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Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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I was pretty happy with my start to the year, but then things kind of fell apart.  A little loss of motivation, some crappy weather, and of course, we found Elsa.  She ended up taking quite a bit of time.  Not time I’m sorry about, we had some wonderful long walks and runs.  I really enjoyed our time together.

Unfortunately, we were not able to keep her.  Robin is pretty allergic to dogs and working from home full time was not helping that at all.  I kind of had it easy.  I would work all day, and then come home to a very excited and loving Elsa, and we would just go out and play and have fun.

We ended up finding her a really nice home.  They have land, horses, another Border Collie, and the owner even said she might consider adding some sheep.  She’s had sheep in the past for her dogs, and now that she will have two again, the sheep could be worth it.  In short, I’m a little jealous of her new set up.  I think she’ll be really happy.

After two weeks we finally got out to see the guys.  I think Bear was happy to hang out.  He was good for grooming and tacking up, and he was sniffing me much more than he normally does.

The ride was just OK, but I wasn’t expecting much.  Bear has lost quite a bit of weight.  His haunches are thinner than they’ve been since we got him.  He’s still got a bit of a Bear-gut, but it is also smaller.  And the recent bad weather has left the mud lot in a sorry state, so the guys are hardly moving at all.  This made for a sluggish and tight Bear.

But we kept things easy.  We did a really long and slow warm up.  When working towards the right there were a few moments where Bear kept hopping into a trot with a big head toss.  With some patience on my part, we got over it.  I’m pretty sure he was super tight somewhere in his right side.  We didn’t have any problems to the left.  We worked on lots of bending, flexing, and serpentines and that seemed to open him up.

Then we went into some trotting, and, and usual, Bear was very keen to lope.  I held him in for a bit, but then I decided to let him go.  He gave me a super smooth upward transition, then a very relaxed cruise around the arena, and then either let his exuberance shine through or discovered another tight spot as he gave some pretty big head tosses and a hop.  Nothing difficult, but I pushed him along for another half lap and then brought him back down.  He was tired after that.

I’m really hoping I can get back into a barn rhythm again.  I’m usually motivated in the spring, and it would be great to get Bear into really good shape when he’s already a little thin.

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