Monday, July 12, 2010

So Jamie the blacksmith was out this week and Bonnie decided to try one of her unusual shoeing ideas.  See Bugsy has never moved quite right, not off or lame necessarily, just not quite right.  And he always pulls his right front shoe.  Well Tiffany has been riding him a bit and Bonnie been watching him move.  And he moves much better without the right front shoe.  So maybe he has one leg just a bit shorter than the other. We had Jamie trim his right front just a bit shorter to see if we're right.

Saturday was chaotic as usual at the barn.  Rachel got there early, so we tacked up Naughtie for a lunge lesson. I lunged Rachel first and then we swapped places.  Then Rachel tacked up Kaye and I tacked up Buggers!  Bonnie wanted to take a look at how he was moving since it had been two days since he was shod.  We started out just walking on a nice loose rein.  Eventually Bonnie had us pick up the trot, still on a long, loose rein.  Bugs felt good!  And it felt good to ride him again, been a very long time.  So after we had trotted around for a while, Bonnie tells me to shorten my stirrups and hop over the crossbar.  Well, it's Bugs and he does get a bit exuberant when jumping at home, so I wasn't so sure about it.  But Bonnie wouldn't let me say no.  So with a little trepidation we dropped the whip and headed towards the fence.  And Bugs was such a good boy!  He just popped over it nice and easily, landed in an easy canter but quickly came back to the trot for me.  We jumped the cross rail a few more times and then Bonnie turned it into a low vertical.  He did get a little stronger coming down to the fence.  But still very manageable.  After jumping that a few times, Bonnie raised the vertical.  And that's when Bugs really started to have fun.  He really started to get strong going into the fence, and instead of just holding him and going with him, I got scared and defensive.  But we jumped it a few times, and as I relaxed and actually rode the horse instead of just sitting there, things got better.  We called it quits after that, it had only been two days since Bugsy's feet were done and we didn't want to push it too much.  Astrid measured the fence after we finished.  We had been jumping 2'7" which is my personal best with Buggers.  So that was pretty cool.

Later I ended up getting on Twinkie, first time anyone has been on her in probably a year or so.  So was cool as could be though.  I started to lunge her only because she hadn't been turned out in a while.  She quickly let me know it wasn't necessary, so I just climbed on.  Ari was taking a lesson on Fanny at the time and Katie was walking Tru under saddle, so Twinkie had plenty of company, which she really enjoyed.  She settled right into a good walk, no funny business or anything.  After a while I asked for a trot.  She was a little foot sore (she really needs a trim) but she was still very good for me.  The only problem was every time she passed Tru she wanted to walk because he was walking!  I was pleased with her though, for not having done any work under saddle in months she did really well.

After I finished up with Twinkie, the barn was getting quiet.  Most of the kids had left, we were just waiting for Astrid and Victoria to be picked up.  So I decided to pull Bugs out of his stall again and practice braiding the way I learned from the Phillip Dutton Camp Videos.

Patiently waiting for me to finish

The braids

Buggers looking very handsome

Practicing for jog ups

Begging for treats

Bugs says "If your not going to give me more peppermints, I'll just eat your hair instead."

We had talked last week about having a bonfire this weekend since Morgan would be up from Tennessee.  Unfortunately her Mom wouldn't drive her down to the barn (they were with family up in the Meadville area)  So the bonfire was cancelled.  But Astrid and Victoria ended up inviting Bonnie and I for dinner and a movie. So after we finished with the horses I headed home for a quick shower and then back to the barn to pick up Bonnie.  We made a quick stop at the AT&T store in Cranberry to get the wireless card for Bonnie's laptop and then it was time for dinner.  Astrid's dad cooked some pork and brats on the charcoal grill (Yummy!) Dinner was very good.  And the meal was fun and entertaining with the von Rintelen's.  After dinner Bonnie, Astrid, Victoria, Henry and I all headed downstairs to watch Flicka 2.  Good movie, fairly predictable as most horsey movies seem to be.  But we all enjoyed it.

Sunday I was back at the barn.  Cleaned X's stall first thing.  And then picked Miss and Twinkie.  And then I tacked Twinkie up.  She was a little tired and a little foot sore, but she still went right to work for me.  I warmed her up on a nice long rein, not asking for much.  After a while we trotted through the cavalettis Bonnie had set up for us.  She looked at them the first time through and slowed to a walk but she didn't hesitate at all.  Next time she just trotted right through like a pro.  After trotting the cavalettis a few times, Bonnie put a small cross bar.  Twinkie did stop in front of it but then she jumped from there.  I think the stop was probably more my fault than hers.  We jumped the crossbar a few times before calling it quits with her.  You could tell she was tired.  But I'm really very pleased with how she went this weekend.  Can't wait to get on her next week after she gets her feet done.

One of Bonnie's newer students came out in the afternoon for a lesson.  After I helped Denise tack up Kaye, I got Bugsy ready and rode with her.  All we did was lots of walking and trotting on the buckle, but man did he feel great!  He was very happy, and had a nice long stride.  He just really felt very good.

Bonnie's off Tuesday night, so I'll be able to get some weekday riding in this week.  And then Wednesday is Maeve's party at Ethan's house.