It may be many weeks before I can divulge the big things that are coming but I think my fellow bloggers will be excited for me! Stay tuned. I'll post regular pony stuff soon.
June 24, 2015
June 10, 2015
I recently watched a show on TV, Richard Winters Horsemanship. I don't have RFD-TV anymore so was happy to find something I could start recording again. I log onto Julie's website for her shows and Clinton Anderson has some online as well but I enjoy watching it on my big TV not just my computer screen.
Anyhow, I watched this one show about focused riding. One major thing that I want to share was an analogy made about riding your horse. Richard Winters stating you should ride your horse like you ride a car, look where you are going. You don't stare at your hood ornament, you look ahead, so why would you ride while looking at your horse's ears?
Sure this is common knowledge but the hood ornament thing just sort of clicked. How often do we riders watch the horses ears as we ride? How often do we focus on the ground? I think it's good to pay attention to the ears, don't get me wrong. They indicate attention and mood. In these three pictures where is Dani's attention? The first one, she's listening to me perhaps or listening to the tiny cat stalking her from behind. The second picture her left ear is cocked to the side, something has her attention up at the barn maybe. This last picture show's her looking forward toward the Italian flag. While it's still important to look at a horses ears to determine what they are being drawn to we still need to remember that focusing 3-5 horse lengths ahead is the best way to communicate to your horse while riding.
By constantly glancing at the ground, the fence line or my pony's ears I inadvertently shift my weight forward and that affects my mare's gait. This is something I know and have known. It just takes continued awareness to see what we are actually doing under saddle that could be causing some of our riding issues. Can staring at my mares ears cause her to tense up? Sure, maybe looking at her ears tenses my body and thus hers. I just found this simple comparison something I needed to share since I thought the idea was so cool. Hood ornament or ears...it's best to keep a good posture and keep our head and eyes up towards where we want to go in order to communicate better with our equine friends. Though a couple glances at the cute little ears is perfectly fine!
June 09, 2015
Really? Only my horse can get injured on a rubber mat. We were working on trailer loading again and Dani was doing fantastic! She was going in and then standing with her head out the back. If I asked her to step back she would. I started then moving the divider over to her and then releasing. I'm trying to get her used to the "confinement" of having that divider on her. Sure at this time she is facing backwards but baby steps. I'm not at the point where I can walk in after her to shut the divider. I know she can whip around to step out the back of the trailer and possibly squish me in the process. I've been in the trailer when she's turned around and it's not a safe thing. Luckily I was only bruised.
Well I got greedy I think and took it a step too fast and tried to work on the divider closing as she was still facing forward. She freaked a little and I think the back rubber mat flipped upwards and rubbed her inside leg. It looks like she has a very close shave. Right afterwards though she was holding her back leg up and I was freaked thinking she'd gotten herself really injured. She finally placed it down and I was able to walk her with no issue and it seems the pain subsided. I asked her a couple of times to enter the trailer, not surprisingly she was hesitant. She didn't stay in but we ended on a good calm note. Granted if she'd been seriously injured we would have foregone the additional loads. I don't want to create a huge setback because of this.
Then I took her up to address her injury. I hosed her off and then washed her with Iodine. It really was just that, a shaved off area, like road rash but with rubber. I still felt horrible. She kicks out when there are wraps on her back legs but darn it, she's just gonna have to deal. We are using them when we load! I'll be headed out today to see how she is doing. I put some ointment on her so I'll be washing her leg again and seeing what the injury looks like.
I'm just so frustrated. I should have just stopped at moving the divider over to her. Instead I took it a step too far and it was just too much for her and she got hurt. My poor baby
June 05, 2015
More rain on the forecast but looks like it's not going to be the near constant rain we had in May. Dani's feet are doing okay at least, I've been keeping an eye out for scratches and thrush.
This was a post I meant to publish a while ago. Now our rain pattern is the standard chance for storms in the afternoon. Just yesterday there were several tornadoes throughout Colorado. That always worries me with Dani being out east....
We've been getting a lot of moisture in Colorado. After spending a week in California, I said for the first time ever after a trip, "Wow, Colorado is so green!" Usually I'm headed east or somewhere else so it's nice and green and Colorado is always so dry. Compared to CA though, it's lush this year!
A dug out area near my horse trailer was filled with yucky water. In my shed at home I'd come across some mosquito dunks (BTI) that I'd used in my zoonotic disease job in Public Health. I brought those to the barn and asked if I could apply then to this pond. The mosquitoes are getting bad but these dunks have a bacteria specific to mosquitoes that disrupts the growth of the larvae. They are safe and easy to use so hopefully the mosquito population will die down a bit.
Until then I have last years bottle of fly spray for Dani in my trailer and another kept up a the main barn. I also have some spray for me. That has been one benefit of the dry weather though is that usually Colorado lacks hordes of biting insects. Oh well, the pastures are green and my yard at home is looking nice including newly seeded lawn patches. The rain has been helpful in many instances.
I'll get out to ride more now that the rain has calmed down a bit....just hoping I don't get eaten alive!
June 02, 2015
May 18, 2015
I'd forgotten what a blue sky looked like! It was nice to take advantage of the morning sun. Clouds were already building and rain was on it's way so I made sure to get out to the barn in time. The day before I spent the morning assisting the local horse community in working on our upcoming Equestrian Skills Park!! Exciting stuff and can't wait to see it implemented!
I decided it would be good to refresh Dani on some groundwork since I haven't been out much due to the rain. We did some round pen work. She's getting better on turning in; I guess remembering is more accurate. She already knows this stuff.
I then reminded her about backing using body language and the stick as a signal. We also worked on turning on the forehand and then the "salute" as I like to call it where I move around to her outside with active body language and ask her to move her hindquarters away. She's gotten that down pretty well.
She does it so well that even when I was not trying to move her but take a side picture she would still turn and salute giving me two eyes. Dani is around 969 or 953 based on the weight tape. I'd like to get her down some, 900 maybe? Really there is a place on her shoulder and then her tail base that shows there excess fat. She's more at a level 7 when she needs to be a 5 on the body condition score. Hopefully wearing a muzzle during the day time will help and if this darn rain stops I can get out to exercise her more often!
It's so great that even despite the rain she is doing well. Her legs aren't showing signs of scratches or other issues and her summer coat is starting to come in nicely. She's getting shiny! She always seems to get a little darker in the summer and then sometimes has developed some dapples. Fuzzy or smooth though she's my pretty girl.
May 15, 2015
I'm still here. Just been busy and rainy. For work I was gone for about 3 days in Durango, CO. I'm hoping to get out sometime this weekend to work with my mare and hoping that we get more dry weather.
It worries me when Colorado gets a ton of rain at once. Our soils can't hold the moisture and then the plant growth increases. If this is followed by a long dry spell it could mean bad news for fires. Wish we could send the rain to California! Talk with you all very soon!
May 06, 2015
The barn got a tractor guy to come break up the soil in the arena and round pen. Nice and cushy now for arena work. It was nice to try it out! I'm happy to have a great place to ride at my barn, a round pen and then two pseudo trail riding type areas.
My dream is an indoor arena but those come with a boarding cost or there isn't much pasture available at the local facilities. We'll see what I can do on my own property someday but it's a pipe dream.
First world problems hey? "I wish I could ride my pony inside!" LOL