Monday, March 28, 2016

Moved!

While many of my friends were out doing their first ride of the season for the NE region, I had to put that on hold as we didn't have time to condition properly due to my work schedule in March.  Instead, Tesla moved to his new barn - about 5 miles from the previous.  He is now back to 24/7 pasture, with 5 other herd mates and coming in for feeding/body check 2x day.

I don't think I could've asked for a better move!  We had good weather even! I hooked up and finished loading up the truck & trailer with our stuff, and then asked him to load.  He gave a little balk when we first walked up, got a what for from me, then easily followed me up and stood for the slant gate closing.  A few min later, we were at the new place!

He had to stand a few min on the trailer when we arrived and I could him him bouncing a little, but no pawing or calling.  We unloaded and put him in a small lot between two of the larger groups/pastures.  He played over the fence with both groups, a few little runs, but was generally more interested in the grass and hanging out.

  
Everyone was so cool and calm about the whole thing Amy (new barn owner) and I discussed putting him out all together that morning instead of later that day or the next.   So we did....very uneventful set of introductions and a little running in the big field area, but when I left a bit later he was happily hanging with George.
Tesla and George

I then enjoyed two egg hunts with the kids between Skyler's school hosting one and our work event :)

                                 


And we cut down a tree in the backyard after that, and few more in front Sunday.

Tonight I went to see Tesla. He is settling in really well, one new mark on his back from playing.  I just groomed him (left a whole lot of hair and mud behind), worked him in the round pen a bit, then worked on introducing him to the arena to see and hear the dog kennels right there, to check out Clover the resident cow, and the 2 Minis I'm not sure he'd noticed.  He took it all in stride and even helped teach one of the dogs that horses aren't so bad reaching out to sniff him.  He seems to be fitting in and I look forward to getting to ride this weekend!

Muddy mess

all cleaned up...for now

Hi Clover

Saying hi to the minis (2)


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Play day

We did it!
Finally, I loaded Tesla alone to and from a play day today!  He loaded in less time than it took me to hook-up to head out :P and on the 3rd time asking to get up on the way home. A huge monkey has been taken off my back now :)

(pictures of us leaving Red Horse Equine Training barn)

Overall the week didn't go as planned.  Monday he was a bit more difficult to load, so I knew I needed to work on it Saturday before our planned ride today. Tuesday I got a text from the barn owner that he was not acting right - more tired/sluggish than usual.  He went through a lot of changes with DST including a change in time of day he's out vs stalled and one buddy leaving for training.  I discussed with vet, we decided to keep an eye on him and a trial run of ulcergard to see if it is tummy related.  Between that and the expected weather (snow/sleet) for this weekend, we all agreed to cancel our team conditioning ride for now.

Saturday I decided to slow it down a little, and just work on the front feet on/off, backing when I ask, calmness.  After doing that, I felt that maybe in 45-hr we'd be fine loading calmly again...so I was prepared for next time.

But today, the weather actually didn't get nasty and Doug gave me the option to head out again to work with him.  My goal was purely to get him on the trailer. The trainer that helped us last month with loading was doing a "play day" with some obstacles at her barn, so I figured IF we got loaded in time, we'd go.  I was in no rush and prepared to spend all afternoon.  I decided to switch back to his rope halter this time and as soon as it "bit back" at him for pulling, he decided it was time to get on. I backed him off, and we did on/off a few times, then when he stood calmly inside, I put up his slant latch and tied him up, and off we went... only like 10min to get on :)  So proud of him!  We got to the other barn, he unloaded nicely (not flying back) and we had some fun playing with obstacles for a bit, and got to hang with a mustang too.

  

   


                       


In other news this week, our land was cleared and seeded! :)  Now the real planning begins...what has to come first and what can we do with limited budget to start with and expand later. (Perimeter walk using an exercise app of what we plan to fence in)
 
  


This weekend he moves...So the ulcergard is on the way to use the days surrounding it, and then an extra tube once he settles in and I can see if it is making any difference in him.  He had a hearty appetite when we came back this afternoon :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Ahead

Saturday was a long day, like a repeat of Mondays!   I worked all day, then headed off to the barn for my chore night.  The weather was too nice to do not enjoy some time with Tesla, so I sacrificed getting home in time for baths to get in a little ride upon my arrival.

Through the Ears view...
checking out the kids on the trampoline
I've been pulling Tesla out of the stall and heading straight to the trailer.  Tied there, we groom and get tack on.  He has some itchy spots with the winter coat shedding, and some dry skin flaking again. We lunged a few minutes, then I worked to get out of my own head and hopped on.  Lots of walking, changing directions, backing, circles and then moved on to trotting.  Taking to heart something my teammate Jaime said in her blog, I tried to shut myself up.  I find it really hard!  At least I succeeded a little in the preemptive snaps at him to "quit it" or "eh-eh", and trying to stay out of his mouth. I'm so concerned he is going to buck, that I have been getting on to him at the slightest thought of it.
 Overall I felt we had a good ride, more of a "ok, we're just going to ease back into this" and try to reestablish some confidence in myself that he isn't always going to buck.  We covered about a mile in the arena in a short time.  I never realized how much you actually do in a rectangle as opposed to on the trail!


I hopped off and unhooked his reins, hoping to do more free lunging tacked up, but he was stuck to me like glue.  So, I had fun with it and ran around the arena with him. Zig & Zag, stop and back. He is a fun horse to "Join up" and play some with.  Lots of scratches and a good brush post ride, then back to his stall while I cleaned up before turning horses in & out.

I've found a new toy online to love! lol.  FeedXL - let me compare like 12 different diet scenarios and see where he balances out.  I was trying to resolve exactly what supplements he needs vs. nice to have in his diet.  We are adding a Pre/Probiotic in his next smartpak, and while that makes no difference in his balance or not, I feel it is a good yet inexpensive move for his overall gut health as we have a barn move and so many (competitive) horses have ulcers or tummy upset without us even knowing. He has been getting picky over his feed this winter, and this could help that.

Tonight will be loading practice as I plan to go on a conditioning ride on the 20th /Sunday with my Green Bean team!  My boss asked when my first ride would be this season, and I really have no idea.  I hadn't planned on Biltmore in May, but it may be the only option nearby this spring with how crazy things are going at the moment.  No Frills is a tentative LD, there are a few appointments between now & then that will dictate if it comes to fruition.

With DST Tesla has switched to being out during the day and in at night until his move.  The end of this week we will change his feeding routine to 2x a day to get on schedule with the new place.  I'm in process of cleaning blankets from the winter to tuck away at home, and anxiously awaiting the land guy to clear the front so I can work on the trailer at home and start even more dreaming and planning the future pasture & barn :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

a prescription to ride

So a few weekends ago I noticed Tesla doing something funny in the back end when cantering on the line. I was assessing him to see if he was still dragging a toe or moving stiff from our scramble on the ice before legging up.  Best way to describe what I saw is a "bunny hop" movement. While he has done a few of those previously, it was not a consistent thing that I saw before so I knew something is NQR.

When you see this in dogs, you automatically think hips... Can the same can be said for horses?  I know he has had previous SI/Pelvis out of whack requiring chiro.  We have an appointment coming up with the chiro again and I will discuss this new finding with him too.

And, Tesla turned 9 on Monday! 
The prescription from his massage therapist after review of older videos  = RIDE MORE!  The more he is ridden and moving, and the fitter he gets, the less likely the stiffness will occur, especially if it is stifle related.  Now that is a prescription I can live with ;)  Older videos shows he has done this before for a few steps, even before I bought him, and that he is also protecting his left hind in some manner during transitions by bracing with the right.  She isn't sure if this muscular or a skeletal issue...  We didn't find red flags Monday on the stifle, and he is perfectly sound at a walk and trot.  I will work on building him back up after this winter of day time stalling and less movement/riding and hopefully between it all and back in fitness training it will improve.

Fortunately, as my understanding of it all at this moment, it doesn't change much for us.  Something I need to keep an eye on to watch for worsening, but he can still compete. Maybe he's not destined to be a 100 mile horse, time will tell.  I'm not there yet in my thoughts anyway!  I just want a happy partner for decade team, and right now 50s are a daunting enough challenge to me mentally!