Saturday, November 5, 2011

trot like the wind!

What a great day at the barn! The weather was beautiful, probably one of the last few nice days before the snow comes. I got to the barn early to help feed, turn out, and muck stalls. Even with only 22 horses and three people helping, it is quite a task! And I have started to work at the barn one evening a week mucking stalls, bringing horses in, and feeding. Today was my first day. 

But, before I started my evening chores, I went to go get Shyloh. I swear she does things just to drive me crazy! As I approached her, she would walk off, just out of my reach. This went on for about 15 minutes (although it felt like an eternity). So, I decided to try and get her to walk towards the gate. Not so simple. . .she seemed to know my game plan and broke out into a canter in the opposite direction. Then she just stopped, let me walk right up to her, halter her, and lead her inside. What was the point of all that messing with me? Just to frustrate me, I'm sure!

I did my routine of grooming and brought Shy into the arena to lunge. By now, some friends from our old barn came to visit Kathy's new horse, CT, and ride him and Sandy was riding Forseti. Usually, we are the only ones when we lunge. But Shy did good and Kathy got this on video. . .

Can you see it?

Jessica, one of the girls from the other barn who came to ride CT, suggested that since Shy may know how to drive, that is how she starts her trot, since she is used to pulling things. Like putting a little extra umph into the trot. Maybe. . .I'll probably never know the answer but I can see how that makes sense. 

Jessica and Sandy left the arena to ride the horses outside. Whoa! Shyloh wanted to go so bad! As soon as she smelled the fresh outdoor air and saw the horses leave out the arena, she made her trademark face
and tried to go with them! Now her mind was elsewhere. But, I made her lunge a few circles well, then we went on our own trail walk!
Good times!
Amazing! We had so much fun! I guess the farms in the area are harvesting and huge farm equipment was driving through a field. Shy had no problem with this. 
Drove right next to us, Shy did not bat an eye!
We walked through the fields and enjoyed the weather. I got Shyloh trotting  (with umph!) and was running next to her. She was having so much fun, she started to break into a canter! There is no way that I can keep up with that, so I asked Shy to slow down and she did! She listens so well when we are outside. We went back to trotting through the fields. By the time we got back to the barn, I was out of breath and Shy was blowing hard! She really loves to be outside!
Sweet wind in my mane!
Pretending that I am riding Shyloh!


  1. Shyloh's "trademark" face is perfect for a dental commercial of some kind!! Such perty toofies!!!
    Great post, as always!

  2. Shy looks like she is enjoying the sunshine!

    Horses sure don't like to be left alone. Scarface is pretty good if you lead him into the barn and he is the only one. But if he is in there with another horse and then that horse leaves, he gets really worried. I'm sure he knows exactly how Shy feels!

    What a good girl for not spooking at the tractor!

  3. Love Shy's trademark face!Congrats on being Hay-net's blog of the day.

  4. Hi Allison, that "hopping" into trot means Shyloh doesn't want to push from behind in the transition, so she hops into it using her front logs to pull herself along.
    I've looked at both your lunging videos and it looks to me like she is a bit lazy with her left hind, but you or someone watching in real-life would be able to see much clearer. Watch closely when she is in trot and see if she is taking even-sized steps with both hind legs. Her hind foot should step into the spot where her front foot was, this is called "tracking up" It's not the end of the world if she's not tracking up, but it is important that she takes the same size steps - stepping short with one hind leg at its worst is lameness and at its best is stiffness/laziness, so you need to figure out if this is happening or not. Its hard to tell for sure from your video clips and I might be seeing something that's not there!
    Don't panic about her possibly being lame, most likely it is just stiffness. My own horse is "lazy" with his left hind and I do a lot of (mounted) work to help him loosen it out and use it properly.
    Just to emphasise! DON'T PANIC! This is really really common! If your trainer can help you with exercises to do, you'll even her up no problem! And you'll probably see the "hopping" into trot transition disappear.

  5. Deanna, Thanks! That made my day!

    horse care courses, Really?? I have to go check that out!!

    Martine, Thank you for the insight! Would this be true, even if she does it in the pasture? I will talk to my trainer and see what we can do to correct this. I am not worried about lameness, if anything, I would guess it is laziness :) But I will definitely be keeping an eye on that left hind.

  6. I think Martine may be onto something with the head toss at the beginning of the trot. I think she is right that the impulsion isn't coming from behind... and that can be a laziness thing. I didn't notice the stiffness, but would think that she is stiff, or lazy with the hind legs, not lame, as she doesn't show any head bobbing while trotting. Oh... and Haflingers and lazy??? Yeah... that can happen ;-)

  7. A lazy Haflinger? I've never heard of such a thing ;)
    I will be addressing this with Beth when she returns from her clinic so we can work on correcting it and doing proper exercises to fix any stiffness.

  8. Hi Allison, phew I'm so glad you didn't freak and think Oh no, this woman thinks my horse is lame!
    Watch closely while you're lunging her, it's great practise for you to start learning to spot these things like tracking up.
    If Shyloh is being lazy with her left hind, it's important to help her figure out how to use it better, as long term it will become a stiffness.
    Best of luck & keep learning! That's one thing for sure about horses, you never, ever stop learning!

  9. Martine, I am not much of a freaker, lol! I do need to pay more attention and learn what to look for though.

    Thanks! I need all the luck I can get! :)


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