Monday, July 21, 2014

Hard working man

Poor Fawkes got ridden twice today.  Someone should probably just go ahead and call the humane society now.  He was due for a trainer ride which generally doesn't happen on Mondays, but when I got to the barn after work he was suspiciously clean.

That doesn't happen by accident especially for pig-wallowing-in-mud Fawkes.
This was him 6 minutes after being turned out on Friday

It also meant that I can stop worrying about his leg since I would have gotten a call otherwise.  The scrape from our incident of running into the brick wall was superficial, but there had been some associated swelling and heat for the last couple of days so I was concerned he would come up lame as well.  Luckily, he was totally fine.  Sometimes I have guilt about how I took a 7 year old ex racehorse without a blemish on him and created this creature with multiple scars and bumps, but then I get over it.  I more wonder how on earth they kept him un-scarred for so long.  He has kicked through a fence, bashed his nose on his stall, done many things I can't even figure out how, and popped a few splints.  He also gets hock sores unless stalled, but much prefers to live outside otherwise.  Thankfully he is trooper and never really seems bothered by the lumps and bumps.

Anywho while our trot is getting there (sans circles, where shoulder bulging is a real struggle), our canter transitions leave much to be desired.  I can barely even being to describe all the fail in the photo above but to start: collapsed forward, disengaged core, dropped all contact, and shockingly - wrong lead.  So today I focused on not doing any of that crap and he was much better.

Fawkes has basically trained me to let go of the contact during transitions via inversion and giraffing, but while that may be his preference, that is not how it is going to be. It is canter transition game on!

Luckily once we get going we can pull it together
I am also trying to incorporate lots of baby lateral work.  Fawkes has a special hatred for my right leg which makes it a challenge to get him straight sometimes

Just a little crooked and flail.  We rock at that
So I am trying to make it part of every gait, every ride.  I probably need to research some good exercises to do for reinforcement.  We can open and close gates like a champ now, because I do that at the end of the ride and Fawkes knows I am not getting off his back until he finishes.  Therefore, we know he can move off both legs nicely, it is a matter of getting that behavior more consistently.

On the plus side, we schooled some flying changes the other day and once he does get straight, those are fabulous.

This was his most resistant one of the day, and even that was pretty freaking nice.  
As always, lots to work on, but today I am just happy to have a healthy horse to enjoy the journey on.


  1. I'm glad he wasn't lame. Can I just say that the freshly worked arena looks dreamy? Fawkes looks really good and is definitely looking healthy. His coat has really shined up!

    1. The place I board is fanatical about footing and their effort shows for sure. I love walking into the arena right after it has been worked! And yes, it is late July and my horse is *almost* done shedding. I love his bright orange summer coat.

  2. OMG that mud! I think straightness is something that we all struggle with at every level, good for you for committing to working on it:)

    1. Yeah, there can be almost no mud left in turn-out, and Fawkes comes in like that. It is basically his life goal. And we might never be straight, but dammit, we will keep trying!

  3. Is this Fawkes who used to live at TMR and is now living somewhere else?

    I didn't know you had a blog . . .

    1. Yep, that's us! I haven't been blogging very long, still sort of figuring it all out