The Thighmaster

This might be Archie’s new nickname.  For a while I liked Sir Poopsalot, but since I’ve had a few more rides on him, I’m thinking Thighmaster is far more appropriate.

Who, me?

Yesterday was my big day – I planned on spending it all with the horses, tromping up hills and bringing you all new updates and all that fun stuff.  Easter morning dawned bright and sunny, and I… slept.  Oops.  Then I saw “Aladdin” was on ABC Family and had to watch it.  Finally, with various songs echoing through my head (“Prince ALI! Mighty is he, Ali Abaaaaabwa! Strong as TEN regular men, definitely!”) I realized it was afternoon and perhaps time to get a move on.

So, my apologies for not making a Funny Farm run – expect that later this week (why Wednesday is supposed to be 87 degrees… perhaps that day?).

Instead it was “clean up Archie” day.  We needed new photos for the website and facebook (yes people! We have a facebook page now.  I will link to it when I can, but I might be on a computer that doesn’t have access at the moment.  oops).  It was beautiful and about 80 degrees, so I pulled him in and then proceeded to pull about twenty pounds of hair off of him.  Then a quick brush and I managed to find someone to help me take some new photos.

Archie does still need to gain some weight.  He had been gaining, then lost a fair bit in the colic/exploding rear end debacle.  It’s coming back now, I can feel it when I brush him, but he does have a little way to go and has been getting extra meals every day to help him towards that goal.  He has no problem with his supplemental alfalfa pellets, rice bran, and nutrena, but we’re also going to be adding more grass.  Yep, plain old grass.  His field hasn’t had the growth other fields have had so I’ll be trying to offer him some quality hand grazing time as often as possible.  So far, I hear no complaints from him about that.

After the photo session I turned him around and got him tacked up.  I had managed to get some help from someone else to get some video clips of him under saddle.  I had a couple chuckles describing his generally slow-off-the-leg ways to my assistant, but was pleased to find when I got on, he had a little oomph, probably because he was enjoying the good weather.  Or it could be me, in the past I was described as having an “electric butt” so maybe it’s just some sort of weird thing I have with these slowpoke types.

I managed to get some nice forward trotting in both directions with minimal fuss.  We still have to work on straight, and we also need to start adding contact to the equation.  The canter was a little trickier but I did manage a full circuit of the ring at the canter.  It’s not too hard to get him started, but keeping him going (especially coming out of the turn) is a different story, and is where I got most of my leg workout yesterday.  I won’t be posting any video of the canter just yet, but should have a nice clip of walk/trot/halt for you all tomorrow.

After our jaunt around the ring I decided it was a nice day to try a little solo trail ride.  I think Jess had him out while he was up there but not sure if he ever went solo.  Either way he hadn’t been out on our trails at all and I was feeling up for it, so off we went.  I am pleased to report that Archie seems like quite a brave fellow.  He was clearly a little worried about a few things but passed some of the stuff I deem “scary” without a second glance.  He did get a little worried a few times when we got a little farther from home, and he expressed a desire to back up and turn around.  But unlike some past horses (ahem, Rosey, that would be you!) he never escalated beyond “please can we go home?” and after being given a minute to look around and breathe I had no trouble keeping him going forward.  I also never felt any indication he wanted to do anything other than walk, which was nice. 

As we got back to the barn we passed some more scary stuff, and he’s such a good boy!  There’s a pit covered by a tarp practically on the path back to the barn, with a big hay feeder on top of it to keep critters out.  On the left of that there’s some big pipes sticking up out of the ground, then there’s some piles of stuff on the other side.  My own horse acts like all this is going to eat him even though he’s seen it lots of times.  Archie just kind of looked.  You could see his eyes bugging out as he clearly thought it was all very abnormal, but he never changed his pace or even shifted his weight away.  He’s going to be a gem of a trail horse and hopefully I can get him out again this week (maybe with a buddy so we can try water crossings and such – I think he’ll be fine but I’d like to give him a little extra dose of confidence).

In other news…

There is a very nice horse from Laurel Park seeking a new home.  He was a successful racehorse with six figure earnings, and came in second a few times in graded stakes races.  He is very nicely bred to boot.  This guy has a small chip in his left knee, and his trainer would like to find him a new home.  His owners cannot complete the rehab so for now he is living on the trainer’s farm – but he really does need a new home fast.  He has a good prognosis and should come sound enough for trail riding and fox hunting, possibly more.  Consult your vet if you have questions/concerns about this type of injury.  He’s a really nice, classy horse, who deserves a good and knowledgable home.  I am sure that whoever takes the chance on this handsome guy will be well rewarded!

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