Oh Beautiful Paint

Friday, April 10, 2009

Today I got to see Lilly after nearly two weeks of not getting to spend any time with her!! I love her big paint splotches. She is so beautiful. She is also in heat! Pasturemate Elvis was trying to sniff every molecule of Lilly and Qtee air that he could. I guess it is springtime after all, even though the sun doesn't seem to feel that way. I saddled Lilly up and took her to the ring, paranoid about working her too hard just in case the Lyme results come back positive. I thought for sure the new results would be in the mail today; they were not. I'll have to wait another day to find out. Today Lilly was very good in the ring. That's Bill (on Cody) in the background. Bill can get Cody very nicely collected with his head all perpendicular to the ground, and up into a very nice and gentle lope--just perfect. Collection is something Lilly and I MUST work on this year. I know having her flexible and collected will mean she'll stop faster and more beautifully, and most importantly, on her hind end. Right now Lilly stops with the front of her body, which is why we need to work on it. In teaching collection and stopping on a dime, Clinton Anderson says you have imagine there is a cliff in front of you that you will both careen over if the horse doesn't stop immediately. Simply slowing to a stumbling halt at the horse's leisure is not what should happen. The way to having such precision and control, is to teach my brumby suppleness, flexion at the poll, and collection at the walk, trot and canter. All I can say is, this is easier said than done. Everytime I try to pull Lilly's head in to collect her, she thinks it's a cue to slow down. I need to pull her head in while urging her back end on. When she gets it right, I can't forget to reward her by releasing the pressure. Intellectually I get it. Easy. But in the ring? Hmmmmm....

Here's Lilly's front right foot right now. Looks like she's having a little problem with some missing hoof. If I've observed it once, I've observed it a hundred times: Lilly's feet are complicated. And having her foot like this makes it harder for Bill to keep up with the barefoot "trim" we are trying to maintain. Because one side of her foot is shorter than the other now, Bill had to shape up the other side to help even it out. The last thing we want Lilly doing is favoring one side of her foot. However, we are really trying to get her barefoot-worthy too, so we can't tamper with too much hoof. Argh! I wonder if secretly Lilly likes the fact that she is always keeping us guessing.
Before I put Lilly back in the pasture today, I just couldn't resist a peek at her teeth. I love her teeth. I mean, look at them! Aren't they so funny and perfect? Look how they match up! No orthodontics needed for this brumby!

That's Bill holding Lilly's mouth open so I could get a picture of the cups in her bottom teeth. This picture was hard to get because Lilly's big ole tongue kept rolling into the frame.

This picture shows that Lilly has a canine tooth! Not all mares have them, but I guess this one does! Lilly's canines are just little tiny nubs. You can see it by the blackish pigment there in her gum. Oh what a darling brumby.

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