About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rain dance

Today was a cold, cruddy, muddy day...BUT still a good day because I was able to spend time at the barn. Weather was cool, low 50's with spotty sunshine for minutes, down pouring of heavy rain intermittently.
I had to groom Lazarus for an extra long time while we waited in the barn for the rain to ease up a bit before starting our work. He was not in the mood for enjoying his grooming. His haunches were tight and ready to spring the whole time.
Below, I captured his anxious brat face when he does his nervous 'chewing' habit. We think it's in anticipation of 'what's to come??' to him, it was racing in the past. The chewing has gotten a lot better (ie; he doesn't always do it). The cross ties bring it out, standing there, getting groomed makes him act, "I'm ready, I'm reeeeeeeeeeaaaaady!! Let's go!!!"
Some days are more mild. Today, he was UP, which I fully expected being they've been in the paddock vs pasture due to muddy, wet weather. We try to preserve the pasture on days like today so it's even footing in the winter for the horses...the soft ground makes it easy to create holes and if it freezes that way, they have to deal with those obstacles all winter.

So today's lesson was lunging. Getting the energy OUT with lots of trotting, some cantering on each side, (correct leads hoorah!) more trotting and worked on his transitions. Walk to canter, back to walk. Walk to trot, reverse sides, trot to WHOA (stop), etc.

Starting to calm down and think. Once the 'willies' were out, we did more mental work where I had him turning, stopping and listening to me. He is able to concentrate much better after a good 15-25 minutes of nothing but trotting out and stretching and playing a bit.

Look at those clouds...sort of beautiful.

We worked on the lunge line for an hour, cooled down with me hand walking him around the big arena where he spooked a lot today. He was high energy today and I'm trying to get him more familiar in there for winter riding. After almost of year of using the round pen A LOT, he seems very comfortable in there, and now I have to spend more time with him in the large arena. I hand grazed him for a bit so he could enjoy some grass and back in the paddock for his afternoon feeding with his herd mates.

I meant to work on some stretching/pilates moves that I read about, but forgot!!! Has anyone done that with their horse? It's done from the ground, with treats and having your horse stretch down in between their legs, or 'hugging' you with their necks at their sides all to get the treat. Supposed to help with their neck, back, stomach muscles.
I'll have to save that for the next rainy day! :)


  1. I've not done the pilates stretches. I have done the nervous brat face in the cross-ties! That cracked me up when you said that because that is how Sovey acts in cross-ties. If I untie him and hold him he is so nice. Unfortunately, it is difficult to hold a horse and groom at the same time!

  2. I don't do Pilates stretches, but I do what I call "carrot stretches" - taking the carrot and holding it to their side and asking them to stretch their head and neck as far back on their body as they can manage, then the other side, and then repeat. I also ask for the head down between the front legs, again as far as they can stretch.

  3. Kate, that is exactly what I was referring to! :) Need to do that more, I've done the side stretching ones, where I stand at his shoulder and he wraps head/neck around me towards his back end for the carrot. Is that what u mean?
    I can't quite get him to bend head b/w his legs...he gets nervous and pops up quickly. Baby steps maybe with treating him as he progresses down.
    I often hand groom him on nice days in the round pen and he is much happier and doesn't do his chewing. I do try to get him in crossties too, so he learns they aren't evil. It is SO hard to groom and hold, isn't it? I'm sure Sovey is like Laz and won't exactly stand perfectly still either. ;)

  4. Kate, I am currently certifying in equine massage and performance bodywork. What you're referring to works wonderfully to release tension and improve flexibility in the neck, poll and cervical vertibra. Hold a carrot or treat and encourage you horse to turn toward it bringing his nose to where the stirrup would ride on his side, eventally he may be able to stretch as far as his stifle. Do each side and between the legs, it's great fun for both of you and has healthy benefits too. I would also recommend you watch the Masterson Method Performance Bodywork videos on UTube, I beleive that this work my help your horse feel better as it progresses through recovery. Best of luck and here's to complete healing! Tami P