lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Good news! I just got an email from Niki and Panda sailed right through the vet check. I wasn't surprised, but there's always that little worry in the back of your head, you know? Apparently the vet said if Niki wasn't going to take Panda she probably would!

Did I mention that I did about 90% of the training on Panda? Of course now I can't find a picture of me riding her (none on my phone) so have a lovely conformation shot of her instead.

no title

And a video of me riding her bareback last February.

Niki's very excited to be taking Panda home and said it was a dream come true. I'm excited to see her going to someone who is so obviously in love with her. I hope they have many years of enjoyment together!

I did find out that the Spotted Draft Horse Society is officially defunct like the Pinto Draft Registry, BUT there is now a Spotted Draft Horse Registry based in Canada and they are registering horses that were a part of PDR or SDHS for free with a copy of the registration papers. Thankfully I have a copy of both to send to Niki so she can get her (re)registered.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)

It's de javu from six years ago. (Unfortunately the image links in that post are no longer functional.)

Marty hasn't made a name decision yet, but I am calling her E-va for now. When I schedule Hershey and Kitt to have their teeth done I will haul her over too so he can give her a once-over.

She has been picking at her food, especially the hay. She eats the bran and soaked pellets better, but I am starting to suspect some issues with her teeth. I ran my fingers over her front molars yesterday and felt some sharp edges and she doesn't seem to chew as vigorously as some of the other horses.

She will be two in May and while she is wearing a horse sized fly mask and halter she definitely is a good bit smaller than Tru-D. Granted Tru-D should mature around 15.2hh and E-va will probably settle around 14 or 14.1 if this episode hasn't stunted her growth too much. She also seems to lack muscle mass in her haunches and her ribs are easily felt if not seen under her thick coat. With the temperatures threatening 90+ this week my task for tomorrow is to bathe and at least give her trace clip. She is shedding, but I think she'll be happier if she loses a good chunk of hair more quickly.

We loaded up Panda today and took her to her new home. They are boarding her at Formerly-Marley-Farms in the main barn. While then stall was nicely bedded it had twonsolid walls going up at least 10' before being open, a large window on the back with bars and the fron was barred apart from a three foot section she could stick her head out. She has other horses around she can see and supposedly turnout every other day in some nice, grassy paddocks. I don't know how she'll be in such a small space most of the time, but hopefully they'll be using her often enough that it won't really matter.

Chris hasn't really been around Panda much since she came back last year and he commented if Tru-D even makes it to Panda's size that would be pretty nice. He's not convinced Tru-D will be as stout (hard to tell at a year), but if she manages 15 hands it wouldn't be bad.

Tru-D is getting used to the fly mask. She still isn't very thrilled with the velcro noise, but I think by the end of the week it should become so routine she'll forget she was ever scared of it

Debbie thanked us for delivering her and we talked a bit before heading back home. They have a trainer they'll be working with too and with multiple riders in the family and (at the moment) just one horse Panda should be getting plenty of attention.

Weekly tasks: bathe and clip E-va, schedule vet appointment for teeth, get Tru-D over the fly spray noise/feel, maybe bathe Tru-d if I am feeling adventurous.
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Today ended up not much as I originally set out. I was going to work Bud first thing and as I am unhooking the horse trailer I said "forget it" and decided to just pick him up and work him on the property. Since I would have some spare time I was going to hit the feedstore and get has in the Lil Rig before picking him up. I am almost to the feedstore and realize I forgot my wallet. I had to find a place to turn around (crew cab long bed plus three horse bumperpull trailer) and went back for Bud.

With the 20 minutes I had before my first lesson was to start I grabbed True-D and took her to the roundpen for the first time. My goal was walking in both directions and we nearly got there. Granted we have had big dump trucks hauling dirt and going back for more plus street sweepers racing up and down Hawes for the last few weeks as they work on channelizing the Sonoqui Wash system. She's been at the back of the property and hasn't experienced them up close yet so getting close to the goal was good enough for all the noise and distraction.

I took a video, which did not help our communication any, but I wanted evidence. I need to pull out the real video camera now and again.

I waited for 9am to show up, but she didn't. I pulled out Bud and lead him over to the property. We started in the roundpen as I knew he wouldn't be thrilled with the bog trucks, but he got dead quiet so I rode him through the gate and to the dressage arena. We played with what I remembered of Introductory Test 1 (A?) and worked on getting him to relax and focus on me rather tha worrying about the trucks. We worked on some canter departs, which have been going pretty well out in the open, but obviously need work trying them on a 20m circle.

Following Bud was a lesson, returning Bud, running the two errands that were thwarted by my misplaced wallet earlier, and hit the post office to send off my exchanges (a bit and a pair of breeches). It was fun maneuvering the truck and trailer around the small parking lot. One of the rows was mercifully empty so I just took up a dozen spaces. When I came out a few cars were parked behind it, thankfully none tried to park in front.

I retrieved the boys and we chased the giant horse soccer ball around, fed the horses citrus, and pushed them around in the wheelbarrow. We hung in the little house for a bit, Tristan painted on some model horse blanks and I tried to keep Kelhan occupied enough to not play in the paints (only a little on one hand, success!). I managed to eat some lunch and then it was time to teach more lessons.

Keara rode Panda in the roundpen while I taught Roxanne's lesson and she said the mare did awesome and completely ignored the trucks. Good girl, Panda. Now I need to find you a home where people will mess with you daily.

The arena at home is dry enougb to work in after the rain Monday. No rain predicted for Saturday so we should be able to actually have our draft horse show in conjunction with the Rodeo.

I need to sit down with Chris and the Grand Plan for the property and draw up water schematics so we can get the water pipes all done and I don't have to haul water over. I also need to look and find a shipping container to use as a tack room because not having to haul tack over is my other prerequisite for using the property regularly.

Tuesday morning I got up a half hour early and didn't have time to eat breakfast plus had to run back for one more thing once my lesson started cleaning up their horses. Thankfully 9am couldn't make it so I got to grab breakfast before my 10am (would have liked to have spent it working Panda, but a gal has got to eat!). As it stands if I want to use it for lessons I probably have to get up a full hour earlier than I do now in order to have everything ready to go and not be rushed. Or, in the case of evening lessons, start prepping for the lessons about an hour before. Once there is water and 90% of the tack over there it will be much less as I will just have to either load horses in the trailer and haul them over or just walk them over depending on how many/who I use.

It will be nice when it is finished. I just now ha e to have time to finish it!

I have six lessons tomorrow. Two of them are away.
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Tru-D has become super social over the last four weeks. It is quite an amazing change really. She is starting to border on obnoxious, which means it is time to start doing some training beyond just loving on her. Yesterday we had the farrier out again to do her feet. Since she went almost 10 months without any work whatsoever I want to do some catch-up and get ahead of the curve. Chris actually caught and held her for Kevin and she did great. Her feet are looking much better and we may just do a couple more extra rotations between to really get her where she needs to be to ensure no twisting or other funkiness around her growthplates. Her cannons and leg bones appear nice and straight thusfar and we'd like to keep them that way.

Today I led her out of the pen and hand grazed her a little. She's leading well enough now I can probably take her to work in the round pen without worrying about having trouble on the way there. I also groomed her up, cleaned her feet, and started on some exercises with the whip both to desensitize her to its presence and to get her to move away from it when asked. I also discovered that she likes udder rubs as Charm-N is so fond of.

Yesterday Ruby got grumpy at Charm-N and as she kicked out she managed to get her leg caught in the panel. Thankfully I was right there. She still pulled the panel around and rearranged her and Charm-N's stalls, but then she stood and kindof sat on the panel as my student and I pulled the pins, cut the twine and let it drop as gently as possible. She was able to step out of it without further issue and didn't have a scrape on her. I was able to put everything back together and the fence only has a slight tweak, but is functionally fine.

I gave her some Bute last night, this morning and again this evening and she seems to be moving well on it. I think she and Kitt had an argument last night as both of them have scrapes on their inner hind legs (I thought I had missed seeing scrapes from the panel, but I would have noticed them I believe after cleaning her up this afternoon and getting a close look). Mares.

I failed to mention that Christa decided to take a pass on Panda. I had called her and she sent me a text in reply and it annoyed me. I guess it's consistent with how it has all gone with Christa and Panda. Lack of communication, half-stories and the like. Whatever. She was boarding a friend's horse and decided to buy him instead despite her going on about how she didn't want to think about a horse that wasn't Panda and she rode her bareback when they were at the other boarding place and this that and the other thing. I am still annoyed.

I did have a lady come out and look at her yesterday. I don't know what it is about the timing always being when it has rained and we're restricted to the roundpen to show her. I think the only one who got to ride her in the arena was Donna (and man how I wish she could convince her husband to let her buy her!). Tammie liked her and said she'd get back to me, but we'll see how that goes.

I hate selling horses ... or maybe I just hate selling Panda.

I hope the next horse I have to sell is a Jutland foal from my first crop of Jutlands after importing them from Denmark to my ranch that doesn't exist yet. Mmm... Jutlands.

Like this little chunk. That will turn into one of these:


Feb. 13th, 2015 09:35 pm
lantairvlea: (New filly)
I still like the name Greta, but Chris still doesn't so I've been trying Trudy and Harley, but I don't think Harley is going to stick.

Yesterday Kevin got her back feet and she stood just this side of perfect for it. She took her right leg back once, but Kevin blamed himself more for not having her quite where she needed to be on his leg. He noted that he wished some adult horses did so well! Yay filly!

She is getting more bold and friendly. She still prefers to present her right side to be caught. I have to put the lead rope over her neck before changing sides too, but I imagine she will get less picky the more she is handled.


She and Kitt have decided to be friends. We'll have to turn them out together and see how well they buddy up. Chewy misses being queen of the little turnout. I had to shoo her out this evening so I could let the filly loose and the little mare was a bit opinionated about it.

Wednesday I had some time as my 4pm canceled last minute so I killed two birds with one stone. I rode Panda bareback with the cross under bitless bridle and practiced the emergency dismount. I admit to being a little anxious to start and I think you can see it in my riding here and there (pardon low quality phone video). She did really well. I was expecting a bit of a cerfupple when I did it at the trot, but she was absolutely perfect for it.

And I have video evidence:

Commentary appreciated.

Donna continues to take lessons on Panda and has been really enjoying her. She mentioned today she tried to convince her husband again that she should buy Panda and then see about rehoming her guy (a Lipizzan who can be a explosive from the sound of it), but no dice (drat). Panda got a little tight over something across the way, relaxed, then Donna had a massive sneeze and Panda jumped forward two strides, but Donna picked up the reins and Panda came right back down. If we could convince her husband they'd be a great match! Donna has the dedication to put the hours in and the skill and confidence to ride Panda successfully.

She lent me her Jane Savoi DVDs as I had lent her my Walter Zettl "Matter of Trust" set. I look forward to watching them. We also get into a lot of chatting (we spent two and a half hours when she initially came out to look at Panda) and today we talked a bit about some of the other places she has experienced, namely CARA. Some of what she said was a bit disappointing, but I may still try and go out there and see for myself. Arizona is still a bit of a wasteland when it comes to Dressage. Yes we have a state organization, but there are just a handful of shows a year (and we are a BIG state geographically so there's about three shows in the valley a year) and very few barns that have upper level horses, or even ones that can do 2nd and 3rd level. So my choices are limited if I want to advance my riding. Back in '09 I drove an hour and a half one way for lessons every other week for a few months, which was great as they had some really nice horses, but that type of time commitment isn't feasible at this point (plus that particular facility is now defunct).

Anyway, point being that I am really enjoying some of my adult clients (Debbie got an extra 20 minutes with Eden today because I lost track of time). It's nice being able to go into deeper theory and get more back and forth communication and questions. I do enjoy the kids, but the adults are a nice change of pace.

I had another person come out who is interested in lessons for a meet and greet and this morning a guy showed up (guided by the neighbors across the way who board) asking about lessons too. I don't know if I'll be needing to advertise at all once the property is set up...
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)
I rode Panda for the first time at the property. Roxanne and I went over to do her lesson and she warmed up Gypsy as I set the letters up. They are in by no means perfect position as I have them jammed in the cinder blocks, whichever one was closest to the measurement. I need to take some tape over and get them properly positioned (or acquire some stand alone letters).

I bridled up Panda and led her in before replacing the pole (nice thing about the set up: enter "gate" can be anywhere!).

I started Roxanne literally walking through Intro test A to get the pattern down before introducing the trot bits one at a time. Panda was a bit tight and a little worried, but since I was teaching I didn't really put her to work to move her through her anxiety. As it was she wasn't wanting to stand still well half the time and she felt like she was looking for excuses to jump out of her skin. She hasn't been off property since the New Mexico fiasco trip.

A landscaping truck went through the intersection and hit one of the bumps making a loud CLANG, which sent Panda scooting forward. I hyper-focused on the arena fence and had a slight panic myself before properly engaging my turning aids and swung her around 3/4s of a circle before bringing her back down. I admit for my part I was a bit up too so we had a bit of a negative feedback loop going. I went ahead and dismounted, standing with Panda out of the way as I taught the rest of the lesson. Wouldn't you know she stood stock still the whole time. Goober.

I finished the lesson with Roxanne and climbed on again as she was cooling out. Panda and I were both a bit up still and I could feel myself getting sucked forward and in her face. The moments I sat back and released more she did much better. I think I should throw the Western saddle on next time as I am more mentally secure in it (was Was in my dressage saddle, which is a little big on me too, doesn't help). She just needs to get out more again. It's been too long since she has REALLY been anywhere. It has also been a while since she has been honestly challenged in her work.

First of February I call Christa. Perhaps fate is conspiring in her favor to get Panda back.

Today was day one of the driving clinic! Mostly it was harnessing and unharnessing and hooking up to the carts and wagons. Dan had brought a White Horse forecart and man it was NICE. The axel adjusts forward and back to balance the cart according to your horse and load and the assembly for the pole or shafts just has a good sturdy pin keeping it in place, no wrench required! I would probably lean towards a nice two wheel pleasure/marathon cart, but the White Horse forecart is tempting! Bill bought the cart off of Dan before the day was out.

Dan had a new draft pony freshly shipped from the Midwest. Poor thing was a good 400lbs overweight. She came in on a scale at 1700lbs! They put a 27" collar on her and I bet if she lost weight she would drop down to a 23" her crest was so big. Her back had a noticable gutter and her tailhead was a mere dimple on top of her butt. She was also a bit downhill and in need of a farrier, but adorable in a clunky, awkward way. I'll have to post a picture.

Not a whole lot of new information, but you get different stories each time and the social aspect is fun along with getting to work with the horses. I drove the plow once and had a hand on each of the horses except for the grey Percherons (will have to drive them tomorrow). Tomorrow they should pull out the cultervator and the fresno.

I did poorly taking pictures, but being Not Pregnant this time I was busy doing!

We're thinking of asking Bill and Lori about doing a feed lease on Dick and Doc in the comming Fall. There was vauge thoughts last year, but we didn't quite have a place to put them. Once things across the way are more set up we'll certainly have the space and being down to five of our own we may just have some fun working them over the winter so they don't sit for three or four months before the clinic. Contemplations. Of course it will be good to get Ruby and Charm-N driving as a team too, but having one ready to go on loan might be nice!

To bed for another long day tomorrow!

Long Days

Jan. 9th, 2015 09:37 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Yesterday started late. I hung out with the boys until about 9:30 when I loaded up the trailer and headed off to get Bud. I also loaded up Appy because she was past due to go to the groomers. I had trimmed her a little between and also gave her a bath Sunday, but they have the good stuff that really cleans up the eye goopies and do a good job of spiffing her up.

I loaded Bud, oh, did I mention that I worked Bud with the soccer ball Tuesday? His initial reaction didn't give me much hope (spin back and forth trying to figure out how to run away from the monster at the far end of his turnout over 100' away), but he settled nicely and kicked it several times and even let me bump it off his legs.

So Bud and I went out with Roxanne and Gypsy to the San Tans and took some meandering trails. We wandered Little Leaf, which I haven't been on in years and took it to Goldmine halfway up the namesake peak before splitting off to San Tan trail. We were out for over two hours and did some good hill work and a bit of trotting once we got on the service road.

To start Bud felt a little "up" but didn't actually do anything stupid. I was sure to refocus him any time his mind wandered and worked him back and forth past some "scary" parts, which aren't nearly so scary as half of the things in his neighborhood other than. the fact that he hasn't seen them before.

He settled out as we went and kept the pace pretty well.

Donna sent me a text saying her husband wants her current horse sold before she buys another, pfft. She's still coming out for lessons, though, which is good. Part of me is tempted to ask about a straight trade, though I don't think Chris would be thrilled as the idea was to reduce the herd. Of course we'd still have six if Z was still here and he IS a potentially fancy Dressage horse ... Obviously I would have to try him out first before REALLY contemplating anything ... But if I don't think he'd be good under students I'm in the same place as I am with Panda. The only think holding Z back from doing lessons was the fact she was under five. She was broke well enough last year that others probably could have ridden her and that I could have stopped wearing the vest, but both of those conditions were set as minimum five years quite a while ago because it is a good idea to have a horse well-broke and mentally mature before contemplating putting students on them.

I taught lessons Thursday and ran to Fry's, but didn't make it to the bank. I didn't make it today either and it is driving me a little nuts having cash and checks sitting around because it is quite the sum! I am apparently three weeks behind on my bookkeeping, which is bad. I checked Sue's account yesterday because I knew we had to be close only to discover I was two weeks behind reminding her to pay me! Whoops! The good news is my bank account is perfectly happy despite all this and I am sure I have at least one if not two others due if not past due for payment.

Today I had one lesson in the morning and one in the evening. The time between was pretty much spent on the roof helping Chris pigeon-proof the areas next to the dormer windows and other overhangs. We got four out of six done. Things go faster when you put your energy into problem solving instead of being angry at the problem. I actually had fun with the challenge of getting the wire mesh tondo what we needed and wanted it to do. Chris was not nearly so happily engaged with the project.

We didn't get around to laying out the arena, maybe Sunday or Monday.

Oh, the lesson this morning we rode at the property. The student was on Kitt and I took Kash. Kitt had no problem other than trying tobeat the small bits of grass that didn't quite get turned under and pushing towards the gate. Pretty much good for any of my students to be on her over there. Kash on the other hand ... we're going to have some discussions. I tried demonstrating what I was talking about and while I think I managed to get some of it across Kash was being a complete knucklehead. He popped his front end, crow-hopped, throwing his butt almost vertical on me, tried to charge off and swapping gaits without permission. He also tried to get me to overbend him, which that trick doesn't work on me any more (almost every time with students though!). I imagine it was quite thebride to watch! A shame there was no video. Of course knowing Kash for 11 years now it was just working through and dealing with it. Funny how familiarity makes it feel like less of a deal!

Short version: Kash is not ready for students at the new property.

Tomorrow I am booked solid from 8am-2pm and then have a brief break before Sue and Bud 3-4pm. I will be picking up the block for the arena tomorrow and probably hooking up to the red trailer when I get home and seeing if I can't load up some of the poles for the arena fence.

I am so busy it's ridiculous. Time to stash as much as possible to prepare for the drought brought on by the summer heat!


Jan. 5th, 2015 09:54 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)

That Panda can be ridden by someone other than me! Of course I do have that video of Trish riding her (three years ago...), but she's a professional trainer and Keara is not (yet... aspiring at 16!).

I am having Keara work off her hour riding Panda as I trust her skills on her and she has mucked plenty in exchange for lessons and her riding skill is such that I don't worry about Panda going backwards.

As you can see in the video my neighbor's granddaughter popped up from behind the block wall and spooked her, but that's about as big as her spook is anymore so long as her rider has the presence of mind to ask her for something else.

I have a lady coming out tomorrow to look at her and the Colorado guy is supposedly still really interested and talking shipping and everything, but he hasn't been able to get someone out (or himself) to look at her.

I wish I had the time for her, but I don't and I don't have the students to keep her in work between my rides on her.

In other news we got the property dragged today thanks to Marty being proactive. Apparently a guy in our ward does tractor work and she contacted him, we met, and he started dragging this afternoon. I couldn't tell if he finished as it was dark when I walked over to lock up the property. He was done with the South (less weedy) half around two and getting into the weedy part around 3:30 when I walked over to ask him about payment. It looks like it'll even be cheaper than us renting a tractor and doing it especially considering the hours it would have taken us to do it.

So now I can order the pallete of cinder blocks and we can get the arena set up! Next step is also getting stalls set up and trenching for water, but with the arena up I can start working the horses over there and getting them used to it before I start teaching lessons.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Wendy has a client looking for a team of black and white drafts to pull their chuckwagon. So I have been pestering Panda in order to get video for them to review. They are long and mostly uncut.

Panda ground driving

Only her second time wearing the full harness since we bought her. It is also set for Kitt and the breeching was totally riding up her butt until I undid the quarter straps from the false martingale.

Panda with tire

Third time in full harness and first exposure to the sight and sound of the tire.

Panda was suspposedly broke to drive when we bought her (eight years ago almost), but I didn't have the ability, nor did we have the harnesses to test it out so she's been a riding horse.

Today I put her in the cross ties next to Charm-N as the other mare they are looking at is about her size (except 300lbs lighter, Charm-N is a super chunk). The goal is to try to do a short video of them ground driving together... we'll see if I can swing that! Poor Panda is getting a little crammed with this, but I am working in a weird space of needing to show what she can do at this point and being well aware of all the things I haven't done with her yet.

Wendy would be working with Panda and the other mare for about four months before her clients would be driving her. I think in a team and with consistent handling she would be fine. Wendy's worked with enough horses that she can do a good assessment on her own. The people want a pair and are looking at four different mares right now (including Panda).

The perpetual wait and see!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Because life is busy and sometimes you're too busy living it to record it properly.

Had a guy from Colorado asking about Panda. He is really excited about her and wants to either take the trip down or have his family in the valley come out and look at her.

I don't recall if I mentioned Matt, the trail ride guy, said he would take her if she is still available the middle of December (deal was I would call if she sold and he would call when he was ready).

I also just got another e-mail off her ad and Wendy (Fjord lady) sent me an e-mail saying she has a client who might be interested.

That all said if Christa wants to buy her back she has to straight up buy her and take her home, no boarding for a bit or holding her. I need to call and let her know. Part of me still wants it to work between them because it really was a good match, but had she stuck it out another month or two we all wouldn't be here and she would have Panda on her acreage in Maricopa. The ship has sailed on that mark. It'd be a different story if there was no active interest in Panda.

And after two weeks off I rode Panda twice this week. Yay? Now I need to try and wrestle the time to try and get her moving forward with driving (hahahahaha). Maybe with Chris' set schedule I will be able to organize my time better and accomplish things. He starts work Tuesday.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Friday after the trail ride with Suzy we had gabbed a bit with the guy who is contracted to do the guided trail rides in the San Tans. I was on Bud and he had asked if I had a Haflinger mare and I said yes, wanted to buy her and I replied it would have to be something ridiculous, he said ridiculously low and he'd breed her to his Quarter Horse stud. I noted she was 23 and he was less interested.

The day continued and as I was feeding the herd the thought struck me that I had a short(ish), stocky mare that I am trying to sell. So I dug up his business phone (yay Google! he had run out of cards when I asked for one) and gave him a call. Said he might be interested and possibly dropping by Saturday. No call, but I did get a call from a Theraputic Riding Center and another lady over the weekend.

Today after morning lessons and running errands he called and asked if I were about. Yep, just unloading groceries. He'd be thete in five.

He pulled in the drive as I was walking to her pen and I caught her and he looked her overn handled her a bit, asked what we wanted from her, talked about her history, etc. and he said he'd like her, but needs to wait a month as he just picked up a new trailer and paid for his business insurance. I told him other people were looking and we agreed I would call him if she sold and he would call me when he was ready. He asked for a trial period, no problem, and there you go.

The Theraputic Riding center lady said she would call by Wednesday to either arrange for someone to come evaluate Panda or say it'll be after her trip out of town. The other lady didn't call back after I left her a message Saturday so we'll see where it goes!

While I don't see Panda as a dude string horse right now I think she might be able to get there. This guy keeps his horses in good shape and gets them broke to death (hus stallion stands tied to mares without blinking an eye.

It just takes time I guess, we'll see where she ends up.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Marty acquired a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle a couple years ago to use on Cinnamon and to try on Sunny. I am not sure if Sunny likes it, but Cinnamon seems to go well enough. My biggest complaint about the Dr. Cook's Bitless is the big rings at the end of the straps you connect the reins to. They have always felt clunky and unrefined. They put a weird weight in the middle of the rein, especially for Sunny and Cinnamon who have long, narrow heads. I have another cross-under bridle I am considering getting as well as a sidepull I would like to try . What is appealing about the linked design is the fact that there are no rings. They made one long continuous rein that just snaps in (my true preference would be a buckle attachment, but that could be remedied). This makes so much more sense to me as I imagine if the weird weight of the ring bothers me the horse has to feel it too. I think this might be part of Sunny's not-too-sure-ness about it.

The reason I am considering it is to help save my horse's mouths from beginner hands. They all use mild bits (I think all of them are in double-jointed snaffles actually), but I have a couple of students who tend to be a little snatchy and rough and I want to save them from that plus I am also curious how they might go in it.

Anyway! I borrowed Marty's bitless today to try on Panda. Since getting back she has been a little "eh" in the face. Chatham said she should be good on teeth until the Spring so I wonder if it is a combination of the time off and lack of consistency. I just know she's gone better and since Marty has the bridle I figured why not give it a shot

I bent her around a couple times on the ground to show her how the pressure works before getting on. She was a little weirded out to start, especially going right, but she figured it out pretty quick. I had a working student around so I asked her to shoot some video.

Olivia stood on the mounting block to take it, which explains the little bobble when she wasn't paying so much attention to where her feet were. Panda wasn't sure about the wild person on the mounting block, which is kindof obvious in the video, but she also got over herself fairly quickly.

Note: Panda is cone proof. Something I established when she was younger and freaked out about my picking up cones. The lesson stuck quite well apparently! I haven't done that to her in years (which explains the initial hand on the rein).

I am going to try Marty's bridle on the rest of the herd this week and then maybe stash a little away to pick up a bitless bridle. They seem to have a lot of adjustability and without a bit you don't have to worry so much about spit germs or bit sizes. I didn't have to adjust it at all going from Cinnamon to Panda. The reins felt a little better with Panda as her face took up more of the straps. Maybe I need to adjust them shorter for Cinnamon and Sunny.

So curiosity satisfied: Panda can be ridden bitless and well. She's a bit stiffer right than left, but that's her stiff side anyway. I might just play with her more in it and see what happens.

In addition: the new post and rail on the East side is DONE and they are working on chopping down and tearing out the old fence (which was as crooked as all get out).
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
There were so many things that Zetahra and I were going to do both in the short and long term that everything I had planned has had to be reshuffled.

The trail rides will be going to Cinnamon and getting her more than green.

The shows are going to Kitt and maybe even Kash at this point, depending on if Panda is still here her too. Kitt was already planned, but I hadn't really thought about the boy. At 17 and having had some issue with show environments before I wasn't really thinking about Kash as didn't think I would have the time to work him through it.

Driving has gone to Kitt mostly, though I think I will take Charm-N for a tune-up lesson or two. Panda is getting a little work here and there towards driving again, but it is very scattered as the reason for her being for sale is my woeful lack of time for her. Plus I have one student at the moment who I trust to ride her, which is the other big thing. Zetahra wasn't used for lessons because of her age. Next year I would have felt comfortable putting students on her (whether or not I wanted to share her was another matter!), her mother not so much, too sensitive.

The far off goal of bringing a horse up the levels? Trying towards USDF medals? I don't know when that will happen. Of course I don't know how far Z would have gone, but the glimpses she had given me were so promising. I will be working Kash and Kitt up as I can. I think Kash may go farther than Kitt, but we'll see.

Wendy has a white dun Fjord colt that will be coming two next year. I mentioned I may be looking for another project and she seems to think he would do well as a dressage horse. It's a thought, but Panda has to sell first (hmm ... Fjord team doing CDEs...).

Life changes and you have to shift and move with it.


Sep. 28th, 2014 09:43 am
lantairvlea: (Default)

I fed the horses this evening and it started raining about halfway through. Then it REALLY started raining. I ended up completely soaked. Draining water out of my shoes, wringing out my socks, I might as well have just stepped out of the shower or pool.

I had my phone in my back pocket.

It wouldn't turn on.

I hope I didn't fry the thing. It is sitting out on the vanity to air after I blow dried it, tried turning it on again, and took it apart again. It will be sitting out overnight and hopefully it starts up in the morning, fingers crossed.

We had someone call on Panda this afternoon and they are coming out tomorrow to at least see her. I warned them with the storm we may not have a dry place to ride and he said they would be happy to just come out and meet her. We'll see how that goes.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Since we have her listed as "in driving training" Chris wanted to get a picture of Panda in harness. Yesterday I pulled her out after my morning lessons and dragges the harness out. She eyeballed it slightly, but stood well to put it on. I undid the cross ties just in case because a harness with heel chains makes a fair bit of noise being chucked up and over a horse. I lead her in before putting on the bridle. She apparently has a longer face than Kitt, especially from her eye to moith, which is interesting as Kitt comes off as having a bit of a jud head whereas Panda appears proportionate. Even more curiois when the only adjustment I had to make to the harness was putting the crupper up a hole.

I threw on the long lines and asked her to walk. With the blinders she couldn't see me and I wished I had a whip so I could just tap her, but I managed to get her going off of my voice and she moved quitr stiff and high-headed. We just worked walk-whoa and had a very ginget change of direction. She wasn't sure aboit the breeching and noise and the reduced vision and just all of the THINGS on her, but she managed to keep herself together well enough for Chris to get a couple of pictures.

I took off the bridle and put her halter back on and lunged her in it, which allowed me to get her to a point where she actually relaxed with it on. Really, not bad considering she hasn't worn a harness since we bought her at the auction SEVEN YEARS ago!

Today I had some time and put the training surcingle on to long line her and be sure it was just the whole harness thing and not just the idea of long lining in general that she was having issue with. She was nice and lightn we worked walk and trot and did some circles and worked a serpentine back and forth in the arena. She has a hard time settling and finding her space going right (keeps pushing out mostly), but it is her more sensitive and reactivr side. Solution: work it more!

I am so ready for Summer to be over. I am over standing still and sweating. I had driving with Kitt this morning and she gave me a little garbage about leg yielding. I think I'll be using the longer whip next time as while the shorter one is OK since the lash fell off the end doesn't have a good weight to it and while it is possible to reach her shoulder it takes way more effort than necessary and half the time I ended up tappingbher hip, which just annoyed her, especially when it was her hip that was in and her shoulder was leaking out. She did to quite well overall and we had some lovely trot and figures. I think a few more times and I will be comfortable hitching her at home and start taking her out.

And yes, I am playing with getting Panda to drive, but it is very much an "when I have the time for it" thing, which is rare. It's not worth it at this point to take her to Michelle's for work when there is so much rudimentary work to do that I am perfectly capable of doing myself.

In Brief

Sep. 18th, 2014 09:24 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Birthday was good. Chris and I took Ruby and Charm-N out on a trail ride. All involved did excellent. Apparently Chris and I haven't been out together since before Kelhan was born! Issue remedied.

We had Chris and I's parents plus my brother Tye and his family out to dinner and we got a carrot cake from Baci's that Marty and Dad came over to enjoy. Mom had a class and Tye and family headed home from the restaurant. Marty took a slice home for Dave and we've been working through the rest of the cake.

Panda came home yesterday morning. Jess pulled up a little before 7am. He said Panda didn't travel so well this time, kicking around whenever he would stop and I don't blame her! He had those ridiculous 24 inch trailer ties and had it attached to the bottom of her halter so she couldn't even drop her head level let alone down low enough to properly clear her airways! FOR EIGHT HOURS. It may be less, but it is a six and a half hour drive without a trailer. She was all sucked up in her flank like she hadn't had any water and probably no food either.

The more I think about it the more irritated I am and the happier I am that she is here and didn't stay. She has two scuffs on her front pasterns, rubs just in front of her elbows on both sides, a scrape on her face, a few on her hip, and fresh ones around her hocks and other things here and there that were not there a week and a half ago. The ones on her forearms/elbows and front pasterns are concerning as to why they are there and how they happened. She also apparently was rubbing her neck as the top side is metal grey.

I put her back in the pen with two full buckets of water plus a handful of hay that was thoroughly soaked. She drank half of one od the buckets (probably close to 10 gallons) and I gave her a flake of bermuda also thoroughly soaked. She looked a bit better, but not quite so good as I remember her looking before stepping on the trailer. I think she somehow managed to lose some condition over the week and a half.

I rode her this morning during a lesson and firstly she wandered off when I asked her to stand. Twice. Then I go to mount up and she immediately walks off on me. I spend the next few minutes re-establishing that she needs to stand still.

And this is getting long, ramble more later, but needless to say I am slightly annoyed and wonder how people can untrain things so quickly.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I got a text Tuesday from Jess and Danielle that Panda wasn't working out. I called and Jess said she bolted out of the trailer, which I was really surprised about. He also said she was quite spooky when he rode her, skuttling off when his dog came up behind them and also when someone coughed.

He took it to mean that any time she goes somewhere new she's going to be a skittish wreck. I apologized and we talked a bit. The current plan is to bring her back Wednesday if he can get the time off. After the call it started to rain again. I was feeding the horses and got absolutely soaked, it fit the mood. As I thought about it I sent them the following text:

If you would do me the favor of continuing to mess with her this next week and see if she doesn't settle out. She's been four places the last three months (former owner, me, trainer, back, and to you) and I don't blame her for being nervous in a new environment when she hasn't had a real place (or person) to call "home." Thanks for letting me know and I will see you next week.

I think that is the real crux of it. After six weeks back here she was FINALLY settling in and then she moves again. Not only that, but with people she's only seen twice. Some horses just fall into any situation or handler, I think Panda needs a bit more trust in her handler than others, which would probably explain her behavior.

They said they would keep doing stuff with her daily and I am hoping and praying that she settles quickly and they change their mind (I'd also be happy to extend the trial period as well to give her more time to settle).

We are still recovering from the storm. We lost 26 bales of hay. The water flowed through the bottom layer of the two squeezes we got last month (12 bales each) plus two bakes that were sitting under the horse shade. The stalls overflowed and we're still airing out the shed. All of my equipment is in the workshop, which is a pain, but with any luck nothing will mold in the shed and we don't have to replace anything.

I'll expound later on the Great Storm of 2014 and adventures related thereto. Apparently this was a once in a lifetime storm. The whole 100 year flood thing. Insane. Some places got 6" of rain in less tha 12 hours. I think we got four if not five inches ourselves. Being in the desery our YEARLY rainfall is much less than 10 inches. Thanks for the rain, wish we could have spread it out over weeks instead of hours!


Sep. 7th, 2014 11:34 am
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
They came back and Danielle rode her walk and trot in the round pen. They loaded her up and she's on her way to New Mexico. We're holding the check for two weeks and then it is final.
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: (Default)

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