Sunday, 30 May 2010

Iz ME!!!!

Hi, me Max here.
Iz been on da internetz an made new frenz on Horsetalk forum. There is Kody an Fari an Mz Molly an Lacey an lotz of cool horsz.
I tellz everywun how dum my Mum iz. Yip, they havz the same problum. How do you get them to just give you lotz of food and leave you in peace? And now Mum sez we gotta do dress sarj. What the??? The Old Grey Mare sez she was a dress sarj horse and she went to HorseoftheYear before she got hurt and retired. And she can do walk to canter and sidewayz stuff, and I have truble wif straight lines when Mum is riding me.

Man, I iz worried about this!
AND she keepz makin me go in the moving box!!! That is REALLY scarey and I shakez and sweatz coz of all the noise and fings going whizz past. Last time the Old Grey Mare was wif me, and that wuz better coz she said don't be stupid, nofing is gonna get ya. Just eat the hay and wait. And she was right! We stopped, and we wuz home again!

I don't undastand humans.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Learning how to float

Young Max has been getting some lessons on how to behave around a horse float.

Photo from - Makers of great NZ floats

When we collected him last year, it took me and my coach 2 hours to get him on the float. And five minutes down the road, some lunatic drove right up behind us and scared the pants off my little horse. We heard a bang, and thought he was okay, just kicking. What we didn't realise is that he had got his head under the chest bar and was then stuck. Poor little guy, he just stood there until we stopped and sorted him out.

So that wasn't a very good introduction to travelling. We later found out that when the previous owner got him, he was ridden about 15 kms to her farm. Thinking about it - they probably had tried/failed to get him on a float then and no doubt it was a traumatic experience.

So my Max is not very happy around floats. I took him for a couple of rides around the block last winter, and one of those times he got his head under the bar again. The next trip was to shift him home for a bit of schooling - just 3 km up the road, and although a bit reluctant to go on, we got him there and he didn't put his head anywhere stupid. But he came down the ramp and was dead lame! Hoping he had just knocked himself, I left him for a while but he wasn't getting any better. So out comes the vet to diagnose a stuck stifle joint (upwardly fixated patella). Treatment: rest, Bute, more rest. He then had a couple of months off work and then went to coach's place which has great hills, perfect for strengthening sticky stifles.

That trip was a tad dramatic too. We thought we had him fixed in place by short-tying him, doing up the back bar really short and putting two lucerne bales in front of him. But, no, young Houdini/Max got his head under the bar again, and ripped one of the bales to pieces in the process! He was very pleased to see me when we stopped to untangle him, and started eating the lucerne as soon as he could reach it. Not much harm done, then. He arrived 40 minutes later cheerful enough, and although he had sweated up he'd dried out again and came out fairly quietly considering he must have been a bit traumatised.

That was the last time he travelled anywhere. Since his silly Mum had entered the introductory dressage, it became time to start some work on that again. So it was up to the float with his friend Rustie, and just some quiet walking up the ramp. And standing. And walking off the ramp. Standing. Back up the ramp, stand with your head inside. Reverse down the ramp calmly. Big fuss. Repeat three to five times. Enough for the first day.

My coach has continued doing this during the week and we hope to take him and Rustie out for a drive at the weekend. I have withdrawn our entry for the dressage, but intend to be there next month. Hopefully I will have also had some time to actually ride by then too.
That will make the test a fraction easier.
I hope.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Dark as the inside of a dark thing, at night

Dark at night, isn't it?
Well, dur!
So if you decide to go visit your horse and you leave work in the dark, it is likely to be dark in the paddock, don't you think?