Monday, September 21, 2015

Hum Drum Weekend (Picture Heavy)

Penn's next few outings are planned! He's going to a schooling hunter show to do the flat classes, then the next day haul to a different farm to partake in a hunter pace! Very exciting! Poor guy, he's going to be tired at the end of the weekend. That'll happen Oct 3/4. I do wish there were more dressage shows close to me so we could go do that!

I spent Thursday and Friday working at home so I could keep an eye on Sophie after she was spayed. She has internal stitches that will dissolve and glue on the skin over her belly incision. She wasn't cooperating with the Elizabethan Collar or the keeping quiet rule, so I was worried she'd open her belly up while Husband and I were both gone for the day... then we'd come home to a very upsetting situation... So I'm lucky enough that my boss is an understanding pet person and let me work from home those days. I got a bunch of cute pictures of all the cats while I was home, so... suffer my kitties' cuteness.

Penny sleeping in the tunnel fish. #fishatethecat
Nickels giving me sleepy eyes from on top of the cat carrier.
Sophie and Penny show up in the fireplace's reflection. Just noticed!
Sophie playing with an ice ball. They all like it, but they mostly enjoy drinking the ice water.
Penny inside the fish. I love this picture.
Everyone having sleepy time.
Sophie snuggles with Penny...
... and she snuggles with Nickels too :-)
Saturday was a barn day for me. I was taking care of the horses all day... morning bring in and feed, ride Penn, take the 4* horse Cody for a walk(!!!), evening feed and turnout, stalls, prepping for the next day.

Penn had a nice work Saturday morning. I started with some of our straight line work from the other day, and then finished by using the spiral in and out to find the canter. His canter is really coming along. He has trouble picking up the left lead, but if I sit the trot a half circle before and into it, he gets the correct lead. I think it's a balance problem on his side, and my inability to fully affect the trot when posting. Obviously when he starts cantering, if the trot was balanced, the canter is much better. If the trot was only so so, the canter is like a motorcycle leaning into a turn.

Each time I work him, the canter is a little bit better balanced. He still doesn't have the strength to maintain it for long, but that's ok. He's only been back to work for a month and a half and we've only been working the canter in earnest for a week.

After Penn was done and put away, I took Cody for a walk. He's too funny- I got on him, got settled, and off we went. I wanted to get a bunch of ear shots of him, and I just like giving horses pats on the neck as we walk. Every time I would move to get my phone or pat his neck, he'd pin his ears and lift his head and neck! It was almost like he was saying, "Be quiet up there minion! This is MY walk, you're only here because I can't go by myself!" He's such a cocky SOB. In his world, Trainer is the only one he has to really listen to under saddle, and the rest of us are just minions to do his bidding. Don't get me wrong, he's extremely well behaved and has excellent ground manners. You do have to have a vague idea of what you're doing if you're going to ask him to work, and your riding ability directly correlates with how long he'll tolerate your shenanigans. As he gets fitter, the people who can ride him dwindles to Trainer, and maybe me when he's not Rolex fit. He can generally be walked on the trail by almost anyone. Anyway, he's just a very cocky boy, and while it makes him a difficult ride, it's what gives him his bravery on cross country.

The Cheese!!!! Aka Cody, haha.
I tossed the horses out a little early because it was cool and breezy, cleaned stalls and set up water and hay for the next day and I was out of there!

I was not smarter than the hose. The hay on the ground is from me dropping bales from the loft... and I hadn't cleaned it up yet cause I hadn't cleaned stalls yet, and the last thing I do before leaving is rake. But now it's wet hay bits.

I got to use a whole bunch of my new tack on Sunday! I put the XW tree in my jump saddle. What a difference! The saddle fits much better now. I also put my new brown web reins on my brown jump bridle and we used that bridle to trail ride. Penn used his new 44" girth, that conveniently has a D ring for my five-point breastplate has a clip for the between the legs strap instead of a girth loop! I've been using a girth loop attachment with that breastplate for years because none of my long girths have D rings. I love using new stuff.

A very dirty Penn (he took a dust bath as soon as I put him out- he was spotless before then!). He's oblivious to the two mares next to him giving him and each other the stink eye.
Normally the mounting block isn't a source of stories, however, Sunday it was! Penn and I have been battling at the mounting block for the duration of our relationship. Our block is a huge wood thing that does not move, so the horse has to line up to it. Penn is willing to walk up to it, but at the last step he swings his butt out and then I have to correct him and move him over. Sunday, he just about climbed on top of the block. He got as close to it as humanly possible (like, whacking his left knee off the front corner...) and he crept up to where he needed to be, and squared up (I always make sure the horse is close to square before getting on so I don't pull him off balance). No moving his hind end sideways. Lots of pats for the good boy.

Penn was a lovely, sensible, and brave boy. He was happy to lead our ride (with just one other horse, Leader), and bravely went through the puddles and ditches first. He walked quietly on a long rein near the buckle. Three of the farm dogs came with us, and they were crashing through the woods and running past the two horses and he didn't give a rat's patooty about it. He just pinned his ears at them and if they lingered in front of him, he'd reach out to bite them!

I tried to get him to show off the brown bridle. But you can see the new web reins.
He even stood his ground when the dogs flushed out about a dozen turkeys! They ran across the trail, then took flight and flew around over us. If you haven't seen wild turkey's fly, let me tell you, they are not graceful, they're noisy, and more than one horse I've known has lost their cool when it happens. Not Penn. He was like, "What's that?" and calmly watched them fly all around. They did spook 22 yr old Leader a little bit!

It was a touch windy walking the road home.
A good quiet weekend for all!


  1. What a good boy Penn is! Love all of the kitty pictures too. They all look so happy.

    1. He's such a good boy. And I love my cats. If I posted all of the cat pictures I take... well there's a lot more of those than there are of Penn!

  2. your cats are too cute - i love the ice ball pic too!! also kinda jealous that you get to hack out a 4* horse - how cool!!

    1. They're supposed to play with the ice ball- they're just not into it. But they adore the ice water to drink, so I'm thinking I'll keep making them ice balls and put a new one out every day. Always fresh, cold water to drink!

      Haha, I squeed a bit that I got to hack out Cody. He makes me nervous- not all of our rides have been good. In fact most of the rides I've had on him have been not good. I wasn't a good enough rider to work him on the flat without pissing him off. This past winter was the first time I could ride him and he'd work for me. He's better schooled now (and more tolerant) than he was in our first rides together a couple years ago, but he still has quite the opinion about 3rd/4th level dressage work (aka, why aren't there 3 days of XC at an event?).