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All About Indie -- Progress Journal

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        09-26-2012, 08:51 PM
      #31
    Yearling
    September 26, 2012

    Today went pretty good too! Although she seems to be getting more energetic with each ride.. so my instructor is expecting her to become a handful this winter. She said we'll have to lunge her in a pair of side reins before I ride, just so that she has the opportunity to burn off extra energy but in a more beneficial way as we're trying to get her to build up the correct muscles.

    Not to mention different from last night, except we did 90% walk work. Getting her to relax while stopped.. backing up in-frame.. inside bending.. spiral exercises.. etc! By the end, she was much more supple and soft. She was getting impatient during the stopping and started pawing at the ground, although she stopped with a quick half halt. Like I said, she gets more energetic every ride.. so hopefully she continues to improve and doesn't go downhill.

    The best part of all! My instructor told me that she thinks Indie is a very nice mare and said she could see her in a dressage class wowing the judges, as she says her trot and walk are both very nice once she's relaxed and properly bent. A few of her older students were watching for a few minutes last night and apparently they commented on how nice she was as well. Apparently she has a very nicely built neck! My instructor added that the splints do worry her quite a bit but she said to just take it a day at a time, and if there comes a time when she's not rideable, not to blame myself because we're giving her the best care possible and a fantastic home.

    So I'm pretty happy with how it went, although I did get a tad emotional when talking about the splints.
         
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        09-29-2012, 01:30 PM
      #32
    Yearling
    September 29, 2012

    Got to the barn at around 8:30 this morning so much to the other horses' displeasure, Indie was the first to be fed. Apparently she refuses to eat food with too much rice bran oil.. so I just poured maybe 1/8 cup over her Recovery EQ and Elite feed before adding some water in. Roger's stall is right next to hers, and since he is king of terrible barn manners and Mr. Grumpy, he continually kicked at the stall and pinned his ears. Indie just continued eating and paid no attention to him.

    My "hungry hippo" as I called her


    I took off her halter and cribbing collar (as she doesn't crib anymore between bites of food.. yay!) and let her munch on some hay while the other horses got turned out.

    After the aisles were clear, I took her out on the cross ties and gave her a nice grooming before rubbing down her legs. Her hooves are also looking quite a bit better! Her hind frogs are growing back and her front ones are looking more hard and better proportioned. Yay!

    We did lots and lots of bending until she was doing a "legitimate" inside bend.. as my instructor said during my lesson that she's trying to fool us by just sticking her ears to the inside. So, now I'm more vigilant about getting an actual bend. She's getting less stiff each ride though, which is awesome! There were a set of ground poles on one side of the arena and then a line of pylon cones on the other, so I worked them all into our ride. The pylon cones were super nice for getting her bending at both the walk and trot. The poles just worked on her striding and we usually went over at a walk because she likes to pick up a trot halfway through, so I'm trying to teach her how to stick to a pace.

    I walked her out before bringing her back up to the barn. I think I'm going to try to find some of those cooling boots or whatever I had seen.. I'll have to google it as I don't know how easy it'd be to cold hose her legs in the winter.

    Once her legs were hosed down, I put her back in her stall for fifteen minutes so that we could each grab a bite to eat. After that, I put the CopperSet on her feet and threw the cooler on her as it was a bit chilly in the aisle way. I brushed out her tail with a tonne of conditioner and put it in a nice little braid as the flies aren't around too much anymore. I also shaved her whiskers and trimmed the hair around her fetlocks and coronet bands. She was looking pretty spiffy!

    After that, I used some of the No. 2 Oil that I had won back at a clinic this summer on her mane.. as it's supposed to train the hair to stay to one side. Her mane is pretty good at being to the right except for the end, which is always flopped over. I rubbed her down with some ShowSheen just to get the extra dust off and put some Fiske's cream on all her little scratches to hopefully heal them up. She also managed to get covered in bot eggs so I made sure to get all of them off!

    Once I gave her the last apple slice, we headed outside to the pasture so she could finally go eat. I organized my two tack boxes while I waited for my dad to come pick me up. Tomorrow, I'll do a bit more while riding and probably clean my tack.
         
        09-29-2012, 11:29 PM
      #33
    Foal
    Sounds like she's doing well! She's a pretty little girl. C:
         
        09-30-2012, 07:36 PM
      #34
    Yearling
    Thanks! And yes, she's improving quite a bit lately!

    September 30, 2012


    For the first time ever, Indie stood still while I mounted! She got a billion and one pats and nice shoulder rub!

    After I had her all dried off, as much to her dismay, it was pouring before I got there.. I groomed Indie up so I could take her down to the arena! I could almost swear that her splints are getting smaller.. but since they're already calcified, I don't know if that's even possible, so I'm likely just delusional!

    In other news, she must've gotten bit out in the pasture because I found a decent sized cut on her butt while grooming her. I also ended up re-doing her tail braid because the bottom was muddy from the rain.. and then I french-braided the microscopic amount of hair that would normally be called a forelock.

    My polo wraps also looked pretty darn decent today as well, I'm getting quite a bit quicker as well so yay for that! Indie also had less trouble keeping her right hind leg down while I wrapped it.. and she didn't automatically kick it up as far as it could go.

    During our ride, we did lots and lots of bending, lateral flexions and I tried some leg yields. For bending, I made a line of about ten pylons and we went through a few times at both a walk and trot. We also did three loop serpentines at a trot until she was going decently. What followed was circling at each letter at the trot and we'd have a walk/bending break in between.. we also practiced some whoas and standing still. All in all, our ride went quite well!

    After our ride, I hosed her legs down and let her go in her stall for a bit so that she could eat her supper. Then, I groomed her and took care of her feet.. so after she put up with me for yet another hour, she got to go back in her stall while I cleaned the saddle.

    Oscar and Manny were staying in for the night, and since it was raining.. I cleaned Indie's stall, loaded it with hay and straw and gave her an apple before I headed home! She looked pretty content so hopefully she doesn't get too bored tonight.
         
        10-02-2012, 06:55 AM
      #35
    Yearling
    October 1, 2012

    Just a quick summary of last night since I'm off to an orthodontist appointment in a few minutes.

    So Indie standing still yesterday wasn't a fluke.. I took her down to the arena during a beginner lesson (two little girls using Romeo and Annie) and miraculously, Indie stood still for me to get on with other horses walking around!

    As for the ride, she finally was doing a legitimate inside bend, both ways at the trot! Her lateral flexions are much, much better and almost instant. We also worked on leg yielding at the trot, and she did great.. managed to keep herself straight throughout the whole yield.

    Also, she finally decided to meet me in the pasture so I wouldn't have to walk the whole way. At first, she just looked up at me.. and then back down at the grass, and as ridiculous as it is, I started calling to her like she was a dog. (ie: smacking my knees, calling her name and doing clicking noises) Either way, it worked and she walked over. Mirabelle, the little white Arabian, decided that she wanted to come with us but Indie pinned her ears back until I shoo'd her away.

    I have a riding lesson tonight so I'll do a more indepth summary then!
         
        10-02-2012, 11:00 AM
      #36
    Weanling
    I just thought I should let you know, I'm following this thread religiously. I check every single morning. You guys are making incredible progress and Indie is lucky to have such a fantastic owner!
         
        10-02-2012, 03:17 PM
      #37
    Yearling
    Thanks, that means a lot.. I do try really hard to take great care of her, although she makes it easy for me.. I don't think I've ever been so excited to get to the barn each day until now!

    We picked her up a new trace mineral block today, but this one has added Vitamin E with apple flavouring.. so maybe she'll actually be interested in it. We bought another block holder as well, plus another hanger for her halter or whatever else I'll need to hang by her stall.
         
        10-02-2012, 07:12 PM
      #38
    Yearling
    October 2, 2012

    I had a group lesson tonight, although it was just two of us instead of three. I call Tuesday Indie's "work night" since usually she's pushed a little more so that we can keep up with the other two, whereas tomorrow night's lesson is always tailored to her and I specifically.

    Today's lesson was on striding.. in which, Indie did surprisingly well. Laura set up four stride canter poles (or five stride trot poles) for us to go over. We were aiming for five strides at the trot and four at the canter.

    First time over at the trot, we got six.. so I pushed her a little more and next time we got the five! Yay! We went over a few more times and moved to the canter. It took us a couple times to get the correct lead but when she did, she went over the poles without stopping. A few issues though: 1) she splits her legs over the poles instead of both legs at once and 2) any slight loss of contact = instant acceleration)

    Other than that, our lesson went quite well.. she stood still while mounting, was bending decently, lateral flexions were great and she was able to pick up both correct leads.

    Quick summary for tonight just because I have a chemistry test to study for.. tomorrow's will be more indepth!
         
        10-03-2012, 09:16 PM
      #39
    Yearling
    October 3, 2012

    What a good lesson! Received a good, genuine compliment from my instructor!

    While tacking up, Indie actually kept all four legs on the ground for when I was wrapping up the polos. Usually it's a battle of the wills and I have to keep at her until she keeps it down, but today there was no issue! Surprisingly, we got down a good ten minutes early so I spent extra time on bending.

    During our warm-up, one of my instructor's dogs, Thor (a pitbull/beagle mix who she adopted a few years ago after he was found tied to a tree).. ran full speed into the arena after a pigeon. Laura was out showing a woman a horse, as apparently the woman was out of horses for awhile and wanted to spend time with a few. Within a few moments, Thor had managed to grab the pigeon by it's neck.. snap the neck.. and obviously, kill it. I was just casually riding by when I saw it's head twitch before it froze. I sat there and yelled out, "THOR KILLED A PIGEON!!" to my instructor while she was out in the field.

    She got in and laughed, of course.. and the rest of the pigeons ended up staying up in the rafters instead of flying around.

    As for riding, lots of bending, leg yields and... trot poles!

    Things that I learned: Indie has not ever seen a set of trot poles before, nor does she know how to leg yield from my right leg.

    By the end of that exercise, she was somewhat side passing from my right leg (we simplified the leg yield when we realized that she had no sweet clue) and she was getting perfect striding over the poles! Much better compared to her stopping dead in her tracks over the poles and going "omg what do I do", and me spending three minutes with as much pressure as humanly possible on her side trying to get her to move her haunches.

    The genuine compliment I mentioned earlier? While on a 20m circle, once I was keeping my hands up and consistent.. Indie was going in a perfect frame! Did I mention, engaged and stretched out! My instructor said she looked great, which is probably one of the first times she's said that. She said it showed off her nice shoulder and stride length. Yay for Indie and yay for my consistent hands!

    After that, we did more bending and we also did some spirals until she kept the bend throughout. So proud! I walked her out by hand for five minutes before bringing her up. She got half an apple (I usually give her 1/8 of an apple for behaving during things like polo wrapping, the farrier and applying the CopperSet on her hooves and then 1/4 for a good ride).

    I hosed her legs down, applied ointment on all her little cuts and went to put her outside after I let her legs dry and the hoof stuff set in. When putting her out, all the mares were outside the gate.. so I ushered them away. Much to my annoyance, and for a moment panic, Molly noticed me getting an apple out for Indie.. being the piggie she is, she comes over and tries shoving Indie away. I managed to give Indie the apple about a split second before Molly comes tearing through, scaring Indie and almost causing her to run over me.. but instead, she did a nice little turn on the haunch/rear type thing to avoid me (or the electric fence.. now which seems more likely? Haha).

    Anyways, I'll probably give her the day off tomorrow since she's been ridden everyday this week.
         
        10-04-2012, 02:35 PM
      #40
    Green Broke
    You are doing great w/her.I'm so glad this is working out for both of you.
         

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