lantairvlea: (Default)
The day after I got heat exhaustion.

Tuesday I was outside far too much for the temperature that it was outside and, lo, suffered from the exposure. I don't think I've ever had heat exhaustion or other heat-related issues before, but there's a first time for everything and probably explains why I didn't know I had it until the day after. The really odd thing is that I didn't feel nauseous until the evening rather than while I was outside, so I initially thought it might have been something I ate, but now I'm rather positive that it was simply being outside in the heat too much.

As prescribed by Mother Trout I drank lots of water yesterday and downed a 32oz thing of gatorade throughout the day. I'm feeling much better today and the change in weather definitely helps.

It went from 105 or so on Tuesday to 95 or somesuch yesterday and this morning it was in the 60's and, I think, will barely be topping out at 90. It seems that October arrived and the weather suddenly realized that it's supposed to be Fall or something.

Today was pretty good. Started out by spending over an hour trying to get the new Macate reins on the Bosal/Hackemore for Sunny. The ones that came with it are horsehair and, which they kind of feel cool, they are pokey and scratchy because you really can't get single strands of horsehair that long. The Macate reins are some 20' or so long because not only do you get the loop that goes to your hands, but it also makes up a 8' portion that is loose that can either be used as a lead or as an "assistance" like a crop or somesuch. I redid the knot several times before I finally got it right.

After that (and feeding both the horses and myself) it was off to driving, which was good and slightly exciting. They blocked off the area that we normally drive down, but we didn't notice it until, well, we got all the way down, which required turning around and heading back. There was some slight harriness (not actually a word, but I'm using it anyway) when I had to ask the mare to move between a large concrete pillar and the bubbling irrigation water. My instructor took over and got the mare moving before we got ourselves into a mess because I didn't just tell her "yeah, go forward" and she started goobering a bit at it.

Overall it was a good drive and a good lesson, I'm still learning a lot and it's starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of it and have some more control over the situation. My hands are definitely getting better and the whip is getting moderately easier to manage. I need to get myself a better whip as the ones I have are not large enough, at least the little stock whips aren't. They might be okay once we get the cart all fixed up and I'm sitting up in it, but as far as ground driving goes they're entirely inadequate.

I also need to do more ground driving. The weather's getting to the point where I don't really have an excuse to not be working horses outside until noon or so and, well, groundwork (driving specifically) is something I can do without much worry even when no one is around.

After driving Mom and I headed off to the San Tans for a trail ride. We ended up being out for about two hours or so, which was rather nice. Dakota was as slow as molasses and Sunny and I had to play "Lost in the Desert" in order to prevent from 1) running her over and 2) leaving her in the dust. Had Mom lead most of the time (it seems almost any time I'm out on a trail ride I'm in the lead ... regardless of the horse I'm on) and by the end of the ride she had Dakota moving out and off of her leg fairly well. It helped that she now had a crop (my suggestion) as, truth be told, she's not terribly effective with her leg, partially due to not knowing how to use it and partially due to physical limitations (part of me still wonders if most of it isn't in her head...).

Sunny did most excellent, especially considering the last time she went out was January first and since then her time under saddle has been sporadic to say the least. I've done two lessons on her, ridden her maybe three times, and Chris had ridden her a couple times and that's about it. She's my mother-in-law's horse and, well, despite the best intentions she hasn't ridden much. It's a good thing Sunny's a horse that can sit.

There was some initial "Oh I'm outside, I've gotta go somewhere!" but all she tried was a little jogging, which was easily managed. The couple times I asked her up into the trot she volunteered a canter (which for Sunny is about as fast as most horses trot...), though she came back down well enough. She's a good horse, even if at times she feels like she only has half a brain. She did quite well with the bicyclists that we ran across. The last one she was so disinterested as he passed that she turned away and looked the opposite direction as he came towards her. Unfazed, but easily distracted.

Mucked, freed the horses to enjoy the arena and the moderately cooler weather, took a nap, and here I am.

I'm almost done with page 29 of Shifting Times. If I'd been working on it instead of typing this I'd probably be close to finishing the last panel, but ... y'know. I need to do better about that "Sacred Studio Time" thing. It might be easier once it cools down and that's the first thing I do in the day rather than cramming it in the middle and putting it after the horses and other things. Wake up around 5, feed horses, feed myself, draw, paint, and whathaveye until 8 and then start the day with the horses or whatever else needs to be accomplished. Sounds like a plan.
lantairvlea: (Default)
So Monday I took Panda out and rode up to the new Equestrian Park that opened Saturday. We got to the corner and stopped at the stop-sign for a bit, watching traffic. A guy pulled over and got out of his car, waved, and started marching up towards us, saying something about being lost. This was apparently too much for Panda to handle and she spun and took off back towards the house. I, once again, was annoyed, forgot to say whoa, and it took me a bit to get myself in a good position to pull her head around. I turned her back in the direction we came and trotted her smartly back up the street. I was rather determined that she march right forward and, looking back, I'm rather impressed that she hardly deviated course even as dogs were barking at us and running back and forth as we went back.

I asked her to halt and she stood as I gesticulated and told the guy he was about 40 miles away from where he wanted to be. He was trying to get to Payson .... I'm glad he asked for directions because he was quite lost.

Anyway, the rest of the ride to the park was rather uneventful, though as I got to the entrance I had a slight dilemma, I was on one side of the barricades and caution tape that was next to the road, and I didn't want to essentially ride in the street to get in, but there were two signs and one of those portable massive flood lights that made getting in a bit of a squeeze. Rather than pushing it and risking Panda spooking, whipping around, and running me, or both of us, into a sign, I dismounted and walked her through it.

I lead her to the arena, closed it up, and remounted. I essentially worked on a "cruising" exercise, letting her wander about within a certain gait, but if she changed speeds either pushing her forward, or shutting her down as required. I think once she broke gait downwards, which was towards the end when she was a lot more relaxed, and there were several times when she tried to jump upwards, especially in the trot. I posted so much Monday it's hardly funny. I'm really surprised I wasn't more sore in the leg, but I guess my legs are in better shape than I thought. I do admit that my shoulders were, and are still, a bit sore.

While at the Park two other equestrians showed up. One was a lady with a little (tiny!) spotted saddle horse she worked in the roundpen. We made a connection after both of us had worked a bit and realized we'd met a couple times out at the San Tan Regional park. She has an old Appy gelding with a broom tail and like ... one spot, heh. She happens to be one of Panda's "fans" and thinks the mare is just the cutest thing ever. And I do admit, Panda's quite a good-looking horse. We just need to work on her nervousness. And, really, Panda puts on a pretty good front 95% of the time. You wouldn't know she was nervous except for when she's spooking, especially if you don't know what to look for. I just need to put the miles on her so that she spooks "in place" and has more trust in confidence in people in general.

The other person at the park was a young kid (14) named Jason on a TB/pony cross (it was under 14hh). It was rather fun watching the two of them and we pretty much rode home together. The kid had this three gallon white bucket he was carrying and he kept lifting it up on his shoulder, dropping it down by his side, etc. and Panda was a bit nervous about what in the world he was doing with that strange white thing. Jason noticed and apologized, but I told him not to worry about it, it was good for her and noted that his pony was exceptional in letting him haul around that bucket like he was.

While riding home we made a connection, he knew Dave through the train room. This was terribly amusing. I think Jason and a couple of his friends were gathering donations or something and dropped by my in-laws. Dave opened the door and they noticed the train room, asked if they could see it, and Dave said "sure." The young boys were quite impressed by it. It amused me terribly.

Now if I can ride Panda up to the Park a couple times a week she would be AWESOME in a couple of months. Exposure and miles, that's really what she needs. She gets better and better, but I would really like to see not tendency to run off at all and some confidence like I see in Ruby. It's not quite a fair comparison, though, they don't have anywhere near the same mental type, but I would still like to be able to climb on and go without worrying about Panda worrying too much.

So yesterday! The first day of school!

It went rather well. The Painting class didn't last very long and I had time to walk to Utrecht. I purchased all of the canvases I would need and then some. Actually, I purchased all of the canvases and then a bunch of smallish gessobords that I'll probably paint on if I get obscenely ahead, which is a distinct possibility since I only have the two classes.

I was very grateful that Mom was able to pick me up from Utrecht as it would have not been fun to walk a mile with two 36" x 36" canvases plus a 36" x 20" canvas, lunch and school bags, plus a new bag that I intend to put to good use in taking art supplies along in trips. I'd like to start doing some plein aire painting (watercolor and gouache) once school is over with.

Had lunch, dropped off my ring, which needs one of the stones reset, came home, had a lesson, went to second class that evening. The Drawing class will be, I think, just as awesome as the summer version, though the first project seems like it might be slightly restrictive. We're going to be doing some sort of portrait, but I believe I will be working in my expressive line technique (can't think of anything better to call it) and go a bit nuts with it. MWAH HA HA!

That's about it. Updated the website a bit more, fixing links and the like. Now I'm going to go ride with Mom. I'll be taking Jinjer up to the park and working on her canter, get those butt muscles strengthened because I think that is part of her issue is lack of conditioning.

This afternoon Chris and I are going to go look at a Haflinger gelding in Phoenix. If he is as good as he sounds I'd be tempted to sell Jinjer and purchase him ... but we'll see. I'm looking for a student and not myself, though.

Good day!
lantairvlea: (Default)
I must be in some strange alternate universe. The Arizona Cardinals are now going to the Superbowl.

Of course it was just barely. They dominated the first half and then just kind of lost it in the second until the last minute,b ut that's okay. They're going to the Superbowl.

... I sure hope the world doesn't end soon, I have plans.

Anyway!

Friday was rather lazy for the first half. At least I don't remember doing much of note. Around 10.00 I went out and pestered Cinnamon Strudel for a bit. I brushed her up, was dismayed to find sap on her (but it really is no surprise) so used some dirt to reduce the tackiness and finished brushing her out and tacked her up. It was the first time I've put an "adult" saddle on her. Previously it's been this little leather 13 1/2" kid's saddle with just a main girth. This time I put my own saddle on her, which has a back cinch in addition to the main girth. When I asked her to move off in the roundpen she wasn't terribly happy as the cinch sucked up on her belly a little and she hunched slightly and did this almost rocking horse-type movement as she bounced back and forth between her hind and forelegs as she moved forward. Nothing terribly dramatic, but slightly amusing.

Chris says he just wants her to explode (preferably with someone NOT on her) and he'd feel much better. He's not quite convinced that she can go through the complete starting under saddle (breaking) process without some sort of wonderful explosion that gets it out of her system. We'll see what happens, I think her explosion occurred when we (I) taught her how to lead when she was a not-so-giant foal (could never really call her "little" she was pretty much born big). Rearing up, flipping over backwards, and the like. I think that was her explosion.

Getting back to what I had started saying, I worked her in the round pen, walk, trot, and canter. She was a bit stinky about changing directions, which I focused in on until she was doing it nicely again. Once we were working nicely together again I put the halter back on her and worked on flexing her in both directions and then got the mounting block and worked on flexing and standing still as I climbed up on it. From there I flexed her, stepped in the stirrup, stepped down, repeat with weight, repeat again, and finally I stood up in the stirrup and leaned over. Scratched her shoulder, patted her haunch, flapped the stirrup, pulled on the back cinch and she stood quite well. My only complaint is her attempt to play with the stirrup.

I did it several times on both sides. The right side was a bit comical, my body isn't used to mounting on that side so the same muscles and ligaments don't quite stretch the same, even with a mounting block. I think I did it from the ground once or twice too, but I can't remember.

Mom arrived as I was hosing off Cinnamon and as I put her back Mom got out Dakota and started cleaning and tacking up. We had planned on a trail ride with us plus two. Mom's two friends arrived after we had tacked up all four horses, but they did bring burritos, which made it okay.

The ride started with Melanie on Hershey (Mom's newer horse, a Rocky Mountain Horse mare), her sister Amy on Kash, Mom on Dakota, and I was on Panda. We rode out for a while and when we decided to turn around Melanie and Amy swapped horses. As we headed back Kash was being a bit stinky, he was pretty much jigging all over the place and Dakota started acting up a bit, swinging her butt towards Kash and being a bit marish. We figure that Dakota must have been in heat and Kash was partially reacting to that.

Fast-foward to the last, maybe two minutes of the ride. We reached the point where all of the trails break off from in front of the parking lot for people, the equestrian parking lot is about 50 yards off through a little bit of desert and brush. The other three went off and Panda wasn't wanting to wait for my cue to walk so I made her stand. Everyone else disappeared in the brush and Panda got a little more nervous. I kept bending her and asking her to stand until she stood for a moment and I asked her forward. She did pretty well until we got to this little wash dip. She wanted to pick up a trot and I was determined that she not. As she picked it up I bent her head around, but this was in the middle of a rather small dip that was a bit like a ditch. I think she tried jumping it as I spun her back around, but the result was that she jumped into a gallop to catch up with everyone.

My thoughts? "Well crap, Panda, you're not supposed to do that. Should I bail? No, my seat's okay and that would be a mess. Panda, I'm really disappointed, this is annoying." I shouted something along the lines of "watch out!" a few times and finally bent her around just before the trail head when she spooked a little at a sign, which was just enough for me to get the leverage to do it and bring back my presence of mind to do more than just be annoyed.

I apologized profusely to my fellow trail mates and to the poor lady who was just ahead of them, ready to go through the gap in the fence. Mom noted that had she not known better she would have thought I did it on purpose because I looked "in control." She also mentioned I had a rather determined look on my face, I was quite annoyed.

The other three went and untacked their horses and I got Panda moving in the parking lot (gravel and dirt). I asked her to trot and canter in both directions a few times, making sure she was listening and thinking. I then walked her back to the trail head and about 20' or so past the entry before getting off. Panda was quite content to walk after her little work-out.

Of course I committed my favorite mistake once again. I didn't say "Whoa." And I know Panda has good breaks. It's just that when a horse goobers on me my first reaction is annoyance. Now I do know that when Panda goobers it is out of fear or nervousness, she doesn't do it to be a jerk, she just doesn't know and doesn't have the confidence. It doesn't make it less annoying, though.

So Panda need to work on being alone more, just going out by herself and not stressing about being left behind. Of course the funny thing is if she's in the lead of a group she could hardly care less how far behind they are, it's just the thought of being left behind herself that worries her.

Saturday was quite busy. I had three lessons and after that I went with Natalie to go look at a horse. The horse was a complete dud, though. He was advertised as a "Schoolmaster" in Second-Level dressage and sounded quite good for $2500. We got there and he was at LEAST 100 lbs under weight, probably closer to 200. He had dirt and manure caked in his coat and looked in pretty sad shape overall. Even with a winter coat I could count his ribs and I could just about cup my hand around his point of hip. The lady got on him and walked around, trotted a little (with a lot of effort), and from my standing, needed a bit of help and wasn't a very confident or comfortable rider. I asked Natalie if she wanted to try him first or have me get on. I mounted up and got him walking. I asked for his face and he gave easily enough, but when it came to moving off my leg? Not much luck. I could hardly get him beyond a sluggish walk and when I asked for the trot he wouldn't round up at all. It didn't help that he was completely dead to my leg and when I did get him trotting his head popped up and he hollowed out horribly. If I attempted to round him up at that point he'd loose his momentum because, well, he was dead to the leg. The lady said she usually used spurs and asked if I wanted a whip or something. I declined, with my short ride I had enough information for a decision on my end at least. I rode him a little longer than I needed to, mostly because I was trying to get a good response out of him. I did get one half-descent walk-trot transition, but even though he moved forward sooner, he still inverted horribly and popped his shoulder, which, of course, he wouldn't move off of.

The woman asked for my opinion, and I asked if she was sure she wanted it, and she said yes. I told her he was horribly underweight, and wasn't worth what she was asking for him. Maybe when she got him he was worth that much, or if he was in shape and at least half-descent on the cues, but as it stood he wasn't worth it. She asked what they could do to put more weight on him, and I suggested that they give him the Alfalfa that they have been, plus as much Bermuda as the horse will eat and probably some grain ontop of that. In the lady's defense they originally had their two horses together and the TB just wasn't getting his share when they were together. So I think it is a case of just not knowing. Of course I didn't mention to her that the horse was terribly splay-footed in the front.

The lady did ask for my info for lessons and such, which I gave to her. It was unfortunate that I forgot my wallet so I didn't have any business cards on me. I just wrote it down on a piece of paper.

Arrived home in time to appreciate the massive amount of cars parked along both Riggs and Hawes Rd. as people went to the grand opening of the Equestrian park. I was planning on going, but I was pretty much done for the day when I got home.

Sunday was church, recommend interviews, and the football games. I also teased Panda and noted that she is now out of heat (she was in Friday and possibly Tuesday). Granted it didn't help that Kash was more interested in biting/nipping her than just licking and nuzzling (jerk).

And today! Today I am pretty much free until 1.00. I'm going to ride Panda up to the Equestrian park and work her in the arena for a bit and ride her back. Then I'd like to work the boy a bit along with the Strudel horse.

I need to call on a Halfinger Gelding in Phoenix and confirm a time to go look at him. This one isn't for Natalie, but the siblings who are looking for some "Chewy-Type" horses. He sounds really good too, a little on the young side (coming 7), but if he's as good as he sounds he should be worth it. He was used as a kid's Hunter/Jumper mount.

And that's about it for my rambling.

... and I start school again tomorrow.

Hello Day!

Jan. 15th, 2009 09:56 am
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
So I had one student have to hold off on lessons for a time, but the same day I got an e-mail from a lady who wanted her daughter to start up and potentially more to start as well. So work is going well and I'm staying very much afloat.

I just have to figure out what to do with my parents' old truck. Chris has christened it "The Tractor." They gave it to us as they just purchased a new Ford and, well, they don't need two trucks. The Tractor is about three or four years younger than my little car (it's an '02) and quite a bit newer than Greenie (Chris' '97 Chevy). However both of us HATE driving it and aren't terribly fond of the thing. Not to say it isn't a nice truck and I don't appreciate it. I just really don't like driving it. It is a 3/4 ton and can handle the horse trailer with greater ease, but it is also a diesel, which makes it both noisy and smelly and a lot more expensive to put gas in. It would be about $90/month to insure and Mom offered to pay for the registration for the next two years (which would have killed us as looking at the old one it was over $400). I don't know whether to sell it and put the money in the bank to sit on until we can afford buying a new truck, putting the money into our two cars, or just Chris' truck. Or keeping it and using it as the horse hauler and long-haul trip taker as it, in theory, is more reliable than our two older vehicles (even though both of ours have been wonderfully reliable Greenie has 120,000+ miles and Silber is at 92,000+ whereas my parents truck is barely at 45,000 and still under warranty).

So descisions to be made.

And yesterday! Yesterday was pretty good. Chris was off of work because of weird schedule happenings and we went on a trail ride. We took Panda and Ruby. Ruby was the big good lady, as always, though she wanted to follow some of the hikers rather than the trail that we were taking a couple of times (she loves love, and associates people with that, so people are like magenets for the big lady). Panda did excellent, especially considering all of the people. She barely body-twitched and even with the troupe of little girls walked by swinging and hitting their walking sticks on the ground she stayed solid. HUGE improvement, makes me so happy. She really wants to be a good, confident horse, she just needs to realize that those wild people on the ground aren't out to get her. In addition I'm starting to relax while riding her a little more. I've noticed that I sometimes get a little tight while on Panda as I seem to be hard-wired to expect her to do something, which I know doesn't help her worry-wart attitude any, but it's something hard to correct.

I applied for a new credit card today and ordered some new lungeing cavesons and a couple of bits from Dover. The cavesons are nice leather ones, ordered the full and cob size and hopefully they fit the horses. We have a variety so they're bound to fit something. I was hoping the cob would at least fit Chewy, but it'll probably be sized for Panda, and I was hoping the full will fit Panda and Strudel, but will probably fit Ruby. I can hope, though, but they're bound to fit someone. I also picked up two bits that I want to try out on Kash. both of them have the rounded, lozonge (sp?) instead of the french link. It is a three-piece mouthpiece both are made by Korsteel. The one is a loose ring, which I've never been terribly fond of, but in their defense, have never really tried. The mouth is all copper on that one. The second is a D-ring, which just has the center lozonge as copper. I was really wanting copper as Kash seems to respond better to it than simple steal and I wanted the rounded center piece as he doesn't seem to like the flat center piece found on the french link bits. You can never have too many bits! Of course the bit that I REALLY wanted was at least $80 or more depending on what brand or features it had, gag.

Time to go run errands and see if Kash is finally done eating.

and have some art (2) )
lantairvlea: (Default)
Did you know it only costs about $200 less to take two classes than it does four at ASU?

It just doesn't seem right, not simply unfair, but just plain not right.

Anyway! Mom, her friend Rachel, and I went out on a trail ride early this morning when the ground was still slightly frosty and it was disturbingly easy to see breath. I took Panda out again. If I'm not careful the boy's going to think I've abandoned him. But Panda needs the miles a lot more than he does and I should be able to start getting some good time on him as well. Panda did well, especially considering the construction at the trail head and a number of bicycles that passed us by. That and the fact that we were riding East to begin with and the sun was thoroughly in all of our eyes for the first half of the ride before we turned around.

Panda is coming along nicely. She's getting less reactive, though the first portion of the ride she was a little jiggy (nothing compared to what most people consider jiggy, but I don't like any jig at all...), but worked out of it into a relaxed, but swinging walk.

I've set up to start going back to Kim's next Friday and I'll start going to a place out in Peoria the end of the month. I'll probably go to the place in Peoria for a few months (and only every other week) due to the distance, but I am curious as to what they have to share. They're the same people with the Arab gelding and the warmblood mare that I checked out back in December.

In other news, the hunt is still on for Natalie and has begun for the siblings (a third one will be joining them in taking lessons next week, actually). I went with Nat and her Mom Saturday morning to look at a Standardbred mare. She was only 800 and I took a look at her and asked if she had been lunged, the lady said "kindof," but never with a whip. So I gave it a shot. Very low-key, just asking her to walk around me at first and WOOSH! hoof flying past my head! The mare tried to kick me THREE TIMES while lungeing her. She settle down into some form of work, but wasn't terribly happy about it. We then watched the lady ride her and I continued to be unimpressed. Well, unimpressed by the training not necessarily by the athleticism of the horse. When asked to trot she did this half-canter, but not really thing, elevating quite impressively as she rocked back and took these huge, exaggerated steps, but she wouldn't really settle into an easy, forward trot.

Now I know the horse was only 800, but I think they could do MUCH better in quality by waiting and possibly finding one that is a little more, but doesn't have the issues. The fact that she tried kicking me in the head (three times) didn't help the mare's case any either.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Hope everyone is having a good first day of the New Year!

Chris and I continued with our tradition of going on a trail ride the first day of the new year (third year running!). We also rode yesterday and Tuesday out on the trail, which was good. I've ridden a different horse each day, Panda Tuesday, Kash Wednesday, and Sunny today. I swear, Sunny really does have half a brain. The mare has no focus whatsoever. I'll have to expound later, but we'll just say that the first ten minutes of the ride were spent frying and overloading her half-brain as she attempted to process it all (there were 26 TRAILERS in the parking lot for the park, and considering there's usually two horses per trailer if not more there was a lot of people about!).

I also want to add that Panda and Sunny are just about polar opposites. Sunny has no focus, and when she sees someone she goes about this "Hi! Who are you? What's your name, willyoubemyfriend??" scenario and then is immediately distracted by something else. Panda, when in tack, will stand there for minutes ... possibly hours, and wait to be told what to do (unless a scary wild person comes along, then she's liable to eyeball and snort and think about heading for the hills, but other riders and horses, no problem). Even if a horse is right next to her and trying to engage her (sniffing noses, etc.) Panda is staring straight ahead in an "I'm working" attitude. I prefer Panda's attitude, even if she is a nervous horse there's actually a full mind there to work with! (That and she doesn't argue and will try her best to figure out what you want without getting angry, nervous perhaps, but never angry.)

Anyway! Another reason for this post is that I'm sortof thieving a resolution from [livejournal.com profile] dogsoul.

I know the last few years I've fallen off the virtual internet "planet" and haven't been able to keep up the contact that I would like to with people. With school winding down and being essentially finished now sans two classes, I will have a bit more time and plan on using it well! Y'all are quite amazing and I would like to be a better friend and more "there." I have also realized that in order to keep these connections alive I need to be a bit more proactive.

SO! I would like to make a list of birthdays and actually use it.

Kett's original disclaimer because it works well:
Immediate disclaimer: I do not require you guys to remember or celebrate MY birthday. If you want a card and wee giftie on your birthday, comment here (comments will be screened of course) with your name, date of birth, address, and a refpic or two of yourself or a character you want drawn or some such thing. :)

(I can't guarantee that said gift or card will arrive on or before the birthday, but I will do my best to make it!)

Next post shall be a large resolution-laden thing and a review of what I managed to keep and what I failed miserably at last year.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Mom and I took Dakota and Panda out. Panda hasn't been out on a trail ride in a while and she did quite well. Because she's unshod we kept it at a walk and I let her pick her way through the rocky areas. Every once in a while she'd find a rock or something that she had a slight "ouch" response to and then the next step she'd be fine. Still getting used to being barefoot, but I think they'll toughen up fairly quickly. Her backs have been barefoot for quite a while and hold up quite well, it'll just take at least two rotations before she works through the part of her hoof wall that's been weakened by the nails.

We saw a small rattlesnake. As we were moving down a wash it started to rattle and slithered up under a bush where it postured threateningly and rattled whenever we moved in a manner he considered threatening (which appeared to be any movement at all). As soon as I heard him I stopped Panda. Her ears pricked at the sound of it, but other than that she was rather unimpressed by the small, rattling stick under the bush. Mom stopped next to me and we watched him and chatted a bit before moving on.

Coming back we were passed by two pairs of riders, two women and two men. I was quite impressed that Panda didn't try to "catch up" with the other horses as she has in the past. She doesn't really jig, but she will start trotting sometimes if she feels like she's being left behind. I think our previous little sessions has improved her willingness to stick with me rather than attach onto the horses moving around her.

And I finished page 24! )
lantairvlea: (Default)
Mom and I took out Dakota, Ruby, and Cinnamon Strudel again.

I must say I'm glad that Cinnamon is doing as well as she is because next time I'm taking Kash. Dakota and Ruby really don't like riding next to each other. Monday Ruby gave Dakota a couple of good marks and today Dakota managed to bite Ruby on the neck, the stink. Makes me suspicious that Dakota started it Monday too. Anyway, because Cinnamon's doing so well I'm going to use Kash next time. While Ruby has the power and weight, Kash is many times more responsive to my cues and neck reins much better. Not to say that Ruby isn't a solid, wonderful, good lady, but I do prefer Kash's light feel and Ruby doesn't quite have that just yet (Kash does have three or four years on the mare and I've done a lot more work with him...).

They did quite well. Cinnamon ended up having her first cactus encounter. Mom hopped down to try and pull it out, but Cinnamon kept lifting her foot and, well, Mom's not always the best horseperson isn't the most confident when it comes to doing stuff on the ground. So I got off of Ruby and used the pliers to pull out the cactus and then asked Mom to give me a leg up because, well, 16.3hh is a bit large for one of my stature, plus we were on a hill and I was in the hole. The leg-up didn't work too terribly well, we weren't in-sync, and I ended up telling Mom to stop helping so I could actually get the rest of the way in the saddle. Leg-ups should be rather effortless, granted, I've given more than I've received.

The drive home was a bit more eventful. Ruby and Dakota got into it again and were shaking the trailer quite violently. I ordered Mom to stop the truck and jumped out before it stopped rolling. Because she hesitated a bit the two had settled by the time I got back there. I couldn't see anything wrong, but, as I mentioned earlier, Ruby ended up with a nice bite mark to match the one she gave Dakota Monday (granted, Dakota has two marks, not one).

After getting home, cleaning up the horses, and doing the stalls Mom and I headed off. We dropped by Tye and Bea's house and I got to see my nephew for the first time. A cute little guy who was both hungry and sleepy and couldn't figure out which one he wanted to really commit to. I'm sure I'll be seeing more of him in the future.

From there we went to Desert Saddlery and picked up the new saddle for Opa. It's a Tucker (read: nice saddle!) specifically for gaited horses. I don't know what makes it so snazzy, but sure, I'll go for that. Tucker does make really nice saddles, though. I did find it slightly uncomfortable as I think it's made more for a man than a woman. Men have a narrower pelvic arch and, well, when you put a woman's wider pelvis on a man's saddle it gets a bit high-centered and puts excessive pressure on sensitive tissues. So after twenty years Opa will have a new saddle and will no longer be lugging his 50lbs monster. We picked up a couple other things as well as Mom ordered herself a new saddle online and ordered a couple others for use up at the ranch. Granted, what I failed to realize and what Tom caught onto was that she ordered the cheap ones. The ones that Tom says he doesn't carry because, well, they're crap. I mean, sure, they'd probably be okay for some people, but they probably wouldn't last the 20 years that Opa's old group of saddles have.

So after Tom's we ate at the BBQ place next door, which was pretty good, the smell from the place has been temping me for months.

Dropped Mom off at her place, hit the feed store for Psyllium because we just ran out today, and will need to go back tomorrow because apparently we're almost out of oats as well. Came home, changed, worked on page 24 (on the last panel!!!) and now Chris is making pumpkin pies with our home-grown pumpkins!

Yesterday was pretty busy. I worked Kash in the morning and Kevin came and finished up with Dave and Marty's horses before I headed off to help Dave pick up his new truck. I got to drive it partway home and I was really surprised at how giddy I was about the opportunity. I've said it several times over already, but is is quite a nice truck! I like it a whole lot more than driving my parent's truck even though it is technically larger. My dislike of my parents truck (big dodge) stems from the feeling that I am going to run into everything that gets within five feet of the vehicle. It's just a horrible exposed, vulnerable-type feeling like with their old Expedition that they used to have. Dave's new GMC truck is also a crew cab, but has an extended bed and is the 1-ton instead of a 3/4. However, it feels a lot more like driving the old '68 El Camino that I learned to drive on, which is really nice.

Anyway, I should be off, things to do (like feeding horses).
lantairvlea: (Default)
Yesterday Mom and I took Ruby, Dakota, and Cinnamon Strudel out on a trail ride. Saturday I had practiced ponying the stinky Strudel horse from Ruby a bit and was pretty satisfied with their performance (Ruby didn't want to kill her nearly so much as the first time!) so we headed off!

We loaded Dakota and Ruby up next to each other and stuck Cinnamon in the back (note that I do jump back and forth on Cinnamon's name and alternately call her Cinnamon, Strudel, Stinky Strudel horse, baby mare, and all sorts of other things). There was a bit of rocking in the trailer as we drove and we pulled over. By the time I walked around the back to check everything out Ruby was standing calmly and Dakota was pressed into the corner, but neither one looked worse the wear. However when we pulled them out Dakota had a good little nick on her neck as well as a set of teeth impressions ... apparently Ruby decided there needed to be some regulating and Dakota didn't listen the first time.

Mom handed Strudel off to me and we were off! We kept it easy, sticking to the broad "service road" path that is pretty much kept clear of any daunting obstacles. I must note that the reason for riding Ruby was to insure that in case Cinnamon got a bit unruly I'd have the weight and leverage to keep her in check. The monster yearling has reached 15.1hh (that's 5'1") since we measured her Saturday and is probably closing in on 1,000lbs. She doesn't have much thickness to her yet, but that'll come as she matures. I didn't want to take her out with Kash the first time who is only 15hh and weighs not much over 950lbs. While I did take her around the neighborhood with him, that was before she out-sized and weighed him!

Anyway, both the filly and the mare did wonderfully. While Strudel did lag a couple of times and Ruby did attempt to give her both barrels once at the beginning (Cinn was RIGHT on the mare's butt and Ruby didn't appreciate it), they did great. If Cinnamon got past Ruby's shoulder the mare would swing her head at her, but other than that once we got going Ruby pretty much ignored her presence and, for the most part, the stinky Strudel horse kept about level with my knee (and she's not stinky in behavior ... usually ... she just hardly ever gets bathed and as such is stinky). We were out for about an hour and it looks like Thursday we'll be heading out again. Because of the success of the first run I'll be ponying her off of Kash (since Dad's coming and we can't really fit Ruby, Dakota, Rowdy, and Cinnamon Strudel together comfortably) and will hopefully not suffer too much from people wondering why I'm sitting on the small horse and ponying the big one, hrr.

Friday I went and saw "Mama Mia!" with Marty and have had ABBA songs stuck in my head since then, which isn't too bad of a thing, but it can get a little annoying. Friday evening Mardy, Dave, Chris and I all went to see "The Dark Knight," which was quite awesome although I do agree with Chris that in some parts the plot got a little sluggish, but apart from that, awesome.

Today the farrier came, I worked Panda a bit, had a lesson in the morning, and then ran a bunch of errands, getting garments, dropping by Tom's to get a bit for Panda's new bridle (which finally came Friday! It looks quite nice on her!), groceries, and a couple other small things. All of our horses are now freshly trimmed and Kash and Chewy have new shoes. The cost of shoeing has gone up a bit, but I can't blame Kevin because he does drive a LONG way and both steel and gas prices have gone up, plus, since we've been with him (four years?) this is the first time the price has gone up. Even with that he's cheaper than a lot of the guys who do nothing more than hang nails and don't really know how to address the hoof.

Things to do this week: passport stuff mailed, finish draft drawing, finish page 24 of Shifting Times, or at least get it mostly done.

Oh, I DO have some video of me ponying Cinnamon Strudel from Ruby in the arena, I'll try and take some time to edit it and post it because it's a enormous file since it is from our actual video camera instead of a piddly little camera that happens to have video capability.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Monday was the start of the first summer session at ASU and I dove head-first into my Drawing IV class. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself although I'm less than halfway finished with the piece I'm working on it should still prove to be quite productive.

Tuesday I set out to work a couple of horses, namely my mom's two and one of mine. I got Rowdy out and worked with him a bit, doing some stretching and bending and doing just a little sending off. He is turning much better in the roundpen, looking too me rather than towards the fence. From there I set about desensitizing his face. He doesn't like things being stuck in his mouth, specifically dewormers and since Mom was considering getting some banamine paste to give him before long rides (he has ringbone resulting in some stiffness in his right leg) he needed to be messed with and get over his problem with things in his mouth. I didn't have any syringes on hand so I started with using the lead rope and giving it to him like a bit until he accepted it without fuss. I then used my finger and stuck it in the corner of his mouth like one would the syringe.

I worked with both sides of him and had been doing it for over a half hour when it happened. As he was fussing he finally got his tongue around my finger and sucked it up to his molars. Needless to say my finger did not appreciate being compressed between his cheek teeth. My response was to shout "OUCH!" as I extracted my finger and walloped him on the neck.

Rowdy became rather unapologetic and made great improvement in his tolerance of my (other) finger being poked in the corner of his mouth. Every time he didn't fuss at it I removed the offending object and rubbed him on his face and neck. From there I decided to call it a day and returned Rowdy to his pen. Pleased at his marked improvement towards the end of the session, but slightly less pleased at the status of my finger.

I came inside and rinsed it off, and checked the damage. He managed to get it right at the last joint of my index finger. The top half was a neat shearing of the skin, nothing hanging off, however the more fleshy bottom portion of my finger had a good flap of skin that needed to be removed and was quite neatly laid open. I cleaned it up, bandaged it, and decided that I wouldn't be working any more horses that day.

It is healing nicely, though and thankfully it wasn't my pinky or ring finger because I use those a lot (riding) and it would not have been terribly comfortable. It's also on my left hand, which means it doesn't interfere with normal writing (or drawing) functions and I don't have to worry about getting pastel all over it. The upper wound is starting to seal up and the lower section seems to be doing its proper healing thing as I realize that the slicing underneath was a little more extensive and I wonder if I should snip off more of the dead skin or not.

In other horsey news I went on a trail ride with my parents this morning and took Panda. The big girl and I lead out for the first bit and were drawn back as Mom screamed and then shrieked "SNAKE! A snake!" I turned around just in time to see it slithering off the path and towards the wash. It was rattleless, although the head did appear like a pit viper's, but it could have just been my angle. I believe sidewinders have rattles (and this snake was traveling straight forward anyway) and apart from rattlers I don't think we really have any other poisonous snakes. I assume it was a gopher snake. Probably three feet long and just cruising casually along.

Apparently Dad and Rowdy had walked right over it and Mom had stopped Dakota short of stepping on the thing. She initially claimed that both of us had walked over it, but at the rate the snake was going and the pace Panda and I were setting I severely doubt it. And I also doubt that I'd be quite so blind as to not see it. Dad might have been positioned so that Rowdy's neck blocked his view of the trail before him, but I would think he would have seen it, but he might not have been looking to the side.

All in all Mom's reaction was quite entertaining.

Panda did quite well for the trail ride and she leads out wonderfully. She does tend to get a little strong when she's not in front though, not trying to pass the other horses, but if they pick up a trot she wants to be sure she doesn't get left behind. I worked with her on that as we headed back. Stopping her for a moment and then picking up the walk once the other horses were several yards a way. Each time she picked up the trot without being asked I bent her neck around in the one-rein stop and waited for her to stop and give. I'd release, she'd take a step or two forward, and around her head went again (alternating sides) until she decided she could stand still and wait for the cue to move forward, which I then surprised her by asking for a couple of steps back before cuing to walk on. After doing this a couple of times she was quite content to simply walk the last quarter-mile to the trailer without so much as a half-stride trotting even with me shifting around on her back as I stroked her neck, hip, and shoulder.

She's turning out to be quite a good horse. She's really loosened up since we first got her a year ago (March). When we first purchased her the slightest bit of rein pressure on one side would send her walking around in circles. Now she flexes nicely in both directions while still responding lightly to rein cues while in motion. She's also coming on the bit better and giving requests for vertical flexion. She does have a long way to go with her canter, but she has come a long way from there as well (when I tried cantering her the first time to took several minutes of effort of me bumping my legs, kissing, and generally encouraging until she finally fel into it). I got her going a little bit this morning, but she's a bit unbalanced and heavy on the front (and we nearly ran into a tree...). She also didn't want to pick up the left lead, but I probably should have backed her off a lot more in the trot before trying to change her flexion and ask for it. Must to trot-canter-trot transitions in the arena more.

Art-related stuff: I finished the drawing of Zel and scanned it, though I haven't cleaned it up yet and I'm debating on whether I should mail it to them now or wait until Christmas ... I don't know. The piece I'm currently working on in class is a 19"X25" (approx.) pastel piece on Canson paper. Our assignment was to combine geometric and organic forms and I chose to depict Kywehn (Grihfohn/gryphon character) perched on a tree sitting on a grassy cliff overlooking some farmland and there's some clouds in the sky. It sounds a lot lamer than it looks. I finished the base coat yesterday and moved on to the fun part, which is layering on the hard pastels for detail and form. I'm almost done with the sky and am debating where to move to next (either Kywehn or the farmland ... maybe I'll jump between the two).

Now it's time for dinner and that about sums up the day.

Well, there is the matter of the kid being bitten by Blaze, my parents' dog, but I'll elaborate on that tomorrow. Poor guy's going to have to spend a few days at a vet under quarantine.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Saturday was good, but very full. The morning started with cleaning up the horses and loading up for a trail ride. Shilo and her husband Drew came out with Shilo's mare Chick and we all tacked up at the house before setting off. It was a good thing that I started brushing Panda a quarter of an hour before they arrived because I had a pile of hair that could have easily stuffed a pillow by the time I was done.

It is Spring and the horses know it.

The parking lot at the trail head was a bit crowded so we parked outside of it. There were quite a few people out there taking advantage of the good weather and an excuse to ride. Chris was on Ruby, of course, I rode Panda, Shilo borrowed Kash, and Drew was on Chick. It was quite a good ride and all the horses did well. Chick did well with Drew although she insisted on walking out and being in the lead while Kash and Shilo were a bit on the slower side and hung towards the back, occasionally trotting to catch up. Panda also has a naturally longer stride so Drew and I were in the lead most of the time while Shilo and Chris brought up the rear. I would have put Shilo on Panda, but I was a little worried about Shilo being a little off-par as she hasn't riden consistently in a while.

I was impressed at how well Panda handled all the people. She was a little nervous at times, but she stood well and only thought about leaving once for a fraction of a second, even when there were all those children running ahead and the bicycles and all that.

After that ... what did we do after that? This is why I should write daily instead of just whenever I feel like it. I forget things. There was a trip to the grocery store in there somewhere, I worked on some art homework ... Thursday Chris took some video of me riding Kash. Friday I rode with my parents and helped Marie-Anne take her horse to and from the vet, which reminds me I need to call and ask her how that turned out. I think she said they'd know the next week.

I had one call thus far from the flier I left in the feed store. I hope I get a few more calls and I need to think of other places to post them at, perhaps when I go into Tom's again.

I haven't taught a lesson in two weeks and it's driving me crazy. Thankfully I have the money for what I need, but it's driving me nuts just the same. I just want to get back into the routine again.

I can't wait to be out of school.

Sunday, of course, was Easter. I made French Toast for breakfast, we went to church, made some cookies (well, Chris made cookies, I worked on art stuff), and went to my parents' for dinner.

Monday we had a second "Easter" dinner with Marty (Dave has been doing extra time at the Depot during the week). Chris and I worked Sunny and Cinnamon Strudel Monday afternoon. I played with Cinn in the roundpen while Chris got Sunny ready to ride. I think it was the first time I really lunged her with the line and cavesson. She kept on trying to eat the lunge line, but other than that she did quite well. She really didn't want to walk, though, so I just worked on getting her to turn back and forth until she was willing to listen to my cues to slow her down.

Today is another day and started with waking up a bit late, getting horses fed, leaving Kash and Chewy in their stalls because they took forever to eat (I blame getting up and feeding them late). Made it to school on time, did a presentation that I thought I was prepared for, got nervous during, but stumbled along and managed to survive. Now I wait for class as I missed out on having institute because the instructor was sick, drat.

I have a lesson plan to do, I need to start on the second half of the paper for Stokrocki, and I need to finish two drawings by Monday. Woo. I think I'll be working on art this week at home. I should have done more over the weekend. I'll take advantage of the fact that I don't have a lesson tomorrow and work on it. I do have two lessons Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, though, which is very, very good. I also don't really have class Thursday, which is exciting, but I need to use my time wisely and might just unplug the internet from my computer to avoid distractions.

Time to be off, I must attend Stokrocki's class. We have a guest speaker and she's out of town, but I'm going anyway. I need to glean what knowledge I can from this college experience even though I might be a bit anxious to complete it.

ONE MORE SEMESTER!

On a final note, I'm going to start trying to include things that I feel have blessed my life and the little things that make a big difference an will take it with "blessed."
lantairvlea: (Default)
Oma and Opa came out from CA this week. They flew in on Thursday and will be heading out today. They dropped by Chris and I's place on Thursday and visited briefly. Oma took, and enjoyed some of our oranges (heaven knows we won't be able to eat all of them). Opa checked out Rowdy and Dakota, his old horses and was nearly beaten by the jealously protective mother hen (did I mention the chicken had eight eggs hatch last week?). Of course, then she promptly lost her chicks and Oma and I wandered about for a few minutes until I flushed them out and, amidst much clucking and excitement, the hen rounded them up once again.

Friday Chris and I more officially celebrated Valentine's Day as it rained off and on from around 4am until well after dark. Needless to say I didn't have any lessons that day and missed training. We have come to the conclusion that the Cheesecake factory serves but one purpose, to provide good cheesecake and that is all. The food is reasonably good, but it is hard to have excellent food when you have no focus.

Saturday we were quite soggy and my first lesson was canceled, but the second still came and, instead of riding or working with the horse due to wet footing, I taught Dakota a couple different braids, two for the mane and one for the tail. I am not an expert when it comes to braiding, but I can at least teach the basic technique. Needless to say we had a bit of fun and even if the braids did not look terribly professional, they were serviceable.

Chris left for work before the lesson was over (he mentioned later that he was grateful he missed seeing Chewy all braided up, hehe). Normally he works just Mon-Fri, but they were short-handed so he got some overtime.

After the lesson I retreated inside, worked on a watercolor for class, and waited for Mom and Opa to show up, which they eventually did around 11.30 (and they had initially thought to come out around 9.30, heh). They were worried initially about the footing being bad out on the trail, but I pointed out that , while we did get rain off and on all day Friday, it wasn't nearly so much as previous days and, besides, the trail was uphill from where we were and it could only be drier, we'd just have to stay clear of the washes in case of some random quicksand, which I hear shows up on occasion.

We loaded up the two Trotters, Rowdy and Dakota, and Kash practically loaded himself in back. He's getting really good about getting in the trailer, actually, I basically point and he hops in. Not to say he was ever bad about it, but most horses don't jump in on their own without a person leading them.

The three of us went up to the San Tans, managed to find a parking spot, and headed out. Opa showed his good-natured teasing, asking if I needed assistance getting on and mentioning something along the lines of "be sure you stay on!"

We went for a two-hour loop and had a very good ride. Although Kash was quite high on himself for the first little bit, he did rather well considering he'd been locked in his stall for 24 hours because of the rain. Opa and Mom would pick up their Fox Trot and I'd keep Kash back a little, ask for a slow trot, and try to engage his mind a bit by asking him to yield to my leg. He would yield slightly, but more often than not he took the single leg against his side as a cue for the canter. I was quite impressed that he picked up the right lead and kept it wonderfully collected and slow. The right tends to be his weaker side.

After he calmed down a little and got over the excitement of just being out he walked nice and forward, but calmly and attentively. The other two horses did fairly well, even if Opa and Rowdy nearly ran Kash and I over once at a hill as Kash is very good at simply walking up and down where Rowdy and Dakota are still learning that the walk is the preferred gait going up and down hills.

We had some good conversation on the ride and came home to find Chris about ready to mount up on Sunny for a ride in the arena.

Sunday we had Stake conference in which they took the three Queen Creek stakes and made them into five. We are now the Queen Creek-Chandler Heights Stake. Woo.

Sunday also meant dinner at my parents and an early celebration of Tye and Dad's birthdays. After dinner I ended up helping Oma with her computer and cleaning up some files along with getting some things organized. She was quite grateful and I was happy to help. I think initially Bea was going to help her with it, but I was drawn over intrigued by what Oma was up to.

And time to run off to class.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Cinnamon Strudel had her first ride in the horse trailer yesterday. It consisted of three whole miles and Marty came with me and we chatted as we crept along the road, taking turns excrutiatingly slowly and changing speeds in a gradual manner so as not to jostle our living cargo. She was only tied to one corner (we have a rather open stock trailer) and we think she spent most of her time riding backwards. After we arrived back I turned her back around, backed her out, stroked her profusely, and then lead her in and out a couple times before closing the mid-gate to see if she'd load that way, and she did. Success!

Today was her first "trail ride." I climbed aboard Kash as I did earlier with ponying Cinnamon the first time, and Marty was aboard Ruby. We struck out easily enough and Kash moved forward willing and easy with Cinnamon behind his shoulder marching alongside. I send Kash through the wash that runs in front of our property and he steps through, but before we make it past the center there's tension on the line and Cinnamon is standing stubbornly on the bank, refusing to follow. Kash and I made it to the opposite bank and I tugged on the rope, she refused to come. More tugging, a step or two, but then she'd back and resist with all her might. I finally got one good step out of her, sent Kash back across the wash, and started again. We did manage to get her across, but then there was the issue of getting her to go back over it again, as I was not about to allow her to think that she could simply not do it if she so chose.

We went across twice, I think, before Marty suggested perhaps we might take them between our property and the Ramos' (they're just to the West of us) and take her through that wash there. So we headed off, Kash, Cinnamon, and I in the lead and Marty and Ruby taking up the rear. We took the little access road between the Ramos' and the "goat people" (I forget their name) and when we went to cross over onto the dirt that is the back protion of the Ramos' property, lo! There was another wash! Of course, this was was less than a foot deep and possibly 18" wide, but Strudel still stubbornly planted her feet and refused. Kash and I then proceeded to work her back and forth over it until she realized that moving forward was really the easiest thing. We made it to or initial goal and we marched back and forth along the wash between the properties that is about 3' deep in some places and possibly near the same across from the banks. Once Cin was moving easily across the obstacle we moved on with our trail ride.

Of course, the kicker is that the turnout that Cinnamon has spent her entire life in has a wash in it. It's huge at that! It probably makes 4' in some cases and is possibly 6' wide. Granted, as Chris reminded me once he got home from work: "A horse can do ANYTHING on its own that we could ever wish to ask it, but getting the horse to do one of those things when WE want it to ... well, that's something else."

It was pretty uneventful for the rest of the way. Kash eyeballed some dogs behind a fence, which made it a bit of a difficult spot as Cinn was trying to watch stuff going on the other side of the dirt road, which resulted in my leg getting squished between them. I did manage to start teaching the little Strudel horse some leg cues though! Mainly "get off my leg!" with a tap then a kick if she started rubbing into Kash and I too much. At one point I was a little worried there'd be a bit of a wreck. I was paying attention to Cinnamon while we were standing and Kash turned around and nibbled on my stirrup, I went to tap him with it and he managed to get it on his lower jaw, just like Nicki did. Well, thankfully, he didn't freak out like Nick and I was able to reach down and slip it off.

There were two loose dogs. One was an Australian Shepherd cross that wanted to play (bowing and everything), the other was a little red Chihuahua that tried to eat Ruby and nearly got smashed for its touble.

It was pretty smooth going until we were to make the final turn into the empty desert lot before Brandon's. There was a little step up from the road and Cinnamon didn't want to take it at a nice walk so we tried it a couple of times and she wanted to jump it and run and Kash finally had enough and went to punch her with his teeth and Cinnamon did a little rear and I got them to stop before trying again and same thing, stinky Strudel horse wanted to jump and run, Kash had enough of the nonesense, but I was ready this time and he ran smack into my hand, quieted, and Cinnamon halted. At that point I decided I'd do better on the ground and asked Marty to hold Kash while I worked Cinnamon back and forth.

It took several minutes, but I finally had her walking nicely over it in both directions and retrieved Kash from Marty, climbed back on, and finished off the ride. Kash was a bit less tolerant of his charge for the remaining few minutes, but she was a bit better behaved. We got back and I allowed Kash to graze as we put Cinnamon in the roundpen and then I worked Kash a little in the yard. He was tentative at first, but when he realized he was no longer hauling a stinky little baby horse he moved out quite nicely and seemed a bit relieved to be able to do his job. He got a bit of bran and carrots this evening as an extra treat for being such a good boy overall, especially since he's not a seasoned pony horse.

After the ride Marty and I were talking and apparently Ruby was as good as gold unless she saw Cinnamon acting up, then Ruby got a little rialed and was wanting to catch up. We postulated that something like this was going on in her mind: "That's not right! That baby's not supposed to do that! Let me at her and I'll fix it!" When we told Chris he was quite amused as we do sometimes refer to Ruby as "The Regulator."

After all that I was a bit exhausted, still am, but it was a good experience. I'm going to try and make an effort to take the Strudel horse OUT on trail next week.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
It looks like I'll break my previous high for making money from my lessons. This is good. The bad thing is that this month and last were obscene as far as expenses go having three (technically two-and-a-half) horses who had their teeth floated, spring vaccines, and also shoeing last month (Panda is still shot all-around).

I think I'm going to get a flyer together to advertise for pet portraits and general art as well as my services for photo portraits as well. See if we get any local bites. Of course, I'm going to have to figure out what to charge, egads.

In other more equine news, Mom and I took Dakota and Panda out on Monday since there was a massive gap of time. Panda did quite well. We were chased by a dog coming back home, which I didn't realize was Panda's problem until I turned her around and caught sight of it. We then chased said dog and he was decidedly less tough with a 1300lbs horse coming after him instead of moving away.

My training has been bumped to Friday and I still plan on taking Panda. I need to work Kash today sometime.

I also need to work that little Cinnamon Strudel horse sometime as I need to get into the habit of working her weekly, especially now that she's weaned.

And I need to get my butt outside to prepare for a lesson.

And what's with all of these defective Chinese products?

Arr

Jun. 25th, 2007 07:09 am
lantairvlea: (Default)
Training cancled today due to Kim's truck needing to go to the shop, so it's been moved to Friday.

Thursday is my last day for Drawing II and that will give me more time to work on my own stuff again, yay!

Chewy and Dakota had their teeth floated on Friday and, as Chatham said, both are "cheap drunks." Dakota was quite out of it and leaned heavily on the chest bar, but Chewy was much worse. The little mare kept on crossing her hind legs like a newborn foal and leaning heavily to either side, whichever would support her. At one point she had some issues standing and needed assistance to place her weight squarely on her left fore rather than placing it on her fetlock, poor little mare. It took a while for both of them to come out of it before loading up and bringing them back home.

Saturday we took out a few of the horses, Mom, her friend, JJ, and I. I rode Panda, Mom, of course, on Dakota, and her friend, Rachel rode Kash. JJ was on her grey mare, Juliet. It was quite a good ride and JJ kept the pace up to a fair speed. A lot of walking and quite a bit of trotting.

Kash did really well for Rachel, which made me quite happy, she said she hadn't had many positive experiences with Arabs, so it was good to hear he gave her one.

Panda did excellent. She only goobered about the Bicycles, which is understandable as she hasn't had much exposure to them. Even then, it wasn't a big spook, just a little shaky and unsure. We were just behind JJ, who was in the lead almost the whole ride and Panda really wanted to catch up at one point. I had her in a steady trot, and then she started building. She ignored my aids to slow down and jumped into the canter. I wasn't having any of that and did an emergency stop, gripping the cantel with my left hand I reached up and pulled her head around to the right. Thankfully we missed the barrel cactus and she came to a stop. After that she was a bit more responsive to my half-halts and checks on her speed. She wasn't trying to run away per-se and she would have stopped once she caught up with Juliet, but she needs to learn patience and to pay attention to her rider more than the horses around her when it comes to her speed.

Time to do something productive, I'm going outside.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
I get spam e-mail in German. This amuses me. I don't read it, but I do get it, and that in and of itself brings a smile to my face.

And since we trimmed up Ruby and Chewy's legs the other day, I really wanted to get some shots of their clean-shaven legs. I seriously believe that the lack of feathering only proves to make Ruby's legs look bigger.

A glob of references for those who desire to draw Draft Horse Legs )

I worked Ruby and Panda today and cleaned out both their stalls. I took Ruby around the neighborhood, rode her bareback, which was quite fun. She did rather well. Threw a couple of warnings to a border collie mix who was a bit curious and, since I'd been trotting, was thinking about herding us. He thought better of it and watched us walk past.

Ruby's quite a nice ride. She's very wide, but gently so and one of the more comfortable horses I've ridden bareback.

And either I'm really out of shape from what I used to be, or it just takes a LOT of effort in order to get Panda to canter. I know I'm not in the same shape I was when I worked at Judy's, but Panda does take a lot of effort to push into it. It requires rocking of the hips and really encouraging her to get her hind end under her. That and she wants to cut in, so it takes a lot to keep her straight as well.

Hmm, hunger, time for lunch.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Yesterday Shilo and I went out amidst a slightly cold and somewhat drizzly day. Marty was going to come and ride Ruby, but she decided she wasn't quite that determined to ride and bowed out due to weather.

Shilo brought Chick, her pale palomino QH mare, who was extremely fuzzy. Kash became quite excited seeing them pull up and actually got Ruby going a little bit. It's quite impressive to see a draft trot with that much elevation! Kash was quite a show too, his Arab neck arched, ears brushing against each other and tail curved in an arch that mimicked his neck. He was light on his feet with flared nostrils and the occational blow to emphasize his enthusiasm. I worked him in the round pen for several minutes before saddling him so that he was calm and thinking rather than tremendously distracted by Chick's presence.

Tacked up we loaded the pair into the trailer and headed off. There were two other women out, both on good-sized warmbloods (one was a grey oldenburg, the other a bit of an unknown, but interesting because he was a pinto grey and still showing a fair amount of his old dark coat), and they left shortly after we did.

It's amazing, because there can be more than ten trailers (and large ones at that) crammed in the parking lot at the San Tan Mountain Park and you never see a single person out on the trail. There's a lot of trails and a lot of space.

We headed off to the Southwest and took the broader trail. Poor Kash just doesn't have the walking stride (or refuses to give it to me ...) to keep up with Chick. However, his trot will defiantely match her pace. We walked out for a ways and picked up a nice trot for several minutes, still managing to carry conversation as we rode. Further in the trail narrowed and proceeded to swing South and we roamed up and down hills, or, rather, the ridges that make up the rise to the mountains themselves, for about a half hour before the trail started to make a slow loop back to the east. Had we more time we would have taken it to the end, but we finally flipped around and headed back downt he trail.

Kash did much better than he did the day before (Mom, Dad, and I took out Kash, Dakota, and Toby respectively) with Mom, apparently he kept on trying to charge up and down the hills. It didn't take much to keep him in check and remind him to use his haunch rather than running out. He was very much the gentleman that I know he can be on this trip.

Once we made it back to the broader path we got them up and moving. I tried cueing for the right lead, but Kash was too concerned with Chick's retreating form to listen to it. We went for a ways at a rather exhilerating pace until I pulled him up. Shilo heard me (made sure to say "whoa" quite loudly) and pulled up Chick. "Let's try that again on the right lead." Shilo agreed, and was actually surprised that Chick was smoother on the right. After one or two tries I got Kash thinking about his feet and he picked up the right and we moved out at a nice clip.

Kash and Chick got a little competetive and I don't think Kash liked the fact that I kept him to the side, if not a little behind Chick. He kept pushing into my hand, asking for more so that he could move past Chick, but I kept him back.

Man I haven't had the chance to ride like that in a long time. Shilo's one of the few people who is willing and able to do something like that with me. Just to allow the horses to open up and, for the most part, let them go. Feeling the strength, power, and joy as the wind rips past and the movement of the horse beneath. Allowing such free and reckless movement, stretching forth and reaching for the sky with each stride. Devouring the land as it comes and heading to the horizon.

After the "Brisk Walk" (as Chris likes to call it) we wandered around at the trailhead to let them cool down before crossing over the rail and detacking. The women we saw at the beginning were ending their ride as we were cooling off and we got to chatter a bit before loading up and heading back home.

Tiem to munch breakfast and work some horses.

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