Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Picture Perfect...ish...

I have the world's most disgusting horse.

Ew. Ew ew ew. EW EW EW EW.
I have had it up to HERE with trying to groom a horse that is literally caked in urine. Every time I groom him I think I'm inhaling about three days' worth of dried pee and it. is. gross. I am taking my portable bucket heater, the two buckets I bought for Image last year, and giving him a very thorough sponge bath with warm water and some soap this weekend. Then...well, I don't know what to do then because it's useless to try and keep him clean until I can chuck him outside. He may be equally as neurotic outside, but at least he won't be pacing in tiny circles. The toys didn't work, unfortunately, though he seems to be enjoying the Likit Tongue Twister that a coworker gave to me to try. Next step, at this point, is trying pelleted bedding until I can kick him outside. If I lived close enough to blanket and unblanket regularly, I'd already have him outside. I know I'm driving myself absolutely batty over this, but until I can exhaust every avenue to make him a happier critter, I'm not going to stop. If I've exhausted every avenue and he's still being a neurotic fool, then there isn't anything I can do.

Disgustingness aside, he was his usual self this past weekend. He was, as he has been, kind of a butthead on Saturday and much less of a butthead (though still a bit of a butthead) on Sunday. All of his ride time was after we worked in the round pen for close to 45 minutes. Saturday we did well and he's starting to understand things at liberty, but Sunday... Dunderheaded me got some great work out of him, and then after letting him rest, decided to push for "just a little more". Needless to say, we were there for fifteen extra minutes trying to reestablish the "whoa when I say whoa" button in his brain. I'm usually very good at quitting on a good note...except Sunday, obviously.


I finally got a decent stop and approach out of him, and called it a day in the round pen. I tacked him up, pathetically dragged myself into the saddle (cannot. wait. to have a saddle that is stable. More on that in a minute...), and we toodled around the yard while K snapped pictures. We had fun bebopping around in the yard, and K got some awesome pictures despite his disgustingness.

He was being nearly perfect here. Despite his buttheadedness on occasion, I am so proud of this little horse and how much he's improved in such a short time!
Hnnnggghhh cute!
Shnuggles!
SHMILE!

He likes to try and bully his way through my aids when we're doing stuff that looks like work (aka prancing around in the yard like tools because I don't fully trust the trails!) so he and I had some words yesterday about trying to barge his way through my hands and leg aids. Of course, K managed to catch us every time we were having a "discussion"...which was pretty much the entire ride. He wasn't being a total ass, but he was quietly resisting me.

RUNNING WALK! RUNNING WAAAALK! Sure he's in the process of getting his tongue over the bit but RUNNING WALK!!!!

That being said, look at that gait! He's been pulling out his running walk all of sudden with minimal encouragement, and ooooh it's so lovely when he keeps it! I'd like a little more reach with that hind leg, but I'm not sure his conformation really can hanCan I also mention that we got some good canters in yesterday? Soft, forward, rolling canters that were just. freaking. gorgeous.

We played around on the ground in front of the camera after and got some good giggles at his obvious exasperation with the dumb humans. Once I turned him back out, K started taking some pictures of Tory and Flynn...and he was very interested in her Very Expensive camera lens:

Is dis for EATZ!?
Needless to say, he was shooed away relatively quickly. Goofus!

If you have a minute, please go visit Tullamore Photography on Facebook and give K a quick like for me -- she and I share a lot in common, photography wise, and now that I've brought her to the Dark Side of Canon cameras and equipment (she tried my camera/lens set up one day and she promptly sold her Nikon equipment to change to Canon!), her natural talent is blossoming even more than it already was. Big thanks to her for coming all the way up from CT to spend the afternoon with us in the snow!

Anyway, he wasn't ACTIVELY a butthead on Sunday...just passively with the shoulder popping and trying to push through my aids. Saturday, however? He was actively a butthead on the trails. D, the herd of dogs, Pepper the pig (not joking!), Simba and I went out on the trails for a little snowy trail ride/hike. He was a little snorty on the way out, but he was manageable. We just walked because while the snow was the heavy, wet kind that provided a lot of traction, the ice underneath made me a little nervous. It wasn't until we turned around to head home that he turned into a dickweed.

Back to front: Maggie the Sheltie, Pepper the Pig, Poppi the Papillion, Skylar the Skye Terrier, and Dolly the Border Collie.
Snooooooowwww! Thanks to D for playing photographer on the trails!

His MO when I ask him to stop and he doesn't want to is to pop up. So, as he was trying to push through the bit to go faster on the walk home, I asked him to stop and stand. He did not like this. He popped up, I spun him in tight circles until he gave to the bit. Wash, rinse, repeat. When we got back to the house, I put his sorry little ass to work. We did circles in the back yard at a decent clip and he very quickly softened up. Once he was huffing and puffing, per my aunt's suggestion, I threw some quick direction changes in there to get him better focused on me. It didn't take him long for his brain to engage and for him to be giving me "yes ma'am" responses.

After some talk with D and some time to think, I have decided until the weather gets better, Saturday will be a day of concentrated training at home -- round penning/ground work and then schooling in the yard -- and then Sunday will be round pen/ground work followed by a day out and about, be it on the trails or down the roads. We're about to get slammed with yet another foot of snow, so I should have decent footing to play in this weekend. I am, however, going to have to suck it up and start riding bareback for the next 9 weeks...because I sold my saddle (*quiet sobbing*) and have started the process of placing an order for a custom made Bob Marshall sports saddle. Geri Gellert of Savvy Sports Saddle has been nothing short of wonderful to work with since I started peppering her with questions and asking her to do near impossible things like try and find me a Skito pad in a turquoise color:

LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!
She's also been fabulous about working with me to get exactly what I want. I'm feeling a little out of sorts being on the buying end this time around (working where I do means I sell a whole lot more tack than I buy!) and I'm TERRIFIED because this is the first saddle I've ever bought myself, but she's making it super easy and fun!

So, it's going to be bareback or bust for a little bit, I think, unless J and I can meet up for me to be able to borrow her saddle for a little while until I can get mine. I'm okay with that because...well, because shiny new saddle that will fit us both much better. That being said, I am taking the name plate off of the saddle I currently have and keeping it for myself. The horse that it belonged to before me was a very special critter, and this saddle is just so special to me, that I need to keep a little piece of it.

So, that's that. I have a post in the works on the tattoo, and that will probably be finished tomorrow during the Snowpocalypse. I had zero clue we were even getting snow until after I got to work and didn't make arrangements to stay up north tonight. So, impromptu (reluctant) day off will be full of writing and bedroom cleaning. I shall leave you with this amusing video of Flynn and Tory trying to figure out why Simba had suddenly turned blue.

video


9 comments:

  1. He's so stinking cute, despite the nastiness. I already can't wait for spring solely to give my horse a bath.... and she hides the dirt quite well!

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    1. Your girl looks SO FAMILIAR and I cannot place her...the only thing that's dinging in my brain is that you're in the same area that Kate Taylor is in.

      He is really cute...good thing, too, 'cause his cute face sure saves him! ;D

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  2. Love all the photos - mind if I ask where your friend got the name idea for her photography? Tullamore is the name of my dad's hometown in Ireland - small world, ;-)

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    1. That is exactly where she got the name :) I can't remember the full story at this point but I know she has a connection to that area in some way!

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  3. Wow, he looks SUPER under saddle!

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    1. Someone put an excellent foundation on this horse. Next time you come up you can take him for a spin :)

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  4. HE is still really pretty even though he's disgusting! You're doing a great job with him.

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  5. Gross. Dancer does the roll in pee thing, but at least he's a dark color!

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