Monday, August 18, 2014

ice cream

The Good Old Days Show was put on this weekend. It is a long show that has English and Western riding classes, Pleasure and Draft driving classes, and in hand classes. I have went the past two years, once without Shyloh and once with Shyloh. This was going to be another year without Shy, but I am sure she was totally fine with that.

Since Shy was unable to get down to Ohio, Beth graciously offered me the use of her ponies for in-hand classes. Those classes would be trail in hand and ground driving obstacle. She would be taking Art and Rambo to the show. I accepted, then Beth made a friendly bet. . .loser would buy ice cream! And since they were in hand classes and the horses went one at a time, we could both use both horses. Challenge accepted. 

I told Beth that I would have to come down a day early to practice if I wanted a chance against her. So down to Ohio I went. We spent a little time practicing and more time killing horse flies. Those suckers were ruthless! They attacked in waves of two. Two horse flies came in, we (and by we I mean Beth) either killed them or they flew away after several attempts at killing them, then another set of two would swoop in  and we would have to start over. Ugh!
Ponies!
We decided to wash ponies and get them ready for the show the next day. The horse flies were relentless and continues their two at a time attack. But ponies got washed and clipped and sleezed up. Then Art and Rambo got put in the grassy round pen so they wouldn't roll in the dirt. Art decided to be an evil villain in his "costume" and was beating poor Rambo up in the round pen! So after a while the sleezies came off and the horses got put all back together. 
Super ponies. Purple Art was the evil villain and red Rambo was the super hero
Of course, when we got at at dark still for the show, Rambo had a line of dirt along his mane.  Rambo is such a funny horse. He is very busy and very mouthy and wants all the attention. He is so damn cute about it!
He sucks his tongue and holds on to the trailer. 
Once we got to the show, we braided horses tails and manes and got to showing. 
Donkey!
A Fjord!
Mule
Beth riding Rambo
Flo on Mick, Chelsea on Tom in the back
Farrier's daughter was at the show, too
Steve and Sally Sue in Pleasure driving class

Regina driving Art, they got reserve champion for the draft driving class!
Flo and her sweet new wagon!
The trail classes run most of the day so people can do them in between their other classes. So after Beth did her classes and the cart class with Regina (her youth driver), we waited for the trail results. And waited. And waited. Finally they made the announcement. . .

Beth took first with Rambo in trail in hand and I took second with him! I also took fifth with Art. Beth also took first with Rambo in ground driving obstacle and I took second with him. I took sixth with Art in this class. Looks like I owe Beth some ice cream!
Our selfie with Rambo
My ribbons with Art
It was such a fun day and very low key. Ponies were good and Rambo was a blast to line drive. I am so glad I got a chance to use Art and Rambo at the show. Thanks Beth!
Beth got Reserve Champion for the draft division!

Friday, August 15, 2014

rides on reba

Remember when I had a panic attack on Shyloh?
The solution to help me get over my anxiety is to ride Reba. I mean, if I can ride a Shire, I can surely ride a Haflinger.

There are a few steps to riding a Shire. . .
1. Find a saddle with a flat tree. Because the back of a Shire is wiiiide.
2. Find a girth that is taller than you. Because the Shire is rooouuuund.
3. Find a ladder to get on the Shire. Because the Shire is taaaall.

Once all those steps have been completed, you can ride the Shire. 
Me and Reba!
Terry gave me lessons on her horse, which was super nice. Even though Reba is way out of my comfort zone height wise, I knew she was not going to do anything overly stupid. After I got used to the English saddle, her larger strides and her slight clumsiness, oh and then her bullheadedness, we were all good.

My main focus was to be able to ride a steady horse and work on my balance. So we did lots of exercises like walking around with my eyes closed and my arms out to the side, reaching up to Reba's super far away poll, leaning back in the saddle as far as I could, walking without reins and doing crazy arms, and putting my legs over on the same side of her in the saddle. I worked a lot on trying to not lean forward and I feel I was semi successful with this.

I also worked on adjusting to rein and leg pressure. I am not sure of anyone knows just how difficult is it to move a Shire when she doesn't want to move. Let my legs tell you, it is hard! And I am always a bit timid with my leg pressure because Shy is so sensitive. So I had to learn to use more pressure. Reba also responds differently than Shy, so I had to adjust my cues as well. 

Steering was also addressed, since Reba had a need to be on top of Terry at all times. Trying to steer her away was a chore, but I did it. We put out cones and boxes and used what we had to make a course for me and Reba to go through. 

Most of the lessons were in the round pen, one lesson was in the pasture (we put the other horses in the round pen). I felt that lesson was the worst, but Terry said it was the best. I think because after the balance exercises, I felt I had no goal, except to walk around the must larger space. And Reba did not want to walk. And, I believe Reba kept trying to knock me off on the tree branches. 

The longer I rode, the more relaxed I became. If we had a week's break between lessons (fair week), it was like starting back at square one. But even so, the initial couple minutes up on that horse sends me into a high anxiety mode. I think that is just the way it is going to be. It calms down after those first few minutes though, usually. I'd like to continue my lessons on Reba and also get Shy going. I think it will be good for all of us. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

too much cute, part 3

The last baby Gypsy was born! She was born during fair week and she is everything her owner, Kim, wanted her to be. Tight, compact, a filly, and sassy!

I went to visit with Kim and Christina and the baby Gypsies the other day. Enjoy the cute! For even more cute, check out part 1 and part 2. And you will be able to see how much the other two have grown in just a few weeks!

Baby Cuileann and mama
Baby chicks!
So adorable!
baby teefers
Love this!
Baby and mama
Ferdy!
Charming Charlie running around!
She is so cute
New baby looking at the other two babies
So big for 5 weeks!
Moon
Visitors make for a sleepy baby
Three sleepy babies

Monday, August 11, 2014

fly swatter

The more I think about this kick, the more I really think it had to be a horsefly. Shyloh doesn't get too many horse flies on her, they prefer the darker horses over her. And I cannot stand to touch them with my bare hands, so I do not swat them that often, unless I have something else in my hand and no one else is around. Yes, I am a huge bug wimp. I see no reasons for things with more than four legs.
Giant blood suckers of Satan
Add to my bug wimpiness that Shy is a very independent horse that rarely looks to us mere humans for help, and horse flies have really been a non issue. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to shine with my horse fly killing skills/saving Shyloh skills, I jumped at the chance. I had her by herself, working on in-hand trail obstacles in the round pen. A horse fly landed on her and she began tail swishing and jerking her head back and to the sides to try to get at it. I grabbed a grooming brush and told Shy to stand still, to which she did not listen, she danced around some more. I quickly got her to stand still and went in for the kill! And I got the horse fly.

The look on Shy's face when I smacked it off her was priceless. It was awe and wonder and a little bit of surprise. Surprise, I think, because I did smack at her, but it wasn't hard and didn't actually hurt her. Wonder because the fly was gone. And awe because I did it. It was as if I had a new found purpose to her. A fly swatter.
Here is a little video I took as well, just to show how she picks her feet up on command.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

kicked

I think Shyloh has been feeling ignored. I don't blame her. . .I have not been doing anything with her for a couple weeks. I feel bad, but that's life. Plus, Shy enjoys living the feral life a little too much. 

When I went out to the barn a few days ago, I think she was happy to see me. She did come up to me and I gave her some Now and Laters, which she loved. But then, me and Jaime had to go pick up Leo from his time at pony camp and bring him home. 
Pineapple flavored! Yum!
When we got back, I couldn't stay long, but I decided to pick Shy's hooves. If nothing else, I always pick her hooves when I am at the barn. I've said it before, but Shy loves her hooves picked. If I don't pick them first and I start brushing her, she will lift her legs up asking to be picked. When I do pick them, she already has a hoof lifted for me when I bend over to pick it. I've also taught her commands to lifting her hooves. She is great about it. And I can pick them anywhere, with Shy tied or not. It has never been a problem (see where I am going here?)

So, I went out into the pasture to pick her feet real quick. I got three done without a problem. I walked around to one of her back legs, she picked it up and I began picking it out. Shy's tail started swishing rapidly. . .then all of a sudden BAM!!
Yup, that is about right!
I got kicked! Square in the back of the thigh. I yelled some expletives. Jaime said it sounded like the crack of the electric fence, but no, it was Shy's hoof on my thigh. I ran into the barn and took my pants off to assess the damage. I will spare you the photo. I did go back and pick that hoof, but I wondered WTF? Shy is not a kicker. She has never kicked out. Then I remembered. . .Leo has just been crow hopping and bucking out before I started picking hooves to get the giant horse flies off him. And right before the kick came some pretty strong tail swishing. It had to be a horse fly. Which still doesn't make a kick acceptable in any way, but at least gives an explanation. 
Smh. . .
I did feel Shy for pain as well, but nothing. Had to be a horse fly. I checked her again the next day and picked her feet without issue. Had to be a horse fly. I just really have a hard time believing that Shy would kick out for any other reason. It is just not her style. Never has been. But it happened and I not have a really black and blue hoof shaped bruise on my thigh. Ugh. 
Suspicious pony is suspicious. . .