Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Learning curves

I am trying to figure out how to upload video of my pony from his workout last night. For some reason it is just not working. Annoying, yes. Frustrating, yes. Time consuming? Yes. So I keep trying, giving up and coming back to it later...

When it finally works, I will gladly share. I know some of the bloggers and commenter's were interested to see his movement. Thing is, this isn't even it. He is not giving it his best or throwing out the BIG Action that he has. When he does- it blows your mind and will give you chills.

Another thing I haven't quite managed yet is adding reader pics to the Photo Gallery on the BBB's blog. I am trying to get to that and get those up as well. Bear with me on this.

*** Edited to add the links to YouTube ***

Kat Trot This one seems almost like he's moving in slow motion... Weird! He isn't, he wasn't and I doubt that is even an option on my iPhone. If it is- I don't know how I enabled it to work.

Kat's workout This is from the beginning of the workout and he is running around a little bit excitedly. He does this weird thing where he tucks his tail and butt under him and elevates in the front before getting a bit 'broncy'. If you stop it at the 12 second mark, he is quite round and in full bronc mode for him, meaning he is about to leap forward as seen at 13 sec. He is also doing it at 4 & 5 seconds in.

Kat on the lunge line This one shows him cantering and then trotting some. It is also the one where it really looks like his legs are going backwards, but he is moving forward. In pausing it and moving the little button frame by frame, it skips a second here, a couple seconds there, but playing it all the way through- it is continuous. I don't know if this is what makes his legs look funky or not.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

True Professionals

Hectic and crazy? Yeah, that would be my life! A minor car accident last week, a break in at the house this week and who the hell knows what next week will bring, but I am not even going to ask! Everyone is fine, nothing was stolen and the car has already been fixed. I picked it up this morning actually.

With a show for my pony less than a month away I have been wondering about taking him, just showing him in hand for now and going for the gusto in the fall or just waiting until the fall and going all out then? I am still on the fence with that one... *sigh*

We all know I skipped taking Tess to a show simply because her butt was bald. We also know that hair loss does not in any way, affect movement, behavior or the amount of training a horse has. But it just does not reflect well on you for your horse management skills. Whether or not you are doing everything you possibly can to fix the problem, resolve the issue, cure the- hair loss, worms, fungus, weight problems, lameness or whatever ???, you just don't take the horse to a show until things are right again. You will only put yourself out there for judgement poorly and people will talk about you for some time to come. They WILL talk, and NOT in a GOOD way.

Dena and I were recently discussing horses and competition on the phone. BEC and I discussed the 'horses only have so many jumps in them' theory before. I think it was on Shame in the Horse Show Ring. Horses don't ask to compete- we ask it of them. Some of them may enjoy it, but would they if they had never done it? Would they if they were handled poorly and abusively? Are they reacting to our level of excitement when they win or place well?

Professionals manage their horses career be it at home or on the road. They may school over a few large scale jumps at home one day a week or so, but for the most part, they save it for competition and when it truly counts. Same with reiners, same with cutters, same with race horses, same with true professionals in every horse sport. If the horse is schooling for an advanced level at home, they may or may not be withdrawn from competition until they are solid and ready to move up. That is up to the trainer and owners, but all things considered- let's hope they do what is best for the horses long term career. Sometimes people view things as- we have won at that level, why continue competing there? Why not let someone else have the spotlight for a while? We are moving up anyways...

True Professionals also do not enter classes in which the horse is not actually ready to compete in. If the horse is comfortable going over fences at 3' to 3'6", they do not enter a class for Grand Prix. "Well he shouldn't have a problem. He can jump!" And the refusals and downed rails follow... They also don't take the horse to a show before the horse is steady and rock solid in their training. You can't train them in a day and a 30 day wonder is usually not ready either.

TP's are not there to win the warm up and impress a bunch of bystanders or spectators. They are there to impress the judge(s). They do what they do best and as best as they can on that day. Hopefully it all works out for them- if not, they know what they need to work on before the next competition. Even if they win- they may still have something to go home and tweak before next time. No horse is perfect all of the time and even 'finished' horses need fine tuning.

TP's may also give things a 'dry run', long before hooking up the trailer. Warm up and work over a full course a week or so before the big day, Maybe work on cattle as if you were in the class, practice a reining pattern- just so they know if there is anything needing to be fixed (on them or the horse!) and still some time to evaluate it. That's when you decide-

a) let it go for now, but you are aware of it and will keep it in mind, but fix it after the show...
b) it is a easy fix and can be resolved now or tomorrow in one easy session.

TP's may also choose to focus on the elements of their ride or pattern separately instead of over patterning their horse to death. This also applies to showmanship classes. When you repeat a pattern over and over, the horse may start to anticipate what is next and go into drone mode. They aren't listening to you, they are just doing their pattern... you know, like you practiced soooo many times at home. They also get bored with it and may start to rebel in creative ways. Boy they can be creative!

Another thing to consider doing is attending a show or competition to scope out the competition. See who is showing, (which trainers, which barns, which riders, which horses?) check the results & standings and choose where to go from there. Race horse trainers check the daily workout results of their horses & those horses they will race against and plan accordingly. Why can't you?

We all want to win- there's no doubt about that. But if you consider everything wisely, use a bit of common sense and are prepared before you get there- the rest will come easily. Then it is up to the judge or the clock as to how things work out from there. Let's just hope there is a dash of luck in there to go along with it on the days we could use it the most!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hair, hair, everywhere

Springtime has arrived. At least it has at the Rotten house. All of our horses are shedding. Shedding like crazy! Pat one and the hair flies. Brush one and it comes out in globs. They roll and leave half their coat on the ground...

This is a good thing for a lot of us. The weather is finally warm enough, we don't worry about frozen water pipes. The water coming out of the hose no longer feels like it came from the Arctic and we can FINALLY rinse or bathe the horses after a workout. It is so nice having them dry in a short time in comparison to a few hours at best. (I know, not everyone is there yet, in all areas, but it won't be long before you are.)

Some people prefer a shedding blade to do the deed, others a metal curry. To me a metal curry would be much like using a Scotch Brite pad in the shower to exfoliate. If your horse can tolerate it and actually enjoys it, so be it. But a lot of them can't. Some horses have sensitive skin and this would be pure misery. Tess couldn't even tolerate a stiff brush, so for her this would not work.

If the hair is just not coming off, there's always the option of body clipping. Which makes short work of shedding for one thing, but all of ours have pretty much shed out completely already. I may have to scalp the COB mare though. Her legs are just woolly, even still. And she would look funny with bald legs and a semi fuzzy body, so it would all come off...

For the most part though, I use the rubber curry combs. Grab them by the side and use straight strokes with the hair. It will get a lot of the hair off the horse and leave an incredible shine as the skin is massaged and the oils come to the surface. Ours have always enjoyed this and lean into the strokes. A few of them make their funny faces and Kat will stand there biting the air as he is 'grooming' an invisible horse. Pal sticks his nose straight up in the air and the mares just all seem to relish in what is referred to as SPA DAY.

When rinsing them with the hose and a strong stream, it is amazing how much more hair seems to come off... And when you finally think you got all of it, well, it's about the time they start growing the fuzzy's back for next winter. Never ending process I tell ya. *shakes head & mumbles about hair* Now off to find the dogs and get them shed out...

Monday, April 12, 2010

What gives?

Wow! A whole week and no new posts. How bad is that?

That's bad. I admit. I have been one of those that likes new posts every day. Every few days at the least, to read something new and interesting. And here I go and commit the biggest blogger faux pas of all. Not posting. Bad. Bad me, bad. I will try to keep up with this one. There is still a lot of information to cover.

I have been online, but looking up business information and other things needed to get mine going and off the ground. My business partner has agreed to let me have somewhat 'free rein' over everything and run with it. So I am. Which translates into me being responsible for everything. The funding, the logo, the literature, the manufacturing, the packaging, the marketing- the whole she-bang! Sweet? Yes, but in a way, not so much. Anyone care to guess how time consuming this can be?

Luckily I have a lot of contacts. Good contacts that can help me. I just have to find a way to release some amount of control to them. Delegation is not my strong point. I try to tackle everything head on, do it myself and know it was done to my liking.

Then I had to go and throw down the gauntlet and challenge a friend of mine to get off our asses, get our horses worked and into competition. A new blog was born, the challenge was opened up to anyone wishing to join in and now it's "Game ON!"

A new blog was born (Bitchin' Barn Babes!) to keep tabs of things and create an amount of accountability for us both. Lose the weight, train the horses and go do something.

My pony sat for a couple of days. Not getting worked because I just didn't or couldn't get to him. I did manage to get him out last night. I ground drove him around and around and around, with the practice shafts on and attached. We even trotted some- to read, I had to jog with him. He wanted to stop and walk. I did too in a short time. When did I ever get so out of shape? I also offer up my apologies to the neighbors. Nobody should have to witness a sight such as that...

Next time I will try to wait until you have gone indoors. Otherwise I will move over to the other pasture. I guess we are even though. Your one steer (or was it the bull?) charged the fence as we went by. Not cool. But I have to say- my little guy was unflappable. It did not phase him. He just kept on walking.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fun

I have pretty much run out of things to post on For Sale Fridays, so for the most part, I am going to suspend that until I dig out more of our own or I am suddenly flooded with emails from posters or followers wishing to clear stuff out.

For now I will go back to Fun stuff on Fridays. Which leads to the new blog in the just for fun blogs- Workforced

I received an email in my inbox about 5am from Don Joe the author of Workforced, inviting me to go have a peek. So I responded and said I would when I got in to work. I mean, what better place to waste some time than another blog, right? And this one is talking about stuff in the workplace.

Pretty much everyone has a job of some sort. If you are an at home parent- You have the most unappreciated, underpaid job in the world! Any of us that commute- we travel to jobs we either love or hate. Work from home? There may be very few 'paid vacations' or official sick days, but you get to set your own hours and work in your pajamas, so there is some kind of a trade off.

I am in the process of reading through the posts and catching up. I'm sure we can all relate to something there. Maybe even add a few stories of our own. I know I have a lot to share...

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy Easter. Here's to finding colored eggs all over the lawn instead of nibbled bushes and bunny pellets. Even still though, the pellets may break down into good fertilizer, so it's not a total loss.