Tuesday, December 31, 2013

goals for 2014

The last post in my end of year mini series. These are my general goals for the upcoming year. They are pretty much the same as last year, but I changed the order on how I want to work on them this year. As you can see, I have no grand competition plans. I just really want to have fun with my horse.

1. Ride
For real. I must ride Shyloh. I think she is at a much better spot in her life that she will be more accepting and not so quick footed. 

2. Go on a trail ride
Anywhere. The back fields of the property, the marsh. I just need to get out!

3. Lose weight and get in shape, girl

I hit the 10 lb mark, but Christmas may have set me back. Work more vigilently on loosing the weight and getting in any shape but round. Same for Shy. 

4. Have a successful year showing in the Northwest Ohio Driving Circuit
Well, if I don't retire from the show life. . . Earn at least one ribbon, but the main goal is to have fun and stay safe. Maybe ride the walk/trot class? And have a fun time with the lead liners. 

5. Work on driving
I am adding this in here because I do not think it is entirely out of the question. I have plans to try a different method soon. But if I don't get to this, no big deal.

6. Continue keeping Shy happy and healthy!

Monday, December 30, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #115

Sometimes Allie needs a hoof to the head to get a clue. I have been giving her hints for a few days now that I am ready to ride, but she is still a chicken. 

Okay, sure, she has taken little steps, but I think I really want to get out!

Hint 1: I was super good for Allie when she rode me in the barn. I had a grand total of zero scoots! I was having so much fun and was so happy Allie was riding that I didn't want to stop at all. Jaime was there to help Allie relax (I can't really blame her, I haven't been the most trustworthy of ponies). I think once Allie uncurls herself, she will find it much easier to ride me. 
Getting tacked up!
Hint 2: Jaime got a new three step mounting block (mostly so Terry won't be descending on her horse from the hay loft). I used to be so terrified and scared when people stepped up above me quick. I would snort and back up and show the whites of my eyes.  When Allie came to look at me before she bought me, she hopped on a tree stump to mount me and I spooked! Not anymore, though. Allie climbs up, jumps off, drapes herself over me, and I don't even care. She even climbed the hayloft and looked down on me! It has taken a long time for me to get comfortable with all these shenanigans, though.
Up high!
On to the second hint. . . I was telling Allie to go ahead and get back on me. I pawed and pawed at the mounting block, then lined myself right up to it. I can't make it any more clear than that, right? Usually, I am a squiggly worm at the mounting block and I move my rear end away. Not any more though!

Allie took my hint and got right up. I kept eating my hay snack and let her get comfortable up there. Now that I have stopped freezing and started breathing, Allie needs to do the same. I will help her out. 

Hint 3: Allie got up on me again, but had a foot resting on the top step, since the mounting block is so tall. I knew this wouldn't do, so I took a couple steps back with Allie on me so she can fully just be on me.  I kept looking back at Allie, telling her it was okay and to make sure she was okay. She was, no worries! I like that Allie can sit on me without a saddle or a bridle and I won't do anything crazy. We will get Allie through her nerves, one step at a time! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 in review

I covered my goals and what we have or have not accomplished this past year. Now on to the review of the whole year in the second installment of my mini series!

  • Shy kicked another horse in the vagina. . ., it was her statement that she was now boss mare in the herd.
  • I took Shy to pony boot camp in Ohio and she got a new driving bit.
  • Me, Jaime, Kyle, and Haley went to Equine Affaire and brought home Shady, the mini donkey in the truck.
  • We continued to work on our driving and took a line driving walk at The Marsh.
  • More work with driving.
  • More shows that we drove in and Shy actually worked up a sweat. Second place in halter!


And that is about it. I felt that the first part of the year we focused on driving and working hard, but the second half we really fizzled out and spent more time goofing off and having fun. Next up: 2014 goals!

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 goals

The first in my three post mini series on the year end wrap up.

This year has been full of awesome fun stuff and setbacks for me and Shyloh. But how have we done with our goals so far? My 2013 goals have been listed under a tab labeled "2013" on the blog.

Goal 1: Drive a Cart with Shy
Done. We got the cart and I drove her for the first time in March. Then we had an accident. But we have some awesome friends who helped us get over that. We even drove in this show and this show!

Now sure why I am cut out?
Goal 2: Ride
No. We spent the majority of the year focused on driving. I tried doing both the year before and it was too much, so this year we cut out riding. So no riding.

Goal 3: Go on at least one trail ride
Yeah, no. Well, maybe kinda. I went on some trail drives that were not with Shy, here and here and here. I took Shy out a lot and we did some line driving on the trails and walking the trails several times. But I am going to go with a not completed for this goal.
Good to know my pony doesn't care about puddles!
Goal 4:Get at least one ribbon in the Northwest Ohio Driving Circuit
Yes! We got a first and second place in Halter classes, a couple of fifth places in Trail in Hand, a fifth place in Draft Working Cart, a third and fifth place in Line Driving Obstacle, a fourth place in Showmanship,, and a first place in a fun class where you had to drive the horses hooked to a sled through a course and spill the least amount of water from a bucket on the sled. Shy teamed with Art for this. Beth drove Shy and Art in a couple classes and took first and second with them. 
The ribbons we earned!
Goal 5:Continue working on trick and clicker training
So so. I do this when the weather is bad or I don't really feel like doing anything else, or we need a break. But nothing new or really awesome was done with that. The bow is taking a lot of time because Shy won't put herself in that position at all. She feels too vulnerable. 
Standing on the mat and smiling. Skillz
Goal 6: Continue keeping Shy happy and healthy
Done! We have not had anything issues with my hardy horse. We have the vet out for shots and the dentist out for a float. Farrier comes out on a regular basis for trims. We had a slight issue with weight, but I think that is under control now since we surgically removed Shy from the round bale.

Overall, we completed about half our goals and did some work on all but one. Up next is our whole year in review. 

How has everyone else done with their 2013 goals?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

you'll shoot your eye out kid

Shyloh has continued on her never ending attempt to poke her eye out. I am not sure what happened this time (or any time, really), but it involved a broken halter, Notch out of his stall area and standing on the poop sled, and a barn that looked like a rave happened overnight. 
Layout of the barn, note the gate swings  back in to the area. So the Percheron had to swing it in and maneuver the poop sled to get to the other area of the barn.
Hay was everywhere, blankets strewn about in sawdust, and a plastic bag that once had sawdust in it was empty. Notch had somehow opened the gate to the other side of the barn, rifled through the hay, and then ended up on the poop sled and stayed put. I have no idea what Shy was doing, but she did not spend a long time in her stall because that was clean. 

Somehow during their horse free for all, Shy busted out of her halter which broke the metal ring on the side and almost took her eye out. Again. I am a little sad because this is the second halter Shy has broken out of, never has she done this before. I hope this does not become a habit. 
Sad face. I loved this halter. 
In this padded halter, she never slipped out of it. But in her regular nylon padded halter, she can remove it and go about whatever business she feels that she has in the middle of the night. The other night, that halter made its way into Isaac's water bucket. . . 
How? This is the set up. . .Horse's heads cannot fit through the openings. What goes on when no one is looking??
Past attempts at eye removal have happened right before a couple shows and other random times when she feels like seeing is not an almost necessary part of horse life. I will say, she is getting better and better at getting closer and closer to actually getting her eye ball.
  • First documented attempt at eyeball removal. I had to put silver spray on it because every time I went out to the barn she had shavings in the wound. 
When I wrote about this, I also wrote that she keeps doing this and in the same spot. . .so this is not the first actual time.
  • Second documented attempt called for a much longer gash. After this attempt, I duct taped everything I could think of that she could have been hitting in her stall. At this time, she had a box stall. I am pretty sure there were more cuts at this barn, I just may have never mentioned them.
Same eye as before, cut is a little higher up, but longer.
  • Third documented attempt, new barn, no stall. This time, the whole eye was swollen and Shy kept it closed for a couple days. Perhaps trying to figure out what it would be like if she actually lost an eye?
Not as large as the rest of them, but noted due to the swelling. Shy was able to go about her normal life without the use of this eye.
  • Fourth documented attempt had Shy trying at poke the other eye out. Here we can see that she is working her accuracy, as she is now getting much closer to the actual eye ball. Again, this could have been done in any way, as Shy was pasture boarded. 
Also, right before we went to our clinic last year.
  • Fifth documented attempt at stabbing her eye out was a mere few weeks later before our first show of the season. Note that she went back to the original eye that she wants out of her head. She also tried going under the eye instead of over it. 
A little less close to the eye this time.
  • Sixth documented attempt at eyeball elimination, the most recent attempt. This is another under eye attempt. It has the closeness to the eye that is scary to see. This is the first attempt at this barn, Shy is outside the majority of the time and only comes in late at night to eat and is out first thing in the morning before work. Not much stall time at all.
Shy says, no worries, this eye will come out!
So, if I ever have the news that Shy is missing an eye, don't be surprised. Someone must have given her a Red Rider BB gun on Christmas past. And she is intent on shooting her eye out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas to all!

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the stable
Not a pony was stirring, to sleepy to be able.
The stockings were hung in the barn aisle with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The drafts were nestled all snug in their stalls,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in the halls.
And Clutch in his blanket, and Notch in his vest,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s rest.

When out on the pasture there arose such a clatter,
Shyloh sprang from the sawdust to see what was the matter.
Away from the window she spooked like a ghost,
Tore open the stall door and ran to the fence post.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain
Gave the luster of mud to paddocks again.
When, what to Shy's wondering eyes should a-springer,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny Haflingers.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
Shy knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his Haffies they came,
And he clucked, and he kissed, and he called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the barn roof! to the top of the wall!
Now trot away! Trot away! Trot away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the barn-top the Haffies they flew,
With the sleigh full of carrots, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, Shy heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each Haffie hoof.
As Shy drew in her head, and was turning around,
Down to the barn St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his croup,
And his clothes were all tarnished with sawdust and poop.
A bundle of hay he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl of apple jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And Shy snorted when she saw him, in spite of herself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave Shy to know she had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his head,
And giving a nod, to the round pen he fled!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a cluck,
And away they all flew each giving a buck.
But Shy heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

~Adapted by Allison from Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston

Monday, December 23, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #114

The best part of the Christmas season? I get lots of treats! And when no one is looking, I use my magical, acrobatic powers to eat them all at once!

Allie left me unattended, forgetting she had treats in my grooming bag. I tore it apart, grabbed the Pony Pizzas, ripped open the box and gobbled them all down. They were so good!
What was left. . . 
Allie came back and discovered what I did, so she moved the grooming bag on the other side of the stalls. Then she left again. This is when I used my magical acrobatic powers to get that bag, rifle through it, tossing out the items I did not want, get the tub of Squeezy Buns, break it open, and devour all the treats. I didn't even take the time to unwrap them. 

I then got put on double secret treat probation. Allie says 18 days with no treats, one day for each treat I ate. 

But that didn't last long. Terry came the next day and shared Reba's treats with me!
She also braided my hair, which I was not happy about and promptly shook out. 
Evil pony.
Then, once again, Allie was not paying attention and I got into the grooming bag. This time I went after the tub of peppermints. I had all night to plan how I was going to get to those. I stomped my hoof on it to break the plastic container, then tried fast as I could to eat as many peppermints as I could.

Me and Allie had a battle royale as I refused to lift my head. I did my best to be a vacuum and get the treats. Finally Allie used all her might to shoulder shove me away. 

Allie thought she had all the treats out of her bag and that she could safely leave it hanging on a hook while she was talking to Terry. I casually walked over to investigate the bag. Allie thought it was funny cause there was nothing for me in there. But she forgot about the Pop Rocks!

Haha! Pop Rocks are my new favorite candy. Allie really needs to be more careful. I guess it didn't help that it has been raining for days straight and I was in a curious mood! It was either stuck outside and not moving around too much because I don't like to get dirty, or being inside and entertaining myself. 

And don't worry, I seem okay after eating all that plastic. Doesn't bother my belly.


Friday, December 20, 2013

30 questions

30 questions, borrowed from L. Williams at Viva Carlos. Fun! Much more fun than being kicked in the thigh by a shod draft horse this evening. 

1: If your horse could talk what would they say? What would they be like?
I don;t even know where to begin with this! Perhaps Shy would be a bit like Cartman, but not so mean. More like, Maaaa, moooore cheesy poofs! I think she would be sassy for sure.
Cheeeesy pooofs!

2: If you were a horse, what would you look like (color, markings, etc), what discipline would you do, and what would you be like to ride?

If I were a horse, I think I'd be a plain horse. One color, nothing fancy. But I would be silly and try to get away with whatever I could. I would be easy to ride and prefer the trails to anything else.

3: How many barns have you ridden at?

Four. I leased at one barn and had Shy at three. 
Barn 1 for Shy. Borrowed English helmet. Safety first, at the risk of high fashion! And, omg! I did ride my horse!

4: What kind of bay do you prefer? (bright bay, blood bay, etc)

I don't really care, any bay is fine with me. 

5: Can you braid a horses mane? Tail?
No. I can barely do a simple braid. Showing in a draft circuit we do buns and mane rolls which took me a while to learn and I am still not good at it. I couldn't imagine doing tiny, other type of braids. 

Yeah, I did that to her. . .and yeah, her mane was double sided when I first got her.
6: Do you believe that you have to fall off in order to be a good rider?
Not really. But riding has that risk and it is pretty inevitable it will happen. 

7: What do you think is more important: eq or effective riding?
Effective riding. But I think good eq comes from that.

8: Are there any "horse couples" at your barn?
Jaime and Kyle

9: Favorite treat to feed your horse?
Recently I discovered Shy's love of Pop Rocks. But she loves Uncle Jimmy's, Stud Muffuns, Uncle Willies, bananas, pretty much every thing except citrus and gourds.

10: Silly quirks your horse has.
Shy is OCD about buckets. They must be face up. If she can't get them face up, she kicks them behind her to where she can't see them.

11: Strangest thing you've fed your horse.

Where do I begin. . .ice cream, cupcakes, ravioli, pickles, donuts, fries. 
Shy was not a fan. . .not even with the sprinkles!

12: Have you ever made any horse friends through the internet?

13: Would you buy horse furniture?
Depends. I actually didn't even have a photo of Shy in the house until last year. 

14: Funniest horsey moment
When I went to dismount from a horse and I got my bra caught on the saddle horn. It ripped my bra and my boob came flopping out. I thought I was going to pass out from laughing so much.

15: Post a picture of your horse (or any horse) making a silly face that you got on camera!

16: What's a moment with horses that you wished you caught on camera?
So many moments. Shy trying to fit under her stall guard to grab one piece of hay just out of her reach was funny. Shy after taking a bit of that ice cream cone where she drug her mouth through the sand and would not come near me. 

17: How old was the youngest horse you've met?
I met a horse one day old. Morgan baby. 

18: How old was the oldest horse you've met?
At the first barn Shy was at, they had (still have as far as I know) a horse that was 32. 

19: Opinion on colorful tack? (like red or blue)
Anything that is supposed to be leather, no. But saddle pads, wraps, stuff like that, yes. 

20: Have you ever tried horse treats? Hay?
No. Yuck.

21: Have you ever felt like giving up on a horse?

22: Tell the story about the horse that you first felt "click" immediately with you (and if you can't remember, most recent ;))
Mia. Even though at first I couldn't stand her before I started riding her, once I go the chance to ride her, she was a different horse. Everyone else at that barn would say they could see the difference in her with me. 
Mia. English helmet makes a re-appearance (or first appearance, time wise).
23: Ever ridden side-saddle? How was it?
No, I have no desire to do that.

24: Most interesting place you've ridden at.
No where.

25: What kind of horse do you like? (sport, stock, endurance, etc)
Draft. My next haffie will be more drafty for sure. 
26: Do you feel like you have more patience with horses than people?

Fo shizzle

27: Is the horse you ride very vocal?
Not at all. She sometimes nickers to other horses (she has such a deep manly nicker), but it's not a common thing. 

28: Ever ridden in the sunset?
I am sure I have ridden at sunset before.

29: How do you like a horse's mane? (roached, pulled, long, etc)

30: What is your dream name for a horse?
I have no idea.

Rain and more rain is planned for the weekend, so we will have to figure out some indoor fun in limited space. Yuck.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


My mailbox has been blowing up with packages! I love it! Even though most were gifts I bought for other people, a couple were for me. 

First, I got my Blogger Gift Exchange gift. Thank you so much Nicole from Equinpilot!

I got a keychain with Shyloh's name engraved on it. This was a much needed item, since the only other thing on my key chain besides keys and car unlockers (that's the technical term, right?) is an Eastern Michigan University bottle opener from 1999 that I got when I started college. It's had it's fair share of use, in fact you can no longer tell it had any writing on it and is chipped green. It's had its fair share of usage, but it time to retire it, I think. 

And Nicole even added some treats for Shyloh! We love Uncle Jimmy's stuff and their Squeezy Buns are no exception. I'll get a photo of Shy enjoying these treats she loves this weekend. Squeezy Buns will have to be hidden from the minions, we are not sharing!

I also got my mini A Horse Box in!

It was filled with treats, too. Some were for me, like the Brownie Brittle. I never had it before and it was so good. How have I never heard of Brownie Brittle? They also added treats from Pony Pizza Company. They are decorated cookie treats made to look like little pizzas, very cute. Shy will have a treat buffet when I see her next. I am sure she won't be upset over this. All our hard work to lose the hay belly and fit back in the tack will be lost. . .

It also had some Bick 4 Leather conditioner. I am taking this as a sign that I really really need to clean the bridle and quite possibly use it. As in ride my horse. If her tack fits. 

And finally some NixAll Wound and Skin Solution. It is in a small bottle, so it will be good for taking to shows, just in case, and it won't take up a lot of space. When you are travelling with multiple horses and most of them drafts who drive carts, space is very limited. 

From Jaime, I got a cell phone case featuring Shy! How cool. Since I can't see Shy as often as I would like, I am now surrounded by her. I'm not upset by this at all. I love it. 

Who else has gotten their Blogger Gift Exchange? Or any cool presents yet?

Monday, December 16, 2013

monday musings by shyloh #113

Allie is a liar. I was promised no more parades and next think I know. . .I am getting decorated for another parade, in a snowstorm!

At least this one was smaller and the kids were respectable. The parade officials actually listened to our request and thanked us for participating! We were not by any scary or loud floats. The only downfall was that the amazing parade announcement that Allie came up with was not announced as we walked by. They mixed us up with the Gypsy Vanners, who didn't even go! And Allie would like to point out that they were the ones who convinced us to do this parade :)

This is what they were supposed to announce, "See the dynamic drafts of Hidden Creek Draft horses! These horses are all around fabulous! From showing in local shows and county fairs to trail rides, barrel racing, dressage, and wagon rides, the drafts do it all!  The horses at Hidden Creek Draft Drafts range from 3 to 18 and include 2 Percheron geldings, a Clydesdale gelding, a Shire mare, a Haflinger mare, 2 mini horse geldings and 1 mini mule."
We were running super late because of the roads. . .and the fact that we almost always run late! So I was not nearly as cute as last parade.
The bows actually looked nice at one point, then I shook my head and let my mane blow in the wind.
Checking out other floats getting ready in the distance
Jaime and Dexter!
Kyle and Clutch!
Terry and Reba came this time!
We were so good!
Bug horses decorated 
Dexter trudging through the snow
All of us in the parade!
Me and Allie. I was Scrooge McHorse and wouldn't keep my antlers on my head.
We were all so good and everyone loved us! The kids asked if they could pet us and we let them. They said "Awww cute ponies!" to me and Dexter and "Wow, big horses!" to Clutch and Reba. I guess that even though I was promised no more parades, I had fun at this one. But really, no more parades!