Time to disclose something soon…

A secret.  You’ll find out one way or another anyhow. 

There’s no hiding it.

But first, time for a quick update on Cooper.

His initial trot was very sucked back.  Jogging, curling under, or stopping.  Weeks spent trotting with a longer stride. He needed to open up some, but I’ve abandoned the idea of pushing him on in that rushed way since long now.  His mouth, again nice and soft.

Here’s that lengthened, stretched out and rushy frame again.  We both didn’t care for it.

Green trot

Then we got this going on Instead.  Earlier, at Castle Rock Farm.  Wait!  NOT shorter now. Forward again.

November Trot

At Blue Horse Farm, I hope he will develop even more.

OK. Returning soon with the confession/news.

Until then, I will continue missing our nice indoor grooming area…  We’re still a bit temporary out by a tree…

Done!  Where's the cookie?


Time to ride – Hope you like the new Blog design!

“To be content, horse people need only a horse, or, lacking that, someone else who loves horses with whom they can talk. It was always that way with my grandfather. He took me places just so we could see horses, be near them. We went to the circus and the rodeo at Madison Square Garden. We watched parades down Fifth Avenue.
Finding a horse, real or imagined, was like finding a dab of magic potion that enlivened us both.
Sometimes I’d tell my grandfather about all the horses in my elaborate dreams. He’d lean over, smile, and assure me that, one day, I’d have one for real. And if my grandfather, my Opa, told me something was going to come true, it always did.” Allan J. Hamilton, Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Jaworzno has settled in.  Feels safe in his new barn, his pasture, and the on the property.  I’m still in amazement over his kind temperament and how easy he is.  Fuss over his legs, any new little scrape, and all the multiple physical improvements he should be working on.  He still does his best just being him.  And being my horse.

Which is an amazement in itself, if you have wished for a horse for decades, and now suddenly have two to work with.

We have had a soft start.  Work at Training Level a few days per week, then hill walks on soft grounds, flat walk on hard ground, easy walks all over the property on the grass,  a few sessions with the surcingle and side reins,  and an attempt at trot poles on the lunge line.  (Not much suspension there, perhaps he’s to smart for flimsy PVC pipes.)  Even made it down Moonshine Lane to see the evil alpaca.

I know the buttons are there – just need to figure out which ones to push, while keeping him sound, and eager to do more.  Stretchy trot is not his strength, as an Arab.  It’s getting better, and he likes it.

Friday we finally did something more than loosening and conditioning work.  Walk-canter transitions.  Trot-halt.  Leg yield, small circle, shoulder in.  Counter canter.  Turn on the forehand and haunches.  Extended trot (no, it’s not there.)  Flying change.  Pathetic as it is, I can’t tell if he even did it, and have to look down to check, still not sure.  His stride is short, but that’s just my excuse.  I could use some instruction feedback…

Refusing to push too hard, I stop just as he gets better, so our improvements have been small.  First day of working without stirrups, to learn to match his really choppy trot stride.  We rode most of the 1st Level requirements, as best can in an asymmetrical arena with no letters, and he did great.  Probably even better.  I just worry about his back, and have a hang up about bouncing around on him up there too much.

Such a softie.  With my horse.

If it’s possible, it looks like his crest has lessened a bit.  Instead of 4, he’ll be turned out about 6 hours in grass pasture per day now next week.  Still gets more than 10 hours of grazing on the one or two days/week I’m not out there, so I try to restrict it some during M-F.

Maybe the crest won’t go away.  Maybe it’s just sort of his look.  We’ll see.

Excited to share some nice pictures!

An odd day off from the barn.

There’s been A LOT of barn time lately.  Not that I am complaining.  Today is finally a day for something else.  I’m sure both La Prima and Jaworzno won’t be missing me, puttering around in their pastures all day instead.

Well, they might miss the fly spray.  The barn is on Fly Predator’s this year,  I just spread out the first bag with next shipment coming in less than four weeks.  We should be at a super low for flies as the number of horses is low, (Only 6 now!) all manure has been spread out to dry, we will have some traps, maybe some sticky tape, powder applied regularly inside the barn.  But they’re spoiled and still need their spray.

I feel very lucky to be at such a nice barn and to get to see these horses so often.
Sharing some nice shots from Tamara of Tamara Watson Pet Photography today, and in all the next several posts here on the blog.
(Although a few of them posted later have been heavily butcher-cropped by me and ruined her artistic composition. Sorry Tamara! I know I’m terrible.)
Well anyway, come back and check in over the next week/weeks to see them all.

So grateful to have some nice pictures of Jaworzno – he’s so handsome and deserved his own photo shoot! Tamara did a wonderful job capturing both him and La Prima, and my doggie (!), all in a very relaxed manner – such a fun morning. Click here if you would like to see some other creative pet photography work by Tamara on her website.

On another note, I am doing a lot of research on IR, EMS, and Cushings now. A ton of information available, some outdated, some controversial, contradictory, or overly dramatic. What’s most interesting is how much more has been discovered about it all in just the last decade. If you have a specific, preferably accredited, source you’d like to share with me I’d be all ears! I will share some more thoughts on this later and hope to have had a discussion with my vet in about a month or so too.

“Fascination with horses predated every other single thing I knew. Before I was a mother, before I was a writer, before I knew the facts of life, before I was a schoolgirl, before I learned to read, I wanted a horse.”
― Jane Smiley, A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck

Have a wonderful start on the weekend!

Then and Now – Here is the promised update!

Without further ado, here’s the before and after pictures promised earlier this year!
Not a dramatic change yet, but she is definitely on the right track and I’m doing the right thing.  Wonderful to see her blossom. See the latest developments below.

After a quick roll out in the new pasture; La Prima, on December 31st


And here she is in pictures taken less than 3 1/2 months later:


Left Side tallgrass3


She is coming along so nicely – such a strong mare now.  Look at the muscles in this pasture picture  that Diana Skibiel took:

La Prima pasture canter


On another note, it’s really fun how the tackroom wall has filled up a bit.
Looks like we’ve got company!


Happy Horsing! More to come this weekend.

Perhaps there’s a quirk in the DNA that makes horse people different from everyone else, that instantly divides humanity into those who love horses and the others, who simply don’t know.”
Allan J. Hamilton, Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Great news! A new man in my life!

Since I managed to kill my cell phone last night there will be no pictures from our just about perfect camping night. Nothing went wrong, we had the place to our selves, and my husband got up and lit the fire in the morning. Almost eerie perfect. (Just don’t try to text me until I buy a new thingamajig.)
To add a dab of reality, my son burned his leg pretty good on his marshmallow stick, and we all came home heavily decorated by mosquito bites.   Great trip – I know we will go back!

But what about the new guy I mentioned a little while ago?

He arrived last Saturday, just about a week ago.  Exciting!
What's in the trailer

Here he is!
Out of the trailer

We said Hello and welcome to Castle Rock Farm.  He is a true gentleman.saying hello outside trailer

See jealous girl in the corner peek at what on earth is going on?  Not quite the same look my husband gave me when hearing about this new addition.
outside trailer

La Prima putting on a big show in her pasture as we’re taking Mr. Perfect down to the small pen to stretch his legs.
seeing La Prima in pasture

Diana said good-bye.
Diana saying goodbye

And so did Teresa, who helped make this happen, for all of us.
Teresa said goodbye

By a small wonder, he his here to stay! And he is absolutely lovely! New adventure officially starting, sharing it here with you as it unfolds. Life, positively luscious sometimes.

With two horses, blogging will be a bit on the back-burner as the work has more than doubled. Be sure, posts will keep coming at least twice per week or more. Featuring this guy, La Prima and I. And occasionally a chicken.

All pictures credit to Diana Skibiel.
Thank you for sharing Diana!

A few weeks of training – this is where we are so far

Project La Prima has been under way for less than 7 weeks.

While it’s easy to get stuck looking at just how little we are able to do well under saddle, here is a list of the things that she can do really good by now.
She has gained a lot of trust.  Settled in nicely – there’s no question she’s become a very pleasurable horse to handle. Can she get going in the right direction in dressage? I don’t know.

Nothing impressive here, but I am proud of how far she’s come:

  • Lead nicely in halter only, paying attention
  • Easy to catch in pasture
  • Blanketing, no walking off
  • Tacking up, standing still
  • Standing calm in cross-ties, unsupervised, both before and after work
  • Lifting all four hooves immediately, not pulling back (this was a big one, as she both threw herself on the ground and reared up on me the first days of working with this.)
  • Grooming, all areas touched
  • Bridle willingly, no games or head shaking
  • Stand for clippers on legs and tail
  • Mane pulling
  • Braiding
  • Bathing (next step to work on is backing straight into washrack)
  • Booting up on a four legs
  • Stand for farrier trim (Hot shoeing is a work in progress)
  • Take dewormer
  • Mounting, immobile before and after
  • Ride out in large grass field alone and on the property, relaxed
  • Hand walking over obstacles

Sounds basic, but it took a while to get it all in place…togetherinstable
Just a few more weeks and there will be some conformation shots here. Who doesn’t love Before & After shots?!