Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Developing Gaits

Monday I had gone out and put in good rides on both Suzie and Tally - Black Mare was a bit more disconnected than Suzie, but overall we had a good, progressive ride. I certainly did not get that floaty canter from Black Mare this day, but overall it is a developing process that I need to be patient with.
Yay for good rides!!
 I spent a lot of time walking Suzie and really developing our walk - stretching over the topline, having her bending around the corners, regulating her speed and managing it (extended walk, collected walk), leg yielding, side-passing, turn on the haunches, walk-halt-walk-halt transitions. We spent probably a good, solid fifteen minutes just WALKING and really developing it. I found that it had helped my ride with Tally, so I attempted to reproduce the effects with Suzanne.

Well, it worked. She was super engaged in the jog and we spent a lot of time doing the exact same exercises we had just done at the walk. Asking her to bend, supple and also counter-bend. We leg-yielded, we changed direction a billion times and we practiced our jog-halts. It was completely heavenly.

She has such a dished, polished face.
 I really am a firm believer now in "developing gaits" (I have no alternative word for it, so please bare with me). So what does it mean and how can it be applied? Well, for one, the trot cannot be improved within itself. Now, this may be a difficult concept to grasp but it is a reality. You will not strengthen or improve the trot by trotting - and I realize how ridiculous that sounds but please stay with me here.

It goes like this:

Walk improves Trot. Trot improves Canter. Canter improves Walk.

Sound confusing? It is.

Suzie was slow being ponied so she walked herself the last 5 minutes home.
But if you think of it, it makes sense. When using one gait to strengthen another (ie. using walk to strengthen our trot) we are carrying over our effective riding when we transition to practice the second gait (trot, in this situation). We are strengthening that horse's mobility, responsiveness and athleticism all in one swoop - without the addition of the speed. And I find, personally, that once "speed" is introduced, a lot of us equestrians "lose it" or have things "fall apart". This simply stems from the fact that we do not have the basis behind us to elaborate. So think, if you had a dog and you wanted to teach him how to roll over, wouldn't it be beneficial to teach him how to lie down first? It's like ticking off items on your checklist in alphabetical order, and this alphabet goes: "walk, trot, canter, walk", respectively.

So why does canter improve the walk then? Well, the walk is the hardest gait to master correctly. The canter plays a substantial role in shaping the walk. This is why you cannot have a good canter without a correct trot. And skipping one of the gaits will result in the domino effect - nothing will be achieved and starting over at Square One will be common - trust me, I've been there! And while spending 20-30min of walking exercises doesn't sound productive (or fun) it will shape you and your horse. You may not believe me, but it works.


So I ask, what do you think? Would you try it?? And if you do try it, let me know how it goes!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Suzie's Slow Sunday Bloghop: Favorite Breed

This weeks installment of Suzie's Slow Sunday Bloghop has her (and I!) asking: "What is your favorite breed of horse, and why?"

Pretty simple.

My favorite would have to be:

If you don't realize/recognize what breed of horse that badonkadonk belongs to, we can't be friends!!

All joking aside, the Quarter Horse has always been a number one choice in my books and since riding and now owning one, I think there will never be "another breed for me." I love how intelligent they are - they are always thinking and are quirky and fun. They are challenging, diverse, even-tempered and just so... ammy friendly.

I just LOVE how diverse they are. They certainly are the jack of all trades of horses and with such a "mellow as a cucumber" attitude, they mesh right into my lifestyle. You can leave them out to pasture for months and climb back up and not have a bucking, snorting, hot mess. Of course, I've found QH's to be exceptionally intelligent - they WILL outsmart you one way or another... I know Suzie certainly has!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm a Tack-aholic.

Hi. My name is Cathryn and I am a tack-aholic.

I've purchased quite a bit of "stuff" in the last months, and yet again I've found myself placing an order on Victory Canter, although to be FAIR, I do actually need (some of) the items!

So let's recap all that I've bought, shall we?

1.Western Show Shirt - this is kind of a no brainer. I need it to show, obviously.
2.Western Show Pad - another no brainer. I only have two other Western pads, so it was an acceptable expense! Plus, it was on sale!
3. Latigo, Rear Cinch and Connector - my saddle needed these items, they were missing when I purchased it. So again... JUSTIFIED!
4. Leather Cleaner - who doesn't need leather cleaner?!
5. Show Bridle and split reins - it was on sale, okay?! Don't judge me.

I did have to return the chaps and show pants because they didn't fit and I found out someone local to me custom makes them, so that'll hopefully be in the works in the Fall...

I ordered from VC back in June and apparently the bridle was backordered, so we've been going back and forth as to what other bridle I'd like and now I've added more items to my list....

1. English Bridle to match my Wintec CC
2. Fancy Browband - who doesn't like sparkles?
3. Zocks- I only have ONE pair. Why have I not rectified this before?!
4. Plaid Full Seat Breeches - Ok, let me explain this... I only own TWO pairs of breeches and one pair is like... 8 years old and the other pair as a hole in the bum.
5. Light Tan Full Seat Breeches
6. Hay Net
7. Mane thinning comb - because I suck at pulling manes.
8. Shaped Numnah Pad for Hunter classes (in white).
9. All Purpose white pad - showing pad.
10. Grooming Tote - I am forever misplacing and losing things!

So, what has been your latest equestrian purchase(s), and was/were it/they "justified"?

*As a side note, the ponies are doing well. I've been busy with other life things so I haven't been able to ride but I am sending in Suzie's show stuff (Aug 9th!) away today and I have a lesson on Tally next week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog Hop: Chock Full of Advice

This weeks rendition of the Viva Carlos' Magical Blog Hop asks TWO questions (YAY!):

A photo from that particular lesson, riding Geronimo.
1.What is the best advice you've ever received from a Trainer or another rider?To be fair, I've gotten loads of wonderful advice from Trainers and other riders before - we all have something to learn and to teach. However, two phrases that has always stuck with me were from a super awesome Jumper trainer. The first was: "Let your schooling sessions get messy; that's why they call them schooling sessions." And: "Horses teach us a lot; and most of it isn't even about riding."

2. What is the worse advice you've received from a Trainer or another rider? 
You should ride your horse like "XYZ" without that person even riding the horse or seeing any more than 5 minutes of your training session. I attempted to do as the person asked and it didn't end so well. Just remember that YOU know your horse and unless the person telling you to change things is your trainer who KNOWS your horse, don't go around changing things!

The particular horse I'm talking about is Geronimo, pictured above. A well meaning friend had been harping on me for riding him "too nicely" and not getting after him. After getting frustrated that G-man and I couldn't communicate using that person's tips, I made that individual ride him and realize that he was NOT the same as her horse and my schooling requirements were different. It isn't a bad thing, but it's important to realize that no two horses are made equal and if something is already working for you (and what I was doing WAS working, just very slowly), why fix it?

1. Viva Carlos  6. The Walker Chronicles  
2. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?  7. Roosa's Horsey Life  
3. Project Gingersnap  8. Diary of a Horse Obsessed Girl  
4. A Work In Progress  9. That Red Mare  
5. Nanakorobi yaoki  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When Things Click...

Yesterday I went out to see the ponies with the intention of riding them both. However, the rain had other ideas and began just pouring when I arrived to the barn. I pulled Tally out and spent time brushing out her mane and tail and just fiddling around. As I tacked her up I noticed that the rain was lessening, but my "barn time" was running low so I opted to ride in the back field which has about three different places to do 20m circles and a long straight-away, but other than that, our space is limited. I figured that something would be better than nothing.

Tired Pon-pon!
 Initially, my outlook of what our ride was going to be like was not good. Tally was quite hesitant to lift her leg after I had saddled her, which was really odd considering I have picked up her hoof loads of times - but always prior to saddling. Her next set of actions after I had finally picked up her hoof was almost startling, as she practically lowered herself down as if she were going to kneel! I was a bit taken aback and moved out of the way as she lowered onto her knees and then flung back up... it was the oddest thing I have ever seen! So, needless to say, we worked A LOT on picking up her feet nicely for the next 15 minutes. She attempted it three more times - once directly after and twice after I had tightened the girth on two separate occasions. I had contacted her owner about this odd behavior and the owner confided that Tally was resistant to pick up her feet for the first while she had her, but none of this "kneeling" business.

From what I've read it could be due to an over-tight girth or just a horse who is being a butt-face. I'm more leaning towards butt-face in this instance. Naughty mare.

I decided that since we didn't have a lot of room to really school the bigger gaits, we focused on the walk and moving off the aids. Did a lot of halt-walk transitions, leg-yielding and turn on the forehand. I found that the more we walked, the less resistant she came. When it came time to trot, it was messy at first, but we found our middle ground and it was heavenly! Our walk work most certainly improved our trot work and it really showed.

We did a lot of 20m circles at the trot, working on bend and suppleness through the circle. She had less suppleness going on the left rein, but worked quite hard. We also did some walk-trot-walk transitions where she'd walk half a circle, trot 4-5 steps and back to walk. She kind of "dumps herself" when we down transition, but that'll come with time.

I also got about a circle of canter each way (not enough room) and it was BEAUTIFUL. It was her most floaty, "uppity" and quiet canter. I loved what she had to offer up and was very, very pleased with her. Finished off the ride with more trotting and walking and I really liked the effort she was putting in - all that walking really paid off and I found that I had the most productive ride on her to date!

In the short little crappy cell-phone video I took, I realized just HOW MUCH I lean forward (even though it certainly doesn't FEEL that way!) and how LOW my hands are. Next schooling ride is hopefully going to be tonight, but I really need to get on Suzie again and school, as her next show is August 9th and entries are due this Friday... Doesn't leave me with much room to decide if it's "worth it" to go, but as a fellow friend said, all shows are FUN. Just go and have FUN.... Hmmm, not bad advice!

And speaking of Suzie, we practiced some Halter and SMS again and this time I got AFTER her in those pivots. She did SO much better and really busted her booty for me. I think that the "Come to Jesus" meeting really helped... Our pivots were really sticky the last few times and it was simply because she wouldn't move away from my body pressure - she'd wait until I had to poke her in the muzzle or the shoulder to move her over... So lastnight I gave her a good wallop and sent her pivoting (I didn't concentrate on the pivot foot or anything at that time, I just wanted her to yield AWAY from me). We ended on a really good note and I was super happy, but by that time I had no time to ride her.

*deflates* Life is BUSY. Thankfully I have an ever supporting SO who has pretty much forced me out the door to go ride instead of make dinner or do home-renos!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Suzie's Slow Sunday Bloghop:

As always, feel free to participate either in the comments or in your own blog post (link it here also!). I love hearing about other equestrian's experiences and would be more than delighted to hear read about them!

This week's installment of Suzie's Slow Sunday Bloghop came to me during the midst of my whining and self-pity. I realized, I have A LOT to be proud of and many reasons to be more than grateful for my mare and her honesty with me. So, join me in lifting ourselves up out of the "riding blues", and let's celebrate some accomplishments! (Horn tooting permitted!)

Suzie asks this week: "What has been your biggest accomplishment with your horse?" Of course, your response does not have to be limited to one thing - feel free to elaborate, as I am certain there are both riding and bonding goals that we all have achieved with our horses that deserve to be mentioned!

TRAIL RIDING EXTRAORDINAIRE! For me, the biggest training-wise accomplishment Suzie and I overcame was her resistance to trail riding! We worked hard on hacking out and the reward was just simply sweet. She is still a bit barn sour, but it is much more manageable than it was before (no more rearing, yay!) When I first got her, she was very buddy and barn sour and would spin to get back to the barn, sweat profusely with anxiety and back up into ditches, trees and otherwise. In short, trail riding her was NOT fun. It took about three months of hard, dedicated work before I trail rode her on a loose rein and eventually, in a halter and lead.

BAREBACK AND BRIDLELESS! What a positively exhilarating feeling to ride your horse bareback and bridleless! It has always been an item on my "bucket" list and I crossed off "walking brideless" only four days after I brought Suzie home!! This year, however, I stepped up my game and even loped brideless for the first time. I really need to repeat all of it and get some good, clear photos! I even have a video of some B&B riding I did about a week ago that I never really got around to posting... hmm I should really get to that!

HEALTH IMPROVEMENTS!  I don't even think I have to comment on the drastic change that has taken place in the above and bottom photos! I am beyond pleased - this mare has come a long way since March 2013.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Other Side

Well, the weather decided to give the valley a torrential downpour. Sigh. Thankfully, it seems as though it is clearing up today - wahoo! I will admit, I've been feeling a bit antsy about the upcoming shows at the beginning of August and end of August, as, admittedly, I have had limited pony time. I work 10 hours a day for three weeks at a time and there just isn't enough time in the day (or enough body strength some days!) to school the mares. Suzie seems to be enjoying her time off, but Tally has become a bit of a hot mess.

I did some Showmanship and Halter stuff with Suzie on Thursday and she did alright - we have to work on those pivots a bit more and her jogging. She likes to lag a little bit but after I got after her, she gave me a nice little SMS school. I'm hoping to school some SMS at least 4x a week so we can get this thing down pat for the early August show. At the very least, if I don't ride, I'll be doing the in-hand classes! I'm determined, dammit!

After Suzie, I decided to ride Tally since she has become increasingly bi-polar. It's almost like the less you ride her, the less interested in you she becomes. She ended up breaking a halter, for reasons unknown to me! I'm assuming because it was windy, she spooked and pulled back and instead of giving to the pressure, she pulled harder... And snap went the halter. So, she gets to wear Suzie's rope halter now. We did some in hand work just to get her brain a bit settled and I popped on. She was pretty hoppity and antsy to go - I suppose that's what happens when I don't ride her for over a week. She was safe, though. A bit of stupidity on her part, but nothing I couldn't handle or that made me feel I was going to die. We schooled a lot of trot and worked on having her engaged from a walk-halt and also did a heck of a lot of transitions.

I also washed Suzie's tail, tamed her mane down and braided her tail to keep it clean. Her legs look awesome now, so hopefully they stay that way with the rain we are having. Annnnd soon the mares will have some nice green pasture to eat (photos I've used are from when I first got Tally, LOL) as the pasture was quite yellow and "crunchy" with all the heat we've had lately.

Read on if you'd like to hear my pity party....


I've been feeling overwhelmed with the showing thing. There are so many things to buy, so many schooling rides I need to put in and so much work to do. I just don't have TIME. I either sacrifice time to ride Tally and get her ready to show in September, or I sacrifice time for Suzie to show in August. Realistically, I want both mares going good, but one of them will be put on the back-burner. It's just the way it is, and I am having a difficult time coming to terms with it.

Secondly, I'm new to the Western show scene and the show at the beginning of August is a bit larger and more "pristine" to what I'm used to. I don't want to look like a newbie and I don't want to shoot down mine or Suzie's confidence. I know she's a solid little Western mare, but she certainly does not have the training or stamina that some of the younger, more schooled stock have. Am I wrong to want to show?

Gah. Too many emotions.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Preparing for Horse Shows

As I start to look into the future, I realize that my first "away" show is coming up relatively fast (end of August). I will be hauling about 3hrs away and staying at the grounds for approximately 3-4 days, and am hoping my lovely followers could help me with a preparation list to ensure I don't leave anything behind!

 I am all about lists and organization, especially ahead of time!

I am planning on showing Showmanship, Halter (AQHA), Western Flat classes and possibly some Reining, so I'll need to keep that in mind for my list of "tack necessities".

Let's start (and feel free to add anything!).

For the Horse (in no particular order):
  • Blanket or Slinky (if applicable) 
  •  Grooming Equipment
          • Shampoo/Conditioner and Mane/Tail Detangler
          • Brushes, Hoof Pick, Comb
          • Mane Banding Equipment
          • Sponges and Face Cloth
          • Scissors
          • Baby Wipes
          • Hoof Polish
          • Baby Powder (to whiten up socks) 
  •  Tack Cleaner (mink oil and sponge)
  • Saddle
  • 2 Saddle Pads - one show, one schooling
  •  Show Halter and Lead-shank
  • Bridle w/reins
  • Extra Halter and Lead
  • Leg Protection (Bell boots... Suz doesn't need much leg protection).
  • Hay and Haynet
  • Water Buckets (x2)
  • Grain/Supplements
  • First Aid Materials (I don't need an extensive kit, as there are vets in the area and a tack store I could purchase extra material from)
          • Gauze
          • Scissors
          • Betadine
          • Liniment
          • Vet Wrap
  • Emergency Contact Info (to post on Stall door)
  • Bell Boots (Suz doesn't need much leg protection)
  • Poop Fork

For the Rider:
  • Show Shirt/Rail Shirt
  • Helmet
  • Pants (blk jeans or yoga pants)
  • Chaps
  • Riding Boots
  • Hairnet
  • Spurs
  • HCBC and AQHA cards
  • Safety Pins
  • Copy of Entry forms
  • Copy of Patterns (if applicable)

Anyone have anything else to add? Of course, we are hoping to haul the trailer out there (the human trailer!) and will need to pack food and other necessities for ourselves, but as far as "show packing" goes, I think my list is pretty complete.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Heat, Butt Injuries, Leg Problems and Mo-hawks.

Ever since the Horse Show on the 6th it has been excruciatingly hot outside. Like, we're talking 32C (that's 90F for you American folk!) So, it's been wayyyy too hot to ride, or do much of anything other than short trail rides and cooling the pon-pons off. Now that I am back to work, I don't have the option to ride in the morning when it is cool, and when I get off at 5:30, it is still way too hot to ride. So, the ponies are just cute pasture ornaments for the time being - I want to get some good schooling in, and it's difficult when the only time it starts to cool off is at 9:30pm. Darn these early morning wake-ups!

The temperature is supposed to start tapering off by tomorrow, so hopefully we can start to get some real riding in. Tonight I am hoping for some Showmanship practice with Suzanne and some lunging for Tally - but we will see where we sit. As of right now it is 23C (73F) and it's only noon... however, 23C is much more manageable than 32C!

I've been playing around with the ponies a little bit. Suzie got adjusted back on Saturday evening and now is off for some reason. I had her trot for me lastnight and she was still noticeably off, so I'm hoping the major adjustments the chiro did to her shoulder will settle soon enough. Poor mare.

And while we are on the topic of poor mare Suzie; she got a few lacerations inside her butt sometime before the Horse Show. It appeared fairly fresh when I found it and I started to clean it really well to ensure that no fecal matter was getting into it. Because of my awesome ridiculous cleaning regime, I came out to find this, two days into treating her butt-sores:

This makes my womanly parts hurt.
Yea. Not pretty.

The skin between her thighs began sloughing off and subsequently, would rub raw all day long. Why? Simply because I am an idiot and after washing her butt-sores, did not dry between her thighs. So.... Pony walked around all night and during the heat of the day with moist thighs (mmmm, that's a wonderful picture right there) and it chaffed really really badly.

A friend recommended I use baby butt cream so I went out to the barn armed with Zinc-cream and baby powder and doused Suzie with it andddd.... within 12 hours, the redness, heat and swelling all vanished! Hooray for non-angry dry thighs! Poor mare.

Pasty butt.

I repeated the treatment on Day 3 of Mission Dry Thighs and since then, have not repeated the treatment. As for her butt lacerations, they healed just fine and I am checking them daily. You can kind of see a bit of one puncture/laceration in the photo above, which has healed nicely!

Baby butt paste on my hands and the little black ickies
from mare-pant's legs.
Secondly, I've been treating her legs. She has these odd "black dots" all over her two back legs, extending up to her hocks. It isn't very consistent, and I believe it has something to do with bacteria/rain rot. I don't know how else to explain it... Her legs shed out these random hairs that have black "gunk" attached to the roots and previously, I had attempted to scrub the legs with betadine but all it did was aggravate the legs and make them bleed. but I have some antifungal ointment from the vet and have been using rubbing alcohol on the legs. I'm on Day 3 today of treatment, and before I treated the legs lastnight, I noticed a huge difference.

Here is my cleaning regime:

Step 1 - Douse the legs in Zinc-cream and baby powder to dry them out. This is what I used until I got the ointment from the vet. I found that the zinc-cream "gathered up" the gunky bits and loosened them up quite a bit. I left this concoction on her legs for a day until it dried.

You can see where she has "bare" spots after I had brushed her legs down to remove
the zinc-cream/baby powder. All these spots more or less had those black
ickies - save for a few spots where she just has scars.
Step 2 - Brush the crud out of the legs - ensure to brush off all hair/baby butt paste that was left over. Make sure to brush up by the hocks and brush against the hair to get all the dirt and yuckies out.

Step 3 - Prep the leg and kill any loose bacteria with rubbing alcohol on a gauze pad - pat down the leg with alcohol in all areas, including above the hock area.

Step 4 - Ensuring leg is dry from alcohol (don't have to use a lot), put on ointment in trouble spots.

After 1 treatment - you can see missing hair on the brown
leg easier, but there is pinker skin poking through the
white leg as well.
 Step 5 - Allow ointment to set/dry slightly and spray over legs with bug spray (I noticed the little noseeums have been chewing at the backs of her fetlocks, little nasty things!)

Annnnd lastly, what is GOING ON WITH MY MARE'S MANE.

Suzie disapproves of the overly full shit-barrow. I need a bigger one, me thinks.

WHAT in the WORLD has happened?! Suzie now is sporting half a friggen mo-hawk. Ewww. I completely regret pulling her mane after I found out Western folk don't normally pull manes - they just cut and sculpt... *cries* I'll have to see what kind of "fixing" I can do, but it's not looking hopeful! The hairs I pulled from underneath have grown and subsequently pushed the mane upwards and created this disgusting mo-hawk....

Annnd in Tally news, she still disapproves of the slow feeder so I've taken the "slow" attachment off. She has been spirited the last few days, I think she is missing being ridden.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog Hop: Unpopular Opinions

I missed last weeks installment by L at Viva Carlos, but I am going to redeem myself by participating this week! Aren't you excited?!

"Some of us have a lot of ideas and thoughts, well probably all of us. So this is your time to shine and really make a ruckus (no really actually let's not fight about this we can all just agree to disagree about stuff).  What is 1 unpopular horsey opinion you have?"

 I'm pretty uninvolved in the big horse "show" scene, but I do have a handful of opinions that I have found do not mesh well with the general population. One of the "biggies" that mostly applies to where I live is: attending clinics or shows when the horse is not physically fit.

No snow for now! Muhahaha!
Where I am located, it snows a good portion of the year and unfortunately, a lot of the horses get put on the back-burner until the snow melts. However, come February-March is when a lot of Big Name Trainers in our area come up and do clinics - I sacrificed a lot of good instruction simply because Suzie was not fit. I did, for a short while, entertain the idea of going to a clinic at the end of March but it was cancelled due to lack of interest, which wasn't a bad thing.

I find a lot of people take their horses to clinics, especially during the wintery months, and they don't make a lot of headway considering both themselves and the horse are out of shape. As a younger 4-H kid, I did a lot of Winter Riding Camps and literally froze my fingers off at several of them - they weren't fun and I did more coiled up shaking to stay warm than effective riding. Doing a clinic in -27C weather isn't a smart idea, just as doing a clinic in 32+C isn't.

Unrelated, but adorable Tally photo!

This belief stems from:

1. Owning a senior horse. Suzie takes longer to "bounce back" from hard rides when she is out of shape and it takes her time to get to that level of finesse and fitness. Why would I push her and punish her for being unable to bend/be supple?

2. Cost vs learning. If I were to enter into a clinic where Suzie (and I!) are out of shape, how much am I really going to learn? I won't be able to really work on any new things persay, as more difficult maneuvers require more fitness and finesse of both horse and rider, so why would I waste money on a good clinician when I won't be able to ride to my ability?

The best thing is to have the horse in regular work - 2-3x a week at the very least - and then go into a clinic and expand your knowledge instead of "retuning" and "reworking".

/end rant

1. Viva Carlos  9. Wilbur, Ellie, & Emily  
2. Cash's Stepping Up  10. MN Equestrian  
3. All In- Henry and Karley  11. She Moved to Texas  
4. Dressage Pony  12. PONY'TUDE  
5. Project Gingersnap  13. Riding on Water  
6. Riding Rainbow  14. Cob Jockey  
7. The Walker Chronicles  15. Hand Gallop  
8. No Hour Wasted  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I've Been AWOL, I know.

I apologize for my lack of posting - I had a week off of work and it pretty much was a week of no-internet and some R&R! I have kept up a bit with the other blogs I follow, I just have been more of a "silent" reader the last week! Never fear, I am back now!!

So here is a short list of all the things I did this week:

- The slow feeder the BF made for the mares got finished and Suzie and Tally "tested it out". They pretty much hate. Time will tell if they would rather starve themselves or actually eat from it... They've been out on pasture so lastnight was the first night they've had any real amount of hay in it.

 - Pasture time!! We fixed the fencing in the front pasture and let the girls out on it. So far Suzie has escaped twice now... little bugger. However, most of the pasture is chomped down now so they will be moved off of it now.

- Took Suzie swimming for the first time. She pawed the water and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

- It's been so hot that the mares haven't gone out for more than a few short trail rides - the BF came out once and rode Tally and a friend came out once and rode Suzie.

-Yesterday both mares got chiropractic work done on them - Suzie's shoulder was out again, as per usual (which is probably why we were having issues with leads) and Tally was pretty much perfect. I did ride Suz in the arena for about 20 min and worked on having some flexion and bend and it was realllly tough to ride her. I also rode her once in the back pasture for about half an hour and I was just so dead and she was really making me work! I'm going to be trying spurs on her when we have our next schooling session to see if it makes enough of a difference - she does listen to my leg, but I have to use A LOT of leg.

I need new breeches. Y'anno, ones that FIT.

- Almost forgot the most important part of my Horse Show Recap post - my little nephew rode Tally in his first ever leadline class. It was hilarious. Tally-mare was so good. (Also, fun fact, those breeches are like 8 years old. Tuffriders for the win!)

Other than that, I've been dealing with several lacerations to Suzie's bum (literally, her anus.. ew) and due to the cleaning of poopie and keeping it clean, in between her thighs the skin has literally started to slough off from being moist all the time. UGH. So I've stopped washing down her backside and have kept to just clean wipes of her cuts and using polysporin and putting baby powder and zinc oxide in her thighs. I started this all lastnight, so hopefully some relief for my poor mare will happen!

Additionally, I am also dealing with some crusty legs again... Pretty sure it's a flair up of mud fever but I can't be certain. Going to be talking to the vet tomorrow to see if I can get some Panalog cream prescribed. As of right now, the treatment of Zinc + baby powder has been reproduced onto her legs. My poor, poor old mare.