Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chrome Ride 125 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 11

I wasn't going to ride because my neck and shoulder were hurting, but Chrome was begging for attention so I decided to hop on bareback for twenty minutes.  It's been a bit cooler lately and he's been very energetic.  He was walking out so forward that I thought something was wrong at first lol.  I'm not used to his big walk anymore because he's been walking slow due to his stifles being so weak and being so out of shape.  I'm glad the exercise is helping him move and feel better.  :D

Anyway there isn't much to say.  I didn't work on backing or anything because my shoulder hurt and he was being so forward I just wanted to let him walk out.  I kind of let him decide where he wanted to go and we made loops all through the yard, trees and driveway.  It was fun.

Can you tell what he's sniffing?

 The cat!

 This cat has no sense of self preservation.  Chrome's hoof is right next to him and he won't move!

I probably won't ride over the next two days because of work and weather, so I'm glad I rode today.  :D

P.S.  I'm actually posting this the next day and back posting it to the correct day because I forgot to post it the day of the ride.  Sorry for any confusion!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chrome Easter Ride 124 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 10 - Exciting Video From Yesterday!

 If I was still doing monthly progress reports (I should be, but I haven't been....) this would make a pretty good conformation shot.  I wish I'd stuck with that because it would have been awesome to see his color changes in monthly conformation pictures.  Oh well.

So a cold front came through, but it didn't rain after all.  When I got off work I was in absolute agony (still am to be honest, several hours later) from my pinched nerve, but I couldn't pass up the chance for a short Easter ride in the sunshine.  I was going to ride in the halter again, but Chrome was feeling frisky so I put the bridle on him.  I still rode bareback though.  We rode for seventeen minutes around the yard.

He was super alert, but not out of control.  Hubby hand walked Rocky with us to keep us company (he did a lot of work on my car and tilling the garden, so his back wasn't feeling up to riding).  Chrome was fine if he was in front of Rocky, but if we got behind them he kept wanting to walk right up on his heels and then would spaz out when Rocky put his ears back.... dork.  If he'd just stop getting close he wouldn't have had to worry about Rocky, but he was easily out walking them (he was walking out so much bigger than he has recently, in part because he was running around, playing and bucking earlier in the day lol).  He was pulling on me which hurt my shoulder really bad, so I started making him stand still, let Rocky get ahead and then walk really big to catch up, repeat.  We also worked on lateral flexion when he didn't want to stand still, but that was torture on my shoulder too.

We did a little bit of backing up, but he was getting mad and pawing because hubby and Rocky were walking down the other driveway without him lol.  He did okay with it though and then stood still when I asked while we waited on them to come back.  Then the wind picked up and I got really cold (I was in short sleeves, hubby was in shorts), so I called it quits after seventeen minutes.

When I first got home from work and went out to the pasture to get Chrome, I called his name and he stampeded from the back of the pasture, bucking all the way.  Seeing his exuberance I almost chickened out on the ride... I knew I couldn't do that though because if I did it would just set me up to not ride next time.  I'm glad I rode, since he ended up being fine, but I probably shouldn't have considering how much pain I'm in.  I'm too stubborn not to though... if I have to suffer all day at work then I can put up with the pain to ride when I get home dang it!

 Afterward Chrome acted exhausted... just kidding, he was yawning in anticipation of getting fed.

Here are some more random pictures because my boys are cute!

 I captured that perfect evening light on his face.  I love it!

 Watching my hubby walk to the house and back.  He totally knew he was about to get fed hehe.

 Doing his cute continuous nicker at hubby.

Chrome getting fed.  So gorgeous!

Okay, I almost forgot about the video.  As I mentioned yesterday, I clipped my parent's Yorkie.  They bought a new pair of clippers so I can clip Mac for them.  That way they don't have to take him to the groomer anymore.  It's a really nice cordless pair of clippers too!  I don't mind clipping their dog because he is very well behaved for it and it's actually fun.

So afterward when I got Chrome out and started grooming him for our ride I decided to cut his mane off.  I couldn't take it anymore!  So I got out the scissors and hacked it off.  I didn't like the way it still had some long hairs folded over, so I decided to introduce Chrome to the new clippers.  This was only the second time Chrome has ever seen clippers in his entire life.

I shared a video on this post back in 2014 of the first time.  He was so tense in that video!!  I'll post it below so you can compare.  Here is the video from yesterday, uncut except for removing conversation I don't want on the internet.  It's kind of long, but I really wanted to share the whole process.  If you get bored, just skip to the end to see how he relaxed.  I rewarded him by ending the session when he chose to sniff the clippers in my hand all by himself.  :)  Oh and the part at the beginning shows how he watches me when I got inside while he's tied up.  So cute.

Here is the video from the first time.

See the difference?  He was wary yesterday, but he was a lot more relaxed at the end compared to the first time.  The whole thing only took ten minutes.  I wasn't able to clip much though because the clippers aren't big or strong enough.  They are specifically for dogs, not horses.  I might have to get a pair of horse clippers.  Any suggestions?  Nothing too expensive since I'd only use it for roaching his mane once or twice a year.

Here is a picture from yesterday where you can see the point where I stopped clipping lol.

That's all for today!  I hope you enjoyed the videos and pictures!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chrome Ride 123 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 9

My horse cracks me up!!  Look at how dappled his chest is!  I only rode for ten minutes today because I got busy doing stuff (helping dad in yard, helping hubby work on my car, clipping my parent's Yorkie, etc.) and then thought I was running late for a friend's baby shower.  Turns out I still had an hour.... I guess I misread the clock and thought I only had a few minutes to ride.  It's okay though because he did something SUPER AWESOME before our ride, that I'm going to be mean and not share with you in this post because there is a video I can't get uploaded until tomorrow.  So you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that.  He was also really awesome during the ride, so I'm still going to count the ten minutes as a ride.  :)

I rode bareback in his halter (as you can see in the above picture) around the yard.  We actually didn't do a lot of walking around (he spent the morning following me up and down the fence line as I worked in the yard, nickering at me, begging for attention so he was already warmed up).  We were working on lateral flexion and backing up.  I asked him to back up and he did great like yesterday (there is a video in yesterday's post if you missed it).  When I work on backing I do it on the driveway over the culvert so he's backing up a slight slope (good for his stifles).  The second time I asked he had just snorted so his head was down when I asked and he backed up perfectly!  I could feel his back come up.  He did it two more times (snorts are so helpful hehe) so I jumped off and praised him big time.  So that's the main reason the ride was so short.  I wanted to give him the ultimate reward (and I seriously thought I was late).  Sadly I didn't get that backing up on video because hubby was still working on my car.  Darn.

Above is the only riding picture I got.  If you look closely you'll see that I cut his mane off again.  It was driving me crazy how he had almost no mane over his withers and long mane by his ears, so I hacked it off with the scissors.  As I was cutting it I just had to grin to myself that Chrome isn't at all bothered by the sound of scissors.  Some horses hate that sound!

 So cute!

I guess that's all there is to say.  I got them a new salt block and Chrome attacked it.  You can see his roached mane in the above picture.  The rain starts again tomorrow and I have a LONG day at work (yes on Easter) so I won't be riding tomorrow, but I will post the surprise video.  I hope everyone has a happy Easter!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Chrome Ride 122 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 8

I have three disclaimers before we get started.  The first one is that I did not groom my horse before riding because I'm a bad person lol.  The second is that I realized after the ride that his blue halter is a bit too small!  I didn't realize he'd grown since the last time he wore it.  For those who might not know, he broke his other halter, so I'm having to use this one again.  I adjusted it looser after the ride.  You'll notice in the video of him backing up that he makes a face because the metal on the halter was hurting his face.  I feel so awful that I didn't notice that!!  :(  Third is that there aren't many pictures... sorry!  There are videos though!

First an update on why I haven't ridden in almost a week.  I have a pinched nerve in my neck.......... it is an absolute nightmare!!!  Now I have a better understanding of what my poor husband went through with his back.  I never realized how excruciatingly painful a pinched nerve is.  I'm not exaggerating when I say every day after work I'd get in my car and just cry for ten minutes while I waited for the pain to pass just so I could use my right arm to drive home (yes it's the right shoulder/arm being affected and I'm right handed... it's been a nightmare).

I'm seeing a chiropractor and although it is providing some relief, it's not helping at all when I'm at work.  I have to wear my arm in a sling at work and do everything left handed.

The bizarre thing is that at home, when I'm relaxed and not doing anything strenuous (like moving hay) it doesn't hurt.  The muscles are sore like you get after a charlie horse, but the nerve isn't pinched.  It also doesn't hurt when I ride (but I didn't know that until today because today is the first time I've ridden since it started).  I'm doing some exercises to help improve my posture (I'm bad about slouching, rounding my shoulders and staring at the ground) because that can cause or exacerbate the issue.  The scary thing is I could have a bulging or herniated disc, but I can't afford an MRI to make sure... :(

So anyway, that's why I haven't been around.  I didn't work today so I had a visit with the chiro.  This was only my second visit (in my whole life lol).  I was feeling pretty good after the visit so I decided to ride before I started hurting again.  I only rode twenty minutes, bareback with just his halter, around the yard.

Someone asked me if I can mount from the ground... no!  I suck at mounting bareback.  I was barely able to do it on my 14hh Appy, but I've never been able to get on Chrome bareback since he's 15.2hh lol.  I use the bumper of the car (see above picture).  I also get on from both sides.  He's normally closer than that (so close I can barely squeeze between him and the car actually), but he wanted to graze and was refusing to stand still again.  I scolded him and then lined him back up and he stood still for me to get on.  I just did a poor job of lining him up lol.  It's not often I share a pissy faced Chrome, so enjoy it haha.  I actually really love the lighting in that picture.

 As soon as I was on he forgot about being upset about being scolded and his ears were forward again lol.

It was a walk only ride around the yard, so not much to write about.  I had fun though.  There are a couple of cool videos to share though...

Oh and this is what our orange cat does the entire time hubby takes pictures... rubs against his legs.

The first video is of Chrome backing up.  I haven't worked on it much because backing up causes his stifles to lock for some reason.  I usually only ask for one, sometimes two steps.  Today he was doing several steps!!!  I was so excited!

Here's the video.

We obviously need a lot more practice for him to learn to yield to the pressure, lower his head and use his back properly.  It will come in time as he gets more relaxed about going backward.  He gets very tense because he's expecting his leg to lock up.  It upsets him when he can't back up if I'm asking. That's why I normally only ask on the ground when I can see if he's about to lock and can walk him forward out of it.  This video is also where you can see him making the face because the halter is too tight.  It's right before he yawns at the end of the video.  I wasn't putting a lot of pressure on the halter, but those metal pieces were digging into a very sensitive, bony part of his face.  I'm horrible!!  :(

The second video is a lot funnier.  My hubby was doing yardwork and he set up his work laptop to listen to music.  When we went over to see hubby, Chrome was staring warily at the laptop.  I asked hubby to get a video of him approaching it.  It's so cute!

He's so handsome even when he's dirty and hairy lol.  Well I guess that's all for today!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chrome Ride 121 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 7 - Rocky Ride 7 (with us)

My husband does NOT take selfies so this cracked me up when I uploaded the photos!!!  I love it!  My phone battery was dead, so he was the only one with a camera.  It was windy/cool and we had our hands full, so there aren't many pictures.  Oh well!

This was their first ride on the road in five months and it was windy, so they were a little spooky.  Okay, okay, Chrome spooked at the shadow of a turkey vulture flying over...... the shadow..... so yeah.  The good news is the spooks were in place for the most part.  Chrome didn't try to spin or anything like he used to.  One part was really funny because someone let their dogs out of the house right as we were riding past, Chrome spooked because he saw them first, then Rocky spooked because Chrome spooked and because he finally saw them, but Rocky spooking made Chrome spook again and flip his tail over his back for a second.  It was hilarious!!  Chain reaction spooks!

I cut me out of the picture because I was cold and bundled up and looked awful, but Chrome is too cute not to share.  We only rode thirty minutes.  We went .60 of a mile down the road and back, so a total of 1.20 miles.  We didn't want to go too far on their first ride.  Chrome was being super balky when we were walking away from the neighbor horses and while passing certain really brushy areas.  He was definitely a little tense.

Rocky was a little balky and tried to turn around a couple of times, but he's always been barn sour, so it's not a surprise.  Overall they did pretty good.  I can't complain considering how long it's been.

 I'm so cute I can get away with balking and spooking... not!

Well, now it's off to do laundry!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I have been worried that I might have overdone it by working Chrome five days in a row.. not for any legitimate reason, just because I've never done it before with him and I'm a world class worrier.  It's a full time job, I worry 24/7.  Chrome proved to me today that he is not overworked in any way lol.

When I left for work this morning Chrome was standing at the gate, nickering at me.  He thought I was coming outside to play with him some more.  Sadly I had to go to work.  I had just gotten off work and went to a local restaurant to eat with my husband because I needed to kill an hour before I had to go back to work for an employee meeting.  After ordering, but before the food arrived, I got a phone call from my mom telling me that the horses were out.  I panicked because there was a bucket of oats out for the deer, not to mention plenty of poisonous plants, things to be broken or stepped on, things to get tangled up in, etc.  The yard is not horse proof at all.

I drove home (driving WAY too fast, luckily I didn't run into a cop).  When I got there he was grazing and hadn't found the oats, thank goodness!!!  I'm so glad he was too engrossed in the grass to notice it.  So I grabbed my grooming bucket out of the car and ran to the pasture, shaking it the whole way.  They followed me into the pasture, but as soon as Chrome got close enough to realize it was my grooming bucket and not the feed bucket (he's way too smart) he turned and bolted back to the yard.  I locked Rocky up and went to get Chrome.  He's lucky he stood still while I put the halter on him, because if he'd run from me he would have been in BIG trouble.  I put him back up.  No harm done, thank goodness!  So yeah, the little turd is not overworked lol.

My shoulder hurting kept me awake most of the night and caused a crick in my neck, then at work my other shoulder started hurting from compensating... so I'm falling apart lol.  I'll see if I feel like riding tomorrow, but I might not.  I didn't take him for a walk either because I figured he had enough exercise.  When my mom first saw them out in the yard they were walking out in the woods in the deep mud so that was a hard workout for his stifles.  Rocky has mud almost to his hocks!  Ugh!  I'm glad neither of them are lame from that.  I'm telling you... horses... they are here to stress me out!  I love them though.  :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chrome Ride 120 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 6

Five days in a row riding!  That's a first!  He's going to get a couple of days off though because I have wrenched something in my neck (bathed my parent's dog, cleaned my whole shower, did tons of laundry, etc. I didn't hurt it while doing anything with the horses).  I was planning to give him a day off anyway, because he has to be tired.  He's not used to all of this exercise.  Before riding I hand walked him again so I could see him move and he's fine.  He may be a little tender on his front hooves while on the gravel, but I think that's more because he needs a thrush treatment (it's been muddy for weeks or a month) than because of the riding.

I rode him twenty five minutes while their water tank refilled (finally turned the water back on for the first time this year yay!).  Yes it takes that long to fill with our well lol.  The tank is over 100 gallons.  I forget exactly how big it is, but Rocky has been missing his fresh water, so I decided to fill it since we seem to be past the threat of frozen pipes.  I rode in the halter again and he was a good boy.  This was the calmest ride for both of us.  Even when the neighbor horses were galloping up to us at full speed he just stood and stared at them.  He didn't look at anything or spook at anything.  :D  He was being a bit balky and bratty because I let him graze before I rode and all he could think about was green grass.  That's my own fault though.  It was very mild and easily worked through, even in the halter, so I'm not complaining.  This was probably the best ride we've had since getting back to work.

He takes the cutest shadow pictures.

After I had to get off to turn the water off I hand walked him for another ten minutes (we checked the mail and said hi to the neighbor horses), then I fly sprayed him all over (because I found a tick on me yesterday after the ride and then had paranoid phantom itching all day and night... ugh) and put him back in the pasture.  That's pretty much all there is to talk about, but you have to see the rest of these pictures!!  I started walking backward while hand walking him, so I could take pictures.... just look at them.  He had me cracking up!

 Me walking backward confused him at first, but he got over it and started making faces.  So cute!  Then he got distracted by the neighbor horses again and just stared behind me.

 On the road, checking the mail, saying hi to the neighbors.

Walking back to the house I rattled the mail and got this cute expression.

He's so much fun.  :D  So I'm going to hand walk him tomorrow if my neck feels better.  More than likely I won't post unless I decide to take cute pictures or something.  :)  I'm going to try to ride Saturday, but we'll see.  Tomorrow and Saturday are short days at work, but Friday and Sunday are going to be looooooong, so I'll just see how I'm feeling.  I may just give him off until Monday (I don't know what next week's schedule is yet, so I don't know if I'm working Monday).  We can play it by ear.  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chrome Ride 119 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 5

Apologies in advance.  I didn't edit pictures lol.  They took forever to upload full size!!  Now I remember why I always edit them... I hate my internet haha.

Anyway I am so happy and relieved today.  I was getting the trash ready to take up to the road and as soon as Chrome saw me come outside he walked up to the gate and watched me.  When I was taking too long getting the trash cans ready he started nickering at me.  :D  He can't hate being ridden if he's greeting me like that!

So I went out and got him.  I put his halter on and walked him up and down the driveway a few times.  He was walking normally, maybe not striding out as big as he usually does, but he was stepping up evenly on both sides and stepping in the print of his front hoof.  So I decided to go ahead and ride.  I hopped on bareback in the halter and rope, no bridle.  We walked around, up and down the driveways.  I worked a little bit on neck reining.  He did really well, but I don't know if that's just because he knows where we turn or if he was understanding the cues haha.  We also did some backing.  He is doing so well with backing up off of a really light cue.  He keeps his head up and ears back while doing it, but he's doing it with a light cue so that's an improvement.  I only ask him to back up one or two steps at a time.  If I ask him to do too much sometimes his stifle will lock and he gets upset because he can't pull it backward, so I just avoid the frustration by only doing a step or two.  He can back further in hand because I can see if he locks and I can stop him before he gets upset that he can't move his leg back, then I can walk him forward out of it.

I only rode him for twenty minutes because it was hot (in the eighties... not used to it yet) and I don't want to overdo it.  The good news is when I got off of him I walked him around in hand for another five minutes or so and he was walking even better!! He was overstepping his front prints, so the heel of his hind hoof was landing in front of the toe of his front hoof.  :D  So riding and exercising helps loosen those muscles up and makes it easier for him to walk.  That makes me feel better that I'm not hurting him.  His attitude today helped too.  He had his ears up most of the time, unlike yesterday in the pasture where they were pinned back most of the time.

He just really hates it in the pasture.  It's boring and muddy and the goats, donkey and Rocky won't leave us alone.  When we were out there he was watching Rocky so closely!!  Every time Rocky's ears went back (at the goats who were harassing him), even if we were thirty feet away Chrome's attention would fixate on him and he would tense, waiting to see if Rocky was coming after him, ready to spin at any second.  I haven't seen Rocky bullying him, but he definitely has him respectful!!  Which I guess Chrome needed because he's always been a bit pushy with other critters.  Out in the yard he doesn't have to worry about any of that stuff and there is always something interesting to see.  I can't really blame him!

Even when they weren't pricked forward looking at something they were like this today, not pinned back like yesterday.

My grandparents were leaving to go to a dentist appointment and they checked the mail.  There was a box so I rode up to the gate and got off to get the box.  I had already planned on dismounting away from my car since he knows that's where we normally quit (my tack stays in the back of my car), so it worked out perfectly.  The funny thing is we were walking back and Chrome started going slow for some reason (he was behind me).  I looked back and saw a FedEx truck backed up to the gate.  I never even heard it and Jackal never barked!!  Chrome knew it was there though.  We turned and walked back to the gate (our driveway is long) to get another box.  It was so funny because the guy was staring at Chrome like he's never seen a horse before.  He might have been avoiding looking at me in my ugly horse hair covered sweat pants haha.  I looked a sight for sure!  Oh well, I've gotten to the age where I just don't care how bad I look as long as there is no photographic evidence haha!!!!

We walked back to the house with me carrying a box under each arm.  At one point Chrome slammed on the brakes and jerked back.  I looked back at him in confusion and he reached around to scratch his shoulder.  He must have tried to scratch and hit the end of the rope.  His poll and neck may be sore from setting back in the halter the other day.  The reason I decided to ride in the halter today is because he's been grinding on the bit every time we ride.  I don't know if it's because he hasn't worn one in five months or if it's his teeth.  He is due in May or June, so it's almost that time.  I'll let him wear the halter as long as we are around the house, but off property he probably needs the bridle.  He was being kind of looky today especially because the neighbor was doing a bunch of loud stuff with what sounded like sheet metal.  I was very relieved that I had already dismounted when a nearby dead tree just decided to randomly fall over causing us both to jump.... what is up with trees and limbs falling when I'm working with Chrome??

I got a picture of his cute shadow when we were working on standing still.  He's been trying to walk off when I mount or he gets bored standing still so we did some work on that.  Once he realized I was going to insist, he gave up and stood patiently until I asked him to walk again.  I think NuzMuz was right and he's testing me a little bit because it's been so long.

One exciting thing I noticed is this is the first time I've ridden him four days in a row!!  I've only ridden him three days in a row three other times.  When I was first starting him out I only rode every other day (if that) because I didn't want him to get sore.  Now I think as long as they are walk only, short rides he can easily work several days in a row.  Once we start doing harder stuff I'll either give him days off or really short, walk only ride after just to keep him loosened up and I'm going to hand walk him on days I don't ride if I can.

I also noticed the mosquitoes and gnats are out.  We actually had to fly spray them when we rode together the other day.  Ugh!  It's only March!  I knew with how mild the winter was that the bugs were going to be bad this year.  Anyway that's probably part of the problem with his stifles.  Every spring when he starts stomping at flies again he gets weird about his stifles.  Once he builds some strength back up in them it goes away.

I think that covers everything.  I'm going to get some cold water to drink and chill out in front of a fan in my tank top and shorts LOL!  I love it!!  So happy to not be cold all the time anymore!  :D

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chrome Ride 118 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 4

Sorry there are no pictures today.  I forgot to take my phone with me.  I was alone today (hubby at work) so I just rode bareback.... in the pasture!  I was nervous about riding in the pasture bareback (because that's where I was when I fell off) and it didn't help that he was being passive aggressively... uhh gate sour...  See he isn't barn sour because he doesn't want to go to the barn.  He wants to go to the gate to get out of the pasture.  He hates riding out in the pasture.  So I guess my horse is the opposite of barn/pasture sour.  Regardless it meant he was drifting, trying to turn, balking, etc. but it was at the walk only and fairly mild.  When I told him to quit he would... until the next time lol.

The ride was only fifteen minutes because something felt weird to me.  It was only when walking on a very slight downhill that was muddy.  He wasn't limping, but something just felt weird.  So when the goat started harassing us again (oh and riding in the pasture is a pain because none of the others will leave me alone... so annoying) I jumped off of Chrome's back and chased after the goat yelling at him (I must look crazy).  The funny thing is Chrome didn't move from where I left him (not even to go to the gate).  He just watched me and stood politely when I walked back up to him.  Good boy!

I undid one rein and longed him at the length of both reins.  At the walk his stifles looked... loose.  That's the only way I can think to describe it.  Not wobbly, but just loose.  It's hard to describe and most people probably wouldn't notice it.  I did because I know him so well.  At the trot he looked fine.  I rubbed and poked and prodded both stifles and he watched me, but he didn't pin his ears, shift his feet or swish his tail, so I'm guessing they don't hurt.  They are just really loose and weak.  I have got to stop letting him get so out of shape in the winter.  All of the standing around the hay bale for hours on end every day is so bad for him!!

So it was only fifteen minutes, but since we worked on lateral flexion, backing and weaving in and out of the barn poles I still consider it an actual ride.  I only rode right up around the front of the pasture because I'm too chicken to take him too far when he's wanting to spin and go back to the gate.  He wasn't excitable or explosive or anything, but he was very "light".  If I asked him to turn with a mere whisper of a rein cue he wanted to spin all the way around.  Make sense?  It made me a little nervous.  I had to keep the reins short and balance the cues with the outside rein so he wouldn't over turn, instead of riding him on the buckle.

Anyway enough about the ride.  There's two things I want to tell you guys about.  One happened today and one was yesterday that I forgot to tell you about.

Yesterday I had Chrome tied up and was grooming him.  He started rubbing his head on the tree (which he does all the time and I scold him for it), but I was brushing his back legs so I didn't see him do it.  The next thing I know he almost sat on me, which scared me to death.  I jumped out of the way and saw that Chrome had gotten his head under the rope so it was behind his poll and he was pulling back with all of his strength (which he doesn't normally do).  It finally popped over the top of his head, but instead of stopping he kept pulling until he broke his halter.... my favorite halter.... the one I had searched for ages for....  luckily it's only the throat snap so I can replace it.  He didn't get loose from the tree, but just decided to stop pulling and stood there.  Maybe my yelling finally sank into his little pea brain.  It took me ages to untie him (I had a quick release, but I put the tail through the loop because he likes to untie himself and it tightened up when he pulled) and then I tied him back up and we carried on like nothing happened (with his plain blue halter, not his pretty one).

Today when I lined Chrome up alongside the round pen panel so I could get on out in the pasture he stepped away.  He has done that before, but he normally only does it once and it's only maybe 2% of the time.  When I reset him he will stand still.  So I circled him around, lining him back up.  He did it again!!  It was a very deliberate step sideways, just far enough so I couldn't get on.  He was doing it as soon as I started to climb the fence.  I jumped down and smacked him (with a flat palm) on the butt and made him do two tight circles.  Then I lined him back up and he didn't move again.  I was able to climb up the fence and slide onto his back.  The little brat is testing me I think.  I can tell I haven't done much with him for five months...  bad me!

So Chrome isn't perfect (not that I ever said he was... okay maybe I did...).  He has his moments.  I still love him though.  He really is a sweet horse and not a difficult horse at all.  I'm sad his stifles are giving him problems, but I shouldn't be surprised.  This happens every spring after a winter off.  Now I just have to figure out how much is enough exercise and how much is too much.  I really wanted to start riding him more than one day in a row instead of always every other day.  I thought at his age that it wouldn't be a big deal, but I guess I had forgotten about his stifles.  I'm going to give him the rest of today off and then tomorrow bring him out on the driveway to watch him walk and trot.  The mud is hard on his stifles because the weak muscles are the ones that pull the hind leg up and forward.  I think it's the equivalent of the quads on humans.  If he's walking fine on hard ground tomorrow I'll go ahead and ride him.  I'll just avoid the mud.

Anyway sorry for the rambling.  I just need to get this down so I remember it. Also I did the math (scary I know) and I have to ride at least ten days a month to complete the challenge in December lol.  I don't know if I'll manage that!  At times like now, when the weather is nice it's one thing, but there are times in the summer where it's downright dangerous to ride in the heat and humidity.  We shall see.  The stifles complicate things too.  If we can't do it, it's no big deal.  It's still a motivation to get out there and ride.  :)  Thanks for listening guys!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Chrome Ride 117 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 3 - Rocky Ride 6 (with us)

 Mane looks much nicer when I brush it haha!

Today was gorgeous (well until now... now it's storming lol), so of course I had to ride after work.  The best part is hubby rode too!!!!  It's so much more fun riding together.  :D

We only rode thirty minutes and hubby wouldn't let me trot because Chrome's stifle gave out again.  It's so hard to not want to trot.  I kept it to a walk though, like I said I would (thanks to him hehe).  I wanted to ride out on the roads, but hubby said no (can you tell he keeps me grounded?) because Rocky hasn't been out in a really long time.  It's a good thing he said no!!!  As we were riding up the driveway, they were super excited because of the neighbor horses, but then two people flew by on bicycles with a dog.  Neither horse spooked, but their heads popped up and they were on high alert.  Then when I asked Chrome to walk to the gate he was doing that floating thing.  He gets so bouncy when he's excited!  Besides that Rocky spooked (well he took a few steps sideways) when I rode Chrome past the hay bales and my foot caught on the tarp (Chrome didn't spook yay!).  Rocky was also being barn sour, but he listened so that's okay.

I thought Chrome was dirty.... ugh no. Rocky was nasty!!

We spent forever grooming them since we were saddling up.  Rocky has lost some weight and a lot of muscle tone since he got sick, so I was worried about saddle fit.  We tried the Aussie saddle and the western saddle on him and he was looking back and pinning his ears for both.  I was so sad.  Hubby can't really ride bareback because there isn't enough support for his back, so I was afraid he wouldn't get to ride.  Then he reminded me of the treeless saddle that I'd tried on Chrome once, but it made him sore so I stuffed it in a closet.  I dug it out of the closet and we put it on Rocky with the thick western saddle pad.  He didn't make any faces when hubby tightened the girth!  I was so excited.  I think part of the reason it made Chrome so sore was because I was using a dressage pad instead of a thick wool western blanket.  We will see if it made a difference.  He didn't show any soreness when I palpated his back after the ride, but I'll check him tomorrow because it took a day before Chrome's soreness was evident.  Rocky was walking out with an over stride and didn't seem at all hesitant so I have high hopes.  Another benefit is that hubby said it's very comfortable for him.  More comfortable than either of the other saddles.  I hope it works out!!  Just for that reason it's worth saving up and buying a treeless saddle blanket with the built in gullet.  We will see how it goes.

I think that's all there really is to say.  This storm is freaking me out (tornado sirens were going off) so I'm very scatterbrained.  Here are the rest of the pictures.

A glimpse of the neighbor horses.

 Pictures of us taking pictures of each other lol.

 He caught us mid turn. 

 I was riding on the buckle, but had to pick up the right rein to turn because he doesn't neck rein.

 Chrome is so cute!!

I'm going to gather my stuff and throw it in the tornado shelter.  I'll proofread and comment that all is okay after if we have electricity.  Later!