Saddle Sore.

I feel like this weekend was an odd mixture of success and failure.

On Friday, we worked more on what we learned on Wednesday.  She told me to intersperse the hard counterbending canter work with regular trot, so that's what we did.  I know Archie was still sore because I could feel it in his body.  I'm vacillating between two sets of spurs on SmartPak.  One is the regular Tom Thumb that she recommended and the other is like the Tom Thumb with a tiny nub.

I dropped the whip somewhere half way through the ride, because, let's face, I'm a giant pansy.  We still had two brilliant moments of movement.  I felt float tracking right at the trot.  He couldn't sustain it for more than a few strides, but he lifted up and his front end became light and airy.  And at the canter, we were counterbending tracking left and we achieved in a lap or two what had taken most of the lesson.  Smart Kid.

I figured that we were due for some lighter work on Saturday, so I hopped on and bypassed the ring for the trail.  We've made a point to walk on the trail every single ride.  It's been two weeks and I've probably ridden nine or ten times or something.  So he's been on the trail a lot.  Color me surprised when he completely lost his shit because a tree fell way off in the distance - it had already been cleared to the side, so the trail was passable - but Archie was absolutely positive that it was an alligator crawled out of the muck or some other horse-eating monster.  No amount of cajoling worked.  As soon as we got to that part of the trail, he would slam on the brakes and spin backwards.  I would have let this happen, except he almost backed into a ditch.  I finally dismounted, dragged him the necessary five feet, remounted and kept going.  Glad, too, because we found the end of that branch of the trail.

I could totally see myself enjoying a few beers here.
We worked in the round pen on Sunday.  I needed a break from the saddle (I hurt!) and I really wanted to see how he was in the pen.  He listened to my body language pretty well and after a bit of trotting and cantering in both directions, I started getting some lip-smacking and chewing.  I turned my shoulder to him, facing mostly away, and in a few seconds I had a horse huffing at my elbow.  It was one of those magical moments that reaffirms all this stuff that we go through for them.

This is better, right?  Stepping up with that outside hind?
I gave him a bath last night as the Kid gets dirty.  If I leave a fly mask on, he's almost guaranteed to have sand under it.  And he's sweating a ton!  His coat will be covered in salt crystals by the time I see him in the afternoon.  It also rained before I got there, so he thought it would be a perfect opportunity to roll.  Love this guy.

See the sandy eye-boogers and the coat?!
In other life stuff, the largest crisis at home happens to be moles.  And Savannah's affinity for digging up the yard in pursuit.  We've spent a lot of time and money growing grass in our previously-weed-infested yard, so this is disappointing.  We spent Saturday morning burying chicken wire at the base of the fence.  Then mowing the lawn and spraying mole repellent into the grass.  I'm not a fan of the mole traps, but D purchased one.  So far, it's been unsuccessful.  (Woo?)  Tonight, we're going to try some other homeopathic things to help Savannah stop digging.

I'm an artist.
After all that hard work on Saturday, we skipped out on the gym.  We ate lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and picked up some sweets from the local grocery store.  The afternoon was spent sitting in the darkened living room, watching Harry Potter, eating sugar and drinking beer.

Sunday, I photographed at the Humane Society.  They've had a lot of structural changes lately with three of the regular staff leaving.  So, things are messier and more complicated and I have less help.  I won't work with one or two people because they think that choke holds are appropriate.  Beyond all that, though, I left the shelter really, really disheartened.  A fully trained pibble/Shepard mix is (was?) slated to be euthanized because "he's been there too long."  I knew this place was a kill shelter when I started there.  And I know that some of the pets that I've spent time photographing and playing with have since been euthanized.  But this dog.  Man.  I told him to sit and his butt slammed into the ground.  I told him to lay and he immediately dropped.  I tossed a treat and he jumped to catch it.  He's no longer on the website.

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  1. Aww.mthats very sad. I understand why kill shelters exist, but I just find it so hard to even think about that

  2. That's sad about the dog. Stuff like that breaks my heart.

  3. SO sad about the dog :(

    Glad you and Archie are enjoying the new place, he seems to be keeping you on your toes lol :)

  4. Not thinking about puppy. :( But ugh, I know what you mean about those mole traps. My dad used them and seemed to take particular glee in showing me the poor speared moles. Maybe that was a faster death than the cats torturing them? Sucked to be a mole at my parents' house!

    I LOVE my composite interchangeable tip spurs. They actually came free with a cheap pair of composite stirrups I got from Dover. Hated the stirrups, sold them to a friend, but kept the spurs, they are great!!! I can use different ends for different horses without having to have multiple sets and they are black, so I can just rinse them clean. Might see if Dover has them?

  5. Harry Potter, eating sugar and drinking beer... now that sounds like my kind of night!

  6. I have not had much to say on my own blog (because I haven't been doing much horsey beyond looking at my old, fat, pretty horses eat) but I'm still following my faves, like yours! The shelter story makes me sad. I've always thought that kill shelters are a necessary evil because of ignorant, cruel, selfish, and stupid people, but it is still a difficult reality to face. I have decided I can no longer support kill shelters monetarily after donating for years to the large local one where one of my dogs came from.