Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Photo Op

I've been saving a pair of boots for Emi for quite some time. I don't think they will probably fit when she's full grown but I had always thought I might put them on her when she was smaller. Tonight I saw them in a tote of her stuff and I decided to try them on.  I couldn't resist having a few photos taken (on my phone so the photo quality isn't amazing). Doesn't the baby sporthorse look so cute!?

Friday, May 22, 2015


One fun thing I forgot to mention about the weekend is that I got to introduce Jessica to Emi. For those of you who don't know, Jessica owns and rides Emi's dad, North Forks Cardi. She remarked about Emi's resemblance to Cardi. I turned Emi out in the pasture to have her run around, but since she was out muzzle free she was way more interested in eating than running.

Jessica asked what my plans are for Emi and I told her low level eventing and getting my bronze medal in dressage. She felt those were very reasonably goals and doesn't think I'll have any trouble accomplishing them. She also mentioned that saddle fit will most likely be a challenge. When I get to that point she's going to give me the specifics on the saddle that Cardi is currently being ridden it. She feels like it's the best fit yet!

Last night I spent some time playing with Emi. This was her first introduction to the umbrella. She marched right over to check it out. She was also completely unconcerned about having the hula skirt draped over her head. That's something that I wouldn't expect either Benny or Roz to be okay with but Emi was not bothered at all. We also did some groundwork from our clinic and Emi was right on target. Apparently she hadn't forgotten anything even though she's had a couple weeks off.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Calling All Ogilvy Lovers

I'm curious to hear about your ogilvy half pad. I see them all over and I'm considering looking for one....

1) What thickness do you have (1 or 1 1/4)? Have you used shims with it?

2) What's the difference between the dressage and jumping pad?

3) Do you like it? Would you buy it again?

4) If you don't have an ogilvy but you have some other half pad, what do you have?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Clinic Video

For those of you interested in the video from this weekend, here it is.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We had are our clinic with JW this weekend. I was slightly concerned that I might spend the weekend fighting with Benny, but I should have known we just needed some outside input to get us un-stuck!

I told JW that we had been struggling; so she came over to check my tack. She felt like my saddle was a bit tight through his shoulders so we added a half pad to help. I think his recent weight (and muscle) gain has impacted our saddle fit. I already had an appointment scheduled with a saddle fitter and I'm glad I do. 

Saturday we worked on getting him connected and did quite a bit of work really riding him forward in the canter. It was a fun ride and I was pleased with how good he was. 

The second day we were able to get to work immediately with a lot less fussiness from Benny. We started off really solidifying the connection with him. I had him from the start, but the relationship was a bit tenuous. JW had my ride three loop serpentines and take him past a normal bend until I broke through the resistance. As he yielded we'd move back to normal positioning.

We did several leg yields off the wall to the center line, working on my access to each of his hind legs. We moved to a 20 meter circle in the middle of the ring with a 10 meter circle on each side (sort of like a snowman). This was actually pretty hard and I struggled to keep him connected each time we changed the bend. It slowly improved until we got some really nice work. 

 I normally don't love myself in riding pictures but there's a lot I like about this photo!
From there I asked him to canter. We had several rough transitions but the canter itself was the best he's ever done! JW explained that the canter transition was a struggle because Benny didn't know how to take the connection and power into the canter. 

 The clinic was at our barn and it was really fun to cheer on our barn mates.  If you want better explanations than my poorly written, hazy memory, there is video to watch as well (I'll post it once I get it on youtube). I feel re-energized and ready to push forward to see how much more progress we can make. 

This isn't an incredible photo except I really like how his inside hind is reaching up underneath him. 
Side note, there was another rider who came from the barn that I purchased Benny from. I asked her if she knew him when he was there and she was shocked when I told her who he was! She didn't recognize him at all. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Video Contest - What I Love About My Welsh Cob

The Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America is having a video contest. The video can be anything that has to do with owning or loving a welsh. Below is the video that I submitted (it had to be under 1 minute). I took this video in April, by setting my camera on the mounting block.  I seriously love this big pony; she's a doll baby. What do you think?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grass Crazy

I have a theory....I think Benny becomes a nut on rich spring grass! If we look back, I started to have some major catching trouble with him in March. To be totally fair, there had been reports of him being hard to catch before then, but things escalated quickly in March. Then he was moved to a smaller pasture with just one other horse. His first couple of days out there he was still difficult to catch so we put him in a break away halter.

Almost immediately after putting the halter on him he went back to being fine to catch. Actually, he's better than fine. He pretty much comes walking over every single time you go to catch him. This past week he was moved again. He's still in a small pasture (with that same one other horse), but this pasture had been getting a rest so it has quite a bit of grass in it. Starting last week Benny has become a little bit difficult under saddle. He's hot and takes quite a bit of work before he'll relax. I also had him run away when I turned him out after the farrier last Friday morning. He ran around like a crazy pony, which he normally wouldn't do. He also was running around one evening when my barn owner went out to catch him. She didn't have any trouble getting him but told me that he was pretty amped up.

There haven't been any other changes...and I finally realized that maybe it's the grass! Our rides this week have all been a struggle, and he'd been going SO WELL before the pasture switch. The rich spring grass is my current theory for an unfocused horse. I'm hoping he can pull himself together because we have two rides with JW this weekend! On one hand, if he's difficult I'm sure she can give me more tools to use to get his attention. On the other hand, I so want him to let me show her how much work we've put in and how much he has improved since our last lesson. Horses being horses, I'll probably get more tools in my toolbox. Tomorrow is a big clinic prep day at the barn and then Saturday and Sunday should be really fun!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We Made It

Emi and I made it to the two week mark and her sutures came out today. Her eye healed up great! I'm glad that's behind us and I'm thankful that it wasn't any worse. Here are a couple of photos of what it looked like today. They aren't totally clear but I think they give you a good idea of what it's looking like.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mane Problems

Emi has had a wild mane her whole life. Not only is it super thick, but it wants to flop all over the place. I always thought she'd look cute/sporty with a shorter mane, but I let it grow long to see if the weight would keep it laying on one side. Despite my best efforts taming/training it was not getting much better. 

I finally got tired of the mess and took the scissors to it, since there is no way she's going to stand for actual mane pulling. That's a very rude practice! I like the shorter look and it's a bit more manageable.

I was recently messing with it and decided to see if it wanted to lay on the other side. Wouldn't you know that must have been what it wanted the whole time! It still flops to the other side a little bit but it's way better than it used to be. Now I can't wait to see her with an adorable set of button braids!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Birthday Benny

Benny turns 8 years old today! I'm so thrilled to have found such a nice horse to ride and learn with while Emi continues to grow up. He was an awesome find!

Mountain Trail

Bareback on a lazy Friday night. 

He's sweet with kids too!

Trail riding

An adorable Christmas pony

 Dressage pony - after our first lesson with JW

Ponying Emi

 Our first show

I'd say we've done quite a bit since I purchased him in October. I'm looking forward to seeing what this next year will bring.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Laceration Update - Week 1

Emi is now one week post laceration and it appears to be healing up well. Today was the final day to put ointment in her eye. Now we just have one more week of the pirate hat. I think we will both be thrilled to have the sutures out and be back to "normal." She's being good, although she's not thrilled with me putting her mask back on after I've taken it off. 

I've been thinking about how to prevent further issues with this. I'm pretty certain that she was near the fence, wearing her grazing muzzle, and decided to scratch her face on the fence. The fence is woven wire and I suspect she just snagged her eye lid and it ripped. In the future I plan to put her fly mask on any time she is out wearing her grazing muzzle. Also, we are going to re-do their paddock fencing this summer and were already planning to add a strand of electric fence to that. We are going to continue on with that and add a strand of electric fence to the rest of their pasture. Hopefully adding a few extra precautions will eliminate future episodes.

Standing ground tied and this is what I came back to

Monday, May 4, 2015

Teeth Floating (Round 2)

Since Benny and Emi already had their teeth done, Roz and Liam were my next two victims. I took them both with me to work on Friday. Roz hadn't been trailered since his last trip in (in July) so I wasn't totally sure what to expect. He loads and hauls fine but when his hauling has been sporadic he can be a bit obnoxious. He walked up to the trailer, sniffed and then turned his head away to avoid it. I urged him back around and he hopped in. Once I had him tied up Emi realized that Roz was gone, so she started whinnying which got him started. Liam was next and he wasn't sure about getting on the trailer with the ruckus that Roz was making. His put his front feet in and then got back out, before hopping all the way in. As soon as he was in, I got the show on the road.

The handsome old dude
They trailered fine and unloading went smoothly. Both of them needed some minor dental work but they weren't bad. The people who worked on Roz commented that he was a sweetheart and a total lightweight for his sedation.

For the trip home I was only taking Roz. Liam stayed to participate in Pet Day; a big annual open house sort of event (he was one of the petting zoo animals). Roz loaded happily for the return trip home. Emi was thrilled to see us, although she seemed no worse for the wear. I like leaving her home every now and again. It's good for her.

Liam at Pet Day the following day. He was a hit!
The thrilled donkey, happy to be home. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bay Ears

It was another super gorgeous day around here; 70 something and sunshine. We hit the trails this afternoon with the two half arabs. Benny started out jumping at everything. I kicked him forward and after about 1/2 a mile he settled in to the ride. Once we crossed the road into the forest he totally relaxed and was happy to walk along. We incorporated some trotting as well and he felt great. Previous rides, when we've trotted up the hills, he has felt really weak behind. Today that was not the case. On our way home we encountered some "scary" cows and had a bit of a meltdown. After letting him stand and look for a minute he was totally fine and walked by with out an issue. I guess you can't ever be too careful!
I love the view between bay ears!
2 of the 3 half arabs at our barn