Monday, October 29, 2012

Job and a Half

Whew. So today I had two and a half hours that I was "allowed" to be at the barn (have to fit in studying some time!). I figured that would give me plenty of time to ride both horses and do some other stuff. Sadly no.

I had lots of non-riding stuff to do. I bought more grain and supplements so I brought those, I made up Jetta's supplement baggies so I know she's getting everything and wrote clearer instructions for Tux's food (previously I had baggies with his grain and supplements but those are running out so I'm not going to bother re-doing them). Then I organized my tack trunk - I feel bad because my stuff is slowly overtaking the tack room. I have two saddles, multiple pads, five bridles, lunging equipment, grooming tools, coolers, etc, etc. So I stuffed the maximum amount of stuff in my trunk to keep out of the way.

Tux was up first. We had quite a lot of fun lunging. He does this thing where he gets insecure so he'll turn and face you while lunging, then refuses to move forward and acts like you're coming to kill him. Katy did this too and I think it's just a combination of a lack of desensitization and not being completely/correctly halter broke. I've done the reassuring "just move forward and when you do I'll take all pressure off" just calmly motioning for him to move forward but he continues to do it and it's starting to make me a little bit ticked off, so I reevaluated and I think we've found a better solution - if he wants to back up then he can keep backing all the way around the arena until he thinks it's time to move forward. Much better. We managed to lunge like a normal horse for several circles and a walk, trot and canter. I think we were both sweating the same amount by the end of that.

Since he was pretty much spent after that fun stuff I figured I'd just hop on him and have a short ride. He was almost perfect today, nothing like the stickiness we experienced Saturday. Mostly just walked and trotted, mixed it up by going straight down the centerline or quarter lines or leg yielding. He had a bit of a hard time moving his hip to the right so we worked on that. Finished up with a close to perfect canter. He was moving perfect at the trot so I thought I'd throw one in to see how he's doing. Calmly moved off my leg into the correct lead, didn't rush or get too tense. Did one 20 meter circle, he didn't drop his shoulder at all, and he easily came back to the trot. What a good boy.

Since he was dripping sweat I decided that he needed a bath, I was planning on doing a white lightning soak for his hooves anyways so he went into the cross ties in the wash rack (aka pony torture room). Hosed him off with no theatrics and got to work on his hooves. Katy had amazing hooves but Tux, not so much. They're pretty soft, though he has a very thick hoof wall and I think he has pretty good sole depth but the softness is just due to lack of work on varied surfaces and thrush. He is definitely about due for a trim and I picked out his hooves thoroughly. It'll be interesting to talk to AC when she comes to trim - his collateral grooves are deeper on one side than the other plus on one front hoof he has a dent at the toe in the white line. I soaked his fronts for 10 minutes, then his hinds for 10 minutes and he stood very patiently, though he wasn't quite too sure of what those plastic bags were doing on his feet!

In the pony torture room, awaiting his fate...
Sadly all that work left no time for Jetta so I guess it gets to be her day tomorrow. I made sure to give her a couple apples and a kiss on the nose before I left though :)

By the end, Tux was clean - his hooves were cleaned out, his coat shiny and slick and his tail brushed and rebraided. Me on the other hand, I smelt like a combination of thrush, manure, sweat and vinegar/chlorine. Let me tell you, that is a winning combination. I drove home with the windows down.


  1. "I figured that would give me plenty of time to ride both horses and do some other stuff. Sadly no" <-- this happens to me all the time!
    What is it about two and half hours that it refuses to have 5 and a half hours worth of work stuffed into it...?

  2. I am convinced horses all have a time sucking vortex that makes it impossible to spend "just a few minutes" at the barn :)