Friday, November 4, 2011

Mix Master

For starters, I'm spoiled. I came to that realization when standing in the barn brushing Moon'er in a light sweater and jeans. And it was frosty outside. Already there's 15 to 20 degrees C difference in temperature inside to out, and it's MARVELOUS. Yes, it can be unhealthy for the horses and we're always careful about drafts. But beyond that, it's MARVELOUS!

Of course, genius me brought my bridle home finally to clean and oil...and didn't. And then left it hanging on the dining room chair when I headed to the barn this evening. So I broke a cardinal rule as someone who used to work in foreign animal disease research...and borrowed one of W's horse's bits and bridles. And didn't even bother to clean it off other then wiping it over my sleeve. : P Equine herpes virus and all that, right? It's not like they're not all in the same barn...

Oddly enough, Moon almost went better in Tapper's bit. It's a fairly wide double jointed with the thick center piece. Not much different from his own rotary built other then how the joints are made. I also was left wondering if the lack of a noseband had any affect (he hates a tight noseband).

Regardless, he was moving really well. So well I asked for a canter. He still can't do it on a true circle, but we made a couple of attempts and then I let him relax again. Hard work.

After doing my serpentines and yields and transitions I realized that I am kinda bored with the repeating pattern. And maybe Moon'er is too?

So I hopped off and laid out a single raised pole. I mean, it was no jump. Just about a foot off the ground. But he hadn't been over any poles in a long time, so it would be neat. The first time he stopped and sniffed the jump blocks, never having seen them before. Yup, look safe.

Trotted him around and it was hilarious. He was FOCUSED on the jump before we were even coming around to it. I had to remind him we were going around the whole ring, not just cutting in and getting over the jump.

So around we came the second time and his little ears pricked forward. His paced quickened a bit and I tried to keep him lined up well...except I was probably staring too much at the jump and he decided to jump the block instead : P Which wouldn't be a big deal other then the fact that put me stupidly close to the arena support posts! Since they curve inwards as they go up the sides, where Mr. Moon is far from the wall, I'm there half cocked to the side to not have my head and shoulders taken off : P Silly boy.

Third time was a charm. Ears forward he popped right over it. Like a champ. We did it twice more, just because he looked so happy doing it. He'll never be a jumping horse, but I could tell by the way his pace improved, his ears pricked and he stretched out even more that he was enjoying the change of pace. PERHAPS, we need to find more ways to incorporate variety into our routines. I'm wondering if W would consider putting some poles in our lessons or even if their jump coach was still coming around once a month...

So overall, I found Moon went better in Tapper's bit, and when I picked up a dressage whip as a little encouragement when he started to stall out (just have to carry it in my hand) he gave me absolutely lovely movement. it easier to engage the hind end when you have a little impulsion?! : P Sarcasm.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow I'm HOPING the weather is lovely and I can take him out for a hack. We haven't done that in over a month and I think we both miss it. Fresh air, open space and fast speeds. I could tell when I asked for a canter from him, that he just wants to stretch out and run a bit. So do I!

Only worry is that his hind-leg lump from the summer has re-appeared. I suspect that I'm looking a 'windpuff' of sorts and that as long as I'm working him regularly it'll show up. I'll probably bring some poultice out tomorrow and I'm wondering if wrapping his legs for workouts is beneficial? Not sure if they'd really add support or not. He's certainly not lame on it, shows no signs of pain and there MAY be just mild heat in the area. I'll keep monitoring and figure out what to do...

And I've pictures to upload tomorrow! Not any good, but something to look at!


  1. Sounds like Moon had a lot of fun!

  2. Professional's Choice SMBs worked wonders for Handsome's wind-puffs. I don't use them all the time, but he wears them in all our jumping lessons and any time I'm going to be doing rigorous flatwork (e.g. canter group poles and extended trot poles). The wind puffs haven't reappeared since I got the boots :)

    Amazing how much a change of bit can do. I just switched to a french link because I heard that the double joint is easier on their mouths. It's a Dr. Bristol, so it has the curved bars too. Unfortunately, it's thinner than my last bit and Handsome is hyper sensitive to it and more likely to hollow when I shorten up his reins for lateral work.

    Would you mind taking a picture of W's bit? I might shop around for a new one and I'd like to see how thick the double-joined bits come.