lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I was able to work Tru-D again yesterday morning because my 8am was sick (so many sick people canceled this past month). I used the Parelli feather lines again and attached them between the cheek pieces and throatlatch in the cross-under configuration. I had Susanne mucking in the arena so I took Tru-D out and around the house.

She did pretty well. We have some work to do on her bravery. With the work on the driveway and some other things moved around things Were Not The Same so she was a bit suspicious the first couple of passes. There were a couple moments of jigging that she came back quickly from and also a couple moments of trying to eat.

I definitely think the weight of the beta lines was the issue with her drifting backwards as she once again stood pretty solid when asked. I may work her a few weeks in the feather lines before going back to tbe beta lines and see what happens.

I did take the new whip as I worked her and it had a good reach. It is ridiculously light for its length and I like the lash length in addition. I need to get a longer lash for my other one. I need to start focusing on getting Tru-D calmly responsive to the whip aids while I ground drive her. She tends to speed up right now as she moves over so I need to step back and reinforce her moving sideways off of it.

Thursday I had Nelson with Roy and Molly. He had the farrier out the other week and the farrier and Molly had a bit of a disagreement. Nelson had mentioned that we haven't been tying her solid. She has a tendency to set back and rather than have her break things we do a couple loops around the post to create a little friction to have her feel some pressure, but not enough to go into a full panic. If she sets back you just ask her to step back up and snug it back down. It's a lesson I learned with Judy's mare Sweeti who broke more halters and lead ropes than you could shake a stick at. It's no big deal and Molly has been getting better about standing "tied" with fewer incidences of setting back and coming forward quicker after it. Nelson had noted a couple months ago that the farrier appreciated that Molly was being better about her feet since I started working with her. This last session, however, the farrier's assistant got it in his head that he was going to "teach her" and snubbed her down on the post, which resulted in her setting back (surprise), fishtailing, and ultimately scraped her chest on the hitching rail as she came back forward. He was not able to get her back feet done at all.

I had offered to bring out my tools and at least knock the rough spots off. I forgot last week, but remembered Thursday. She had been good for Nelson cleaning her feet so I figured it wouldn't be much of a deal. We had built a decent rapport the last six or so months and I was hoping it would be no problem.

No such luck. She saw the bucket with the tools in it and her hind end became a 100% no go zone. We were back to square one with her spinning circles if I even got near her flank, let alone her hip and foot.

She reached one point where I was able to pick up her foot and was feeling like she needed a mental break so I spent a couple minutes putting the bridle off and on Roy. Royal is doing consistently better about his right ear, but is still touchy.

When I went back to Molly I was able to work her left hind and knock out the extra sole as well as trim the wall and do some rasping. Unfortunately we had to call it quits there. I was back out today. Molly was a little reluctant to be caught, but she just walked off about 50 feet and that was it. Nelson lead her up under the shade where we usually tie them, but when he went to put the rope over the rail she rocketed backwards. She was then wary to be under the shade at all and I had Nelson pause when she gave him a couple good steps forward before I took over.

Knowing her high anxiety under the cover I didn't push it and just kept her in hand. She was wanting to spin and I changed up strategies, instead of putting pressure on her gaskin as she walked and spun I slipped the rope around her leg and put some pressure on it. With my hand on her gaskin she would slow down, but it would take several steps (or spins) and she really was locked into a bad mental pattern. With the rope around her pastern I picked up pressure and she rethought her tactics very quickly. I kept the pressure on until she would relax the foot and then I would let it go. I was able to work down to touching the foot and eventually got both of them cleaned out before grabbing the hoof knife and focusing on her right hind. I had to use the rope again, but she settled quicker. She had worn out most of her sole so there wasn't much for it and gave her foot back before heading over for the nippers.

I can't remember if it was with the nippers or rasp that she kicked out just as I was about to give it back. Molly thought for sure I was going to explode on that one, but I just picked up the rope, quietly grabbed my tool, and worked to get her foot back, fussed with it again, and moved on.

I rasped the left hind a little again and then gave Nelson directions as to how to work on it until I came again Tuesday. He doesn't quite have the skill and timing to do it exactly as I did, but he could work on getting her comfotable again with him approaching and rubbing her barrel, hip, and eventually the leg.

Nelson and I talked quite a bit as I was working with her both days and while I didn't quite say my full thoughts we both came to the conclusion that the "teaching" that his farrier and his assistant did the week before last almost put us back to square one with Molly on her feet.

I admit I was not happy to see all of our good work pretty much flushed down the toilet because some idiot thought he was going to be a macho man and teach a horse how to stand tied by snubbing it to the post. Especially a horse that already has a history of setting back and in particular before she had a chance to do anything "bad!" Talk about setting her up for failure.

Nelson mentioned that Molly actually gets a little anxious when she sees the farrier's truck, which tells me he was already a source of anxiety. Nelson also said that his (soon to be former) farrier had set in his mind how Molly was and kept the opinion she just wasn't a good horse despite her improvement over the past six or seven months.

Molly definitely has some self-protective habits, but she certainly isn't a mean horse. The bucket of tools was definitely something she associated with People You Do Not Trust so it took a while to reconvince her I wasn't a threat.

I am of the mind that it isn't the farrier's job to teach my horse how to accept being trimmed and shod, but he certainly shouldn't make the horse worse! I gave Nelson Kevin's number and we'll see how that goes. I think we'll try to schedule it so I can be there when he comes out the first time. Not that I doubt Kevin's skill in handling horses, I did a 150+ hour internship with him for my Equine Science degree, but I don't think it would hurt if Kevin heard my direct perspective and be there to hold Molly if needed. Nelson is getting better, but he just doesn't have the years of experience to hold a horse that is working through issues.

In happier news we hooked Ruby and Charm-N up to the carriage again today and I think we finally have it set the way we need it. I'm ready to take them out and about! Once Ruby and Charm-N chilled out a bit Chris even drove them for a bit and the little men joined us. Tristan went around a couple times before deciding riding his bike was going to be more fun, but Kelhan hung out until we were done and then had to be persuaded to get off. He climbed on again as soon as we had the horses unhooked and was pretending to drive his team while Chris and I detacked the horses. I didn't take any pictures, but Chris managed one.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I think I'm done counting my steps. I've had my step counter on my phone going since March for my own amusement. I do have to say it habitually undercounts my steps, especially on Sundays when my phone spends much of the time sitting on the counter doing absolutely nothing while I'm doing laps around the church with little men (we tend to get there early so we walk around to help the boys settle). There's also the steps before I even grab my phone in the morning (it hangs out in the kitchen to charge. I do not and never will keep my phone on the nightstand. And the steps after I plug it in for the night. I guess if I was serious about counting steps I'd get a watch or something that I put on first thing and took off last.

What I am actually interested in is stats while I'm riding, but I've got other priorities before getting into tech for that.

Anyway, here's the stats:

I started in March and averaged 10,463 steps a day.

The highest week that month averaged 12,355 steps.

The most steps walked was on March 8th with 18,910 and that was the most ever. Of course that included a good, long ride on Bud in all three gaits.

April averaged 10,263
The highest week averaged 10,604
The highest day the 19th with 18,430

May averaged 7,347
The highest week averaged 8,261
The highest day was May 6th at 12,913

May was weird because we were in Utah for a week and my phone did a lot of sitting in the car or in the ranch house so I actually averaged a whole lot higher than that.

June averaged 7,324
The highest week averaged 8,068
The highest day was the 9th at 13,183

June is when I realized that the battery in my phone was starting to have problems so it spent some more time being plugged in instead of on my person. I got a new battery and while it usually lasts the day it doesn't last as long as the battery did when I first got the phone, which is annoying.

July thusfar averaged 7,029
The highest week was 9,073
The highest day was the 18th at 12,269.

The beginning of the month the old battery was really dying. I'd have to charge it by 11am most days, which sucked.

Summer is also low on the steps list because fewer lessons and I spent more of the lessons sitting because I have to be out in it for 3-5 hours a day whereas the student is there for about an hour. Getting heat stroke or exhaustion is high on my avoidance list.

I will note that days I mucked my step count was much higher than on days I didn't. I am also happy that one of my working students has returned! It was nice getting the stalls done Saturday and being able to get the arena done today, and because it was done twice in seven days (did the arena Thursday) there were no fly larva as I raked it up, YAY!

Tomorrow is Tristan's first day of school. I have Molly the mare and I'll also be meeting with Debbie and her mini donkey Pebbles tomorrow. We'll see what type of trouble/fun I can get into with a mini donk!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Pilfered from [ profile] flirting.

Memeish )

I had a couple lessons today with a break between. During the break I decided to pull out Charm-N and Tru-D to see what type of trouble I could get into. I haven't ponied from Charm-N and I haven't tried ponying Tru-D yet so I guess I could have prepared a little better, but we did it!

Charm-N has a monster walk and Tru-D was not fond of trying to keep up. I ended up doing a single dally on the horn, let Charm-N walk, and allowed Tru-D to figure it out. It took a while, but she finally stepped up and put slack in the rope. To emphasize that was correct I stopped Charm-N and gave both of them lots of rubs. Charm-N for being tolerant and Tru-D for figuring it out. We repeated a few times and Tru-D was quicker to step up and get slack in the line. Then we swapped sides and Charm-N got to drag Tru-D's lagging butt for almost 10 minutes before the baby decided to step up. We ended with a few good strides without Tru-D dragging and called it good.

I sense more ponying in the future.

Thursday was the Meet the Teacher at the Elementary school Tristan will be attending Preschool at. He's excited. He has only one kid older than him in class, but that's okay. I just hope he doesn't get bored.

I think I finally feel like An Adult. I think having a kid in school does it. Tristan starts Tuesday and it will be three days for three hours each. We'll see if Kelhan misses him or not.

It's crazy-hot. Supposed to be 114 or somesuch today. I finished lessons at 9am, but had a working student 9-10. The stalls got cleaned along with the little turnout. I got a couple things done while she worked then helped get Ruby's stall done. It'll be nice doing just the arena Monday after getting it done Thursday too. Hurrah working students! I can't wait to have a few hours a week of them again.

Both the truck and Jeep got oil changes this week. The Jeep has a crack in the windshield washer fluid resivoir. It's covered by warranty, but only for another 500 miles so we'll be taking it in again next week.

Tru-D is slowly trying to catch up to Ruby.

It helps that Ruby is standing in a hole.

Andere Tag

May. 27th, 2016 09:00 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Some writing with Kallon.

We stayed an extra day because my grandparents flew in yesterday afternoon. We spent the day in Provo canyon before they arrived and visited for a couple hours. They were happy to see the boys and the boys them.

We left early this morning and had a pretty good drive down. There were a couple of slow pokes and a little traffic as we got past Phoenix, but we still made pretty good time. We took the 20 this time between the 89 and the 15 instead of taking the 89 to Nephi.

Tristan was happy to be home, and specifically happy to be home and play with his Farfar's "Herbie," which is the name for their pool vacuum.

"Did you miss Gamma and Farfar?" We ask him.

"Yes, and Farfar's Herbie." Is his response in all seriousness.

I'm wiped out and have lessons in the morning so to bed!

Die Berge

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wendy said one of the sponsors wanted to donate the original to the silent auction that will be going on during the evaluation. Part of me is REALLY curious to find out what it sells for. Of course I have to get it done first!


Jan. 12th, 2016 09:17 pm
lantairvlea: (armaina)

Friday we took a trip to the snow about 30 or 40 minutes past Payson. It had rained Monday, but cleared up before the three lessons that afternoon. And then it POURED Monday night, which left my away lesson sopping wet, even though she is higher up the hill than I am and it rained more Tuesday so I ended up rescheduling Tuesdays lesson. Wednesday my morning lessons were underwater, but I managed to get Bud worked. We did some puddle hopping. It also rained MORE on Wednesday and into the night. I did have a single die-hard Wednesday afternoon.

Haley worked in the roundpen and we did some turns on the haunches and forehand. She was surprised how wet it was and I told her when I am thinking about cancelling a lesson it has to be really wet!

Thursday, SURPRISE! more rain and no lessons. It was just too horrendously wet and getting wetter. We decided it'd be a good time for a snow trip. I canceled Friday's lessons (too wet anyway and it RAINED MORE) and we loaded up the boys and headed for the snow.

Tristan was so excited for his first snow trip! The reality wasn't quite as exciting as hoped. It was about two feet of fluffy powder, which doesn't make a good snowman and he sunk up past his waist trying to wade through it. Kelhan wasn't really happy except for when he was on my shoulders dictating where we should go and that's okay.

When we got there it was all virgin snow, not a track. We worked up an almost sweat (kept my jacket open!) stomping down a good track through the trees and wandered here and there for a while before Tristan decided it was time for lunch and he needed a corn dog. Thankfully there was a Dairy Queen in Payson that could satisfy the starving little man. Kelhan had one too and Chris and I had KFC before heading back down the hill to home.

Saturday was rain-free, but soggy. I did manage five lessons, though it would have been more because 10am wasn't feeling well and Sue was still underwater. Lots of work in the roundpen! Saturday was also the first day the horses really got turned out. They had an hour or so here and there during the week, but they pretty much spent 22 or 23 hours a day stuck in their stalls. Ruby was in the "spare" covered stall with access to the arena and Tru-D had the turnout and access to Ruby's stall, but the other four were stuck.

Saturday Susanne and I managed to get the stalls all mucked at least and I picjed up five bags of shavings. I used four of them on the stalls (I just have spot-shaving use where the horses pee because I'm cheap and also we just have mare motels so no solid walls to keep shavings in anyway). The last one was vainly used to help dry the turnout, which is still a mess because it gets shade from all sides with the little house, trees, and the L-shape of the shade. The edges are drying somewhat, but we're bumping the farrier until next week so he doesn't have to traverse the mud puddle on the South side of the house to get to where the horses are.

My normal book of lessons is getting back in gear after the mayhem brought about by the rain. The private school classes start this week with the art class tomorrow(!!). Next week is the driving clinic and life is chugging right along.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Last week Chris went with me to work Bud Wednesday. I didn't realize how nervous Chris had gotten driving, but I don't think we've hitched up one of ours since the Sedona trip in March. We had an open stock trailer come up behind us, which made Bud a little nervous, but he did really well. Chris was less chill about it, but survived. We trotted just a little bit and kept to the road insdead of crossing the wash to work in the desert.

Saturday Sue was still recovering from a stomach bug so Henry joined me. We went out to the desert area and Bud was feeling really good so I asked Henry if he minded I try the canter and he was good with it so I had my first purposeful canter in a cart. Bud did awesome. He was questioning, but didn't get flustered at all about the faster speed and what the cart was doing. I allowed him to peter out and asked two more times. He isn't quite speedy or graceful in it, but soft and slow is fine by me right now!

I am really pleased with how Bud has come along. He started out as such a knucklehead it's great to see how well he goes now, especially with how he and Sue are coming along together. I may work myself out of a job with them yet. It may not be for another year or so, but the progress is steady and good.

Tru-D is closing in on being kindof greenbroke to ground drive. The last time I pulled her out she was a bit zoomy to start, but did settle into some nice work. I may dona couple regular lungeing sessions the next couple times I work with her and am debating on how long I should work in just the halter before shifting to a sidepull or some such.

Poor Tru-D did get stomped on my Charm-N yesterday as the two of them tried going through the gate at the same time. We did some soaking with epsom salts today and gave her some Bute this afternoon. She is putting weight on it, if moving gingerly, and it actually doesn't appear swollen at all so we're giving her another day and see how she is. Hopefully itvs just bruised and nothing major.

I was looking at Tru-D the other day and realized something...

I think she has Kash out-massed! I don't quite know when it happened. I need to measure her again and see where she is at now.

Monday for Tristan's birthday we had planned on going to the zoon but it was raining so we went to the "indoor zoo" instead, which is Cabelas' and on the other side of the valley, but the boys enjoyed it with watching the big fishea and turtles as well as seeing their collection of stuffed/taxidermed animals. They also enjoyed getting fudge, some lunch, and playing at the shooting arcade, which lead into them really wanting these toy rifles that make shooting noises (they do not fire, so no actual shooting). We had some time aftet we got home tongrab some last-minute things before Marty, Dave, and Chris' brother Brad plus family came over. There was pizza and instead of a cake there was cookie dough, which made Tristan's freshly four year-old heart giddy. Tristan enjoyed his gifts and had fun chasing and being chased by his Trout cousins.

Still haven't heard back from my older brother. Dad apparently stopped by Dave and Marty's, which I'll expound on later.

Two weeks ago I cantered Royal for the first time. He may have a rough trot, but his canter is NICE. Debbie got to experience it briefly last week a bit unintentionally, but she agreed it was lovely. Today we tried out a Monte Foreman "Balance Ride" saddle that Janiece W. thought would be a great fit. Janiece is somewhere between 60 and 70 I think and trained under Monte Foreman. She can TALK and knows that she knows a lot, but she's also a bit set in her ways and seems a bit inflexible. I haven't had a lot of experience with her, but my farrier does her horses too and her daughter put a couple months on Toby (anyone seen "Wild Horse, Wild Ride"? That would be Wylene) a few years ago.

Anyway, she was basically trying to sell Debbie this saddle for $1500 and it looked older than dirt. The leather was still good and soft, but I wouldn't pay that much for something that looked like they had been used hard for the last 20 years. Anyway, the big idea behind the balance ride is that the stirrups are hung further forward and the seat is pretty much flat. The rigging is in-skirt so less bulk under your leg and the stirrups have a really interesting double-adjustment system that I couldn't even start to describe. You'd have to see it.

I didn't really like how it sat on Royal, it looked "down" in front and the back of the saddle curved up away from his back, like the rock was too steep for his back shape. I tried it anyway and Devbie and I discussed how it was put together and what it was doing to my position. I liked that my knees stayed over my toes, but I could definitely feel my lower leg was not under my seat. The flat, wide seat felt like it was prying my thighs apart and rotating then outward uncomfortably and it forced me to sit almost entirely on my seatbones. Walking was manegable, but posting the trot was pretty hopeless. My thighs ran into the swells and as the stirrups were forward returning down and in balance wasn't quite happening as it should.

I've ridden in some sub-par saddles and had to make due, but this one combined with Royal's thrusty trot was not doing me any favors. Royal started out okay, but towards the end was less than happy with my lack of balance and I told him he was a good boy for at least humoring us.

We talked more about saddle fit and also about how it should fit the rider. What the flat seat causes and why saddles have that rise from the seat instead of being completely flat (Janiece called the rise a "ball buster," classy). I think the flat seat would work for people comfortable sitting on their glutes instead of their seat bones, but when you are used to the three point contact of seatbones plus the pubic arch a completely flat seat isn't going to do it unless your pelvic anatomy is so devious as to have the pubic arch and seat bones at the same level (typically your pibic arch is higher than your seat bones).

Anyway, Debbie was glad that she didn't have to buy another saddle. Janiece seemed to be of the opinion that the Monte Foreman saddles will fit ANYTHING, but I have found that is not the case with horses. I think the only piece of tack that fits every horse is a lead rope and that isn't even directly touching the horse's body.

And I need to hit the hay otherwise I'd keep going.

It was COLD this morning and we are expecting another hard freeze tonight.

So tätig

Oct. 31st, 2015 07:41 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Barring any cancellations I have 29 hours scheduled next week between lessons, client horses, and the private school classes. This does not include travel time, record keeping, or the hour a day that the horses get for general maintenance (feeding and such).

If I keep this up I might have to raise rates on new clients. Of course the initial plan was to save that until I was using the property regularly, but there is that supply and demand thing and if my time is in short supply it becomes more valuable. Maybe what I may do instead of the $20 discount off of four I do currently I'll drop it to $10 so the individual cost stays the same. Something to think about.

We'll see how I manage [ profile] mini_wrimo or something like [ profile] nanomango this month if this keeps up, hahaha!

In other news, Tristan made a good ghost:

We couldn't convince Kelhan to wear his more than two seconds so he just went as himself and we have no photographic evidence of his costume. Better luck next year. Tristan did one round at the trunk or treat and then thoroughly enjoyed handing out candy with his little brother. I think that was more fun for him than getting candy!

Also we got part of the yard fenced for Rolo so she can roam without worrying about her sneaking under the horse panels.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I had some minutes so I pulled out Tru-D and the long lines today. I kept the outside line over her back initially and then dropped it down once she relaxed a little. I had a student handy to snap some phone video.

I left the lines out of the surcingle rings because I wanted it to feel like normal lungeing to start and so I didn't have to swap the reins around when I changed sides (putting the outside one through the ring and leaving the inside one loose). I think she did pretty well for a first time and looking forward to introducing either a sidepull or the cross-under bridle. I think we're on our way to having her ground driving by the end of the year.

Completely unrelated, the last few mornings Tristan had been up between 4 and 5:30am wanting a cold feely blanket (a small, square blanket with ribbon edges that he likes having an ice pack in apparently). This morning I showed him where they were in the freezer and told him he could get it himself next time. The more annoying part is Rolo hears him and must go outside to potty Right Now. Children and puppies.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I'll scan these things in and show them off properly. These were at the beginning of August the day before Kelhan got his hair cut. That child's hair was out of control. Marty is still disgruntled about the cut, but that's okay. The curls didn't die because I cut it and they will be back soon. He went almost 18 months without a haircut, it was time!

Four more )
Kelhan loves riding the bikes. We have two little push bikes the boys cruise around on at home and Kelhan is just tall enough to operate his now. Tristan zips around like a mad man and can balance for quite the distance on his own. I will be SO HAPPY when not-summer arrives and I can let them run around outside without having to worry about them getting overheated. It's supposed to be under 100 all week. The end is near!

Yesterday I was looking up possible places to process the 4x5 and it looks like Tempe Camera does it. They will also do pretty much everything else and I could just get the film processed and not get prints, which would save some. Granted I thoroughly enjoy visiting Mr. Grant and don't mind giving him my business as I have for the last 15 or so years.

I do like that the 645 has the option to go up to 1/1000 for the shutter speed. I still love the Mamiya (and I guess I should just start calling it the RB since they are both Mamiyas), but the lenses I have only go up to 1/400. I do need to break out the instant film some day soon and play with that. I think my problem with the previous packs was they were so old the adhesive for the tabs was toast. It wasn't fun having to use tweezers to pull what was left of the paper out so I could access the print! I look forward to a more pleasurable experience next time.

I am also looking into getting a changing bag for the 4x5 film because you have to load the film sheets into the individual holders and had a vague idea of processing my own film, but I haven't processed film since high school and I just sent off my old Paterson tank (figures). I would also have to sacrifice a roll in order to re-learn how to reel the film with confidence let alone thinking about where and how to store the chemicals. That and the 4x5s require a separate set-up to process than the 35 or 120 film. Let's not forget having the time to sit there and agitate it while it processes so no, self-processing will have to wait until I have something like free time and no toddlers to get into it.

Fast da

Aug. 13th, 2015 09:37 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Just for the record it was 112° F today and I am sure over 40% humidity at some point. Nasty, nasty, nasty. The 5pm lesson almost melted and all the horses were soaked even standing under their shades. I made it a point to hose off the sweat.

Tristan finally decided he could start using the toilet to poop last week. However he still thinks he needs to completely strip naked to do so. We'll keep working on that, but it's nice not having any diapers for him.

Kelhan seems to want to potty train himself. He lifts his shirt and tries to pull off his diaper on the way to the toilet. We picked up a pack of pull-ups to make it easier for him. We'll see if we don't have two fully potty trained boys by the end of the year!

Kelhan is in the runwordstogethertosaysomething phase. I have heard things like "Igunnageetoo" and "Iovoo." He had "mama" down and says "up" quite well. He has a sound for cat that sounds a bit like kihhch (German ch) and does "chuh, chuh" for train (all the important words). He's tried to say something like horse and I am sure he has way more sounds than we recognize at this point.

Kitt had a good ride last week and while she initially balked at the crossrail she did go over really well and I could feel her actually engage and honestly jump over it. Hoping for even better this Friday.

It'll be so nice to have the property done and have a jump field set up so I don't have to set up and tear down every time I want to take a few in. Mom is ordering the storage container we'll use as a tack/storage room (8'x20'). I need to ask Chris about contact info for other trench diggers or maybe just wait until we're not roasting so we can do it.

So many things to talk about so little time.

Also: I am enjoying my German titles. It amuses me and does double duty keeping my German in vague, somewhat rusty use.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
The other week Tristan discovered "Gilligan's Island" and in the last week he has almost memorized the theme song and we have been constantly serenaded with "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island" as understood and pronounced by a three year old. He has the hardest time saying "millionaire" and it usually sounds something like "gibidigar."

Saturday I finalky got to try the Mamiya 645. I thought about taking it to Utah, but I wanted to swap out the auto winder with the hand crank because I am an old school control freak like that.

Mr. Grant had given me a few rolls of long-expired (but well-stored) 120 film when I picked up my last two rolls of 35mm. The rolls of 35mm were mystery film. I had no idea how long they had been in my refrigerator so the results were a 100% complete surprise. The roll of black and white was from 2009 when we sent to the first Draft Show before ADHMA was officially formed. The other roll was color and from the Friesian Keuring at HSP in 2011 where we discovered that AZ has pretty crappy Friesian stock. Z's sire, Hedzer was the nicest horse there and of course I was comparing the yearling there to Zetahra and was very pleased with how much nicer she was than the long-backed scrawny thing presented at the Keuring. (Apart from being a tobiano Z looked more like a Friesian should than most Friesians...)

Another sidebar last time I was at Mr. Grants I also acquired a Bogen tripod for $100. The thing could hold a full grown man if you had a platform to fit it it is a beast! Mr. Grant spoils me. I told Chris I was done and he asked if Mr. Grant had died and I said "no" and he asked if I was dead ... "no..." and he responded "you're not done!"

He knows me.

Back on track I loaded up two of the 120 backs with the old film and chased the boys around Marty's backyard while they played around the pool.

It is definitely much lighter than the RB67. The focusing seems a little less precise, but that might be the difference between the bellows on the RB67 and the in-lens focusing on the 645. It is also much harder to take vertical shots. The RB67 has a back that rotates for either landscape or profile so you don't have to rotate the whole camera. The 645 does not and since it has a single mirror for the hood (if that is the proper term) viewfinder that is on it when you rotate it sideways your image is upside down. Both of then produce a mirror image because of the single mirror (SLRs have two mirrors, one that flips up to clear the shutter screen and the other that allows you to look forward, thus making the image as your eye sees it instead of reversed).

I DO have two or three other viewfinders for it that I might play with. One of them has a light meter built in and I think there are two that have an additional mirror like on a 35mm SLR, but you do get used to looking down and chasing your subjects opposite of where your eyes think they are going, heh.

The hardest thing was compensating the tilt when I tried for portrait views. With the image upside down and backwards my eyes were very confused.

It was fun to shoot and now I need to take the film in to develop. I only used one lens (I got nine with the thing) and will have to play with some of the others over time. I really want to try the fisheye and the 500mm lens because those are the two extremes and I have never had the chance to play with anything that big or small!

It was nice having 15 shots instead of just 10 and Inlove that it takes the same film as the bigger RB67 so I don't have three different types of film laying around. The pictures will be smaller (about 2/3s the size), but still much larger than a 35mm frame.

The 645 has the capacity to do 1/1000 of a second whereas my fastest RB67 lens is 1/400 (the RB's shutter is only in the lens, not the body of the camera and I have no idea if they have faster lenses, but I doubt I would be in a position to buy one any time soon (new lenses are usually over $2000.00).

We'll see how the images turn out, but I'm excited for this new-to-me camera and the crazy-good luck I have managed in acquiring all of my equipment.

Since I (hopefully) got good pictures Saturday it was finally time to give Kelhan his first haircut. Marty isn't happy about the loss of his curly locks, but they will return. She didn't believe that Tristan had his cut just as short. Tristan also had his done at 9 months instead of 17!

I'll post some before and after pictures when I get a moment.

Kelhan also definitely says "up." He sometimes says something that sounds like "Immageetgeetgeetyoo!" when chasing people.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Chewy gave us three piles in a less than 24 hour period, yay! The last one looked less oily too so I think the oil is pretty much through. Her appetite is back up and she's drinking and using the salt blocks again. I am doing little (soaked) hay and mostly soaked pellets, her senior feed and bermuda pellets. She may be queen of the little turnout for a long time.

While we were in Utah Tristan was playing with my grandparents' phone and Chris asked him "Who are you gonna call?" and Tristan without missing a beat answered "Ghostbusters!"

Children are funny.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
While feeding horses this morning we stumbled across a young tarantula. The body was about quarter-sized and the legs a couple inches long. It took a bit to maneuver it off the hay. You don't want them to feel threatened because they'll flick their abdomen hairs at you.

Tristan thought it was pretty cool and I told him it was a baby tarantula. I don't know if he misheard me, but it became a baby enchilada for a while. I think it just happened to be the closest word in his vocabulary to "tarantula."
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Your tampons turn into torpedoes.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Today we went to the zoo. Chris' set schedule includes having Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday off so Mondays I leave the mornings open per usual and I moved my Wednesday morning lessons over to Thursday so we have that time too.

Tristan led the show wanting to see the tractors at the farm/petting zoo area before going on a quest to find the Rhinoceros. He was disappointed that the Rhino was white instead of black (same color it was last time!). From there he wanted to see the giraffes and then we headed home. Of course there were other animals betwern including the turkey that gobbled at us, all three cheetahs were out, the maned wolf was flopped in pretty much the same spot he was last time we were there and raised his head briefly to turn his ears about and decide it was best to go back asleep. The African Painted Dogs were out and moving again and I REALLY wished I had a real camera on me (maybe next time?). The lions were basking in the sun and the Fennec was flopped in it's little den right next to the glass. Fun stuff and reminding me of when i had my membership before except then I would spend a half hour or more at each place photographing or sketching (some day again!).

Yesterday I finally got out to Michelle's again with Kitt. I decided to try her with the bitless bridle (official review to come!) to see how she went. She was nicely forward and we got some nice little bounces over the cavelletti before moving to the two one stride combination. She actually picked up the canter voluntarily a few times, which is unheard of for my fat Fjord fanny! She did alright and was fairly forgiving of my foibles until she decided she'd had enough of it and started dodging out. I do admit the bitless doesn't allow for quick, demanding halts. She stops great when prepared, but when she blows past the jump and I wanted to sit her on her butt, realign and send her over it wasn't happening. The lateral aids were fine so we concentrated on a tight circle and then back over. Funny thing is she'd dodge at the set-up and then totally take the jump when I spun her and presented her completely crooked to it! Michelle suggested she might be bored at just the straight line so we may have to see what happens if we challenge her a little more.

It was some Kitt issues, but mostly me responding poorly to Kitt's little efficiency tests (is it easier to just go over or dodge past?). Once I just closed my leg and even a little tap with the crop here and there she straightened herself and went right over (you know, that thing I tell my students to do all the time with her).

I am looking forward to setting up my jump field and being able to school her properly at home. The current arena basically allows for a double bounce or a one stride combination. Yes you can get creative with it, but it only goes so far! Especially since most gymnastics seem to insist on having a hundred feet or more juat for the gymnastic let alone the approach or departure!

I also workes Bud yesterday and he was much better than Saturday, of course he was also home too! I did get some nice canter departs out of him without too much hassle even though I haven't asked it much under saddle recently.

Driving clinic Friday and Saturday!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Kelhan hasn't been called Grünter for quite a while. He still occasionally grunts and grumbles, but not nearly so much. His current nickname is "Mr. Grabby Hands." It has been so for about a month, closing in on two. He will just about dive out of one's arms to reach something interesting and it has been difficult to keep things out od his amazingly long reach (food, cups, plates...).

Tristan has picked up on it and has called Kelhan Mr. Grabby Hands a couple of times (especially when Kelhan is trying to get at a toy).

We'll see how long the name sticks. As Marty pointed out it probably isn't one you want sticking around into his teens, heh.

Our ward had their trunk or treat last night. Tristan went from hating his costume to loving it (Darth Vader), thiugh he refused to wear the helmet, which is OK. We'll be going to my parents Friday for the traditional dinner in a pumpkin and a little bit of traditional trick or treating because houses that are right next to each other and close to the road are much more condusive to going door to door!

I have five lessons today. How does that happen on a Thursday? Not complaining. I'll be working over 20 hours this week (17 lessons plus Bud)
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Yesterday we loaded up the boys and headed to the North country. It is usually 20° or so cooler up on the Rim compared to down here and with the whole week threatening to nudge us into our first triple-digit day it was a good time to pack it up and enjoy some cooler weather. Thursday happens to be my least busy day so I cleared out my lessons and we had the whole day.

Kelhan slept the whole way and Tristan fell asleep partway up. We stopped at the upper Canyon Creek first, which is by the fish hatchery. There are still areas that are virtually bare and full of dead trees from the Rodeo-Chedisky (sp?) Fire more than ten years ago, it might be closer to 15 now, but I can't remember. The upper creek was pretty dense and didn't have much area to dink around in so we back-tracked a little and took the road ro the lower part of the creekñ which has a nice, open meadow that slopes down to the rim that marks the creekbed's yearly flood stage.

The terrain is not condusive to even our big wheeled stroller (despite Tristan's best efforts at pushing it) and we had forgotten the Baby Björn so I carried Kelhan most of the time (Chris took him over for a bit too).

Tristan had a ball throwing rocks I to the creek and watching them splash. He also discovered that sticks float down the creek, though as he found bigger and bigger ones they floated more and more poorly, but they did make a satisfying splash.

Tristan soaked his lower half rather thoroughly and I got my socks and shoes a nit wet, ditched them for a minute to walk in the stream with Tristan, and then put then back on still slightly damp. It was a good thing we brought Tristan a spare set of clothes.

We had a late lunch/early dinner in Payson before heading home. I'm looking forward to more similar jaunts.

The Jeep performed quite well. We exercised the four-wheel drive a bit, though it wasn't really necessary it is good to give the gears a workout. The seats are pretty comfortable and they actually have REAL lumbar support. Silber had some lumbar adjustability, but on longer drives I usually ended up stuffing a sweater or towel or something behind my lower back because it didn't actually support the back in a truely neutral position. Most car seats don't and with their head rests they actually encourage a forward slouch that roaches the back and pushes one's ears in front of the navel. I actually turned the headrest backwards on Silber and if I drive my Parents Ford I pull the stupid thing off because it drives me insane. The Whimobile, however isn't half bad in the seat department. The head rest isn't quite my ideal, but at least I don't feel like my head is being shoved off of my shoulders.

This morning Chris got Charm-N our along with the forecart. I put Tristan in his room for a minute so I could help Chris hitch up (at two we are not quite trustworthy enough to not get into trouble while parents are obviously engaged in something else, especially outside.

Chris drove Charm-N in the front and side yard while Tristan and I watched and then joined him after setting Kelhan in his crib. With the trees on the South end it is almost like going on a trail drive. Tristan is getting to the point where he could go around the neighborhood with us without worrying about him randomly jumping off on us.

I am glad that Chris is getting comfortable enough to drive on his own (even with garbage trucks going up and down the road). My hindbrain still freaks out a little.


Jun. 27th, 2012 11:33 am
lantairvlea: (Default)
Last night was actually pretty good, but the night before Tristan had what was probably his worst sleep outside of when he was sick. He was all sorts of grumpy and just couldn't get comfortable. He barely went to sleep just after 6am and got a little over three hours. Poor kid was sniffling in his sleep a good hour before getting some truely restful sleep. I don't think he even got 6 hours sleep that 24hrs and you can bet Chris and I got less. Thankfully his appointment was yesterday and the headband was adjusted and since he slept so well last night I do believe that was the thing at issue. The prectitioner said he's growing quite fast and his head may be completely done in as little as three more weeks. He hasn't slept as well since getting the headband on. He had been giving us a solid eight or more hours, which was quite nice, but right now he's waking up twice. The midnight waking I can usually get him to fall back asleep with some rocking and singing, though the second time, most often around 4, sometimes earlier, his stomach is just empty enough to require some food before he goes back down.

In other Tristan news we started him on some solids a little before he turned six months and he's eating like a champ, usually two meals. The term "solids" is used loosely as it is all well-mashed and runny. Last night he downed at least a 1/4 cup worth of food and was still wanting more! Other times he doesn't have quite so much of an apetite, which can make it difficult to judge how much to really give him.

He's also becoming increasingly mobile. He's decided he prefers sleeping on his side, but sometimes sleeps on his belly, and occasionally with his little rump in the air. Changing has become more challenging and if you're not quick about it he flips right over. He started pulling himself up on his crib (if he was sitting already) and more recently he has figured out how to sit up from his belly, which led Chris and I to drop his matress down so he doesn't accidentally topple out. He has managed a few forward crawling steps, but for the most part he goes backwards. We're still safe ... For now. Baby-proofing will have to occur in earnest in the next month I think.

We may have a buyer for Panda. She's taking lessons for a month (two weeks left) on Panda before fully committing. Things are going well. It would be really good if she sold. We also have the meadowbrook up for sale, but no bites on that just yet.

There's some other things, but I'm running out of time.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Guess who slept more than eight hours last night!

Of course I still woke up a couple times expecting to hear him waking up, but no!

I actually got up a bit before my alarm and got partly dressed and ready for the day before realizing that I needed him. Had my pump been clean and ready I could have just let him sleep, but no such luck. I just need to get in the habit of breaking it down and scrubbibg right after each use rather than just rinsing and waiting. I guess you live and learn. Have to figure out some things as you go.


lantairvlea: (Default)

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