Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 28, 2010

Today was a training ride for LBR with the trainer/stable owner. Gary headed over in the morning to groom him for his lesson.

The trainer started to ride without lunging, but LBR was "full of it" so she dismounted and lunged him the sand arena. LBR started nicely lunging at the walk and trot. When asked to canter, he was a total goofball (going counterclockwise). He bucked and screamed so loud you would have thought he was being tortured. He actually was just having fun, but it was so comical it made the trainer & Gary laugh. He sped up to race track speed, got airborn on several laps, but NEVER pulled on the lunge line - he stayed in his perfect circle. She then stopped him and changed directions. Clockwise LBR was the perfect horse.

After the lunge, the trainer did some desensitizing work - tossing the lunge line over, around, under, in front of, behind LBR. She required him to stay put - no steps. After about 10 minutes of this LBR fell asleep.

The trainer then rode LBR. She did a lot of work with leg yields which LBR executed perfectly at both the walk and the trot. He crossed over both front and back legs. After doing flat work of walk, trot and canter, she did ground pole and cross-rail work at the trot. LBR trotted over everything perfectly. She then did the same work at the canter and LBR was a star.

After the lesson/ride (1 hour), the trainer commented that it's time to take LBR up to the next level (Cindy wishes here riding was up to that level).

Gary groomed LBR, let him graze for a bit and returned him to his paddock for some much deserved rest.

April 27, 2010

Cindy headed over to meet Gary & LBR a little later than usual due to issues at work. She arrived around 6:30 p.m. and Gary had already tacked up LBR for the ride and started lunging by the time Cindy changed clothes.

Due to lessons in the sand arena, they headed to the grass arena for their ride.

Cindy worked LBR for about 20 minutes at the walk/trot using primarily leg aids. LBR was a bit distracted by the caretaker and her dogs wandering around the paddocks, but once they headed back to the barn, LBR settled nicely.

As LBR was focused and calm after the distraction, Cindy cantered him. LBR did GREAT! They made several trips around the arena at the canter (until Cindy's legs were exhausted).

After the ride, Cindy detacked and groomed LBR. They then all headed to the common area for grazing before LBR was returned to his paddock.

April 26, 2010

Cindy headed over to the stables after work to meet Gary. By the time she arrived, Gary had brought LBR up from his paddock, groomed him and tacked up for the ride.

Monday nights are quiet at the stables so they were the only ones there.

Gary lunged LBR briefly in the roundpen before Cindy rode in the sand arena. Cindy focused on leg work at the walk and the trot for about 30 minutes and then did a few patterns/courses of cross rails.

LBR and Cindy had a great ride. When cooling down, the trainer came in with another horse. LBR acknowledged the other horse, but did not fixate on him.

After the ride, they groomed LBR, let him graze for a bit and returned him to his paddock.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 25, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy had a 10:00 a.m. group lesson today so she and Gary headed over around 8:45 a.m.

Gary brought LBR up from his paddock while Cindy put out his supplements (Weight Builder reduced this week to maintenance mode). They tacked up LBR and Gary took him to the round pen for some lunging. Because LBR has not been in a group lesson for a while, Cindy chose to use the German martingale.

LBR was fairly mellow when being lunged despite the 25 mph winds and cooler weather. Cindy then rode LBR in the grass arena for a bit and his mellow mood continued until another lesson person came in on her mare.

After about 10 minutes of warm in the grass arena, everyone headed to the dirt arena for the 10:00 lesson. There were 5 people in the lesson and LBR didn't know any of the other horses. He started off really well with his flat work and did nice walk/trot/circles.

The next part of the lesson was "ground poles" and LBR did not like following or being followed by strange horses. Cindy had to give him a "mental timeout" for a bit. Also, Cindy learned NO HALFSEAT over ground poles or LBR will jump them:-)

The lesson concluded with some course work and LBR seemed to enjoy it. He now thinks it's fun to canter away (in control/very slowly) from cross rails and the brush box. Cindy brings him back to the trot before doing the next jump.

After the lesson, Gary rode LBR in the grass arena (took German martingale off) and LBR was great. They ended with a short trail ride.

Gary de-tacked and groomed LBR as Cindy was helping another student who had to do a quick horse/tack change for the 11:00 lesson (sprung shoe).

Gary & Cindy led LBR back down to his paddock (stopping for visits with other horses). LBR still had alfalfa left from his morning feed and totally ignored carrots, Gary & Cindy.

April 24, 2010

One Year Ago Today

It's Saturday so after running some errands and stopping by their favorite Taco Stand (Bueno Boys in Manor), Cindy & Gary headed to the stables in the early afternoon.

LBR nearly shed out so rather than ride today, Gary & Cindy declared it "Spa Day" for LBR.

Gary trimmed his whiskers, fetlocks, ears & bridle path. After that LBR got his first shampoo bath for the year. Because the lighting is not all that great in the wash stall, Gary & Cindy bathed him outside. LBR loves being hosed off, but had forgotten that a soapy sponge can't eat a horse. Eventually, Cindy & Gary realized LBR would stand for "sudsing" if Cindy held the lead rope and Gary did the sponging.

After the spa wash, Gary led LBR in the common pastures and let him dry. LBR is as shiny as a new penny:-).

They returned LBR to his paddock just in time for dinner.

April 23, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy headed over to the stables after work to meet Gary & LBR. She left work about 30 minutes late so it was nearly 7:00 p.m. by the time she arrived. Gary was grooming and tacking up LBR by then.

LBR was in an exceptionally mellow mood so we skipped the lunging. There were no other boarders at the stable so Cindy rode LBR in the dirt arena alone.

LBR did well Cindy worked with "leg only" at the walk. Cindy then trotted him for a while and he continued nicely - no bowing out today.

Cindy then cantered LBR both directions for a while. LBR LOVES to canter. After that, Cindy rode LBR through some patterns/courses. Unfortunately, as they approached the brush box on one course, LBR started to veer out. Cindy corrected him with her leg, but LBR turned his body sideways and took the jump crooked - almost like "jumping rope". Cindy was out of position (thumbs open) and jammed her thumb severely. Her right hand instantly swelled and turned black & blue.

Rather than quit on that note, Cindy took LBR back out to the rail and LBR did perfect flat work. They ended with a course that included the brush box which LBR took perfectly.

After the ride, Cindy groomed LBR and then they led him down near his paddock for some grazing before taking him back into his paddock.

It was the hottest day of the year so far...88F degrees and both LBR & Cindy were hot, sweaty and tired by the end of the night.

April 22, 2010

One Year Ago Today

We had nearly 1" of rain today so no visit or ride.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 21, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy called Gary before heading to the stables and asked him to include the German martingale when he tacked up.

Gary arrived before Cindy as usual and had LBR groomed and tacked up. Gary lunged LBR while Cindy changed into riding clothes and relaxed for a bit. He kept the lunging session brief in the round pen (w/t both directions for less than 10 minutes). LBR was very mellow and responsive.

Gary led LBR into the sand arena for Cindy to ride. LBR stood nicely as Cindy mounted him.

Cindy started LBR with some leg aid work at the walk. He was very responsive. Also, LBR set his head perfectly without any bit pressure - the German martingale (used sparingly - only 1 time a week) has a great effect on him.

After warming up at the trot for a while, Cindy started doing ground pole and crossrail work. LBR seems to love this part of the ride. He is now cantering away from cross-rails too (previously it was only the brush box).

Cindy let him canter out and took him around the arena each time at a nice collected canter. She also cantered him on the rail.

LBR is learning so fast....he never missed a lead tonight and seemed to enjoy everything. Cindy ended the ride with a trail ride down to and around the grass arena.

After the ride, LBR (and Cindy) were both pretty sweaty so LBR got a nice rinse, some grooming and relaxing grazing before being returned to his paddock and given treats.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 20, 2010

Finally...things have dried out enough to ride.

Gary stopped by the stables in the morning to clean LBR up. LBR had done an excellent job of coating himself from the tips (and insides)of his ears to his tail. It took Gary nearly an hour to curry him off.

Cindy met Gary at the stables after work. She had worked a little later than usual and didn't arrive until 6:30 p.m. By that time, Gary had groomed, tacked and was lunging LBR.

There were a lot of riders (some lessons - some just people glad to finally be able to ride) and LBR was excited by all of the activity. Cindy led LBR into the sand arena for their ride and LBR was checking out a new OTTB that was being ridden in the arena.

Cindy had not ridden LBR since last Tuesday and it was obvious. In addition to the newbie in the ring, there were five humans in the center, dogs barking outside the ring and most of the horses in their paddocks were spunky. Based on this and LBR's excitable state (he poo'd twice), Cindy did not ask too much of him. Another new OTTB being in the ring added to the distractions.

Eventually, the humans and OTTB's all left the arena and LBR focused nicely. Cindy worked him quietly using leg aids around the jump standards. They ended on a good note...LBR led perfectly out of the arena to the grooming stall.

Gary & Cindy detacked/groomed LBR before returning him to his paddock for alfalfa treats.

April 19, 2010

It's still too wet to ride so Gary & Cindy skipped the stables today.

April 18, 2010

Cindy & Gary headed over to the show for a while to cheer on the crew.

They swung by their favorite BBQ restaurant on the way over to the stables. If you're ever in Austin you need to visit "Donn's" BBQ on HW 969.

Gary & Cindy led LBR up to the stables from his paddock for some much needed grooming. LBR is shedding like crazy so there was a pile of muddy hair nearly 6" deep by the time they finished grooming.

They then let LBR graze in the common area before returning him to his paddock for treats (carrots & alfalfa cubes). Dinner was served before they left and you would think LBR is starving by the way he carried on.

LBR has actually put on a LOT of weight this to come as soon as the camera is replaced.

April 17, 2010

Yuk...another 1" of rain today. Gary & Cindy headed over to cheer for some of the girls riding in a local show (indoor arena). After that, they slopped through the mud/flood at the stables and gave LBR some treats. He had done a great job of rolling in the mud to ward off the insects.

April 16, 2010

Argh....nearly 2" of rain overnight so Gary & Cindy skipped the stables.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 15, 2010

The weather forecast today was for heavy rain in the afternoon. Gary headed over to ride mid-morning.

LBR ran up to the paddock's amazing how happy he is to see his "peeps" when they miss a day.

Gary groomed LBR and tacked up with his saddle and the copper roller D-ring. They headed to the grass arena for a bit before venturing through the empty paddocks on a trail ride.

LBR seemed to enjoy the outing.

After riding, Gary groomed LBR and worked on his neck stretching with treats. Poor LBR was so sore from his vaccinations that he was only able to flex half-way to each side.

The rain came down this evening as predicted....not good for riding this weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 14, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Gary & Cindy didn't visit LBR today. The barn owner/trainer suggested that he have a day off after receiving his vaccinations.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 13, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy met Gary at the stables after work. She had a particularly bad day at the office and was glad to be around horses instead of humans. Gary was just starting to groom/tack-up LBR when Cindy arrived.

Gary free lunged LBR in the round pen for a few minutes. Due to lessons in the sand arena, they headed down to the grass arena for the night's ride. LBR was wearing his d-ring snaffle and the German martingale (using this combo once a week to help with the headset).

Cindy rode LBR at the walk/trot using only legs for steering (no reins). LBR was absolutely perfect. Cindy rode a few patterns including going over the two (2) log jumps (about 20"). She cantered LBR, but it's not very comfortable and LBR doesn't like it because the ground is very hard (no rain in over 2 weeks). They ended with cooling down at the walk and doing circles in/around the jumps.

After the ride, Gary groomed LBR. LBR is having tomorrow off so the stable owner gave him his (West Nile & EEE/WEE)vacinations. Gary & Cindy then led LBR back to the paddock for carrots.

Gary translated Happy Birthday wishes from LBR to Cindy....but LBR said "Hey Cindy - did you know you are 40 years older than me?"

April 12, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy met Gary at the stables after work. He was lunging LBR in the round pen by the time she arrived.

Because he was free lunging LBR, Gary had the bridle on him.

After Cindy changed into riding clothes, she rode LBR in the sand arena. The barn owner/trainer was schooling another horse in the arena.

LBR behaved well, but carried his head a little high. Cindy did a lot of work riding with "legs only" at the walk and trot.
She cantered LBR both directions and he picked up the correct lead...woo hoo!!

Cindy kept the ride fairly short - about 40 minutes and ended on a good note. Gary groomed LBR after the ride and they returned him to his paddock for treats.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 11, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Argh...allergies. Cindy missed her lesson, but they took LBR's supplements over for the next week after staying inside all day.

LBR trotted up from the end of the paddock for treats and kisses....oh so sweet.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 10, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy and Gary headed out in the morning to watch a local schooling show. The stable owner/LBR's trainer was showing a couple of her horses. They stayed there for a couple of hours before heading over to see LBR. They stopped on the way to the stables at a local taco-shack and enjoyed delicious barbacoa tacos with fresh pico de gallo. After the lunch break, they also stopped in at the nearby tack shop that is closing and got some great bargains (50% off everything). LBR is now well stocked with fresh white saddle pads (2) and Gary and Cindy have new stirrup pads.

When they arrived at the stables, there were a few people wrapping up their mid-day rides.

Gary brought LBR up from his paddock, groomed him and put his saddle on. Gary took LBR to the grass arena for a breif lunging session in his halter. LBR was mellow again. While Gary was lunging, Cindy another boarder if she wanted to ride LBR and she did.

She mounted LBR and he was a BAD BOY....walked out of the arena. She is an excellent rider, but has never ridden LBR so she didn't know how he'd react to a FIRM correction. Gary helped her get LBR back into the arena (led by noseband).

She worked LBR at the walk and trot. She rides almost exclusively from her legs/seat and LBR is used to a combo of legs/seat/rein. She commented that he didn't totally understand but was trying and was getting it. She worked him a lot between the jumps/standards at the walk and LBR caught on after a while and really relaxed.

After she finished riding (about 20 minutes), Cindy led LBR to the mounting block. LBR tried his walk-away/out and Cindy immediately stopped/corrected him and they stood by the block for several minutes.

Cindy then rode LBR for about 20 minutes at the walk/trot and he did well. She skipped the canter today as his lesson-learned was "riding from the seat/leg". Cindy led LBR back to the grooming stall - working on loose rein, slow walk.

They then de-tacked LBR and Gary gave him a rinse off with cool water. It was extremely windy so LBR dried quickly as he grazed on the lead rope in the common area.

Gary placed LBR back in his paddock. They forgot carrots/cookies, but gave LBR alfalfa cubes for treats.

April 9, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy met Gary at the stables after work. Gary was grooming and putting on LBR's saddle when she arived.

They headed down to the grass arena for a pre-ride lunge. LBR is lunging much better in his halter than his bridle. The ground is getting really hard in the grass arena as we haven't had any rain this week. LBR didn't want to canter while lunging becuase of the cement-like ground.

Gary finished up the lunging then took LBR back to the grooming stall and put on his bridle. LBR was a very mellow fellow tonight.

Cindy led LBR to the sand arena for a ride and worked on keeping him in the proper leading position with loose reins. She mounted LBR and he stood nicely - not attempting to leave the arena.

She started with a walk around the rail and then trotted for a while. LBR was very relaxed and carried the bit perfectly (the ride Gary did with the German martingale yesterday seemed to help).

Because LBR was so responsive and Cindy was feeling confident, she cantered him tonight. First they cantered counter-clockwise and LBR was SO HAPPY (so was Cindy).

They cantered the entire arena and did circles at the far end. They then came back to the walk, changed directions and worked for a short bit at the trot. Cindy queued him for the canter in the turn and LBR picked up the correct lead (right) in the clockwise direction too....WOO HOO!!!

Cindy kept the ride short (about 35 minutes) and ended with a nice walk on a loose rein.

LBR and Cindy are really starting to build confidence and respect for each other.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 8, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Gary headed over to the stables in the afternoon as Cindy was not feeling up to going after work tonight. When Gary arrived, LBR was very happy...the newly cleared, still muddy area provided for GREAT rolling. Gary brought LBR up to the stables, groomed him and tacked up using his HDR saddle and the D-ring snaffle with the German martingale. It was lessons night so Gary decided to ride for a bit in the sand arena while the beginer lesson (flat work) was going. LBR did GREAT!

When the lessons started their pattern work, Gary rode LBR down to the grass arena. There were two(2) advanced rider for the later lesson warming up and LBR seemed to enjoy the company. Gary worked him at the walk/trot and even tried a few strides of cantering...WOO HOO!!! They did some patterns before heading out for a trail ride.

They rode down the road to the end of the property. They then returned and explored TJ & Keeper's paddock for a while. After the ride, Gary de-tacked and groomed LBR before taking him back to his paddock for treats.

April 7, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Cindy headed over after work and met Gary and LBR. They had finished grooming and lunged for a bit. Gary had trimmed LBR's mane and he looked quite handsome (LBR though Gary did too). Gary rode LBR first for a while in the sand arena. LBR was tacked using his copper-roller snaffle (favorite), but for some reason he was very mouthy tonight.
Cindy then rode LBR working on flat work at the walk and trot. LBR did not seem to want to move forward...maybe he was a little tender from the shoeing yesterday. Cindy did a couple of patterns of cross-rails and then walked LBR on the loose rein to cool down.

While Cindy de-tacked and groomed LBR, Gary took the tractor down to LBR's paddock and leveled the hay/mud. Cindy brought LBR down toward the paddock and let him graze in the common area until Gary returned with treats. LBR also got a fresh round bale of hay in his paddock later in a new/dry area.

April 6, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Gary met the farrier at the stables early (8:30 a.m.) and LBR got a trim and fresh shoes on his front hooves. Afterwards, Gary let LBR graze for a bit and returned him to his paddock.

The round bale of hay that LBR has had for over a month is getting low and the remaining hay is dusty/moldy so Gary flipped the ring and spread out the remaining hay. He had hoped to use the tractor to spread the mud/hay out but it was not cooperating.

April 5, 2010

One Year Ago Today

LBR has been ridden 5 days in a row and Cindy was at work ride today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 4, 2010

Sunday was a day for Cindy to relax. Although she initially woke up around 6:30 a.m., she went back to sleep and and crawled out of bed around 10:30 a.m. Gary fixed a wonderful breakfast and they chilled around the house until around 2:00 p.m. before heading to the stables.

Gary led LBR up from his paddock as Cindy chatted with a potential boarder. She commented on how handsome LBR is as Gary led him by.

Gary & Cindy groomed/tacked LBR and they headed to the lunge pen for a breif warm-up. Gary lunged LBR for about 10 minutes and he seemed relaxed and loose. Cindy rode LBR in the sand arena and he was GREAT! He traveled on the rail nicely and yielded to leg queues. The gnats weren't out yet so LBR didn't do any of his head tossing.

After flat work, Cindy did several trot cross-rail patterns on LBR. The last two patterns included the brush-box and LBR jumped it both times and cantered away calmly. The first time, Cindy brought him back to the trot, but the second time she cantered him around the arena. Gary was very proud and LBR & Cindy felt like she and LBR are the perfect team. Cindy worked with LBR's ground manners leading back to the stable after the ride. LBR has gotten a bit pushy and forward so they stopped several times until LBR was behaved leading on a loose rein.

After the ride and grooming, Gary led LBR to graze a bit and back into his paddock. Gary also worked on walking slowly and in the right position. LBR grazed for a bit before we returned him to his paddock. It was dinner time and he was very happy.

April 3, 2010

It's Easter weekend so lessons were moved from Sunday to Saturday. Cindy & Gary headed to the stables around 9:00 a.m. for Cindy's 10:00 a.m. lesson on Brother. Gary brought Brother up from his paddock and they groomed
and tacked him.

Cindy had a very good lesson on Brother. She was calm and confident as she rode the flatwork and patterns. Today
she cantered her first jump (since starting lessons)....WOO HOO!

After the lesson, Gary rode LBR in the grass arena (due to other lessons continuing in the sand arena). LBR did very well though he was a bit "iffy" in staying on the rail. Gary took LBR outside the arena and trotted him several times against the rail....guess LBR is used to being a race horse and having the inside instead of outside rail as he was perfect. After Gary's ride, he groomed LBR and gave him a rinse (it was 80F degrees today).

April 2, 2010 many times have we said this, but this week it's true.

Cindy met Gary at the stables after work. As it's Friday nights, there was no one else riding.

Gary had groomed LBR by the time Cindy arrived and they finished tacking him up. No lunging today as LBR was very calm.

Cindy rode first in the sand arena and LBR was a bit distracted and stiff (maybe from side rein lunging on Thursday). Rather than push the issue, Cindy just did some flat work and ignored the stiffness. It was a good mental ride for she and LBR.

Gary then rode for a bit and took LBR on their trail ride route. LBR was calm and cool as usual. After the ride, they groomed LBR and then let him graze for a bit before giving him his treats in his paddock and calling it a night.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 1, 2010

One Year Ago Today

It's been an insane week for Cindy at work, but she was determined not to take the chaos/stress to the stables today.

Cindy met Gary around 6:30 and Gary had already groomed, tacked and lunged LBR with side reins in the round pen.

LBR was very mellow (almost tired) despite winds of 20 mph and a lot of activity at the stables.

Gary was riding LBR when she arrived and he was doing well, but not wanting to go consistently at the trot. This makes working on posting diagonals very difficult for Gary. After riding for about 15 minutes, Cindy took over.

LBR was still having trouble with staying consistent in the trot. It took about 20 minutes to get him to flex, relax and move forward. Once this was accomplished, they cantered for a bit (in the grass arena due to lessons in the sand arena).

LBR did well at the canter, they trotted for a bit more and then walked on a loose rein until LBR cooled down.

After the ride, Gary detacked and groomed LBR. Cindy, Gary & LBR headed back to the paddock for some grazing and treats.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March 31, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Gary stopped by to visit LBR in his paddock and let him graze in the common area for a while.

Tomorrow - back to riding:-)

March 30, 2010

One Year Ago Today

LBR is getting a couple of days break from riding. Gary headed over to the stables in the morning to have the farrier check his shoes (he's at the 5 week mark, but his hooves are growing faster now).

Gary groomed LBR and the farrier suggested 1 more week before re-shoeing. After this, Gary let LBR graze for a while before returning him to his paddock for treats.

March 29, 2010

One Year Ago Today

It's Monday and that means back to work for Cindy.

She met Gary at the stables after work for a ride. Gary had brought LBR up from his paddock and tacked him up by the time Cindy arrived.

They skipped lunging and started out in the sand arena. LBR was hesitant and didn't really want to move forward. Additionally, the spring weather has brought out gnats that were flying into Cindy & LBR's face and were very irritating.

Due to dealing with work issues - Cindy was not very patient and decided to cut her ride short. Gary rode LBR for a bit and LBR behaved a little bit better.

The plan going forward will be lunge first until LBR get's focused. Also, we're giving him a couple of days break because he's been ridden 5 days straight.

After the ride, they led LBR down towards his paddock for some grazing and then treats.