Monday, July 28, 2014

this and that

Wow, I have been so lazy on the horse front. But between the storms and the trip over the weekend, that hasn't left much time to do anything. 

Thursday, Terry and me brought the kids out to the barn. Tommy broke his arm (not in any way horse or barn related) and just got a cast on earlier in the day. Of course, he picked John Deere green because he is a little cowboy farmer. As soon as he climbed in Terry's truck, he said, I can still ride horses, Tutu. He is determined not to let a broken arm slow him down!
Yup, we still put kids with broken arms to work!
Saturday, me, Jaime, Terry, and Kyle took a trip to Shipsewana, Indiana. Jaime got a brand new, gorgeous, fancy show cart. I cannot wait to see her hook it up behind Isaac. They are going to look awesome!

We did some Amish eating and checked out the Troyer saddlery. Then we played in a marathon cart while we were down there. When we got home, me and Terry got Jaime hooked to Orange is the New Black. Yes!!

Sunday, it stormed. And then it stormed some more. My car was getting fixed (because it decided to break down Friday night) and Kyle was discovering more problems with it as he was fixing it. Great . . .' But he fixed it and I am so grateful!

But at least the storms cooled the temps down because it was so stifling hot! Between down pours, the minions got an energy boost from the cool weather. They were running, and rearing, and playing, and just being cute. Shyloh ignored them for a while, then she got fed up with them and did a backing up, ears pinned, squealing kick. When that didn't she decided to join the fun for a quick minute, hopping up and down with them and tossing her head and running at them. 

The heat right before the rains came
Noah decided to use the mud/poop puddles (luckily, Terry and I had cleaned the pastures the day before) as a slip and slide.  He had a blast!

This week is fair week! Jaime, Kyle, and Terry are showing draft and I am watching and helping. I am also driving Meatball in a demo. Fair week will be fun and the best part is I am only workiong two days this week! Woot!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

hump day haflinger series #28

Emma Kane started riding 9 years ago at a Saddle Seat barn. After two years at that barn, she moved to her current barn where she rode western for a few years and joined a kids drill team. Emma share-boarded a few QH's and QH crosses for two years until she bought her Friesian gelding Exaclibur. Sadly, after 11 months, he had to be put down due to an old injury. Exaclibur was put down in the morning and that night she met DaVinci. Emma fell in love with him at first sight. 

Until Emma was looking for a horse after my Friesian, she had never even heard of Haflingers. She needed a versatile horse for everything she likes to do, and she really wanted a draft cross/ Warmblood. But problem with the horses over 15.2hh is that Emma is pretty short and cannot reach the ground when vaulting. And vaulting is necessary to be on the trick riding team. She found the that the Haflinger breed was exactly was she wanted and needed.
Emma and DaVinci
Haflinger: Nice and Big LVH or DaVinci.
Sire and Dam: sire is Noble One DCF. He also has Afgan III NTF, All American Afgan NTF, Nabucco, and Nobleman TOF in his bloodlines
Age: 11 year old gelding
Height: 15.2 hh
Favorite Food: DaVinci doesn't really have only one favorite food, he loves all food, even his dewormer! But if he had to choose, Peeps would be his favorite. 
Personality: DaVinci has an extremely outgoing personality. He loves attention and poses for pictures. At parades and shows he thinks everyone is cheering for him! Even though he is mister cute and fluffy he does still have a big attitude. It took a long time to explain to him that just because he doesn't feel like it right now doesn't mean he can throw a temper tantrum. 

Likes: Jumping! He truly loves to jump, if DaVince is turned loose in an arena with jumps set up, he will first trot it both directions to warm up and then go and canter it both directions! By himself! 

Quirks: When he hobbled, DaVinci never touches the hobbles, he just hops! There have been numerous times when he has been hobbled on the grass and all of a sudden he's cantering across the barn.

Discipline: Eventing, Dressage, Jumping, Drill Team, Trick Riding, Vaulting, Western Pleasure, English Pleasure, Trail, Speed, 4H and any other discipline or game that Emma wants to try. Eventing is DaVinci's favorite discipline, he loves cross country. DaVinci and Emma also enjoy 4H shows where they show in pleasure and speed classes. DaVinci loves speed patterns such as barrel racing and pole bending. 

The Midwest Renegade Dare Devils take drill team to a new level when they added trick riding into drill team. Trick riding is the only event deemed too dangerous for rodeo. They perform tricks such as vaulting in and out of the saddle, sitting backwards, hanging upside down, standing, etc. while staying in the synchronized drill maneuvers. 

The majority of the time when they ride they work on collection, stretching, bending, transitions, etc. When working on trick riding, they spend a lot of time working on staying straight and at a steady gait while they are in a trick. Since we do tricks while in drill, it is extremely important all the horses track the line or circle that they are set on. 

This year, Emma is working on the AHR Performance Award. They will be attending the AHR National show this year, which has been one of her goals, and hopefully they will do well there. She would love to bring home a few blues! In eventing, Emma is hoping to take DaVinci though training level. We wish Emma and DaVinci the very best in all that they do!

Emma and DaVinci also had a article written on them in Young Riders Magazine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

birth-iversary 3/8

Today is Shyloh's birth-iversary! I have had her for three years and she is possibly eight years old. Pony is growing up!
She can be cute
Of course, I had to celebrate with the obligatory headware and smiles. Shy is a cheesy girl.
This past year has brought us lots of fun, lots of ups, and some downs. But we continue to learn and improve and I have a great bunch of friends that are along for this adventure.
Birth-iversary bath
I went to a lot of county fairs and watched the open draft shows. We moved to Jaime and Kyle's barn where they started Hidden Creek Draft Horses. We have had some trials and errors as we all adjust to being a part of this barn and helping Jaime and Kyle build it to what they dream. It is fun to help along as I can.
Snacking on a banana Laffy Taffy
I put a stop to the driving Shy from some continued unpleasant experiences and put our focus on riding. Shy has really matured mentally and is handling the riding great. I, on the other hand, am find it difficult to let go of past experiences with her, but am working on it. I am impressed with the maturing and learning to trust Shy has done in the past few years. Even though she does prefer to be a feral pony and is choosy in who she will let approach her (unless they have food for her), she rarely gives me hassle about it.
Birth-iversary rainbow!
Shy went on her first trail ride with another rider and was great, not a single issue. Shy has also become a fantastic lead line pony for Lily and has even won her ribbons in our shows! Shyloh even took a first place in Halter for me! And we got a second in Trail-in-Hand, which shows all our ground work is really paying off. I also rode Shy in a walk trot and trail class. We didn't place, but Shy also proved to be steady and remained calm when another horse got stung, flipped out and bucked her rider off.
Painted her toes, too
Shy has been turning steadily into an Appaloosa, and she continues to get new white spots. It's weird and I don't know what it is or what it is from, but recently I have noticed some new spots.
Shy is so so tolerant of all my shenanigans
Shy has had a great year and is continuing to improve. I am excited to see what this whole next year brings for us. I am hoping we have some great adventures and I can get Shy out and about. I think that will make her a very happy pony.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

double judged show

Yesterday we had a double judged show for our Northwest Ohio Driving Circuit. Unfortunately, I could not bring Shyloh since all the fees were doubled as well and we were only bringing one trailer. It was rather relaxing to visit and hang out and not have to worry about showing.

Jaime was taking Isaac to help prepare him for fair in a week and a half. Noah was showing his little Meatball. And Terry was showing Reba in the cart classes.

First up, Jaime had Isaac in Halter class. He placed first with both judges, then went on to win Halter Champion under both judges. How awesome is that?
He is a nice looking horse!
When Issac was brought into the ring for cart class, he began to act up. He started rearing and hopping and refusing to go forward. With a horse as big as him, it is easy to get intimidated by his baby tantrums. Luckily, Beth showed up and was able to walk Jaime through the tantrum and Issac straightened up. 
Isaac did very well during the class and ended up taking first and second. Later Jaime asked for feedback from the judge who gave them second and she said that Isaac was having baby brain. So, basically, he just needs more miles and to grow up a bit longer. I think he is going to be a forced to be reckoned with in the next couple years!
He has the nicest, floaty-est trot.
Terry took Reba in pleasure cart class and pleasure reinsmanship class. Reba did great and they took a first and second place for one class and a second and third for the other class. Her feedback was to work on lengthening the trot for the road gait, not speeding it up. 
It seems that everyone is getting fancy for the driving classes now. Even Bethany got all dressed up to take her mule, Millie, in the draft class.
More fancy
Noah showed his pony, Meatball. They were adorable together. Noah got his first blue ribbon on the riding class! It is hard to beat a cute kid on a cute pony, both decked out in English attire and tack! They also took home a third and a lot of fifths. Noah doesn't care what place he gets, he just has fun showing his pony.
Super cute
Beth brought Rambo to ride around on since she is working on making him a trail pony. He is really good for her and she even took him in a fun class, Splash and Dash! They took second! Wish I could have stayed to watch them, but we had to leave.

I also got to ride in the cart with Jessica and her Gypsy, Sairose. Youth riders need an adult to ride with them, so I said I would. I like riding with Jess and her mare, they are a great team. The only problem is the arena is very hard to drive in, really makes the horses work to pull the carts, and does not make for a very comfortable ride for the people.

As always, it was a fun time with friends and horses. And even though I am not taking Shy to fair, I am excited to support my barn and be a part of all the action.
Isaac and his Mini Me, Gracie

Thursday, July 17, 2014

guess the breed answer and winner

All you smarties out there who guessed Standardbred, you were right!! Go you!

This Standardbred is Freedom Hall, also known as Louie. He is a six year old gelding that only raced a few times before he was retired for being too slow. He was then sent to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

New Vocations is the largest racehorse adoption for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. They rehabilitate the horses after they retire, provide them a safe place to live, and then adopt them out to to caring homes. New Vocations matches horses to new owners and follows up with the horses to make sure that they have a new life and a new purpose.

Louie, aside from being a Two Horse Tack model, has been a great ambassador for the breed and program. He spent eight months as a riding and trail horse. And he was also trained to rack.

Louie was donated to the Camp Nelson Honor Guard because of his calm disposition and quiet nature. Louie is used in military funerals pulling the caisson. He has also been used as the riderless horse. Camp Nelson is planning a six horse hitch with Louie as one of the lead horses because he is so calm and reliable. He has a great second job that he really enjoys.
Louie, taken from Camp Nelson's website
The winner of the Guess the Breed Giveaway is Dom! Which is kind of ironic, since she has a Standardbred. Congrats Dom, I will contact you for your prize.

Thank you again, Two Horse Tack for this amazing and fun opportunity and for sharing Louie with us! 

Winner was randomly selected using

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

hump day haflinger series #27

How lucky to have the very first horse you have ever ridden at age five be a Haflinger? Amy had that experience and later, when her family moved out to the country, she found a farm with a herd of Haflingers that rescued horses and gave lessons. 

There was one three year old filly that tended to stay in the back, as far away from everyone as possible. After spending some time working off lessons and starting colts, Amy decided to give this filly a try. The filly was terrified of people and didn't even have a name. But by the fourth day of working with the filly, Amy had her picking up her feet and was able to touch her all over. Come Christmas, Amy's parents surprised her by getting her this filly that she has had ever since!
Amy and Mindy
Haflinger: Locket BLH or Mindy
Sire and Dam: Max Factor FSH X Laramie, her great grandsire is Midas Touch and she dates back to Afghan (those are some well known Haflinger stallions)
Age: 11 year old mare
Height: A stout 13.2
Favorite Food: Granny Smith apples, which are also Amy's favorite!
Personality: She is a quirky mare who likes to pull stunts on Amy. If Amy goes in the paddock with a halter, Mindy will play Shyloh's favorite game, Catch Me If You Can, but without a halter, she will stand just fine. Mindy also likes to chase deer. She hates blankets and will lay in her poop right before shows. 
Yup, hates blankets!
Likes: Mindy loves the reining pen and Cross Country. She loves to gallop through the woods, fly over logs, and LOVES the water!
Discipline: Reining, but has also shown in shown in Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunter Over Fences, Showmanship, Halter, Horsemanship, and Trail. They also play around with Dressage and Cross Country.  
The three most well known moves in reining are spins, sliding stops and rollbacks. Spins are usually fast and have the horse turning in either direction with the inside hoof planted in the same spot. Sliding stops have the horse using their hind legs to stop, but drags the front legs to elongate the stop. Rollbacks are a sliding stop, then pivoting to the outside and loping off in the other direction. 

Awards: They show at open shows and have always placed high. They have placed second overall in HMS and 4th in Pleasure at their state fair. 
Pretty mare!
Mindy was broke by the Amish to drive and pulled wagons and machinery. When she first came to the farm, she was spooky, covered in muck, and skin and bones. She was severely neglected with rotted hair and super long hooves.  Now that Amy has her, she struggles to keep her at a 5 on the Body Condition Scale and loves people. 

Amy is working on becoming a professional reiner and reined cow horse trainer. She travels to work with professional trainers and horsemen to learn the ropes of the equestrian world and takes Mindy with her when she can. When Mindy can't travel with her, she is leased out as a lesson pony to teach kids. Mindy loves kids and has a "kid mode" where she takes it slow for anyone under 13. If an old person gets on and tries to boss her around, Mindy will give her a piece of her mind!
Amy's goals are to take Mindy in the cutting pen and go to some American Haflinger Registry shows of they are in Ohio at the time. I am so glad that Amy and Mindy found each other!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

lucas county fair 2014

This past weekend was Lucas County Fair's open show in Ohio. Jaime, Kyle, Terry, and Beth all took their horses and of course I went along. We planned on doing halter classes and the cart classes. It was also supposed to be Isaac's big debut into the fair show ring.

I felt like a groom because I helped braid manes and tails and get horses all ready for the show. It was fun.
Two handsome dudes!
Halter class was first as always. I got to show Notch. I am proud to say that Hidden Creek Draft Horses cleaned up on halter!
My noble steed for the day
Isaac was Grand Champion Halter, Reba was Reserve Champion Halter, and Notch took 4th place for draft halter.
Yay!! Go Hidden Creek Draft Horses!
The judges loved Isaac and Reba.

There were a bunch of riding classes before cart. Kyle and Terry chose to ride.
Clutch decided to chase a Haflinger in the riding class
Reba was giving Terry a hard time
In the mean time, Notch started acting strange. He was sweating and would not calm down. It may have been the roller coaster or the giant inflatable Spiderman bounce house that he could see from his spot on the trailer, we will never know. But it was giving him runny poops and making him so anxious. So, before cart classes, Jaime chose to take him home. Which meant that Isaac and Reba had to leave. We were all really sad that they had to go, since we were looking forward to seeing how Isaac would do in cart classes and the judges wanted to see both Reba and Isaac under harness.
Clutch and Rambo
Terry and I stayed behind to help Beth with Rambo and Art. She needed to change the cart over a few times in between classes. Then, a band in the tent right behind the arena decided to start drumming and making music, which Rambo was not a fan of. . . At all. I offered to head him during the lineups to keep him calm and even then he reared a few times in the cart. That is typical Rambo and didn't scare Beth, but she worked him out of it. Art did not mind the music at all.
Love me some Art!
Flo and Nick
Beth and Rambo
Overall, it was a nice, small show. The show moved at a relaxing pace that didn't make you feel like you had to rush between classes. The breeze made the hot weather bearable. I drank about five delicious fresh squeezed lemonades. And hanging out with friends and horses is always fun.

Monday, July 14, 2014

panic attack

"Let's go on a trail ride," they said.
"It's super simple, just up the road," they said.
"You will be fine," they said.
"We will be in front and behind you," they said.

So I agreed. It was hot, Shyloh was in a great mood, and I had just hopped up on her bareback in the round pen and walked around a bit. I tacked her up while Jaime, Kyle, and Terry tacked up their horses and got ready to go. I had visions in my head of us walking down the street and through the seasonal road that we were going to take. It was actually quite perfect and nice. Then, I mounted Shy and my heart started beating hard.
In the realm of All Things Scary, this has got to be the least scary thing there is, right?
Off we went. . .well, off they went. Shy wanted nothing to do with walking down the drive way. In fact, she walked me right up to the mounting post. I told them, maybe I'll just head out back instead, so they came too. Halfway down the back driveway, my head started spinning, I was hyperventilating and I had to hop down. I was having a panic attack. For no reason.
Prepare for random photos of Shy eating things. . .Low hanging branch of the mulberry tree
Shy was not being bad and Shy was not feeling tense. She was testing me and sensing my hesitation. She was not walking forward but planting herself in one spot. It's like she knew I was not mentally ready and she was protecting me from myself. 

"Get back on," they said.
"You will be fine," they said.
"Make her do what you want," they said.
"She is playing you," they said.
So I got back on. But I was a wreck. For no reason. I walked her back over the bridge then got off. I just couldn't do it. My head was spinning. I told Jaime, Kyle, and Terry to go on their trail ride and I would stay back. Once they left, I cried. I can't even remember the last time I cried.

Then I did some serious thinking. What is wrong with me? Shyloh did nothing to make me react like that. Should I sell her and get an ancient horse to ride around on? No, I think I would still be that same way on another horse. It is not Shy, it is me. It is all me. I feel if she did do something, I wouldn't be able to control or stop her. I feel that I don't have the tools I need to feel comfortable taking her out.

Then I got mad at Shy. Look at her, standing in the far corner, napping in the sun, like I didn't just have a major panic attack. I wasn't like this before her. Why did she make me this way? But, quickly getting back to reality really, it is not her fault. It is mine. 100 percent.

Is it weird that the better she is, the worse I am? Shy has given me no reason for months to even feel the way I did.
Corn. . .
I put a lot of work and time and effort into Shy on the ground. She has made some great progress on the ground. Hell, she has even relaxed under saddle. I have gotten worse.  I rode her more when she was tense and scooty than I have been while she is relaxed and in a good place in her head. I had a serious talk with Terry on the way home and I think we may have a solution. I'll keep you posted. . .
Also, Shy being super attractive. . .as usual
***And don't forget about the Guess the Breed Contest for a chance to win something from Two Horse Tack! ***