Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old Lesson Re-learned

Back when I was riding jumpers one thing I learned was the best way to a fence, or line of fences, was the direct straight-on approach.  Unless you are flying around in a jump off trying to shave seconds off your time you will probably be more successful if you get your horse straight going to the jump.  That way the rider, and horse, have a better feel for how far away the fence is and can get a good distance.

Turns out that trail riding can have more in common than I thought.  More on that later.

So today we headed North to Winlock,Wa to ride some trails behind our group trail boss's house.  The weather was exquisite!  Not too hot yet, a little breeze,  and lots of blue sky!!!!

I took Cartman along, although Dazzby is looking pretty good and I think she really wanted to go.  Cartman needs time out with a group of horses, and new experiences.  Secondly, I don't know these trails and really want to take it easy with Dazzby since she's had so much time off.  And, lastly I am really having fun riding Cartman!  He is super smooth (for a trotting horse that is!)

I picked up Flo and P. and we met P., S., M., and J. in Winlock.  Its such fun to be around a big group of horse people!  They're just more interesting than others :) wink wink!  S. has a beautiful farm and a to-die-for barn.  It was so clean I really wondered if horses actually lived there.

The trails we were riding were fairly new and it was great training for my boy- he hasn't done much climbing up and over hills and valleys.  At one spot we could see both Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier(?).  We were talking, riding, and occasionally would stop to cut a branch that had fallen across the trail or to let the horses grab a bite of grass now and then.  Cartman was really relaxed, and other that getting a little close to Shiraz now and then (he's a saint and was very patient about it) I was having a great time.

Flo was riding her baby greenie Auggie and he was a rock star!  He's huge and looks a lot like big brother HotShot.  Actually Auggie isn't really green, he's a blue roan:)

We came upon a very small bridge over a little culvert.  I was riding behing P. and she held her mare back for a second so we could get Cartman right up behind her to cross the little bridge.  Unfortunately, Cartman chose that particular moment to do the baby horse, noodle step sideways manuever and didn't step up squarely onto the bridge.  He corrected, climbing up with his front legs but the hind slipped down.  It was certainly not a high bridge (thank goodness) but it ended up that it had gotten a little slick since last use. 

It has been raining, and raining here and a kind of slimey stuff appears on wood over nite in Western Wa.  So, after what seemed like an eternity of slipping, scrambling, slipping off the other side, and scrambling some more- we reached the other side. 

I LOVE my boy.  He didn't panic and he is a strong horsea.  I jumped off and he was holding up his right hind leg.  Apparently Cartman had completely scraped the skin off  the front of his cannon bone.  It started to dribble a little blood as I was passed a vet wrap and telfa pad (thank you P.- nice to have a vet around!) and some wound creme. 

After several minutes three of us (P., J., and myself) managed to find the end of the roll of vet wrap.  I think it had been kicking around in the saddle bag for a while!

I poured some clean water over his leg and wrapped it up.  Someone actually had a human first aid kit, so we topped the vet wrap with a bandaid, hoping to hold it on long enough to get him back to the trailer.

P. and I headed back, Cartman felt sound and had finally quit shaking.  He pretty much acted unfazed about the whole ordeal at that point.

Back at the farm, Cartman got a dose of Banamine, and then ran around in a grassy paddock while I waited for the others to get back.

Here are some pictures of the day! 

Waiting while S. cuts a tree limb.

Someone kept me company while I waited.

Here they come!

Nothing seems to affect Cartman's appetite.

Someone knows how to get "that spot"

Not to be outdone, Danny gets in on the action.

Cartman and buddy Auggie

The temporay wrap.

Cartman's now fully wrapped and turned out, hoping this will heal uneventfully.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun Trip to the Beach

 Today was the day I've been waiting for- for over a week.  I had the day off work and Flo had invited me to go to the beach with friends. 

Last nite, I got home to find Cartman wired to the max, and missing a shoe.   Ugh.   I walked the big field and the little one and could not find it.  I called my farrier and left a message.  He is awesome and was here at 8:30 this morning to reset a shoe, good thing too because my wild man just happened to rip the other back one off while running in the paddock this morning!  I had put him in there to chill until we left but he used the time to practice his roll backs and starting gate sprints.  The shoe was right in front of the gate when I went to catch him.
We drove down to Warrenton and got ready to ride!  Our group of five headed out on the trails in the dunes (I was hoping to take the edge off before actually hitting the beach.)

Cartman did great!  He did get a bit excited at one point but came back to me nicely and was pretty good on the trails.

The beach itself was really crowded!  Everyone was soaking up the sun and playing.

Here are some pictures:


More Cartman :)

Guess who?

The dunes are fun to ride and seem to go on forever.

Hmmmm, wonder what's over that hill?

Oh my......

Just in case you thought we were all alone.

Back to the trailer- in one piece!

Having a little post ride snack.

What Cartman had actually had planned for the day.

Still enough energy to run with Mom.

Uh oh, shadows are starting to get kinda long.

Cartman's big brother Taj.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why Do You Call Him Cartman?

Once upon a time, there was an adorable bay baby colt without a name.

He lived with his mother Dazzby Dancer in a large box stall in the wild wild west of  western Washington.

One day it started to rain, and it didn't stop all day long.  The next day it rained too.  And the next.

The little colt and his Mom were stuck inside the barn.  Now, as far as barns go this one was pretty nice.  It was three stalls in one, with three gates to look outside from, fresh wooden walls and deep fluffy straw to sleep on.

He ate, and stretched, and play bucked, and chased his mother's tail, until she had to warn him by lifting a hind leg in his direction.  He knew she was just joking and would never actually kick him.

Several times a day the first human he had ever seen would come in and tidy up their stall.  She would pet him, give him butt scritches, and talk to him.  He liked her.  She would sometimes bring a small nylon halter and carefully place it on his head.  They would go in circles, the human would make him turn, and move sideways away from the rope that she place on the little halter.  Sometimes they would take a few steps up and down the stall together.

On the third day of the never-ending rain the little colt was really getting bored.  Mom was getting bored too and was starting to get a little antsy to go outside.

The girl came out that night, dragging the large cart with her.  She placed the cart in the middle of the big stall and started cleaning one end, pitching the clean straw into a nice fluffy pile and removing any undersirable bedding by tossing it into the cart.

The baby and his Mom were milling around in the other end of the stall, the human had her back turned to them and the cart was blocking the baby from pestering her.  But he so wanted to!  He paced back and forth for a while, dancing at the cart, doing his best to threaten it so it would move and let him get over to the other end of the stall.

Suddenly, the bay colt bolted towards the cart.  The lady was still picking the stall and only saw him from the corner of her eye.  He took a big breath and lept right over the cart!  Wheeeeeee!!!!!!! 

It was so exciting that the baby gave a big buck/kickout sideways.  Unfortunately, the girl was right in the way as he landed.  The kick ended abruptly on her left thigh. 

He had never heard such a racket before.  Oh my, it was very loud and scarey.  He spun and ran as fast as he could run straight back to Mom.  He hid behind her and watched the girl dancing around and yelling.

Several days later the human came to feed the Mom horse and she had the blackest spot ever on her thigh.  It was in the perfect shape of a baby foal foot.  She apparently wasn't mad at him anymore, because the petting and scratching continued.  They were going back out to the green pasture where Mom would graze each day and the colt would run, buck, play, splay his legs out and try to mimic his mother, and pester Aunties Girlie and Draol to distraction. 

The girl wasn't mad at the bay colt, but that incident is the reason she named him Cartman.