friday, November 2, 2012

Constantly evolving plans

Pony was a little stocked up when I brought him out of his stall yesterday evening.  Not hot or sore, just stocked up in both hinds.   Understandable, but sigh-inducing nonetheless.   I went ahead and got him groomed and ready and figured that if he hadn't improved after I worked him, I'd wrap him for the night.

20-30 minutes on the longe line later, and he was back to normal.  Yay!  Not unexpected, though.  I didn't want to have to wrap him, so this was good.   He did canter on the longe last night, and he gave some very enthusiastic trot, tail up in the air.  :)  It's good to see.   He's so handsome when he gets the tail going -- not all horses are as expressive with their tails as he is, I think.  Reveille, at least, mostly expressed irritation or relaxation with her tail.  ME's gray horse expresses frustration and anxiety with his tail.   TD's Rolex horse is one that expresses all kinds of things with his tail - excitement, irritation, relaxation, interest, et cetera.   Anyway, Apollo says all kinds of stuff with his tail.  Stop poking me, yay let's do this more, I want to run, I'm interested in this, oh brush me there, I don't like the way you do that, screw you hippie ... all that.   It's pretty funny.   And very pretty when he expresses happiness and interest, with his tail arched a bit!

I'm thinking I'll start pulling out the ground poles tonight or tomorrow -- depends on how much time I have tonight before I hit the gym.   And, also inspired by L. Williams and Carlos, I think I would benefit from some no-stirrup work, especially while we're still rehabbing.  Good for me, good for Apollo.   And if we're going to do a lesson next Sunday, I should start with the ground poles.   No idea if we'll be able to do the lesson for sure -- it's kind of up to MT and TW to give a go/no-go on it if I think we're able -- but I at least want to be prepared in the event of sound-enough-ness.  

It's been kind of interesting to see how the rehab plan has evolved over time ... and to see how much time it's actually been taking.   We're six weeks out now from the original injury.   I'm not sure if I'm surprised at how quickly the wound has healed or how slowly he's coming back to sound.    I guess I can be both, seeing as they're separate issues in a lot of ways.   I don't really expect him to be fully sound in the next week or two, which puts us at 8 weeks.   Maybe at the 12 week mark, assuming all continues to go well.   Maybe pasture turnout will help him sound up faster.  I hope that's the case; if he's worse after being turned out we'll have to come up with a new plan.   But I really, really hope turnout helps significantly.  It'll certainly help his poor pony brain.  :)

Then again, I'll miss his whinny when I come in the barn door in the evening.  :)  I don't know if he whinnies only for me or if he does for Mary too -- Mary is the one who feeds him most consistently, after all -- but it's nice to hear him go HEEEEEEEY! when I come in and to answer back "Hi, pony! How're you?"   Warms the cockles of my little black heart, it does.  :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chopping, carrying.

Apollo got shod on Tuesday evening; the farrier appointment was in place of our usual ride time.  I have to say I love my farrier.  I think I might have said this before, but it bears repeating!   He's excellent at his job, affordable, punctual, reliable, communicative, and altogether a wonderful fellow.  I feel like we're really lucky here in this area to have a handful of good farriers.   I recommend two of them wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a farrier.  :)   One's more expensive than the other, but the more expensive farrier works closely with Idaho Equine and does some higher-level work.  If that's what you need for your horse, Skip's the guy, no question.   He does all the ULHs at the barn.    Dan's more affordable and does great work, so if you're not riding at Prelim or having shoeing issues, Dan's your guy.    The fact that there's a choice between two awesome, punctual, professional farriers is SO COOL.   

So after an evening of not a whole lot, I went to ride yesterday, and poor pony was pretty darn stiff.   I'm thinking we'll have a better ride tonight, after he moved around for 40-45 minutes last night.   I'll probably not worry about the canter until tomorrow, if even then.  Depends on how pony feels.

Meanwhile, I got my Chronicle of the Horse Secret Santa assignment.  :)   I know EXACTLY what I'm getting this person!   Heh heh heh.   Or ho ho ho?