Monday, June 2, 2014

Updates on All the Animals

(presented to you in the order the animals arrived into my life)

Kenai: Still rehabbing from his groin injury. He's getting stronger, but we're still not there yet. I need to really buckle down and start getting him out for daily walks so he can build back what he's lost in terms of muscle. It's been particularly difficult of late to get him out because of my foot being effed up from Q trampling me a few weeks back. (We (doctor and I) suspect a hairline fracture of the joint that connects my big toe to my foot due to the pain that I am still in over two weeks out from the injury. No there have not been x-rays to confirm because foot fractures are hard to x-ray and even if I got an accurate one it the diagnosis would still be the same as without one: rest, ice, stay off it.)

I hope to get Kenai out on some more adventures throughout the month. He's certainly loving having a yard to himself though this spring! He's at a point in his maturity level where he is perfectly content to lounge in the yard or on the small porch and observe all that passes by his little kingdom.

Griffin: He's progressing very well with his training! Both mentally and physically. Mike and I did a 9.5 mile training ride a couple days back that involved 2200' of climbing. We did all of this climbing at a trot or canter to really work those butts! (There was plenty of downhill walking, too, where they could recover!!) Griffin's got a great head on his shoulders and I'm so totally thrilled to see where he goes in the future.

With the horse field now open across all 40 acres (both on the flat and in an open field atop a small mountain/large hill), he's getting even more exercise when in the field than he was before. The herd really utilized the ENTIRE area and moves a lot throughout the day. (It's really an incredible facility for 24/7 turnout!) His constant turnout, nearly-constant play with the other geldings during turnout, and his more-focused workout sessions have me very much considering his first LD late summer/early autumn. He trains on terrain as rough as or rougher than any race we'd participate in, so he's quite prepared. Ultimately, we'll see what the summer brings for him, but considering what his typical week is, I think he could definitely be ready for a nice, slow LD in several months!

Q: With two or so rides with Mike since her super psycho session US with me, she's doing well. We've begun the SmartMare Harmony (which contains the raspberry leaf and chaste tree berry herbs (among others)) and the Mg supplements. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising because she could potentially be craving the mineral), she gobbles down both supplements with almost zero masking with a secondary substance!! She's visibly thrilled the days I show up, ride the 4-wheeler to the upper field where they've been a lot lately, and just present her with a small handful of grain/supplements.

Through this month, I plan to ride her more and really work on the WAY that I ride her to try to support her through her spookiness and help (hopefully) be a better leader for her in her weak moments. We're a team and I've been a pretty shitty team member lately. I need to step it up. It's going to be a challenge for me, but I'm willing to tackle it. I'll be better for it.

I also plan to work more on jumping and flatting exercises this month. With every additional ride I had on her since introducing the ported kimberwicke into our work, she's gotten better and better. She's using her body SO MUCH MORE efficiently. And when she's "on the bit" she's really, truly on it, not fighting it or behind it as she would so often be when we were using the double-jointed snaffle. And she SEEKS the contact out to boot! All of these changes are likely a combination of the bit + my aids being feather soft in comparison to how they were with the snaffle. She really seems to enjoy our non-trail work a lot more than she did before.

Don't get me wrong, she's still a pill about trying to rush home at times, but I'm able to redirect those attempts without HAULING on her mouth to get her to listen and not run away with me (something that yes, indeed, she has done in the past though I never documented it on the blog).  Rapid transitions between walk, trot, canter, halting, and backing are amazing with this horse. She buckles down and focuses.

She's always a challenge, but we're really getting some breakthroughs this month that leave me optimistic for the future - albeit a little intimidated, too!

Atticus: A mouse a day keeps the vet away? 'Cause this shitten is a bomber mouser. He brings me one daily. And now that the starlings are fledging, he's honing his starling killing skills. He has yet to bring me a half-dead animal that he has played with and tortured. He tends to EAT nearly everything he brings to me (as most times they are half-eaten when I see them and later they've disappeared completely, often only a gallbladder remaining, haha!

Little shitten is also much less shitten of late and more sweet cat. He's quite the cuddler and not afraid to tell the world about it. I'm pretty freaking thrilled with him. =)

Hodor:, Hodor. Still the most simple of cats. Still the most clueless of cats. But he's also one of the sweetest, most loving cats I've ever encountered. He wants nothing more than to have you to himself for a few hours so he can lie beside you (he squirms if you hold him) on the couch and just be pet, pet, pet. This cat craves petting more than any animal ever. He follows you around plaintively mewing until you pet him if you don't make time for him. He even goes so far as to stand on his rear legs to try and get you to pet him!

His ultimate love of just wanting to curl up beside you on the couch (seriously, he'll rest his head against you and put a paw up on your leg and cuddle HARD) and be loved has had me considering rehoming him to someone who wants a cat to love - I feel guilty that I don't have enough time to give him! He's that perfect cat that so many people wish they had. One who is super sweet and loves affection and attention - but without picking him up and holding him close. He sleeps politely at the foot of the bed, loves dogs, has never hissed at human or cat or canine. His only vice? If I don't pet him enough or if I'm gone for a few days, he spitefully throws up near my bed. This has only occurred when I have not given him enough love.

So if you're ever nearby, and you want to give a kitty some lovin's, there is a certain orange cat in a barn who'd love some pettin'!

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