Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I've finally stopped feeling sorry for myself (about canceling my vacation with my family and my surprise road trip due to stomach flu) so I figured I would write a post about what I'm thankful for. About time huh?
Chrome and Faran sharing their salt block. Look at Chrome's tongue lol!
So since this is my horse blog I'm going to list the horse related things that I am thankful for!
1. I think the biggest one is Chrome! He may only be half Friesian, but he's still a dream come true. I'm thankful to have him in my life and that he is healthy and happy. I'm thankful for how sweet, confident and curious he is. I'm thankful for how patient and cooperative he has been with our training.
2. I'm thankful that we were able to rescue (using the term loosely since he wasn't really in any danger by the time we came across him) Faran. I'm thankful that he trusts us enough to let us pet him, lead him and do his feet. I'm thankful that I have all the time in the world to continue to gain his trust. I'm thankful that he is healthy and happy. I'm thankful that he's my big, black, hairy fairy tale horse even if he isn't a Friesian. :D
3. I am thankful that we found Led Zeppelin when we did and that he has been such a wonderful companion for Chrome and taught him how to be a horse..... or donkey lol!! I'm thankful for his silly braying, sweet personality and adorable donkey ears. I'm thankful that he is happy and healthy. As with Faran I'm thankful we have the all the time in the world to gain his trust.
4. I'm thankful that we were finally able to get our barn fixed and that the insurance company paid for it. :D
5. I'm thankful for the Aussie saddle that we got for a really good deal on sale so that I can ride Chrome. :)
6. I'm thankful for my awesome husband who never, ever complains about the horses and adores them almost as much as I do lol. I'm thankful that he supports me in everything equestrian related that I want to do. I'm thankful for the pictures and videos he takes of me riding Chrome.
Sorry the picture sucks. I didn't have a helper and it was around noon so the sun was high.
Date: 11-24-12 (sorry for being so late again) Age: 3 Years 6 Month Height: N/A Height Gain: I didn't measure him because my husband was sick and couldn't help. Weight: N/A Weight Gain: N/A
I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but he's finally growing in his thick, soft winter coat. :D Also, his sweet itch is totally gone now!! I'm so happy it finally cooled off enough for the dumb gnats to go away. I rode him on the road for the first time and he was awesome. We still need a lot of work on steering and whoa though hehe. My husband had him on a rope for part of the time just to make sure he was okay and also whenever there was traffic since he's difficult to steer out of the way of cars. I won't take him on the road again until we have steering, I just was dying to see what he'd do. :D He loved it. His ears were forward and he was striding out just like when we go for handwalks. To him it was no different hehe. I love my confident boy.
I also never posted about Thanksgiving day (I'm doing a Thanksgiving post tomorrow) so I'll tell you the story here. After feeding the boys I noticed the neighbors had a bunch of kids playing in their yard and Chrome headed straight for them. My first thought was they must be feeding him for him to be that interested in them, but then I realized he's just a curious horse. So I went over to make sure they weren't feeding him, to say hi and to let the kids pet Chrome. The kids LOVED Chrome and he was perfectly happy to lower his head on their side of the fence so the little two year old could reach his nose. It was so precious. I wish I'd had my camera.
So the older girl was asking if I trained him and when I said yes she wanted to know what he could do. So I showed off his smiling trick and his new shaking his head trick that he learned in September. They loved it. One of the adults wanted to know if I ride him so I climbed up on him bareback with no halter or bridle or ropes (and I just realized two days later I didn't have a helmet on either oops! Won't happen again). He walked over to Faran to say hi and then walked back to the kids with me on his back. They loved it. My neighbors are so fascinated by the horses. So I had fun showing off Chrome's tricks and making the kids laugh (the adult even took a video of him smiling so he'll be famous in some office somewhere probably lol). :D
Goals: I want to start clicker training again, refresh what he knows and work on giving to rein pressure so that I can start teaching him to longe and ground drive. He really needs to learn some steering before I do much more riding. :D
Sorry the pictures were just out in the pasture. I can't get pictures of him on the road without my husband's help. I'll do a better progress report next month! Here are a few more pictures.
His neck looks so short and gawky here LOL!
He actually looks chunky in this shot.
I wonder if that's why they pose a lot of Quarter Horses that way lol.
Trust me in reality he's still narrow! Especially next to Faran.
I think it's too funny how in the above picture you can tell when Faran has been walking through the trees because the limbs rub across his sides and bring the dirt to the surface. It looks like someone dragged their fingers down his side hehe.
Yesterday was the first day of my nine day paid vacation from work.... I had all these plans to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and brother.... to go fishing.... to just have some quality family time that I've missed a lot lately.... and yesterday my husband spent all day puking with the stomach flu....
So I had to cancel my surprise trip that I was going to tell you all about and I can't be with my family because I can't risk my brother getting sick (compromised immune system). So I've spent the first two days of my vacation taking care of my sick husband, having panic attacks (I have that vomit phobia thing) and disinfecting my entire house. Oh and doing everything in my power to keep from getting sick which includes sleeping on the very uncomfortable couch (or trying to sleep). At least I will get to spend Thanksgiving with my husband and my best friend who is back in town for the week (after not seeing her for three months). I just miss my family and I'm sad about missing out on my favorite holiday dinner. :(
I'm trying to focus on what I have to be thankful for, but it's been hard, so I'm taking a break from the blogs and I'll do the progress report when I can. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and wonderful food. :)
I'm so exited, I finally got a photobook done of all of my own photos! Here is a video of the book. I sped it up so you don't have to sit watching it for three minutes. Sorry it blurs sometimes. I should have used my other camera, but I forget what the video does on this one. Anyway I had the book made by Shutterfly and it wasn't unreasonably priced since I used a 50% off sale when I ordered it lol. I think it turned out great and I'm pretty excited. Check it out and let me know what you think. :D
I haven't ridden Chrome since August because of various problems including his abscess and sweet itch, but yesterday I finally climbed back in the saddle.... err bareback hehe. It was only his eleventh ride (although I have sat on his back while he ate his supper a few times over the last couple of weeks) and we ventured out on the road for the first time!! It was soooo much fun! :D Here are the pictures (in the order they were taken; captions below photos).
Oh, first bit of exciting news is my husband finally sat on Chrome for the first time!!! He couldn't ride long because his back was hurting, but I'm excited he finally got on him. Looks good up there huh (well I'm not fond of his ugly, plaid, over-sized jacket but I won't hold that against him)? :D Notice Chrome's rear hoof? He is so relaxed about this whole riding thing. Hehe.
First time on the road! We started out with my hubby holding the rope, but when we knew Chrome was fine he turned us loose. He's still so narrow! Look at my ridiculously long legs hanging out in midair lol.
The sun was kind of cool in this one. Oh and I'm wearing my husband's other plaid jacket. I like the gray plaid way better than the brown hehe. :)
I like how this one turned out. Not sure what we were looking at though lol.
He was soooo excited and eager on the way out with his head and ears up, but then when we turned around his ears relaxed out sideways and his head dropped. I think he was disappointed to be headed home so soon. I love how relaxed he is though. I didn't want to go too far his first time since we were on pavement and I didn't want him to see the neighbor's horses and get too excited. :)
I LOVE the fall colors! Such an awesome time of year.
We're watching Faran and Zep. :)
He got bored and started playing with his rope hehehe!
Headed back to the pasture.
Waiting for Faran and Zep to come back around to us before my husband turned us loose again. I didn't want them galloping up and Chrome getting too excited hehe.
This turned out so cute! It shows the size difference between the three (click to enlarge). I love how all of their ears are forward too. Chrome is downhill from the other two, but not much. He's technically almost three inches shorter than Faran.
I love how relaxed he is!
Hehe, he didn't much appreciate his hug. :)
Best place ever for a nap.... well until he starts chewing on your foot hehe.
This is hilarious! He didn't want to put his ears forward for the picture so I leaned on his neck and pushed them forward. Please ignore the creepy, silly expression on my face lol!
Pushing his ears forward again, but without the scary face lol. He is so tolerant of my antics. :D
Chrome kept trying to wander off and I was trying to keep him close to the corral so my husband could take pictures without walking around too much (back was hurting and he'd been up over twenty four hours because of his nighttime weekend job), but Chrome was so insistent that after he stood quietly for a few minutes I finally let him wander off to see what he wanted......
I pulled my legs up as he waded through thorny blackberry bushed.....
He wandered halfway across the thirty acres of our lease land and stopped to drop some pasture muffins (I'll spare you the picture) and then wandered a little further.....
..... and stopped for a pee! I couldn't figure out why he stopped and was trying to get him to walk when my husband told me he was peeing! I cracked up and he got this picture lol. The mare I had growing up HATED to empty her bladder while being ridden, so I was surprised how comfortable he was with stopping for a potty break hehehe. He didn't even care that I was cackling. He looks half asleep lol!
After relieving himself he walked off and tried to graze, but I wouldn't let him so he promptly walked up to this bush and started eating it LOL! Persistent, smart boy. :) He obediently moved on when I asked him too. I'm glad he's not going to be obnoxious about trying to eat while being ridden. Oh and I LOVE his pretty tail. :D
Sorry for sharing a picture of him exposing himself, but it's soooo cute I had to share. I like his expression and how the trees behind us are practically glowing with the setting sun lol.
My husband cut my head off...... still cute though. He was playing with the wagon. :)
After the ride I gave him a hug.... You can almost see him thinking "Enough with the hugs woman! I just want grass!" LOL!
Haha I just wanted to share a picture of his gorgeous tail!! And I only barely brushed it because our neighbors drove up while I was grooming him before the ride lol.
Here are some more pictures, since that's all I seem to do anymore LOL! It was cold this morning so I thought maybe Chrome would be feeling energetic.... not so much. So I went and got my whip with a plastic bag tied to it. Don't worry, after I was done getting trot pictures I rubbed the bag all over him and let him play with it. He wasn't scared of it. :) I went out fairly early, but there was no cloud cover so the lighting was a bit harsh. Oh well, they are still cute!! :D
I was running so this turned out blurry, so I used the oil painting filter to soften it a little.
Nice trot though huh? Not a single hoof on the ground. :D
Anyone see the Arabian in my half Arabian? I'm just not seeing it hehe. ;)
I borrowed this from a friend on Facebook of her awesome Friesian stallion Keegan, because it sums up what I wanted to say. Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to all of the veterans who served past, present and future! You guys (and girls) are awesome!
Also, thank you to my friends over at Army of Four for reminding me that today was Veteran's Day because for some reason I thought it was tomorrow lol! Be sure to check out their post today. The pictures are awesome!
Flashback baby photo! Don't you think he inherited his mom's pretty head?
I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people who commented on my "Do you ride alone?" post! I really appreciated all of the comments. It's nice to know I'm not being overly paranoid. I'm always extremely cautious and sometimes I feel like I'm holding myself back by being too cautious hehe. :) You never can be too careful with a 1000lb. animal though huh? I think I will stick with having someone there while I ride until he's older and more experienced. I do like the idea of getting a body protector like they wear in cross country (in fact I wanted one before I even rode him for the first time lol) for when I ride out alone. Anyone have suggestions on buying them? I've never had one and have no experience whatsoever with them. Thanks again guys!
That's a nice neck for a three year old gelding huh? I was worried when I gelded him a year ago that he'd lose his gorgeous arched neck, but he still shows it off for me sometimes. :D To see what had him so fascinated you have to check out my Farmer Life blog (http://firstname.lastname@example.org).
I know some of you may be wondering why I haven't really been riding Chrome much after I was so excited that he'd finally turned three. There's a lot of reasons actually. Some of them are health related like his abscess, sweet itch and he had a cut on his back from playing for a while and I haven't been feeling well either because of a lot of stress at work. Another reason is because I want to let him grow some more because he feels too small for me. My plan is to wait until he's four before I start riding him a lot. At the rate this year has gone by I'll probably blink and he'll be four tomorrow lol, so that excuse won't be around much longer.
The big reason is fear. As much as it kills me to say that. I trust Chrome, I really do, but I also realize horses are big, unpredictable animals and anything can happen at any time with them. I'm afraid of going out to ride alone and something happening and having no one to help me. Part of this fear of riding alone is because I've never really ridden alone!!!
For those who don't know I'm a twin. My twin sister and I always rode together. I ALWAYS had someone to ride with. If she didn't want to ride we didn't ride. If I didn't ride we didn't ride. We always rode together.
After I moved away from home I didn't have a horse to ride. Then when I found a friend who had horses we always rode together. Now my friend is working out of state for six months so I have no one to ride with once again. My husband is always working or at school and we don't have a horse for him to ride so I'm stuck doing short ride around the house when he is home and doesn't have a ton of homework to do.
I almost went out to ride Chrome last weekend while my husband was inside sleeping because I figured I could call him and wake him up with my cell phone. When I got out there the bot flies were horrible and Chrome was agitated and doing these huge kicks, so I chickened out and didn't ride.
So, I guess my question is... am I being paranoid or letting my fear dictate how often I ride? Would you ride a three year old horse who has only had eleven rides in his entire life when you're home alone? I don't have anyone I can call if something happens because all of my close friends have moved away. I can't call my husband because he can't answer his phone in class. So the only option I'd have is to drive myself to the doctor or call 911, if I'm even conscious to do either of those things. Maybe I'm being a big chicken and thinking worst case scenario because a friend of mine was just thrown from her three year old horse and although nothing is broken she's in a lot of pain (she doesn't live near me). So, what are you thoughts on this subject?