Saturday, March 31, 2012

equine dentist

The equine dentist came to float a bunch of horsey teeth at the barn today. Shyloh was one of those horses. Doug, the dentist, was amazing! He does not use drugs or power tools. I had no idea what to expect, since Shy was floated and had her wolf teeth removed right before she came home to me. Doug just went right into Shy's stall and stuck his hand in her mouth. Shy did not have a problem with that. He was very calm and patient with her and she reciprocated by being a very good Haffie. 
File file!
The dentist's visit was educational, as well. On a whim, I asked him how old he thought Shy was. Without hesitation, he said five, coming on six. What?? I had believed that she was six or seven! For some reason, that year or two seems to make a huge difference in my head. It's almost like she is still a baby at five. She is probably still growing. Five. Wow. That really explains a lot about her. Why she is a little spooky (not as much exposure), lack of experience under saddle (does she even have any training?), less driving experience than realized (probably ground driven but never hooked up to a cart). So, she is much greener than we thought. . .but oh well. I have a good support team, including Beth who will train Shy and teach me.  

Another interesting thing Doug showed me was that Shy had two canine teeth coming in through the top of her mouth. I got to feel them! One had already pushed its way through the gum and the other was just under the gum. Doug said that mares do not have these teeth, only stallions and geldings, unless the mother horse was giving hormones when she was in foal. Very interesting! This just adds more mystery about Shy's past! He took those canines out (it was real simple, Shy bled a little, but she did not mind). Doug also floated the rest of her teeth, including the hook on her right side. I can't wait to see how she does when Beth rides her next week. 

Later, when I kept checking on the bleeding in Shy's mouth, I could see it already healing. Just so amazing! Doug asked me if I drove Shy. I told him I was working on it and he said she has the body for driving. He also mentioned that she was a very quiet and well behaved Haffie. That made me smile!

I gave Shy a long grooming session, using every brush and de-shedding tool I had access to. Shy is a shedding pony! And look how big Fuzzy has gotten!
Baby boy Haffie
I also used a whitening shampoo on her tail. I want to get her mane, but I will wait until it is warmer out. Then me and Kathy took our horses outside to graze on the green green grass for just a little bit. Between the rain and the hail, I don't know when the pastures are going to dry up!
So yummy!
I am ending with this short video. . .does anyone notice anything different about Shyloh? Or do my eyes deceive me? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #6

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

1. My horse does this silly thing. . .
Um. . .my horse does a lot of silly things, she has me cracking up on a regular basis. She does do this crazy head toss thing that looks like she has an attitude problem. 

2. What trick(s) have you taught your horse, dog, cat, husband, or kids?
Shyloh can wave, kiss, and hug. We are working on more tricks, too. The dogs can sit, down, stay, shake, speak and Cooper can balance a treat on his nose then flip it up and catch it. 

3. What was the last movie you watched?
I went to see The Hunger Games. I was a little disappointed in the movie, since I read the books. It was a good movie, but I felt that it did not quite get the message that the book was trying to convey.

My question: If your horse could have one super power, what would it be?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

not impressed

I had visions of a wonderful reunion with Shyloh. My dream included Shy grazing outside in her pasture, me walking up to the gate and calling her name, and Shy looking up and running to me, happy that I am home.

Well. . .none of the above happened. Apparently I rank below teeny tiny pieces of sparse grass. I did walk up to the gate and call Shy's name, but she did not even look up. I walked back inside, dejected. I tried again later, and I did get a slight acknowledgement, but not much. My illusion of wrapping my arms around Shy's neck and circling together in a hug were crushed. 

Oh well. Once Shy finally decided to come inside (after all the other horses were in), I spent some time grooming her. When her mane doesn't get brushed on a regular basis, she develops dreadlocks!
Once I started brushing her mane, I thought the conditioner I had put in it before I left had left her hair super soft. It had such a soft and nice texture, not the usual straw-like texture. But Beth burst my bubble when she said she had put some other conditioner in her hair, pre-bolt. I had Beth tell me three times what she used, but I still can't remember the name! But I know I need to get some!

Since Shy was so not impressed with my return to her life of a wild and care-free pony, I had her take a little walk with me. It was windy out!

And upon our return to her stall, I discovered Shy's ground manners have gone out the window! She was practically dragging me down the aisle to get to her dinner hay! I was not impressed with her lack of manners, and made her turn around and approach the stall until she was not pulling. She needs to get her manners back!

Monday, March 26, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #30

Whoo hoo! While the people are away, the Haflingers will play! Pippin, Doc, Camryn, come on over to my place! It's party time!

Allie went to some fancy schmancy place called Florida. I did a bunch of fun things while she was gone and some not so good things. I do not want to talk about the not so good things I did. . .

But for now, I am crushing on Chick again. He is so tall, he makes me look tiny!
Rekindling my love affair with Chick

I got super muddy running around the pasture with my friends!  Allie left me as a clean, pretty pony and I sure did not stay that way! Haha!  And the weather is so nice, I did not want to come ion from the pasture. Only when I was left all by myself did I decide that I should go in. 
Aren't mud baths supposed to be good for the skin?
Check out how long my mane is getting! Yeah, I'll probably be one of  those Haflingers. You know, the ones with the manes all the way down to the ground. On both sides. My forelock, too. Yeah, super sexy. Don't hate.
Now Allie needs to figure out a way to keep the ends from frizzing.
 I had a visit from my favorite farrier and his butt. I am always on my best behavior for him and his butt. I do love my mani/pedis!

Starving Haflinger that I am, I gobbled up all my food at each meal time. I swear that I am being neglected int he food department. I don't get nearly enough hay or other foods to sustain a Halfinger of my caliber of awesomeness. Can't you just tell that I am whittling away to nothing? No? Oh. . . Look harder. . .
Gobbling so fast, I'm blurry!
Here is an example of what Allie thinks I should look like:
All slim and sleek and hungry looking
Here is what I think I should look like:
Hay belly, full, and happy looking.
Do you think that there is a girth that would fit around that nice looking belly? Me either. Mission accomplished.


Friday, March 23, 2012

bad pony

I guess I can't go on a vacation because Shyloh acts like she can do whatever she feels like when I am gone. Bad pony!

I knew Beth was going to take her on a walk around the property with Casi and Kathy. I was excited for all of them, and kinda bummed that I couldn't be there, but hey, I AM in Florida! Then I got this picture sent to me from Kathy with the words, This was after our ride. She was a handful today.

Um. . .the main thing that stuck out to me was that Beth had a helmet on. Beth rarely wears a helmet! What happened?? Then I got this text. She bolted when we were walking in the back by the field. Beth was fine, but she was hanging on. She is gonna let you know herself. It all ended good though.

So, I waited and waited and waited for Beth to call, all the while anxiety was sitting in. It didn't help that I was 1200 miles away, so I kept thinking of the worst case scenario. Beth was going to tell me that Shy is too dangerous. Beth would say that Shy can't be fixed. Beth might mention that I would never be able to ride her safely. Yeah, my head was in a pretty awful place while waiting to attend this reception for dental students at my husband's conference. 

Finally, Beth called and she did not say any of those things. She told me what happened and her thoughts on correcting it. 

Beth had said Shy was doing real good at the start of the lesson, relaxed and walking a loose rein, until they got to the back field. Then, for no reason that anyone but Shy knows, she bolted. Like whoa! No spook, she just took off at lightening Halfinger speed. Beth lost a stirrup and was practically leaning straight back with all her weight on the reins to get Shy to stop.

And Shy kept on going, completely ignoring all aids from Beth. Beth seriously thought they were going to run into a row of pine tress when Shy finally decided to stop. Scary. And very unacceptable horse behavior. Apparently, Shy lifted her head in the air and clamped down on the bit so it had no effect on her whatsoever. Luckily, Beth is sticky and was able to stay in the saddle. I am so grateful that no one got hurt!

Shy got her bit changed to the shank bit, but she was being a brat with that, too. At this point, Beth had put her helmet on, just in case. Beth said Shy was openly defying her and avoiding the bit, but at the same time, she was incredibly nervous and a ball of ready to bolt again energy. Shy was brought in the arena and the lesson did end on a good note after a lot of circling and bending exercises.

The training plan has now changed. We need to teach Shy some collection and flexion, and to accept the bit. Dressage-type stuff. This new and out of the blue behavior has really put a halt on my trail riding plans, but I'd rather have a safe horse who listens to her rider! The good thing though is that Beth said Shy was not being mean and not trying to dump her. 

Beth had said that this behavior is fixable, but we need to get back to basics and work Shy differently than she has been working her.  She is young and she probably was not started at two since she never was a show prospect. She was probably started around three and that only gives three years of probably not the most consistent, stable training, if any. 

Beth believes that Shy did not just discover evading the bit tactic, she learned this some time ago, way before I got her. Shy also does not have a good grasp on the foundation of riding. Maybe she was testing Beth. Maybe she was trying to get out of work. Maybe this behavior has worked in the past to get her out of doing things she didn't want to do. No excuses though, that behavior is unacceptable. Who knows? Only Shyloh. .

But, on the plus side. . .Shy does sweat! I had been worried because she has yet to sweat from any of her rides with Beth.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #5

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

1. What are you thoughts on providing hay for your horse when you trailer him/her?
The one time I trailered Shyloh, so far, hay was provided. We had no idea how she would react to the trailer, but everyone there was quite surprised when she walked right in. Providing hay around here seems to be the norm. Maybe it gives them something to do on the ride so they don't focus on being in the trailer? I think she could go either way and I have not formed a real opinion on this yet. Good question! I look forward to others answers and reasoning.

2. You have just won a 2 minute shopping spree at a tack store. Which store are you in and what would you grab?
Oh my! I have not visited many tack stores, not too many in the area. Is Schnieder's an actual store, too? (Just looked it up, yes it is!) I would go there and grab a fancy western   leather bridle, a nice leather breatcollar, a couple Myler bits  (so I have a selection to try), a few driving bits, a couple halters, some grooming stuff, as much fly spray as I can carry, and a new pair of Ariat FatBabys. Do I have any time left?

3. What plans do you have for the weekend?
This is the fun part. . .I am in Florida! So I plan on soaking up some sun, watching these mini crabs I found do these funky little dances, and
Swinging from the palm trees,
Wading in the bay,
Walking on the beach
Funny thing is, as I was walking along the beach (husband is attending a conference), I was thinking that both dogs and Shyloh would really love this! Which leads me to my question. . .

If you could take your horse anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

Monday, March 19, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #29

Let's go for a ride outside!

I am such a pretty girl!

Look how good I am!

I am the outdoor horse extraordinaire!

Look how cute I am! Don't hate on my luscious tail. . .

I like big butts and I cannot lie. . .you other Haffies can't deny. . .

 Job well done! 
These amazing photos are from Robin, Ryleigh's mom. She is a good picture taker.

The two leggers finally wised up and just took me outside to ride, where I belong. I did not disappoint. They also got a good bit in my mouth so I could better understand what they wanted of me. It is much more comfortable.

I guess for being such a great outdoor horse, I got pampered over the weekend. I got a good brushing, so good and relaxing that I was falling asleep! I also got my bridle path clipped and it didn't bother me at all. Then I got my mane and tail conditioned and worked through. My tail got a real pretty braid in it, too. I got some hoof conditioner for my hooves. I sure am the prettiest mare in the barn! Maybe the world!

Look how shiny I am! Good bye winter woolies!
It was so nice outside, I thought for a minute that I was going to get a bath. I was watching the other horses go in the wash stall and get baths all weekend, but not me! Whew. What we did instead was go outside to eat yummy green green grass! So good! But I only got to eat for a little bit. Gotta get into swim suit shape. 
So so tasty! I could live off this stuff!
I also got to watch Kathy and Beth ride Casi! Boy does he want to go fast!! He doesn't like to be by himself, so I went and stood around while he was riding. Casi did do a no-no when Beth asked him to canter. . .he bucked! But no one fell off and then he got better. But he still wants to be fast. I think before he came to the barn he was the top runner in the Underground Appaloosa Race World.

While watching Casi, I ate a little grass. Allie kept making me take breaks from eating, so  I took myself a nap under the late afternoon sun. 

What were your horsey weekends like? Any other horses out there get pampered this weekend?


Saturday, March 17, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #4

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!
1. Have you ever been a victim of the weather when you were riding, or participating in some other sport?
Not while riding, but in high school when I ran track and cross country. We had weekend invitationals, where were all day events. They were held as long as there was no lightening. On more than one occasion, we had to suffer through the pouring rain. Luckily, I had a little three person dome tent that we managed to fit 10 of us in! There were also times when we had to run after the rain and by the end of the race, we were covered in mud! I have to say, those were fun times!

2. If you could take a lesson with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Hmmm. . .I have no idea. I don't really subscribe to one particular type of training, so going with my dorkiness, I say Aragorn or Legolos from Lord of the Rings. Yeah, I just went there, hahaha!

3. Which is your favorite season?
Fall, by far! I love the weather, the colors, my birthday, everything!

My question: What bit do you like to use and why? I think Shy's bit is going to be the French link snaffle, so far it is the bit she has responded the best in.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

walking on sunshine

What a day! It is mid-March and well over 60 degrees! Madness! But I am not complaining about this beautiful, unusual weather. 

However yesterday, Michigan did have tornadoes! I could do without those! And one was reported to have touched the ground so close to our barn. Scary, but the horses and people were all safe. Whew.
Too close for comfort!
Today marked Beth's fifth ride on Shyloh and her third ride outside (not that I am keeping track). We tried a French link snaffle for the ride. And we went directly outside, no indoor arena first.

Best decision ever! Shy took really well to this bit and she was so relaxed outside! The ground was a little mushy from the torrential downpour that happened last night, but Beth remarked how sure-footed Shy is. They walked and jogged and had a great little ride!
Beth forgot she had little ball spurs on, but she was extra careful and only once bumped Shy with them. She was like, What the. . ., but recovered immediately. Ryleigh was calling for Shy while he was inside, but she kept paying attention to her work. I also put the Western reins back on the bridle because the ones I had on were too slippery. Shy did not mind them hanging down at all.

Now, the super exciting part. . . Beth told me to get up there. . . so I did! No beating heart, no fear, I just got right on (as soon as I put on my helmet). There was a dramatic difference in outside Shy vs arena Shy; I could feel exactly how relaxed Shy was, which made me more relaxed. Robin took some awesome photos during the ride and I cannot wait to see them. We rode for 10 minutes of perfection! Shy's whoa was spot on and her walk was fantastic! I was able to keep Shy moving without startling her and got her to walk past her paparazzi without stopping for a photo shoot. She listened to my cues. When I started (unknowingly) leaning forward and shifting my balance, she stopped. And, she did not scoot away when I got off of her! 

What a good pony I have, she is so smart! Maybe I will have my little trail horse sooner than I thought!
Shy participating in her favorite past time

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a bit of a difference

Shyloh's first ride of the week involved trying a new bit. Beth had mentioned she wanted to ride Shy with more contact and the snaffle shank bit she had was too much. That, along with the added pressure on the poll and under the chin with constant contact was too confusing for Shy. So I put the rolly D-ring bit that Terry let me borrow on Shy's bridle.
What a difference! And not in a good way. Shy did not like this bit at all. She was shaking her head and pulling on the bit. She was not relaxed at all! Shy was more on edge, a little spooky (one time, she jumped completely sideways), and just not happy. Beth hopped off and found an egg butt snaffle that she had in Shy's size and we tried that. So much better! Shy was able to relax in this bit and was a much better ride. Her mouth was softer and she was actually dripping saliva!
Beth has been working on getting Shy used to leg pressure, with she was not at all comfortable with when Beth started riding her. Shy also did some 5 and 10 meter circles to help with her bending and responding to the leg pressure. Even though  Shy's canter work has improved in three rides, Beth is putting that on hold, because I am not ready to canter anyway. With the change in bit, Shy was so amazing, we went outside!

Beth rode her on the grass behind the house, then decided to take her further, kind of along the path that we take for our trail walks. Shyloh is a completely different horse outside! She was so relaxed and sure of herself! We walked around, through puddles, through sticky mud, and into the pond pasture. Because I am not ready to gallop through open fields or ride off into the sunset, Beth does not want to teach Shy that it is okay to run outside yet, so we went at a nice walk around the pond. 
When we got back to the barn, I hopped on Shy! I am still amazed that when I get on her, my heart beats so fast. I sat on her a while, talking to Beth, working on my posture and legs, relaxing myself, slowing my heart rate, breathing, and just getting used to feeling Shy beneath me in a saddle. Shy had a hanging head and let me do my thing. I felt her stiffen and twitch and I asked Beth what was going on. Beth said she was falling asleep, her eyes were at half mast! Silly horse! Then we walked a few laps around the arena and all was good. I was amazed that I actually had to give her a little bump to get her going! Not more just thinking about a squeeze and Shy jerking into a walk. Wow! Short, successful rides are my key to gaining confidence with riding.
Shy and Casi
That was yesterday. Today, the vet came out for spring shots. Shy was a little jumpy when she got poked, but she did good. The vet felt her teeth and sure enough, a small hook on her right side. I got a list of horses at the barn who would like to be seen by the equine dentist, so I just have to set the appointment. The vet also said Shy is at a good weight, aside from the cresty neck and another fat pocket near her shoulder, he is able to feel her ribs. But I have to keep an eye on her because she does not need to gain anymore. A grazing muzzle is pretty much a must. Poor Shy. I talked to Beth a little bit about outside options if the grazing muzzle doesn't work for Shy or if she rips it off, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.
Shy, carrying my hoodie
Did I mention that it was awesome weather out today? I sat on the grass outside after the vet talking to Kathy while Shy and Casi grazed. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #28

What is going on here?  I am so confused. I am shaking, twitching, scratching. I haven't had a carrot in . . .six days! No apples, no candy, no sugar!! No more sharing snacks with Allie. Something is up and I am not liking it. Not one bit.

These are the things that Allie has been trying to feed me lately. . .
  • almonds. . .delish!
  • cauliflower. . .take it or leave it.
  • green beans. . .yuck!
  • sunflower seeds. . .yummy!
  • sugar free candy. . .ehhh.
  • sugar free peppermints. . .palatable.
  • sugar free Wintergreen LifeSavers. . . tasty! 
At least the awesome weather got me over my sugar withdrawal symptoms. What a beautiful weekend I had! Sunny, breezy and 60 degrees!

My weekend consisted of this . . .
Horses that lick walls together, stay together
And this. . .
Checked out the arena with Ryleigh
A little bit of this. . .
Grazing in the sunset!
Hung out with these two. . .
Eating grass with Casi 
Chillin' with Resy
And spent some time pondering the complexities of the Haflinger's life. . .
What is the best way to get to the grass out there?
Then, as a surprise (to me at least) Allie and Kathy took me and Casi on a trail walk! We went through the fields and down the road. We were super good, not scared by nothing! Not the barking dogs, not the burning pile of stuff, not the ATVs, not the cows, not the weed whacker, and not cars. We are pretty cool like that!
All decked out for my walk. . .what is with the helmet that I have to carry on my saddle?
Me, looking good as usual
On the road again. . .oh I can't just can't wait to  get on the road again
Kathy and Casi on our road trip
We walked in the pond pasture, and I walked right into the pond. Water does not bother me one bit. I stuck my nose right in the pond and splashed about! But I was standing in one spot for too long and the mud sucked my feet up! I pulled them out and slapped the water with dismay! Those are my feet, pond!! I also dropped the helmet in the pond. . .oops. . . 

When we got back from our outing, Allie did this. . .
Yay for Allie!

We just did a small circle around the arena. I could tell Allie was real nervous, but I was a good girl. When she relaxed, I relaxed even more. What was the big deal, I wonder? I have been doing so good! She was all adjusting everything while on me and I wasn't scared at all! Beth prepared me for this and I was ready!  Allie really needs to get her act together, cause I am wanting to ride outside! That is where I truly love to be!

My Allie befuddlement of the day, it's been a while since I have really messed with her. . .I was outside grazing with Resy. Allie let me walk around and my lead rope was over my back, cause I like to move about as I graze. I started grazing by the barn door and when Allie was too busy talking, I just walked inside and went to my stall! All done! Hey, I was tired, I had a busy day! Shoot, a busy week with all that riding that was done on me!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

canter, back up, and bend

Shyloh had her third ride with Beth today! I am so happy to report that she shows improvement and less skittish behavior every ride! Beth is such a great teacher and rider, I really cannot say enough positive things about the stuff she is doing with Shy. Beth also explains everything as she does it and gives the reasoning behind why she is doing what she does. So helpful for me! And, I've said it before, but Beth is just so gentle with Shy. And Beth gives Shy tons of praise for good work. I am glad Shy is such a willing and responsive student!

Today, Beth did some bending and canter work. Shy's transitions are getting better. Beth said that when she asks Shy to canter, she is putting her leg further back than normal and verbalizing "canter",  just because when Shy does canter, she gets into a funky mindset. After the first canter, she is thinking "go fast" and just anticipating Beth to ask her again. So, Beth worked on calming her after the canter, even though I said I won't be cantering for quite some time. Amazing!
Shy's canter is unbalanced, as she is not used to carrying a rider while she canters. Beth worked on having her canter for longer and not go back into the super fast trot. Shy is such a smart girl, she will have this in no time! Plus, this work will build her muscles and balance (hopefully removing cresty neck and overall pudginess). 

Another thing Beth noticed was that Shy is hard on the right rein. This may be due to a tooth issue. Shy was floated and had her wolf teeth removed in July, right after I bought her, but before she came to me. I have the equine dentist coming out soon, hopefully this week or the next. I have a list going at the barn with all the boarders who want a float, so I plan on calling back early next week to set a date. If her teeth are not the problem, then it could be that Shy is really stiff on her right side. Beth showed me some bending exercises I could work on from the ground and how those exercises translate to the saddle. Awesome!
Shyloh's go-to speed is a steady jog. Beth said once she asks for the trot, she doesn't have to keep asking for it, Shy just keeps it up all on her own. It is a very comfortable pace for her. It looks so smooth, I can't wait to do it. . .soon. Soon. . . Shy could probably hold that trot until next Tuesday, she is like the Energizer Bunny in that trot. It is very cute. 

They also worked on a little backing up, which appears to be new-ish to Shy, as this was the only time she was skittish. The first time Beth asked her and Shy did backed up, Beth went to pat her a "good job" and Shy flinched a little. But then she was fine. Shy wants so bad to do what is asked of her the right way, she works herself up to be so tense. But, with more successful rides on her, my hope is that she will realize that no one is going to hurt her if she does not understand the cues. As long as she keeps trying and does bolt or toss me off, we will be good!
I had been borrowing Kathy beautiful bridle (I love this bridle on Shy!), and using the bit that came on the bridle. Shy was doing well with that, but Beth wants to try another bit for the next ride. Beth tried a few different ways of riding today, on a very loose rein and on a rein with more contact. Her consensus was that Shy responds better with more contact, but may be confused from the curb chain on the bit and the different pressure points. So we are going to try my rolly D-ring. 

To make this day even better, the weather was amazing! After Shy's terrific ride, I took her outside with Kathy and Casi to munch on some grass. The sun was out, the weather is getting warmer, and it was just beautiful. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #3

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

1. You are the lucky winner of the "Extreme Barn Makeover"! Lucky you! What things are on top of your list to be remade, changed or upgraded? (Sorry, this makeover does not entirely replace barns and/or add indoor arenas!)
Yay! Fun! First I want to say that I really like my barn. It has beautiful stalls and pastures (when it stops raining) and excellent lighting. The indoor arena is big and well lit, too. It is a clean barn, except for the usual barn clutter. The aisle is wide and it has a groom stall and a wash stall.
But what I would do first is add a bathroom! I can't even begin to tell you the troubles I almost get into having to go in the stalls. The second thing would be to add pea gravel or some other footing to the pasture gate areas and paths to the pastures. Right now they are a muddy mess from all the rain. And taking horses to the pastures is literally boot-sucking. As a frill, I would enjoy a heated and cooled observation room. We have the area for one, it is just not done, which is the same with the bathroom. And to top it off, a bigger tack room, with heat! I noticed that everything I would want would be for humans! Our horses are well taken care of and get all the good stuff.

2. Why do you treasure a particular piece of tack or equipment?
I don't have much tack. . .yet. I don't think I treasure anything I own. A good lot of my stuff is borrowed. I do really like my saddle and harness. 

3. What is the best day of the week for you?
Probably Saturdays. I do not have to work and I can spend the day at the barn enjoying the horses.

My question: Mares or geldings? Why?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

go shyloh!

I am bursting with excitement right now!!!!

Shyloh has been taking lessons with Beth as a rider! Well, two lessons so far and a third scheduled for Friday, but they have been fantastic!

Beth has been so patient and kind with Shy. When I tacked Shy up and Beth took her in the arena, Shy was like, hey, wait a minute. . .you? I want to go back to my stall and hay! She was unsure of what to expect with Beth and was skittish at first. She really wanted back in her stall, which I am guessing she feels is her safe spot.

Shy has everything she needs in her stall: food, water, salt and mineral blocks, a view. She is comfortable there. But Beth worked with her on the ground and calmed her down. When Shy started to believe that Beth was not going to hurt her, Beth got on her to ride! They were magnificent! Shy  was a little skittish at first, but really started to relax by the end of the ride.
I feel this video really shows how slow and calm Beth is with Shy. You can see the difference in Shy from the beginning to the end and see how much more relaxed Shy is as she is ridden. Beth kept commenting on how sensitive to the leg Shy was.

Shyloh has come so far on the ground and now Beth is going to work with her in the saddle. Beth is a great rider and is not un-seated as easily as me, haha. She was able to sit through all of Shy's little scoots and kept her very under control and on a loose rein. It was beautiful to me! My only wish was that I had videoed Shy in the beginning of the ride when she was more skittish so the difference was more obvious.

The ride today was even better! Shy seemed to remember Beth and what was expected of her. Beth hand walked her around the arena to see how she was feeling. Shy was great and let Beth mount her without  raising her head and tensing up. Louise was in the arena working on reining stuff, but Shy did not mind at all. There was even a point when someone opened the arena doors and Shy was fine! 
Beth walked, trotted, super fast trotted, and cantered Shy. She kept her on the rail and did circles with her. Beth kept commenting how much more relaxed Shy was today and how good she was doing! Beth also said that her trot was very comfortable. You can really see the difference in how Shy relaxes in today's ride from yesterday's ride.

Then Beth made a suggestion. . .
She took Shy outside to ride! Shy was, once again, amazing! She didn't care that the minis next door were calling to her, she didn't care when someone got in their car and drove away, she didn't care about the strong winds. I am still on a high from how awesome Shy was today!

It gives me great hopes for what we will be able to do. Shy is learning so quick and is getting comfortable as she gets ridden. We have come to the conclusion that when Shy is unsure what is expected of her, she gets nervous because she wants to do what is asked, but doesn't know what is wanted. Make sense? Once she figures out what is wanted, she relaxes. We think that she is so afraid of doing something wrong and making a mistake, that she works herself up. Or she is afraid of what the consequences (previous to me) are when she does not do what is asked. Is that possible?