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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a day!

Today was great!
I'll start with the pictures in the last post. The pictures of Chance and Mo I just thought were cute. Then there are pictures of when I got Margaret and Maynard home yesterday. They settled in well. I spent a little over an hour just fussing over Margaret. She needed to be groomed SO badly and she loved it! I fed her and then grabbed brushes and went to town. She was so dirty. She is shedding a lot already and since it is only about 28 outside I blanketed her. I don't want her hair going back in just in time for it to get warm (which it is supposed to starting this week!!). I also haltered and unhaltered Maynard about 10 times and started working on handling his legs (he isn't a fan). He is starting to like to be scratched on the neck so he really struggles with whether he should let me catch him or not. Then today I got up and went out and fed everyone. After they were done Margaret and Maynard went out in the arena and Tiki went out with Titan, Love and Gus. I hung out with them for a while and debated taking his halter off but in the end I left it on since I was going to be out there the whole time anyway. Chance has decided that Maynard is his new best friend. Margaret won't let Tess go into the arena with them but she let Chance hang out with them the whole day.Chance and Maynard became fast friends and were playing most of the day. Except when Maynard or Chance needed a nap. I wonder if they each realize that the other isn't also a horse or dog. Titan and I went for a trail ride and we got stuck in a snow drift. It was totally my fault and I am super lucky that Titan is so mellow. There is one section of the trail that dips and then goes up a hill. We were going along and I completely forgot about the dip. The snow really piles up there and we walked straight into it. Titan is game for anything so he plowed on through until he couldn't move. Then my brain kicked into gear as he somewhat tipped over. He just kind of lay sideways into the snow (that at this point was touching my stirrups). I climbed off onto the snow and pulled his reins over his head. He had to think about it for a minute and then he decided that yes he would get up and get himself unstuck. After we got out of that self made mess we headed back to the barn and rode around in the yard.
Love had her first ride today! Normally I would put this in the 'her' blog but I have decided that I don't have the time or energy for 2 blogs so hers will be smushed back into this one. I mounted and unmounted for a while and we practiced bending and giving to the rein. Then we walked around a little bit and she was so good! Never offered to buck or run off. Since she was so good I put her away after that. I wish there was more time in the day and that I never had to go to work. That would be nice.

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Margaret and Myself

The 3 of us

Chance and Mo sleeping

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Business Mode

Tiki enjoyed her first day here I think. She went out in the lot by herself so that she could get to know the others over the fence. She seemed like she was having a good time when I went out to get her, though she was happy to come into her stall tonight. Her old owners told me that she could be a little hard to catch but she practically haltered herself. On the way into the barn we did a little showmanship and she rocks at it. Stuck her piviot on the first try and she hasn't done it in over a year. Sets up well, follows your shoulder for walking, trotting and stopping. It was funny because we started doing a little showmanship and it was like she switched into business mode- was no longer looking around or watching the dogs, wasn't trying to sniff my gloves or pockets- she was all business. Then when I gave her a pat and told her that she was a good girl she switched back into play mode and nuzzled my hat. Cool horse.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Picked up Tiki!

She is lovely. We went to get her tonight after I got off work. She climbed right on the trailer, didn't even look at it. When we got her home she climbed right back off. Let her check out Titan, Gus and Love over the fence then put her in a stall for the night. I put Love in as well to keep her company.
She looked around a bit but never acted the least bit nervous or excited. Was happy to settle down in her stall with a big pile of hay. C came over to meet her and we groomed her for a little while (she needs a serious scrubbing- maybe tomorrow). Tiki leaned right into the brushes and closed her eyes. She was perfectly content. Seemed quite happy to have a nice soft bed of shavings to lay down in since she has been out in a pasture for the past year.
I think tomorrow I will tackle the huge tangles in her mane, more bonding time.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

I did it!

I bought both mares. I will be picking them up this week. I am super excited to start working with them and the one baby that is already on the ground. Yea! YEA!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I need some advice.

So I have been horse shopping for a while now. Not super seriously as I am in no hurry but I would like another horse to work with over the summer as well as a lesson horse. I found 2 awesome mares and need your opinions on them. I went to see them today and love both of them.

Miss Tequila Brook (Tiki-pictured above) is a 10 yr old red dun AQHA mare. She is 15.1. She has been shown in English, western, showmanship, halter, and trail by an 11 yr old boy. She has been trail ridden quite a bit and has a very level head and isn't spooky. She has no health issues and is completely sound. She is up to date on everything (though could use a good trim- I trim every 6 weeks and some people around here trim every 10). She has great ground manners. Good for the vet and farrier. Easy to load and haul. She doesn't really have much on her papers but since she would be for lessons I don't really care. She did seem a little herd bound but we pulled her out of a pasture that she has been in for the last 4-5 months during dinner time. She wasn't naughty about it just whinnied twice and kept looking toward the pasture. She seems like she will be a super horse to have around for lessons and for friends to ride when they come out. The only downside to her is that she is pregnant. She is due in early May. She is bred to a nice registered stallion whom I also met. He is well mannered and very nicely built. He has done well shown in halter at shows around the state.

Margaretta Ville (Margaret- pictured above as a 2 yr old) is a 5 yr old sorrel AQHA mare. She is 14.3. She was shown as a yearling in halter and lunge line and did very well in both. She was also shown as a 2 yr old in halter, showmanship and walk-trot and did very well. Then her owner was unable to show because of health reasons. They bred her at the beginning of her 3 yr old year. She is VERY well built. Gorgeous little baby doll head. Great manners. Great to load and haul. SUPER friendly. Up to date on everything (again needs a trim). She is pretty impressive on paper as well. Again no health or soundness issues. Needs some finishing at the lope to show western pleasure and would need to get into a bit as they had shown her in a bosal. Yet again the downside is that she has a foal at her side. Early January foal. He is by the same stud that Tiki is bred to. He is very nice to look at- good legs, very muscled, nice head and neck, pretty cute little mover. Will probably be easy to sell come fall. He is her second foal, they sold the first at an auction for $400 or $500 last fall.

I REALLY like both mares and think that they would be perfect for what I need. I do have some experience with foals. When I lived with my trainer I was 'in charge' of the babies and did all of the work with them. I do not have any experience in actually foaling a mare. I have been reading up on the Internet for the past several hours trying to see if this is something that I am ready for.

Just because a horse has a uterus does NOT mean they need to be a mom! Even her current owners (who I really liked and actually know from about 8 years ago when I was showing on the same circuit as their daughter) said that they think Margaret is sick of her baby already. Of course she is! She is only 5! I truly think that neither mare should have been bred in the first place. Margaret because she is too young and Tiki because she is average and there are too many average horses out there!! Don't get me wrong some of the best horses out there are just average Joes but does that mean when the economy sucks and there are tons of horses out there being sent to auctions that we should make more?! NO!

Ok I am going to climb back down off my soapbox for a little while and ask what you guys think. Neither mare is super expensive and both are pretty much exactly what I was looking for (minus the babies). I will have the time to work with both babies and T has already asked to help with them. I do have space for both moms and babies. I do have a client that I trained for in the past that has a breeding barn that I can call with questions/concerns and she only lives about 6 miles away if I need her. I also use the same vet she does and she said he is great about being 'on call' when the foal is due.

What do you guys think? Do any of you have experience foaling? Is there anything that I am not thinking of that would be a big factor in considering the mares?

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Love's first trail

Love was a tag along on the trail ride today. First I worked with her on standing to be saddled/bridled and with clippers. She was great for all three. I think she actually kind of like the buzzing of the clippers against her lips. We have been working with the saddle for a while but today was the first day for the bridle. I was standing next to her with it with the bit in my hands to warm it up before putting it in her mouth and she kept licking the side ring of the bit. She accepted it with no problems and was perfectly happy to stand there and play with it for a while.
I lunged her with the saddle and bridle on for about 5-10 minutes, mostly walking and trotting. Then we went back into the barn and I left her tied up for a bit while I went to groom and tack up Titan. T was there and worked with Gus and then rode Rocky on the trail with me. I ponied Love along and she was really good! Jumped a few times when Chance came flying out of the timber or when a deer ran across our path but never tried to spin around or run off. She really seemed to enjoy herself.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

On a good note.

I totally forgot with my rant on Vickey's totally irresponsible old owner about my lovely ride with Titan yesterday.
I have been dying to get in the saddle for the past few weeks but with the amount of snow/rain we have gotten it just wasn't possible. We kept getting snow then rain then snow then rain. So everything is in layers of ice and snow.
I couldn't take being on the ground any more so I decided to take Titan out in the woods for a little trail ride. We stayed off to the side of the normal path where the grass was long when it first snowed so I knew he had some traction. He was SO happy to be out! I actually can't remember if I have ever trail ridden him alone but he was a perfect gentleman. We got up into on of the fields and since it is on the top of a hill there wasn't much snow. We did some trot work but didn't canter since the ground is frozen.
After leaving the field we made the trek down into the woods and around the pond. We scared up LOADS of deer. Probably close to 50 in total (Chance was along and helped scared up the deer, much to my dismay) but Titan didn't bat an eye, was actually much more interested in following the deer that were running around him than shying away from them.
He was happy, responsive, quiet and we had a good ride. So the weekend wasn't a total loss at all.


Dumb Horse People

So I called the owner of Vickey to get directions and to let her know that I was on my way and her response was, "Oh someone already picked her up."
Was she not going to let me know before I drove 3 hours to get Vickey? So I asked her about the new people that picked her up. The new owners are new horse people. Vickey will be their first horse. She is for their 8 yr old daughter who has never taken any lessons. BLEH! Who thinks that was responsible of Vickey's old owner?? NOT ME!
I told her that if Vickey didn't work out for them to let me know and I would go pick her up. She said that she doesn't even know their last name and she told them not to bring the mare back.
Prediction: 8 yr old girl is going to break an arm or leg (or both) and then Vickey is going to get the lable 'crazy', she will be sent to auction where no one will have a clue of her breeding, training level or potential. She will be led into the auction ring exactly how she was pulled out of the pasture (because no one can handle the 'crazy' horse) by 8 yr old girls non-horsey dad. She will be sold for next to nothing and shipped to Canada. I think I just threw up a little.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Saddle up!

I saddled Love for the first time last week. We have been working on getting used to the saddle pad and everything for a while now but this was the first day with the saddle. She could not have cared less.
I did our usual routine with the saddle pad. On and off on and off for a while. She was visibly falling asleep. So I brought out the saddle. She pricked up her ears and sniffed it. Then closed her eyes and continued napping. I rubbed it all over her and she didn't open her eyes once. So I set it on her back. Still- eyes closed. It wasn't until I shifted the weight left to right a few times that she finally opened her eyes. Even if only to give me a dirty look for interrupting her nap.
On and off and on and off- still no response. So I tossed it on and pulled the girth across her belly. Nothing. So again. Nothing. Finally I gave up getting any response and cinched the girth. Tight enough that the saddle wouldn't slide if she bolted/bucked (not seeming likely at this point) but not tight enough that someone could mount. At this she did open her eyes and crank her head around to check out what I was doing. Sniffed the girth and saddle, nuzzled me and then just stood there.
I asked her to walk forward and she did, no problems. I asked her to trot on the lunge line and she did, no problems. So I asked her to go into the lope. You guys are all getting excited thinking 'here come the fireworks!' but no. Sorry to disappoint you. She loped off just fine. We stopped and reversed and did the same thing in the other direction, again no reaction.
I decided that was enough for the day so we stopped and I unsaddled her. She nuzzled my hands and my cheek and then proceeded to go back to sleep while I groomed her.
What a weirdo. A very good weirdo but a bit of a weirdo none the less.


Vickey Update

I am going to see her/possibly pick her up this weekend. I am taking the trailer. She is healthy and up to date on everything and if I really like her I don't want to have to leave her there another week or two because I didn't bring the trailer. Since she is free the owner says that the first person to pick her up gets to take her. Which also worries me because she isn't by any means a beginner horse but people hear free horse and their common sense goes out the window.
PS She needs a new name. I am not a person that likes horses with people names. Notice the other horses I have named are called Titan and Love. I don't mind if it comes from their registered name but when it is just a random normal person name I'm not a fan. Love was actually Jody when she got here. Also there is a woman in town that is called Vicky and I can't stand her. Any suggestions?