Sunday, October 10, 2010

News, news, news!

Long time - no post.

For quite a while it's seemed as if I was re-playing the same non-news every weekend. With no horse time during the week, I was just drifting along. What does that mean?

Time to make some changes! Which means I finally have news.

NEWS 1) First change? I'm going to be taking some lessons. We asked around earlier this summer to locate a good instructor for M to take some lessons and heard nothing but good things about one trainer in particular. We stopped in, checked it out, the place and the horses looked good. M liked him, and I like him, as well, and he started going pretty regularly. Which meant he was riding, but I still wasn't.

So... for my birthday last month T got ME a lesson :) - but more about that in a minute.

NEWS 2) We'd also decided the time had finally come to get Amyra started. Unfortunately the trainer that started Sunny for me is no longer taking outside horses. But the trainer at the lesson place is - he works primarily with Arabs, does both western and English, and is willing to work with T and Amyra both. He also offered the use of his (heated!) indoor arena this winter if we want to ride so that Amyra keeps getting worked.

All good, right?

Well, we were supposed to take her over yesterday and. And of course, 5 minutes before we walk out the door the phone rings. It's the farm owner - can we come out right away? Amyra has a really nasty gash in her side.

Gory pictures!

Yep, sure 'nuf. Clear down into the meat. Definitely fresh.

And not something we wanted to leave open. After a good flushing with cold water and some betadine we loaded her and Sunny up and headed for the vet.

Drugs are good!
Cleaned, flushed and shaved
Tubing to provide drainage and support for the stiches

The horizontal tubing provides support and keeps the
skin from puckering and scarring.
All but done - silver spray over the top of that, and she was just waking up.

After an hour or more at the vet, it was back in the trailer and over to the trainer's. She won't be staying for the time being, but we figured show and tell would be worth more than a s0-sorry phone call. And I still had that lesson scheduled...

Amyra and T hung out along the rail while I had my lesson.

T took some video - not gory, but not so pretty, either!

The first thing to go, 5 minutes into the lesson was the bitless bridle - swapped for a slow twist snaffle. Which definitely got Sunny's attention. He actually did really well with it, and I'm going to switch back to a snaffle for regular riding. E checked his teeth, said they don't look bad, but he'll let me know when his equine dentist comes next and I can get him floated.

We did lots of small circles working on bending, counter-flexing, a bit of half-passing, some transition work, moving shoulders and hips independently... Some really ugly sprawled out, awful canter work, which was more my fault than Sunny's.

Sunny's lazy. The head flipping and hollow are avoidance. In working to NOT get a hot Arab, I've by-passed control and encouraged Sunny's lazy streak. While I have instilled quiet and calm, I've also created a horse that needs to be pushed.

Which isn't news to me, and isn't awful - actually, I'd rather have one I need to push. But I do need to fix it. And hopefully now I'll be getting the tools to deal with that effectively.

As far as me? You can see how collapsed my shoulders are, and that's only the beginning if what I need to work on as far a position... Anyway, it was a VERY good lesson, I left with lots to work on, and lots to think about. Aside from the laziness, E had some nice comments about Sunny - he liked his attitude (other than the lazy moments) and how he's put together.

I'm going to alternate lessons on Sunny (for Sunny) and lessons on one of his horses (for me!) - which means I'll be riding!


Anonymous said...

Ugly wound - nice that you were able to get it fixed up right away.

And good news about lessons!

Don't assume that head-flipping is just avoidance by the horse - it can be due to dental issues or most frequently by what we do with our hands - if we don't keep our hands still the horse can't figure out what we want and becomes frustrated. This is a lesson I had to learn personally - I assumed the same thing and it was me, not the horse.

SunnySD said...

Thanks, Kate - point well taken, and I'm definitely not ruling myself out as part of the problem.

I'm working on the flipping/hollow from a couple of angles. I've had his teeth checked, and he'll be getting floated as soon as the equine dentist comes back through. I initially switched to the bitless bridle thinking that might help - it did to an extent, but I think mostly because I'm riding with more leg and less contact. I still really like it for long trail rides.

For my end, I'm hoping the lessons will help clarify my cues and make for clearer communication. If I'm the problem I definitely want to correct it - if it's something physical with him, then we'll hopefully get that figured out, too. :)