Sunday, September 30, 2012

Too much rain!!

Rain in north central Texas is a relatively rare thing. We can sometimes go for months without a single drop, but when it does rain, it literally does pour. For three days I've been completely unable to do anything in the roundpen with Imogen due to the steady downpours and subsequent flooding. The arenas are mushy soup, and probably won't dry out for a few days. Dangit all... not having a covered arena usually isn't a problem, but sometimes it can be a pain! P came to swim on Saturday, and she and Im met for the first time over the stall doors... no problems to report, they were both very sweet and polite! Here are the girls in their stalls not being amused with the rain:

Hopefully things will start drying out tomorrow! In the meantime, look who wore a saddepad with no issues!

Smart girl!! We'll have a surcingle on there in no time ;)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day Two!

Day two of lunging went just as smoothly as day one, I am happy to report!

Hmm... maybe she has some STB in there. That trot is INSANE.

I seen to have gotten into the Texas-y habit of asking for the canter with a kissy noise instead of my usual "can-TER!" Gogo responded to the verbal cue for canter, but P responds to the kissy noise, so that may have something to do with it. Weird how that works. 
 Man, that swinging belly is kind of freakish. Let's hope a little exercise diminishes it a bit... it's keeping you all from seeing the fabulous canter that is somewhere hidden in there!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Ever Lunge Session!

Want to know what is frustrating? Not knowing when your middle man is going to make up his dang mind and take his leased horse back to the owner so that the rightful new owner (that's me!) can actually take said horse over once and for all. Still no word from the guy.... it's been well over a month since the Red Pest was weaned. Seriously?


Today was the day that Imogen's training for under saddle work began in earnest. Since she literally knows nothing as far as I know, we are starting at square one, like I would do with a youngster fresh out of the field. Im knows all of the little basics that I have taught her (grooming, standing still, crossties, etc.), but that's it. She leads decently, but this needs refining. We started our session with some rudimentary groundwork, like walk on, whoa, back up, and turning left and right. She knows the word "whoa" pretty well by, and stops on command for the most part. She did very well with the groundwork, save for a moment when I touched her lightly with the short lunge whip I was carrying. When doing groundwork, I use a halter, lead, gloves, occasionally a chain over the nose if I need it, and a short whip, and use it to carefully cue for sideways, forwards, or backwards moment from my position at the horse's shoulder. We have done plenty of desensitization to the actual whip itself (she tried to eat it, mostly), but having it actually touch her when she wasn't expecting it surprised her a bit. She didn't do anything per se, but she jumped a little, and responded much quicker to my cues after that... a very GOOD response from my skittery little girl.

After that, I released her, and asked her to move off. Her response was perfect, and just that - she moved off! With a little finessing, we got a smart trot in both directions, complete with the commands "walk" and "whoa." It's hard to say whether or not she has been lunged before - she was completely confused about turning around, for one, and she didn't response to any other commands that I tested out - so we'll just keep treating her as a total noob greenie. It only took her a few moments to figure out the logistics of the thing, and  it wasn't long before I had her moving back and forth with ease. 

HOLY CRAP, this girl can move.

I especially love that last picture. Look at that LIFT when she really gets to pushing!

 Mind, this is just her bebopping along with no real energy.... imagine what she'll look like when she really sits down and gets rolling!
She gets an A+++++++++ for today's work. We'll continue elaborating on this throughout the rest of the week, and we'll see what we have at the end of it. Yea mare! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

And..... she's still here

Well.... Immy is still at the main farm, with no word from the owners about when she is going back at ALL. We have no idea why or what is going on. I thought for sure she would have been sent back to the ET facility and would have become mine a month ago, but apparently not. The only thing we heard from Elvis' owners was that Elvis was going to leave our farm last week and move to a new one. Well that didn't happen either... we heard no more about it after that, and Elvis is still here too.

So basically.... I still have no idea when she is going to be mine. She still will be.... I just have no idea when.

Does she not have THE most beautiful face ever? Maybe I'm biased, but that gorgeous eye makes me melt every time I look at her.

By the way, how about that vanishing belly and improving topline? She isn't in work yet, since she is still at the work farm, but she is now turned out in a pasture that has a roundbale at the bottom of a hill, and a water trough at the top. She has to walk back and forth up and down the 4 acre hill all day in order to get food and water. It is definitely helping!!

The plan for her (if she doesn't go back anytime in the immediate future) is this: start playing in the roundpen this week, doing bits of groundwork and leading as well as introducing the idea of lunging. She has a few basics under her belt, but not many. When I first started to work with her, she didn't know (or couldn't deal with) anything at all, not even being haltered. While she was pregnant, we managed to add all these things to the master list of stuff she knows:

Stuff Imogen Knows How To Do:
- Halter
- Lead 
- "Tie" (not hard tie)
- Crosstie
- Pick up all four feet & stand on the hoof stand for trims
- Shots & deworming (with only minimal fuss)
- Stand for sprays
- Stand for grooming & touching of all parts, ears & legs & belly included
- Blanketing (mostly)
- Flymask
- Baths (including water on her face)
- Catch in the field

Stuff Imogen Doesn't Know How To Do:
- Everything else

Considering that the majority of stuff that we worked on was done in the three months I worked with her before she had the Red Pest, I think that's a pretty good start. From here, we continue working on general handling and leading, and introduce the idea of lunging and moving away (and yielding to) pressure. Despite her timidness, she is a very quick study, so care needs to be taken that things get introduced properly the first time around. She is definitely one of the smartest little mares I've ever met in my life. 

And, of course, one of the cutest...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Reposted from the Eventing-A-Gogo blog from last year: 9/11, a Tribute

Never forget.

In exactly one month, Gogo will have been gone for an entire year.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Deworming Crisis, Averted!

Some of you will remember that Imogen (yes, her official new name!) previously had a dewormer-phobia-itis. She was terrified of having things shoved forcefully into her mouth (and who can blame her), and I spent some failed time trying to reestablish some trust by giving her syringes with molasses in them. That did not particularly go over well, and the last thing I wanted to do was frighten or upset her. I left the issue alone until now, when it was time to be dewormed again. When she is mine (why she is still at the work farm is beyond me! Come on people!), we will obviously be doing fecals and whatnot... but this will have to do for now. To be honest, I was not all that keen on getting into a fight with her, so I broke down my options into a series of start goals and end goals:

1) Pick up tube of dewormer
2) Get dewormer into mouth of horse
3) Horse swallows dewormer

It boiled down to a very duh moment - all I have to do is get the dewormer into her system, right? Into her mouth somehow, right? Oh duh... instead of terrifying her with the syringe, why not just mix it into her breakfast?

I made up grains, added dewormer to hers, mixed it in with lots of water and stirred exceedingly well. Then I held my breath to see if she would actually eat it or not.

She licked her bucket clean. Not one bit of the dewormer went to waste... and it would have had I administered it directly into her mouth. She would have spit half of it back into my face like a Jurassic Park style Dilophosaurus.

Sometimes all it takes is a little critical thinking to figure out a solution to a potentially big issue. Crisis averted, and end result achieved. Everybody wins.