Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Docscockylilcutter aka 'Stormy'

So I got to work with her two days in a row last week. Thursday and Friday. First session went really well. Getting her out of the pasture was an absolute nightmare, but not her fault really. And once we got in the round pen she did all the exercises great.

What I was going for first was a consistent canter whichever way I pointed without breaking or turning. Then I wanted to get a few inside turns. CA (clinton anderson) says to never let them turn to the outside because you don't ever want them showing you two heels. :shrug: I guess I can see that. And let me be clear I don't think he is the be all end all of horse trainers. But I DO think he has a great method and I like a lot of it. I love how easy and precise it all is. No guess work, simple, clear directions. And the horse gets it.
So, what are we doing in here??
I would really rather be back with my 'boys'

Looking for the cue to come in
 She did great with her turns. She didn't do one wrong (as in turning to the outside) turn at all until my husband came over to watch. And I think I was so anxious to show him how well she was doing that I cued her wrong a few times. If I really made sure I was keeping myself straight in my cues she did great. She has enough energy I don't have to get after her much at all. Now, this is a huge contrast to my mothers new mare. The first session with her I about died from exhaustion chasing her big hiney trying to keep her cantering! It was so bad that in the end I settled for a trot.

So after you get the horse moving out well without quitting on you or turning, and doing consistent inside turns well, I was ready to let her rest and find out that being in the middle, ie with me, was a good place to be! She got it right off and walked right up to me! I was a little shocked since both Cisco and Chloe wouldn't do that even after 5 or so sessions. You are then supposed to rub them down, scratch them, all over. She wasn't terribly focused on me at this point, a lot of her attention was on the horses hollering for her, but she did ok. A few times I asked her to go back around and then come back in to get her refocused.

I did a little of her following after me and then put her up after she had quit blowing. She did great for her first time out!

The next day I worked with her while my youngest napped in the car. (she is almost 9 months now, can you believe it?!) Chloe (not the horse, lol) watched la la loopsy on youtube on my phone in a chair nearby. She also was my willing photographer, lol.

I took this one. And I moved her halter up a bit after this too!

Doing some desensitizing to the rope

Stick/string desensitizing (don't laugh too hard at my skinny chicken legs -_-)

I decided it would be easier to just work her in hand this time having the kids and all. Plus that day was a heat advisory of 107, so the shade sounded pretty good! It was actually quite nice there, good breeze blowing.

So it didn't take me as long to get her this time, but was still a tricky endeavor! I really hope eventually I can get her to come up to me in the pasture. Or at least stand still for me to get her! Right now if you show any inclination to come after her she walks away. And if you try to head her off, she evades faster! I usually bring a grain bucket with a bit in the bottom to entice her but it still takes a while. Mostly because I have to keep fatso Chatterbox out of my way, which usually spooks her off as I'm chasing him away.

I started out reviewing our backing from the previous day. She is quite good at backing up from a wiggle of the lead now. I also introduced another cue to back, its called marching, where you hold the stick in your hand like a ski pole and march your hands and knees up and down at them. She backed up really well with that. Then I moved on to some desensitizing. Throwing the lead rope all over her, no prob at all, she usually stood with a hoof cocked through all of this. Then desensitize to the stick and string all over her body. Again, no prob. I didn't do the string slap because I want to wait to be in the round pen for that. I didn't want to risk her getting free with my little girl out there, etc. 

So then I tried to move on to hind quarter yielding but the first one I did she showed me apparently she has been kicked or something. She was very gimpy on her back leg and hopped her hind end over in stead of moving it. So I only did a few of those each side. She did well! That was about all I had time for. Once I got her put back in the pasture little one was awake and it was time to go in and cool off!!

I haven't had a chance to get out again this week yet. I tried the other night but by the time the husband was done mowing our acre and a half to watch the kids it was too dark. So we just went out and fed them horse cookies, lol.

I hope to get out there again maybe this Thurs and Fri since I will be busy tonight and church is tomorrow night. 

I'll keep yall updated!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

R.I.P Daisy Girl...Plus A New Project

It's taken me a while to write this post. Just not something any of us want to do I don't guess. (sorry, redneck language coming out)

A couple of months ago Daisy passed away. I knew she was getting old at 24, but I don't know, I guess I was expecting at least another couple years. She was in such good health!

We found her laying in the pasture, no struggle around her, no poop like she had been there a while. I think she just laid down and she was gone. :( I guess that is the best way to go. I like to think she was doing her favorite thing (eating) at the time. I just kind of wish I had been there to say good bye, and thank her for all the great times we had together. I wish I had known her longer! At least I have Tuff to see a bit of her in.

Some of my favorite moments...

So, I have kind of been looking for another horse casually here lately. If your a true horse person it runs in your blood. If you don't have one you are automatically looking for one. I went and looked at a gelding that was pretty cheap, looked good in the pictures, sounded good in the texts, and was close. Turned to be a big no go, I didn't even ride him. He was so herd bound to his mama that he was just dangerous. He was 10, but I bet he had never been away from his mama except to maybe wean him when he was young. I liked everything about him but I think he would have been more trouble then I need right now. Time for horses is VERY slim with two little ones! Nap times are precious around here, haha.

So, then I started thinking, well, there are four horses right here near the house for free. And I won't have to buy hay for them! Lol. Five if you count Tuff. Why don't I pick one of them and work with it, get it riding good, satisfy my horse bug, and also take it with me to ride with my mom and dad this fall at their new lake house near the national forest?? No one is riding any of them. So I went through my options:

Chatterbox - Some of you may be wondering what happened to the pretty palomino my FIL bought? Well turns out there was a reason he was so cheap. He had white line. Ugh, took them a year to get rid of it, and I personally don't think he is sound yet, although the FIL does. Anyway, he's big and pushy and kind of a pill, I don't really like his personality per say. Although to be fair, I really haven't done much with him. Plus I would feel bad taking over the FIL's horse when he keeps saying he is going to come and ride him. So no on him.

Rusty - Nah, he has a weird eye cancer thing going on and he is goofy again since no one has messed with him but maybe twice since he got back from the trainer 2 years ago.

Skip - Thought about it, but he is not even green broke, just worn a saddle once and been lunged a few times. That would be a lot of work, even though he has a great, quiet temperament. Too much time needed. He is also too short to keep up with the parents two gaited horses that are both over 16 hands. More about them later.

Tuff - Again, thought about it, but he is still so small, he wouldn't keep up either, plus he also is not even green broke. He has been rode a few times, but still, too much time needed.

Stormy - Ding ding! I decided on her. Another mare, I know. But she has a great mind, tall enough to stand a better chance of keeping up (although I remember how bad Cisco and I left her and the brother in law in the dust, lol) and she has good genes and is a pretty thing. Plus she already rides decent. Green broke I'd say, but not, 'I may buck you off still', green broke, lol. Here is the post about her arrival and bloodlines, etc.

Anyway, I want to put some back story on the reason I want a  horse for fall riding. Mom has always said Cisco was too tall for her, and Dixie is too old now. So I started just kind of looking around for a horse for her. I joined a few facebook pages for horses for sale in my region, told a horsey friend, etc. So that friend sent me a link for a horse one day. I checked it out and was like, ooo yeah, we need to see this one. Convinced the mother to go look at her and she ended up going home with her the next day.

Her name is Chloe, but that is kind of confusing since my oldest daughters name is Chloe, lol. But we still haven't come up with another name for her. Any ideas are appreciated!!

So her she is! She is a 5 year old gaited horse, palomino paint. Around 15.3 to 16 hands. Although we have no papers, and I don't think she is full gaited either. I think she's got some QH in there somewhere. But she does gait! Get ready for some picture spam!!

 Trying her out

Breaking out some Clinton Anderson on her

Isn't she pretty??

Desensitizing her to the stick/string

Dad working his horse, Cisco!

Inside turn


Our awesome new farrier lady

So we loved her temperament and how she looked, but she had a weird bump on her nose, and she was pretty green. As in, not got a real good handle on her. She would get 'stuck' sometimes if she saw something scary or didn't want to go somewhere and I had to eventually resort to beating her with a small branch, lol! But we liked that her first reaction wasn't to be stupid, it was to just kind of stop and look. And there were ALL kinds of stuff at that crazy place to look at. Pigs, goats, chickens, you name it. (she really didn't like the pigs, lol)

Anyway, we took her to the vet for a vet check, mainly worried the bump on her nose was cancerous. And turns out it was nothing, but ALL FOUR FEET had white line in them! Wha?? So mom really had to ask herself if she wanted a horse that needed quite a bit of attention for a while. She eventually decided she was worth it! So here we are!

We found a great new farrier that has all kinds of schooling, and bought some new stuff they have out to soak her hooves in. The farrier didn't think they were too bad at all, mainly front left, and thought she could get her going good. She is one tough lady, do rag topped hair, muscle shirt, shoulders like a line backer, and tattoos. And so nice and polite, we loved her. She's originally from out west I think. 

So coincidentally I had been watching some Clinton Anderson DVDS and researching him again and when she came along I figured she was the perfect horse to try out my new knowledge with.

I went after work to my mom and dads for about two weeks. Helping them both get their horses going well ground work wise. We kind of stalled the last few weeks with rain, then heat advisories, and now they just bought a lake house so they are focused on getting that all set up for Labor Day weekend this week. But hopefully after that all dies down we can get back to it. I want them both to be exemplary citizens for them to trail ride this fall with.

The lake house they bought, like I said earlier, backs right up to Bankhead National Forest, which has tons of horse trails in it. Woot woot! So glad we have that awesome aluminum four horse to use! Figured we could bring a few round pen panels with us and make them a temporary enclosure and stay over night, go riding in the morning. Or we could just trailer down there early, stay that night after riding, or go home. Its only like 40 mins from their house, little over an hour from mine. Not sure how we would share the trailer, maybe keep it at my house the night before, load my horse up and then drop by and pick them up on the way out there.

So! Cisco and Chloe both know how to:
  • Stay consistent at whatever gait we choose by just pointing (in round pen)
  • Do inside turns (in round pen)    
  • Desensitized to lead rope and stick and string all over body
  • Desensitized to string whacking on the ground on either side and in front
  • Backing up from wiggle of lead
  • Lateral flexing on both sides
  • Some hindquarter yielding
That's about all we have done so far. Next I plan on working more on lateral yielding and hindquarter yielding. Then we need to do forequarter yielding I might move off the ground work there. I don't think the parents could handle the other exercises that are supposed to be after these. Such as lunging for respect and sending. I don't know, we'll see! I did a little lunging for respect with one of them and they picked it up pretty easy, I think it was Chloe.

Well I've yammered on enough for one post, more about Stormy on the next!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

He Finally Did It!

Some of you may remember my father in law has been looking for a horse, like, forever. Well he finally came home with one last night!! Wait till you hear about him, he is such a neat horse!

Its been a long, hard battle finding a decent horse for no more then $1500 around here. They were either too short, didnt know anything, or just plain ugly. Or a mare. Lol, yeah, the FIL doesn't do mares. I can't blame him, lol. Most of the horses I have gotten along with the best in my life have been geldings.

Anyway, he is a 8 year old reg QH, who is also registered with the Palomino Association AND the American Ranch Horse Association! Hah, another palomino at the house! They are taking over!!

 He has been shown all his life in pleasure, english pleasure, road hack (like HUS but with a hand gallop) trail and showmanship. He should have some pretty neat buttons to play with! She said he also trail rides. I cannot WAIT to ride him! Man, I so should have called in sick today! ;) I am also a little intimitated, he will defintely know more then I do. Hopefully I can work off all the things I have read/seen and put something together at we can both understand.

They just called him 'biggun' previously so the FIL said he will probably call him Chatter or Chad, something like that. His registered name is Golden Chatterbox.

It's driving me crazy because I can't find his papers online! AH! Wait! I was searching again right after I said this and found a sale ad on him! Weird that it is for an auction in Kentucky?? Hm, guess he didn't bring what they want. But the FIL only paid $1500 for him, which is outrageously cheap if he is all they say he is! Hm! Also found an ad from two years ago listing him for 8 GRAND! Holy moly, which is what he is likely worth. So I guess the lady that had him bought him, then decided two years later to sell him. She told the father in law that she was getting out of the pleasure stuff into roping, and also wanted to build a covered arena, lol.

Here is what the ads say about him:

Foaled: 2005. Color: Palomino.

Gather round and take a look at 
this big, stout palomino gelding 
that’s triple registered and is the 
earner of 22 halter, 2 color, 3 WP, 
17 HUS, and 9 road hack pts. in 
the PHBA. In 2010 was res. 
American ranch horse select 
halter, 3rd in open geldings. He is 
broke the very best and sure 
knows how to do his job. Great 
for youth or amateur. 100% sound 
and sane. Come by and watch him 
ride. Don’t miss him. HYPP N/N.

Here is the ad from two years ago:

Big beautiful AQHA gelding! Reserve World Halter 
Champion at the 2010 American Ranch Horse Association, 
3rd in open geldings and finalists in western ranch riding. 
He has points in PHBA points as follows:22 halter, 2 color, 
3 western pleasure, 17 hunter under saddle, & 9 road hack. 
Super extension for hunter under saddle but can drop back to 
the little slow jog for western. Has done very well in the show
 ring at registered shows and open shows. He will also do showmanship 
and has been started over small jumps. 
If you are looking for a big bodied horse that will halter 
and then ride - you need to consider this gelding. 

Thats so neat he has done so much. It would be really fun to take him to the local shows. Then let Chloe lead line on him! Hope the FIL doesn't mind sharrinngggg. Hey, I let them all ride my horse for years! (PS, did you see the part about jumps?? HEHEHEHE)

Picture time!

I can see why he has more points in english, lookit 'im go! Def nice extension! I can also see they are riding him with his poll a little lower then I like. But that's fixable. In all his english pictures it looks like he is on a fairly loopy rein, which is super nice to know you don't have to crank him into it. Not real sure why he is in a breastplate though. Very few HUS horses wear one these days (not in style dontcha know :roll eyes:) and if they do they certainly don't have a martingale att on it. Which it looks like his does, its hard to see though. (as you can tell I have a lot of time on my hands at work to analyze things! LOL)

And now, for his lineage! His sire granddaddy is Impressive, and on his dams side his great granddaddy was Watch Joe Jack (pleasure), nice nice. Definitely glad he is N/N. That would have been a deal breaker!

Here's how it all went down. About every day I get on craigslist and cruise around looking for horses. If I find one I think is halfway decent I will text it to the bro in law who shows it to my FIL. Well I saw Chatter yesterday and sent it right on. Didn't think anything else about it. Then I get a call around 7:30 that night wanting to know if I had a wire hook up of some sort for the horse trailer in my explorer. Because they BOUGHT THE HORSE! Wha?? Apparently he liked the looks of him, called the lady and since they were already near that area looking for pickup trucks they went and tried him out! And obviously liked him. So the lady works and couldn't have anyone there the rest of the week so they could get him, so they went and got him last night. Its a good hour and half away form our house which means they didn't get home until almost twelve last night, ugh! They put him in the round pen to keep him safe for the night.

Chloe and I took our little selves over there first thing this morning before work. He apparently does not like being alone since they said he neighed all night long. He also had a nice mooshy track of mud around the entire perimeter dug out, lol.

I have some crappy/shady phone pics from this morning:

Really like his conformation. Longish back, but those usually make great gaits. He has a good looking hind end that will get better with some more meat on his bones and consistent work. She said they went to a show last month but I bet he hasn't been rode a whole lot this winter. And look! He has withers! Every horse I've had never have any to amount to anything, thus the eternally slipping saddle. He is still shedding out as you can see on his belly. His tail is really pretty but his mane is pretty thin and scraggly. Maybe pulled that way? Dunno, you can def tell it hasn't been pulled in a while, long. Probably not since last show season. Doesn't matter anyway, the FIL definitely is not going to be pulling it! ;)

I call this his 'sexy walk', lol

He was pretty unsettled while I was there. Pacing around, neighing. But he did come up to see us and was quite happy to eat as many cookies as he was offered! The father in law was off to town to get him some grain as the lady said he gets a bucket full morning and evening. Hard to tell! He is at least a couple hundred pounds underweight to me. Which all of ours are a little ribby right now as well. Its the end of hay and just beginning of grass growing. 

Well I guess I've jabbered enough. Will definitely be updating as things progress! In case some of you have not read my personal blog, I'm pregnant again! Baby #2 is on the way Dec 3rd! So I'm about 2 1/2 months now, long ways to go! But it kinda bums me out about riding. I know a lot of women ride up until they feel like their big belly is in the way. But after the baby moves up out of the safety of the pelvis, (around 12 weeks) I am real leary bout riding. Any trauma to the belly after that can be really bad. I haven't fallen off a horse in probably almost 10 years, but that doesn't mean anything! So I have another month or so before I need to be cautious. 

So I posted on Cisco's blog about a new four horse slant load we bought a few months ago. We love it! But it only got to haul a horse twice because the truck we had to haul it got totalled a month or so ago. UGH! So its parked in the yard and hasn't moved. Hopefully the BIL will be able to find another soon! Chatter definitely fits that fancy thing now! :) Him and Stormy would make that thing look good. 

Until later! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Check Out Cisco's Very Own Blog!

Hey everyone! I decided since I'm going to have Cisco for the foreseeable future, that I should make him his own blog, as opposed to turning Daisy's into his. So! I've worked today on putting his posts on there, and that is where you will find future posts about him! Here is the address, make sure to join!

So from now on you won't be seeing much action around here! See you over there!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ridin' Ridin' Ridin'

Cookie please??
Lots and lots of riding! Such a fun day Saturday! Had some errands to do that morning and then put little girl down for her nap. Shot a text to the BIL (Stormy's owner) and asked him if he wanted to be my riding buddy! He was all for it.

Threw all my tack in the explorer and left the husband with sleeping beauty. The horses were up by the fence of course, taking a nap. I called to him and he perked his head and ears up, so cute. They both came toward the gate when I went to go get him, but he hung back and let Stormy see me first. She is the boss, which I expected, but they are good buddys.

The FIL came out to help with Stormy, thankfully, so I could focus on big boy. She hasn't been ridden in quite some time, and even then she was quite green, so I knew he wouldn't be able to just toss the lead rope over her neck and throw his tack on her like I could with Cisco. (Yes, we need a tie post!) She gave them a little trouble with the bridle but other then that was golden. (which I was stuffing her face with cookies during the saddling, so I'm sure that helped!)

Speaking of the cookies, I am having so much fun 'babying' him, I bought him some apple cookies, a new brush and hoof pick. I've never bought cookies for any horse! He is just so lovable though that I love getting him stuff he will like. He is also getting his very own new winter blanket coming in this week! For those days we have rain/snow and cold temps all together. We almost got some freezing rain last week but it didn't pan out, thankfully!

Here is the blanket we ordered him: http://www.sstack.com/horse-blankets-and-sheets_waterproof-turnout-blankets_euro-fit/stormshield-classic-euro-contour-collar-turnouts/

He is going to look so snazzy! The big scudder wears a 84! Good grief! Daisy wears a 72! We also bought one for Dixie, my moms old horse, in purple. She wears a itty bitty 68. We went ahead and got her a 70 though, just in case. Hopefully it won't be too big. I know it seems kind of squirrley to just now be buying blankets, but the really bad weather around here doesn't usually show its face until after the first of the year. We have gotten some awful snow storms in March before!

So we got them all tacked up, this is the first time I've tried Cisco's new pads on him. The black no-slip I like, the other is smaller then I thought it would be. Next time I will have to try folding it different to see if I can get it to show more.

We both climbed up and were ready! We decided to hit the round pen first to try out their paces, get everyone steering and woahing well. So Cisco and I headed out and were the 'fearless' leaders, lol. Cisco was very looky and interested, but never did spook and was a good boy! I was kind of nervous about Stormy, the younger brother in law is really quite a green rider, but he insisted she wouldn't do anything and rode her to the round pen instead of walking her like I suggested. He was right! She was just fine.

I thought originally two of us in there would be too much, but we fit okay! Until I tried to rack with him and kept running into them, haha. Well not physically but every time we got near her he would lose motor. So, I was hoping he would be easy to get to rack and not get pacey, but boo, nope. I got a pace much more often then I did a rack. I did get it a few strides a couple times, SO FUN! We will work on it! I wish I could go take a lesson at a gaited barn, that would be the best. I really am quite clueless about gaited horses and their mechanics. I've done a little checking and haven't come up with a place that looks decent just yet. We'll see.

After we got bored in there (and Cisco decided the tractor moving hay around 2 counties away wasn't going to affect him in any fashion) we ventured out, the plan to go down the road a bit towards my house. I was in the lead again of course, Cisco has a motor and he goes until he's tired! (which doesn't usually take very long, lol) So he's doing his power walk down the road head in the air checking it out and we leave Stormy waayyy behind, lol! She not only is about a hand shorter but she walks slow! Typical QH walk, lol. So I circled back a few times, made him woah a few times and wait. He wasn't too keen on that, but it was good practice! We made it down the road and turned back before we got too far, didn't want Tuff and his buddy seeing us and causing a ruckus! I called the husband out and had him take some pictures of us.

Look at their cute faces!

 After that we went on into the woods behind the round pen. My husband has a deer stand down there. Cisco looked at the little opening and was like, "Really?" but after I gently persuaded him he was like ok! As we got toward the end of lane two or three squirrels jumped out of the clearing and took off into the woods. He jumped a bit but kept on trucking like a good boy! I had so much fun, there is a lot of brush and trees down in there so we weaved in and out, bushwhacked our own paths. There is a big deer feeder down there and the stand, but neither horse even gave it a second look!

We played around in there a few minutes and then headed back out to the pasture they live in. We walked around in there for a while, again weaving in and out of the trees. I also used that time to get as far from Stormy as I could so he knew he was okay without her. He swished his tail a bit about that, but got over it pretty quick. Then I walked him around behind her a bit to get him used to following at a slower pace, he rated himself pretty well if I helped him, lol, but definitely would have run up her hiney if I hadn't! He had to take little baby steps.

By then it was getting later and the BIL had to be at church for a meeting soon so we called it quits! We were both so proud of our 'greenies'. They need lots and lots of just that sort of thing!

Snoozing after our ride. Need to re-braid that mane!

Cisco was so cute when I let him back in his pasture, he followed me back to the gate and was like, "more cookies, please??" Silly boy!

Well as usual I have gone way long! Will be back with more of our adventures!

PS, Daisy is doing well at my moms, but Dixie is apparently not acting herself. I'm hoping that gets worked out soon!