Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year!

Have a wonderful new year! I can't wait to see what 2012 brings!

Shyloh waving good bye to 2011!!!

2011 in review

Shyloh has come such a long was since she came home to me! Let's look at 2011 in review. . .
Shyloh Day 1!!
January - June 2011
No Shyloh

July 2011
  • I went and looked at Shyloh and fell in love immediately. I was not quite sure that I was ready for the challenge of owning a horse, but so far it seems to be working out.
  • Shyloh came home on July 22nd. I had her pasture boarded. Shy took all the changes in stride, but was very much afraid of people.
  • Shy was impossible to catch! It took a few days before we realized that grain was the magic answer.
  • It took a few days, but I finally came up with a new name for Shyloh. Pumpkin just didn't seem to fit her. . .
  • Shy made her first boyfriend, Baby Bob when she was stalled next to him for a few days due to the heat. Shy got a second live-in boyfriend, Chick, when he was pasture boarded with her, until she continuously ate his grain with his supplements.
August 2011
  • I started to work on A LOT of desensitizing stuff with Shyloh. Balls, bags, cones, poles, spray bottles, hula hoops, tarps, obstacles, and a labyrinth.
  • I tried to ride Shy and fell off of her on the other side. She is terrified of mounting blocks and mounting from the ground is not my speciality. I rode her another day.  I can't call it a success, but it was not a complete failure either. . .aside from the fact that the dismount broke my bra.
  • Catching Shy became slightly easier and less time consuming, and I was able to finally take her halter off. We graduated from using grain to catch her to using a peppermint or butterscotch.
  • I started Shy on her supplements of Magnesium, B1, red raspberry leaf, and ground flax seed.
September 2011
  • I took Shyloh out to the big pasture for the first time, she loved it! She had all the geldings going crazy!
  • It was the start of the never ending rain and mud.  Shy got a little fungus on her neck, Funga-a-cide took care of it.
  • Chick got moved back inside because Shy kept stealing his grain, so Shy got a new paddock mate, Caeser. He ended up being pretty mean to her and took a couple chunks out of her skin.
  • We started working on the mounting block and continued our desensitizing work.
  • Shy knocked down part of her paddock fence and escaped, looking for grass of course! And she cut her side pretty deep while kicking down the fence.
  • Shy has started to show her playful/social side. 
October 2011
  • Shyloh had a new boyfriend, Forseti for a while, and then another new boyfriend, Ryleigh.
  • Still doing ground work and desensitizing work and started working with long lines.
  • Mike got us a bridle and saddle pad so I started taking Shy on trail walks to prepare us for trail rides.
  • Shy thinks it is good fun to play "catch me if you can." It is not fear based anymore.
  • Shy's winter coat has started to grow in!
  • I found the first food that Shy won't eat. . .pumpkin!
  • Shyloh moved into a stall. I was not too happy about it, but it seems to have worked out for the best.
  • Shy "dressed up" as My Little Pony for Halloween!
Novemeber 2011
  • We had our first lesson with Beth and learned a ton! I also started riding Ryleigh.
  • We continued doing ground work, mostly lunging and long lines.
  • I started working at the barn and the rain continues to fall, flooding the pastures.
  • Shyloh continues to play "catch me if you can." I am not impressed. . .but I did discover that she cannot resist the temptation of a peppermint wrapper crinkle.
  • Ryleigh has grown extremely attached to Shy and is may be getting a little possessive of her.
  • I started riding Shy bareback!
  • Shy got a hag bag, which was destroyed within the week. Then she got a slow feeding hay net and went on a couple hour hunger strike to protest.
December 2011
  • I have continued riding Shyloh bareback and she is wonderful!
  • I started riding Shy off of the lunge line and she continues to be wonderful, but is getting testy.
  • Shy still has mounting block issues, but we figured out a temporary fix.
  • Shy finally got outside to graze on a few days that it didn't rain and the flood waters had gone down.
  • We started working on our free jumping!
  • Shy started hanging out with Casi in the arena and they have a blast running around, bucking, and farting.
  • Shy has really turned a corner in trust and bonding with me.
  • Shy escaped from the arena and discovered the hay closet.
  • Shy and her friends got some rhythm beads for Christmas, hopefully we can use them on trail rides this summer!
Shyloh today!
Looking back it is helpful to see how much progress Shy and I have made and how we have bonded. It is reassuring to see all the work we have done and how far we came. I originally intended for this blog to be a private journal of my adventure with Shyloh, but I am glad that I have found all of you that read and comment! I have made some new blog friends and I have received tons of help and advice! I really appreciate it! Have a Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

the many faces of shyloh

Shyloh has the most expressive face in a horse I've ever seen. . .in my opinion. She has many different faces that she shows to convey how she is feeling.

  • There is the whoa, you just scared the living sh!t out of me! face. This face usually appears when she is absorbed in eating her hay and someone walks up to her and startles her. Shy will jerk her head up real quick and show the whites of her eyes before she realizes that it is safe and goes back to eating. Often this is repeated a few times per feeding.
  • There is the famous I just ate something new! face. Whenever Shy eats a new food, she lifts her lips and they quiver open and she shows her pearly whites while swinging her head in the air. It is quite hilarious.
  • There is the ahhh, I love what you are doing to me right now face. This face involves Shy dropping her head and hanging her lower lip. Sometimes, her eyes close. She will do this when I brush her tail, scratch where her forelock meets her head, or (as I discovered today) when I do some "routine maintenance" on her lady parts.
  • There is the I am checking you out and investigating you before I proceed face. This is the face Shy gives when she is approaching a person or thing. She will walk towards you and swing her head one way and look out of you with one eye. Then she will swing her head the other way and stare you down with the other eye. If you have passed both eye inspections, Shy will proceed to you. For a while, I though she might have eye problems or be able to see better out of one eye than the other, but no, she looks out of both sides equally.
  • There is the sweet bliss of wind in her face/eating delicious grass face. Shy will close her eyes and completely enjoy the moment. This face is often interrupted by the whoa, you just scared the living sh!t out of me face, as Shy seems to get lost in her thoughts.
  • There is her beggar eyes face. Shy will look at you, with her head slightly tilted, then raise her hoof and "wave." She really uses the wave as a way to ask for treats. But her face is so sweet and innocent looking when she does this begging.
  • There is the hmmm. . .what IS that? face. This is the face that has curious, big eyes, large nostrils, and is usually accompanied by the "thinking" noise. Anything new is subject to this face.
  • There is the I am sooo bored with all of this face. Shy will stand there and yawn and yawn and yawn (because I didn't get the message after the first yawn). She does this in the cross ties frequently because she does not like to just stand there.
  • There is the look at me, I'm trotting! face. It's the cute face Shy has when she is trotting around the arena, and she passes me, forelock and mane just a-waving, looking as proud as can be. She will round the corner and keep her eyes on me so happy with herself, it melts my heart.
  • And there is the b!tch please, I rarely pee in my stall so who do you think you are? face. Our barn has no twenty bathrooms stalls where us two leggers can relieve ourselves. I generally chose an empty stall, but one particular day there were no empty stalls. So, I went in Shy's stall. She looked at me with THAT face, then turned her butt to me. I was thinking, please don't kick me, how will I explain to anyone that I got kicked by a horse while peeing in the stall? But as soon as I finished, she turned around, so I like to think that she was giving me some privacy. 
Laser beam eyes!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

bareback pad disaster

It finally came! 
My bareback pad! 
I was so excited to get my package the day before Christmas; it had been on back order for weeks. It had stirrups that I could remove if I did not want to use them. It was blue. It seemed perfect for my needs. 
Simple, like this bareback pad, but blue

I got to the barn Monday to feed and muck stalls. I patiently waited all day to try this new thing on Shyloh. By the time I got done with everything, the barn was busy! But, being so excited to try this new piece of "tack", I moved forward. I groomed Shy because she was a little muddy from being outside. I put the pad on. Hmmm. . .what was this odd buckle contraption?  I could not figure it out, so I called in reinforcements. Kathy also had difficulty figuring out how to secure the buckle. Finally, I got it. . . sort of, kind of, maybe. 

The arena was busy! Notch was in there doing showmanship type stuff with Jaime, Dannon was being lunged, and someone was shooting guns nearby. Remy was getting tacked up to come into the arena, too. There was a lot going on, and I usually ride by myself. In fact, I've only ever rode with another person once. But, my enthusiasm to use this bareback pad persevered. 

I knew I would have to get on and off Shyloh a few time to adjust the stirrups to the correct length. We walked up to the mounting block. I swung a leg over. . .and I was stuck. The mounting block isn't tall enough for me to sit down on Shy, I have to swing myself over. If I got on like normal, the saddle pad would re-adjust itself crooked. So, I stood there, with one leg swung over Shy's back and the other leg on the mounting block, wondering what I should do. 

Shyloh decided for me as she walked off! I hung on for dear life (because a drop from 13.3hh is soooo far), while half hanging on the side of her until she stopped. It seemed like forever, but in reality it was probably only a few steps. I slid off of her and checked everything out. Apparently my sort of, kind of, maybe girth adjustment was not right. The pad was massively off-center. . .I fixed it, I think, then started over. 

This time I got on Shy but the stirrups were way to long. I got off and adjusted. I got back on. Too short. I got off. Adjusted. Got back on. One stirrup was decent , but the other was way off. By now, I was annoyed, so I threw the saddle pad over the arena wall (and I may or may not have been cussing at it), and hopped on Shy like I always do. We did a few laps around the arena. 

Shy was great, even with all the commotion! She stopped frequently to check things out. If a giant horse was running in my direction, I might stop and let him pass, too . . .just to be safe. She listened perfectly, even though I could tell she wanted to GO! She was very forward and at one point almost broke out into a trot. Whew. . . I am not ready to trot bareback. My balance is not there, yet! Soon I dismounted and led Shy back to her stall. Even though we had a short ride, it was a good ride. Better to be short and successful than to push her and have something unfortunate happen.

While I was getting that d@#ned bareback pad from the arena wall,  Shy thought she deserved a something delicious and sugary for her good behavior, and took it upon herself to provide herself with a treat. 
Notice the destroyed SweetTart box. . .
Maybe it was not a terrible disaster. . .It could have been much worse. But I was very disappointed with the bareback pad. I will work on it and try to figure out this buckle and attempt again.

And news in the Shyloh trust and progress department! I thought that since Shy was going back outside, she would return to her wild self, refusing to come inside, and everything else that she used to do.


I went to go get her and Ryleigh today from outside. Ryleigh was a gentleman, as always, but Shyloh thought it would be fun to play her signature game, Catch Me If You Can. I did, for a minute, then just took Ryleigh inside. As soon as we were out of the gate, Shy trotted up to the gate. She was still there waiting when I went back out to get her. She saw me and nickered! Then she flung her head a few times. I went in the gate and she trotted away, but I called her and she trotted back to me! First time ever! That and the nicker she gave me made my day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

monday musings by shyloh #17

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I know I did! Allie and aunt Kathy let me and Casi, and then me and Ryleigh go outside on Christmas Eve! Most pastures are still muddy and some have ice spots, but the small one was okay, so that is where we went. We didn't go crazy or anything like some of the big TBs might go, we just stuck our heads right down and got to business. . .grazing!
nom nom nom. . .grass is good!
We got to go outside today, too!  It was so nice to have the cool breeze and sun on our backs. I just loved it! I must say that I am glad I have a stall. I stay clean, but most importantly dry. My old paddock is still flooded and so muddy. I feel bad for poor Notch out there! But the mud only goes to his pasterns, where if I was out there it would probably go up to my stifles!

Allie took a ride on me the other day and set up a little obstacle course for us to do. Because we did this so so many times before she started riding me, I was a pro! I went right through it without a problem. Around, through, and over. Easy as pie!
Beginner's obstacle course
Although, while I was doing the obstacle course, Beth decided it was time for dinner! I saw her walking down the aisle with the hay wagon and throw my dinner hay in my stall . . .I was so  torn! Allie was telling me to go one way (which was away from the door, my stall, and my hay), but I wanted to go another way(toward the door, my stall, and my hay). I tried to compromise. . .I faced the way Allie was directing me to go, but I made my legs move another way, towards my stall. I can do quite the fancy footwork when I want to!  But, I was unsuccessful and I had to do the obstacle course one last time. Then Allie let me eat!
Am I too young to start shaving my legs? They are pretty hairy. . .
Allie taught me to play ball. Her version of ball is to kick toward me and then I run away snorting and sometimes bucking. It really is fun and I am not really afraid of the ball! Then we tried to another ball game, roll the ball back and forth. Allie would push it toward me and I would push it back!  
I'm cute!
Another fun thing to do is play with Casi. I get him to chase me, then throw side bucks out at him! Casi thinks this is so much fun, too, because he does the same thing! I only try my hardest to play and be extra goofy when Allie isn't looking. I need her to think that I am a serious horse. So, if I am in my stall playing with my Lick-It or Jolly Ball, as soon as I see Allie, I stop. And when I play with Casi, it is usually when Allie is not around. But I got word that Aunt Kathy told on me and Casi the other day. . .and I think Allie was spying on us from out a window today while we were playing. I need to watch myself! I really need to keep up my "serious" horse demeanor. I cannot be confused for one of those silly mini horses or ponies just because I am vertically challanged! 

Time to eat my dinner hay. . .I'll let Allie tell you all about the wreck that was the bareback saddle pad another time. . .


Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas!

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the stable
Not a pony was stirring, to sleepy to be able.
The stockings were hung by the arena with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The horses were nestled all snug in their stalls,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in the halls.
And Casi in his blanket, and Ry in his vest,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s rest.

When out on the pasture there arose such a clatter,
Shyloh sprang from the sawdust to see what was the matter.
Away from the window she spooked like a ghost,
Tore open the stall door and ran to the fence post.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain
Gave the luster of mud to paddocks again.
When, what to Shy's wondering eyes should a-springer,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny Haflingers.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
Shy knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his Haffies they came,
And he clucked, and he kissed, and he called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the arena! to the top of the wall!
Now trot away! Trot away! Trot away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the barn-top the Haffies they flew,
With the sleigh full of carrots, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, Shy heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each Haffie hoof.
As Shy drew in her head, and was turning around,
Down to the barn St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his croup,
And his clothes were all tarnished with sawdust and poop.
A bundle of hay he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl of apple jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And Shy snorted when she saw him, in spite of herself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave Shy to know she had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his head,
And giving a nod, to the arena he fled!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a cluck,
And away they all flew each giving a buck.
But Shy heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

~Adapted by Allison from Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a day off?

I had taken the day off of working my day job. . .only to spend the day mucking stalls! And it took longer to feed and clean than it does to work my day job. But I didn't mind, I got to spend all day with the horses. I was being pokey with cleaning and I kept going over to Shyloh's stall to love on her and her new cuddly self. 

It is unseasonably warm this year. It almost makes me afraid that winter will last long into April or May. I hope not! Since it down poured today (once again) the horses still cannot go outside. I do have to say that they are doing incredibly well for being stuck inside for so long. I know when the stalls are cleaned, they all get a turn to run around in the arena, either by themselves or in pairs. And Robin, Kathy, and I take turns when we are at the barn to make sure our horses get some time in the arena. 

Because it was so nice and I was really hot from working, I opened Resy's half door for him to get some fresh air. He was so happy! 

So then Remi decided he wanted his open, and somehow opened it himself! Smart boy!
I opened Shyloh's window and she just stood in front of it, forelock blowing in the wind. I can't wait for this land to dry up so they can all go back outside again! I also opened Casi's for him and he seemed to really enjoy it, as well.
Whoosh. . .loving the fresh air!
After mucking, Kathy and I went on a short bareback ride on Shyloh and Casi! This is the first time I have ridden Shy with another horse in the arena. And once again, she was amazing! I am in awe with how great Shy is when I am on her back. The wind was blowing pretty strong, and when it blows again aluminum (or whatever the barn is made of) it makes a terrible noise. Some horses spook at this noise. I made sure to keep myself relaxed and Shy did not have a problem. Jaime was also right outside the arena clipping off poor Clutch's feathers. He has an infection from the mud and wetness and his Clydesdale hair. He was outside because he is pasture boarded, but he will be staying inside, at least until he heals. Anyway, Shy was fine with all this stuff going on.

When Kathy and I were riding and Shy was following Casi, she kept a nice pace. Shy even led for a little bit. And every time I lost balance, even a little, she stopped. But, my balance improves every time I ride and I am able to keep a rhythm with her gait. 

To top the night off, Shy let Kathy ride on her bareback! Kathy said she was very comfy. I am so glad that Shy had a good experience with someone else on her back. Now, I am itching to ride again. . .I can't wait a whole week before my next ride!
Such a good girl!

Monday, December 19, 2011

monday musings by shyloh #16

I've been tortured this weekend! Forced to do things against my will! Made to look a fool!  Participated in activities beyond my level of well-being! I have suffered agonizing humiliation! I have become a patsy for the holidays! A schmuck in a costume! A  ridiculous mockery of the Christmas spirit. Okay. . .enough, but I do have evidence of said torture, as seen below. . .

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Has Allie not learned from the Halloween incident? Are the remaining pink strands of hair in my luscious mane still visible? Yes they are. I don't think she understands that I prefer to NOT be spray painted/dressed up. I mean, do I look happy In Exhibit A or B? I think not.

But, if you did notice from the photos, there is something around my neck. What is that, you ask? It's my early Christmas present from Allie. So if dressing up in silly hats or antlers gets me presents, I guess I will suffer through said torture. It would be much more enjoyable if the presents were edible, though. But, Allie was very excited to give them to me and my friends, Ryleigh and Casi. They are rhythm beads, with a matching tail and mane piece! Allie made them all by herself! They are for when we go trail riding. Not only will I look amazingly cute, but I will be able to keep rhythm to the bells, and the bells will warn other wildlife (because I AM a wild pony) that we are coming and they will get out of the way so I don't spook. 

Modeling my new bling! I should be on the cover of  Horse Illustrated .
Allie put a turtle on my necklace because she said I am shy like a turtle who wants to go in its shell, and we are taking things slow and steady like a turtle! It's cute, I have to say, even though I was a little bit unsure about the bells at first. But I got used to them real quick and kept my new presents on all day. I didn't even try to eat them!

I also got to go back in my stall. I had been borrowing a stall because mine flooded. But I am glad to be back at mine and back in the action, although I will miss being by Casi. Another good thing about being back in my stall. . .it is decorated for Christmas!
Can you see me?
I am getting real used to Allie and much more comfortable with her. I can tell she likes this. I tried to play with her by giving her a nip on the arm, but she did not like that. I guess I will have to find other ways to play. But I am realizing that she will keep coming back for me and will make sure that I am taken care of always. So I guess I will have to take it kinds easy on Allie. . .maybe.

But, you know. . .I can't let my Haflinger ancestry down, so I must continue to find escape routes to look for more food! Gotta keep my priorities straight!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

level up!

Shyloh and I have reached a new level in our relationship. I am not sure what made her decide to take the next step, but she has! And it is not just with me, it's with other people, too, like Robin and Kathy. Shy is approaching people on her own, not backing away from people when they approach her, and following me around the arena. She is showing an incredible interest in the things that I have been doing, something she could have cared less about just a week ago. 

However, along with her new trusting behaviors, she has come out of her shell in other ways. . . 

I should have taken this act yesterday as a predictor of what she would do today. . .
Peek-a-boo! Is there food out here?

I had Shy in the arena with Casi and I was cleaning their stalls. After I got Casi back in his stall, I turned around to find a loose Haflinger! Shy had opened the arena doors and started running down the aisle, like I'm free!, but then got distracted by the open hay closet. A Haflinger's mind never strays from food. 
I have discovered the hay jackpot!

And Shy was not my only escapee today. I was taking Baby Bob from the arena to his freshly cleaned stall when he decided at the last minute that he wanted to run toward the slightly open doors at the far end of the aisle. With all his might (and that is a lot of might), he pressed on until I had no choice but to let go of his lead rope or be drug behind him. Good thing it took him a minute to try and figure out how he was going to open those doors. I brought him back to his stall and turned around to put Dannon in his clean stall, when Bob busted out of his stall! He tried to get around Rob (Robin's husband), but was unsuccessful, so he turned around and ran into Ryleigh's stall. Ryleigh was outside with Robin, grazing and waiting to come back inside. Finally, I got Bob and secured him in his stall. Whew. . .it is a much scarier experience when some one else's horse escapes on your watch, let alone the barn owner's horse!

Shy has also discovered a way to ask for treats. How does she do this? Well. . .I taught her how to wave. . .

And now when she wants or feels she needs a treat, she comes up to me and waves. Over and over and over. It is so cute, I can't help but give her the treats when she "asks".

Another new thing for Shy is her playing on her own with Casi. Yesterday, Shy and Casi were in the arena, running like I have never seen them run before!  We were not even making them run, they were doing it all on their own and they seemed to really enjoy themselves! Shy actually worked up a sweat. Here is the video I put together.

And Shy got to hang out with Ryleigh for a little bit, today. They were in the arena and outside grazing. 

Shy also got to spend some time in the arena with Casi. 

We did some free-jumping today, which once again was a lot more work for me than for Shy. My two out of shape legs cannot keep up with her four legs! 

Shy had a busy weekend! The only thing I did not accomplish this weekend was a ride. But I am loving that Shy has taken our relationship to the next level and I look forward to what this brings.

Friday, December 16, 2011

freezing friday

Brrrr. . . it was a cold night! I spent a little time with Shyloh at the barn, but I did not have enough layers on to keep warm. Shy has temporarily moved stalls because her stall flooded from all the rain we have been getting. Right now, she is right between Chick and Casi, on the complete other side of the barn. I am grateful that Beth had her moved to a dry stall until her's dries out.

I took Shy outside to graze a little bit. Kathy and Casi joined us. It was freezing out, but the horses seemed happy to be out. We had a heck of a time trying to get them back in the barn! They loved being out and gobbling grass!
Even though this photo is blurry, I like how the wind made her mane into a mohawk

After, we took Shy and Casi into the arena to run around. Casi really loves to run! And he has such a pretty trot and canter. It looks like he is floating on air. It is beautiful! And his tail gets so high, it's almost straight up! 
Run Casi Run!

Shyloh was doing her head toss and refusing to run at first, but she finally got into the swing of it. Soon, her and Casi were running around the arena and Shy was bucking for fun! Casi started bucking back, but they both kept up the running, so Kathy and I were not worried. They seemed to be having so much fun. 
Trying to keep up!

I gave her a few treats, then I had to finish Christmas shopping. After being disappointed at several stores, I finally found the last thing on my list! Glad that is done, I will not be going to any more stores for a while. . .it is a mad house out there! Now to finish  my secret project, wrap these gifts, and stay warm with the dogs for the night. Back to the barn in the morning.
Casi probably lapped her, which is the only reason she would be in front!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

absence. . .

. . .does make the Haflinger heart grow fonder! Sunday was the last day that I was at the barn. I left Shyloh as her usual aloof self. Her general attitude towards me is "Oh, you're here. . .do you have food? No, well you can go or stay, doesn't matter." Today, Shy was all over me! 

I was conflicted. On one hand it was nice to have her actually approach me, nuzzle me, and be close to me on her own will. On the other hand, I do not want her to get used to being in my space. Ahhhh! What to do?

Put her to work of course! We worked on our free jumping. I think Shy likes to jump. She did a great job, although, once again, I did more running than she did. But this time, I did not have to push her as much to get over the jump. Yay us! And I did get a video, but of course, she would not give her best jumps for the camera. Which goes to show how sassy she was today!
For example. . .I was down the aisle and I saw her stick her head out of her stall. I said to her, Hi Shy! and she did her sassy head toss. Whoa. So I did it again, Hi Shy! Again, head toss. I said to Kathy to watch this attitude, and repeated it, Hi Shy! Which was followed by a, yup, a head toss! Oooh, she is so cheeky!

I also got this video of Shyloh coming up to me on her own. This is a very rare occurrence! A once in a lifetime opportunity!
 She has got her eye on me! Silly pony!

Monday, December 12, 2011

monday musings by shyloh #15

See how fuzzy I am?
Another weekend gone by. . .And what a cold weekend it was! Good thing I have grown a nice, thick, fuzzy coat to keep me warm, even though I am stuck inside. Although, I did get to use my coat for a short time when Allie took me outside to eat delicious, delicious grass! It was really icy out, but I didn't mind since I was on a quest for the best grass.
Casi and Kathy
Ryleigh and Robin
Speaking of deliciousness, Allie gave me something new to try!. It was warm and it had carrots in it. . .it was bran mash! I hope I get some more of that soon.
I love to eat yummy things in the sun!
I guess that I am not allowed to hang out with Ryleigh anymore because he is mean to me. I don't mind, but I guess Robin does. If it really bothered me, I would let him know, for sure! So, now I am hanging out with Casi. He loves to run and tries his hardest to get me to run with him. I will run for a little bit, but my legs are not nearly as long as his! And I think my thick winter coat slows me down a bit. . .just a little bit.
Whad up!
I was measured this weekend. . .I was not too happy about it! Doesn't Allie know not to measure a girl before she has gone on a diet? Like I would ever diet. . .voluntarily. . .Anyway, she put this thing on my back to see how wide I was. Like, I said, I was not pleased and I made my thinking noise to prove my point. I also tried to scoot away from it, but Allie got the measurement. I heard something about being in between a medium-wide and wide. Does that mean I'm fat? If that thing is for a saddle, I don't plan on cooperating. Saddles mean work!
Does my butt look big with this tail?
So, Allie thought she got real smart on me. . .but I showed her. She turned the mounting block around, so I had to go between it and the wall. This way, I was not able to step out to the side when she tried to get on me. While I was busy thinking about how to get out of that predicament, Allie just up and got on me! I'll admit, I was a little stunned. We started walking, but then I thought better. I stopped. Then I refused to move. Ha! Allie was squeezing my sides and telling me to walk on, but I stood as still as a statue. Finally, I decided to move, but I. . .moved. . .so. . .slow. . .hahahaha!
Don't mess with the best!
Allie got off of me and looked around kinda confused. But then we went to the mounting block again. And she hopped right on me once again! Well, it was time for me to play statue again. And then the whole scene repeated. Allie checked me out to make sure I was okay, which I was. I was running around just before, I just can't make things too easy for Allie! Think of all the things I would have to do if Allie had an easy time with me! No thanks!
Trouble is my middle name. . .
She tried the same thing again the next day, mounting with me against the wall. I let her get on me right away, but. . .to mix it up a bit and keep Allie on her toes, I took off. . .at a fast walk. She made me stop and stand for a bit, then got right off me. Hahaha. 

Well, I think I will be spending the rest of the night thinking up of ways to mess with Allie.
Or I could dream about eating more grass. . .

Sunday, December 11, 2011

things i've learned from mucking stalls

Okay. . .so after a weekend of mucking stalls and dealing with horse poop for hours on end, this is what I have learned:

1. The Arabs need a special fine toothed muck rake to get all of their teeny tiny poops.

2. The Thoroughbreds are incredibly messy! And they need to stop covering their poops with the sawdust, like kitty litter. It's like a search and rescue mission for poop in their stalls.

3. Not sure what these two are, but they are equally as messy! I totally don't understand the pooping right at the door thing.

4. The Appaloosa seems to spin and poop. It is every where!

5. The Quarter Horses are the neatest of the bunch. Poop goes in one corner, pee in another. And then they stay out of those places when not using them.

6. The Tennessee Walking Horse's poop falls apart and disintegrates. Why?
7. The Big, Black, Drafts drag their hooves throughout their stall, which gets their pee and poop mixed up in everything. Then their sawdust builds up along the edges and there is none in the middle.

8. The "tch" brothers are my favorite! They are pasture boarded, no stall to clean!

9. The Haflinger prefers not to pee in her stall. The moment she is out, she will go. She is pretty neat, too.

10. My new Muck Boots are awesome! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

sass-a-frass, farrier, and free-jumping!

I was a little (okay, a lot!) frustrated the other day with the pony! I must have spent 30 minutes trying to mount Shyloh. It got to a point that I would have spent all night lining her up at the mounting block, just to get prove a point that I WILL get on her!

Every time Shy moved away, I would trot her in a circle back to the mounting block, which was actually more work for me than her! Sassy pony knows how to make me work harder than her. . .

But I did it! Shy's mind was completely on getting back to her stall, but I made her weave through the cones a few times. And she did great! I worked on getting her to turn using my seat and Shy was very responsive, even though she was being a sass-a-frass!

I also took her outside to get some fresh air and graze for a few minutes. This was on Wednesday. One day, the water and mud will be gone and the horses can go back out to the pastures. . .one day . . .
Oh grass. . .how Shy has missed you!
Today, the farrier came for Shyloh and Ryleigh. He trimmed Shy up and put my mind to ease. He said her hooves and frogs look real good, no signs of thrush and no signs of founder. Whew. I asked how they seemed since I moved her inside and he said they are still good. Whew. He also said all the Haflingers he sees have nice hooves and he has never seen a Haflinger with founder (not to say it can't happen).

Kathy and I took Shy and Casi outside. They grazed for a bit and enjoyed being outside. Shyloh and Casi have been hanging out a little but more because Ryleigh is being mean to her. He keeps biting her and she just ignores it. So Ryleigh got to hang out with Lexi so she could put him in his place.

Then, I put Shy in the arena and set up a jump. Ryleigh had done some free jumping to get the sassy-ness out of him the other day, which reminded me of Goal #2 for Shy. Wednesday she spooked at the jump (she was pre-occupied with it before I attempted to mount her 600 times, so we walked over to check it out and I picked up a pole and accidentally dropped it), so I thought she might be hesitant to jump today. Not so! She watched with great interest as I set the jump up, making her "thinking" noise.

When it was time to jump, I swear I got more of a workout than Shy! I was running and she was out-running me! That pony can be quick! The trick was that I had to stay at her rear with the lunge whip to push her forward, but then keep her along the wall near the jump and not let her go around it, so I had to get to her side. Eventually, I was able to do it and soon enough Shy did not need much to get her over the jump! She is pretty good at free-jumping! I look forward to working on this some more!
Shy says "Okay, I jumped, now give me a treat!"
I decided to get on her to walk her around so she could cool down, although she was much less out of breath than I was at this point. Getting on her was not nearly as much as a process as it was last time. When I mounted, I tried to give her a treat to let her know good job, but she wouldn't take it! Unheard of!! I guess when she has a rider she is all business. The evening feeders even took hay out the door for Notch and Clutch and she watched them, but did not spook. 

I am noticing differences in Shy these past few months. Kathy stated today that she has come a long, long way. Kathy said that Shy is fantastic for her when she lets her out in the arena and will let her come up to her to take her back to her stall. She is not head shy anymore. In her stall, she used to turn away and position herself in the corner if I went in. Now, she might take a step like she is going to turn away, but then she changes her mind and will come to me. Little improvements, but they mean big things!
More food!!!