Saturday 2 June 2018

For Want of a Shoe

When I left work on Thursday I started to feel a bit of nausea. I figured it was a headache coming on, so I took an ibuprofen before dashing out of the house to the barn.

I brought Cisco in with the intent to ride. It was cooler and had been gray and cloudy all day. Cisco led with his head straight up in the air and snorting every few strides. The arena was free so I decided to just chase him around, as my nausea wasn't getting much better.

He did lots of cantering using the full arena. Nothing exciting, he's not much of an airs above the ground kind of guy.

To cool him out I grabbed a dressage whip and worked on our mounting block groundwork. He definitely knew what I was asking him to do, but he wouldn't respond to a lighter tap, and had no sense of urgency to move his butt around. So out came the treats. And within a few minutes he was whippin' that butt around with some light taps. Treats for the win!

By the time I brought Phantom in my nausea was getting worse, and I was just hoping that I didn't puke with one of the many belches my body kept doing. She hadn't been ridden in over a week after moving to Fat Camp and losing a shoe, so I figured she would be happy to get a few zoomies out also. She was.

She popped over this jump that I bet was 2'9" - she was cantering past it, got distracted by someone walking outside the rail so fell to the inside, realized the jump was in front of her, and went "oh well" and popped over it.

Thankfully I felt much better on Friday. It was gray and cloudy all day, and cool. So the ponies were up a little bit. 

Cisco was super about the groundwork and remembered what we had worked on the day before. He swung his butt around much faster with continuous steps from a light tap of the whip, even without the treat incentive.

We walked around the whole arena on a long rein.  His head was up in the air and there were lots of snorts but he kept his brain in his head. We were able to trot on a mostly loose rein and maintain an okay pace, but he was super fussy with his mouth.

I need to work on the leg yields, specifically off the right leg. His go-to evasion is to push out his right shoulder and push that side of his barrel into my leg, so I need some tools to correct it. 

Our first couple of attempts at a walk weren't overly successful. Like we probably went more to the right than the left. Time to drop it down another step - turn on the forehand.

I don't think I've done them with him since last fall, and at that time we only did it a couple of times. So I wasn't expecting much. But he surprised me - I parked him facing the fence so that we would get a quarter turn. I did three turns on each side, and each one was better than the previous so that by the last one he moved easily off my leg with a light contact. Super smart pony!
Fine.... he can stay another week.

I took Cisco out for another trot and attempt at a leg yield off the right leg. The first one he rushed through, so I brought him back to walk right away at the end of it. The second one was a bonafide attempt off my right leg and wasn't rushed. So that was where we ended. 

For the first time in a long time (if ever) he walked with his head down and neck long while we cooled out. So we walked a few minutes more than needed just to let him get that feel.

Despite the rain that we've had the last couple of days, the footing in the outdoor arena seemed perfect. So that was where I decided to take Phantom for her ride. 
Horse Shoe
Phantom got a summerweight suit of armour for trail riding. I'm not 100% sure about the fit - I'm hoping it will be loose enough.

I used the mounting block in the indoor to get on before heading out. She walked out of there on a mission. I was thinking that riding her outside after not being ridden for a week and a half might not be a great decision, but I stuck with it. She usually only gets really silly after we've cantered, so I figured I could at least get some trotwork done. 

This was the first time she had been in this arena and she spent the first few laps at a walk looking from side to side, which cracked me up. Left, right, left, right. 

Eventually, we picked up a steady trot, with only a bit of drunk horse steering. We managed a whole lap and a half before she had a little stumble, and I heard a clank. Yep - she pulled off her shoe. The same shoe that I had gotten reattached on Monday.
 Y u not stay on?

That ended the ride. 

I'll send a message to my farriers and see if they are going to be in the area to tack it back on. The person who put it on this week isn't my normal farrier and I don't think she had it placed quite right. In the meantime, I'll see if I can get in some short rides with a hoof boot on. I have a week of vacation coming up and I was hoping to do some trail rides (not to mention maybe a lesson).


  1. I’m glad that the nausea didn’t last. That armour is interesting- I’ve not seen it before

    1. It's the Amigo Fly Rider. I managed to pick it up at almost half price so it was worth trying. Phantom can get quite pissy about bugs so I'm hoping it will make trail rides more relaxing.

  2. Oooh that fly sheet is super cool! I've looked at them a few times for Ruby but haven't officially pulled the trigger yet, haha. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it!

    1. I'll give it a review once I use it a few times.