Back in the woods, the deer flies were absolutely ferocious, but we made it through to the Secret Garden with only a few chunks of flesh missing. Out on the road, Kara loved Ah-D’s gaiting and said, “That is so cool! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a video of that?” so I handed her my camera. Like I said before, what a fantastic way to spend two hours of my day! I love my Curly! I was thinking as we rode along what a good boy he is. He never gave me one lick of trouble the whole ride, and he seemed as glad to be out as I was! He is a curly gem
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
We are back in training - me and my herd of "boys" after a vacation to the midwest to visit family. I have one more mare to confirm pregnant - the vet is coming tomorrow and then all Traveler's work is done, in that regard.
I returned home on Sunday, did laundry on Monday and starting setting up lessons. Traveler and I had a private dressage and jumping lesson scheduled for Tuesday morning so I thought I had better get him back in the right frame of mind before the lesson and rode him Monday night. He was not thrilled with idea and reverted back to all of his old avoidance habits - heavy on the forehand, running out his left shoulder - etc. But after about 20 minutes it was better and probably as good as it was going to get for the day, so we ended it there and I headed over the next morning with some trepidation about the lesson and how cooperative my partner was going to be.
Amazingly enough - as I told my husband later - the lesson we had and our riding time together was a perfect example of what you want to achieve from riding. We had a great time, dressage was fine - we were getting back into it and he was listening. Our instructor complimented us on finally getting the trot to a place were Traveler was moving like a warmblood - and then off to the fun stuff.
He was absolutely perfect in jumping - we started out really easy with just a couple of cross rails because I will admit to being a little bit chicken and then upped the ante. We sailed over logs, ramps, ditches, trekkaner (sp?), and verticals with flower boxes. We jumped up and down the bank and then up the bank and over a cross-rail and down the other side. And finally we ended up with jumping large barrel, tipped on it's end so it REALLY narrow with two guide poles. This took us a couple of tries to jump it squarely, but we did it in the end. He was so awesome - never hesitated and seemed to be really happy to be "working" again.
This is the reason I ride Traveler and why I jump - other days I wonder what on earth am I thinking - but I am going to revel in this one moment of partnership we had.
Then the next day I took one of Traveler's sons up to the trainers to get some pointer's on finishing him and he did great - in the round pen. He was less confident on the trail - but it will come with time. There used to be a time when Traveler would not be the lead horse on a trail ride. Now you have to get out of his way - because he has all the confidence in the world. So it all comes down to ride time, ride time, ride time. We did do a nice trail ride that ended up with us scaling up the side of a mountain and me hanging on to my little green gelding's mane - but he just clamored up with ease and didn't put one step wrong. The trainer got a chuckle when I asked him if this was what he would consider to be an easy trail ride. But we did it and the next time I won't be so nervous and he will have more confidence.
Traveler and I are due to compete again with the "big dogs" in a month - so it's all about training, training, training now.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
With the work of haying and then going to the ABCR convention in VT, it has been almost 4 weeks since I have worked with Lyle. Today it seemed like the right time to re-introduce the saddle to Lyle. (As you remember, I had been riding him bareback.)
Today I took him out of the paddock that he shares with the colt Ziggy. We reviewed his pedestal work very briefly. Then I added a new "trick." Lyle and I started to work on teaching him to stand completely still along side of the pedestal. I wanted him to transfer his learning about standing still ON his pedestal to standing still NEXT TO his pedestal. He learned this concept easily. When he got a little unsure, he would step up on his pedestal/low platform. Then when he felt more confident, he would step off of the pedestal, stand still along side of it and we would resume our work. This was Lyle's language and his way of asking me to slow down and let him think about what I was asking him to do. It was not resistance. Rather it was his way of asking me to consider his needs so that he could serve my needs. I then put the pad and saddle on him. His new learning held firm. He stood still and did not move while being saddled as he stood along side of his platform. (Of course, I rewarded him with a treat for being so very still next to the pedestal. The treat is always proceeded by the bridge term "good boy.") Then he took the bit. I stood on his pedestal/low platform and placed a bucket on it next to Lyle. I mounted from this bucket that was on his platform. I did not want to make the saddle shift over on to Lyle's side and make him feel in a bind when I mounted that is why I used the bucket. Lyle stood still. He was a little unsure because his neck got stiff and his head got high. But he did not move. I mounted with a completely loose rein and no pressure on his mouth or head. His head was not turned to the side, but rather straight in front of him. He kindly let me mount. I did not ask him to move off. Asking him to move out will come later, once his neck is relaxed when I mount him. I must be easy and I must not get "greedy" and ask for to much to soon. I sat on him and when he started to relax I gave him a treat with the words, "Good boy." Once he had relaxed a little I dismounted. Lyle and I will do this again tomorrow. He will tell me when he is ready for me to ask him to move out at the walk.
Thank you for reading this. I hope that it has been of some help to you. I appreciate being able to share a little about the journey that Lyle and I are making.
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Happy Birthday, Jessica!!! Due to the heat our Monday ride was postponed til Tuesday a.m. My friend Karen and I decided to hit the trail as early as we could to avoid the heat and bugs. We aren't used to 85 deg, here in the upper part of Michigan and neither are our horses. LoL. We stuck to the beach because the deer flies were pretty nasty in the woods due to the high humidity..yes, even at 6:00 a.m.! I had to be back at work at 8:30 but it was perfect because it started warming up by then. We did a short trot and canter along the beach and it was like heaven. I took a few pics of Karen but I think you can see Bear's ears in one of them. =] Reese has been getting his fair share of rides too...and we are really having a wonderful summer so far of riding. My goal this summer is to expose Bear to as many new things as I can. This ride was good because he had not been hauled alone since we bought him and it was a nice short distance to meet up with karen....and it was a new place, new trail and new buddy. Bear took it all in stride...as long as there is food, he is a happy camper! =]
Yesterday in the evening I had another great ride with Suri. Together with Wineke and her horse we went into the woods and followed a different trail this time. Suri was really exited about going out. I think she has definately decided that trailriding is fun! When we trotted she really extended and it felt like she was flying! Really lovely.
She was more aware of her surroundings yesterday then with the previous trailrides, she was really checking out everything! I am glad she is quite curious, because when she sees something scary she stops but then wants to go and check it out and then everything is fine.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Angie and Renegait Chesterfield,
The whole week it has been raining and quite terrible weather. This afternood and evening they are expecting thunder showers but this morning it was dry and sunny so we quickly saddled to go for a ride. The wind was quite strong so I was wondering if this would affect Suri.. but no! She was calm as ever and reacted as if she had been out many times before (second trailride:). I rode her most of the time with quite a loose rein and really relaxed! It was a lovely ride. I really have a golden horse!!!!!!!
Friday, July 15, 2011
It's been about 2 months since I've posted so I thought I better jump on quick and give an update. I always say I'll wait until I have pictures to post but I'm not great with remembering the camera.
So Theo and I's jumping career is on hold due to lack of a trainer. Ours got really busy with shows and we haven't been able to get consistant lessons. We are still jumping about once a week on our own and will most likely attend another show in August but with no improvement over the last.
I had a chiropractor out for Theo and my non-curly gelding. Theo was out in a few places but I can't say I noticed a huge difference in his riding. He stills needs reminders to bend going clockwise and it's worse at the canter. Right now that is what we are focusing on because we need to be able stay in the canter through the fences.
We went on our first trail ride since last fall. I've been intimated by his buddy sourness so I've just been trail riding Abby. I took a friend with to just get him out and I think he enjoyed himself. We got to hand gallop a lot because the deer flys were so bad I thought we hit a bee's nest. Even full galloping we couldn't get away from them.
After the nice gallop I decided to see if he would like to cool of the small pond. I wasn't sure if he would remember it was okay to go into at first but he jumped right in and started pawing. I got to cool off by getting wet too!
On to Abby,
We were very busy these past few months. Abby and I attended a Liz Graves Clinic at the begining of June for my birthday. It was fun and I learned some. I think it was just good to get out and travel with her. Throughout June I trail road her alot to prepare for our big July 4th camping trip. We went for 3 nights over the Holiday weekend. It was Abby's first time camping and she did Awesome! We set up a portable fence for her and Amigo. They went right in and started eating the grass like it was a totally normal situation.
Abby lead, followed, overcame her mud issue and walked through belly deep water. Her friend Amigo the show horse had some troubles with the mud and water so Abby had to pull him in a couple times. She is the ultimate trail horse! We road for 3-5 hours each day and I didn't get sore or tired at all.. Gotta love the gaited horse!
We are starting to prepare for her first show in Sept. I don't expect to do great but I want get out and promote the curly and what better way then a Open Gaited horse show. I bet they won't be expecting me :-)
Well I will try to update more and with pics/videos I do get on and read some but don't have time to post. Keep riding and being safe! We only have 3 good months left before the cold.
Then after a short walk along the castle lane we had to go through a bike tunnel under a highway to get to the rest of the riding path. Mauds horse went first and Suri followed with no problem. She was nervous, I could feel it but she stayed very cooperative.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Could not use the blog somehow, but Denise set me up again
We welcomed “Red” at our farm.
He was at the broker lot in PA and not safe so CHR bailed him out and we are fostering him until he finds his forever home. He is doing great, he is a handsome very friendly gelding. Can’t understand how he ended up there and I am very happy we were able to save him.
Then we had a very sick horse, the vet cave him no chance he needed to go to the clinic. But the chances he would not even make it there and die in the trailer was big. He advised to let him go, but he raised his head and gave me a look…So we loaded him up and he stayed 6 days at the clinic. He is back home and happy and almost healthy again, bless god!
Kayla the mare we rescued from MI is not doing well at all. Actually we had the vet at the farm to put her to sleep. I have never seen such a skinny horse in my life. She doesn’t eat or drink and her heaves are BAD! But she talked to me also she was not ready that day. And the vet and I both agreed we tried one more thing for the next two weeks. If she is not improving we will take her out of her misery.
Freedom and I had been riding a lot. He even has been the leading horse in our trail rides at the farm and he did super. My number one horse (from the Netherlands) is usually the horse I use but he has a shoulder injury. So I was very happy Freedom stepped up and did the job.
But two weeks ago I was riding him alone on a trail. We were already on our way back and we trotted and I asked him to lope…..wauw!! before I knew I was smashed in the ground out of breath and in a lot of pain. He just stood next to me grazing..
My husband was furious because I was all by myself and no cell phone service. SO after laying there for awhile I walked back to the barn and called him to pick me up. After a couple of days the pain was getting worse and I could not breath anymore very scary, so to the ER.
Broken rib and very brushed pelvis, sternum and neck.
I am much better now though, actually thinking of riding again ;-)
But since Freedom did not took off when I fell I though, no sting, no snake, no spooky object what is wrong? Today I had a equine massage therapist and chiropractor and he had some painful issues so I hope that is it. I know where to look for now and will check him at least before we go riding.
Well to much to tell this is it for now LOL
Take care everybody I did read all the stories but was not able to comment. But it has been fixed now.
O and everybody who is going to the ABCR convention HAVE FUN and have a safe trip. Wish I could be there, but all those medical bills I can’t do it.
Marion, Hidden Cave Ranch Kentucky
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
We also rode a section of the powerline over there. Do you guys ride powerlines in your areas?
I took this photo of a hill of wildflowers just for Angie, because she shared her Texas wildflowers with us all.
I took this video when I discovered a new trail on a solo visit to Marshall Pond. There are plenty more of these little trails to scope out. Ah-D was moving right along because he knew he was headed in the home direction. :) Good thing he knew where HE was going! Ah-D has been an absolute delight this spring and summer. I knew he had it in him to be a really good boy. I love reading everyone's posts!
Monday, July 11, 2011
What a beautiful day. Here are some pictures my friend Ulla took. We had an up close and personal experience with a beautiful doe and a nice canter through a big field. There was a nice breeze playing to keep us from getting overheated. A FABULOUS experience! -Susan and Ah-D in Maine
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
This little Carriage trail is aptly named Jordan Stream. It starts out with two little wooden bridges, and as we passed the trail head on this rainy day, I commented to Kathy, my riding partner and guide, how cute they were. She asked, "Would Ah-D cross those?" I said, "Sure!" and we were off! Bridges crossed, and on to one of my very favorite trails in Acadia. Jordan Stream is lined in pink granite. I have tried taking pictures of it, but the color does not come through quite as striking as it seems in real life. Speaking of granite, take a look at the color of this! Pink granite, white granite and ?? something blue.