Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eating it.

Or not.

Those of you who've been following along for a while might have gathered that my horse will pretty much eat anything. Sticks. Ropes. Plastic flowers off of obstacle decorations. The other day I moved my dry erase board on his stall door and accidentally put it within reach of the monster and soon after caught him in the act of taking off one of the magnets and trying to eat it. He's trying to give me a stroke.

So much to my surprise and disappointment, he's not a fan of the Tri-Amino. The first time he ate it... sometime overnight. The next morning he ate it but only after his hay was gone. Since then he's been leaving as much of it as he can and his lips are incredibly talented at taking the pellets and avoiding the powder, and not going back to it after hay. Instead he likes to kick bedding into it as if to say "Ha. NOW you won't try to make me eat it." Our friends Kate and Mare both suggested adding Cocosoya oil to it so I looked around for that. I can get it at EquusNow, but I'm really not in a hurry to go spend MORE money (considering I am not certain the supplement was worth paying for anyway) and then have the barn staff (myself included) have to deal with a liquid supplement. But I did order a "free sample" of the cocosoya oil directly from Uckele. If that works I'll go buy the jug and try to figure out the most mess-free way to set it up. Maybe I can find a pump big enough for the bottle.

This horse makes me work too hard. And sometimes I wonder if these companies that make things for horses are just laughing all the way to the bank. "Ha Ha! We'll make this supplement unpalatable so they'll have to ALSO buy THIS! Stupid horsewomen! Thinking their horses need all this stuff! Bwahaha!!!"

In other news, I had a lesson on Equitation and Showmanship with the clinician from our Show-N-Tell Clinic, JM. He was super relaxed for most of the ride and was really responsive and easy. Then she set up some cones and he became THAT horse. You know, the one who goes bug-eyed because there's cones set up and gets all inverted and jumpy. JM even asked if he was contested or did western riding. Not to my knowledge but sometimes I'm tempted to contact his breeder and ask exactly what the first 7 years of his life were like. So after 3 tries at the pattern he sort of listened. Changing directions AND gaits at the center cone is rather difficult for us. Lovely flying lead changes... if that's what I had asked for....

Showmanship was pretty great. The work I did since the clinic has seemed to work pretty well and JM agreed. He can learn so quickly when he wants to.

Sadly my next ride was horrible. I put on my western tack and he was a basket case. Wouldn't jog, wouldn't bend, wouldn't follow his nose. I ended up loping him in fast circles for half an hour thinking he'd get the edge off and pay attention, but NOPE. It was a lovely round fast lope, just not what I wanted to do with him. I think finally getting back on the grass has made him a little hot? We ended up working on loping to a halt/back over and over and over again and there seemed to be some progress there so it wasn't totally a wasted session, just rather odd behavior on his part. Much more like he was long ago and I do NOT want that horse back. In case it was soreness related I hosed him off and did the Alpha Stim all over. I did notice (first time I've really sweated him under the new saddle) that he had small dry patches on either side of his withers. They were smaller than with the old saddle but I know that's not a good sign as far as saddle fit goes. We'll see how he is tonight. I'll photograph the sweat pattern if I get one.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yup, We're Still Here, Rapture, or Not.

Between my back and busy time at work I have only ridden a few times since the show. We had a good dressage lesson today. It was exhausting! We were working on my seat and using many of the same muscles in my back and hips that are still recovering so it was extra hard. Plus it was over 80 and sunny so I couldn't help nodding off during the following lessons! After our lesson I was able to put Junior in the grass field for the first time in days (it is still SOOO wet) and he galloped all the way across to the tall grass and stopped on a dime with his head down. Will this rain ever stop!?!

In usual fashion, I am still reorganizing after the show. In addition to my laziness, the injury really made it difficult for me to get my show stuff up off the floor and reorganized. You never realize how often you bend over until you can't!

This is just part of the pile that I need to sort through after a show:

I think that was taken after our first show of 2010. I'm actually more and more organized each time I do a show, but each of the bags has to be vacuumed inside and out (yes, I'm that girl), all the washables need to be washed and everything needs to be cleaned, polished, re-hung, and repacked, separating the things that need to go back to the barn from the things that stay at my house. This would be MUCH more streamlined if I had my own trailer and could just leave most of it in there.

It's getting back where it belongs now, including getting my new saddle neatly situated into my tack box! It's so nice not to have a western saddle sitting in my spare room and having to lug it up and down my apartment stairs and in and out of my Civic each time I want to use it.

I still want to wrap the new saddle it in bubble wrap, but I'm trying to get over it. I intended this to be a USING saddle and NOT one that I have to baby, but it's just so pretty! I think it's that new car thing where you park at the far end of all the parking lots. I've got it sitting in there with a stick through the stirrups to keep training them. I think I'll still make a cover for it like my English one, just to keep it a little protected without having to wrestle my huge quilted bag over it.

Tack box is still working great. It could use a vacuuming and a tidying, but I'm very happy with how it's been working these 9 months. Of course if I decided to build another one I'd change a few little details. I think I'd try to use the built-in saddle stand idea and mount one rack for the English saddle above it, with the lower saddle stand serving as the storage area. The sacrifice would be losing some of the down-below storage space I have with this one, but honestly I'm not using all of it. There are two EMPTY containers down there. The benefits would be: 1) I could turn the English saddle inwards instead of outwards (otherwise the English flaps and the Western fenders attempt to share the same space), 2) I could remove each saddle from the box without bumping the other (removing the Western with the English in place is a little tricky), and 3) I wouldn't have to lift the Western saddle so high.... not like it's taller than my 16 hand horse, but it's less awkward to swing it onto a horse than to set it just right on a rack without banging it against the rack/top/sides.

But I'm not really in any hurry to go through all that planning and staining and clear-coating and moving it again!

Bugs and a Butt

We're adding Supplements! We need more butt and less bugs!

Once upon a time I had Junior on SmartCalm because I thought he needed it. What he actually needed was more turnout and less grain, but live and learn, right? I've decided to try out a few new things...

For the summer we're going to try SmartPak's Smart Bug-Off. In the summer, Junior gets hives along his neck and back, usually around July. Dr. J (our vet) took a look at them last summer. I'd rather not make him go through that so if this works, then great. Other fly protection we use is a fly mask with nose and ears (also protects his nose and cyst eye from UV) and I purchased an Amigo combo fly sheet for this year to replace the harder mesh one I got for super cheap at a tent sale and Gunner proceeded to tear holes in. He got the hives even with that fly sheet. Since his ears are clipped I feel better with added protection.

I got enough BugOff to last into August so if he still gets hives in July we won't get another bucket next year.

We're also going to try Tri-Amino to add muscle building protein. My reasoning for this? Well, his weight is good right now, but I can't seem to build up his topline enough. It's gotten better since the really pointy time in the winter, but seems to have hit a plateau and I think the photos of when I bought him show a more developed topline even though he was much thinner than he is now and I'm pretty certain we're working harder now then he was just before I bought him. It's hard to know precisely how much protein is in his diet since our hay varies and right now grazing time is inconsistent due to our wettest spring on record, but I know his grain is lower in protein than most, so if the hay isn't making up the difference then that could be a reason. When I did the hay analysis before (See sidebar topic of Equine Nutrition) he was getting enough, but who knows what it is now. I'm starting with a 45 day supply to see how it goes. I know that the supplement won't do any good without proper conditioning exercises, so to give it a fair chance we'll continue working hard on conditioning, which has admittedly slumped in the weeks since my injury the day of the show and it's driving me crazy not to be able to ride along the trails/fields to get some hill work in! The "Backing over Poles" excercise in The Book doesn't work because he will just step ON the pole or push it backwards. Nerd.

Back to the supplements.

My Barn Manager is awesome which means that I don't have to measure my own supplements. Yay! Or my own feed! Yay! But for the sake of having something to blog about I filled the first week's worth.

A How-To guide on our Feeding System:
1) Gather supplements and containers, 7 for once-a-day, 14 for twice-a-day. Having a grey tabby named Brutus nearby is helpful but not necessary. Et tu?

2)Insert properly measured supplements and label. The BugOff is pellets, and the Tri-Amino is sort of a granulated powder.

3)Load each meal's supplements into appropriate bucket in the same order as the horses are stalled/fed, which is why Junior's is buried closer to the bottom since he's about a dozen stalls in.

4)At mealtime, each horse on the "Barn Grain" (currently Strategy Healthy Edge), is fed out of a bin on the feed cart. Each horse on a different feed (these include Strategy, Kalm N EZ, Equine Senior, and others) has their own labeled container. There is a chart on the cart listing which horse get supplements, which have their own bucket, and how much barn grain they get. After each meal the feeder re-fills all the buckets and swaps the empty supplement bucket out for the next full one. This is part of my morning feeding duties on Sundays and Mondays. I really enjoy the organization of it. :)

He'll be getting his supplements in the AM feeding but I wanted to give it to him tonight to see how he'd take it....
All seemed well until....

I left him alone for a while and came back to find this:

SOOOOOO unlike this horse to leave ANYTHING in his feed bin and clearly he tried very hard to avoid the Tri-Amino and actually left grain. Crap. I didn't see any of the BugsOff left. I left the feed tub in the stall for the night, hoping he gets bored enough to eat it, otherwise we're in trouble....

Tomorrow I have a lesson with the clinician from the last show clinic. We'll be working on Equitation and Showmanship. While my back was bad I did more showmanship practice than riding and tried to work on getting a speedier cadence. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Show #1 of 2011

**I have most of the patterns from the clinic posted now if you'd like to go back and look at them. It seems the new thing is for shows to sell the pattern booklets for the shows for $1. I like the idea. Good, easy fundraiser and I get to add them to my pattern binder. The ones from the clinic were postcard size which made them easy to stash in the waistband of my show pants or in the pocket of my jeans, but since I can't find one of them are a lot easier to lose. :(**

Sunday morning I headed to the barn to move all of my show stuff to the barn entrance so when B arrived with the trailer we could load up and go. Zip loaded like a champ, but the trailer (2 horse straight) is the smallest trailer I've ever put Junior in and he wasn't convinced it was a good idea. He got half-way in and shot backwards, dragging me along and wrenching my lower back quite badly. I had felt it coming on before the yank, probably due to the time I spent last week with a broom over my head de-cobwebbing the barn. It's pain I've felt before so I knew I could continue with the day but that it would make it a little tougher. I'm a bit stubborn and I've shown through the flu, torticollis, and what I think might have been fly-spray poisoning... you are actually not supposed to use barn spray on your bare, wet legs, after all, but what did I know? B ended up getting him in for me and once he was in and found his morning grain he was just fine. He bumped his head on the way out of the trailer, but not badly. For only his 2nd show/event being tied to a trailer I thought he was good. He whinnied a lot, and pawed a little, but didn't fuss too much.

I was, of course, nervous and nauseous as I always am on Show days. I try to relax and breathe and get through it as best I can. Memorizing four patterns at once is difficult when you're also listening to how fast the show is progressing and thinking of all thing the little details to get ready. Where is my number? Did I remember to bring the electrical tape for his tail extension? Should I pee now or wait? I think part of that anxiety is that we do the Showmanship classes and then only have a few classes between that and our first riding class, so right after SMS he's got to get tacked and I've got to make small adjustments like taking my number off my back (there are numbers on either side of my pad) and putting on my spurs. More mileage for ME would help.

B was a great Show-Mom and it was really helpful with everything. Because it's been nothing but rain here, we were trailered on grass but Junior made it into a muddy grassy mess and every time we took him from the trailer his feet were covered with dinner plates of grassy mud and B had the illustrious task of cleaning them off. Because the arena is indoors and kind of dark I didn't bother spray painting his white legs or adding hoof polish. I sometimes wonder if this does knock me down in presentation points, but he HATES the spray and it just seems like a lot of futile work. I get jealous of the kids with show-moms who do all that stuff for them while the kids socialize and memorize their patterns. And memorizing FOUR patterns in one day is rough for me.

But anyway, back to the actual show. I realized as I grabbed his bridle for our first class that I had lost a curb hook and it was no where to be found. CRAP. So I would not have the leverage the Clinician said I should use and technically my bit was not legal, but since it was an open show maybe it wouldn't matter.

Adult English Showmanship.
There were 4 in the class and I got 3rd. The 4th horse was DQ'd for totally messing up the pattern. I actually remembered the pattern. He was yelling the whole time. We need to work on some things. Thank you all for your suggestions after the Clinic post. The snap and cadence are my next steps, along with the more deliberate movements during quartering. The judge commented that I need to take at least two steps each time I move to the other side of the horse. Here I thought I was being efficient. WRONG.

Adult Hunter Under Saddle. I worked him down a bit in the warm up arena and since I had very little bit to work with I had to be a bit demanding with him. In the class, however, Junior was lovely. We were 5th out of 9 so we got our first pink ribbon! Now we have a complete set! Consistency is still a problem, as well as anticipating the walk-to-canter transition that always comes soon after the "reverse and continue walking."

Adult Equitation.
B was amazing and found a tiny curtain hook that I kludged into a curb hook so I had some leverage for the class. It was a difficult pattern calling for a lead change and we're really not good at those. I was so shocked that he made the change I forgot to come back down to the posting trot and therefore got 5th out of 5. Such a shame because he was doing the best pattern we'd ever done until I screwed it up. Poo.

Adult Western Showmanship.
He was much quieter by this time and set faster and stood better than he has before. Still need to work on cadence and snap. We got 3rd out of 4 and after watching the video I'm not sure why we didn't get 2nd, but oh well. I just wish I knew what the difference was. That's why the clinic on Saturday was so nice when she gave all of the reasons for placings. During inspection the judge asked me if I knew what I did wrong in the Equitation and I told him I realized it too late to fix it.

Adult Horsemanship.
The lope to extended trot transition wasn't very pretty but the rest was good (for us). I think he thought I missed the 90 at the end because I made eye contact and nodded and THEN turned away but he'd already begun walking away and wasn't watching me. It's those little things that can really screw you.

I got lots of compliments on my outfit, including from the guy who won our western showmanship class and also several comments on how good Junior looked. I also got a few "that's a gorgeous horse" comments and I gave my standard answer: "Thanks! He thinks so, too."

I opted not to do the Pleasure classes, but probably should have since he was being so good. They're just sooo late in the day and I was worn out and hurting. B and Zip got 3rd and 2nd out of 5 in their reining classes and I got a chance to visit with my friends from the old barn. It was nice to see them all. We left after the reining classes and Junior still didn't want to get on the trailer but B got him on safely. We got back to the barn at 7:30 and Junior unloaded easily. Max's awesome mom had his stall all clean for me so I only had to toss my stuff in the car/barn and be done.

Overall I'm pleased with his performance. I can see improvements in posture and obedience. We need to continue to refine in consistency, cadence and carriage. We need to work on keeping weight on the hind end so that stops are smoother and have better self-carriage. A lot of that is strength related. He's working much closer at shows to how he works at home and that's very helpful. I no longer worry that he's going to be crazy or disobedient and can concentrate on keeping him working correctly. He did have a moment before Horsemanship where he didn't want to go into the warm up arena but it was a half-hearted refusal I was able to adjust easily. As the Clinician said, he's still at a place where I need to keep riding him to keep him working correctly, but that's an improvement over not working correctly at all. It'll come with time.

My back is in pretty rough shape and yesterday was a long day with a candidate for a position we're hiring at school that ended with breakfast this morning. All of my stuff needs to be sorted and readied for the next show but until I can bend over without shooting pain it'll have to wait.

Here's footage of my patterns and some of the rail work in my classes.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Show-N-Tell Clinic!

Overall the show clinic was a good day! I didn't sleep very soundly and I was awake and staring at the clock at 5:15am, half an hour before my alarm was set to buzz. I was at the barn in plenty of time to unload and help hay the horses and I was pleasantly awake. It seems the getting up earlier and earlier this week was a good choice. Let's hope it's as successful tomorrow when we go to the real show!

The misty rain kept us inside most of the day but we did Trail outside since the arena is larger. My saddle was momentarily rained on which made me weep a little in my soul, but it looks fine. Fingers crossed that tomorrow stays the partly cloudy and 70 degrees they're predicting at the moment!

My first class was Showmanship. I wore the new outfit to test it out.

I have to tell you how brilliant I think I am: I bought magnetic number "pins" this year instead of safety pins to put a little polish on my presentation. Because my jacket zips up the back and is rather fitted, and I don't have a show mom to stick her arm up my shirt to attach the number, I devised a brilliant method: I stitched little pockets into the back of the shirt that hold the back side of the magnets. All my helper/random passerby needs to do is pick up the top magnets, place the number and put the magnets back. Plus there are holes in the number where the magnets are so it is foolproof. I could probably do it myself in a pinch. The for Horsemanship when I have the numbers on my pad I just leave the "pins" off. WIN.

But back to the actual class.

He did the best showmanship pattern he's ever done. You can see from the video that we've made some improvements since last year at this time, even though we've been working without a trainer. It might just be the outfit but it looks my posture has improved. I still need to get my left elbow in and get some more speed into his back and the turns. The judge/clinician made it sound like I would have won instead of coming in 2nd.... had I not left out the trot off after the 90 degree turn at the end. I walked off instead. Oooops. She was complimentary overall but said we need some snap. She mentioned at her last clinic I saw that she used to practice showmanship with a metronome. I plan to try that.

Our next class was English Pleasure. He was actually really good for this class, too. He was heavy in my hands but he moved better than he ever has in the showring. I was surprised that she pinned me first of the three. She did suggest that for Hunter Under Saddle I go ahead and put the chain back on my Myler D snaffle. So I had Max's Mom go grab it before my Equitation class. I've been working without it since last fall but I figured I'd need it back in a show atmosphere. I was right, but it was worth a try.

Equitation was not pretty. Thankfully there's no video of that. We got 3rd of 3. The biggest issues were inconsistent circles and major fidgeting at the start and end. Also inconsistency in his trot because he wasn't sure what I wanted him to do. I still can't find the pattern sheet for this one, but I'll post it when I find it.

During the lunch break I put him away in his stall but he did not pee. I have learned that he will NOT pee with tack on and he will not pee if I'm watching him. The shows he's peed between English and Western have been the best behaved. I had no choice but to tack him up and suck it up and ride his cranky butt. He was not good in the warm up.

I was floored that she put me first in Western Pleasure and was highly complimentary! When the class was done I thought I was in the bottom, but certainly not after the two kids on filthy horses whose parents dropped them off with their crazy horses and no helmets. I don't even want to talk about that. Instead she complimented his movement and consistency including his good lope which I thought was far too fast but she really liked his carriage. Neat!

Horsemanship was an absolute hot mess.
Also glad that was not recorded as evidence. It started with a lope off of a halt which is difficult. Instead of halting after the lope he spun halfway around so my 180 became 270. Ooops. So we were in the middle for that one.

We also did the Trail class.
I'm pretty sure I won't be showing Trail any time soon. We got 4th out of 6 and I think that was probably generous. We did a terrible job jogging a circle inside a box, over poles, and then backing through a chute. The rest was perfect.

I will get images of the patterns and post them eventually so you can see. I'm not sure where my pattern cards ended up.

And now I'm tired and need to stop thinking and rest up for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Busy Weekend Ahead

So much to do. Very busy few days ahead. Today is my final day of prep before our show/clinic at the barn which means it's also the last day of prep before our first real show of the season. Since I am NOT a morning person I've been getting to bed and getting up earlier and earlier and this week. This morning it was 6:30 and I switch to 6am tomorrow. Hopefully that'll make the early hour on Sunday not as jarring to my delicate princessness and I will be able to eat something and not be a nervous wreck all day. The weather forecast keeps shifting in a positive direction and as of 6:55am EST they are predicting only PM showers tomorrow and party cloudy on Sunday!!! Oh, please oh please let that be true! We have had so much rain. Thankfully not the dangerous amounts that other areas have had, but it is too wet for trail rides and horse shows in the rain are no fun unless you're in an all-enclosed facility. The place on Sunday has an indoor show arena, but only a very small in-gate area, you have to go outside at the out-gate, and though the outdoor warm-up drains really well, who wants to warm up right before a class in the rain wearing all your show gear? Then have to go in the rain after each class? Not me. Not my new saddle.

Yesterday was actually sunny and beautiful. Did you know the sky is actually blue? I had forgotten. The vitamin D deficiency was starting to kick in this week in a bad way. Feel sorry for my coworkers and students. A few of them are missing heads and did not deserve it. I even asked my boss to cancel our weekly Thursday 4pm meeting because none of us needed to be in a building on the only sunny day in what feels like forever. He agreed. WIN.

And since I got to the barn at 1:30 instead of 5:30 I was able to force Junior into a bath just incase it was the last chance to do so before the shows. He wasn't too bad this time and held pretty still, but still tried to bite at me every time I crossed in front of him. Not aggressively, just in his weird touchy-feely-expressive way. He doesn't love me much after a bath but I tried to make amends by hand-grazing him in the overgrown lawn while the sun dried him off.
He is still shedding, but I think he's presentable or at least will be after clipping touch-ups today.

Another joyous realization about roaching his mane: No sleezy needed. He will appreciate not wearing it and I will appreciate having one less thing to lug around and have to wash afterwards.
So tomorrow is our barn's Show-N-Tell Clinic. We're running it like a show but the judge will give oral reasons for placings and give us tips to improve. Not sure if we'll get to re-run patterns or anything, but either way I'm REALLY looking forward to this learning opportunity. We're doing the same classes as we do at the open shows: Showmanship, English Pleasure, Equitation, Western Pleasure, Horsemanship, and Trail. We've not actually shown the Trail class, but since he's pretty good with obstacles I thought we'd take the opportunity to do it in a clinic setting before attempting it at a show.

My BM asked what you'd call the kind of shows I go to. She's from a Dressage/Eventing background, as are some of you. In my background this is a "normal" show so I wasn't really sure how to answer. The best answer I could come up with is "Open Pleasure Show." The shows have a little of all the pleasure type classes and are usually divided into Walk/Trot, Youth, and Open/Adult divisions. I guess they're a lot like AQHA shows minus the breed requirement. So you could also say "Stock Horse Pleasure" but there are a few random breeds in there. I've seen Arabs, Halflingers, Ponies, Appys, and a few draftier warmbloodier types who come for the morning jumping classes and may or may not stay for the English flat classes. You see everything from kids (and adults) who clearly have no business being in a show ring, all the way up to folks that will be showing at Congress in the fall. I find it comforting to be in the middle of the pack.

Then on Sunday a barn mate, B and her reining horse, Zip, are trailering us to an open show. Same location we've shown at 4 times and last time we were High Point 19+ ...which is easy to achieve when it's a small division, and who knows what the turnout will be this time. B is going to do the reining classes and maybe Trail. I'm trying to get her to do the Horsemanship depending on the pattern.

I have a teensy amount of sewing to do this morning, then I'm meeting Max's mom at the tack store because her younger daughter is riding in the clinic and has outgrown ALL of her show clothes. Kids.

I hope to have pictures of the clinic and the show. And I promise to show you what the new Showmanship/Horsemanship shirt looks like. It is done and I hope it looks okay! I'm going to wear it to the clinic as a dress rehearsal, but the rest of the clinic I'll be more casually dressed.

Here's a preview, just to keep you interested...

And by the way, I tend to add links to the body of my posts. Unlike the links on Fugly Blog and others, these are placed by me to reference earlier posts and are not links to random automatically generated advertisements. Also, if you get my posts via Reader or Email you may not have noticed the tabs at the top of the blog page. They are not completely finished yet, but the Timeline gives a summery of the main happenings through the history of this blog, so if you would like a refresher or are newer to this blog, that is a super quick way to get caught up without reading all of my lengthy post ramblings.... like this one...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hair Today...

Hair Today...

...Gone Tomorrow!

I think I left too much of a wither-lock but it's easier to take it off than put it back on!

I think he looks ruggedly handsome.

And now he needs another bath. Talk about yucky flaky grossness under all that hair!

And why on earth would I do such a thing? You may recall that he was roached when I bought him. His PO said his mane was crazy and she didn't want to deal with it. I kept it up for the first month or so because I liked the look, but my cheap clippers couldn't handle it and I wanted a mane to band for shows so we let it grow... into a long winter's mohawk... and finally into a normal looking mane. A LOT of pulling later (which he oddly seemed to enjoy) and it was bandable but I didn't like the way it looked because it was still so fuzzy. The second year it was braidable and I liked that look. But he has since decided he doesn't like the pulling and I would rather not deal with the expense and/or time and hassle of braiding or finding someone to braid. It's doable, but I am just not going to deal with that this year. I have been tempted to do this for weeks and finally today decided to do it. I sure hope I don't regret it 'cause there aint no UN-doing it!

But on the opposite end of things... no pun intended... A comparison of his tail from when I bought him (9/08) to today.

It's not as thick as it could be but considering how good he is at getting into trouble I am deathly afraid to bag it. Never going to happen. So for now, a lot of Vetrolin Shine and carefully trimming the ends so he's less likely to step on them. As you may have noticed, he travels with his tail quite a bit higher than when he's standing. We're at a strange disadvantage, too: because the hair is half black and half white, depending on the background you really only "see" half of the hair. It's a weird optical illusion. The extension I use for shows helps a LOT with that.

Now if only it'll stop raining long enough for us to GO to a show!!!