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...
I forget how valuable it is to:
A. ride a different horse than your own and
B. let someone else ride your horse (whom you trust of course)
I did both on Saturday.
E came out to ride, which this was her first time back in the saddle after loosing her beloved Justin.
Very proud of her, she is a BRAVE girl and is healing. So happy for her! (and me! to have her back)
She rode with the pendant that I had made for her so Justin could be with us. I had kept some of Justin's mane in my pocket for a few rides as well
The pendant turned out so lovely. I purchased it from the cutest Etsy store Nakisha
The artist herself had horses in her past, works VERY fast, creates a perfect piece and it was very very affordable. I highly recommend her and her jewelry. I have a pendant of Laz that I wear when I'm out of town traveling. It's one of my favorite pieces.
I was talking of riding other horses!
Here is me with Red (one of the barn owners horses), the little pony sized 13 yr old OTTB who was quite dancy prancy and caught me off my game a bit. I didn't end up connecting well with him, like on our last ride and it was 100% me.
He's a good boy, and I ended up just not using my seat right and wanting to use my hands too much and actually started firing him up. We changed gears and headed out of the paddock and ended on a good note just walking around the (icy!) property on a loose rein.
E and I switched around on the ponies!
She was on Red for a bit, I on Lazaroo, Pito just followed around-cute!
Then I asked if E would mind riding Laz.
She's an excellent rider and very gentle/soft so I'm 1000% comfortable with her on Laz.
I've been having issues with him picking up his right lead, and she couldn't get him to do it even though he was 'thinking' he just opted for his left lead.
We ended the 'ask' so he didn't get frustrated, which he didn't at all...but we didn't want to get to that point. I wanted to read up on how to ask him based on our training (a la Parelli), watch video, etc so I'll try that method this weekend hopefully if footing isn't frozen/icy
Laz has really been 100% trained (loosest version of that word EVER) by me (after his racing career) so I try my best to maintain my requests to be clear, fair and fun.
Not confusing, pushing, or aggressive
And while I sat on Red, I looked at my chunker bay OTTB and felt so lucky to have him.
He's quiet, he's sensible, he knows me, I know him, we have fun.
I missed him while I sat 10 feet away from him on the back of another horse.
It just reminded me that even when I think there is an 'issue' with our training/riding/rehab/whatever it is, it is sooooooooooo small compared to how much joy I have with him.
And....E is entertaining the thought of getting another horse, so stay tuned!
So excited for her!! (and again, Laz and I, so we can all train/ride again together) She got accepted through CANTER for a possible OTTB, or there may be a WB lease in our area as well...lots of pony pictures have been emailed back and forth of possible next partners for her! She is the type of owner who should always have a horse, she has so much to give!
Let's recap, this was my GOAL list from last year, 2012
#1-Continue to keep Laz healthy, happy and healing ------CHECK!
#2-Strive to get Laz more sound ----------CHECK!!
#3-Ride in Kensington Park frequently---CHECK!!!!!
We rode a TON in Kensington this Fall after we found our secret connector trail.
AND WE EVEN SWAM AGAIN (both of us when he decided to roll while I was on his back ;/)
#4-Teach Laz to come to me at a whistle --unCHECK--I totally forgot about this! lol oh well, we still do a TON of groundwork so whistleschmistel. I was overly excited about seeing WarHorse at the time...
#5-Work on my fitness so I'm a stronger rider --MEH but we did ride more so it sorta counts
#6. Keeping learning more about barefoot trimming. --CHECK!
What fun year!! Thanks Laz
GOALS FOR 2013
#1-Continue to keep Laz healthy, happy and sound
This will forever be our numero uno!
#2-Work more on Laz's riding form (and MINE!)
A better balanced canter (sans attitude), a more active Trot and maayyybe some gallop work??
#3-Take a winter trail ride
Enjoy the trails year round
#4-Go camping with Laz
How fun would that be!? I may actually be able to do this, this summer...we'll see! Working on it...
#5-Try jumping 12"-18" or X rails or Logs out on a trail
IF his hoof/body can allow and only IF!!!
#6-Work more on our Parelli, (at Liberty?) and really try to focus on our partnership
This will overall help us both in saddle and in our communication
There is something about doing ground work with Laz that gets him calm, quiet and responsive quickly. It's familiar to him, it's our best form of communication and it does help while in the saddle at times. Hopefully, soon, ALL THE TIME ;)
FuzzLaz after some trot work.
He was so swingy and springy with lots of great breathing and maintained a really nice, hunter's trot
"Don't peg mez as a HUnterz..Ima not to be peeegin holedz"
Side note, Laz's tongue and gums since DAY ONE, have always been pale. I've run many bloodwork/screens on him and he's healthy as a uh er um horse, but I don't like it because it's not a good source for me to check for his hydration. :/
"Gimmez my carrut stix now"
After we do our Parelli work, Laz LOVES to gently mouth play. It's cute. It's always followed by lots of yawns, eye rolls and other releases so I know it's part of his processing and contentment.
Now for some HOOF updates
This last trim, my trimmer M opted to not cast and give his hoof a break.
Fine with me. Laz didn't take any different step/stride so I was happy about it.
Although it's SLOW, as Laz's hooves grow SLLLOOWW despite any supplement I throw into his body, it's still progress.
You can see the growth below and I think we are really moving forward here
Yes, I would like the back built up a bit more, the thrush completely gone, etc BUT growth people-there is growth that is tight and healthy looking.
Also, I see that purple line at his coronet and I'm not sure what it is...he doesn't react when I push on it so it could be a small bruise? You bet I'll have my hawkers on it.
At the back of his heel, (above) you can see where, at the time, was above the cast, some divets. Either abscess holes (although no lameness was ever seen) or just grooves from pressure?
Still loading uneven due to thrush, white line separation from damage being worse on medial side
The hope is as the thrush grows out and we keep it clean, the hoof will repair itself and then proper re-balancing of this hoof and ALL around can take place
It's also so hard to see the truth, it seems SO much more unbalanced than it is, but I do see more 'jammed' up on lateral side at the hairline. In person, it really reads as so different.
Medial shot from underneath. See how that hoof wall doesn't even hit the ground?
His medial side grows uneven to his lateral side, we think due to the seedy toe/white line disease/thrush/lamintic damage from years. ugh.
Better sole shot of medial, this is what I treat every other day with "THRUSH OFF"
Solar shot of RH
Frog and back still need to beef up but it's better.
Seems the heel and bars are changing monthly as well
One of my many weaponry
So, let's compare today's solar shot with years past
Two years ago, below, Winter 2011
Crazy. Each shot looks so different.
I just hope we continue on this path of Laz moving soundly and happy.
My Laz's hard working LH
Is that not a gorgeous Fing hoof?!
Yes, some WL separation but not much and he's due for a trim in a couple of weeks...
LH side view
Keeping him moving has really helped along with his regular trims and the cast has proved very helpful as well. Are his hooves perfect? Well, if you say yes, then you need to study hooves ;) but they are perfect for him, right now and the good thing is, are ever changing and improving.
The ever constant quest continues! (and lucky to be able to)
There are days where I can't believe how lucky lucky lucky lucky I am to still have Lazarus and to have him healthy and happy
To even have the able thought of "Oh I need our trainer to help us with this riding issue" is a BLESSING.
I have a horse.
To ride, love and play with.
I. am. lucky.
I will get into our 2013 Goals and accomplishments from 2012, but that is for a different post.
Look at my 'fresh' boy.
I know, I know, his fresh behavior is like a skipping leaf down a pebbled road
None the less, here are some stills of what I'm working with.
Tonight I had my online video lesson and review with Meggie and it's SO awesome to have a positive person wanting to help AND having great thoughts/insight and answers.
We chatted about what I thought and what she thought, which happened to be along the same line. After watching the videos and after a couple days to digest I realized a lot before we even spoke. This tool alone just made me think more and gave me the time to dissect a few things and prepare questions
I thought at first, this head snaking thing (let's just call it his cobra move) was defiant and excitement. While I'm sure there is some of that there, it's also a way of him telling me "I don't think you are being my herd leader." or "I don't want to listen to your request, this is MY idea" or "I'm frustrated with this request"
Meggie suggested the following:
I need to have more of a clear plan of riding, offering patterns, and transitions to help mentally focus Laz and give him security to build on his confidence and when I do ask for a faster gait; suggest it, then ask for it, then tell, then promise. I can't let him evade the forward movement, which I knew, but I just wanted to make SURE and to know how to do this without force.
It's a matter of FOR the horse vs TO the horse type of riding and helping him find out what the answer is to my question/asking.
I LOVE this type of thinking/riding/connection. It's not for everyone, but it makes me feel confident and happy. She wants me to build on offer my leadership to our herd of 2 (3 with Mason) so Laz feels more confident and doesn't basically try to take over and then feels overwhelmed himself. By giving him tasks and playing into my mental focus on what, this should help us both.
DUH right?! But so easy to forget for me!!!
Use patterns (circles, serpentine, bull's eye, figure 8's, etc) until Laz feels soft and relaxed. Listen for his breathing, exhaling a soft exhale vs his loud quick snorts and then reward and build on to that, or end the session.
I know this sounds so elementary but when you ride alone, you forget little things like this and it's a great tool for reminding and refocusing.
Maintain loose rein, with contact once a good mental state and level gait is established. Keep cantering until I can get a better canter, even one stride, then bend him and stop/praise.
I look forward to trying this all out, as I am a softie rider, and Laz needs me to be a better planner/guide/leader/active rider instead of a passenger
This fuzzy boy is like 90% perfect so if we need this last 10% to get to our next step of learning to canter again, happy and balanced-then great. We have some tools in our box to try out. I'm just so thankful he isn't determined to really buck or tap into a fire breathing dragon sort of hissy fit.
Enjoying our powder
Bare tootsies in the snow
Eager and happy ears.
That is satisfying.
If you find yourself stuck in a grocery line waiting and want to see one of our several video clips that I had for my Parelli trainer, take a lookie loo
Warning; borrrring for you, but pure happiness for me :
One of many video..go ahead, subscribe and join in on the fun of our channel ;)