Saturday, June 30, 2012


Just when I had forgotten about the little buggers. . .I find a tick crawling on my elbow! Yuck! Now I am back to thinking everything I feel is an evil tick! I am so paranoid over these nasty bugs! I probably picked it up when I was chasing Bob and Dannon through tall grasses after their great escape.  Bob (I am assuming since he is the escape artist) nosed the arena doors open and broke through the 2x4. I heard a crash and all I saw was two big black horses galloping toward the fields. Luckily, they went right in a pasture and it was an easy catch! I texted Beth about this escape and she said yesterday Bob did the same thing, but he jumped the 2x4! That horse is crazy!

As for Shyloh. . . this is what I arrived to the barn to. . .
Dirty pony?
I knew from the last time I got her an Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Ball that I would have a messy pony, just not this messy! So Shy got a face scrubbing and came out clean, like this. . .
Clean her up with Orbit! *
During clean up time, I washed her tail and Shy played with the water and suds! I am kinda upset because I thought I was taking video when Shy was being extra cute with the bubbles, but I forgot to push record. Duh!
Curiouser and curiouser . . .
Can I eat my halter?
Splish splash!
I re-did her braids and conditioned her hair. And checked her for the dreaded ticks. She was in the clear. Good news is that the tests came back for the other two horses and they were negative for Lyme Disease. That and Shy being her usual sassy self leads me to believe that she is Lyme free. But I am re-freaking out over the creepy crawlers since I saw one today. Ugh!

It is still too hot to work (in my opinion) so we continued our vacation. We actually took a nap together when I fell asleep in a chair outside her stall and she fell asleep against her wall. Tomorrow I do plan on having a lesson with Beth to get back into the swing of things. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

(trying to) stay cool

It's too hot to work! Shyloh and me have been on a horse vacation this week.

What does a horse vacation consist of? Mostly trying to beat the heat! But we did some other things like. . .

Putting up an Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Ball. . . sugar free of course!

Running through the arena sprinkler!
Spotty wet pony!
Clicker training not to eat grass. I am tired of having my shoulder yanked out of my socket!

Eating grass! And doing Shy's mane in braids to keep her cool.
So yummy!
Hanging out in the pasture, fully decked out in her gear!
Alien Shy, she comes in peace.
Most importantly, a horse vacation constitutes no riding or line driving. . .just the way Shy likes it. But since the weather shows no sign of cooling off, we might have to do some short sessions and suffer through the heat. Maybe the threatening thunderstorms will cool the air, doubt it though, it's most likely to make it more muggy. Then me and Shy's hair will look like we stuck out fingers/hooves in an electric socket! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

tire tracks

For as sensitive Shyloh can be sometime, there are times when she is able to block everything out. Every urge to move forward, every, tap of the lunge whip, every scream, every, curse word, every push, and every smack (I don't like to hit, but as a last resort it is sometimes necessary). Shy is able to be a statue, but just when she wants to do so. It is very frustrating.
I don't wanna work, Allie!
I rigged up a tire for Shy to pull. Luckily for me, Beth's dad has an abundance of tires in all sizes. I picked a smallish one to start with.
Checking out the tire
I went through our "getting Shy more comfortable with me being behind her " exercise and then did some line driving. So far, so good. I even did the dreaded trail obstacle and it only took Shy one refusal before she just went over the tarp and board. Yay!

I really could not have asked for a better Shy when I attached the tire. It was probably not the safest way to do this, but it worked for us and no one was hurt. Shy was moving forward, not backwards! She did not balk at the weight of the tire and we did a lap each way around the arena and a serpentine each way. . .with no stopping! This is so much improvement for us. 

But then I made a mistake. I asked for a whoa near the arena door. It was a perfect whoa. But when I asked Shy to walk on, she walked backwards. And backwards. And backwards. No matter what I did, she moved backwards. And eventually ended up like this. . .
What is wrong with this picture?
This horse, who practically has each hoof lifted in turn for me to pick them absolutely refused to pick her feet up. I pulled. I prodded. I tapped. I tugged. Nothing. I had to unhook my tire contraption and fix it before we attempted again. I was all set and I asked Shy to walk on. Statue Shy. I told Shy to walk on. Statue Shy. I pushed her. I taped with the whip. I yelled. I swore. I smacked. Nothing! I finally had to turn her at her head to get her to move. Then I made her trot the arena three times before stopped. I figured make her work harder when she does not listen, but I was the one sweating!

Aside from that little hiccup, I am really happy with Shy's progress! I figure we will pull this size tire a few more times and increase the length of time, then move to a bigger tire. And work on a safer tire set up!

I took Shy to do what she loves best for a few minutes. It is so funny to watch her leave the barn when she knows she gets to graze. As we approach the barn door, Shy stretches her head and lowers it, then stretches her lips out as far as they go moving them up and down in anticipation of the grass she will get to eat. She does not even get all of her legs outside of the barn before she starts grazing! It is quite a site!

Pretty girl 
So good!
Whachu lookin at?

Monday, June 25, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #43

A very special day is fast approaching! Does anyone know what day that is? I'm not gonna tell. . .
nah nah nah nah nah naaah!

Feel free to guess, though. . .

On to some business. . . I started a new multi-vitamin and it is mighty tasty! It is called Maxum Crumbles. Bob has been on them for a while and Caesar has recently started taking them. We already know Bob is a sexy beast, but Caesar is looking awfully fine now, too. The real question is: Can I look any better? I guess time will tell. . .

I got to hang out with gassy Casi in the arena because thunderstorms were imminent the other day. We had some fun!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

pulling stuff

Shyloh is soo much fun! 

Beth gave me a lesson on long lines to help Shy and me with her line driving. We worked on keeping contact and a the dreaded trail obstacle. . .tarp with board. Beth noticed Shy is not confident with a person behind her, so she gave me some exercises to do to increase her confidence. Basically, I stand at her head and move backwards a little at a time until I can move behind her. Then I repeat on the other side. Shy's goal is to stand still and not move her head or her butt. So that is why Shy will go over the tarp and board when I lead her, but not when I drive her.

After we conquered the trail obstacle, the real fun began! On a whim, we brought the sled out. Shy had not seen the sled in quite some time, so she was a little iffy about it. I walked her around it a few times until she got comfortable and hooked her up. Whoa! When it started dragging behind her, Shy got her quick legs. But she did not go far and before we went halfway around the arena, she was fine dragging it behind her.
Sorry about the crappy quality, cell phone pics from far away!
I suggested that Beth hop on the sled. She was a good sport about it and got on, even though she had her reservations. I had Shy near her head for safety. When Shy felt the weight, she stopped. It was a struggle between stopping and going, but eventually Shy made it around the arena twice with Beth. 
Then it was my turn! Shy was done at this point. She refused to move forward, despite our consistent tapping. Eventually, we got her moving and she went about half the arena. Shy needs to build up pulling muscles and learn how to balance herself while pulling stuff. But if we keep it up, I'll be riding in a one horse open sleigh by snow time! Or at least a sled in the snow. . .
I worked by myself with Shy on a different day. I used the exercise Beth showed me before we began any work. To my amazement, it made a huge difference! I did not have to spend the first ten minutes of line driving getting Shy to stop straight and not constantly step to the side. She stopped perfectly!

I worked with Shy on the dreaded trail obstacle and she acted like it was going to attack her! Why oh why mare? But I did some lunging in each direction around and over the obstacle and she finally went over it. I am beginning to think that she does does stuff to see if I can make her. 
This is the extremely edited version. . .We spent a lot of time on this.

I brought out the sled again and hooked Shy up. I really need to get something much shorter than the sled that I can walk behind. When the long lines are too far back, Shy is not as responsive to directions. But, we did it and I decided to add some weight to the sled. I used a 40 lb. bag of alfalfa pellets. At first, as always when Shy is pulling weight, she refused to move forward, but I got her going. Why does she always refuse to move forward? And nothing will make her until she is good and ready to go. Finally, when she was ready to walk, we did a few laps around the arena and called it quits. 

It's nice to finally get some practice in with pulling and line driving. There is not enough time in the day or days of the week to do everything I want to do with Shy! Maybe if I didn't work. . .

Friday, June 22, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #18

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. When someone says, "summer," what pops into your mind?
What ideally pops into my mind is spending time outside, BBQ's, friends, family, water, kayaking, biking, beach. What summer really is is hot, humid, and bugs.

2. It's hot - really hot. In what ways do you help your horses, or other animals, deal with the heat?
I hose Shy off to help her stay cool, although, I don't think she minds the heat. For the dogs, I have a baby swimming pool they can go in if they want. Mostly, they just say inside in the air conditioning, though. 

3. OK....if you are old enough - what's something you recall from the summer of '69? If you are too young, what title would you give your song? Why?
I recall nothing from the summer of '69. . .I was not born yet. My summer song would be Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
My question: What is your favorite summer non-horse activity?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

it's hot!

It is way too hot for not even being officially summer yet! Too hot to do work today. It is one of those stifling, non breezy, humid hots. 

I had really wanted to do some line driving with Shyloh. We did some practice the other day and it went really well. I am working on keeping contact with her as we walk, which is hard because Shy tends to slow down and I keep going at the same speed. When she loses the contact, she thinks she is a free pony and able to go whichever way she wants. 

The goal is to push her into the contact. . .harder to do on the ground than while riding her. Beth suggested lunging her on long lines. I did and it worked! After we did some lunging, I took Shy in some patterns around the arena, concentrating on keeping the contact on Shy. We did serpentines, figure eights, and circles in the corners in all directions. I was very satisfied with what we accomplished. 

Shy even had foamy mouth when we got done!

Today, it was over 90 degrees! So I took Shy for a little walk around the property. We checked out the napping cat. . .
Bubba loves this chair!
. . .and the pond. . .

The reeds and cat tails are so high! And tasty, according to Shy!
. . .got some grass. . .
No small bites for this dainty lady
. . .and practiced our new trick. 
Say cheese!
Word in the barn is that Shy has started "smiling" at people that walk by. . .looking for a treat!

Then I hosed Shy down to cool her off. I am not sure if she really minds the heat too much. She has a fan on her stall, but she never stands in front of it like the other horses do with their fans. Shy prefers her window. Hopefully it cools down a little bit so we can do some work this week! It is not looking too good with us going to the show if the heat keeps up. The trailer ride, no shelter, and long hours are very hard on the horses when it is so hot. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #42

Allie taught me another trick! I love learning tricks because it involves lots of treats. And I love treats! 
I present. . .my new trick:
Cute, right? I do the flippy lip a lot, but now I will smile whenever Allie asks. A sure way to get even more treats. Because life is all about the treats!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

lyme disease

So I am freaking myself over this tick on Shyloh and what better way to calm one's nerves than to Google Lyme disease in horses in Michigan. . .

Actually, for once, the inter-web made me feel a little better. What I learned in my research was that while Lyme disease has been diagnosed in horses, it is rare. Michigan has an abundance of ticks (and other bugs) this year due to the extremely mild winter. 

I think the tick that bit Shy was a Lone Star tick. I also found one of these on my barn jeans at my house a couple weeks ago. I am constantly checking me and my dogs for these dreaded creatures. 

Just for informational purposes, here are the symptoms of Lyme Disease:

• Fever (probably early infections) 
• Ill-defined, shifting lameness not explained by injury or level of work 
• Poor performance 
• Personality changes 
• Laminitis 

• Anterior uveitis (ERU/moonblindness-like eye changes) 

Today, our vet had to be called out to the barn for a possible emergency (everything turned out okay), so I had Dr. Romine take a look at the place where the tick bit Shy (it is redder now). He said it had ulcerated, most likely because ticks are dirty, nasty bugs. Dr. Romine told me to put some Betadine on it and keep it clean. I asked about drawing blood to test for Lyme disease. He said that one horse will be getting her test results back by Friday and another horse is getting retested, so wait and see if Lyme Disease has even come to our area yet. But keep an eye on her. So we will see. . .I am debating whether or not to take Shy to the show next weekend, just in case. Although Lyme disease is not transmittable from horse to horse, only tick to animal . . .I asked. 

I would not be so worried if the bite spot would scab over or something. It is red and raised and seems to get crusty on the edges, but it won't scab over. Shy is not at all bothered by it and lets me wash it and put cream on it.  But it does not look like the characteristic bulls-eye rash that is indicative of the disease.

The cure for Lyme disease is antibiotics, usually intravenous tetracycline or oral doxycycline. If Lyme disease is not treated, it can affect and damage the eyes, heart, kidneys and nervous system.

The good news from my research is that Lyme Disease is very rare in horses and in my area. I am hoping that the other two horses come back with negative tests, not just for me, but for them and their owners, too.

Informative Websites
A Practical Guide to Lyme Disease (Shy's bite area looks nothing like the photo)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

a bunch of b's. . .

And by B's I mean birds, bugs, bites, breaks, braids, boards, boats, bulls, barn animals, and best friends. 

Let's start with best friends. My husband's best friend is visiting from Tulsa and staying with us. Along with his dog. Maggie generally does not get along with other dogs, but she is doing really well with this dog. Lucy is a beagle mix and much smaller than both of my dogs. But she does not let them bother her. So for the next week, my house will be a mess of dogs and best friend belongings. My escape will be the barn.

While his best friend is in town, my husband decided to buy a boat! Exciting! We live right on the intersection of Lake Erie and the Detroit River so a boat is something my husband always wanted. I got a horse, he got his boat. 
Soon I will be sailing the open seas. . .think Shy can fit?
Looks like me and Shyloh will be spending a lot of time working on our line driving. Beth broke her foot when Bob stepped on it the other day. Ouch! But today, I took some much needed advice and did some fun things with Shy. I taught her a new trick! Of course, I forgot my video camera, but I will get it on tape.

When I took Shy down the aisle to show Kathy and Terry, I rubbed the top of Shy's mane as we were walking. I felt something hard. I picked it off and was like what the heck is this? Terry, science, animal, and horse person extraordinaire, took a closer look at Shy's mane. Then she pulled something else off it. . . it was a bug, specifically a tick! Ugh! Makes me shudder just to think about it again. 
Where the tick was. Yuck, yuck yuck!
How did I not see this before? I have been to the barn everyday this week and I groom Shy every time I go out. How long has it been there? Could this tick be the reason she has been very "eh" this week? Questions abound ran through my head. I shook them out and cleaned the area, then but some anti-bacterial stuff on it. Terry could not find a lighter to kill the tick, so she smashed it to pieces. She promised me it was NOT a deer tick. Even more scary is two of the horses at the barn have been tested for Lyme disease because they are having otherwise unexplained problems. Scary!

After the tick removal, I somehow managed to do a really good mane roll on Shy's hair! I am getting better. Then I put Shy in the arena to play around. As I was walking in, I saw a baby bird in the sand. Poor guy fell out of his nest and he was hungry. Robin had just rescued two other baby birds yesterday!

Hungry birdie
And yesterday. . .the bull that hates me broke out of the fence! I am so glad I was just left the barn when this happened or who know what that bull would have done! Attacked me for sure! Ha!
The bull in all his glory. See his ring and chain?
To end the day of all things B, Shy broke another 2x4 on her quest for grass. This horse will stop at nothing for a blade! What a day! Can't say going to the barn is ever boring!
Glad she didn't go through!
Barn cats, Barney and Bubba
Random smashed snake I found in a flake of hay!

Friday, June 15, 2012

hobby horse blog hop #17

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 is the ideal trailer for you.
Good question. I have not really thought about it because the thing that scares me the most about a trailer is pulling it! I guess  I would like something small. Maybe a two horse slant with a tack area. And a front door for an exit. Then I guess I would need a truck to pull it, especially if I got a cart, because I would put the cart in the truck. My Mariner won't do for this trailer I don't have, haha!

2. Do you use shipping boots, a padded halter, a head bumper or other protective equipment for your horse when trailering?
Bad me. . .I use none of the above. I have been extremely lucky and Shy just walks on the trailer and stand there until it is time to unload. So far, she has come out of all her trailer rides unscathed. 

3. What item(s) do you always carry in your trailer, or recommend that other's carry?
I would always recommend hay, a quick release trailer tie, and a muck rake. The things I have been taking with me to the shows are a cooler with drinks for us, my tack (harness, saddle, bridles, helmet), sugar free treats, and grooming supplies (brush, hoof pick). If I went anywhere without Jaime and Kyle (who bring everything else!) I would add buckets. Not sure what else I need at this point. Probably a lot more!

My question: What is the most fun place that you have trailered your horse to?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

line driving obstacle course

I did a line driving obstacle course with Shyloh today. I also worked on keeping contact with her as we did our line driving. I am undecided with how our little session went. . .

The key:
1. Poles
2. Hula Hoop. I stand in the hoop and have Shy circle around me without stepping out of it. We did both ways.
3. Tarp with a board on it.
4. Cones. Weave through them forward and backwards.
5. Barrels. Narrow space, go through them.
6. Alleyway with poles.
7. Cones. Figure Eight.

Usually, when I work with Shy, I am able to pick out at least one improvement or good thing that happened. While I can say that Shy went through my course really well, I am still a little disappointed. I felt she, me, we could have done better. 
Why me?
Shy conquered all of the obstacles with ease except for the tarp and board. This is the same obstacle she refused at the show. She does not have a problem with the tarp, it is the board. And she does not have a problem being led over either, but she won't do the obstacle being line driven. And yes, I did have a whip. Not much use, except for moving her sideways at lightening speed. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time on this. . .
Almost there. . .
We did it!
I know what I should have done. I really should have got my clicker out and did some training that way. But I didn't and I am a kind of upset with myself over this. 

Eh. . .I am not sure what is up with Shy this week. She just not seem to be wanting to do work. I am going to have to keep working on this for the next show.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My previous definition of a good ride on Shyloh: not falling off, no bolting, and no excess scooting.

After many many "good" rides on Shy by both Beth and myself, I need to change the definition. Her scoots are at a bare minimum and she does not appear to want to get either of us off her back.

The new definition good ride on Shy: listening to the rider, bending, not over reacting, and not being arena/barn door sour.

Ugh! Shy has become so sour to the doors that lead her to her stall. After about ten to fifteen minutes of good riding, Shy has it in her mind that she is done and wants to go back to her stall. Most likely to do this:
Yesterdays ride consisted of a constant fight after the "allotted" ten minutes of ride time. It was a fight to keep her moving forward or even moving at all. She would stop and look at the door. I could see the whites of her eyes from looking in that direction. I would urge her forward and she performed the most beautiful, unasked for side passes. Just because she wanted to keep her eyes on the arena doors. 

Today, Beth rode Shy outside. Again, after the first ten minutes, Shy was trying with all her might to stop at the spot of the outdoor riding area that was nearest the barn door. 

Equally frustrating to the ride time limit and being door sour, Shy throws in other ways to keep us on our toes.

Yesterday when I was riding, Shy thought being hard on the left rein and leaning into the bit was the way to go. She was tired from her hard day of grazing. So tired that she was falling asleep when Beth was explaining some new concepts to me. We did serpentines and figure eights to practice bending. Shy did do pretty good at these, but she just had it in her mind that she did not feel like working. But the trots. . .she did not want to do any for me. But I kept at it, with her being hard on the reins and every thing, until I got just a few good steps at the trot. Whew.
Today, when Beth rode, Shy switched it up and was amazing on the left rein and hard on the right rein. Since Beth has not worked her in a while, Shy was under the impression that a trot now consists of a few steps then stop. Oops. . .my fault! Beth fixed it and trotted her around for a long time. 

Shy is constantly challenging us and changing up what she does. Beth likes the challenge. So we have to always be thinking and changing what we do in her training. Today it was small serpentines to get her to bend. Tomorrow? Who knows what Shy will fancy. . .The only thing I am sure of is that my definition of a good ride will eternally be updated to fit our needs.
Shy likes strawberries!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Fun Things to Do With Your Haflinger

10 Fun Things to Do With Your Haflinger

1. Eating Contest
Who can eat the fastest? Bets on the Haffie. . .Humans, you don't have to eat hay or grass for this!

2 .Obstacle Course
Can be ridden or in hand or line driven. Use tarps, bridges, cones, poles, anything! Get creative!

3. Fashion Show
Haflingers love to dress up, right? Get ready for that costume class. No costume? Colored hairspray or everyday barn items work for the barn aisle walkway.

4. Foot Race
Chances are the human will win. Unless the Haflinger is being chased by panthers (imaginary or real) or there is food at the finish line. Or the Haflinger does not want to be caught.

5. Dance Party
Which one of you has better dance moves? Try not using fly spray, taking the horse out at dusk on a spring evening, and put on some music to pop, lock, and drop it too. I guarantee that horse can lift those legs and shake that booty better than you!

6. Spa Day
Haffies love to get their hair did and have monthly pedicures

7. IQ Test
Seriously. Those Haffies are smart! Probably smarter than me and you. I guess if the Haffie wins, that would not be so much fun for you. . .

8. Teach Tricks
Who doesn't love to see a super cute Haflinger do super cute tricks? So far, Shyloh can wave, kiss, and honk a horn, with many more to come!

9. Play Soccer or Other Games
This can be done on the ground or ridden with other horses. If I can kick the ball between Shy's legs, I score. If she can nose or kick it between mine, she scores! It's fun!

10. Trail Ride
Our ultimate goal! And we are getting closer to getting out on those trails!

What fun things do you do with your Haflinger or horse or pony? 

Send me some photos and I will share them on the blog. 
alliebyars <at> gmail <dot> com

Monday, June 11, 2012

monday musings by shyloh #41

Wow! I actually came back from a show without Allie threatening to leave me behind! Mostly it was because I am awesome. A little bit had to do with Allie using the over check for the line driving obstacle course. 
And I got extra hay from Notch
Because I was such a good horse for Allie, I get the day off. Unfortunately, it looks like rain today. Yuck. At least I get to rest up and recover from baking in the sun all day yesterday.  The good thing about being so good was that Allie let me have a little bit of sugar. Cold, tasty sugar! We shared an ice pop. So yummy!

Here are some other equines from the show:
I was obsessed with these two mares. They were so calm and stood amazingly. I watched them all day.

A mule! Allie said maybe she will make something to make my ears look longer and then we can enter the mule/donkey classes and win. But only because there were only two mules at this show! No donkeys. . .and I like donkeys, they are cute!

This little one was so cute and funny! Lots of attitude for such a little dude. My kinda horse.

Guess I better rest up while I can. . . I have a feeling we will be doing lots of practice before the next show. . .