Wednesday, September 17, 2014

back at it

Yesterday I started line driving Shyloh again. I want to get her really solid at it so the kids can line drive her at the Plow Days event in November. 

Given our past experiences (line driving has never been an issue, just things with wheels), I opted for an open bridle. I had also discussed this with Beth in the past as a possible option for Shy. 

So, I grabbed a bridle, a surcingle, and a pair of long lines and got to work. I wanted to use her French link snaffle bit instead of the driving bit to start and I didn't want to change bits out on the bridles I currently use. I had a hunt bridle that I picked up at a tack swap a while ago for no particular reason, so I cleaned it up (I had a spray bottle of Absorbine One Step Spray Leather Cleaner and Conditioner, which I do not recommend, by the way) and used that. 
Seriously cute!
Shy was ready to go! It was like we never even stopped any driving practice for a year. She remembered gee and haw, she responded nicely to my cues, and she was calm. I think the open bridle concept may have been a part of the calmness. I did have the ever present issue of her not wanted to stand still, but she had improved on that. 
Butt butt
There was one spook, but it was a justified spook. We were going down a pathway between a barn and a pasture. Someone just turned a hose on and Shy was right on top of it when it sputtered with water. She did a small jump. Then it sputtered again and she completely turned around. Not my favorite reaction, but better than bolting. The lady apologized and turned it off, but I told her to keep it on. We would get over this. Once Shy realized it was just water coming out of a hose and not a cobra on the attack, we kept moving and Shy never gave it another thought. 
Pony likes this bit, we got a foamy mouth!
We had one more sticky situation, and that is when we walked past the tacking area and Shy wanted to be done because they were feeding. I had to tell her, "If you put one hoof on that cement. . ." Luckily she didn't and we were able to walk past that area a few times without a fight. 

Overall, I am very pleased with my pony! I plan on getting a couple more good lines drives with her then having the kids practice. Maybe I will be able to drive her. . .maybe. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

baby fever

Shyloh has it. Bad.
Instant obsession
Two of the Gypsy babies and one yearling came to the show yesterday. Shy was enthralled! We were in Halter class and the mom was also in the class. The colt, Moon, came in the class to stay by mom. Shy saw him and stepped out of the line up to inspect him. I pulled her back, but she wanted to go to them. When they went around the line up to get back in line, Shy became very concerned that she could not see the colt. When she got her eyes back on him, she just stared. 
She says, he is mine and I shall call him baby. He must have liked her, too, because he kicked out at the other horses and not at her. 
And so began the giant distraction of the last show. Shy was very preoccupied with the babies. How could anyone not be? They are so so cute! And so well behaved. They took everything in stride. Even napped. 
Babies and Mommas
Most definitely not the reaction I thought Shy would have given with babies. Since she is so independent, I always figured she would be a terrible pony mom. Not that I would breed her. Although, I kinda want to now, but that is just seeing cute babies talking. Logically, not a good idea. 

Even though Shy, in her mind adopted Moon, she still had a great show. All of our trail in hand work had paid off, we placed first in the class! It was a well deserved placing, too. Shy really rocked that course and even performed a perfect off side side pass and backing in an L shape. She also placed third in Halter (with Reba getting Grand Champion) and fourth in Showmanship. 
Show pony!
Shy also performed as a lead line pony for Lily and Noah, since his pony did not come to the show. The kids had a little trouble keeping her attention (remember, she was trying to keep tabs on her baby), but they worked through it. Lily got a second place in their Showmanship class and a couple fifths. Noah got a fourth and a couple fifths. Not bad, considering Noah has had no practice with Shy and Lily's practice has been limited. 
Happy Lily. . .and Shy staring off looking for her baby. 
Noah and his ribbons. . .and Sh, again, staring at her baby. 
It was a fun and relaxing show. Everyone had a great time. Ponies were all good. Couldn't ask for anything more! More photos here.
Shy and Baby Cuillien. She squealed at her and she jumped up and ran to her mom. 
Shy and the yearling Ferdy. 
A match made in heaven. . .Shy napping during the line up and Lily doing Yoga?
Lily and Tommy
Reba taking Lily and Tommy for a ride between classes
Becky and Freckles
Regina and Beth with Art
10 classes makes for a tired, droopy lipped pony at the end of the day.

Friday, September 12, 2014

sleezy story

Once upon a time there was a show pony (I use that term loosely). Show pony loved to go to shows, mostly because they were in Ohio, which has the best grass she has ever tasted, and she gets to see other horses of her kind, and she gets to take naps in the sun during halter and showmanship class. 
Fall asleep during a class. . .never!
In order to get ready for a show, show pony must get cleaned up and bathed. This was probably the worst part of being a show pony.
Not a giant fan of this
But after the bath, there is usually grass to be eaten while drying off, which is just fine with show pony. 

Show pony has always lived outside, except for one year. So keeping her clean is a concern. She doesn't like to particularly get dirty and avoids mud for the most part, but she really enjoys rolling in sand and grinding that sand right into the bottom of her hairs. She also likes to travel the forest and collect burrs. And eat all the berries she can find.
Just a small portion of the burrs in the tail
Berry lips!
In order to help keep her clean overnight, show pony's mom got her a tail bag and a sleezy. If nothing else, at least her tail and mane will be clean, the rest is can be handled by a stiff brush. 
Clean pony
Show pony likes her sleezy. It makes her feel like a superhero with a secret alternate identity. She has great fun being goofy in her sleezy.
Sleezy smiles
Sleezy stretches
However, one horse in her herd, who normally really likes her, could not recognize show pony in her sleezy. He thought she was an intruder! And this horse would not let show pony anywhere near the front of the pasture. Every time she came close, he would run her off! She ran through the woods dodging the trees and branches to hide from the mean horse. 
Hiding, maybe a camo sleezy would be better suited for this?
But show pony was hungry and usually does not let much get between her and her food. So she would sneak through the woods where she was hiding and try to eat, but the horse would chase her at a full gallop, ears pinned. Over and over this happened. She would kick at the horse, but he would not let up. Not even when she got him good and left a hoof print right on his chest.  Finally, show pony just went to the back of the pasture, all by herself. Her beautiful super hero sleezy was all covered in burrs, she was sweating, and breathing heavy from all the running the mean horse made her do. 
See all the burrs!!
Her mom came out to rescue her, but even so, the mean horse tried to chase her away. Her mom got a stick to keep him away and took her out of the pasture to safety. She also grabbed some hay to satisfy show pony's rumbly belly. While she was eating, her mom took all the burrs of her sleezy and tail bag and legs. Then she took the sleezy off. 

After checking show pony over, her mom found a couple cuts on her, probably from branches in the woods as show pony was running away. One was pretty wide though, but show pony was brave and showed no pain. 
Mom doctored it up
The decision was made to keep the sleezy off, but show pony had to promise to stay clean and burr free (even though she has a record of not keeping such promises, but one can dream). Tomorrow is an early day for the last show of the year. And we plan on having lots of fun, even if show pony can't stay clean. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

little update

Just a quick little update. . .

We got our power back on before the expected day! Yay! I feel bad for Terry as her power is still off because less than a week after the tornado, she had a flood. And once her power gets back on, she still won't have cable and internet because the main part somewhere on her island as fried. So in light of the the things we have been missing since the storm, I present to you Maslow's new hierarchy of needs:
It was no easy task to keep the phone battery charged! And since the phone doubles as my alarm clock, it was super important!
The last county fair was today. Beth didn't take her ponies because they got four inches of rain and there was no way to prepare the horses. So we went to watch and I took a grand total of zero photos. It was a small show and the sky was overcast. But Haley and her Haflingers, Denny and Vella took a bunch of firsts and Becky and her Haflingers, Freckles and Jasi placed, too. It was a fun and relaxing time. Just what I needed after the last couple very stressful weeks at work.

After the show, I went back to Beth's and gave some attention to her ponies. They are so silly! Art was on one end of the paddock flapping his lips against his tongue, Rambo was by the fence sucking on his tongue, and Leah was performing acrobatics trying to get a blade of grass from under the fencing. 
She can really get down!
Shyloh has been completely neglected this week. Luckily, I also have tomorrow off of work, so I plan on spending a lot of time with her. I am sure she will be overjoyed. I am hoping to be preparing for our last show for the season, but I am not sure if we have a trailer to borrow or not. If not, I have been putting a lot of thought into getting her harness back out. I kind of want to have fun when the snow comes, like we did two winters ago at that barn. We shall see. . .
This was so much fun!
And, how covered in burrs do you think Shy will be? I haven't been out since Sunday. . .

Sunday, September 7, 2014

why weather?

What a weekend. It started out with a tornado and massive loss of power. Luckily, my house has no damage and there is no damage to the barn or any horses. My power is not scheduled for service to be restored until Wednesday at 11:30 pm. PM!! I have been charging my phone in the car and walking around the house at night with a candle. Currently, I am borrowing power from a friend's business to internet. Terry had a tree fall on the back of her house during the winds and storms. . In all this mess, I did manage to make it out to the barn for some chill time and just to double check on the  horses. 
Oh hi there. We are all fine! I got this!
Shyloh is doing fabulous back in her giant pasture. She has managed to find all the burrs, once again. I was told by another boarder that Shy doesn't take the path back to the large opening, she prefers to go through the brush and woods. Of course. . .
Big burrs in the tail. . .
Tiny burrs in the forelock. . .and on the feather, and the belly, and the legs, and the chin. . .
Reba continues to follow Shy and gets upset when I take her away. Poor Reba is getting into scuffles with the other horses and is all beat up. The other ones have marks, too, so Reba is retaliating. Shy. . .well, Shy is mark free. 
Eating together
I've been taking Shy for little walks around the property again. This week, I've been by myself when I've been there, so I won't get on her. And when I kidnapped Terry to bring her away from her fallen tree mess, we just loved on the horses. 
Walking and grazing. And practicing a little bit of sidepassing and backing up while we are out and about.
Mustache tail says hi
Me and Shy did take Terry and Reba through the woods and Reba was not a fan. She kept trying to pull Terry back. And Shy was not understanding, there is food in the woods! Endless food! Shy even grabbed a branch of leaves and took it with her for the walk. 
Woodland pony
When we got back, I just hopped on Shy and laid on her with my eyes closed while she napped. We totally interrupted her nap time and she was not afraid to let me know that.
While I didn't have quite the weekend I was planning on, I still got to get my pony time in. I think Shy is happy with our new arrangement. And from just one week, her hooves look even better than before. I think it is from the varied footing in the pasture plus more movement and grazing opportunity. 
More grazing
Hopefully the power gets restored soon for us!