Monday, February 28, 2011

Cody's No Internet Blog

I am posting this for Cody - he doesn't have internet or even good phone service at our ranch in Chandler. Cracks me up the difference between the postings - Mars and Venus:)

Still working on leads and loping with Shaw Mead, Cleopatra, and Justice. I am very conscious about how hard I work them, as they are still young and growing. It is much nicer to work with a well conformed horse while they are learning to balance and carry their rider. All of them are getting leads wrong, changing leads in the front and just generally messing about. It’s all part of the learning experience. At least they are staying soft rather than being stiff as a board. Tonight I will take Justice to team roping practice. It is really good to expose your mount to. It is a scary experience being in the arena when the horses and a steer come charging at you. Once you figure out how to stay out of their way your confidence and your horses grow. By the end of the first practice he was starting to rate the steers that were let loose, (scoring).
Just got back from team roping practice, Justice is still scared in the beginning, however he calms down after working a little and getting his mind on what is going on. He also wants to meet all the horses since he is a stallion. I need to get to the arena before everyone else so I can top him off and get his mind on me. He seems to really enjoy rating the cattle, he is getting faster at picking them up, I do like that he will go right back to his spot and be quiet and calm.
Took May to the chiro wed. She was out in 3 places. Her stifles are sore but getting better. Lunged her today then rode her about 15 min in the roundpen walk and a lite trot.
Worked with Cleo on trotting and lead changes. She is better than Shaw Mead at picking up both leads.
Rode Shaw Mead in the pasture trotting and loping she wants to get back to the herd so I make her work around them rather than letting her rest. Loped her in the roundpen to the right. Had to break her down and start over a lot. She is getting better though.

Went on the black-eyed pea trail ride yesterday at Lake Carl Blackwell with Cleopatra, the ride was three and a half hours first time on these trails however.
1/13/11 Rode Sunshine in the roundpen today just kept her moving and guiding she has only been rode maybe 5 or 6 times she is just a wonderful filly to work with. Rode May in the pasture and roundpen she is loping much better however she is extremely barn sour it will take some time to get that out of her. Shawmead is getting better at picking up her rt. Lead and is trotting beautifully she will be Shown next month at an open show. She is starting to become barn sour also. I guess I need to start hauling them off the property and see if that will solve the problem. Took justice and Cleopatra to the arena and ran poles a couple of times it was a good experience for them.
1/18/11 Rode justice today used him to drive the horses from the front pasture since they didn’t want to put their halters on. After he got the fresh off he was pretty amicable to working in the roundpen. We worked on keeping our pivot foot in the same spot while we did a turn on the forehand. We got our loping and trotting done while we drove the horses.
1/21/11 today was the first day above freezing since Tuesday. Rode sunshine in the roundpen, guiding her, stops, one rein stops, hip over, and even trotted her for the first time, I only moved her up for a few strides since I don’t want to scare her and she is still learning to balance under me and she doesn’t get rode very much since she is only 3 and still developing. I am having problems with the rest of the herd coming to put on their halters because of one alpha mare. I drove them for about 45 minutes before they went into the roundpen after I haltered and tied the others out I used justice to rope her in the roundpen. I’m such a horrible roper I make Billy crystal look like a pro. Justice is a young stallion and thinks if he is chasing a mare he is supposed to mount her. I tied him up and roped her from the ground. I am very proud of Justice for staying put and being solid while I was trying to make my loop and untangle myself. I am left handed and use a RT lay rope with a Honda on the opposite end than what it was originally, it isn’t the best setup but it works…. Kind of.
1/24/11 Rode Sunshine today trotted her worked on up and down transitions, yielding hip, one rein stops, backing.
Rode Cleopatra in the front pasture today worked on trotting, loping, lead changes, since I will be entering in trail class I decided I need to start sharpening her turn on the forehand. I am getting her to keep her pivot foot in place while turning; actually I am working with all of the riding horses on the pivot foot since everyone walks forward or moves laterally.
Took Justice and Shaw mead to the arena and worked on loping trotting and circles. I took a couple of pictures after riding when they were tied, they looked like they were about to fall asleep.
I am also tying Justice out with the mares to socialize him. The girls are pretty good trainers for manners. I usually put the two nastiest mares on either side of him, they sure squeal and kick.
1/26/11 I Rode justice in the pasture checking fence, rating llamas trotting loping. He is a young stallion that has his mind on the ladies but I work him every time he calls for them or misbehaves. He wants to get up to the front quickly so I am also working him harder where he wants to be so he won’t want to be up there with his buddy and the girls.
1/29/11 Rode Cleopatra at bell cow the temp was about 70 degrees we walked most of the way because they have full blankets. Mon thru Fri. is supposed to be in the teens with blowing winds up to 50 with wind-chill of -10. When we got back I had Adena video me riding sunshine in the round pen this is her 4 or 5th ride since I’ve gotten serious about working with her she is pretty steady and even minded I really like her.
2/15/11 Rode Justice today it was close to 70 degrees, was planning to ride to a friends about 5 miles away. Justice was sweating so much that after a couple of miles I decided to turn back when we got home we practiced roping a mailbox for awhile.
2/18/11 Cleopatra walk trot lope. Shawmead same. Sunshine walk outside of roundpen for the first time, still needs a lot of training and desensitizing before ready to trot out in the open.
2/19/11 Cleo and shawmead went to open show today. Adena rode Shawmead in walk trot. I rode cleo in walk trot took 4th, novice western pleasure took 2nd and 2nd in novice trail.
Note: Cody is riding Sunshine in a hakamore that I cushioned with the fleece from a girth cover. I just cut it up and sewed it on the hard rope nose piece and it becomes a really good, soft training halter.

Lessons with the boys and Cody's trip to the big barn

Spent sunday morning getting Cody and the trailer ready for his trip to the barn. He will be getting his introduction to the indoor arena and crowds (as much as we can muser up) and other horses this week before leaving Friday morning for the Illinois Horse Fair.

From the patio doors on our house I could see that the five mini stallions, Cody and Affie (SC coming 2 year old) were at about the furthest point from the barn that they could possibly have been. They were all basking in the morning sun in their favorite spot along the tree line on the "pond".

Once behind the barn I could not see them, but gave a good call out for them. I just love that Cody and Affie come when called....well most of the time!

OK, the mini's are a quicker at figuring things out, so Passport and Quest were the first to come running....I am sure they thought they were getting a BIG treat and headed for a nicely bedded stall. Sorry boys! I called again and here comes Champ. Now I am hoping the big boys are sleeping not ignoring me.

All of a sudden I hear the muffled thunder of hooves crunching thru the snow and finally see Cody and Affie headed to the barn. Yes. Either they were listening OR they suddenly realized they had been left behind by all the minis! I gave them 1/2 the barn aisle, hay and water, and opened two stalls....they decided the aisle was much better.

Go front of the barn, the pasture gate has been open for some time and frozen that way. Although I managed to get it closed I could not lock it as the post on the far side was heaved upward by the frozen ground just enough so that the latches would't meet. Silly me...I thought that would be sufficient to keep the girls out of the barn. Joke's on me! The ever curious and clever Matte (a daughter of Chip and Kwis) managed to nudge and pull the gate towards her to let herself, Kwis and Mary into the barn to see the boys. And we, generally, worry about the boys around here! LOL!

Fortunately the boys are young, Kwis is due to foal in a couple of weeks, and neither Matter nor Mary are in heat. Everyone exchanged a few squeals and stomps over the aisle gate, then broke out into a little grooming session before I broke up the party thinking this would be a great time work with the boys.

As I put the girls back into the barn pasture, Cody became pretty full of himself, snorting and stomping, realizing that he is the BIG guy on campus now and those girls are pretty darn attractive not to mention this new chemistry he was feeling!!!

I had him back from the gate in the aisle...which turned into a respect my space lesson. Once haltered, I him took him out of the barn. We had a session on whoa, stand, back just a few feet from the girls. It took him awhile to settle down--those girls were doing something to him and you could see the gears turning in that head of his! He wanted to listen, but something was going on...testosterone!! It was pretty amusing. He would initially listen to me but the action was short lived. Then suddenly he would look at me with those soft eyes and apologize going back to Mr. Obedient. I was very proud of his attention to me as I have not even had him in a halter for over a month....maybe almost two....and those girls were SO distracting. I am so happy no one was in season or this could have been a much more difficult session. Positive experience for all of us.

Dan was busy checking tire pressures on the trailer and truck, so I had additional time to work Affie. He is turning out to be a little guy....unless somewhere along the line he has a major growth spurt. But he is sweet as they come. Always wanting to please and a good scratch. We did the same routine as Cody, but Affie was more into the baby talk, not the "Yes, I am a stud" mode. His attention span started out short, so we moved further off the fence line and that seemed to work wonders. He was no longer concerned in expressing his submission to the gals. LOL! I tell you this boy was a pistol a year ago. It was like working with an cross between an octopus and a bucking bronco trying to pick up his hooves. I have to thank my farrier, Tom for help there. He has been a God send with a few of my attitude busters. Affie has been a gentleman since. Now that Cody is gone it will be a great opportunity for me to take him out daily and get with the consistency program.

Cody loaded like a charm. Initially he showed some concern leaving the girls. He stopped just before stepping in to release a nervous load then called out a "don't forget me girls" as he jumped into the trailer. Once in it was another story. I haven't had him in the trailer in over a year....and then it was only in and out in and out in teaching another gelding to load. He wanted the out part again!

And once at the barn he was a handful. Fortunately Mauricio was there to assist. I wish I had remembered to take out my phone and video him as he strutted to the new barn. I guess I was too busy watching my mellow boy look like a hot stud floating over the ground. It was quite impressive. Dan and I were in such a rush that I didn't even remember to take a photo of him in his new digs.

I will be at the barn today, so will get some photos and/or video of his first arena experience....hopefully more to come!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

another good ride with Freedom

I had planned another ride with Freedom, so right after church I rushed to my friends house where he stayed the night. Then it started to rain and we had a severe weather alarm again. But I thought well no tunder and I am not made out of sugar I WILL ride today.
So I saddled him and of we went. And then….the sun came out……isn’t that something.
He did so well today we practiced walk-stop-backup- and trotted he needed to be convinced sometimes but he was so much better then yesterday..and exhausted again. I took him home and put him in his stall because tonight we will have heavy T-storms. Hope to ride him again soon.


We had a gorgeous, clear, sunny and mild afternoon today. Naturally, just beckoning me to get out and play with Linus!! I love it when I head over to his pasture that he canters up to meet me at the gate. He's always so eager to see what we are going to get up to. While I brushed him out he spent time inspecting the old saddle I had brought over. It has been on him numerous times but is still a favourite to play with. Seems it's a good thing to let a horse inspect the saddle before he wears it - so I've been reading anyway! And it seems to help Linus. I've never had an issue putting it on him.
Before we headed out I spent some time walking around his pasture to see how connected or 'joined up' we were. Turns out, very good! He followed me the length and back and even when I did some circles he followed too. He would sometimes catch up and touch his nose to my shoulder.

I love this photo of him....he's growing up....

saddle inspector!!

Today we did go out on the road for a walk. We went up to the West all the way to the end of the road and back. It had been some time since we went that way and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Linus walked so well today. I don't know if all of our short work lessons helped or he was just happy to be out. Or is it just that he is continuing to mature? But, he walked so pleasantly right beside me with his head lowered to my shoulder....its kinda funny now to think of his head being lowered to my shoulder when it used to be raised to my shoulder!! Youngsters are so much fun!
As we headed up the road there were two young girls out having a walk. One of them lives up the road and the other was her visiting friend. The friend was excited to see a horse coming and when we got closer she said she loved Linus but she was very scared of horses. It was clear that she truly had a love for horses but also clear that she was nervous. Linus got to practice his standing still...he did ok. There were also 2 dogs barking at us. The girl got in some very good rubs and really enjoyed herself. I told her a bit about his breed and she said she liked how smooth he was despite the rest of the breed being curly. Linus is a really good horse to meet if you are scared because he is over the top friendly. She laughed at the fact that she had seen people out walking dogs a lot but never anyone out walking their horse. It was cute, but after I explained she did understand it was good exposure to traffic etc for him.
Linus danced a bit today with traffic but the road was slushy and making a very noisy sound when the cars hit it. He was fine if I turned him around to see them coming. He's so smart.
When we got back I brought him up to see the cows, more so the calves. He thought they were pretty interesting. Then he had some apples and went back to bask in the still strong sun!

Settling in

Miss Bella has been here for a week now. I'm fostering her for Curly Horse Rescue. She seems to be a very sweet mare, who was well cared for throughout her life. Unfortunately, her owner has Alzheimers and is a long-term care facility, and she needed to find a home for her horses. Unfortunately, her papers were destroyed by caretakers who thought they were worthless. So if anyone recognizes this mare, please contact me! I'm sure she's registered, likely gaited, and I would love to find out who she is! She's somewhere around 18-20 years old, palomino sabino with a pretty bald face. Isn't she precious!

Bella LOVES attention, and loves to be scritched, and LOVES, LOVES her food! So, Bella was a little too eager for her grain bucket, and her hay, and for the past week we've been working on "stay out of my space". She's a quick study, and a very good girl with apparently no fear (how refreshing!) The first day I asked her to "baaaack" while "shooing" her with my hand toward her chest. It took her a minute to think about what I wanted, then she took a step back and got her bucket. We repeat this every day twice a day at feed time. By about the 3rd or 4th day, she tested me. She wanted to see if I really meant it, so picked her head up high and held her head in my space trying to swing her head over my head. So each time she attempted this, I just quickly raised my arm in the air to block her swing. After a few tries she stopped swinging her head, but then just stood there with her head way up and kinda stiff. So I put my hand on her poll and applied gentle downard pressure to encourage her to drop her head (this is John Lyons stuff I learned years ago, and still use it, its one of my favorite ways to get a horse to soften). She clearly never learned this before, and I started to get a quick fear that if she doesn't give to poll pressure, does she tie? I haven't tried yet.

So I just held steady medium pressure until she relaxed her neck a bit. Whenever she relaxed her neck, she turned to the opposite side, so she thought that is what I wanted. On the positive side, she learned that quickly! So she tried just turning her head without any relaxation or lowering, and that didn't get a release. On the final try, she only slightly turned her head, but relaxed it much more and dropped her head a few inches (rather than just relaxing), and I (actually she) released the pressure. She then dropped her nose do her chest, blew, licked and chewed, and wandered off to her hay. She was totally engaged in trying to learn what I was communicating to her!

She hasn't done the head thing since, but today when I approached with her morning bucket, I didn't even have to ask for her to back away from the gate. Once I entered, she tucked her nose to her chest, and energetically backed up nice and soft and round. What a good girl!!!!!

This is the face I see every morning. "Come give me a little scritch! This long mane makes my neck soooo itchy!" She also will maneuver herself to present me her shoulder for a scritch. Lakota, OTOH, spins around and backs into you with her big ole butt!

This side now, please!

And this, believe it or not, is my favorite photo so far. Why would I love this gross, muddy photo of a horse standing all cockeyed and screwy chewing a wad of hay? Because it means that she laid down and slept prone last night, for the first time since she's been here. So she finally relaxed and is content and feels safe enough to lay down and take a good muddy snooze. :-)

Finally back in the saddle!

Well I may not be having such exciting adventures out with nature as the rest of you, but after starting my stallions two years ago and losing a lot of time due to my accident, I am OK with allowing an expert (Mario Contreras) to help me slowly gain my confidence while I build the strength needed to compete on the boys.

I finally made it back to the barn to see Mac and Ahote and the progress they have been making. WOW. I have a long way to go to catch up with them. It will happen, but not in time for the Illinois Horse Fair next weekend. I will be bringing my three stallions to the fair for the breed demonstrations. YIKES....way more work then I ever imagined, but a lot of fun putting together the posters, brochures, displays, etc! Want to see them displayed at their best so, unfortunately (for me) I will not be riding them this time (a real blow to my ego) but the best way to show off their abilities. And considering they will be the only curlies there, I believe it is the right decision.

So after watching Mauricio ride Mac on Friday (and what a pleasure that was as they worked on flying lead changes, counter canters and his intro to passage) it was my turn in the saddle. I am still working thru a pinched nerve in my neck that is causing my right shoulder to arm to finger tips to go numb....which means I am having difficulty feeling contact with him on my right. He has a very sensitive mouth and shows his discontent by throwing his head when you are either heavy handed or drop your contact. Consequently this was a challenge for me, but I was thrilled every time I would make it all the way around the arena (and it is a huge arena) with him on the bit, and without throwing his head in disgust with me. And this day he was heavily salivating and almost seemed to enjoy throwing his white foaming UCK directly back at me if I screwed up....his aim was eerily perfect. Thanks Mac!

We worked mainly at the walk and trot, lots of transitions; trying to get a nice working, collected and extended trot from him. For his size he has surprisingly big movement when asked. I tired long before he did! All in all it was a great day. No riding photos but Mario got this great photo of Mac.

Mario also made this very nice video of Mauricio on Mac (I took the last shots of his bow....which I got to ride last week and WOW again, pretty cool!:~) Enjoy the flick:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bush Time!

Linus had some extra treats today - or so he thought - and it turned out to be me!! When I arrived at the farm there was a heifer calf not looking too great. She is only a few days old and her mother is a very quiet cow so I milked her into a bottle and discovered there was still colostrum in the cow! So off course during the milking and feeding the bottle to the calf I managed to spill some on my coveralls. When I finally made it over to work with Linus he thought I was a walking treat!!! My coveralls are much cleaner now too...
The road was fairly snow covered and there were things going on in both directions that I didn't want to bother with so being that we had a huge melt last week I decided it was time for us to get back in the bush again!!

Linus' pasture has gates at both ends of it. He is walking away from the main entrance towards me, at the back. He was investigating something when I headed back there to open it up but I was very pleased (but not surprised) that he came when I called him to the back gate.

This was of course after trying to help tighten his surcingle!

This was kind of a funny moment. We were in the bush and I had stopped and he turned around as if to ask if everything was ok and I was ready to continue on. He was pretty happy to be going back into the bush today but despite his friskiness he listened to me very well. At one point though he jumped over some branches and I don't really know what happened but I dropped the reins. I think I stumbled at the same time as his momentum from the jump carried him forward. He took off up ahead of me and I thought I was going to have a lonely trip back up to the house. He turned around and came back to me though, for which I was very grateful!! We continued on afterwards and had a very pleasant outing. It's going to be so much fun to one day ride him back there!!!

First ride with Freedom again

Today I took Freedom to my friend who had a nice DRY arena. Ours is still a mud pool and too dangerous to ride in.
It was the first time a ride him after he catapulted me off so I was a bit tense. After I mounted him he started walking good, but within 5 minutes he stopped and did not want to go anymore. The more I asked him the more tension I felt and he was about to explode again. So I dismounted and did some ground work with him. Made him trot changing directions yield his hindquarters etc. When he did good I got back on. My friend’s son just entered the arena too so I ask if I could follow him and there we went. We even trotted but he wanted to stop every chance he got.
Then my friend came with her mare and she wanted to do some trot exercises so we followed her and out of the blue… he got it. He started to relax and trotted around and around.
After he did that in both directions I made him stop and petted him and that was the end of the ride.
He stood there like he just run the Kentucky Derby.

I left him at her place so we can do it again tomorrow and that will be it because heavy weather is coming in again (T-storms) but I am glad we got to do this!
Marion, Kentucky
Hidden Cave Ranch

Freakin' COLD!!

But of course, being Saturday morning Didder and I had a standing riding date with Kara and Ally, so off we went!
I must have had a brain fart, because I did not dress properly for the cold. Only regular jeans, no long johns, and only one pair of socks. Luckily, I grabbed my 2010 Curly vest at the last minute, and it kept the biting wind from reaching my midsection. The sun was absolutely beautiful! Blue sky, almost blinding white snow from yesterday’s storm. The first time I asked AhD to speed up, he went right into his ambling gait instead of a trot! FUN!

Kara and I like to inspect the wildlife sign, and over the last few weekends, we would stop when we would notice a “deer highway” crossing the road or trail. AhD is so smart, that now he will stop when he passes a deer path, so we can look it over. The scent must have been strong today because he sniffed the path and then stuck his nose in the air and raised his lip.

I am frozen, but it was so worth it. Great ride, and if I get out tomorrow I will be sure to wear my flannel lined jeans and an extra pair of socks.

~Susan and AhD in Maine~

Out for a walk

Today I had a nice walk with Voelie in the area. The owner of the Shetland pony was going for a walk so I took Voelie out and went along. At first she was a bit nervous but she quickly settled down. We walked along the road, through the park and then trough and around a block of houses. We had a great exercise because we encounterd all kinds of footing (gras, sand, asphalt, cobblestones etc) and there were zebra stripes on the road. We met people out walking their dogs and people in cars and on bikes. I let Voelie graze a bit in the park (there is hardly any grass in the field so she was happy about this!) and the idea of having a bite to eat along the way seemed to make her even more calm and happy! She was really enjoying herself and we had a great walk. When I put her back in the field she was ready to come back out and do it all over again. The only part she still did not like to much was puting the halter on before we got started but this is getting a bit better again!

Mellow ride on Prairie

I need to take some pictures!!! But I have been having the best time on Prairie. It seems lately I've just wanted to play in the arena riding with the bareback pad and she's getting softer and smoother. We're doing a lot of nice lateral work - her shoulder-ins are a dream and when she trots "thinking about" a leg yield, she is so smooth.

It's COLD COLD COLD here now but listening to some of the rest of you it's really not that bad. So ready for spring and some trail riding!! Teresa & Prairie

Friday, February 25, 2011

Building confidence

Today I took Voelie out of the field again. She was still a bit hesitant about getting her halter on but I managed to keep her quite calm. We did a lot of walking and backing up. I also practiced letting the leadline drop over her back and neck and on her legs so that she gets used to this and wont be scared by it. She was quite relaxed about it. We dit a bit of lungeing (only in walk) which was more difficult. She did not really understand that I wanted her to walk the whole circle but finally we managed. I also managed to get her trotting a bit in a straight line, she stayed nicely next to me so I was very happy about that.
We finnished with lost of scratches and hugs and just building trust and confidence. She seems to be quite a sensitive horse.
I am also happy to report that I found a Curly that I would like to buy for me to ride and we are now in the last stages of planning and arranging everything so hopefully if all goes well I will have more news on this front soon.

New Boys on the Block

We have been waiting on foals for a few weeks now. OYY Tippateena and Ahmet -- this year they are best friends due right around the same time.  Tippy delivered first - on Saturday - a very nice chunky large dark palomino colt sired by ride/drive stallion, OYY Finnegan.  Finn has yet to create a filly, but that's OK - the Curly world needs more using geldings anyway. 

I love this fellow ! He could not be more perfect - and can't wait to get him out next to Mom with the cart, just as Tippy did with her Mom. 

He must have a bit of the sabino gene in him - with that pink nose and lip.  OYY Brave Ulysses is his name -- and he is brave... Kokopelli might have been an apt name for him as he is a trickster/clown for sure.  Yesterday, the Moms were in the larger paddock with their babies - and Ulysses just HAD to touch everything with his nose and lips and he is already flipping feed tubs around at 4 days old.

In the mornings, I put the mares and babies out for morning sun - and both foals are so well behaved already for leading out of the stall - through the barn and into the paddock.

 Ahmet has traditionally foaled within an hour or so of her best friend of that year.   Tippy foaled early Saturday morning -- Ahmet kept me waiting until early Monday morning to present her colt ... a break from custom .. Finn's first non cream offspring - this colt is a deep red and Ahmet's first non-bay. He's like a Daddy Long Legs... and his ears are, I believe, the longest ears on any foal I've ever seen. I always call lengthy ears the  " locator ears " ..  as they work like radar and with these ears, Tamborine Man will never get lost.  He has the big soft eye I love, very alert and sparkly. I knew when he arrived, Zoe was going to love him. Ahmet is the dam of OYY Elektra by the way and two other outstanding horses already off in their new homes.  Wednesday, we had enough afternoon melt to be able to take the boys down the driveway safely without ice.  We have had plenty of sun this week, but the air is still frigid... no sap running yet - too cold.

 Brave Ulysses - What a handsome fellow ! He's 3 days old here. Already walking down the driveway with Mom getting used to "stuff".

Ulysses embodies a lot of horsey memories for me -- on his sire's side - Ulysses goes back to my first curly mare who I rode and loved for years. On his dam's side - my first much loved driving mare who gave me many great curly offspring. For the lucky person who buys him, he'll be an outstanding driving horse -or of course riding mount :)

I say -- good job Tippy.. he's worth the long wait.

Notice his lovely mane, looks like it's going to be red like mom's.

Here's some video of the two boys' afternoon training session/expedition into some of the new world.

Today we're experiencing a white out -- but it's what they call sugar snow so it's nothing to fret about I guess... at this time of year, more snow does not last long.  I don't think the boys will go out today though so it will be a boring day for them in the stall.

Enjoy ~

The Newest Prospect

Tuesday morning I show up at the farm for lessons to see this little fellow-

OYY Tambourine Man

out of Ahmet and OYY Finnegan. I took one look at him and wanted him to be my new sport-horse prospect, he has got the longest leg, natural headset just like his sire cute curious face and with his family the genes to do it.

After lessons were done for the day I figured it is never to early to start training so when the day finally comes to get on him he will be ready for anything.

We went for a little walk up and down the driveway, to stretch out those long legs. It has been hard for play to happen in the pasture because of all the ice and snow.

After our short walk we head into the indoor for a brief leading lesson and to give mom a baby time to run around-Tambi can stretch his legs even more and Ahmet can get a little exercise to
return to her pre-baby figure.
Both mom and baby were very good leading around-for Tambi this is his first lesson in giving to pressure and learning about my personal space and can set the precedent for how everything else goes in are journey together. So it is really important to be firm yet kind and very clear in what is being asked of him. He was perfect and acted as if he had been lead around for months rather than days.

This is the one nice thing about winter babies because they are born at kind of a down time farm wise so it gives us a little extra time to spend working with them.
I have plans to begin exposing him to different parts of the obstacle course, head down the road some and anything else I can think of to get him ready for life in the show ring.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sassy and snow days

Shipping boots

We had a Thunder Snowstorm here on Monday....Sassy and I are keeping ourselves busy in all this "Galumping" weather and its yucky footing  with reinforcing target training...developing a comfort level with wearing shipping boots....reinforcing calm reaction to new (different sawdust container delivered Saturday) or loud objects (horsey blowdryer/ vaccuum in her stall  and trash bag full of cans).  The horses got to go out yesterday for a little while.....(Sassy was a bit exhuberant..but I I knew she needed some turnout) but not today.. Sassy was crowding her stall door waiting. So, we added some stall door manners to our work list.  I went back out the stall door....closed it ....opened it to her curly little face /muzzle...and asked her to soon as she did..I clicked/rewarded...and  we repeated ...after just a couple of times she was backing as I was opening the door.  She did well with the shipping boots for the most part.  With the injured right leg she was lifting it and kinda holding in there before she would take a step.  She did very well with putting them on and taking them off. YAYYYYYYYYY
Sassy and I had a very good day today even if the weather and footing was in the "Ewwww" catagory!!!! 
Checking out the bottom

Checking out the top
 Yesterday  I also put up my turtle nose crossties and I played with the I-kam glasses and took some still shots...wills share when I figure out how to  do the link :)

Happy Heart makes for happy hooves

Finally found some turtle nose safety cross ties in PINK

~and then God Created the Curly Horse ....and it was AWSOME ♥ ~
Hugs from Sassy and Krissy in  Rainy Slippery Ohio

Great Afternoon

I finished work early today and after moving some more "about to calve" cows into the barn, I was able to work with Linus again. I love getting in some hours through the week because usually the majority of our time comes on the weekend. As you can see from the first picture, Linus was in quite a playful if not somewhat annoying mood today. He was searching out things to get into and looking for trouble! It all started when my Dad turned around a big, noisy steel hay wagon in the field beside where he was. It didn't startle him but he used it as an excuse to tear from end to end of his pasture bucking and farting. I thought this was pretty good since it would play him out a bit before I got to him - but I think it just added fuel to the fire.
He was actually a good boy once we got working though. He had his customary grooming first. I always start with that. I think it comes from my years of showing; I always started with the show cattle by grooming them first. It relaxes them and gets them ready to be worked, plus it helps me to see where the areas that need more or less during the fitting process are!
Linus and I worked again today on our "short work" and handling. He whoas so well now that he stops mid-step when I ask. But then I have to ask him to "stand up" by which I mean square up. But he does this now anyway on his own most of the time. He backs much easier now too. I actually was finally able to get a picture of the carrot stick rope swung right around his neck. He caught sight of Nessie over in the field while we were working and I took the chance to snap a quick picture of him. He doesn't care at all where you throw the rope and it can even wrap several times around his legs.
I took him over to the hay wagon that had been responsible for all the earlier noise and we practised our side-stepping. I was reading in some Parelli handbooks (thank you Lynn) that a good way to get them to side-step is while facing a fence or something similar. We did the length of the hay wagon in both directions. I don't think it would have won us any awards but the main part was he listened to me and gave it an excellent attempt and I was happy with that!!
Then we took a trip down to get the ad bag from the mailbox. Someone came around the corner in a pickup truck - obviously not used to doing the nice thing and slowing down for equine traffic or moving over for that matter. But she did laugh at Linus trying to investigate the adbag - or maybe she was laughing at me picking up the fliers he knocked out.....
He would not leave his lead rope alone today! It was the ultimate toy

Carrot stick wrapped twice around his neck.


Another 6 to 12 inches of wet and heavy snow expected tomorrow ...... uggh!

At least I was able to get out again today. I rode to my friend Kristin's house today - 3+ miles down the road - we joined up and continued down her road for a while. Domingo, her gelding, had not been out for a while - so he was feeling his oats. Miss Demeanor was her wonderful self.

I've never met a horse who gets so excited about going out for a ride. When I bridle her -she basically pushes her head right into the bridle. This morning, I had to walk her down the hill and to the road - (too icy to ride safely) - when I stopped, she scooped her head between
the reins as if to say... "Come - on - let's go!" I love that about her.

Lakota has been a good boy - allowing mama and I to go out without fussing. He's been doing much better - I've been using some of the suggestions that were advised about his mouthiness -and he's improved (some) . He was great for the trimmer yesterday!

Think warm thoughts - let's melt the stuff - so we can actually get out on the trails!!


Birthday with the Curlies

Yesterday I took the day off work and spent my Birthday riding my curly gelding Tex and started training two of my other curlies. The weather was perfect and a sunny 60 degrees. Since I have finished my new round pen I decided to break it in by starting my new two and a half year old grulla curly gelding Tucker. He was so good I was even able to put the saddle and bridle on him and lung him around without any problems. I then worked the other curly mare that I am training for my parent Fancy. It was a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Curly girls day

Finally Horse day. There was a lot going on here and I feel I haven’t done anything with the horses for months. But today was beautiful and I worked 4 horses. Mallie and Kayla where the curly’s so it was a girls day.
First I took Mallie for a looong walk, vieuw I lost some calories. I took her on the trail and on the open fields we did some groundwork. First we had to pass the boys field everybody said hi, and it is amazing how Freedom and Mallie still are so attached to each other. Lydiker our colt showed some interest too which is great.
I hope to breed him to Mallie

She is very fast and very athletic. At one point she decided ok enough I am going back. She puts her tail in the air and wanted to take of. However she is very sensitive and very responsive so I luckily did not had a very hard time to keep her in control.
I was very proud of her, but I think she will be a handful when the time is there to teach here the riding part. She is so fast but wow she can trot. I took her is the stall and dewormed here and gave her some treat. My sweet Mallie she makes me proud.

Kayla was next. She will be 17 this year and has not been handled very much, only as a broodmare.
We only have her since December and I was told NEVER leave her in a big field without a halter because you can never catch her again. Her halter was in her cheeks and I don’t like halters on horses in the field ( or in a stall for that matter) so I took it off. Well I called her and approached her not directly and she actually came to me and I could halter her with no problem at all, I was so proud of her.

Then we had to go true the gate of the electric fence and she could hear the ticking. She was scared and backed up. I just let her go and walked back with her and we tried again. This time she looked at me and walked right beside with me…wow that made me even more proud. I brushed here and dewormed her (which is not easy) and brought her back to the field with Mallie. As you can see here belly is still growing so I still think she is having a foal. She looks a lot better since she came to us and I think she’ll be ok. I am very excited we still having a foal, since our quarter mare lost hers unfortunately.

Well I am glad to be back however we got a flood warning for tomorrow and this weekend so we need to get the flippers back on and turn into curly seahorses.

Marion, Kentucky
Hidden Cave Ranch