It’s that time of year again---Fall, the time where Eventing recovers from its summer hiatus in full force. We are quite busy at the barn right now, with lots of good things going on. First of all, the bad news is that Pop has been lame for exactly one week now. We diagnosed the problem early on to be soft soles, especially in his right front foot. After playing around with hoof packing and Turpentine for a few days, he came sound on Saturday and we had a good light flat session on the grass. Sunday he was quite lame again…today he got reshod and was lame afterwards. I painted the soles with Sole Paint today (wonderful for taking away the soreness but not so great at hardening the soles) and we’ll see how he is tomorrow. I really, really, really hope we can get this under control soon. Our next horse trials is Rocking Horse the first weekend of November and every day we lose another important day of training. Stay tuned!
Flaggy has found a new home as a children’s jumper. We are SO excited about his new career and the loving new home he’s going to. He leaves tomorrow, and although I’ll miss him very, very much, I know it’s what’s best for him. It’ll definitely be hard to fill his shoes, he was the barn clown and has more personality than most entire barns. Best of luck in your new home handsome man!
Monkee is getting ready for leave in a week (with me!) for Fair Hill.This is a huge deal…the Fair Hill 2* and 3* is one of the biggest events of the fall season in North America. I’ve never been but people who have say it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in terms of the quality of horses and riders and the vending! I’m so excited to go and spend a week up in beautiful Maryland, so close to one of my favorite cities in the WHOLE world (Newark, DE) and getting to see some amazing riding and hopefully score some shopping deals!
Champ has been exploring the world outside of the round pen and doing quite well. Today, after a week off, I for some reason thought it a good idea to take him straight to the trail without longing him or riding him in the round pen first. He’s been so good and willing that I didn’t even think about it until we were on the trail with no brakes and no obedience. He encountered deer, which literally made him shake, and a few scary stumps and trees that got to him today. When he took off (which was well, a lot) I immediately spun him in a circle until he came down to a walk and then we continued on. Let’s just say for the better part of half an hour we were doing circles and walking a few steps and doing more circles. As far as positives, I did get him past all the scary stuff without a fight. And took him through the scary spots several times until he didn’t think anything of it. I also got him to walk most of the way home without trotting. As far as my plan…more roundpen work, especially working on our brakes and turning skills. And I can’t limit him to the roundpen entirely, because the enclosure is like a safety blanket and therefore he tends to forget his skills once in an open area. While I COULD use his paddock to ride in, I almost feel like the trail is a safer choice because it’s lined well with trees and there’s really nowhere for him to go other than forward. Also, the paddock is where he plays and I don’t want him to confuse riding time for playtime. I also noticed today that his ground manners have started lacking again so I need to pay more attention to that.
So…the plan is to try and ride him tomorrow after work, in the roundpen with lots of transitions to halt and working on turning a little bit. Just to refresh his memory. Then we’ll maybe go for a spin around the pond to practice in the open and I plan on being very strict about ground manners and being polite. Then later this week we’ll go back on the trails (AFTER a roundpen session) and see where he’s at mentally. I’m hoping to get my good friend to come ride an older, experienced horse with us so Champ can see there’s nothing to be anxious about. Fingers crossed for that!
Well, tomorrow will be a new day and hopefully Pop will be ready to go and Champers will behave himself! Take care, everyone!