Friday, March 5, 2010

Catching Up: Good Times in The Wind and Indoor Arena

Early January:

We noticed that Starlett was starting to look less 'filled in.' Her hindquarters were lack some serious muscling and her top line, oh her top line. It was just pitiful looking. She turned 21 Jan. 28, but she just isn't that old! For a mare that gains weight on air, we knew something was up. As you probably know we feed local hay to our girls so that they can get more throughout the day and munch pretty much continually without getting obese. Unfortunately, some of the hay we bought this year wasn't as great as we first thought. When there is nothing else for them to eat the girls will eat it, but otherwise they won't even sniff it. Since we have already decided to quit buying local hay (at least in bulk), we picked up a bale or two of timothy, which we used to feed Star all the time, to see if it made a difference. While transitioning hays, I cleaned up the feed room and rearranged the 4 different types of hay we had!

Alfalfa, timothy, good local, and bad local, along with the two different grains (LMF, not really grain), treats, first aid kits, supplements, hay pellets, and pellet bedding... argh that was a job.

January 6: A few days before my good friend headed out of state for a job in Wisconsin, we hooked up for one last trail ride for who knows how long. I drove over to the landsburg trails, which she lives on (jealous), and tacked both girls up. I wasn't sure which one I wanted to ride even after they were tacked up, lol!

The wind this day was atrocious! It was a constant 35 mph with much higher gusts. And, it was still cold. We got there REALLY early, so once they were tacked up we stood around for a good 25 minutes in the wind. Good times... Star could care less, I think.

Mercy, the oh-so-impatient one did, however. She went from this happy face...

... to grinding her teeth and chewing on her rope. At least she wasn't pawing and moving around.

My friend finally rode up to the trailer. We applied our hand and toe warmers and I jumped on Starlett. I decided to ride her because it's easier riding the slower horse in this particular group. Mercy had to figure out the going faster was only going to get her to the pali-butt in front of her, no where else. And if she got too pushy, well, let's say that Star isn't afraid to aim a hoof at her.

Since my friend had to be home in two hours, we just rode the pipeline loop. This is the ride that my mom and I like a lot. We get some time in the woods and also some time on the gravel pipeline, a great place to really move the horses out. We kept it at a walk, because I was ponying and my friend's mare is still young and silly.
Our ride was really quite uneventful. The only interesting part was when we were on the pipeline and Mercy decided that she didn't like Luna, my friend's mare. She would swing her hind end toward her and threaten to kick. This was easily fixed by dallying her lead rope off onto Star's saddle and pulling Mercy off balance when she did this. It only took a few times for her to figure this out and she quit... for now... grrr. :/
When we got back to the trailer we said quick goodbyes and both headed home. The wind and cold had really taken a toll, but it was well worth it. I don't know when I will see my good friend again; soon, I hope! The girls were worn out too- both quickly found places to nap for a while.

January 8:
We need to get out again. The cold was still miserable and riding on the trails was not an option. So we hauled the girls out to our friend's indoor arena! Mercy and I needed to continue working on loping circles. Of course, taking pictures in an indoor arena is a pure challenge, as most horse people know. Most didn't turn out, so bear with me on this post.
Our circles to the left are much better than going to the right. The right circles are super unbalanced and downright ugly. I am having trouble deciding if it is me and how I sit her lope, or if she is just unbalanced, throwing me off. Either way, we needed to just ride.
Breaks are looked forward to by everyone- me included!

While taking a break from circles I watched and helped my mom get Star to flex and relax into a smoothish jog. The cold weather really made Star stiff and we just needed to get her loosened up.
After TrailridinRN was done riding Starlett, Taylor jumped up for a quick ride! Taylor had used Starlett for gaming in 4H a few years ago and still enjoys riding her when we come over.

Ears up and big smile!

After another round of circles, we get another break! YEAH!

Thanks for letting us use your beautiful facility Taylor! See ya at the barn again soon!
Later January:
We were sick of the joint supplements. They weren't doing anything for Star and they were getting ridiculously expensive, so we finally did it. We started Star on Adequan injections. After the loading dose (one injection every 4 days for 5 injections), we only have to maintain with one injection a month. This combined with the knee injections we did a few months back, we hope to make Star more comfortable in all of her joints. I'll update you later on her progress!
*Does 100th post dance!* ;)

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