Monday, December 17, 2012

Slip, slide, squish

Not a lot happened over the weekend. It rained most of the time, not hard, but steady so everything was wet. A lot of mud, a few slick spots and at one point I almost fell when feeding. I managed to stay on my feet, but dropped one of the flakes of hay I was carrying. Haven't hit the dirt in a long time, but there's always the odd chance.

I did have the farrier scheduled for Sunday. He called Saturday morning and asked if I wanted to move it up a day? Sure, why not? He was scheduled for around 12:30, but showed up early. That doesn't happen often, but ok...  He was actually filling in for the last guy who is booked up and couldn't make it.

First up was Mondo. Since all of the rain and all of the mud, nobody has been turned out, save Kat who was brought in Friday night before the weather fell on us.  True to form, Mondo was a trooper and stood like a rock. The farrier was more than impressed with him. Liked everything about him, his looks, his demeanor, calm nature, everything.

Next was his momma Solis. She too stood like a rock, even though again, she has not been turned out in a while because of the rain. No fuss, no muss- just the way I like them. He was liking her nice big build and also her nice big feet. He asked if this was the horse with the big feet his buddy had told him about? No but we'll get there... 

"Now comes the fun part" I joked as I went to get #3 on the list. My TB mare needed her trim and she too had not been turned out.  As the guy was under her and working on her feet I explained that I try to turn them out for at least a day or two before they show up. Common courtesy, let the horse get all their 'bugs' out so they will stand and behave for him.  Although she trotted excitedly between her stall and the barn aisle where we were working- she too stood patiently and quietly while he worked on her feet. Any wonder why I really love this mare? Again I heard the amazement in his voice as he commented too about her being one of the quietest TB's he had worked on.

Now it was time to move on to the big WB mare. She was also glad to be out and thought it was going to mean turnout.  She behaved herself for walking past Kat's stall even though she despises him otherwise. She was good for the first hoof and gave an inkling of things to come when he moved on to her left hind, the 'problem leg'.  He moved on and did the other back hoof, then the other front and we tried again for the left hind.  She gave me issue at first when I got her, in just picking it up to clean the hoof out. If given time to relax, she will let you pick it up, hold it up and trim the hoof as needed.

She has yet to learn to relax for the farriers. They have yet to learn my ways with this mare. When working at the big farms all those years ago... I always ran my hand down the inside of the leg. I get to the hock and press gently up and out saying 'this one'. I don't like bending all the way over, don't like grabbing their leg or trying to force the horse to lift it. They are too big for that. Over time it has become habit for me- I just don't bend all the way over anymore. 

With my hand on the inside of her leg, as she relaxes and half cocks it, I can easily start to pull it out behind her and lift it up where I can work on it. She knows I am not going to be quick about it, it's not going to hurt and she can relax.  After a few tries on the part of the farrier, I showed him how I pick it up. Placed it on his stand for him even, but a couple nips and she pulled it away. She knew it wasn't me under there. Once again I got her hoof in the stand and he stepped in to trim and she pulled away. Nohing mean or anything, she just isn't there yet in the trust department.

I finally ended up taking the nippers and trimming her hoof under his guidance. Rasped it down for the most part and called it good. This guy had never had a client jump in and take a shot at the job before. Let alone a 'chick' as he put it. LOL! I didn't want to do it, but if the mare was going to be done, this was how it would happen in her mind.  Part of being a good groom is being able to control your horse while someone else works on them, or being able to jump in and do what needs to be done.  It's all a matter of knowing the horses you care for, their individual quirks and how best to get through stuff with them. When to make an issue of it and when to let it go- note it and work on it another day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bittersweet thanks

While I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, yesterday was 3 years ago that I lost Tess.

She was my big red mare, the horse that was broke every single one of my own personal 'rules' of what I like and don't like in a horse, yet she's the one horse I miss the most.


A good friend of mine recently was told by a therapist, that "The grieving process takes 3 years to complete."  Sorry but some things take longer to recover from and longer to get over, if you ever do. 


It has been three years, yet somehow I honestly believe three years from now it still won't hurt any less.  RIP- Tess 

I still remember all of the things this horse taught me.  One of the biggest things we learned from each other was how how to let go and still trust it all wouldn't go wrong.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mechanics of horses

In my previous post about finding Kat had popped a splint, I had mentioned doing more research to find out if driving horses were more prone to splints than horses competing in other events. In discussing bits with a couple of my friends, it was mentioned about the differences between riding and driving. Mostly it was the weight involved with each.

Riding- the horse is carrying the weight. It is easier for them to learn to balance you, shift their weight back on the rear end, lighten the front and move with engagement.
Driving- the horse is not carrying the weight, but rather they are pulling it. Whether it is a two wheeled cart or four, they have to lean into the breastcollar and pull in order to get things moving. They still have to maintain their balanced way of going, but keeping the weight on the rear end is a bit different. They are pulling with the front end, while trying to remain light enough to allow fluid movement.

With the added amount of digging in on the front end to get the cart moving, it wouldn't surprise me if driving horses are in fact, more prone to popping splints because of this. This is also the reason my mentor told me it is tough to get the proper amount of engagement in the horse and in their rear end when driving as opposed to riding.  While I haven't really found any studies devoted to the likely occurrance of splints or similar front limb injuries in driving horses as opposed to riding horses, surely there is some connection. Just something to think about.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So many things...

Two weeks ago there was an article in the newspaper that my mom read and then told me about. She gave me the highlights and thought "That poor family".  It obviously still has me scratching my head and asking WTF? My mom has changed her view of things too...

Without adding anything further- 
**Edited to add the full article below including a link**

Feel free to comment as you will.  Makes you wonder about people sometimes huh?

For the record- I travel this road twice daily in my commute and often on the weekends as well.  Although the posted speed limit is 50mph, people average 65-70mph.  Also as a friend of mine familiar with the area said- this is a long, flat, straight stretch of road. No trees, no hills, no dips, no curves. 

This is the article as found on from October 10, 2012.

$165 million lawsuit pending in crash that paralyzed Gilbert boy

Host of defendants in Ironwood Drive accident

9 comments by Luci Scott - Oct. 10, 2012 10:10 AM
The Republic |
Who is at fault? That's the big question lingering from a horrific car crash that left a 9-year-old Gilbert boy paralyzed from the neck down.
The boy's father, Brandon Ackert Sr. of Gilbert, is preparing to sue for $165 million over the accident, and the defendants include a number of Southeast Valley and other government entities.
On March 27, Lisa Ackert, a 911 operator for Phoenix and the boy's mother, was northbound on Ironwood Drive, a busy four-lane highway, about 2 miles north of Germann Road.
Ahead of her, a Dodge Ram pickup pulling a horse trailer had slowed or stopped in the fast lane to turn left across the dirt median. The pickup's driver, Joseph Curtis Kimball, was headed for a road that leads to a corral and open desert.
Lisa Ackert's Chevy Malibu struck the rear of the horse trailer.
She was injured, as were her sons Brandon Jr., 7, who was in the backseat and wearing his seat belt, and Andrew, then 9, who was in the front seat and not wearing a seat belt, according to a notice of claim filed by Brandon Sr. and his sons. A notice of claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.
Andrew, who used to love playing sports, is now 10 and was left a quadriplegic who needs a ventilator to breathe.
The notice of claim says the accident was caused by "negligent design and maintenance" of Ironwood Drive.
The median contains shrubs and brush, and it is filled with gravel and dirt to allow motorists to cross. The northbound and southbound lanes closest to the median are marked with a solid yellow line on the left, a symbol indicating motorists should not cross.
It's unclear which town the accident occurred in and which governmental agency is responsible for Ironwood's design and maintenance, so the notice was sent to the state, Pinal and Maricopa counties, the towns of Apache Junction and Queen Creek and the unincorporated area of San Tan Valley.
"Determining who is responsible for Ironwood Drive through this area has been a wild goose chase," attorney Robert K. Lewis said in a news release. "Poor road design has left this highway in such an ultra-hazardous condition that people stop in the high-speed lane to turn left across an unimproved median. No one will take responsibility."
Ironwood Drive crosses through Maricopa and Pinal counties, Apache Junction, Queen Creek and the unincorporated community of San Tan Valley. The highway borders property maintained by the state Land Department, Arizona Game and Fish Department and the state Department of Transportation. The governmental agencies are collectively referred to in the notice as the "public entities."
"It is clear that the public entities either filled in the dirt median permitting motor vehicles to cross in a dangerous fashion or permitted a third party to fill in the median," the notice says. "Either way, the public entities are liable for causing this accident."

The notice says Ironwood Drive was not designed within generally accepted engineering standards and "does not provide adequate warning of a dangerous condition."
Attorney Lewis' law firm, representing Brandon Ackert Sr. and his sons, has repeatedly asked for a police report, but the lawyer said it has not been released by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, which, according to the notice of claim, has said that the Pinal County Attorney's Office is looking at the report.

The Sheriff's Office told The Republic the report is not available because the accident is still under active investigation.
Since the accident, Andrew's medical bills have totaled more than $2 million, and the notice says his medical bills will likely amount to $1.4 million a year. The notice asks for a settlement of $159 million for Andrew.

Brandon Ackert Sr., a telecommunications sales representative, said the accident "deprived Brandon of the love, companionship, comfort, society and affection of Andrew Ackert," the notice says.
"Brandon can no longer play sports with his son, go to games or even run or walk with his son. Brandon will be by his son's bedside for the rest of his life, but the quality of their relationship and the ability to share and live life together was taken away from him," the claim adds.

"Although Mr. Kimball and Ms. Ackert share some liability for causing the accident, the public entities bear the brunt of the liability," the notice says, charging the highway's design allows motorists to violate state law by permitting them to cross a dirt median and two solid yellow lines.
There is a left-hand turn lane a quarter mile to the north of the accident's location where motorists can make a legal U-turn. At the point of the accident, Lewis said, there is no left-turn lane, no stop sign, no traffic light and no easy way to cross the median.

"Worst of all, these conditions still exist today," he said. "There could be another, similar crash waiting to happen, and nothing will improve until we find out which jurisdiction is responsible for make it take responsibility."
Read more:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Button braids- how to!

Ok so I promised to try and give these a shot. I failed in even getting the time to try to do them. I can admit that. But I was looking back through the posts at Behind the Bit and found one on button braids that was posted fairly recently. Add in the good video and waa-laa. It is a good tutorial video and even without sound, you can follow along at work and get a good idea of how to do it yourself.

When I get the chance I will be giving it a try and taking/posting pictures of my attempt, I need to do it soon as the driving show is coming up next month. If it looks good on Kat, I will be doing them for the show, otherwise it is back to the hunter braids for him or a running braid/French braid.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

In good company

Once in a while we are each fortunate to come across a person we can learn good things from. People we can discuss things with, sort out answers and advance in our quest for knowledge. When you have several people like that in your 'arsenal' you are fortunate and blessed.

With driving there is many things which Some of the information carries over, while some of it does not remotely apply. You can use your weight to shift position on the cart, and while the horse can feel it to some degree, it is not quite the same as being on their backs. Your legs- obviously make no cues to the horse, instead you use your whip to make them for you. Reins, bit choices and tack are similar in some areas and completely different in others.

While I am fortunate to have my husband on hand for guidance and coaching me on some things, I am also in the midst of several others who have talked sense to me about different things and helped me get Kat to where he is now.

I have mentioned Gary several times on my blog about driving and he has always been there to consult, even if it is via email, to give me words of encouragement and a kick in the pants. His blunt honesty is always appreciated with words like- "Is this how you hold your reins for riding? Well then don't do it for driving either."  I am pretty sure when he first seen how the harness was adjusted, the hold backs wrapped and everything else I had made mistakes doing- he probably had visions of things going horribly wrong and wondered how we lived through it all so far?

MiKael of Rising Rainbow Arabians has talked with me about a lot of things. Bits, collection, long line work, dressage and from each conversation I take away something. Confirmation of doing something right, lightbulb A-HA! moments of things finally making sense and even Duh! moments come up for me too.

LaTonne of Brown Eyed Cowgirls has been another one who has given me ideas and things to go on through the various posts on her blog. Although barrel racing and carriage driving may be two completely different equine sports, one of her latest posts about finishing her turns and carrying a notebook in the trailer to jot down good, bad and otherwise notes to help make your performance a better one- works for me. Finishing your turns is not just something a barrel racer needs to do, but in cones on the driving course it applies just the same. Finish your cone before looking to the next one.  Look for the spot you want the horse to go (center of the cone, center of the gate in obstacles) and they will hit it...

Sherry of Fern Valley Appaloosas has also reminded me now and then of "I knew this. Why wasn't I doing it?" in posts on her blog as well. With her post recently on ground driving and long line work, we both had a good laugh at ourselves and each other for having someone to finally have the courage to tell us- "You're doing this wrong!" while reminding ourselves to look ahead and watch where we are going.

One of the yahoo groups I am part of RED, (Recreational Equine Driving) has a lot of knowledgeable people posting on there including a trainer who will be judging the driving show next month. The members there talk about all kinds of things driving. Carriage maintenance, restoration, balance, harness fit, good and bad experiences with harness style, brands, carts, etc. and the list goes on. They do not allow in depth discussions of competition, but if there is a lesson in safety to be learned- it is welcome by all means.

I am also signed up to receive newsletters from another group- Jackpot Equine. Their latest newletter in the Judges Series was written by Mark Sheridan. He speaks of riding your circles round and exactly. Looking ahead as if using a clock and looking through your turns. This helped me in the dressage arena over the weekend as I reminded myself stop looking at your horse and look where you want him to go. Drive through your turns and look ahead.

Looking at your test scores in dressage, recounting how your felt the test went, comparing your ideas to what the judge seen... It gives you an idea of what you need to work on in the future and how to make things better. I have also started writing down a play by play of each movement. How I felt it went, what I was doing and how it was going.  Photo's and video can also give you a good idea of what was I doing (right or wrong) at that moment. It all leads to better riding or driving with our horse.  What could possibly be wrong with that?

So as you develop your eye for what looks correct and start to break down the steps of how to get it, think about where the information came from. Who said it to you and how you like the way their horses move. Start keeping notes when things go well, and notes of when they don't. If you can surround yourself with people who have a better than usual grasp on how to train a horse, you will do better and better as you go on. You will likely learn something from them in each conversation, be it spoken or email.

Always keep in mind, not all horses learn at the same rate. Some pick things up easily and spoil us that way. Others it may take a while to get through to them, but once they get it, it is there for good. Learning to cue or signal in ways that are exagerated and clear to begin with for a young horse, helps them get things right from the start. Later on you can refine your cues, scale it back and be more subtle. And even still there will be days it all goes wrong, the horse has other ideas and nothing goes well. It's part of working with horses. You have to learn to roll with it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Button braids

My one copy of The Whip magazine had very good tutorial on doing button braids. I am trying to find the time to give them a try. I know they are all the rage in the dressage world and the driving world too. If I can manage to pull it off over the weekend, I will get some photos and post it all here.

Friday, September 14, 2012


For Kat having popped a splint- he has not shown any signs of soreness, heat, swelling or really anything. Which still confuses me as to how he did it, but it is what it is and goes to show, you can do everything in your knowledge and power to prevent things, yet sometimes they. still. just. happen.

In light of all of this, (or maybe in spite of) getting Kat in shape has been going strong as ever. He is moving forward in such a Bold frame, elevated, moving uphill, walking with freedom in his movement and a looseness in his shoulders... Working him- I am just in awe of my pony.  I may be a bit barn blind, prejudice in my loving my pony, whatever anyone wants to call it- yep. I am.

His workout on Saturday left me holding my breath at times and gasping at others. He was trotting boldly into the water and seemed to be walking on it at times. He left me with a 'Kodak Moment' image burned in my brain that still just amazes me.  I wish I had a photo of his movement as it blows me away.

He was moving much like this photo, only much more forward, very bold and with a lot more THRUST.

This photo from the post Progress in progress 2 years ago when I posted the epic shot of him in long lines. I remember seeing that pic come up on the screen for a quick preview after I took it and thinking Wow. I have to go back and look at that one again later.  Kat has come a long way and I am waiting to see how far we go from here. If he looked this good two years ago, just starting out, is hitting this now with much more consistency and keeps getting better as we go- I can only imagine where he will go with a bit more time and work. I will try to get photos all along for everyone to enjoy the ride with us.

Friday, September 7, 2012


We examined the area, felt it, worked him and watched Kat go around and around both directions on the lunge line at the walk, trot and canter. Again, no heat, no swelling, no signs of soreness, no lameness, nope, nadda, nothing and a lot of WTH?

I have always been super careful of the lower legs because of everything in the big barns with the halter trainers. Super. careful. All. the. time.  I am now looking into whether or not splints in driving horses are more common.  When you consider the work load- it could be a likely possibility. *I will elaborate more on this in another post.*

Bottom line- Kat did pop the splint. It happens. It is a hard little knot about the size of a pea, only slightly noticeable when looking at him from the front, but still there. You can feel it when you run your hand down his leg, which is how I found it to begin with.  The only way he could have done it was to injur himself somehow in the stall. Otherwise, he did not have it the last time I had worked him or I would have felt it while running my hand down his leg after removing his boot or polo wrap. How it got hard so quick? It could have been a 'blind splint' for a while, just not causing him any pain, or presenting any heat and associated inflamation. 

From another article I found on The Horse dot com, Recurring Splints, What's a Splint and Young horses in training and injury risks  (these articles come up in full to read), it seems the lower injury is more common in older horses than the splint occurring higher up, like Kat's. From past experience of treating the splint on the young filly, sweating it out, blistering and a few other treatments are common, but mostly all of them recommend time off to rest and heal. I may wrap his leg to sweat it some and try to reduce the size of the splint, but I am not a fan of blistering, pin firing or any of the other stuff. Why cause pain on the outside to treat the inside, then give them the recommended rest anyways? It doesn't make sense to me.

Where Kat is not presenting any pain or soreness, I can keep working him, but I will be keeping a close eye on him, his movement and will stop immediately if he is hurting. "No pain, no gain" can take a flying leap off a short cliff here. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pop goes the what?

Last night when I was getting Kat out and ready to drive, I ran my hand down his leg as the signal to lift his hoof so I could clean it out. Right below his right knee on the inside of his leg was a hard lump. It is not very big, but it is there.  It almost feels like splint, but things are not adding up. 

He seemed like he may be a little off or even gimpy on that leg in Paulden, but lunging him he worked hard and looked fine. I worked him last weekend and again, he looked fine, moved fine and when I was grooming him before harnessing up, there was nothing there. Now all of a sudden it IS there. But then there is no heat, he is not sore or off and the thing is rock hard.

I remember treating a splint on a young horse- long ago, far away, waaaay back in the day some 20 odd years ago.  It was a weanling or yearling filly that was destined to be a halter horse. The area was shaved and twice a day I was to use a toothbrush and scrub a mixture of DMSO and furazone onto the splint. I don't remember wrapping it, but you can wrap it with plastic wrap and a stall bandage to sweat it out.  Mainly you are trying to reduce any and all inflamation in the ligament between the small bone running down alongside the cannon bone. These used to be the horses other toes when they were Euohippus and the size of a dog.

More information here- Basic splint article or for more in depth look at things- This article from The Horse dot com. Equine Splints: Causes and Cures Sure you have to sign up to read the whole article, but what is there to lose? 

Mostly though, it happens more commonly in horses under the age of 4, in heavy work, unprotected legs or working too hard on hard ground. None of which is anything that applies to Kat. Also splints are usually soft at the beginning as they are swollen or inflammed- again, this doesn't seem to apply.

Compare the splint on the buckskin and the chestnut. (I won't even go into any of the other things I see wrong here... Maybe later?)

Coming from barns with BNT's and dealing mostly with halter horses and young horses, I learned early on- ALWAYS wrap the legs. Splint boots were a MUST for pretty much everything and this was long before the SMB's and all the pro-tech rage swept in. GAWD Forbid a horse popped a splint because their days as a halter horse were pretty much Done! Judges look for 'clean', correct legs. 

Even our old horses, even for trailering, I have been known to throw on splint boots if nothing else was available. My thought was and still is- Something is better than nothing. In the case of our older mares- if it hasn't happened before now, if it happens now- the boot is not going to do much at this point. It is only going to hold things together if it should all go horribly wrong. 

Which leads us back to Kat.
-I have always used boots, polos or something to wrap his legs with. Check.
-He is now 13 years old- well above the age of being a young horse with still growing/forming bones. Check.
-I always run my hand down his legs and rub them before and after applying or removing any leg wraps or boots. Check.
-His legs were 'clean' the last time I worked him. Check!
-When I found the knot last night, I checked for heat, swelling, soreness- nothing, nothing, nothing. Check, check, check.
-It also was not soft as swelling or inflamtion generally is. Check.
-I worked him last night and he was not lame, sore or off at all. If he was, I would not have worked him, period. Check and check.
-I haven't been working him much at all lately, he has had the whole summer off for the most part so no overworking there. Check.
-Hard ground? Um, no! Not good for the legs and feet. If I am going through everything else so thoroughly, why screw up on this? Check.

Which leads me to the question of WTF?

Yes his feet are a touch long and need to be done, but he is not over reaching at the trot which is usually a good indicator for him that he is or is coming due, but he has been long before and over reaching and no issues to date....

The only other thing I can think of is one of the articles mention it being a bone in the lower portion of the knee being chipped or broken. But then again- there would be soreness, heat, likely swelling which would be soft or at least softer... and none of this is present.

I was going to start working him to bring him back into shape for the CDE in Sonoita next month and to also fix some of the things that have gone wrong by letting him have so much time off.. Right now, it is all on hold and shaky ground. I will not take him if he is lame or if things could really blow up and get horribly worse.  I won't ruin him for the sake of the game and a ribbon. 

I am going to have a look at him tonight and hubs will be looking closely at his legs too. If we are still at the point where nothing makes sense, I will be scheduling an appointment with our vet who specializes in lameness. If anybody knows- he will!

Monday, August 27, 2012


This is going to be a shameless plug / infomercial type post. Be warned, but also know this- I don't often post these things and Never if the stuff is total crap.  I also value the honest and straightforward opinions of others.  This post is scattered with 'clicky links'.

Our gelding Mondo has forever been a fly- magnet. If he is in the barn- the other horses are fine. The flies will leave them alone to relentlessly go after him. Fly sprays work, but don't seem to last for long. With one exception and that would be ShooFly! from Show Off Time products. It is eco friendly, non toxic and it smells good. But it is also oil based and STICKS. 

Still the flies loved Mondo. They literally have been eating the poor horse alive. He has worn a fly sheet and mask 24/7 for any relief they could bring, but it still wasn't enough. This year they seem to be twice as bad. And since the mask covered his eyes and the sheet covered his shoulders and body- they went after his muzzle, his jaw, his neck, his belly and his legs.  Any time his sheet was torn and had to be repaired- the flies seemed to zoom in on him twice as strong. Wasn't long before he was sporting open sores where the flies have litterally bitten him (in clusters) until they broke the skin.

Talking to another blogger- Brown Eyed Cowgirls - about Mondo and his issue, she told me there is something out of balance in his system. Something is out of whack. There is something that is attracting the flies to him, not just that they are drawn to his eyes for moisture.

I have tried a few different things. We tried putting him on pellets and pouring Apple Cider Vinegar on them. While this has worked for other people and worked for other horses in the past- it didn't do squat for Mondo. The flies still swarmed him, still bit him and would not leave him alone.   In browsing CL one day, I found an ad for a slow feeder. The person listing it also had a website and carries natural products for horses. I looked it up and sent her an email.

Maryann of Horse-N-Heart in Prescott, AZ was willing to help and offered a few tips of using the ACV and also garlic in Mondo's feed. When I told her that didn't work, she advised me of the Excel products.  She had contacted them and forwarded the information on to me. It seems flies are attracted to horses with too much protein in their diet and an imbalance of the ph in their system. Mondo is was on straight alfalfa. It was suggested we switch him to either timothy or bremuda grass hay and put him on their product Dynamite. He is not a fan of grass and although the slow feed hay net was full to overflowing- he wasn't budging. 

Since we were heading to Paulden with Kat for a Darby (driving event) I offered to meet her up there to save the hassle, time and expense of shipping. Although we played phone tag upon arriving in Prescott, we were able to meet up as we headed home.  Mondo has been on the Excel for 2 weeks now and Man has there been some changes!

Although we were only to feed him a 1/2 tsp scoop per day- we were feeding him 1 tsp scoop in the morning and evening to get a jump on things. He was switched to Bremuda blend pellets which he snarfs up without a fuss and since the Dynamite is a powder- we sprinkle it on, and wet the pellets a little to make it stick.  By the end of the week it was working without a doubt.

I had been working with my WB mare and when I put her away to feed the herd- I noticed the bugs were out. Every horse in the barn was swishing their tails. All but one. Mondo stood there looking around waiting for his feed without swishing his tail at all. 

For some reason hey don't go after the right side as much as his left.

But the flies do love his legs.

After the first week, we have cut him back on the Dynamite to the 1/2 tsp, once a day as directed and still wet his pellets in the morning when he gets it. He no longer wears his sheet- which he has done some damage to, and no longer wears his mask either.  I pulled him out last night and got these pictures of him to show how badly the flies have been on him.  Poor horse has been this way for too long.

At least now he finally has some relief.  He will stay on pellets and Excel- Dynamite for a while, at least while this container of it lasts and we will see what happens. If he needs to stay on it for good- so be it.  It is not at all costly considering how much good it is doing him.  I am sold on it and the Excel brand certainly nailed it on this one.  Hopefully I can post some after pics before long when Mondo is all healed up.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hats, slacks or skirts? Oh my

One vote so far for the pillbox style.  Now I am toying with the thought of using the taffeta to do a small brim across the front of the hat. It's always an option...  I was originally trying for a hat along the lines of a victorian riding hat.  You know, like this-

Ladies Petite Victorian Top Hat - Brown-on-Brown

This hat is from and for only $60 is not a bad price at all. However it is brown on brown and wouldn't match my coat so well... Therein lies the problem. I have searched all over for a rust colored hat and found nothing so far that I liked. I figured if I made my own, there would be no issue about matching the colors which can sometimes be tricky beyond belief... Reds, greens and sometimes even black can be tough to match. Too light, too dark, light or dark undertones, too green, a hint of blue, too bright, too dull and do you see what I mean? Total PITA!

I have made the brim for my hat, I have yet to try putting it actually ON the hat. Then there is the task (or maybe chore) of getting just the right bend or curve to it. Finding flowers, ribbons, feathers, bows and other adornments, keeping with or even contrasting the fabric can cause its own amount of headaches and frustration and then there is the question of how much is too much. This partly because I am not all that into excess... I am not a bling person or one to overdo stuff. I like clean, simple and understated elegance.

Then at the Darby over the weekend, I found out that yes, jeans are pretty much forbidden. Slacks or trousers are ok, but not recommended. So I emailed my mentor and asked "What then?" Skirts? Is length a factor? *eyeroll* I do have the fabric and now I have a pattern, so it's not really an issue, but still. There is a lot to this sometimes.  To think some people change their outfits for each event- not hard to rack up a substantial bill in the clothing category. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

On to the next thing

With the coat finished, I had started to work on the hat. In driving it is all about the hat and having the right one is a really big deal. I had one thing in mind and so far- it isn't happening. Lucky for me, my hat has options. Usually your 'turnout look' starts with the hat and you build it up from there. Knowing me like some do- when have I ever been known to do as I am told or follow the directions?  ;-)

The hat is made from the leftovers from the coat. There wasn't much to work with and very few scraps still. For the most part it is two long strips of fabric sewn together, stuffed with stiff interfacing and sewn shut. I wrapped it around my head and measured it where it met, hand stitching it underneath. The top didn't want to go on with the machine so it was handstitched too. It is the same interfacing between two layers of the taffeta I had bought for the apron.

I have also made the apron and have a lot of the taffeta left. So much in fact, that I will likely be making a skirt to go with the coat for the odd occurrance I should go somewhere and need a nice outfit for the occasion. I also figured I would use the taffeta to make the brim of the hat. It is cut out and sorta put together, but I am not sure yet where it will go from there.

Remember the collar I had made for the coat? I tried using that as a brim on the hat. It sorta works, but I am undecided as of yet. It does provide my eyes a bit of shade and since sunglasses are, as a general driving rule, taboo to wear in the dressage ring, I will be needing something or I will be squinting and grimacing my way through the test.

I have sewn the brim on 3 or 4 times, taken it off just as many, tried the hat as a pillbox style, with and without various different adornments and am still quite undecided as to which look I prefer. If you note in the pics, there is a small pocket on the left side, where flowers, netting and other adornments can be tucked in and pinned. Please feel free to comment on which hat style you like best. I'm kinda stuck at the moment and certainly open to outside opinions.....

The complete look- hat, coat & apron. Just need my gloves...

The hat with the collar piece as a brim- all pinned together.

I added a bit of decoration to the hat

And here is the hat as a pillbox style with tulle in the pocket for an accent.

So there you have it. What do you think? I have never made a hat before. I can still add a single or a couple layers of the tulle across the front. At the moment it has a big bow on it on the back. Ideas, thoughts, opnions??? Please??? 

Friday, August 3, 2012


What I went with were some gold-ish toned buttons that have a hand hammered look to them. They are a matte finish, not shiny. They also came in a few different sizes so I could find the smaller ones for the sleeve cuffs. It was about $20 just on buttons. Figure in the fabrics, time and everything else- it's easy to see why stuff is so damned expensive sometimes.

I have never in my life made a button hole. Not even in Home Ec in school. My mom has probably done over a million of the damn things and here I had never done even one. Never attempted it- nothing. The coat was going to need 3 if not 4 of them and does anyone have any idea how important they are?  Their placement is everything. Think about it.

If you have too much room between buttons- the fabric can pooch open and whatever you are wearing underneath (or not) is exposed. If the buttons are too small and there's not enough of them- they are 'lost' on the coat. Too big, too many- the coat looks too small on you and crowded. They should also be evenly spaced and certainly in a straight line. Let's not forget that the top of the coat and certainly the bottom line up and are even... They are just buttons, but sheesh!

On went the coat yet again. I had already pinned it closed down the front several times, what was another 12-15 rounds of try not to stick myself with a pin? If only that could be used as a way of deflating a few body parts to a more reasonable size... *sigh*  I pinned it for 3 buttons. Take it off, lay it on the couch and set the buttons on it.  Does it need 3 or 4?  I decided on 4. I had already sewn the buttons on the sleeves as a faux cuff.

Who knew the sewing maching book would have directions on making buttonholes? Thankfully mine does. They are easy to do too. I had no idea. I whipped out 4 of them in nothing flat. My coat was almost done!  All that was left was sewing the buttons themselves on. I was excited. And could not find a needle. (Insert more swearing) Consider it was already after midnight and at least it was a weekend, but still.

Buttons, tailors chalk and my impromptu pincushion- not the one I normally use.
I make it a point to leave a piece of thread in my needles, knotted and stuck in one part of my pincushion. No such luck. Because the pincushion has fallen on the floor a few times, several of the pins are pushed down into the fabric. The needle was among them and no thread to be seen. It had almost slipped through the fabic on the pincushion to be lost in the depths of it. But I found it and got the buttons all sewn on. HOORAY! It was finally DONE!

Look at those buttons and the button holes! lol

The bottom needs to be pressed, mainly the one seam on the right...

A better, close up view of the buttons

My coat in all it's finished glory. Wahoo!

For anyone interested- the pattern was Simplicity 4032, View A. Yeah, how close does mine resemble theirs? Made a few changes there did I?

Now, on to the apron and the hat......

Monday, July 30, 2012

Almost there...

After posting the pics of the jacket, I sewed the sleeves on it. I had gotten to the point of just wanting it done. I made a couple of pleats in the back of the sleeve, pinned them on, sewed them, called it good and said to hell with it.  They were on, it looks ok and I could move on.

The collar was a joke. I had run short of fabric and decided to improvise. It did not turn out well and again I was getting frustrated. I went to bed and let it rest. When things start going wrong, I take it as a sign of a good time to stop and walk away.  I sleep on it and look at it later. A fresh mind is a good place to start. The next day- it still looked rediculous and no there were no pictures. Take it off and think again. I ended up going with no collar. Stitched the lining to the outer shell and again- called it good and said to hell with it.  I told you before sewing and swearing go hand in hand.  Thing is, the coat looks fine without the collar actually.

Then it was on to sewing the lining to the cuffs in the sleeves. I hadn't resorted to the directions on the coat before now, why start? Because that might make too much sense??? There is always that... I know how the lining in the cuffs is supposed to look so I stared at the coat and tried to work it out in my mind. Honestly, looking back I can't even begin to tell you how I did it, but it is done.  That will be sooo helpful for future projects, I know.

Soon all that was left was to hem the coat, find buttons for it, make the button holes, sew the buttons on and be glad it was finished.  The bottom of the coat was a few different lengths. That was a problem.  So I layed it on the floor, the lining hung out below... grabbed my scissors and took care of  that. Then I started to turn things under and pin them. I started with the piece that was the shortest. Pinned it all in place, hung it back on the hanger- front pinned shut and straightened it out across the bottom. I could see the finish line.

I took the coat to the store to pick out the buttons. I had almost bought them before, like before I had cut anything out and good sense told me to wait. I am glad I did. I layed the coat over the top of the cart & started laying different cards of buttons on it. The fabric has gold tones in it so pewter, silver, black and white were out. I found some buttons that were shiny and gold, flat, plain and they really stood out. Nope. I don't want to be remembered for the buttons on the coat.  Some were big, some were small, some were only available in one size and there were a lot of buttons to choose from...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fit issues

I recently bought a new sewing machine. New to me anyhow. It was made in 1957 and older than a lot of people I know, but for $20 including the cabinet- how could I refuse? I mean I only have 4 others at home already, but I needed the cabinet for one of them so it works, right? In the drawer of the cabinet was a few things of interest. One of them being a whole box of attachements. Including something I thought was a small shim or wedge of plastic. Mom said it was tailor's chalk. Hallelujah!

It came in very handy when I was pinning things on the jacket that needed to be cut down- like the sleeves, the chest where the side front and front meet and a few other things. Now I need to find more!  I used to use a bar of hand soap- it all washes away when you are done so same idea.

I removed the sleeves, turned the jacket body inside out and put it back on.  This way I would be making corrections, marks and pins on the 'inside' where nobody would see them when it is done. I pinned the front shut as if there were buttons on it doing their job.  I pinned the sides, bringing them in at the waist for a more contoured fit. I pinned the seam along the chest where the front and side front meet. I marked everything, pulled the pins and started ripping out all the work I had done putting it together- again. I am glad I found more than one spool of thread  in the same color before I started. I will probably need it!

I marked one side and fixed it, trying it on again before going any further. If it worked- great. If not, I can still change it, then do the other side the same way only doing it once instead. Here is the coat with the left side fixed and the right side still pinned. See the differences in how it fits and how it didn't before?

Doesn't the T-shirt complete the look?

The good news is- I will have to go back and make a lot of the same changes to the lining too. Doesn't that sound like fun? Hahahahaha Not!

While I had it all pinned, I sat on the edge of a chair to simulate driving. I moved, bent and straightened my arms, turned and twisted in my seat to be sure the jacket fit, looked good no matter what I was doing and most of all- would not be binding or constricting my movement no matter what. Who can relate to clothes that look good on the hanger or even on you, but you can't do anything in them? Getting older every day- I have no time or use for that crap.  I doubt anyone else does either!

After all of the changes were made to the body of the jacket I turned on to the sleeves. I had way too much fabric when sewing them on the first time around and had made two different pleats in the top as a way of seeing which way worked better and looked nicer. One more than the other, but really neither of them and since they had to come off- no big loss.  I had cut down the size of the sleeves and this left less to deal with in attaching them.

Here I have one sleeve pinned on the jacket- It's not perfect and I had to move carefully or get jabbed. But I wanted to get pics and see how it was coming together. I also didn't pin the front shut so I had to hold it.

The sleeves are that long on me... ^^^

My mom was always a person to 'pin baste' everything. Pin it, sew it, be done with it and move on. A lot of the directions say pin it, hand baste it (sew it with big loose stitches, sew it with the machine, then go back and remove your hand basting. It saves time, it saves thread and looks just as nice.  How you place your pins makes a difference too. If you place them the length of where you will be stitching, you have to pull them out as you sew. If you place them across where you are stitching, you can zip right over them then go back and pull them all out. Another time saver... lol

Word to the wise- Home Ec teachers in school want you to do what the directions say, not what mom does. This reflects on your grade. So does telling them- "This is how my Mom does it and her clothes don't look home made."

My mom also does a lot of thumb pressing instead of having an iron sitting out waiting for use...  I recently learned online- flat irons like you use on your hair- work just as well, no ironing board required. Did you see the one on the counter in the pics above? They work well for more than hair!

After snapping the pic's I pinned the other sleeve to the body and called it a night. I still have to work on the lining and get it caught up, then put it all together, hem the coat, hem the sleeves, find buttons and do button holes- for the first time in my life- add the collar and an accent piece and it is done! Then it is on to the hat and apron... The apron is easy enough, but the hat may be a challenge. At least there it still plenty of time for changes and corrections or altogether substitutions! I need to get started on it though. Depending on how it goes- I may enter the turnout class at the show in November.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Frustration and stress relieving

As some may know from reading the other blog Show in Style, your turnout in driving is just as important as your attire in the ring in other events- western, dressage, hunters, saddleseat, etc. How you look carries over to how you do in the ring. Your clothes, your style, it can help make you or break you.

You want to choose something that stands out, yet isn't completely over the top and obnoxious. You want to be remembered for how nice you looked, how well you stood out for good reasons and how well you did. You don't want to be the person everyone is talking about months later because of "OMG did you see what they were wearing? Wasn't it just hideous?"

A lot of people know that I sew. My skills are not quite those of my mothers and there are things I am still learning. Sometimes my sewing is enough to make her nuts. She just doesn't look too closely at my finished work (clothing) and it's all good. Mostly though, my finished work is horse stuff, not clothes. She sews clothes. That's her strong point, not necessarily mine... But I have her to go to when I am sewing clothes, get stumped and need the answers to make it right. I also learned to swear from my mother.

Anyone who sews knows it goes hand in hand with swearing. Horses carry that same familiar bond with swearing. Sometimes all you have to do is yell, throw in a curse word or two and man do the horses jump to attention. They know their silly games no longer fly and they better straighten up and behave like they should. All of this and you never laid a hand on them. "Knock it off you S-O-B!" and they stop whatever it is they were doing. Whoa dammit! is another one.  All of this relieves some of your stress- the swearing and the horses behaving- so you can go on and do what you need to do.

For my mother it was always "Shit, Damn and Hell!" Always those words, always in that order. My Dad, two brothers, sister and I knew something went wrong and mom was pissed. Anyone that sews also knows you will screw up. You will have to go back and rip things out, change things, fix them and make it better. How things fit is important. Your clothes either compliment your body shape or horribly accent all the things you find wrong with it. Make you or break you.

With the CDE coming up in October, I have been working on a jacket for the event. I picked up the pattern back in March, found a few pieces of fabrics to make the jacket, hat and my apron. I have scoured the internet for hat making information and am going to give it a try. The pattern I chose- the jacket is not lined. It is also not very 'form fitting' or anything like that. I am going to line it and have started making changes to it to make it more figure flattering. I have been frustrated, ripped out a lot of stitching already and have sworn both under my breath and out loud- A Lot!

It has two pieces for the back, four pieces for the front. I cut everything out, stitched the back together, stitched the side front pieces on and the shoulder seams and thought I would try it on. This was the beginning of the swearing. The side front pieces didn't come all of the way across the front of me. One thing running through my mind (besides a lot of swearing) was that at least I still have plenty of time to find and buy more fabric (and more swearing).

Then I looked over to see the other two pieces that make up the front of the jacket. Yes! There they were, laying there in all of their glory. I had also cut out the lining for this jacket. This is not part of the pattern, but I figured I would add to my frustration. I pieced things together in my mind and it seems like it should work. So I sewed the front pieces on either side, sewed the sleeves on and waa-laa. I upped the ante on frustration. It looked ok, but it didn't fit like it should. The sleeves were big, super long and didn't go on as planned. The front of the jacket puckered in places it shouldn't and was all over BIG. Add more liberal swearing to relieve the stress.... and start taking things apart. The lining was also all stitched together at this point and would need changes made to it too....

To be continued

Monday, April 16, 2012

Riders up!

I had brought my mare home last weekend and she needed her feet done again before any more work was to happen with her. I managed to work in 3 rides at the other facility while she was out. She is definitely a horse that is going to teach me a lot about riding as I will be bringing her along under saddle. I find myself telling her with each ride- "This is not all about you, you know. I need to work on things too."  I have issues with my riding as we all do. Fix one thing and something else needs work.

If you would like, I can do that in another blog- detailing the work and her progress there, leaving this one to grooming. Let me know in the comments as usual.

I trimmed her front hooves, (the size of dinner plates I tell ya!) and gave the backs a few flicks with the rasp. She has been wearing them down and they still looked good so she is good to go again. At least for a while... Yesterday I got on her.  I lunged her and she never went faster than a trot. I am really appreciating the laziness of this mare. I mounted and we walked around going to the left, going to the right, using my leg to keep her from dropping her inside hip and she. felt. really. good. It felt good to be in the saddle again too.

My back was a bit sore already from getting hay in the morning, but I wanted to ride and needed to ride, so I wasn't letting this stop me.  As much as she is built more suited to hunters, the dressage saddle fits her better, so I have been using it.  I also feel more secure in it, like it has a deeper seat which it doesn't, but whatever. I also worked on letting go of the reins and allowing her to have her head more, to pick her way around the arena.

I have a bridle with the cotton reins and leather 'markers' on them. I rode on the second marker before and it was too much contact for her. She is still learning to go forward and I need to let her. Instead I rode with the inside rein on the first marker and the outside rein on the buckle or first marker depending on how much slid through my hand.  I am learning to let go and trust her, as she is learning to go forward and trust me.

As it was, when we finally worked our way up to trotting, as I would squeeze with my legs and push her forward, she would round up and come back to me in a way, as she shoved off and went into a trot. The reins would go slack a bit and I had no contact as we moved off and sped up.   That was a little unsettling for me, but as we moved a few strides along, she started to stretch out and down. Then she would stop.  No reason, just stopped. It took a while and we finally went around on an egg shaped circle and made it most of the way around before she would stop again. We were making progress though so I couldn't argue or complain.

By the end of our ride we were doing complete circles at the trot. One direction, then the other. A circle and a half to the left, a 3/4 circle, half circle, circle, change direction and repeat.  I was able to post, (which is why my legs are killing me today, but it is a good thing. I know it is!) work on picking up the right diagonal from the start, having to change diagonals, but we were getting there. We were trotting on cue and stopping on her terms, but still stopping. I was relaxing and breathing and still on my mare. 

I was also learning to trust her and her me. I have to trust her. Her back is taller than I am and I was sitting up there. At one point I did adjust my leg, my right leg was not in position like it should be. I lifted my foot up and out to the side. Doing so, the stirrup leather 'popped' out from between the billets and slapped the saddle flap. She jumped forward, crowhopped twice and stopped again. "I told her that was unexpected and uncalled for." That was that. We trotted around a bit more, went the other direction and called it good.

For all of that, I am paying the price today. I might be riding my bicycle and logged almost 4 hours on it since the last time I accidentally reset the computer gadget, but my quads are aching today. The outside of my ankles, throb at times from keeping my heels down. Although I didn't think I used a lot of leg on her- my inner thighs beg to differ. My lower back- yeah we won't go there and before I even got on her, my shoulders cramped up in a way they have never done before. This is not what riding is about! WTH?  I guess I need to get my butt in the saddle more often...  :)  Maybe then I can wipe the grin off my face or it will become more permanent with each ride. Time will tell.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The real test

How well can you braid in the dark? I know it sounds tough to do and it wasn't the best idea, but I ended up braiding Kat in the dark, in his stall for our competition on Friday. Although I had a bit of light by the full moon, it wasn't as much as I would have liked. Yet still, our braids came out neat and presentable.

I need to pull his mane and thin it out a touch, but I have yet to do it. I was using the technique from as was mentioned previously here on the blog.  It took me less than two hours this time, but with practice it should go faster each time.

Add in that I lost my crochet hook for pulling the yarn through and yes, I improvised using the hair clip to do the job. It wasn't the greatest and didn't work so well every time, but for the braids where it did, it helped a lot.   

And so it goes- another show is in the books. By the next one, I should have a replacement hook to do the job.  At least I hope so.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A toast

You have been invited to attend a virtual bridal shower as spread through email. More can be found on Debby's blog Life's Funny Like That. So today, even though I am down in Coolidge competing and likely on course when she sees this, I raise my bottle (hey it's glass!) to both Mikey and Wade. If you don't know who Mikey is, she blogged about their crazy life on Postcards from Arizona.
May you always wake up in love with each other and have plenty of sunshine in your lives. You are blessed to have each other and may that last a long, long time.

From our house to yours....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I rode my big mare yesterday for the first time. I got on her in the arena at my friends place and we walked and trotted some circles.  It has been a while since I have been in the saddle, let alone on a horse that is taller than I am. One of the first things I said was "She is not at all like riding Tess."  I really miss that goofy, long eared, red mare.

One of the things I noticed about riding Aruba is this-> If I am not doing it right, she stops. If my legs slip forward out of position, she slows down and stops. There is nothing pushing her forward so why should she go?  Something I had to keep telling her was "This is not just about You getting it right."  Once we got going forward and she was dropping her head and balanced I started to post at the trot. It has been a long time since that has happened for me too. It felt good!

Last night though as I was unwinding and coming off the 'high' from a good ride, my back started hurting. This time instead of it being my lower back, it was my right shoulder. The one I usually drop or hunch over when going to the right. It hurt because I didn't do that this time. I kept my shoulders straight and sat up like I should. 

Going to the right she tends to lean on your inside leg. A Lot!  A few times I felt as if I had to hold her up with my calf. Not cool, but we can work on that. She also shoved her nose out and down, trying to pull the reins through my hands. Again, not cool, but we can work on that. I am excited about bringing her home and getting to work on her. The bony top part of her hip has begun to disappear under muscle and she is taking on a gorgeous shape. I am thinking to start another blog to chronicle her progress towards the hunter arena and lower level dressage. Post your opinions in the comments and come along for the ride.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Things gone awry

First off, this is not exactly a happy post by any means. Life with livestock is not always sunshine and butterflies.

Some of you may remember the posts about Holy Cow our Holstein heifer. When we brought her home, she was an interesting addition to the herd. We were told she was about 18 months- 2 years old at the time. With that in mind and having looked into things, consulting with friends in the know, we felt comfortable enough to breed her to our neighbors Angus bull. The hope was to start our herd of beef cattle and mostly to be able to milk Holy. Well when she came due to calf- the problems started. We watched her, the neighbors watched her and nothing happened. This was back in the first part of October.

It was finally agreed the calf was dead inside and needed to be removed. The four of us got together in the barn, got Holly in the milking chute and did our best to get the calf out. He was not coming out on his own and nothing we could do was going to change that. He was what is known as 'Hip Locked', meaning the calf's pelvis was locked up against the cows.  We finally gave up and called it off. We called the local guy who does meat processing and made final arrangements for the morning.

It turns out the bull calf was bigger than the neighbors bull calf that was nearly a month old. After Holly was put out of life and everything, the guy processing her had to break her pelvic bone to get the bull calf out. He was that big. He was also really nicely put together. That just figures!  We did get a few steaks, a couple of roasts and a bunch of ground meat from Holly, but there really wasn't much for him to work with.

Fast forward a few months.  After losing Holly, the neighbors turned out their cow and the new calf Boo-Boo. If you all remember our bull calf Buzz, well Buzz slipped through the fence and found himself a playmate. Buzz also self adopted himself to them and even began nursing off their cow.  We had to bring him back home and even though we did, he slipped out and down the driveway, going back to the neighbors barn within and hour of his coming home. 

Plan B. The neighbor brought Buzz home and stuck him in our small arena. He couldn't get out through the no climb so he stayed home. Then I later moved him to a stall in the barn.  a few weeks went by , everything was fine and then suddenly Buzz had gone off his feed. No signs of stress or anything unusual, he just wasn't eating. we threw him hay, we gave him the same horse pellets he and Betsy were eating and he just wouldn't touch any of it.

Come the morning of the ADT, I left to take Kat up to the showgrounds and got a text message. "Buzz is a sick little bull." He had started with some snots, but nothing else. He was standing in the stall nibbling at the feed when we left so things were steady for the moment.  When I got home that afternoon, Buzz had already passed. He was laying by the gate, no signs of any struggle or anything. It looked as if he just laid down and stopped living. Hubby JR was picking up the girls so I called him to let him know we needed to dig a hole. 

We are down to just the one little heifer Betsy for now. Our little Hereford cross is getting bigger, but not by much. She is widening out a little too, but we wonder if she may be a miniature. If nothing else, she could very well be a 'pail bunter' as Sherry has called her, a dwarf or one of a set of twins.  She is quite the goofy heifer too. Occasionally she gets a wild hair, sticks her tail in the air running around like a wild child.

She has settled in enough to approach me if I have a handful of Calf Manna. She let me scratch her head and jaw last night as she snarfed it up like a vacuum cleaner.  Little Mama has a ways to go before we will consider breeding her and when the time comes, we will be looking for another bull. Our neighbor has loaned out their Angus bull and he was bred to another Holstein with sadly the same results. For now they have a Limousin bull over there and he looks like he could be a good cross for Betsy when she is ready. That's going to be a while off for now though. Maybe by then we will have a few more bovines around here to keep her company. Otherwise she is happy talking to their cows through the fence.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Circling still...

I have decided that since my mare is making excellent progress and the driving is taking over my life- I am leaving her there another month. She is doing well, Kat and I had our first ADT on Saturday and things are about to get more hectic next month.

If anyone wants me to complain about the weather- it's probably going to be crappy for the Scottsdale Arabian show, but since we have not heard anything from anyone there, we won't be going unless there is a last minute hyper emergency call to action. Even then- who knows? I'm just hoping the weather holds out for us and is beautiful in March for the CDE.

Friday, January 20, 2012

In a holding pattern

I was going to post about pulling a mane and doing the button braids or rosettes as they are often called, but for the month of January, my mare is out at another facility. Without her here at home, it is not so easy to run out and do things, snap pictures of progress along the way and be able to post them.  She is doing well and when she comes home, I will be back to normal blogging. 

That is the hope anyways.  I appreciate your patience and comments. If anyone would like to do a guest post, feel free to email it to me and I will put it up. Meanwhile, here's to good grooming and happy horses.