Thursday, September 13, 2012

My boy Chico

Last weekend, I went for a short bareback ride on Cody, then, since I had extra time, I got Chico out and played with him in the round pen.  I haven't ridden Chico much this summer because he is so fat that I feel like my saddle doesn't fit him quite right.  So, having 3 horses to ride, when I ask myself the question of which horse to ride, I often don't pick him.  I know, it's totally counter production to actually getting him in better shape, but I have such limited time that the time I do ride him probably wouldn't help much anyway!  But back to the roundpen...it's probably been over a year since I've done anything with him in a round pen too.  Actually, I think the last time I had him up there was when I was trying it out to test the footing just after we set it up at the end of last summer.  Anyway, it's been so long that I forgot what it is like to work with him in the round pen.  Chico is so easy.  After working several different horses in there lately that are not accustomed to having to work (I've been working with a friend and her horses a bit this summer), I really forgot how nice it is to have a horse that loves to work with you.  I've included a few pics of our session...please don't laugh that he's so fat!  I'm actually horrified about it, but not enough to change my current management strategy (which is out on pasture full time - primarily to due ease which is a necessity at this point in time).  He's the only horse that is this fat, so a change in management would have to affect just him, and that would be too inconvenient right now.





And in this short video, you can see that I've improved my round pen footing by removing all but the last couple of inches of sand over the base (which is a clay type soil).  I had 6 inches of soft powdery sand initially and it was way too boggy to be useful.  Now there is only deep sand over the linear drain running across the pen, so he has 2 "holes" in footing to step into on every circle around the pen, which you can see trip him up a bit.  Once they get used to the "holes", they start planning for it and adjusting their stride to step over it.  Chico did that later on.  I have plans to fix the "holes" by digging out the sand around the drain tile and packing it with something more course, then replacing the few inches of sand over the top.  That should fix it.

One question as you watch this video...does he seem more stiff on his right hind than the left hind?  The right hind is the one that he injured all those years ago and had a small cut in the muscle.  I think that it does affect his limberness in that leg and he sometimes trips and knuckles over on it on trail rides when he gets tired.  Almost as though it is more difficult to extend when he is fatigued.

video

3 comments:

Christine said...

More round pen time when you get a chance I'm sure will help trim him a bit :)

Regarding stiffness... I'm not much of a judge on how horses move - I need more practice! I would have said he looks stiffer in the right hind while watching the first five or so seconds... but wonder if that's because his right is on the inside of a circle and having to work harder?

I wouldn't pick it once he changed direction... not much help, sorry!

Kara said...

Generally you can see when one leg is "stiffer" or "more lame" in one particular direction on a circle and not the other because it works harder on that direction...so I think you are seeing exactly what I'm seeing...it is subtle, but I do think it is there.

Shirley said...

He's a nice boy- ride him bareback if your saddle doesn't fit. I'd say he does short stride a little on the right hind.