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...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Lazarus!

Sweet boy turned 10 years old today!!!!
(In lucky years, I'm so lucky to still have him...2 yrs old)
 His foal registration....awwww
 We picked up his bday gift, a BIG bag of Omega Fields Flax to add to his diet...he loved it!
Here was why, along with a lot of read research that flax can help those predetermined to laminitis:
 •RESTORE cracked brittle hooves and develops strong solid hoof growth

•PROMOTE shiny, healthy coat, and smoother skin texture
•ALLEVIATE stiff, immobile joints
•SOOTHE aching muscles and shortens recovery time
•STRENGTHEN immune system
•ELIMINATE sweet itch and bug bite sores
•ALL NATURAL without artificial preservatives
•ALTERNATIVE for pysllium which prevents sand colic
•RECOMMENDED for Insulin Resistance and Cushings

Birthday boy running after a good birthday roll!

 It was spotty and rainy on his bday, but as luck would have it, it stopped for about 30 minutes so I quickly stopped his bday grooming and took him out for a RUN!!!
 Terrible picture but the bday boy slopping up his slurpee with now added flax

***
Moving backwards, to review this past Saturday
 It was W-I-N-D-Y so I wasn't sure what could be accomplished but I went out with high hopes
 It was B-U-S-Y at the barn, lots of building, dogs, people, etc so great tests for Laz and I 
Laz did amazing...we worked on just keeping him comfortable but listening
There were some big spooks, to be expected but when I patted him and talked to him he came back to earth quickly. He did a lot of tongue rolling and lolling which I've actually not seen him do, but then would blink and lick, so I assuming it was just anxiety and then himself working it out and calming back down.
I was happy with him and we w/t for 45 minutes despite the world going on around us, quite well
The BO had a riding lesson going on in the round pen, and there was building going on in Laz's pasture so mini had to come roam around the arena with us.
Laz and I channeled our Western side and did some cow penning....er mini penning, it was hilarious
Laz got so into it that he gently bit mini's rump and the little Wicked took off running, bucking and squealing, lol!
After our ride, we took a hand walk with another boarder and her Arab (you can't see them because they are on Laz's other shoulder side)
It was way too windy for us to feel safe riding, but we still wanted to go 'trail walking' so we went about 1-1/2 miles
Hooray, I also tried on Laz's easy boots and they fit him again...his hoof is regaining a normal shape and made me feel better for our road walk
 
We are just walking by this PARKED semi truck...it was NOT moving, no worries.  Laz walked by while shoulder bumping me the whole time like "Ummm...Mom, shouldn't YOU be closer to this giant, than me??"
I had to remind him of my space about 10 times
We stopped at this baby bubbling brook to see what the horses thought of it.  Being a water boy, I thought Laz would enjoy to step in it.
What I don't have a picture of is Laz choosing to not walk in the water, but perform a DEER LEAP over this brook about 7 feet wide and then almost trampling me (really he tried not too) but behind me in the picture is a wall of shrubbery so there was limited space for him to go. He caught me so off guard that he opted to jump instead of walking, so I quickly scrambled to the other side to coax him to walk over and he again LEAPT over, stopped by me, sighed and looked at me like "whaaaa...that...oh that's nothin."

Jeez...and ooops, he was totally fine, even though I freaked that he hurt himself (jumped!!?) but now I know to maybe not ask too much for this little frog horse likes to jump??!

When we got back, I let him graze the sides with his tiniest bff and enjoy the sunshine

Friday, April 22, 2011

Proud Momma!

Those little winning moments
Seems little in comparison of what talents some of you and your equine partners do BUT I'm not diminishing our partnership either.
We've come a LONG LONG way.
I used to have a horse I could hardly lunge safely or walk...and yesterday we successfully did a local road ride/trail ride.
Laz and I went on a trail ride down the road (where I've hand walked him) with another boarder and her Arab gelding.  We were both a little nervous but we wanted to enjoy the beautiful sunny day and thought, "well if someone has a freak out, we can just turn around and go back home"
(Not a trail at all actually but we call it that..it was the dirt road off our barn's property but it's homes and brush along the side.  LOTS of mailboxes, driveways, etc to make good use of desensitizing.)
Both the boys were fantastic...a little tense (I'm sure because of our behavior) but totally great.
I have to say, with Laz, I'm so impressed with his trust in me and his ability to grow and change from his past.
While we were waiting for our trail friends to tack up, I warmed him up with a 'forward and retreat' down from the arena to the road, along the front and side property.
He was at full attention and coiled yet also trusting, breathing and taking it all in.
He seemed to be enjoying something new.
Our trail was only about 30 minutes (after our hour ride in arena) and was awesome.
We went down the road in a new direction which Laz and I have not done and turned and did the other direction for probably a mile total.
Mason came toddling down with us and kept close to our side and in the brush smelling the world.
Laz watched Mason and didn't spook while he made rustling noises in the tall weeds and stood patiently in people's driveways when cars needed to pass us by, with Mason sitting and waiting.
We had at least 6 cars, vans, trucks pass us. NO problems.
He also tolerated me constantly talking to Mason and directing him where to go, which may have helped me act more relaxed than I actually was because I had something else to focus on too.
At first, it was a little tough to tell if he would spook BIG because he felt so ready to go at any moment, but I just told myself "TRUST him" and don't ride for the spook, just ride through it IF it happens.
Laz had a great forward walk and ears were pricked the entire time. 
I was able to relax after the first few moments and kept talking, breathing and scratching his withers cooing "good boy!" to him
All this bareback, in a bitless, on my brave OTTB man.
So happy....it was a great day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Using what we got

It's been a weather nightmare lately.
Wind, WINDS, snow, sleet, rain, WINDS and cold...did I mention, windy?
Brrrr
So I haven't been able to ride since Wednesday, which is OK, because I enjoy our ground work and firmly believe that a lot can still be done in terms of training, healing, rehabbing, exercising and mental work.
Saturday was a no go...I drove an hour in the rain to basically groom my wet soggy boy and watch him eat his hay.  Doesn't matter, he was happy so I was happy.  Drove an hour home.

Today, I managed to get a couple of hours in with NO rain! 
Victory!
Windy, yes, but whatevs!
I grabbed my brown boy and was aching to let him play and stretch it out in the large arena.
He went straight to rolling.
 And rolling...
This boy loves to roll in cool sand, or mud, or muck, or dirt....sigh
 He proceeded to pop straight up from his roll with the loudest fart and buck.  
How can you not laugh?!
Instead of grooming him first, I went right into free lunging and let him blow off STEAM.
Which he did for a good 10 minutes and was having fun.
I brought him back in and groomed him thoroughly.
Applied skin ointments to his herd bites and his hock sores and instead of free lunging, we then switched to some long line work.
Trotting ground poles.
Worked on w/t/c on long line and then did some Parelli games.
I took him down to the far end of arena and worked on circle game, having him move his shoulder or hind end away when asked (believe it or not, Laz HATES to move his shoulders/head/neck vs hind, so I work on that frequently-it's a brat thing, not a lame thing).  He actually did great with that today!
We had a couple of explosions where Laz decided he either was done, or didn't quite understand my request and was extra panicky because we were working in the 'scary zone' of the arena.  He blew up when I asked him to change directions on the line, like a trot, reverse direction, trot.  
He struggles with this on days where he's UP...he wants to STOP, SPIN, FLY, REAR, BUCK and be defiant.  
No, I'm looking for a soft but attentive turn, thank you
Looking back, when I started this work in November, that was the point that I would freak at.  
I felt out of control and that Laz was dominating me....which he was.
When Laz becomes BIG,  he gets BIG (and dumb, lol).  

Now, I seriously laugh it off and have a better idea of what to do, to bring him down and get him attentive and back in control of body/mind.  
I asked him "Find your brain...."
"Pick it back up"
"Good boy!"
I basically match his energy instead of shrinking back, I raise up to show him that "NO...you need to listen to me and it will be OK"
I maintain asking for reverses and circles and dont stop until he shows signs of releasing and calming down.  It really only took a couple of minutes 
He did calm down and went back to understanding and respecting.
"Ohhh, you want me to turn....see, haha, I thought you wanted me to rear and be a stallion Mom....ooopsie!"
His work ethic is truly so great, that when he does blow up, it usually means that he isn't understanding or can't quite process it and needs a minute, a reminder, and time to work it out.  I also, have to be aware if I'm asking for something correctly, as well.  
***

And, the BO's are adding on to the barn, extending lean to off stalls so now our herd of three will have a shelter for during the rain, hot summer days, etc, instead of having to stand in their open stalls.
Love it!

And I'm happy to report that the minimal application of the Animax on Laz's unknown hock irritations, are doing well and healing with fur growing back.
Picture above is from today, and picture below is from last month

Monday, April 18, 2011

Riding in PJ's

Not literally, but these new breeches that I was so kindly given from Fuzzy Logic Equine, feel as comfy as your favorite pair of PJ's. 
No joke...

They are so comfortable that I haven't had the heart to wear them to the barn yet.
Crazy I know, but they are my nicest breeches and I just love to try them on and the soft-soft-soft interior is like fleecy butter. 
They will be my new Cold Spring/Fall/Winter riding pants (once I actually de-virginize them that is)
Best part, they are a Michigan company!
bunny fur soft interior fleece
Zippered pockets on both legs...DUH..super cool and much needed
Customizing available

Bootcut style with knee patch

The Director of Marketing assured me that I need to get them on and RIDE in them because they stand the test of time and get better with age and use.
In fact, her words were: "Don't worry about getting them muddy & nasty - they clean up quickly & easily in the washer & dryer.  Normal settings, regular laundry soap.  Nothing special needed.  They won't fade, bleed nor shrink either."

Awesome!!!


To find out where you can buy your own Fuzzy Logic Equine breeches, click HERE for local stores that carry them

Friday, April 15, 2011

SpringPlay

When Mason and I leave for the barn, I always gather up balls for Pudge to play with while we are gone.  
This little dog LOVES his balls!
 He chews them and intentionally makes them *pop* out from his mouth so he can chase them
 At the barn, it was beautiful this past week and I was able to go both Sun/Tues/Wed
 After our work on Tuesday, I worked him on the long lunge and he did quite well.  He picked up the correct lead (after about 5 attempts of incorrect) and celebrated it with a SURGE run and a few bucks.  I was happy to be on the ground for that celebration :)
I cooled him down by walking around the property and enjoying the sun
 Love this!
 I braided mini's THICK mane because he's rubbing his neck raw under his mane.
We treated it with some 'stop the itch' salve and allowed it to breathe
 Cute right!?
The braid lasted about 30 minutes because I gave him a lunge lesson and he was horribly WICKED and stubborn and confused.  I had to search for a good moment to end it on, which came after my hands were raw, shoulder felt yanked out, and pony was tired.  He did better the next day.  Whew...that pony is cute but strong!

Wednesday, Laz and I had an awesome, awesome, awesome ride.  
He was looky loo but didn't spook and gave me a great ride. I worked on bringing hip over, shoulders in, etc.  He did great and we continued our trot work from arena, to outside around the property.  The BO's husband was driving tractor around and Laz was awesome and not paying any attention to that, and only to me.  
Good boy!  
The warm, still weather may have had something to do with it, but I'll take it!
Tues/Wed-Laz was moving beautifully and his trot is looking great!

Snuggling with Pudgie...this little guy, when we rescued him had lived his entire life (2-3 yrs??) in a cage only.   We rescued him from a puppy mill about 4.5 yrs ago and he knows a life quite differently now.
What a little stinky angel
Pudgie convinces you that enjoying time on the couch is a good thing in life :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing with the world's smartest horse

Ok, ok....maybe not the world's smartest horse........

video


video
....but maybe the world's sweetest?? 
;)
This is his progression of what I'm teaching him to do, after two weeks.
Yesterday, it totally clicked for him
I am doing this to get him camera ready, for when my friend's bring their little 'horse loving' children out this summer to play with Laz

When rehabbing a horse, take the time to play.  
Mental games are great for both :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend follow up and some canter work

This dog lives to go to the barn...I don't know what I did with his energy before?
 Loving on my boy after our workout...lol, he seems annoyed like "get offz my nekz"
Cliff came on Friday evening for a trim
Things are still looking good and he brought a young girl (assuming she's my age..young! ;)  trimmer learning to do this who was super friendly and great.  She is a certified practitioner-AANHCP and is now going through the school of "Cliff" 
 Laz, during his trim was more interested in his reflection in Cliff's car window 
He also bit at his car handle...um, no.....lol!

My Mom took some pictures of us hacking around
I swear between my dirty half furried horse, my giant muck boots and bubble head helmet..it's not pretty

 Doing carrot stretches helps him bend and become more supple
 A better stretch after 30 minutes of riding



 Toward the end of our ride, the 'scary' white dog that walks down the dirt road got his attention...and Mason's too
 I just pat at his withers, reassure him and wait.  If I let him stop and look, it avoids a blow up.  If I push him through it, he gets so flustered and rubber necked and BLOWS up.  
I'm sure this isn't proper training, but whatevs.
 Laz, my Mom (his Yiayia) and me

And Videos from the day:
Trot work with a baby 4 beat canter at the end....aw
video

...and us working on correct leads...fun but a FAIL going to the right....shocker.  
Baby steps. 
Cliff said having him W/T/C is fine, just don't have him canter for 15 minutes at a time. LOL, like I would! We maybe cantered for oh..3 minutes total, on and off.  As you know...I DON'T push it when it comes to his healing.  I may work on his canter 1-2 times a week, from the ground, in the beginning and see how he does for his correct lead.
I'm in no rush but he does have a fantastic canter!!! 
(when he doesn't throw his head down for a shoulder hump)
video
Laz has been cantering more on his own, so it seemed appropriate to bring it back into training.  I want him to work on it, while coming back down to calm instead of getting amp'ed up like he used to.  He's MUCH calmer now coming down from the canter....those leads we need to work on.
Any tips?!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mr Spookerson

This is re-capping, this past Tuesday, April 5th.
Sunny, cool but nice and wiiiindy
Some windy days, Laz is totally at ease but this past Tuesday it seemed the whole barn wanted to be on alert and test their flight skills.
Ok with me..we know how to handle it via the ground NO problem
Also, my Mom came back with my Husband and I for the week so thanks for her support of hanging at the barn with me and taking videos/pictures! xo

Mr. Spookerson and Mrs Pale....eck
 "Watz that?!"
 Trying to groom him (he literally cakes himself in ear tip to tail in mud daily)

 "I see something!! Lions are out is the rumor!"
 He would go from highly on alert, to trying to enjoy his grooming, to anxious...he was a mental mess lol
 I had to remind certain manners, correct certain behaviors but overall he was ok.  My poor Mom was worried when he blew a few huge spooks and ran off and stopped.  Not his typical behavior but that was ok, we just re-set and started over.
 "Don't bruzhs my hairssss, I has to runs Mom!"
 Once he calmed down a bit, I rewarded with carrot stretches




Here are videos that re-cap the day
Letting him run his steam off before I could finish the grooming I had started
video
Working on our "COME" command from being off the lead
video

Our ground pole trot work.  
I love ground poles for him to build up his muscle balance
video
Another bonus and growth for Laz! 
Even though he started out spooky and motors blazing, once he got out his sillies and I put him lead back on him, he settled right in and gave no issues and went right to work.

It's a long way from where we were a year ago...another reason this blog has proven to be so great.  
It's nice to be able to look back and compare our progress.  
We are lucky