Monday, June 28, 2010
The ball is rolling
I am happy to say that Rubes has finally come back home. Not in as good of condition as she could have been but not any worse off than when she left either. A few of the readers know she has been gone for a month, at the neighbors place, getting in shape as payment for my jumps. I forgot my iPhone cord or I would be able to post a few photos of her since her return. I will get them up, I promise...
The heat over the weekend has been bad. She came home on Saturday so I went out to give her a bath and a 'once over' to check her progress. Of course I was wearing a tank top and my shoulders now are still a nice shade of pink. :( I sprayed her off and kept trying to get back in the shade. Do something, get back in the shade. Do something else, get back in the shade. At least she got a bath, sprayed with conditioner, mane and tail brushed out, fly sprayed and then turned out to ROLL! She may have, but by then she was dry and nothing seems to have stuck. Hooray for small victories!
Sunday morning I set to work. Went out about 7am and picked her feet, brushed her off, wrapped her legs and went out to lunge her. She worked for a short time at a slow and leisurely pace and stopped when she thought she was done. Um, no. Sorry sweetie, that's not how it goes. You will never get into any kind of shape without putting out some effort. So I got after her a little, using my voice, body language and the end of the lunge line and made the impression that yeah, she needed to Move It! So she did.
Since she has not been in tip top shape for working for some time, I didn't expect her to work for long, but long enough... She started to sweat at least. She broke into a canter three times, for a few strides each time, then back down into a trot. The first two times, she jumped and dove into the transition. Not what I wanted, but at least she was moving! I'll take it, and just hope that never carries over when she's under saddle... By 8:30 she was finished, rinsed, fly sprayed and put away, everyone was fed and I went inside. It was already in the upper 90's. Blech! High of 107 expected for the day. Bigger Blech! The heat is not my friend.
The course of action has been set. We got up early this morning and headed out to start working everyone. I admit, I loafed a bit and we had a slower start then we wanted, but we did get the two babies worked, rinsed and fly sprayed before I had to head in and get ready for work. (I didn't have any pockets on my sweats or I would have pictures of them too.) Hubby got Johnie out and lunged her too. Tonight Rubes and the Kat man are on the list for their workouts. And I am going to spray the ant hill right under the water faucet where we rinse the horses. Nasty little critters bit me and hubby. Bad move on their part. They need to go somewhere else!
Even for having a slow start though, with efficiency, we did get quite a bit accomplished in an hour and a half. As a groom, you learn to make every step, every move, every trip from here to there count. Shortcuts may save you a few minutes here and there, but from experience, you end up having to go back and do it over again later. Did you really save anything taking the shortcut?
You also learn to prioritize. Those who need the most work, go first. Those who are just starting out under saddle, may be the only horse getting worked that day, so plan for it. They get your full attention. Clipping and full out baths- one horse in the rotation per day gets them or they are all done on the weekend. Planning, having a routine or schedule can really provide results. You would be surprised how much you can get done. And if anything comes up in the middle of the schedule- see to it, then get back on track. It's nothing more than a hiccup. It happens.