Aires' progress (and mine)... - Page 15

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Aires' progress (and mine)...

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        02-27-2012, 05:39 PM
    Green Broke
    Oh my, when it rains it pours,eh? But, you have your truck,& all that straightened out. You have your surgery date & we'll all hope it willl be the surgery w/less recovery time. Does AZ have disability pay? Can you file for that? Can the PT place give you some hand-outs w/ exercise diagrams? You will need to do something to get back your range of motion. Or maybe you couldl find someting on line that will help. Are you having the vet come out to check on Aries teeth? Hope this year starts getting better for you real soon!
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        02-27-2012, 05:58 PM
    The trainer isn't convinced that it was Aires' teeth, mainly because he's back to being his normal, placid, cooperative self. I checked his mouth this morning and showed our BO and neither of us can see where his wolf teeth are coming in and, really, his teeth don't look bad at all.

    The physical therapy (per what my ortho said) will help me get my range of motion back, plus he wants me trying to stretch my shoulder as much as possible BEFORE the surgery.
        02-27-2012, 06:11 PM
    Green Broke
    You're always right there & taking care of Aries whenever there's a problem. My hat is off to you for that-it can be hard when they are boarded out. So, have the barn isssues been resolved? Are you getting those horrible winds yet? We might get rain or even snow tonight-glad I rode both horses this W/E. We had some range cows in the yard a few days back-the horses are cool w/that. I've got my hay in the horse trailer, & a barrier up so they can't get to the horse barrels. Got the shelter roofs up & some mats in their pens, so I'm feeling much better w/their living arrangements. They love being out in the country & don't seem bothered by anything.
        02-28-2012, 01:31 AM
    Originally Posted by Cacowgirl    
    You're always right there & taking care of Aries whenever there's a problem. My hat is off to you for that-it can be hard when they are boarded out. So, have the barn isssues been resolved? Are you getting those horrible winds yet? We might get rain or even snow tonight-glad I rode both horses this W/E. We had some range cows in the yard a few days back-the horses are cool w/that. I've got my hay in the horse trailer, & a barrier up so they can't get to the horse barrels. Got the shelter roofs up & some mats in their pens, so I'm feeling much better w/their living arrangements. They love being out in the country & don't seem bothered by anything.
    Yes, they have! The person who was the problem moved his horse to a different barn today and he will officially be gone for good on the 1st. Sooooooo happy about that!!

    Yeah, we've had strong winds all day. I was out at my parents' house in Chino all day and went to get something out of my truck. A gust of wind hit me unexpectedly and nearly blew me over (I'm totally being serious!). We're supposed to get 1-2" of snow tonight, but it'll probably be slightly more where we live (we live on a big hill and usually get 1-2" more snow than the lower parts around us). Not looking forward to driving tomorrow, even though I've got my truck back. Glad I don't have to be at work until 2pm.
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        03-04-2012, 11:56 PM
    Showing, we went on a trail ride today. We went out Deep Well Ranch instead of going up the mountain like we usually do. Deep Well Ranch is pretty much prairie with all sorts of cattle and deer trails cutting through it, with scrub oak thickets scattered around for good measure.

    Aires was GREAT on the ride out to the gate to Deep Well. We rode all back streets and he handled everything like an old pro, even the "scary" ravine that a lot of horses don't like. He did keep wanting to trot, which did not make me happy (I'm good with trotting normally, but we need to work on our stop/slow down, so I have issues with it when we aren't in the arena). Anyway, we got through the gate and started off...and Aires was acting like he was going to die. Every little sound of bend in the trail had him wanting to take flight. We met some other riders (it was GORGEOUS today) and he acted like he'd never seen another horse before. Because I wouldn't let him take off like he wanted to, he kept getting pissy and swishing his tail at me (sooooo not like him). He also kept crowding up the other horses' butts and followed my friend's quarab gelding like he was glued to him (regardless of what I asked him to do).

    We stopped for lunch at these corrals with a windmill and stock tanks. There was a goldfish in the stock tank and apparently Aires thought it was going to eat him because no manner of coaxing would get him even remotely near the stock tank. Lol Anyway, we set about eating and turned the boys loose in the corral (after closing the gate) to play and nibble at the weeds/grass. Pretty soon, the boys realized that my friend, Wendy, had the goods (carrots...and Cheetos lol) and they were all right in her face begging. I swear we don't have horses, we have giant dogs. Lol There were some heifers in an ajoining corral that had newborn calves and after an initial "What the heck are those?!", Aires and the other boys ignored them.

    We mounted back up after about fifteen minutes and were riding across more prairie. Aires was a tiny bit more relaxed, but still wanted to take off every so often. We finally started getting into to scrub oak forest and he started to relax a bit. When we got into the denser scrub oak forest, he became the trail horse I know and love. We hit a fence that was locked, so we took off on a trail that headed back toward the way we needed to go and just kind of wandered and explored. We hit a residential fenceline and couldn't find a trail following it, so we just kind of trail blazed around until we found the trail we were supposed to take. It was really fun and Aires did great...until he ran me into a branch right at jaw level that scraped along the side of my face. Yeah, let's just say that even though both my friends went right by the same branch, the same distance from it, I am the only one who got run into it. Why? Because I have the tallest horse in the bunch and I'm the tallest one in the bunch. Lol

    When we got back to the barn, we untacked and then hung out by Wendy's trailer (she has to trailer in because she boards elsewhere) for a while, letting the boys eat grass on the side of the road. Then, we decided to try to get my two-year-old who hasn't been in a trailer since he was a weanling to load into Wendy's two-horse straight load. He actually almost got in and wasn't at all scared of it, but she was parked straddling a fairly good-sized dip, so the floor of the trailer was above Aires' knees (mind you, he's pushing 16.1-16.2hh now) and he wasn't quite grasping the concept of stepping up that high to get into the trailer. We're going to try again, though, next time we ride. Also, our BO is going to pick up some horses in Minnesota (or Michigan...or Wisconsin...somewhere over there lol) this weekend, so when he gets back, I might ask him if I can try to load Aires in his stock trailer (he won't put it away until he hoses it out).

    In other news, Aires got a new halter! It's draft size, but fits him pretty well. Just a little big through the nose.
        03-05-2012, 12:38 AM
    Ha! Sounds like an awesome ride on the day!
    Makana and I learned how much she likes being brushed!
    Got her all prettied up, walked around a little, cut her loose in the pasture and what's she do? You guessed it- rolled in the turd piles!
    Can't wait to find a saddle that works for us both, so Jenny & Sammie, Makana and I can all come over the hill and ride with ya!
    Or, come visit us and we'll run Mingus!
    The antelope were out in force today - always a spectacular sight!
        03-05-2012, 12:47 AM
    If I had a trailer, AZ, I would SO be there! You'd love riding the mountain (Granite Mountain). It is awesome. We could go to the lake and have a picnic.

    Aires is shedding horribly right now, so my new saddle blanket and...well...everything, really, is covered with hair.

    You should head over to my picture thread to see pics from today's ride. Just some pics of Aires
        03-05-2012, 01:05 AM
    Forgot to mention the bunny hop incident!! It was hilarious!!

    Okay, so we're in the scrub oak forest just truckin' along with Wendy in the lead (on Tam, her 16yo quarab gelding), my friend, Christina, in the middle (on her 9yo arab gelding, CJ) and me trailing. There were several small logs (in the 6-10" diameter range) laying across the trail in a few parts as we were going along. So we get to this particularly large log (maybe 12" in diameter) that is about 6" off the ground. Tam walks over it. CJ walks over it. Aires gets his front feet over it...then bunny hops over it with his back feet! It wasn't a buck, it was definitely a bunny hop. I was laughing so hard!
        03-05-2012, 01:23 AM
    Actually, we have a trailer, and both our tank sized horses fit in it, but whoever designed the 3 horse slant must have been thinking mini's.
    Rest assured we will link up at some point soon.
    I'm always looking for people to ride with on weekends, as Makana definitely needs some wet blankets to get us both dialed in.
    One other place I love is Camp Wood- very remote, rustic, and lots of neat stuff to see, especially wildlife!
    If you like, shoot me a PM with your email and phone, and i'll forward ours back.
    And, if our 3 slant isnt big enough for all 3 horses, we do have access to a stock trailer too.
    We KNOW 4 horses fit in there!
        03-17-2012, 03:09 AM
    So, today was NOT a good day. I nearly threw in the towel and said "Screw it."

    So, my friend and I were planning on riding in the arena today, but I had to run to Chino first (about a 15 minute drive each way) and pick up the new stirrups I had ordered through one of the local tack shops. I was on my way back to the barn when my friend called me and asked me how long I was going to be. I told her I was almost there and then she said that if I was up for it, two of the other boarders wanted to go on a trail ride with us up the mountain. I said sure and hung up.

    So, I get to the barn and it's pretty much chaos. The BO, his son and his step grandson are working on cleaning up around the round pen, there's someone riding in the arena, horses turned out across the street (still part of the barn property), and my friend and one of the other boarders starting to tack up at the front of the barn. Right after I got there and got Aires out of his stall, another boarder showed up with her family for a trail lesson with the trainer, so they went and got their two horses, while the trainer got two of the lesson horses out to tack up. So, at one time, there were SEVEN horses tied at the hitching rails out front being tacked up. When I got Aires out, I went to go lunge him like I usually do before we tack up, but my friend said that the round pen was torn apart (the BO was working on fixing some of the damaged boards) and that there wasn't time anyway, so I just went and tied him up and started tacking up.

    Aires was being a bit of a pill while I was tacking up, but nothing extreme, so I didn't even really think about it. I went to mount up and he would not stand still. So, I asked one of the people who wasn't going on either trail ride (a friend of the boarder who was going with us) to hold him while I got the mounting block and brought it over to mount. As soon as he saw the mounting block, he absolutely FREAKED out. He reared up (not very high...just far enough to get his front feet of the ground), ripped the reins out of the lady's hand and took off trotting to the turnout gate across the road. I trotted after him, knowing he'd just stay there. Well, my friend and one of the ladies who was already mounted thought it'd be a good idea to canter over and try to block him into the half-circle driveway where the turnout gate is. When they cantered over, it freaked Aires out and he took off, almost ramming into my friend's gelding (who he usually loves) and then he took off down the road. Luckily he didn't head toward the highway or I would have been in deep trouble. Anyway, he dodged around the other lady, freaked when he saw two people running toward him from the barn driveway entrance and trotted on down the road. By this time, the BO, his son and step grandson had heard the commotion and were running out to the road to try to help catch him. Another of the boarders (who was down by the arena) hopped through the fence further down the road just in case he went that far. Aires finally stopped on the side of the road next to the new POA's stall and started eating grass. The BO fell in next to me and asked me if he'd spooked or was just being an idiot. I told him both and explained what had happened.

    So, I took Aires back up to the barn and asked the BO to hold him for me while I tried to mount, because I figured Aires wouldn't move with the BO holding him. The BO VERY sarcastically said "I wonder why not," pretty much implying that I don't discipline Aires, which is SOOOOOOOOO not true. He gets into trouble quite a bit and I am NOT lenient. So anyway, I had a hold of Aires' halter and the BO comes walking up in front of Aires and it was like Aires had never seen the BO in his life. His head went up into the air, his eyes and nostrils flared and he jerked back. I pulled his head back down and the BO went to reach for Aires' halter and Aires absolutely and completely FREAKED again. This time he reared again, then turned and rammed into CJ (my friend's gelding...with her mounted!) and kicked out at him, then ran off toward the new boarder on her appy and kicked out at them, then jumped sideways and almost ran into one of the other boarders' horses that was going on the lesson ride and kicked at him, then trotted over to one of the stalls and stood there. I grabbed him and my friend and the other two took off on their ride, leaving me to deal with Aires (I wasn't upset...I knew if we had gone it would NOT have ended well).

    So, I fought with Aires for ten minutes, trying to get him into the round pen, before the lady who had held him the first time asked if I wanted her to come behind him with my lunge whip and "drive" him into the round pen. As soon as she got behind him, he was a perfect gentleman walking into the round pen. Well, we had a serious "Come To Jesus Meeting" in the round pen after that. Turns out the round pen was indeed put back together (my friend didn't know that, though).

    I literally made him run for twenty minutes, changing direction a few times. Any time he slowed from a canter if I didn't ask him to, I would pop the whip (he's never been around a lunge whip before). If he ignored the whip pop, he got the whip across his rump. After twenty minutes of running, I slowed him down to a trot and we worked on some gait transitions (extended trot to relaxed trot and back again, then down to a walk...that sort of thing) and direction changes. I let him come into the center after another ten minutes or so to rest, then sent him back out again. He was NOT happy that I sent him back out, but I was beyond caring at that point. So, we did a lot of short direction changes (made him trot one way for a quarter circuit, then change directions, then change again after another quarter circuit) until he was changing direction with just a shift of the whip in front of him and the word "Switch."

    So, we came out of the round pen after I desensitized him to the whip (rubbed it ALL over him), and I took his bridle off and took him on a short walk up the road. We worked on ground manners: stopping, yielding his hindquarters, backing, turning, etc. I was going to ride in the arena, but one of the little girls was down there with her gelding and I didn't want her to have to deal with Aires' idiocy (she's like 10-years-old and just the cutest little thing with a horse that is ranch broke and can do just about anything). When we got back to the barn, I untacked Aires and turned him out with the other two geldings that were across the road, then went and cleaned his stall and changed his water.

    I was feeling EXTREMELY frustrated. I can handle being made to look like a fool, but not in front of our BO (he already thinks I can't ride and made up my horse experience because he never got to see me ride before Gypsy threw me and my confidence went to hell). I ended up looking like a complete moron who can't handle my own horse today.

    I went down to thank the lady who had hopped through the fence at the end of the road to keep Aires from going any further and she and I got to talking. She bought the Percheron filly that came down from the same breeder with Aires, but she got Liberty (the filly) when she was right off the truck as a weanling. She has always loved Aires, but couldn't afford another horse. Anyway, she was going on and on about how glad she is that I bought Aires and how I've done so good with him and come so far with him. She told me how impressed she was that I took a 2yo stud colt that was 15hh and ~1200lbs that hadn't really been handled all that much and turned him into a (usually) solid equine citizen with good ground manners. She said how it was a testament to how committed to him I am and how much I was able to teach him that I have gotten him to where he would have been now if someone had been working with him since he was a weanling and how impressed she is that I was able to do so much with him in such a short time. It really made me feel much better, since she's not a friend and wouldn't feel "obligated" to boost my self-confidence like that.

    Anyway, I realize now that there was WAY too much stimulation going on for Aires and he was not focused at all. In time he may be confident/relaxed enough to deal with that much stimuli, but right now, it's just way too much for him to process.

    So, this next week and a half or so before my surgery, we're going to try to do as much arena work as possible. I'm going to head out to the barn every day after work and try to ride at least for a little while.

    On the surgery front, I had my pre-op appointment today. Meh. Lol

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