Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mist Trail

All day I had been looking forward to taking Cupid on a conditioning ride on gentle slopes around the farm, so even though the sun was setting and it was a little drizzly I decided to go ahead anyways.  The Mist Trail is actually a great hike in Yosemite where you get misted by the waterfalls, but this was kind of similar.  I didn't count on the sun going down as fast as it did (it wasn't even 8pm, I hate that the long days of summer are gone!), so midway through our ride it got really dark.  Luckily there are some lights around the property, and I've been around enough during the daylight I knew the way and trusted Cupid to do the rest.  He was great, he never hesitated or stumbled!  He is such a good boy.  We saw some deer.  Once Cupid is a little stronger I look forward to doing some more trails with him!

This picture is not great, but indicates the poor visibility during my ride!  It was actually worse without the camera flash. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Saddle Up

Cupid has been progressing nicely in his rehab, I am very happy with how he's been looking. We are now alternating riding days with longing. It was a very busy weekend. On Saturday a rep from Stubben came out to check our saddle fit. Unfortunately my Stubben saddle is not a good fit for him, it is too wide. The rep was very helpful in explaining what to look for in fit. For now my Crosby saddle will be okay (with additional shims), and maybe next year we will look for a new saddle. The Stubben Portos we tried out was very nice! On Sunday my sister came out and rode Cupid, after we had a riding lesson. Cupid has not been ridden by anyone other than me since I got him, but he was a good boy.
 
Cupid also got a visit from the barley grass guy. He grows hydroponic sprouts which are supposed to be very nutritious for horses, and gave Cupid some samples. I don't know about the health benefits, but Cupid seemed to enjoy eating it!
Yesterday was a longe day. We working in the sand arena outside, which is a little deeper than the covered arena but Cupid seemed comfortable walking and trotting around. Today I plan on riding around the property. There are some nice gentle hills that will be good for his conditioning.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bareback trail ride!

I think Cupid and I are both getting a little bored with longing. I try to make it more interesting by varying the size and location of the circle, laying down ground poles/cavaletti, putting out cones, and making gates with the jump fillers but... it's still longing. So on Saturday I cut our longe session short and hopped on Cupid's back. He was just wearing his halter and I made reins out of the longe line. We walked around the arena doing some big figure-8s, and walk-halt-walk transitions. He was perfect! The next day I walked him up and down a little trail, then popped on him again bareback with just a halter and reins and rode on the paths around the barn. We passed by some people walking a dog, a tarp-covered pile of shavings, and horse paddocks and he didn't bat an eye. Cupid is such a good boy! Another boarder joined us for part of our ride and couldn't believe what a well-behaved 3 year old he is. I'm very happy with the progress he's making. We will probably start alternating longe and ride days. Yay!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dentist

Last Friday Cupid had to go to the dentist.  (Rather, the dentist came to him.)  I thought he was just going to have his teeth floated, but the dentist said he has a loose baby tooth that would be best to just extract.  I couldn't watch, but there was some blood.  Poor Cupid! The dentist said in a week the new tooth will be grown out enough that it will barely be noticeable.  He had a little bit of abrasions on his inner cheeks, so hopefully he will be more comfortable now.  Otherwise everything looked good, the dentist just commented that he has kind of a small mouth. 


Cupid got an extra day off on Saturday because I felt bad for him.  On Sunday we resumed longing.  I set out a cavaletti (on the smallest side) and used the jump fillers to make some gates and things for him to go through to make the longing slightly more interesting.  He looked good!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turnout

After being confined to a stall for nearly 6 weeks, Cupid was finally allowed to be turned out.  He seemed to know when I was leading him towards the pasture gate, even though we walked by there often the past few weeks that he would actually get to go through.  I told him he needs to take it easy to avoid re-injuring himself.  He listen for about a minute, then cantered off!  I was worried, but he looked very happy.  He settled down pretty quickly, and decided to take a big dust bath instead.
video
For the time being Cupid gets turned out during the day and spends the night in a stall.  Eventually he will be out overnight as well.  I haven't ridden him yet since his lameness, but have been longing him (on a very big circle) 10 minutes each side five days a week.  This week we will increase to 12 minutes.  Even though I am eager to ride him, I don't want to rush it and let him build strength without my added weight.  But I am definitely looking forward to it!