Had a really good ride today on Gavi. Felt confident in the saddle and Gavi was attentive and wanting to please.
Several things have lead up to today’s pleasant ride. First and foremost, all the groundwork has helped in so many ways, from communication to better relationship. Groundwork matters so much. Also, I switched back to the bit and reins I feel confident with, a snaffle with thick rope reins. This may sound silly, but my hands are more relaxed holding the thicker 5/8 inch round reins. I had been riding Gavi in a rope halter with 3/8 inch rope reins. Planning the rides out before I get on has been another big help.
I will be looking around the ranch for objects to add variety to the rides. Will let you know what I come up with.
Today I said goodbye to my horse and friend, Del. It was a very hard decision, but her suffering needed to come to an end. Del became a member of our family November 21, 1996 and her life was filled with love. Del was a very kind and gentle soul, she was just the right horse for me at the right time. From fun trail rides to hard times with a tendon injury and colics to the birth of her foal, Gavi, to her death, I learned so much. I still have Gavi and we are grieving together. Del made me a better horse person and with Gavi I will become an even better horse person.
My horse Del had two small ulcers in her cornea. One of the ulcers has healed nicely, but the other is not showing signs of improvement. Del is 29 years old, she already has arthritis and worn teeth. One of the reasons why this ulcer is taking so long to heal is Del’s age.
The vet comes out on a regular basis to exam and reassess. The last time the vet was out, she prescribed an eye protector mask. Under the eye protector cup is a padded ring, a piece of gauze and a drip cloth to protect the eye and aid in healing. Del doesn’t like wearing the mask as the injured eye is her good eye. She is almost blind with it on. The eye that is not covered has a cataract. Hoping to see signs of improvement when vet comes on Monday.
A very special birthday was in store for Zenyatta as she gave birth to her second foal shortly before the day ended. As with all healthy colts, the foal “stands and nurses” within an hour after birth. Click here for pictures of Zenny’s foal.
Animal Kingdom won the 2013 Dubai World Cup at the Meydan racecourse. Jockey Joel Rosario rode Animal Kingdom to a 2-1/2 length victory. Rosario earned every bit of his $600,00 pay for the race. Watch the video.
Marion County Animal Services has three horses who are in need of caring homes. The horses were taken into custody as a result of “cruelty and abandonment investigations.” The horses are: Torn a thoroughbred stallion; Callie a quarter horse mare; and Cooper a quarter horse stallion. When found, Torn was underweight, and his teeth and hooves needed attention. Torn has received the medical and farrier care he needed. Callie and Cooper were found as strays, they will need extra patience to become cooperative horses. To see pictures of the horses click here. For information on how to adopt, call Marion County Animal Services at 352-671-8727.
My horse Gavilinda, barn name Gavi, is my horse and I have been wanting to get back riding her for a while. A few years ago, I was able to ride Gavi on my property. I was happy riding her. However, now things are different, I am fearful of getting on her back. I am not going into all of the whys, what this trainer said, and what that trainer said of how Gavi got this way. I am making an effort to look at things differently, to believe in myself, and to live for today with an eye on the future. Some might call this goal setting, regaining your confidence, or overcoming your fear of riding. I am calling it, Gavi Groove, because some definitions** of the word groove are exactly what I want to achieve with Gavi. One definition of groove is “a fixed routine”, as I know to get back riding Gavi I need to spend consistent time with her. Other definitions of the word groove that show what I want with Gavi are: “to appreciate and enjoy” and “an enjoyable time or experience”. Honestly, isn’t that what everybody wants with their horse.
I have made a log of what Gavi has learned, what techniques worked, and which ones didn’t. Gavi is a very smart horse and knows how to make a case for getting out of something. What I mean by make a case for getting out of something is by showing and acting on her dislike, e.g. ear pinning, head tossing, etc. while not acting fearful or unaware of previous lessons when she, for instance, kept her head down when the bridle was being removed or clipping her muzzle, etc.
I hope you will find this series entertaining and informative. I also hope that some of you will share your insights and experiences you have learned with your horses.
I am a horse lover. I am also a person who both loves and hates the sport of thoroughbred horse racing in America. I remember watching Riva Ridge, Secretariat and Ruffian as a child. As a horse owner, I connected with people who worked and trained horses for racing. I also cared for horses who were retired from the sport or didn”t make the cut. I know the good stories, the sad stories and the unfortunate stories of people not acting in the best interest of the horse. Here is a link to a story of the industry taking action in the best interest of horses.