Friday, 25 January 2013

Stress Sweat

I am pretty awful.  I completely forgot about my camera again on Sunday.  I had a (semi) legit reason.  Okay, it was pretty stupid in hindsight.  Saturday night T tried to call my mom but we missed the call and it was much too late to call back when we noticed she called.  Because there wasn't any message saying the horses were injured or anything, my mom wouldn't let me call.  So being the crazy horse owner I am, I spent the entire night stessing out about it(my poor best friend had to listen to me ramble on about all the worst case scenarios) and only got about two hours of sleep.  So needless to say when I woke up, my camera was the last thing on my mind.

Of course when we did get to the stable (Sunday morning- we help out on sunday mornings) I found out that T called for a reason completely horse unrelated reason and all my freaking out had been for nothing.  I need to relax, I start panicking when I get an email from her even though I know she'd never tell me bad news in an email.

Anway, moving on.  Sunday was cold but not freezing as it's been lately.  We brought Artemis in and then saddled up the big guys.  Like we usually do on Sundays when no one's around, we let Artemis free in the arena while we rode.  That was our first mistake.  The little princess was definitly feeling her oats that day.  She kept racing around the arena, bucking and rearing as high as she could go.  My mom was riding Jimmy along the railing and Artemis came running up, slid to a stop in front of them and started rearing like some wild stallion.  Jimmy thankfully didn't react. 

Artemis did spook Socks and Jimmy pretty badly later on.  She was rolling when we rode past and once our backs were to her, she jumped up, bucked and came galloping at us, completely terrifying Socks and Jimmy.  We ended our ride shortly after that before anyone got hurt. 

Artemis was still full of energy so we figured to help her get rid of it, we'd get her to run around the arena.  That was our second mistake.  I swear she was convinced we were angry at her.  She got so upset that she was a gross, sweaty mess in about a minute.  And just our luck, we had to leave pretty quickly because we were meeting people for lunch.

We put the cooler on her (she was actually great about that, it was the first time she's ever had it on and I literally just threw it on her) and walked her around but when we had to go she was still pretty sweaty.  We decided to put her in a stall and come back later that night to put her back out.  First we put her in D's stall, in the back of the barn out of the way.  That was our third mistake.  She threw a major fit.  She's been great about being in a stall for a while now but something about being in the back set her off.  Usually I let her go through her tanturm and settle down, but we had to go and I didn't want her breaking something or hurting herself.  So we ended up moving her into the main part of the barn where she could see another stalled horse.

All sweaty and gross.  Notice the tongue, she is definitly her mother's daughter.

The monster in prison.
We came back later that night and got there literally a minute after E had put her back in the pasture.  I was disappointed that I missed seeing her, but at the same time I was happy someone, especially someone male, had led her.  She's pretty much only been handled by women since she was born.  E said she was great to lead and he had no problems with her.  Her stall wasn't a mess either so we're pretty confident she wasn't too stressed out about being inside.  T told us she didn't even realize that Artemis was in the barn for the first bit of their ride because she was so quiet. 

We were out Thursday night as well and rode the big guys.  Socks was Miss Sociable.  I couldn't get her to focus on anything, especially her own feet.  She wanted to go visit with every horse in the arena.  I ended up putting her blanket on her because the windy was nasty and although she wasn't warm anymore, I had made her work hard and I felt bad about putting her out in the cold. 

That's all for now.  I'm not promising I'll get pictures this Sunday.  I'll try but I suck at remembering.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Arena Fun

So I don't have any new pictures of the horses.  I was going to bring my camera but I forgot to charge it and the battery is deader than dead.  I'll try to remember for this Sunday.

Things have been going well.  We go out three times a week now and the ponies are happy to be getting worked more.  Our three guys are happiest when they're getting worked.  We've taken off Socks' blanket for now because it's been pretty warm out and is supposed to stay warm for the next while. 

Tonight we got out to the stable just before seven.  While my mom messed around with our locker, I went out to catch Artemis.  It was dark, but the sky was clear and with the lights from the stable and the neighbours, it really wasn't that difficult to see.  It was actually pretty exciting that I was able to go get her for two reasons.  First, I haven't done much with her on my own since I broke my arm, since she's young and unpredictable, I haven't wanted to take the risk of getting re-injured.  Second, it was night and she's not usually that good at night, and she was perfect.  I had no problems with her despite the dark or the ice.

My ride on Socks tonight was short but good.  We mostly worked on loping on a loose rein.  She was perfect, we didn't have any issues so we ended on that good note. 

I brought Artemis in after unsaddling Socks, just to lead her around and make sure she remembered everything.  My mom was still riding and another woman, D, was walking her horse around to cool off.  The three of us stopped to talk, and Miss Artemis decided that would be a good time to roll.  No joke, she was rolling for close to ten minutes.  She'd roll for a bit, then just lie there, and then start rolling again.  Only when my mom and D left did she finally decide to get up.  Between rolling, she let me scratch her head and ears.  It was the first time since she was a baby that I've been near her when she was lying down. 

As I said, I'll try to remember to charge my camera for sunday.  I went from taking pictures of them everytime we went out to never taking any pictures of them...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I'm Back

I am alive!  It's been over a month since I last blogged.  To be honest, I've had to face the fact that because of my arm, I can't ride like I used to, and it was a lot more upsetting than I expected.  On top of that, there are more problems with my wrist so I find out in February if I need a thrid surgery, and then add family issues on top of that, I've been hiding in my room for the past month and a bit.

I've finally crawled out of my hole and I think, or hope, that things are looking up.  For the riding thing, I've just had to re-learn how to ride, taking into account what my arm can and cannot do.  It's not pretty but it's working.  Socks has been great, when I ride with my right hand it just takes the slightest touch to get her to do what I want.  And Socks is now sporting some new clothes.

It's a really bad picture but I wasn't expecting to get her a blanket yesterday so I didn't bring my camera.  We went out to the tack store to pick up some sweet feed and figured that we might as well check out the price on winter blankets.  We decided this year that we wouldn't mind having winter blankets on them, not really to keep them warm, they do that well enough on their own, but because we ride them more and it'd be nice to keep the snow off their backs so it doesn't melt and get them soaked when we bring them in.

Well the price of the blankets at the tack store last night was a good hundred dollars cheaper than anywhere else we've looked, and better quality.  T had previously tried blankets on Socks to find out what size she was, so we ended up walking away with a blanket for her.  Jimmy will have to wait until next month to get his blanket.

It's a Goliath blanket with 1200 Denier count.  T really stressed getting a decent Denier count to us.  Socks took to wearing it a lot better than I expected, considering she's never really worn a blanket before.  That said, the test will be on Thursday when I see her next, to see if she still likes it after wearing it for a few days.

Artemis has been great.  She's been ponied while wearing the saddle and we've been working a lot on standing at the mounting block with the saddle on.  We've also been working a lot on respect because we've run into a few issues.  One helpful exercise we've done is put her in a stall and work with her in there.  She's not supposed to move until she get's the okay from us, this includes if there's food in the stall.  She's a quick learner, I can leave the stall door open and start to walk away and 9 times out of 10 she'll stand (this is not something I do when there's other people in the barn, just in case she does walk out of the stall). 

She's also very talented at backing up.  When I'm leading her I don't need to tug on the lead rope or poke her in the chest to back her up, all I need to do is back up myself and she'll keep going until I stop.

I'll try to take pictures of them on Sunday, when it's light outside, since it's been a while since I posted good, recent pictures of them.