Thursday, May 22, 2014
Chrome's Monthly Progress Report
I was so busy having fun on Chrome's birthday that I totally forgot to do his progress report!! Oops! His sweaty picture from the nineteenth is the best I have for a conformation shot for now... he's facing downhill so he's not that butt high. Oh well. I'll get a better picture next time.
Age: 5 Years (I still can't believe he's five!! It feels so weird to put a 5 right there.)
Height Gain: None. I'm assuming he's still 15.2 since I didn't check. He hasn't gained height in so long I doubt he's grown any. He has definitely filled out and gotten wider though!
Weight: No idea! I need to check.
Weight Gain: N/A
Progress: So I kind of fell off the bandwagon with his exercise routines because I hurt my back and then was out of town, but I've been trying to exercise him as much as possible and he's doing really well. In fact he was doing his Prep routines so easily that I've moved on to the Cardio routines. I also rode him solo on the roads and cantered him so even though they weren't on my goals list they were huge accomplishments (more for me fear wise than him lol). I'm very proud of how well we did last month!
Oh I almost forgot. He's gotten better about the neighbor horses too! I have ridden past them on both solo rides although they weren't right up by the fence or galloping. We will see if he continues to do well this month. He did neigh back when one called to him and he acts a little balky, but he hasn't gotten out of control or anything. I didn't even dismount. Yay me!
Assessment: The book suggests asking yourself five questions at the end of each month to see if you're progressing, pushing too hard or not hard enough. Also keep in mind during the Prep phase there won't be a very noticeable change in appearance. The Cardio phase is where things will start changing. Here are the questions:
Where are his muscles filling out? I haven't really seen a change in his muscles yet, but we literally just did his first cardio routine yesterday so hopefully by next month we will see a difference. I think his haunches are looking a bit more muscular, but if they are it's minuscule lol.
Has he developed any resistances/or has his behavior changed? After a week off his stifles started locking again, so I think the exercise really is helping with that. His stifle did give once during a canter, but so far so good with riding. He has gotten to where he walks slower going away from home (and weaving around), but this only started when I went solo so I think it's a nervous thing more than a resistance. He still walks fast headed home though. He starts out walking slow during every ride and after warming up for five or ten minutes he loosens up and gets his nice walk back (I think this might be stifle related).
When riding out in the pasture he is very balky about riding away from the barn. He's very barn sour... well it's not really barn sour. What he's wanting is to graze in the front yard, so he's grass sour lol. It's an annoying habit, but short of never letting him graze in the yard again I don't know what to do other than just push him through it.
I noticed he shifted around during the tail pull yesterday, so I'm seriously thinking of getting a chiropractor out (if I can find one). He doesn't react to me pressing my fingers down the length of his spine and he didn't crow hop when we cantered, so I don't suspect there's anything really wrong, but why wait for a problem to try it? Chiropractors are good even when you don't have a serious problem. Someone told me it helped their mare with the locking stifles too! So I could have him/her check his back for soreness and see what they can do about the stifles. It's worth a shot! It will have to wait though because I'm getting his teeth done next week. I'm applying for a part time job so I'll have more horse money and so I can start saving to finish my kitchen and then get a new horse trailer. I enjoyed my break from having a job (while we were building our house I did the stay at home thing), but having some pocket money again would be nice lol. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Other than that he still neighs at me when I walk outside and seems eager to do whatever I want to do. :D We'll see how he feels after a few cardio rides when the spoiled boy has to start sweating hehe.
Does he start out stiff each day (as if he hasn't recovered from previous day's exercise)? I haven't noticed any stiffness other than the normal slow walk before we warm up. Once he's warmed up he's fine. Also after exercise (even this last workout where we cantered) he will still do his big floating trot and acts silly in the pasture, so I don't think we're overdoing it at all. :) I haven't been doing his leg stretches because my back has still been sore. I'll try to modify how I'm doing them and get back to it.
Does he fade during exercise or show signs of fatigue? Nope, not that I've noticed. Like I mentioned above he still acts full of energy even after our workouts. :)
Has he lost, gained or maintained weight? He looks the same to me. I need to get back to measuring him. If he's lost any it's a very tiny amount.
Goals: My goals for this month are to continue with his new cardio workouts every other day. I also want to continue our solo rides, so I'll have to figure out how to mix them up. Other than riding I want to work with him on the trailer again... after going to my friend's house and hauling her horses to camp I really want to try tying him in the trailer. I don't like when he spins... I'm thinking I'll load him, close the ramp, tie him up and then just stand there with him to see what he does (there is a place I can stand where I'm not at risk of being hurt if he freaks out). When he's fine with that I'll start pulling him around the block or something. I really wish my trailer had a divider. It's a straight load, but without the divider he can get twisted around and turn his head... it freaks me out a little. I might take a video and show what I mean so I can get your suggestions. I'm also getting his teeth done next week.
Oh and I want to keep washing his tail more frequently to try to keep it whiter (I might try a tail bag when my mom and I find the time to make one) and practice braiding. I like being able to braid his tail since he has no mane to do anything with hehe.
I also want to try him with a bit. I was going to do that today, but I can't find my bits so they must be at the storage building. I'll check later. I mentioned in yesterday's post why I want to try a bit. :) I also think it would be really cool to set up one of those halter/bridle combo things with two sets of reins so that when I'm out riding I can use the halter, but if he gets strong or something freaks him out I can pick up the reins going to the bit for a little more control. It's an idea anyway.
I think that's all I have planned this month. :)