So I had a lesson tonight, it did not go well. Started with trotter poles to x-rail on diagonal toward home, crossrail gets bigger until ends are at tops of standards, but he consistantly lands on wrong lead and I just cannot get the change. Keep getting yelled at to sit up and push him over, get one change, next one no, then get it again (finally).
Outside line to gymnastic is added after big x-rail (vertical, bounce over ground pole into little oxer). We come up to it and he plants his feet and I go flying. Came down on my lower back/left butt cheek on top of the vertical and bounced onto the other side. I get back on after catching him, do the x-rail, miss the change, come at it again, and again go flying (missing the fence this time) when he slides to a stop. After trainer gives him a none too subtle reminder of how he's supposed to behave (he tried it with him too...once lol), I got back on and made him do it twice.
No permanent damage, but I've got a huge lump on my bum and up onto my back, a bruised knee, and a scraped arm. I think I'm just going to chalk this one up to a bad day, but I'm pissed with myself for letting him get me twice. Although I kind of got him back, he raced around the arena like a loon, but I caught him twice by holding my hand out with an imaginary cookie! I guess neither of us learn the first time.
So I decided to put my old man into just enough work that he gets his figure back. I am not loving this new seemingly underweight version. I think his back has just dropped more, but his ribs are showing a bit and his hips are a little hollow.
He has always had the perfect hunter body......
Any tips on how to get weight on him? He does have a biggish belly. My vet refers to it as a hay belly.
He gets 3 qrts stragtey, beet pulp twice daily and hay 3 times daily. His pasture has grass. I give him 6 qrts alfalfa/timothy pellets about 3ish times a week.
He is also on Gleam and gain supplement.
Anyway, I hope you all are having a great weekend!!!!
Buttons - I am without words other than thank God you didn't get hurt worse. Ditto what Tiger said.
superD - I am of the unpopular opinion that the reason many hard keeper horses are hard keepers is because of hay that could be SO much better. This is where I'm coming from and bear in mind I don't have hard keepers...maybe the Amazon qualifies but not really. She's a TB but an easy keeper. Ok - back to why...
Our hay guy grows AMAZING clean & beautiful orchard grass. We ended up running out of his hay and he'd sold out what he had left to a horse owner with a hay crisis. We had to buy fescue - again, beautiful, clean, tested endophyte free. The horses ate it fine (are still eating it while we wait for 1st cutting orchard) but started dropping weight. Nothing changed in their diet but the hay. And we weren't restricting hay...if anything pushing more and more at them. The horses are dewormed, on Strategy...very well managed. We upped the Strategy. I'm not big on concentrate feeds...just really feel like they were designed to live as grazers...but we upped the Strategy. They continued to just look "poor." We pull the horses completely off our pastures (not a ton of big pasture space) and seed & fertilize every winter (February). As the grass has come in, we started weaning the horses back onto the pastures. As of today, they go on the pasture for about 5 hours tops. 2 weeks of increasing time on the pasture and they've started looking great again- and I'm not talking about shedding out, etc. I'm talking about body condition. None of my horses ever have a hay belly, though I know what you're talking about. Despite your boy's hay belly, I'd investigate hay options. I might be barking up the wrong tree but at this point I've convinced myself I'm right...haha
My plans to ride have been continually thwarted this week. The Amazon got her shoe reset although she's still acting goofy...today the wheelbarrow was a fire breathing dragon. We've spent the past 3-4 days dealing with our old dog...I posted some months ago about his old folks dementia type behavior. We determined he might be just "sundowning" but after seeing him have petite mal seizures recently (past 4-6 wks or so), we figured maybe he was having seizures and then getting confused and hiding under the shrubbery, etc. Well, the arthritis in his knees got really, really bad over the past couple of weeks and his meds weren't helping (he couldn't get up by himself) so we headed to the vet, changed the meds, and I mentioned that I was seeing the petite mal seizures/neurological weirdness more often. We left with the new meds and a script for some phenobarbitol to fill if the new meds helped w/the arthritis. Friday morning the dog looks/feels great; we take him to the vet for an overnight boarding (we were out of town early & late into the night). We pick him up this morning and he won't walk; doesn't seem to recognize us...get him home, he seems more himself. 4 hours later he starts having neurological weirdness, then wham out of nowhere a MASSIVE grand mal seizure. We took Big E straight to the emergency vet & had him PTS. It's been one hell of a day...we were on borrowed time with him and given his breed (Boxer) we're pretty sure we were dealing with a brain tumor. He was somewhere around 14 yo - we got him via Boxer rescue when he was already older - they guessed 6-7 yrs. old. Regardless, it just sucks. I miss him - he was my shadow.
So we spent a couple of hours in the animal graveyard...reminiscing over the various dogs, horses, and cats buried out there. Sorry to fill the re-rider thread with such a non-re-rider entry...
Forecast for this week is rain...and I do mean the ENTIRE week as far out as the forecast goes. Maybe it's just more time to let the Amazon's brain unwind. At least the groaning tack hook will get some relief as the tack will be cleaned, the saddle pads all washed, and I'll get all the horses a good solid trim job on manes, fetlocks, etc. Hoping everyone has a great conclusion to their weekend. Tiger Horse - have a great lesson tmrw morning!!
Buttons, good for you for getting back on and after falling and completing the lesson. I've only fallen a few times, but each time I end up too frazzled to accomplish anything.
Finzean, I'm sorry about your dog. I don't have one, but I have a cat who is my little furry shadow and I don't like to think about what it would be like without him around.
Tiger Horse , one of the barns I ride at is like yours and it drives me nuts. I know I was an annoying beginner myself at one point, but I at least tried to stay out of the way. It's like some people just don't care. There are a few riders that the whole barn avoids either because they are inept or because they will run you over without pause. The lack of structure is hard for me to handle sometimes.
On the flip side, the horses there are awesome. It was finally nice out and I was able to ride outside for the first time since last summer. Hallelujah! I enjoyed it, although for old time's sake I rode the same horse I did last summer and it was a little bittersweet because while I adore him, it was pretty apparent that I've outgrown him. My trainer basically just sat there while we cruised around because there wasn't much to say. The silence was shocking, actually!
Finzean- Thanks for the info. I have no idea what kind of hay they get. ( I board)
But I hope to get with my trainer to discuss different options for my old man.
I am really sorry to hear about your boxer. I lost my dog in Feb from a chronic back ( spine) problem that was not surgical. He was just 4. I miss him terribly!!. I have his ashes on my dresser along with his brother. One day I will be able to bring myself to bury them together in the yard. My thoughts are with you and your family. Of course I am sitting here watching Marley& Me with tears free flowing..... I think I need a glass of wine.... or 10
Anyway I really hope that Amazon gets her brain back soon and you guys can get some riding in.
I did decide to move barns. I paid the deposit this morning.
It is a much better situation for my horse and I think it will also be good for me mentally to be in that type of situation versus the one I'm in. The pony moves May 15-- the sooner the better, basically.
Finzean, so sorry you had to let your dog go. It's such a tough decision, but the right one.
Buttons, hope you're recovering quickly from your unplanned dismount.
SuperD, when I want to put weight on, but don't want to go the grain route, I add oil. Beet pulp makes no sense to me as it is relatively low in calories. It's a great filler and good for horses that need more water, but not as a weight gain type food. Many will disagree with me, BTW.
Soloud, this will be a new adventure for you and it sounds like the right decision.
As for me, although it's really nothing, I'm still proud of myself that I rode alone for the first time in months. Of course, she was absolutely fine, even though I am sure she could feel my nerves. Not sure if I mentioned, but I have a chronic type of brain injury, so I actually have a reason to worry, I'm not just a major weenie. Actually, I'm not supposed to be riding at all, but we all know how likely THAT is.
Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.
Finzean - so very sorry for your loss. Bless you for giving an older dog a wonderful home and a peaceful end. It sounds like you had several happy years together.
SuperD - not sure what the answer is, although my guys top line has improved quite a bit with correct work. I have also found that good hay does wonders.
Soloud - congrats on the upcoming move! I was not able to go out to check the barn I'm considering, but will be there next weekend for the show.
NJR - You are an inspiration!
I had a pretty good lesson this morning. Rode in my show clothes and felt quite proper! Started with my dressage test and did pretty well, I did remember it - woohoo! Couple of pointers from trainer and we were good to go. Changed tack and went outside to do a course or two. Course next week will be 2", so that's what we did (our norm is 2'3,2'6). Trainer had me do 2 courses, both were more complicated than usual, but I remembered them and did both fairly well. So, I guess we're ready. Now, I just have to get the nerves under control - we were joking about mimosas before mounting . . .
Finzean-that happened to our collie (got him at a rescue) he had one major one and then was never the same. He was 15 (and 120 pounds) when we had him put down.
Had a lousy ride, baby was weird so I lunged him, he loved it. DD took the older guy for a trail ride he was running up the hills. I guess he feels better. Feeling like 3 steps back right now with the baby.
Finzean - I'm really sorry about your dog. Letting one go is one of the hardest decisions to make. You have the comfort of knowing you gave him a peaceful end.
Button - ouch! Glad you are okay. Do you think he just got overwhelmed by the questions being asked or was generally being bratty/testing you?
Soloud - Good luck at the new place, that's great that you get to move so quickly! I drive further now than at my last place, and I think its totally worth it.
TH- Glad you were able to have a good lesson despite the difficulties at your barn. "Liquid Courage" (in small quantities, lol) before the test would probably relax you...I know someone who takes a shot before she rides! Not very conventional, but hey.
SuperD - Have you tried adding oil to your guys food? Could you get him on some kind of senior feed or do you have to go with what the barn offers?
sv - sorry for the lousy ride. It is frustrating to feel like your taking steps back with the young ones, but sometimes that is what they need to process.
I think thats everyone - sorry if I missed someone out, it was not intentional!
As for me, I haven't ridden since Wednesday. I had surgery on Friday (no big deal, I'm fine) and was hospitalized overnight not because of pain from the surgery itself but due to nausea/dehydration/extreme low blood pressure from the anesthesia. So annoying! Anyway the good news is I'm doing well enough that I should be able to ride something quiet by next weekend! Whoop!
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Event4life - definitely a dirty stop(s). I've seen him jump the same gymnastic at 3' with another rider, so 18" was def not a challenge. He's just stubborn and ocassionally a jerk. Glad you're recovering though, anasthesia after-effects are not fun.
I have not yet caught up on everyone's post, but Finzean, oh, I'm so sorry. That sucks. Obiously you did the right thing, but it's not at all easy, I know. My dogs are my family. My heart goes out to you.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
Just a quick update on my end. I have had some really good rides this past week or two. The new girl (we've been calling her Maya recently) has settled in nicely and is doing well. I really do like her. And also important, my DH likes her and is taking good care of her. He's been doing most of the riding, but I'll ride her today. Chico has been doing well, too. I think he's conditioning has picked up nicely. Last weekend I was working on my first "course" type work. Nothing big, really. One vertical may have been 2'6", the rest likely 2'3" or even 2'. He was a little "up" as he can get jumping, but he's a good boy. My problem was that with the bad ankle, I'm having trouble staying balanced in the saddle. I tend to put more weight in the good ankle, which makes my saddle slip to the good side. It's frustrating. Not so much on the flat, but over fences. I did end up lengthening my stirrups one hole this weekend, and though the feel long, I think it did help some. I'm not sure what else to do. Yesterday we just worked on gymnastics, and that was fun. My DH is my coach at home.
***** Button, sorry to hear about your incident. Hate when that happens. I hope by now you're starting to mend!
superD, what works for my senior (Chico is 19) is Triple Crown Complete. It's a complete feet, but I feed it just as a normal feed, and he gets hay as well. But he keeps his weight on well. I've also had good results with hard keepers using Purina Ultium. I've had a few PICKY geldings that did realy well on Ultium. The topline will do better if you continue to work him a bit. But as they get old, they will lose their shape. Good luck!
Finzean, hope you get some quality non-riding time in. Sorry about the rain. Blech. We had a MASSIVE storm here Saturday overnight. My Malinois was so scared he hopped into our bed (they sleep in their own bed by our window) and he was shaking. I felt really bad, so I let him stay up there till the storm passed. Of course when the Mally is up in bed, the Ridgeback needs to come, too. So we were quite crowded for a few hours!
twelvebelles, even though you had an easy ride, I bet it was really nice just to go out and enjoy the weather and not worry about a lot. That's okay. Enjoy those when you can!
soloud, AWESOME on finding a good barn. I hope it's a great fit! Keep us posed. May 15 is just around the corner. Yay!
NJR, I'm proud of you! Be careful. Glad you pony was an angel.
Tiger Horse, sounds like all your prep work is in order. Great job! I think you will be ready. Try not to be too nervous. Always have in the back of your mind that you are well prepared and this is fun.
stolen, babies are babies. I know it's frustrating. But you had a positive workout in your lunge session. Perfect.
Event4Life, hope all is well post surgery. Don't push it if you don't have to.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
Oh, Dewey...how beautiful! Just when I thought I was done crying...but the words are so true! I feel this way about my horses, too. My timeline of my life - and I'm sure other animal folk are the same - is marked by the animals that were in it at any given time. Emmett was my first boy post divorce. He was the man of the house, my shadow & confidant. He was a quiet presence...always there, but never begging to be noticed. He was a perfect gentleman with an eye for expensive things. He HATED to be left behind & refused crate training by simply destroying the crate from the inside out. On several occasions I had to leave him behind when he did not want to be left behind. On those days he chose something expensive and let me know of his feelings: week old Dansko clogs (chewed the backs off of them, left the front perfect); a leather messenger bag, a cell phone, and perhaps his greatest masterpiece, a red leather Coach handbag. Aside from peeing IN a pair of fairly new Sperrys (and the aforementioned) he NEVER did anything wrong.
It is going to be difficult for our next canine family member to reach the bar he set but he was such a wonderful part of our family, we cannot imagine life without a dog. That's how well he did his job as a good dog.
Thanks so much for sharing that piece. I've printed it out for DH. I think we might not be done with this business of our eyes "sweating" profusely, yet.
Event - take care of yourself!
Paradox - sounds like you are making steady progress. So nice to have eyes on the ground - I envy you!
Dewey - that was beautiful - thank you for sharing with everyone.
Stolen - sorry about your ride - I sure don't have the patience for babies, I really admire those that do.
As for me - the show, although very small, is a go! My dressage test is at 9:48. Stadium will be after all the dressage tests are done (approx 10:40). I am the only one doing CT . . . I will consider this show a smashing success if:
1. I remember my test (show nerves and all)
2. I stay on
3. I remember the stadium course
4. I stay on
A fellow boarder videoed my "dress up" jump lesson on Sunday - I hope to be able to add a link later tonight . . .