Monday, March 29, 2010

Dentist!

Milo got a visit from the dentist today, his first time ever! I guess the condition of his teeth were pretty good for being 6 years old and not seen before. He had just started forming some hooks, so it was a good time for him to be looked at. The dentist predicts that he will just need to be seen every year for maintenance.




Poor Milo is still sleepy and bit his lip so he was bleeding a little...




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Milo's new rope halter came the other day so today I brought it out for him.


It was very quiet at the barn and very rainy but it was nice to have some quiet (alone) time with Milo. This is Milo's protest to being ridden on a lazy Sunday.

But I did have a good ride on him. Not hard, but he did very good.

After the ride (and since no one was there) I gave him some turnout time in the arena, where he didnt do much but chewing on signs and longe whips. But Im sure he enjoyed his time out of the stall anyways.




I put him away to munch on some lunch, and cleaned my tack so Im thinking today was a successful day :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday To You!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Milo, happy birthday to you!

Yep Milo turned the big 6 today. I can no longer blame anything on him being a baby anymore LOL. Milo got a good groom and a huge bag of carrots today. I know, Mom is kind of lame and one a budget, but I think Milo appreciates the carrots anyways.

Unfortunetly, I noticed today that Milo has these bulges on the outers of his hocks. I've never noticed them before so I suspect they must have just shown up. The left one is larger and firmer than the right which is smaller and softer. They are not hot to the touch and he's not ouchy. He also doesnt show any back pain the the typical area where hind end lameness can be associated with. He is not lame either, but I also didnt ride (I can usually feel when he is off better than I can see it).

I called the vet and he seems to think it is just extra joint fluid caused by some type of inflammation. This can be caused by typical or strained work. I last rode Milo on Monday for our drill team practice, but it certainly wasnt strenuous work as we are still working on the pattern at a jog/trot. The footing is a little different than at home, but not deeper or harder just a little slipperier. Vet said to wait it out and see if he either gets lame or the fluid goes away. If not, he needs to come out and examine it further and to see why the fluid pockets are forming anyways.

In the meantime, I can still ride but not too hard of work. Maybe it is something that can be worked out? Nothing really to do to treat it except maybe cold hose water.

Good job Milo. Your first day as a "senior horse" and you are already falling apart on me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good Day :)

One of my fellow Tbird Cowgirls was so courteous to come out today and take new photos of Milo and I in our rodeo duds. I will post photos as soon as I get them!!

Had a GREAT ride on Milo afterwards. He works so well in the new mecate reins. Got to ride in the outdoor arena too, today was a beautiful day with sunshine and temps in the 60s!

Also, I have to post this video of Milo singing "Backwoods" LOL. Probably one of those "you had to be there" type of deals....
video

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mecate Reins!

So I got my mecate reins and slobber straps this week and rode Milo in them tonight. He did so well! And I really like the feel of the reins (plus the lead rope is handy!).

I also rode him over some ground poles to help encourage him to stretch down and lift his back, which he did pretty well at. I think I will continue working with the ground poles and maybe set up some "patterns" with them.

We worked on transitions as well with collection and a rounded back, and without, at all gaits (except gallop). And he is getting really good at it. This I will also continue working on.

Heres a photo of his new mecate reins. And if you look close you can see the slotted conchos with blood-knots that I added (and tied the knots on myself). I am still going to add buckle sets onto it as well. Photo to follow when I get the sets :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ideas? Opinions?

While nearly every time I ride I concentrate on keeping Milo round and lifting his back, it seems he either a) doesnt quite understand what Im asking for when Im cueing for a "rounded back" or b) doesnt care and hollows anyway or c) Im asking for it wrong or not going about it the right way.

Hes got it down at any walk, trot, extended trot, jog, or stop. And what I mean by that is a supple, soft, round face and back. But when I bump it up to a lope (even just a few strides) he hollows out in the take-off and only relaxes and rounds briefly, and usually so little I can barely get a praise or reward in for him before he hollows out or speeds up again.

Is this something I need to just do a LOT of transitions for, or do extended periods of loping? A rider at the barn suggested ground poles or cavaletties to encourage him to pick up his back. If thats a good idea, what would be a good "set-up" for the ground poles? Im not too savvy on working with ground poles (crazy since I used to jump) and not sure about the right way to approach them with a green-to-pole work horse. (Dont get me wrong, I have worked him over poles before, on the ground (longe) or under saddle, but usually just one pole).

Any suggestions? English and western opinions are valuable. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In need of updates...

Last Monday the Thunderbird Rodeo Drill Team that I am a member of had out first practice of the year. It was a lot of fun as they always are. We have a few new members this year so the practice helped everyone get to each other and their horses better. Our pattern should be pretty awesome this year, its got some cool elements to it.

Milo did well. My concerns this year is that I dont want to compromise any of his training. Ie not staying round and moving correctly. But we will see how the next few practices go...its hard to train at the same time as going fast and holding a flag...

I ordered a set of mecate reins and quick change slobber straps today. 22' mecates so Im waiting for those and am excited for that.

Milo had a retard moment and pulled back in the crossties on Monday and ended up breaking his rope halter. So I had to buy a new one of them too. Strange, Milo wasnt even spooked as far as I could see (or at least any good reason to spook). In fact, I was just starting to take him out of the crossties when he freaked. I dunno...its puzzling for sure. And frustrating to have to buy another halter....

Anyways, more later.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Itchy Scratchies

Pretty uneventful day today; work, than a short session with Milo. Spent a while shedding him out, than went to ride. The ride was good, he was really "looky" at everything since it was dark out and we were alone (he still isnt sure about the covered arena at dark). So short ride.

But the reasoning behind this post is after the ride in the final grooming before putting him away. He is such a funny and expressive horse. As I was currying his back he kept throwing his head around to a spot on his off side (I didnt have him tied in the crossties). So I went to investigate and turns out he was real itchy. So I scratched and scratched and curried and scratched (quite a workout for me) until all of his itchies were gone. He kept pointing to another spot and encouraging more scartching. I swear he was going to fall over a few times he was so into the scratching. He even lifted his hind leg up in the air and kind of out, I assume much like a dog shaking its leg when scratching. Silly Milo. I wish I had gotten it video taped!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Turnout

Milo absolutely loves his turnout. Fortunetly, the turnouts for the lesson horses was empty so I threw Milo in one for about a half hour yesterday. And true to Milo and his love of turnout, it was photo worthy.

First he ate dirt. For a long time. This is really puzzling and kind of concerning me as to why he does this. He has a salt block in his stall that he uses, so whats up with eating dirt? Does he want to get sand colic and cost Mom an arm and a leg? Hmm... So he ate dirt than drank water, and proceeded to lick his lips and sputter out the water... haha



He than decided a good roll was in order, so he did that, than jumped into the air in is whole hearted (but weak) leap-bucks.


Found some nasty old hay he thought was a great morning snack, and looked at Mom with the crazy eye.

Took off into a mad gallop (and awful photo!) and ran to the top of a hill.


Snorted and puffed and thought he was tough on top of the hill.

Than posed for some regal photos.


Decided all was good in the world...


Than took off again for whatever reason. (thats the extent of Milo's extension!)



Than decided he was nice and dirty. And if I could please let him back into his breakfast now. Oh what a day. And what a special horse.