Friday, December 31, 2010

Camryn beeps in the New Year...

People use horns and such to make noise while bringing in the New Year.  Camryn decided she could too!!!


Camyrn dismantled her usual horn while "attempting" to video yesterday.  This one is sturdier, but has a different feel and noise.  I'm sure the duct tape I used had an odd taste to it as well.  Also, I don't normally have her horn taped to a stick.  She's used to my having it in hand, but for video purposes the stick worked better.   So...while Camryn loved her old horn, she's a bit hesitant when using the new horn. 

Camryn & I have a few goals for 2011:
  1. Camryn wants to keep her new figure, she's lost 325 pounds since moving here last Jan.  Her new weight is "drum roll please".....1033 pounds.  Her Vet will be so proud.  I hope to loose and maintain weight as well.  Not nearly as much however!!!
  2. We hope to get a new truck/used trailer this year.
  3. Participate in Ohio's Buffalo Girls Ride for The Cure this fall.
  4. Just joined ACTHA and plan to participate in some of their rides here in Ohio this year.
  5. Perfect Camryn's basketball skills.
  6. Take more riding lessons.
  7. Get dear Hubby to get up on Camryn at least once.
  8. Do a lot more artwork & perhaps sell some for Camryn cash flow!
  9. Have fun & ride, ride, ride...

Happy New Year to you all...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Camryn's NBA tryout...

Camryn isn't ready yet, but she's working on trying out for the NBA!!! Yup, Lebron eat your heart out, there is soon to be a new shining star in the Akron area LOL
Seriously though, we've only been working on this on and off a few times.  Hopefully come spring we'll have it all figure out.  Me with my cues, Camryn with lifting her ball a bit higher to get it in the bucket.
Just a little something fun for us to play with in the snow.  Now if I could just figure out how to upload some music to go with my video, then y'all wouldn't have to suffer my goofy commentary!!!

Without further ado, He-re's the star of the show "CAMRYN"...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

belated Merry Christmas...

     Hope all had as wonderful Christmas as we did here.  I'd videoed the dogs unwrapping gifts to post, unfortunately it's apparently to long to post SIGH.  So, no visual.  Let it be known, though Tye is elderly he's very youthful when it comes to "ungiftwrapping"!!!  Oddly enough the crew doesn't bother gifts under the tree until Christmas morning.  Once they (Tye in particular) see "Dad" with a gift in his lap, the party begins.  Tye doesn't care if it's canine or human gift, he's gonna unwrap it!  He's a riot.
     We had our family get together the day after Christmas as the kids either had other plans, or work in some cases (nephew works at Walgreen's) couldn't get Christmas off.  Picked up my mother on Christmas day to enjoy a small dinner with her, as I couldn't allow her to spend the day alone with just the cat.  Mom got to spend a few days here with hubby and I.  Day after Christmas we all converged at my brothers home.  Good food, and family what more could you ask :). 
     Equine gift wise, Camryn now has a "blocker control halter", seems more humane than a stud chain and should come in handy this spring when I'll need to reteach that grass isn't to be eaten when being led.  We do have issues with that.  Oddly not when leading on our property, just when out and about!!!  Also my darling hubby gifted me with Ez-up stirrup rotators/extender.  Having issues with the extender part however, I can't reattach the stirrup hobble as the extender is just to big.  I've written Ez-up so we'll see what they have to say.  I may  just have to improvise with a leather dog collar.  Should work in concept anyway.  Sometimes you just have to "improvise, adapt, & overcome obstacles thrown your way!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

changing things up...

Camryn & I have been working on a few tricks.  She'll now chase, then pick up a ball that I throw.  We're having problems with her actually bringing it back to me however.  She'll put it in my outreached hand if I'm nearby but, that's the best we've gotten.  Rather than either of us getting past the point of fun, I decided to change it up a bit.  Enter empty/clean muck bucket!!!  Sorry no pics (yet), she picked up on this one right away, I could tell she was quite pleased with herself.  Of course a jackpot of treats, and praise with plenty of rubbing helps in that regard I'm sure.  It was really so simple, well simple as she already knows to pick up the ball.  I simply put her ball down, pointed to it, she'd pick it up as usual.  Rather than click/treat at this point, I slipped the bucket under.  She dropped the ball, which of course landed in bucket.  Click and two treats, Camryn is "wow, two treats, I did something really good" causing her to figure out what caused this two treat reward and repeat.  We repeated a few times, though after second time it was one treat.  I then put her ball down, with the bucket nearby, after a few faltering attempts, Camryn dropped her ball in the bucket.  Click and three treats, believe me when I say, Camryn knows how to count when it comes to treats and understands multiple treats are something she wants to happen again LOL.  Once she's had a jackpot she's really into cause/effect part so to speak.  I have feeling this "useless trick" in her opinion will be right up there with honking her bicycle horn.  Honking her own horn is by far Camryn's fav thing to do.  She'll even leave hay to play "beep"!!!  Come spring we'll go back to useful games, right now "girls just want to have fun"...
Camryn says "it's about time I have a new pic here"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Introducing Reej...

Wanted to introduce Reej aka Karina Rioja Rubera.  Don't ask me about the name (long story). He's 12 years old and like most of my dogs is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.  Reej was born for the show ring, however no one ever informed him...Reej came to us at 7 months old, we were told he was nervous but, with some life experience he should be find.  Not the case, socialized him, tried showing him, did Obedience, Agility.  All of which he did great at so long as it wasn't in the ring!!!  Like a "hot" horse he spooks easily, is comfortable and easy to be with on his own turf with his own people. Take him from the familiar add something different and he's a very frightened boy.  So after much thought, not wishing to pass on his fearful temperament, Reej was neutered. He's happy, content with his lot, & a much loved member of our household. . 

 I have to admit there are still times, when I look at him and sigh.  If only he knew how handsome he is, he'd have kicked butt in the breed ring
 Reej has mellowed somewhat with age.  Oddly enough this mellowing was soon followed by a seizure disorder this past summer, he's now on Pheno for the rest of his life. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sad day next door...

Today is a sad day for  my neighbor/friend Danette.  Her 30 something Morab mare Molly, was sent to greener pastures.  Molly's exact age was unknown, best guess is somewhere between 33 and 36.  Nearly toothless, Danette fixed her special meals of beet pulp and alfalfa cubes.  Molly always had her own hay pile to stand over, while the others ate even though she herself couldn't do more than suck on it a bit.  Danette noticed her eye began to swell over the weekend, it came on quite quickly.  Turns out she had a quick growing tumor and was just beginning to feel pain from it.  She was/is well loved, and cared for.  When we'd be out riding Molly would sometimes make it obvious she wanted to join in.  So several times this summer, Danette would ride her thru the woods a bit.  Even in her old age Molly was game to go. 
Molly in the lead...

Oddly, even though I had no idea the Vet was out (Danette wanted to do it privately), as I pick axed more in my paddock, a picture of Molly laying contently in the sun this past spring came to my mind which made me smile.  Now I wonder, was she making her voyage over the bridge just then?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

frozen poop & pick axe!!!

Yup, it's official, I'm crazy.  Normally I clean Camryn's paddock daily.  Of late, her lovely deposits have turned to poopcicle's.  No way can my muck rake tackle it, my trusty shovel doesn't work either.  Light bulb moment came, I grabbed my pick axe and walla, I began to make progress.  One dislodged from the frozen ground, I tried picking the frozen apples up with my muck rake.  Most simply slid right off, there had to be an easier way to do this.  Another light bulb moment, I have 5 dogs, hence I have a large pooper scooper right :).  Not finished yet, as it's been about a week, hubby is ill with the flu so I want'ed to get back in for him but, I did put a pretty good dent in the poo!!!
According to my computer screen it's a balmy 25 degrees out...

Friday, December 17, 2010

How does she know?

How does Camryn know when I'm in the kitchen?  Scenario:  Camryn is napping with her butt towards the house.  House is over 1/2 acre away from her paddock.  I enter kitchen, and stand at sink.  Camryn automatically turns, looks up to the house and heads for the gate.  Then stands waiting!!!  I can see how she'd see me in the evening when the house lights are on.  But, in broad daylight!!!  Just amazes me
Been lacking in posting due holiday stuff, hopefully I'll be back on track soon...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

First snow ride...

Haven't saddled up for a variety of reasons since the week of Thanksgiving.  Between the holiday itself, family commitments, weather, cleaning bridle, I just haven't had the chance.
Today I got to ride YIPPEE!!!  Danette (neighbor) called as she was tacking up Dakota.  I wouldn't be ready for approx. 20 minutes to meet her out back and ride over together.  Had contemplated simply riding over alone to her arena.  Had never done this period, let alone in snow, that and her other mare Molly was very upset about Dakota leaving.  I just had a feeling once we hit the woods, Camryn would be sucked over to where Molly was having an anxiety attack.  I also knew my having this feeling would basically insure this happening!!!
Decided to ride in the paddock first, Camryn was a bit edgy at first, still behaving nicely.  Once she felt relaxed and soft, we headed back to our pasture.  She's off pasture since pre-Thanksgiving due to flooding back there.  First thing she did was want to take off for the gate to head back in the woods.  Momma foiled this with a one-rein then we played around a bit, clicking for whoa's, circling, flexing, just getting her focus on my rather than the gate.  Didn't take long and we piddled about near the barn a bit.  I then allowed her to head for the gate, stopping and changing directions several times.  Then away from the gate, so on and so forth.  A few times I dropped my riding crop as I'm unused to riding w/gloves.  I forgot I'd taught her to pick things up for me for a moment, then remembered I didn't need to dismount.  How nice it is to have Camryn do this.  Once she handed me the crop only to lower her head again to present me with a stick.  That just about had me rolling with laughter, what a good girl. 
We rode thru the flooded area several times, Camryn didn't mind at all.  I contemplated heading over to the arena after a while then figured we were having a good time at home.  So, why ruin a good day with the prospect of a fight staying away from Molly?  Yeah, I'm a wimp but, a better safe than sorry wimp LOL
 Got chance to use the electric bit warmer.  I give it a big thumps up, Camryn gives it hooves up.  Definitly would purchase again...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wish I'd had camera handy...

Some would've called Camryn a bad girl.  Myself, I think "she's one smart gal."  I mean the one time I've forgotten to chain the inside gates that lead into my tack, feed, bedding, Onyx, & spare hay area my "darling" discovers the mistake.  I knew something was up when I didn't hear the usual nicker of "feeeeed me" as I came out of the house.  Even though it's dark, the outside flood light on the barn, and the night light in the barn, showed me one of the gates inside was swung wide open.  Sure enough, Ms.  Camryn's Ample Bootee is bellied up the the hay bar munching away.  I wish I'd had my camera as it was really quite the sight.
 She's squeezed between my saddle, and Onyx indoor dog house, front feet up on the raised platform that keeps the hay off the ground.  Onyx is on a bale right next to her head as she eats.  Onyx looks up sleepily, Camryn turns her head with a mouthful of hay, her expression is one of "Oh, Hey look what I found here Ma!" Woulda been a prime Kodak moment for sure.
 Camryn then of course turns her head for another mouth full.  I could tell by what was gone she'd just started her feast.  I simply went up to her head, touched her chest then steered her backward, out of where she'd wedged her drafty self, out the gate and shut it.  Though I could tell, Camryn didn't feel this was fair of me, she immediately cooperated.  As I moved her out, I just kept telling her "gooooood girl, back, goooood girl, back...Once I had her out, she walked right to her stall door and waited to be tucked in for the night.  See, she is a goooood girl :)
Gotta love such a wickedly smart girl, and I won't be forgetting to double chain the gates again.  Much to Camryn's disappointment,, I'm a quick learner just like she is...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dogs, more snow, & THANKS

Thanks everyone for your comments, I doubt you go back to check comments you've left.
"I know I don't anyway!"  Not sure why but, comments feel like a surprise gift.  Don't expect them, so it's always a very nice surprise to see :)
Adding some more pix of snow from the last few days.  Funny, I like snow much more in pictures than in real life LOL. The Cardigans despite being so short love the snow big time.  I recall when my eldest son Chris came home for a Christmas visit after having been stationed in Texas for a few years.  He felt snow was vastly over rated!!!
K Mom, I'm ready to go back in...
Uh Oh, no path outa here...
Hope the condo is keeping someone warm...
People aren't the only ones who wear hats I guess...
Camryn has already knocked most of the snow off the fence here.

Will it ever stop?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just a "little" snow!!!

We've been on snow watch the past 48 hours.  Went out to take some pix to share...
Have a seat, enjoy...
Maybe we could go for a walk?  Bring your own snow shoes...

Please Mom, I'm eating lunch now...
Ok, Ok, I'll come look...
You wanted me to see what???
Whatever Mom, I'm gonna go finish lunch now.
Free snow, already loaded and ready to go...
Someone, anyone, come take this snow.  PLEASE, I'm trapped!!
PS, Wish Onyx a  11th Happy Birthday.  Along with the snow he's gotten a lovely new bone

Friday, December 3, 2010

Doing dishes or room with a view...

How can I complain about doing dishes with a view like the one below?  Answer is:  I can't!

Mo-oooom, I NEED more food!!!
Isn't she just adorable, laying her cute little muzzle on the fence, silently nagging me LOL  Camryn's favorite view (when she's finished her hay) is standing at the gate, watching for me.  When I appear she either yells in her very deepest voice, or begins grunting.  Oddly, she only does this with me, not hubby.  Maybe she doesn't realize that while I serve the food, Hubby provides it?
HEY YOU!!!  Mr. Neighbor give Mom a call would ya!
Camryn's second favorite view is spying on the neighbors.  Maybe she thinks they'll give me a call to tell me she's starving to death???  She really enjoys summertime pool parties and bonfires, we're rural but, she has several yards to keep tabs on and she does it well.
From the right side, she has her horse friends to watch, from the back her pasture and woods.  Unfortunately her pasture floods most of the winter, meaning it's a good thing she has the neighbors to watch.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

reminiscing still

The weather and an out of town hubby have me reminiscing regarding finding Camryn along with her early days here...So, I continue from yesterdays post...
I have no trailer (hopefully to be remedied come spring!), so we found someone to help go pick Camryn up.  Poor guy, had to listen to Lori & I ramble on in excitement the entire drive there and back.  Camryn loaded quite easily, unloaded the same.  A bit looky, looky as I lead her down the drive to her barn, seemed more out of the curiosity regarding being on a new planet than nerves.  Had lunch waiting in her stall, which she settled right down too.  I was worried as she was now to be an only horse that she might have some difficulties being in a strange barn, in a strange stall, with a new person all alone.  Perhaps having been kept in a tie down stall for several years, she felt like she'd hit the big time in her 12 x12!!!  I hung out most of the day with her.  Danette next door who is horsey as well, came and hung out as well.  Between Danette, Hubby, and myself, Camryn had plenty of company and attention :).  Danette & Hubby couldn't get over how drafty Camryn was, rather like a Belgian who'd been tossed in the dryer and shrunk in height!  The word "tank" was used quite a lot.
Next day, I walked her along the paddock fence before unhaltering and turning her out.  She soon discovered she had horse neighbors, they all began a conversation for a bit.  That didn't take long once she discovered hay laying about in several small piles.  I was rather surprised at how quickly she settled.  Don't get me wrong, she did have several quirks, had to adapt and improvise a bit.  One being that she'd worn her halter most of the time, she was unused to be haltered and unhaltered, after a few days, she was fine with this.  Camryn was a bit pushy on the ground having not been worked with over much.  That and being Amish trained, she had little knowledge when it came to some ground manners. Still she was friendly, willing, not a nervous girl by any means, just plane easy to get along with.  Plus, being January I wasn't planning to just hop and, so we could bond thru groundwork till spring for the most part.  Being this also happened to be Camryn's 8th Birthday, it was an event.  Sorry no cake LOL
Myself on Camryn
Chris on Camryn
Day three my eldest son Chris stopped by to check out his new "sister!"  After hanging out with us a bit, Chris decided to just hop on as I held her lead, so with just a halter and lead rope Camryn had her first ride at her new home.  She took this as she took everything else in stride, Chris asked her to walk and they just strolled about her paddock together.  After, Chris gave me a boost so I could do the same.  While I didn't have my helmet handy (I know, I know), I did have my camera with me, you can see from these pics how Camryn came about being nicknamed a "Drafty Hafy Gurl"...
To be continued...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our first meeting...

This time last year, I made the decision to sell my TWH gelding.  We'd been together three years, he taught me a lot but, we just never clicked in the saddle.  I learned that a former endurance horse wasn't the same as a been there done that horse LOL.  I like moseying along enjoying my surroundings , he was always in a hurry!  Even more so if we were headed home!!!  A bit barn sour, fortunatly his 360 to come back home was easy to sit!!!  Also, as I have neck problems, lifting his saddle onto his back was becoming more and more difficult.  Thus, we did more groundwork than riding. 
My priorities when looking for a new horse were: level headed, not in a hurry, trail experience easy to get along with, and shorter!!!   I took along my riding buddies in my search.  You know how your horse friend are always up for horse shopping :).  We looked at a few but, none felt right, one in particular I didn't even bother to ride.  I didn't have a specific breed or color in mind, though I'd been around a few Haflinger and they'd left me with a positive impression.  I found an ad for an 8 yr old mare on Craigslist (gotta love Craigslist), sounded like this girl might just work for me.  Made my phone call, the seller sounded honest and didn't mind my questions at all, answered many without my asking.  Decided to set up an appointment to take a look, called my friends and we set out the next day. 
While Camryn was as rusty as he'd told me, having only been ridden a few times the past three years, this showed but, she behaved quite nicely under saddle.  As we rode away from the barn, Camryn's 1/2 sister was inside the barn and began yelling for her.  I felt the slightest of hesitation  from Camryn when she heard this.  Then felt Camryn decide she was working and sis would have to wait.  Her decision was the selling moment for me, I knew how easy it would've been for Camryn to just high tail it back into that barn with me on her back.

Jan. 2010
Camryn all tacked up after "trying her out".
  I brought her back to the barn grinning from ear to ear, then had one of my friends take her out.  She came back with the same grin on her face.  My friends had my question list so they continued chatting with Camryn's owner as I lead her about getting a feel for her.  Everything I needed, sane, calm, short and I just plain liked her.  I had no bad vibes from her what so ever. Rather than feeling on edge on a strange horse, I was having a blast, I felt totally calm and confident on her.   My friends and I exchanged the "well, what do you think" look, we all nodded to go for it.  A little bargaining and Camryn as to be picked up in two days.  I had brought my camera along, so took a few pics so Hubby could see my new girl. Heading back home we all discussed our thoughts.  Camryn had thumbs up from us all.
"to be continued"