Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trimming and Trail Riding

I officially get to log my first 4.5 miles! Yeterday was a big day for me and the boys. I got out there and tied them up for trimming, and the lady got right to it. I can't remember her name, but the cmopany is Little Lady Horseshoeing. She was really good with both of the boys, taking time to let Snickers, who I had go first so I could saddle him up while Flash got his feet done, calm down and get used to her being there and working on his feet and all her tools. He stood really well for her and she got him trimmed up really nice. She said he had good feet, though his outer walls are a lot thinner than his inner walls I guess. She helped me decide to keep him barfoot as long as I can, though,if we need to, shoes will prevent him from wearing down unevenly. Flash didn't want to stand still very well and she worked well with him. She had me come stand in front of him and calm him down and keep him from going forward, and he did great after that. I really wanted him to learn to stand for her without the clicker, so I was glad he did so well. She also said he had really good feet. When I mentioned about him being toed out, she said his toes were just long and he had a "flare" on the outside. She trimmed it off and he looked a lot better. I don't know about the toed out or not, but it was nice to hear her say he's really good. I put Flash back right after the trimming. He was already sweaty when I pulled him out of the pasture, so he must have been running (I'm guessing chased?) around a bit. I'm glad I hadn't planned on working him. Snickers, on the other hand, I planned on finally taking out onto the trail. I figured out the Garmin and set it up so I really wanted to try it out, plus it was really nice day. By the time I got out there it was cloudier and windier but not terrible. I almost decided to stay in the arena... I got the bridle on the first try. He took the bit fine and ALMOST raised his head, bringing it up a few inches but still with my arm over his poll, but I paused and just waited for him to put it back down before I finished putting it on. Then I rewarded him with plenty of grain :) He did NOT want to stand still at all. Thank goodness he freezes once you're actually getting on and off, but getting him to hold still otherwise was a pain. He fought dropping his head and collecting, but eventually started to give in. Ultimatlely, I decided to go ahead and just take him out and let him move. As soon as we were out, he turned his attention to what was going on rather than misbehaving. Of course, he had to look at everything and s really cautious, but once we got going on the trail he started moving really well and collecting when I asked him to. He shied away from a few things, but overall I was really proud of him and he behaved himself and listened. When it was coming bout time to turn back, there was a really good marker: a giant bundle of rusty and tangled up metal. It might have been a car at one point - either way, i wanted Snickers to at least take a good look at it and he decided he didn't want any part of it or the 30 feet of trail between it and us as it was right alongside it. I didn't ask him to go toward it, but I did want him to take a good look at it and calm down - and it definitely showed when he finally saw it lol. But, after a little bit of coxing not to just turn around and head the other way, as he REALLY wanted to do, he stopped and took a good look at it and held still, and then I told him it was time to go home. On the way home, it was REALLY easy to get him into an extended trot, so I rewarded him by letting him and I worked on getting comfortable in it. He did break into a lope now and then, but slowed right down when I asked him. When we started tog et closer to the barn, I slowed him down to a walk to cool down, but we did average 6.9 mph before we slowed down. At the end, we'd gone exactly 4.5 miles and averaged 6.3 mph. He was really sweaty but so excited to be back and started whinnying for Flash when we got back. I unsaddled him and did a quick brush, but he was ready to get to the pasture and I needed to go, so I got him back out to his buddies pretty quickly. Overall, it was a really good day :) All of my maintenence is done now and they won't need their feet done for another 2 months, and shots done until fall! And I'm finally logging my miles (which, btw, the GPS doesn't get a good signal inside the barn, but oh well). I think I'm going to get ahold of the endurance lady out there so I can make sure I go about this the right way, but I'm feeling pretty good about all this. I called Legacy and my reins are inbut my saddle pad is on back order, so we'll see when ose come in. I think I may pick up the reins tomorrow though. I guess we'll see!

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