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.