Monday, September 02, 2013

Leo is home!

Taken by Ranch Namaspamoos
Leo left home for about six weeks of training back in mid-July.  On Saturday the 31st of August Chuck and Guinevive went north to collect him from Ranch Namaspamoos where he had been.  Isabelle is an able trainer and had a collection of student workers to help her as well.  Guinevive will be riding him while he is here but I remind my readers that he *is* for sale! Below please find her report on her first ride with him at home.

Today I rode Leo for the first time since he's been back home. As such, it was more of a “test ride” than anything. First I had to fit the tack to him (as my saddle has a gullet changing system) and ended up with my Wintec 2000 All-Purpose and a Beta Bitless bridle from Nurtural. He was easy-going, even a bit excited about it when I brought it out, which only motivated me to ride him more.
            I led him out and mounted up, immediately he was ready to go. I walked him partway down the hill before I asked for a halt and then asked for a walk on. He listened readily. We were almost all the way down the hill when some birds flew through the branches of a bundle of trees to the left of the path. Mind you, he's walked by this a million times in his life, but as he's just come back home he had forgotten about that particular scare. He did spook, but only shivered his muscles and stepped calmly to the side one step. I told him he was a good boy and thanked him for not taking off and then continued to ride.
            He did notice the other horses down at the far end of the field just a moment later and obviously had the thought to gallop to them, but he held back and listened when I asked him to enter a paddock to our right (the one I usually ride horses in when it's vacant). During the ride he was very easily distracted, but I would attribute that to the circumstances: newly arrived home, new rider, new tack and all of that next to his age and relative inexperience. I think his focus is won as long as you keep him busy. I was successful in this by asking for circles and changes of direction. I won't lie, it was a chore to get him to get going in the precise right direction rather than the correct general direction, but overall he has a good grasp of the concept. This was all done at the walk, and I only asked him to trot on the last leg of the hill on our way back to his paddock.
            When he did trot he actually gave me a foxtrot, dropping his hips and lifting his shoulders. I was pleasantly surprised, having never ridden a foxtrot before. It certainly was smooth!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Glory of Philea West, 4/22/88 - 7/15/13

Glory, grazing in the morning fog.  The last 2 years she's had the run of the farm and loved it.

 It is with deep sadness that I write this blog entry.  Glory of Philea West, a foundation mare of the American Bashkir Curly Registry, and one of the mares carrying the Fredell bloodline, passed away this morning. 

Glory came to us back in 2003.  We purchased her as a riding horse only to learn that she had a rather bad lumbar.  Due to the pain there, and after consultation with the equine chiropractor and our trainer, we chose to “retire” her.  She birthed two gorgeous boys, both by our stallion Beau, for us – GMC Yukon Jack and GMC Coyote Bill.  She raised them well and went on to be nanny to subsequent foals born at our farm.

Glo's "stall", under the porch by the cellar door.
In the spring of 2011 we discovered she had developed Cushings, a syndrome caused by a tumor on the Pituitary Gland.  Although she responded well initially, over the ensuing years she slowly declined until this year when we began battling various infections.  We would get one cleared only to have another pop up.

After much soul-searching we chose to let her soul be released from her failing body.  Arriving at this decision was not easy and we will miss her more than we could ever begin to express.

Always we will remember her nickers and ‘kisses’.  How she would search your pockets for treats; her love of apples, carrots, and mints – especially those soft ones by Bob’s Mints; they were her favorite.  To the end she was kind, loving, and sweet, but not without her own opinions.

Please celebrate her life, and our love for her, by spending a bit of extra time with your equine friends today.
Licking the hand that fed her cookies :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Annnndddd.....we're off!!

No pics, but had the first ride of the season last night on *Walker. Chuck rode Silken in his Barefoot, while I pushed my envelope and strapped on my Parelli bareback pad that has been collecting dust. Off we went for a ride through the lower field. *Walker really moved out more freely, I felt, than in my Wintec. It was interesting! We also saw a Tom and his wife....oh wait this is a public page, lol....and a mallard & his mate swimming. I'm a little sore in my rump, but not like I'd thought I'd be. Yippee!
 We have several goals this year.  The primary one is just to ride more, plus add in riding other horses.  We would also like to actually ride off farm at least once and are thinking of heading up to the forest for that.