Class of 2013?

Anne
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:41 am

Demi and MC - thanks for your positive comments! We've not measured Fergal, but think he is about 15.3hh. He's a shade taller than our measured 15.2hh gelding. He feels tiny next to our other big boys (16.2hh 3/4 Irish Draught and 16hh 1/2 Andalusian, very solidly built, and even the 15.2hh boy is much bigger boned than Fergal), but I think he is going to be an ideal size for me.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised I could swing my leg over his rump and drape over him.... my flexibility has definitely declined over the years (I'm now in my early 50s....), but thankfully have retained some!

Next goal is to sit up on him bareback, and then get a few steps. Will do this in an enclosed yard, and just see how we go. The good thing about bareback is that it is easy to slide off if they get a bit tense.

Here's another photo of his cute face!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:17 am

Have made some further small steps with Fergal over these last couple of weeks. Primarily, hopping on bareback a number of times, putting a saddle on his back (no girth yet), and tightening a surcingle and walking around with no bucking. The surcingle achievement was quite a relief. I'm not certain that he won't have another major bucking session, but he seems much calmer with everything, so perhaps getting his brain in a better place (less tension) has made a difference.

Last night, my other-half legged me up and led us around the yard, and I coordinated a leg aid with his voice command 'walk-on'. No dramas at all! Repeated this afternoon (leg up, lead around) in a larger area and again, perfectly fine, seemed calm and confident, and turned around to take a treat from me. Good boy!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:19 am

Further progress with the young man: having sat on him a few times, we progressed to walking around the yard, then arena bareback, and doing some stop, go and turn.

Also got the saddle on and girth tightened with no drama - I feel that is our biggest achievement so far, given his initial violent bucking reaction to the surcingle. And have walked around, first in the yard, then the arena with the saddle on - still on the lunge-line, but he's understanding my aids for stop, go and turn very well.

I'm now away for work for a bit, but my other-half will continue some lunge and in-hand work.

Here's a couple of photos to document our achievement! :

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby demi » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:17 am

Progress!! Congratulations. He looks promising!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby musical comedy » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:40 am

You're really talented with the young horses. I'm impressed. Getting on an unstarted horse bareback :shock: I like this young horse a lot and you fit him well.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby StraightForward » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:47 pm

Nice progress - how exciting to be up in the tack!
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Sue B » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Great progress! You guys are really looking good.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:27 am

I got back from work 2 weeks ago. While I was away my partner kept up a bit of lunging work with Fergal and he's generally much more settled and confident. He got canter right happening reliably, canter left much more difficult though. He also introduced cavaletti. He did have one set back while I was away - Fergal spooked at something and took off bucking around the paddock. And thereafter was suspicious of the surcingle for quite a spell.

Now that I'm back, the aim is to work up to riding again : to that end, we introduced side-reins this week, and I've also been up on him a couple of times, and walking around bareback on a short lunge line. Tomorrow, weather permitting (ie as long as not too windy or pouring with rain!), will put the saddle on and have a mosey around the arena.

Here's a few recent photos, was pleased with how he accepted the side-reins, not too much fuss, tossed his head a little like he was trying to work out the contact, but happy to go forward. I forgot to put his hoof boots on, so he wasn't moving out quite as freely as when he has his boots on (he's barefoot, and still adjusting to our conditions), so we kept this session short, but he was very biddable. I like the way he is reaching with a slight arch to his neck, and getting a little bend.

It's hard to believe, but Fergal has been with us nearly 6 months. And I feel that only this last month or so has he got really much more comfortable with the general handling (catching, leading, tying up, feet). It seems to have taken him that long to settle in to his new surroundings and routine. He does seem to be a rather reactive and sensitive type, and I think missing those early years of handling means that it has taken him longer to accept things. But I think we are making progress!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:41 am

And, today, we trotted under saddle!!!! We rode yesterday, just at walk, and mostly following his buddy. Today, didn't have the other horse, but my partner stood in the centre of the ring and we worked around him, and because Fergal felt so comfortable, we both asked for trot and off he went, very matter-of-fact, didn't seem to struggle with his balance. We checked before hand that we felt ready for it ('Do you want to try a 'T'? - code, because F. knows the word 'trot' so well!!), then I just shorted my reins a little, took some mane with my outside rein for extra balance and we both said 'trot-on', and got a nice prompt transition. Finished with a few circles of walk, asking for a little correct bend (difficult to the right, where he wants to fall in), to which he responded, after a little persistence - 'here is my leg, now flex a little, but keep going'!. Feeling happy with the young lad right now - given what I've seen he can do (panic and buck big time), I'm really happy he is responding well to the initial rides.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:49 pm

Have had 9 rides now, including one 'out on the trail' (aka, down and up our long driveway). He had his buddy there, and happily walked and trotted both behind and in front. Already he is much more prompt in his transitions, and starting to bend correctly. I'm sure we'll have some testing times (as has exvet in the other thread!), but happy with progress so far.

Hope that you others with similar age youngsters are having fun (Linden16? Red's Mom? - I see Heddylamar and Straightforward posting in the 'training' forum...)

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Sat May 05, 2018 12:18 am

I'm glad to see you're out and about on your boy Anne. He's looking great! I've been reading your posts here, but obviously not posting much.

Maia's advancing nicely, despite the human setbacks we've faced since Thanksgiving ... no more breaking myself? I hope.

She's stepping into the canter immediately, albeit from the walk, on both leads. I introduced shoulder-in at the trot last week, to try an exercise from a former trainer — shoulder-in at trot, 1-2 steps straight, then canter. She picked up the concept of shoulder-in at the trot immediately, but the trot-canter transitions are still a challenge.

Once my wrist is fully healed and out of the splint, I'm going to introduce cross rails and trails. We've done some in-hand trail walking, but there's only so many miles I'm going to walk her ... it would be better if she'd trot along side me while I ran trails :lol:

Of course, I've been out of town all week, and the BO called the other day to say Maia's lame, but not so lame she's taking it easy. No, my girl has been out running like a crazy woman up and down the pasture. BO thinks it's likely an abscess.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Tue May 08, 2018 12:08 am

Oh, I hope Maia comes right quickly.... if it is an abscess, running around on it is probably the best thing she can do!

I probably jinxed myself by posting above.... the very next day Fergal was in a spooky and somewhat uncooperative sort of mood. We'd done a spell of okay walk/trot work (marred by some stopping and looking/spooking-in-place, though I got him going again), then were trotting past C and boom - spook, leaping forward with small bucks, getting bigger.... I couldn't stick on, but managed to fall quite well, rolling over my right arm/shoulder/hip, and despite being a bit sore, hopped back on and did some further work. I'd actually read up the night before on 'how to fall off', so remembered the salient points (push away from horse, tuck and roll), and having this fall has actually made me more confident that I can cope in the future. I mean, I do hope to be able to stop him bucking, but if I can't at least (touch wood!) I can bail in an effective manner.

Had one more 'trail' ride and one more arena ride (no problems, though he *was* a bit spooky in the arena) before heading back to work (away from home), but my partner will keep up with the lunge and in-hand work while I'm away. My mission while I am away is to try to keep my fitness up, to which end I am looking up gym exercises for riders (have access to a basic gym), and will try to walk up and down the available stairs (3 flights), 10 times per day..... I'm on a boat, so 'real' exercise opportunities are limited....

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:39 pm

I picked up some resistance band and hand weight exercises from physical therapy last fall for my left hip that I’ve kept in rotation. The increased strength in my legs (and I’m already strong — distance runner, bike commuter) has had a big impact on leg effectiveness in the saddle. No more wimpy left leg :D

Pistol squats. This guy has a great how-to progression for all sorts of squats — use a chair, nearly sit down. Eventually, after you learn the movement, you can forgo the chair.

Romanian deadlift. Begin by picking up something light (5#) from the seat of a chair, eventually moving the object to the floor over the course of 2 weeks.

Lateral squat-walk with resistance band. The key is to side step (v. drag your foot) and never allow the band to become loose.
Last edited by heddylamar on Wed May 09, 2018 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:42 pm

And a few more:

Squats and bridges on a bosu ball. Any sort of unstable surface will work for these. Even standing on a foam pad v. hard floor.

Lunges with resistance band. This guy has the best explanation of form that I found online, although my PT had the band above the knee, not below.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed May 09, 2018 5:52 pm

Anne wrote:I couldn't stick on, but managed to fall quite well


Ouch!! Hopefully no lasting bruises were incurred! It's crazy how quick a 1,000+ lb horse can relocate itself ... right out from under the rider!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Thu May 10, 2018 12:57 am

heddy - thanks *so* much for the gym stuff, it is really helpful to have 'real world' feedback on useful exercises. I managed 12 flights of stairs yesterday, and 8 so far today, so one more 'rep' to get in before bed time...

My bruises are healing but I have one on my right elbow which is making my 'plank' exercises painful at present..... it is improving daily but a bit of a nuisance at present. Any of the balance exercises are tricky as we are in 2 to 3m swells, but hey, it adds to the challenge!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Thu May 10, 2018 2:18 pm

The unstable surface of the swells will add to your core strength! Just stay near a wall so you can stick a hand out for balance if need-be.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby khall » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:39 pm

Ouch! No fun when you get tossed I know Anne! I'm still working with my 2014 filly, not on her yet, just ground stuff but very pleased with what I am seeing. Updating her thread.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:29 am

A brief update.... back from work last week, to find that canter is well installed on the lunge, a big step forward considering he could only manage a 1/2 circle when I left, and only on the right rein. He still finds right rein much easier than left at canter, but does not easily bend right (and therefore accept the left rein). I've done a number of in-hand walks with him in the last week, reminding him he has to pay attention to me, march forward at walk, halt promptly, and step sideways when asked. Just basics, but so important.

I've sat on him once (bareback) as a reminder for him, and plan to ride in the next couple of days, weather permitting (snow on the ground here at the moment).

Managed to keep some fitness up while I was away (thanks again heddylamar for your gym suggestions!), though I could have done more....

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:53 pm

I'm glad that helped a bit! Fergal's looking fuzzy and cute :D How cold are your winters?

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:08 am

Yes, he's certainly got the winter woollies at the moment, though I noticed he is just starting to moult (a few hairs anyway) now we are past the shortest day. Winters are not too bad, usually around 10 degrees (Celcius! so ~50 F), a bit less at night. But we do get snow sometimes, and frosts. Had a fall of snow last week (about 2 inches) which sat in the shady parts for over a week.

Pleased to report I've had about 5 rides now, with no dramas. He still feels a bit spooky and reactive, but I'm trying to keep him busy to keep his focus on me rather than the spooky side of the arena. Will try to get him out down the drive in the next week.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:02 am

Patchy progress this month, due to me wrenching my back mucking out the paddock. Fergal had 3 weeks of just lunge / leading work, but I climbed back on last week and he's been great. Had our first canter yesterday (uphill, following his buddy, no worries!), and out again today along our tracks and paddocks, riding up and down, through mud, stepping over logs, all good! Proof:

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby StraightForward » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:51 pm

Looks like great progress, and awesome that he's getting out and about from the beginning!
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby StraightForward » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:01 pm

StraightForward wrote:Anyone else? My new 2 yo arrives within the next week. She knows how to tie, load and pick up her feet. That is about it :lol:

I'm trying to think of all the new things she will need to learn:

Wearing blankets
Cross-tying
Going through barn alleys (she's been raised on 100 acres with a run-in shed)
Getting used to 4-wheelers, tractors, dogs, little kids
Fly spray
Hoses/bathing
Leg wraps/wearing boots
Being away from the herd
More in-hand work (trotting, turning hips/shoulders away from pressure, backing)
Wearing tack
General idea of lunging
Going new places

What are you working on with your babies to prep them for their working lives?


Oh wow, I'm right back here again with a 2016 baby. :lol:

She is pretty good with bathing and fly spray already, and has worn tack and been lunged a few times. Going in and out of buildings is our current challenge. The aisle into the indoor arena is too narrow to turn a horse around in, so I'm working up to it, walking her partway in and backing out. Of course she likes to give the metal trash can by the entrance a little shove and then scare herself before we can go in. Yesterday we took a walk down the irrigation canal bank and she was great, even passing the spillways with lots of loud, rushing water. I'm working on convincing her that she can be led from the right side, and can move her shoulders away to the left.
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby demi » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Fergal is looking good! When I saw these last pics I though he has really changed, so I scrolled back to refresh my memory of his earlier pics. Big improvement!

I usually just read the dressage training forum regularly so I often miss stuff on other forums. I hadn’t seen the physio/gym stuff that heddylamar posted on this thread until I scrolled back to look at Fergal. Thanks heddy! There were some great exercises that even older ones like myself can do, like the Thera band squat walk, and the Thera band assisted knee/hip stabilizer. Plus I like how the pistol squat vid gives steps on working up to it. Not that I’ll ever be able to do pistol squats, but the concept of working up to these things is excellent..sorry to derail.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:09 am

Fergal is going great! I envy your buddy! I've been riding Maia out on my own, which can be hair raising. But, my barn is teeny (3 other borders, plus BO) and ranges from experienced, but only cross paths every 6 month, to timid. I decided we're better off on our own than out with a timid pairing. If we encounter a problem, I'll see if the renter (rider too, not at all timid) can ride my other mare, Anzia, out with us.

demi wrote:I usually just read the dressage training forum regularly so I often miss stuff on other forums. I hadn’t seen the physio/gym stuff that heddylamar posted on this thread until I scrolled back to look at Fergal. Thanks heddy! There were some great exercises that even older ones like myself can do, like the Thera band squat walk, and the Thera band assisted knee/hip stabilizer. Plus I like how the pistol squat vid gives steps on working up to it. Not that I’ll ever be able to do pistol squats, but the concept of working up to these things is excellent..sorry to derail.


Yay! I'm happy to share the PT largess. Those srengthening and stability exercises have made a huge difference on my weaker side, both riding and running.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:45 am

SF - I hear you on the leading from the right, Fergal was just the same. He's good now, just quiet perseverance has done the trick.
Don't apologise for derailing Demi! They are a good set of exercises, and I really appreciate Heddy having posted them.
Heddy - yeah, it is great to have a reliable buddy to ride out with (my SO), he's been really patient and encouraging. Yesterday he said, "You know, I think Fergal is going to be a Good Horse". :-)

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:53 pm

I'm joining you guys! I've got a 2013 QH stallion (for now... scheduled for a trip to the vet soon) that I've nicknamed Queso. He's not broke yet, but I get a strong feeling that it won't be that eventful. He wore a saddle pad and a surcingle for the first time yesterday, and it was adorable:

Image

Complete non-event. He was the best boy.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby khall » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:00 pm

You got your golden horse!! Excellent that he was ok with the surcingle. It is not a bad thing he did not have much done with him, now you have a clean slate to work with. You know, if he does not end up being your regular dressage horse he would probably clean up in Western Dressage!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby demi » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:44 pm

He’s good looking horse! Can’t wait to see what you do with him.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Anne » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:25 am

Welcome Ponichiwa and Queso! I'm looking forward to your updates, he looks like a very cool dude.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:39 pm

Yesterday, we came. We saw. We sat on Queso, and there were no issues.

I think we'll take an easy day today (handwalk around the property? Baby longeing? Not quite sure yet, but that's what I'm thinking about instead of work) and take a foray into leading with a rider tomorrow.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:29 pm

Queso update: we went on our first solo walk around the arena without the longe line yesterday. Aside from one "WAAH" moment where he put his nose in the air (and that's the total extent of the evasion), he was perfect. I am very impressed with his brain.

Related news: his go-to evasion on the longe is a very lovely collected canter. No motorcycling, no scramble, just a lot of sit.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:07 pm

Love reading about how much fun you are having with Mr. Queso. Keep the updates coming!

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:20 pm

piedmontfields wrote:Love reading about how much fun you are having with Mr. Queso. Keep the updates coming!


Thanks! I'm having so much fun with him. It's been 8 years since I've worked with a freshly started young horse; I forgot how much they learn in the first days under saddle.

More related news: Queso wore polo wraps for the first time and was a perfect gentleman. High risk of matchy-matchy in his future now.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby PaulaO » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:59 pm

The good news is that just about any color looks good on a Pal-o-mine-o.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:40 pm

Queso is now 2.5 weeks under saddle! Full disclosure: one of those weeks was spent recuperating from his transformation from stallion to gelding. So we're not up to cantering on the trails just yet. I have ridiculous and unreasonable expectations.

In that time, we've installed:
- Longe manners. He's been surprisingly good at accepting the changing rules that come with being a dressage horse instead of a stock horse, and yesterday all of his halts on the longe stayed on the circle instead of turning to face in. What a smart boy!

- Mounting. He cannot be bothered to react to a rider stepping on/into the stirrup. Or swinging a leg over. Or accidentally hitting him in the hip with my foot (sorry about that!).

- Longeing with a rider. So far just at the walk and trot; going to hold off on cantering until the halts are installed. Right now, they're well-intentioned but remain somewhat shaky.

- Walking/halting without a ground person on bended and straight lines. Essentially the greatest.

He's also bulking out a bit. Here's a poor picture of him impersonating an Andalusian:

Image

Looking sharp in green:
Image

And modelling his new bridle:
Image

They grow up so fast.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:32 pm

He is so awesome! Very nice Iberian horse imitation, too :-)

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:09 am

Queso is looking great!

Maia and I had a trailer loading mishap today. Trailer meet face. No major structural damage (miraculously), but a possible chipped bone (didn't show on radiographs, but there was a crunchy feeling) under the wound site and blood in her sinus cavity. She has 6 staples, and I feel like a terrible, terrible horse person.

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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby StraightForward » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:22 pm

Heddy, I home Maia is OK! Trailering is just fraught with opportunities for danger. :(

Ponichiwa, Queso is one handsome dude! Are you going to keep that mane? It would be a shame to cut it, and he looks quite nice with a running braid. I don't know exactly how they do it, but my friends with Arabians do some sort of button/cobra braids with long manes and it comes out looking good.

My 5 year old is plugging along. Actually, now that I have a 2 year old, she feels like the old plug, lol. Still working on training level basics though, and jumping itty bitty crossrails when the mood strikes.
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Ponichiwa
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:27 pm

Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:52 pm

Heddy-- I echo SF's sentiments. Hope all is well with Maia. That's some scary stuff. Face wounds bleed like the dickens, too, which is horrifying to a non-medical person (like me).

As far as Queso's mane-- honestly, I'm just keeping it long for now so I have a handle in case something goes south while we're still in the unreliable phase of going under saddle. When I feel more confident that I don't need an oh-s*** strap, I think I'll be trimming it down to look more dressage-y.

The running braid is actually easier and quicker than I thought it would be to do up before we ride (and I leave out a big enough hank that I can still reliably grab mane when necessary), but I'm trying not to go too overboard with the Barbie dream horse look.

heddylamar
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Location: Maryland

Re: Class of 2013?

Postby heddylamar » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:09 pm

After a day of "my face hurts," Maia's back to eating just fine. I've never owned another horse who you can just stick all of their meds in the grain .... but this girl? No problem. She just slurps it all up, bute, antibiotics, and all. :shock: :shock:

This was the aftermath:
Image

It also took her all of 2 hours to rip the vet-ordered brand new fly mask from top to bottom. She's wearing her momma's fly mask right now ... I've got to pick up another one that fits her better.

Running braids are quick and versatile. When I was riding more Polish Arabs, I knew quite a few riders who showed 2nd-4th level dressage with a running braid.

Ponichiwa
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Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:27 pm

Re: Class of 2013?

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:54 pm

Ouch!! Hope Maia is recovering well. Incidentally, she's got a lovely eye.

I did a stint between high school and college as a working student at a Friesian barn back in the day-- talk about hair! The head trainer would warm up at shows with the manes loose and would throw in a quick running braid about 5 min before going into the test. I don't have that kind of skill (or patience... that's so much hair!).

piedmontfields
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Re: Class of 2013?

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:16 pm

Poor Maia! Glad it was not worse. Wishing her rapid healing and no big worries about future trailering.

The running braid will look great on Queso. Do not deny us Barbie dream horse braids.


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