Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend . . .

The first thing I have to show you is the tornado tail I discovered when I went to see Ashke on Saturday.

I guess there was a lot of static in the air on Saturday. I found this amusing, but can't explain why.
I didn't get out to the barn until really late on Saturday, since I had to follow T around the mall during the early evening. Yes, he has hit the age where the mall is infinitely amusing and now a welcome source of entertainment. I wanted to at least lunge Ashke, since Friday night was pretty demanding for a horse still in recovery, and I didn't want him to be stiff when I went to ride on Sunday. We worked in the indoor arena and he did pretty good, although he has an issue cantering while on the lunge line. I think the walls close in and he's afraid he is going to hit something. I only had him walk, trot and canter for about ten minutes and then I put him away.
Sunday, we went out to the barn about 11, because Jake was taking a lesson and he wanted to hang out with T afterwards. I was just going to ride for a brief time, but the barn was crazy. Rex had colicked and the vet was there. Grace was frazzled and very far behind because of the equine emergency. J ended up helping muck out stalls while I took a trail ride with Pam and Marit. I felt bad about that, but not enough to not ride.
All three horses did great, although I think they were kind of tired by the time we finished. We went down 149th to Zuni, turned North and rode about half way between 149th and 152nd to the green belt access. We turned West and then South and then West again until we came to the canal. We rode the canal North and East until it connected to the green belt that took us back to 152nd. I will try and remember to use the runner app on my phone so I can track the distance the next time we ride out. I really enjoyed the ride and we got to trot a bit up a couple of inclines. All three horses were pretty tired when we got back but that didn't stop Ashke from spooking at the entrance to the driveway back at the barn. I almost came off because the last thing I expected was for him to shoot out from underneath me.
This was the road going back. I completely forgot to take pictures.
The rider in front is Marit on Lacey, and Pam on Allectra is in the back.
Photos were taken on my iPhone and I was turned around in the saddle trying to snap them, so please excuse the blurry photos.

I rode on Saturday with a bat and realized that it made a difference when requesting Ashke to move forward when he has balked. I only had to tap him twice to get him to walk toward something that he found scary. Once he moved forward he was praised and rubbed on the neck. He lead the entire ride and I didn't have to get off him at all. He wasn't the only one that was bushed. J was tired and pretty fragrant by the time I got back, but she had helped finish the shake-down and Grace was very appreciative. And Ashke gets extra turn-out for J's help. T was so ready to go home, in part because he was hungry. He has developed a bad habit of sleeping until almost 11 am, eating breakfast and then skipping lunch. We got him a slice of cold pizza and then took him home for lunch.
Monday morning, I went to the barn by myself and worked Ashke in the big arena. He settled into a very nice, fast walk but we are still working on the trot and canter. His trot feels like he is trying to canter every other step, which isn't what I want. I want a nice smooth, fairly fast trot that he can maintain for several hours. (I know, let's not get ahead of ourselves). He seems to prefer to canter. We cantered in both directions in the big arena and the most balanced he felt was when we were going around the corners on the ends. I wonder if maybe he loses his focus when we straighten out and he's not as collected under me then. I'm not sure how to move him up on the bit and will need to talk to Nicole about it the next time I see her. I know Ashke still needs time to develop his back and haunches, to learn to move with his butt underneath him.
There is a fun ride on October 6th, in Aurora, at Kenlyn Arabians. I am thinking about maybe trying it out. It is fifteen miles and I don't know if that is too far for Ashke, still. And we have no way to trailer him there, so I should probably wait until next year. However, I do plan on doing more trail work from the barn. I just wish I had someone who wanted to ride that much.
Monday night, Grace called about five to tell me Ashke was not eating. She said he was down in his stall and felt hot. I had left the damn sheet on him to keep the flies off (I can't wait for the first frost to kill off a bunch of these buggers) and I think he was just too hot. Before I made it to the barn (sixteen minutes from phone call to arrival) Marit had taken him out and rinsed him off. When I got there he was down in his stall again. I made him get up and took him out to wash him off again. Grace had taken his temperature and it was normal. I thought maybe he had gotten hot enough it had made him feel nausous. We gave him a dose of Banamine and I let him move around in a circle around me. He wanted to roll so I took him to the round pen and released him. He rolled on the right (the same side the vet said didn't feel right to her the last time this happened) got up, shook himself off and then showed interest in grazing. During that time he had pooed twice and passed a bunch of gas. I took him back to his stall and he set in on his hay. I got him some more and then just watched him for a couple of hours. He cleaned up all of his Amplify and was making good headway into his hay when I left at 8 pm.
Grace texted me and said he was still eating and looked perky at 10. We won't be using that sheet any more. We've had issues everytime I've put it on him. It just doesn't allow for any air flow. Unfortunately, I don't think the sheet Nicole gave us fits him very well either. It keeps slipping to the side. I need to see about washing the fly sheet Chris gave us and see if that works any better.

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