Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Horses Loose, (*a second*) First Ride, and more

The afternoon didn't start so well.  I was planning on stopping by Legacy and picking up the endurance stirrups with the graduation money my Papa Baque sent me as well as talking to the vet about Flash's ticks (and ear thingy) and stopping by the bank, but I got a call at work about a half hour before I was going to be off that all the horses were out!  My dad was busy managing things, so I guess he didn't hear me when I asked over and over "is someone going to get the horses?!"  I knew the neighbors were out there, but didn't think they really knew what they were doing.  Jill was out of town.  And my dad was busy - all he said was "don't worry about it" and I had no idea what that was supposed to mean and didn't know if anyone who knew anything about horses was going to get them!  Especially since I don't know Snickers well enough to trust him not to get spooked or into too much trouble.  So of course I panicked because I'm a half hour from there.  I left immediately and pretty much hoped all the way there that nothing happened in the next half hour.  I think I seriously ticked some lady off for tailgating - she was upset about something at least but oh well, I was a woman on a mission to save my babies!  When I got there my dad had gotten them back in the pasture, which was both a relief and extremely frustrating because I'd spent all that time worried about them but I would have been fine and even finished my stuff at work if I'd known he was out there with him.  Gah.

Anyway, so after that, the afternoon actually went pretty well.  Snickers started whinneying for me when he saw me tying up my family's horses (we really don't want them together and getting into a fight, especially now that Snickers is head of the herd at Jill's now).  I went and grabbed him with the halter Barb gave me - poor Flash was the first one up to me and seemed so confused that I wasn't there for him! :(  I'll have to make sure I still work with him plenty, of course.  I felt so bad!  But Snickers came right up as well and let me catch him, and off we went!  He was very energetic and alert, but he never really spooked, even on the road.  Actually, the walk back was tougher because he kept getting ahead of me and paying attention to everything but me haha.  Oh well, we managed without any real issues.  He did make me feel tiny - 15.1 hands is by no means small, but it was really how high he holds that head!  I felt short.  I like that though - I've got a big boy :)

I stuck him in the round pen and lunged him a bit.  I think even my dad was impressed by how well he stopped when I said woah.  Maybe it's because it's a small round pen or maybe Snickers is just getting used to me and being ridden and worked, but I really didn't lunge him that long before I was ready to climb on.  I was able to rig up the camcorder on two of our barrels stacked on top of each other, so I was even able to film it!  I saddled Snickers up (I used Melinda's, my sister, western saddle because it was right there, I'm going to sell mine anyway, and hers is nicer and moves better with less squeakiness), lunged him around the arena both ways a couple times, tightened the cinch up, and then on went the bridle!  No issues at all with the bridle except that it was too big haha.  I used one of my dad's that we use for his horses.  I think the bit was too big, too, but it wasn't bad enough not to ride in it and I'll use Flash's 4 3/4 one next time to see if it fits better.  I tightened it up and then hopped on!

He was so calm and gentle at the walk, and then at the trot.  He picked up right about where we left off last time with the nice slow trot and head on the ground.  I was able to find a good length to hold the reigns at with one hand so he had room to carry his head low as well as lift it up.  I don't really care where he carries his head as long as he's calm (plus he looks pretty when he lifts it up!), but what was nice is he'd stay at his nice slow trot even when his head popped up and the reigns were drooping off his face.   Good boy!  Now all I gotta do is teach him to neck reign.  It seems like he's starting to pick it up, but once he's got that, I think he'll definitely be my favorite horse I've ever ridden.  He's excellent and everything I could ask for in a horse!  I just gotta get my seat so we can work on faster trots for endurance haha.  We're going to have a lot of fun together :)

After that, I decided to give him a break.  I thought I might go for a second ride in a bit before I had to put him away, but that didn't end up happening.  I called Legacy to see if they still had the stirrups I needed, and Shelley put them under the counter for me to pick up this evening.  Then I called Doc Woodington about Flash's ticks, and he had me bring the wonderful "Jar of Things I Pull Off of Flash" over.  He was surprised, but confirmed, sure enough, those were ticks.  Deer ticks to be exact - I was a little worried, but he said lime disease is rare here.  He sent me off with some Ivermectrin wormer (Flash is due for a worming anyway - I think I even saw him rubbing today) for him and Snickers (I didn't know when Snickers was last wormed, so I figured I'd grab some just in case.  Turns out it was November, so I'll probably go ahead and worm him this month).  He also recommended to get some shampoo with Permethrin in it and give Flash a bath to kill any ticks the Ivermectrin doesn't, such as those that aren't currently sucking.  He took a look at the pictures I have of the thing in Flash's ear and said it's just a wart and it'll go away.  He seemed pretty certain, and that made me feel better that I don't have to worry about it :)  (There was also one of those strange growths he had when I got him and they all went away - he said those were probably just warts and that's what it looked like - and I discovered the other day that the scab growth thing on the back of his back right fetlock was just one of those cartilage things that all the horses have on every fetlock - it now looks like the other three.  Yay for no health issues!)  I went back and took Snickers back to Jill's, then grabbed Flash.  I felt bad because Flash was so excited I was working with him it seemed and started giving me his pose to earn treats.  In all fairness, I did bring the clicker, but just to make sure the worming went easy.  I had to bring him out in the yard because Snickers wouldn't leave us alone (they both think I belong to just them! I feel like I'm cheating on one when I'm with the other :S).  I don't think I even needed to do the clicker stuff with Flash he took it so well, but I kinda wanted an excuse to give him some grain anyway.  He swallowed it all really well and so hopefully these ticks go away quick!

By that time, I had to give lessons.  After those, I went back and fed the three of them and gave Snickers some peppermint cookies.  It was 5:30 by the time I left, and Legacy closes at 6, so I was in a hurry!  I barely made it at 5:58, but the stirrups were right there ready for me!  I almost choked when I mentioned the saddle I got was the one they had for $75 and the lady said, "and now you've got $90 stirrups for it!"  I was thinking somewhere closer to $70, but oh well - I'm not mentioning how much they cost to Trevor since my gift from Papa Baque was $50 lol.  They're pretty important.  After that, I went to D&B for the Permethrin (Legacy only had a dog shampoo, but I had a good conversation with a guy ad D&B and he had exactly what I needed).  I checked out the tack options they had there (nothing great for endurance though and no one like Shelly who can really help me get the best stuff for endurance) and then found someone to help me get the Permethrin.  Turns out the guy I found was actually the one I talked to on the phone!  He helped me get the right stuff as well as a sprayer to mix it and spray it with.  I also asked him about endurance stirrups just in case I'd missed him, and he showed me the few (non-endurance) stirrups I'd already seen.  However, he did mention that his aunt did endurance and said she hated her regular stirrups and the special endurance stirrups made all the difference.  I guess I can feel a little better about spending that much.  Plus they're metal and not nylon, accounting for the extra cost (which also included tax).  I also picked up a salt block for my babies and chose the one with all the minerals and stuff in them.  I don't know if they really needed that one, but I figured for $2 I'd get them the one that definitely had what they might need in it.

Well, I guess that's it for today!  I'm excited to put another ride on Snickers tomorrow and get rid of Flash's ticks!  With how little Snickers is spooking, we may just go out on the trails soon ish.  I was pretty impressed by him and how well he handled himself, especially when I was on him.  He didn't even spook at the cat that came into the yard!  I don't know if it's him learning or just trusting me, but I love it.  He's such an excellent horse.  Of course, so is Flash, and he's an absolute in my pocket sweetheart and baby.  I just can't ride him and I guess Snickers is a bit more exciting at the moment.  Well, that's exactly why I have the two - one is exciting, energetic, and alert while the other one is my calm baby that I know I can do anything with and never worry.  I really do have two excellent horses :)

PS - I used iMovie for my Educational Technology class and LOVED it, so I'll have to get some videos of my boys and me up here soon ;)

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