Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
I really wish I would have been able to capture the following on camera. Monday was an absolutely miserable day here with regards to the weather. When I got to the farm after doing the mail route Linus looked as miserable as the weather and it was only supposed to get worse overnight. I have a first calf heifer who is due any day now in the barn (do not want her calving in the mud!). She was in a large pen which can be cut in half by closing a gate. I cleaned and rebedded the heifer (her name is Darlin'; named after a Johnny Reid song and he dam's name was Lassie, so it fit) then I brought Linus in and put him on the other side of Darlin's pen. I was very pleased with him for walking through two narrow-ish doorways and down the feed alley without batting an eye. He got into the pen, shook the excess water off and investigated the new surroundings. These pens are normally used for calving in winter and creep feeding in summer. So, during the winter, we seal the door with a tarp in case we need to turn the heat on. I haven't done any desensitising with Linus yet using tarps. I don't imagine it will be difficult though because he grabbed it pulled it down most of the way. I took it the rest of the way off and folded it up in front of him not sure what to expect. Certainly did not expect him to try to grab it back from me!! What a boy! During all of this, Darlin' was finishing up her meal. Then it was time to meet her new roomy over the gate. To my surprise, the youngster who is normally pretty passive with the cows actually tried to nip her nose. She reacted by snorting and shaking her head then stamped her feet and tried again. I kept a close eye on the bickering pair in case I had to swap Linus with the weanling heifer who was also inside, but in a different pen. I carried on with the chores, they settled in munching their respective piles of hay and I went home. When I went back the next day to put Linus out in the now nice, sunny weather his face was all wet and so was his neck. I couldn't figure it out, thought we must have a leak somewhere by the now untarped door. Once I got him to his round pen, I could better see the pattern to these "wet" marks. Darlin' had been licking him on his face and neck!! It amused me to no end....yes I do live in a very rural area, there isn't much excitement! Sometime overnight, the two had made up and became buddies.
Writing this post has actually showed me that Linus has overcome much more than I thought in the last week. Good stuff!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Elsa went to her new home this last weekend. She loaded right up for her second round of loading! Rode like a seasoned pro and once to her new home took in all the new experiences like an old broke experienced horse! Mind you this was her first time off her birth place, away from her family and friends.
Her first was sloppy footing right out of the trailer, then a big sign announcing the stables name, then a waist high statue of a horse and a girl. All of this is at the head of the lane down to the barn and pastures. on the left is a paddock with several horses, a loafing shed, various "obstacles" and on the right is the house with four dogs, many cats and all the shrubbery and trees. Elsa never even hesitated but walked along on a loose lead even while keeping her ears up and her eyes high.
Once we go to the barn the stable trainer and Stacy went into the barn expecting me and Elsa to follow. So, we did. First time in a building, on a cement floor with birds, bird recordings, horses in box stalls and all the various accoutrement's that go along with the inside of a barn. Again no fuss no muss and no one watching could tell she had not been in this type situation all of her life!
Then they wanted me to take her into the indoor arena at the other end of the barn where there was an owner warming and tacking her horse. They wanted to introduce Elsa to her new stable mates - two donkeys. So the trainer went and haltered a donkey and led it into the arena with us. Elsa sniffed and was definitely curious but not alarmed. The trainer led the donkey around the arena, I followed with Elsa who sniffed and watched but was just as interested in the rest of her surroundings as she was that donkey. The woman in the arena with her horse commented on how calm Elsa was and how many horses are completely freaked by the donkeys.
And finally, they had me lead Elsa to her new holding/quarantine pen. This meant going through a small walk through door, onto a cement pad flanked by two big red feed and water buckets and into the midst of both donkeys. Again not fuss no muss and no excitement.
It was gratifying to hear all the comments about how sensible and calm this horse was - and sad/frustrating to me that they have no concept of just how much of this is the breeds characteristics which admittedly we breed for and then strive to expand during training! Gotta LOVE THEM CURLIES!
We then let Stacy repeat the loading process several times and it went smooth as warm butter!
And then it was off to the Vet for Coggins and Health Certificate!
What a champ Elsa is and a trooper Stacy is for learning right along with her new and I might ad FIRST horse.
Unfortunately no pictures!
Monday, March 22, 2010
I look at Billy and he is such a good boy - he does not rear, he does not bolt, has only bucked once (but I stayed on). He is a very laid back horse who has started to let me know what his opinions are. Such as "I don't want to go that way" and "I don't really want to stop right now. I am going to keep going even though you have my head cranked to my belly."
He went to a trainer for a short while who taught him some things - like how to stop!! But, over the course of time, lack of riding has caused my fear to escalate. Just thinking about riding sometimes makes me nauseous.
So, I got some on-line help from a woman who is not only blessed with the ability to train, but also blessed with the ability to be able communicate with the human!! I learned that Billy's actions in the roundpen are not a result of fear. They are a result of him having no respect for me!!! Imagine that??!!! How can I possibly expect him to have respect for me while I am riding him if he double barrell kicks at me in the roundpen?
So, Billy has been working HARD!! And the results have been amazing! I am making him sweat and think and listen to what I am asking him. Every day he gets more respectful. There is no more kicking out at me. There is no more pinning of the ears. There is no more snaky neck! It has been FUN to go out and work with my horse.
And, now Denise has come up with the Curly and Me contest and all I can say it "Wow"!!!! It is exactly what I need to push through the fear. I am so excited to get started. And, even if I do not complete all the tasks in the month of May, I can continue to use them as a guideline in the coming months. Thanks Denise!!!
So, my theme for this RAC year is FEAR Sucks! But, I am determined to beat it! Hopefully by the end of the year I can type FEAR CONQUERED. One of my big goals is to ride through "The Ancient World" at our little science area. It is a huge field of monster eating statues, stones, towers. I want to ride through it on Billy with a loose rein and not feel like I am going to throw up!! hahahaha!!
Happy Riding everyone!
Laura and Billy
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Trot over Crow Hill.. down Flamstead Road
Take a left onto Green Mountain Turnpike - which has been a horse and buggy route for centuries..
All the way to Pleasant Valley Road - and down to the bridge.
We crossed the bridge twice... once over and once on return -- Nimue liked it better the second time across.
We had to trot by the long freight train.. or rather the freight train traveled past us-- first time we've done that in the cart.
And what a co-incidence is this ?? The first time we rode over the bridge with Keri and Teasel for obstacle month the last day of March in 2008.. if you check out the farm blog post for that day - you'll see as we crossed the bridge.. there was a man with a camera that day too !! All the way from New Jersey that day -- these people are from Georgia !! :)
The actual crossing is on video --
Our return trip home - we took Whitney Road - which was different for us than our usual route. That spot of clearing in the distance is where Keri took her slide down on her rump when we trotted over Mount Ephraim awhile back.
Someone is doing spring cleaning - a handy obstacle all set out for us - a flapping clothesline of drapes or bedspreads.
We see a lot of these at this time of the year.
Time to get on the highway for our trot home. The trip does not take long with Nimue in harness... she loves to travel.
Nimue hesitates a bit at first.
On the return trip- covered bridges are old hat.
Nimue thinks going to the left is a faster way -- but really.. turn right it's quicker :)
we had an awesome time.. and per tradition.. I did upload the long version of the trip on Youtube.
Today is another spring day.. warmer than Wednesday - I am not sure where we are going to ride today.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Next, I rode *Sandman for the first time this year - he has been ridden for the past three weeks or so by Luis, but I am taking him to our first stallion show this weekend and I need to ride him there so I thought I better get a couple of rides on him first. He was pretty great - and I remembered why I like riding him so much - he is so well trained and such a powerhouse - he is marvelous to ride! So I will ride him once more this week and then take him to the annual stallion show at Thunderbird in Langley, BC - it is always a great place to display the horses.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Standing Curly Sporthorse Stallion *Sandman's Magic
Friday, March 12, 2010
First time Denise offered out the obstacle challenge I studied the CSB course and photo's on the Curly Horse Country site... bridges and car wash ? That year Zoe and I rode over as many bridges that we could locate within a 30 mile radius and also through the car wash downtown. Last year -- I put my thinking cap on and came up with the jousting course and the teeter totter.. both of which remained set up most of the year.. SO much fun ! The best part of this is when your horse is successful.. not only do they trust you more as handler/rider-- you come to realize you have much more trust in your horse.
Come 2010... what can I do this year - a fresh concept. In the back of my head I have been considering building a nice set of stairs and a better, longer, higher bridge -- perhaps a nice water hazard using the brook... Then .. since - as you all know-- I am back to feeling comfortable driving and loving it again ... I decided I would complete all the obstacles driving. Some of my obstacles will have to be altered to accommodate the cart width - but it's going to be fun.
A couple of weeks ago, after I posted a blog about driving Nimue and wanting to try her out on the snowmobile trail -- I became obsessed :) My brain cells began whirring... trails, add in bridges -- a snowmobile bridge ! perfect. Today - one of our lesson riders showed up for his first lesson without the appropriate paperwork - so we had to send him home... another group cancelled due to illness. Today is the day -- harness Nimue, grab the camera and we are off !!
Here is the first time Nimue walks over the bridge -- we then crossed the road to contimue up the snowmobile trail which we ride often past the bus graveyard.. loop around and head back across the bridge from the other direction.. trot home, with a small delay for a back country road traffic jam. There's a lot of video here - I hope you enjoy... if you are curious to see more of the trek -- visit you tube here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR_hOhvJJPc
Thursday, March 11, 2010
owned by Golden Curls Ranch, Kaufman, Texas
Curly and Curly Mustang
Open fields for cantering !
to the ice and no where to get away from it - Zoe and I were forced to do what we NEVER on the trail (well unless we spot something we want to take home with us) -- dismount and walk our horses. yikes...
We are starting to get some outstanding views. Last time we trotted up here - there was still foliage blocking most of this.
And look closely here - this ridge of wind towers is very far away in New Hampshire !! You can just about see them
Here's a little video of Keri and Teasel trotting together -- they had a great time out too !
Enjoy and don't miss all the other photo's on my blog