Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finally found a place

I finally found a place to board Cody. It's further away than I'd really wanted, but the people seem really nice and there is turnout and places to ride. So this means I am can finally finish making plans to ship Cody. I used uShip to get bids from shippers and was able to find someone to haul my nutty pony from one corner of the country to the opposite corner for $1500. So the plan is to haul him here mid-January.

The barn is about 16 miles away, but it's going to take 20-30 minutes to get there. But I plan to head there after work 2-3 evenings a week and then on weekends. They have a round pen and an outdoor arena (I haven't really seen any covered arenas around here, not quite sure why). I got a really good feeling from the place when we stopped by there on Saturday. We showed up unexpected (were out to drive past a few places and we saw people so thought we'd stop and get out) and they were in the middle of getting ready for a holiday party for their boarders and lesson kids. She let me wander and look around a bit and then showed us around and told us more about the place. And after all of that, she invited us to stay for their party! Sadly, we couldn't stay, but I thought that was really nice. So I am really looking forward to having my horse back!

I've been at my new job for 2 weeks now and it's finally starting to get interesting. I actually have a job now where my job title is "programmer"! It's fixing bugs and doing modifications for a company that has a software program that airlines use for tracking maintenance and engineering for airplanes and parts and such.

Bummer thing about the job is that I have to wake up at 5:30 to get there on time! Since start times are an hour and a half apart and in differing directions, I am riding the bus to work. It's all of a 10 mile commute but you put that in city rush hour traffic (and the fact that I am riding a bus) and it turns into a 50 minute commute. I find the nice thing about riding a bus is that I can totally tune out the traffic and just read or look things up on my phone.

Sadly, I've dropped my poor cell phone twice in the last week and put some significant cracks in the screen. Luckily it seems to still be working. Hopefully it will make it through to summer so I can get an upgrade.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How could we resist?

We went to Ikea today because I had a coupon for $25 off our purchase and it expired at the end of the month and we could really use desks (2 people and one desk just doesn't work very well). Had a productive day and had lunch there (yum meatballs!). On the way home were gonna stop by a store to grab some soda and it happened to be next to PetSmart. Went in to look at the cats that are always there for adoption. Walk in the door and there are puppies. I haven't had a dog since I was five. Somehow we came home with this....



Isn't he cute? He is 9 weeks old, was born September 15. He is Jack Russell and Shih Tzu so it's going to be interesting to see what he ends up looking like, right now he looks kind of like a solid colored Jack Russell.

He is possibly in need of a name. The name the shelter had given him is Tommy and I'm just not sure if that feels quite right. Some other suggestions have been Pete or Charlie. Any other ideas?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

English Saddle

So while I was in Washington for a few days last week, I tried my old Stubben saddle on him again just to see how it was fitting. It's not perfect, but it fits better than the Wintec I tried on him for comparison. And when I got home to Miami and I've looked at the pics I took a few dozen times, thought I would compare how he looked in it now versus when I first tried it on him back in February. I do believe I can say he has actually grown a little, lol.

February 21, first time I put a saddle on his back





Tuesday morning, November 10 before heading to the airport


Now that I have found a job (I start Thursday) I get to have my pony shipped here in about a month or so! So now I am really looking for somewhere to board him and I have been getting quotes from shippers. Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with any particular shipper?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cody says Hi!


Mom took some pics for me. I am still working on finding a place to keep him that doesn't cost as much as rent and isn't a half an hour away. I miss my pony!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick Update

First, gotta have a Cody pic:


Mom has been taking good care of him for me.

I've been here for two weeks now! Starting to feel kinda of settled in, I've been to the local feed/tack store once. They looked busy so I didn't talk to anyone, but I'd really like to start checking into places. The hitch there still being that I need to find a full time job. My part-time job isn't going to cut it if I want to be able to afford Cody's board here. Either that or another part-time job. Will just have to see how things pan out. Right now I am just grateful that I still have my part-time job and I can do it remotely.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Off to Florida!



Okay, so I leave in a few hours to go to Florida. Not just for a visit this time, but to stay. Cody will hopefully be following in 2-3 months once I secure a job and a place to board him. He currently is tucked back in in the backyard where he looks up and nickers whenever he sees me come out the back door because he knows I'm a sucker and am likely to give him some sort of munchie (or just breakfast/dinner!). It's going to be hard leaving him behind for that long!

This summer with him was good. I got a good start on him with 30 rides. There would have been a few more but his back was getting sore.



I've had a terrible time finding a saddle to fit and if you look at his back he just really needs to fill out. I hope he does and that his back doesn't look this bad forever. From the side he looks good, but from this angle he is, well, all angles!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ride 23 - We loped!

I've been wanting to ask Cody to lope for a week or two or three now but was lacking the guts to get it done. My friend Diane (who owns the place where Cody is staying for the summer) was going to come out and be that extra bit of encouragement that I needed this evening, but something came up and she wasn't able to.

I had been riding him around the arena for a bit, he was trotting off nicely and we were turning okay and the thunder and lightning didn't seem to be bothering him. So I argued with myself and decided "you're going to do this!" and we started trotting a circle and I started asking him to canter. I've always kissed for a canter from the ground and he responds well. With me on his back he was just trotting faster and faster so we stopped for a moment so I could talk myself into following through. Off into another circle at a trot and this time I made a longer kissing sound and he figured out what I was asking and off we went! We cantered a few strides, maybe a third of a circle and I asked him to whoa and he did and I told him what a good boy he was. And then off we went to do it again! To top it all off, the few strides I did get tonight felt like it was going to be pretty smooth :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cody having fun in the arena

Well, I have ridden my pony 16 times now, he is doing really well :) Don't have any video of that unfortunately, but here is a video of him just kicking up his heels and having fun in the arena (got there too late to really have time to ride). It's a bit dark as it was late, but you can still sorta see, lol.

video

Friday, June 26, 2009

Proof I Rode My Mustang

Okay, so here is a short clip of me on Cody the third time I rode him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Finally Sat on Cody!

Okay, really quick, and no pics, but I FINALLY sat on Cody last night! It was to the point where I could lay over him and pet him and jump on him (from the mounting block) and whatever and he just stands there. So there was no one out there last night (in the covered arena) but I just couldn't stand it any longer and I draped a leg over and let it swing back and forth, just stood there so I just shifted my weight over (yay mounting block) and sat on him for a half a sec. No problem. So I did it again for a little longer. He stood there and I gave him a treat and decided I shouldn't push it especially since I was out there by myself. Tonight we'll do it again and most likely have him move, lol, but I will have someone out there with me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A good day for a picture

I have been so lax in posting lately. Will try and write more tonight, but I just wanted to share some pics from this afternoon. Cody is darn near shed out and the sun was shining and he was all shiny looking so I had to take a few. Three dozen pictures later, I liked these.


Brand side (what do you think, is there a dressage horse in the making hiding in there?)


Mane side


I just liked the look on his face, "Are you done yet?"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunshine

The sun is actually shining this morning! Nice to see a sunny sunrise.

I have continued to get up at 4am to go walking (am I nuts?) but I should use some of the time I have between 5 and 6 (when it's finally light enough to go out) to be updating my blog but I seem to keep getting side-tracked.

Let's see, last Wednesday Cody got his feet trimmed for the first time! After he decided the farrier wasn't a mustang eating monster (I was rather surprised at this) he stood there like a champ. I would have tried to take pictures, but, well, Cody wasn't exactly behaving when the farrier first approached (he was like 'get me out of here!') and then I forgot.

We've been working on standing out by the road and watching cars go by. He is getting much more relaxed about the cars zipping by in front of him. And yesterday we went for a walk down a quiet side street! First time he's been off the property since he got here in December. It was a nice relaxed first outing with no traffic (but still lots to look at) and he handled it well I thought.

My brother's dog, Isis (a rottweiler-husky mix) is here for a few weeks and during the day she is out in her kennel out by Cody. She sometimes barks at him and he'll step back but then he's right back up by the fence checking her out. The cats however (she sleeps in the house at night) are none too thrilled with there being a strange dog in the house. The first night Bentley refused to purr which is so unlike him. But his motor is back and running again.

This morning didn't have much time so I just put Taffy's old leather halter on him and took him out to snap some pictures. I need to do that again one of these days with my better camera. I thought he looked handsome in that halter (and yes, I need to tighten the noseband up a bit).


I should have taken his blanket off and adjusted the halter better for the pic!


Yum!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Quick Post Before Work

So I have been getting up at 4am to go walking with a friend on the east cost. The first morning I got up that early, I fell back asleep when I got home. After that first morning though, I felt guilty since he had to go to work and couldn't go back to sleep. So I have been staying up and once it gets light out I go take care of Cody.

This morning, we went for a short walk to watch cars go by. We will need to do that a few (dozen) more times! The first couple cars he didn't really care for but was able to just stand there and watch by the time we left.

The other success was that I got him to step out onto the road (he wasn't too sure about stepping onto that strange surface)! Definitely a case where slow and steady, rewarding movement in the right direction paid off.

I love being around horses, they have so much to teach about patience and sticking with something.

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday morning.

From Coyote Bay


From Coyote Bay


From Coyote Bay

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's been a week

Since I last posted, shame on me!

The week had mostly involved finding creative ways to exercise Cody as it had been wet and soggy for a good part of it, rendering my round pen (which I have yet to put footing in) unusable, ground was too wet to trot circles outside of the round pen either, so we practiced trotting in hand and I got exercise out of the deal too! Cody made a lot of progress being able to trot in hand this week too. He will now trot off nicely, instead of tossing his head and looking at me like I've lost mine when I break into a jog. He also stops as soon as I do which is just sort of fun to stop randomly to make sure he is paying attention.

Saturday (my birthday) was an absolutely gorgeous day! So of course I spent some time outside with Cody and what I decided to attempt again was ground driving. I hadn't really worked on it since he seemed a bit confused the last time I'd tried, although, thanks to Life at the Roughstring it sounds like he was getting it better than I was. So we had a moment of follow the pressure of the rope, oh wait, now there is pressure on the other side, and then I was able to get some forward motion and pretty soon he is trotting around with one rope going around his rump to my hand and the other straight from halter to hand (still don't have a surcingle or anything). We had some somewhat tangled moments when figuring out how to stop since he is so used to turning and facing me, but we got that mostly figured out. By the end, I could get him to make a few turns and trot off the other direction, all in all, a fun day!

The swelling has never gotten very bad from being gelded although the wound is still open and raw looking (but shrinking).

Yesterday, the ground was drier so on a bit of a whim (I was supposed to be doing something else outside but just sort of gravitated to Cody....) went to work with Cody for a moment. I had him trotting around the round pen this way and that, but he was just being a little skittish about me reaching out and petting him after I'd asked him to stop, which just seemed silly on his part, so off I'd send him again. This went on for a bit, and since it was actually above 60 degrees outside, he got sweaty! Hmm, my devious mind was plotting, what a perfect excuse to introduce him to the hose.... Luckily my mom was outside and kind of manned the water pressure as Cody tried to convince me he was just fine with being sweaty.

Hose with no water was okay, hose with a soft trickle of water, not so much. Okay then, take a look at it with your inquisitive nose.

"Oh, it's water? Well then, I want a drink!" (I so wish I had a picture of this but my hands were full!!) He was perfectly content to stand there drinking out of the hose for a moment but it took a bit longer to actually get the water on his shoulder, but by the end, success!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Round pen & relationships

Interesting day. I stayed up way late the night before so overslept a bit. So far I am lucky that Cody has never complained if he gets fed earlier or later than the day before... He got his breakfast a little later than usual, but not bad. Things didn't look all that swollen this morning so I just gave him his breakfast (since it was a bit late) rather than working him in the round pen before feeding him.

I was going to take a nap as I was still tired, but some motivation from a friend got me to go out and take a walk. I'm glad I did, the sun was shining and the headache that had been creeping up faded away. Unfortunately, not long after I got back, it returned and I did end up taking that nap so I didn't get near the things done today that I had wanted. And it finally took some ibuprofen for it to go away.

This evening when I went out to work and then feed Cody it was a nice, calm evening. Cody was feeling good though and was wanting to canter around more so than trot. Since I haven't done anything about footing yet in the round pen (and I plan to move it about 20 feet from its current location) it's betting a bit muddy. He just plows right through though. So around and around he went, enough that at the end, his chest was actually a bit sweaty! The cool thing though, is that he is willing to take a few steps in following me, both forward and back. And if I turn and face backwards like I was going to ask him to back, he tucks his nose and back we go, with no halter or anything on :)

On to the relationship part of the title. Not sure why I am writing this here as it's not related to Cody, but I wanted to write a bit and figured here was as good a place as any. So I have been in a long-distance relationship for the last approximately 4 years. Long story short, it was going nowhere and I said good-bye tonight. In some ways, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I guess I was more ready to move on than I realized. I think I am going to go get some sleep as it is after midnight, and will just have to see what tomorrow brings. (It was either going to be said in a voice mail or an email as he is hard to get a hold of, so I sent him an email saying good-bye tonight and so am a bit leery of his reaction).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trot work

I wish I had some pleasant pics to post tonight, but today was kind of rushed and the small camera has dead batteries (going to be getting rechargeable ones!) so no new pics today. He spent the day in the round pen as I figured he'd have more room to move about if he felt like it and he could nibble the grass. He was very cooperative about trotting his laps (not that there is any swelling at this point) and I even got him to eat a couple of treats. The weird thing is that after he's trotted a few times around, he starts sounding squishy where the hole is, it still looks pretty raw. But the vet said it was important to have that movement to keep the swelling at bay, so....movement it is. He doesn't seem sore or anything which is nice. Saturday he may get to learn that the hose is for more than just filling his water bucket so I can wash his back legs off.

I hope everyone had a nice day and at least had time to hug their horse today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Gelding Pics




One down (it's in a garbage can)







Any guys out there cringing?

Meet the new gelding

I woke up this morning to gray skies and rain. The weather report said it was supposed to taper off to intermittent light showers which thankfully it did! Dr. Zaccardi showed up at 1pm to blue skies and a bit of a breeze. He had his assistant and then two vet techs in training. One of the girls in training, she got to give him one of the knockout drugs and insert a catheter in his neck. Seems to be the trick with Mr. Itchy is to be scratching his withers when they are doing stuff like that, seemed to keep his attention off of what they were doing just enough to get it done, he didn't even mind getting his temp taken! (It was 99 by the way).

Dr. Zaccardi looked at his teeth and looked at him and he believes that Cody is a 2006 colt. So...he's a year older than the BLM thought he was and the funny part is that it makes him the age that I had actually been looking for when I went down there to begin with! So it looks like Cody and Steve Holt! are the same age. Instead of one being 4 this year and one being 2, they are both going to be 3. I am going to hold onto the hope that he will keep growing though, as the difference between fetlock and elbow and elbow to withers is about 4 inches.

On to the pictures! I would have taken more but the batteries in my camera went belly up.

Watch out, he's going down!


Vet tech in training


The whole crew


They had a rope from one leg, under his hips to the other to hold them out of the way.


Getting things all clean and ready to go to work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quiet time

This evening after work, I went out like I always do to pick Cody's pen before I fed him his dinner. I was thinking about what Andrea had said, about not always working with him when I go out there. So after I was done cleaning, and before I got him his dinner I took his blanket off and just petted and scratched him all over. Didn't have a brush on me, so I just used my hands. I had hair flying everywhere, but he seemed to enjoy it. Just stood there and at times his neck was so stretched out as he wiggled his lips, it seemed twice as long as normal. And then, with his head over my shoulder, I just pet his face. It was a nice, quiet evening.

Tomorrow he meets the vet for the first time (to be gelded). He hasn't really met a lot of people, I hope it goes okay!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Round pen!

I got a call on Sunday that my round pen panels were in! And it worked out to go down to Monroe and pick them up today. Got a bit later of a start than we'd planned as we had to get tabs for the trailer, the right size ball for the receiver, find proof of insurance for my brother's truck, get gas, well, you get the picture. Oh, and on top of that, the lights on the trailer didn't want to cooperate.


We made it safely home and it's time to start unloading!



The first few panels up!


Mom trapped in the round pen...(literally, I had to go get wire-cutters to cut the wire holding the gate shut)

My mom and I got it somewhat set up, the space I had decided to put it isn't quite as level as I'd wished it to be so we have some adjusting to do to get the panels level and even. But it was put together enough to use it tonight, although it was a bit dark.

I can walk up to Cody fine, and put his halter on. Sometimes when I clean his pen and haven't fed him yet, he will come up behind me. But most of the time, he won't really approach me. And when I am working with him, if I have him back up from wiggling the lead rope or something, trying to get him to come back forward towards me, more often than not, I have to pull hard until I get one step and release, but it's like I have to do that fore each step. I feel like I've missed something. He loves the attention of being brushed and will just stand there, and wiggle his lips when I hit a good spot. I have a dvd that I got this weekend on groundwork to watch, and I am hoping that will give me some ideas of how to get Cody to want to catch me, instead of me always catching him. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Finals

Okay, the pictures are awful. But if you promise not to laugh at their awfulness, here are the top 5 from the ECR in Albany OR this weekend. I also didn't write down names so I apologize for the terrible pictures and lack of decent information. I will try to get the video that I took uploaded tomorrow.

1st place. I don't recall her name, but she has competed before, was riding a chestnut horse.


2nd place. Pony named Ginger.


3rd place. The guy on the mustang that fell off and landed on his head....he slipped off during the bareback free-ride too, but landed on his feet this time.

4th place. The smaller, reddish mule ridden by a lady.


5th place. Rose gray 4 year old arab mare.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Confused

I think I confused my poor sweet pony. He had gotten really good at turning to follow the lead if I wrapped it around his rump and asked him to turn around away from me. So tonight, since I'd picked up another length of 1/2" cotton rope to use as a driving line, I put both ropes on his new halter. At first I just had the outside one draped over his back doing nothing as I longed him one direction and then the other. But when I let the rope drape around his rump, he felt the pressure and tried to turn that way, but then felt the pressure on the other side and tried to turn that way. He bounced back and forth a few times before he just stood there and you could see he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. I felt so bad for confusing him like that! So now I need to rethink my approach to teaching him to ground drive. We ended on an okay note (after I had to go round up my cat who is a house cat who had snuck out) and I put his old halter on with just a lead rope and we practiced stuff we were more solid with. A surcingle would probably be good, so the ropes don't drag so low. We'll get there, just have to find some smaller steps to take.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Balance

First off, I need batteries! My big camera is too big to stash in my pocket, and my pocket camera has run out of juice. So once again, no pictures :(

Balance is such an important concept, whether it has to do with your horse or your life in general. Working with Cody last night we reached a point where the more I asked of him, the more reactive he got. The evening ended okay, but it got me to thinking. So tonight, while still expecting him to respect me, I tried to ask things in a calmer way, trying to find that balance between getting what I ask for and him reacting instead of thinking.

I think it went pretty well. Had a couple bouncy pony moments, which turned into backing halfway across grandma's big backyard, but we were able to lunge calmly in a little bit bigger circle than the last time when outside his pen. It's not always in a straight line, but when asked to back (and I barely have to touch the halter anymore) his nose is tucked, neck is arched, hind-end is lowered and he just backs and back and backs. I'll have to figure out some way to video it, lol.

So soft and calm but firm when needed seems to be the balance I need to have a positive time on both our parts. I love how there is always more to learn :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Snow

Goofy weather. It snowed. Not as bad as some places, probably 2-4 inches, but still.

Cody and I played in the snow in the backyard. It was pristine, untouched snow until we came along. I really need to get batteries for my pocket camera so I can get pictures more often. We made prints all over. Going forward, backward, sideways, getting loose and running out into the field, backward some more, and he even trotted a few steps with me.

We have an appointment for March 25th at 1 pm to see the vet...Cody still needs to be gelded. I had thought about filling out the application for the free gelding but I figured there was probably someone out there that needed it more and I have my $50 voucher from the BLM to help a little.

I hope the snow melts soon, I want Cody to get back to shedding out that winter coat!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back and back some more


His new halter that Andrea of Mustang Saga made. Check out her blog, she has a special on rope halters going!

It was still a bit nippy out today, but at least the white stuff all went away!

Sometimes, when I ask him to stop, or try to switch sides, or just whatever, he inches backwards. He doesn't fly backwards, just slowly walks backwards. So! Today, when this would happen, I'd say, okay then, let's back! But we'll do it on my terms, with your head down and soft. He's really gotten that head down and soft part down well. He still stalls out sometimes, but will get going again. He also doesn't do as well when I am on the right (oh, I can lead him from the right side now!) but is improving.

With the extra hour of daylight (yay!) I was able to work with him twice today. The first time we stayed in his pen and he did great (and I got some pictures!). Head up, down, left, right; then back softly with barely a touch on the lead rope. Then we went to investigate the tarp again. He wore it, he walked on it, he backed over it, he lunged over it, and okay, he jumped over it a few times but at least he went forward!






Lol, the tarp matches his boots! Or is it his boots match the tarp...

The second time we went out in the yard and practiced backing and moving his haunches and his shoulder (he can do darn near a 360 moving his forehand, just calmly one foot crossed over the other). Oh, and then we backed some more. I used to back Taffy out of her stall and halfway up to the barn and then we'd turn around and trot the driveway (I was paranoid and had to reassure myself that she wasn't off). We would also back around the arena and her pointy Arab/Thoroughbred butt actually got round! So I think Cody is going to have a lot of backing in his future....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring?

So...no pictures again today, I didn't want to take my camera out in the snow....

Spring technically isn't here yet, but surely it's on its way, right? I was out working with Cody this afternoon in the snow of all the silly things. At least the wind had died down at that point so it was just pretty snowflakes instead of awful sideways stuff you can't see through.

This morning I drove a couple hours down to Buckley to watch the Steve Rother clinic that Jamie Thomas had organized. I just stayed for the morning groundwork portion as I didn't want to get caught in nasty weather and I wanted to come home and play with my pony after watching for almost 4 hours!

Interesting stuff. I think the biggest thing I got out of it was that Cody and I have come far enough that I can expect him to know some stuff by now.

So off I went to play, starting with can I move his head up, down, and to both sides. We've worked on him putting his head down already, so that was pretty easy. So then I held his head up high. I thought he had a good point on doing that. If you had to say, hold your arms up for a few minutes, wouldn't the first thing you'd want to do when released was to put them down and relax them? It's just another way that I can say, put this body part where I ask you to. Then came flexing to the left and to the right. He gives better to the right so we'll have to work on the left more.

The other thing we worked on was backing. He backs pretty well from a wiggle of the rope but I wanted him to back with me at his head facing backwards and to back with his head down and softly. This got some uncooperative results at first, but rather than backing down and trying to calm him down, I just kept asking until he gave and relaxed. It took a number of times but he got it. I think this was the hardest I have pushed him but I think it was good. He might have a teensy more respect for me, that I will follow through on what I ask him to do, but if he gives, I will release.

I'm glad I went because I have a renewed enthusiasm for working with Cody on the ground and I think he has a renewed respect for me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Tarp

No pictures today, forgot to take my camera out with me and then it was getting dark.

We worked on the rope being around his rump, as yesterday he was reacting a bit much to it wrapped around his rump. Took it nice and slow and the word to describe what I am trying to say is escaping me at the moment, lol. Sort of...a flossing motion? around his hindquarters. But watching Kitty Lauman's Ranger video again, saw something that would probably be good to work on, have the rope around his body about where his legs attach and do the same.

But on to the fun stuff. (And I wish I had gotten a couple pictures!) I had taken a "break" to go work on clearing some blackberries. Got maybe a 16x16 patch cleared and hauled to the burn pile and burned. I probably have at least 10 times that left to go unfortunately. Maybe even twice that estimate. But the burn pile was burning (it's maybe 30-40 feet from his pen and the fire doesn't really seem to bother him at that distance at least) and I decided to go grab a tarp. Hadn't introduced him to that blue bit of fun yet. He wasn't too sure about that crinkly horse-eating monster at first. We started with it in a heap on the ground in one corner. I was just lunging him in a small circle, trying to see how close he'd go. Starting with "OMG I can't get anywhere near that thing" we progressed to "Okay, I can walk past it without crowding you but I'm still not going to get very close". So I picked up the blue monster and bunched it up and touched his shoulder with it. Just touch and off and touch and off while he's standing there all bunched up and shaking in his boots. He started to relax a bit and I gave him a bit of a scratch on the withers. Long drawn out tale, but he was able to wear it draped over his back and walk with it on, he was able to step on it and finally walk across a couple of times and probably the funniest thing was when he picked it up in his teeth, and it moved, so he backed up and IT FOLLOWED HIM and he scared himself before he realized to drop it.

I also found a smallish log in the blackberries last night and after peeling the bark off of it (it had stuff growing on it) I drug it out in the yard and we practiced walking over it. Just starting to be able to trot in hand (he thinks I'm crazy) so will trot him over the pole at some point.

I ordered the round pen today! That was a big chunk out of my savings, but it will be worth it. It will probably be a couple weeks before they have it in to be picked up but that's okay.

They sure have some colorful horses on the internet adoption this time around! Funny thing is, one of the ones that catches my eye is an 8 year old mare, listed as a red roan but looks dark bay/seal brown in color. She just seems to have a kind look to her face. I wonder if she'll get adopted?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Photo Tag

I thought I was finally over my cold! But Tracey over at Mustang Diaries passed her virus along.
Well, I have been tagged. Unfortunately, the 6th photo in the 6th folder in the 6th folder on my computer isn't a very good one. It is a blurry picture of my cat. But here it is anyhow.



I guess it's not quite as blurry as I thought when it is smaller like this, lol. This is my cat Bentley. He has a good motor, hence the name.

It's funny, the things that Cody hasn't minded that I know other horses have hated. Like, I can go give him a dewormer without even putting his halter on. And a spray bottle. Some horses detest them, day before yesterday, I took a bottle of mane and tail detangler to spray on his mane, he just stood there. He let me do his tail too. And I was able to use them again today.


Another profile shot, he's looking rounder! You can sure tell he wears a blanket with the smooth body and furry neck though!

We went out and stood by the road for a few minutes so he could watch the passing cars. A few of them, he tried to spin away, but I just brought him back and stood there petting him and he settled and was able to stand and watch them go by. I'd like to take him for a walk down the quiet street across the street soon.

We started to attempt a side-pass today. It wasn't half bad for a first attempt I think. He's getting pretty good about moving his front end or his back end separately.

Still working on being able to lunge calmly when outside of his pen. We were able to get some calm small circles this evening so I figure we'll keep on with that and try and build from there.

We've also been working on me standing on one side, with the rope on the other side and around his rump and him following the pressure around to face me. After a time or two of him zipping around rather rapidly with that rope around his rump, he now very nicely follows the rope around to face me. So I have talked to Andrea of Mustang Saga (she made my rope halter) and she is going to make me another rope halter but this one will have rings that I can attach driving lines to to work on ground driving! It will be kind of like a side-pull. She found the rope yesterday and now I can't wait to get it and try it on Cody!

On a good note, I found a place to get the round pen I wanted! So we will have a bit bigger enclosed space to work in so he should actually have enough room to canter around instead of just trot. I'm sure he'll appreciate the chance to kick up his heels as well!


I just thought this was a cute pic with him looking back at me taking his picture :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Time

Or lack thereof. I think days need to have about 30 hours rather than 24. Can we just redo the amount of time it takes the earth to spin?



Been getting home too late to do anything with Cody, but hopefully next week will be better! So tonight I have been playing with images in Photoshop (okay, I was trying to do something like what Tracey had done with an image of Steve Holt!). Not sure how successful I was, but it was fun playing, although now it has somehow become 12:30am. I think I overdid the sunflare part.



I really like this profile shot of him, his face just looks kind and his ears are up and his mane is somewhat brushed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It was supposed to rain...

...but it pretty much held off!

Something to add to my to do list with Cody, get him used to having a rope snug up under his tail. We had worked a bit inside his pen first, and things were going fairly well, so I thought we'd go for a walk outside again. We did lots of stopping and smallish circles but we hit a snag when I wanted him to walk past my uncle's old trailer. So I thought I'd just loop the rope around his rump and not put up with his silliness. Well, that didn't go so well. He zipped forward when he felt the rope around his rump and turned quickly and got the rope snugged up under his tail with a loop around it and when I put a bit of pressure on it he didn't much care for that... So, once again I had a loose horse. I think the whole idea of whoa has been getting through to him because when I said whoa, he stopped and turned toward me and I was able to walk up and step on the end of the rope and then pick it up. It may seem long sometimes but I am really liking my 18' long rope. We continued on and past the trailer and then I thought we'd go for a walk in the field. I'll have to get some pictures next time. The field, once you get past the blackberries is covered in weeds. I have a picture that I will scan soon of grandma's property. It is an aerial shot from 1988. Will have to compare it to the current state of the field. It's awful :( I have a lot of work ahead of me!

Here is video attempt #2. I tried adding sound this time. It cuts off at the end, but I'll figure out how to end it better next time


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Process time

The sun was shining today! Too bad it was while I was at work. Cloudy by the time I got home but it was calm and dry, so I call it a pretty good day.

Just for the heck of it, I wanted to see what my english saddle looked like on Cody. So I brought it out (and brought Mom with to take some pictures). So when I went to set it on his back I showed it to him, touched his shoulder with it and then set it on. He didn't move, he didn't even flinch. So I took it off and back on a couple times before girthing it up, which he also didn't care about. Walked around a bit and then he trotted a few circles before I figured, what the heck, and let the stirrups down so they would bounce against his sides. This also didn't phase him.



What was a bit of an issue today was just plain leading, lol. After having the saddle on, I took it off and we were going to go for a walk around the back yard since we haven't had time to do that for awhile. Started out by making him back out of the gate (which we've done a couple times before) which he does nice and calm, even has to step over a board that keeps the sand from spilling out into the grass too much. Then onto the walk. It started out okay, but then he was being a bit of a pill and wouldn't go forward. Thinking back on it now, I should have just looped the rope around his rump and kept going, ah well, hopefully I'll remember that next time. I still kind of worry that if he gets too bouncy he could get loose again and so I hesitate to do as much outside his pen (hence my desire for a round pen which would give us some more space but still have those walls).



Back in his pen we go and set out to work on just plain leading. There were some not so pretty moments of protest, but I just kept his feet moving and going where I wanted them to go as much as I could. We ended on a decent note so I took his halter off and went inside to eat dinner.

This is where the process time comes in :) There was probably about an hour between the time I took his halter off and then went back out. He was sooo much better! Not perfect, we still had a couple "moments" but not like earlier. And we even did pretty good practicing leading from the off side! So hooray for giving him time to think and hooray that I went back out after dinner instead of just leaving it until morning. Hopefully the "moments" will be even less then :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Late night

So I'm back to not having much time again this week. Yesterday when I fed him in the morning, it seemed like the day was going to be decent so I took his blanket off so he could roll and itch if he wanted too while I was off to work. When I got home that evening, I went out with some brushes and his blanket to tuck him in for the night. I brought a halter just in case he didn't want to stand still. I didn't need it. He was in his stall munching dinner and turned around when I walked in. I set his blanket and the brushes down and went to pet him. He just stood there with his head up but relaxed, not eating, while I brushed him all over and then tossed his blanket on. It was just a nice quiet time with my horse :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Plastic

Okay, so plastic bags are scary when they are above you. Spent awhile last night after work with a plastic bag on the end of my stick, after we had a nice grooming session where he just stood there and relaxed. He was also really good about his feet.

I'm not sure if I am missing a piece here, but is there something I could be doing to get him used to things in general, rather than trying to desensitize him to everything I can think of? It seems to be things that make rustling noises that he's not fond of, like plastic or paper. Things like rope or a saddle pad were never really a big deal. Does anyone have any insight on that?

On a good note, he likes his toy! Yay, was hoping it wouldn't be one of those cases where he just completely ignores it.

I was also wondering opinions on making a 5-foot high pen and using my 6-foot high panels (plus a few more) to make a round pen where we could have a bit more room to work. They have some 64" high powder coated Behlen "utility" panels on sale at Del's this week which got me to thinking about doing this.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New toy


Let's see. Today is Sunday, right? I've kind of lost track of the days. Got home from work in time to work with Cody in the twilight. He seems bored, by himself all day, so I got him one of those Jolly Ball toys. He seemed interested in it, was sniffing at it and pushing it with his nose. Didn't really care for me bouncing it towards his feet though, lol. I also broke down and bought him a pair of blue SMB3 boots. I got a good deal and he looks good in blue.


Have your horses started shedding? I don't know if it's because of the blanket or what, but check out the hair just falling off of him.


I decided I wanted to try and get him to trot in hand. He's not so sure about that just yet. Going from a walk to a trot gets me a halt and a look like, what are you doing?!? So we modified things slightly to where I was trotting with him as he went around in a circle, which I think puzzled him a bit too, as he just went faster at first. We need a bigger enclosed space so we have some straight room to move. Hopefully we'll have that to some degree when I am able to get his paddock extension built.

One thing that just, well, falls into the category of ick, are ticks. As I've brushed him and run my hands over him, I have found them and carefully removed them. And then tonight I brushed his mane over to the wrong side to brush it down to the roots good, and I found a few more of the rotten things all hunkered in the roots of his mane. I've never really run into an issue with ticks before, didn't even really think we had them in western Washington (neither did my mom) but when I started searching online, guess we do have them. I want to give him a bath and scrub him clean and for those rotten little bugs to find themselves someone's dinner, instead of having Cody for dinner. You know how when you find a bug or something, and then keep feeling like something is crawling on you? I've felt twitchy like that all evening now. I wonder if a few chickens would hang around, more than one place I read suggested free range chickens or guinea fowl to snack on them.

I know how I've been stressing about him growing and how old he is and all that, but I was looking at pictures of 2 and 3 year old mustangs on the BLM internet adoption site, and I noticed that if you measure fetlock to elbow and compare to elbow to withers on the 3 year olds, they pretty much match, and on the 2 year olds, elbow to fetlock is longer. So I'm going to go with him being 2 sometime this year until the vet tells me different.