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JR Session 19; Wizard Ride 63: Get On Your Boots

March 25, 2009

Monday, 3/23/09

Back to chilly weather here in New Jersey. Temperatures hit the upper 20s at night and the wind was gusty. The air is dry and there’s local concern of forest fires with the dry air and cold winds. Horses love cool climates, but the dry air seems to irritate them while they are being handled. I hand grazed Wizard for a few minutes as the sun set. When we walked back in the barn, his tail looked like a cat’s bottle brush tail after seeing something scary! I put a little conditioner on both horses to combat the static and dryness.

JR worked indoors on long lining, followed by a longeing session. Monday was his third time long lining and he’s beginning to get the hang of it. The first night, we only walked a few steps but now we can do some circles and change direction. Of course, he breaks into a trot and sometimes gets distracted, but he’s a good study and I expect him to keep improving.

On the longe, JR was frisky. He trotted and walked quite nicely but once we ventured to the far end of the arena and he felt that magnetic pull to the gate, he broke into a playful canter and hauled against the longe line, playfully bucking. I joked to my friend that it felt a little like fishing for marlin- not that I’ve ever fished for marlin, but a leaping palomino on the longe line must feel something like hauling a huge fish onto a boat. JR is getting fitter- he just started blowing and broke just a hint of a sweat by the time we were done. I cooled him out, groomed him, and put him to bed.

Wizard was again very sensitive to grooming on the crossties. He did not do anything threatening, but was clearly displeased by the brushing routine. Was it the static? Or was it the fact that I rode him three days in a row? Or was it the fact that this was the second session without Ulcergard? I’m still not sure.

On the longe and under saddle, I saw no problems in his behavior. He was a little stiff but he worked out of it. I also noticed the slightest bit of filling in his left hind fetlock, but it looked defined by the time I was done riding him. I longed him for about 10 minutes, then rode for about 20. We worked on about half the arena and I asked for circles in different parts of the ring. My goal was to keep him soft and introduce a little more leg whenever he felt like he was losing his rhythm. It worked well and he was comfortable with riding in different shapes. He relaxed quite a bit to the left but never completely relaxed to the right. He was obedient but not quite the superstar he was for the past two rides. When I was happy with the work he did, we cooled out and I brought him back into the barn. He was better about grooming after the ride.

I noticed that Wizard interferes (makes contact by touching one leg against the other) a bit on the longe and under saddle. I hear the click somewhere between 0 and 4 times during each session. I’m considering putting brushing boots or polo wraps on him to protect his legs. I tried a pair of Nunn Finer open front boots on his front legs. The sheepskin liner and leather shell are lovely but they slid down an inch or so while Wizard longed. I assume that the sheepskin needs to mold to his leg and wear down a bit before the boots fit him perfectly. Get on your boots, Wizard!

And for those who are keeping score at home, here are some progress photos of Wizard…

December 2008:

Wizard Right Side

March 2009:

Wizard- Conformation

December 2008:

Wizard Left Side

March 2009:

Wizard- Conformation

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 8:45 am

    Wow! You can really see Mr. Wizard developing a lovely topline and starting to muscle up. Gorgeous!

  2. March 25, 2009 1:31 pm

    Agreed, he totally has shoulder definition now! And his feet look lots better too, actually. 🙂
    Good job!

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