Sunday, January 24, 2010

Down on the Farm - ZUMBA!

stack hay or ZUMBA. HAAYY


Sunny has been adjusting his notion of life and boundaries this past week and Dawn D still likes him although he wasn't pleased to be in such competent hands.  He got to see Josey, Shannean, and Heather as well this past week so I have had several up-dates.  Dawn says that he has a great little jog but he holds his head a little to the right almost all the time - she suggests teeth floating first and then perhaps chiropractic since he seems stuck.  I have to admit that he has had the head-to-the-right issue for quite some time (before the last chiro last summer) and he has not been floated in a while.  So, cross fingers for an easy fix.  Also, Alaina's western saddle is pinching - this is not good since it is the saddle we have. 

The first 2010 4-H ride night was Thursday evening and since Steve had a load of gravel added to help with driveway stability, I thought we would be good to go.  We did go.  Alaina got to ride the Dezzie Doo and Ivy rode Pico.  Diez is acting like the Mongolian War Horse so I think her feet must be feeling much better.  Pico was a little tense but no serious spooks.  Then, back home and I got the trailer stuck in the driveway.  It is always something. A little more rain on Saturday and guess what?   More Muck.   More yuck.
The ODS AGM was on Saturday in Sapulpa so, since the meeting started at 10:30, we all missed the party lesson at Patty's.  Lovely to see all my dressage-y friends and Splash enjoyed the time off.

Today Steve, Ivy, Alaina and I headed west to visit Kale and Sister in Stilwater.  My favorite son asked us to come at 1pm for late lunch so he wouldn't have to get up too early.  He also didn't want us to come to the house and see the state of mess there.  But, he neglected to return calls or texts in time, so we arrived at the house and he was still asleep.  It is very easy to worry about him - but once awake, he seemed ok.  We ate at a mexican place and then walked in the very cool breeze at Boomer Lake until Krystal got to Stillwater.  Then we headed to Sister's barn to check on her progress.  Krystal was delayed with work in late Dec/early Jan because of the snow-cold-ice-wet stuff, but Sister is now making progress.  With very minimal lounging, she is calm for mounting, walking down the county road to the "areana," and is fairly good at the walk and trot.  She does not like to move off leg pressure and is still a bit fiesty at the canter.  She is so athletic, I was not inspired to try her out although I think I could handle the walking and trotting.  Krystal says that she has been making faster progress the last couple of weeks, so I think things are going well.  Sister walks through puddles and is tolerant of dogs, kids, goats, and cows.  The arena is pretty soggy in places and Krystal is able to work in spite of the conditions.  Cross fingers for minimal rain and good progress for the rest of her stay in Stillwater.  And cross fingers for good riding weather for all of us YaYa's.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Return of the YAYA

I have many excuses for the lack of posts since the New Year started. Here are 2.
1. Surgery. Nothing like a little surgery to knock you out of the saddle and leave nothing horsey to write about. Also, recovery is never as quick as expected - probably because if you admit that you are OLD - then you will be more worried about the whole anestesia/big hole in your neck thing.
2. Weather. As a professional (i.e., paid) weather person called the big blizzard of aught 9 followed by the ridiculously low temperatures of aught 10 (hehe) - the big... WHAM. I heard it on TV. The excessive rain just before Christmas saturated the ground. Then the Christmas Eve blizzard dumped snow drifts in our driveway of 3 or 4 feet. Roads up our way stayed slick for a couple of weeks because the temps were so low - exept major streets which did get clear. Now - finally - we have melting. The snow/ice is almost gone. And so is the base of our driveway. We have standing water in the round pen, areana, at every gate, and everywhere else.
So the good news is that I didn't miss any preemo riding weather while I was under the weather.... haha. The bad news is that Splash had a month off. He is not complaining.
I went back to work on Monday and tried to return to my normal Zumba/Step schedules. It wasn't pretty and I wasn't 100%. I returned to the lo-step level and tried not to move my neck much. Even begged a spot just behind the instructor so I could minimize neck turns.
When the Sat. temps were predicted to hit 50 degrees, I emailed Patty about the party lesson. We were on! Yeah!
By Friday our driveway had a pit of quicksand/mud that threatened to swallow the Honda. I was planning to take Splash to Patty's on Sat. The situation was grim. Could the truck with trailer escape from the Wild Orban Ranch?
Steve worked on the "pit" for a couple of hours Sat. morning and hauled about 8 huge rocks and tried to build a bridge across the abyss. He drove the trailer with-out the horse across - there was lots of slithering and mud slinging. We loaded Splash on the other side and I went off to Inola. Reverse the drill when we got back home. Additional driveway repair REQUIRED.
The lesson was GREAT! I did NOT fall off. My neck felt OK. Splash was pretty good.
Marsha and Sherry didn't make it but Kathy B with Call was there. Call was feeling fresh so Kathy lounged her for a bit before mounting. Splash and I started warmup at the walk and then did a little trot work. I was using the German Neck Stretcher but did not use spurs. We worked on trot/walk/trot transitions both directions and life was good. Then Patty asked for canter between M and C. Splash took the correct lead and we cantered a 35 m circle a few times. We stopped at C and did a turn on the forhand - not to bad. Asked for canter and Splash picked up the correct lead - yippee since right lead is not his strong lead. Then, just past M he decided to express his opinion. Head shake/crowhop thing for a few strides, but I didn't fall off and I kept him going and we continued the large canter circle until I asked for halt. So Far - So Good.
Kathy and Call joined us for more trot work and Susan H brought Webster in for some lounge work before she mounted for a little western pleasure. Both Splash and Call were pretty good. Webster is always good. We finished the lesson with some turns on the haunches at the walk. Splash was ready to quit but did a few nice turns and we called it good.
Then, the most important meal of the Day. Lunch at Graham's. Carol, Paul, and Nancy joined the 4 of us and we had a lovely time. Next Sat. is the ODS annual meeting so no time for lunch and I will take Splash early to crash Carol's 9 Oclock lesson so that I can get to Sapulpa by noon.
Today, Steve spent another morning working on the driveway. He installed a bunch of fence posts in the pit on either side of the big rocks. Grouted with excess material squished out of the hole earlier and covered the hole/whole mess with 4 stall mats. So, I loaded Sunny and took him to Dawn D for a little work. Alaina got a quick ride before we came home. We have ride night on Thursday night and then another lesson early Sat. so wish us driveway luck and drying weather so Steve can get a load of rock in to really make repairs.