Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chrome's First Rider

Dirty, but gorgeous. This shot makes him look like he actually has a mane!

Hehe, did the title get you? This is my friend's pit bull puppy laying on Chrome's back.

She brought her over last weekend to play with my dogs and we let her meet Chrome too.

She was a little nervous meeting Chrome for the first time.
Sorry for the creepy, blurry face. I don't have permission to post my friend's picture.

I like this one because it looks like puppy is standing behind Chrome on human legs LOL!

To see more pictures of the adorable puppy (who needs a name!) see my other blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Custom Wall Clock

Check this out! I bought a cheap four dollar clock and gave it to a friend along with my favorite picture of Chrome and he did this for me. :) It's so awesome. He did one for my husband too (with a picture of Faran). I'll have to get a picture of it sometime and post it too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Excited Chrome Video!!

Note: All photos in this post are snapshots from video so they are not very good quality. Chrome is still cute though!

Sorry I've been so quiet and haven't shared more snow pictures. I guess I needed a break from the computer. I haven't read blogs, posted on blogs, nothing. About the only thing I've done is check email. I've been working out, spending time outdoors and working on getting my house organized so I can take stuff to my friend's house for the yard sale we're planning in the spring. Busy, busy, busy.

Yesterday I was hanging up my hammock (that I've had for almost a year and still haven't hung) and was about to start sweeping the back deck when Chrome took off galloping. Curious what he was so excited about I went around the corner of the house and saw our neighbors riding their horses. They were stopping to point at my horses, talking to someone riding with them that I'd never met before. I went out to say hi.

Chrome was very excited, but he wasn't slamming into the fence like he used to. I decided to bring him out to see how he reacted. He very politely greeted the other horses (he's met two of them twice before across a fence (sorry for the inaccuracy in the video, had to think about it a minute to remember), but one horse was new), with no biting, striking or anything rude at all. Oh and he did all of this in his flat nylon halter, not his rope halter. :D It's only been three months since we got him gelded, but what a huge improvement already.

When our neighbors left Chrome got excited wanting to follow them so I trotted him down the road after them. He proceeded to flip his tail in the air and trotted so big with such huge suspension that all four hooves were leaving the ground. It was awesome!! Don't take my word for it, check out this video my husband took a few minutes later.

And for those of you who can't see videos here are some snapshots.

All four off the ground!! Gorgeous trot!

He even started cantering at one point.

Watching them canter away (yes on asphalt, so dangerous and possibly damaging).

Sniffing the ground where the other horses were standing.

Hope, you enjoyed! I'll try to start posting again. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

This is the best picture I got because my neighbor showed up and interrupted us. Oh well. It's good enough.
Date: 2-19-12 (posting a day late)
Age: 2 Years & 9 Months (33 Months)
Height: 15.1½hh
Height Gain: He gained half an inch! Finally. I was beginning to think he would never grow anymore lol. Out of curiosity I measured his haunches too and they were 15.1hh even so apparently the funky stage he's been going through was his front catching up to his rear. :)
Weight: His heart girth measurement is 69½ and his length measurement is 72, so according to the Equine Weight Calculator he still weighs 1039lbs (it won't do half inches so he's probably a bit more than that).
Weight Gain: No gain.

Progress: Chrome has been sort of busy with Mango Minster 2012, so we didn't get much done. We did play around with the saddle and new blankets. He's losing his baby teeth. Other than that not much. The weather finally got cold so I'm attempting to stave off hibernation. :D

Goals: This really depends on the weather . . . I would like to get the mounting block built so we can practice lining up with it and me jumping around him on it. General desensitization in preparation for our first ride. I really think he's basically ready. He's so cool about everything. If I think of anything I'll work on it. I'm planning to buy some new books with the gift certificates that Chrome won during Mango Minster so we should have some fun stuff to work on when I get done reading them. Don't worry I'll share it with you all when they get here. I'm pretty excited. Anyway, here are his pictures from February the last two years.




"A flower in my hair? Really mom?"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mango Minster 2012 Best In Show 2nd Runner Up!!

Chrome is napping after spending so much energy on Mango Minster the last few days so I'll do his monthly progress report tomorrow. I just dropped in to let you all know he was the second runner up!! Here is the post Thank you all for hanging in there and voting for Chrome. You all are the best!

I'm so excited. I had a lot of fun with this show. Mango Minster is the best show ever. Anyway I'm going to hit the hay (pun intended lol) because I just got back from a friends house after riding horses for hours and I'm exhausted (not to mention sore since I haven't been on a horse in months). :D

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mango Minster 2012 Best In Show! Please vote!!

Hey everyone! Chrome here again. I have to bug you one last time to vote for me please! It's time to vote for the Best in Show at Mango Minster 2012!! Click here to vote:!!

This has been the coolest thing ever! My first ever contest/competition and I'm in the Best in Show. So exciting! Talk about giving mom high expectations. She's already dreaming of all the Competitive Trail Rides and Dressage shows we'll be in! It's a good thing I have to be five before I can compete because I need more practice. :D

I wanted to say thank you all for supporting me in the biggest of adventures I've had so far. It's been a whole lot of fun. Stay tuned because we will have more snow pictures and videos to come. Thanks again guys!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Faran Snow Pictures

Since Chrome shared his pictures on Tuesday now I'll share Faran's snow pictures. As much as I love Chrome, I have to admit there just is nothing more beautiful than a black horse in the snow! Faran is gorgeous. Check out these awesome pictures.

Faran wasn't too happy about the snow, but he came up to eat his breakfast. You can barely see the green of his feed bucket under my logo.

Zep doesn't like the minerals we're feeding them so he usually leaves a bit in his bucket, so Faran has to go steal it while Chrome is eating his beet pulp. Faran's nose barely fits in a regular bucket!

Then Zep is like, well if Faran is eating it then it can't be that bad, so he goes back over to get his food back lol.

After they finished eating Faran looked back at us, wondering if we were going back to the barn with him.

He tried to lead me and Chrome back to the barn by cutting through the woods behind the pond, but we weren't cooperating with him so he stood there staring longingly at the barn. :)

He let me get a lot closer to him with the umbrella than I would ever have expected.

Faran walked out to the barn and then stood staring at us, waiting for us to go inside with him to eat hay and get out of the snow. I love this picture. It looks like a blizzard (barely got two inches) lol.

When we refused to go to the barn with him he walked back up front and parked his butt in a tree to block the wind. I think he was taking a nap lol. Poor guy.

It finally stopped snowing. In this picture Faran was staring at us, probably disgusted with us, as we walked toward the barn finally.

Isn't he just gorgeous?! I finally went inside so Chrome went to the barn with him and Faran was happy to finally be inside. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mango Minster 2012 Adventure Animals Winner!!

Sorry for the double post, but Chrome has some exciting news he wants to share with you. So here he is:

Hi everyone, Chrome here. First off I would show you my big happy smile, but as you saw in my post yesterday I'm losing my baby teeth so my smile isn't very pretty right now. Just so you know I am smiling over my exciting, happy news! Instead I'll share snow pictures in my post. Mom said I wasn't supposed to share them until tomorrow, but I'm a star now, so I can do whatever I want.

You didn't know I was a star? Oh, that's right! I forgot to tell you my news! I am officially the winner of the Adventure Animals category of the famous Mango Minster 2012. Check out the post here: Thank you so much Dave and Zim from AO4! I never expected to win. :D

If you're out of the loop lately and missed my post, here is my entry into the Mango Minster: I posted a video my mom made that shows all of my Firsts of 2011. It showed off all of my adventurous skills like wearing all the crazy things my mom can come up with, standing on a scary homemade pedestal and tasting all sorts of weird treats my momma offers me. I bravely did it all without hesitation! I tell you living on this farm is always an adventure!

And don't worry, the adventures don't stop here!! My mom has a lot more crazy stuff planned for this year. She even tells me that she's going to climb on my back like my new friend Arty Mouse: She tells me that's why she's doing crazy stuff like this:!! Well I can tell you I'm not sure I like that idea because she weighs a lot more than my buddy Arty Mouse!! Since I am such a great adventurer I will go with it though!

To start off 2012 I've already braved huge blizzard snow storms! Check out the snow in that picture above! I stick my tongue out at death! A little snow can't bring me down. (Note from mom: We barely got two inches, he's exaggerating now!). How adventurous is that?

See, even my forelock froze!

Mom wanted me to show you my snow covered mane. She says it's pretty. I think it's manly, but just to show her my opinion, check out the tongue! Oh yeah!

Also because mom is a wimp and has to have an umbrella out in blizzard conditions (note from momma: the umbrella was to keep snow off of the camera), she even had to hassle me with it . . . while I ate breakfast!! How insulting.

Holding the umbrella over my head while I eat. Also just a little horsie lesson here for you dogs and cats reading this post. We do NOT like objects over our heads because we can't look up and see it like you guys can. It causes us to panic because our heads/throats are venerable to attack from predators like . . . um . . . bears. Yeah bears, not wild doggies (wolves) or wild kitties (mountain lions/panthers), just bears. So the fact that I let mom hold this stupid thing over my head where I can't see it clearly while I'm eating is pretty brave.

And over my butt. I think she was just using me to block the wind off of herself. Wimp!

More umbrella and snowy mane.

And mom says this last picture is her favorite because I look so graceful and fancy. Do you think I look handsome in this picture?

So anyway, I just wanted to share the news about my win and tell Mango, Mango Momma, Zim and Dave thank you so much!!! I'm really excited about this. Mom says this proves that I have what it takes to compete so now I have to do horse shows! I hope those are fun! So stick around guys because things are going to be interesting this year if I decide to let mom do this riding thing that she's so intent on doing. Later guys!!

P.S. Momma wants to know if you want her to let me have a post every couple of weeks where I get to do the talking?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Chrome here! I got a Valentine's Day Card from my new bestest bud Arty Mouse! We've had a lot of great adventures together since we met during Mango Minster. Have a perfect Valentine's Day Arty!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chrome lost a baby tooth (cap) and we got snow!!

Faran in the snow 2-13-2012.

We got snow! We only have about two inches so far so it's not covering everything, but we could get as much as four inches. I don't think snow is as pretty when it doesn't fully cover the grass, but with horses in the shots who cares about grass LOL! I've already taken 600 pictures today so far and plan on taking more so I'll post snow pictures over the next few days. First though, I want to talk about Chrome's teeth.

I use an umbrella when taking pictures in the snow to keep my camera from getting wet and Chrome loves playing with the umbrella. So while he was playing with it I managed to get this shot by accident . . .

He lost a cap (baby tooth)!! And the other front one is coming out soon from the looks of it. I've never seen a horse lose caps before so I have no idea if this is going normally . . . it looks so gross to me!! So for you experienced baby horse raisers, do they look normal? The dentist my farrier lined up bailed on us because he didn't want to work on my neighbor's draft horses and my trainer's awesome dentist isn't taking new clients . . . so she's asking him if he can make any recommendations. I really want his teeth looked at soon. I know it won't kill him, but if he is having a problem I want it taken care of asap. So anyway, I'm not worrying about it, I'm just trying to find a dentist.

Anyway I would love to hear everyone's opinions and be sure to keep an eye out for snow pictures and videos (Chrome and Faran playing!!!!) coming soon. :D

P.S. If you have a moment please look at the previous post and vote for Chrome in the Mango Minster. He's pretty excited. ;D

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mango Minster 2012

Hey everyone! Chrome here. Voting has begun for Mango Minster 2012 and the Adventure category is up! If you read my entry you know I entered that category. If you haven't read my entry it is here:

You can vote here:

There are a lot of good entries so every vote helps! Please vote for me if you have a moment. :) To vote just leave a comment on the Mango Minster blog. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Donkey Update.

Sorry no pictures. It has been gray, ugly, dreary outside lately. Not very photo inspiring weather. When I fed the hoofed ones I let Zeppelin eat (he came all the way into the round pen without hesitation), then walked up to him. I stopped within three feet of him and he stood there. He looked like he was planning an escape route, but he held his ground. I immediately offered treats. He of course gobbled them up. I reached up to pet his forehead and ears (which he normally likes) between treats and also checked the noseband of the halter (last time he wore one it rubbed him there, so I'm making sure that doesn't happen again). I hate leaving the halter on him. I know it's risky, but I just don't feel like I'll ever make any progress without it. I check on him four or five times a day (love having my horses/donkey in my backyard!), so hopefully he'll be fine. If he continues to reject to any pressure on it I may take it back off. I'm not sure right now. Anyway the good news is that he let me pet him on the neck again!! That's so awesome! I'm glad he's relaxing and forgiving us for catching him and deworming him. Love that silly donkey!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quick Update

I wanted to make a quick update on the post I just made called Very Unhappy. We went out to feed the horses their dinner and everyone was in a much better mood. Faran was back to his usual self and Zep walked all the way into the round pen. I sat his bucket a little closer to the opening than I usually do and he walked right past it almost like he couldn't see it. The weird thing is he walked right over to the extra panel I put in for catching him and sniffed around. He didn't seem to associate the extra panel or the small space with getting caught. It was really weird. When he started to leave the round pen I walked down and shook his feed bucket, then walked away. He walked confidently up to it and started eating. :D

After he finished eating I walked to within seven feet of him and held out a treat. He stared at me a minute and then came to me and ate it. I chain fed him several treats, reaching up between treats to adjust his noseband and rub his forehead. He acted wary of the contact, but calmed right down, so I don't think it's going to take as long as I thought to regain his trust (thank goodness, I was feeling discouraged). Then I had to get his bucket, but I didn't want to walk toward him and scare him away so I got smart. I yielded Chrome's hindquarters until they were facing Zep and asked him to back into the donkey because they do that to each other all the time. Donkey moved out of his way and I grabbed the bucket. Then I sat the bucket down for Chrome to play with and held out another treat to Zep. The smart little donkey marched right up to me and ate it!!!

Very Unhappy!

Poor Zep refused to come up to the round pen this morning when we fed. I can't really blame him. I'm sure he thinks we're going to try to catch him again. It makes me sad though. I really thought he trusted us more than that. It's so frustrating dealing with an animal that has no trust at all in humans. Faran isn't happy with us either, I guess because he thinks we're going to deworm him again lol, but he gave in fairly quickly.

If you're the anthropomorphizing type (I do it sometimes lol),
their stares are almost accusing lol.

Zep did finally eat, although I had to put it quite a ways from the round pen. He even came up to me for a treat, but when I readjusted his halter on his nose so it would be more comfortable he spooked again. Sigh. It's going to take a while to rebuild the trust. :(

Chrome was the only happy one. He's always happy.
Here he is wearing my toboggan. He looks like he's greeting his own shadow lol.

And here he is wearing their feed bucket. What an adorable dork!

At least grubby Faran still trusts us, although he's still skeptical of our motives at times. You would think these guys would know we aren't here to hurt them! If the most unpleasant thing we've ever done is put a halter on them and stick nasty dewormer in their mouths you'd think they would feel lucky lol. Too bad they can't understand English!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

He's Haltered!!

I bet you can't guess who is wearing a halter . . . yep, it's Zep!!!

It was time to deworm them and we skipped Zep last time, so we knew we had to get him this time. Since we couldn't use the barn we locked him in the round pen where we feed and I added a panel on the inside so that we could use it to corner him. We eased him into the corner and I squeezed the panel in toward him a little so that he didn't have an escape route, then my husband roped him (gently) with an old lariat. Once we had the lariat on him I went to his head where he had it stuffed in the corner with me on the outside of the spare panel. I reached through the panel and put a halter and lead on him, then we took the lariat off.

When we opened up the panel he bolted. Then when he hit the end of the rope he totally freaked out!! Eventually he stopped and we let him rest. He used to know how to lead a little bit, but apparently he's completely forgotten what halter pressure means because we couldn't get him to step forward off of it at all, so I got my target stick and clicker. At first my husband put a little pressure on the halter and I held the target stick up, but we didn't have much success with that. I forget how small the criteria has to be with him. Remembering that just wearing the halter was criteria in itself we put slack in the rope and just had him touch the target while wearing the halter. I left the halter on, although I really didn't want to. Without it there is no way I could catch him again by myself. So over the next couple of days I'm going to have him practice following the target for a little while until I can get him walking again and then I'll practice with the rope on, but no pressure. Eventually I'll have him leading. And eventually, eventually I'll practice putting on and removing a halter over the one he's wearing. It will just take time, but we will get there. Our first success is getting the halter on!!

Sorry there are no pictures, but it was dark. :) So I guess Taming Led Zeppelin is back on!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chrome Learns Manners

I remembered watching a video somewhere on YouTube about Carolyn Resnick working with a stallion on respect and manners around food. I've always admired Carolyn Resnick's ways, but I've never used her methods before because I can't afford to pay for her books/DVDs. I finally found her blog here ( that has a lot of really good information on it.

So anyway, I don't remember where the video is, but if you search YouTube you can probably find it. On Monday I decided to try it with Chrome since he can be a bit of a brat about food. I've also been making him back up before he can eat his breakfast and dinner. Once I have the barn fixed and a stall I'm going to teach him to put his ears forward before he can eat. It's just hard to do it right now because the other two interfere.

First we played Chase the Tiger because it had been a while and I figured we've been working on hard stuff (backing with head down; will get video later) and he deserved some play time.

Then I locked the other two out of the round pen, sat a bucket of feed down and got to work. I popped him a little hard the first time with the whip by accident, but I'm telling you he has no fear or respect for whips lol. I'll work with him on that (using another Resnick method and yes I'll get video) so I don't have to hit him next time.

I was proud of him! He still sometimes tried to go for it, but a vocal "eh eh" was enough to keep him from eating the feed. With a little more practice I doubt he'll even look at it. :D There are a couple more things regarding feed that I'm going to try because I've finally learned that what we're lacking in our relationship is respect (I know duh right). He knows I can't move him if he doesn't want to (hence having to smack him so hard) and he thinks that he can have whatever he wants, so he's about to learn that I own his resources and I give them to him because I'm a kind leader. Someday we can go back to being best friends, but right now he has to learn that I'm the one in control and he can't keep trying to boss me around. So things are about to start getting interesting around here so keep coming back. :D I know I sound disorganized right now, but I promise I have a whole training plan figured out. Things are going to be a million times better before May using these methods. And don't worry, not a single one of them ever involves even touching him. I'm not going to beat him into submission because I just don't believe in that and it's not the way I train. Trust me I'll be explaining things better soon.

P.S. After going back over this I realized I'm making Chrome sound like a bully, but he totally isn't!! The things he does are very mild and subtle. Things like pinned ears (keep in mind he does pin them during play and that's not being aggressive or anything, just playing) or not moving very fast when I ask him to or stepping into my path. He's not ugly, but the subtle signs he shows are that he thinks he controls the show. So we're going to work on that.