Posts Tagged ‘saddlebred’

Yes, today was Trail Thursday!  This is a new thing in my life, and I love it!  As it stands, this is the third or fourth TT that I’ve had, and it appears as though Catherine and I have a standing date now established.  This is fantastic, because she and I both have languished on many a lonely trail ride.  Fortunately, we’ve found great trail partners in each other, and Elvis does so well with her current mount: a lovely golden pony.

Typically, we are pressed for time and can only make an hour-long trail.  Today however, we rode for two hours – such fun!  We crashed bush through the woods, popped out onto roads, rode alongside county thoroughfares, met area horses, talked to area people, saw two snakes (one alive, one dead), explored under a bridge, saved another turtle from an untimely end (Elvis was held off of another horse during this time, and was a gentleman!), and wandered through lovely wildflowers.  Really, it was a great day.  Elvis is truly a Trail Pony Deluxe, and it’s so easy to ride him anywhere.  He and I just had a blast, and it’s so great to have found such a great person to ride with.

That’s all I have for today.  Tomorrow Elvis will be long lined again.. maybe I’ll take some video.  This however is dependent upon whether I can locate the video camera in our new home!

Oh!  I’ve also decided to sell my Barnsby Whitaker.  That is somewhat of a big thing for me… so begins the saddle shopping process (again).


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Today started out really well: I ended up at the barn by 1pm, hoping to hit the warmer part of the day.  I felt pretty good as I had been getting a lot done today, and was excited to be unexpectedly riding (I wasn’t sure I could get up there early enough to avoid the rush hour traffic on my return).  Elvis saw me drive in through the big field, and ran up to meet me at the second gate – how can this not make a horse owner feel good?  The sun was shining and I was really hoping that the ground would be a bit softer in the ring; perhaps that is why he was “weird” yesterday?

I tacked up Mr. Congeniality and headed to the ring.  Unusually, I wasn’t alone as the BO and her daughter were riding.  The ring appeared to be hard, but not that bad.  I mean, the horses left foot prints and I could dig my heel into it.  Things were looking good!  Plus, I could do my ground work with lots of distractions to snag Elvis’s attention: a perfect opportunity to remind him that I’m the only thing he should be concerned with.

With the numbers of riders, and just to keep Elvis guessing, I decided not to lunge.  I hopped on and spent a good amount of time warming up at the walk.  He became round and soft so nicely, and was really reaching down and into the contact.  He held this suppleness into his basic lateral work, and negotiated the busy ring well.

With things going as well as they were, I moved him into the trot.  Occasionally, he’d be really good, but then he’d invert a bit and go against my hands.  Also, for a few strides I felt that he was off on his right front.  So, I hopped off and put him on the lunge.  Other than feeling as though he’s generally more short strided (basically, since his first shoeing, I feel as though his stride up front has been affected, and I plan on having my farrier address this next week), I didn’t see any hitch to his stride.  To the right though every so often I’d see something very small, actually it was more of a body stiffness as opposed to an actual “off” step.  It would be there and then it would be gone just as quickly.  He also wasn’t as forward as normal.  Hmm..

I decided to hop on and just see what I could feel at the trot.  He actually did pretty well to the left, but then to the right I felt it again.  I called it quits and headed back to the barn.  What a bummer!  Plus, it’s worrisome.

At the barn I did a 45 minute epsom salt soak, but I’m not sure how effective it was seeing as how I only had cold water.  I’m sure it helped some, hopefully it helped enough.  I felt his legs and they were clean and heat free; I knew this though as I feel them before every ride.

What I have noticed so far:

  • Elvis didn’t seem himself yesterday.  He wasn’t off, but he wasn’t as forward and wouldn’t come round and soften in the trot – this is why we walked mostly.
  • We’ve had a major cold snap the past few days; it is the coldest it’s been in this area at this time of year in eleven years.  The arena is a weird material, kind of a crushed rock mixed with some sort of gray sand (I keep forgetting to ask what it is).  I think it’s a local product, as there is a lot of mica in it.  I think it was chosen because it drains well, and the barn is on a flood plain.  It’s not the most shock absorbing material by any stretch, but it’s not “bad”.   About 5% of the ring is truly frozen, as puddles were frozen.  I don’t think the ring is any harder than it’s been in the middle of the droughts over last summer, but it is harder than it “normally” is.  I’m not sure I am fully convinced that this is the problem though, as Elvis came from Wisconsin where the ground truly freezes….
  • …although perhaps the fact that he’s being worked on this surface is a relevant variable?
  • I think his feet are long up front.  This wouldn’t surprise me as I doubled his Platinum Performance over a month ago.

So, I’m not sure what is going on, but he’s not himself and he’s presenting in such a minimal way.  For now, I think rest is best.  I canceled my lesson for tomorrow, and rescheduled for next week.  We will warm up a bit more and hopefully the ring will be softer, so that I can see if he changes in response.

For now, pictures of the poor boy:

Soaking his hoof. Also, you can really see how bad this side of his clip job is, haha! His HQ looks weird, too.. Could I have found a more unflattering photo?

Look at his fuzz! Another boarder was amazed at how thick and long his coat was the other day, and kept running their fingers through it. It is like bunny fur.

A long ovrdue photo of Elvis's leg... notice the lack of scratches?!

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