Monday, April 9, 2012

Maintenance & Mochas

Friday turned out to be a decent day in this neck of the woods which made me a bit sad to be "losing" a nice of possible riding to pony maintenance.  But the mare needed her toes trimmed and apparently she really needed her teeth floated, so a day off in the name of pedicures and teeth polishing seemed prudent.

Prairie got trimmed before I got to the barn, but I was still able to catch up with the farrier before he left for the day.  According to him, her fronts look like iron (I still think the bars are long?) and her hinds look good, but P2 was starting to wear the outside of both hinds down faster than her inside...

He trimmed her as level as he could without making her sore and was very polite about showing me his cadaver leg and why unbalanced hooves are bad.   In my head I know this, but I also know that sometimes uneven wear helps accommodate less than perfectly aligned joints....

Regardless, I opted to hold off on shoeing her to see how things go for a week or so (I want to see how she re-balances).  If the ring is sandpapering her toes down too much, of course we'll shoe.  but if not - well, her big wide pretty feet are hard to give up.

Thoughts? Opinions? I'll get pictures of her toes up here soon...

My vet helped consult on the shoe situation before slinging Prairie up for a full float.  Poor mare had some SERIOUS edges in her mouth.. At her pre-purchase in December she "had about 6 months" before needing her teeth done.  I'm glad I erred on the earlier side of that time range since she was starting to slice up her cheek with some seriously ragged dragon teeth..

P2 was a good girl for the process.  She hardly objected (under heavy sedation obviously) to her torture and I was thrilled that there wasn't a speck of blood until the very last two teeth in the back of her whale-mouth.  I've got to give my vet a lot of credit for how precise she is with teeth.  It's not a job I envy.
Very Sleepy, Very Good Mare
 Afterward, she made a few quick adjustments to P2, showed me some good stretches for her to help with her back and we called it a day.

Saturday was a fantastic start to the weekend.  I met up early with Denali's Mom, then we slammed our coffee and scooted of to her barn to watch an Alfredo Hernandez clinic.  I've known a few people who have worked with him, but had never seen him teach in person, and holy lord.  When P2 (and maybe P1?) are ready, we are definitely spending some of our dollars on lesson time with him.  What a riot.  Piaffe/Passage work can get ugly and tense and difficult, but Alfredo managed to keep it very calm and helpful and fun for both horse and rider..

It didn't hurt that the sun was shining so we could happily stand outside basking in a bit of warmth as we watched the fantastic ponies go round and round.

From there we stopped first for snacks (by "snacks" I mean burger and fries...) then scooted off to Prairie's barn.  The mare was out dozing in the sunshine when we found her, looking absolutely content.  I barged right in on her serene moment and starting fussing over her tail, wiping her nostrils and generally disrupting any semblance of a quiet afternoon.

We tacked up and hit the ring for a really good easy ride.  Our first 15 minutes of uninterrupted warm up was the best we've had on our own.  Prairie was light, responsive, calm, and totally trying to figure out what I was asking.  We got a couple messy leg yields, shoulder ins, renvers and some smooth canter transitions without any drama-llama-ing at all.

I should have quit then, as after stopping to chat with Denali's Mom and letting the mare rest, things unraveled a bit.  The scary donkey started lurking walking nicely around the property, the wind picked up, about 5 people pulled into the barn and horses were getting led in and out of pastures.  Nothing really "spectacular" to be worked up over, but I lost her attention and didn't do a great job of getting it back.

We did squeak out a few more minutes of decent work, and Denali's Mom even took some videos of us.

Here's a clip from the end of the ride, showing a few seconds of our mediocre canter, a very distracted mare, one of P2's "spooks" (0:26) and then me trying to get her back to a slightly focused, relaxed place.  (her "tantrums" don't exactly look like P1's...)

All in all, a fabulous day.  I topped it off sitting on my deck in the sun with a trashy book and a glass of iced tea.  Sometimes life is too good to be true.


  1. Sounds like a great day to me!!

  2. At least her trot is still soemthing to die for, even when going about all distracted like

  3. If she was half as wild as she thinks she is, you'd really have something, lol. Such a pretty girl.

  4. That is one lovely pony you have there!!! :)

  5. So cool that you got to hang with Denali's mom. I would love to meet her (and you!).

    Prairie looks awesome even when she's distracted. She looks like so much fun and her spooks don't look bad at all. :D

    I think shoes do more damage than good. You could always try boots if she gets tender. If not, just keep strengthening her hooves by working on different surfaces. Did you get picture pre and post trim?


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