Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Never Ending Ride Log

This post just continued to get longer and longer because I kept thinking, just one more ride and then I'll drop in pics and we'll be good. But then I got sick, Penn's legs swelled, and it's all just a mess.

An adorable picture to get you started.

Thursday 4/7:
Penn is back to feeling fine after his face incident. I gave him Monday-Wednesday off because he was so good at the show and then I worried his head might be hurting after he bashed it. He was super ready to go back to work last week- he was obnoxious AF.

He had to stand for the farrier that evening. Penn wouldn't lift his feet for him, then he wouldn't hold his hind legs up. He was excessively mouthy and even tried to nip me. I may have hit him pretty hard in the chin for it and the horse has the nerve to look depressed and gave the farrier his best "I'm abused" face. He of course went right back to being nosy and pestering both me and the farrier.

I rode him, and obnoxious is all I can describe him as. Penn was all zoomy and excited to get from point a to point b. He was surprisingly relaxed in the neck and back for the amount of zoom he had. He had awesome leg yields, nice and steep. He was super open to listening to exactly what I wanted, but was getting a bit anticipatory. Things went downhill in canter when he was convinced that he couldn't canter past a horse getting ready to lunge.

At that point I'm getting kind of angry at him for acting like a less trained version of himself, so I decided we're going to do some hard work to fully engage his brain- walk canter walk transitions. All the transitions up to canter were on the money or a step or two of trot. He had the nerve to do a fairly decent canter walk to the left using Stephen's 10m circle technique. Then he had the gall to respond beautifully to my big half halts to the right and walk right from canter when asked on a 15m circle.

What was I to do? He did exactly what I wanted. I patted and praised him and we quit. I needed to work his ass and instead he did things right and so we quit before it was all ruined.

His hair is shedding out well... except on his barrel.

Friday/Saturday 4/8-9:
I know I rode but I don't have a clue what we did. I know BO's daughter took Penn for a spin on Saturday to test ride my saddle after I warmed Penn up. She had a great time on him and loved the saddle. We tried it on one of her horses and it fit the mare very well. I did a little driving and picked up Penn's turnout boots!

Yay, leg protection!

Sunday 4/10:
Hawk and I hauled to Trainer's barn for a trail ride with my old friend Leader (and his mom/owner). It was so cold that day. I've gotten really spoiled having a heated barn. We had a fun ride where Leader proved that 24 is just a number as he out-pranced the young boys (Penn and Fiction).

Stolen from Hawk's blog :-)

Tuesday 4/12:
I decided that Tuesday was a working ride, like really working. We did shoulder in and haunches in, then swapping from shoulder in to haunches in on a long wall (both directions). We did leg yields across the full diagonals in walk. I repeated the trot work from 1-2 (leg yield from centerline to wall, lengthen across the diagonal, repeat), then did the leg yields from 1-3 both directions with a few more lengthenings mixed in. I was so pleased with the leg yields and lengthenings. They were definitely the best they've ever been. Canter fell apart a little- he just seems uncomfortable. I worked on his walk-canter-walk since he's getting better at it and I don't mind if it's not perfect because he's still learning. He got a couple right, so we quit at about 25 min of riding. He got an Adequan injection on Tuesday as well. Mikey had one leftover, so we gave it to Penn. I decided that Penn probably should have quiet rides Wed/Thurs/Sat and then he'l be in proper form for lesson on Sunday.

Wednesday 4/13:
I forgot about my quiet ride idea. I worked on shallow leg yields as I tried to get more carrying power from his right hind leg (read Megan's post for more info). It was great, he was super cooperative. I was all WTF, both shallow leg yields went easily for him, so I was wondering what I was doing wrong. I had to keep Penn from getting too steep though... maybe I didn't get the leg yields shallow enough? I kept having trouble keeping his hind end from leading. Maybe that was the evasion to carrying more with the right hind and I missed it? I donno. (Megan, I read your reply about shallow leg yield to straight after I rode Wednesday night, oops). Penn decided that everything was too much work and reverted back to laying on my hands, as per his usual training cycle. Things are good, we make it harder, he tries and is great, then he decides it's too much work and he lays on me, then I get him back to good. I was trying not to sit the trot because I had done a lot of sitting Tuesday, but he was not making it easy! Canter was abysmal. Heavy, flipping between heavy and too deep, and just non-rhythmical. I ended up doing a couple half passes to make the work harder for him, and he was like, "Oh yea sure, I just go like this?" and it was lovely. As as soon as we were done with lateral and straightened and turned, he went right back to laying on me. I know I was losing some of my leg-wrap-around feeling and had a more sitting-on-top-of-the-horse feeling. I got my act together and had a better canter to the left and called it quits. I focused more on the left lead than the right, because it is the weaker lead.

Thursday 4/14:
I got so super sick Thursday doing something non-horsey: a corporate event at a baseball game. We had a great time, and I was already feeling crappy on the bus ride home. I went to the barn after work, tacked Penn up, didn't bother putting on my tall boots, and just walked him around the outdoor. In and out of the barn in an hour. Sorry buddy. I wanted to lay down and die.

My view Thursday afternoon. My work group won an award and it came with some money to spend however we wished- so we went to a baseball game!
The company paid for these. Awesome. However, I ended up picking up some kind of illness from the germy stadium and these did not help my body fight it. AKA, how Jan ended up sick as a dog for 4-5 days.

Saturday 4/16:
I only went to the barn because I had to work. Penn's legs had a reaction to his turnout boots and he was swollen and uncomfortable. We walked to see if that would help (it didn't), then cold hosed and vetrolin-ed. Still super sick. Cancelled Sunday's lesson since I was too sick to drive the trailer safely, and now Penn wasn't up to it either. Sorry again Hawk!

Swollen legs. At least we were both out of commission at the same time.
This doesn't do it justice. All his legs were swollen. This was the worst one though.

Monday 4/19:
Still sick, but on the mend. A friend dug out Mikey's bute on Sunday for me because I totally forgot about giving that to Penn. She also wrapped his hind legs Sunday night since they still had a trace of swelling in them. When I saw him Monday evening, his hind legs still had a tiny amount of swelling, but he seemed sound to ride. He was back to being a heavy obnoxious horse that I didn't have the energy to fight. I kept thinking I felt an unsoundness, but he wasn't connecting well to the bridle either and heavy on the forehand. I had a couple people watch him and they all said he looked fine. Disconnected, but fine.

I talked to the barn owner, and we're not booting him anymore, and he's not going to be allowed on 24 hour turnout either. He'll come in every night and chill in his stall. He'll go out at night again when the horses swap over to night turnout.

Penny enjoying the extra-wide windowsills we picked when we had our windows replaced.
Yes, we picked them just so the cats have a place to sit. #weservethecats

I'm hoping we'll both be well enough to ride Wednesday-Friday this week. We'll keep it to simple work because the weekend is going to be jam-packed: Saturday we're riding with Stephen Birchall (YAY! I LOVE HIM) and then on Sunday Penn will make his First Level debut at 1-2 and 1-3 at a local schooling show.


  1. Fun weekend! Can't wait to hear about it. :)

    1. I hope it ends up being fun! Because the way I feel today, it sounds exhausting.

  2. I had a TB that was allergic to the neoprene in boots. Such a princess. I can't wait to read about your next clinic and show!!

    1. These boots aren't even neoprene! I know horses can get a reaction to neoprene, so a friend recommended the boots she uses (and many of her upscale H/J friends)- nice, cost effect foam boots with a PVC shell. I really like them, but Penn doesn't. He's going to be an ultra-sensitive princess! Though I might ask the vet to check him for a latex allergy, esp if he's going to react to foam.

  3. Wow what a rollercoaster! Hopefully you two will both be 100% for the clinic and the show. SO EXCITING!!!

    1. Maybe that's why I'm exhausted. I've been on a roller coaster all April! I really hope we're 100% by the weekend. I'd be bouncing up and down excited if I had the energy, because this is one of the final steps before his first recognized show!

  4. Oh man feel better soon!!!! Hope you guys are both feeling ready to roll asap!!!