Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010

We headed to the stables around 9:00 a.m. Due to LBR's problems yesterday, Cindy took a lesson on one of the trainers horses.

He's a 10 year old 16.0 Thoroughbred named "Brother". This is video of part of the lesson:

After the lesson, Gary brought LBR up from his paddock. Gary groomed and saddled LBR for a ride. He decided to ride LBR in the grass arena. LBR started off with the same mouth/evasion issues as yesterday. Gary moved him forward and out of the arena to the grass common area (which is furthest away from all barn activities).

Gary patiently encouraged LBR to move forward and quit evading the bit. After about 20 minutes, LBR was moving forward better and not tossing his head as much so the returned to the grass arena.

Gary worked LBR mostly at the walk over poles and around obstacles. Once LBR did a "pattern" perfectly and with no head-tossing (2 times around), Gary dismounted and they ended on a good note.

After the ride, Gary led him back to the stables for grooming and then back to LBR's paddock for treats from Gary & Cindy.

February 27, 2010

Gary & Cindy headed to the stables around noon (it's Saturday). Gary led LBR up from his paddock while Cindy got the tack and grooming equipment set up.

They both groomed a bit and Gary tacked up LBR. Gary did not want to lunge LBR first so they headed to the sand arena to start the ride.

LBR did something he's never done. Aftter Gary got on using the mounting block, LBR immediately walked out of the arena and would not be ridden back into it. Gary dismounted and Cindy held him for a few minutes. Gary then started his ride in the sand arena.

It started off well with a few laps around at the walk and then a couple at the trot. LBR then started acting "odd". He was avoiding the bit and refusing to walk forward. Gary changed the bit from an edge to a standard snaffle but LBR continued to act up.

Gary decided to take him down to the grass arena but the problems continued. We decided to call it quits for the day.

It seemed like LBR's mouth was sore so we gave him a break and just let him graze after detacking. LBR was returned to his paddock and given treats which he totally loved today.

February 26, 2010

Gary waited for it to warm up and headed over to the stables around noon. Unfortunately, about that time a cold front came through with chilly winds blowing at +20mph.

Gary brought LBR up from his paddock and groomed him before tacking up. Gary decided to lunge LBR and ride him in the round pen due to the high winds.

LBR was responsive and did well lunging and riding. They worked a lot on flexing and stopping without any/much rein.

After the ride, Gary groomed LBR and took him back to his paddock for treats.

Friday, February 26, 2010

February 25, 2010

Gary headed to the stables in the afternoon. LBR greeted him at the gate. They headed to the stables for rinsing of the legs and grooming. LBR was very mellow.

They started with a short ride in the sand arena with our edge bit. Gary decided to switch to a milder bit and lunge in the grass arena with side reins. That went well so Gary rode him in the grass arena for MANY laps at the trot until LBR started to flex properly.

Once they had mastered this and relaxed, Gary took LBR for a trail ride. They headed down towards the trailer area and LBR was relaxed. They made the turn down the main entrance and LBR still did well.

Gary wanted to have today be a "good" experience so he turned LBR back towards the stables. LBR was suddenly aware of the concrete blocks that he had passed going the other way. After some encouragement, LBR calmed down and the returned to the stables.

Gary groomed him, returned him to his paddock and gave LBR his treats.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010

Gary had appointments today and Cindy was working. This combined with the dampness left over from yesterday's snow meant no riding today.

Gary & Cindy headed over to the stables around sunset and visited LBR in his paddock with treats.

The sand arena should be rideable tomorrow...woo hoo.

February 23, 2010

The forecast for today in Central TX was cold and 2" of snow. It started as light rain mixed with sleet around 7:00 a.m. Gary headed over to visit LBR around 8:00 a.m. and it had turned over to all sleet.

The farrier was coming to the stables and it was time for LBR to get a trim and have his shoes (front only) reset.

When Gary got to his paddock, LBR absolutely refused to lead out of the shelter. The longer he refused, the harder the sleet began to fall. Finally, enticed with treats and carrots Gary was able to lead him to the stables.

Gary rinsed off LBR's feet (it's still a bit muddy in his paddock) and groomed him before the farrier arrived. LBR stood well for the farrier with only one "slip" off of the hoof stand.

After the trim, Gary put LBR's cooler blanket (Irish knit) on him because he was a bit damp and it was cold. LBR stood perfectly for the blanket going on.

Gary led LBR back to his paddock with the blanket on and fed him treats in his shelter. Gary then took the blanket off.

The pictures are LBR in his paddock when he was wearing his cooler sheet and our backyard at the house when the snow was falling.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Cindy headed back to work (it's Monday) and Gary headed over to the stables.

LBR was buried in his hay and Gary had to walk back into the paddock to get him.

LBR had not rolled so grooming was easy. Due to LBR leaning on the bit yesterday during his lesson, Gary decided to lunge LBR in the round pen with side reins.

LBR was a bit forward, but Gary used the command "head down" and LBR gave to the pressure nicely. Gary lunged LBR at the walk/trot/canter and he did well.

Afterwards, Gary decided to ride LBR in the round pen with a halter/lead rope and do some "natural horse training". LBR responded very well. They worked at the walk and on flexing (Gary tossing the lead rope in front of him to work different sides) and did great. They also did "whoa's" and backing well.

Afterwards, Gary groomed took LBR back to his paddock for treats and more yummy hay.

February 21, 2010

We headed to the stables an hour before our group lesson in order to lunge LBR. Gary led him from his paddock to the grooming stall. LBR had rolled in what is left of the mud so it took some time to groom him and get him tacked up.

Gary lunged LBR and despite a lot of commotion going on at the stables and a weather front that had come through he seemed fairly relaxed. Cindy rode him a bit at the walk in the grass arena and continued in the mellow mode.

As she rode him into the sand arena for the lesson, he started to get hyped up and that continued for the lesson. He was particularly bothered by the large number of horses in the arena during the flat work portion of the lesson and even broke into a canter when he was supposed to be trotting.

He leaned on the bit a lot and was a pain in the turns - bowing out on almost every one. The instructor had Cindy ride him in small circles until he finally flexed properly.

His attitude improved during his individual pattern work. By the end of the lesson, LBR & Cindy were both drenched in sweat...LBR's winter coat gets curly when it's drenched. After the lesson, Cindy groomed LBR and then Gary rinsed off his saddle area.

We ended the day with some grazing and treats in the paddock. Cindy jokingly told LBR that if he misbehaves in lessons, the weather will turn cold again. It was 78F degrees today but the weather forecasters are calling for 4" of snow on Tuesday:-(

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010

We had our best ride ever (okay, we've forgotten the first ride, the first trot, the other first rides)....this one was special for Cindy.

Gary led LBR back from the paddock to the grooming stalls and we groomed and tacked up.

After yesterday's lunging/lesson, we decided to lunge and LBR was very well behaved. Gary rode LBR at the walk/trot for a while in the sand arena and then Cindy rode.

Cindy felt LBR wasn't listening at the posting trot so well and did some work at the sitting trot. LBR ignored two (2) other horses in the arena and settled nicely.

Cindy attempted the canter but LBR took the wrong lead so she brought him back down. Rather than ending on a bad note, Cindy regrouped and when the other horses were clear asked for the canter again. LBR was PERFECT....correct lead, listening and they did a circle at the canter.

Afterwards, they trotted a bit and then went for a short trail ride around the paddocks.

Confidence is back...what a wonderful day!!!

February 19, 2010

LBR had a training lesson today. Gary brought him in from his paddock and groomed him before the ride.

Initially, the trainer started under saddle but LBR was full of energy so she decided to lunge him.

She then worked LBR in the arena.

Due to the horrible wet/cold winter we've had in Central Texas, LBR's training was put on hold. We (Gary, Cindy & Trainer) were so happy that he appears to remember what he learned in the summer/fall and look forward to taking him to the next level.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 18,2010

This is a picture of LBR's sire at Old Friends in KY...Thanks Rick!

Gary headed to the stables in the afternoon. After leading from the paddock and grooming, they headed directly to the dirt arena.

LBR was perfect today with only one half-halt required. They trotted ground poles which were spaced for single steps. The first time LBR trotted them evenly. The next time, LBR decided it would just be easier to jump them rather than pick his feet up through them. Oh well, we realize we probably have a hunter/jumper on our hands rather than a dressage horse

After the ride, Gary groomed LBR and returned him to his paddock for treats.

February 17, 2010

Gary headed to the stables late in the morning. He brought LBR down from his paddock for grooming. LBR had rolled in the mud again, but luckily hadn’t found a spot that was too wet so currying only took 30 minutes.

Gary & LBR had a brief wait for the dirt arena to be maintained so they worked a little in the round pen.

LBR was very curious about the activities in the arena and got a little “hot”.

Once they headed to the arena, LBR was still a bit “excited” but after a few half-halts and reprimands, he settled nicely.

After riding, Gary did some drainage maintenance in LBR’s paddock (leveling the ground in his shelter, creating drain patterns in the mud, etc.). LBR stuck beside him the entire time. He would try and take the hoe out of Gary’s hand and would bring his Jolly-Ball over and shake it. LBR though he had a new paddock mate and was quite happy.

Gary ended the visit with some treats.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010

Woo Hoo!!! It is LBR's Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Six (6) years ago, Gary & Cindy were living in Tallahassee, FL. They met in TX in 1989 and always wanted to get back. Cindy grew up with horses. They missed TX and Cindy secretly missed horses.

Six (6) years ago, a colt was born in San Marcos, TX. A descendant of Secretariat, he was named Little Big Red.

Gary & Cindy accomplished the move back to TX in 2005. Little Big Red grew up in a loving home and matured nicely. He was trained and raced twice as a four year old.

Little Big Red didn't take to the track and was retired from racing after two (2) races at Lone Star Park.

Gary and Cindy found LBR through LOPE in March of 2009. It was love at first site for Gary and Cindy thought he was quite handsome as well.

Thank you Bill, Jazette, Wade and LOPE for bringing this journey to this point.
p.s. LBR had the day off from work and was visited with treats in the evening.

February 15, 2010

Gary headed over to the stables in the afternoon.

LBR did not come to the gate and Gary had to meet him on "high ground" and lead him out.

They groomed (LBR had rolled in the mud) and tacked up for a ride. LBR was quite spirited due to the chilly weather so they started outside the grass arena. After about 15 minutes, LBR calmed down and they had a nice ride in the arena. They walked/trotted and worked over ground poles.

LBR trots nicely over single poles, but when two(2) are together, he jumps them. He has nice jumping form, but it can be a bit of a surprise when you're posting the trot.

After the ride, Gary groomed LBR, let him graze for a bit and then gave him treats in his paddock. Fortunately, LBR ate all last nights chops & alfalfa as well as all of his breakfast.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cindy had the best one in many years thanks to all the great men in her life (LBR, Gary, Sly the cat and Moses the cat).

It started off with a heart shaped omelet for breakfast and then we headed to the stables. The weather has finally cooperated though it's still very muddy.

Gary headed to the paddock to catch LBR while Cindy put his supplements ("Weight Builder") in the feed area.

LBR had done a fabulous job of rolling - coating both sides and his face too. After grooming, we tacked up. Although LBR hadn't been ridden much over the past two (2) weeks, he was so mellow that we skipped lunging in the muddy round pen and headed to the grass arena.

Cindy rode LBR first. Due to the rain, the rideable part of the arena was concentrated in the center. At first, LBR was really pulling on the bit, but after a few half-halts (at the walk), he became very supple. Cindy did several patterns over ground polls at the walk first and then at the trot. They worked up quite a sweat and as LBR became more relaxed with the traction, he started jumping the one set of double poles. She then walked him in some of the scary muddy areas and he was great.

Gary rode for a short while and ended his ride with a few laps on the outside of the arena. LBR was very well behaved and even met/greeted two(2) new horses being ridden without getting too hot.

After the ride, Cindy groomed LBR while Gary worked with a friends horse. Cindy led LBR back towards the paddock and let him graze for a while. When it was time to put him back in his muddy paddock, Cindy couldn't do it without stepping in the foot deep mud. As she had her half-chaps on, she returned to the stables to get Gary to assist.

LBR had not eaten all of his "chops" from the morning feed nor all of his alfalfa from the night before. His feed bucket location requires that he stand in the mud which he hates. We're going to have the caretakers check to see if he eats his feed tonight. If not, we're going to start feeding him in an alternate location until things dry out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010

Gary & Cindy headed over to see LBR around 11:30 a.m. We knew it was going to be to muddy to ride, but wanted to spend some time with him.

When we walked down to his paddock, his head was buried in his tasty round bale of hay. He didn't want to come through the mud to the gate but eventually came up to great us.

After haltering and leading to the stables, we shared in grooming LBR. He had rolled again (silly horse - this is a losing battle and it's 2 against 1 on the weekends).

We decided to work on ground manners and exploring the stables. Gary led LBR down the driveway to where the trailers are parked. LBR made many friends along the way....Gypsy, Keeper, and others.

LBR did well as long as we kept walking but got a bit anxious when asked to stand and be patient.

We continued the lesson leading through the stables and out to the common area where LBR loves to graze. After a while there we headed back towards the paddock. We did some lead-line patterns over the poles in the grass arena and LBR was PERFECT....this is a horse who needs a purpose as he was happy and engaged for both Gary & Cindy during this exercise.

We ended with treats in the paddock.

It may be dry enough to ride a bit tomorrow as the wind is dry and strong.

February 12, 2010

The rain has finally stopped and the forcast for the next week looks good. Gary heade over to the stables in the afternoon once it warmed up a bit.

They headed up from the paddock to the stables for grooming. LBR is tired of the mud...he hadn't even rolled.

After grooming, they Gary let LBR graze for a bit. When it came time to go back into his bog (i.e. paddock), LBR was not cooperative. Gary had to put the lead rope over his nose to "straighten him up".

LBR was upset that Gary didn't give him any treats and expressed his anger by making "ugly faces" at his neighbors.

Cindy is excited about being able to go to the stables over the weekend but disappointed that it will probably be too muddy to ride. Oh well, fellow bloggers on the west coast say their horses are beginning to shed so spring can't be that far off.

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 11, 2010

It was a miserable day in Central Texas today. Rain/sleet and 35F degrees.

No visit to the stables.

February 10, 2010

Gary headed over to the stables and it was FINALLY dry enough for some lunge pen work (arenas still to wet to ride).

Gary groomed LBR, tacked him up and headed to the round pen. LBR was good at the walk/trot/whoas. At the canter, he kicked up his heels at first but then calmed down nicely.

Gary decided to ride for a bit in the round pen as it was misting lightly and still very muddy in the arenas. As he was riding, the mist turned to sleet. LBR was a little unsure about the ice-pellet attack.

They ended with grooming, some grazing and treats in the paddock.

February 9, 2010

It was still too muddy to ride but LBR had thrown his left shoe so Gary headed over early to meet the farrier. Gary rinsed his muddy feet off and groomed him before the shoe was replaced.

After that, Gary let LBR graze for a bit and then returned him to his paddock for treats.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

Gary headed over to visit LBR this morning and possibly get a ride in. LBR had not rolled - woo hoo.

They headed out of the muddy paddock and down to the stables for grooming. Gary rinsed his feet in the wash stall (we love having heated water at the stables). It's hard to believe this is a horse that wouldn't go into a wash stall a few months back. He seems to enjoy having clean hoofs and legs now.

They groomed and tacked up and the RAIN started. Gary took the tack off and LBR got to learn to stand cross tied for a long while (Gary used an aid of a rope tied as a "gate"). LBR stayed firmly planted on the rubber mat.

Eventually, the rain stopped (after almost an hour) and they headed down to LBR's paddock. Just as they got there, another downpour came. Gary quickly gave LBR some carrots and cookies and then told him to get into his shelter. LBR obeyed and trotted through the mud to the high ground of his shelter.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

Just back from the stables and grooming LBR. Things are still too wet to lunge/ride.

LBR seemed very happy to see us and other than begging for treats in the grooming stall he was very well behaved.

He hadn't rolled very well and was only mildly muddy on one side.

We can't wait for some dry weather...Gary, Cindy & LBR all.

February 6, 2010

We headed over to groom LBR in the afternoon. It was a sunny warm (60F degrees) afternoon.
LBR had done a wonderful job of rolling in the mud. Sorry for the "headless" shot - he moved as the picture was being taken:, but this is before:

This is during grooming (LBR has lost his front left shoe....GRRRR - only 2 weeks since he got new shoes).

and this is after grooming when LBR grazed for a while:

February 5, 2010

The weather cleared up today, but due to the rain all week, the stables were unrideable and we decided to take a break from LBR.

Tomorrow is Saturday so we'll head over to groom and graze LBR in the common area (it will still be too muddy to ride this weekend).

February 4, 2010

It rained all day today. Gary headed over in the afternoon and found LBR staying dry in his shelter. Gary walked (waded) through the paddock and gave LBR some treats and carrots.

LBR had a new round bale of hay which he seemed to admire from the shelter.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 3, 2010

We had another 1" or so of rain, drizzle all day and Gary had a HOA obligation so there was no visit to LBR today.

February 2, 2010

Gary headed over to visit LBR thinking that the dreary-gloomy weather was leading to rain. Fortunately, the rain didn't start until later in the evening.

They had a nice ride in the grass arena after LBR realized that he could "get away" with his pushy behavior. They rode for nearly an hour with a lot of "passes" by the entry into the arena so that LBR knew he couldn't bow/balk in that direction.

They ended with a short trail ride back to the stables for grooming and then a short amount of grazing and treats back at the pasture.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010 - Is there a genetic link?

I want to say a BIG thank you to Rick Capone.

I was interested in finding out more about LBR's bloodlines and found LBR's sire "Shadow Caster" listed as being at Old Friends Farm in Kentucky:

I contacted them and they were so happy to hear about Shadow's son (LBR)and his new career. I also contacted the photographer credited with many of their website photos - Rick Capone.

Rick offered to take some pictures of "My Baby's Daddy" and sent them to me.

MYSTERY SOLVED.....anyone interested in doing a genome study for the horse rolling gene?

February 1, 2010

Gary headed over to see LBR late in the morning. LBR did not stay clean overnight....covered in mud from much rolling.

Gary groomed and then decided to ride. This was an adventure. It was cloudy/drizzling but they headed to the grass arena.

LBR did not want to go into the arena and did a few "spins" before being convinced. After a few laps in the arena, he calmed down and they had a great ride.

January 31, 2010

Gary & Cindy headed over to the Travis County Expo center to watch some classes of an Arabian Horse Club sponsored open horse show.

It was so COLD....35F degrees and snow flurries.

We left there and went to the stables around 2:30. Much to our surprise, the "girls" were having lessons in the grass arena which is near LBR's paddock.

We brushed the mud off of LBR and he was quite frisky in the grooming stall. We think he was upset about being left out of the lessons but there is no way Cindy is going to ride when conditions are so misereable.

We ended with treats and LBR "calling" to the second group of lessons in progress.