Monthly Archives: July 2009

Updates on former horses- Dixie and Indy

It seriously just made my day when I got an email from Dixie’s new owner. I had him over a year and it is hard not to get attached especially as he and I had amazing times in the hunt field. Each time after I hunted him I thought about how lucky I was to have such a lovely horse to ride. He was just always so willing and behaved in the hunt field which is not an easy feat when it super cold, the hounds are running and you are stopping, galloping, stopping and then galloping more. I also have great memories of first eventing outing of this season in the rain when he went around like he had been doing it forever. The feeling of crossing the finish line on a horse who truly loves x-c is pretty darn cool.

Anyway..his new owner finally got some shoes on him and has been out riding him around the fields. It has been hot and dry where she is at so she is taking it easy. She mentioned a bit about bugs and him doing a bit of a buck when a big bomber landed on his butt. We experience that a lot here and I hate it! I think she is really please with him and she is looking forward to getting her trailer ready so she can go out on some meet ups with friends.

I also got an Indy’s Wolf update. Indy was another one who spent a year with me. He also foxhunted and well as doing a bunch of other little shows. His new owners really like him and look forward to hunting him and doing some hunter paces.

It is great to get these reports on my former horses. I think each horse that I have had for CANTER has found just the right home. I have a few people interested in coming to see Rosey so I am hoping she too finds her new home soon.

Therapy

My grandfather passed away early Tuesday morning. It has been a tough time for the family but as always I find comfort in my horses. Last night I really didn’t feel like riding but once I got out to the barn I thought a ride was just what I needed.

Kurt tacked up Charlie and I was on Rosey. I know Kelly loved trail riding Rosey and I loved all the stories on her blog. Sure enough Rosey led the way on a complete new set of trails. I just let her go and she ambled through the woods just as happy as can be. She was eager to go but not really fast just happy. When we got out to the open fields she relaxed into a slower walk. Kurt had never ridden Charlie before so the goal was just to walk/trot and relax a bit.

We had a nice trot and I was asking Rosey to frame up a bit and she was eager to please which was super to see. At one point Charlie cantered off on Kurt and I could see he was a bit in a panic (Kurt that is). He doesn’t know Charlie and because he knew I said to be careful to not put to much pressure on the reins he was afraid to use enough and they cantered a few 100 feet before he got him to the trot. It was all very calm but I was a bit nervous for him. Rosey was super good at just trotting along even though Charlie had cantered way off in front of her. I think she was wondering why I wouldn’t let her canter but she was okay to listen.

She doesn’t look at a thing out there and is so brave. I think you really have to ride her to appreciate her. I don’t have a lot of mares although I do like them. I think this mare could convert even the non mare lovers.

Improvement!

What a weekend of highs and lows. I had an awesome lesson on my horse with Becky Holder. He was jumping good and felt awesome. We are finally coming together. Drive up to Plantation Field and he is relaxed as can be. Go to warm up and he is not himself. Stopping like he has to pee, not wanting to walk or trot and ears straight back. I try a bit of canter in 2pt to stretch him and buck, buck and buck. He was hurting and something wasn’t right so I scratched. I think he must have just gotten tight in his back because I can’t find anything else. I will have the chiro come out and look at him but he was jumping so big he might have just gotten a bit sore.

Rosey is steadily improving which is what I like to see. One student hacked her yesterday lightly..she really needs shoes on! Today after a long night at the hospital with my grandfather I asked another student to ride her as I just wasn’t feeling up to it. Amanda is tall and skinny mostly legs so good to see how Rosey looks with a taller rider. Rosey was really getting the concept of the jumps. We are just doing singles and trotting in to everything focusing on keeping her straight. She still has a run out but with Rosey it can be left or right so quite complicated to predict what she will do. I am okay with this though because she is getting way better! She was really bold to the fences today which is exactly what I want to see. She jumped the scary stuff (barrels, straw and brick wall) the first time but then refused the second time 🙂 What a silly girl.

She is really cute with her knees and is going to be quite fancy as she keeps improving. I am going to take her up for the hunter trainer to see if she has any clients that may be interested. I think she will clean up in the hunters.

Green horses and needing to be smarter

One thing that is really important to me with green horses is that they learn to jump the jumps without and refusals. I don’t care if we walk over but habits are so hard to break. I believe Rosey arrived with some habits of her own and she is quickly learning I am not so kind to bratty behavior.

Yes, she is green but when you have jumped a jump already there is no excuse and then you get in trouble 🙂 For the most part I try to look straight with a bit of wide hands and channel the horse down between the hands and legs. Forward..forward..forward and then straight. She can pop out left or right so tricky in that she isn’t predictable with her answers.

Started with just an x-rail which she did really nicely which is already a huge improvement! Then moved to the x-rail with brush under it which she tried to run out of to the right but quickly got an opening left rein, stick on the right side and big boot on the right side. She went almost sideways before I got her back left again and we walked over the jump. I gave her a bit of a smack behind the leg just for being behind my leg and not thinking forward.

She got it nicely on the reapproach!

Next was the barrel jump and I had him take the rail off first and she ran between the barrel and the standard. Okay, no punishment for that steering is tough on a baby. Pole back up and reapproach. She tried to stop but I kicked and she walked over!!!! Rosey…such a silly girl!

Man, that is a funny picture. Riding green horse sure makes for some stupid pictures. I was staying behind her and ready for whatever she did. She did jump it the next time but no pic. She was good and I wanted to keep the session short so I ended up doing the two x-rails as a finish and gave her lots of pats. The ground is rock hard and she is barefoot so part of the funky jumping is most likely related to that. It rained all around us but we didn’t get a drop!

She jumps?

When I get horses I always assume they are a blank slate and treat them as such but for some reason I was thinking Rosey had way more jumping mileage on her than she really does. When I went back and read her blog she had only been doing basic x-rails. Not to mention a lot of time off and she had forgotten what it was all about.

Tonight, one of my students came out to ride her. Her horse has been on and off lame so I really love giving good rider’s the opportunity to learn a bit more. I am a believer in the more horses you can ride the better you will become. She loved Rosey and first started out riding her in a loose rein very much like a hunter. Then I asked her to put her together a bit more but taking up the contact and offering a steady feel and then pushing with the leg to that steady contact. Rosey was very good about that but like all horses that are a bit confused more contact means slow down so it is a funny balance with her.

Then we started to jump and things got funny! I think she wants to be a bit stubborn but she is also dead green. First x-rail a drive by to the right. Then she walked over it the next time but by then she was locking on and going.

Next x-rail has some brush under it and she was like OMG what do I do here and just stopped. Next time right over it. Repeat each new jump. It also had a bit to do with my student not being used to green horses but Rosey was not being bad just green. She ended up jumping gates, boxes and barrels at the 2ft height very calmly just a bit of explaining in between. I used some placement rails to help guide her straight. I love how calm and unaffected she is by things.

She is going to catch on quick and she has a lovely form over fences.

Some video from the other day. Remember she had month’s in the field, my third ride on her and she is barefoot and the ground is hard.

Field trip for Rosey and Archie Boy

Another busy day of riding horses. The first set went to my mom’s house to get off the hard ground. Rosey and Archie were the most perfect horses today. Loaded/unloaded and just walked into the barn/ring like whatever. One got to hang in the stall while I rode the other. Not a peep out of them and just total ease to deal with. Gotta love that. Rosey is figuring out she has to go into the contact..leg leg and lots more leg to push her together but she is giving it a really good attempt and I was able to produce a lot of good work today even at the canter. She totally forgot what jumping was about and stepped over most of them. We walk jumped which was funny ;D Some work to do but I just adore her attitude.

Archie is a bit of a mystery horse. I know he has had the knee surgery but don’t know what is left over with the knee. I haven’t done much with him at all since he arrived but recently started to get on him once in a while. I figured I would take him and just see how he handled himself which was silly because the horse is a total class act. He is still sore a bit from feet, some from knee and just still body funky. I think it has been 2-3months of time off but with some of these guys that is just not enough time.

One of the new volunteers asked to come and see the farm and ride so I let her play around on Bella who was perfect. I rode Jem (the morgan who is here to be sold) and he was really good.

Swore she didn’t remember what jumps were but started to figure it out as we went along. I feel like I do Lucinda Green’s version of walk jumping on a daily basis with some of these young horses. Keep the jumps small enough you can push them over so they learn over is the only direction to go 🙂

Archie is so sweet and just so relaxed about life. I love this horse he just has the biggest personality. Always looking for treats and just wants attention all the time!

We learned that Bella aka Escape by the Sea has only been off the track for 2wks or so. I planned on giving her some time to just be a horse but since our volunteer wanted to see the farm and sit on one of the CANTER horses I pulled out Bella as I had already ridden the rest of the crew. I adore this mare she is just so smart and quite pretty to look at.

First rides on the new girls

The girls have been settling in nicely hanging out in their run-in shed and eating grass. The chestnut mare’s name is Escape by Sea and she is 3 yrs old. Allie isn’t 100% sure if she is straight off the track but judging by her shoes I would say she is.

I brought them in and of course they were upset as one was in the stall while I was tacking up the other. My hubby gives me a hand the first few days to make sure all goes well. I do use a chain shank because both of them need a bit of a lesson in manners 101. Basically this is my space and this is yours. I make them back up when they intrude into my space. I don’t expect them to cross tie on day 1 in the barn. I quickly pulled Rosey’s mane and it looks horrible but I will fix it later. I can’t stand a long mane.

Rosey is so sweet and was cuddling with Kurt just a bit to much. We don’t want them to be in your space and it is important to enforce the rules. I am very rule based as far as my training goes with horses. I love them and I want them to love me back but no treats until after we ride and no rubbing on me! Rosey marched into the ring like whatever. Not looky at anything which was super. Stood nicely for me to get on and seemed happy to be ridden. She was stretching into the contact and trotting around nicely on bare feet. She doesn’t quite understand contact at the canter but we shall work that out. I only rode for 10 min as I wanted to ride the other horse to. She got a treat when she was done and was happy to munch on our new hay some lovely orchard grass/alfalfa mix.

Testing out her response to contact + leg. She is a bit slow but was really trying to figure out how to push into the contact.

With the Escape by the Sea we attached a long lead line just in case. Alwasy better to be safe than sorry. Kurt walked her around the ring for me and then we stood on the block just touching her all over. She was very relaxed. I always go half way up and then just gauge the reaction before settling into the saddle. She was pretty good until I got both legs around her and then she shot forward a bit but Kurt just calmly walked her in a circle and I patted her. She then took a deep breathe and relaxed. This is a really lovely mare! Just a good looking solidly built uphill horse.

I just did a bit of walk and trot but she traveled very steady and uphill with a light mouth. I went both ways and tested out the brakes and steering. Steering isn’t there yet but that is typical ottb.

She is only a 3 yr so I can picture what she is going to look like with some time off to grown and fill out.

New Arrivals- Day 2

What a long boring ride to the CANTER farm out in Maryland! I know what Allie says about me living in the middle of no where but I feel the same about the farm where all these guys are lucky enough to get turned out at.

Best part of the trip was getting to see Admiral. He was the horses that we adopted out and then he was slowly starved. When we finally got him back I was sure he was going to die on me but with three months of care he was looking and feeling good again. He now looks incredible just eating grass in huge fields with lots of other Tb’s. He was very snuggly and just had a happy look in his eyes. I also got to meet Mikey, Whisper and Truckee who are just over the top in terms of wanting affection. Anybody looking for pasture pets/trail horses really needs to go meet this crew.

Kelly was there to meet us and had already brought the two girls in. Rosey is one chunky girl right now! The other mare is currently nameless..well she has a name we just don’t know it. I don’t know her story but she doesn’t look like she is right off the track. They loaded up easily and rode home w/o an issue.

They are hanging out in my front field and my boys are very interested in them at the moment. First time I have had girls on the farm in a few years. I can’t wait to get on and try them both out!

I got on Archie Boy tonight for his first ride after he has gotten shoes back on and he is moving much better. He is so laid back and just adorable. Nothing bothers him at all and he truly is more interested in eating grass than me riding him. I am going to start trail riding him just a bit of walk and trot to get him going. I think he is going to be quite easy.

New Arrival- Day 1

This weekend will be move in day for a few new horses. Our first arrival of the weekend was Etrain. He was donated to us and will have some time off before he gets evaluated. I believe that is how you spell it but not 100% sure on that. Here is his pedigree- http://www.pedigreequery.com/etrain

He is a 5 yr 15.3 h gelding built more like a tank than a train in my opinion 🙂 Look at his shoulder and hindend! I love watching a horse getting turned out for the first time after they have been at the track. They run for a few minutes mostly short bursts followed by long gazes into the green fields. OMG open spaces..run some more..stop look around..run a bit more. Then 5-10 min in they suddenly remember mmm..grass is tasty and no more running. Etrain joined View and Charlie in the pasture. View is really funny because he sees zero point in getting excited about anything.  He just stood and watched Charlie and Train run around like whatever..I’m just going to eat now so don’t bother me.

Weeee

Gazing

Grass

View my Rear is silently judging the idiots running around ruining his relaxation time.

I did a night check about 9pm and they were all eating grass and looking at me strangely for walking through the pasture with a flashlight.

Gaining speed

Just when you think life has slowed down all of a sudden you will be going full steam ahead. My husband always panics when my barn starts to empty out which means less money coming in but I never worry because for me it is a break that is well deserved. I normally get a month or two of lower numbers before going full force again which looks to be the case.

I did have five horses in the barn but three are mine. My older horse who is retired, my event horse who is half leased and my young horse. I only ride one of those so not much work there. Then I have Archie and View my Rear. Archie is waiting to get some shoes on before he starts in full work. My farrier got his toe stepped on in a major way and wasn’t able to get a shoe on for a few days. That backed up his schedule so we missed our appointment and I have to keep on him to get him back out to the barn. He only lives around the corner so I can stalk him if necessary 🙂

Over the weekend, I got a lovely Morgan who came in to be sold. He is super cute and a very young 18yr. I love Morgans and they remind me so much of Tb’s in the way they like to be ridden. This new guy is super smart and has buddied up with Archie. You will find them sharing the same stall until Archie gets annoyed with him and kicks him out.

I am off to pick up two horses at the CANTER farm this weekend. I believe I will be bringing back Rosey and the second horse is still a mystery. So much fun getting new horses to play with. I love the looks of Rosey and Kelly has done a nice job with her. My job will be easy since she already got the basics put into her. The last mystery horse was Total Wildcat and he was about as easy as they get. He sold so fast I barely got to play with him but ideally that is how it should work!

I am getting good reports on Dixie. He has settled in nicely into his new home but then decided to throw off his other shoe so he hasn’t been ridden much. Horses and the games they play with us 🙂 He has been having a bit of trouble with the crossties being in a new place but his new owner was prepared for that. Dixie was really scared of the barn when he first arrived at my farm and he had some cross tie issues. They went away with time and she does see an improvement already.  I am confident he will find his zen shortly as he has the perfect setup with stalls that turn out into pastures with lovely grass.

I know of some really nice horses that trainers would like to place in good homes if anybody is looking. We get so full that we can’t take them all in so if you are looking for a horse I would be happy to pass along some of the horses I know of. There are also some really nice horses at the CANTER farm that have been let down and are very reasonably priced.