Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Play Pen

Just For Fun

I had to go for my annual mammogram today, so that kind of broke the good spirit of the day. Not a big deal, but enough to mess up my mental schedule. Reminder to all that such exams are important. They don't take much time and should be part of your regular medical concerns for the year...at least when you reach my age. Younger women can do them less frequently--every two years, from what I've read.

On the way home, I stopped at the local lumber/hardware store.  I needed some double end snaps to hang the new feed tubs I bought the Boys at the tack store sale. No dice! Apparently double end snaps are not a hardware store staple. H-m-m-m.  I also asked about a 4 X 6 post to replace an end fence post.  They only had them in 16 foot lengths! OK...Home Depot had an 8 foot one, so I guess I will go back there. I really only need a 6 foot one, but 8 will do.  I still have to check Lowes.  Now I could take a trip to the fencing store some 20 + miles away, but I'm not too keen about that for one post, unless it would fit in my Durango. It's a long drive to take with a post hanging out the back of a vehicle.  And I'm not  quite ready to hook up the horse trailer to make a pick up unless I get more than one post.  While I  do need more, the wallet is a big thin right now so I can't afford the expense.

If you followed that, you are a noble, faithful reader. Thanks. *G*

When I finally got home, I decided to go out to lunge at least one Boy.  Instead, I saw that the arena needed to be poo picked first. But when I went in to pick, Tucker and Chance decided to follow me.  I closed the gate to keep them inside, did the poo picking and then set them into a play session with the lunge whip.

What silly fellows!  Chance kept cantering along while Tucker would wait for Chance to get a head start and then leap into the air, and take off in a big, bucking gallop after him.  Too bad the arena is only 200 feet long. It would have been nice to see just how fast Tucker could run before having to make the turn.  We played for about 15 minutes.

Toby was on the outside, doing a bit of running himself and when I opened the gate to let the other Boys out, he came in and wanted to join the fun for a little while.

Note here that seeing all three Boys at the gallop, it's clear who the athlete is--Toby.  Tucker is not as fluid in his gaits and somewhat "tight" in his movement.  I am well aware of this.  He has a shorter back, and his close coupling limits the "softness" in his hindquarters as he moves. Chance is a good mover, with nice solid gaits, but in comparison, Toby has much more freedom and natural impulsion in his stride.  His big flaw as a dressage horse is that his top line is too level. His neck is set lower out of his shoulder than desirable and it makes it hard for him to elevate his forehand.

All that being said, I think, with work, Chance would be quite a lovely dressage horse. He has good overall conformation for the sport and some training to develop his strength and balance would encourage some more suspension. He's not quite the mover Toby is, but he's certainly no slouch.

And Tucker? He'd never be a dressage star, but he would be the most likely one to learn more of the collected exercises.  Trouble is, his hock conformation is a problem, and that weakness is a critical issue.  I suspect that, giving time and training, he might actually make a good event horse or even a jumper. He's shown some talent and interest in jumping, but, alas, that is no longer in my repertoire.  So, we will fiddle around with the dressage training and just see what we can do as long as he feels up to it.


  1. Anonymous6:17 AM

    It's fun to see your horses moving at liberty to look at their gaits and how they carry themselves. Pie is a "floater" - he just floats along with minimal effort, not really using his core or engaging his hindquarters, but part of that is that his top line, particularly in the neck, is short on top in the muscling - that can be remedied as he learns to engage his core and carry himself.

    Dawn has enormous impulsion and lift and would make an excellent dressage horse but for her downhill build - but she uses her hindquarters and core well enough to largely compensate for that.

    (and yes I followed the post discussion - we use the 8-ft ones from Home Depot, but I have a truck with an 8-ft bed to bring them home!)

  2. I love watching horses play!

    And I don't have to worry about fence posts yet. Hopefully, by the time I do, I will have a truck to cart them around in.

  3. Watching them play is a nice way to spend some time. It also goes to show that each horse is different and can be worked to bring their strong points up to their highest potential. Each of our horses is different too, but we work with them to be the best they can be for their particular conformation. It's fun and interesting to see how far they can be brought along to highlight their strong points.

    I'm due for the whole mamo thing too. After Christmas, I think. It's not a fun thing to look forward to though.

  4. Don't you think that if there were a male equivalent of the mammogram, someone would have invented a less uncomfortable alternative?

  5. What fun to watch them at play! I love to watch moving horses. And your analysis of their strengths and weaknesses is fascinating.

  6. Sound like real fun. No snow then? so they can run aorund safely.

  7. i hate mammograms, painful.

    and reckon the 8' fencepost will have to do - you could always get them to saw 2' off the end?

    fun with horses...

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