Monday, September 30, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #102

I am performing a magic trick. . .it is slow, but I think it will be successful by the time I am done. With the pure power of my will, I am turning myself into an Appaloosa!

Why an Appaloosa? I do not know. It is all I can seem to do. But I have made white spots all over myself. Sometimes I hide my spots to see if Allie can find them. And I am roaning myself, just a little bit, in certain spots. 
A spot right above my blaze, under my forelock
Spots by my eye and on my nose
More spots by my eye and on my cheek
Spots on my lower jaw under my neck

Spots on my neck under my mane
Spot on this leg
More spots in this crease
Spot on that leg
Spots in the inside leg
I have Allie thoroughly confused as to what is going on with me. These spots are appearing one at a time, randomly, all over my body. They are not due to any ill fitting tack, most of the places where I have put them, a piece of tack never touches. 

How famous will I be when I become the first Haflinger turned Appy? I wonder if I can make myself grow a bit taller in this morphing process? I will have to think tall thoughts!
I am also able to thin my forelock as I make my spots. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

tour de barns

Terry and I went on a Tour de Barns to visit friends and their horses. It was nice to see people that we used to board with at some point, catch up, and get some pony loving. 

Our first stop was the the barn where Kathy is now boarding. It was nice to hang out with Kathy and hear about all the progress she has been making in her riding. Casi is doing great, too! Also at this barn is the Shire gelding that came with Reba. He was in real bad shape and when his previous previous owner found out, she took him. He was super thin and still has hoof issues. But he is gaining weight and his attitude has improved. They also have some fiesty, fat minis.
Foresti, him and Shy used to hang out 
Joker, the shire gelding. He gets a double sized stall.
Casi, being a goof!
Cookie and Charlie with Terry. Pretty adorable, right?
Bonnie the Clyde
Next up was a visit with Rachel and Remi at their new barn. Remi is doing fantastic at this barn and Rachel seems to really be enjoying him. He was getting his mane pulled, then got to go in their huge outdoor arena for a run. This horse can move! He would bound off into a full blown gallop, then stop at the fence, turn around and do the prettiest, floatiest trot. They also had some yearlings that were too cute. 
Remi and Rachel
Gotta roll!
Nosy pony!
Also at this barn was Mia, the first Haflinger I leased! I was beyond happy to see her. When I walked up to her in her paddock, she stopped eating the round bale and stared at me until I got to her. I hugged all over her and when other horses came near me, she ran them off. Think she remembers me? She is looking good and she is probably about 21 now. I never realized how drafy she is! She is about as many hands as Shyloh, but way thicker. She has the apple bottom, thick legs, and a big head. It was so nice to be able to see her again. 
Massive head
I miss this pony
Then we went to the barn I had just come from. I can't believe all the work they have been doing there, it looks really nice. We visited with Brenda and Buddy, Tony the donkey, Marlene and Belle, and the new barn kitties. Everyone there seems to be doing really well. 
Remember Marshall?
Terry and a kitty
The final stop was to see Shy! We watched Jaime and Kyle mix concrete for the area by the hitching post. I went to go see Shy. I called her from the barn and she actually left the round bale and came up to me! She has never done that before! I usually get ignored when I call her. Terry spent some time getting hugs from the big horses. And of course, we spent some time with the minions. 

Dexter, getting friendlier and friendlier and darker in color
For all you long ear lovers, it's Gunny!
And a-spicy meat-a-ball!
Clutch giving hugs and Notch patiently waiting his turn for a hug
Then we have this goof! She doesn't give hugs that much, just smiles.
Hugs from Reba
More Reba hugs. . .truly gentle giants.

So so big!
It was a great day all around and much needed for both of us. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

over the hills and through the soybeans. . .

I missed my pony while I have been working, schooling, and interning. I think Shyloh may have missed me, too. Just a little bit. She was super sweet to me, but at the same time, it felt like we were starting over. She was a little jumpy but got over that pretty quickly.
Back to smiling!
I planned to take her fatness out in the fields with the sled and some weight. Just like last time. Jaime was going to bring her new sled and Notch. Sleds. . .we are so ready for snow!
We are true Michi-billies!
I harnessed Shy up and saw just how dirty my harness was. Yuck. . .and with a show the next day, yeah, it needs to be cleaned. I also added some bells because I guess it is hunting season? We had been hearing guns go off.  I hooked up the sled and led Shy away by her head. Hmmm. . .she felt like being quick today. I walked her all around, including on the driveway to get her used to everything. 

Then it was time to go out back to the fields. I took the lines, stood behind her, told Shy to walk on, and she turned around and faced me. We had a mess of horse legs and traces. I fixed Shy up and repeat. Okay. . .I went back to Shy's head and walked her down the path that leads over the creek. Once we got to the path around the soybeans, I tried it again. And again, I ended up with a turned around horse and a tangle of traces and horse legs. Well. . .it appeared that Shy felt she needed me at her head. 
Is that crazy to think like that? That perhaps she feels more comfortable with someone at her head? Like she needs the reassurance?
Notch and Jaime are waiting for us. . .
We walked down the path, Shy pulling the sled with the bags of bedding for weight and me reassuring her. As we walked, I fell further and further back, took the lines, and started line driving her. Success!
Go Shyloh!
We had a blast! And we even trotted some. Shy was really good. She was listening well and I barely had to even use the lines. Good pony!
The field
Once we made it out of the field, I was tired from running behind Shy. I am way way way out of shape. And since she was being so good, I thought it would be okay to sit in the sled and have Shy pull me. Shy didn't mind, but the sled did and it broke. So much for a cheap $10 sled. Shy handled that fine, too. 

Then Jaime suggested we hook Shy to her sled and give it a try, Notch was tired anyway. Sure, why not? I took all the precautionary measures (tapping the sled for Shy to get used to the noise was most of what I did), sat in the sled, and asked Shy to walk on. Well, she quickly realized she was not pulling as much weight as she was used to pulling, took a hard right into the soybeans (Notch was blocking her path), and tried to run. I was not about to let her. I stepped off of the sled, planted my feet, and pulled back. Shy pulled harder and I went flying through the soybeans. But then she stopped. She actually did not go far.
We flattened the bean. . .oops.
I unraveled her from the traces, once again, and line drove her out of the beans and back to the sled. As soon as she saw it, so refused to go near it or even look at it. So I had to walk her up to it and by it until her feet slowed down. She was not truly scared of it, she was just being a jerk and trying to get out of working. I can totally tell the difference. 
I got mad and frustrated, but since we ended on a good note, apples for everyone!
So even if she did not do exactly what I wanted her to do, I made her do something that she did not want to do. We pulled that sled, but I compromised and walked next to her. I wanted her to do something, but I didn't want to push her past her limit. It worked. We will get there. It just may take forever. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #101

My How-To Guide on how to keep a Haflinger in perfect(ly fat) condition:

1. Provide a round bale and 18 hour turn out with large draft horses. Us Haflingers cannot regulate ourselves and feel we have to be near or eating the round bale at all times.
This dive into the round bale gets an 8.9 for form and function.
Notice the drafts giving this Haflinger time to eat all she pleases before they have their share

2. Watch as Haflinger naps near the hay to make sure no draft horse takes any more hay than is absolutely necessary. 
This Haflinger even has a watch horse watching over her and the round bale.
3. To burn calories, have a Haflinger tug-o-war with the two legger every time they want you to leave the pasture. The Haflinger will put all her might into not budging from the round bale. 
This Haflinger protests at leaving her precious hay.
4. Put a grazing muzzle on the Haflinger. This is not to prevent the Haflinger from eating as much, it is just to provide a 5-10 minute session of extra calorie burning as she works at getting it off.
Haflingers get super sad when their access to food has been restricted. Then they get angry!
See the muzzle hanging down? At least this Haflinger has the decency for once to not leave it at some random spot in the field to be searched out by a two legger..
5. Stop giving the Haflinger her night night hay, only so she can burn extra calories by stealing the hay from the every growing  Percheron baby stalled next to her. . .
Look into my eyes. . .you are getting very sleepy. . .give the Haflinger all of the hay. . .
6. Watch as the Percheron willingly shares all of his grain with the Haflinger by dropping it over on her side of the stall and onto her water bucket.
Haflingers tend to not be picky about where their food source is coming from. . .the ground, a wet water bucket, another horse's mouth. . .
7. Finally move the Haflinger to the diet pasture with the minions, much the the Haflinger's displeasure. Minions are instantly entranced by the beauty of the Haflinger and follow wherever she goes. Haflinger is highly irritated, but then decides that they can be bent to her will and uses them accordingly. The hinny is upset whenever he can't see the Haflinger and one pony is in awe of a "big" horse that looks just like him. 
This Haflinger is sharing secrets with the minions on bad behavior.
The minions are following their new leader.
The minions are excited that a "big" horse gets to hang out with them. The "big" horse is not as excited, but thrilled at the prospect of bossing minions around. 
8. Break the two leggers heart and stand at the gate where her drafts are (or is it where her round bale is?) wanting to be with them (or it).  Either way, the drafts are equally as upset that the Haflinger is in the diet pasture. 
This Haflinger looks as if she is in foal. . .with twins. I assure you, she is not. 
9. Constantly remind the two legger that none of this is helped by the fact that pony time or potential pony exercising time has been drastically reduced due to other, less important obligations such as school and work.
Exercise must be gotten in various ways. . .after a tough workout, the halter is usually awry. 
10. Continue to try and convince the two legger that the Haflinger is just preparing her body for winter. 
Winter pony!
11. Surprise the human by taking first place in halter mare class. Apparently this judge loves perfect(ly fat) Haflingers!
The extra fat makes the Haflinger's body just shine and glow!
And that is how it is done!