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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 26, 2010

Knee High to a tall "fill in the blank"

Our front lot which I also use as my "arena" for training purposes was infested with clover. We have been spraying and trying to elimnate the clover, while keeping the grass. Phebes and Cree both got sick last year grazing up there. Cree's face was all crusty and nasty, Phebes drooling and looking sick in the eyes, depressed, and also a bad case of scratches which followed. After some research it appears the lush clover was BAD for my horse. So we put in temporary electric stakes and fenced it off to keep them out of it since the early spring. Doug has been spraying and it looks like most of the clover is finally dead. In the meantime the grasses kept growing and growing about waist high at this point with seed heads. I haven't been riding up there because I didn't want Phebes exposed to the chemical in case she tried to ingest grasses if I took her up there. It has been three weeks since the last spraying and we've had a lot of rain since. I don't feel comfortable allowing her turn out up there yet, but think it should be alright to work in the area at this point. Doug and I spent a couple of hours mowing yesterday, so I'm going to set up some cones and see if I can get her working more lightly off my legs. She is good at this only to a point. If we are in motion she will trot laterally through cones in a zig-zag with just leg. However at a standstill, I can't get a sidepass without a fence in front of us. Otherwise she wants to go forward, or backward rather than sideways, so I'm not communicating effectively. We will start working on leg yielding again, and also do a lot of bending around cones. She just doesn't have any softness or bend to her. I'd also like to work the canter , but don't know if it is wise to work a circle at canter on the grass (had her slip right out from under me one day on grass, and that was frightening). It is still very hot and muggy, which calls for riding later in the evening. But as soon as the mud somewhat dries up we'll go back out to our trail. I'm hoping my horse hasn't dumped most of her conditioning in three weeks time. We don't have another LD on our agenda until September, so we should be alright. ~E.G.

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