Cartman and I have really just been "hanging out" for the last few weeks. I gave him about a week off after Sunriver and since then have been doing two rides a week. Our woods finally dried out so we have been doing some trails. When I run out of time we just jog/lope the 5 mile path or maybe throw in some work in the sand.
Buddy has become obsessed with the horse. If he sees me bringing Cartman up to the barn he plants himself in front of the stall door and actually starts that German Shepherd yowlie/growly noise. He does not let me out of his sight until I actually load him into the truck.
As soon as they started cutting the hayfields I brought Cartman up to the house. I've been monitoring him carefully after our experience last summer with the allergic reaction and coughing that started when I mowed our field. So far- no repeat! I also have been wetting his hay as he has always given a cough or two as he eats hay.
He is feeling quite good and has gotten to be somewhat of a turdbutt on the ground when I take him down to the field or to graze. I think he's just getting really fit but didn't much appreciate the "Hi ho Silver" imitation he did for me yesterday as I was walking him out to graze. Sigh. He actually got a foot over the rope and I had to let go.. Thankfully he came back down and just stood there, so I was able to grab it again.
I think my transformation into a 'dog person' is finally complete. It has been pretty warm here (I love it) and Buddy (who doesn't love it) has the thickest coat ever. I have been using the furminator as much as I can to take out some of that undercoat but he is still dyin'.
The other evening it really didn't cool off too much even at night and Bud was in the living room watching TV with us, and panting. So Todd went and grabbed my small fan from the bedroom and put it on the floor for him. This is what he did:
Sunday we took a nice ten mile ride on the trail, here are a few photos:
When we got home I have Cartman a real bath. I tend to hose him off but rarely get the soap out but this time he needed it! He was totally shiny and slick afterward. Sadly he has since rolled in the sand and is back to being dusty.
Now for the exciting news...
I have been wanting to do something with Cartman's older brother, Taj, for several years. I just wasn't sure exactly what to do with him. He is a lot more typical TB than Cartman is. He can be a great trail horse but tends to get nervous in groups and can be a bit, um, neurotic might be too strong a description....
I tossed around ideas of sending him to a dressage trainer, but didn'tt think he would like being hot housed in a barn all the time and I'm not sure he would tolerate just arena work.
I thought about sending him to an eventing trainer. I'm pretty sure he could jump.
Never really set on one or the other I let time slip by. Last winter I decided that I simply must do something with him this year.
As luck would have it I ran into Celena Pentrack of On Track Training at the PNER convention where she was working for RP Saddles. We talked a little and I ended up getting a saddle from her. During the process I realized that she might be the perfect person to evaluate and train Taj for me.
I started thinking maybe there might be a small chance that Taj could do some distance riding. It would be totally cool to have the brothers and be able to use them in Endurance!
I could tell that Celena knows Thoroughbreds and likes them from our conversations while adjusting the saddle. She pegged Cartman's personality on her first visit, so I inquired about sending him for training and in the end of May I hauled him over to Prineville.
Last weekend Tajie attended his first endurance event at Bandit Springs!! He did the trail ride and was reportedly a gentleman:) It was his first experience camping and being in a ridecamp setting. I am totally thrilled to get the good report and really like what she is doing with him. He is a sensitive horse, yet at times needs a firm hand.
So, a good weekend was had by both boys, Buddy, and I! Thank you Celena for taking Taj to Bandit- this just made my week :)