Monday, April 8, 2019

The Heat Got Us Beat

A reverse barn door vista, haha.
Our final ride of March took place on the 31st, and I had planned on a low-key, quiet hack around the subdivision with Spud. I've been consciously trying to keep his outings to 3x per week, spacing them appropriately and trying to maintain a level of varied work to keep all parties interested.
After a relatively busy Sunday afternoon, I headed out to the barn and was greeted by Spud, who was in a bit of a pickle. You see, I had purchased a new grazing muzzle for him as I had grown less and less fond of the one I had purchased for him years ago. Because of his new diet and subsequent requirement to wear said muzzle, I wanted to give him an upgrade to promote more airflow, easier cleaning, and the ability to be breakaway safe (without having to redneck tie his regular halter with baling twine). It had come in the mail Saturday morning, so I fitted it to him and turned him out.

This guy... he gets into the oddest predicaments sometimes!
Somehow, Spud managed to hog-tie himself with the damned muzzle. The crown-piece of the halter was happily hanging around his neck (the breakaway velcro failed to separate for some reason), and somehow the pony's front right leg had entered through the muzzle, and exited the right nostril hole. Thankfully, Spud is pretty chill and was happily stuffing his face with hay, and looked up nonchalantly. I would have taken a picture, but I was more shocked than anything, and immediately set to work unfastening the velcro and removing his hoof.

I can only assume somehow he got the muzzle popped off his face and ended up stepping through it while grazing.

One of the downfalls of self-board though, is that I didn't really know how long he was stuck like that. Poor guy. Thankfully there were no sources of heat, no blood, no swelling, etc.  He did trip a few times when I lunged him to check for soundness, but I think his leg was asleep from being stuck in position for so long?? Regardless, I decided to poultice his entire leg and give him a few days off just to be on the safe side.

She seems to like the inclusion of cross-ties. We've been spending a lot of time
in them now that I have a real cross-tie, haha. I had the idea of utilizing them for our
farrier appts instead of me holding her, so we'll see how it goes. We're working on getting
her comfortable and happy in them (she was never cross-tied before), and then we'll see
if it makes a difference in her comfort levels re: shoeing. 
I'm happy to say that he turned out to be just fine and we hand-walked a few times before I ponied him again just to make sure everything was OK. I also re-fitted the grazing muzzle and haven't had a repeat issue since.

Damn horses.

So because of Spud's little... self-induced hobbling, I took Annie out solo-style. We did a quick and easy 40 minute hack where I incorporated just over 7 minutes of stretchy trot sets and a little 1 minute canter. Mostly tho, we stuck to a marching walk alternating between contact and stretching. She felt good and I was pretty happy with her!

Post-hack. She's so sweet <3
Our next ride was on April 2nd and I had managed to weasel out of work an hour early, which left me enough time to head to the grounds for a school. I brought Spud along, who was feeling fine (and galloped in the arena while I schooled, haha).

It was an alright ride - certainly not our best. We both felt plagued by the unusual heat (it was so warm I rode in a tank top!) and Annie sucked behind my leg heavily in response. I had also been quite exhausted (I ended up going home sick on Thursday and fell asleep on the couch for a few hours), so wasn't really in the right head space to put in a proper school.

Still tho, I made it work and made the principle of my ride to have Annie in front of my leg. She was also a bit fussy in the bridle, but seemed to settle into a rhythm after a bit. I tried to not focus too much on the bridle connection and instead, turned to having her USE her motor. Which is hard right now. She lacks strength and fitness, and looking back in the videos, I think that is where the resistance is coming from. Our outdoor arena also needs to be leveled and dragged badly, so I can't fault Annie much!

It was kind of a short and sweet ride, mostly because mare and I were both dying of heat and feeling a bit under the weather. We had some good moments eek out of it and I reminded myself to bring a whip next time (I got off at one point and snapped a small tree branch and used it as my redneck whip, lol).

I was glad I took video too, because as I watch, I can see quite a few rider errors - "like gosh why aren't you supporting her?!" - and a few things to work a bit more on (relaxation for that tiiiiight back).

All in all, a few good rides and I'm looking forward to our clinic with Anthony this coming weekend! I was intending to put in another ring ring before the clinic, but just as quickly as the temps rose, they fell significantly and it rained for longer than I would have wished for. Today we will be hacking out for the first time since last Tuesday so fingers crossed the ponies are well behaved and we have a good ride!


  1. So it's SNOWING here right now. SNOWING. So would love to be complaining about the heat!

    1. Bahaha. I know, I felt bad when I posted, thinking of you guys stuck in all that snow!!

  2. Wow! I can't believe it was so warm! When it gets hot out of nowhere, it's definitely hard on them (and us). Sounds like a productive ride though.
    Glad Spud is ok! Silly pony.

    1. It has been a pretty warm Spring. Of course, it is now windy and pouring rain... so I guess we can't have everything, lol.

  3. wow it was warm for you isnt that unusual?? it has gotten hot here but hey we are in the south. Glad you got to ride even if it was hot and glad Spud is ok. I WOULD HAVE LOVED A PHOTO OF THAT but agree more important to fix it than humor us with media!!

    1. VERY odd. Esp to be hovering around +16C (60F). We are usually only around 8-10C around this time.

      Bahaha. I am upset I didn't take a photo either, because trying to both explain and convince people it DID happen has been a treat!!

  4. Spud sounds like a little yogini with his ability to be all zen while in a bind

    1. I'm thankful his reaction was to just go with it vs fight it, that's for sure!!

  5. Ah poor spud! I'm glad he ended up being ok and there were no repeat incidents

    1. It was such a WEIRD thing... it hasn't happened again. So maybe it was just a little bit too loose initially?