Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Post from Dragonfly

First off I am not a blogger, this is the first time Ive blogged on here about the journey I made with my equine partner Orion, who is 4 years old. I joined the RAC so I could see how much time has gone into this adventure of owning and training a young horse, and partly to keep me motivated to keep going. I have owned Orion since he was born. Had 30 days put on him in 2012 and then quickly realized how much I needed to learn to do this right. I was 3 years into riding myself and had only owned safe trail horses you could just be the passenger and they'd take care of you. After having his 30 days, he was young and looking for a leader. I wasn't really fitting into that mold very well. So then came the lessons. Every lesson, Id learn and Id teach him something new. It was going ok but we'd still have occasional train wrecks out on the trail. Then came the Fundamentals set from Clinton Anderson. We started from the disc 1 and I can say, although everyday is a work in progress, we have completed the set, Graduated!  and are going to move on to Intermediate this next year. We have had hundreds of hours this year, going on trail rides, going to lessons, going to the arena with 4h, going to clinics and even a parade. Its been an incredible journey, partnership and bonding experience. He is such an amazing horse. The greatest personality and always looking to learn something new, which he learns very quickly I might add. Here's one of my favorite photos of him from this year, on his birthday too:

I took a video today of what we did, the first part is us, bareback, bridleless, only a cordeo around his neck. I just got it in the mail, so its the first time he had this on. He did well and everything I asked. The second part is us doing leading beside, lounging for respect part 2, which we haven't done a lot of, so please excuse the fumbles here and there, it had been a while since we did it; And then circle driving which is another cool groundwork exercise. At the end he smiles for everyone, we'll work on the bow next year. 2013 has been such an incredible year for us and we both are so glad to share in this experience with other Curly owners. Its been a blessing and hope to do this again. I"ll close this blog with some more photos from the past year too:

these are from the Steve Rother Horsemanship clinic last March, we weren't even the only curly there

 And some more:

 this was from our first show together:

Part of the RAC challenge with a bike:


So I realized that some of the pictures I had tried to upload, did actually upload :-)  They are a bit jumbled but here goes!
Below is Sunny's Butt, who I am riding bareback into our trails with My most awesome riding buddy ;-)  My 4 year old Russell on 'his' horse Gulliver.  Each morning we go out for a dog walk.  Most evenings, we do the same thing over again!  He rides with a vaulting surcingle with handles and I have a lead rope.
Here are 6 of the 7 Portuguese Water Dogs I have with me, waiting for that dog walk! 

Below is Sunny, Russell and Gulliver after a walk, trail ride and pony session :-)  Gulliver hunting for treats! 

Oh, okay, so this was a funny one... as you can see, Russell didn't join me this particular ride and there was some of that 'oh so fun crusty snow' that I wanted to break through with Sunny (I told you... trail blazers!  LOL) and Gulliver didn't want to come... so I dropped the lead rope and left him!  hehehhe  I actually wanted to see if he would follow IF I ever dropped the rope... Yep! He did!  We had a great trail ride 'off leash!' 
Yeah, okay.. until we got BACK to the paddock and he saw the mounting block (aka milk crate) and spooked! LOL  Arabs!  and then ran off!  He came back when I yelled at him and then turned Sunny in the other direction hoping Gulliver would follow.  Phew!  He did.  But when I snapped this shot... I was still in awe of walking my horse and dogs off leash!  hehehee
 Oh this one is of him following us, off leash.

 This is Sunny today :-)  I went riding in our -20 degree weather!  What can I say... kids were gone for the day... "looks like a good day to ride"! 
 This one is a funky picture!  I just like it's 'weirdness'!   I took it as we were in motion;-) hehhehe,  This is today when we were coming out of our bush to go onto the closed road.  There a ditch before a snow-plow bank that is about 3+ feet high!  So, we go down in the ditch and then climb up / into the snow bank out onto the road!  Oh what fun it is to ....... play with my Curly horse!
 Oh... just a silly picture of the dogs ;-)    This is next to our 'play ground' that will be developed more next year.  It has the round pen and pond :-) 
 My Christmas present!!!  A Parelli Snaffle bridle :-)))  I hope to do a bit more refining with Sunny next year and what does a Parelli student need.... MORE Parelli Stuff!  LOL
 Russell after a walk with the two boys... it was taken right after the other one (similiar picture above) but Gulliver had been mooching for treats, so I told them  to get 'back' and as you can see their ears... LOL... that's what they are doing!  So obedient... right! 
Well, I leave with that!  Glad to share some pictures and tell some stories.
I always love the pictures!  BTW... don't you love the way I groom them for their rides and photo shoots!!  Hay in BOTH of their manes!! LOL  Just be glad there are no 'selfies'  God only knows how much hay is in MY mane!  heheh
Bless you all for happiness and health next year!

Happy New Year!

Corky and I wish everyone a happy 2014!

Today was the day to get my cast off and it did come off, but my wrist is still swollen and bruised and that's when I realized I have a much longer time before I'm all healed.  I'm in a splint for 6 weeks now.  I was bummed, but I knew working with Cork would make me feel better.  It was bitter cold today and with the windchill it had to be below zero, but I ventured out and got my hubby to take a picture of us with our New Years hats on.  Cork is such a good boy with my wrist being fractured.  In the last week I've ventured out more and brushed the horses, but today was the first day I took Cork out of the pasture.

After our photo shoot, I started teaching him to bow in the barn out of the wind.  He got the knack of getting the treat between his legs and we stopped there.  He was puzzled at first because the treat was in my right hand and not left, but he figured it out.

I looked back at my goals for this year and while I didn't accomplish the parade, I think Cork is considered a well rounded trail horse now and we started in barrels and we like it and look forward to that in 2014!

Ms. Willow.....oh, Ms. Willow.  With my wrist my husband is handling her right now.  I was afraid when she got away with not lunging the day I fractured my wrist, we would pay and that is what has happened.  She is a youngster and is pushing buttons that we need to stay on top of.  It seems to stem from food, which makes sense since she was starving when she was rescued.  We have developed a system and are fine tuning it as we go and she's getting better.  This year might be better spent with more ground work and a little riding with her.

I want to thank Denise for doing the RAC!  I will miss this so much in 2014 and can't wait until 2015!  I have enjoyed all the posts and becoming friends with you all!  Keep up the good work!

2013 Was a Blast, and We are Looking Forward to 2014!

AhD and I had a wonderful 2013 together.  Since it's below zero here and that time of year when darkness abounds in the northeast, I thought I'd look back through my stash of pictures to review some of the high points of 2013.

There were a lot of them, most of which I have already shared with you throughout this year.
In January, we were off on a start of ground driving again, in hopes of eventually hitching up and driving.  By August, we had (just barely!) reached our tentative goal,

..but, yes!!!!! - WE DID IT!

We also were blessed to be able to ride together with so many of our friends (human and equine) and even made some new friends.
International friends, even! And, AhD temporarily had a new pasture mate in Nike.
We enjoyed an amazing day on the beach.
Brisk (very brisk! - weather and pony-wise) snow rides,
shade-seeking summer woods rides,
and spectacular fall rides.
When I think back on 2013, what stands out in my mind is that most of our riding is now done in the company of friends, and I absolutely love that.  AhD prefers company as well.  2013 was probably our best year together yet, and I look forward to more of the same in 2014 and perhaps even trying something new to us.
I just love my RAC friends, and I want to especially thank Denise Conroy for making it all happen.
HAPPY TRAILS IN 2014! with love from Susan and "Didder" in Maine


Before I even brought Linus home I had dreams of one day doing a big, trailer out to it, trail ride with other horses and of doing a parade. Big dreams for a horse who at the time was not even weaned! Well, despite the roller coaster year that 2013 seemed to be, we achieved these dreams and so much more! 2013 marked Linus' 4th Birthday and I think he had quite the year! He's such a fantastic horse. I love his personality, willingness to please and it has been the best experience ever training him! I owe a lot to the RAC. We first joined before Linus was even a yearling and had so much support, inspiration and awesome challenges! Thank you Denise for your tireless effort year after year. What you do for all us is amazing! Thanks also to everyone who ever took the time to read and/or comment on our posts. 

Linus was born at Homefire Curly Horses. In the above picture, he is seen reuniting with Sam, who also lived there at the time! Sam is now owned by a friend of mine who lives close by. This was such a cool meeting for us. Not often do horses who go there separate ways get to meet up again!

Back in September, another friend of mine posted a link to my Facebook wall for an upcoming Cancer Research ride and suggested Linus and I join her and her horse on it. Oh boy! What a whirlwind of emotions that was! Definitely something I wanted to some day do with Linus but was it a good idea for his "trailer to" trail ride to be such a big one? Linus is so awesome and always comes through for me when I ask something big of him. So, why not?! We went for it and it was AMAZING!! He was a superstar. I met up with an organizer a couple of months after and well over 150 riders raised over $20,500!!!!
This is also when Cyndi and I got to meet! What a fun day!

After some successful trail rides, next came the Santa Claus Parade in Cornwall, ON. Once again, Linus blew me away. He was again my superstar! He put in a seamless performance and lit up so many little faces of the children who got to pet him. I would not trade this fella for the world!

We had a lot of smaller, at home accomplishments too. We started an introduction to barrel racing. I seriously doubt you will ever see us competing in speed events unless it is trail! Linus is funny like that, he gets bored with some of the games etc. Point him towards a trail though and you've suddenly got a whole lot of horse under you who just loves exploring!! Oh what a feeling that is!

Linus is a total pushover when it comes to kids. Especially my son, Owen. They share a mutual admiration of one another. I always thought having a horse who is like this with kids made him worth his weight in gold!

We also got back to some trick training this winter and Linus learned how to bow. We are going to continue working on this and some other tricks throughout the rest of this winter. Currently our footing is horrid! A thick crust is everywhere so the only place to ride is paddock or road. But, that's ok. It just means we will keep busy with groundwork which is something we have always enjoyed anyway!

Today, Linus and I did some work on moving his nose to where I was pointing my stick. It is hard to get a picture of but he did really well putting his head between his legs and side to side. 

Of course, there is always one picture that has to move! We cannot forget our Halloween trail ride where Linus and I carried out an "Ironman" theme. This was also the day we had our first big canter and he did so great! It's hard not smile when you're with this guy!

Thank you all SO much for this amazing 2013 RAC year! I am anxiously awaiting the next one in 2015. 
Linus and I wish you all a healthy, happy and safe 2014!
Hope you all achieve your goals for the new year.
Donna & Linus
Lunenburg, ON

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year and it's been a blast!

Well everyone, it has been an amazing year.  Truly wonderful.
This is the first year I have owned a Curly and now I can't imagine a year without one! 
Thank you Karalee for breeding these wonderful creatures and for telling me about this Blog / Competition.
It was so lovely to meet you Donna (and Linus) of course and I sincerly hope we get to meet again.
Thank you Denise for taking the time to put all this together.  Wow.  A labour of love for sure. 
I have SO enjoyed hearing all the stories and seeing all the pictures.  It's so amazing that we are connected throughout the WORLD! 

Sunny is one of the best things in my life and I am so glad to have him.  He has taught me so much and continues to teach me and take care of me.
I bought him just over a year ago and we have become best friends, partners and trail-blazers!  I even bought my old horse back so Sunny could have a friend!  LOL

I wish Blogger was letting me upload pictures but I have tried twice with no luck so I have to just tell you about our horsey lives lately.

Almost everyday and sometimes twice a day, I ride Sunny and my son rides our other horse (an Arab).  My son is 4.  My Arab is 18 and still HOT!  But, Sunny, being the dominant one of the herd, keeps Gulliver in line, as do I with my lead rope in hand.  I put my bareback pad on (I'm working on my 'independant seat'! and I put the vaulting surcingle on Gulliver with a rope halter and lead rope.  With Sunny and I in lead, Gulliver prancing along with Russell 'riding' we dog walk twice a day :-) 
With 7 Portuguese Water dogs!  I can't imagine life getting any better :-)  It's so fun.  The horses love to get out and Russell thinks it's a blast to ride 'his own horse'. 
I have a friend coming over New Years day to show her sister a 'curly horse' :-) And Sunny got LOADS of attention at my Extreme Cowboy Clinic for being a Curly!

In one year, we are doing miles of trails with all sorts of obstacles, we attended a clinic and were in the more 'advanced' group.  We passed our official Level 2 Parelli, he lies down on 'command', bows, has a 'decent' Liberty repetoire, we climb snow banks, swim in ponds, ride on roads, he puts his head down so I can jump on his neck to mount him bareback, he is a fanstastic babysitter for children and he is even learning to drive :-) 
The last one, about driving... we had him in shaves once but since then my hubby has been on snow detail for our municipality and those of you in Eastern Canada and U.S. know how much snow we have had!!!  So Sunny's driving training has been delayed but for now, I hope he's happy going out with me and Russell each and everyday for his 'dog walks'!

Much love to all of you in the New Year and Wishing you good health in 2014. 
See you again in 2015!

Cyndi Morin, Eastern Ontario Canda with Sunny the Curly horse, two wonderful children, a fantastic husband and awesome Portuguese Water Dogs.   

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Some Christmas Fun!

It was pretty fresh here for Christmas Day but around mid-day we had some not bad temperatures when the sun was shining. I took some time to have some Christmas fun with Linus. We had a little ride with some good trotting. I can feel him wanting to GO but we just don't have the footing for that right now. 
I asked my husband to come and take some pictures for my "Christmas Day" photobook I will be making and here are the results! We squeezed it in before deep-frying our turkey!
Hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas!

Just love this guy so much!

I think he loves having his picture taken

Doesn't he look kind of smug?

ta-daaaaa!!!! I can't believe he let me do this!

Merry Christmas!

Donna & Linus