lantairvlea: (Tru-D)
Digur has been doing pretty well with Debbie overall, but they have had a couple of sticking points. It can pretty much can be chalked up to him being a young horse lacking exposure. I only had one time where he was a little anxious when we took him to the horsepark, but he quickly worked through it. The problem is he's pretty chill, so getting an anxious spot so Debbie can then learn how to work through it can be difficult.

Last week we decided I would bring the big soccer ball to see if we could get a bit of a reaction and help him through it.

The ball certainly did the trick! His eyes doubled in size and he wanted to scootch a little when he first saw it. I worked him in-hand and explained that with scary things I like to put myself between the scary object and the horse to start if possible for several reasons, the top one being if he loses his mind over it I'm not in the way of his escape. Secondarily if I'm standing close to the object and not stressed (or being eaten) it can't be that terrifying.

He was a bit sticky yielding his haunches to the right (bending left) at the start, but got better. When he started to relax I put him between me and the ball and would release pressure any time he showed interest in investigating it. It didn't take too long before he was nosing it and I was ready to climb aboard and let him investigate further.

I worked him with the ball for a good 15 minutes before handing the reins over to Debbie. He wasn't quite 100% since Pebbles and BamBam (mini donkey and sheep respectively) would occasionally get overwhelmed and scamper off around the turnout.

All in all he did excellent and came around quickly, but it gave Debbie the chance to see how he can be worked through his anxiety. Next week we're going to try a tarp to challenge him mentally again.

Tuesday I worked Ellie again. This time there was no flailing canter and the trot wasn't too bad. Her dragon noises were there, but not constant. She was nicely crisp on the upward transitions, but quite sluggish in coming back down. Since she was a bit more reasonable we played with walk-trot transitions. Hopefully this leads to more steady progress and she will be lungeing nicely by the end of the month and I can consider climbing aboard again.

Grace and Dawn are moving along. Dawn acquired a sadddle. It's a newer, barely used Wintec. Yesterday we long lined Grace with it and I had Dawn play with it a bit as well (she got long lines too so she can do all the work inbetween session as she gets comfortable with it). Today we swapped out the gullet plates. It came with a medium, but Grace needs a wide. I only had a medium-wide on hand, but it was better than the medium. Hopefully the tack shop can get a wide in soon.

From here we'll alternate between "rides" and groundwork. Another week or two and we'll drop down to twice a week instead of three days as well, or at least that is the current plan.

This afternoon I had working students after the lesson was over so I pulled out Tru-D and grabbed Kitt's harness. I wanted to see how Tru-D was filling it out and help me decide on the width of the strapping for Tru-D's future harness. The verdict is that Tru-D is large enough that the 1" straps will look much more proportionate than the 3/4" (or less?) ones would. I think we'll go ahead and do the 2" traces as well.

I lunged Tru-D in it in all three gears. She wasn't so keen on the breeching in the canter. She tucked her tail and humped her butt, however she did figure out that if she didn't kick up the heelchains didn't slap down on her hip so much!

These work harnesses are great for desensitizing. After packing one of them a pleasure harness is nothing.

I had an extra set of hands available so there is video.



I think she was getting a little tired at the end as usually her transitions into trot are a little more crisp.

The harness is currently set a little too long for her so there is a bit more slack in the breeching than there would normally be, but despite that the rest fits pretty well. She does fill it out much better than the first time she wore it when the breeching ended up closer to her hocks and the hip strap almost to her tailhead! She technically could use Kitt's, but she should have a smaller collar and adjusting harnesses is a pain in the butt because it requires multiple strap adjustments unlike a saddle. Even considering a Western saddle with breastplate and back cinch you still have far fewer points of adjustment than a full harness! Now I need to measure her for the to-be-ordered harness.
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: (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)
This is how the herd gets put up for breakfast.



Rolo is settling in. The boys are having a blast. Chris and I are barely managing the chaos of two boys and a puppy. The past two days we only had two accidents and today we only had one. Progress! She only had one solid accident the first day home and has pooped outside since then so small victories! Last night she even ran to the door and barked to be let out.

The boys and I got some sort of cold. I'm trying to lose my voice, come on body, two more days of lessons and then you get two days off! Hang in there voice!
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: (bastek kunst)
Saturday was day two of the Roots N' Boots Rodeo. The ADHMA was invited this year to give a show/demonstration/expo thing on day two of the three day event. It flew by the seat of our collective pants and not due to weather (unlike the first time).

I have come to the conclusion that I need to just stop waiting around for anyone to contact me about these things and just need to step in and do it. Yes, Troy is the President and Jay the V.P., but I am technically on the show committee so that should mean I have some clout and say, right? Just because I am the same age as some of their kids doesn't mean I have to wait around for them to decide to do something, right? I can say "Hey! Let's do a meeting for this thing!" or "We really should get on about having a program for the show this year." and the like.

Anyway, Saturday dawned early and we fed the herd and finished loading up. Chris had taken Friday off to get things ready, but since he didn't tell me until Monday or Tuesday I didn't cancel or reschedule lessons (I had five). We did get time in to play with Ruby and Charm-N ground driving as a team again and loaded up the wagonette in the little red trailer among other things, but we didn't have nearly so much time together as I was running around doing lessons (two were off property).

Haley, the intern, was a good help throughout the day Saturday, even if there was quite a bit of hurry up and wait going on. Did I mention before that I picked up an intern from the same two year Equine Science program I went through? I did, and she's doing well I think.

We took Kitt and the forecart with the truck and horsetrailer and followed Chris who had the Whimobile and the wagonette in the little red trailer. Chris then went back to get Ruby and Charm-N as Haley and I lead Kitt around and got our bearings. The carnival rides were mercifully quiet.

Chris came back with the big girls and we started grooming up. I can't remember the exact order of everything, but I warmed up Charm-N in the forecart and was very pleased with how she did. While she wasn't completely loose and swingy in the walk the whole time she did walk for the majority of the time, which is a big change from her old "shut up and let me drive" mind set. She knows how to handle herself in a cart, she just doesn't always think she needs input from her driver.... I am also happy to report that she worked the whole time on the snaffle ring of her elbow bit with the low port. Up until this the last few drives under Michelle's instruction I have always worked Charm-N on some sort of leverage option either on the liverpool or the new elbow we acquired, but I think we have managed to come to a happy place where the leverage is not the go-to and we can happily work on the snaffle setting. Friday while we ground drove them Chris actually hooked her lines to the bitless bridle as a sidepull and she actually did pretty well with it. I have thoughts of acquiring a bitless driving bridle now for sheer curiosity's sake. Stopping wasn't the best under the sidepull option, but it was OK.

Chris hooked up Ruby and I tacked up Kitt and we cruised down to the arena to scope it out before the show officially started (bumped from a 9am start time to 10... ish.). Kitt was OK, though she did throw a few bucks on me. A little bit was nerves, some from the strangeness, some from the speaker noise, some from her not thinking she had to work so hard. She was really perturbed when Chris and Ruby left and I wouldn't let her vacate the arena. She finally settled and worked really nice once she realized that leaving the arena was not an option (even if the gates were wide open). I know there were spots that I could have handled better, especially when I realized I stopped using my legs at some point and guess what happened when I started activating them? She was a bit more obedient! Imagine that! Anyway, she got worked entirely in her bitless bridle Saturday from the morning warm-up to the breed demo that we did between the Unicorn hitch and the Four Abreast and the barrel race in the afternoon.



(Feel free to critique form. I know I am far away and there is a Clyde in the way most of the time [I was kind of hoping she would walk the horse around and not just stand in one spot...], but you can have at it just the same.)

I have some video proof of our demo ride. Chris hung out next to the in gate and shot it. Before I went in I had asked the lady with the Clyde if she wanted to join me as all three hitches were leaving the arena and I was thinking Kitt might enjoy the company. I was wrong. Kitt just needed to be told that the in/out gate was not the place to be and she then settled nicely. I even got her to gallop a bit and do some really nice halts. I haven't ever asked Kitt to go that fast before and she did it brilliantly once she realized that listening was a whole lot easier than arguing.

The show schedule seemes to fluxuate on Troy's whims. Did I mention that we had no judge? No placings, no ribbons, but also no entry fees so I guess it's all good.

I missed the Western riding class with Kitt because Troy had told us it was after the Street Cart class so I was with Chris in the wagonette waiting for the Street Cart class to start and then realizing that there were the Western riding people in the class... ah well. Ruby did great pulling the wagonette in the class, even with the carnival rides going full tilt (you see the ferris wheel and catch a brief glimps of one of the others, but there were four different spinning, twirling rides screaming people and all).

There was a lunch break in there somewhere and I got on Kitt again to hit the barrel race. No bucks during the barrel race (she did jump a pee spot another horse left coming to the third barrel) and she still had plenty of oomph and attitude to go. Kitt is in much better shape than I give her credit for with all the lessons she does. I had a lot of pony still left at the end of the day.

There was supposed to be a cart obstacle class, which we had hoped to run all three mares in, but it got nixed. There was also supposed to be a log skid, but that got nixed too because Troy forgot the log or didn't bring it. There was also no feed team race as Troy didn't bring the sledges (maybe a little too reliant on or fearless leader?).

Not that I want to harp on Troy or anything, but I do think that the club needs to decentralize a bit. Granted I do know that Troy probably has most of the experience out of everyone with his hitch that he tours with and demos all over the country, but he is a busy guy. He's also a good guy, but I do think the club needs to be able to function without waiting for his word on everything, even if he is the president of the club.

So we didn't get to do quite as much as we had initially hoped, but it was definitely better than the first time we were invited to Roots N' Boots! I do hope they invite us back again next year and hopefully we can all get our acts together (read: I finally step up and take some responsibility and help get the thing organized properly) and make it even better.

After the last class a crowd of us managed to get together and have a pseudo meeting. We talked about the fun trail drive coming up at the end of the month, the Equistar show in May that is supposed to have draft classes, and the possibility of shifting the yearly show to be with Equistar Show rather than the Equifest Expo in September like they did last year (heard it was quite a bust). I also brought up the possibility of a vehicle maintainence clinic, which they thought was a good idea and something to do towards the end of the year as it cools down again (bring your own vehicle! Pot luck perhaps?).

I'd have pictures, but I was too busy doing stuff to take any. I'll have to ask Haley if she took some and pester my clients who were there as well (had a half dozen show up I think).

Edit To Add: The bitless bridle functioned great. I did have a slighty issue with the noseband creeping down towards her nostrils at one point, but I only had to move it once during the whole day and I am not sure if that was due to her head-dipping threaten-to-buck shenanigans or what (probably). I did want to mention that the reins stayed as they should and the crown didn't get twisted at all on her head. I do think that the throatlatch attachment is what makes the difference in this function in steadying the pressure so the crown doesn't twist. Five stars.
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.

Rockstar

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.

20150211_165852

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: (New filly)
Chris took a video of me working with the filly Sunday. I managed to get all four feet cleaned out. We may not be in too bad of shape tomorrow for the farrier.



Obviously we are a little spooky now and again, especially when I surprised her with the rope going over, but considering this is the most concentrated handling she has had since she was born I don't think we're doing too bad.

Today I had the bet out to get her vaccinated. She has been dewormed, but has zero shot history and we didn't want to wait. Before Chatham got here I grabbed a toothpick and a handful of Bermuda pellets and did some simulated sticking. Chatham was running behind so Chris mowed the lawn and I raked most of the rut out of the roundpen. She wasn't as keen to be caught when Chatham got here, which was slightly annoying, but not entirely unexpected. She eyed Chatham and I offered some pellets and a little oats. I think she was more uncomfortable with the little skin pinch he does than the actual shot. Part of me was afraid I would upset her tenuous trust in me with the shots, but it wasn't bad at all.

The next will be how she handles her feet tomorrow. Chatham asked if I wanted a tranq, but I told him I've been able to clean all her feet and he nodded and said we should be pretty good then.

Still not sure about a name. Chris has a couple he likes, but I don't know.
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Our farrier comes Tuesday and I gave him fair warning that we had a bit of a wild hare being added to the bunch. He sounded self-confident and amused by my concern about her lack of training. I have seen him deal with some rank horses and some pretty snotty babies (my internship for my Equine Science Associates consisted of tagging along and taking copious notes as he worked with various horses from minis to Friesians and gaited horses to one that had suffered a broken shoulder) so a barely handled yearling really shouldn't be a problem.

That said it isn't the farrier's job to train the horse to be trimmed so I've been fussing with her feet since we went to look at her Wednesday. Yesterday I picked up her backs the first time and today I was able to pick them out. I think she's going to have nice feet once they are cut down to size! Her frogs are pretty wide and clean a surprisingnlack of thrush. The bars on one of her hind feet are broken over like Charm-N has a tendency to do (and Chewy on rare occasion, but Charm-N does it almost every cycle), but that should clean up along with everything else. Beneath the horrible flares her sole has a nice shape and her limbs also appear remarkably straight. She is steep in her hip, but less so than her dam.



She's getting much easier to approach and halter. She's even coming over and checking people out now if they hang around next to the fence and ignore her. She still isn't super fond with my arm passing close to her eye when I halter her so I start with the crown piece pretty far back on her neck and work it towards her ears.

Steady progress, not bad for not even a week of consistent handling! Of course I may completely blow her trust having Chatham out tomorrow to start her vaccines (dewormed, but completely unvaccinated) followed by Kevin the next day, but I am sure I will be forgiven in time.

Also: Have a video of me working the Fresno from the clinic. I am probably stupidly excited about working with this machinery, but I find it to be the coolest thing. I probably wouldn't say that if I was having to dig a root cellar or build a road this way, but how awesome is moving dirt with horses!

Proof!

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.

Soon!
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)
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: (lantair look)
I rode The Stink today. I decided to just climb on instead of lunge her first and see how it goes. She's not the smartest one, but she does tend to get recalcitrant when she is bored and maybe lungeing plus riding around in a circle is too much.

She got slightly humpy once, but overall was nicely forward. Either the not lungeing made a difference or the fact that every time she got humpy last week I threw her on the line for trot-canter transitions. One of the two and perhaps a combination of both.

So we were working on our trot and we started doing this thing, or rather she started doing several things. They were faster than a walk, but it wasn't a trot and posting was not happening. I think we were pacing and stepping pace and a little fox trot and perhaps some flat walk and a little racking and I am sure Susanne (working student) was confused because I kept laughing.

She did pick up the canter well both directions (once she figured out how to work her legs that way) and it was a short and sweet ride. I'm ready to start taking her out again.

Chris was there so I had him take a short video in order to show Marty. Cinnamon (also known as The Stinky Monster Baby Horse) by a Fox Trotter stallion out of Marty's QH mare Sunny.



I forgot about this video. I didn't think I had any videos of me riding Zetahra, but there is this one from last year. It's our fourth ride.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Of me driving Zetahra.



I managed to cut it down to about eight minutes. Hopefully it isn't too boring! Tomorrow we hook her up again!

As you can see she took it all in stride. She has been well-prepared I think! I think this makes twelve lessons with Michelle to get her to this point and most of that was checking for holes and the need for extra hands.

Let us hope the rest of her driving training goes just as smoothly!

I rode her during a lesson today and she was okay. The wind was nlowing the curtains around the neighbor's gazebo, which she needs to get over. Her leg yield is coming better especially after our in-hand session last week. I was even able to do it with one rein. She was a little gooberish getting into the canter, but I also haven't asked her to canter under saddle the last few times. I think she might have been hoping that it was no longer a requirement. A little tap from the whip reinforced the "go" when she wanted to hump up and get opinionated.

I was going to meet up with Kathryn tomorrow morning for a ride, but she had to cancel. I may go work Bud so I have Friday completely clear for errand running.

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