Weekend Report

       I know it’s been a while since I last did any kind of writing, I just haven’t felt the itch to write anything down lately. I’m crawling out of the pit of writer’s block, and trying to get back into action.  I will tell you about last weekend at the barn, and go from there….

       So as some of you may recall, Zoey and I haven’t been seeing eye to eye. She has spent a month and half very agitated, bucking with each ride, which has resulted in her rider also feeling very agitated. Bill worked with us two weeks ago in the round-pen, and she didn’t buck then, nor did she buck the following day when I rode her without him in there. It was a nice end to the weekend, we both began and ended each session feeling better than before.

   Last weekend I did ground-work with her on Thursday and didn’t ride her on Friday—I rode the stud—but I didn’t get to her, her owner had to be somewhere else and get up early in the morning, so I told him I’d ride her Saturday. I’ve been doing ground-work with Bill’s stud here and there and last weekend he said I could get on him if I felt comfortable enough with him. He’s a very, very, good stud, quiet and well-mannered. He’s also very, very smart and has outfoxed me a couple of times, so I had formed a jaded opinion of him. However, since starting to actually work and get to know him, he’s shown that he can be quite nice and fun to work with. I saddled him up, tied him back, and free-lunged him in the arena. He bucked a few times and crow-hopped a lot before deciding that the saddle was staying and loping around the arena. After around 10 minutes or so of lungeing, when the hump in his back had disappeared, I climbed aboard. We walked off and just walked around the arena a bit, letting him catch his breath and letting us get a feel for each other.

     When he let out a large exhale and I felt ready, we eased into the trot, then eventually the lope. He’s probably the smoothest horse I’ve ridden, the one I leased was almost as smooth as he is, but not quite. We did a couple figure eights, circles, and worked on lope-trot and trot-walk and trot-lope transitions, along with ground poles. He does a good job keeping his head down, but had a tendency to pick it up whenever we rode past a part where horses were visible, he also didn’t seem to want to travel through the corners of the arena, he wanted to cut them instead. On Saturday I free-lunged him again and this time he didn’t buck, but spent a good 5 minutes or so crow-hopping throughout the arena, then he settled down and I got on. We spent our ride Saturday working on keeping our head down even when passing other horses, and not cutting corners. He did very well and was very sweaty when we were done, a nice shower and treats were how we wrapped it up.

       Following our ride together, I wen to go grab Zoey after turning him back out. The stud is in a pen across from a pen with three mares, he doesn’t mind them usually, and will happily graze on his own. He was happy to be back out though, and rolled then took off running down his pen, back up, then back down. In running back and forth the two mares with Zoey decided they wanted to run, so they did, and Zoey joined them. She came loping up the hill, stopped in front of me and stood while I got the halter ready. Just as I was about to halter her, the other two took off down their pen and she spun around, kicked up her heels and took off running and proceeded to spend the next ten minutes running back and forth, not wanting to be caught. I did get her and she begrudgingly made her way to the barn, there she was in no mood to stand on the cross-ties and in no mood to be lunged. If she wasn’t in heat last week then she was coming into heat(one of the boarders there suspects she was in heat, as her gelding dropped and was “rock hard” while Zo was in the arena), which meant she was irritable and in the “GO” frame of mind. I got on her and worked on what Bill had us work on the weekend before(He was in Tennessee for a wedding) and we managed to have a successful ride with no bucking at all. We worked on trotting(trying to slow her trot down and slow myself down) and steering(which she protested) and going over poles(which she did much better with this time around) and ended on a good note. I showered her outside and discovered that she is covered in bites everywhere by her lady bits and on her chest. She had a fly-sheet last week and managed to destroy it, a new one is coming, but until then she has to be fly-sprayed so as to avoid being carried away by the gnats that are currently feasting on her( I hate gnats and flies, but nothing bothers me more than seeing those ugly black pests openly feasting on an animal, makes my stomach churn and skin crawl).

       Sunday rolled around bright and early(like, getting up and heading to the barn at 5:40 early), I fed, turned out horses and got stalls cleaned by 8:00AM. One of the horses in training there is also for sale, and a potential buyer was coming out to look at him, which meant the barn had to presentable and the horse did too. I got him in and bathed around 11:00AM(I think), threw a sheet on him and put him back outside after instructing him NOT to roll and to make good choices. While waiting for the lady who was coming to see him to arrive, I went out and grabbed the stud, lunged him on the line(the arena had jumps set up) for around 5 minutes and then got on. We worked on head-set and corners for a half hour, ended with his head down and going through the corners at 11:30, showered and went back out. I brought in the horse for sale, a handsome Palomino gelding, and brushed him down, brushed out his tail and made sure he still looked good. When that was done I moved on to his feet and managed to get all four of them cleaned out just before the lady and her husband rolled in. They looked at him, then left, and Zoey’s owner and one of the boarders at the barn left to go pick up three horses and two donkeys so they could have their feet done by the farrier on Tuesday.  They got back to the barn just as I was about to leave, I stuck around long enough to help them unload the impatient passengers, then went home. I’ll be back out this weekend.

    That’s how my weekend went last week, the stud is gem and great to ride and Zoey did very well despite being hormonal. The week before we went to Fitzgerald Park, which was fun, I caught a rather hostile water snake and two garter snakes, and managed to take nice pictures too. The weather is finally warm and beautiful, which means riding in the outdoor arena can start happening. Have a good weekend and happy rides everyone~

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