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!