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...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring chill mode

I'm happy to report that Friday evening was the day Laz joined back in with the herd.
Pito joined Tinkerbelle on Thursday with no issues and here is how Laz reacted to joining in
(video below)
Whew! What good ponies!
Saturday, the weather was heaven. 50 degrees, sunny, low wind.
I grabbed my pony, cleaned him up and decided to ride.
He was game from the get go
So...we ambled down the road and tried for our 2nd attempt for the trails
Heading down the mowed path on the private property to get to the trail system
It was a lot drier but we hit some soggy spots
 This is when I know I have a good pony between me; when he wants to stop and sniff things

 He would spot a few times to smell and I just would refocus in the distance and urge him on.
He obliged 

 Officially in the trail!!!

 Such happiness! I love our quiet alone rides when I can push my nerves aside
We rode for about 15 minutes when we saw two more riders in the distance...
Laz FROZE. It took a few asks and I got him to circle (breath buddy!) and we just waited to let them approach us. They were two ladies out enjoying the trails on their Canadian Warmblood and a Perch/TB X. We chatted for about 10 minutes, they complimented an OTTB in a halter (nope, it was my bitless bridle) and said he was the roundest TB they've seen. I literally laughed out loud. I take that as a compliment.  They seemed very nice and hopefully we run into them again. 
We carried on our own though today, as that was our mission.
After that Laz was definitely a bit more up, but I put in some trot work and he came back down

Here he is back to normal chill mode
Coming home...
 The two grays in the distance...far distance
This little friend joined us for a ride...
Laz, feeling a bit tired and content I hope, as I untacked/brushed him gazing over to his new herd of three.
What is nice is that Pito doesn't scream after us when we ride away because he feels safe with Tink
After my fantastic soul fullfilling ride, I made this for tomorrow's Greek Easter
A fruit trifle made wtih ladyfingers soaked in strawberries, lemon and condensed milk, layered with freshly whipped vanilla creme and topped with blackberries, strawberries and passionfruit
Pretty much a great day!

Monday, April 14, 2014


We escaped for a couple of nights to my old town, Chicago (I was born/raised in Evanston, IL)
We had a blast; weather was sunny and high 60's, food was fantastic, hotel was in a great spot and we walked the lake front to our hearts content.
We love nothing more than waking up, grabbing coffee and walking 5-10 miles while chatting, taking in the scenery lake side, and curling back into the City for shopping, people watching and scenery viewing. A great City vacation is so good for the soul.
Chicago is a fantastic place to visit if you never have
While we were away, my BO texted me this...
"Meet Tinkerbelle"
Tinkerbelle is a 20 yr old pony ex lesson mare and cute as cute could be!
She looks like a mini unicorn.
She may fart glitter!

I was anxious to meet her and I did on Sunday morning.
The boys (Pito and Laz) are separated for her so she can get acclimated
She is very leery of 'big' people but has already given several great kid rides I've heard to the BO's little ones and friends little ones
Dispite me wanting to SQUEEEZE her, I gave her time/space ...oh and cookies
She is DARLING. 
Is this not the face you envisioned when you were 5 asking for a pony?

 She and Laz squeal at each other over the fence...and when I was with Laz on his side, he actually charged at her with pinned ears. I'm hoping when they go together as a herd, that he will be sweet to her. For now, they are separated for a bit until the excitement settles down
 Cutie girl!
Her hooves are SO long, it looks like her last trim was prior to winter
I'm aching to get to those hooves.... but she's not mine
Any advice when introducing a new horse to a herd?
We plan to put Pito in with her first being he is the calmer of the two boys and Laz in last.
Is it best to let them go free as horses and let it play out?
Do you introduce slowly, all on lines? Then release?
We plan to let them sniff at each other over the fence for a few days, then
let Pito in and give him and Tink a day to bond, then introduce Laz and let them sort it out as horses while praying no one gets hurt.
Any secrets to success?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Riding solo and 1st lesson of 2014

Some videos of our solo rides/water training

Some days Laz is all this...
But mostly he is this ..
 He was extra snugly and quiet  
So we saddled up and headed out

 Snapping photos along the way down the dirt road
 He was quite and forward so we kept going...
 and turned towards the private pastures to get to the...
 mowed thicket that leads to our trails. I haven't seen these trails since early December 
 We went as far as almost to the trails but alas the footing was SO bad. He was sinking into the ground leaving huge holes about 6-8" deep. I finally gave up when we hit a low spot that had so much standing water and branches/roots that I didn't feel comfortable pushing him through. Laz splashed at it, and I gave him a cookie and turned around to come home
He did great, until we turned to come home. He got VERY anxious and starting tossing his head, curling up to explode and gave a few crow hops and squeals. We small circled our way back to move his ribs, breathe (me too!) and lower his head from a giraffe to a saddlebred to back to his normal relaxed state
We made it home in one piece but it was spotty for a minute. A dog came rushing out at us which didn't help but he knows better and I lost his communication for a minute, and had to fight to get it back
Not terrible for his first outing in that area in months, but not great

Chubbs grazing safely back home with his loosen girth, and muddy legs

We also had a lesson last week and I elected to work on the ground with him to start off in a true spot.
We worked on his respect. Not tossing his head or backing up or away when I rub his face. His reward was when he brought his head back to his chest center and low, I would stop rubbing.
We worked with using my body's energy to move his shoulders/haunches
She wants me to give him treats LESS and reward more with quiet time or a pat (I have a tendency which you may have seen in the video to treat the crap out of him! He's a foodie, what can I say?! But I get her point because he becomes so antsy for the treat that it's counter productive often)
We worked on our circle game (where I stand still and send him off in a direction on the lunge) and when he gets snakes his head/neck I use my whip to slap the ground behind him to mark that moment/spot and within twice of doing that, he quit and quieted down. I don't understand how/why it worked and I'm looking forward to seeing how that may translate in the saddle because he often gives me that sass under saddle. The lesson was really about matching his energy with mine vs shrinking back and knowing and using intention for him to respond to
Our next lesson will be in the saddle and putting some of this to work

Ah, Spring OTTB brains

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ahhh April

Oh, Hello April!
It's nice to show your 40-50 degree sun-shining face

I've been finally able to get back into a real routine
Laz and I hit the roads.
As you can see this is great footing (no really, it is) vs our pastures which are too soft right now
For a barefoot horse, this terrain is awesome to help condition and build a hoof vs standing on soft snow/mud/grass 
 Laz's eye says "Cookie?!"
Nope, just a photo of us enjoying our first ride this Spring!

Sir Laz is dropping fur in massive amounts
 Another day, we hit the roads and I didn't have Mason so I went a little further.
Mason turns 11 soon and I limit our distance for his comfort when he joins our rides.
 On this ride, Laz was a bit spooky. I am trying to use more approach/retreat for his comfort instead of push/push/push.
There were kids playing, dogs barking, people out in their yards working...so it was great exposure.
He got lots of pats, and treats 

 I can't blame him, he's been stuck in his pasture due to this crazy amount of snow for months!!
 Back home=hog heaven
Another day I came to alternate my riding with ground work.
I found this snoozing ponerton.
Put a bow on it!!
I couldn't resist curling into him for some napping photos

 The photo is the best..not sure what each of us is doing, ha!!
 Off we went on a walk to 'play'
I want him to think his rides are fun, as well as working on ground work
I've been encouraging water play...
 It's going well.
 He's learned that if he splashes, he gets a cookie, or a 'good boy' or a pat, or all 3
 By the way, this puddle was actually a HUGE pile of snow two days earlier.
It's dried up now...
 Mason rolls in snow enjoying the last of it
 Our muddy toes and reflection