lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-05-26 09:19 pm

Manchmal weiss ich was ich tun sollen

I had my lesson with Carrie yesterday. I was the last ride of the day for her and apparently I was the last chance at a good, productive lesson. Everyone had attention issues to varying degrees. Kristen was on Ellie and she was distracted by Aliki and Moose pulling in along with the wind. Aliki said Moose did okay and was typical distracted baby in new place, but when she went to pull the reins over at the end he had a moment and bumped into Robin's mare Betty as they were coming in so Betty took a good chunk of her lesson to come down. Carrie said it was pretty much the same lesson for all three: refocus! Aliki was a bit mortified at Moose's behavior, but hopefully she will join our merry little crew on a regular basis.

Kitt redeemed the day by paying attention to her job and we had a pretty productive lesson. Her walking leg yields were fabulous and we moved on to the trot, which was less fabulous, but got better.

She tends to either dump or rush on her outside shoulder so we worked walk-halt within the leg yield and getting her both more prompt to stop and quicker to step off. It was interesting asking her to walk off immediately into the leg yield.

Our trot-halt transitions started out pretty poor. I'm debating doing the bitless bridle next time, but we'll see. I can't do a recognized show in the bitless so probably just keep working in the bitted bridle. I guess I could throw a bit on her bitless bridle (I use Moss Rock Endurance's Evolution Bridle which has a bitted option) and see how it goes.

I was curious and looked Carrie up on Centerline and was slightly disappointed to find she hasn't shown above first level (at least not anything recognizrd) with lackluster scores. Granted, they were over ten years ago and in the meantime she has gotten her degree and had a kid so she has an excuse for her showing break. I don't think she is too much older than I am. In spite of that I'm sticking around. I can't deny the results it has had on Kitt and I look forward to starting to put it to the test, even if it is just schooling shows.

There is a little part of my head that is running around screaming "I am a hack!" right now. I have my first horse due in for full driving training the end of June. It's the Gypsy mare Chroi I evaluated almost a month ago. I have six weeks to get her put to.

The closest I've come to having a horse in full training was Bud when I was working him three days a week. It'll be interesting to see what I can do in a more intense timetable. From the evaluation the mare should be a "born broke" type, but no step skipping here! I'm meeting with her owner tomorrow so she can see the place and know where her mare is going to be kept.

Speaking of driving training, Ballad is a little rock star.

He is absolutely adorable.

The driving view.

He has started to tell the difference between when I have the lines and Monique. This should remedy itself as Monique gets more consistent and capable, but it does bring out the more stereotypical pony in him. Of course it didn't help that she would pick up the line, he would question it, and then she would let him go so in a short period of time she had him turning the opposite way with her rein aid. Once caught it was easy to fix fortunately!

Today I had Olaf for his official start of driving training. He had his evaluation a couple weeks ago too and needs more familiarizing with the harness. We lunged first with the training harness (breastcollar, surcingle, and crupper with kicking strap/trace carriers). He was vaguely reluctant going forward into the breastcollar, but not bad like last time. He wanted to drop the canter going right and to the left he humped up once.

From lungeing we switched gears to whip aids, starting with being sure he could flex his neck (not looking for a big bend) without moving before moving his haunches and shoulders away. He was excellent for moving his hip over and moving his shoulders towards the bend. Moving his shoulders to the outside of the bend was a littke harder. When he was doing it reasonably well and since it was obvious he knew how to move his hip away from pressure I asked him to move his hip towards me. This one is tricky for a lot of horses and I ended up using the fence to keep him from pushing forward too much.

And I'll continue this tomorrow with other training musings because Quentan just fell asleep and I should head to bed.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-05-19 09:14 pm

Tru-D trägt das Geschirr

This morning started early with Bud. Sue was finally feeling better after her back surgery last year and joined Bud and I on a slow walk around the block. We then swapped Sue for Henry to do some trot sets. Bud was confused. He has gotten good at passing home, but stopping was a little much. There was some weaving drunkenly across the road, but he eventually straightened out so he got to turn back home ... and passed it again. We also went through the driveway and out again before finally turning in for home.

As my 8am had dress rehearsals for their play I pulled Tru-D out and threw Kitt's harness on her. She is great for putting the noisy thing on and even tolerates the collar being pushed over her head. I buckled the holdbacks to the shaftloops this time. With the team harness the quarter straps already keep the breeching from moving around too much, but I wanted to make it just a little more solid against her haunch.

I have to admit, she looks good in harness.

She was a bit tight to start and just wanted to trot with it. She wanted to kick up again and I grumped at her, asked her the yield and then sent her off again. She tried it a couple more times with the same response from me and decided it was better to just canter without being opinionated about the thing on her butt.

I sense some more lungeing with the harness in her future. She did it with the Western saddle Wednesday which has leather ties on it. Previously she hasn't shown a propencity to buck up and kick out, but the harness can't be scootched out from underneath so I guess her next logical thing to do to get rid of it would be kicking up.

I think I mentioned ride # 3 went well on Wednesday. Hopefully I can get her worked 2-3 times a week whether it is under saddle or in harness.

I can't get over how GOOD she looks. Maybe I'm barn blind, but outside of her hip being on the steeper side I think she is a pretty well put together horse.

I called Galen and got her dam's name (Babe) and birth year. She can be registered through the Draft Cross Breeders and Owners Association (their website kindof sucks) so I wanted to have a little more information about her to send in. I chatted with him a bit and learned that her sire has passed away. No more possible siblings. I let him know how she was doing with her training and he's welcome to drop by. He hasn't had much occasion to get his horses out recently, but has been doing well enough overall.

I think we managed to find a pretty nice filly in the little 10 month old wild creature that she was!

Today was the last day for the private school horsemanship classes until fall. I need to get my schedule sorted.

We have the class list and entry form finalized for the show and need to polish up the sponsorship package. I need to hammer out a renewal/membership letter this week and get that out!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-05-13 07:24 pm
Entry tags:

Besser spät als nie

So May is halfway over and I'm just now getting to my goals review, but I think I'll survive.

April's goals )

May's goals )
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-05-10 08:23 pm

Zweite mal reite ich Tru-D

Wednesdays might be Ride A Tru-D day for a bit. I have working students, but usually not lessons so I'm outside supervising, though both of them are really good at this point and I'm there "just in case" or if they finish a task and need direction for the next one.

I started by helping Susanne muck out the arena and part of the stalls before grabbing Tru-D. She might actually be enjoying the work now as she is no longer a pill about being caught. Of course as soon as I say that she might promptly decide that being caught is for the birds again, but we'll hope not!

I lunged her first and she had a little kick up in the canter. I think she might have been expecting the breeching on her butt again. I'll have to lunge her in full harness again and maybe snug up the breeching a bit more so it is less floppy. Other than that she was nicely responsive so I figured we were good to go. Swapped my hat for the helmet and threw on the vest before standing in the stirrup a couple times and climbing aboard. She stood great and this time instead of asking her to walk straight off I asked for some turn on the forehand first. She did quite well with that and we proceeded to have a nice short walk where she spent a lot of time stopping to check in with my balance, which I'm appreciating at the moment. She's trying to figure out that forward is still the easiest, just like with pulling when she tries to shift left or right to see if it is easier. We went a little over double the distance of the first ride, did a couple of turns, and called it good. Brief and positive is the best!

Speaking of other first rides, last week I leaned up on Grace for the first time. We did a lot of work on her right side because she was pretty skittish about me being up on the block on that side or bouncing so we did a lot of up and down on the mounting block, bouncing in place, and generally being a nuisance until she relaxed about it. I got her to take a few steps with me draped across her like a sack of potatoes and called it good.

Over the weekend I realized I was doing it the hard way when I had Dawn right there to assist so today after some initial up and down and being sure she was good with me moving around on both sides of her I had Dawn grab her lunge line and I had the lead rope. I stepped on and had Dawn lead Grace for a bit before feeding us out the lunge line. We walked and halted a couple of times and then called it good. I think she'll get going a little faster than Tru-D because she is more physically mature and also I'm working her twice a week (down from the three times we did at the start) and Dawn is great about doing her homework inbetween and asking questions when she has trouble.

As noted before Dawn said she was interested in doing All The Things with Grace so we'll be measuring her for a harness tomorrow as well as putting in another short ride.

I haven't started wearing the air vest yet, but I should. I think I've established that both of these greenies are going to be good and stand long enough for me to attach the lanyard so time to make use of my investment!

Yesterday I also did an evaluation on another Gypsy. His name is Olaf (Olav?) and I have no pictures because I don't have three hands. He's 14.3 hands and wears a size 4 shoe to give you an idea about his mass!

Olaf came from a lady who bought him from the local Gypsy breeder. The lady had him several years and didn't so much with him. He may have had some training from DJGV, but it's unclear what. I started out lungeing him, which he did stellar with. Someone put time into establishing good lungeing manners. I then got him outfitted in my training harness wkth the surcingle and breastcollar first. He took a little exception to the breastcollar and didn't think he could go forward and it was in his way. He got over it quickly enough, but still seemed a little short in his stride.

Deb had mentioned he was a bit goosey behind so I worked his tail gently and played with th end of the lunge line under it to give him the idea that lifting his tail gave him release. After that the crupper wasn't a problem and we moved on to the rope traces. I moved them behind his hocks, which he wasn't fond of, but got over and then I tested his reaction to weight in the breastcollar. He thought about backing up, but found the forward (just leaning) fairly quickly. I removed the traces before sending him out on the lunge line and having Deb make noise with the singletree. He was very much not a fan and had some opinions about that, but they didn't last very long. After tormenting him with the singletree we worked on the long lines, which he was quite respinsive to.

Overall he did quite well. He had a couple moments, but they didn't last long and I was pushing buttons to see what he knew and where we need to go. Obviously noise and getting him good about his hind end are top priorities. We're going to look at schedules and see about me working with him a couple times a week to move his driving training forward.

Busy days ahead, guys! It's kindof weird having about as many clients with their own horses as those that don't!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-05-10 10:03 am
Entry tags:

Knotty Girlz Seile Überprüfung

I acquired three sets of long lines from Knotty Girlz. My initial intent was to just get one set of lines in order to replace the 22' Parelli Feather Lines with something 30' long because 22' just doesn't give me the distance I need to do good work on the long lines. I don't want to have to jog to keep up (hard to keep a soft connection in the hands while jogging!) while trotting and cantering circles or changing directions. Plus I want to be well out of the horse's way should something go awry (like taking exception to the line above their hocks the first time). While a good idea and a start in the right direction in helping Tru-D find forward with the long lines, the feather lines had their shortfalls. Literally.

While not in their lineup, Knotty Girlz happily made my lines and does other custom work. I had debated just getting the rope (their parent company is Columbia Basin Knot Company and they sell rope by the foot and wholesale) and learning how to splice (because I need another skill to develop in all my spare time). They sell an equestrian rope sample kit for $5 including shipping that has a brochure and about a dozen short lengths of rope all labeled with their size, material, and color so you can get a literal feel of their ropes. It also includes $5 off your next purchase so the rope sample is essentially free.

The double braid polyester (also referred to as yacht braid) was the same type of rope as the feather lines and felt good in hand. I then started thinking about the worth of my time learning and doing it myself versus paying them for their time and skill, so I messaged them through their website and got a promt reply with a quote for three sets: the 1/4" that I asked for, 5/16" and also a 3/8". I think this was clever upselling on their part as they ended up with triple the order! They initially quoted for snaps, which I corrected, just the eye splice loop. I have grown less fond of snaps plus I have a drawerful I could pull from if I changed my mind. They typically do three inch "diameter" eye loops. They use 6" of rope folded back on itself to create a 3" teardrop. I was afraid it would be a true circle diameter, but they explained it and that made more sense. The Feather Lines have a 1.5" eye splice loop so I compromised and asked for 2" on all of them. One of my clients got a pair of the 1/4" lines with a 3" eye spliced loop and while functional it isn't aesthetically pleasing.

Once the details were finalized from the length, loop size, the end of each rope (leather "poppers"), and color they billed me through paypal and within a week my lines shipped.

They arrived safe and sound and I was excited to try them out (bonus, selling both the Feather Lines and my old MCR lines paid for half the order!)

In addition to the lines I ordered bit straps from My Draft Horse Superstore (everything you need but feed) at $5 each so I could buckle to whatever I needed rather than hitching it through or hitching i5 to a snap. I used mini/pony ones for the 1/4" lines and "Haflinger" sized ones on the 5/16" and 3/8" and they have worked well. While the buckles aren't as convenient as snaps they aren't as bulky weight wise and they fit on any bit without issue, including the slots on a Kimberwick or Liverpool as well as on any halter or lungeing cavesson.

I've been working between the three sets of lines the last few weeks to feel them out and decide their best uses.

The 1/4" are hunter green and are light in the hand. They have enough body to be able to send a little life down them and also to swing them up and over with a fair amount of accuracy. I like that I can bunch them up and send then through the surcingle rings without having to feed it through foot by foot. Because they are round they slide easily through the surcingle rings when in use. They are also thin enough that holding the slack doesn't create unweildy bulk in the hand.

The downside is due to their size they are easier to get hung up on things since they can slide into narrower spaces. I had issue with it getting hung up on the kicking strap as I initially sent it over the hip, but it's a pretty minor thing. I also found that they work best with a sensitive horse when lungeing. Long lining it doesn't really matter, but while lungeing there isn't a whole lot of weight there so with horses who aren't so attentive there's only so much "noise" you can send down the line to call the horse's attention back to you.

The other issue is the grip. Previously when I long lined with my 1/2" lines or flat lines (forever ago...) I usually had the reins come out the top of my hand for ease of adjustment, but the 1/4" lines don't offer much traction so I've been using my usual riding/driving grip, having it come out between my pinky and ring finger to be sure I have traction when needed.

I haven't had the chance to long line using the two thicker lines, but I have done a bit of lungeing with them. The 5/16" lines I ordered in navy. They are a little heavier and offer more grip. I think they are a good medium between the 1/4" and 3/8" lines. I probably could have gone without this set, but it's another tool in the toolbox. They're a good set to grab if I might switch between lungeing and long lining and don't want both the 1/4" and 3/8" to drag along.

The 1/4" line is pretty convenient, however as the 30' length at that diameter is nothing to hold in the hand. I wouldn't recommend tying with it as I believe it's breaking point is under 2000lbs, but you could use it to lead as well as lunge and long linr without feeling like you're hanging on to a ton of rope.

The 3/8" lines are purple and close in feel to my old 1/2" MCR lines. They have enough weight to get attention back much quicker than the 1/4" lines, but a little less bulky than the 1/2" MCRs. I do like them as a lunge line.

Overall I do like the lines. I like using the bit straps to connect. They aren't as fast as a snap, but they don't bang the jaw or require extra energy to move. I like the leather poppers on the end of the lines because absent a whip you can twirl the end of the line to good effect. The color variety varies depending on the type of line, but most of them have several to choose from and I like having then color coded so I can just grab the color over looking at the size. I had debated getting each individual line a different color
to make it easy to tell the left from the right, but decided against it. It would be more for clients than me anyway and I'd rather remember three colors than six!

In brief I like my new lines. The 30' length is so much nicer to work with. Yes it is long, but dealing with the slack is no big deal, especially with the 1/4" lines. I look forward to many years of use ahead!

Additional bonus, today I discovered I could use the bit straps to keep the lines tidy. Now I don't have to fight a tangled mess and they can hang neatly on the hook together!
lantairvlea: (Tru-D)
2017-05-03 10:32 pm

Digur und der grossrer Fußball

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: (Tru-D)
2017-05-01 09:10 pm

Tru-Ds Brustblatt- oder Kummetgeschirr

I've been looking at harness options for Tru-D. What I have works for dragging tires and such, but to get her in a vehicle I need something with a breeching (britchen ... brichen ... everything in driving has two or three names) and while I could jury-rig some shaft loops onto my training surcingle it would not be ideal.

I do like my work harnesses despite the fact that the farm hames can be a bit heavy, especially heaving up onto Ruby or Charm-N. I'm a bit of the mind that I'd rather have too much than not enough because I do have some heavy vehicles and I am prone to hooking to the tire or drag and, if ever we get more acerage, I would be inclined to try my hand at some small scale farming.

That all said my Grand Plan for Tru-D also includes doing the occasional pleasure show as well as CDE and ADT/HDTs (Combined Driving and Driving Trials, the driving world's equivalent of 3-day Eventing and Horse Trials respectively). While you do see the occasional neckcollar at these events they are buggy collars and hames that don't stick out beyond the hamebed on the collar so the pleasure people would probably look down their nose at my working hames and it might knock me slightly in the turnout column of the Dressage section. Not 100% sure, but I get the impression.

What to do? Well I do have a breastcollar for my training harness, but aren't particually fond of the idea of building a harness around it. Nor of having two full harnesses for a single horse (not that I don't love you Tru-D). That and Tru-D has grown a bit in the depth of her chest from point of shoulder to elbow so it is a little short on her in that regard anyway. Still functional for what we're doing, but not the supreme ideal.

I started toying with the idea of having a harness I could swap out the neckcollar and breastcollar on. The other downside to my beloved work harnesses is they just have a backpad for the surcingle which consists of a strip of biothane and we have fuzzy faux fleece backpads we shove under them for added cushioning, but really not ideal for working single as the weight of the shafts ends up on the spine.

The other issue is our work harnesses have two straps running from the hames to the top of the hip to prevent the collar from sliding forward or the breeching from falling down so there was a potential stability issue with the collar.

So checklist for my mythical harness:

Swap between working style neckcollar and hames and breastcollar in the front.

Gig saddle to distribute shaft weight and protect the spine.

Biothane (preferrably granite instead of shiny)

Full cavesson on the bridle.

Able to do team or single, which means breaststrap and quarter straps to go with the neckcollar.

Sized so that Tru-D will grow into it and not out of it.

We thought about the New England D-ring harness briefly, but I'm not sure how that would do with a breastcollar instead of the neckcollar. I looked at The Draft Horse Superstore where we got Ruby and Charm-N's harness. They only have one harness that has a gig saddle or full cavesson (though they can put a full nose on their other harnesses) and it wouldn't blend well with their work harness.

Shipshewana does some high quality work (our shaft loops are from them), but they don't really do shaped breastcollars (except for on their $3400 show harness...) and like Draft Horse Superstore, the pleasure driving and combined driving side of harnesses isn't their thing (at least that's my impression, Draft Horse Superstore does have a "marathon harness" now at least, but I don't think it would tie in well to their working harnesses.

I poked around a couple other places, but kept coming back to the Yonies catalog. I had emailed them earlier this year and gotten Kitt a set of shaft loops with quick release loops on it for the Kutzmann vehicles. Nice workmanship and they were great to work with plus happy to customize the lengths to my specifications.

Daydreaming through their catalog they produce pretty much every type of harness except for a Norwegian (and a New England D-ring is somewhat similar to that and they make those) from racing to pleasure and working to performance, mini to draft.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to email them about it. I got a call from one of their harness makers and we played a bit of phone tag before we managed to connect on Saturday. He said it certainly was feasible and even mentiomed putting short tugs on the hames so I can use the same traces between the breastcollar and hames! We both had questions (1.5" or 2" traces?, how to stabilize the neckcollar, etc.) and I think we managed to answer most of them. I want to throw Kitt's harness on Tru-D again and see how she fills it out as that will help me make more of a decision on the width of the neck and hip straps as well as breeching and traces.

The harness maker is going to be out of town this week and I told him no rush. The idea was to get something between now and the fall, definitely not a rush job. He's going to get me some numbers next week and we'll talk and tweak from there. I need to measure Tru-D and see where she is size wise between horse and draft.

Exciting! I should be able to get my two-for-one(ish) harness and have it be perfectly functional.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-28 09:40 pm

Ich beunruhige Hanoverer

Yesterday I harassed a Hanoverian again. I am sure Ellie is wondering why I keep showing up and ruining her day.

As determined after our Pirouette of Doom two weeks ago I am working her on the ground until I feel confident that she will be a sensible creature when I get back on her. This means that she needs to lunge like a sensible creature.

Yesterday she got the whole deal. Surcingle, lungeing cavesson, breastcollar (the driving one), and crupper with attached kicking straps/trace carrier. I put the crupper on after we got into the arena as I had no idea if she had one on before (Kristin confirmed she had not) and having her goose in the crossties or as I led her didn't seem like a good idea. That said she was great to put it on and only seemed bothered by the kicking straps slapping her sides briefly as she was being goofy.

I don't know how you all do it on a regular basis, but I managed a couple photos. Our first few rounds consisted of her making dragon noises as she tore around on the end of the line.

I kept changing directions until she started thinking about being a sensible creature. Her turns have gotten quite good and this time she was pretty even on both sides (last time she was sticky turning in right). When she settled a bit I asked for a brief trot and I had a fire-breathing dragon again, though she turned back into a horse much quicker this time.

I don't know what it is about Ellie. I really do want to like her and her owner loves her and thinks she's a great young horse. I find her to be okay, but feel like there's some gaps that need addressing. She is a little twitchy at times and doesn't feel as broke on the ground as I would like a horse to be before getting on board, which is why I'm back to lungeing her. She's certainly not where I'd want a five year-old to be with a year under saddle. I at least fixed her no brakes issue the second ride, which Kristin was grateful for and now I'm working on getting her to where I feel 100% comfortable swinging back on because I admit I wasn't fully comfortable the three rides I've put on her due to how she handled. Thankfully Kristin is cool with me taking Ellie back to ground school. She understands my reasons for going back to the ground and appreciates Ellie advancing her training in any manner.

She is kindof cute.

As mentioned before I got my new lines in and have been playing with them. I'm using the 5/16" navy line to work Ellie here. I'll do a more thorough review later, but my preliminary impression is I like the thinner lines for long lining and the thicker lines for lungeing. I am also enjoying the feel of the buckles instead of snaps. The snaps are quicker and more convenient, but the buckles fit through everything and don't add a big clunk of weight at the end like the snaps do. I'm glad I was able to sell my other two sets to mitigate the cost of the new ones and happy to have more tools to use.

Of course, working with other people's horses gives me gratitude for my own crew. Especially comparing Tru-D to other young horses.

Speaking of other young horses Keara was out and put a ride on Cinnamon. Despite an opinionated moment while lungeing they went on to have a good ride. The Stink was a little sticky going forward to start, but there was no attitude unlike the first few rides in November. I think once Keara puts another ride or two on her I can start pulling Cinnamon out to ride myself during lessons and perhaps this will be the year I finally get her past greenbroke (with Keara's help).
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-26 04:02 pm

LJ Gebortstag

I comment a lot apparently.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-21 07:46 pm

Pferde, Pferde, jede Ort

The other morning Ruby, Tru-D, and McLintock were lined up in order of size. By the time I got my phone to take a picture Mac had moved, but it did give a good size comparison between Ruby and Tru-D currently (with Charm-N peaking over their backs).

More pictures and rambling )
Tomorrow is another full day and it looks like there are many full days ahead, which is good because in another month it is going to get even hotter and we'll see how many wilt.

The lady with the gypsy cob wants to move forward with driving training, but is weighing her options. Full training is still in the air, but traveling to where she boards is also an option.

The couple who started driving a couple weeks ago have a horse they are wanting to get driving too.

I might have found a bit of a niche with this driving thing.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-20 10:10 pm

Das geschehte schneller als ich dachte...

I need to study up my grammar.

Another whirlwind day!

Nelson felt better this morning so we took both Roy and Molly out together. Molly only really thought of jigging twice, which was much better than last week. Soon we should be able to add in some trotting while we're out and be able to keep her brain present. Roy is happy as a clam moseying along the trail carrying Nelson, which makes me happy my matchmaking was good.

After Nelson it was Grace and Dawn again. Grace got the full training harness from breastplate to crupper. She still seemed to care more about the clips swinging on the sides than the crupper or the kicking straps/trace carriers. Since Dawn wants to do everything we're proceeding with Grace for driving until Dawn gets herself a saddle. Tuesday I'll bring the breastcollar and see how it fits before we start thinking about introducing the long lines.

From there I loaded Kitt and headed up the hill for training (i.e. me taking a lesson) with Carrie. We worked tail to the wall leg yields and also some bend-counterbend figure eights in the walk before playing with shortening the trot and getting Kitt to lighten her shoulder some and then proceede without losing balance (easier said than done). We have the next lesson set up for the beginning of May.

From there Kitt returned home and I headed over to Roxanne's to work with her and Gypsy. I forgot to bring a whip, but we were still able to work a few things. The first things were getting the harness back together and adjusting the cart with the traces and holdbacks.

We ended up moving the reins to the snaffle setting because Gypsy was a bit backed off. She went better after that, hut she could definitely use some help with the whip to get her actually bending through her turns rather than swinging her hips into the shafts and counterbenting 90% of the time.

I had a slightly longer break after Roxanne and found that my long line order came in. I got three sets, 1/4" in hunter green, 5/16" in navy, and 3/8" in purple. I used the 5/16" navy line this evening lungeing a student and really liked it.

With three new sets of lines I put up the Parelli feather lines for sale because 22' isn't long enough for me, then thought about it and put up my old MCR lines. because I don't really need four different sizes of long lines, especially since I was thinking about finding ways to hack off the clips since I've grown less fond of using clips.

Both sets were claimed within an hour! I'm thinking I should have charged more for them! As it is I paid for almost half of the order selling the two sets!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-18 10:38 pm

Ich geh hier und da

Today was crazy-busy.

It started out going behind the mountain for Nelson. He wasn't feeling too hot so I just rode Roy and Molly got a break. I'm able to sit more of Roy's trot, which I'm not sure how much of it is him getting better or me getting stronger! His canter is coming easier and is more balanced too. He'd be fun to take out on a big track and let out. He's got a lovely forward, thrusty canter.

From there I headed to Dawn's for Grace. She is doing quite well with her lungeing and basic groundwork so I will be bringing the surcingle tomorrow to introduce before getting to long lining.

After Grace I zipped home, swapped the Jeep for the truck and trailer, loaded Bud and his cart and headed to Michelle's new place for a driving lesson. Considering Bud has never hauled and driven (at least not in the last five years) he did awesome. Most of what needs to be worked on is me being pickier. Making sure he's bending through his body and not just his neck so he stays centered in the shafts rather than shoving his butt into the outside shaft. Also watching his left shoulder that likes to pop out. We also need to get him using his hip more through the transitions so he isn't popping his head up, but overall he did awesome and I've gotten him into a really nice place.

I took Bud home, pumped 10 oz. and then headed back up the mountain to work Ellie. Kristin said Ellie had been a bit off behind (not quite lame, but moving funny) and she's thinking maybe that caused our exciting spin last week. Ellie was a bit of a firebreathing dragon as I was lungeing her, though I managed to bring her down to earth.

From there I ran home again, took a breath, ate, and then headed to evaluate a Gypsy cob for possible full driving training. I'll write more about that later, but at least wanted to jot down part of my day. Tomorrow I have a little more breathing room, but Thursday is also packed. I have something like 23 lessons scheduled and then the training with Bud today plus training eith Carrie Thursday.

lantairvlea: (Tru-D)
2017-04-15 10:39 pm

Arbeit mit Tru-D

I had a break between lesson # 1 and 2 due to the holiday and people shuffling around so I pulled out Tru-D.

I played with asking her to step her haunches over from the whip aids and she is still very much prone to taking a forward step first. I should play more asking in hand from different positions.

We moved on to cruising around the arena. I still had two poles set up that we went over a few times. She jogged off once and a couple of quick turns brought her back down. When I asked her to trot purposefully the first time she took off and I didn't even bother to hold on. My arena is small so she really couldn't get away from me. She kicked out at the kicking strap slapping her hip, which caused it to slap her hip more and I pushed her faster. She stopped kicking at half a lap and I kept up the canter. She kept wanting to drop to a long trot under the trees and I said "no, you wanted to run you get to run!" When she was looking like she really wanted a better option than cantering around I asked for just a little more and then asked her to slow. She gratefully dropped to a trot, quickly came to the walk, and was happy to stand stock still off the voice as I picked the lines off the dirt.

Speaking of the lines, I added a new feature. Previously I had the lines looped through the rings that the crownpiece, cheek, and throatlatch attach to because they're only 1/4" diameter so no big deal and since Tru-D is the only one using them they could stay on her bridle. However, now that she has reached the magic number of three I may want reins that are shorter than 22' when I think about getting on her the first time. I wanted a new hame strap for Kitt's harness anyway so I ordered a set of mini and Haflinger sized bit straps from My Draft Horse Superstore. I buckled the mini ones onto the 1/4" lines and the Haflinger-sized set will wait for when my other lines get in (ordered three sets of 30' lines in 1/4" 3/8" and 5/16" so I and my clients can get a feel for different widths from Knotty Girlz/CB Knot Company) hopefully by the end next week. I'm debating trying to chop the clips off of my 1/2" MCR lines so I can swap to straps as I've become more weird and less fond of the feel of clips on bits.

Back to Tru-D. Once I gathered her back up we worked on our trot and when she started getting a bit quick we would halt and back. She soon realized staying in a soft, steady trot was the better option and when she did I softly asked for walk. We did have a couple words about staying standing (you walk off before I ask you get to back to where you were and maybe a couple steps further) and then we were good to hook to the tire. I had just a couple minutes left, but I have been keeping the tire pulling short so it didn't really matter. We did a few laps as my next set of students pulled in and Tru-D quietly pulled the load without complaint as little men drove their electric four-wheelers around. Did I mention I have a pretty good baby horse? She likes to follow the little men on their Power Wheel quads as they drive around the arena and yard.

I have picked up a couple new clients, one being a married couple learning to drive. I have another lady I set up for an evaluation on Tuesday for her Gypsy Cob to see about possibly taking it in for full training to drive. A little part of me is freaking out and shouting HACK! and the other part is super excited. After restarting Bud a horse without poor driving history is going to be easy. Plus I have Zetahra and almost Tru-D under my belt as started-from-scratch horses (not to mention others I've dealt with, but the brain still feels like I'm just pretending sometimes). It'll be especially interesting to see what I can do with a six day a week regime!

Speaking of Bud I'll be hauling him over to Michelle to see what she thinks about my almost five year project pony. Man, if I could put the same kind of time into Kitt as I did with Bud she'd be a freakishly awesome drivingnpony by now! Alas, client horses take precedence!

Goals this coming week:
Get geldings cleaned.
Get pictures of Tru-D working.
Brush Tru-D's mane and tail in preparation for trying to get nice three year-old pictures of the baby horse.

Also, I found two Tru-D baby teeth this past week. She's growing up! She also measured at 15.1 (and a half...) up front and juuuust shy of 15.2 in the back. I think we'll be getting another inch out her. She's filling out nicely viewed from the side, though she does still look a bit babyish from the front as her chest could use some more filling out. I shall get pictures.
lantairvlea: (Tru-D)
2017-04-08 09:32 pm

Trensen Knebel

Today was crazy-busy. I had five lessons starting at 7am and then took a client to pick up her new mare from Casa Grande at 2pm. After all was said and done I got home a bit after 5pm.

I'll talk about my client and her horse later (spent four hours horse shopping Thursday). Today is about Bud! Well, actually it's about Trensen Knebel.

Bud is sporting them, though he wasn't being very photogenic for me.

I don't know if there is even an English word for them, but I guess "bit cheeks" would be the best descriptive words for them. The dictionary wants to call then "bit gags," though trensen refers more to the cheeks of the bit than the whole bit to my understanding.

Sue and Henry were feeling under the weather so I put a ride on Bud today. He goes quite well in the Stark Naked Bit (the purple thing), though I wanted to secure it so if he fussed with it, it would stay secure. For the most part he's good about not messing with it, but that's where the trensen knebel come in.

As you can see they are a small piece of metal with a hook attached. The "cheek" so to speak, goes through the ring on the halter and then hooks to the bit ring.

Bud did well. We reinforced the lesson that if he goes straight past home without changing pace or wriggling he gets home faster.

The Trensen Knebel are an awesome thing to have in the toolkit. You can use a regular bit on a horse who might have issues with its ears being handled (buckle the halter on, slide the bit in). It is an easy way to try multiple bits without having to fuss with buckles. It basically makes any halter a halter-bridle.

I picked up three pair from . They were happy to take my order and it was about $30 for the three pair including shipping, which was quite reasonable! The only downside is that you have to speak German in order to naviagte the website. A few places I looked at wouldn't ship to the USA so I was happy to find one that would!

I plan on messing with them a bit more here and there. I haven't tried them with the rope halters and I don't think it would be very feasible since it wouldn't have a good place to lock into, but I'll play with it and see!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-04 10:45 pm

Pferde Arbeit

Saturday I was able to pull Tru-D out. I warmed her up on the long lines before hooking her to the tire. We made several passes in the walk before asking for a couple brief trots. I know she's ready for it, but there's still some fireworks going off in my brain prepared for her to freak out. Granted I do have the emergency panic snap set up for easy release of the tire if needs be. With Zetahra I was able to work the tire in all three gaits (granted the canter was very brief) and I hope to get Tru-D to the same place. I will eventually switch out to the singletree as well, but despite her being 100% good with it to this point I also don't want to screw it up and using the panic snap set-up a bit longer isn't going to hurt anything.

I do wish the feather lines were a good eight feet longer. Used as the cross-under I lose a good 18" at least so the 22' lines become 20' lines minus her body length I'm only a dozen feet away from her at the end of my outside line.

I ordered a rope sample from CBknot Company and I think I might try ordering and making my own lines. The rope I am looking at is less t cents a foot. I could get 100' of rope for $27 and be able to make three lines in different colors. I stumbled across someone mentioning having two different colored lines to make it easy to know which is your left or right line and I was thinking "that's brilliant!" I need to look up videos on splicing rope and decide if I want to save the money and spend the time or contact the Knotty Girlz and seeil what they would charge to make them. Things to chew on.

Today I rode Ellie the Hanoverian again. I brought the long lines and surcingle because I wasn't sure if I would ride. After chatting with Kristin and discovering that Ellie DID have a good stop when she got back from her initial 90 days I decided to ride first and see if I couldn't find a good stop again.

I made it really simple. I "stop" my body first, close my hands, then hold until she softened. I did use leg if she stopped, but was hanging, which resulted in some backing steps and also her ultimately softeneing. After a half dozen times I felt like I actually had brakes unlike last weeks ride! By the end I was able to stop my seat and she would halt. Not perfectly square, but she was stepping into it lightly without leaning on my hands.

From there we were able to work some trot. She volunteered the canter a couple times, but I want to feel like she's not rolling off her forehand in the trot before we go faster. She worked better if I constantly played back and forth between moving her hips and shoulders. Leaving her alone resulted in getting quick because she was falling on her forehand and the occasional locked shoulder. We had some successful changes of bend through the trot and a couple of brief spooks. One was at the sheep Kristin has (which have lived with Ellie her whole life...) and the other was at a pile of manure that had the nerve of being in the middle of the arena while I was trying to get her focus on a change of bend. We all survived and it lasted a grand two seconds. To her credit it was quite windy!

Kristin plans on riding her tomorrow and will be hauling her to Carrie's for a lesson Thursday. After that I have two more rides, but I will probably schedule Kristin to come out and work on another two of mine. This could turn out to be quite the productive relationship for the two of us! My horses get body work and her filly gets rides.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-04-03 10:32 pm
Entry tags:

Die erste Woche

I have started consciously exercising.

The plan is a three week rotation that consists of alternating days of legs, arms, and core. Sundays are rest days and Tuesday and Thursday are Yoga, though I may throw Pilates in there too if I can find the time to look it up. The Yoga is fairly easy because I have "Yoga in a Box" that has a big stack of flash cards that makes mixing and matching poses easy without having to memorize anything (and the boys have fun with it too). The Yoga also makes sure I'm improving my flexibility and balance.

I am doing body-weight exercises because I have no equipment, don't plan on buying equipment, and free weights wouldn't be a good idea with little men running around. These include leg lifts (of various types), squats, lunges, sit-ups, planks, crunches (various types), pull-ups, dips, and push-ups.

I am looking forward to how I'm able to build strength. Right now I can get about three push-ups, which is pretty sad. I can do a dozen dips in a row, but pull-ups aren't happening yet. For the pull-ups I'm using the gate arches, but when I tried last week I had an odd stretching sensation in the top of my ribcage like my abs weren't quite ready to hold the weight of my lower trunk and legs. This week the same thing so it might have to wait until my core builds up a little more (it's not like abs experience stress and stretching during pregnancy or labor or anything... ha!). Funnily enough sit-ups aren't a big deal.

I should make note this week the number of reps I can do so I have a baseline to go off of.

And this is being cut short as it's late and I have an early day tomorrow.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-03-31 09:19 pm
Entry tags:

Was habe ich getan und werde tun.

Reviewing March and planning for April. Hard to believe the first quarter of the year is gone already.

March Review )

And April begins tomorrow so I feel ahead of the game with my goal setting!

April Goals )
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-03-29 09:52 pm

Tru-D ist mutig.

I managed some time to long line Tru-D again. I had the poles set up from my previous lesson and we worked over them at the walk before doing some trot and canter work around them.

She wanted to side-step it to start, but gentle touches of the whip on her hip kept her on track. I would still like to see her step over or deeper rather than quicker, but she's getting better and will improve with time.

We were able to have smoother changes of direction in the trot this time and managed a brief canter around in both directions.

Once she was consistent over the poles and ahe felt pretty good we did a loop around the house. She was unsure about leaving the arena from the East gate (a new thing) and she's always been a little suspicious of the horse trailer. She tried to side-step and thought that returning to the arena might be a good choice, but I gently tipped her nose with the lines and softly tapped her with the whip and praised with each brave step she took forward. She ultimately marched past and we had a nice walk around the house before braving the space next to the horse trailer again and returning to the arena. We worked her halt briefly (and standing still!) before calling it a night.

She gets a little braver each time I think. I'd like to take her across the way to work, but that requires having a little more time.

Tuesday I put the first ride on Ellie, the Hanoverian filly I did some groundwork with last fall.

She was a little touchy with the whip in-hand and I reminded her about standing still to be mounted before we had a brief ride at the walk and trot. She tended to rush and get on the forehand while trotting and then she got opinionated about it and would do a bit of a head shake. The brakes also weren't quite where I would like them and I asked Kristin about her thoughts and she said Ellie does tend to run off in the trot a bit and Carrie's solution has been to just do smaller circles until the mare wound down. I asked if she minded if I long lined her next time to see if I can work on it there. I'm debating if I actually will or not. It depends on how she reacts to the lines moving around her I think. If she had a fit we'll probably just work on her accoetance of that, if she's good we'll go from there. I have three more session with her as Kristin and I are doing a trade. She did some body work on Kitt and Chewy and I'm working Ellie. I'd like to schedule her out for Kash and Mac as well (and possibly rotate through the herd) so I'll be seeing a bit of Ellie in the next few weeks I think.
lantairvlea: (twidget)
2017-03-28 05:08 pm

Einer Abschied

The day of the Draft Expo Marty mentioned she had someone interested in Hershey and Dakota. By that evening they were loaded up and gone. I didn't even see the truck and trailer. Dad hasn't sent me anything relating to them. We'll see if they've canceled the board payments or not next week. If not I get to mail them back.

I went back through some old entries a couple weeks ago because Marty was trying to remember when my parents brought Rowdy down and Dakota was (thakfully) removed from the herd and became part of "the boarders." I forgot how long I've been mildly disgruntled about taking care of my parents' horses.

They never really took horse ownership very seriously and I was constantly picking up the slack. The worst was when they bought Hershey as she had a foal at her side. I was very explicit that Mom needed to be out and messing with the foal regularly. I missed the bus from one campus to the other (saved me over 40 miles on my car not driving to the main university campus plus parking costs) at least once because I had to chase Réo around in order to get his fly mask on because he was never handled. As a yearling they sent him up to Utah to "grow up" at my Opa's place. He fell and broke his neck before the week was out (on Chris and I's anniversary no less ... I really didn't want to go up that week, but it was supposedly the only week my parents could). That was horrendous.

Way back when Mom at least used to come out and hold her horse for the vet and farrier, but she stopped doing that and I can't recall if it was before Lizanda or not. I should have written up an actual board agreement, but you figure it's family, right? They're not going to screw you over and take advantage of you right? Hahaha.

I guess Dad had the gall to ask if the people were willing to pay for the mares. At twenty-five and two years out of work plus Dakota needing medication for the rest of her life (plus due for shots, farrier, probably needing their teeth floated, and dewormed), they're lucky they found someone willing to take both of them!

I've known Dakota for twenty years. Opa bought her as a five year-old with a foal at her side. She came down here in 2005 because the glorious pastures in Utah made her fat and she foundered. My Opa bought Hershey for my parents in the end of 2008 I believe so Dad would have a horse to ride with Mom (none of mine are gaited) so Hershey has been around for eight years too. It's a little weird having them not there. It's strange not having to toss hay to them or check their buckets.

I do have to say it is sad to see them go, but at the same tine a great relief. I hope the people that took them put them to use and they get the brushing and doting that they deserve and never really got from my parents. Did I mention that Hershey got rainrot in the summer due to my parents not hosing her off after rides? She also got it the last couple years because my parents never came out to groom them since they weren't riding. NEVER. Guess who was the one who discovered the summer soar lesion on Dakota's belly and then spent two weeks treating it daily? Yep, me. I did get paid for it, but I don't think Mom even came out to look.


Enough dwelling on the past. What does Dakota and Hershey's departure mean for me? I am out $400 in board a month, however I probably spent $200 on hay for them. I've also gained an extra 15-20 minutes a day that would have been spent feeding and watering them. I now have space to take in a horse or two for training should I feel so inclined or open up to board client horses (clients only!!) with an iron-clad boarding agreement and a list of "additional charges" for anything outside of feeding the horse and giving it water.

Farewell Dakota and Hershey. I hope your new owners love and care for you better than your last ones. Good luck old ladies.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
2017-03-23 03:06 pm
Entry tags:

Ich tue alle die Dinge!

We're getting information back from the NFHR membership survey. A little over 300 responses thusfar. The results are as postulated. Membership doesn't provide enough bang for the buck. A lot of people feel isolated and there is a lack of community. Our job now is to assess and figure out how to fix it, or at least make it better.

I'm also working on a new entry form for the draft show and Brenda and I are close to agreeing on an order of go. Then there is advertising and all that. Troy is supposed to get back with me on names for judges.

Yesterday I long lined Tru-D. I had some nice moments of her moving off the whip, though she does tend to get quick with it. We worked a serpentine over the poles. Her steering is getting better and we're starting to be able to make some large turns in the trot. It was a bit breezy so she was a little looky on one end of the arena, but we worked through it.

I need to keep working on her being responsive to the whipas a lateral aid and not just "Go Faster!" This too shall come.

Tru-d and her current set-up with the feather lines looped through the bridle.

After I brushed her off we took a walk around the house. We had a little spook when Chris opened a window so I asked him to open and shut it a few times until she realized it wasn't a big deal. We then returned to the arena and I asked her to move around the mounting block before leaning and rubbing on her. She looked at me as if to say "what are you doing there?" and stood solid.

I let her loose and fed the herd.

It rained last night so my morning lesson is postponing a couple hours to let it clear up.

I'm dealing with some allergies or a cold. It started as a lump of nastiness in my throat and then I started hacking it up and now my nose is getting stuffed and my eyes are thinking about getting a bit puffy. I'm drinking a lot of Chamomile tea with honey and lemon.