Rings of Rosies, Bows with Eros and New Shoes

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Look! It's Christine and Charlie!! After a week of work, it sure is nice to be saddling up a horse in the barn with horse buddies. Well, first it is nice to sleep in! I am just like a teenager when it comes to sleeping in. But then, as soon as the animals at home are taken care of, off I dash to the barn. Christine was there when I arrived, plucking the rotund Charlie from the pasture.

Even though the weather was more than fine to venture out on the trail, because it was slightly cooler than usual, we thought it'd be a great day to be in the ring. The ring has been turning into a grassland with all these trail rides lately. I decided I would get my bow and arrows out for some practice with Lilly.  What the picture does not really show very well is that target is on a slope, so those horses behind it are not in jeopardy of getting punctured!

Hmmmm, doesn't look like I am so bad at making the target anyway! Of course, that was just practicing on the ground with Lilly next to me. I wanted to get her used to the TWANG and PING of the bow. She could not have cared less. She was far too interested in performing the community service of clearing the ring of all the grass that had sprouted up. What a caring brumby!

Inevitably I eventually had to shoot from horseback. That was the whole idea. So while Christine and Bill were working with Ruby in the ring, I climbed on Lilly with my gear. It was nearly impossible without a quiver. I need a quiver desperately. In any event, I got up there, glad to have a horse who did not think much of these strange new accoutrements.

This picture is a bit ridiculous because I was shooting the arrow with a camera in my hand. Just so you can see how fun it is. Naturally, this arrow is pink. With each shot, Lilly did not move a muscle. Still as a statue she was. Each time I hit the target I let out a WOOT WOOT!!! Bill and Christine did not even notice! I was alone in my own little bow and arrow world.

Then I wandered over to the round pen. Last post I mentioned Ruby has never really liked the ring. She was giving all kinds of signs in the ring that she was not liking it this time either. But it was different. She was cantering like something was off. She flung her head all around for a second...and gave a few funny crow hops.

Then Bill got out of the saddle to see if that made a difference. Then she seemed fine.
Then he took her out of the round pen and turned her around some cones in the ring. She rode as smooth as ever (it looked like to me) but then she gave a little squeal. Nope, something was amiss. But was it because she dislikes the ring so much? Or something more?

Did I mention how very large Charlie is? He is a big, happy boy. Plus, he looks darn good in that dressage saddle.

We decided to take Ruby down the trail to see how her cantering was there, outside of the ring. She has always loved the trail. It would be a good place to see if her hiccups were ring related, or something else. But first, I showed Bill and Christine how good Lilly and I were with bows and arrows. Of course, everything is easier at a standstill!! To see a video of Lilly and I with the bows and arrows, just click right here!

We rode up to the short trail. At first Lilly did not want to go. She figured since she had been in the ring, a trail ride was off the table. Wrong! Good thing Ruby was along, or Lilly really would have gotten her stubborn out. Once we got moving she was fine. On the first canter, Ruby was perrrrrfect. I was behind watching--not a single bump. No hoppy and stiff crosscantering. So we cantered for another stretch. The strange crow hop reappeared. And then a third with Lilly in front--just in case Ruby had been fussy because Lilly was right behind her. But no, she did the funny little stiff crow hop again. She was trying to tell Bill something. It was: I will run if you ask me to, but something does NOT feel right to me. Bill has been around horses too long to not listen when they talk to him. Home we went.

Back at the barn, the focus turned to Lilly's feet.  She is such a foot enigma! After two years and a lot of experimentation, we/I have decided, she simply needs shoes on. We have tried everything to make shoelessness work. Overall, it just is not working.

Even though I would, in theory anyway, prefer my horse to go barefoot, I do not believe that Lilly benefits from this approach. We gave it everything we had to make it work. And for a verrrry long time. Bill is no beginner when it comes to feet and horses. His experience is vast. We also had a farrier and two vets tell me in no uncertain terms she will go better and be better with shoes on.
So yesterday when Bill asked me if I wanted to put shoes on her, I said yes without a single doubt.

It is hard not having a crystal ball to know what is right. All I can say is, each horse is different. And what works for 99 horses in one herd might not work for the 100th. And if Lilly is out of discomfort with shoes on, then having shoes on is a blessing, not a curse.

Lilly and Bill work very well together in the barn. He has said many times she is a pleasure to work with. In 20 minutes, the shoes were on.

Lilly wasn't sure for the first few minutes they were on her feet. Then she was walking up and down the driveway and road like every sound horse is supposed to be walking.

Meanwhile, Brandon had arrived with a mushroom for Jackie C.

Before I left I watched Bill put some Bill-grown second cut hay from up in the Blueberry pasture. Here is Ruby after she chased Lilly and Sophie away from the pile. Can you believe the nerve!? Hay hog!!

Cheerio for now!


Paint Girl said...

Lilly is such a good girl for handling the bow! I would love to try mounted shooting someday... maybe in a few years Chance will be ready for that. Not all horses can go barefoot. When we first got Fritzy, we tried her barefoot for a year (we knew very little about her history when we bought her) and she just couldn't do it. She has very thin soles and flat feet. So back when she could be ridden, we had to put shoes on her. You just need to do what is right for Lilly!! You, and only you (and Bill) know what is best for her.

Melody said...

Looks like great fun~ the mounted bow and arrow-ing!

I must say I'm shocked about the shoe selection~~
I really thought you'd have found her two pairs in PINK !! *giggle*

What ever works best for our equine friends, comfy feet make for comfy/happy critters!~~ :))))

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

That archery-in-progress shot takes selfies to a w-n-l! How's your aim cupid? ;D

lmel said...

I'm jealous! Your brumby is so good while you shoot from her back. I'd be afraid to try that unless someone was holding onto Harley. First time seems like a great success.

What kind of mushroom is that? It's huge!

You're so right about the shoes. I'd love to keep 'em barefoot, but some horses just need them to make riding less ouchy, especially on the trails.

hanna said...

Oh!! this picture have a very fun unbelievable pictures

hanna said...

I had very felt the interest for your blog.most amazing pictures,

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