I have to start off by saying, I didn’t go anywhere! Yes, I have still been doing my real riding challenge, but I stopped posting about it daily because, well, it was hard. Hard to work with my horses every day, and then come in and write about it.
So instead of writing about it every day in a single blog post, I decided to lump a lot of days into one post. And secondly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to fill your e-mail with a notification from me every single day talking about what I did with my horses.
So please know, yes, I have been continuing my challenge, and it is almost complete. About a week to go, and another August will be completed, along with my personal challenge.
And in case you are wondering what I have been doing each day, let me break it down for you day by day…
Thursday, August 22,2019
This is where things got interesting. Being able to work Ethan again was a good thing. This horse needs a job.
But his feet are strong enough to be worked, and the crack is not effecting the structure of his hoof, so Ethan has been given the all clear to get back to work. However, that being said, I am going to do this slowly so I don’t push it too much. I have to keep reminding myself of that!
I started off with walking, and lunging. Because I am not about to get on a horse who hasn’t been worked in a very long time. But now is this time for this little horse to get to work. Better late than never right?
I should start off by saying that Ethan is pretty fit. He keeps himself buys every day asserting his dominance over Frisby by herding him and showing Frisby that he is the boss of their two-horse herd.
Lunging for 25 minutes is a good workout. I focused him on changes of direction, and a lot of trot. I want to build up his muscles, and his balance and working in trot seems to help.
He wasn’t horribly sweaty when we were done, but he did sweat a bit.
I did this in full tack, because I want him to get used to the saddle, and things bouncing around on him again. Because let’s face it, I will be bouncing around on him when I climb back into the saddle!
He wasn’t crazy about the bit, but he got used to it and settled in. And I really paid attention to how he was moving. Mostly to make sure he was ok while moving out, and also to watch how he went.
I could see that he was unbalanced going to the left, so I will really work on this over the next couple of weeks. I want to have him completely comfortable with moving on his own, without adding myself to the equation.
Friday, August 23, 2019
This was Frisby’s turn to work, well, to work as much as he would let me work him I should say. He is still stubborn and lazy, and doesn’t like to work any harder than he has too. And asking him to do more, well, that ends up in little temper tantrums.
So I decided to pull out the big guns today, I added spurs.
Now before you get upset with me for adding spurs to my boots, please understand I do know how to use them. They are there only for a little motivation to let him know I am serious, and he has a job to do. I would much rather tap him once instead of continually squeezing with my legs and spanking him with a riding crop. One and done.
And I didn’t want to push him too much. He has been on the Heave Ho supplement for over 2 weeks now, and thankfully, no coughing, but I didn’t want to push it. I want to build up his fitness level slowly and gradually and keep the coughs away. But so far so good. The Heave Ho has been the only supplement so far that I have found that actually stops his coughing!
We did all flat work and incorporated a few of the ground poles that I have set up in the arena. By using the ground poles, it helps to keep me from doing endless circles in the arena.
And I remembered to start my Equilab app, so I could actually track what we did. I really need to remember to do this before every ride. The app is really fun, especially if you like to keep track of your progress throughout the week when you are working with your horse. If you haven’t gotten it yet on your phone, you should check it out, I think you would really like it!
It even has where you can ‘see’ where you rode with a satellite image. But as you can see in this image, the satellite view is old, because it doesn’t show the ‘real’ view, our arena isn’t on the satellite view, yet.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Let me just say it has been hot the entire month of August here. Too hot to ride during the middle of the day, which is when I tend to really enjoy riding for some reason. But it was too hot to push either of the horses today, and I needed to make a video for Monday for my YouTube channel.
So Frisby got a makeover. And this wasn’t just a bath with some shine spray. I bathed, trimmed and braided him making him look incredible. And I say this because as I was walking him out to the arena for some extra B-roll for my video, I caught myself looking back a few time, because he looked so good!
And this was an all day endeavor. Ok, maybe not all day, but a good couple of hours getting him to be pretty!
Which totally sapped my energy for the day. I did clean stalls and clean up my tack room a bit. But other than that, I was spent.
And even though it may not seem like I worked Frisby for the day, getting a horse to stand still for an ultra long grooming session is a workout. It teaches the horse to stand still while he is tied up. I tie my horses a lot to the hitching post, so they are used to it.
It wasn’t always easy to keep them tied up. And Frisby has broken more than one halter from being tied. Which is why I started using the stiff clinician style rope halter. If you have a horse who pulls back, and doesn’t like to lead, try this halter. You will have a completely different horse, I promise! Now I can leave my horses tied to the hitching post. And if I need to step away for a minute, they are fine. And to make sure they are safe while being tied, I use a blocker tie ring. This is one of the best things I have found for tying horses safely.
You simply put the lead rope through the ring and it keeps the horse tied, but if the horse pulls back, the ring allows the rope to move through, the horse can move back and will stop struggling. I have never tested this theory with a traditional halter, but it works well with the rope halter.
I think it’s really important to have a horse that will stand tied. The applications of teaching this are invaluable no matter what you do with your horse. Which is why I tie up my horses a lot. And all of that practice has paid off with horses that stand relatively well.
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Since both of my horses have been seeing more work in the past month than they have in probably the past year, I decided to give them a day off today. But I didn’t get off quite so lucky.
You see my husband has been working really hard at getting our lawn in shape. I don’t know what motivated him to do it, but our lawn is looking better than it ever has. Which made me feel a little guilty for spending so much time with the horses, but more importantly, it made me wonder what I could do to help, but still have a horse related result.
So I decided I wanted to reseed the back pasture.
This is the time of year where the little patch of grass really starts to look sparse and mowed down from the horses. And I really want it to be a lush pasture of green. So I decided to reseed it, and see if I can bring it back to it’s once former glory.
I started by clearing out any debris, which honestly I should be doing routinely, but don’t.
And then I used my arena drag and the lawn tractor to rip up the ground a little. And then I brought out the big ripper on the tractor and really ripped up some ground.
My husband had just done this same process in our front yard. And 10 days later, there are tiny little baby grass blades popping up. And the one thing he did differently was to cover the seed with a thin layer of peat moss. The daily watering probably helped a lot too. So I decided to follow his example, with a slight twist.
Because the pasture is a larger area than our front or back yard, I won’t be able to have a ½” layer of peat moss all over the seed. That would be a lot of peat moss. But I did hand spread peat moss over the seed. Then I hooked up my arena drag and dirt ripper, and drove that around the pasture again.
My hope is that the ripping and spreading of the dirt, seed, and peat moss will protect the seed enough to get it to grow.
Water, Water and More Water
So that was the hard part, sort of. Getting the pasture reseeded was just one of two major components. The other is water. Thankfully, I have enough hose that I can drag it all the way out to the pasture. And then I set out the sprinkler for about 30 minutes each section, and have to move it 4 times to cover the area I have seeded.
Every night, for about 2 hours I am moving the hose around, unless I forget, like last night, and then I get out a little early to water the missed section.
From the research we have done if we keep the ground moist, it should work. Time will tell. But for now, the pasture is seeded and now I wait to see if the seeds will grow.
The horses aren’t very happy with me right now, for taking their pasture away from them. But hopefully in the next month or so, the pasture will be revitalized.
Bringing a Pasture Back to Life – Part One
I hope this works. I have visions of seeing a beautiful pasture full of long swaying grasses and alfalfa for my horses to graze on next summer. And I will report back to you in a couple of weeks to show you how the pasture is doing. Hopefully, I will have some green photos to post, and maybe, just maybe I can have a super pasture for the horses!
Real Riding Challenge – Week 4
So that is it for the past week. The horses are getting a work out, and I have been busy working on improving what I have for my horses. So far so good, I have stayed busy with a horse related activity every day of the week!
I think for the final week of my challenge, I will post it this way again. It makes it a little bit easier to get the writing and riding done! Only a little bit longer to go and I will get to open my Just Riding Mystery Box (package)! I am so excited to open this thing, and share with you what’s inside. And if you want to find out what’s inside the package, be sure to subscribe to my my list so you will be notified when I have a new blog post for you to read. And you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, and watch the videos too!