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

Wind advisory, but a beautiful, sunny, warm day, so Elsa and I headed out on a hack.  I took home your saddle pad on Thursday, washed it and brought it back because I was mostly the one who made it dirty and I know how busy you are right now.

We walked down the hill and she shared her beautiful swinging trot with me on the way up the hill.  Then a walk through the yard and a nice canter in the meadow.

We went into the DNR ground and back in the woods and managed to jump a few downed trees.

We had a canter in the hickory grove and then walked home.  It was warm enough that she enjoyed a rinse, and then a graze.

I brought Leo in and played with him while I groomed him. He is such a personable guy!  I did some flatwork while working with Megan and Archie.  Leo was a little quiet to the leg at first, but he came around quite nicely.  After the lesson we went out on a walk hack down and up the hill and then out to the hickory grove.  Then he got a nice graze.  My website is inexplicably not allowing me to upload the picture I took of him grazing, so I will put in this picture from last week because he’s such a big snugly bear.


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.


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:


Hacking out with Larry, Leo and Elsa

Beautiful day.  Larry on Leo and I on Elsa went out for a hack.  Elsa was really clean considering the mud in the paddock and she is fully committed to spring shedding as evidenced by the floor after grooming.

I thought I took a picture of her cute face, but alas I did not.

On our ride we walked down the hill to the end of the road, had a little interaction with the funny black dog with the white feet down there, and trotted back up the hill.  Elsa was ready to go and Larry and Leo were enjoying each other.

We continued our ride past the barn and on, in walk, trot and canter to the Dalandar cemetary and then a little jaunt further south to the pavement.  On the way home Larry was working on right lead canter and ended with some lovely work.  My picture does not do it justice.Elsa was a little on her toes for the first part of the ride, but came around nicely at the end.  We walked home from the T intersection.  A lovely day.




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!

Twilight Hack

I brought him in and he was very eager to interact, and made many cookie faces like the above.  I groomed him and remarked to myself that he looks very good – shiny and in a good weight for winter.  That said, the girth was a bit of a challenge to attach, he’s in plenty weight.

We went out on a hack around the prairie including a spin around the hickory grove in the twilight.  He was very good other than not wanting to stop a few times, but I could not fault him too much since I know all the horses are a little fresh after what I am assuming was time off during the very cold weather.

He gave me a couple of very round, slow dolphin bucks on the far side of the prairie when we were cantering.  Nothing to worry about – just feeling good!  Sadly, did not get it on video.


From the moment I haltered him and brought him in, it was evident that he was excited to have some fun.  He was a funny goofball in the crossties, mugging for cookies.  We tacked up and went down the road to the river at a walk.

Then we trotted back up the hill and he was swinging along exuberantly.  Then we went out in the prairie  and did some trot and canter work on the way to and in the hickory grove.  We jumped the logs on the ground a few times and then moved on to the log pile to the barrels, which went really well.

Then we hacked around the prairie in trot and canter:

Though I wasn’t quick enough to get video of them, we walked home with a seven deer escort!

Lateral work and transitions

I brought him in and took his blanket off and noticed this:
Yep, that be a blanket rip.  This stuff really works great if you are interested.

I tacked him up and played some games with him, including “where is the cookie?” for which I got this face:

I I rode him in the indoor with Kelly on Elsa.  After a long walk warmup, we did some transition work and some lateral work, including turn on the forehand, which he is good at, and turn on the hindquarters, on which he could teach a class.  Well done.  I did pick up a whip and install a little “more for free” in his walk and the second stride after the canter depart, and he picked it up quickly.  He did very well and we both had a good time.

Short hack and then arena work

The sun was setting and my camera was acting up, so I don’t have pictures for you, dang!  But we went down the hill and back and even had a nice canter back up the hill, which he thought was major fun.

Then we worked in the indoor in all gaits.  By the end we were doing a figure eight with simple changes of lead.  The right lead was sticky at first, but by the end it was quite good.