Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brownie Points


Monday, the day after Peebs' throw down in the pasture, I cleaned his cuts out and reapplied antibiotic spray.  He then went out into the dry lot paddock McKenna was in last year, by himself.  I figure after the show next weekend we'll try turning him out with other ponies again.  No need to risk the chance of him getting hurt before that.  Well, anymore than he's horse and horses are prone to injury no matter what, especially before a show.
The best view

Tuesday I put him on the lunge line and he was incredibly lazy.  But sound.  Which is what that matters. Wednesday I rode in the arena for maybe 15 minutes, just a little walk trot canter to see how he felt.  He took maybe two off steps but otherwise felt pretty good. 

Also, lots of brownie point for not caring about getting sunscreen on his little nosie.
The fields across from the barn have been cut, but not baled yet.  We usually only ride out in the fields after they're baled, but I couldn't wait.  We walked out between the windrows and Peebs was foot perfect.  I was able to ride with one hand on the buckle and he marched along happy as can be.  His first ride out in the field, by himself no less, and he's great.  He earned mega brownie points for that.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Triple Whammy

Poor Peebs and I got a 1-2-3 punch this weekend. We had a jump lesson Friday night and while we kept it together it was far from our best.

My trainer's been out of town for vacation and work so we haven't seen her in a few weeks. I've been feeling somewhat directionless and in need of guidance. Unfortunately Peebs was up and spooked pretty hard a couple of times at goblins in the bushes. We mostly just tried to keep him calm and relaxed, trotting fences and lines. The one time we attempted to canter a fence he bolted out of the scary corner then went sideways. We did manage to trot out of the corner and over the jump, but didn't attempt cantering a fence again. Another horse bolted in that some corner later that night, so there really must have been something there.
The whip and the neigh neigh

Saturday there was a western dressage clinic in the barn that we rode in, except in jump tack, that completely fried the pony's brain. I told the clinician that Peebs likes his face to be left alone and she said that her style is a lot of seat and leg and to ride them front to back. Sounded good to me. She had me really focus on his head in our transitions, keeping him deep and round. While she did want me focusing on keeping my seat active and bumping him with my legs, she did want a lot of contact with his mouth.
Clinician and another rider

Going left was pretty good but going right, his hard side, we hit a brick wall. He got very pissy, started sucking back and not going forward. She had me shorten my reins and lift my hand to follow his head, but my reins ended up being about a foot long. My hands were at the end of the braided section of rein, with my arms fully extended. I was supposed to be channeling him forward but he decided that going up was a better option. He popped up with his front end, not a full out rear but definitely a warning. She kept telling me to turn him and send him forward but by the third time he did it I mentally said f**k this and turned him left and let him walk on a long rein. 

We were able to trot left, do a half circle and trot right, then go back left before we called it quits. She told me I need to ride with my reins that short for a few weeks for him to get it. Umm, no. How bout not. I'm really not doing a good job of clinics this year.
Before the carnage

Sunday my BO was doing some fence and pasture work and we turned a few of the horses out together. Peebs went out with my BO's young gelding, who he's been turned out with before, and one of her mares. Peebs and Charlie were fine but once Liza was out it all went to hell. Liza kicked Peebs in the shoulder and they separated and seemed ok for almost an hour till he got too close to her grazing and she went after him again. A scrape on the right front, a kick to inside of his left hind gaskin and cannon bone later I pulled him out. He was a bit gimpy at first, but seemed fine by the time we were back in the barn. I hosed and washed everything, liberally applied vetericyn, buted him up, and left him in his stall. Hopefully he won't be too sore tomorrow. So much for a relaxing end to a killer weekend. Sorry bubba!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Goals Check In

My goals for the first half of the year were pretty basic since I had just gotten Peebs:

The Peebs:

  • Work on ear clipping/ear handling in general  Still needs work.  But clipping his ears while sedated works well.
  • Get his teeth done  Found out he was missing a tooth!
  • Figure out our bitting situation  Broken snaffle pelham ftw!!!
  • Lunge 1x week in the vienna reins  Did this almost every week, but keeping it for a yearly goal
  • Canter transitions Much better than they were, but we can always improve!
  • Get comfortable over fences again! Pretty sure this will always be a work in progress
  • Work on my eye and seeing a distance I think my eye has gotten worse....
  • Learn to trust that he's not going to take off/spin/crowhop/rear  While not a deadhead, Peebs is such a laid back guy its been easy to relax on him, especially on the flat.  
As anxious as I am to show I'd love to be able to set show goals, but I figure we need to get to know each other first.  If I show before the summer, great!  If not, who cares!  My main goal is get comfortable jumping again and enjoy the ride! Done!! And with great results! I'm planning another show in a couple weeks, still at the trot-a-course height but this year will be dedicated to getting back into the groove and having fun at shows!

For the rest of 2016 my goals are:

The Peebs:
  • Work on ear clipping/mane pulling/ear handling
  • Lunge 1x week in vienna reins
  • Canter transitions 
  • Start working on flying changes 
  • Field rides once a week when the fields open up
  • Get comfortable over fences
  • Work on my eye and seeing distances
  • 2pointober
  • no stirrups at least once a week
  • Be able to canter a full course of fences (height doesn't matter) without losing my shit
  • Continue showing as time and money allows
  • Dominate the crossrails and make all the little pony kids cry when they lose to us

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Model Status

When I first got Peebs he needed a lot of TLC. He had a full fuzzy winter coat, needed a mane pull, needed his legs trimmed and washed. He looked like your typical lesson pony.
Diamond in the rough
I'm proud to say that over the last five months he's blossomed into quite the handsome guy.

 He know how to pose dramatically, can take an awesome head shot, and generally has #modelstatus down. 

Apparently I'm not the only one to think so. The barn I bought him from was used for the Fall/Winter 2015 Irideon catalog. They didn't tell me when I bought him, but a friend of mine went to look at a horse there last week and they told her that Peebs was used in the catalog. So I did some internet sleuthing and found these: 

Imagine what that pic would look like now!!

My baby's famous! Next stop, the cover of the Dover catalog! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Back at it Again with the Pelham

One of the things that stuck with me from the awful, horrible, no good clinic was trying different bits with Peebs.  While I don't agree that my pelham is worthless and whoever sold it to me should be shot (technically it would be the nice checkout lady at the local feed store. Sorry girl, I really liked you!) its not a bad idea to try something new once in a while.  

I already knew that a plain snaffle or a French link is ok for flatwork, but I have no breaks when jumping.  A slow twist pissed Peebs off so much that we ran sideways into standards.  I tried a rubber mullen mouth and we also went spinning sideways. I tried a waterford and it went ok for three or four rides.  He wasn't super soft in my hand like with the plain snaffle, but I had breaks.  He was more reactive to it than the pelham, but not as much as with the mullen or slow twist. I did put a standing martingale on because he was a bit high headed but ultimately decided that I didn't like him in that bit.

I do like the look of a big hunter dee ring
So back we went to the pelham.  I tried adjusting my chain like she said to and I think I might need to see if I can take a couple links off.  Peebs just seems easier to ride with the pelham, and as much as I'd like to not have to ride with two reins, his comfort comes before mine. I might do some flat rides with the plain snaffle, just for funsies and who knows, maybe one day we can drop him down to it full time. But for now we'll stick to the awful best bit for him.
Dis my favorite bit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Magic Touch

When we last left off Peebs had recovered from his mild colic/heat stress episode and I had a couple normal days.  It was still crazy hot and in the 90s so I wasn't riding much, but I know we had a couple meh rides sometime last week.  Then last Tuesday I got to the barn and saw this:

Peeb's sheath had swollen.  He let me touch it and it felt hard, like he had a little ball on each side.  If I didn't know any better I would have thought his testicles had finally dropped!!  I attempted cleaning it but that he did not like and I wasn't very successful. I did cold hose his sheath for a while, which felt odd and a bit creepy. Wednesday it was even more swollen so I called the vet.  Peebs was acting fine and peeing normally, and I rode, so I figured he wasn't that uncomfortable but I wanted to get it checked out before it got worse. 

Since it wasn't an emergency the only time they could fit me into the vet's schedule was if I took him into the clinic midday Thursday.  So I left work early and hauled him over. Peebs got a dose of happy drugs and my vet started cleaning.  He worked for a good half hour and eventually dug out a pretty good size bean.  Vet thinks that was what was causing the swelling and if I hadn't gotten his sheath cleaned it could have caused him to not be able to pee.  

The best part of the whole thing was when my vet was cleaning Peebs, Peebs would scrunch up his lips and his head would vibrate and shake.  It was like it hurt and yet felt so good.  The vet tech and I were cracking up and told my vet that he as the magic touch.  Peebs loves my vet so much he had to see him twice in a week!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Friday Night Fun

Mother Nature decided to start summer early this weekend in Oregon. It went from mid60s last week to 99 over the weekend. Friday was forecast for close to 90, and I had a half day at work so I got to the barn just before noon to ride.
So hot, much tired
I had switched Peebs back to a plain snaffle like the awful clinician suggested to see how he was, and while I like the bit for flat work I need more brakes jumping. I wouldn't say he was bad, just forward and he tended to pick distances instead of listening to my half halts. We didn't ride super long since it was already getting hot and I hosed him down and put him away. 

I went home and passed out took a 3hr naprolled out of bed, and headed out to feed dinner. When I got there I chatted with one of the other boarders for a few mins and thought it odd that Peebs didn't whinny for me. Normally if I don't say hi to him and give him a cookie when I get to the barn he'll call for me. 

I got his hay and grain made and ambled down the aisle. He didn't poke his head over his door and was hanging out at the back of his stall. I fed and watched him thinking something wasn't right. He nosed the hay and took the tiniest bite of grain ever. He usually attacks his grain with great gusto so big alarm bells went off. He lifted his lip and I saw that his gums were pale. 

I called the vet and got the answering service since it was 5:30 and after hours. Luckily my regular vet was on call that night, instead of one of his associates, and still at the clinic which is a mile from the barn. Those five minutes waiting for him felt like forever and I was having flashbacks to Phoenix. Peebs was in no way as bad as Phoenix was, in fact I wouldn't even say he was colicking except that he wasn't eating. He had lots of normal poop, wasn't trying to go down, looked bright eyed and normal. But I was convinced it was serious. 
Really mom, I'm fine!

After a quick exam vet pronounced a mild colic, probably due to heat stress. His gut sounds were a tad sluggish, his respiratory rate was slightly high, but he had a normal temp and wasn't dehydrated. His gums were a touch pale but vet said still in the acceptable range. A dose of banamine and a recommendation for electrolytes and mushy grain later the vet was on his way. I stayed for a bit and watched him start eating before going to grab my own dinner.  I came back around 8 and he had eaten everything, pooped some more, and drank.

Peebs got Saturday off but was treated to twice a day grain (mushy and with electrolytes!) and a bath.  Even with 99* temps, he seemed fine and drank quite a bit.  Sunday I rode early in the am, worried that he'd colic again after riding but he was his normal self when I went out to feed last night when it was 93*.  He'll stay on the electrolytes all summer, just in case.  And hopefully this will be our only brush with colic and emergency after hours vet call!