May 26, 2013
May 24, 2013
I worked with K on trailer training utilizing GG's trailer...the one I may eventually buy. K started in the round pen doing Clinton's round penning for respect. Dani is decent at it but just needs some reminding of it. Then K took her outside the trailer and worked her for a couple minutes with the door closed. She then opened the door and rather quickly Dani was ready to get on the trailer.
I've been working on her haltering too. I make her lower her head and turn it towards me to the side in order for me to release the halter. Before she would shake her head and pull away since she wanted to be free. I'll just consistently do this and then also work on tying her but I'm still trying to figure out what to do when she chews on the rope while tied. I have a tie blocker ring so she can no longer accidentally untie herself from the quick release knot but I'd love to have a lead rope without horse goobers all over it. Should I make her work really hard if she doesn't stand nicely or chews on the rope? Back her really fast? The mechanics behind having her tied and then making her work baffle me since I have to get her untied within a span of time and make her work. Will she realize "what she did wrong" using this method? Suggestions for this uncoordinated gal?
May 23, 2013
Last Friday 4-H had a little mini horse show. There were only about a handful of the little guys but we stopped over at the arena to check out the cuteness.
Most of them were quite fuzzy. My favorite was the chocolate one with the flaxen mane that you can see above. So cute!
The one below was shaved down and looked more like a miniature horse rather than a little pony. He had nice proportions from what I could tell. We were busy working on some other horse things so Steve and I had to get back to Dani. It was fun to stop by and see the tiny horses. Steve's eyes always seem to dance in a certain way when he sees miniature horses or donkeys.
May 22, 2013
With my mare at a new place with a smaller area to roam I want to make her pen as palatable as possible. I want her entertained with toys and lots of time to eat her food. I've search online for slow feeder for hay. There are many nets and these are fine but I wanted to also have her in a more natural grazing position if possible. I was worried with having nets lower to the ground and her potentially getting caught up in it.
I found an idea online that used tubing and metal grates to make a slow feeder out of a galvanized trough. Since I read that horses teeth can wear more trying to grasp hay through the metal I wanted to use either wood or plastic and found a site that used the privacy lattice for their slow feeder. It looked great! While looking at the lattice Steve and I decide the vinyl one would be safest. It did not have little staples in it and the plastic could be cleaned easier as well.
Steve went to work with nuts, bolts, eyelets and chain to hold the lattice in place. On one end we use a carabiner to be able to open the feeder to put hay in the trough. It was really easy to drill the holes and get locking nuts to hold the eyelets in place. There is nothing sharp on the chains or the lattice, we made sure to file the cut edges.
The lattice easily moves down as the hay level decreases and it gives Dani a little longer time to eat since she has to work the hay out of the holes. The holes are about 3 inches. I might end up finding a smaller lattice at some point because my mare seems to be pretty inept at getting the hay in big mouthfuls but it's still smaller mouthfuls than without.
I really want her to have hay available at all times and hope that this unit will help. Below is a video of Dani figuring out how the feeder works. It was raining pretty hard outside so that's what the noise was. We need the rain so I don't mind not being able to ride! Sorry I wasn't able to attach the video below but here is the link. Not sure why my youtube videos were not being found by blogger.
May 21, 2013
So lately I've just been uploading pictures from my iphone using the Blogger app on my phone. Not good here is the difference.
The above picture is uploaded from the phone via the Blogger app. It looks awful!
The below picture is from me connecting my phone to the computer, uploading it to my files, then uploading to photobucket and from there doing a direct URL link. Why should it be so different? It's from the same camera!!
Sorry that lately the pictures have really sucked. Uploading from my phone using the app is so much easier and then I can write the blog later. Oh well. Guess I'll have to do it the longer way but I promise...all those pics were mostly in focus even if from a cell phone.
May 19, 2013
May 17, 2013
It's been a good week at KCRC. I've been going twice a day to care for my mare. Once I get the slow feeder built it should only be once a day like a lot of the other boarders do. I will feel better with a slow feeder too since I know she'll have more time devoted to chewing. I have a couple toys on order as well. She seems pretty content and I'm sure she'll be more content as other horses move into the stalls next to hers. She has a decent amount of room even though I wish she was in a paddock at least but Laurie kept her colt Eksodus in the round pen (he was stalled with the others in bad weather) when he was still intact and couldn't be with the mares. He seemed to be fine but I'm not sure how much exercise she gave him, it may be something to inquire about to make sure I keep my girl happy. I'm getting out to play with Dani often and to let her run in the arena. I also let her out in the "common" area as I'll call it when I'm working on her stall.
May 13, 2013
Oh what a weekend it has been!!! Friday evening Steve and I went to the Icky Barn as I will now call it to check on my girl and start moving tack. Luckily the guy wasn't there, he was at the rental down the street, so we could move tack and supplies without having to discuss it with him. I contacted his wife, the actual owner of the property to let her know our moving intent. She asked if anything had been done wrong and I assured her I felt that Dani's care was fine (it was ok for the most part...) just that KCRC suddenly had an opening I had to take. I didn't want to start an ordeal with the warnings I'd received....
Saturday was the big move day, the owner of the ranch said I needed to give a 5 day notice and since I hadn't she would just charge those days in addition to the 7 days I'd received the full care for Dani. As the contract was written that made complete sense to me so we wrote up the end of contract notice and both signed it, I received my refund of board (prorated) and was thankful for no drama. She seemed very baffled by my leaving but I was afraid to tell the real reason for fear of her getting yelled at or the person who warned me. Better to make it seem like I'm a flaky person and leave it at that! Of course my issue was not with this gal but her absent husband; Steve, my friend Rich and I were relieved to show up at the ranch and not have HIM there.
The night before we'd tried to arrange when we could get there to load the hay and there was issues with feeding times and calves in the runs etc etc. After some curt emails with this man, we finally arranged a time that suited him and luckily the riding club people were understanding so I could leave my volunteer post at concessions for the rodeo at KCRC and head down the road to get my mare. When I volunteered I had no idea I would have to move my girl so abruptly!
We arrived with two trucks to load the hay. The original loading of the hay when I purchased it was done by professionals and Steve was more confident for us to just use two trucks to load to make sure we only had to make one trip. The pen that was opened to give us access was the calf pen. Uck! I don't think this pen is ever cleaned because in the week I was here the poo just kept piling up with alfalfa smashed into it. That's how I would have to go to get my tack, one other reason I'm happy to be leaving. We slipped and slid moving the 30 bales of hay into the trucks...yuck! I grabbed my metal trash can feed bin, double checked the shed for last items to grab and then went to get Dani. The boys drove the trucks to KCRC grounds and I walked my girl down the road.
Nothing major happened on the walk to her new home, though I got strange looks from people on their porches. One guy yelled out "Nice lookin horse!" with a smile. I laughed and said "Thanks!". Another couple were on the porch and something loud clicked...grill ignition? Not sure. Anyways Dani shied just a little and I calmed her, tried to move her this way and that and get her thinking again. I need to do some serious work with Clinton Anderson methods, the round pen and arenas at this place will be great to use!
I arrived with Dani just as the boys were done stacking the hay. I only had a 20 quart bucket to fill for water and I placed her hay on the ground (she's used to eating from the ground since that's what they did at Whispering Winds). She was safe and happy and began eating her hay right away. I finished up with the Little Britches Rodeo concessions at 2pm.
May 12, 2013
May 10, 2013
I was recently warned and made aware of something about someone at my new barn by members of the KCRC. I have verified the reasons behind the warnings and thus do not feel comfortable being there or boarding my horse there. Nothing bad happened to Dani nor did I feel it would, it's a comfort and safety issue for me and anyone I may bring to the barn. Nothing happened but since I now know, I cannot get past it and need to leave. I really don't want to get into it here but all you readers would have come to the same decision if in my position I am quite positive.
The good news is KCRC is down the road and Dani will be moving tomorrow to her new home. I like the facility a lot. It's self care and being closer to home it will work out quite well. One of the boarders only comes once a day to feed her horse and makes sure to leave plenty of hay...usually there is still left over hay too. I'm going to work on getting a slow feeder situation set up for Dani so she'll nibble throughout the day and some pony toys to entertain her. The only thing I don't like about the facility is there is no pasture or larger roaming area. Dani will be a run/pen. Not my favorite situation but in the future there is a possibility of moving her to a slightly larger area and then there is yet an even larger area that is fenced in....the primo location that a boarder with two horses currently uses. I'm told as people move their horses out of KCRC current boarders can have access to the larger boarding areas. Boarders also help each other out when one leaves for vacation and needs someone to look after their horse. GG as I'll call her, also friends with K, has already offered to look after Dani when I am out east for my step-daughters graduation. Awesome! I'll have to arrange that with her and return the favor or buy her the best gift ever! KCRC members are turning out to be really nice, helpful and "watch my back" kind of people!
I'll post more on the KCRC location but I'm sorry I really don't feel I can post the reasons for leaving my current boarding situation of 6 days. It's pretty serious though and a huge liability that I will not accept. I'm ready to reduce my stress over this and get on with moving all my stuff, 30 bales of hay and my silly horse yet again. Luckily I don't require a trailer for this move!
May 09, 2013
I was not intending to buy a trail saddle just yet, I was gonna wait another month, I saw a deal while looking on Craigslist for trailers to rent that I could not pass up, after a week I had to contact the seller. It was a Circle Y trail saddle for $485!!!! 5-10 years older yes but still in great condition! I went all the way down to Fountain to check it out and sit on the saddle in this lady's garage. It was very comfy feeling, just like I knew it would be. For those that don't know, Circle Y make great saddles and the cheaper models are usually in the $1200 range while the top models can be near $4k!! Julie Goodnight advocates for these saddles as they help keep you in the proper seat, dressage type seat that I'm used to, and she even has her own line of Circle Y saddles!!
I was hopeful that the saddle would fit Daenerys. A previous lady had taken the saddle, leaving a post dated check, but found it didn't fit her gelding and so brought it back since she wouldn't be purchasing the saddle. Sounded like it would fit Dani since the owner of the saddle said she used it on rounder Pasos and Arabs....hmmm. I left the check with the lady and headed home. The next day I brought Steve out with me to try the saddle on my girl. The night before I spent time on you tube revisiting how to cinch up a western saddle! LOL.
The saddle isn't as heavy as some western saddles can be so I already liked that. It fit on Dani's back nicely and I felt around under it without a pad on to see if there were any pinch points. Then I cinched it up. The off side billet is also a long latigo which is odd, usually there is a double leather off billet that is shorter on that side. Those are cheap though. I do have to say that it seems Western saddles are easier to get tight and then once I mounted up I noticed it didn't slip as much as my dressage saddle does, even though the dressage fits fine. It was comfortable sitting on the horse as apposed to sitting on a box in the garage. I'll have to adjust the stirrups until I find the right length since I shortened them too much but I was very happy with the saddle....especially for the price!!!
I had Steve hop up too and he liked this saddle much better than the dressage saddle when we tried it at Dover saddlery last year...it hits him in his butt bones weird. He'll be comfy riding Dani in this saddle if he ever does. Actually this is the first time Steve has been on my horse!!! Doesn't he look handsome? I seriously need to get him his own horse and get him hooked on riding!
I contacted the lady and said that she could cash the check, she was delighted I liked it and wished me happy trails....she'll get back to me in June when she finishes moving stuff from her ranch, there is a matching breast collar that goes with the saddle that she hadn't found yet. That'll be cool so I'll hold off buying one for now same with the off billet for the back cinch, I don't know it I will really need the back cinch since that's for roping cattle. Thoughts western riders???
I have more tack stuff in the mail already!
*New girth (since the one with the saddle is not 100%)
*Green saddle pad
*Leather Halter/Bridle Combo
*Another French link snaffle bit
*Green and tan rope reins
We'll be all set to ride WESTERN! Hopefully I can meet up with K at the riding club and see if we can do some trailer work this weekend...we'll see, it's Mother's Day and my family does things with my grandma, my dad's mom. There are also some small cattle pens at the riding club grounds that I could work with when I don't have access to a trailer. I also have a plan for getting Dani used to Uschi's trailer so we can ride together and also trailer to lessons at Laurie's! I'm hoping here in a couple weeks I can fork over some cash for 5 or 10 lessons. I'll have to ask Laurie that price because when you buy a pack she cuts you a deal....it's been a while since I bought a set! Anyhow, that's the most recent news. I'll try to get some pics of the barn I'm at now, it's nothing fancy but I love the MUCH shorter drive from work and home!!
May 08, 2013
Oh my little mare. What will I do with her? I knew going in that she was a difficult loader. I would love to practice loading but lacking a trailer I cannot. I was hoping that the wash rack issue would have helped with the next trailer loading but it didn’t. Several members of Kit Carson have offered for me to borrow their trailer so I’ll have to figure out a way to utilize that resource. I’d like to get a few trail rides in this summer!!
My friend Uschi helped me out on Saturday and man was it a long day! Her trailer is a nice tall and wide, two horse strait load. The partition swings to the side to allow a bigger area for the horse to first load. I struggled with the rope halter, I don’t use it too often and where the knot has to be tied can be tricky to get a hang of exactly how to tie it so it won’t loosen. As I was struggling Uschi stepped in and got it right. I started to work Dani back and forth on the lead line, Uschi took control and began working Dani. My mare was being a butt!
To make a long story short, she would get on the trailer but stay for a second and just back up right out again. Then Uschi would ask her to load again. That was our mistake right there and I’ll tell you why in a second. We got the mare comfortable with the divider being closer and closer and started to get her used to the butt bar. Then we had her in the trailer, me at her head feeding her hay and a handful of sweet feed. The butt bar was up and Uschi was preparing to close the door…that’s when Dani freaked out with the butt bar against her. In my stupidity I held onto the lead rope as my mare backed and limboed UNDER the butt bar to get out of the trailer!!! Rope burn like no body’s business. Ouch. Dani was fine, she received a cut on her hip but nothing serious.
That set us back and finally in desperation I called a gal from Kit Carson who is leaving in a month for the Clinton Anderson Academy. I’d only talked with her, K, via email but this sweet woman dropped everything and rescued us with her stock type trailer. The biggest difference between what she did and what we had done was she WORKED Dani outside the trailer. Behind it, on each side….even if Dani showed interest in the trailer she still worked her. Then she had Dani get on and let her rest. As soon as Dani tried to get off the trailer she worked her hard again. This went on for about 10 minutes while Dani stayed longer and longer on the trailer. Then we began closing the door and not opening it until Dani stood calmly and quietly. Then we’d open it and often she’d just stand there. Once she got off…work, work work. In less than 30 minutes K had Dani on, tied and calm in the trailer. Off we went!
K dropped me at the driveway leading to the ranch so we had more room. She had the trailer stopped and just stood there outside to make Dani realize that she didn’t need to rush to get out. We opened the door and let Dani stand some more then slowly backed her. She didn’t seem to want to get off since she was most likely thinking she’d have to be worked. I hugged K and thanked her a million times. We’ll hopefully get together over the next couple of weeks so I can absorb as much information about trailer training as I am able!!
Dani was finally at her new home. For the time being she’s in a round pen in “quarantine” from the other horses. In a couple weeks we’ll make the introduction to the other horses and she’ll hopefully be on the pasture if there is rain. I’m still thinking I may need to use the grazing muzzle when she’s on pasture…I’m nervous about that. Anyways, now it’s just a matter of settling in and getting used to our new environment. Phew!
Oh and guess what, there are two other people boarding here at this ranch. A nice vet that I met a week ago to get the Strangles vaccine for Dani and someone else with a horse I looked at a while ago Red Flags. I'll discuss that later but hopefully he and his wife are busy enough I won't have to deal with them a lot. I don't need to talk with him or try and be his friend. If he leaves me alone I'll leave him alone besides I think he's so arrogant he probably doesn't even remember me!
May 05, 2013
May 02, 2013
The A to Z blog challenge is done!
I struggled, sometimes I posted very little or only posted a video. I learned a lot about things I hadn't investigated before about the horse world. The month of April was very busy at work with three weeks of long days and little horse time. I'm glad to have accomplished this challenge but also happy to get back to blogging about my favorite subject.....Dani!
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming....
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming....
May 01, 2013
Zebras, the white and black striped equines of the savannas. They are so pretty and so cute with their laugh sounding bugle. There are four main species of zebra. The plains zebra is found in the savannas from Sudan to Northern Zimbabwe and has a population of roughly 750,000. The Grevy’s Zebra is found in Northern Kenya and only has 2,500 individuals in the wild. The Hartmann’s Mountain zebra is found in Namibia and Angola and has a population of 800-1,300. Lastly the Cape Mountain zebra has the smallest population at 600-700 individuals and is located in South Africa.
|Cape Mountain Zebra|
Much like mustangs and other wild or feral equids, the Zebra lives in herds with a stallion at the head. They graze and travel many miles over the grassy terrain with regular trips to the few watering holes which can often spread disease. The striped pattern of their coat is thought to either blend in with the tall grasses of the plains or prevent the color blind lions from easily seeing them or to be distracting to pursuing predators. The stripes could make it hard to identify one animal to single out.
|Hartmanns Mountain Zebra|
Zebras have been used to cross breed with horses and donkeys for several centuries. Generally the hybrid of Zebroid as these animals are generally called, look more like the non-zebra parents with stripes focused on the legs or neck. Sometimes an animal will have their entire body striped.
Zebras have 32-46 chromosomes while donkeys have 62 and horses have 64. This difference in chromosomes can make it tricky to create a viable hybrid. As such zebroids are not fertile. Most hybrids of zebras have some form of dwarfism noted with larger heads and slightly abnormal proportions. The successful zebroids are generally from the union of a zebra sire to a non-zebra equine. When the opposite occurs for the cross, meaning a zebra dam with a non-zebra equine sire the offspring usually do not make it to adulthood.
The Zedonk is the correct term for a zebra/donkey cross. I think they are very cute and since the zebra has an almost donkey look anyways this cross doesn’t appear too different. It looks more like the African wild ass.
The Zorse or a Zonny are the terms for zebra/horse or zebra/pony cross. Some have been successful riding partners but the zebroids tend to be more temperamental than their equine purebreds. Zebras alone are also temperamental and reactive being a wild animal they need to utilize their reactive side of the brain for survival. I think as cute as they are I’ll just stick with horses and donkeys but they sure are interesting!
Below are the sites I extracted this information:
I think it's a cute sound!
Hay yields are low throughout the west due to the drought. Right now hay prices are insane, I’m a new horse owner so I don’t remember the good ole days when hay was $2-$4 a bale. If that were the case today, I could feed Dani for an entire year for $520, that’s at 130 bales!! I’m counting year round haying too, no pasture in my equation. Right now as it stands it could cost up to $1917 to feed her for an entire year based on $14.75 per bale. Pretty big difference!! I would like to save a few dollars per bale and get that number down a bit. I’ve seen hay priced at $4 or so in other states…. I doubt that the hay prices will yield and lower in the next year or so.
I’ve been pricing hay because once Dani is moved to her new home I’ll be providing her the hay. The ranch owner feeds alfalfa to her horses and though I’ve read many good things about alfalfa I don’t think it’s what I want Dani on. She’s an easy keeper and doesn’t need the extra calories, I’d rather her eat more of a lower valued grass hay to keep that mouth of hers busy. The extra protein is excreted in her urine and I’d have to adjust her vitamins to balance out the extra calcium she’ll be getting from alfalfa and honestly, I don’t want to do that. I think if I’m paying good money for a quality forage most of it should go into the horse, no peeing out that precious protein!! I’m extremely leery of switching her right now. I want to get her weight down a little bit and I don’t think alfalfa will help that cause. You can ask 10 different people about alfalfa and get 10 different opinions. I don’t think it’s bad or good, just not the best choice for my mare at this time.
I went to a local big change feed store and bought a bale of timothy to switch Dani to. I had plans to get about 20 or so more bales to tide us over until first cut when the interested members Kit Carson club could potentially get together and form a co-op to purchase bulk hay. I’ll get into that in a second. The bale on display and then one I ended up with looked very different. You can see the hay on the left is not as “nice” looking as the current hay, on the right, that Dani is eating. I’m not happy but I only bought one bale, glad I didn’t get a pickup load! I’ll be trying another place this week to see if the quality is better, it appears to be but an in person inspection will be the best way to tell. I can’t find anyone who tests their hay!
The cooperative…so this is something that I suggested in an email to Kit Carson members when trying to find information on hay sources for right now. I received about 6+ emails of people wanting hay and interested in a co-op. Many are needing 300 or so bales!! We could easily get together and probably get a deal on a couple semi-loads of hay. The only thing is I’ve never done this, not sure how to assess hay if there are no test results and the hay is several states away!! I guess my idea is to email everyone that has contacted me and perhaps begin a committee for the club.
What to do for start up?
• Determine type of hay and quantity/weight that each member needs
• Add up total amount and begin contacting local and other suppliers, check out local hay auctions too since that could be an avenue
• Determine cost of each hay bale that includes shipping
• Decide on best deal (best quality of hay for price)
o Keep a running list of good suppliers for future purchases and “off season” purchases for new members or members in need of hay
• Collect money from all members in co-op
• Print receipts with hay amount to be picked up for each member
• Pay for and schedule delivery of hay to KCRC grounds
• Arrange a schedule for each member to pick up their hay at a certain time (that way the grounds aren’t over crowded)
We’ll see how this goes and if this is the way the club would like to go!