Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Catch ME!!!"

That is what Comrade said to me when I went to ride  him Saturday. Lucky for him, I was in a good mood since my car did not get totaled when the damage was inspected. So after catching him and him running off again, I shut him out in the bigger field away from his buddies. Then I said "GO." He wanted to move, so now he gets to move. I picked up a tree branch to use as my "whip" and kept him going around the field.
Ideally it would have been nice to get him to change directions, but the area was too large. I made do. I tried to get pictures, but most did not come out well. He was really looking flashy, attitude coming through. After a bit of time, I would turn my back and see if he was ready to come to me. Sometimes he would stop and wait, but other times he would try to graze. Nope, not ready. And on I pushed him.
Attitude!!! Had to use an effect since this was a shadow shot

The day was slightly warm and he was huffing, but the exercise was necessary. He is a bit spoiled and thinks he should get his way. While his self confidence is great, he has to remember I rank higher than him. It is the quiet ones like Comrade that are the hardest. Roscoe actually bows down pretty quick in comparison. I gave Comrade another chance by turning my back and was surprised to hear him trotting up to me.
On the Move :)

I patted him and loved on him. But he still was not quite done. He reacted to the stick I still had, so I pushed him out again. This process reminds me of the Cheese It commercials where they "test" the maturity of the cheese to see if it is ready. Well Comrade was still being marked "immature." I don't know  how much longer I moved him around. Sometimes I would add pressure and move him into a canter. While other times I let him trot comfortably around. Doing this teaches you to read their body language and know when to add that pressure. Comrade is subtle in his rebellious actions, but they happen. That is when I pressure him. When he relaxes, that's when I let him breathe. Finally I turned my back again and he walked right up to me.

Sweaty boy, fully charged, before the ride

This time he was ready. He was thinking, not reacting. Now we could go for a ride. I think this was the first time a horse started out sweaty before I even put the tack on. Since I considered the process his work for the day, the ride was our cool out. We just walked down the trail and back.
I'm okay with my horses testing the boundaries. Most of the time a quick reminder is all they need. Times like this though require time and patience to let it work out. They learn what goes easier and will eventually go that way. Groundwork in any form always helps ridden work and the overall handling. I definitely did not see this as a missed riding opportunity, but as a way to work a different part of Comrade's brain.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stud Splats

You all know I love Roscoe.
Stallion Selfie :)

But there are moments I just have to laugh. He really thinks he is special and everyone should know it. Especially Winston. Well one of the ways he achieves that is by creating stud piles. He poops on other horses piles, marking his area. This is funny for Roscoe because like the other Cobs I know, he is an economy pooper. By which I mean, he produces one big pile in the time other horses have 3. So when he goes around doing his stud piles, they end up more like stud splats.

Poor boy, trying to be the big bad stallion and I am laughing at his splats. When owning a Stallion I have learned to find humor where I can. The down side of this splats is that I have to keep his tail braided, so it does not get pooped on. Recently, I rebraided it into 3 braids because it is so thick and tied them together.

I will say it makes for great viewing when he is posturing towards Winston. His breeder edited two pictures I took for me. These are his, "How close to the fence can I get with out getting zapped while looking studly" pictures.

What is great is that attitude translates into his movement while he is working. We lunged, then long lined him not long after these pictures and he was super. The confidence shows in his work. Sometimes too much. He wanted to trot, but Mom said he had to walk. I served as a side walker with a lead line. I never had to intervene he listened so well.

Then while Mom rode Winston, he trotted along the fence line or bit at the fence. Winston totally ignored him. So he went and did some stud splats. I did not know who to watch. They both provided entertainment.
Hmm, Time for sunscreen
We are getting rain today. I hope it is dry enough to ride tomorrow. They all need to get to work. No pasture art pieces here, even if they are cute enough for it :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First This, Then That

This weekend was a prime example of planning one thing and doing something completely different. Saturday Mom got the day off so that we could take Roscoe to the Welsh Spring Fling. As I said previously, that got changed since Roscoe is not at a breeding class weight. So then we planned to go to a Hunter Pace that same day with Peggy. Perfect!
Well, that whole mess with my brother happened depressing us all and it rained like crazy. They were talking about inches of rain it was so bad. The day of the Hunter Pace was great weather, but no way could we go when the footing would be questionable. Plus, Peggy's trailer was basically stuck until the ground dried. Turns out the show grounds were in bad shape too. We definitely dodged a tough day by missing the show.
Fresh cut fields and cute ponies at sunset

So instead of fun riding stuff, we did barn chores. Mom mowed our fields, trying to stay ahead of buttercups. As she went round and round, I trimmed off all the toe that lovely grass gave to the 3 barefoot ponies. We did plan to work Roscoe, but mowing 6 acres with a large ride on took a very long time. I ended up being able to clean the sacrifice area, check water troughs and do night chores all during the time she was out. It was worth it to see the fields short. Especially since our favorite Appy owner has a hay field because she has to wait until the farm manager can get to it. I know, I'm evil, but she put herself in that position. All her crap has also pushed me to raise my fee for trimming her horse's feet. It was well over due.

Anyway I finally managed to get on a horse Sunday. Comrade was really good, better than my last ride. He is showing a need for another chiro visit though. Last time I could not get him to soften to the right at all, but this week he did. The biggest indication is that he was sticky with his right lead and he was not using his head within the gait. Knowing this, I am glad we did not show. It could have been a repeat some of our earlier shows. Ugh, cringe. Hopefully Peggy will get him a visit soon and we will get him back on track. I was happy to see that when Peggy got on after me, he maintained a great frame and carried her over some small fences. He is an amazing reader of people and takes such good care of his owner.
The grass eaters snooze while Winston eats all the hay

At  my barn, I did all the normal stuff. Then once I had the horses out, I worked on cleaning my car. It goes in for the damage estimate on Saturday, so I am doing all that I can to ensure it won't get totaled. Do you know how hard it is to get Corgi hair out of the seats? Of course the dogs did not help by jumping in and sleeping on the seats as I worked. Fingers crossed the estimate goes well.
I planned to leave by 6pm but the day was so nice I figured I would ask DaVinci if he wanted to work. He did and he took me for a stroll around the fields. Exactly the way to end the day.
DaVinci rocking the double mane look

Awesome pony on a long rein while I play with the camera
And if you missed it on Cob Jockey's post, Roscoe gained a new Uncle/Cousin. His breeder's mare had an awesome chestnut Colt on Saturday. Roscoe is related through his sire's lines.
Ffafr (Favor) photo by Castleberry Welsh Cobs

He reminds me of Roscoe. Except he does not have the "V" mark on his belly. We always said that marked him as ours when he was born. This boy is very nice and will make a great future herd sire.

Roscoe at an older age then Ffafr, but so similar
And that was my weekend. Now I have started looking at shows and trying to plan. Up next, I think will be the Eastern Regional Welsh Show. I can't afford all the stall fees, but if we get up early we can do the one day breeding, low hunter and ridden cob falls on. Plus, there might actually be competition that will allow Roscoe and Comrade to get their full points. The Welsh point system is the worst especially since single entries get lower points. Oh well, what can you do. More later...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Why the Long Face?"

I wish this was just about a bar joke, but nope it is not. After seeing two pre-forclosure homes, one the place right by Peggy's and another 15min from our current barn we had high hopes. Those were dashed after my brother decided his family could not handle living with us for an indeterminate amount of time. We also think he cannot pay the full rental price once we leave. Without his guarantee to sign a lease, our search for a farm is dead in the water. I can see his issues, but his method of addressing them was really wrong.
So in order to maintain a healthy family, my Mom told Dad to pull the plug on the search. We can only bend so much and what he wanted would have broke us. Now we have to forge forward and deal with the crappy attitude at the barn and hope we can raise the value on our current house.
Someday the ponies will be home, but right now we will continue the hour drive.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Fitter Fat

July 2011: Roscoe, Me and my Nephew

My friends laugh when I say I just want to be a "fitter" fat. I know myself and that self is not ever going to be an acceptable "rider" weight. Even in high school when I was active in sports and riding regularly, I was heavy for a rider. My height goes against me too. But years ago I saw a Today show episode that asked which of two women was healthier. One was a healthy looking skinny, not bony, and the other carried extra weight. Going by sight alone most people would assume the skinny one was healthier. That is the society we live in. In fact it turned out the heavier women was healthier.
1. She exercised. Not hard core or extremely, but consistently.
2. She ate foods in a balanced way, no diets. Just portion control

The other lady did not exercise because she was already skinny. I think they went so far to look at cholesterol and she had the higher one. That I can believe since I see it in my own family members. My Mom has very low levels while her brother, who is a stick, had a very high level.
My Uncle doling out puppy love

That episode made a lasting impression on me. Just because I "look" one way on the outside does not mean I am that way on the inside.

Viva Carlos has another great blog hop happening about why we continue to ride. Part of it for me it that it is exercise. Riding, grooming and taking care of the land all burn calories. I would seriously be fat as a cow if I did not have that output of energy. The other reason I ride is because the horses are a stress relief for me. Stress is a proven factor in weight gain. I can't afford lessons or shows, but I still get something valuable from riding my horses.

A month or so ago my brother convinced me to buy an exercise program. It also included a nutrition plan, but that was too extreme for me. The exercise is 30min each day with an option to do a 10min abs set if you don't have time. I have been really happy with the program. It has cardio, Pilate's, yoga and arms/legs type of workouts. The best part is they offer a lower intensity person to follow. I can start at the higher then move to the lower if I need to. One thing I refused to do was step on the scale. I am only going by how I feel. That is all that counts for me.

So have I noticed a difference? Yes, I can do more barn work without getting breathless. I am quicker trimming feet and feel stronger in the saddle. To be honest I don't want to lose to much weight because I cannot afford new clothes. Luckily my barn clothes consist of sweatpants and t-shirts so they are safe.

My fitter fat may not be a beach body, but it will be healthier for me. Because I have been judged for my weight, when I see a heavy set person riding I say "good for them." They are doing something that gets them moving and that is a step towards something better.

3 Active Women with weight

My other incentive is Roscoe. His breeder will not always be available to show him and he would test any one else. That leaves me to run his pony butt around. Somehow I have to find the extra leg length and breath to show him off the way he needs to. Then I just hope his flash outshines my fat :)

Now if only I could transfer my extra weight to Roscoe. Ah, life is never boring.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hilton Herb Mudfever/Scratches/Rainrot Trial Observations

Some of you may remember that Dottie became a part of a Hilton Herb trial 6 months ago. I signed her up because she got really bad crud last summer. She was so itchy it was hard to trim her feet. Knowing the quality of Hilton Herb products I figured it was a win win situation.
3 month supply

They sent two shipments of 3 month supplies of trial supplement and a topical trial lotion. They also included a coal tar neem shampoo. Dottie being 16h and 1300lbs received 5 50ml scoops of the supplement a day. Fortunately it was highly palatable. Smelled really good too.
As for the lotion we did not get to try it until the last month or so. Dottie only had one spot the first 3 months and that cleared on its own. Last month she got another spot, about dime sized on her right hind. I cleaned it using the shampoo and applied the lotion. The shampoo smells like a barbecue, but the lotion smells really great. It is not sticky either which was nice. A couple of applications and the spot was just a hairless area, no more crud. I was really pleased with the results.
Crud spot

After treatment no sticky stuff came back

For another situation, I found rain rot on Sonny who is Peggy's 30+ anglo arab. I brought her one of the lotions (I had 3) and some shampoo. She cleaned and applied the lotion to his back for a few days. After that she could not even find a hint of where the rain rot had been. That lotion is good stuff.
I had to fill out the final questionnaire this weekend, so hopefully the product will be available sometime soon.
They asked whether I felt the supplement made a difference. Yes I think it definitely cut the amount of occurrence and the severity. Dottie previously would have her whole coronet band area effected by the crud. Since using the supplement she has only had two instances of dime sized spots.

They asked if I saw a difference in her skin or coat. For the most part I did not, but Dottie's normal feed contains flax, so that was not surprising to me. What I noticed was that every shed season Dottie rubs this spot on her throat. This year she did not, so I guess there was some skin improvement.

They asked whether or not the lotion served as a barrier. Since I only applied it when she had crud, I could not say. Seeing how quickly it helped it is possible it could act as a barrier.

Then of course they asked whether I would buy the products. I would and I would recommend it too. For horses/ponies that regularly get scratches or rain rot, definitely put the money into the supplement. If it is only an occasional issue I would just get the lotion to add to your first aid kit.

Dottie has one more container of supplement and we have lots of lotion so we are set for this summer. I may even try it on Rosemary who gets itchy from bug bites. I am glad I signed up for this trial since the results have been positive.
They are asking for name suggestions for the products, so if you have any ideas I will pass them on to the company. If they pick your name, they are giving a prize.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy 18th Birthday Winston!!!

Our boy turned 18 today.

Unfortunately it was a rainy day and Winston thinks he is spun sugar. Peggy said while we were gone she thought something was wrong with him. She went to get them in and Winston kept stopping and turning backwards. Then he would try to back up or move side ways. She soon realized he was doing everything he could not to get rain in his face. Rain is still better than how he spent last year, dealing with Laminitis.

I could not match last year's gift of Laminil, but I did let him graze without Roscoe bothering him. He did have to wear a muzzle which took him time to accept. Then he ate even when the rain got heavy. Roscoe, bless his heart, stayed quietly in his stall. When I brought out the hay for the night, Winston came running over. He ate hay through the muzzle. I guess he prefers easy to eat hay over hard to eat grass.
I gave him an apple before telling him I had to let the wild stallion out. He handled Roscoe great warning him off at a distance. He always makes me smile. Winston has handled all the changes Laminitis caused with ease. Plus, he wears a target from going out with the girls. Roscoe constantly watches and challenges him. Luckily Winston just rolls with it.
Bring on the next year and let's hope for more riding!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dental Appointment

My ponies were overdue for having their teeth done. More so than we originally thought, but no one was having any issues. Our dentist came out yesterday and when he left he said "You have a good bunch of horses." He is pretty old and does not do hard to handle horses anymore, so that was good to hear. Mom let the Appy go first, don't get me started about that, and he worked in the newly cleared stall. He is a chatty kind of guy and was totally silent working with that mare. Mom just avoided the area until it was time for ours.
This was Roscoe's first full work up. Where our vet told us to wait longer to pull his wolf teeth, the dentist felt he should have had them out awhile ago. Ah well, what can you do. He gave us a name of a dentist, who is also a vet, that can do the work quickly but well. So we have that to look forward to. Other than not knowing what was happening and moving a bit, Roscoe did really well. Mom found out later that the 3yr old stallion did better than the 11yr old Appy. Explains why he was so quiet working with her. The dentist charged extra for the Appy, but not Roscoe. Says a lot huh?

Rosemary our drama queen behaved, but she did it while turning herself like a pretzel while looking like a hunchback. The dentist said "She's really flexible." Silly pony!

Dottie seems to have lost a tooth. The dentist said that draft horses age faster so he sees lost teeth earlier. We will have to keep an eye on her chewing abilities.

DaVinci despite his age, has all his teeth and looks great. His biggest issue is he has melanomas in the corners of his mouth, just like Barry. If they get bigger, I will have to try the hackamore on him so we can avoid a bit.

Winston had no issues teeth wise. Heck Mom said that the dentist did not even "oink" at any of the horses, which is his normal comment for Winston.The dentist used to ride Polo ponies which are pretty thin, so most other horses he would call fat.

This dentist is pretty old school, but he is worth using because he is a fount of knowledge. It is like listening to the history channel for horses. Plus his manner is so calm, my horses have not needed to be sedated. He gives them a chance and works with them. I really like the fact that he only does what is needed and is careful what he takes off of older horses. Anything that will extend the life of their teeth. Sometimes he did not even charge of for the work on the old pony we had.

Great dentists like farriers and vets, are the greatest part of the extended network that keeps our horses healthy. We always try to keep him happy. Next time we may not include the Appy in the appointment so he has the chance to say no to working on her.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The "GOOD" Boarder

Yep, One of THOSE days

Talk about a slap in the face. Mom got a call from the farm manager asking her to call. I told her I knew it was about a stall for the Appie. The appie's owner moved out of our barn, of her own free will, and moved her stuff into the other barn. Well when she did that the other lady asked us to remove Rosemary's cart from that barn since we had more room with out the Appie's owner. What a joke! Any way Mom did so, but we had to put it into the stall the Appie used to use. Mom told them she would have to use one of the stalls in the other barn.
Our barn has 7 stalls, six usable. 5 have our horses and the one unusable is where we put hay. The other barn has 5 stalls. 2 for the other lady's horses, 1 for her hay. The appie's owner uses 1 for hay and 1 to store her food and boxes. If she would just share the feed room with the other lady there would be a stall for her horse.
Sure enough the Appie's owner went above us and said she had to have that stall. Now keep in mind she has not brought this horse inside since we separated last fall. Even when she was 3 legged lame, but she has to have it. So Mom said she would only keep the cart in there and it is easily moved. Oh, no we can't have her needing to move that. The stall has to be clear.
Mom was ticked. She said we made room for her and shared space when she moved in, but the other lady will not share space in the other barn with her. The farm manager said "We can't upset the good boarder by having her deal with the Appie's stuff." Excuse Me! What the heck are we. Those women won't do much of anything for themselves. We do mowing and weed whacking, and have updated the feed room and tack room. After 12 years here I could not believe we were getting the short end.
So tomorrow Mom will be finding a place for the cart and the hay were had in the stall. She also will be taking out the sawdust, which we buy and taking out all the bucket hangers and eye screws which we put in. Heck we probably should take down the two fans in the stall too. We plan on letting her know she cannot use our muck forks or spreader. She has burnt the bridge to ashes.
The manager also said we had to move our truck which is a pain. We keep it parked in front of the barn since they got an RV and we could no longer keep it with the trailer. So Mom has to find a place for that too. We would just bring it home, but having it an hour away makes emergencies tough. When Sherman coliced we had to borrow the farm's truck to bring him to the vet. Of course the other lady has 2 trailers taking up room in the parking area, but she is the favored one.

I hope the perfect place becomes available soon. We are feeling like ugly invaders right now the way they are treating us.

Monday, May 5, 2014


I am one of those unusual equestrians that goes to Florida for totally non equine reasons. This was a tough visit since it was the first since we lost my grandfather. Memere is basically fading away. Having us there to take care of helped somewhat, but as soon as we left she was back to barely eating. We did bring the dogs to the beach and found out that Deliah is not a water dog. She could not understand why Griffyn kept going into that crazy water.
How Deliah spent most of her time in FL

In between card games and beach time, I checked in with Peggy for a horse update. Unfortunately, while we were enjoying the sun they had days of rain and flooding. She and Roscoe had to come to an understanding, but overall they all behaved. Peggy did have to round up Dottie not once but twice when she decided she wanted to go tease Roscoe rather than going outside. Peggy told Roscoe "Put that away, now is not the time." By time she had Dottie outside for good and was ready to put him out he had settled. He could have easily gone through the stall guard, but he listened to her instead. Going away is so much easier when you have someone who can take care of your horses the way you would yourself.
The other call I made was to chat with Roscoe's breeder. She is waiting for a foal from a maiden mare which means she has little idea when it will happen. That event will determine when and who Roscoe will breed. I am just going with the flow right now. It will happen or not. The biggest thing that comes from the wait is that I will skip the Spring Fling Welsh show. I could show him myself, but at this point I am a bit burnt out. They judged him so harshly from pictures, I think he can wait for the next show. He is looking really good weight wise now, but he is no where near what everyone seems to want him to look like. It will be the first show he has missed since he was born. Maybe I will find a Sport horse in hand show to bring him to. There he will probably only be looked down on because he dares to have feathers and not be a Draft.

Great weight for us, but not there yet for breed shows
Once we got home, we had a slew of things scheduled. Then our hay guy called and said he had 50 bales for us. Talk about relief. Our area is having a hay shortage because of the bad weather last year. Some retail places are charging $10 a bale for just grass hay which is a $1 up from when I last checked. That would have been hard to swallow. The same day Dottie and DaVinci got their summer shoes. Now we just need good footing so we can ride them. Our hectic day was capped off with a call from my brother.
He is my mechanic and takes great care of my other horse power. While we were gone he used my CRV since it needed maintenance and an inspection sticker. Well he had texted to say it was ready for pick up earlier so I was surprised when he called. It seems that when he was at a light, he got rear ended. The CRV is still drivable, but the back hatch is not usable. He went home and put a claim in to the insurance company of the guy who hit him. Still waiting on the company to get a hold of him so we can move forward. In the mean time my other brother who is an insurance adjuster mentioned it might be totaled. I just about lost it. I am less than a year from paying it off. NO WAY! My adjuster brother came to pick me up on Sunday for a trip to PA for his new corgi puppy and ran a worst case estimate. It may make it, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.
Our PA trip was insane since it took us through MD and WV back roads, mountains and towns like Paw Paw. We finally made it and his puppy is so cute. He is a red like Griffyn, but he still needs his ears to prick. Poor Deliah got so excited when she met him, we had to tell her he was not hers. She pouted when they left to finish their journey home. Now I pray my sister in law lets him keep the puppy. She has a bad habit of deciding dogs are too much work and sending them away. So far so good.
My yet unnamed new nephew

His whole face changes when his ears are up

And now you are caught up. If only I could catch up with everything as easily. It was hard to go to PA knowing how much work was waiting, but my brother deserved to have someone as excited as himself with him. I guess hugging a puppy was worth the missed day.