Friday, May 9, 2014

Horse Updates

 Mike bareback on Q working on her sidepasing skill
  • Doing well. Has dropped almost all of her winter coat in favor for her summer one. Yay! However, she still has a couple bald patches from where the shedding winter fur was rubbed off by tack during the ride. Seasonal alopecia is bitch. Hair is sprouting in both of these locations already. I'm not worried about it as this tends to happen every year with horses up here. Two years back most of the horses were bald in large patches for nearly a month because the weather cued their coats to shed out before the new hair was ready to come in. Our vets calmed everyone down, but only after there was mild panic about some strange skin disease. Its tough riding with anything that moves anywhere on our horses at this time of year though because that winter hair is SO eager to come out. Its not a matter of ill-fit necessarily, things as simple as reins along their neck cause it.
  • She's gained all of her weight lost during the ride and more back. She had just over a week off. I try to stick to 1 day off for every 10 miles traveled and usually end up giving more time off - especially if I notice a drop in weight as I did after this ride. Fortunately though, in addition to gaining that weight back, her musculature is really looking better. We went into that ride pretty slender in comparison to how she went into Fort Valley last October. While I believe she performed better at this ride, I wasn't as thrilled with her conditioning for it.
  • Mike got her out for what we estimate was probably 12+ miles on Wednesday. The GPS app wouldn't work on his phone. I am going to recommend another app to see if it helps in the future. He reports that she was very well behaved for the most part.
  • Mike has also been working with Q on side passing. She has an inclination to do it at certain times when she tries to resist the direction her rider desires; Mike is harnessing this to hone her skill. So far, so good!
  • Mike also reported that Q reared up on him Wednesday. -_- However, I'm not very surprised. She's added this maneuver to her evasive routine to enter the trailer lately AND she's really been throwing her head up as an evasive maneuver on the trail. Ask her to go somewhere she doesn't think is a good idea, or ask her to slow the eff down and she'll enter giraffe mode. The degree of giraffe-ness depends upon how averse she is to the request. And thus, Q is getting a running martingale. Don't fuck with me, mare.
  • Q seems to be in heat more than OUT of heat. Her love of the geldings is so strong its really hard to tell when she's in true heat and when she isn't. Its kind of absurd. I'm doing my best to pay more attention to her and figure out if she has a real problem or if she's just overly social.
  • Mike has been working more with Q to get her accustomed to gunfire. He wants to be able to shoot from her back. I told him if he could do that with her without her bolting away in fear or acting out, I'd give her to him. We'll see how that plays out...

  • Coming along quite well. His first ride back after 2 weeks off was...entertaining. He was a spazz about silly things, tossed in two bucks, and gave some refusals to requests that didn't give him a second thought before. He's a greenie and he's making certain I don't forget it.
  • I am LOVING the mohawk on this horse. LOVING it. His mane is healthier than its ever been, too. However, you can see insane split ends and fraying on the top tips of his mane throughout. His mane hairs are just super brittle and get beat up once they reach a certain length it seems, which accounts for why he always had a thin, scraggily mane. His coat has shine to it though, and his tail is really healthy!! I'm not sure if there is another mineral deficiency that lends itself to manes? Anyone?
  • He's up to 14.3hh!! He string-tested at 15hh when I got him almost 2½ years ago. He's really bulking up lately. The onslaught of grass is not only lending him weight, but supplementing his
    Oh hey there beefcakes. When did you find time to bulk up?!
    (Wet because I sponged him off after a ride.)
    growth in all other places. He's really turning into a stunning horse. I'm quite thrilled.
  • I walked and trotted him over ground pole jumps in the jump field the other night. He was totally focused and cool about it. I plan to slowly introduce him to the idea of jumps and small courses this summer. We'll start with walking and trotting over all of the ground poles through a course, then progress to cantering over them. I'm not in a great hurry to have him actually *jump*. But the knowledge of how to maneuver in and around jumps will be beneficial. In a month or so I'll provide him with 3-6" standards and cross rails. We'll see what happens from there. He has a natural affinity for jumping and really, truly enjoys it. I'd like to entertain his love for it!

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