Monday, October 22, 2012

Leads, and a Week of Rest

Yesterday was a work day at the ranch. Our barn manager has been out of town on vacation, so we have had to keep it up ourselves. As a feeder, stall cleaner, and slave *cough* I mean assistant, I take a lot of pride in the property, and want it to look nice. We hauled lots of big heavy rocks that had been left near the barns when the shipment of dirt came in. We loaded them into a wheel barrow, and pushed them across the ranch by the wash rack. It's about 50 feet away. They were heavy. I really wanted my golf cart, but it was a good work out. I racked up some loose hay to clean the ally ways of the barns and mare motels. The horses really enjoyed their after breakfast snack.

After that I got onto Nova to work her. I've given her a week off. I rode her really hard a few days in a row,  We worked, unsuccessfully  on leads Wednesday and Friday, and left her sweating from head to toe. Then went on an hour trail ride on Sunday. And on the next Monday she wouldn't follow me in the round pen. It broke my heart a little. So I put her up for a week. She turned out with Roxy a little, they are starting to get along better. Roxy pins her ears, but doesn't lift the hind leg or whinny anymore.

I've been very frustrated about Nova's leads, as I mentioned before. I was giving her flex tests, picking her legs up super high, listening for pops in her pastern, stifle, and hocks. Her left hind pastern does pop occasionally when I flex it a lot. Although I know that she is very sound on all of her legs, I was starting to have doubts. Maybe this lead issue was a lack of power in her hind end.

Well, yesterday when I rode her I asked a friend to take some pictures (I'll put them up here once the friend gets them to me). I mentioned how I was having trouble with the right lead, and she asked if I had tried pulling her head into the rail when I ask for it. Here, I have been so concentrated on keeping her arched properly I haven't pulled her into the rail at all, so I had forgotten this is a great training technique for teaching leads. I asked her once with her head turned into the rail, she didn't pick it up. The second time I asked her picked it up perfectly!

So yesterday was very successful in my book. Now back to some sweaty saddle pads, and getting the baby on her proper diet and work load again. I am feeling good about riding, I'll be out there tomorrow to get back on her back.

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