Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Mondays...are more Monday than others

Ooops... This morning, I accidentally poured the coffee beans-right-into-the-filter!
I am just having a more Monday blogger friend Gail's was yesterday, with the toilet roll-
want a good laugh and weigh in on your preferred way-see Gails day HERE!

Sundays at the Stables - First time in the Saddle

Our days have been extra cold and wet in though we were hoping to get to ride in a saddle today...we had to optimistically do some chores first, and wait it out!
Jo has been wanting to help around the stable more and learn the ropes of stable management too.
So, since my PBO was out of town and I was in charge of the 2 steeds that did not go with her, we set forth in cleaning the paddocks and stalls.

Danny Boy is a special horse...he never poo's in the stall! he goes outside to do that is kinda cool!

It was windy and raining-on and off- we discussed all the things we may do inside. I was secretly pondering how to get my friend in the saddle...even if just for 10 minutes.
She groomed the rather dirty Danny horse and I showed her how to saddle fit. 
The particular English saddle we were going to use, was deemed this winter-NOT to fit Danny- but since his shape has changed with his diet now fits fine. I showed my friend where to place the saddle for the horses' shoulder movement and also how to make sure it did not rock but has- even contact -under the length of the Panel .
Though ( sorry I forgot to snap the shot) it was REALLY sitting incorrectly on him. The Pommel  was raised, and would throw any rider behind the movement of the horse.
 I put a "Cashel "riser pad under it, and did the CHAP STICK TEST...
see the tube sitting there?
The riser pad made the saddle more level, so a rider may sit balanced, with their leg under them.

So, by the time I showed her how to bridle and saddle a horse..the weather looked a bit more inviting!
I lunged Mr. Dann- man for a short time...finding out the terrain was not so good after the weeks heavy downpours. 
Yet, Knowing that we were just going to walk and get acquainted with the saddle today and maybe the reins too...I proceeded in the less than ideal area for a beginner.

She was so happy to be on the horse again!

I had her hold onto the grab strap at first and it was sooo awkward...she looked as though she may roll off Danny..I could tell that she felt very insecure!

We practiced dropping her stirrups a few times, and regain them...that helped tons with her legs. But- the terrain was so UNEVEN, and Dann was really undulating to and fro! ( Now, that I have had a week to think on it...good for balance at the walk!..don't think I feel comfortable trotting her there though!)

She picked up the reins, after a few rounds....
I love how Danny Boy knows that he has two masters at his point!

Jo, I don't envy you that there is SOOO much to take in!
 I told her many things, as they came up as necessary and making sure you have a direct line to the mouth , from your elbow- through to the bit. I took the reins into my own hands near Danns' mouth, while standing there, pretending like I was the bit. I had her close her fingers and take up contact with me...and illustrated that she is to treat that contact- like she has hold of Danny's lips.. 
She was excellent with light hands...though as she was thinking of her hands...
therefore-she looked at them!
Very common!

(notice how her leg became more essential for balance, after she took up the reins.)

So then, I taught her (told her for the first 5-6 times on this circle alone!)  to look 10 paces ahead, and the essential body language it does send to the horse.
This lesson, many riders revisit through the instructor's insistence, each time they have a lesson...I know!
Where you look is where you intend the horse to go..... therefore thinking it firstly, and accordingly, the body does send a clear message to the horse!
 Your core weight shifting , signals the horse as the sleight movements of your legs and hands, as you turn your shoulders into your seat.

We practiced this, after she became more confident, by doing serpentines within the circle.
 I had her choose a spot( 10 paces ahead) to begin the inner spiral. As she came closer to me, I told her to pick the next destination and she'd spiral out again to the outer circle.
She did really well!
Looking ahead and using her core to turn Danny Boy!

( I reiterated the hands being lower and a direct line to Danny's mouth several times...she'll get it- as she discovers the concept of the hands being independent of the body)

It turned out to be an excellent lesson!

Next time we meet...I will either have a Western saddle for her(they had all been taken out of town with my BO)  or use my Deeper seated, dressage saddle.

DISCLAIMER ( any one that trains and knows far more than I do...Please, feel free to add suggestions and whatever you will)  I am NOT a professional trainer- and lack much finesse towards this area, forgive me. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday Stills

This weekend for Sunday Stills, ED our host, choose COMPANY or CORPORATION Logos for us to display in photography. 
The above is my Horse's popular therapist's Logo...this was on her shirt as she worked her magic on my mare.

Our local paper

And my favorite...been waiting to share this one. My Must Ride Monday's partners husband works here...they just remodeled a building I went to as a child for the doctor-  into-our City Hall!

Please do click the TITLE to see others captures of Co. and CORP logos today!

What is lurking in the woods?

The mare and I have not been out too much in the past week... just once or twice. The last ride was to a friends arena for some reviewing and testing of the Nurtural Bitless Bridle, my friend Jules EQUINEMINE lent me to try out.
But, the time before that...I wanted to try out the New EasyWalker Shoes on the trails...slick, mucky riding as they are, with torrential rains the Pacific NW is having still! tired of cold, grey wet!
( I know...somebody call the WA-mbulence!)

We geared up in the Bitless and I finally got a girth that fit the  "Western Converters" I got for the
 "Cashel Soft Saddle" is nice to use on wet rides, instead of leather -though I do own a Cashel Saddle shield

 The Latigo always made the SoftSaddle twist( no tree) to the side I was cinching..and the mare hated that! This way, I may cinch the saddle on either side, making the girth equal lengths. are saying 'bout now...I could own stock in that Co! 
I just love gadgets that help make riding easier and more comfortable!

The mare was very happy and walked out to the service roads with ease still...with her new shoes. Once on a straight away, the mare was responsive to my thought for a forward trot, nicely  relaxed and low, we  trotted all the way to the first hill. I asked for a bit of lateral movements as we trotted. I am loving the fact that she is not hindered now by foot pain, should she hit a always kept her hollow instead of relaxed.

 Wanting to practice canter departs now, since the mare is alot more focused and forward .. I started thinking about it, at the walk. I  did a lateral pass to the right, and then started to think lateral to the left and "Thought CANTER"> And She offered it= as- I -was -thinking- about it!  WOW! I was thrilled, as the left lead is much harder for her normally .  She being a very sensitive sort...My sissy taught me to just think something before a formal action..and it does work your body mimics your thoughts and any more action would be yelling- for this mare!

We made it to the woods and took the rear hoof boots off and ditched them in the ferns. I  Found a log to remount, (no stirrups) jumped on, and we went off...but..snorting ensued- and the mare looking around alot!

What is it, Wa mare?!! 
I tried to do my "Trail Opera" singing..but this was different.....
I noticed more markers on the trails...BLUE RIBBONS on short stakes or branches....

 I finally saw what the SPOOKY culprit was!
LOOK AGAIN AT THE TOP PHOTO! See the Orange Thread???

Whoa...I am getting older, yes, and My vision is starting to go...but man, those were so hard to see! My mare obviously had walked through 1 or 2 of them before I noticed the Precursor Signs of the Blue markers! 
I laughed heartily... thinking of the PRINCESS BRIDE movie and the Fire Swamp hazards....the "POPPING NOISE" always preceded the Fire blasts!

So these stakes with Blue Ribbon  were our sign for the incredible-elastic-spider-web-like-string!
I would take my long dressage whip and fling it back to me, and then break it...but getting it OFF MY GLOVES was a trick!

Wa mare always stopped and snorted..pointing to the string with her nose!

So, it was an interesting ride to be sure...slow going, as I had to watch for the signs and clear the way of the Orange elastic strings!
The EW Shoes made the day excellent slipping!

On the way home, I noticed our little backwoods country road was freshly covered with Asphalt over the pot holes!
Wa mare looking at me like.."now what?!"

I got the chance to thank the workers too...on the BEST KEPT Country road I have ever driven on!!!
They told me that I have the Secretary of transportation to thank...she lives on our little road and has built a fabulous house(I have noticed it before- more like a mansion!)
I picked a good road to board on! 
Never a pot hole goes more than a Mo!

I am now hunting a good truck down= to BUY= to be able to trailer out to ride this summer..those strings mean our forest will be closed for tree cutting soon!

Have an excellent time with your families and of course, Your horses this wkend!

Monday, May 24, 2010


~ from barefoot to hoof boots to EASYWALKER horseshoes.
The TB mare has pretty tough hooves for her breed. It
could have alot to do with she was bred for stability. Her TB Dam was sound and never raced , her Sire was raced but retired early. He was solid. My mare has never raced and has been fed a low sugar, moderate protein diet. She has only had STEEL shoes once in her life at age  3, just to have had the experience and to be well behaved for professionals.

The first few years we rode mostly in arenas....nicely manicured and soft footings from sand to hogs fuel and some just plain dirt.

.... but we would venture out to trails with some "Easyboot Epics" on the fronts for the rocked footing of the horse parks near us. They worked okay...unless we trotted . What a pain they were...cables and gaiters and OH, what a pain they were!! We did that for a year or so  till, she completely ripped them off, everytime we went out!

I then tried the "Easyboot Boa's" . They stayed on but were CLUNKY..then that cable broke..and I tried to replace it to save money..and my husband tried too..NOPE, out they went. Then I tried "Old MAC G-2's"- Another clunky boot that would get wet in our Oregon Mud, stretch, then  twist .  Once the mare tripped, because of them and fell on me coming up a very uneven trail. OUT they went!!

Beach riding is about the most perfect place on earth for barefooted horses...but I can only do that maybe twice a year. Plus, if I wish to ride the Bay side of the places we go to at the ocean..that requires boots too!

So basically, our riding terrains call for Hoof boots rains making for softer grounds we have in Oregon. They make for softer hooves when we go to the trails and  graveled forestry service roads- we have to ride upon here- in abundance. These rocks are more like small boulders, and it is necessary to protect the hooves.

 LAST YEAR~ 2010~ I found Sydney at "Bitlesshorseblog" and she introduced to me another alternative alternative method to boots. "EASYWALKER" horse shoes. They are made of a shock aborbing Co-Polymer material that flexes and concusses-almost as much as a natural hoof would. It is the closest thing to natural I have found for the health of the hoof and leg of the horse. PLUS...they don't slip on pavement. I like that.

After trying the shoes out and liking them so very much for the riding I do, I wanted to have a BASE LINE in Thermography done for the mare before I reapply the E.W. horse shoes. I also wanted to see if there was anything to know about my hoof boots.

My mare seemed be be telling me about them.
Every so often I would catch her grunting going down hills(with the protective boots on) or she would do a "Stringhalt" walk, in the hinds.

The THERMOGRAPHY done after only 2 rides with the latest hoof boots I found to try- "CAVALLO SPORT"- the results of them on the mare...not good at all, and damage would ensue if I continued to apply them to Wa's hooves. I felt terrible that it was this bad!!
 Below are the results. My image is NOT as defined as the real image..I took the photo of my Equine Therapist's camera's view.
RED HOT what we saw from the hoof boots!
Need I say..OUT these go too!!!

 I have contacted the Cavallo folks describing my results..the owner did write to me, and today she is to call and we will discuss what the Thermography findings were, and the mare's obvious discomfort wearing them. I am also happy to report- my investment of $126.000 will be refunded by the Co. ! ****Though this result may not be the same outcome for you and your horse
 Please be careful of Hoof boots that extend above the hoof!!!

One thing I credit  the EASYBOOT folks for is that they are accountable to list "mileage" that  any given boot is suggested to worn for...because of these problems of restraining the horses natural movement and gait with the taller boots- being restrictive in design.
The trauma to my mare was  not only at my mare's fetlock/back pastern area, it was in the front of her leg as well, in the muscles that lift her toe. I am so happy I have a Qualified person to help me discover  I may have injured my horse-unknowingly!!
 Of my entire mare's body...this was the only RED HOT place. She would not allow us to touch it.

I have been cold hosing and applying cooling therapies to the mare all week...she seems to be healing and regaining a normal stride.

She was very sore, while wearing the boots the day before on the second walking the point of lifting her legs unnaturally so.  I had to take the boots off midway through he ride and strap them to the breast collar, to ride with me homeward.

I am waiting to have the Easywalker horseshoes set again upon my mares hooves.
I have found a barefoot specialist that used to be a farrier. She has agreed to set the shoes for me. I anxiouly await the the muddy spring of Oregon has softened my mare's hooves to the point of no riding on our trails at this point.
Below is the Post from last year's first applications of the E.W. shoes.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAN-  have I waited soo long to ride like I have -not a care in the world- meaning: knowing that my mare's feet are not being hurt and I don't constantly have to look down at the hoof boots!

 I normally  have to make sure that the hoof boots have not twisted, or flown off. They are too expensive to loose! And not to mention...having to pick and choose where I ride as to the depth of mudd,  and or steepness of the hills. No traction with the hoof boots.

AND...untill today...I did not realize how upsetting and bothersome the boots had become to my mare too...her slipping and groaning, and balking at hills....always pensive.

Today, it was so different! 1 day after the EASY WALKER HORSE SHOES application. We strode familar sloppy trails..and my mare was NOT apprehensive! That was HUGE!

I now look at the pile of OLD Boots I own ...much stock in Easy boots(that were NOT easy!) and Old macs-EB Boa's....Cavallo's...
You can say the past 4 years have been me trying my darnedest to remain- barefooted- and fancy- free.

Well , that was not really it for us...though-for a TB- she has excellent hooves!
 My new Farrier dude took hoof caliper testers to her make sure she was not tender and to get a read out on her personally.
He was well pleased, and noted that she had excellent heals and  good concavity .

The mare took to the new shoes and walked confidently upon her gravel paddock.

FUN stuff that I have not been able to do at all with my hoof what We did together Yesterday....
I had my NEW GOODE RIDER Couture Jean Breeches on, and we went for a spin.......

See VIDEO Posts below~


This was amazing...
My mare  has NEVER been able to really gallop well, with the much clunk to them . This gallop...was so different. Really smooth and even jumped a log!

Walking Confidently on the pavement!

We tried out our NEW EASYWALKER HORSESHOES Yesterday....we like em! No more slipping!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sundays at the Stable ~ Bareback ride

I was so excited to meet Jo last Sunday for our horsey day! 
It was going to be an On The Horse day...
I met her at her home, in our city.

Danny was practically ready to go...I had ridden him once that week, and he had remained pretty clean !
The two said hello's, and readied for the  lesson I had planned- a bareback ride!

I lunged Danny boy in the freshly tilled earth of the work area paddock ( THANKS to my PBO!) made a huge difference in his work ethic and focus!
 3 to 5 inches will do that...too much work to make extra moves that are not asked. He remained straight and on line- in contact.

 Jo mounted up and and situated herself on the saddle pads, behind the vaulting surcingle.

I was just in heaven...knowing what an exciting moment this was for my girlfriend...getting back on a horse!
We both are so thankful that my PBO will allow us to do these things, under her guidance, and with her wonderful Danny.

I apologized about the Surcingle, it most likely would leave some marks on her..I know, I took vaulting classes . But, the nearer to bareback experience,  is what I wanted her to have before the saddle.
I told her to not grip with her legs...hang onto the handles of the Vaulting cinch, pulling yourself into the horses movement.
She made a neat connection,  as I described how to achieve a relaxed core, as Danny horse undulated  beneath her. She takes yoga and could see the lines- inside her head- for everything I described!
 Very Cool!

I mentioned weighting her heels, and riding pelvis before shoulders and she really sat nicely through all the transitions I asked him make. I was so pleasantly surprised..she did it all, quite naturally so!

I like to use a verbal  precursor before transitions to the horse. by saying an "AND" word, and hand motion forward or back.. upward or downward. Jo know knows these signal too as I gave them, I asked her to always take a breath and then to" Breathe It OUT" for Danny Boy to feel, as he responded to my downward cue. Therefore connecting them.
 Any horse I have worked, gets to recognize simple visual cues quickly and we then sometimes, I remove the words- save the "AND". I then  KNOW I have full attention then! 
My sissy taught me The "AND" is like a lunging half halt,  preparing the horse for the next cue.

( NOTE-I did not take these photo's while lunging...I took a video, then made some stills)

LOOK at Jo's smile of I was going over the video for the best sections to make the stills from...I caught this tender smile of joy on her face...then Dan decided to stop..and it quickly became intense again...but I loved seeing it through slow motion!!!

What an awesome day!!! I have repeatedly called Jo this week apologizing for the bruises(I know she has) . She assured me that she enjoyed every minute, and they really were not bad!

Again, she treated Dan man to an apple after the session... he appreciated it!

A good day!  Ending in the country.
Looking forward till we go again.....

 Next  time (this wkend)...we take care of the horses needs, while the PBO is away...and hope that the weather clears...for another a saddle and maybe off property!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Reflections

Riding out last week, we found this cabin..and 2 more horses appeared!
Click the title to see many more reflective views!

The Lone Riders

This sunny day was about as perfect as you could get...upper 70's and in the shade-oou la la!
My PBO and I  had gotten going earlier than we thought possible start-on the road by 8:30ish  with our horses, to get the C.T.R.F. customary "foot in the stirrup by 10am." It was a planned  ride through O.E.T. (Oregon Equestrian Trails) and C.T.R.F.( Christian Trail Riders Fellowship) as well.

( this gal had the European Brender up trailer)
We knew  this scheduled ride in Howard's Horse Camp at Silver Creek Falls State Park, would be hopping with horses ......
We embarked to find- only-1 other horse the appointed  foot in the stirrup time!
My PBO  and I were a bit keen to the fact this little gal and her Grulla mare were looking lost...heck, we were a bit baffled one else was showing up for this beautiful Saturday afternoon scheduled ride!  We befriended her, as we all tacked up, and found this was her VERY FIRST ride with O.E.T. and also her first time to this  equine friendly State park!

I immediately  started my photo journal for the day by introducing myself and mare and snapping some "hello's" of her sweet Mustang Maggie. She is a Kiger. 
I really love the dorsal stripe!

I thought the other blue stripe on her halter was perfect..I am into details  and she just seemed to fit that blue tone.

We all were ready to go...but still no one showed. We invited her to ride with us and I am so glad that she did!
I took the lead, which is customary for the mare and least at first.
Later we traded by doing leap frog with the positioning. Very good for all involved
(I have photo's to prove it-tehe!)

The mare and I know these trails to have some we booted up with the Hoof hopes they would stay on! Just 2 more days till my EASY WALKERS are applied!

We got down the trail just a little ways and had a little prayer of thanksgiving for the exquisite day, continued safety and our new riding friend!
My PBO was riding her 20 year old Morgan mare Panna.
 Panna  gave me my start back into horses 6 years ago.

Romeo had an unexplained illness earlier in the week that had my PBO upset. She called at 10:30 pm...I  listened , told her I th9ought she should call the vet, then quickly dressed and drove out to the stable support her. I would hate to be alone should my mare be ill! Romes  was really weak and lethargic, not wanting his hay or grain(NOT NORMAL)...she took his temp and it was 102.2. He would lay down..not trashing at all..then get up, after a time. he did not appear to have colic from the signs we looked for and the vet said to give him some Bute. That helped within an hour and he wanted hay...but I suggested she (vet as well) make a HAY TEA and try for moisture feeding..needed to make sure he was drinking.
He urinated  very brownish...and that scared me...kidneys? I cleaned a jar up and  told her to carry it with get a Urine sample...she got one! She took it in the next day. Nothing but health from that-whew- he steadily got better and the vet said that he may have had a toxin or virus. Huh...I am suspect of a few things.
So...all that to say Romeo out and Danny out for riding...
the mares it was- for this day!

Our new friend and her mare fell in behind me~ as we started out

About an  hour riding, then the boots just would not stay on...too much debris and mudd! So I got off (took the boots off and toted them on the saddle)we rested the horses some- ate some snacks...or tried to!

That for me??!!

We mounted up the sunshiny day.
This was as close as I could get with my mare, to the new mare...oh..she made all kinds of faces and gestures!

Panna, on the other very good about business, she stays indifferent

Down the trail again...but not before reading the map!

These trails are pretty well marked -on site- as you go, as well as offering a paper trail map, when you come into the park.

see here... trading places...

A wonderful thing about my she knows not to take liberties with new horses- too staying behind Maggie was with out fighting!
We had a  bitless bridle on, and that always makes for a smoother ride, as well. She just relaxes so much more.
We came to a lovely creek and watered the horses some...

With out her boots mare did not make a fuss about all the horses coming in behind her to the creek!

On down the last part of the trail...

We did all get off, during an extreme hilly areas.
 I always do it for my mare..she hates the saddle moving and I need the  exercise  too...she allows me to walk on the aside of her while I steady myself with the stirrup leather..I love how she has gotten used to this and never runs me into the brush or goes faster than I can.
It was kinda neat...Our new little riding friend decided to follow suit, and dismount as well.
I hope we imparted some loving kindness towards our horsey partners to her...we do it for them... definitely not for us. 
Not many riders will dismount to spare the horse.

We sat around, after the ride, in  the grassy shade of the day...

It was perfect!!! 
New friends and sweet horses to boot! I am gathering some nice horses to ride seems to make a huge difference to my mares attitude and ability to remain calm...she takes her cue, from the others!

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