Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Nice November Day

November is notorious for bringing snow to the Eastern Sierra, but this year has been mild. It's great for horseback riders, but not so great for skiers. I do both, but prefer to be on the back of horse over anything else.

Today I took Lostine to the Fairgrounds. She ended up being more of a handful than Bombay was for me yesterday. She refused to hold still so that I could attach a boot to each leg. Each time I bent down to wrap a boot around her leg, she'd try to knock me out of the way by swinging her hind end or shoulders from side to side. I ended up lunging her in the round pen to try to get her jitters out. She was a nervous wreck as soon as I started leading her toward the trailer.

It was a good thing I lunged her first. I was able to observe that she was tripping a lot and sometimes her hind end came right out from underneath her. I examined her hooves and saw that she had a bunch of flaps and lumps of skin growing around the heel. She was probably bending them when she'd come down on them and either it hurt or it caused her to trip because it was like stepping on a rock. I cut all of the flaps off with The Knife. It's amazing how easy it is when you've got a hoof knife that is actually good quality and sharp. Thanks again for steering me toward The Knife, Mrs. Mom.

Loading Lostine in the trailer was a bit tricky. She went right in, but when I closed the center divider, she tried to crawl underneath it! I had to quickly push her head back and pull it up with the lead rope. No one was available to help me, so I had to tie her head up high with the lead rope, and then run around to the outside and attach the trailer tie to her halter through the window.

When we arrived at the Fairgrounds there was one other horse trailer off in the distance, but otherwise the only people who were out were the ATVers and the remote controlled airplane hobbyists.

Help! Get me out of this prison!

My camera couldn't even capture the entire width of the arena we rode in. You can see the barrels off in the distance.

Lostine was quite hyper before our ride. I lunged her, but she wouldn't let me mount. Each time I set the step stool down beside her, she swung her hind end away from it. I had to tap her on the opposite hip with the riding crop while holding the reins tight to keep her still. As soon as I swung my leg over, she took off. Though I had worked on WHOA from the ground, I could see that we needed to work on it from the saddle too. She was jigging all over the place with her back humped up, running sideways, and throwing her head around like she was half out of her mind.

I knew she had plans to throw me, so I performed a one-rein stop in one direction and then the other. We just circled for a while until she settled down and then I rode her at all paces around the arena and the barrels. She lost that lovely lope she had in the round pen at home the other day and was back to her fast paces and jerky strides. It wasn't a pleasant ride, but I kept her out there for as long as my back and neck could stand it just so that she could settle down and feel comfortable away from home.

This was Lostine after our ride. Her head was finally down and she worked up a good sweat. While I was taking pictures of her, she tried to load herself into the trailer, but couldn't because she was tied to the side of it. She was really anxious to get home. I think she hates me now.


Vaquerogirl said...

My my! That is one huge arena! Our's is 250x150 and yours looks way bigger. I notice that when new horses get into ours, they just want to run cuz it's so big! Good job on the one rein stop, lots of small circles keep their feet moving and their brains active too.
Way to cowgirl up!

KD said...

That's cool that you can ride at the fairgrounds for free. I have an equestrian center near me, but they charge for day use of the arenas. I would like to go back because my girl is a little goofy in the inside arena and I'd like to work her more in there. I'm not comfortable riding in the woods alone....especially after a murder victim was found near where I like to ride.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I'm sorry it was not the best of times for you and Lostine but I'm sure she doesn't hate you! With horses, it's always something, isn't it?
I wish I was there- I'd ride with you.
It's too bad you can't get your trail friend to go with you and Lostine.

Andrea said...

You would never know that she is up in age, now would you!! Funny horse!! I love how she was trying to get in the trailer after the ride!!

We are building an arena that size and I am a bit nervous about our horses getting in there and taking off!! It's a lot of "wide" open space.

You are lucky to have the fair grounds open like that for you!

Callie said...

Sounds like you did a good job to keep her in check as difficult as it must have been. I probably would have launched, LOL, Nice job!

Jenn said...

Sounds like your critters have a few extra silly antics stored up just for you! They had a powwow and decided to see how much silliness they could collectively challenge you with! Mine have been behaving kind of like great big butts lately, too. I'm going to blame the weather. Yup. The weather and the wind. Goof balls.

It is so cool for you to have that huge arena so close to where you live! There is nothing really close to us to use. There is an indoor arena about 45 mins away, but they charge $25 an hour to ride. A little too pricey for me, especially if I'm not competing. So, I'm relegated to riding during the weekends, and only if it's not horrifically snowy, muddy, icy or bone-chillingly cold. Ahhh...what I wouldn't give for Hawaii-like weather about now.

Flying Lily said...

You have a beautiful place to ride there. Love the expression on Lostine at the end:
Take Me Home!!!

Jamie said...

Great job !!!

She is so pretty !!

Tagged you for a meme...when you get time....I want some dirt !!! LOL

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I second what others have said about how lucky you are to live near the fairgrounds and all the riding space and arenas.
And I just adore Lostine. She is such a pretty, feminine looking Arabian.
Good for your being able to weild a knife on Lostine's hoof flaps to ease her discomfort, too.
Mrs. Mom is one smart coookie, eh?

And you are too, knowing what to do to avoid any mishaps in an emergency, like in the trailer.

I second what Val said. I wish we all lived closer, as she and I would both join you for some riding :)

I bet Baby Doll would even calm down Bombay. She's as slow as molasses and pretty unflappable. lol!

New Mexico