Monday, December 28, 2015

Progress (and some mystery destruction)

Odin has been moving along nicely, making his first big step forward this last week.

On the longe line he has entirely stopped butt bumping for canter transitions, and now just quietly canters off.  His right lead is great and his left lead is much, much better.  Usually the first transition or two will be wrong then we hit a sweet spot where he picks it up beautifully like 5 times in a row.  Then as he gets tired he starts getting it wrong.

Another plus is that the cross firing has gone way down.  Once he gets the lead he has been able to hold it until asked to trot.

As Colorado has dropped below freezing and shows no signs of warming up, work has been sporadic but mostly steady.  I think it has been two rides and 4 longing sessions.

On Christmas day I put him in the outside turnout which was a little frozen/slick and Odin was not pleased about that.  He still is learning about this winter stuff.
Orange halter!!  And see, it wasn't even that frozen.  

So I threw him in the indoor and he went crazypants.  Squealing and bucking and doing his full on racehorse impression.  It was really cute.

Yesterday we just longed him in his halter and he was excellent.  Besides cantering like a grown up horse he was offering stretching down at the trot even without a bit or side reins.  He seems to have figured out that trotting along with his nose near the ground is comfy.

We included a pole and at first that was highly exciting.  You could practically hear him say WHEEE as he leaped over it like it was 2'6" tall.  Even then he was cantering it out of stride and on the rhythm and it only got better as he settled down.  Held his leads, and was basically a perfect baby horse.

R2 gave him a training ride today and it wasn't quite so perfect although he is really just still learning things.

I say this often but I can't get past how amazing his brain is.  It was about 10F when we pulled him in, we didn't longe or turn him out first, and he went quietly to work.  The mirrors at the end of the ring were frozen which we worth a hard look or two but no shenanigans.

Mostly his issue is getting a little stuck behind the leg.  Until he warms up he really doesn't want to move forward.  Once he is going he is mostly great but he was demonstrating some gate sourness (but this is where we leave and you give me treats.  Why would I trot past it?) and some general irritation at being asked to move laterally and/or forward.

His rebellion is putting his ears back and shoving his haunches inwards and I think once he might even have stamped a hoof.  Not very intimidating and then he looks a little affronted that no one is impressed with his antics.  R2 is a crazy good rider and she just kept going at it until he settled.

It took a couple tries to get his left lead and there was one small kick out, but once he did he held it the whole time.  To the right the transition was good and once he was moving forward it was a great canter.  Again he got a little stuck.  Overall a good ride with lots of good learning!

As for the mystery destruction?  Well, as lows are in the single digits, I put his heavy blanket and hood on.  After one night, the hood looked liked this.


The giant tear goes all the way through

Even stranger - it was on the neighboring horse when I got there yesterday morning.  Only assumption is it somehow came off (through three different attachment points) and got shredded in the process.  Ended up in his neighbor's pen and the barn crew threw it on the neighbor when they came in in the morning.

But that is a lot of damage and THREE different attachments.  I sent it back to Smartpak since it was the first time being used and there isn't anything sharp in his pen so it seems this shouldn't have happened.  He has had his orange hood on for two weeks with no destruction.  We will see what they say.

Oh, and I am healing fine as well.  About halfway there!  Now back to hot tea, blankets, and my newest Netflix guilty pleasure, Lost Girl.

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