Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Some Ride Time!

Harold face! 
Whoo hoo!!

Monday was ride day! Normally I would be at work bored out of my mind trying to keep my nearly one year old happy in a greasy mechanic shop. But she had been sick that weekend with a high fever and had been running one still the night before. Therefore I called the boss (aka my dad) and told him I would be staying home with her that day.

Long story short I took her to the pediatrician that morning and then she fell asleep and took a nearly three hour nap in the car on the way home so I got to play with my horsey! (Shes fine BTW, just a virus on its way out) I had to jump a few hoops to get it done but it worked!

First I parked the girls by the round pen and then ran across the pasture back to the house to grab the kids wagon. See, the saddle and my bridle were in the hubbys shop and I couldn't pick it up with my vehicle without risking waking the bebe.

The sight of me running across the pasture trailing a huge western saddle in a child's wagon had to be hilarious! Sadly I didn't have my phone to document as my oldest was burning up youtube with it ;) It fell out once too, which was pretty funny, haha.

Oh, you wanted me??
I threw the saddle up on the round pen panel and headed out with Chloe to get Harold. I knew they were out towards the back of the front pasture, so I figured if I shook the grooming bucket that had some horse treats in it they would be enticed to come up. Uh, NO. I shook and called and shook and called. I even went and got a real grain bucket with real grain in it and that still didn't do it! Finally I threw some in the grain feeder and smacked it a few times and Chatterbox decided that he might come see what was going on. And finally 5 minutes later Mr. Harold decided to grace us with his presence! It was easy peasy grabbing him again. I did have to have a discussion with him outside the pasture when Chatterbox decided to high tail it back to his girlfriend, Stormy (who I never saw hide nor hair of, brat!). I finally made a break through with his back up at this point.

Apparently I have been being too soft on him. Previous times I thought  I had been whacking him pretty hard with the stick to get some energy out of his back, but I really laid into him this time when he started bouncing about a bit and he said Yes Ma'am pretty quick after that! And was a jewel afterwards. It's hard on a lot of horses to leave their friends and go off from them and behave themselves alones. And he did great the entire time after our 'discussion'.

After we got to the round pen we went through our ground work exercises briefly. I love how he can be out to pasture for 2 or 3 weeks and come back and act like it was 2 or 3 days. That is exactly what this busy mama needs!

So we went into our lunging for respect exercise and that went ok, then he started to get a little cheeky and throw a few leaps in when we changed direction. I think it's his way of being goofy. Once he gets some of the zoomies out he gets pretty lazy.

After that I did his lateral flexion both sides. Left was good so I focused mostly on the right. He was pretty stiff and even pawed a few times to let me know he wasn't thrilled with it. But I finally got some decent yields and called it quits. It's just something we have to chip away at each session.

Lookin snazzy in his pretty saddle blanket
I threw the pad and saddle on him and the new saddle surprisingly went on easy. I grabbed the brother in laws saddle and pad and am going to use it from now on. He isn't riding at all anymore. I think it is a tad wide for Harold though. He isn't as bulky a QH as Daisy was. The breastcollar was wider then I liked on him too so will probably swap that out. Although I could just leave it off, not like we really need one.

He tacked up great, I even had him tote his saddle blanket from the shed to the round pen and he didn't mind, haha. Climbed on and away we go! The saddle was awesome, if fits me a lot better then the FIL's Billy Cook. It has kind of clunky stirrups that I thought I wouldn't like, but I didn't notice a problem with them at all while I was riding.

We did some lateral flexion while I was on him which went ok, he definitely needs a lot more of it though because when he doesn't want to go the way I want him to go he is pretty stiff. And his ABSOLUTE FAVORITEST WAY is back to the round pen gate, lol. Or pretty much anywhere over near that side.

About this time I had asked him to halt and flexed few times again. Then he shook his head and CLANK. His bridle hit the ground. BIT AND ALL. What the?! I was so stunned I just sat there a minute and then started laughing, Stinking one ear bridles! I mean, it wasn't even a bad shake, just a, there is a fly on my head/ear, shake. So I guess I need to put a throatlatch or something on it before I ventured from the round pen. I don't have a curb strap on it either, so maybe it would at least stay in his mouth if that happened again? Lol, anyway, it was definitely a funny moment. And of course he just stood there while I jumped off and re bridled him acting like, is it nap time yet?

So his trot was pretty zoomy that day for some reason. I tried to rate him a bit but that didn't help so I decided to do some figure 8's and work on being soft and flexed in the turns. He did pretty good! By this time I figured the end of my little stinker's nap was coming and Chloe was wanting to ride. She wanted to ride with me so I jumped down, hoisted her up and then climbed up behind her. There was just enough room for me to squeeze in there, although I was kind of sitting on the cantle, lol. She had a ball. I let her have the reins and tell him when to turn and woah etc.

We rode for about 10 minutes then untacked him and checked on sissy, she was awake and not happy about missing the fun so I grabbed her out and we walked Harold back to his pasture and let him loose. He ran off like a silly thing neighing for his buddies.

Here we are doing our LFR! (lunging for respect) And I left music off so you could hear my hilarious daughter. "He sure does like shoes!" LOL



Harold LFR from Britnieann on Vimeo.

And here is a funny and really shaky video my 4 year old took for me. You will see the ground more then us ;).


Harold Nov. from Britnieann on Vimeo.

This was all LAST Monday, although the date on the post will be right, it is now the 18th at the time I am finally getting this posted.

We had some FRIGID air come in so I put Harold a blanket on last night. He did GREAT. I bet he's never had a blanket on before but you would never have been able to tell. I think his friends were a tad jealous ;).

The father in laws horse sure can do a good giraffe impression!
Stormy says, cookies??

I'm really hoping his blanket is still in once piece when I see him today. The other horses were quite interested in it and he is the low man on the totem pole so he will let them eat it if they want, I'm sure!

That's all for now, have a great day everyone!



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Harold Time!


Had to get a pic of his silly lazy lip
Had some free time on Saturday so I got to go out and see my long lost horsey! The needy one (my ten month old) was down for a nap so I didn't feel too bad leaving the husband to chill on the couch with my oldest.

I probably would have took her with me except I was sure I was going to have to traipse all through the pasture to find him. So I told her she could come out when sissy woke up. She was still not convinced I wasn't leaving her for far more interesting things for far too long and proceeded to have a melt down. I sort of did feel bad about leaving the husband at that point! Sorry darlin! Lol.

So I walk my little self out there and low and behold THERE THEY ARE! Right up by the gate. And my horse even came up to greet me and stood stock still for me to halter him. Wow, what a treat.

I thought about cleaning him up before working with him but they always stand better for all that after they have some of the wiggly's out so I just went on and reviewed all we had learned from a few weeks ago. Well, almost three weeks ago now that I look.

He did great! Back up is still slow, alas, so working on that. I tried a little of the marching back (hold the stick like a ski pole and march with high legs and arms up and down towards the horse.) I would smack him with the whip in between his legs to get some energy but that mainly made him go sideways on me. We did some hindquarter yield, good on the left side, not as good on the right, which translated to our work later, which I will mention. Then I did some forequarter yielding. He did great! Hardly any forward motion, and I didn't have to put my stick down this time either.

Sleepy Harold is sleepy
So then I decided to go for it and see how he did with lunging for respect. I was a little nervous because I've def not mastered it myself, and it all happens so fast. But he did great! I got a nice small trot circle out of him and a decent disengage. But then the father in law showed up and started griping about his grass getting torn up and I had to move to the round pen, sigh.

So then he got worried about being away from his mates and neighed a bit and threw a little leap kick fit which I was not amused by -_-. I kept working with him tho and he settled down. He definitely is weak disengaging on his right (bad) side. So he kept getting too close to me and I'd have to back him up. In the beginning he kept thinking I wanted him to go back out trotting but finally got it. I also went back and did some more yielding his hindquarters to the right and then went back to lunging which helped a tad.

I decided to stop a bit and do some lateral flexing. I figured he would have gotten his antsyness out and be ready to settle. Nope! He was flexing but still more interested in his buddies. So around we went with some more lunging and a lot of changes of direction. He was getting good at almost doing a rollback when I told him to move off. Def had some hustle! The second time we stopped he was ready ;).

So I got him where I thought he was focusing a bit better and then decided to take my first bareback ride on him! No idea if he has been rode bareback before but he didn't give a care! I tied his lead to the other side of his halter and sidled him up next to the fence. I wasn't real optimistic he was going to stand there but I wanted to try! The first time he moved off but after I poked him back over and climbed onto the fence the second time he did great! Let me clamber on and didn't move until I asked, good man!

I'm so glad his top line has filled in because his backbone would have been murder! I was wishing for a nice long mane like Daisy had instead of the scraggly thing he has, to hold onto!

After I had enough fun Chloe wanted a turn so I led her around while her papa held on to her. She had a ball!

Well thats about all! I led him back to the pasture and tied him up to give him a quick brush down. He tried to be silly there and move around a bit wanting to find his buddies who had deserted him but I gave him a few pokes in the side and moved him back where he was a few times and he then stood like a gentleman.

After I threw him back into the pasture he trotted around a bit trying to find Chatterbox and Stormy but was unsuccessful getting back into the big pasture where they were, lol. He kept staring out towards where they were across the cow pasture that adjoins but apparently forgot how to get out there. I imagine he finally figured it out, though ;).

I checked out his hooves, which are all barefoot, and they look pretty good. He has worn the edges down real smooth and I don't see any cracks etc. So I will probably wait until my farrier recovers from her broke arm instead of trying to find another one.

Here is a short video of us riding!



Harold Bareback from Britnieann on Vimeo.


Until later!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Out To Pasture

So horsey happenings have been nonexistent lately, sad to say. For some unknown reason the FIL after owning his horse for TWO YEARS decided he is going to move him out of the pasture he has ALWAYS been in and put him out in the back pasture with Stormy. The other two geldings, Skip and Rusty got moved to an even farther pasture.

What does this mean for me? Well unless I want my horse to be all by his self in the front lot by the house, he also has to move to the back pasture. Which means I will not be able to feed him without chasing off TWO other horses, or getting him out and then waiting for him to eat, and putting him back in. -_-

I went out there a few mornings to see if I could call them up but they didn't come. I frankly just do not have the time in the mornings with these kids of mine to go out there and track him down and wait for him to eat. SO! I let it go and decided to see how he looked after a week or so.

Well here he is!


Three amigos (well one amiga, lol)


He looks great to me! I guess he grass time did him good. His color is even so much better.

Of course he still has ribs showing but they are getting better. So the plan right now is worm him again this week. Forget the grain for right now. He got through about one 20lb bag and a half. And once we get hay bought I will probably move him back to the top by himself so I can work with him. I just can't spend that much time catching him in a huge 15 acre pasture. Plus I don't want to take the girls out there with me by myself. If it was just him I wouldn't mind as much but three horses together can get pretty stupid.

I hope he packs on the weight quickly though! Our nights have already hit 40's at times. If I need to I can grain him again when I get him moved but its going to be harder of course to put weight on after it gets cool.

Anyway, I loved when we went out there that while, he didn't come up to us, he didn't walk away either when I walked up to him. Just continued to calmly graze while I petted and rubbed him down. Good boy! 

Hopefully will have more interesting news soon!!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Week

Sweet face!
Not too much interesting to report. Didn't get to ride this past week, but did get to play with him a few times. Mainly just reinforcing our back and yielding hindquarters. Then one day we worked the forequarters and made some good progress. I am a member on a CA group on Facebook and they gave me some good tips on teaching it. The big thing that helped was putting the stick down and just using my hands.

Still working on not making ugly faces when its grain time. I'm sure it doesn't help that he is in with another horse now. But he has to learn he doesn't get to make faces at me no matter what.


Friday was a fun day. I walked out with the girls in the double stroller and fed the horses. Then got Harold out and worked him a bit until Shelby started getting antsy. After that he got a good grooming. I took a picture to compare to his others. I think he is definitely filling in, yeah. I really hope I can get him pretty close to ideal weight before the cold nights set in. 

2 weeks ago
Friday
Mainly I see it along his topline/backbone. He is filling in a bit around his ribs too. I'm going to worm him again next week per the vets instructions and I'm sure that will help too.

As an aside, anyone had a horse that has a GORGEOUS tail but totally cruddy mane and forelock??

Also, STILL NO PAPERS! Going to text him again today.

Until later!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Perfect Monday Afternoon!

Totally goofy selfie! But I have no other photos, lol

I am happy to report my utter pleasure with new gelding today! He was great yesterday! I hope I don't have a Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde horse, geesh. 

Anyway the little stinker was asleep on the way home so I went out and parked by the pasture. I was successful at getting Chloe's shoes on and her out of the car without waking Shelby up so I went ahead and grabbed my halter and stick. I parked little girl in a chair in the shade with a video on my phone and went to get ole Harold.

He stood and let me catch him! Thats so nice when you have been dealing with a hard to catch horse for a while, lol. He didn't have a smidgen of problem with the spring loaded little gate we had to squeeze through to get out either. 

The breeze was blowing, the sunlight was coming down through the trees at a pretty autumn angle and it was just perfect. He was calm and quiet, listening well and being a super sweet boy. Just a great end to the first day of the week!

So I worked some more on his back, which is still very slow. And then on his hindquarter yield. Its pretty good on his better side, getting a tad better on his bad side. Then I added the forequarter yield. Which was a pain again! I had an awful time with Stormy too. Apparently it's one of the hardest exercises to teach.

He would do it great the first time each side and then walk forward, walk back, etc. Everything but what I wanted! I got a few good times and quit, hopefully to build on it next time. I liked that even though I was having to back him up a lot to correct him, and he wasn't really getting the right answer, he didn't get flustered or upset at all. Just kept trying to figure it out.

Here is a video I made the other day of my hubby riding! Very short. The girls also make an appearance briefly.



And here is a video from the other day. Just some back up and hindquarter yielding.



Well, got to go, have a fussy baby today, adios!