Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Driving lesson #2

Just in from driving lesson. Had to skip a few weeks due to commitments of myself & instructor. Today I had the Mother of the Mother/Daughtet instructor team. I work well with either, their ways of teaching are similar & mesh well.
Today I got to drive the cart, promise I'll try for at least one pic next week!  Between learning all the tack, the order in which it goes on/comes off, hitching/unhitching, driving, the thought of pictures doesn't cross my mind. When harnessing for instance, when buckling you don't slide anything into the keepers, that way you remember to go back and double check. Their really big on safety which is exactly why I'm doing lessons.
I did pretty well, trainer rarely had to offer correction, she walks alongside with a lead rope right now. I couldn't help but to laugh when she said "I'm not letting you loose just yet!"  I'm learning the silent signals she gives to me so I can give them to the pony. This way, it's me actually cueing what we're to do next. I also have to unlearn my "Arrrgh" sound that's habitual for me correcting dogs & grand babies), she said it's not good horsemenship and ponies don't like it. I was going "Arrrgh" anytime Suzy tried to walk off without a cue from me. I got pretty good at remembering, "whoa & stand" instead. Another tidbit, is once pony has stopped was to lower the reins, not totally release.  Halfway thru I had Suzy (the pony) collected and on the bit at a walk consistently. I was able to change directions thru cones and such, sounds easy except being the pony is basically blind on each side due to blinders, you really need to be aware that you're their eyes on either side!
A lot is very similar to riding, though at the same time vastly different. It's all a lot to learn but, I'm finding its all very enjoyable kind of learning. I can't wait till next week!

I'll sign off with a pic of sweet Merlin...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More sun, more pix...

Yet another beautiful day, feels more like April than February here in Ohio!  Not complaining, though there was a fly in the house this morning. Slow moving, so he's no longer among the living. I began spreading diatomaceous earth on my winter manure pile, I do notice a difference in bugs when I do this. Spending much more time outside and loving it. Hubs and I did a quick hike at a nearby trail this morning, I cleaned several weeks worth of canine land mines from the yard, tidied two of the raised veggie beds. Three I haven't touched yet are in need of desperate help, cleaned the stall and area the boyz like to back their bums off of the patio to leave deposits lol. 
Next I decided to play with the boyz, haven't done any click training with them till today. Started with Pippin just "loading" the clicker. That's click/treat, rinse/repeat multiple times till they realize the click means treat. So far no light bulb moment with Pippin there, but he sure enjoyed it. 
Next up Merlin, he's less enthralled with novel ideas, I'd hoped watching Pippin he'd realize something good would happen. He didn't, as his lips took the treat, I clicked, Merlin had a heart attack!  He took off to several feet away, I simply went back to Pippin. After several click/treats with Pippin munching happily & Merlin watching suspiciously, I went to try again. No way was Merlin letting me near him!  He normally loves attention, so I knew I'd need to undo his freak out!

I just wondered about watching, kicking poop piles & taking cell pix...
I so love watching them run in sync, guaranteed whenever I'm out with them. Merlin was keeping Pippin between us!

Also guaranteed are spats, look closely and you'll see Pippin fur in Merlins mouth!  Pippin is shedding, so this doesn't mean a chunk of hide is missing. He's still suspicious. 

Pippin: "Help, He's picking on me!"

Pippin: "Aren't you gonna do something?  Never mind, got cookies?"

Still Merlin was wanting nothing to do with me. I finally got him to take a few treats by standing outside the paddock & offering them thru the fence. Once he realized the killer click sound was no longer a threat, he allowed me to rub his forehead. Then I left well enough alone. Going to have him haltered & have some high value peppermints for him next time. Hopefully this will help him adapt to the sound?  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Warm up...

So, last post with pics from Thurs., show the boys out in the freezing 20 degrees. Yesterday (Fri) we had highs in the 50's, yup that's Ohio people...

Another race to see who gets to me first...
Can you see Merlins ears?  Pinned back taking a bite from Pippins bum. Whoever is winning the race to me must be bitten SIGH

Not to worry, Pippin gets his payback. Love how his mane channels his inner Rod Stewart!

Still in payback mode...

Nope, not a beached whale...

Not nap time...

Gotta scratch that itch. This is why Pippin is such a filthy beast lol

Another Rod Stewart appearance!  His mane is just wild, so many different lengths it's kind of his signature style.

After roll, he needs his forehead rubbed. He's really shedding, I'd just curried him hence the roll!
He just dropped a few feet away, guess he just prefers looking like a hooligan. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Here she comes...

I'm glad the boyz come as soon as they see me now. So much easier, especially in winter. These were taken yesterday, gloomy, windy & in the 20's brrrrrr. Today is sunny and low 50's pix later. 
She's coming...
Pippin usually insists he gets to me first. Sometimes this isn't good however. I'll have pix in a later post from some I took today. 
Love the wee heart shaped ice packs they drop from their little feet. I'm hoping being horse people read this, you all know this is not horse s#%*. Seems on FB non horse people don't realize that!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

No appreciation...

Break in the weather again, from negatives to 50 degrees. Just crazy!  Perfect timing though as Merlins tail braid had come undone today & I didn't have to freeze my fingers off to redo it. 
Caught, haltered & tied them both, as you know the little darlings (cough, cough) so love when the other is getting attention (cough, cough.). They were both tied at their respective hay nets so Pippins patience wasn't to overworked. 
Merlin was a perfect gentleman, brushed out, mane combed and conditioned, tail combed, conditioned, and rebraided. It had grown so much it literally dragged on the ground. Sorry no pictures. 
Next up Pippin, not such a gentleman but, he's beginning to shed and once he realized I was scratching his itchy spots he relaxed. Did his mane as well, his tail braid is holding in there. I was going to undo and tidy it up but, his brat-O-meter kicked in. Being in a small space with Merlin tied nearby, I decided to let it go rather it turn into a three way brawl. 
As soon as they were untied, dear Pippin looked at me and rolled!!!  Brat!