Saturday, April 18, 2015

BLISS!!

WOW!! What a day! What a ride! I had planned on taking Linus down a nearby trail to an old quarry to continue working on water crossing. At the last minute, my good friend (whose horse is Linus' best friend!) said she was available for a ride and wanted to join me. We live closeby so met up on the side road between our farms and set off. I thought Bernie knew about the place we went to ride but she has only ever been on the trail part. A friend owns the rest of it and has really cleaned it up and made some great trails so we spent hours exploring! It was incredible.

Below is Bernie's horse Lucas. He's a bit older than Linus and is great emotional support in sticky situations! They're a great pair together because there are things Linus is better with and things Lucas is better with. So, between the two, there is nothing we cannot cross, pass or handle!




We first came to a flooded part of trail. I rode on this spot this past winter and was able to circle the quarry. So, to get where we wanted to go, Linus HAD to cross this flooded part. At this moment, it was the deepest, widest and longest stretch of water he had ever crossed. It blew me away that I did not have to do much encouraging to get him in the water.


Below is a shadow pic but it didn't turn out very well to show that it's a water shadow! Looks like it is just dirt! But, good that the water was that clear!


Lucas says "It's ok Linus, you got this!"


YES! He started splashing and blowing!!! The only thing he still is not sure about is when the winds pick up and the water starts rippling. We'll keep working on that.


Way to go my handsome boy!


The great part of riding with a friend is I get to be in some of the pics! 


Below is the first water of the day that we came to on our way to the quarry. Linus crossed once behind Lucas and then I had him go back through it on his own.


We trotted and cantered along some trails after our water playing. Then we came back this way too rather than taking the now very windy road back home. So on the way back we again played in the water, went back into the quarry which is about the size of a small lake. We are planning to go back when it is warmer out to swim the horses there!
From going to fighting over crossing a puddle to emerging in a lake...I am beyond thrilled with Linus. He stepped up his game in such a big way today and I could not be happier about it. We had a great day. Probably my best ride ever!
For those on Facebook, there are more pics there!

Donna & Linus
Lunenburg, ON

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Great Week!

Of all times to take it back to basics a bit, it happens during the RAC derby month. Oh well! I have spent more ground time lately with the horses than riding time. I think we all needed it and have benefited from it. But, I did get out last weekend on Linus, it was so gorgeous out! (maybe i should at least get those points logged!)
As I was riding down the road, I could hear his little fan club from our previous ride shouting "Linus is coming! Linus is coming!" Josh, the older of the two who were out, ran into the house for some apples and his younger brother, Roman, who had been playing on his scooter with his Dad came over. Linus actually checked out the scooter and then slobbered apple on it. 
So then I asked the little admirers if they would like to ride Linus. They were thrilled at the suggestion and each one had a turn. I walked them up and down the road a little ways. 


They got the biggest kick out of it. Their Mom took some pictures but I haven't seen them yet. I am hoping she will put hers on Facebook too. 


These guys have the most contagious laugh! They just love everything and it is hard not to laugh just because they are. The best was when they referred to his Ben D'Or spots as polka dots!  This is truly one of my favourite parts of horse ownership! Especially when people are scared of them, Linus is such a good match for those people because he is like an overgrown dog.


I continued on with my ride and Josh started coming up the road behind us on his little dirtbike. I wasn't sure how Linus would react but as young as he is, Josh was good to pass slow and Linus was totally fine with it. So Josh went up and down the road as we headed down it. Great training opportunity! Then another neighbour stopped his truck (in the middle of the road and shut it off! I love where we live!) because his daughter wanted to see the horse. So they got out and we chatted and she loved on Linus. They asked questions and learned a lot about horses and Curlies! I turned around not much further past this point because with all the visiting, I had been out for quite a while even though we didn't make it too far! Josh passed us one more time so I turned Linus around and we cantered after him! What a thrill that was and I think Linus enjoyed it too. 
We stopped at one more place on the way home. A lady who trains therapy dogs (usually labs for her) was out with one. Her newest dog had seen Linus when we chatted through the window of her SUV one day but she chose to bark this time and  her owner did not like that. They shouldn't be doing that as therapy dogs. So, they wanted me to stay and chat a bit so the dog could smell Linus and use it as a training opportunity. What a day for visits but it was great and Linus soaked up all of the attention!

Then today, I was going to go for a ride but just didn't really end up with enough time to make it a good one so I opted to continue on with the groundwork trend of late and took Linus for a walk. I was thinking of you Terrie as I went for another walk! I decided to take him to the corner of the road where it floods. Last year I spent about an hour with him here and ended up bribing him into the water and then staying in the water. This time, he walked right into it like he does it every day! He did not try to get out the other side or rush through.


It wasn't as deep as last year, but it was about halfway to his knee at the deepest. I was so thrilled with him and I didn't even have any treats with me!! I was wishing I had one for him but was even more thrilled that it didn't take any to get him in there!


Then it got even better!! He started playing in it!! Linus has NEVER played in water before. Many of you probably don't know but we have worked very hard with water. I just learned this year that his mother also has a terrible fear of water. Linus would not walk through puddles that you and I could cross with sneakers on! Our breakthrough was when I rode him about 40 minutes away to a flooded trail last Spring and backpacked my rubber boots. I changed into them when we got there and spent lots of time with him in the water. Coaxing him into it. I was gentle at first but then had to get a bit firm to show him we were not leaving til he was in it. So, he ended up trusting me enough to walk through knee deep water with me. Then I got back on and rode him through it too. My friends and I had been at this spot a while before this and we had to go around by the road because Linus wouldn't go through the water. We even tried ponying him through with his best bud Lucas. After that, I said never again will we be the cause of rerouting our ride! 


He splashed in it, blew in it and pulled long grass out too! I cannot tell you how happy it made me when he was playing in it! I think we are still a long way off from the beach again, but definitely a step in the right direction


Yahoo Linus! Splish, splash!! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So Much Excitement!


Kai settling in and figuring out the hay net

                    Oh The Excitement!

It's been such a busy couple of weeks here in VT.

Cynthia and I made a trip to a mustang adoption not expecting to find any Curlies (we were told there were none on the truck).  But...to our surprised we found at least two that appeared to be 1/2 or full Curlies and many that were at least part Curly.  I managed to bring home one little yearling that I fell in love with.

Kai at the auction







She has the kinky/wavy mane and tail, fetlocks, forelock, and lots of little wavy curls above her knees and hocks.  Her body coat is so matted together.  We are thinking that she is a straight coated Curly with lots of Curly characteristics.

So curious
Oh the Curly mustache


Finally a clear ring!
I'm looking forward to working with her and seeing how far she will go (any suggestions are helpful as this is my first horse under 3 years of age).

This is her "I can't believe you made me work" face




























As to Honey....she's been working more now that we have some nice weather.  And the ring is finally clear! :) Yay.  So it's time to get her and I in shape again which will be fun.  Still dealing with large amounts of mud here, some ice, and some remaining snow.  

The April mini event is really taking off here at the barn.  I've been working more and more with Magick (Honey's son) which has been fun and challenging.

~Honey & Bethany

Monday, April 13, 2015

"Today my human friend and owner wanted me to go slow, I said no, we go fast.. weee!
Yesterday I was enjoying my breakfast... and there she was.. with halter in her hand!!!
I tried to tell her I wanted to finish my breakfast first, but she wouldn't listen so I poo'd in my bucket!
Later that day I decided we needed to go fast, the faster I gallop the sooner I can get lunch musli? yes?!
After she rode me, she cleaned my bedroom, very nicely. Maybe this isn't such a bad deal anyway!" *horselaughter*

Well, the past week was just great (after a long time of being sick, then way too much work and the horse being quite uncooperative, and then bad weather (storm and rain)). I had lots of time for the horse and riding and finally felt like making some progress with training her. After hard schooling work and lessons, I always sneaked in a short relaxing trail ride so that she could see something different and we (the horse and I) enjoyed the rides.
Unfortunately, I have to work way too much this week for extensive riding, but I do hope the sneak in a ride here and there. (And a lot more posting here! Hopefully!)


Sunday, April 12, 2015

A great riding week!

Sunny and I had a great riding week!  With my husband on holidays, I was able to get in some nice riding during the week plus, awesome weekend rides with my friend.

My daughter and I like to walk the dogs each morning on horse back.  But it's been too cold this winter for my just turned 4 year old daughter to ride so we have just started back.  I ride my Curly and she rides my Arabian.  I have her on a pony rope and she has a voltige girth with handles.  It's been very nice to have her back out with me!

Out for our dog walks.


My friend and I rode to our local village :-)



Manhole covers were an issue... had to take some time to help the horses get braver :-)



Our ride today.  Out in our local forest with some friends from up the road.  Lovely weather here finally!  


Having a blast here in Eastern Ontario Canada with my Curly!

Cyndi & Sunny

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dom...

This past weekend Theo and I went to a stadium jumping clinic in MN (nice 5 hour drive). For those that didn't read the last post the clinic was with Dom Schramm who is a 3* eventer.  Him and his wife have a youtube channel called EventionTV.  He was so relaxed and easy going it made all my nerves just go away.  Theo and I had our best weekend away ever! Everybody loved him and he lived up to the name Theodorable.  At one point he let out a huge yawn and stretched out his front legs like a dog with me on him.  It was pretty funny.

Dom was really impressed with him as well and kept saying how much he loved this "little" horse... ;-)  15.3 is little in the eventing world.  

Dom helped me figure out why I seem to mess up verticals.  Turns out I need to adjust my upper body back more before the jump to get out of his way.  I practiced doing that and like magic Theo jumped the vertical great!  

We are officially signed up for our first event this year which is May 15th.  I was going to take Jane as well but it's pretty pricey and I don't feel her dressage is competitive enough yet.  There is a mini event the weekend before at the stable we train out of so I'll most likely enter her in that.  Mini events you do all three phases on the same day.  They are not recognized so it's less pressure, about half the cost, and you don't "have" to wear show clothes but everybody does.   

I got 0 pictures of the weekend because I went alone but I did find someone to take a few videos of us.

This is pretty funny...but notice the head shaking and tail swishing?  I knew right away something wasn't feeling right with him even before the stop.  After this I got off and readjusted the half pad.  It was back a bit to far and the seam was right under the saddle causing some pinching.  Fixed it and Theo thanked me with some great rides.  

video



This round was right after I adjusted the saddle and our best of the day

video



And then...our vertical problem arose...which is a good thing because that's why I go to clinics, to get help with the issues we have.  (Notice we don't have issues with the other verticals? That's because they are in combinations so there is another jump right after, it's always the stand alone verticals)


video




Count down to the Midwest Horse Fair is 11 days...is Jane ready?



 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Loving the Sun


After a full week of being really sick, I 
finally got out for a ride on this gorgeous 
day.  56 degrees and very sunny with a 
nice breeze.  

I'm not sure that Honey will agree on the 
breeze part though (it made tape, 
vehicles, and a big rock very scary).  

I must admit that there's nothing funnier 
than the sound of a horse squelching 
through mud.  It's almost comical.

We managed to make it down a road that 
we hadn't been on before, just to be scared
silly by a big rock that had come uncovered 
by the melting snow.  Nothing sillier than
a Curly who can't decide if it is scared or
not.  Honey walked right up to the tape on
a mailbox that had scared her and snorted 
Here's that big scary rock ;)
at it.  She's quite the character.

I'm hoping to get outside more for the 
mini derby this month but the weather 
here is supposed to turn nasty :( I am glad
to see that others are making it out to work 
with their Curlies though.

Goodluck all!
-Honey & Bethany
Mudding on Horseback