Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11-windhorse

Firstly I want to share the pic of the new windhorse at Ziji, where I work. Stunning, huh? they will be available soon. Our friend AY took this photo over the weekend.

Today it is 11 years since Lissa's passing. She was the best horse ever and I suppose there is nothing any future horse could do to replace or overshadow her. Missing her a lot.

That said, I am thankful (to the universe, to Sara the seller and to my adoring husband) to have a wonderful horse now. Dr. Dave said if I can win Sherlock's trust, it will be a worthwhile thing.

This week still working a lot. I dreamed I set up a jump chute for Sherlock, so the next day even though I didn't have time to ride, I gave him his grain and went to the arena to drag a bunch of poles and small standards to one side.  

Saturday I worked all day helping at the photoshoot for work.  AY took a bunch of super shots and then drove me by the stable before stopping by for dinner. So he got to watch Sherlock eat his grain in the nearly pitch black. Someday I'll get both of them in the same place in decent daylight and then the photos will rock.

Sunday I set up the jump chute and broke half a dozen mints into bits for treats. I led him through over the ground poles both directions, then led through with me outside the chute. Harder, esp. going right. Then took the lead off and drove him through with the lunge whip. No problem, and he came back when he heard the mint wrapper. I put up a low rail at the end, he trotted that and went off to graze the corner of the arena. My plan was to go up to the smallest gate I had, so I put that up, 18 inches maybe. Caught the horse up and drove him through- he jumped the gate like it was 3 feet high!  Came back for mints and tried again, much nicer jump this time, calmer. Stopped on that note. A little hand-grazing while I pulled his mane.

I'm sure now he can see well enough to jump at least small fences that he has seen before at easy distances. That bodes well for show hunter classes. No plans are being changed.
Ragamuffin Sherlock with hay in his hair

Monday, today! I was feeling gloomy and low-energy, trying to fight off some sort of sinus/throat soreness. I worked in the morning on notes and then went out after lunch, as the wind was rising. I was planning on grooming in the barn and doing something indoors, but they were dragging the indoor so I set up my stuff at the round pen. I got Sherlock out- he was excited to see me and trotted with me down the fenceline. I groomed him and cleaned his feet, working a little extra on the hinds, picking them up twice and clunking on them with the handle of the hoof pick and twisting the hoof a little. My farrier M comes Thursday and I want him to be good for her.

He was a bit fussy but the wind was really going. Wanted treats after treatfest at jump chute yesterday. Weight-taped 945#

We did some round pen work/free longe. Sherlock did walk/trot/canter/reverse/whoa, with a few times stopping him from reversing on his own. Good calm canter both ways, then he got excited by the wind and did a good strong canter both ways and a nice big trot. Perfecty sound but for one misstep at the big trot, and recovered right away. Caught his breath twice, tried to remove the drawstring from my hoodie, and did nice turns on forehand and willing turns on the haunches. Gave him his grain with psyllium and CoolCalories in it, and a stop for hand-grazing afterwards while I massaged his hip and back. Didn't notice tension in hip muscle today, and couldn't see it standing out, so maybe that area is settling down.

I am astonished he can't see me when he longes. I do use my voice commands and whip noises and I speed up my feet to speed his up. People don't believe me when I say he can't see. I wouldn't either. He just clearly wants to learn, wants to please, so badly. And he does great. Really great.

Packing List:
sidepull rope halter for freezing days I don't want to use a bit (although the barn is heated so maybe it won't be as bad as ice-cold bits from outdoor tack areas)
scissor snaps for rein changes
vacuum grooming attachments
check to pay farrier
light bulb for tack room

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