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Wizard Rides/Sessions 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359: Parklife

April 30, 2012

Wizard's daily breeze on the turf

The good thing about getting to the barn almost every day is all the time I get to spend with Wizard, but it invariably also means that I get backlogged on blogging! The more stuff I have to write about, the less time I have to do it…

Wednesday, 4/18/12 If each day continues to be better than the last, I’ll be very happy. Kris and Sunny took a lesson in the outdoor arena while I longed Wizard in the indoor arena. I tacked him up (slightly more successfully) in the indoor arena while Sunny was in there, which kept him much quieter. He still wriggled and fidgeted, and he still hollered to Sunny while he was working, but everything was less extreme than it was the day before. After his longeing session, he grazed in the big paddock. He did quite a bit of trotting and cantering between fits of grazing. All in all, better than the first day. And that is progress.

Thursday, 4/19/12 My mom came out to the barn with me, and I did another longeing session indoors with Wizard. He was more tense than he was on Wednesday because Sunny was not with him. Our work with tying/grooming is going slowly- he spins when he gets distracted (which is a lot these days!).

Friday, 4/20/12 There were two mares in the indoor arena, so Wizard stood reasonably quietly while he was tacked up. As a temporary solution to our tying issues, I borrowed my friend’s Blocker Tie Ring. I like the idea, because if something really blows Wizard’s mind, the tie ring gives him just a little slack, which can sometimes prevent a full-on freakout. But my brilliant idea failed, because Wizard slung his head downward and *BOINK* the thing popped open. Loose horse, thankfully at a walk. Hm.

I rode him in the indoor arena, and he was pretty good. He was a little tense, so his trot was pretty choppy, but he was listening to me and settled a little bit by the end of the ride.

Saturday, 4/21/12 In an attempt to keep Wizard’s routine from becoming stale, I took him out for his paddock grazing time before working him. We mimicked tying outdoors since Sunny was out with us- this was our first work in the outdoor grooming area since last Tuesday’s adventure. Her presence kept him more relaxed than usual, and I was able to push his training comfort level a little more than usual. I longed Wizard in the outdoor arena, and he was very willing and reasonably relaxed.

On Sunday, Wizard got the day off. It rained, it poured.

Monday, 4/23/12 Before work, I went to the barn for a ride. The arena was pretty soggy from all the rain, but it has a good base and I was able to get a little riding done at a walk and trot. When I got in the saddle, he did his usual kick/ear pin thing, but not with as much gusto as he did in the past. After riding, he got a little grazing time.

Tuesday, 4/24/12 After work, I had a really nice ride in the outdoor arena. Unfortunately, I’m feeling that funkiness on the right front leg that I have felt a few times in the past. Most people cannot detect it when they watch him longe, but I can see it and I can feel it. Although he was not quite right, he rode really nicely, reaching for the bit and responding really nicely to my leg. And when I got on him, there was NO ear pinning, no kicking, nothing. YESSSS. Is it the Maalox that I give him before every ride? Whatever it is, it’s making me happy.

Wednesday, 4/25/12 After work, Wizard and I did a quick ride in the outdoor arena. I kept it light since I still feel that right front funkiness. He gave me a nice canter on the left lead. He’s not lame, just feels funny. It’s making me crazy, because he’s SO good in the outdoor arena. Grooming is getting better, but he is still wiggling, twitching, and shimmying while he’s tied.

On Thursday, Wizard got the day off.

On Friday, Wizard got the day off from riding, and grazed with Sunny for an hour. I think I have the Blocker Tie Ring figured out. User error made it pop open (yes, I don’t know forwards from backwards). Once I had it figured out, it worked better. Wizard fiddled and did a little pulling on it, and seemed to understand the tying thing a little better.

Saturday, 4/28/12 On Saturday, we had our best tying day so far! He fishtailed while I tacked him up, but stood politely when I stepped away from him, and actually settled in, took a deep breath, cocked a hoof, and relaxed for a moment when I was organizing part of my grooming box. I longed him for just a few minutes, and I’m thinking he does not need pre-ride longeing anymore after this. Wizard was happy to be working in the arena with his old friend from the previous barn, Miss Tuesday. I got in the saddle, and there was no ear pinning, no kicking. The right front funkiness was not as noticeable as it was a few days ago- I can still feel something. We trotted poles, and we did just a little canter on the right lead. We did more canter work on the left lead- his canter was actually pretty nice to the left. Miss Tuesday’s owner asked if we were ready for our first trail ride to the park (YAYYY!), and I was game for it. It was a tiny little trail ride, just enough to get him out and let him graze on some tasty grass in the first big field before heading home for some paddock time. It was getting pretty chilly and dark by the time we finished up our paddock grazing time. The walk from the grazing paddock to his paddock with Sunny is usually a great training opportunity, since Wizard always wants to try to drag me, or jig, or power walk. Now that he is learning his routine, he is pretty much back to his normal self (who walks pretty fast).

We walked to the grooming area, where he stood the best he has stood so far. It’s funny to me that he’s best under saddle and the standing and tying is the big challenge. The other big challenge is separating him from horses. We are making progress, surely and steadily.

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