September 2 2012. I haven't been feeling well for several days now but went out to see Cooper, pick his feet and say hi to him. He had a new kick on his left hip. You could tell it was a kick as the hoof mark was there. There was an egg size bump with a little heat to it.

I took him to the wash stall for some more cold hosing again. He wasn't very comfortable with the water trickling down his leg and massaging at the same time. I didn't make it out last night again.

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 30, 2012 at 2:37am

Friday September 28 2012

Deburred Cooper again, the braids helped and it didn't take as long to get them out.
There was another boarder doing groundwork when we went in. We did some ground work, emotional training with the bridle and bit. Then we did some hip, shoulder, shoulder and clock work. After about 15 minutes I rode.
123rd ride, we walked around on the rail then did some trot, whoa. Another rider came in and we followed her around a little, Cooper liked that, following a mare. We went into the middle when she started cantering around and did some square corners, turn on the haunches and so more stop work.
Watching the video my husband took I can see the errors I make. Poor Cooper, he puts up with so much from me. My hands are all over and I still wiggle around in the seat.
The stirrup swivels won't work, they won't go on the breakaway stirrups and I have to work with them right now. Not going to switch to regular stirrups for a long time anyway. I have been tying the fenders in a twist and that seems to be working.

Saturday, September 29 2012

Cooper only had a few burrs in the braids. There was another boarder when we went in and she waited until we were saddled so we could ride together.
124th ride, we didn't do any groundwork tonight, just got right on. We walked around on the rail with the other horse and Cooper was very relaxed. Then we did some trot and jog circles at both ends of arena. Cooper was a little spooky in the far corner at first but when I remembered to focus where I was going he got better. I tried some of the right circles that we learned in one of the lessons but was getting mixed up, but he did do it good the one time I remembered how to do it. I tried to use my legs and inside rein to get him to go into the corners. We did some square corners, turn on the haunches and so more stop work. His turn on the haunches were pretty good tonight. Then we went over to the wall and practiced turn on the forehand with him facing the wall. We walked around the inside doing some serpentine while the other rider did some loping.
Had a very good night tonight for not doing any groundwork with him.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 28, 2012 at 1:54pm

Thursday September 27 2012

We got to the barn around 7:15. We went to the tack store and got the stirrup swivels but didn't get around to putting them on or riding. Spent some undemanding time in aisle way taking burrs out of Cooper's forelock, mane and tail. I didn't put the rope halter on as the other one was stuck in the mane and forelock with the burrs. It took 2 1/2 hours to get it all out, he stood ground tied through most of it except for the braiding. I sprayed first with Cowboy Magic, didn't work, then Show Sheen, again no good, then put some M&T olive oil conditioner and no luck. Finally used mineral oil, Barb said to use that, and it worked the best but used more than half a bottle. He was quite uncomfortable, he was trying to rub against us while we were working on him. His mane was almost 4 inches thick with them and almost his whole mane was covered in them. I put the towel over his face and eyes while doing his forelock but rolled it up so he could still see as he was flinging his head around when his eyes were covered. Then I braided his mane and tail and groomed him. I hope the braids stay in and they help to try to keep some of the burrs off of him. By this time he was getting impatient standing in the aisle. I had him in the cross ties to braid because he was trying to back away to get in his stall for his food.
Gave him his treats in a bucket and left around 9:50 p.m. Heading back out Friday night, lets see if the braids held up and the burrs, if any, will be easier to get out so I can try the stirrup swivels.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 26, 2012 at 12:36pm

Tuesday September 25 2012

We did some ground work first with the lead rope attached to the the bit, doing emotional training and having him go around me and softening to the bit while cracking the whip and making loud noises by him. Took awhile before he finally relaxed and moved softer and quietly while I was making scary noises.
122nd ride.I lowered the stirrup one hole and didn't wear the silicone sleeve on my prosthetic tonight. Had a hard time getting in the saddle with the stirrup down lower. My leg was twisting at the knee, I couldn't keep it straight. I have some stirrup swivels on hold to try them, hope they help, but I forgot to measure so will have to do it the next time I go.
We walked around the inside of the arena for about 10 minutes doing some serpentine and hips over. Then we walked around with another rider at first down to the scary end of the arena to get used to it. Then we trotted off on the rail and then we tried the 3 step stop exercise, trot a few steps and then whoa. At first he wouldn't listen to the seat or the whoa and I had to use the reins. Then after about 10 times he started to get it. One time when we stopped his stifle gave out on the right side. I have to remember to keep squeezing to keep his back legs under him when stopping. He stretches them out and then he is weak. We did a little shoulders over. We tried some extended trot on the long side and jog on the short sides. He was slowing his jog down nicely, now for me to try and lengthen the reins. I've been holding too tight again although in the videos they look looser than I thought I had them. Just before we got off we did some turn on the forehand. I had the elastics on so my feet didn't fall out of the stirrups when I brought my leg back. Moving his hips to the left he did great but to the right he was wanting to walk forward. Moving his hips to the right means I have to bring my left leg back and push. It's hard with the prosthetic leg but with practice and training we will get it.
Overall it was a good ride, he tested me a few times, running out at the shoulder when we tried to do some circles and not wanting to stop where I wanted. He wanted to stop where Al was sitting. I think Al will have to sit upstairs in the viewing room so Cooper can't see him.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 25, 2012 at 9:55am

I'm sorry about your fall but glad to hear nothing broke. We don't bounce back as fast as when we were younger. This cooler weather has been nice, I really enjoyed seeing Cooper in the daylight hours on Sunday. I said to my spouse I would like to start going in the early afternoon as it is not so hot anymore. The photos are not very good in the indoor arena in the night time. Great post on Facebook, happy to hear things are getting better for you & Cash.

Comment by Shirley on September 24, 2012 at 12:18pm

I stumbled and fell about 9 days ago and got a little banged up and a lot sore as I got twisted and turned and jarred pretty good but am very lucky that I didn't break.
I am trying to get some things done thru the afternoon so can't write what I'd like right now. I've been reading your posts on three different places and wanting to reply but not getting it done. Hopefully soon.

Still been seeing and having fun with Cash. It seems so WONDERFUL to have a little energy again without the humidity zapping me of any spunk. I know you relate to that.

Keep up the good work.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 24, 2012 at 10:53am

Sunday September 23 2012

I didn't get out to see Cooper all week as my prosthetic foot was broken. Finally got it fixed on Friday then had to limit activity for 24 hours for the glue to set so didn't get out until Sunday.

I think Cooper missed us, when we got to the barn around 3:30 p.m Al went out to get Cooper and he came running from the far end of the field when he called him. That also got the rest of the herd excited and they were all running towards Al. I was upstairs at the time and saw him from the window waving his arms in a panic trying to keep them away from him and not get run over. They all thought it was time to come in for dinner. By the time I got out to help him he had Cooper and the herd was moving away.

The outdoor arena was still wet and pretty uneven so I stayed inside. The barn manager harrowed the indoors while I groomed Cooper. We did some circles, falling leaf to the back of the arena, walk, trot and a little bit of canter work on the 12' rope for about 10 minutes. He was spooky at first, jumping a few times at the back doors. I took him in the feed room and out by the outdoor arena then back inside through the feed room again. When we were doing circles he was coming in close to me and bending around me.
Then I put the the bridle & bit on and did some emotional training with the lead rope attached to one side of the bit and changing directions with speed. There was another boarder in the arena with us doing the same groundwork. After that we did some hip, shoulder, shoulder work and he was bringing his front end and back end together, back legs under him and raising his withers very nicely.
121st ride, I got on and rode for about 10 minutes, only at a walk as I was having a very hard time with my leg. I had it repaired on Friday but I couldn't get it comfortable, it was twisting at the knee. We oiled the fenders and I tied the keepers around each one to try to train them to twist. I am going to look at getting those swivels for the stirrups. I'm also going to try riding again without the silicone sleeve on my prosthetic. I took lessons for all those years and my leg was fine, don't know why it's doing this now. 

I hope to go tonight to see him and maybe have a ride without the silicone sleeve on my leg.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 18, 2012 at 10:43am

Monday September 17 2012

We got to the barn around 6:30 and was tacked up and outside by 7. We did some falling leaf pattern on the way out while walking through the indoor. When we got outdoors I stayed in one end as the ground was still wet and very uneven and hard to walk in. I trotted Cooper over some poles that were set up and then walked over to the edge with the bushes. There was a rabbit there and I let him have a look at it. He had a little jump but was ok after he saw what it was. He was doing very good on the ground and I know I would have had a great ride but......

My leg kept twisting in the rough ground, I thought it was just from the ruts but when I went to get on him my prosthetic foot twisted sideways. At first I tried to turn the knee part but it was the foot, it came apart from the leg and was spinning round and round. I got off and ended it for the night, it was very hard walking with the foot sliding around. Al took Cooper because I was afraid I might fall down in front of him. 

When we got home we taped it all up with some heavy duty tape. Hopefully that will hold until I can get in to the hospital to get it fixed. Meanwhile I can't walk around in the arena, indoors or outdoors, until I get it repaired. 

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 16, 2012 at 10:10pm

Saturday September 15 2012

120th ride, did some circles, falling leaf, walk, trot, canter work on the 22' rope for about 10 minutes.
I used the rope hackamore tonight and Cooper was very good. We walked around a bit and then joined in on the rail with others who were trotting around. Cooper was going fast but that was ok, I did a lot of posting trot and sore today. He wouldn't slow down to a jog, maybe the next time he will.
Sunday morning another girl who part boards rode him with the English tack. She said he was very good once he figured out none of his tricks were going to work on her. They did some walk/trot/canter circles in both directions for about half an hour in the outdoor arena.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 14, 2012 at 10:39am

Thursday September 13 2012

We played on 22' rope in the indoor arena for about 20 minutes, walk, trot & lope/canter. When first asked for a lope he did a little buck and squeal then was fine. He managed 3 circles at a trot around me to the right but when asked to go to the left he would stop behind me and come in. I smiled and then backed him back out and sent him on his way again. I never did get any responsibility circles going to the left. Then I walked from one end of indoor arena to the other doing falling leaf at a trot and sometimes he broke into a lope when changing directions. He did some great change of directions.
Then we went to the outdoor arena and did a few more travelling circles in one end as the ground was too choppy for me to walk in still. I trotted him over some ground poles that were set up. Then we did a little giving to the bit, hip, shoulder, shoulder work on the ground with bridle and bit.

119th ride, I got on and we sat for a few minutes relaxing before walking off. Did some serpentine at a walk trying to get him to soften to the bit. Again he was running out at his shoulders even at a walk. We then tried it at a trot, not much better. We did a few circles and some whoa. He did a great whoa from my verbal cue so I got off and went inside. It was already getting dark and it was only 8 p.m. We rode around indoors and followed another boarder around to the far end of arena, Cooper was spooking at first to the doors and a mounting block that was in another corner. I was in a struggle with him most of the time with the bit and bridle, he would not listen, wanting to go over where Al was sitting and still running out at the shoulder. I was trying to do the outside rein back, inside rein up and he was flinging his head in the air. We went back to just walking around and then got off at a good point. His teeth did not need to be done when vet was there, will be checked again in December.

I am going to try to use the rope hackamore again, he always went much better when we used that.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on September 12, 2012 at 11:00am

I tacked Cooper up with his boots and went outside to play. He was spooky all the way out there and while doing ground work. We went over a few of the jumps that were set up outside. He knocked over a standard with the rope and turned and stopped, I think that was good as he didn't scare at it. Good thing I had his boots on too as he hit a pole and knocked it down with back legs, he wasn't lifting them. The ground was really choppy and hard for me to walk in so we really didn't go all over the arena and I didn't do much ground work before getting on.

118th ride, it's been 2 1/2 weeks since I last rode Cooper. When I went to get on he was popping his head up and looking all over, making me nervous. I could feel he was jumpy and tense. We walked around for a few minutes doing some Lyons exercises, steering by the tail, serpentine at a walk then tried some jog. He just wanted to go and not listen at all. We did a few circles at a jog then I did some square corners at a walk. Everytime we were going towards where Al was sitting he would try to go over and stop and fight me when I tried to get him back on the path. I was using the bridle and bit, maybe his teeth were bothering him, he's getting them checked on Wednesday when vet comes.
I walked around a little more then got off and we did some work on the ground with the 12' rope and rope halter. We did some circles, change of directions, transitions, walk, trot and a bit of lope in that small circle. He had lots of energy tonight and jumping at everything, so it was good I got off.

After inside I massaged him all over using the Masterson Method from watching videos on youtube. Normally he will start to relax after the first few massages but tonight he didn't release until near the very end when I was massaging his poll. Must have been something in the air, there was a nice breeze out, weather was perfect. He was shaking his head while riding, swishing his tail and stomping his feet a lot like bugs were bugging him and they weren't out. Maybe his boots? I haven't had them on him in quite a long time. I did take the overreach boots off as they kept turning, never used to do that but last few times they have, and they aren't supposed to.

I might head out tonight after physiotherapy to ground work him, if not I am going again on Thursday.

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