|Ermygawd, I love this face.|
Penn continues to be wonderful since he first round with the lines- he's trying hard and I'm trying to go with him. He's better outside in the open, but tolerates working inside (I don't blame him, the outdoor is so much bigger than the indoor). With the relatively good weather we've had lately, our outdoor has thawed beautifully on the days that are above freezing. I've been able to ride outside on it 5 times in the last month! He's been great about his lateral work, and the canter is doing ok. I've started getting after him about breaking from the canter- he's not quite willing to go above and beyond in canter right now... but then again, he needs strength, so he probably isn't able to.
Saturday was over 60 degrees and he was actually a bit lazy and dull off my aids, which let me relax a bit and just enjoy the ride. We worked through all of the 2-3 canter work straight through with two oops moments. We got our signals crossed when I did the left lead 3 loop serpentine and he wasn't sure what I wanted and I was afraid he'd swap leads, so he broke. I started over, made sure to be perfectly clear, and he did what I wanted. Then I rushed the simple change from left to right and he never swapped leads.
|Modeling his lunging polo wraps.|
Also, just ignore the dangerous swinging rope hanging off his face, just waiting for a foot to go through it.
I double lunged him some more in the last week - I'm doing that twice a week and riding three days a week to hopefully build strength faster. I learned I can't work him on the lines while the vaulters are working. I thought it would be great- they lunge at one end of the ring, I lunge at the other... except I just started carrying a full lunge whip with Penn and they have a long snapper whip... that snaps all the time.
|Starting out on Wednesday, pre-meltdown.|
Penn gets upset when another horse gets disciplined. I found that in addition to that, he does not differentiate between another horse's audible cues and my cues. He was working well until they went to canter an entire routine and snapped the whip a lot... and I lost control of Penn. He went forward, got angry at my requests to stop (snapping whip and all), cantered off (more snapping), pinned his ears and ran (more snapping), leaning in then throwing out bucks. I couldn't get him to stop since the "go" was being pushed so aggressively inadvertently. I ended up having to shout at them to please stop snapping the whip until I get Penn under control. I felt really bad about that, but Penn was having a meltdown over it. He thought I was being unfair (stop/go/stop/go/STOP/GO!!!!!!! at the same time). I guess that's something we should work on, but I really don't know how to tackle that without really upsetting Penn... and to be honest, we're not going to be in situations like that very often. I should work out how to make him focus on me instead, that would be more useful!
|Staring hard at the vaulters. Please note, I've ridden him with the kids running, jumping onto a trampoline, and leaping on to the fake vaulting horse. He was bored watching that. *facepalm*|
Husband got a great new toy on Friday- a FLIR camera! For those unfamiliar with it, it is a thermal IR camera, and our version works with our cell phones. The camera looks at the relative heat of everything in the image- If I zoom in on the floor or Penn's body, the camera would auto adjust and find the hottest and coolest points and assign the entire range of colors. The larger landscape in the image, each color will cover a bigger range of temps. The smaller the landscape (so less variance of temps throughout), the smaller temp range each color covers.
After we tested it out on the cats...
|Cat lumps with warm faces (and a warm back since Felix had been sleeping on the chair).|
|Used to be a cat lump sleepy spot. Complete with paw prints walking away!|
I stole it and took it to the barn Saturday to take pics of Penn...
|So handsome, even in thermal imaging.|
|You can see where he's not shaved- the heat doesn't come through as well as it does on shaved body parts.|
|See the difference in this very fluffy (un-shaved) horse? He's pretty well insulated!|
|Penn's legs and hooves. And a warm hose behind him.|
|Penn's other side. (the curious sheath square is actually a window in the background, lol)|
Which lead me to taking a side shot of Penn to do an impromptu comparison shot!
|Mid-December 2015 - Baby horse!|
|1/21/2017 - So much more muscular.|
Holy cow is he more grown up.
And then of course I had to try the "All Ears Selfie App", which I purchased as soon as it became available for Android. Penn reacts well to it! He liked all the horse vocalizations. He didn't seem to care about the donkey or gate or grain or other non-horse sounds. I got him to talk back to the one horse, haha!
I actually didn't like many of the pics I took using it- mostly because I tried it on a whim and didn't set him up well for a picture. That's ok, this post was flooded with pictures of him anyway!
So now that this post has covered a ton of subjects, I suppose it's time to stop!