Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dec recap, Jan goals, progress!

In Dec: pitifully low mileage with two trail rides. Also, beach ride!
Good news: I stayed on!

Jan goals:
Continue to focus on off-side mounting
Focused arena session once weekly

On an early Jan trail ride, I felt her switch gears jnto a true power trot. For the first time There was someone behind us that could verify. It isn't just an extended trot.  She's engaging behind and really powering through into a true frame.  It seems we're lacking in true forwards most of the time... Yep, y'all called it in comments last year.  I'm not quite sure how I want to address this and a lesson is in my future.

I do find she goes better when I get her off her forehand and really actively sit back, thinking along the same feeling as riding a gaited horse.  This is not a new concept, it's just one I seem to lose periodically.

We've been doing regular arena work because of the limited trail access.  Fetti rushes jumps.. Fetti also rushes poles.  This needs to be addressed.  Our round pen session over poles had her cantering trot poles, and rushing any set of poles 90% of the time. She does know how to trot them like a normal horse, she just rushes and accelerated in instead.  No video, but picture a normal trot - halfway around, a tiny collected trot with lots of power waiting - quarter of the way to poles, she looks at me, then ZOOM accelerates into giant canter leaps.  Oh pony.

Other updates, so I feel less guilty about all the half-written posts and go back to regular writing:

Bale bag.  

The recommendation is to start with 2" nets, decrease to 1.5", if needed decrease to 1".  I borrowed a friend's spare 1" bag and skipped the first two. She understands hay nets and eats plenty. Week one: full bale (granted, a light one) lasted five days, along with an extra flake or two of grass/alfalfa in a smaller bag.

I do think she gets frustrated some by the small holes, but I also think she's frustrated no one feeds her at the right times anymore!  The 'eat whenever' idea has not gotten through yet.  Instead, she eats at breakfast, and at dinner time, and at lunchtime when I came by I caught her napping.

Somehow, magically, she actually stayed down and let me come in and take pictures and pet her.  I've seen her down in her stall maybe three times now in more than four years.

Anything edible?
But, back to bale bags - I opted to switch for a few different reasons.  I think it's a good concept.  She's barefoot, so no shoes to get caught in the net.  Only one attachment point minimizes risk.  Giant bale bag is a bit of a pain to load (although rumor has it I really ought to get a slightly bigger one and then life is easier!), but only once a week or so.  It should be better for the potential risk of ulcers and help with girthiness if that's the cause. 
I know folks worry their horses will overeat.  That was previously a concern.  At Quicksilver this past year, though?  She had lots of hay choices and frequently chose to nap/hang out/generally not eat.  Sure, she ate, but she didn't eat all the things as I thought she might.  She's learned that there will always be hay at rides.  So it stood to reason that she could learn there would always be hay at home, too.  Indeed, she seems to have figured that one out pretty quickly.
Winter seemed like a fairly good time to switch.  It's straight grass in the bag so she's not getting a ton of alfalfa or sugars.  If she does eat a bit extra.. well, it's not awful for a not-quite-older horse to have some reserves coming out of the cold weather.  We'll work it off in the spring if need be.

It's early yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic and I'll try to update on the results periodically.

1 comment:

  1. interesting about the bale bag - i see no reason for it not working out! the horses at my mare's farm are all on free choice round bales (bagged similarly and surrounded by those big plastic feeder things) and they do pretty well with it. good luck!