Painting Pony to Attend Ludwigs Event

We are excited to announce that we will be attending the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show this year!

Minnow at Ludwigs Corner 2011 // Painting Pony

Minnow the Painting Pony & sidekick Ammo the Dachshund will be visiting the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show on Sunday August 31 from 12 – 5pm! (and painting at 1:30pm and 3:30pm) – we hope you’ll come visit us!

Minnow at Ludwigs Corner 2011 // Painting Pony

We haven’t been to the Ludwigs event in 2 years (missing once due to rain, and another time due to a scheduling conflict), but we’re excited to return to this fun event!

Minnow at Ludwigs Corner 2011 // Painting Pony

Minnow at Ludwigs Corner 2011 // Painting Pony

So come on out, bring your friends, and meet the boys! Ammo and Minnow can’t wait!

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to keep a muzzle on your horse

With the summer grass as lush as it is the ponies are always at risk for lamanitis. I always try to monitor their grass intake, keeping them off of it during the day and muzzling them at night, as well as regular exercise for those who can be – because we all know that given the chance the ponies will eat and eat and then eat some more!

Well this year keeping them muzzled has been a challenge with both Minnow and Boomerang figuring out how to slip their muzzles when no one was looking. They gave us a few scares, which left me trying to search for a way to make sure they stayed put indefinitely!

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

So after a little trial and error (we tried halters overtop, flymasks ontop, tightening them to name a few) I think we finally found something that works – and after 3 days, so far so good! So I figured I’d share our solution for anyone else out there having trouble keeping their pony’s muzzle on. Here’s what the boys looked like in their muzzles before:

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

Supplies needed for Painting Pony anti-muzzle slipping:

How to:

All you need to do is add a browband to your existing muzzle set-up and slip the thin belt through it so that it buckles at the throat. Make sure to buckle it tight enough so that your pony can’t get caught on anything and it prevents the muzzle from slipping. It’s always best to use a leather belt so that it’s breakable if need be. And to fully make sure you muzzle won’t slip off, try pulling it off your pony’s head yourself. If it seems too loose, perhaps tightening it up all over may help.

The Result:

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

How to Keep a Muzzle on Your Horse // Painting Pony

I hate to have to muzzle them, and I know they hate it too, but making sure they never over eat so that they live a long and healthy life is very worth it!

Anyone else have any DIY solutions for keeping muzzles on your horses?

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake

Over the weekend we decided to take the ponies to the lake for a swim.

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

We brought along Blitz, Minnow, and Ammo the Dachshund as well as the ponies’ barn mate Lilah (for her very first swim).

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Minnow’s no stranger to the lake, and considering that he was born on an island I think it’s pretty safe to say he loves the water. It felt good to take him on an adventure again as he hasn’t been anywhere since I think maybe pony penning last summer! (that’s far too long!)

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Blitz is a bit more cautious about the water, and while he thoroughly enjoyed wading out pretty deep we still have yet to see him actually swim! (some day….)

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

But that didn’t stop him from having fun in the lake!

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Minnow on the other hand graciously gave EVERYONE a swim, even Ammo hopped aboard for his very first swim session on the back of a pony.

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

Swimming the Ponies at the Lake // Painting Pony

I can’t wait to take the ponies back to the lake again soon. It’s the absolute best way to keep cool on a hot summer day!

P.S. Thanks to our friends at My Life, Naturally for providing some of the photos for this post!

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cowboy Race in New York

Over the 4th of July Weekend we packed up the ponies (Boomerang, Blitz, and “sister” Jet) and headed north 5 hours to New York. The plan was to spend the weekend camping with the horses, trail riding, and competing in a Cowboy Race.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

While Boomer has competed in a few cowboy races before, this was the largest course we had been on – with a lot of new obstacles our ponies had never encountered.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

The way this course was run was that the day before and day of riders could introduce their horses to the obstacles, but you would not learn the course you were riding until right before you competed.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Some of the obstacles were similar to things you might see on a cross-country jump course, while others were designed to look very out of the ordinary (for most horses).

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

This was Boomer’s first competition since last summer, and the first real event he’s been to since his injuries this winter. We discovered Boomer had been bruising his front ankles on the entrance to our shed all winter (likely for years) every time he backed out quickly (most likely because the other ponies chased him out) as well as inflammation in his tendon sheath on a back hind leg (probably from running around like a crazy pony in the pasture over the winter).

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I’ve since discovered that because of these injuries Boomer is now very sensitive to being asked to back up over things, or walk over things that he thinks might hit his ankles (for fear of it hurting). So we will be starting over in a sense on a lot of obstacles that he was once unfazed by, and trying to build his confidence so he doesn’t have to worry that he will injure himself. Not to mention he now wears boots for protection 24/7.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Also because Boomer was just getting back into the swing of competing my plan was to take it easy with him. No racing around, no tight spins, no jumping. Well a lot of the course required some speed, and despite my best efforts to keep him going a relaxed pace….Boomer had other plans. He also decided it would be much more fun to jump the obstacles than trot over them….silly pony! At least he had fun!

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I would say Boomer’s favorite obstacle was these “porcupine” noodles. With clicker training I’ve taught him to walk his face through “noodles”, so he loved rubbing his face all over them.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

One of the more challenging obstacles on the course was the pinwheel. You had to lift a (heavy) board off a barrel and spin it around. The challenging part was not moving too quickly and keeping the board from falling off the barrel on the other end.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Another challenging obstacle was the trailer load. You had to load your horse into a strange trailer with streamers on the course.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

I was proud of Boomer for mastering the tire cross. He was very unsure of it the first day I introduced it to him, but by the time he had to compete he was confident enough to cross it with ease.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

My sister’s mare Jet also came with us, and did great on the course! She hasn’t been exposed to as many obstacles as our Chincoteagues, but she tried her heart out on the course and held her own against all the cowboys. Even in english tack!

I’ve found a lot of these courses are designed for riders that ride western – requiring the horn for some things. It’s sort of a bummer that I think a lot of time us english riders (my saddle is a treeless english saddle) are discouraged from participating in events like these (or looked down on because we ride english). But as you can see, just because I ride english doesn’t mean I can’t do all the same things. I ride english to do team penning, ranch sorting, trail riding, mounted shooting, cowboy races and more! I don’t think it should matter what type of saddle (or even bitting too in some cases) I chose to put on my horse.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Blitz also competed in the “on-line” division and did great! He took home first place in his class.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

Boomer was all smiles by the end of the weekend adventure! I’m not sure when we will be back to New York again (it was a long long drive!) but it was a fun trip.

Cowboy Race in New York // Painting Pony

On the way home one of our trailer tires burst! Thankfully everyone was ok, and after unloading a pony on the side of the road & popping on our spare we were no worse for wear.

Have you been camping with your horse? Any recommendations on places to go for our next adventure?

P.S. I hope to have a video to share of Boomer on the course soon. Since the grounds were so large a lot of the video is shot far away, so I’ll have to see how much of it turned out (without it looking like tiny little ants are running the race).

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Painting a House

Painting A House // Painting Pony

My parents have been in the process of building their house on the farm for years now. Everyone in the family has pitched in with help along the way, as this certainly has been a DIY endeavor (mainly on the part of my dad). While it has taken years to get to where it is now, it’s finally reaching the home stretch as drywall went up a few weeks ago and the walls are getting painted this week!

When the ponies heard rumors of hiring a painter, they scoffed and offered up their skills as expert brush wielders!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Painting A House // Painting Pony

The garage was about as far as we got before Minnow started to realize we’d need a lot more ponies to complete this task!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

Just look at that sweet face, always willing to help!

Painting A House // Painting Pony

I love these photos, because it shows me just how far Minnow has come since he came to live with me in 2003. Back then he would have never set foot in this garage, he was spooky and nervous, and quite unsure. Now he’ll literally go anywhere for me. Walking into the garage was just an average day to him, and he didn’t so much as bat an eye at the boxes of tools and construction equipment. He’s truly one of a kind, and I’m happy that he got to put his little stamp brushstroke on the new farmhouse.

Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,