Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Trails and the Keeper of the Secret Garden

My friend/niece Kara and I had a fantastic ride today on Al and my favorite boy Ah-D. We started off by riding to the BRAND NEW TRAIL Kara’s husband Jason created out back on their acreage. It’s awesome, lined by beautiful stone walls and of course leafy green trees. One small section is an extremely steep little hill. Ah-D and I showed Kara and Al how to negotiate it, but Kara decided – next time - since Al was a little trippy today. We came out way down on the power line, and we decided to ride to Back Street the long way. Kara was very excited to be riding the power line. She thought it was so beautiful. The wild flowers were very pretty. I lost the trail at one point (heavy juniper cover and then cattails…hmmm…I didn’t feel safe) , so we took to the woods to find the HUGE oak tree I discovered earlier this year. We posed for pictures and admired this majestic creation. We don’t often see trees this big in Maine. We meandered through the woods a bit, crossed a dried up stream bed and headed back out to the powerline before heading up Back Street. As we passed the home of Rod and were admiring his flowers, I spied him in the garage and started a conversation. We had a great chat, and I was glad Kara was there to also tell him how much his Secret Garden in the woods is enjoyed. He invited us to ride through his back yard anytime to pick up a network of trails that lead to his Garden, and we decided _YES! – we would take him up on it. He mentioned how much his mom Betty loved horses, so we stopped and Betty was thrilled to see horses in her back yard. I rode AhD right up to their back porch so that Betty could pet him. I felt GREAT to be able to give this wonderful neighbor of ours an experience to remember.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back in Training

I have been reading all of your posts and attempting to reply - but for some reason I keep getting kicked back to the login page again and again - so I just have to say that I absolutely love the picture of Aiden and his dam from the Family Reunion post. What a beautiful picture!! What beautiful horses!!!

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

Lyle Under Saddle

Dear Reader,

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.


Penny Johnson

Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Family Reunion

Aiden had his first trailer ride middle of July.  We headed two hours north for a family reunion.  My mother-in-law had asked me long before he was born if I could bring "the baby horse" for all the children to see.  I asked my oldest niece, who is 6, to help me name him.  He loved meeting all the kids and found them not quite as intimidating as us grown ups.  Any time he saw someone near the fence he would wander over for a piece of grass offered to him.  The next day was a potluck with many more people invited and was introduced to yet more children and adults that were just as eager as the children to pet him.  The curlies were a topic of conversation all weekend.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to pony business

Hmm testing. It says on the RAC blog I am not signed in, but under my profile it looks like I can post...........crazy blogger. Most people know we had a major change of plans with my oldest son's surgery this past April so we have been greatly DELAYED in doing much equine activities. Finally things are calming down and the ponies are no longer on vacation. I worked Zephyr and Blue in the roundpen, lifting hooves, roundpenning together (I hope to use them as a pair, but Zephyr is still a bit short so that may not happen), got out the green pool noodle and "beat" them, and word commands for walk-trot-back. They took it like I do it every day, not that they had a 3 month break! I just love my Curly boys :-)

Happy Birthday everyone that has celebrated and I hope to start riding with the upcoming Birthday is Oct 6th...........

Happy Trails!



*Blue Clouds in My Coffee and *Zephyr Blue

Driving and Riding

It has been ridiculously hot here for the past two weeks but on Friday it finally started to break. It gave me a chance to hitch Linus to his new cart for the first time. I took the above picture while I was in the middle of hitching him because it blew me away that he stood there so calm and relaxed while I got him ready. It has been a month since he had harness on and over 5 months since he pulled anything! It was also the first time I had hitched by myself. It was smooth as silk..he listened like he does it every day. I started by showing him the cart, when he tried to bite it I knew he was ok with it...that's his "oh, ok. Carry on", so I moved it behind him and hitched it up. What an easy cart to work with! I walked behind it at first to make sure he was ok with it and then I got in and was surprised by how much I actually liked the style of it!
We did two large circles of the front lawn. I kept where Allie could see him but she still put on quite a show of running, bucking, calling and farting. Linus ignored her and when I brought him back around he wasn't sweaty but she was! He made me so happy that day.
Today was a really nice day and we saddled the horses up to go for a ride. This time I tried his fly mask on over his hackamore and it worked really well. Linus was much happier! We went up the trail beside the farm and through the hayfields. The guy who has hay down there was hauling it home so we met him with his tractor and wagon. The horses were not at all bothered. Allie was a little bit nervous today because we had a very bad wind storm last week so there were lots of downed trees and branches to pass. Linus was rock solid steady though and that really helped keep her calm. He was a dream to ride today. He wanted to trot a bit on the trail but I told him he wasn't ready for that and held him back. He didn't try again.
Happy Belated Birthday to those I missed and I hope everyone has a blast in Vermont this weekend! I so wanted to go but had a wedding to go to yesterday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Joggin the beach for Jessica!

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 long as there is food, he is a happy camper! =]

Happy birthday Krista

Happy Birthday Krista! I hope you have a lovely Curly day!

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

Hot... Hot.... Hot.... In New Hampshire

Phewww..... It's been really hot this past week. That hasn't stopped me from riding though. I've been trying to get out either in the morning or early evening. The temperature difference once you are in the woods has got to be at least 10 degrees cooler.

I'll never meet the goal I set out for this summer (ride at least once a day) - but I'm doing the best I can. I forget that I'll be going away a few days this summer.

Speaking of which... I hope I get to see you all this week up in Springfield, VT at the Curly Horse Convention!

Until Then... happy Trails!!!!

PS Check out Lakota's First Movie on my facebook page

A Visit to the Secret Garden

Boy, was it ever HOT this weekend! Can you see the haze in this picture? Kara and I stopped the Secret Garden on our way to The Quarry.I have a picture hanging in my cubicle at work that is almost identical to this one. I like visiting here!We hung out for a while and admired the view.

The flies were horrible at times, especially in the woods, and I was ever so glad that Ah-D had his fly mask on.Ah-D was incredible. What a good boy! He just went where ever I pointed him. He even backtracked with good humor when I got us lost in the woods. Good thing I had Kara along. She is much more directionally savvy than me, that's for sure, and pointed us back in the correct direction.

I am looking forward to seeing some of my RAC friends later this week at Betsy Lirakis' Top O' The Hill Farm in Vermont. Hope to see you there! -Susan and Ah-D in Maine

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A ride with a Sun Bleached Curly Man

Yes, these photos of our wonderful Chester will explain why we are known as Golden Curls Ranch. He is our man in the winter....

After a little exercising on our counter bending and flexing Chester and I headed out for a nice Summer time ride....

Here's to all our Curly birthday friends...."may your days be filled with Curls".

Angie and Renegait Chesterfield,
Golden Curls Ranch
Kaufman, Texas

Update on Golden Curls American Honey

Hello Curly friends, 
Busy, hot, busy, goes our summer in Texas at Golden Curls Ranch. Here are a few photos of our girl...

American Honey will be the first Curly Mustang to compete in the Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover, September 15-17, 2011. We have been gentling and training our girl in preparation for this competition. Having spent almost 45 days with Honey I can tell you she is a gentle sweet girl. She is extremely smart, has a great memory and is very forgiving...she sounds like our wonderful Curlies doesn't she?
Angie and Golden Curls American Honey
Kaufman, Texas

Another lovely trail ride!

Today I went out for another lovely trailride with Suri. I rode today wioth another rider, Wineke, and her horse.
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

Summer is flying by (sorry it will be long)

Hello Everybody,

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.

First Trail ride with Suri!

Last Sunday I had my first trailride with Suri! It was great and she did so well! As I wrote earlies I had posted an add on a horse forum looking for people with horses to go riding with. Maud was one of the people who reacted and also wanted to go riding so last sunday she came over with her horse and we set out for a trail ride.

For Suri this was very exiting, a new horse and also riding out of the driveway onto the road! She was almost prancing and was very exited. The first couple of 100 meters are along a relatively quiet road (just a few cars and bikes) but soon we came to the challenging parts:) (trail riding in the Netherlands can be quite challenging because it is a small and very densely populated and therefor very bussy country. There are no horsetrails that are just horsetrail, there is ususally a bikepath next to it or also a walking path or the trail is also used by the military or by mountainbikes)

We came to a large road where we had to cross and immedeately go under an overpass. Here I was glad that MauI ds horse went first to give Suri the confidence she needed to follow. Going under the overpass we had to ride on the bikepath so immediately impatient bikers were ringing their bells behind me. I signalled them to please wait (Suri was a bit bouncy) but they started passing left and right anyway. This was a nervous moment but luckily Suri held her calm and nothing happened.

Then we came to the entrance of a castledriveway, this is also the entrance to the woods behind it. There are always some flags but because there were kids camps there were lots of extra beach flags on both sides. Suri was to impressed with being out riding to even notice them I think:)
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.

Then came a long stretch of path along the highway. Here we also trotted a while, she felt as if she was hesitating each time to put her feet down, it was all so exiting! Along the path is a bike path so also many bikes came by.

Then we came onto a different path along the railway. Two trains passed (noisy) ans Suri was fine. Then we crossed the railroad and came onto smaller pathes. Here we met some horses and carriages and also some other riders. We had some more long trots and Suri was getting more relaxed here. After a loop in the path we returned for the same way back and again crossed the railroad and through the tunnel and along the bussy road. She was allready so much quieter on the way back! In total we rode about 1,5 hour and I am very proud of Suri. We met lots of new challenges along the way. She stopped at points to look at things (especially fallen trees which were scary) but she never tried to run or turn around and was always in control. She had her ears forward all the time and was exited to be out. We had a great time and it was a great start to our trail riding!

I hope to go out again soon but I will still go with other horses untill everything is completely normal for Suri. Traffic is very bussy here and I don't want to take risks or scare Suri and give her bad experience.

Maud took a picture with her cellphone of us. Here it is:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finaly blogging again :-)

It has been awhile. A lot happened, sick horses, VERY busy at the B&B (hurray) a new rescue horse we are fostering for Curly horse Rescue and...another flyby.
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

Summertime Riding

Since two litters of Lab pups are now off into new homes, I have been able to trailer out for some fun! Here are some videos and pictures of adventures Ah-D and I have shared recently.Here we are in Norway (Maine) enjoying the beautiful breeze and the view.I trailered over on a whim and was delighted to find out that Doris (on Hero the Appy) was expecting Susanna (on Justin the Morgan) to come over and ride with her. Doris and I jaunted around while waiting for Susanna. It was a glorious day!Here is another Norway view. This is part of a 100 acre field. If you have some spare change, let me know, because it's for sale. (but your pocket had better be darn full)Evening was starting to fall by the time we were done exploring the fields and woods in this area. Ah-D and I were tired and happy.
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

A Break from Getting in Hay

My boy Ian and I had a nice break on Sunday. In between loads of hay, we trailered over to Poland, Maine to ride with my friend Ulla on her Loop. Ulla and I do The Loop in about an hour, but it was a lot slower with Fat Albert along, so oopsies, we were late to pick up a wagon, but oh well. The barn is full nonetheless.
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

Hot July Parade

I feel so far behind on blogging. But I do come on almost daily to see what other folks have been up to with their curly horses. We have sold our truck so we haven't been able to leave the farm and MN has closed all state parks with the government shutdown. (We are looking for a new one again) So all we have been doing is riding at home when the weather hasn't been so incredibly hot! I even have saddled him english and worked on my posting. Saturday evening we had the city parade which is a manditory parade for those on the posse to ride it. I was able to catch a ride with another member so we wouldn't miss it, being truckless. This is Marley's first parade with all the sparkley floats, bands, and other exciting things going on. He handled everything very well, I think I was more nervous than he was on how he was going to behave and listen to my cues for doing manuvers. After about the first block and a half he had really got into the grove of things and seemed like he was enjoying himself :) One of the manuvers we do is we all go to the curb and salute the folks and I mean we get right up to the curb. At one of our stops like that, there was a little boy that stretched out his hand and Marley brought his nose right down to him to get a quick pet. That little guy was so happy he did that for him. Till next time...Hoping we find a truck soon and the parks will reopen again! (the picture on the left, I am looking at my son so I am like the only one facing backwards, 6th horse from the right)

Marley & Dana

Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Trail Ride

Today Linus and Allie had their first trail ride. Linus has been on trails on the halter and while being ground driven. He LOVES trails, fields and bushes. I think being on the road is a bit boring for him. He is usually content to plod along behind Allie. Today, he was not impressed being behind her when we turned them onto the trail. He kicked it up a gear and I had to for the first time, hold him back! I don't yet want to let him go! He did sneak in a few beats of trot here and there but I was quick to bring him back. It was nice to see him so fresh, even nicer though that he still respected me. That's not to say he was perfect. He did buck once after I got back on after tightening his girth. But, I hadn't paid attention to where Allie went and she had gone around a little grove that was near the back corner of the field so he couldn't see her. I stayed on and soon had his attention and we rejoined Dad and Allie.
As it would turn out, Dad should have taken my lead and tightened his girth at the same time! I'll explain why in a bit.

Here we are headed back up the trail. Linus was ok now with not being the leader. As you can see his mane is getting long enough (for anyone new this year I clipped it all off last year!) now that his "combover" is coming back. It would show even more but I have to keep his bridle path trimmed because it drives him up the wall having hair folded or pulled under his halter or hackamore.

Of course, Essa joined us today! Good thing these aren't our bales of hay. While the hay isn't too bad (it got a bit of rain) the baler sure didn't pack or tie them tight! Linus loosened a couple because he loves to try to knock them over. I stopped that though because the farmer is going to have enough trouble loading them without them falling apart (my boss' husband!)

Here is Linus dried off and chilling out after our ride. I soaked him good with hose, which he loves. That's nice because last year he hated it! This year he even drinks straight from it!
Now back to the girth issue. Once we came up the driveway from our ride Dad decided to go into the hayfield that borders the pasture. Allie had never been down here before. At one point she startled at what we later discovered to be a small branch but positioned exactly like a snake about to strike. When she startled, her needed to be tightened saddle slipped which startled her even more. Dad almost had it righted enough to calm her when she went sideways and so did the saddle. Needless to say Dad not to gracefully came off. Allie, now panicked by the more sliding saddle, took off. I quickly got off Linus before we had an accident. Allie's saddle slipped right under her and she really took off. I was proud of Linus who even with all the commotion of Allie taking off, still listened to me. He did get wound up, understandably I think, but he still knew enough to listen to me. At one point I had to let him go or else Allie would have ran right over me, but even then he didn't take off. He actually went to her and Dad was able to grab the reins and calm the poor, freaked out Allie. He soon got her saddle off. Linus walked back over to me (man I love this horse!) and I too removed his saddle. In a way, he saved the day by retrieving Allie and also by remaining calm in a situation where many horses would have bolted with their fleeing pasture mate.
We cooled them down, sponged Allie, hosed Linus and gave them a rest. Then we put the saddle back on Allie and Dad got back on just to let her know everything was still ok. She was good. We took the saddle off then walked both horses to the scene of the incident and that's when we found the horse eating branch. Dad felt pretty bad because the whole thing could have been avoided and I also should have asked him how her girth was when I checked that of Linus. We were very lucky that nobody was hurt or too shaken up by it.
I shared a story with Dad that I had been told about checking and/or tightening the girth 3 times before mounting and then again about 10 minutes into the ride. He admitted to knowing better but said we were nearly done and that was the last thing he expected. Anyway, hard lesson learned but we are thankful it went the way it did and everyone is none the worse for wear.
Dad really wishes he had the chance to start Allie the way I did with Linus. She has a good heart and is a beautiful mover but has been made so nervous by her past treatment. She has come on leaps and bounds since coming to us in April. I'm glad she is ok but I am so happy that in a really stressful situation, Linus pulled through for me.
So, unfortunately we didn't yet get to try our new wheels but hopefully this week! I'm really looking forward to driving again.
Be safe everyone!!
Donna & Linus

Lunenburg , ON Canada

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It's true...that nickname for Linus has really stuck over the last while. Notice how we always try to have a pet name end in "ey" or "ee". I apologise up front for any major spelling errors...heat and I are not compatible as I've mentioned before and usually the first thing to go are speech and spelling. So please be patient with me.
I am embarrassed with my recent amount of blogs. I just haven't had the time to write. But I have been spending time with my boy. He's great. I have noticed though that he prefers winter weather to summer weather. I must remember to ask Lynn if Lucy or Moon are like this too. Linus can be so sluggish in the summer. He is in a pasture with plenty of shade so I think he is just like me and doesn't like the heat. So, we try to do our work in the evening or morning when it is cooler.
I finally found a cart for him too! It's kind of more like an exercise bike. It's really light and I'm hoping tomorrow will be our first hitch in it. I am so looking forward to driving him again. But I am a bit wound up over trying a light cart. I know if he really wants to go he can go in it! it's really made me realise how brave harness racers are! And I haven't even tried it yet! But I am looking forward to it. I'm so glad I kept up his ground driving while I looked for a new cart.
We haven't done any riding since Canada Day. Dad was saying tonight after a few more rides he is going to let Allie step it up a notch but I told him I'm not letting Linus go until next year. I want to make sure I don't overdo it with him. I want to keep it light and fun and let him mature. When he is about 4 or 5 I will look for a cart that will carry more people. I have too much of a good thing to ruin it.
Dad has gotten back into hoof trimming (he used to always do his own) and Linus is looking really well. I noticed though that the flies had laid some eggs on his legs (it looks like hay seed if you've never seen it and it can be pretty sticky). Last year they brushed out easy but this year they were harder. If anyone has noticed the same issue (I should have taken a picture!) I used a "grooming block" that I had from TSC and it instantly took them off his hair. The grooming blocks look like a mini cinder block. They are great for getting out dirt at skin level and loose, dead hairs. I use them on the show cows even though they are marketed for horses.
Hopefully I will have pictures tomorrow for you...maybe of Linus under saddle and hitched again! It's been a while since I put pictures up. He is starting to fill out more in the quarters and seems to be getting a more balanced look to him again. It's so much fun watching a horse grow up. I was telling Lynn (Homefire Curly Horses where Linus was bred and born) that I am so happy I took the path I did in getting a youngster and raising it. Linus had a great start from Day 1 at Homefire and has grown into my dream horse.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another view of Acadia - Jordan Stream

I have been having some wonderful rides around home, mostly bareback, but I wanted to share one more of my Acadia experiences with you.

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.

It poured this day, and we came back soaking wet, but the ride was still excellent!Ah-D bonded quickly with Ray. We had none of the issues you sometimes experience when riding with hormonal mares.The trees around the Jordan Stream trail remind me of something you might see in Lord of the Rings. We also passed by some tall cliffs on a different trail.Look how the babytrees have started to grab a foothold in this one halfway up the cliff.Changing the subject, Denise, here are a couple of pictures I took during one of those bareback rides I took around home one evening when we did a "Ride with Me." Check out how tall this grass is! Up to Didder's eyes.Happy trails everyone! -Susan and Ah-D in Maine