Archive for August, 2011
On Monday we took advantage of the BEAUTIFUL day and broke out the paints.
Minnow was really excited (if you can’t tell by the look on his face).
Even Ammo enjoys our “painting days”, especially since he always gets to be designated cheerio clean-up dog.
Minnow painted two amazing paintings, one of which I fell in love with and decided to add to my personal collection.
Of course I couldn’t leave out Minnow’s brothers, Blitz and Boomer, when it came time to paint.
Blitz had a blast throwing around the paint this time, and got in touch with the messier side of his artistic creativity.
I think his newest painting really reflected his “messy artist” mood that day.
And after patently waiting his turn at the easel Boomerang was ready for some fun.
Boomer is definitely the goofball of the bunch – always making paintings filled with laughter.
His smile is always contagious.
After 4 plus hours each of the ponies had had their turn at the easel.
As per usual, by the end of the day everyone was covered in paint, including me.
Check out all of the ponies’ available paintings in their SHOP.
After our VERY dry Summer, mother nature has suddenly decided to let us have a little rainfall – well, a lot of rainfall!
Almost daily we have been having nasty thunderstorms. It’s definitely been putting a damper on our outdoor riding activities.
But, the ponies are quite happy about the rain we’ve been getting, because with rain comes MORE grass. And we all know how much the ponies LOVE grass!
Even with all the nasty weather we do have bits of sunshine – just enough to put some rainbows in the sky.
Almost makes all the rainfall worth it.
Last weekend we took the ponies to a mounted games competition in New Jersey. This is one of my favorite competitions of the year, because not only is it a short distance from our home base in PA, but it’s also an event that most of the riders camp at. I love camping, especially when I get to bring along the ponies AND the dog.
We arrived just as it was getting dark and dropped two of the ponies (Blitz – who came along for the experience and more training, and Jet – my sister’s mare that my mom would be riding for the weekend) at the stables. We bedded their stalls and tucked them in for the night, all while Boomerang waited patiently on the trailer.
Then we drove Boomer up to the campsites where we set up his portable corral from Travel n’ Corrals. This was the first time I got a chance to use the corral at an overnight competition – and also the first time he had ever seen it. And did I mention it was dark by this point?
We unloaded Boomer and put him in the corral while we set up the tent. He looked around for a second and went straight to eating his hay. I was pretty amazed at how he acted like everything was no big deal. His friends (who rode in the trailer with him) got dropped off somewhere else and now here he was up on the top of a hill next to a campsite, in a corral he had never seen, with not a single horse in sight…..just quietly munching his hay. Pretty cool pony.
Well, he was pretty cool until about 1am when he ran out of hay. Ha. Should have known it would be too good to be true.
With his hay gone I think he looked around and realized “what the heck, where am I and what happened to my friends?” His ear piercing whinny woke me instantly. I think he would have eventually stopped calling too – had his big brother Blitz not heard him a mile away in the stables and called back. And yes, it was DEFINITELY Blitz – he has a VERY distinct whinny. Every hour or so they would call back and forth to each other – if I only knew what they were saying! At one point I even heard Boomerang lay down in his corral – yet continue to return Blitz’s calls. He wasn’t frantic, he didn’t try to escape (not that he could – these things are really well built) or do anything horrible – he was simply having a late night conversation with his big brother….on the other side of the facility!
Hindsight, I probably should have set the corral up closer to the barns so that he could at least see another horse. But regardless of the fact that he stayed up all night talking I was still proud of how he handled the situation I put him in.
Not only was the corral a new thing for us at this competition, but it was also the first time I got to compete with my treeless saddle. I wish I had some pictures to share, but since my mom and I were both riding together we had no one with us to take pictures. If only somehow I could train the Dachshund to do it! Hummm. But, the saddle was awesome! No slipping, and both Boomerang and I were SUPER comfy in it. I even got to do some full out vaulting into it without any problems. I really wish I had gone treeless years sooner – I’ll never go back!
In between competition sessions my mom worked on training Blitz to tie (without his friends around). Blitz has progressed in leaps and bounds with all the training my mom has put into him, but he still has one major issue they are working on. His separation anxiety. He has a real problem leaving his friends and being alone.
This is what well behaved horses look like when they tie:
And this is what naughty Blitz looks like when he ties without his friends around:
Blitz spent a lot of time working on tieing in the woods by our campsite. It was very tough for him not to have his friends around – but my mom thinks she hopefully made some breakthroughs with him.
With high-hopes of working even further on Blitz’s training on Day 2, we were instead hit with a nasty Thunderstorm on Saturday night. Camping proved to get a little wet – but atleast we were nice and toasty in the tent with our little heater named Ammo the Dachshund. Ammo is such a trooper, he’ll put up with pretty much anything – and any situation. Thunder & Lightning is no problem for this guy – I think he might sleep through a tornado if no one woke him!
Sadly when we woke up the next day the competition had to be canceled. With no end in sight for the storms, they were forced to pin the divisions based on standings from the previous day. But we still came home with a second place finish!
We packed up and headed home – only to be hit with one last road block just minutes from the farm. Luckily Peco was nearby and able to help us out before the ponies got too hot in the trailer. And next time I’m going to REALLY try to remember my rubber boots so I’m not stuck wearing soggy sneakers all weekend!
Last month my mom took Blitz to his very first Mounted Shooting practice with the Jersey Devils Mounted Shooters Club. Neither my mom nor Blitz have done any type of mounted shooting – and Blitz is not the “bravest” pony – but they both survived! (And no one got shot!) It was a great learning experience for Blitz and I’m sure it really did a lot to help his confidence more.
Here is a video they shot – which has clips of my mom and Blitz in it…
If you read this blog on a regular basis than you know that I’m a self proclaimed Chincoteague Pony Lover. I tell myself that I’ll never own another breed again (this may or may not be true – but I certainly am a fan of the breed). It’s also a rare occasion that I actually ride another breed, considering 3 out of our 5 family horses are Chincoteague Ponies. So when I had the chance to ride a Gypsy Vanner at a farm down the street (to help a friend out) I was excited to try something new.
The 4 year old mare I rode was Sattui (who is for sale at El Brio Vanner). At 4 years old she reminded me of an experienced horse who had “been there done that” – definitely not your typical 4 year old. I got Boomerang when he was 4 years old and his maturity level was not even close to Sattui’s. Boomer could barely hold himself together (his balance was horrendous, especially on the trail) and he used any chance he got to act like a baby. Although to be fair Chincotaegue ponies mature MUCH later than most breeds.
From what I hear Gypsy Vanners are a very level-headed breed. Great as quiet trail horses among other things and just an all around safe horse that anyone can ride. And after taking my first ride on one, I believe it.
I helped my friend out by riding Sattui all “Dressagey” for a sale video – never mind the fact that I haven’t actually ridden a horse in a dressage frame in say maybe 4 years. Lets just say my abs aren’t the only thing that is sore!
It was a fun experience, and coming from someone that has never ridden a Gypsy Vanner before I can attest to what a nice breed they are (just don’t tell my Chincoteague Ponies).
If you are in the market for a nice horse be sure to check out El Brio Vanner, they have a great selection of made horses as well as foals and mares in foal!
P.S. El Brio Vanner is also home to the famous, Odd Job Bob, the movie star! Read all about him here.