March 01, 2013


I was able to have a short ride (30 minutes) on my Dani Girl today.  Phoebe told me that the past couple of days a lot of cars had become stuck on their driveway.  I have not come out in two days and in a way am glad; it would have been embarrassing to get stuck on their driveway!

It's always good to see Dani's sweet face with her ears pricked forward, she's so cute and wiggles her top lip back on forth searching for treats in pockets...I don't think this will ever change but if she tries to bulldoze me I let her know that's not okay.  My mare always brings a smile to my face.  I was all talky with her today, I couldn't stop but she didn't seem to mind and I don't think she judges me on what things I say.  Most of the time I'm telling her how smart and beautiful she is but it's not my try at flattery I promise!

We did a good and quick (quicker than usual) grooming, it can't be perfect right now because no matter what the hair keeps coming off her in bunches; there is no stopping it!  Once I was done with the main grooming I grabbed her saddle and only cinched it one hole but Dani sidestepped quickly, I kept the tension on and once she calmed a bit put the tongue in the hole and scratched her chest, reassuring her that I wasn't going to tighten fast or punch her belly like I've seen some people (in my past) do with horses.  She has certainly had bad experiences with girths or surcingles, I'm just making sure to tighten in increments; I'll go and do another grooming task and then come back to it, then walk her and tighten on and so forth.  Next I did her hooves, picking them isn't as simple as it was before winter came.  With all the mud in the pastures there is more stuff in her hooves and the frog seems to slough off a lot more  with the dampness.  I haven't noticed any issue with thrush but perhaps I should apply some thrush meds just in case since it's so muddy and wet right now. 

When I first arrived at the barn I plugged my bit warmer into the socket I knew was working last time but the bit was still ice cold when I was ready for it....darn it!  I really should check when I first bring Dani into the barn to see if the device is even starting to warm, it seems the sockets here are a little touchy!  So as the last resort, I placed the freezing bit onto my belly and held it there for a minute or two until it was a reasonable poor belly but that's much better than freezing my hands that still have tasks to perform!

I really enjoy that Dani is good about bridling, even with my fumbling way.  The bridle is still stiff in the nose band and doesn't sit on her nose the best way, in my opinion, but at least it seems to fit alright and is comfortable for Dani.  We were ready to enter the ring.  There were at least two people in the ring and then about three more joined after I got Dani in there.  I tightened the girth a couple more times and let her sniff the mounting block as well.  We really didn't need to spend much time with that because once positioned by the block she stood still like a good girl.  She did walk off after the mounting so I corrected her and made her stand for a moment even though there were a couple impatient riders waiting for the block.  Sorry, I'm not teaching my horse bad manners if I can help it! 

Once we moved off I just let us meander around the ring getting used to the activity for a bit.  One rider was cantering around a lot and that just makes me nervous since I'm still getting used to a busy ring.  Eventually I calmed and so did Dani.  My girl has some mare moments today.  When one horse, a Cobby looking gelding, passed her the ears went back, pinned sharply and I could feel her tense like she wanted to tell him who's boss. I applied a see-saw pressure on the reins to get her focus back onto me, I don't need attitude under saddle even if it's not directed at this rider!  

Anyhow, busy arena aside we got to work on spiraling circles.  We started big and slowly got smaller until we got to the center then I had her disengage her hindquarters and cross her back legs.  I'm still not sure if I completely feel when she does this but I tried my best.  We did this both directions and I was pretty happy though going clockwise is still a bit squirrely.  Before, when we've tried spiraling, we got to the center of the circle way too fast.  I was still getting used to her sensitivity and she was probably still adjusting to me.  This time went pretty well, I'm happy with the tiny progress.  We also worked on one rein stops and stops in general, we aren't doing so well there so that needs some work but we'll get there.  I ended the ride on a good stop though!  We'll let that sink in!
Another distraction in the arena occurred with a gal taping stripes onto a cross rail for a jump; the sound of the tape seemed to be upsetting some of the other horses.  Dani just looked at it, so I made sure to walk near this gal several times to make sure she really wasn't bothered. The gal commented about how beautiful Dani was and also how cute she acted at feeding time.  Apparently my expressive mare makes some interesting sounds!  I haven't heard this when I'm there at feed time but I can imagine it, she's got personality for sure!  I had to leave the barn earlier than I like to get home by 6pm, there was a Ask The Vet live event on Laminitis that I wanted to hear. 
Today Dani was such a good girl, I love just plodding along in the arena and feel my fear slowly slipping away.  It's still there but I'm slowly realizing that I can control it, of course Dani and I are only doing walk and in an enclosed arena but still...this is good!  Happy trails!


Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while and never commented although I think you're doing great being a first time horse owner. I live in the Denver area. I just read this post and thought I'd pass along the bit warmer I use - it doesn't require being plugged in. It's called a Bitten Bit Warmer and it uses hand warmers in a case that's wrapped around the bit. If you activate the hand warmer on the way to the barn it should be plenty warmed up by the time you get there and ready to put around the bit. Then if it's cold in the barn you can use it in your pocket! Sharla

Ruffles said...

Sounds like you had a awesome ride!!