Thursday November 1 2012 We got to the barn late just to groom and wash the mud off of Coopers feet. He had a few burrs again and was tender on his left stifle. Guess he might have slipped in the mud maybe while trying to run away from flying feet. He is a little instigator and always getting hurt trying to work his way up in the herd. He is number 3 right now and goes after the 2 leaders, who are both big boys, one of them over 17 hands.

After cleaning and drying his legs & muddy tail, I braided his tail and Al rubbed his stifles with the green cool and alcohol mixture then took him for a walk out in the indoor arena. There was another boarder walking around with her new horse and it was good for the other horse to have someone with him. The other horse was put into the geldings paddock on Wednesday and jumped out in fear of the other horses.

I walked him all around the arena and over to the feed door. He was blowing and snorting at the door again, stopping and backing up so I did some approach and retreat before he finally settled down. We did some walk, whoa and back up all around before heading back in. We gave him his treats and said goodnight. 

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on December 4, 2012 at 11:29am

Al went up on Thursday Nov 22 and gave him beet pulp. While there he picked his feet with help from another boarder. They are all so great at this barn! One boarder gives Cooper a treat of a handful of equalizer every night if I don't come, he loves it.

Monday November 26 2012 I haven't been up to the barn much again because of stomach problems. I went to give him beet pulp and pick his feet. He was acting up in the aisle so we did a little walk, whoa and back up in aisle before putting him in his stall. 

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 20, 2012 at 6:45pm

On Sunday Nov 11 2012

The young girl who rides Cooper occasionally said he was very good today. She said she worked on bending and lots of circles and that his circles are getting way better and that whatever I am doing is working! That was wonderful to hear!

Monday Nov 12

We were called out to the barn and called the vet as Cooper was having some gas colic. When we got there around 10:30 p.m. he was starting to feel better and wanted his hay. The vet said to just give him a sprinkling of his hay that night and give him bran for a few days and that we can also give him beet pulp to get fluids in him, then give him bran once a week to keep things moving. It's that time of year he said, he's had a lot of calls for same thing. I won't be stopping the beet pulp now, he's going to get some every time we go see him.

Tuesday Nov 13 2012

I lunged Cooper at a walk, trot with the halter over trot poles both ways for about 5 minutes each side, kept it short. He raised his tail a lot and lots of gas but he's eating and feeling better. The girl who does the night feed messaged me on Wednesday to let me know that he was fine, his usual perky self.

Friday Nov 16 2012

I groomed and then tacked Cooper all up with bridle, bit, lunge line and side reins and we did some walk/trot over the ground poles. We did about 10 minutes walk, trot transitions. We spent some time near the jump poles that were in one scary corner, he was good near the feed room door tonight.
137th ride, I wasn't going to ride but then a few others came in so I got on. I had raised the stirrup back up and did a great job mounting tonight. But watching the videos I can see how my leg cannot stretch down on the left side or bring it back into the proper position with the prosthesis so might have to learn to get on with the stirrup length longer.
We walked around in the middle of the arena doing serpentine at a walk and working on softening to the bit. At first I had some different rope reins on then that were too short so switched to the leather split ones. I then joined in with the others jogging and posting trot on the rail. The first time we went past the scary poles in the far corner he went sideways so I circled him around and we went by them several times. He was lowering his head nicely and I was trying to loosen up some on the reins, still not enough though. We did some circles at a jog. Still as usual going to the left he is good but to the right at he tends to shove his shoulder out or drop his shoulder in, but we are getting better at straightening out again. I was trying to release quicker when he was making an attempt to do the right thing, hard to do.
When the others started to canter on the rail I went back into the middle and did some more serpentine at a walk and guiding by the tail, having him move yield his hindquarters when he wasn't going in the direction I wanted him to go.
I have to review these beginner lessons with him again, for both of us, to get softer.

Monday Nov 19 2012

I didn't get out this weekend as I had an upset tummy, must have rubbed off from Cooper (not really, this has been happening forever).

I didn't tack him up, just picked his feet and went right into the arena to do some lunging without grooming the rest of him. We did walk, trot with regular halter over trot poles both ways for about 5 minutes each side. Also did some canter/lope and he was very good, not out of control, and transitioned back to a trot when asked. Going to the right he was a little stubborn about coming back to a walk from a trot. He's also faster when going to the right, faster walking and trotting. We walked to the back near the scary poles and spent a little time there walking him past it until he was comfortable and not jumping out of his skin.
Al walked him around while I made some bran to mix with his beet pulp. I shared the beet pulp with another boarder and was walking by Cooper with the tub and he started to get antsy and wanted in his stall to eat his treats. So I took him back in the arena and walked him around until he settled before going back inside and grooming him and then putting him to bed where he gobbled up his soupy treats.


Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 12, 2012 at 11:33am

Saturday November 10 2012

No one was at the barn when we got there around 6:30 p.m. I groomed and then tacked Cooper all up with bridle, bit, lunge line and side reins and we did some walk/trot over the ground poles. We did about 10 minutes walk, trot transitions then I put the reins on and did some giving to the bit all around the arena. We spent more time near the feed room as the light was out overhead and he was jumpy back there again.
136th ride, I then got on and we walked around the front part of the arena. I was frightened to go to the back and I'm sure he felt it because I felt him jump several times under me. We did some circles at a jog. Going to the left he is good but to the right at one point he shoves his shoulder out and then another part he drops his shoulder in, will have to work on the right a lot more. It's my bad side too, I see that even watching videos of when I was taking lessons at Claireville/Double Bar. Weird because the prosthetic is on the left but I have a harder time with my real leg because I have no muscle control. I will have to start practicing moving my body when I post, to the left when I go left and to the right when I go right. I tried it a little and got frustrated but have to keep at it and train those muscles. My legs were getting sore from gripping so I got off.
Just as I got off a few boarders came in and asked me to stay, maybe he would be better with other horses in arena. And he was, I am glad I got back on. I lowered the left stirrup with my prosthetic leg as it was tight at the knee and I couldn't stretch my leg down. It was a little awkward at first but I started to get my balance after about 15-20 minutes of walk, trot/jog. I followed the other horses around by the spooky corners and he was fine with it. A horse ran into the wall and knocked some cones down and scared Cooper and set him off. He scooted forward and I stay seated and pulled back on the reins. They were loop reins (closed) and got caught on the horn but he did stop from me saying whoa in a scared scream LOL Then another horse did it in the same spot but this time it didn't startle us.
One time when we were trotting around I said wwwwalk and guess it sounded like wwwhoa and he stopped and I almost went over his head.
We started doing some posting trot and worked up a bit of a sweat. My muscles in my sides and my legs were really hurting after this, especially trying to adjust my left leg.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 9, 2012 at 11:29pm

Friday November 9 2012 I went to the barn by myself tonight, I didn't wait around for Al to show up. Tacked Cooper all up then we did some lunging over ground poles with side reins. Going to the left he did great then when we switched to the right he was going like crazy.

After about half an hour of groundwork a few of the boarders helped me get on Cooper. Cooper must have been wondering what was going on with everyone around us.We sat for a few minutes and waited for another rider to come in then we walked around the middle of the arena doing serpentine exercise, changing sides often. One of the lights was out over by the scary feed room door so I stayed at the front of the arena. We then did some jog in both directions. We practiced a few whoas, he is really getting good at that now. After about another half hour I was done. The others at the barn were so wonderful helping me.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 9, 2012 at 12:11pm

Thursday November 8 2012

I tacked Cooper all up and went for a walk on the ground first with the rope halter and 12' rope to have him check out the scary corners. He was snorting at some new jump standards that were piled up in one corner so I spent a little more time there. Someone else was riding and I had to watch and be sure to move if they came near me as they have the right of way on the rail.

I just got on and Al put the reins through the martingale and the barn manager came in and said she had to talk to me about Cooper. He has been getting extremely aggressive in the paddock when other boarders are going in and getting their horses. I didn't know what to say, I told her I didn't know what to do and that I can't be there 24/7 to sit and watch my horse as I do have to work all day. She says it's been going on for awhile and hasn't seen me to tell me this.

Cooper is charging right at the other horse/horses when they are being led in on a lead rope. He is baring his teeth and turning and double barreling at them with his back legs, sometimes running from way across the other side of the paddock, which is a huge paddock.

This just made me feel so sick. I was told when we first got there that I should take a whip out with me if I go out to get him in the day in case of things from other horses. The manager is going to watch his behavior for the next week and try to get a video for me to see it. She suggested they might have to remove him from the herd and go on individual turnout, only there is no individual paddocks left. There have been new horses put in the last few months but she says that is not the problem. She had to let me know in case he hurts someone which I completely understand but have no idea of what to do. Cooper did this before at another barn and it was suggested he needed training. I don't think that is the case now as I do go out and train and ride 3 to 4 times a week and another girl rides him on Sundays. I guess I am going to have to work him a lot harder then as I don't work him very hard at all. He didn't do this at Five Star and he was in a tiny paddock with a lot of horses.

After she left I only rode for a few minutes then got off, I was upset. Then I thought maybe he is getting too much sugar. When we go he gets carrots (big ones too), apples, beet pulp, sometimes a stud muiffin or 2 and a handful of equalizer about 3 - 4 times a week. He just started getting beet pulp again as a treat when we go for the winter so I am going to stop that for sure. I don't know how much sugar is in those things but think there is molasses in the beet pulp. He has also started coca-soya oil again for his coat, wonder if that is doing it? Maybe he will have to be drugged? Or worse....really making me sick thinking about if someone gets hurt.

I gave him the beet pulp that I had already made and the cut up apple then gave the carrot away to someone else. He is not going to get any more of this from us.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 6, 2012 at 10:00am

Monday November 5 2012

I tacked Cooper all up and then someone came in to buy something from me so Cooper stood quietly for at least 20 minutes ground tied, she even commented how good he was. First we did some warm up on the ground with the regular lunge line and bridle. We did walk and big trots over some ground poles and then did a travelling circle on the lunge to the back of the arena. We were the only ones in the arena at the time and he was high headed and looking around at everything. I took the lunge line off and we walked all around the arena with me on the ground holding the reins, showing him all the scary corners then walking away from them and going back, approach & retreat. I was going to untack because I really didn't want to ride alone then another boarder came in and I decided to ride.
134th ride, I mounted and stood quietly before moving off. I am having an easier time mounting now that I remember when I get up in the stirrup I swivel my hip and face forward, standing tall, then swinging my leg over the cantle. Still need lots of practice doing that though. I put a western training fork/martingale on tonight and he did fantastic! I was still holding the reins too tight but next time I will work on loosening them up and allowing his head to go down more. I felt myself gripping too tightly with my thighs and had to keep relaxing them.
We walked around the arena first a few times to see how he would be with the martingale and he was fine. When we went past the feed room I felt him get stiff but I bumped his head down and to get him to listen to me and I remembered to look ahead to where we were going.
We then did a jog and he was great, doing a very comfortable jog. We did a bit of long trot but I didn't want to have to deal with controlling him with the martingale on at this time so we just kept most of it slow. We did lots of whoa and he gave me some very good ones, stopping just from the verbal cue before I pulled on the reins. 
We did some serpentine at a walk in the middle of the arena, bringing both reins up towards the inside just slightly and he would move off of it softly. Then we practiced some roll backs on the wall at a walk and then at a trot. I noticed in the videos though that I was not backing him up to start off with to get the turn towards the wall. Have to remember that for the next time.
Cooper was just so good most of the night, I was very pleased with him, it's me that's needs lots of work :)

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 4, 2012 at 10:28pm
Saturday November 3 2012 We didn't do any ground work tonight, I just got on after tacking him up with the bridle & sweet iron bit. We headed off to the left, my good side, and he was going really nice at a slow jog. We circled around the far end near the feed room and he didn't spook at all while the girl was doing the feed in there again. We changed directions across the diagonal and he did a little better this time to the right, bulging out only a little but I was able to control it and get him moved over. We went around the whole arena to the right and then when we came up to the front of the arena again he spooked and jumped sideways. I was a rough again with the reins, I have to learn to not do that. There was something flapping around in the rafters and several people were moving around inside the barn, going in and out of stalls and he thought everything was a monster. We circled around several more times before he finally relaxed and lowered his head.
We played around 3 barrels that were set up in a line, doing circles around them. We did some serpentines and square corner work in the middle and then moving back out onto the rail to do posting trot on the long side and jog on the short. After that spook we had a great ride the rest of the evening.
Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 4, 2012 at 10:11pm
Friday November 2 2012 First we went around the arena doing groundwork, circles and change of directions at a trot and a walk on the 22' rope with the rope halter. We walked from the front to the back and showed him the feed room. The girl was doing feed and it startled Cooper again when she poured a bag of feed into a bin, silly boy, ah but it startled me too.
Then I got on and we walked around, when we got to the feed room door Cooper started to spook again, backing up, going sideways, not wanting to move forward. I could see from the video that I was being a little too rough with the reins and bit when it first happened, I got scared too. We circled around in that corner until he settled down and I was doing a gentle see sawing with the reins. Cooper was doing some nice jogging and every time we went past the feed room door I had to bump his mind away from it and towards where we were going, I had to remember also to look ahead and not at him. When we do circles to the left Cooper is very good, we did several circles and both ends. When we did them to the right he gets fast and tries to run out at his shoulder and not listen. I must be doing something wrong when going to the right, it is not my good side while in the saddle at all. I can't seem to get balanced on the good leg, it flops all over the place, going to have to really work on that.
When the others started to canter on the rail I went into the middle and did some serpentine and going around the barrels. When I could I would move in behind someone that was cantering and did posting long trots. We were getting faster and I was managing well, not getting frightened.
We worked for at least an hour doing jog, posting trot, circles, and serpentines. At a walk we did some square corners in the middle of the arena and then we walked around doing some neck reining which he is getting good at. He can spin around with the rein laid on his neck very good. It feels like he wants to go fast but I keep him slow. We did some forward and sideways movement across the arena at a walk in both directions. He lags his rear behind and I pull on the inside rein to move his hip over.
We did some trot and whoa, letting my breath out, sitting deep and saying the whoa before using the reins. At first I had to stop him with the reins but after only a few tries he was stopping from me saying whoa. He stopped so fast one time, surprising me and I tipped forward and almost lost my seat LOL
All through the evening he was lowering his head more. We had a great ride and he was very good. He got beet pulp as a treat with his carrot & apple tonight.
Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 4, 2012 at 8:42pm
Lots of spooks in the arena every night not just Halloween :) I had some spooky events last night at the close end of arena then we had a nice ride after.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on November 2, 2012 at 2:20pm

This year I am becoming convinced that the horses are spooking out over Halloween, the ghosts, goblins and ghouls are around.  Hopefully they will settle down after the election, they are probably picking that up too!

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