A Rocket Man, A Problem Child and a New Puppy walk into a bar ...
It’s been a little while since I have blogged, but truth be told I have been really busy. A lot has happened since my last post, and I’m going to focus on a few key points of interest and it's going to be pretty straight to the point so bare with me.
Kidd has been showing some improvement recently, and I am satisfied with my decision to back off on him and add some more ‘fun stuff’ into our routine. Even though my plans set in a previous blog are set are completely out the window, I feel like despite wandering onto a different path as of late, it has benefitted us. We have been really involved with the Vet in trying to correct some things and when I last posted about him he had both his Stifles & Hocks injected for the first time, and upon her last visit we had another follow up lameness exam and floated his teeth. We saw definite improvement post injections, but he’s still wanting to carry his hips to the right and after exploring multiple avenues we have decided to take a less invasive route for the time being, as the Vet feels it’s just a matter of strengthening and retraining him. As such, Kidd is currently on a maintenance dose of Previcox (1/4 tab for those curious) to aid in ‘taking the edge off’ and remove any stiffness/soreness so he can work more correctly and thus build the correct muscles to travel straighter. We will continue this for 60 days and re-evaluate; if there is little to no improvement we will discuss more invasive options (the thought of SI Injections came up). Along with the Previcox and fitness improvement, I am remaining more diligent as I ride him and am essentially creating a feeling of Renver on the right and Traver on the left to ride him straighter, while remaining understanding to the fact that it’s a physical challenge for him.
We recently changed it up and attended a Free Jumping night that our Sport Horse Club put on, and he absolutely LOVED it. He was attacking the fences like a complete machine, and shocked me when he jumped to the top of the standards (4’0 oxer) with relative ease. I wanted to avoid injury and chose to stop him after a few trips over the grid with the oxer at 4’0, but he was so happy and loving every minute of it! I have also decided his new theme song is “Rocket man” as he was flying around!
Recently my best friend and regular student discovered an unfortunate injury in her horse, which has required 60 days of ‘lock up’ for him, and she was feeling very upset and discouraged. As a result, I offered her Kidd. As such she has been riding him a few times a week and lessoning on him as well. It’s been great for all of us; with a new puppy in the house and trying to develop a routine plus house train etc it hasn’t left me with a lot of ‘barn time’ so it’s been a blessing to only have to spend an hour at the barn.
While her first lesson last week was a little tough as she’s out of shape and Kidd is a difficult horse to ride, I thought it went fairly well and Kidd seemed much more relaxed than a month prior. Though there was some tough points they had some fabulous, accurate figures and excellent stretchy work and transitions.
Her second lesson she chose to jump him, and though Kidd was singing Rocket Man to himself I’m sure, they had great work and I let them ‘jump up’ a little bit just for the sake of having fun. We set a grid on center and worked on the approach and get away with both reins and we called it a day after a lovely trip through a grid ending in an oxer just a hair under 2’9.
Thursday was her final lesson before Kidd comes home for the year and I think it was the best yet. “C” was really on her game and seemed to be totally back into the swing of things of riding, and Kidd came with his Game Face on and seemed totally ready to work. Despite a controllable spook when someone walked through the door at the ‘scary monster-infested end of the arena’, Kidd was stellar and Coral rode him really well through it all. We did a lot of leg yield and serpentines with the goal of moving his body around without just doing endless renver/travers, and we did a fair amount of simple changes, ending with asking for his first ‘deliberate’ flying change, which he gave! While we have done a lot of simples, I have never deliberately asked for a flying change so I was really happy with it and decided not to push the envelope. Though he was about 1/3 of a circle ‘late’, when he did change it was clean, even and from behind, which is good enough for me at this point!
Kidd comes home Saturday morning and though there is some sand showing in my arena, there is still 3” of snow blanketing most of it so I will be having my farrier put his front shoes back on as I foresee a fair amount of road riding in our near future. While Kidd typically doesn’t have much hoof sensitivity, with the gravel will likely be a source of uncomfortableness for him.
Though I don’t have a whole lot to say about Kai, she is back out in the pasture with the herd now. While a dominant gelding put the run on her after she tried to be a bossy mare, they have worked out their differences and she’s well integrated now. We took her into the arena for the Free Jumping night and while it didn’t go quite as I had thought it would, we ended with her crossing a cross rail with confidence. In hind sight, taking a young OTTB who has been locked up in a small paddock for nearly 3 months and turning her loose in a large arena with things she’s never seen (IE Poles) I should have known she would have been a little concerned and reluctant to participate. Regardless, it ended well and she didn’t break any limbs so I’ll take it for a win at this point!
Last Saturday (March 10), we finally met our new puppy, a Giant Malamute from a breeder in the Northwest Territories. The “#adoptdontshop” jokes are dying off, and he is a truly incredible puppy. When we got our Siberian 6 years ago we were torn between Sibe’s and Mal’s but decided to get the ‘difficult’ one first. Though our Sibe is a little put out with his new brother, he’s slowly warming up to ‘Tonka’, who is a truly fantastic puppy. I can’t help but compare him to our Sibe as a puppy, however in reality they are complete opposite ends of the spectrum. “Cooter” (Shh, think Dukes of Hazzard), I swear didn’t sleep for 5 years.. however Tonka, despite being a playful puppy, is the most chill, easy going dog I have ever met. He has a hilarious personality and is so uncoordinated and awkward but also SO well behaved it’s weird and so foreign to me. We had been on the list with the breeder since August of last year but after a series of unfortunate events, it wasn't panning out.. however when this litter was born just before Christmas we were offered the pick of the litter and despite us waffling on getting a puppy, so far we have 0 regrets!
|Within our first 5 minutes of meeting, lol. So sad.|
|He's over it.|
|He's got some big paws to grow into!|
|Leash training is really coming along.... lol|
|Fist time at the barn.. "What are these big dogs doing?!"|
|He's a great assistant coach.|