Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spurs Worked

I took dozens of shots of my latest trail ride on Friday, but the battery on my camera died after three cruddy ones, so no pics to go along with this post.  My husband rode Rock and I rode Lostine out on the trails.  I was going to ride Bombay, but once again he has managed to shred his skin in multiple places on something, and I didn't want the saddle pad to rub the raw and bloody areas.  I'm planning on giving him a thorough bath this weekend, and putting a thick layer of bug spray all over him so that he'll stop itching himself like a maniac.  

I lunged Lostine in the round pen before putting a saddle on her to give her muscles a chance to loosen up, and to get the creaking out of her joints.  I instructed my husband to stay on the flat, sandy trails, but he doesn't know the area that well, so when we would reach an intersection, I needed to tell him which way to go.  The only problem was that Rock was moving at a pace that was faster than Lostine's, so sometimes Rock would get so far ahead that my husband couldn't hear me.

On another occasion when I was riding Lostine and the horse trainer was riding Rock, he turned Rock off the trail to go investigate something down in a ditch.  We were headed away from home, so Lostine didn't like losing her buddy horse, and she reacted by backing up the trail to get closer to home and to Rock.  I was giving her all the cues to go forward, but she was clearly ignoring them.  I looked at the trainer and said, "What do I do here to fix this?"

Right then Lostine jolted forward, and he said that she needed more pressure and to get some spurs.

So, on this ride with my husband I was wearing my new spurs, we were approaching the same trail I was on where Lostine tried backing her way home, and my husband was too far ahead to hear me say which way to go.  He went left when we needed to go right.  I made arm movements to point in the opposite direction and yelled out for him to turn around.  I turned Lostine right before Rock had caught up to us, and she responded by running backwards toward Rock and home again.  

First, I asked her to go forward with my usual forward cues, and then when she ignored me and was about to crash into Rock, I gave her one kick with the spurs, and she immediately lurched forward, followed by a bitchy swish of the tail.  She didn't give me anymore trouble after that.  I think I kept her out too long, though, because in the last part of the ride she was stretching her neck out and twisting her head to the side as if she had a Charley horse.  Poor old girl.  I feel bad riding her, but she needs these trail rides every once in a while to get some exercise and fresh air.  I think the benefits of an occasional, short trail ride outweigh being permanently retired and having her muscles atrophy as she just stands in the same spot all day waiting for the next round of hay.


TeresaA said...

I like spurs- when used correctly they are quick and clean and end the nagging. I agree that it's better for Lostine to go out.

fernvalley01 said...

sounds like you got her number! Little wake up for the old darlin'

Judi said...

My vet said that getting the old horses out for exercise is one of the best things you can do for them.

Cindy D. said...

I also agree that exercise is the best thing for aging horses, and aging people alike.

achieve1dream said...

I agree! Exercise is the best thing for her. You could try ponying her too but I think you said she didn't do well with Rock. I'm glad the spurs worked! They come in so handy sometimes. I wish I weren't so scared of them lol.