Friday, February 26, 2010

Better Update!

So I just got off the phone with my saddle fitter and body work gal, and she says that the sounds like the sweating on Milo's neck is caused from him releasing the tension through his neck and shoulders.

When she first came out and worked on Milo, she found that because of poor saddle fitting, Milo had created a hard rock of tension on his shoulders and at his poll. Now after a proper saddle fit, and through the first step of body work, she got him to release some tension on the left side of his poll, and encouraged me to work through his right side as that is a harder area for Milo and wasnt going to take one session.

So the sweating on his neck is actually him releasing his tension and working into the saddle and bridle, lifting his back and freeing his shoulder. The sweat comes from this and from him using new neck muscles he wasnt using before.

Very fascinating... and Im very glad to hear that this is all a GOOD thing and a right step towards a better "rehab" for him.


Sorry this blog got neglected this past few weeks. Some things have come up, Ill suprise you all with the good news soon.

Well last Monday I had a lesson with Max that Brittany and I went to. It went really well, however we both thought that we would be working cows for part of it, and we didnt. But I think that was just a miscommunication from us as to what exactly we wanted the lesson to be about. But he did give us some good information and some good exercises to work on this week.

We are scheduled to have another lesson with him this coming Monday, and we need to call him and actually make sure that it will have cows involved this time. But both her week and mine have been pretty crazy so far and neither one of us has called yet! I should probably just do it today.

The plan is to take this second lesson on Monday on cows, and than the following week on Wednesday attend his Wednesday night cow class which consists of a group of about six people working cows. And than hopefully that weekend attend the final Ranch Sorting and Reining (schooling) show of the season. But we will see how it goes. And if the money comes in for me! While I should be getting a fairly healthy tax return, I was hoping on using it towards a down payment on a horse trailer.

So I got to ride Milo Wednesday night after work and he did well. I worked on some of the exercises Max gave us to do, and of course, kinda added and subtracted for what worked for Milo and I.

But Ive noticed in the past month or so that Milo's sweat patterns arent the way they used to be; he gets mostly sweaty on his neck first, and if I continue working him, than he sweats under the saddle and than finally low on his flanks. He used to start sweating first under the saddle area, than the neck, than the flanks.

I asked one of the barn instructors what this could be about on Wednesday night after my ride, and she said it was a big no-no. That the sweat forming on his neck first meant that he wasnt using his hind end properly. Hmm. Thats interesting because Milo uses his hind end a lot, and for the reining and cow work especially, he is an his hind end consistently. So the only other thought would be that I got this new saddle about a month ago and that was when the different sweat patterns started. I think I may need to get the saddle fitter out again for an evaluation and maybe another body check. Maybe the tax return can help cover that?

On another note, Ive also noticed his snaffle gets "caught" on his wolf teeth when I bridle and unbridle him. I looked in his mouth the other day and those wolf teeth were about a half inch long! They grew incredibly fast! Well, I have the Equine Dentist scheduled for later next month for a routine float (Milo hasnt had one yet-each spring when he gets his shots I ask the vet to feel around/look around in his mouth and let me know when he mey need his floating done. The vet advised that this year be the year). But looking at those wolf teeth I dont think they can stay in, unless they grind em down. Ugh more money from the tex return...

But ya know, Milo is worth it and he depends on me to keep him healthy and sound. What we do for our horses eh?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I LOVE my horse!!

I say that often, but today I really really do mean it.

Milo has been such an interesting and fun horse to grow with. For both he and I.

As Ive stated before, I bought Milo as a very green three year old in the hopes of going to Pinto shows and excelling in western pleasure. Through the process of training Milo however he has shown me that he not only wishes to not do western pleasure, but that I dont want to anymore either!

He as also taught me a lot of patience. Ive always had patience with horses, you have to to get anywhere. But Milo has taught me a whole new level to that word. I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into in buying a very green adolescent horse. He has really helped me become a better horsewoman. Its hard to describe exactly.

Today I had the amazing privilege of having the entire indoor arena to myself (not an easy task at a boarding barn of about 40 horses). I set up some cones to help me visually keep him round through an even loping circle. I did basic exercise; lope the circle x amount of times, than go large using the whole arena than back to a circle again. Very simple. But I forgot to mention it was dark out and Ive mentioned before that Milo does not particularly like the dark scary corners of the arena, and the shadows cast from the overhead lights.

But he got over it. What a good boy!! He got a couple good stares at the scary objects in the arena corners (mounting blocks, cavaletties, poles, etc all things hes seen before) than gave a big sigh and rounded his back and ribcage into a nice even lope. Both ways. Hes so smart.

It was a simple ride. But a good one. I love that!

I scratched all of his itchy spots and meticulously groomed him both before and after the ride. Milo really appreciates all of this extra quality time.

I guess the point I'm trying to get to is that I think my horse might actually be growing up. Milo will be six next month and I cant technically call him a baby anymore, or blame his childish antics on it either (although secretly thats why I love him. Its all the goofy tendencies and mannerisms I love). I think Milo might actually have realized that it is much easier to willingly do as Mom directs. And I know deep down he does like the work and attention. Even if he acts like he doesnt.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Couldnt ask for a better day!

It was absolutely splendid in WA today! The sun was out, and it hit nearly 60 degrees!! The horses were sure enjoying the warmth too; I took Milo's blanket off for a while so he could enjoy the warmth on his back.

Oddly enough he didnt run around like a psycho in turnout, he actually just rolled than hung out with his girlfriend Covergirl.

I had an excellent ride on him too. I worked on a simple reining pattern in the outdoor arena and he did great. Simple changes, small lope circle to large extended and was great. I rode in my friend's mecate rein set which Milo seemed to respond to pretty well. Ive been thinking about getting a set so it was nice to know how they feel to ride in.

I hung around the barn a while after riding and cleaned my tack box (literally cleaned the outside) and waited for Milo's sweat to dry so I could brush him out before putting his blanket back on.

"Oh HI Mom! I's all sweaty! Cookies??"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Its that time of year already??

So this past week Milo has really started shedding out! It seems early to me to be shedding already, but he is kept in a large barn that stays lit until at least 7 every night, not like the barn he was at least year. So it makes sense, and it is nice that I will have the beautiful version of Milo sooner (the sleek summer coated one).

We had a good ride tonight. He was a little worried about the scary dark corner as he usually is, but we just kept working and finally got over it. His lopes were nice, I am still so pleased with him after his body adjustment (which Im planning on getting done again in about two weeks or so).

Overall it was just a nice, relaxing, good day. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Trail Ride

A friend of mine and I went for a trail ride today, to celebrate her first official day of horse ownership for her horse Major (shes been leasing to own and made the final payment today). So while her name isnt on the papers yet, at least the payments on him are over!

So it was a great trail ride, Milo did great as did Major, and they make a pretty good trail team together. It was the first day in a while that it wasnt a torrential downpour, so while the weather was nice, there was a lot of mud, and puddles. Which made for some good puddle training! By about mid way through the ride Milo was a pro. What it looks like from Milo's back.

Pretty amazing huh? There were some people walking their dogs behind us so he had to look of course. Than we took a different trail with no dogs. This photo makes him look pretty uphill but hes not, my friend just held the camera crooked haha.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nothing clever for a title...

Today was a very good day, considering the downpour of rain we experienced here. Due to which, Milo didnt get any turnout like normal on Fridays and was a bit upset with me. But after I finished cleaning, the sun miraculously came out for a while and while I took a break with a Vault, Milo got some turnout time in the soppy round pen.

After which, a friend of mine brought her three year old QH to the barn and we got to ride together (and thank God for our covered arena because the downpour than began again, and continued until, well right about now 3 hours later or so).

Milo was great today too; he was focused and moving well, Im so pleased with the results from his body work a few weeks ago, and the nice fitting of his new saddle! He moves so much free-r and easily, and its much easier for him now to really round himself with his whole body and give me much more control over every part of him.

He was really working into the bit today, much more than we have in the past few months. He was pretty cadenced at all three gaits, not perfect in the entirety but did very very well.

Later, my friend and I talked about the upcoming cow events. She is taking her horse to a ranch event this weekend to do some green horse/green rider sorting classes there, Im excited for her and cant wait to go myself. Wednesday nights now are open for cow classes with Max at the same facility the clinic was at, so Im going to try and attend those as the money comes....

All in all, today was a great day, productive, and fun. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Good Sunny Day in WA

Today was a typical Friday; turnout Milo, clean pastures, drink some vault and take a break, chat with others at the barn, than finally get to riding.

And what a good ride it was!! Milo was great. We rode in the ourdoor arena, which he always likes. He always seem to have great rides in the outdoor ring. We worked on about 20m circles at a walk trot and lope, and he did very well at all three gaits. His work to the right (esp at a lope) is still inconsistent and I can tell he is having some physical difficulty with it due to his previous rib outage, and also the stiffness on the right side of his neck, making it hard to be soft, round, and keeping from falling into the circle. But he did great and tried really hard for me.

Heres a pic of my new saddle on Milo today, before I started the ride. Its a Crates all around, and has a leather seat! Which has been an adjustment getting used to it from the suede seat on my roper! Excuse the poor quality of the photo, it was taken on my phone. And the sun was out today, but I think it hid behind a cloud when I took the photo!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Successful Day!

Today was one of those action packed horsey days, but it was great.

Met the farrier at the barn at 9, than rode the trails with a friend which was a lot of fun. Even got some hill trotting in, which Milo hasnt done trotting yet on the trail. He did great.

Than I helped a friend of mine and her horse on doing groundwork, and ended really well. Shes got some homework to do before I see her again on Monday. But her horse was really trying for me and figuring out everything well.

Tried on my roping saddle on a friends' horse, and it fit well so hopefully she buys it. Than I met up with a gal whose saddle I bought, so its officially mine now! And it fits him so well, and is very comfortable to ride in. Ill post a picture soon. Its a Crates! :)