Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009

We received a some light rain/sprinkles today so did not have expectations of roundpen work when we headed to the stables. LBR had done another "fine" job of rolling - adding to the mud we were unable/willing to get off last night.

The paddock is not too bad, but still moist enough that we opted not to wash him. He greeted us at the gate tonight (I forgot to mention that this good returned yesterday).

We curried some of the mud off briefly and headed to the stables and grooming stalls for more cleaning. LBR did really well in a very active barn. The dogs (all 5-6 of them) were in the stable competing for human attention and there were 4 other horses being groomed inside as well.

We got the worst of the mud off, cleaned hooves and chilled out in the grooming rack. After about an hour of this we decided to head back to the paddock.

LBR initially led out of the barn well, but "froze" and wouldn't move forward. We could sense the tension, but didn't know why.

We found out in about 15 of the borders turned her overly excited horse out to graze and the horse decided that running through the pathways and driveways at a full run (not canter or lope) was a good thing.

We calmed LBR down with pats and encouragement and he moved forward. Whenever the excited horse would make another run around the property (55 acres), we would stop as he neared and let LBR watch.

We ended the night with a little grazing in the common area, led LBR in the paddock (had to put the nose rope on as after all the excitement and he responded nicely).

We ended with alfalfa cube treats and some scratching/rubbing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

We headed over to the stables not knowing what to expect (other than a filthy LBR). The paddock was not as muddy as we expected so we haltered LBR and led him out. His far side was coated in a great layer of mud and his near side was shiny clean...does he have a split personality?

We cleaned his hooves and decided to go back to some work with leading. He really wanted to graze, but eventually gave in and led/whoa'd very nicely. He's starting to pick up on the non-verbal queues and if you think about stopping, he stops on a dime.

We led him over some low jumps in the practice arena and worked on the rail at getting parallel stops.

After about an hour in total (grooming and ground manners), we returned him to his paddock and gave him some treats.

Rain is expected for the next few days so we may be doing lead work this week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Over 2" of rain today in Manor, TX. We know we need to work with LBR every day, but still appreciate the rain.

We'll try tomorrow as the front seems to have passed with drier air behind.

We may get our first full bath tomorrow depending on how dry the paddock is:-)

April 26, 2009

This post is a day later.....

We headed over to the stables around 4:30 with a neighbor in tow knowing that LBR was going to be enjoying dinner.

Our neighbor was gracious in visiting the unknown stables and complemented LBR on his pretty face (poor guy - no wonder he's such the narcissist).

Winds were blowing about 30 mph and LBR was a bit upset about the missing horses (see previous posts about the show).

LBR worked well - but again preferred his "off side" of clockwise. He focused nicely when ground poles were added to his round pen work. We worked nicely at the walk/trot/canter.

We're anxious for his sore teeth to heal so we can introduce a bit to the daily workout....he needs a challenge.

We ended with grooming in the noisy barn and LBR did well...led back to the paddock, enjoyed water and a couple of alfalfa treats.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25, 2009

Today, there was a local show where many of LBR's stablemates were competing. We went over mid-day and cheered them on.

After a quick lunch at our favorite BBQ spot, we headed to the stables. LBR had a pleasant surprise for us. He met us at the gate for the first time in more than a week.

We proceeded to the round-pen for quick grooming and started our ground work. The winds today were "gail force" and LBR seemed a bit distracted. We started in the clockwise (unfavored) position and he actually moved out very well at the walk/trot. We switched to the left and he still seemed to be distracted by the wind.

We decided to "challenge" him with something to get his attention.....we put down ground rails. He responded exactly as we wanted - very focused horse. We trotted for a while and he was totally focused and on the rail.

We removed the rails and he cantered BEAUTIFULLY. This is the first time he's cantered without getting the "gelding noise" . He transitioned nicely between all gaits.

We headed to the main barn for grooming and Gary led him a bit in the jump arena. LBR stepped over several low jumps/rails, but actually jumped over the one that had flowers attached.

We attempted the shower/bath stall but due to the wind, missing horses (at the show) and loud behavior of the remaining horses, we settled with grooming in the grooming racks.

LBR had his teeth floated this week so we stayed for his feeding. His teeth soreness seems to be subsiding and he ate his food w/out dropping too much.

Tomorrow, we're planning on a bath outside.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009

Tonight the weather was a bit questionable for heading to the barn, but because it was early (by about 30 minutes) we headed over.

We haltered LBR in a light mist (he had not realized and had not rolled) and he stood nicely for "basic" grooming of hoof cleaning and brushing.

We headed to the roundpen. We started in the clockwise (bad) direction at the lead with a lot of whoa's and he responded well despite the sprinkles on his back.

We trotted for a short bit in this direction and as the sprinkles turned to rain LBR didn't seem to be fazed (other than skin flinches when the big drops hit). We considered this a huge accomplishment and decided to put LBR back in his paddock with treats.

We're look forward to's Saturday!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009

Tonight we got a late start to the stables as a neighbor stopped by as we were leaving to let us know they had killed a 3' rattlesnake on their back porch (6 rattlers).

Gary led from mid-paddock and we skipped any grazing and groomed before heading to the roundpen.

LBR was very well behaved. Gary worked him clockwise (bad) way first at the walk for a long while, trot for a bit and a brief cross-canter. Gary then changed his direction to counterclockwise (favored) and LBR walked/trotted/cantered perfectly with only vocal (word) commands.

LBR really seems to understand what we're asking from him. After about 30 minutes in the roundpen, we headed to the main barn for a thorough grooming. We brushed, combed, cleaned feet, and salved chaffed area on pasterns.

In all our posts we have failed to comment about what we've learned from LBR. Yesterday we realized we've learned something from him. Horses hooves MUST be picked up in proper order...according to LBR who we now realize has a bit of OCD. It's front left, back left, front right, back right....and he'll pick the next one up as soon as you put the previous one down. Do it in different order and you get a horse that leans on you or tries to sit down.

Pick your battle, regardless if we need to do anything to the back hooves, we're sticking to this routine.

Leading back to the paddock was uneventful and we said our good nights around 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

Cindy haltered LBR in mid-paddock (how we miss the days when he came to the gate, but he seems to be settled into his new home and unaware of us until we enter the paddock). He led out nicely, stood for the quick brushing and hoof cleaning.

Gary worked him in the round pen and LBR was amazing. After walk/trot/whoa exercise in both directions, we chose to ask for the canter in his favored direction. He only took about 2 trot strides to canter and almost seemed to "smile" as he cantered around calmly.

He transitioned back to the trot easily and even down to the walk w/in 1/2 circle of the 60' round pen.

In his "unfavored" direction, he behaved well but continues to cross-canter....old race horse habits are hard to break.

After about 30 minutes in the roundpen, we headed to the main barn for grooming. Unsure of what to expect (after all, LBR had his teeth floated there yesterday), we had a good experience. There were a lot of riders out tonight (maybe the warm weather brings them out) and he had to stand in a grooming stall next to a "Giant" warmblood. There were 5 horses occupying grooming stalls and he did well.

We led back to the paddock (with a little grazing) and said goodnight.

Once again, we reflected on the way home that we are very lucky to have this horse in our lives.

April 21, 2009

Gary headed to the stables this morning to handle LBR for the vet's visit. LBR had to go into the washing rack to have his teeth floated. There were all kinds of activities at the stables this morning (farrier, people visiting to view/purchase a horse and all the stalled horses were still their stalls).

LBR was a bit excited, but once he received his tranquilizer he was perfectly behaved. The vet said his teeth were in pretty good shape with just a few sharp edges in the back. He also complemented us on LBR's conformation (saying he's built to jump) and health. He thought he could gain another 25-35 lbs. but also considered him to be in what most people would call "show shape".

After the vet was done, Gary carefully led LBR out to graze for a bit to let the sedative wear off (took about 30 minutes). Gary groomed and took LBR through his paddock for a drink of water which LBR was very ready for.

We chose not to go over in the evening because it had been a "big" day for LBR. Training resumes tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

Unfortunately (more so for him than us), the vet's wallet was stolen over the weekend and he had to cancel today. He'll be out tomorrow for his rounds.

This was an opportunity for us to get to work LBR tonight. We haltered and headed to the roundpen for some pre-exercise grooming. We worked on the walk/trot/whoa for about 30 minutes (no cantering as the ground was a little uneven ("crunchy") from the weekend rain. LBR is still preferring the "racing"-counterclockwise position, but overall did very well considering it had been four (4) days since our last lunge lesson.

We headed to the stables (w/out noseband) and LBR behaved well. He stood nicely in the grooming stall while we groomed and visited with the stable owner. We asked about Romeo's owner and found out she is the owner....we felt like "goofballs".

LBR got paste wormer tonight. It's obvious that he's had it before because he managed to evade the efforts for a while by putting his head straight up in the air. The stable owner was patient and the entire process took < 1 minute. He made the most hilarious faces afterwards.

LBR's chaffed pasterns are healing nicely and no longer require rinsing - just putting on salve to help the hair grow back faster.

Gary will head to the stables in the morning for the vet check.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19, 2009

This afternoon (Sunday) we headed to the stables around 14:00. The mud had subsided a bit but LBR wouldn't come through the final bit. He was totally covered in mud as we expected (piglet may be his new name). We haltered w/out incident after meeting him 2/3 of the way up.

We headed to the stables for grooming but LBR was disturbed because the "stalled" horses were not in their paddocks.

He was a bit feisty in his first entry to the grooming stalls. We groomed for a bit and decided that pasture grooming might be best. He grazed nicely and due to his muddy appearance we used an outside hose to rinse him I've never seen a horse so calm with a water hose.

We ended back in the grooming stalls for hoof cleaning and a bit of salve for the chaffing (hair is growing in).

Tomorrow is teeth floating, rabies shots and "bean check" (Gary hates the idea of it being called sheath cleaning)..

We are so fortunate to have LBR in our lives.

April 18, 2009

We received about 2.5" of rain in the past 36 hours. We decided to make a run to the Elgin General store and check out their horse supplies. We were pleasantly surprised to find that they carried everything a horse owner could need.

We bought a tack tote ( to carry our every growing amount of supplies. We also picked up some tri-care ointment for various nicks/scratches, some Viodine shampoo (to get rid of the "crud" on his back pasterns) and a new general purpose medium brush.

We headed on over to the stables to visit LBR and as expected his paddock was deep in mud and he had made the most of it....covered from hooves to ears. Due to the standing mud/water, we chose to wait until tomorrow to clean him as he would simply be turned out to roll again.

Thanks for the comment Jazette. Please let "dad" know LBR seems very eager to please when we handle him and is also quite content eating his free fed Bermuda hay and hanging out with his buddy "Romeo" (LBR has established a very mild dominance in their pecking order - neither one has a nick/bite/scratch from the other).

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

Please check out the pictures "Where LBR Lives" that were captured from the stables website.

We received the badly needed rain today in Central Texas and it continues (talk of succeeding does wonders - reference Rick Perry).

We were unable/unwilling to go to the stables and it's probably a good point in training to give him a break. This will be the first day since we adopted him that we haven't visited LBR and are a bit disappointed.

Pictures of the mud spa treatment should follow tomorrow.

April 16, 2009

We understand that LBR's blog is getting a bit monotonous and we couldn't be happier. Tonight LBR met Cindy mid-paddock for haltering. We groomed in common area and then headed to the round pen.

LBR behaved perfectly - free lunging at the walk/trot/canter.

When leading down to the main barn, we have been looping the lead through the halter as a nose-loop. Tonight, we decided to try leading w/out it. It went well (no big surprise).

We groomed in the grooming stall, grazed for a while in the common area and put him back in his paddock for the night.

Much needed rain is called for the next couple of days....we're sure LBR will be self-administering another mud-spa.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 15, 2009

Tonight we stuck to the routine. We groomed in the middle of the roundpen (one of the retired horses was grazing in the common area).

We worked LBR in round pen at walk/trot/canter both directions. He's doing better at staying on the rail rather than cutting corners. He's attentive and getting better at his transitions.

After about 30 minutes in the round pen we headed to the main barn for grooming in the grooming rack. LBR went in easily and turned around after a brief pause to look out the window. The new twist tonight was there was another horse being groomed when we entered and another horse was brought in while we were grooming.

Although he acknowledged their existence, he didn't seem to be bothered. We groomed and washed his chaffed pasterns (using a newly bought sponge - much easier) and although he gets tired of standing on three legs, he behaved well.

We headed to the common area for a little grazing and then back to the paddock for the night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

Today was a big day for LBR. The farrier comes out on Tuesdays and it was time for his first trim. He comes out during the day and the caretaker will handle your horse for him. Gary was available to meet the farrier at 9:00 this morning so we decided (at the suggestion of the stable owner) to have Gary come out for the first trim.

Gary headed to the stables for a little pre-trim lunging (about 10 minutes). LBR was very calm and led nicely to the main barn. The event couldn't have gone better. LBR was awarded "best horse at the stables" today. The farrier said others take up to an hour to trim due to behavior problems. LBR stood well (only moved his foot off the stand a couple of times - never in fear...more in boredom). The farrier was patient and took a break each time to reassure him.

Gary learned a lot about hoof health. LBR has a small spot of fungus in one hoof that we will treat with vinegar and a small crack in another that we will watch (may require shoes on his front). The farrier is going to try and trim him over time to correect the "spread" he has and we'll be on a six (6) week schedule for a while.

LBR was asleep by the time the process was over (less than 30 minutes).

More post regarding tonight's visit to come tomorrow (was just as uneventful).

April 13, 2009

This evening we arrived at the stables after dinner and the horses had all been turned out in their paddocks. LBR didn't come to the gate but haltered easily in the paddock. We groomed and did some round pen work (walk/trot only tonight).

LBR was very calm, but didn't remember whoa as well as he had previously. We lunged for about 30 minutes and during the last 10 minutes he seemed to have finally recalled whoa.

We headed to the main stable (and he walked calmly the entire way on a loose lead) for some more familiarization and grooming in the grooming stalls. We walked up/down the corridor of the stables and groomed for a bit. The owner of the stables was there tonight so we gave him his rounds of vaccinations (West Nile & EEE/WEE). He stood perfectly in the grooming rack and didn't even flinch. He's also on the list for worming this week in rotation with the rest of the stables.

His hooves are getting a bit long/chipped and the farrier comes on Tuesday's so we signed him up for his first trim since we adopted him. Gary is going to meet the farrier in the morning.

We ended the night with some grooming by his paddock and putting on some salve on the chafed pasterns (they're healing nicely and he doesn't seem to be sensitive - can't wait till the hair grows back - it's about the size of a quarter on each pastern that is missing hair and slightly irritated).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

Today was Easter and we went to our brother & brother-in-laws for lunch. They just got a new shetland sheep dog ("sheltie") pup. His name is Jake and he is precious. They also had guests with another dog so as cat people, we were a bit overwhelmed with the barking.

We took a break and watched "The Masters" for a bit before heading to the stables. LBR had just finished dinner when we arrived and once again initially met us at the gate, but haltered nicely in mid-paddock.

The stables had not yet replaced the well depleted round bale of hay so as Gary haltered LBR, Cindy found the caretaker to discuss and resolve (ouch...Cindy is a bit demanding).

It rained early this morning so we expected mud and a muddy horse.. We were correct in one account. The paddock was not muddy at all but LBR is the biggest "PIG" when it comes to mud. In addition to normal horse rolling, he's a master at administering a self-facial and even coating his ears in mud all of the way to the tips.

Due to the chaffing of the pasterns in the round pen, caused by the bell boots, we chose to "de-mud" him with grooming and visit the stables. He really seemed to enjoy tonight and not being asked to do anything (and so did we!).

He grazed in the "green" area near the stables and is now best friends with the "equine eating feline". The cat knows we're cat people and will walk under our legs as LBR grazes. Tonight, LBR "tickled" the cat's tail with his muzzle.

He led nicely back to the open areas and stood well for application of medicine to his pasterns. Gary cleaned all hooves tonight....first time for Gary dealing with the back hooves (went well).

We ended with more grazing in the common areas, walk to the water trough and a few alfalfa treats.

April 11, 2009

As today is Saturday, we headed over to the stables in mid-afternoon. LBR initially came to the gate but walked away while we were getting the halter. Gary haltered him easily in the middle of the paddock.

We groomed and headed to the round pen. LBR walk/trotted/cantered both directions well (cantered on the correct lead every time:-). We had a bit of rain (sprinkles) and it was feeding time (lots of excited horses in their paddocks) so we chose not to head to the barn for grooming. We brushed and groomed in the roundpen and discovered that the bell boots were causing chaffing on LBR's pasterns.

A nice lady at the stables loaned us some salve and LBR stood well for us while we put it on. We let him graze in the common area for a while. The rain picked up and we put LBR back in his paddock where he was next to be fed.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 10, 2009

Today we arrived at the stables a bit earlier than usual. LBR had obviously just finished dinner and wasn't expecting us so early. He walked up about 1/2 way through his paddock but didn't come to the gate. Gary entered the paddock and haltered him without incident.

We groomed and headed to the round pen. LBR worked well at the walk/trot/whoa for Gary for about 15 minutes in both directions. We decided to introduce the canter tonight. At first, LBR just wanted to do the extended trot but eventually broke into the canter (clockwise). He cantered initially on his left lead (incorrect) and then switched his front lead to the right and cross-cantered for a few times around the ring. We switched directions to counter clockwise and he again chose the left lead (correct) and cantered in a much better balance. Gary brought him back down to walk/trot and we took a brief break.

Cindy then worked him in the round pen and LBR walked/trotted/cantered (this time he picked the correct lead both directions) for a few minutes.

We headed down to the stables for our continued barn training. We let him graze a bit before leading him into the stables (no incidences other than a bit of a "huffing" at the horses in the stalls - they hadn't all been turned out for the evening). We backed into the grooming stall and watched the remaining horses be led out to their paddocks. We groomed LBR for a bit and then headed back to the paddock.

We are amazed at this continued progress and ability to overcome challenges so quickly.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009

LBR was at the far end of the paddock and didn't see us walk up. Due to the wind direction, he could not hear our calls. Cindy went into the paddock and once she was about half way down, LBR saw/heard her. She returned to the gate as LBR started walking up. About 1/2 way through the paddock, LBR trotted to the gate.

He continues to amaze us with his progress and we are very fortunate that we experience very few set backs.

Tonight we lunged in the round pen for about 30 minutes and he was perfect. There was a lot of activity in the nearby practice arena and he never got too distracted. We worked on keeping him on the rail in both directions. Although he favors clockwise, he often cuts into one side of the circle. Counter-clockwise he is perfectly in position.

After lunging, we headed to the main barn for more work. Although the dogs came running down the stairs from the caretakers residence, he walked the length outside of the barn well. He grazed for while and one of the "equine eating felines" came by for a visit. He got a bit excited but we think he finally thought it was an odd looking dog and he returned to grazing.

After a bit, Gary led him into the barn and he didn't hesitate. Gary went for round two(2) and LBR didn't hesitate. Gary stopped him at the grooming racks and led LBR in head first. They "squeezed" around and LBR chilled out. Round two was back around the barn, into it, and then backing into the grooming rack. All went PERFECTLY!!!!

Gary ended the barn exercise by leading LBR back down the other way. This is significant because there is a slope/ramp that LBR doesn't mind climbing but has never descended. He walked cautiously, but willingly down the ramp.

Finally, as we exited the barn for the last time, another horse was being led in and LBR "sniffed" but led out nicely.

On the way back to the paddock (approximately 1/4 mile), LBR got to see many horses being schooled, a tractor with large round bales and many people. We think that he was exhausted (though not sweaty or stressed) and just ignored all this activity.

Ended with the usual....groom, lead through the paddock to drink water - and of course one treat of an alfalfa cube.

April 8, 2009

LBR greeted us at the gate to his paddock as usual. We groomed and headed to the round pen. LBR is learning so quickly. He walked/trotted/whoa'd in both directions. He still favors clockwise and attempted to "reverse" when being worked counter-clockwise a couple of times. We did not 'allow' him and kept him going in the correct direction.

We lunged for about 30 minutes (1/3 trot, 2/3 walk) and had several "distractions" (horses passing by, dogs barking, etc.) without incident.

After lunging, we headed to the main stable. There is a nice grassy area that he likes behind the barn and he showed his stubborn streak when asked to leave. We won that battle, and he was a bit sullen over it. We walked through the stable and stopped for a while at the grooming stalls. LBR never calmed completely, but still stood quietly.

We ended the night with the routine of leading into the paddock and to the other end where LBR as usual drank water.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009

Tonight we started with typical grooming and getting ready for the round pen. LBR was well behaved. The "huge" geldings in the 2nd paddock over were replaced by two (2) mares and their March foals. We were curious about what type of behavior that would produce (that paddock is adjacent to the round pen).

LBR worked nicely in his preferred direction (clockwise) for Gary and transitioned nicely from the walk/trot. He seemed to have forgotten the whoa command but eventually remembered.

Cindy entered the round pen and worked him a bit and then the distractions began as the lessons in the main arena ended. The first distraction was the "Giant" white/paint being returned to his paddock....LBR was interested but not disturbed. The second distraction was one of the riders who was cooling down her horse. They circled the round pen and LBR "noticed" but continued to walk/trot on command.

LBR also worked at the walk/trot in the "evil" direction afterwards (counter clockwise....maybe he should have raced in England?...we understand that most of his exercise was likely counter-clockwise which is opposite of the US racing direction).

Due to the quiet nature of the stables and his demeanor tonight, Gary led him to the main stables. We had a HUGE breakthrough....walked "around" the stables and then into the stables from the down-hill side. LBR was a little bit "hot", but really trusts Gary now. The second round was met half-way down the outside by barking/unfamiliar pit-bulls that belong to the caretaker. Gary calmed LBR and the 2nd pass/entry into the barn was uneventful.

We finished the night with the walk back to the paddock and bid LBR goodnight.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009

Tonight was a bit chilly and windy (what else is new?). We planned our activities based around what we would find at the stables (lessons going on, horses fed or not, stable activities, etc.)

When we arrived there were no lessons in the arenas and the stalled horses had been blanketed/turned-out to pasture. This meant that dinner had been server at least 1 1/2 hours earlier.

Due to the cold/breezy weather and our success to date in the round pen, we opted for grooming, lunging in the round pen and then a bit of grazing in the common area. LBR was great for the pre-work grooming and doning of the boots/splints.

Once in the round pen and asked to work, he got a little "hot" but moved forward. We are asking for walk, trot, whoa....but he also gave us canter initially. He calmed down nicely in the 15 minutes Gary worked him but still didn't understand the walk part too well.

Cindy worked him for a while and after a few whoa's and calming "pats" he walked nicely for 10 laps in the round pen. Trotted out nicely....back to the walk and we ended up with some nice grazing time.

Gary led him into his paddock and down to his water trough (part of the routine). Gary takes the halter/lead off and LBR follows him in circles..through walk/whoa's without any physical connection.

We're having a great time and amazed that it's been less than two (2) weeks since he arrived.

April 5, 2009

We arrived at feeding time and had to wait until LBR finished dinner. One of the neighboring horses (20+ retiree) appeared to be having intestinal distress so the caretaker led her to the main stables and the trainer came out to assist. The remaining horse in that paddock was extremely stressed that his "buddy" was taken away and whinnied continuously for the entire time we were at the stables ears are still ringing.

This afternoon the weather was a bit chilly with winds gusting to 35 mph. We did a little ground work in the common areas, but LBR was quite excitable so we decided to focus on the round pen.

We put on shin boots & bell boots for the first time...he took about 3 steps lifting his feet high in the air but then thought it was no big deal. After working on lead commands, we free lunged LBR. Today, we used a lunge whip for guidance and he responded perfectly. We kept the lesson short but it was very productive.

We groomed for quite a while afterwards and LBR seemed to enjoy it. Gary learned to clean out his hooves tonight...yeah - less bending for Cindy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 4, 2009

Today we started with lead work in the practice arena. LBR was very calm so we decided to try some free lunging in the round pen. He wasn't sure what we were asking him to do, but caught on pretty quickly. Walked and trotted both directions and stopped well with verbal queues. We kept the round pen work brief and followed with a trip down to the main stables.

There was a lot of activity (riders, horses not turned out yet) so LBR was a little excited. We walked around the exterior of the stables and every horse stuck their heads out their windows to see LBR. It definitely seemed to appeal to his narcissistic tendency.

We ended with going in/out of the round pen several times (as we anticipated, his stubborn streak came out again and he didn't cooperate initially - but we won and he calmed down).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 3, 2009

We met at the stables and continued lead work. We worked in the practice arena for a bit without any incidences. We ventured down to the main arena and LBR was perfectly behaved. He watched as the caretaker turned out the stalled horses to their paddocks for the night.

We ventured to the stables and LBR walked in/out several times. He hesitated once when the cats (aka horse eating felines) played around the entrance. It's funny because he is perfectly behaved when the stable dogs play around/under him. We guess he's never been around cats.

He hesitated to go down a slope in the stables towards the stalls so we didn't force the issue. He also didn't like the grooming stall rubber mats, but stepped on them anyway.

After this long exercise (about 1 1/2 hours) we headed back to the paddock. We let him graze for a bit in the common area. When we were ready to leave, LBR would not go back into his paddock. He would just "freeze" about 10 feet from the open gate. We finally experienced his "stubborn" streak. No amount of circles or leading would get him closer.

We had two (2) options...force the issue with the lunge whip or use a treat for encouragement. Because we had such a good lesson in the barn, we chose the treat. Gary led him in by keeping a treat in his lead hand. We worked for about 15 more minutes in the paddock and LBR was once again the perfectly behaved horse. The only thing we can figure was we opened the gate fully as opposed to opening it a few feet wide (like we have done previously).

After taking the halter off, LBR followed Gary and halted/walked on queue. Excellent progress.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

We had strong thunderstorms around 4:30 a.m. today followed by winds all day of 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

Our expectation heading to the stables was to find a high-strung muddy LBR. Fortunately, we were only correct about the muddy part. LBR once again came to the paddock gate to great us (this is so nice as there is no chasing/game playing involved with haltering).

There were four (4) horses loose grazing in the common area so we groomed in the paddock for about 30 minutes.

As the loose horses moved away a bit we led to the round pen and did a little lead work. Tonight we spent less time due to the mud/conditions.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Tonight Gary & I headed to the stables together. Typical Central TX weather - winds of about 25 mph. We walked LBR around the practice arena and just as we were headed to the jumping arena and the barn, a new horse was turned lose in a nearby paddock.

Though perfectly behaved for the first 30 minutes in the practice arena, LBR became pretty excited and wanted to trot on the lead with Gary. LBR calmed down in the practice arena and we decided tonight's adventure would be to visit/see the round-pen. LBR behaved perfectly and as the farm calmed down we ventured uneventfully to the main arena and barn.

All went well and we continue to be amazed. Led nicely back to his paddock and said "goodnight".

More barn training to continue this week.