Thursday, February 28, 2013

Outside of the box.....pasture

Just a short note to tell a little story that happened this afternoon.  I took Corky for a short ride before dark and after I put him back in the pasture I went and got his and Rocky's hay for the night.  The gate is getting stuck in the snow now that we have so much, so I pushed the gate open and turned around to go get the wheelbarrow.  Usually this isn't a problem, but the gate was open just enough that ..... yup, Corky snuck through.  Of course, my first reaction was to get too excited since our gate is near the road, but I calmed myself quickly and called him.  He walked over to a huge pile of snow from plowing ignoring my requests.  About two seconds later he did turn around, but then found some spilled grain and settled for that.  I remembered that he had learned to go where I pointed, so I pointed through the gate, all the while trying to make sure Rocky didn't escape too!  Corky wasn't cooperating and started through the path to the yard toward the house.  At least it wasn't toward the road.  I didn't have a rope halter or lead rope or anything near.  It was all in the house.  I decided I would have to go to the house and get one, when Corky turned and looked at me.  I motioned with my arm in a "come" fashion and he came to me.  Then I pointed into the pasture again through the gate and he went!  Yup, I'm just beaming.  I LOVE my boy Corky!  And, yes, he got a treat for that.  I did have them on me.

A "Charming" ride!

Today was *Charm's turn to take a few turns around the arena and well, I thought I would lunge her first - she is a real "go-go" kinda girl :)  Well, go-go is putting it mildly today!  She was on fire LOL.  I lunged her for at least 45 minutes - now, understand for me this is never just running around and getting rid of energy, (goodness knows that Charm will never have a lack of energy!) I always use lunging for training purposes.  In fact, I never allow a horse to run around on the lunge line and even rarely allow them to do this in the arena.  I figure they have 22/23 hours a day to run around and on my time (1-2 hours) they can behave....
So, I used the lunging time to reinforce in Charm how nice it is to have a rhythm and also to reach for the contact and go long and low (so important!).  So when she was finally being sensible about it all :)  I hopped on her and we did the same from the saddle.  Now when I got on I was actually expecting her to be quite full of herself, but no!  She was focused and lovely and soft to ride - such a good girl!
Charm does require a "very" tactful rider, one with an independent seat that will not hang on her mouth - hanging on her mouth will get you a "very" fast and forward ride!
Anyhow, I love how soft and light she was for me - and it was unexpected!  I thought she would be a handful!  A good day in the saddle for sure!
Shelly in Summerland

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Figuring things out

At the request of his owner, on Monday the equine CMT came out to look at *Relic.  I don't remember if I mentioned that since I began working with him a few months ago he has been quite distracted, he has improved a lot, but still quite reactive and difficult to get him to focus and keep focused.
So, a couple of weeks ago I had Anastasia riding him and she really felt like not only was he out of balance, but that he had a lot of muscle development on his right side and not much on the left.  Enough of a difference that we had to lengthen the stirrup on the right just to balance the saddle.  So I mentioned it to his owner and she agreed to have a CMT come out and assess and treat him.  The first time the CMT came she was very surprised at the amount of atrophy on his left side (no idea how this happened to him!) but she did a lot of massage work on him and he was quite sore after that.  She came back about a week later (this past Monday) and did some more work, including an adjustment of his pelvis (with help from Anastasia).  We were all very surprised at how much different his hips looked after the adjustment!  I worked him yesterday (Tuesday) on the lunge line and he was like a changed horse!  Hardly any attitude at all and he was focused and relaxed.
The plan is to have the chiropractor assess and adjust him on March 5th and in the meantime I will continue to work him on the lunge and try to improve his bend and help him to reshape his muscles.  Once he is really feeling better, I will continue with his saddle training.
This long story is for a reason.  One of my strong opinions is that if a horse is misbehaving or behaving in an unexpected way that the first thing that must be checked is if they are in pain.  It didn't occur to me that he was in pain as he was quite consistent, distracted but consistent - I assumed it was simply the way he is, but I broke my own rule in this!
So this is a lesson for me and anyone else who cares to listen to me - LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR HORSE IS TELLING YOU!

Okay - now that is out of they way, a quick update on *Flame - she is a star!  She is doing so well, calm, forward, trotting under saddle, she is nearly ready to take out on the trail.  Once it dries up on the roadways just a bit more I will be taking her out. 

Today I took my lovely little *Serenade out for a quick trail ride - she is just such a joy to ride and handle, I do love her to bits :)

Finally, this past Sunday I was so lucky to have (on loan) a tiny new addition to our farm!  Please everyone welcome little *Patty Cake - she is one of the smallest mini Curlies in the world, in fact she is one of the top three smallest!  I know I am not riding her :)  but I am working with her in hand to improve her training and prepare her for taking her places.  Here are 13 of my horses lining the fence to ogle the little girl LOL
Shelly in Summerland, BC

A connection

Hello All,
    I keep telling my self "this will be the last snow strom or this will be the last really cold day...." and then we get another one.  I'm going to give up any hope for an early spring and just assume we have another month of winter left.

So Abby is doing okay after her several vet appointments but she is down to only being ridden 10 minutes at a time at a walk :-(    We are both so bored but it's for the best.  I just hop on her bareback with a halter and walk around.  To keep it fun I've been trying to steer her with only my seat and legs if needed.  She is very good at feeling any movement I make so we've done a few figure eights and stuff with no contact to the face.  We were suppose to go to a clinic in Ill this weekend but the Vet said no so I'll be riding a different horse in it.  I'm still planning on taking her to the Midwest Horse Fair which is coming up all too quickly.  Our Curly group did such a great job last year at the fair that we've scored an awesome location in one of the front barns and both of our breed demos will be in the main Coliseum so I'm pretty excited about that!

Theo and I have been getting back our "connection" he's relaxed alot in the last week.  We went to a clinic on Saturday with the trainer I've been taking lessons with.  We both are having a hard time getting Theo's right lead so we worked on that some as well as asking Theo to raise his poll and sit back on his haunches more for 2nd level work.  The poor guy trys so hard and he thinks he knows what you want so he keeps doing walk to canter transitions before he's asked but if he gets the wrong lead he will immediately stop and trot.  Last night I think we had a break through though because he picked up the right lead three times!  I've been trying my Farriers Freedom treeless saddle out on him and I really think it's helping him relax over his topline especially in his loin which he normally holds a little tension.  I'm almost completely sold on them I just need to ride a little bit more to make sure it's not causing any soreness. 
The biggest news though is today I should have a package in the mail and in that package will be Theo's heart rate monitor so we can start training based on heart rate for endurance.  It will also log the miles we ride out side and I can save everything on the computer and make charts (I'm a nerd)!  It will also allow me to see instandtly how quickly he recovers to a normal heart rate after working which is key to understanding how fit he is. I'm sure Theo is just as excited...

I"ll keep you all updated on thier progress!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I think I've mentioned my friend, Jan, that I ride with occasionally.  She has rode horses probably all her life, but has a disease similar to MS, so while riding is still very possible for her it can be a challenge at times.  This morning the temps were in the mid to high 20's and I had asked her to come over to ride here as I didn't have to work until the afternoon.  She has lots of trails by her house, but the snow has gotten too deep and so she's waiting for a spring thaw. 

She usually rides gaited horses and I have a couple of those, so I got the shorter one out and saddled her up for Jan.  We were having a nice ride and had went around the trails completely once and Jan asked if I wanted to go again and I was game!  As we started out again, we stopped to talk a little bit about a new logging trail near my house that I'm very excited about.  There aren't any trails that go in a complete loop.  Everything ends at a swamp.  But this new logging trail used to be an old road and we aren't positive yet, but I think I'm going to have about a 7 mile loop through the woods finally.  Possibly two trails if I get the neighbors' permission to ride on their land in the second area they're logging, when it isn't hunting season. 

Anyway, as we're sitting on the horses just chatting, all of a sudden Dixie gets it in her head that she's heading for home.  She turns very quickly and Jan gets her stopped but the saddle is sideways a little.  Jan's reflexes aren't what they used to be and her strength is diminishing unfortunately, but she managed to get the saddle upright again.  So we start out again and I suggested we just keep moving and talking.  Well, Dixie heard our other horse Kayla calling and Dixie turned for home again and the saddle was really sideways this time.  Thank goodness for breast collars, because Jan would have been upside down!  I quickly got off Corky and tried to push Jan up, but I just couldn't.  So we got Jan down and I tried to get the saddle straightened back up, which I did, but the blanket was bunched wrong.  Jan commented about this time that I had really nice horses considering all the commotion and they just stood there while I was trying to get things right again.  I knew we couldn't get back on Dixie without completely resaddling her, so I suggested to Jan that she get on Corky. 

Jan has trouble getting on and off horses because she needs a taller horse for her height, but her disability makes it hard to mount and dismount without a mounting block because of the height of the horse.  Corky is about a hand shorter than Dixie and Dixie is about 14.1 or 2, but I told Jan "I think you can get your foot in his stirrup and then I'll push you up.  You can ride him back and I'll walk Dixie back."  Corky took it all in stride and I could tell Jan wanted to keep riding, so I told her to keep going and I would see her back at the house.  As I was putting things away, Jan showed up on Corky.

Jan on Corky!
To me Corky has always had a smooth gait for being such a short horse and I thought it was either a fluke or I've also wondered if he has the Curly shuffle.  One of the first things Jan said was "He has like a running walk.  He's just awesome to ride!"  I told her I had wondered but I hadn't had anyone watch him.   So her comment kind of confirmed what I suspected.

Maybe the ride wasn't what I expected today, but you never know!  It was nice to get out with a friend!   

Sledding with Marley

I haven't posted much this year yet, hoping to do alot more as the year goes on. I also got told to not be such a weenie and get out and enjoy riding in the snow. I broke my thumb at the end of January and it is in a small brace so some things have been a little awkward to do. But my husband came home last Friday and seen me out with Marley and our youngest doing this....."Oh so you can't do this or that, but you where able to saddle and get on your horse!" He just thought it was funny on priorities. Thumb should be as good as new by mid-March.  We had a few more inches of snowfall but the temp was finally out of the sub zero area. I thought I would like to take the opportunity to refresh Marley on some of our posse training. Certifications are coming up quickly again for the year as well as clinics, events, parades, and competitions.
Getting the line prepped for the ride. The other 2 horses had to check out that funny green circle thing.  They even followed it around for a while.  Hoping one day they too will be willing to pull something without getting goofy.

Trying to figure out how fast we can go "Not to fast Mom"

I think we finally figured out how to stay in the sled. 

Ok line is good, found a seat, lets go! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back from the edge...

This winter has been different. We had a lot of rain and warmth in January, it finally now has gotten cold and the snow is on the ground. Since about Christmas, I've been fighting some kind of flu/cold thing with light fever and a bad cough. It goes away, and then comes back. I had to miss out on several traditional celebrations here, and during Carnival it was about all I could do to get through all my commitments. My husband was home during this time, to help with the work, but after that he was again out of town and I was alone with the chores. Laying in bed, again with fever, I called a friend. She's a taxi driver who helps out at another farm caring for ponies and llamas. She sounded worse than I did on the phone, bad cough and in bed. I told her I needed help, asked if she knew anyone. The old-fashioned rumor mill was turned on (we call it Radio Grass Mountain, the telephone exchange between neighbors and friends that means in about 2 hours, the entire town knows there's a problem).

In the morning of the next day, I was slow to get started with feeding, husband would be away the entire week. I felt doomed. But, all of a sudden, I heard a young voice outside shouting my name! I open the door in my long johns, not yet dressed in snow gear, and there was Christine. She had done a practical with me 5 or 6 years ago. A young women who is now a teacher at the Agricultural school for Horse Business! With a big grin and her strong young body, she says, I heard you need some help! I nearly crumble, I'm saved. Thank goodness for Radio Grass Mountain.

Turns out, she'd been walking with friend when the friend told her, her father had heard that I need help and they had asked him to come check it out. But, that he didn't have any horse experience. I had received a call from my Taxi Driver friend, that I should call him (as the telephone tag group had called her with his number). But, when Christine had heard from his daughter that I was in trouble, she said, I know Karen! I can do it! And, that was that.

After working out the conditions, we spent the week cleaning up the stalls and getting everything back into shape. A wonder, and well needed. Although, I've still got the cough and fever, I couldn't let her do everything alone, so we worked together. She enjoyed it so much, and I was so very grateful. In the end yesterday, we were done with catching up, it was time to ride. I saddled up Lark, and we were out in the roundpen. First I on board, showed her again the cues, the seat the hands, and how to turn. It had been 5-6 years after all since she'd ridden, then up she went! Working on her seat and hands, her legs, and letting the horse's movement work through the hips, all the while keeping the upper body relaxed and still. Christine beamed. Then, dismount, and I was back up to show her again, the seat, hands, legs, and movement of the body. I haven't seen two people happier in ages! She'll be helping out regularly from now on, so that my health can improve! Yeah!

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you..."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A much needed ride!

I started a new job this past week as Administrative Assistant at an elementary school, which has been exciting, yet stressful.  The sadness of leaving my friends at my previous job was almost overwhelming.  I worked at a Real Estate office for over 3 years as an Office Manager and made well over 50 dear friends.  The last day was filled with lots and lots of hugs and tears.  Last weekend was spent worrying about my new job, and then this week was spent having the stress of learning new things and feeling the embarrassment of NOT knowing the answers to the parents many questions.  The good thing is that, for the most part, my new co-workers are very friendly and helpful and have made me feel welcome.  The ride today was much needed!  My husband decided he did not want to ride so it was just my friend, Lara, and me.  Shya seemed in good spirits when I loaded her in the trailer so I thought to myself "this will be a nice relaxing ride", but she had other things in mind.  She was calm while I saddled her (which is her norm), and she tolerated me mounting and un-mounting numerous times in an attempt to get my stirrup leathers just the right length (oops, left mine at home, luckily Lara had an extra set).  It was as we headed down the road that the attitude started, so I asked her to trot, to which she replied with her teenage girl head toss. Each time I asked something of her she would swish her tail and toss her head.  She had not done this for a very long time, so to say the least, I was concerned.  Was her girth to tight, did she have a stone in her hoof, a burr under her saddle pad?  Nope.  She continued the attitude as we headed down the mountain.  I stopped to lower my stirrup, while in the saddle, and she continued with the attitude, spinning and trying to head back to the trailer.  I corrected her and headed her down the road again.  Then I realized that I had actually raised my stirrup instead of lowering it, so I tried to fix it again and the attitude started again.  That is when I decided it was time to hop off.  I lowered the stirrup and decide to do some ground work with her.  It took only about a minutes time and her attitude disappeared.  I hopped back on and the rest of the ride was enjoyable and relaxing.  It is so nice to have her at the level of training she is at so that just a quick reminder brings her back to me.  I am not sure if it was the fact that a set of horses went another direction or if she remembered that her last ride had been so stressful that had given her an attitude.  After we got home, Mark decided to trim her hooves.  Usually she is a bit dancey and will not let him use the hoof stand.  Today she stood quietly (except when all the cows started moo-ing) and even allowed him to use the hoof stand on all four hooves.  We both were so proud of her and rewarded her with an apple.  She has come so far and I credit her with all the changes.  Sure I have worked with her but it is completely her choice to accept the training.  I love my Shya!

A 2-week hiatus!

I forgot the camera of course, but after not riding for 2 weeks, Corky and I finally got out yesterday!  The temps had warmed to 30 degrees after having a true UP winter storm earlier in week.  Before that I was downstate visiting and then I had been sick too!  What a bummer not to ride during that time! 

Yesterday my husband suggested he ride his horse, so we ventured out on our trails.  Most of the trails in our area are too deep with snow, but my wonderful husband spent about 4 or 5 mornings plowing ours, because Corky had started refusing to go, as one of my last posts had told you.  So we started out and Corky was glad to get out!  My husband's horse is lucky if she gets out 6 times a year, so I'm never sure what our ride with her is going to be like, because she's unpredictable and will probably never get past the greenbroke stage.  I had told him to go ahead and get her ready, because it usually takes him awhile and she usually doesn't cooperate with bridling.  By the time I got out (I had to finish a cake I was making), he was already!  I was impressed! 

Corky and I started out leading, but just like our last ride we got to the quarter mile mark and he refused to go straight.  He wanted to just do the quarter mile loop.  He was remembering how deep that snow was and was refusing.  So Kirk urged Kayla onward and she took the lead, so then Corky followed.  I'm not real fond of Kayla leading because like I said she can be unpredictable, so I kept my distance in case she decided to throw a fit.  Corky was enjoying the ride and to my delight, so was Kayla.  She was interested in the scenery and was in a good mood.  We continued once around the trails and Kirk felt Kayla was tired because she's so out of shape, so he said he was done.

Our dog Chance meanwhile was having a fit back in the yard because she's gotten used to coming with me and Corky, and Kirk didn't want her with Kayla, and I wasn't done riding, so I asked him to let her out and off Corky and I went again, along with Chance.  I wanted to see if Corky would go past the quarter mile mark without giving me any trouble.  Sure enough we got to the quarter mile mark and he stopped.  I gave him a slap in the rump and a hard squeeze and he went forward!  I was so happy!  My gut instinct was that Corky was refusing because of the deep snow before and I think I was right!

The sun has been out the entire weekend and I really wanted to get back out today, but no such luck.  Things just kept happening and it just wasn't possible. 

I do have some really happy news about Rocky!  As some of you knew, Rocky's teeth had grown at an alarming rate and had caused huge problems with his mouth.  He won't be 3 until next month, but he had points on his teeth like a teenage horse who had never had a float.  He's been being treated for about 2 months now and about a month ago he started playing like he should have been all along, but never has since he has lived here.  We have been keeping him separated because he wasn't putting up for himself at all and the other horses were very mean to him.  But in the last month we had noticed he was antagonizing the other horses across the fence and he wanted in, so we decided to try it the last 2 days during the daylight hours and he's doing great!  The other horses are leaving him alone except for normal herd behavior.  He definitely is on the mend and we are tickled!

Hope everyone has a good week!

What A Week!

A more hectic week would just not have been possible! There wasn't much horsey time this week but we were able to make up for some of it today. Linus gets bored easily so he was pretty desperate to get out and do something!!
I brushed him out - shedding like crazy!! We used the bareback pad and tried the fleece-nosed hackamore again. It seems to work well but I'm still not yet 100% sure it's the one for us.
My boy was very full of himself and pretty brisk today. No cantering yet Susan but some playful bucks didn't worry me or unseat me so I'm even more confident!
We had a good ride and I was very pleased that even though he was feeling the milder weather he was still tuned in to me and respected me.
My new book "Trick Training Your Horse" came last week so I have some reading to do!! I'm hoping that trying some of the tricks will be a good way to entertain and engage Linus on days where getting out for a ride just isn't possible.
My nephew was playing on the snowhill with my son so at least I had a photographer today!! The picture from the top of the hill is kind of funny - something that actually makes Linus look small!! Today's gate assisted mounting was Almost kind of graceful! : )
Donna & Linus
Lunenburg, On (NOT Montreal, Quebec as the live traffic feed thinks! Lol)
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Winter Trip to Marshall Pond

Snow was heavy in the air yesterday when I saddled up Ah-D and headed for Marshall Pond. As best I can remember, I have never been to Marshall Pond in the winter time, but I felt adventurous and comfortable that the trails would not be icy, as snowmobiles are not allowed on the Hebron Academy's cross country trails which would take me there.
We headed down the road, and stopped at my church to take a picture.
The Hebron Community Baptist Church is over 200 years old, and pre-dates the Academy by a decade or so. The bell in the tower rings out the time every hour.  It rang out 11:00 as we were leaving.  I love hearing it when I am outside to do chores in the evenings. We made our way down to the trails, avoiding any icy spots.  Ah-D was game to step into some pretty deep snow spots as I asked him.  What a good boy he is!
This is him asking me, "Are you sure you want to go this way?" He dislikes going to Marshall Pond when we don't have company. On every other solo ride, he used every excuse he could muster to turn around and head for home, but today he was really good!

Looking back towards the Academy

Here we are on the cross country,snowshoeing, skiiing trails. You can see why I like to take these trails. At first, I stayed to the side of the trail, like the signs told me to, so we didn't pocket it up for the skiiers, but there really hadn't been that many people out here and it was too much work for Ah-D on the deep sides.  Besides, snow was heavy in the air.  So, we stuck to the middle.
Every time I come out to these trails, I think of Denise Conroy. There are cedars that line the Marshall Pond trail in many spots, and cedars are not common in Maine where I live. Once, I was looking at beautiful snow covered evergreens in Denise's pictures, and trying to figure out just what type of trees they were.  Well, Denise, who we all know lives in CEDARville, MI, did not say, "Susan, you moron, they are CEDARS, hellooooo!!!" but instead she was very nice and polite like she always is and let me know what type of evergreen they are.  I have never forgotten that conversation and it comes to mind every time I see a cedar now.
There was very little trotting and cantering going on, the snow was too deep.  Once in a while, we would charge up a hill.  It was peaceful and quiet.  I noticed one brave soul walked for about two miles, fresh tracks on the trail, but I was comfortable watching the tracks because he was headed in the other direction.  I still felt like I had company.  After a while, all tracks but one lone cross country skiier had ceased.  That skiier had gone all the way to the pond.
Overlooking Marshall Pond
Retrieving my gloves
We made it! The spot behind us here is actually part of the pond.  It is marshy on this end, and these are swamp-type grasses that grow in the pond.
By the time we had made our way here, I was pretty chilly.  We headed for home, but not at a pace that was any faster, very unusual for Ah-D.  He was thirsty, and kept stopping to eat snow.  There were two places where springs offered water, and he let me know that he really wanted to try them out, but I didn't let him because the bankings were steep, slippery and dangerous this time of year.  Instead, I just let him stop and eat snow any time he wanted to.  It was very pleasant.  He was so relaxed and happy (other than being thirsty) and so was I (other than being chilled to the bone).
When we got back home, Ah-D had a nice long drink out of the heated water tank, and I spent an hour hunkered down by the wood stove heating my core, reading a good book.  We were out three hours! It was an incredibly wonderful ride, and I'm so glad we made it all the way to the pond.  It was snowing by the time we were halfway home, and it is STILL snowing.  Spring is not here yet in the northeast!

Friday, February 22, 2013

*Bijou, *Flame and *Relic

Well, yesterday I was lucky enough to get the time to ride our wonderful mare *Bijou!  We adore this mare!  She is so well trained (thank you Anastasia!),  and light on the aids, willing to go forward and yet calm, safe, awesome!
We sometimes do partial leases on our horses and we have a gal who is riding *Bijou to regain her riding strength and confidence while her young/green horse is with a trainer and of course she LOVES *Bijou :)  Anyhow, while one of our horses is being ridden by someone else, we always ride them too, to make sure they are behaving and also remembering their correct training - so it was my turn to get on her and I had a lovely ride as always!
I am not sure if you can see it, but last year I found this bridle for *Bijou - it has a fancy browband with "B's" across it - I love it!

I also worked with *Relic - his training is advancing, but more slowly - horses do teach us patience eh?

But it is *Flame who is the star - I had my first solo trot on her yesterday - she was light, swinging, willing and forward - what a GOOD girl!
Shelly in Summerland, BC

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cinderella and Bucky

Today was a busy day, I have to deal with 2 horses!
with cinderella I started in the paddock ....
 then I tried again to go outside, there was built a new barn and Cinderella found that very exciting so she was didn't wanted to go there .... I get off and I know that's not good! I walked further, later I get back in the saddle and there was a ball in the ditch, very scary offcourse!!! So again she stopped and began to sniff hard ...... she didn't want to walk anymore so I get out the saddle again! I know ... it's ... not good.
Then I walked with her just beside her all along all the scary places ..... it was a lot better! Then I get back in the saddle (climbedin into the saddle) and I ride her again the same round! everything was going verry well and I'm proud off both of us!

Then I get Bucky from his stable and brushed him ... he's very funny and tried al the time to play with me! he has broken my candy box, so he could eat all the candy!

.... I trie to take him away of the candy, he didn't want to!I had to pull verry hard! I wanted him lunging and I know he can but he was playing  with me and did very obstinate ... he just does not like it!
when I go out walking with him, it's all perfect .... you need at least a bomb beside him, to scare him! ... he just thinks everything is funny!
For 2 years I am wanted to have this pony ... whene I had my curly mare Rose (before Cinderella)

I wanted this pony, now I have him..I can't believe!Thank you Louise Parker....

7 horses worked yesterday!

Well, not all by me.... but I did ride two and work two that I put Anastasia on for some lunging/riding (they are green).

My real pleasure though was riding my wonderful mare *Tessa - I haven't had a chance to ride her since last summer and it was such a treat to get on "my" horse and enjoy her wonderful advanced training after riding all these greenies!

No pictures of her and me - but here is one of us from last year.
Shelly and Tessa in Summerland, BC

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Curly horses on TV show

We have been very busy the last couple of weeks. Not only just try to do my regular riding ( in between the rain rain rain). But cleaning, preparing for being filmed.
That was some experience. We where contacted by KET tv ( Kentucky educational television). They have a TV show called Kentucky Live and they feature interesting things in Kentucky. From B&B's to Bourbon trails, all kinds of crafts and farms. They wanted to do an item of our B&B and Curly horses in South KY.
Boy was I nervous, specially during the interview since I still have a "Dutch" accent. But they thought it was cute.
We invited some people to come over and ride our Curly horses. I choose 3 of the geldings to ride and all three are totally different so you could see the diversity of the Curly horses.
Jake, a tall gaited micro curl gelding, Warrior Freedom, I see him as the foundation curly, and Moose Pony size extreme curly.
They also filmed the mares and our filly HCR Faith out of our stallion Lydiker.
I have no idea how much B&B and how much Curly there will be in the actual show, but the host/producer Dave Shuffet assured me to be prepared to get a lot of feedback and questions about curly horses after it has been on TV. It will be on tv on April 6 but we will get a link to share so everybody can see it online too.
Can't wait to see the end result. We did made some pictures during filming.
It was to cold to wear my RAC t-shirt. But I did where my INCREDIBLE CURLY Hoody, Denise ;-)

 Jake the big one, need a step to check if the saddle is good in place...and yes to mount too.
Handsome Jake with his one blue eye.

Here they are.

 The interview

 Preparing to go on the trails, everybody needs to go in the arena first to get used to their horses and the horses to the riders. Marion's rules sorry guys ;-)

 Dave Shuffet riding and filming. Hope he got the Curly ears good on this one, that would be a awesome shoot.

 Getting ready

Here comes spring!

Well, I have been riding most days - but it has only been short pony rides on the two horses I am currently starting under saddle.  The first one belongs to my friend Cheryl Murphy, his name is *Reluctant Magic - here he is with my daughter on him - he is a really good boy and although he has quite a bit of "go", he is coming along really well.

The other horse I am currently saddle training is my mare *My New Flame - she is a 2006 mare that I have started a few times over the past couple of years but things seem to get in the way of us making progress - such as winter time.... foals (she has had 2), but THIS year is her year to be ridden.....!  And she is making great progress - such a good girl - can you see how happy I am? LOL

I should comment that she actually has a long and full tail :(  I had an orphan colt that I "adopted" last year and he at the tails off of three mares and my other three foals - I was less than pleased as you might imagine.... here is a picture of her with a full tail!

Finally, this past Sunday my partner, Warren, asked if I wanted to get out for a trail ride - well..... I wasn't really feeling like it as I had already worked two horses and well, we have had a lot of snow and I am not fussy about the ice and slippery, hilly trails that we have - but since it was a lovely sunny day I agreed to go.  Well!  I was SO glad that I did - we had a wonderful ride on trails that were snow packed in places, other places not - but the footing was pretty good overall and I took my favorite trail horse *Serenade and she was just marvelous as usual!  I didn't get pictures of us, but I am including a "file" picture of us - this was last winter when we didn't have much snow - but you get the idea :)

Happy trails!
Shelly in Summerland,

a perfect day...a perfect gift

Well offcourse  I payed for the gift (hahah)
To day our sweet curly pony arrived! he is a sweetheart stole my heart in 1 second!
We are verry happy!
He was scared offcourse because of his trip but in 2 hourse he was verry happy.

My oldest daughter asked him...can I have a kiss???...both my kids get 100 kisses!
Now we give him some time to relax and tomorrow I will brush him and trie to go out on a trip with Cinderella......I show you some pictures again!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Curiosity (just about) killed the cat but the Curly was fine

This winter has been a harsh one in Manitoba. In between severe weather and an intense work schedule I have had few opportunities where the stars aligned to get in much riding.

So the time came and I saddled up Spirit on Wednesday afternoon. We had a mild break in the weather. I decided to ride in the arena with the trainer at Bar W who was working with a young and skittish mare.

I had just closed the large overhead door behind me and was preparing to mount when.... I heard the most God awful inhuman noise ever. It was a cross between screaming, yowling, yelling and absolute terror! 
I pulled the reins back over his ears so I could hold Spirit, and looked around for the source of the noise. His eyes were big and his head was high. I looked behind me and saw the barn cat, Barney, attempting to scale the overhead door which was now in motion.

I don't know where he came from, but evidently he signaled the sensor and the door had reversed, and was now going up... and up... above my head, with him hanging by his paws which were now pinched in the door!

My instinct was to reach out and support him until help could come. I had one hand on the cat, one hand holding the reins. Spirit was so good to stand there without panicking. It could have been worse had he reared or turned and ran, as my attention was on the screaming and biting wildcat at the end of my left hand, and not on my horse.

The poor kitty went crazy with fear and I had to let go of Spirit so I could help the cat. He stood there for a moment, then turned neatly and trotted over to the other horse. The poor young mare totally freaked when all of the noise started, and ran through the mounting block, pulverizing it but luckily not getting hurt. Fortunately the trainer hadn't mounted yet, as she was a whirling dervish! By this point Spirit figured it was just another day in the neighborhood. What a gem of a horse. As I licked my wounds and headed for the hospital, Wendy had to deal with the young mare who wanted absolutely nothing to do with the end of the arena (and the exit) where all the commotion came from. She used Spirit to "pony" her out. What a champ, he walked right under that door like crazed things hanging from the roof are just another obstacle to go through.

We got the cat free. He had a swollen paw and was quite ashamed for a day or too, but doesn't appear to have serious damage. I on the other hand, spent the next four days back and forth to the hospital for intravenous IV in my "good" right hand (only scratched and a shallow bite on one finger) to treat the infection in the deep bite between my knuckles on my left. As of today, six days later, I am out of the sling, I have no more IV tube, and I can see my hand resembling a normal form again. Still can't lift or make a fist, but it's on the mend!

This is one desensitizing lesson I strongly encourage you NOT to try at home!


The weather and my Curly matched today - brisk! Wow, oh, wow, was Ah-D raring to go and full of it, and wow, oh, wow, did I ever have fun on the run!
He says, "Stand still for a picture; are you nuts?!"
You can see how the wind is blowing his mane out straight, and we are on a trail in the woods!  It was crazy windy. I didn't take the dogs, because I knew I wanted to move along at a good pace, and I didn't want to wear out the older ones.
We headed into the woods across the street, and take the ridge on the right through the trees and over the stone wall to the large open Christmas tree farm and on to the snowmobile trails. I like to go this way for two reasons.  First, I don't like going through my neighbor's dooryard on the way out, and second, winding through the woods puts Ah-D in the listening frame of mind.
Today, he was listening all right, listening to the wind whipping the trees, and he was still mightily full of it by the time we reached the open land.  Spook! Yep, but it didn't bother me one whit.  I know it was just his way of releasing his pent up energy, and he wasn't even looking at anything and didn't go far.  My heart was still about four feet up and over, but my butt was still in my Bob Marshall, my feet were in my trail stirrups, my hand was still on the reins, and my mind was calm. I completely ignored it, and Ah-D came right out of it.  He was still a prancing and a dancing, or at least thinking it in his brain, but that made this ride challenging and fun!
We headed down over the snowmobile trail.  He was so collected and forward, I thought, "Hey, I bet he'll gait; what am I waiting for?" and sure enough, a little nudge, the command, "Gait" and away we went, heading AWAY from home.  Generally, he tends to fox trot towards home, but today was another story.  And then, we went into the most collected and lightest canter he has ever given me - I was in 7th heaven!
I was dressed in layers to the hilt, and once when the wind stopped blowing, my core actually got a bit too toasty.  That lasted less than two minutes, though.
When we came up upon the open land area again, the wind was still whipping down through the field, and Ah-D was still in Let's Go mode.  I don't know if you can see it or not, but about half way to the houses, there is a stone wall that crosses this field, with only a gap where the trail goes through.  And that stone wall has been a thorn in our side for a long time.  I don't remember ever getting Ah-D to canter through that gap.  He will canter up to it and after he passes through it, but he gets all uptight as he passes through it and does this big jerky trot and gets all looky.  Sometimes he throws in a spook for good measure, just to keep me on my toes. (It works...he has me trained to slow him down as we pass through the gap.) Well, not today!!!!  Today, I pushed him to canter right through it.  I meant it, and I wasn't falling into any of his funny business and he knew it.  It felt so good!  I know it sounds like a small thing, but it is not.  It is HUGE for us! I praised the heck out of him when he did it, cantered all the way up to my neighbors' house, turned Ah-D back around, and we nailed it a second time!! (Going with even more fervor!) 

I congratulated my pony on a job well done.  And, speaking of congratulations, CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2013 RAC PROMOTOR DENISE CONROY ON THE BIRTH OF HER NEW GRANDBABY JUNE!

Trial ryding

Our goal (my goal) is to take cinderella outside and riding in the woods and the streets....
cinderella is always looking at everything you can look at.....and then I get nervous, then she gets nervous because of me and then we are both anxious and getting more nervous......
Today I(we) made (with loose reins) a little riding and I tried to be completly relaxt.
Don't trie to wurry because her looking al the time....I let her look and our trip went very well.
Tomorrow a friend will help me by my side cycling, today I forgot to take pictures of our trip, but tomorrow I will certainly do!
Tomorrow also my new curly will arrive!
Tomorrow I will also make a few nice shots ... and then let him enjoy a few quiet days in his new home.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Freestyle with Curlies in Texas

Hello all,

Today we worked on our Freestyle with our Golden Curlies. Our friend Rudy joined Gina and I and our wonderful Curly horses.. I love the singer Adele's music and decided to do a freestyle to her song; "Rumor Has It". Rudy and Lakota were such good sports playing the fella who is cheating...of course I am old lady with my handsome Chester and Gina is the beautiful young Lassie with Jet.
Our music is faint as we are listening to Adele's DVD inside my truck. Love her voice and her songs have great rhythm for riding. And, how cool to get three Golden Curlies together for a Freestyle ride{:>

Big hugs from Texas
Angie and her Golden Curlies and fabulous friends

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