Thursday, January 30, 2014

horse ninja

I got a text from Jaime on the coldest day this week saying they just got in from fixing the fencing. . . 
Can fit through small fence sections with skill and grace. . .?
Shyloh had somehow broken through the second and forth fence line and was found with the big horses eating round bale with no halter on. What? How do two non consecutive fence lines get broke? How did she squeeze through? What happened to her halter? How does Shy do that?

I have four possible explanations. 
  • Shy and Isaac were snuggling up over the fence, Isaac grabbed Shy by the halter and tossed her over the fence, right out of the halter. Possible?
Flying Shy!
  • Shy and the minions were playing limbo and Shy got tangled in the fence, which removed her halter. Once she recovered, she decided to visit her round bale. Could happen?
Shy is terrible at limbo. . .she can't go very low.
  • Shy and Isaac where playing halter tag and he got her halter off. Shy tried to leap the fence to get it back, but totally failed. To make herself feel better, she ate round bale. Maybe?
Needs to work on leaping over things and not through them? Wait. . .needs to work on not leaping at all!

  • Shy climbed up the pole, snapping the fence lines in the process. Once she got on the pole, she began to pole dance to try and seduce Issac, the removal of her halter was part of the seduction. Perhaps?
Work it, girl. . .yeah, that's hay in her thong.

So. . .Which scenario do you think is most likely? Pick a scenario and that will be the story we are sticking with!

Shy is generally not a fence tester. She respects boundaries and leaves them alone. Only a few times has she actually broken boundaries and that was because she was leaning against them to get grass. There is no grass in the pastures any more. So fences will be turned on. . .

What is up with my horse breaking things lately? Halters and fences, it is not cool! I felt bad that Jaime and Kyle had to be outside to fix fencing from my little horse, it has been to cold for all this nonsense! Hopefully, Shy can get herself together and be a respectable Haflinger and not destroy stuff any more. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

haflinger hump day series #4

Wendy Kilgore grew up showing Appaloosas and Quarter Horses. After college, she took a break from horses (not by choice) before she got back into them with the purchase of an appendix Quarter Horse. Then one day, she went to a Hunter Pace and saw this horse she just knew she had to have. It was a Haflinger (of course!!). A few years later, the lady that owned him was willing to sell him and Wendy scooped him up. She describes her Haflinger as the best purchase she has ever made. 
Haflinger:  Awesome Willy BHF or Will
Sire and Dam:  All American NTF and he has A and M lines on his dam's side
Age: 9 year old gelding
Height: 15.1 hh
Personality: Will is the sweetest, most loving boy. 
Likes: driving
Discipline: Combined Driving Events or CDEs, but has also done Dressage, Eventing, Hunter Paces, and Trail. 

CDEs are like eventing, but with driving. They are similar to Arena Driving Trials, but held outside. CDEs have three parts: Driven Dressage, Cones Obstacle, and Cross Country Marathon. It can be driven with one, two, three, or four horses in any number of different configurations such as unicorn, three abreast, and tandem. The most common are one horse, a pair (side by side), and four in hand (two pairs). 

The Dressage section is graded on turn out or presentation (safety, cleanliness, tack, vehicle, matching of horses, dress of driver and groom, fit of harness, and how the harness, vehicle, and horses go together). Next is the driven dressage, which is nearly the same as ridden dressage with the judge looking for all the same things; impulsion from behind, responsiveness, suppleness. Some movements are the walk, working trot, collected trot, extended trotcanter, a halt, and rein back in circles, figure eights, and diagonals. Verbal aids are permitted.

The Cones section tests accuracy and speed as the horse and driver navigates a course of cones with balls on top. Missing the cones or knocking a ball off results in a point deduction. Circling before an obstacle or refusing also gets points deductions. This section is timed.

The Marathon section is a test of fitness and endurance for the horse. There are sections within the Marathon course that designate a gait that must be driven. There is a maximum and a minimum allowed time that the course can be completed. The marathon phase often includes a vet check and natural as well as man made obstacles or hazards that must be completed. The groom is an important part of this as they make sure the timing is on track for the course as well as throw their weight in the carriage to navigate sharp turns and hazards. 
I think Haflingers love to leap!
CDEs are an expensive sport to partake. It requires a four wheel vehicle, which can cost upwards of $10,000! The higher levels have different vehicles for each section of the CDE. The vehicle is only part of the expense; turnout, harnesses, travel, and show costs are also pricey.

Awards(for CDE last year only):
  • First place in Single horse in every competition this past year
  • First in Dressage, Cones, and Overall Champion
Prior to owning Will, Wendy had never driven a horse before! She took six months of lessons and was soon ready to show. Her experience with ridden Dressage and Eventing has really helped with driving. 
Because Will is really good at winning ribbons, Wendy allowed him to be used by the University of Louisville Equestrian Team for their collegiate hunter shows. 

Shyloh will be happy to know that she is not the only Haflinger on the planet that gets tortured with a grazing muzzle. Will is also an easy keeper and has to wear a grazing muzzle in the summer or he too, will blow up like a balloon. Wendy works to keep his weight managed and Will fit, especially since he was a very overweight when she got him. 

Wendy is looking forward to  trying competitive trail riding through ACTHA with Will this year. Will seems like a great horse that is up for anything!

Monday, January 27, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #118

I had the best weekend ever!

I spent time with Allie cleaning the barn, picking up spilled grain and left over hay. And I got to spend most of my weekend with my big horses. . .and more importantly, the round bale. I was beyond happy!
Haflinger Heaven
At first, Isaac was all up in my ish and I had to squeal and give him a couple double barrel kicks to the chest. Geez, sometimes a girl just doesn't want to be bothered like that. Fortunately, Isaac got my drift and we were able to eat hay together without him harassing by butt. 
I did keep getting kisses though.
Since the two leggers know that I can be a bit difficult when I have access to my round bale, I had to be put back with the minions so I would come in at night. It's cold and windy and the two leggers think that I am bothered by that. I am not, for the record, they seem to forget that I thrive on cold air. Mountain pony. . .right?
Walking up to Allie
I got to go back out and hang out with my big horses again the next day. Even though I needed a new round bale and didn't get one, I still had fun. I had to not so politely remind Isaac again that I was not interested in his nose up my butt. I was also told that my squeals may sound like a bunny dying. . . 
Opposites attract!
At least in the back pasture, I could see all the action in the back field with the horse sledding going on. I sure peaked my interest to watch. And it gave me a reason to run around a bit. 
Sledding is that way. . .

I got some bananas, too! I love bananas, peel and all. Hope everyone has a wonderful week! I know I will if I get lucky enough to hang out with my big horses and round bale again.
Yum!. And a new, girly lead.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

winter fun

The wind finally died down enough to have some fun in the snow. What else to do but take the horses sledding! Me and Shyloh used to do this all the time last year, but this year we opted out. Instead, the big horses got to pull the sleds.
Terry and Reba
Notch, you can't see Jaime and Kyle in the sled
It was Terry's first time horse sledding. Reba was a champ and could have cared less. I swear, nothing bothers this horse! Terry and Reba went for a spin in the front year, where Terry learned she couldn't make sharp turns. . .she flipped the sled and landed face first in the snow! Reba didn't skip a beat and kept trucking on all the way to the barn.

After that, we went out back. There was a couple icy patches which the horses seemed to know about without seeing at all. They did their best to avoid those spots. I love that these horses are so good. 

Except when Reba knocked Terry over while we was taking her back. . .
Reba wondering why Terry is down.
Shy was all up in arms about the horse sledding. She was running back and forth. I am not sure if she wanted to join in or was happy she was not a part of the action. Either way, we are still on our break from harnessing and driving. 
What ch'all doin'?
It is supposed to get even colder this week, if that is even possible. Keep warm everyone!

Friday, January 24, 2014

thawing out

I am sitting her thawing out from this coldness. The temps are low, but it is the wind that is killer. On the way home, the wind was blowing the snow across the corn fields, piling up on the road, and making in near impossible to see. 

It was nice to see Shyloh. She seems completely unfazed by the cold. In fact, when I get past all her hair, her skin is warm. It must be the native mountain pony, bred on the Alps and used to the winters, that is in her blood. 
Wind-blown hair.
Even so, I brought her in the barn with me while I cleaned stalls. It's only five stalls, so it doesn't take long, but I think Shy likes to "help out". She will go from stall to stall and "pick up" and spilled grain or left behind hay. It makes her feel super helpful, I'm sure. . .

Then we just kinda hung out because it is way to cold to do anything else. Shy went digging around in her grooming bag (which has absolutely zero treats in it) and pulling things out. Then she grabbed the clicker in her mouth and began clicking it with her teeth and looking at me. She knows what that sounds means, she wanted her treats! Crazy pony! So of course, she got some, that was pretty cute!

The big guys were all ready to come in early from the wind, so every one got a hay snack to munch on while they were inside. Water buckets got put in the heated trough to melt the solid ice and refilled. Minions came in, too, even if they really didn't want to and I had to chase Gunny as he ran to the round bale. 

I went inside Jaime's to warm up and eat dinner before I left. I went out one more time to help Kyle give the horses more water while they got their dinner hay. I was glad Shy hadn't broke out of her stall yet. Kyle said it's pretty common that she breaks out, but since she doesn't destroy anything while she is out, it is okay. Well, she doesn't destroy anything but her halters. This one lasted two weeks. Ugh. 
From the crown piece, ripped all the grommets out!
One day, it will be warm again. Until then, I will be saddle shopping and thawing out!

And I got my horse box!
A couple stain removers, ShowSheen, anti-bacterial pen, and Herballs!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

hump day haflinger series #3

Emilie is a fellow blogger over at A Blonde, A Brunette, and A Redhead, where she blogs about her awesome Haflinger and cute Corgi.  She started riding dressage at 10 and fell in love with Haflingers four years later. She read books, did some research, and drooled at photos of them online, in place of her actually having a golden pony. The first Haflinger she ever saw was the amazing Star Wars TOF in her home state of Washington before he gained fame as a Grand Prix horse. When she went to college in Kentucky, she rode her first Haflinger for her college equestrian team. Once she graduated, Emilie got her dream job as the head trainer at Deer Haven Farm in Kentucky. She met her Haflinger as a yearling and has done all of his training herself. 
Abercrombie and Emilie
Haflinger: Abercrombie of Deer Haven or Abercrombie. Also Fabio because of he gorgeous hair. 
Sire and Dam: Alex NHH x Larissa of Cedar Lane (Aristocrat TOF x Legendary WBF)
Age: 5 year old gelding
Height: 14.2 hh
Favorite Food: Everything! But especially peppermints.
Personality: Abercrombie is a laid-back, smart, and playful horse. When he is giving lessons to kids he tends to be more slow and relaxed, but when Emilie rides he unleashes his energy!
Likes: Eating hay. If he got grain, it would probably be eating grain, but he doesn't get any. 
Discipline: Up and coming Dressage show horse. I think they are going to be great, so watch out for them in the near future. Abercrombie also does a little jumping, bareback riding, and he gives lessons to kids. 

Dressage is ridden by one horse/rider pair at a time in a letter arena. The pair has to perform movements or a specific pattern and is scored (0-10) based on how well those movements were executed. A percentage is then given and that is how placings are set.
Emilie has taken lessons in hunt seat, jumping, reining, and a little bit of vaulting and driving. She has not yet taken Abercrombie to any shows, but look out 2014! Her main goal is to show him at Grand Prix level Dressage. For the upcoming year, Emilie plans on continuing to school Training Level and work on First and Second Level movements. She hopes to be showing First Level and schooling all of Second Level by the end of 2014. 

In addition her her Dressage goals, Emilie would like to keep jumping and teaching lessons with Abercrombie, as well as teaching him a few tricks. One of her other big goals is to compete in Dressage while riding Side Saddle. 
Yeah, he IS a Fabio!
I wish nothing but the very best for Emilie and Abercrombie. They are a great team who are doing some great things together. Check out her blog to see her progress with Abercrombie as they make their way through the levels of Dressage!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


As we head into another polar vortex (though not nearly as cold as the first), I have not done anything with Shyloh. No adventures as we await better weather conditions. No arena means that our only options for doing any type of work on in the frozen round pen with winds or the snow covered frozen grounds with winds. No thanks.
Shyloh likes winter! Look at that beard!
So we hang out in the barn. I don't think Shy minds. I hop up on her bareback and she doesn't even lift her head from her little hay snack. I wiggle around and she doesn't care. This used to send her into an anxiety attack of what will happen next??!! I drop stuff off of her, bang my foot into the plastic mounting block and I get no response. Maybe a couple forward steps to reach more hay. I will take that over scoots at mach speed any day. The other day, something scared her and all she did was flinch. She didn't lift her head or move her feet. Good pony. 
She helps clean the barn by removing all dropped pieces of grain. 
Every once in a while I get on a kick where I really want to find out who had her before me. A month or so ago, I thought I had the person. Strangely enough, it was an Amish person on Facebook. How that is possible, I don't know. But in stalking his photos, him and his kids were clearly Amish. In talking with him, the time line was similar, and the horse he was talking about was the darker colored Haflinger instead of the more golden colored. He thought it was her and I sent him a few photos. Turns out it was not. I was pretty bummed. I would just like to know who had her before they took her to the auction. Maybe get a baby photo. . .that would be cute. 
Fuzzy ball!
I am diligently looking for a saddle. The Tuckers are quite expensive, even used. Right now, I can't justify a large purchase like that. Other than that, I am working hard on my series. I have a ton of great Haflingers coming up that do all kinds of things and I am excited to post! I am also reading some great Haflinger books from back in the day. They have some really cool photos of Haflingers in the Alps, so if anyone is interested in seeing those and reading some more Haflinger history, I am more than happy to share!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

in love

Hey, Jaime and Haley,  Can we go tack shopping?

I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a halter
This is f'ing awesome
Nah, walk up to the barn like, "What up? I got a little draft"
I'm so pumped about some shit from the tack shop
Ice on the fringe, it's so damn frosty
That people like, "Damn! That's a cold ass haffie."

Haley was up from Ohio over the weekend, so me and Jaime took her on a trek of tack shops that were located no where near the area that we are located. 
Shy was giving bareback and bridleless rides.
Our first stop was a Western Tack shop which was almost two hours away. The place was huge and had a ton of very over priced stuff. It was fun to look, even though the staff pretty much followed everyone around making comments on their products. I did by Shyloh a halter like the one she broke though. I had to take the tags off before I put it on her because it was pony sized, even though it was the exact same size as the broken cob sized halter (I brought the broken one for measurements). Shy gets embarrassed when she has to wear pony stuff because she is a horse. 
New halter! Only one she does not slip off when she goes inside.
Next we went to this little tack shop that was located on the Ingham County Fairgrounds. The GPS did not understand this concept, but we eventually found it. This shop was less than uneventful and seemed to be short on a lot of their inventory. But they did have Sleezys on sale, so Haley bought on for one of her Haflingers.  I bought a weight and height tape, just because. 

The third place was by far the best. It had a large selection of pretty much everything and it was very nice and not too over priced (because, really, isn't all tack over priced?). It was here that I fell in love. 

They had lots of saddles and we spent some time trying them out, even the English ones. And I fell in love with this:

A Tucker. It was soooo comfortable. It was the best thing I ever sat my ass on, for real. If I had that, I would definitely ride Shy, like right now. Instead, I have an ugly, uncomfortable saddle that I bought to hold us over because it was cheap and Shy had broken her previous saddle that I liked. 

But this Tucker saddle, it was beyond nice. When I bought Shy, I just wanted to trail ride. I didn't even really know about driving. I still want to trail ride. I would be happy if that was all we did. So I really need a saddle that is comfortable for both of us. I liked the way the saddle fit me, I liked the position I was in when I sat. I liked the high cantle and the no horn (cause, you know, boobs tend to pop out with horns). I also liked the fenders over the leathers that another one I tried had. I NEED that saddle. It even had the round skirt that Shy needs. So, if anyone wants to send that Tucker saddle my way, I will gladly give you my address. Until then, I will just drool over the photos and dream of ways to rearrange my finances to afford this saddle sometime in the future. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

hump day haflinger series #2

One of the really great things about Haflingers (I think) is that the same Haflinger can be successful in multiple disciplines. A lot of the Haflingers and people I have talked to already do so much with their horses. 

The next couple of Haflingers come from TLC Stables in Ohio. This stable has Haflingers that do a variety of disciplines, but I am going to focus on two special horses. Lisa Schott owns both these Haflingers, as well as co-owns the stable, trains horses, and gives lessons.

Haflinger: Whispers of the Fruit CA or Will 
Sire and Dam: Walzertakt and Strawberry Daiquiri CA.
Age: 12 year old gelding
Height: 14.3 hh
Favorite Food: Stud Muffins (Shyloh's too!)
Personality: Will is forgiving and gentle to a beginner rider or little kids, but if a more advanced rider is on him, he will test that rider out. Smart boy!
Likes: Reining
Discipline: Will has excelled in Western classes, particularly reining. 

Reining can be compared to dressage in that the horse and rider need to complete a pattern of maneuvers and are scored based off of the horse's responsiveness to the rider, precision, and smoothness. Some of the popular reining movements are the sliding stop, flying lead changes, and roll backs. 

Will has also shown successfully in Dressage, Western, English, Jumping, Driving, and Showmanship. Will was featured in an article in Horse Illustrated, too!
He is handsome!
  • Four Haflinger National Championships in Western Pleasure
  • Four Haflinger National Championships in Western Horsemanship 
  • One Reserve National Championship in Western Horsemanship
  • Four Haflinger National Championships in Reining
  • 2009 Champion Open Division Freestyle Reining (all breeds)
  • Fifth in Green Horse Division at NRHA Sanctioned Show
  • Seventh in Green Reiner 1 at NRHA Show (all breeds)
  • Highest pointed Haflinger in the Western W/J/L Division with 456 points 
  • Haflinger Championship Challenge (HCC) Year End Championships:  Two Championships in Western W/J/L Division, Three Reserve Championships in the W/J/L division, Two Top 5 placings in the English W/T/C division. 
  • HCC Lifetime Awards: Western W/J/L Division; Superior, Excellence & Merit awards; English W/T/C Division; Excellence & Merit awards:  Western W/J Division; Excellence & Merit awards; Driving - Merit award
Will, loving the tail!
Haflinger: Lucky Princess MMS or Princess
Sire and Dam: Neumeister TOF  and Gold Classified mare Libee's Lady A of Pewamo
Haflingers can be inspected and classified into Gold, Silver, Purple and White for breeding purposes. Only 1-2% of Haflingers receive the gold status. Horses are scored in ten categories based on conformation and movement. 
Age: 6 year old mare
Height: 15.1 hh
Favorite Food: Apples
Personality: Princess can be kind of bossy, but she is also affectionate.
Likes: Working. Princess does much better when she is in work than when she is idle.
Discipline:Western, English, and Pleasure Driving. For riding has done English and Western Pleasure and Horsemanship/Equitation. For driving she has competed in Driven Dressage and Arena Driving Trials.

Driven dressage consists of the same things as ridden dressage with the goal of having a flexible and supple horse that is in tune to the driver. 

Arena Driving Trials are a day long event that have three parts: driven dressage, cones course, and hazards (obstacles) all in an arena. 

  • Haflinger Championship Challenge Versatile Haflinger Award in 2013 (she is 1 of only 3 that have achieved this award all this year), she had to accumulate 25 points in halter, 100 points in western, 100 points in English and 100 points in driving. 
  • 2011 National Champion High Point Pleasure Horse at the National Show
  • 2013 she was Top 5 in the Western W/J/L Division.
  • 2012 Champion in Western W/J/L Division
  • Reserve Champion Western W/J 
  • 2011 Reserve Champion Western W/J
  • Champion English W/T
  • Top 5 Filly/Mare Halter Sr. Division 
  • Lifetime Points awards:  Western W/J/L Division: Excellence & Merit awards -  Western W/J Division: Excellence & Merit awards - English W/T/C Division: Excellence & Merit awards - English W/T Division: Excellence & Merit awards - Driving Division: Excellence & Merit awards - Filly/Mare Sr. Halter Division - Merit award.
Looking good!
Lisa has been riding horses for 36 years. She was introduced to Haflingers by her husband who was looking for a driving horse. Right after that, she stopped retraining OTTB's and fell into the Halfinger hole. Lisa's goals are to continue to show Halfingers and train some of their younger horses for reining. She also wants to focus on her students and be there for them. And she wants to introduce more people to the wonderful Haflinger breed!

Will and Princess are great examples of all the different disciplines Haflingers can do.  Gotta love them!

Monday, January 13, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #117

A Sunday in my life. . .
Reba is stuck with me and the minions because she is in heat.
Smiles, cause I'm funny!
Jaime riding Clutch in her new saddle!
Me, finding grass under the snow.
Terry trying out her new saddle!
Reba and Terry and Clutch and Kyle going for a ride in the snow around the property.
Allie, went for a bareback and bridless pony ride on me. I want to go out too with all the other horses!! But Allie really wants a new saddle. . . 
What are your Sundays like?


Sunday, January 12, 2014

share your barn blog hop

I decided to join in on the barn blog hop! It has been fun seeing were everyone else keeps their horses. So here is where me and Shyloh spend our time together.

1. A View of the Barn
Home of Hidden Creek Draft Horses (plus Haflinger, two minis, and one mini hinny)
The barn is a simple barn. It houses the tractor, round bales, square bales, and tack. There are five standing stalls for the horses to eat. 

2. Your Horse's Living Space

Shy spends the vast majority of her time in this pasture.
Shy spends almost all day and night outside with her minions. She often refuses to come into eat (if she refuses, she does get her food given to her outside. Shy has the option and prefers to stay out. The two pastures used to be opened together, but Shy cannot handle herself on free choice hay and the biggest Percheron, Isaac, likes to play with the little minions and we are afraid he might accidentally hurt them. So Shy gets to live with the minions. 
When she does come inside. . .
When she does come in, it is for a few hours overnight and she has a standing stall. But, she generally slips her halter and wanders the back half of the barn for the night. Once the weather gets above freezing consistently, the horses will stay out. They just don't have a shelter right now. 

3. The Tack Room
Are the carts are stored to the left.
It's more like a tack space, but this is where I keep the stuff that I don't keep in my car.

4. View of Where You Ride
Round Pen
Hopefully, I will start riding. I will start out in the round pen for safety, but eventually, we will head out back. Right now it is an open field, but in spring, the soy beans will be planted. But there is a path around the soy beans for riding and driving. 
Back fields, yup, all of that plus more!
5. Favorite Feature of Your Facility

Well, I board at a friend's house, so they are my favorite features! We have a lot of fun together and a lot of laughs. 

The link doesn't format to my blog widths, but here it is!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

weird teeth

A couple weeks ago when I rode Shyloh I noticed something strange about her. As I put her bridle on, I had to stick my finger in her mouth to get her to open it. I had trained her to open it when I said "open", but it had been a while since I put a bridle on her and Shy was not being cooperative. So I stuck my finger right in there and I felt a bump on her bottom gums. 
Hard to see, but they are there!
Weird. I decided to feel the other side for comparison. Another bump. I had Jaime feel it too. It was definitely a bump on each side. The bumps were right were canines would grow in. . .

But in March of 2012 when she had a float done by an equine dentist, he removed her canine teeth on both sides. These were not wolf teeth, either, since those are on top and Shy had those removed right before I got her. In fact, I actually had the wolf teeth brought to me by the person I bought her from, but I lost them in the hub bub of moving her into our first barn. 

So, my question is, can canine teeth grow in again? I have heard if not all of the root comes out they can, but not getting the root on both sides? Strange. And the fact that she has canine teeth when I have heard that they are not common in mares is odd. Not just one, but apparently two sets. 

I keep checking on them and now they have popped through the gums. Shy is not showing any signs of pain or discomfort from these teeth. She is eating normal and not dropping food. I am not too worried about these extra teeth she has, it is just so not normal. But then again, Shy is so not normal. 

Little mohawk from growing out part of the bridle path.
We made an appointment for an equine dentist to come out to the barn in March. I used him last year (he is different from the one that removed her canines) and I really liked him. Maybe he will have the answers.