Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Chrome Ride 144 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 30

I rode bareback with just Chrome's halter, for only twenty minutes.  I felt kind of off balance like the smallest of turns had me grabbing for mane (neck... he has no mane lol) that normally wouldn't throw me off balance.  My ears have been hurting so I may be getting an ear infection.  So I didn't ride for long.  We just wandered around the property at a walk.

 He still looks for the neighbor horses.

Exploring a path through the trees that hubby and dad made over the weekend.  Chrome thought that was super exciting lol.

I worked on backing with him a little bit.  He started out very resistant, but then he realized his leg wasn't going to get stuck so he dropped his head and backed four or five steps very easily, so I praised him big time and jumped off.  Not much to write about lol.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Chrome Ride 143 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 29

 Head in the clouds because he saw dad and hubby up ahead.

I rode Chrome up and down the road while dad and hubby mowed ditches.  I ended up riding 2.27 miles because I went one way up the road, then turned around and went the other way and then turned and came back.  The ride was fifty one minutes because the green headed flies were out (super painful bite) and Chrome was being absolutely awful because of them.  He was being really balky and tried to turn back home a lot.  I can't really blame him because those things do hurt and fly spray doesn't stop them, but it was so annoying and frustrating that he was acting so bad.  The weird thing is that it was at 8:15 this morning that we were riding.  I never would have guessed the flies would be out so bad that early.

Walking up the driveway.

I eventually got so irritated with the flies and balking that I had him trot.  I've "out run" flies before.  It actually works.  The first time it went great.  When we went the other way he did not want to go!  He was so good during the first part of the ride that I almost wished I hadn't gone the second direction, but he has to learn that passing up home isn't an excuse to balk.  We were also riding alongside the neighbor's pasture where the horses used to be so he was balking because of that too.  I can't wait for him to realize they are gone.....

I continued smacking flies off of him when they were within reach and I guess I eventually managed to kill enough of them that he started calmly walking away from home.  Since he was acting so good after all of our fighting I turned him around and we walked home.

We did quite a bit of trotting, but we definitely weren't breaking the speed limit since he was going sideways half the time....

This is actually once we'd gotten back home.  You can see hubby at the top left where Chrome is staring.  Yep after fifteen years of living out here they finally put up a speed limit sign haha.  When I first started driving these roads were gravel and there were no stop signs anywhere lol.  Totally freaked my city friends out!

So I'm not going to be upset with him... he had a good excuse.  He was a good boy in the beginning and the end and that's all the matters.  When we got home I pulled his saddle off, held it on my hip with one hand, then undid his bridle with my left hand and let him trot off into the yard to graze hehe.  He's so easy to untack and I love that our whole property is fenced so I don't have to worry about him running off.  I doused him with some more fly spray before I put him up.

 A selfie of both of us during one of our calmer moments.. 
I may be obsessed with my new phone lol.

 I love his shadow.

There is one other story I have to tell you about the ride.  We were on our way home at the end of the ride, approaching a ninety degree turn.  We have to turn left to go home, but in the middle of the curve to the left is a dead end road that goes off back into the trees (there are a bunch of horses down there too, including a stallion, so we don't go down that road).  Right before this turn is the junk lady's house I've told you about before and there is a lot to stare at.  There was a loud rattle (sounded like a trailer going through a pot hole) and Chrome jumped.  We stopped halfway in the curve on the inside of the road and stared at the dead end road.  (ETA: He did spook one other time earlier in the ride.  It was an "in place/drop the shoulder" kind of spook at who knows what in the trees by the road.)

What finally came into view was a HUGE boat on a trailer!!  This was not a normal bass boat or ski boat like you see in our neck of the woods.  It was a big cabin cruiser type of boat that was well over my head even from Chrome's back.  They were backing it into the 90 degree curve!!  So we stood there and watched him backing the boat up.  When the truck finally came into view (bunch of brush and trees blocked our view so it was appearing out of nowhere to Chrome) the driver slammed on the brakes when he saw us.  He had no idea there was someone on a horse behind him.

I didn't want to turn Chrome away because he was staring at it really hard.  I was afraid if I turned him away he would think I wanted to escape.  So I held my ground and waved at the guy to keep backing up.  He kept backing, turning it hard to the left toward us since he was wanting to go the same way we were going.  Chrome held his ground as this enormous boat loomed over us.  It to within ten feet of us before he drove forward and turned down the road.  A kid rolled down the window and waved very excitedly at me and gave me the thumbs up (probably thanking me for waving them back).  I was so proud of Chrome!  As soon as it started to drive away he started following it and even tried to trot hehe.  Love my brave boy!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

New Electronic Toys!

I finally got a smart phone!!  I've actually never had one, believe it or not.  I always just used hubby's work phone for stuff or I used my tablet at home with my wifi.  I finally decided I was sick of not having my own, so I went ahead and upgraded to one.  It's nothing too special, just a Motorola Moto E 1st Gen, but it was cheap and it works well enough for what I need (although the limited space on the phone is annoying after getting used to hubby's super expensive work phone...).  All of the pictures in this post were taken with my new phone and are unedited (except for one, I'll say which one).  I'm so excited!  It will now be much easier to keep Instagram updated hehe.

 Rocky is so shiny!!!

 My sun dappled gray hehe.

They would obviously be better if they were edited, but for no editing and being cell phone pictures I like them!

Such great color!

 The one of OrangeJello is the only edited one. I posted it on IG.

My other toy is in the below pictures, on my wrist....

SnapChat picture I sent to a friend.  The hawks raised babies in our yard again this year!
I saw the parents carry two snakes to the baby.  :D

It's a FitBit Flex that my hubby surprised me with (they are on a really good sale somewhere).  This isn't the one that monitors heart rate, but I don't care because I already have a heart rate monitor.  My favorite thing about it is that it tracks sleep patterns!

Some of you may not know that I struggle with insomnia off and on.  This will be an interesting way to track my sleep patterns.  I've always known I toss and turn, but it was a big surprise seeing this.  I spent 44 minutes awake and/or tossing and turning last night!  When you subtract 44 minutes from the 6 hours and 29 minutes that I had it running that is not a lot of sleep.  It's no wonder I'm so tired all of the time!  I'm looking forward to seeing if I can find some patterns to when I have trouble sleeping and find out why.

I'm using the FitBit app along with the MyFitnessPal.  They work well together to track all sorts of interesting things.  In the MyFitnessPal I can scan the barcodes on things I eat (and manually enter homemade stuff) to keep track of protein/fat/calories/etc. as well as nutrients like iron!  Very interesting.  :)  It allows me to set goals with reminders too and it tracks my progress so it really helps keep me motivated.

Enough on all of that.  I didn't get to ride all week because it has been raining and raining and raining and raining and work has been super stressful with people being out sick and on vacation.  We've been so shorthanded we skip our breaks and only take half our lunch break and still don't get everything done.  The good news is that it makes the week go by quick haha.

It actually didn't rain today so I should have ridden, but I was so busy and so distracted with my awesome new phone that I didn't.  Oops.  Good thing it's a long weekend!  I'm going to try to ride tomorrow and take pictures with my new phone lol.

Anyway sorry for going off topic and probably sounding like a technology spoiled/addicted brat haha.  It will wear off soon.  One of the main reasons I wanted a smart phone to be honest is because my new job has an electronic clocking in system with an app available for smart phones.  I couldn't use it with my old (not smart) phone so I was having to clock in on their slow computer.  Now I can clock in so much more easily and I don't have to enter my password on a shared computer. So I did have a reason that nudged me into making the decision after years and years of resisting it.  :)

I hope you all are having great weather and awesome rides!  If you feel like sharing, I would love to know what your favorite piece of technology is.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Chrome Ride 142 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 28 - Rocky Ride 14

 NuzMuz, Jackal was posing with Chrome just for you.  :D

Chrome, Rocky, Hubby and I went for a fun ride today!  We started out on the road and then when we got back home I did some cantering on him again.  It was awesome!  He moves so much better at the canter after a really long warm up.  There is video further down in the post, plus screenshots for those of you who can't watch videos.

I thought Rocky was walking weird, so I had hubby trot him out and Chrome was watching, so alert, but with his hoof resting lol.

When they got out of sight up the driveway he started pawing lol.
Luckily he only did it once or twice and then he stood still again...
well after trying to use the tree to pull his halter over his ear... 
he's getting really good at that...........

Rocky was fine so we tacked up and headed off down the road.  We went a total of 3.20 miles and the part of the ride on the road was an hour and ten minutes.  My total ride on Chrome was an hour and twenty eight minutes.  There was a bit of trying to turn around and balking going on at first.  Ugh!  We also stopped to talk to a neighbor who drove by.

Chrome started out being really annoying.  Part of the problem is that he was looking for the neighbor horses, but they aren't there anymore.... I don't remember if I mentioned it, but neighbor girl B had to move her horses so my riding buddy is gone.  :(  Chrome doesn't know they are gone though.  It was so funny because when we passed the open gate he tried to turn in.  He really wanted to go in and look for them.

Taking pictures of hubby taking pictures hehe.
Rocky is soooo black and shiny right now!  Love it!

Eventually they stopped being so annoying and started walking out.  Rocky always starts out trying to turn around because he's barn sour, but he really wasn't as bad as he used to be.  Chrome being a butt was causing Rocky to try to turn more than he would have if Chrome hadn't been weaving back and forth across the road.  Chrome's problem was looking for the horses.  I'm hoping once he realizes they are gone he will chill out!  We actually only saw a couple of horses today even though we rode around the block and they were at a distance so he didn't act stupid.  It was so nice!  I kind of wish more people would move their horses away or that they would always be in the backs of their pastures lol.

His neck looks so thick because he had it arched.

When we cut across the field at the halfway point they both were a lot more eager and happily moving along.  Sometimes I wonder if the pavement bothers them both a little.... maybe I should get boots.  I just don't know if boots will fit Rocky's weird twisted pigeon toed hoof....  Part of it was probably because the field is novel to them both.  They so rarely get to go there.  I LOVED it!!  It is so much more fun to ride out across a field than it is to be on a paved road.

Oh I almost forgot to mention.  I opened and closed the gate from Chrome's back both when we left and when we got home!!!!  Hubby and Rocky had to help though because Chrome doesn't neck rein or sidepass.  Opening it was easy, but closing it isn't because it swings away, so I positioned him where I could reach the latch and hubby swung the gate to us.  It worked well.  Such good teamwork!

He arched his neck again looking down at the tall stuff we walked through.
It makes his neck look weird lol.

Both horses in the field.
I have to get pictures of Rocky.  
He is SO black and SO shiny!

Yay hubby got a picture of me riding Chrome through the field.
He took others but they were really blurry (worse than this one) for some reason.

Hoses on a tupperware tub!  Scary!!

There were several things that spooked the horses a bit.  One was the hose up above.  There was two other tubs several feet over back in the brush that he couldn't see very well so it had him freaked out.  He would not approach it at first until Rocky walked toward it.  Then he walked right up to it, as you can see above.  He was so puffed up though.  Once he was satisfied it wasn't a monster he turned away and pooped next to it haha.

The other things were deer in the woods (they didn't spook, just paused and stared up the hill) and geese!  The geese were a totally different story.  We were walking down the road on the way home and on our left side was a fence absolutely covered in brush, so they couldn't see anything on that side.  Up ahead there is a driveway and pasture on the left and two Canada geese with their babies came out onto the road.  Rocky spooked, but Chrome didn't notice them at first.

They turned back, but then finally crossed the road.  Chrome finally saw them and stared at them, walking forward eagerly until they disappeared in the tall grass on the other side of the road.  It's like once they were in the grass and all he could see was their little heads it flipped him out!  It felt like he was going to turn and bolt.  It took forever to convince them both to walk forward again.

When Chrome got to the driveway where they were originally before crossing, he was staring around the corner and when he drew even with it he tried to bolt.  He didn't make it more than a stride at a trot before I got him stopped.  I was laughing so hard I can't believe I didn't fall out of the saddle.  He did some prancing, but eventually got over it.  I'm so happy that his spookiness and prancing don't scare me anymore!  It's such a huge breakthrough for me with the whole stupid fear crap.

Like hubby said earlier Chrome has a lot of potential and the only thing holding him back is me.  He's right.  It's always been me that's held him back.  I don't care though.  You can't just rush through fear.  I had to have good experiences with him and learn what his reactions to fear are before I could be comfortable.  Now that I know the worst he is going to do is bolt (and that I can stop them easily) I can be more confident about riding him through his shenanigans.  :)

It's really funny though what bothers him and what doesn't.  They were eating hay in the pasture yesterday and I was mowing the fence rows and around the barn with my push mower where hubby can't get to with the bush hog.  I was mowing right behind Chrome and he didn't care!  In fact when I got too close to Rocky he left, but Chrome didn't.  :D

Hubby selfie with me in the background with my wrist looking broken haha.

Love Rocky's thick neck and shiny mane!

Anyway sorry for all the rambling.  When we got home hubby got off, but I spent another eighteen minutes riding.  Around ten minutes of that was spent trotting and cantering!  That's probably the longest I've trotted and definitely the longest I've cantered him at one time.  :D

Here is the video.  It shows a bunch of canter clips and some trot and walk ones.  I LOVE how he can canter around and then immediately walk around on the buckle.  :D  There's a surprise at the end....

Don't worry I have screenshots for people who can't watch videos.  They actually didn't turn out as good as the last ones, which surprised me.  I think there were several reasons for that.  One is that the sun was shining and where it came through the trees it made Chrome really bright.  Another is that hubby was further back.  The last thing is that I told him to just hold the phone still instead of following me with it because I thought that would make them less blurry.  It made the background less blurry, but not us!  Oops!  I got it all mixed up in my head haha.  Anyway here are the screenshots.  Please ignore my slouching and crappy riding.  I wasn't paying any attention to my posture at all.

 Look how stretched out he was!  I wish the sun hadn't been so bright on him in this one. 

 Then he walks on the buckle.  :D 

 No hands!  My arms were out straight.  This was right before he started cantering.

Cantering with no hands!!!!!!  So exciting!
I've come a long way from the person who was terrified to canter.  :D

Just ignore my crouching forward.  Apparently I think having no hands on the reins is going to mess up my balance haha.  I seriously need a longe line lesson to work on my seat with no hands.... bad!

That's all for today!  Sorry it was so long.  I hope you enjoyed all of the pictures.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday Chrome!!!!! Chrome Ride 141 - 100 Ride Challenge Ride 27

Today was this gorgeous boy's seventh birthday!!!  How is he seven already??  Time flies when you're having fun I guess.  :D  After I got off work I rushed to ride because there was rain coming.  It was getting dark outside so these pictures are awful.  I sooooo can't wait to get a real camera again.  These cell phone pictures are killing me!

I held a peppermint in one hand and a sugar cube in the other hand and let Chrome choose which one he liked best.... he chose peppermint!  He then immediately scarfed the sugar cube too, obviously!

 Hubby caught Jackal with his tongue out hehe.

The weird lighting makes him look flea bitten in some pictures.  
I wish the sun had been out for his birthday...

 Kisses for the birthday boy!!  Hubby caught the photo right before we made contact lol.

I only rode around the yard for twenty four minutes.  We did lots of cantering though!! He was loving it!!  The pictures are horribly blurry because they are cell phone pictures....

 Warmed up at a walk first of course.  His stifles were good for the whole ride.

 The neighbors are always interesting...

 Then we did some trotting.  He was jumping into the trot!
It catches me off guard at first when he's so energetic (sugar high??).

I eventually settle into his rhythm though.

Then we cantered!  A lot!

I still get tense at the canter, but I didn't jerk his face off when he ducked his head and he didn't crowhop so we both did great hehe.  He was such a good boy and you could tell he was having so much fun.  I'll try to get better pictures on a sunny day for you guys.  These were the only good ones that weren't too horribly blurry.

We did more trotting.

 I love that he can go from trotting and cantering straight to a loose rein. :D

 Look at how much he's changed in four years!!!!!
My hair has grown a lot in four years too lol.
He was in full blown FFA mode in the picture from today....

 ...because he saw the hay tarps that we moved hehe.

 These last two pictures are so cute because he's like "what is that????" 
and then "oh yeah it's the tarps".  Silly boy!!

Sorry the pictures suck, but I had to share since it's his birthday.  :D