Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quick Visit

Well it's been forever since I've been able to get out to see my horse. Yeah, I DO STILL have a horse, it's something I have to remind myself of! I have been looking fairly seriously for a new house with land for Harold, but nothing comes up in OUR price range. Not yet at least.

We need at least a 3 bedroom, preferably 4 (I'll tell you why later!) At least 1400 sq ft with at least 5 acres, preferably more like 10-20. We don't want to be around people. We want to feel like we live in the woods, but of course with plenty of cleared land too. My ideal place would have lots of cleared pasture land for Harold (and other horses/ponies!) But surrounded by lots of woodland for the husband to hunt in and go for hikes etc, and privacy!
We also need to be in a certain area so Chloe can stay in the same school, plus its the area my husband works and we like.

We have had a few come close, we even put an offer in on one, but the price they need for it is a LOT more then we are willing to pay. (It had 20 acres of beautiful land but the house was built in the 40's and needed a lot of work)

Anyway, I used to just take my girls out there with me to see Harold but it's become too dangerous with him out in the other pasture. The three other horses (along with Chatterbox on the other side) are too much of an x factor. I'm not going to risk them. And the times I have without the girls are VERY few and far between. Usually the weekend which is when I finally get to spend time with my husband and all of us do something together. My family comes first, that's just the way it is.

But, I think it will be better soon. It's about hay time and I will be moving him up to the top pasture with the FIL's horse and start graining him again. Then I will be able to leave Chatterbox in the pasture and work him either in the round pen or out in front of the pasture without having to worry about any other horses being stupid or getting in my way.

But! I did get to see him last weekend! Friday I went out to feed Chatterbox  after I dropped the oldest munchkin off at kindergarten and I just happened to look back and saw they were all grouped at the pasture fence way in the back of the front pasture. So we traipsed out to see them! I think they have probably picked up on his feeding schedule and stand back there hoping someone will feed them too, lol.

I didn't get any pics since I left my phone in the car, but we just stood there and petted him awhile, well, Shelby had to pet all of them SEVERAL times, lol. Rusty tried to be a pain and push everyone around but I threw a few sticks at him and he stayed away from me, at least, lol. Harold seemed happy to see us and was eager to get lots of pets.

The next day was opening day of dove season so we were out in the back pasture hoping to shoot some birds. No luck though. We did enjoy the gorgeous weather and I got a few pics of the horses when they came to visit.

This is the hierarchy of the pasture in one picture! Poor Harold is the bottom of the pile, lol,
 but Skip is pretty nice to him

Pretty boy!

Posing for me, lol
His condition was a lot better then I thought it would be. But we have been getting good rain all summer. I also think he has setttled into the herd and is not so nervous, which would make him lose weight as well.

Whenever I can cough up $300 extra bucks I'm going to get his winter hay and start feeding him the senior feed again to get him where I want him before it gets cold. Fitted out and at a good weight I bet he would be a stunner. He is FULL of halter blood after all!

So! If you read my other blog you already know my news, but if you don't here it is!

I'm pregnant again! Here we go with #3!!

Little jelly bean at 8 weeks
So I'm currently 13 weeks, about to start my 2nd trimester, the FUN one, whoo hoo! I'm feeling pretty good! I'm staying more active with this baby, and plan to still do lots of ground work with Harold. If I feel like my belly is getting in the way or I'm being strained too much, I will quit, but for at least another two or three months I should be good.

I really want to set up an obstacle course to play with him on since I won't be riding any time soon. I've been watching some Clinton Anderson shows on the course on RFDTV and it looks like so much fun, and great for building communication and respect between the handler and horse. But we need to get our fundamentals down better. I haven't even done the sending exercise with him yet, which would be essential on the course.

Anyway the course has things to jump, trot/canter over, ditches, water, platforms, etc. Some of them will be more doable then others!

Well thats about all for right now!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No, I Haven't Sold (or Killed) My Horse

He is still out there! I think...I haven't been able to go out and see him in 2, actually 3, weeks. Yeah, that is my horse life right now. Sucks. The only horse I get to see is my father in laws goofy palomino because I have to feed him every morning -_-.

This is him 2 (or 3) weeks ago.

This picture makes his head look gigantic

After much yelling and screaming and such, I finally extricated him from his pasture and got the FIL's stupid palomino to leave me alone so I could work with him for a few minutes. Mainly just did some lunging for respect because his mind was on everything BUT me.

I was so annoyed about the whole situation I got him going half way good and then put him back out. By the time he went back out he was acting like a gentleman and had done well, but I still felt like it was a failure because I had to fight so hard to get him out AND back into his pasture. Plus I didn't get time to do much at all. Cue the pouty face!

So I'm just kind of in a holding pattern with him right now. I keep HOPING the father in law will quit hogging the front pasture so I can see my horse once in a blue moon. I could put him back in there and feed him again but there is NO hay left and NO grass in there. No, I don't know why the FIL doesn't realize his horse is getting pretty much no forage. Or why he doesn't seem to care if he does realize this. -_-

We have been halfway looking for another house. We actually looked at one the other day that had a flipping AWESOME place for horses. At least 8 acres of just hot wire fenced pasture. Plus 1 more that the house/yard was on. A huge, HUGE, barn with 4 stalls and a tack room plus indoor area to ride. But, sadly the house was crap and the area was just so-so.

Well, thats about all right now, just wanted yall to know we were still around!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Still An Animal...

Not sure how to start this post, wish it was a happy one like they usually are.

So I was reminded again this weekend that no matter how much you love our horse and think you know their temperament, they are still an animal with their own minds and sometimes they just do stupid crap.

I guess I need to elaborate.

Friday afternoon the girls and I went out to the pasture to fish with my oldest's new fishing pole that the 'Easter Bunny' brought her, ;) After that we walked back up the the top pasture where Harold and Chatterbox are and decided to go ahead and feed them for the afternoon and while Harold was eating try and get some more winter hair brushed off him.

After I got some hair knocked off I grabbed the hair spray and got him sprayed down. I was holding Shelby (my 16 month old) most of the time letting her help me brush, but put her down to fly spray him. He of course wiggled around a bit and acted like he was not happy about being sprayed like he always does. When I first started spraying again this season it took me a few times to get him to stop leaving his food and walking off when I started it. But he has gotten where he really just flinches a bit and shuffles his feet now. (His head/neck area is a different story but more on that in a minute)

So I'm spraying him while he is eating and Shelby of course wants to help. She wants to do/help with everything being a curious little toddler. So I let her have the bottle to act like she is spraying him. She moves towards his head for whatever reason and WHAM this happens:

Notice how the horse looks completely calm and compliant, not a care in the world, and then all of a sudden DEATH TO THE CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that was my horse. And yeah that was my screaming kid laying flat on her back in the dirt. (But that WASN'T me smiling and laughing like that mom, good grief)

First I snatched her up and checked her over real quick. I was sure I was going to see blood pouring from somewhere, a chunk taken out of her face, SOMETHING. But thank GOD almighty somehow he missed her. I don't know if he got the fly spray instead, never really connected, or what. I did find a cut on her hand later maybe from the fly spray being ripped out of her hand or something, not sure. 

So after I established she was okay and just scared I ran him off from his grain, hollering and yelling at him. Hopefully he got the message that his actions were NOT acceptable.

The husband had finished mowing at this time and I passed the munchkin off to him while I got my halter and stick to put the fear of God in him. I worked the mess out of him for near 30 minutes. Lunging him around me in a small circle making him change directions often, backing him up fast and long. He was blowing hard and sweating a ton by the time I got done with him. I was still so angry.

So needless to say he didn't get to finish his supper that night.

I'm really at a loss right now. Did I judge this horses temperament wrong? Was this just a 'perfect storm' type situation with the grain+fly spray+little someone = I need to defend my food/self, but something he would never do in any other situation?? If you remember right I have had issues before with him and his grain, pinning his ears etc. But NEVER biting or acting like he would. Even when I took his food away while he was eating it. But he DID do the exact same thing to our miniature schnauzer a few months ago when he got even a little close to his bucket. And knowing that, I had always really watched my girls around him when he was eating. But I never saw anything but a soft eye and no concern. 

As for the head issues, he definitely doesn't like the spray around his head, which is normal, most horses don't. But he has always had a little bit of an ear issue, and when I first started putting the fly spray on his ear (by spraying it into my glove and wiping it on) he had a pretty big problem with it. He has gotten a ton better though. But apparently he thought she was going to spray his head?? And her being small he had no respect for her authority and tried to bite her. :shrug: I really don't know.

Sigh. Any thoughts, previous experience, etc with something like this would be great. I think I'm too close to it at this point to be objective. My mama mind was just off the scale angry and scared, and it was hard to think like a horse person. For several days after I couldn't get the scene out of my head. I really haven't been out there since. Needless to say the girls won't be coming in there with me anymore. But if I can't trust my horse with my kids, really he is no use to me...

On another note. My mom and dad are getting out of horses. I know, I was pretty shocked too. I know she never has time for them, but I didn't really think she would ever actually give them away. 

Well dad offered them both to me for free, if I wanted them. I wish! Which I don't really want moms mare, I'm just done with mares and shes gaited. But I can't think of anywhere that would be okay for Cisco to go without it breaking my heart! He is basically my baby. I was the first one to halter him, put all his training on him, first one on his back, etc. He is almost 15 this year and never been anywhere else but my mom and dads living with his mama except for maybe a few weeks here and there, or a few months when he was out at my house. (If you don't remember Cisco, check out this link to his blog I wrote briefly, The Unspotted Spotted Saddle Horse)

13 years ago...we were both babies!
The problem is I don't have any pasture of my own, and already have barely enough borrowed for the horse I have now. I keep hearing rumors that the people we are renting the pasture from are about to move back and build a house on it, but haven't hear anything concrete. So if that happened I'd really be up a creek. Plus I bet the inlaws would have a hissy if I told them I was bringing over another horse, even though they have 3 completely useless horses on the same pasture they need to get rid of. The other one is a mere shadow of his former self and never gets anything done with it either. (Chatterbox)

So anyway, I guess thats enough whining for now. I'll update later...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Still here!

But with nothing interesting to report at all! I did get a few pictures the other day so thought I would just yammer about some stuff and put some pics just to make a post, lol.

Who me?
So off and on all winter I got a chance to play with Mr. Harold a few times. Just reinforcing things we have already learned. Mainly lunging for respect stage 1, the hindquarter yield, forequarter yield, neck yield (brain fart on the proper 'term'), backing, etc.

He has steadily gained weight on the senior grain although never gotten where we aren't seeing any ribs. His topline has filled in though and we don't have any pokey hip bones so I'm okay with it. I'm hoping the resurgence of grass will fill him in. Plus I'm going to worm him again soon.
Thirsty pony

The father in laws horse on the other hand seems to be getting worse rather then better. He is seriously a bag of bones. I keep trying to tell the FIL that his goofy mixture of corn, oats and sweet feed is not good for him but he won't listen. -_-
I'm hoping to move him out to the big pasture where some grass is soon, hopefully I can get the father in law on board.

Well not much more to report, until later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Feeding and Blanketing, and Repeat!

Wearing Cisco's huge size 82 blankey
That is all that has been going on here lately! And more COLLLDDD weather is setting in tomorrow through at least Saturday I think. Single digits! BOO. This is the SOUTH!!

So I've been stuffing Harold with senior feed twice a day (A scoop, lol, not literally stuffing) which he has been quite pleased with. He greets me with the cutest hungry nickers every time I get there. Also as much hay as he wants. I don't see a huge improvement but I think we are getting somewhere, and at the very least not losing ground anymore. I've been keeping him blanketed on cold nights, or when it will be rainy/cold as well. I was just putting Daisy's rain sheet on but it doesn't have any fill in it, so on the colder days I put Cisco's mid-weight on him that we still have. The father in laws horse wore it once last year and somehow ripped the front gusset seam on it, so he's going to buy my mom a new one. It doesn't cause a problem so I just put it on him anyway, lol.

Picture from this morning, terrible footing for on, o well!
In other news! I've been shopping around for a good using/trail saddle for Mr. Harold. I've almost bought a few older Hereford Tex Tans, but never did close the deal. Well we ended up spending way too much on Christmas so there went my saddle fund -_-. But! I happened to be digging around the in laws shed the other day and found THIS:

It's an old Simco, which I totally did not recognize, but the husband was able to read the writing SOMEHOW on the leather keeper. I can't find a serial number but did find a 885 under the fender way up next to (and almost under) the tree. It also says "for pleasure riding only not recommended for roping", lol. Maybe it was made August '85? If anyone has any more thoughts, let me know!

It's not as good as a older Tex Tan or Circle Y, Bona Allen, or something like that, but I'd say its a 'good' saddle. The leather seems in good shape and not cheapy, even though I know the Simco is a lower level maker. I gave it a good cleaning/condition Sunday. The rawhide is pretty ugly (and dirty) but I can live with it. I might be looking into a seat saver after I do a couple of rides in it, especially on longer trail rides, that seat has NO give to it, lol. So, that solved my dilemma of having my 'own' saddle to use. (I was using the bro in laws some of you may remember, but there was an issue there...yeah, lets not go into that)

I took a wither tracing a couple weeks ago to take to a tack store with me with some coated power wire the husband cut for me, and traced onto a cardboard piece. It seemed to fit up into the gullet well, so hopefully it will fit him AND me. I haven't even sat in it, much less tried it on him. It's been cold, rainy, and dark along with the holidays. Plus the two little ankle biters of course take up a lot of my free time :). (And an ENDLESSLY dirty house does not help!!)
So we have been working on the 'ugly' faces he likes to make a grain time. What I did to begin with was walk into the pasture with the bucket and if he starts coming toward me with a nasty face I'll run him off both directions a few times and then allow him to come up to me again. If he is nice and stands patient, I'll give him a handful of grain. Then I will back him up with pressure on hsi nose a few times and when he stands again nicely he gets another handful of grain. All of this is reinforcing that I can move him around, and he gets to eat when I say, and when he is being pleasant and not trying to call the shots.

Now I can usually go in there and he perks his ears up at me and I just put his bucket down. Sometimes after I adjust his blanket I'll pick it back up to show him that I control his food. He probably got all this from being the low man on the totem poll in everyone herd situation he has been in, and that is what he has had to do to survive and get something to eat! But he still needs to make the distinction between LEADER and FOLLOWER. I am of course to be followed, so he needs to act accordingly. One time my Miniature Schnauzer was in front of him looking for loose grain and he DOVE at him with ears pinned so fast I was shocked. He is usually so easy going I definitely didn't expect that! 

Well not much else to add. Next post will hopefully be about how much I like riding in my 'new' saddle. :)