Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The battle has begun. Don't worry, we are armed and hopefully dangerous. . .
My killer team
The purple bottle is our homemade tick repellent. So far, it appears to be working because I have not found any ticks on Shyloh. Other people at the barn have been finding ticks on the horses, but in the couple days since I first sprayed, we have been tick free!

I also use fly spray, but I am always looking for new stuff to try. There was a review over at She Moved to Texas for a few different fly sprays that I plan on trying. But I also want to try some homemade sprays that people have been saying works. I spray all over, then spray in my hands to get her face. Full body coverage.

Next up, attempt to Swat the ears. Even though I did not get all the Swat in there last time, the glob seems to have kept the gnats out. Then Swat the undercarriage. This has also worked to keep the gnats or whatever bugs have been biting Shy off of her.

The final step is to put sunscreen on the pink parts. I don't want Shy's nose to burn. 

I have contemplated putting on her fly mask, but the flies don't seem to be bothering her face (aside from her ears). And since she is out all the time, I worry about rubbing or if the mask will even stay on if I don't make it out to the barn for a few days. 

After putting on all of Shy's bug repelling armor, we worked on side passing. Why? Because Shy wanted no part of side passing during the trail in hand at the last show. She did not want the ground pull under her, she wanted to walk right over it.

Now I know Shy has no problem with poles and I also know she can side pass without a problem. She even went through that phase when she was being ridden where she only wanted to walk sideways. Ugh. Of course, since we were not being judged, Shy was a wonderful side passer. . .back and forth with out a problem and just a point of my hand. 
Shiny pony can side pass
I put Shy back with her herd and discovered how she keeps the flies off of her. . .
All boxed in!
She squeezes herself between two bigger horses! Silly pony. . .

I am open to anyone's successful stories about the bug repellent that they use.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

rained out

Why is it that Sunday was a gloriously beautiful day, but Monday rained and rained and rained? Because I had awesome horse plans on Monday, that's why.

Jaime and Kyle picked me and Shyloh up at our barn and we headed down to Ohio for a drive with Beth and her ponies. Beth warned us that it was sprinkling, but it looked like it would stop for a while so we could get our drive in. The plan was for Jaime to drive Notch, Kyle to ride Clutch, and Beth to hook up Shy and Art and take a trip down the Rails to Trails path. 
See this tail flapping out the trailer?
Didn't happen. I was pretty bummed about it, but we ended up having a fun time grilling brats and chatting and watching Beth's dog, Skylar and Jaime's dog, Bindi run around in the rain and play in the yard. They were so cute together!
Bindi, taking the wheel
Beth's Haflingers were very curious to see what was in our trailer. They all lined up and stared just waiting for them to come out. Except Art, he could have cared less.  The four Haflingers did put on quite a how for us, rearing, bucking, playing, and galloping around their paddock. It was very impressive. Leah, the mare would chase Curly and Rambo off, Curly and Rambo would play with each other, and Art was just being Art. Then they would stop, line up, and stare at the trailer waiting for something wonderful to come out of it. And when the rain started coming down even hard, they went under the overhang (except Art), and poked their heads around to look at the trailer. If I had four Haflingers in my yard, I would get nothing done. They would be a constant source of entertainment!

Our horses probably thought that this was the lamest trip they have ever been on. . .getting trailered up and not doing a thing! I really wanted to drive (chasing that high. . .I would make the worst addict!), but I rather enjoyed a relaxing day spent with friends. I do not foresee many relaxing days through June, it's a busy month for us! Between shows and trips and birthdays we are going to have a ton of fun!
Mean pony chased all the other horses away! This is Shy's wet hay!
One thing we did discover, Shy can fit out the escape door in the trailer. And since she gets hauled in the tack area of the stock trailer, it will make it easier to pick us up and drop us off without having to make unnecessary trips or rearranging giant horses. Let's just hope she will go in the escape door. . .

Saturday, May 25, 2013

woodland creature

Apparently, Shyloh thinks she is some sort of woodland creature. I can't even count the number of times I have gone back to the pasture to get her and she comes frolicking out of the woods. Sometimes, she casually walks out, like whad up. . .and sometimes she flies out, like she thinks she is not supposed to be in the woods.
I really don't care where she goes in the pasture, she has about 15 acres of grass, sand, and wooded area to explore to her hearts content. I have a feeling she also sleeps in the woods. When I went to get her early one morning for the clinic, I could not find her any where. I walked to the back of the pasture, then I heard a noise behind me. There goes Shy, dashing from the woods all the way to the front of the pasture.

Today, I searched all over the pasture for the horses. Apparently, there is a secret spot through some woods that I did not know even existed! I found all the horses there munching away on grass. They are some pretty lucky horses to get to roam that land all day and all night.  

The only problem with the woods is the ticks. Ticks! Again. Ugh. I have already pulled three ticks out of Shy. They seem to like to burrow on her neck, right under her mane. So nasty. And those buggers really hang on! They are not easy to get out. I guess it doesn't help that I don't really want to touch them. . .

I tried a natural tick repellent spray today that I got from a fan on Shy's Facebook page. I used 20 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil, 20 drops of Lemongrass essential oil, water, and a dew drops of dish soap. We will see if it works. . .if not, I'll have the nicest smelling horse in the pasture. 

Why is it that during the cold months of winter, we always forget about the bees, mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and other winged insects of summer?

Friday, May 24, 2013

pony time

I finally got to see my pony this week!

Shyloh was super excited to see me. . .
Is that a horse than can barely contain her excitement or what?
I was super excited to see that she was not in heat anymore and her lady parts have returned to normal. I think the rain helped wash her legs off and Shy was not a nasty mess.

I tacked her up in her harness and decided to work on some stuff that gave us trouble at the show, mainly our ameoba shaped circles. I am not sure we made much progress on this, I think we both kinda suck at circles. For some reason, I can never end up at my starting point and Shy does not help. Going to the left was much better than the right. She seemed a little stiff going right. I am not too concerned by this, as she picks different sides to be stiff on as it pleases her. We will just work on stretches and what not. 

Then we went for a little line drive. We encountered some scary things. . .

Stuff for digging a new well
Shy wanted to go this way, then decided it was scary once we were underneath.
Guess she thought she might not fit?
This picnic table has never been here before!
Not scary. 
Could have cared less about the barrel. 
Cutting new stall floors and banging them on the ground. Scary.

The good thing about all these scary things was that Shy just did not want to go near them. But I worked with her and we got her to go around the picnic table or up to the well materials or keep going under the roof.  She did scoot when the wood floor banged on the ground, but it was a quick recovery. 

We ended on a good note, until it came time to put Swat in her ears. And found a tick under her chin. Ugh. But back to those ears, I am not sure how the gnats are getting to her ears since they are so hairy, but they are. This was pretty much all I could do. . .
Glob of Swat in the ear. Hope it keeps those gnats away.
Then I got this look. . .
Pissy pony
But a few delicious treats took that look away real quick.
Hurrrr! Treats!
Crazy horse. Glad I'll get to spend the weekend at the barn with this goof!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

reflection on driving

With the threat of severe thunderstorms for the past couple days, I have not ventured out to the barn. The other day the heat was severe, like melt your skin heat and humidity, and I was just too miserable to go out to the barn. Today, the promise of the coming storm is imminent and I am watching the trees outside sway back and forth in the wind. 

So, with trips to the barn at a minimum this week, I really wanted to take the time to reflect and think about my feelings on Sunday. I really don't like talking about my feelings, but here goes. . .I admit, I was nervous (mostly about the cart class) because Shyloh is not a "steady Eddy" horse and her behavior reflects directly how she feels. And she was in heat. I would not call her dangerous, just maybe more than I am ready to handle sometimes. Shy knows that and uses it to her advantage.

But I was so busy getting Shy ready for her different classes that I really did not have time to think about being nervous. It was literally one class right after the other. When it was time to put her harness on and hook her to the cart, it came so fast I just got right down to business. That, and this was the second time I had put this harness on myself, had me scrambling to get it on right and get it checked. 

Before I knew it, Beth was driving off with Shy to test her out in the ring. Besides jumping into the walk, which I think will be an ongoing issue every time we first start and I am just going to have to get used to it, Shy was so well behaved! I can't call her perfect because there is still lots we need to work on, but she was very in tune to what was asked of her and she did not spook. For some reason, I'm not sure if it all the horses, the people, the incredibly delicious grass, or the atmosphere, Shy is very comfortable at Harry Hughes. She has been that way since I first started bringing her down there. 

While Beth was testing Shy out, she was laughing. For some reason, she is always laughing. I am not sure why, if Shy is trying to get away with something or what, but Beth makes it all look so easy. Then, I jumped in the cart. I got in without the usual feeling of dread that something bad was going to happen. Away we went and I did not hang on to the side of the cart for dear life nor did I jump out of my skin as we stepped off. 

Next thing I knew, the lines where in my hands and I was driving my own horse! Without a pending sense of doom. I was actually relaxed and comfortable. I trusted Shy, something that I struggle with (funny since Shy was the one that came to me with the trust issues). Beth told me to trot her. Uh oh. . .I was not sure if I was prepared for that, but I asked for the trot anyway. And Shy kept walking. So I clucked and asked again. I got a few steps of trot that went straight down to a walk. Shy knew I was not sure of myself or serious about asking for the trot. Beth said Shy knew that and was taking care of me.

Eventually, I did get her to a trot. Surprisingly to me, nothing bad happened. Shy was not out of control. She did not run away. In fact, I was able to control her and I was having fun! A lot of fun! Even with Kyle and Clutch making a racket as they trotted around in the forecart, even with Becky trying to get Stinky to be a good grown up pony, even on the grassy arena area with ups and downs in the ground. 

We did the Draft Working Cart class and we came out alive. Shy did not turn into a nutty pony and although she decided to have the slowest walk alive and not keep her trot consistent, she was good. After the class, I remember commenting that I wish the judged had asked for more trotting! I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth! It was like a high. A horsey high. I want to drive Shy again. I actually can't wait for the next time I can get in the cart behind her. Of course, I am aware that one successful drive on my pony does not make me a pro, so I still need someone who knows what they are doing there with me. But now, instead of being fearful, I am excited for the next time I can drive. It can't come soon enough!

Monday, May 20, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #89

I'm in love!

His name is Traveller and he is a big, handsome fella.

I like to be by him and just be touching him.

At all times if possible. 

He loves me back. How could be not? I am so beautiful.

I am not sure if Allie totally approves of our love, because every time she sees us together she scrunches up her face and says how disgusting we are. Hey, sometimes you can't control nature. Or love.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

show success

I would most definitely call our first show as the Northwest Ohio Driving Circuit a success! We had a great turnout and everyone had a good time. 

And best of all. . .

I drove Shyloh in the Draft Working Cart class and she did awesome! Beth rode in the cart with me, just in case. Shy was listening great and was very calm. And she was being lazy. She was walking like she had no place to go! And when it came time to trot, she was inconsistent in keeping it up, but that is okay. For our first time in an actual cart class, I could not have been happier! And we got fifth place!

That was our first ribbon ever! 

We also did halter, showmanship, trail-in-hand, and line driven reinsmanship (where Shy refused to enter the arena and our circles looked like ameobas). And even though we did not place in any of those classes, we had so much fun.

We also got the Most Improved award for the show, because we drove in the cart class. A whole winter of hard work and tons of help from Jaime, Becky, and Beth, got us to this point. I will be forever grateful for them.

I didn't take nearly as many photos as I wanted, but here are some from our fantastic day!
Line driving Shy
She looks sleepy
Practicing in the cart!
Pleasure driving class, Becky driving Allie
Pleasure driving class, Flo with Nick
Youth cart class, Beth and Regina with Art
Youth cart class, Chelsea and Cody in his three piece suit
Kyle and Clutch
Becky and Maddie driving Allie, getting ready for youth cart class
Shady the donkey!
Pretty Gypsy pony

Another pretty Gypsy Pony
Skylar the cart dog. He had so much fun, he finally passed out from exhaustion.
On our way to the show!
Grand Reserve Champion in halter! Go Jaime and Notch!
Little Shady
Youth showmanship class. Great turnout!
Haley rode Notch and Kyle on Clutch