March 27, 2015

Tufts and Slickers

I've had some busy days at work and not been able to go out to the barn much this week.  I have the goal that I should go Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Then the other days I should drag myself to the gym! 

This Thursday I actually ended a training early so I headed to the barn.  On the way out my enthusiasm declined as my stomach started to not feel very well.  Once I arrived I decided it would just be a grooming day.  Sometimes that's all I want to do.  It's never just to get Daenerys pretty but to check her out and relax a bit.  It's a form of therapy.  She's still shedding a ton but it's funny when I look at her and some areas are nearly smooth while others are desperately clinging to her in fuzzy tufts.

I got to chat with both N and M; lol sounds like Eminem!  They both had read my blog and enjoyed it so that made me glow a bit.  I received more Manely-Long Hair in the mail so applied the last of my bottle to her mane.  It keeps the tangles out and helps with her wavy hair staying a little slick which I'm happy with but not so sure about there not being any build-up.  I'll use it more diligently before I give it a final rating.


I played a little with Dani before getting her back to her pasture.  I would love to get her backing like David did with his horses; he would back them to their stalls or to the arena and they were quick to respond.  It was a great exercise in control and leadership.  I still get very slow and lazy movement from Dani but I haven't really spent real time on the Clinton Anderson method of teaching her to back.  Time to dust off those DVD's huh?

M played with Dani a little bit too, doing a backwards marching while leading her to get her out of her space.  It was cute.  I love that we both have our cute Morgan ponies. We plan to ride Saturday and then maybe go look at Equiline for a used Western saddle for her and Scotty.  The weather should be fantastic this weekend!

March 23, 2015

I Rode Dani at the Canter....

well.....not intentionally.  We were working on the trot and at one point I think Dani was sick of her fast trot that she went into the canter for a 6 strides before I got her back to a trot.  At least I know her canter is smooth to ride.  Still BAD GIRL!!!  

Saturday was a day of working on the trot.  I did more lengthy bouts of trotting.  We worked pretty hard and then went to ride across the street at the school for a short cool down.  It was a tiring day but Dani and I did pretty good even if I felt frustrated at times.

Sunday I worked on more transitions with short bouts and slowing her to a walk when she sped up.  We also changed directions when she sped up.  I found it most helpful to do patterns like loose figure eights or serpentines.  The trot was much nicer that way.  We'll get there.  I also worked on making my posting less BIG.  That may be encouraging her to trot faster.  We'll have to see what works best in the long run and just keep trying.  It's always trial and error.

We kept it shorter today since I know she's not in the best shape and I don't want to be a drill sargeant.  We ended on a good note and then went for a ride around the property.  Dani was nervous with the wind in the pines but I moved her on with a pat and reassurance.

What the posts used to look like in the corner

The next terrorizing thing was what....a newer wood post.  Really?  I couldn't for the life of me determine what got her shaking so much.  She stopped several times and stared about 20 meters away.  Then she actually spun away.  I turned her hard back to the scary object.  She tried to move away again but I encouraged her forward.  I was a little shaken myself since she was so shaky and we were confined between rows of wire fencing.  What in the world my dear?  I quickly dismounted and led her up to the threatening post.  Eventually she breathed deep and started to graze.  I let her for a moment, then I got back on and continued down the trail.  We turned around after about 10 meters  and walked past the scary object....I want to say 6-7 times.  I knew she was getting bored and antsy to move on down the trail but back and forth, from both directions and from the area of her first scare, we walked and walked.  I decided to also bring her back past the scary pine trees.  She was fine.  Sometimes I just have no idea what horses see in their minds but the post is my only guess as to what caused her issue, we've walked past that corner MANY times.  Perhaps the trapped tumbleweed  looked like a monster but she sees both those things every day of her life!

What the new wood posts look like now, these are not actual pictures of the site
just an example.

Great article on how to work with a spooking horse  I feel we addressed it well enough.  Hopefully I can gain more courage to stay on but I felt it was best to just do it from the ground this time until she was relaxed and then ride her back and forth by the scary monster.

How silly ponies can be!

March 22, 2015

Serene Sunday

Dusting Off the Roundpen

Friday was a balmy 60 degrees!  After work I decided to head out and do some ground work with Dani.  We did some round penning.  She's doing well with remembering but her turn ins are not as quick.  We'll have to work on that.


Already starting to see the green grasses coming in around the stable.  I'm contemplating when I'll need to start putting that dreaded muzzle on her face.  I hate it but I'd hate if she wound up with laminitis more!


Dani was calm and good during the round pen work.  Her trot started fast but eventually slowed down.  She's also not breaking out of her canter as much.  I didn't want to push her too much since I know she's not very fit.  We ended with some yielding of the hindquarters and then desensitizing the the rope.  She stood like a statue.  Now's the time I need to get some more play things out for desensitizing.


We are still working on trot under saddle.  My rear can attest to that!  Perhaps I'll give up sitting trot for now and concentrate on rating her trot while posting.  One step at a time!

March 18, 2015

Trotting it Out

Sunday was a great day for riding.  I arrived at the barn intent on getting some groundwork done and some riding.  We started in the round pen and I mad the observation that Dani has forgotten to turn in when I step and back.  We'll have to work on it some more and this spring get other ground work done.  She didn't have too much silliness but I didn't want her completely full of energy.

Next I tacked her up and went into the arena.  We worked on trotting mostly.  I have a hard time rating her, too much rein and I have a fight or a walking horse.  I'm trying to work on my seat to get her to slow to a medium trot.  It'd be nice to be able to sit her trot and towards the end of the ride we had a couple successes.  I want to get her a little less tense at the trot.


I know her being tense can make me tense and I tried as hard as I could to reduce mine but it's sure hard with such a forward flamboyant trotting mare!  She also has sudden departures.  I ask for the trot and she sort of lurches into the gait.  


Next time: working on smoother transition and good rating of the trot using my seat mostly.  I haven't had much success even at the walk with getting her to lower her head.  I can work on that too and hopefully get that transferred to the trot once I succeed.



Hosed off a sweaty mare (legs mainly) and then went home to "hose" myself off in a warm bubble bath.  Love those lazy sundays!

March 17, 2015

Silliness with Scotty

Earlier in the week I was able to ride Dani after work.  It had been nearly 2 or 3 weeks since our last ride due to the continual snowy weather we've been receiving.  The ground was decent in most places and when M was tacking up Scotty she wanted to know if we could ride together.  I figured why not, a ride around the property would be fun and be a great chance to catch up with M.

Dani was full of spunk and again not too happy with having Scotty near her.  We tried to ride side by side, then with Scotty in front and then Dani in front.  Dani was speed walking and leaving Scotty in the dust.  If she was behind him she was tailgating and I got tired of trying to slow her down.  WIth exposure I'm sure we'll get to where we need to be.  I've not had issues when there were events at KCRC with other horses.  


We rode through a couple of snow drifts and rather than walk through them Dani seemed to bound even though I didn't ask for any speed.  It was funny but ticked me off since I really want her to listen to me.  She was fresh and full of beans since it'd been several weeks since the last ride.  We've also not had the consistent ability to work on training issues this winter.  I'm thinking we are in the tune up phase of spring time.  The more I can ride the better and then the more I can get her trailered and with some supportive trail riders I can work on any trail riding issues with her.

I ended the ride in the arena since someone was not good at listening so we had to do some basic work.  I lunged her for a bit and there was major attitude and silliness.  Once she got that out of her system she was much more compliant but I still made sure to work on stopping, turning and rating her walk.  We ended on a good note at least.  I sure hope that she and I can work through this and she can be a good trail riding horse.  I'll just have to recruit some well seasoned riders and horses who will know that I haven't ridden her on trails.  

March 11, 2015

Trimmings

A few months after you trim the tree it's time to trim the pony!  I went out on Saturday, after we'd had some  warm days and some snow melting, to address her feet and overall coat.  After nearly two weeks blanketed I'm sure she was itchy like crazy!


Dani's fetlocks grow very fuzzy over the winter and due to all the mud and snow of early spring I want to keep her feet tidy to be able to treat any issues with scratches or mud fever.


I have a 4F blade which does a decent job but I think I need one just a little shorter to get her fetlocks looking ever more tidy. I'll have to go again in a couple weeks once I find the blade I need.  


Since this is a once of year thing I always make sure to desensitize her to the noise and vibration.  I start while standing near her and turn the blade on. We rest and she gets love and scratches. I then move it around and wiggle the extension cord too so she doesn't get freaked from that.  We rest and she gets love and scratches.


Then I start around the shoulder and work back to her rump and then back near the base of her chin to get her used to the sound closer.  We rest and she gets love and scratches. I also rub the clipper on her so she can feel the vibration.  We rest and she gets love and scratches.  Next I run down her legs and move the clipper all around her legs under her belly and also run my hands there too.  We rest and she gets love and scratches.


She's very calm about it, the only hint that she is paying attention is that her ears turn towards the noise.  Sometimes she even turns her head to look at me but with a calm look in her eyes.  I had trouble with her jaw line because of the halter.  I think I really need to just invest in a simple grooming halter or have a helper to retain her with a rope or something like that.  I missed some hairs but will go back when I do some shorter fetlock cuts.


I didn't do her ear this time since it was a long grooming session already.  She only has a tiny tuft sticking out at the bottom that I'll just trim with the scissors.  She does have some issues with the clippers up near her ear so I can work on her with that but I really find the scissors easiest for the tiny area of the ear.  Just FYI I NEVER trim inside the ear since that hair is there to protect from dirt and bugs!  My mare is starting to sleek up with her coat.  Within a month I'm sure she'll be silky as satin and shiny like crazy.  Love those summer coats!


March 10, 2015

Spring is coming

Fur all over me.....


And fur all over the ground after a "quick" grooming.  YIKES!

February 28, 2015

Braving the Cold to see Daenerys

The roads are much better today so Steve and I headed out to the barn to see Dani.  I figure'd she'd enjoy a roll in the snow with out her blanket and a good grooming.


Though there are feet of snow on the ground, the horses are looking their natural winter coats rapidly!


Steve enticed Dani with treats but we couldn't get her to trot about and I wasn't about to get the stick and string to make her move.  Still too many large drifts I didn't want an overly excited mare.


It was in the teens and Steve and I were bundled up in snow pants, gloves, hats and warm coats.  Dani was fine with and without her turn out blanket.  Her coat is always so pretty in the sun even if she needed a good grooming.


The next warm day that comes along I'll be trimming her fetlocks since this is the time of year she could more easily get scratches again.  I'll trim her and give her legs a good cleaning and apply some preventative on her problem areas.  So far so good, she only has a small spot on her front white leg.


The snow blows a lot out east so some areas were bare and others were halfway up her cannons.  Other areas were drifts I'm sure would come up above her knees even!


I didn't ride but it was good to play with her and groom her.  I still love that we arrived at the barn, got out of the car and a few moments later the littler red mare had recognized us and nickered softly.  I love my girl so much!  I think we are both ready for warmer weather!


February 26, 2015

Cold and Snow

Last weekend I spent most of my time indoors until I had to shovel snow.  I'd seen pony on Friday and she was prepped and ready for the snow.  There are benefits to boarding full care!


Our front porch mini spruce, Piney Pete, was loving the snow.  What a happy conifer!


Aside form a brief interlude on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the week has been very snowy and cold.  February and March tend to be the snowy cold months in Colorado.  We'd had many days and weekends where temperatures ranged from the 50-70s with sunshine and fun.  We were spoiled.


Soon enough though the time change will occur and I'll have more opportunities to go out to the barn and actually do things with Dani.  Once the snowy weather passes we'll have a chance to get ready for some trail riding....aka trailer training.  I'm feeling antsy about my winter ending and the warmer weather coming.  Still....snow sure is pretty to watch falling outside my office window.