Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Not Much (plus a video)

Yeah, so Not Very Much has been happening on the horse front, mostly due to rain. We haven't done much except a little schooling and maybe a couple of lunging sessions. Allie is doing much better getting the right canter on the lunge, and is improving under saddle. I think we are super ready for lessons. I need to get off my butt and organise it!

Gracie we think has been having hormonal problems. Mood swings, cranky, very kicky when we touch her flanks and not being happy under saddle at all, very very tight tense muscles, then the next week she is fine again. We are keeping an eye on it over winter (as she will stop cycling and the symptoms probably won't show) and then readdress in spring. If the symptoms persist, then a vet visit is in order.

For the last few weeks they have been living in the stables overnight (due to the mozzie virus going around and the possibility of Easter fireworks). They took a while to settle into the routine but now that they are in the paddock at night again they seem a little offended at being left out! Pretty cute. We will probably stable them only if the weather is horrendous or if it is bitingly cold over winter. It's a lot of work! So much money spent on savings! I discovered this stuff called Struflex which is a pelleted dust reduced straw bedding. Allie is a bad stall walker and spreads her poo EVERYWHERE so I was finding it impossible to pick the poo out of the shavings even with gloved hands. With the Struflex I can use the pitchfork. I was throwing out at least a whole heaped barrow of soiled shavings from Allie's stall alone every day, (normally two!) but with the Struflex I only threw out the poo and the (much smaller) urine soaked patches. Equals about a quarter of a barrow of total waste per day. This is with her being inside for about 10 hours.

So, want to see a cute video of our girls taking it easy?

Things of note in video:
  • My baby-talk horse voice. I didn't realise it was that bad...
  • The traffic - see how much the girls have quietened down? No WAY would they have taken a nap while even one car was going past before we moved here!
  • Look at Allie with her head on the ground in the beginning of the video. What a ham!
  • Please also note that they are both ADORABLE!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dentist Visit

I took the day off work on Monday so we could have the dentist come and do both the girl's teeth and have them both microchipped. Before the vet visit, we had our friend Hania over and she rode both of them. It was nice to see Hania on a horse again!

First we had a little photo shoot with the ponies to tire them out so they would behave for the vet.

So cute!

Gracie is unimpressed


 It was such a gorgeous day I decided to take advantage of my day off so we tacked them both up. 


She is one tall horse! I'm not short either...

She went really well for Hania.



So after riding (and tiring them out!) the vet conveniently turned up to do their teeth.  Gracie ended up being the well behaved one for once! Allie behaved after a while, and after a few jabs with sedation :p.

Stinky horse teeth dust 

Go to your bed!

Go go!

Sleepy time

Nom nom nom

Aaaaand you are done!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Goals, and What Has Been Going On

So I forgot to recap Feb goals and set some March ones... whoops!

Oh well - Feb goals and how we went:
1.Continue to build up fitness and muscle slowly. Hopefully get back on by the end of the month.
Success! We rode HEAPS before we moved, maybe schooled once, but we went out on trails quite a few times. Since moving, we havn't been off property, but that will soon change.

2.Teach her to lower her head, for bridling especially.
Kinda success. She is easier to bridle most of the time. I haven't actually done a proper schooling session on this, she has just kinda gotten better with it.

3.School her to have manners when being trimmed. She was a monster last time!
She is much easier to trim now. She just needs patience and for it to be fairly quiet (i.e. no motorbikes!). She is much more polite about picking up her feet now too, most of the time. She conveniently forgets sometimes!

4.Borrow a float and have a floating lesson or two if possible. I want both of them self loading!
Well, we did do a schooling session, and then we floated them here, on separate occasions. Allie is good to load, goes straight on but is not yet self loading. Gracie still requires a lot of work.

5.Have a lesson myself on a school horse.
Fail. I haven't had a lesson yet.

April goals:

1. Get them on the float and take them somewhere... anywhere!
2. Continue with the canter under saddle. Get that sticky right lead!
3. Have their teeth floated and have them microshipped (vet is booked for Monday, so this is a cheating goal).

Three goals will do. :)

Ok, I have been schooling Allie quite a bit lately because we are on a busy road and I'm just getting her used to traffic before we take them out. On our last trail ride before we moved, she developed a nasty rearing habit! We went on a 45 minute ride and she reared 7 times at least! Unbelievable. I think it was her being bratty, and me being way too strong with my seat and other aids to get her to move on. But then just to confuse me she put in a couple of rears for no apparent reason whatsoever! Bratty mare. Since then I have been fine tuning my aids to be just strong enough to get her to move past her hissy fit without offending her enough to rear. It works. I feel her get sticky, then I am just... there. You know? Not a big 'GET-UP-SHITHEAD' push, which is what the lazy geldings I have ridden have required and put up with from me. She hasn't reared for about the last 4 or 5 rides, and she seemed to forget that was her new thing for those rides except the last one, where she was moody. There were no rears though, but a few skips because she thinks she can't do a slight curve while going down a slight incline. She gets it in her head that she can't do something, and then decides that a push is just me being too rude! Lol.

We have been cantering too. She is sticky with her right lead, only picking it up 2 out of 5 times on average. She is getting better. It's hard when she lost all that muscling. I'll take some pics on Monday when the vet comes to show you how much muscling she has lost, but she looks so much healthier now. Dark shiny coat, bright eyes. She is tucked up a lot of the time though. Thoughts and tips on this would be great!

Anyway, that's us at the moment. :)