Monday, March 4, 2013

The Snow Goes Crash!

All horses are well, and we've been having fun.  Dawn and I had another excellent ride on Saturday morning, with more bounding canter, this time on large circles.  It felt very good, and she was easily able to sustain the canter until I asked her to transition down to trot.  We also did some very nice lateral work - leg yield and shoulder in.

The boys get Saturday afternoons off for my music lessons and Dawn gets Sunday morning off for church, so it was Sunday afternoon before I was back in the saddle again - seemed like a long time to me! I rode both Red and Pie and they both did very well.

Red coped very well with a variety of distractions.  He wanted to canter for his warm up after our walking, so he may have been a bit stiff.  But his trot work was very good, so he seems to have warmed up well.  At one point there were four horses in our small ring - two beginners and another rider.  Red and I were taking a brief rest break standing in the center of the ring.  All of a sudden there was an enormous crash from behind us - a large section of snow and ice had come off the arena roof!  Red leapt forward, but stopped at my ask within a few steps.  I think he was more startled by the antics of the horses behind him than by the crash - the two beginner horses were behind him and one of the riders had come off - she was OK.  We went right back to work and he was just fine - I praised him as a brave, fine horse.  Later, two horses were being lunged - this time with consideration for those of us riding - horses under control and allowing adequate room on the rail for riders to pass.  One of the lungers had a lunge whip - Red was giving it the hairy eyeball, but the lunger was only trailing it behind his horse, not snapping it.  It was a great way for him to start to learn that lunge whips aren't a threat to him anymore.  Every time we got near it, his ears were at right angles - the outside one upright and the inner one way over to keep an ear and eye on the whip.  But he kept right on working - I told him again how brave he was.

Pie and I also had a good ride.  We worked more on our canter.  I had him start on a loose rein while cantering, and then started some softening work.  He did quite well, although his tendency is still to "dive" down with his head and neck - it may be that that's what he needs to do right now to balance - it's similar to what Dawn did in the early days of her softening work.

There was a small crack in one of the arena doors to the west, and the setting sun was shining through, making a stripe on the arena floor all the way to the other wall, with a big bright place on the wall.  Pie was quite snorty about this, and it took a while for him to relax when crossing by the bright areas.  It may be that he has some residual eye damage from the Lyme disease - one of the other horses at our barn who had chronic Lyme has permanent damage to one optic nerve from Lyme - and I might have the specialist eye doctor take a look at him when they're out to recheck the other horse.  Visual issues are common in horses with Lyme, and Pie's unusual visual spookiness arrived about the same time as when we think he developed Lyme - in the spring of 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Red! That is a tremendous accomplishment to have him settle so quickly after that crash! Speaks volumes of all the work you've done.

    Interesting about Pie and his eyes. Hope all is well, but it might explain a lot. And once again, good for Dawn. That canter sounds super!

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