Monday, December 5, 2016

December craziness

Only a few days in and we are feeling the crunch of holiday crazy time!

We started out with Skyler's school play Friday night.  She was a choir Angel in "One Starry Night" this year.  The 3-5 year olds are so cute and it is always a fun time.  Her favorite song to sing was "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" of course!

The truck had its mirror replaced and we also did family pictures this weekend at a Christmas Tree Farm. Saturday night was the Parade of Lights in Stanardsville which Doug & a few Legacy band members played music beforehand.  The kids loved running around in the cold (the only ones warm because of it!) and then getting to see a bit of the parade with Santa in a horse drawn carriage and all.

The band and the kiddos (Doug on Bass)

We decided to make Skyler's big present her new bed and bed set - a loft bed. So that means lots of building time for Doug needed!   I get to start painting the parts he's built already this week.  Ever the girl, she has picked out Pink, Purple, Teal and White for it.  We also got Asher a new dresser for his room (surprise for him) so we will move his long dresser to her and get rid of the tower dresser that has been around for over 7 years now between both of them!  Furniture changes all around for presents :)  Next comes having the stairs and guest room carpet redone.

We put up our tree Sunday evening... Must dig up all the ornaments and some colored lights to add to it.  We'll decorate more on the weekend, the weeknights are just too busy.

Fitting in time to ride around the ever changing weather and schedules can be tough for sure.  I've got the Ghost demo through the upcoming weekend so trying to squeak in a few more pad trials and figure out as much as I can before mine arrives!  Oh yes, that's right - I ordered one!  Mine is going to be black & navy, and western rigged since I have a cinch that works already.  But, they are super easy to change so I can always switch to an English girth if I find that is the direction to go in the future.

Hey now!
We squeaked in a ride Sunday - sort of.  He was better for tacking up, still not great at standing still.  I took him over to the arena and he remembered about the mounting 'block' (upside down muck bucket lol) and standing still.  Until I was on anyway...we'll continue to work on that one!  I was using a Christ pad and something was causing an interference and could heard the pop/rubbing sounds with his shoulder strides so I didn't ride much at all (probably related to the short girth and billet keepers on the pad).  I hopped off, we did some work at the mounting block and then walked about a mile on the trails on property with him just tacked up.  Not wanting to waste any moments I had with him, when we reached the barn I grabbed the crupper and took him to the round pen.  I purposely set it a little on the tighter side to see how he would react...  No bucks, but tucked that tail and rear when he felt it! He is relatively tail sensitive to begin with and tucks it at first so not surprising.

Ok, not so big a deal

I loosened it and he relaxed a bit - moved him both directions at a trot and called it a good session as he didn't blow up over it (Tesla bucked during his intro to it, and a few other times it engaged when I was on!).

I learned that if he is worked a bit already, he will stand at ease for saddle play. When we were done in the round pen I took the saddle and pad off and played a little with putting things back on him and he never moved off.  Hmmm...maybe we need a little lunge work before tacking up?  The barn owners are looking at putting in a hot-walker, so we might make use of that someday!

Monday night I had very little planned other than to take him to the arena and try out the Matrix with inserts.  We had some "words" about standing for tacking up (he got to do some circles in the grass until he settled down and stood nicely) but once we understood each other he was very good at letting me get things straight with this combo and girth him up - slowly. He really despises that part so I take it one hole at a time and try giving treats here and there.

We took our walk down to the arena - which is nice because it warms us up and gives the girth a chance to settle (usually meaning I tighten 1 more hole after).  We had our discussion over the mounting block and then he was pretty good about it tonight. Still walked off when I got up, but better than when I have just put a foot in a stirrup.

We walked and trotted around the arena a few and he was so good.  One of the best arena rides I've had on him regarding actually going with my cues and focused on me, moved out well without head tossing, etc.
Fuzzy boy ready for his saddle
So...I chanced a trail ride alone, worst case I'd hop off and walk him back to the barn.  We left the arena and walked back to our gates and the trail access and took a walk/trot ride :)  He was such a good boy!  One stand and stare at the deer herd we spooked away, and one spook (teleport sideways) I knew was coming because he has reacted to this log/branch group every time we have seen it!  He stood nicely for my dismount - which I have been purposely doing to the "off side" since if I bail I seem to have a tendency to go that direction so may as well see how he does with it. He squashed my foot side stepping after I got down, but quickly moved (and didn't fully stomp/step on me thankfully). Made it back to the barn before it was dark.

I came home a very happy horse mamma tonight. I love getting to go out on trail and while we weren't speedy in the slightest he was enjoying it and forward, not worried about barn buddies or trying to get back to them.  Now I know we can head out alone more!

Post ride

Bonus happy news for a Monday - I had a message this morning that I won the drawing for 6 free Magna Wave sessions for Prophecy with our equine massage therapist Sarah at handshooveshearts  This guy has it made for 2017!

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