Olympus Ranch Stables

Friday, August 1, 2014

Not quite the plan...

So today when I took Varro out for our workout, I noticed he was a tad off on his front right. I decided not to ride today, but did want to do something productive. I started off by round penning him lightly, then took him to the rail for his grooming. He was super fidgety. (I hate that) That is when I decided what we were going to do today. Varro was going to learn to stand quiet at the rail (for grooming, tacking up, etc.) no matter if he was tied or not.

Here we go! I unclasped the lead rope and went about my business of grooming him. Any time he got squirmy or stepped away from me I sent him off at a brisk trot around the round pen. I made him do 2 laps in each direction before allowing him to come back to me then over to the rail. I quietly resumed what I was doing, by now it was just busy work, cleaning out hooves, brushing his tail, whatever I wanted to do until he stepped off again. It took 3 send offs before he got the idea to just stand quiet. So in the end today turned into a spa day. Varro got his mane trimmed, tail brushed, hoof dressing on and lastly a generous dose of fly spray.

About 10 minutes into our session it started thundering with intermitted rain sprinkles. I was glad I decided not to ride. Tomorrow will be a leisure ride around the property and I will ask hubby to take pictures!   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting back into a routine

Today was a great day in the saddle. I think we are getting into a pretty good routine so far. We tack up in the round pen so if Varro is uppity or extra snorty, I can round pen him for a few minutes then continue tacking up. Today I did just a few minutes of round penning then started tacking up. He only needed one "reminder" that his job is to stand still. Once I got his wraps on and saddle on, I round penned him for about 5 minutes then the bridle. I did not round pen him after the bridle, I mounted and we started walking around the round pen. My hubby opened the gate for us and we walked around the property for about 25 minutes! Varro was very brave! He was sure that there was a monster behind each and every tree but he pushed forward anyway!

We are taking tomorrow off, but Friday I will try to leave the property and perhaps walk down to the corner and back! That might be a little out of reach without a real good arena workout first... I sure wish my arena was ready to ride in already!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 1 Back in the Saddle

Varro was a complete JERK for the farrier this morning. I am so disappointed (and embarrassed) The farrier was kind, patient and gentle the whole time! Varro did a lot of "fake spooking" pulling his leg back and stomping when the farrier let his hoof down. I am completely responsible for his rotten behavior. Varro cannot sit for any length of time, he must be worked on a regular basis.... It starts TODAY!

This afternoon after lunch, I got Varro out and started in the round pen. I did a quick grooming, put on his wraps and bell boots then started free lunging him. We worked on the canter right off the bat. I kept him going in one direction until he had a steady tempo then changed direction. In the new direction I asked for tempo plus his undivided attention. It took nearly 20 minutes (10 in each direction) for him to calm down enough to focus on me and to maintain a steady tempo in the canter. I asked him to the center and let him relax for a few minutes then tacked up (saddle, no bridle yet) and checked his wraps to make sure everything was still snug and comfy. On the second round of lunging I asked for a steady tempo in the trot. I changed direction every 3-4 laps until I was getting a nice extended type of a trot and Varro was really engaging his hind end. This took another 20 minutes or so. I checked his tack after this to make sure the girth was still tight (which it wasn't) and then put his bridle on. He was dripping in sweat and was quite tired. I thought to myself "A tired horse makes for an uneventful ride!" I was right. All Varro wanted to do was drop his head and free walk. We worked on walk/trot transitions then walk/free walk transitions until he had cooled down. Our saddle time was only about 15 or 20 minutes but I consider this a successful ride.

After I untacked him I gave him a well deserved rinse off. He LOVES to get sprayed off, so it was a treat all the way around! After the rinse, I walked him over to the horse trailer and gave him a treat (like we did in California) Tomorrow will be another ride and I will add something new until we have our routine down!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Working the Routine

Varro and I have been working on a new routine. As you recall we BOTH do much better with a solid routine. I have been working him in the round pen and feel confident that tomorrow we can actually start riding! My arena is not quite ready as there are still some weeds and thistles in it. (I have about 3 more days worth of pulling weeds) So I am going to brave it out in the open!

I must say that I am a tad nervous to ride outside the arena, but need to ride! Varro is still pretty "energetic" and "snorty" but not as bad as when we first met! THAT was a crazy horse I tell ya! (but that is another post) We have a farrier appointment first thing in the morning then after that I am going to ride. Tune in tomorrow for the riding update!