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)
I worked with E-va today both on the lunge line and with the long lines. It gave me a pretty good idea of where all of her holes are.

Until today I had worked her in the roundpen a couple times, gave her a bath, clipped her, and took her on a trailer ride to the vet's for shots. Supposedly she has done some ground driving and Wendy said she was close to hooking to the tire, but aftet today I am not too sure about that.

It could be that she has some good time off and her work ethic is lacking (and perhaps she is getting more energy in her food than she is working off!). Lungeing she was pushy and disrespectful of my space. I had to thump her a couple times when she severely invaded my space and that is definitely the first thing that will be worked on as I start her training up.

I had some raised poles set up for the lessons I was doing and she went over those fine (not entirely intentional on my part, they just happened to be in her way as she was being a bit of a pushy goober). She even did a decent jump effort over two little rail razors rather than skirting around them (they're about 6" diameter and individually 4" tall so a 6x8" object on the ground was apparently jump worthy).

She didn't object at all to the surcingle being put on, even if I was purposefully clumbsy with it. I could have gone through all the steps before trying to ground drive her the first time, but after lungeing her I just snapped the lines to her halter and off we went to see what I had. Her stop was horrible. She'd pause half a second and then push on again (and Wendy thought she was a colder, less-forward horse...) so I would back her up, release, she'd move on again, rinse and repeat a few times until she finally stood still. She pushed into the lines and was a bit opinionated about where exactly her track should be and wasn't entirely fond of my corrections.

I think the ground driving portion of her training will be laid aside for now until I reestablish a solid baseline. This will include: working on the lunge in all three gaits, and halting, yielding, and changing directions smoothly, establishing her buttons with the whip aids (body control, moving shoulders and hip left and right regardless of where I am standing), and general respect of space when standing and working around her. She seems to have gotten into pushing into pressure and that is a tendency to redirect until it is needed (when hooking to something and pulling). I think once the things above have been established I will move on to the long lining and starting towards getting her broke to drive. She will be two next month and if her bloodwork comes back good when we get it done I don't see any reason why she won't be broke to drive by the time she is three and then back her in her three year-old year.

My goals for Tru-D thusfar basically include getting her ground driving by the end of the year. I am doing some basic lungeing with her, but don't want to do too much of it due to her age (not asking her to canter, only doing a few minutes to establish she will yield and turn when asked and not much beyond that). She also needs her buttons established, but she is also much more respectful of human space, probably because of her wild child roots. I imagine E-va was handled fairly regularly and allowed to mug people a bit so she doesn't have as much respect for humans as she probably could. We can work on that for sure, but it is annoying to deal with.

I think I am going to pick up a pair of those cotton rope traces from Clay Maier and figure out how to create an emergency release for our tire set up. I don't think I want to eliminate the singletree entirely as he does, but I do want a way to disconnect from the tire if needed.

Sunny is coming along and ready for my more advanced students. I may offer the ride on her to Mariah, but I need to ride her in one of the English saddles to be sure she is cool with that. I have been riding her bareback the last few times because I am lazy and have gotten comfortable with her reactions at this point. I do wish she would more conistently hold herself in a level frame. She has a tendency to bob up and down like a cork, wich is a bit annoying. She is better than where we started when her head stayed up and her back inverted 99% of the time and her canter felt like riding a pogo stick, straight up and down, but it is a constant reminder right now to ask her to round up, drop her poll, lift the base of her neck and at the very least keep her back neutral. Her downward transitions to the trot are a bit rough still and today was the first day I asked her to halt and she didn't initially throw her head in the air. Progress where I can take it!

She is getting less opinionated when I correct her way of going and I think she is much happier in her face with the continuous rein design versus the ring design on the Dr. Cook's (and most every other cross-under bridle). I think the end of the month I am going to try the Dr. Cook's again just to see if she really does hate that design or if it was linked more to her initial lack of work ethic.

I did use some frivolous Easter money to pick up a bitless bridle specifically for Kash. The blue one I got for him and Chewy to share is a bit large around the nose. I could have sworn the measurements were fine on it, but apparently his nose is a lot more petite than Chewy's or I was looking at the wrong thing (or even ordered the wrong size). It does fit Chewy just fine and it fits Sunny well too. But anyway, this time I am ordering the bridle from Running Bear and getting their sidepull bridle. Looking at it I am 99% sure that I can attach the Moss Rock reins to it and have it function as a cross-under bridle instead of just a sidepull. I also like the option of the bit hangers, which are more easily snapped on and off over the integrated loop for the bit that Moss Rock has. They also offer the hunter green, which Moss Rock can't acquire right now. It is $20 more expensive and I will have to buy a set of reins to go with it or just use one of the sets I have where as Moss Rock includes the reins (and shipping!). I do reiterate that Lisa at Moss Rock Endurance was absolutely fabulous to work with, but I am (and have been) curious about Running Bear's stuff and the opportunity to get Kash one in his color was too tempting. Had the blue one not been too big in the nose I probably would have held off and had I not ended up using it on Sunny too maybe so. I did think about contacing Moss Rock about getting a smaller strap for the underside of the noseband, but since Kash will be getting his own the point is moot. I do think once I see how it functions I will be picking up another set of reins from her (probably shorter as Kash carries his neck so that he doesn't take up much rein at all) and maybe see if she could rig up some long lines for them so I can work both Tru-D and E-va bitless to start, and maybe see how Charm-N does too, and even for students wanting to try out long lining save my horses from having to go in their normal bridles, but not using the lungeing cavesson or their halters (my cavessons aren't really designed for long lining, the rings don't stick out far enough and halters don't typically allow for as much finesse or control).

That turned into a bit more mindless rambling than I thought.

Business continues to be exceptionally good. I need to order more hay and I have zero stress about it (WHAT A NICE CHANGE!!!!). I think I am pretty much done splurging on tack as all of the things I had been holding off on (15" English Saddle, bitless bridles, leathers, irons, etc.) have been acquired. My testing is paid for, Spring shots done. The truck is on track to be paid off before the end of the year, and I think, in general, life is pretty good.

I had my first deposit made for art classes this Summer. They were a bit of a bust last Summer as I don't think I really got the information out in time. That's okay, I had an infant and a toddler to look after and now it won't be so stressful. As it gets closer I will need to do some cleaning at the little house (the studio will be used as a studio! WOO!) and pick up a table to use. I don't think I will need to acquire much in the way of supplies other than the table, but we'll see about that. I am hoping for a decent turn-out and students in all the classes. I did restrict the time down to three hours a day for the classes as the last time I did something like four or five and that was a bit much. It was fun, but a bit much, especially since we were still living in the little house and I was using Marty's place to do it.

I still have a video to do and that last question kicking my butt. I also have to figure out what the heck I want to do a presentation on. Last time I did a brief talk about biomechanics (how the rider's use of body affects the horse's) and I wonder about trying to address that again or doing something else entirely. Maybe about how horses respond to different types of pressure (steady, intermittent, etc.)? I need to make a decision fast. I think the presentations are supposed to be 3-5 minutes. I will have to recheck my paperwork.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Tru-D no longer thinks that the velcro noise is going to kill her when the fly mask is being put on and taken off of her. She will (mostly) stand to be fly sprayed so long as you have a hand on her mask. This is about the stage Charm-N was when we first got her so being as she's 13 years younger than Charm-N was I think we should be able to make good progress on that mark too.

Bud is a knucklehead who thinks that open trailer doors are very scary under saddle, but will walk right into it when lead. I have taken him out to the San Tans with a client of mine and he did very well. Eden did awesome with her owner out on trail, much better than either of us were anticipating and hoping for more nice, relaxed rides from the old Fox Trotter mare in the future.

E-va still has no name so far as Marty is concerned, but I am calling her E-va for lack of a better option. She seems to be eating well enough. I measured her last week and I think next week she should probably be measured again to see if we're making progress.

Tru-D seems to have sprouted. She suddenly seems very large for a yearling. I don't know if that has anything to do with E-va being much smaller and not quite a year older.

Sunny is finally getting something like consistent work. I tried her in the Moss Rock cross-under bridle earlier this week and didn't have any angry head-bobbing like I have with the Dr. Cook's. We'll see if it is just her giving it a grace period or if she really does like it better than the other. If she does like it better I am willing to bet it is the lack of the ring+rein buckle weight.

I also realized that I could get a sidepull bridle from Running Bear and order a set of reins from Moss Rock and end up with a pretty cool cross-under with the slightly fancier look of Running Bear and Moss Rock's genius rein design. That might be frivilous birthday money thoughts...

Mr. Grant said he wants to pass on one of his cameras plus a bunch of lenses and I was the first person he thought of. I am drooling massively I just don't know how much of it my pocketbook will be able to claim....

I need to pull out the Mamiya and take pictures of Kelhan while he is still a year old.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Three lessons this morning, Charm-N at training, just worked on the ground, but I think we had something like a break through. We may be able to get past her "shut up and let me drive" mode fairly quickly.

Sunny may get past her "shut up and let me do my thing" mode if I rode her more than once a month. I got her pretty irritated at me by insisting she round and move off my inside leg.

Filly is getting even more social and much, much, much easier to catch. Last night I decided it was the "a" at the end I really like. I am testing "Truda" and I think Desta sounds cool. Ranicka was a though, but probably too long. Several others are on the list.

Two lessons this evening and Bud worked.

Tomorrow to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show with Chris!
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: (lantair look)
Because Z wasn't feeling well I drove Michelle's Morab mare Tenacity on Thursday. I haven't driven T since last year as we've been focused on getting Z going in harness. Michelle does CDEs with T at the Intermediate level I think. She has a good amount of training just the same, not a beginner horse, but a nice drive if you know what you are doing.

We stayed in the arena rather than going out. As I told Michelle I think I'm pretty good at the straight line thing at this point so we worked on bends and turns. It ended up being pretty much self-guided and me just having fun playing with T. There were a couple little things to tweak here and there (releasing a little early in the halt), but not much. Thinking back to the first few times I drove and even considering the last 18 months or so I am very happy with my progress. I am almost as commfortable and confident driving as I am riding and I feel like I can assess a horse's training level pretty well. I won't "screw up" a trained horse and I can improve one who has holes (see Bud, massive holes!).

So Thursday we were able to do some nice pivots around the inside tire at the walk and had some good, tight turns at the trot as well, in which she essentially takes a renvers position on a small circle. I think once we get Z comfortable walk and trot in the cart we're going to have some fun getting her up to Tenacity's level (and beyond?) in the coming years.

I need to call Chatham in the morning and get Z's bloodwork results. He aaid he should have it this afternoon, but he hasn't called and I know he was heading out of town tonight. I called around 6, but it went straight to voicemail and his mailbox is always full anyway.

Z gave me a pulse at 54 this afternoon and then I had to keep listening and she popped back above 60. I didn't check her this evening, but will in the morning. Poor thing had a horsefly pestering her while I was mucking. I zapped the thing with Pirahna and sprayed her down. Hopefully it died.

This morning the S's and I mucked and as we mucked I had Panda on her lead so she had to deal with herself as the three of us were raking and shoveling into the cans. She actually stood really well and the only time she goobered was when I was pulling the can (Panda in hand following behind) and I dropped the can back down as she passed. I did it again and she was better. After we were done mucking I had Keara work on the head down cue with her and desensitizing to being approached by a person (walking up and away, working towards jogging up and away). My cheating is working. Keara said Panda did much better with the head down cue than last week. At least once when I feed her, if not both times a day, I have been doing the head down cue on both sides of her to get it established without having to stand around a long time waiting for her to drop and it also becomes very self-rewarding. Not only do you get the endorphin release, but food!

I ended up throwing the surncingle as well as the Vienna reins on Panda and lunged her. The ad says she's in driving training and so it shall be! Step one: get her lungeing nicely in both directions at all three gaits. She did quite well, but a little trotting and all the time cantering to the right she wanted to hang pretty heavy on the lunge line. In one way this might balance out her current tendency to want to dive in under saddle. She is more wary on her right side and I imagine that is the main reason she is trying to move out: to get away from the spacial pressure of me on her right side. So current thing to work on lungeing: getting her more relaxed going to the right.

Her stop was pretty good, though again on the right she was wanting to creep a little and attempt to turn in/around to present her left side more instead. I also see a lot of direction changes on a shorter line in our future. Once she's doing well on the single line we'll bump up to the long lines and maybe see about throwing one of the harnesses on her. She is shorter in the back than Kitt so Kitt/Z's harness should work fine through the body, but I am guessing the collar might be too small. I'll have to measure her if we get to that point. I doubt she is as large as Ruby and Charm-N, but I don't think Kitt/Z's collar will be big enough. I guess that will be a question for later. Technically Panda drove before we bought her, bit that wa seven years ago now and I haven't had the skill to bring her along/see what she knew until after we sold her.

After Panda I grabbed Marty's mare Sunny to work. I don't think sunny is entirely happy in the Dr. Cook's bitless bridle. Sunny doesn't/can't use a bit because she had some nasty lesions in her mouth that caused her lips to heal off-kilter so you can't have a bit sit evenly in her mouth without it pulling on one lip more than the other. Marty has a really nice Hackamore/Bosal she had custom made for Sunny (because she has a fat head for a Quarter horse, heh), but she wanted me to work her in the other as I brought Sunny banck into work.

At the moment Sunny braces up every time I pick up the reins to slow her down, and actually she'll do it if I start asking with my seat too. She is also doing a couple other things with her face that make me wonder if she doesn't quite like how it sits on her face. I know she HATED the mechanical Hackamore so maybe it is the under jaw pressure? Either way I want to try the Bosal and see how she is in it, if she isn't happier in her face since it doesn't have the under jaw pressure.

Sunny is being quite good, especially since this is ride three after um... three years off? Maybe just two, but probably longer since she was REALLY ridden. Other than not being quite happy in her face her big thing is the canter. She is actually going into it brilliantly. I even got a walk-canter transition out of her, but her canter goes from OK to feeling like she's bouncing up and down on her shoulders. Like riding a horse on a pogo stick. I had a really hard time sticking with it when she did that. If she was OK I could feel a good, solid connection with my seat, but when she braced in her front end it was nigh unto impossible to follow with my seat, feeling her drop and bounce right up underneath me. I tgink some two-pointing is in order to save her back and my seat!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I have been putting some rides on Cinnamon for Marty (seems fair, she watches my kids most days, I can put some rides on her mares) and have asked her if she wanted me to work Sunny too and today she decided it would be a Sunny day.

For those who don't know (and I think that counts as everyone at this point) Sunny is Cinnamon's mother. Long story short Dave and Marty were looking for a horse before we bought Ruby and Chris found Sunny. The lady they bought her from was classic backyard breeder. Her neighbor got in a chestnut Fox Trotter stud and "to see what he threw" bred both Sunny and her TWH mare. IN JANUARY. We saw the stud briefly when we picked up Sunny and all I remember was a nondescript chestnut with a smudge of a star. The lady wasn't sure if Sunny was pregnant as her "vet had short arms." It's amazing Cinnamon came out so well!

Chris rode Sunny for a bit before buying Ruby and I used her briefly for lessons until she stopped getting worked regularly. Part of it was because she had a parasitic ulcer occur in the corner of her mouth, which scarred and shortened her lips so that the bit no longer sits straight in her mouth. Marty got a nice hackamore/bosal for her, which she went pretty well in and acquired a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle a couple years ago that we have used on Cinnamon.

Sunny was Clinton Anderson "trained" by her previous owner. This did some awesome things and some not so awesome things. For one it took a LONG time before Sunny realized she could walk in the roundpen. She's also the reason we kindof got into the Clinton Anderson thing, went to a couple clinics, acquired snazzy sticks, and a couple videos.

Today was the first time Sunny has had the Dr. Cook bridle on and it is the first time I have ridden her in possibly three years. Maybe not the wisest of choices. I lunged her and tested her bending, stop, and back with the bridle before climbing on. Since Sunny is terribly out of shape I was planning on just walking and trotting her a bit. She ended up offering the canter as she has defaulted to her old mode of "leg pressure while I trot means canter!" We had a couple moments of a slow-as-snot canter. She's like Kash, why trot faster when I can just canter?

She made some faces while trotting and I'm not sure how much she likes the facial pressure. She HATED the mechanical hackamore, but did pretty well in the bosal (I think the physical noise from the chain irritated her more than anything). I figure give her a few rides in it and if she is still making weird faces switch back to the bosal and see if that doesn't fix it. It almost looks like a grimace.

She's also a bit braced in her neck and wanting to stop with a giraffe neck and backing up instead of giving her face. We did some explaining on the difference between sidepassing and turn on the forehand and then called it a day.

Tomorrow is another pair of lessons, Shilo bringing her boy Henry over, and the little brothers in the evening. I may try to work Z before my first lesson...

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