Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day Thirty: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Thirty: Your future with horses.

I hope my future is full of horses and horse activities. I hope I'm still riding horses in my old age, or worst case scenario driving them. :) In fact I even plan to have miniature horses when I'm too old and frail to handle full sized horses. :) I never want to go without horses in my life again.

I would like to learn different disciplines, compete in low level shows, trail ride in different states, try out different breeds, own a Friesian someday, learn to drive.... There is so much I still want to do with horses. :) My main focus right now is raising and training Chrome and developing the best possible relationship I can with him. I hope to someday maybe have my little Appaloosa mare Lady back someday, but that might not ever be possible. At least she's happy and well cared for and I can still visit her. :) I hope my future with horses is long and happy. :D

Doing the thirty day horse challenge was a lot of fun. Starting tomorrow I'm going to get my butt back in gear and start getting things done. :) I'm not wasting this gorgeous weather anymore.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day Twenty Nine: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Nine: Favorite brands...boots, breeches, tops, helmets, etc.

I'm not really a brands person . . . the brands I have are Kerrits, Ariat and Troxel because that's what was available at the time I got my things and that's what everyone had at my barn. I like what is cheap, but well made and comfortable, and safe. :) From my experience with the three I mentioned I would definitely go with those brands again.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chrome Update

I don't remember if I even mentioned that Chrome hurt himself on this blog. I did mention it on my Farmer Life blog. Basically he cut his throat right where the throatlatch on a bridle would sit. It was about three inches long. I have him on antibiotics (which took care of the swelling in a day) and have been putting blue coat antiseptic spray on it and carona around it to keep the skin soft so it won't keep opening up since its on a part of his throat that stretches every time he grazes. It's looking a whole lot better. :) It will take a while to heal because it has to heal from the inside out, but I'm not worried anymore.

He has a knot on his neck where the donkey bit him or he ran into something, but it isn't bad at all. He has a scrape on one hock but it didn't break the skin. Silly colt is a mess. The evil green headed flies are driving him absolutely nuts too!! I have to go get more fly spray today. Poor guy wouldn't even come out of the barn for his breakfast.

Chrome had his trim today. His hooves are growing like crazy since spring hit full force. His heels were getting high again, but they look much better after the trim. She said he's stiff on the rear, but the club feet aren't getting any worse and the tendon is still flexible. That's good news. He had some chipping, but aside from that and the club feet, she said he has beautiful, textbook hooves. :) That makes me happy.

His feet were getting long between trims so we moved his schedule up to where he'll get done more frequently. In other hoof news, poor donkey blew two abscesses. I feel bad for the poor guy. I'm going to get back to work on his clicker training so I can get a halter on him and teach him to lead and tie. I just need my paddock repaired from the storms because working with a wild donkey on thirty or forty acres is difficult lol.

So that's my update. I've been busy working extra hours to help with money until my husband finds a job so I haven't had the time (or more importantly the energy) to do much more than feed, medicate, groom and fly spray him. I will get back to the clicker training. I just have to get motivated. Anyway sorry for the long rambling post. I feel bad for not posting much lately about my colt. Or taking picture. :( I'll be back though.

Day Twenty Eight: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Eight: Helmet or no helmet?

I grew up riding Western, trail riding, in my back yard on the neighborhood roads . . . without a helmet, because I didn't know any better . . . unfortunately habits are hard to break. When I started dressage lessons I started wearing a helmet. For years I wore one when at the dressage stable where I worked and also at home on my own horses. Then I went two years without riding and recently found a friend who is a lot like I used to be, riding western, trail riding, all without a helmet. When I started riding with her I didn't wear a helmet . . . . I need to get back into the habit of wearing a helmet when riding with my friend . . . I guess a part of me is afraid I'll look dumb, but looking dumb is better than being dead. :) I will definitely be wearing one when I start riding Chrome. You just never know what a young horse will do. So I'm all for wearing helmets although I guess I don't 100% of the time. No one is perfect. I'll get comfortable wearing one again though. :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day Twenty Seven: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Seven: You know you are an equestrian when (list 5 things).

1. you put more energy and research into your horse's diet than your own. :)
2. you cluck at other animals, vehicles, etc. when they are going too slow.
3. you prefer to clean stalls than you own house.
4. you don't even notice that you smell like fly spray or are covered in horse hair.
5. every property you pass while driving down the road you visualize how you would arrange barns and pastures on it.

Wow I would have thought those would be easy to come up with, but it took me a while lol. I hope I thought of some good ones. :) And yes they all apply to me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day Twenty Six: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Six: Your biggest riding pet peeve.

I wish I had more time and energy to go into a lot of detail here, but I'm just so tired. Basically my biggest pet peeve is the abuse of horses to win ribbons and money. There are cruelties committed in almost every discipline such as rollkur in dressage, rapping in jumping, soring in gaited shows, etc. The list goes on and on. I hope we've moved beyond some of it, but we still have a long ways to go. There are other things too such as breeding mares every single year and keeping stallions locked away in stalls away from all equine contact. It all bothers me, but this said riding pet peeves lol so I'll just leave all of that alone. :) I just wish people cared more about the horses than the money and I'm so happy I have all of my blog buddies who feel the way I do.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day Twenty Five: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Five: Your dream trailer.

Realistically I would love to have a two horse, bumper pull, slant load stock trailer. I don't know if I'd want one with solid sides like this one or not. I want something open and inviting, not closed in and scary like the one I have right now.

My dream trailer (not brand specific) would be a three horse, slant load, gooseneck. :) It would be really cool if it had sleeping quarters and dressing quarters. Who knows what else. I haven't spent nearly as much time thinking about the trailer as I have about my dream farm. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day Twenty Four: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Four: Your Best Riding Buddy.

At the moment I only have one riding buddy. We've only known each other for a couple of months but we already get along better than sisters lol. She rides western and has several horses, so it's really nice to be able to go trail riding again. :) Just like me she's ready to go riding any time. Even bareback at night. :D We have so much fun together.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day Twenty Three: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Three: The first horse you ever rode.

I never actually rode my first pony because she wasn't broke to ride and was very mean. My second pony was Tony, named for Tony Danza, however I just called him Tony my Pony. :) I learned to ride on him. He only threw me once and I think it was just because he was scared. He was stubborn but not mean. He was an older buckskin pinto pony who died of colic a year after we got him. We tried everything to save him but he didn't make it. I think I have a couple of pictures of him somewhere, but I'm not sure where. He was so cute. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day Twenty Two: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty Two: Describe the importance of riding in your life.

Wow, this is a tough question. Basically riding (and horses) is my life. I couldn't imagine my life without horses. The two years I went without a horse had to be the worse ever. The wait until Chrome is old enough to ride is excruciating. If it weren't for clicker training I don't know how I would stand it. Riding is the ultimate way to spend a day. The ultimate relaxing activity. It's just awesome. This probably all sounds silly . . . :) If it weren't for having to get up really early in the morning I would probably elaborate further, but right now I'm just so tired. Good night!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day Twenty One: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Twenty One: Your Favorite Schooling Outfit.

When schooling and taking lessons I always wore breeches (or my Kerrits tights in summer), Ariat paddock boots, half chaps, gloves and a helmet. For a shirt it was basically any tank top, t-shirt, sweater or whatever I had laying around (that I didn't mind horse hair and slobber on). :D Here is a picture. I look like a dork in it, but it was the best I could do for as little time as I had. And yep that tree comes up through my back deck. :D

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chrome's Injury Update

I think I found out what is causing the mysterious swelling. I was checking his throat without a halter on and there is a three inch cut right across his throat exactly where the throat piece of the halter sits. I bet he had his head through the barbed wire fence (one of the drawbacks of the lease land) and spooked which sliced his throat. It's not life threatening, but it is pretty deep so I'm going to call the vet on Monday for antibiotics. Sheesh this horse has taken more antibiotics in his two years than I have in my whole life lol. Anyway at least that explains the lump on his throat. Thanks guys.

Day Twenty: 30 Day Horse Challenge (and horse health question)

Day Twenty: Your favorite horse show.

I haven't ever shown before so I can't answer this one again, but I do have questions for you. I noticed this morning that Chrome has a lump on his neck, or rather his throat . . . I took pictures because it's hard to describe where it is. He has no fever, he's not lame, he has a great appetite and attitude, the lump is firm, but not hard, there is no heat in it, doesn't appear to be painful and he has no nasal discharge. Here are the pictures. I've never had experience with strangles, but it appears to be too far back to be that or teeth problems. Maybe it's an allergic reaction of some sort?? A lymph node?? A donkey bite?? There are no lumps anywhere else on his body.

Okay this first one is for perspective and to show that when he has his head up high you can't see the lump at all. He looks sleepy lol. I think I got him mid blink.

This second one is me pointing at the lump, but his head is still up so you can't see it. Just to show the location with his head up.

This is the lump with his head down and stretched out. You may have to enlarge the picture to see it. You can see his halter in the left hand side to give you an idea where it is. It's about two inches or so from his cheek.

This is me with my fingers around the lump to show the size of it. It's flat, but pretty big.

This one is a little further away so you can get an idea how far from his cheek that it is. I drew an arrow to show where it is.

This is one from underneath his neck. It almost looks like there is swelling further up on his right side, but I checked and there is no swelling. I drew an arrow to show the spot on his left side that I'm worried about.

At this point I'm not panicking. He doesn't act sick, no fever, doesn't appear to be uncomfortable or in pain . . . Are there even any lymph nodes down on the jugular? Anyway let me know what you think. If he shows any fever, lethargy, pain or loss of appetite I'll immediately call the vet, but right now I'm just watching him closely. Thanks guys. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day Nineteen: 30 Day Horse Challenge

Day Nineteen: A discipline you would like to try.

Wow there are actually several, so here goes . . .

Dressage. I would love to start taking dressage lessons again and to learn as much as I can about it (especially classical dressage), maybe even show eventually. I know I've already tried it so it isn't really a new discipline, but I love it so much I had to include it.

Eventing. I've always thought learning to jump would be a lot of fun, but eventing looks even for exciting. I'm just not brave enough to try it, but if I had the guts and the right horse I'd love to try.

Combined Driving. I plan to teach Chrome to pleasure drive someday, but I've always thought combined driving would be so exciting! I love the challenge of it. I've never even driven a horse so I have no idea what is truly involved but if someone gave me the chance to try it I would jump all over it. :)

Endurance Riding. Since my favorite thing ever to do with horses is to go trail riding I always thought endurance riding would be the best thing ever! If I had the money to try it competitively and a nice trailer to haul in I would so do this. It looks like so much fun!

Well I guess that's all. Given the chance I would probably try any discipline once (except maybe galloping a racehorse scary!), but these are my favorite disciplines. This was a fun question.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rest of the Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures I took today. The first ones are from in the morning right after his bath and the rest are from this evening after I put him back out after our barbie session. :)

He loves playing with and chewing on branches.
He immediately found this one that fell into the boat.

Look how shiny he was after his bath!

So shiny. I wish you could feel how soft he is too.

So pretty.

These next pictures are some decent action shots I got. I never seem to be able to get very good trotting pictures of him because he's so lazy, but these turned out great. :D

Traditional Friesian trot picture where it looks like he's about to take flight. His front hooves are several inches off the ground and he has his back nicely rounded. I see dressage potential, how about you?

No where near the knee action of a purebred Friesian, but still cute.

Not as much reach as I would like, but maybe when we get the club hoof where we want it and he has a chiropractic adjustment that will improve.

Such a cutie. And you can see his ribbons. :)

And some cantering shots.

Wow I got the same stride in all of them lol!

Kind of a weird stride, but I love his head and neck in this picture. He almost looks like a warmblood hehe.

And after all of the antics he was back in his favorite place. Eye deep in grass. :)

And just so you don't think I've forgotten him. Led Zeppelin! Is it normal for a donkey to take so long to shed out?

Well that's the last of them. I hope you enjoyed it and I can't wait to hear everyone's comments. :D Don't forget to check out the other two posts from today.

Chrome's 2nd Birthday Pictures

Here are Chrome's birthday pictures. My friends think I'm crazy for dressing him up and stuff, but I like to play barbie horse and at least I used blue. It's not like I put a pink tutu on him or anything. :) I started out braiding him mane.

That all by itself is super cute . . .

. . . but wait, it does get better. This one is blurry but I loved it too much to delete it.

I put ribbons in his mane!

I think it looks great on him. That blue is the color I chose for him because it looks so nice on dark horses, I just hope it looks just as great when he goes gray.

He had lots of itchies from the stupid ticks which my husband spent ages picking off.

Doesn't look too impressed does he?

Did I mention playing birthday dress up is good desensitizing? We'll call it practice for parades.
I got him a crown that says "It's my birthday", but it didn't fit to well over both ears.

So I put it over one ear.

I'm so happy nothing bothers this goofball. :D

Since the crown didn't work very well I put a party hat on him with a elastic throat band.

Cute, right? Even his halter matches.

He looks like he's pawing impatiently in this picture, but he was actually trying to scratch and his rope was too short so he stomped.

I loosened up his rope so he could scratch.

He is so cute without even trying! Love my horse!

And when the party was over I sacrificed the hat to his coltish antics. :D

I almost forgot. We went on a walk after I finished making him look cute.

He was excited because we haven't been walking much, but he was well behaved.

Looking for Led Zeppelin (my donkey).

Something was interesting on the side of the road.

He stared at it for a while. Do you see his dapples coming in?

I'll have another post with pictures coming up. Stay tuned!

Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

Date: 5-19-11
Age: 2 Years
Height: 15.1hh
Height Gain: He grew a quarter of an inch. I'm no good at math equations but I'm thinking he will make it to 16hh by the time he is three years old, or just under.
Weight: The weight tape says 840lbs . . .
Weight Gain: . . . which would mean he's lost ten pounds. I don't guess that really surprises me. I've cut back on how much I'm feeding him because he's getting so fat just on grass.

Progress: I didn't do anything. In fact I've been feeling really guilty for neglecting my boy. I think I've worked with him three times in the last month just using clicker training to teach him to walk at my shoulder instead of ahead of me. He's picking it up, but I really need to get consistent. Since my husband has been released for work I just want to spend as much time with him as possible before he goes back to work. I did learn recently that the overtime isn't going to be as bad as it used to! Thank goodness!!

Goals: I don't really want to make any goals right now. I do want to start clicker training him again, but I won't set anything specific. :) I just want him to be happy and healthy.

I'll leave you with a couple more pictures of him right after his bath which is why he is so black in these. I will post the other pictures in another post. There are too many to do one post. :)

He had his head tilted slightly toward me so it looks too big lol.

Silly horse!

Gorgeous! The road slopes so he's not actually as butt high as he looks.

Be sure to check out the other posts for today. You don't want to miss these pictures.