The Batthorse is BACK!

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Red ears!

After not having ridden in 3 weeks, the drought ended Friday. And then the storms came. 4 rides in 3 days? Who am I?

My weekly lessons on Ranger started back up Friday night (thanks to horrific weather and flooding on Thursday) but I’ll save that recap for it’s own post. Still unpacking a lot from that lesson.

Saturday, however, introduced a different ride.

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I’m a little confused. Why is a piece of copper in my mouth? Retired here! — Batt

After nearly a year off, Batt returned to work. My trailer still needs brakes and I’m still trying to figure out if he needs medication pre-ride but I’d rather experiment at home vs out on the trail or when hauling out. And to be honest? I’m still not sure. He coughed some, but not at the walk and really not at the canter. Mostly at the trot and mostly when he was winded or annoyed. Verdict still out.

Coughing above but then downhill 2 seconds later…

I’m assuming he’s resigned to his fate? Or trotting downhill as to the right…

However, cantering was a bit more exciting… a quick “attempt” to “buck” me off was the only fireworks in 2 days (videos are from Sunday’s ride, but he did the same thing on Saturday). Fat quarter horses can’t buck.

Much better. We need to work on straight but…

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So out of shape! We did next to nothing Saturday… 

Right now, I think he needs endurance more than anything. He’s still on steroids and I’m planning to try Respi Free and possible Air Power. But, he’s 100000% fat and out of shape… The heavy breathing I believe is more endurance than heaves.

We mostly walked with some trot laps and a few canter sets to make him happy. And took a cool down walk through the neighboring development to make him happy — he stared longingly at all the driveways he couldn’t explore and shuffled his feet. And in the end was soaked in sweat. Getting back in to shape is hard!

It’s even harder when your MEAN MOM makes you work 2 days in a row…

 

 

Insanity.

Not much to update on or rather not much I’m choosing to update on. Drama in my life right now is pulling all my emotional energy.

But, Batt is chugging along. My car (last Tuesday’s drama involved a failed inspection thanks to a rodent chewing through a fuel line[unexpected] AND new brakes[expected]) is back to being alive. I still need new trailer tires and now that Batt is sort of breathing, I want to start riding again. (Trainer is showing with clients so no lessons last week and this week)

But, since I don’t feel like updating on anything else, here’s a short little video of my idiot horse. Saturday afternoon we had a crazy storm. The humidity dropped. Then another storm was rolling in. Bugs got really bad and the humidity increased dramatically in about 20 minutes. Subi wanted in NOW. This is how we respond to having to wait for evening chores to be finished…

Idiot.

Ranger Recap: flat work.

My lesson this past week moved to Sunday and unintentionally turned into a flat work lesson. This isn’t actually a bad thing, but I convinced my husband to come, watch, and video over fences and we don’t jump. Of course. Seriously? Lol.

We also ended up inside due to an unexpected rain storm…

The extra flat work came about because Ranger was completely ignoring my inside (left) leg. Part of the issue is he’s ridden by mostly kids who he packs around and gets no instruction from. As a result, he doesn’t have to do anything. So, if he isn’t straight? Who cares. If his nose is turned out to the outside of the ring? It’s fine because he’s not really running off with the beginners. And, riding in the evenings, I’m also getting my trainer at the end of the day and we’re not working as hard on the technical “stuff” either.

So, yesterday morning when he was completely blowing off my leg? We got down to business. Part of this is partly unfair when he’s never asked to do this stuff, but he’s also not being asked by anyone else anything else that he’s ignoring so… He also has training in this so he does KNOW how to properly carry himself, but won’t do it if he’s not made to.

We basically spent 20 minutes trotting around working on a slow trot adding inside leg and informing Ranger that when I add ONE leg, the correct response is to move over NOT to speed up. It took a LONG time (hence 20 minutes of circles and bending) but we got there. It took actual kicks but eventually we got there.

Then we did the same thing at the canter, working at an upright canter, coming from his hind end vs long and low from his front end. Some point my husband must have realized this “boring” lesson (I was enjoying myself) should be recorded so he started videoing the canter stuff. I struggled some here but we got it at parts. I was struggling with the shortness of the reins and holding him up to get him on his hind end.

Also struggled with body position and tilting forward…

Adding in a pole and struggling with new way of riding…

Finally we added in a single fence, jumping it both ways (my husband however failed to record 3 of the 4 attempts… why, I don’t know… I can’t take him anywhere!). Coming up it, the first time, around the corner at the far end of the ring, Ranger wanted to duck, run, and get heavy. While I was able to get him back into a nicer canter, I lost all steering coming up the short turn to our fence and it just wasn’t the prettiest (I kind of failed to collect him (the point of the exercise) or look at the jump. At least we made it over. Second attempt was good though the duck, drop, and run at the beginning still existed.

For the long ride, first fence was nice in terms of the jump except I failed to actually do the exercise and shorten his stride and get him on his hind end… Oops. Next attempt? See video for disaster?

The problem was, I added hand, there was NOTHING there. Nothing was coming from his hind end at all. I added leg, and the only power I could get was up front. We called it a day as he was pretty much just spent at that point and had nothing left. The rain stopped and he and I went on a short walk before my husband fed him all the cookies.

I’m off to conferences starting tomorrow so we’ll see if I get any updates for the next week or so…

Ranger Recap: getting back into the swing of things

I took the week off of work and a side bonus was I was able to move my evening lesson to Thursday morning. It was a gorgeous day. Sun, light breeze, and relatively warm (well, it would be, it was still in the 40s when I rode). Regardless, it’s SO NICE to ride when you’re not stressing about work!

We warmed up on the flat and my legs were not cooperating. Ranger was sleepy so I was finding other methods to get him going. Like using my shoulders to post. Needless to say, this was NOT successful. Eventually though, I figured out how to ride, but the shoulder thing came back to haunt me here and there.

Over fences, we started on a circle over the jump on the end, working on pace and distance. It is SO NICE to ride when Ranger hasn’t been ridden yet. Typically he just does a beginner lesson, but still. He is SO MUCH more responsive. Anyway, the fences were easy and we hit our spots nicely.

Next, we started over a few mini courses. Basically, down our outside single (away from the road), up the inside line, and down the outside line. The outside to the inside were fine, perfect even. The trick with the inside was to maintain pace as we were passing the gate and the lines were forward moving. The outside line was…less great as I didn’t have a straight line to the in and took a long spot, but the out was nice. On reapproach, the course was good.

We did a few more courses, ended with our outside single towards the road around to the straw bales, the inside line, outside line, and inside plain straw bales.  The first time we did the course it was pretty nice except we didn’t maintain a consistent pace. We got a little quick heading to the first inside single (straw bales) though for the most part it was decent.

Being the idiot that I was, I decided to attempt the course again, and have video proof of my worst course of the day. Ranger was tired. I was tired. And well… We ran into traffic heading to the first jump because the only horse in the ring didn’t realize we were heading towards the fence and then I wasted lots of energy circling. By that point, Ranger was dead and… Yeah. But at least there is media? And pretty boots?

Sorry Ranger…

Freaks.

I have the big guys in the round pen this morning waiting for Subi’s 11:30 vet appointment. I thought this would be an easy solution. But, no, they’re freaks. They’re lunatics. They’re idiots. They’ve never seen the round pen before.

But, since I need sedation to get them moved, they’ll stay there until I transfer them to their stalls and Subi gets drugged. Idiot boys.

Collective age? 40.

Really?

Grow up.

Update tomorrow post vet regarding his eyes. He’s also getting his teeth done so I’m going to enjoy the sedative…

You crazy lunatics! Why are you spooking?!?!?!?!?!

Preparing for turn in and turn out lately has been… interesting. Subi is either really good or really… not good and on edge. I’m sure part of it is that he needs a job and being in a stall for half the night isn’t helping. So, he’s either on his best behavior or he rears. I’m prepared for both.

This morning he was pretty good walking down to the field. Until we got close and then… explosion. What made this different was there was a chain reaction. Usually Subi explode and I can get his attention and Batt ignores us. Except this time Batt exploded too. My husband was a little shocked by the calm, fat appendix thing at the end of his lead rope exploding in the air with all four feet off the ground (this is impressive). I focused on Subi while Erik got Batty in the field. Except, once in the field, Batt started rolling and bucking and acting stupid while Subi tried to be good while almost exploding again. I could feel the power keg in my hand and we had one mini explosion as we walked to the gate and while he wasn’t listening, he was trying. Once his halter was off (stupid rope halter…), the fireworks started…

FYI Jiminy had NO IDEA what was going on (he only reacted when the big guys got too close to him and to join the fun)…

Watch with sound…

I’m hoping everyone will be alive and INSIDE THE FIELD when I get home. They were picking at Subi’s leftover mash when I left for work so I assume that was enough of a distraction… Jiminy was VERY disappointed that the boys calmed down enough to help pick at food as he thought the bucket was 100% his…

Virtual Barn Tour

The barn project hit some snags, but on Friday, they were FINALLY able to finish the set up! My foundation people are scheduled to come back on Wednesday to fix the footing at add more screenings/stone dust (4-5 inches in the stall and basically fix the run in area which will be Jiminy’s stall plus add whatever they have left to the outside area of the the barn). Basically, MUD (it should be a 4 letter word) and RAIN (the really 4 letter word) have killed us.

But, bright and early Friday morning, the crew showed up and 5 (!) hours later, my barn set up was complete!

And your 3 part walking tour.

The barn has experienced its first snow as well and looks gorgeous!

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Hopefully all will go well for footing this week! I really don’t want to postpone! There’s a possibility for an actually storm next weekend (anywhere from 2-15″) so I’d like to get everything set up before then! I could make the stalls work as is if absolutely necessary, but the run in… It’s not usable until the ground is fixed… It’ll be close to 40 on Wednesday so HOPEFULLY they can do something…

Fair Hill Recap (Part 1 of 60000)

Another Fair Hill is in the books! My goal this year was to attend everything. Soak up as much as I could and volunteer as much as I could and just be there.  I haven’t started editing pictures, but here are a few to get started…

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And I sort of accomplished that and sort of failed.

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Much of my volunteer work came before the event with pre-event set up. I was out bright and early Saturday a week ago helping decorate the venue. Moving mums, driving around in gators, watering mums, breaking water tanks in the stabling area (oh, wait, never mind) until the water guy showed us how to work the damn tank, stacking straw cut side up and then, 20 MINUTES LATER, arranging straw (SO WHY DID IT MATTER HOW WE STACKED THE DAMN STRAW), moving chairs, etc. img_2313-1

Sunday was dressage ring set up. I said last year I wouldn’t do this again so of course I signed up to help and once again I’m OCD enough to be volunteered to make the courts straight… there were two of us left making everything straight after the bulk of the group left because it appeared it was out talent… Oi. Wednesday was merchandise set up and my OCD took over again as I was volunteered to put everything in size order… Is anyone seeing a pattern?

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Charlotte Collier & Clifford M (3*)

What I missed was the jogs. I was originally going to volunteer for the jogs, chickened out, then when I went back, the slots were filled. Friday, was Young Event Horse Jumping and jump crew– the best volunteer position EVER. I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on the judges and learn SO MUCH about what they were looking for. And, accidentally voiced my opinion and cast my vote for the safe harbor winner… Can someone PLEASE buy me this horse? I can’t wait to volunteer for YEH next year too. Learned so much!

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Celtic King and Charlotte Collier

2*/3* cross county on Saturday was incredible with the exception of a super scary fall in the 2*. I didn’t see the fall, but heard it. Horse was down for a very, VERY long time, brought out the curtains and everything. He trotted the fence before hand and… Despite that, horse and rider were OK.

The rest of the day was a lot of fun and the course was challenging.

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V3 Red Thirty Six and Campbell Jourdian (YEH 4 year old)

Sunday was windy and blustery. In the 2*, jumps were blowing over and Master Frisky was held up mid course so that the jump crew could re-assemble a fence that fell over completely. Despite that, he went double clear. Boyd and On Cue went double clear to win when a plank was almost flying into them. In the 3*, 8 in a row went double clear towards the end before the final riders started to have trouble. Then Frankie Thieriot Stutes put in an incredible double clear to win. All in all, another incredible Fair Hill in the books!

 

Dog Days of Summer

Warning, this is a media heavy post…

 

We’re in the middle of a heat wave on the east coast and what better way to to cool off than with swimming and baths?

This is mostly true and 4 of my 5 outdoor or indoor/outdoor animals have appreciated my efforts to help keep them cool. The dogs have spent most of their outdoor time in the pool (we joke we have the pool for them).

And on Sunday I braved the scalding sun and 95* temps to give the big kids baths.

Batty was mostly tolerant.

 

I mean, he’d have appreciated the bath MORE had I not washed his face (face washing = no grazing ) but whatever.

He was gross. I need to wash his tail but that’s another days project. FYI the Rambo SPACE ALIEN MASK still has stayed on. BEST. FLY. MASK. EVER.

While Batty was drying off, Marble took a brief dip in the pool (better the pool than my water trough… her pool when the real pool is off limits…)

I’m pretty sure I skipped giving Subi an actual shampoo bath last year…

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Terrible mother that I am. But he was very appreciative. I skipped washing his face because was being perfect and I didn’t want to stress him.

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Kindest old man in all the land

I could tell his stifle was bothering him based on how he was standing. But, he ran around a bit before and after his bath so… Ugh. Going to keep watching and chat with the vet later. Might be time to try something beyond MSM, but he’s so damn picky… one wrong thing and he’s off his feed 100%. But he’s fat and happy and looking good for a muscle-less retiree.

 

Then there’s this little punk ass.

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Don’t let this face fool you…

Don’t let his face fool you.

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So. Much. Anger. Anger Eating is a sport…

Jiminy does NOT like water.

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Focus on the ears.

Jiminy HATES water.

Jiminy thinks water = DEATH.

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So much anger!

Baths are my way of slowly trying to murder him.

We both made it out alive, but post bath? It was necessary to wipe ALL WATER from his body.

I could have kept him grazing until he dried, but I was hot, lazy, hot, annoyed with him, hot, and didn’t feel like getting his grazing muzzle because he’s fat and didn’t need that much more grass (I let him graze until I was dead). So into the paddock he went.

Let the drama ensue.

Unfortunately, Subi had to join in, though thankfully only for a brief canter and twist.

Jiminy is a punk ass child who had a “mild” temper tantrum. Water is deadly dontcha know?

 

Ranger Recap: Lightning, thunder, and rainbows, Oh my!

We had some really gorgeous weather this week which was spent tending to Batt’s abscess. Exciting, right? As of this morning, it’s still there. I have a message into my farrier so hopefully I’ll be able to get him out. But, we’ll see. We have days he look better and then, nope, right back at square one. All of this makes me think it starts to drain and then closes back up. This morning I pulled off his wrap (meant to do it last night, but lightning storm) and didn’t see anything and when squirting iodine on his hoof, I got a reaction (major reaction) on his heel (and found a soft spot there too). Then I started prodding his heel like any good mother. More reaction. More iodine in squirting on his heel, more reaction. More prodding. So, I’m assuming the abscess is coming out his heel? At least it explains all the toe walking and why turns are the hardest thing ever. But, with all my prodding, I will win Mother of the Year. I’ll deal with it more when I get home.

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Lovely scar tissue hoof… this is what happens when you rip off 3/4 of your hoof as a 2 year old… It looks ugly but when he doesn’t have an abscess, he’s sound on it. Moreso than when we tried to make it look good. Lots and lots of scar tissue…

I also turned him out for a while the other day with his soak bag because I was lazy and had other stuff to do. Jiminy tried to eat the bag. Again, Mother. Of. The. Year.

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Can you spot the teeth marks?

But, enough about Batt, on to Ranger!

Ranger was NOT HAPPY TO SEE ME AT ALL.

He lost his BFF Elliot. Elliot now goes out with Coffee, rodeo horse turned princess (trainer’s husband’s new rodeo horse who was NOT happy to be out in the storm last night because he’s a princess now). Ranger is out with Mikey and Forrest now. He’s just as obsessed with his BFFs so who cares? Anyway, his friends were outside, he had already had a lesson earlier in the day, and I was there to make him work again rather than just give him carrots? What the hell man?

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Former BFF Elliot

So, we were poorly behaved in the cross ties. Normally poor cross tie behavior waits until post ride. Not today. Ugh. And it was looking ominous outside. Double ugh.

So we finally made it outside and watched the last course of the pony ahead of us. Then we proceeded to truck around the ring like crazy people at the trot. Thankfully after one circuit, Ranger came to his senses and decided to listen to me and returned to a normal trot. Meanwhile the sky became more ugly. We added in the circles and it’s finally clicked that if I add inside leg FIRST then we don’t fall in AT ALL when we circle. Anyway, our circles were lovely and balanced, regardless of size and impressed my trainer. Yay!

We walked and then, being warned that the storm was imminent, picked up the canter. I think we may have only cantered one direction… We cantered around, circled some, and then added in this “tiny pile of poles resembling a cross rail” and continued doing that landing right lead about 4 or 5 times before asking to land left. Which we actually did successfully. However, after landing left, I actually died and needed a break. So we walked.

Highlight of my week? I finally have a utility sink. And a crazy complicated feed program…

We next cantered over the log jump around around to the outside line that I love. I could NOT for the life of me see the spot to the log. We added and I jumped ahead because ???

Next, we did our white oxer and were to do the inside broken line around to the outside line. Except I turned back to the log because I can’t follow directions. And I didn’t even jump the log well and chipped it.

So we started again. And talked about how when I have the longest stride possible, it’s hard to adjust. So instead, I collected my reins and his stride and actually rode and followed directions. And you know what? It was better! Shocking! We landed on all our leads and hit our spots and everything was nice. We were a little forward landing from the in of the broken line and I had to collect a bit after stride 2, rather than sitting for stride 1 and 2, but the line worked out well. I also needed to woah a bit for the outside line, but again, I adore the line and it worked out perfectly.

We took a minute to catch our breath (OMG humidity) and managed to get one last coarse in (thunder was rolling in). This time, we rode conservatively to prove we could. If we’re more forward, we can land the lead, but the conservative ride, nope. So we missed every. single. lead. Ha. But, he was a good boy and did everything I asked. We got in the barn and the skies opened up.

And the lightning started.

And we waited.

And waited.

For 30 freaking minutes until I felt safe enough to turn him out. So much lightning. And rain. OMG.

Ranger had a melt down. While all the horses were melting outside because… rain. Ranger was melting down, because, OMG no friends inside with him and he needed to be OUTSIDE OMG NOW.

Idiot.

On my way out, I came across the most incredible rainbow.

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Most amazing rainbow. And a random stranger’s house. 

And then another storm.