Monday, October 24, 2011

Dirty Boy

My husband sent me a text yesterday while I was at work telling me that Chrome had rolled in the mud and was nasty! I was glad because I was having a bad day at work and grooming Chrome is so relaxing. So when the neighbor offered to bring the tractor over to move some bales of hay I went out to groom the boy. This is the first bales of hay they've had this year so far because the grass is dying back enough that they need some supplemental forage. Check out how gross he was . . .

Nasty (but gorgeous) Chrome sniffing the hay bale. Can't tell if he was really eager or leery lol.

It looks like he tried to cover every inch lol.

Faran was trying to hide between Chrome and the fence because of evil horse flies.

How do you like the final touches he added of hay to his mane/forelock?

It was even in his mane. It looked like dirt daubers tried to build a nest lol!

So I got busy brushing the boy and my arm was tired when I finished. He looked better though . . .

At one point the flies chased them into the trees. I could hear them galloping back in my direction so I hid behind a tree, set my camera to continuous shoot and hoped for some awesome galloping pictures. I got some of the other two as well, but I'll post them later.

Cantering along, totally oblivious to my presence . . .

. . . finally catches sight of me . . .

. . . and sort of goes sideways, but keep cantering by . . .

. . . not a huge spook, but he's so cute doing it lol.

He looks like he's skipping. :)

And some more random fun shots below . . .

I missed a smudge by his eye.

Scratching his leg with a mouthful of hay lol!

I like this one how the hay is raining down on the camera.

Yummy hay.

That's all for today. I meant to post this yesterday, but my computer was acting up.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photo Shoot

I went to my husband's class the other day because they were having a discussion on photography. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. :D He mentioned using a self timer to shoot the moon at night so that the camera doesn't get moved and that reminded me that I've never used my self timer before. I've been wanting to get more pictures of me and Chrome together for a while and my husband wasn't home so I tried it out. Some of them turned out crappy because of the lighting, but Chrome was so cooperative!! He was such a good boy. I was running to the camera and running up to him because I only had ten seconds to set up the shot and he was so great. I'm so proud of him. Let me know what you think.

These first shots I changed to black and white because I had the camera in the sun which caused my skin to be grossly washed out (overexposed). They are still washed out, but it's not as bad now.

I love the set up of this shot (above). I just wish it wasn't so over exposed.

The color version of the one above.

I love my boy. He was so patient. :)

The ones below I was using continuous shoot mode so that I could get shots with his ears forward, so the quality isn't fantastic. Oh well. I still think he's gorgeous.

This one makes him look so big. Remember I'm 5'11".

His expression is from a huge rock I threw over his back to get his attention. He was getting bored so I had to resort to tossing rocks to get his attention. :)

So what do you think? I wish the quality of the photos were better (perfectionist), but I'm so happy to have nice pictures of us together. I've always been so camera shy that I never had pictures of me with my pets so I'm trying to do better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chrome's Monthly Progress Report & Two Year Anniversary

All of the pictures I took turned out like crap lol.
In this one I had to make him back up so he looks like his front legs are camped in.
He doesn't normally stand that way.
He also is looking at the camera, so it's not the best conformation shot. :)

Date: 10-19-11 (Today is also our two year anniversary! I can't believe I've had him for two years already!)
Age: 29 Months
Height: 15.1hh
Height Gain: He's actually 156cm so about 1/3 of an inch over 15.1hh. So he's grown a tiny bit. I really thing he's headed into a pretty major growth spurt.
Weight: The weight tape says 890lbs.
Weight Gain: Which means he's lost a little weight. I'd noticed he looked thinner, but I thought it was from a growth spurt. Since he's actually lost a little I'm going to start feeding him beet pulp again. The summer was very dry so the grass is dying, which is probably why he's lost a little. It's about time to start putting hay out, so I'm glad we were finally able to stock up on some.

Progress: I'm happy to say we have been doing some clicker training and we even worked on some of the competitive trail stuff, so I'm happy. My goal for this month was accomplished. :)

Goals: Okay, I want to get Chrome gelded either at the end of this month or sometime next month . . . scared. This is my first time ever having a horse gelded. We always had mares or already gelded horses. I'm so nervous. We're having it done at the vet clinic so if anything does go wrong at least he's there. I'm nervous about hauling him after being drugged, but we'll wait for it to wear off some. So my goal this month is to get him gelded and work on loading and hauling in the trailer. :) If I have time (and it's not freezing cold) I'd like to work on more of the CTR (competitive trail ride) stuff.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Future Competitive Trail Horse . . . (long post/video!)

I LOVE this picture! Sorry about the lines, but this is one of my new favorites. :)
Doesn't he look all gangly and long legged again? I'm hoping it's a growth spurt.

It was a cold, windy day so guess what I decided to do! I chose the obstacle from the Competitive Trail Ride that gave all of the horses the biggest problem and decided to see how Chrome would do with it. :) The white bags with hay that they had to put in front of the saddle while they rode around was the biggest problem. One horse even panicked and bolted away from his owner. Now, guess how Chrome did . . . sorry, you'll have to check out the video and pictures below. ;D

First I brought him up, groomed him and put his surcingle on so I'd have something to tie the bags to. I filled one white trash bag with crumpled packing paper and one with a ton of plastic grocery bags. They don't sound quite like hay, but still an interesting sound. Anyway while he was tied up he was being so impatient and bratty. Probably because of the cold breeze and all of the equipment across the road building a house.

Pawing . . .

. . . playing with his rope . . .

. . . giraffe impression . . .

. . . listening to Faran neigh . . .

. . . playing with his surcingle . . .

. . . giving me adorable looks . . .

. . . more pawing . . .

. . . and he did eventually settle down and stand still so we could go for our walk.

Still feeling frisky he trotted down the ditch . . .

. . . gathered himself for a big jump across the ditch . . .

. . . and gave a dorky, clumsy bounce across the ditch. Silly boy.

I really wish the mailbox hadn't been in the way for this one. He's so gorgeous!
Look how far forward that rear leg is just below the mailbox. :)
The boy can reach under himself.

Then we went for a couple of trots in front of the house so hubby could take pictures. He was getting some great long strides where all four feet would actually leave the ground. Normally he's too lazy to put that much effort in hehe.

Does he have chunky haunches for a two year old? And a non existent gaskin lol.

After trotting we worked on walking through puddles since we've gone all summer without any puddles. He's always been great with them, but normally I'm walking through them too but because I was wearing my sneakers I was skirting the puddle. I think he thought that meant he was supposed to as well. He did go through them though and we even played yoyo, walking forward and backward through the puddle. He tried to bite me once (brat!), but I kept calm, verbally scolded him and just kept on as if it never happened. If he'd made contact with my skin I probably would have smacked him on the shoulder with my hand or bumped him in the teeth with my fist (gently), but he didn't so I let it go. :) Here's the video.

Then we went for a short walk. He did very well listening to me even though he wanted to be a brat around the neighbor's horses. When we came back to the house we worked with the bags. Check out the video. If you don't have a fast internet connection you can look below for snapshots of the video. :)

I look horrible in the video. I dress down on my days off lol. I'm having trouble adjusting to the cold again. So please ignore me. Here are the snapshots.

Introducing the bags.

He stood with his front feet on the pedestal while I tied one bag to his surcingle. Then when I asked him to come forward he actually put his rear hooves on it for I think the second time. :)

This is the first time that he stood with both rear hooves on the pedestal.
He would have stayed there all day if I'd kept clicking lol.

In the video I joked that he was really butt high here haha.
However the pedestal isn't what we were working on so we moved on.

He repeatedly looked back at it. He didn't seem scared, just a tiny bit worried.

He doesn't look stressed to you does he? And he's only two and a half! :D I love him.

He didn't want to trot with them, so I pushed him away and waved my arms at him, so he did trot for me. I wasn't really chasing him, just using my energy to push him away. He stayed calm the whole time. :)

Then I asked him to stand next to the pedestal and I hopped up to lay across his back. This is maybe the fifth time I've done this and I never stay on for even a minute. He did so great!

A hug for all of his hard effort. :)

Standing calmly (watching the other horses eat persimmons without him awww) while I take the bags off.

So I practiced swinging it over his back from the ground and over his head.
When I went to pull the bags back over his head it hung up on his ear!

He followed me like, mom help me! He never panicked or tried to shake his head or anything. He just walked to me and let me take it off of his ear (while laughing hysterically). :D

I'm so happy with my boy. Even though he was bratty toward me in the beginning because of the sudden change in the weather he calmed down and listened well in the end. And he did so well with the trash bags. I knew he'd be good with them, but I expected at least a tiny spook. I mean those adult horses who trail ride up mountains and across huge rivers were completely panicked by those white bags. I'm impressed with my brave boy.