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...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Trot

 Who could resit giving this camel lipped baby a treat?! Not I!!!

And below, the best dog costume ever for Pudgie..a Jockey outfit...alas, only available in Chihuahua size and girthy Pudgie is a bit more rotund.  Oh well, hopefully someone bought it-it's HILARIOUS!

View below for a fun video from Friday, of our trotting, bitless and bareback and how awesome my furry OTTB is!!!
Even Sat, when the winds were up, he was defintly a bit more spooky but hey, it's Halloween weekend and there are goblins out!  He did well, listening as much as he could (we had moments of disconnect) but overall I got 45 minutes of solid work from him.

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

60 mph GUSTS of wind!

Seems like everyone is getting WINDY days!
Wednesday was so crazy windy that when I pulled up to the barn, I thought "this is stupid, Laz is going to be NUTS"  Well, I opted to take this video to show a few things.
1. Laz was an ANGEL
2.  Do you hear the crazy wind...that does it justice, I felt as if I was going to get blown over
3.  Note to self; don't videotape, lunge a TB, hold a whip and think you can do any of those tasks well
4.  How awesome is my horse for all the training I've done with him stepping on his lead and not freaking out!
5.  Laz was an ANGEL.  I know I already said that but he was!! The wind was tugging fiercely on his lead, thus him thinking I was wanting him to stop.  The poor boy was just trying to hard to listen, I was SO PROUD of him.  We worked for about 35 minutes and then I just looooooved up on him.  He rocks.\
6.  I have to enjoy the fact that though there are days where he acts up and scares me, they are few and far in between.  He is so awesome. 
Enjoy the "what not to do when lunging" video

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Visiting Horse Friends

A few months ago, I attended a free laminitis seminar at a local barn.  It was there that I struck up a random conversation with the girl behind me in line, waiting to ask questions at the end.  Who knew, from that, a new and wonderful friendship would start.  Don't you love that?!  It's the power of horse love (er obsession) for sure too, that bonds us horse-girls so quickly.
Anyway, you all know J9 from her blog "Hoof Prints of Enzo"  and a few weeks ago, we made a barn date for me to come out to where she boards, to meet her beautiful...I mean BEAUTIFUL Fresian colt, Enzo.
J9 has had many horses her whole life, has done a lot of different training methods (for the past 8 or so years, it's been Parelli) so I wanted to see them in action.  She attests her Parelli training for keeping her horses safe, sound minded and gentle, happy creatures.  I am a witness to that!

Meet Enzo!!! What a Prince!
He's not even 2 yrs old yet and he has (now b/c of her hard work) such manners and LOVE!!!
He is very playful mouthy and funny!
Look at that Fresian neck...it makes him seem like the tallest baby
My skill of photo taking this day, sucked the biggest you know what.  These do NOT do sweet Enzo justice, but I still had to post.  Look at those eyes......swoon!
His Fresian fur was quite coarse.  He has such a noble feel to him. 
J9's barn where she boards, is just beautiful.  Private, lots of land, great pastures, stalls and an indoor (jealous!) and gorgeous Fall colors were popping that day too.

Walking to their indoor. 
J9 and Enzo have been doing the majority of their training/playing in the indoor because he concentrates better.  She is now venturing out to the outdoor with great success.  He is such a smart boy!  I watched them for a couple hours, training and he picks up quickly on her body language.  I can see how he could  be a challenge, but they have figured it out nicely.  At under 2 yrs old, he already has most horses I know, beat in the ground manners department
Oh lovieness!  Indoor!
I didn't take pictures of their training as to not distract Enzo AND I really wanted to watch and observe how they worked without being a presence in the room.  It was really fascinating. 
J9 taught Enzo how to stand with his rope quietly, no pulling, no fussing.  He was ALL EYES on her.  It's a great testament to her training and commitment to him, because he actually had a meltdown and I saw what he does when he gets frustrated.  She told me, he used to do that much more than now.  You can tell, now, Enzo is beginning to understand and really enjoy his job.
What a sweet boy!
Oh...and what I didn't get on camera either, is how insanely awesome this baby loads and stands in a trailer!! Like a PRO!!! Wow.
On my way out...such a beautiful place.  Michigan does offer some gorgeous views I must say!
Thanks to J9 and Enzo for allowing me to watch them in action!

Monday, October 25, 2010

PonyMemo: Be dreamponies for last days of Fall to ensure feed through winter!!!

What's funny, is from reading many of your blogs, this weekend there must have been an air carried memo to all horses to be on their sweetest behaviour.  Well, Laz, certainly got that memo.
Lazarus was a DREAM from start to finish.
The day was supposed to be rainy, but like the typical weatherman, they say one thing and the opposite happens.  Thankfully, it was an amazing Fall day, 70 degrees, sunny and just a little breezy.
I went out with such high hopes praying that Laz would be of similar mind set.
I called to him when I pulled up and parked and he spun and nickered with such delight that I thought "Yes!!"
He is looking like a sweet Teddy bear lately with his winter coat coming in, and I was a little worried about working him in this warm weather.  However, this boy is in SHAPE.  He barely will sweat even after an hour of work.  Now, I know we aren't in major work mode, but even still, he's in great shape.
I started out hand walking him and he was much calmer in the arena than last time.  He spooked a couple times, but it was more of a worried, rush out of the scary corners but he never yanked his loose lead, so it was very minor. Good boy!!  Again, I don't mind if he shows he's concerned and wants to move, just keep it more controlled, which he did.
I decided to bridle him up in our bitless and ride. 
Way too nice of a day to not.
He was a dream-boat-lover gelding!
Every small leg aid, he responded to.  He was moving so nicely and trotting out and stretching out his neck, happily grunting and snorting the whole way.  Ears were pricked but gaggled back and forth lazily.
The BO brought in a few of her horses (one at a time) for some ground work, so I took that opportunity to work around them and encourage Laz to focus on me.  Go Team Laz.
He did great! No jigging, no anxious behaviour.  A couple times he was focused on Ellie, the 2 yr old, when she cantered around and he snaked his neck a bit but I was able to bring him back with a couple of half halts and leg, and we continued our work!
Lots of trotting circles and serpentines and diagonals, etc. It was a pretend dressage day-bitless and bareback.  It that ghetto dressage?  Well, we were rocking it.  We rode for about 50 minutes and I could have gone another 2 hours but I purposely kept my jacket on to gauge how warm Laz would be in his thicker fur.  We walked for about 10 minutes and I hopped off wanting to scream to the world...THIS IS MY DREAM HORSE!! He was just SUCH a gentle boy, eager to work, but kept a cool, calm head all day. 
I took him inside for some nose wiping (don't you think it keeps the bacteria away, thus a healthier horse?!), some holistic EEE nosode meds, carrot treats and the daily ointment of random wounds.  He stood like a seasoned rock.  He nuzzled.  I really think, it was a day, where he felt proud of himself, content and loved.
I would like to order about 364 more of these days please!!! :)
Sorry no pictures...I was just in the moment of bliss and enjoying it for myself.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Working through the ponypanic

Oh Laz!
He is OBSESSED with our neighbors. The ones who have Arabian horses, where the foal demon came from.  There must be some issue because he is so afraid of noises and sounds and movement from that direction. I can only imagine the bad smells he picks up on...the horses there are starving and ill kept.
So we've been lucky to have had 3 days back to back (whoohoo) together this week.
Wed he was awesome, really listened and we worked on just ground training.  It was crazy windy but he dismissed it and listened. Wow!
Yesterday, he was way more up.  I took him in the large arena to start with ground work and the obstacles are now removed.
"Whoa..wait...ok, surely I've never been HERE before...looks totally different!"
Yes, Laz, you have. He wanted to buck and kick and fly around so I allowed him to.  On the lunge line...I find when I allow him to run free, he gets overly panicked and can't calm himself down once he amps up and then tries to jump the fence. Um...no.  Lead line it is, it's our telephone line of communication.
"Oh yea..Hi Mom..did you hear that?! Whooohoooooo...what? Turn? ok...wait...what was that?! I'm outta here...wait...no? Ok."
So, after about 30 minutes of ground work, he was awesome.  I praised him for spooking in place and not bolting every time he heard a noise from the neighbors. Yes, Laz, think..good boy!
He calmed waaaay down. 
 See his new toy?! Our Parelli carrot stick and string.  Basically I have no real clue how to use it yet, but I use it as a training tool and desensitizing too.  Laz kept smelling it and licking it. Ok...whatever.
We are introducing some Parelli into our lives to aid with his behavior and to help me learn what I can do with it.  Don't gag...don't be haters...just be open to it and we'll see where it takes us.
Anyway, I know with many of my pictures, Laz is an angel calm face. Yes, he is.  But he has a wild side to him so don't think I'm beating on a calm pony here, lol, it's just the photo opts come when he's not flying around me or bucking/rear/bolting...you see?

Laz calmed down enough that I decided to ride him. Hoorah!  He did great in arena..we kept it walk/trot and did serpentine and patterns and he kept his focus and didn't spook at all, although he had one ear and eye perma-locked on neighbors.  I was so happy with him though.  If he was healthy last Fall, I could compare his riding and mental growth to this year but I dont have much to compare it too.  At any rate, I'm happy and he's happy so that is always great.
 He is consistently great with his ground tying, which is such an awesome bonus.  He steps on his lead every now and again and instead of bolting like he did last year, he just jumps back and resumes.  Even his jumping back has gotten smaller and smaller.  Good boy!
 War wound from running around..tiny but jesus, he steps on himself all the time!!  What are your thoughts on Bells boots for preventing this? Should I get some??

And now...for some hoof comparison photos! Thoughts?!

Right Rear-April 2010
Right Rear-June 2010
Right Rear-Oct 2010 (yesterday)

Right Front...looks pretty, no!?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bodywork-Masterson Method

Lazarus is one lucky and spoiled boy!
We had a most generous offer from a skilled body work masseuse to come and work on him.
That happened this past Saturday!!!
I've been so excited about it because Laz has been showing signs of being a bit 'locked up' in his muscles
Laz meets Tamara
"Whatcha goin to do??? You smell nice"
"OH?! Ohhhhhhhhhh"

Here's a short video:


 Yep, yep...right there
 I was just trying to be a good photographer here, lol!
 Yoga stretching. 
Everything was done slowly, slowly and lightly.  It was very calming and Lazarus really got a lot from it.
Tamara worked on him from 10 am to right around 1:30!!
  He showed signs of releasing: blinking, licking, chewing, head shaking,etc.  We also saw that he does little antics before his release, like weaving/head bobbing, almost fighting it, and that was followed by a big release.  Almost like "No, this doesn't feel good..I'm an athlete, I don't hurt...nope......no....no.....oh wait...oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"
 Holding his tongue (carefully) for releasing TMJ.  I just want to say, a lot of this is done from a trained professionals hands. Tamara showed me a few things I can do, but also a few things that should be left to the certified professionals, as to not to more damage.  The tongue release, I feel, for me, is one of those things.

This face was because the Mare, Jessie, next to him was in heat.
I guess Laz can multi-task
His stoic face...running nose from the massage indicates good things are happening.  Toxins be gone!
Some of the massage touches she did were ever so light!! She referred to it as light as if you use your fingers to touch an egg yolk...and look at how he's responding.  I did buy the Masterson Method video, to watch and do some of this work for him as he heals even more.  Perfect to do this winter, on those windy cold days, where we can opt to stay in his stall and stretch out.
She saw great progress in his hind end and said he wasn't showing pain in his feet.  Just in muscles, like hamstrings, back, etc.  It was very cool to see how he rippled his back in the beginning from ouchy spots, but after her work, he was steady and didn't move when she ran her fingers over his back.
After the massage, Tamara asked me to walk him for 10-20 minutes which we did.  Laz wanted to roll and roll and roll, which she mentioned he would because it helps with more releasing.
Watching the bodywork done was really fascinating...
xo THANK YOU Tamara (and Skip) for your skill and generosity!!! xo

And last night; he was playful, spring-y and full of it.
But, respectful and sweet as well.  He felt really good!
Check out his video of how good he felt....and looks!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kiss and make up

Fall this year is so so so beautiful, isn't it?!
It may have been this nice last year, but I was so consumed with Laz being first sick, that I didn't notice the weather much until mid winter, and at that point, BLAH.
I like that we are enjoying the Fall colors this year :)
Pulling up to the barn, I was totally anxious.  I was upset at myself for being so upset with Laz.  I just get SO disappointed when he acts in a way that makes me feel that I'm in way over my head.  So I carried that pain in my gut from Sunday night-Tuesday evening.
Of course, when I pulled up and he sweetly nickered to me.......forgiveness came ooooooozing out!
I also saw that my water loving boy, tipped over his water trough.  He likes to attempt to play in it from time to time and tips it over.
Damn Laz!  Don't you colic!
The BO's are great about care...that is one thing there is no slacking on.  But they have lives and were not home (I'm sure just for a couple hours), so I was concerned about how long did Laz not have water for.
I filled up a hand bucket while the trough was re-filling and he gulped down half a bucket.
Good boy...at least he took water in.
I went back in barn and stuck a flake of hay in a water bucket and left it to soak.
 Look at this muscle-y man!  
He is getting a little hay belly on him, uh oh!  But I think he looks good for going into winter.  You can see the way he still stands; pushes that right rear out so more weight is on his left rear.  I thank that left rear everyday for it's strength because I know that is a delicate, delicate balance.  This is why his exercises are so important.  He has to keep circulation moving in all legs and use all his muscles.
He is now an A+ at ground tying..and doesn't care too much when he steps on his lead.
 This picture below says it all.
Made up!  He's not for sale anymore (lol)
I decided after hand walking for a bit that we would ride.
I needed to reconnect and for me, that is a great way to do it.
He was awesome.
He had two spooks but they were controlled and he didn't melt down/bolt.
He was very lookie loo at the road and his two spooks were at that area, when he heard a noise. I think he was anticipating that foal coming out to eat him.
We ended the ride nicely, I dismounted off his right shoulder, for giggles and he looked at me like "Huh?"
We also worked on some space/respect again, hand walking, and he was great and listened well to some new  cues that I was asking of him.
Friends again!
Don't you love a mouthy gelding? I DO!
It was done sweetly, pulling at my shirt....is this a sign of dominance too? Uh oh...

 Laz eating his soaking wet flake of hay...whew...I wasn't sure if he would turn his nose up to it, but he gulped it down.  I just wanted to make sure to get water in him.
Mwa on those wet lips!
 Fall does offer some beautiful sunsets...can you see the tiny crescent moon over Laz's big rump?
And..what about this stoic chocolate?!
I mean, seriously?!!! Be cuter? I think not.
 Oh wait...Pudgie is pretty darn cute as well.  This is his orange ball that he is OBSESSED with.  He holds it, chews it, chases it for HOURS.  I have to take it away because he'll die of a heart attack over his love affair with that ball.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

YingYang of a weekend

Oh Laz!
Where is my wonderpony?!
  Where are we now in our progress of training?  Over the last four days, I found out some truths.
I discovered that our foundation is swiss cheese. LOTS OF HOLES.

We had four days in a row together! I can't remember the last time I was able to swing that and I was SO excited to work him and be with him Thurs-Sun.

Thurs-  I already did a post on that

Fri-  He was uppity.  Next door, there is an Arab farm and there is a 5 month or so (adorable) foal and their BO was walking him up and down the road.  It made Laz frantic.  He froze.  
Staring at Foal right before he blew up and knocked my phone out of my hand...nice.
 Then, he BUCKed and fart and try to bolt practically ripping my arm out of socket.  Whoa buddy, but I got him to come back.  We continued our hand walking and he was ok.  The foal went away, so I had Laz's attention back.  To get his attention prior, forget it. I tried and I failed.  Short of screaming in his face (which I'm not going to do) he didn't even hear/see me.  Not good.
So, then, after a few good minutes, I rode him in the round pen and we did OK.  He was spooky and jumping around but I did get the bitless to finally fit.  
Bonus on that, Bummer on horse behavior.

We finished as Stormy, his Arab man-crush came in so we let them play.  Laz is like the home schooled kid so I enjoy when he's able to play with others.

Saturday-  He was awesome angel baby and we were alone at the farm so it was quiet.  Hmmmm, beginning to see a pattern here.  Laz pays attention to me when it's quiet and has no distractions.  
Well, now that's not really a reality that I can depend on "QUIET ON SET!!!"  He has to deal with his environment changing while not turning into a monster.

Sunday-  (**I went to visit sweet Enzo and Janine at their farm, but I will post separately about that because it was so interesting but too much for this post as well) So, Laz started out quiet, lazy dazy, soft mouthy playful during grooming in arena. 
 Two other boarders were there riding.  Laz started to pay more attention to them.  The neighbor cutie pie foal was out for a walk again, and of course, all eyes on him.  The foal's Mom was screaming for him, and then foal in return whinnied back. Laz started his rockets and all I could do was circle him around me, trying to change directions to get his attention.  He circled and never once looked at me-his neck and head were cranked towards the foal in the road.  He was FLYING around maniacal and was so powerful, scary and dangerous.  He would only stop when he wanted to, to HONK snort at foal, freeze and then he was off flying again with NO regards to where I was.  He kicked out at me and I cracked my whip on  his rump for doing so. I was SO PISSED!!! Really?! You are going to kick out at me...you are more concerned with this foal then running over me?! He was racing around crazy. I called him a M'F'er.  In fact, I screamed it.  Sorry...but I did. I'm being honest. I was pissed and wanted to cry that 'where was my horse and who wants this BEAST??'  The truth is, I felt very frustrated with his crazy behavior and didn't really know if I was making it worse or better. 
Should I have stopped and put him away? I didn't even trust him to walk alongside me, he was so psycho. Should I have kept at it and insisted on getting his attention (which I never got!). UGH!!!

After about an hour of his frantic behavior and me now TELLING him to circle, reverse, circle, he was dead wet in a sweat and his attitude was no better.  Of course too, during this, I'm thinking of his foot.  He wasn't at all, but I was.
  We stopped, I rubbed on him and thought I have to get through his brain. He exhaled ( at this point now boarders were out of arena and foal was gone) and we started just hand walking around.  He was fine. I took him to barn and hosed him off (which he stood like an angel for) and then walked him back in the arena, some more.  He was OK, not giraffe neck and honk blowing, but not lowering his head down either and thinking.  He remained staring at the road in the case the foal returned.  He never really paid attention to me, he was just going through the motions.
  I wanted to end it after the 2 hour B.S. brigade, so I asked for three simple tasks: turn left nicely at a walk, turn right controlled at a walk. Stop, back up and DONE.  We stopped.  I petted him, rubbed it all away, took him back in paddock and wanted to sob.
I couldn't sleep all night thinking, well, I have my horse...this is him sometimes.  What do I do now? I'm not a quitter and I'm not willing to give him up.  I know he has it in him to think, I have to figure out how to get him to not blow up and loose his bananas.  More on that later...I think I may have a plan.

Tonight, I'm going out to the barn and starting over.
I'm letting Sunday go but not forgetting.
We will win this battle of fear together and reconnect.
I have to slow it down for him and introduce things s-l-o-w-l-y so he can handle it and master it.