Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25- Ride 36, how tall is he?

6/20 I dropped my Western saddle off to get the small repairs/updating it needs and ordered some Western safety stirrups. Was planning to ride but it was windy and Sherlock was very excited in the barn, so I free-lunged him in the round pen instead of risking a fall. I set up a small jump and worked him over it both directions.
What we learned was this: Sherlock only refuses or overjumps when turning left- with his good eye towards the rail. Whether it's an attention problem, a vision issue with the jump appearing faster than he'd like, or a vision issue that he can't see my cues so is uncertain what to do, I can't tell.

After the battle.
6/22 Planned on a 30-minute easy walk to stretch my sore hip and back. Went out to outdoor and mounted up. The gate is still off so it's permanently open. Sherlock was keen to go out again. We walked and trotted around a few minutes then he was fussy at the gate when the other horses went out. So I figured I'd go out, let the others go back to the barn, and practice coming back in. Sherlock had a fit- dancing sideways and threatening to rear if I got him facing towards the gate. So I dismounted, lunged in little circles just a bit, and made him go back in the arena.

Got back on, walked and trotted a bit, came out the gate, asked him to go back in. He had a fit. I was more successful in moving him forward so we walked over towards the paddocks, along the little internal dirt road. He acted up again at a place where the roads met, but we got around there and headed back towards the arena. Again he blew up, I got off and lunged and made him go back into the arena.
 Re-mounted and took a break there. Walked him straight out the gate and turned around to face the gate. He started to get sideways but I just kept this head pointed at the gate and let him stand there when he was straight on. I gave him a light cue to walk every so often but didn't push hard. After about a minute when I leaned forward he sighed and slowly walked into the arena.
The moment his whole body was in the arena I jumped off, lots of praise, scratches on the sweaty itchy neck, loosened the girth, and relaxed a few minutes. M was riding and asked me to take some pictures, and she took one of us. Didn't want to torture his poor brain by getting on again so yet another pic of me on the ground! Hosed him off and fed him his beer grain.
Wow- I'm tired and sore and bruised legs, probably from emergency dismounts.

I'm tall!
6/23 I posted the pic on FB and realized he looked really small, with the photo taken by M from atop her horse! So today I brought a pocket full of carrot slices and hoped to get another picture. I got Carrie to take some in the barn showing how tall he really is, 16 hands exactly. Often people say,"Wow, that's a big horse!" when we arrive in the barn. Partly he looks big because I'm short. But 16 hands is about where people start to say the horse is tall. Anything shorter is a short horse. Anything taller is tall.  Put Sherlock away clean and fly-sprayed with some extra hay.
I was just pulling out when the farrier pulled in. I thought I had time for lunch before she arrived! I turned around and came back- no, I had it written down wrong! She trimmed him in the paddock and he was really really good. I walked him and stretched when one of the backs was done, and he was much less stiff with the final back hoof.

Last 2 days I've been slightly sick with sore stomach again, Tums are a food group. I've just been visiting to feed Sherlock his grain. It's rained in the afternoons but the flies are starting to bite. So today fly mask and fly sheet, all set for the bugs.

Sherlock goes undercover.

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