Well, I'm sure you want the good news now. Good news: meeting with Cathryn to sign the papers for Kitty on Friday.
I also weight taped BG, and she's gained around 30 pounds. She's looking nice. Aside from being muddy and wet all the time.
YAY! To this part!!
Originally Posted by Brighteyes
... And I still haven't ridden.
It's been raining for days. Raining every morning and every night. The pastures are flooded. Poor Kitty... Her hips and the backs of her cannon bones are covered in rain rot. It's useless to treat it at this point... I can't kill it until everything dries up. I put some MTG on and curried, but it's probably an effort wasted.
Both mares have thrush. Again, useless to treat until everything is dry. They're constantly standing in water. BG got her shoes and pads off on Friday, so she's tender on hard surfaces as well.
Today, I took senior pictures. I had a couple done with my saddle, BG and Kitty's bridles, and my favorite awards -- national whites, high point SSH, and Coco's national championship buckle. Once they're up online, I'll post them.
To hold you over... Here's one of me hating my life. For six pictures, it sure took all day.
Got in a good ride today for the first time in a while. The rain held off for an entire day, leaving the trails were dry enough to move out a little. It had been threatening to storm again all day, however. So I took both mares out. I rode BG and had Kitty pony beside.
Don't they just look thrilled?
We stayed out for around an hour at a moderate trot. BG held up well despite not having been ridden hard since early June. Kitty didn't have too many problems either. Aside from trying to get in front of BG, which resulted in my whacking her between the eyes with a tree branch. BG took this as permission to pin her ears and bite at Kitty whenever she starting inching in front.
Afterwards, I gave both mares an anti-fungal bath. I scrubbed BG's back cannons until they bled. Kitty got the scratches scrubbed off her heels.
I rode Kitty again later that afternoon with the boss. An hour and a half of walk/trot.
I've been thinking about what I even want to do with Kitty.
I don't need two CTR horses. BG is a great CTR horse, and you can't fill those shoes. Any CTR horse I trained after BG would be a disappointment.
When I was young -- well, not too young. Three years ago. But it feels like a lifetime -- I wanted to do 100 mile endurance rides. That was the big dream. But sometimes on the way to the dream you get lost and find a better one. CTRs. President's cup... Hall of fame. That's a better dream for Baby Girl. (And as always, I really think she could do it.)
Kitty isn't a CTR horse. She's sound and fit, sure. But she isn't a people pleaser. It's her way or no way. She doesn't appreciate the 6 mph CTR pace. She appreciates whatever pace she **** pleases to go. Obstacles? She'll do it to stop me from nagging her, but she isn't happy and isn't putting any extra effort into it.
Sure. She could be made into a CTR. But is it worth the effort? Nope. Not to me.
Good. Fine. I have a 100 mile endurance horse then. That's her.
She needs improve her carriage and lightness. She needs flat work foremost. Maybe cross train in dressage. Pull from weight off of her, add some muscle, cardio. I'll have a 50 mile horse by spring. She did several 50s in 2011/2012, so her legs are already made.
I have this problem, as you can see. I'm a dreamer, a doer, a thinker, a planner. I see possibility everywhere. But as I've said before, maybe I'm too stupid to know what's possible. I have ridiculously large dreams, and half the time they come true.
Did a short session with Kitty today. Transitions. We played the scales up and down. Walk/trot/canter and back down.... And eventually walk/canter and canter/halt. She had a tough time with halt/canter and canter/halt, but her departs starting getting good towards the end. She got the lead four out of five times, but she hates tracking left.
At first, she just hated cantering in the ring. I don't think she's ever had a set canter cue. I cue for a canter by swinging my outside leg back and giving one tap. Like a windshield wiper blade. And she hated it. Got into the canter bucking and bucked for ten strides or so. Afterwards, she kept her ears pinned and her tail wringing.
She thinks she's really scary. In reality she's a 14 hand little white princess pony.
I worked her through the attitude. Now she's at least civil. Even without any actual misbehavior, her expression was all,
Amy asked last week to use Baby Girl for a lesson with some 10-year-old girls. I said sure. Why not.
Today, I got a call from Amy. Right before I was ready to hang up, she added as an after thought:
"Oh, your horse was really bad today."
"Which one?" (I immediately thought Kitty.)
"The spotted one."
And Amy describes my horse refusing to stand still and turning circles and generally being the little ass I know she can be but hasn't been in a while. All because the other horses were moving and she wanted to move too.
I guess it's time for a training ride.
Say it with me Baby Girl. Yeah!
I got Katheryn (not to be confused with Kitty's former owner Catheryn with a C) to help me out. To make it easier, I sometimes call her Kat. (Not to be confused with Cat with a C, a less affectionate title bestowed upon Kitty when she pisses me off.)
Anyway, Kat leases one of the boss's TWHs, and I do trail lessons with her occasionally. Today, however, I was teaching both Katheryn and Baby Girl a little trail lesson.
We played "leap frog." Baby Girl's least favorite game. To start, Kat asked her horse Spirit to stand still while BG and I walked on down the trail. Spirit twisted around a little, so Kat one rein stopped her and all was well. I stopped BG, and Kat walked past me. BG spun once, but calmed down after a few checks back with the reins. We did this for several cycles before we turned it up to eleven.
Instead of walking, Kat galloped past me, stopped, and waited. After both horses were quiet, I galloped past Kat's horse.
BG was all,
She did little rears and spun and carried on like a brat. I'm ashamed it say it's been a while since we've played leap frog, and it shows.
I got the best rear while practicing the hardest variation of the game. I trotted behind Kat. Just trotting happily along. Then I asked BG to stop and stand while Kat's horse picked up a canter and disappeared down the trail.
Let's just stay it took several rounds before BG stood for me.
After about 30 minutes, BG was sweaty and annoyed but willing to stand. Kat and I plan on playing leap frog again next lesson. Wha ha ha!
Baby Girl got a super light day. Ground work only. We practiced lunging half circles and reviewed desensitizing to the plastic bag. This time, I tied the plastic bag on the end of my carrot stick string. For an added "flying wildly through the air and trying to kill you" affect. It made a wonderfully scary sound as it whizzed around. BG did well.
Afterward, I began to teach to her sidepass towards me. For mounting purposes. I reached around with my stick and tapped her opposite side. At the while, I had a rope around her barrel to assist in pulling her towards me.
She picked it up quickly! I eventually didn't need the barrel rope anymore. She sidepassed to me with a light tap of the stick.
Here she is ground tied in the isle. Chillin out.
That afternoon, I rode Kitty. I started out with ground work. Her lunging walk/trot was nice, but I had a hard time getting her into a canter. We managed half a circle cantering both ways before I let her quick. Good effort. It's hard to balance in a circle.
I rode squares with her. Trot/canter. She's finicky about her head. I took up some light contact and tried to ignore her nosing out and head shaking.
(She also drops food when she eats. I think she needs her teeth checked. I need to call Cathryn and see when she was last floated. She needs to have a coggins pulled by August 8th anyway.)
It took a few laps each direction and at each gait to calm her down. She likes to pop out a shoulder and drift around corners. Squares, intrinsically, involve four corners and four straight lines. Straight lines mean the whole body has to be straight. She can canter with her head nearly bent to my knee.
The last few laps were very nice. Probably because she was getting tired and I was just warming up.
Also, I need riding lessons. I haven't had a lesson in years. If I'm going to ride a trotting horse and do ring work (which Kitty needs), I need to be able to ride effectively. Kitty needs to lighten up, round her back, and engage her hind end. I need to be able to help her do that. The search begins.