Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Ride in the Almost Rain

Not So Bad After All

Although I am suffering from "Election Hangover," since I stayed up late just basking in all the excitement, I did get some things done today.

The moment when Obama was declared the winner was unbelievable! I have been so upset about President Bush for all these years that this was an amazing result. I will not make a political speech here, but I am really happy and hopeful.

So, I was kind of stuck waiting for the guy to come to fix my gas fireplace. I really needed to go get alfalfa cubes but had no idea what time he was coming. When I called the company, I couldn't get an answer. Finally, I insisted at the woman in the office got him on the phone and he said he'd be here in an hour or an hour an a half.

That gave me enough time to get to the feedstore and back so off I went.

What is it with road construction? Crews were everywhere and I finally detoured the long way to avoid the roadblocks. Got the cubes and headed home to find all the road crews on lunch break and no stops whatsoever. Yea!!

The repair guy arrived soon after and all the pilot needed was a good cleaning....something I probably could have done. But I'd been led astray by the fact that the pilot light lit and would not stay on. I figured if it was just dirty it never would have lit. Wrong. Cost me a nice chunk of change to have him spray some canned air on it and get it sorted out. *sigh*

Then I went back out and unloaded six bags of cubes and two bags of feed at 50 lbs. each.

Then I cam back inside and spent a good deal of time trying to figure out an unauthorized charge on my credit card. Apparently there was some fraudulent use. PayPal was involved, so I am totally covered, but I had to do some security stuff to make sure it doesn't happen again. Note to any thieves: my cards have been canceled and the numbers are no longer valid.

All that done, I kind of tootled around a bit doing some minor cleaning and sorting of papers and mail and such.

Suddenly I realized the afternoon had worn on and it had gotten ominously dark outside. And it had started to rain--just a little bit.

It is quite warm--in the 60's--so a little rain didn't bother me and I went out to ride.

I gave Tucker a good solid school in the arena with lots and lots of transitions. Walk, pirouette, walk. Trot/walk/trot. Canter/trot/canter. Canter/walk/canter. Trot/halt/reinback/trot. He gave me a bit of "attitude" now and then, but nothing serious and, I am pleased to say, the canter departs were all withoug incident. Now all I have to do it keep him from getting sore again or notice changes in his attitude early enough to treat him before it gets out of hand. I do have him on joint supplements, so that should help.

We are not quite where we were when I started working for the flying changes and I do have to work on getting him to stay soft to the bit. He does take quite a bit of contact. I don't mind that, but I do mind when it loses its elasticity or feels more like a downward pull.

Chance is another story altogether. At the trot he now does stretch down into the bit, mostly offering on his own. But he can also be very quick to put his head up. Since it's "giraffe like" instead of up and on the bit, it's not exactly the greatest feeling. His canter continues to improve but not having worked him in the arena for a few days does cost me. His head is not exactly up, nor exactly down, nor exactly steady. Let's just say every stride is a new adventure.
And, it's just plain hard work trying to get him where I want him to be.

Such are the trials of training a young horse. While Chance is moderately talented, he still does not have full command of his body and simply cannot always keep his balance. Steadiness is not yet his forte.

It will just take time. He does have a lovely attitude and none of Tucker's arrogance. It's a nice change of pace.

Claire. I have thought about a self-latching gate on the feed room. There is a sliding door, but it's hard to use so I have a stall guard there instead. Leaving it unhooked wouldn't matter but when I do that, I also seem to leave some door/gate leading into the barn open too. It's a double fault situation.

I will definitely look into what kind of auto latch thing I can hook up. For some reason, I forget every now and then and Tuck always takes advantage of the opening!!

Escape Alert! (Added on Thursday Morning in the Rain)
And it wasn't my fault this time.

I woke up and looked out the back window to see the horses on the wrong side of the fence!

And they had "toured" the entire back lawn area which was very wet and soft from the rain, leaving turned up grass, mud, and holes all over the place.

Someone had knocked off the top rail of the fence section near the feed room, and with a broken rail in the middle, that left only the bottom rail as a barrier. I did have the truck parked there and had it been back another three feet, it would have blocked the way. Alas, it was not to be.

The Boys stepped out with--I suspect--Chance in the lead as he is the only one who had ever decided that a low fence could be stepped over. (This technique is not in the Thoroughbred repertoire. Even Russell R. who was trained to jump would step over a fence if even the lowest rail was up. PJ, Toby, and Tucker have treated downed fences exactly the same way in the past. It is a very strange behavior, but I guess they figure if the fence is there it is supposed to keep them on one side or another. Thus leading me to believe it is a "Thoroughbred" thing--until they learn differently.)

At any rate, the whole little gang had finally decided the lawn was far too intriguing, so out they went.

I do, fortunately, have fence and bump gates blocking the driveways so they did not go out to the road as has happened in the past. Or to my Aunt's lawn next door to mess that up too.

Don't know how long there were out, but they surely were having a grand time. There is/was some nice lush grass near the rose bed and in a few other places I never really bothered to mow the last time out. The trouble is, I now have some pretty obvious hoof "dents," holes, and wrecked grass to deal with.

Guess I'll go out late with the tractor and the drag to see if that will level things up. The lawn is not perfect anyhow, so if I drop some new grass seed about it will only be a benefit. My lawn is not one of those beautifully groomed "golf course" tracts, but it surely doesn't need to look as if it had been attacked by surface moles.

Not having a good week here. *G*


  1. I hope chance sticks to giraffe only. Giraffe-on-crack is real bad news :-)

  2. oh dear.. houdini genes int here somewhere? at least they didnt' get out on the road!