Monday, April 30, 2012


So I didn't ride yesterday (Sunday) as it seemed like a better idea to go for a boat ride on the lake. :)

I did ride today and Charlie was pretty good.  I think I rode horribly which contributed to Charlie not being perfect.  I've had some inner turmoil going on which made it tough to focus on riding effectively.  Sometimes I really hate being a grown up!  I find it so ironic that I spent the majority of childhood wanting to be a grown up and now that I am, I just want to be a kid again.  Being old is so overrated...

It was hot today - guess I better get used to that so I only rode for about 20 min.  Lesson tomorrow as long as horrible horse doesn't show up again.  Should be fun.  Because I suck, no pictures from today. :(


Old picture of Fuzzy and I at Millbrook.  It would have been his 27th birthday yesterday.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Return of the Perfect Pony

Success!  Charlie was very good today which makes me very happy!  I didn't have super high expectations so I guess that makes success a little easier to achieve.  But I don't care - it was a good ride especially since he's had basically 3 weeks off.

I lunged him for about 10 min just to be safe.  I wasn't really interested in hitting the dirt even if said dirt is fairly soft given all the rain we got yesterday.  He was pretty good and only played a little bit.  Then it was time to get on - I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a smidge apprehensive.  As long as I've had Charlie, he's never had 3 weeks off.  Well, no need to worry.  He was very well behaved, even a little pokey which is just fine by me.  I focused primarily on keeping him forward, between my legs, and balanced.  I could definitely tell he's lost a bit of fitness.  He was a bit stiff (to be expected) and wasn't too thrilled to when I asked him to keep his balance back on his hind end but all in all, he was very good.

Here are a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago because I forgot in my excitement to take some today!

Handgrazing and of course the grass over there looks so much better...

Giving me the hairy eyeball when I tell him there's nothing wrong with the grass in front of his face.

Deciding that maybe I'm right!

Hopefully I'll be able to ride tomorrow as well - lesson on Tuesday so we may have some more remedial trailer loading in preparation...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trailering 101

Firstly, let me apologize for my long absence.  Honestly though I haven't really had much to write about.  Charlie finally came sound last Thursday - he's definitely a wuss when it comes to pain.  I hopped on him on Friday and pretty much just W-T-C in each direction to make sure we both remembered leads and diagonals.  Since then, I've been holed up studying for my final - which thankfully I passed yesterday.  Thank goodness!  I don't think I could stomach having to take that class over!

So I thought today I would be able to write an awesome post about how wonderful my lesson with Janna was.  I had dreams of jumping and lovely flat work.  Well, my dreams were crushed because my silly pony refused to get on the trailer!!!!!!  But wait it gets better - I knew it wasn't going to be a great day because it took me 15 min to catch him as he thought it was appropriate to play racehorse this morning.    So no lesson, just remedial loading.  The thing that's most frustrating is he got on twice but backed off before I could run back and put the butt bar up.  To say I was irritated is a HUGE understatement!!!!!!

Anyway, I managed to get him on twice during the remediation.  The funny thing is he'll put both front feet on the ramp and just stand there - he doesn't back up, just stands there.  Crazy horse!  I'm beginning to think I need to call an animal communicator...

Playing racehorse as he gallops away from me...


He stood in this same position for about 10 minutes.

So no riding today - I didn't really think it would be in our best interests.  We'll try again tomorrow and hopefully have a better day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lost shoes...

Oh my gosh!  I can't believe it's been a week since I last wrote!  Well, there's a reason for that - I haven't really ridden.  Charlie got Tuesday off - figured he was probably traumatized after getting his teeth done and his sheath cleaned.  I was going to take him on a trail ride around the development in Wed but he lost his marbles by the time we got to the end of the driveway and I was having flashes of him dumping me and getting hit by a car so we turned back.  I rode him a little on the flat and he was good - worked mostly on the walk.  He got Thursday off for some reason...and when I went to ride on Friday, his shoes were really loose.  I tried to ghetto tighten them (i.e. use a hammer to try and tighten the clinches) but it didn't work very well.  I could hear his shoes clinking after about 12 min (yup, I timed it!) so that was the end to that.  When I went to the barn on Saturday, his left hind was hanging on by a thread (meaning one nail) so I had to pull it.  I tried to wrap it but he kept pulling the wrap off so he went naked on that foot.  His right front was really loose so I taped that on - he looked pretty redneck!  And once again I get an "F" for picture taking.

I have to trailer him to Janna's to get shoes so this morning was farrier day.  I went and fed him and after he was done eating, he was running around like a crazy horse!  And he managed to pull the loose front shoe even though I had gorilla tape (best invention ever!) on it.  Well, he must have bruised his foot with his shenanigans because the farrier had a really tough time getting a shoe on him (I've decided he's a wuss when it comes to pain).  So he's still sore and he'll be getting a couple of days off. :(  I have my Navy stuff this weekend so he probably won't get ridden until Monday (as long as he's sound!).  Kind of a bummer.

This is about the 20th time Bruce (the farrier) reset the "Prince's" shoe trying to make him more comfortable.  Amazingly, when I took him out to graze he had a miraculous recovery.  He wasn't 100% but he wasn't head bobbing lame at the walk either.  Silly pony!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cleaning the nether regions

So I took advantage (not sure if advantage is the right word...) of Charlie being a little loopy to clean his sheath.  I would have taken a picture but I didn't want to gross any one else out - I was grossed out enough.  To say it was filthy is an understatement but he's nice and clean now!  I used KY jelly which I've never done before but read about it on COTH.  It worked brilliantly and I didn't have to worry about getting every last bit of it out because it wouldn't irritate him if a little got left behind.

I got some great news today - I was talking with Nadine, BO, and she told me there are indeed trails.  I just have to wander down the road a ways and there are trails that lead down to the lake.  Charlie and I are going on a jaunt tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed we come back to the farm together!

PS - No picture today for the above stated reason!  :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Two good rides...

The title says it all - good ride yesterday and good ride today.  It's gotten really hot, really fast as in it was 88 today.  And it's only April 2.  I have a feeling it's going to be a veeeeerrrrryyyyyy looooonnnnngggg summer....

Since it was so hot, I rode in the morning yesterday and today.  I spent a lot of time in the walk just really trying to establish the connection in that gait first.  And while it wasn't perfect, I really felt like we made a lot of improvement.  I felt like he was relaxed and forward into the bridle - next step is to ask him to come round without fussing.  I finally have some real hope that we'll get there sooner rather than later.  His trot work was really good but I need to push for more and ask him to use his hind end more.  The canter work was ok - not great, not awful.  Just kind of mediocre.  To make it better, I need to keep my reins shorter and really push him forward.  I have a tendency to let him get stuck behind the leg thinking he's collected - newsflash, he's not strong enough for the kind of collection I think I'm feeling.  I worked a little bit on transitions and we're getting better at the walk-trot-walk transition.

Charlie looking like a dork in his fly mask.

I obviously didn't ride him long enough today!

Saw this little guy on our cool down walk around the property.

The vet comes tomorrow for teeth floating...