Tuesday, April 15, 2014

getting in shape

After coming home and seeing all the super fit horses at Equine Affaire, I had an itching to really start putting Shyloh to work. I was tired from the weekend, but it was beautiful outside, so to the round pen we went!

Shy was pretty feisty. . .well about as feisty as a lazy Haflinger can get. I had her going around and she actually picked up a canter! Canter is her least favorite gait and she never holds it for long. That day, we went around a few times without me pushing her into it. I let her go for it because it wasn't a crazy all out canter. It just seemed like she was having fun. And she was still listening to me.

I had her switch directions and gaits a bunch of times. Her turns were sharp. When I asked her to turn, she almost sat down on her back legs, slid to a stop, and switched directions. Maybe she wants to be a reining horse?

We did stretches after I had her warm up. Shy loves her stretches, especially her tail pulls. We haven't done the stretches in a long time, mostly because I will not stretch her cold and it was interesting to see how less flexible she was. Not much, but when I went out of her comfort zone, Shy let me know. After stretches, we did more lunging.

I got some video of her going round and round. It may be 30 seconds of nausea inducing video. . .

And we even had a little sweat! This is good news because it takes a lot for Shy to sweat. 

I plan on putting the surcingle on her and attaching side reins the next time we do this. And I am going to have to put bell boots on her as I heard her clipping herself at the trot. I will also look for poles that we can use. 

I plan to put some muscle on my chubby Haffie. Also, this is the last week of my internship, classes are over, and graduation is right around the corner. Hello free time! Gotta get me in shape, too!

Monday, April 14, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #128

I didn't see Allie all weekend and what does she do when she finally decided to show up?
I was a little upset that I was not visited all weekend. 
Work me! I even sweated! Apparently she got this idea from all the fit Haflingers she saw that were not me over the weekend. Rude.
See sweat? 
But, after my workout, guess who came home?
See him over there eating hay? He grew!!
I am so happy that he is home, but I suspect Jaime is even happier! And almost as good as Isaac coming home is this. . .
Grass! The grass is up!

So even though I had to do so much work I got sweaty, I also got to eat some grass! That is what makes a Haflnger most happy!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

equine affaire 2014

Another year of Equine Affaire has come and gone. Me, Haley, Jaime, Kyle, Terry, and her friend Michele all went down to experience the awesomeness of the event. So much fun happened. I met Emilie from A Blonde, Brunette, and A Redhead. After searching high and low, I found a teal saddle blanket that won't be gigantic on Shyloh. I also bought a saddle cover and some Trophy Line Mane-ly Long Hair polisher and conditioner. Yay for shopping! The rest is a photo dump of all the fun we saw and did at Equine Affaire.

Haflingers :) Jumping drill team, combined driving hazards clinic, and demo
donkeys giving rides
Fresian getting a shoe fixed
Pasa Fino getting ready for a demo
Hey there! I hung out for a bit in the Haflinger aisle
Handsome Avanti who was too busy eating to visit
Fresian/Paint cross who did lots of tricks
Finals for the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. The course was crazy! And pirate themed.
Loving the forelock!
Getting ready for Fantasia
Riding around
Sleepy Shire baby!
Mini baby, less than a month old!
Shire stallion
Jousting demo!
Baby born at Equine Affaire. We got to see her a couple hours right after she was born! Mama was so proud.  Seriously the cutest ever! They even brought her out for a demo the next day. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

hump day haflinger series #14

Haflingers are a pretty rare sight where Stephanie Friedman lives in Florida. She started riding 40 years ago and discovered Haflingers when her neighbor bought one from northern US and shipped her down there. Stephanie always admired the pretty mare at her neighbor's house. One day, the neighbor put up a flyer that she was selling the Haflinger and Stephanie grabbed her ASAP!
Stephanie and Lily
Haflinger:  Lily of the Valley KCH, or Lily
Sire and Dam: Nevion Glyn Eryr RAH, and LaRasoa
Age:  12 year old mare
Height: 15 hh
Personality: Lily is fairly easy going and not mare-ish, but she can set stupid and run around and spin on occasion. It keeps Stephanie on her toes!
Quirks: When Stephanie first got Lily, she was constantly diving for grass when she was ridden. Lily also liked to push into other horses when they were in a group and would ignore the bit, leg, and seat aides. 
Likes: Eating! 
Favorite Food: Anything!
Discipline: Volunteer Mounted Police, trail, and was trained to drive but Stephanie doesn't know how. 
Emerging through the smoke
Mounted Police have to work closely together and in unison. Lily is trained in desensitizing and drill work. The added height gives the riders more visibility and also allows people to be able to see them from greater distances. Stephanie was invited to join the Mounted Police in 1996. She had another horse at that time, but eventually retired her and bought Lily. The riders have to pass riding tests and the horses have to show that they can be controlled when riding through and across obstacles. Of course horses can spook, but it is how they handle new and different things that make them eligible to be a Mounted Police horse. 
The Mounted Unit that Stephanie and Lily ride with does a lot of public relations for the local Sheriff's department and parades. They also do crowd control and are in training for Search and Rescue. 
One exercise is tying stirrups together. Stephanie didn't know this horse or rider. The skill is to keep the horses close together in all situaitons and moving at the same gait, which is important for crowd control. 
Stephanie continues to work with Lily to make her a better horse. When she first got Lily, she didn't know a single leg or seat cue! Stephanie would joke that Lily was out of steering wheel fluid as she tried to go where ever she wanted. Lily has even pushed herself through a crown of horses trying to go her own way with Stephanie on her back pulling and kicking!

Lily continues to be a bit heavy in her hands, but Stephanie is working on fine tuning her to leg cues, seat cues, and giving to the bit. Overall, Lily is a very gentle horse who Stephanie trusts around non horse people and kids. 

I think the Mounted Police is very cool work. It takes a calm rider and a calm horse to be able to handle all the people, traffic, noises, and other things that horses don't deal with on a daily basis, which is why desensitization work is important. When I am in Detroit for Tiger Games or other events, we have a Mounted Police Unit as well. . .no Haflingers are on it though. One day, while I was taking a lunch walk at work, I met Elmer, a large Quarter Horse and his police rider. It was very cool to talk to her and she let me give Elmer some peppermints (that I just happen to have in my pocket). 
More crowd control training.
I hope Stephanie and Lily continue to be safe in their endeavors as Volunteer Mounted Police!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

our commercial moment blog hop

Another fun blog hop from L. at Viva Carlos!

What are you buying next? Not your "Wish I could" list but your actual practical pony shopping list. And if its a high ticket item you are saving for what is it and when do you expect to order/get it?

Since Equine Affaire is the weekend (yay!!!), I have a short list of stuff I want to find there:

  • Teal saddle blanket for showing (having hard time finding one that is not huge for my short backed Haffie)
  • Saddle pad (just bought one for $5 at a tack sale, but will be on the lookout for another)
  • Dark leather reins
  • Possibly a new dark leather bridle
Some other things I need and should probably get soon:
  • Fly spray
  • Vet wrap
  • Treats (always)
  • Coconut oil
  • HIgher Standards Leather Soap and Conditioner (I just can't decide on the scent!)
  • Mrs. Conn's Sponges. I want to try these. Seems so simple!
Boring, right? I just made a big purchase of my awesome saddle that I love, so I don't think any more large purchases are in order quite yet. 
Shyloh is not impressed