Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keeping Things On A Light Note

Scrat's new favorite treat is...

I know, I know! Not the healthiest of treats...but come on...He's a RAT with a fluffy tail. Rodents are notorious scroungers and scavengers. They eat whever they find in the wild.

He loves using Megan as a jungle gym...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Uh-Oh...We Are A Bad Influence

This poor guy! I bet the Dressage people are cussing the Reining people's influence...

(Be forwarned the first bit of the video is the camera waving around...don't get seasick-LOL)

If you don't want to watch the whole thing...What's wrong with you?...No just kidding, if you don't want to watch the whole thing watch from 2:08 and then the very end...

Yea, cheering is a big part of reining...looks like not so much appreciated in the dressage. Oops!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Seeing Red

In my new living room that is...

It's not finished yet. The base coat was a carmel color, brick red over the top of that and the finishing touch will be a chocolate brown wash applied with plastic to give it a 'leather' look.

On Friday evening My Honey got a phone call from a friend, apparently the rental house he and his family are living in went into foreclosure and the bank told them they have 30 days to get out. Knowing that we had bought the new place, he asked if we would rent them one of the houses for a few months until they could locate a place of their own to buy.

Yeesh...That kind of put the fire under my tail to get busy and get the new place finished up so we could get moved over there. Not to long ago, My Honey had given me the directive to get things finished up over there anyway. I guess I just work better under pressure-LOL.

Rather than go barrel racing this weekend...I painted!

The spare room is done...

The teal blue ended up being a bit darker than I would have liked in this smaller room, so I think I am going to do a pearl glaze wash over the top.

The master bath had already been finished awhile ago...

It's just waiting for the finishing accutriments to be put back up

The master bedroom was also started...

But I just do not love the colorwashes I was attempting. I tried several different techniques and just have not come up with the one I love. I left this one 'set' thinking I would come to like it, but it hasn't grown on me.

I want it to look more like the antique finish I put in the 1st bathroom...

So one more attempt at getting a finish I like on the master bedroom walls and if I can not get something cool looking, I'll just leave it the plain light khaki base color I started with. Plain is better than something I am not happy with.

Next up will be Megan's room and as much of the kitchen as I can get done before the conractor shows up to do a bit of sheetrock repair. One more trip out for the plumber and the electrician and then when everything else is done, I will have to sand the hardwood floor in the kitchen and refinish it. That should about do it for the inside. I know I'm ready to get moved over. Even though it isn't very far, I'm still tired of driving back and forth between the houses.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Well This Is Better

The pics from the last barrel race have finally been posted and THANK goodness, Moon and I actually look pretty decent...

I am picture #16. Sorry the pics are on lockdown so I cannot load it without purchasing it.

Better Form

If I want to nit-pick it...and that is what a person has to do to improve...I need to work on bringing my inside hand, up and back a little bit. It's not in a horrible position, but I am definitely still bringing it over and across Moon's withers. That still gives him something to lean on vs. me lifting him up and around the barrel. It's going to take a lot of concentrated effort to make myself change that habit. I also need to really, really focus on bringing my eyes up. It looks like I am at least looking a little forward of Moon's shoulder, but I know that I am not bringing my eyes up quick enough and getting them focused on the next barrel.

Oh, it's just a never-ending battle to remember all the little details when you are actually making a run. (sigh) Maybe one of these days, I'll get it all down.

Happy Weekend to everyone. The CWBRA finals are this weekend as well as the first run of the 2011 season. Hopefully, Moon and I can make another couple of steady runs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

And You Thought The Other Horse Was Stiff

This isn't the best video clip, because I did not zoom in far enough, but this is Megan riding Turk...Yea, she is back in the saddle...And she took my Paint horse. :(

Hahaha..If she thought she was trading up from Spooks to Turk...she is finding out, she has a long way to go with this horse too.

Although Turk prefers loping to long-trotting, the horse can't lope to save his life. Besides being injured and having to deal with the associated traveling issues for several years, I don't think the horse was ever loped much back before his injury. He was ridden by an older cowboy, who preferred to cover ground at a nice little jog. Turk can jog all day, but ask him to extend the trot or canter and he gets a little frantic.

For the life of me, I could not figure out why this horse could not hold his left lead for more than a few strides until I watched this video. Watch the video at about 37 seconds, as Turk is coming around the circle, you can see his outside hind leg wanting to pass his inside hind leg and then he breaks to a trot, picks up the lead again. It's a continual repititious pattern. It's quite likely the weirdest thing I have ever seen a horse do.

Yesterday, I finally got him to hold that lead for a full circle, but it was work...let me tell you. As for Turk's right lead....Yeesh! Megan could not get him into his right lead and to be honest, I struggle to get him to pick it up. Once he does though, he ducks and dives every which direction. Oh that's fun (eyeroll).

I honestly think this horse is going to need an adjustment and that electromagnetic thing-a-majobber the farrier told me he has moreso than Spooks. It doesn't surprise me though considering how long this horse has had to travel in a compromised way due to that injury. There is bound to be a lot of muscle imbalance and stiffness.

**Oh, and just for the record...I absolutely don't mind people saying what they think they see in the comments. Someone else may see something that I have not noticed and whether I agree or not...We're just a bunch of horse people sharing opinions. So to the person who keeps emailing me 'privately', with the unreturnable email address...Please feel free to leave your comments in the comment section. From now on your emails will be deleted without being read.

And black horse is NOT crippled or navicular and Really? I need riding lessons? Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

Oh and while we are at it...I presume you are also the person who sent the emails regarding Mighty Mouse. Yes, I did put an old, foundered pony to sleep without WASTING a ton of money on radiographs. I don't need a vet to tell me when one of my old horses has had enough. I don't need anyone's permission to do what I think is the best thing for one of them either. After all, it's MY pocket book. If I would rather spend that money feeding and taking care of the younger, healthier horses I have, then that is MY right.

I hate to tell people, but I blog for myself as much as I do for the commarderie. It's been a great way for me to keep a record over the last couple of years, both verbal and photographic. I don't plan on stopping and I sure as hell am not going to stop because someone has decided they have a hard-on for me because I am a backyard breeder and a wanna-be horse trainer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Traveling Better

I think Spooks is slowly coming out of his lameness. I have yet to determine if his 'funky' way of moving is due to being sore footed and extremely stiff and out of shape or if he is going to need some chiropractic work.

Please forgive my bounciness-hands and seat...OMG!...This horse is really rough riding and herky-jerky. No cadence to his gaits, whatsoever.

Spooks really struggles to pick up his left lead. At this time, the only way I can get him to pick it up is by rolling him off the fence. Once he is in that lead though, he is actually smoother riding to the left than he is to the right.

I'll be anxious to compare these videos to what I'm hoping he will look like in another month.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Good Golly Miss Molly is filling out...

In all the right places...

Hey mom, can I come in too?...

Yep, she's my girl.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Verdict Is Still Out

The prognosis on the sorrel horse's foot is good. He did not need a bar shoe on it due to an old injury.

Regular eventing shoes were used on his front feet and other than the fact that he grows a lot of heel, the farrier said once his foot grows out, it will look completely normal.

Right now, the inside looks a little squished...

But there is not near the same amount of damage done to Bugs as what happened to Turk...

So, one more well on the road to becoming 'normal'.

Spooks, the black horse, on the other hand...Welllll....

We went the next step and now are on a holding pattern for a little bit to see if shoeing him is going to help a little or a lot or make the whole problem go away.

Considering the amount of $$ I have been dropping on these horses lately, I had kind of planned on holding off on shoeing Spooks until after I had Bugs done and was riding him myself. My Honey is a great man. He has never complained about my horses or the $$ I invest into them. Considering he is NOT a horse person, I think that is kind of special. But I can tell from his tentative questions about how much more work I expect to have to pay for, that the $$ being spent need to count for something. I don't blame him. I have never willingly dumped good money after bad to keep a horse going and I am not about to start now.

Unfortunately, the other day when I trimmed Spooks, I ran into a likely culprit of his growing lameness...
I did get one abcess completely dug out.

This one, not so much...

So off to the farrier he went with Bugs...

The farrier was not overly concerned about the remaining debris in the crack of the hoofwall. It will grow out. You can see how far the crack and debris go up the hoofwall after the farrier removed all of the excess toe after placing the shoe...

The biggest problem that the farrier could see is that Spooks has very soft soles. As I have been trimming him and getting down to live, healthy growth, he has gotten lamer and lamer. The total opposite of what is supposed to happen right?

Well, some horses just have soft soles. I'm kind of surprised that this horse is this way, but my brother did say he always had to keep him shod when he used him, so apparently this is nothing new. To help protect Spook's tender soles and to draw out inflammation, the farrier melted mothballs and poured them onto Spooks' sole after he was shod...
Kind of like a liquid pad he said.

Spooks was still walking tentatively on his new shoes and it is very obvious this horse is sore all over from having to be so careful how he walked. The farrier told me to give him a couple of days off, ride him for a couple of days and then let him know how things were going.

If Spooks is still extremely sore over his topline and croup, I'm to take him back and the farrier will pop his pelvis (if he needs it, right now it is impossible to tell if he is out or just sore) into place and put the horse on an electromagnetic machine he uses on his reining horses.

Here's the best video I could get of the funky way Spooks steps with his hindfeet. You have to sort of watch from the hock down and notice how he pulls his hind feet forward and places them flat on the ground. It's almost like he has stringhalt or something along those lines...

Any ideas???

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Call Me Fugly

Hey, just like fugly I can now lay claim that my horse won a Top Five...


**If you didn't already know, one of the biggest jokes going on the internet is fugly's bragging that her buckskin stallion placed Top Five at the Buckskin World in the Jr. Trail.

That might be impressive if you didn't know that there were only 8 horses in the class and only 6 horses received scores. Fug's buckskin placed 5th out of 6. Good old fugs always forgets to tell people that part. LOL

So, I'll be honest...Moon placed 4th in the 4D for my NBHA district and won me a very nice leather jacket. Not nearly as impressive of a year as I had imagined it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we placed anywhere considering we didn't run at all for most of the summer. So....Go Moon!

Now, I know everyone is dying to know...

We had two good runs this last weekend. Left all three barrels standing and Moon showed no inclination to dive into 2nd or 3rd. Our times were ridiculously slow though. Low 21's both runs. Ugghhh. That's little more than a lope for Moon.

As for the big question...

We did not run left these two trips. We ran to the right as normal.

I had a niggly little gut feeling on Friday night, which was a regular barrel race and therefore had exhibitions, that I should take Moon through the pattern a couple of times before competition, just to see how he would handle it.

I long-trotted through the pattern the first time (going to the left barrel first) and Moon did fine. I rolled right back around and loped the pattern. Moon tried. He went into the pockets really well and started his turns in good form and then he just kind of lost it and floundered out the backside of all three barrels. He hasn't figured out his footfalls all the way around the barrel yet.

I decided that it wasn't fair to Moon to ask him to run the pattern if he wasn't exactly sure about how to do it, so we went ahead and ran to the right barrel first. I'll finish out this year doing that and then go to work getting Moon practiced up going to the left barrel first. I still think changing will behoove him and hopefully make him more consistent.

I'm not dissing winning an award at all, especially since it is a really nice suede jacket...but it is really frustrating to still be in the 4D's when I know that Moon is at very least a winning 2D horse and actually should be a placing 1D horse.

Oh well...The barrel racer's motto...'There's always next year'. LOL

I was hoping to have at least one video from this weekend, but Friday I was concentrating on what I needed to do and Saturday I came up early in the draw and didn't get my camera up to the crow's nest for the gal to video me. Hopefully next time. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Switching Directions

Well this is going to sound a little weird, but it's something that crossed my mind a while back, I played with it and then reverted back to 'normal'.

I'm going to start running Moon to the left barrel first.

I've had a couple of horses that I have trained to run to the left first, but have always started everything to the right and only switched for a particular a horse who is stiffer to the left than the right.

The other day, two things came together in my know...those two brain cells I have...LMAO...

Actually, I had just read an article about Martha...
Sears was talking about what it took to click with the mare and she elaborated on the fact that Martha had originally been a normal barrel horse, going to the right barrel first, but she had a terrible time getting her around the 2nd barrel. She just could not get the mare bent correctly and Martha was so fast, she couldn't get her into position in time. So she switched her and the rest is history...

The other half of my decision hit me when I was working Moon over the trainers. I have always had to work harder to get and keep Moon in the correct body position going to the left. He requires about twice as much work on that side as he does on his right side.

And then it dawned on me...the problems Sears was having with Martha sounded awfully familiar to the problems I am having with Moon. Moon's always been stiffer to the left than to the right and has always kind of wanted to shoulder into 2nd barrel, but as he has gotten older, he has obviously gotten more determined about it.

I never have problems going to the right on him.

Sooo...don't you all think that makes sense?

If I run him to the left, I don't have to open him up going to the 1st barrel and I will be able to get and keep him in frame...and...he only has to make one turn on his not so flexible side.

I cannot believe I didn't figure this out sooner. What a dunce!

Wish me luck, cause I'm going to try it out tonight at the CWBRA Finals race. I just want to see how it will work. Moon's had enough practice going both directions that if I don't open him up, I should be able to put him where I want him. **If I get there early enough, I can practice a little bit to, so he is prepared for the change. ;-)

If it works, I will be thrilled and may have a chance at the NBHA Districts on Saturday. Jeez-it would be nice to get back to being competitive. Now that the season is almost over...LOL.

***And Thank you for the condolences about Mighty Mouse. It sucked, as the friend who had to listen to me sob can testify. He was doing so good and I really thought he was going to live forever, but when he started laying down a lot again and then laying out flat on his side, I knew he was having a full blown laminitic episode and I just could not see letting him suffer through another one. The Fall is a dangerous time of year for problematic horses/ponies. The changing weather really seems to set off their systems.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Highs And The Lows

It's been pretty awesome around here the last week or so.

I'm getting horses rode, teeth done, feet done, Bugs is going, Jet is next, the trainer even agreed to take our only 'bronc' and give him a 30 day whirl this winter.

If you've been reading for some time, I'm sure you remember Roan Dog...
He has been rechristened, Jake and Levi(I was given permission to use his full name;) said he would take him for a month and see what he could come up with.

After that, there are 2 more mares to send to Levi to get started and we will be all caught up on the shoulda-woulda-coulda's of the previous generation.

Myself, I have no problem starting the colts I have raised. I know these babies like the back of my hand.

On the down side, Mighty Mouse took a turn for the worse this last week and after several days I made the decision to put him down. I couldn't fight it anymore and neither could he. The only change that happened was a change in the weather. You just can't stop that and if it causes him was time. He was such a good pony and I will miss his gentle little nicker at feeding time. He was always so polite, but wanted to make sure you didn't forget him. Now, he can be pain free and eat all the green grass his little heart desires.

My last big fix-it projectm besides the fact that everyone needs more riding, is in the form of Spooks...
There is something going on with this horse's hind end that just isn't right. My last option-since I have already done the teeth, trimming on my own and chiro, is to take him to Turk's farrier and see what he thinks.

I'm ending up with more horses with shoes on than I have had in many, many years, but with access to someone who can actually improve and/or fix them, I'm not going to let the opportunity pass me by. In Spook's case, I think shoeing may be a short term project. After having been left sit for so many years, he has a lot of spread. A few good shoeing jobs and his feet will start coming back to where they need to be.

Now, if I had Mrs. Mom handy, I'm sure we could accomplish the same thing leaving him barefoot. Since that is not an option(darn it!), I'm going with the next best thing I can do for the horse.

Speaking of feet, we went from this...

To this...

To this...
On Turk's injured foot. See how much shallower the groove is? That damaged heel is dropping into place nicely. Progress, real progress!

His uninjured foot is actually looking darn near normal again as well...
The blowing out and flares are almost gone after only one shoeing. Turk is traveling square and sound. His muscles are starting to even out and he feels much more balanced when I am riding him. That of course, doesn't stop him from acting like a pig quite a bit of the time, but at least now, I can work on correcting his piggish behavior and not feel bad thinking he is doing it out of pain avoidance. Nope...just him being a pain. We are coming to terms though. Occasionally he tries to act decent and I still give him the benefit of a doubt knowing he still has a ways to go to figure out how to travel with all of his body parts working in unison.

Monday, September 6, 2010

And By Day 4...

Okay, so are ya sick of the sorrel horse yet?

Not me. I am overjoyed at how quickly he came around. He's such a neat little horse.

**Whoops, his driving video came up as the last video rather than the first.**

That will definitely do for a 'first ride'.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mostly No, Sometimes Yes

Breathe asked if restarts are harder than starts....

Mostly No, But....????

I do think that as horses get older, they, just like people, have a tendency to get more set in their ways and stiffer. Their muscles are usually fully developed and they have learned to travel and handle themselved in a certain way.

Obviously, people are having good success with getting older horses ridden. I know of a ton of people who are going back and starting older horses (over age 5) under saddle. A lot of them are horses like Bugs, who were probably worked and ridden 30 days or so when they were youngsters and for whatever reason didn't get rode enough to actually qualify as a saddle horse.

They are a bit different than starting with a horse who has had no work done on them, because they know what the next step is in the process and sometimes you can tell they are thinking (and worrying) about that rather than what is going on at that moment. That was Bugs problem and that is why I was never comfortable stepping on him. I could tell that horse was always anticipating the next step and he worried about it.

L switched that up on day 2...

Bugs' whole thing was, he did not like things above him. I have known that and tried to work on that by climbing on the corral panels and brushing him from above and ponying him. I was definitely going about it the wrong way, but I am not physically able to jump up on a horse the way L does. There are no springs in my legs anymore-LOL.

By being able to change things up, L got through to Bugs that he didn't have to anticipate and dread someone being above him. Now, I know that my brother says he rode the horse back in the fall of his 2y/o year and never had a problem, but either things didn't go as well as my brother says they did(he was a little messed up back then) or Bugs has overdramatized his riding experience in his mind and learned to dread it on his own. Who knows, maybe I made a bigger deal of it than I should have when I was working with him and he figured there really was something to be scared of. Bugs is quickly figuring out that it is no big deal though. The horse has a good mind and has never had any really taumatizing incidences.

Thanks to being able to watch L, my mind is refreshed and I am going to be taking some of my other horses over to work on myself. Besides, it is just way more fun working around other people than it is working alone all of the time. L is hilarious and he always has buddies hanging around. The story-telling has been thick the last couple of days. I forgot how much I miss the comraderie of being around a training barn.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bugs Meets The Trainer

It was a pretty exciting day around here. Turk got his shoes reset...Amazing. Absolutely amazing how much difference there is already (pics and post to come).

I scooped a used, but nice Sharon Camarillo barrel saddle for a little of nothing.


Bugzy Boy went to the trainer...

I have to say, I am impressed with this young man. I've had a couple people shake their heads when I said he is where I was taking some horses, but he is exactly what I want. I was not looking for a finish trainer. I was looking for a colt starter.

Once upon a time, I was just like this young man. I started colts. Now that I have 'graduated' to more of a finish trainer, I realize, after watching L work with Bugs that I have forgotten a lot of what I used to know. This is going to be a good refresher course for me too.

I thought Bugs handled things super well. It's way more difficult for horses to go from a female handler to a male handler than visa versa. I always hear women saying how their horse's 'don't like men', but it's very often a case of horses just aren't used to men. Men move differently than women and very often wear cowboy hats. You'd be surprised at how a horse can react to a stupid little thing like that. Even my horses look at me funny when I put on the cowboy hat.

Bugs worked very well for L though. L moved him around the arena just a couple of times and Bugs was quiet and attentive. L immediately moved to the saddle and that went fine. L moved Bugs around some more, did some flagging and then pulled out his rope.

That's where the hole showed up. Bugs was resistant to giving to the rope. So the lesson was all about working on that....

(In this vid clip-He wanted to Bugs to roll to the inside and Bugs wouldn't bring his shoulder in and move over to change direction. Even after he came around at the end, when L tried to walk up to him, Bugs wanted to leave.)

I think L handles his rope work exceptionally well. He has a good feel for the release of pressure. If Bugs was a more supple and giving horse, L would have probably climbed on him. It was pretty obvious Bugs wasn't going to 'do' anything. But...since Bugs has to really think about giving to pressure, L was wise to wait.

I completely understand. It's not a good feeling to climb on a horse, for the first time, when you know you aren't going to be able to bend them around and most likely have no Whoa.

The only thing I did tell L was that Bugs was genetically inclined to be one of those horses that likes to try to bull his way through things. It was a specific trait associated with those colts by our old Lady Bug's Moon stallion.

Bugs will obviously get softer with work, but most likely it will be something that will always have to be worked on, just like it is with Moon, who is Bug's 1/2 brother(same sire). Also, like Moon, Bugs is l.a.z.y! He may end up making a good reining horse, cause he sure does like to stop...Hahahahaha.

Another possible culprit for Bugs' lag at moving his shoulders could be due to his old injury. Bugs has a hoof injury similar to Turk's, but not as misshapen. I have been working on his feet as he is very inclined to grow a lot of heel. Dropping those heels down has made him a bit tender in the front. I know that by dropping those heels, it has caused pulling on the scar tissue around his heel, so I am uncertain if his hesitation is due to tender feet or if it is just going to take some time for that scar tissue to loosen. If necessary, I will take Bugs to the same farrier I take Turk to.

Overall, I'm pretty excited though. I think L will be on Bugs in short order.

L did make me laugh though, when he was done working the horse, he came over to unsaddle him and said, 'Well, at least you didn't lie when you said he wasn't a bucker'. Haahaa...I'm sure more than one person has brought him a horse and said, 'Oh he won't buck' and then the horse proceeds to give a full on rodeo bronc performance. No, having been in L's shoes, I wouldn't lie about something like that. A 10y/o restart is a tenuous project anyway. If I had not kept working with Bugs these last few years, even if I didn't ride him, I'm not sure he would be as good about things as he is, but then again, if he had shown any inclination to be rank, I wouldn't have wasted the time to keep working with him either.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Riding Posture

I always read the neatest little tidbits in my Barrel Horse News magazine.

As if we didn't have enough reasons to continually work on improving our riding posture...

"Researchers at the University of Rennes in France have found that a rider's poor posture can cause pain in their horse's back.

Researchers concluded that how you ride makes a big difference in your horse's welfare by comparing riding positions of amateur equestrians and the neck positions of their mounts to the kind of back pain those horses experienced while in the stall.

They found that improper riding postures have a strong effect on a horse'sposture at work that leads to chronic vertebral problems."

The mini-article goes on to say that "...high hands and elevated heels tended to cause the horse to maintain a high and often hollow neck position, and that these horses were most likely to have severe back pain."(Barrel Horse News August 2010)

So there ya go folks, all that hard work everyone does to make sure they ride correctly, isn't just for us, it's for our ponies too.