Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joey: Training Session 2

My trainer friend, B, came out after work to work with Joey again this afternoon. We're aiming to maintain once a week Thursday afternoon sessions. She comes around 3:30 and luckily the shade had hit at least half of the round pen by then, as it was in the 90s today and pretty darn warm out there in the sun. 

She found a full cheek snaffle of mine that she liked and introduced the bit to him on my little leather Cob bridle I bought in Ireland when I was about 14. I just love that bridle, I don't give a fig for leather tack but it has very sentimental value coming from that amazing horsey trip to the UK.

I have to say, Joey is a GOOD BOY. He has his triggers and is quicky and spooky at times, but overall he is very attentive, smart, and most of all willing and happy to work and please. It doesn't get much better than an attitude like that! She held the bridle up to his mouth and he chomped onto that bit just like he does his wormer. She left it a little loose so that he had no choice but to pick it up (or let it hang, uncomfortably) and in a matter of a few minutes he was carrying the bit quietly and nicely. 

Oh, a bit, no sweat..

Huh, more crap on my head!

Is he not GORGEOUS?

 Moving out to think about his bit:

Next it was time for the bareback pad, but he's such a diminutive fellow that she had to put a saddle pad under it to make it close to fit, and it still slid around a little..good desensitization, right!

hehe look what I got for ya Joey

Huh, okay, something on  my back..

Girthing up, no big deal..

Added the pad for a somewhat better fit:

Realizing he can still move with this stuff strapped on..

Just being beautiful, like he does:

B worked on lateral flexion for a few minutes and he circled and circled and circled as she patiently moved with him until he finally stopped, heaved a sigh, and touched his nose to his side.

Hmm, really? Not sure I want to says Joey

Well shoot, I guess you win, human...

Yielding on the forehand...

She returned to the leg and hoof handling briefly at the end. I think the steady flow from one thing to another really kept Joey interested and inquisitive, he never checked out or had a chance to check out, and did really well.

Ropes around the legs..

Then B did the darndest thing. She stepped back about 10 feet from Joey, let out some line and said, "yeah, watch this." I had no idea what to expect, when she suddenly started bunny hopping up and down, just a few inches. It totally blew Joey's mind! He startled and spooked away and kept trying to flee from the Crazy Hopping Human. B said his was the strongest reaction she had seen but that it spooked most green horses. What a GOOD thing to discover and work on before ever trying to ride him! And you never would have guessed it would spark such a reaction from the way he was behaving. Fascinating!

Joey says, "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM LADY?!?!?!"

Checking each other out after the hopping incident..Joey just isn't sure what to make of it

More hoof handling:

Touching those touchy hinds:

His "precious," the right hind Leg That SHall Not Be Handled. Except, B is. A little more today than last time! Good stuff all around.

Ended with a nice bath....

Early Lake Ride

I was supposed to meet N to ride today but scheduling got flip flopped at home and I didn't know until last night that I didn't have to run around driving all over creation today. Since I suddenly had the day free, I decided to get up early and hit the lake before it got hot--the forecast for today called for a high of 98!

My husband caught a ride to fish below the damn, I can park at a spot convenient for both of us and it's a great way to spend a morning (sort of) together!

7 am at the lake, yeah!

She is still doing her stompy feet below as we head off, hates the splint boots on her hind legs but she has nicked her left inner fetlock enough times for me to need to be preventative at this point. The Haf splint boots I have are in terrible condition after light use and they're too big for her skinny lil legs. Think I'll get some short fetlock boots since I only need to protect that specific spot and she seems annoyed by the tall splints.

 See ya in a few hours!

I rode out from the base of the dam, looped around to Sycamore Hill from the railroad track side, climbed the Hill, and looped back around to the trailer area, but was only at about 6.5 miles so crossed the road and climbed partway up the dam before crossing back over the road and sneaking down the bike trails back to the truck and trailer. I walked the downhill bike trail on foot and it was longer than I remembered, but good to stretch my legs. Loose gravel on top of pavement is officially the crappiest footing ever! Slippy slidey, break your necky! I would NOT ride down it.

Beautiful morning alone on the trails:

Climbing Sycamore Hill:

View from the top of the Sycamore Hill:

And back down we go, past the horse eating rocks:

Sneaking across a parking lot to the bike trails...coz a bright white horse with it's tail to the sky crossing an empty parking lot doesn't stand out AT ALL..

2 fat noggins in one picture! yes!

Just enough water and mucky moments in the trail to make hooves and boots totally filthy. One of my fronts popped off on an uphill power move and when I remounted after cramming it back on my (metal) right ankle rolled pretty good, like the worst I've done since I broke it 2 1/2 years ago. It started to sing immediately but not too too badly and what was I going to do about it anyway, so I rode on. I felt it a bit on the long walk down the hill back to the rig and when I got home I strapped one of Desire's ice boots on my leg for a while and am wearing my ankle brace now. It's sore. My right knee is starting to ache too, I think I tweaked it a little. I've worked 40 miles with 4 different horses in the last 5 days, I won't be slowed down! Got to be careful though. Big plans for Hat Creek in a couple of weeks and all that..

Mucky toes:

Sweaty stinky mare:

And I DO mean stinky. She got sprayed by a skunk! Or rolled in grass that was sprayed, or something! Her head smells the worst. I've been thinking it for the last few days but also wondering if it was just lingering in the air around her pasture when I go out there. But my husband smelled it on her head today!  My girl dog eats feces like candies and my girl horse gets sprayed by a skunk..stinky, gross chicks!

I scrubbed Desire with Cowboy Magic shampoo and blued her mane when we got home, even let the hose pour over her head and scrubbed her face as well as she would tolerate. Surpisingly she does like having the hose up between her ears with the water flowing over her face. I would have thought she would HATE it, but you just never know and I tried it the other day with good results.

A little cleaner...

My unicorn glowing out in the farthest field, there's an evil mini lurking in the shadows behind the stump, too:

Joey training session in a couple of's HOT today, the first real day of hiding inside with the swamp coolers blasting during the hottest hours..guess it's just about summer, really!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spenceville Ride

Joined my riding buddy J again today for a ride in the Wheatland area. Chief the 6 yr old Pintabian was my mount again and we had a blast! We loaded the horse's up at J's and trailered to Spenceville Wildlife Area. Nice footing, hot and open in some parts but enough shade to make it okay, 4 or 5 nice water crossings, a great lunch stop with picnic tables in the shade, and a pretty reliable breeze made for a great 3 1/2 hr ride over 10 miles.

My (piglet) steed, Chief:

 Couldn't quite fit all of both of our fat heads in! There's another forearm tattoo making an appearance :)

Great water crossing to start and end the ride at, following J on her Mustang mare

Just love this pic!

 Wide open spaces for trotting and cantering:

 Pose-off! Yeah, not bad

Spotty butt! Went through 4 or 5 gates and between J and I we managed to open and close just about all of them from horseback:

Here J comes, trot trotting on her mare! Her mare was great and kept calm when we trotted away/out of sight.

 Ahh, somce cool greenery and shade near a pond, ready for a break:

 Lunch stop! Complete with picnic tables:

 Hey there we are! Feeling chipper after some snacks in the shade:

Surefooted pair making their way carefully along:

Chief has such cool markings! I could look at pictures of him all day

 Can you spot the trail obstacle? I didn't at first and I was about 10' away!

Good Chiefy drinking. He drank 4 times in 10 miles!

Chief says NO and I say GO up that hill..

..And up we went!

Cruising on Chief:

 Riding the nice road back to the trailers:

Recruited some passing hikers to get us both in a photo, and it's in focus! Score!

Oh yeah, wading, wading in the water!

Chiefy drinking again, like a star:

Just two cool cats cooling off:

Someone else was enjoying the water this afternoon, too:

See the trailer in the distance? The horses did!

Mare says "Hoo yeah, trailer in sight! Pep in my step!"

 Chief after 10 miles, still eating as usual:

 We un-tacked and took them back down to the first water crossing to cool down:

I couldn't resist the water so waded in and scrubbed their sweaty saddle marks:

The mare wasn't sure about this random person in the water scrubbing her, but decided it was kosher enough to stand for!

Working on deciphering her far we are reading CA, 1998, and 2110?5 Can't tell the second to last mark on registration #...Anyone good reading these? I know it's darn hard from the picture but give it a shot!

Another awesome ride with a good friend and fun horses! Another session with Joey and the trainer scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, looking forward to it.