Thursday, June 30, 2011

She's With Me


I have to share something that really made me smile on the inside and out~

While the mare is still not offering to come to the gate when I call to her and sometimes, like yesterday, she actually walked away and went into the "deep cover zone"  as she saw me enter the  field. Something about these  changes has me endeared more to her. It gives me more chances to get to know her and identify and acknowlege her.

I laughed when I saw her there, hiding in the thicket. I stayed on the outside of it, looked in at her as I beckoned her to join me. She actually made a move towards the center of the trees, like she may come through them..it made me chuckle at the jesture.

Here is what she did that truly warmed me, that I have not thought to ask of her before.
 I had joined her inside her deep cover zone,  rubbed on her face and jaw, which she really enjoys . Then, I simply asked her to follow me on out to the field. She willingly followed and soon, I was walking beside her toward the gate. I had the halter and rope around my shoulder, as we strode the ground together.  With my hand upon her mane she had her nice, swingy walk going- that made me fall slightly behind and move my hand to her wither. As I picked my way on the path to the gate, she kept her neck lowered not pulling  away or even hesitatitating.

It felt so cool  walking  that way with her . . . She was definately WITH ME!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mare's timing

The mare changed her stance.

 While I still had to go fetch her from the far reaches of the fields, she actually almost walked me to the gate( more normal) and then onto the inner courts of the stable area.

He was standing there. I am calling him my own "stable name" of  Reddy". Its a RED horse I fell in love with,as did "JIMMY" in the book
called : " THE RED ROAN PONY", by Joseph Wharton Lippincott.
 I am sure it was my sissy's book. It is tatterd and worn. It has but one drawing of the Red Roan colt
and his dam, standing over a meadow looking ona herd of Elk. The mare is a grey and looks
 to be a TB. She was being transported by train and got loose to join a herd of Mustangs.
 It is
a facinating story, and to my young  pony crazy girl's heart, I dreampt of having such a relationship with a horse! Jimmy in the storey was my age, at the time I read the book....Written in 1934.
 So, " Reddy horse " at my stable was standing there, as close to the gate as he could get...looking all peacefull and likeable, as always. My mare went to t urn, as I had asked while closing the gate..then- she did it..she turned and LOOKED AT HIM full on, and then she   s  t  r  e  t  c  h  e  d  
out her neck as long as possible, to keep her body from moving any closer to him.  SWISHY,SWISHY her tail was going to beat the band...but NO noise of a squeel,  or reach of a hoof in strike, did she offer.
They touched not, but it seemed that she acknowleded him as not so scary red horse..he had been promoted to, "I'll allow you to look upon me Red horse".
Better it went while grooming, I asked for the normal direction,( her backside to him) she gave it to me and also, she moved and centered with a point of my finger towards her chest and barrel.I treated her and then I also turned her to face him again..she was good.


This mare's timing seemed to pay off...letting HER choose the time and place, instead of me creating the meeting, the meeting availed itself .
Whew..feeling better with THAT!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Barn Sour

                                  I am hiding...you don't see me and either can THAT other horse!


This Sourness (the mare is having ) is  NOT what you think normally about this topic.It has nothing to do with riding off property, or away from her boarding herd.
 I have had some pretty bad behaviour with a "Barn Sour" mare-  ere now, at the former barn. She loved her herd and it's handsome gelding Romeo, and Alpha mare Panna. They  have shared her life for the past 5 years, on and off as we have ridden and camped and boarded together.




But this "Nappy" behaviour is NOT what I speak of now. No, my mare's sourness, continues for coming into the barn! An altogether weird occurrence that coincides with the  Red horse of doom  arriving, and my mare coming home from our beach trip ,to have him stare at her.



 He is actually kinda sweet, very needy, maybe proud cut as I heard he displayed some aggressive behaviour towards another gelding. WHATEVER the case with him...my mare, she simply is un -nerved and it is NO FAULT of any one's and I am dealing with it best I can..it is NOT dangerous, just severely strange to have my mare not respond to me the way she does normally...by meeting me at the gate to come in, or slowly walking down the long hill, away from the stable, as we ride off property.
Now, she actually wants to trot down the hill! At least I know her saddle won't slip and it does not cause her any pains!
 She also  is choosing to go all the farthest places away from the stable in her turnouts to hang in and at the quickest, most forward paces to leave the area, as we ride. I am blaming this frantic behaviour on a recent lost shoe. Her turnout buddy herded her and ran her off recently in the back lot turn out. And she tends to run as she gets turned out there as well.
 I suspected that area could make for overreaching and ripping off of the EWshoes. It is not the first time a horse has overreached and pulled a shoe there.  It is sinkhole city and uneven.NORMAL for the winter we had and the grounds that got mashed with 1,000 lb horses! The  plan is for grading it and graveling it...yea!
I LOVE MY PBO's for how conscientious they are!
Less mess for retrieving the horses (wintertime)and less chance hopefully, of the overreach situation.

 I noticed a gouge in her heal last Monday, and put some protection on her...'cause if she is hitting heself in the heal, she may also rip the E.W. shoes off!
I use BELLBOOTS for just this reason. Well, oops..someone thought I forget them on her, and took them off. She is ripped one of the E.W. shoes off by the time I got back to the stable, after the work week. BLAST!
Last year, in 3 sets of shoes, this never happened, thankfully...but the terrains were very even and flat where she was, plus I kept the BELLBOOTS on her always for the protection of overreaching.
 Her hoof wall did not look bad, as I called the farrier to reschedule the shoe to be reset, the farrier had asked that question.

Today -SUNDAY- I got it reset and went out for the first ride since last Monday( when I actually wrote this post...was waiting to see if anything ahd changed in the mare's attitude for the barn- NOPE) Procede reading and nothing has changed...sigh...they dislike whom they dislike, just as we do.


I did an experiment  with the mare, after I finished my Monday Ritual of making her feed grain packets up for the coming week, and  then, after I  held my sissy's mare Pantz, for the new Barefoot trimmer we found for our two mares, I got back to my place to find...the mare hiding...wayyyyy in the back of her run. She apparently has muddied it up good  by running into so much! She would not come to me. For the second time, I trapsed back through her muddy place, brought her in and cleaned her legs off, to put her leg boots on.  I decided to put the hot-tape up (making it smaller and therefore easier for me to reach her) in her run, so she could not avoid me... but I know it is not me, she actually was avoiding the Red horse of doom.
She stood...not allowing her backside to be towards him...look at how far away he is!


Hangover looking mare..not getting her beauty rest!



I again, had to groom her facing the opposite direction...there is something wrong with this picture...the nice rubber matting  is NOT under us!



She was very pensive..showing me that she did NOT like her backside to him....



 But,  when I turned her to face his way, she relaxed , snorted and sofened her eye...and that was what was needed to continue.



....no amount of time, standing in the ties was going to change this.. human reasoning of "let her deal", may get her hurt as she wanted to flip around to avoid him. Common sense made me just turn her, so she could see him. She snorted relief,  and so did I!



Look left, look right



For me, it is not worth picking a fight ..those I choose -so I may accomplish a  move forward with her trust and willingness. I know her well and this kinda thing will just have to settle on it's own, without me FORCING the issue.

We went out to ride, the normal way...she wanted to trot..I allowed her to, if she stayed lower relaxed. She was in a nice self carriage, on the buckle. She wanted to trot down the hill too..but I did not, so we walked at hyper speed.

Walkin' kickin' !!!!

video


Once on the road, my experiment of "lets see where she goes" started and...I was impressed that she was so long and low with her back under me... so-we remained on the buckle.
She  was wow-so moving out in the kickiest, swinging  walk ever!  I decided to influence by body weight only, and not picking up the reins. As I  looked down into the woods left..she went there. Then, looked up the road, she went there. I LOVE her sensitivity to  my weight and slight bump of calf. She went all the places I "looked" to go plus-all the places she normally does not wish to go...farthest away from the stable!

We stayed out for some 2 hours..doing this..and I can say- she would not have asked to come home...A bit sad truly. But home we did stride towards, eventually.
Again, she asked to go an opposite direction once up the last Long hill..we did so and came in on the opposite side of the stable-still, the mare being somewhat reluctant.
 Funniest thing too....she was so en rapt with looking ahead for the Red Horse (even outside the fence line) she and I were taken unawares...when A bicyclist announced himself, as he glided very stealthily up behind us!! She paid him no mind, as he whizzed on by..I laughed and she kept her focus.


 I am not sure(when?) she will get over this ultra vigilant behaviour .Though not many, if any, can see any difference in her-She always tells me the truth!   As someone asked me recently..."do you talk to your horse?"  Yes, not in common language, but by a horsey sort of lingo of subtulty and stance. The more important thing is to me is: my mare talks to me, all the time. I hear her language, I see her language..it's is so obvious to me!
 Lovers of equines learn this  language ~from their own.

Sunday Selections Random Lovely

. . . Of course, according to my taste!

                                                       Something lovely from mom's garden~


Lovely, sleepy mustang


Lovely walk to see then Oregon City, Willamette falls~




                                                                           Lovely to my heart~



Hoped you enjoyed!
Please do go on over to see our hosts photos at Frogpondsrock and the rest of those that are sharing in the fun~

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Easy Walker horseshoes

Last year I tried, on the high recommendations  of my freind Sydney over at  "Bitless horseblog"- the "EASYWALKER" horseshoes.


While I did not care for the Shoer dude that set them, for the very inconsistent results each time...it was not the shoe but the shoer's problem. So, after I had had them set on the mare three times last spring to summer, they were removed and I knew I would have to find another to administer them for me for this year.

I loved how the mare responded to the nice grip on pavement, and she was oh-so-willing to step up and move out! The integral pad, gave me peace of mind too...protecting her sole, as we trotted and  galloped the rocky roadways of Forestry service ways to trails. The rocks are not the small gravely ones we lay in paddocks, driveways. They are huge and can reach the sole of the horse, even with a normal shoe on. I was recommended to have the pads left on the shoes, and solepack put in, for bacterial retard and concussion purposes.

 Loved this shot, with the prettiest  flowers behind my mare's legs. If only the shoes were RED..it would make the shot of our signature American colors! It was the first day of the shoes and we had a fabulous ride,  as the mare strode out nicely with no- fear of bruising herself!


So, in a few week's time, I will have had the shoes on the fronts for 6 weeks, and the resetting apt has been made. Just in time for horsey-outings planned to terrains that are hugely rocky--all on their own, without human interference!

The mare's hooves/with E.W. shoes  have become a study for THERMOGRAPHY outcomes and EASYWALKER horseshoes.  The barefoot trimmer( um, yea, you read that right) I have, that set the Sports Medicine Horseshoes wants more to offer her clients, since hoof boots are NOT always the answer...I know!
So she and the Thermographer (my own horse therapist) have taken symposiums together through the vetting world, on hooves and correct trimming for horse's leg and overall hoof  health. They are in this together...to find the  healthy  answers and a conclusion on the E.W. shoes.  I am excited to be able to supply them with my TB mare example for the study.

Will keep you all apprised of results as they happen.-oh, that reminds me , I must take photos of the wearing process for this week! So far..the duct tape makeshift shoes, for the hinds,  have worked out pretty well...but I am investing in the Duct tape Co. now..so I am looking into "RENEGADES" for the mare too. Thanks for the feedback for those.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sensitivity to Change


I am still enjoying memories of meeting/riding with my new friend
" HORSEMOM"  above, on her QH  mare Cassy.

While she had mentioned that her mare was able to go ahead or behind and was pretty good overall- as we got closer to the weekend away together, I worried about my mare's attitude for the change of having new horses. And a PONY around, humm,  she can be somewhat frantic about making herself clear and  I have learned to expect her to make her opinion known to all new horsefaces-don't mess with me!

My mare was totally GREAT, aside from the antics she pulled when Romeo was not wanting to move, and I asked her to go on and she bucked ..that was NOT related to change I speak of. Wa was just great with Cassy..and never looked sideways at her. It was breakthrough stuff. But then, she does love a horse that knows who they are, and doesn't make a fuss over her.

Now here is something that is currently baffling me ....do tell me what you know or think about this.***

I try to notice what gets my mares ire up, and usually, it is CHANGE. She and I share this confounding emotional bond- to not liking the unannounced wind of change.
For the record..this is not day to day normal changes... now that would be down right controlfreakish weird! I am talking about much larger changes..the ones you take time making- because they should take some consideration of facts and feelings and ramifications involved.
..anywho...sometimes, even when I know change is coming, I go through the loss feeling of what will be lost in the differance, with the new thing appearing. My mare, She gets told by me (you tell your horses things too, right?!) that something will be happening, and that does seem to make things smoother.
 But, I had no idea that there was a change coming when we arrived to "homestable" from our 9 days away -WOO-we got home and IMMEADIATELY the mare was on her upright stance of something's new going on!
We walked into the stable, and through the back door we saw him at the same time, a new horse has arrived while we were away.


No matter what I did to console her, or to  get her attention..she lost it and could not listen or stand or even turn her back on the horse- that was outside! I put her into her stall and run...she ran down to the end frantically.
I set to unpacking from the beach trip...and came back to check on her every so often. She absolutley would NOT come into her stall. I knew I wanted to ride, she had had some time off since our return and it was a fabulous day.  I needed the time out in the woods,  and now, I thought, SO DID SHE!

My PBO came into the barn from a ride shortly after my unpacking had begun. While I longed for a solo calming ride I said, "Wanna go for another ride?" She answered," YES, I will ride Willow."  She has 2 Paint horses an often rides them consecutively.
Now- what was I thinking??? Another NEW horse to Wa, as we had never ridden together, save last year on the beach. We had  been trying to ride together and had  planned some rides, only  to have something come up each time.

 Okay, my mare does see and smell  Willow, so she may not be all that new...but with the way she was right now, I did not know how it would go. I was  game for it as we MUST ride with many different horses and get a handle on this freakish behaviour, to some extent! PLUS, we have plans in a month to go on an all  STABLE OUTING to an INN near Joeseph, Oregon!

I had to groom the mare facing backwards...she would NOT stand with her back to the outside-WHERE HE WAS, this new gelding. Ready to go, my PBO was closing the gate and I walked on ahead, to mount up, out on the trail as there is a makeshift mounting "thing" there. I was maybe rushing  somewhat, to get on before my riding partner got there...I totally FELL OFF that stupid D----?!xx*=+X#-! mounting thing...ripped up my right shin and turned my left ankle (it is ALWAYS the left ankle) POP it went and I cussed something fierce...but somehow, she did not hear me - good. I don't like to loose it and have anyone hear me be profane.
I just got on and lumped the pain...at least my ankle would be steady in the stirrup.
Wa was jittery and jumpy. I thought it was the new horse but later, as she and Willow settled so nicely to trotting and walking next to each other- it was not her my mare was unsettled by.
AND...***check this out***...as we were headed back home an hour or so later, approaching the long hill home, my mare took another direction. Eventually, we went up that hill, but as we neared the top, she slowed and wanted to stop. We got to the top finally and she turned the opposite way! Away from the barn and a way, by the way-she dislikes to go! And then, turning towards home again, she ACTUALLY TURNED, and went BACK DOWN THE HILL!
I dismounted and walked a reluctant horse back to the barn.

I arrived at the stable yesterday and could NOT see my mare anywhere. Horses had been put out in differently (normal) but I thought, she'd be with her turnout buddy...I could see him clearly. I set out to find her...I thought maybe she was in the far corner of the front pasture..I walked into Maddy's pasture to see the backs of both turnouts she could be in...I called a few times. I noticed Maddy shaking all over..it was a drizzly, cold day from having 80 degrees the day before..that is turing out to be normal for this year..one day warn/nice/next few crap. I knew I'd take her in to fleece dry her in the stall, but I had to find my mare first!
OH! I saw her finally!
In the farthest reaches, of the furthest point, of the back pasture ( am I getting across here??!) She did peek her head out of a fir tree covering...
these are all phone camera images


She always runs to the gate when I come. Not this time! I had to almost pull her out of the field...HE WAS STANDING THERE ..watching! I had to tread all the way to her, getting thoroughly drenched, to find her standing shivering too. Big changes in weather and personal environment. I would take her in and  put her fleece on to dry her.

Here is the SCAREY NEW HORSE~


When stuff like this happens I get concerned with her water consumption. She wouldn't come into her stall, the day before where the water is and out in the field, where she is, the water is closer to where HE is. I tested her skin recovery. This day, it was fine and I also noticed, she had consumed plenty the night before, but she pooed all over her stall and not in the customary area.
 She is clearly  UN-SETTLED with this change to her environment.

My ankle and leg were really hurting so I decided to just allow the fleeces on the mare's to work drying them off, and let them warm up with a flake of hay. I cleaned my salty, sandy tack more, from the beach rides last weekend. I also watched the little video I took  of Wa  mare in the arena as I had thought she may like to roll before she went to stall. She did roll then trotted about and was really forward,  as if someone was asking her to move out.  Hind legs and front legs extending forward. Really pretty stuff. But only at the FAR END of the arena. She would NOT go down to the end where HE was, just outside the walls!
*** SO I am wondering how long this will last, her pensive, awareness. As some friends and savvy horse folk have told me..it may be permanent he could be proud cut and study..so I will just keep her away from him and hopefully, she will settle into trusting her environment again , and be calm and settle.


I noticed this Robin's egg, as I went to fetch the mare in. Springs "New Life" is all around finally, though the sun is still too shy. Hoping that your weekend activities are full of smiles and family times..and of course...horses!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet you at the Beach


New friends Shasha and her son G~ on their very trusty mounts,
Cassy mare and Barney pony.

After being reined in for almost 3 weeks time, due to Voluntary lock down, the mare and me were finally released to leave! The beach  was calling to us to come play, the trip was planned months ago. And now, the weather was FINALLY condusive for traveling and riding at our favorite GETAWAY- the  Bay Ocean House!


Tillamook is only an hour 1/2 away from Portland but it is 7 hours from Blaine Washington.  SASHA, from "Horses and Boys" blog and I have been conversing for some time over a meeting at the Oregon Coast with her family and NANA. So she and I made it happen. I am so happy that she trusted me to come so far!

She had her horses vetted and a "HEALTH CERTIFICATE" was issued, certifiying them healthy and safe for the state crossing...and onto some fun-BEACH RIDING!  Horseback riding is plentiful there at the Tillamook spit, with the Bay road or dune trails and of course, the sandy shores next to the waves.

Arrival after such a long drive!




Early on, as I booked the dates for the B.O.H. Gem, the owner of the Bay Side Vacation rental  had asked if I wanted to have company. Of course! Since she is one of my favorite riding partners-who am I to say no?!!
I trailered her trusty mount Romeo, and treated her to the traveling pleasures of being a passenger. "Co-Pilot" in this case...her calling out, "Clear", as we navigated the short way through town- to heading- out of town.
  Also part of being "Co-Pilot" one is in charge of "Travel Snackers duty".   No need to explain that one more!
My mare was delighted to not be alone in the trailer, since her lead mare Pantz, was not going this time. I missed not being able to ride with my sissy too this time. But, it  just makes for another  horsey beach trip, later on this summer!

"WOW- I feel pretty amazed", I said to Adam, Shasha's husband, after i was told how long it took them to get there.
 " I am impressed that you trusted me that much to come visiting!" They has viewed the B.O.H. web site and thought it was a good risk...plus  he said, " I knew my wife liked you and trusted you,so I was in". Awe!
Well all I can say from here on, mostly through photo's...I adored the family and count them as mine now..and NANA, you are a treasure!

A horsey welcome party!


Hey boys, come see the creek!





The other PURE GOLD treasure find of this Beach trip was CASSY MARE!  She was level headed and truly wonderful for Sasha...as they walked to the beach for the first time ...and disappeared into the sea of yellow Scotch broom.......


Barney pony, her sons G's mount -was not detectable!


I couldn't resist this common behaviour from Romeo, he has eating on the brain at all times...even over fully coming out of the trailer!



We completed readying the horses  and were off~




We followed  them at a large distance, to detract from a group  processional, keeping my mare lower key... though, she still was amped up. Gem and I took our time stopping frequently to de-escalate the adrenaline. But, as we neared the final Mountainous hill of sand dune, that lead to the beach shores...WHOOSH- A-HUGE- HANG GLIDE- KITE flew up..and so did  our horses heads and energies!!
There was another smaller "whizzing" kite there too...that was making flapping noises as it flew to and fro. In all the times we've been to this beach with horses...kites have never been seen by us- Helicopters, goats, boats, dogs, bicycles, elk, backpackers and tents...we have navigated them all..but this new addition....!


Cassy mare, she was a super star!
She had never seen the ocean before and the kites were there as well...


CASSY MARE stood at the top of that dune waiting  for  her side kick Barney and took it all in. Then the two equines  went fourth onto the beach!


OUR horses, as they heard the fluttery noises of the rather huge, "hang glider like" kite - were a bit freaked out and Gemma announced, " Okay! Let's take another route!" That was dandy by me. If Romeo goes bonkers (and she felt it coming) my mare goes with him!

We did go back towards the Bay and then took the road along it, to the next beach trail to the sandy dunes. The breeze of the ocean felt so good when we got there!



It was neat, as we hit the beach-there was SAHSA and CASSY!
So cool to see her at our Oregon coast on her lovely White QH mare!!



We rode for a short time together, and then she left us to go back to her son G., on Barney pony up the beach from us with the family. We had no desire for the kite direction this first ride on the beach so we went the othert way...
We discovered that something was definitely Wrong with Romeo.


He would not walk out and barely would move at all, with out trying to bite his one side. He also had been licking one of his feet earlier, I told Gem, as I had seen a small wound, near his coronet band.  She had tried to put some ointment on it, before we left and he raised his hoof so fast, he gave her a fat lip!
She also had a new saddle on and the girth did not fit him, as well as the design and placement of it. We decided to hand-walk the horses back the bay side mile, to the trailers. Good call.



The mare seemed happy this day with her new saddle..though she was a bit "Buck-y" on the beach. She was really round and it  felt really, really different to us both, at extended trot and canter.


Pretty great pattern here!



We discovered that the issues with Romeo were due to an abscess- that was blowing out....and the girth placement of the new saddle.
Bute, cold  hose treatment,  Epsom salt soaking, then standing wraps were the immeadiate remedy.



The chain item on his leg, was for him to not paw my trailer bumper off!


As the horses rested from the beach ride we settled into some relaxing too...in various forms...

...by me, in seeking out the plemntiful scenes to photograph...






... and watching these new freinds, enjoy themselves!

 The boys G and Little L had FUN, FUN, FUN by the fireside in the yard that eve, with us  right along with them in Toasty marshmallow antics!






All our cares melted away, during the stay, near the Tillamook bay~



Loved every minute of being with some new- true- friends and my Gem. The times were so packed, I defineately did NOT get the one on one time with Sasha I wanted...but, that may be coming later in the summer as we talked about a family camp out trip, with us meeting somewhere in the MIDDLE of Washington. Sounds good to me!!



Sasha and me took the  mares .... down to the beach for one last ride, before the family left. Romeo was healing up at home with barney pony to comfort him. The mares were really great...but as we got to the beach, it was hilarious. ...they statrted to snort and snort and snort...we determined that they needed to move and trot.



So we did trot....made some tracks as we enjoyed the wide open freedom the beach offers~ the tide was coming in so the sand was somewhat deep...it helped us to hinder the mares forward ambition- a little...


As we trotted aways, we then began to canter...then as I moved to the harder surf near the tide...we ripped! I was slowing down and there came Cassy...ripping  it up. Wa mare was so shocked, she matched her in speed quickly. Sasha was begining to ask her to slow down...I got my mare to release her speed and soon, Cassy did too.

After that "all out"..those mares were just angels...long necked and calm. It really was a relaxing blast to be riding the sandy shores with my new friend, and her beautiful mare!


Following and leading my mare was "my perfect mare" this day, redeeming all other times of anything else!


Heading in from the shore, we again were engulfed in the bright sea of yellow!



Untill we meet again, I will treasure the times...
And Sahsa, thanks for the gallop!
My mare may have met her match...for the Quarter Mile at least!
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