|Proof I ride thanks to Jen!|
Before leaving for FL I helped Doug lay the first quarter of the deck planks and upon my return we finished another quarter. Seems to take way longer than we expect it too! 😝 This coming weekend I get to start staining (weather permitting) while Doug & Asher keep moving on installing planks.
|Dogs while we worked the first weekend|
|Even Asher wanted to help screw in planks|
|1st bit complete|
|He keeps getting better about saddling :)|
This week began our crazy camp schedule for Asher combined with Skyler taking swim lessons for 2 weeks after work, which means I get to the barn at 8pm! Kind of nice that isn't as brutally hot then at least...
Monday night I went out and had the intent of either riding in the empty pasture or lunging. I decided when I caught him to do some "dancing" on our way back and it only took one time of him not keeping with me to get it. It engaged his mind a bit as we made our way back across the field. As I started to groom my plans changed and I decided to do hands on body work instead. He really loves his hamstrings worked on and had a few neck and shoulder spots too. I also went after his back some to see if he was sore at all. I kept a close eye and avoided being stepped on as he adjusted this time! (see further explanation below). In following Dee and the SET method I make a very a conscious choice to be aware of his responses/reactions any time we are together. While he greatly enjoyed the body work, once I moved on to fixing the wind knots in his mane and then looking to do a few braids for the heat, he said he was "done" and did not want the braids. It was very clear when he barely moved for 45min, and now was backing himself and blocking me from standing in the right spot to braid that he did not want that. So, instead of forcing a stand still, I let it go. He helped me put his muzzle back on when got into the field and then went off to graze contently while I visited the rest of the herd for a few scratches.
|Skyler working on kicking using a float|
|She was intent on catching minnows after class|
|Prophecy wondering why I've stopped Monday night|
Thursday was another late night. Suzette & I poked and prodded at Prophecy as we discussed some of my thoughts on him, and found a concerning reaction to palpation on the inner hamstring of his right hind, on the back side of the stifle. I've had suspicions of something not being right on the hind as the culprit of his bucking under saddle; the saddle fit checks out good and the head tossing pretty much stopped with a bit that has greater tongue relief. So, I think an exam with a lameness vet is next on our list to make sure his body can handle the demands I will be placing on it for endurance, or if he needs to be an LD horse, or a pleasure horse only. I likely will have him tested (titer count) for Lyme as well to be sure since it is so common now.
We also marveled on how good his weight is looking now... His neck does react to the change in grass so it is something an eye on; he still has some fat pockets, but you can see where ribs are! Not hugely defined, but his body is shaping up nicely again, just needs the long miles to muscle up and get rid of the fat - but first to make sure he is doing it pain free. After we thoroughly annoyed him, I ended up just lunging him a bit in the open pasture. A few discussions on NOT eating the grass and he did his work nicely. I got him into a canter going CW, but not CCW. He sure looked pretty moving, other than the pinned ears. I was hot and sticky after only about 10min out there at 8+ at night so we didn't do much. It was more a mental day and I played with some again dancing - run, stop, back, turn - keep your eyes on me while leading - then back to the pasture he went. I walked off about 10' when he was just standing and the gate and squatted down to watch the rest of the herd. He walked up, placed his muzzled nose on me, on my head, into my back, breathed deep and then started grazing right next to me. A sweet end to the night.
|Trying out some new colors from Two Horse Tack - full review to come!|
"If you are looking for a better relationship with horses then listen more. Strive to understand them more for who they are rather than who we want them to be.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Let the rest go. It’s the opportunity your horse is waiting for. He might need a while to trust it but then he’ll tell you his side of things. It will make perfect sense."