Saturday morning I got to the barn before nine, Dr S got there about nine and started giving shots. In addition to the shots, Ashke got his very own microchip. The doc asked if I just wanted it done or if we wanted to sedate. We sedated. Stoner boy is cute.
Doped boy is doped.
Waiting for dopey to wake up.
We may have over did the drugs a bit.
Sitting in the sun for an hour felt really good, however.
Saturday was also the barn clean up day, which I contributed to by washing out the wash bay. My right shoulder is seriously struggling right now (bad enough I am going to call the doctor tomorrow about getting it looked at). I couldn’t risk making it worse. There wasn’t as much to do this time, since it’s been six months and not five years since the last cleaning, so the barn was pretty much done by the time pizza got there.
Belle the Mighty, taking a break on the donut box.
I did talk to the barn owners about building a cat walk along the top beams of the sides of the barn where the sparrows are building nests. I think she could eradicate the current residents if she could get up to them.
Saturday afternoon, I hitched up the trailer, loaded Ashke and drove over to Plane View Farm. We are doing a demo day next Saturday, in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo and we were doing a practice ride on the course we will be doing the demo on next weekend. Ashke was high as a kite and I didn’t recognize until I was finished with my ride that I actually hadn’t ridden him in a week. We unloaded next to a pen with a pony, which caused Ashke to be really uptight and spooky. He bucked when I tightened the girth. I ended up walking him into the arena in his halter, with him snorting at everything he saw. Once inside he settled a bit and I got his bridle on him. I got on and it was like riding a small powder keg. We walked around the edges of the arena until he got a little more relaxed and we started working on the lines we would ride between obstacles. There were a few adjustments we needed to make to the placement of the obstacles, and once those were made, the course rode better. I rode each of the obstacles as part of our warm up with a soft and focused. Then we waited while the lower level riders practiced their round. It took a little bit to get the lines right. By the time it was my turn, Ashke was done. He spooked and tried to bolt at the beginning of the double slalom. And the single slalom. And the Drums. But the Double Slalom was the worse. We finally made it through the course and I went back to school him on the double slalom, trying to do the schooling without being angry or frustrated.
Honestly, I really don’t know how to make this better. He chooses to use spooking as a method of letting me know he doesn’t want to continue. I am going to have bad rides until I can work past this issue. I am planning on going to PVF on Tuesday night to ride the arena and practice my normal rides around the edges of the arena. I don’t know what else I can do but expose him to new venues over and over again. (He has finally settled at Circle Star).
Sunday, we did a ride out of Marshall Lake Mesa in Boulder. We headed west from the parking lot to the community ditch, and then toward Dowdy Draw. There is a point just before Dowdy Draw where the trail splits and we went northwest, rather than southwest. It turned into a loop at the top of a new mesa, but did not take us to Eldorado Canyon.
Looking toward Eldorado Canyon
The trail is incredibly rocky even on the ditch
Taking the newest trail toward the north.
It was a sweet little loop
There was a lot of trees at the top of the mesa.
The top of the new mesa. No way to get to Eldorado Springs from where we were.
The loop was awesome though.
The rocky entrance to the State Park of Eldorado Springs
Ashke knew it was a new trail to us and he was very focused without being overly reactive.
Riding into the trees.
A very pretty trail.
Four foot long Bull Snake
The couple that walked over it were a little freaked out when J point it out to them.
It was very pretty.
Not too bad for a trail as rocky as this one is . . . .
Tomorrow starts my five day intensive riding/training program to combat spooky behavior. I will also talk with Amanda on Wednesday night about techniques to employ.