Sunday, December 19, 2010
Age: 19 months
Height Gain: Approximately half an inch. In another month he should be fifteen hands and not even two years old yet!!! :D
Weight: Approximately 810lbs.
Weight Gain: He gained thirty pounds! I was happy to see this because I thought he was losing weight. I guess it was just a growth spurt that made him look like he was losing weight while he added on height. I better be careful about increasing his feed too much.
Progress: As you know from the post a couple of days ago I finally had Chrome's hooves trimmed again. I think this farrier will be a lot more reliable and easier to schedule with. She was very organized and even had appointment cards and invoices!! He looks a lot better after having his hooves done. Considering she took off almost half an inch it makes me think Chrome probably made it to fifteen hands for a little while at least lol. :)
I did get hay finally, yay. At least selling my goats provided me with enough money to do that. I do miss them though. The farrier also gave me some insight into Chrome's behavior. She said he's very lazy, which I knew he would be because Friesians aren't known for being energetic. She also said that I'm letting him get away with too much, blaming it on him being a stallion. She said I need to make him behave or having him gelded won't do any good. I will admit that I have been letting him get away with stuff. As you know from a previous post he was crowding during feeding and I resolved that. He's been nipping, but all I have to do is reprimand him in a stern voice and he stops, because he knows better, he's just testing.
I need to start taking him for walks again and make him work and pay attention to me before he starts seeing me as a lowly pasture mate. He's not rude at all, he's just started to test his boundaries. I haven't been working on any yielding or softening with Chrome so I think I'm going to use the methods Kate wrote about on her blog A Year With Horses. I think those will help get him softer and listening to me better. I have a head cold right now though so we'll see how that goes later when I'm feeling better.
Goals: My goal is to get better lol. I want to work on the softening exercises with Chrome and start walking him again. If that goes well (I'm super lazy in the winter) I might start trying to clicker train him again. I've just been so busy with the extra hours at work and my husband's doctor appointments for his back that I haven't been doing anything. I haven't even worked with Jackal on crawling. :( I'll do better I promise!! I also need to read blogs. I'm soooo far behind. I have almost three hundreds posts to read. Sorry I haven't been commenting a lot. I am or will read all your posts though. Okay I'm going to rest before work.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Age: 18 months
Height Gain: Approximately 3/8 of an inch. Not much . . .
Weight: Approx 780lbs.
Weight Gain: Approximately fifteen pounds . . .
Progress: Okay, Chrome's growth has slowed down a LOT! I don't know if that's because I switched him from Safechoice to Enrich 32 or if it's because he's eighteen months old. Or it could be because it has gotten cold and a lot of the grass has died off. I'm not going to worry about it too much. I'm feeding him approximately two pounds of Enrich 32 so I may increase it to 2.5 pounds as suggested on the bag. I'm also giving him some crimped oats for energy so I may increase those. I don't want to increase everything too much and go the opposite direction though lol. I may start using the weight tape on him weekly to monitor increase needs in his feed.
I haven't done much with Chrome besides just spending time grooming and playing with him. I'm trying to get his mane to grow back in. The wet spot on his neck in the picture is the MTG I'm using. It's so oily and gross, but it's definitely helping grow his mane back in.
Goals: My goal for this month is to get hay. That's my number one priority. I also would really like to have the trimmer out again. If money permits. If not then I need to do some trimming on my own. I would also like to start clicker training again.
I'll leave you with my favorite picture from our short photo shoot. I threw my jacket on the ground and got this expression from Chrome lol. :)
I love my boy. I can't wait until he's done growing so I know what size halter to get him. That old green one is ugly. I've had it for fifteen years lol.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Age: 17 months
Height: Chrome measured 149cm, just shy of 14.3hh.
Height Gain: Hard to say . . . see below.
Weight: Approx 765lbs.
Weight Gain: Good heavens!! Could he really have gained sixty five pounds?? He doesn't look fat to you does he?
Progress: I think the reason Chrome didn't show as much growth height-wise this month is because he got his hooves trimmed. His heels were long and getting them trimmed probably took off half an inch lol! I know bad mommy for waiting so long. They do look better although his left rear still looks like a club foot. A club foot is rare in the rear hooves, so it's weird but it's pretty obvious if you compare them. See how it's more upright with a longer heel? The farrier is going to work on it slowly, but it'll take a long time to start looking more normal and may never look normal.
I've been worrying about him because he seems to be walking with a short stride in the rear. He moves out normally with his front, but seems quick and short strided in the rear. I've been checking his legs and hooves daily and there is no heat, swelling, fluid, bumps, sores, etc. Everything looks and feels completely normal. He still gallops, bucks and plays like crazy so he doesn't appear to be in pain. I have read that a club foot is caused by contracted tendons in the rear legs so I'm wondering if that's it. That is the extent of my knowledge regarding that though so I don't know what it means for us.
Speaking of playing, Chrome and Zep have been playing too rough. Now that Chrome is so much taller than the shorty donkey Zep is biting him on the neck and chest. Chrome has welts and sores all over his neck!! I can't wait to get them gelded. I don't know when it will be though because we still haven't received my husband's temp disability money. :( I'll just keep and eye on him.
Other than that he's been doing great. His coat is turning so dark and pretty with fall coming on. They are playing constantly and feel great with the cooler temperatures. I don't remember if I mentioned that I switched him from Safechoice to a ration balancer and beet pulp. He's doing great on them. He looks absolutely fantastic.
My only complaint is that his mane is AWFUL!!!! It's all short, scraggly and dry. He keeps it completely torn out and destroyed. So much for have a hairy pony to play beauty shop on hehehe (can I borrow some mane Star???). The bits of mane that are growing in are coming in white. :) I'll have to get pictures when the weather clears up. I really want to wash and condition his mane before it gets too cold. I'm thinking of putting him on a hoof supplement because they encourage hoof and hair growth. I really love flax seed for coat and general health but I can't seem to find any. We'll see how it goes when our financial situation is back to normal.
Goals: My goals for this month are just to keep Chrome happy and healthy. I want to get his hooves trimmed, but that's about all I can plan on until we start getting a steady income again. I just want to spend time with him and enjoy him.
Also an update on my husband's back since it basically influences everything in my life right now. He had his first physical therapy today. They did the electric stimulus therapy and gave him a lot of tips and goals. He gets his first epidural steroids on Thursday and will go back to the physical therapist in a few days for another session. I think I mentioned it already but they are thinking the end of November is when he'll be able to go back to work. She's also going to try to get the doctor to prescribe pain medicine or anti inflammatory. She couldn't believe that he hadn't had anything except muscle relaxers this whole time. They also gave him a really fancy ice pack (can be used for heat too). Please keep him in your thoughts!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Age: 16 months
Height: He is now 14.2 (58 1/8th inches). He's finally a horse!!!
Height Gain: 5/8ths of an inch.
Weight: Approx 700lbs (317.5kg)
Weight Gain: About twenty five pounds.
Progress: Chrome is doing very well. His growth is steady. I'm cleaning out his hooves everyday except for the occasional missed day when my back just can't take it. While cleaning out his hooves today I found a place where the thrush has eaten out a bit of his frog so I think I'm going to treat the fungus more aggressively for a while and then use the salt to maintain/prevent further thrush. He acts a tiny bit sore in that spot but he's perfectly sound. There is no heat in his hooves or joints so we're good right now lol. Who knows what will be next with a yearling hehe.
I'm also slowly adding beet pulp back into his diet to supplement his roughage because the summer heat has killed out most of the pasture. I'm planning to wean him very slowly off of the Safechoice and put him on a ration balancer to cut out the starch/sugars in his diet (to prevent future insulin resistance and/or laminitis issues). I've spoken at length with people who have used it with growing horses and I can see their horses with my own eyes to know they matured perfectly fine on it. :) Don't laugh. Decisions that some people make easily I agonize over for ages before I convince myself to do it lol. Lots of research.
Goals: My goals for this month are to continue working on his hooves to beat the thrush and get him trimmed. I still think his heels are too long. I'm also going to get his diet change under way when I get low on Safechoice. I want to make the transition slowly to prevent any problems. I want to continue walking him occasionally and get back into clicker training as the weather cools off. No specifics because I don't want to pressure myself. :)
And here are a couple more pictures from the modeling session. Do you think Chrome can make the big time as a model? I think he's kind of a diva. ;D
the camera?? If you want a different angle move your stupid camera!"
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Isn't he just gorgeous? With a little more impulsion from behind to round his back and bring his poll up a little he'd be in a dressage frame lol. All by himself. :) He's going to be so much fun to ride when he's all grown up.
Age: 15 months
Height: He is now 14.1 (plus half an inch), so with a half inch more growth he'll no longer be pony sized lol! -- Ponies are under 14.2 hands and horses are over. :)
Height Gain: Almost three quarters of an inch.
Weight: Approx 675lbs (294.8kg)
Weight Gain: About twenty five pounds.
Progress: Up until this stunt yesterday Chrome was doing great (still is so far, but I worry). He is loving having the lease land to graze and explore on. I haven't really worked on anything because of the heat, but in our daily handling he's doing fantastic. He's also being a really good boy about us picking up his feet to check for heat. :) Also as a little side note: Zep is doing so fantastic. He now lets me pet him on the face, cheeks and ears all I want. I just have to be careful how I approach him and not turn to look at him directly. :)
Goals: My goal for right now is to keep them both healthy after what happened last night. After that I don't know. Probably more hiding from the heat. Can you believe it's 99F and it feels like a cold front has come through? That's how hot it's been. I can't wait for autumn so I can start working with them again. :)
Monday, July 19, 2010
Age: 14 months
Height: Just shy of 14.1hh (a little over 4ft 8in/56.7in/144cm/1.44m)
Height Gain: Almost three quarters of an inch.
Weight: Approx 650lbs (294.8kg)
Weight Gain: About thirty pounds. Can you tell I increased his feed?
Progress: Chrome is doing great. He's on free choice hay and I ran out of beet pulp so I haven't been feeding it anymore. He's gained weight and looks great. I've taken him for a few walks and he's done fabulous. I've also loaded him on the trailer a few times and he did good. I haven't really worked on anything else. Oh wait! I did fly spray him while he was eating without having to put a halter on him! :D
Goals: My goal for this month is to start introducing him to things like saddle blankets, plastic bags, etc. The crazy thing is he does most of his de-spooking by himself!! Check out the hard work (I took pictures and he played hard) we did with a box yesterday below . . .
Zeppelin showing off his pretty neck action too. :)
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Age: 13 months
Height: 14hh (4ft 8in/56in/142cm/1.4224m)
Height Gain: Half an inch.
Weight: Approx 620lbs (281.2kg)
Weight Gain: I'm beginning to think weight tapes just aren't very accurate for growing horses. I doubt very much that his weight hasn't changed. Weight tapes just don't really take into account the horse's height, bone size and growth. Chrome is in a narrow bodied, long legged stage so that's probably why it's saying he hasn't gained any weight. I don't care though because he looks good to me. :)
Progress: I'm now feeding Chrome beet pulp with his Safechoice and I saw a difference almost immediately. He's still getting a little over half a square bale of hay a day, but we've finally found a source of good quality round bales so soon he'll have free choice grass hay which will make him happy. He's gotten to where he's stretching his giraffe neck up to eat oak leaves out of the trees!! I know oak can be bad for horses so we're going to trim the lower limbs and I'm sure he'll stop when he has a round bale to munch on twenty four, seven. Other than that he's doing great. I didn't do anymore walking, clicker training or hoof work. Bad me. Between the heat index of 107F every day and my work schedule I just haven't felt like doing anything. I did hose him off though.
Goals: My goal for this month is to start walking him again and to keep working on hosing him off and fly spraying him. I forgot to mention that I fly sprayed him the other day while he was eating . . . without a halter!!! I'm not going to give myself anything else to work on for now until it cools off some. It's miserable. We haven't had rain in weeks and the tiny bit we got today just evaporated.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It will still be called Living A Farmer's Life like the old one, but click here for the link to the new one. It is still very much a work in progress, but each critter will have their own page for more information. I'll also be labeling each post so if you only want to read about Chrome or Jackal or whoever you can click their label and it will take you to any post that features that specific critter. Anyway, I won't be posting in the individual blogs anymore so go check it out and please follow!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Yesterday the flies were bothering Chrome again so I decided to fly spray him while he ate breakfast. I put the halter on, but this time just put the rope over his neck so I could walk around behind him while he ate. He never stopped eating while I sprayed him all over. :D It won't be long before I'll be able to spray him without the halter on. Such a good Chrome!
A few days ago I had to get on to him because as I was walking across the pasture to the feed shed he walked directly behind me and put his muzzle on my upper back. I don't know if he was playing, acting dominant, or what, but it was uncomfortable and possibly dangerous so I swung around (startling him) and scolded him. I don't want that to become a habit. He hasn't done it since. He now walks in line on my left side (like we were doing in our clicker training) all the way up to the feed shed, or until I walk past Zeppelin. Donkey is king around here and Chrome knows not to crowd him by the feed shed lol. :)
Anyway that's all for now. Gotta run!!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sorry I'm posting this a day late. I got really busy and ran out of time. I haven't done much because I've been busy with work, but I did want to mention I'm now feeding Zep in his original bucket with me standing on the other side of the fence. I positioning my hand over his bucket so that it touches his forehead when he reaches in for a bite. The first day he jumped every time he came into contact with my hand, but now I'm actually able to scratch his forehead while he eats. :D So we're slowly making progress. Sorry I don't have any current pictures.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Oh and this video was taken June 4 2010. Sorry about the dirty window. I really need to wash the outsides of all my windows but I never think about it unless I'm trying to take video through it lol. :)
Saturday, June 5, 2010
He's looking really good since I added the beet pulp to his diet. I can't believe the difference it's made. He's finally put some weight back on without me having to feed entirely too much concentrate. We've had a bit cooler weather today so he and Zeppelin have been playing again. I'll post video tomorrow, but here are some pictures of Chrome playing with his rings. There are only two left because he must have dropped it over the fence into the dog pen and Jackal chewed one ring off lol.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Oh and be sure to read the previous post about my monthly goals update.
Well, we've made it to the halfway point. It's June already! Can you believe it? I've never had six months fly by so quickly in my life. I thought this was supposed to happen when you got older! I didn't realize it would start in my twenties! In fact the last six or seven years have gone by very quickly and I can only attribute that to joining the adult working world. I miss the simplicity of being a child. Sigh.
Anyway I've completely gone off course. I'm feeling kind of discouraged this month because I really didn't accomplish all that much in general. I didn't take him for any walks all month, didn't work on hauling at all, didn't give him a bath, etc. I did use clicker a little bit in desensitization with the fly spray, but really I should have been able to accomplish more.
I'm not trying to get down on myself, I'm just trying to be realistic. Between having a horse, a donkey, fifteen goats, a cat and over a hundred chickens (and now we're hatching turkeys!!) as well as having to deal with my continuing health problems I just don't have the time, drive or desire to accomplish all of these goals. Aside from those responsibilities I'm also working two part time jobs and spending my days off at the lake with friends or catching up on housework. We also found out we might possibly get to lease the forty acres behind our property in the fall so that will add to the workload. I'm just feeling stretched thin.
So I'm going to reevaluate my original goals.
My 2010 goals for Chrome were:
1. Use clicker training to desensitize Chrome to as much as possible.
2. Go for more walks on the roads. Use clicker training to make it a positive experience.
3. Teach Chrome some tricks specifically smile.
4. Write in Chrome’s blog more often.
5. Work on hauling to new places.
I don't think I'm going to make any specific goals. I want to continue to work on clicker training following the Alexandra Kurland book and I also want to do a lot more desensitization with him. I need to focus on practical things like the fly sprays and bathing instead of tricks like smile and kisses. I'll get to those eventually, but Chrome is a year old now and he really needs to be introducing to things like a saddle, long lines, etc. I'm not saying I'm going to start working him in them I just want to introduce him to the equipment. I also need to work on hoof care, hauling and bathing. I need to focus on practical things. I think if I concentrate on a few things I might be able to stick with it and make some progress. Now I understand why most people only make one New Year's Resolution.
So here are my new 2010 goals:
1. Work through the Alexandra Kurland book The Click That Teaches.
2. Work on desensitization. Chrome is going to mainly be a trail horse so he needs to learn how to deal with new and exciting/scary objects. This will include desensitizing to equipment, bathing, hoof care, new places and the trailer.
3. Get him gelded!! This will have to wait until the fall because of the flies but I do need to remember it.
I think these are reasonable goals that are practical and should be easy to accomplish as we progress through normal yearling training and prep. So what do you think? Did I miss anything? Any suggestions?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
When Chrome started following me I would click, stop and wait for him to catch up and give him his carrot. After doing that a while I stood still and sprayed water, just waiting. He finally came up beside me where the water wouldn't touch him and I clicked/treat. Eventually I grew bored . . .
So I haltered him and let him to his stall. I tried spraying him with it while clicking at the same time, but again realized I was rewarding him jumping away. I decided to use the old method of desensitization because I just couldn't figure it out with the clicker (and was being impatient lol). So I positioned him but the fence and started spraying his chest, really close and softly so it wasn't hitting a big area. As soon as he stopped moving I gave him a carrot. After one more time of doing that I was able to spray him seven or eight times, give a carrot, spray seven or eight times in another spot, give carrot and he never moved!!
After soaking his chest, front legs and shoulders in water I went inside, got the fly spray and a pocket full of sugar cubes. Then I went out and fly sprayed him all over with not a single problem. I was able to do his entire neck and chest for a sugar cube, one shoulder and front leg for a sugar cube, the other shoulder and leg for a sugar cube, his back and rib cage on one side, then the other, then his haunches and one rear leg, then the other rear leg, so it only took seven sugar cubes and the whole process took about three minutes!
I was so proud of him (while secretly annoyed that he'd made such a big deal out of it before lol)! I swear the little turd was testing me because by the end he didn't act in the least bit scared of it. Chrome is going to be such a fun horse to work with because he likes to act like a spaz but I really don't think much scares him. :) Anyway I really need to go to bed, but just had to share. :)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I finally got motivated to do some clicker training with Chrome again and I decided to try the carrots out. I have two things I really need to work on. Fly spray and hoof care. I didn't feel like working on the fly spray so I decided to work on him letting me hold his feet up for increasing amounts of time. He's been good about picking up his front hooves, but I've had problems with his rear hooves. I'm starting on the front to let him know what we're working on. After I have him balancing, holding his hoof and relaxing I'll introduce the trimming tools like the nippers and rasp. Then I'll move on to the back hooves.
He did pretty well. At first he was moving around a lot but then he realized what I wanted and was offering his hoof pretty well. He does back up to pick up his hoof though. I don't know if that's a balance issue or if he's confused what I'm asking for. If anyone has clicker trained hoof work I'd appreciates some tips. :D
Unfortunately midway through the session my neighbor stopped by with his grandchildren to look at our chickens. While they were watching the chickens I went back to working with Chrome, but I felt totally self conscious because I was wearing my ugliest shorts, tank top and muck boots! I wasn't expecting an audience! So after they left my brain was all over the place. I did some backing practice and he did great!! He was going three steps back very quickly and eagerly.
Then I went back to the hoof work. While asking him to pick up his hoof he reached his head down between his front legs being a pest. I totally should not have rewarded it but it was cute so I did! I had him reach between his legs several times and then had him reach around and touch his sides. So now we have vertical and lateral flexion lol! Cool!
When I went back to the hoof work he started spitting out the carrots. I still don't think he really likes them. At that point I called it quits and put the rest of them in his feed. It went decent considering the interruption I guess. I'll try again tomorrow. :) Or maybe later.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Heck we could just call that training for a equine dentist LOL. Open wide Chrome!
Anyway sorry for not posting much. I'll try to do better.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Sorry I've missed Donkey Day but I've been so busy that I haven't been taking pictures. You'll like this one though. :) To befriend the skittish donkey I've been doing several things. I've been hand feeding treats. He wasn't very comfortable taking the treats in the next pictures because Chrome was climbing up my back and I was having to push him away which kept startling Zeppelin lol.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Age: 12 months
Height: 13.3½ (55½in/140cm)
Height Gain: Somewhere around 7/16ths of an inch.
Weight: Approx 620lbs (281.2kg)
Weight Gain: Wow . . . could he really have not gained any weight? He is a bit thin but I wouldn’t have thought he was that thin. He doesn’t look too thin, his ribs just show a bit when he’s moving. I’m definitely going to start feeding him beet pulp to increase his roughage intake and give him some more protein, but not too much. Balancing a young horse’s growth is difficult!
Progress: Chrome hasn’t shown any heat or discomfort in his joints anymore, so I must be doing something right, but I would like to get a little more weight back on him. I just don’t want to increase his feed too much. I might try adding alfalfa hay or maybe I’ll just do rice bran. That’s what his breeder had him on and he did really well on it. He’s doing fantastic with his clicker training! I’m so proud of him. He’s so smart!
Goals: My goal for this month is to continue clicker training and also to slowly add beet pulp to his diet. Hay has been very scarce in my area lately so he’s not getting as much roughage as I’d like him to have. I’m just glad our grass is growing so well so that he can spend some time each day grazing. I would also like to walk him on the roads some more (I never did get around to it this past month), give him his first bath and also trim his hooves for the first time. They’re getting a little long. I hope I can achieve that much in one month lol!
Anyway here are the rest of the picture. The first few are of him grazing in the other paddock.
And some of him eating breakfast.
Took his halter off. The one he's wearing in the pictures above is the one that belonged to Lady, my Appaloosa growing up. It's a bit worn, but still a good halter.
Always gotta get me a neck shot. He's starting to get a crest. I'm gonna miss the stallion characteristics when we geld him in the fall, but I won't miss the attitude lol.