Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I often wonder...

how some people survive with horses.
So there I was, driving along on a busy and high speed road in my horsey hometown, and I notice someone got a new pony. My first thought is, well that's a small little paddock to keep a pony in all by itself, but let's keep an eye on it.
Two days later, I drive by (it's on my way home), and pony is gone. Hmm, did they sell? Return?
The next day I drive by, and slow down, I'm curious, I see that the paddock looks lived in. Pony must still be there.
Two weeks go by, paddock looks lived in, but no pony!
Last night, I practically stop in the middle of the road, looking for this pony. Lo and behold, there is the pony!!! Tied to a very long yellow rope, one end attached to the halter, one end attached to a golf cart, parked in the middle of the yard. Pony is grazing away at the plentiful grass in the yard.

I am certain Sugar would break all four of her legs at once if I tried this with her! haha

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sugar, 4 year old trail horse EXTRAORDINAIRE!!

I love my horse. I LOVE my horse. I LOVE MY HORSE!!!! Here they are pre-trail ride, representing their personalities, Rally waiting for something to eat him, Sugar dozing off. So, I was finally able to organize a trial ride with almost everyone at the barn going!!! It happened yesterday. There were four of us riding, and since one of the people was the barn owner's daughter who is only 13, her mom walked along with us. It was Sugar's first real trail ride (out of sight of the barn) and she was AWESOME!! Before you read this, please know as a barn, we are overly cautious riders...not the types to saddle up and ride out whereever and whenever we please.
I couldn't have asked for a better ride from Sugar. Other than the 13 year old's wonderful older mare, Sugar was the best horse out there. I was a little nervous at first (I'm more of a nervous rider than not a nervous rider) so BO (barn owner) suggested I ride in the round pen a little (I was the first one ready). Which I did, calmed down and got Sugar's attention.
So, we set off. BF (boyfriend) on his horse, Rally, a 13 year old, semi-spooky Arabian/Appaloosa cross, FB (Fellow Boarder) on her mare, Diamond, a 13ish year old Tennessee Walking mare, BOC (Barn Owner's Child) on her 21 year old AQHA mare, and me on 4 year old Sugar!! FB 's horse in the lead, BOC's mare in 2nd, Sugar & I in 3rd, and Rally in last. Rally needed to be last so Sugar and I could hold him back, he gets very excited and just wants to take off sometimes. However if Sugar is leading, he kind of just puts his nose right up her butt and walks along like that. Lucky for him, Sugar isn't bothered by it. Because this is our first jaunt away from the barn, we decided to pick our battles and that wasn't one of them. We agreed beforehand that we would be walking only, and that if one horse stops due to spooking or whatever, the next horse would continue on.
 FB's horse gets very spooky at a road bridge, and she actually stopped, BOC's horse did the same, so I gave Sugar a little squeeze and we took the lead. Rally was of course right behind us, and we climbed up the hill. Sugar is a slow horse, and once we got across the bridge, FB's horse was back in the lead. This trade off of lead horses happened a lot, with no real issues. Rally seriously prefers to be in the lead, but we did not allow him to be in the lead for most of the trip.
A car came up behind us (sugar hasn't really experienced this before) and she hardly noticed. A motorcycle would later go by us, and Sugar didn't care, an older loud Mustang went by us, and Sugar barely flicked her ear at it..GOOD MARE!!! We crossed several bridges, went by mailboxes, flags, trucks, farm machinery, etc....Sugar would look at it but that's it. She spooked twice...once at a loud noise in the woods right beside the road at one point, and once again when everyone else spooked. It only took that one time though for her to realize that she doesn't need to spook at everything they do.
FB used to gallop her horse and let her take off a little, so her horse was rarin' to go, which made her nervous. BO brought a lead and clipped it to said mare's tie-down, and they worked on that for a while.
It was a great experience, we are looking to repeat it in two weeks...hopefully Sugar's boots will be here by then. Sugar was so awesome, I am just in awe of how awesome that mare is.
PS- I got an Android cell phone...anyone have one? What are good apps? Any horse related apps?

Thursday, September 15, 2011


What a nice round number! 15. Welcome, Albigears!! I've read your blog for almost a year now, thanks for following mine!! Albigears writes the blog Wet Reins, it's on my reading list over on the right side. She runs the horse part of a program for children, a job I would love to have!! According to her latest post they are a little down on horse #s, I recommended the COTH giveaways section. If anyone has any other websites to offer, please share!! So I went to the barn to take care of Sugar's poor legs last night. I scrubbed the suspected scratches with anti-fungal shampoo. The back legs are much worse than the front, and the left hind is the absolute worst. Of course it's raining here today. Again. I'm thinking of keeping her inside for a day, but I would have to take her to the lower barn, which she doesn't like as much, and would be fretful without Rally, so I'd have to bring him down too. They look painful...at least the hinds do. I may have to call the vet tomorrow...I'm going to have Bryan check them tonight. By the way, prior to feeding I get her out and do about 3 minutes of ground work with her everday. It has GREATLY improved out groundwork skills. She's a different horse from the pushy demanding little mare I had at the end of winter. I need to make more saddle time, but it's nearly impossible to ride during the week with both full time work and full time school. It sucks, but she's living the good life and I'm making sure she gets to for the rest of her life :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I think...

Sugar has scratches!!! I think. Horizontal lines of crusty dirt between her fetlock joint and coronary band on the backs of her legs? ALL FOUR legs??I tried to bush them, but she didn't like that very much. I was out on Sunday,and she was normal. I was out last night, and she has these. I've posted on COTH. I've researched on COTH. Sugar has very sensitive skin. So I'm going to wash her with antifungal shampoo, concentrate on those areas, and get them cleaned up. Then I read that I shoudl put Desitin or Zinc Oxide on the lines to keep them clean and moisture free. Someone also said I could use Tomorrow, the stuff we use for Rally's thrush. It's been so wet here. I wish our barn was drier.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do they make horse sized rafts?

I've been reading and hearing a lot of stories about wildfires down south. I sure wish we could send them buckets & buckets of our rain. I hope none of you are in that area. Here in PA, we have had strong, steady rain for three days now. In fact, today we are scheduled to get four inches of rain...in ONE DAY.
The barn is flooding, there's a huge pool right outside of the stalls, and with too much more rain, the stalls will flood. However, the horses don't seem to mind, when I arrived last night all but one of them were out on the pastures sucking up the grass!
I cleaned up the poop piles as best as I could, and spent some time with Sugar :) She thinks every time some plastic rustles around it's a treat for her. So I had some Sour Patch Kids last night, and she of course pricked her ears forward and practically drooled. So, I thought, I'll let her taste a little bite, and she'll spit them right out and learn her lesson! She chewed it up, swallowed it and begged for more!
This is what I spent my whole weekend doing, up in Northern PA. This is my friend's Jeep, and we stopped for a picture, we do not normally stand in the back! I'm the middle girl, in the back.

Here we are again, in another friend's Jeep. We got stuck on a hill in the mud after this, and the boys tried and tried to get the Jeep out. There were two of us women with them, and we took a look at the situation, thought about it, and came up with a plan. When the guys had tried all they could, we took over, started our plan, and got down and pushed with them...the Jeep came right out!!I'm the only girl you can see in the picture, my boyfriend (Rally's owner) is up front on the right side, but you can't see him!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I have a new follower!! Welcome Sarah V.!!! If you have a blog, please share it in the comments, I love to read new blogs!
The substitute trimmer came out, and I found her to be very informative and knowledgeable. She is also based out of Maryland, and specializes in fitting boots!!! Hooray!! Sugar has been fitted for boots and she's a size "0" (ohhh, to be a size 0 again:) in the Easyboot Gloves. I'm really thinking of buyine two (fronts), and trying them. She's very tender on rocks and pavement. So much so that I'm reluctant to take her to our arena, which has a rocky path leading up to it. They are only $58.00 USD right now at Valley Vet. Since I am a "barefooter", I think it's high time Sugar and I can ride where we please!!!
She recommended getting the boots ASAP (while the trim is still fresh), and wearing them in. Upon which time I am to add the power strap to them (small-ish strap that goes across the front for extra stay on power), and contact the trimmer for a small pad to put in the bottom of the shoe. This pad will help stimulate the bottom parts of the foot to keep it growing and assist in blood flow to the hoof.
Now, back to regularly scheduled Sugar-loving, we tried the new bit and bridle. The bridle just doesn't fit her head correctly, it's supposed to be Cob sized, but the noseband is HUGE. I'm thinking about throwing Pride's old bridle back on her. Hmm.
So she's basically cured of the sideways treks up the arena hill when I ride her. Do you ever have anyone else get on your horse to see if they are truly fixed or if you just ride them differently now?
Her newest thing is not wanting to turn well, or also bend her body with the circle. I know that pain can cause this, but to my knowledge, she has not hurt herself. Before I call the vet back out, can you guys offer any training help on getting them to turn better or bend with the circle? Of course we are working on the give to pressure stuff with turning, but other suggestions are greatly appreciated.