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They look and feel great!  And I love this picture 😊


New bit and stuff

I got the bit last Saturday.  I had worked her on the lunge line a few times last week, and then I did again with the new bit.  Yesterday I rode her bareback (well, walked) with it, and today, I started her lessons.

I lunged her a bit with the rein, to the left only, then got on her.  I went once around to the left, then switched to the right.  I worked her completely to the right today - as in, I wanted her to bend to the left.

Only once did she start to act up - shake her head when I asked to jog - but she stopped in mid shake as if she thought it might not be a good idea.  Only once did I have to haul on her mouth.  She was really very good.

When I asked for the jog, she was a tad fast, and I *had* to post, but then she evened it out and kept it at a steady speed, even on a pretty loose rein.  I made her go around 3x, then 5x, and mixed it up with a few end circles.  She never tried to stop on her own.  And every time I asked for a "whoa" she stopped, both walking and jogging.

I used my leg to "bend" her around the corners, and I think she's getting the hint.

Afterwards we went for a short walk over the left hand bridge and back.  She comes back peanut rolling!!  What a drama queen!!  LOL  But she's getting it also to flex vertically...  she looks so pretty :)

I let her eat grass in the round pen for 15 mins as her reward.  I didn't hose her off.  It was about 84 degrees, and the humidity was significantly lower this morning, that's why I decided to work her.  She got a little hot, but never really broke out in a sweat.

I was gonna work her again in the morning, but I forgot I have to pick up Zachary.  If I have time, I will lunge her, but if not, I will try tomorrow evening.



Cooling off a hot horse article

Many owners and trainers have never been taught how to properly cool a hot exercising horse. How hard can it be? Just hose it down with water, right?

Actually, it is very important to understand how to safely and quickly cool down a hot, sweating horse. The 1994 FEI Samsung Equine Sports Medicine Conference was held in Atlanta to address problems that were anticipated because of the intense heat and humidity that was likely to occur during the 1996 Olympic Games. Research from the initiative showed that simply hosing off a horse did little good, did not significantly drop the horse's temperature and might have been detrimental.

Researchers showed that cool to cold water poured or sprayed over a horse's skin wets the horse, and the very thin layer of water actually contacting the horse's skin is super heated quickly to the horse's body temperature. The rest of the water being sponged or dumped or sprayed on the horse merely sheets over that initial one- to two-cell water layer on the horse. The initial water actually acts like a raincoat and does not allow other water molecules to contact and cool the skin, so the horse can in fact become hotter even while being cooled off.

Therefore, clients should be shown that the best method for cooling a horse is to spray or sponge on water with one hand and to almost immediately scrape off the now super heated water with a sweat scraper in your other hand. Spray, scrape, repeat is the cooling method of choice. This means of cooling can significantly drop a horse's core temperature and requires less actual water.

The water can be fairly cold with this method of cooling because it does not stay on the horse's body long enough to cause muscle cramping, which had been a previous concern when cooling horses with the application of cold water.

Increasing airflow also can help with cooling, so fans and a choice of location with a breeze can help cool an exercising horse, but researchers have shown that water is still 20 times more efficient at cooling horses.

TIme. Again. Off and for training.

OK, clinicals are over, school starts Aug 26.  I ordered a bit last night.  A reinsman western D ring snaffle, with a 3/8" twisted wire.  It was $40.  JEESH. The Ds are 3".  But I ordered a 5".  Screw it.  Sandy said her bit was a 5", I took a piece of tubing and marked it off and measured her, and her mouth looks 5" on that...  I need the tiny twist to get her to behave.  I know she liked it, and I would like to keep her in it, so I wanted a western looking one.  I have no idea if the pinchless feature will counteract what I'm trying to accomplish, though.

western snaffle

&$@#*, I just looked at my account and it says this item was oversold... ???  Dammit, does that mean MY ORDER?  argh...

ANYWAY, when I get it I will start on her right away.  I just went back to July 2011 to see what I did last time, and I'm going to do it again.  Start with the lunging.  I was hoping to have the bit... well, we can still work on stuff.

She is really gonna be mad lol


Tack Room Lattice

FINALLY.  I got the rest of the lattice board and Dave put it up for me!  This picture shows the twine, I have since replaced all the twine with black cable ties.  I trashed the FMI plywood that was blocking the wind and rain, (and what I used to teach Cricket to walk over for bridges), and the tack room has just opened up so much!  We haven't had a soaking rain yet, but I hope it will still keep out most of the rain.  Maybe the floor won't get so muddy, either, with the panel on the gate.  Everything goes about 1" from the ground so the dogs will stop coming in and eating my catfood and carrying the food bowls out to the pasture :P   Stupid dogs!!  The cats can still squeeze thru the diamonds, and also thru the panel fence between the stall and the room, plus where ever they were squeezing before around the posts.


Cricket has perfected her gate opening skills, and can flip that sucker open any time its not locked!!  AND she is learning how to take the lid off the feed can.  JEESH.

I rearranged everything inside the tack room, and now I can maneuver around without climbing over stuff, and I moved my saddle pad, and hopefully it won't get wet now.  Slowly but surely I think I'm making everything look nicer.  ??  As nice as I can without tearing down the complete shed and putting up my own barn!!!  Maybe Albert will let me do that next year, if he doesn't sell me the property, maybe he'll "rent" it to me and I can do what I want on it?

I rode Cricket last sunday for a nice walk, and she was good except for feeling like a spring over the bridge.  I hope to ride again today, if it doesn't rain.  Have to finish studying first.


She is SEVEN now!  WOW.  It's pretty cool knowing I got her at less than 2  :)  I wish I could get a picture of us together, from far enough away to see how tall she is compared to when I got her, but someone has to come out with me and take it!!  I didn't give her any presents or treats, other than some extra peppermint sticks in her dinner ;)  She was VERY grouchy and pushy today! LOL!  And the wind was 20+ mph... so she was jumping around and trotting and showing off how beautiful she is :)

I was surprised I got her standing still AND with her ear(s) up!

3-24-2013 bday pica little "nose-heavy" but oh well!


OMG, never ever want this again, one of the most gross and disgusting things I have ever seen...

Handfuls of mucus pouring out her mouth and both nostrils.  Backing up and staggering... hacking a horrible cough.

Thank GOD she passed the obstruction on her own.  Thank you, GOD for letting me keep her...


Last few times I rode I just felt like I wanted to run like the wind.  Which is unusual for me.  So Thursday after our ride, where I cantered her a little way down Anderson Road, I thought the next time I ride I will canter her ALL the way down Anderson Road.

So today I got to ride. It was about 68 degrees!! I went out at 12:30, and we got on the road about 1.  We walked to the road, and then I trotted her past the junkyard.  Two doggies came out, but we scared them away.  Then I asked for the canter.  I made it a point to sit back/down, and put my head up and sit straight.  She still runs into the canter, but I got her going.  She only slowed once, and then when she picked it back up I could feel her cross-cantering.  So we stopped, and started up again. Ah, perfect!  :D 

she had a great slow speed, was very comfortable, and I had a nice loose rein!!!  Wish someone was videoing us! we went all the way down to the barn.  It's funny, cuz when I say "whoooaaa...." she instantly stops, but then she jogs down to a walk then stops.  I need her to stop that jogging stuff... but at least she is stopping!! 

So we walked towards the back gate, cuz it was open.  She stopped dead in her tracks because she spied a calf.  LOL!  In a paddock, but I guess it just "appeared" to her.  I tried to keep her moving so she wouldn't tighten that spring inside her. 

Finally she relaxed, and we went forward.  We went thru the gate, and she kept her eyes on the calf, and then the others she saw.  They were just agitating her for some reason.  I asked her to trot, and we went towards the end of the road where there were rows of round bales.  I turned her around, and she seemed to instantly relax, and then all the cows started running away from her.  She was a little nervous, but she didn't take off.  Then I asked her to canter again, and I wanted her to go thru the gate and on down the road.  She wasn't sure about cantering thru the gate.  I could feel her hesitate, but she kept going.  After we were thru, she was fine.

We cantered, same as before, nice speed, loose rein, about halfway down the road.  I stopped her, let her rest a second, then asked her to walk.  She did pretty well, very relaxed!  YAY!  Then I wanted to go thru the field, so I turned her, and then asked for a trot. 

The ground was very soft, and she was picking up speed, so I turned her several times.  Finally we came up to the trees, and she was still a little fast, and I kept turning her.  We went thru the grove, came out the other end (we stopped inside just because) and then I headed for the road again.

She was jumping at ??? along the creekbed.  I couldn't see or hear anything, but, apparently, something that ate horses was following us.  Finally we turned towards the roundbales, and then got back on the road.  AH, she relaxed.

We walked the rest of the way home.  She was soaked!  She was wearing her 35 degree coat, and it was really hot!  I had a Tshirt on with my safety mesh vest and *I* was hot!

But it was a good ride, and I accomplished what I wanted to do.  We were only gone about 36 mins, but I cantered.  And it was a good canter  :)

Very happy.

She still surprises me

Warmed up a bit today, low 60's.  Supposed to be in the 50's overnight, so I took her blanket off and put it in the car.  Maybe rain tomorrow, but still in the 50's.

She was jumping and bucking and running with her blanket on when I got there, acting all silly :)  I fed her, went to El Campo to return a movie, came back and she was too curious, so she came to see what I was doing. haha :)

I gave her some treats, then got the stick and did some ground stuff.  I don't know if this is ok or not, but the last few times (including today) when I ask for a stop when she's going around to the right, she HOPS into it!  It is hilarious, so that's why I don't know for sure if it's ok that she does this...  Instead of planting her front feet and swinging her butt around to face me, she is airborne, and comes down facing me!  No front feet planting, just a hop into the air, turning in air, and coming down facing me.  Hmmm.  !!

So anyway, she was doing pretty well for being feisty, (and dodging the cats, which gave me 3 heart attacks... ) so I put the bareback pad on her and took her out into the pasture.

She was very good!!!  She didn't try to get back to the shed, she jogged at a very comfortable speed, she STOPPED when I said WHOA, she tucked her head BEAUTIFULLY when I asked for a back... she moved sideways both ways without any trouble.  JEESH.  And I haven't been on her since last sunday, our anniversary ride.

Don't get me wrong, I am SUPER GLAD she behaves so well with these giant gaps between rides!  She still needs concentrated lessons and long rides to get back to where she should be, and I haven't cantered her in ages.  But to be so good at the little level I'm asking from her, with not much reinforcement in between is very encouraging to me.  :)   Happy  :)

I want a picture of me riding her.  Guess I'll have to try some video again?  argh. 


Ok, I missed the other two days it was 38 in the morning, and no wind.  Last two days the wind has been howling, and it was to be 32 in the morning, but 7mph winds.  So I put her blanket on. She was not thrilled.

It was 29 this morning!!!  I went out at 8 and it was only 38, but I took it off anyway.  By 11 it had warmed up to 50.  She even ate almost 2 flakes of hay I threw out for her last night.

I'm ready for the cold.  Her blanket will probably last another season.   We need some winter!