Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Full Sibling Gestating

All photos from her owner :)
My horses past and present are all "one of a kind." At least as far as I know for the older ones, but definitely for the Cobs. They have plenty of half siblings though. I never thought anything of it until I started riding Comrade and began to hear about his siblings. It is so cool to be able to follow them and see the similarities.
So when Roscoe started breeding, I hoped he would have repeat breeding's, but I also knew it was a long shot. His first five are one time deals, thankfully they are stellar. At least one of his sons will probably carry on as a stallion. AI is too expensive and unpredictable to use when you have two stallions of your own to use live cover. I am glad his breeder gave him the chance because that allowed another breeder to use him. You all know that his 2016 breeding was a last minute deal, filling in for another stallion. Fortunately Ella is an adorable filly. I did not think we would get a repeat breeding because her owner normally prefers the bigger Cobs.

Carousel at rest

Ella has received rave reviews about her personality and build. Her owner leases Tawe on a permanent basis and Tawe's owner really likes Ella. She is a judge in Canada, so it is a great compliment. So in June they contacted me about a repeat breeding. After the collection center nearly panicked when they saw the Canadian address, they fit Roscoe in for collection.
Who would not want one just like her?

Unfortunately, both mares he bred did not take the first cycle. Which means no half a hafl next year   :(  For Tawe, they short cycled her and we tried again in July. I told the vet he jinxed Roscoe when he said  he needed more collections. Of course he asked if there were any comments about Roscoe's contribution, but there have not been. I think it was more the vagaries of breeding a maiden and an older mare.

Look, someone is better than her brother during pedicures

Last week while still riding the high from the inspection, we found out that a full sibling is gestating. I am excited and hope the time goes by somewhat quickly. Foal pool anyone?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Up Next

We Survived July!!!

Bring on Intro C
We made it through a busy, hot July and I thought we would get some time to breathe. Then I looked at the show dates. The dressage show is the 19th in the evening for Rosemary and Comrade, and the Welsh show is the 20th for Roscoe and Ember. Four horses to bathe, I  must be crazy. Plus my farrier was scheduled for the 19th. This is certainly my year for doing the crazy schedule. Anyone want to play groom and pony holder?

Rosemary's debut dressage show prep

Yes Comrade, Intro C for you too

To help divert some of the packed Saturday, I asked my farrier to come the Wednesday before, thinking it would not conflict with our 4pm lesson. Turns out he can't come until 2pm, so I had to see if the lesson could move to 5pm. Ah well it will keep me on my toes.
We are squeezing in a trailer visit to the mechanic this week. Hopefully they can fix some minor issues, do an inspection and install the new moon roof since my old one is leaking.  And maybe we will get our electric brake hook up usable again. Luckily our horses are not heavy weights and the truck can stop the trailer.
And then at the end of the month we are aiming to do a cavaletti lesson at Sprieser.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Westfalen NA Inspection, What a Day

The day before the inspection we had storms. I gave never been more grateful for an indoor wash rack. Roscoe wallowed in the mud and needed a full bath. Then we had to braid. He still believes I am out to torture him.

With a little help from Peggy and a bowl of forage we got it done. I sprayed him with WOW and let him roll in the stall.
Early Saturday morning, he looked good except for where he used a pile of poop for a pillow. But we could not get the front door open and I hated to think we would have to walk him through the mud to get to the trailer. Then Mom got stung as we were about to leave. Luckily a sting kit and Larry's magic fingers saved the day.
His digs for the day

He is seriously looking good!!!
Roscoe loaded and we were off. He settled into his stall for what turned out to be a long wait. We were overwhelmed by the response he received just standing in the stall. Peggy dashed off a hand written name/breed/age paper to put on the stall. A couple people seem to want use him for their mares.
When the judges arrived, they went through the paperwork. Since Roscoe is a pony, no x-rays are needed, so we had no missing documents. We had to wait for the order of go and then the briefing before the inspection started. Roscoe was 12th, last, after mostly mare/foal combos. He was the only stallion.
Having never attended before, it was fun to watch. The judge was not using a mic, so we missed a lot of the comments.
Standing was hard, he kept wanting to meet the handler

When it was Roscoe's turn, quite a crowd was watching. His handler held him for the initial exam where he is judged on conformation, breed style and is measured.

 Then he walked and trotted in hand. He was a good boy for the handler.

 At liberty he just wanted to zoom around. Not surprising after spending hours in a stall. Sometimes he got distracted by mare pee or a mare in the stalls bordering the ring.
The judges


Oh Hello

He also had to visit the crowd in the viewing room. They thought he was looking at the food, until we said that he came for the people.

The German judge finally told the people to back off the whip snapping and let him be. Roscoe then was able to trot, somewhat. He did not have a chance to settle into his big, open trot.

Next was the free jumping. He had to wait while they built the chute. Roscoe thought it might be a good time to poof up at the stallion in the mirror. Silly boy!

The look of knowing what he is doing

Sadly, they did not have enough poles/standards to make three jumps. They started with two small x's and built the second as he went along. Roscoe knew what to do and dealt with being led nearly to the first jump. Watchers were right on the side of the chute. I was at the end to catch him.

The line of people
They put the oxer to the max height creating almost a box oxer. This one stopped Roscoe,  so they dropped one side and sent him again. This time he flew, with room to spare. Later on Peggy and I measured the back rail at 3'8. My pony blows my mind.

I am amazed by this pony ;)

13.3 hand Cob vs 3'8 jump

Finally he was ridden by the handler, but it would not count against him. He was energized and made the rider hold him tight. Riding ponies requires so much body awareness especially if you are over six feet. With very little time, they walked, trotted and cantered. He was deemed rideable.

The judge believed he was of good type and conformation if on the small side for a Cob. He has "useful" gaits including the uphill canter that allows him to jump so well. Sound familiar? I guess if an Irish man and a German both say it, he really must have a wonderful canter.
While we waited for the scores, Roscoe received so many compliments. Peggy now has to make business cards for him because so many asked.
Roscoe had to get a microchip in his neck, but he did not even flinch.

 Then the score sheets were handed out. It was kind of German to me and I had to ask what it meant. His score makes him eligible for stud book 1 once he completes the performance requirements. For now he is in stud book 2a (don't know what "a" means). He is recorded, but not approved. One lady emailed me later and asked if they recommended he stay a stallion. I told her the notes did not say to geld him. They actually asked if we thought we could get the performance scores by next year. Uh, that may take a miracle.
It was a very long, but fulfilling day. Roscoe certainly did not disappoint and gained a new fan club. I can't wait to see the pro pictures. I am really glad we took this step. Now we get to see how his filly does in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Almost Inspection Time, EEK

I feel so far behind with everything that is happening this month. Eventually I will catch up. Maybe after Saturday. Enjoy this shot of Ella, Roscoe's 2017 filly. PC: Her owner
Aderyn Du Carousel

So we have been checking off our to do list for the Inspection:

Handler- Check, they offer one for $65

Though now he may have to be ridden, so I have to add cleaning all tack and packing riding clothes.

Stall for a day- Check, might as well for $20

Vet Exam- Almost complete. We did the big part involving 5 pages, $200, including flexion test, working breathing and heart rates, teeth exam, skin and hoof exam, genitals, etc. Roscoe had a slight positive during the right hind flexion at the stifle and hock. Hmm, maybe that is from Ember jumping on him constantly.

We still have to do 12 xrays, but have 30 days from the inspection date to complete them. That could be about $500.

Paperwork printed:
Original registration - Check
5 Gen pedigree - Check
Copy of registration - Check
Show record- Check, such that it is
Inspection reservation form - Check
Membership form - Check

And today Roscoe got his Chiropractic visit. She was able to straighten his hips, probably the cause of the flexion results, and unlock his neck a bit. Roscoe put his hoof down when she brought out the needles. She only managed to get one in his forehead. Anywhere else was a no go. She reverted to using acupressure instead.

We have matching green polos and will all wear khakis. Hopefully this cooler weather will continue.
I need to clip Roscoe, maybe shorten his mane a little and figure out how to braid that forelock of his.
Whew! This has been a packed month. This inspection will cap it off hopefully in a good way.

And how cool is it that while Roscoe is at the inspection, over in the UK they will be having a celebration for his Grandsire Gwynfaes Culhwch.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Matching Ribbons For The Red Boys

"The only thing missing from this packed day is a hay delivery" said Peggy as we talked about our Saturday schedule.

My farrier came at 1130 to shoe Dottie and DaVinci, but he also walked me through shoeing Rosemary. He is great at helping me and I was surprised how much I remembered. It is a little scary to think that she is my responsibility now. He basically checks my fit and places the first two nails. I think I am getting an anvil in the future. Then once he left, I still had to finish Dottie and DaVinci. It definitely took my mind off the show.

This show prep was a uphill battle:
I was  dealing with open blisters on both heels. Luckily my retired Marine coworker reminded me about mole foam and it saved the day.

Mole Foam and a gel blister guard

A couple days before, Roscoe had a swollen, warm spot just above his mouth. Fortunately, it seemed to disperse in a day.

Peggy also was cleaning the crazy lint off my pads and girths which nearly had me crying when I pulled them out of the wash Friday night. I will never wash pads with towels again :(

I was so hoping the old saying of "bad before, great at" was going to happen.

We had to start bathing Comrade, who was a mudd ball from the storm the night before. Roscoe would get whatever time was left over to have his chrome cleaned and his mane and tail.  We managed it all and loaded the trailer and feed the horses. I changed and we left for the show on time. Seriously a freaking miracle.

I was determined that this evening show was going to be casual so no braids for them and no coat for me. Plus it was hot. There was a light breeze so we were able to leave the horses on the trailer out of the direct sun. Comrade was up first and I realized I forgot my spurs. He laughed at the whip and I was way too conservative because I was still worried about my heels.
Peggy said some people thought he was Roscoe, who they remembered from the last show. She let them know Roscoe would be out later and that Comrade was the same breed. Comrade got the "Maybe he is a Haflinger" comment until Peggy set the judge straight. All we can figure is that Haflinger is the only type people know since Cobs are not as well known.

Comrade gave a pretty consistent test with a whinny in the middle and a good walk especially for him. This judge was tough on the free walk. My boys felt like they had good swing, but they did not stretch through the neck, so she nailed them both.

8 Circle

9 Yay!

For Comrade's first test in years he was super. Next time I will remember the spurs and I think I will add canter to my warm up to wake him up. The judge's final comment made us all laugh


Tail Monster :)
My nerves kicked in for Roscoe. Everything is still a bit an unknown. He was much calmer whether due to Comrade or the fact we were at a facility we had been before. Peggy scolded him when he got pushy during tacking and he was suitably abashed. This time I could mount without Pony Express skills. Immediately I felt better about the show.

Roscoe had a walk and was less of a tourist. Mom coached me through getting him listening and me breathing. We have a connection and that means we share our stress too. Each show we are figuring out how to work together away from home. With the heat, I only asked for canter once each direction. He felt great and reponsive. Our trot work was still a bit distracted. Roscoe needs a more complicated warm up to keep his attention. I threw shoulder fore and leg yields at him and worked corners and transitions. I told Mom, the test would be icing because my pony in warm up was already a win.

The test began and down centerline was much better. At least until I got tangled and did not drop my rein to salute. Palm to head.

Dang it, grr

 Our trot was good utntil poor Roscoe had a coughing fit. We kept going through it and moved into canter. Which we nailed the transitions, but have to work on finding 20m.

We got tense as we changed to the left and it took me awhile to breathe and relax. The left canter transitions were not as good but I was still thrilled.

Walk and then the last long trot actually went well. That is a long way down center and Roscoe actually was not drunk. His 9 score reflected that even though he was not square. Overall I was happy and feel better about moving up to Training.

And when it was all done, the boys got matching 3rd place ribbons and nearly matching scores, 71.562 for Comrade and 71 for Roscoe.

I was questioning my sanity at the beginning, but we all survived. This was my first time riding two horses at the same show. Plus the two tests happened in different size arenas. Next month will be even crazier with a dressage show one day, with a farrier visit the same day and a Welsh show the next day. I think it will be two Cobs to one and another two the the next.