Monday, April 29, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #86

I really had to give Allie some exercise this weekend. After not coming to see me all week, what does she expect? Running 4.5 miles is not too much to ask of a two legger is it? 
Allie caught me at an awkward moment. . .can't mess with Mother Nature. . .I'm in heat

I guess it is much easier with four legs.
Moving forward
I thought I was going to have to carry her after a while there, but Allie can be pretty determined when she wants. 
Like  me when I don't want to be caught and run in the woods
After our beautiful line drive at the marsh, we have been plagued with more rain. I think the hay has enough rain, right? 
I am hoping for a pretty chill week, since the month of May is going to be busy busy bus for us!
Got my shades to chill out
Our plans include:

-Driving clinic
-First show
-Possibly new farm harness
-and the cart is fixed
-trying a saddle
-a product review
-showing off some new things we got and a watercolor we won
-other things I don't even know about yet.

Too busy for me. I would much prefer to be admired from afar while I eat my grass. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

the marsh

There is a neat piece of land that was created by Detroit Metro Airport for taking up other lands to build the airport. It is called Crosswinds Marsh. They turned this chunk of land into a wetland and wildlife preserve, built trails, and opened it to the public for free. I have taken my dogs there many many times and I have canoed the waters. 
Arial view of the marsh. It has boardwalks (not for horses) and trails.
Today, I took Shyloh to the marsh. Jaime and Kyle picked us up and along with Notch and Clutch we traversed the equestrian trail.
Map of the marsh with the various trails
There was a local riding club there, so lots of people where out. Lots of people and their crazy horses and less than ideal handling. Jaime summed it up best when she said that she was glad that we hang with a group of people that really focuses on safety. They had horses going beserk in trailers, horses backing into each other tied to trailers, and people that seemed less than capable of handling these horses. Then there was the guy cooking hot dogs, who caught the grill on fire and threw it where there were horses all around! 
But we did see baby geese!
I must admit, I was a little uptight. . .I did not trust these people. But we unloaded and tacked up. As usual, Notch and Clutch were the highlight of the trip. Everyone loves a giant horse! Really, how could you not love those two big guys? Jaime was driving Notch in the forecart and Kyle was riding Clutch.

Shy was a little nervous, most likely feeding off of me a bit. She wanted to walk, so I let her walk around me in circles and she was perfectly content just as long as she was moving. As soon as the forecart was assembled, off we went. 

The first obstacle we faced was a wooden bridge. Shy wanted no part of this bridge. Jaime and Notch went over the bridge. Kyle and Clutch went over the bridge. Other horses went over the bridge. Shy would not go. We kept circling. . .I was determined to get her over this bridge by line driving her. Eventually, with a few taps of the whip we got over it. Then we went on our merry way. The more we trudged along on our 4.5 mile trek, the more comfortable Shy got. I discovered she likes to lead. We were in the lead pretty much the whole way. 
And, Shy did not dive for grass once!
Jaime worked on bringing Notch and the cart up past her, since Shy seemed to be a little scared of that. After about three times, it was not a problem. I did feel a little bad because Shy was very forward and wanted to trot, but I could only run after her for so long. I did get her to a super slow jog where I could walk behind her as she was jogging, but she wouldn't keep that up for too long because she wanted to go! She really seemed to be enjoying herself. She had a low head and her ears would flick from forward to back on me. Shy listened incredibly well, too. I was very proud of her. And of course, Notch and Clutch were perfect gentlemen on the trails!
Good giant ponies
After a while, we came to a part of the trail where we had an option: walk through a giant puddle of unknown depth or cross a bridge. Jaime and Kyle were feeling brave:

But that puddle would have swallowed me and Shy! So, we tried the bridge. Shy put up a little fight (side note: there were other people around), but eventually went over it. Then I took her in the water as far as I dared.
I think she would have gone all the way in. She was splashing around here.
Jaime went back through and lost her boots! So I had to bring Shy back over the bridge, get a stick, and fish the boots out. I was prepared for a bridge argument, but crazy Shy walked right over it, no problem, on loose lines. Note: There were no other people around this time. Coincidence? Most likely not. One of Shy's major goals in life is to make me look like a fool.
Found myself a boot catching tool
At the final stretch, Jaime and Kyle raced their boys and me and Shy walked behind. I was aching. Jaime kept telling me to hop in the cart and we would pony Shy, but I wanted to make the walk. Shy was being very good while we were line driving. She even worked up a small sweat!

When we finally got back to the trailer, all I wanted to do was keel over. We untacked and loaded everything and everyone up and went home. It was a great first outing of the year. It was me and Shy's first real trail adventure. I think she did fabulous and I know what I will expect from her in the future. A little bit of a nervous start, a very forward pony, but listens well, and willing to lead or follow.  I think I can deal with that! I think!

Friday, April 26, 2013

a glorious day

After an incredibly long work week with late days that interfered with going to the barn, I got out of work early today to some much needed and overdue pony time.

I am pleased to say that Shyloh did not disappoint. She was amazing today and we had so much fun. I walked out to the pasture to get her and for a second, I thought she was actually happy to see me. She stopped, turned towards me, and had a cute look on her face.
Concentrating on the task at hand. . .
Turns out she was just pooping. You can actually see the poop in mid-drop in the photo. . .nice.
Something needs to be done about that Flock of Seagulls forelock.
But she did let me come right up to her and followed me back out of the pasture without a problem. 

Since it had been what seems like forever since I have been out to the barn, I did not just want to throw her in some work, so we took a walk through the woods. But the woods were not completely dry from the mass amounts of rain we have been having. We came across some large puddles in the path.
Can we cross?
Hecks yeah!!
Water is no biggie!!
Puddles are no issue. They hide potential food items and are fun to play in!
Then we ran back to the barn. We ran until I could not run anymore. It was fun because Shy actually wanted to run and I didn't have to keep her in a trot. I thought I was going to keel over when we got done running, but I survived. 

After resting a while, I put the harness on to get to work. I am determined to get this stop down completely. I did realized something today though. After I put the harness on and get everything ready to go, Shy is ready to go. So when I ask to to stay put right at the beginning, it is worthless. . .because she wants to go go go. I think that is where all the dancing is coming from. After we start moving forward, I can ask her to stop and stand and she does much better. I'll have to remember that.

We went through the other set of woods for the line driving. We did not come across any turkeys this time, but Shy heard some deer and I saw them running away in the woods. Shy was totally fine with them and we continued working our way through the woods. 
Deer hunting today
The weather was so nice that when I took Shy's harness off, she had a teeny tiny bit of sweat in her girth area. I knew she would like a good roll in the sand and I was right!
Best. . .
. . .feeling. . .
. . .ever!!
I opened the gate so she could go out to her pasture and Shy cantered off! I walked out there and she let me love on her a bit longer before I left. She was actually being quite sweet, which is not the norm. Shy must have really known that I needed some pony love. I felt so much better! Horses are good for the soul!
This little bit of grass has expanded Shy's waistline. . .

Monday, April 22, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #85

We went turkey hunting!!

But first. . .Allie had to come and pull me off of my grass. Yup, that's right. We got the big pasture opened to us now!

I was quite surprised to see her. . .
Don't just be jumping around corners at me!
And I didn't want to go with her. . .
But I did. Sigh. And I got put to work.
Work outfit
First, I tried to tell Allie that I didn't want to work by dancing gee and dancing haw once she had me all hooked up. That didn't work and Allie made me trot circles in the arena. I find that incredibly boring. 

But after a little bit, into the woods we went! Allie walked me right up to the gate. I am getting so much better at walking up to the gates, even if I don't want to stay there once I get up there. Once we got past the gate and into the woods, something caught my eye. . .
What is that over there?
Turkeys! About fifteen, Allie guesses. The turkeys didn't scare me at all, I wanted to get closer. So off we went in a nice forward walk after the turkeys. They were running through the woods and hopping logs to get away from us, but we kept following. Once the turkeys got into the open, they tried to fly away. It was a good thing, because I don't think we were the only ones hunting turkeys. . .
I spotted some turkeys and a guy over there.
 It was so much fun, even if we didn't catch those winged curiosities. 
Back to work
After that, we walked around a lot more. I was so good. I only scooted once and that was because Allie got her feet tangled in a fallen branch and almost face planted on my butt. What a klutz!

Turkey hunting is some serious business so when we were all done, I had to rest for a bit.
This post was comfy and scratched my itchies
Then, I got to go back to my delicious grass!

See. . .I had to run so fast to get there!
Vrooom! I am speedy.
And make sure it wasn't all gone. 
Me and Dancer
It wasn't. . . but a horse can never be sure!


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Rain! So much rain! I know it is much needed, so I am not really complaining, but if it continues, I am going to need to use my kayak as my chief method of transportation. 

Shyloh is completely un-bothered by the rain. So much so, that she continued to eat her dinner hay in a massive downpour, even while the other horses opted to take shelter.
Proof that Shy is not sweet and made of sugar. . .
Yeah, my horse is THAT hungry. . .

Clearly she is not melting
I did attempt to brush her (why? I'll never know) but realized it was futile after a few strokes. But I did pick her feet, which are water logged. Since Shy was so wet and so stinky and a little dirty, I just put her back in with the herd and observed her.
She looks so terrible, but with a super clean mane!
Shy sniffs puddles before walking in them. . .can she smell how deep they are? I think some of the dripping rain was annoying her because she would swing her head back and pin her ears, but no other horses were around her. 

After Shy finished her fill of hay, she decided to take cover. As she walked into the other horses already in the shelter, she pinned her ears and they all moved over. Shy took the spot she wanted and settled in for a post dinner nap. What a brat!

Apparently that is the best spot in the shelter.
So why was I at the barn in pouring down rain and a flood watch? Because I had the cart guy coming down to bring me some new wheels! Woot woot! He put them on the cart for me, too. He said he was surprised by what little damage was done to the cart. Tomorrow, the frame is supposed to get welded back together and we are good to go. Except for the me part. But I'll get there, one day.
Should have got spinners. . .next time. . .

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

equine affaire 2013

I actually bought Shyloh some stuff at Equine Affaire! Not a lot, but a few things we needed.  She got a new halter, a new driving whip, and some treats. I almost bought a new helmet. It was marked on the box as $5.99, but the place wouldn't give it to me for that price. Hey, I had to try. At least I know what size I need in that brand now because I really liked that helmet. The dogs got some treats, too, from a dog booth. 

We saw a ton of cool stuff there. Jaime, Kyle, Haley, and I had a great time. Lots of laughs, using my new driving whip as a jousting stick and the truck as my steed, getting stuck in a tree, watching a few clinics, shopping, and seeing some horses. I am still tired from the weekend! And although I didn't get to see everything I wanted (there was so much, it is near impossible), I did get to see a ton of cool things.

This is our trip summed up in some photos:

Chainsaw wood carving
Mini and baby! 
Haflinger. . .look at that lip!
Arab breed demo
Pretty Appy
Shires and foals!
Haflinger entrance! Tandem
Haflinger foal!!
Haflinger breed demo
These horses went from driving to riding, they switched tack in the middle of the arena!
So fast!
Clipping clinic! A duck scene on the side of this horse.
Hackney driving
This is Silver, the horse in the new Johnny Depp movie The Lone Ranger
Knight in shining armor
Jousting, the girl on the Clyde was riding side saddle!
After the whole day of horses, we settled in for a night of Fantasia. Fantasia is awesome! But I am sad to say that I was disappointed in the Double Dan part. They usually put on an excellent performance, but Dan James just did a bit of riding (it was great riding). There was no performance or accents or silliness that I have come to expect from them. And the Haflinger Driving Drill Team was replaced by the Riding Drill Team. Still cool, but not as cool as the driving team. Of course, I got some photos!
At liberty Fresian Act
Haflinger Riding Drill Team
They really were cool!
Haflinger Opening Act
Jousting! This Percheron is related to Jaime's Percheron, Notch!
World Champion of Jousting
It was pretty cool!
Spanish walk
Some fancy high schooled dressage move that starts with an L and I can't remember what it's called.
Cossack trick riding team, with a Haflinger! These guys were awesome!

Speedy Icelandics!
I do have more photos on Shyloh's Facebook page. It's too bad that Equine Affaire didn't have more draft or driving stuff, but I loved browsing the booths and stores, getting free samples, and just being around all things horsey. One year, I will get there all four days and get to watch the Versatility Competition! Who else went to EA and how did you enjoy it?