I missed a post. AGAIN. I was all ready to write one last night, but I had an awards banquet to go to, and by the time I got home, I had completely forgotten. Can you blame me, though? I got $400 worth of prizes, three trophies, a plaque commemorating my division champion-ness, and $216 in cash. It was like Christmas had come early, only my parents didn’t have to pay for any of it, and I didn’t have to unwrap anything, and I got my picture taken six times in front of a Christmas tree. And I had cake. It was a good night. Heck, it was a great show season. I was champion in all of my classes. That’s a pretty big deal, considering that this was my first official show year, and I have owned Winchester for only a little over a year and a half. Pretty cool, right? 🙂 Maybe I just like bragging.
Anyway, I bought my third bag of beet pulp and third bag of the additive (I really can’t remember what it was called, but I have pictures!). I should really keep the receipts. I have them all somewhere. Somewhere….. So Chic is starting to FINALLY bulk up, thanks to the advice of an employee at the feed store. She told me that one scoop of additive per day was not nearly enough to make a horse gain weight, and that I should do one scoop for one week, a scoop and a half for one week, and then two scoops until she gets up to a healthy maintenance weight. That is why I have not seen much progress with Chica’s weight; I hadn’t been feeding enough. Okay, well, enough for her to maintain her weight, yes. But to gain any? Nope. Lesson learned, though. I shouldn’t take the advice of people who’s horses are underweight. Whose? Or who’s? I think it is whose. Whatever.
As far as riding Chica goes, I have ridden her seventeen times total. Four times for December. I am on track for my goal. 🙂 She was kinda hyper the last time I rode her. She wanted to canter pretty much the whole time. The problem is that she favours her left lead over her right, and she does not like to slow down. At all. She throws her head and braces against the bit. At least she hasn’t bucked yet.
Honestly, I am surprised she hasn’t bucked, considering that she is known for that.
Maybe she really likes me.
Or maybe she knows that it is useless, because I can’t be bucked off (believe me, Winchester has tried) unless I am bareback and backwards and trying to take a nap….don’t ask.
I have been putting her in a stall if it is supposed to be below 30 degrees, or if it is raining. I think that is helping her with her weight, since she isn’t expending unnecessary calories by trying to stay warm. I actually prefer her to be in a stall. It is easier than dragging her out of a paddock, caked in mud and cranky. Well, she is always cranky. She is constantly giving the typical “mare glare”. The more I work with her, and the more weight she gains, the more of her personality is starting to show. She has a great work ethic.
As far as riding her goes, I am working on her bends and getting her to flex without bracing against the bit. Basically, I am trying to teach her how to accept contact and come into it. So far, she has done the expected “nope” thing: bracing against it and trying to go faster. But there have been a few times where she has gotten the idea and stretched for me. Now the challenge is teaching her to flex and collect, to engage her back. Thank goodness I am getting better at telling when a horse is engaged and when he isn’t. Thanks, Winny! 🙂 Riding him bareback has helped a lot with that, and also with keeping my legs where they should be. Physical therapy for my core is also helping. (I type as I digest ice cream and a sandwich. How healthy.)
^ This is definitely more than what she had been getting before. 1 scoop of Sherwin’s silo feed, 1 scoop of the additive, and 1 scoop of beet pulp shreds (no molasses)
^ The “mare glare” at its finest.
^ FINALLY getting some meat on her bones!
^ Clean stall. I think I went a little overboard with the shavings.
^ Look at that! Leaves all over the sidewalk! Tsk, tsk.