Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Golden days of early summer

Are here... I am frantically packing and trying to sell and give away most of my belongings before we move to Canada at the end of June. It is quickly approaching. I stare at the lush green tree line trying to memorize the Florida landscape. I do love trees!
I have not really been working Bodhi so much as playing with him. A little canter here, a little jump there. Lots of grazing and we both sputter out of our motivation rather quickly. What are we trying to accomplish again? Oh that's right rehabilitation. I figure playing around with ground ples obsticles, transitions, and lateral work is the best thing. Only time will heal. Only time will tell when he is 100%. I think he is hovering around 95%. right now.

Look At the good boy reaching under. The look of concentration is also priceless.

Here I set up a combination of a small jump he had a canter up to and trot away from--for ground poles.

I don't know why my pony has developed a jump. This is proof. He is no longer flailing over things any more. He jumps. :)

Click and treat!

We practiced more bridleless riding. I know it looks like I have reins but the reins are actually atatched to the halter and than cliped around his neck. I messed around with it today. You can not apply halter pressure this way but I felt better having the "rein" if I wanted it. All in my head I know but isin't all of our "controls" for horses. I should be wearing a helmet. I suck.

So this is what I am up. to Fooling around. How but you guys? Are you having fun with your horses?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is harder than it looks

He is such a handsome boy, also what a trooper. He cooporated as I tried to take photos of him free lunging myself....

Man it is hard! Here are a few photos but they suck...

Bodhi was super hyped up and spent the first five minutes I went to get him from his pasture running-- tail like a flag, snorting and stretching out. He came up like a good boy afterward but I thought it was a good time to let him jump over some fences... Very apprehensive and we started veeeery slowly. over ground poles then 12 inch then 1 ft.... Bodhi was energised, engaged and flew over the obstacles with knees tucked! (he usually is happy to hop over things but shows neither grace nor vigor) We only went up to about 2'3 but that is a big thing for Bodhi to show that much enthusiasm and. agility. He was at liberty of course and he got a click treat after each fence. He would stop and watch me raise it and then trot off before I could even ask for it. He was on a mission. The pictures above are us goofing around after this session. I was trying to take photos of him. He happily would trot around be but I sucked at taking photos of him from inside our circle. You would think that taking photos of a horse at liberty would be easier than on a line but I match Bodhi's talent for coordination.

On a completely different topic I found an article on licking and chewing. You have to sign up to read it but it is free, and has been a hassle free site so far. They have free videos and lots of medical info.. i though the author had a really interesting perspective. what do you think?

Maybe licking and chewing is more of a stress relief signal then a signal of "learning" (Like a dog yawning). Bodhi rarely exhibits the lick and chew though he is obviously a quick study. Bodhi does yawn sometimes and I always begin to wrap it up if I see that. I figure it means he is tired. If not physically then emotionally or mentally. I never really saw the lick and chew until I did extensive round pen work with some pretty nasty characters. They would often exhibit it after really tense or strenuous situations. I read it as a break through but looking back at the big picture I really don't think it was.

Oh! check out the hair! It was reeeeally hard to not make a matching pony. He is a perfect canvas with his naturally platinum locks....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Dichotomy of health; my little chunky monkey

Science Daily article on Horse Obesity
"He is Fat and Happy"
I think we have all heard that phrase right? We equate food with our horses well being (and I am sure they would not correct us). When talking equine welfare we often discuss neglect by under feeding, starvation etc. There is nothing that pulls ones heart strings more than to see a neglected horse all ribs, and hips and sharp edges. I think however that having an overweight horse is just as abusive!
I think it is funny how to have a fat horse is socially acceptable if not socially desired in the horse world. Picture a cute pony in your minds eye----I don't know about you but my mind pony is as rotund as they come! As a culture we are often obsessed with personal fitness, body image, and dieting but when it comes to our equine (and canine) companions it seems the bigger the better.

The reality is that obesity is just as large(no pun intended) an issue for horses as it is in humans and it is caused by many of the same things.
  • Rich food
  • Inactivity
  • Genetics (like the draft ponies)
I feel like in someways domesticated animals are mirrors for society and it is not a pretty reflection when you see a rise in obesity related diseases like laminitis, heart disease, and insulin resistance.
I am not immune. I am always fighting the urge to add a supplement or switch to better quality grain or hay. Here is a few more links that I found educational.
Take a second in the next few days and take a critical look at your horse. Talk to your vet about what he/she thinks about your horses weight. The best thing of all is exercise so go for a ride! It will make you both feel better!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Blog!

I have a new post in the cooker right now but for now I would like to share the url to a new blog I am co authoring.
Ethical Eats
Our plan is to share our insights on the ins and outs as our lives as vegans.

I am expecting some fun (and easy!) recipes, reading recommendations, humor, and ideas on how to make your lifestyle more sustainable even if for one meal. If you have ever wanted to poke a vegan, or ask "What in the heck does a vegan eat anyways?" Come on by! We are happy to educate and I really hope we can entertain as well.

I would love to hear about what my blogger friends think about the new blog!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Emotion police? Let's just have fun!

So I have had a great weekend so far....
On Monday we walked around the barn. He balked at everything! I have noticed lately Bodhi has been "up". I know I know people who own thoroughbreds are laughing about how I don't know the meaning of the word. Yeah I know I am spoiled.
Any who-- Bodhi the "bomb proof" 4 year old has been acting more like a regular 4 year old. The barn isle is scary. So is the tarp and the trailer (both we have "worked with" already)! I think hmmm.
Half of me wants to be frustrated. We have gone OVER these things you silly pony! You should focus on your work not these distractions dag nammit!

Luckily this time the other half of me has won over and instead of getting mad ( well not too mad anyways) I am trying to shrug it off.

Maybe it is a sign of spring grass. Maybe it is the "fricken fives" that are rapidly approaching. Maybe it is a sign that his shoulder is feeling better? Who Knows. What I do know is on the bit dressage work is boring me at this level we must keep it to for his rehab. I think he may feel the same way. So maybe it is time to change gears and do more bitless fun work. Rehab means no more dressage shows before we move. Let's just have fun!

So Thursday we took a walk. In a halter and lead rope and some goodies to work on targeting off the farm. We walked down the road and worked on his head down cue. I think we both enjoyed it. He was "up" but what do I care? That was my mantra. Why do I care if he is excited? I am not the emotion police! As long as he minded there was no problem--and there wasn't

Friday we played in the ring. No side reins, no bit, no lunge line. I set up ground poles in series of threes at varying strides. He was happy to pop over them with scope that surprised me. I hopped on him bare back with a lead rope tied around his neck (OS handle) and set out to work on walk halt transitions through the seat. We ended up doing walk to trot and trot to halt transitions! We also did ground poles and serpentines all the way up and down the arena bridleless. I was floored! Who was this and what did you do with my distracted bored pony?

Yesterday we had a bonfire so I just went out to say hello with Stella dog in toe. Bodhi, Stella and I trotted the perimeter of the fence line. Bodhi was free of course but he still followed us around the 4 acres! Trotting when we did and stopping when we stopped. I sat in the grass while he grazed. He played tug of war with stella via a large stick. I am very sorry I did not have a camera.

These are the spring days that I will remember always. With fields of wild flowers and golden ponies and speckled dogs to frolic with. Who knew I would be 25 and still be frolicking?