Sunday, May 6, 2012

Almost A Full Load

I feel like I should have horses farther along considering it's almost summer, but things are finally coming together and I almost have a full load of horses to haul. Moon seems to be responding to the Adequan well. His colonic and respiratory systems are back up to par and I have re-started his stifle rehab conditioning program...
I was riding the other day, feeling a bit sorry for myself that I always seem to be restarting with him and then it hit me...The problem is that I work so hard to get him strong and then I revert back to a more traditional training program with him. That simply doesn't work with a horse with habitually weak stifles. I shouldn't view his specific conditioning program as a 'rehab', but rather as a complete change in lifestyle. He's doing well though and I think he will be ready to run again in a couple of weeks. Perfect timing, as there is a saddle series that I would like to run him at. Other than the occasional money added race, Moon's primary roll this summer will be as a rodeo horse.

I did go to a barrel racing the other day and took Frosty...
I wanted to exhibition him a couple of times before deciding whether to run him in the competition or not, but he did such an excellent job on his 2nd exhibition, that I waved off my last exhibition and called it a day for him. I know that sounds silly, but he is so green yet, when he does a really good job...that is the last thing I want in his brain for the day. There is always another barrel race. We have all summer. I just have to say though...Frosty makes me all tingly. When he gets it right, he is so effortless to ride. He is going to be something special!

I did run Spooks in the competition...
For his first run of the year, he did a really nice job. Slow. Slower than I anticipated he would be. But his condition level is low yet and I tried running him with the rope-nosed hackamore that I usually ride him with at home. He really dropped onto his front-end in the turns with that headgear on and lost a lot of time. Spooks is a rear-wheel drive horse without a lot of slide, if he drops on his front-end, it takes him a lot of time to lift that front-end back up and get rebalanced so he can push off of his inside hind leg. He didn't step one foot out of his turns though and felt very confident about what he was doing. So that makes me feel like it's a good start to the season. It's back to riding and running him with the smooth snaffle. He may have an exceptionally light mouth, but he obviously needs a little something to balance on so he doesn't drop on his front-end in the turns.

Now it's time to get rolling on a couple more. No sense in having empty slots in the trailer. ;-)

8 comments:

cdncowgirl said...

What you finished on, with Spooks and his bit. That's something Molly Powell talked about at her clinic... that a lot of horses may be light enough in the mouth to run in a snaffle but NEED a bit to use for balance and that's why she recommends a shanked bit.
Your thoughts?

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a good outing overall, looking forward to reading about more of your successes

Laura said...

Sounds like you are getting everyone ramped up for a summer of competing...

I don't suppose you'd be willing to share the clif notes version of your stifle rehab conditioning? Dolly has some mild stifle issues and I have some advice from friends, but would be interested to read what you do.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I am working on a stifle 'rehab' with the WB mare. Or maybe it is more like just building it up. A lot of long, straight, strong trotting will help build up the muscles in the area.

I know what you mean about feeling a bit 'behind' going into summer. I feel that way too with only a few rides on the mare, a couple of workouts with Mondo, sneaking in driving Kat once in a while to keep him going... seems like it gets away from us in the blink of an eye.

in2paints said...

The boys look fantastic! I can barely find time to ride one horse, much less three or four of them, so you go girl! I hope the season turns out to be a great one.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Laura-In a nutshell, lots of walking in as deeply worked ground you can find and incorporating trot sets. Like CnJ said, a working trot...not a long trot. Week #1 was; Walk one set of 10 minutes, trot for as long as you can (or as long as the horse can hold a steady trot), might only be 5-7 minutes to being with, but want to work up to about 15 minutes. Walk a 2nd set of 10 minutes. Trot 2nd set of working trot (chances are the horse won't be able to go as long the second set) and walk a 3rd set. I avoid backing or doing raised pole work for the first week or 2 depending on how weak the stifle(s) is(are).
Week #2 will be incorporating walking hill work (about 1 hour to start), every 3rd day.
Week #3 I will start incorporating some slightly raised pole walk-overs and some in-hand backing.

Loping is not recommended in the first 30 days of rehab. Horse should be rode at least 5 days in a row and only gets one day off before continuing. Containment in an smaller pen or stall is also recommended for the first 30 days.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Lisa-Gee...I guess my thought has always been to be able to run in as light a bit as possible. One that a horse is comfortable balancing on, but still respects enough to not lug on. I do believe that as a horse gets into competition they generally need about 1 step up from their 'everyday' bit and on a day to day basis I make sure that my horses learn how to carry and handle themselves in a variety of bits.

I can put a shank bit on Spooks and he will handle like a reining horse. But he carries it delicately and refuses to reach into it...YET. It took me most of last year just to get him to reach into the snaffle. He is a horse that hunts for a reason to stop. I wiggle a butt cheek and he is sliding to a stop. He loves, loves, loves his Whoa. LOL

But saying that, I have started Frosty out in competition with Moon's Jr. Cowhorse bit. I have to be very, very light with my hands because he is also very ratey and light-mouthed, but I have a feeling that Frosty is going to come on fairly strong when he figures all this out and I don't want to be playing catch-up with the bits on him.

Crystal said...

Wow sounds so ambitious, but all good news! I have lots of horses to ride but lack motivation but am trying hard to get at it.