lantairvlea: (lantair look)
So Sunday we added dirt to the arena, We also ripped up our rock-hard footing. It looked like broken up concrete for several passes, but it improved as we went. Monday I had my first lessons in it. Sunny was a bit zoomy with Olivia, but they worked through it nicely. I think we have the footing to blame as Ruby was cantering around too!

Today I worked Tru-D and I think I need to build some more structure. We've been a bit haphazard in her sporadic sessions and I don't want to be leaving holes. It was so nice working her around and not having to dodge any wet spots, though! I long lined her before doing one round hooked to the tire and then had to call it quits because it started raining. I detacked her in her stall.

This evening I had another lesson using Chewy and Kash. Kash was a bit zoomy too and Chewy was a little extra forward, but I'm not sure if that was the footing or the student gripping as she trotted. It's going to be a nice change for sure! I'm hoping with the drag we can keep it maintained so that the moisture doesn't get concentrated like it did before. Our arena isn't huge, about 75'x85' but it is decent sized so long as you aren't losing over 200 square feet to nasty slop. I'm excited! Hopefully my students are able to manage the extra spring in the horses' step!

In other news I managed to finally sell my big desk. It went for $350, which is half of what I initially listed it for almost two years ago. It wasn't hurting anything languishing in the little house, but I really didn't want to stare at it for another 10 years or more before one of the boys is ready for a nice desk.

It was a beastly thing. The new owners had a short bed pickup and, as they put it, we had to play tetris to get it all to fit. It was an L-shaped desk that we kept in the corner of the room and it was almost six feet on both sides plus it had a hutch. I got it when my parents moved and it came with me when Chris and I were married less than a year later. It was my combination computer, writing, and art desk for years before I was able to acquire a separate art desk. When we built the "addition" I got a smaller computer desk and the beast was left in the little house, retired and gathering dust.

The windfall of the desk's sale will go towards a flat file to store paper similar to one of these. I will have a place to store my large sheets of paper without having to roll them or shove them behind/under the bed! It will also take up a third of the space as the desk so winning all around!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
My drag finally came in Tuesday. The gate that we ordered was not the right type and wouldn't work with our panels even though I specifically mentioned the brand and color when I ordered it.

I ended up ordering another one with the product number from the H&W website and they said they should be getting it in shortly (relative to the 6 weeks it took for the drag and the wrong gate ...).

Then it was a matter of finding the time to use it!

Today I had the private school classes and the last one drove Kitt. Since Kitt was already harnessed up Chris asked if I would just leave her harnessed and he pulled the drag into the arena and we hooked her up.

Chris drove her first and I walked by her head just in case. She's always been good with the cart and tire, but you never quite know and it's better to be safe than sorry with new equipment. In the seven years of having her this was actually the first time that Chris has directly worked Kitt. He's never ridden her and I think only the boys have been in the cart with me while driving her.

Chris went around several times and then asked me if I wanted a go and of course I did! He even offered to take some video.



Yes, eight month pregnant lady dragging the arena with her Fjord.

The drag didn't make much of a dent on the dry stuff, but it dug into the wet areas nicely and I'm hoping if I do it regularly I'll see a more even distribution of moisture so I no longer have the stark contrast of dry and rock hard or boggy wetness (where the horses pee...) and instead have semi-moist dirt with a little spring to it all around.

I may have to get a small tire to drop on the drag so it digs in a little better, but the big ones I currently have (off of tractors and semi trucks) are too massive to expect a single horse to pull it in addition to the drag for long. Either one singly would be no problem, but the combination of tire weight, drag weight, plus the resistance of the drag as it digs it the dirt would be a bit much.

Also: From the back you can't even tell I'm pregnant. The overall make it a little ambiguous too, but that's fine by me.

Edit: I did the assessments today for the Horsemanship classes. Hard to believe only one week left in classes! This semester felt incredibly short.



Two of the intermediate class students chilling as they waited for another to finish her assessment. I think Kitt and Chewy enjoyed the chill time as much as they did!
lantairvlea: (zetahra)


Tristan helping fill Zetahra's water bucket four months before.

I'm okay when I don't think about the end too much.

As Tru-D comes along I can't help but compare the two. Z had a bit more sass and self-confidence, but she was ultimately respectful and wanted to please (though I am sure in other hands she may have been more self-serving!) Tru-D is more cautious and a little more reactive, but she lacked the 10 months of handling that Zetahra had from the start. She is coming around and is much more social and wanting attention and is always seeking the answer to the questions I ask her.

They have a surprisingly similar build (I need to get some good conformation shots of Tru-D as it cools down) and I think Tru-D's mane is going to be almost as ridiculous and is in desperate need of a good brushing, but there's more pressing things I need to do while sweating it out outside like mucking, teaching, and doing general care of the herd.

I'm hoping Tru-D comes along just as well as Zetahra did and I look forward to seeing her develop and mature, fingers crossed. Tru-D and Zetahra are four years and two days apart in age and I can't help but think that there isn't some purpose and connection in there somewhere. There's no replacing Zetahra, certainly, but Tru-D has been helping to fill the gaping hole that Z left behind.

Short update on Chewy. We have had some poop! Three piles yesterday even, but nothing yet today, however her input has pretty much sucked so there isn't much passing through. Yesterday we took her in for her teeth and they are definitely showing her age. She doesn't have much chewing surface left on the top and had some points that were starting to cause some cheek ulcers, which probably weren't helping. Dr. Roach (filling in for Chatham since his knee surgery three weeks ago) also found two small abcesses that had started. The vibration caused by the electric float caused them to rupture slightly so we're looking at a long course of antibiotics. I have some SMZs left over from Dakota last year and they are good until October so I will be using them up. The timing is surprisingly good and while Chewy hates that I'm shoving more stuff in her mouth twice a day hopefully it'll make her more comfortable in her mouth and get everything back in order. I'd love to have her healthy and sound another five years, but at twenty-five already I know it is going to take conscientious maintenance a bit of luck to get there.
lantairvlea: (Tru-D)
I'm not sure which one works better in this case, but "herd dynamics" it should be. I should probably get a better dictionary on my phone or maybe actually pull out one of the five I own...

I had noticed it a while ago, but it still strikes me as funny. Most people think of herd hierarchy as being fairly linear. You have the "boss" and then everyone follows in succession after that, right? Nope, not always.

The current status of the herd has Ruby still as undesputed benevolent overlord. Charm-N is next in line followed by Kitt, Tru-D, Chewy, and Kash, but not quite. There is a funny thing between Kitt, Chewy and Kash that is more pronounced around feeding time. Kash has typically been bottom man on the totem pole. He has had moments like when Zetahra was a baby and when Tru-D was a yearling where he wasn't going to put up with crap from a stinky baby. Of course Z eventually knocked him down a notch, probably around her turning one because she was such a strong personality. Tru-D is ahead of him now at two, but it took her getting to be his size for that to happen.

So watching the horses Kitt, Ms. Bossy Boss who had taken over the whole herd at one point until Ruby and Panda got sick of her bossiness and knocked her back down, but Kitt's there chewying on a pile and here comes Kash. She and Kash have been buddies for a while. They swish each other's flies and groom eachother and Kitt tries to flirt with him when she's in heat so I assume Kash is going to just share her pile. Nope! Angry ears and a tail swish and Kitt walks away!

Kitt then proceedes to Chewy's pile and shoos the little mare off. Chewy turns and goes back to Kash and nudges him off of his pile without a fuss and rinse and repeat until someone realizes there is a pile that no one has claimed. I find these litte dominance triangles quite amusing. One horse is dominant over another, yet submssive to the horse who is submissive to the one they are dominant over. Not linear in the least!

I imagine it gets even more complex with larger herds, especially those that have multiple generations growing up within them.

Last week my rope traces came in. I got to use them on Tuesday with Dragonfly. Dragonfly is a 17.1+hh Shire mare, classic black with a forelock to her nostrils and a broad white blaze. Maria wanted to get her driving so those were the skills we have been working on. Tuesday I dragged around the pvc pipe again, which she barely looked at compared to her 10 minutes of wiggling last week. I also banged around the singletree and only did two passes because she was getting bored and starting to play with the fence.

Maria said she had the harness on Dragonfly before so I went ahead and tossed it on. She was good for the saddle and breeching, but was twitchy as I played with the breastcollar. The traces were stitched in so I had to tie them up rather than removing them and as they brushed her front legs and armpits she was humping and twitching a bit. I managed to secure the traces to the tug straps and turned her loose. She bolted around the roundpen and I tried to turn her, but she was having none of it. I'm not going to argue with 1900lbs and she showed no sign of acknowledging me at all so I sat on a barrel and watched until she started to check back in. She didn't charge around very long before she started to look for someone to tell her what to do with herself. She hooked on and got rubs and love before I checked her flinchy spots. When it was clear she was settled I grabbed the long lines and rubbed them around before hooking them onto her breeching the goal being to check her response to pressure and start teaching her about pulling.

Maria held her lead and I had the long lines. I leaned pressure into them and waited until Dragonfly sat into the pressure before I released. When she was having a little hard time with it I had Maria reinforce the idea of backing into the breeching through the lead line. Dragonfly ultimately gave us a couple nice backwards steps and we called that good. I swapped the long lines out for the rope traces and gave Dragonfly a brief introduction to their feel. Because the breastcollar didn't have a buckle (I will NEVER buy a breastcollar harness that has stitched-on traces! So annoying!) I had to jury-rig it, but it worked. I put pressure on the traces and waited for her to lean into them. She did really well and we got her walking as I put pressure in the traces and pulling me around like it was no big deal.

The good and the bad is that Maria will be moving Dragonfly along. One of the other ladies in the draft horse circles is thinking about taking her on. Wendy P. has a grey Perch mare that drives well with Maria's Belgian Emmett (whom Wendy bred, raised, broke, and then sold to Maria several years ago) and they're seeing about a trade. If Dragonfly doesn't work for Wendy, she knows of someone else who is interested so it should all work out. I wish I had more time to work with her, but she should be in good hands with Wendy and Maria is excited to be getting a horse that is a well-broke driver already and matches Emmett.

Maria was heading up today to make the exchange and she just sent me a video of Dragonfly pulling a giant tractor tire. And by giant I mean it was a good 2' wide and probably close to 4' across. Dragonfly looked like she was pulling it like an old pro. I'd like to think the few hours of work I was able to put in helped.

Speaking of horses in training. I pulled ou Tru-D this morning because it was still not 100 by the time lessons were done at 9amn and maybe not even 90. The humidity was high, but at least we had clouds so it didn't feel like a sauna.

I pulled out the training surcingle and rope traces. I need to remember to snag some electrical tape and wrap the splices so I don't have dangly rope ends sticking out. Anyway, I warmed her brain up with some desensitizing with the whip before parking her at the "station" and introducing the rope traces. She sniffed and eyeballed them slightly and I definitely am going to need to rig up a trace holder for the future. The surcingle currently has a riding breastplate on it, which is nice for introducing pressure there and keeping the surcingle from wandering, but is no good for actual pulling. I don't qhite want her in the full harness all of the time just yet because it doesn't really fit her and I'd rather not try to adjust it out for her when I'm going to be potentially driving Kitt as well. For today, however, and the minimal weight of the rope traces I went ahead and snapped them onto the breastplate and Tru-D got to feel her first little bit of drag. She did quite well. To the right she wanted to swing her butt out and kept stepping on the outside trace (thus the need for trace carriers), but she straightened out.

I just walked her on the lunge until she thought it wasn't much before swapping out for the sidepull and long lines. She was a little bit of a handful on the long lines as she tried to noodlebout of going in certain parts of the arena, specifically towards the corner neighbor's place as they've been moving things around and their yard hasn't looked the same two days inba row of late. Eventually she realized that listening to what I was asking was easier than trying to noodle around it and we got some nice, big, steady, and forward circles in the trot before calling it a day.

Not too terrible for not having done anything in over a month. I need to buckle down and get her worked at least once a week during the summer and then moreso as it cools down. I need her long lining skills to be solid before I consider hooking her to anything and that is my goal by the end of the year to have her pulling the tire.

I'm looking into some options for driving breastcollars. I don't necessarily want a full pleasure harness right now, but the breastcollar would allow me to do training like I am with Tru-D without having to haul out the full harness. Plus they are way more adjustable than a collar and something that fit her would probably fit Kitt (and potential client horsrs...) as well and for just dragging the tire now and then for a short time, being able to throw something light on rather than hauling out the whole draft harness would be nice. I can always piece together a full harness if I want to, but right now I just need the breastcollar for training since I already have the traces I'm going to be using.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chewy's new bridle arrived today. She now has one custom-fit for her and the same color as her rope halter. It makes it easier for the students to tell which goes to what horse when they're color-coordinated. I also finally got her a slightly smaller nose net so it rests closer to her nostrils.



The little mare looks pretty sporty in her burgundy bridle. It also has reins a foot shorter than the other bridle so my students aren't having to deal with an insane amount of slack. It got its first use today and has received a preliminary stamp of approval from all parties.

I'm giving the old blue one to Tru-D ... or at least that's the theory! I had to loosen the nose and drop the cheeks and throatlatch all the way down. I suspect she won't fit in it come next year when I start getting her ready to ride. It should hopefully work while I continue to build her ground driving skills, but she may need a Tru-D specific one in the next year (I am sure Lisa will be thrilled with my continued repeat business!). Of course the blue one does fit both Sunny and Cinnamon too so it isn't like there's no one else for it to fit.



Baby horse does look pretty good in blue. I worked with her on bending both ways in it and asking her to back. She was pretty light and soft left, but a little sticky right. It didn't take long for her to loosen up and give easily. I then played with her in pseudo-liberty. She was still wearing te bridle and I asked her to yield herforehand and haunches as well as follow me turning both ways. I had not asked her for that type of thing before, but she did great with it and I only touched the reins once.

Tru-D is going to be a very sensitive, careful horse. Depending on how she does I may not want to let students on her in another three years .... I had the same debate with Zetahra, but never got the chance to be shelfish. Z, however, while sensitive was a little less reactive, though a good share more opinionated. Tru-D is like Panda in sometimes getting herself overly stressed about trying to please. Zetahra was a people-pleaser (and mugger for attention...), but she didn't stress if she wasn't getting something. I guess Tru-D might endbup being a mix between Panda and Zetahra, though I guess I should compare her more with Chewy, who is related to Tru-D's sire (can you seethe resemblance?).

A sensitive mare in her own right Chewy can get herself a little stressed trying to find the right answer and has an incredible amount of give. However she is, for the most part, pretty unflappable and that is a combination of training, personality and time. I wonder if that is a C-line mare trait.

Of course Tru-D is the one who will trot up toand follow around the boys as they drive their rather noisy John Deer Gator power wheel toy.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Ug, grammar fails me (those with better German than I can feel free to correct any mishaps in my titles).

I worked more on the painting today. I am finished with the snow and itbturned out fairly well, I think, though I still had my moments of doubt.



And then I tried to start on some of the lower areas on the mountain that are more grassy and I think I am going to have to repaint those sections (again, the first round was pretty grotesque, we won't speak of it...), but I am going to let it "rest" and do the middle-background trees first and am probably hoping in vain that it will settle and look less horrible once there are more colors and context in the painting to help it settle in.



I am getting along okay with the acrylics. They still aren't very natural for me to work with, but used in mostly large blocks of color this way with a little dry brushing and such here and there it isn't so bad. I am enjoying having an "excuse" to have studio time, though even getting paid for it I still have some vague guilt. I was having thoughts today that I could do this art thing for a living, but I think it would be way too sporadic and now would not be the time to try and build a new business venture.

Granted business with lessons is almost too good. I've cut the discount I offer on books of four lessons in half (was $20 savings, now $10) and am seriously considering raising the prices on my private lessons for new clients. I currently have a $10 difference between a group and a private lesson and am thinking about making it $15. I had a new student start last week, another one came out today to watch a lesson and ask questions (they're starting Saturday), and a new one starting Friday, plus another new set of siblings starting Saturday afternoon on top of all that. Oh, and an email I need to get back on asking about lessons too!

I am close to scheduling 30 lessons a week. Holy crap.

If I keep this up I should be able to pay off my credit cards fairly quickly...

I also measured Tru-D and Chewy today. Tru-D is a tick under 15 hands (14.3 and a half hands) and about 960lbs. Chewy has gone from skinny to Very Fleshy. I did too well getting her fattened back up and she measures at 1260. Of course two years ago she was less than 900, which was way too skinny. A couple weeks ago I dropped her pellets by 6lbs (she was getting 18!). I'm going to check her again next month and see if she is making progress towards a good weight (ideally about 1000lbs, maybe towards 1100). Her shoulder blades are disappearing and her tailhead is sunken into her butt as well as the gutter developing down her back. Hard to believe I was worried about her being too skinny for a while there!
lantairvlea: (Kash)
I was able to put in a second ride on both Chewy, Kash, and Kitt and rode Bud in them as well this week.

Here are my overarching observations that one might consider with these bits:

This is not a bit you let the horse just "hang out" in. Some might be okay, but most will start playing with it to some extent and will end up dropping it given enough time. I discovered this as I had to get on and off resetting poles as students knocked them over. No problem if you have a headstall, which is an option with these as well, but just as the jaw bit you don't want to leave them alone with it too long.

It's also not good for grass snatchers and drinking (having to swallow and move feed around makes them push the bit down because it doesn't have anything holding it up). It is also not good for leading unless your horse is SUPER light. I didn't push trying to lead with it because I knew the mechanics of it were non-condusive. If you need to lead a horse either leave the halter on or wait to put on the bit until right before you mount up.

On to the working thoughts: I have been able to use them with four horses at this point, Chewy the Haflinger, Kash the Arab, Kitt the Fjord, and my client's Haflinger, Bud. Chewy was the initial driver since she as the facial nerve that misfires. I know it is the trigeminal nerve and not the caudal, but I figured it was worth the shot at least. She still had some head shaking so that theory is out. She does wear a nose net on her usual bridle, which does help so I'll either need to put on a cavesson with it or put one on her halter. She was pretty good in it, though might have been slightly offended as she hasn't worn a bit in almost a year! There was a good amount of mouthing the first wearing and she dropped it a couple times (see above!). She didn't feel too different from her bitless and I would have to pull out her bitted bridle to see if there is any difference there (takes a double-jointed eggbutt with copper lozenge). The second time she was less mouthy and I was able to trot and bend and turn a bit more. She was wanting to fall in on the turns to the left, but that's more her than anything on her face or in her mouth.

A rare picture of the little mare. Biggest eyes I've ever seen on a horse of any size.



For Kash the first thing I noticed was how QUIET he was in his mouth compared to every other bit I have tried on him (and over 12+ years I have tried a lot of bits!). Yes he played with it a little to start, but he wasn't constantly jawing is as he is wont to do when not actively engaged in anything else (he goes pretty quiet when his brain is engaged). I got two rides in it with him thusfar and I'm pretty pleased with how he felt in it. He was off for other unrelated reasons (stepped on himself and biffed it a couple weeks ago and is still just a little sore), but so far as bit function goes he felt really good in it and it was so nice not hearing "Ka-clack, Ka-clack" and he chewed on his bit. I think it's also pretty hard for them to suck it up into their molars (no scratches, yay!) because of the snugness and the fact that the jaw gets wider towards the molars. Kash also neck reined beautifully with it and he was lovely and soft in it. He's not a very stiff horse in general and tends towards bending too much, but I think he was more responsive because he wasn't so distracted with trying to chew on it as he is with his conventional bits.

The first time with Kitt she played with it a moment, but then was pretty quiet until she got a bit of grass in her mouth to chew on and had a hard time figuring out how to work around it. I didn't do much hard work either ride with Kitt so it's still in the "wait and see" column. I did note she fussed with it a little more the second time, but I did leave her alone with it too. When I picked her up into a trot she responded pretty well with it. She did want to drop her head a bit more, not quite rooting, but not quite an honest stretch either. It'll help if I get the time to put in a "real" ride on her. We worked turn on the haunches and forehand today, which was good and she bent pretty readily.

I wonder with my three if any of the initial weirdness is due to them not working bitted at all for almost a year. I imagine there would have been a more notable difference going from a metal bit to the the biotbane jaw bit and less of an offended "why are you putting things in my mouth?!"

Bud went okay in it, but I think I had some other things going on with him too.



I thought he might be a little lame in his turnout so I took him out to the road where I would have a flat, straight surface that would tell me clearer. The neighbors down the road had some workers in their yard and a big stack of pallets that he was giving The Eye. He bowed out terribly and was sticky going forward and since I didn't have the whip I had to kick, which he was pretty dead to and was pretty exasperating. Once past it and turned around he power-trotted towards home dead-even. I was able to back him off pretty well with the bit and tried getting him the other way again with marginally more success. He wanted to rush home again and I finally picked up the whip and threw on my vest (I like having my vrst when riding on the road). The whip seemed to help since I wasn't throwing us off balance kicking him. He might have been a little less responsive than his usual low-port Kimberwick, but it can be hard to tell with him if you don't ride him in two bits side by side. Considering I had to work him past a super scary pile of pallets and didn't have the whip like I usually do he did very well! He came back from his power trot home well enough so that was the important part.

I think the Stark Naked Bit is an interesting option to have. It seems that no one is objecting horribly to it (yet). My horses who haven't had bits for close to a year were more skeptical than Bud who works in a bit all the time, but they all seemed to settle fairly quick so long as they don't have something else in their mouth or are left alone to play with it. I like that it molds easily around the tongue and while the stitches provide some texture there are no points, nubs, or joints creating possible pinch points or poking into the roof of the mouth. It also has a softer feel on the skin than any metal bit could, especially thinking about how this might feel on the bars of the mouth compared to metal.

The construction was nice with sturdy stitching. I also liked that they gave you options for strap width as well as ring diameter for a customized feel for both horse and rider. I went with the 3/4" strapping because I thought that the 1" might be a little too wide and isn't comparable to any bits I've ever used with my crew. They also offer a 1/2" which was narrower than I was wanting for my group.

I plan on continuing to try them now and again and hopefully get more of a ride in on them, but as most of the rides have been while I'm teaching there does end up being a lot of standing and observing than actively riding the horse.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I didn't get to work on the drawing as long, but I did make progress.



Friday we'll be taking Chewy, E-va, and my momvs mare Dakota in to Chatham. Chewy is getting a full oral exam to be sure there isn't anything in her mouth causing her to continue to drop feed. Her bloodwork came back suggesting dehydration as well as a possible viral infection despite not having a fever.

E-va's going to get an exam to be sure that her engorged udder is not because of a "whoops" and she does just have a persistent CL. Marty doesn't want to take chances.

Dakota had a sore on her navel accompanied by edema. I want him to look at it to be sure it isn't one of those nasty parasite-caused ulcers like what Sunny had on her mouth right now. Hershey had one a few years ago and Chatham has seen them elsewhere on horses too. I cleaned it up yesterday and sprayed some betadine on ot as well as smearing Swat on it (need to pick up more). The flies weren't bothering it so I left it alone this evening.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
The end of Summer so far as the school year is concerned approaches. Some kids are going back next week, which as you might imagine stinks. Especially when it is hovering around 110 still. So for August I'll have to open up my evenings and be running 5-7pm Monday through Friday and my usual mornings (which I suspect to be rather empty) Tuesday-Saturday. Come the beginning of September I'll open up the afternoons as it should be only averaging around 97 for the highs at that point and I can get rid of the 6-7pm time slot.

It feels like I just barely got into the groove for Summer and now it's over. At least cool weather is on the horizon and I won't be sweating quite so much.

After going through most of the season I have to admit I really like my Icefil shirts. I was slightly skeptical to start, but with the long sleeves and mesh underarms as well as the fabric that is light and adds some cooling I am sold. I had tried one of those coolmedic vests a couple years ago, but I didn't like being wet all the time. These shirts also have the bonus of negating my need to apply sunscreen to my arms. I was also surprised to find that they felt cooler than my short sleeved polos. I'll be going back to the polos as it cools down, but it was nice to find something that makes the heat a little more bearable. I've also switched to wearing my breeches almost all the time (I think I wore my jeans twice this summer) because they are cooler than the jeans, plus I am a lot more likely to ride if I am wearing breeches than not. I dislike riding in jeans anymore if I can help it.

It looks like I am done with art lessons for the summer except for the open studio days on Saturday. No one signed up for the Visual Storytelling, which started this week and I don't have any prospects for Animal Anatomy next week, but it's all good. I've been using a little of the time to continue working on the drawing. I managed to beat the sky into shape yesterday and wrangled the shrubbery into somewhat decent order. The ground is giving me fits and I'm debating if the watercolor base was a good idea or not. I am also debating if I still like the Prismacolor pencils or if it is just because I am fighting my lazy, inconsistent watercolor base. I guess I'll find out when I get to the subjects who have a much smoother base to work on.



I should do a smaller piece and play with the Prismas to see if it's the base or just me. I've avoided them so long because I was enjoying the challenge of a limited palette (12-24) and the fact that the pencils with slightly harder lead don't shatter internally... I just haven't really been able to layer properly I guess and I am used to building it up very slowly from the white of the paper so the watercolor ground, especially with the various dark and light areas is throwing me for a loop.

I'll figure it out and get something halfway decent out of it. I am itching to do a large watercolor piece. I've had some 16x20" Aquabord laying around that has been calling to me. That will definitely require some sketching and thumbnailing, however.

Somewhat random I suggested to Marty puting E-va in the boys' names, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] windy_withers latest post. While it will be a couple years before they rider her (she turned two in May) Dave and Marty took her in as a future grandkid pony so there you go. We're contemplating her name still. Current possibility is Esche, which is German for "Ash." Being grey dun/grulla she does look like she has ash smudged all over her and I was mulling over "ash" alone earlier, but I do have a cousin with a kid named Ash and there's also that Pokemon connotation with it too. Of course thinking about it today I remembered M. C. Escher,then thought maybe Escherin to make it feminine, but I guess we'll see. We'll try out the sound of Esche for a bit. I had liked the sound of Elna a little and then remembered Elbe, which doesn't sound too bad. Apparently I am stuck on "e" names and I am not quite sure why.

In still other news Chewy produced seven glorious piles today and is eating and drinking well. She went back to work today too. I am debating feeding her hay or keeping to the soaked pellets. I have fed her really small portions of soaked hay and she's eaten it, but I do worry slightly about her ability to chew it.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chewy gave us three piles in a less than 24 hour period, yay! The last one looked less oily too so I think the oil is pretty much through. Her appetite is back up and she's drinking and using the salt blocks again. I am doing little (soaked) hay and mostly soaked pellets, her senior feed and bermuda pellets. She may be queen of the little turnout for a long time.

While we were in Utah Tristan was playing with my grandparents' phone and Chris asked him "Who are you gonna call?" and Tristan without missing a beat answered "Ghostbusters!"

Children are funny.

Yay Poop!

Jul. 12th, 2015 01:20 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chewy left us two shiny, oily piles this morning and started eating again. Bermuda of all things, which she is usually very reluctant to eat. She ate two pounds of her senior feed and I gave her a little more this afternoon. Marty also gave her some applesauce and alfalfa pellets, which she wasn't as keen on the alfalfa pellets this morning, but ate a good amount last night.

She doesn't like me giving her the electrolytes with the syringe and I don't blame her on that. Now she needs to start eating and drinking regularly and we're good. Chatham did pull some blood Saturday and will let me kniw when the results come in and see if there is anything underlying going on. I also want him to do a thorough oral exam as she is still quidding feed, like yesterday when I was hand grazing her. She was keen on the grass and I should probably do some more this evening, but she would occasionally wad it up and drop it. She did have her teeth done just a couple months ago because she stopped eating. The fronts were good, but the back teeth were weird and needed a good amount of work. I don't know if she has an ulcer or something in her mouth that is continuing to inhibit her full range of chewing motion.

I think I am done with the watercolor on this piece.



Now I need to attack it with colored pencils. Had I done it on watercolor paper I may have just continued with that, but I don't think the bristol board would hold up to it. It is a thicker paper, but I don't know how happy it would be with repeated wetting, plus I didn't plan for watercolor and didn't leave any highlights (of course that could be what a little bit of white gouache is for, but that's beside the point).
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Do you know what happened to June? And where is July going in such a hurry? On the one hand it is welcome because bring on Not-Summer, but it seems like we just got back from Utah yesterday and not four days ago!

Tuesday Chewy didn't poop and wasn't keen on drinking. Her heart rate was 28, temp 100.3. Gave her a dose of Banamine and she had one pile Wednesday afternoon. Her respiratory rate seems elevated, but we've also hit hot and humid and it doesn't seem much more than anyone else. She had another pile Thursday, but none today. She seemed to poop when Chatham threatened tubing her, but no such luck today. He came out this afternoon and did a rectal exam and found some dry, hard balls of manure. She got her colon irrigated and we did a nasogastric tube, which she did not appreciate so much, but did really well considering zero sedation. We had a pile in addition to what Chatham pulled out about an hour or so after he left, which is good. She still isn't keen on eating or drinking. I may have to pick up some molasses to entice her.

Through this whole thing her heart rate has stayed right around 30 and she hasn't rolled other than when I have hosed her off. Definitely a-typical for a colic, but I guess the good news is it shouldn't be a strangulation, displacement, or. anything else requiring surgery. I just hope her appetite and thurst return. She did appear more interested in water yesterday afternoon and this morning, but she isn't hogging the salt block like usual.

I'm hoping she moves past this quickly. She's 24 and has been in excellent shape, not even a hint of arthritis. Absolutely the best walk/trot pony you could ask for. She has been known to be a picky eater, however, which probably is not working in her favor.

In less concerning news I worked Cinnamon twice this week and propped my phone on the mounting block for video (if I planned ahead better I'd pull out the video camera and tripod.

I blabbered more over on [livejournal.com profile] equestrian, but here's the trimmed video.



Maybe by the end of the year I can have her going decently.

I worked Tru-D this week and she did awesome. She's picking up things quick and very respectful. I introduced the crupper and she had more issue with the plain rope under her tail to introduce the concept more than the crupper itself.

I'd write more, but children climbing on me.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Thursday I took Panda over to the property for a ride. I was determined to put in a good ride on her and ride her through the little bit of silliness she gave me last week. I know last week was a lot about me and my anxieties feeding over into Panda and I still don't quite feel as 100% comfortable in the Dressage saddle as I do the Western and it may stay that way forever, but it could also be that my Dressage saddle is a little big on me and it doesn't have any big knee blocks like some that I have ridden in.

I had Bud in the roundpen as I had brought him over to work earlier, which he was mostly good for. He was being a knucklehead in the roundpen running around like an idiot, bucking, and calling to Panda. Panda completely ignored him, but was a little wide-eyed at me and with some of the traffic noise.

I mounted up and could feel her tightnes. My resolve was to keep a (relatively) loose rein and simply direct the energy I had. We had a good five minutes that were a bit ugly. She would jump forward at some random car noise (the intersection can get pretty busy and includes semi trucks and landscaping trailers with wonderful rattling noises as well as garbage trucks, dump trucks, and the occasional tractor). Of course when I started doing what I was supposed to she did better. I allowed her forward so we did a lot of trotting, but if she scooted faster I started picking up the rein for a stop and held until she stopped and gave. After the initial five minutes we started having periods of going on the buckle and her stretching over her topline and really relaxing. I knew we were doing really good when the neighbor's cattle dog rushed the fence while we were going along and she slowed down and looked rather than rushing off.

We ended with a couple nice canters around the outside track and called it a day. If I could do that every day for a week I'd have a different horse under me. It would be awesome. Part of me wonders if a lot of this isn't from her trip to New Mexico, which knowing what I do now I regret a bit, but you don't know some things are going to turn out until you do them.

I did contact Christa about Panda. She's still interested, but can't commit until the end of February. If Panda's still here by then I won't be sad to see her go back to Christa. I just really wish Christa had been more upfront about what she was going through and we could have worked something out for a month or two rather than buying her back, puttin her through training, trying to sell her, etc. and soforth.

If it's meant to be it'll happen.

That said I think I have more videos of me riding Panda than any other horse at this point. I need to video myself riding the rest of the herd... Chewy definitely needs to be on tape because she is a indescribably adorable mover. Man I wish I had a Chewy baby... it would have been eight this year.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chris and I put the arena together Sunday after church. A good family activity, unfortunately Tristan had fallen asleep at Farfar's by the time we were ready for him to help.

Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] suraineko for giving me the initial thought to build my own.

Materials:
70 - 8' landscaping poles
75 - "A" Cinder blocks
half dozen stakes
Over 550' of twine

Recommended:
Trailer for poles
Big truck to haul cinder block



Pictures and Rambling )

Yesterday it rained mid-morning to early afternoon. The Wedge of Wetness continues to be the bane of my existence. I had a single lesson and a group and while the footing here was fine I didn't feel like fighting the Wedge or being restricted to the 50' roundpen so I told them to meet me over at the property. I was a little off in my time assessment and the first student beat me there, but I helped her tack up and we were going in about the usual amount of time. I had loaded up Kitt, Ruby, and Chewy as well as the tack required. Kitt got to hang out in the roundpen and I rode Chewy with the student on Ruby.

I apparently miscalulate my horses' laziness when it comes to going over things as within the first five minutes Ruby marched right over the rail and Olivia had to bring her back in. Ruby's knees are just above the rails so it isn't much effort for her to step over. I tols Olivia to be sure she doesn't let Ruby get perpenticular to the fence to avoid a repeat and she didn't have another problem. We worked along the perimeter to start and then built up to some serpentines. I need to get some letters up so we have some points of reference and at some point bring the cones and things over to help with visualization on the figures.

The second lesson was going to be a "group" of two. My usual 5pm student plus one who comes in the morning with his brother, but deferred to the evening instead. I ended up with three students as the older brother had a boyscout hike that was canceled due to the rain (whimps!). Their mom was good and said she knew I hadn't planned on both boys and if I couldn't accomodate the older boy that was OK. I happened to still have the dressage saddle in the truck from working Bud in the morning, but he usually rides Western. I asked him if he was game for it and he said yes. The girth I had for it fit Kitt otherwise I would have put him on Ruby and I gave Hannah choice between Kitt and Chewy as she got there first and technically the girth on Chewy for the general purpose would fit Ruby in the Dressage, but that's okay.

So I had Hannah on Chewy, Eli on Ruby, and TJ on Kitt. First instruction was to ride parallel to the rail and check steering and breaks. Then the fun started. Ruby wantered out of the arena again and then Chewy followed suit, but her little legs don't clear the poles so well and she knocked over three blocks and their attached rails. I did a lot of rail re-setting!

Chewy was giving Hannah a lesson on the importance of the outside aids. They would be parallel to the fence and either Hannah would ask her to turn in or Chewy would start to bow out, but the result was the same, Chewy would get over bent as Hannah relied on the inside rein to turn or correct and Chewy would swing her outside shoulder around, get perpenticular and over she went! I had ridden Chewy in the first lesson (easier to keep up with the students!) and she had considered this trick once, but a quick check with the outside rein and leg and she went on straight again. I talked with Hannah some, but spent most of my time working between the two boys who are less experienced. She kindof enjoyed figuring it out herself with some guidance from me.

While Ruby did wander out of the arena a few times on him once he shortened up his reins it worked much better. He even trotted on her briefly towards the end.

TJ has some confidence issues to begin with so the strange saddle and not being as familiar with Kitt plus new place wasn't the ideal combination. Kitt marched out of the arena on the South end once and was striding with purpose through the debris field as TJ just sort of held on until I instructed him to stop her. (Amazing what happens when you actively ask the horse to do something!) He did alright and I had him focus on simply walk and halt and told him to keep Kitt in the center of the ring.

Overall I think it was successful for the first official lesson in it. I do need to school my horses over there more and perhaps what needs to be done is riding them in the ring on a loose rein and when they choose to leave the arena make them work extra hard, return to arena and relax, leave it and hustle, rinse and repeat. Kash is going to take the most work with the theatrics he put on Friday over there (crow-hopping,charging, popping up his front end, etc.). The others should pretty much be their normal selves.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Some places got over six inches of rain from the storm Monday over the course of 12 hours. I think we managed between four and five judging by the amount in buckets that were empty to start.

Tuesday I walked around to better assess the damage after feeding the herd. I found out rather quickly why the South drive flooded over so much. It was full of sand, rocks and dirt up to one inch before the cement of the driveway. The 18" culvert that is 14' long is completely full and the wash was full on the South side and pretty close on the North. Proceeding to the North drive the wash is fine. The non-cemented and non-graveled portion of the North drive leading up to the cement before the garages was a complete disaster. The four wheel drive on the Whimobile (I.e. our Jeep Grand Cherokee) got quite the workout and the Lil Rig, which is just two wheel drive, did not leave the garage until yesterday.

I got a wheelbarrow and shovel and started digging out the wash. It was very sandy with rocks here and there, some of them pretty substantial, which means the water had to have been flowing quite fast and hard to get them to move. I dumped the first two loads in the North end of the driveway and debated if it was improving the footing or not. The sand still shifted around, but at least it lessened the mud's propensity to suck off boots.

I think I was working on the fourth or so load when the S's drove by. Roxanne offered to help and she, Keara, and Ashton joined me in shoveling out the wash after acquiring more shovels. We took several loads up by Toby where it had washed out underneath the fence. Once that area was done we built up the sides a bit and added some more to the driveway.

Chris joined us when he woke up (he closed that night) and we managed to find the culvert. We need to rent a tractor to do it properly. We're also thinking of getting a small culvert to allow the water to flow under the driveway on the property.

Adora drove by and offered her front turnout if we needed a dry spot for the horses. The water had flowed over the stalls (they are built up 6" above grade) and they were a muddy mess. The arena was on it's way to being somewhat dry and we had turned Ruby out alone in it. I told her thanks, but we were drying out well enough. Then it rained Tuesday night and there was no way the horses were sitting in muddy stalls or turned out together in the slop.

I called Adora Wednesday morning and said I would take her up after all. I was lazy and grabbed Kash's bridle and my helmet and decided to ride him down. I forgot how far it was, a little over half a mile I think. Kash did awesome despite buses and cars and having done one trail ride in the mountains in the last two years. I couldn't tell you the last time I rode him around the neighborhood! We got aboit 300' from the turn in for Adora's street when he realized he had been stuck in a stall for two days and he's an Arab. He didn't really do anything silly, but being completely bare back (no pad even, super lazy) and near the road and the fotting starting to become more muddy I wasn't pushing it so I led him the rest of the way.

Adora gave me the key for the padlock and I turned him loose. He was perplexed at being alone and started trotting the fence line. I walked back and decided to lead both Chewy and Kitt together. Chewy hasn't been off property for five years and Kitt can occasionally be bullish when leading (more for my students than me), but I was lazy again and didn't feel like making a third trip.

They both lead really well, though Kitt tended to get ahead and Chewy was happy to trail behind. Chewy would jog to catch up on occasion and I would have to remind Kitt to keep her shoulder a respectful distance. School buses, tractors, and vehicles with noisy trailers weren't an issue. What a good crew of horses I have.

Kash was slick with sweat and hollering when we walked up. I turned the girls out and hosed off Kash. Chewy, who is 23, trotted and cantered about all interested in the new digs. Kitt found the bit of hay I had hoped Kash would entertain himself with while I got the girls (fat chance) and I tossed them a bit more and they settled in nicely.

I was planning on bringing all three back that evening, but decided to haul two hay nets over for Kash and Kitt and brng Chewy back for the lesson.

Marty drove me over and I again decided to be lazy and took Chewy's bridle and my helmet. We walked most of the way, but did do some trotting, which was a good thing as I was just shy of the lesson time when we came in. Needless to say Chewy was nicely warmed up for the lesson.

Thursday I walked over and lead Kitt and Kash back for breakfast before the lesson. Kitt couldn't be bothered to stay on her own side and not be right behind me/crowding my left side so I ended up with Kitt to the right of me and Kash to the right of her.

We only had one little wierdness and managed to do the whole thing in 25 minutes: walking down, catching them, and walking back. Not too shabby.

Now if only Kash could be as sensible about going to a show... I am debating who to take next week to the EVAHA show. Probably Kitt again.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
The week before last Michelle and I hitched Kitt to the forecart for the first time. For not being driven in five years she did quite well. Last week didn't happen for obvious reasons so I doubled up this week doing Tuesday and Thursday (today). Tuesday we tried a littlw trotting and the forecart vibrated terribly. Kitt did OK, but was a little concerned about it. We figured it was the piece that the pole connects to, which Chris removed when I got home.

Today the cart was MUCH quieter. It did jiggle and rattle in the trot, but nothing too terrible and moreso when Kitt wasn't steady ahead in her trot. She would shift between rushing and slacking, and it really settled to my having more contact and being able to half-halt and steady her as needed.

Things I do need to work on with the Kitt are getting her to leg yield in response to the whip and increasing her lateral flexibility (or, rather, her response to my bending aids).

We walked, trotted, and worked on some trot figure eights. Her back up has something to be desired, but as Michelle pointed out the cart is heavy and she is resisting sitting on the breeching. She wiggles sideways before settling into a good backward step. She also likes to swing her hip out a bit much in the turn, though this seems to be a commmon problem with a lot of horses. The forecart also gives her a lot of room to swing her hip as it is designed for a full-sized draft over a Fjord.

I think next week we'll work the trot a bit more and then we'll be rotating between riding and driving Kitt and maybe bringing Kash out to ride too. We'll see.

I teared up a bit after I got back. I was filling up buckets and rubbing everyone's heads and thinking too much about Z and her place in the herd. Terror at feeding time, but also the initiator of many a back and neck scratch. How she was the only one Ruby could stand to be in a stall next to. She and Kitt were the babies of the herd (four years apart) and would get each other going.

So many things we were going to do. No more crash vest next year. Students getting to feel her out. Starting to work our way up the levels in Dressage and seeing how far we could go.

With Chewy in the small turnout since Sunday the arena feels extra empty.

I am still thinking. Maybe I just need to focus on the herd as it is. See about moving Panda on and just have five for a while. Fill Kitt's gaps a little faster and get more time on the boy. I think I'll try Panda Training or Intro this winter and maybe see about Kash too. Once I get the hay sorted I want to pick up the official test book like I have been meaning to the last two years.

Kash may be 17, but I think we can work towards putting together a solid 2nd level test in the next few years. Get Kitt going too and see about tentatively getting Chewy at Intro. At 23 I don't really want to try to get her canter going again. When we first got her it was school keeping me and then she kept getting older and it's a "why screw up a good thing?" because she is a fabulous walk/trot pony.

I have a squeeze of alfalfa coming tomorrow then pick up a few bales Bermuda to tide me over, order Bermuda, and see if I can't manage another squeeze of alfalfa before winter starts thinking about setting in and prices shoot up. It would be awesome if I could manage a winter's supply!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)

Chewy's doing just fine.  The swelling was down Monday and she was putting weight on it.  Yesterday she was moving much better and I took her off the bute in the evening.  this morning the only thing I am noticing is she's scuffing that right hind toe, but we are also nearing the end of the rotation so she may just be getting a little long.  Just the same she will be off until Saturday when I'll put her on the line and assess her movement.  I think she either tweaked it or got kicked, perhaps a combination of both as Kitt was running her Sunday, the goober.

 

Life is moving forward.  We're entertaining  the idea of rebreeding Panda more, but we have quite a bit of time to consider that.  The one part of me throws up a wall and says "but it wouldn't be Z."  The other part says it's the only way I am going to afford something as nice as she was for a long, long time.  By the time a foal would be where Z was Tristan will be eight and Kelhan six.  They'd be well in school.  If there is a third child in there somewhere it would be close to Tristan's age now, maybe even as old as four (definitely done before I'm 35, preferably well before).  Even the weanlings to two year olds I am mildly entertaining are pushing my price range so far as what I would like to spend let alone what I could afford (not much at the moment).

 


Of course if we sell Panda, as was the original plan, there is our fund for a fancy prospect plus Panda doesn't have to hang out for another year and a half getting older and accomplishing not much.  If she is still here I do think I'll be throwing her at a couple dressage schooling shows this winter and the pressure to sell her NOW is definitely gone, but again.  She's too nice to sit and she needs someone who can put hours and miles on her regularly.

 

I am still waiting for the report on Zetahra.  If I don't hear I'll call them Friday.

 

I sent off two strands of Z's hair to have an oval pendant necklace made.  Ola gave me the website of a lady that does braided horse hair jewelry and I am waiting to hear back from her on doing something custom.  I am not a bracelet person and her necklace designs were ... well, gaudy, so I was wondering if she could extend one of her bracelet designs ro necklace length.

 

The Clay Pony lady needed 20 inches of hair to do the pendant.  I picked one strand of white and one black.  The white one was over 16" and the black one was close to 20" itself!  Zetahra was not lacking for hair that is for sure!  I took two braids from Z.  one was from where her ink spot crossed over her mane so it is mostly white with a little black streak in it and the other was where the black and white met across her neck.  I didn't realize that it was split half black and white across her mane bed, which is quite interesting.

 

I didn't take her tail or more braids, she can keep them and she had a ton of hair as it was.  I wouldn't know what to do with it all and throwing it out after taking it wouldn't be right either so I have the two and hopefully the pendant will be done in the next two weeks and then maybe an e-mail from the other lady about the braided necklace soon too.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I managed to talk to Chatham this morning without crying. Progress. Just a little catch in the throat.

Chaparral hadn't gotten a hold of him yet so I had to tell him the news. Once they get me the paperwork I'll be forwarding it on to him and maybe we can pick apart a few things and process it a bit more.

I am working my way through comments and I am sure you all understand if I am slow to respond or quiet on your own posts. I really appreciate your words of comfort and thoughts. It really does help.

It's still hard to believe that she is gone. I feel like I should be able to look out the window and see her or pull her out for a ride tomorrow.

Of course Chewy got kicked in the stifle yesterday and came up lame. Chris immediate went to "going to have to put another horse down," which is not helpful. This morning she is putting weight on it and the swelling went down. Going to probably give her the week off and see how she's moving Saturday after lessons.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)


What bit do you ride your current beastie in and why?

We'll go alphabetically again, because it is easier.

Chewy- takes a 5 1/4" eggbutt with a copper lozenge/oval. Yes, my 13.2 hand pony takes an over 5" bit. She started in a short-shanked Tom thumb with a center copper cylinder until I realized it was too narrow, poor saintly Little Mare and I decided against leverage because she has beginners on her 99% of the time and she responds fine without it. I don't think she really cares what is in her mouth.

Charm-N- rides in a 6" eggbutt with a center lozenge. She can either have the best stop or the worst stop. For me she stops off of the voice and seat the vast majority of the time. Some of my students have managed this, but some of them can't get her to plant her feet to save their lives and I don't think it has much of anything to do with the bit. She drives in a straight bar liverpool on the smooth side (recently switched her from the rough side). Sometimes she drives on the snaffle setting and sometimes on the first hole, depending on how much she is trying to tell me "shut up and let me drive." She came with a plain loose ring single joint snaffle, which I don't think I would ever drive her in. I tried her in a French link/"dog bone" butterfly once, which she did not like. I think it was more the mouthpiece than the cheeks. One I feel adventurous again I may try a mullen mouth butterfly.

Kash- English he has settled into a 5" D ring with a copper lozenge and his Western bridle has a Tom thumb with swept back shanks and a snaffle option, the mouthpiece has a center cipoer cylinder that allows for tongue relief, but doesn't collapse quite so much as your typical three piece mouth like an oval or French link. I have tried a LOT of bits on the boy. He is my only horse with a 5" mouth so my whole 5" collection has been used on him at some point. He likes copper and he likes double-jointed mouthpieces, more the lozenge than French links or Dr. Bristols.

Kitt- uses a 5 1/2" French link Eggbutt. I had started her in a single joint, but she had a tendency to suck her tongue back and get it ovet. When I switched to the French link she greatly reduced that tendency. I have a copper French link butterfly whenever I get around to driving her.

Panda- (Since she's officially mine again...) She has ridden in both a 5 1/2" curved single joint D-ring and a eggbutt with a center lozenge and I recently had a single joint full cheek I had her in too because it was what the bridle had on it. She doesn't seem very opinionated about what goes in her mouth. Now that I have her bridle back it's the curved single joint D again. Z inherited her English bridle with the lozenge.

Ruby- rides in a 6" Eggbutt with a lozenge and drives in a French Link d-ring because she doesn't need anything else and it was a 6" bit that we happened to have laying around. She was in a plain single joing Eggbutt for the longest time and I decided to try the lozenge and she seemed to like it.

Zetahra- rides in a 5 1/2" Eggbutt with a lozenge she inherited from her mother. I started driving her in a single joint full cheek, but switched to the copper French link butterfly when ahe went into the closed bridle. She (thusfar) drives on the snaffle setting.

I think you might notice a slight trend. I admit to being partial to double-jointed mouthpieces. One you avoid the tongue and bar-pinching nutcracker effect and the horses seem to like them. I lean towards the lozenge/oval because it provides a "quieter" smooth surface whereas the French link and Dr. Bristol tend to push into the tongue where they join the center link, which some horses seem to appreciate less than others.

I like the butterflies for driving because they have that little bit of slide before engaging unlike the liverpool and elbow bits. I do like having "options" on the driving bits depending on how the horse is responding. In my opiniom leverage is for finished horses and esperienced riders. The idea is that you can use even softer, more refined cues before the curb engages. If you feel like you have to use your leverage all the time there's something wrong with the horse's training or the rider's use of it.

I admit to never getting into loose rings. I tried one on Kash once, which was a disaster because despite saying it is 5" it actually measured closer to 4 3/4". I also worry about pinched lips.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
In order of acquisition.
Kash Advance )

Conestee CRB )

Ruby )

Dungannon's Ness )
Zetahra/Verhängnis )

Charm-N )

Of course there are some other horses that were once a part of the herd and are not now, but that is for another time.

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