lantairvlea: (lantair look)
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)
Too many days between substantial updates means that it feels like there is both everything and nothing to write about at once.

I kept saying I needed to write about the Gypsy yearlings again because I saw them the week before Thanksgiving, and here it is the week after and I am going to see them again.

Short version: Both needed some basic leading lessons. They were a perfect example of "they lead great! Except for where they don't want to..." Mini, the filly didn't want to go into the roundpen so I took over and the little goober actually struck out at me as I asked her to come up beside me. We focused on her leading skills and eventually got it somewhat sorted, though not where I'd like to see a long yearling she was better than where she started. Topper wasn't so bad, but he did have his suspiscions about where I insisted he needed to be positioned with me. This Thursday it will be review of the above and seeing where we are at with the roundpen work (if they're ready to walk around and change directions nicely rather than charging about like goobers), do more desensitizing with the whip (Topper especially needs it), and moving body parts around.

I picked up another driving client this past week. She has a 11.2hh section A Welsh pony. SO SMALL! He turned four this year and still has one baby tooth in his upper left incisor. He came, I believe, from a breeder in Phoenix and was already broke to drive. The owner is getting into horses again after some time away and isn't super confident about her skills. Thankfully she did the right thing in getting a horse that knows more than she does. She had one session with a well-known driver (who was our ADCS president for a year or two, actually) and she said he was very well-broke to start and the owner got a great deal. She also had some lessons with Michelle, who I learned to drive from, though they were geared towards basic horsemanship rather than driving and were a couple years ago. I guess Michelle was wanting to teach her on Michelle's own horses before thinking of doing anything with the little Welsh so she found me through the ADCS directory hoping I could work with both of them.

The first think I did with him was check out his ability to bend without moving (poor to start, but he got it), and then I played with moving his body parts, explaining what I was checking on and looking for and also why it was important during driving. From there we tried on his harness and he must have grown in the last year (not surprising, he should fill out for another year if not two) as there were a few spots we had to adjust. As I went over the harness I explained the parts, how we want them to fit, why I was adjusting this or that, and how they function in relation to the cart or pulling things in general.

I had both Monique and her husband Dave to work with so both would ask questions and I'd answer. Monique said her husband had the better memory and she needed more hands-on to really set things in place, which is good to know.

The bit was a little narrow on the gelding (his name is Ballad) so I suggested we'll need to look out for something that fits better. I ground drove him in it and he did well. He will need to be taught to carry himself a little better through the turns, but I wasn't too surprised considering how much he wanted to follow his nose in my preliminary ground work instead of just bending at the line pressure. I had Dave pull the cart around and while he (supposedly) has been well broke to drive I walked Ballad behind, alongside, and then in front of the cart before we stopped and went through the process of putting him too. He stood really well as I once again explained the steps, purpose, and safety reasons behind them (traces first, then breeching, then false belly band). Since we had run up on our time we then unhooked him and called it a day.

I told Monique we'd probably proceede in a similar manner, have the first half of the lesson focus on ground handling skills and getting her comfortable asking him things and moving him around and then the second half we'll get him in harness and build from there. Next time I won't ground drive him so much before putting him to, but the first drive will probably be a few steps, halt, and good depending on the time we have. She had sent me several videos that the seller had posted of him so I have a fair handle on where his training was a year ago and where to take it from here, starting with plugging holes I find in his foundation work.

I'm a bit excited to have another driving client. All of my work with Bud has made me feel like less of a hack and that I actually know what I'm doing with this driving thing. I don't think I mentioned that I cantered him in harness the other week again and we had a really good workout doing a bunch of crisp turns at the trot and just really enjoying him as a nearly finished driving horse rather than a project. Speaking of Bud I need to see if I can squeeze him in my schedule this week again as Henry was sick on Saturday. I have 22 lessons scheduled plus the two hours of the art class (one hour drive time round trip) and then the hour and a half I lose going to and from the Gypsies. I also have my doctor's appointment tomorrow and counseling. Busy, busy, busy!

Marty has had Keara putting some rides on Cinnamon. I've been eyes on the ground for her (I have been using Sunny a bit for lessons, payback for using Marty's mare) to help both of them get along and communicate. Cinnamon is getting less opinionated in the lungeing warm-up, though she had a few words today, probably because she was pulled away from dinner and it was almost 20 degrees cooler than it has been. We are working on the "happy forward" thing. Cinnamon seems to have a few good forward transitions and then she hits a little bit of a mental block where she stops seeing the point. I suspect this will be less of an issue once she gets out of the arena again, but I'd kindof like this issue gone before getting her out of the arena again! She did kick out a bit and threatened to pop her front end on Keara tonight, but finally went forward when she realized Keara was just going to quietly persist and we ended early when she gave three good walk to trot transitions in a row without opinion. We ask for less when she gives us more!

We finished decorating the tree today. We had to buy new lights so we set it up Friday and it has sat sadly in the corner without any decorations. We ran several other errands today and got them done early enough to catch a showing of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Tomorrow I'll be running hither and yon. I need to remember to grab my bucket of bits as we'll be trying some on Royal tomorrow as well as Carol's new mare after Nelson's lesson.

Müde

Mar. 26th, 2016 09:38 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Three new clients started this week and one last week. I am running out of time slots. I did 25 lessons this week and that's considering I had a few cancellations too. Busy, busy, busy!

I have been trying to get both Cinnamon and Tru-D worked during the week. Tru-D is really picking up on stepping over from the whip aid no matter where I am standing. She gets a little too sensitive at times and as I move the whip to position she will start to move over. I am pleased with her sensitivity, but do not want her getting herself anxious through anticipating. I took her on a walk yesterday around the house and she was pretty brave marching over the crumpled tarp after eyeballing to start. I also took her briefly across the street. She got a little excited for the neighbor's boarders dancing around, but stayed manageable.

Cinnamon did better today on the long lines. She was pretty respectful in the arena and did better when I ground drove her around the house. When I grumped at her for trying to eat she swished her tail and swung her butt, which was much better tban her kicking out and half-bucking last time. Cinnamon definitely has her opinions. At this point I need to start introducing sounds and decide if I am going to try fitting Kitt's harness to her or not.

Chewy is so fat. I'll be checking her weight in a couple weeks to see if I need to do something more with her feed. There isn't much I can do in the way of increasing her workload. She did eight lessons this week and usually does that and sometimes more. If I can get her to trim down I'll have to check her thyroid. If it's off it wouldn't be too surprising since she is coming 25, but I hope it's just a matter of me not paying enough attention as she started gaining back and I just need to get her ration rebalanced.

Rolo has a collar now she wears during the day. She thinks it is heavy and burdensome.

Die Berge

Mar. 19th, 2016 09:53 pm
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Thursday I got the base color done on the mountains. Or as I called it: Mountains Phase One.



The paint has been consistently drying darker, which has been a bit annoying, but since this was just the base layer for the mountain I made do. I also failed to mix enough paint so the bottom left ended up looking a bit wishy-washy, but that will be remedied in another layer.
Painting progress and a Fjord shirt )

Tru-D had walk number two off property today. Just down to the stopsign at the corner and back. She was much more terrified of the neon pink yard sale signs than she was the semi truck that drove by. She is a funny creature. She eventually got over it after walking back and forth multiple times and we walked back home just fine. The more she does it the better she will get.

I pestered Cinnamon again this week and she was much better about moving off of the far side whip aid, though she still thought kicking at it might be a good answer for a bit. She shall learn.

I also played with the buttons on Tru-D this week and she was very confused about being asked to move her hip towards me. This seems to me more of an issue with sensitive horses who are very respectful of your personal space. They find it hard to teust moving towards a person despite the stimulus being on the opposite side.

Hoping ro finish the mountains this week for sure (need snow and some light grey rocky bits) and get the rest of the middle/background done. The ground is just going to be flat. I can add in blades of grass later if desired, but I think it will be fine keeping it simpler.

Wendy said one of the sponsors wanted to donate the original to the silent auction that will be going on during the evaluation. Part of me is REALLY curious to find out what it sells for. Of course I have to get it done first!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
For art:
Finish test painting
Maybe do a second test painting
Prep panels when they get in and at least lay out the sketch if not start painting

Horses:
Keep playing with the Stark Naked Bits
Measure Tabbi (I've been dreading it at this point, but she IS eating consistently now, I'll post about it eventually)
Work Tru-D twice a week, even if it is just taking her for a jaunt around the house.
Try to work Cinnamon once a week.
Bud consistent picking up right lead canter.

Other:
Set up VT appointments
See how long I can hold the two-point
Set up counseling session(s)

Taking antibiotics and grateful that I'm not really experiencing any of the possible side effects and it appears to be doing its job as plumbing seem back to normal.

Chris jump-started the garden on Saturday by getting the furrows ready. We picked up seeds and a couple plants today. Seeds include Eggplant, Butternut Squash (love butternut ...), carrots, spinach, beets, watermelon, pumpkin, and cantelope. We also picked up some little strawberry plants, two tomatoes, and bell and jalepeño peppers.

I'm excited to get it growing. The boys "helped." Tristan got distracted fairly quickly and abandoned us for Farfar's house. Kelhan kept wanting to water everything, including himself and ended up pouring water in his boots, which made him a bit grumpy. He was also pretty enthusiastic thrusting the seed into the dirt so we'll see where things end up growing!
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Twenty-one lessons this week, two client horses worked, and the two classes at the private school so 25 hours of "active" work. I also got Tru-D worked today and Tabbi got worked by one of my working students, which I think will work out nicely.

I have another I can trust to work Tabbi too and hope to eek in a training session from me once a week to move her forward in her training along with getting her more fit. We had Chatham out for fall shots today and we discussed Tabbi a bit. Her coat appears a bit scruffy still despite her diet with rice bran, oil, mineral and hoof supplements. Once we get some days consistently below 80 we may do another blood sample and maybe consider a urine sample.

Tru-D did quite well today. Try number two with the long lining and this time the reins through the surcingle. I ended up working on getting her over a cavelleto, which we spent a good few minutes working on as she would rush, occasionally hit it, and get herself terribly kerfuppled. She did eventually walk it in both directions. She's not sure about the "woah" aid yet, which we'll work on. She can suck her neck into her chest really well and easily (not necessarily a good thing) and is nicely flexible in both directions. I think she is going to end up with a more Haflinger action over the Belgian (more hock and knee action). I think I'll work her a couple more times in the halter before switching over to the sidepull. She was pushing her nose into the pressure a bit, more like flipping it, but she hasn't experienced much backward pressure yet and using the surcingle rings disrupts my ability to jiggle the inside rein as I have done with lungeing to ask her to slow down.

My ride on Oakley this week went both faster and slower. He was much happier to walk at the start so we worked in gait, trot, and canter. There were still a good amount of circles and we had a few wider areas that I worked him to the right specifically to help improve his bend and getting some weight off of his right shoulder so he can extend it better. He tends to throw his left shoulder forward and pile his weight on the right, which is probably why he only takes his left lead. I did have a couple moments where he felt like he could take his right lead so we'll build on that. He likes to creep into the canter and we had a few moments where I did a pulley rein check and also others were we did some one-rein stops until he was listening again. Hoping to improve his "race brain" for her in the next few rides.

Bud did really awesome for Sue today. She drove almost the whole time. I took him past the irrigation ditch he had trouble with on Wednesday and I must have done something right when we trotted tiny circles until he marched past it because this time he flicked an ear at it and that was it. I also had him as we came up to their place as two ATVs drove past, which thankfully they were respectful and slowed and Bud walked by like they weren't a deal.

Tru-D was a little weirded out when she did her shot as we had the horses up closer to the road due to mud rather than back behind the house. Poor thing got stuck three times. The first time the needle slipped out just as he was going to depress it and she sidestepped, the second time he caught a blood vessel, and time three we were good to go.

Cinnamon did fairly well for hers. She's always been a pill about it, but continues to make small improvements. Stuffing her with cookies helped.

Sunny's mouth looks horrendous. It is no longer in the corner and has migrated towards her chin. The ulcer is almost as big as my palm and has some proud flesh going on. Marty is going to have him freeze it and do a biopsy to see what we're dealing with now. As much past dewormer as has been smeared on the thing we don't think we're dealing with the parasites anymore.

I ordered Marty one of the Moss Rock Endurance Evolution bridles for her birthday/Christmas. It came this week and I snuck out to check the fit on her two mares. Looks pretty good! Now I just need to wait a month for her birthday (sometimes I plan ahead).

Rolo now has a fenced in yard we can turn her out in so we don't have to stand out with her, which has been nice.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)


Not as much time today, but I got cart #1 done! The carts are black and I looked at the black pencil, then looked at the THREE types of grey (probably four or five pencils each) the set comes with, said "that's boring and will make flat colors" so I grabbed an orange and a blue and used a TINY bit of black for the darkest parts. Plain black is a dead color. I tend to avoid using it. I blame my Painting I instructor who forbid us from buying it.

In other news worked Cinnamon. She thought our neighbor, who was working in his garden popping in and out of vision over the fence, was a Big Scary Monster. We worked a lot harder than initially anticipated because I decided the best course of action was to keep her feet moving. Didn't work much on refining our gait cues, but we went forward!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Then I'll have an excuse to practice my German without spending too much time on it, ha. Anyone able can correct my German grammar because I know it is rusty and sucks.

This is just real quick so I can post my picture progress.



I don't know about the footing. I am moving on from it and hoping that focusing on other things will make the ground look better.

As I feel a little more wordy I rode Cinnamon again today and hope to do it again tomorrow. The Stink is tall and we are almost too big to fit under the gate's archway, but we managed it. I just climbed on her today without lungeing and introduced some poles, which seemed to help her find better rhythm in her trot. I think part of the weirdness is that she's half Fox Trotter and since MFTs have a broken diagonal gait it is easier for her to switch from the trot to the gait than on a laterally gaited horse. At least that's my theory at the moment.
lantairvlea: (New filly)
Do you know what happened to June? And where is July going in such a hurry? On the one hand it is welcome because bring on Not-Summer, but it seems like we just got back from Utah yesterday and not four days ago!

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

I'd write more, but children climbing on me.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Your hot water is cooler than your "cold" water.

You have to wait for the water to cool down before climbing in the shower.

Sweating occurs minutes agter stepping outside, even if you aren't doing anything.

Sunny is at the point where I am using her in lessons. I still need to put a ride on her now and again, but with my more advanced students we've been working on keeping her stretched over her topline and seeking a neutral frame rather than her pounding her forehand into the ground. As such I am going to start working Cinnamon again. The Stink has been sitting for months. I pulled her out Saturday for a brief lungeing session and brought her out again today. I lunged her to warm up then climbed aboard. She was nice and forward, and spooked once at a bird. I asked her to "trot" and got various responses. Right now I am not worried about whagmt she is doing so long as she is happily moving forward because going forward was an issue previously, especially after her rides with Trish.

So after walking Cinnamon offers either the gait, a trot, or a slow canter. I need to work out defined aids for each one so I can start separating them out and asking purposefully rather than just taking whatever she feela like at the moment. This being gaited thing is going to take some sorting!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
It rained Monday night and Tuesday off and on during the day. I went from five lessons to two (two sick one injured). I was initially intending to work Bud and then do the morning lesson, but she asked about bumping to the afternoon so I hooked up the trailer and headed to Higley Feed to get some panels for the first two stalls on the property. The panel prices are good, but unfortunately the price on most everything else is up. Riley sold it to one of his employees over the Summer. My thought is that the new owners are trying to get their money out of it. Hopefully it doesn't go the way of San Tan Feed, which seemed to raise it's prices any time they wanted a new toy and never seemed to have product in to boot.

Anyway from there I headed to Pet Club and grabbed a few bales of hay because with the rain Tuesday and more predicted this weekend I wasn't going to order a squeeze. I put it all in the trailer and by the time I got it unloaded I decided to bag working Bud until Thursday. I got the stalls set up and the panels work nicely. I think i like them better than the HWs as I can lock four panels in together rather than just two and using lots of baling twine.

I picked up the boys and was hoping to work Kash or Panda before the two evening lessons. Marty called and said there was a guy selling panels by the side of the road. The panels were $20 cheaper than the ones I picked up and the gates were about $30 cheaper than elsewhere plus no sales tax. I checked with Mom and ordered six gates and an additional eight panels. Lessons and then I met the panel guy at the property as he unloaded nad paid him. It worked out quite nicely. The second set of panels have the same height on the upper pin, but it is different on the lower pin, but the way it worked out the new panels went on the exterior and the first set went on the interior. I only have six spots I need to secure with twine, which is nothing compared to what it would have been with the HWs.

Today Chris helped me finish putting the stalls together and ensured that they were somewhat square. We dropped off the Jeep for a recall and went to the accountants. After that we met with a guy about getting the new section of fence painted and then I had two lessons and worked Sunny.

Sunny seems less unhappy in her face than the last time I rode her, Of course after I made her work through her temper tantrum last time she seems much happier to work realizing that yes, she HAS to work and I am mot going away even if she is opinionated. I was initially thinking she just didn't like the Dr. Cooks bridle so I tried her bosal, which was meh, the sidepull was the one she bucked in, today I did the Dr. Cooks again and she was good in it. She bends easier right than left and her canter was a little better. Other than lack of work part of Sunny's issue is she's been taught to go on autopilot and when you try to give her additional input about HOW to do something she's not quite there mentally to receive input because she is zoning into her auto response. Something to work on for sure.

I have decided I am going to focus on Sunny and get her where I can move her into lessons before starting to polish Cinnamon again. Once Sunny is going lessons will keep her in decent work and I can work on Cinnamon getting where I can ride her during lessons and ultimately work her through where she can be a good everyman horse as well.

More and more full days ahead!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I just had the lesson with Sue and Bud today. Before that I had working students over and I pulled out Dakota to do an evaluation ride on her. Susanne, who is leasing her, said she was having some trouble with her, especially tracking right and asking for her gait (Missouri Fox Trotter). Susanne said Dakota had ducked her head and done something funky with her back end a couple times and she wasn't sure if it was Dakota being in pain or what.

Knowing Dakota (about 15 years now, Opa bought her at 6 years old and she's something like 21 or 22 now) it most likely was an attitude issue, however being an older mare and having been laminitic in the past (why Mom ended up with her, fat and foundered on all the Utah pasture) I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

I got straight on and the first thing I noticed was her response when I asked her to stop: neck straight in the air and her nose sticking out as far as it would go. Not going to fly, Dakota. I know you know better. I followed her up and held with my hands until she yielded. I repeated that several times until she realized that yielding to the bit pressure was the better option. As I walked her around I also noticed she was as crooked as all get out. Counter bending, dragging her butt behind, pushing her ribcage inwards, and just about anything else you can imagine that is not tracking on a line, straight or curved.

She never gave me a bit of issue about trotting and I took her out of the roundpen and around the property. We had some excitement when I gaited her across the front of the house. Just as we approached the North drive the neighbor revved and engine, which spooked Dakota. In Dakota's defence the engine sounded really horrible and needed help. While she did skitter sideways and fling her butt around she didn't think about bucking, which was good on her part. Once she relaxed I rode her away from the problem area and called it good. I left Susanne a message with two questions to think about: What is happening when she asks Dakota to stop and: What is Dakota doing as she is traveling on a curve (i.e. bending what way, etc.). Haven't heard back yet, but we were planning on having the lesson with Dakota Thursday and this gives me a goodnidea of what we need to work on and what Susanne needs to be made aware of.

After Sue and Bud (Bud did well by the way and Sue's getting more consistent with her rein handling. I mostly drove Bud one handed, even through a pretty steep wash!) I pulled out Cinnamon and worked her. She did 100% better than last time. One half-argument about picking up the canter, hut no sucking back and being sticky and humpy. As a reward we cruised around the house and did a micro loop across the street out one drive and in the other. Now I just need to ride her at least weekly instead of every other or so!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I put a ride on Sunny yesterday during a lesson. I still had the Dr. Cook's bridle in our tack room from using it on Panda Saturday so I out that on her and decided to try my Dressage saddle on for chuckles and giggles. She was very reluctant to trot and generally unhappy in her face. I blamed the bridle first and pulled it off" replacing it with her halter and climbed back on. Slightly hapoier in her face, but still not hapoy moving forward. I pulled off the saddle and got on again. She was a little blah to start, but then started going better. I have no idea if the tack changes made a difference or if she realized after four or more times getting on and off the ride wasn't over and she might as well just play along. Marty thinks Sunny has a dinner/meal delay issue more than anything. The mare hates to (think she could) miss a meal. Of course if I could get her ridden more than once a month that would be good too!

If I get Sunny into decent work I can use her for lessons. If I get Cinnamon going I can work her during lessons and maybe use her in another year or so (can't believe The Stink is going to be eight this year). Marty is paying me to work her two girls, up to two rides a week at half my usual rate because I don't always do a full hour and she watches my kids. It's a prettt fair trade, especially considering I did all of Cinnamon's training pro bono until I was pregnant with Tristan (she was four at the time).

I do wish it had worked out better with Trish working Cinnamon as I would like to have seen what a steady 30 days would have done for her, but ah well. Sunny is just a matter of getting her tuned up. I think even just five days in a row would do her. Cinnamon needs miles and a work ethic, which takes a lot longer to establish, especially when it's a once or twice a week deal.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Marty acquired a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle a couple years ago to use on Cinnamon and to try on Sunny. I am not sure if Sunny likes it, but Cinnamon seems to go well enough. My biggest complaint about the Dr. Cook's Bitless is the big rings at the end of the straps you connect the reins to. They have always felt clunky and unrefined. They put a weird weight in the middle of the rein, especially for Sunny and Cinnamon who have long, narrow heads. I have another cross-under bridle I am considering getting as well as a sidepull I would like to try . What is appealing about the linked design is the fact that there are no rings. They made one long continuous rein that just snaps in (my true preference would be a buckle attachment, but that could be remedied). This makes so much more sense to me as I imagine if the weird weight of the ring bothers me the horse has to feel it too. I think this might be part of Sunny's not-too-sure-ness about it.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Processing

Aug. 26th, 2014 08:53 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I have been pushing and confronting Zetahra's death. Part of me wanted to hide from it, but there isn't any way to hide from the emptiness that is her not charging out of her stall in the evening, or into it in the morning. Playing with the hose as I try to fill the water buckets. A thousand little things that you notice when they are no longer happening. I think the active pushing has been helping me process. If I were to hide it and stuff it I don't think I'd be able to talk about her like I can now. Yes, there are still tears, but they're quieter. The lump is smaller, the pain less sharp, but it's still there and it will be there for a long time.

I took Cinnamon out for her third trail ride. She's even with Z now.

I tried Kathryn and Suzy, but they were unavailable. Keara and Roxanne were open, but Toby and Gypsy had both thrown a shoe in the last week so they borrowed Kitt and Kash. Kash probably hasn't been out in two years, poor boy. Keara handled him fairly well when he decided to be a bit oh, Arabish when we turned for home.

Funny, I was on the green horse and was turned back giving her advise about how to work him down. Lots of shoulder-in and changing bend and refocusing him and challenging him intellectually.

Cinnamon did pretty well. She pitched a fit about crossing over the logs used to define the car parking spots. She pawed and popped her front end and half-bucked and backed up and I kept my cues quiet and insistent. She doesn't do well with escalating cues because she escalates her negative response, whereas if I keep it quiet she hits a roof and doesn't go above it before complying.

She finally went over and gaited a bit as she rushed after it. I gave her a few strides and bent her around before sending her over several times in different places. She kept gaiting or trotting after so I started bending her as soon as she accelerated and she finally walked over once and I called it good before we officially started the ride. Keara had fun jumping Kash over them and Roxanne was enjoying walking over them as they waited for me.

We had a half dozen bikers on the ride. The first group didn't slow down much, the second turned away and the final lone biker stopped, which apparently wierded out Cinnamon more than the guys that zipped past!

Cinnamon led pretty much the whole way and was marching forward nicely the whole time. She eyeballed the first and only puddle, but walked nicely past it coming back.

More trail rides to come this winter and hopefully Cinnamon will be pretty well broke at the end of winter (finally!). She'll be eight in December.
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: (zetahra)
Yesterday Roxanne and I loaded up Gypsy and Z for a trail ride as I had a rare open morning. I had tried Suzy, but she was busy. She and Tommy have been there and done that. Gypsy is a good level horse, which makes her a good companion for a green horse and good for her rider too.

We loaded up early and headed to the San Tans. I was happy to discover that my emergency preparedness vest fits over my crash vest. The emergency vest was put together by my friend Kathryn. It has all sorts of awesome things from duct tape and vet wrap to flint and a whistle. There are far too many things to list. It also fits my phone, wallet, and my .32.

I warmed Zetahra up on the lunge before mounting up. She was nice and attentive. We were the only trailer there, though there were aome hikers and bikers about. The ranger left his mule/gator cart by the trail head and Z gave it the hairy eyeball. I had Roxanne and Gypsy pass first to show Z it wasn't going to kill her, but she quickened as she passed it with her hip. We went past it a couple times until she relaxed and carried on.

We took Goldmine to the service road and had a good 50 minute ride. Z's "spook" at the moment consists of raising her head, hyper focusing on the object, and quickening. She is getting more responsive to the leg yield as a refocusing aid.

Gypsy kept a pretty strong walk the whole time so she would get a ways ahead and Z and I would trot past before walking again. Note: Zetahra doesn't really care about being left behind. At least not ao far as 30 yards goes. She would alow slightly after passing, but kept the trot with light encouragement until I asked her to walk. She also did well leading out for as long as Gypsy took to retake the lead.

Hopefully more trail rides are in our future!

Today I had a pair of lessons with a break between so I pulled out Cinnamon as I did last week. She was better lungeing this time, less rushy, but was a bit opinionated about the canter. I'd like to see that gone before I ask for it under saddle.

She had some really nice moments and a couple of rough ones. She and Trish didn't really get along. I think Trish came with some preconceptions and didn't give Cinnamon as much chance to give a good response as she needed. She is a little like Kitt in that if you keep asking after she starts to comply she gets recalcitrant and braces (in Cinnamon's case right now it includes a slight crow hop). Trish would keep pushing after Cinnamon would give half a try and end up inadvertently picking a fight with her. While Trish was working her I wasn't able to ride (pregnant and all that) to see if it was Cinnamon being a stink or if it was a communication issue. Having ridden her a couple times now I think it was more the latter.

And I will have to rabble more tomorrow as I am scrunched on time.

Good news: after some ungly moments I think LJ has been fixed ... hopefully.

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