We got to the barn late as the car broke down. We just got my daughters car out of the garage and drove her to work to test it and it conked out on the highway on the way to the barn after dropping her off. It started again in a few minutes so we ended up taking it back to the garage and got my vehicle to go to the barn. 

I quickly used the shedder to get any mud off & picked feet. We then went in the indoor arena for about 1/2 hour. We went to the back arena door and he handled it well, a few snorts but quickly relaxed. He went right out the door in the dark, smelling the ground and coming in and out of the door. He still is quite spooky at one door back there, but I did get him to go up to it several times and finally he stopped snorting at it. We did the falling leaf or c-pattern and circling with rope halter and 22' rope. Did some small circle trots and then I let him out farther and did some faster extended trotting. Cantered him a little both ways, he was good. He was a little stiff on his back right leg again. Arena doors were all open as we walked all around the arena.
Gave him an apple, carrots, sunflower seeds and equilizer with some beet pulp after.

I will have to wait until the next time to try the new bit I bought for him,  a 5" Sweet Iron Snaffle Mouth with Copper Inlay, 2-3/4" Ring, German Silver Dots. I hope he likes it, I think it's very nice looking LOL 

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 30, 2012 at 11:01pm

Monday April 30 2012 

I did groundwork with the 12' rope and halter, changing eyes, circling stage 1 then we went across the arena doing the falling leaf pattern. Cooper was yielding his hindquarters so nice and flowing around me from side to side. A few times he pivoted when he turned, that looked awesome!! He stopped and snorted at the back arena door, I waited a moment then asked him to go forward and he did.
I asked one of the boarders that was just finishing up riding her 17 hand horse if she wanted to hop on him bareback. She looked big on  him, her legs were almost wrapped right around the little guy. She rode him around at a walk for about 20 minutes letting him get used to her and before he finally relaxed. He kept trying to go sideways over to where I was sitting and not listen to her. He was really fussing with the bit so I took it off and she rode with just the rope halter. He was much more relaxed with that. They ended on a good walk around and he was stretching his head down and licking and chewing. I have to start riding with the rope hackamore or the Nurtural bitless bridle I have.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 28, 2012 at 11:45pm

Friday April 27/12

It was our 85th ride together tonight. We did about 1/2 hour on ground first. Had a hard time doing the changing eyes tonight, Cooper would just go backwards and not cross his back legs over and yield. We did c-pattern from front of arena to back and then went into the scary corners. He is getting better with those scary corners. Another boarder and her daughter came in on their horses. We all did well together in the arena. I decided to get on, Cooper was good but I was tensed up. We rode around for about 10 minutes, mostly walk and some jog. I tried to follow along behind one of the other riders like it was a lesson. My legs were getting sore from tensing up so I thought it was time to get off. 

Saturday, April 28 2012 

It was late when we got to the barn so we only did about 1/2 hour of ground work. We did changing eyes and got it working better tonight. He tried to back up one time and I tapped him under the belly with the carrot stick to get him to step over. We walked around to the back of the arena to the scary corners doing falling leaf or c-pattern. Went inside the feed room again and gave him a handful of equalizer.
While grooming he stretched out when I brushed on his belly near his sheath looking like a Morgan all parked out. He needs a good bath as soon as the weather warms up.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 27, 2012 at 9:29am

Thursday April 26/12 The farrier was there doing a horse so we went into arena to pick feet then walked to the scary end of arena with 12' rope and rope halter. I opened one of the scary doors, which was the feed room, and took Cooper inside. Cooper snorted at everything then found a bucket of soaked hay cubes. I didn't let him have any but did give him a small handful of oats which he liked very much. Cooper was very good about it all, just a little spooky, getting so much better.
Then I took him back into the barn area and tacked him all up thinking I might ride. We did about 1/2 hour of giving to the bit work on the ground with the sweet iron bit, he really likes that bit. It was blowing outside and the slushy rain coming down was making lots of noise on the roof. Cooper was just a little spooked by it so I decided not to get on, just in case.
It's hard for me to walk around in the dirt in the arena, I can't walk as fast as he does. He he was mostly calm and relaxed but the way I felt I didn't want to chance it. There will be other times with warmer weather coming and we can go outside. If I could get him tacked up quicker then I might be able to get into the indoor arena while there is still some natural light coming in, instead of the spooky lights.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 26, 2012 at 10:36am

Wednesday April 25/12 I went tonight to pick his feet and groom him. He pulled back from me again with his hind foot and I made him move his feet then he lifted it softly both sides. The arena was empty so I turned him loose and let him run around. There was no lameness again tonight. He circled around me at liberty and came to me when I asked him too. We did turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches, back up with no lead rope on and he stuck close to me. Also did sideways towards me in the middle of the arena from the left side but still have to go up to the wall to do it going to the right. I also tried the changing eyes, Clinton Anderson method, without the lead rope and he did it. Hoping to head out again Thursday and maybe all weekend. Wow that is the most consecutive days that I have been out to see Cooper. That must be why he is getting more responsive to the cues. Going to put him back to work tonight if we get there early enough, if not that's ok too.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 25, 2012 at 9:39am

Tuesday April 24/12

The barn manager trotted Cooper out to see where he was lame and wouldn't you know it, no lameness at all!! Then another boarder went around the arena with him, same thing. I am sure I read somewhere that if the rider has a bad side then the horse will sometimes be off on the same side. Would that be the same on the ground? Wonder if Cooper is doing this as my bad side is the left leg.

While picking his back feet he has been getting naughty and pulling up and away, tugging against me. Yesterday I just watched a free video onhttp://www.downunderhorsemanship.tv/episode.aspx  called 'Kicking, A Bad Habit' and got some ideas from it. Although Cooper does not kick I can see it turning into that maybe with my daughter or Al who are not that experienced and are afraid to pick up his back feet. When he pulled away from me on the left hind I immediately got him moving his feet (nothing like in the video clip though) and the very next time I picked his foot up he gave it to me softly, he's a quick learner. The right side he was a little more stubborn, it took a few times then he finally gave his foot softly. Amazing how you pick up things by watching different training methods and they work. When Al put his treats in his bucket Cooper was getting antsy so we did some walk, whoa and back up in the aisle before putting him in his stall.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 24, 2012 at 9:17am

Sunday April 22 2012

We didn't go into the arena tonight. Had a good grooming session and sprayed his feet with tea tree oil mixture. He wasn't too dirty.

Monday April 23 2012

I hosed the mud off his feet in the wash stall with warm water and he stood quietly. Used the 22' rope and halter and did some walk at the beginning. It was blowing and rain was pelting on the roof and he was a little jumpy but after some Clinton Anderson changing eyes exercise and friendly game he calmed down a little.  We tried some big trot circles then only did a walk as he was still limping.  We walked down to the scary corners and he was much better. Did some more changing eyes at a walk and falling leaf (c-pattern), he's turning so nice when changing to go in the other direction. He was getting very saucy with a treat, I made a big boo boo and hand fed him a stud muffin then he was getting pushy looking for more. 

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 21, 2012 at 11:13pm

Saturday April 21 2012

I used the 22' rope and halter again tonight. We went into the scary corners and he is getting much better. We did big circles, walk, trot and a few canters. He was limping again when going to the left. I don't know what it is, he was pretty dirty and smelly so maybe he hurt himself outside falling or slipping?

He was pretty pushy when he heard the carrots being cut so I got the crop to keep him away while I put it in his feed bucket. Going to try to get out tomorrow night just to pick his feet and give him some beet pulp, no work until Monday.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 21, 2012 at 1:46am

Friday April 20 2012 I used the 22' rope and rope halter and did some circles, falling leaf, walk, jog, canter. At one point at the beginning when we were heading to the back of the arena Cooper decided he didn't want to go and stopped and started to back up, like he does a lot to get out of doing things. This time I went right at him and twirled the carrot stick and string at his neck and got him to turn, and then move forward. He took off at a gallop and I followed letting the rope slip through my hands and then wiggling to get him to slow down. He tried it about 2 more times in the same spot and I repeated the procedure :) I didn't have anymore problems after that, if anything he was actually listening better and doing really well.
We played at the scary end of the arena and he was great. I asked him go right up in the corners and stand. He tried to move before I allowed him and I pointed and directed him back and he stood quietly.
I was watching a dvd on parelliconnect from April 2010, which I have at home somewhere and must dig it out. It was the circling game, online, freestyle, liberty and finesse. I didn't do it actually the same way but it gave me the idea to go out and try our circles online with no gadgets.
We moved all over the arena, we had it to ourselves again, that doesn't happen very often.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 19, 2012 at 11:05pm

Thursday April 19/12 We walked to back of arena again with 12' lead and rope halter to do some approach and retreat near the scary parts. He went in and out of the back door a few times although he was high headed and on guard. I was going to walk him right out a little farther and maybe go to outdoor arena but didn't want to argue with him so we went back inside. Lunged with saddle and side reins on very loose. He was good tonight. He had a few poops and I would tell him to whoa so it wouldn't be all over the place. I don't know but I think he got wise and thought that everytime he would go then I would stop him and he would get a way to get to stop and not work? Are they smart like that?

I snapped the lunge line for him to get moving, he can poop and move at the same time, and he didn't like that, he squeeled and bucked and galloped off and I got him under control easily. When I changed directions I remembered what I read about conditioning for the stifle and did walk, trot transitions, he listened really good.

No one else was at the barn, I think they took the horse that had hurt himself months ago somewhere. He has not been doing well at all. His hip was horribly deformed and sticking out, I think he had a broken pelvis is what they said. I don't know if they were having him euthanized or to a different facility for treatment. It's so sad and such a hard thing to decide.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on April 18, 2012 at 10:23pm

Didn't get out on Sunday but made it Monday April 16/12

Lunged in front end of arena. He did good with the wind howling and doors banging. Had a little spook by the side door. It looked like he had a limp going to the right tonight, although I don't really know what to look for, most horses look like their heads are bobbing a lot to me. He looked like he was limping just slightly when going to the left. After too much reading on the internet it also looks like he really short strides and seems to be on his toes, again I don't know what to look or watch for and probably worrying too much. Farrier said the same thing my coach said, that he just needed to be worked more so he would get stronger.
Al rubbed his stifles with green cool and then I gave him his beet pulp, apple, carrot and equalizer.

Tuesday April 17/12

Walked him to back of arena first with 12' lead and rope halter to do some approach and retreat near the scary parts. He was snorting and didn't want to go out the back door tonight. I did some sideways along the far wall then some falling leaf back up to the front of the arena. Lunged with saddle and german martingale on. Another boarder was riding around the outside and I stayed in the middle. He was good tonight when going to the left but still looked like a slight head bob going to the right.
Gave him his treats then said good night.

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