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Hickory Grove Blog

I brought Leo in and he was as clean as I’ve seen him this year so far!  Lovely surprise.  Shedding a bit, so I curried his body and scratched his itchy headThen we headed out on a hack down the road and then around the prairie in a clockwise manner, including a spin around the hickory grove.  Apparently it was wild species day as we scared up a turkey, pheasant and deer.
On the way home, I took his bridle off and let him graze the delicious unbrowsed grass for ten minutes.  He loved it and I enjoyed watching him enjoy it.Then he had a nice rinse and roll in the sand arena.  Good fun.

Then on to Elsa, who was also delightfully clean.

After a brushing and tacking we also went down the road for a hack.  We went down the road to the river then around the prairie and into the DNR.  

On the way home, I took her bridle off and gave her a 10 minute graze, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Afterwards, she had a rinse and a roll in the arena.

Then it was Tag’s turn.  He also came in clean and stood very well for grooming, including mugging for cookies.  His lip is healed up quite well.

He went beautifully in the arena, after performing like a champ on the lunge.

I took him out for a hack down the road and he balked and spun back left twice, at which point I sent him strongly down the hill and he trotted down quite well.  On the way home, we were walking and he shied very hard at the wooden structure on the north side of the road.  He was really scared, I could feel his heart beating hard.  Since I thought using the whip on him when he was scared was not wise or kind, I didn’t.  I got off and led him past it, then got on and went past it twice and he did fine.

Then we passed the barn and went east on the road for about half a mile and he did well.  I think his balking is a confidence issue and requires reassurance and repetition.  He essentially needs a strong, encouraging friend.

After the ride I gave him a rinse then turned him out in the round pen to roll and graze.

Next on to Archie who was also clean with the exception of his back cannon bones that had some scurfy mud on them. He was excellent during lunging and did very well under saddle in the arena where we worked on getting him to come thorugh from behind through the magic that is canter/trot transitions.  I really liked where he was at the end of it.  Then we went for a hack down the road to the river and even passed the black scary scorched earth where they had burned off some vegetation (which I did not thing to take a picture of).  No problem!
Then it was his turn to graze.

 

Hickory Grove Blog

Beautiful day for riding horses, slight overcast with a breeze and no bugs.  I walked out with Tag’s halter, intending to ride him first, but Elsa had other ideas.  She marched right up to me and demanded that I put the halter on her, so of course I obliged.  After a grooming, we headed down hill on the road and she had a nice swinging walk right off the bat. She had a nice swinging trot on the way back up the hill.

Next we went out in the prairie and we worked on elastic connection in canter and she did very well.  We carried on to the DNR grounds and into the woods and generally had a great time.

Then she had a nice rinse and out for a graze.

Next it was Tag’s turn.  He’s such a sweet man.  I was disappointed to see that he had a pretty good cut on his lip.  I examined it and it doesn’t seem to be infected, but it is a little deep and I didn’t want to upset it by putting a bit in his mouth.

So, he won the prize of a half hour hand graze, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  He was desperate to stuff grass in his mouth in the first few minutes, but then he settled in and enjoyed the process.

Then on to Leo, who was his usual charming cookie-begging self.  

We tacked up and headed out.  He seemed just a touch sensitive on the gravel, so we went out in the prairie.  He was sluggish at first, but after he warmed up, he swung right along.  I think that he is careful with his feet because he *had been* short because once we got into the softer grass in the DNR ground he was quite comfortable, in fact comfortable enough to buck in three separate instances.  He was very happy.

He was feeling so good that we considered the Man From Snowy River Trail, but at the last moment decided better.

Then we had a nice hack home and he felt very good.  He got a rinse and some time in the round pen to graze.

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Hickory Grove training blog

I brought Leo in and tacked him up.  He was surprisingly clean for this time of year!  I cleaned his hooves and noted they were recently trimmed, but didn’t think anything of it.  I tacked up and fed cookies and played with him, then set out across the gravel in front of the barn and down the road.  He was very lethargic!  I wondered if he was sick, actually.  I turned him around after about 50 yards and came back to the barn.  Cindy took his temperature and we both gave him a good once-over.  His expression was bright and playful and he was interested in everything.  We concluded he had sore hooves from the trim.   Dang.


Then I brought Tag in and after grooming and tacking took him out to maybe ride with Jenny Mlosic who was riding by.  I got on him outside and it was like his nerves were outside his skin.  He actually did a mini bolt (for like 5 strides, but it was enough for me to think better of a trail ride without some ring work first at least.)  I got off, took him in the indoor and had a lunging session and it took him a surprising amount of time to settle, considering that he had been allowed to run around in the indoor before tacking and really didn’t do much.  Silly guy.  So I got on in the indoor and had a good session.  Sorry I did not get a picture.  Boo.


Next up was Elsa.  I tacked her up while she mugged for cookies like this: 

She is quite hysterical.  We went out and had a fairly long hack out in the DNR.  During it we did some work on staying on pace on a more slack rein, which went well.  Here’s some walk work in teh woods:

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Hickory Grove Training Blog

I brought both Elsa and Tag in to blow off some steam in the indoor.  Their paddock was dry on the near to the barn side and quite muddy down below.  They had the good sense to stay mostly out of the mud, and looked pretty good considering the circumstances.

I tacked Elsa and we headed off down the road to the end of it by the river.  We had a nice walk warm up down the hill.  Then we trotted back up the hill and she was swinging along quite beautifully – nice big step.

We walked through the yard and there was a trailer with hay on it with a tarp, which Elsa mentioned was scary, but then pretty much walked right by it.  We walked and trotted over to the hickory grove and then had a canter in it.  On the second trip around, I noticed we were leaving moderate hoof prints, so we put an end to that.  We had a lovely walk around the outside of the field, and viewed ten deer, which she had no problem with.

Then, to get some more cantering in, we went on the gravel road for a while and then turned around and walked home.  I untacked her and she enjoyed a roll in the sand.

I brought Tag in and groomed him and spent some extra time telling him how good he is and scratching his itchy shedding face and ears, which he appreciated.

Then we worked in the arena in all gaits and he did extraordinarily well considering he hasn’t been ridden since earlier this month.  So we went out on a hack over to the Delander cemetery.  He wanted to turn back when we were walking, but we had a discussion about that and carried on.  We had some nice work in trot and canter.

We walked the last half mile home and then I untacked him and let him roll in the sand.  Good man.

 

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Tag and Elsa

Plenty of mud out in the paddocks today and his blanket looked like this so I hung it outside to dry.

And he looked like this:

So I spent a little extra time grooming him and also playing with him:

After grooming I tacked him up and rode in the indoor and he was a little light on his feet – bucked a few times when we got to canter, but after a while he got over himself and we proceeded on a hack.

We headed down the hill and he decided to stop and spin back toward home and we had a discussion about that and then carried on down the hill and back up again.  Then past the barn and down the gravel road for a nice trot and canter hack:

I untacked Tag and turned him out in the indoor to roll.  I went out to get Elsa, brought her in the indoor and then let her loose to roll.  It was at this point that both Tag and Elsa thought it was time to play in the good footing.  They ran around like children and had the most lovely time.

Eventually Elsa let me catcher her again and I groomed and tacked her and then put the blanket back on Tag and turned him out.  Elsa was plenty muddy as well and happy to interact:

After grooming and tacking, Elsa and I headed straight out the door and down the hill:

Then it was back up the hill and along the gravel road and over to the Delonder Cemetery:

Thenwe had a lovely trot and canter on the way home and walked the last half mile home.  Lovely day.

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Leo and Tag

Leo was very happy to come in from the mud we are experiencing today and he was also hitting me up big time for cookies.  I groomed him and tacked up and we headed down the road while the sun was still out.

The footing on the road down the the river was by turns muddy and almost icy, but no problem for Mr. Surefoot.  We walked down and trotted back up.

Then we trotted and cantered over to the cemetery, which he enjoyed very much.

Heading home just as the sun goes down.

Tag came in with pretty muddy legs so I cracked out the hose and hosed them off.  It was about 50 degrees, which felt warm to us all.  At least he will get to have clean legs for the overnight and tomorrow the mud should start to dry up.  I rode him in the indoor with Kelly and Elsa.  We did a lot of walking to warm up and then a lot of stretching in trot and then on to canter, in which he was a little fresh to start out.  I let him have a bit of a play and then we got down to work and he did very well!

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Tag has some fun

I brought him in and let him burn off some energy in the indoor:

So that was fun.  Then I put him in the cross ties and brushed him.  When I did, I noticed that his sheath is noticeably smelly.  The next warmish day I will clean it for him.

I tacked up and rode him in the indoor and he was a star.  He was happy to go and polite on the way.  Lovely day.

Frolicking

I brought him in and gave him some liberty time, some of which can be seen above. Also the stop and dramatic pose:

Then I tacked him up and rode him and he did quite well, especially in his canter work.  He started  out suggesting he might buck, but he was just a little rounder than usual and then got over it.  I think he had fun!

After the ride, I let him roll in the arena:

Tag the Good Man

I interrupted his hay supper which he didn’t seem to mind. I turned him loose in the indoor to stretch his legs and he took full advantage, with some impressive trot work and some fun canter antics.

I brought him in to groom and he was mugging for the cookies I was giving him.  He’s very cute!

I don’t know when he was last ridden, so I was anticipating that he might be a little high, but actually he was  quite spectacular.  We did a lot of stretching in all gaits and by the end he was swinging along really nicely.

Dusk hack and arena work

The sun was just setting when I got him tacked.  We went down the gravel road toward the river.  He suggested that we not go down the hill, as evidenced by a few slow spins back left.  I corrected his assumption that he didn’t need to go forward and got marching and then a deer jumped out ahead of us, and he said, “I told you it was scary!”, at which point I said, “Deer aren’t scary, back to it, brother.”  And he dutifully did.

We went down to the barricade and then the black dog came out, which he was only mildly alarmed at.  Then we had a lovely trot back up the hill.  He is moving beautifully.

Then some nice loose canter work in the arena, and he did very nicely and seemed happy with himself.  Good man.  There were peppermints too.  🙂