Posts Tagged ‘iron horse farm
We haven’t gotten near as much snow this year as we did last year, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t gotten any. On March 1st we got a little bit of snow, and I took the opportunity to take some photos of the dogs and the ponies playing in the snow.
And this last shot is my very favorite shot of the day, Minnow’s super sweet eye. He’s just so special. The snow is beautiful, but hopefully spring is just around the corner, because we can’t wait to get out and ride more!
P.S. want to see more photos of the dogs in the snow, be sure to head on over to Ammo’s Blog!
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!
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:
Supplies needed for Painting Pony anti-muzzle slipping:
- Browband (repurposed from old bridles we had laying around)
- Thin belt from Goodwill ($3.99 for a set of 2 at Goodwill)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
Another challenging obstacle was the trailer load. You had to load your horse into a strange trailer with streamers on the course.
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.
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.
Blitz also competed in the “on-line” division and did great! He took home first place in his class.
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.
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).
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!
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!
Just look at that sweet face, always willing to help!
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.
Today we’re getting a substantial amount of snow, as in we’ve already got 15+ and more is on the way! Yikes!
As much as the snow can sometimes be a hardship on us, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t really bother the ponies as much. I mean just look at that smile on Boomerang!
These photos were taken last week when we still had a pretty good covering of snow on the ground. As you can see Minnow was happy to take an afternoon roll in the white stuff!
I asked Boomerang to lay down in the snow, and he was more than happy to oblige. I think the boys like doing their tricks in the snow….it makes for some extra cushy spots.
Blitz of course wasn’t going to let his little brother have all the fun! Oh brotherly love.
So while you’re all digging out from the massive amount of snow we’re getting, perhaps we should take Boomerang’s advice….and just keep smiling. After all, snow does melt!