Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We survived Irene :) and Mucho Caliente arrived!!!

Well blogging friends, I hope you have all survived or escaped Irene as Sugar, Rally and I have. I work for a government agency that responds to disasters like these so I've been working my keester off all week and weekend at the office, then to the barn to see the princess.
In that spirit, I have seen this video making the rounds, and if you haven't seen it yet, definitely a pretty cool thing to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jaPRZd7gvJc
Probably a mounted search & rescue team, ears forward, slow, steady pace...a horse & rider team trained and experienced at doing what they do...nothing better!!
We didn't have any permenant damage to the barn, some flooding, but it was mostly gone the next morning. Lots of power outages around us, but none at the barn.

Prior to Irene, I got down to the local tack store (Tackroom Treasures) and spoke with the owner. She recommended a copper french loose ring snaffle. So I'm giving it a try. I had Sugar in a mullen mouth, but it's far too large for her, and I'm not sure she's very fond of it. Prior to that, the trainer I no longer ride with had us using a rubber full cheek snaffle, which she definitely did not like. So I figured why not give this a try. The next day, Irene started to hit the U.S. and I haven't had time to actually get on her with it! So hopefully tonight, or definitely tomorrow night! Any knowledge on bits is greatfully accepted :)

Patty, the wonderTrimmer was scheduled to come out in two days, but she e-mailed me last night and said she broke her arm and isn't sure when she'll be back to work! I wrote back and explained to her that we need her and how can we possibly go on without her! lol I also offered to come down and do a work day at her farm if she needs it (thinking who will care for her horses if she's hurt??) Not sure what else I can do for her, she's done so much to help us!
I did a bunch more research, and I believe I found someone that can take over in the meantime, plus this woman knows a lot about (equine) boots...which we will be purchasing in the near future. She also is a long distance rider...so I can't wait to pick her brains on that!!

And finally, last but not least, if you are following the Equestrian Ink summer book giveaway, I actually won a book, and it got here right before Irene did!! I haven't had the chance to even open it yet thanks to work, but I will be diving headfirst into it this weekend!!! It definitely is my type of book based on reading the back. Here is the book: http://www.amazon.com/Mucho-Caliente-Francesca-Prescott/dp/1606011707 I will be sure to let you all know how it is.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I had a relaxing weekend, and didn't get to the Stock Horse Show :(
On Friday, I decided to lunge Sugar, and she was mostly very good. Still bucking a good bit at the canter, but we need to continue building muscle. I know that Sugar knows how to canter/lope because the trainer she went to had her loping off from a walk when he was done with her. Rally carried on while she was gone, running, bucking, whinnying, etc.
On Saturday, Sugar & I were able to ride with Rally & my boyfriend. We were going to go trail riding because the road where we need to ride across was closed, but it reopened. So instead we rode all around in the little neighborhood and all over the farm. Rally spooked several times, but Sugar just kept on truckin', and he quickly got over it.
As many young horses do, Sugar will look around and end up heading off in that direction, instead of keeping a straight-ish line. I have no problem with her looking around, as long as she's not fixating or speeding up or whatever else horses throw at you, so for now I've decided to guide her back with leg yields and some neck reining (Sugar was taught the very basics of neck reining before I bought her).
I have really been paying attention to her trotting off, and I believe for now I've got the cure. Simple half-halts have done the trick as soon as she starts speeding up her walk. Because she's such an honest horse, it's not like she's walking one minute and off on a rampage the next. She gets excited about what's next and wants to get there!
I've also been very careful to not let her speed up when we look as if we are returning to the barn. I think that's a great foundation for a young horse, and if it's possible I would say she actually walks slower back to the barn than leaving. She was slightly riding sour when I purchased her, but I've worked with her on it, and I think she really enjoys getting out now.
Another thing Sugar sometimes tries is walking off when I unhalter her to put her bridle on. That's also been getting better, as she only took two steps this time :) She does not walk off after a ride when the bridle comes off to put the halter on. I can actually take her bridle off, and then scratch all her itchy spots on her head, and then put her halter on, and she stands there. So I have to re-examine the process I use to put her bridle on.
Rally actually sped up this weekend on the way back to the barn. I basically parked Sugar and had Bryan turn around, and go back out on the trail until Rally calmed down, at which point I told him to praise him well, and head back to the barn. He did this twice, and I had Bryan do that twice. I'll be keeping my eye on that.
One more thing, I'm on the search for a new bit, any recommendations?
Oh, by the way, has anyone checked out Mugwump?? She's the new author of the Fugly blog!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stock Horse Association?

So this weekend there's a Stock Horse Association show relatively close to me. I'm kind of intrigued by it, and I think I might go see it. Does anyone know anything about it? What are your opinions? If you don't want to post them, you can email them to me privately.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Old pictures of Pride

I found a bunch on my parents' computer!!! What a handsome guy!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I will never own a horse like this!

I step out of the old farmhouse into brisk February evening air. If only I weren't house sitting, and I actually owned this place!! I head straight for the shadowy bank barn, and flip on the first light switch I can remember. Ah, barn and pine shavings, nothing like it! I grab the green lead rope and head straight for the pasture. Seven Arabian steeds to bring in, one at a time.
As I near the gate, soft nickers and expectant eyes greet me. I reach for my favorite, the calm, dependable Luka. Hey buddy, I whisper. We walk to the barn and he gets the first stall on the right. I bring the rest of the horses in, one after another, even my least favorite, the opinionated, bossy, glimmering, chesnut gelding, Pride. He's the best looking horse on the farm, but also quite a handful.
As per instructions, I walk around to each stall, and put blankets on each horse for their night in the drafty old barn. Luka, first because he's my favorite. Pride, next, because he's across the aisle. I reach for Pride's blanket hanging on his wall; he prances around me as only an Arabian can do. I cut him off and begin to lay the blanket across his back. He grabs it and pulls it off his other side, nearest the wall. As I reach for it, he prances around me again. Around and around we go with this game, until I leave the stall and attend to all the other horses. I say to myself as I close his gate, I will never own a horse like this!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Does Anyone remember MySpace?

Well I logged onto mine the other day and found this little snippet I wrote about Pride:
meet the Arabian horse...
he is the most sensitive being you will ever come across,
he notices when you don't come visit him everyday,
he will learn to love you when you put your heart out for him,
he recognizes your car from the pasture,
he catches you when you lose it and almost fall off his back,
he wants to teach you to do his favorite sport,
he forgives your minor mistakes and bad hair days,
he would do anything you asked of him,
and take care of you while he did it.
he's there when your boyfriend breaks your heart,
he is expressive in his feelings,
he comes running when you call his name,
if only there were men like him :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

I am back from vacation!

I am back, Finally!
We have a new follower!! Hooray!!! You are lucky # 13, Cjay! I tried to answer your comment while I was on vacation, but the cable on the island got zapped by lightning.
I hope your horses passed peacefully, and if they did not, it is a hard thing to deal with. I have no words of wisdom other than time has dulled the pain. Pride was really a once in a lifetime horse. I can't describe the bond we had in words. I need to sit down and dedicate a post to him and offer more stories of him, but at the risk of sounding like an neurotic mess, honestly I haven't had the emotional strength to do it.
Sugar was exactly what I needed, and still is. She is also many things I never wanted, a mostly white horse, a moody mare, and lastly...a Paint horse! She is very friendly, with a huge sense of humor and loves to put herself right "up in your business". Cleaning stalls? Oh here, let me dig in the wheelbarrow of saw dust and blow it all out! Cleaning water buckets? I'll pick up the hose and aim it at you! I think she puts up with me, and is just generally friendly to everyone, but our farrier once told me Sugar seems very bonded to me. Who knows!
Speaking of Sugar, she has rubbed a section of her skin by her forelock pretty hard while I was gone. The boyfriend thought it was a cut or injury of some kind, but alas it looks like the Neck Thread worms are back. I have sent him off to Tractor Supply for another round of Equimax. If that doesn't give her relief, I'm calling the vet out tomorrow. I will take pictures tomorrow.
It will be a few days until I post again, lots of catching up to do!