I'm trying to figure out how to clump and categorize my writings about each equine. Sometimes I feel like I jump around from blippet to blippet without a lot of structure or lead ins, and it sometimes comes off as either confusing or as just a bunch of things thrown at a computer screen. How would you structure it, if you were me? A post per critter? That seems excessive, there are so many of them and several of them get worked every day if I can help it. A post per day? It would never happen every day. And how do you keep people straight on your particular goals for each, when they are all simultaneously going? There is a lack of structure in my writing and I need some suggestions as to how to order it better to make it a more coherent read!
Dylan and O saw the chiropractor again on Monday. This is their second visit from her, and I'm really happy with the progress so far. I've obviously been out of the saddle a bit this past month, so Dylan hasn't gotten the same work as O, but he was far more 'out' than she was. She had adjustments that needed to be made for sure, but not like he did.
|Apparently the chiro is working|
|Dylan on nightly patrol|
We're working to build his back muscle up better. He has a big giant stallion neck and a well muscled hind end but he is really lacking right in the middle. Part of this is being out of work for a couple weeks (or well, it didn't help, he is looking kind of saggy), and most of it was the fact that he was so out all the way down his spine that he just never could properly use those muscles. These Spanish types really like to be upright and compact, and it's hard to get them to really go over their backs properly and use them correctly. So in addition to saddle time (when I get back to it, which should be soon!), I'm going to add in more trail riding and lunging in the chambon. While Dylan isn't exactly going to cut it as a back country mountain climbing type of horse, he is perfectly capable of doing some of our local trails, as long as I can drag someone along with us to keep him company. I know a few takers who would like to join me I think! On the lunge line, he's not been working in a chambon that I know of (or at least not anytime in recent history) but it will help him once he learns.
I'm sad to say the rain has struck down another event for us, this time a driving clinic that was supposed to be held this coming weekend. We are supposed to get flooding rains tomorrow, and nothing will be dry by Saturday, so they cancelled. It was a good choice to make, but a real bummer as it was supposed to be both a private dressage lesson and a group lesson on cones and marathon obstacles - something I want to soak up as much information as I can on. Crossing that off our list, we now only have two shows left in the spring season, both back to back. They are the really big spring HDTs around here aside from Sunrise Ridge, so I'm getting excited and nervous. So much to do still! I need to get a new spare for my trailer. I need a health cert for O for the out of state one. (It will be my first trip to Oklahoma!) I need to work the mare should it ever stop raining. I need to make sure everything is in order with hotels, travel, and feeding my nag-ivator B2. We are staying with one of my college professors in Stillwater for that weekend, but need a hotel for Pine Hill. I can't remember the last time I stayed in a hotel for a show - usually I just camp it out in my truck - but if I'm dragging B2 along with me I have to take good care of her after all!
Look at little Sriracha. How good is she being!
I've had her for just about two weeks now and she has come along SO well and so fast for what she is. I really think Lendri was mishandled because it took her so much longer to come around, months and months and it was gentle and slow progress. If I could walk near her without her running off it was a success. Sriracha is very different in that while she was never handled by humans before, she also had never had a bad experience with them that I know of, and therefore while she is still watching me to make sure I'm not actually a predator, she doesn't necessarily expect bad things to happen like Lendri did. She is curious and gregarious, and it helps that she loves carrots just as much as the rest of them do. Carrots really help to leapfrog their abilities, from "I really am not sure of what you're doing right now and I'm highly suspicious of this" to "hey if I just let you do this thing I get a carrot, now I want to let you do all these things because I might get carrots!" It sounds like a cop out training method, and I'd agree with you that it is with horses, but it really does seem to help the mules learn that there is something in this for them and if they stick around and give it a try, good things will happen. God knows you can't force them, just teach them that they really do want to give it a try. She walks up to me in the field and follows me around, and stands to let me pet her face and neck while out loose in the field. While she is still a little weirded out sometimes by hands, and still completely freaked out by having her legs and belly touched, she was completely satisfied to let me brush her neck, shoulders, and back with no issues. She's letting me stand next to her more comfortably as well - sometimes being that close to them makes them uncomfortable and they scoot off, but she is learning that it's all right. We'll continue on with the brushing and the petting, eventually getting to her legs and belly and tail - all bits they don't like touched. I was able to brush her belly a little and legs a little today, but had to hang onto her in order to keep her from pitching a huge fit. It's going to take awhile before she is comfortable letting me touch any of those parts. She needs a trim but I'm not willing to wrangle her just for the sake of it and set her back. She'll get there.
Speaking of grooming, Pax is going to have super amazing locks. Her tail is already past her hocks and is thick. Her forelock is suddenly all kinds of wavy and it's long too - longer than any other horse on the property aside from Dylan!
|So much HAIR|
As compared to P, who has barely any forelock at all:
Lendri is just like, stupidly adorable. How cute is she?!
We tried a bit to do some double lunging yesterday but that concept is kind of beyond her still. She would get going fine, but would then would try to use it as an evasion, scoot sideways against her reins, and find herself turned around. She is so very round that the saddle will slide if the reins pull a bit too hard, which sort of doesn't help anything. So, we worked on me walking on either side of her instead of her going around me in a circle, which went better. She is fine about letting me jog along behind her when she is trotting, although she can get a little strong sometimes. Overall, for a feral little mule who knows nothing, she is really coming along!