Awwwwwwwww!!!!!

The latest in the series of Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows was held last weekend in Virginia, and it seems a good time was had by all.  Several CANTER Mid-Atlantic horses were in attendance, including Sea Flip, who was only recently sold to his new person, and a horse named No Halo who was a trainer-listed horse from last September.  I didn’t take that listing, but remembered when putting up the pictures that I was thinking “hubba hubba!!!”

No Halo's Listing Picture

He was 15.3, dark bay or black, and handsome as could be! Along with nice bloodlines indicating potential talent in the jumping disciplines. 

I was very pleased to see him out at the TB show (OK, I wasn’t there, I was down in Southern Pines, I just saw the pics later!) where he won a special award as the youngest horse at the show.  He was looking lovely and his owner looked pleased as can be, which makes me ridiculously happy.

Congratulations to Royce!

Awwwwwwww!!!!!

Yay!  He is such a pretty boy, huh?

In other news, I had an email from our volunteer yesterday about Archie.  To summarize, apparently Archie is just Not. Responsive.  to her leg.  She said she’s having trouble getting him to trot more than a few steps.  So I decided that last night I should get on him just to see what he’s doing, and if he feels any different than the last time I rode him.

I brought him in (of course he was at the far end of the field, parts of which were disgustingly wet and muddy), knocked some hair and mud off him (thankfully he is starting to shed in earnest… I’m sure it will still take a while but I got a satisfying amount of hair off of him).  Got tacked up and decided to ride outside, where four other people had decided to ride.  Archie has not been the best with other horses passing and coming at him, so I figured it would be good for him.  At first a few of the riders were trying really hard to give us a wide berth but I told them to ride as they normally would – he might make mean faces but he needs to learn to deal with those things.

Fortunately last night he only made a few crank-faces at the other horses, for which I reprimanded him a little bit.  I’m pretty live-and-let-live but figure he needs to start realizing that is unnacceptable.  After a little warmup walk, I got him up into a trot and while he is a little pokey really didn’t have any issue keeping him going.  He is at a point where he goes much better on a completely loose rein.  It’s not pretty – he holds his head up and doesn’t feel relaxed, but since he’s not really going anywhere in any kind of urgent way, it’s fine.  I figure at the walk he learned to stretch down and relax by being ridden on a loose rein, so at the trot (and later the canter) it should come naturally.

I also carried a dressage whip – I’m not sure if that made any difference (since I rode without before, I don’t think it really did) but it made a nice tool for when I needed him to shift over or stop leaning to the inside.  I do find him to be very responsive to shifting of weight – he doesn’t move laterally off the leg very well, but if you really pull your seat to one side or the other he will shift over to stay under it, which is a helpful little trick, I think.  I kept him trotting for about five minutes, then worked on some transitions.  He slows easily, but I’m not sure it really counts as “brakes” – from the walk he’s not super responsive to “whoa” – I think he just stops quickly from the trot because he is lazy, more so than actually knowing and being responsive to the aids there.  Not that that’s a big deal or anything.

We cantered twice in each direction, which I will say is a bit of a feat.  I cheated a little and used other horses as “leads” as they cantered by.  He got both his leads last night and felt a little more organized at the canter than he did the last time I rode, but I was unable to sustain the canter more than once around the ring.  I try not to use my legs so much – the second (at any gait) that he starts to peter out I go right to the whip to tap him behind the leg, and use my voice.  I don’t want to get into a battle of squeezing because the horse can take a LOT of squeezing.  He doesn’t really get what it is, so I go straight to my other tools when he’s not responding to light leg, hopefully that will help him start responding to the light leg more, rather than training us to pull our adductors in the attempt to maintain forward motion.

After our ride (it was pretty short, but he’s not in the best shape right now), he got his second meal of the day (mmmm, rice bran pellets!) along with some dewormer and probiotics.  I got a couple tubes of ProBios, and plan on giving him some every few days for the next couple weeks.  He was putting some weight on, but when he colicked the other week, and during the subsequent bouts of the Poos, he lost a little again.  Figuring the probiotics may help him utilize his calories a little better and gain some weight back.  Otherwise, when he sheds completely, he might look just a little pathetic.

Oh, and I cut his mane too.  I know, I feel like a sinner, but I couldn’t take it any more.  I’ll blunt and pull the ends a bit over the weekend and it will look much better.  😉

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