Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Good gosh, what has it been, another 2 or 3 weeks?! Poor neglected pony! But he was as sweet and obliging as ever when I went out last Friday to see him. And he loved all the hugs and kisses from my sweet Chloe :).

So I'm not sure if I mentioned before, but my farrier got her wrist broken shoeing a horse a while back and has been out of commission. We first met her when I looked online for a good farrier for my mom's horse. Who supposedly had white line in all four hooves, (turns out she didn't, phew!). Anyway I loved her so much that I called her to do my horse. But she broke her wrist before she was able to come out, so as soon as she was back to work I booked her!

Thankfully Harold's hooves wore pretty even and didn't crack much at all even though it has been quite a while since he was trimmed. When I bought him he was losing his front shoes so was due even back then.

So Friday I went out to give him a tune up and remind him he has manners. I don't think it was really needed but I had fun playing with him anyway! With my youngest having her 1st birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, the weather, it's been a challenge to get out there!

The original plan was to keep Shelby girl asleep in the car and park by the round pen, bring Harold over there and do some round penning since it's been a while... Well that was going well until I accidentally kicked the side of my door panel trying to unlock Chloe's door from the inside (so I wouldn't have to push the button and make that loud unlocking noise) and SNAP eyes are open and jabber jabber, we are awake! Sigh.

New plan! The girls wagon was sitting there so I plopped them both in there and took off to see Mr. Harold. The horses weren't up by the gate but we called for them a while and finally saw some movement over in the other pasture. They took their time coming but did finally mosey up and I went out and greeted Harold with a cookie which he very much enjoyed!

My little girl takes the neatest shots
I left the girlies in the wagon by a tree nearby with lots of toys and their sippie cups and put Harold through his paces. Which he did excellently! Back up is still stickier then I'd like, but he is doing great with his hindquarter yields and even did quite well with his forequarter yields! Lateral flexing was okay, not quite as good as I'd like. One thing he did so good at was desensitizing. I was doing my standard throw of the rope over his body and legs and before I got done with more then 2 or so throws he would blow out and relax. Lol, he has definitely figured out what makes me stop tossing the rope! Funny boy.

I had forgot my grooming bucket over by the round pen so didn't get to give him a good brushing. I did pick up his feet and he did pretty well. He's definitely lazy so would rather not have to hold his feet up very long. He's also a little sticky with his back feet, he might have a bit of stiffness there, he is middle age after all! Or just laziness, lol.

By then I knew it wouldn't be long before my little one would be done with the wagon so I put him back out and traipsed back to the house!

The next day the farrier got there around two. Chloe and I went out earlier and called the horses up. Grabbed Harold and parked by the round pen and brushed him down. He did great out there, no calling or other nonsense. I had the farrier come out there in case I needed to run him around. I wasn't sure how he did for the farrier and figured I'd be better off safe then sorry. But it wasn't needed! He stood very well! Just relaxed and stood there like a good boy! Yeah, Harold!

My awesome farrier! 
As you can see his condition is taking a turn backwards, ugh. I am kicking the other two out in the back pasture tonight (they pick on him anyway and keep him away from the hay) and Harold is getting senior feed and oil twice a day with all the hay he can eat. Blanket if its rainy and or super cold. I've been hesitant about rocking the boat with the in laws but its just gotten way too bad. I wish I had checked on him better before he got this bad. I also wish it was warmer! He can still communicate with the other horses through the fence.

Anyway my farrier loved Harold and said he was going to be a super nice horse when I got him filled out. She thought he looked like a cutter, lol. She said he toes out a bit, and also his left front has a bit of a growth issue. She said if I start riding him a lot I might think about front shoes to help with soreness. I might shoe him when it gets warmer and I get to ride more. She said his feet looked pretty good besides being a little unbalanced. 

Well thats about all! Still hounding the previous, previous owner for his papers. Still getting all kinds of excuses, and "I will send them". -_- So flipping annoying. Until later!

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
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!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Getting To Know You

So when I get a new horse I don't usually take things at face value. I wish horses were the same every day and you see what you get, but that's just not the case.

A little discouraged with the new gelding right now. He showed some goofy tendencies last night that I wasn't real thrilled with. He also seems to be pulling that ugly face I talked about (pinning ears) more then I like. Although to be fair, I still haven't really decided if at some times its just the way he listens. (While riding I mean.)

So anyway I didn't get to do anything with him Friday actually. We have small group at our house every so often and I was quite busy cleaning and making food most of the day. Plus the little stinker took her nap at the wrong time, :).

So Saturday I had my plan to ride and then give him a bath. We had a birthday party that afternoon so didn't have quite as much time as I'd like. I wanted to move him out of the round pen and in with the father in laws horse but we ended up doing that the next day.

So I worked him in the halter for a bit and then rode. Went pretty good, but he was more sullen that day, and I noticed him putting his ears back. Which he seemed to do also the last ride, but I guess I didn't notice it? I went back and looked at pictures. He was better at respecting my leg, I hardly had to smack him with the reins at all. I didn't lope, but did a lot of trotting. I was happy to notice again that his trot is much more sittable when he settles in and gets a nice sow pace going.

My husband wanted to ride this time! And let me just brag on him for a minute. He has been awesome with him. He even keeps volunteering to feed him for me! I know! He has also approved a plan of trying to fence in our OWN PASTURE! There is a large at least 1 acre field next to our house that we usually mow. I have always wanted to fence it. I finally got the go ahead from him, but still have to talk to the in laws (about a quarter of it would be their land) and also make sure the black walnut trees won't be a problem. (they aren't in the pasture but I have read the roots under ground can be a problem).

What do you all think? Ears are back, but eyes seem relaxed

Ears back, eyes look a little annoyed
As an aside, let me know what you all think about the ears back thing. Just listening, or annoyance?? Thanks!

Anyway, the hubby did really well! Harold tested him to begin with but after he figured out he would smack him with the reins too, he did fine. And my guy has only rode like maybe half a dozen times in his life, lol. Then he asks me how to make him lope, and I was like wha?? Then says I mean trot! I was like yeah, you don't want to lope him, lol. Although I guess he would be as good as any horse unless you had a western pleasure machine. Anyway, that was a little hairy at first. He couldn't get him to trot and then finally he smacked him and then he was all over the place, lol. And his trot is so bouncy and fast at first the husband wasn't real thrilled, at one point he says, "it feels like he's running now!" I laughed and assured him he was still trotting!

After he was done I tried to persuade little girl to get on but she didn't have her special reins so she didn't want to, lol. So over to the bath tree and he got what I am sure was his first bath in years.

He did great, not a problem at all about walking out of his round pen and over where he had never been before. Which confuses me about what happened the next day. Anyway, he didn't mind the water at all until it got close to his head. But even when I washed his head he did pretty good! I put some baby oil in his tail, hoping that will help loosen that big mat. Also put a ton of conditioner in it. One of these days I'm gonna have to find time to work on it!

So onto Sunday. After I came home from band practice (I play violin in our church) we traipsed out there with the girls. I got Stormy (after a bit of chasing around) and threw her back out with her 'boys' then came back and fetched Harold out of the round pen. Who proceeded to turn into a fire breathing monster! Snort, snort, snort, head in the clouds, jumping at every little thing. UGH!! I was not pleased, to say the least.

So I made him woah and back back back. He would stop snorting and calm down and on we would go a few more feet. He would be back to snorting, tense, head up, so we would back back back some more. We did this all the way over there. Once we got to the pasture I made him stand still and just look at Chatterbox for a while until he quit trying to move and calmed down a bit. Then I let them sniff each other through the fence. Chatterbox tried to strike at him once (and met the gate, lol) but that was about it. So I had the husband distract him with some grain away from the gate and put Harold in there.

And everything went good! They sniffed each other and then Harold went off checking out the pasture with Chatterbox trailing him.

BTW, does anyone but me think the FIL's horse is fat as a hog?? He doesn't think so! Yuck. So this morning everyone seemed fine. I did see a small rub spot on Harolds head, and the top hot wire by the little gate was down for some reason -_-, but other then that, nothing. I was also in a hurry to get to work, so I'm HOPING that is all.

I'd like to get out there today and do some more round penning with him. I need to get him started on lunging for respect. I'm hoping these things will create the trust and partnership I need to have a good relationship with him.

I've also been checking the mail every day in great anticipation of his papers arriving! I hope they will be here today! Or at least this week.

Until later!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday - First Ride!

Well, first ride at home at least! Sunday after church we came home, ate some pizza per our usual routine and then headed out to play with our new horse! The night before the girls and I went to tractor supply and got all kinds of goodies for him. A new bit, grooming spray, Chloe bought her some special reins to ride him with, and a salt lick. Oh and wormer! I had called the vet earlier that day and asked what I needed to do to get weight back on him. He told me worm him now and then again in three weeks. Feed him some senior feed and add plain vegetable oil on top. Up to a cup a day if they can stand it, he said some horses don't like it. He doesn't seem to mind at all, lol.

So I did a little ground work to begin with. Building on what we had done the day before. I discovered he doesn't like his ears handled much, so we worked on that again. Also added some hindquarter yielding, which he did really well at as long as I was doing what I was supposed to.

His reaction to my touching his ear, lol
Then I parked him by the gate and gave him another good brushing, finally seeing some shine this time! I grabbed the grooming spray and started on his mane. He had had no problem at all with fly spray the day before, so I didn't expect an issue. Well apparently he didn't like it that close to his head and started jiggling around trying to get away from me. Well I just let him go wherever he wanted but he still got sprayed! Finally he stood still snorting and let me spray him, so then I stopped. By then he had quite a wet shoulder and neck, lol. Silly boy. I took him back over to the gate and we proceeded with no further protests from Mr. Harold.

I got him tacked up with no issue (besides the cinch being way too long for skinny boy) and hopped up! He of course tried to move off immediately (at least he doesnt move when I try to get on too!) so we worked on that until he was waiting on me for the cue. I need to get him yielding laterally so he knows he will be doing that right after I get on and not walking off. I will have to wait for a day without the husband and kids waiting on me though.

I put him through his paces again, he was pretty good! I think he was happy with his new bit. It's this one:

Its a D-ring snaffle with a copper mouth. Has a nice curve to the mouthpiece. So I had nice long reins to work with this time instead of those silly barrel/roping reins that was on the cruddy nylon headstall at his previous owners. Which were great for a spanker when he didn't want to trot, and especially awesome to keep at the ready while we were loping as a motivator, lol. 

I enjoy riding him, he nearly always keeps his head level, doesn't move too fast, and is pretty responsive to the bit if I remember to use my reins right. He also doesn't seem to resent being rode, which I got from Daisy a lot, lol. I just wish his gaits were better! I found out he is out of halter blood, which sort of explains it. They are so BOUNCY! 

Here is a short vid I put together! Chloe is on it at the end for her ride, you'll see her AHH freak out face to begin with, lol, she is so timid about everything. But she ended up loving it. ;) If you want the video bigger click the Vimeo icon. And watch in HD! The quality gets a little icky at one point, the husband turned my phone over sideways to video half way through so I had to flip it in an editor and it didn't like that.

Harolds First Ride from Britnieann on Vimeo.

You can see to him a downward transition is a WOAH, lol, which kept catching me off guard. He looks like he could be athletic if he wanted to. Check out his snappy little turns starting at 1:30. I see some jumps in his future! :D

Thirsty horse
I could have rode forever but the natives were getting restless over there on the rail. So I got to a good stopping point and then it was Chloe's turn! He was very careful with her and she was so proud to be able to ride him herself!

So I gave him his first grain and veggie oil on Monday night. I was afraid he might be a picky eater since he didn't eat the watermelon rind we offered him the other night. But he loves it, lol. A little too much the next morning. He tried to make an ugly face at me when I walked up to him while he was eating. But after I chased him around and made him do some turns he decided to be a good boy and haven't had a problem since. 

I have worked with him a few times over this week. Been mostly busy with dinner, cleaning house, doing laundry and babies! Tomorrow is my off day so I want to try to ride him then and give him a bath. 

I took some reference photos the other day so I can see his weight gain. 

Not a great conf pic, but good enough to check weight changes

Whats with the flash photography?? 
He followed the husband all over and just stood next to him while he picked up his manure, lol!
Last night I got to play with him a little. Worked on his hindquarter yield and backing again. Touching his ears. By then it was getting dark so I gave him his grain and went home to play some Uno with the fam, ;).

I'll update again about tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Good Ol' Harold!

I flipping love my new horse. Well, OUR horse! He is definitely going to be a great 'family' horse. Chloe had her very first ever 'solo' ride on a horse Sunday. He was awesome for her. You could see him almost tiptoeing trying to be slow and easy for her.

I need to get the little squirt a helmet now! Look, how cute is this!!:

Too bad its 50 bucks, ugh. Will have to wait a bit on that. The good thing about though is it has one of those dial things that will adjust and last her a long time.

So! I have a lot to catch up on! I guess I need to start at the beginning. I found him on craigslist last week. I periodically check it out, and a few facebook horse sale pages. Well I called about him and decided he was worth a look. I really liked his sale picture. And PRICE! (I actually didn't pay for him, my parents bought him. I am trading the price of him out for gas. When I go work with their horses they buy my gas (they live on the other side of the county from me), so now instead of that they bought me a horse, lol.)

So I start researching the guy that owns him hoping to find some more pictures of the horse somewhere. Eventually I find out the guy has been on a reality tv show on CMT! I KNOW! So funny. He was on Sweet Home Alabama. It was about 10 city boys and 10 country boys trying to win this one girl. Anyway, he did pretty good apparently but didn't win.

He was super nice and accommodating. He told me he races barrel racers all over the country. He was actually training a nice gelding in the pretty arena he had when we pulled up. He had Harold in the round pen they had in the barn. So he tacked him up for me, well put the saddle on him, and I cinched him up and put his bridle on. He was a gentleman for all of it. Then I hopped on. I found out right away he didn't have any buttons. He also was super lazy and didn't want to stand still after you stopped. Which is kind of strange combination with the laziness. But eventually he figured out if he moved off without being told he had to back up quite a few steps and got better. I bet who rode him before 'trained' him that whenever he was on him he was to be going.

I walk trot and loped him in there, which got pretty dusty, ugh. He was pretty good, I had to smack him a bit on the hiney with my hand to get him to go a few times. The guy was amazed because he hasn't even seen him trot, haha. I didn't really like how he pinned his ears a bit when asked to go faster, but I figured that was something we could work on. I also didn't like how flipping BOUNCY his trot was, ugh. 

After I felt good in there we ventured out into the yard/pasture. The man who owned him went and fetched his horse off the cross ties (I was amazed how quiet and polite he was just standing there waiting) and went on and worked him some more in the arena. So I just moseyed on around and found some scary stuff to go by, over, etc. He did great. I even rode right next to the arena where the barrel horse was tearing it up and he didn't bat an eye. He just trucked on down through the pasture with his head down.

I was pretty sure I wanted him at that point, although wasn't really feeling a 'connection' with him and kept going back and forth. Then I stopped over by the bleachers where my husband and the babies were and he wouldn't stand still very well. Then the man came up on his horse and he neighed at him and after I dismounted he would not be still and stand, Chloe was so excited about petting him and I really couldn't let her because I was afraid he would run her over. So thats when I said no. It was getting late and I felt like I was keeping the guy, so I played it safe. 

We left and went to eat at cracker barrel and I kept thinking about him. Then the next morning I was like, what the crap, I think I want him! I then went back and forth all day, prayed about it. I still didn't make a decision till Saturday morning. So thankful for my awesome husband, he was totally supportive.

So I decided if he still had him I would go get him. He did! He was trailering a horse to bham but was able to get his mom to unlock the gate and take our money. 

I didn't think we would have any trouble with him in the trailer and I was right! He took a look at the pretty substantial step up and then walked right on! Which that huge four horse is pretty inviting, lol. We even stopped at walmart for a bit to get a few things. Never heard a peep or stomp out of him.

Its a good hour 15 or so home. Opened up the doors and had him back off, even though there was plenty of room to turn around. I wanted to make sure he could. He did great. He walked off and just looked around as calm as can be! I walked him to his temporary home in the round pen and let him sniff it and check it out a bit. 

Just off the trailer!
Checkin out his new digs
Then I broke out the Clinton Anderson on him. He wasn't real thrilled with working and I had to give him a few good lashes on the hiney. But soon he was speeding up from just a point and cluck. He did pretty well with his turns, had a few more wrong outside then Stormy. Speaking of Stormy, he is her opposite in so many ways. I kept subconsciously waiting for him to respond like her and was almost confused when he didn't, lol. Definitely an adjustment period!

So I did some follow me stuff, which didn't go too well in the beginning. He was more interested in the grass. But after I sent him back out a few times he was stuck good. I liked how he didnt try to climb in my lap like Stormy did. I put his halter on after that and did some desensitizing and backing up. Which was difficult! Stormy, being very reactive, was so responsive to the wiggle wave. He was just kind of like, oh, are you doing something? Lol, I even tried tapping his nose pretty firmly with the stick and he still just sort of stood there! After two or three days of working on it we are getting a bit better! But a whack on the chest to him is like a fly, lol.

After that he got a good brushing! Chloe girl came in and stood on a bucket to help me. He stood there so good. He was filthy, I don't think he's seen a brush in months. Definitely not a bath in years. If I get a good warm day Friday that will be on the agenda! We are gradually cooling off around here, usually low 80's most days, 60's at night. Fall is a comin!

He has the silliest lazy lip, lol
I looked at his tail briefly and saw a HUGE mat in it. I mean its massive. And solid. I really have my doubts I will be able to get it out. Its a solid mass of balled up hair like four inches long. It's on the inside of his tail so maybe it wouldn't be too noticeable if I had to cut it out. Thankfully he has a pretty awesome tail already.

So that was his first day! I was really feeling good about going back for him! I'll leave our first ride for our next post!