Monday, July 28, 2014

Ride 62 - Can't Canter?

Chrome loves his salt block!

Good news!! My camera still works!!!!!! Yay! However I'm not using it while riding anymore so you get crappy cell phone pictures instead lol.

The heat stress index was under 150 today so I had to ride! Huge difference from yesterday. Our weather is so bipolar. When I went out to get Chrome he was sound asleep in the barn. Poor guy! He even fell asleep while I was tacking up.


Isn't he cute??


 Look at those dapples!!!!!

So anyway while warming up I practiced halt transitions.... He needed practice!! He wanted to totally ignore me at first. I concentrated really hard on the order of my cues. Vocal cue, stop following with my body and last was closing my hands on the reins. I think only once did I have to pull back. It didn't take long to get him to stop on the vocal cue only. After practicing that a few more times I will practice leaving out the vocal cue until I have him stopping from my seat alone. It's definitely something we need to and can practice.

Once he was warmed up I practiced walk, trot, halt transitions. Finally I decided to try cantering because it's been a while and I wanted to make sure he (we) still could... I tried four times.... The first time he picked it up fairly quick but only did one stride before falling back into a trot. The second time he fast trotted into it and only held it one stride. The third time he didn't canter at all. The fourth time he fast trotted into it for one stride and I felt his stifle give out as he fell into the trot again......

So... It could be several things. His stifles. I had to use his fleece saddle pad because I haven't cleaned my quilted pad since he dunked me in the pond. He doesn't seem to like that pad as much. We were also on the driveway going toward the gate and I think he didn't feel like he had enough room compared to when we cantered in the pasture. In the pasture he had great motivation since we were going toward the gate to the yard where he grazes and gets fed. On the driveway he was obviously hesitant going away from home. It could also have been his hooves still being soft from the rain since we were on rocks.

So my plan... For his stifles I'm going to start doing his exercises again (bad me for slacking off). I'll clean his favorite saddle pad. Next time I try I'll do it in the pasture where he has more room. For his hooves I'm going to treat him for thrush to see if that helps with the tenderness. It might also help with the toe first landings.  The reason I'm not overly worried is because he's a young, green, out of shape horse and when I took him out into the pasture I turned him loose and got my longe whip. He trotted, cantered and galloped all over the pasture. He picked up both leads easily, maintained the canter for long distance and in turns and I never saw his stifles give. So I'm just going to follow my plan and not over think it. :-)

We only rode thirty minutes. When we were on the driveway after our last canter I heard a motorcycle coming. It was one of those really loud, whining dirt bikes and I didn't know how he would react so I dismounted. It turned around before it got to us, but better safe than sorry.

 Needs a haircut.

I hope everyone is having nice weather and great rides!!

P.S. if there are any weird mistakes in this post it's because I'm using my tablet. It has autocorrect like a cell phone and it's different so I'm having to figure it out.  I can blue tooth my cell phone pictures to my tablet so that's why I'm using it instead of my computer.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Too Hot!

First off these are old photos since my camera is out of commission (obviously since he has no mane now).  Second I really wanted to ride or do something with Chrome, but with a heat index of 129F today I decided not to.... yes it felt like ONE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE degrees outside today!  It's miserable!  You sweat instantly when you walk outside, but it doesn't evaporate so you just get hotter and hotter and stickier and stickier.  I felt dizzy just being outside for ten minutes or so!!

So all I did was feed Chrome and let him and Zep graze in the yard all day.  When they are out grazing I occasionally go look out all of my windows until I spot them to make sure they aren't traipsing through the woods (holes) or being naughty.  After a few hours Zep was spotted being naughty!!  I looked out my French doors and the silly donkey had dragged a bag out of the carport where I had left it after cleaning out the storage building.  He had opened the bag and pulled out Chrome's baby blanket and was shaking it all around like he wanted to kill it..... thanks donkey!!  Teach me to leave something out thinking I was going to go back for it to clean it lol.  

Chrome's baby blanket.

So I put Zep back in the pasture, but I left Chrome out since he was being good.  Then I noticed he was covered in sweat... seriously he looked like the picture at the top of this post where I had just given him a bath.  He's been sweating everyday just standing around in the pasture, but he isn't normally soaked in sweat.  He was also just standing in the driveway, not grazing, playing, sniffing, nothing.  I felt of his chest and he was warm, but not super hot or anything.  So I dragged out the hose, put his halter on and grabbed my sweat scraper.  

I started with just spraying his front legs because I know how shocking the cold well water can be.  He flinched and danced around a bit, but didn't try to walk away so I threw his rope over his neck so my hands would be free.  Eventually I worked up to his shoulders.  I would spray a minute, then sweat scrape, then spray, then scrape, etc.  The rope kept getting in the way of scraping so I finally took it off and threw it aside.  He still didn't walk away.  I knew he was enjoying it because normally he doesn't care to be sprayed and will walk away if not held or tied up.  I tried spraying his body, but he kept moving his haunches away and flinching telling me it was still too cold, so I finally sprayed it up in the air over us and let it come down like rain.  He was surprised at first, but he was fine so I did that for a minute, the scraped, then sprayed, etc.  I kept doing that until the water I scraped off was cool instead of warm.  He played in the water with his mouth, holding it in his mouth and pushing his nose against it so it sprayed back in my face and made me squeal.  :D  Finally he walked away and started grazing, so I knew he was cool enough.  I turned off the hose and scraped him one last time and then left him to graze.

A bit later when I went over to my parent's house (same property) my dad told me that Chrome and Zep were galloping all over the yard and playing......... so THAT'S why he was so hot!!  I felt so bad about how hot it was I didn't want to work him and then he goes and does that lol.  Silly boy!  My parents said they enjoyed watching them play and Chrome licked on the deer salt block again.  :)

So when I was researching if it was too hot to ride I found something interesting.  It's called the Heat Stress Index.  Basically all you do is add together the temperature with the humidity.  If the number is below 120 it's all good, if it's over 150 especially if over 50% is humidity it is getting harder for the horse to cool himself and you have to be very careful, if it's over 170 you don't ride!!  Ours added together was 160 so I chose not to ride (mainly because it was making me dizzy, but also because I didn't want to hurt Chrome).

Anyway I'm going to test out the camera tomorrow and see if it's working.  It's supposed to be cooler this week and I want to get pictures of Chrome's hooves since it's been a while and a friend of mine wants to see how they're doing.  :)  Stay cool everyone!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

VCMBH: Chock Full of Advice

L. from Viva Carlos asked us:  What is the best advice you've ever received from a trainer or another rider? What is the worse advice you've received from a trainer or another rider?

It took me a while to come up with an answer for this one.  The best advice is easy because I listened and used it, but the worst advice took a while because I discard stupid stuff and forget about it.  I did finally think of something.

Best Advice:  "Break things down into small pieces!"  I am goal oriented, but I get so hung up on the final big picture that I lose the details sometimes (other times I can get so caught up in details I get nowhere).  Clicker training has helped me a LOT with breaking things down for the horse and for myself! It saves us both a lot of confusion and frustration.  It's also a great way to make sure there are no holes in my basics. :D

Worst Advice:  "Teach a foal how to lead by putting a halter and lead on it, then tying the lead to the saddle horn while you ride the mother around, dragging the foal by it's head".... yeah that's not advice I'll ever use!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ride 61 and I finally fell off.....

The pictures and story are going to be in order of how it all happened.  You have to read the whole thing lol.  I'll try to not talk too much and just let you see the pictures... key word try!  Okay so we finally got the brush hog fixed so hubby spent the day mowing the pasture.  My best friend wants me to ride horses with her next week so I decided to ride Chrome and see how my back was feeling.  Feeling totally lazy I just put his bitless bridle on and since I was in shorts I put my black dressage pad on to keep my thighs from getting all hairy and gross.

 My sidekick.  That white blur is Chrome's tail lol.

 Chrome likes to follow Jackal. :D

 Sorry for sharing a poop shot (but look at that fat hiney!), but this is the only one that shows the saddle pad I was using... it's important for later lol.

Checking out the process on mowing.  He's having to cut it really short because the weeds are bad since the pasture hasn't had regular maintenance in a while.  The flies were making Chrome crazy even though I covered his WHOLE body in fly spray (that's another hint)!!  He was feeling kind of up and kept trying to break into a trot, but listened when I asked him to walk.  My back wasn't up for trotting yet.

 Sorry for the pup shots, but he's so cute!!

 What's he looking at?

 Oh it's the tractor!  No big deal.

 Drinking.  I LOVE the reflection and ripples in the water!!

 He was thirsty!

 We went to the back pasture to see how the mowing was going.  See how grown up it was??

 Jackal rests when we stand still.  When the flies got really bad I asked Chrome to stand still so I could smack them or he could bite them.  It was so cute because at one point he bent his head around and touched my bare leg with his nose.  I pulled my leg up and he proceeded to chew on his ribs where he was itchy.  Such a sweet, polite boy!

 Love this guy!  That expression!
He is losing weight on his diet btw.

As we were walking around in the front yard I saw the salt block my dad put out for the deer and decided to see what Chrome would do.

He licked on the salt block for SEVEN minutes!!!!  Yes I timed it!!  So after his salty seven minutes in heaven I decided to see if he wanted another drink.  He did.  Then on a whim I asked him to walk into the pond because before when I've asked him he did not want to go in.  He walked right into the pond!!!

And started pawing (which is why I'm pulling on the reins), so I decided to turn him around and get out of the pond ASAP before he decided to lay down.  As soon as I got him turned around, with no warning at all he went down!!!!  I screamed (loud) in surprise and my hubby heard me halfway across the pasture over the sound of the tractor (I scared him!).  I kicked Chrome asking him to stand back up since I was still sitting on his back with my feet on the floor of the pond, underwater.  He lunged to his feet........... and I didn't go with him!  I got dunked in the pond... camera and all!  Damn!  I should have just stepped off of him, but I didn't think about the saddle pad causing me to fall.  Oh well.  He didn't mean to.  It was totally my fault because I should have known he would want to roll with all the flies bothering him, not to mention I had the saddle pad on his fly spray slicked back (in my defense when I sprayed him I had no intentions of riding).  I didn't get mad at him because I was laughing the whole time.  Even though my camera is possibly destroyed (I won't know for a few days) I couldn't be upset with him because it was all my fault and when I was asking him to walk into the pond I had a gut feeling something like that was going to happen (one day I will learn to listen to my gut feelings since they are rarely wrong).  When I fell into the water his leg hit my thigh and it's bruising, but otherwise I was unhurt thank goodness!  For my first fall off of Chrome I can't complain lol.  Better the camera than me!

The last picture my camera took before getting dunked.

When he realized I was standing in the pond and he was free he trotted off to go graze in the front yard (jerk! I shouldn't have left the gate open, but he'd been out there all day and I was riding back and forth).  He proceeded to step on his reins and break my bridle in half.  :(  I'm so sad.  That was my awesome yard sale bridle that I got for seven dollars and it's a Kieffer!  So I fell off, possibly destroyed my camera and totally destroyed my bridle.... I think I learned my lesson about riding with an uncinched saddle pad!!  Oh well.  It happens.  :)  Besides it makes for a really hilarious story to tell!!  Hey on a good note my helmet didn't get wet even though I got splashed in the face!  Yay!

And just to rub it in... here is a picture of us after we went "swimming".  :D

Those shoes and socks will never be white again LOL!  Chrome is happy though!  

I put his other bridle on because I had to get back on for a few minutes... because you know, that's just what we crazy equestrians do!

So how many of you managed to guess where and how I fell off before I finally said it?  It was a total surprise to me and even now I'm grinning because it was so hilarious!  

Also we rode thirty five minutes total at the walk only and my back doesn't hurt!  Yay!  Thank goodness I landed in water!!!  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog Hop: Hauling

Alanna from Pony Express asked us what truck/trailer we have and what we would like to have.  I've been trying to get out and get pictures of my truck and trailer, but I've been way too busy or the weather has been bad.  So I dug through my blog and found a couple of pictures.

Okay my trailer is an OLD two horse Thoroughbred trailer.  It is seven and a half feet tall (I think) and narrow with no divider (taken out before I bought it).  It is steel and heavy.  It was red and rusted when we bought it so we painted it gray and maroon.  The door on the front as you can see in the above picture doesn't even stay closed so a bungee cord holds it closed.  The plexi glass windows were broken out when we bought it.  We never replaced it because it gets sooooo hot here that air flow is more important I think.  The back is a ramp which is HEAVY and I hate it lol.  There are two upper doors that can be open, closed or removed.  I keep them on because Chrome doesn't know how to tie and I don't want him trying to jump over the ramp (he likes to ride backwards).

This is the only inside picture I can find.  I'll try to get new ones sometime.  It has a steel roof, wood walls (steel on the outside) and a wood floor that we replaced with rubber mats on it.  This picture doesn't show the ramp, but it's tall, wide and heavy.  No horse I've ever loaded on this trailer likes to walk on that ramp, although Chrome is used to it now.  I never want another ramp trailer!  As you can see in the above picture that's when I brought Chrome home as a five month old colt.... it's so narrow! Imagine a full grown horse fitting on there...  One that doesn't tie in a trailer and tries to spin circles the whole time you're driving... yeah not safe.  That's why I don't haul him unless it's necessary.  We are planning to build a storage unit in the trailer on one side so that it will act as a divider or second horse and keep Chrome on his own side.  Then I'll feel comfortable teaching him to tie in it.  Right now he can turn at an angle and if I tie it long enough that he can't sit against it, then he can get his head hung, but if I tie it short enough he can't get his head hung he can set back on the rope!!  I don't have pictures of the front, but you can sort of see behind him that there is a chest bar and there are bars between where two horses are supposed to have their heads so they can't get each other.  So if he's tied short enough he can't get his head twisted around.  He will hate it but he has to learn to haul like a grown up someday.  Sorry for the crappy pictures.

Anyway, I won't even go into our truck because I don't have pictures, but it's an older model Chevy diesel with dual tires.  It's a nice truck, but I do want to add a gooseneck and fix the air conditioning.  It's also a standard, which I can't drive so that sucks.... we have an automatic that I can drive, but it's not as powerful so I can't haul far with it.  I really need to learn to drive a standard.

The type of trailer that I would like is this...

This type of trailer is great for my area because of the air flow, but it's safer compared to a regular stock trailer because the sides down low are solid (a TON of people haul horses in cattle stock trailers around here.... scary).  The problem will probably be finding one tall enough.  I haven't decided if I want one of the slant load kind they make or just the standard stock on the inside.  The reason I want this kind is because the doors on the inside can be taken out so the horse can have the whole inside if they aren't used to being tied up (Chrome and donkey both don't tie in a trailer).  The standard stock type has a door across the middle so you could have one loose up front and one in the back.  That would be great for hauling Chrome and Zep together (right now I can only haul one at a time).  People tie in stock trailers all the time so once I've trained him to tie in one he could be tied no problem.

I've thought about it a lot and I just keep coming back to these.  Another reason I love stock trailers is because the guts can be removed and you can use it to haul anything from goats to furniture to lumber.  They are very versatile!

Well that's all I have I guess.  Thanks for the blog hop Alanna!

P.S.  I don't see a place to get the code for the link, but you can click here to see the post she made and to see who else has joined the blog hop.

P.P.S.  Some of you may be wondering why we bought the trailer we have in the first place... my dad actually traded something for it back in the 90s when I was a kid.... yeah we've had it that long!!!  We were very poor at the time and I was lucky to have a horse at all so I was happy with the trailer.  I also had a 14hh pony so it wasn't that bad of a trailer for her (and she knew how to tie lol).  Now I just feel like we've grown to the point where I need something more appropriate for Chrome.  :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I hurt my back again...... It always happens when the weather is gorgeous and when I have a lot to do.... Anyway my hubby is on vacation next week and we will be installing the kitchen so I'm going to be scarce for a while. I hope everyone gets lots of great weather and fun rides!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hide & Seek

If you've been following my blog for a couple of years now you'll know that on the lease land at our old place Chrome and I used to play hide and seek.  I've missed it here because with only five acres there aren't a whole lot of places to hide.  Today when I called Chrome up for his food I hid behind a tree while I waited.  He came trotting up doing his super trot and went all the way to the gate.  He stood at the gate and stared at the feed shed which is right on the other side of the fence.

I whistled really low and he spun around to look back out across the pasture.  When I whistled again he trotted over to his hay feeder and stopped again.  He was looking in the wrong direction so I clucked under my breath and he finally looked my way, but he couldn't see me.  I whistled again and he trotted toward my tree with this big, floating trot and his neck all arched.  He trotted all the way around the tree and stopped in front of me to get scratched all over his head and praised.  I think he missed it too!  He was so engaged and happy when I was praising him.  I might have to try hiding more often!!  I'll take my camera next time.  This was totally spur of the moment so I didn't have it with me.

The pictures in this post are from the old property when we used to play hide and seek.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

VCMBH: Stalker!

Seriously L. comes up with the coolest blog hops ever.  This time she asked: What Equestrian Blogger out there do you really want to meet? (If you have more then 1 I will allow you to list up to 5!)

L. is CRUEL to make us choose only five (she later told me I could choose more, but since I'd already gone through the trouble of narrowing it down I'm just going to share five)!!!  I got my list down to ten or twenty people (remember how long my list of favorite blogs is???? Not easy!!!) and thought I was doing great... then I'd obsess over it for a while and cut another... then another... and I finally made it down to five (took me hours to decide!).  It's just impossible!  Keep in mind if you didn't make the list that doesn't mean I didn't want you on it.  It sort of came down to the people I've talked to outside of blogs the most and for the longest.. So here is my list (in alphabetical order by name or pen name).

Appydoesdressage - Musings from LogDog Acres - I've been following her blog for a long time (love Appaloosas!) and was so excited when she got her new green horse Mia (because I love reading about green horses).  It's so much fun to read about her training.  She always has kind, helpful comments for my blog and I think she would be a really cool person to meet and go riding with!  P.S.  I love TWH too.  I don't want to leave him out.  :D

Judi - Trail Horse Adventures - Judi and I have a lot in common.  We both love trail riding and we train our horses with clicker training (although I've been lazy about it lately oops)!  She is so great with her horses!  She has a sister with some anxiety (like me) that she is always so supportive of and the way people treat their siblings says a lot about them.  Judi is awesome and I would LOVE to meet her and go trail riding!

Lytha - A Horse Crazy American in Germany - Lytha and I seem to parallel each other a lot!  We seem to have the same thoughts, concerns and problems with our green horses.  The thing that orginally attracted me to her blog was her gorgeous gray Arabian Baasha!  I was astounded when I'd learned they'd been together for over twenty years!  People who love, appreciate and stick by their horses like that are the type of people I want to be friends with.  :D  Besides it would be soooo cool to visit Germany to hang out with her!!

NuzMuz - Nuzzling Muzzles - Nuz and I have a lot in common!  She is a writer (published unlike me), photographer (trained unlike me lol) and has Arabians (well mine is half).  She also loves trail riding.  It would be so incredibly awesome to go trail riding with her out in the desert!  If I ever make it out that way can I take a spin on Bombay?  Please!!!  :D

Super Ponies - Super Ponies - This is one of the blogs I originally started following because she also has a young horse, but I felt like straight from the start that we really hit it off.  We have a lot in common and it's always been easy to talk to her about anything that's bothering me with Chrome.  I would love to meet Dickie and go trail riding together.  It would be the coolest thing ever if Dickie and Chrome could meet each other.  I can totally see it!  They would have so much fun.  :D

It was almost impossible to choose only five because there are soooo many other bloggers I would love to meet (Aoife, L., Aimee, Gingham, Liz, Saiph, Dom, Andrea, Hetty, Alanna, Amy, Shannon, Allison, Monica, Suzie, Story, Carol, Frizzle, Janine, Teresa, Kelly, Kristen, Sarah, Amber, Karen, etc... too many to even name!)  This is why it was so hard to choose five and why I chose to go with the ones I've followed the longest and that I've talked to outside of the blogs.  Sorry I didn't link the names, but you all know who you are and they are all on my list of favorite blogs I recently did hehe.  Sorry if I missed anyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ride 60 - Solo on new road!

 Why are you looking at me?
I'm not trying to rub my halter off on the tree...

The weather was much nicer today so it was perfect for a ride.  After having my chances to ride ruined by Chrome getting tangled in the wire and then thunderstorms I decided to go today while my hubby was at work instead of waiting for him to get home (and having something come up again lol).  I was nervous at first, but I'm so glad I decided to just go for it!!

We went the opposite direction than we normally do because there are no horses directly by the road in that direction (not anymore anyway) so I figured he would be calmer and he was!  He was looky at things on the way out, but he didn't spook at anything.

Littering pisses me off!  It helps desensitize my horse though..  In the above picture there were crows fighting or something... one was hanging upside down from a limb making weird sounds!  Chrome was curious and hesitant, but that's all.

We have walked the first .61 of a mile in this direction in hand before (and ridden half of that), but Chrome has never been beyond that point before today.  The road in the picture above was my goal for this ride, but I totally forgot it hasn't been paved.... Chrome was choosing to walk in the grass as much as possible and was ouchy on gravel (probably from the rain and recent trim), so I decided not to go down this road.  The reason I wanted to go this way is because that is actually a STEEP hill in that picture (I was going to get off and walk) above and he really needs hill work... too bad it's gravel.  :(  So instead we continued straight on the pavement.  The funny thing is when I turned him around after taking the above picture he set off energetically in the direction we've never gone before!!!  He CHOSE to go without me having to tell him.  :D

We continued until the 1.1 mile mark and then turned around because some stupid kids were out driving around at high speeds in a jeep being stupid.... I'm glad they chose to go the opposite way, but I didn't want to meet them on their way back home, so that's why we turned around.  When we turned around Chrome immediately started lowering his head to the road, sniffing and snorting so I know he's still tense on the way out into new territory, but he's doing a much better job of not showing it lol.

At one point we came across a Styrofoam container that someone had thrown out and Chrome grabbed it in his teeth LOL!  I think he was hoping it had French fries in it.  :)

The thing that makes this totally uneventful ride so amazing is because it's the first time I've ridden Chrome out on the road all by myself and FORGOT HE IS A GREEN HORSE!!!!!!!!!  I was that relaxed!  It's funny because I looked down at his neck and thought for a second I was riding Lady, the Appaloosa mare I grew up with because they both had mohawks and their necks are the same color with all the white hair mixed in with the brown.  :D

Well rats I can't find a picture that shows her whole neck, but trust me hers is just as speckled as Chrome's but her ears aren't white since she isn't gray.  Above is the best picture I could find with me on her (and yes I didn't know any better when I was a kid that those are absolutely horrible bits, I switched her to a snaffle when I learned better, but she neck reined and never rode in any contact so it's alright).  You can't tell how much white she had in her coat in that picture though because she was already growing in her winter coat.  Oh well.  Trust me there are similarities and the fact that I looked down and for a fleeting moment thought it was Lady show how much calmer and more relaxed I've gotten.  :)  I was worried I would never be able to treat him like a trained, adult horse, but today gives me hope hehe.

Chrome's neck shot... his mane has a lot more white
 in it than Lady, but you get the idea.

We went a total of 2.13 miles in 50 minutes all at a walk except for one very short trot where I was just checking that he wasn't lame (he isn't).  So very happy with our successful ride!

P.S. I forgot to mention that when we were almost home (within sight of our gate) he did scoot when a little dog barked behind him because he didn't see it.  He only scooted one step and then relaxed immediately so it was barely a spook hehe.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The dangers of wire...

Old picture.

I went out this morning to feed and saw the boys standing over by the pond.  I thought it was kind of odd that they were just standing there and hadn't met me at the gate when they heard me shut the front door.  As I approached them I walked around the hay feeder and the dirt pile and immediately saw the wire....  feeling sick to my stomach I ran the rest of the way.  Chrome was standing there, motionless, staring at me.  The wire was wrapped around his right hind leg midway up the cannon bone.

I knelt beside him and saw that the wire was around his leg and wrapped back around itself.... how does he manage to do crap like that????  I just don't even know how it's possible because it's not like he was tangled in the middle of it.  The very end was wrapped around his leg and twisted back on itself as if someone had done it to him!  I unwrapped it easily and checked his leg.  The hair was missing in a ring around his leg and the back of his leg was a little wet, but no blood came off on my hand.

Still feeling sick I started rolling up the wire, trying to figure out where it had come from!  Then I realized it was the electric wire we had up around the pasture!  The deer had evidently got hung up in it and broke it, then he got tangled in it and dragged it across the pasture.  I had been meaning to take the wire down and replace it with electric tape that we got for a really good deal at a yard sale, but I hadn't had time.  :(

I rolled up probably 100 yards of wire and carried it out of the pasture.  Chrome followed right behind me and I let him out in the yard while I put the wire up and got his halter.  I had my dad and husband both check him because I was paranoid I was missing something serious, but they both said he was fine.  I jogged him out and hubby said he was completely sound.  There was no swelling either.

I am so relieved and so, so happy Chrome is such a calm horse.  He had dragged the wire across the pasture, but as soon as it got hung up on something he stopped and just stood there.  I have no idea how long he was there, but he never moved until I had unwrapped it and told him he could move.  Just thinking about what could have happened brings tears to my eyes.  If you use electric wire please check it every day!!  It could have been BAD!

So while Chrome and Zep grazed in the front yard hubby and I drove the whole five acres and took down all of the wire.  I would prefer they lean on and destroy the fence than to get tangled up again.  Now that it's summer there is so much grass that they aren't leaning on it anyway.  I'll move the insulators down (I have NO IDEA why I originally put it at the top where the deer could get hung up in it instead of as chest height) lower and put the tape up.  I will NEVER use the wire kind again....

So I didn't ride.  I want to wait until tomorrow and make sure no swelling appears or his hoof doesn't fall off or something.... I know, it's melodramatic....  I'm sure he will be fine.  :)

P.S.  While we were taking down the fence I got eating alive by mosquitoes.... EIGHTEEN bites!!!!!  I officially hate summer now LOL!

Friday, July 11, 2014

More Art

This is my first time ever drawing with charcoal! It's so much fun!!! I need a lot more practice but so far I really like it!!!! If I decide to frame this I think I'll cut the bottom off a little. I messed up the proportions in his body a bit, but I still like it!

I fixed the shoulder!! It's still not perfect but I hesitate to do too much erasing and redrawing. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ride 59

I rode Chrome in the bitless bridle and bareback for an hour waiting for the farrier (she got hung up in traffic). We just walked and trotted around the yard. We also worked on standing still which he did fantastic at and was basically just an excuse to talk to my hubby lol. We had fun but didn't really work on anything else. Just goofing around and walking around to avoid mosquitoes hehe.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Well I was going to ride.....

However, I picked up my drawing pencils and got sidetracked for the whole day!! I had so much fun drawing this. I'm learning new shading and blending techniques and it's really cool! I'll share more as I can.

P.S. I'm really bad at photographing pencil drawings. This looks way better in real life. There isn't as much contrast between the light and dark and it's overall softer in real life. I need to learn how to photograph drawings lol.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


We got a watermelon for Fourth of July (on sale! score!), but we ate it yesterday and of course I gave the rinds to Chrome and Zep.  Chrome was all for it at first, but lost interest after and few bites.  Zep devoured his hehe.  Check out the video below.

I love Zep's eyes!  

I gave Chrome yesterday and today off since I rode him two days in a row and I'm glad I did.  He seemed tired yesterday, but today he came trotting to me and was goofing off and being his silly self again.  :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Chrome's Future Career

I posted this picture of Chrome on a conformation critique page asking what discipline they thought he would be suited for.  I said he is a five year old Arabian cross that is currently out of shape.  I didn't mention Friesian cross because I've noticed that it often colors the opinion of people who dislike or are not familiar with the baroque breeds.  The first response was someone asking for videos because it's hard to know what a horse is suited for without seeing how they move.  So I shared these three videos that I have shared on the blog before.

One of him trotting.

One of him cantering.

Also one of him showing off his fun, fancy Arabian trot.

I was nervous sharing them because my equitation is awful with me being so out of practice.  They were very nice and refrained from commenting on my riding (I asked them not to lol).  The comments I got on Chrome are great though!!  Check it out.

You will probably have to click to enlarge it to read.

I blurred out their pictures and names since I don't like posting stuff like that without permission.  The comment that starts with "Please do dressage with him!" totally made my day!!  :D  I've always liked his movement, but I didn't know for sure what he was actually suited for.  I know it's only the opinion of a few strangers on the internet, but it makes me feel better to know he is suited for what I want to do.  Considering I bought him as a weanling I got lucky he has turned out perfect for what I want to do!!  I'm really itching to start dressage lessons when it cools off outside!!!!

I'm also curious about the hunt seat suggestion.  I really don't know much about it.  Just what I've read on some blogs.  I would like to try it just because I love doing new things, but can you compete in flat classes and not participate in jumping classes?  I don't know how all of that works.  I don't think he is suited for jumping, so I don't think I want to jump.  Anyway I would love to hear your comments and opinions too because I don't feel like you guys are just a bunch of strangers on the internet hehe!  Your opinions mean a lot to me.  :D

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ride 58 - Happy Fourth of July!!

Happy Independence Day!!!! I know I don't normally ride Chrome two days in a row, but we never have cool weather in July so I couldn't resist.  :D

First I have to share a video of him getting his bridle put on.  He's so good at it!!!  He hasn't learned to grab it yet, so I still put my finger in his mouth, but he keeps his head low and relaxed.... so low in fact that I have to bend over to bridle him (sigh to be tall with a short horse lol).

Now on to the ride.

Pulling that stunt where he turns left, then I turn him 
right and he tries to duck right... brat!  
However check out how far under he steps!  :D

First we walked up the road in front of the house so hubby could get some pictures for the post, then he gave me the camera and went back to the house.  We were on our own!  As we headed down the road he was being soooooo annoying, looking at everything and being balky and trying to turn around.  He never startled at anything this time though and I stayed really relaxed.  I was just frustrated with the balking.  Trail riding green horses isn't the most fun activity ever lol.  I HAVE to find my little riding crop that has a handle so it can hang off of the saddle horn.

He is so handsome!
I have to stop steering him like a baby horse though lol.

Once we got past our property which is about 100 yards he stopped trying to turn around and started walking at a steady, although slow, walk.  He continued to eyeball everything, but otherwise he was good and I was able to stop kicking the crap out of him and enjoy the ride.  I noticed that I'm starting to nag him with my legs though so I definitely need to tap him with the crop instead of nagging.  I want to nip the balking in the bud as quickly as possible.

We walked past the neighbor's house with the horses and they stayed in the barn, so he looked and tried stopping several times, but was otherwise okay (other than almost being assaulted by one of her dogs that was loose, but she chickened out when she saw how big Chrome is and he didn't care).  We had gone .66 of a mile when my husband showed up in his car (with Jackal hehe).  He said he was worried about traffic since it's a holiday and I was taking Chrome past the point where we have walked before.  I wanted to see how he would react with me riding him somewhere he's never been before.

At the .84 mile mark we were into unknown territory (for him, not me obviously).  He did great up until the one mile mark, then he saw a horse... and that horse neighed at him... and he planted his feet and tried to neigh back but his neigh got stuck behind the bit (haha, no clue why he aborted mid-neigh).... so I got off! LOL!  I'm not ready to ride him past horses he's never seen before, since he gets too excited.  As I was leading him he tried trotting, but I corrected him because I don't want him to think that's default behavior when he sees other horses.  After a couple of correction he didn't offer to trot again, then I had to correct him for shouldering into me while trying to gawk at the horses.  After that we were good again.  :)

Leaning down to pet him.

We stopped to look at trash cans and for sale signs, etc. as we continued walking.  On this road there are really wide, grassy shoulders that are kept mowed, which is why I wanted to go that way.  I totally didn't think of the four properties lining the road all with horses... hehe.  At one of them I couldn't resist stopping to get a picture.... I don't normally let him touch noses with other horses, but how can you resist this cutie?????

 LOVE Chrome's neck!  LOVE that pony!!!

We continued on down the road and the next obstacle was the flag you saw in the picture at the beginning of the post. He was NOT sure about that flag.  When I think about it, this is the first flag he's ever seen.  I'm going to have to get one now lol.  He was also very distracted by all of the horses lining the road.  I grabbed the flag so it would stop blowing and asked him to step up to investigate.  While doing this the owner of the property pulled into the driveway and got out of her car to watch.  I was worried at first but she was smiling.  Chrome finally sniffed it and relaxed, so I praised him and told him I knew it wouldn't kill him.  The lady laughed and asked if I wanted her to take it down and I said NO he needs to learn to deal with it.  It's great training.  Then she said he's beautiful which made me beam hehe.

This picture is actually on the way back home.
He wasn't worried about it this time.

We stopped next to hubby's car (he was following us and turning his flashers on when people drove by going sixty miles an hour on a thirty mile an hour road) in the shade for a break because I was finally getting hot.  I still can't complain about how gorgeous it was.  Normally in July it's over 100F with humidity so high you feel like you are swimming through the air.  Today the humidity was around 30%.  That's unheard of around here!!!  After our break we walked a short way down to the next road (that made 1.35 miles), then turned around.  As we were walking back in the direction of home I heard sirens, but it was out on the main highway so I ignored them.  A few minutes later I heard honking behind me and turned around.  The ambulance was headed out way!!!  I ran up the bank on the side of the road and Chrome trotted after me, then the ambulance zoomed by (they kept the sirens off which I appreciated).  Chrome was great!!!  He followed me promptly, with no hesitation about the ditch and didn't bat an eye at the ambulance speeding by.  I love this horse!!  I walked him back by all of the horses and the mule (that is sooooo cute trying to nicker like a horse with her cute mule voice).  Once past all of them (at 1.82 miles) I got back on with him standing right next to a culvert that worried him on the way out lol.

I then rode him all the way home.  What's hilarious is that as soon as we got back to our road over the hill where we go walking he gave a big sigh, a few snorts and totally relaxed like his mind was totally blown and he had no more energy left to be looky and silly.  :D  Crazy colt!  We rode past the neighbor with the horses, but this time they were out in their pasture grazing.  Chrome kept looking over at them, but continued to walk.  When we got almost past their pasture they galloped up behind Chrome.  He just glanced over his shoulder and kept going LOL!!!!  So he's totally fine with them now because he's seen them a few times.  I hope he will eventually be that way with all of the horses, pony, foals and mules on the road we explored today.

We were almost home when I got mauled by mosquitoes!!!  I couldn't take it anymore, so we trotted the rest of the way home.  When we got to the driveway I asked him to stop while my hubby shut the gate and Chrome just stood there like he was too tired to walk another step.  I couldn't help laughing at him.  We went a total of 2.78 miles (it was further going out than back because we went up the road in the opposite direction at the beginning for those first pictures) which is further than we've ever gone so I imagine he was tired, especially with all the emotional energy he spent being a turd about the other horses.  We walked up the driveway and I untacked him while he grazed.  Since I didn't put a halter on I went to get a bit of feed (not his full amount since he was warm) and shook it to get him to come back to the pasture.  He trotted to me!  Yeah, good try making me think you were too exhausted to walk another step Chrome!

He got lots of scratches and loving, then I went inside to assess the damage to my legs.... TEN mosquito bites!!  I am not wearing my thin breeches out on the road again!  We've had too much rain and the mosquitoes are the size of jets lol.  It was totally worth it though because I had fun and we both got exercise.  :D  Oh and the ride took one hour and six minutes.  Not bad for the standing around we did and the balking and gawking he did.

I'll take that for a great Forth of July ride!!  Now off to watch fireworks at the lake!

P.S.  When we were almost home one of my other neighbor's dogs ran up the driveway, growling and barking behind us.... I'm so glad Chrome doesn't mind dogs at all.  He's great with dogs and traffic, he just needs more exposure to his fellow equine neighbors!  I have to say I'm glad I was on Chrome's back though because those dogs were acting VERY aggressive, but they had no interest in a horse (thank goodness!!!!!!).  I think that's everything.  I hope I haven't forgotten anything else.  :)  Have a great weekend everyone!!