Saturday, July 19, 2014

Danger Baby

"Danger Baby" first came into my vocabulary about the time my older sister's first born child started crawling. 14 years later she now has 4 glorious children, the youngest of which is currently heartily embracing the original's title. While I don't have and don't plan to have human children myself, I've got some 4 legged babies of my own and true to the age group, they've gotten themselves into a little trouble lately. 

There was of course Sheza's leg banging incident while at training, nicely taken care of and resolved while in trainer guru April's hands:

Now I have two "kids." I took this picture of Rushcreek Aurora (Rory) the other day, as you can see she couldn't be bothered to look up from her groceries, but it does at least show that her front end has started catching up with her hind end. She's been extremely butt high since she got here and believe it or not that's leveling out in this photo. I reflected how calm and sensible she was as I snapped this photo, how unlikely to do silly things, and went on my merry way.
 This morning Rory wasn't at her feeder spot for breakfast. I had 10 seconds of panic that she was missing and then saw Rory stride around the corner of Desire's shed, now in the paddock next to the pasture she should be in. Huh. I immediately looked down to the gate panel at the bottom of the paddock to see if she had somehow finagled it open but it looked undisturbed. Rory cruised around the paddock, completely calm and expectant for breakfast while I walked the fence line until I discovered a break in the hot wire and some smushing at a spot in the fence. That *definitely* hadn't been there the day before, so quickly I finished feeding, unplugged the hot box on the way by, and circled right back into the paddock to splice the hot wire back together and straighten the fence that best that I could. I grabbed her hay next and Rory followed me calmly out the bottom gate into her own pasture, trotted around, then settled to munching as I began to circle her with bated breath, ready for the inevitable wounds to show themselves.

Sure enough:
I could tell by my own reactions at this point that I'm on my second Danger Baby. Where the slightest scratches or swelling on baby Sheza used to throw me into a tizzy, I found myself heavily on the unimpressed, "Well done, I'll clean you up and you'll live." side of things this time. Rory has been in the big pasture for almost a month now, sharing fence line with Blaze *and* Desire, and hasn't seemed in the least perturbed at being "alone" in her field. I can't quite see why she attempted to sprout wings and relocate, except that perhaps she's a bit of a Funder and well, " seemed like a good idea at the time."

She was pretty reasonable about getting it thoroughly cleaned and treated, for a yearling with about 4 months of handling who hadn't been hurt before (that I know of). As of now she notices it's sore but isn't lame at all and seemed quite chuffed to get a mash out of the deal.

Gotta love horses!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crewing Ride n Tie Championships

Last weekend I crewed the Ride and Tie Championships for Team Worst Ever, also known as fellow bloggers Mel and Funder. I had a blast helping get Farley and the gals through the day, as well as hanging out with my other crew members including blogger LCT. My other experiences crewing have been for Tevis and while this was RnT Championships the atmosphere was *ahem* a good deal more relaxed than that! The event was held at lovely Dru Barner campground, site of the Gold Country endurance ride coming up this weekend. The high was about 90 but with the shade in camp and breeze it certainly could have been a lot worse for summer in July (says the lucky/unlucky one not out leaving it all on the trail)

Anyway my activities beyond standard crew servicing (food/water/tack & rub maintenance for all) mostly consisted of whining about saddle fit for hours on end, so I'll leave you all with these links to the ride n tying gals posts to read instead:

Here's a few highlights from my photos of the day:


Friday, July 11, 2014

Saddles and Smart Fillies

On Wednesday I had another wonderful evening session working and riding Sheza filly. 

"trail riding" in our big pasture
Something I have to be very conscious of with bringing Sheza along is to avoid falling heavily into habit patterns early on. That is, some routines and patterns are great to establish comfort and consistency, but Sheza is on the smart, manipulative end of the brain spectrum and it takes doing the same thing in the same order and time frame approximately twice for her to think she knows what needs to be done, at what speed, and especially when we're finished and ready to do something else. This means I need to keep nagging myself to switch up my own habits of doing everything in the same order, finishing up and putting the horse away immediately, etc. As much as she needs to go out in the world and experience ride camps and spooky social situations of all kinds, she also needs to spend plenty of time tied various places, learning that standing around quietly is old hat. She the sensitive type that let's the world know that to be tied in a new spot is DIFFERENT, or when things are moved it's DIFFERENT. Sheza so far in her riding horse incarnation is much as she was before--super smart but undeniably *dramatic,* and so similar to her mother at times that it's almost like transposition in time. Still she has absolutely found a lot more of her brain after those 2 months at training, and I just can't wait for all our adventures ahead!

looking down at momma Desire and little step -sister Rushcreek Aurora. Time flies!!
Below is a fine example of how Sheza has mellowed out! After about an hour session of round pen work and a short "trail ride" around the big pasture, I parked her at some alfalfa scraps and had her stand there for untacking, not tied. She obliged completely, didn't move a muscle but to clean up the hay, then stood there quite happily for a hosing off. Pretty mature of my spazzy girl! :)

My much anticipated Skito saddle pad arrived yesterday and this morning I saddled up Scrappy with it and the Sensation and worked him in the round pen for about 30 minutes, refreshing our session the other day about giving to bit pressure. He was really getting the picture today, both in the round pen *and* out on a 13 mile cruise through the neighborhood. A mile of that was us having a turn-around-and-canter back the other way discussion about not rushing home, but otherwise we had a really nice ride.

his front Rennys were a little tight so we rocked the Renegade Vipers today, so far so good
 Oh, this happened:
Yeah, apparently there are tarantulas around here?! We were merrily heading for home when I saw this big dark shape in the road. When I saw what it was I immediately pulled up to take a picture so I could stare in proper zoomed in disgust later when I wasn't on a horse. It rared back and waved seemingly hostile body parts at us, for all the world as if it wasn't intimidated by us stopped and staring so near. I got my picture and was sufficiently squicked out and we went on our way; not even a minute later a truck sped by us on the road and I'm nearly certain the spider met it's demise, but wow, I won't forget it!

So we had a lovely, spider-sighting ride. BUT. When I hosed him off back at home I could just see the pink skin starting to show through at those spots behind his shoulders again! Not badly, but visibly pink where it wasn't before. Since I wanted to test it straight first I didn't use the crupper or goop his back, but we only did one hill of any real gradient and I haven't seen the pink since I stopped using the Frank Baines and regrew the hair there.

***@#(&$!! And also, WHY!***

What do I do? My husband says goop Scrap's back at those spots, use the crupper, and go to the ride next weekend. My cautious side says that's going in with an issue already there (though he isn't back sore and there aren't any actual sores or rubs currently). That pink showing again though says something is brewing again to me, yes?