Monday, October 6, 2014

Out To Pasture

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

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

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

Well here he is!


Three amigos (well one amiga, lol)


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

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

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

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

Hopefully will have more interesting news soon!!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Week

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

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


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

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

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

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

Until later!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Perfect Monday Afternoon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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



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!