Welcome to Rabbit's world - 2014 edition!

Follow my journey through the twists and turns of 2014 - training my horses, training my dog, attempting new things, attempting to improve on some old things, and attempting to have bucketloads of FUN!

Click on any photo on the page to enlarge

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ugh. The sight no horse owner wants to see...yep. I saw it right away when I went into Tango's stall - he is terribly lame. Interestingly enough he bucked and ran like a wild man when I turned him out in the arena, but I could see he was very very sore, and after about 20 seconds of bucking he was done and he could barely walk. I checked all over his foot and leg. It seems to be his left front leg. I am not thinking abscess - he doesn't want to put weight on that leg at all but it seems he also doesn't want to move that leg. Usually when it is an abscess, the leg moves freely but the horse just doesn't want to place his foot down. There was a tiny bit of swelling at the top part of his tendon, and his foot was warm. Tendon and leg were not warm...so I am not sure. Just to be on the safe side I put a note to have him stay in his stall all weekend. If it is a tendon injury, then I definitely don't want him to have exercise. It figures...right when I have a crazy busy weekend and will be unavailable for the next 3 days...ugh. It's been a while since I've had a serious horse worry, so I guess I am due. *sigh*

Friday, October 3, 2014

Well, this weekend Pretzel and I will be going to an outdoor CPE trial, our first trial since August and all of my retraining. I really don't think we are ready - I thought we might be ready when I entered weeks ago, but my work schedule has swamped me so bad that our training time has been lacking. I am hoping that what we have worked on (namely his stopped contacts and 2 on-2 off) will show through this weekend. Of course, today's weather is 100% chance of rain, and about a 40% chance tomorrow. This means MUD! It's a good thing I am not afraid to get dirty for my hobbies!

Saturday-Sunday, October 4-5, 2015

CPE Agility Trial, Marengo, Ohio

Well, just as I expected, it was cold and wet this weekend! On Saturday we ran the gamut of weather - sleet, hail, some snowflakes, and rain. Eventually it cleared up, but it was COLD and windy. This weekend will probably be our last outdoor agility trial, possibly forever (they are moving these trials to an indoor facility next year). Kind of sad, because I do enjoy running outdoors, and you can't beat running on grass.

The trial started off as I expected - Pretzel was wound up and wild. Being outdoors was a great distraction for him - lots of interesting smells to smell. His start line stay went all to heck, I found that suddenly I didn't have a one to two jump lead out like I normally have with him. I didn't want to reward him for breaking the start, so I tempered my start by not leading out much past the first jump so he would hold his stay. This, of course, put me a bit behind at the start of each run, so I had to plan accordingly.

We had some very wild runs, some distracted runs, and some runs with moments of brilliance. I had a particularly great jumpers run first thing Sunday morning (of course, I don't have video of my GOOD run!). What I was most disappointed with was that all that re-training I did with his contact obstacles went to pot. I worked very hard the last 2 months to teach him to stop at the bottom of his contacts (2 on-2 off) but all weekend he did running contacts and didn't even pause. On the plus side - he got ALL of his contacts except for our last run on Sunday, in which he FLEW over his contacts on several obstacles :-( So, in a way I am still frustrated. I guess maybe I just am not able to train the contacts like I want them, perhaps it is impossible with a high-energy, distracted unfocused sporting dog? I don't know, not sure what else to do at this point other than just go with the running contacts and hope he touches the yellow each time. Not really my way of training, but this is a bit beyond my expertise.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I got Tango out a little bit last night, and he seemed a bit better. Today I got him out and turned him out in the indoor arena to watch him move. He is definitely improved over last week, but still shows a slight bit of soreness on the left front leg. There doesn't seem to be any swelling or heat, so it might be just a mystery injury. Quite possibly he could prove me wrong and have an abscess also...who knows? I am just glad it looks better!

I got the pictures from my "family" photo shoot! Here they are! (click on each one to enlarge)

Jan Hare

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It was a beautiful day, and there were lessons going on in the indoor arena so I took Tango outside and longed him a little bit in the field. He was SO wound up I couldn't get a good read on whether he was sore or not. Foolishly I decided to turn him out for a bit and watch him move freely. Stupidly I did not have his bell boots on. Of course, you know exactly what happened...yep...he threw a shoe. This is bad enough, but it was also on his sore leg and he is wearing wedge shoes, so that means his one leg is up and the other is flat. NOT good. Ugh...always something! Dangdangdangdang.

Saturday-Sunday, October 11-12, 2014

Pretzel and I went to a dog show in Urbana this weekend. Urbana is the site of my lowest and highest moments in my dog show career. 2 years ago it was my second dog show ever, and the judge was extremely rude to me as I couldn't get Pretzel to stop pacing. It was very embarrassing, and I might have quit if it hadn't been for a couple of new friends who helped me out and gave me a crash course after the show. Then last year I came back and ended up winning Best of Breed, which was a HUGE step for me! This weekend was less successful, and more like the first time. On Saturday Pretzel showed well, but we didn't get anything. On Sunday, he started showing well, but I ran out of bait and wanted to get his expression up for the last inspection by the judge. A fellow competitor loaned me a piece of chicken, and Pretzel went wild for it, so much that he refused to stack or pay attention, and in frustration he even sat down and wouldn't get up! I need less choice bait, it seems. Oh well, win some, lose some, and lose some more ;-)

Monday, October 13, 2014

It was a beautiful fall evening, so after I got the horses out, Pretzel and I went out in the field and took some pictures. No, you can never have enough pictures!

Elegant head!

Silly face! I swear he has expressions like a human.

Wednesday, October 17, 2014

Well, since Tango is still out of commission (my farrier won't call me back...UGH!) I decided to ride Corky. The ride started off a bit stiff and really angry (on her part). But once we got moving and back into our old routine she relaxed a lot and the ride was a lot of fun. She is just SO well trained, moves off your leg with the lightest pressure, and her canter transitions are still the BEST. I just wished she enjoyed the work more. I am excited to see if I can reproduce her, with a better work ethic, in her baby. Watching the live feed from Congress this week and all the nice hunter longe liners has really got my juices flowing...

Monday, October 20, 2014

My farrier finally called me back, and came out Saturday to put Tango's shoe on. Tonight I got him out and free-longed him. He looked 100% sound! I worked him pretty good, let him relax in the arena for a bit, then free-longed him some more. Looked good! I will ride him tomorrow...finally!

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Tango is sound! He rode pretty well, considering how much time off he had. His canters have gone to pot, which I kind of expected. I have been working on more leg-yielding exercises with him, leg-yielding at the trot, sidepassing, etc. He HATES that, but is actually doing quite well for what little we've worked on it.

Saturday-Sunday, October 25-26, 2014

AKC Agility Trial - Springfield, Ohio

Pretzel was on fire this weekend! I was pleasantly surprised at how well he listened to me. We did have a few start line stays that didn't happen, and some of our contact obstacles in standard were a bit iffy, but he rocked at the jumpers, earning a Q in novice jumpers on both Saturday and Sunday! I actually got some decent distance from him and he followed my cues. I can honestly say I have never been so hopeful...this weekend was exactly what I needed.

Jumpers With Weaves (Saturday)

On to November, 2014...