Sunday, April 19, 2009

April Gymkhana

We had lots of excitement at yesterday's show. Malachi continues to improve with Amigo and actually got good enough times to get first in the division above him in a few events. He is straddling the two divisions right now and he is hoping by the end of the season to be firmly in the higher one.

Lorna and Sierra had a great day as well. Sierra didn't balk at anything and loped most of the events. They even ended up with High Points for the day in their division!

Lorna also rode Malachi, the Halflinger she is helping the trainer with, in schooling runs. He did wonderfully as well. It's great to see how he is coming along and how much he wants to please his rider. Even though Lorna wasn't sure how he would do at Hurry Scurry (going over small 16 inch high jumps) he did great and only knocked one of them down.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Lorna isn't the only one who loves being around the horses. Malachi had a pony named after him at the trainer's place, here is a picture of the two Malachis together.

Lorna also spent time with a different horse yesterday. She started helping to saddle train a 12 year old pony. It is kind of unusual to start a horse this old but until now the pony has only been used as a broodmare. She's had people sit on her back a few times but this was the first time she's really been ridden. She is very sweet and calm and surprisingly quick to pick up on things. I didn't get pictures of Lorna learning to give the horses vaccines because I was too nervous! It amazes me how much confident Lorna has become with all of this.

Easter post

I'm going to have somewhat of a different Easter post than others I have read. We didn't attend church, we didn't have a special meal, and we certainly didn't take family pictures (we would have looked really silly taking pictures in the clothes we used to work outside in).

I keep reading posts bemoaning the lack of church services the week after Holy Week. For those of you who are feeling so down, consider what it would be like to live in a place where this is what happens each Sunday. Consider what you would feel to have no options for a solid church, to not have even a glimmer of what you experienced all of last week. Pretty horrible thought, isn't it? So don't forget to thank your pastor next time you see him, thank him for offering you such great opportunities each week to receive God's gifts.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Lorna was able to get on Hottie's back last week so this picture is from today, her 4th "ride".

We've had our training setbacks though, Hottie refuses to take a bit which is why Lorna is currently riding her in a halter. We're working with her to get better acclimated to having something in her mouth and also to the bridle going over her face toward her ears. She started out by throwing her head when the bridle would come anywhere near her. Now we can touch her with it and slip it over her ears as long as there is no bit attached. As of today I can slip my finger in her mouth from the side and massage her gums without Hottie tossing her head. I can touch her with a bit but she still tosses her head away when I try to put it in her mouth. We've tried rubbing molasses and honey on the bit but she still won't have anything to do with it. In fact she won't even let me put a finger in her mouth if it has either on it! So much for that "proven method" I've read all over the internet. Not knowing all her history makes it difficult to determine if she's just being stubborn or if she has had a bad experience in the past. We've had a bridle on her twice, but both times she wasn't happy about it either going on or coming off. Since I want this to be a hassle free experience we are trying to slowly get her past this until she's comfortable with the bridling process.

Overall I'm really pleased with how sweet she has become and how fast she picks up on things. She's easy to catch, coming right up to me every time I go out in the pen. Trailer loading is also going very smoothly, although the real test will be the first time we take her somewhere. We will see how she does with shots later this week since it's time for the horses' spring vaccines.

Spaz is also doing very well. Trailer loading has been smooth since the first time we've tried it. She's leading really well and will step on and over things without any problem. She spends more time in the big horses' pen now, although she still sleeps and eats in her own special pen. Because the large pen doesn't have the right kind of shelters to conform to BLM requirements she can't move in there permanently until we either rebuild them or she is titled, which won't be for a year. She seems to enjoy her time away from the others though so I'm not too concerned about moving her permanently.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Odds and Ends

I'm holding a free shipping sale over at my store and the response has been better than I could have anticipated so I haven't had much time for blogging. This is a very good thing since we've had a number of unexpected car repairs and then we received our vehicle registration bills only to find the licensing fees have doubled since last year. I don't know what the state is thinking, people are struggling to pay for basic things and they raise registration amounts on the cars these people will need to work?!?

We won tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs so we drove to Bakersfield last night to see that. Malachi loved it, and the rest of us enjoyed it as well. It wasn't quite what I expected based on the few commercials I saw for it, but it was still enjoyable.

Training has really started with Hottie. The first time Lorna attempted to put weight in the stirrup while getting on two weeks ago ended with the horse bucking and the bolting. Lorna decided to go back to very basic groundwork which consisted of leading, stopping and backing. This week Lorna again attempted to get up in the stirrup and was successful. We've had rain for a couple of days so she has only been able to do this twice this week. She's hoping that by next week she will be able to sit in the saddle without Hottie getting upset.

As you can see we require the kids to wear helmets when riding. I know a lot of people don't think they are necessary but we've seen people hit their heads when coming off of their horse, it is not a pretty sight! There was a great article in the most recent issue of Equus about how a helmet saved a woman's life. If you are one of those people who think helmets are silly, I suggest you read the article.

Lorna had her first lesson on Sierra last week. Sierra started out not wanting to do what Lorna asked of her. It was amusing to watch Sierra swish her tail when she was frustrated with Lorna. She spent a lot of time swishing her tail!

It seems Sierra believed a lope meant buck. Lorna got that out of her pretty quickly but they still have a ways to go before she gets to lope her during gymkhana.

The trainer is convinced that Lorna and Sierra are going to make an awesome team, eventually competing in the faster divisions once Sierra is ready to really run. Lorna is really happy with the way things are going and she is content to go easy on Sierra until she's completely grown and ready for more strenuous activities.

Something seems to have clicked between Malachi and Amigo and they are doing better than we ever could have hoped for. Malachi is happy to keep things at a nice lope for now and Amigo seems to understand exactly what his rider wants. It's hard to believe we've had him less than a year and that Malachi hasn't been riding all that much longer. Amigo is a very laid back horse even though he's an Arab, which just goes to show that breed doesn't necessarily determine a horse's personality.

Spaz has graduated to walks outside her pen and has visits in the big horses' pen. Sierra and Spaz run all over the place when they are together. It's so fun to watch I've forgotten to get pictures every time it has happened.

I think I'm just about caught up with news around here. The chickens are fun to watch but aren't really all that exciting to talk about. They are getting big and we are eagerly anticipating the first egg and first chicken dinner but that's still a ways away!