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...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trail Loving-Part 2 of 2

The last time J9 brought Kaspin to ride, it was NOT what I had envisioned. Laz was a total PIA but it showed the light for what he and I had to work on. So we have been working on those issues and we ready for Round #2 this past Sunday afternoon.
J9 and Kaspin were back visiting (she trailer-ed in to my location, it was mostly sunny and the Fall colors were out; we were determined to have a great ride!
I'm happy to say Laz marched right out. All our practicing was paying off. I had set him up for success by groom/tacking him up and having him already out before she trailered in. I figured it would start our partnership of better vs pulling him from the field from his screaming buddy.
It worked well for all
Heading down the dirt road (it rained all day prior but our riding day was gorgeous)
Who rides like this? Lately, my saddle has seemed slightly ...off. More on that later.
(I'm not blaming my saddle fyi, my posture can be piss poor!)
J9 and Kaspin (who is not a draft, he's a Haflinger, a huge one though) by the neighbor's tree
We were happy to have a good launch from the start and laughed about how crappy the last ride was (mailbox murders and all)
Heading through a neighbors property towards the trail
Laz did a phenomenal job leading and worked with me as I encouraged his forward movement.
He was a bit jumpy but never was panicked

 Into the trails, quite shaded
 Figures, I look Left, Laz goes Right "Hi buddyz"
 J9 and I met probably 4 years ago, at a laminitis seminar. I was standing in line to talk to the Vet after the seminar (this was a month or so after Laz was sick) and she was in front of me. We just started chatting, found out we both lived less than 1/2 mile apart yet both boarded about 45 minutes away near each other. She's helped me through so much with Laz and is such fun to ride with. Both Laz and Kaspin have literally the same personality! It's hilarious!

 We both love taking photos so it was all about "ooh look at that tree, or look at the sunlight here!" 

 This is where I scratch Laz as a "Its OK" and he almost always licks/chews when I do it.
 Laz lead most of the trail but we switched off a couple of times.
Kaspin was great at leading/following and Laz enjoyed the mental break to follow
 At one of the trail exits by the Dairy Queen (which is now closed for the season). If you cross that road, you get to the main trail system area where you can ride for 6+ hours 
We used this spot to get the horses used to traffic/noise. Laz did a bit of a spook when a motorcycle revved his engine but he was OK to stop and eat after a bit. He was definitely asking to get back in the trails, so I offered one more bite and then we were on our way.

This is my favorite picture below!
 Kaspin leading. Tail envy anyone?!
He is like a Barbie dream horse and J9 is his little Barbie doll lol. 

 She's worked so hard with him and he's come SO far. Literally, the bravery she has given him is tremendous.

 The boys got along way better than last time too
 Although after we dismounted, they did rear up and try to bite each other's face over a grass spot. It was fast and crazy but no one got hurt and in fact, it was quite funny being they are so simliar, they both reacted the same way. It would be interesting to see who would be the dominate (I think Kaspin) in a herd.
I had set my Endomondo but it turned off after 15 minutes...we probably rode over 2.5 hours and over 6-8 miles. (Laz and I can do 4 miles in an hour at the walk/trot
It was a blast!!!
Trail rides like this are so important because the weather is quickly changing...

Me on Kaspin. 
J9 just got a new saddle which is H.E.A.V.E.N. and now I'm feeling the strong need for one. I felt so balanced and secure in it, I've never felt that good in a saddle! ugh...it's not inexpensive either.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trail loving-Part 1 of 2

For the past couple of weeks, the weather has been fantastic. As I type this, it's all quickly changing; Rain, it's getting darker earlier (worst thing ever), colder and windier. 
So, on the good days one MUST take advantage. What better way to enjoy the weather and nature than atop a horse? That's not a question because there is NO other better way
Friday afternoon, the BO and I (she's really a friend so it's weird to call her a BO but anyway) took the boys out to enjoy the day. We got so lucky, the weather was perfect. 
60's and sunny and no wind. I had scheduled my work day around it and it was the balance to happiness. My New Year's resolution was to find a new job and make sure I'm happier in work/life and balance (I can tend to over work to a fault)
Balance below!
This tree above is on the dirt road on the way to the trails. 
Screams Photo Opp!
 Jill on her Pito 
(Pito is a 14 yr old OTTB awesome horse, he is her heart horse)
 My attempt at a horse riding selfie, I tried to get the horses in...didn't work!
Stopping for apples along the way, clean up crew is here!
 Apple juice anyone?

 Those photos above my sister actually took about a month ago, but I just love them!
Apple sauce face that I want to make out with!! I mean, you know what I mean...
The boys nuzzling and sharing apples
 Trail time!
 We rode that Friday for only an hour but it was great for the soul
I don't think every trail ride should or needs to be hours long to be wonderful for both horse/rider
Had to get back to work, but I had a smile on my face the rest of the day!

 Below was mid week, when I don't have time to ride but I do want to see Laz.
Gathering him from the field before a rain
 Hand walk down the road..grabbing some apples

 Doing some in hand trot work
Last Sunday (yes I know I'm actually working backwards here with my time line but does it really matter?) we had an Equine Photographer come out to do some photos that I've been wanting FOREVER! She's done a few for J9 and they are always amazing so I hired her for the Fall.
It was funny. I had to go to the barn early, all makeup/hair done (what?!) and then wash my horse (twice) and then change into different clothes, rally the troops when my Husband brought the two pups...oh and then smile. 
Below are the three sneak peeks I got from our 2+ hour photo shoot..I can't wait to see the rest!
It was mission impossible to get our 'family' shot. Two dogs, one horse and two humans...not easy!
She was fantastic to work with and I highly recommend her to anyone in the MI area!
Do you see Pudgie wedged in there, lol!! Mason was CRAZY ..can't you tell? Laz, well let's just say this ham knows how to pose...
Below, that browband was custom made by Top Line leather and let me tell you, it gleams with such perfection. I matched my earrings to it ;)
It's not your typical one line beaded browband, it's a triple thick luxury that is worth donning on the regal head of my angel face. Can you belive that's Laz below?! He looks STUNNING!!!!!!! I can't wait for just his head shots...ugh! obsessed with this boy.
This shot below was actually technically after our photo shoot, where she was like "GO get a treat because the sun around his head is perfect!" That's a great photographer!
Part 2 coming up soon...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trust the pony!

I rode Laz casually in the pasture on Friday and cooled him out on the road. 
I had plans to have my friend E meet us on Saturday for a trail ride, the weather was to be a perfect warm, sunny Fall day.
Life happens and E couldn't make it anymore...I couldn't find anyone to trail ride with. I was so disappointed on possibly missing out on a treasure of a day. I decided to text Juliette for riding support. She rides her 3 OTTBs all the time, out on trails and in large pasture areas, often all alone. (I've been told my whole life; it's too dangerous. What if this (bad), what if that (terrible)...what if NOTHING bad happened and I miss out on a great day? I mean, I ride in the pasture alone, I ride down the road alone...why not the trails?) I felt angry and turned to someone who was experienced with it and would hopefully give me the positive support I needed. Indeed she did. She told me basically DO IT. If I felt unsafe, dismount and walk and enjoy that. And also... to trust my horse.
Funny how I just didn't do that automatically...trust him.
Why wouldn't I? 
So, I woke up Saturday determined. I had a back up safety net of dismounting if things went challenging. I pulled on my big girl equine panties and left for the barn with a positive attitude.
I told Laz of my plan as we tacked up. 
We hit the road and rode right up to the neighbors property. Laz had one moment of "Uhhhhh.....alone?"
But I felt safe and connected and I just legged him on and LOOKED where I wanted to be.
The thicket area can be a bit of a challenge to Laz, it's high with plants and FULL of smells, so he questioned me a few times but then responded very well with my request of forward/forward/forward. I knew once I got him through the thicket into the wooded area, he would be game for the trail. 
And he was...
Entering from the thicket to the trail head
(cue the angels singing voices---ahhhhhhhhhh!)
 We enjoyed a lovely trail ride-all alone. We walked mostly, but I got great trotting and even a few canters from him. All controlled but energetic and forward which was fantastic.

 I had him out for about 45 minutes and he was eager but nervous and was sweating a bit more than normal. A few times I felt his heart bounding through my legs, so we would stop and I would give him a huge Olympic neck pat and shove a few cookies into his mouth. 
He would sigh and snort. GOOD boy.
 We rode in both directions and past the trail exit (he stopped and said "UH, dis is where we gets out") and then I called it quits because he gave me EVERYTHING I asked for. I wanted it to be a shorter positive experience for our first outing.
We headed out of the trail and back into the carved thicket area...
 I used grassy areas and apple trees for rewards and resting all along our ride
 We're the kings of the world...er trails
 Heading back home, Pito in sight!
 A bit sweaty. I dismounted and loosened his girth and allowed him to graze outside of his pasture for several minutes
 Being it was around 70, I decided to hose him off which he really enjoyed.
Wet chunker waiting for his cookie
 Rolling as I drove by...oh sweet boy! Job very well done
Here are some videos for your pleasure ;)
By the way, I had the date wrong...it was Sat 10/12
And this video was after our trail ride, in the thicket heading back towards to road on the neighbors property that she allows us to ride on to get to the trails
I was over the moon with Laz. He is just my dreamboat of a horse.
I love how smart and willing he is. He never 'really' knows my agenda but he usually is game for it.
What a fantastic partner he is.
I look forward to more rides like this, just he and I.