Friday, March 18, 2016

Yesterday we had snow, sunshine, snow, and sunshine. It was a beautiful spring day.

Day two of the new routine - working together in the afternoon. I walked out to get my boyo and he brightly joined me. We went out to the far pond again to graze, and this time he didn't look back toward the other horses even once. 

While we're walking we practice crossing all kinds of small water. Thin trickles, wide boggy spaces, wide running water. Not going into the ponds though. I don't trust myself not to fall if I walk into the muddy bottom and I am trying to promote relaxation so I don't want to send him in alone.

We went into the round pen and he walked circles. He's such a good boy. At each direction change I brought him in to me, stood and relaxed, then asked him to drop his head to the ground. There is much less resistance there now when I put my hand on  his poll. Of course he's still perfect when I use halter pressure.

I showed him the surcingle but didn't put it on him. I need to decide whether I want to use a bit or not. I don't see why he needs to have one to go down the trail, but I also feel like it communicates more clearly for precise work. I will probably add a bit to the equation today, and the surcingle tomorrow. I may not start driving him for a while because pulling is still  on the verboten list for me.

I am hurting worse after two days of overdoing it, but I don't want to give up this new routine, so I'll probably just cut it shorter. Maybe the bit can wait.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Turning Point

I'm at the two week mark post-surgery and I feel a lot better. Still painful of course, but more capable. I can walk almost at a normal ground-covering pace now, just being careful not to jolt. On rough ground I have to take it slower.

I got Duncan out for the first time, counting on him to be good so I wouldn't accidentally hurt myself. He was. :) I was a bit slow for his taste, which made for a good teachable moment.

I gave him a lot of time to graze at the far end of the pasture so he'd feel like leaving the other horses was a good thing. It's hard for me to stand and do nothing. A good teachable moment for me. :)

We did some walking circles in the round pen. Not asking for anything but continuation, waiting for him to relax. It took a while, but it happened.

Another thing we're working on is dropping his head willingly and keeping it down until I release him. He does great in the halter but has some resistance when I signal with my hand on his poll. Eventually I'd like to turn it into a cue I can give from the saddle, using pressure on his neck.
I've been reading a book about endurance riding and getting a lot of food for thought about proper conditioning, balance, and teaching the horse to use its body correctly, which of course means the rider needs to ride well. I don't plan on ever doing a 100 mile ride in one day, but with the things I ask my horses to do in the mountains, they could use some better conditioning.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Getting Bored

I'm feeling a little better each day, and along with that comes boredom. I'm almost inspired to start up a new hobby like wood burning or something. Almost. Right now I'm all gorked out on pain meds so a nap sounds good...

I've been getting in a walk or two every day, visiting with Duncan and Pedro and letting the dogs run off some excess energy. The weather is actually kind of nice, with sunshine at least part of every day.

He is the cutest horse ever!

Huckleberry lays down and dies if he gets cockle burrs.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Surgery done! & Another Saddle

Had my surgery yesterday. No way is it "no big deal" as I'd been told, although it might have been if it had been more routine.

The surgery itself, which usually takes an hour and a half, took three and a half hours. My uterus with its fibroids was 7x4x4 inches. I think it's supposed to be more like 2x3.

The pain has been really hard to manage, I think because my innards are so offended. They were so compressed before, and then all that rooting around, and now they have room again, which I guess might make them angry for a while. So I'm still in the hospital instead of going home same day.

I feel a lot better this morning. More human, but still hurting. No reason to think I won't go home today after they transition me to oral meds.

In other news, I sold Duncan's Crates saddle. It just wasn't comfortable and was very cheaply made. Now we're trying out a Billy Cook barrel saddle, which is super comfortable and has rough-out, which I really like the idea of for first rides. I don't like the skinny barrel horn but it seems low and out of the way, even if it doesn't look it.

I only have crappy pics, but I'm going to share them anyway.