Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I was surfing Craigslist and someone posted this in an ad with the title

"There are no free horses!"


Yes I have flagged it for Best of Craigslist!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Making progress

Ok so a few things happened over the weekend. First I hope everyone had a nice Easter. We did, the girls had fun and life is good.

I acquired a couple of new tops and a coat for my turnout.  Awesome deals on each one.  When I can get pictures of it all, I will post them and ask for feedback. I want to look the part, stand out just enough, but not overdo it.  There will be three outfits, one brown with either yellow or gold, green with black and navy blue with light blue.  I am in the process of finding material to do the aprons for each one as well.

Last weekend I trimmed the little man. I admit, I got him a tad short on the right front and he has been a little gimpy and tender footed.  So I turned him and a few others out all week. If there are horses out in our work space- driving is not gonna happen. Yes I wanted to drive him, but he needed a little break. Yesterday I had to run to the feed store and as I was getting everything in the truck I seen him and Mondo playing. Not a limp or a gimp or a touch of soreness so last night I had the itch to hook him again and drive.

I put the saddle, britchen, breast collar and traces on him, fastened everything up, lunged him a little and he kept eyeballing a feed sack that had blown into the pasture. It was up against the fence and going to get him for sure... So when we were done lunging, I walked him over and grabbed the sack. Of course I shook it so it made noise, then let him sniff it once, told him his food came in those sacks and rubbed his neck, shoulder, the side of his head with it and he just stood there looking at me as if rolling his eyes and thinking "Oh brother! She really is nuts."  Just the reaction I expected and wanted from him.

Put the bridle on him, the reins, hubby and I put him to the cart and to be sure he was ready for this again, I walked along behind the cart as we went about half way around. He was quiet on the side of lazy, so I stopped him and climbed in.  We went around a few times to the left, a few to the right, circles, stops and let him stand.  Then we pushed the envelope.  It was time to ask for a little more.

This time as we walked off, I was to cluck a little more, ask for a more forward walk and get him to start stepping out. Which he did. Then increase the excitement and try for a few strides of trotting.  Which he finally did.  Only let him go a few strides, stopped him, praised him, then walk on and see about a few more strides.  He was working really well and by the end of our session he seemed to understand "Trot on" meant pick up the pace. Which he did. 

He moved off and was working really well. Yep! I am a proud pony momma!  I also have to note that we will, at some point, bring other horses in to either work or stand around so he realizes, just because they are there, it is not the time to be socializing. This will work in two ways, since the other horses will need to be familiar with a pony and cart moving around.  Solis must have known and since she was in the adjoining pasture came ambling up to the fence to see what was going on. As we approached, he started to get a little excited. Spring is in the air...  He raised his head, looked her direction and started to nicker at her.  That low, stallionly nicker. I pushed him on, tugged the inside rein and that was the end of it.   Can't ask for much more than that.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Busy weekend

Happy Driving to me!  These pics are from Saturday afternoon. We had run across town to pick up my new cart. Got it home and had to try it out....

Taking a small break before we get the party started. No need to rush or anything, is there?

Off we go...

Lots of big circles, little circles, wide turns, sharper turns, stop and wait...

Love the way he is moving in this one.  Walk on, more circles, more turns, a few serpentines...

and then we were done for the day.  He did really well and we hooked him on Sunday too and I got into the cart for the first time.  Yes the breeching and tie back straps are loose here. It was intentional so if anything was to happen and it all went south- everything could be undone in a hurry and without much effort. Remember- this is only the second time he has been put to a cart and expected to pull it.  The shafts are a touch narrow and short on him too. Saying he has been tough to fit on a number of things is an understatement!

The woman I bought the cart from expressed a few concerns about some things she seen in the photos and I explained to her everything we have done so far, leading up to this point. We have intentionally let the cart bump into his back legs and butt, bounced the shafts in the tugs, patted the seat and made all sorts of noises. Let straps hang off him, tugged and jiggled the harness, used poles to teach him the shafts don't bend, but they do move with you sorta...

We have pushed a lot of buttons on him in the comfort of home and a familiar environment so that he knows- life is not always quiet, shit happens and as long as you listen to me (or whoever is at the other end of the reins) you will be just fine. We have done as much as we can think of to show him that None of this is a big deal and doesn't deserve much of a reaction if any.  Yes there will be times when he will need to Move it, NOW! but I want him to do it only because he is being told to, not because he is freaking out over something incredibly dumb. 

There is an ADT up north next month. While he has been really easy to train so far and very accepting of everything, we will wait and see where he's at before making any big expectations on that front.  We waited this long...  There is also an open schooling show at the local horsepark on May 15. Nothing fancy, just go around the ring a few times both directions and call it good.  Maybe we can make that one?  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He's been hooked!

As of Sunday evening it is official and Kat has been put to the cart. We finally got the shafts on the meadowbrook and everything in place (with the exception of a rein rail and footmans loops) and put him to the cart.  I did get pics of the process and may put them up later.  He did really well and the one thing I forgot was my cell phone or the camera.  Yay me?  Not so much!

Thankfully when I took the reins hubby ran into the house and grabbed his. I was going to wait until this weekend and then try to get some, but ok then.  He snapped a few pics and the SD Card came up full. What????  A couple of his downloads had filled it up, so he deleted a few things and snapped a few more....

All those lines in the dirt??? Yep we went around and around and around, stopped, waited and went around and around and around some more. Walking the whole time and both of us got plenty of exercise!

Here the shafts don't look so level, but I think it is the camera angle. If need be I can always add blocks under the springs to bring the cart up some. I had to also move the seat back and allow for more foot room in the basket. 

The funky little hat on my head? Wal-Mart on clearance for $3. Can't. beat. that!  They had a couple more in bright pink, which I could always go get one to take apart. $3 for a pattern is still way cheap and so what if it is a wild color? I won't be able to lose it!

*Side note*
Before putting Kat to the cart, hubby was working him in the long lines. Had him counter bending and doing a lot of upper level, advanced moves. I asked "Why?" and told him, "It's not like anybody will ever be riding him at Olympic levels." 
"He's still gotta learn it at some point." Hubby says.
He was asking for it <b>and getting it!</b>  grumbles a few things under my breath... 

Oh the things I have seen him get that pony to do.... shakes head and grins. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Turnout... It's not just for horses

So I got the shafts for the meadowbrook and we are still in the process of putting it all back together.  I have gotten a few pic's using an actual camera, not the cell phone.  But on the topic of turnout, did you know that is an actual class requirement when driving? Yep, you get points for your 'turnout' or your overall appearance as a driver in the cart.  One thing I have found you will lose points for- sunglasses. You are wearing a hat, so that should block the sun enough for your right? 

In some classes (reinsmanship) you want the focus to be on you, other classes, you are part of the overall picture but the main focus should be on the horse.  And it all starts with a hat...  I happened to find one at Target on our way to the airshow a couple weeks ago.

It is a nice light tan color with a brown sorta leather-ish band to match the trim in the brim.  I think a nice chocolate brown top with yellow accents as well as a brown driving apron with yellow trim or monogram, should compliment the color of my pony quite well. 

Target also had a blueish gray hat that is very similar. I am thinking it would look nice with a navy blue coat and a light blue accent color.  (I am open to ideas here...!) The hats are around $13 each and certainly not going to break the bank.  But I am also still looking for something with a little bit smaller brim. I can only imagine these flying off or the brim flipping down, blocking my sight.  Neither one being reasons I would want to stand out for.

There is a post on one of the mini horse forums where a woman by the name of Myrna posted quite a few pictures of her turnout with her mini.  Some of them look fine, but then when she points out the finer things as the judges see them, you start to understand the subtleties involved. Too much of one color, not enough of another and your turnout stands out for the wrong reasons. 

In her post, Myrna speaks of John Greenall who posted a few articles of turnout review on  There are 4 reviews with a few different pictures in each one, and they can be found on the left hand side or they are linked at the end of the article.  One thing is for sure, I need dark colored gloves.  Looking through all of the photos on the various websites- it is easy to see why.  Without them your hands stand out against the dark colors. 

So there are my ideas so far. As Myrna did, I may be taking a few trial runs around the arena, in the sun and getting some pictures as we will look when showing. It will be a good way to see what needs to be fixed, changed or left alone.

There are two ADT's or Arena Driving Trials coming up next weekend. I was hoping to have had everything together and be ready for them.  Hahahaha, not going to happen. I may want to go and I may really want to be competing, but all in due time. I want my pony to do well, so I am not going to push him for too much, too soon.  That never works.  Especially not for the horses.