Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bitchly` is Back/Tsar and Kate do some jumps

This post wont go in a time linear fashion just in a word brain vomit fashion, as 
I think something and then say it, in my usual nonsensical fashion. So my big red giraffe llama is with me now where I'm farm sitting, and its not been a great start. We left his back shoes off, because even though I shoe everything, I do like to rest their feet and my wallet. Still it was a stupid idea and I regret it in hindsight. The problem is it has been so wet and his feet have been so soft. He also managed to pull a front shoe after only three weeks. Last winter he lost quite a bit of weight over the winter so this year I have twisted my Mum's arm and she has fed him for me every day. Of course he rips down the one part of his paddock that is stony and so he had not a lot of foot when I picked him up. It got to the point that even though my farrier was coming, I had to hustle him up, because Bitchly couldn't walk, and was stood there trembling. I drugged him. He was much much happier the next morning with bute on board and after an emergency call my farrier came in and shod him. He has fixed him the best he can, now I just need to keep his shoes on for four weeks and get some growth. 

Of course, wet feet aren't strong feet, so guess who is being stabled for nights for the next four weeks. I very rarely stable my horses, 1- because I have never really had stables and 2- its a LOT more work having stabled horses. But for Bitchly I will do nearly anything even though he is basically worthless, the broken down old hack. He also has a funny lump on the side of his neck from under his cribbing collar, which I'm hoping isn't an abscess. I'll see what it looks like in the morning but it may be a vet job :/. I have an animalintex poultice on it tonight and I'll see if it draws. Hopefully having his collar off he wont do too much damage to the stables which of course aren't mine. I have ordered a miracle collar, because his old plain strap one is causing trouble lately despite years without issues. His wind isn't the best and I fear it is collar related damage. His throat anatomy is quite different to any other horses. I'll see how he goes this season, but he is definitely the most high maintenance creature I have ever owned.   

I finally got Tsar into town to have a lesson and jump him for the first time. He has a cute round jump and is careful, he never touched anything, though everything was only about 60cm high. He has a strange canter stride, he has minimal engine. He covers most of his ground in the moment of suspension, and has limited reach in front with his stride. Lots and lots of long and low to get his back rounder and loosen up his topline and hopefully increase his reach. He is a lazy beasty at the best of times. Spooked initially at a few of the fillers, he sets me up do the wrong thing a little bit. He wants me to flap at him, and he wants me to grab him on the landing side but I'm really not intimidated by him at all so when he gives me a really round jump and then gets his head down and bounds and threatens to buck I'm not that bothered, and I don't feel the need to grab him and give him an excuse to do something.

So the idea is I just need to set up the canter, keep it jumping across the ground, and then sit quite. Interestingly, after all the bouncy spooky stuff by the end he cantered down to the wall and jumped it super, so that was our note to end it. The next day I took him to a small show and he cantered clear around the sixty cm class, backed off the planks at fence three, but after that was very brave to all the fill and was super down the treble. He reminds me a lot of a horse I rode a long time ago that perhaps some very very long time readers might remember called Kruise. Also, how adorable is the old school drop noseband with the old school egg butt.

Kate was at the same show, and she was good enough to point out a few valuable lessons I had gotten complacent on. She only did the 90cm and the 1m class. She is a spooky old goat and I was really pleased with how she was jumping- straight down the treble which now had an ugly filler under the oxer in (it wasn't a small oxer either), and it wasn't an easy corner to get to it. She jumped the liverpool which she traditionally is not a fan of, and got a great ride down to the last double, which was an upright to an oxer and the oxer had a plank in it. The same as the planks we jumped at three. So after all the scary jumps, got the great ride down the bending line, landed over the first fence and she bloody stopped. My fault entirely, I didn't ride it enough, I took it casually, I thought I was home and safe, and was already planning my jump-off! Touche Kate, Well played. I have found I'm collapsing a little over the fences with my upper body and folding over my hands a little instead of giving a correct release. The weather packed up and I wasn't going to do the 1 metre class, but I felt I had something to prove.

In the warm up, she was hurling herself over the oxer and I thought maybe her knee was bothering her, but she wasn't taking any lame steps. I figured I would start the round and see how she went. She got into the ring and started beautifully,. She is such a different ride, liking room from the base of her fences and the more forward travelling ride, and she is a good one to practice the supporting but not driving leg because she can get hot (why is that so hard!!! and so different for every horse!!!! It's all on feel- stupid supporting without driving leg). Just rolled over the jump at fence five when I let the filler suck her down and she just knocked the rail. Still she was super down the treble, only did one funny leap (I had a brainwave, and realised she only did it when she was jumping out of a puddle and landing in a puddle-DIVA!) and even saved me when I couldn't see my distance to the liverpool.

Sometimes my focus wanders, and I found myself looking at the puddle that had formed around the liverpool and not at the top rail like I should. I ended up miles off it, and I didn't know if she would chip in or not, seeing as she hates puddles and liverpools. But she took the long option, I was a little left behind, but better that than getting ahead and her spitting me out. I gave her a big pat for saving me, though she owed me one after the stop!!! Down the final line she was awesome and when I focused on staying up in my shoulders and strong through my core, I landed much more balanced so I could keep my leg on and keep attacking the oxer out of the double, which she jumped perfectly. She gets in he air, the old bat, and it's been a treat to be riding her again. I think I might put her in foal for myself. She is definitely breeding quality. She has had her shoes pulled and its just chilling until I figure out exactly what happens next.

Speaking of shoes, Tsar had his feet done as well. My farrier is like the best ever, so I was excited to see what he would do, because he had some funky looking square front feet. Apparently, he as thin hoof walls, and he has been reset with aluminium plates and really fine nails to preserve his wall integrity. He is also been stabled at night to dry out his feet and I need to get some copper sulfate and scrub both of their feet. He isn't as chilled in the stable as Butch and he is a bit of a wild man when I turn him out. Still his feet look much more normal, and though I haven't had a chance to ride him yet I hope it will improve his reach in front. Sweet pony. Even if he does trash his stable nightly.  


  1. I love the rainbow picture!

  2. So much going on. Glad you are getting the ponies sorted out.

  3. Tsar does have a really cute round jump! I hope Bitchly starts keeping himself in better shape for you.

  4. Tsar is a cute jumper :)