Saturday, July 10, 2010

Playing ball, Lily gets it and a weird hoof thing

Mireya took this photo with a cell phone.
She's darn good at it for 7, don't you think?
Please ignore the goofy hair.
It's 700% humidity right now.

It was a fun, easy day at the barn. Since I had the kids with me, I didn't ride, but instead worked on round pen and clicker stuff. I wanted to get Lily out so we could get her back in the groove. She's been sitting so long that she needs the round pen time to get her head back.

Lily is a great horse and you can get on her even after a long break. But since it's my daughter I want her to take the time to work with her in the round pen.

Boy, were there some bucks! Lily can be intimidating when she's fresh like that, but Sierra didn't worry at all. She knows Lily is just all show. But getting her dialed back to a walk from a trot was just not happening. I went in there and pushed her a little harder, realizing that the usual technique of getting slightly ahead of her wasn't working at all.

So we did many, many turns. Then, seemingly out of no where Lily said "Oooooh! A WALK. Well, why didn't you say so?"

And then she did it all on both sides. Walk, trot, walk, trot, canter, trot, walk.

So we then spent some time doing some clicker training. We had Lily targeting a green lid belonging to one of our barn tupperwares. We hadn't really been working with Lily on the clicker and she was still targeting hands, not objects. By the end she was all over that lid.

Then it was Cibolo's turn. I tell you what, he's darn smart. He came into that pen and immediately did two loops at precisely the gait I asked in both directions. No need to work there. So no more circles - we went right into clicker training.

His eyes light up when we play like this. I've got him touching a big white plastic bag at the end of a lunge whip lately. In fact he likes to blow on it to make it wave.

So I felt he was ready to move on to something not directly connected to my hand. We started playing with a big blue ball. He quickly got the idea to touch it. By the end of our session he rolled it ever so slightly.

It was such fun. I always feel like I get to leap frog our connection when we do this kind of training. Cibolo just lights up. Can you tell from our photo?

Long, cool baths for both of horses and that's when I saw this on his left hind hoof - like a hole, very shallow, right near his cornet band.

What is it? Any ideas?

I'm so tired. I want to write more, but I've been fighting insomnia and the lack of sleep has caught up with me.

Stupid menopause. But that's another post.

Oh, and happy helmet day everybody. Remember, they call it an accident because you don't know when its going to happen. If you make your kid wear a helmet, don't be a hypocrite. Join us, the helmet hair army.

Because they can't put a cast on your brain.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds like a great day- kids and horses!

It looks like an injury to the hoof wall. Scout's had them before. If they're not lame, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Anonymous said...

Love the photo - you both have great expressions on your faces! I think clicker is fun, too - it can really build a connection and it's not just about the food. Both horse and human have to pay closer attention than they otherwise might do.

The hoof thing could be an injury, or it could be an old exit wound for an abscess - even one that never caused lameness - that's now growing out. Like Fantastyk Voyager says, if there's no lameness I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Gail said...

The picture tells it all...what joy.

Leah Fry said...

This weather is certainly doing strange things to my horses' feet. Their hooves are so soft, I think they are just damaged more easily. If they're not ouchy...

I need and actually WANT to pick them, but my back is still, well, holding me back.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Could be an old abcess or he may have banged his hoof taking a little chunck out. I had a OTTB that would get those while he was detoxing fro the track drugs and it was just a small abcess spot.

The Equestrian Vagabond said...

was he lame? my horse gets those when he blows a 'gravel' out the coronet band - but he's so DEAD LAME for 3-4 days you'd swear he broke something.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Hey, I'm willing to discuss menopause, only in my case I'd have to discuss symptoms that would turn people's stomachs. It's funny, because any time I fly off the handle at the office, they guys seem to understand. I guess their wives are going through menopause too.

Anyway, Bombay took a chunk out of the top of his hoof wall near the coronet band in his mystery trailer accident. I suspect it involves one hoof kicking another hoof or kicking a rock up into another hoof.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Looks like the hoof is simply peeling/shedding? Have you been getting lots of moisture there?

Sounds like a fun, relaxing day spent with kids and ponies. Maybe Cibolo wants to be your trick pony. You could maybe teach him how to paint and to count. Is that what you are trying to do with the clicker training?

I don't evne want to hear about humidity. I remember that horrible swampy stuff when we lived in South Carolina. You keep that stuff there, please.

Our weather has been humidity, very little rain, and temps in the 80's during the day and down to the 50's at night. So comfie to sleep with all the windows open. aahhh.