Sunday, April 21, 2013
Also, spring is in the air for horse buyers. It's interesting how the slightly warmer weather starts the emails and calls about the horses I have for sale. I sold one yesterday and have several more inquiries in process. I suppose everyone is thinking of riding!
I'm still not riding all that much, but my ankle feels better all the time, so I have hope that I'll be out on the trail sooner or later. I have to keep looking at photos from previous years to keep my spirits up. I'm going with the power of positive thought.
So, today, more rain, I'll head out soon to put horses out (sorry guys), clean sheds, give lessons and maybe I'll get a ride in today too. We'll see.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Anyway, we have snuck in a few trail rides and I've been giving some lessons, so my riding is progressing and I'm enjoying the teaching I'm doing. Yesterday, I had the trailer hooked up and the sun came out (and I wasn't otherwise engaged), so I brought out some of the youngsters for trailer loading time.
I have a nice big 4 horse stock trailer that is a great one for first loading. It's a step up, so I put it in a spot that makes the usually 12-14 inch step up into about 6-8 inches. I tied the doors back, so there would be no banging and slamming, opened all the feed doors and the escape door and then got my grooming tools. Yep, grooming tools. All these youngsters have had quite a bit of leading practice, round pen work and depending on the horse, lunging, but not much exposure to getting in and out of trailers. So, it is time.
First was Scooter. He was all for standing with his head in and getting groomed. No problem. When that was boring, I asked him to put his front feet in and get groomed. No problem. We then backed out and came in several times with grooming in between. Yawn. So, all the way in, more grooming, all the way out. A few bites of grass and he's back in the paddock telling his buds all about it. Reggie decided he was next. He hasn't had as much work as Scooter (a year younger), so was much less enthusiastic about it. So, we stood with his head in the trailer and groomed for quite some time until that was boring. I asked for a leg in, he did it, but wasn't sure about leaving it. No big deal. We got both front legs in and him pretty relaxed and I called it good for the day. We don't have anywhere we need to go soon, so we'll just set up the same thing another sunny day and do more.
Then it was the filly's turns. Mahri was first (of course!) and got her front feet right in. We did some grooming and backed out and came in a few times. She would have gone all the way in, but I figured we'd stop on a really good note.
Same with Slari. She was a bit more hesitant and I spent quite a bit of time grooming before she put her front feet in. Back out, back in, all done.
While in the whole scheme of things it was only a small amount of work for each horse, it was a step in the right direction towards happy, self-loading horses.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Of course, the other things that go along with birds, bugs and frogs - mud! We pretty much have mud year round - last year I still found some spots in a few of the paddocks in August, but now we're in full-blown mud season. Over the years though, we've come up with some coping strategies. Several of the stalls have lovely runs on them now, with gravel and hoof grid, so they stay reasonably dry. Every year we add more gravel to the bigger paddocks. A few years back, we did a french drain in one and that has really helped. I could easily use another 20 loads of gravel though...whenever I see commercials on TV for 'buy your woman this or that', I always think "Why would someone want a big, gaudy ring/bracelet/necklace when they could have 10 loads of gravel?" I know it's not just me - several of my horsey friends have gravel envy too when we go to barns with huge piles just sitting there!
So, among the bugs and mud, we have been getting some riding in. I'm very slowly coming back; Monica and I went to Lord Hill yesterday and did a respectable ride without me wimping out. I am being very careful, as I've set myself back several times by being a little too presumptuous. sigh...the old body just doesn't heal like it used to!
Also, I have a young lady who is coming almost daily for lessons and is helping me out. She's been riding Andre, who is really starting to bloom. He's now cantering under saddle, although it's not quite confirmed yet. He's also popped over a few tiny jumps (sans rider) and looks like he will be pretty cute. Monica continues to ride Danny, who is looking very good. They are now cantering several jumps in a row and I heard mention of working up to flying changes. Whoo!
Mahri has had her first 'sit upon' and Ari continues to improve, so it's been busy here. We will have two foals born here this year; Aya (Aishet) is due in July and we have a new mare in, Cady, who will foal in late April. She is a sweet Arab-Hungarian mare and is bred to a Shagya. It should be a cute little foal.
Our plans for competing are up in the air, as I have a long way to go before I could even complete a trail ride, much less a Limited Distance ride. But, I'll keep plugging away and if I end up volunteering at some rides, that is ok too.
So, stay tuned and see what adventures we get up to next!
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Now, this was a bit of a big deal, as Andre hasn't been out in company before, much less on busy trails. Ari has been on the back burner for quite some time and his last trail ride was last year with Julie. This was my second ride and the plan was to ride a little farther than an hour, but only at a walk, as we had two green horses in the group.
The Pilchuck Tree Farm at the Bracken parking lot is great for youngsters - reasonably good footing, tons of different loops, mild to major challenges (you just pick which ones you want).
We didn't stay out very long as I had to wimp out. My ankle (NOT the one that had surgery!) really started hurting at about an hour and 15 minutes. Everyone else was good sports and we headed back to the trailers, where Katie took a group photo of us (except for her- but she and her horse were on the trail with us).
Then, we all met back at Fish Creek Farm and had a lovely potluck dinner/lunch, complete with homemade wine from Aarene and Jim.
Such a nice day!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
We went to the Redmond Watershed, where the great footing and tree coverage made up for a little bit of rain. I really bundled up, as I knew we wouldn't be going very fast.
Both Danny and Galen seemed very happy - lots of happy little snorts and snorfs, and I must say, both Monica and I did our share of big, happy sighs. We ended with big trail riding grins.
Our 'Solstice Ride' even had a little bit of sun (in between the raindrops!).
It was short, but sweet.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Out in the barn, it's been busy as well. We have two new horses here (only one of which will be staying), Dune and Tulah, both from Kelsey Kempfert in Wyoming. They are both Durkkhal offspring and Tulah will be staying here on a broodmare lease, while Dune is waiting for his international health papers to head up to Cindy Swenson's Bold Vantage farm in British Columbia.
And, if that isn't enough, Merdan (Paddy) left for Colorado Thanksgiving day. He's off to Jas Shearer-McMahon's Magic Valley Ranch to be her future stallion and endurance horse. Of course, there are a few years between now and then, as he's only 8 months old.
So, I've been moving horses around to see who gets along with who - Sparky is now out with Scooter and Reggie, being a 'big boy'. His dam, Astra, went home last week. Sparky was fine with this, although Astra was not very happy. I'm sure being away from him will make it easier on her.
I'm still recovering from my ankle surgery, although I've been in the saddle a few times. Mainly, I've been trying to catch up. I have noticed that my overall fitness sure has gone down, amazingly enough. So, the next few months will be catching up, getting fit again, getting Galen fit again and planning who to breed to whom this next year, which is always a very fun thing to do!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Just recently, Shannon took him to the Eddie McMurdo Memorial show in Walla Walla, WA a few weekends back and has this to say
Earlier in the summer, he went to the Pink Ribbon Classic and here are a few photos:
And then there is Mazaly, a 5 year old Astrachan x Mirija (7/8 Teke 1/8 Hanoverian) mare, owned and ridden by Catrina Mettam of Centerville, WA. Mazaly has done 3 shows/events this year and has really blossomed. Catrina brought her up to the ATAA Conference this past weekend and she and Maisie (Mazaly) jumped our outside jump course with Monica and Magdan. I just got a new computer and still haven't found all my old files, but will upload some photos as soon as I do. Maisie is a full sister to Mahri and Andre, both of whom are still here at CGAT and ready for their forever homes.
Of course, I have to mention Danny (Magdan) who did 5 LD endurance rides with Monica this year and has also been jumping. Danny and Monica have been really doing well and we're thinking we'll do some shows over the winter.
Monica and Danny jumping September 2012
It will be great fun to see how everyone does next year. I'm planning on getting Mahri started this winter and getting Andre to the next level. Goshen will continue his training too, so I should have lots more big grins to report.