Wednesday, April 30, 2014

hump day haflinger series #16

Ponies doing dressage? Ponies going fast? Yes please!! Enter the world of Combined Driving Events. Karen Milojevich doesn't describe herself as a horse person, she is an animal person. She did not even get into horses until she was 50! Karen spent most of her adult life with potbellied pigs, but as those pigs got older and Karen spent more time taking them to the vet, she realized that she needed something else in her life. 

At first, Karen began to show an interest in miniature donkeys that could be trained to pull a cart. But after taking another piggy to the vet, the vet put Karen in touch with a friend who drove CDEs. Before she knew it, Karen found herself being taken down the road in a cart with a handsome, energetic, golden pony with a cocky look on his face. She liked him instantly because his butt was bigger than hers! 

When asked what kind of horse it was, all Karen remembered was being told it was a "half of something." And then and there, Karen was bit by the Haflinger bug. She looked for one of her own, but without much horse knowledge to ask the right questions, she really hoped that a safe, cart trained pony would be magically delivered to her barn. 

Little did she know, that only a few months later, that same Haflinger would be for sale and Karen scooped him right up! She leased this pony for a while while taking driving lessons and before she knew it, she brought the Haflinger home!

Haflinger: Magnificent Gem or Mahon
Sire and Dam: Mahon and Distinictly Afgan
Age: 16 year old gelding
Height:  14.2 hh
Favorite Food: Romaine lettuce

Personality: Class Clown
Likes: Marathons and Cones
Discipline: Combined Driving Events or CDE

Mahon. What no one sees is that the embankment is about 6-7 feet above the water level.  This boy doesn’t change a beat crossing water!  He’s the best!
And because one Haflinger is NEVER enough, Karen found another Haflinger. This horse did not even have a halter on her until she was four, but once she went into training, she was incredibly willing and picked up on everything very quickly.

Haflinger: Quick to Lick BHH or Quick
Sire and Dam: Where’s Waldovdbloemendaal and Quicker Nicker
Age: 7 year old mare
Height: 14.1 hh
Favorite Food: Nicker Makers, for which she makes a cookie face to get some!
Likes: Driven Dressage
Discipline: Combined Driving Events or CDE

Quick and Karen
Karen drives each of these Haflingers single because Mahon does not do well in pairs. He does not like others to get in front of him, including pick up trucks! Mahon is also not a fan of Driven Dressage. But that is were Quick shines! She has lovely gaits and is a beautiful mover. Quick is also willing in Marathon and drives like a little sports car in ones. 
So awesome! Quick
Karen had her trainer, Megan Sibiga drive Quick in her first year of competition, but Karen has been driving her for the last two years. They usually place in first or second. . .and had only one third because of a communication error between driver and navigator.  Karen competes at Prelim level, but might go Intermediate this year.  Quick is a great pony who has all the skill to go to Advanced level and Karen tries her best to keep up with her. In addition to their fun career as a CDE team, Quick also trail rides.  Karen competed with Mahon for two seasons. 
Quick in a cones course.
I would love to attend a CDE, just to watch! There is one in Michigan in July which I hope to go to watch. Maybe one day, with the right Haflinger, I could be cruising through water hazards too!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

spring clean up

Show season begins soon. But before that, spring clinic! And that is next weekend already!

This weekend, we had our Spring Clean Up to get the grounds cleaned from the winter and ready for show season!

Clearing trees
Building a sandbox for the little ones
Trimming trees
Using tree trucks and repurposing wood to build a bench
We do our showing at the Harry Hughes Youth Equestrian Center. Their mission is to empower youth leadership and positive sportsmanship, encourage community connectedness, and provide a safe family environment through the equine world. They really focus on the kids and I think they are a good organization to be involved with. For me, it is low key showing and mostly about hanging out with a great group of people and their horses. 

Every year they hold a free spring clinic for the kids. Saturday's clinic focuses on light horse topics such as  showmanship, English equitation, Western horsemanship, trail in hand, and trail. There will also be a lunchtime discussion about sportsmanship presented by the Harry Hughes Youth Group. Sunday's clinic focuses on drafts and driving. There will be sessions in braiding and rolling your draft for show, draft showmanship, a lunchtime discussion on the rules and show day readiness, safe harnessing and hitching, and team set up and driving. It is always an educational and fun time.

This year, I proposed the idea of holding a raffle at the clinic to help raise money for maintenance and upkeep of the grounds, mainly the driveway and announcer's booth. My idea was accepted by the board and I set out to contact various equine companies to ask for donations to the cause. So all the registered participants for will be given five free raffle tickets with the option to (hopefully) purchase more tickets. All auction items will be on display so anyone can place their ticket(s) in the box for the item they want to win.
Really, so much awesome stuff from some great businesses and people!
I started contacting companies in January and have been working ever since to collect donations. Some of the board members, local companies, and individuals (including myself) made donations as well. But I really want to give a huge shout out to the following equestrian businesses for their more than generous donations!

I am very excited to see how this fundraiser goes for Harry Hughes and how much we can raise for the grounds. I am also so amazed at the awesome stuff that was sent to us for the fundraiser and I want to say thank you to these awesome companies for sending their products to help us So fellow bloggers, a lot of these are businesses started by individuals, so if you can support them! All of them are on Facebook, so if you are too, give them a "like." And, if you are in the area of Northwest Ohio, come on over and check it out! It is free and fun!

Friday, April 25, 2014

new rule

Jaime is always making up new rules at the barn. They are mostly for me and Terry's benefit as we can be Snarky Rider's dream team of what not to do. 
First there was "no getting on your horse from the hay loft, " ahem. . .Terry. 
When they are so big, mounting blocks don't work!
And now there is "no round pen work with the minions." A week or so ago, Clutch had a really strange episode of kinda tying up. His muscles got hard and we was in a lot of pain, so Clutch was moved in with Shyloh and the minions went to live in the round pen. This was so Isaac and Notch would not chase or play with Clutch and Shy is not much of a chaser/player.

Since the weather has been nice, I have been doing my grooming in the round pen. And because I didn't feel like wrangling some minions (which really is a chore) and putting them on the hitching post, I left them in the round pen with us. When I worked Shy, none of the horses cared. The minions stood around and Shy ignored them.
We also stretch! Shy is holding a stretch here, she loves stretching!
If they were too close to the panels, Shy would push through them. Minions didn't care, Shy kept on working and listening to me. All was good. But soon, Shy came to enjoy busting through the minions. It was like "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Shyloh over!" and if I had her at a walk, she would pick up a trot and plow through them, then resume her walk. Once, she actually jumped Meatball! 

But overall, Shy was still listening and working really well for me and the minions ignored her. 

Not the other day. I got Shy out of her pasture and she was in heat. For some reason, Isaac makes Shy go into a nasty heat. Grossness in the next sentence. . .I think she squirts so much that she chaffs herself, then her skin starts to peel. I have to put Bag Balm on it. So, that is what was going on the other day. 

We get into the round pen and she is ready to go, giving a very willing canter. But I wanted her to walk. So she would walk half the round pen then canter through the minions. Dexter must have finally gotten tired of it so he started chasing and biting and trying to mount Shy, so she just went faster. And faster. And faster. And would not listen. 

I put a lead rope on Meatball and tried to catch Dexter, who was being impossible as he chased and bit at poor Shy. She did pop him pretty good though. Eventually Jaime had to come and save the day and a new rule was made. Shy was a tense, sweaty mess from all that cantering around. I felt really bad, but this was the first time it was a problem. Lessons learned the hard way . . . I let her rest, then worked on walk and whoa, because before we needed to be done, I needed Shy to listen to me and she needed to cool down.  She was able to bring herself back together for that, thank goodness.  

The pasture situation should be worked out soon, as the big, giant pasture is almost ready. It is just hard when you have a big, playful blue roan who only wants to hump Shy and chase minions, a Haflinger who can't handle the round bale, and an older Clyde with special needs. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

appreciating what you have blog hop

Another gem from L. Williams at Viva Carlos! It is all about taking a minute to appreciate the horse you have and not about what they can't do yet or what you are working on or what you wish you could change. 

Let's take a moment to appreciate the Pros of our current ponies, whether you own them or just ride them in lessons. 

Shyloh. . . oh sassy Shyloh.

  • She is small but strong enough to carry me around
  • She can be off work for long amounts of time, then ride/drive (kinda drive) without being crazy
  • She is cute, when she is not giving the evil eye
  • She does not need to be lunged before being ridden, she is pretty sane that way
  • She is phenomenal with the kids
  • She is an easy keeper, hardy, and easy to take care of
  • She is not a picky eater
  • She puts up with me and all my shenanigans 
  • She is totally fine being by herself or with a herd of horses
  • She loves going new places
  • She loads into a trailer like a dream
  • She is funny and goofy
  • She is willing and eager to please, usually
  • She loves her hooves picked! She will hold them up for me as I go around her to get the mud and poop out.
  • She is smart, so so smart. Too smart
  • She is independent
Shy seems to have a lot of good qualities going for her. Gotta love my happy little pony!

Shy and Whitney Houston

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

hump day haflinger series #15

Hendershot New Millennium Haflingers is home to a Dutch Import, Silver Classified, National Grand Champion stallion.  Just as mares are classified for breeding reasons with the American Haflinger Registry, stallions are also classified in gold, silver, purple, and white categories.  For the year 2013, only six stallions were classified as gold and only thirteen mares received the gold classification. This was out of 817 horses inspected!
Haflinger: Nando
Sire and Dam: Dutch National champion Notaris and Jessica an Elite mare. 
Age: 15 year old stallion
Height: 14.3 hh
Favorite Food: Carrots
Tricks: Nando will bow for carrots!
Personality: Nando is quite the character, loves attention and will bug you until he gets it.
Likes: He like to get well groomed, clipped, and bathed, and then go out and have a good roll in the mud.
Discipline: English, Western, Dressage, Trail, Carriage Driving, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Team Penning, Reining, Over Fences
Barrel Racing!
The goal of Deb Parker and Bill Hendershot was to prove exactly how versatile a well-bred Haflinger could be. . .and that is exactly what they did! Nando was trained and shown in everything they could possibly think of.
The Hendershots discovered Haflingers in 1999 when they were looking for a fun driving horse. Previously, they had National and World Champion Quarter Horses and Paints. The first Haflinger they had has been donated to handicap riding program. They started researching more and more of the breed and eventually imported Nando.
Western Pleasure
When Nando was a three year old, he won his halter class, then went on to be Overall Grand Champion stallion at the American Haflinger Registry Nationals. That same day, he also won BOTH his English Pleasure and Western Pleasure classes at Nationals. That had never been done before and it has not been done since.
The Hendershots goal is for Nando to continue to sire Haflingers that are as versatile as he is. So far, many of his offspring have been Silver Classified. They show several of his offspring who have been successful in receiving High Point in the nation in Driving, some 4H State Champions, and some ADS Driving Champions in Combined Driving.
It is great to see Nando and his offspring being so successful in their lives. He seems like such a great overall horse who does a little bit of everything!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

how bad is your barn car blog hop

I love blog hops! They are so much fun, but this one might be rather embarrassing. . .

Pony'Tude is hosting this hop on just how bad horse people's cars can be. "It's a mysterious phenomenon of the universe that horsepeople tend to have really grody, disgusting vehicles. Maybe it's because we constantly find ourselves in places where we are routinely covered in mud, poop, hair, and sand. Maybe it's because our lives revolve around half-ton creatures who love to roll in dirt and slobber on us. Maybe it's because we are all genetically wired to be slobs. Whatever the reason, Barn Cars are nasty. I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

My barn car happens to also be my every day car. Woe is the person who decides that I am driving for the day, especially if it is out to lunch with co-workers. Not only do I have horse junk in my car, but it is also the main transport of my dogs.

The back of my car boasts the Northwest Ohio Driving Circuit sticker. You know, the driving circuit that I am part of without a driving horse. I also have to show some love for Michigan and Detroit!

Yuck, need a car wash
 The hatch part is filled with various items. I have an old saddle that I need to clean up, get photos of, and sell. Then there is a hay bag, some harness pads, a random tote, a box of halters from Horze, wormer, a bag of potting soil, and behind the saddle is another box filled with various things.
Kind of embarrassed. . .
 The back seat of filth. I have a dirty halter that needs to be washed because it was ripped off Shy's head and stomped into the dirt. I always have my Muck boots in case it gets muddy or I need to wade through a puddle. There is a hanging strawberry plant that I need to put up (hence the potting soil in the trunk) and a bag of sour taffy that I got from my dad. A dog brush and some frisbees are in the pouch of the driver's seat. And dirt and hair. Everywhere.
I vow to have strawberries!
 The other view of the back seat. I have a dog leash from Maggie from the disastrous trip to the barn a couple weeks ago. . .Maggie is not a barn dog. A bottle of water with an ADM coozie on it and some Nicker Bait treats (banana flavored for Shy) have made their home on my back seat. A ziplock bag of a Purina Hydration Hay sample I got at the MSU Stallion Expo is still there. I don't know what to do with that block of hay. There is the movie Pitch Perfect, because who doesn't travel around with a copy of that? And two hats, just in case (Michigan weather). My school bag is also on the floor.
I need help . . .
 The front seat is equally as bad. There is an almost empty case of Coke which is my Kryptonite. I have A Horse Box sack pack and a bag of Veggie Straws crammed on the passenger seat along with a zip up hoodie. Looks like my purse is on the floor. The pink piece is my phone charger that is a necessity because my battery drains so quickly. And if you look real close, you can see a clay Shyloh hanging from my vent. Also not seen is my iPod for some kickin' tunes. Underneath my seat is a gallon of Neatsfoot oil.

And finally, I have a photo of Shy, my husband, and my nephew on the ceiling of the car.

Please don't judge me!

Monday, April 21, 2014

monday musings by shyloh #129

Sometimes, when I do new things, I am able to channel my inner Arabian. . .
Flared nostrils!
Creeks don't bother me though
Like when I am taken on a bareback ride to the back fields. In a pretty headstall that is not mine. With a bit I have never used before. 
It's so purdy
Haley wanted to hop on a horse real quick and I was the perfect mount because I am close to the ground. She is much braver than Allie as she rode me outside the confines of the round pen. I was a little bit like, uh, I am not used to this but I will try extra hard to be good for you, even if I am a bit scared. I did a couple quick steps a few time from being scared, but over all I was good. I really do try so hard. But with someone riding, I have to be extra careful to care care of them and it can be nerve-wracking!
I am much more relaxed here and looking quite cute, if I say so myself
Another day, Allie walked me back to the same area. You know, the back fields where I have been many times before. A new, giant pasture is up there and almost ready for horses! Allie let me roam about it because I don't bother fences and the electric wasn't on yet.

That is a lot of space for us!! I tested out the new pasture to the fullest.

First, I ran about it checking things out. 
Lots of room to stretch my legs, and I even got out a buck!
Then I rolled to make sure it was acceptable rolling ground.
Works for me!
And finally, I tasted the grass it had to offer.
Sparse, but tasty!
Also, my tail is gorgeous!
Then I made Allie chase me around because I didn't want to leave! The new pasture is Shyloh approved! Two hooves up!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

easter drive

What a gorgeous day! The sun was shining, the temps were perfect. Mike had to work so off to the barn I went. I spent a bunch of time with Shyloh and had her doing some work and stretches. 

But after that, Jaime and I took the ponies on an Easter drive! It was so nice to get out. I have not driven in forever and I was happy to be back in the cart. Ponies are so easy to harness and hook. And Meatball just makes everything so simple.

We went around the "block", which was about 4 miles. Meatball has turned barn sour and was not a very forward mover. Dexter was perfection, as usual. But Meatball. . . he has a built in GPS straight towards his home. 

At first, it was a constant battle to make him go forward and not try and turn around. He was walking. . .so. . .slow. . . Then, about the half way point, every drive way that would technically take us across fields and straight back to the barn, he wanted to turn down. And he made it a point to announce himself (or call for help because he was clearly being tortured) every minute or so. His next tactic was running out of gas and refusing to move. No matter what I did to try and get him to go. We were being left in Dexter's dust! As a last resort I vowed to scratch him down when we got back, he just had to keep going, because I knew he was itchy from all the hair and being sweaty.

Eventually, I got him going again, but he kept running out of gas. Unless we were passing people having Easter parties at their houses. Then he was a little show off with his cute trot and great listening skills. 

Once we made the last turn on the street of the barn, Meatball flat out trotted home. We passed Dexter and Jaime and kept on trucking. I let him go because it was controlled, he was still listening to me, and he was walking when I asked. 

We walked back up the driveway, stopped, and I quickly unhooked and unharnessed Meatball for his promised scratching. He was very grateful. Then I put him back in the round pen and he rolled and rolled. 

Dexter and Jaime caught up to us and Dexter was also put back in with Meatball. Then, weird as Dexter is, stood right over Meatball as he continued to roll some more. 

Aside from the flat out stopping and trying to get back home on Meatball's part, both ponies were amazing. People, running horses, bikes, motorcycles, golf carts, cars. . .nothing bothered them. And neither horses seemed tired from their first bit of distance since before winter. Gotta love some ponies!

Friday, April 18, 2014

first lead line practice of the year

Tommy, Lily, and Noah came out for their first practice of the year. These are our lead line kids that will be showing with us this summer. Lily will be showing on Shyloh, Tommy on Clutch (maybe), and Noah is showing Reba. Tommy and Lily have grown up (well, they are three and five) around horses with Terry and her sister, their mom. Noah takes lessons at a barn near his house. 

We only used Shy and Reba today so the kids took turns riding. We had them in the round pen and started the kids on the lead. Shy and Reba were being really good and the kids wanted off the leads, so we took them off. We had the kids practice steering and whoa.

Shy had one little scoot with Lily, but she was fine. The hardest part for the kids was getting the horses away from us on the ground and out on the rail. But we made them work through it and it was pretty successful. 

On to the cutest photo spam ever!

Lily and Shy
Noah and Reba
Look at them go on their own!
Shy listens to Lily so well
Noah rocked riding Reba!
Super cute
Tommy on Reba
Noah's turn on Shy
Cute pair!
Tommy couldn't really get Reba to move. . .
So he got on Shy, who is much easier to move
Lily on Reba and Tommy on Shy
Look at them all on their own!
Little kids on big horses, adorable!
Good pony grass snacks!