Polka Dot Ponies

This will most likely be just a collection of my ramblings. I ride and train horses, so there is bound to be a lot of horse stuff. But I also just like to vent and this seems the perfect place.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy Busy.

This week has been quite busy so I haven't been on Blogger much.
On Monday K and I took Hayley and Joe for a trail ride and they were both lovely. We even picked some apples from trees while on their backs to give them a little treat. I think Joe wants to run but knows he is too fat. Titan worked like a dream again. T came over and rode Midnight and worked with Gus then I taught her how to line drive Titan. I think she is looking forward to the day when she can start adding new things into Gus's training as right now it is mostly just ponying him and getting him used to everything.
Titan's breath is terrible. I keep sticking my fingers in his mouth to get the food that is caught on the wire but me doing that once or twice a day isn't doing much for cutting the bad breath. At least the wire come off soon! He struggles to eat apples unless I cut them but everything else is great and he seems to be healing quickly.
Hayley's soon to be new mom came and rode her Tuesday and has decided to buy her. I am glad that she will be someones fun trail horse rather than a baby machine. She is a good girl and tries to do what you want though still seems a bit confused most of the time.
Yesterday there wasn't much 'horse time' with work and going to my old high school's football game with K, C and E. Today the whole afternoon is with the horses so I better get out there!
I promise I really will take some new pictures soon!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good Driving.

Titan was lovely today. It was CRAZY WINDY and he still listened very well. I can't wait until I can start riding him! He is growing like a weed- I will take some new pictures soon.


Pain in the Neck

Seriously. I was driving to the airport on Wednesday and after getting frustrated with my horrible mapquest directions I chucked that page out the window. I know probably not the best idea but I was in the middle of nowhere and the directions were proceeding to get me more lost and I just had to. It made me feel better for a second until I remembered that my cell had no credit. So I had to pull over in a parking lot and do the little call in thing to add money to my phone. Then I called C and she got me 'unlost'. I finally got to the airport and pulled up in the front and then realized that K has no idea what my car looks like. So then I think 'OK I will just put my flashers on and run in really quickly' then I look up and see a sign that says UNATTENDED VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED. So that idea is out. So then I have to drive all the way back out of the airport to pull into the short term parking and I head inside. K is sitting waiting for me. As we head back out to the car I explain the whole story of why I was a bit late and she laughs. At least she was amused even if I was not.

Then on the drive home I turned my head and I insist that I broke my neck. Now considering that my head is still attached I don't actually think I did but it hurt pretty badly. So Thursday afternoon was spent at the chiropractors. He is a nice guy- he actually my sister's best friend's brother... the joy of small towns. So he adjusts my neck (something I hate having done) and manages to do it without me getting super tense and making things worse. So all in all that was a pretty good visit.

Joe and Hayley are settling in nicely. They have become fast friends. Hayley couldn't care less if Joe is around but Joe acts like he is missing a leg if she is taken away. He has been spending some time tied up alone to combat the 'Oh My God! I Can't Be Alone!' syndrome. Hayley is working wonderfully. She is an old pony horse for a racetrack before they decided to breed her (for 9 years straight). So she hasn't been ridden in 9 years and seems a bit confused as to why I want to ride her but she does try. We are working really hard on bending and being supple. She bends really well to the left and leg yields to the left but to the right- Nothing. She does not bend to the right she does not leg yield. It took me almost 20 minutes just to get her to bend her head around to the right. She is slowly understanding what I want and is attempting to do it but it is going to take a LONG time. She does have an awesome smooth trot and can settle into a little jog or extend out well. Yesterday we finally got the left lead (oh yeah- she would only pick up her right lead). I am excited to get out there and work with her everyday as she is becoming quite the fun project (apparently this is my Thunder replacement).

Joe is Joe. He is even fatter than Hayley and when I picked him up on Wednesday his mane and tail were SOLID in burrs and his body was completely covered in manure. After about an hour of grooming and a 1/3 bottle of baby oil he is looking much better. I am struggling because I am only supposed to have him for about a month but I don't want to take him back there. He is severely over fed (which is better than underfed but still unhealthy) he hadn't been trimmed since I had him last fall (his owners insist that his feet just break off naturally) he probably hadn't been groomed since I had him last fall and I know for a fact that he hasn't been ridden. We are taking it slow to get him back into shape. He (along with Hayley) is on a strict diet. He gets some form of exercise everyday, though he doesn't get worked for long at all because he is so overweight. It is sad to see a horse that I had in such great condition and that was working SO well just dumped out in the pasture. Maybe I will see if they just want to let me keep him...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So for the past year and a half I have been trying to convince Tada (my best friend from University) to move out to Iowa. She just called and there is a good possibility that she will be moving out here this spring for work! I am SO excited I had to tell someone. Not only am I thrilled that she will be in Iowa but she might actually live with me!
I have to admit that although I LOVE living out here on the farm, living alone in a five bedroom house can get quite lonely. Tada and I lived in a house together our senior year at uni and it was a BLAST. I am SO excited.
ALSO my friend C and her 2 yr old little girl E (seriously the cutest little girl in the world) have been thinking about possibly moving out here as well! Her current roomie is possibly moving for a different job and their rent is kind of high so I suggested that they move in with me. I have plenty of room and E loves it out here with the horses, dogs, cats, trampoline, woods, etc.

Long Line Lesson and Fat Ponies

Yesterday Titan had his first lesson on long lines. He was a bit nervous but good for the most part. He actually went over backwards once which was the scariest thing ever. He was standing and when I asked him to walk he broke into a trot. I very clearly said WALK again and lightly touched the reins. I think it must have startled him a bit as he proceeded to sit down and go over on his back. He actually seemed more surprised than me when it happened. He just rolled to his side and lay there staring at me like 'What just happened??' with the why mama head tilt. I let him just lay for a minute and then asked him to get up. He did and just kept giving me that look. I didn't want to end the lesson on a bad note of course so again I asked him to walk off. He walked off, turned and stopped like a pro. Maybe the tumble knocked some sense into him...
I really want to get out there and give it another go today but it is raining. Blah.

I actually got a new training horse in yesterday as well. It is a horse that J's mom (M) is looking to buy for herself. I had her old horse for about a total of 4 months and it took me that long to convince M to sell her. They had bought her because she was a pretty tri-color paint. She was pretty don't get me wrong but all that prettiness didn't come with much for brains. When they got her home she flipped over backwards on M twice. Then she was brought to me. I got her to the point where she was rideable and could walk/trot/canter both ways and I spur trained her. She was good in the ring and M was even getting along with her well. So after having her for about a month (so 4 lessons with M, as every training horse I have the owners get 1 lesson per week included in the training fees) M decided to take her home because she really couldn't afford to keep her in training forever. After about 2 months I was talking to M and asked her how Rain was doing and her response was that she hadn't gotten the chance to ride her. So after another few weeks Rain ended up back with me and was back to all of her old tricks. This cycle kept happening and eventually when Rain was back with her owners she went over backwards and actually hurt M (it had amazed me that she hadn't been hurt before). After getting her back the first time I started trying to convince M that this was not the right horse for them. She was OK if worked everyday by someone that really knew what they were doing but she was not the kind of horse they could just ride on the weekends for fun. Once I finally convinced her to sell Rain as an advanced adult only horse (we picked very carefully where she went) we started looking for a new horse for her. This is where Hayley comes in. She is a 15.1h 17 yr old well broke broodmare. She has not been ridden in several years and has had a foal every year for the last 9 years. Personally I think she is THRILLED to not be pregnant again. M has ridden her but wants me to try her out for a month. That way M can get some lessons in on her as well. Hayley has an extremely level head and doesn't spook at anything (even when J's 5 yr old brother, K, came flying around the corner of the barn with a garbage bag cape flapping). She is EXTREMELY overweight. So she is now on a strict diet and we will slowly start working her back into shape. And I mean SLOWLY- she jogged around the arena for about 3 minutes when she got here checking everything out and was breathing hard. She is in dire need of a trim and I have a call into the farrier for her and a horse that is coming in tomorrow called Joe.

I am really looking forward to having Joe back. I had him for the summer of 2007 out in NY with me and he is a big puppy dog. He is a cute little paint gelding whose owners just don't spend any time with him. He was apparently a high level HUS horse when they bought him but then they decided to barrel race him and now he can't do HUS to save his life. He is an awesome little games horse and great for just hacking around. He is quite overweight as well as they don't work him at all but basically give him all the feed he wants. It took me an entire spring/summer to get him to a decent weight last time and it took them about 4 weeks to make him fat again.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Winter Blankets + Growing Baby = Spending $$$$$

I measured Titan in the middle of September and he was at about 60". So when I ordered his blankets for this winter I ordered 68" thinking that would at least get us through Christmas and New Years. When the blankets arrived and I tried them on they were too big (which was the point since I knew I wouldn't be using them for at least 2 or 3 more months). In the last few weeks T and neighbors have commented on how fast he is growing. So today just out of curiosity I decided to measure him again. 66" BARELY. Basically at 67" which would be lovely if he would just stay there until after New Years when I had planned to buy new blankets. I know, I know I should have waited but I like to be prepared and thought that I was ordering them plenty big enough. Especially considering the 7 yr old QH gelding in the barn wears a 72". Oh the joys of a big baby- hence the name Titan.
So now I have a really nice felt lined canvas blanket, a toasty warm winter blanket, a fleece blanket liner and a no rub body sleazy that won't fit by the time it is cold enough for him to need it. Ebay here I come for more blankets (In NOVEMBER when I will actually need them). I think this winter we will be playing musical blankets..... at least the fleece liner and the body sleazy stretch.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier

This book was one that I just happened to see during one of my many wanders through the bookstore (Can you believe that now I am paid to do that? I should have started this job a long time ago!). Anyway I was looking for something new and different. I also wanted something true. I was feeling a bit sheltered in my Midwest lifestyle and needed something to throw a little dose of reality into my ever so peaceful existence out here on the farm. So I was wandering through the memoirs and nothing really seemed to be catching my attention. After several attempts to read the back of different books (my mind kept wandering and I never see it as a good sign when the back of the book, which is supposed to highlight some key points, can't keep my attention) I found A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah. It is a very fabulous and very eye opening memoir of a child soldier. It is simply the story of a child who is caught in the civil war in Sierra Leone. This book does not give much historical background to the civil war in Sierra Leone and I actually got online to find out more about it. I passed this book along to Boyfriend to read once I was finished and he loved it as much as I did.

From the back:

'Why did you leave Sierra Leone?'

'Because there is a war.'

'Did you witness any of the fighting?'

'Everybody in the country did.'


'I smile a little.'

'You should tell us about it sometime.'

'Yes, Sometime.'

This is the story of Ishmael Beah's childhood - how, aged just 12, he fled from rebels attacking his village to wander a violent land, before being conscripted into the army - where he learnt that he too was capable of terrible acts. Once he emerged he decided to tell his story, a story of the loss of innocence and the power of redemption.

This is the first first hand account of how wars are now fought: by children, on drugs, with AK-47s. In more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah was one of them.


I love Saturdays and Sundays are good too.

Yesterday was great. I worked from 10-2. I am quite enjoying the job as we just sit and chat about books when we aren't helping customers.
Then I came home and worked with Titan. He was amazing. It was like something in his head clicked. We had nice round circles (no more cutting in nonsense, thanks Jean!). He had nice even gaits, extended out when I asked (he prefers to just jog along rather that extend out into a proper trot), flat knee, deep hock- It was AMAZING! I was so proud of him. I also played with a heavy western saddle pad with him. Bumping him all over his body, throwing it up on his back, bumping his legs, he could not have cared less. He was such a good boy.
After that I went to a nearby town where they were having a haunted hayride. I was one of the people at a station scaring people. It was so much fun! I actually got hit in the face by one lady when I scared her and she swung her arm at me- I think it was a reflex to the Freddie mask I was wearing. A good night was had by all and they raised LOADS of money for the new playground and park! My throat still kills today from so much screaming.
Today I got up and worked around the house then my cousins stopped in for a little visit. After that I went out and worked in the barn with T for a bit. Then 2 friends came out to see the horses but one brought her non-horsey boyfriend (boring) and so didn't stay long which was a bummer because I hadn't seen her in a while. Then 1 friend and T stayed for dinner and we played parcheesi. It was a pretty nice day. Titan worked well but was a little distracted at the loads of people watching him as the friends, T, and several neighbors were all there.

I also got my new memory card in the mail this week so there will be many more pictures soon! But until then here are some new kitten pictures. They are getting SO big and started opening their eyes this week (don't worry I didn't use the flash in their tiny little eyes). I named Lucy right away and had no clue what to call the others. My friends 2 year old daughter named Norman and Walter (I know funny names for a 2 year old to pick), my neighbors 2 year old granddaughter named Simba (even though the kitten is a girl, we don't care) and then Boyfriend named Marty.

All 5- (l to r) Norman, Simba, Marty, Lucy, Walter

Miss Lucy

Simba, Marty, Norman and 1/2 of Walter



Mama- taking a break and hanging out in the office with me while I write.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Bucket List

I believe that everyone should have goals in life. Whether they are short term or long term, easy to achieve or almost impossible it is important to have something to strive for.

So here is my Bucket List, a collection of things that I would like to do before I die. It is still very much a work in progress and is definitely not in any particular order.

  • Qualify a horse of mine for and show in the World Show.
  • Own a stable. Lessons, training and boarding.
  • Get married.
  • Have kids.
  • Travel to Australia.
  • Take and pass my NCLEX.
  • Read at least one book per month.
  • Rescue at least one animal (horse, dog, cat, etc)
  • Go back to Hawaii.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Just think of it like the stock market being on sale"

"Just think of it like the stock market being on sale" is what one of my friends so ignorantly said to me today. I am not one to post about the economy or politics but when he said that I couldn't wait to sit down and type/vent.

He is an old high school classmate and we have somewhat kept in touch over the past several years. Today we were chatting and I commented on the crappy state of the economy. He proceeds to delve into the fact that it isn't really that bad and that people and companies deserve to be in the state that they are in because of risks they took. Do I agree that to an extent this decline in our economy is faulted by us? Of course! However, he seems to believe that if we just ignore it, then the problem will go away. In fact he thinks that people should take advantage of this market and begin investing. Now not that I don't agree that people should buy into the stock market when it is low (if they can afford it) but the fact is that most people can not afford to buy in at this point in time. With so many layoffs people have had to become responsible for paying for private health insurance rather than their work sharing in part or in all of that cost. So now people not only have mortgages that they can't pay (many because they took on more than they could chew to begin with and others because of loss of employment) but they also must shoulder the rising costs of health care. When I pointed this out my old classmate simply stated that they should just go get a job at McDonald's.

While I agree that people in an economy like this should look for employment where they can get it that still does not get to the core issue that even with a McDonald's (or similar) minimum wage paying job someone probably can not support a previously 2 income family with the cost of food, gas, etc.

It is just a bit annoying when most Americans seem to be buckling down a bit trying to spend a bit less and here is someone I know thinking that this is fantastic because ya know what? The stock market is on sale!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

First thing First

Ok- First thing first- Mama had the 6th baby and it was a stillborn. Mama is doing fine and the other 5 kittens are growing very quickly!

This weekend was great. One aunt came up from Illinois to help paint and brought my 2 cousins with her and the other came from about an hour north of here. My sister also came up for the weekend. I am so lucky that they took the time to drive up to hang out with me and paint my new bedroom. We had a great time. The room is looking spectacular and I will post photos as soon as I have the bed in there. We found an old bed out in our big shed and I am going to paint it ivory (instead of just the metal frame that I had before). I have barely gotten started on that but the walls are done and I am in the process of moving my stuff upstairs.

Titan has had the weekend off and will get back to work tomorrow. I miss him even though I see him about 10 times a day, I haven't really worked him in several days.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh Lordy- Are you serious man??

So today was a pretty good day.

I ran some errands this morning (post office, bank, etc). Then came home and had some lunch. Remember the people that originally had Thunder? They called and told me that they had 100 bales of nice grass hay that they needed to get rid of. I asked what they paid for it. $4.00 per bale (so in my head I am thinking ok so it isn't going to be fantastic hay but should be decent). So I ask what they are asking, $2.50 per bale. Ok- reasonable. I ask if it has ever been wet- no. I ask what cutting- 3rd. So I offer them $1.50 per bale and they agree. Yeah! Decent grass hay for super cheap just because someone got transferred to Germany. So I tell them I will be over in about 20 minutes to check it out (I am not crazy enough to trust these people to know what nice hay is).

So I get there and chat to the dad for a bit about his transfer and such then we go to take a look at the hay. When we walked into the barn I honestly did not know it was right in front of my face. I don't know what I thought it was but I wasn't thinking- Yummy Looking Hay! So after I pull a few bales down to check them out I realize that there can't be more than 40 bales- Ok so the guy can't count. It honestly looked like straw. Not only was it completely colorless but it was stemmy as hell! Even when I cut a bale open- no green, ALL YELLOW. There were even corn stalks in it. It did not smell like hay at all. It smelled like yuckiness. I continued to climb around and look as I thought that maybe my neighbor who has cows would want it. As I am climbing I stick my hand in something wet and sticky. It is MOLD. SOPPING WET MOLD. It was SO gross.

So I climb down and tell the guy that I am sorry but I don't want it and that I am pretty sure no one will want it. Not only is it very poor quality but it is MOLDY. I prefer my horses alive thanks.

He goes on to tell me that it is what he fed his horses all winter last year. Oh lordy- Are you serious man? We chat for a bit longer and then I head on my way. Strange that on the phone he failed to mention that it was LAST years 3rd cutting and was being stored in a barn with a big hole in the roof so it had been getting wet for a YEAR. Ick. No. Titan likes his green, soft, nice smelling, non-stemmy, corn stalkless, NON-MOLDY hay.

So I came back home and washed off the nasty moldy hay smell.

J had a great lesson today. I had her ride Rocky as she needs to be used to different horses and since Midnight is for sale and will be gone soon I thought we should work on detaching her from him. She was bummed at first but we did lunge line work and she seemed to enjoy it. I am really enjoying seeing her progress. A few weeks ago she could barely trot (except to bounce around on Sparkle) and now she is posting trot with her arms out to the sides. I think the different mount is making all the difference. Maybe I will take her out on a hack with Sparkle tomorrow as I know she is missing that pony. Her parents decided to keep her pony Sparkle here for her to take lessons on but J has gotten to the point where she just can't advance any further on Sparkle. We spend most of our Sparkle lessons just getting her into a trot (stubborn Shetland and J's short legs don't mix well). She was a great little pony to start on and has built J's confidence but it is time for her to move on. I spoke to J's mom about this and she agreed. Sparkle will be going to J's little brother and we are on the hunt for a new mount for J. Until then J is going to be riding Midnight or Rocky for her lessons and her little brother has started having mini lessons on Sparkle.

Mama has a vet appointment tomorrow and so we will see what happens. I will keep you posted on that!

This is little miss Sparkle. She is old but she is a good girl.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Baby Mama problem.

So Mama has still not had the 6th baby. I can feel it in her stomach. I have a call in to the vet. I will let you know what he says.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

It rained all day today so I didn't get to work Titan and had to cancel J's lesson since I don't have an indoor. I did do a lot of cleaning around the house and was on kitten watch all day as well. I am going to work on packing up boxes of clothes that I don't want tonight.

I am redoing the master bedroom. I want to do it in browns and blues. The room is quite large and I have no idea what to do with it. My sister, 2 of my cousins and 2 of my aunts are going to be coming up this weekend to help. Sister has some great ideas as she is the more creative of the two of us. We also want to make a headboard as the room has never had one but needs one. This is my comforter (from Target):

Any ideas on how to make a headboard? If you have any ideas or suggestions my only requirements are that it be inexpensive and not require too many power tools (per sister's request as we don't really know how to use power tools...)


Mama is in her box having her kittens as I type. I am excited to see how many she has and what they look like and to find them new homes. This was not planned. I am not a cat breeder nor am I an irresponsible cat owner that just lets them multiply. My two cats are both spayed. However, Mama (originally called Cleo until I found out she was pregnant) showed up in my barn a few months ago. I walked into the barn and instantly she was twisting her body around my legs and purring.
Let me tell you that my cats (and most my friends and family's cats) have come from being dumped in my ditch. People think oh it will be so fun for 'Fluffy' to have babies! Then once the kittens are old enough they can't find homes for them and they drive out in the country and dump them in the ditch. ALL of my cats in the past, present (and it is looking like future) have been dump cats.
Anyway Mama was extremely friendly so I gave her some food and let her hang out in the barn. The vet was coming that week anyway for Titan so I figured when he came he could give her the shots that she needed and check her out. Then I would make an appointment to have her fixed. But as luck would have it she was already pregnant. So here we are with the babies being born in the back hall in a box as I speak. I will find homes for them, some of them are already spoken for. She will be having an appointment with the vet SOON. No more babies Mama. Her name will then go from being Mama/Cleo to just Cleo.
Now I am going to sneak in and see how many there are! She doesn't mind me being there and just purrs the whole time but I figured I would leave her alone for a bit.
I will post more pictures as there are more babies.
3 babies!

Then there were 4!
Now there are 5! You have to count the heads as they are all piled together.

I am thinking we will end on six.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Water For Elephants: A Novel

Water For Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen was recomended to me by my best friend. When she recomended it I bought it and then it sat on my shelf for quite a while. I just kept thinking 'a book about the circus? Seriously Tada?' I just couldn't bring my self to read a book about the circus when there were so many fabulous books out there that I couldn't wait to read. Well I took Water For Elephants: A Novel with me on vacation. While sitting by the pool for 4 days I managed to read 3 books. So for the plane ride home all I had left was Water For Elephants: A Novel. I had it almost finished by the time we got home and finished it within the next few days. I LOVED IT! It has everything a great book needs! Drama, pain, romance and suprise. Great Book! Would reccomend it to anyone!
"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."

Note: Sara Gruen also wrote 2 lovely books with horses in them. They are called Riding Lessons: A Novel and Flying Changes: A Novel. I really enjoyed both of those books as well.


New Job!

Long time no post...
Yesterday kind of got away from me and it ended up being a day off for Titan. Gus baby has a small cut on his chest. No idea how he did that. These babies just can't seem to stay out of trouble. I couldn't find any wire or anything anywhere so who knows.
Not much to report. Titan was lovely today. We did more ground work.
I also got a job! I will be working at Barnes and Noble for the holidays. I have been looking for a job for a few weeks now. All I wanted was a little extra cash until I took my NCLEX (nursing exam). But everyone said I was over qualified and wouldn't hire me because they said I would just quit once I got a nursing job. Which is kind of true so I understood. But anyway I now have a part time just at Barnes and Noble (which I am super excited about). It should be good as it pays well and also I work about 5 hours a day which leaves plenty of time for the horses!
The extra cash can go in the bank towards the new barn!! I have been planning for a while for a new barn, indoor arena, the works! Of course that is several years away but no time is better to start saving than yesterday! Then once I actually take my NCLEX I can really start saving.
I should put up a new Book List book.....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Broken hearted dog.

So today was a good day. Though my computer is annoying me because as I attempt to type this a security center warning continues to pop up every 30 seconds or so.
Anyway I judged the 4-H fun show and enjoyed that. It is fun to judge and teach/give pointers at the same time. I actually may have gotten 2 new training horses and 3 new lesson kids out of it as well! All in all that went well.

Titan was yet again amazing. We worked on ground tying and he was lovely. He listens very well to voice commands and I would stop him, tell him to whoa and then continue to walk without him. He was very concerned at first and would take about a half step forward. I would again say whoa and he would move that one foot back into it's original position. He does this funny head tilt thing (I will try for a picture) when he is confused almost like he is asking 'Why do you want me to do that?' and I got a lot of that today. However by the end of our session he would halt and stay put (without trying to graze) with me wandering around the arena for about 2 minutes. Which is like years in baby time I think. Actually not following me like a puppy was hard for him I think. I was quite proud of him. This exercise also reinforced his vocal commands for whoa and no, as every time he attempted to graze I just shortly said No and then I would get the 'Why Mama?' head tilt but he would bring his head back up. After that we did a short longe line session working on our trot/walk transitions. He did fine but continues to cut in towards me a bit when going to the right but never the left, we are working on that and it is getting better but if you have any suggestions feel free to comment!

Haven't talked to Boyfriend since Wednesday. He is currently working two jobs to save up to move over here to finish school and is working about 50-60 hours a week. Then top that off with the 6 hour time difference when he is off work then either he is sleeping or I am sleeping or working. I think I am going to just have him call when I am asleep and I will wake up for it because I am really missing him! Oh yes! His plane ticket is booked and he will arrive Dec. 1st!

Also my friend from Australia will be here in just over 2 weeks! I can't wait to see her. She worked with me at the summer camp I taught at out in NY and I haven't seen her in just over a year though we talk often. She doesn't know this yet but we are going to be teaching a clinic together for the 4-H club while she is here (this was just decided today). One of my lesson girls was asking me if they even have horses in Australia. Kids are so cute.

Fun days. Oh yes I wanted to ask-

My brittany spaniel, Tess, is a mess still over losing her buddy Tucker a week ago. She panics whenever I go to the car thinking I am going to disappear and has been running errands with me all week just because I feel bad leaving her at home with just the cats and horses. She whines at the door and runs outside to his spot under one of the trees in the front yard (this is actually where he died). Then whines and runs back to the door. She will do this for hours straight. This is the first time she has even been an 'only dog' as Tucker was 5 when we got her. He and she were always together and I just don't think she knows what to do with herself! I feel so terrible because she seems so upset and I can't even explain to her what happened ! Any suggestions to help with a heart broken dog?

Tess the now Lone Ranger.

Below are the original 3 Musketeers

Bailey, Tess and Tucker

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Thursday, October 2, 2008


I got so busy with my rant I forgot to tell you the good things!

Titan was AMAZING today. He is feeling much better and is back in my pocket every time I go into the pasture. He is even back to running about as normal.

Today we worked on clippers. We have been working with them on and off for a while now. I want to go slow so that he doesn't end up as a horse that has to be twitched!! So I always untie him and hold the lead in one hand while holding the clippers in the other. Anyway, until today we had only gotten to the point of me holding the clippers against his side, shoulder, neck, cheek and legs for him to get used to the vibrations and the noise (we had started with him sniffing the non-running clippers). I always push him a little beyond his comfort zone without scaring him. Today we worked up his neck and got to the point where I could hold it on his poll without him even blinking. So I went ahead and trimmed up his bridle path. He was a little concerned about the change in the noise as it actually cut the hair but he didn't move just kind of looked at me out of the corner of his eye.

I love that boy!!

Tomorrow I think we will do a little refresher on ground work. We do the basics everyday but we haven't actually done a proper ground session on about 2 weeks!

This picture is a little strange. I like it because his face is the only thing that is really clear. I guess it does make him look a little funny but since he is a baby and growing he often looks a little funny!

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I almost forgot to write about Gus!

Gus is a new boarder horse. He is only 6 months old and is a doll. He is a reg. breeding stock paint. His registered name is Nota Lota Fancy. He is a sweet little guy and Titan is loving having a new pasture buddy. They move around the pasture together. Even if one goes to get a drink of water the other follows along and dips his chin into the waterer at the same time. Though I think that Gus is a bit more atached to Titan than the other way around. If I take Titan out of the pasture then Gus whines at the gate, where if I take Gus out Titan nickers at him as we leave then just goes back to munching.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Horse for Boyfriend

Oh yes- I almost forgot. Boyfriend and I talked today (first time since Friday of last week!) and he wants a horse. I am excited that he wants to get into riding more. Last spring it took me a while to convince him to get on a horse (then the same day it took me a while to convince him to get off). I am thinking maybe a horse that he can ride while he is here but that would also be a good lesson horse so that it has a job when he is back home in England.

This picture is by me... along with many other things I like to experiment with the camera (Though I do feel it would be offensive to proper photographers to call myself something to that effect...)

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Horse Surgery- Messy Business

I forgot to post last night about Titan's surgery. It went very well and hopefully we have managed to save the 2 front teeth (though we had to pull one). Also the damage to his jaw was not as bad as originally thought- though the vet still had to drill into my baby's jaw and wire it together. The wire should be able to come out in a month or so and then it is just a waiting game. We won't know until he is about 5 if his adult teeth will come in correctly or not. So we may have to do some more 'fixing' somewhere down the line. But at least for now he is comfortable and eating well.
PS If you ever help with oral surgery on a horse- wear clothes you don't mind getting bloody.

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