Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tommy Behrns

As I suspected once I saw Tommy - Garbo's offside hip was out. He fixed it in a nano second - it always cracks me up the shocked look on Garbo's face as he gets the treatment - Tommy uses rubber hammers... but you could see instantly how he was no longer favouring his rear right leg. He said even the hoof on the inside had worn straight along, because he was not putting his full weight on it.

I feel bad that it took me so long to get it fixed as Garbo fell over late February - but by the time I realised it wasn't muscular I had to wait 6 weeks to see Tommy as he lives in Christchurch. He said he was in quite alot of pain (make me feel bad!)...but the walk afterwards was much improved and by the way Garbo is back to chasing the others I think he's feeling much better.

When we arrived (just around the corner form our place), Garbo was on high alert as there were no other horses in sight and he's never ever been there before either - and although we were early the people before us had already gone and so he wanted to treat him straight away. So he asked me to take him into the box. Not exactly what Garbo needed right then but he wanted his girl to handle/hold him while he treated him.... and he's nice and calm with them - so is she, so I said ok.

After treatment Garbo was still on high alert and then some other horses started to arrive just as we were trying to load - of course it was all much to exciting to get on the float and he lost alot of his confidence - ie would get on the float with me leading him but as soon as I got off - he did too.

Didn't help that I felt very much on show with a whole lot of traditional horse people around including the lady that owns the place, and then offering to help etc. For the first time in ages I felt self conscious of my carrot stick. After about 30 minutes Gabrielle offered to do up the ramp after I led him in and I took her up on the offer. I didn't feel I could work Garbo since he has to have two weeks off and then only walking after that for two more weeks.... so I was in a bit of a catch 22. He was fine doing it that way and off we went home again finally. Phew what a day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I finally got my Audition results today - PreL3 - BLAH!!!! Gutted. I sent it on March 24. They must be busy!

I don't know when I'll be able to film again - it was a mission to get everything all in one place as it was in Feb... yes Feb.. of course I have improved heaps since then but now winter is here and I fear it could all go a bit backwards again for a bit.

This was the feedback...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lessons with Russell

It was a very foggy morning and I got up at 6.30am to be ready for the first lesson with Maraschino at 8am. I had to hook up the float, take covers off, etc, and have breakfast and coffee...

We only had a small area really (by the hay shed) to do stuff in as I didn't want my grass dug up. I asked Russell if we could work on Maraschino and picking up his feet - he picks them up but not for long. He said massaging the legs for ages is a really good way to do this. And that we would work on it a bit later. But first - he got my swinging the end of the rope like a poi, while standing at the driveline to test friendly (Maraschino was pretty good) and then to swing the rope under Maraschinos neck and catch the end with my other arm. Yeah right - have you seen how tall he is!!

The end result was the rope end under Maraschino's neck like the bottom of a tied savvy string would be round his neck - and lifting the rope up while standing at the drive line, and holding till he stepped back. He said to do this with Garbo too - great way to introduce feel for Maraschino and savvy string riding for Garbo. But OMG my triceps are so sore now from holding my arms up so high for so long!

Then we did some rope swinging round his legs, and Russell said my friendly was pretty good and that he thinks the problem with him not letting Jools pull his legs forward for trimming (last two times) is a bit of stiffness and a bit of lack of respect - he didn't think there was any fear there. Maraschino at one point while having a rope round his fetlock was more focussed on the cows next door. He would suddenly kick out at the rope firmness and give himself a fright when the rope slapped him back.... but he was pretty good by the end of it. Still a ways to go but much better.

2.5 hours later we finished and Garbo was loaded in a mad rush to get to Jools where Leigh was waiting.

It was the most gorgeous autumn day, and we warmed up online then swapped to the 12ft lines to practise Mount From a Fence. I had seen Linda's Savvy Club DVD on this but Russell elaborated a bit more. Make the fence side the calm happy place, and the driving side the busy side. So when they were standing calmly alongside you, pat them, rub them for ages.

Garbo got it pretty quick - the electric fence was on two (2nd wire up from my feet!!)

Such a pretty place to ride!
Jools place looked great with all the trees loosing their leaves. We were in the big big paddock (the old arena). Finally we got on (funny I should say that).

We started with the hackamore but not using the reins but the lead rope part for more counter turn practise. I need to practise it so much - I have realised I don't use my leg... you know eyes, bellybutton, leg, rein, carrot stick - well mine is eyes, belly-button, rein, carrot stick. Hmmmm I can't remember having to use leg - can you? If so please direct me to the appropriate DVD so I can review lol.

We practised riding along the rail then doing 180's without swapping rein sides, so one turn was direct the next a counter turn.

Russell explained why the direct rein was called that and why the indirect rein was called that and did a demo on the ground with us trying in the saddle, to see where our weight shifted to for each. For direct we look up and to the direction we want to turn, making our weight shift away from the same front leg (same as the direction of the turn), so it can move first.... but for the Indirect rein - to the right say - we look towards the hip making our weight come forward and off the opposite hind (which moves first) making it the indirect rein. It all makes sense now!

Then we did dome backing up - 4 steps then moved the FQ over 4 steps, then backing up 4 steps again - to get them off the forehand, the trick being to keep the neck straight by using the supporting rein. Oh we had two reins again by now.

I had to keep taking Garbo for some point to point or follow the rail as he got a bit bored with all the talking. That was fun - we even had a couple of canters.
Then lastly we worked on getting canter leads "the best way" according to Russell. Bending the horse's head and neck slightly in and leg yielding away then straightening up, and opening up into canter. It was surprisingly easy.

Three hours later we wrapped it up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yes - I am still here...

Well I was away for a week in Arizona.... got to go for a horse ride in the desert which was pretty cool - it was just walk all the way so I didn't wear a helmet since they were all 'shared' ones.... it was nice for a change not to have one and I felt safe enough and able to 'read' the horse and get off if I had to. His name was Chilli Pepper. I was the only one in the group who rode regularly so they said "you can have chilli pepper" and pointed to this Paint horse standing away from the others tied up. I thought - why would he be called Chilli Pepper and why was he the choice for me. I still don't know - he certainly wasn't hot. They told me not to use my legs - I said I don't anyway.

I spent quite a bit of time while the others figured out how to get on (oh - did I mention I had to get on from the grounded un-assisted!!).... patting him on the neck and scratching between his ears so I think he decided I was ok.

The two hour ride was through the desert and man those saddles were hard.... but great scenery and nice to get a ride in.

Mum arrived to stay two days after I got back and we have been busy seeing Carlos, my nephew,

and doing Mum/Daughter stuff so I have not done anything except groom the boys. Garbo seems to be not lame now. I have a lesson with Russell on Wednesday!! Eeek.

This afternoon I had a lovely afternoon in the sun grooming the boys and managed to clean out three of Coco's hooves!!

Finally we have had some rain... not sure where I will do the lesson with Maraschino as I don't want to pog the paddock up already.... plenty of time for that.