Monday, August 31, 2015

Chrome Ride 110 - Also FlipBelt

 Dapples!  Love!

I got a FlipBelt months ago, but this was my first time to try it (yeah I haven't ridden in a long time....).  I learned about the FlipBelt on a blog, but I forgot who it was..  Here is the website.  I actually ordered mine on Amazon.  It can be worn with any clothes.  You don't have to have belt loops or anything.  You can fit quite a lot in it (even iPhones) and it can be flipped inside out so that nothing can fall out.  There is more info on the website if you're interested.

Here is mine.  Of course I ordered blue.  :D

My experience with it has been really great!  The sizing was correct (I was skeptical).  It's very comfortable.  My phone and little Samsung point and shoot camera fit in it.  For trail rides I will easily be able to fit my ID and keys (if I need them)!  I completely forgot I was wearing it.  It does not slide down either, even when I jump up and down.  It's easy to take my phone out one handed and it's possible to get it back in one-handed, but not as easy as taking it out one handed.  I'm definitely a fan!

I took Chrome for a short ride (23 minutes) around the yard.  His stifles have been locking up a lot, so I need to get him back in shape and I really have to get the baby weight off of him (it's a colt by the way, gray and he's a great mom... haha).  The weight is hard on his stifles.

 Look at that belly!  I still think he looks pregnant.

He was a good boy.  We spent the first ten minutes walking around the yard, just checking everything out.

He made eyeballs at the pile of pallets (storing up for our winter hay), but was more interested in the horses across the street.

There's a huge top that fell out of a tree laying in the yard, so I walked him over it to work his stifles.  It was about knee height on Chrome.  On our last pass over it something spooked him and he lunged forward a few strides and then stopped.  Thanks for getting the blood pumping Chrome... thanks.

 Here you can see his scar from his Van Gogh experience.
That's just dirt and black hair.  The skin under it is smooth.
I forgot that grays show every cut and scrape with black hair.... :(

Then we trotted around for a few minutes, just to get him moving around.  I didn't want to overdo it because his stifle caught once while I was riding at the walk.  He was very lazy and reluctant, but he did what I asked without fussing.  Then I walked him over to the pasture to see the other horses.

 First Rocky had to give him a sniff.
He wasn't happy that Chrome was out without him.

 S was champing at Chrome!!

S hasn't done any submissive champing since he got here, until today.  I don't know if it's because we were outside the pasture or because he was tacked up or because I was on his back, but he was champing at him.  Then it's like he realized who it was and started biting him instead lol.

I reached out and pet his forehead and he didn't spook or anything. :)  Good S!

 My boy needs a haircut.

I was going to clean up his mohawk, but I got too hot.  Must remember not to wear synthetics when it's humid outside!

 I'm telling you I see dapples!!

The next two are funny...

 I untacked him and he didn't move at all.  :)

 He looks so muscular... weird considering how out of shape he is.

I think he's moving around a lot more since Rocky has been here.  I've gone out and seen Rocky just herding him around the pasture at a walk for absolutely no reason with no destination or purpose in mind... it's weird.

 S wanting some attention.

 I didn't realize until I uploaded this picture that both goats are doing the flehman haha!

 Chrome wasn't feeling sociable after our ride...

 I'm soooo exhausted... look... I sweated....

 My whole herd!

 Decided to try Rocky in black and white.  Looks good!!

 Had to try Zep too!  Cute!

The end!  Hehe.  S is so cute!

I was going to work with S again, but a friend asked me to come over and we ended up visiting for entirely too long lol.  So much to do and so little time to do it!  I'll just brush him when I go feed in a minute.  :)

P.S.  I completely forgot to mention.  I took Chrome's halter off, put his reins over his neck and was holding his bridle, trying to get the noseband untangled when he stuck his head in it and grabbed the bit out of midair.  I wasn't even asking him to put it on!!  He just snatched it up!  :D  Love this horse.

P.P.S. I also forgot to mention I worked on backing under saddle and he did great! I was getting several strides in a row with his head down and not bracing. :-D

Sunday, August 30, 2015

S's First Training Session

I let S settle in the first week, but today was his first session.  I mostly just wanted to see what he knows and what he doesn't.  I took a GoPro video, but I forgot to adjust it downward so you can't see much and it's really boring....  I decided to go ahead and post it though because it shows how he jerks away when I reach toward his head.  Before we go on, here is the crappy video.  You don't have to watch it.  I'll explain everything I did.

The first part of the video completely disappeared for some reason.  :\  I started out rubbing the whip all over him.  He was surprised at first, but quickly settled in and was fine with me touching him everywhere.  It's obviously been done with him before.  The only place he objected to was his poll and ears, so I put the whip on his poll and moved it around until he lowered his head and then removed it.  Only took a minute.

Then I walked him around the pen while I waved the whip around in front of me.  I let the lash hit the fence which surprised him at first, but he quickly got over it.  Then I swung the lash all over his body (I was holding it the first time I touched him with the whip).  Then I swung the rope all around his head.  He didn't like that.  His biggest objections all involve his face.  He was turning his face away from the rope, which made it difficult to swing it smoothly, so I switched to swinging the whip lash over his ears and letting it run across his face.  He settled down quickly.  :)

 He is so gorgeous!

At that point is where the video above starts.  I started rubbing him all over the face, making sure to move my arm to my side and reach up toward him each time, since the reaching for his face is what bothers him.  He settled quickly each time, but I kept moving around, changing my position, changing the angle, etc. for a thorough desensitization.  I was even touching his poll and ears easily.  :D  He loved when I scratched all under his halter.  I rubbed on both sides of his face at the same time while standing directly in front of him too.  I don't think it will take long for me to be able to take his halter off.  Tomorrow I'm going to practice putting the rope halter on and off over his other halter.

After that I decided to see if he could longe at all.  He went right out onto the circle and walked around me well.  He doesn't know how to whoa and he pulls on the halter just a little, but it wasn't bad at all!  It won't take much at all to tune him up, but I won't be doing much because I want to protect his young joints.  I just want him to know how so he is prepared when he goes to his new home.

I love how curious and sweet he is now that he's settled in well.  :)

 The only thing he really objected to was something touching his head hehe.

 So curious now and a lot more comfortable with me having my hands around his head.

 Chrome offering moral support.... by sleeping through the whole thing haha.

 Practicing longeing.  Good boy!!

 More longeing.  We only walked.

 Swinging the lash all over his body.

He was fine if I was doing it from his side, but if I was standing in front of him swinging the whip near his head he didn't like it.  He got used to it though.

I kept the session short.  The great thing is that when I turned him loose he didn't move away.  He went up to the brush sitting on the ground, sniffed it and pawed at it.  It was really cute.

 It's hard to tell, but the brush is in midair hehe.

After playing with the brush he walked over to where we were standing, sniffed hubby and the camera (we can thank awesome hubby for all the photos) all over and then walked three feet away to get a drink.

Then he had some salt.

On his first few days here he would not have drank with us standing right there.  Then hubby walked alongside him and patted S on the haunches as he walked by.  S never stopped licking the salt block.  :D

I give him an A+ for his first lesson!!  He's such a good boy and has remembered his training from a year and a half ago very well.  So proud of him!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

S Update

I just don't have time to update during the work week so I'm going to tell you about S's first week all in one post.  The place he was on before coming here was big and grassy so that's all he had to eat (one reason he's a tad thin) so he wasn't used to eating hay.  It took a couple of days (and me pulling off the outer layer) for him to finally decide he likes hay.  I didn't like the idea of him going without for those days so I let him have some of my nicer hay which he gobbled up.  I'm happy to say he now spends most of his time with his head buried in his bale of hay.  :D

I mentioned in the first update that I untangled his mane and that he was jumpy about the sound it made.  So I groomed him every day while he ate his ration balancer/fat supplement and now he's perfect for it.  I can groom him all over and he doesn't move away, flinch away or startle.  He's very leery about hands reaching toward him, especially his face, but he doesn't shift away anymore while I'm grooming him.  When I reach for his halter he still moves away slightly.  I need to work on that though because his halter is starting to rub the hair off his jaw and I just don't like leaving halters on them.  I'll probably work on that tomorrow.

So although he still doesn't like to be caught he is very curious and friendly now.  His Friesian personality is definitely shining through.

In fact it makes it hard to take pictures because he's always as close as he can get, reaching out to sniff me hehe.  That's not a white mark on his nose, it's a scrape from the trailer ride.  He must have bumped his nose.  I forgot to mention all of these pictures were taken today at dusk with a cell phone because I can't stand posting without pictures, but I didn't have time to take any during the week.  So they are random and don't have much relevance to the post (other than to show how cute he is) lol.

On Thursday he was limping.  I started to panic, but it wasn't bad and there was no heat/swelling, so I decided to watch it, since my farrier was planning to come out today anyway.  The foot he was limping on is the one he paws with and he's due for a trim and we have a lot of gumballs so I figured it was one or a combination of those things.  I'm happy to report that by today when the farrier saw him there was no limp at all.  :D

He did fabulous for his first trim with my farrier.  He picks his hooves up so easily (nice change from Rocky's resistance and Chrome's laziness).  He had some balance issues like all baby horses do when asked to stand on three legs, but with lots of breaks he did great.  I was very proud of him and he's not even my horse hehe.  I can't even claim credit for that.  She is going to come back in two weeks when the other boys are due and do some more on him.  She didn't want to push him too far his first time.  I love that she's all about making it a great experience for them!

Other than that the only change is that he has mildly loose stool.  I forgot that he's not used to getting grain/feed and I increased his fat supplement too quickly.  I'm impatient to see him with more weight, but I know slow and steady is important so I'm backing off on the supplement and I'll increase it a lot more slowly when his tummy straightens out.  The feed has probiotics and prebiotics, but I was thinking about getting him a tube of probios since this whole thing has been a huge change for him.  It will probably help straighten out his gut flora.

So all things considered it was a good week.  I'm hoping next week will go even better and be minus some of the negatives we've experienced this week.  I can tell you one thing though.  I'm loving working with a baby again!!!  I actually miss the days of working with Chrome during the pre-riding days.  It's something about being the one to share these brand new experiences with a young horse.. I don't know.  It's just fun and satisfying.  :D

Now I'll just leave you with some more pictures from tonight.  There are quite a few of Chrome because... well he's my boy and I love him!

 This kind of shows how tall S is.  Pretty sure my panels are five feet.  I'm going to see if hubby will help me measure him tomorrow since he's a lot calmer now.

 Droopy lip.  Shows how much more relaxed he is now.

 My boy looks good in black and white.

 Got carried away with the black and white.  Chrome was rubbing his nose on the fence and S is just looking cute.

 Just handsome isn't he??

Chrome's sweet itch is flaring up horribly and he's rubbing his mane and tail... might be time to cut his mane off again.  I was loving the mohawk so I'm kind of sad, but I don't like how it's bent over by his withers.  I'm doing his neem oil every night again, so hopefully the itching will subside soon.  I shouldn't have stopped using it, but I got lulled into complacency during the hot, dry weather I guess.  :\

 He's not crooked, he was resting a hoof.
Is it just me or is his butt getting dappled?? 

Rocky finally showed up to see what was going on.  He doesn't hang as close to S as Chrome does.  He's more interested in being boss than in comforting the newcomer.

I do have a Rocky story to share from last night.  I was fly spraying Chrome (with his neem) and hubby was scratching Rocky's itchy belly.  They were about six feet away from each other (I know too close out in the pasture, I wasn't thinking) and we weren't between them.  I don't think Rocky could see me on the other side of Chrome.  All of a sudden Chrome lunged at me.  I shoved my hand at him to push myself away, hyper-extending my wrist in the process, and stumbled backwards, almost over the fence into the goat pen.  Chrome bolted away without stepping on me thank goodness!  My first thought was that he spooked, but hubby told me Rocky went after him.  I was pissed!!!!

I'm all for letting horse settle their differences when they are out in the pasture alone, but it is NOT cool for them to put humans in danger.  Hubby chased Rocky off and I refused to feed him (we were in the area where Rocky normally eats so he was defending "his space").  Tonight when we fed I had hubby take Rocky's bucket waaaaaay far away from the gate (we had been feeding him right by the gate because he gets his food first) and then I fed Chrome and Zep.  I'm hoping that will convince Rocky that the gate is not his and he is not allowed to guard it.  Since then I've been keeping Rocky out of that area and not letting him get close to me and Chrome and keeping myself between them.  So far, so good.

To be honest Chrome is the first horse I've had that was the submissive horse.  All of my horses growing up were the herd bosses (my sister had the submissive ones for some reason, it just worked out that way) so I'm not used to having to guard my horse against the other horses.  I should have had more situational awareness and I won't be making that mistake again.  My wrist is feeling better today, so no lasting harm done luckily.

 S wants to be Rocky's friend.... Rocky doesn't lol.

 The rest of the herd.  Sorry they don't get as much attention.

 This sums up Rocky's opinion on the matter lol.

Well that about covers it.  Sorry it was so long.  I hate not getting to post more often, but this is better than nothing I hope.  I hope you all haven't bailed on me with my absences.  I'll try to post again tomorrow!