Sunday, January 30, 2011

The One Rein Stop

He can do it, all day every day, at walk and trot. Why does he forget what it means at the canter?

Bad Luck: Dumped on my Butt Twice in a Day

I really could have used one of these yesterday :(

Instead, I got dumped by Ivan twice yesterday. ONE of those incidents wasn't his fault. The other one was.

Check out that gnarly sucker, huh? Hurts like a SONOFABITCH! This one was from the spill that wasn't his fault. He's actually sore like I am right now.

OOOOUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHH... This one is on the inside of my right knee, towards the backside as you can see. This is when the left stirrup flopped over and hit me.

Another bruise from the other side of my knee, presumably from something I suppose I landed on...

Still doesn't quite compare to the other one, though, does it? I'm not showing a picture of the one on my ass. My dignity is a little too bruised to reveal that one.

Ok, the summary of the afternoon was that it started off really well... I showed up to ride Ivan. I lunged him for about fifteen minutes in side reins at walk/trot/canter, and he did GREAT. So I hopped on, rode for an hour, did a lot of walking, did a little bit of trotting, did a few circles of canter in each direction. The canter was rough, but that was partly due to being on such uneven terrain in our pastures. He did well, though, and improved with the second time we cantered.

Ivan the Wonderful turned into Ivan the Terrible when I asked for a canter the third time. Little Mr. Asshole started into it fine, was calm, easy, and then all the sudden when he came 1/4 of the way around our first circle, he caught side of the round pen with Brittany working Chance in it and HE SWITCHED GEARS! No warning, no nothing, just instant switch into go-Go-GO! mode. One rein stop DID NOT WORK! Little Mr. Asshole turned his head sideways and kept on trucking. Admittedly, I ride him in a loose ring snaffle, and that really doesn't have much whoa to it. However, he should be LISTENING AND OBEYING since he doesn't have a hard mouth. That definitely wasn't on his agenda. Anyway, longer story made shorter, he charged towards the round pen, went around to the left, almost smacked into the barn, cut right quickly (causing me to lose a stirrup), cut left quickly alongside the barn to avoid the tree (causing me to lose stirrup #2), then cut right quickly back towards the roundpen and I rolled off over the left side, landing on my bum and rolling back to smack my head (thank GOD I was wearing a helmet. After about 10 seconds of yelling, 30 seconds of low cursing, and 20 more seconds to quit shaking, I hopped back on and made him listen again.

The second instance which caused the bruises actually was entirely a whoopsie and not his fault. After his Whoop-te-doo! moment, we practiced cranking his nosie around to touch his side to make him stop while at the walk, then slowly slowly slowly started walking/trotting and practicing laterals. He was doing fine, was actually to the point that I thought he was ALMOST trustworthy again, and then the poor guy's hind end slipped out from behind him and he went down HARD. We were trotting in a circle, I will say he did get a little excited right before that but I didn't feel us break out of the trot. The only thing I can think of is that it's likely the ground was still too soft and wet and the ground cover closer to the barn does not have a very strong root system. He has slipped and gone down close to the barn before, but that was when he was on a lunge line. Knowing that, I wasn't working him close to the barn, but evidently the other side of the round pen is still wet enough once you get a couple inches below the surface. Anyway, his hiney slipped out from under him, he lurched to the right, and I went down with the ship. When he went down, the lower part of my boot below the ankle got stuck under him, kind of under the saddle, and the stirrup from his left side swung over and that's what hit me in the leg.

Refer back to this photo. See the two parallel lines from where it hit me? Yeah, ouchie. My knee is a little twisted, but it's nothing compared to that bruise. Anyway, he was pretty slow to get up :(. I got up and checked him out, and he went down on his right knee and shoulder, so I'm thinking he went down and rolled up to the right a bit based on how high on my saddle the mud was. He's pretty stiff today, poor thing.

So in summary, first he was good, then he was good, then he was good, then he was an asshole/naughty/disobedient, then he was good, then he was unfortunate and went down. I need to buy liniment, both for him and for me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last Night at Feeding

My fiance is so cute :)

He kept wanting to hand feed my ponies while they were eating their dinners.

Ivan was more interested in his hot dinner of Ultium, beet pulp, and alfalfa cubes.

But Classy Lady was accommodating :)

Still nada from Ivan. Ivan is a mommy's boy. You want his attention on anything but his dinner, you have to be his mommy, and that's the only reason he looks up.

So back to Classy Lady he went. She's much more entertaining for him :)

Then he started entertaining himself. Silly man :)

Then he stopped faking...

But I think he bit off a bit more than he could chew... or maybe it's he took on more than he bargained for... either way, he didn't find it as appetizing as they did.

New Hackamore

So, I need more whoa on the trail, but I don't want to have to haul back really hard on Ivan's mouth. So at Robin's suggestion (my farrier), I went and got one of these:

Little S Hackamore

According to Robin, she's never had a horse pull through one of these out on the trail. The commercial description on most retail website describes it as not having as much whoa , Robin says she laughs whenever she reads that description. After checking out reviews on a discussion forum of AHA's website, a lot of Arabian endurance riders were sharing their anecdotes on how well it has worked for them.

So that gives me a bit more confidence of trying it out. Hopefully, this will give me the control I need with a super strong ex-racehorse on the trail. He's a doll baby in the arena or when we're doing flatwork in the pasture, but he gets really strong when excited about the up and down of hills on a trail. I think I'll start him in this in the roundpen, then try it in a smaller paddock, then up to a larger paddock, and I'm going to have to test him at a canter or gallop to make sure that it can bring him back down to speed if that's what he decides to try to do on a trail ride.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Funny Insult Day

"The wheel is spinning, but the hamster's dead."

 "A few tacos short of a combination plate."

"The elevator doesn't go to the top floor."

"The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky
"A few bricks short of a load."

"A few french fries short of a happy meal.."

"Sharp as the edge of town."

"If she was any dumber, we'd have to water her."

"Doesn't have both oars in the water."

"Crazier than a skunk in a bucket full of hash."

" Not the brightest porchlight on the block by any means!"

"Not the sharpest tool in the shed."

"A few screws short of a hardware store."

"A burger short of a combo meal."

"The gates are down and the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

"Has an IQ of room temperature."

"Couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel."

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So true, but what a hilarious way to put it!

"I have noticed that many who use text messages and email have forgotten the 'art' of capitalization. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse."

Piano stairs - -

A-MAZING! I loved this :) So much fun!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Misplaced Blame

Me - "Wait... was that you?"
Mark - "...No... it was the dog..."
<a few moments of silence>
Me - "Oh GOD, Mark!"
Horrendous boy fibs... disgusting...

*whimper whimper*

Ok, totally didn't do this on one of my ponies. The guilty parties are the fiance and myself. Nearly busted the lazy boy. He was sitting on it and I hopped on one of the arms to throw my arms around him and give him a smooch. He was already leaning way back in it, so down we went. Laughing, tickling, squirming ensue, then when we're trying to get up he rolls out of it, knocks me sideways, I lose my balance and crack the back of my noggin on the door frame. Needless to say, I've got a headache. I usually use excedrin migraine when I have a bad headache, but I'm wondering if I should go heavier duty with some naproxen/Aleve? Obviously this won't require hospitalization or any other kind of heavy monitoring, but I literally saw stars and went sick to my stomach when I hit my head. I'm feeling better now than I was. So, what's better for that kind of headache? I'm kind of leaning to the naproxen that I was prescribed when I fractured my wrist. It's just heavy duty Aleve, after all.

Edited to add: My mom is insisting that I go to the doctor :( Evidently stars and continuing nausea are enough to make even my (uninterested) mother worry enough to pester me. Guess I'm going to a doc-in-a-box.

Baby Monkey (Going Backwards On A Pig) - Parry Gripp

The fiance and I have been jamming to this all day :) It's just too darn cute!

Get on that pig and hold on tight!

Snow Pony

I always hate it when it snows, but that's partly because any snow that we get in the south just really sucks hardcore. However, every once in a blue moon I get reminded that snow can sometimes be entertaining. For example:

Magic. Pure magic :)

Warms the Cockles of my Heart

You know, there's something so heartwarming about your horse being more excited to see you than his dinner... when your horse would rather cuddle with and love on you than stuff his face with some hay. Or when they come RUNNING in from the pasture just because they hear you drive up, even when they know it isn't dinner time. When they fret just so that you will come closer and scratch them in just the right spot. When they act like their next moment just isn't complete without you in it with them.

I love my horse :)

Quotes I Like :)

"How did I get into the handbasket and where are you taking me?"
Alternatively: ""Where am I going and what am I doing in this handbasket?"

"Even duct tape can't fix stupid."

"Maybe he needs clicker training."
(In response to a comment that a boyfriend is gradually becoming unsupportive of another girl's horsey hobby).

"And they were all wearing Disco Spurs"

"If you want to still respect him, and have your relationship last- Find him an instructor (other than you).
If you would like to get rid of him or would like to get even with him for past actions-teach him yourself."

"I used to think the brain was the most important organ in the human body. Then I realized who was telling me this..."
"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." - Hubert Humphrey

"It's such a fine line between clever and stupid." David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap

"No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle." - Winston Churchill

"My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be."

"If only I could convince him that he can poop and move at the same time."

"As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, snarkiness is in the inner ear of the reader!"

"Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground."

"Horses wake up with only one decision to make each day... Shall I commit murder or suicide?"

"Ponies are short and therefore closer to hell."

"Don't be fooled - PONY is a four letter word!"

"Most people don't need a $35,000 horse. They need a $1,000 horse and $34,000 in lessons."

"Definition of Horse: Large Mammal seeking an expensive, inconvenient place to die. Each day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is the more time they have to perfect it."

"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

"Equus makeus brokus..."

"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be." - Clementine Paddleford

"Most horse people are crazy. If you don't know one that is, it's probably you."

"All horse people are crazy. You just have to figure out which flavour of crazy works for you."

Whitening Trick

A friend of mine suggested this to get my pony's white part's more white:

"Bluing (some grocery stores have it or google it) - diluted in water or try Quik silver shampoo."

Now I just have to figure out what the heck bluing is...

Annoyed... Sleepy... AWAKE

I think the rain, the waiting over upcoming court cases (yes plural, I also got a speeding ticket... eighty-freaking-one on the interstate, never mind I was passing someone), the late-night hunger that will make me fat by the time I'm 40, etc. etc. etc.... all this is contributing to my current wakefulness. The fiance and I got cranky with each other earlier over time management and proper notification of partners, so that's not helping. Nothing major, but he doesn't like how much time I have to be out at the barn waiting on the ponies to finish eating, and I am still trying to train him to text or call when he's going to be late so I don't wait on him for dinner.

There, I got my little vent out of the way, no biggie. I think it's mostly the rain. I wanted to ride again today, and the rain squashed that idea before I even made it out the door. I want a shower, but don't want to sleep wet (or have even more horrendous bed head in the morning). I'm trying really hard to be good and not have a midnight snack, but the doughnuts that are waiting in my kitchen beckon oh-so-temptingly (naughty impulse when I went to Publix the other day to pick up cheese). Maybe I'll go watch tv in bed, but that's not as stimulating.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Horse | Mistletoe: A Treatment for Sarcoids?

Woohoo! Awesome news! Hopefully with more research, this will prove to be a really viable option :) Now if they can just tweak it so that it's still effective but with more convenient treatments. Three times a week for several months will probably get old after a minute. It's something I'd be willing to do for a horse in need, but viable treatment with more convenience will reach more horses with owners that either don't have the time or the diligence to give thrice weekly injections. Not to mention there isn't any mention of cost of the treatment. However, this sounds like progress, and I'm all for seeing how it turns out!

The Horse Mistletoe: A Treatment for Sarcoids?

Taco Bell Sued for Mystery Meat

Whoa. O_o

No Riding Today :(

Today has been cold and rainy. This is what greeted me when I hopped in the car this morning:

Yeah, not so bueno. Steady, cold drizzle. Waiting another couple of seconds at the stop sign doesn't help. Doing an anti-rain wiggle to whatever's convenient on the radio: same result, still raining.

Yeah, so about those plans to ride today... epic fail.

New Helpful Article

So this looks good :) Always good to brush up on your skills. I've been taught these things before, but it never hurts to have a refresher!’s-vital-signs/

Hot Dog Time! - Parry Gripp

More wiener dog stuff :) I love that my parents have kept wiener dogs since I was a kid.

This Is The Best Burrito I've Ever Eaten - Parry Gripp

I'm officially addicted to youtube this morning :) This Parry Gripp guy is hilarious!

Wiener Dog riding Skateboard

Awwwwwww, I grew up with dachshunds :) This one is cute!

Boogie Boogie Hedgehog - Parry Gripp

I'm officially addicted to youtube this morning :) Bahahahahahahahahahaa!

Hero Rats - Parry Gripp

So I saw this just now, and it made me laugh pretty hard :) Had to share!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I really need to bring someone along when I ride. If not for safety, at least to be able to snap some good photos of us while we're working! How else am I supposed to go back and visually review? Oh well, here are a few shots from aboard Ivan :)

He didn't quite know what to make of the digital camera noises...

He kind of quivered a bit, but got over that quickly :)

Such a good man! That's a very nice lateral flex.

And release...

And another very nice lateral flex :) He loves doing these because he knows I'm happy when he does it.
As you can tell from those headshots, we were out riding in the pasture. So we did a lot of walking, a bit of trotting, a lot of bending to the inside and changing direction. Transitions, practicing collection and going on the bit, etc. And then.... drumroll please... we CANTERED! Our very first, controlled, not-running-flat-out-getting-away-from-me-after-grabbing-the-bit, not-pushing-through-the-bit, relaxed, working CANTER! I was thrilled to pieces! We tracked right and had a nice canter for a few circles, then we transitioned slowly back down to a trot followed by a collected walk :) I was SOOOOOOOOOO proud of him! And the icing on the cake? He managed to stop completely with JUST MY SEAT more than once! As in just stiffening my seat, NO HANDS!

Today was a good day :)

Feeding the babies, or my lunch encounter :)

Usually when I go out to feed them, I end up getting bored and randomly finding things to do. Today I had to go to Donaldson's feed store in order to buy beet pulp, alfalfa cubes, and Ultium before coming to the barn. My sudden craving and resulting treat? Chick-Fil-A :)

So, while they stuffed THEIR faces...

I stuffed mine!!! Oh yes :)

Yes, yes. Feast your starving eyes on the spicy goodness :) So while THEY got to hoover up THEIR treats, I got to hoover up MINE! Delicioso... magnifique! Life's good when you enjoy the little things :)

So I found the blankie...

Houdini managed to get out of her "straight jacket" the night before last. I swear, I just don't understand why she's so bound and determined to be naked. Now I have to get this damn thing fixed in time before the next cold snap... it's not a matter of if, it's when.

Back paddock, mid field
So here's where I found it. It was just laying there, in a heap, like it was napping. Or maybe like a fallen soldier. Or a forgotten toy. Or... well, you get the picture. What I don't get? How she managed to get fully out of it. Both crossed belly surcingles and both hind leg straps were still attached. She managed to somehow wriggle out of it, and it's not hung up on something as though she rubbed it off.

Before finding it, I saddled up Ivan and rode out to exercise him a bit, plus search for the darn blankie. Once we discovered it, I had to go all the way around to the gate to that pasture, then loop back around to where she'd discarded it. He was so good for me when I dismounted and hauled it up on his back in front of the saddle, then was so careful carrying it and me back to the barn.

Ok, so this part I expected. As you can see, only one D-ring is still intact. The 2nd bottom D-ring has been pulled off, and the stitching is coming loose on the webbing. The two D-rings on the top are completely missing. Webbing, rings, and all, completely gone.

Here's what REALLY confuses me. Now, what you're seeing are two loops, formed into loops by doubling back the webbing through a buckle. What's supposed to be at the left end of both of those loops is a snap... a swivel snap that is completely MIA. Where are the snaps? How the heck did they get lost without even undoing these buckles? WTF? No trace of the snaps or D-rings or webbing where I found the darn blankie.

This houdini behavior is really starting to get old. Most of the rest of the boarders don't blanket their horses at all, but then I feel bad for her after we have a long ride and her hair is too long. When she's really furry, she gets hot sooner when we're working, plus her hair/fur gets sweaty and matted up, and it takes forever for her to dry, then it takes forever to brush her out afterward. Not to mention I'd like to show with her in the spring, and I'd rather not have to clip her entirely and her have to continue to be blanketed into April... I need a solution!!!

Trail Riding Yesterday...

Trail riding with Deb S. from the barn yesterday was a blast, minus one detail. We hauled out around 12:30 pm to Oak Mountain, then got saddled up and rode out around 1:00 or 1:15.

The trusty workhorse and trailer, courtesy of Deb S. Thanks, Deb!
 The views were awesome, and the trail was challenging (they reworked the trails out at Oak Mt. with the idea that your pony is half mountain goat -- it was a little nuts at some parts!)

One of the views at the top of a ravine
First girth check (both girls blow up to try to avoid getting cinched tightly enough).

Our ponies decided they were ok with the mountain goat idea.

Huffing pony break. Bama (Deb's mare) is a little out of shape! 

 A couple random shots at the top of one of the ridges when we stopped to have a water break.

We were doing great until my mare decided (on the way back, mind you) to be pissy that we weren't going home fast enough and aimed my leg at a tree.

Oh yes, broke the skin underneath my breeches.
I don't bruise easily, so that's going to slowly purple up over the next week. 

Who, me? Yes, you, you bitchy thing you.

I've been in a habit of calling her Queen Bee, but for now she is dubbed Queen Bee-otch! At first I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that it MIGHT have been an accident... until she tried to do it a second and a third time! Yeah yeah, see if you get any cookie at the end of the ride...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Naughty Blanket-Eater / Blanket-Destroyer Pony >:(

My mare can be a real pain in the butt sometimes.

For example, notice the strap hanging down below the blanket. That strap is supposed to be an intact leg strap. Also notice she's only wearing her lavender sheet. Where is her heavy blankie?

Ivan doesn't mind wearing his blankie, particularly since it's ridiculously cold at night and in the early morning. Brownie points for the golden boy. He doesn't rip up his sheets or blankies.

Who, me?
Yes, you.
What, me?
Yes, YOU.
Oh, pshaw, I didn't feel like wearing it.

Yeah, well, life's tough, little girl. I didn't shell out big bucks to keep you warm only to have you destroy both your blanket and sheet before the season was even up!!!

Proper versus improper use of the prescribed blankie.