Monday, May 28, 2012

Well, Blow Me Down

Memorial Day weekend was not much fun around here. Two days straight of 60-70 mph winds and a 3rd day of mere 25-30 mph gusts. All of the work I put in on the yard and flower beds last week is pretty much undone. :( One thing I am adamant about around here is, after every windstorm, I grab my rolling magnet and stroll through the pens, around the house and up and down the driveway. This was my 'find' this time around...
The joys of old properties! (total sarcasm) I have to admit...this is about 1/2 of what I actually found. I had already walked around once, surveying the damage from the winds and picked up a handful or so of nails and debris just from scanning the ground (as has become my habit).

With the predictions of such high winds, the barrel racing that was scheduled for last Friday night was cancelled well in advance and I took the opportunity to just turn all of the adult horses out to pasture. The 2 youngsters had access to the new barn, so I was able to actually feed them. The weather man around here is seldom right...except when it comes to the wind. I figured it would be easier for the big bunch to at least have some grass to munch on during the storm...not that my pasture is growing much. But at least they would not be standing in pens...hungry. There wasn't a chance in hades that any hay was going to stick around long enough for them to eat.

This is not a good year around here. We are dry, dry, DRY!! Even with the irrigation water...the grass is so stressed from the drought that it's not coming well. People are whacking off and baling their first cutting already...just to get it off the fields, in the hope that the 2nd cutting comes in better. I have to admit...I am more than a bit worried about hay availability...not to mention the price for this coming year. I have already warned my mom that I will be bringing ALL of her horses back to her as soon as I am done competing in the fall. I actually really glad I did not get my mare bred this year like I wanted to. After I bring my yearling filly out here, I will still have 6 head to feed...Moon, Shooter, Frosty, Jet, Beretta and Belle.

I was hoping to get some good pictures of the horses this evening...even if they are a little muddy, but I was too close to supper time. Frosty posed for a second...(hard to believe that is the same horse huh?)
And then I got swarmed. The boys were ready to get back to their pens and their grain. LOL...They sure seem to understand that when the winds died was time to come in...and they were ready.

Even the little sorrel horse, who is my hardest to catch, came on the trot...

Getting a decent photo of Shooter is nearly impossible! The second he sees he comes! And this is what I end up with...
He is the most people-oriented horse I have ever owned. Gahhhh....He will lope across the pasture to hang with me and get his due adulation. One of the things I love about Shooter is that he takes no shit off of his brother, Moon. Moon starts his charging and bullying and Shooter just looks at him, like 'Really?' He bites and kicks right back and that puts a stop to Moon's bullying. Those two hang pretty tight these days...I guess blood tells.

The tightness and soreness has gone out of Spooks' back, but he spends most of his time with one hind foot or the other cocked...
Still some issues going on there. I feel bad for the guy. Part of me still wishes that I never would have started messing with his back, but then I remember that I saw some obvious problems with his movement and that is why I did. I sure hope to get him straightened out soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Riding Through The Pain

If my post make it sound like all I do is go round and round with these horses...All I can say is...It's even worse dealing with it, day in and day out. Sometimes I think it makes me a little crazy. Every day is a new day and I never know what is going to pop up to cause a problem.

Monday morning I checked Moon's stifles and hocks. He was fine. (Whew) He was scheduled to have his shoes reset at noon. I hauled him and Bugs (the sorrel horse) to the farrier. Bugs has an old injury on his right front foot that causes that foot to want to club and while I can easily control that with trimming, the scarring on the affected heel has a tendency to make him tender when I start getting him down where he needs to be. It's an easy enough fix with front shoes.

I expected Bugs to be not so nice to deal with and apologized to the farrier in advance. Bugs does not always handle new situations with the greatest of ease. He's a little 'buggy'. However, he proved to be accommodating and even stood tied without a fuss after he was done being worked on. Progress! Every single day is just a little bit of progress with him.

Moon ended up being the difficult one. Moon has his peculiarities...but he is a gentleman when being shod. This time he was flinchy, jerky and every time the farrier would put a leg down, he was clacking his teeth and working his jaw. PAIN! I thought I missed something on his stifle or hocks and asked the farrier to test him for me, but he said there was no need...It wasn't his was his muscles.

The horse was all-over body sore. To demonstrate, the farrier took a pen and worked from Moon's poll to his hip, on each side and showed me every single point Moon was sore. It's just beyond ridiculous. Upper neck, points of shoulders, all through his back, over his hips, down his flank, hamstrings...pretty much the works. I was at a loss, but the farrier was fairly unconcerned. He just shrugged and said...'Hey, they get sore. This horse obviously uses every part of his body when he is competing.' Of course, I'm a little freaked out by the amount of soreness...Nobody likes to have their horse show any kind of soreness, much less all over like that. It's a ghastly feeling. The farrier said what he would do if it was one of his horses was to put his P3 machine to work and break up all of the tension and soreness. A P3 machine is an electromagnetic pulse therapy machine, similar to the same therapy that I had done on Moon a year ago at a barrel race. It helped him significantly.

I had the chiropractor coming in the afternoon to work on some other horses, so before committing to that, I decided to talk with him about it.

Basically, I have 3 options...the use of an NSAID (Equioxx being the one that I use), Acupuncture or the P3 machine.

The chiropractor concurred that there is nothing going on with Moon skeletal wise... it is all soft tissue. At least that is something positive. The chiro agreed with the farrier that if we had finally made it to the point of just muscle soreness, now it was just a matter of controlling that and continuing his conditioning. I know some of you noted that Moon looked better in the picture I just posted of him than the header picture, but I think it might be just the fact he is shed off more and shiny. Pictures can be unfortunately deceptive. Moon is not as not as well muscled as I could like, particularly over the hip, because I have not been able to do much loping with him lately. Strengthening up that stifle was a priority and that is walk, trot and then trot some more. We were just getting into the hill work, which should really help his muscling, when he kicked through the panel and we lost a week. If I can't lope him much, he is really going to need that hill work to get his muscling back up to par. Moon was getting so relaxed and traveling so well before he did that and now I kind of feel him being tense again, even before I ran him. We are going to just have to ride through the pain-phase again until he gets back to where he was. :(

Riding a horse through pain is not something I recommend without consulting professionals you trust and having a thorough understanding of what the problem is and what you are trying to accomplish. Conditioning a horse through pain issues is not the same as continuing a training program and it is not the same as attempting to compete on a horse that is in pain. It's physical therapy and anyone who has been through PT or even has a vague understanding of PT knows that it can be very painful.

The farrier's thoughts on the 3 options is that Equioxx will eventually reduce the inflammation and soreness, but doesn't necessarily release the tension in the muscles. He does not believe that acupuncture works deep enough. His preferred method is the use of the P3 machine.

The chiropractor's thoughts on Equioxx are the same. He believes acupuncture is more effect for small muscle tension or acute trauma (recent injury) and believes the use of electromagnetic pulse therapy is better for large muscle or chronic pain. looks like I will be scheduling Moon for an all over P3 session this week and I guess whenever he starts to tense up. Moon isn't really good about working out of soreness. He tries to hard to keep functioning at a higher level and in the end causes himself more problems by compensating. I was hoping to run Moon this coming weekend again, but that will depend on how well he responds to the therapy. If it works, he can run...then it will probably be a rinse and repeat until Moon's body gets fit and/or we break the pain cycle.

The chiro worked Spooks over again. Spooks was on the Equioxx for 3 days before there was a noticeable difference in his tight back. I gave him a 4th dose and stopped giving it to him. Once the soreness is out, it makes little sense to just keep giving it to him. The chiropractor noted that Spooks was moving much freer this time around and was actually able to get some good adjustments on the horse. Particularly in his hips. For the first time ever, Spooks actually showed a reaction to something he didn't like. He pinned his ears and lifted his butt up like he was going to kick. That probably doesn't sound like a good thing...but Spooks has always had a 'shut-down' look about him. He doesn't typically make any personal opinion known. So the fact that he is actually starting to feel again is big...huge really. Part of Spooks' therapy is to leave him in the pasture as much as possible. Movement is that horse's best friend. The more he moves, the less inclined he is to bind up. When Spooks first got sore, I tried to keep riding him, but he was soooo tight over his back, I didn't feel like it was beneficial. The chiro told me that unfortunately pain was part and parcel and it was best if I kept riding him on a regular basis and just treat the soreness with the Equioxx as needed. That is the only way to continue to get those muscles to continue to break apart and rebuild properly. The chiro also recommended that if I could afford it, to have the P3 therapy done on Spooks.

That is really the cruxt of and therapy is really about what you can (or are willing) to afford. Even I get to the point where I'm like...holy hell...farrier, vet, chiro...and now additional therapy? It's bad enough when a person has one horse...when there are multiple...ka-ching!

I also had the chiro go over Frosty. After Shirley's comment that a possible misalignment in the poll could be responsible for a depth-perception problem...I had to have that checked out. The chiro did not find any misalignments, but he did say that Frosty is carrying a lot of tension in those muscles. He also showed me where the ligament that runs behind the jawbone was very thick and knotted. I explained to him how far Frosty has come in his rehab and he said that getting Frosty to really relax through the poll and stretch forward in the neck was probably the last little phase I needed to work on and that acupuncture would be a good alternative therapy to help with that. The rest of Frosty looks good.

It's dang sure a continual process and each horse is so unique that I may have to start keeping a little notebook handy. Naaawwww...that's what the blog is for. LOL ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

He's Baa...ackkk

Finally got that run on Moon I have been waiting for...

And he was firing on all 8 cylinders!!!

Whoot-Whoooo. Sure felt nice to have my hard-running horse back under me.

I actually think Moon has missed competing a little bit. He was wound for sound after I booted him up and tightened his cinch. I hand walked him until the set (5 racers) before our run. I was first up after the drag. Nice spot to draw. Moon immediately got a little silly, but I was ready for him this time. I had my bat handy and when he wanted to start his spinning thing, I got the opportunity to line him out. I understand getting amped up...but we were no where near the gate, so he was just being overly silly. A couple of pops to the shoulder and he gathered his brain and was fine.

One of the things I have been mentally working on was figuring out a better way to have Moon prepared to start his run. He has a tendency to want to get stiff in the neck right before he launches and that has caused problems with him picking up the wrong lead. So what I think I need to be doing is getting him gathered up, rounded and soft before ever starting the approach to the gate. That is what I did this time and holy hell....

I was soooo not prepared for him to take off like he did.

He was kind of wanting to do his spin to the right thing, but it did not feel like resistance. He was just amped and it's kind of hard for Moon to gather up when he is that froggy. I had him pretty well rounded and gathered up though and was able to keep him moving forward. When he finally relaxed into the bridle and straightened his hips....he left like his tail was on fire.

I am so used to fiddle farting around with him at the gate that I was still looking down at his shoulder when he got to the first barrel. LOL...We went flying by it...but once I asked for the turn, Moon never even slowed down, he just made a big loop and kept hauling ass. Total and complete pilot error.

His second and third barrels were absolutely perfect. His 3rd barrel was about as good as I have ever felt. He didn't drift out or lean or attempt to roll back. He just rounded it the same way he does his 2nd barrel.

Missing that first barrel cost us dearly. Moon made a smokin' run of 17.46 and if we had made that first turn, I have no doubt he would have been under 17. I am going to have to wake up and get my spot picked a whole lot quicker if he is going to continue to run like that. Sheez Louise!

I was and will continue to be cautious with his stifle. I hand-walked him out and kept a careful eye on his left leg to make sure he was striding properly. His condition and wind are good, he was barely blowing after his run. Once he relaxed, I took him back, unwrapped his legs, unsaddled and took him to the washrack to hose his legs and stifles. He seems good.

One thing I used to always do after Moon made a run was to turn him out for the night so he did not stiffen. Because of his stifle, it's better to leave him up instead and make him to rest it for at least 12 hours. He does not particularly care for the change in his routine and when I unloaded him he kept trying to root his way toward the pasture gate. Instead, he got 30 minutes of hand-grazing in the yard and a thorough body massage with the rubber mitt. That seemed to appease him. Damn that horse is high-maintenance. But if he keeps running like this and we can get our spot at first is all sooooo worth it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Third String

Ya know how mad it makes you when you procrastinate on something and it comes back to bite you in the butt? Nobody to blame but yourself...and that is soooo unsatisfying!

I knew last winter that I should have the chiropractor start working on Spooks' back...but did I start it then? Ya know...when there was nothing going on and we had months and months to work all the kinks out...

Nope! Sure didn't! And I am paying the price for my procrastination. 

Spooks was a lot better after the chiro adjusted him the first time. I kept working on his conditioning and he ran harder and turned harder in the run that followed. Then he was sore afterward.

Okay...that is to be expected. We all know how tight muscles can get when things change. It takes time for everything to get comfortable working in a new way.

I sure didn't expect that the poor horse would get so tight over his back that the chiro couldn't even give him another adjustment. :(

Soooo...He is on a week of Equioxx for the inflammation. Will get adjusted next week. After which, I am going to have the vet flex test him and then most likely put him on Adequan. 

We think he probably has some arthritis going on in his back due to fact that Spooks pretty much hasn't used his back for lord knows how long. 

I kinda wished I wouldn't have started all of this because he wasn't actually hurting himself before. He just ran slowly and within his physical limitations. Now he's kinda better and he is so much more focused this he's trying harder...and that puts strain on muscles that are unfamiliar with it....and hence...the soreness. Since the Equioxx is just starting to ease the soreness (day 3), I opted not to run Spooks at the Friday race.

Moon is back in form...but I want to run him on Sunday. Not wanting anything to cause a problem with that...I left him home as well. 

That left Frosty to take to the barrel race...

Hauling a 3rd string horse 70 miles, withe the winds howling 40-50mph and paying a $40 entry fee?

I almost didn't go. I probably wouldn't have either, except L and I decided to go together. L and I always have a good time together. So what the heck right? Frosty isn't going to get any better staying home.

Did I mention the carnival was set up at the fairgrounds we were going to?

Oh yea....I thought that would be fun, fun, fun...Not, Not, NOT!...I figured Frosty would have a complete meltdown.

Goofy bugger wasn't even fazed by it! He never ceases to amaze with what will or will not bother him.

A carnival...blaring music, bright lights and clanging and banging...Didn't even blink.

But let someone tries to walk up to me to visit?...Frosty looses his mind and runs sideways and backwards as fast as he can. Every.single.time!!! I have started asking people to walk up to us at every opportunity. They are always so polite about it...Being calm, moving slow and talking to him. Does he care? Not one wit. He still blows backward. So I told people that would approach him to just start walking toward him, talking in a loud voice and go ahead and reach out like they are trying to touch him. He's GOT to get over this kind of silliness. Thankfully there are nice people at the barrel racings who will help a girl with a rather goofy horse out. ;-)

I wished I could say that Frosty came on like a freight train....but I would be lying. I used my bat on him this 'run' (oh...and I do use that term loosely...snort) and he did speed up...

So did his ducking and dodging. Gahhhhh!!!! 

The thing is...Frosty gets it. He knows his pattern. He knows he is supposed to run to those barrels and turn them. I can feel that in him. He just gets almost to the barrel and gets kind of lost. He ducks left, then right, then left and is switching leads with every duck and dodge. Take that dressage untrained, goofy barrel horse can do one stride lead changes. LOL...Problem is...I don't want him to.

(Deep cleansing breath in, breath out)

So after the barrel race, I asked if they would leave the lights on for a little bit longer and I took him back in to work the pattern. And I think I have maybe a bit of the problem worked out in my mind...

I think he is a tad overbitted and he is not breaking at the poll and rounding where he is supposed to be rating. Thanks to Ed Wright, I have become much more conscious of my hands when I am running. When I start to ask my horse to rate, I 'milk' the reins. Instead of rounding up into that and gathering for the turn...Frosty is clenching his jaw, bracing in the neck and dropping his shoulder. When he doesn't give...I have to ask him with more force or he would just plow over the barrel. That is when the ducking and dodging starts.

That's an easy enough fix. I'm going switch him to a snaffle and a german martingale. Frosty is quite used to being ridden with a snaffle and a running martingale, so the transition should be easy. The only difference is, where the running martingale gets a horse to break over at the poll and bring their head down...the german martingale just gets them to break over at the poll. Frosty just needs a little help understanding that when I wiggle the reins, he is supposed to break and round. That sets him up for his rate and makes turning the barrel easy. And he can turn a barrel! Dang he is getting some nice turns on him. It's just the setting himself up for it that he isn't quite figuring out. 

I do realize how green Frosty is. I am not trying to push him to run faster than he is ready for. But seriously...He should be able to strong lope a 20 second pattern with little effort. It's all the ducking and dodging that is messing him up and costing time. He didn't lose any...he still ran a 23 second pattern...but minus the ducking and would have been the 20 second run...easy. Right now, smoothing out his 'runs' are my main concern. The speed will come on it's own. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Challenge

On the good side of things...Moon seems to be completely recovered from his episode!
Don't ask me how we got that freaking lucky...but I'm thinking that a lot of it had to do with the fact that he is still in the loading phase of his Adequan.

A few things have changed at feeding time though. Moon has always gotten a bit radical at supper time. He's not like this at breakfast and hardly blinks when he gets his afternoon snack...but come evening...Oh boy...does the jackass in him come out. I used to make sure to get his feed mixed up and get it to him as quickly as possible and then would feed everyone else.

Not anymore!

Now...Moon gets haltered and tied up. He is now the LAST one to get fed and if he so much as pins his ears...Well...let's just say, momma keeps her buggy whip real handy!

Oh boy was Moon pissed the first couple nights I did that.

He's no dummy though. He has figured out that the nicer he stands and the more pleasant his expression, the quicker he gets his damn supper. I have no doubt he is flipping me off and giving me nasty looks behind my back, but when I'm watching him, he looks so sweet, sugar wouldn't dissolve on his tongue.

But on to my new challenge...

I have long thought and mentioned a few times that Spooks' old boy doesn't travel the best. I spent a lot of time with him last year working to improve the way he moves, but in all reality I had minimal success. I didn't put a huge amount of thought into it...Sometimes you just have to use them the way they are.

This year, as I have been conditioning him up again, I still didn't really think that he traveled properly and decided to go a few steps farther with him to fix that...after all...He has pretty much earned at least a little extra care and attention.

I had the chiropractor out to work on his back and it was as I suspected...he has a dropped SI joint, some misaligned vertebrae and his pelvis is a bit wonky. Spooks is so stiff and tight over his back and loin that the chiro had a hard time manipulating him and I could tell it was painful for the big guy.

His misalignments are old and set. Impossible to say how they came to be. He did nothing but lounge in the pasture for most of his life. My brother used Spooks for ranch work for a couple of years when he was 4 and 5, but that's about it. After that he got rode only a handful of times, until I brought him out here. But anyway...

The chiropractor told me that movement and exercise is Spooks' best friend. The better condition he has, the more limber he will be. That was kind of a no-brainer, but in Spooks' case, its even more apparent. Obviously it was going to take more adjustments, coupled with a good conditioning program to get Spooks' aligned again. I sort of expected that I would have to lay off competition for a bit, but the chiro told me that competing would be fine. It would be important to have him well warmed up and to keep him moving so he did not re-stiffen.

One thing I didn't mention was that after the barrel race last weekend, Spooks had trouble loading and unloading. He was not able to step up or down with his hind feet. He had to kind of hop his butt up and  brought both hind feet up at the same time when loading and did the same thing when unloading. That to me is an obvious sign of hip pain. I can tolerate a funky moving horse, but when they are showing obvious signs of pain or discomfort...

It's time to get more indepth...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Highs And The Lows

Awww geez...If it's not one freaking's another...

Let me just start with the last couple of days. On Thursday, Moon gave me quite a workout. He was ON FIRE! Man, oh man...he felt good. I'm starting to notice that the day after he gets his Adequan shot that he is just as frisky as a colt. I figured he would be quieter the next day. Nope...Friday he was rearing to go. I took him to the desert for his hill work and he was just powering up and down the hills. I was pretty excited. I figured if he felt this good, two days in a row...things must be back on track. I mulled it over for a bit and decided to take him to the barrel race with me the next day (It was still Friday afternoon when I decided this).

I was in a pretty chirpy mood right up until I watched Moon try to double barrel Spooks through the panel fence and got his hind legs hung up. He wheeled to kick Spooks (which he has NEVER done before) and BOTH hind legs went through the bars of the panel. If the pins that held the panel hadn't bent, he probably would have broken both hind legs.

I don't want to relive the gory details...but I will tell you...I thought I would be calling the vet to come put my broken-legged horse down. It was B.A.D!!!

Moon scraped a significant amount of hair and hide off...from stifle to fetlock on both of his hind legs, but mostly his left. He did strain the ligament that runs on the front-side of the hock, on the left side and worst of all, strained his left stifle.

It's going to be a while before he runs barrels now. Again. :( Maybe ever. As I was doctoring him tonight, I can hear his stifle popping. It's never done that before.

Christ...I was (and still am) just sick to my stomach.

I did not sleep well last night. I was so angry with myself. Angry with Moon. And pissed off in general that every damn time I get this horse right...something happens. I'm about whipped. Mentally...Emotionally...I just don't know how much more I have to give...for the sake of Moon.

Needless to say, when I got up Saturday morning...I wasn't really excited about going to the barrel race. I was physically sick to my stomach and emotionally drained.

If it hadn't been for Frosty, I probably would not have went. Bless Spooks' heart...he is such a good horse and he gives me his all. Sadly...'his all' is never going to make him a top-end horse. Believe me, I sure do appreciate the horse for how well he has done. But, I'm in it to win it. I want a 1D and a rodeo horse.

I have the feeling that Frosty is going to be that. Eventually. But he needs hauled and seasoned. Soooo...

I got everything ready and checked Moon's legs...thought they would be massively swelled, but was pleasantly surprised that there was no swelling and only one hot spot...right in front of the hock. He was not lame and I did not hear his stifle popping. I thought maybe we escaped better than I could have ever dreamed (this was in the was the evening, after I got home that I heard the popping in the stifle). That kind of lightened my mood a bit...I loaded Spooks and Frosty and away we went.

It looked to be a very small barrel after getting the boys ready, I decided it was a small enough crowd that Frosty could handle it without having to be ponied first.

He did wonderfully. So hard to believe that all of last year I was taking my life in my hands to even attempt to ride him in an arena with other horses.

I exhibitioned him twice. He did not do quite as well as he did last weekend. He is still struggling to change his lead going from 1st to 2nd barrel. He doesn't always get it switched, which of course, makes it difficult for him to complete his 2nd turn. After the exhibitions I asked L what she thought and she said that she would like to see me push him a little harder. He's looking around too much and not really focusing on what he is supposed to be doing. I figured she was probably right. I have pushed Frosty much harder in practice and he can handle more speed.

I ran Spooks first and he did awesome. He took a full second off of his time from last weekend. He's back to where he was last year. He ran a 20.2.

I ran Frosty 2nd and due to some timer glitches and a stake being pulled...I kinda lost track of where they were. I was standing there yacking with another gal and she says, "I think they called your name." Oh crap. LOL...Yep...Everyone was staring at me. (blush) I gathered Frosty up and headed for the gate. One of my goals with Frosty is to get him running straight to 1st without circling...if he picks up the correct lead...we go. If not, I regather him, start a circle, get his lead and then go. He almost picked up his lead...I could feel him wanting to...but he didn't quite get it. So we circled. I waited until he was lined up and then asked him for some speed. He gave it to me. :-o His first barrel was so spot on and he came out of it really good. About 1/2 way across the arena, he started to feel a little lost. He switched his lead and then switched it out again. Kinda got bogged down behind the barrel until he got his inside lead picked up and then he left reasonably well. I think I must have stopped pushing him at that point because when we were approaching 3rd barrel, he was switching leads and ducking back and forth. Not quite sure where that pocket needs to be. It's kind of hard for me to lock onto a spot when he's doing that. I find myself looking down at his shoulder. :-/

He did take the 3rd barrel correctly, but didn't have any momentum and kind of wanted to keep turning it. I got his head straightened out and asked him to 'run' for home. Frosty isn't too sure about this 'running' thing though. Whenever I ask him to r.u.n., he lifts his head up, cocks it to the left and rolls that eye back to look at me...'Are you sure mom? I dunno...we are going kind of fast already.' LOL...He is a trip, this big, yellow dummy of mine. I reached down and slapped him in the shoulder with my hand a couple of times and that seemed to help get him focused on running again. I contemplated carrying a bat with me for this run, but decided at the last minute that might be too much. But I think he is going to need a little encouragement soon. It's a lot of work to keep him motivating.

Anyway, with all of that...Frosty took over 6 seconds off of his time from 2 weeks ago. He went from a 29 second pattern to a 23 second pattern. It's the same arena, so it's comparable-pattern size, ground conditions and all that. I was hoping he would at least be a 25, so for him to take those 2 extra seconds off made me very happy.

Obviously, Frosty was still way to slow to place, but Spooks picked up his 2nd check for the year. LMAO...That darned black horse has the luck of the Irish. Yea, I didn't realize Spooks had placed last weekend. Drove off without my $$.

This got long...but I've got a few thoughts on all of the boys...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Filling The Empty Slots

Now that my three competition horses are all lined was time to add another one to the daily regime.

Bugs drew the short straw...(insert evil laughter)...

I have started riding him in the field next door and even though it has been his outside first trips by himself...he is doing pretty good. He's been ponied in that field enough that he is quite familiar with it, so nothing too scary there. Although, he is so obese that he couldn't do much, even if he had the inclination too. Just walking in that deep, soft plowed field makes him huff and puff like a 3-pack a day smoker.

Mrs Mom...THIS is what a little red dump truck looks like. ^^^^  LOL

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. ;-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Because It's Been Awhile

The squirrel is still kicking it around here...Two years now we've had him...

His new thing is sitting in the window, staring at the big world outside...

I'm always cleaning squirrel smears off the window. It's actually the cutest thing. Tiny little paw prints and nose smears. He'll fill his cheeks and then go sit in the window, eating his lunch and watching the happenings outside.

'What? I'd make a great wild squirrel.', he says...
Sorry buddy...Probably not so much. If ya made it past the cats...I doubt you would make it past the prairie dog slaying black dog. Better just stick with what you know. ;-)