Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Buckshot Update, Cantering, Extravaganza and Contest

First, I apologize for missing writing a post last week. I was unusually busy and didn’t get to it, but I did feel guilty!

This past weekend we have lovely weather here in central Virginia. Both days were sunny and in the 70’s-couldn’t have been nicer. The leaves are just starting to turn colors here, so seeing the occasional vivid tree was very nice. I hope the autumn colors will continue, they are turning quite slowly this year, taking their time. And now we have the possibility of lots of rain this weekend and early next week as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast. Yikes!

On Saturday, Buckshot and I worked on circles in our warmup, big, small and serpentines of various shapes. The footing was soft and sandy, and I could see Buckshot’s hoof tracks in the sand- he did really nice circles! We did some trotting and he even did two very nice canters. But I was not able to enjoy them; I was so off of my game on Saturday. The reason was new boots. That didn’t work well at all. That hurt my feet and lower legs, and were so stiff I couldn’t bend my ankle properly. Damn. I should have brought a back up pair of comfortable boots! But I didn’t and so it was pretty painful and frustrating to ride on Saturday. And Buckshot had good energy!

At one point Buckshot walked over to the trailhead, and into the woods we went! He was a little timid, with tiny little steps, but he kept going, and after we crossed the bridge, halfway down the trail, I turned us around, and voila! He started walking just fine!

We went back into the arena, and soon two other riders joined us. We did some warmup for them, and then all three horses headed into the woods. Buckshot was fine in the woods with the other horses nearby. He’s funny- some days he is fine in the woods by ourselves, other days he likes other horses to be there. We worked for a while in the reining arena, including some nice canters – go, Buckshot!- and then we headed back to the barn. In all, Buckshot and I rode for almost two hours.

His poop has gotten a little soft again. He had been having nice solid poop since starting him on the new probiotic, but perhaps with the change in seasons, and the resulting change in grasses, he is having a bit of soft poop again. I could see some dried poop on the underside of his tail. I made a mental note to clean his rear end good on Sunday, knowing he would like to go to the wash stall so he could eat some grain there!

Sunday was an exciting day at the farm. Lots going on. One boarded horse had been sold and was going to a new home. A new boarded horse was to have arrived late Saturday, apparently a 2 year old stud (are you supposed to call them a stallion when they are two? I’m not sure) bought, sight unseen, by a young mother just getting back into horses. Hmmm. So when I arrived Sunday morning, I could see the new stud in the arena, eating hay. He was short, dark bay and quite calm. Very short, like 13 hands. Hmmm. I went about my usual activities – going to Buckshot’s pasture to say hi, and see how he is, and if their stalls need cleaning, or if the persimmon tree needs help dropping some fruit, or if the salt block bucket needs cleaning, or if the water tub needs cleaning, or if my sweet horse needs hugs (yes, he does!). You get the picture.

While at the persimmon tree, I could see way over yonder, to the main barn, and a trailer that had pulled up to pick up the boarder. This horse hadn’t been trailered for years, so I watched the trailering. After a few veer-offs to the side, I saw him go calmly into the trailer. Whew- that’s good. A little group of people stood around and talked for a few minutes, then the trailer pulled out.

After I brought Buckshot to the main barn and got him tacked up (wearing my old, favorite, comfortable boots – hooray!), we couldn’t use the arena because of the new horse in it, so we walked around the grassy areas outside the arena for our warmup. Then the BO came out on her horse and we walked down the road to the reining arena and did some work there. Buckshot had nice energy and did some good trotting and cantering. I used more firm kicks with my outside leg when cantering and he kept the canter longer. It was much, much better cantering than the past two weekends. I mentioned that to the BO and she said yes sometimes, with arthritis, they have good days and not so good days. I am thinking about, and talking to her about giving him inter-muscular injections of the standard anti-arthritis drug, but don’t want to do so unless it really seems warranted. In December, Buckshot is due for his annual teeth floating by the vet, so that is probably a good time to explore that possibility with the vet. After a short loading dosage, it would be one weekly injection which I could give him. On the one hand, I may think he doesn’t seem to need it, but on the other hand, if he is uncomfortable, and the injections make him more comfortable, they may be a good idea. So I am giving it some thought.

The BO and I left the arena, and went down the road to the main barn, where the BOH was getting his horse ready to ride. The BO untacked her horse and went to get another horse to ride, so I hopped off of Buckshot, loosened his cinch and let him eat grass for ten minutes or so. Then I tightened the cinch, got back on him and the three of us went on another ride! We went on the trail this time, through the lovely woods, with the sunshine zooming down among the trees, with crackly leaves underfoot, surrounded by the coolness of the semi-shady trail. It was a picture perfect trail ride! At the reining arena, we did some more work. Buckshot nodded his head a bit, no doubt thinking, hey! This is two rides in one day! That’s more than the contract calls for! I want double treats! Ha, ha! But he did great, and after some work, we headed back to the barn. He and I rode for two hours! It was a wonderful day and a wonderful double ride!

Then after giving Buckshot his treats, I took him to the wash stall and washed his rear end and tail and sprayed his tail with Vetrolin, while he ate grain. He was a very happy horse, and a spiffy one, when I walked him back to the pasture. What a sweet horse – I am so lucky to have him!!

The Equine Extravaganza is coming to Richmond in a few weeks and I have been looking at the schedule and the clinics to see what I want to go see. I would really like to see the big show they do each night – the one starring Tommie Turvey and his wonderful act with his horses. It is so inspiring to see really well trained horses doing spectacular things, don’t you think? It shows some of the best that horses are, and horses are really awesome animals. You know what I’d also like to do? This is a crazy idea, but with so many horsemen and horsewomen there in one place, it would be amazing to ask each one “what is one secret of horses that you have learned over your lifetime?” They have the opportunity to be around horses so much, and for so many years, and if they think deeply about them, I’ll bet they have discovered some wonderful secrets about horses that I would never discover. It’s a thought, isn’t it?

Oh, and I want to do some shopping there also. Oh, yes. I have a small, unimpressive wish list so far. I want to get Cowboy Magic conditioner for Buckshot’s main and tail, and a new headstall (or bridle), because his lost some Chicago screws a few weeks back and I am borrowing a headstall from the BO for the time being, so I also want some Chicago screws (lots of them!), and a new jacket, and lots of new boots (I love boots!) and some treats for Buckshot, and some new gloves. And that list – which actually does sound a bit expensive – is without seeing all the other things that will be there! Oh, no, I feel some major financial damage coming! Ha, ha!

And one last thought, I’d like to do a blog contest for you, all my faithful readers! I’m not sure what I would ask you to do, maybe finish a sentence or something, but I love the part about giving away a prize. I get so excited when I see a blog contest and I love to try and win, and I haven’t won anything yet, but the sheer excitement is such fun! So I want to do one, and send one of you a super prize. Maybe I’ll get some ideas and prizes at the Extravaganza! So please keep reading!!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your precious horses. Enjoy the photographs (I finally took my camera to the barn recently and got some new photos. But am having trouble uploading more than one...)


owen said...

Hi, I have just discovered your blog. You sound like such a lovely person - the kind of person all horses would choose for their owner. Your horse is adorable too. Here in Yorkshire UK the weaher is foggy and dull just so you can appreciate your "fall" or autumn as we call it even more!

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like you and Buckshot had a perfect weekend. Don't you love this time of year! Lovely picture of Buckshot. Bring your camera more often, I'd love to see more picture of your handsome boy.

juliette said...

Great rides on your sweet boy. I love the crunching of leaves in the woods. You are lucky to have you wonderful horse AND great places to ride in the woods!

Thanks, Jan, for the nice comments over at my blog. Your kind words inspire me to keep writing!

juliette said...

Jan - Just checking in - hope you and Buckshot are doing a-ok after the storm!