Monday, August 31, 2009

The running water effect

While riding in the Sandy River last Friday, the mare who has never relieved herself while with me atop, had an unusual response to the water flowing under her hooves.
Too funny. I am glad she decided to finally do this action...I knew she had to go, and had gotten off several times already. This was one local, I would not dismount for her. She decided it was a safe spot, even with me aboard!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some more things my mare has taught me....

....about me!
We Love Acknowledgement of honest efforts made !

Being an ultra sensitive mare, she loves and needs concise and fair communication. Through repetition of this kind of communication, she gains understanding and then can trust a request I make, to yield a consistent response she may rely upon and rest in. This normally gains her relief from an aide or a high praise or treat for being willing to try. She loves the acknowledgement of her trying to please, I love to reward her for the smallest of efforts. It is looking for the communication measure that works sometimes.

I too desire honest efforts from the people around me in mutual respect for our friendship. Give and take and easy going is great! Yet-I do require a yea to mean yea and a nay, to mean nay.

Once we have an understanding and acknowledgement of who we are, fitting into the scheme comes easy by known- set standards, we both can look on in ease, and relax~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some things my mare has taught me

My Mare is always Happiest....when she is Chewing!

Since the first part of ownership of my mare, I have kept a running tally- in- mind- of all the ways she has taught me about myself. She too, is very sensitive. She is all animal and instinct. Me being human, I have reasoning thought and intellect and free will.

I have been amazed at her language to me, specifically, as we both have been abused. My lessons are numerous and I have so grown to understand her much more and appreciate her efforts as I accept my own inabilities to cope sometimes and move forward. These are very valuable nuggets of information. I often apply them in my life, with other humans!

While I could make a list of 20 or better- of the funny ways she teaches me about me as she tells me about herself...I want to savor the lessons at a time.

(Obviously..I started with one of the funniest ones..oh! I need to loose weight!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Therapy Riding Therapy

That is what this week is all about...therapy.

My mare had her therapy session first thing Monday- finally! She has been indicating -very loudly- in horse language that certain area's of her body were sore and needing attention. She was most definitely out in her Ham strings from kicking the electric fence off her legs. There also were some Different areas of need I have not had to have homework on, in the past. I always look at it like this when it is something new...that we have moved on past what was hanging us up before. So, it is good to me that new area's need attention, we are doing new things all the time. We also did another saddle fitting with my new dressage saddle and my standby Jump saddle....and....the jump saddle is too tight for her! She has developed more in whither area and the signs of tightness are appearing, in the form of tiny white hairs. I have only used it once weeks ago, since I had it reflocked..but the downhills really made the mark on her. Time for the rubber mallet!

So, since last we met here, I came off the mare in a hurry, as we passed by a tree that is leaning into the trail. ( == NEWS FLASH==About that tree. My Barn owner investigated moving it and discovered that the thing is actually resting right on the power line!)

Maybe there was something to that explosion and not all bad horse action-?- Anywho... I have been able to stay home and around the house mostly for the past 12 days. Ice on the ankle and heals with elevation with some the 3 times I HAD TO GO SEE WA! I brushed her and left again. I was actually able to lunge her twice by the end of the weekend. She did better than usual and seemed to really enjoy being able to do something with me.
She was very good about walking ultra slow, as I hobbled along. She'd look at me, in a kinda knowing look as she stop and wait for me to get slightly ahead again, as we went down the driveway to the open field, the first day. The second day, above, we were joined by my PBO and a friend clearing a tilled area, in prep for a round pen.

Then, my "MUST RIDE MONDAYS" adventure friend called and said, "I am bringing a horse for you to ride..let's GO!!!" I could NOT pass that up and I requested to ride Mr. Mustang Cazi man. He is lower to the ground and a solid ride. Simeon is only 4 and can present one with training issues here and there...and I just wanted to see if I could even ride, at all yet.
We went to some nearby trails in the Molalla River Corridor. They are kept up by "Oregon Equestrian Trails" group. Very well marked and groomed. As we arrived a bit later in the afternoon time, the four horse trailers that were there, left. We had the entire acreage to ourselves!

Cazi took very nice care of me, as we followed his- Bay beauty- pasture mate. He was smooth and inquisitive about things...but not spooky. I just loved the way his multi colored mane sparked in the sun, behind his adorable Carmel dipped ears!

We came upon a MOVING MOUNTAIN OF........

Mr. Simeon was not too sure about this mound of moving, living structure!!! There were soo many of them everywhere...pretty cool really..if you were UP-on-a-horse-and-NOT-on-the- ground!

I have to tell you...the surprizing thing about riding was>>> It did not hurt at all, and the absence of pressure on my heals and ankle, WAS therapy in itself!!!

THANK YOU CAZI...what a wonderful horse you are. You made me totally happy and someone is really-REALLY going to enjoy being your partner someday...wish it could be me!

As for now.................................

My mare is having a kind of time -off-therapy too....... she is LOVING her new huge field..and getting used to staying out 24-7 again.

Looking forward to walking down the trails again soon, with my Equine Venturing partner!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Very nice to be thought of here

Thanks to my friend over from "Baba Yaga's Mirror" I am delighted to accept this sweet and thoughtful award!

It comes at a most appropriate timing for me! Thanks my dear~
Please do check out her horsey space and read up on current safety measures ...I definately Will be reading up more on your safety info!

Monday, August 10, 2009

No mistakes in it yet

I want to quote from a favorite Movie of mine,"Anne of Green Gables."

One of Anne's mentors told her, "Tomorrow is a new day, fresh, with no mistakes in it yet."

I have always liked that thought pattern...a do over for the day you may have had or, the way things have gone or are going. The Bible has the original version from which all others follow-..." do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about it's own things. Sufficient for the day is it's own trouble." How darned true huh! Stay in the moment and in the time that you have ...which as we all know is >>>RIGHT NOW!

Okay, this is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad! Another favorite saying of mine. So, For now, I am just staying put, healing and doing the minimal...maybe not even posting, since I have a quest to tell good news and the irregular and off news I share makes me want to share good news all the is a kind of pressure I put on myself here. SILLY me!

All the same, I do believe I am in for a break..Like Dear "Grey Horse Matters", I will be perusing your writings and maybe not adding any of my own, for just a spell. You know me...I won't be gone very long...I love ya's all!
My husband just said to me, after proof reading this...."Sometimes, I find that Just taking a DEEP BREATH, feels like privilege".

Time to Chilax!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I am thinking. . .

. . . That this riding adventure with my strong willed mare is taking us back to an enclosed arena for the winter with accessible trails.

I was dislodged AGAIN yesterday....and after a very nice session in the tree grove, consisting of long and low, light contact walking, to collection- without trotting in excitement by the time the reins are drawn up. Asking for trot from the long and low position without raising the neck or head up, but keeping the contact where it is. Upwards and downwards transitions on contact without hollowing or becoming an accordion, without air.

We even practiced some very nice collected walks to extension, every 8 strides or so. She was really fantastic and listening to my core movements. I had tons of audible praises for her and also her fav...the wither rub.
We halted, and she allowed me to square her up with only a "tickle "of heel jiggle on the side of the offending leg. We backed off my seat and repeatedly made the corner around the trees, as I simply looked to the next one to circle.

Though she was very unnerved and looking for the exit towards the barn for the first 20 minutes, she settled down to be a relaxed mare for me.
I think she is still very sore from her fence tangling of last weekend . Since the owners husband did NOT debrief me on the details...I have no clue if she went down or kicked a certain hind leg for 10 minutes or???!!! I have an appointment for her this Friday for therapy.

As we started, She was holding her breath and grunting, as if walking on I knew I had to be light and relaxed with not too much happening this ride...pain is a recipe for disaster! I was going to keep this session to a minimum anyway, since I have not ridden Wa since last Monday and she refused to go down hills, I know she is out and I have been giving her massage daily and stretching her as well.

We had finished and I wanted to cool her some..I should have gotten off to do this.....(Should of -Should of-Should of!!!) but I decided to walk to a trail head across the street and then turnaround and go back to the barn. She balked...I persisted, and finally got off her and smacked her butt, making her go into the trail, which is up an embankment. She went up and in. I remounted, turned her towards home and as I lifted my foot and leg away from a close tree at the trails entrance...she just flew up and up and down the embankment...I was still in the air and then suddenly--on the paved street, on all fours- OUCH! As I watched her fly down the driveway, away from me..I got up to feel this very unusual burning in both my heals and ankles.

I knew I probably landed on my heals then to fall forward. She ran for a moment, then came on back...I was in the direction of the barn after all...She looked sheepish and slowly walked to me as I asked her to with my arm motion. She put her head to my feet and we walked...well she walked, I hobbled back to that trail head...normally, I would get right back on. I could not. So I sent her into the trail a few times and asked for her to come out..just- one-slow-step-at-a-time. She amazingly, did exactly as I asked and with no rushing...even when I asked her to stop mid step on the embankment...leaving her hindquarters in the air and fronts in the ditch..she stopped till I asked for another step.

Seems like I can't be too mad at her...knowing she was sore, I asked too too much...but, I fear, the pattern is set now.
I have to have an arena..she can not be allowed to get away again + with no one on is getting dangerous for me as well.

I called one arena near some trails..they will get back to me after they contact 2 folks about winter boarding again.
I will call another today...the one in the pictures . My only fear is...I do not think there is turnout..which may lead to her misbehaving in the arena too.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Cool and Refreshing times

This is what we experienced as we rode the 13 + miles around Timothy lake. We'd go up into the shaded mountains and then down again to the Lake waters edge.... It was soo cool & wonderfully refreshing!

On Monday last, my new trail bud(s) came to collect the mare and I for another trail outing. We are now calling these times, " MUST RIDE MONDAYS" . I am so thankful for my new trail bud(s). Since I am a bit stranded at present, having trailer and no truck(yet). This newly found close friend, has been such a joy to get to know...absolutely no hidden agendas and all heart. She has been yet-Another Major Blessing-to me here at my new Private facility.

It makes me think of "Lori of Skoog Farm"...she asked me, after the last barn fiasco..."Now do you think things happen for a reason?" A resounding YESSS!!! And not all because of good things that have been the fire tends to refine the soul. The trust I've gained in God's ways+ the new growth /discernment, are priceless. Not to mention the quality folks that have been provided my heart, after dealing with the opposite.
It was a Very early morning for this not-too-good-a-sleeper. I had to be ready , with mare in hand, by 7am.
My mare was surprised to see me, instead of my PBO. I got the wonderful "nickering-neigh" from her, as she anticipated her breakfast Oats and such. I hung out while she ate and groomed to be all ready when my friend drove up..then....
Off to get Simon, her young mount that I rode for our first Timothy Lake outing-last Monday. Then, jet over with the 2 horses to pick up another friend and her little Paso Fino. We decided to drive the paved roadway up to Timothy lake instead of the very rutted, unimproved roadway that is shorter(but is it..for the slow travel?) We had a near death took our breath away and we almost stopped to regain our composure's.

A Illegally loaded log truck came around a corner over the friend scooted the truck and trailer over to avoid him..and just as we all thought to praise God for the safety and time we had to anticipate moving comes a single LOG- placed sideways on his trailer- because of it's length, RIGHT FOR US- IN OUR LANE!!! We all gasped...hearts stopping for the few we looked at the small red hankie, dangling from it's end approaching the windshield.

Just as we drew our breath again...and reopened our eyes.... realizing,it missed us by inches. I tried to call 911 to report it...and the signal was not available. We barely talked but had a profound sense of awe, that we were spared the freak accident. It made a very DEEP appreciation cover our time, up on the Mountain.

If you read other West Coast blogs, you know that we here in Oregon, had a weirdo Heat Wave - with temps into the 100's. I did not even know if thistrip would be cancelled...turns out my new trail bud is as tenacious as I, and it would take much more than heat- to make her cancel!!
I LIKE IT! ( I hear Jim Carey)

What a great decision it was to go too! Up on the mountain in the shade of the mighty trees there, and down near the watery splendor of Lake Timothy, it was about 20 degrees cooler! And with the slight breeze we had..The best place to be on a Hotter than Hoowee day!

We endeavoured to travel the entire loop around the lake, which turns out to be 13 miles or more. The mostly flat and almost rock free trail goes up into the trees and then would come down to the Lakeside again. Often crossing the many water sources contributing to the lake. There is no mud to touch on these trails , but we did deduct that- you MUST have a steed that can and will cross MANY various bridge structures.

The first bridge we encountered was the worst for wear...there were some rather large nail heads rising up on one side and I thought to dismount, to make sure my mare traveled the side of the bridge without those.
BOY was I glad that I did that too...halfway across...some rather loud and fluttery foul..probably ducks...decided to flap and run right under the bridge as Wa was above them! I did not want to look back...but kept going and from the sound of Wa behind me..she kept an even tempo and did not change her speed. I was soo proud of her..she did not rush me, but kept her head.

A training trip right from the start..lots of new things. I am glad to know that my Wa mare is seasoned...not too much phases her..or if it does, not for too long as she does trust me.
It was too funny too, at one point on the ride, as the 2 young geldings were in the lead position and beacme overly pensive. My mare became impatient with the stopped action in front of her and this time, instead of making her hesitate for them to regain confidence over the sight of some rather large, scary grouping of stumps, I gave no cue to hesitate behind them and she indignantly passed them up!!! No notice -whatsoever- to the stumps that stopped them! We all cracked up...the "Trail Boss Hoss" & matriarch mare leads the way !

About half way aroundf the Lake, we dismounted at some hitchin' rails made for this purpose, to go on a short walk to "Little Crater lake". A boardwalk took us there.

Gorgeous! The Crystal clear aqua mountain waters, of about 34 degrees!! We splashed and got refreshed. I took some grasses back to th mare thatbI had dipped in the cold water.

We then remounted for the rest of the trails. We were up in the mountains and as we came down, the mare here, is looking intently at our next bridge, on the trail below the boulders.

Here are some of the other bridges we crossed..some like boardwalks...very cool.

In between mountain trails that took us to the hills, the trail would soon again go down to the waters edge. It allowed us the perfect timing for taking the horses in to cool their hooves and legs and drink up.
I brought my has a string attached and and 2 clips. You clip it to the saddle and when you enter the water, you unclasp the secondary clip, the sponge falls into the water; You reel it in and bath yourself and horse !

And thought I also brought the Cashel Soft Saddle too...but decided that- this trip around the lake- with no stirrups- was not even an intrepid riders gig.

Though Next time, I will wear it on Wa, as she really got into the water stuff..she would dip her whole head in and blow bubbles! I did not detect reluctance to go in deeper!!

Getting back to the trailer again...we all cooled off!

Next time, I will go all the way in and swim with the mare! She really did seem to like it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Macro Monday

Having a heat meltdown yesterday..I thought to Mist everything that was wilting in my garden. The little spider came from under a leaf quickly, right under my nose! I just had to put my camera where my nose was and shoot!

If you Are a fan of Sunday Stills~ Macro Monday is another conception from our friend ED. Please click HERE to meet him and others Close Range Images~

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Stills Fences

This adorable and scenic fence runs along a boardwalk up at Timothy Lake, Oregon. It leads to a place called "Little Crater lake". A completely clear and very cold 34 degrees, watery pond. We tied the horse's to a hitching rail , designed for this purpose and took the short walk to the pond. Another Fence border kept us from peering too far over and ending up in the drink. I am sure that all the rails and beams are from trees near this beautiful location.

Please do click the title of this post to visit others fencelined photo's!!!

This Morning, as I was about to post for Sunday Stills- Fences...I got a call from my Barn owner's husband, that my mare had gotten tangled in the fence! OH!!!

There are proper fences for horse captivity and unfortunately, they have chosen to keep up the fence that is not so good...I paid the price today, with horse flesh-off my mare's legs. It could have been much worse and I am thankful that it was NOT! We spent the- hotter than blazes- morning into after noontime creating a
"Buffer zone" fence between the horses out of temp posts and electric tape. That will do the job. The mare had no desire to investigate the accident area again as it "bit and shocked her", this morning during turnout.

ARRGGGG...someday I shall own my property and install for ~safety first~
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