Monday, August 27, 2018

Crabby Crabby Fat Fats

The horses have been getting a decent amount of work lately, but is hasn't been totally consistent. Post choke incident, Bailey got nearly a full week off, did some lovely W/T/C work in Arya's micklem, and then got to play western barrel pony for Jaqi for her next ride. Since then, we've been struggling with some annoying crabby pony issues; she still coughs a bit, and I am trying to be as soft and allowing of that as I can be, but she also is determined that coughing includes running and then diving onto her forehand.

Obviously, me and my half halts are not her favorite person right now. I'm thinking I'll bit her up for a ride or two to reinstall the half halt and the concept of carrying one's own head, and then we will work on our dressage and jumping with the continued goal of that October schooling show we did last year, and maybe an XC school. She's definitely the horse behind my title at the moment though; she's skinny/fat, flabby and out of shape, and even more, she's not interested in becoming unflabby or unfat. Sorry, B, it's for your own good!!

Plus we may win a blue ribbon in another 2 person class :) 

Post choke incident, Bailey also has started to look a bit meh. Part of it is that she decided to start growing her winter coat, like... now. So she's gone all fluffy and isn't sleek and shiny like the other two idiots who probably, out of spite, won't grow any hair at all and will slowly kill me with anxiety. Anyways, she also is looking a bit saggier and a bit skinnier than she has been. I'm sure a week off work, and several days before that week also off didn't contribute to that at all. Nope. Either way, I've added some oil into her diet, as the other mares are getting it, and it's nice that it can soften up her already pretty soft ultium a bit more for me. 

The other two horses are getting oil in their feed in prep for winter; I figure I'd try it now at a low level and make sure there aren't any negative ramifications so I can make any needed changes before it gets cold and I have to recover a lot of weight fast. I'm also planning to de-worm the girls, in hope that it might give Bizzy that extra bit of bloom she seems to be lacking. 

Bizzy is super shiny, and is carrying more muscle than I've seen since I brought her home- she seems sounder and is lively and happy. The one thing I'm not loving is that she is a bit ribby still. She is a rounder barrel type horse, so I am wondering if I can actually cover her ribs entirely without making her obese like she was when she arrived, but it's going to be a continued try-things-see-what-works type situation. 

Canola oil is my choice over feeding rice bran like last year in part because of cost (it's very affordable per calorie, and 1 cup of oil is pretty much equivalent to 1 lb of rice bran) and it's the most balanced Omega oil I can find locally. It would be nice to find flax oil, but the cost seems pretty astronomical compared to canola (which I buy at Aldi with my weekly groceries). I'm not sure I won't end up switching back to rice bran, or just feed more ultium, but for now, I feel like it's worth a try, and the horses are finding it very edible so far. Arya is looking wonderful after being a tough keeper for a year, so I am hoping to hold on to that.

Video still but LOOK AT THAT BODY

Speaking of Arya, she's been an interesting character under saddle. I cannot find my camera ANYWHERE to video, but I may end up setting up my DSLR and saying F it to get some video of her lately. She's alternated between very good and hitting a wall, and while I'm proud she's not going postal, I wish she would have a bit more try in those moments. Especially going right, she will get into a mood about my inside leg and will casually counter flex and will try to refuse to bend the proper way, and will get snotty when I try to just push her through it. I can get it if I am tricky; my last ride last night we had a good break through to get her bending and moving forward by counterbending her, which seems to be totally different in her mind than actually bending. So she will get crabby bending right when going right, but counterbending when going left seems to work. I think the resistance, which is definitely worse when she's going right might be connected to her distinct lack of muscle on her right hind, which the chiropractor this winter figured was probably fall out from not being properly rehabbed from her ankle injury. 

My non-ponyclub approved butt photoing position, but that right cheek is looking a bit... skinny.

So we'll keep working on it, and I'm going to try to take periodic pictures of her butt to help measure any progress. All in all, Arya continues to be really rewarding to ride and I'm crossing my crossables that she will turn into something spectacular when she's ready. Our last ride yesterday was after a big series of thunderstorms that morning and the previous night, so my arena had several large puddles; clearly I need to work on leveling and dragging my ring so it doesn't pool, but we played in the puddles and she was really awesome about it. I feel like there is hope for her to be a useful and hopefully eventer type horse if she doesn't get thrown off by going through water (albeit shallower than a water complex by far). She also looks SUPER cute in the majyk equipe red XC boots a friend basically gave me, and I think she should let fashion determine her future career, because that makes sense, right?

I'm an optimist, ok?


  1. ugh i can't believe it's already tie to start thinking about winter prep.... but... uh, it totally is. blergh. glad the ponies are doing well tho and hopefully things go well in prepping for the schooling show with Bailey!

    1. I think I am a little preemptive on making changes but thanks for making me feel better lol. I've got a friend who is putting weight on a skinny horse and I had forgotten how long it takes vs how quickly they can lose. I'm hoping I can come into cooler weather in a good place so I don't have to try to get someone gaining during a cold winter like last year.

  2. Glad you are able to get rides in on your girls, especially in prep before winter :/