Wednesday, February 26, 2014

hump day haflinger series #8

Nancy Gauthier has a carriage driving pair that she likes to call "The Blonde Bombshells". Nancy loves how versatile Haflingers are and wrote a rider's romance novel on a very versatile ridden Haflinger. It is called "Heartspur" and can be picked up at Amazon. Nancy also has a website, so check it out!!

Haflinger: Crimson OOS or Crimson
Sire and Dam: Northern Lights TOF (he is pretty famous) and Christen MSC
Age: 12 year old mare
Height: 13.3 hh
Favorite Food: Carrots, alfalfa cubes, and peppermints 

Likes: Going to shows. . .there are lots of treats there!
Discipline: Combined Driving Events as Pairs

Haflinger: Lexi
Age: guessing 7 year old mare
Height: 13.2 hh
Favorite Food: Apples

Likes: Heard from Crimson that shows were fun, likes going too!
Discipline: Combined Driving Events as Pairs

Nancy and The Blonde Bombshells!
  • First at Waldingfield HDT
  • Firsts (and placings) at the MG Driving Center ADT
  • Spring Series Champion as Single
  • 2012 Waldingfield HDT at Training Level
  • Best Overall Dressage' at MG Driving Center ADT
  • Placing at Prelim level at Waldingfield, GMHA and SDA
The American Driving Society recognizes four levels to compete in: Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Horses and ponies can compete as single, pair or four-in-hand. Nancy would love to get another pair to compete in four-in-hand! This year, the Blonde Bombshells are looking forward to competing in one of the bigger events, possibly the Gladstone Event in New Jersey. 

Crimson kicked off her carriage-driving career as a single horse at various New England carriage and arena driving trials. Crimson did win a lot while driving single, but since she is never in a hurry to get anywhere, it made the marathon part a little challenging. 

Along came Lexi, who loves going fast! They made a perfect match: Lexi kept Crimson up to pace and ate up any apples that were offered, since Crimson absolutely hates apples. It worked well for Nancy, too, since she prefers to drive a team over single. 
Driving tandem
The Blonde Bombshells love the Marathon portion of the CDS;  zipping cross country, splashing through water crossings, dashing over bridges, and dodging around different sorts of obstacles is the best fun for a Haflinger to have!
Water Hazard!
When they are at home, they enjoy lots of trail drives and Nancy has just recently started sleighing as a tandem (one in from of the other instead of side by side). Both Haflingers also go happily under saddle as well. 
Dashing through the snow, sleighing tandem!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

a nice kind of sore

First things first, my derp moment of the weekend. . .
This was Shy's derp moment. . .
One of my favorite buckets flew down the road and across the street in the gale winds we have been having. I decided to go retrieve it in the field. After I crossed the street and got into the snow covered field, I decided to run. My next step sunk me down past me knee and I fell over. Oops, forgot about the ditch. . . I laughed at myself, brushed off, and took another step. Turns out, that under the snow there is still icy cold, yet unfrozen water in the ditch. Usually, the Muck Boots keep out the water, but when the water goes over the top the the boot, it is a no go. Brr! I did not make it to the bucket and had to borrow a pair of socks from Jaime. Good think I have extra boots in my car.

Now, on to my saddle. This is seriously the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat on. I tried it out Friday and was very impressed. I actually rode Shyloh Sunday and didn't want to get off of her! The other saddle I had for Shy made me want to get out of it right away. I did not like the position it put me in or the feel of it. This saddle. . .heaven. And Shy seems to like it, too. 
Shy, not looking like a derp
I can tack her up, untied. She just stand patiently while I fiddle with the saddle, trying to get everything just right. It takes the longest to cinch her up as I try to get both sides even in these initial trials with the saddle. She is so patient with me as I move from one side to the other. As far as I see it, if she really hated riding (same with driving, she stands like a gem for her harnessing), then she would be dancey or something, right?

She was incredibly relaxed the whole ride. No tenseness, no holding her breath, nothing. A little bit of sass and making sure I meant that I really wanted her to go forward when I asked. But no scoots. It was amazing. Shy made me work for what I was asking her, but that is okay. When I got more firm, she knew I meant it, but was okay with that and not scared of anything bad that might happen. 

I know I get a little nervous when I squeeze or bump her, because in the past she would scoot or rocket forward. So I tend to ride her with my legs on on her that much. I worked on that and Shy didn't mind at all. In fact, when she got stuck, I really had to squeeze to get her moving (and that took a lot out of me, mentally, to know she would scoot from under me). 
Very good, even knowing she had a pile of hay to get back to!
I stayed on Shy for the longest time I had been on her in over a year! Even Shy was like, um, you have been on for too long, time to get off, when she walked me up to the mounted block and sidepassed herself square to it! This horse is smart and even though I don't use the block to dismount, she knows what it means. I did not get off then.

But later, when I did get off, Shy was super cute and seemed very happy. Jaime even said that she seemed happy when I was riding her. And that makes me happy! I am actually a little bit sore today, but it is a good sore.  I am using leg muscles I have not used in a while. And I can't wait to ride this horse again!
I got good job licks after our ride

Monday, February 24, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #122

Guess what we did??
Guess. . .

Guess. . .

Okay, I'll tell you. We did riding!
Allie is really liking this new saddle, she says it is like sitting on heaven. And though it may be a tad longer than it should be, I don't mind cause it fits me real good everywhere else. Plus, we aren't doing anything crazy.

We walked in the back of the barn, round and round we went. I had to give Allie a hard time, of course. I had my spot, where I swear the ground was sticky. It was my get stuck spot. I made Allie work real hard to get me moving from that spot. 
Stuck here
After going round and round, I got bored. So Jaime got out some wood things so we could go figure eights and such. 

But the best thing about our ride, I had a grand total of zero scoots! Nothing bothered me, not the wind whipping at the barn, not Kyle making noises in the front of the barn, not Allie leaning forward and sometimes being tense, nothing. I was really having fun. It was fun to have little fights with Allie to see if she could make me do stuff. . .and she did. It was fun to be ridden again. And it was fun to make Allie proud. Plus I got treats!

Smiles for good jobs!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I pretty much know nothing about color genetics because 1) it is so complicated and I don't really have the time to learn and 2) all Haflingers are chestnut so there really is not much reason to learn. 

But I have been interested in Shyloh's light "eyeliner" and what that was. I was sure it had a name and after very little interweb research, I found it.
See the lighter color under her eye?
It is called pangare. It is a coat modifier that can lighten the hair around the muzzle, eyes, belly, lower legs, and inner legs. Ah ha! Makes a ton of sense. Shy does not have much pangare on her underside, but some Haflingers do.
Not my Haflinger, this one was borrowed from the interweb. He shows lots of pangere effect.
But it does explain the lightness that goes down her legs. She only has a slight sock on the inside of one of her back legs. Socks in Haflingers are discouraged; one leg is okay, but socks on all four legs or white going above the knees or hocks are strongly discouraged from breeding, per the American Haflinger Registry. Shy's legs get noticeably lighter all the way down. It's pangare (like when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, it's pangare. . .).

Pangare can be seen on Shy a little bit in the following photos:
Can see a little bit the the lighter color under her chest.
Lighter going down her legs.
Lighter on the muzzle and eyes, harder to see under her belly. She does not get too much lighter there, though. Not sure if it is because she is a darker/redder Haflinger, as the ones with the most pangare seem to be lighter/golden. Actually, the blog banner has some clearer photos of pangare on Shy.
The purpose of pangare is thought to be a a form of camoflauge or countershading. It is found mostly in pony and draft breeds like Fjords, Haflingers, Exmoor Pony, Belgians and donkeys. This modifier can act on any coat color and varies in how intense it it. It is also thought to be a multi-gene effect.

A little interesting tidbit for your Saturday night. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

hump day haflinger series #7

So far, we have seen Haflingers that ride various disciplines and Halfingers that drive. Today, I present to you a Halfinger that not only rides, drives, and is the top broodmare at Happy Haflinger Farms in Wisconsin, but this fantastic mare is a vaulting horse!
Haflinger: Liebste 

Sire and Dam: Abendstern and Lea. She was imported from Padenstedt, Germany.

Age: 14 year old mare

Height: 14.2 hh
Favorite Food: Is this a trick question? She is a haffie, she eats everything!
Quirks: When Liebste is cold, she wiggles her upper lip.
Personality: Liebste is very, very loving, kind, and gentle. She is top mare in the barn and bossy to the other horses, though. 
Likes: Eating and snuggling.
Discipline: Vaulting. Liebste also does lower level dressage, jumping, and trail rides.

Vaulting originated for use in battle to help make soldiers more dexterous and secure. Now is it an FEI sport. Many riders in Europe get their start in vaulting. It involves gymnastics and dance movements on the horse with one, two, or three people at a time. Not only does vaulting require the rider to have lots of balance, strength, and flexibility; it requires the horse (who is lunged at the walk, trot, and canter) to be quiet, calm, obedient, and strong.
So calm about all those people on her!
  • Midwest Horse Fair
  • Northern Illinois Horse Fest
  • 2010 - World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky with the Haflinger Owners of Wisconsin
Three people on one horse!
Ingrid Krause is the owner of Happy Haflingers. She grew up riding horses in Germany. Ingrid knew that Haflingers were athletic, fun, family horses, so when she moved to Wisconsin, she knew those were the kind of horses she had to have. For her farm, Ingrid imports some Haflingers from Germany and breeds the other Haflingers right on the farm. Ingrid's Haflingers are very athletic and and will try their heart out for their riders. Ingrid's goal is to breed sporty, all around Haflingers. She has Haflingers on the farm that are working on Fourth Level Dressage, Novice Level Eventing, and Combined Driving. She loves that these horses are so versatile that the same horse can do so many different disciplines and be a pleasure to be around.
Haley Madden is the vaulting coach at Happy Haflingers. She has known Ingrid for about 15 years and considers herself Ingrid's "horse daughter." Haley works with Leibste on teaching children to be confident around horses. Liebste also teaches children how to ride and takes great care of "her children" as she is a very relaxed horse. Liebste has a very sweet personality and is very tolerant of her vaulters! Together, Ingrid and Haley are teaching others about how great the Haflinger breed is. 

**All photos are from Happy Haflinger website or Happy Haflingers Facebook Page, used with their permission.

Monday, February 17, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #121

Um. . .Allie, what is this?

I am not sure I like what I am seeing. . .
I must inspect it closer.

Does it taste as good as it looks?
Not really. . . 

So, what do you except that we will be doing with this? Wait, before you get any ideas, don't you think I should try it on?

Okay, looks like it fits. Looks like it fits pretty good. 

What does this mean for us? I am almost afraid to ask! But, I do admit, I look pretty darn cute all decked up!

Guess we have a new saddle! I am hoping for some fun times, but not too much work. Allie needs to punch some holes in the breastcollar to make it fit, and get a cool looking square saddle pad that fits, then we are all set. Looks pretty nice and it is a Circle Y! I am one stylin' pony!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

cold routine

Lately, with the weather so cold and the ground all icy, me and Shyloh have been getting into a little routine. I bring her inside when I clean stalls and she helps by cleaning up the hay pieces and dropped grain from the big guys. It's a win-win, I get extra pony time and Shy gets food. 
Helper pony!
She goes into Clutch's stall first because he drops the most grain. It's funny when I need to clean a stall that she is "cleaning", I tell to to find another stall and she does just that. After Clutch,  she goes to Isaac's stall. Then she makes her way to Notch's stall and Reba's stall, then back to Clutch's stall. When I empty water buckets, Shy checks each bucket for me before I dump and after I fill. 

After mucking stalls, I have been getting brave and hopping up on my horse. At first, it was just sitting on her, but a couple times I have been riding her. Just bareback and in a halter, but hey, it is something!
All that mane!
I rode her by myself the other day (Jaime was in the house) and Shy was amazing! She even backed in the halter, which, I've mentioned many times before, Shy hates backing. But she tried to take me in a stall and I said "Absolutely not!" and backed her right out. I probably used way more syllables than a simple No, but Shy got the point. 
The more I do this, the more comfortable I get and I can feel my confidence increasing. I am ready to do more than walk around the back of the barn with Shy. I think she is ready for more, too. 
derp photo, but I did have my helmet this time!
After our little ride, I made a decision to do a little clipping on Shy. This is probably one reason why I should not be left unsupervised with my horse. . .
Last year we did a heart, so I decided to give the lightening bolt a try. Shy doesn't seem to mind it. I think it makes her feel fast. 

I also took her tail down to see how long it has grown so far. It is back to the ground! Then up the tail went again. 
But really, this snow and ice could melt any time soon so we can use the round pen to start riding more. Please and thank you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

farrier visit

Shyloh had her regularly scheduled trim the other day. She is so good for the farrier, always has been. Shy got a good bill of hoof health and the farrier went on to trim and shod Isaac.
Trim, trim, trim. . .
He brought his daughter along, who is like an Energizer Bunny. She is 7, 9, 11 ?? I have no idea, somewhere in that range (you'd think working with kids all day that I would be better at aging them, but no, I'm not). She loves loves loves horses. And dogs. And horses. And scooping poop. . .so I put her to work. I kept her busy because Isaac was having a bad day.

Since she already went on a 4 wheeler ride to dump poop with Jaime, I asked her dad if I could pony her on Shy to keep her busy. She was beyond ecstatic about this. . .Shy, not so much. 

I clipped reins onto Shy's halter and this girl literally stood on the mounting block and launched herself onto Shy bareback. Ah, the life of no fear. The girl has had riding lessons and her dad is talking about getting her a horse to board at Jaime's place, so she is familiar with horses and riding. 
Shaggy pony
I walked her around the property and this girl was a constant chatterbox and mover. Shy was looking at me like, what did you do to me? But she was a total gem the whole time. I decided to walk them around the pastures, totally forgetting that the snow was waist deep until we were in it. Trying to keep up with a speedy pony and walk through that snow was a challenge! I was out of breath by the time we got around the pastures.

Then we walked out back. The girl was trying to one rein Shy and was telling me she can train her over the summer since Shy wasn't listening to her. She also wants to help bathe horses for shows and clean stalls. Oh the energy! I had to explain to the girl that Shy doesn't know how to ride one handed and also, she is only in a halter so she isn't listening to her that well. I am really happy that I decided to go with the halter over a bridle and bit. The girl's hands where everywhere! But she is young.
It was a great experience for Shy to have such a loud, wiggly girl on her. There were no scoots, just a couple evil glances my way. Hee hee.

Also, Happy Valentine's Day! This is Jaime giving Shy a Valentine's Day treat.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

she loves me?

Shyloh's beginning with me was told at She Moved To Texas' Transformation Tuesday. Shy has overcome many fears that she came to me with, but we still have quite a ways to go. I am happy to say that we have not had a meltdown since that time driving over the summer. Just a couple minor bumps. . .like the soybean incident
She is kinda cute. . .
The bumps on our journey are more like Shy trying to get out of something, but she comes right back, no big deal. The meltdowns are something you can feel coming (I now know that) and after, Shy has a hard time coming down and relaxing. I hope those are behind us, but it would not surprise me to see a few crop up now and again.

But in the mean time, Shy is being super lovable and I am soaking it up! I have always been in awe of the people who could whistle and their horses would come galloping to them from the back of some pasture, nickering the whole way. Yeah. . .that was never Shy. It got to the point where she wouldn't run from me anymore, but I would have to walk every step right up to her. I am not holding my breath for a nicker, though. 

This was especially frustrating when Shy lived on 15 acres and she liked to hide in the woods. There were parts to that pasture I never even knew about! I would walk out like, where are all the horses? Then a near invisible path between two trees would open up into a whole new area of pasture. Horsey hide and seek. A couple other people had horses where they would call and the horses would run to the front of the pasture for them. Lucky.

Anyway, lately, Shy has taken a new interest in me. She has been looking up from whatever she is doing in the pasture to acknowledge my car arriving. If I take too long, she wanders to the fence line to see what is going on. Today, I pulled into the barn and Shy quickly walked up to the fence for me! I went out and loved on her a bit before I went into the house. Shy actually stood in the corner (one she never stands in!), staring at the house until I came out. Then she walked the fence to the gate. That really made my heart smile!
Taken from the house, Shy is waiting for me to come back out!
Other things she has been doing is looking up or walking to me when I call her name. She just down right ignored me until recently. I have not been doing anything different that I can think of. . .I think maybe, just maybe, that after two and a half years, Shy is finally coming around to me. I have heard that Haflingers, especially mares, can be hard to crack, but once you do, they are yours for life. Have we finally reached this point? This also brings up another new thing. . . minion chucking, but that's another story. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

hump day haflinger series #6

Our next Haflinger duo comes from across the big,blue pond. Victoria Watson and her Haflinger partake in hunts during the winter months. They belong to an Irish Hunt Club called Holestone Farmers Bloodhounds. When they hunt, they follow a man made trail that goes over man made and natural obstacles. 

Hunting tests the stamina, level headedness, and bravery of the horse. There are usually lots of ditches and hills to jump along with long flat areas to gallop. Hunting and hunters is totally foreign to me, mostly because nothing is being hunted, so the name is misleading! I am pretty sure at some point in history, actual hunting was done, but not anymore?
There are at many people involved in a hunt, both on horseback and on foot. The "huntsmen" keep control of the hounds and the "whippers in" assist them. The "master" controls the riders. The "cross country runners" arrange the route that is taken over the natural and man made obstacles, which are mostly fences, fallen logs, ditches, and the like. The hounds track the scent that is left by the cross country runners. There are various stops along the way for refreshments and fun. In a hunt there are no winners and it can last up to about four hours. The hunt club that Victoria is a part of does not chase or kill animals, they just follow the scent of the cross country runners. Her hunt club is also the first Bloodhound pack in Ireland.

Haflinger: Aube De La Commene or Blonde, registered with the Belgium Haflinger Stud Book
Sire and Dam: Liz Augartner and Alissa De Grass
Age: 7 year old mare
Height: 15hh
Discipline: Hunting
  • Second in Family Horse/Cob
  • Third in Show Hunter Horse
  • First In-Hand Foreign Breed
  • First Ridden Foreign Breed
  • Second in Tack and Turnout
  • Champion in Family Horse/Cob
When Victoria first rode Blonde on lease, she knew nothing of Halfingers. Eventually, she was able to buy Blonde and not only fox hunt, but also compete in Show Jumping, Cross Country, Working Hunter, and Derbies. Victoria hopes for another great year with Blonde and to eventually breed her.

Blonde seems like a really cool horse who loves to leap! Keep up the great work Victoria and Blonde!

Monday, February 10, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #120

When Allie got to the barn, I was napping in the back corner with Dexter and a lookout draft. But I promptly got up for a quick visit.
Snooze . . .wasn't ready to be done, though
Then, we got to practicing. . .

Sorry about the bumpy-ness, but Reba did not enjoy the fact that Terry was paying attention to me and my cuteness and not her. So She kept nudging and bumping Terry.
Look at my lush, white mane
I am getting much better at bowing, I just have a hard time deciding what to do with my front feet on my own. When left to my own devices, I just keep backing up until I hit a wall. 
Getting there. . .
The best thing about learning tricks is that I get lots of treats! I like getting treats so much, I even tried bowing on my own in the pasture. 
Give me treats!
I have been good lately and coming inside like a good pony. Kyle says that sometimes, he comes to get me and I start to turn away, but then he asks "Do you want your dinner or not?" and I immediately go in. And lucky me, the past couple nights I have had the minions distract him and he forgot to clip me in my stall, so I got to roam the back of the barn all night! Whoo hoo!

And in all this cold, Jaime has been crafting. Look what she made!
It's me, smiling!!
Now we are forever immortalized in clay!
It's all of us! Reba, Isaac, Clutch, Notch, me. Not to size, cause I'm the largest.
Cute, right?


Saturday, February 8, 2014

drumroll please. . .

And the winners of the Horze giveaway, in order are:

#1 Megan H
#2 Melissa S
#3 Saiph from Wait for the Jump
#4 Hannah from Chronicles of a Moody Mare


I'll send everyone an email so I can get your prizes out to you right away!
Thank you to Horze once again for their generous giveaway! 

On to Shyloh. . .
I missed this fuzzy pony all week!
My pony was so sweet yesterday! I think she knew I had a crappy week at work and was super awesome for me. I did a little bit of work with her. We worked on sidepassing, backing, and bow. 

Shy was sidepassing and backing like a champ. Once again though, I am sure when it is time to do it at a show in front of a judge, Shy will act like I am asking her to do handstands or spin on her head. I'll have to video some proof. 

I also went back to working on the bow. Shy has the get her head between her legs part down, it's just the bending on the knee that she has trouble with. I think it stems from asking her to go down a little bit and that is a vulnerable position for her. But today we made some progress. I held her leg up and when she lowered her head through her front legs and relaxed, she went down on her knee! She wouldn't stay but for a second, but it is a start!
Love that she walks up to me now
More freezing weather and snow on its way. . .yuck!

And Equestrian at Hart is hosting a Higher Standards Leather Care Soap giveaway! Check it out!