Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Busy, big surprise

I hate how this always happens. I always go into the quarter with these high expectations of having plenty of time to play with my horses, and somehow the stars align against me.

I've been working with the project mare to prep her (and I) for the one day horse trials. That's taken up ALL of my time. I think I groomed and lunged Bijou twice last week, that's it. I'm going to make her a big priority next week, because there are a few local schooling shows that have walk trot equitation classes! I think I could be ready for that, or maybe even a hunter under saddle class, if I really work at it. That's my goal, is to do one WTC flat class this show season. Maybe maybe a cross rails course in the fall, depending on how busy I get over summer.

I shopped online and bought a few things, smartpaks full of delicious (well hopefully) nutrition to make sure we're getting off to a good start from the ground up. I got something with Omega 3's, pro-biotic, joint maintenance, and an overall vitamin. I also bought some fly spray, grooming tools, and other goodies that needed to be replaced. I lost my saddle soap! So I obviously needed another one... my boots and saddles look VERY neglected right now.


1. Gather up all my junk, sell off stuff I don't need, and organize the rest. (find missing items?)
2. Buy feed that Bijou will eat, so that when the supplements get here I have something to put them in
3. Get on Bijou at least 2x next week

Monday, March 22, 2010

Long Time No See

Phew, finals are over, spring break is here in all it's sunny glory! Time to work some horses.


It's an issue. I've contacted a few local trainers for an evaluation type thing, have to see how that pans out. She got away from me by wrenching my arm out of the socket when I was looking for a lunge line in the tack room and went galloping all the way back to her buddies. Frustrating.


Has been getting better. She's stronger and more fluid in her trot work now, it used to be so unbalanced and she'd just... wiggle! There was no straight line anywhere, and the tempo/pace was all over the place. She's still got some buddy issues, and it shows when we head in the direction of the pastures. Every time we go down that side facing her pasture mates, she wants to pick up the next gait. It helps when I'm looking for a transition, but really annoying when I'm not. She's also really started to get the one leg means move over, two means go forward thing. I can gently pat her left side, and she'll move right, and vice versa. It usually takes a few efforts, and she does a really funny over-reaction when she doesn't want to pay attention. I'll nudge her side and without any warning, all of a sudden she blows this huuuuge kick with which ever hind foot is closest to the cue. I'm working with getting her attention first, then cueing, which seems to help most of the time.


We had some fun with balloons. I got a few for my b-day and immediately thought "ooh what fun to make the ponies play with them!" I know, I enjoy this too much.


You want me to get near those things?!?

"But won't it eat me?"


"Oh, I guess not... Well aren't I silly :D"

And then we went and had a bath. She's really not this glossy, it's just I'm too lazy to wait until she's dry to take pictures. I think she's gained weight, not enough, but some. I think that little bit of grass has been helping, don't you? :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


F$%& I Never Actually Learned This S!@%

I really want to post, but I will delay until tomorrow. I just can't post when I should be doing my reading. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pulling back

I knew we had a problem before, but it's just gotten worse. The last few days I've gone out, I've tied Bijou up to solid tie rails with good footing around them (short grass or rubber mats/dirt). She's wearing a triple thick nylon halter, I've done up the buckle so it can't break, and now she's ripping through 8 ft cotton leads like floss.

Today I 'triggered' her by walking up, picking up a curry, patting her on the neck, and beginning to curry. I got to a spot on her ribs, where I've brushed a hundred times before, no signs of discomfort or anything, and all of a sudden she's ripped through the lead rope and gone spinning the other direction. I calmly go grab her, tie the lead back together, and re-tie her.

Second time, I pull the saddle out of the tack room, walk over and set it on the tie rail about 3-4 ft away from her. She's fine with that part mostly, a little put off by it, I can tell because she leans back and gives it a little of an 'eye' and I stand there and make reassuring sounds at her. The reassuring sounds somehow don't do it for her, she hits the end of the lead, feels trapped? and then YANK off she goes with the other half of the lead dangling. This time she got so caught on her hind end, that when she snapped the lead sideways she slowly fell on her side, sat there for a second like "wow" and then got back up and started eating.

There've been a few times where she didn't pull hard enough to snap anything and ended up finally releasing and 'getting it' that if she just quit there was nothing to be afraid of. I've tried working on the 'head-down' cue but she's really tough. It takes me wrapping the lead under a leg and leaning on it in order for her to respond the first few times. Then she'll do it a few times, and all of a sudden we're back to square one. I release the second she gives in every time, but with this she's just not clueing in.

I'm really worried about this! I don't want to hurt her, or have her hurt herself. I try to give her the best footing I can so she won't flip, fall, slip etc. I don't like using methods that let them get away so I don't want to use baling twine. I've thought about getting a blocker type tie ring, but they're expensive and I don't know if it would work. I'm doing some research, any tips would be great.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Barn New Barn New Barn!!!

We moved the horses to the new barn on the 27th, they went out into a halfway pasture with their pasture mates next door to socialize safely with a fence in between them. This pasture was one the other horses had already grazed too, so there was less grass for them to pig out on so there's less chance of laminitis/founder. They're still getting fed oat/alfalfa hay once a day too (and might I add LOTS of it, Bijou had 4 flakes waiting for her after her ride such a nice change!!) so they're getting plenty to eat.

Everyone seemed to take to the pasture just fine and Bijou buddied up with the other mare out there right away. Monday we went out to do our first ride, our tack is still all in the trailer until everything dries out a bit.

Apparently our tying issues expand to cross ties as well. There were three very open nice cross ties which we hooked the horses up to, I went to get my tack from the car and came back. While I was brushing off mudd on Bijou's belly, she tried to kick at the brush under her belly. I gave her a verbal no-no signal, and tapped the brush on her back leg, trying to tell her that was not an acceptable response, she way overreacted, pulled back, and wrenched her neck around until the velcro cross ties gave up. She turned around and munched on some grass while I grabbed her leadrope. I don't know what to do other than find a tree to tie her to.

After that, we had a very eventless lunging session, followed by a nice wtc over poles and tiiiiny crossrails lesson. She's learned that jumping isn't always necessary and that trotting over the crossrails is definitely easier. I don't know if I should be letting her just trot things, or encouraging her to always jump. I like that she's calming down and just picking up her feet, and that 18" obstacles are not intimidating to her, but I don't want her to get lazy when I show her 18". Any opinions anyone? I'll have to do more research into creating an eventing/hunter horse and see what I can find.

On a seperate note, everyone's been doing the beautiful blogger award and telling 7 things about themselves, and I've been anonymously tagged, so here goes:

1. I've been riding since before I was born :P . My mom rode in a few 3'6" jumpers classes when she was 6 mo pregnant with me. Secretly I know this is why my love of jumping comes from :P

2. Bijou's name was Jane (seajanequickly is her registered name) before I got her. I couldn't stand having a bay tb mare with a plain name like Jane so I found the most unique one I could.

3. I've lived in NC, FL, and all up and down CA. I don't have a favorite place but NC has special memories because I bred Quarter horses and gained a lot of my horse skills there.

4. I love the sound of horses eating, I used to sit backwards draped over my quarter horse mare Heather's rump just to spend time listening to her eating.

5. I knit things. And Crochet things. It's been a while, but I might get back into it soon. I love fiber arts.

6. I have a problem with deals. If I think that something is an incredible steal, I buy it. This is how I ended up with two 'free' horses.

7. I'm in the process of trying a few new more natural ways of doing things, like barefoot/bitless/and full turn out. I love to hear everyone's thoughts on these new technologies (or anti-technologies?) so if you have a blog that talks about them, let me know.