Wednesday, July 31, 2013

wood county fun

I went to Wood County in Ohio, sans Shyloh, to watch some friends show their horses. It turned out to be a really fun day! There were Haflingers, Belgians, Percherons, and other ponies pulling carts and wagons. Me and Jaime made a pact that next year I will bring Shy and she will bring Isaac. . .we will see about that. I took a ton of photos from the hitch show, even though I missed the unicorn, 4, 6, and 8 hitches. But I did get to see a pony pull! They called these horses ponies, but they were built like brick houses! They started pulling 1,000 pounds and got all the way to 8,000 pounds! Crazy! 

Enjoy the photos!
Becky and Jasi
Art and Beth
Art and Beth in farm class
Becky, Maddie, and Jasi
Unicorn. We think these may have been Haflinger/Paint crosses
Look at that front leg action!
Same farm where Notch came from!
Haffie mares, took first in their class
Art and Curly. . .Curly's first show! He rocked it!
Art and Curly with party hats on. . .we celebrated Jaime's birthday.

Jasi, sporting some awesome sunglasses and dual party hats!
Curly and Art. . .love Art's soft eyes <3

Pony pull, 8,000 pounds!
Digging in!
They call these ponies. . . 
Made to pull, they even have studded shoes.
I have more photos at Shy's Facebook page!

Monday, July 29, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #95

Allie gave me the "talk" today. 

She said, Shyloh, you better be a good pony. We are going to do some work again. And at first, I was all like. . .
na na na. . .I'm not listening. . .
I tried showing Allie that I wasn't all all interested in doing work or listening to her babble.
I'm bored. Take me to my apple tree in the pasture. 
But Allie kept going on and on. Then she said something that perked my interest. She said if I was good, we wouldn't be working for very long.
Say again?
I am all for not working long. After all, I am a wild and free pony and last I checked, wild and free ponies did no work at all. They just ate.
I tried many times explaining the wild and free pony concept to Allie. She doesn't get it. She must be a slow learner.
Then Allie begged me again to be a good pony. Puh puh puh pleeeaaase, she said!
So I gave her my best, I'll be a good pony smile. Plus I heard treats may be involved for good ponies.
Allie tacked me up, the whole time just talking away. She put the old harness on me this time. I am not sure why. . .
But I am not thrilled. . .I did get to use my other bridle for two reasons. . .one, Allie was too lazy to change the bit and two, Allie thinks it doesn't fit right.

So off we went around the barn working on stopping, standing, walking straight, backing, gees, and haws. Oh, and working on walking like we have someplace to be as opposed to just plodding along. Important stuff in Allie's world. 
We had to follow the tractor because I would not stand. I wasn't afraid of it, I just didn't want to wait for it to go by.
But overall I was good and we didn't fight. I wasn't great though, just good. Allie didn't ask for greatness. 
And Allie stayed true to her word. We did not work very long at all. Yay! But when we got done, I had to stand around with that bridle on. I hate that!
Take it off already!!!
After I stopped my head tossing protest and stood still, Allie did take it off. Thank goodness. As soon as it was off I was like. . .
I was a good pony, can I have my treats pleeeease!
 And Allie was, okay fine have some pony treats. So I did! And that is how Halfingers do what they do best!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the jerk shyloh show

Shyloh is a jerk. Plain and simple. I haven't actually worked her in ages due to the extreme heat and extreme rain, but today it was beautiful outside. What better way to spend the evening than working with Shy? I could picture it. . .cool breeze, sun, no bugs, and a nice complaint pony.  It was going to be a lovely line drive.

I could not have been more wrong. Shy was fine in the beginning. Not overly thrilled about getting tacked up, but when is she ever?
Happy working pony?
We actually started out on a good note. We spent a lot of time working on walking in a straight line. We both have this problem that compounds on each other where we walk like we are drunk. Our lines are zig zags. It's awful. So we spent a good deal of time walking along fence lines and rails. We were halfway decent today, as long as I kept my attention up.

Then I wanted to work on our corners. When we are in the cart we do not do corners. Most of it is me and my horrible steering abilities, but some of it is Shy knowing she has to turn so she does it when she thinks she should. This was the first act of the Jerk Shyloh Show. We fought about the corners, circling back until she would go into them until I told her to turn. 

Act two was backing up. Today, backing up consisted of turning completely around to look at me. We fought and we fought. I got mad, but I had to keep myself in check because one of the boarder's granddaughters was tagging along because Shy was "so cute." Shy got mad and spent a good deal of time doing the frustrated head toss. 

Next came the I don't want to walk by that thing. What was that thing? Oh, anything Shy did not fancy going near. The tractor, the tires, a trailer. . .stuff she goes by all the time with no issue.  So we fought about going past these things, complete with circling, round about backing up, and temper tantrums. 

The final scene was going past the area that we tack up, but more importantly where we untack. Shy only had eyes and thoughts on getting to that area. I was not going to let Shy win. And since she refused to go straight past the tacking area (even with a couple taps of the whip), I decided to make her work until she would comply. 
How does she manage to end up in front of me when I ask her to back?
Making Shy work more also made me work more, since I made her trot. . .which meant I had to run behind her. We went straight back, as far away from the tacking area as we could. Then I lunged her in circles, making her keep up the trot. Hahaha, take that Shy! 

We walked around a bit more, then tried walking past the tacking area. After a quick struggle we made it! Success! The final scene in the Jerk Shyloh Show was Shy getting to the tack area, but refusing to step up to be tied. Why pony, why? Now it was all about backing up. Shy finally wised up and stepped up so I could tie her. 

Then Shy decided to do an encore. She is used to me taking her bridle off pretty soon after she was tied. But I was explaining some things to the little girl who was following up. Shy took it upon herself to try and spit the bit out (impossible), then rub the bridle off on the pole. Grrr. So I made her keep it on until she was able to stand still and act like a respectable pony. 
Bad pony? No, never. . . 
So when I heard someone at the barn asked if Shy was for sale because she wanted to buy her. . .I was halfway tempted to give her an offer. Just kidding. . .I can never sell that jerk pony. She makes life interesting and challenging. Never during the whole show today did Shy try to take off or do anything mean, she was just being a jerk and trying to get away with things and do the things she wanted. I think I should start working her more. . .

Monday, July 22, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #94

Today is my birth-iversary!! Rumor has it I am seven now and for the past two years I have been with Allie, being tortured in such a fashion as this. . .

But at least I got some delicious birth-iversary grass, even if I had to wear my tiara. Okay. . .I'll admit, I did kinda like the tiara. It was better than the party hat

Allie celebrated by giving me presents. . .

And carrots. . .

And blowing this thing in my face.

It was all in good fun. 

I think we have done a lot this past year. I moved to the outdoors and I love it. I got to show with a cart attached to me. I won a ribbon! I've done extensive travelling. I have gone on many adventures around the barn and a few away from the barn. I had a couple freak-outs. I am boss mare of my herd. I don't run away from Allie when she comes to get me anymore. I am more trusting. I am all smiles!

All in all, it has been good a good year. I really have no complaints. Happy birth-iversary to me!!

Please share your favorite memory of me in honor of my birth-iversary?


Friday, July 19, 2013

why the smiles?

Why is Shyloh smiling so? Well. . . one, because she is always smiling. Really, I am starting to think she has some disorder over the excessive smiling. She does it all the time. I will look away and turn back, there is Shy smiling in my face. When she eats something new, when she smells something, when I am laughing, and when she wants something. . . its all smiles. If she wasn't so darn funny looking when she does it, it might be an issue. 

But today, I think she was smiling because she knew that even though I only gave her a couple treats, she could go back into her pasture which is a literal smorgasbord of treats. 

All the apples off the apple tree that are within horse reach are gone. But there are some on the ground. Shy was scooping the little apples up. She was picky as to what apples she would eat though. I am not entirely sure what her criteria for an edible apple was, but they did have to be whole apples. No smashed or part apples for Shy. 

Or Shy could be smiling because she knew that after she got her spray down, she could have a nice dirty roll in the sand. It's fun to watch her roll, because rolling is serious business in the horse world. First, the most perfect spot must be found. Then, the back legs have to kick up underneath you for some unknown reason.  Next, it's down the the ground as quick as you can! You must thrown your head into the sand, stretch your neck, and dig it in to ensure that every mane strand gets thoroughly coated with the sand. Repeat on both sides while flailing your legs in the air. Finally, it is time to get up!

Perhaps Shy was smiling because she new she had a nice, full, clean tank of water. Nothing is quite as good as a cool drink of water on a hot summer day!

Or maybe, just maybe Shy was smiling because we had an early celebration today. You tell me why she is a smiley pony!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

playing around

Even though I really really need to get back into working Shyloh in some sort of way, it was way too hot today to even think about work. It was 96 degrees and that does not even include the humidity. Just standing outside feels like I'm suffocating and sweat just pours off my head. Yuck.

So, I had a fun day with Shy, which was actually pretty productive. After I picked the burrs from her forelock. . .
Itty bitty burrs
I worked on my braiding skills, which still are terrible. But it got some of Shy's mane off her neck for a while. 
Such a patient pony. 
Then I filled a spray bottle with water and decided to tackle Shy's aversion to being sprayed in the face with water. She has no problem with her mouth being sprayed, but up by her forelock she gets all giraffe neck. . .well, as giraffe necked as a Haflinger can get. Eventually, I figured out the secret. The spray bottle must be on top of my head to spray her head. Crazy, right? But that was the only way she would let me spray her. Eventually, I was able to spray her like a normal person and she was fine with it. Probably because it was hot and it felt kinda good. 
Hee hee
I took Shy to graze for a bit in the shade, but noticed that the flies were still all over her, even after I sprayed her. I had an idea. . .fly bonnet! I don't even know why I have it, I never use it, but I decided to get some use out of it today. 
nom noms
Who wears it better? 
My next great idea was to put see how Shy was with lines. A friend has a Haflinger who does not like lines under his butt, so I figured why not test Shy out. I took a lunge line and worked it all around her legs, belly, and under her tail. The biggest reaction I got out of her was a super tail clamp. Otherwise, Shy was practically oblivious to the lines, except to try and lazily step out of them, even when I put some pressure on her. I would like to retry this with the blinders on and hooked to a cart. I will probably get a different reaction. 

We played around a bit more and I was reminded of Shy's teeth. I noticed a while ago that the bottom teeth got real brown. And this was pretty recent over the spring/summer. I googled it and apparently the teeth can get stained from different forage that they eat. Makes sense since this happened pretty quickly and just when new plants started growing in the pasture. No more pearly whites for Shy. Sad face.
She loves to smile right in my face!
Finally, I couldn't take the heat. I turned Shy back out with the herd and she did the same routine she does every time I let her loose. She gets a long drink of water then settles in for a nap in the shade. Gotta love my goofy pony!
Yawn. . . 
Bigger yawn!
How are you beating the hear with your equines?