Olympus Ranch Stables

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Whole Lotta Nothin' Goin' On

I am pretty frustrated this week. Due to work schedules and the lousy air quality because of the fires, I have not been able to ride at all this week. I have so many exercises running around in my mind. I had wanted to make some good progress with Varro but alas it looks as if it will need to wait for another week. For now I guess I will just work on memorizing my tests.

On another note, I thought I would rate the new supplement I am using. For years I have used SmartPak. I love that they will autoship my supplements and have such a wide variety to chose from. My vet suggested I try Platinum Performance supplements. After doing an ingredient comparison it looks like it has everything in it that my horses need! It's like 10 supplements in one scoop! I have been using it for 2 weeks and I am really noticing a nice sheen on all the horses. Just having to buy one supplement instead of 4 is nice. So far I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a little pricey but I think it is worth it. I did just order Osteon (bone support) for Eros. He is growing quickly and I want him to have the little extra nutrients to ensure he doesn't have any growth problems.

Here's to hoping for a productive weekend!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Whines and Wails and Allagator Tears

Let me start from the beginning. Isis and Eros got here just over 2 months ago. Just after Eros' 4 month birthday I weaned him from Isis. He was great! She was not. I kept them relatively close the first week, in fact they were in corrals right next to each other. The second week I put Suzi in-between them so they were one corral apart. Now yesterday, I separated them as far apart as I could. They are now at opposite ends of the property. Eros is still a champ having his Mom so far away... Isis is NOT! She spent ALL night pacing and calling for him... Loudly. I could almost "see" the lovely weight I had put on her the last few months just melt away.  Since last night she has worn a "path" around her corral. Today she has stopped calling but is still pacing. She is drinking well and eating OK so I am not too worried about colic. Maybe tonight we can all get some rest...... MARES!!!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

And the light bulbs turn on!

I had a fabulous lesson with Liz this morning. I have ALWAYS had such problems with Varro's transitions; both up AND down! His up transitions are sticky and "bracey" He throws his head up and drops his back so low I feel like my feet should be dragging on the ground. He drops his right shoulder and braces hard against me! UGH! So hard to ride. His down transitions are INSTANT to the point where if I am not watching it, he will toss me right over his head. This first thing we did was for me to stop riding the transition. Just ask for a bigger and bigger gait until he just broke into the next gait. He would still pop his head up and hollow his back, even on a loose rein so, it wasn't ALL me. A good portion of it was... Relax and just ask for bigger, and bigger until he breaks into the next gait!

The first light bulb that went on was: FOLLOW. When Varro pops his head up, I need to keep my hands above the bit!. I had instinctively dropped my hands hoping to encourage him to stretch down into the contact... NO! As his head pops up, raise my hands. My shoulders and elbows stay down, just lift my hands until they are slightly higher than the bit. Don't fight; just follow! After 3 or 4 laps around the arena, he finally got it! (and so did I)

The second light bulb was working on a canter transition on the lunge line. We had worked on riding the transition to the left but he was just jarring my back! Liz asked me to get off and lunge him through the transitions to the right. She explained how the lunge line was acting like my inside rein and my crop was my leg. She showed me how his body was balanced (or not balanced haha) and when to ask for a  bigger trot until he cantered. That was the biggest AH-HA moment of the lesson. He is kind of slow to react to my "cue" and by the time he does, he is off balance and that is causing most of the stickiness in his transition. We need to work on that...

The final light bulb came on when we were winding up the lesson, working on the walk-straight halt (beginning and end of each test) I was using too much rein to stop him. I need to just keep the bit straight (not his head) and halt with my seat. He was arguing with me through the rein. I found out that all I had to do was keep the bit straight and his head would follow it! I would just wiggle a little bit with the inside rein and ask for the halt with my seat. Varro likes to drop his right shoulder which swings his hind quarters to the left on the halt so I would lay my left leg SLIGHTLY on his side a little behind the girth to ask him to stay straight and  BINGO we had a straight halt! In fact we had quite a few of them! I AM SO PLEASED! I have a lot of homework this week.