Thursday, July 30, 2015

Escape Down Under Giveaway

I have to make this quick or I'm going to be late for work, but I wanted to share about this giveaway. There's only eleven and a half hours left so don't wait to enter!  The author is HY Hanna, better known as Hsin-Yi from the Big Honey Dog blog where she wrote about her Great Dane Honey.  I've been following her blog since 2008 or 2009.  She's an awesome blogger, dog owner and trainer and now author!  I've loved every single one of her books that I've read so far.  I'll be doing a review on this book when I finish it in a couple of days on my other blog.  To enter go here (

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Transformation Tuesday

 Chrome loves his salt on a rope.  :D

This is the first Transformation Tuesday post that I think I've ever done.  I don't remember ever doing one anyway.  I was looking back through the blog and found a picture of Chrome wearing my AP saddle as a two year old and thought it would be really cool to get pictures of him wearing it now as a comparison for how much he's changed.  The biggest change is that the girth doesn't fit!!  So I just sat it on his back for the pictures.  :)

Click the picture to make it larger.

That's four years apart.  :)  I haven't ever ridden him in this saddle because it's too small for me.  I keep meaning to sell it, but I always forget.  I'm kind of glad I didn't now!  Can you believe some people ride two year olds??  Look at how tiny and undeveloped he was!!

Here are the rest of the pictures I took yesterday.

I think I hung his salt too high.  I just didn't want him poking an eye out on the hook.  I'll use another piece of rope to lower it next time.

 He zones out while licking salt.  So cute!

Here are the rest of the pictures of him wearing the saddle.

 He's so gorgeous and yes I'm totally biased hehe.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hoof Update

Sorry I haven't posted this weekend.  I had to work yesterday and I've had a horrible sinus headache all day today, so this will just be a quick update.

The horses just got their trims and are looking good.  Rocky has been trotting and cantering in the pasture with no limping.  He was able to keep weight on his hooves for the entire trim instead of fighting to get his weight off of them.  When she brought his front hooves back he still jerked them away and struck forward, so that's a behavioral thing we will have to work on.  When his leg was forward and sitting on the jack he stood just fine the whole time.  He didn't fight at all with his rear hooves.  Weird.  With hubby's shoulder messed up he can't do too much, but I'll try to do some clicker training with him on holding his front legs up, building the duration very slowly.  I'm thinking it shouldn't take long before he realizes it isn't going to hurt anymore and stops trying to do that.

Sorry if this makes no sense.  I'm probably rambling because of the headache.  I'll try to update again tomorrow.  Oh and we measured Chrome again just to see how tall he is after a fresh trim and he's still 15.2hh.  He looks taller, but it's probably just because Rocky is shorter than he is lol.  :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lily Recovery Fund

A fellow blogger needs help. Her horse was injured in a freak accident and had to have surgery. A friend set up a gofundme for Lily so if you can spare a couple of dollars I know she would appreciate any donation no matter how small. You can donate here.

Sorry for the short post. I'm sneaking this in at work (shh don't tell). This will make almost fifty hours this week and I don't even get paid overtime ugh!! Sorry it took me so long to share this and sorry I've been so quiet on the blog!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chrome's New Trick! Video!

I taught Chrome to give me kisses!! In one session!

I haven't done any clicker training in a couple of years with Chrome, but I've been wanting to get back into it because we both miss it.  Since his ear is healed enough to put a halter on him I decided to work on kisses today (I have to take him out of the pasture for training because of Rocky).  Since I haven't used the clicker with him in so long I asked him to do a couple of old tricks and clicked him for them.  He got so excited he started offering all of his tricks.  I finally had to click him for doing nothing just to get him calmed down enough to learn something new.  I love clicker training!!  Being able to click a dog or horse for doing nothing is so awesome!

I started out having him target my hand and then tried moving my hand closer to my face, but he was confusing it with his cue to smile, so it wasn't working.  After about five or ten minutes I got frustrated and walked away.  After thinking for a few minutes I went back to him, bowed toward him with my hands behind my back and waited.  He tried turning his head away, lowering his head, smiling, etc.  When he finally held his nose still near my face I blew into his nostrils.  His ears popped forward and he reached out to touch my face.  I clicked him for that a couple of times and then started making kissing noises as the cue.  That's where the video starts.

Sorry I didn't get the earlier stuff on video.  I honestly never expected to get such great results in our first session!!  Isn't he so cute??  He was making such great progress with it I was able to increase the criteria in the first session.  By the end he was standing still (except the one time where I accidentally clicked him for moving), with his neck stretched out and his ears forward!  With clicker training you have to be careful with what you're rewarding.  You can be so focused on one thing that you don't notice other things.  So if he'd offered him nose, but had been pawing or had his ears pinned and I clicked then he would learn that I wanted him to do all of those things, not just stick his nose out.  So I have to be careful to only click when he offers his nose while standing still with his ears forward.  :)
That's also how a lot of people end up with geldings that are always dropped (or even have erections, which give us clicker trainers a bad image in my opinion) while clicker training.  They are so focused on the trick they don't notice he's dropped.  When I first started clicker training Chrome if he dropped I would ask him to back up and would only resume training when it was up.  I know being dropped is a sign of relaxation, but I don't want him doing that every time we're training or showing off tricks, so I specifically made it one of my criteria.  Anyway sorry for going off on a tangent!

For those of you who can't watch videos, here are a few more screenshots.

I love my boy!!  I'm going to teach him to give hugs next, then try again to teach him to nod his head yes.  I had trouble with that one years ago, but I'll try again.  Eventually I would love to teach him to bow, but that's going to be hard.  I tried it today just to see what he would do and he's so flexible he can get his head between his legs without leaning back so luring isn't going to work.  I'll probably just have to break it down and shape it with the clicker.  I hope I can find the patience for that haha!!

So what do you think of his new trick??

Friday, July 17, 2015

Why I'm so quiet.

I hate that I don't have time to read blogs or write in my blog anymore.  :(  The reason is because my boss was injured so I'm working open to close now.  So my schedule on workdays is...

6am:  Wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, take care of animals, prepare lunch, drive to work.
8am:  Get to work.
6pm:  Get home.  Take care of animals, shower, swap laundry and prep for the next day's load, prepare supper.
7pm:  Eat.  Spend some time checking email, Facebook, etc.  Try not to fall asleep at my computer.
8pm:  Go to bed to read.
9pm-10pm:  Fall asleep at some point between 9 and 10 (sometimes later which leads to a really bad day).  If I don't get at least eight hours I am miserable, moody, unproductive and unhappy...  Annoying!

So even during the hour that I'm on the computer I can't concentrate to do anything because I'm so tired (getting my thyroid levels rechecked because that may have something to do with my fatigue, but it could also be that I'm just NOT a morning person).  I tried several times last week to write this post (that I'm actually writing on Saturday, but back posting to Friday), but every time I sat down to do it I just zoned out and couldn't concentrate.

On my days off I sleep in (I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it!!  Sleeping in is only until eight or nine).  Then I get up, take care of animals and eat.  At that point I usually go outside to help dad and hubby with yard work, mowing, weedeating, brush hogging pasture, pruning fruit trees, watering the garden, picking up sticks (with all the storms we had this spring there are trees and limbs down everywhere.. having a five acre yard is a lot of maintenance), etc.  There's always other stuff to do like last weekend I pressure washed my car, hubby's car and dad's truck and used the carpet cleaner in dad's boat.  Moving gravel to low spots.  Sorting through our stuff that was in the storage building.  Putting out hay.  Always lots of stuff to do!

On weekends when my dad works I do minimum yard work like mowing (yes every week), then we work inside trying to finish the house.  We still have trim and doors to paint, need to hang a door over the plumbing closet, put up the scribe molding in the kitchen, etc.  The weekend of July 4th we had a running toilet we had to fix, a leaking sink drain and sagging shelves that needed fixed.  Oh and a flat tire.  There was something else, but I can't remember what it was now.

I think if I had better time management skills I could probably fit more into my schedule, but for now this works.  I miss reading all of your blogs though!!  I miss riding my horse (well haven't been able to because of his cut ear and Rocky's because of his feet)!  I miss taking pictures, blogging, drawing, etc.  I am at least still finding time to read so I'm keeping up with my challenge.  I'd hate to cut out any of my reading time because that's my down time.  Maybe when I finish my reading challenge (you can see more about that on my other blog here) I will be able to read blogs again instead of books lol.  So I'm not ignoring you guys.  I'm just busy!  Sorry for this boring post!  I hope I haven't lost all of my readers!

P.S.  I forgot to mention that hubby fell at work and tore his rotator cuff so he is one armed (luckily not his dominant one) armed right now... I'm just thankful work is paying for it because I don't know what we would have done if it had happened at home!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Picture Spam

Nothing new is going on with the horses, so I'll just share a bunch of random pictures.  :)

 This is the first apple he's had since we learned he had laminitis.
He really shouldn't have them...

 ... it's so hard to say no though!

 Such a soft expression.

 King of side eye!

 Chrome watching hubby dig up dirt and grass samples to get tested.

 He was so curious about the shovel and bucket, 
but the flies were driving him crazy so he stayed near me.

 More side eye!  So cute!

 I noticed Rocky dropped his apple, so I gave it to him.  
Chrome heard him chewing and gave him this look.

Rocky is not locked up by the way.  He just likes to stand in that shady spot in the round pen.  The round pen is left open.

 Zep was curious and came to see what I was doing.

Love his mohawk!

 Then Rocky got curious why I was kneeling down and taking pictures, so he came to see me.

 Then made a bunch of silly faces!

 New favorite Rocky picture!!

 So silly!

 Zep looks so handsome in his summer coat.

 A profile shot.

 Some artsy shots showing his beautiful markings.

 Love his barring.

 As well as his shoulder cross.

 I kind of like how the leaves got in the way.  :)

 Finally Rocky couldn't take it anymore and chased Chrome out of the shade.

 They just had to see what hubby was doing with that shovel and bucket.

 More side eye.  :)

 What is this bucket??

 Can I eat it?

 Will it eat me??  Chrome was being a dork.

 I love black and white photos of Chrome!

 Then Zep and his posse followed.  

Hubby said to imagine the goats wearing numerous, heavy gold chains and necklaces around their necks..... gangsta goats!

 Another black and white.  Love this!  Aren't brown goat's horns impressive??

 Van Gogh's ear looks much better.  Still can't ride though.

 The goats have stripped these saplings of leaves.  Good boys!!

 Donkey silhouette!!  Love!!!

 Nose tickles!

 So handsome! 

I wish his summer coat lasted longer, but it seems like he barely finishes shedding before he starts growing in a new one!  That's one reason I wanted to get all of these pictures.

 He loves his peppermint scented Jolly ball!  New favorite Zep picture!

 Then Rocky was curious about it.

 When Rocky went back to grazing, Zep started nibbling on him.  Cute!

 Finally my boy going for a swim to cool off while Rocky grazes nearby.

Sorry for the picture overload! I had no idea there were that many until I'd already started uploading them hehe.  I hope you enjoyed them!