Monday, July 28, 2014

Ride 62 - Can't Canter?

Chrome loves his salt block!

Good news!! My camera still works!!!!!! Yay! However I'm not using it while riding anymore so you get crappy cell phone pictures instead lol.

The heat stress index was under 150 today so I had to ride! Huge difference from yesterday. Our weather is so bipolar. When I went out to get Chrome he was sound asleep in the barn. Poor guy! He even fell asleep while I was tacking up.


Isn't he cute??


 Look at those dapples!!!!!

So anyway while warming up I practiced halt transitions.... He needed practice!! He wanted to totally ignore me at first. I concentrated really hard on the order of my cues. Vocal cue, stop following with my body and last was closing my hands on the reins. I think only once did I have to pull back. It didn't take long to get him to stop on the vocal cue only. After practicing that a few more times I will practice leaving out the vocal cue until I have him stopping from my seat alone. It's definitely something we need to and can practice.

Once he was warmed up I practiced walk, trot, halt transitions. Finally I decided to try cantering because it's been a while and I wanted to make sure he (we) still could... I tried four times.... The first time he picked it up fairly quick but only did one stride before falling back into a trot. The second time he fast trotted into it and only held it one stride. The third time he didn't canter at all. The fourth time he fast trotted into it for one stride and I felt his stifle give out as he fell into the trot again......

So... It could be several things. His stifles. I had to use his fleece saddle pad because I haven't cleaned my quilted pad since he dunked me in the pond. He doesn't seem to like that pad as much. We were also on the driveway going toward the gate and I think he didn't feel like he had enough room compared to when we cantered in the pasture. In the pasture he had great motivation since we were going toward the gate to the yard where he grazes and gets fed. On the driveway he was obviously hesitant going away from home. It could also have been his hooves still being soft from the rain since we were on rocks.

So my plan... For his stifles I'm going to start doing his exercises again (bad me for slacking off). I'll clean his favorite saddle pad. Next time I try I'll do it in the pasture where he has more room. For his hooves I'm going to treat him for thrush to see if that helps with the tenderness. It might also help with the toe first landings.  The reason I'm not overly worried is because he's a young, green, out of shape horse and when I took him out into the pasture I turned him loose and got my longe whip. He trotted, cantered and galloped all over the pasture. He picked up both leads easily, maintained the canter for long distance and in turns and I never saw his stifles give. So I'm just going to follow my plan and not over think it. :-)

We only rode thirty minutes. When we were on the driveway after our last canter I heard a motorcycle coming. It was one of those really loud, whining dirt bikes and I didn't know how he would react so I dismounted. It turned around before it got to us, but better safe than sorry.

 Needs a haircut.

I hope everyone is having nice weather and great rides!!

P.S. if there are any weird mistakes in this post it's because I'm using my tablet. It has autocorrect like a cell phone and it's different so I'm having to figure it out.  I can blue tooth my cell phone pictures to my tablet so that's why I'm using it instead of my computer.


  1. No words of advice but WOW I LOVE his eyelashes! And those dimples! Adorable.

  2. I love his eyelashes too! I meant to say something in the post but I forgot so I'm glad you noticed. 😀

  3. That looks like a mighty deep sleep. Somebody in a pick up truck cruised by my neighbor's house today, and I got all excited hoping it might be horse people interested in buying it. We didn't have anything like motorcycles come our way on today's ride, but I did hear someone's cell phone ringing in the bushes. Ha ha.

  4. Chrome is adorable! He is so cute taking his nap before the ride!

  5. Lol nuz! That would creep me out hearing the phone ringing.

    Saiph he was looking so adorable I had a hard time waking him up lol!!

    My internet isn't working so I'll try to get caught up on blogs soon.

  6. Such a pretty pony!
    My two always doze in the cross ties too - they must spend too much time scoffing when outside so they need their beauty sleep when they get in ☺

  7. He is getting so much more grey compared to the old pictures yesterday. How cool!
    For cantering, maybe try getting the vocal command consistent from the ground first? I had a small jump (12-18") I used to help Mia learn how to canter on command and then transitioned that command to under saddle. I wouldn't be too concerned with his stifles, I would bet the issue is he isn't comfortable with balancing the big mass towering over his back while he tries to canter. Practice and repetition is the only thing that will fix it. Good luck!

  8. Appy, I've actually been talking to my husband about moving my round pen so that I can do some work with him on the vocal cues because that's what in the end helped his trot when we were starting out. Both of our backs hurt though so I have to wait. Those panels are HEAVY! I might have to try the jump (or cavaletti) idea though. He definitely understood what I wanted because he picked it up immediately the first time. I think when he realized that his stifle wasn't cooperating that he got hesitant if that makes any sense. Regardless I'm going to do his stifle exercises and wait until I can get the round pen set up for some ground work before I try again. There is no hurry or anything. :)


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