Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whatever happened to our summer?

Because I seemed to have missed it. I don't know if I blinked or what, but it's been nowhere to be found. It's August and today it was something like 11C. And muddy. Yesterday, I felt like I was in England - mist hanging over everywhere (all day), delegating a fine layer of wetness to everything it encountered. We even had to withstand a few all-out rainy episodes. Anyways. I had planned on writing a blog per day of training, but I am sick as a dog (bad cold). I sound like a dying seal thanks to a wet cough and I feel like my last remaining days are near. So, all this amounts to one post to cover all of the last few days.

Sunny has been doing very well, from riding out around the yard to continued work in the pen, to just simple groundwork (today) because I had a difficult time catching him. Sometimes doing something on the ground one day can actually progress your saddle work in leaps and bounds, believe it or not. I would explain further, but sick people don't write explanations. So you'll just have to take my word for it that taking a day off to do groundwork can sometimes progress your horse further under-saddle than if you had actually worked him/her under-saddle that day. Sunny has been doing w/t thus far, though only short spurts of trot (I bring him back down whenever I feel him starting to slip his hold on reality). He still has something going on with his mouth - either something bugging him, or he just does not like the added control (?). My thought is the preceding reason, so I will speak with his owners again to make sure his teeth (and chiro alignment) are checked. He has been doing great, but he seems so consumed with something going on in his mouth that often times it is difficult to obtain his focus. We're right on schedule though despite the rainy nasty weather that makes you want to hole-up and never come out again.

Gypsy was progressing and does continue to do so I guess, though just not as quickly as she did the last time I posted. I had hoped that her being kept basically alone in the barn would turn her around a bit by making her more reliable on humans, but she still seems unable to let go of her wariness of humans. Today she was much easier to catch than usual, but she was more explosive on her right (off) side than usual. So far we've worked on desensitization to ropes/halters (friendly game) - I can now halter her after a little work, no problem; releasing to pressure - still a little explosive at times when she's asked to move her right front side around (though she's slowly coming around); yo-yo game - working on straightness now and on draw; circling game - seems to be getting it; driving game - just a little, as we need to really make sure to balance draw with drive...I guess that is about it? All the basics, anyways. I do still roundpen her to get her in tune with me and to catch her (I just send her out of her stall into the "roundpen"), but she is typically ready to come in and work with me rather quickly. I will probably push her a little soon by tying, grooming, and applying the circingle.

Missy was video'd today, though we have to redo the videos tomorrow morning (technical difficulties). She's pretty comfortable and happy now to be doing w/t, and we're working on transitions into the canter. Her canter though is really dependent on balance (as per most young horses), which she does not yet have. She is very comfortable otherwise with the canter though; changing the gullet plates on the saddle (to a wider plate that fits her better) has solved all her grumpy-when-I-canter issues. She's starting to move in a more engaged manner, though it is still a work-in-progress. She is definitely much more willing in the indoor arena though and is even responsive to leg aids indoors. Tons more refinement work to do, but she's got all her basics in. She seems to be doing great in her new "diet pen" and is even happy to see me now, since I offer something for her to do other than just standing around in a dirt pen! Lol.

Link has moved down an entire body score since I was last working with him regularly, being in a larger herd, so he is one of my top priorities right now. I will be out there every day almost to work with Missy anyways, so regardless of whether or not I have time to work with Link (might just progress his on-line and liberty groundwork for now?), I will be feeding him his beet pulp mixture.

Okay, it's off to bed for some much-needed rest. I am really hoping I wake up tomorrow feeling a million and a half times better. Heck, I'd even settle for feeling a little more alive than I feel now. This is absolutely ridiculous. Who invented colds anyways? On the other hand, one good thing about being an EMT: I can check my own lungs. Yup, I said it. I had the wet cough of a dying seal and so checked my lungs earlier today to ensure the congestion had not moved down from my upper airways into my lungs. Good news: nope. This feels like some slow and torturous death. So now that I have complained enough to bore a small village, I will leave you with one last lesson of the day: don't step on your rabbit. Not for fear of crushing said rabbit, oh no, but for fear of thereby losing your toes. Who said rabbits don't do revenge??! Because they never met our Tinkerbell. My toes are just lucky they survived.

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