Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Somethin' in the air...

Last night's lesson was not very relaxing, or refreshing, or even fun. I didn't have the worst horse in the arena, but I didn't have the calmest either. It all began with a scary in-stall incident for one of my riding buddies. Luckily I didn't even hear about it until afterwards, or it would've made me nervous. I should've tried to lunge him, but he's been such a turkey about it I didn't try. I didn't know, however, that he hadn't been turned out yet this week and the last time he was even OUT of his stall was on Sunday when I did a quick ride and before that he hadn't been out since the Tuesday before.... I don't really blame him for being a little high-strung, all things considered. There was a cute roan filly in the arena that he'd never seen before and all his attention was on her. He must've thought she was pretty cute. I had to use some strength to keep him moving in the direction of MY choosing. He had tons of energy and even though I trotted (not jogged) him for 15 minutes before we started it didn't even make a dent. It took all hour to get him to finally relax. But within the first 30 minutes he had spooked twice (he simply is NOT a spooky horse) and another horse, right after the rider mounted, did a slow-motion back up back up back up sit down lay down get up maneuver and left the rider on the ground. She was okay and she did get on and ride, but yikes. Nice reminder of the danger and unpredictability of horses. There was just something in the air I didn't like. There were only 5 riders in the arena and I spent a lot of mental energy just trying to stay out of everyone's way, and to keep Jr far enough away from the other horses that he didn't attempt to lunge towards them. He's so dang social that when he doesn't get his turn-out/social time he just tries so hard to get near other horses. If one rides up behind us he slows down and if one passes us he veers towards them. If we come up behind another horse he'll speed up to get there faster.

By the time KAT asked us if we wanted to lope I respectfully said I didn't feel up to it. I was having a hard enough time keeping his attention at the jog, and when he gets distracted at the lope is when he stumbles. Luckily no one really wanted to lope so we just did walk/trot. Just something in the air I guess. The chilly temperatures combined with a lack of turn-out/lunging can make any horse a little wired.

The awesome part about my boy is that even when he spooks, he doesn't really spook. He calms down so fast. I don't know why he spooked the first time. The second time I think he saw a horse walking up to the gate out of the corner of his eye in the dark. Both times he jumped forward and scrambled a few steps but that was it and he was fine. Because I spent so much time with spooky arabs I just expect more spooks and I expect the spooks to be so much bigger and more dangerous...his are no big deal. He's very smart. I do feel very safe with him, I wasn't comfortable to lope because of his severe ADD that night.

When we hit the end of the lesson he was doing better so I let my reins drape and walked him out using neck-reining. I just love him when I'm able to do those things. That's the kind of horse I wanted and the kind of horse I knew I had found when I found him. I'm sure we'll work out all the kinks eventually. He's a good boy, he just acts half his age sometimes. I know he's probably still adjusting to his new home and routine. I'm having KAT do some rides on him this week and next while I'm into Dress Rehearsals for my show. I'm sure that will help, too.

Before we rode I had some help hanging Jr's new stall toy. I had him tied while I did it so he wouldn't get in my way or knock me off the stool. When we were done riding and I put his jacket back on (I know it's called a blanket or a rug, but I think Jacket is cute) and unhooked him he didn't seem interested in it, but I'm sure he'll get bored and find it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

See, he didn't even miss me.

He did very well today for having 4 full days off! I might even say he was really good! We spent a good deal of time loping circles and then loping the full arena. I can tell he's getting stronger and I'm getting more confident with keeping him upright. My seat is getting stronger, too so I'm able to sit how I should and not bounce. All good things!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mid Week Mess (but not about him)

I went out and rode on Sunday and he was pretty good. A little wobbly at his left lead, but there was a bunch of jumps and things in the arena so if he veered a little of track we had to veer even further. I'm figuring out his pattern, though. I have to push him at the trot and really keep on him to drop his head and move out with his hind end. After we do that for a while he starts to ease up and use his back more. Then I can walk him for a bit and lope him. I usually bring him down to a walk between lopes bu he's starting to get anxious about the other lead. He does this thing where he walks crooked and gets jittery. I just wait until he's walking calmly and then I ask him for the other lead.

My lesson on Tuesday went well. Nothing new or unusual. I'm increasingly busy at work though, so I haven't been out since then and i don't think I'll get out again until Saturday evening at the earliest. Again the guilt sets in, but I know he doesn't miss me. He probably doesn't even think about how much time has passed. I don't know enough about horse psychology to know, but I have a feeling horses don't have that much of a concept of time.

I'm going to Congress on Saturday and I'm going to shop for a turn-out blanket for him and whatever else I find that I can't live without.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Update

On Friday night I roached his mane for the last time. The plan is to let it grow out and see what happens. A student of mine has volunteered to teach me how to pull a mane so when it gets long enough I can start maintain it. I've been warned it's a bit thick and unruly, but we'll see. Though it's in APHA rules that I can show Western Pleasure AND Hunter Under Saddle with a roached mane, KAT wasn't sure what the open show judges were going to think. I'm not sure if she knows the APHA allows it, though. Of course, the rules state that silver on tack is optional and black is acceptable for english, but I don't think I'm "maverick" enough to go in an APHA show in my training saddle or my crappy Ebay black english tack.

Anyway... I clipped his fetlocks a little, just to get get the fall fuzz off. I did his ears a little, too, but just the outsides. I'm still not a huge fan of the buzzed ear look. Trimmed his whiskers, too, but my blade is only a 10 so it doesn't get all that close and Jr. is so orally-fixated that he won't hold his lips still, preferring to try to eat the clippers. Goofy Moose. I had to bring him out of the stall onto the concrete so I could do his feet and finish his mane. I just clipped his tie to the outside of the stall and he proceeded to mouth everything within reach. I think he needs some stall toys...

I've added the command OVER to our little routine of keeping him in the middle of the stall when he's tied. It worked on Saturday, so that's good...more on Sat. in a minute.

We were the only ones riding and it was getting dark so we stayed inside to ride. He was a little tough at first,not wanting to get in frame, but I kept after him, rewarding him everytime he moved out with his hips, that kind of thing. Someone else came in and was working on showmanship, so of course Jr. wanted to get near the other horse and crank his neck over to watch the horse instead of where he was going. He is getting better at remembering that I'm the boss and eventually he kept his face forward and didn't try to go off track. Once he was moving properly and i wasn't having to mess with him so much we loped both leads and he did pretty well at both. He still gets really anxious when I ask for the left and sometimes when I give him the cue he darts to the left. so I'm trying to make him go straight first and then bend bend bend. That veering he does is really abrupt and awkward and puts both of us off balance so that can't be good. But after a few tries he was doing better.

The last thing we did was an experiment that I've tried before to no avail. I put my reins in one hand, gave him his head and let him walk on. We've done this walking before, but all of my previous jog attempts failed...his head went up and he just took advantage of the situation. Friday was different! He was neck-reining fine, a little help from a direct rein here and there until he remembered what he was doing. Then I asked for a jog and he didn't change his frame! He just jogged, neck low, hind working, reins swaying....I was very pleased. And when he remembered how to neck rein we were doing figure-eights AT A JOG! I felt that was a really good moment for us. I'm sure that's an easy thing for some teams, but with high-anxiety rider and ADD horse it's a hard won victory. I let him quit after that. Praising all the way.

On Saturday my friend came out with his photo equipment and we shot a ton of pictures of Jr. and me. Lots of just him, too. I didn't know how he was going to behave because his ground manners haven't been developed to where he will simply stand still. He was a little antsy but he kept looking off into the distance and holding still so that was good. I didn't want my training saddle in the pictures and I didn't want to take the time to warm him up so he looked in frame, so I decided I'd just sit on him bareback...ha. Not sure if he's ever been ridden without a saddle or not, but he didn't seem to think it was a good thing...and neither did I, have you SEEN his withers?!? He did NOT want to stand still with me on him and was kind of being a jerk about it. I was afraid to let him jog because if I lost my balance and fell of he would be loose in the field (not fenced) with me and three non-horsey people to "help" try to catch him. Though he probably would've just taken the opportunity to eat grass, he's just that way. I finally just slid off his him for safety sake. Apparently I need more bareback lessons!

The sun was setting and I was hoping to get some shots at-liberty so I let him into the nearest turn-out and took his bridle off. He immediately started to eat grass as if he'd never eaten in his life. I tried to get him to run around but he refused. Simply refused. Just ate and stared at me like I was crazy. That's what leads me to believe that if I had fallen off in the field he would've just dropped his head and started to eat. Took some shots of him grazing and then we moved to another pasture and took a few more of the two of us. He was getting REALLY antsy and uncooperative and I really couldn't blame him. It was starting to get darker so we called it a day. Gave him extra treats and he went back to his hay. We went out for cheeseburgers.

I'll post pics when I get them. The one's I saw on the camera screen were pretty cool. Helps to have artsy friends!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Economy The Economy The Economy

It's kind of hard to sit here and watch the Spin following the last presidential debate and not worry about the economy. Right now i can afford my horse. I pay his bills, I pay for my gas to get to the barn, and I can still eat and pay rent and watch cable and pay for my internet. I have certainly felt the pinch in this first month, though. I can see the difference in how much $$ is usually left in my checking on the 15th of the month. It's okay right now. I budgeted carefully before I made this decision. But WHAT IF? What if all that changes? What if he gets hurt and I can't justify spending $10,000 on surgery? What if I lose my job? If board goes too high for me to afford? What if? I don't know. I hope I never have to find out.

Luckily I don't worry about these things when I'm at the barn. Our ride tonight was good. He was REALLY good until the lesson that was in the ring left and we'd been riding for about an hour. I just REALLY wanted to try his left lead again because the first time was not so good and with a standing puddle on 1/4 of the arena and 5 students having a jumping lesson it was a little too crowded for my 8-legged moose to attempt his left lead. So once they left we tried again. Oooh he was tough. But I got him and then he went really well. I rode him back to the barn and met KAT on her way to her next lesson. She said she thought he looked good. She didn't see his fit after she left, of course, but it's good to know she thinks he was doing well. I'm coming up on a pretty busy week at the beginning of November so I'm going to have her ride him a few times for me, but to keep him exercised and so that KAT can tell me if I've been doing anything wrong. I really wish I could videotape my rides. I might set up a camera one of these days, just so I can see what he looks like when he's moving. I guess I could do that....set up the camera on my tripod in the mounting corner and I'd get most of the upper end of the arena. Maybe I'll do that. I'd also like to see what he's like when KAT rides him, compared to what he looks like when I ride him. I'm a very visual learner. ;)

All in all I think we did turn that corner I mentioned a few entries back. He still needs work but I actually think I can do it. I'm enjoying riding him and I think we're starting to develop a bond. He's a good boy and I'm really glad he's mine.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I heart him.

He was super good for our ride today! He was soft and calm and pretty much focused on what we were doing. We loped in "circles" on both leads and even did a few good walk-lope-walk transitions on his not-so-good lead! He was being such a good boy. A few little fumbles in communication, but probably our best non-lesson ride yet!

Now I have to get some work done :(

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bath Time.

I spent far too long looking for this old cartoon I remember seeing in a horse magazine to no avail. It would be the perfect thing to post today, but alas. Instead I'll just tell you:

The cartoon had two images, one before, one after. The before shows a woman with a bucket, hose, soap, etc. standing next to a filthy scruffy horse. The after shows a gleaming shiny horse.....and the same woman filthy and disheveled. The caption either read (or I made it up myself) "Bathing a horse is the delicate art of removing all the filth from your horse...and placing it directly upon yourself."

That's what happened today, and I felt great about it!

Friday, October 10, 2008


So perhaps I should've lunged him first, but I was already in the arena when I found out he hadn't been out of his stall since our lesson on Tuesday night, so I took a chance....and I just got on. How bad could he be? How bad, well, not TOO bad, just a little bad. We had to have a few conversations. I should've suspected something was not right when he was doing that "thing" he does in the stall, where he swings himself to the left so his ON side is pinned to the wall. He's done this since I brought him home. Not every time, just sometimes. Sometimes I just put the saddle on from the off side, thinking he'll get the picture that I'll put it on no matter what and it'll do him no good to try to get out of it. Sometimes I just scoot myself behind his rump (which extends from his tie location directly to the corner of the stall) and make him move is rump over and squeeze myself between him and the wall and make him move all the way out. But on Tuesday when I scooted myself behind his rump he actually pressed back against me. I wasn't pinned, but I was sure pissed. That is NOT acceptable. Absolutely not. So I set the saddle down by the stall door and I whalloped him until he moved all the way over. Then made him stand perfectly still while I grabbed the saddle and put it on. I'm not pleased that I had to do that, but that's just not acceptable. I am boss. It's not like I hurt him, my tiny size 7 hands and muscle-less "you hit like a girl" arms can't really hurt a 16.2 horse by slapping him on the rump. I MADE him move though and he did what he was commanded. Now, he pulled the same thing today. I should've made the decision right there to take the lunge line with me, but he's been so weird on the lunge lately that it just seems like a waste of time. I get more worked up than he gets worked OUT when I attempt to lunge him.

Anyway, he pinned himself to the wall and just as a test I went behind his rump and he pushed back on me again. We had a bit of a conversation about that and I spent the next 5 minutes or so putting the blanket on, walking out of the stall - scolding him verbally if he moves, walking back in the stall...over and over. By the time I put the saddle on he quit moving. It seems he needs a reminder of ground manners. I wish we had cross-ties at the barn. I could install some in the stall I guess, but when we're showing out of a trailer he'll need to behave on a single tie, so I want to make sure he stops this crap. I won't take it and I know he knows better.

But as I said, I got on anyway. He was a little hot but relatively okay. The trouble came when the horse that was working when we came in left. Then he became Mr.PITA. I was getting a bit frustrated with him...same stuff he pulls when we're alone...getting above the bit, fighting my directions, stuff he does. I should make it clear that we are making progress overall. I decided to lope him hoping it would burn a little of his energy off. His good lead was pretty good, relaxed, sort of a circle, so good. Decent lope-off and pretty good at keeping the gait until I asked him to come down. No rushing, good. BUT, when I asked him for the left it was like I asked him to fly to the moon. Ears back, backing up (this is fun, this used to be a simple refusal to go forward-solvable with a decent jab with both spurs (tiny english ones). Now we've moved on to that obnoxious backing up above the bit that I've seen other horses do. Eventually I got him to go forward and after a few wrong lead take-offs I finally got him on the left lead. It started as that weird shape with some curved sided and some straight sides...with him refusing to come of the long wall and turn left, insisting on turning right...hey dummy, you're on the left lead, you should probably go left...especially when my hands and legs are telling you very clearly to do so. I thought about letting him run into the wall once just so see what he'd do, but the vision of me flying over his head, over the 4 foot wall and on to the driveway (or into the wall of the building) didn't seem like a good Friday night, especially when noone else was in sight. I knew KAT was around somewhere, but still. So we tried that spot over and over again until I started turning him sooner and sooner and suddenly we were rolling along at a decent relaxed lope (still not WP, but good)..with no stumbling....and making a shape I can only describe as a 4 year old's circle...not quite totally round, and not quite complete, but really, really good for us! Super good for us! I wasn't even scared! I was in control of his body! He was WITH me! I pulled him back to a walk, but he didn't want to, so I asked him back up and we did it some more! When he started huffing and I saw he was sweating on his neck I pulled him back down. Not that I am afraid to make him sweat, but I'm a little afraid he'll still stumble if he gets too fatigued. I made him stop so I could let him sigh and I gave him a good pat and told him he was a good boy. I tried to walk him out but he would really rather just go back to the barn. I did make him walk a bit but he wasn't really that hot so I called it good. I put him up and brushed him out.

Progress, though appearing late in each session, is good. I'm sure we'll keep getting better and better and I'll get better at commanding his cooperation sooner. I know these things take time. And perhaps it's a good thing that he's a little frustrating because I have NO time to think about all the other frustrating crap in my world!

The plan for tomorrow is to let him out while I clean his stall and his leather halter and my headstall, then a ride, then he gets a full bath! It's supposed to be 82 degrees tomorrow and I'm so glad I'll get to give him a bath before his pictures next weekend! He's SOOOO dirty. So cute, but so dirty!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Am I a bad horse owner? I've been so busy with work this week that I haven't been out to see the boy since Tuesday night. Today is Thursday. I won't get out again until Friday evening. Is that bad? He's well taken care of. He gets turned out with some rowdy geldings each day and I know he just loves it. I did have two lessons on him this week so that's good. I know that some other owners at my barn are there only once a week or so, so I know I shouldn't feel bad. But I kinda do. It's not that I have to work. It's "that" time of the quarter when I have lots of prep work and a show that's 3 weeks from dress rehearsals.

The good part is that I know he could probably care less. I'll go see him tomorrow after work and hopefully he'll enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Yes, I think we are doing quite well. We're clicking. I love him. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Peeking Around the Corner

Was that a corner? Did we just turn it? I think we may have!

Knock on wood, but I had a pretty great lesson tonight. I was going out to ride anyway and Mondays used to be my lesson nights so I asked KAT if she had room for me. She did, so I added another lesson to this week. I'm a little on the fence about asking KAT to do some training rides on him or not. I really want to do it myself so I wanted to give it some more time and see if we started to progress faster. Tonight may have just been turning that corner...maybe not, but maybe. He was SUPER good tonight. He was very challenged by having two of his pasture buddies, and the mare from across the aisle in the arena with him, AND a horse in the round pen across the driveway. I really had to keep on him about staying on task and not fixating on THEM instead of ME, but there was never a fight, I just had to keep on him, gently. His biggest issue was when he got behind one of the other horses he'd speed up to be next to them or if someone came up behind him he'd slow down. He stopped it after a while, though. Just takes consistency on my part, I guess. He was moving out nicely though and was pretty great with his frame. He's moving off my leg pressure nicely and the word "beautiful" came out of KAT's mouth directed at US! Yippee! She let us lope alone in a circle around her, which is very nice of her since I have some anxiety about loping him, but he was very VERY good. He didn't stumble once. He breaks gait a bit, but most of that is me being nervous and a little afraid he'll go too fast. He went in more of a broken egg shape than a circle at the left lead, but it was such an improvement over what it's been like sometimes.

I'm looking forward to my lesson tomorrow night to see how it goes.

When I was walking him back into the barn the next lesson (college kids) was waiting and the guy who had my Rip said "That's a cool lookin' horse!" I smiled and said "Thanks!" Does it make me snobbish if I LOVE it when people compliment my horse? I would've settled for a plain bay, so I didn't buy Jr. for his nifty bay roan paint-ness, but it's a nice bonus! It's like when I took a blue-eyed pinto pony, Debon to a Hunter/Jumper show. It was like taking a new baby to a family reunion. People just gazed at him longingly and said "Oh what a cute pony!" Even the judge fell madly in love with him. Here's a pic from that day, just for fun.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Junior was very antsy today. He was actually pulling on his tie when I was grooming him. Not violently, just antsy. I led him out to the outdoor. Seemed a waste of sunshine to ride inside. On the walk he was really on the look-out for horses out in the turn outs, but there were none. Two of the horses he gets turned out with were being ridden. Since he seemed so antsy and hadn't been turned out because it's Saturday, I tried to lunge no avail. He didn't want to. He played a little, but kept stopping like last night. I always feel like I must look like a complete fool who can't even get her own horse to lunge properly. I've done it with and without a whip and neither seems better. It's almost like if I shake or crack the whip he stops. Isn't that supposed to send him forward? He's not afraid of it, I made sure he wasn't. Maybe he just thinks it's a waste of time, or perhaps he likes making me look stupid in front of other people.

I went ahead and got on. By that time one of the other horses had left. He was VERY difficult to keep attentive to me. This bothers me mostly because when he doesn't pay attention to me he tends to stumble and I'm afraid we're going to hit the dirt one of these days. I am quite fearful of being hurt in this way. I know he wouldn't DO anything to put me in danger, he his inattentiveness has the potential to hurt both of us. I had several fights with him about attentiveness. Each time we even got near one of the other horses (It's a busy barn so there's always someone coming or going, especially on a Saturday.) he would ignore my feet and my hands and try go get near them. He also has a tendency to get himself above the bit at those times so I am in even less control. I was admittedly getting frustrated with him, but he started to listen more so I continued to reward him for moving out in frame and keeping his eyes in the direction we were traveling and NOT on everything else.

I decided to try loping him. Tough lead first to get it over with. He wasn't too bad, actually. WAY faster than I want him to be, but from what I understand it's much harder for horses to canter slowly so allowing him to build muscle at a faster pace is okay, as long as the horse isn't charging. He wasn't charging, just not really anywhere near a western pleasure lope, and probably faster than what's even desirable in HUS. No stumbles, though, so that was great. I made him stop and pick up the lead a few times but was also able to do some good laps of the arena with a more even bend. Although a few times I ended up stopping him after the long wall because I felt him resist when I "asked" him for a turn and that if I "made" him turn he would have dropped his shoulder and then it's stumble city. It didn't help that there were three playing kids visible from that corner and he was quite interested in what they were doing. AND at one point there were two yearlings running in the nearest turn out.

His right lead was fine, but he kept picking up his left lead at first. Then once he picked up the right we were off nicely. Much slower this direction and with less of my correction. I was able to give him a looser rein.

I do wish he'd work better on the lunge. My seat is still getting fatigued if I lope too long and I know that much flopping around doesn't help him balance. I wish he'd lope along on the lunge so he could build those muscles more, without my interference.

I walked him a bit more and he was in an even better frame and had sort of stopped paying attention to the other horse. The kids had gone to play somewhere else. He kept breaking into a jog, though and I don't know why. I suppose he wanted to go more, but I made him walk until he stopped breaking gait and then i asked him to jog a bit more. We were alone in the ring by this time. I decided to work on opening the gate with him. I think he'd be great at it if the gate was taller and didn't drag on the ground. But THAT gate is short enough that I have to bend down (darn 16.1hhs) and try to lift it up. Of course I don't have enough leverage to lift it AND ask him to sidepass. So I just sort of shoved it open wide enough for us to pass through, and since the arena was empty I could leave it open. If I had to close it again I think I would've had to dismount. I watched KAT and a schoolmaster push the gate open with his nose once. We walked around the buildings and down the fence line and back. I turned him out while I cleaned his stall and his water buckets. The food guy put grain in while I was finishing up the stall so I went out and got Junior and brought him back in. Pretty good day.

Mr. Curiosity

Junior got two days off because I was busy. I had some pangs of guilt when I realized I had too much work to do to go to the barn, but then I remembered the catching incident. I figured if he was content to play with the other boys he probably didn't miss me at all. That made me sad for a moment that he could care less about my presence, but that would be far too much anthropomorphizing. I know he doesn't think that way. He appreciates me presence in that horsey way, and that's good enough.

I went out last night and felt like a bad owner because he's so filthy. Not filthy like a neglected horse or anything, not in the least. It's just that since he's been getting nice turn-out time each day he's been rolling a lot in the dirt and he was even out in the rain for a bit so he actually had chunks of mud on his back. I spent some time digging in with my rubber curry, which he actually seemed to enjoy. I prefer going to the barn when I don't have to get tacked up on a timeline. He's more relaxed that way. With two days off I figured I should let him on the lunge for a minute to see if he needed to get anything out. He didn't. I suppose with the turn-out time he's getting plenty of free movement. Instead he just kept turning and looking at me as if to say "no, really, this is not at all necessary." I agreed and got on. He was a little frisky, wanting to trot right away, but I made him walk for a bit, doing the bending exercises KAT taught me. KAT came in with a horse, too so we had company. Junior's more relaxed with another horse in the arena, but he also gets himself in trouble trying to watch the other horse. When he's alone he seems to worry that there's no one there and he calls out or wants to stop at the doors and look out into the barns. He's SOOOOO interested in other horses, it's pretty funny. He tries SO hard to get near another horse when one comes into the arena. Or if he hears someone call his head cranks in that direction, listening so intently. So cute.

He did pretty well overall. His right lead is pretty nice. His left lead is inconsistent. He's good in circles and if I can get him on a consistent bend he does well, but if I try to use the rail, it's hard to get him in a straight line, and then if I do, it's hard to get him back in the left bend to turn. It finally clicked in my head that all the really rough trips he's taken were on the left lead, and usually when we've left a wall, are turning left and JUST about to bend left again. I've been a little hesitant to lope him when we're alone or when the arena is busy because I'm afraid he'll fall or run into someone. It was nice to have KAT there so we were able to talk about it. Looks like what he's doing is leaning in heavily and dropping the inside shoulder. When I finally get him on the straight and then ask him for a slight bend he DROPS the inside shoulder, and that's usually when he stumbles. So we have to work on that. *I* have to work on that. But I feel a little more confident to work on it on my own. I should go do that today. But I have to get a jump on my list of work to do. So off I go.