Friday, March 30, 2012

bad blogger!!

I have not been able to leave a comment on any blogs for two days.  I get a 'request cannot be completed' error message.  Being shunned in the blogger community.
I wonder if this has to do with the new and wonderful changes to blogger in April.  Anybody else having this problem?

edited to add: I just left a comment on a blog and 5 minutes later got a pop-up message from blogger saying "comment posted"  geeeeeeeee

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Having a sale...

 I decided I needed to sell some things that I have been hoarding.  Hoarded stuff doesn't seem to get used.  I added a page to list things, there is a button in the page bar above and a link over to the right.
If you are interested in anything or have any questions just let me know.  There is an email address at the top of the page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Interesting new neighbors

There are new horse neighbors next to the barn, right behind Nina's stall.  Not close, a pen, a large ditch and an access easement are in between, there is just an interesting line of sight. 
Things are quieter than a few days ago when there were trucks and trailers moving in and out and people chasing groups of horses around in small pens with lots of yelling.  Nina and her buddies were fascinated. 
So that part died down and yesterday I heard a woman screaming 'they're out.'  I walked out to where I could see more of their property and saw that the driveway gate was closed and three horses were grazing next to the driveway.  They were out all day, the screaming stopped after one go round.
Late in the afternoon every day the driveway fills up with trucks and people chase horses around.  Don't know why, it has become enough of a routine that the horses at the barn don't watch anymore.
A couple of days ago I saw a western saddle on a fence..... a WHITE saddle, really really white. It could be an interesting summer. 

AND I had to apologize to Nina today, which she seemed to enjoy.  Remember the drama over me hacking off some of her winter mane?  Turns out she was being VERY good, I was being the bad guy.
Between the dead winter coat, the dry hard ground and a little breeze blowing hair around - every snip of the scissors was causing a static spark to jump from the scissors to her neck.  
I saw it today and along with feeling bad for her, I started laughing.There is always something going on with her, I need to stop jumping to conclusions!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nina's little quirks

Nina acted very fearful around me when I first started working with her again.  Lots of skittering and snorting and wide eyed looks.  Then she calmed down and started acting normal.  But she is still either playing around testing or not really trusting. 
She was an ass the first time I cleaned her feet, the next day she started offering one at a time, just like she used to.
Putting eye drops in her eye that gets irritated was scary - for her, not me - the next day she yawned.
A couple of days ago I decided to shorten her winter mane with scissors and she was skittering around like I was threatening her with the scissors and jumping at every click.  Today I decided it had to be done and she stood on three legs and tried to go to sleep.  If she had a cud she would have chewed it.
I am trying to make a list in my head of everything that she resisted when I got her and had to learn to go along with.  I have a feeling we have to spend 5 minutes on each one.

Oh well, I guess it is something to do until I am riding again.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

schooling show....

We actually had nice weather (all week, really) and I got one horse and rider out to their first schooling show at a nearby barn.  It was a nice day, horse and rider did well.  This is a horse that we have been working on.. relax, relax, relax.  He is a big WB who is used to doing things by brute force but he has just lately started coming around and thinking maybe our way is easier than his. 
He alternated being his tense self and his relaxed self in the ring.  I was happy with that - it is progress.
I find it difficult to take picture and actually keep track of what is going on in the ring.  This is probably the best picture I got and except for no head, they look pretty good.   I love a rider balanced over her feet and not laying on the horse's neck.

Nina got shoes this week.  I still need to get her teeth done, but at least she is eating ok.  I have started free lunging her every other day, trying to replace some butt muscle.  She has finally relaxed around me and except for objecting to having her mane trimmed she has been very good.   I'll get a pic after I win that one.  Like most horses she is shedding in clouds of hair, but most of the winter coat seems to still be securely fastened.  
We are getting rain next week, hope it dries out soon. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunny day...

I was really really sick of all the grey days with cold and wet and cold......
We have had more nice days than not for the last week and more coming up.  I don't mind the snowstorms, I just need some SUN in between.
Anyway, had a nice day today.  Ned got to jump outside for the first time in MONTHS.  We have been working hard with trying to get him to just relax and not be so stiff and resistant.  He was very relaxed today and jumping with knees up and even (not in the photos I took of course) and looking more like the athletic guy that he can be instead of just doing it by brute force.  This was a nice lesson.  This was a best of several bad shots.  I have trouble taking pictures of a horse jumping when I am teaching.

  EDITED TO ADD:  (a much better picture)

And Fawkes was getting some exercise at the same time so I got a couple of pics of him.  I think this might be his second or third time outside in months.  He was happy to be out. 

Nina was more relaxed today.  I put her in the turnout next to the riding arena.  Since I throw dirt clods at her when she hangs out in the corner she spent a lot of time wandering away everytime I walked near that area.  She has no respect for my throwing arm since she only sauntered about 20 ft away.  She was relaxed about being groomed, even while I was trying to get the adobe out of the hair around her ears.  She has been standing stiff and braced with her head up in the air, hard to reach at her height.  Today she actually put her head down so I could work on her.  I think she is finally deciding that I am still me and not going to attack her. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

no show after all

So, at 7:30 this morning I am at the barn talking on the phone to my client who is sick and not going to the show.  I am trying to figure out what to do about my own chores etc.  Nina was just getting fed as I pulled in so I am not going to get her out of her pen and work with her.   I have her bucket of beet pulp with me but I don't want to feed it this early because she will ignore her hay, walk all over it and then not eat it later.  The grocery is on my to-do list, but it is not open yet and beside losing the show fees I don't want to spend money driving back and forth to the grocery. 

I decide to give Nina her beet pulp, clean her shed really well and maybe her hay will stay clean enough that she will eat it later.  She seemed to enjoy having me wandering around in her pen, alternating following me around, getting in my way and eating.   Her spooking away from me and flinching when I touch her was absent this morning so maybe the time spent was good.  In fact she was sticking her face in my face trying to get me to scratch her forehead, one of the few places she likes to be petted.

I stopped for groceries on the way home, and right now I am taking a break from cleaning the house.  This isn't exactly how I wanted the day to go, but that's how things are sometimes. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

snarky until I get to the barn

I have been stuck at home some lately and so I am watching the dreaded daytime TV.  I watch a few cooking shows, I love Simply Ming.  I also sometimes watch Rachael Ray, The View (not often) Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus.  That kind of show.  Not the ones where people try to goad each other into murder. 

What is up with the idiotic audiences?  Is there a sound gauge that determines the shows ratings?
Every time anyone says anything the audience on all of these shows (except the cooking shows) cheers and claps and screams like a bunch of hungry circus seals spotting the bucket of fish.  I have almost stopped watching anything, (which is not a bad idea) because the noise is annoying and drowns out the show.   And I hear people who work shifts especially, say there is nothing on TV in the daytime.  We are getting there.

On a brighter side.  Tomorrow I take a young, new to jumping horse to his first hunter schooling show.  It is at a hunter barn so I know the courses will be set up correctly.  He is jumping 2ft+ at home but we are doing cross rails.  We expect him to be a little distracted.  Should be fun.  Wish us luck. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

small updates

Running errands on the way home from the barn yesterday I spotted these guys.  Hoped for a better pic but they were on top of a 2 story building.  I don't know what the fake scary owl was supposed to frighten away, but obviously these pigeons thought he needed company.
While I was taking this I remembered when I lived near a bridge where pigeons nested.  I would frequently see them sitting on the phone lines..... along side the local sparrow hawks.  They towered over the sparrow hawks and obviously both considered the idea of a hawk eating a pigeon to be a big joke.

We had two days of warm temps, sunshine and very little wind.  We managed to get Fawkes outside for a lesson, he was a little distracted by the commotion in the ring and just being outside but he did very well.  He is another English speaking TB.  After several times of jumping a small vertical with three feet and forgetting about the fourth one..... I told him that two nice straight clear jumps would earn him the right to go eat dinner.  The next two jumps were perfect.

Nina is having a cold spring but seems just fine.  After she was a dangerous nut over having her blanket taken off two days ago I decided that I just did not have the time or energy to play 'dance with the horse' and she could just go without.    OK, really I decided that if it got really cold I would tie her to a building and put a blanket on her but not until then.  After two warm days today we are back to spitting snow but it is not really cold, just hovering around freezing.  When I went to the barn today I expected her to be cold and figured I would have to take the time to tie her up and put a blanket on her.  To my surprise she seemed to be comfortable.  Good.
She is still a little spooky around me, getting better, she wants her pats and treats again but I still find some strange behavior.  The other day I was cleaning her feet, something startled her and she spooked a little.  I yelled a bit, not loud, more like 'watch out' because I had my feet too close to hers and I was hoping she didn't land on mine.  She reacted by jumping as far away from me as she could get, stopped by her halter lead.  Just a touch of over reaction.  She has always been spooky and I have always spoken up to get her attention when she spooks toward me.  Today I put her beet pulp in her shed, out of the wind.  Normally she eats outside and if I put food in her shed she stands at my shoulder counting each morsel until she is told that it is OK to eat.  Today she circled outside the shed, occasionally peering in but not coming into the shed until I called her to come to me, which she did immediately.  Then she did not eat until I left the shed.  This is all spooking, distrustful behavior.  Apparently our train wreck really frightened her (despite the fact that half the barn thinks she attacked me!).  I was talking to another trainer and said that I thought we (Nina and I) should sit down and compare injuries and bruises and see who should be afraid of whom.  The trainer said that wouldn't work, Nina had made up her mind that I was scary.  Hopefully it will all eventually fall away.  This does show how quickly a horse that has been taught to fear people will go back to that behavior when a more normal horse would not. 

The last two warm days have really improved my mood.  Nina gets new shoes next week and hopefully a dentist visit.  Then we can get back to work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

schooling greenies

I had two lessons today with two horse just starting to learn to jump. 
It is interesting to watch their reactions and work with their confidence level. 

One has only previously jumped a cross pole and a tiny vertical with a series of ground poles leading up to them.  Today we started introducing him to a gymnastic.  He had trouble focusing on two jumps so we worked with a cross pole, one stride to a tiny vertical.  He jumped the vertical well and trotted the cross pole.  The one time he jumped the cross pole he got to the vertical without seeing it and managed to hop over it.  He is pretty typical of the horses I have worked with, he is forward, willing, seems to think it is fun and gets a tiny bit better every time the exercise is repeated.  He is less confident than he first appears and is carefully trying things out, but happily.

The other has been going through small gymnastics and today jumped a few scattered small verticals.  This horse is a worrier but he seems to enjoy the jumping very much.  His progress goes in spurts and leaps.  The first time he jumped a one stride of cross poles he was totally focused on the second jump - an alien object had landing in front of him, requiring twice the jump as the first one.  He was tense, staring and alarmed for about 3 jumps.  Then he blew out a big snort and suddenly this was old hat and very fun.  Totally relaxed, an old hand at this job.  This has been his reaction to every change.  Total focus, a little worry and then a total pro who will show you how to do it.   Today he jumped some single jumps for the first time.  He was hesitant the first time at a trot, then confident, then asking to canter.  At the canter he was again hesitant and tense, and then suddenly totally relaxed. 
These horses have two different ways with coping with learning something new.  One is making small steady progress and comfortable with it.  The other has an on/off switch with nothing in between.

It is interesting to watch their expressions and watch the concerns come and go.  The worrier is practically putting on a silent drama, the other is more stoic. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...