Luke hack and jump

IMG_3996I brought him and gave him a grooming.  His leg looks a lot better as you can see.  He was completely sound on it.

I fed him some apples I rec’d from a friend at work who has an overabundant apple tree.  He was loving that.  Then I tacked up and rode him in the indoor and he was great.  Then we went on a hack down to the barricades at the end of the road and trotted back up the hill.  Then we did a walk and trot around the field in a counter-clockwise direction and then jumped the jump and turned around and trotted and cantered back around the field.  We had a few discussions about him throwing a hip here or there when he saw a weed he didn’t approve of and by the end he was going really really well.  Nice day.

Harley good man


Harley the trail horse

I brought Harley in and groomed him and fed him a bunch of apples that I had from a friend at work.  He was all about that.  Then I tacked him and lunged him and he was great.  I got on and he was very good, stood still beautifully.  Then we did a lot of work in walk, working on connection and relaxation.  On to trot and canter, working on the same thing.  He is breathing and relaxing in trot and canter a lot better.

Then we went on a hack down the road to the barricades at the bottom of the hill.  He was very good.  We walked the whole way because his hooves are sensitive to the gravel and we found the softer spots, so he was fine.  Very good day!


I brought Elsa in and brushed her, then lunged her to see if she was sound yet.  Fine to the left, but still a hint of intermittent unsoundness to the right.  Because of the rain, the horses were off the pasture today, so for a treat I turned her out in the round pen for a while.

Owie Lukie

IMG_3985I brought him in and groomed him and noticed he had an injury to his right front cannon bone, right on the front.  It is not a new injury and it does not look infected.  I lunged him and he is sound on it.

It looks actually fairly alarming in the close up below, but, it is not draining anything bad and does not bother him one bit.  I trimmed all the hair away from it, which keeps the cut  a little more germ-free.  I used a scissors.  It would be great if somebody had a small cordless clipper around for just such a situation.  A lot can be told about a cut if you IMG_3982can just get the hair out of the way.  At any rate, it is not a new injury, maybe a day or two old and he was sound on it when I lunged him, so I tacked up.  If this were my own horse, I would not put a lot of gunky stuff on it and would monitor it.  Some Swat around it to keep the flies off might be a good idea.

At any rate, I held him or sat on him while I taught a lesson with Megan and Rylee.  Then we did some flat work and a bit of jumping over a very small block jump.  He was very sound and quite happy to go.

Then we went out for a hack, down to the river in walk and trot and back up in trot and canter.  Then a walk to cool out, rinse and supper time.

Archie on a hack

I tacked him up and lunged him and he really looks much improved.  He has a lot more muscle and is moving with more presence.  Such a delight to see.  I got on and he stood beautifully.

In our warm up, I sent him forward in all gaits and worked on helping him not to brace and twist through his poll with some success.

Then we went on a hack.  First we trotted down the hill to where the road ends.  I want him to be confident about it so that Megan can be confident about it.  He did great.  It should be noted that it rained a lot recently and the gravel at the shoulder  is nice and soft for his hooves.  Then we trotted back up the  hill which he remarked was a lot of work.  I reminded him he was a tb and could handle it.  I think he grumbled a little at that.

Then we went out and had some nice walk, trot and canter work in the field.  He was excellent!  I noticed that when he is really through his body he stretches to both reins equally.  This is part of the key to helping him be straight in his rein contact.

Harley canters in the big world

I brought him in, tacked up and lunged him.  He had the usual buck in canter, but got over himself.  I got on and he did very well in all three gaits, especially walk and canter,  He is working on his balance in trot, which is fine.

Then we went out on a hack.  We crossed the road and went into the house yard and the dogs really came at him, barking up a storm.  He reacted a bit (just stopped and backed a bit) which encouraged them to come at him more.  I yelled at the dogs and swung the dressage whip at them and Harley was great.  He clearly understood I was not yelling at him.  Steve came and got the dogs, and we carried on as if nothing happened.  That was great of Harley!

Then we walked for a bit through the pine tree lane behind the horse pasture and then trotted on the trail.  He was completely unfazed by some areas of mud and just kept on trucking.  We did some walk and then we were in the hickory grove.  He was suspicious of the brush jump, but I asked him to go by and he did.  Then we did some trot and canter circles around the brush jump and a little canter in the hickory grove.  He was very good other than wanting to make his circles egg-shaped with a bulge toward the barn.  This is fairly common and will pass with experience.

Then we trotted and walked home and had a rinse and turn out in the round pen.  Good man!  He says he needs some more fly spray or that you need to tell me where his is.

New jump and hack out

Steve was excited to show me his new ramp jump.  I was just about done tacking  Luke, so I rode him over to look at the jump where Steve was building it behind the house.  It is a nice looking jump and Luke stood politely while we discussed it.

Then I rode him out and around the field.  We jumped the existing jump a few times and had a nice canter in the hickory grove.  He is becoming a bit more relaxed in his toppline with each outing.  Snapped a picture on the hack home, which I am having trouble getting to load.  May come soon.  LOL

I hosed him down and let him graze in the round pen while I rode Harley.  They are now grazing in the hayfield in the evenings!

I noticed that your saddle is starting to get a sweat mark on the flap.  This can be hard on the leather and can be curtailed with a larger saddle pad.  Some of the dressage saddles take an oversized pad.  Just a thought.  I also snapped some pictures of this.  May come soon.

More hacking

I brought him in and brushed him.  He seemed almost dozy, he was so relaxed.  I tacked up and lunged him and he was near perfect.  I got on and rode and he stood really well for mounting and afterward.  Then we worked in the arena in all gaits, working on connection and stretching.  That went well and he even had some nice relaxed breaths in canter.

IMG_3922Then we went out for a hack all the way around the outside of the field.  He was relaxed and interested in his environment.  A female turkey ran across the path and as we approached the spot she had started from, 8 baby turkeys flushed from the grass.  He handled it beautifully, just shied in place and carried on.

Rinse, graze in the round pen and done.  Very good day!




IMG_3924 IMG_3926

Swede Point Park

I brought him in and tacked him up and headed over to Swede Point park. He was a little looky but quite good on the way over. When we entered the park he thought all the RVs parked there were pretty overwhelming, but he managed to keep his wits about him and go by. Then we went on the woods trail until we came to the narrow switch backs which we saved for another day’s adventure. Ferdinand_the_Bull_film_posterThen we went for a hack in the prairie area where he enjoyed the butterflies and prairie flowers.  He was like Disney’s Ferdinand the Bull.  Very cute.

A kid came out and petted him and he stood like a champions, which was lovely, since she was barefoot.

Then walked, trotted and cantered our way home and he was quite good.  Rinse, and I let him graze in the round pen while I rode Harley.  Very good day.