Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dental day!

Not much more to report on the training front... we have a little snag and are doing some trouble shooting.  He did however, have his first couple of bareback rides ever that we are aware of!

Erin riding bareback

This year I decided to use an equine dentist - not the vet power floating - and no sedation. To my surprise Prophecy handled it really well!  He was a bit over a year since his last float as we were working on timing and such with moving barns, so he had some sharp points and imbalance to fix, but is all straightened out now 😏

He didn't try and run away from Ken, even with a speculum in his mouth ; He actually thought about inspecting his bucket of tools at one point. 🐎

Pretty cool to see him work and be done in less than 30 min! Then getting to turn Prophecy back out right away, not having to wait on drugs to wear off was really nice :)

Friday, February 16, 2018

just keep learning

Prophecy in the "Think Tank"
after our second off line ride
Prophecy and I graduated to working off the lunge line the ride after the last post!  We are still only working a walk, but now I am in "full control" to keep him moving and provide all directions.  He has come a long way with his "intolerance" issues to leg pressure and movement in the saddle, yet still can be difficult to saddle (more work to come there); we think he just might always be snarky about the girthing process; some days he is still more grumpy about the use of your leg and we just adjust our asks to help him out.

Wet work with Erin
Our 2nd ride off line was pretty cool.  He and are I learning/re-learning together too, and it is great for me to learn to use the tools Erin is teaching him, and of course for him to understand my requests, and let me feel what it is like to get the "change" in him.

We tried to beat the rain last weekend, but alas that did not happen!  It wasn't pouring so Erin & I pressed on... Prophecy was less than amused about working in the rain, but it is what it is! It took him a little longer to settle down and relax with Erin than it has before, and then it was my turn to ride.

Working on our turns

We mainly spend our time in my lesson portion of the training helping him lift his shoulder (falls in on right), teaching him new things to help him relax and loosen in the rib cage, and energy match - having him walk as slow as I can and increase to the faster big walk where he has broken into a trot a few times of his own accord.  We do lots of turns, counter bends, figure-eights, s-turns and the use of exaggerated movements/weight shifts to work on neck-reining.

He has cantered a little with Erin and still seems happy with the Synergist and Christ pad combo overall. Still determining if he has a preference on the girth between the Synthetic TSF or Mohair.

It is so cool to see him enter the think tank after I'm done riding. He sure seems to have a lot stuff to think about, as do I to keep improving ride to ride.


Monday, February 5, 2018


30+MPH winds had us being a bit Eskimo like the 30th!
Prophecy is a sensitive horse, who will fill in on occasion for a human's mistake as Dee would say, but he is also very bothered by some things and his automatic mode is to stop or object when they happen.  Lack of exposure maybe, or just a developed habit...

For instance, the patting while on the move.  He would put on the brakes nearly every time Erin would go to rub his neck or his rump, but that has gotten better as he is exposed to it more.
He's learning - for instance, the first time with me back up in the saddle he was very tentative and confused by someone on his back while being directed from the ground, while the second time (Jan 30th) he walked out much better. But, changes in my position, like getting up or out of 2-point or adjusting my center, resulted in a stop and snarky face.
He used to walk off from mounting the instant you fidgeted in the saddle, now he will stand nicely till asked to step off as Erin has done lots of work with him standing while she messes with stirrups, shifts her weight around, etc.  Based on what we saw the 2nd ride with me, we know he also needs the purposeful exposure to someone moving about in the saddle while moving, and not being so reactive to it - I need to be able to duck and weave the branches, adjust myself, etc without the snark for doing it (as long as I'm not causing him pain of course).

As I said in my last post I decided to contact the ECIR Forum for some tweaking of his diet as well as hoof balance. Erin & I have noticed him taking some "off" steps on a small lunge circle but not lame at all under saddle or in the field.  As it turned out, George was going to be in my area again and offered to come trim him to start working on a relationship before we get to the shoe part.  I gladly took him up on that offer and was able to get a mark-up from the ECIR hoof specialist of what to change.. He was well behaved for the trim. Read: DISTRACTED BY HAY.
George gave me a few gently used rasps and instructed me on rasping his hooves weekly. He says Prophecy has huge feet for his height (but good for his build as he is umm, hefty) and thick hoof walls.  They grow fast, so they easily flare/pancake out.  After George left I was able to apply Hoof Armor again since it is now stored heated.  Super easy to do when it is kept warm!  October or November was probably the last time I applied and his hooves have remained strong with little chipping even without it.  Since our weather is just wonky warm/cold/snow/mud, I figure take advantage of the ability to put it on again and keep them looking and feeling good.
I also threw his Scoot Boots on for a quick fit check...small update on the Tab.  He moved out nicely in the round pen with a low head trotting around feeling good.

Ready to go, watching Erin walk up
After harassing Prophecy for 3-days in a row he got a day off from me, but only for me return on Saturday with Erin 😊  I started him on my own with our ground work check for a "green light" (that he is focused and calm) and then tacked up by myself ... That part still is not great for us. Maybe is that I am not as adept at the saddle toss up??  I let Erin know when she arrived and we will work on that together in other sessions.  Erin then worked him in the round pen and in particular adding back in the leg pressure that he is so snarky about.  She is working to teach him that the leg pressure means to relax and put the head down and forward, rather than ball up and get worried. They worked at a walk and trot and then had me on the line for walking doing the same leg pressure and shoulder over moves.  Soon she will start taking him out on the trails at the barn to get him out of the boring arenas and see how he acts in a different situation. On days I'm there we will work in more confined areas to get us back in sync and strong together.

I can't believe it is February already... I have a pipe dream of being able to get back into real conditioning for rides in March, but I will take as long as I need to with him to make sure we are successful - especially mentally and emotionally - that has to be first and the physical will fall into place.