August 29, 2013
It's been a while since I posted. It's been a while since I've ridden. Things have just been adding up at home with other critters needing attention, the lawn needing mowing (but too much rain to get out and do it!). I get off work in time for the rains to start. Lately we've had a bit of a break lately with the rain, I did spend one evening from 7pm to midnight in the EOC with potential flash flooding in Manitou but luckily nothing major happened over the burn scar. The roads around Dani were closed that night and I saw film of water rushing through the driveway. It was even worse then the video I'd shown here!
Dani's stall and one other were pretty dry but the others had big puddles in them. Not sure where the water was leaking in from but I'm glad Dani is in a dry stall!
I've been really missing my husband whose traveling makes it harder on me taking care of everything at home. If I lived alone I wouldn't have a house this size, it's only 1800 square feet but with all the critters dragging dirt in it get dirty very quickly.
On craigslist I found a great deal on rubber stall matts. Most had little holes but I didn't care, they are big 4 x 6 matts!! I'm using them just where Dani eats so there is less chance of her ingesting sand and dirt. Granted horses graze on grass that grows in dirt and sandy dirt around here. But I figure the matts and the sand clear are my preventive measures.
I've also been scoping out hay, I purchased 10 bales of heavy 65-70 lb brome in Franktown for $11.75. It's decent hay but had twigs and odd things in it. Dani doesn't care she eats around it all and doesn't leave a stem untouched. I just pick out the bits before her next feeding but prefer to find a better hay. Again, sticks and other objects are found in pastures too. I found a great deal with a club member who purchased some hay $8 for 65-70 lbs but there doesn't seem to be the interest to get a full truck load, so me needing only 100 bales is having a hard time with that....bummer it's good looking hay! I guess it's late in the game. Earlier this summer we were all ready to buy a truck load because one gal in the club had found this great deal and great hay. The next load went to another club member and it turns out the guys were not good dealers...it was bad hay so they rejected it and the rest of us for the next load backed out too. I think everyone went in on their own. Next year will be better. We can get the hay committee in full swing. We didn't get the KCRC board approval until July!
I'll be buying hay from a local charity, the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank. They are getting nice small bales 65lbs from Grand Junction. I'll make a post about this soon. It's an awesome group and I really want to support them since they will charge a little less than feed stores but still enough to "make money" so they can then purchase hay so it's available for horse owners in need. I'll take pictures of our future hay day, I'll be glad to have my hay for the year stored and done with!
I've done more ground work with Dani. She's doing great, really getting used to the whipping of the ground which desensitizes her to movement and sound. I have poor videos of it and will have to redo them and post. She throws her head up at first but then realizes oh yeah, this isn't scary. I know someday she will be a great trail horse. With my hay almost purchased my next step is saving for that trailer I need and want!
I will be better about posting soon but at least Dani is doing well though the flies are really starting to come out in force!! Grrrrr!
August 20, 2013
I volunteered to help with the Extreme Cowboy Association competition hosted at KCRC. EXCA as it's called is a competition done in western tack and attire. The riders are timed and go through a series of obstacles. This particular course had the rider go into a "box" and turn there horse several times clockwise and then counter clockwise. Then they had to take a rope off a barrel and loop the barrel and ride their horse around it coiling the rope around the barrel. The next obstacle include three 1 foot jumps. Then a circle that had poles laid out to make the horse trot nicely over the poles in each direction.
The next "obstacle" was a free ride, most people just galloped around the arena and didn't do anything every interesting. Then they had to drag a pallet so many feet and then rode between two cones doing a stop and turn, run, stop and turn etc. Next they had to open the gate to get out to the other obstacles. After that there was a stand that had a pulley which pulled a tarp up in the air. Many had their horses walk through it with the tarp flapping around! Then they had to back up a hill and back down a hill. Next was ground tieing. They dismounted, ran up a couple of jumps on a little hill and came back to mount their horse. The final thing was running over a bridge and going back to the gate to close it.
There were several divisions, youth, novice, non-pro and pro. Some of the higher divisions added the cowboy curtain (noodle thing) into the mix or had slightly more complicated maneuvers to do. I found it very fun to watch. I was up in the eagles nest doing the timing for the runs. Each rider is judged by time but also horsemanship and how well the team does each obstacle. I could see getting involved in doing stuff like this with Dani at some point.
After the event was done I grabbed Dani from her stall and round penned her for a little bit and then brought her over to the tarp. I pulled on the pulley and she started as the tarp flapped all around. When she calmed a bit and licked her lips I let the tarp down. We repeated this, each time the tarp getting higher and faster. She became very calm about it and even tried to nibble on it. I may have to build one of these since the club doesn't own one, it's a great desensitizing obstacle! We still need to work more on the cowboy curtain.
When I finished my chores and playing with Dani I went to my truck to head home. Guess where all the flies decided to hang! The roof of the cab was covered in flies!
Anyways, it was a long day but I had fun working with other club members and learning about the EXCA.
August 19, 2013
My best friend Marie was out for a week in July. We hadn't seen each other in almost 4 years! The great thing with Marie is we can always pick up where we left off like it's been no time apart. Being at the club a couple times a day to care for Dani we ended up getting sucked into the July 4th parade in Monument. They needed a pooper scooper so we figured...."Why not?"
Marie was a good sport and we had a good time honestly! Horse poop is harder to pick up from the the concrete so I'm thinking for the future a dog scooper and shovel may work better. I'm even contemplating making a little wagon for my Border/Aussie mix to pull in parades. It will be a while before I have the courage to try Dani out in parades so pooper scooping will be my job when I do parades.
Loren rode his trusty Angel, the beautiful buckskin mare. She's solid as a rock and sweet as they come. Many people took off their hats and placed their hands over their hearts at the American flag passed by in the procession.
There were a lot of horses but for the most part this was my view! There was a gorgeous black Percheron I thought was a Friesian at first, and several wagons pulled by teams. The Pikes Peak Rangerettes were out in full costume and were a sight to behold. Very pretty ladies and gorgeous horses!
The Rennaisance festival had several elephats, horses and a camel! Luckily they had their very own pooper scooper though! I think Marie will never forget this fourth of July!
August 15, 2013
Dani enjoyed a graze as I did my chores. The ground is not that absorbent here and with all the rain we've received it's pretty well saturated. It's nice to be feeling better and able to chill outside with my girl. This weekend we have some club events going on but I should get out to ride and do some work with her. Also have a hay post I'll have to write soon. Hope everyone and their ponies are doing well!
August 11, 2013
Been very sick, some stomach thing where I have lost 5+ lbs in only a couple days. Havent kept anything in but doing better now. I am still really weak but on the upswing I hope. Here is my serene post, sent from the hubby who went to care for Dani on Saturday. A fellow boarder David has been so kind to care for while I have been unable to. I miss my pony...
August 06, 2013
When you were just 8 months old, you met a pony for the first time! You didn't know what to think at first. She was the biggest "dog" you'd ever seen!!
She lipped your daddy's pocket looking for treats....and sniffed your feet to figure out just what you were!
But then she just fell asleep in the afternoon sun while you and your dad tried to figure out what to make of this big red animal. It was a new thing for both of you!
Face to face you looked at each other, right in the eyes. You gained courage looking into her gentle doe eyes and she felt calm seeing your big contented smile.
You said hello and Dani sniffed you...she thought you were pretty neat. She'd never seen such a small bipedal creature before!
Everyone was happy to meet Dani and you couldn't keep your eyes off her. You were ready for your own saddle, boots and riding helmet!!
Since you were still small though, Mom and Dan held you tight and let you sit on her broad back. Dani liked having you up there and stood quietly like a good girl. Aunt Christie praised her for keeping her nephew's safety in mind.
Even with the tight grip your parents had on you...you still moved around to figure out what this "thing" was that you were sitting on. It wasn't a chair, a car seat or a sofa. It was a real live pony! How much fun!
One day, you'll come out to Colorado again and ride with Aunt Christie. I'm sure you will love it and Dani will too!
I love you Bryson!!
(thanks Mom for taking the pictures!!)
August 05, 2013
It's always something with horses, that's what makes them fun and interesting. Daenerys doesn't like the cowboy curtain or noodly horse eating death machine. I've been working her from the ground and she would stand there with just her head in the noodles, bopping her in the breeze.
She planted her feet and won't move forward but I made sure she kept staring into the noodles. Then I backed her up and did several changes of directions releasing the pressure when she was near the noodles. Very much like trailer training!
Finally I decided that reducing the amount of noodles would help. It did! We had success. Every few passes we made walking through the noodles I released a few more noodles. We'll keep on until the curtain is fully noodly. After I feel she is going in and out of the noodles consistently we'll try while under saddle.
The other obstacle I've worked on Dani with is the water puddle. The club has a box set up that can be filled with a few inches of water. Dani is going through that no problem, even under saddle. Also after many of the rain storms we've had lately I've worked her in the muddy puddles around the grounds. Much improved over the puddle issue she had at Whispering Winds! LOL. The more desensitizing I can do with her the better. She will be a stellar trail horse someday I know it!
August 04, 2013
August 02, 2013
I was a little disappointed today when I went to the barn and it started storming like crazy. Dani gets really excited in her run when it thunders and the rain pours. Several times I felt there was a Dani butt getting a little to near to me too fast so I back off into the back of the stall, sat on the hay and waiting out the rain.
Good things come to those who wait! Two gorgeous rainbows came out after the storm had past. Eventually they were full across the sky and very very bright!!
I let Dani out to play so I could set up her new trough filter (more to come on that!). I had to grab the iPhone and take some photos. Nothing like a wet chestnut horse in the sun with a dark gray sky and rainbows behind to make mundane pictures a little more interesting. Darn it! Wish I'd had my SLR camera!!
Down went my wet mare.....
Up came my muddy mare....
But she shook for joy and went on to grazing. Later I did some work on the "cowboy curtain". That will be a post to come soon. You can see the object in her rolling picture. It's dangling noodles and rope that a horse has to walk through. I will have to say that we ended the day on a good note though. The rainbow was awesome! More to come!!
August 01, 2013
My original location for the Jolly Stall Snack was not very good. Since Dani could press it up against the railing she made quite the mess and it lasted only one night. At least she enjoyed it!
The next location was dangled from the rafters so it was about rear end height for Dani. She never paid it much attention and I kept ramming my head on it when I would muck the stall. Ouch!
So I just moved it so the "apple" is between the railings and at a decent height. It seems to be her preference. We'll have to see how long this thing lasts now and I'll have to compare how she likes the different flavors. The first was peppermint, this one is apple.
I want to get some more toys, though she doesn't seem to interested in her jolly ball. Perhaps this would be a good friend? Still debating a goat but really just want to get a second horse she can hang with.....