About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Riding the Winter Solstice

Although the pictures seem grey, it was actually really beautiful and calm today on the Winter Solstice.
I was determined to ride Laz today and the weather cooperated.
It's been a few weeks since I've used the large arena, so I checked the footing (me running around in it) and it seemed great.  
I free lunged Laz in the round pen sans blanket being the weather felt a bit warmer.  I wish he would roll in the snow, but he didn't.  He was a bit fresh and came in and out of concentration today.  
One minute he was following me and listening to my every ask, the next he would canter around and tilt his head and zone out race horse style and got very defiant and pissy.  Odd.  I worry about when he does that because in the past, when he zones out and starts running, running, running, he builds up more energy and attempts to test the fence as if wanting to bust through.  Lately, he's been great and calm but today he showed signs of that behavior is not yet completely gone.
In the end, he came back, calmed down and I decided it was time to ride.  
It was a great ride. 
We saw two Cardinals! Spring??? lol
The snow gave Laz a good workout and we just walked and he was great.  Light, spook free and ears pricked forward but relaxed body language, lots of licking and sighing.
 Then, there was an ODD noise from the neighbors (the ones with the TB eating Colt) farm that not only got Laz's FULL attention, but all the other horses too.
It ruined our beautiful ride.  I felt Laz literally amp up to full tilt and start shaking. I thought he was going to blow out right beneath me.  He became obsessed with that noise (sounded like squealing machinery?) and then very frightened.  He wouldn't bend.  He got VERY heavy in the bridle as if nothing would stop him if he was ready to bolt.  He wouldn't stop staring over at the neighbors and shaking. He was breathing very hard and inhaling deeply and blew that ALERT snort. 
Eeeks.  
Somehow, I kept it together and remained calm and sat heavy on him. I decided to stay on him and move him back to the round pen to see if that offered any security. It did a little. We did our serpentines for about 10 minutes and that helped, but truly very little.  I walked him around and just talked to him but every time he heard that noise (every few minutes) he got so scared! Poor guy. 
When I finally got him to relax a little more, I took him back to the big arena to see how he would react.  He was scared again.  I just simply asked for a circle and didn't push our luck.  I didn't want him to bolt which I was feeling could be the next step.  I had a sense he just wanted back with his herd.  I listened.  I dismounted him, patted him for remaining calm and not bolting/bucking.  He was so tense that I even decided to untack and re-blanket him in his paddock vs out in the open like I usually do.  I just sensed that there could be too much room for him to freak out and hurt himself, so again, why chance it.
I have to say, even though it turned from a bit of heaven to scary..I was proud of Laz.  He was very scared and didn't melt down completely.  Although we had a major communication gap and I felt him tuning me out several times, he never completely lost it and left.
 Scary noises make for great head shots, lol!
 Once out in his paddock, he ran to the Alpha Mare, Jessie and spun around facing the scary noise.  It was cute. Was he protecting her? Or was he going to her for protection? Whatever it was-it had all the horses tuned in.

Sweet Mason cut his foot probably when doing his sliding stops to fetch as his body races to the toy.  The snow/ice combo does that to him.  I try to make him take it easy but he just won't.
No problem, I put some DermaGel on it, padded it with a cotton ball and vetwrapped it and he played another hour with no care.
So far, riding and playing in this snow has not been too bad! 
I think it could offer some nice conditioning overall.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Enjoying the winter

It's nice to be able to say that. 
I can enjoy this winter.
Last Oct-March was such HELL for us. I'm just enjoying Laz being able to be a horse and feeling more normal and comfortable.
Now, that being said. It's COLD. Yuck. 
Pudgie has it right below.
 HORRID picture below, Laz looks like he has puncture wounds in his neck and above his eye. Rest assured they were just odd reflections because when I took this photo and looked at it, I ran my hands over those spots, like wtf? But they were just fur laying oddly.
But..yea, he drinks! LOTS. Laz LOVES warm, like bath water, warm water!
The BO's also put these discs in his water to help it from forming ice on top (not that they would really allow that) and I think Laz likes them. He licks it, plays with it and pushes it down to slurp.  
Remember his barrel obsession? 
I think these discs provide the same pleasure 
 I had literally an hour and a half to be at the farm before we needed to head out to Part 1 of 4 Family Xmas, so being cold, I didn't even yank his blanket.  I just had him move, free lunge style, while his beet pulp slurpee soaked.
What a smart boy!!! 
Mom is slacking on reading/watching for more games, etc but for now, I'm so happy with his progress!
What I didn't catch on tape was the funniest spook and bolting around the round pen.
It's funny, when he amps up, he tunes me OUT and I just had to wait until he stopped and remembered that I was still there.  Silly boy!
video
I'm  hoping to steal a ride this week...but we'll see what the weather brings!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Equine Xmas Tree and barefoot trim

Oh Christmas Tree!
First off, I'm NOT a huge Christmas fan. I like getting together with family and what not, but I think Christmas presents, the pressure, etc takes away from the holiday. I LOVE Thanksgiving and Easter the best personally.  Family gathering, no pressure, not a whole lot of travel, etc.  This Christmas, we will celebrate it 4 different times. 4 times the fun? Not really. ;)
But..that being said, I'm not a Scrooge either. I do love our family, the dinners, etc and the decorating.
Our little Home Depot tree-REAL-thank you!
She smells great and has a nice body to her with not a lot of height which I wanted.
Here are some of my horse ornaments!
This beautiful white horse reminds me of Gem Twist
Who can resit a Ropin' Frosty?
A rearing wooden Palomino
My new ornament that I got at the Horse Expo...who does this handsome TB look like?!
Love a draft!
Another Palie
Everyone loves a Donkey and Eeyore too!
This one is from my Childhood, so it's pretty old (not TOO old!) and the horse's mane is rabbit fur..I used to love to rub it when I was little
Today was barefoot trim.  Laz had 6 or 7 weeks since the last trim.
I decided to yank his blanket to allow him a chance to roll if he wanted (he didn't) and to free lunge him.
Look at how long his tail is getting! Hoorah! Gogo, watch out! ;) Haha, yea right
 The snow was plush and so beautiful as it glittered in the bright sun. Still COLD though..I think it was 24 today? I didn't check..I didn't want to know but it was bearable actually and the sun was sooooooo great!
 So free lunging got boring so I decide to run and play and have Laz run and play with me.  He did a whole lot of this while I ran around him.  I beat him twice around the round pen.  Not a very fast OTTB today ;)
But sweet and kissable for sure. I threw his blanket back on as our trimmer pulled up.
 Today, he took some clippers to the right hind foot....ugh.  
I kept saying, "Oh god." and "how do you know it won't just start gushing blood?!" 
Cliff is very patient with me and said come Spring he can show me how to do some rasping myself and will come and check on me so I learn by doing. How cool!!! (and scary) but cool! I would love to know more about the feet and I'm a visual learner, so a hand's on approach may be the trick, along with other aids of course.  
Anyway, the clipping exposed some thrush that had been hiding inside.  Cliff said the cold should kill it.  I'll keep an eye on it and if it seems to stay, I'll bust out the White Lightening and finally give that a try. Seems I need a soaking boot for that??
Look at this poor, poor hoof.  So stretched and thick and bulbous and ugly.
So ugly
And scary
Reminds me of my YiaYia's (grandma) toenail that as a child was stuck by a porcupine's quill in Greece and never grew back the same.  Thick and lumpy.  Could Laz have the same? 
I hope it comes back normal.  Cliff said his growth at the top looks good.
 His other rear is looking so great and normal. Both feet had laminitis in it but the right rear was the worse of the two.  I just hope we are still progressing.  Laz continues to walk the same and trot the same so that has to be a good sign?  Seeing his hoof is just an everyday reminder that we are not out of the woods yet...on our way but slowly.  Barefoot trimming started end of March 2010.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glamour Shots

Yes, I braved the COLD and snow and drive (slowly and carefully) to check on my boy.
I over worry (shocker!!!) that he's cold.  He was fine and as snug as a bug in his winter rug.
Out at pasture, playing and digging for grass nibs, but still comes to me..........aw!
 Iceballs on his whiskers and chin hairs but he was warm!
 "Sniff..PawPawPawPaw...Oh, a blade of grass. YUM!"
 Soon, Laz will be able to be turned out with the other geldings...I'm sure he'll be so excited to be able to naw and play with others.  He's been home schooled for so long, and longs to be with the others and finally he's at that stage where he can safely. (knock on wood of course)
 Ice balls on his feet, yet when I put my bare hand on his leg it was warm (not hot)...so I need not worry about him being cold.
I was so inspired by this photo, that I HAD to try out our own Holiday Glamour Shots....lol!
Not an easy task!!!
First we had to walk to line of horse eating trees...
 Laz was a little concerned a had two BIG spooks where he jumped back, but I just told him "Beauty is Pain" and we worked it out until he was calm. It was more of a fake spook really...he was just feeling GOOD!
So, for $1 at Target, you too can have a Seussical Santa hat!
Just cram one big furry ear in there... and Snap away
 
This was the best shot of the day...cute but not cover material
 Darn that beautiful sunshine!
 Laz was going to town wanting to EAT this horse eating pine tree
 Black Stallion??
 "Mom..I'm over this"
 "Mmmm, maybe one more bite...can I get a lemon twist with this?"
 I love this one too!  
Despite the COLD, it was a beautiful winter day with tons of white snow

 **SPOOK**
"RUUUUUN...Pine tree came alive!!!!!"
 "what happened??"
 Mason wanted to show his modeling skill..
"Like this Mom?"
 "How about I do the 'give me your steak' gaze while I casually look over my right shoulder, Mom"
Paparazzi beware!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Had one of our best rides on Saturday.
Laz was a calm, super star. 
I started out with some Parelli games to see where his mind was. He was IN TUNE and wanting to listen. Good Boy!  The weather was a balmy 37 degrees so in my new WARM awesome coat, I decided to ride and enjoy the day.  We did some schooling of walking, trotting, stopping, leg aids, figure 8's, etc. Laz was such a good listener. Sometimes it freaks me out how in tuned he is and leaves little room for me to mess up.  He's very forgiving actually because I know I send mixed signals all the time. Sweet Bay.
Anyway, since our ride in the round pen was going so nice, I decided to test the water and walk around the property.  The last two times I hand walked him out there, he had some major meltdowns and we worked on our Parelli games to give him some confidence and focus.
Well, I'm happy to report we rode around the outside of arena, the front lawn, the road (no lame steps on gravel road!!!), the driveway, etc with NO SPOOKS. He was attentive but even kept his head low(ish) and sighed a lot and licked a lot. Brave boy! I was so proud.
These are the little things that can sometimes go missed, but 2 yrs ago, I couldn't even lunge this boy without him having a panic attack.  Big steps in the right direction of a happy horse!!!
I hope to go trail riding this spring and want him to enjoy it too!
Come spring, I'll have to start using a saddle again, lol.
 I made his Slurpee and boy is he quickly learning that after our ride, his grooming, when I open the grain room door to grab my pre soaked beet pulp...he is practically drooling!!! I had to remind him of some manners when he dove into the bucket while I was walking him back outside to eat it. 
 Not acceptable Laz ;)

NommmmNommmsMMmmmm
 Soon, Laz will be able to be part of a herd again.  The BO's are taking in a new boarder and her Senior Arab, so that means some re-shuffling will happen.  We hope Laz can go with the BO's herd of the geldings, which should work out fine since they play over the gate. 
It will also encourage Laz to keep moving over the winter and play again.  I know he'll love it.

Laz with his too young girlfriend, 2 yr old Ellie
Inappropriate!
 I'm also thinking I need to bring out the cavelletis and work off that belly and strengthen his back a bit.  He's starting to sag...any other suggestions for that? Rounding up too I know helps but it's still a bit hard for him to push off with his hind end.  In time. I just don't want his back to weaken
 And in dog news...Mason apparently is a Husky MAGNET
This is our behind our house neighbor's dog who is an escape artist.
 They played for about an hour when I decided to take her home being no one was out looking for her.  This is the 5th time we've returned her.  Kind of annoying.  If either of my dogs were missing, I would be hysterical that the town over would hear me.  
 For for those who live in Michigan, do you know we have some amazing dog parks?!
This one was SO great and only 10 minutes from my house and I just stumbled on it Friday afternoon while out for work.
 Of course, I had to pick up Mason after work and go check it out.
It was hysterical!  There were about 15 dogs and the park was HUGE
 What a great way to burn some energy off.  
Mason was the oldest dog there being 6-1/2, the others were all around 18 months so he had some energy to contend with but held his own.
Lately, I've been really appreciative of what Michigan has to offer.....it's actually A LOT!!!
Growing up in a North Shore suburb of Chicago, I took a lot for granted and moving to Michigan for College and life thereafter was an adjustment, but actually, there is more here than I realized.
And it's growing.  More culture (love that), great ethnic restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities.
And beautiful snow falls...