Fair warning, there are pics of the inside of my horse's mouth below. If that grosses you out, I suggest you don't look! :)
Anyway, Kieran got his teeth floated yesterday. They were done last year, but just with a hand float and apparently that wasn't enough because he really needed this power float. I think this was a good object lesson in keeping an eye on your horse's teeth so they don't get quite so wacky as Kieran's did. Really, I'm kind of amazed that he's as easy a keeper as he is and that he's never really had any problem with using a bit. It will be interesting to see if he rides any different tomorrow.
Anyway, pictures, ahoy!
Before picture of the left side of his mouth. See that ridiculously long tooth back there? There's still other teeth behind it that you can almost see. The edges of these teeth also were kind of sharp so that had to go too.
Not a very good before pic of the right side of the mouth but that big tooth I did know about as in previous floats it's been mentioned to me. He's missing the bottom tooth under it so it doesn't have anything to grind against. That's his front molar though and you can just see other teeth behind it. According to the vet yesterday, he wasn't sure that the previous floats had actually gotten back that far due to the big front tooth.
After shots, smoothed out now. (that grass is there because as soon as the speculum came off, he dove for the grass and then we talked about getting after shots so we put it back on for a minute but didn't actually flush all the grass out)
Kieran was really good for the whole ordeal, even though he had to be sedated a second time because he started getting antsy in the middle (it took a while even with the power float!). Vet actually complimented him on how well he stood for the whole thing.
Wiped. Going to bed soon. Don't feel up also uploading videos, so here's just some screencaps from the lesson today.
Didn't post about it, but we had a flat lesson on Sunday, mostly working on transitions up and down. Canter to halt needs some work. :)
Okay, ignore my position and look at him. :)
His "I'm so awesome" face.
Yes, he really does this.
Anyway, today started with a nice warmup, then some trot poles and large circles before we started the meat of the lesson. Basically, Jessica wanted us to use a couple of jumps and progressively come at them from different gaits so I could see how it felt and changed his jump and how we had to approach them, etc.
So it went like: normal trot->extended trot->collected trot
Then -> normal canter->extended canter->collected canter
More or less, we changed up the sequence a bit here and there but that was the idea. There was definitely a difference in how he (we?) jumped depending on how we came in and how stretched out or compacted he was. It was pretty neat to feel.
Had a lesson this evening (now that the time has changed, we're trying to fit in one lesson on the weekend and one midweek). Anyway, traffic had Jessica running a few minutes behind and I got on a bit early so we had a very loooong warmup (well, about a half hour) of mostly walking around the farm and practicing "yes we're staying a straight line and no you aren't going to drift over to see the horses in that field over there" and a bit of trotting. I told Jessica when she got there that when we got in the ring, Kieran was probably going to be like, "are you kidding me? We went on a trail ride yesterday and now you've been riding for a while today AND NOW YOU WANT TO MAKE ME WORK???"
Except he proved me wrong. LOL.
One of the other boarders had set up a little set of three trot poles raised on the lowest setting of our jump standards, so after finishing our warmup with a bit of cantering each way, we trotted through those a few times from each direction, then Jessica started making them uneven (one side raised slightly higher than the other). What was funny was the times Kieran half trotted, half jumped over one, half cantered out (well, not half, but you know what I mean). Silly horse. I think it was a case of, "but those are jump standard things. Why aren't we jumping?"
Then she made a 2 foot or so vertical with a canter pole set out in front of it and the idea was, basically, she wanted me to come in and not really do anything at all up there, just let him do his thing and try and focus on how the jump felt. Then come in with keeping contact and trying to keep him collected and together and see how the jump feels. Apparently she's noticed that the times when I end up focusing on anything [i]but[/i] trying to keep him together, he actually jumps more nicely than when I'm managing him. So she wants me to think about how it feels when he's just over there doing his thing and try to work on transferring that to when I'm riding more actively.
After that, she took the three jump standards and squooshed them together (technical term) to make a bit of an oxer. She kept the uneven sides and sort of slowly shimmied them up a bit every few jumps so it [i]looked[/i] bigger than it really was. Mostly we did trotting in, since I'm a chicken (hah) and this was a kind of new jump for us. Kieran took it like no big deal ever. He did knock the poles a couple times, but again, that mostly happened because of me getting in the way. Last time around, we cantered around and over and he did so well we stopped on that note, even though the lesson still had about ten more minutes to go (but considering we'd actually been riding longer than that, it probably evened out.
Anyway, here's some pictures (screen captures, really) and video from today.
So today I told Jessica that I wanted to work more on cantering into jumps since mostly we've been trotting in->cantering out. Anyway, that led to doing a lot of counting strides in time with his leading leg and doing basic combinations but it was really good work. :)
Kieran was definitely full of himself today and totally psyched about what we were doing, though that meant I really had to work at using half halts and sitting back to get him to not get strung out.
Anyway, I forgot my camera so we only got one video that Jessica sneakily took during our last bit of the lesson where she had us canter over one small jump, then come around and do a combination, then turn left out of it (we came off at the wrong lead and had to trot a bit and canter again, but even though you can hear Jessica telling me to trot on the video, I didn't hear her when I was riding, I just felt it [finally] wasn't correct and had him trot on my own. Go me!) and come around to do the last combination.
Kieran was a total champ today. I'm so proud of him. I feel like we're really getting somewhere.
Previous post had screencaps, here's some of the vids. I will caveat this and say I picked out the best ones (ahahahahh) but you can see all the ones that got taken today if you look at the ones in my youtube account that were uploaded today. Including the bloopers (oh my!). If you're so inclined, etcetc.
Some videos forthcoming after I upload them, but here's some screenshots:
Part of our warmup after the regular walk->trot->canter warmup bit was going over some extended trot poles then transitioning to canter for a couple of canter poles.
The rest of the lesson we took up with a gymnastic that Jessica set up with four jumps. A bounce to a one stride to a two stride. Periodically, she raised them until I think we were at 2'6" or 2'9" or so by the end.