Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mud Season is Here!




Mud season has found it's way to VT again!  It was 46 here this morning and sunny.

Honey and I managed to make it out down the road for a nice ride.  We were able to work around the mud and do some walk trot work with transitions.  I even had her reaching for the bit and using her topline for an extended period of time (huge step for her).








I am looking forward to when the arena clears of snow so that we can begin some real work on getting her more balanced and evenly muscled.

 April is going to be fun with the contest, I just hope that the weather agrees to stay nice.




I'm pretty sure that
I managed to pull a small dog's worth of hair off of Honey as well today.  And she still has more shedding!

We will keep you posted as we go!  Hope you are all getting out there and getting your Horsey time in :)

-Bethany & Honey

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Horsey time again :-)

Hi all,
Well, just due to circumstances (injury, christmas, extreme cold weather and lots of puppies) my pony time these past few months hasn't been near what it has been in the past.  But now... nicer weather, feeling good and puppies gone... it's HORSEY time again!

I'm a graduated Level 3 Parelli student and intend to work towards my Level 4 this year.  So, we have been playing with some new concepts and advancing other ones.  It's going to be a fun season!  He is my all around horse.  I don't think there is much I couldn't do with this boy.

Lately we are working on flying changes.  I pony my arab off of him.  I taught him to drive last year. We do loads of tricks, I can do online, liberty and bridless riding.  I love the obstacle stuff with him.  This year, I hope to do some jumping with him too.
So, just a few little pictures of us and what we have been up to...

This is me and my kids.  I'm on Sunny who also carries my 4 year old daughter in a buddy saddle.

This is me, pony'ing my son and his horse on trail.


Me on my arab and Sunny taking amazing care of my sister in law out on a trail ride W/T/C


Sunny helping me walk the dogs... this is our 'arena'.... it's  a closed road next to our house.  This is where we practice our leads and gaits, etc.  


On trail .... maple bush.


One of my favorite tricks... Sitting!



I'm taking the picture of the skidoo that just passed us.


Giving the dog mushers room to go by.


And this is us today... I'm practicing some games on our new rope length!  45 feet!  It's harder than it seems!  To influence a horse that it 45 feet away!  I have asked him to do a half circle and stop at the fence... I was happy that he stayed facing the fence (maintaining his direction) AND that he's almost knee high in snow... and still trying!  


And the pedastal... always a fave.... but this time... snow covered!  Figure out your feet my boy!  


He is a wonderful Curly.  I'm blessed to have him.  

Cyndi & Sunny in Ontario, Canada

Back to basics

I have been sharing about my rides the last couple of times with Voelie, my young mare. We were doing great and she was so lovely and calm with the whole riding process. I really fell in love with this new 'tuned down' version of my horse. Now just a week ago I finally separated her from her foal (the foal was still nursing) because she was getting thin and needed more energy for herself. Now that she is gaining energy and strength (she does not get hard feed any more now that she is not nursing) she is back to the very high strung pony I knew before. Yesterday I took her out to the park (same route we took now several times) and she reered up and then bucked me off into the brambles. Luckily I held the reins. I got back on to finish what we started and with lots of built up energy we managed to complete the short ride.
Today I rode her on the grounds, first we worked in hand, also some jumping and then I got on. She was high strung the whole time, like a 'jack in the box' waiting to explode. I managed to keep the training divers and keep her attention but it was not easy.
She is not the poster girl in gentle easy curly attitude at the moment. I hope with the right training regime we will find a good balance :) I am glad she was born and stayed here with me and not with a first time horse owner. I know we all like to promote our curlies as being gentle, easy, 'born broke' etc. but it is such a divers breed with so many influences, each with their own positive points and challenges. Voelie is the total opposite of Suri, my other mare who is such a gentle giant. I do love Voelie's energy but I think I'm in for a bumpy ride getting her really well trained :) Does anyone else here in the RAC have a curly who is more like Voelie, more high energy ect.? I would love to hear about it and could also use some motivation here ;)

Jessica and Voelie from the Netherlands

Spring!!!....not...

We were treated to some nice 70 degree days at the beginning of March...things looked up then...the first day of Spring happened and boom 3" of snow and 15 degrees.

But the show must go on right?  This past weekend I took Theo and Jane to a clinic with our trainer.
Theo still seemed sore but there is nothing really "wrong" with him so I had my trainer get on.  Turns out he just had my number and didn't want to use his right hind leg causing him to lean on the inside rein.  15 minutes with Brad (the trainer) and Theo looked better then I've seen him in a long time.  The next day getting on it was like a different horse.  I guess I have some work to do with my riding to make sure I don't let him get back to not using that leg.

Jane was quite the character this weekend.  Sunday she came out ready to go.  I had to do some galloping before I could get her mind back in the game.  All she wanted to do is run and jump.  We got some great trot work out of her on Saturday and I'm really starting to feel her fitness level coming up.

Yesterday they both got their shots, coggins and teeth floated so they are ready for shows.  Today the Chiropractor came back out to check Theo and look at Jane.  Both were adjusted but nothing too bad.

I'll be attending a clinic with Dom Schramm in less then two weeks with Theo.  Dom and his wife Jimmie have a youtube show called Evention TV, check it out they are pretty funny and helpful.  They are both 3* event riders and Jimmie will be in the Rolex this year.  I'm pretty excited to see what we can learn from them.

Then Jane will be attending the Midwest Horse Fair mid April so I'll be nice and busy for our April game.



 I had 3 layers on but by the end of this lesson I was nice and warm.



video

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wow What A Day!

The weather today was impeccable!  Near 40F and only a slight breeze.  Honey on the other hand was less than happy to be working. She tried and tried to get out of it.  Silly girl.


We started our afternoon with some ring work but with all of the snow being packed down so solidly we decided to take it to the dirt road.  That's when we ran into more problems unfortunately.

Honey has clearly decided that she is Godzilla and likes to chew on toy trucks.


Honey decided that it was too much work and that she was going to refuse moving forward.  We did some ground work, backing, and lateral work to keep our feet moving.  I also managed to let her do some trotting and a short gallop down the road.



We did lots more work with trotting on the road and then went back to more ring work.  Next month is going to be lots of fun and work and I am looking forward to seeing how well Honey and I do and how much we can both work together.


It's so nice to see that everyone else is able to get out and ride with this nice weather.  I'm hoping to get out again a few more times this week, even if it is only for an hour or two.

More later,
Bethany & Honey



Singing in the rain!

Today is the warmest day of the year so far, so I was determined to ride.  I knew it was going to rain late in the day, but of course when I was ready, it had started sprinkling!  But I decided we were going to cowgirl up and go anyway!  Tomorrow is supposed to be 30 degrees less, so I'm going to take advantage of it!

Corky and I and our trusted trail partner Chance started off!  We kicked up a couple of deer, but Cork just kind of side stepped until he seen they were deer.  All winter long the deer have invaded the pasture trying to get to the hay, so the deer are like his buddies.

We moved here May of '14 and I have a trail system available to me that is an answer to prayer.  I have funny names for trails and roads so I can describe my rides to people.  The first one I'll tell you about is the canopy.  It's a small section of young maples about 100 feet long that when the leaves are on, it's like a canopy shadowing you from the sun.  So after the canopy we turned left!


You can see that the ground is starting to show around the base of trees in spots.   As we went along towards "hydrant" trail, Corky kept trying to take trails that would lead back home, but with gentle guidance went where I wanted.  We meandered through the trails and Chance, though very happy, is definitely out of shape!


Then we came to the reason I call this "hydrant" trail!


There is a fire hydrant in the middle of the forest!  There is also a hand pump, an old wringer washer and some fencing around apple trees.  Evidently at one point someone lived here or had a camp.  There is no sign of a building, though.  I was told it burned down long ago.

On we went until we come to the next trail marker!  A lawn chair!  I can go either way, but we chose left to head back for home!

As we followed the trail home, we came to this stand of pines.  There is just something about a stand of pines for me that calms my soul.

I was feeling very blessed to have a warm rain, listening to Corky walk through the soft snow with the occasional bird song.  As we neared home and I asked Corky to go left again to avoid a flooded area, he chose on his own to take a trail off to the right.  At this point I thought he was tired because he had slowed down quite a bit, so I let him choose his way home.  It was just us three and the forest and it was so calming and serene!  I soon realized Cork was enjoying himself as much as I was, because the turn for home he didn't take!  He took the long way home!  As we neared our road, we came upon this horse-eating rock!  A rock he's seen a dozen times.  Yes, in the snow it looked like a monster coming out of the snow!  I urged him on and we were on the road.


I hope you enjoyed our ride as much as we did!

Janeen and Corky from the UP of Michigan!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Fever

Anyone living in colder climates has probably dealt with Spring Fever.  It's a common disease that hits as soon as you get a slightly warmer day in early March.  Well folks...we didn't get a slightly warmer day we got 50's and 60's!  Spring  Fever is worse then ever this year.

The symptoms are needing to be outside all the time, shedding layers of clothes, horses on your brain all the time and wanting to ride for hours a day.

Well my symptoms are even worse due to Theo jumping the gate to his pasture 2 weeks ago and hurting him self as he landed on ice.  Thankfully it's nothing to serious but until I had the Chiropractor out I didn't want to ride him because his was still struggling with soreness.

Friday he had his adjustment and wow it should have been recorded.  He gave so much feed back after she made adjustments that would prove to any skeptic that Chiro does work on horses.  I'm also happy to say as of last night he was feeling so much better that  I am going to start working him again today!

In other Curly news from my little herd.  Jane was moved to the same barn that Theo is at so we can do more arena work.  She will be representing the breed at the Midwest Horse Fair this year so I want her riding her best.  We had a lesson with our instructor yesterday and he said she was trotting the best he has seen.  She will be going to a clinic next weekend as well so we will be making a lot of progress hopefully before the Fair.  

I normally give my working horses a trace clip in the winter if they are riding in an indoor so they don't overheat during work but Jane was going to the Fair so I didn't want this strip of baldness along her sides.  She got so sweaty during our lesson though I had no choice...It all came off.  I'm still not sure what to do with her feathers because I don't want to clip them for the summer.  

We always get asked at the Fair what Curly's look like in the summer...well now we can show them!



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Overdue!

I haven't been on the computer much lately...but thankfully, I have been on my horse! Lol, not as much as I usually am in the winter because we have had a bit of a cold on here in Ontario. (Coldest in 114 years!) I love winter riding, so I am very happy that the last few weeks have been better for it.


I got some nice pictures of Linus one day while he was running....after I encouraged him to! Linus is a horse that when he sees you coming with the saddle, meets you at the gate with his head over it. He loves getting out. We've been through a lot of saddles! He is a very hard to fit horse and on this particular day, he turned and walked away as I was about to put the saddle on. He came up as usual and I put his hack and blanket on. I had kind of suspected the saddle was a bit too tight in the gullet, I noticed afterwards that the tree sharply narrows whereas Linus doesn't! Luckily, I was able to rehome the saddle easily enough. I have another one that fits him, but bothers my hip! Of course!


So, I went back to square one and started doing some more research...and then some more.


In the meantime, we did a lot of bareback riding! Well, I do use a bareback pad. Linus and I both hate the feeling of butt bones!


Being without a saddle for a couple of weeks did wonders for my own confidence and seat! I do ride bareback a lot as it is but I really pushed out of my comfort zone and not only rode further up the road than I had before but even did a trail ride! 


These pictures above and below were taken on my bareback trail ride! I didn't intend to go as far as I did that day but Linus felt so good and the weather was so perfect, why the heck not! I kept thinking of a quote I had seen on a horse picture "What if I fall? Oh darling, but what if you fly?" and fly we did!! We cantered and galloped!!! It was AWESOME!!


I think he is part beaver too:


He is Canadian after all...hahahaa, The backhoe had scraped this tree. Linus is a very mouthy boy and had a blast peeling the bark right down to the snow.


Such a beautiful place to ride!


Then we had trim day. I snapped some headshots while waiting for my barefoot trimmer.


Still hard to believe sometimes he is all grown up!


Just after we started his trim, a visitor arrived:


And Linus had puffed himself up so much, the one fella thought he was a stud!

We got back to work and Sarah asked Linus to hold the cushy handled rasp while she took some pictures of his hooves.


Long story short, we have been rehabbing his hooves since last January. Some bad trims and an error in feeding (he was getting too much sugars/starches when unbeknownst to me, my Dad was feeding when I thought he wasn't) So, we got the feed straighened out, I pulled all the horses off of sweet feed and now they get a supplement of vitamins and minerals and Linus also was on magnesium to help strengthen the new growth. What a wonder that worked! We were also changing the angle and correcting some toe cracks. The cracks thankfully were superficial and not causing him any discomfort. They appeared days after his last farrier trimmed....unbalanced : ( 


Sarah has been the trimmer here for over a year now and his hooves are looking brilliant! She says now he's got "that Curly hoof" again. His frogs have doubled in size and I think another 2 trims will see all remnants of crack GONE!! hip, hip hooray! She is a wonderful trimmer. Loves the horses, very knowledgeable and takes her time.


So, in the meantime. The fruits of my earlier mentioned research had been picked out, paid for and was on its way to me. I finally decided with all the saddle trouble ( I was getting so discouraged) to go treeless. I got the last one in stock from Rocky Creek Hill in British Columbia. What I liked about them over most other treeless saddles is the removable and 2 sets of different sized padding that came with the saddle. These pads coming on the saddle eliminate the need for the high priced special saddle pads that typically accompany treeless saddles. 


I was a bit apprehensive. Mostly worried that it wouldn't fit right or I would hate it etc etc. But, I was very pleasantly surprised by the fit and feel. I used the thicker pads today and have already changed to the thinner ones to try tomorrow. I think given his shape, the thinner ones will probably feel better for him but I got no negative feedback from him today. He is a picky boy with tack fit so I would have had tail swishing, ear pinning, skin twitching etc if something wasn't right. 
And guess what?? We trotted and cantered on the road!!! What an incredible feeling to have the hooves and the saddle all working right! It all clicked and I was super, duper happy! The extension I was getting out of Linus was incredible! I have never felt him move the way he did today. The trail versions from this company had overlay type seats and zippers, which I did not like the idea of either. This model is from the barrel line, which they also recommend for trail riders too. It is a lot more structured, but definitely has a higher pommel than I am used to!! If that is the biggest adjustment for me though, I can definitely deal with it! 
Happy trails RACers!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bareback Jaunt


SO MUCH FUN!     :)

I am still taking advantage of this weather!   Even if it is only for an hour or two here and there. Today Honey and I did some bareback work in one of the paddocks since our ring is under about 3.5 or so feet of snow.  We worked on being relaxed and supple.  She's even really getting this turn on the forehand thing.

I am loving this weather.  :)



-Bethany & Honey

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spring Finally Made it

It seems that spring is finally here!  The Curlies are the only two horses we have that are shedding right now.   They are so easy to shed out (all of the hair comes off in bunched together curls instead of all over the place like other breeds) it makes like so much easier.  Here's a photo of what I mean, it's not all of it obviously but you get the point ;)

I managed to make it out for a few hours and enjoy this incredibly warm weather that we have been having this week.  The sun is shining and birds are chirping, it's such a good feeling.

I even got to do some walk trot
work with Honey since the road was deserted and got some canter in too :) all in all it was a darn near perfect day to
ride.

I am hoping to make it out again some this week.  And it looks like I may be entering my first ever horse show in May so Honey and I could use all of the work possible.  Can't wait for the ring to melt so that we can use it again!

My Senior Project is coming along great and if anyone would like a digital copy when it is finished or the link to the finished Prezi I will gladly provide it.  So far the paper is half way finished and I am feeling really good about the entire thing :)


Honey sends her love
(hair too since its everywhere)
-Bethany & Honey