Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Blankets (question) & Mounting Practice

Faran's adorable snip.

We stopped in town today to pick up a couple of thin saddle blankets for the boys. I don't like to share pads and blankets in case of rain rot or some other contagious skin disease. It's just healthier that way. So we got their own blankets for wearing under anything they might share (or just by itself). The blankets were too long though (but too small folded in half), so we may have to do some creative sewing (that would be removable if needed). I also tried something interesting with Chrome's.

I LOVE the color. We have to match hehe.

What I did was put the surcingle over the blanket and then folded it back over. I'm thinking it could be a good way to secure the blanket for bareback riding. The blanket would protect my legs from being rubbed by the surcingle (I won't be sitting on it obviously, but my legs my overlap it a bit) and further down is protected by half chaps. So do you see any reason this wouldn't work? It would just be for keeping sweat off my breeches. Regardless of if it works or not he is cute! One more picture.

I put two more holes in his halter and tightened if up some more. Look better? The throat piece is still a little loose, but there is no way to adjust it so he will just have to grow into it. :)

Also, quick funny story before we move on to Faran. Our neighbor stopped to say hi so my husband was showing him the new Aussie saddle while I played with Chrome. I was letting him see the blanket for the first time and we were having fun with it. He threw it in the dirt lol and I put it over his head. Then I led him blindly (well he could see a little in front of him, enough to tell when I stopped) over to our neighbor. He was hesitant at first, but he trusted me. :D Good boy!

Now Faran.

See how large the blanket is when place correctly?? Chrome's dwarfs him. I think if we sew up the sides a little just to shorten it enough so that it's not in the girth that it will be okay. :)


My husband main intent with putting the saddle on was to see if the breastcollar that came with the dressage saddle that was given to me would fit Faran and it does! Yay! It looks handsome on him too. Then we were standing there talking and I suggested he try putting his foot in the stirrup like I did the other day (click here to see the first time I put a foot in the stirrup http://rdxhorses.blogspot.com/2012/01/faran-wears-our-new-aussie-saddle-video.html). Unfortunately I didn't get video this time. Too bad because his reaction was explosive lol.

The first time my husband put his foot in the stirrup Faran was fine until he reached up to grab the horn and then he literally flew sideways about three feet (without ever hitting his rope good boy!). Upon finding his trigger (reaching for the horn) we got out the clicker and went to work on it. He was very nervous (in fact he spooked at the first click lol), but he quickly settled down. We watched specifically for relaxing signs (ears, snorts, licking, etc) to click and in no time he was even offering lowering his head (his current default behavior lol) when my husband put his foot in the stirrup. Win!

A couple more pictures of my cute boys. :)

And a couple more of my cutie colt.

Yes I was leaning on his haunches lol.

Loving my boys (all three of them)!! :D I hope everyone had a fantastic January!

P.S. Oh and I almost forgot. My husband worked on Faran with his hooves too and he did fantastic on all but his right hind. He was very resistant with that one for some reason. My husband gently persisted though and Faran finally gave up. They are both getting a bit thrushy from all of the wet weather, so Faran is about to get a lesson in spray bottles on the feet hehe.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our play time on Saturday . . . cute video!

We found some old stuff so we brought the horses up on Saturday to try some of it out. They were so muddy!! First they had to check out the stuff (see the old pulling collar?). Captions are all above the pictures (I think).

Notice Faran's gorgeous, thick tail . . . and the MUD!

Now I understand why some people don't like black horses . . .

Chrome got to try the collar on first, while Faran waited (and dumped my husband's groom box).

Here's Chrome's video.

Did you like my mocking reference to War Horse? LOL Then it was Faran's turn to try the collar and Chrome had to wait (not too happily lol). Check out his muscles. Is it the way he's standing or is he a lot more muscled on his left then right?

Here's Faran's video. Notice how he leans away from it at first? He's so leery and skeptical of everything, but he's getting soooo much better!

And a picture. It was so cute how he just relaxed into it when he realized what it was.

I also found my old breastcollar I used to use on my Appaloosa mare. The little white spots are where I had sewn bells onto it. They were crushed so I cut them off and I have new bells to put on it later (need to get a strong needle).

I put on his cavesson and driving reins, but left the halter and lead on too for my husband to hold, so we could try ground driving down the road. He was doing really well (sorry no video) and we were practicing having him move to the opposite side of the road from my husband and Faran, without trying to turn around (the reason my husband had the lead rope and also for safety on a public road). Then we saw our lease land owners and stopped to chat. Dark caught up to us so we walked home. We will make it further next time. :)

I have another fun post tomorrow about what we did on Sunday. :D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Adorable Chrome Pictures

I was digging through the attic and found Chrome's old foal blanket from two years ago. Remember it? Here's a picture of his first day trying it on.

It was way too big for him. Now check it out almost two years later!

Isn't he so cute?? This picture is also a perfect example of how much he crowds me. I was letting him lick my hand as a distraction while my husband took the picture, but as soon as he was done with the picture I made Chrome back up. He stepped back two steps, gave a huge sigh and just stood there. It was so cute. I wish he'd gotten a video of it lol. Now that I'm insisting that he backs up he's getting a lot better. I still need to be better about it though and not let him get so close.

P.S. I am going to punch a hole or two in his halter so that it will fit better, I just haven't had time! We weren't going for a walk so he was fine in it. I think if it fit better he would listen to it a lot better too. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I got the Liebster Blog Award from Margaret at Just Horses and DS at Adventures in Colt (filly) Starting. Thank you guys!!

Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. Here are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs

I'm going to choose blogs about clicker training that I've been following a while, since last time I received the award on my other blog Living a Farmer's Life I chose new ones I was following, so here they are:

1. Heroes and Dragons - She has adorable Fell ponies (and lots of other cool animals) she rescued, does classical dressage and clicker training! What more can you ask for?

2. Painting Pony - I don't know how many followers she actually has, but wanted to mention her blog. She has awesome Chincoteague ponies and she also does a lot for the breed. Her ponies are known for their talent painting and she does it all with clicker training!

3. My Friend Grayson - I love her horse Grayson. He's just awesome. They do a lot of clicker training too and have such a great relationship. :)

4. Nuzzling Muzzles - An always entertaining blog. She has three gorgeous Arabians. I've been following her blog a while, but she's pretty new to clicker training. I'm always excited to read about her progress with it, but I understand she's really busy right now and it's difficult dealing with the evil neighbors. Looking forward to her move where she can have a private property to enjoy her horses again.

5. Hoofprints of Enzo and Kaspin - She doesn't do clicker training, but I wanted to mention her because she has the most awesome Friesian colt ever who is around Chrome's age so it's been a lot of fun following her progress. She just got an adorable Haflinger too!

Thank you guys for the award!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chrome wears our new Aussie saddle! Video!

Oops I forgot to get still shots, so I grabbed a couple from the video.

Isn't he handsome? I think he looks great in it. And even if he doesn't get any taller (I know he will because he's only two and a half) I'll be totally fine with that because the stirrup sits right at his underline. :) That's a huge improvement over the ponies I rode as a kid with my toes hanging to their knees lol! I know this is totally a copycat post, but you knew I couldn't leave Chrome out hehe. Also there is something really exciting in the video!! Check it out.

Note: If the saddling is boring you can skip ahead to 5:00 to see the exciting part. :)

Yep, first time ever putting weight in a stirrup. Previously he's always been bareback and I just laid across his back. He has his ears back probably because it's uncomfortable having me mount from the ground (I know, I know, I should use a mounting block, but I don't have one; we're actually building one today!). I think he was awesome and I'm so proud of him. If you can't watch the video here is a picture. :)

I think he's going to be so easy to start. I've had Chrome since he was five months old and I spent a lot of time hugging his head, neck and barrel so I don't think he's at all claustrophobic. :) I can't wait for May!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Faran wears our new Aussie saddle! Video!

I told you I had something exciting to share. :D Okay, so maybe saddling a horse isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but when you have a horse like Faran who has been abused it is a big deal. He did so great too! Look how handsome he is wearing our new saddle.

He makes it look small hehe. He was nervous at first, but as soon as we got the first pad on him (used two to keep my nice one clean) he relaxed and seemed unconcerned by the whole process.

It appears to fit him really well (I should hope with custom sizing lol)! It sits a bit high in the front, but they said once there was weight in it the panels would compress a bit. I'm so happy to have such a nice saddle that fits for such a good deal. :)

Here's the video. If you get bored of the saddling part you can skip ahead to 5:37 to see the interesting part.

I think he did so well! He was nervous when I put my foot in the stirrup because I bumped him with my toe and he's soooo sensitive, but he calmed down and I kept my foot in the stirrup until he stood still. The second time he was perfect. Note for anyone who can't watch the video I did not get on, I just put my toe in the stirrup and put some weight in it to see how he would react.

We're proud of Faran. He's relaxed a lot and has been doing so well! I'm looking forward to a fun and productive year with him.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chrome's Hooves

Okay, I said I was posting something exciting today, but I wasn't able to get it ready in time, so I'm posting about Chrome's hooves instead. I don't work tomorrow so I'll get it done then.

Anyway the reason I'm posting about Chrome's hooves is because my new farrier has definitely made some great improvements, but it feels like progress has stalled out. I've learned a lot about hooves, but I have a LOT more to learn, so I'm asking the barefoot trimming experts(or if you know one who wouldn't mind looking at my pictures) out there to chime in please. I would appreciate an explanation on what I'm seeing and advice on where we should go from here.

Chrome still has clubby rear hooves (all his heels look high to me) and really short toes. He has a lot of concavity and his frogs look like they need to shed (been muddy here). He is getting close to due for a trimming, so this is toward the end of his eight weeks between (going to ask her about more frequent trims because I think that's too long for him). He does toe out (but doesn't interfere) and it looks like he stands with more weight on the insides of his hooves. If you look at the last picture it's weird! I never noticed that before. Anyway here are his pictures. Sorry some of them are blurry and the camera is tilted on some. Hope they still show what they need to.

Left Fore

Left Hind

Right Hind

Right Fore

Picture from the side.

Rear view.

Hmm, the reason it looks like more weight is on the inside is because he toes in . . . I didn't realize it was that bad. Sheesh.

So any thoughts/advice??

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

Date: 1-19-12 (posting two days late oops)
Age: 2 Years and 8 Months (32 Months)
Height: 15.1hh
Height Gain: Nope, still not growing in the front, but his wither are becoming more defined and look at his haunches! He's apparently growing back there right now because he is so butt high lol.
Weight: His heart girth measurement is 69 and his length measurement is 72, so according to the Equine Weight Calculator he weighs 1039lbs. I think the calculator is so much more accurate than a weight tape. :)
Weight Gain: He gained twenty nine pounds. And he doesn't look fat yay!

Progress: I took Chrome on some walks, even down the highway! Other than that I haven't done much. I've done some refining of the cues he already knows and discovered that he knows how to put his head down on a voice cue alone! Exciting. :D

Goals: If it continues to be this mild outside I would really love to try some ground driving with him again. If not then just continue with walks, grooming, just messing around.

So here are our comparison shots.


I can't believe this muddy picture is the only one I took of him!! Or that I'm posting it again lol.


Crappy picture lol. Should have waited until morning!


Check back tomorrow for an exciting post!