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. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015


They do exist! Although still not in my possession -_-. I sent the man who has them ANOTHER text (probably my fifth or sixth one) but this time I asked if he remembered his registered name by chance so I could look it up. And he sent me a PICTURE of his papers, I was blown away. CHR Sam I Am is his name. I wish I had known that! I like Sam better then Harold, but the daughter and husband won't let me change it!

So anyway all afternoon I worked researching and tracing his ancestors. Trying to find any pictures/info out on him and his sire and dam.

No luck! Can't find a word about him or either of his parents. I did find a sale ad on an auction site for a full brother. It said he was a big pretty gelding that you could do whatever with and was a great trail horse. No pictures tho :(.I also found another full sibling, a sister on another site. But no info or pictures about her. Apparently his sire and dam were a popular breeding for someone.

Harold's 'grandpa'
So nothing on his immediate family but from grandsire and grandam back there is PLENTY. Lots and lots of big name halter horses. Harold is halter horse to the BONE. His paternal grandsire is Mr Yella Fella who was a huge name in halter and goes back to Ima Cool Skip and Impressive. On his dams side he has Impressive again a little closer and also Obvious Conclusion, who was a gorgeous halter horse as well, although N/H. Thankfully Harold has already been tested and is negative for HYPP.
Maternal 'great-great-grandpa'
I was kind of curious to why so many of his line had initials at the front of their names. I found out the JMK is actually someones initials. And he liked to put them on the front of every horse he bred himself. There is an article about him in the QH Daily I found here: http://americashorsedaily.com/how-halter-horse-breeding-is-spelled/#.VKw4QCvF90c

As for the CHR in front of Harolds name? Haven't figured that one out yet! I'm going to assume it is also someone intials.

So there you have it! Why my horse rides like a pogo-stick at the trot, lol! But he sure is pretty ;). I am hopefully going to actually GET the papers sometime soon, but I was so excited to finally find out his back ground and his registered name!

Until later I will leave you with a picture of Shelby girl helping mom carry hay to Harold, lol.

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!