lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Yesterday I got my first hair cut in two years. Maybe more. I can't quite remember.

I donated it, which meant I had a free haircut, which was an unexpected bonus. I still gave my hairdresser a tip. There was about two inches worth of dead ends and then 12 ontop of that for the donation. All said and done I think I relieved myself of 18" of hair.

It's always a little weird when you ditch out that much hair at once. All the little habits you have dealing with almost two feet of hair become really obvious and pointless at the same time. Lifting it out of my shirt collar, twisting and flipping it over my head to wash my back, and having to spend several minutes brushing it and braiding (brushing wasn't so bad once I got in the habit of braiding it, kept it from getting tangled).

My hair requirements are pretty simple. I need to be able to pull it back into a pony tail at minimum because hair in my face drives me nuts and keeping it ahort enough to not get in my face would require way more maintenance than I want to deal with. A hair cut once every year or so is often enough for me!

I had debated on just getting rid of the loose ends and then donating in May, but I think a pre-baby birth haircut was a good choice.

We are slowly drying out. The roudpen is good, but the arena still has some large puddles. I picked up some bags of shavings to help soak up the liquid and I need to hook up someone to the drag and see about breaking it up some again. Of course it is supposed to rain again Sunday ... just in time for things to be almost dried out!

I also picked up a bunch of baby prep stuff from Target. I think I mentioned I put baby clothes in the dresser and Chris and I got the crib ready and it is now in our room.

My go bag is ready and there's just a couple things left to prepare and then we are ready anytime. Little over three weeks left until D Day!

Es regnet

Dec. 26th, 2016 10:21 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I had eleven lessons scheduled between Thursday and Friday. I managed to do one.

It rained Thursday morning, it rained Thursday night. It rained again Friday afternoon. It was sunny a bit on Saturday and we dragged the arena with Kitt a bit Friday while it was sunny. The horses got some brief turn out from Friday evening to Saturday at about 2pm when it rained more.

It was sunny for Christmas and I wish we had had another 30 degrees cooler because then we would have had snow instead of rain!

The horses were cooped up in their stalls until this evening. There's still giant puddles and lots of mud in the arena, but the rain came in sideways on Saturday and their stalls aren't much better at this point.

Wednesday before all of the rain I believe I mentioned that Susanne rode Mac. Chris got a picture of me holding him.



Once we dry out a little bit I'm anxious to see how he does under some of my other students. I need to do a sand test on his manure and see how we are progressing on that front and, again once we dry out, redo the flexion test on his right fore. The farrier is due next week so I should be able to get an opinion about his feet at that point.

Once the mud gets cleared up we'll see about getting Mac acquainted with the herd and getting a cover on the final stall. I got the first check back and mailed out the one for our agreed amount so he will officially be ours when it goes through. Fingers crossed all goes well!

And the countdown begins. The Nudge is now allowed to come. We moved the crib and baby dresser into our room, lifted the mattress, and I started getting my "go" bag together. There are some things we need to get from the store this week (like infant diapers) and I need to boil all of the bottles and my pump so we can start fresh. Tomorrow is the final ultrasound and the beginning of weekly appointments.

There's a part of me that's ready to be done and over this stage and moving on and the other part that know there are some aspects of this stage that are easier (no diapers, spit-up, buckling into a car seat). Granted I am ready to get my body back and am over my sore thigh and loin as well as the stretched/puffy sensation in my hands and feet. They don't look very swollen, but the skin feels tight across the joints.

Less than four weeks! Hopefully he volunteers a little earlier! Today I felt like he was dropped pretty low, but he seems to have drifted up again. Tristan and I hand raked and hoed the roundpen to improve the footing. It looked pretty nice when we were done and I was a bit wiped out.

I'll probably write about Christmas specifically at some point, but there's the hodge podge above for the moment. So tired of mud.

Onward!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Arizona has a big fat high pressure system sitting over the top of it and the thing isn't budging. I think it was 118 yesterday. Walking outside felt like stepping into an oven and all the air was vibrating with heat. We hosed the horses down twice throghout the day and will be repeating the same today.

One of my clients baked cookies in their car yesterday. They said the cookies were delicious, if gooey, and one of her aunts would bake break in the car during the summer too.

I managed to get the arena mucked this morning with the help of a working student. We filled three cans and a little bit more. The stalls are still gross, but there are only so many workable hours in the day. A lot of my working students are passing on working for the summer or are out of town so I've been trying to pick up the slack, but most of the prime mucking time is filled with lessons (not complaining about earning money) so I have gotten a bit behind, which bothers me. I'm geatefull I've kept up enough to keep the flies from being too terrible, but it isn't my standard or desired level of cleanliness right now.

I finally ordered some new Ariat terrains because my right one has a big gaping hole on the interior next to my foot pad. Other cracks and holes are present, but I figure the 2" gap looks a little unprofessional. I let them go longer than usual because I want them to last at least a year. The hole has been there a couple months and keeps getting bigger so time to replace.

I am feeling better. I have a suspicion the multivitamin I was taking was partly to blame. I had run out and had decided I wasn't super keen on the gummies as they are a little too sweet and you have to take two of them, however the swallowing pill I swaped to apparently made me nauseous, which is terrible, but it took me a couple weeks to realize that might have been it. I picked up some chewable gummies Saturday and have been feeling better. Go figure.

Tru-D has sat around and done nothing the last few weeks. I don't think she's complaining, but I'd like to get her training moving consistently forward. We need to smooth out our long lining and I'd like to introduce some whip work while ground driving as well as introducing some noises like the pole or tire being dragged. I have a plan! It's just a matter of executing it.

It's supposed to be over 110 all week (over 43° C for metric system folks, which means it was almost 48° yesterday because I think they said it was 118° F). I will be doing my job then hiding in the house. Lots of gatorade, ice water, and filling my bandana with ice. This morning I had put several cubes in it and what I do is tie it around my neck so as the ice melts it wets my neck and back to keep me cool. This morning, however, it was pretty much dry after two hours.

While the heat is terrible I have been enjoying a slowed down schedule. Having only 10-15 lessons a week is a big difference from 20-25 and allows me to breathe and even get some stuff done around the house, especially with Chris gone during the day. I admit to being a bit of a slug the past couple weeks, but that should change as I feel better.

Schnee!

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: (bastek kunst)
The end of Summer so far as the school year is concerned approaches. Some kids are going back next week, which as you might imagine stinks. Especially when it is hovering around 110 still. So for August I'll have to open up my evenings and be running 5-7pm Monday through Friday and my usual mornings (which I suspect to be rather empty) Tuesday-Saturday. Come the beginning of September I'll open up the afternoons as it should be only averaging around 97 for the highs at that point and I can get rid of the 6-7pm time slot.

It feels like I just barely got into the groove for Summer and now it's over. At least cool weather is on the horizon and I won't be sweating quite so much.

After going through most of the season I have to admit I really like my Icefil shirts. I was slightly skeptical to start, but with the long sleeves and mesh underarms as well as the fabric that is light and adds some cooling I am sold. I had tried one of those coolmedic vests a couple years ago, but I didn't like being wet all the time. These shirts also have the bonus of negating my need to apply sunscreen to my arms. I was also surprised to find that they felt cooler than my short sleeved polos. I'll be going back to the polos as it cools down, but it was nice to find something that makes the heat a little more bearable. I've also switched to wearing my breeches almost all the time (I think I wore my jeans twice this summer) because they are cooler than the jeans, plus I am a lot more likely to ride if I am wearing breeches than not. I dislike riding in jeans anymore if I can help it.

It looks like I am done with art lessons for the summer except for the open studio days on Saturday. No one signed up for the Visual Storytelling, which started this week and I don't have any prospects for Animal Anatomy next week, but it's all good. I've been using a little of the time to continue working on the drawing. I managed to beat the sky into shape yesterday and wrangled the shrubbery into somewhat decent order. The ground is giving me fits and I'm debating if the watercolor base was a good idea or not. I am also debating if I still like the Prismacolor pencils or if it is just because I am fighting my lazy, inconsistent watercolor base. I guess I'll find out when I get to the subjects who have a much smoother base to work on.



I should do a smaller piece and play with the Prismas to see if it's the base or just me. I've avoided them so long because I was enjoying the challenge of a limited palette (12-24) and the fact that the pencils with slightly harder lead don't shatter internally... I just haven't really been able to layer properly I guess and I am used to building it up very slowly from the white of the paper so the watercolor ground, especially with the various dark and light areas is throwing me for a loop.

I'll figure it out and get something halfway decent out of it. I am itching to do a large watercolor piece. I've had some 16x20" Aquabord laying around that has been calling to me. That will definitely require some sketching and thumbnailing, however.

Somewhat random I suggested to Marty puting E-va in the boys' names, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] windy_withers latest post. While it will be a couple years before they rider her (she turned two in May) Dave and Marty took her in as a future grandkid pony so there you go. We're contemplating her name still. Current possibility is Esche, which is German for "Ash." Being grey dun/grulla she does look like she has ash smudged all over her and I was mulling over "ash" alone earlier, but I do have a cousin with a kid named Ash and there's also that Pokemon connotation with it too. Of course thinking about it today I remembered M. C. Escher,then thought maybe Escherin to make it feminine, but I guess we'll see. We'll try out the sound of Esche for a bit. I had liked the sound of Elna a little and then remembered Elbe, which doesn't sound too bad. Apparently I am stuck on "e" names and I am not quite sure why.

In still other news Chewy produced seven glorious piles today and is eating and drinking well. She went back to work today too. I am debating feeding her hay or keeping to the soaked pellets. I have fed her really small portions of soaked hay and she's eaten it, but I do worry slightly about her ability to chew it.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Your hot water is cooler than your "cold" water.

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

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

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

So after walking Cinnamon offers either the gait, a trot, or a slow canter. I need to work out defined aids for each one so I can start separating them out and asking purposefully rather than just taking whatever she feela like at the moment. This being gaited thing is going to take some sorting!

Whoops

Sep. 28th, 2014 09:43 am
lantairvlea: (Default)

I fed the horses this evening and it started raining about halfway through. Then it REALLY started raining. I ended up completely soaked. Draining water out of my shoes, wringing out my socks, I might as well have just stepped out of the shower or pool.

I had my phone in my back pocket.

It wouldn't turn on.

I hope I didn't fry the thing. It is sitting out on the vanity to air after I blow dried it, tried turning it on again, and took it apart again. It will be sitting out overnight and hopefully it starts up in the morning, fingers crossed.

We had someone call on Panda this afternoon and they are coming out tomorrow to at least see her. I warned them with the storm we may not have a dry place to ride and he said they would be happy to just come out and meet her. We'll see how that goes.

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Some places got over six inches of rain from the storm Monday over the course of 12 hours. I think we managed between four and five judging by the amount in buckets that were empty to start.

Tuesday I walked around to better assess the damage after feeding the herd. I found out rather quickly why the South drive flooded over so much. It was full of sand, rocks and dirt up to one inch before the cement of the driveway. The 18" culvert that is 14' long is completely full and the wash was full on the South side and pretty close on the North. Proceeding to the North drive the wash is fine. The non-cemented and non-graveled portion of the North drive leading up to the cement before the garages was a complete disaster. The four wheel drive on the Whimobile (I.e. our Jeep Grand Cherokee) got quite the workout and the Lil Rig, which is just two wheel drive, did not leave the garage until yesterday.

I got a wheelbarrow and shovel and started digging out the wash. It was very sandy with rocks here and there, some of them pretty substantial, which means the water had to have been flowing quite fast and hard to get them to move. I dumped the first two loads in the North end of the driveway and debated if it was improving the footing or not. The sand still shifted around, but at least it lessened the mud's propensity to suck off boots.

I think I was working on the fourth or so load when the S's drove by. Roxanne offered to help and she, Keara, and Ashton joined me in shoveling out the wash after acquiring more shovels. We took several loads up by Toby where it had washed out underneath the fence. Once that area was done we built up the sides a bit and added some more to the driveway.

Chris joined us when he woke up (he closed that night) and we managed to find the culvert. We need to rent a tractor to do it properly. We're also thinking of getting a small culvert to allow the water to flow under the driveway on the property.

Adora drove by and offered her front turnout if we needed a dry spot for the horses. The water had flowed over the stalls (they are built up 6" above grade) and they were a muddy mess. The arena was on it's way to being somewhat dry and we had turned Ruby out alone in it. I told her thanks, but we were drying out well enough. Then it rained Tuesday night and there was no way the horses were sitting in muddy stalls or turned out together in the slop.

I called Adora Wednesday morning and said I would take her up after all. I was lazy and grabbed Kash's bridle and my helmet and decided to ride him down. I forgot how far it was, a little over half a mile I think. Kash did awesome despite buses and cars and having done one trail ride in the mountains in the last two years. I couldn't tell you the last time I rode him around the neighborhood! We got aboit 300' from the turn in for Adora's street when he realized he had been stuck in a stall for two days and he's an Arab. He didn't really do anything silly, but being completely bare back (no pad even, super lazy) and near the road and the fotting starting to become more muddy I wasn't pushing it so I led him the rest of the way.

Adora gave me the key for the padlock and I turned him loose. He was perplexed at being alone and started trotting the fence line. I walked back and decided to lead both Chewy and Kitt together. Chewy hasn't been off property for five years and Kitt can occasionally be bullish when leading (more for my students than me), but I was lazy again and didn't feel like making a third trip.

They both lead really well, though Kitt tended to get ahead and Chewy was happy to trail behind. Chewy would jog to catch up on occasion and I would have to remind Kitt to keep her shoulder a respectful distance. School buses, tractors, and vehicles with noisy trailers weren't an issue. What a good crew of horses I have.

Kash was slick with sweat and hollering when we walked up. I turned the girls out and hosed off Kash. Chewy, who is 23, trotted and cantered about all interested in the new digs. Kitt found the bit of hay I had hoped Kash would entertain himself with while I got the girls (fat chance) and I tossed them a bit more and they settled in nicely.

I was planning on bringing all three back that evening, but decided to haul two hay nets over for Kash and Kitt and brng Chewy back for the lesson.

Marty drove me over and I again decided to be lazy and took Chewy's bridle and my helmet. We walked most of the way, but did do some trotting, which was a good thing as I was just shy of the lesson time when we came in. Needless to say Chewy was nicely warmed up for the lesson.

Thursday I walked over and lead Kitt and Kash back for breakfast before the lesson. Kitt couldn't be bothered to stay on her own side and not be right behind me/crowding my left side so I ended up with Kitt to the right of me and Kash to the right of her.

We only had one little wierdness and managed to do the whole thing in 25 minutes: walking down, catching them, and walking back. Not too shabby.

Now if only Kash could be as sensible about going to a show... I am debating who to take next week to the EVAHA show. Probably Kitt again.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I got a text Tuesday from Jess and Danielle that Panda wasn't working out. I called and Jess said she bolted out of the trailer, which I was really surprised about. He also said she was quite spooky when he rode her, skuttling off when his dog came up behind them and also when someone coughed.

He took it to mean that any time she goes somewhere new she's going to be a skittish wreck. I apologized and we talked a bit. The current plan is to bring her back Wednesday if he can get the time off. After the call it started to rain again. I was feeding the horses and got absolutely soaked, it fit the mood. As I thought about it I sent them the following text:

If you would do me the favor of continuing to mess with her this next week and see if she doesn't settle out. She's been four places the last three months (former owner, me, trainer, back, and to you) and I don't blame her for being nervous in a new environment when she hasn't had a real place (or person) to call "home." Thanks for letting me know and I will see you next week.

I think that is the real crux of it. After six weeks back here she was FINALLY settling in and then she moves again. Not only that, but with people she's only seen twice. Some horses just fall into any situation or handler, I think Panda needs a bit more trust in her handler than others, which would probably explain her behavior.

They said they would keep doing stuff with her daily and I am hoping and praying that she settles quickly and they change their mind (I'd also be happy to extend the trial period as well to give her more time to settle).

We are still recovering from the storm. We lost 26 bales of hay. The water flowed through the bottom layer of the two squeezes we got last month (12 bales each) plus two bakes that were sitting under the horse shade. The stalls overflowed and we're still airing out the shed. All of my equipment is in the workshop, which is a pain, but with any luck nothing will mold in the shed and we don't have to replace anything.

I'll expound later on the Great Storm of 2014 and adventures related thereto. Apparently this was a once in a lifetime storm. The whole 100 year flood thing. Insane. Some places got 6" of rain in less tha 12 hours. I think we got four if not five inches ourselves. Being in the desery our YEARLY rainfall is much less than 10 inches. Thanks for the rain, wish we could have spread it out over weeks instead of hours!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)


This is the view of our South drive this morning. It still pretty much looks like this. It just now stopped raining.



This is the North drive. It sits a little higher than the South one, plus one of the storms ealier really carved out around it so it flows perfectly well. There was a man with a few teenaged boys this morning who were trying to dig around the front of the North drive to see if they could get it to flow better, but there's no doing with that. A lot of the issue is downstream with the fact that the wash has slowly become flat and non-existent heading North on Hawes. Our wash is even a bit diminished from when we first installed the culvert on the South side.

Would have liked to have gotten it over several weeks instead of twelve hours!

This is the highest Marty has seen it since they built their house in '99.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I was curious. I noticed the other week that my belt was easily on the second hole whether I was wearing my 29's or 28's and I happened to have the thought while I was at Marty's to step on the scale. According to her little bathroom scale (not quite so accurate as the big fancy medical one she has) I am down to 130 again. None too shabby six months postpartum!

I admit I wasn't really thinking about being at this point until Kelhan was weaned (don't want to compromise the milk suppky while it is still being used!), but it is a happy surprise. I guess I am not doing as bad about moving as I had initially supposed (not a lot of concerted exercise outside of work and chasing children ... does bench pressing a baby count?).

... Or maybe it was partially stress-induced with last month. Also a possibility, but I'd rather believe the former.

I am heading out to work Panda and hopefully Sunny too. It's terribly hot, though, about 104, so I am hiding in the roundpen with shade! The good news is it is supposed to be below 100 in the next week and, with any luck, stay there until next year!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Ninety-five degrees and 40% humidity right now. So glad I just got done working Bud instead of just starting!

We're supposed to hit 101 today.

Bud and I are both dripping.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
It has been at least breezy for the last three weeks. This sucks as Chewy has an issue with a facial nerve that seems to be triggered by breezy days. It causes her to flinch and toss her head. Her fly mask seems to help, but doesn't eliminate it entirely. I have contemplated getting those nose nets for her, but as it stands she is retired from windy days.

This morning started out with a light breeze, just barely moving the needles on the pines so I thought I might use Chewy for the first lesson. Lesson number one did not show up so I grabbed Zetahra.

I warmed her up lungeing, which she was pretty good for, though she kept cutting in as she approached the block wall. Once she felt reasonably responsive I donned my vest and helmet and climbed aboard. I used the general purpose saddle this time and she did move forward better, but I'm not sure if that was partially due to the wind! Things really picked up after I got on and we had a few veils of dust swing through the arena.

She was still leery of the block wall and I tried leg-yielding her towards it, which had marginal success. Yes she yielded, but not very well or promptly. Then I realized the issue: she was leaning on my outside rein to motor in despite softening to the inside rein and ample use of leg. Once I realized that I checked her off the outside rein and she stepped into the space and started to relax about the block wall (along with the wind neighbors had their sprinklers running [highly effective in the wind...] and they also have fun things like a greenhouse, yard equipment, curtains around their gazebo, and a basketball hoop over there).

She tried to get stick in the corner by the pass through and gave me a little "don't want to go forward" fit by cantering in place for two strides. We did some halfway decent trotting figure eights and managed a half dozen or so straight and forward canter strides in a row. In the next few weeks we should be able to canter the whole arena. I may ask Suzy if she can meet us at Horseshoe with Tommy so we can reintroduce the big arena with a buddy.

Still not bad for a four year old with nine months off and a week between sessions. Must ride her more. I think a coupke more rides and I should be able to ride her during some of my more advanced students, lessons. I'll mostly be standing, but that is good for her too.

I had Bud this afternoon. Sue asked if I would ride him and I agreed. We fit him with a bridle and the Kimberwick she had. I had him on the least severe rein notch and that may have been a little much. I'm going to try him on the D next time.

I lunged him first, which turned out to be a good idea because he was a complete nutball to start. He trotted around like a maniac and kept wanting to change directions without permission. He also cantered and kicked out at me, which was not received favorably by me and I let him know it.

When he settled down enough to walk, trot, and whoa like a sensible horse (plus change directions) I climbed on and tested him out. He is a little dead/indifferent to the leg and liked to careen around his turns, especially in the trot. Our figure eights were lacking. If I used my voice he stopped terribly on his forehand and if I used just my hand he would come back, but was slow to drop gait.

Sue said that his previous owners didn't ride him (rode him home once when the harness broke I guess) and the one before that was a therapy program in which he took advantage of his riders and went everywhere he was not asked to go. She guessed it's been about five years since the therapy riders and outside of me popping on him bareback once to get across a deep puddle (didn't feel like getting wet) that has been it. So his education under saddle is lacking. While Sue will probably never ride Bud she wants him to be able to do both and feels the work under saddle will compliment his driven work, which I agree with. I start working with him twice a week this week (once under saddle and the second time in harness with Sue).

I had two other lessons this afternoon and was going to meet Christa, but she bumped again to Monday. I was really hoping to do this evening meeting when Chris was at work so it didn't interfere with our time, but I don't have a 4pm Monday so 5-7pm it will be.

Panda was a bit of a goober Thursday when I went to get her. We pkayed the "I chase your butt and stop when you face me" game. I turned her out in the Downs' arena and gave her abfew minutes before catching her, which took 15 minutes. It would have gone quicker, but I had Kelhan with me so chasing her aggressively when she turned away from me wasn't really an option.

Friday she did better and I actually got her to latch on and follow me both directions, which is quite an accomplishment for two days after four months off. I gave her a thorough once-over and scrubbed her down. Her farrier still likes to leave her front toes long so they are slightly dished and there is a little separation between the sole and wall. I don't know how this guy manages to screw up, but at least they don't look any worse than the last time I saw them she has the best feet. It would take effort to screw them up.

Chris took some vacation time next week. We'll be taking one of the days to go Northward and see how the Jeep handles an extended trip. Chris plans on spending much of the time job hunting. Fingers crossed on that.
lantairvlea: (Default)
It rained Thursday night. It rained all day Friday. It rained Friday night. It rained parts of Saturday. We had almost 48 hours of rain. There are still puddles on the property. All kessons canceled Friday and Saturday, though I did have working students Saturday who helped wipe down the carriage and the work cart and clean up Charm-N's harness. Keara and Roxanne today brushed oit the herd and cleaned everyone's feet so they all had ckean feet for at least five minutes.

Because of the wetness I've fed horses in their stalls at night since Friday. There just isn't any dry ground to feed them loose so they've only gotten four or so hours each day of turn out because I have to wait for them to finish their morning meal before shooing them out. Maybe it will be dry enough tomorrow for me to entertain the idea of feeding them loose in the evening. We will see.

The stalls are an absolute disaster, but there is no way to get a wheelbarrow or garbage can over there to clean them out. Again, hoping for some dryness tomorrow to be able to start gettinf things back to normal.

Friday morning poor Kash was shivering. I don't have any blankets (live in the desert) and maybe I need to think about at least getting a waterproof sheet for the boy. Everyone else was fine and after doing some mild scrubbing and draping towels over his rump and shoulders he warmed right up.

Friday Charm-N almost saved the day. I was getting the psyllium ready for the herd and heard tires spinning. Looking up I saw the little silver truck that belongs to our kiddie-corner neighbor (about 12 feet or so of their front yard meets up with our back). They were stuck in the driveway. Hollering was not going to work so I rang up Kathy and asked if that was them spinning their tires and she confirmed. I said I didn't know if it would work, but I had a mare that pulls and we could give it a shot. She thanked me profusely and said that there was a second truck trying to oulk theirs out that also got stuck!

So I harnessed up Charm-N and kept looking over to be sure they were still stuck before heading over. Kathy met me as I was passing through Marty's property and carried the singletree the rest of the way. As we walked up Jim and the other guy JUST BARELY got the trucks free. I think Kathy was disappointed. I don't think Charm-N I was, just slightly confused that all we did was walk around to San Tan and back.

And I best be ofd to bed. Back to my full load tomorrow.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
Obviously Zetahra has been in work and learning things from day one, and especially in the last year, but yesterday was the first time she's had another trainer lay eyes on her and assess where we are. Things have been going well with driving training so instead of working with Michelle's finished mare Tenacity I brought Zetahra this week.

I wanted to see how she'd do in the environment as well as get an assessment and have Michelle on hand to eventually start ground driving around the neighborhood when we are ready for that.

Z was a little looky, more about the llamas and Michelle's set-up. She didn't blink at the sight and sound of the traffic, though walking around our place the cars are 10 feet away, not on the other side of the trailer plus 20 or 30 feet more so well within her comfort zone Even with large semis and noisy trailers.

I harnessed her up and figured we'd just start with double lungeing and ground driving. She was looky and showed some attitude and bucked a little into the canter, which I drove her forward through. It took her about half a lap to smooth out of it.

Michelle gave her assessment: Zetahra is very confident, cocky, really and her lookiness was a combination of curiosity and seeing what I was going to do about it. The bucking was also a "what are you going to do about it" thing. Driving Z forward wasn't what was needed as it took her a half lap to cone out of it. It wasn't enough of a consequence for her to change the behavior so instead Michelle had me bind her up, essentially do a one-rein stop on the lines and shut her down.

Asked her upn nice walk, good trot, canter and she humped up so Michelle sat on the inside rein just about and Z spun about four times before she stopped nose to shoulder with a look like "what just happened and how did I get here?" She stood as we unraveled her and I took the reins and sent her off again. Canter, buck, one-rein stop, unwrap horse, rinse and repeat in both directions. At first the bucks were her typical "rocking horse" buck where she bounced from forehand to haunch and didn't really go anywhere (thus I would drive her forward because she appeared "stuck"), then as we implemented the new tactic she realizes that wasn't working so she would "take off" and do a flying buck, which also got shut down. Eventually she tried just a nice canter transition, which was rewarded with verbal praise and then a rest. When she was going consistently both ways we called it a day. Towards the end you could see her having thoughts about bucking or otherwise being silly, but thinking better of it.

Michelle was in stitches most of the time. Zetahra has a very expressive face and the type of smarts that causes her to feel out her boundaries. I admit it was pretty funny.

Michelle noted that so far as desensitizing goes Z was rock solid. If she had not been, getting spun around in the reins could have caused some serious issues. So I'm doing some things right! She also noted that Z knows this stuff (walk, trot, canter, whoa, etc.) She's just choosing to be opinionated about it, which needs to stop, especially in a driving setting. Part of it is Zetahra being in the teenage phase (coming 4 in April) and part is a lack of clear discipline from the other horses in her life as well as ill-defined boundaries with people at times (not completely faultless on that, but most of the mixed signals are probably from my working students).

All in all I think it went really well and gave me some more tools to use with Z. She hasn't bucked up at home in a long time so getting her in a new environment helps show the holes in her training better, which appear to be mostly attitude based rather than lack of knowledge on her part so I haven't been doing too bad.

Last night it started raining around 8pm pretty hard, then it vascillated between sprinkling and driving all night and today it has been sprinkling off and on all day. We have received more than an inch and needless to say we are soaked. Yes, it is still raining. I need to call my lesson that was scheduled for this evening.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Yesterday after finishing my last lesson and feeding the herd it started raining. I think we got close to two inches of rain and it just started raining again.

Chris and I put up the hooks for the collars and reins and it looks mighty nice. I'm going to have to find a little step stool so I can more easily reach the collars and bridles.

And Chewy isn't lame, yay! She was just a little stiff from whacking her hock on something. Still treating Kitt's foot and I believe Ruby's done with her icing regime.

I'm going to clean up and take a nap.

I think we might get another inch. The horses are quite soggy, but the arena isn't too terrible since we added dirt after staeting the house.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Or the renewal of it, depending if you listen to the Mayans or the doomsday people.

I'll be heading out to the San Tans with Kathryn to take Panda on a trail ride.

It rained Friday night, off and on Saturday, and also Tuesday night. We've been a muddy mess. Just as we were drying the second storm hit. Can't complain too much because we're below what we need for the year, but the wetness is inconvenient. The arena would dry faster if we had a tractor to drag the arena (or a forecart with an attached drag).

Christmas is sneaking up on us. I have a few more things to wrap and will be getting my dad's gift tomorrow. Today I picked up the building permit, which means we can now take a step forward on the house. We get to put up a sign and, hopefully, start getting dirt after Christmas. Hurrah!

Time for lunch.
lantairvlea: (Default)
Friday I was rained out when I went to work Charm, the little Paint mare I'm going to attempt to break to drive. This week I was working her exclusively on the ground to help get her over her issue with the crupper and it has worked, but we'll find out for sure this week after having a few days' break. So Friday's work time will be shifted to Friday next week. Two days on the ground, one riding.

The rain didn't affect lessons otherwise and Saturday was nice and cloudy in the morning, but quite humid, something close to 70 percent and when you're used to single digit humidity that feels pretty nasty! I ended up with only two lessons, I guess the other two are still out of town. I did get to ride Chewy, which was nice. I don't get to ride the little mare very often because I use her so much for lessons. It's nice to ride a horse as soft and responsive as she is and it reminds me how nice of a horse she is. It also reminds her how well she can move when properly put together.

Saturday afternoon when Chris got home we were going to go to the paintball store to get Chris some more paintballs. Marty watched Tristan and it was just sprinkling when we headed out and as we headed North and West it got harder and harder. On the freeway it was coming down in literal sheets. You could see the massive ribbony sheets of water being blown in waves. Visibility was at the point sometimes where I could not see 10 yards or so in front of me, even if the other cars had their lights on! I ended up cruising around 30 mph and we pulled over just outside of an overpass with eight or so other cars. It wasn't letting up so we eased back on the road and creeped off at the next exit. We gave up going to the shop (I think we made it only a third of the way there) and headed to Frys' so we could pick up stuff for dinner on the way home. It was still pretty thick for a few minutes, but started to lighten up a little. Some idiots were driving without their headlights on. It was a steady rain when we made it to Frys' and it kept up until after we had eaten dinner.

As it let up we headed out to assess the damage and reopen our little drainage ditches to the wash. Once that was finished we reclaimed Tristan and hid inside the rest of the evening. We claimed rainy day schedule today and stayed home from church.

The freeway yesterday was just nuts. I have never seen it raining quite like that before. The landscaping gravel and dirt were washing onto the road. Puddles and literal streams of water were flowing. Trees were down as the ground became saturated and they blew over. We had to drive around a half dozen or more on the surface streets heading home.

One area got an inch and a half of rain in an hour, others less, but still quite a lot of water all at once. Such is the monsoon. There is a chance of rain the next few days, though eith yesterday's downpour we probably won't get one today. We're hoping the sun and ground soak it up quick so we don't run into a nasty mosquito problem.

Crazy Arizona weather.

Show Prep

Sep. 8th, 2011 05:40 pm
lantairvlea: (Default)
This week we've been getting Zetahra ready for the little EVAHA (East Valley Arabian Horse Association) Mini-Circuit show. They put on four shows each show season, two in the Fall and two in the Spring. I'd like to go to both this fall, but we're in Utah for the second one. We're using it as a "test" for the Draft Show in November. It's also under the covered arena so she'll get nicely exposed to all sorts of "fun" things that'll be there on show day. What won't be there show day will be a bunch of other hot blooded young horses. I'm hoping there's a couple other young horses in her class and she's not just out there all alone so she learns to deal with others in the arena with her.

The last four days we have been taking her out to Horseshoe park and working her there. She's doing pretty good with the out-and-back (similar to the little jog they put dogs through in dog shows), though standing square is something else entirely. It's coming along, but it's not perfect, granted she is just a yearling. I'm just hoping I can get her front end lined up and keep her standing still. Over the last four days she has shown a good amount of improvement, she's not trying to run and kick out in exuberance and is paying better attention to what I'm asking of her.

Yesterday there were two other horses out there plus the earth movers were doing work just outside of the park (really big dirt-moving tractors) so it provided plenty of distractions and despite that she did quite well. I was feeling it a little yesterday and Chris took her for a bit and got quite pleasing results with her, able to trot her out and back and get her to stop for him. If I'm not feeling in shape for it come November maybe I can convince him to throw on some slacks and a jacket *grin.* This morning there were horses there again and the earth movers as well and she was nicely focused all things considered.

Suzy was there with her Hanoverian gelding Tommy and commented on how calm she was (as well as how adorable as well). Z was a bit distracting for Tommy, he kept on wanting to come over and say "hello!"

In non-horse news I'm sending in my Olympus (the DSLR) to get fixed (hopefully). The autofocus has been going on it and I think the idea of buying a **NEWSHINY** every few years is ridiculous because other than the autofocus it functions perfectly fine (that and I often prefer manual focus anyway...). I think it's five years old now. I'm hoping it's fixable and something that can be done relatively quickly.

Today is hopefully the last day of real heat (it was supposedly 109˚ today). Tomorrow is supposed to be around 100˚, which will feel REALLY NICE after this summer. I'm hoping it keeps. I've been putting off calling people to start lessons back up again because it's been too hot to do afternoon lessons and as the sun is setting early I don't quite have a two hour window in the evenings with descent weather and lighting.

Record Heat

Sep. 6th, 2011 04:42 pm
lantairvlea: (Default)
We had 33 days of temperatures at or above 110 deg Fahrenheit.

We had an additional 6 days at 109.

We broke the record for the hottest Summer EVER in the valley.

I am ready for Not-Summer.

It's really sad when 105 feels "nice."

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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