Monday, December 1, 2014

no stirrups, right?

Technically, I did No Stirrup November, since I didn't ride at all with a saddle. This will continue into January. 
Just sitting, and trying to keep her from eating grass. So she decided to try to eat the picnic table instead. 
I had another "reining" ride on Shyloh this weekend. She was spinning, spinning, spinning. The ride actually started out really well. Me and Terry on Reba walked out back and took a newly cleared path behind a mountain of dirt. Then we went off to the side of the property, where for some unknown reason there is a wagon that is stored in front of some empty stalls. Shy always gives this wagon the hairy eyeball and a wide berth. As if she were to walk close to it, it may just attach itself to her and she would have to pull it. 

We stopped to talk to some friends and this is were Shy got silly. She could see her "spot" and wanted to go there. I would turn her around and then around we would go again. Round and round, I was getting dizzy! And each circle brought us closer to her end point, where there was also a drop off of about a foot. So I got off, walked her back to our friends and got back on. Shy was fine with that for maybe 10 minutes, then she got bored and wanted to go back again. This time, it was a head tossing spin session. I was able to get her straightened out and still and not facing the coveted "spot". Then I hopped off and made her stand for a while. After a while, then we went to the spot. 
Incredibly smug look because she is happy to be at her spot.
Oh, and I made it through a scoot! And survived!
Chilling out on the pony while she eats
Ugh, her and that spot! But I do realize that it is my fault, it is where she gets tacked and untacked, gets fed, gets treats, gets groomed. And she can survey most of the comings and goings about the barn from that spot. But, being a pasture boarded horse, we do not have many options of places we can use, so it is just something I will have to fight Shy about. 

The day before, Beth came up from Ohio to visit. We went out to the barn and Beth got on Shy bareback and rode her for a minute in just her halter. Shy even trotted nicely for her! Of course, Shy decided she had to be extra silly all day, just because she can. It was a fun day.
Beth and Shy
And for a little belated Thanksgiving thanks, I am so thankful for Shyloh. She is just so much fun and has come so far. I can do things with her I never thought possible and she puts up with all of my craziness. I am also incredibly thankful for all my horse friends who have been there and encouraged me through some of our tougher times. I am also thankful for the support of blog land and those who continue to read (sparse at it may be now-a-days). It is reassuring to know there are others out there like me and the kind words and support have been amazing! Thank you!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

better rides

This week has given us snow, freezing rain, below zero temps, rain, and now 50 degree weather. Shyloh seems to not be fazed by any of it.

Me and Terry went out to the barn to take advantage of the nice weather before it plummets back down to below freezing later in the week. Shy continues to be a burr magnet and she is getting increasingly irritable at me pulling them out, especially by her ears. I keep telling her to stop sticking her head in burr patches, but it is like she doesn't understand (haha). 

Terry talked me into a ride today and I reluctantly agreed. I just wasn't feeling it, but I am glad I did it. I think Terry was regretting it though, since Reba cowkicked her, gave her a hard time with the bridle (tall horse/short person,easy to do), then was a butt for mounting. But, as usual, Reba was great for the actual ride part.

Shy has been doing excellent with her mounting, no issues in forever. I hopped right up and Shy was ready to go. She tried to do her spins like last time, but I think I was a bit more sure of myself and Shy gave up really easily. After that, Shy was a golden pony.

We led the whole ride! Shy was great. Relaxed, sure of herself, walking at a nice place, and listening to me great. All I had to do was turn my head and she went in the direction I wanted. We had such a good time and Shy really seemed to enjoy herself. 

After, Reba and Shy got their treats from Terry in the pasture. They are so cute when they mug her for the treats.

I am loving these bareback jaunts on Shy and I think she likes them, too. Maybe it will be time to brave the trails on the property soon. . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

year end awards

A couple weekends ago, we had the Northwest Driving Circuit Year End Awards party. This year we have away some really cool prizes which included harness boxes with engraved plaques, cart stands, belt buckles, NWODC clothing, and a bunch of other stuff. All the kids got sack packs with the logo on it, too.

Me and Shyloh got first place for Trail in Hand! I was super excited for this, it was something that we have worked very hard on. And, I think that is pretty good, since we missed the double judges show. We got a trail kit, which included cones and poles. I am excited about using that to practice more. Plus, Shy really likes doing this stuff and we can also work on it whole riding. Now, I need a bridge. . .

After the awards part, everyone partook in some bowling fun. I love this group of people that we show with. Every one has fun and encourages each other to do their best. I am looking forward to next years shows!

Also, my internet at home is spotty and the weather has plummented to below freezing in a matter of days. Shy's fuzz is keeping her super warm, but I do not have nearly as much fuzz as her, so posting may be sporadic for a while. 

Monday, November 10, 2014


I rode Shyloh again. And she was a brat. Actually, it was all rider error and mixed signals. . .but I will say that Shy took it pretty well, considering. 

Me and Terry wanted to take the horses on a bareback jaunt through the property. Shy had completely different plans, which mostly included spinning in circles and watching the racing horses gallop. Maybe she has secret dreams of becoming a Haflinger race horse?
Unfortunately, trolls cannot be race horses. 
We started out our ride going in a different direction than last week. Shy got constantly stuck in certain spots. One spot was the gate to the woods. I think she wanted to go in the woods, but I am not ready for that. I would turn her to go in the direction I wanted, to which she would comply, but then continue the turn all the way back around. 

Round and round in tight circles we went until I got dizzy and wanted to give up. I will admit, I was afraid that Shy would get scared of potential consequences until she just took off (it has happened before). But she didn't. In fact, she was completely calm and just very matter of factly kept spinning so she could face the direction she wanted. 

Terry kept pushing me to fix my self, fix my reins, make Shy listen. Shy was determined to not listen to me. So, Terry got on and of course Shy was perfect. Go to the back of the property without a fight? No problem. Trot the most comfortable, best trot ever? Sure! Although, Terry did almost slide off Shy when Shy performed her wiggle that had her front end turning one way and her back end going the other. But that is Shy's M.O. Perfect rides for new riders and old riders (if she hasn't been ridden in a while). The next ride is the testing ride, to see what she can get away with. 

I got back on and Shy was back to her old games. Spin, spin, spin. Fancy sideways moves. Spin. Go forward, slam on brakes, spin. Terry pointed out (correctly, I will add), that all of Shy's behaviors on this ride are my fault and she is totally pushing my buttons. Also, we were in a negative feedback loop. . . Shy spun, I got tense and locked up, she spun more, I got tense, more spinning. I need to loosen up. Shy was waiting for me to give up. And I was ready to, but Terry would not let me. 

Eventually, after much convincing on my part, I got Shy to the back of the property. Whew. Walking back to the front, we had such a lovely forward walk. I relaxed. But I did not let Shy go to the spot that she was seeking out, the tack up area. I stopped her way before that and got off, then walked her around a bit before we went there. 

After, I was frustrated with my inability to to relax and make her do what I wanted. I was frustrated with Shy for giving me such a hard time. But, I was also grateful that she remained calm and didn't become the ball of tenseness that she has become in situations like this in the past. And for that, I am relieved that she has come so far. Now I need to work on me. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have no new updates. . .boring, right? More crappy, rainy weather has been happening. And now that it is almost dark by the time I get to the barn, it really sucks. 

Shyloh is preparing herself for winter by continuing to grow in fuzz. Lots of fuzz. Fuzz that still finds its way to burrs. Burrs that bury themselves in fuzz. It seems never ending. 

But Shy makes a really cute fuzzy pony. And more fuzz is yet to come. 

Fuzzy legs
Fuzzy ears
Fuzzy head, sad disappearing forelock
I've been reading about horses already being clipped and blankets being put on. . . and I am just not ready for winter. She does not get clipped or blanketed, she gets to be a hairy beast all winter. We don;t do nearly enough to warrant a clip and I am pretty sure I would be walking 15 acres looking for a torn up blanket if I went that route. Plus, she has plenty of shelter in the woods from the wind and rain and she has always been warm when I touch her in the winters. 

So, how fuzzy are your horses?