February 26, 2014

Best laid plans

The weekend of the 14th was Valentines and my birthday on the 15th.  I was hoping for some good riding since it was supposed to be in the 60's!!!  Well, that didn't happen.

I received a surprise flower gift at work from the hubs and at home placed it on my fish tank to keep the felines away.  Worked well.

Then hoping for a nice warm day to ride and play I ended up waking up to 3 sections of fence down.  So Steve and I worked on that.  No riding and no birthday dinner at my parents.  

Really wanted to celebrate my b-day with the pony and loved ones.  Oh well.  This past weekend I at least got some time working with Dani but the wind had been crazy.  Spring in Colorado....

February 25, 2014

Mucky, Muck...but now nice and dry

It's so much nicer when Dani's stall is dried out.  And guess what, the time change is coming soon so that means more riding time!!!

Sorry this is a lame post but I wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive and kicking!  Just general pony stuff going on, some ground work refreshers....Dani retains what she learns well.  I'll be working her in an elbow pull soon to teach half halts and proper carriage (Julie Goodnight).  I'll make sure to post about that! 

I love her and her cute pony nose!

February 16, 2014

Serene Sunday

Somedays you forget to secure your jacket to the post on a windy day.  At least it didn't fall in the manure pile!  LOL

February 12, 2014

Pony Questions....

These are questions from a survey of Simply Horse Crazy.  She stole it from somewhere, now I've stolen it...it's a blog thing.  Feel free to grab these questions and answer on your blog.  Been out of commission lately so this will fill the void until this weekend.

1. What is your favorite breed/s of horse, and if you could purchase a new horse what breed would it be?

Morgans are quickly becoming my favorite breed! I've always loved Arabians but from my experience the type of horse they are has very inconsistent. You have some breeders that breed for useful horses and brains. Then you have others that breed for halter and looks and then you end up with a flighty horse. If I were to look at Arabians I’d want to find a well-trained older Arab from endurance or western work horse lines that has been exposed to a lot! Everything else seems a little too high strung for me, though they are gorgeous.

I love Fjords! Thought they were the cutest darn things and great little beasts to ride! Also Friesians! Love, love, love though I’d need to vault in order to mount one. Haflingers….love um! What would I buy right now. If I could find the perfect temperament and training…..and of course affordable price, what horse would I choose? Um, a Friesian….hands down. My man would look so handsome on one and they are some of the gentlest giants. So gorgeous. Sigh.... 

2. What is your favorite personal tack item?

My favorite tack item I would have to say is my halter bridle. All I have to do is remove the bit hangers and boom, it’s a halter and Dani can graze if we are on the trail taking a break….hypothetical of course since we haven’t gone on a trail yet. I've had compliments about how nice an ensemble it is as well. It matches her saddle and she looks fantastic wearing it!

3. Horse products you swear by?

My Riders Rasp is awesome. It’s very easy to use and if used regularly I can stop little splits easily and keep the hoof edges round. It’s a great tool for in between farrier visits.

I'm also loving Mane and Tale Detangler. I use it to keep Dani's locks nice and smooth....and long. It does a good job without having to be obsessive like braiding her mane and putting her tail in a bag to keep the hair from breaking.

4. Rider products or items you swear by?

I just bought some Mud Ruckers. I had some simple rubber boots but they weren't that comfortable. The Mud Ruckers are awesome and warm. They are great for working in the barn especially now that it’s so muddy from all the snow. I just bought some for the hubby but Shhhh! He doesn't know yet. He doesn't read my blog often so with Amazon Prime he'll get them before he has a chance to read this!

5. Favorite tack catalogs to shop from?

Dover Saddlery is cool, SmartPak is awesome since I can get free shipping if I combine something with my SmartPak standing order. I also tend to like Valley Vet since I can find items there that I can’t find as easily elsewhere. 

6. Is your home decorated "horsey", as in western or equestrian-themed?

Nope. I have a couple items. I have a cool metal art piece (in the living room), a trotting horse print (hung as you first enter our basement) and then some pictures I made into “paintings” with a metal horse head piece that are hanging in my bedroom. I like clean lines so have the rest of my house decorated with similar frames with photography of mine. 

7. Do you wear horse, Western, or equestrian-themed jewelry?

Sometimes I’ll wear a necklace with a horse or horseshoe on it. Daily I wear a horseshoe CZ ring that I bought two years ago at the horse expo. Love it. Wear it on my right hand with my celtic ring. Everything coordinates with my wedding set...well except little Stubs kitty scratches!

8. A style of riding you'd like to try sometime?

It’s not really a style but I want to ride a gaited horse like a Peruvian Paso someday. I’d love to see what it’s like to be on the Cadillac of horses with a really smooth gait.

9. Biggest lesson you've learned about horses?

You have to be patient and understand how a horse thinks. You have to be the leader the horse can trust so that they immediately look to you when there is something scary. You have to be firm when they want to be reactive and act instinctual. You have to be firm but gentle in showing them it’s better to think things through instead of just reacting. This all stems from trust and time spent with that horse. If they realize that you won’t steer them wrong they will do anything for you because they see you as a trusted leader. It all comes back to patience. You have to accept little successes. The big ones will come eventually if you are patient and persistent.

10. Is your significant other a rider too?

Not really. We've done some trail rides together. When we get a second horse I know he’ll ride more often and I can teach him some ground work, since I feel that has helped me a ton in working with my horse. He’s a horse husband and cares for Dani when he’s home. Mucking her stall, grooming and feeding her…..and also giving her big hugs!!

11. What horse issues bother you the most?

Uneducated breeders. I think there are too many breeders that don’t breed for the right reason. They breed too many horses and then sell them with no care about the final outcome for that horse. We have too many horses with not enough homes and then we have a ton of horses that are bred for halter or something not useful to the average rider and you end up with a pretty horse with dainty hooves and navicular....or a brain the size of a pea. It’s all too common in Quarter Horses and I fear it’s a trend that is extending into other breeds like the beloved Arabian. Some breeders just want the blue ribbons and don’t mind how many horses are thrown away in that process. 

Please don't get me wrong, we need breeders. We have wonderful breeds that should be continued and lines within breeds that should be developed further. We just need educated, well intended breeding vs. indiscriminate breeders who think they know what they are doing. If someone won't take the time to go full throttle with all the time it takes to research, then purchase, breed, raise and care for these animals they shouldn't get into breeding even one horse.

12. Favorite horse magazines to read, or do you just read blogs/online sites?

Equus and The Horse. They have a lot of informative articles about horse care and health care. I always look forward to these magazines. I want to re-subscribe to Trail Rider...it was also a great magazine with a Julie Goodnight column to boot!

13. String along some thoughts that summarize your involvement of horses......

Can I have a pony? Can I have riding lessons? I love Chug-a-boom! BC is cool too. I love chestnuts. Breyer horses are fun since I can’t have my own horse. Hmm, okay now I need to pay for my own lessons. Off to college, got lots of things going on. Let’s go on a trail ride friends! Real world sucks, back to Grad school! Got a job now...lets start planning. Hmm, I need to get back into riding full time….let’s take lessons again. Sweet let’s lease a horse! .....Um, dear hubby...can I have a pony? Yippee I’m horse shopping! This one’s perfect I think I’ll take her home. So happy I have a wonderful pony I can love and ride anytime. Hmm….I think we need to buy a second one…..TO BE CONTINUED

14. Do you ever look on Craigslist or Dreamhorse or Horseclicks.com for horses or tack? For fun or real?

Right now for fun but with the potential if I see a nice trail horse that would be a good horse for Steve. I especially like to find the inexpensive horses where someone is just looking for a good home for their horse. Dani was on Horseclicks and Craigslist I think. Obviously a great place to start when looking for a pony friend. You don’t need to pay a lot to get a great horse!

February 09, 2014

February 07, 2014

Frosty whiskers

It's been miserable cold lately.  Dani's been blanketed up but her poor stall is an ice skating rink of frozen yuck!  Each day I've come out and let her run about in the fresh snow.  I take off her blanket and she rolls in a big fluffy pile.

I have noticed that I haven't needed to turn the light on as early so I may soon be able to get short little rides in after work.  We'll see.  I still need enough time.  I don't get to the barn until about 4:30pm, so even with the days getting longer I need just a bit more time to make grooming, and tacking worth a short ride.  Plus with this ice everywhere I'm not too keen on riding and potentially have my mare slip.  She's pretty sure footed but still, not a risk taker am I!

While snapping some photos with the Droid, the only camera I have with me at the barn.  Dani kept yawning and so I snapped this shot.  Blurry but funny.  Her mouth looks like Donkey from Shrek!!!

I'm ready for some warm weather for a couple days.  I want to try and get the sand drained and dried out by spreading the wetter areas out some.  All the manure that has been frozen to the ground that I couldn't kick free (seriously needed a pick-axe for some of these piles!) will be cleaned up.  It's so disgusting!!!  Hopefully with our heat wave I'll get a little ride in too!  Yeah for 30-40 degree weather!  Can't wait for tomorrow!

February 05, 2014

New Pony Friends!!!

Finally Dani has some friends right next to her!  All the other stalls were filled with ponies.  Apparently this is only temporary until the owner buys a new place.  I think they are Paso Finos.  This gal has done some EXCA on some of these guys.  They are very tiny looking, a couple look like yearlings or two-year-olds.

Dani likes having someone to pin her ears back at!

Today as I worked in the stall with my metal fork trying to free the frozen manure piles from the ground the little guys were watching with curiosity.  Some of them spooked when I moved the tarp.  Others weren't so sure as I flapped the blanket about changing out Dani's layers for something warmer.  It's gonna get pretty far below zero this evening!

It will be fun to have these neighbors and hopefully I'll see their owner some.  I see David every once in a while.  It's so cold that we both just come to feed and muck.  Today I was very happy to see him because I couldn't get out of the grounds.  A plow had built a wall of snow at the exit of the grounds and there was no way my little Honda civic was gonna get through.  I grabbed my trunk shovel but it was somehow broken and the actual shovel part spun so I could barely scoop the snow.  Of course my shovel breaks when I actually need it!!  What's the point of being prepared if things break when you need them?

David ran his truck back and forth over the snow mound to flatten it and just then the plow came back and took pity on me.  They opened a nice path, considering they were the ones who'd blocked me in it was decent of them....and honestly should be expected.  I pulled on through and waved a thank you to David.  His daughter in the car was looking at me like I was a lunatic....teenagers!  LOL.  

I'm ready for our 30 degree heat wave we should be getting this weekend!  Hope you and yours stay warm!

February 04, 2014

Snow, Fuzz and Poop

Now that's a title!!  LOL.  We are in for another freezing week.  There was a small respite on Sunday with nice weather but the ground was covered in snow and I wasn't comfortable with riding in it.  Some are braver than I!  Today was a good day to rearrange my tack area.  My SmartPaks contain broke, therefore I'd purchased a set of plastic drawers (yippee, more space for stuff!).  The top drawer will have my SmartPaks.  It was also "warm" enough to spot clean Dani's blanket.  She had poop smears and mud smears in various places.  SO I scrubbed with just water and hosed off those spots.  

The sun was warm enough to dry it within a very short time considering the temperature.  The sun was also doing a number on the snowy roof.  When clumps with icicles fell off the back side they scrapped against the metal siding.  It freaked me out a couple times will mucking and sweeping in the stall.  Later when I brought Dani in for a quick groom, hoof picking and blanketing that same freaky sound startled us both.  She jumped and then looked at me all panicky.  I'd jumped too but immediately stroked her and calmed her down.  Not that she was that scared.  Her spooks so far have been "jump to a stop and stare".

Now onto another random topic, hair.  It's early February and yes, Dani is beginning to shed her long fuzzies.  February, March and some of April tend to be the snowy months in Colorado.  Guess that's why I have a good Rambo blanket with many layering options.  After grooming her the chestnut fuzz covered me.  It was warm enough out I didn't wear my Carhartt so instead used a light shell.  Oh well, it needed to be laundered anyways!

Dani's mane is doing the same thing it did last year, she's getting the short little mane hairs on her off side.  Last year they grew and eventually flipped to her near side.  It's interesting.  I know she looses hairs and continuously grows more just like any other mammal, including us.  It's just odd that a large section grows out like this.  Hmm...she has a nice thick mane that I love so the more hairs the merrier right?  Guess I'll have to keep that upbeat attitude as shedding season comes into full swing.

February 02, 2014

Serene Sunday

Not a horse post but another of my loves.  This is my 55 gallon planted aquarium.  I've been rearranging the plants over and over.  Trying to get that slope of plants from the right to left.  Been fun watching the tank today....love fish TV

February 01, 2014

Cold, cold, cold!

Love my pony. Wish we could ride today. I miss having access to an indoor arena :-(   We need this moisture though!!!