Tuesday, November 29, 2011

must teach shyloh to swim

This has to be a record year for rainfall! The pastures have turned into swimming pools and if it gets below freezing (as predicted) they will become ice rinks. The land can't take any more water in, the ditches are full, and the roads are flooded. 

That means ponies are stuck inside. And to make matters worse, the water is seeping into the barn stalls. Fortunately, the stalls have not flooded, like they did at the barn where I leased last year. That was bad! Unfortunately, Shyloh's stall seems to have the worst water seepage, but it is not pooling, just damp. 
Praying "rain rain go away"

My work was kind enough to let me leave and go make sure Shy was not floating down the road. I packed in extra sawdust pellets around the edges of her stall, Ryleigh's stall, and Casi's stall so they can soak up water. I can't stand the thought of Shyloh standing around on damp bedding. Ugh. . .so bad for her hooves! I hope the sawdust soaks up the water until stalls are mucked tomorrow. 

I let out Shy and Ryleigh to stretch their legs in the arena. They had a fun run! It took a little persuasion to get them going, but they needed to get moving!

Then they just hung out and walked around for a while, following each other like they always do. 
Butt sniffer :)
They love long walks on sandy arenas

I wanted to hop on Shy bareback again, but there was no one at the barn and I did not want to get on by myself. Maybe later this week. So I groomed her and took her mane and tail braids out. Her hair is so silky smooth!
No rides for you today :(

I let Casi out in the arena, too!. That horse can run! And he is fast! He has the prettiest trot.

The rain is so bad that when I was driving home from the barn, there where whole sections of road where the water came past my tires! When will it end?

Monday, November 28, 2011

monday musings by shyloh #13

Well. . .my hunger strike didn't last too long. I am a hungry girl and I have to eat to keep my figure. But I still hate that "thing."  Eating so little should not be so time consuming. I'll never get any sleep cause it will take me all night to eat! Perhaps, I'll be a crabby Haflinger. . .ha!
This is gonna take all night!

I had a spa day yesterday. I got my mane conditioned and re-braided, I got my tail, conditioned, braided, and bagged, and I got a deep cleaning. When Allie took my braids out for the conditioning, my hair was so soft! She thinks conditioner will make my mane even softer. 
Sooner or later, my mane will be even on both sides!

I love these next few photos of me. . .Don't I look so tall and sleek? It's all about the angle!
Regal me! I'm fuzzy!
Thinking deep Haflinger thoughts. . .
Got any food down there?

Allie has started riding me! It has been going good. I am super sensitive and I keep my ears on Allie the whole time. When she loses balance, I stop right away. I have been getting better at my walk and stop transitions, too. My walk is becoming so smooth and comfortable

But yesterday, I gave Allie a little tiny bit of trouble. I was walking real good and it was a nice walk. I probably could have started trotting, if I really wanted. Hey, I was stuck in my stall ALL  day because of the never-ending rain. I don't understand what is the deal with the rain, I don't mind it at all! Anyway, Allie asked me to whoa, but I kept going and going. Then I began pulling on the lunge line trying to get away. It was not working, so I stopped. And we started the whole thing over again. After a few times of doing that, I finally stopped the first time I was asked. And what do you know? Allie told me I was good girl and hopped off, I was done working!

Well, back to eating my hay, one straw at a time. 
BTW. . .I love Cheez-Its!
~ Shyloh

Saturday, November 26, 2011

hunger strike

Busy Horse net- 1
Shyloh - 0
Refuses to "work" for dinner on day two

Shyloh is fighting me with this slow feeder hay net thing. I think she is trying to tell me that she hates it and would rather starve than work for food. I had put the good hay in the net for Shyloh and left the first cutting hay on the ground. Shyloh refused to eat the first cutting hay and did not want to put the effort into getting the good hay out of the net, so she went on a hunger strike. I tested this theory out by handing her the first cutting hay. She spit it out. Then I handed her the good hay and she gobbled it up!

It will be interesting to see if there is hay left in her stall tomorrow or if she succumbed to the hunger. The first day with the net, she ate some hay from it, but she was pretty upset. She was flinging that net all around!
Testing out the Busy Horse on day one
Getting upset that eating is hard work!
I spent the last two days working at the barn, so I have't done anything with Shy. After I fed at the barn this morning, I discovered Shy doing this:
Stealing Ryleigh's hay!

She devoured her flake and was pulling Ryleigh's out of his stall! Hay thief! I guess if food is easy to get, she is all over that!

Yesterday when I took a break from mucking stalls, I did get these photos of Shy and Ryleigh in their very muddy pasture . 
Grazing in the sunlight
New tail bag in attempt to keep mud off of her pretty tail!
nom nom nom
Stuck like glue!

Robin said that Ryleigh and Shyloh have a song; it is Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue". They are so cute together!!

*Note* Shyloh photos without braids are from yesterday
           Shyloh photos with braids are from today

Thursday, November 24, 2011

gobble gobble

We have so much to be thankful for!

I am stuffed full of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, corn, bread, and sweet potatoes! 

I hope everyone had a great day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

bareback walk

I had another amazing night! I walked Shyloh bareback!

Robin held a lunge line, just to be safe. Shy has a tendency to do a "hard" start, where she just up and goes instead of eases into a walk. And I do not have my balance yet, so if she did that, I might fall off the back. Shy was perfection! Every time I really lost my seat, she stopped.  She did so well and was relaxed the whole time. The more that I had her stop and start, the better her starts got. 

After I got done riding Shyloh, I got to ride Ryleigh! He was great until Dulce, a mare, came into the arena. If Shy would have seen him, she would have been so jealous. . .Ryleigh couldn't take his eyes off of her! I did balance exercises on Ryleigh and trotted him for a little bit. Another thing I need to work on is my posture. It is not the best when I am sitting in a chair, much less a horse.

Thanks Robin and Kathy for helping again with Shy! And thanks Robin for letting me ride Ryleigh!
Hay hair!
I gave Shyloh and Ryleigh a banana/granola/blueberry/apple/pea mash for being so good today. Then some friends came to visit me at the barn! It was a great night!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

post 100!

How fitting for my 100th post! Today, I got on Shyloh bareback!!

I had been thinking about it lately and today, I just went for it, with Kathy's help. Even though we just stood, it was a milestone for us.

Thinking that Shy probably was not out all day due to the torrential downpour, I went to let her run around the arena (my earlier thoughts of working Shy had disappeared). When I got to the barn, Kathy was getting ready to ride Casi (formerly CT, formerly Melvin). Casi was a bit nervous in the arena, maybe because of the rain pounding on the barn, maybe because he was in the arena by himself. Kathy asked me to bring Shy in the arena to see if she could help calm Casi down. It didn't work, he was just too wound up today.
Kathy and Casi

While we were doing this in the arena, Ryleigh was in his stall, just screaming this high pitched call for Shyloh, over and over! He was quite upset that he did not have his eyes on Shy. Ryleigh was bit hard by the love bug!

Shy was in a playful mood today! I put her in the cross ties and she was antsy. She is never antsy in the cross ties! She was chewing the ties and pawing the ground. So I let her loose in the arena. I got her trotting and cantering around the arena with her head in full swing. Then she stopped. I swung her lead rope, but she did not move! This was very un-Shy-like behavior! She had not a care in the world that the rope was swinging in her face. Usually, she would be on the move! She played with the cones, tossing them in the air and chewing on them. Shy also engaged in play with me! That is a new behavior, too!

That's when I stated out loud what I had been thinking. . . I wanted to get on Shy bareback! Kathy said she would hold Shy and she thought Shy would be fine. We attempted the wooden mounting block, but Shy was not having any part of that. I put the plastic mounting block up to her and got on Shy! 
Patting her for being a good girl!

She was amazing and very warm! Shy just stood there and didn't make a move. Kathy and Beth said she looked real relaxed and her ears were on me the whole time. I could tell Shy was relaxing when I was on her back because I could feel her breathing out. Next time, I will try walking while bareback on her! I loved riding Mia (the Haflinger I leased) bareback. It was so much fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

monday musings by shyloh #12

What a weekend! I did no work and got to play every day! I went out with Ryleigh and Lexi. Lexi pretty much ignores us and tries to hang out with Dante and Mocha at the corners of the pastures. Ryleigh is great, but sometimes a girl just needs to be left alone for a minute! I had to buck at him a few times to let him know I mean business when I want some "me" time. But most of the time, I want to be with Ryleigh.
So happy together!!

I think I gave Allie quite the scare yesterday. . .

She brought me and Ryleigh inside after every other horse already went inside. I was slightly conflicted by this, as I am every day. I want to stay outside, but I also want dinner and I don't want to be by myself. These are difficult decisions that a horse must make daily. . .so, I went in without a problem today. But when I got in, the treat guy was there. So instead of digging into my dinner hay, I patiently waited for treats. Treat guy came into my stall and I was not too happy about that. He hasn't been here in a while and he thinks he can just come into my stall? Treats can be given from the outside. 

Allie was getting worried that I was not eating my hay. She tried listening to my belly on both sides. I was fine and I farted to let her know this. She picked out my feet. I farted again, right on her in case she did not hear the first time. She even put both my flakes of hay into the hay bag. I was just holding out for treats! I knew treat guy would not disappoint!

Well, after the treat guy left, I started to eat my hay. But the hay that was coming out of the hole I broke was not the tasty hay. I kept spitting it out, looking for the tasty hay. Allie then opened my mouth to check out my teeth and gums. She is such a bother!  I would eat the hay I spit out later; I wanted the good hay now! In no time, I figured out how to get to the good hay first! Hahaha! I can't be stopped!
Just go in through the top!

Today, my Aunt Robin came to visit! She gave me two carrots and a peppermint! She is great! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

day at the barn

Remember last weekend when I said I was sore and exhausted? I was mistaken. . .last weekend I had not just ridden a horse for the first time in months and worked the barn the next day. Ouch!

I started my day at the barn with this!
Good Morning!

I have formed an hypothesis regarding Shyloh's behaviors. The hand full of times that I have visited Shy in the morning, she has been very pleasant and almost cuddly. I think that when she is stalled overnight, she becomes civilized. But when she gets turned out all day, she returns to being feral, so by the time I arrive at the barn to work, she just want to be free. And she tells me this by her head tosses and sassy attitude. I may be completely wrong about my hypothesis though. . .

Interesting events of the day:
  • Shy got stuck under her stall guard. Apparently, we were taking too long to turn her out and she attempted to take matters into her own hooves.
  • I brought Cooper to the barn with me.

  • His instincts kicked in and he tried to "herd" the largest herd of horses in the pasture. The horses were not having any part of that and they turned on him! He got a slight kick by one of them, but he is fine. I think he will sleep for days after his day at the barn.
  • I caught Ryleigh napping!
I dream of the day Shy will lay down when I am around!
  • While taking two horses in, I almost fell in the mud between the horses! I am so sick of mud!
  • Kathy gave Shy her first taste of dried peas. She loved them!
  • Shy and Ryleigh continued their stall flirting.
Give me kisses!
  • While taking Shyloh and Ryleigh in, my boot got stuck in the mud and my foot almost came out! Shy was such a good girl and stopped and waited for me to get myself back together. Ryleigh was a good boy, too.
  • Shy broke her hay bag. . .it didn't even last a week
Pouting. . .not really. . .
Tomorrow it is back to the barn to work again!

Friday, November 18, 2011

me and ryleigh!

Oh, the things Shyloh lets me do to her. . .
It looks horrible, I know
Braiding is not my strong suit

There is a reason for the braids. Shy has a crazy growing mane. Up top it falls on both sides, then halfway down it falls on one side, and the rest of the way down it falls on the other side. Plus, with her mane growing out, I want to try to get it to rest "naturally" on both sides.

Really, I don't torture her for my own amusement! And, when I went to get her in the pasture, she let me walk right up to her!
They are stuck to each other like glue!

On to the best part of the night! I rode Ryleigh! I have ridden him a couple times when he was at the old barn, but after I started leasing Mia the Haflinger (maybe one day I'll share some stories about her), I only rode Mia. 

Robin lunged Ryleigh and warmed him up for me. She showed me the difference between his trot and western jog. Ryleigh is in the process of switching from dressage to western. He currently has English tack, so I had to ride in that (yuck). Actually, it wasn't bad so I can't complain.

As much as Ryleigh can give Robin a hard time in the cross ties, being bridled, and at the mounting block, he is perfect as soon as someone gets on his back. But, I stayed on the lunge line because it has been a while since I have rode a horse in general and I am still a beginner. 

So serious

Robin had me do some exercises for balance. I rode with my arms straight out. Then I rode with no stirrups. And for the grande finale, I rode with my arms out and no stirrups! I have a feeling that I will have sore thighs tomorrow.
Look ma! No hands!
Now no feet!

Robin even got me to trot on Ryleigh! I had to get used to his trot. . .remember, I am used to trotting on Haflinger legs, which are much shorter strides than Quarter horse legs! But I adjusted quickly and had a blast!

Ryleigh was amazing. He trotted, walked, and stopped when I asked. The longer I was on him, the more relaxed I became. 
Good boy!
After I got off Ryleigh, I shared a carrot between him and Shy. Then I hung out with Shy's sassy self for a little bit. 
She is like the Pippi Longstocking of horses

Thanks Robin for letting me ride Ryleigh!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

new things!

Oh my! The rain came down yesterday and re-flooded the almost dried up pastures. This was only a few hours worth of rain, too! Boo. Are we destined to live in a mud filled world? My jeans are never clean, my boots are always muddy, and my horse is very dirty!
They had to cross an ocean to get to the dry land. . .and grass

I got my order from Schneider's today! I put up the hay bag and it was a hit for Shyloh! Although, I am not sure it slowed down her hay intake much. The way she was chomping at that hay, I actually won't be surprised if I get to the barn tomorrow and the hay bag is destroyed. I don't need to use the tail bags yet.

I also attempted to use my new long lines. They are much longer than the ones I was borrowing so I have to deal with the extra hassle of the length. 
Not down with work today. . .
We definitely need another lesson, so I set one up with Beth. I need to get ready to ride and I need to get Shyloh ready to ride because I am asking for a saddle for Christmas! I want to be trail riding come summer time. But today, Shyloh was all over the place. We tried lunging and we were less than successful. 
Then we tried the long lines. Again, I would not call it a successful attempt. 
Not this either?

I am hoping another lesson will help us get back on track so we can be one step closer to our goals. 
Barney the barn cat. He watched our whole cat-astrophe today.

I read this post from Kate over at A Year With Horses about the dangers of fall grass. Since Shyloh is an easy keeper, I have decided to keep her inside for tomorrow. And maybe for a couple days a week for a while, I'm not sure yet. All I know is I do not want her to founder! For some reason, it is a big fear of mine, even though she does not have a history that I know of or IR or Cushings and she does not get grain. As I have mentioned before, I prefer that she be outside almost always, but the only place where there is no grass is the big guy's (Percheron and Clydesdale) paddock. But having to spend the day inside trumps dealing with founder! Have any other Haflinger owners had an issues with their horses grass intake and/or founder?
Need your input, please!!