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My Life With Horses





Updated: 2017-09-18T05:17:38.094-07:00

 



Jessica Again!

2010-02-26T17:02:00.813-08:00

The other day i rode Jessica down the trail and worked on stopping and staying stopped (she has a bit of difficulty with that on the trail - perfect in the arena). Then afterwards, i hopped on bareback in the arena to see what she'd do. Well, this is what she did...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ640MVo_vQ



Yet Again...

2010-02-25T20:28:00.330-08:00

I intended to write a blog post on Sunday...but yet again i wrote Jessica's sales ad. Or rather, rewrote it. I got a couple responses on the ad i placed, but they were all looking for dead broke husband horses, so i figured my ad was a bit amiss. This is what i rewrote:

"Athletic 11 y/o OTTB Project Mare!

Looking for a great project horse? Then Jessica is for you! She was raced only 4 times and never placed. After that, I’m hazarding a guess that she went from bad home to bad home because when she came to me, she was extremely skinny and neglected.

I rehabbed her, and started riding her, and she has proved to be extraordinarily sweet and willing to learn almost anything. Although solid and very broke (I’ve used her in intermediate lessons), she does not have a lot of training.

Please note, SHE IS NOT LIKE MOST OTTB’s. She stops – even from a dead gallop down the trail headed home – with just a snaffle bit and your seat. She has a canter, although it’s rather unbalanced right now due to a lack of muscle tone. She will stop and stand still for you to mount/dismount/just stand there. You can do jumping jacks on her back and she won’t care (not that I have, but still…). She’s not spooky at all. I’ve taken her on quite a few trail rides by herself, with others, and ponied off my other horse. She’ll raise her head and look at things. Sometimes she’ll get a bit worried and try to back up, but a good squeeze/kick will quickly send her forward and past what she’s scared of. We’ve passed emus, lambs, cattle. She crosses puddles and streams. She’s road safe. Horses have come cantering up to the fence, and she doesn’t care. As I said, she’s BROKE, but she’s not trained.

How she is trained: She leads, lunges, ties, loads, neck reins (? – don’t quite know how she picked that up), w/t/c/g/stop.

If you’re looking for a great horse that could go anywhere, then this mare is for you.

To view a video of her, please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTaugB49TLM

For additional pictures: http://s36.photobucket.com/albums/e3/lettie1/Jessica/ "

And i also posted her for lease:

"Sweet 11 y/o TB Mare For Lease!

Jessica is a sweet mare that has been through some tough times. I rehabbed her, and now I’m looking to sell or lease her out. She is a fairly reliable trail mount, is not spooky at all, and likes to be ridden and worked with. She also does well in the arena. She’s solid, and doesn’t buck/rear/act out. She is fun to ride, both in the arena and on the trail. But she likes to go, so an advanced-beginner – intermediate rider is needed. She has good ground manners and is extremely sweet. I’m looking to lease her out 2-3 days a week for $150/month, OR a free full-care lease with option to purchase, provided she stays at the place she is now. "

I got one lady who looked at her ad last week and was interested in her, and she e-mailed me this week and wants a horse (she's willing to train and she seems to know a lot) for her daughter. They seem like a good match, and she wants to come look at Jess in two weeks. Just hope this works out! 'Twould be wonderful.



'Twas a Fun Day

2010-02-23T20:59:00.817-08:00

I intended to ride Bronson yesterday...i really did...but then i decided to do some free lunging first...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzBZNadmA04

How do ya think he looks? Those last two jumps were 3'6", and although he knocked them down both times in the video, the time before this when he has more space to prepare for the jump, he cleared it. Fat poneh gots moves, eh? I should start jumping him under saddle.=)Then after i was done free lunging him (which took about 20-25 minutes) i decided that i didn't really feel like riding him, and there wasn't much to do because it had rained the night before, so i brushed him down and put him away. Ahhhh, i love my horse.



Bronson Update

2010-02-22T20:33:55.266-08:00

Bronson's been doing fairly well overall. Last week it finally dried up enough for me to actually be able to do some WORK in the arena, so out Bronson came! I was feeling lazy, so i just strapped a bareback pad on and went to work. Well, apparently he didn't have the same idea. He didn't want to canter through one corner of the arena, so he thought that crow-hopping was a good idea. Nope, he got spun in a ton of circles, then i cued him for a canter departure. He took off bucking. *sigh* So i had to go get my saddle out, and then i lunged his fat behind around until he was heaving, then loped another 100 or so circles on him (not really). He decided that doing what i asked was a really good idea. Bravo! Then i headed out on the trail, and made him trot/slow canter up our galloping stretch. Then i headed back down, then galloped him up it. We hit a new gear, i tell you. I stopped him at the end of it, and my mouth was literally hanging open because i couldn't believe he could have gone so fast. Good pony!


A couple days later, i trailered out to some trails with a friend, and they where ah-mazing. Bronson was a spooky butt head for awhile, but he settled down the further we got out. On the way back, we realized that dusk was coming a lot faster than expected, to i kicked Bronson into a canter...and it kinda became a gallop...down a twisty one track trail...that was a drop off on the side of a cliff. Haha, i told my friend not to tell anyone we ever did that. But Bronson's sure footed, and that's a very good thing.


Here are some pictures:

Gorgeous, eh? We rode part of the way around the reservoir.

(image) *sigh* Spring is my FAVORITE time of year:

(image)

Mr. Fat Pony! He seriously needs to start dropping weight.





I Intended to Write a Post...

2010-02-15T08:05:43.076-08:00

...but then i got sidetracked and wrote Jessica's for sale ad instead. Now she's on Craigslist, bayequest, dreamhorse, and does anyone have any other good sites to advertise her on? I think i'm going to post her down at the local feed stores too. But this is what her sales ad says:

"Looking for a sweet and reliable horse? Then Jessica is for you! She is a 15.1 hh dark bay mare. Justeco, aka. Jessica or Jess, is a registered Thoroughbred who is 12 years old and has been through some hard times. She came to me quite emaciated (a 2 on the BCS), but she is now healthy and in good weight.

Once she put weight back on, she has been ridden regularly, and she has proved to be a reliable trail mount that is not spooky at all. Although an ex-racehorse, she will slow down from a gallop with just your seat and a snaffle bit. She is extremely sweet and willing to learn, and she has a lot of potential to go many ways. She lunges, leads, ties, and loads. She’s currently barefoot, and trots/canters on gravel without any issues. Crosses water, bridges, neck reins, rides out with others or alone. Her arena work is still a bit rusty, but she’ll walk and trot very nicely and will round and work off her hindquarters if you ask her. Her canter is not yet there because she doesn’t have the muscle to maintain it, although she tries very hard and is an extremely willing and sweet horse. I have used her in intermediate lessons and she has done very well. She has no soundness issues.

She gets along excellently with all horses, not a mean bone in her body. Her only vice is that she cribs, but only without a cribbing collar, which would come with her purchase.

I’m looking for this horse to get a GOOD home, she’s had too many bad ones in her life and I have no intention of selling her to another one. Therefore, reference checks and a site check are mandatory.

Pictures at: http://s36.photobucket.com/albums/e3/lettie1/Jessica/

Riding pictures/videos coming shortly."

There are before pictures in the photo album, which are quite satisfying to look at.=)



Updates

2010-02-07T15:06:50.893-08:00

Life has been insanely busy with school starting, but i've still been able to ride my horses, weather-permitting. I just haven't been able to write about it because i, well, haven't had time. Wondering, perhaps, why i say "horses"? Because Jessica is mine now. I've taken her on three trail rides so far, and she's done fantastically. A bit bad on the standing still thing, but getting better. I think she's had a lot more training then i originally thought. She has yet to spook on the trail, she neck-reins, kinda sidepasses, leads all the trail rides, and - best yet - STOPS. Trotting home, she stops when i ask. Even from a dead gallop (which i've pushed her into two times now), she starts to slow down immediately when you sit down and pull back. She's just a good horse...although she does kick out when she gets irritated.I've noticed something interesting about her, though. The longer she's tied, the more anxious she gets. If you just pull her out of the pasture, tie her up, brush her, and saddle her up without bother about any of her fussyness...she's just fine. She's also gotten better in the arena, and has to a certain extent, stopped leaning into her turns so much, although we're definitely going to work on proper bend. I just need to get an old injury of hers healed up, then take some pics and try to sell her.Bronson is fat, sassy, and happy to have the time off. He is SUCH a pain sometimes too, have i ever mentioned that? I'm sure i have. For the latest....i was putting both Bronson's and Jess's blankets on because it was raining, and they share a pasture. I put Bronson's on just fine, then i halted Jess because she wasn't standing still enough, and i tried to get her blanket on. But she kept moving away, even when i was pulling back on the halter. i looked back, and there was Bronson standing all innocently behind her with his ears pricked adorably - but he was biting her when i wasn't looking because he was jealous and wanted my attention! SUCH a brat, but i can't stay too mad at him for long.=)I rode him the other day, and i rode over to a dry arena (the rain has been crazy!) and started loping circles both ways. At first he wanted to drift to the other horses, but after about twenty circles, he decided that it was too much work and he loped his circles nicely. Then, when i was loping to the right, i loped down the diagonal to change leads. I was bareback and leaning forward for a lead change when he spooked at something and he spun around and tried to take off bucking. I almost came off, but my legs clamped onto his side as my left hand grabbed a hunk of mane and my right hand took Bronson's mouth to my knee. It's all automatic now, haha. Needless to say, i didn't come off, and he didn't get to do much before i shut him down. *sigh* He'll never be an easy horse, but that's part of why i love him.=)In other news, i might be getting a third horse. Remember Remmy, the TB? Well, the owner (who is supped to be a rescuer - HAHAHA!) has promised us money at least eight times...and never given us a thing. She has not brought hay out regularly and she just doesn't even care about him. It's been 1 1/2 month snow, and at the end of two months, i get the horse. If i do get him (highly likely...the jerk), i'm just going to try to place him for free...and publish the jerk of the owner's name on every place i can. Local feed stores, forums, FHOTD, anywhere i can to tell people NOT to give her horses or help her in any way. Heck, i've been feeding Remmy for weeks anyway.But that last paragraph has put a bad taste in my mouth, how about we end with some cute poneh pictures? Yes, i do believe that's a good idea. Jessica looks soooo much better!Awwwww, if you know anyone looking for an adorable, sweet horse, let me know..... Bronson and Miss Jess say buh-bye![...]



My Horse *sigh*

2010-01-30T08:41:38.851-08:00

Soooo, i wrote this post up during my math class a couple of days ago...it's Algebra and right now we're going over the fact that a variable is a letter, and 1/10 + 2/10 = 3/10. Yeah. I already know that, so i thought i'd do something else instead! Luckily the teacher is rather...ignorant...and i can get away with it.=DAs i'm sure you've gathered from my previous posts, we have had buckets of rain lately. And as i can't really ride in the rain, Bronson hasn't been ridden in the last two weeks. Well, Thursday was one of the first sunny days we've had ALL MONTH, and i just couldn't resist riding...between my insanely hectic school schedule...but that's a story for another post.*sigh* It was like i hadn't ridden him in years instead of a week. The ride went a bit like this, from Bronson's point of view:"Ick. Does that piece of metal have to go in my mouth?! Oh. I guess it does.Hey! Look! Grass! I'm going to go eat now. Oh. wait, maybe i'm not. Ok, ok, ok, i'm coming mom! You don't have to pull so hard on my mouth, geez. I'm just taking my sweet time. Oh, i'm not allowed to do that? Oh yeah, i remember that now. Geez, i'm coming, i'm coming!You're getting on my back now? *sigh* Ok, i guess i can stand still. OH! BRIGHT SHINY OBJECT! Ouch! Stop pulling on my mouth, i'm standing still now. Oh. You're almost off. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.Ooooh, we're on our way to the arena now! Trot? I can trot! I like trotting and i can trot all day! Ooh, look at that horse, and that leaf on the ground, i just love trotting around looking at everything outside the arena! Circle? Sorry, you never taught me to do that. Nope, nope, never learned. Hey!, don't kick me with your outside leg. Ok, ok, maaaaaybe i learned how to circle. Ouch! Ok, ok, i know how. Doing it right now, see, see?Oh. You want me to circle and NOT pop my shoulder out? Ooooh, sorry, no can do. Ok, ok, ouch! Ok, maybe i can, heh.Now you want me to do a rollback?! Geez mom, your memory must be really bad 'cause you never taught me that. Ooooook, that outside leg is getting really insistent now. Ahhhhhhhh, it's coming back to me! It's coming back! Musta slipped my mind. I remember now.Geez you're demanding...you want me to back-up now? And not just tuck my head to my chest? But don't you remember? I'm a backing-less horse, you knew that when you got me. Ok, ok, i give, you can stop sawing on my mouth now. I lied, i'm not a backup-less horse. I'll do what you ask, but i'll fool you one of these times, just like i fool my lesson students, hehehehehehe."LOL, i love my horse, mostly because he's never the same and he will never be easy.=)[...]



Wanna Help Me Build An Ark?

2010-01-20T17:32:37.434-08:00

I believe i might float away, or perhaps fly away, same difference. Had to fix the electric fence for the THIRD day in a row because of the insane wind we've been having. That plus the rain is not exactly welcome. I had to take a detour and go a different way to the property because tree had fallen across the road and blocked it.


After i fixed the fence, i fed the horses, and Bronson gave me such a scare because he was walking down the hill, and it seemed like he was favoring is right hind, but he was slipping a lot. So i pulled him out and trotted him down the cement road, and he was fine, thank you Lord. So I gave him a big hug, then let him graze a bit while i took pictures of the damage.

Bronson in his new blanky, enjoying the green grass.=)

(image)

"You looking at me?!"

(image) My pasture...

(image) This is supposed to be the road....yeah, right.

(image) Another portion of the road.......obviously i can't drive up it right now.



Rain, Rain, Go Away..

2010-01-19T18:45:47.688-08:00

*sigh* I hate the rain. Well, not really, 'cause it makes the grass grow, but i wanna see the sun! If you've been paying attention to the weather, California is getting a deluge of rain. This afternoon it thundered, lightninged (very rare for around here. As in, once a year rare - not like in the midwest), hailed, rained, and we had a rainbow. Bronson has been quite happy in his pasture with his waterproof blanket and days off from work, but the rain has made me quite miserable. Not to mention that it makes feeding all of the horses the work of over an hour as opposed to 20-30 minutes. I give Bronson a quick hug and kiss, makes sure he's not lame or cut anywhere, and leave it at that. As i said, Bronson's quite pleased with the, errr, lack of attention. But he's a good horse, he deserves it. I love the fact that i can get on him bareback with a halter and lead and go lope circles, and he's perfect. I love my horse.=)Jessica, on the other hand, i'm about to kill. GRRRRRRR. I'm regretting my decision to take her. So, on Friday, i decided to have a nice, long, 6 hour tying lesson because she+standing still=severely lacking. She did...OK for the first 5ish hours, but then she somehow untied herself twice in a row within about 15 minutes during the last hour, and i wasn't there to see it (i was around the corner.) So i tied her up again today briefly...and she got undone again. Either the rope is coming loose, or she's untying herself, but i swear, she is mental. She goes nuts when she's separated from other horses. It would help if she was in a pasture by herself, but i can't do that right now, and so she's attached really strongly to Tony, the horse she shares a paddock with.Oh yeah, something else. I was running a rasp over her hooves on Friday because she chips really, really easily if the edges of her hoof aren't rounded off. I had lifted up her right front hoof and had tucked it between my knees, you know how the farriers do it. I had been rasping for about 30 seconds, when she literally explodes. Full blown JUMP into the air, i'm guessing, 'cause my head was down and i didn't exactly see it. She jumps into the air ~towards~ me, and knocks me about 3 feet to the side with her shoulder, just about knocking me to the ground. First thought through me head, "WHAT THE HECK?! Well, maybe she got spooked by something." So i looked around, and didn't see anything. Didn't discipline her, of course, because it might have been a spook and that's not her fault. So i pick up her hoof and start again. 40 seconds into the rasping, bam, she explodes out of my hands again the same way. This time got me thinking. Twice in a row is not a spook.So i untie her and put her in the cross ties, push her over so that she's against the wall (kinda difficult to explain because of the odd placement of our crossties), and pick up her hoof again, but i'm prepared this time. I've dropped my rasp, i'm holding her hoof in just one hand, with my other hand resting against her shoulder so that if she jumps towards me, she can't knock me down, i'll just use her momentum to push myself out of the way. About 40 seconds into it, she starts bobbing her head a bit and getting a touch antsy. I growl at her, but she still tries to explode. She succeeds in getting her hoof out of my hand, but i immediately smack her on the shoulder and pick her hoof up again. This time, it's just a half-hearted jump, and i'm able to keep her hoof, while disciplining her. After she holds it still for another 30 seconds or so, i drop it and reward her.Then we try again, and i'm able to hold it for several minutes without any resistance. I drop her hoof again, then grab my rasp and am able to finish her hoof without incidence. I will say this for her, she learns quickly. But i'll tell you, that really scared me. I've never had [...]



Only One Post All January...

2010-01-10T14:31:45.615-08:00

...i feel delinquent. Well, i am afraid you must forgive my severe lack of thought for all of your blogging entertainment, but i have been quite busy. Not like that's any excuse for anything, but it is still a justification for my action.

The weather has been horrendous. The property has been in fog for the last week...staight. I am SO SICK of fog, you have no idea. On Friday i had to teach lessons all day, and it was so foggy and wet and cold, it was miserable. Just to explain it perhaps a bit better. My saddle blanket, which i used over two weeks ago, has yet to dry. There is that much moisture in the air.

All of the horses are doing well, the tally is up to 13 horses. There is a 99% chance that i will be getting Jessica. I rode her yesterday, and although she is exremely green, she tries so hard and she's got a LOT of potential. Today we worked on...standing still while i threw a bareback pad on her back. She's getting better, it just takes some work to break her old habits.

Bronson is doing wonderfully well. I've been riding him quite a bit, doing a lot of trail riding, etc. I rode him in the arena yesterday, and Melissa got on him, and she said that he rounded and collected really well. Made my day.=) He's got a reallllly collected canter when you ask for it, which i am quite proud of.

I think that's about it for now! I'm not really all that talkative, sorry.



It's Like a Full Time Job...

2010-01-04T18:57:09.651-08:00

So this was my day. Get up, do some work for my family, then head out to the property. Drive up and grab Tony's 4 flakes of hay, then head over to his pasture. Throw that over the fence to him, then grab Shane and April's 4 flakes of hay (2 alfalfa, 2 oat), get all of my buckets out. Fill bucket #1 with 5 scoops of equine senior for April. Fill bucket #2 with two scoops of pellets, plus 1 small scoop of tie-by, a big handful of flax seed, 1 large scoop of ani-hist, and 1 largish scoop of MSM. Fill bucket #3 with one scoop of pellets, 4 scoops of grain, 1 scoop of MSM, and 2 scoops of flax seed, possibly 1 scoop of beet pulp. Put in truck. Then go back, grab 2 flakes of oat hay for Rico, 2 flakes of oat hay for Bronson. Put in truck. Then grab 4 flakes of oat hay for Jessica, put in her pasture that she shares with Tony. Grab Whin-D's grain, one scoop of two different types of grain. Grab Whin-D's hay, 1 flake of alfalfa, 1 flake of oat hay. But in back of truck. Grab 2 flakes of oat hay for Remmy. Put in truck.

Ok, now i'm ready to deliver it. Stop half way down the pasture fence, throw out 5 piles of hay. Drive down another 50 feet, throw the rest of the piles out, 1 flake per pile, LOTS of piles. Grab to halters, and halter up Katie and Duchess. Put them both in iso pens. Get bucket #2 and put it in Duchess' bucket, add water, and while i'm at it, fill up the rest of the water buckets. Poor Katie doesn't get any hay, but that's another story.

Grab another halter, put bucket #1 on ground by fence, pull April out, and give to her. While she is eating, loop a lead rope around Buck's neck and separate him and feed him bucket #3 and a flake of grass hay.

Wait around until April is done eating (usually do chores during this time), then put her back.

Then pull out Bronson and go riding, or go do chores around the barn while i wait for an hour or so for Duchess to finish eating so that i can put her back.

^ Do that every day. All in all, i can usually feed everyone and be taking Bronson out and getting ready for a ride in under 20 minutes. But it's still a lot of work, haha.

And, of course, the chores are never-ending. Fixed some fences today, but a piece of wood over a hole in their pasture, which i had to hike a 1/4 of a mile to get to. Then figured out how to get the electricity to all parts of the fence. Then cleaned and swept tack room. Then cleaned out all the tools in the back of my truck. Then got rid of some apples that the horses liked. Then straightened up. Then wrote down a list of everything i need to do tomorrow.

But it doesn't stop there. After i got home, i had to contact: Remmy's owner (who needed to bring hay out), Shane's owner (i moved something of hers and had to tell her where it was), Buck's owner (she was worried about him), and April's owner (i'm out of grain).

My gosh, i get tired just writing it all down. Haha.

But anyway, went on two long, great trail rides on Bronson on Saturday and Sunday, he's a rock star.



Rico - Continued

2009-12-30T16:37:43.875-08:00

After the first ride, Rico's owner decided to pay me to ride Rico twice a week to get some training into him so that she could ride him. Several days later, i saddled Rico up for the second time...He calmly stood for saddling, and i led him to the arena and clipped the lunge line on. He walked out until he hit the end of it, and then continued walking. Definite improvement. After lunging at all three gaits both ways, i unclipped the lunge line, and hooked the reins back on to the bit. As i moved to tighten the girth, he stepped away from me again. I'll have to work on that. Then we worked on standing still while mounting. It took a bit, but he finally stood comfortably as i swung up and down off of him and on both sides.Once in the saddle, i gently brushed his sides with my heels, and he immediately started walking - but he had learned, he only walked. Then we worked on turning and walking and not trotting. After he had gotten very consistent and much calmer than before, i squeezed him into a trot. He moved out very smoothly underneath me, and didn't even ask to canter. He has obviously had a lot more work at the trot than at the walk, and seemed more comfortable moving at a trot than he did at a walk. After trotting both directions, i tried a canter. Although he refused to pick up his left lead, he still cantered out willingly, if incredibly unbalanced. After the spells of trotting and cantering, he transitioned down easily, and stayed walking when i asked without getting nervous. We are making progress.A couple of days later, i saddled him up for his third ride. Since it had just recently rained, the arena was muddy and i couldn't lunge him. But since i had just ridden him a few days before, i figured he would be fine. Since, as i have said, the arena was muddy, i figured i'd head out down the road. He wouldn't stand still for mounting, but i figured i'd deal with it later. I headed down the road, and he was extremely jumpy and agitated. After a number of one-rein stops, i figured i should head back and work closer to his comfort zone, and then head out again. As soon as i turned him back home, he immediately tried to trot....one hundred one rein stops later, we had made it back to the other horses. Then we worked on walking towards them...then away...then towards...then away...etc. Every time he trotted, i pulled his head around until he walked, then let him go his way. For the first fifteen or so minutes of the ride, i was preoccupied and a bit nervous, which resulted in my body being tense and putting more weight on the balls of my feet as opposed to sitting deep in the saddle. Once i realized this, i consciously focused on sitting down, and started talking aloud to both myself and Rico. It seemed to help a lot, and he calmed down much faster after that.After about thirty minutes of work, he was consistently walking wherever i asked, but he was a wiggly worm when going a direction he didn't like. After riding down the road a bit, i turned him around, and thought about now working on a stop. Since he was headed home, he didn't want to stop. I have a snaffle in his mouth, but all he did was raise his head and keep walking. Okay then, another thing to work on. He wanted to stop at the trailer, where i had tacked up. So instead of stopping there, we walked around and around the trailer, then stopped away from it. This was very hard for him, and was quite furious with me for doing it, but he's not the type of horse that would act up. He's a good horse, on the whole, just very nervous. Then i made him walk about twenty feet away from the trailer, made him stop and stand still, then got off and loosened his cinch. He'll get it...some day. But he's starting to trust me and realize that, alt[...]



Meet 'Ze Ponehs

2009-12-29T16:24:11.642-08:00

So all of these pictures were taken on Christmas Eve, but life was so hectic then that i never got them up. So here are just some pictures of all of the ponies that currently reside at our property. The current count is ten, with another three coming in at the beginning of January. Without further ado, pictures!But first, Harry the Sheep must say hello. No, his name is not Harry, and no, he's not mine. He belongs to my neighbor, and i ride by him all the time along the road. He's not scared of me, my horse, or my dog, so we're good. He's adorable. And very stupid. But oh well.Miss Jessicas! I'm so happy - my Dad just texted me and told me that Jessica's owners are willing to give her up.=)=)=) That will be SO much better for her, and even better - Duchess' owner, Melissa (who i go riding with quite a lot), knows someone who might want her, and would be willing to keep her at our property and pay me to train her. The best of both worlds! L to R: Jessica, Tony. Tony is such a butthead. He's learned to walk underneath the electric fence, so he's staying in the dry lot with Jessica, and he's definitely fattening up (which he desperately needed), and they are getting along well. It's good for Jessica too, because she gets frantic when she's left alone... Whin-D, "LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE." She's a very unsociable horse. That's all i have to say about her. Tony and his pretty blue eye. Rico, "Do you have carrots? Carrots pwease?" I find it so funny that his owner drives out and feeds him carrots...and then leaves. She's supposedly waiting until i ride him more so that she can ride him, so i kinda suggested that maybe she take him for a hand walk or groom him...who woulda thunk it? Bronson, "Oh. my. gosh. LEAVE me the heck alone and let me eat!!!! Sheesh you crazy lady." Haha, 'nuf said. He's cute though.=) And perfect, as always. Ahhh, i love a good horse. Shane! He's got such a typey arab head, it's not even funny. Of course you can't see it in this picture, but he does... He's really cute, but definitely has an attitude. And he's a bit hard to catch, but his owners are really nice, and although they don't know a lot about horses, they REALLY want to learn, and that's great.=) They're out there, like, every day. I rarely see any of the other owners out here, so it's nice to know at least someone cares about their horses. Katie, poor, skinny, Katie. I feel so bad for her.=( I texted her owner today and i was not very nice. I told her that Katie needs food NOW and that she's still lame from months ago. Grrrr. It makes me SO mad when people neglect their horses. Miss Duchy stuffing her face with food! Lol. Remmy says hello to the camera!!!!! He is such a cutie pie, i love him.=) He came up three-legged lame today, not wanting to put his right hind on the ground. I brushed all the mud off of it, and checked all up and down, but no cuts, swelling, or tenderness. He was fine yesterday, so i'm guessing that he's got an abcess. So i, of course, called the owner, and she asked me what an abcess was and what to do with it. *headdesk* THIS is the woman who is supposed to be rescuing this horse. And she was also surprised that he was going through 4-5 flakes of hay a day, and that he used up a bale every 3-5 days. Uhm, what else were you expecting? Have you never fed horses before? When they are hard keepers and don't have additional forage that pasture provides, they need 20-30 pounds of hay a day. Especially TBs. *headdesk* He's lean from his racing days, don't you just love his lips? He's such a dork.=) April looks miniscule in comparison to Remmy, lol. But Remmy's standing on 8 inches of dirt higher than April. By the way, if you're worried about April being [...]



Rico

2009-12-28T08:29:09.600-08:00

“Hey Micayla, how are you?”“Good, how about you?”“Oh, I’m doing fine. Hey, I was wondering. How much would it cost you to put a couple of rides on Rico to see what he’s like since he hasn’t been ridden in awhile?”“How about $10 per ride? Do you want to meet tomorrow so that we can see how he is?”“Sure! How about 10?”“That’s great! I’ll see you then.”The following conversation took place between a fellow horse person and I. Her horse, Rico, came from a rather abusive previous life, and he hadn’t been ridden for at least four months, probably longer. The next day, I met her out at the property, and asked her if she had brought any of his tack that the previous owners had ridden him in. She had not. So I went to catch Rico from his pasture. He nicely allowed me to catch him, and I lead him up to my tack room and began to brush him off quickly so that I could put the saddle on. His eyes wide, he twitched back and forth, catching himself at the end of the tied up lead rope, then spinning around and hitting the other side of it. Easily stepping to and from him as his whim took him, I quickly brushed down the saddle and cinch areas. I brought my saddle pad out, as he raised his head and looked at it, worried. I let him sniff it quickly, then practiced casually throwing it on and off of him. Soon he calmed down enough for me to leave it on him while I went back into the tack room for my saddle. Quickly slinging it on, I hastened to tighten the cinch. Still squirming, Rico was not pleased with the proceedings. Ignoring him, I finished saddling and bridling him and led him into my arena.Hooking up the lunge line, I sent him out, and he immediately began trotting around me frantically, head in the air. Making my body language as unthreatening as possible, I watched him move and respond to me. He’s going to be smooth, I thought to myself. Pushing him into a canter, I noticed that he was extremely unbalanced and unable to hold up the right lead. Pulling him into stop (he wouldn’t walk), I switched the lunge line and sent him out the other direction. He pulled much harder this way. Although the lunge line was attached to a bit in his mouth, my negligible weight was not much encouragement to keep him from pulling. Throwing all my weight against it, I was able to keep him on a circle, and he was only able to pull me around a little bit. After seeing him move both directions, and noting that he was neither inclined to buck, bolt, rear, or charge at me, I had more esteem for him. Then I got to work. We worked on walking. Just walking on the lunge line. It’s harder than you might think.Horses are very simple creatures. You just need a few guidelines and you can teach them most anything. 1) Consistency is your very best friend. 2) Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. 3) Pressure and Release. Pressure and Release. That’s all you need. I asked Rico to walk on the lunge line. He didn’t. So I pulled on his mouth and made him trot a smaller circle around me until he was forced to walk because the circle was so small. Once he walked, I loosened my hold on his mouth and let him walk on a larger circle. Pressure and release. If he trotted again, I did the same thing. Consistency. I made the right thing easy, you can’t trot a very small circle, but you can walk it.Rinse and repeat the above for about ten minutes, and he was consistently walking both ways. Then I undid the lunge line, clipped the reins on, and checked the cinch. He spun away from me, but I quickly shortened my hold on his reins and turned his head into me so that the most he could do would be to walk around me in a circle smal[...]



Merry (belated) Christmas!

2009-12-26T18:22:59.075-08:00

I would have gotten a post out sooner...but i was tired...and i have totally been insanely busy lately. Aaanyway, on Christmas Eve, everybody got half a carrot, and on Christmas day, every body got a carrot.=)Bronson has been excellent lately. Took him on a long trail ride on the 23rd, and he was great. On Christmas Eve, i decided to do something quite stupid, but it turned out well. I rode him down the road - bareback - and i tied a pretty, red scarf around his neck in honor of the season. Then i rode him back and pointed him up the road where i often gallop. Then i bent forward and unclipped both of his reins and held them in my hand. Now i only had the scarf around his neck. Then i kicked him into a gallop and galloped him bareback and bridleless down the road. He was, of course, perfect. I rode him back with just the neck rope, and he did everything that i asked...of course. I love my horse.=)On Christmas day, my mom came out to feed everyone with me (don't ask me why 'cause i don't know), and she got a couple of pictures. This is Remmy, a 2 1/2 y/o OTTB that came directly off the track and was going to go to slaughter because of a knee chip. He's in our 12x24 isolation pen, and the owner is driving me crazy. She says she's going to bring out a blanket...and she doesn't. She says she's going to bring hay...and she doesn't. I met her for the first time today, and i'm just hoping she'll pay and be good. She's really flaky and doesn't even seem to care about Remmy. Heck, i've named him Remington and nicknamed him Remmy because she hasn't even told me his name. She fed him today (like she was supposed to...FOR ONCE), but she didn't even pet him. I put MY old blanket on him because he doesn't have one, and i think he was under lights, 'cause he's got the equivalent of a summer coat, it's so short. And it's raining right now, and he shouldn't have to stand shivering in the rain and losing weight. He NEEDS to be hand walked, but she's scared of him. Even though i've hand walked him and he was perfect. Ooooh, i just hope that she's not one of those crazy hoarder people who just amass hundreds of horses to "rescue" them. She's supposedly starting a rescue, but i'm the one doing all of the work here - something's not adding up. She was supposed to be there to meet the horse trailer and see her new horse (um, duh? don't you want to see that your horse is taken care of?), but instead, she lets me handle everything, and doesn't even make it out to see him until days later. She had never seen our property. I could have put him in a pen filled with barbed wire and she wouldn't have known! Geez, i just hope this horse gets into a good situation.Aaaanyway, enough ranting. I rode Bronson again today in the arena, and he was really good. What else did you expect? He's starting to get the whole rating thing within a gait. Especially at a trot. Now he'll do a nice, slow jog if i sit and put light pressure on the reins. But if i start posting and squeezing every time i sit down, he's learning that he really can speed up and not canter. We're working on it, but things really seemed to "click" this session. We also worked on loping correctly and flying lead changes. I think he's doing a flying lead change from the right lead (his bad one) to the left (his good one). I need to get a video to make sure it's really a FLYING lead change. But we're going to have to work a lot on the right to left one, mainly on balance and correct travelling. But oh well, we had fun. Here are a couple of other pictures my mom took on Christmas day, enjoy.=) Bronson running across the pasture when he realized that all the other horses had disappeared down the hill to go ea[...]



And Rainy Days....

2009-12-21T20:10:21.236-08:00

*sigh* It rained again today, but since i haven't been riding a lot in the last couple of weeks due to the weather, and not having an indoor arena, i was DYING to ride. So i rode anyway. It wasn't that bad, just foggy, misty/rainy, and windy. A friend gave me an English saddle because it didn't fit her, and i was eager to try it out on Bronson. She had gotten it for free and it had never fit her anyway.

It wass pretty cheaply made, and it fit Bronson excellently, but it didn't fit me. *deep sigh* I felt like i was fighting it the entire time. The flaps made my leg so bulky that i couldn't feel Bronson moving at all. My knees didn't even HIT the knee pads, and i think the seat was too small too. I'm not entirely sure what type it is, but it looks something like a dressage saddle, but it might be a gaited horse saddle. Anyway, it did not fit me well at all. And of course my other English saddle that used to be for Brig is thee most comfortable and thee best saddle ever (i've heard this from numerous people who have ridden in it)...but it doesn't fit Bronson. GRRRRR. So i'm looking at a cheap Crosby Prix De Nations, and i think i'll get it and try it, and if it doesn't fit, turn around and sell it for a profit, because it's really cheap, but a good saddle.

But even with the bad saddle, Bronson and i had a good ride today in my new arena (!). We did a lot of walking work, firstly, because it was still fairly muddy, and secondly, because he needed it. I started off working at a trot, and he was allll over the place, not listening to my leg or my rein, not bending, and just being an inattentive wiggly worm. So i went down to a walk and did lots of serpentines, half circles, loops, etc. He started getting much better, actually BENDING through the turns, walking straight, and moving correctly off of my leg when i asked. After a particularly good half circle, i went back up the trot and worked on circling, mostly, because only one end of the arena was really dry enough to trot. He did much better than at the beginning of the ride, bending and working off my leg well. Then we went back down to a walk, worked on leg yielding, which he was rather stiff and slow about. Then i did some sidepassing, which was excellent.

Then i untacked him using my brand new cross ties (!), and put his tack in my tack room.=) It made me happy.

He's a very good pony, and adorable too, but he does need arena work.



Sunny Days!

2009-12-17T15:50:16.881-08:00

It was sunny today for the first time in, like, FOREVER! Ok, so not really, it's only been raining for a week or so, but it feels like it. I finally got to actually really ride Bronson for the first time in well over a week...in a tanktop. *sheepish green*. We had a high of 55? 60? today. It was gawgeous and warm and wonderful. I took Bronson on a ride down the road (since it's still super muddy) and up a gravel road where you can trot and canter where your horse won't slip and fall over. He did exceptionally well for the most part, seing that he hadn't been ridden in over a week, and i was bareback. Note to self: trotting bareback on Bronson is not fun. Sitting or posting, they're both difficult on Bronson's floaty gait. But oh well. We had a good time, he was pretty jumpy for the most part, but settled down at the end. In other news, I almost fell off, heh. We were coming past my neighbor's pasture, and a calf from i have no idea where was panicking and running up and down the fence. Bronson stopped dead, tensed all his muscles underneath me, raised his head high in the air, and stood watching the calf. Not like five minutes before, he had gone up to the fence and willingly tried to socialize with a different herd of cattle. *roll eyes* So i made Bronson go forward, and the calf got through the barb wire fence and into the horse's pasture. The horses were all spazzing and running and snorting away from the calf, which didn't help Bronson's case. Bronson had *almost* gotten OK with the idea of a loose calf, when the calf decided to bust through the other side of the pasture. Bronson spun a quarter turn to the right so fast, i was slipping off, but i grabbed his mane and hooked my knee over his withers. He (thankfully!) stopped long enough for me to clamber back on and we passed the area of mishap successfully, though incredibly tensely. I started doing silly things like snorting, wriggling around and waving my arms to make him realize that he didn't have to be so reactive, and he calmed down pretty quickly. Silly pony. But i'm really glad i didn't fall, 'cause it would have been on pavement, and no matter how slow i'd been going, it would have HURT. The rest of the ride went without incident, and since it was the first sunny day in forever, i took some pictures of the new horses without their blankets on. Here's Shane, this picture is from a couple of weeks ago though, so the pasture isn't muddy and the horse isn't muddy.xDThen here's April; this picture was taken today, and you can tel because she's so muddy, heh.I took Bronson's blanket off to go for a ride, and i didn't put it back on because it's going to be so warm here. And then i managed to get a couple pictures of Bronson in his pasture without his blanket and before he rolled, which he did within five minutes. Isn't he pretty? I love my horse.=)Gosh, look how long his mane is in this picture! Amazing.Well, that's all the tidings for today. I've been working hard on cleaning out my shed, and i've started putting up a fence around my brand new arena *squeals*. Ahhhh, i love Christmas break, i get so much done.[...]



Pending Blog Split

2009-12-15T14:24:45.131-08:00

Ok, so here's the deal. I've got posts about books and boring stuff like that intermixed with stuff about horses. So i'm splitting the blog up. From now on, this blog will be exclusively devoted to horses. Everything else, the quotations, book reviews, etc., will be at my new blog: http://mysearch-findinggodinmylife.blogspot.com/. So, with that being said, how about some talk about horses?


Bronson is quite wonderful, i love him so much.=) It's the sweetest thing; when i call to him, he'll lift his head and look at me, or sometimes, he'll even walk towards me. He's got the cutest expression on his face most of the time, now that he's in a pasture by himself and doesn't really have any other company. He is SO cute.


I trimmed his hooves the other day, and i found out why he was lame. Remember when i said that he was landing toe first instead of heel first like he usually does? It WASN'T muscle soreness; while i was trimming that left rear, i was trimming his bars, and all of a sudden, my hoof knife scraped across a small piece of gravel, and gunk started leaking out of his hoof. Yup, yup, abcess. I was actually surpised that it was that, because he wasn't extremely lame like i would expect, just a little lame. If you didn't know him well, you wouldn't be able to see it hardly at all. Anyway, he's fine now.



I was planning on riding, but i didn't feel like it because it was so dang wet and muddy that all i could have done was walk down the road. So instead i did a bit of groundwork, which i haven't done in FOREVER. He's so cute, he'll yield his hindquarters and shoulders, back up, trot beside me, stop, everything without a fuss. =)

Here are some videos i took the other day, Bronson is SUCH a dork.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bebpWYyZp54

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grNkiZTv6uA

In other news, i am officially loving blanketing. MY HORSE ISN'T DIRTY. It's amazing. I don't have to spend five hours grooming him. Speaking of grooming, i took Jessica out today, since her owner is delinquent AGAIN *sigh*, and brushed her down. She's back in the dry (ha!) lot at this point because she was not holding her weight well in the pasture with the other horses. I've been free feeding her and stuff, but since it's a "dry" lot, and we've had buckets of rain lately, it's really muddy. I spent about an hour grooming her today and getting all of the caked mud off of her, since she likes to roll. Then i trimmed her hooves, which were due. As least this way if i never get paid by her old owner and she reverts to me, i won't be out of pocket to pay the farrier. They actually look really good, but they're really flat, being a TB. She's a sweet horse.=) I had her tied up, but she was just eating hay the whole time, totally chill.


We also got two more horses in, two arabs. I don't have pictures of them yet, but they're rather...interesting horses. I don't like arabs, and these two have enforced that opinion...let's just put it that way.

Bronson says, "HAI! And bye!!!! C u soon!!!!!"

(image)



Updates

2009-12-11T16:43:33.496-08:00

We've had fairly crappy weather lately. Besides the fact that Bronson was lame...yeah, no riding done lately. But Bronson is completely better now, thank you Lord. I lunged him on Wednesday, and discovered that it was his left hind, not his left front. Went over that leg really well - no heat, swelling, cuts, tenderness, etc. Picked his hoof out and checked it over carefully - nothing. So i decided to give him until Friday and then call the vet. But he looked better on Thursday, and today i walked and trotted him, and his ears were happily forward and he was moving steadily and evenly. So i hopped on him very quickly on top of his blanket and walked and trotted him out. He was sound.=) Which made me very happy. But then i put him back 'cause the weather was nasty and i didn't really want to ride. I'm guessing he just strained a muscle playing in his pasture, which is quite good news.

As to the weather, it's been muddy all the time, rained yesterday, today, and will rain tomorrow and the next. Not that i'm complaining, we've been in a drought for the last four years, but still... It's not fun to feed horses in the cold and the rain.

School is going well, "finals" are next week, but i've only got finals for one class; speech is over, and my english class only wants an essay instead of doing a test. Which suits me just fine. My goal is a 4.0 GPA because i'm a perfectionist and i like school. So there.

In other news, I'm all registered for the Spring semester, which starts on January 22nd - but my classes REALLY don't start until January 26th because the 22nd is a Friday. Here's my schedule:

Tuesday/Thursday
9.30-10.45: English class, on the short story
11.00-12.15: PE class, beginning tap dance (NOT my first choice - i wanted fitness walking, but i certianly hope that this PE class will not be too intensive because my goal for PE is to do as little work as possible, hehe)
12.30-1.45 - English class, the Bible as history (SUPER excited for this one)
2.00-3.15 - Social Science class (i'm not looking for this to be interesting, just fulfilling units.)
7.00-9.15 - Algebra 1

As you can see, there's a break in the middle of the day so that i can go out and feed my ponehs, but other than that, i'm in school all day Tuesday and Thursday, and then homework for all those classes the rest of the time. But this keeps my schedule pretty free, which is good.=) I've also got beginning Psychology online.

So we'll see how enthusiastic about school after the end of the Spring semester, but i can't wait until my six weeks of Christmas break! I'm excited.=)



Post #250!

2009-12-09T09:11:55.370-08:00

Please note: this post was written yesterday, but i didn't get around to posting it until today because i got distracted. So when i say "today," i mean yesterday, and when i way "tomorrow," i mean today.Wow, that's a lot of posts. Didn't know i had that many in me. In other news, it is CCCCCOOOLLLLDDDDDD here! I live in the SF Bay Area; we don't get snow, we usually get a couple of freezing nights every winter, but that's about it. It snowed two nights ago, and there's still snow on the mountains around us. It NEVER snows here. Like, every 30 years type of thing. But i must admit, it was pretty dang cool to drive out to the ranch and have a thin covering of snow on either side of the road. Something you hardly ever see here, seeing as if it ever does snow at other times, it rarely sticks. It was SUPER cold here today too, it, like, didn't get above 45 today! You could see your breath at 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON. That's just wrong for CA. Just wrong.But i did go riding today and on Sunday. Sunday was a good ride, i met Kay and Storms in my neighbor's arena, and Bronson did excellently. He's getting the idea that faster does not equal falling apart. His slides are getting fantastic, i think i'm going to buy him skid boots for Christmas so that he doesn't accidentally burn his fetlocks and get scared to slide. Kay rode him for a little while, and she could get him to do some things, but not a whole lot. Lol, he wouldn't stop hard for her, because he's a lazy son of a gun, but she handled him well and got him to do a lot more than i've seen other people get him to do.Today i planned on going on a ride with Melissa. I tacked Bronson up and hopped on...and knew immediately that something was wrong. When you spend as much time in a saddle on one horse like i do with Bronson, you know how they're supposed to move, and when it's wrong. He was off, i asked Melissa, and she thought it was in his shoulder, just like i thought too. We still went on the ride, but i walked most of the time because i couldn't bear to ride him when he was off.Now please note, he was not terribly off. Try a Grade 1 lameness. As in, when trotting, his head was bobbing so slightly you couldn't see it. But when you rode him, his trot, instead of being a steady 1-2-1-2-1-2, it was 1-pause-21-pause. Ie. He was off, but not so much that i felt terrible for him. It rained two days ago, and i think he must have pulled a muscle in his shoulder playing on the slippery pasture. I tried to stretch that leg, and he was noticably limping more after i stretched it, which makes sense if he pulled a muscle.So i put him in a pasture separate from the rest of the horses, and i'll see how he is tomorrow. My poor baby.=(In other news, I GOT AN ARENA!!!!! A very nice man cut a pad for me, and now i just have to wait for it to dry out, decide what kind of footing i want, and then go to it.=) I wanna teach Bronson to jump.After i rode with Melissa and Bronson was lame, we decided to head over to her barn where her main riding horse was, Buck (the one she took on the beach ride). She wanted me to ride him, which was fine with me. Lol, he totally tested me. Before, she was bragging about how he had only bucked a couple of times. I was loping him to the right, and i asked him to turn a circle; he got sticky, and then a gave a couple of bucks. I pushed him through it, kicked him into a canter, and did it again. He was just in a nasty frame of mind, and he did the same thing three or four more times before he settled down. Then Melissa got on him, he bucked/hopped on her once a[...]



It’s Been a Bad Day

2009-12-06T07:31:31.881-08:00

You’ve been looking back,At all the moments you wish you could take back.Ok, enough of the song lyrics, how about the report? Heh, yeah. Bronson had to give four lessons on Friday; first two were great. Then he had about a two hour break, and there were some new horses that had just been brought in. He had gotten really worked up during those two hours, and I will never know why. When my third lesson showed up (Kendra, please reference THIS post), Bronson went spastic. Like, literally. She tied him up to the trailer and tried to brush him. He kept moving around and whinnying to the other horses. He also kept swishing his tail and just acting like a jerk. I told her to go with it and keep brushing him, and as she was brushing his flanks, she cow kicked at her, then kicked out at my dog. Oh. My. Goodness. I untied him, then backed him up about fifty feet, yelling at him the entire time. He thought he was going to die, and he deserved every second of the terror. My horse does not kick out at people. Ever. Granted, he has never done this before, and I’m not really sure what triggered it this time, but he (hopefully) learned a very good lesson that that is never allowed. Then I spun him in a ton of circles and smacking him on the hindquarters with the end of the rope. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have smacked him as much, but I was MAD, and that was my problem. I should not have gotten mad, but I did. After that, I smacked his hindquarters and his flank area a bunch to see if he wanted to try kicking again. He didn’t, he just flinched and took it.He stood relatively still for the rest of grooming and saddling, but he was jazzed for some reason and I could tell. I tied the lunge line onto his bridle and told Kendra that she was going to learn how to lunge. But when I let him go and asked him for a trot, he bolted to the end of the line like he used to do forever ago. I held him, of course, but it took about 20 minutes of trotting and cantering on the lunge both ways until he was actually listening to me and not the other horses. I borrowed Kendra’s gloves at one point so that it would be easier to hold the rope, because he tried to bolt off a number of times. Once he was actually listening again, I asked Kendra if she’d like me to get on first. Of course she said yes, she was pretty rattled, and she totally did not trust me when I said that he would be just fine now. So I hopped on him, trotted and cantered some circles each direction, around the arena, etc. I knew he’d be fine, and though he was a bit hyper, he was listening, so he was fine.Then I had Kendra get on, and she was joking about hoping not to end up in the hospital. I told her at least ten times that she had to TRUST me, and I knew Bronson was just fine now, and I’d NEVER put her on a horse that I thought would hurt her. Because I wouldn’t. She didn’t believe me, but I made her get up anyway, and she walked around a bit and got a little bit calmer. Then I made her pick up the trot (even though she didn’t want to), and it went a bit like this. “Breathe, relax, LOOSEN YOUR REINS, do not have a death grip on his mouth, roll your shoulders back, BREATHE, just relax, he’s not going to do anything.” After she had trotted (and of course been fine), I asked her if it had been as bad as she thought it would be. Of course it hadn’t. Then she joked that now she just didn’t want to canter. I told her that she really shouldn’t have told me that. What did I make her do? Canter both ways. Of course she [...]



Oh Bronson *sigh*

2009-12-05T08:31:00.730-08:00

Had a great ride on Bronson the other day, i went with the gal i went to the beach with (please reference this post). I hauled Bronson over to Melissa's stable because she's got a lot of new (!) trails that i haven't been on before. Overall, Bronson did really well. He loaded right up from home, then i tacked up, and we both headed down a busy (but wide) road down to some trails. Bronson's such a dork, he was like, "Oh my! A white fence! Gah, look over there, a brown fence. Oh goodness! Is that a grate in the road?!!!!" But he did just fine when some horses in a pasture beside the road were bucking and bolting around. Buck (Melissa's horse) acted up, but Bronson just walked on. It's the bushes that scare him, you know. He'd sidestep and hem and haw, and then do what i wanted within a couple of seconds. He'll never be bombproof and dead, but he's pretty darn good. I wish i had brought my camera! Grrrrr.

Anyway, we rode right across from a freeway for a little while, and he didn't care. Bikes? Didn't care. We rode for about an hour and a half and had a great time. At one point, Buck, bolted off away from us. Bronson got tense for a second wondering if he should bolt too, but i started to pull his head around, and he immediately focused back on me and stopped. Melissa got Buck back under control and we continued our ride.

Oh yeah, on our way back, (this is about an hour and fifteen minutes into the ride) i think about checking my girth. You could see daylight between it. Whoopsies. I tightened it twice when i tacked up, but obviously not enough. Good thing my saddle fits! I was trotting and cantering up and down hills like that and it didn't go anywhere.

I also rode Bronson very briefly in Melissa's barn's indoor arena. Haha, you could tell Bronson had never been in a barn before; walking down the aisle with horses on other sides, he was practically tiptoeing with his eyes WIDE open and looking around, as if to say, "What in the world are all of these horses doing in boxes?!" He was pretty distracted in the arena, but settled down after a few minutes. Hestill didn't give me good circles though; he was too busy being focused on what was happening outside to bend to the inside, lol.

And then, of course, i had to load him up to go home. He is such a dork. He was like, "Uhm......NO." So i tried for a few minutes with a halter, and he basically thinks that he doesn't have to get in unless i've got a rope on him that goes through the manger window and a whip behind him. So i put that set up on him, and he walked right in, absolutely NO problem. *sigh* I think what he's thinking is that he knows that he has to get in when going away from home. But loading up for the second time during the day? Not gonna happen as easily. I think what i'll do is just start with the rope and the whip so that i don't have to fight him for five minutes or so in the halter and lead rope and let him "win." Then i'll decrease my pulling on his halter, and increase my verbal cue, and get closer to him to imitate when i load him up with a halter and lead, and he'll get it soon enough. I mean, it's not like he WON'T get in the trailer, you just have to have the right equipment.=) Silly pony.



New Horse

2009-12-04T07:29:00.519-08:00

(Not mine). But we got a new horse in for "leasing" our land on Monday, and since they didn't have anyone else to pick them up, they paid me to haul him. It was quite an interesting experience. Now, i've never met this lady before, let's call her Sherry. She got this horse for free from a woman whose husband had recently died, and he was the one who owned the horse. I got out to the stable, and i was....well, why don't i start to at the beginning. I was given directions to the old owner's house, and she was supposed to direct me to the stable. I arrived a little bit early and got a lot a bit lost, so i called her, and we arranged to meet somewhere. Then instead of driving to the stable right away, we headed to her house. Worriedly, she told me that she didn't have any carrots for him, and asked me whether i thought Rico would get in the trailer. I said that yes, i hoped he would get in, but remained silent on the carrot issue. She came back out with a large bag of apples that she gave to me. I put them on the floor of the truck. I follow her to the stable and i pull the truck and trailer off the road in front of the gate. She opens it, and i realize with a bit of a shock that the reason the gate is there is because the road cuts through a pasture to get to the house. As i'm driving up, i gently honk at a young Arab filly who was just walking down the road in front of my truck. Always leery of getting stuck in a place where i couldn't turn around, i park the truck and trailer on the road in the middle of a big field so i'd have a place to turn around. As i get out, a grey horse comes and begins to eat the few straws of hay that were left in the back of my truck. I walk up to pet him, but when i get a couple of feet away, he shies and trots around the trailer to sniff it. His feet look like they hadn't been done in six months. He doesn't have a halter on, but nearly every other horse had a nylon halter on, not breakaway, while out in the field. While waiting for another person to show up so that we could get the horse, i wandered over to one of the fences, with huge pig wire squares, and a sagging length of barb wire at the top. There, a cute Palomino filly waited on the other side of the fence that i wanted to pet. She too had a halter on, and as i touched her nose, i gently grabbed for it to hold her still so that i could pet her. As soon as she felt the halter move, she spun around on her hindquarters and bolted off. Ok then, never mind. I walked back to my truck to wait.Then the person who we had been waiting for arrived, and we headed up to the "barn" (if you can even call it that) area to get the horse. A man opened the gate, wearing earphones, slouching his shoulders, with his shirt tucked into pants hitched much too high and held by a failing belt. He grunted a - hello? response? I wasn’t sure – to us as we walked through the gate. I awkwardly asked the owner where the horse was. After hemming and hawing for awhile, i found out that the horse was somewhere in the back field. The guy who had opened the gate slowly picked up an old and much used green halter and slowly began to walk out to the field to catch Rico, cigarette in hand. Since the horses were just a bare spot on the horizon, and since Sherry apparently did not wish to talk to me, i did a bit of wandering around. I only saw five dogs, but i know there were more. Two of them were tied up. One was tethered to the hitching post, wit[...]



Life: I See by a Different Light

2009-12-03T07:23:00.546-08:00

Some of you may remember this post (haha, what few of you ever read this blog). Well, I’d been thinking about the whole thing a lot and I’d basically come to an impasse and whenever I thought about it, It’d go ‘round and ‘round in my head. And then I read the essay “Problem Picture” by Dorothy Sayers. Have I ever mentioned that Sayers has changed my life? Well I just mentioned it, and it’s very true.

Basically, in “Problem Picture,” she says that life isn’t a detective problem with one easy answer, rather, the only way to live life well and fully is to use all of ones faculties to “create” and live in as best an imitation of the creating God as we can. As she states so aptly, “There is never any point in time that can conclude or comprehend the idea. The problem is never so solved that it is abolished; but each time it is restated, a new thing is made and signed with the formula ‘Q.E.F.’ [Latin for: which was to be done].”

So that’s been my problem. I’ve been looking at my life as a problem to be solved, as opposed to a life to be created. I’ve been looking at this problem of combining horses and reading, so put the metaphor nicely, when they are, in fact, utterly uncombineable. I was wishing for something impossible, but I did not want to see it as such, so I kept going ‘round in circles instead. Well I’ve stopped going in circles, and I’ve stopped trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together that won’t fit. Instead, I’m looking at my life as something to be made, a new creation that hasn’t been done before. If I live akin to living in two different worlds, so what? It’ll all work out, because it is how God created me.

Along those lines, I’ve also been seeing the whole lawyer as a profession thing in the wrong light too. I love to learn, I’ve mentioned that, right? Well, why not learn to become a lawyer and enjoy doing it? Before I looked at becoming a lawyer as a means to an end, but now I’m looking at it as something more and fun to learn, and an end in and of itself.

We’ll see, we shall see…



Book Review: "Letters To A Diminished Church" - Dorothy Sayers

2009-12-02T05:34:00.264-08:00

This book is an excellent collection of essays that are both witty and profound. A couple of years ago, we had to read 4 or 5 essays from this book, and i liked them so much, that i bought the book about six months and finally got around to reading it today. There are essays about everything from the Christian aesthetic, to the meaning of work, to the relevance of Christianity in daily life. I have taken quotations from certain essays in this book before, and it has really had a profound effect on my life. Her essay on what true art is has changed the way i read and evaluate books, paintings, and movies. But i believe i talked about that in this post, so i won't go into that anymore. It's a book i would highly recommend.

Rating: *****