Monday, May 27, 2013

Ride 32 - I HATE my saddle!


I have no clue what I was doing in the picture above, but I have a feeling it has something to do with an insect of some sort.... mosquito, fly, spider..... I look too calm for it to be a spider.  Anyway that's basically the only picture I got of our ride because the camera was acting weird.  Oh and I seriously need to dig through our storage building and find the rest of my clothes because it's beginning to look like I wear the same thing in every blog post LOL!  I promise I don't hehe.

Anyway my plan for the ride was to give the saddle one last try, get some video of us trotting and work on my posting trot..... none of it went very well.  I've decided, without a doubt, that I hate my saddle.  Chrome was acting fine in it and it's totally fine for walking around or trail riding, but it sucks for trying to post the trot or any sort of equitation practice.  The Aussie saddles are just so bad about pushing your feet forward in a chair seat.

I did get some video, but it was blurring in and out really bad so I won't post it (not to mention I looked horrible lol).  The main thing I noticed is my feet swing back and forth when I try to post the trot.... not a little bit, but like a whole foot!!!!  I can post normally for a couple of strides then it pushes my feet forward and I keep having to pull them back which causes the swinging.  It's horrible!!!  So I've decided to put trotting on hold for a while.  I can't post in the saddle.  I'm too out of practice to post bareback.  I really don't need to be sitting the trot on a four year old.

I'm going to save up for a dressage saddle, but right now every spare penny is going into building my house so it may be a while.  I want to wait until I can take lessons before I do anymore training on him because I don't want to screw up everything we've done so far.  So for now my focus is going to be trail riding.  That's what I really want to do anyway right now.  I miss just going out and having a fun, relaxed ride without worrying what I should be doing, or shouldn't be doing, etc. We have plenty to work on with trail riding and I can teach him more tricks and I can build obstacle courses, etc.

There is a couple of things from the ride I do want to mention.  One is that a huge limb fell while I was riding!!!

I was riding away from the tree when the limb started cracking.  At the sound of cracking Chrome's head popped up and he tucked his butt, but he didn't break stride.  Then it crashed to the ground a second later and he did that again, then stopped when I asked.  Such a good boy!  It scared the crap out of me so I'm happy he stayed so calm.

I rode for half an hour which I totally didn't mean to.  I meant to make the ride short since I've missed a few days (been very busy on our house, check out my previous post to see what we've been working on).  I started warming him up, then the limb fell, then my grandma came out of her house and asked why Chrome was limping.  I didn't realize he was, so I checked all of his feet, but they were fine so I walked him some more.  He wasn't limping, but stepping really high with one front leg.  Turns out it was a fly.  I let him scratch his leg and he was fine lol.

So then I got back on and continued our warm up.  Then I started trotting and my husband was taking video, but the stupid camera was messing up.  I finally got frustrated and decided to quit.  Before quitting I decided to try something fun first.... cantering!  Chrome cantered.... okay fine he crow hopped three whole stride before dropping back down to a perfectly calm, relaxed walk LOL!  He had no clue what I was asking!!!  I wish the video weren't blurry because he had his neck curled, his back hunched and his butt tucked and looked super cute crow hopping along LOL!  The thing that made me happy though is that I was laughing and wasn't scared at all!  He wasn't being mean or trying to throw me, he was just confused and surprised.  :)  I probably won't try again until we do some in hand work and he knows the cue for canter.  And of course until I have a saddle I'm more comfortable in.  I just can't find a secure seat in my saddle.

Anyway I finally got the video my friend took from a few days ago on our last ride.  Here is the video.

Wow he looks as long as a limousine in that video for some reason... maybe because she took it with her IPhone?

And here are some snapshots I took....  as you can see he isn't as long as a limousine lol.

Doesn't Chrome look great here?  His nose is just in front of the vertical and he looks like he's using his back pretty well for a green four year old!  And I was sitting the trot bareback.  :)

So anyway, I have a plan for progressing with our trail riding, so keep an eye out for our next ride in a few days.  :)

P.S.  I totally forgot to mention I was using my clicker to click Chrome for his trot transitions today, but I forgot to fill my pouch and ran out of hay pellets  after just a couple of minutes.... oops hehe.

Progress on my house!

If you want to see pictures of the progress we've made on our new house check out my other blog Living A Farmer's Life.  Here is a direct link to the post  :D

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Haha!  I don't normally post stuff like this, but I saw it on Facebook and couldn't resist!  :D  It reminds me of Chrome when he's scratching himself, bending in all of those different positions.  Obviously he's never knocked me down, but the expression on the cartoon horse is adorable!  :)

Just so this isn't off topic, here is Chrome scratching.  Do you think he'll have any trouble learning to bend?  Hehe!

He also found out where I keep the feed.  Here is his hopeful, "Are you gonna feed me?" look!  So cute!

 And one of him grazing out in our yard (which is fully fenced).  The white on his leg is diaper rash ointment for his itchy spots.  Oh and those vines behind him are our grapes!!!  We are going to have hundreds this year!  Oh and the little tree beside him is our cherry tree.  He started to use it as a scratching post, but I yelled at him and he stopped lol.

I think the neem oil is already making him feel better.  Since he only has one sore on his shoulder right now I'll be curious to see if it can keep him from breaking out in full blown sweet itch this year.  Fingers crossed!  That will be the true test.  I also made some fly spray out of Avon Skin So Soft, Vinegar and water.  It's working pretty well so far, although I have to be careful about using it on sunny days since it's an oil it can burn.  I'm going to put Citronella oil in it next time.  :D  I'll let you know how it works.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Chrome and I have something in common.... we are both itchy!!!!!  Actually poor Jackal (my Beagle/Mountain Cur dog) has that in common with us too.  The ticks are horrible this year because for once we aren't having a drought this spring.  The ticks are bothering me and Jackal, but poor Chrome's issue is with those blasted gnats!!!!!!!!  The gnats that cause sweet itch.  Yeah it's already coming back and it's not even June yet.  Normally he doesn't have a problem until August.

His legs have been scabby and itchy for a while, but I thought it was ticks, so I was just putting medicine on them.  I'm wondering now if it isn't also from the gnats.... not sure.  All I know is that he chews them raw, so I'm putting diaper rash ointment (zinc oxide) on his sores because it helps healing, protects from the flies, prevents fungus and he also hates the taste so it's helping stop him from chewing.  The only problem is once he gets it in his mouth he can't get it out!!  You know that motion horses make with their mouth when they accidentally pick up a leaf or grass roots?  Yeah he keeps doing that.  He tried getting a drink and eating hay, but that stuff is hard to get off.  I think he finally got used to is because he went back to eating hay.  If he does it again I was thinking about rinsing his mouth with a hose, but that stuff is so waterproof I don't know if it would help.  Once thing that worries me is whether it is poisonous or not.  Is zinc oxide poisonous if they lick it?  Anyone who uses diaper rash ointment for scratches have any opinions or advice on that??

So since he's getting bumps on his shoulders I'm doing his neem oil again like last year.  I probably should have started sooner, but I didn't realize they would come out so soon.  I caught it with only one raw bump though so I'm hoping it helps prevent the mess we had last year.  I'm also considering oral antihistamines again.  I just have to go back to the posts last year because I forgot what kind was suggested lol.

Anyway sorry for not posting in a few days.  My dad and husband have had a few days off and we've been working our butts off on building our house.  We're finally putting up sheet rock!!  I'm so excited!  I can't wait to move in.  :D  I also haven't ridden Chrome either because I'm so tired and sore at the end of the day. We quit early today so I'm hoping I feel up to a ride tomorrow after taking a break.  My allergies have hit me hard again so we shall see.  :)  I hope you guys are all having fabulous weather and that you're getting to ride your beautiful horses!!!!

ETA:  Pictures of my itchy boy.

 Ahhh!!!!! He only has two legs!!!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ride 31 - My friend took pictures. :D

One of my friends came over and took pictures of me riding Chrome.  :D  We didn't really work on anything other than standing around and posing for about 25 minutes.  I did some trotting too because I wanted videos (which she hasn't sent to me yet), but I did get to see them.  When I first asked him to trot he leaped forward into a trot and dropped his head.  I said "Eh eh eh!" because I thought he was crowhopping or misbehaving, but after watching the video I realized he wasn't misbehaving and was just trotting really big!  I wish I hadn't scolded him!  This is why I can't wait to start taking lessons lol.  I need eyes on the ground.

Also I wanted to mention that if reading about every single ride is boring you really don't have to read them lol.  I just want to post them for my records.  :D  Here are the rest of the pictures.

A favorite past time, chewing on my shoes!

He still looks immature in this one.  The angle makes his haunches look tiny! 

 One of us walking.  I like this one even though he looks butt high.  :)

This is the wisteria I mentioned in my last post.  The trellis is made out of half a trampoline frame. 

 Posing by the pretty flowers.

This is the log we trotted over the other day.  We walk over it as much as possible because it makes him pick up his feet.

And my favorite of the bunch.  Isn't he so handsome?!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chrome's Fourth Birthday and Ride 30!! (Lots of Pictures!!)

First, you might have noticed in the title that this is a picture heavy post.... well I have to admit I did not take a single pictures today, so I'm actually going to share some of my favorite pictures of Chrome instead.  Today was his fourth birthday and sadly I didn't get to spend hardly any time with him at all.  It was a busy, stressful day.... officially a crappy weekend lol.  I did get to ride him though right at dusk so that totally made my day, because we had a lot of fun!

Did any of you notice that today was our thirtieth ride?  Yep it took me exactly a whole year to put thirty rides on my horse LOL!!!  :D  I bet when I said I was taking it slow so he could keep growing you didn't think I meant that slow huh?  I'm happy with where we are and what we've done though.  I gave him time to mature mentally too.  He's grown a lot mentally in the last year.

So anyway, on to today's ride.  I only rode for fifteen minutes because I was very tired and my allergies have been very bad today.  To make it interesting I decided to do some "obstacles" around the yard, some we've done before, some we haven't, and my husband playfully scored us hehe.  The obstacles included things like walking over logs, rocks, culverts, walking through water, hindquarter yields and trotting up and down the driveway without breaking into a walk at all.  We've done all of those before (well he hasn't stepped over the  rocks before, they are big ones sitting on edge making a border), but we added some new ones, such as walking under the Wisteria which is hanging on half of a trampoline frame standing up, so it's like a flower covered archway.  We also walked between our grapes and blackberries that are on trellises (it was very narrow, the plants were touching us from both sides).  Also we trotted over one of the fallen trees for the first time (we've always walked)!  It's only about ten inches high, but he sort of hopped.  Not really a jump, but it was still fun.  The second time he trotted over without even breaking stride.  :)

The last obstacle was totally the best one ever!  We have two plum trees growing near the pasture and our dumb chickens have decided they like roosting in it instead of going into their hen house at night, soooo..... I parked Chrome near the tree and my husband spooked the chickens so they flew right over us!!  Chrome's head popped up, but he never moved!  He's such a good boy!!!!!  I knew he would do awesome because he's used to ducks (we have close to twenty Muscovy ducks) flying around over his head every day.  :)  He didn't know the chickens were up there though so it surprised him, but he did great.  I love this horse!!  So it was a short but fun ride.  Oh and my husband gave us a score of 100 or better for all obstacles and we earned bonus points for doing things twice or goofing off lol.  I didn't tally our score but it was probably somewhere around one hundred kabillion points.  :D

Now I want to share some fun pictures showing how much Chrome has grown in the last four years....

First Chrome standing by my corral panels at six months old.....

And Chrome standing by those same panels now!

 Chrome standing next to donkey (and those same panels but they are raised up on a rock in this shot) when he was eight months old and Zep was almost three.

And Chrome next to Zep now!  Zep has grown too.  :)

 Chrome's star at ten months old.

 Chrome's star now.  :)

And now, for fun, here are pictures of most of his rides so far!  I don't have pictures from all of them.

Our First Ride


Ride Three

Yes I know I don't have a helmet.  I did it for the pictures, but as you can see I wore a helmet in all the other rides.  :)

Ride Four

Ride Nine

Ride Ten

Ride Eleven

On the road for the first time.

Ride Twelve

Ride Fourteen

Ride Fifteen

Ride Seventeen

Ride Twenty

Ride Twenty Two

Second ride on the road (first time at our new home).

Ride Twenty Four

Ride Twenty Five

Ride Twenty Nine

And just because I want to bog your computers/internet down even worse here are a few more of my favorite pictures of him.  :D

Anyway I could go on and on but I better stop before I crash your computer.  :)  Happy Birthday Chrome!!!!

P.S.  Look at how much his color has changed!!

May 2012

May 2013