Monday, August 27, 2012

More Fun Equine Photos!

 It seems like lately all I'm good for is taking pictures lol!  Enjoy!!

Led Zeppelin is not impressed with having his picture taken lol.

 I'm still getting used to Chrome's haircut.  I still look at it and think "What was I thinking??"  :D

 Ducking under the trees to come see me.

 Cute little trot even though he's being lazy and on his forehand lol. 

Gorgeous Faran!

Check out Faran's reflection!

These sort of show their height difference. :)

And now my absolute new favorite picture ever of Chrome!!! 

So gorgeous!  And not a single hoof touching the ground.  :D

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Old Cell Phone Pictures & Answering Questions

 Thank you everyone for your kind comments on Chrome's mane.  :D  I'm glad everyone likes it as much as I do.  Trust me, I've been debating this for months!  It was a difficult decision to make.  I love lots of hair on my horses (shouldn't be hard to guess that since my dream horse is the Friesian), so it killed me to throw in the towel and cut all of his mane off.  The OCD perfectionist in me just couldn't stand the ragged, uneven mane anymore and it finally overruled my love of long hair lol.  And I agree with you guys, the short mane does really show off his neck.  :D  Love it!

Smazourek, yes he is really the color his pictures show.  All I do is darken them a little because my camera is washing the photos out.  I love the mix of black, brown and white colors in his coat.  It's so cool!  I'll be sad when he turns gray/white because his color right now is just so fun!  :D

Thank you everyone for the tips on sweet itch.  I'm definitely going to try your suggestions.  :)  I'll keep you all updated.

So anyway, I was going through the pictures on my cell phone and found some from February that I never posted (at least I hope I didn't lol), so I thought I would share them.  They are really crappy because my cheap phone takes bad photos, but he is soooo cute!!  Besides it makes me appreciate the nice photos I'm able to take with my real camera hehe.

We were catching fish out of our pond with a cast net and had a bucket for putting them in.  Chrome decided to play with the bucket.


 And then he decided to check out the cast net....

 LOVE that neck!!

 He thinks the net smells funny.  I wasn't cueing him to smile here.

 Sniffing one of the fish we caught.  You can see it in my husband's hand.

A picture of me and Chrome.

 And last, but not least, Led Zeppelin!

Not sure when this one was taken, but I think it was this year sometime in the spring.  He's so cute!

Anyway that's all for now.  :D

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Mane Decision & Chrome's Monthly Progress Report

 I'll get to the progress report in a minute.  First I want to share with you an excruciating decision I've been trying to make for a while now and the results of that decision...... to pull or not to pull??  Yes!!  I pulled Chrome's mane!  I finally got tired of how he was rubbing it out and how crappy it looked and decided to pull it.  It was so hard to do!  I'm so happy I did it though.  He looks so handsome.  I love how it turned out.  Here are the pictures.

 Here is his mane before I did anything to it.  See how short it was by his withers and how long up front.  It's hard to see because it's wispy, but it was several inches past his neck.  Because of his sweet itch (which is why his neck/shoulder is so scabby and scarred) he's been rubbing his mane a lot and it just looked damaged, dry and nasty.  I figured hair will always grow back so if I hated it then there would be no harm done.  It was still so hard to make that first cut!!  

 To ease into the idea of cutting his mane I did a bridle path first.  I've been wanting to do his bridle path for a long time because it's such a pain to straighten it every time I halter him, but that's how much I didn't want to cut it lol.  Above is with the bridle path cut.  :)  Oh and this was the very first time he's ever had scissors up by his ears and he practically fell asleep while I was trimming it!!!  The sound of the hair cutting didn't bother him at all.

 So I cut off the long hair and almost cried!!!!  Look how hideous it is!!!  The awkward way he's holding his neck in this picture doesn't help, but at this point I was seriously doubting my decision and considering hair extensions or trying to glue his hair back on LOL!  This is after I blunt cut it with the scissors before I pulled it.

And the final result.....  well it will need some touching up, but I figured it was like painting, it's good to walk away for a bit and come back to it.  So here it is!

Ta-da!  Keep in mind I haven't pulled a mane in around five to seven years!  And I've never taken a mane from full length to pulled by myself (I've only ever done touch ups on an already pulled mane), so I'm pretty proud of it.  It needs some touching up because it's a bit uneven, but it's not like we're going to a show or anything.  I just wish his shoulders weren't so nasty from his sweet itch.  I'll do a post soon about the sweet itch. I think I've found something that might prevent it from happening next year, hopefully. 

I also wanted to mention I LOVED pulling his mane once I got into it.  He stood perfectly quiet (well he was trying to scratch constantly which was annoying, but he wasn't fighting me at all) and his mane pulls SO easily!!!!!!!!!!  I can pull it out with my fingers (instead of wrapping it around the comb), which is probably why it comes out so easy when he rubs it lol.  Maybe he was just meant to be a dressage horse with a pulled mane!!  He wasn't bothered by the process at all and he would have stood while I completely finished the job, but I was worried if I didn't take a break that he would end up bald lol.

The color was all messed up so I put this one in black and white.  Isn't he sooooo adorable?!

Now on to his progress report.


My pictures didn't turn out great.  A combination of lighting and the lens problem I'm having with my camera, so this is the best one I got, even though he's facing downhill.  He is a bit butt high though. 

Date: 8-20-12
Age: 3 Years 3 Month
Height: 15.2hh (he actually measured shorter than last month, but probably because he got his hooves done yesterday.  :/  I'm going to say he's the same though.  Without a totally flat surface and an actual measuring device it will never be 100% accurate.  Oh well!)
Height Gain: None.
Weight: Same as last month.  Measurements of 70 for his heart girth and his length measurement of 72, so according to the Equine Weight Calculator he weighs 1069lbs.
Weight Gain: None.

Progress: The weather finally broke!!!  It's been so nice.  However we're having issues at work so I've been having the open the store (getting up at 5am) and I'm so exhausted I haven't really done anything.  I rode him on my birthday (in a saddle, yay!), but that's about it.  We're just going to focus on his sweet itch and enjoying each other for now.  I still want him to keep growing.  :D

 Goals: I want to try something new for his sweet itch, since this is about all he does anymore....

I'm going to use MTG to make sure he doesn't get a secondary fungal/bacterial infection, but I can't put it on until dark because the sun will burn him.  I also need something for the itching.  Any suggestions for maybe something I can bathe him in?  It makes me so sad to see how miserably itchy he is.  He was such a pain getting his hooves done because he just couldn't stand still.  All he wanted to do was scratch.  Sweet itch is so miserable and such a pain in the butt.  I've dealt with it in the past with my Appaloosa mare and I'm not happy that Chrome has the same problem.  Maybe it's me?  Maybe I'm just doomed to have horses with sweet itch.  :(  It's not rain rot and Faran and donkey have no problems at all.  So yeah, suggestions are welcome.

I'm going to try something called Neem Oil for preventing this next year and preventing it from getting worse this year.  It's all natural and works on the midges by messing up their ability to function (eating, breeding, flying, etc.).  It's not a poison so it doesn't kill them like fly spray does (although it does kill them by them not eating eventually), but it keeps them from biting too.  All they have to do is touch it.  Anyway I'll have to do more research, but I have hopes!  It's great for the garden too, so maybe we won't have a pumpkin bug problem next year.

Other than that I want to enjoy the nice weather by doing some clicker training and going for walks, but we will see how long it takes to sort out the situation at work.  At this point all I want to do is sleep lol.  Here's some more pictures.

 Doesn't he look so cute?  He looks all grown up now.  :D

Here are our yearly pictures.


Wow I didn't even get a conformation shot for Aug. 2010!  Oops!


And the one for Aug. 2011 sucked lol!!


At least they make this one look a LOT better hehe.  I guess my setting up and picture taking abilities have improved.  :D

Well that's all for today folks.  I look forward to hearing what you guys think of his new hairdo and any suggestions on battling the itchy problem.  Thanks guys!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Random Photos of my Ponies!

 Work has been sooooo stressful and is keeping me very busy, so I'll just post a few random, cute photos!  Above is Faran grazing.  I LOVE his cute wrinkly nose.  :D

Chrome loves his salt block so much he totally zones out and closes his eyes while he's licking on it.  I try to keep the block in a plastic salt block holder, but he likes to paw at it and knock it out.  Brat.  I guess he likes his salt dirty.  Or maybe he wants a trace mineral block?  LOL!

 I love Faran's expression in this picture.  He looks so skeptical hehe.

Chrome's tail looks shorter than normal, but it may be because he's about to move it.  Hmm...  Anyway check out all the colors in his tail.  Blonde, white, black and brown.  So cute!  I can't believe I never knew how much fun it is to watch a gray horse mature and change colors.  :D

Anyway.  That's all for now.  I'll try to have something fun to post soon.  Oh, almost forgot to mention we've been getting rain and had some decently cool days lately.  Yay!  I hope autumn starts now and lasts for like two months lol.  I know, wishful thinking!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chrome & Deer

I got a cute video of a doe and her twin fawns on the lease land out behind my house.  It's only two minutes long so I hope you'll check it out.  Sorry it's shaky.  I had the camera zoomed in almost as far as it would go.

For those of you who can't watch videos here's a screenshot from the video (sorry for the bad quality, it was almost dark and I had the camera zoomed as far as it would go).  They ran right past Chrome.  He didn't even really look at them!  In the video it looks like he did, but really he was just shaking flies off.  :) 

Anyway, just thought I'd share because they were soooo cute!  I love how Chrome happened to be in the video, which totally make it relevant to his blog!  ;D  Hehehe!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chrome Saddled Part II

He's not that butt high.  We were facing downhill.

 I rode Chrome in a saddle for the first time ever today!!!!  A recap for any new readers:  I bought Chrome at five months old and he's now just over three years old.  I started riding him when he turned three, but only bareback so far.  He's had ten rides total (counting today) and it's been two months since I last rode him (giving him a break over the summer because it's so hot and I want him to grow more).  He did AWESOME!!!!!

Sometimes I just can't believe how laid back and accepting of things he is.  He's braver than a lot of horses three times his age!!  Even after a two month break and only nine rides I was able to get on him and ride him around in a thirty acre pasture in a bitless bridle!  Okay, sorry I'm bragging (I think).  I just can't help it.  I love this horse.  :D

I attribute our success to several things.  Number one is breeding.  Chrome is a Friesian/Arabian cross and both of his parents are very confident, level headed, sweet horses.  Also, the great start his breeder gave him.  When I bought him at five months old he walked right on our trailer with no hesitation.  He knew how to lead, lift his hooves, stand tied, etc.  And he's taken everything in stride since.  I also think clicker training had a big part in our success because it has taught him to be confident in all situation, to explore his environment, think for himself and to trust me.  Last, and probably the most important, is just hours and hours and hours of time spent with him.  Taking him for walks, grooming him, taking pictures (hehehe), working on his hooves, clicker training, teaching him tricks, playing games together, desensitizing to everything I could find to play with, etc.  A lot of work went into getting him where he is now, but the awesome part is it didn't even feel like work!!!  Spending time with him and working with him is just so much fun.  :D

Anyway, sorry I got all talkative.  Here's what you probably care more about. Pictures!!!!  Captions are below the pictures and you can click to enlarge the photos.

 Faran makes us look tiny lol. I like how the sun makes Faran's face and Chrome's neck look golden.  Also we're standing downhill from Faran hehe.

I trotted him around a little to make sure he was still okay with the saddle.  We accidentally went too close to my hubby, but I still like the picture he managed to get.  :D
I like how this one turned out.  I was talking to Chrome and adjusting his bridle (you can see my thumb by his noseband).  Love his expression.

 Excited (me) and ready to go (both of us).  :D

 In this one he could hear the ducks playing on the pond and he could see one of the ducks walking around in the trees.  I don't know why he was so intent on that duck but he just stood and stared for a long time.  :)

 Riding around the pasture.

 The ducks started making a TON of noise on the pond while playing and he was acting all googly eyed about it, but he never did spook or anything.  Silly boy.  He sees them play everyday.  I think he was just being goofy.

 Getting a treat for being brave.  I LOVE the lips!

He got brave and puffed himself all up, then strutted off toward the pond to see what was making such a racket lol.

I love his face.  Oh and my best friend got me that t-shirt which says Besties and has a couple of nerds (which would represent us) on it hehehe.  :D

I was having fun.  Can you tell?  :D  Chrome is so used to my antics he barely even notices lol.

Hugs for the best colt on the planet!

Chrome had fun too!  Smiling for the camera is totally his favorite trick.

More hugs.  How does the saddle look on him?  I checked for his last rib and the saddle ends right at it, so it's borderline too long for him.  I think I looked okay with him though, don't you?

It's been a great break in the weather, but still warm enough for him to break a bit of a sweat (we only rode for ten or fifteen minutes at a walk).  The sweat pattern looks even to me.  What do you think?  I think the saddle was a bit too far forward though, so it probably is too long for him.  Also I don't have a girth small enough for him so I was using the bottom half of my surcingle and it has that sheepskin stuff on the inside so that's why the girth area is much sweatier.

We had a fun ride!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and I look forward to your suggestions about the saddle (do you think I should keep riding in it or wait until I can get one specifically for him?).  Thanks!