Monday, April 4, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
I actually rode her afterwards... I have video of that somewhere... She did pretty well, she has movement to absolutely die for, her trot is nice and flowing and she has a natural lope and does lead changes at liberty. She has the prettiest head and tiny little ears. She currently stands about 15 hands, but I suspect she should reach 15.1 hh. She is a bit thin for my likings, her past owner could no longer afford to feed her, so she should start building with good food and exercise in the big pasture.
She will also benefit from a good hoof trim... I will absolutely take before and after pics... I don't think she has seen a farrier in a long time, but I will fix that for her and it should improve her movement (which is already stunning!!!) and her posture. I hope to try her out more in the weeks to come, but I want to concentrate on our bond too, so that she is willing to work with me. She does have a bit of a tendancy to throw her head when pressure is applied to the bit, so I will look into that as well (teeth??? bit???)
Now for the sad news... I have made the difficult decision to sell Dandy. Since Dandy is partially blind, she will never be suitable for what I want to do with my horse (barrels, poles, low level jumping and complicated trails)... I have taken her to the level she is at now, but we will not progress further. She is one solid trail horse and an amazing girl. She is by far the best horse I ever rode. The person that will get her is definately getting the greatest horse ever! I will miss her dearly and I always thought she was my forever horse, but things change and I really hope a nice beginner gets her to learn from (Dandy is one great teacher). I am waiting for the right home to come along and am in no hurry to sell her. My price is very negociable to the right person. Dandy has always taken outstanding care of me... we have a great bond, she loves kids and knows to be carefull with beginners... she is such a gem... I wont ever be able to say enough good things about her. I will certainly miss her, but she would be better suited with someone that would be doing flatwork (amateur dressage even!) or nice relaxing trails... and someone that would work and ride her more than I currently do. She is a fun horse to ride and is very beautiful when she works.
I will keep her for as long as it takes to find her a really good home. She couldn't stand to be a pasture ornament, she loves to work and has to do it. This was the hardest decision I've had to make, ever, but I think it would be the best thing for Dandy... I can't be selfish here, I have to think about what she can do and what she loves to do and find someone that does just that. I have to think about her happiness.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Lots of movement in this one!
The little bugger has great movement. He is 1 year and 8 months in this picture, will turn two in May. He is as black as they come and it's hard to see his features on a picture. Should mature to 15.1-15.2 hands. He's just a big suck and LOVES human attention. Already wore a very light saddle / blankets and did super! I honnestly can't wait to ride him, but we won't be doing that until he is well past his 2.5 years... maybe wait for his 3rd year. That's the guy that was bought in utero and we've had him since his birth. We wouldn't trade him for the world! I love him to death even if he's a little trouble maker with the other horses... he also tends to run away with everything you leave lying around! He's a gem!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Now, you can't apply this strategy every time you trim, you can alternate between a Toe Rocker (which I don't have a picture of... GRR) and an aggressive Mustang Roll (like in the picture above, that's a very good Mustang Roll, Maybe I would do it a little more aggressive than that if the horse had a really oblong hoof). Then you can go back to the Toe Rocker for the next trim, etc. Once your horse's hooves have regained a somewhat normal shape, you can stop applying the Toe Rocker and just continue with a good Mustang Roll for the next trims. Using too much of the toe rocker might make your horse go flat-soled, so only use it if it is really necessary and don't over-use it.
As I have probably mentionned before, I like doing my Mustang rolls so there is no more pigmented area in front of the Water Line (which is the really white part that goes all around the hoof, the White Line is yellowish / Light grey, you can see it if you look closely at the picture above, right between the Water Line and the Sole). This eases the breakover and reduces the amount of "pull" the hoof has to endure at every stride, therefore reducing the risk for White Line disease and founder. I always compare it to a fingernail, If you have a long fingernail, it can easily be ripped off if enough pressure is applied, as opposed to having a nice short nail that is harder to rip off or break.
Cracks aren't normal in hooves and there is no way on earth that anyone will ever convince me of the opposite. A crack is formed by an unatural leverage force that is applied or created by the badly trimmed or too-long hoof. If treated early, you can probably trim the whole crack out, but if left long, the crack will continue to grow with the force exherted on the hoof. A toe crack necessitates a good toe rocker that extends to the quarters, make sure that the hoof doesn't have any "corners" that would exhert more pressure on the toe and making the crack even worse. The goal here is to remove ALL pressure that could affect the crack. If this is done correctly, the crack should be able to grow out and the hoof will return to normal again.
Every horse has different hooves and some might be able to take more aggressive trims than others, my advice would be to always be carefull and never go and trim a horse too short too soon. Trim a little at a time, when I first start on a horse that I don't know, I only take out the basic. I touch up my trims every week and it is amazing how the hoof can change in such little time. Take the time it takes, don't rush nature, work with what you have, your horse will thank you and will never go sore or lame!
I really wish that I could've provided more pictures... I'll try and buy a new camera soon and show you what a toe rocker looks like. Have a great week!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This is the first time anyone has ever sat on Misty (that's me on her. I forgot to mention that I lost 45 lbs...). I had my sister holding her but she is doing great, paying attention to me and basically stood still the whole time. That was enough training for that day.
The week after, we took Misty out on her first ever trail ride. The ride lasted no more than 10 minutes. Misty did great! That's my sister on Misty at the trail head. Misty is being ridden in a bosal and responding fantastically to that.
Weeks go by and we are riding Misty every week (1-2 times) and slowly building her endurance. She is doing wonderful. Here are a few more pictures! The last one is me on Misty at the end of October, we did a little schooling session and I decided to ride her back home. My sister mostly rides her and has done most of her training under saddle.It turns out that Misty is by far the smartest horse that I have ever worked with, she seems to understand her job and does her best to please. She also has very light aids doesn't like too much pressure which is nice. She has a lot of stamina and could probably go all day, but we are not there yet, I want to make sure she is in good shape before going on longer rides. As of today, she has gone for as much as 1.5 - 2 hours, mostly walk and some trot. We are planning to start her conditionning when Spring starts. Right now, it's icy, cold and miserable so we are only taking them on short bareback strolls when it's not too icy (haven't been on a horse in about a month... I'm starting to NEED it!). She has been introduced to a bit and has worked in it for 2 rides.
I think this is enough material for today. It's been mainly focused on Misty, but don't worry, I haven't given up on Dandy. Her vision seems to have stabilized and she can see a tiny bit out of her right eye when the day is really bright. She gets along great with Misty and Wakan (the long yearling gelding) and has spent a good part of Sunday playing around with them. She doesn't canter on her own in the field, but she does trot and she did throw a few good kicks and bucks. It was very nice to see her go and enjoy herself, made my heart feel light and happy. I will have more on her in the next days! I hope I haven't lost all of my readers.
Welcome back to my blog and I'm sorry for having been gone for so long.
Monday, August 30, 2010
My SO and I have separated last week. If you asked me, I never even saw it coming... I might be blind or stupid, but in my mind all was going better than ever... it hit hard.... I love that man with all my heart and all of this as left me crying, not eating or sleeping for the last 4-5 days.
To simply add to my misery, I have found that Dandy has injured herself Saturday night or Sunday morning. Since she is still at my SO's farm (and I'm not), I couldn't check up on her as much as I wanted.
I came to see her yesterday and she seemed fine from a distance, so I went and checked the others... then, I returned to Dandy. There were many flies on her so I ran my hand on her face and down her neck to her chest... and when I got to the chest... I froze, my face changed. This wasn't Dandy's coat... I was rough and humid and sticky. Yes, Dandy has managed to injure herself. There is some sort of laceration or a deep rub mark on her chest about as big as a hand and a small cut on her shoulder. I took her out and rinsed it off... it was swollen and had the same consistency as hamburger... obviously, it was painful for her. I cleaned it and put some disinfectant on it.
This brought my spirit right down... I feel so helpless and I already don't feel competent enough to take care of horses, and this happens! I was in pieces on the ground. I realize that Dandy is not as happy as she was 2 years ago... she stays away from the others but always looks for them. She does not go into the shelter even if all of the others are in.
I think that she was trying to keep up with the herd as they were running in the pasture, and she must've ran into a fence or a tree, I have no idea. The wound is not life threatening, but I can't help but think about what else could happen... is this her way of telling me "This is it"? I will not be able to care for a blind horse like that and I know it. So what should I do? Have her put down? give her away to a kids camp? Would she be suitable for that or would she just end up at auction? What are my options??
Obviously, I'm in no state of mind to make an official decision about her. My mind is all over the place and this is just the cherry on the cake. I know that Dandy is almost blind (95% I would say) and I know it is affecting her quality of life... she no longer cares for anything, she likes to see me, but she doesn't do anything else... Am I making her suffer? Am I selfish? I don't know the answer, my mind is already flooded with other types of questions... I don't know what to think. I've had no luck talking with surgeons who could fix this and I would have to trailer her far in order to get it done, but nobody around is specialized to do this... and it might be too late (cataracts are too advanced).
I need to take a break, take a breath... so please forgive me if I am absent for a few weeks.