I have not posted in a while, and really, there has not been much going on. I have not taken any pictures in the last week or so, nor have I done any video or any recording while driving. So, not much to say or post!
I need to get some video going, though, I really do. I’d like to get video of (happy) Chewbacca working (happily) at home! He’s cantering in harness for a full lap around the arena. That’s all I’m asking of him at this point. He’s also been cantering on the trail a little bit. He hasn’t officially bucked (yet) while cantering in harness, but he has “played”. And it’s something horses can and do do in harness, and it’s never a good thing. Luke has bucked several times and kicked the cart apart. I’d like to not have Chewbacca do the same thing. I may invest in a kicking strap in the very near future to prevent any such incidents.
Since the show, Chewbacca has not had a regular-work day off. I put him back to schooling straight away, and took him out for a long 5 mile road drive early last week. We went a new way, and he saw the river, the busy road, and passed a few businesses while people gawked. It was fun. We made a big loop, did quite a bit of trotting, and completed 5 miles in 1 hour. My goal is 7MPH, so we’re actually getting there. I just need to figure out a true 7 mile loop. Actually, I’d like to do 8 miles. I need to get in my car and start measuring distances.
At the mid week last week, Chewbacca was out grazing on some grass with Luke and a couple other horses. Then he got into a spat with one of the other horses, and got kicked or something. There was a minor fray that involved some running loose. He got a good cut on his leg:
This one went all the way through all skin. I could see inside his leg. I had the vet out, but Chewie didn’t need stitches. I did start him on SMZ, which I didn’t have any on hand, so I dished out $100 for those, and more for a quasi-emergency call fee. There goes my entry fees for the next show! LOL!
It’s been a a few days since his trauma and he’s looking well. He didn’t miss any work due to injury, and has not been sore. It’s just a flesh wound after all. And I’ve seen far worse.
The following day, he went out on the trail. Despite having no rain for the last 10 days or so, we still managed to find mud on the trail, although this time we were keen enough to avoid it and go around without sinking the cart. Chewbacca cantered up the hill between the hay fields, and said that was fun!
Then he worked on the weekend back in the arena, and we began lightly touching on some more basic dressage work. I am trying to get him to bend through corners the right way- not counter bent. It went well and we have a good starting point. Of course, as I’ve learned, all the schooling at home in the world doesn’t seem to matter one bit when we step into a show ring. It all falls apart. Still, I want to try to instill the right way to do things.
With that, we’ve now entered into this week where the temperatures are expected to border on 100 the next 3 days straight. I think the horses will get a few days off!
In the mean time, also last week, Luke worked hard, and did a road drive and a couple arena drives. Luke is such a blast. What a fantastic pony! He’s up to cantering around the arena almost 2 full laps, we’re beginning to canter circles, and we’re also touching on cantering obstacles. Luke counterbends badly. Worse than Chewbacca. I’ll have to work on that with him. Luke also got shoes on finally, and he was not pleased. For whatever reason I do not understand, this summer out of the blue, Luke has been nearly impossible to shoe. I’ve gotten a new farrier and thankfully the man was patient enough to battle it out with the goofy pookey pony and the shoes are on!
Luke has a show in 2 weeks, which I am looking forward to! And Jesse will be going with him.
Clearly Chewbacca does not belong in a pleasure arena (!!!), so he’s sitting this one out. Originally I did plan to bring Chewie to the next show, but in light of the head-up anxiety he displays, I’ll just wait till August to show him. I’ve been working a ton with Jesse and I want to show him, too, so this pleasure show in 2 weeks is the perfect opportunity to do that.
Jesse, the little tiger, is just about as equally awesome as Luke. I’m not trying to down play Chewbacca, here either! I’m blessed with being able to be a part of the lives of such wonderful horses.
Jesse has got a little motor that could and does and will keep doing. Just like the Energizer pony Luke. Jesse is also working on cantering, and has been working steadily in the arena on his pleasure repertoire. The other day, I was insanely impressed by how soft and relaxed he remained through the whole drive (usually he does a little head tossing here and there). He stayed flexed, super soft, and most impressive of all, completely on the ball with voice commands only. He’s working on mastering his 3 different trots and I’ve added canter to the list of things he’s learning now too. He trots and transitions between them were on the mark and he listened for the canter cue and moved into a lovely depart both ways. He’s also doing 1 full lap and working on circles.
Oh, yes, and there’s Dixie, right? I do own 3 horses after all! Dixie hasn’t done much recently. In fact, I’ve been concentrating on polishing Jesse up for the show in 2 weeks that I have not done tandem at all. I’d like to, but I also want to keep Jesse on the path he’s currently on, so tandem may have to wait until after the show. Dixie doesn’t care, I’m sure she is quite happy enjoying her quasi-retirement.
Lots of working going on! All 3 of them need to learn to bend at at the canter, not motorcycle around the turns. Of course, the bend at the canter can only develop from a bend at the trot, which only comes from a bend at the walk. So I have my list of things to work on, in addition to establishing a free walk versus working walk with Chewbacca, learning the next dressage test for the August driving trial, and working on getting the horses to move laterally. Such things were easy when I rode- because I could apply my leg as much as needed to get the horse to perform a lateral leg yield. Not so easy to do from a vehicle behind the horse while carrying a 6 foot long whip. So many things to work on, plans for pictures and videos on the horizon, hopefully more pics & vids from a show in 2 weeks, and so much to do.
My husband and I will be in mostly all the same classes together at the show, so I’m not quite sure how we’re going to manage pictures or video… hmm..
I’m still unemployed, by the way. And still looking for a full time job, but of course in the mean time, I’m house maid, chef, and personal servant to the cats, horse trainer extraordinaire, sometimes horse-turner-outer and minor barn maintenance person (I learned to drive a tractor the other day! OMG!), landscaper, and laundry person all in one. I think I need a job. LOL!
Have a good one and stay cool if you’re stuck in the 100’s like me!