Saturday, July 9, 2011


Sometimes I feel like any comment that I want to make on Facebook is something very negative.  For example, a horse rescue that is also breeding horses.  I feel this is immoral.  The amount of unwanted horses out there and yet, there are people out there creating more?  Boy, just visit the Fugly Horse of the Day and few times and you'll find all kinds of immoral breeders/rescuers out there.

Also when I see horses for sale.  When a person claims the horse is a finished show horse, and yet their photos show a mangy looking horse in cheap Mexican made western tack.  If it's a finished show horse, your probably going to be showing some major win photos and your horse is going to be decked out.  If it's a 4H show horse who does well, say it!  4H is a different caliber than the Breed Show world.

In no way, am I a perfect person.  I've made stupid decisions and I will continue to make stupid decisions.  I will claim that right.  However, I am also not out there claiming to be the authority or a professional.  I have owned horses for over 30 years, yes part of that lifetime my parents helped me with the horses.  However, much of that time has been spent on educating and studying to understand horses, feeding, training and general hoof care.  My parents would always roll their eyes when I'd come into the house with something different that my horses needed.... such a a teeth float for my older mare.  Thankfully they complied with my wishes, or I was able to earn money to pay for the things I needed.

Last rant of the day... Craigslist.  IF IT'S BEEN SOLD, REMOVE YOUR AD!  omg.... enough said.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Friends and Good Horses

There is not much better than good horses and good friends.  Today, I had both.  Three friends joined me for riding on the ranch.  Of the four horses on the trail, two had cattle experience and two had not.  We don't bother the cattle, but it's good for the horses to see them and smell them.  I rode Classy out on the trail.  He was so good.  Yesterday, we rode with the bareback pad around the ranch, so Classy was pretty calm and easy going today.  He's a good ride, when you use him the day prior.

At one point, I made everyone cross a wet field.  I had thought that it was going to be dry and instead we found mud and muck.  One of the horses wasn't pleased with this.  Classy was fine, and I was surprised.  Later on, I did a little water work with Classy and Alexa and Fox.  Classy was hesitant but eventually went for it.  I had him stand in the water, he played a little bit in it.  It was fun.

Playing in the water reminds me of the summers with my friend, Mary.  We found a pond on a back road that wasn't developed.  The pond crossed the gravel road, so we would gallop our ponies bareback through the pond.  It was soooooo much fun!  Good memories.  I miss those days of riding bareback and dreaming on horseback.

Later on, I played with Freckles a bit.  She was not wanting to let me catch her.  She kept walking off.  So, I persisted and eventually we met up.  I like her a lot.  She gives up easily.  I haltered her and then just remained in the pasture working on weaving between trees and walking over poles.  Even had her backing between the poles.  She is just a good, good girl and seems to get things fairly quickly without a fight.  I've been pondering sending her to a trainer, but then I come back to the fact that I don't always agree with what people do with training horses and maybe I should just suck it up and do it.  Truthfully, I've done it before.  Several times.  I still have Classy, after 19 years and he's doing well.  He had a good mind to start out with and I think Freckles is the same.  She's a sweetheart, my little Freckle Face.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Down One Floor Please

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out the trimming tools.  Classy needed to be dropped one level.  He was just trimmed about 4 weeks ago, but has already had a major amount of growth.

Here are some photos from our trimming session.  I also started treatment on thrush using Pete Ramey's remedy which is posted on his website.

Here is the whole photo album, I'm just going to post a sampling here.

The following photos are Classy's left front hoof.

(Above Photo)
Left Front Hoof Before - just cleaned.  Lots of crumbly, chalky sole.

(Above Photo)
Sole cleaned, bars cut down and ready for the grinder

Left Front After  
(Above Photo)
Hoof walls brought back down and "mustang roll" attempted

This is what is going on behind me 
I did the trim in the pasture.  I wanted Freckles to hear and smell the grinder.  Since she hasn't experienced it yet, I wanted her to get a good idea and feeling from it.  I wanted her to see that Classy stands quiet and just lets me work and that there is nothing scary about the process.  She spent a lot of time, sniffing and nuzzling both me and Classy.   She's such a sweetheart.

I use an Angle grinder most of the time to trim down the hooves.  It works great and doesn't take much work to get your horse comfortable with it.  There are lots of videos that demo this method of trimming..

You can also check out the following Yahoo Group:

I'm not a professional and I know there is a lot to learn.  My technique could use a lot of fine tuning.  But, I though I would share my hoof trimming with you today.

Happy Trails and Stay Sound!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dancing Feet

Today I was watching Classy out the window.  He was napping, standing up.  And later was stepping out. He looked a little "off".  And if you talk to any horse person about their horse, they can tell you when their horse is a little off.  After 19 years of ownership, if I can't tell, well... then somebody needs to come slap me.  So, I pulled on my shoes and climbed through the fence holding a hoof pick.

First thing I checked was for a digital pulse and heat on the hooves.  Founder can happen to any horse and it's always good to be proactive and prevent it.  He felt normal and I compared it to Freckles hooves which felt the same temp.  Then I started picking them out.  I noticed that he is already ready for a trim.  He grows so fast in the summer and I haven't been riding much lately so he's not getting much wear.  So, tomorrow I will be trimming hooves.  Also we are going to battle Thrush.  Oh yuck.

On the subject of Thrush, I have heard of so many products out there.  Many trimmers have their own remedies and some believe that some of the products out there actually kill live tissue.  I stood at Aslin Finch looking at all the Thrush remedies and the associate wouldn't leave me alone.  I read through the ingredients and she pointed out what one most people walk in asking for.  I suppose I am a bit of a snob, when it comes to my horse's feet.  I really don't listen to what "most people use".  Because there are so many people out there that believe that shoeing is the only way to go with a horse.  There are so many people out there who couldn't trim their horse's hoof, even if their life depended on it.  So, instead I got on my iPhone and looked up Pete Ramey's site.  Because if Pete says it's good, that is good enough for me.  So, Pete recommends Neosporin and Athlete's Foot Ointment.  Go to his website and get the whole nitty gritty details:

I'm going to try it tomorrow and hopefully it will help out.

I also picked out Freckles' hooves.  Neither horses were tied or haltered.  I just walked out there started petting and picking feet.  I'm pretty lucky to have these two gentle, trusting creatures who will allow me to do this for them without being jerks and behaving badly.  Both of them are sweethearts, my giant furry children.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freckle Face

Well, our new AQHA mare, Freckles fits in so well here. She's very interested in us, comes to the fence line and sometimes has even whinnied for us to return after giving her attention. I hope that tomorrow morning I can work with her on saddling and playing around. It's a Saturday, so my husband will be home to help, I hope! He has really taken to her as well and has started calling her "his horse".

Today, I went out and caught her. She has a little bit of proud flesh on a hind leg, so I worked on that. We worked on fly spray again. She was really worried about it for the first few times and today, she stood calm on the left side and got a little more scared on the right. She's definitely a two sided horse, meaning that she needs to be taught on both sides. You cannot just show her something on one side and expect her to accept it on the other.

She is very accepting of things and I already feel like I can trust her for the most part.

I brushed both her and Classy. Classy got to wear his new fly mask, which I am sure he hates but since he's lost pigment around his eyes, I worry about sun damage and blindness. So, i am going to try and be proactive. I also took snips of hair from their tails to send to my friend Candace. She is making horse hair bracelets from your horse's tails.

Here are the pieces that I gathered from both Classy and Freckles today.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy Monday

Today was such a mess of rain, not much gone done in the realm of the horses. I did go out for a visit when the rain quit this evening. Freckles is in season and Classy thinks he knows what to do, but he doesn't. Oska is still with her halter and drag rope and she got the end of it caught on the feeder. So, I was able to approach her without her being able to escape, I held her and petted her softly while talking to her. Then when she relaxed a bit, I went and petted the two love birds. Then returned to pet Oska again. She was still a little freaked but settled again and I retreated away. Then returned one last time to pet, she settled quicker and then on my retreat, I released her snag.

The vet is coming Wednesday to do a Coggins on Oska for her trip to Montana. I'm going to try and work with her a bit more tomorrow so that the vet visit isn't too traumatizing. Maybe we will work on tying up for real.

Also, tomorrow the goal is to work with Freckles too. I'm just going to play with my "handy stick" (Clinton Anderson's term for a whip). She needs some desensitizing with ropes flinging around her. So, tomorrow that is the goal.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Enter: Freckles

Over the past couple months, I have been battling over whether I should find a new home for Oska. She's adorable and sweet but, I've decided to find someone who is genuinely going to help her get to the next level. And I have found that. I posted an ad and actually ignored some of the response and before responding to anyone, I searched them on Facebook to learn a little about them first. I'll post more about her future owner, but I think it will be a good match for Oska.

Enter: Freckles.

Well, I didn't plan to get another horse. But, after I made the decision to find Oska a new home, a friend contacted me about Freckles. Over the years, I have wanted a smaller horse to start under saddle. A friend of a friend needed to find Freckles a good home and I'm so happy that we were chosen for her. Freckles arrived on Friday. She's a 2007 AQHA mare. I haven't measured her yet, but she's about 14.2. I love it. I can see over her back! She's halter broke and had someone on her back, but is not truly broke. She's quiet, she considers and thinks. She is my first AQHA (American Quarter Horse), so far from what I've seen, I really like her.

And here are her "Freckles"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Two Steps forward and Three Steps Back

I've been battling an internal dilemma with my little filly. Over the winter our "training" basically ceased. We visited and petted or brushed from time to time. But, now that all the ice is melted and the weather has warmed, we've really have gone backwards in our training. She did allow me to catch her one day and lead her to the Round Pen. Then I took my horse, Classy, from the pasture and went for a ride. I put her in the Round Pen because I fear that she will run through fences when he leaves her. So, I wanted her to be safe. However, when it came time to catch her and put her back, she wouldn't allow me to catch her. It was two weeks before my husband decided to back the horse trailer up and coax her inside and after a few hours of the trailer sitting there open to the pen, he closed the door and hauled her back to the pasture with Classy.

Still, she was loose with Classy and still I was unable to catch her. My husband helped me construct a catch pen and we caught her last Saturday. Since then she has been wearing a halter and drag rope. I've been able to catch her now with this and sometimes I come out and give her treats without trying to catch her. She's still very skeptical of me but, I am hoping we are making some progress a little by little.

Sometimes, I wonder what I was thinking getting a little "wild" horse. But, if I push through the obstacles, we will all pull through and reap the rewards in the end.