Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kelsie rides The Biscuit and taking the Brenderup in

Kelsie came out to the barn with me to ride Biscuit.   I groomed him before tacking him up...he was a pig.   She had a great time.  Biscuit was a good boy and didn't give her too much baloney.  Allison then changed his tack to English.  She doesn't like riding my saddle because she said it puts her forward.  Lee Ann P said it puts her forward too.  It did seem Sunday to put me a little more forward but this seems to be a more recent thing for me.  Lee Ann said to talk to the makers and see if it can be adjusted.

Allison rode Biscuit in the arena and he did a pretty good job.  He gave her some flack but basically was a good boy.  She cantered him 3 times.   I recorded the lesson on my little camera.  It is fabulous. 

I took the Brenderup to Duvall's to see what the heck ins up with the lights and Barry's truck for that matter.  I had to leave it overnight but they found the problem - some module out in the car and wires loose in the connector.  It was $120 but the lights work!!!  yay!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Working on Biscuit's riding manners and working on his hooves

Today was Biscuit's day.  I pulled him up to the wash rack and started grooming him.  He is shedding out and hair was flying everywhere.  I curried him first and used Lee Ann P's FURminator on him and pulled out all kinds of hair!  Brushed with stiff brush, soft brush and combed his mane and tail. 

Then I started on his hooves.  I took pictures but left the camera at the barn : (    I used a rasp on all of his hooves pulling down those heels just a little more.  Almost there with the chips/cracks/old abscesses are almost totally gone.  Another month or so I think and it will be gone.  Biscuit was pretty good today while I did his feet.  He got a handful of alfalfa for being such a good boy.

I got out his tack and had the saddle and pad on the saddle post.  The pad flew off and fell in the wet sand. OMG I got it and scrubbed it with wipees to clean the sand off of it.  I tacked Biscuit up and led him into the arena.  I set up my Contour Camera but it didn't record.  Not sure what happened with that but will try again. 

I mounted up and started just walking.  We walked for about 20 minutes round and round.  He wasn't wanting to stop or back up - a repeat of last week.  I put him in a trot and he got strong several times not wanting to collect up or hold his speed but I just kept working with him.  We trotted around and around for an hours.  He was damp with sweat.  H was stopping and backing up better and leg yielding.  He is such a terrific little guy but I would expect him to hold that training even when he isn't ridden weekly.  Sigh...he can be a little hard headed up he doesn't have a mean bone in his body.  I dismounted in the middle of the small arena.  I didn't have his reins but when I took off - he followed right at my shoulder.  We walked out of the arena and he tried to put his head down to graze but his reins were over the horn.  He followed me to the wash rack but I had to get his reins to get him to walk on the rack.

I took his tack off and took him to his paddock where he dropped and rolled - that is why I didn't groom him again.

I am planning on riding again in the morning.  I want to film it so I can watch myself and make corrections as needed.  I will post the pictures of his hooves along with older pictures so I can compare his progress. 

I looked at a video of him last summer - he was huge!!!  He has trimmed up with muscle from all of his riding last year.   I was surprised at how much larger he looked than he does now!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Barefoot Trimming on Sarge and One Year of Doing It Myself!

I needed to do Sarge's hooves.  I went out to the barn and it was a nice sun shiny day.  I drove down to the pasture and Sarge and Biscuit were way out in the paddock.  Both of them walked in though.  Biscuit got there first and I hugged him up.  I put the halter on Sarge and headed for the barn.  I tied him up on the wash rack and gathered up my farrier tools. 

Circular knive - if you don't have one - Get One!!!  They are wonderful.  I sharpened it before I started.

Bellatto Rasp

Hoof Stand

Gloves are a must.  I started out without them like a dummy but quickly got up and got them on.  I cleaned Sarge's hooves and his bars had grown.  His heels were growing like crazy.  I noticed he has a deep cleft in one frog - a frog that looks pretty tattered.  The only one that does.  I will get after that tomorrow.  I will have to go buy some Neosporin and Athlete's Feet Ointment.  Mix a 50/50 mixture and push in with a syringe - then put Desitin on top of that to keep water out. 

I started with the knife and scraped out the powdery stuff, cut down the bars, cleared the channels in the back and trimmed the tip of the frogs just a tiny bit.  I went all around his feet and he gave me some flack but he was better than he has been in the past.  He was a little skittish today but he is always sweet and wanting hugs and kisses. 

After I used the knife, I started with the rasp.  I didn't want to use the nippers.  I rasped down the heels until I had a little arrow shape at the back what I haven't been doing right!!  Lee Ann P helped me with that when I did Biscuit's feet last time.  I rasped and rasped - Sarge pulled his feet back a few times and I just kept hanging on to that hoof!

After I did that I changed the cradle on the hoof stand for the rounded post.  I had Sarge's front hoof way out in front which made the mustang roll pretty easy to do. We took the class one year ago tomorrow I think.  We have come a long way in one year.  It used to take me FOREVER to do their hooves.  It is still not easy but I am getting better at it each and every time I do it.  I am understanding more and more.

Sarge's feet have a wonderful convex shape - I hope to get Biscuit's feet there one day. 

Sarge got a few handful's of alfalfa as a treat.  I then groomed him.  His hair is dry and he has dandruff!!  Ugh...I curried him all over and then brushed him.  He needs lots of grooming.  Some elbow grease from his owner would help.  I cleared out his mane and tail, brushed his face and forelock.  I sprayed him with flyspray.  Lee Ann thought his feet looked pretty good - Yay!!! 

I am going to go buy corn oil for him and get Edgar to give him some in the morning and evening.  I want him to look good this spring. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Raining Raining Raining

We had reservations at Ebenezer Park this past weekend.  I was so looking forward to going riding with Kellie and Randy and all of my peeps.  We had a big pot luck dinner planned.  I was going to make cake balls for everyone...Kent was making his famous red beans and rice. was raining cats and dogs Saturday.  Kellie and I cancelled the trip.

I haven't rode hardly at all this month - either it was too cold and I didn't have a riding buddy or it has been raining or I was sick.  It took 2.5 weeks to shake whatever I had.  I also had a weekend of cakes to do.  Always something but I guess this was Biscuit's vacation.  I think he kinda needed one.

I went out to the barn Saturday in the rain to check on the horses.  I think they thought I had abandoned them.  I hadn't been to the barn since Tuesday...probably the longest I have ever not gone to the barn and been in town!  They were standing near the gate in fetlock deep water.  They came over for hugs and kisses.  I was not having a good day and they always perk me up.  Here is a picture of my boys - their hooves should be nice and soft!!

I took this picture right in front of Biscuit - the water was draining from their paddock through the culvert and flowing up towards the barn.   I thought it was a very cool whirlpool!!!!!

Barry and I went out to see the horses Sunday afternoon.  Biscuit is a dirty mess.  I am sure it is hard to stay clean in the rain!  He needs a bath!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Riding in the arena

I went out to the barn today.  It was around 12:45 or so and it was misting rain.  Biscuit walked up to the barn beside the car like a good boy.  I started grooming him.  He wasn't really dirty though.  He still has his number on his butt and I brushed and brushed it and rubbed it with a wipee trying to get it off.  He was shedding like crazy and blonde hair was flying all over the place.  He seemed to like his face being brushed and his ears!  He was leaning into the brush!  I cleaned his hooves and brushed his mane and tail.  He looked pretty darn spiffy.

Vincent jumped up the wall and scared the snot out of Biscuit.  I heard all of his hooves click hard on the cement when he startled.  I told him to chill out.  I got out his saddle and put his heart monitor on and saddled him up.  He kept moving around after I put the saddle on - going back and forth.  I tried to pull his front legs and he was kinda crouching down like he was going to fold up.  He did that last week at the endurance ride Lee Ann B said.  She thought he was going to lay down.  Gaa!  I asked Lee Ann P to look at him and asked for his leg and he just put out his leg and stretched.  Hahahahaha like he knew Lee Ann would have no sympathy for his balony!

He was acting a little jumpy so I decided to longe him first.  He did fine going to the left...did exactly as I asked.  When I asked him to go to the right he suddenly became a total DUNCE.  He didn't seem to know what I was asking.  He just kept spinning around  and not walking on as asked.  Ugh...I kept at it and Lee Ann finally came and helped me.  She made him go round and round like he was doing with me until he decided that was too hard.  She had to keep at him too.  She said he was just being difficult today.  LOL  Just a little.  I finally took over and got him to walk and trot but he did some of the going round and round in place too.  I couldn't move fast enough to get behind him.  We are going to have to work on our longeing skills more often.

I mounted up and we went round and round at a walk.  He was not wanting to stop when asked.  I really had to pull back.  Got him to trot finally...that was a chore to get him to trot and he was a little strong but I was able to slow him down.  Then he would stop trotting and nothing I did would get him to trot until we went the other way.  Don't know what his deal was today.  I did work on leg yielding across the arena and he did very well on that. 

I took him out of the little arena and down the ranch road to the end of their paddock and back.  He was moving slow but doing what I asked.  I then rode through the little arena and side passed to open the gate to the big arena.  He did ok not great but did move off my leg so I could open the gate.

We went out into the arena and round and round several times.  He wanted to go out at the gate but I just kept going.  I couldn't get him to trot when asked.  OMG what is up with that?  I was kicking and clucking to him like in the little arena, with no avail!  Finally I popped him with the rein popper and he finally trotted.  He would stop coming up the the front of the arena and want to go out.  I kept him down at the end and got him to trot and we made a huge circle down there over and over.  We trotted for about 20 minutes and he would try to stop and I would get after him to go.  He was still hard to stop but by the end of the lesson he was stopping when asked.  Gaaa!!!!  I can tell I haven't rode him much.  I got off in the middle of the arena and walked him to the wash rack.  I took his tack off and rebrushed him.  He was damp with sweat on his forequarters.  I took him back down to his paddock and he rolled in the mud.  Thanks Biscuit - you are a pig.

I am planning to ride tomorrow too, weather permitting.  We have plans to go to Ebenezer this weekend but if it is raining we will cancel.  Bummer!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Allison is going to help!!!

I didn't get out to the barn till late.  I had wanted to ride but I had cake stuff to take care of...I lost my  wallet...had to run back to get it and THANK GOD it was there.  I had left it in the basket at HEB.  It was still there.  Chase is a cart jockey out there and he was helping me look and voila - there it was with all contents in it.  I was so glad!!

When I got to the barn Lee Ann P and Allison were in the big arena with Avery and she had jumps set up.  She took him over them for me!  Woot!!!!  Allison offered to go with me down the ranch road to make sure I don't get scared or Biscuit give me trouble.  I used to ride Red down that way all the time!

Allison has started Nursing School and she will only have Saturday to ride Biscuit but she is off tomorrow so he will be rode tomorrow.  I will go out there if I have the time tomorrow. 

I went down to the paddock to hug up my boys.  They were munching their hay so they weren't that interested in me!!! 

Yesterday, Margaret was here and I sent my cantle bag with the broken zipper with her and she said Ronnie could fix it.  Woot!  That will be wonderful.  They did send me another one and so I will use this one to carry extra stuff when we go trail riding.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trimming Biscuit's Feet and making a plan to improve

I went out and got The Biscuit today.  I debated on whether to ride or to work on hooves.  Hooves won out.  I did groom Biscuit and he is shedding like crazy.  His number is still on his butt but is coming off.  I cleaned out his feet and then got my tools.  I am not pulling those heels down enough.  Lee Ann helped me with that.  I think I have been a little too cautious on pulling down those heels.  I just used the rasp and his yukky spots are just about gone.  I think in 3 weeks they will be gone.  Wow.  It has taken a LONG time. 

He gave me a little flack but not too bad.  Hahaha...Lee Ann said I was too patient.  Probably so!!!! 

Lee Ann and I talked about what to do to overcome my own fears and I am going to start riding down the ranch road and eventually in between the paddocks.  That will get Biscuit accustomed to horses running here and there.  She is planning on riding in the 7IL High Roller.  That is 11 months away.  I am sure I can get myself together by then.  Starting working on it tomorrow!

More Maps for Ebenezer Area

Jackie Love from the Angelina Double Heart horse camping site sent me a map today.  It is on their site so check it out!!! 

She was super nice to visit with and I hope to go stay at the Double Heart as soon as they get restroom/showers.  Since we don't have a LQ we have to stay somewhere that offers those amenities.  I can see the trail we were on when The Lee-Ann's were there.  I made copies for The Lee-Ann's and sent one to Kellie.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I am not tuff enuff to be an Endurance Rider!!!!

The big day was finally here.  I got out to the barn and we loaded stuff in the truck and trailer.  We were going to take coolers of water and Edgar and Jamie said that was not cool.....they took the water tank out of the 3 horse slant and we put it in the 4 horse in the back stall where Biscuit normally rides.  Wow wee worked wonders.  Now we have their own water to take with us.  I had bought a bag of shavings and we put those in the trailer so any poop would be easy to clean up.  I also bought The Biscuit a new hay bag - it is a pretty purple.  I will have to get Sarge a new hay bag, too.  Their old bags are looking kinda ratty.

I went down to Biscuit's pasture and brought him up.  He trotted out really well for me.  Good boy!!!!!  We were finally ready to go and loaded them up.

Our trip to Houston was easy.  We got to the North Trail Head and there were already quiet a few folks there - trailers were everywhere!  We found a nice spot that was higher and had more "gravel" ground and stopped there, but alas, we were asked to move it on over as that was the vet check area.  We moved over some and got to work putting up the panels.  They didn't take long to put together and I had bought some HUGE zip ties at Setzer's Hardware.  I had no idea that there were zip ties that big!!!

We got the horses out and got them in their pens and gave them hay.  Biscuit literally ate hay the entire time we were there.  Legato was reaching through his pen to eat with him.  She kept touching him with her nose - I guess she has forgiven him for kicking the snot out of her in December.

Lee-Ann B arrived not to far behind us.  We went and checked in and got our packets.

We vet checked it - super nice vet from Idaho. Biscuit did fantastic on the vet check. Trotted out like a really good boy. Doc asked me if he always had a heart rate of 36 and I said every time I put the heart monitor on it says 36. He said FANTASTIC. Biscuit went back to eating hay.

We walked around and spoke with Darolyn and with Jaimie.  We looked at the vendor there but was underwhelmed.  My biothane from Taylored Tack is way nicer!  The other stuff looked like it had been rode hard and put up wet. 

We had the ride meeting and at first the ride was as clear as mud. They also said that the grounds were saturated with water and some trails were under water. Oh yay. Vet strongly suggested riding SLOW - that this was NOT the ride to blast off on that suspensory injuries could result from the deep mud. Another storm was coming at 1:00 am.

It rained some during the night and Lee Ann and I were glad it should be a slower ride but Biscuit is not a fan of sloppy conditions. At 5:00 AM it started POURING down rain, lightening and thunder popping everywhere.  Lee Ann and I were debating on what to do....we didn't want to ride in the lightening.  I talked to Kellie and gave her an update. 

The lightening finally slowed down and the jets were taking off again. We were right by the jumbo jet runway. Legato started shaking when she saw the 50 milers go out and she was amping up a little and Lee Ann took her out to walk her around. That is when Biscuit got excited. Oh yay. We tacked up and it is still raining. I was getting a little nervous. I mounted up with Lee-Ann's help (hahaha...we have two Lee Anns - one with a hyphen one without!) The 25 milers had already left so we made it to the starting place and went down the path that was saturated...jets taking off as we went...Legato is doing fine...Biscuit is wanting to bust out and go.

Every time a jet took off he wanted to take off. Some horses came up behind us and Lee Ann got off to let them pass. Legato was doing ok but Biscuit wasn't. Lee Ann grabbed him by his halter and was leading him and he was acting like an idiot. I finally got off. He is going sideways as I am trying to lead him through water, mud, soggy stuff. He is getting more and more cranked up as other horses go by and I am thinking ... not for this sissy girl. We get to the turn and Lee Ann mounts up and am going to walk Biscuit some more. OMG it turned into a RIVER. I was sloshing down a trail that was totally underwater up to my knees sinking in the mud. Biscuit was floundering and every time I thought about getting on he was struggling to stay on his feet. I went about 75 yards in knee deep mud and turned around. I got back to the spotter and was totally out of breath from walking 150 yards in knee deep mud and water. The spotter held Biscuit while he was twirling around neighing like a duffus. He never acts like an idiot. Actually he just wanted to blast off and go. If it had been dry conditions where we could have put him at a stiff trot he'd have been fine and so would I. I took Biscuit back when I caught my breath and he was whinnying, neighing and stomping around with each jet that took off, each horse that came up. The spotter had called for a trailer but I was going to walk back and started out when he yelled and said they were on their way. I got to the road which was close and when they got there my horse was pretty cranked up and refused to get in the trailer - acted like a butt. Finally got him in the trailer and hauled him back to the camp.

Getting him out was another chore - he was pretty excited. The lady that picked me up said this was not a "normal" endurance ride and to not be put off by it. She said this is extreme with the flooding, etc. When I got to our trailer there was a horse in Legato's pen - and it was Legato. Lee Ann said the water got deeper - up past Legato's chest and her belly for probably 3/4 of a mile or more and then a sharp turn onto FM 1960 which is heavy traffic.

She said "not for her" either. She and Lee Ann went to the first vet check to get out stuff and in the mean time, I talked to a bunch of old timers who opted out of the ride because of the conditions. They all said not to let this put us off of riding - that they chose not to ride with the deep mud, etc. Lee Ann came back later and said OMG, one of the road crossings was 6-8 lanes wide, at an underpass, with medians. She said she would have had a heart attack crossing that. All of the trails loop around one of the busiest airports in the US.

Our neighbor, Regina,  finished the ride in 5.5 hours - last year she did it in 2.5 hours. She said it was unbelievable of how hard it was and she was heading out to wrap her geldings legs as she was a little worried about his back legs.

On the way home everything was flooded - where fields were there were just lakes. I was surprised that my horse got so cranked up - he is usually the calm one. He gave me all kinds of flack loading when we left and he loads up normally nice and easy. Lee Ann was behind him urging him to get in.

Sigh....I was looking forward to this for so long but I am not going to do anything to set myself back to where I was 3 years ago. I have worked hard to get my confidence back and obviously, still have work to do on it. Or maybe I just need to stay a trail rider!! I did tell the lady that picked me up that it was my first time and she said this was not a good one for that!!

So, wish I could have reported a better outcome but all in all, I actually rode maybe 1 mile. Walked a mile, drove a mile. LOL I don't think any of that counts!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

So excited about our ride!!!

Lee Ann P and I are excited, nervous and scared witless.  The weather is supposed to be NASTY - raining on Saturday.  Gaaaa!!!!  The ride starts at 8:00 AM.  It is supposed to be storming then.  We will see.  I don't mind riding in the rain - but riding 25 miles wet won't be fun.  I did go an purchase Frogg Toggs - they are way too big - better too big than too small though.

It isn't supposed to be cold so I am planning on wearing my Cuddl Duds shirt with my Magellan shirt over that and then my Frogg Toggs.  May wear a long rain coat if it is, in fact, storming.  I did go and buy Biscuit a new hay bag - it is purple of course. 

I went to the barn and attached the pommel and cantle bag to my saddle.  I washed my hoof boots and packed my saddle in the trailer, my grooming stuff and bridle.  I borrowed Lee-Ann B's sponge and used my other closed rein as the leash for it.  So if I need another rein I will have one with me doing double duty. 

i am going to sleep on the cot instead of the air mattress.  It will be easier to set up/take down when we are ready to come home.  I imagine we will be pretty tired. 

I will really be pushing myself to complete this ride.  I have never rode 25 miles at one time - the most was 17 miles in one day.  We have 6 hours to complete the ride.  I have my Garmin and cameras ready to go. 

Lee Ann and I plan on leaving around 10:30 and driving to Houston.  We will set up our pens hopefully, without it raining.  If it starts storming with lightening, we are going to put the horses in the trailer with their hay bags.  Biscuit will be just fine with that.  Give him some hay and he is happy.  We will saddle them up and let the other riders leave and then mount up and go.  Can't wait to see the trails at the ride meeting.  I have waited 3 years for this - I hope I am ready.