Thursday, May 28, 2009

The horse that showed up

Maddy mare and Jules...giving us the lip...telling us to Chilax near the surf!


For those of you that know me and the mare remember me telling stories of her getting "Uppity" at times in a group and sometimes even, one-on-one ,with the wrong mix of competitive horse-atudes. There are just some I will NOT be able to ride with again or ever because I know that either they, or their horse(or sometimes both) are out of control. I can not Yahoo with this mare. It must always be deliberate when we decide to do some trotting and cantering..and it MUST be controlled..those folks that can not hold their steeds back..I will not be riding with. I also require my partners to want to school as we ride the trails.

Lately, my friends and I have been doing this neat thing..we randomly change positions, as our horse is in a relaxed going mode. It seems to avert misbehaviour and rewards them for calmness. They get a change of scenery and also time to lead and then relax in the back.

This past beach trip went better than expected , Washashe being able to walk away from Maddy easily and also walk homeward bound!

Maddy mare showing the Motto for the entire trip...yawny, and breezing it!In past times going into the dunes and grasses really freaked my mare out..unknown and hidden living entities may be popping out there randomly! Wa has been overly paranoid in these close in spots and the way home, she is typically nervous and excitable.

This is one of the beach grass/ dune trails to cut over to the beach by. This is Wa's first time at the coast, 3 years ago with Nora and Gally mare.
Well...since 3 of the riders came 2 days earlier..they left on the first riding day for us and so it was JUST Jules and I for the rides. That took alot of stress out of it for me..and apparently -the mare too!

She was a dream..she barely pulled and never became agitated for any notable length of time.
I was so happy!
TWO major changes for her may have been..new flocked saddle, that fit perfectly..and I now trail ride in my Mullen Mouth bit. She likes how soft it is and I can still talk to her lightly.

This was the beat trip ever, I told Jules . The mare being 14 and this being the 4th year to the coast, must have made a difference! I am now taking equipment OFF of her..no more standing martingale and also..no flash needed, I have deemed.

The Horse that showed up for me, was my awesome mare!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Landscape of YELLOW

It was everywhere, the golden hue, and beautiful! No matter what you think about the pungent smell of Scotch broom, it sure made for a gorgeous landscape while we rode at the beach this past weekend. Jules-EQUINEMINE- and I jetted off with the TAT(Two's A Team) crew...small, and it made for a perfect weekend!

Maddy mare is such a good mare to ride with for us...she is non competitive and also a lead mare type, which my mare feels more comfortable with. Maddy won't tolerate a fussy horse behind her; as we found out last year as she hopped her rump up as Wa nosed her saying..."go faster or let me lead".
It was the best thing for us to have happen, Maddy's warning. Wa really paid mindful attention to her slowing after that.
This past weekend, with 3 days of riding on a gorgeous beach with not a mark on it, made for some excellent times. Both mares were ultra relaxed and I had very few of the excited problems of past beach trips...oh maybe a few popped shoulders as we turned back away from home..but we both rode the buckle-coming and going- a first for the mare and I. I told Jules, 14 years old for the mare and 2 years of beach times ,have finally paid off!
Soo, Wahsahse was on her best behaviour, walking behind Maddy mare.(yep..read that right-behind at times)
After all , she has the "eyes"of the Monarch butterfly that constantly watch us as we ride behind her!

Reunited PART 2


This is still catch up from last weekend...I am breathing a sigh of relief for all that went on with mom last week. Thanks for all the well wishes. She seems to be getting on better now -though was quite a scare!

After I was released from Mom's bedside..I met Nora finally, at my place for a ride.

Nora and I (above) were sooo happy to be together again, horsin'! She, being a Naturopathic birth nurse , introduced me to her like minded friend Debra. She lives very close to me..nice surprise...I am parking there now for a particular set of trails nearby...Jules is able to meet me too, from her facility.
The day was very nice In Oregon...70 degrees with a breeze. I was to ride Danny boy, a Morgan on the property that the owner wishes me to Analise for ability and " paring"we may do for him in a lease in the future.

This is the neighbors 80 acre farm,I have the privilege to ride upon. This barn is so fantastically intricate in wood design, I really must get some close ups sometime!
It was a great ride, I think I mentioned a bit in the earlier post...we made 5 creek crossings! There are quite alot of creeks and ponds nearby and it makes for interesting riding a training.
Once Velvet thought she'd skip crossing and pass...I was very pleased to see Nora persist gently, and she went ahead of all of us . She has really bonded with the mare enough to have a trust and respect with her.
We enjoyed a small picnic after in the shade,while the horses relaxed too.
As if it weren't enough to ride for a couple hours already..I was dying to get on my mare and head out again..she had the week off and I totally wanted some saddle time before the coming beach weekend outing over the Memorial day holiday. So the gal that is staying with my PBO wanted to go out again and look for the pack we lost the weekend before...I thought I knew where it was too!

I just love this tree!! It's branches are like arms reaching over the trails.

We reached the creek at the bottom of the steep, cliffy hill I walk down with the mare, and I remounted and we crossed and headed for the bog area. I usually cross on the left and there are huge round rocks the mare dislikes so I decided to cross in the open area...though it appears muddier.
WRONGCHOICE! OH MY! We were sucked down upon stepping in and she faltered to her knees...I was still on at this time,as she lunged up and back trying to regain herself. Then she went down all the way, to the left side. As the ground met my foot, I stepped off and held to the reins...it was terrible to see Wa floundering around! She made it and we just took a breather as she appeared totally dejected for the experience.
My rider friend decided to dismount and head over the rocks..better choice. We found the pack just up the hill from there and turned back to recross that bloody mess! Dismounted, it went better, though she almost lost her half chaffs and boot! Gotta make a better crossing place! The "TrailsShangrila"are on the other side!


Poor mare of mine! I gave the her the next day off too....for my ride over at Jules place, I took Romeo instead. BUT...before headin' out..I had a big blowout...it was awful looking and I wondered how the heck and when it occurred?? My PBO's husband helped me change to the new tire....I was fashionably late to see Jules...though as ere mentioned..she is the horsey fashion plate!

Next door to her stable, we were able to ride to a private fisherman's club. There are these beautiful ponds, all stocked with fish and for a mere$2,000 a year, you too can go anytime and fish! A.....I think we will just enjoy the pristine trails for free thanks!
Jules Stable owner has rights to ride there, like I do for my neighboring lands....it says something, for being a GOOD Neighbor!
I am so happy for My freind for moving to this area that has so many nice places to ride !

These little Viola's were sitting pretty amongst the grasses at the back gate to Jules Stable...a kind of welcome home for our Reunion Ride!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Reunited and it feels so GOOD!

Jules, as I call her.....you may know her as "EQUINEMINE". She is the best dressed/ snazy rider I know!
I got to ride with her last weekend, at her new wonderful place...uh...getting ahead of myself, I saw Nora( my first ever ridin' partner) on the trails first. the day before, for a ride at my place!

This is not Washashe below looking on Jules and Maddy mare...it is Romeo.

(Look at the title again)Do you hear the sappy song..?... that will not leave your head ALL DAY NOW...You will hum it and sing it- 'cause it just gets stuck in YOUR head!!!
Sorry...it happened to me when I thought of it for the title and now I shall pass on the song to you! It will be apparent soon why I chose that tune~

Well, I have missed reading and writing for the past weeks..at least it seems like that amount of time, for all that has occurred.
I shall fill you in now!

2 Weekends ago, I told my PBO and her friend that is staying at the house, that I would love to go for a ride...she has soo much work to do around that farm there that she said maybe.... I showed up on Sunday with sandwiches and drinks and >>Chocolate<<....they were all sweaty and dirty and had been working for a few hard hours in the sun and it looked as if they were going to bag-out. I served them up some Advil, drinks and lunch, we talked . I then broke out the chocolate...that did it, they were revived! We soon saddled and rode on out...

Gemma asked me for the camera and I have a shot of me for a change!
We headed for a set of trails I have not taken them to yet..only told them of how beautiful they are and the steep delivery on each side of the creek to get there. I always get off...because the mare and I dislike slick and steep and cliffy edges. We have an understanding about how it goes while we walk down..I go ahead till it gets cliffy..then she comes along side of me and I walk on the upper embankment as she slowly walks down, allowing me to hold the top of the saddle for stability..she stops immediately if I stumble or ask her to. She has gotten very good at this and anticipates my needs.

We all made it down fine and they did not even get off..so good for them! We forded the creek, and set to the next hazard area...a bog.

Okay, that was okay as well...and up the other side and my PBO said, "OH! these trials are soo gorgeous!" I said," I know, I called you 3 weeks ago when I found them remember?..I called them "Trails Shangrila!"
I put the camera on a stump and in ten seconds tried to get on and over in front of the camera again!I was askew and couldn't get my stirrup!

We had such a great time in these trails that went on and on and on...they were relatively flat and so we trotted and cantered alot this day. As we'd get to trotting I could hear my friend Gemma..start to giggle..then more and more till I had to just hunch over once, in shear laughter, when Panna mare and Ginny(right)decided to leap over something and she bellowed out! Gem saw me hunch in laughter and lost it herself! It was a blast but I knew I would not get them to ride for some time as it was about 4 hours...they would be so sore!
We watered then horses on the way back in the creek and somehow--lost the green pommel- pack Ginny had on her saddle. She asked if maybe the next weekend we could go look for it.

Wow, so much has happened between that ride and now..........just been fantastically worn out upon arrival home all last week. I gave the mare time off cause I had used my dressage saddle for that hilly ride and it is too stiff, her back was sore... she got therapy last WEDS. My little light weight jump saddle is being missed by the both of us!

Plus...there is the fact that my husband's time off landed on my days off this time! We actually got to look into each others eyes-while open! AND... there also a crisis last week on Wednesday- My mother went into the hospital for her heart again..this time no surgeries!! Just a BIG scare . The second day...she got transferred to the place I came into the world...Emanuel Hospital. That day We found out that she just needed meds adjusted... soooo relieved.

Saturday last, I was dismissed from mom's bedside by one of my sisters to attend to the mare, since mom was well taken care of and it had been 3 days since I last was at the stable. As I left the hospital...this is what I left seeing...it was nice and refreshing..and A bit funny too! I am glad that professionals can be light in the workplace!

video
So, Part two next......which will bring us up to date!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Stills The eyes have it

This weeks challenge that ED chose is, for capturing EYES...While it is difficult to do sometimes with a horse..they keep moving and want to see what you are doing and lick the camera....is what I experienced while trying to shoot the pic...I did get some of my mares roommate Danny Boy. He had a gorgeous forelock..and it was almost impossible to shoot his rich eye without the tri colored locks getting involved!

And this other...well...my mare sees this ALL THE TIME!

So now, YOU may see..what she sees...as she sees it!!!




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reciprocity~


It was that kinda day...First, My mare and Romeo had a round before the Equine Therapist showed up for Wa's apt. They decided to do a little of their own warm up...then Romeo , after watching my mare's session seemed to decide that he was in need and offered his mouth to Danny!

video
This was a word my mother taught me when I was young and the horses were having a scratch in our fields...I asked what they were doing, and mom said, "Reciprocity...I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine!"

Looking on in envy

Poor Danny...he was nickering as I took some photo's of my mare's New Mane while she ate the grass near the paddocks. It was very sad, but he has foundered and recovered, so I am not too sad for him since he is still among the heard and healthy now!
He tried to fetch a few blades for himself , to no avail.....
I do love the way the mare's mane turned out and am glad that I decided to "pull" verses my usual "creative trimming" with 2 different sorts of shears.
With him standing there in want, it did avail me some great photo's of Danny's eye for the upcoming Photo MEME that Ed has for Sunday Stills...do come back and see that..there is a laugh in it for you!


I eventually returned Washashe to a paddock farther away from him and near the herds "Lead mare", Panna. She would eat my mare for lunch, if given the chance. Though; she is a perfect angel on the trails, if we ride together! Good mare Panna. She was the horse I rode 5 years ago, as I got reintroduced to riding again.
As long as there is a fence inbetween them and Wa does not try to make friends with her..it is all good!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Wild Hair



Y'all know what the wild hair may be too....this of course is the BEFORE...it has been one year of growth May o8 to may 09~

Last night, after trying another braid and having it be a bit hotter outside during the day, I decided to Shorten the mare's mane. It will be cooler for her and my right wrist needs a little less action.The mane being long means lots of braiding action these days!

So, we started in..and honestly folks..I have always "cheated" with the mane pulling by using all my crafty techniques..and seemingly having good results. A....I did an experiment..crafty section verses...really pulled section..HUGE DIFF! I really liked the pulled look and feel=BETTER!

While this was true..the mare polled in as well..and she MUCH preferred the crafty section by turning her head away,as I placed my fingers on the next section to be pulled. I administered -1 Cup Oats -into her hay bag and that took care of that! I was amazed how well she did with the process!

ANYTHING FOR OATS!!!

To take the shot above of the hair on the floor, I had to use the flash..and It started a small stampede in the barn....lightening flashes without the thunder! I was crouched down against a side wall..all horses had quickly exited... including mine..then I heard and felt the HOT breath of Romeo, above my neck...his head had come on over to investigate me on the ground below his stall wall! I almost joined the herd outside too...it scared me, I forgot he was over there!

This was at dusk...so not too good a pic...and I will see what it REALLY looks like today!

I am giving the mare the week off from riding..she and I had a fantastically adventuresome weekend,it being SUNNY and all. My friends and I took a Looooong trail ride and I fear the "All Purpose saddle" is not made for the kind of riding we did...(Post to follow soon)...the mare's back is sore. I would not have made it with the treeless one either. So until my little Jump saddle comes back, all re-flocked from it's maker man, we are going it slow! I am doing some Natural Brace washes + massages with this awesome liniment-"Sore no More".

Wednesday,her favorite person( aside from me and her other barn mom)is coming to give her THERAPY!!

It was bound to happen

OH my!! The dreaded thing happened, I knew it would some day.......

During the last week, I trailered off site to my favorite arena nearby. I am usually the only one there in the middle of the day..which I like. This particular fickle spring day, it started to Thunder and rain tremendously, just as I began my inside ride! It was soo loud- that the mare just stopped and looked up! I am so proud of her for not attempting to bolt. She never has-for fear-, save one time on the trails, she did a bounding canter pirouette, as A deer leapt above her on a ledge!
Though all that said, I was very happy that I was NOT at the far end of the arena when the storm did let go...it is a scary place ..the far end of the arena. I was told that some other horses too dislike it, though it does not look any different than any other place inside! I think, if it were me building the arena....I would have had the stalls down there..so all the comforting things were not at one end of the arena...horses, gates, exit! That does leave the "other end" for scary things such as WORK and probably more WORK..not too enticing..so monsters do reside down there, some horses have insisted!
It does seem that every stable I have ridden in, that there IS a certain area in or around the arena that the horse does choose to shy from, be it real or perceived!

I taped my ride..but it is too long to share( thoughts for next time) but also I won't because...the angle of walking up to the camera, upon my mare to turn the thing off or on, close up of of my MID SECTION>>oooeeewww << I think my mare may be caring a bit too much of me around!

My Horse's Therapist recently went to a lecture series from David Marlin PHD for the US Olympic Equestrian team and other FEI recognised sport horse events around the world. His studies and recommendation for a horse's limit of weight forrider and all tack is 15-17% of the horses's weight.
THAT will be another post and I am making sure she updates her blog and Web page=found on my sidebar= to include all her very pertinent info for us horse lovers...soon!

Anywho... We worked a while after the thunder/loud rains stopped and the pony that was shrilly neighing from a stall, stopped...the mare and I settled in for a nice quiet ride, with a soft Classical music playing in the back ground. Love the fact that this owner plays that for the horses, while they are inside. It made my ride nicer as I am working on having my mare relaxed enough to "Chew the reins" from me onto a longer self carrige. She did do it in the canter this time...she was snorting- into longer frame- so much, I just allowed her the length of the reins. felt so good.

After a nice ride(too bad I ran the camera battery down and out, or you'd see what follows) I loaded up and was backing away... had my eye on the tail end of the trailer to make sure I was turning correctly...I can be soo dyslexic! THEN, I felt it happen; I was paying so much attention to the rear end of the trailer, I forgot to make sure I was on the gravel drive..and now...I WAS NOT! I was in the grass, and had sunk down to the running boards of the truck-IN MUDD- in two tuns of the wheel!

OH - - - - - !!!!!!! I called the owner, whom I just called to thank and tell her I was jettin' away home again. She came out and thought she could get the thing out and dug it in further....the mare was unloaded before all this, Someone, I just met, was holding her and admiring how calm and pleasant she was, looking on our muddy antics. It did not look good folks and Iwas terribly scared of having to leave the rig there..I called my Stable owner to come get the mare and she said..lets pray...we did..and she said she would wait for my next call to hear what to do.

The arena owner went and got her little blue tractor....hooked it up to the front of the truck, I put er in 4 wheel low and she pulled us about 5 feet BUT= I failed to turn the wheel straight and it jammed us in the mudd WORSE>more - - - - !!!
She then called her son...he came over in a flash and was just too kind and hooked the Little Blue tractor to the rear Axel of the trailer...I was scared of breaking my sisters truck...the owner looked at my face and said, " My son can fix anything!" Uh...that did not really make me feel good, as I did NOT want it broken, to have to fix!

Well........we did it...it came out like sliding through butter! Amazing!
So then, after arriving home and tucking the mareface into her stall...I had to wash the truck and trailer, in the rain, no less! The muddy clay of the area will stain the white trailer if left on it..I mean, it was SPRAYED all over it..when the =barn owner tried to remove it.... she really tried! I took some of her grounds away with me, I am sure a load, after I looked under the truck!

Wow...I am parking differently next time we already discussed this fact and also the fact of how costly gravel is and that they need more area for folks to maneuver!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sunday Stills Black and White

This weeks entries that Ed has chosen are Black and white of a topic posted in the past challenges~ Mine are:
"Water" and the above "Self portrait."



Happy Mothers day to all and Bless your hearts!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Good instruction

I have really enjoyed some good instruction lately. It has been grounded and founded and very well received by my mare. She is the ultimate judge these days, for an instructor. I have had quite a few in the 4 years time since I have been in partnership with the Wa. She tells me no lies, when it comes to the knowledge base of the one instructing me. If they do not have an eye or mind for the sensitive horse and the slightly dyslexic rider, and give me false direction(or no direction)...she will tell me off, as they are inept and fail to address my issues/ flaws in the saddle...but she does address them!

I have a really difficult time with my right shoulder...it blocks my flowing track. The mare will react to any body blocking (her past of being tied into frame and the heavy hand of a" Break-em' good" cowboy) it does play into our ability to move forward sometimes.

One thing I am very upset with myself for is trusting some of the people I have with the mare and I. Being green to the training world , have made some pretty awful choices. Sometimes for lack of availability to travel and sometimes just mistaking someone for genuine, having seen their ability to help others along nicely; I thought that they would take me seriously too. I discerned incorrectly last time, with an unfaithful trainer, who lacked true caring motives and showed huge lack of concern for furthering us.

Moving on from that stifling situation, we have found some truly genuine people to help us continue. I have a couple "horse riding mentors". These people are so in tune with their own horses and have been around the training circuit . They are a wonderful prevailing wind of change for good to the mare and I! One thing that is a huge blessing..though my mare has a great memory for the wrongs done to her in the past..she is pretty forgiving of my mistakes and has shown me willingness to trust me, as I get things right and am respectful to her.
My mentoring rides have been very enlightening and as of last week, I was told almost 100% growth from the first ride. I am thrilled! I finally got a bit of body positioning instruction that is helping greatly for releasing my shoulders and increasing our bend. She has taken to this so well ,that her 5 steps being on the bit has turned into 10! We used a metronome tape the first ride 2 mo ago, and that has really helped me to regulate our rhythm. Relaxation has ensued, with the mare being able to rely upon something consistent.
She seems to be settling down with our indoor riding, and I think our outdoor riding contributes well to this....

A recent chapter in reading in W. Museler's book, "Riding Logic" that really encouraged me to this end , and has me being very thankful for all the time I have spent with the mare outdoors.
He says, "Riding is developed by practice and the greater the enthusiasm a rider has for it, the more enjoyment he will gain from it and the more he will want to put into it. Nothing will accord more with this ideal than riding out in the countryside.
A long hack out, even when there is no one at hand to offer words of correction, will do much for the seat simply because the rider becomes more relaxed. Undulating countryside improves his sense of balance. He invariably sits better than when he is forcing himself to sit in a way that he thinks is correct.".." Riding across country is indubitably the best test of dressage skills."

My greater outdoors riding has given me something for the arena , and it also has improved my mares attitude towards the work she and I do inside. It balances her and is refreshing to the both of us!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Soggy trail days

I have been wanting to tell you just how much I have been surprised by my little Thoroughbreds attitude for things that, in the past, would have set her off and made her nervous to the point of not being able to listen and continue on our ride with calm or cool.

Some of our new trails run along side many properties that have hidden and sometimes, unhidden living and moving random animals of unknown origins.
To a prey animal, as she is in her world, these things deserve a "Look See" and a snort. This usually sends the little furry, bear like living blobs, a scurrying away!

Here is the only one I could capture...all the "Ewok" looking ones, that blend in Perfectly to the forest, ran faster than this little one that is like LISA'S Latte- only with spiky horns!


But these are not what gets her Goat, they after all, being goats..... It is the underbrush of some of our new trails.
These are small horse trails, maintained by hooves only. They are so beautiful and green yet, since they are maintained only by hooves upon them, they grow very quickly to be hidden trails.

Over the wintertime the local riders seemingly stuck to a few choice trails and I am now discovering all the rest, that loop and go between Forests lands.
I am not sure of the plant that seems to cover all our woods...but it's leaves are larger to receive light and for the life of me, I have a difficult time seeing the way to go.

Here is where my mare and her MareGPS has come in full force!
While I have a difficult time following the small obscured paths into the deeper forest; Washsahse now puts her neck down longer as she travels. It has really made some beautiful muscling definition! I just make a long bridge with my reins and let her travel the unseen to my eyes trails, as she is looking intently where her hooves are being placed ,along the forest floor.

I am so proud of her..she used to be very nervous with ANYTHING too close and-OH MY- Don't let anything Touch her!!! NOT now.

This red ribbon marker was a very welcoming sight this day, as we headed back...or...er ...a...I thought we were heading back! I can become disoriented in these new surroundings because there are sooo many choices for direction, the trail splits are numerous. I had put about six markers on branches and that is a lot of turns and trails...so...
I just about Yelled aloud-OH YEA-as I spotted our little red trail maker!!! After traveling for longer then anticipating in the Deep greens, It was a welcome sight!

I use red on the left as we head out to symbolize a seaman's term" RED RIGHT UPON RETURN". It has to do with the water channels ships and boats use in rivers ; the ocean being the place you return to.

I have new reins and endurance stirrups that have turned out to be excellent purchases during the NW Horse EXPO this spring..
The reins are not leather,they are thin grippy rubber, which I have to have during my wet-muddy outings to go with my either Bitless or halter bride , that are synthetic and won't ruin in the Oregons rains, that have hit -full force -these days. The reins also have clasps attaching them to the bit. These clasps at the rein ends makes getting off and needing more space between the mare and I to rearrange downed tree limbs on the trails easier...she dislikes it when I misplace a limb upon her body or she gets yanked with me working hard at moving something.

We also did something new for us....we practiced side passing. Me on a log, and she side passes over to me, so I may easily return to the saddle. It is going to take practice, as this was only her 2nd time.
These are my new Reins...and Old gloves! Wa looking down with her neck low, looking for the trail. Don't get dizzy watching..I almost did .

video

As of a day ago, we discovered that we may ride out from the paddock, pass through the 80 private acres of "Sherwood Forest" like grounds and go to the end of the second Tree forest(which I am making a new trail through the woods near it) cross the road...effectively getting us to trails we used to trailer to..now this is fun...endless fun!

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