Sunday, October 7, 2018

Prep Work

The past few weeks have been about is getting Sully ready for his first endurance experience planned for Fort Valley later in October.  This includes the body & dental work, dialing in the tack, working on forward requests under saddle, determining hoof protection, and getting him to gain some weight.

He is scheduled for Easy Care Love Child glue-ons for his fronts on Friday, and I am feeling the pressure to find something that works for the hinds ASAP.  I think I will end up gluing on some shells on hinds too - he actually matches up well to a Renegade size... If I can learn how to glue myself, keeping him bare with using boots for training and glue ons for competition rides would be my plan!  Unless of course there becomes an issue there and I go back to idea #1 of doing the NGs on front once his hooves have had a good deal of time to come into shape.

We've had a few more rides, but still not enough that I feel confident to take him into a tough terrain 30, so we will do the intro ride instead.  Still gives him all the experience of camping, vetting, and the ride - while testing our tack etc.  And even more bonus, the owner of Stonewall saddles will be there doing fittings and demos of the new Living Bar Saddle - I have signed up for an appointment for us! Will be cool to meet Jackie after talking with her over the last 3 years and about 3 different horses.

Skyler was finally able to return to lessons after a month of weather issues!

And Asher is back at soccer!

We hauled out for the first time in a while in my trailer and he took a little more convincing to get on leaving the barn but not too bad (easy to come home tho).  I have the divider removed so I can turn him around and walk off to deal with our unloading issue for the moment (doesn't know how to back off a step up).  But I learned never let your guard down... Sully has been hauled extensively in his previous career, however he is a bit of a paw-er.  I didn't think much of that, until this trip he pawed a hoof into the corner feeder bag at some point.  It tore down 2 of the 3 hooks but he was stuck in it when I opened the door.  I don't really know for how long, but he was not panicking, tho a bit sweaty - fortunately it wasn't a long ride either.  He let me extricate the hoof and then walked off with out a misstep.  The feeder is no longer there and won't make that mistake with him again!

Post ride...pawing again! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Works

Sully has now completed "the works" since the last post: his first body work session, chiropractic adjustment, and teeth floating.
We've also gotten our new Skito and taken a few more rides! (still some tweaking to do with that and talking to Tom)

Body work and Chiro basically found the same things - a bit out on the RH, likely due to the kick when settling in ; and little tighter in the Right shoulder, probably from compensating.  Otherwise in pretty good shape and well balanced.

I learned it had been since March of 2017 when his teeth were last floated (due to his retirement in late 2017 was not done this spring) and got an appointment with Myles Hopton of Pegasus Equine Services based on many recommendations I saw for him on local Facebook groups. I was not disappointed, and Sully was so well behaved.  We found he was having "right side" issues as his canines were so long he was misaligned.  Now his jaw is moving well to both sides and all smoothed out.

Some pics from our latest 'longer' ride of 6 miles. It was mostly walking due to recent weather and trail conditions, but always fun!

Sully also had another trim and we did a fit check for some Easy Care Glue on boots/shoes.  It was the 2nd of 3 trims done in a storm, which just meant he was more antsy to start. The hooves are coming along nicely, and the scoots are working for rides so far. If we get a ride in them in tough terrain long distance and they still perform as good, I might consider just sticking with them for Fort Valley and waiting for next season on the shoes.

The kids also celebrated their birthdays and had a blast with friends at Jump.

Monday, August 27, 2018

10 and counting

The kids returned to school last Wed - a 1st & 4th Grader.  They both love their teachers and had a great first week!

1st Day!

2nd Day - Skyler's first bus ride

On Friday eve I took Sully out alone... Didn't go quite as I had hoped, but we got a few miles in and found he has some gaits hiding in there!  Other things I now know - He loves water, and will just start wandering down a creek for fun, but HATES horseflies landing on his rump; that is really the only time I have to worry about a buck.

Amanda & I headed out on Sunday for a longer conditioning ride with Sully & Cheyenne. Given their love of water we had wanted to go to Lake Anna and use the swimming area, but they recently posted an issue with algae so we had to change plans and decided to head to a set of trails close by at Preddy Creek instead.   We put some shipping boots on for the ride ; that is always funny to watch the hind legs but Sully seems to know how to walk just fine with them, I assume from his racing days.  These two are now great pals on the trailer and out on the trail together!

We didn't manage to get him to back off her trailer when we arrived at the trail, but he had enough room to turn once Cheyenne was off and we swung the divider over.  He did just fine tied to the trailer out of sight of her, tacked up easily and calmly - other than when a horsefly was nearby!

Ride Stats

Our ride was pretty darn good for a first time hauling out to new trails! And I think he had his first bike experiences... He was definitely not a fan and had to let Cheyenne lead by the first few, but by the end of our ride he went ride by two groups in the lead without much of a glance!  We had some fun times with him almost laying down in the creek with me on (thankfully popped back up when I asked), many low branches and ducking, my helmet getting snagged on a tree branch...a horse eating bridge, and eventually figuring out how to go through 'knee knocker' trails without getting too close to trees!
It was so fun to fly along on him and I know Amanda was just grinning away behind me on Cheyenne too.  She got to lead a bit too, and Sully was just fine to stay behind and keep to a place that he wasn't crowding her.  Both of us had Scoots on our horses (Sully on front only, Cheyenne on back) and neither of us had any issues - not a whole lot of mud but they stayed on in sticky sandy creek areas we played in a few times.

all done!
I'm pretty ecstatic about this ride and how he handled everything. He is a very simple loader and travels well, as does Cheyenne, and I didn't see much "picking" at each other when watching them either. When we arrived back home we were able to back him down the ramp of Amanda's trailer so we are making progress there!  He does need to learn to drink better on trail but will eat.  He also cracked us up with being a "bloodhound" sniffing his way down some trails.  He definitely picked up the pace when we were close to the trailers looping by, but didn't get upset being asked to turn away from them and continue on. He was sweaty, but not overly so, nor was he huffing much.  We didn't do much walking in before checking HR at the trailer and he was close to pulse criteria at the trailer so I think we'll be just fine as we go forward :) 

Next trim we are putting on some glue-ons (Love Child or Flip Flop) and this will allow his hooves to continue improving and get us thru this season of competing. His Scoots will also work on the back hooves, and we'll start working with that setup once his fronts are glued on.

Next big hurdle (aside from drinking rather than playing in water) is camping I think... Got to practice that before we head to a ride!