Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Stuff!!!

I always love getting mail. Problem is nothing ever comes for me unless I am the one ordering it lol! Husband must have forgotten to check the mail yesterday, because he came walking down the drive with a package this morning. It was a bit small but when he said Horseloverz I knew exactly what it was. I stopped what i was doing, feeding the horses, and grabbes a pair of scissors from the grooming box and went to town on the tape. In the box was a bit I oredered for Kiki and he new bell and splint boots. Lime green of course. Her bit was so tiny and cute. I couldn't wait to put it all one her. None of her tack matched, but then again she wasn't headed to the show ring. I told Colton to get ready as soon as she was done eating we would try everything on. Kiki is coming along so well. She is gaining weight and is sassy as ever. Aren't all mares at some point? She has just enough umph to keep the boys going and enough experience to not spook at a mailbox. After a bit of a snack break we put all the tack together and got her out of the paddock. Of course Olly thought we were taking her away forever, we just stayed in the yard. One of the problems we were having with the pony riding was grass eating. I was talking to my trainer about it and she said why son't you put grazing reins one her? DUH!!! How did I not think of that? So after fitting all the tack, I grabbed some nylon rope and fit it just enough that Kiki couldn't reach the ground. Colton was beaming. He was much more confident that she wasn't going to eat grass he hopped right into the saddle and rode her around the yard like he had been doing it al his life. No Fear!
Grass eating reins functioning!
I remember when I was 9 years old, Slick, the first real pony I had, always wore a standing martingale. My dad told me it was so he couldn't rear. Now I think back and feel like a total idiot, but then it made me feel better. I would NEVER ride that pony with out the martingale. Just because I thought I would be safe. I knewthis was the same thing with Colton. I would attach anything to that pony just to make him feel safe. Granted this piece of equipment was actually for what I said it was, but that is besides the point. So I let all 3 boys ride. They loved it. once they were done I took a turn. I have been dying to know how this pony rides. So first I just put some of my weight across her. I am sure the neighbors were thinkin what in the hell is she doing? I didn't want to just jump up on her. She is a grandma. After finding some osrt of mounting block so I didn't slam onto her back from swinging up on her, I started with just walk. She didn't have one problem holding me. She actually started to trot around. She is quite a spunky one, that Kiki. She did great. Not too stubborn and not to complient. Just enough fight to make the boys learn. I knew she was a good buy. After a few laps around the yard I got off. It was time to get the baths going. i don't think she has had many baths in her life. She seems to be a bit skeptical of the water. Olly tries to drink out of the hose, but Kiki keeps a wide eye on me. Colton and I washed and combed her head to toe. She seemed to enjoy the currying though. Clean pony coming through!!! She is so cute. I left her mane long for you Holly!!! After her bath it was dinner and then back out to ride Olly. He is such a beautiful horse. I look at him every day and think i am the luckiest person in the world. When I go outside, no matter what time, he will neigh and say hi to me. He truely enjoys being my horse. I could tell that this ride would be interesting. He hadn't been ridden in like 4 days. That is the limit for him. Anymore than that and he is totally out of control. It is like someone fed him sugar. I was prepared. I could see the look in his eye when I tried to get on and he was almost walking in place. He wanted to go. Well maybe he needs to I started out down the road to our trail. I am sure by now the neighbors know when I am rideing just due to him neighing to Kiki all the way down the road. Every few steps I feel this jiggle all over. Crazy horse! As we get to the entrance I loosen my grip on the reins. As I start posting he is in a trot. And not one or those choppy flat back trots. He was round and pushing! Nice! I just went with it. As we slowed to round the corner to our field I could see 2 kids running through the grass. I am sure it was to pet the pretty horse. Olly hadn't seen them yet. Be ready I think. I can just see them speeding out of the tall, almost over their head, grass and there I go into the weeds. As thought, poof there the kids are. I wait for it and...nothing! He just stands there like he knew it all along. I KNOW he didn't see those kids. He was off in lala land trying to find Kiki. Either way he didn't spook and that is an improvement! I wasn't in the mood to play pet my horse so we said hi and kept going. We get to my make-shift grass arena and try some transitions. As usual he isn't paying attention so I have to mix it up every other step. I learned alot from this new trainer, how to use my legs in so many ways so I decided no time is better than the present. We started out at a medium trot on the short sides of the "arena" and lengthened on the long. he was doing pretty good, but was cutting the corners, so that is where the legs came in. Whatta ya know...? He was way beeter than that 3 yr old I rode on Thurs. Maybe he is better than I thought. We did more transitions w-t-c and most importantly halt. We tried to be square... The halt was iffy, but the rest was good. He was actually collecting better than normal. I chalk it up to my legs and paying more attention to what I am doing. Who would have thought I was the one End on a good note, right? And we did. Our ride back to the house was, again, nothing but communicating with gf back home. At least I got him to listen to me when I needed it. Back to the barn to get a nice well deserved bath and some linament spray. He was so worn out he only drank from the hose twice. I like to see Olly calm, it means we had a GOOD ride!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This morning I woke up and stepped out side and it was freaking freezing out. I put my Wellies on and went back in the house to get a hoodie. It was already 0815 why was it so damn cold this early in Sept? Who knew...we aren't in Kansas, I mean, Hawaii anymore. After feeding I pulled out Olly's rain sheet and a netted fly sheet for Kiki. The sky was gloomy but it didn't call for rain. We would see.

After coming home from school I rushed to get things done so I could make it to my lesson. I was so excited to ride. I have been learning so much from this new trainer. She is awesome. One of her Oldenburg/Hanovarians go for 35K each. Tonight I got to ride one of her 3 yr olds. Amazing! Her name was Haily and she oh so reminded me of Olly. He was more built and balanced, but their minds were on the same wave length. Good, I need to ride a horse that is more like my own. What an hour this would be. We started out at a posting trot. Not too bad until we nearly ran into the rail. Remember!! 3 year olds need to be focused on. Olly had attention issues, but this was too much! After 2-3 times around the arena we were doing great. My legs were about to fall off from thigh, calf, thigh, calf thigh calf, inside leg, outside leg...well you get the picture. As the lesson went on, I started thinking, ya know, maybe this is why Olly is not as advanced as he should be. I am the one that is jacking him up...I learned so many new things tonight just dealing with leg usage I could choke a I can't wait to try them all out on Olly this weekend. I hardly used my hands, which is nothing new, but I mean hardly at all!
Lesson day is Thurs. I will have pics next time so you can see where I ride.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

One Week

So yesterday was one week since we got Kiki. She is already showing improvement.

Like I said before, I started her out on alf cubes, 1/4c oil and electrolytes. We are adding about 1c of some senior food, just to increase the fat and calorie content. She is such a good pony. Olly loves her and the boys can't wait to ride her. I couldn't put them off any longer. Colton had been nagging me all day every day to ride HIS pony. So I thought, well lets see if his saddle fits. Last year I found a childs sized AP saddle. I bet it is only a 12", it fits him almost perfectly. The only thig I was worried about for Kiki was the tree size. How else then to try it on. After helping husband clean the garage I pulled out the mini saddle. I had a pad, but what about the girth? Crap! I looked through my stuff, how on earth was I going to make a 50" girth fit a 12h pony? Hey...what about my dressage girth? Yea! I am a genius! Might need a bliiet extender, but it might work. So I tote all the stuff out to the barn and get going. After brushing and spoiling her I set the saddle on her back, amazing, it fits! Withers, check...level on the back, check-check...not too far on the shoulder, CHECK and CHECK! And here I thought I was going to have to buy all new stuff for this girl. Now the girth...son-of-a-monkey it worked! I don't have a bridle for her yet so I just hooked a pair of reins to her halter, hopefully she won't pull through it.

Time to get on! Colton was so excited he came with pj's on and no shoes, yes my kids are part hillbilly, I won't say from which side of the family that comes from. As soon as the boots are on you can go I tell him. In a flash he was back and on that pony!

Told you he was hillbilly, but I love him!
She was suprisingly responsive. Most ponies that are aged and have been ridden alot tend to be dead sided and hard mouthed. Barely a bump on the side and she is into a trot, a pull with one had and she is almost spinning. Who would want to sell this great pony?! The ride didn't last long. Kiki likes her grass and it posed a problem with my new little rider. It isn't fun when the pony doesn't do what you want it to...the crying started. Not only did I feel bad that he was upset, I had been there too at times, but the neighbors were looking at me like some crazy mom that was making her kid ride this, as Colton put it "mean" pony. After settling him down a bit, I told him that Kiki is sad and didn't know why he was crying. She just wants to know what she did wrong. After putting it that way, he told her he was sorry, gave it one more try and decided to end on a good note for the day. A beautiful ending.
When I was 9 my dad put me up on this 13.3h paint gelding that hadn't been ridden in years and said "have fun." All I did was hang on at a full hand gallop until after a few weeks got the balls to yank him to a stop. No love filled talks about what I might be doing wrong. Just here is your pony and good luck. Love you too the end I guess it made me realize that I had to get my pony to listen to me. A year later he and I won first place in the flag race and the keyhole race and ended up going to Indianapolis to compete. He was the best pony in the world. I hope that Colton can find a pony like that to teach him what he needs, but in a more understanding and learning environment than mine, of
My other boys gave it a try too. Travis loved it and actually did well with the grass eating pony.

All my kids are hillbilly in someway...
Brad rode well too, no pic though. He needed an extra hand. Like I said...grass eating pony.
We gave Kiki lots of love and apologized for the behavior and went to untack. Nothing but brushing and food for the rest of the night. in the end, I am proud of Colton sucking up his fears and at least taking into consideration that he might be part of the problem. She is a living animal and has feelings too. Another learning experience!

Olly wanted to be in the action too, afterall it was his girlfriend that was getting all the attention. And we can't have!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Obsessed, much?

Today the weather was great for riding. Unfortunately, I had to go look for a job. Don't get me wrong, I am excited about working again, just not when I could be riding. I headed out at 0930 to start passing out my resumes. after 4 hours and 9 resumes I was finally done. Lunch and then a ride.
Anytime I go out side Olly neighs at me. He is always expecting a treat of some sort. Sometimes a sugar cube or a granola bar. He is even happy with a kiss. What a good boy. I walk to the garage to get his halter and boy, watch his eyes perk. He knows what is coming. Straight to the gate he ran. Lack of energy, I think not. I tie him to the barn and start evaluating his coat. O-M-G!! He must have rolled every day this week! The dirt was so thick on him it took 20 minutes to brush just the front half of him. I think if I would have given him a bath he would have been a mud pie. Another 20 minutes for the rear and we are ready for the saddle.

What a change in attitude from a week and a half ago. today he is calm and loving all the attention. No pawing or stomping. No head tossing or dancing. Just a thankful horse. Talk about dual personality. Lets hope the other one stays away.

Typically, as we walk away, he neighs and makes sure Kiki knows that he is leaving. We enter the trail and the testing begins. A little prancing here and there. I start to move him out and, well, it is just easier to canter...sorry boy, I asked for a lengthened trot. Back to a walk we go. We went back and forth like this for a few strides and then he finally realized that what ever mama says, goes. If only EVERYONE realized
We get down to the end of the trail, it isn't very long, and Kiki neighs. Here we go again!

Let me explain the one and only trail I have to ride on (so far). It goes a few houses down the street and circles back behind my house. So really, they can still whiney the entire ride. Which is fine, he needs to learn to deal. I am working on getting more trail riding privledges, I just have to get to know the neighbors first.
So back to the prancing, almost a piaffe. walk, trot, move out...back to a walk. About 30 minutes into the ride the white flag goes up and he is supple and listening. Once again, mama is always right. We stop at my little grass arena to do some transitions and circles.

On the last part of the trail it is mostly sand. I look down because Olly's shoe prints are imprinted and I see deer tracks. Husband will be soooo happy to hear that! Maybe a deer in our freezer this winter? We can only hope.

What ever it takes to keep his mind on me and not Kiki. Another 30 minutes pass and we are on the road back home. Not too bad. A few houses from home the neighing starts again.

3rd house on the left is ours
I really don't mind the talking back and forth, it is the pay-no-mind to anything else that irritates me. He is getting better. But not the best. I think he has ADHD.
Back at the barn I work on this dirt, which I thought I had brushed off. It is coming out of his pores!! Can't wait til Friday (that is bath day). I get the dirt to a minimal and start on the tail. I have a huge issue with tails. I have to completely brush them. I know it isn't good to do, but I can't help it. Every week I wash, condition and brush his tail. Then I braid and bag it. Ask anyone in Hawaii He always had a tail bag on.

Fully brushed


Braided perfection

I can't help it. I hope his tail doesn't suffer to badly from split ends because of my bad habit. After all the grooming it is dinner time and the ponies go back in the paddock for bed. The love each other so much.

I think I might have created a monster!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Olly's New Friend

Last Thursday we decided to go looking for a "real" friend for Olly. The goat didn't exactly click with him. She was afraid of the big red horse, as would I. I got on my favorite go to, Craig's List. First let me tell you about the problems with Craig's List. Most people that list on Craig's List are idiots. They have no clue how to spell, let alone sell something. Most of the time it is mostly crap that they are trying to sell and for way to much money. This is what I encountered last Thursday. The ad sounded great and the picture looked awesome. FOR SALE Chincoteague pony!! I jumped on it. First with email and then by phone. Of course they still had the pony! We head out to go take a look at "Kiki." After driving and hour and getting lost (the GPS isn't always accurate), we roll up to a nice house with TONS of animals. And I am not talking like goats and horses and cows. I mean monkeys, llamas and wallabys. I think to myself before I even get out of the truck, "this woman is nuts."
We get out of the truck and see this scraggly bag of bones tied to a lunge line in the side yard. By the coloration, this is "Kiki." My heart sank, not because I was disappointed to have a good pony gone bad, but to see all that this woman put into her other animals and yet her horses (yes, she had 2 others) were starving. All of them were like a 2. FYI normal horses are like a 5-6. This pony was emaciated. I wanted to buy her just to get her healthy again. The lady walks up to me an says in a chipper voice, "this is Kiki." I looked at her and while trying to hold back the profanity, said this pony is WAY too skinny, emaciated even. Her only response was well, I am so busy with the other exotics that I just don't have time. The kids are suppose to care for the horses. I feed them hay and whatever pasture they can eat. Well woman take me to see this wonderful "pasture" you are feeding. As I walk around the house I see this paddock, while large enough to house 2 horses and a pony was a complete shit hole. Literally. It looked like it hadn't been mucked in, well, forever. Who wants to eat grass next to a pile of crap. Oh, and the hay, orchard...grass hay, cow hay, CRAP, for nutrition. OK for fiber, but it is mostly cellulose. Nothing that a horse can live on. No wonder this pony and the other horses for that fact were so skinny. Next question: worming? Shots? NOTHING...she had the pony for 4 months and didn't even know what the other owners had given her. Give it up for the Craig's List genius! I had to have this pony, husband thought otherwise. In his eyes this little Chincoteague mare was a money pit. All I could see is my heart being ripped out of my chest.
Time to talk money. this woman must have needed some money, she wasn't budging on the price. $500. For what? An emaciated pony. Oh, and by the way the previous owners told this woman that Kiki was 12 years old...try closer to 20-25. Anyway, the only bargaining chip I had was the skinny thing, a big deal, but obviously not to this woman. Final deal: $400 and she delivers for free. DEAL!!!! For $400 I get an emaciated pony with months of "food rehab" and vet bills, wow, I made out like a fat rat...(can you hear the sarcasm?). Not to mention I had to deal with my husband. Thankfully he trusted my decision and gave me what I want, a common event in our house :) He soooooo loves me!

Friday morning was delivery day. Colton couldn't be more excited. The only people "allowed" to touch HIS pony was me and him....that's it. He waited by the window all morning until the trailer pulled up. We unloaded her and let her eat some grass while he sat on her back. He was in heaven. He is definitely my son.
Down the barn to get some food. I did some research on how to rehab a horse when emaciated. Start out giving 0.5% of their body weight for 5-7 days. I started with Alf cubes. No grains yet. We don't need a founder, too. Increase by 0.5% every 5-7 days until you reach 1.5%, then start adding grains. I chose a senior diet just because it is easier to digest and the fact that she is a senior. We are still on the first set of 5-7 days, so keep following on how Kiki's weight is improving in the future. ;)
Kiki is warming up to our life, and Olly is really warming up to Kiki. He has a GIRLFRIEND!!! Watch out Klein! Olly likes them big and!

Olly and I went out on a trail ride only a few day after we had Kiki. The trail goes down the road and behind the house. As we were walking down the road, he is just neighing and neighing, we all know how attached he gets to his friends. Kiki is neighing back, they totally miss one another. I mean, that is good, but I don't want it to get too bad. The say their good-byes and we are focused. We were only gone maybe 15 minutes, when a little Chincoteague neighs and it is all over. Nothing but amazing paiffe's and head tossing. If only he would give me this collection in the ring, without the head tossing of course. I get him calmed down and go for some cantering sets. Just one minute at first and then a 2 minute walk, another one minute canter and a 2 minute walk. Nothing big just starting slow, since he did have that 2 month break. We head back to the house and as soon as we are in site of the barn the neighing begins again. It was like they hadn't seen each other for a year. I let Olly walk up to Kiki, she is waiting for him at the gate,after dismounting of course, and she squeals and kicks out. MARES!! I want you but only when I want you. Typical! Oh well. they are happy and that is all I need.