Thursday, 6 October 2016

Catching Up with William

I adore this horse. He's such a sassy redhead! He's constantly testing the boundaries but once you explain them (in very clear black and white) he settles in well.
He's figured out that cookies come from the barn

He's been spending a ton of time tied to the Patience Tree. He's got a very nasty habit of pulling so he gets to stand there and figured out patience while I read my book. My dressage coach suggested tying him at least 6-7' up the tree because it's nearly impossible for him to get enough leverage to pull. It seems to be working. Last time I tied him up, he just cocked a foot and proceeded to have a nap.

The Patience Tree
We've had our first ride together. He was so good. It took about 15 minutes to get him to chill out at the mounting block. He was very determined that kicking out frantically would get the devil device away from him. But after some discussion (read:beating) he figured out that kicking out at me is completely unacceptable.
Note my face

That's my "5 year old, got a cookie" face

After a few minutes in the round pen I was feeling confident enough to move him to the very large outdoor. He was a really good boy. We walked, trotted and cantered as if he's always been a quiet sporthorse. There was basically no giraffing, he picks up both leads rather easily, he comes back the moment you think about stopping and he didn't care that my 911 Buddy was sitting on Dee in the middle of the ring. His steering is non existent, but I can teach that!

He's had the last two weeks off because we pulled his racing plates and are transitioning him to barefoot. He was slightly tender for a couple days but seems to be doing well now so tomorrow we are going to free jump him!

Cows are skerry!
It could have gone horribly wrong, buying a baby racehorse sight unseen, from another province, but so far, he's just fun. And cute. And I still get to ride while Dee is off at her health vacation.

Look at that ear fluff. He's the cutest

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Catching Up with Best Pony

We went to two local jumper shows in September. The plan was to do numerous divisions and see if we could expose her physical issues.

The first was the Killerney Derby. I have a soft spot for this show as it was the first show I took Dee to, and gave me my first cooler win. This year we did both the 2'9" and the 3'0" divisions, to the tune of 74 jumping efforts. I was a shitty pilot in the first class and surprised her with a triple bar and picked up a stop but it was smooth sailing after I got my act together. We picked up a second in the next class. A rail in the first 3'0" class landed us as the fastest 4 faulter and a 4th place. And then in the 3'0" derby class we were fast and clean, taking home the red and yet another cooler!

It's even in my colours!

The next show was the Gorsline show that we had great success at last year. Last year I showed on Saturday and this year I was on the Sunday. Sunday has the higher levels and a greater level of competition. We did both the 0.9m and the 1.0m. We took a fifth in the first 0.9m class (out of 27) and I was pumped about it, especially since there is money to fifth place. We then proceeded to have a great round in the 0.9m Jumper Special, taking home the win by a margin of almost 2 seconds. This landed us a hefty check and a new cooler.

We then stood around for a while and I made the mistake of not keeping her moving. Going into the 1.0m I was super nervous. Couple this with her getting stiff and it was a super rough round and we ended up getting eliminated after two stop. Horses are sure humbling. I got my head in the game, kept her moving until our next class and put in a solid round with a great jump off. We pulled the first rail, but once again were the fastest of the 4 faulters and took home a 4th. Overall it was great, I even came home with $40 more than my entries.

This is my favourite cooler photo!
Fortunately (unfortunately?) my plan to expose the NQR in Dee's back has worked. After our last show she came up with soreness in her lower back and hip.

So she's off to spend a month with my mom. My mom's business partner is an equine osteopath and the plan is for them to work on her quite extensively over the next few weeks. My mom is also 10 minutes from my preferred vet (I'm over 3 hours away) so it's easy to tap that resource if she isn't showing improvement.
William also got a treatment from them!
My mom is awesome, she's the entire reason I started riding and she has made it feasible for me to continue with this crazy obsession more times than I can count. I trust her with my horse implicitly. And I still cried after dropping her off (and even writing this is making me teary and I'm not a big crier).

So it'll be quiet(er) on the Dee front. I'm hopeful that this time will really help get her sorted out because I plan to enjoy her sassiness for many years to come.