This summer I really felt that Tucker and I were progressing. We had some really good rides. He was cooperative and relaxed online and in the saddle. Then he had a disagreement with one of his pasture mates and got hurt. Our progress seemed to go out the window. His co-operation disappeared and he started kicking out again under saddle. Most discouraging. After much thought and reading I have decided to try him on ulcer medication to see if that helps. I got medication from the vet but he refuses to eat it and is quite adamant about it. He did get some for a few days but then seemed to have a reaction to it so I discontinued.
Yesterday we started a program of feeding him some alfalfa hay cubes when I bring him in and some of Mad Barn's Viceral for help with ulcers. Also plan to try Aloe Vera juice as it is supposed to help as well. We will see if this plan helps him to find his cooperative nature again. Playing on the ground for awhile to give the changes some time to work.
Jenny is still recovering from the lack of foot care at her previous home. She's getting trimed now about every 5 weeks and her feet are looking much better. I have even heard that she's been seen cantering in the paddock with her friends. We go for short walks and visit the other donkey although last time she ignored him. Her coat looks good and she is going into winter with a few extra lbs.
Summer is done, the cool weather is here to stay. We have had much more rain lately and things are getting quite soggy. I have started back with Arwen as she is sound and so far she is good. She had an Osteopath treatment in August and a few weeks later I noticed she was sound again. So she has also had 3 treatments so far. We never really figured out what was wrong with her. We are walking under saddle and trotting online and playing at liberty. I entered her in the virtual show in September as she was much more willing to do the Level 2 test and made a good effort. We didn't enter the riding part in though as she is not up to trotting small circles yet. Here's hoping for the best that she and I can again be partners in Western Dressage next year.
Earlier this past spring my barn owner rescued a group of horses from a farm in the area who had fallen on hard times. Included in this group is a 9 year old donkey. I agreed to foster her and look after her. Her feet had not been cared for and were very long. Mike Mehak the farrier trimmed her feet and they are improving gradually but she is much more comfortable than she was. I clipped off her belly hair as it was all stuck with poop and mud and have been grooming her and getting to know her. We are starting some short leading lessons and friendly games.. She is afraid of the fly boots I got her so guess we start there. Named her Jenny. Always liked that name. :)
We participated in our second virtual show with Harmony Horsemanship and again had a fun time getting our tasks better. This time Tucker was 2nd in the ground work and 4th in the riding section. So we were Reserve champions for that division and got a really nice neck string as a prize. We also finished up the level one and got a nice treat pouch as a reward. So moving on to Level 2 Tucker and I are going to enter the next level at the end of September show.
So 2020 has been challenging. I was fortunate to work at the farm during the quarantine so I was still able to see my horses although I didn't ride or play with them. A bit of grooming and treats. Once the quarantine was lifted somwwhat I got back to playing with my horses. We participated in a Virtual Liberty Clinic with Lindsey Partridge of Harmony Horsemanship
That was fun and we learned some different methods of playing at Liberty. Next up was a virtual Parelli Clinic called Bridges to Success with Linda Parelli organized by Molly Saunders in Washington State. I got lots out of that and really enjoyed it.
At the end of May we participated in our first Virtual Show with Harmony Horsemanship. Tucker was a good boy and we placed 6th in the ground work portion and the riding portion.
Next up was another virtual clinic with Linda Parelli of Parelli Natural Horsemanship organized by Molly Saunders this one was called Unlocking the Secrets of Liberty. That was a fun clinic. Learning can never end no matter how old you are or how experienced you are there is always something new to learn..
Fear can can appear anytime. Prey animals live on fear and need to be constantly aware of things that may hurt them. Even sometimes things that they have seen many times before can look different that particular day. So Tucker is a very good prey animal. In the wild he would be constantly alert to predators and things that might harm him and his friends.
It does make it a little more exciting when your horse is constantly on alert. He has improved a lot over the last year and a half and is much more relaxed in his environment. Sometimes though things become scary when things change or are new.
The other day a load of bags of shavings with plastic coverings that moved in the wind was dropped off outside Tuckers pen. He watched them be delivered and sit there. Then I arrived and asked him to walk by them. That was a whole new deal. It took us awhile to get relaxed enough about them to come close and touch them. He did and was able to walk between them and around them after awhile. Good boy. So it is all about confidence. His confidence in himself exploring new things and his confidence in me, knowing that I wont ask him to do something that is going to hurt him.
So Tucker and I are participating the Northwood Farms Challenge this year. We completed a short one in the fall but this one is 3 months and 30 rides 40 hours of Horsemanship . We are doing well on the horsemanship hours but the rides are lagging as I had my gall bladder out last month. I doubt we will complete the 30 rides. We are at 3 now and just starting back. Our horsemanship hours are at 20 so I am sure we will complete that.
It is hard to get that many rides in even when you are healthy and have no horse problems occur. Arwen and I completed the 30 rides a few years ago but it was hard to get them all in . Work and other things take up lots of time .
I do have more than a month so I will see how far we get wit the rides. Our relationship will improve for sure with the course of horsemanship and we will have fun. :)
2020 is here and with it expectations of a great year. Looking forward to it anyway. Uncertain of who I'll be riding and showing as Arwen is still having issues. I am working on getting Riva fitter as she has been off with some problems the last few months. She is Insulin resistant and on medication. Exercise is good for her and her condition but I need to be aware of her limitations as well. She will be turning 20 this year. Time sure flies. It is great to ride her again We spent so much time getting to the level we got to but then soundness problems interfered and I had to stop riding her. So she is good now and sound but has limitations to how much she can do and still be comfortable.
The last year and a half I have been working with Tucker and am hoping we can do some shows this year. He has had some issues but we are progressing and our relationship improving all the time. So maybe he will make his debut in the Western Dressage ring. We will see if he is ready for that.
So we were able to get to 3 shows this past year at the Golden Horseshoe Western Dressage Club. Arwen was a good girl but is still having soundness issues so we were lucky to get to the ones we did.
The last show of the season was the Glanbrook Cadora show at Trinity Trotters. I showed Riva Western Dressage and she was wonderful. We had a great show.
So Arwen and I finished the year out in 4th place at the Golden Horseshoe Shows and in 8th place in Canada. I thought that was great since we only did 3 shows.