Sunday, August 28, 2011

thief in the night. . .or just at feeding time

I learned today that Shyloh is a grain thief! I knew her love of grain was extreme when that was the only way that I could catch her ( I am able to catch her without grain now! Yay for me, boo for her), but she has taken it to a new level. . .thievery! Shy does not get grain daily. Being a Haflinger and reading all that I have about the breed, I opted to go grain free. She does get her supplements during the morning feeding though.

Don't be fooled by her cuteness. . .she has a Who me? Never! Look on her face!
But I have learned form Kathy how tricksy my pony is. . . She scarfs down her supplements, then goes for Chick's grain! I saw her once tip his bowl over so some grain spilled on the ground and she could clean it up. Kathy says that she has witnessed Shy multiple times stealing Chick's grain bowl right out from under him! She will grab it with her teeth and pull it away. And the strange part is that he lets her. I guess grain really is the crack of the horse world! And Shyloh apparently will lie, cheat, and steal to get some!

Pretty lashes. . .she probably stole them from another horse. . .j/k!
Today, I washed Shy's mane. Ever since I added coconut oil to it to help her dry skin (and it did help), it has attracted dirt like crazy! Her beautiful hair was looking gray and yuck. It temporarily looked so white and clean and pretty, until I put her back in her paddock and she rolled. Then she got up and snorted, pranced a little, and it seemed like she was saying don't wash my mane again, ha!  Sassy girl!

Clean and pretty mane!
Shy says I'll show you not to wash me again! Moo haha!
Must get both sides covered in dirt!
After her mane cleansing, we worked on an exercise called the keyhole. I really think I need to up the ante with these exercises for Shy. She is doing so good! I put the upright poles in front, because I know she has been leery about them in the past. After an initial stop to check them out and make sure that they were not a cougar in disguise, Shy walked right through them. I added cones, which we weaved and used to make the path narrower. I also put poles across, which she had to walk over. And, we backed through the whole thing! Shy was a genius! So I need to find some stuff that is more challenging to her. The other exercises that I found required manual labor to build parts, so I am not sure we will be able to get to those anytime soon.

I discovered this great blog, A Year With Horses, the other day! It's also in my side bar. This blog has put into words some of the things I want to accomplish with Shyloh, but I did not have the correct vocabulary for it, I guess. In this post, she discusses developing virtues in horses. The virtues she lists are:

Curiosity/ability to experiment

(taken directly from her post)

Her thoughts seem to be similar to my way of thinking and she explains how most people think they need to "work" the horse on the outside, but really, in order to establish and maintain a relationship with your horse, you need to "work" the horse form the inside. I thought that was very profound! She also has posts on her observations of how her horses exhibit these virtues and what needs to be developed more. This post is an example of that. And, yes, I picked this horse because his name is Pie and that is Maggie's "street" name.

This last post that I want to share is about making progress with your horse. I really appreciate her insight and how she is able to recognize that even the small steps count toward progress!  I encourage any one who reads my blog to also look at A Year With Horses. She has been blogging for a while and has many interesting and helpful posts.

Probably one of the best parts of my day were helping Kathy take the horses out! All the horses were great and it was fun seeing how excited they were to be outside. As soon as most of them got free, off they ran to the back of the pastures to graze or play or just be horses. 


  1. Thank you for your kind comments.

    Regarding winter and blanketing . . . I've never had a Haffie, but there are several bloggers out there who do, and who may be better placed to offer advice than I am - here's one - she has links to other Haffie blogs and Haffie references on her sidebar:

    If your horse has always lived outside, that should be fine as long as there's access to a shelter and water that is heated with a tank heater. I also believe that Haffies grow thick winter coats. So outside in the winter should be fine without blanketing except in the most extreme cold/wind (and maybe not even then if the shelter is properly placed). If the horse will use the shelter when it rains, you won't even need to rain sheet - a horse without shelter needs protection from getting wet when temperatures drop since the coat loses its insulating qualities when wet.

  2. Thanks! I will check that blog out! I have been looking for other Haflinger blogs in addition to general horse blogs.

  3. That is a really nice obstacle! I saw you followed my blog and decided to come check you out! It was fun to meet you, your dogs and Shyloh.

    Your vocab page also looks like a smart idea.

    Anyways, I hope to stop back again soon, but it will depend on how much spare time my college schedule gives me this semester. Otherwise, have a great week!


  4. Here's another Haffie blog:


Share your thoughts or comments, I love to read them!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.