Accomplishments

Monday I felt like doing some jumping. Scarlet warmed up well and I hopped over the low cross rail that was set up as a warm up. He wasn’t jumping very enthusiastically but he doesn’t love trotting over jumps. I hopped of him and moved another cross rail to a more respectable height and then moved a vertical to something that made me a little unsure. It was only one hole above where I’ve jumped before but it looked sooo much higher. There was an oxer set up just below 2′ as well.

I cantered over the cross rail a few times both directions and then aimed for the oxer. It seems odd to do that one first but it was lower and I knew he was going to go over it. He feels so good going over oxers. He definitely was anticipating it the next time we came around the corner. I love when he drags me to the fences.

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Knows where we are heading and says I need to move faster.

After a brief walk break, I cantered us around for the vertical. The sun was setting so the shadows were a little weird and this fence lay in a shadow. I think Scarlet either didn’t see it well or didn’t really realize how high it was because he gave it a really good peak. We made it over regardless. This horse is so stinking good at getting over fences with no momentum. I wish I had someone to push us in lessons to figure out just what he can actually do.

Having made it over the fence, I took us back around the arena and we soared over it super nicely this time. It was smooth and felt great. Holly was watching from where she was lunging Uno and she said he tucked his feet super nice. I gave him big pats and called that a good one to finish on. I measured the vertical later and it was around 2’6″. XD We’re getting bigger and bigger. I need to be more gungho about raising the fences to real heights for us now. Scarlet definitely jumps better with higher fences.

Wednesday and Thursday the training goal ended up being centered around trails. I did some stuff on the flat and then wanted to just walk around. I thought we should probably do the trail loop again and figured it would be a good time to do it the other way.

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Scarlet lost his freaking mind. No way was he going to go down the trail the other way. *gasp* THE HORROR!

The thing is, he wasn’t spooking. He wasn’t scared. He was pissed we were leaving the barn. This entrance to the loop is closer to his stall and he was not having it. But neither was I. I was not having his backing up, moving sideways and just generally ignoring my leg. I normally wear my spurs below the spur rests on my boots so I use them just for an additional nudge when needed. I moved those up and told him that my leg means FORWARD! We spun in small circles that I directed slowly moving up the trail. I knew I wasn’t going to get him fully out on the trail but I wanted to reach a reasonable point. It really wasn’t that far up the trail.

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Horf Horf. Munch. Mmmmmmmmm. 

When we reached it, we turned and went back. He kept trying to jig his way back. If he ignored my request for a walk, we stopped and backed up. And then repeated about 4 or 5 times before I could get a reasonably responsive walk up to the point I wanted. That was Wednesday.

Normally, getting into a fight with a horse isn’t a great idea. It’s not good to push them when they are really afraid or have serious feeling about something as it might ruin their trust. However, I knew exactly why Scarlet was being a pill and it was not an acceptable reason. Proof is in Thursday. After our ride, we headed for the trail. I had moved my spurs in prep for a fight. I had to ask once but Scarlet moved forward at my urging without spurs for the rest of the short section. He wasn’t happy still but it was forward, listening and respectful. We did that one short section, even going a bit further than the day before and then called it quits. I’m going to keep this up until we can go both ways along the trail loop without issue.

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Variety is The Spice of Life

Scarlet and I did a lot of stuff together recently.  None of it was off site of our barn though. I’d love to take him places and work on being comfortable like that, but lacking a truck and trailer means I’ve got to get innovative with what I’ve got available.

Holly’s been looking at part leasing Uno to save some money. She hasn’t found anyone yet but there was a person who came out to trial on Wednesday. She asked me to be there at that time so that she can have a second opinion. Riding while paying attention to someone else and dodging a lesson horse is really difficult so instead of jumping a bit like I had planned, I ended up sitting and watching. Scarlet was cool with it because it meant he got to laze about. The potential leaser seems decent and a quiet ride. Holly is going to have them come try another time or two to make sure they and Uno can get along.

Thursday I did a bareback ride. It had been a while since my last one and I want to keep myself doing them. They are really good for focusing on myself and how I ride. After our ride, I decided to be super brave. We went around the trail loop. Scarlet was actually pretty good. He got a bit tense near the last chunk but he tends to start jigging there anyway. We just need to do more and more loops so he realizes that this is totally normal and he doesn’t have to worry. I wanted a picture of me doing it but I didn’t trust him enough to take my hands of for a picture. Maybe in the future.

Friday morning we jumped a bunch. Scarlet warmed up okay and was pretty sluggish overall. He’s quick to think we’re just going to exit the arena after we do our warm up. He listens though, so I try not to get too annoyed at him. He did quite obediently jump over everything. We didn’t have perfect distances but I also barely had the jumps at two feet. They might have even been less. I think he’s starting to disrespect stuff that is lower. He knocked a vertical with his feet enough to tap it but not make it fall. He doesn’t normally do that so I think I need to raise the fences, even when I’m feeling lazy. Or at least raise a few so I have some fences to challenge him with.

Making Time

Sometimes you make time, sometimes it is made for you.

Scarlet’s back/neck loosened up a couple of days after my last post so I’ll just have to keep in mind that he might need some bute next year.

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Cat picture cause she’s sooo cute!

Lately, I’ve been listening to a podcast while I’m out at the barn. I was initially just listening while I drove. Then I listened on lazy riding days. Then I was always listening. And while the podcast is amazing and definitely not to blame, I realized I wasn’t coming home with the relaxed feeling that made me addicted to going to the barn.

I stopped listening to the podcasts when I’m at the barn and it’s really helped. With a constant stimulus, my brain wasn’t getting that shut off or solely focused on physical state that really helps me relax and unwind. So I’m going to keep leaving the podcasts in the car and try to focus on my horse and myself instead.

With the rain we’ve had, plus a bit of sun, grass has started to grow. We don’t have grass turnouts or even patches of ground to graze on in SoCal so I want to take advantage of this while it exists. I’m planning on letting Scarlet graze after every ride I can.

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I do have more time to do so right now. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this on the blog, but it’s really odd to talk about my day on here with avoiding this. It feels weird and I want the blog to feel comfortable and fun to write. I have a lot more time because I lost my job at the end of October. It really really sucks.

Being an adult means having a job so you can support yourself and the things you want to do. I have an extremely expensive hobby. I feel guilty now not being able to contribute directly to the monthly expenses. I feel like I’ve failed at adulting.

I know most of the feelings are temporary and not true, but they are still there. I’ve been applying to jobs. I’ve even had a couple of phone interviews. The market where I’m at is good but the holidays are here which means that hiring is really slow. I know this. It’s all very reasonable and logical. But logic doesn’t get through to the anxiety.

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So excited. XD

Since I’ve got so much time I’m at the barn earlier and longer than I normally was. I briefly contemplated trying to part lease Scarlet. The money would be useful. But I would go absolutely nuts if I didn’t have him to relax me every day. So I just ride and put in applications.

I’m so grateful that I have a companion who listens to my bitching and gets me out of the house. Scarlet has been my emotional rock so many times when I was young. He still is even when I’m dealing with adult crap instead of angsty teen drama.

I love my horse.

PS – If anyone knows someone who needs a Software Tester for a job in San Diego, Seattle or remote, hit me up! 😉

Health Stuff

Scarlet had to get his teeth floated and his vaccinations on Wednesday. He doesn’t love the covered crossties we have to go into in order to get it done. I arrived early and waited for 15 minutes after the vet was supposed to arrive. He called me and said he was going to be there in about 20 minutes. So more than half an hour late… Should have known better than to arrive early for a horse related appointment. I’m a perpetual early bird to appointments. I get anxious about being late really easy. I’ll just have to be ready to chill when it’s a horse thing.

Waiting for the vet

The vet showed up and got to work. Scarlet was pretty good and didn’t do more than kinda try to move backward. Understandable when there’s a giant rasp in your mouth. The vet said he looked pretty good because he stays on a regular schedule. Always nice to hear that my old boy is healthy.

Drugged baby

After the vet went to do another horse’s chiro appointment. I stood around tapping his face to try and get him a bit more awake before I walked him back to his stall. I must have been there too long because the vet stopped back to check on me and then walked Scarlet off. He told me he was good to go back. Sorry vet if I look like a crazy horse mom. I am! Scarlet is very important and I’m overly cautious with his health.

We then had a stupid amount of rain come down. I’m happy for it because rain in CA is always welcome. San Diego has rain so rarely that literally no one knows how to drive in it. When I was going to the store, everyone was driving like they’d never driven before. Better than the alternative. There was a serious multiple car multiple fatality accident that might too so I’ll take the granny driving thanks.

I got our Saturday morning and went on a few loops of the trail with my friend K and her horse. Scarlet was really good about it all. He hugged a bit but after having not been ridden for 4 days, I’m not complaining.

After the ride, I gave Scarlet his grain. He just shuffled around instead of trying to eat it. Immediately, I started panicking. He ate if I lifted the pan but he didn’t want to lower his head much more than halfway down. I left him to the pan while filling his water and he ended up eating a bit from it but he didn’t clean his plate like he normally does. He drank a lot of water too so I didn’t think he was really sick. I ran my hands all over him and didn’t find anything besides a small bump where a vaccine was given. I talked to K and she said her horse has a stiff neck all the time after vaccines it takes her three days or so to recover. She gave me some bute to give Scarlet so he could have some pain meds.

So, in light of that, I’m planning on putting together a first aid kit list for myself. I’ve got bute, vet wrap, gauze, wound cream. Anything else you guys suggest?