(How I hear Jellybean complaining to Cash)
So yesterday was just another one hundred degree day at the barn… And for some reason I decided it would be fun to go out after lunch, since my science failed for the day. What a mistake! I cleaned out Jellybean’s stall while she socialized with her boyfriends. She is Cash’s girl, but sometimes other guys try to make a pass. Marvel was trying to get fresh with Jellybean, and Cash lost his marbles. They had some rearing and pawing, then Cash kicked Marvel, hard, in the chest. Marvel walked away, defeated.
After stall cleaning time (about 230pm) I grabbed Jellybean and we went to the round pen to work a little bit and try to get the fluid moving, as her back legs were stocked up. We worked on walk, trot, canter transitions with voice commands. Then I kidnapped Jeanneatte (who writes 14 Hands and Counting) and she helped me ride Jellybean again. We completed the same exercise as yesterday, I slide on from the fence then we walk one round of the round pen before I get off and repeat from the other side. In case you are wondering, Jellybean is still not herself from the Rabies. I expect she will be much better today and tomorrow. Maybe she will even feel fiesty again…
Speaking of feeling fiesty again, I am reminded of a food dilemma Jellybean is still sitting under 700 pounds. She is definitely in that awkward teenager stage constantly growning, and I want to make sure she gets enough calories. She is currently eating two scoops (six pounds) of 12-8 pellets per day plus about four flakes of coastal hay. She also gets about a cup of canola/corn oil and about an ounce of Red Cell per day. She is barely on the threshold of light work, and she’s supposed to be a quarter horse!! I thought they just breathed air to be fat…
I am considering adding some weight gain or rice bran to her feed but I want to see how the teeth float affected her eating efficiency. I’ll keep you posted.
Some of you may recall that Jellybean is very lethargic after a rabies vaccination from the last time she had shots. As a result, I decided it might be a good time to get on Jellybean. We walked her out of the stall, and over the round pen. I walk/trot/canter warmed Jellybean up, just enough to make her realize she was lazy at heart, and feeling poorly to boot. Then Robert led her around the round pen with the halter and lead before I climbed over on her back. She didn’t do anything, not even a tail swish! Now this could be due to fortuitous timing, or she just likes me too much to throw me in the dirt (unlikely). In any case, this is just a small step towards the bigger goal of having a broke horse.
My Goals for the next six months, not neccessarily in this order:
- Accept bridle
- Ground driving with bridle
- Lunging with side reins
- Accept rider
- Drive under saddle
- Accept leg pressure
As the fall comes back, (which will be sooner rather than later) I want to set up a weekly ride with her, where we work on the basics of giving to pressure and accepting more advanced cues.
All of this is great, but I was REALLY REALLY excited to sit on the back of my pony yesterday 🙂
Yesterday was a big day at the farm. The vet came out for annual vaccinations, coggins tests, and dental work! All of this before noon! Jellybean’s normal wake up time.
Jellybean needed all of her vaccinations and dental work. She had a rough morning and it was not made any easier with her being an obtuse and unfriendly mare to the vets.
They started by trying to take her vitals. Normally this would be as easy as a stethoscope and a thermometer but, Jellybean had her own mind about these things and decided to try cow kicking at everyone in her stall. The vets were good though, no twitching and no sedation to get the vitals, just patience and perseverance. Then came the sedative for her dental work. I timed it from injection to stoned pony… only 45 seconds for the drugs to kick in.
Alright, enough bring stuff. Show you the pictures right? Well, she had to have her teeth floated and two wolf teeth removed. (little teeth that reside in the gap where the bit would sit.) So they used a speculum to hold her mouth open.
Somehow we ended up with a bionic pony! Bigger, stronger, faster than before! oh! and she can now chew through metal! Nah, that is the cool little device they used to open her mouth… But it sure looks funny.
As you can tell she is pretty much out of it from the drugs so she is being a REALLY good pony. They actually let me in the stall to take pictures of this, so what did I do? I stuck my phone right up in her mouth and took a picture. Say hello to Jellybean’s molars.
Huuuuurrrrr duuuuuurrrrrr. My mouth is big! Believe me these are going to be blackmail photos when she finds out about them. So they had the device ready and then they began floating her teeth. This was way cooler than I thought! The vet used a power drill with a grinder wheel on it. Here is your video:
My apologies for the quality. If this kind of stuff keeps happening around the farm I may have to upgrade to a fancy verizon smart phone with a better camera.
After the teeth float the vet extracted her wolf teeth. I don’t have any pictures of that since it was deep in her mouth and I got kicked out of the stall. After all of this indignity suffered by Jellybean the anticlimax to the day were the vaccinations shots.
The vets packed up all their tools and pokey things and moved on to the next horse. I walked over to Jellybean and she was still rather out of it on the drugs. Her ears were forward and she even had some will to nip at me. I knew she was fine.
She may be sore and stiff for the next few days but, she has no idea what awaits her now that she can be bridled without the pain of wolf teeth. Enjoy your rest Jellybean…. there is work ahead for you. muahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
Amanda was busy last Friday night and did not get the opportunity to train with Jellybean. Amanda had a lesson to co-teach and me being the good guy that I am did not want Jellybean to feel left out.
So… while Amanda started her lesson, I got Jellybean out of her stall and started grooming her. She did fine with brushing on her right side but, her left side is her temperamental side. She tried to squish me between her and the rail!!! what was she thinking? Now she is a 700 pound horse but, I do not squish easily! I knuckled her in the haunch to tell her to move over and, after a few more squishing attempts she gave up and stood still for her left side brushing. Next came the care of the dangerous end… the hooves. Jellybean let’s Amanda pick her hooves no problem but, I am new to her so she challenged me. her front hooves went well; with just a few stubborn moments. her hind legs however, she wanted to fight for. I know horses kick and i know Jellybean is opinionated so I was prepared. As I went to her hind leg she kicked out. with a firm but fair hand I reminded her that kicking at people is NOT tolerated. We had this talk three or four times but in the end she gave me her hoof and showed the respect she should.
Then we moved on to her lesson for the day. She is currently learning voice commands for whoa, walk, trot, and canter. she is learning upward transitions as well as downward transitions. It seems like a lot for a two year old to get. As we moved out to a walk circling right she did fantastic. She moved out on the word walk and stayed in her circle. She moved up and down her gaits on command and even came to a stop direct from a trot. She really is a good pony! So we switched over to her not so good side. Circling left she would not hold her circle. She kept cutting in and all she wanted to do was trot. We worked a lot on our commands circling left. I had to pull her in to remind her what walk was and give her constant reminders not to cut the circle. In the end we both had a good work out and we both had our horsemanship improved by the lesson.
Amanda was very happy for the work done and another boarder at the barn also commented about how nice it was to have someone to do things while Amanda was busy.
It was bittersweet to do the training with Jellybean. It made me miss Ginger a whole lot. It was the first time I had worked with a horse since she died almost three weeks ago. It felt wonderful to work with the horses again and I was told that these feelings reaffirm that “I was a horse person before I knew I was a horse person”.