Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hitting The Trails Once Again, With a Twist!

We rode bareback!!! LOL! Boy, do I like challenges! ;P

Mercy was still dealing with that weird armpit issue and I decided not to let that set us back completely. Riding bareback in the front pasture if fun, and 'getting something done,' but I wanted to trail ride! So, I grabbed the barrel racing bridle and jumped on for a short ride to the creek. Unfortunately for me, I had forgotten how short the reins are when I ride Mercy. Her neck is so long! Plus she holds her head down and poked out, naturally.... I really had to lean forward and still only use a few fingers to hang on! T'was fun!

We wandered slowly along the creeks bank and finally stopped for a few pictures. Mercy swore she could see some thing that she insisted on inspecting on the other side, but we stayed the course instead...

...Which really out someone into an argumentative mood! LOL!

We started home and all was going well until we got to the part of the trail that I am positive a herd of elk bed in. Both Starlett and Mercy always get really uneasy going through there and walk as fast as the can to get out. And of course me being bareback seemed to really set Mercy off. She just wanted to barge through the bit and trot through the area. Uh, no. That's obviously not ok.... so I guided Mercy back to a walk and we walked through the area a few times, back and forth, back and forth, until Mercy began to let up her guard.

Once we were back on our way home, Mercy once again picked up a trot, which was easy to correct, but it still irritates me. So guess what!? Mercy got to work her butt off doing rollbacks, serpentines, leg yields, haunches in, shoulders in, and sidepasses, all while going up and down the same track of trail, until she calmed down and walked out content.

I swear, once I get the saddle back on her, we are going to have one very long trail ride until she figures out we are NOT going back to the barn until she is smooth and responsive. I need to pick a nice day to do that. I need it to be a good experience!

Then, just the other day, we let the girls out into the big pasture for their first big romp in months. And guess what? nothing happened! I thought Mercy would have exploded with the freedom, but nope!

Oh well! LOL! This weekend is the Ricky Quinn Jr. Clinic in Buckley, WA. We are going to be busy for sure!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More *Slight* Set Backs

Figures. I get the all clear to start riding again and something else comes up to slow us down. Mercy's allergies have come on fast and furious (and really early) this year. She is itching all over and basically mutilating herself. About two weeks ago she was chewing herself so bad that she literally skinned herself. I came out to feed dinner and found her left armpit swollen, painful, and gooey.

I haltered her up and washed the area well with Betadine. She was ouchy, so I took my time and really got into the folds of swollen skin to make sure everything was clean and dry. When I checked her the next morning her armpit was still swollen and sensitive, but not as gooey or raw looking.


She slowly started improving over the next few days and now the area is just flaky from where the scabs had fallen off. Weird. Needless to say, I couldn't saddle her up with that injury so close to the where the girth would go, so I have ridden her almost daily bareback! I cannot believe how much I miss riding bareback! I have really enjoyed refining my balance and being more connected with Mercy. She can easily feel my shifts in weight and readily backs circles now. All of that leather is apparently getting in the way! LOL! We are getting more done now in our short 30 minute rides than when I saddle up and work for an hour.


Last night I was trying to re-learn how to feel when Mercy's feet leave the ground. Being able to call out when each individual foot leaves the ground is quite a skill, and since we will be heading out next Friday for another fun weekend with Ricky Quinn Jr., we need to refine our skills and re-establish those that have been lost due to injuries and time off. Mercy's injury really threw us off on our 'goal's list,' but that's the way it goes. Time to play catch up! ;P

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Believe It or not, but Spring is HERE!!!

The Hellebore I bought last year is in full bloom right now and might I say, what a beauty!!! I love it! Every flower is a slightly different shade of pinky-purple with random hints of lime green. The cats are doing good too! Chai has momentarily (voluntarily) taken up residence in Cuda's crate...
...and Tiki is posing for all to see!... No, really she is just getting positioned to watch the swallows better. They're back! ;D

Mercy got to ride in style to her recheck ultrasound with Dr. Schneider on Thursday. This is "Meaty," my new 2005 Ford F250! I purchased this beauty a little over a month ago, but needed to have some work done on it first before it assumed the position of "Official Hauling Vehicle." It hauls like a dream and all of the special features inside doesn't hurt either!
Mercy got a clean bill of health at our visit and Dr. Schneider said saddle up and ride! Her tendon is healed as good as it will ever get, so he said to start more trot work and add in some loping too! Well, we didn't waste time doing just that:

Someone is tired of waiting

The trails haven't changed much

It's really hard not loping up hills like we use to...
Yup, the grass tastes the same! Om Nom Nom!
The Lake is really high! The 'shoreline' is completely submerged
The creek is showing off it's white water and strong current

The ride went well considering there are a lot of new trees down. Luckily they are low enough that I can ask her to simply step over them instead of launching over them (like we usually do, heehee!). She did get a little squirrely at one spot near the lake where we usually blast up a rocky hill to the top. She was getting jiggy and kept pulling on the bit, so to work we went. Circles, serpentines, backing circles, and spins quickly knocked the jig right out of her, and once we could easily stand still on a loose rein, we headed back home the way we came.

Here is a clip from the lake. Mercy never ceases to amaze me with her pawing power! I never make it home with dry legs or boots! Even Star gets into the act! Enjoy!

Oh, by the way, the Ricky Quinn Clinic is ON for us! We will be there and hopefully we will be in the bosal! ;P