Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chrome is awesome! (four wheeler pictures)

 Chrome is awesome!  Okay, so I'm biased, but still he's so smart and not afraid of anything.  :D  Check out these pictures.  This is only his second time doing this. 

 Looking at it all alert while I climb on....

 Almost asleep as I start to drive off.  We have nicknamed him the narcoleptic horse because he's always so sleepy eyed lol!

 The really awesome part is that Faran and Zep follow too so they get their exercise as well!

I love how far under he's stepping.  Doesn't he look good??  I think exercise agrees with him hehe.

 Notice the loose lead and relaxed posture?  

 Faran almost walked up to me.... not quite brave enough though.

 Pretty boys!

 I love these.  Getting his halter taken off while I'm still sitting on the running four wheeler.

 Oops, hung the halter on his ear, but he still didn't pull out of my reach.  :)

Hanging around to get his neck scratched in his favorite spot (four wheeler still running).

This one was blurry so I played around with it to make it look cool.
When I drove off (as fast as I could go in first gear) to put the four wheeler up, he still followed me.  :)  

Love that cute booty.  You can still see he has a fat belly and still needs to gain a lot of muscles in his haunches.  This will be a good comparison shot after his workout program.  :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I met a 1.5 million dollar horse!

 Don't be mad!  I can't post the pictures because I don't have permission (he was muddy and needed a bath, so she doesn't want me posting them), so you'll just have to look at pictures of my cute boys.  Anyway I went with my farrier to a dressage barn that I've never been to before.  I got to hold this gorgeous warmblood stallion while she put his shoes on.  He's trained to Grand Prix level dressage, but his owner hasn't shown him in years due to a back injury.  I still can't believe I've touched a horse worth that much lol.  :)

And here are pictures of my much less valuable (if we're talking strictly money lol), but equally loved boys.  

 Chrome standing guard while Faran and Zep nap.
I took this picture from a loooong way off.  Faran got up when I got too close.

When I walked up Chrome nickered at me which caused Zep to look up, lay his ears back and start to bray...

 ...then he decided braying was too much effort....

 ...and went back to sleep.  So cute!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Chrome has a really bad habit of slamming his chest into fences and even rubbing his chest on them.  This is very destructive when you have field fencing, so we ran an electric wire along the top of their pasture fence.  It took all day because we had to clear the brush off of the fence..... I am going to be so sore tomorrow I won't be able to move.  Clearing five acres of fencing is hard work!!  So anyway, Chrome has never seen electric fencing before so I grabbed the camera to film his reaction... I know I'm a mean momma lol.

He didn't overreact like a lot of horses I've seen do.  He just reacted to the shock, spun around and trotted away.  He's such a stoic horse!  I still remember when he had the puncture wound in his hock and the vet was digging in it and flushing it out.  Chrome lifted his hoof, but didn't react otherwise.  I think the vet was surprised lol.

Anyway I know he will have to touch it a few more times before he realizes it's the fence, because right after getting shocked he went around the barn and slammed his chest into the gate.... brat!  He will figure it out though and hopefully my fences won't take anymore damage.  Now everyone needs to keep their fingers crossed that the dang deer don't hit it while jumping over the fence and tear it up. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Couch to 5k - Awesome Longe Lesson!!

I had one of the best longe lessons with Chrome today....... and of course no picture or video because my husband is out of town.....  Darn!!

Today was his third workout following the Couch to 5k program.  It started out with a five minute walk, two minute trot, five minute walk... and I just realized today it should have been a five minute walk, three minute trot, five minute walk... oh well.  I'll do the three minutes next time.  :)

I've been doing his workouts loose in the round pen, but I felt like he was too high headed and a little stressed, so today I got out my longe line and went out into the middle of the pasture.  He did soooooo much better on a line in the middle of a field than he did in the round pen.  I think there is just too much to distract him in the round pen such as the gate, the hay bale, the poop pile (yeah he won't go through it and I really need to clean it up lol), the duck's food bucket (the only place we can feed them that the horses can't steal it), etc.  Out in the field he concentrated completely on me.  Faran and donkey stood just outside his circle and stared at him as he went round and round lol.

The thing that totally surprised me and made me soooo happy is that he remembered EVERYTHING!!!!!  He listened to the voice cues for walk on, and trot, and best yet whoa!!  He did them perfectly!!!!  His whoas were so impressive.  As soon as I'd start to say it he came to an immediate, and SQUARE, halt!  :D  Love it!  I was using my clicker and treats since that's how I originally taught him and when I would click and he would stop or if I said whoa and he would stop he waited there!!!!  He waited patiently and quietly while I walked to him, fed him his handful of timothy pellets and walked back to pick up my rope and whip.  :D :D :D  I know the smileys make me looks like a silly kid, but I'm just that happy with him.  At one point he did try to turn in to me, but I flicked the whip at his shoulder and he went back out on the circle and waited.  :)

It wasn't until our walking cool down that he finally remembered to lower his head.  So during his cool down we worked on that. We will work on duration with his head down and head down in the trot later.  :)  I wanted to keep the session short and sweet, not to mention we were following the 5/2/5min Couch to 5k workout.

After the workout we walked around the pasture working on head down some more, then we went to this dirt pile (where we dug out the pond when I was a little kid and left the hill of dirt, talk about fun to play on!!).  I had him walking up it, backing down it, walking down it and backing up it.  We also worked on shoulder yields and hindquarter yields.  He was a total rock star!  I love my horse!  I'll try to get a longe session on video when my hubby gets home.  :)

P.S.  All of the work on the dirt pile/hill was at liberty.  :)  Oh and since my husband is out of town I don't have help for measuring him, so I'll do his Monthly Progress Report when he gets home. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trotting Chrome! - Chrome's Seventeenth Ride

 Hey guys!  I rode Chrome today instead of taking him for a hand walk out on the road.  I rode in the round pen because I decided to work on trotting!  I had my husband video tape us, but I'm waaay too embarrassed to post it.... my riding position has gotten horrible with no practice or lessons in over seven years... I have no core strength at all and couldn't figure out how to post to Chrome's trot at all because he was slow, fast, slow, wiggle, drop shoulder, fast, turn head to outside, wiggle, slow, fast, etc.  A typical baby lol.

I've been longeing him some, so he's figuring out the trot on cue.  He actually did really well picking up the trot!  His biggest problem was maintaining the trot and circles.  He just doesn't have the strength yet.  We only trotted six or seven strides per trot, then I would click/treat.  I definitely need to strengthen my core because I kept collapsing forward when he would stop so suddenly for his treat.  :)

He nailed his whoas which is awesome, because that's one of the things that had me worried.  :)  I started out in the saddle, but he was being balky so I pulled it off and rode bareback.  It didn't change the way he was acting so I don't think the saddle is to blame.  I think it's just really hard work for him because he has no muscles!!

There was one point when he ducked in sharply on the circle and tried to stop so I tapped him with the whip and he ducked his head as he jumped forward into the trot again.  It felt like a crow hop, but it wasn't.  If that's the worst "attitude" he pulls I'm totally cool with that hehe.  I think I totally psyche myself out sometimes because when I think about it I start thinking of everything that could go wrong, but once I'm on his back I'm as happy and confident as can be.  I get to start taking dressage lessons again in June (on a school horse) so hopefully that will boost my confidence some more as I get my strength and position back.

I rode for probably twenty minutes but only got about five minutes on tape because my memory card was full.... go me!  :-/  I took some screenshots off of the video of some of our better moments.  I was wearing jeans and sneakers so my pants leg pulled up.... I'm wearing breeches from now on lol.  The jeans were horribly uncomfortable.  Like I said my position is horrible.... I constantly caught myself looking down which causes me to slouch and my toes kept pointing out and my feet sliding forward because I wasn't on my inner thigh/calf like I'm supposed to me.  It's just a lack of practice over the years.  I'll get it back I hope.  :)

Sorry for the rambling.  Here are the pictures.

 Our trot!  This is only the ?fourth? ride that we've trotted on and our first ride trotting more than three or so strides.  I can't wait until he develops some rhythm.... he can be sooooo balky.  It should get better with some more practice on the long line I hope.  :)

I like this picture.  :D  My position sucks, but he sure is pretty!!

I'm changing my whip so that's why my arms are stretched forward.   This shows how he was reaching down at times in the walk.  I also like the way the sun is highlighting him.  :)

And this last one is for Faran.  He stood right there watching us the whole time!  Such a good boy.  :D

Anyway that's all for now.  I'm going to stick with my plan to do the Couch To 5k with him in hand and on the longe to get him in shape because he was definitely struggling with me on his back at the trot.  He could barely trot going to the right.  He kept spiraling in on a tiny circle and trying to turn around, so we will be spending a LOT more time in that direction on the longe!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Homemade Slow Feed Hay Net

I made a slow feed hay net for the horses out of hockey net and various other things used to hang it with.  Sadly the hockey net I have is kind of flimsy and won't stand up long so I'll need to order a tougher one, but it works for now.  They still had hay in it four hours later when normally they eat their hay in under an hour. 

The hockey net has sleeves on it so I just put wood poles through it, then put hose clamps on the end to hold the clips in place and keep the net from sliding off and then hung it on a chain.  So simple.  :D  I'll post an update when I get a better hockey net.  :)

Here is a video of Chrome seeing it and eating out of it for the first time.

Here are some screenshots (so kind of blurry) of that awesome neck for those who can't see video.

He was very leery of it at first (which is kind of odd for him lol).


Giving it a sniff.  Then he grabbed a bite of hay, but I forgot to get a screenshot lol.

 Reaching underneath for a bite of hay that I pulled through the net to teach him how to eat out of it.

Isn't he cute?

Friday, March 15, 2013


Everyone want to share what vaccines they give and why?  I would really appreciate any real life experience and any legit information on the web about vaccines, reactions/triggers/laminitis, titers, etc.  So far the only thing I've given Chrome is Influenza, Eastern/Western and Tetanus.  There have been quite a few cases of rabies in skunks in the area, so any info on that would be greatly appreciated.  Is the rabies vaccine safe?  Are they really needed?  How likely is it that a horse will be bit by a skunk?  I'm asking these questions honestly, because I don't know.  I'm not being sarcastic or rhetorical. 

Also do horses really need annual boosters?  I don't give my dogs annual boosters because I've done the research and they don't need them any more than we need annual boosters (obviously some vaccines need boosters like for kennel cough, but I don't board so I don't get them).  After I complete the puppy series of vaccines the only thing I give is rabies and that's only because it's required by law... I don't even give Storm a rabies because she is getting older (almost twelve) and I don't want to risk a reaction.  She's never outdoors without my supervision so she's low risk for getting rabies. 

So as you can see I've done all the research on dog vaccines, but for some reason I know very little about horse vaccines.  I want to change that, but I don't even know where to begin researching lol.  Thanks guys!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Round Penning & Walking Chrome

Since the mud has finally cleared up I put Chrome in the round pen to get a video of him trotting (wanted to see if he was landing heel first).  I was going to share the video, but since I was doing it by myself it turned out really bad... like it will seriously make you sea sick lol.  So instead I got some screenshots for you.  You can click to enlarge the pictures.

He was being a touch lazy, but still showing off his nice trot.  :D  Now I just need to get the clicker out and teach him to put his head down again.  The last three pictures show him getting ready to buck.  He decided not to buck at the last second and just took off cantering, so I don't have any fun bucking pictures.  Like I said, he's lazy hehe.  I only trotted him in the round pen for less than two minutes.  Then I let him have a bite of hay (which is being stored in the round pen temporarily) as a reward for his good behavior.


 I love how the picture above turned out because he was chewing which caused the hay to move and blur.  So cool!

Then we went for our walk.  We've been walking between 1 to 1.5 miles several times a week.  I think next week I'm going to start the Couch to 5k with him.  I'm having trouble deciding how I want to do it though... should I run with him (with him trotting) out on the asphalt roads so we both get in shape or should I longe him on dirt?  Any thoughts?


He loves our walks.  :D  I had to remind him today that he can't balk when headed home because he wants to stare at the neighbor horses lol.  Am I the only person who has a horse who is all eager to go on the way out, but turns into a slug headed home?  Growing up my horses were always in a hurry to get home.  I guess Chrome just enjoys going new places and exploring.  :)  I can't complain about that!  I love it!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More Artwork

 We worked on our new house today and got all of the siding up.  Yay!  We get to start working inside on electrical and plumbing soon.... yay.... not lol.  I didn't have time to take photos or do anything fun with Chromey Pony, so instead I'll share the sketches I've done over the past few days.

First we have Storm and Mac running together!  I love their expressions.  I had to make some creative guesses because the photo I was looking at was tiny and blurry, but I think it turned out great.  This was the first one I did with my new paper and pencils, so I need some more practice with shading, blending, etc.

My cat is next.  I'm still working on blending the shadows.  The photo I was looking at has most of her in deep shadow with a highlight on her head, ears and back.  Her muzzle is lighter because she's getting white hairs in her old age.  I might work on this one some more later.  :)  Oh and I even dug out my old colored pencils to do her eyes.  

And my latest sketch, I did for my best friend of her handsome Paint.  I love his black and white mane.  :)  I totally nailed his expression!  It is so typical of him lol.  The proportions are off a little in his neck and belly, but I still love how it turned out.  There is not a yellow/green cast to the actual drawing, that's just my sad photography lol.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chrome's Sixteenth Ride

Sorry for the totally unrelated picture of the sunset lol.  I don't have anything else.  I helped my dad put siding up on our new house.  We're almost done with the outside, then we can start running electrical and plumbing.  Yay!

After we got done working for the day I ran out to the pasture, put Chrome's bridle on and brushed him off a bit (he must have just rolled because he was a mess), then hopped on for a ride.  I rode him around the yard for about fifteen minutes.  He was being so laaaaaazy!  I should have grabbed the clicker and treats to give him some motivation, but I guess I was being lazy too lol.  He kept wanting to stop and graze, but I used a tiny stick to tap him on the haunches and he listened pretty well.  He was so bored with wandering around in the yard so I let him walk up the driveway.  He pricked his ears forward and picked up the pace.  He LOVES going for our walks out on the road.  I could tell he wanted to go, but I don't want to take him out riding on the road alone for the first time down here.

When we got to the end of the driveway Jackal (my Beagle/Mountain Cur cross) took off after a squirrel.  Chrome stuck his head way up in the air and watched him chase the squirrel into the trees.  After looking around for a minute I turned him back down the driveway.  Then a motorcycle came roaring up the street behind us.  Chrome scurried forward a bit, but never broke into a trot.  We walked calmly back down the driveway to the house.  Oh and our driveway crosses five acres so it's pretty long.

I've been taking Chrome on road walks as often as I can.  We've only been going between 1 and 1.26 miles each time.  I think I'm going to increase the distance for another week and then I'll start longeing.  We had to store hay in the round pen temporarily so that's why I haven't tried longeing yet.  We will get there!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Random Photos From Chrome's Walk Today

 Just some random photos from today's walk.  :)

 They always drink from the steepest side of the pond lol.

 He looks good posing in front of the neighbor's fence!

 So handsome!

 Tired of taking pictures lol!  I caught him mid snort.  :)

 He wasn't spooky, but he was walking around like a giraffe with his head up and nostrils flared at first.

 Head up, looking around.  He totally ignored the guy playing golf right next to us lol.

He eventually relaxed, but he was still looking around, curious about everything.

 Look at the reach he has in his walk when he wants to! 

Well that's all for now.  I hope everyone else got to spend time with their horses today too.  :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One More of Zep

Sorry for the double post today, but I wanted to show you the last one I did today.  This one took almost two hours (with a couple of interruptions) and it's nowhere near perfect, but I think it is so totally Zep!  I accidentally tilted the camera when I took the picture, so it looks like he's about to tip over, but I promise the actual drawing is level.  :) 

Thanks for your comments on the other post guys!  I really need to get new paper and pencils.  I'm using regular printer paper and a number two pencil so the blending and shading isn't very good (not to mention I'm very out of practice), but I've enjoyed drawing again and that's what counts.  :D

Drawing Chrome and Zep

 A friend of mine is getting me interested in art again.  Keep in mind it has been years and years since I've drawn horses.... I haven't done much drawing at all in over ten years.  Anyway, here they are.  Let me know what you think.  :)

 Led Zeppelin

Mr. Chromey Pony

And this last one I drew upside down... literally.  It's an exercise my friend told me about that helps you learn to use the right side of your brain.  I thought it would turn out horribly.  When I turned the picture over I was shocked!  The proportions are off in the neck and I don't like the jaw, but the rest of it is pretty good.  I was especially shocked that the halter turned out great.  I was expecting it to be distorted and angled wrong or something.  It was a really interesting experiment.

The drawings look better in person than here.  For some reason taking pictures of them makes them look weird lol.  You get the idea though.  :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Where is Fantastyk Voyage??

Anyone else follow this blog?

Do you know where she is?  Or how to contact her?  She hasn't posted since July 2012 and I'm worried about her......