Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009

It's been rainy in Austin and we traveled to Arkansas last weekend to see the kids so I haven't seen much of LBR lately.

We headed to the stables this afternoon with hopes that it would be dry enough to ride in the grass arena. LBR was filthy muddy (no surprise) so it took a while to groom. He led perfectly into the wash stall to have his feet/legs washed and then we curried off about 10 pounds of mud.

The grass arena was still pretty muddy so we didn't feel comfortable lounging LBR. We did saddle up (Gary's new saddle) and both rode LBR at the walk for a while. He really seems to enjoy being groomed and ridden - even if it was only to walk and work on whoas & backing.

After riding, we groomed and let LBR eat some grass. We returned him to his paddock, gave him treats and repaired his electric tape fence.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice - sunny & warm so we plan on heading over for another ride.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November 27, 2009

LBR is doing great. Gary demo'd a new (used) 19" HDR saddle this week. Unfortunately, he forgot to tighten the girth and when he removed a long blade of grass from LBR's mouth, LBR did a quick sidepass when the blade hit is rump. LBR went left, saddle turned right and Gary ended up on the ground. LBR turned and looked to make sure Gary was okay and then galloped off in the arena. He veered off the rail in the arena to take a jump and then stood at the other end of the arena to wait for us. We tacked him back up (girth tightened) and Gary got back on and they had a nice ride.

The second trial ride the next day in the saddle went smoothly (we're buying it). We had family in and the grandkids (ages 5 - 16) were led around on LBR over the next couple of days.

LBR threw a shoe on Wednesday so we weren't able to ride anymore this week. On Sunday, he "sprung" his other shoe so we removed the loose nails.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Last week we had rain and Cindy had surgery so LBR didn't get ridden much. The trainer rode him on Friday and said he was quite the handful and they had an extra long ride.

On Saturday & Sunday Gary rode and LBR was wonderful. LBR got a break (lunged only) on Monday and on Tuesday, Gary had his best ride ever. Gary rode LBR through mini-patterns and they did great.

Wednesday, we visited a neighbors farm to see a young paint mare she was given. Gary rode another mare there and led the neighbors niece around on her for a while.

Because we spent so much time there, we were cutting short time for LBR's ride. There were two(2) trainers working VERY green horses in the arena so Gary had to negotiate patterns well away from them. It was ironic that LBR was the most trained/calm horse in the arena....we were very proud.

After yesterday's ride, we groomed and it was dinner'ld think LBR was starving as he was very anxious to catch up with the food wagon before it got to his paddock.

I found vidoe of his short-lived racing career and have posted links on the right hand side of the page. I'm not sure if they will work for everyone or how long they will work.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

This week has been a good one. LBR's new shoes and dry weather seem to have done the trick - he's not tender footed.

Gary rode on Tuesday & Wednesday. Gary & Cindy rode on Thursday. Stacie (the trainer) rode on Friday. Gary & Cindy rode on Saturday. Sunday (today), Cindy took a lesson on LBR.

It had been three (3) weeks since LBR had been ridden seriously (other than at the walk) and although he was a little green ornery in the beginning of the week, he progressed nicely.

The lesson on Sunday was nearly perfect. We arrived an hour early to lunge and pre-ride in the grass arena. LBR was spunky (kicking up his heels) while being lunged....he definitely feels much better. Cindy pre-rode in the grass arena and although LBR was chewing the bit a lot, he calmed down nicely.

During the lesson, LBR & Cindy did very well. They did the walk, sitting trot, posting trot and even cantered (although they did it separately from the group). During the canter, a stablemate was led into the arena with his blanket on and LBR thought it was a monster. Cindy continued the canter like it was nothing and LBR regrouped nicely.

LBR & Cindy did their patterns well - he squares up to fences naturally....what a nice trait.

After the lesson, Cindy cooled him down by walking around the pastures and LBR was exhausted/mellow.

We groomed, went into the wash stall, treated and returned him to his paddock. He still had his alfalfa left to enjoy and a small amount of his feed. LBR got a carrot and a cookie and was in horsey-heaven. Tired, happy and eating alfalfa.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009

We are having the best weather imaginable in Central Texas. The sky is crystal blue and no humidity. It was cool this morning so Cindy headed over to see LBR in the afternoon. She expected to find a muddy horse and wasn't disappointed. The stables are still muddy from the week's rain (we've had 8 inches of rain in October - with only 25 inches for the year).

Because LBR got shoes this week to help with the tender feet, Cindy's plan was to clean and groom. She went down to LBR's paddock and LBR acknowledged she was at the gate but left the round bale of hay and started walking away. Cindy's heart sank because this is what he did last week when his feet were hurting so badly. Cindy took a minute to fix a strand of the electric tape (turned away from LBR) and then looked back to see that he was just relieving himself behind the hay. As she finished fixing the fence and as soon as he finished his bio break, he came cantering up to the gate. It was a great relief to know he wasn't lame.

Cindy haltered him and led him to the stables. She curried off as much of the mud as possible and decided to head for the wash stall (instead of washing outside).

LBR led nicely out of the grooming stall but "froze" at the wash stall entrance. Knowing that Gary has been training him to go in, Cindy immediately put the lead rope over LBR's nose, snapped it once and he went straight into the wash rack without Cindy leading in front of him.

After a quick rinse, no shampoo as the paddock is still muddy, Cindy took LBR out to graze for a bit. Unfortunately, the grass is slim and LBR got quite bored. Cindy took LBR back to the grooming stall to let him dry and finish grooming. LBR's new shoes are very handsome.

Afterwards, Cindy led LBR back to the paddock. He is feeling much better and was quite frisky - it is so nice to have his personality back.

Cindy treated LBR with carrots and said bye. Tomorrow is supposed to be another perfect weather day so though LBR can't be ridden yet, Cindy will be heading over to do other horsey stuff.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

LBR is having an easy week. Although he underwent a total training effort without any issues this summer, his feet don't seem to like the muddy/wet weather we're having.

He was tender-footed on after a walk only ride on Saturday so we decided to put front shoes on Tuesday. Gary was not able to be there when he got his new shoes, but the trainer said he did great. Cindy visited him in the evening and he loved his carrots and missed his paddock mate Bentley who escaped when LBR was being haltered (the mud is really bad - it's hard to walk through the paddock).

We're going to give LBR a week off of riding and just groom and work on basic ground manners. It's a bit frustrating, but he's five years old, we will have him for 20+ years more and this is only a week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24, 2009

LBR's stone bruise recovered nicely this week. The farrier was out and took a look at LBR and agreed that was the most likely cause. LBR was fine by Wednesday so Gary took him out for a walk-ride in the grass arena.

We had a lot of rain on Thursday, so Gary visited him on Friday. It was too wet to ride so Gary just washed/groomed him (yes - LBR is still the mud-rolling champ).

Cindy headed to the stables alone on Saturday afternoon. When she arrived, there were four (4) horses let out to groom in the common area....GRRRR!.

LBR greeted her at the paddock gate. Cindy groomed and tacked LBR. He was pretty excited by the four horses galloping throughout the property but calmed down nicely for his pre-ride lunging.

Due to the commotion going on and the still less-than-perfect footing in the main arena, Cindy decided to work LBR at the walk with focus on flexing exercises and reinless whoa's.

Cindy rode for about 30 minutes and then groomed LBR before returning him to his paddock and treating him with carrots.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18, 2009

We had a great ride yesterday after the TX-vs-OU game. We arrived at the stables as the horses were being fed for the evening. The stables were quiet and LBR was happy to see us. The weather was perfect....75 degrees and about 30% humidity.

We groomed/saddled LBR and headed to the arena. He was so calm (despite feeding activities going on) that Cindy decided to start with riding right away (no longing). LBR was amazing.....although he didn't want to walk in a straight line, after a few walks around the arena, he caught on. Cindy trotted him around the arena, in circles and over cross rails and LBR was having a great time.

Gary then rode and had fun....LBR was amazing.

We planned on taking a lesson tomorrow, but unfortunately, LBR has a stone bruise on his front right hoof so we just groomed and let LBR eat some grass.....poor guy, he was so mellow and Cindy was hoping for a good lesson.

The stable owner is suggesting shoes on his front feet, but we don't want to go there unless we have to (with the rain/mud, stone bruises are going to happen??).

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 3, 2009

We are back from vacation. We got back into Austin late yesterday afternoon and headed to the stables from the airport. It was almost dark so we took LBR some treats.

He had three (3) training rides and the trainer said he did great.

Today, Saturday, Cindy took a group lesoon on LBR. He was more distracted than usual by the other horses....having one of "those" days as the trainer said. He didn't want to settle into his nice trot while we worked as a group on the rail but eventually calmed down after a lot of extra circles during our trips around the arena.

When it came to individual rounds time, he was PERFECT. Trotted all poles and cross-rails at the perfect tempo, no pulling on the bit, and very happy. We skipped the canter today due to his distracted nature.

We washed, groomed and treated and left for the day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

It's the first day of fall and the weather changed in Central Texas today with the arrival of our first cold front and rain, the temperatures will drop into the upper 50's tonight.

The ferrier came and LBR had his feet trimmed today. Although we had overnight rain, LBR hadn't rolled yet.

As Gary was driving out of the stables headed home, LBR rolled and then "hid" behind the tree to make sure Gary didn't return for a bath.

We hope to ride tomorrow night, but wouldn't be disappointed with more rain.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20, 2009's been almost six months since LBR was adopted and today was his first lesson for his "peeps" on him.

Cindy joined the "experienced beginner level" group (two other riders/horses) this morning and had a great time.

We had a great lesson. LBR was well-behaved in the arena with others, patiently awaiting his turn when required and Cindy recieved a lot of feedback from the instructor.

We walked/trotted/cantered and did head in/head out work at the trot. We also trotted over cross rails.

We're pretty sure Cindy will not be able to walk tomorrow and LBR will think it was just another ride. We hope to get Cindy out to ride in the evenings to strengthen those riding muscles.

Oh well...still so proud of LBR as this was our 1 year target and we're at the 6 month mark.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13, 2009

LBR has won his first Championship. If you think you have a better Mud-Roller, please do not hesitate to post. He is definitely the muddiest member at our stables.
This week, LBR had two (2) lessons with the trainer and two(2) rides with Gary. We finally received rain starting on Friday and continuing through Sunday so weekend rides weren't possible.

Cindy is planning on taking lessons on Sunday morning with the "experienced women's group". The experience in the title comes from age - not from riding experience and should be a good/encouraging group to gain some confidence.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

This past week LBR had 3 lessons with the trainer. He is learning and she is learning about his stubborn streak....pick your battles as LBR is learning to learn. We rode on the off days. Saturday & Sunday both Gary and Cindy rode.

LBR was a little bit "hot" on Saturday so we lunged first and let him burn off some energy. The stables were more distracting than normal with horses whinny'ing from one end of the farm to the other. All-in-all it was still a great ride with perfect halts.

Sunday we headed to the stables a little later than normal in order to avoid all of the lessons in the main arena. LBR was mellow so we skipped the lunging and went straight to riding. Gary rode for a short bit then Cindy rode for a long time. She trotted LBR all around - along the rail, around the jumps...for about 15 minutes straight. Although he started out a bit faster than she wanted he settled into a nice pace and worked well off of leg queues.

Monday (Labor Day), was back to the trainer. She skipped the lunging and worked him for a while at the walk/posting trot. She then worked him for a long time at the sitting trot - until he finally quit fighting her queues and bit contact. Then, she cantered him and he was perfect. I think we'll try the sitting trot on our next ride - he set his head nicely and then cantered like a pro.

The heat is back on in Central Texas so I doubt we'll be able to go over in the evenings. Oh well, we're fortunate that Gary can ride in the mornings and that the trainer is working her magic.

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

It's been a couple of weeks since we posted. Gary continues to ride during the weekdays. On the weekend of August 14th-15th, Cindy had two (2) good rides and the farrier came out and we had LBR's feet trimmed.

Last weekend, we visited the kids/grand-kids in Arkansas and had a great time. When we got back late Sunday, we stopped by and visited LBR for a few minutes. He has a new paddock mate named "Bentley". The two of them are getting along great - trading back scratches and standing head-to-tail to double the efficiency of fly swatting.

This week, we decided to put LBR into part-time training - having the trainer/owner of the stables ride him 3 times a week. He had his first lesson on Wednesday. She lunged him on the lunge rope when he started out a little hot when first ridden. She switched him back to a standard d-ring snaffle when he seemed to be too mouthy.

The lesson then went well with work at the walk, trot & canter (yee haw) both directions. The lesson was videotaped and we will upload soon.

LBR continues to LOVE his home-made horse treats. The recipe is listed below:

Sunday Cookies
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons corn oil
¼ cup water (one quarter cup)
¼ cup molasses (one quarter cup)
Mix ingredients in a bowl in the order listed. Make small balls and place on cookie sheet sprayed. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Horses love 'em!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8, 2009

Gary worked LBR this week 4 times...focusing on working on the rail at the walk/trot. LBR is doing GREAT!!!!

Here are some videos.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2, 2009

This week continued with LBR being ridden at the walk/trot by Gary 4 mornings. We also visited in the evening on the non-ride night, and LBR had taken advantage of the rain.....covered to the tips of his ears in mud.

We went to cheer on the kids at a local horse show on Saturday and then headed to the barn for some grooming/treats. We decided to let LBR loose in the main/dirt arena. He was unsure at first of what to do, but quickly realized he was free and trotted/cantered/bucked. After a few minutes of this, he truly realized how much freedom he had and circled the arena at a full gallop a few times - clearing jumps for fun along the way. On about the 3rd gallop around, he decided it would be fun to run out of the arena and head down to the paddocks where other horses were running/playing. It really scared Gary & Cindy but he calmed down after a few passes up/down the fence line and let Gary catch him. He was lathered in sweat so we led him into the roundpen to walk for a bit....he was perfectly calm and relaxed.

Although we were scared by his behavior, it's very normal and we think it was probably good for him to "be a horse".

We headed over this morning (Sunday) to ride. LBR behaved very well. We groomed, did a short bit of work in the roundpen and then headed to the grass arena. Gary rode first at the walk/trot. Gary was wearing new boots and may have accidentally queued LBR to go faster as LBR went from the trot to the canter once.

Cindy worked LBR next - focusing on keeping him on the rail all the way around and not letting LBR bow out as he went past the entrance/exits.

We de-tacked, groomed and rinsed LBR and then headed back to the paddock for treats.

LBR has just about finished shedding the frogs of his hooves....the dogs will be disappointed, but cleaning up the grooming stall when we're done will be easier.

We are going to start some training lessons with the trainer at our stables this week - we will probably have her ride 2-3 times a week to see if we can get LBR more "on" the bit and focused.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25, 2009

It's been a couple of weeks since we've posted. We continue to work LBR under saddle at the walk and trot in both the main arena and the practice arena.

We are averaging about 6 rides a week and would say 4 of them are flawless while the other two have their challenges.

LBR has gained weight since we added alfalfa to his diet. In addition to becoming stronger, his personality is starting to shine. While generally happy to be handled/ridden/groomed, at times he can be so STUBBORN. His focus continues to improve, but we do have days that require round pen work to get focus.

He's standing nicely while cross-tied in the grooming stall so one person can go over to a ride and leave him alone while they gather tack, supplies, etc. or they just take a break from the heat and rest on the bench.

We're considering some formal training to take him to the next level as we may not have the skills/times to get there.

He loves his carrots now - stops at the truck/car to get them on the way back to his paddock. He is alone in his paddock now as he was being mean to Romeo and the other horse they tried to put in the paddock is like Houdini and kept escaping (he has a know issue of doing this so it wasn't because LBR was mean).

This month has been insanely hot in Central Texas 22 out of 25 days so far in July have been over 100 degrees. We (at the stables but not at the house) got rain for the first time since June this week...LBR really enjoys his mud.

We stopped feeding the "Weight Builder" this week and will watch his weight closely. As he's getting the alfalfa now, we don't expect to see any weight loss.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12, 2009

We headed to the stables earlier than normal today - around 7:30 a.m. The caretakers were just beginning to feed so our big adventure was going to be riding before LBR had his breakfast.

Gary headed to the paddock and brought LBR back to the main barn for grooming. LBR was not very happy about being groomed/tacked before breakfast. When he was brushed he would toss his head and was very distracted by each bit of commotion (horses being tacked for lessons, barn being swept, etc.). Oh well...our new phrase is "get over it".

We headed to the roundpen and Gary rode first. LBR eventually focused and paid attention. After about 10 minutes, Gary headed to the practice arena.

LBR was good at the walk and although he would get distracted, he quickly refocused. After a bit, another boarder joined Gary & LBR in the practice arena. LBR was distracted, but still responsive.

Cindy rode LBR for a while and challenged him with many distractions. She rode him along the rail while another boarder rode next to him outside the rail and he did very well. She followed the other rider in the arena and LBR started following nicely (about 4 lengths behind) at the walk, but for some reason about half-way down the length of the arena, LBR started turning is head sideways and making faces....all Cindy can assume is the other horse farted?

LBR trotted well, but unfortunately Cindy's stirrups weren't adjusted so she didn't take advantage of his efforts to strengthen her posting.

LBR would not back....we might be going to the D-Ring snaffle as he was much more responsive to it.

After the ride, Cindy led LBR back and we groomed and rinsed off. FINALLY (according to LBR), we headed to the paddock and LBR got to have his breakfast.

All in all, today's ride was about "getting over it" and went very well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11, 2009

YEAH!!!! It's Saturday and Cindy got to head to the stables in the morning with Gary.

There were many boarders out for lessons/riding this morning. Cindy headed to the paddock to halter/lead LBR back for the morning. She found him alone - no paddock mate, Romeo.

He still had about 1/2 of his grain and was eating as well as a beautiful flake of alfalfa (about the size of 2 normal flakes due to freshness and density). Cindy put the alfalfa in the hiding spot and waited for LBR to finish his breakfast. He is the slowest eater - any distraction and the head comes out of the bucket for a long look around.

After he finally finished (only a few crumbs left), Cindy haltered him and headed to the main barn for grooming. LBR seemed anxious to find his buddy Romeo and stopped/whinnied several times as they made the long (1/4 mile) walk to the grooming stall.

LBR stood nicely for his pre-ride grooming. He still crossties without any issues.

Cindy led him to the round pen for warm up and LBR was his usual distracted self. After about 10 minutes he focused and Cindy dismounted and headed to the practice arena. LBR stood nicely for mounting and they headed off for the ride. LBR was a bit unfocused, but not too obsessive about it.

He has developed a desire to exit the arena at the far end (where we come in from the round pen) and there was a bit of a battle. For the first time, he got a bit light in the front end (no rearing - but probably one or two steps away from it). Rather than get too "mad" at him, Cindy kept firm gentle pressure and commands and he finally walked on.

After this small battle, LBR rode perfectly. Cindy walked along the rail for a while and then asked him for the trot. He didn't want to trot at first, but when he did it was PERFECT. Cindy worked him on the rail and on the diagonal and LBR kept a consistent even gate. LBR came back to the walk nicely and trotted/walked/whoa'd well throughout the remainder of Cindy's ride.

Gary rode at the walk for a bit and LBR did well. LBR seems to have forgotten his "back" command so Gary had a little bit of a battle with that. We will be working him more on the ground and under saddle with this command.

After the ride, Gary led LBR back for sponging/grooming and a nice rest in the main barn (it is cool in there in the mornings with a nice breeze).

Gary led LBR back to his paddock and we placed his alfalfa in the shelter (two sided/covered) so he could get a break from the sun.

Cindy can't wait for the fall when she can spend evenings and more weekend time with LBR. It was 95 degrees by the time the morning visit was over at 11:30 a.m.

July 10, 2009

Gary had a meeting during the morning, Cindy was worked and due to the continued excessive high temperatures neither felt up to going to visit LBR in the evening (only 102 degrees - but it's Friday and it's been a long week).

July 9, 2009

Gary headed to the stables in the morning and led LBR to the main barn for grooming. The foals continued to roam the common area and practice arena.

Gary groomed and saddled up LBR for a ride in the practice arena. Unfortunately, LBR was a total goof-ball and distracted by the foals. After a battle of the stubborn red-heads (LBR & Gary), LBR behaved a bit better.

Gary also lunged LBR in the roundpen to reinforce lessons that he knows well.

After the ride, Gary bathed LBR and let him graze for a bit in the common area before returning back to his paddock for his alfalfa.

July 8, 2009

Today, LBR got a break from workouts as Gary had an appontment during the morning, Cindy was at work and it was 106 degrees at 5:00 p.m.

July 7, 2009

Gary headed to the stables in the morning. Tuesday is "farrier day" and it was time for LBR to have his feet trimmed again.

Gary went down to the paddock and haltered LBR. His biggest fan "Giselle" (a filly born in March) was hanging out at LBR's gate again. As Gary led LBR to the main barn, Giselle followed. She would fall back a bit and then run and catch up. LBR was obsessed with his new friend but Gary kept leading him thinking that Giselle would not follow all the was to the main barn....he was wrong.

The caretaker attempted to put a rope around unbroken/trained Giselle but she spooked and LBR got very aggressive/defensive of her. Gary ended up having to lead LBR back to Giselle's paddock and the caretaker stayed there w/ her while Gary led LBR back to the grooming stall.

The farrier this week was different from the one used previously. Gary & he got along well and LBR behaved surprisingly well considering all of the commotion with Giselle. The only thing LBR did was steal carrots that someone had left in the stall where the farrier was working.

His front feet are almost totally recovered from the days on the track - no more pancake feet.

July 6, 2009

Gary headed to the stables in the morning to beat the heat. LBR's paddock buddy Romeo is back in the paddock with him.

Gary moved LBR's yet to be eaten alfalfa to a hiding spot for after riding and led LBR to the main barn for grooming. Gary started LBR in the practice arena but due to the distractions of this year's foal crop (all playing in the common area and practice arena - 5 foals in total), Gary headed to the round pen.

LBR regained focus there and they had a good ride in the round pen. Afterwards, Gary sponged LBR down and took him back to his paddock and gave him his flake of alfalfa as a treat.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

June 29 - July 5th, 2009

This week has been very hectic for both Cindy and Gary so our posts are limited to this single recap of the week. The week started out with Monday & Tuesday morning Gary rides with LBR being a bit stubborn and pulling/chewing on the bit. Tuesday evening, Cindy went over for a ride and found the same stubborn/totally distracted horse. There were many of this years foals playing in the common areas and LBR was a inattentive to the rider.

Wednesday, Gary had the same experience so he let LBR "sniff" all the foals surrounding him and continued with a fairly productive ride.

On Thursday morning, Gary switched back from the "D-Ring" snaffle to the eggbutt and had a much better ride (he warmed up in the round pen first). Gary continued the exercises in the practice arena on Friday w/ the eggbutt and LBR showed rapid improvement/return to his normal self.

On Saturday, Cindy & Gary both headed over and Cindy had a great ride in the practice arena (after warming up in the round pen). On Sunday, LBR was better than ever with multiple horses/distractions in the practice arena. After about 30 minutes of riding there, Cindy took him on a trail ride into one of the stalled horses vacant paddocks. He got a little "up" but behaved perfectly. Gary then rode him back in the practice arena for a bit before heading to the groom stalls.

LBR was started on alfafa hay this month to try and put the final 30 pounds on.

He's getting to be such a nice companion for both Cindy & Gary. Attached is a video of Cindy leaving the practice arena and headed to the paddock for the trail ride. Our apologies for the video quality.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28, 2009

Gary & Cindy headed to the stables around 8:30. Fortunately, the horses had been fed their morning feed so we did not have to wait for LBR to eat.

Cindy went to bring LBR from his paddock to the main stable. He didn't hear her coming and was at the far end of the paddock. The three (3) foals were outside of their pen near LBR's paddock gate (I will refer to them as the three stooges going forward). Their mother's were not happy about the distance they had ventured and were trying to call them back....they were oblivious - like teenagers.

Cindy walked into the paddock and LBR met here about 2/3 of the way down. When they got to the paddock gate to head to the stables for grooming, the three stooges were blocking their way (Cindy didn't want to risk LBR being aggressive to them). Two of them wandered off, but Gary's favorite filly stayed and she and LBR checked each other out by touching muzzles. It was so cute. Finally, she wandered off to meet her friends and LBR and Cindy headed to the stables.

We groomed/saddled LBR and because yesterday's routine was very successful, Cindy chose it again. Cindy rode him in the round pen for about 5 minutes to warm up and then headed to the practice arena for LBR's workout.

Cindy rode him at the walk and trot for about 20 minutes in the arena. She also practiced whoa's, serpantines and backing up. LBR was responsive and did well. His trot was not quite as even as it was the previous day, but it was still quite rideable.

Gary rode next at the walk for about 15 minutes - walking LBR over and around obstacles in the arena.

After the ride, we detacked, groomed and rinsed LBR off. We let him graze in the common area for about 30 minutes while he dried off. We ended with the walk to/through the pasture and some alfalfa cube treats at the gate.

We headed home about was 97 degrees.

June 27, 2009 Saturday so Cindy could visit LBR in the morning with Gary. The horses had not been fed yet for the morning (we arrived around 8:30 a.m.). Cindy headed to the paddock to get LBR and as she was leading him to the stable for grooming, the caretaker was headed to LBR's area to feed. Cindy took LBR's feed with them to the grooming stables.

We let LBR eat his breakfast in his grooming stall and then gave him a bucket of water. We groomed and tacked up.

Due to yesterday's "attitude", Cindy wanted to ride first in the round pen to access his mood today. She rode him there for about 5 minutes and he was responsive and attentive.

Cindy headed to the practice arena (doesn't have deep dusty sand) for today's ride. LBR was slightly distracted but Cindy could easily get his attention by saying his name. She worked him at the walk and trot for about 30 minutes with whoa's and back-up thrown in. She had a great ride.

Gary was amazed at how well it went so he rode at the walk for a while - over rails, logs, etc. in the practice arena.

After riding, we detacked, gave LBR a rinse off bath and let him graze in the common area for about 30 minutes while he dried off.

LBR got treats in the grooming stall (he ate chopped up carrots again), some fly spray and then was led back to his paddock.

By the time we finished riding, bathing and grooming it was around 11:00 a.m. and 97 degrees....argh.

June 26, 2009

Gary headed to the stables in the morning aniticipating another good ride. LBR met him at the gate and they headed to the stables for grooming/saddling.

LBR was chewing excessively on the bit and very distracted. Gary adjusted the bridle one notch higher in an attempt to stop this behavior and headed to the main arena. Unfortunately, LBR continued being aloof, stubborn and chewing on the bit. At one point, LBR bucked (i.e. kicked out with his back feet).

This was the first time Gary has experienced this behavior and he reprimanded LBR with a stern voice and slap on the shoulder.

LBR then behaved perfectly and walked/whoa'd and turned with ease.

After the ride, Gary sponged LBR down and then led him back to/through his paddock. We are going to start adding alfalfa to LBR's feed starting July 1 to see if we can get the last 50 lbs. back on him.

June 25, 2009

Gary went to visit/work LBR in the morning. The temperature here this week is 100+ degrees at 7:00 p.m. so we'll be continuing this until we get a break.

LBR met Gary at the gate and was groomed and tacked up for a ride. Gary worked LBR at a walk in the main arena and they had a good exercise that included ground work and walking around/over poles.

Afterwards, Gary sponged LBR down as it had reached 95 degrees at 10:30 a.m.

LBR did not want the carrot treats (still holding a grudge over being "tricked" and fed watermelon. Gary led him back to/through the paddock for water.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2009

Today is LBR's 3 month anniversary in his new home.

Due to the heat (and okay - a little bit due to the final game of the NCAA Baseball World Series), Gary decided to go over and visit/work LBR in the morning when Cindy headed to work.

When Gary arrived, LBR was drinking water at the far end of the paddock. After a few minutes, Gary called to him and LBR came to the gate.

Gary groomed/tacked LBR and headed to the main arena. LBR is starting to develop a personality (ah oh). Gary led him to the mounting blocks and as he stepped up, LBR "nipped" Gary on the butt. Gary's red-headed temper met LBR for the first time as Gary slapped him on the shoulder. Gary re-squared LBR to the mounting blocks and got the lesson underway.

LBR was GREAT!!!! Although he seems to chew on the bit before being ridden, he didn't lean/chew/pulll at all during the 45 minute ride. Gary worked him at the walk (no bouncies i.e. trot) in the imaginary half arena as well as throughout the arena. The "whoa's" were great and they walked over, around and through the jump obstacles. Gary backed him a few times too.

After the ride, it was bath time and about 95 degrees. Gary de-tacked LBR and groomed him a bit. He then left LBR cross-tied while he prepared the hose, bucket, shampoo for the bath. This is the first time LBR has been cross-tied alone and he behaved.

Gary bathed (soaped), rinsed, and towel dried LBR and then turned him loose in the common area for grazing. This was LBR's first time not being led while grazing. He wandered into an empty/open paddock and Gary "panicked" that he would roll as he was so clean and almost dry. Luckily, LBR was more interested in the new "smells" than rolling.

Gary caught LBR (no issues) and led him back to the paddock for treats (LBR wouldn't eat carrots though - must think it's watermelon).

June 23, 2009

LBR was trumped by the NCAA College Baseball finals and the 104 degree heat tonight.

June 22, 2009

We ate dinner before heading to the stables at 7:30 (still 100 degrees). Cindy got out of the truck with the halter to walk to LBR's paddock near the stable entrance because it's a shorter walk. LBR heard Cindy call and headed to the gate to meet her. Unfortunately, she entered from the other end of the paddock and LBR was so confused. He finally realized she was in the paddock and turned around and trotted to her with loud whinnies.

LBR was very distracted on the way to the grooming stall....prancing around. Once in the stall, we treated him with watermelon which he ate for the first time. We groomed and tacked and led to the main arena. Due to LBR's aloofness, Cindy decided to head to the round pen.

Though distracted, LBR did well in the round pen. His whoa's were nearly rein-less tonight.

After riding, we detacked, groomed and then went back to the paddock for water and treats. It was dark by the time we were through.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 21, 2009

We returned from our weekend trip in mid-afternoon and after a nice nap we headed over to see LBR.

As we were both pretty tired still, we just groomed him, gave him some treats and returned him to his paddock.

The heat in Austin is getting ridiculous. We are going to start eating dinner before going over to the stables to give it a chance to get below 100 degrees.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 20, 2009

We were out of town today and did not visit LBR.

June 19, 2009

We were out of town today and did not visit LBR.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 18,2009

Cindy went to the paddock to halter LBR for grooming/riding. He whinnied at her when he saw here coming and trotted to the gate (so sweet).

Due to lessons in the main arena, we headed to the round pen after grooming/tacking up. LBR was very focused and responsive to the bit. Cindy walked mostly with a few attempts at trotting (the round pen is only 60' across and LBR doesn't like to trot w/ a rider in there).

Because LBR was so responsive, Cindy decided to ride him in the large grass arena. Not knowing what to expect, she used half of the arena initially. LBR was amazingly focused, responsive and seemed happy so Cindy rode him around the entire area.

Cindy would rate tonight as one of the best rides - especially since it was in new territory.

After riding, we groomed and then Gary led LBR into the wash rack. LBR "froze" initially so Gary put the lead rope over his nose (not even all the way) and LBR walked right in and turned and stood. It's funny how that gives him the security/confidence to behave.

We ended the night with treats in the paddock and "redistribution" of the remaining stale hay.

June 17, 2009

Cindy headed down to the paddock and haltered/led LBR back to the grooming stall. We bought a new d-ring snaffle for LBR and half-chaps for Cindy.

Cindy rode in the jumping arena and LBR was very aloof. She trotted him quite a bit tonight (loving the half-chaps for grip and stability). LBR leaned on the new bit a lot...we're hoping that it's just the newness - not a sign of a bad habit.

After riding, LBR was treated with carrots in the grooming stall and became "obsessed". Every moving person/dog/cat in the barn must have carrots according to LBR.

We led LBR back to his paddock and noticed he's not eating much of the last bit of round-bale hay that is left. Hopefully, they will give him a new bale soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 16, 2009

Tonight we visited LBR just to groom and treat due to other plans we had.

He came to the gate for Cindy to halter him and seemed glad to see us after a days absence. We had a major non-training breakthrough. LBR ate carrot for the first time. Cindy had cut up baby carrots into tiny pieces and he loved them. Woo hoo - an alternate treat to alfalfa cubes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009

It was 103 degrees in Manor tonight at 6:00 p.m. Gary is doing a landscaping job and Cindy had a tiring Monday at work so we decided to take the night off (we've been over 5 days w/out a break from the heat).

I forgot to mention a couple of things in last weeks posts. LBR measured exactly 16.3 hands with a professional/leveled measuring stick and we also payed for worming (this is included so we can keep a schedule of his medical history).

We're both NCAA college baseball fans (Gary - Razorback; Cindy - Longhorns) so we're settling in for a night of watching the NCAA World Series (Arkansas -vs- LSU) in comfortable A/C.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009

We headed to the stables early to beat the heat. Gary & Cindy went out last night and were a little groggy.

Due to lessons in the main arena, we worked in the roundpen. LBR did great - sometimes it's nice to go back to the familiar.

We're hoping to ride in the main arena tomorrow night and do more trot work.

We detacked and Gary led LBR into the wash rack. LBR refused on the first attempt so Gary put the lead rope over his nose and LBR went in nicely.

We ended with a walk back to/through the paddock and some treats at the gate.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 13, 2009

It's Saturday so we headed over around 8:30 a.m. to beat the heat. LBR was squeeky clean from his bath last night.

We were the only ones riding today as we headed into the main arena. Gary rode first for about 30 minutes and then Cindy rode for about 20 minutes. LBR was a bit more energetic- probably because it was the cooler time of the day.

We took the camera over to get some new pictures. We know it's crazy, but are pretty sure he knows he's getting his picture taken. He totally loses focus and poses.

Oh well...enjoy the pics.

We groomed and returned him to his lonely paddock.

June 12, 2009

The Austin area had severe storms last night (lightening, rain, hail, and even a tornado). Fortunately, by the time they reached the Manor area (east side of Austin), most of the violent weather was done and we experienced only lightening and about 1" of rain.

As we headed to the stables, we had a small wager on which side of LBR would be coated in mud and planned for a horse bath. Gary guessed left side, Cindy guessed right....LBR had different plans - he was coated on both sides including face and ears.

We bathed him in the open area and let him graze to dry. It was a nice end to a long week.

June 11, 2009

We headed to the stables expecting to need to work in the practice arena (it's Thursday and that normally means lessons).

When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised that their were no lessons and the stables were deserted.

We tacked up LBR and headed to the arena. He was absolutely perfect tonight. Did his ground flexing work when first asked and stayed absolutely focused on both Cindy & Gary while they rode.

After about 1 hour working mostly at the walk on flex, whoa's and straight lines, we saw lightening in the far distance (about 30 miles away) so we quickly detacked, groomed and led him back to his paddock (he still has no paddock mate).

We were under a tornado warning tonight, so we 'hurried home'.

June 10, 2009

We headed to the stables expecting things to be quiet as they usually are on Wednesday. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea.

We decided to tack up and head to the arena despite multiple green horses being schooled. LBR was very distracted, but Cindy insisted that he "get over it".

She rode for about 45 minutes, then we groomed and returned LBR to his paddock.

All, in all...he's come a long way in a short period of time but he still continues the dramatic distractions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 9, 2009

Cindy was not feeling well after work and there are lessons on Tuesday (meaning we would be back in the roundpen) so we decided not to visit LBR today.

June 8, 2009

We tacked up LBR and headed to the main arena for a ride. There were no other boarders riding so we thought we'd have a distraction free time.

Unfortunately, LBR continues to be distracted by anything imaginable. For the first 15 minutes or so (part ground work part riding), Cindy had to recapture his attention about every 30 seconds.

Cindy rode him for about 30 minutes at the walk and trot and he started responding better. Gary then rode him about 15 minutes with only one (1) "incident" by the most distracting tree known to horsekind.

We unsaddled, groomed, led into the wash rack and then back to the paddock for treats.

We have to remember that LBR was just as easily distracted during his lead/ground work 2 months ago and he is now perfectly behaved under lead. We're hoping that a couple of months of riding will yield the same results.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 7, 2009

It's getting really hot in Central TX so we decided to take advantage of the Sunday morning and headed to the stables around was a brisk 77 degrees.

There were several back-to-back lessons in the main arena so we tacked up and headed to the roundpen. LBR remembered groundwork/bitwork head down on the first try with no resistance. He was responsive to flexing in all directions and focused.

Gary rode first and LBR did everything pretty well...staying on the rail, whoa'ing (though still taking a few steps). The first time LBR was asked to back, he didn't remember but eventually responded.

Cindy rode for a bit working mostly on whoa's and backing (not to much on the figure 8). LBR also did a quarter-turn on his hind quarters well.

After riding, we detacked and led LBR to the wash stall. Gary hosed down his legs and then we headed outside for a full bath. There's nothing like a clean, shiny horse on a sunny warm day.

We ended with leading back to/through the paddock (lonely w/out Romeo) and some treats.

June 6, 2009

We took the day off today.

June 6, 2009

We took the day off today and just chilled out watching NCAA baseball. Air conditioing is a wonderful was 98 degress today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 5, 2009

Tonight we skipped the roundpen work and tacked up and headed to the main arean. LBR was VERY distracted tonight as his paddock mate has been moved and many other horses had been moved to different paddocks as well.

We started with the ground head/bit flex work and some ground turn on the haunches.

Cindy then rode him. Although he was very aloof, he did his whoa's well, but did not focus/listen well overall. Cindy decided to stay at the walk tonight due to LBR's lack of concentration. He didn't back well on the first try, but did for subsequent attempts.

Gary rode for a bit and experienced LBR's aloofness too....particularly at the far end of the arena (he got "bounced" for a couple of steps). We finished in the arean with some more ground flex work. LBR does the flex work much better at the end of his lessons - we must be consistent and patient:-)

We detacked and then led w/out any hesitation in/out of the wash rack two (2) times.

We walked back to/through the paddock and because he no longer has a roommate, we placed alfalfa treats on his big round bale of hay. He "discovered" them very quickly. However, when picking/eating one, he got some bermuda hay in the bite and was not happy. He spit out all of the half-eaten cubes in his mouth. It's not that his bermuda hay is bad (he eats it all the time). He just didn't expect/like the combination of the two.

That reminds me...have I mentioned that LBR doesn't like sugar cubes and he bites carrots and spits them out. The only treat he will eat is alfalfa cubes - not only is Gary a food-princess, LBR is too.

June 4, 2009

We headed to the stables excited to try our new techniques. Because it is a lesson night for the group lessons, we would have to work in the roundpen.

We saddled up LBR and started with the "head down" exercise. LBR was resistant at first but he dropped his head a few times from each side so we moved on and Cindy rode first.

LBR was very focused and ignored grazing horses and commotion nearby the roundpen. He was a bit "stubborn" when asked to back the first time, but did it well on subsequent requests.

Gary rode for a bit and described it as his best ride ever:-)

We ended with de-tacking and leading into the wash rack (the trainer cured his fear of this yesterday after the lesson too).

June 3, 2009

Tonight the trainer at the stables rode LBR. She taught us some ground training flexing techniques that will help LBR become softer on the bit.

Standing next to him, she pulled down on one rain and said "head down" took him about 5 minutes to flex/relax when she first started. She also had him turn on his haunches (crossing over front legs) from the ground. She worked both directions with these exercises before mounting.

She then rode LBR in the main arena. She did some walk trot and a lot of whoa's. She recommended a few things: 1) More work on the whoa's with heavy seat queues (like bracing for a stop at the canter) 2) Turning on the haunches (even if it's just one step). 3) Backing - new concept for LBR under saddle and 3) Flexion work from both the ground and saddle. 4) Be consistent and keep his focus (he's easily distracted).

We have plenty to work on for a few weeks:-)

June 2, 2009

Tonight we rode in the roundpen and LBR was a better than the previous night. We concentrated on more figure-eights and stops.

Tomorrow is the big night....trainer will be riding LBR in order to evaluate him and provide us with some tips-for-training.

June 1, 2009

We were hoping for an inactive stables but there were many boarders riding in the main arena. It had been almost a week since our last ride (we've been doing ground work) so we tacked up and headed to the roundpen.

LBR was unsure of what Cindy was asking him to do (stop, walk, trot) but eventually seemed to get it (though not as well as previous rides).

Gary rode for a bit and LBR "bounced" him for the first time (aka trot).

We led back to the grooming stall, de-tacked and back to the paddock for some treats.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31, 2009

After a very long day yesterday, we slept in a bit and headed to the stables mid-morning. Lessons and other boarders were wrapping up but still active so we decided to take the opportunity to do more ground work.

Only one of the two (2) guests at the house headed out to the stables with us....the granddaughter decided to take it easy in the air conditioned/multiple HD TV house (not to say I can blame her - the heat index was 95degrees + by the time we got around to heading to the stables).

Gary lunged LBR and it went well. Due to the heat, we headed to the main barn for a bath and grazing in the common area.

The picture in this post is our guest who had never seen/touched a horse before. LBR treated him like the perfect host and I think they both enjoyed each other's company.

We ended with a walk back to the paddock (stubbornly on LBR's part until Cindy popped him "magically" with the lead rope on the butt), through the paddock and back to the gate for treats.

Having a clean horse is so nice!!!!!

May 30, 2009

Took the day off for a trip to Sea World. It was fun, but a very long day (2 hour drive each way and about 10 hours in the heat/humidity).

We like the Sea Lions best and not so fond of Killer Whales (Shamu) as young sea lions are one of their favorite meals.

May 29, 2009

Our granddaughter and a friend are in from Arkansas for post-graduation vacation. We took them over to the stables to introduce them to LBR.

Neither of them a "horse people", but because LBR has been a bit fiesty lately, we needed to go over for some lunging.

We groomed LBR in the roundpen and Gary worked him at the walk/trot/canter both directions. LBR got a bit "spunky" when cantering (hopping and kicking at least once each time). All we can figure is he's feeling much better (supplements) and is also starting to get in shape. If/when he takes the incorrect lead at the canter or starts with a cross-canter, he performs flying lead changes to correct.

Our grandaughter's friend had never seen/touched a horse and studied the training lesson. He thought it was pretty amazing that a horse could be so responsive/trained. He also "warmed" up to LBR.

We'll be taking tomorrow off to head to Sea World with the "kids".

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 28, 2009

We headed to the stables with the plan of "back to groundwork". We added supplements to LBR's feed and think he is starting to "feel his oats". He's been more distracted the last few nights and looking for excuses to be spunky.

When we arrived, the stables were quite busy with lessons and boarders. We led LBR from his paddock directly to the roundpen for grooming. Gary lunged him (in halter only) and although a bit stubborn (not wanting to go in the counterclockwise direction), LBR did pretty well.

LBR kept his inside ear turned and listened to Gary's commands. However, we now have a spunky horse on our hand. When asked to trot, LBR once took to the canter.

When asked to canter, he "play" bucked and kicked but continued on. LBR actually seemed to be letting of some steam and having fun. After his "canter/kick", he would come to a nice whoa or walk. When LBR whoa'd, he immediately went into mellow mode.

We ended with grooming in the round pen, a cooling-off walk around the practice arena and treats at the gate.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 27, 2009

We headed to the stables expecting a quiet night as there are no lessons on Wednesday nights. We were quite surprised to find several boarders there and a lot of activity.

We groomed/tacked up and headed to the round pen as it had been five (5) days since our last ride. LBR was easily distracted in the round pen and didn't like the "crusty"path near the rail. We rode there (Gary & Cindy) and he got a little better.

Gary wanted to ride in the main arena. LBR continued to be a bit "distracted/hot" but handled fairly well for Gary. Cindy decided to ride in the main arena for a bit and LBR continued to be a little unruly. He was very distracted by the dogs, people and other horse in the arena. The thing that pushed him over the top was a boarder's horse that had been turned loose to graze in the common area.

This horse began running through the common areas, kicking and bucking. LBR decided he wanted to join in the fun and took off at a hot trot without being asked. Rather than try and force him to stop, Cindy used the forward motion to do some nice circles and LBR calmed down and came to a nice whoa (with the aid of the corner of the arena).

Cindy walked him for a bit more in the arena and practiced some whoa's and then we headed to the grooming stall to take of the bridle/saddle and groom. LBR was still a bit excited, but stood nicely.

We ended the night with the typical walk to/through the paddock for a drink and some treats.

Tomorrow we will be doing ground work in the roundpen....getting LBR back on his normal routine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 26, 2009

Gary headed over to the stables in the morning to meet the farrier. LBR behaved well for his second trimming.

We decided to take the night off an will head over tomorrow (weather permitting) for a ride.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25, 2009

We headed over to the stables mid-morning. We had about 2" of rain overnight and LBR took full advantage of the opportunity to roll in the mud.

He got a new neighbor in the adjoining paddock today as Gary was haltering him up to head to the grooming stalls. LBR whinnied repeatedly on the way from the paddock and continued to call to his new neighbor throughout grooming (Cindy's ears are ringing).

It took a while, but we were able to get all the mud off without a bath today (it was too muddy in his paddock to waste the water bathing...he would have just rolled again after we left). There was no sign of the stalker today but beause it is a holiday, there were many other boarders grooming their horses.

Due to the muddy conditions, we chose not to ride today and took the opportunity to reinforce some ground work. We led LBR in the practice arena and he walked over the solid log jumps without any hesitation (first time he would do this). Ground poles were "old" and posed no issues as well.

After about 20 minutes of lead work, we took LBR to the common area for some grazing. There were several other boarders there letting their horses graze as well. LBR ignored them as his entire/total focus was on eating the fresh grass. As he has been a little difficult to lead away from this area, Gary took him down the road in the opposite direction and around several other barns. LBR behaved well and didn't realize he was leaving this green pasture:-)

We headed to the paddock, led/drank water and then enjoyed watching him eat his treats from his bucket.

He headed back to the center of the paddock and a fresh round bale of hay. He made Romeo leave the preferred hay spot by pinning his ears (he's so bossy).

He kept his eye on his new neighbor too...a 3 year old gray filly.

May 24, 2009

We headed to the stables in the late morning expecting to find a muddy horse, roundpen and arena as we had at least 1" of rain at the house on Saturday.

Much to our surprise, the stables which are only about 5 miles from the house appeared to have sprinkles at most. LBR was clean and the roundpen and arena were dry.

We changed the order of things today. Started by leading LBR to the main barn for grooming. He entered his grooming stall perfectly, but the "stalker" popped out of a doorway and he spooked a bit. LBR really doesn't like the stalker as it operates in stealth mode appearing from behind walls, doorways, etc. and then sit/stands nearby and stares at him.

After grooming, we led LBR out to the common area behind the main barn for some grazing. He was very happy to have the fresh bermuda grass.

We headed back to the grooming stall and put on his saddle/bridle for a ride in the round pen. LBR responded nicely and Cindy's posting is getting better (she rode him at a nice steady trot for about 4 laps clockwise and about 3 laps counterclockwise). LBR's whoa's are getting much better - only taking 2-3 steps from the walk to whoa.

Gary rode for a bit and when LBR's stubborn ("I don't want to turn") streak came out, Gary corrected him perfectly (no getting his bluff over on us:-). LBR doesn't seem to like it when the weather is changing (there were storms far off in the distance and a cool wind kicked up after a bit).

There were a couple of horses being worked in the main arena that were a bit rowdy so we decided to skip that today. They aren't untrained - just unworked and a bit hot.

We ended with grooming, lead back to/through the paddock and some treats.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 23, 2009

Today Gary & Cindy headed to Kerrville, TX for the folk festival so they didn't visit LBR. It rained in Central Texas so they're expecting to find a muddy LBR tomorrow. Oh well, we need the rain and bathing a horse is a one of the few under appreciated joys in life.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 22, 2009's Friday and this is a three (3) day weekend. Cindy's paddock boots came in the mail tonight and fit perfectly.

It was quiet at the stables tonight. The stable owner and one other boarder were saddling up horses. Gary led LBR from the paddock to the grooming stall and we groomed/tacked up for a ride in the round pen.

LBR was unbelievable tonight. Turning with the slightest leg/rein pressure and moving out nicely. Cindy mostly walked but did do a few laps at the trot. LBR is starting to trot a little bit more evenly with a rider and Cindy is getting her riding legs and posting much more smoothly.

LBR also whoa'd within a couple of steps and didn't chew/pull at the bit.

We did have a schooling pad under his fleece saddle pad and think this may be the trigger to a good ride.

Because LBR was doing so well, we decided to head to the main jumping arena. There was one horse being ridden in there so tonight was a new experience. LBR was perfect!!!! The one time the other horse came cantering by, Cindy halted LBR and he stood perfectly.

Cindy walked him over a low jump and LBR was so lazy he knocked a rail down. He didn't flinch/freak at all. Cindy rode him around and then back over the same jump and he didn't care at all.

We ended with grooming, walk back to/through the paddock, a long drink of water and some treats.

What a great night!

May 21, 2009

Tonight was extremely busy at the stables as there is both a 5:30 & 6:30 group lessons. LBR behaved well in the barn for grooming.

We headed to the round pen for a ride and he seemed more distracted (not hot) than usual. He was "stiff" for turns and didn't want to move out. We kept the lesson fairly short (we both rode for about 10 minutes). He did "whoa" better than previous rides and we attributed that to ground "whoas" we did prior to riding.

When we de-tacked, we noticed that due to the lack of schooling pad, he was "hotter" under the fleece pad than usual....maybe this is why he didn't respond as well?

We ended with the usual....walk to/through the paddock, drink of water (he didn't want it tonight) and then treats back at the gate.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 20, 2009

Tonight we led from the paddock, groomed and headed to the roundpen for a ride. LBR was very "mellow" tonight.

He responded well to very light rein and leg pressure. Both Gary and Cindy rode. Cindy worked LBR a little more at the trot and is getting a sense of his trot rhythm and able to post better.

After the roundpen workout (about 20 minutes), we led LBR to the main jumping arena for a ride. Cindy mounted using the mounting blocks instead of the "leg up" jockey method and LBR stood nicely. She rode LBR around the perimeter of the arena and he seemd to be 'showing' off - very attentive and interested.

Cindy rode him over many ground poles, between jumps, and around jumps and LBR responded perfectly (though his "whoa's" still need a bit of work).

After about 15 minutes in the main arena, we headed to the barn for de-tacking, grooming and then back to/through the paddock ending with some treats at the gate.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 19, 2009

Tuesdays are very active at the stables and this one was particularly so as there was a horse being shod in the stables (custom shoes being created/grinded with power tools).

We brought LBR from his paddock and based on yesterday’s “attitude” we didn’t know how well this was going to go. In addition to the farrier, the Tuesday lesson group was tacking up in the barn as well.

Much to our surprise, the evil-spirit that had inhabited LBR the previous day was gone. He led perfectly into the barn/grooming stall and stood quietly for grooming and tacking up.

Rather than starting with ground work, we simply led LBR around the roundpen a few times and as he seemed very calm, Cindy hopped aboard.

LBR was WONDERFUL…turning with the slightest leg/rein pressure. Cindy trotted him a bit. LBR has a very springy trot in the roundpen and Cindy’s seat is still not quiet back so posting was a little spastic but LBR was trotting perfectly on the rail

We switched riders and Gary hopped on. He hasn’t ridden LBR in a few visits and was amazed at the progress LBR has made with his turns.

We headed back to the barn for grooming/de-tacking and LBR stood perfectly with one cross tie despite a lot of commotion in the barn (end of lessons, barking dogs, loud talkers).

May 18, 2009

Tonight was the first time in three (3) days that we were able to “work” LBR due to the rain. We took him from the paddock to the main barn for grooming and he was not his usual agreeable self (just a little stubborn).

We groomed/saddled/bridled and headed to the round pen for some ground work. He continued his stubborn streak – not wanting to lunge, not attentive. Gary raised the lunge whip when LBR refused to trot and he broke into a canter…what a little terror.

He calmed down a bit and Cindy rode for a while, but instead of behaving nicely, he continued to behave in an “off” manner. Rather than get frustrated, she just worked him a bit in figure eights and kept the ride brief.

We ended with de-tacking, grooming, leading to/through the paddock and finished off with some treats at the gate. He was so obstinate tonight that when led through the paddock to the water trough, he didn’t even play/drink in the water.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 17, 2009

We headed over to the stables knowing that we were not going to be able to ride. We expected to find LBR coated in mud and he did not disappoint us.

We took him down to the grooming stables to try and curry off the mud. It was too thick (> 1" in places) and too dry to brush off. We had to bath him to remove the mud which we wasn't to keen on (wanted to eat grass rather than stand and be bathed).

We finished the bath despite his protests and then allowed him to graze on the lead while he dried.

Afterwards, we headed back to the grooming stall for hoof cleaning, fly repellent and "manners".

We led him back to his paddock (uneventful) and fed him some treats.

It was almost dinner time, so we think his "stubbornness" was more out of desire for dinner than anything else tonight.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 16, 2009

It rained in Central Texas today (almost 2" in Manor). We received a text message on our cell phone: "Mud Rolling party at the stables. RSVP, LBR".

We decided to skip the stables until tomorrow and headed over to the expo center to cheer on the stables at a local show. We stayed for a couple of hours and then headed home to listen to the rain and watch the Preakness....Girls Rule:-)

The weather prediction for tomorrow is cooler temperatures and sun so we'll head over in the afternoon when it's has warmed up as we feel pretty confident that the mud rolling party was a blast and LBR will need a bath.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 15, 2009

Gary went to the stables this morning to make sure LBR was eating his food with the supplement added. LBR had finished eating already so Gary visited with the caretaker, Jim. Jim says LBR is eating well and they've increased his feed this week. He's not extremely thin, but has seemed to drop a bit of weight.

In the evening we headed over for a ride. We decided to try a different snaffle tonight to see if LBR would respond better (stop leaning on the bit). We switched from an egg-butt snaffle to a d-ring snaffle with copper and stainless rollers. It made a HUGE difference.

Cindy rode LBR in the round pen and he responded beautifully to the slightest "pinkie" pressure for a lot of turns/circles/figure eights and s-pattern. His disposition was entirely different. When he did lean on the bit (very lightly) he discovered the rollers and seemed to like them.

We attribute most of this to the new bit, but also have to realize that this was our 4th ride and he may just be starting to understand what we want him to do.

We ended with grooming and back to/through the paddock before treats at the gate. This weekend (depending on weather) we hope to ride at the walk in the main arena to alleviate LBR's boredom with the roundpen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 14, 2009

We did not make it the stables tonight because there was a Home Owners Association meeting for our neighborhood.

Gary is headed to the stables in the morning to watch LBR eat as he seems to be dropping some weight.