Archive for December, 2009
So I thought if I wrote down some of my goals for the Trick Ponies in 2010 it might actually help me to accomplish them. Hopefully our cold winter doesn’t last too long and I can get to training them soon! So here’s my list (in no particular order):
2. Teach Blitz and Boomer to lay down on command
3. Finish teaching Ammo and Boomer to paint
4. Come up with a new skit for Minnow to perform
5. Make a new video of all of the trick ponies (and the Dachshund) performing
6. Move Boomer up to compete in the Masters Division in Mounted Games
7. Take Blitz to a bombproofing clinic/and or some Dressage events
8. Teach Ammo and Minnow some tricks together
9. Find more venues/performances for Minnow to do – events that raise money for charities would be great.
10. Spend more time doing “nothing” with the boys
So what do you think? Anything I should add? Suggestions on new tricks to teach the boys? I’d love to hear your goals – maybe you want to learn more about clicker training – maybe you just want to teach your horse one trick? Whatever it is, I wish you much success in the new year! Click on!
So for some reason our last hay delivery came with an extra surprise….feathers! Almost every bale is strewn with white feathers. These feathers are ending up scattered all over the barn, in the isle ways, in the pastures, and in the stalls. Most of these feathers are in Minnow’s stall. Everyday when I clean out his stall he has more feathers than the day before, piled up in his little corner. In fact, he has more than any other horse in the barn. This is partially because the Dachshund likes to gather up a little pile and give them to Minnow. I caught him a couple times dragging them into Minnow’s stall. Very cute.
These feathers have a little bit more meaning to me – mostly since I learned of the Feather Fund several years ago. The Feather Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to continue the work begun by Carollynn Suplee to assist deserving children with the purchase and attendant costs associated with the acquisition of Chincoteague ponies, with the goal of helping each child learn about responsibility, care, love, work ethic, as well as the concept of “giving back to others” through the care and training of his or her animal.
Carollynn Suplee was a cancer patient who began to see feathers in mysterious places. She believed that God was sending these feathers to protect her. These feathers guided her to purchase a Chincoteague Pony for a little girl (a stranger) in 1995. The pony became known as Sea Feather. As Carollynn’s cancer went into remission, she continued to seek out and purchase Chincoteague Ponies for deserving young children. Carollynn eventually passed away in October 2006, but her legacy lives on with The Feather Fund.
Everytime I see these feathers floating around the farm I can’t help but think about the Feather Fund. It makes me smile when I think of all the deserving young children that have received Chincoteague Ponies throughout the years. I myself know how special these ponies are. I am thankful everyday that I was fortunate enough to be involved with horses since the day I was born.
Perhaps the feathers have come to the farm for a reason. Maybe they are watching over my Minnow. As each day gets colder and colder I watch as Minnow’s limp (from a diagnosis of Ringbone in 2008) becomes more pronounced. Maybe the feathers have been sent to ease his pain and watch over him. Either way, I find them very peaceful as they drift in and out of the wind.
For 2010 I will be donating some of the Pony Paintings Profits to the Feather Fund. And I will be watching at the auction next year as some very lucky children enter into the magical world of owning a Chincoteague Pony.
PSALM 91 vs. 4: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson
So as you can probably tell I haven’t been able to post in a while. Hopefully now that Christmas is over I will have a little more free time on my hands.
So anyway…as many of you know – a week ago (December 20th) we had a massive Blizzard here in Eastern PA. I’m no foreigner to snow, but it has been a while since we’ve received this much snow – especially in December. I measured about 14″ of snow where I live, but with the winds and snow drifting we could easily have received more than that.
Digging out was a bit of a process – but also came with the task of digging out the horses. Luckily I have a big SUV with 4-wheel drive and I was able to plow my way up to the farm in my truck.
I was excited to see the horse’s reactions to the snow..I was certain they would run and frolic in the fluffy white stuff. Surprisingly though most of them were just interested in the piles of hay I had put in the pasture and the snow just seemed an inconvenience to them as they tried to trudge to it.
I found myself wishing the snow had come after Christmas, as I was so busy at my shop with Holiday orders that I barely had time to enjoy it. Had I not been so swamped I would have ridden the boys in the snow, or taught Minnow to pull a sled. I even contemplated the idea of somehow teaching Minnow how to throw snowballs. But alas my time with the snow was short and it has all melted away.
But even though I didn’t get much time to play in the snow (I take that back – I did unsuccessfully try to sled in it) – the dogs sure had fun messing around in the fluff. Especially my Dachshund, Ammo. Being 4″ off the ground comes at a major disadvantage when you get 14 inches of snow. But that didn’t keep Ammo from burrowing away – in fact I think he thoroughly enjoyed it, even if he did get a little chilly.
Below are some photos and videos of Ammo enjoying himself in the snow.
Anyway that was my snowday! Did anyone else get a ton of snow? Did you do anything fun with your horses/dogs/yourself?
So are they what you expected? Did we outdo ourselves this year, or do you have a favorite from years past? Better yet – what does your Christmas card look like? Post a link…I’m always looking for new ideas for next year’s cards!
Happy Holidays from the Trick Ponies!
Yes, its inevitable. You can’t be a horse person having never experienced the almighty fall from your mount’s back. In fact – it makes you a better rider. Are you brave enough to remount, can you learn from the mistakes you made?
There are falls to laugh about – like the tumble into the water jump your horse disliked, and there are falls to cry about – like the day you broke your arm. We all pray they never become tragic, but its always a risk we take when mounting up on an animal with a mind of its own.
I’ve seen my share of spills. At 10 I watched my friend break her femor on a cross-country jump – at 20 I watched a friend tear her acl after hitting a fence. I’ve been dumped over fences, onto fences and under fences. I’ve missed dismounts and face planted in the sand in front of thousands of spectators. I was even flipped over a row of fencing when a horse decided to go over backwards on me. Thankfully none of my sustained injuries ever kept me from my love of horses for too long.
On Monday evening, my mom was not so lucky. She decided to take Blitz out on a short trail alone – just her, Blitz and the dog. I wish I had been there – things might have been different – but alas I was not. On the way home Blitz decided to act like the 7 year old (immature 7 year old I might add) that he is and make a break for home. Amidst the bucking (and the fact that my mom was riding bareback) she decided to emergency dismount to avoid something serious from happening. If you have never done an emergency dismount, its something that every horseback rider should know how to do. Essentially it is being able to unmount from your horse no matter what speed there are going (and land safely on your feet). Perhaps I will do a post later on the proper techniques.
Anyway in dismounting my mom must have landed too hard on her right leg, because it buckled under the pressure. Blitz took off in a flash for the barn and left my mom on the ground with the dog. Her knee had completely given out and she was unable to walk and in excruciating pain. Thankfully she had a cell phone on her and was able to call for help. Luckily I was in the area.
Xrays later showed nothing broken, but an MRI confirmed multiple torn ligaments among other things, leaving her knee literally hanging on by a thread. She will need surgery and likely won’t be riding for a while. This sounds very serious, but I am so thankful that nothing worse happened!
My mom lives for her horses. She’s at the barn every day making sure they are well cared for and everyone is healthy and happy. Its been 2 days and I can already feel her sadness from being kept from her animals. I pray for her swift recovery and her return to the horses. And as for Blitz – he’s getting coal for Christmas.