Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Challenging Week

The week in pictures; a few snaps of general activity round and about, lots of Laura and Sarah's week, Pyrite on his first day in the arena, some of Kathie and Chloe's challenges for the week.

A day in the life, Terrence making a repair to the little hay barn, Ted gearing up MJ, Laura heading out to catch one of three rides she has on her plate that day.

The hair is starting to fly. We can now tell where Ardreth and Hugo were groomed each day by looking at the ground. 


She has been working on the fund for awhile now. To apply there are a few costs, $25 adoption fee and the $35 Mustang Heritage Foundation membership. Competing in the youth division of the Extreme Mustang Makeover also entails board and care of a mustang so funds are a big obstacle for Laura. Unlike the adult competitors the youth (or rather their parent!) must adopt the mustang. They can transfer the adoption to another party after the competition if necessary or they can finalize the adoption (twelve months after pickup) of their mustang and are then able to sell it. Laura plans to keep it at least a year so she will need to earn a lot more money. Laura (and her eager helper little sister) have been consistently building the little fund as much as they can by the relentless pursuit of 'quarter jobs' in their spare time. (I have a bowl full of index cards with little chores written on them, those jobs are worth 25 cents apiece. Two little girls can usually get a few dollars a week in their spare time.) Laura also has some other fundraising plans in mind - expect to see caramel corn for sale at some of the local area endurance rides.

Apparently Snip has a gate magnet. Laura is working on it by doing circles at the gate.

Kathie tried out a different saddle for Chloe on her last ride out with her sponsor, Tamara Baysinger. Unfortunately it definitely didn't work well for Chloe. In addition to that, by the time Chloe came in from that little ride she was dragging both back feet badly. The consensus on Chloe is that the real problem was that we probably started her out working too hard too fast and she got rather sore and never really recovered from muscle soreness over these past few weeks. So we now know that Chloe is one of those horses that endurance riders call a 'liar', she will say she's good to go while she is getting more and more and more sore. Karen Bumgarner came and evaluated her state for us, and gave her a massage the next day, and showed Kathie some specific stretches to help speed up her sore muscle recovery. She is now enjoying a week off work, and a completely reworked and more gradual training regimen will be implemented.  This was a nice looking saddle, but is off our list. 

After they got back we checked out sweat pattern, etc. and showed Tamara this saddle. We are still considering using this one, as it fits Chloe's back well, but Kathie does not love sitting on it. The search continues. Saturday I brought home a couple more we will try out when Chloe feels a bit better, they look like good possibilities.

 Matt and Adam clearing the arena of poles that someone was having a pony trot over.
Once the arena was cleared out Ted took Lost Juniper Pyrite on his first arena ride day.

Friday Matt and I worked on fruit tree pruning. While we were working on that Sarah stopped by the orchard to show me her pre-ride exercises with Ardreth and to ask me to do the 'third tighten' on her cinch. I had my camera with me (having just missed the opportunity to get photos of Laura working Hugo) and was fortunate enough to catch the following sequence.

In this one Sarah backs Ardreth up.

Then, she brings him back in.

Here is where she said she was having trouble, getting him to pivot on his front end while yielding the hindquarter. Laura was nearby so I called her over to watch/help Sarah. Notice where Sarah's left hand is NOT.

I couldn't hear them but I can see that Laura showed her, and I can see where Laura put her left hand.

Then Sarah tried again,

with much better success!

After this Sarah headed to the arena, while Laura headed out in the opposite direction on MJ.
About this time Matt and I finished the essential work on the last fruit tree and I went to watch Sarah under saddle for a few minutes.

After running through some exercises in the arena Sarah headed out to meet up with Laura for a little trail ride.

Saturday afternoon panic resulted in the temporary relocation of our big round pen.

A convoluted series of miscommunication brought us to an interesting point on Saturday afternoon where Terrence's incoming client horse had arrived here and was ready to be unloaded. Terrence was expecting a wild six year old gelding. Unfortunately it turns out that while he is indeed a wild six year old, he is not a gelding. And now he is in a stock trailer, in our driveway, with no where else to go, after a long haul to get here. Now What?!! The poor owners of this Barb stallion didn't know what to do. We have a no studs policy, because in our experience it places too much stress on the mares on the property and is just a nuisance handicap particularly to mares in training. The owners and Ted and I were all trying to think of friends in the area who might have space suited to wild stallions and not have mares around. Pretty much coming up blank. Eventually one of us asks 'What if we set up a panel round pen on some friend's property?' Ted agrees that if we can get permission to do that it will work but we will have to use the big round pen. (This corral is not fun to move, and Terrence is gone this weekend too!) We were extremely fortunate that we were able to get permission to set it up on a nearby property. So after a lot of hard labor in a hurry on the part of Ted, Matt and Rashid (the horse's owner) the corral was moved and the stud was installed in his new quarters.  He will be gelded as soon as possible. Since Terrence was not here and time is of the essence Ted put the first training session on him today. Ted often says he couldn't do what he does without his kids, and is happy to be able to help them out as well. Hopefully we will be able to get our big round pen back home soon! 

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