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, March 29, 2013

Typical week

Laz and I did lots of little activities this week, just he and I (and sometimes Mason)
After our trail ride last Saturday, we had a spot where I asked Laz to cross an iced over puddle. It was wide, frozen on top and about 8" deep of mucky water. He didn't love doing it but he did it. Slowly. He let Pito go first, he pawed at it (breaking it up/testing it out) and then crossed slow and careful. When it came to re crossing it on our way back, both ponies said "NO" so we found a different path. I circled back and asked him to take just two steps toward it, he did and we retreated with lots of neck pats. That spurred me to continue our 'desensitizing' that we ALWAYS work on.
So, below was a hand walk for Laz, Mason and myself
We walked, trotted and cantered. Yes, WE. You try to run along side your horse at a canter, it's funny.
Here's a quick video of it:
I'm still such a fan of hand walking exercise.
1. I don't have to do a heavy groom session and sometimes in between my work day, it's all I can do to get him out and moving.
2. It allows me to study his foot fall, hoof balance and landing
3. We work on confidence and 'touch it' games
"Iz tuchen itz"
"Lez tuchen dis toooo"
Wasssa milk? Alll dis plasdicz for me to cheu"
I'm sure the neighbors appreciate a 1200 lb fur ball digging through their trash
4. We worked on our water/icy puddle crossing
"Uh whad dis?"
"I can no see so I can no walkz on"
"Okai onlee one toez"
"Or one futz ana time"
"I smardest horz in wurld"
March 25th was my Bday! 
Booyah to waking up to this per my Hubbie
 Red Velvet cupcake for breakfast. Yes please
Coffee in my kermit mug that I've had since I was (4?)..yup.
And holy Kate Middleton, I got these from Hubby (is he smart or what?)....literally too nice to wear to the barn, but I'm no poser and I don't wear Hunters to run errands, unless said errands are after barn time...so for now they are on display in my home office so I can drool daily at them before they get smeared with Laz DNA and put to the test.

Groom session; Laz is shedding about 80 lbs of fur a day
Here he is nuzzling Pito in a tender moment..
And the truth 3 seconds later lol
Kindergarten hair cut--yes I don't pull his mane, I CUT IT (gasp!! the horrors!)
and on a nice 50 degree day, our ride
I rode him bareback pad, with bitless bridle and he did awesome. Warmed up a bit spritely but we did LOTS of bending, lateral work and transitions from w/t/w and w/c/w and he was a super chill star.
We rode in the large pasture where the ground is flatter because I really wanted to work on being clear with my aides/seat and I'm better on the flat bareback vs hilly and bareback 
(am I alone with that? #thighsofbutter)
Pito pretending to be mad
Sniffy sniff and then he napped while we rode around him
We chased the busy squirrels with no issues, weaved in/out of trees forwards, backing up, laterally (our lateral work needs MA-jor practice)
This is part of my frustration with my bitless lately, a few minutes into our ride, it slips or is uneven by some reason. Me/riding too heavy one side, stoppers not working, etc
See the difference between left and ride, that pulley/ring should be equal on both sides. I had 100% refitted/readjusted hoping for better results but within minutes, this happened. 
Bless Laz for not dumping me or throwing a deserved fit
He was so tired after our 1 hour ride, and I think it was because I was asking for more mental riding. He also got his feet trimmed right after and was falling asleep during trim, lol
                              With our upcoming day long clinic, he's going to be ZONKED

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring day but winter trail ride

All week, the weather claimed to be warm, sunny and 40's for this weekend.
More like cloudy, low 30's and damp. 
I have somehow lost, yes LOST, my warm down ugly brown winter barn coat. How? Where? WTF? It was so crusty I can only assume at this point, it literally walked off on it's own to die somewhere. 
Now, I'm left with layering myself with under layers upon over layers and vests. Grrr
Oh, and it's shedding season. If you own a Yak like myself, you clearly know that. I have eaten more horse hair than food lately.
Saturday, E and I met up for a trail ride. We both have had a hard, long week, and she was really missing her Justin. She wore her riding coat to the barn and remembered she hadn't washed it, Laz would not stop smelling her and rubbing his face all over it. It was sweet and very sad...
if people think that animals don't connect specially with certain ones, they are wrong. 100% wrong. Laz misses his buddy. He hasn't played with the others. He and Justin played with each other every waking minute.  Red has been adopted to a great home (my friend who runs a young girls riding facility about an hour away) and is being fawned over daily. So, now it's just Pito and Laz. They tolerate each other, but there is no love there. I hope it develops.

So, E grabbed Pito and we headed out...
The trails had broken trees that blocked some sections entirely, and some iced over puddles that we had to maneuver the ponies through. They did not like that, but they did it eventually. Laz pawed at the ice, broke it up, smelled it, and then walked through. Good boy!
 The trails were quiet, with the exception of one loud busy woodpecker hammering away
Footing was not great, so despite the ponies wanting to RUN, we could only canter in a couple of short spots.
I rode Laz in our borrowed bit/bridle and he did really great. Loose reins for most of the ride, and a quiet mouth. My goal is for ME to not hold him as much like I've been doing for some reason in my bitless bridle. I had MUCH less head tossing and frustration from him on this ride.
 You can see how narrow some of these trails are, it's great weaving in and out
The ride was fun, but I was FREEZING so I rode so stiffly in my body despite trying not to. 
The trails are so densely treed that it felt at least 15 degrees colder in there

Here was our ride:

My cow poke tired pony. 
He is a perfect cross between a future Hunter/Jumper (lol) and a Western Trail pony. He's my versatile OTTB
P.S. Thanks to Gen for his boots which we use ALL the time!!!
Mouthy Laz would LOVES to knock over my crate/mounting block
(side note; look at that fat belly, that untamed mane, his fuzzy fur..he is a fraggle rock pony)
"We iz DON, no more ridez today, I needz nappie"
Such a good boy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mirror Mirror

Yesterday we took a Sunday stroll. It was COLD, but we have an exposed dirt road back and I wanted to start getting Laz's hooves back on it.
Garbage day must be on Monday, because one of the neighbors had their trash out in front of their home, including a toppled old desk with a mirror....
To my knowledge, Laz hasn't seen how fat he's gotten  ;)
Click below for Video

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Lesson

Finally the weather (semi) cooperated so I could have my lesson that I've had to reschedule 3 times now.
I was so excited! 
2 hours of a private lesson with my trainer Meggie, who is kind, quiet and such a talent.

We started tacked up, and warmed up on the ground. I had Laz's BOT saddle pad on to help keep his back muscles warm and supple. It was a cool 32 degrees and windy on our lesson day but thankfully the pasture dried pretty quickly for decent footing.
Meggie had me work on having Laz stop on his circle with and without facing me. Without facing me helps him stay confident and not always looking to me for 'what's next'
Below I'm using my stick to yield his shoulder back onto circle. Pictures can't always translate, but the stick never touched him and is used slowly and as a request. Nothing vicious, or demanding.
What this picture does say is Laz has a big belly! Eeesh
Here he is stopped on his circle. He understood quickly and did great with it.
Lots of licking/chewing=processing and contentment
Mid snort, lots of releasing for Laz during our 2 hours :)
Yuck on the toe first...we need to hit our gravel/dirt roads for some hoof conditioning now that they are unfrozen
After about 15 minutes on the ground, I hopped up to ride in my bitless bridle
The 'issues' I hoped to work on were Laz's head tossing and 'feisty behavior' I've been experiencing on our last few rides out in the pasture and out on trails.
I put it all in quotes because I'm sure it's him trying to say "HEY STUPID!!! DO this or STOP doing that!" So, it's all part of figuring it out.
What I am not happy about, it I feel I'm causing him some discomfort in his bitless by over using reins and putting to much constant pressure on. Riding a flighty  head shaking horse that wants to run may lead to that poor riding skill ;/
So Meggie had me w/t/c with him to assess what I'm doing.
Aside from being super happy that I'm riding my horse and having my Mom there to document it all (Thanks Mom!)
Sweet Laz. So so tolerant.
Sweet Mason, followed us for almost the entire 2 hours.
 We warmed up tight. No, correction, I warmed up tight. Held my reins like a beginner. She urged me to 'loosen rein' 'loosen rein' 'loosen again' until we had this below on the buckle
Lots of releasing from Laz. 
Duh, me not nagging him or over asking or over reminding him, made for a happier mount.

I forget how long his neck is. On the buckle I still have contact. It's the 'fear' of when he 'acts' up that he leaves me feeling behind. Again, see a common theme. 
It's me. Not him.

Bare tootsies
Once Meggie reminded me of position, leg, LEG, USE YOUR SEAT, loose rein, turn shoulder, chin up (you know everything one forgets when out of working lessons) Laz was a happy, bouncy trotting boy. Walked, halted, cantered from a walk or trot and never 'acted' up. She thinks I ask him something, and then I don't release it. He gets annoyed by the ask and push and hold. Who wouldn't!?? 

Then, we tried something new. Something I requested. I had previously talked to Meggie about a bit option. I know..shocked?? I am as well. My Chiro mentioned that Laz's poll seemed sore and asked about my bitless. It made me think; if I'm using it incorrectly, then sure it would probably make him sore. I wanted to explore a bit as an option to give him a change of feeling, as well as having it as an option for our training, and trail riding, etc. Options people.

"Wazz a BiT?"
Meggie brought the 3 different bits that are for different type of horse personalities
We tried out one, he did very well, but she thinks the less ported one is a better option. We'll try that out next lesson in May
"Meggiezz u smelsss nicccce"
This was the cradle bridle/bit we rode in for anyone interested. I was surprised how well Laz did. He hasn't had a bit in his mouth for 4 years.
Bridle is UGLY, I hate the look of it, but it did seem to function well.
 Meggie left us her C2 or C3, I can't remember...but C1 she thinks could be the winner.
Holy $$$$ for Myler bits
How nice that she loaned me her bridle/bit--um very. I'm returning it April 6 at our next clinic (more on that to come--Laz and I are doing a clinic!!!!!!!!!)
Anyone know of a similar bit/bridle by another maker that isn't an arm and a leg?!
I'd like an option but seems SO costly....maybe it's worth it? I don't know yet.

Laz in the cradle bridle/bit combo
Look who's a Western pleasure fatty boom batty pony!? WTF?!
But, he had great slobber, chewed it a bit, never gaped (I have video but it's on my Mom's phone so I don't know how to upload to my youtube...darn) and we rode like super super soft and seemingly well connected.
No head snaking or acting up. He acted like he had a pacifier in his mouth!
We worked on w/t/c and transitions and he was great. Meggie commented on how soft and sensitive he is.
She wants me to use (as I feel comfortable) the bitless alternating it with bitted to give him options and get him used to it. This is from a trainer who rides in both, and bridle less so I trust her skills and training.
Look at his frame in a loopy loo rein--sorry for the blurry images but these are video stills
So much snorting and nose to the ground stretching in this bitted bridle.
Crazy...I was surprised
 A tired pony who did so very well
I seriously love my tolerant, smart OTTB
and my loyal riding buddy, Mason
 Mason passed OUT at while I watched "Desperate Housewives" (yes, I said it) later that night
What freaking fun we had!