November 29, 2012

Scheduling and Sunset Times

The time change has put a damper in my ventures out to the barn.  It gets dark MUCH faster now.  My hubby and I went out one night when I first got my saddle.  It was 7pm so I knew it would be dark and I wanted to see how it would be to get Dani in from the field.  We had treats and a flashlight and it took forever to locate the horses.  Then it was a little scary with the horses being nearby and not sure where they were as I was trying to lead Dani to the barn.  I really don't know if I want to go all the way into the field alone in the dark to get my horse.

This is how dark it is already at 5:30pm

Honestly I've had some issues with scheduling before the darkness descended.  I get off work at 4pm and can get to the barn at the earliest at 4:30pm.  Of course that is the time that all the horses are fed, horses are very much like piranhas when it comes to feeding time!  I really think it would make more sense for each paddock to have their hay piles thrown out to the horses and then bring in each horse that receives grain.  Instead the few times I've seen the feedings the horses are brought in one at a time to get their grain and then the hay is placed out for the rest.  If they all have hay to distract them there wouldn't be the fighting that I've seen.  One horse kicked up so high and as one gal was walking out to the gate.  The gate blocked her from being kicked in the face, it was freaky!!!
I don't like being in the paddock trying to release or catch Dani during feeding time.  The horses mob me and no amount of flinging your arms seems to keep them at bay for very long.  I've only seen the feeding time routine a few times and don't know what way would be better to keep the horses calmer.
So going out right after work doesn't work really well for me because of two reasons, three actually.  One, Dani is just getting fed and I don't want to be the person that is always taking her away from food and then putting her to work (though I haven't done much "work" with her lately).  Two, my hubby travels now for work so I don't have the luxury of him being home from 2pm on and taking the dogs out to the bathroom etc.  Three, most lessons that instructors are conducting are around this time.  The barn calms down around 6pm it seems.  I'm going to try a schedule the next couple of weeks and see how it works.
I'll go home at 4pm to let the dogs out, eat something myself and then try and get to the barn around 5:30pm.  That will give Dani time to eat and secondly means she'll still be relatively close to the barn, where the paddock light reaches, so I don't have to go out all the way to the end of the 10 acre paddock in the dark to retrieve her.  As you can see below I also have to get my workout schedule figured, I've gained a few pounds....ones I lost before.  Uge.  Unending battle!
8am Work Dani
Work Out
Work Out
Work Out
Work Out
Work Out
8am Work Dani
4pm Go from work to Gym
4pm go home, let dogs out, quick eat
4pm Go from work to gym-Yoga
4pm Go home, let dogs out, quick eat
4pm Go home, let dogs out, quick eat
1pm Work Dani
6pm Leave for home to eat
5pm Leave for Barn
6pm Leave for home to eat
5pm Leave for Barn
5pm Leave for Barn
1pm Work Dani
5:30-8ish Work with Dani
5:30-8ish Work with Dani
5:30-8ish Work with Dani

This weekend I want to start the first exercise from Clinton Anderson's Fundamentals. It's round penning without the halter or lead. The round pen is outside so at least my first two lessons with her will be during the day as I become accustomed to the process. The round pen has a stand in the middle of it since someone trains her horse to step up on it. It's in the way but heavy to move. Hopefully I can get it moved for Saturday and then Sunday, it's a safety issue for me; I don't want to be tripping over something since I have to walk backwards and move quickly during the exercise. Then during the week, since it's pitch black at night and where the round pen is, I will see if I can move some jumps into the indoor arena and make my own "round pen" on one end each time I work with Dani. Hopefully having two lessons under her belt will make the transition easier for both of us. Now I'm realizing why I wanted to buy a horse in the spring originally!! Nice full summer to spend with them!

Clinton says that generally about 4 lessons with round penning tends to suffice. After that it will be with the halter and lead so I can use the arenas as they are. We'll have to see how it goes I don't think it should be an issue since I put things back where I found them and also avoid getting in peoples way. Just a simple "hey can I set up the jumps on this end of the arena in a weird way" asked of those using the arena should be fine. Most times like I said lessons are done by 6pm and if someone is in the indoor they are circling at one end or the other.

I guess that covers my recent frustration. Having family over and taking care of other responsibilities has put a reduced time on my schedule for seeing Dani too. Even if, like my in laws, the guests are laid back and not worried if I spend time with my horse I still feel like I need to come home sooner. They'll be back in a couple of weeks but I don't really want to adjust my schedule until Dec. 20th when Steve's daughter will be in town. Again it will be a little less time I spend with Dani around Christmas but I DO want to spend time with my guests, I really don't see how people that have kids have ANY time with their horses! I can't wait until Steve and I can sell the house and buy property but that won't be for a few years. I love my house and the changes we are slowly making to it but I want my mini farm too!
I also want to get back into lessons, perhaps twice a month. I'd love to have Laurie come out to me so we can work on Dani and I but I just need to find out what the additional charge for driving out to me will be. She lives about 45 minutes to 1 hour away from my barn. My budget is tight now with a horse, I knew that going in, and also knew lesson taking would be reduced. I just love working with her and just the little interaction with Dani she's had I've learned new techniques to work with Dani myself. We'll see what happens, perhaps other students at the stable would want to take lessons with Laurie or Uschi might want to come here instead since it's closer to her and then we all can split the cost of the travel fee. I just need to see what I can afford and now that it's almost December I don't have the cash flow with needing to buy gifts and get ready for parties.....oh my goodness this time of year is crazy!

November 28, 2012

Does This Saddle Make Me Look Fat??

So what was in the other bags??  Aside from the girth, stirrups and stirrup "leathers",The Easy Change Gullet System....

...and the Easy Change Riser System were hiding in the bag!  These came with the saddle, a $200 value but they are doing a promotion right now.  Guess what gullet width Dani needed.  Yeah, the White one which is extra wide.

I had trouble getting the saddle to sit centered on Dani, the cold makes fake leather much stiffer than regular leather so it was harder to tighten the girth and it kept pulling the saddle around.  Originally I had another girth but had to bring that back and get a longer one.  She really doesn't like having the girth tightened, she moves forward and stomps her back foot.  We'll see if I can do something about that.  I only did one hole at a time and rested between tightening...I'll just have to keep doing that until she realizes I won't crank it down.

The saddle fit nicely on her, it didn't look like there was any area with pinching that I could see.  I'm glad this gullet worked otherwise I would have had to buy the WIDE saddle for $200 more!  I felt underneath all the areas and lifted the flaps.  It looked good.  I couldn't really assess since I don't have anyone that can sit in the saddle, hubbie's in North Carolina for the week.

You can see that the channel was nice and clear, no pressing on the spine.  Also there was no bridging either, the saddle touched her back the whole way along.  Nice clearance over her withers as well!

So here's the saddle from the side.  Not sure if I need to add any of those risers to make the saddle sit evenly for a stable seat.  I think it looks okay, what do you all think?

Here's another side picture.  Look at that pony gut!  Now that she's healed from her leg injury hopefully I can get out enough to get her doing some work and lose some of that weight!

November 27, 2012

Pony Keg

My husband is part of a home brew club.  He has the nickname of Shoe Brew, since I was telling the guys long ago that he has more shoes than me!  When they saw a picture of him and Dani on Facebook they started touting Horse Shoe Brew!!  I've always been Pony Keg.  It just works.  I finally got around to making my shirt.  This is the logo on it.  What cha think?  I made it to kind of look like Dani!

November 25, 2012

Serene Sunday

I went shopping!!!

November 22, 2012

How to Groom a Pony

Start with a dirty pony.  That shouldn't be too hard to find since that's how they come!
Gather your assortment of grooming supplies.  Mine are in a fun green tote that I bought for Dani.  I painted it with her name and put little designs on it since that's me!

Use the curry comb, the round black nubby thing, and make a circular motion all over the fur.  This will ruff up the fur and release all the grubby dirt and pieces of hay.  Keep away from the bony legs and sensitive face.
Next use the flick brush.  Find one that is hard but not TOO hard or your mare will make faces at you and stomp her feet.  Go in the direction of the hair and make short flicking movements upwards and away.  This one is safe on the legs just be careful not to be too hard, it's best not to place the end of the bristles on the skin instead place the side of the bristles on the coat and then do the flick stroke.  Watch as the dirt from the horse floats in the air and lands on your once clean clothes.  Take the brush and swipe it on an edge a few times to dislodge some of the dirt....a clean brush means cleaner pony!
Next grab the soft body brush.  I keep the flick brush in my other hand to clean out the soft brush every so often.  Often times the dust still stays on the horse since it's so fine and it's staticy here in Colorado!!!  So I've found a spray that helps with static during the winter and this particular spray doesn't say not to use it under tack.  Some of those sprays make a horse VERY slick (ones like ShowSheen should never be used under a saddle unless, when you ride, you want to be under the horse!).  This one is just a conditioner and helps get that bit of dust off plus does help with shine a little.
 I use a smaller soft brush on her face.  What's more effective is a damp wash cloth rubbed over her face to get rid of all the dust.  Though sometimes a step stool could help since she's not really fond of this, she's such a tomboy!
Then I begin with the various sponges.  I have an eye shaped on for her huh?  I dampen it and use it to wipe eye boogies out of her eyes.

Then I use the boogie colored one for her nostrils (hehehehe).  Nostrils are her least favorite thing to have wiped out but she tolerates the sponge better than the baby wipes I had.
Next is the big round sponge for her under tail area and teats if needed.  No coorelation bad it's not pink.

Of course I have the standard hoof pick with brush to get the mud and manure out of her hoof crevices.  I make sure to run along the white line area to get rid of any tiny stones that may lodge there.  The brush helps get the rest of the surfaces spic and span....for a foot that is!

Most days I just untangle her mane with my fingers a bit.  Sometimes I want to really get her silky so I'll use the same spray as above and comb out her mane and tail.  This comb's teeth spin so they are less likely to pull out hairs.  I work from the bottom up.

Here's the tail before.  Not too tangled but clumpy.  I think I already removed the part of a tumbleweed and the bits of hay...that's a daily thing.

Then afterwards, her tail is silky smooth like a Pantene model's hair!  Until her next roll in the dirt...


 The spray helps make her coat shine and stay free of the tiny dust that stays on via static electricity.  It doesn't last long because I know as soon as she's back in the pasture she has to become reaquainted with the dirt.  Such is the life of a horse!
I know the second she's free she'll be rolling once again must be her favorite pastime besides sleeping and eating.  It's an unending battle!  But I love her  dirty or clean!

November 20, 2012

Mom and Dani

My mom came to see Dani again.  I was glad it was NOT down pouring so she could actually see my cute little mare, last time my parents came out she looked like a drenched rat!  I groomed her up and my mom took pictures.  She was less nervous than the last time my parents came out.  They'd come out on a raining Saturday one week after I'd had Dani.
Dani had been nervous and neighing and since she wasn't used to the indoor arena she was high headed, neighing and shying.  Today though she was calm and much more her cute loving self.

We walked Dani around the parking lot.  Mom met one of the boarders and talked to her a little bit.  I moved us on so the gal could get to working with her horse and we could continue hanging with Dani.

Finally we went into the ring and I walked Dani around.  Mom got more pictures that she wanted.  I just worked on leading Dani, same old since I cannot work her hard just yet because of her leg.
Mom lead her around too and Dani was pretty good, sometimes she planter her feet and other times she did well.

Mom likes her.

She had me walk her over the poles, Dani was fine with that.  There wasn't much else to do with her while my mom watched so I figured I'd just let her free in the arena.

So after the grooming Dani rolled in the nice sand, like horses do.  She's so cute!

November 19, 2012

The First Farrier Visit

I've never been present when a farrier works on a horse.  The horses I leased have just had their hooves done unbeknownst to me since it wasn't a care lease just a set monthly fee to ride.  I was excited to see the process in person.
Dani was still a little sedated when the farrier came but she didn't have any issues getting Dani to lift her feet.  She answered my questions about hoof oil and recommended these two products.
The top one is found in more convenient locations for me and she said both do a really nice job.  Farrier's Fix does a better job of preventing and curing thrush.
Dani didn't have too much hoof that needed to be trimmed but the trimming and filing that were performed helped round the edges of her hoof to help prevent chips.  I'd noticed a couple chips on some of her hooves but we'll get her on a regular schedule.
The farrier said that Dani seemed pretty sweet and I wouldn't necessarily have to be there to have her feet done but since she was still a little sedated I think I will be there for the next trim in 8 weeks just to make sure she is indeed a good girl for the farrier.  The farrier said her near hind leg was a bit stiff and that makes sense.  I'm sure she's still recovering a bit and perhaps starting some groundwork in the next week will help with that.  I'm just gonna keep a close eye on how she moves and get the vet out if I have any concerns.
I really liked this farrier and one gal at the barn was impressed seeing a female farrier.  She got her card from her.  I will definitely get a list going the next time I have her come out so perhaps she can do several horses.  Her price was $10 cheaper than a farrier that does a bunch of other horses here.  Full price for just a trim was $35.  Not too bad.  Look how nice Dani's hooves look now!

November 18, 2012

Serene Sunday

Dirty Dani after a roll.
Sleepy Dani after the float.

The Floating of Dani's Teeth

So when I bought Dani it was with the knowledge that she hadn't had a tooth floating in a couple years.  I knew I'd get that done shortly after having her and so scheduled it for the week I was off.  The appointment was this past Friday.  I'd seen a floating done before at Laurie's when she had her horses done but it was certainly different watching my baby.

The barn I board at generally has a floating clinic a couple times a year, this gal from south of Pueblo comes to do teeth and at half the cost my vet charges.  No offense to my vet but I definitely need to save where I can!  The gal travels with a vet to administer the sedative.  Dani stood pretty well and just did a toss of the head at the injection.  It set in fairly fast but she did need a little more at the procedure began.  The vet said a lot of times Morgans, among a few other breeds, tend to need just a bit more sedative. 
Dani's tooth issues were longer incisors that prevented her molars from occluding well.  Then of course the molars had pretty sharp edges that had abraded her tongue a bit.  There was a small ulcer on her cheek.  The front two molars had an overgrowth that caused a hook, which prevented good grinding surfaces as well.
The dentist started with grinding the front incisors, first with a power grinder and then with a handheld.  After that she squirted a huge syringe of water into Dani's mouth and got the head rest out for her to rest the mares chin on.  Then a speculum was used to keep the mares mouth nice and open while the dentist worked on the molars.  I tried to take before and after pictures but the light was bright, it just drowned out the teeth image.  It was significant though.  The teeth, which were pointy and painful looking were smooth and made a nice grinding sound when the dentist moved her jaw.


  I bet Dani will feel much better not having those sharp edges and with her teeth grinding better there is less risk for un-chewed food causing issues further down her GI system!  After the whole procedure was done they took the supplies out of the stall and swept the floor of hay and other material.  Horses can forget they are chewing if still sedated and can end up choking on food.  Best to keep food away until she's fully out of sedation. 
Shortly after I'd paid the gals and thanked them Dani had walked to the stall door and rested her head on the pillow of blankets hung on the door.  She was so cute with her droopy lip.  I ordered a pizza and sat by her as I awaited the next appointment...the farrier!!

Oh and just and FYI, I want to list prices so hopefully this will help others when knowing how much horses cost.  The tooth floating I had done was $75 plus the $45 for the sedative, total of $120.  My vet and others would have charged $214, that includes the barn call etc.  Definitely ask around!!!  Pizza was $7.99!!