Thursday, June 30, 2016

Good Fences #119

Sweetwater has been turned out in a large field for about a week.  No problems catching her, she actually comes to me when she sees me now.  Tuesday was the first day I let the other horses back into the field that is next to Sweetwater's.  
 Pep was very curious about her.
 There was a little squealing but I think they got along ok.
 Then Brother had to come check out what was happening.  He is not that much bigger, just uphill.
 There was some squealing and foot stomping at Brother's introduction.
 Guess she wanted to show off her freeze brand to prove she was a wild mustang.
Otoelene tried to get in on the action but Sweetwater had lost interest and had gone back to grazing.  

For more Good Fences click HERE.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In Bloom At The 4Rs

It has been a good season for flowers so far. 
These sun drops were blooming earlier this month. 
Blue Speedwell does well around here for some reason. 
My daylily border is one of my favorites. 

And I love these drumstick alliums. 

Not a bloom but a visitor on the front walk during yesterday's shower.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sweetwater Day 57

Sweetwater is out in the open.
A free horse. 
Well, sort of.  She is now out in a lager field anyway.  She has been coming to the barn when I go down there and has been no problem to catch, so far.  She seems to really like routine.  She accepts things better when I do the same thing, the same way every time.
Some one asked if I had tried saddle bags on her.  After I thought about it I decided that was a good idea.  I could put the saddle bags across the saddle like a rider.  She accepted the bags very fast.  
Then I put in 50 pounds of sand. 
She tensed up a little to start with but even trotted with the weight bouncing and shifting around without over reacting.  
I've started back with the snaffle bit again.  She will hold in quietly in her mouth until I attach the drive lines then it is chewing, head shaking and rubbing.  She finally settled down to it after about 15 minutes.
Can you tell I gave her a bath. 
I guess she still has a wild side.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Brush, Brush, Comb, Comb

"Brush, brush, brush brush, comb, comb. comb, comb.  All girls who to brush and comb should have a pet like this at home."
Dr Seuss
That is what kept going though my head as I was finally combing out Sweetwater's tail.  1/4 bottle of baby oil and 45 minutes later it was done.  I also loaded her all the way on and backed her off the horse trailer.  This was more tricky than the livestock trailer because we have a tack stall at the back so the opening for the horse is only 1/2 the width of the trailer.  She walked right on with the front feet then lunged forward to jump on with the back ones.  This put her much more forward than I was wanting because it meant further to back off.  After a little hesitation she went ahead and started backing and unloaded like a pro.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sweetwater Week 8

We are continuing to work on calmness.  Maybe I'm overdoing it and she probably won't go when I do get on but I'd rather have than than the bolting. 
She was calm enough bareback at the fence that she even started cocking her leg.  
Since the trailer was still out from the horse show I decided to work on that some. The first day she was so scared of it being in a different place she wouldn't even go past it.  
I only asked for her front feet to start with.  We did this several times, stood for a bit then backed off.  She was very calm.  
Then I worked with the bridge, standing and backing off.  Hopefully, when I ask her all the way on the trailer I will be able to get her to back off calmly.
I also finally got her to canter an entire circle for the first time.  And she is no longer running off when I get in position to get on like she did in the video 10 days ago.
Then we were doing so well yesterday, I had her trotting while leading, stopped and asked her to yield her hind end then front end.  She still gets bracey over the front end but does it.  Then she charged at me with a light "squeal" and nipped at me.  I backed her around the barn and she was fine again after that.  I really thought we were over that kind of thing but I guess not.  She definitely does things on her own time schedule.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Horse Show and Thistles

Our local saddle club had its first show of the year Saturday.  Since I had to be there anyway I went ahead and took a couple of horses with me.  E had just had her wisdom teeth out and didn't think she should be riding and V was helping a friend photograph a wedding so it was just me and J.
 I showed Brother in the Western Pleasure classes and got a 1st, 3rd and 5th.  He had moments of brilliance but those were usually outside the ring.  Inside the ring he would get tense and speed up when other horses passed or rode up on his tail.   I think he is still growing too.  I measured him the other day and he is 1/2 inch shy of 16 hands.
 I took Otoelene and showed her in the Ranch Pleasure classes.  She got 3rd, 4th and 5th.
 I think these were the most popular classes of the day.  Otoelene did ok except for the pattern class where she was a total embarrassment.   There were 4 poles in the middle that we were suppose to side pass then walk over.  She acted like she had never seen a pole before in her entire life and refused to side pass then she hit one and spooked herself.  I finally got her to walk over them.  I'm going to be trying to forget that one for a long time.
The trainer with the other mustang came and carried the flag at the start of the show.  She was amazing.  She also competed in the ranch pleasure and trail classes and placed in everything.  The horse is very nice and the trainer is fearless.  
Then this morning I took Hank for a ride.  I haven't ridden him in forever and thought he might like a trip out of the field. 
I went on a ride around the farm to inspect my thistle spraying.  I have obviously missed several.  You can see the wilted ones next to the bright green ones.  It is very hard to keep up with which ones have been sprayed.  I lose my place when I turn around to make another pass.  Sometimes I think, remember that patch of 3 together and that's where I left off.  Then I get turned back around and guess what, there are about a 100 patches of 3 together, and they all look alike.   So after a few days when they start to wilt I go back and spray more. 
We also checked on the cattle and had a very pleasant ride.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sweetwater Week 8

It has been a slow week for Sweetwater.  
I did have to turn in my 45 day report with pictures.  She is gaining some weight but still refuses to eat any grain.  I have mostly been working on refining skills she has already learned.  I still haven't gotten on other than bareback off the fence while still hanging on to the fence.  She is driving better, more responsive to the reins and stopping better.  She spooked while saddling once and the saddle hit the ground near her back legs and she walloped it pretty good.  She is really good about picking up her front feet.  I pick up the back ones but don't hold them yet.  Sort of hoping when the farrier come he will volunteer to do that. 
I led her around some new places on the farm and she did wonderfully.
There was some sad news from one of the other trainers.  It looks like he will be out of the competition with his horse but he is petitioning the MHF to see if he can get another one.  He had already been riding his round at a big show he had taken some other horses to.  This is what was posted on FB

This week has been a week of heartbreak for HCF.    Mustang Sally will not continue to be in training for the Mustang Makeover Challenge. Unfortunately, she has a lameness (a form of laminitis) that will require her to be out of work and have some extensive farrier care over a lengthy period of time rendering her not suitable at this time to continue her training for the competition at the end of August. She has been vetted and the Mustang Heritage Foundation folks have been contacted to discuss the options. Jeff has made the decision to place her in the Training Incentive Program (TIPS) with the Mustang Heritage Foundation with the goal of adopting her out with full disclosure of her current soundness status. This is very disappointing and heartbreaking for all of us. This mare has an incredible mind and desire to please humans. Her potential is endless and we will work very hard to help place her with someone who is willing to wait on her and provide the proper farrier care she will need. The training she has already received will certainly be beneficial in placing her. If anyone is interested in adopting this mare, please contact Jeff. There are specific requirements (including an application) necessary for adoption eligibility and those are all accessible on the Mustang Heritage Foundation's website.

You just never know what might happen with any horse.
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