Sunday, January 6, 2013


On Friday after work I decided to handwalk Lucy down to the trail head behind the barn. I miss trail riding terribly and though I know it wouldn't be smart to dive right back into it before doing more work in the ring first, I don't see the harm in at least walking her around back there so she can get used to the sights and sounds of the woods again.

Well, she was a complete and utter fruit bat, spooking and snorting at things that did not exist, looking freaked out and bug-eyed half the time:

So I imagine we will need to do that a few more times before I can even think of riding her out there, and then for the first few rides I am going to ask Kenny to walk with us, then probably ask a friend to ride out with us.

hanging out with her hay net that is almost the size of her!
 The last thing I wanted to do for Lucy before getting too far under saddle with her after her accident was to have a chiropractor look at her. I was concerned about her hind end from her fall on the road when she got loose. While she hasn't shown any additional warning signs of being uncomfortable, I would rather be overcautious than not cautious enough so I had her adjusted this morning. As I expected, she is still body sore but the chiro said not to keep her out of work. Her turnout area is so small that she doesn't move around much during the day, and standing around in the cold air won't help her muscles at all. I was told to do lots of lateral work with her (haunches in, bending circles, serpentines, asking her to step sideways under herself with her hind end, etc). I also am supposed to back her up to get her to stretch her hind end under herself, and walk/trot over poles to get her to pick her hind legs up and stretch out her SI area.

She also got her feet done this weekend. Her hind feet look atrocious from not having shoes on. We already found out over the summer that she just cannot handle being barefoot, but after her accident she could not hold her hind leg up to be shod because of all of her painful road rash, so I was forced to keep her barefoot. Her feet held up well for the first few weeks but then we got snow, and standing around in all the moisture really did a number on those hind hooves. It's nothing we haven't come back from before, though! I am just glad she healed up so well and had no problems standing to be shod.

On Saturday, I went and visited Lauren and her horse Charlie. Charlie has turned into a bit of a brute since moving up to New England and Lauren has her hands full. Maddy and I are going to visit again next weekend and help her work through some of his naughtiness. You can read more about the visit on Lauren's blog, but here's a little teaser of what went down:

Tonight I had a pretty good ride on Lucy, who had two days off and was feeling fresh. I rode in the western saddle and a rope halter bridle again, and Maddy helped me work with her a bit. We tried a new tactic to work on her little outbursts in hopes of making her into a self-sustaining horse. When she threw a tantrum, sped up, broke her gait, etc, I was supposed to sit on my butt in the saddle, reach down and pull the outside rein so that she turned into the wall of the indoor, push her over with my inside leg, push her around with my outside leg, switch direction, and walk off like nothing ever happened. It worked pretty well because she was never able to get any momentum. The idea is for the horse to be able to go around the ring on a loose rein, and both self-regulate their speed without changing anything, and also not take advantage of the "freedom". The changing of directions works like a reset button. Ideally if we were cantering along and she was bad, then we would change directions and canter off immediately, but to start we are just keeping it simple and walking off from the spin.


  1. Sounds like a good plan to walk around where you'll be trail riding. Glad Lucy was able to get shoes back on. I hope she continues to improve and feel better!

  2. Woooo hoooo! Charlie looks a bit... bouncy! And, I so understand the bug eyed mare. In order to trail ride Sugar, I have to go "off farm"... On farm is way tooo exciting! Good Luck!

  3. We had the same diagnosis from the chiro - back ups and poles. Something to work on at least!

  4. Yikers! Charlie is feeling too good, lol!
    Lucy has the biggest hay net I've ever seen. My boys would love that. So glad your girl is feeling so much better and getting back to work.

  5. I'm loving the hay net photo.

  6. I got wicked distracted by that massive haynet. It's all sorts of awesome. How do you even fill that??

    1. Ok so I have to confess that it isn't *really* that big. The photo is a bit of an optical illusion because Lucy is standing further back in the shot.

      It is probably the size of her midsection when full. It can hold a whole bale in there. I fill it from the top, then pull it closed in the same way as a drawstring trash bag closes, then tie a little loop and hang it from the tree branch.


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