Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rides and my shelter is started!!!!!!!

I rode on Sunday arvo - took Sam for a walk and he seemed happy. Happy to stride out and happy to be out and about. Missed riding Monday so Tuesday arvo I made time to ride. I thought I would take Sam out to the reserve and go for a long relaxing walk with some easy trot and canter. That wasn't Sam's idea! We started off at a brisk walk and this time I thought we would enter the reserve the way we have been exiting. This meant we had to walk 900m down the road and go through the bottom gate. No probs, though the concrete drain in a driveway that we pass is a scary thing. Once we entered the reserve we had a walk around the dam and said hello to the sheep, then I thought we could go for a trot along the track, this was extremely forward and tense. I could feel Sam wanted to let loose, poor bugger just wanted a good canter/gallop and maybe kick up his heels I think. I did not want this so bought him back to a walk. Once we reached an area where I could put in a few circles I asked for trot again. Once again too forward and excited so I asked for a large circle to the left. Keep in mind to the left was the way we were having problems with on the lunge. He really didn't show any signs of being in pain - awesome.

So we would trot along the trail but if he felt too forward I would put him on a circle. That only seems to work for a bit with Sam then he gets cranky so I asked him to trot up the steep hill - try and wear him out a little, walk back down and see what we have. A little better, a little more controlled but still not nice. I popped him into canter that he bounded into. We were able to canter down the trail and then onto a circle if required. I only cantered him on the right rein as I wasn't brave enough to try the left just in case an issue arose. I concentrated on me - relax through my seat, don't grip with my knees, keep my lower leg off him, give with my hands. This all helped. I find if I stop thinking about what he is doing and concentrate on me and what I am doing he settles and relaxes!!!!!!

We cantered up the steep hill and I pushed him up - asked him to really stretch out up there. Back to a walk and time for the long walk home to cool down. This also wasn't in Sam's plan. We were near the gate to go home but I wanted to go through the bottom gate that we had entered through. Sam's way of objecting is to slow right down and try to turn in a largish circle back in the way he wants to go - after a reminder that we weren't going home that way he started to stride out again.

This afternoon I was able to ride again and this time I wanted to stay at home in the 'arena' . We walked around and I asked Sam to stretch down and bend around my inside leg. To the right no problem but too the left, very stiff. I did a few leg yields to help and moved up into a trot. I didn't want collection just a swinging trot with a stretching down frame. It wasn't consistent but he was certainly trying. In one area of the 'arena' and only on the left rein Sam would shorten his stride, raise his head and sort of jump up in the front. HHMMM was he still sore? I asked for things on the left rein in other parts of the arena and no objection but once again coming to this one area he would jack up again. I just kept riding him through it. At one point this area became bigger! I was getting a little concerned so asked my other half to come and watch - moral support. He said he looked tight, stiff when I was working him on the left rein. I asked him to canter on the left rein. Transition was horrible but I just wanted forward. I finally achieved this. The frame was heavy but I didn't care it was forward. I asked for canter to the right. He was so heavy so I asked for halt. Walk four strides and canter. Half a circle in canter and then halt once he became heavy again. Walk four strides and canter. Every time he became heavy, halt. I only had to do this a few times and he became lighter so I let him walk it out. He doesn't have the strength to be light the whole way around the arena but he doesn't have to lean like a steam train either. I was really happy this worked but what I was really excited about was that I was able to get a canter from a walk. Once again not pretty but he was moving off my aids!!!!

I am floating Sam to my instructors place tomorrow for a lesson so we will see how we go. New place, floating, a lesson, I am sure we will be fine! I would like to wash Sam for his lesson but it is so cold here at the moment - too cold to wash so he will have to have a really good groom in the morning. Also I hope she will be able to tell me if she thinks he is sore or just putting on a turn.

My shelter was started yesterday!!!!!! Very exciting!!!! This is what it looked like Tuesday afternoon - that is Steve the gentleman that is building it.

This is what it looked like at the end of today - that is Gull in the background wondering what I am doing.

My other half has been changing gates over for me.

And little Wilbur thought it was too cold today to come out and play........

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sam had a headache

The chiropractor came out this morning and Sam was out in his hips, shoulders, very tight through the wither area, poll. The expression on Sam's face while he was being worked on was amazing. He has had a pinched look all week but after a few adjustments you could see Sam's expression finally soften and relax. He has happy to walk out with a bob in his head and it down low, a good stretch.

I am very happy that Sam is a lot more comfortable and happy. I am allowed to ride him this afternoon but only at walk so I plan to take him over to the reserve and we will have a lovely long relaxing walk.

One thing that upset me was how quick it all was. From beginning to end took about 15min. That was from talking about his history - right back to his trip down from Townsville - to me walking him out, a few adjustments and walking him out again. I am not used to treatments being so quick. The cost was certainly not cheap. Sam really does look better and I hope when I ride him I can feel the difference. What can you do?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Quick thought on hooves

Quick thought as I was feeding up this morning about Sam's hooves. They really have improved out of sight since bringing him down to Wagga Wagga from Townsville. Just looking at them this morning, they look like normal horse hooves, no chips, cracks, no major flaring. We can actually fill a shoe now. I will take photos on the weekend so I can show you the difference. Having the right environment for hooves really makes a massive difference! I am even going to chat to the farrier in the morning about the possibility of Sam going barefoot - that hoof has held up so well with no shoe on.

Have a wonderful day and I hope you get to play with ponies!!!!!! I get to go horsey shopping at work today for Sam! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Loosing a shoe and a new blog!

Sam lost a shoe last night! He has terrible hooves but you know what, this time you wouldn't even know the shoe has come off! No damage, the hoof is still looking beautiful! I think because the ground is so soft at the moment.

My best friend has just started her own blog. If you love kittens then check it out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sore Sam

I think Sam is sore. I have booked the chiropractor for this weekend so hopefully we will have an answer to what is the problem. I can't really see anything, maybe a little short stepping from behind but on the left rein he won't go forward - something hurts. Canter on the left rein on the lunge is accompanied with a lot of bucking, changing the lead or just falling back to a trot. I guess this is why we should listen to our horses more.

Yesterday I rode and really concentrated on the warm up and asking for him to be really loose. I sort of got it, more on the right rein, the left rein was tense. He was able to give me a few strides of relaxed coming from behind but then straight back to being tense. I finished by taking him over to the reserve and going for a walk. In walk either rein he is fine. He walked out happily, very forward for a good 25min.

I put him on the lunge this afternoon just to see if there was any improvement. I started him on the right rein and no problems. Happy to walk trot and canter. Happy to travel around with his nose near the ground. Change the rein to the left. Walk fine, trot a little tense, canter - it took a lot to even get him to canter then buck, flying change so he was on the other leg. I left it at that - no point on pushing him when he is obviously in pain.

I pushed down along his shoulder/neck line on both sides and he moved away from the pressure. Now I don't know if he was moving away from the pressure or from pain. I guess we will just have to wait and see what the chiropractor says. I will take him for walks I think - keep the mind ticking over and to see new things.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Not such a good pony

Poor Sam struggled to behave himself today. He hasn't been worked since last Sunday and he did get locked up for two days this week due to the weather so I was expecting some forwardness but he has always contained himself in the past. Today I popped him on the lunge first so he could have a buck and just help get the sillies out. He didn't show too much so I figured he must have had a gallop around his paddock at some stage today. I mounted and we went straight over the road to the reserve. It is so slippery everywhere due to the weather but I figured we may have been able to have a trot around the tracks. Even getting across the road was an effort. Monsters were out and about this afternoon so we had to take our time.

Monsters where everywhere!!!!! We couldn't even trot out happily down the track like we normally do. I tried to get his focus by doing a few figures of eights, moving off my leg extra at the trot but that just made things worse. He would either stick his head in the air or speed up or put his head down touch the bit and then act as if I had jabbed him really hard with the bit. I ended up just walking and asking him to really bend around my leg, moving off my leg, moving hindquarters, moving shoulders. By this time it was getting late so I couldn't try trot work again but we ended on a good note. I am not working tomorrow, hopefully it is a beautiful day and we will have another go. I am sure he will be a lot better.

Yesterday a friend came around and bought his two little girls with him. Of course they wanted a pony ride and Sam was happy to help. (I am not a fan of children riding without helmets and I would have preferred to have them in a saddle but I just didn't have anything small enough!) Sam did receive a lot of licorice after his hard work!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Steady Eddy

Kate did a wonderful post on horse personalities

Sam is The Steady Eddy! If you are a novice or amateur, this is the horse for you. They are quiet and predictable, loving and engaging, willing to learn new things, willing to hang out with you and do nothing. This is not your big ego, career-oriented horse. They are happy to just be. Consistent and loyal, all you need to do is enjoy!

My Steady Eddy!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Photos as promised!

This is the front of the house
Looking down the left hand side of the house

One of the most important pictures - my tack/feed shed!
This is what I call the 'sacrifice' area. The horses come in here at night and have to come in here during the day for a drink. The shelter will be going on the left.

This little area will be turned into my wash bay/tack up area. It will be concreted, a roof put over the top and steel rails put around. That is the sacrifice area in the background.
Just a photo I took this afternoon of our ride out in the reserve across the road.
This is also in the reserve. When I ride through here I feel like I am riding up in the Australian High Country.

I will have more photos soon for my temporary arena and some more of Sam!!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A quick lovely ride, keeping the good ones

Wow what a week. We are having our half yearly sale at work this month so I have been working some big hours so poor ol' Sam has once again been on the back burner. The ground is finally drying out so I was able to try riding in the front paddock. The ground was quite good, firm but with give but a little slippery in parts. It was really cold here today, the heavy fog didn't lift until about 12.30pm and then we had a chilly southerly blowing around. I pulled Sam out of the paddock, gave him a groom and hoped on board. He was a little looky today so I walked him around so he could have a look. He worked reasonably well, forward but happy to listen and come back. A little tense to begin with but soon he started to reach down in all three gaits. I didn't work him for long due to his fitness and lack of work recently. I also didn't get to ride until 4pm and with his thick coat I didn't want him to work up a sweat.

Sam enjoys being ridden I think. He also enjoys getting out and about. Hopefully I will get a chance tomorrow to take him out across the road into the reserve and let him stretch his legs a bit.

You know what I really appreciate, good horse professionals. I rang my farrier during the week to book an appointment. We had tentivately booked in Monday because he also works at the local saleyards and wasn't sure what time he was going to finish on Monday, I rang yesterday to try and reorganise because I now have to work Monday (it is usually my day off) he was going to see what he could figure out and give me a call back. I hadn't heard but wasn't concerned, I would call back on Monday to see what we were going to do. This morning Scott and I went into town for some breakfast and to run a few errands. When we got home we let Jack out of his run and he ran straight over to one of the gates that leads into the back paddock, sniffing around and started to eat something. We went over to investigate what he was eating and it was hoof. There was fresh poo as well. I was puzzled, I went to check the horses wondering if the owner of Gull had been out while we were in town and trimmed his hooves without letting us know. Nope Sam had been re shod. My wonderful farrier couldn't find my number so thought he would head out to see if he could find the place. Found it, caught Sam, shod him, put him back. I was just so thankful. Keep in mind where we have moved to is 30km out of town. Also it would have been a good 5 weeks ago I bumped into him and told him about our new place!!!! I just couldn't say Thank you enough when I rang him.

I find it hard to find good professionals that you can trust but when you do find them look after them, treat them well, try and be prepared so when they turn up they don't have to wait for you, be respectful and I find in turn they will do their best for you.

Have fun with your ponies!!!!!

If tomorrow is fine I promise to go around and take some photos!