Mairsiedotes Wears a Saddle for the First Time

20180518_193043-e1526750916785.jpg
Mairsiedotes wearing the little kids saddle I just got. She did very well wearing a saddle for the first time. Cinch not very tight.

We took Mairsiedotes for a little walk to continue her ground training.  An added benefit is that both Honey and Bay spend this time running around their corral wanting to be with Mairsiedotes, so they get their exercise that way.

Below is a video of her trotting with John leading.  We did some starts and stops with her on this walk.

Training My Pony to Stop Nipping

Elinor from “A Horse From Elinor” asked for some of her readers to blog about breakthroughs we had in training our horses.  Here is one from when I was a young girl with a pony.

IMG_3203
Me training Trigger to stand for the county fair.  Notice he has my shirt in his mouth!

I owned a young  shetland stallion named Trigger, whom I owned when I was age 12 to 14. Trigger loved to nip at me Continue reading “Training My Pony to Stop Nipping”

Another Painfully Learned Horsey Lesson

Ok, so things have evolved in the horsey world in our barn so if Honey and Bae are in stalls next to each other , they will pick at each other and cause a stir.  Usually, if Bae does not like what is happening in Honey’s stall, including us giving Honey attention, Bae will threaten Honey with ears back and teeth bared, reaching over the boards of the half wall, and Honey will scream in a little high pitched scream to let everyone know something bad is happening.  There is often kicking of the walls involved too.  We have made it a point to separate them, with Mairsiedotes in the stall between, when putting them in for the night, so they will lay down and sleep instead of fussing with each other all night.

Today I learned of a new danger to the horses when they are in adjacent stalls.  In their spat this morning, Bae reared up and lashed her hoof out at Honey, and Bae got her foot stuck on top of the boards that make up the half walls that divide the stalls.  She didn’t seem to be able to get it loose, so I went in to help her.  This is where the painful lesson came in.

Cheryl was with me as I entered the stall.  She warned me to be careful.  I was being careful, but not careful enough.  I talked to Bae and she calmed down.  I gripped her stuck foreleg and began lifting her leg and body to free her.  She helped by rearing slightly as I was pushing her hoof over the top board, but then she put her trapped hoof down before we were completely free of the board.  My mistake was having my left palm still under her hoof, between the board and her hoof, when she pulled down.  Her hoof pressed and raked across the top of my hand as it slipped off the board.

Fortunately my hand only hurt for a minute or so, and I was able to finish my work in the barn before going in, but I learned a lesson I should have already known; I did already know, just forgot to apply when needed.  Never put your body between a horse and another object.  That is why instructors say to never go in front of a tied horse in case they move quickly forward, like if they get spooked, and crush you.

You can bet, and I will hope, if I ever have the need to un-trap a hoof again, I will remember my lesson and proceed with greater caution and wisdom.

The Difference Between A $5,000 Horse and a $300-$1,500 Horse

IMG_6237

Yesterday I called in the Veterinarian because Bae Bee had puffy eyes that were dripping a thick yellowish white ooze.  “It’s pink eye,” the Vet said.  He checked both the horses out and, while they cooperated very well, and he complimented them on being very nice horses, he said they were dangerously close to foundering.  That basically means they are obese and could easily get equine diabetes unless they loose weight.  He instructed me on what type of hay to give them (low sugar content like bluegrass hay), and how much per day (10-12 pounds).

He suggested we exercise them daily, beginning with 1/2 hour of walking and trotting, gradually increasing their exercise so as to not over do it until they are in better shape.  Overdoing the exercise could cause injury, just as in people.

Cheryl and I went for our first ride on them since bringing them home.  I rode Bae Bee and Cheryl rode Honey.  The saddle I tried to put on Bae Bee had no cinch.  I should have checked that when I picked it up at the garage sale for $1oo!  I wondered why they had a row of cinches for sale along side the saddles!  Instead of a saddle, I used one of the bare back pads I got for $10, and yes, it was very much like bareback riding only you don’t get as dirty.

Cheryl had the rocket saddle I got for $225.  Off we went.  Cheryl was unfamiliar with the cues Honey is used to, and was having a difficult time directing Honey where to go.  Bae Bee would not go anywhere without Honey, and on a bareback pad, I wasn’t about to try to make her.  So we meandered around the yard with lots of starts and stops.

Finally we got the horses out onto the road and started down our dead end, rural street.  We made it a few houses down before an ancient looking dog laboriously lumbered slowly out of it’s open garage door and tried to bark at us.  The bark sounded something like a deep, heavy, “Owwwww, Owwwwww, Owwwww.”

As non threatening as he would have been to me, if I had been walking, the horses were not taking any chances and began shying and rolling their eyes.  We turned the horses around and went the other way.

On the other end of our street, as we neared the busier country road, where traffic was speeding by, they shied again.  So much for them being accustomed to traffic, as we were told. We turned back to the house just in time for Honey to leave her droppings in the middle of the pavement.  Luckily it was not in front of the perfectly manicured yard of our neighbor across the street, who asked my husband to move our old truck off the street in front of our house because she didn’t like seeing it when she looked out her front window.

The ride was short but it was a start.

I told my husband, “The difference between a $5,000 horse and a $300-$1,500 horse is the $5,000 horse is well trained and physically fit.”  I’m Ok with these horses though.  They are providing me with the smell, feel, and joy of having horses . . . they are not perfect, but they are very sweet girls!

In looking at the following photo of me riding Honey, I realize I am in danger of foundering too.  I would benefit from a very strict diet!

IMG_6262