Monthly Archives: May 2011

Some leave and more arrive

I realized it had been a while since I updated the blog. Kurt is away visiting his family and I am flying solo on the farm so I don’t have much spare time.

There have been some updates in my CANTER herd. Diamond H went with Karen who also owns Houndy (former CANTER MA horse). Houndy continues to be his wonderful self and I know Diamond will fit right in with the crew.

Shoes left early Saturday morning around 1am to head to Illinois. His new owner has sent pictures and let me know that he has settled in nicely. I can tell you that I once again walked down my driveway muttering how much I love ottb’s. I loaded him on this HUGE commerical rig in the pitch dark on the side of a road. He had to walk down the long driveway past the other horses who were running around snorting with the neighbors dogs barking headed towards this alien space ship looking trailer. It had the blinking lights on and lights everywhere. The van driver was pulling down the ramp and setting up his box stall so there was all this noise. I walked him all the way down and waited for the driver to get done and Shoes patiently waited. The ramp was quite steep but he marched right up there without even a second look. He put him in the box and immediately Shoes went for the hay. He didn’t holler or look around but was rather confident about the whole thing. Sure made it easy on us and I just thought that he will have a perfect home and a perfect job as an event horse. You can beat his attitude..well he does have a bit of a tude sometimes but mostly it’s a good attitude 🙂

Mort continues to be a good boy. Speaking of attitudes, have you ever watched a horse completely change personality? One of the coolest thing about what I get to do on is watch these horses change. Mort came in like a big dog with a tail between his legs. He had zero confidence and was getting his butt kicked by everyone. Now he thinks he is the MAN. That is great but it led to him thinking he would pin a new horse in the corner and bite him up and down. That resulted in Mort getting an attitude adjustment because he is now in with a horse who let him know that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Now Mort is back to his nice self. I really do believe in letting the herd humble a horse if needed as long as they won’t get hurt.

We have some new arrivals from donations some who I have seen in person and others that just sound nice but I haven’t seen yet.

I don’t have pictures of the gray horse that came in but I am eager to see him. I know he is a 3yr by Black Tie Affair.

Yesterday, one was dropped off at my barn. He is a HUGE 16.2 at the withers and 17 h at the butt 3yr and quite pretty.

He will get to go to the farm and finish growing and I will probably bring one back to start working with. I am trying not to take on too much right now so that I can focus on bringing along the horses that I do have while not working myself to hard.

We have limited pasture space at the moment as we reseeded most of the fields. Right now it’s all about mowing and  weed whacking. I complain that 11acres is too small but truthfully it’s probably just right. 11 acres is still a lot of work when you have horses and a full-time job. The grass if overtaking me right now 🙂

More free jump video

I have some requests coming in for more footage on Mort so I figured I would play with the jump a bit. I added a placement pole and started with a low wide oxer and then slowly raised it up. I had to play with the placement pole but you can see I got the pole right in the end and it produced a good jump. We ended with the jump about 3’9″ and he found it easy

Working on jumping

I totally admit to not riding Mort as much as I should be but I have been a bit overwhelmed with work and the other paid training horses who I always work with first. It’s no wonder my horse doesn’t get worked as much as he should but I am working on cutting back so we shall see. We planted the whole back of the farm so we are just using two fields right now so that should encourage me to keep a limit on the number of horses we have.

I have been having so much fun working with Mort who really is a different horse than when he arrived. It’s hard to describe the change that happens but he just oozes confidence which is what I like to see. He has also gotten so much better about his buddy issues. He can now eat all alone in the barn with nobody around. Good boy! He has gained so much weight that we can now start to ease back on the amount of calories he is eating so it won’t take him so long to eat. He was one of those who took one bite, walked around, hollered, spit it all on the floor and repeated it all over again. Fun times 🙂 I would leave him in for a while but if he decided to finish up his food then the clean up crew came in aka Diamond. No wonder Diamond is so fat!

His flatwork is coming along but he really needs to get a bit softer on the left side so I work on leg yeilding out in the corners and doing some leg yeilds on the circles getting him moving off the inside leg into the outside rein. He is a bit fussy because it’s hard for him but I make sure to ask a little bit and then reward and give him a break. The left lead canter is also the harder canter for him and he wants to cut in on the turn so we really worked that.

Someone emailed about Mort and said they thought even though he was tall he would be too narrow for them but looking at the pictures it is apparent he is filling out and has developed quite a nice barrel on him. Not sure what is up with the hair 🙂

He wants to get a bit low but at this stage of the game I am really not going to worry about it.

You can see in the canter he wants to cock his head and lean on my inside leg. Kurt, the critic, commented that he canters downhill to right. He is correct with that but like all Tb’s that are learning that cantering requires rocking back instead of just pulling themselves along on the forehand it is a matter of time, training and muscling. You can’t force it to come before it is ready.

The other day when I jumped him he was dead tired and barely picking up his feet. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked by the first x-rail when he did this. I was staying back with my shoulders and keeping my leg on and boom he gave it a good jump minus jumping off one leg but green horses do green horse things.

In an effort not to get left I overcorrected a bit much and got up the neck. Heels down…lordy..yeah need to jump more fences so I can work on me.

He was quite proud of himself. I am trying to see if I can manage to fit a lesson in on him this week and will be working on landing and cantering away from the jumps. He is a lazy boy!

This is a happy horse

Shine my Shoes got his shoes back on and was ready to get back to some sort of work. He has been getting some turnout in a small paddock after a month of more of stall rest to heal his splint. Leave it to Shoes to have a reactive splint..he is a trouble maker but I love him 🙂 He has the absolute biggest personality you will find. He constantly is doing things that make me laugh but drive me crazy at the same time. He enjoys picking up all the barn tools and putting them in his stall. He finds it hilarious to take off his wraps and then chew them into pieces..yeah funny but totally not funny 🙂 He likes to play with his own blankets by biting the chest and pulling them and then he squeals and runs away like someone else is biting him. He also has the best set of lips on him. I always leave his door feed door open so he can stick his head out and he enjoys using his lips to make the funniest faces you will ever see. Constant source of entertainment.

I took him out for a bit of lunging yesterday so I could show Jill how he is looking. I told her he had gotten quite chunky. He sure likes to eat! Just putting the bridle on him is a challenge and he is trying to eat everything and chew on it. He was so darn happy to be lunged and I was showing Amy and her hubby why it’s important to wear gloves!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He did some bucks, kicks and general airs above grounds before settling. I put the side reins on but not tight enough to make him focus. Isn’t he cute!

He will be leaving at the end of this month and I know Jill is so excited to see him. I know she is going to love him but I will really miss his big personality in my barn.

Speaking of someone who is happy, here is Amy riding Diamond H

She absolutely loves Diamond and they make a great team. I let her ride him when she comes out because he is just so easy going. She jumped him around a little course and he looks super. He is just a fun horse to ride and anybody can ride him.

I rode Mort who was slower than slow. I think the free jumping made him tired because he has never been so lazy. I don’t think the pics are great because I couldn’t really push him up into the bridle at all despite using the whip to keep him forward. On days like that it’s best to make it short and sweet and not struggle to accomplish something that isn’t happening.

I have to do this because it will be an interesting show of why you can’t just go off pictures. This was the first picture that was sent for CANTER to advertise Mort when he was on the farm

I was doing rounds at the track for CANTER and Mort had went back into the track and when the trainer pulled him out I was pleasantly surprised because I had only seen the above photo. I thought to myself that he looked like an event horse and he was just so quiet and smart looking.

Pics taken yesterday

I’m still here

I feel like I am going 100mph in every direction at the moment which I suppose is normal for us but it can be a bit overwhelming. I hinted at a potential home for Diamond but that didn’t pan out. Such is life when selling horses but in the process I always get to meet truly awesome people which I enjoy. I think that making connections is half the battle when you are networking horses. You work with people and let them see how easy we are to deal with and hopefully they just keep coming back to see our horses which is typically what happens.

I was reading Kelly’s blog about missing shoes/twisted shoes and we are having a bit of a spell with that. Diamond and Mort lost shoes but farrier will be there today to get us fixed up again.

Mort is going so very well. I talk a lot about how horses change when they come into the training program. Mort came in nervous and lacking confidence. Right now he has his swagger on. He is almost a bit cocky about how cool he is and he wants to strut his stuff. He has learned how to use his parts and he just feels like a big horse. I obviously knew he was special the first ride but every time I get on him he just gets better. He is an event horse all the way and I hope to get him out on x-c here soon!

I was all set to do some jumping video/pics of him but I took a rough fall and am still a bit sore at the moment so instead we did a free jump video. I had done a tiny bit of free jump with him the day we did Diamond’s video and Mort didn’t quite enjoy the grid of jumps so this time I just wanted to make it simple. He is a overthinker so making it simple to encourage him to relax was the goal.

We started with a x-rail, then a vertical, then an oxer, then an oxer with a barrel under it and then an oxer with a fat pipe under it. He was brave and very smart about things. I sent the video to Allie and she emailed back and said eventer all the way. No, he doesn’t have the traditional hunter style but he snaps his legs up super quick and uses his body well. He is balanced and smart with his feet. Never touched anything and adjusted himself accordingly. Look at his trot!

He has put on so much weight and muscle and he thinks he is all that and then some. More riding video to come. You won’t believe the difference!