Sunday, July 31, 2011

new friend?

Another hot day! And the beating sun means giant horseflies, which I am terrified of! They were out in full force today. Shyloh was introduced to a new friend, Chick. He is going to be sharing her paddock for a week or so. I am not sure how Chick feels about Shy. . .at first he tried to kick her, but when I took her out he was clearly upset, then when I brought her back, he bit her. 

At first, Shy seemed so happy to have a companion in her paddock, she followed Chick around and sniffed him. He let her do that for a little bit, but then would kick at her and yell at her. Chick also made Shy go into heat, even though he is a gelding. Shy didn't put up much of a fight with Chick, and eventually they just grazed the little bit of grass together in the paddock, while keeping their distance. I hope feeding time goes well and Chick is not a bully. . .

Shy was a bit on edge today, which probably had a lot to do with her introduction to Chick. We did our daily routine of grazing, grooming, hosing, rolling, but not with the same success of the past two days. It does not help that the horse flies make me jumpy, which sometimes makes Shy jumpy. I really can't help it. . .I freak out from flying bugs!

Mike came up to visit again! Actually, he has been really great about this whole thing. He was telling someone later in the day about Shy's new roommate and he said that "Chick better not hurt my horse!" Then he was really concerned about all the flies and asked if there was such thing as a mesh (like the fly mask) covering for her whole body. I told them that there are fly sheets, like blankets, and Mike said that we need to get Shy one. I think Mike really likes her!

Tomorrow when I get to the barn, Shy better not be beat up! And I think I want to add something new to our daily routine, but I don't know what yet. . .


I have started reading a book called Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards. It is pretty amazing!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

making progress!

Today was a great day at the barn, aside from the heat and the 747 sized horse flies! But, I could be hot in my house with the broken air conditioning or hot at the barn, so I chose barn. Mike surprised me yet again by coming out to the barn! He never tells me when he is coming, he just shows up.

When we got to the barn, we couldn't see Shyloh. She did not appear to be in her paddock. I figured that she had to be somewhere. Mike said he saw her in the lean-to. So I went and got some grain and walked over to her paddock. Sure enough, she saw that red bowl and came trotting over from the lean-to. Everyone was watching. . .Mike, Robin, Rob, Kathy, and Sandy. Shy did not disappoint. She came straight to the grain, I grabbed her catch rope, and put the lead on her. Then we walked out and to the back grass for some grazing. When we came in, Shy got some loving from me, Robin, Sandy, and Kathy. She was very into it today!!

I spent some time grooming Shy and hosing her off. At one point, she bit my thumb! But that was completely my fault. It is still throbbing, though. . . Then, into the arena to roll. . .which she did. 

I played some following games with her and she followed me around and let me touch her. Improvement!! Me and Shy watched Ryleigh in his pasture run around like crazy, splashing through the water and bucking for fun. Today, my goal was to try and put the fly mask on her. I showed it to her, let her sniff it, and even put it on myself. I was shocked when she let me put it on her, especially when I had to grab and ear to put it on! She does not like her ears touched at all! But Shy was perfect! Robin even cut a hole in the top so her forelock could hang out. 

After our great day, I put Shy back in her paddock. On the way back, she kept stopping and I had to keep telling her to walk on. It seemed to me that she was saying that she didn't want to go back there, she wanted to hang out with me some more. . . Today was such a great day that I want to go back to the barn tonight! I probably won't (gotta chill with the dogs), but it makes me feel good to see improvements in my pony!

Friday, July 29, 2011

the mystery secret!

We discovered the mystery secret that makes us able to catch Shyloh without chasing her around for an hour and without putting her in a corner!! With this mystery secret, Shy comes right up to me and lets me put the lead rope right on her halter! It is amazing! It is grain!

That's right! Just a little bit of grain in a bowl will send Shy running across the paddock. Me and Robin figured it out today, after an attempt to get Shy to come to us. We did it three times. We showed her the grain, let her have some, put on the lead rope, gave her a little more, then walked her into the barn and out the other door to graze. Then brought her back to the paddock, let her chill in there for a little bit, then did it all over again. 

Then Robin and I groomed her up and did some bonding with Shyloh. Shy really likes Robin. I think that her movements are slower than mine, which makes Shy feel more comfortable. I feel that I move too quick and my movements are jerky, which maybe puts Shy on edge and can startle her. I try to make a conscious effort to slow down, but it is hard! After grooming, I hosed Shy off with some cool, stinky, well water and we went into the arena.

Shy's first order of business was to roll. I got to see it, which was awesome! Then she ran around and tossed her head, in a Justin Bieber kinda way, and just checked stuff out again. She must be a klutzy horse, because she knocked down some wood that was blocking the back arena doors and spooked herself. That is the second time she knocked something down. Shy and Robin played a following game. I think she is starting to trust, she is at least interested in us!

Overall, tonight was very successful! I hope tomorrow will be, too. I am going to try and put a fly mask on her. And since she does not like her ears touched, I think it is going to be a struggle! Robin took a ton of pictures tonight, so I will share when she posts them! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

farrier visit

From what I heard, the visit with the farrier went well! Kathy was able to catch Shyloh and she stood perfectly for the farrier. She is great. . .once she is caught! 

When I went out to catch her later on, she was having none of it! Shy caught on real quick, she is a smart one! Instead of messing around for an hour or so, we got the lunge line and brought her in right away. And then I did the same routine.

I am not sure how Shy feels about me. Sometimes I think she doesn't care for me, or is just apathetic towards me. But then I think about her point of view and the trust issues that she must have, so I can't blame her. I just have to keep coming back and proving her her that I am not going to hurt her. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

one hour. . .

It only took about one hour to catch Shyloh today. . .we are making improvements! She had to be caught today because the farrier is coming tomorrow to give her a pedicure and I doubt that she will spend that amount of time trying to catch her! Kathy will be there to make sure everything goes well. I hope everything goes well. . . It took Robin, Leslie, Kathy, Sandy, and Mike to hold a lunge line and make a "fence" in the corner of the paddock, with me on the inside getting ready to put her halter on her. And it was raining! Now that her halter is on, I don't think it is ever coming off! I don't want to spend all the time that I have with Shy trying to catch her, then not be able to do anything with her!

Mike surprised me again by coming out to the barn! And although I like that he is taking an interest in Shy, I was told that he needs to learn some barn manners. And so does Shy. . .I took her out for grass and then brought her back into the barn. She was sniffing all around, and I let her because I want her to feel comfortable and safe. Well, she hit a poop rake that was hanging on a wall with her head, and it came crashing down! She spooked a little, but Leslie was riding Ryleigh in the arena and he spooked, too! Whoops! I felt really bad about that and I am glad no one got hurt! We need to be more careful. . .

It does not feel like Shy is getting any more comfortable with me. Sometimes it is almost like she wants to reach out and make a connection, but then she gets too scared and pulls away. Almost like she is not quite sure what I am up to or why I am being nice to her. I hope that she figures out (the sooner the better) that no one will hurt her anymore. 

On a silly note, Maggie says hey. . . 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

very slowly. . .

I had plans to stop by the barn real quick tonight, just so Shyloh could see me and I could give her some apples and carrots. I talked to Robin and got some advice that I fully intended take.

So, when I got there, I went to the gate and stayed on the outside, not even looking at Shy. Looking or walking directly at a horse is intimidating to them. Well, Shy threw a wrench in my plans right away. She walked straight up to me at the gate, so I gave her some treats. Then I decided to walk around her paddock, not looking her and walking away from her. She decided to follow me. I walked from one end to the other with Shy following me and every once in a while stopping to eat some grass while checking out what I was doing. I put some apples and carrots in her bowl outside and she gobbled them up.

I decided that I would stand in the middle of the paddock, not looking at her, just to see what she would do. She kinda meandered toward me, approaching me from behind. I could feel her getting closer and closer. Then she licked my hand! It had no treat in it and it was not outstretched. 

I had read some stuff earlier in the day, one thing that said that the human needs to be the one that walks away, so I did. And she followed me again! I walked out of the paddock and she came to the gate. I gave her a few more treats then went to say hi to Ryleigh. He was still out in his pasture and the other horses wouldn't let him come up to the gate. I looked for Captain Morgan, but I couldn't see him because it was getting dark. Resy was inside, so I went to say hi to him. 

I feel that today was pretty successful. Shy approached me on her own. Baby steps. . .

Monday, July 25, 2011

two hours. . .

That is the length of time that it took me to put a halter on Shyloh today. Actually, I didn't even halter her, Beth, the owner and manager of the barn did. I tried, Mike tried, Robin tried. Treats didn't even work. She is just so scared of people, but I think a little bit of it was a game for her. Also, the fact that she was in her paddock, a large paddock, didn't help, since she could run all over the place. She wouldn't even let me get close to her. It kinda hurts my feelers, but I have to remember that she doesn't know me and she doesn't know that I will never hurt her. That past was all she knew. 

As a surprise for me, Mike came to the barn! He brought the name sign that I made for Shy up and put it on her paddock. She is officially outside now, although in after equestrian team, when a horse on the team leaves the barn, she will get a stall. And it should be next to Ryleigh!! He also brought some peppermints for Shy!

Soon, she is getting a big giant friend in her paddock! Notch will be joining her after the farrier comes and looks at his feet. I hope they get along! Ryleigh was accidentally introduced into his herd today. He did good, but tonight, they put the mare in with the herd. Robin was really worried because she did not want the horses to fight over the mare, especially since she is the girlfriend of Dante, a horse in the herd. I will be awaiting a text from Robin in the morning to hear how the night went.

As for me, new obstacles arise every day. Next time, though, it won't take two hours to catch Shy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

and we have a name!

Ta da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was meant to be. I told Mike about that name a few days ago, but he didn't really like it because we know a dog named Cheyanne and they call her Chy. Then I mulled it over at my dad's house. They liked it, so I texted Mike and told him I really liked that name. When I walked into the barn today, Leslie said, what about Shyloh, because she is so shy? And so it goes. . .

I took Shy into the arena today and Robin showed me how to use the lunge whip and exercise her the right way. She wasn't on a line, but she was trotting and cantering. At one point she kicked up some ground and a stone hit the side of the arena and she spooked! She took off and did a mini buck, but then had no problem going back to the same area. 

Mike showed up at the barn to see her, too! I swear, I always get the strangest animals. Every day I discover something new about her. She likes to lick. She will lick my hand, my arm, my shirt, the stall, whatever! I let her for now so she gets to know me and trust me. Leslie said I should put a sign on her paddock stating that she is in training and to only approach her with treats, so she comes to associate people with good things. 

Ever see that movie 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? That's what I feel like with Shy. Each day, I have to regain her trust. I know, I know. . .I haven't even had her a week yet. But every time I go out there I spend a large amount of my time building trust. And that's okay. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

it's a start!

I went to visit my dad today and on the way I stopped at the barn to say hi to the horse with no name. I also said hi to Ryleigh, Captain Morgan, and Resy.

My dad lives in an area with a lot of farmland and farm animals, so they have a lot of stores that we don't have. We stopped at the Rural King and I got some grooming supplies and a lead rope. I decided on a color or the horse with no name! It is going to be navy blue and some pink. Because she is a girl horse and people need to know that! Tractor Supply Company was next door, but they didn't have anything I wanted. Then we went to a store called Farm and Family or something. There I got a lunge line and a lunge whip. They didn't have navy blue or pink, so I got a turquoise lunge line and whip. Pretty!

I also spent a large part of the day thinking up names. I have a few, so I might try them out on her tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2011

bath time!

Today I gave the horse with no name a bath. I wasn't sure how she would react, so I took it very slow. I groomed her first, then let her smell the hose and touched her all over with it. Finally, I turned the water on and started at her feet. She didn't mind a all! The only time she got antsy was when I washed her main. She always shies her head away when I reach up. But no worries, I will fix that. . . eventually.

After her bath, I took her outside so I could get her water and clean her stal. When I was done, I went outside to get her and she promptly rolled and somehow got out of her halter! In order to get it on, I had to put a pepermint in my hand and put my hand through the halter. So back into the wash rack we went.

I hope she is getting used to me and getting to know me. I know its only been a few days, but I really want to bond with her. I kinda feel like I am on my own with her. Mike probably won't come out with me and I don't blame him. .  I wouldn't want to watch him golf! Robin is always helpful, but she has her own plans with her horse, Ryleigh. Kathy has also been helpful. But it's just me, trying to figure this out. And sometimes Leslie. . .I really need to start lessons with her!  When I really stop to think about it, I think I need someone to hold my hand through this process because I don't know what I'm doing. But I will figure it out, me and the horse with no name.

new arrival!!

The horse with no name came home today!!! Of course it had to be a record hottest day ever, but she is here! Beth, who owns and runs the barn let her use an empty stall for tonight just because it was so hot out. None of the other horses got turned out, either. 

When she got here, she hopped out of the trailer, looked around, and was like, hmmmm. . . 

I walked her over to her paddock so she could check it out and she promptly started eating what little bit of grass that is in there. Then I took her out and walked to into the barn. I was taking her to the arena to walk around, but a huge fan was blowing on the floor. She would not go past it, so Rob turned it off and into the arena we went. We walked around, then went back to the aisle and walked in the back. She was loving the grass, but she could not have too much because she is not used to that and I don't want her to founder or colic. Next, we went into the grooming stall. It took some time because she was afraid to go in there, but we worked slow and eventually she went in, turned around, and let me put her int he cross ties. Then I groomed her. She was perfect! She even let me put fly spray on her! The only issue that she had was when I brushed her forelock, because it was tangled, but we worked through it and got it brushed.

Robin tried to give her a piece of apple, but she would not take it! I don't think she ever had treats before. I took an apple and held it under her nose. She sniffed it, picked it up real quick, and dropped it. I did it again and then she ate it! I did the same thing with carrots. 

I put her in a stall and gave her some hay. She was loving it. I think the horse next to her, Baby Bob, has a crush on her. They were sniffing each other and Bob was smiling at her. He even stopped kicking his stall while she was next to him, and he is a non stop stall kicker!

She must have thought she was a movie star the minute that she walked off the trailer, because Robin took about a million pictures of her! This horse is going to be spoiled silly! And she deserves it! I can't wait to go back out tonight. I am going to try to give her a bath, she is so dirty!

Now. . .if I could only come up with a name. . .

Monday, July 18, 2011

still waiting. . .

No new horse yet. Although it is only Monday and it was Friday evening that I heard there was a delay. I am impatient. And I kinda feel like writing, if list making is considered writing. So here goes. . .

Currently I'm. . .

Listening:  to One EskimO
Very cool band that made mini episodes for each song. Check it out!
Isn't he cute?

Reading: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
Actually, I just finished. Very good book written from a clever point of view. Really makes me wonder sometimes. . .

Thinking: that I really hope the horse with no name gets here, and that I can pick out a kick-ass name for her, and that everything goes well, and. . .well basically, one thought rolls into the next so this could take all week.

Wishing: for my air conditioner to be fixed! It is broken on the hottest week  ever!

Waiting: for this work day to be done

Disappointed: in my lunch. Mike came by and we went to lunch together. We spend 30 minutes waiting on one sandwich for the both of us, which we had to take to go. And to top it off, they put mayo on it when I asked for it on the side. I hate mayo!

Liking: this Gem Miner game on my phone.

Missing: kayaking and bike riding. And taking the dogs to the park. I wonder if I should schedule my days so that I go to the barn certain days and do other activities on other days. I am that dorky. . .

Confused: as to why I keep wearing these work pants when I know that the fly won't stay zipped. Very annoying.

Feeling: all jumbled up inside. I need to sort myself out! I have a lot going on from all kinds of different directions.

And still waiting: for the horse with no name to get here!

Friday, July 15, 2011

glitch in the plans. . .

The horse with no name is not coming home today.  Sad face. . .There was some kind of mess up with her Coggins test, so the lady I bought her from will be bringing her here next week. This lady also tried to screw me by making me pay for wolf tooth extraction. That was not part of our deal. Okay. . .well I was going to pay (I don't know any better!) but Robin stepped in and handled that business! Good thing for good friends; being an adult is not one of my strong suits!

Since we had people and a trailer all lined up for today, we are going to use them. They will be moving Ryleigh to the new barn! Well, I hope with all my heart they will be moving him. Ryleigh has a fear about trailers and there was a horrible experience a few weeks ago trying to get him on one. . .and it did not work. But today we have professionals and drugs! I am hoping for the best!! I will write more after we do this. . .


Ryleigh got on the trailer in 10 minutes! It was amazing! Leslie, Doc's husband, Terry, and Rob did a great job! We moved him and got him all situated at the new barn. Two other horses moved in that day, Resy and Captain Morgan. We let them adjust while everything got moved in to the new barn. It takes a lot to move horses and all the stuff they need. I am exhausted!

After most of the stuff was moved, Robin took Ryleigh in the arena and let him run. He explored the whole arena, even the corners, and was poking his head out of the arena doors. Kathy did the same thing with Captain Morgan. We also met some of the boarders at the new barn. Everyone is really nice! Now I just have to wait for the horse with no name to show up! 

tomorrow is the big day!

I feel that I needed to start a blog to put my feelings and my new horse adventure into words. A good friend of mine blogs about her horse experience it is very interesting to read. So even though, at this point, I am not ready to share with anyone, I thought I'd still write. As a disclaimer, everything I write will be from my own point of view and I will not censor myself. I may not mention people by name, but these are my thoughts and feelings on my adventure. I believe in the freedom of speech and I will exercise that freedom. 

Tomorrow I bring home my new, and first horse! My feelers (aka feelings) are all jumbled up. I am excited, but overwhelmed. The horse world is quite complicated and I am brand new to it. 

Here is a little background on how I got to the place where I am now. . .My friend Robin bought a horse about a year ago. I started going with her to the barn to see her horse. I met a lot of new people. The barn is a very calming place for me. The smell of the hay and all the horses there just relax me. Robin's instructor at the time, began tacking up this little pony, a Haflinger horse, for me to ride while Robin did a lesson. This horse was Mia and I really fell in love with her. She was so sweet, yet so sassy, what was not to love? I had a connection with this horse. Mia is a lesson horse at the barn, which means that she is ridden by a lot of people. Eventually, I spoke to her owner, and I decided to lease Mia. After a while, I thought, wow, this is really amazing, and I asked Mia's owner if I could buy her. I was denied and I ended my lease with Mia. I wanted a horse of my own, that was not ridden by a bunch of other people. So, heartbreak ensues. . .

Robin and a few other boarders at this barn decided that they wanted to move to a different barn. I began looking for a horse of my own after I could not buy Mia.  I wanted a Haflinger. I did a bunch of reading on them and they seemed perfect for me. I do not want to show or compete or anything. I just want to learn, have fun, and go on trail rides. Even though my lease with Mia was up, I still was going out to the barn with Robin, and some other barn friends, Terry and Anthony. I still had to see Mia. Every day that I went there, I would go in her stall by myself, sit down and cry with her. I have never told anyone that. I am so sad that Mia will not be a part of my life anymore and I will truly miss her.  And I think she knows that. She has been displaying some behaviors that she had not displayed while I was leasing her. So, I think tonight will be the last night I cry with Mia, I just don't know if I can handle it anymore.

And tomorrow I bring home my new horse. A 6-7 year old Haflinger mare. She was Amish trained, and they are very heavy handed, to put it nicely.  I am excited because she is my horse, my first horse and we are going to be going on this adventure together. I am overwhelmed because a horse is a big responsibility; financially, emotionally, and time wise. But I am up for it. I am also scared. What if she doesn't like me? What if we don't bond? So many what ifs! But we are going straight to the new barn, which is amazing!

I will keep posting all about this horse with no name!