Monday, June 30, 2014

My Favorite Blogs V

Last post!  This was a lot of fun!  I really hope you have all enjoyed it and found some new blogs to read.  :D

The Way to Heaven is on Horseback - Amber's dream is to have her own horse and I hope she realizes it soon!  For now she rides a gorgeous black gelding named Gatsby at Broomfield College.  She lives in the UK.

Thee Ashke - Ashke is a gorgeous gray Arabian.  You have to read his story on her blog.  They are learning Working Equitation and it is so cool!!!!  They also go on a lot of awesome trail rides and she shares GREAT photos of their beautiful trails.

Trail Horse Adventures - Judi has a gorgeous black Morab gelding named Cole.  She bought him as a four year old and did all of his training herself and she uses clicker training!  Cole was her first horse to start from scratch with clicker training just like Chrome was my first.  :D  She loves trail riding and also posts about her sister's new Morgan Dante a lot.

Viva Carlos - This blog was originally about her horse Carlos, but after his death she got a project horse Ramone that she's been working with.  Is he still a project horse or have you decided to keep him L??  Anyway you'll love her blog.  There's something about the way she writes that just pulls you in.  Also her blog hops are the best!

Wait For the Jump - This blog is actually about endurance riding.  You have to read her page on why she named her blog Wait for the Jump.  It's a great story.  Saiph has a beautiful Thoroughbred cross mare named Tigerlily and recently added Gracie a young Rocky Mountain mare to the herd which I only recently learned about because I am way, way behind on her blog and trying to get caught up.  She's also a vet tech!

Wet Reins - This is one I've been following a while, but she hasn't posted in so long I'm not sure if she's coming back to blogging. She has a Thoroughbred gelding Jasper and when I first started following her blog she had a gorgeous Friesian/Standardbred gelding Alexandre, but she had to sell him.  She's an eventer.

I think that's all of them.  Once again if I have missed anyone please leave a comment so I can add you back into my blog reader.  Also if you're a lurker on my blog if you leave a comment I'd love to check out your blog too!  :D  There are easily twice this many more in my blog reader that I either just started following or that looked interesting, but I haven't had time to read, so it's quite possible that in time more will be added to this list.  :)

P.S.  Oops I found another one that was in the wrong list...  Life With My Herd - She lives in Arizona (pretty pictures!!) and has several horses.  Trax is a Paint gelding, Killian and Sassy are Quarter Horses and Melody is a Paint mare.  I found another one that I had lost!!  Tales from the Trail - Gundiva is really cool and she just got a new four year old BLM mustang who is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!  Her name is Skeeter and she has such a great personality.  You have to go check her out!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Favorite Blogs IV

More fun blogs!

The Reeling: An Unexpected Mareventure - I've been following Andrea for years back when she had a blog about her mare GoGo.  This blog is about her new mare O-Ren, a gorgeous Selle Francais who is every bit a redheaded mare!!  She is complicated and so versatile!  It's a lot of fun following their adventures together.  She also has Pangea, a Canadian Trakehner mare, who is the offspring of her beloved Metro.  The most exciting recent news is that Pangea is in foal to Oldenburg stallion Don De Marco!!!  By now you know how much I love blogs about young horses, well following one from conception is the best.  I'm so excited to see how things go for Andrea and her mares and I can't wait to see the baby!

Racing To Ride - I just recently found this blog and started following it, but I can already tell it's going to be one of my favorites.  Her blog header reads:  The adventures and challenges of a dressage rider in the world of Thoroughbred racing and the horses that fill my life.  Who wouldn't be drawn in by that?  :D  She has two gorgeous Rheinland horses Windtalker and Winndelyn, an OTTB named Beefheart and she's even started doing dressage on one of the pony horses name Gunner.  Fun stuff!

Ranch Girl Diaries - I actually started out following her sister's blog (she quit blogging or it would be on this list too) and then started following this one.  Ranch Girl has a (human) baby that recently turned a year old and she has two gorgeous horses.  Riley (referred to as My Boy) is an absolutely gorgeous Appaloosa gelding and Luna is a beautiful BLM mustang mare.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race - Amy hasn't been posting much either and I miss her posts!  She is an eventer and is training her gorgeous OTTB gelding Steady almost solely by herself.  She has three kids and the reason she hasn't been posting is because she's been sooooo busy with Pony Club so I can't hold it against her lol.  I'm glad her kids are having so much fun.

Sprinkler Bandits - Love this blog.  After retiring her amazing OTTB gelding Cuna (who has sadly since passed away) she got the adorable, green OTTB Courage.  It's so much fun following her progress with Courage since my horse is green too.  :D

Super Ponies - You know how sometimes you meet someone that you totally hit it off with straight from the start?  That's what happened with me and Super Ponies (or that's how it felt to me anyway).  She also has a green horse so we have that in common (among other things like their weak stifles lol).  Her horses are Bre, a Quarter Horse mare and Dickie, an Appaloosa/Thoroughbred gelding.  Dickie is so cute and SUCH a character!!  Trust me you will love this blog.  Posting can be sporadic sometimes because she has a crazy work schedule, but that's never bothered me.  :)

Sweet Horse's Breath - Kristen has a beautiful, sweet bay OTTB gelding named Laz.  I started following her blog shortly after Laz had a severe episode of colic and laminitis.  I had just found her blog, but I cried my eyes out as she made the decision to euthanize him.  This was years ago so I may have the details wrong, but if I remember correctly there was a snow storm that delayed the vet a day and Laz made a drastic turnaround so they decided to hold off on euthanasia.  Laz is still alive and doing great today!  To me that was one of life's amazing miracles and I'm so happy Laz is still here.

The Foxhunting Friesian - You will know from the title immediately why I started following this blog hehe.  Friesian!!!  Daajte is a GORGEOUS Friesian mare that she rides in dressage and fox hunts.  It's so awesome!

The Journey to 100 Miles -  Another Friesian!  Nimo is a gorgeous Friesian gelding that she bought at 14 months old and he's twelve now.  Her blog is about their conditioning and journey toward the Old Dominion 100 mile endurance ride.  I hate to say it, but I'm way behind on this blog too!  Ahh I suck!

The Semi Feral Equestrian - This is a fun blog about two beautiful Arabian mares (mother and daughter).  You have to check out her recent posts to see how they did at a show!  They did so well.  SFF (semi feral filly) did so well and she's so gorgeous!

I only have one post left to finish sharing all my favorite blogs!  I really hope I didn't miss anyone.  I feel like I lost some of them in the move to a new blog reader so if I used to read your blog please leave a comment so I can try adding it again.  :D

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Favorite Blogs III

I'm back with more blogs!  I hope I'm not boring you all.

Journey With a Dancing Horse - Teresa has two horses.  Irish, a TB/QH gelding and Steele, a young Andalusian gelding.  I LOVE blogs about young horses who are just being started under saddle since that's what mine was (is?) about for so long.  She just started riding Steele and it's so much fun following her progress with him.  Also she tells great stories and has an awesome sense of humor.

Memoirs of a Horse Girl - Val has a handsome buckskin Quarter Horse gelding Harley.  She didn't grow up with horses, but always loved them and finally made her dream come true by getting Harley.  She rides dressage, has a daughter and is a certified therapeutic riding instructor.

Musings from LogDog Acres - She is an eventer and has three horses.  An Appaloosa gelding, a Tennessee Walker gelding and her most recent addition Mia, a green Appaloosa mare.  I love reading about the work she does with all three horses.  They are all so different!  It's never boring.  :)

My Friend Grayson - I miss this blog!!!  She's been busy and doesn't post much, but I won't take it out of my list in hopes she comes back.  She got Grayson, her adorable Paso Fino cross (so they said) gelding from a rescue.  She rides him bitless and uses clicker training.

News from Oak Creek Ranch -  This one used to go by Aspen Meadows, but they moved to a gorgeous place with lots of oak trees and changed their name.  Annette and her husband have several horses.  Flash, a gorgeous Paint and Mufasa a cute Quarter Horse are her husband's riding horses (although Flash is now retired).  Jackson, a handsome gray Paint gelding is Annette's heart horse, but due to bad feet he's now retired.  Her new riding horse is a beautiful bay Dutch Warmblood mare Lucy.  They also have dogs, a cat, goats, chickens, etc.  Fun blog!

Nuzzling Muzzles - She is a photographer and a writer.  She has three gorgeous Arabians Lostine, Gabrielle and Bombay.  Her husband horse is Rock a Quarter Horse gelding.  I know I'm not supposed to play favorites, but Bombay is my favorite!!  He is a handsome flea bitten gray Arabian gelding that is so much like Chrome in personality it's crazy.  :D

Once Upon an Equine - I'm behind on this one too!  I suck!  She has an absolutely gorgeous Percheron mare named Misty as well as her mini mare Lyra and her mini mule Lola.

Pia and Prairie's Parade - She doesn't have Pia anymore, but she does have an absolutely GORGEOUS black Hanoverian mare named Prairie (seriously you have to see her pictures to understand how gorgeous she is) that is in training as a Hunter since Gingham is currently pregnant.  She also features her mom's older semi retired black Trakehner gelding Gus.

 Pony Express - Alanna has three horses.  Roz is bay Thoroughbred gelding, Emi is an adorable bay Welsh filly that just turned a year old (surely you realize now how much I love young horse blogs hehe) and her newest addition a gorgeous black Welsh mare named Willow.

Princess Diva Diaries - Kelly moved to Kentucky last year and works for the USEF (at the Kentucky Horse Park if my memory isn't faulty - so jealous!).  Her horse Riva is a gorgeous black and white Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross mare.  They compete in dressage.

That's all for this post.  I think I have two more posts to go before I've covered them all.... yeah I'm following waaaay too many blogs LOL!  I hope you're enjoying exploring new blogs.  :D

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Favorite Blogs II

I missed a couple again... I should have organized my reader before I started this list!

All Gear No Skill - Story's blog has been quiet lately too.  I guess we all just get busy in the summer hehe.  Story has a pretty Arabian mare named Dee.

All In - I'm waaaay behind on Karley's blog (sorry!), but she has two horses.  A very hunky OTTB Henry and an adorable young QH colt Grayson that she got back in November.  I love reading about baby horses!

Dressage Training Journal - Carol has several horses but the star of the blog is a gorgeous dappled gray warmblood gelding Rogo that she bought as a young horse and started in classical dressage herself.  Her blog has been quiet lately too because she finally realized her dream of opening her own equestrian center and has been busy building and running it.

Fantastyk Voyage - This is another blog that has gone very quiet and I miss it a lot.  She has several horses, but the one that drew me in is a gorgeous black Arabian filly named Yalla! that is the same age as Chrome so we were going through all the baby raising and training together.  I'm still hoping she will come back to blogging someday.  She shares a lot of gorgeous pictures.  And she loves David Bowie and names all of her blog post titles after his lyrics!  Hehe.

From Wingman to Witching Hour - Another one that is busy and hasn't been posting!  Frizzle has a gorgeous Thoroughbred gelding Salem.

Grey Horse Matters - She takes great pictures and has several beautiful horses, but I'm behind on this blog as well so I'm not really sure what they are up to right now.  I need to get caught up!

Hard To Handle - She is going to school for nursing right now so she's been too busy to post as well.  She has a Paint mare named Pippi and an adorably mini named Chance.  Her mom blogs about Pippi too and I'll share her blog below.

Hoofprints of Kaspin - I originally started following Janine's blog because of her young Friesian gelding Enzo, but sadly he died unexpectedly of a genetic aortic rupture.  :(  Her other horse is a gorgeous Haflinger gelding Kaspin.

 I Pick CRAZY! - This is the other blog about Pippi.  Hard to Handle is Emme's daughter's blog.

In Omnia Paratus - This is another one where I was drawn in because she has a young horse named Griffin and not to mention her GORGEOUS Siberian Husky Kenai.  Liz's other horse is a gorgeous Arabian mare named Q.  She has a lot of great photos too!  Just check out the blog header picture!

I'll post more tomorrow!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Favorite Blogs

I've been wanting to do a post sharing my favorite horse blogs, but it's a long process and I hadn't had time to devote to it.  Since the weather is crappy and I'm stuck indoors I figured I would give it a shot.  If I missed any please don't be sad, I've had a bad headache all day and didn't sleep much so I'm not the most organized today.  :)  If I comment on your blog a lot and you aren't on the list just leave a comment with the link and I'll add it to the list.  Also if you regularly read my blog and I don't read/comment on yours leave a link because I'd love to check out your blog!

Pampered Ponies - Aoife lives in Luxembourg and has two gorgeous mares Kika and Nancy.  Kika is a.... actually I don't think I know what breed she is... but she's a pretty mare!  Nancy is a young Friesian/ISH mare.  For some infuriating reason I can't add her blog to my reader so this one is out of alphabetical order hehe.

50+ Horses - This is a blog about life with horses over the age of fifty.  She has three horses Elvis, Bob and Prince.  I've been behind on reading blogs and just caught up and I'm sad to share that she's having to put her sweet Prince down.  If you have a moment please visit and read his story and leave a comment for her.

A Collection of Madcap Escapades - The name says it all!  This blog is so fun.  :D  Dom is a great photographer and she rides endurance.  She has three horses Ozzy, JR and Dancer.  Ozzy is an absolutely gorgeous Standardbred gelding that I just LOVE!  His personality shines in all of his photos.  JR is a Morgan and Dancer is a OTTB.

A Horse Crazy American in Germany - Lytha moved from Seattle to Germany in 2007 and I think her blog is the first one I came across that was in a different country from where I live.  It is so much fun learning about Germany (which I knew very little about)!  After losing her gorgeous gray Arabian gelding Baasha that she'd owned since 1988 (they were together for twenty five years if I'm not mistaken) she found a sweet Arabian mare named Mara.  Mara has a problem with anxiety especially when out on the trail, but they are working through it and learning how to work together.  I love following her progress with Mara and learning more about Germany.

A Work in Progress -  Shannon is a mom to two kids and three horses.  Her horses are Spider a beautiful bay Thoroughbred, Jack a four year old OTTB and Mr. HottSpott an adorable POA.  Also I have to mention her awesome FEI schoolmaster Vinnie  that she recently lost at the age of twenty eight due to complications from tumors.  He will be missed.

Adventures with Shyloh - Allison's horse is an absolutely adorable Haflinger mare named Shyloh.  Allison is a very active blogger and shares lots of great stories and pictures.

Calm, Straight, Forward - A fun blog with great pictures featuring a beautiful gray Thoroughbred gelding named Valentino.  If you can't guess from the blog title they ride dressage.  :D

Chasing The Dream - An eventing blog with two OTTBs, Yankee and her newest addition Bacardi.  I love reading this blog because it always make she smile with her sarcastic and fun sense of humor.  She was recently injured and just moved back to her home state so things might be quiet right now, but trust me you don't want to miss out on this blog.

Derwen Zebadee - A blog about a gorgeous, young Welsh Cob gelding.  She uses clicker training and just started riding him recently.  They are having lots of fun!

Diary of a Young Horse - Suzie got Echo as a yearling and has done the majority of her training herself.  She recently had a baby so the horse blog as been a bit quiet (her baby blog is linked in her most recent post), but it's a great blog to keep an eye on because she'll be back when things settle down.

Okay I just realized I follow way too many blogs and this is going to be a lot of work so I'm splitting them up into ten blogs per post!  Also if anyone wonders why I get so far behind on reading blogs sometimes these posts will explain why because these are just my favorite horse blogs.  I also have dog blogs, photography blogs, miscellaneous blogs and a bunch of other horse blogs that I recently started following that haven't made it to my favorite list yet.  :D

P.S.  I missed one of the A blogs.  I need to get my list more organized.  A Year With Horses - I think most of you are familiar with her blog and if not please check it out!  She writes a lot of great, informative posts and there are a TON of archived posts and series you can read for fun.

Monday, June 23, 2014

VCMBH: The Simple Life

L. from Viva Carlos asks us:  Other than money, what would make your horse life simpler?

My number one thing would be for Chrome to not have sweet itch!!!!!!  It kills me to see him so itchy and miserable.  His itching makes riding no fun for both of us.  I wouldn't have to schedule all of my activities so that I can be outside spraying him with neem oil right before the buggiest time of day right at dusk (when I need to be cooking supper).  If curing his sweet itch is asking too much then having a barn where I could put him up away from the bugs at dawn and dusk would be on the list.... or having electric fences, no trees and brush and less heat and humidity so that he could wear a fly sheet, boots and mask.  Of course if I were to put fly gear on him I'd have to get rid of Zep too because he would just tear all of it off.

Thanks for giving us a chance to complain and rant L. hehe!!

P.S.  Check out the giveaway A Gift Horse is having.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The view out my bedroom window!

 Sorry my window is nasty!  I never did clean the outside of it after installation because we had sawhorses and equipment in the way.  Now that the porch is cleaned off I need to clean it hehe.

When Chrome is out grazing and the flies start biting him he hides out on the porch by my bedroom window.  :D  So cute!!!!!  I'm going to miss seeing him outside my window when we get the porch screened in but I'm very happy we're finally getting the concrete poured next week!  Yay!  It will be nice having a place outside where mosquitoes can't eat me alive.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

 I LOVE that neck!  So sexy!

Date: 6-20-14
Age: 5 Years  & 1 Month
Height: 15.2hh
Height Gain: The measurement was actually 62.5 inches.. well almost a half.. but I'm not really counting it because he's way overdue for a trim since we're having trouble with scheduling.  I'm betting he's still 15.2hh.  
Weight: I didn't check because I couldn't find my tape measure anywhere!
Weight Gain: N/A

Progress:  Between the reoccurring back pain, all the rain and then building our kitchen I haven't been able to do anything with Chrome lately except let him graze and put his neem oil on at night.... yeah I suck.  However earlier this month I did introduce him to the bit and we made good progress when I actually was able to ride.  I did wash his tail, but I never did practice braiding it.  I rode him bareback and bridleless so that's awesome!  I got his teeth and vaccines done.  I did not get around to working with him on the trailer though.  So I'd say this month was a mild success LOL!

Assessment:  The book suggests asking yourself five questions at the end of each month to see if you're progressing, pushing too hard or not hard enough.  Also keep in mind during the Prep phase there won't be a very noticeable change in appearance.  The Cardio phase is where things will start changing.  Here are the questions:

Where are his muscles filling out?  I haven't noticed any changes, but we haven't been doing our cardio workouts so it's not really a surprise.  I have to get back into gear!

Has he developed any resistances/or has his behavior changed?  
I haven't noticed any changes at all.  He's still does the balking occasionally and the trying to turn back the way he wants to go, but with the bit things are definitely improving.    

Does he start out stiff each day (as if he hasn't recovered from previous day's exercise)?  I still haven't noticed any stiffness.

Does he fade during exercise or show signs of fatigue?  Nope.  :)

Has he lost, gained or maintained weight?  He looks the same to me.  I was going to check his weight today, but I couldn't find the measuring tape.  

 Goals: My goals for this month are.... finish my kitchen LOL!  Find a job.  Let my back heal.  Where are the horse related goals???  I'm going to try to start exercising him again, even if it's just hand walking him.  Other than that I can't make promises.  We'll see what happens.  :)

A very lazy. lame attempt at a smile.  :)

P.S.  I was bored the other day and made a new page showing Chrome's gray progression in pictures.  I know everyone can just go back through the blog to see how he's changed, but seeing it all together on one page in chronological order is so cool!  If you have decent internet speed you should check it out!  If your internet sucks beware because there are a million pictures!  I have DSL with 3mb download speed on a good day and it takes a minute to load, but it gets there eventually hehe. The link is at the top of the blog!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Moldy Bread

Stupid me sat a bag of moldy white bread outside to carry out to the compost and forgot about it.... then my hubby let Chrome and Zep out to graze and they found it.  They ate about half a loaf (not sure which one ate it or if they both got some).... it was really moldy, covered in nasty green.  The vet said it shouldn't hurt them and to just make sure they have plenty of hay, but I can't help worrying because that's just how I am.  Have any of your horses ever gotten into moldy bread?  Did it hurt them??

I was busy all day with the kitchen stuff, so I didn't have time to do Chrome's progress report but I'll do it tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for any advice or reassurances...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

VCMBH: Travel Bug

L. at Viva Carlos asks us "What is your best tip for traveling with horses?"

Well I have never hauled my horses (never learned to pull a trailer and don't know how to drive a standard which is all we have right now) myself.  My husband drives when we haul Chrome and the only places we've ever hauled him is to our old home when we picked him up as a weanling (three hours), to the vet (ten or fifteen minutes) and to our new home here (one hour).  Yeah I need to remedy that!  He is so sheltered!

My method for successful hauling of my horse is to let my husband take care of everything while I pile into the passenger seat in a puddle of terror and stare at the trailer praying that we don't get in an accident or that he doesn't fall and hurt himself....... yeah I have no idea why but I have horrible trailer anxiety (probably from all of the stories I've read of wrecks and accidents).

However someday I will have to grow a pair and learn to haul my horse (I've hauled my friend's horses just fine lol) and start going places with him if I want him to ever be more than a backyard ornament and occasional trail horse.  When that happens I'll probably be begging you guys for advice, tips and checklists hehe.  I do have one tip though that I learned on a Facebook group I'm a member of...

Haul your own water!!!!!!  With the viruses going around it just really isn't safe to let them share with a bunch of unfamiliar horses.  I have a friend who is in college in a different state for equine reproductive science or something like that and most of their barn just came down with strangles...... not cool!  There was one lady on the Facebook group who took her stallion to get collected at a vet or breeding center and he came down with a virus from there.  Also since Chrome is so dang picky about water anyway I'll probably haul my own.  :)

P.S.  Sorry I've been quiet on the blog and not riding Chrome, but we are FINALLY INSTALLING OUR KITCHEN!!!! YAY!!!! I'm so excited!  And busy hehe.  TTYL!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Liberty Action Shots

After my short ride yesterday I put Chrome in the round pen and got some action shots which I've been dying to do for a while.  My hubby took some of them (like the awesome one above) and I took some of them, but I can't remember which.  It was getting late and the light was low so my camera was being very, very slow, so some are blurry and some are overexposed (the ones I changed to black and white).  Disregarding all of that I love them!  So happy to have them.  :D

Weird pony showing he can use his back when he wants to lol.

 He started out super lazy... as usual.

 .... but then got amped up!!! He was having fun!

 Big trot!  LOVE!

 This was during a trot to canter transition.. weird but cool!

 They've moved my poles around hehe, but look he's using his hocks!

Then Jackal got involved (and scolded lol).  I LOVE this photo!

The more Chrome ran around the more amped up he got and eventually he was dragon snorting and starting to sweat so I let him come to me and stand with his head by my shoulder until his breath returned to normal.  I didn't want him to get too hot... poor baby, so tired... the abuse of having to trot around (that's heavy sarcasm by the way)........ yeah as soon as I turned him loose from the round pen and walked off toward the house he bolted into the pasture and started running circles and bucking and then he attacked the donkey and they played like I haven't seen them play in a while!!!  I guess he wasn't tired and hot after all LOL!!  I'm glad he waited to get his bucks out until after I got off!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Too lazy to tack up... bareback and bridleless riding... on Chrome!! (Ride 56)

 He is so cute!!!

Okay, I wasn't actually too lazy to tack up, but I did ride him bareback and bridleless!  :D  I was actually being too lazy to ride so I took the dog out to play in the pasture and was taking pictures.  Then my batteries died so my hubby and I started walking back to the house.  On a whim I asked him to give me a leg up, then I rode Chrome all the way to the front of the pasture with no tack.  He did great.  I was super excited and knew you guys would be pissed without photographic evidence, so I went inside to get new batteries (and my helmet!!).

I used the bridle to make him walk away from my hubby so he could get pictures, then I slipped it off and threw it aside.  My awesome hubby caught this picture above of me tossing the bridle!!  So cool!

 Then we walked to my hubby!  So fun!!

 Look mom no hands!
Wow I'm lopsided...

In the above photo my hubby had just put the bridle back on (I haven't learned to do that from his back yet) but he left Chrome's forelock all messed up so I leaned forward and fixed it hehe.  So vain!

Not the best picture above since my hubby cut Chrome's feet off (he was having problems with the camera being really slow because of the low light) and the ugly barn roof in the background lol.  Chrome looks fantastic though!  So cute!

Funny story with the above picture.  I was watching Jackal and Zep was sneaking up on him and then dove in for an attack.  I yelled at Zep at the same time Zep took off running..... you guessed it!  Chrome took off, but thank goodness only at the trot.  The crazy thing is he tucked his head, carrying it literally like an upper level dressage horse and rounded his back, then started to crowhop, but I said "eh eh eh!" and grabbed his mane (thank goodness his mohawk is long enough to grab something hehe) up near the third vertebrae (I'm tall, his neck is short LOL).  Then he power trotted with his head "on the bit" and his back round!  I've NEVER felt that from him while bareback.  It was so amazing to feel his back lift up like that.  It was BOUNCY!  I held on and we trotted all the way to the gate where he stopped.  I was pretty terrified, but after the fact all I could do was laugh and I was so excited about feeling him move like a trained dressage horse.  It was like a sneak peak of what he will be able to do someday!  Unfortunately hubby was busy saving the dog's life from the evil donkey so none of it was recorded... sigh!  Jackal is fine.  He knows that when I yell Zep's name that he's being ambushed so he took off running when he heard me and escaped unharmed.

I rode him around for a few minutes (total ride was only fifteen minutes) with the sidepull so he didn't think taking off with me and threatening to crow hop would get him out of work.  I didn't scold him when it happened other than the verbal "eh eh eh" because he was using his body correctly so how could I get mad??  Then we kicked back and had some fun goofing off.

The flies and gnats were driving Chrome mad so he didn't have his ears up in many pictures.  In the above picture I'm pushing his ears forward hehe.


I was standing on his feed bucket in the kiss photo so that's why I look so much taller than him hehe.

 Super sexy!

Super itchy!

One last thing, I got a video of him smiling for you since it's been a while hehe.

Isn't he adorable??

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A not very peaceful walk....

One word..... FLIES!!!!  I totally forgot to fly spray Chrome before our walk (but hey look at me I remembered his bonnet... go me!) so the flies drove us bonkers the whole walk.  I think I literally killed fifteen or twenty by smacking them when they would land on him and then stepping on them when they fell to the road.  He got to where he would stop and wait for me to walk around him when those evil green headed flies would land on him.  Poor guy!

He likes sniffing asphalt.

Some of these pictures are blurry because it was very overcast and I didn't put my camera on shutter priority until a ways into our walk lol.  Some of them look a lot alike, but what can you do when all you're photographing is a horse walking down the street LOL!

Chrome was lagging behind and stopping when we first started the walk because he wanted to go home and hide in the barn to escape the flies.  Then he remembered that the neighbor's horses were up ahead and picked up the pace.  Poor snubbed Chrome.  They wouldn't even come out of their barn.  That's how bad the flies were.  Then he spotted a herd of cattle in the distance and stopped.... I asked him to walk on, he went two strides and stopped again.  And again and again and again, every two strides.  So I finally got frustrated and spun the end of my rope at him making him trot circles around me (which I hate to do on asphalt but it was only a couple of circles).  That got his attention and he started paying attention better.

Unfortunately it also riled him up.  He was staring at everything and had his head in the clouds, but at least he was keeping up (I was in a hurry because I was hot and my back hurt).  So we got to the hill at the halfway point and he walked up and down the other side, then turned around and walked back over.  On the downhill side headed toward home he wanted to trot, but he listened.  At the bottom I turned him around to do the hill again.  He balked.  That is getting so annoying.  I swung the rope at him again and he scooted forward, so I trotted next to him about halfway up the hill and then let him drop back to a walk since we were on asphalt.  We went to the top then turned around and came back down because traffic was getting bad (50 mph on a 30 mph road... grr!).

Oh I almost forgot to mention, when we trotted up the hill and then I let him walk he swung his head toward me so I blocked him with my arm.  I do that all the time because I don't like his head too close to my face.  He actually tried to nip me!!!!!  I'm thinking it was probably the flies because I was really close to him so I got in the way, because he hasn't tried to nip in years.  I made him get away from me and we were fine for the rest of the walk.

On the way home he was striding out great (barn sour brat!), but about halfway home he slowed back down because of the flies and he was tired lol.  I was tired too so it was okay hehe.  It was getting really hot too.  I forgot to mention that.

On the way out at one point Chrome slammed on the brakes and looked behind him.  There was a turkey vulture in the road.  As soon as he recognized it he kept going.  Then on our way back home he was still there.  I got some pictures of him on the road in front of us, but I'm not going to share it because he had literally turned his roadkill squirrel inside out and I don't figure you want to see that.  I did get this shot of him when he flew up into the pine trees to let us go by.

The rest of the walk home was completely uneventful.  Once I made it back into the air conditioning with my heart racing I decided I need to start walking every day again because I am SO out of shape lol.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ride 55 - Second ride with a bit and it went great!

Yay it stopped raining!!!!!!!!  :D  It was hot outside but not suffocating, make you want to pass out hot so I rode of course.  The ride was only twenty five minutes (because he was being such a good boy, not because it was hot) and it was our second ride with the bit.  The difference with the bit is just amazing.  He is so responsive to it!

 Uhh.. Chrome... that's not a good pose!!!

 Much better!  He is such a supermodel!

 Looking good (besides the nasty tail and sloppy mane... I fixed that after the ride).

 See how sloppy his mohawk has gotten?

So I hopped on in the yard since the only place we could ride is on the driveways.  I should have gotten pictures of all of the standing water.... yeah our yard is a SWAMP!!  So the only place that has any traction is the driveway.  He prefers harder surfaces because of his stifles anyway.

I sent him up the driveway at a walk and he immediately started that crap where he tries to turn around to go back to the barn.... ugh!  So I kept correcting him, but he would just swing all the way around trying to turn back the other direction.  We seriously looked drunk.  I finally realized (after about half a minute) that our problem was a lack of forward.  So I kicked the crap out of him with my heels and he jumped, startled.  After that he marched off and although he tried to turn a couple of times all it took was one more kick and he cut it out.  That was literally the only thing he did wrong for the whole ride!

So after I got him walking straight and only where I wanted him to go I started working on my position while he warmed up.  I've decided to stop letting him being green stop me from working on my posture.  So I stretched down through my legs, turned my toes forward, rolled my shoulders back and down, engaged my core, stretched up through my head (eyes up!!!), bent my elbows and kept them tucked by my ribs, kept my thumbs up and my hands closed.... that's a LOT to remember without a trainer yelling at me hehe.  I wish hubby had been home so he could get some video so I can see if I had everything right.  When I first started taking lessons I was bad about slouching and leaning forward.  My trainer had me stop the horse and keep leaning back until she said stop.  When she said stop I felt like I was going to topple backward, but she said I was sitting up straight!  It was eye opening.  So I know that just because it feels right it isn't always.  That's why I'm dying to take lessons again.

Okay, after warming him up and working on my position I started thinking about what he needed to learn next.  I wanted to work on neck reining, but he made it obvious he needs more work on steering with a bit so I nixed that idea.  Then I realized that to engage his rear and back he will need to understand a half halt (not to mention it will save my trainer hours of griping at me), so I started working on that.

The thing is I've never taught a horse what a half halt means.  The horses I rode already knew or they were western horses who had never heard of contact, half halts or engagement lol.  I remembered reading at one time that to teach a half halt you ask the horse to stop and then immediately send them forward.  Eventually they learn how to rock back and check themselves without coming to a complete stop.  I figured since he needed some work on whoa that it was definitely an exercise that couldn't hurt.  I was right!  It was great!!

I worked on having him walk on a soft contact (he was keeping his head down, but I couldn't tell for sure if he was behind the vertical so I'm going to have hubby video us this weekend if it's not raining), then I would engage my core, stop following and close my hands.  He stopped!! Every time!!!!!  He's NEVER stopped that well with the sidepull.  So I worked on mixing it up and even added the trot.  We would walk, whoa, immediately back into the walk, whoa, stand still, walk, whoa, walk, trot, walk, whoa, stand still, walk, etc.  I mixed up having him stop and immediately go back into the walk with stopping and standing still because I didn't want him to think he always had to walk off.  He did great differentiating.  We did a lot of practice on standing still too because he's been bad about walking off.  I only had to correct him one or two times.  Normally when I stop him I drop the reins, then I pick them back up and we walk off again, so he got to where if I gathered the reins he would start walking.  So I asked him to stand still then dropped the reins, gathered them up, dropped them, etc. while having him stay still.  He did great.

I also had him stand still while I worked the bit in his mouth alternating gentle squeezes with each hand and he gave to the bit!!  I released to reward him although I'm not sure if that's what I'm actually supposed to do.  I was just so happy he gave because he always braced against the sidepull.  I also practiced flexing him slowly side to side at the poll instead of the through the neck.  He's never been able to do that.  I did a tiny bit of work on backing up, but he's so bad at backing (he's due for a trim and his stifle caught several times during the ride sigh) that I didn't want to push the issue and make him suck back off the bit.  We will work on that more later.

I tried to ask him to bring his shoulders around when we were turning, but he's not ready for that yet!  He needs more work on contact and half halts and leg cues first I think.  I sometimes forget he's still so green because I haven't ridden him much at all over the last two years.  We will try again after he's understanding contact and forward better.  :D

I think that's all we worked on.... I forgot to write this post after the ride like I normally do.  If I wait hours I forget details lol.  Even if I forgot something it's okay.  The ride was awesome and that's all that matters.  My back was starting to hurt and he was being such a good boy that I ended the ride at twenty five minutes.  Then it was time for some beauty shop because he was looking grungy!

 Pretending like he had to work hard!

He actually sweated even though we really only walked for twenty five minutes.  It was still fairly warm, but for June I wasn't complaining and besides it wasn't rain so I was happy!!  So after the ride I washed his tail because I remembered that was one of my goals for this month and I hadn't done it even once!  Oops.  I was also supposed to practice braiding, but my back was hurting so I didn't feel like it.  I also trimmed his mane since it was getting floppy as you saw in the picture up above.  I'm really proud of how well I did on his mane.  Normally when I cut it with scissors I get it uneven and it looks horrible so I cut it all off lol!  This time I managed to leave a bit of a mohawk and got it even too.  :D

 The boy is looking much more civilized hehe.

Here is a before and after shot of his tail.  I just washed the part below the dock with Dawn dishwashing liquid and then soaked it in straight vinegar because I read somewhere that it's supposed to help remove stains.  I didn't really notice much of a difference since it looks just like last time I washed it.  Oh well!  I need to buy some actual whitening shampoo but I haven't been to the store!

Below is one while he was in the shade and it made him really dark, but I actually really like it!  It's kind of artsy hehe.

We had fun!  I'm so happy it stopped raining.  :D

I can't wait for him to build some back, loin and butt muscles
so his back doesn't look sooooo loooooong!  Hehe.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ride 54

Sorry no pictures.  It was threatening to rain, so I left the camera inside.  It was actually kind of nice though because it was cloudy and breezy for my ride... now it's 800 degrees again.  Good timing!!  I rode bareback for about twenty five minutes.  This was our first ride with the bit.

I just rode around the yard and a little bit on the road out front because he's due for a trim and the asphalt helps with break over if nothing else.  I need to call my trimmer.  I wish I could do it myself, but my back won't hold up to it.

Speaking of my back.  I woke up with it feeling tight this morning, so I took some more ibuprofen and I was totally fine for the ride.  Mounting (swinging on bareback from the bumper of my car) was a little uncomfortable, but once mounted I was fine.  We only walked with two short trots.

I haven't ridden bareback in so long it felt weird lol.  I thought he was off on his right front at first... I'm still not totally sure.  By the end of the ride he was walking out evenly on both sides.  I think the short stepping (not limping) was either from being due for a trim, soft soles from over a week of rain or maybe his sweet itch.  It is BAD this year.  He is covered in raw sores.  :(  It makes me want to cry.  I've noticed when he's itchy he gets a lot more balky and walks funny because he wants to reach down and chew.  This exact thing happened last year.  I'm going to try the claritin.  If anyone has any other home remedies for stopping itchiness I would really appreciate hearing them.  I'm willing to try anything at this point.  The neem oil helped a lot, but didn't prevent it completely and my bottle has gone bad so I'm waiting on more to get here.  I really need suggestions for treating the sores and relieving the itching he already has.  I used desitin one year, but it doesn't stop the itch so he just rubs it off.

Anyway back to the ride.  I had his noseband really loose, but he didn't chew very much at all.  I think it's much more comfortable for him now that his teeth have been floated.  He doesn't bite on the metal anymore and just moves it around with his tongue a little.  He picked up the steering really quick!  He was still heavy at times, but I think he's figuring out that pulling and bracing are no fun with a bit in his mouth.  He can't just bully his way through it like he did with the sidepull.

Out on the road we practiced walking back and forth in front of the house.  He wanted to go back home to graze and scratch and hide from the flies so he was weaving back and forth, but it was so much easier to keep him straight with the bit.  After a few corrections he gave up and walked straight.  In the sidepull he wouldn't give up.  He just kept weaving back and forth until we turned around.

We also worked on whoa and I trotted once (to see if he was limping and he wasn't).  I worked on small circles the width of the road and it was great!  He had his head down and was giving in his jaw which he's never done!  He always braced through his jaw (usually counter bent) without a bit.  So I'm pretty excited to start working on all of this stuff now!!  I hope to be able to go back to the sidepull someday when he's softer and more supple, but for now the bit is fine.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed I get this job I'm applying for so I can have extra spending money for lessons!  I'm dying to start taking lessons again.  :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's Hot!

I don't know if you can see it very well, but in these pictures Chrome's chest and shoulders are sweaty.... from just standing around!! Yes, it's that hot and humid.  So between the heat and my back he's been doing a lot of this...


Not that he's complaining.  He LOVES mowing the lawn for me.  ;)  The good news is my back is feeling much better!!  I hate taking medicine, so I was just toughing it out... then my hubby said, "You know your back is inflamed right?  It won't get better if you don't take an anti inflammatory.  Not to mention gimping around because you are in pain and compensating for sore muscles is the reason one side hurts and then the other."  Uh.. duh... so I took some ibuprofen and within an hour felt much better!!  After two days of taking ibuprofen (two, twice a day) I have basically zero back pain.  I didn't take any today just to make sure I'm not masking the pain. I don't want to overdo it if I'm still injured.  So far, so good.  If I'm still not in pain tomorrow (and actually manage to sleep) I might try riding.  Keep your fingers crossed!! Oh and it's been sunny outside so everything in general is just looking up for me hehe.  I'm telling you I run on solar power.. when it's cloudy and rainy for a week my batteries are drained and my mood declines.  Hehe.  Night guys!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The horses I would like to own someday!

Andrea did a really fun post the other day for fun telling us about the different horses she would like to own someday.  I know I daydream about it and I'm pretty sure all horse owners do.  It's not that we're unhappy with our current horse(s), it's just a whole lot of fun thinking of all the other pretty horses we could have fun with.  :)  So since my back still hurts and the weather has been crap I decided to steal her idea and share which ones I would love to have someday.  By the way, this has been a list that has been building over a lifetime so it's kind of long hehe.

1.   Friesian

Anyone can guess that one lol!  I can't help it.  I'm obsessed.  :)  I originally wanted the tallest Friesian gelding I could find, but as I've gotten older I'd be perfectly happy with one around 15.2-16hh.  A gelding (or if this is a dream world I'd have a stallion that I could show, hopefully get approved -yeah right-, advertise and stand at stud to better improve the breed).  I'd want a baroque type, not these modern types that look like black warmbloods that are popular now.

Like this handsome devil.  Look at those legs!!  This is Wessel by the way.  This is his website.

2.  Lusitano

I also love the Spanish breeds, especially the Lusitano.  They are so athletic and agile.  I would love to have one to do Working Equitation on.  If I'm really dreaming I really, really, really want a dappled buckskin one.

This is Lavrador and here is his website.

A Lusitano doing Working Eq.  Image from Wikipedia.

3.  BLM Mustang

I've always thought it would be really awesome to adopt a wild Mustang and train it myself.... however as I've gotten older I'm beginning to think I really just don't want to start green horses anymore.  Since this is in my dreams however I could have someone else train it for me hehe.  As for type... I want one of the big drafty Mustangs that you sometimes see.  Preferably in black.  :)

This isn't a thick, drafty one, but it's still cute.  
This was from a creepy looking free wallpaper site so I didn't link it.

4.  Appaloosa

I love Appaloosas!  Probably because my mare Lady is one.  My favorite color/pattern is a black blanket.  So gorgeous!!  I've never had a loud Appy (Lady had App characteristics, but only frostings of white in her coat) and a blanket would be awesome.  I also prefer the stocky foundation style Appaloosas over the colored Quarter Horse looking ones you see today lol.  That probably sounds snobby!  Oops!

Image found on Pintrest.  

They may not have had nice tails, but they were definitely stockier!

5.  Miniature Horse

Yes!  I want one!  I love them.  I want to hug it and cuddle it and teach it lots of tricks and let him carry a pack and drive a cart and just be friggin cute!!  Black of course.  With lots of hair hehe.  And look we could do a mini hunter class!

Found this on a cool blog post about mini hunter showing HERE.

6.  Morgan

What's not to love about Morgans?  They are gorgeous and so versatile!  They can do just about anything.  Have you noticed that all of these breeds are on the short side?  When I was younger all of wanted was big tall fancy warmbloods or drafts horses, now I want shorter and closer to the ground haha!  For the Morgan once again I want old, chunky foundation style, not the Saddleseat ones.

7.  Cleveland Bay

I have no idea what I would do with a Cleveland Bay, but ever since I was a teenager I've loved them. They are so gorgeous!  Hey this is a taller breed for once hehe.  I just realized the one in the picture has a very weak loin (and I think what they call wasp waist, but not sure), but in my dreams mine would have perfect conformation.... obviously!  Just admire the pretty dapples hehe.

8.  Mule

I have always loved mules ever since our neighbors down the road got some when I was a kid.  :D  I want a big mammoth mule though, not a tiny one like my neighbor had.  He would be my awesome trail mule.  We could do CTR and even dressage. They are so much fun.

Found on Pintrest

9.  Norwegian Fjord

Okay, seriously who doesn't love Norwegian Fjords??  Ever since I saw their manes I wanted one LOL.  I know dumb reason.  They are awesome ponies though.  I love draft ponies.  :)

10.  Rocky Mountain Horse

I have always thought the Rocky Mountain Horse is gorgeous, but I never really thought about owning one until I got older.  I think having a gaited trail horse when I'm older would be really nice, especially with the way my back has been hurting lately.  :)

11.  Marwari

Okay this is my less attainable one, but would it not be the coolest thing ever to have one of these awesome horses??  LOVE these guys ever since I first saw one in my horse breed encyclopedia book.  :D

I bet you thought this list would never end huh?  Hehe.  Yep that's it.  So those are all of my dream horses.  I don't even necessarily have to own all of them.  I would just love the opportunity to work with, ride and photograph all of them.  :)  So what are all of your favorite breeds that you would love to own someday?  It doesn't have to be a realistic list.  I'm a "one horse" kind of person so I highly doubt I'll come close to owning even a quarter of all of these.  It's just for fun.  Thanks for the post idea Andrea!!