PostHeaderIcon Home Exciting Home!

A week of extreme temperatures coming up has defeated me. I decided to bring the handsome geldings home from the boarding stable. Everyone will be pleased…the handsome geldings and the fulsome mares.

I pulled up and Cisco saw me immediately. I got out of the truck and Cisco whinnied loudly. Ahhhhh, I thought, “he really loves me”. I walked up to his pasture and he whinnied again. But he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at the trailer. I walked past him and Cisco whinnied at the trailer. Did he think his mares were in there? Was he telling the trailer to open the gate so he could load up? Cisco loves the trailer more than me. Sigh

I got both geldings in hand and we loaded into the trailer and went home. I decided to rinse them off before letting them into the pasture. I decided to lead both of them into the barn and stall. Of course Lucky went first and Cisco was just barely able to avoid crushing me in his desire to be home. Lucky tried to take off before I got the halter off. He pulled the rope out of my hand. I stepped on the rope. He was stronger and pulled the rope away. Lucky went directly to the round bale, got on one knee and rubbed his neck. I had a time controlling Cisco to get his halter off. He took off. I followed intending to get the halter off Lucky. But the impulsive geldings decided to gallop off. Zoom they went with Lucky’s rope floating in his jet stream.

The mares? They stayed in the barn. No way did they have the energy in the 90+ weather to gallop anywhere. Soon the speed machine geldings came racing back to the barn and I was able to get Lucky’s halter off.

I’m drying off my sweat in the house now and saw the herd run across the dam. Evidentially Lucky and Cisco gently motived the mares to move out! Don’t believe the gentle word.

PostHeaderIcon Ick- Covered in Crumbles

Many horse people buy bags of treats. These treat bags are picked up, carried in trailers, tossed, crushed by saddles etc.. When the treats get low in the bag, the bottom of the bag has crumbled grit of mangled treats.

My treat bag has about 5 treats left. There is about a half inch of treat crumble grit in the bottom of the bag. I take the treat bag out to the outdoor horse shower area and try to hide it from Lucky eyes. It’s in the upper 80′s and horrid humid hot. My hose leaks, so when Lucky’s outdoor bath is finished, my shirt, face, neck, glasses, and sun glasses hanging from my shirt are wet from both sweat and real water from the hose.

Oh No! Lucky has spotted the hidden treat bag. He swoops up the plastic bag in his mouth. I grab the plastic bag by the bottom. Lucky has about half of the bag in his mouth. A mighty battle starts. A plastic bag tugging war is ongoing with neither of horse nor human giving up one inch of the bag.

I managed to hold on with one hand while the other hand tries to tickle Lucky’s mouth open. He ignores the tickle hand and tries to get his tongue into the bag and get the treat. Oh Ha! I win!

He lets go of the bag. The force of my hold whips the bag back to me and propels all the gritty crumbs out of the bag onto my hair, face, both sunglasses and real glasses, neck and wet shirt. I am covered in peppermint crumbles. I am blind. I try to shake the grit off my body and glasses, but grit loves sticky wet things.

I managed to wipe the grit off my real glasses so I can see again. I put Lucky back in his stall and give Cisco his bath. Now I’m even wetter and still covered with peppermint grit.

I go home to my house in the country. Luckily it is dark and there are no visitors. I shed my shirt and shook the grit off. I discovered my sun glasses only had one ear piece…the one that kept it hanging on my shirt. The other one had flown away when the treat bag exploded. When I took my shower, peppermint body grit washed down the drain.

Lucky Star didn’t get the treats in the bag, but he won the grit war!

PostHeaderIcon Sand, Grit and Domination

FYI- Lucky Star strives to be dominate over me. I tried to explain to him yesterday that he made his life so much harder as he tried to nibble me….

7/11/17

Misery in Missouri July.
Still in upper 80 or low 90 at 7:00 pm.
I manage to get Cisco and Lucky haltered, fly sprayed, fly masks off, eyes and face rubbed and off we go a half football field to the arena. I had decided that I didn’t have enough strength to saddle a horse in the heat. Ha! I suffered much worse than that.

At the arena, I decided it would be so easy to play with both horses at liberty. (see Ha above.). We practiced both horses backing and coming to me. Coming to me is called “the draw”.

I then asked both horses to go out and circle around me.

Lucky Star, the dominate one (over both me and Cisco), decided to show his total disregard of his human and took off running for the other end of the arena. He did not set a very good example for Cisco. I had to walk a goodly distance in the heat to persuade him to join-up with me again. We did this twice so i decided we all needed to go into the round pen. We got our halters on.

We all got inside the round pen and chatted a bit. I took off both halters and asked both horses to leave at a fast gait and they did. Both horses kicked up speed which invoked a sand and grit storm. The hot weather has dried out the arena. Sand and grit flew into all our eyes. We left the round pen after our eyes cleared up. I rubbed my eyes and their eyes.

I decided to play with Lucky on the 22′ rope and Cisco at liberty. Cisco ran through the rope, making it essential that I drop the rope or die of rope burn.

I ended up playing with Lucky on the 22′ rope. He gave me horse signs of disrespect (head down and some nasty salutesmwith amback leg). This disrespect was a reason he got to canter several times at both directions and gave him a good workout in the horrid heat..

I did get to play with Cisco a short time before I felt the heat death approach.

We all headed back to their pasture and stall home. I managed to get fly masks adjusted, their faces rubbed and treats fed. I managed to get back to the car into air conditioner before death got me.

On the way home, one eye erupted into sand pain hell. Sand had coated the inside of my eye. By the time I was halfway home, I prayed that a policeman would not stop me. One look into that eye and suspicion of being drugged would happen. My eye burned! Three hours later, I think my eye will not burn out of my head.

What a night! The 22′ rope is my best friend.

PostHeaderIcon Lucky Star Saves Mom’s Life!

How the Horse of No Saved My Life

I took Lucky and Cisco to one of our our outdoor arena summer home. It is perfect for Cisco’s rehab. I was going to ride the “horse of no” and lead Cisco over the log obstacle, the low jump and the small wooden bridge. That was my intent and if Lucky would have let that happen, I might be in the hospital or funeral home now.

Lucky decided he wanted to play at liberty before I rode. He double dared me to make him a happy horse while trotting circles around me. I took out my top of the line horsemanship leader role and proceeded to fail at making him a happy horse.

Firstly, I failed at circles. Instead Lucky ran straight and did his best performance of a bucking horse. It takes a lot of energy to get that high flying air suspension bucking horse. Lucky just braces his front legs and puts his head down as he trots off.

This bracing the front legs with his head down always makes the saddle move forward. This saddle is much better that my former saddle. It managed to stay on his back, not on his neck. However, it still goes too far forward. I loosen the girth and move the saddle back in place and tighten it up again.

The knowledgeable horse trainer returns and fails again as Lucky performed his exciting version of a slow, low flying bronc.
Repeat with the saddle adjustment.

We are now completed the fourth bucking episode. I’m thinking of getting him in the round pen, remove the saddle and make him fly around. I’m getting irritated at my horsemanship failure.

Once again, I loosen the saddle and move it back. I tighten it again and BOOM! The girth strap pulls apart. It looked like a piece of beef jerky as it pulled apart.

Good Lordy! I could have been riding Lucky Star or even Cisco when the break occurred. I could have been cantering around the corner of the arena when the break occurred. I would have flown off with the saddle. That is a physics thing. The rider’s body follows the saddle where ever it goes.

Lucky Star, “The Horse of No”, saved my life! Thank goodness he was in his arguing mode.

The saddle is my new used saddle. I didn’t like the leather strap. I had a feeling about it. However, it looked perfectly good to me. I was eventually going to replace it with my favorite nylon cinch strap. Whoops, instincts should always be followed!

When you buy a new used saddle, put on a new girth strap. You might not have a “Horse of No” to save your life!

PostHeaderIcon Skid Marks in My Heart by Lucky Star

Lucky Star became a country music song today.

“I met the black mare today. Something about her made my inner stallion come alive. I danced on the trail beside her. I whispered love to her. I turned into a hunk of liver chestnut stallion with my arched neck and prancing feet. I watched her gorgeous body swing to the heavenly trail rhythm. I forgot about the bay mare, the bay mare waiting on me at home. I could think nothing about my duties, only about the black mare beside me.
The black mare left me behind. Left me at the trailer. I freed myself and ran after her. I left skid marks in that black mare’s heart. I left skid marks of love on the pavement where the black mare left me.”

Looking for country songwriter and lyricist to make “Skidmarks in my Heart” into a Blake Shelton song.

The skid marks are the white markings on the pavement. He has front shoes on, so only his front feet made the marks.

PostHeaderIcon New Saddle has Passed the Test

I bought a used 16 1/2″ super wide Parelli Natural Performer via eBay. Last Sunday it passed the Cisco test. Today it passed the Lucky Star test.

I tried to cinch it up tight enough so the saddle would stay on Lucky. When I mounted, it tipped a little,letting me know it might not be fully secure. But when I got balanced in the saddle and shifted my weight to each side, it felt secure. Off we went at a nice “trail walk” speed. I could feel those back legs reaching far underneath. Hmmm, have I ever felt that back leg reach before? I don’t think so.

As we were walking around the arena, the seat felt really “roomy” to me. I am used to being squished in the saddle and this was a new feel for me. My body worried a bit. There was nothing that braced against my legs to hold me in the saddle. I do feel like the saddle is deep and holds me almost inside Lucky. I don’t remember that roomy feeling while riding Cisco.

Lucky and I spent more time in the arena. We did all the gaits both directions. I decided it was time to get off. The saddle tipped a bit when I dismounted, but it stayed on top of Lucky.

I ran my hand underneath the saddle blanket and could not find any tight spots. Lucky’s shoulders have impressive freedom to move. I checked the tightness of the girth. There was no tightness. The girth was touching Lucky’s body, but not really enough to have kept me secure. Well! The saddle fit Lucky extremely well. It might have stayed on top of him even if we had been barrel racing (or not).

I now will happily make my PayPal payments to pay off this saddle. Yay!

Parelli Natural Performance saddle with bucking rolls removed and fenders with enough holes to let my legs fit. Picture coming next time!

PostHeaderIcon Cisco and Lucky Own a New (Used) Saddle

Sunday Clinic Day with Jennifer Vaught

It was a most amazing time riding Cisco. Firstly, I asked for a bit of speed and he hollowed out his back and paced. We worked on that. Then he would go nicely until the corners where he paced. The first exercise Jenny had us do in the clinic today, involved a lot of walking and leg yielding. We were walking the long way down the middle of the arena when Cisco suddenly began walking faster with a huge long stride. Then he got excited and we jigged around. He wanted to dart and go fast. We got that under control. The last exercise of the day was everyone went to the rail, one at a time. We were to do transitions, all the gaits and canter. We did an awesome flat foot walk. We did an amazing soft fox trot! Cisco and I have not cantered all winter because he couldn’t. So today, I asked him to canter. We went on wrong lead. But, it wasn’t a “lameness” canter attempt. We stopped and tried for the correct lead again. Zowie! We cantered one beautiful lap around the arena. Cisco has recovered!

Here is Cisco’s translation. “It is going to hurt when I go faster. I dread it so much that I’m going to hollow out my back to help stop the pain. Hmmm. Nothing hurts. My shoulder can move underneath this saddle! My goodness! I’m going to walk fast and see what that feels like! Wow! That felt good. OMG. My body feels great under this saddle! I want to run! I want to dash around! Yee Haw! Wait! You want me to fox trot? OK. Doesn’t that feel good! Now canter? I can’t wait! Isn’t this fun! Thanks for getting off. I’m a little tired with all this exercise. We haven’t done this in a long time!
Now get those ticks out of my mane! Let me eat some grass! Take me home!”

Lucky has a new saddle and suddenly he is one of two riding horses. Half the pressure is off! Next is to give Lucky the chance at the new saddle. I told him tonight when Cisco returned to his pasture. Lucky said, “A different saddle? I’ll really like how it feels? Well, that is s p e c i a l. I volunteer to let Cisco use it all the time. I’ll just stay here and run things at home. Sweetie and Delta need me full time to run the pasture process.” The Lucky SNORT was directed to my face.

Cisco and Lucky own a Parelli Natural Performer saddle. The gullet is extra wide. It is 16.5 inch and was made in Germany in 2010. It is a good thing we got the extra wide. The standard would have been too narrow.
Parelli saddle
The bucking rolls are gone. Thanks Yellow Boot Saddelry for making the fenders short enough for me and removing the bucking rolls. The bucking rolls made the seat too small for me.

Cisco’s lameness was stifle and something else. I guessed the saddle was causing problems. My beloved Circle Y Flex Lote saddle was discovered to have a broken tree last year. I’d been using my original
Circle Y Flex lite saddle. It occasionally caused me to get sore. It was probably too narrow for Cisco. I no longer endorse the Circle Y Flex tree saddle.

The stifle and mystery lameness got better and got worse. Stifle injection made Cisco worse. Cisco got better with each shoeing by Healthy Stride Farrier, Tony Vaught. But we couldn’t keep the plus progression of zero lameness strides. Cisco got a month of freedom to heal.

Saddle search was on and I made a big commitment to the Parelli brand. I know if I ever sell this saddle, there will be buyers out there in the world looking.

PostHeaderIcon Cisco’s First Trail Ride in Many Moons

Can it be that Cisco and I rode once on a trailride in the fall of 2016 and nothing since? The best thing to bring Cisco’s legs back to health is good straight line riding. Amazing that the Rock Island hiking, biking and equestrian trail near my house was just completed. I haven’t rode him in a month or so and we are going on a very short trail ride with 3 other riders.

The equestrian parking is right next to an outdoor tree covered hoarder 1/2 acre like you see on The Pickers tv show. It even looks a little scary to us humans.

Cisco always is nervous in new places, but he manages it well. He manages it by moving. Getting on Cisco atop the trailer wheelwell took a minute or so. He finally stopped long enough to make it safe for me to climb on. We walked around the parking area and got calm enough to stop and wait for the other riders to get ready. Then off went the group!

Oh, we discovered the hoarder has a barking dog that was coming at us. Most of us relaxed when we saw the dog had a chain. Then a man’s voice called the dog’s name and told us that we were not bothering the dog. “The dog is OK with horses,” the voice yelled. There is no house in the hoarder lot, but there is a funeral home tent.
After we got past the hoarder and we were all able to breathe again, we discussed that experience. We were not worried about us bothering the dog. We were worried about the dog bothering our horses. Our leading rider thought that the chain was not attached to anything. She did not relax when she saw the chain. We also thought maybe the hoarder lives in the funeral home tent.

Cisco was OK behind the lead horse. He likes to get calm by walking faster and faster, but I managed to keep him out of the lead horse position because we would have been out of sight of our group in minutes.
After about a mile, Cisco snorted about six times. That was his tension leaving his body. I loved hearing those snorts.

We turned around to return to the parking lot. On the way back, Cisco snorted again several times, but the snorts were much softer. He still had tension to get rid of, but it was much less. We had to pass an large object that was wrapped on light weight plastic. It billowed in the wind. The horses all checked it out and continued to walk on.

Cisco had walked for about 45 minutes without a misstep. I did ask him to speed up into a gait when we got to the parking lot and he immediately started pacing. I shut that down quick. We were done. The group picked up another rider and were going to continue the ride in the other direction.
I loaded Cisco into the trailer and headed home.

On my dead end road were two little doggies. They had no humans with them. One of them stood in the middle of the road.
I stopped the truck and got out. They took off running.
Sigh
I went around to the back of horse trailer and called the dogs. One of them decided I might be a nice human. They circled back to me.

This is when Cisco joined our conversation. Cisco did not like being in the trailer. He started yelling and stomping his feet. If I were little dogs, it would scared me too. Off they ran.
Finally the mini boarder collie looking dog, came back and allowed me to pet and lift her into the truck. The other dog came close, but was too scared to let me touch him. I decided to go home, get Cisco out, get the doggie passenger in my car and return to the lost dog area.
I discovered my passenger had tags with name and phone number! I had to wait at the lost dog area only a little while before the rescue posse showed up. Nikki was on my leash and Charlie hovered nearby.

Job done and nap time for me!

PostHeaderIcon Lucky- “A Four Mile Trailride Is NOT A Walk in the Park”


Me – “But Lucky, it was a very short trail ride.”

Lucky – “How often have you walked 4 miles mom? Four miles carrying you is not a short trail ride. Take me home! Feed me!”

Me – “Yes Lucky”. (I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow for riding. Heh. Heh)

Lucky Star – “A four mile trail ride is NOT a short ride! And why those other horses cantered around in the field at the end of the trail ride is just ridiculous. I could see the trailer when you asked me to exhort senseless energy to canter in circles when I was exhausted! Snort! Take me home! Feed me!” “Ride Cisco!”

PostHeaderIcon Just Kidding Mom! I wanna be the Boss!

Next time I rave on and on about how Lucky Star has changed into the horse of yes, just smile and shake your head. Susan never learns.

I played with Cisco first. We are learning driving skills. Yes, I bought light weight long ropes. I attached them to my Parelli Bridle. At the end, Cisco was trotting around me in the pasture. His back legs look good. I took off the bridle and he walked with me back to the barn. I said, “Cisco, I love you the most. You are my favorite horse.”. I might have repeated that three times. I can’t believe that Lucky Star might have heard me.

Lucky became the horse of no again when I started riding. We were riding very near the herd who were all locked in their stalls. We were about 1/4 of a football field away from the other horses at the furthest. We tried zipping in a large dressage 20 meter circle, passing by the stalls.

Oh we had maybe two circles out of all I tried where we maintained a gait faster than a stall. I used all my strategies to stomp out the “no”. Lucky started nickering to his friends. This meant his attention was not focused on me. I increased my domination. We backed, we turned on the hindquarters many different times. Then something different happened. Lucky squealed. He stalled. I noted that my temper had escaped from deep within.

When the horse makes you mad, he wins. You cannot loose your temper when riding. Luckily, I was able to have a discussion with myself. “Get off! Continue this with Lucky on the ground. You have a lot more power over his impulsion on the ground”.

Lucky was astounded. He probably thought he was the top dog. We went to the trailer and took off the saddle. Lucky was chortling. We put the halter on and went to the round pen. Oh what a shame. Lucky had to canter and gallop around the pen. He used his body language a lot to express his displeasure. When that was over, I decided to have him canter in circles around me very close to his friends in the stalls. Shoot, I need a longer rope. I cleverly tied one of the thin driving ropes to my regular rope.

Your horsemanship is determined by the tools you use. I learned why a skinny rope is not a good idea. Lucky was engaged in another war with me. He was stopping when he was behind me. I tagged him good with the string on the end of my stick. He pulled away. O U C H! He got away and I got a rope burn. Oh, the thin rope doesn’t work well! I caught Lucky and we continued our discussion. He thought it was really cool how he escaped me. He tried it three more times. Cleverly, I had taken off that rope burning little rope. I was somewhat handicapped as the regular rope was only twelve feet long, but I managed. Now let me mention that my twenty two foot rope was a short distance away. I should have made the effort to use the suitable rope. This was a lapse of intelligence on my part. Lucky and I managed to end our discussion soon after that. I took off the halter and my 49% partner walked right beside me back to the barn. I truly was shocked. Lucky was telling me that I was the leader. He wanted to be with me.

I staggered into the house and got food in me. I had run out of energy during the monumental battle. I’m anxious to see what happens the next time I ride Lucky Star at home. Will he be the horse of no or the horse of yes!

Stay tuned!

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