Archive for the ‘CISCO’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Just Another Trail Ride by Hope Robinson


Our ride began on a lovely tree lined, shady trail until we encountered LIMBS DOWN. Ugh. No way to get through. We guffawed at the thought of getting OFF our horses to lead them through the branches. Get OFF? Then, remount FROM THE GROUND? Seriously? Nope.

Susan and I are loath to back track, but that was our only option. At the fork in the trail, we turned north. Low ground that had turned to ribbons of algae slop caused Cisco to LEAP across to save himself and Susan with him. It was SPECTACULAR! Cisco put much more effort into his launch than he or Susan needed. They lived.

Then, we followed a mowed trail into a sunflower field. Sunflowers weeks beyond their prime. We watched as herds of deer, hiding in the tall flowers, leapt to their feet to flee the field as we rode deep into their resting area. We retreated the way we had come.

“Run little possum!” Nope, he stared us down from the side of the trail. Did not budge. It could have been all over if he’d chosen to chase us!

Susan and I continued riding towards the road. Trees lining both sides of our trail, opening onto the road ahead. ZOOM! No sound. ZOOM! For a blink we see a bicycle/rider cross from left to right at sonic bicycle speed several strides ahead. Both horses saw the bicycle missile, thought to save themselves, and us with them! Good Susan Engle trained horses, reacted big, but mostly in place. After we assessed ourselves, we asked, “Are you OK?” Then, laughed. WE LIVED!

PostHeaderIcon Stifle Horse Problem Injury for Beginner Human Understanding

I was a beginning human in “stifle” when Cisco became lame on his right back leg this past February. Lame means limping in this instance. I had confusion about where the stifle is located in the horse. It was explained to me it was the horse’s knee. I’ve always been confused about the horse’s knee and the hock. I thought they must be the same, but from millions of conversations, I had my doubts. I always just pretended to know the different parts of the horse’s hind leg. Being in horses 20 plus years would make one assume that they understood horses’ joints. I was just too embarrassed to ask anyone about my knee and hock confusion. Normally I don’t mind showing my uneducation, but not on this subject! It sounded so easy. Oh was I dead wrong!

Here are parts of the horse-labeled

Here is a good article to start with except it doesn’t have a picture of a real horse. This article is just slightly frightening!

Here is the best article so far that I have read by immensely respected Nancy S. Loving. And it is frightening….

Here is an article with pictures and beginner understandable language. This article is followed by many many links to other informative stifle articles. Also this article has pictures which really help our beginner understanding.

Here is a detailed written explanation of how vet medicine is coming along with stifle lameness.

Here is the web site of a human and horse physical therapist who specializes in rehabilitation of the horse stifle. I bought her DVD and now understand more of what is going on. Also there is a great discussion amount different people who have tried most of the treatments that are done with the stifle. These treatments are what your vet will recommend for your horse. Horse and Hound Physical Therapy

The stifle lameness took me highs and lows from February to August. Lameness and seemingly recovery and then lameness again. Plus I was sick during this time. I was found to have an internal blood leaking problem which I self-diagnosed as a vitamin defiancy until I thought my heart would explode and went to emergency room! It has been a rough first half. There were tears about Cisco. Stifle! I hate that word and all the anguish.

Thank you good friend Mindy who guided me to The Horse and Hound DVD and now finding and reading these articles above. Thank you Tony Vaught for continue to improve Cisco’s body and leg balance with his shoes. Tony is a Healthy Stride Farrier and works with Linda Parelli’s horses when they are located in Florida.
I think we need to keep Cisco’s shoes on this coming winter!

I am still confused, but Cisco is now 85% sound in my opinion. I might be an intermediate beginning stifle learning human now.
Note: I was riding Cisco and put my feet out of the stirrups and pretended to ride bareback. Immediately, my toes went up and heels down. Then I felt it! I felt the wobble at the right leg stifle. Aha! Now I can feel it when my feet are in the stirrups. Try it.

PostHeaderIcon What a Great Evening with Cisco and Lucky!

The weather changed to “have fun with horses” instead of “try not to die”.

I arrived at the barn determined to do everything.  Firstly, I decided it was Cisco who was to be the first ride.  I piled my backpack, 22′ rope and halter, and bridle around the saddle horn.  I decided to put on his driving bridle and drive him up to the arena – a half a football field away.  Lucky is in the pasture.  Cisco is a right brain extrovert.  He worries and gets anxious.  He has been really happy to be stabled with Lucky and gets upset when he separates from Lucky.  So, I’m trying to drive him away from Lucky.  Our driving is in the beginning stage.  He has not learned the value of a straight line, especially when he is traveling AWAY from Lucky.  So we had quite a time leaving the barn.  He kept trying to turn back and I kept turning him towards the arena.  Finally, he was convinced to go forward in a weave pattern and away we went.  That took a while.

When we got to the arena, I took off the driving bridle and his halter.  He was anxious.  I knew a liberty game would turn into something exciting and it did.  He ran about a 45 foot circle around me at a canter.  He was still anxious about Lucky not being with him.  I just enjoyed it.  Cisco was warming himself up.  He looks stunning. He is using his hind end. There is no trace of him dragging his toes which is part of the lameness issue. I examined his canter.  He is short-strided, but looks solid.  I asked him to change directions and he spun and kicked.  Whooowee.  I did worry about his stifle tendon, but he still was solid on his canter.  He came into me a couple of times and went back out anxious at a canter.  Finally, he walked a circle around me.  Success!  Then I left him.  He became anxious again.  I asked him if he was going to jump the arena fence and he screamed at me, “No way I’m jumping!  Just hurry and bring Lucky up here!”

I had Lucky working on his cantering at liberty in the round pen.  We worked on my draw too, which is coming to me when I lean over a bit and look at his hindquarters.  I was ignored for a while, but after cantering a good deal, he suddenly understood the signal to come to me.  I looked at the sun.  Good Golly, I didn’t have a whole lot of sun left!  I only had time to ride Cisco!

Oh what a great time i had.  Better and better he gets.  The driving helps his “rooting and chewing the bit”. Soon we had a quiet mouth. We worked on flexing the head while going straight. We were working on transitions and gaiting around the short ends of the arena.

We were at the potentially scary end of the arena when we saw something moving far away. It was a human. Cisco immediately went on head straight up alert. I tried moving us backwards and forwards and doing some sidepassing. The human kept moving. We went to the other side of the arena where he leaped up about 2″ and came down bracing his front legs. What the Heck? We weren’t even facing the scary human thing. Turns out, Cisco is leary of a strange shape in the sand. It is the shape of the bottom of a barrel. What! “You are afraid of a barrel impression in the sand”? Cisco replies, “I’m nervous about that human thing and anything strange just sets me off! I think an alien ship landed here and the aliens want to eat a horse!” I replied, “Oh Good Lordy”, as I had him walk over the alien space ship impression. He erased it and his worry went away.

We turned back to see if the scary human had disappeared yet, but it appeared the human was headed our way. A little doggie was on a leash. Awwww. The human came close enough that she could hear me yelling “Hi”! She said “Hi” back. I explained that my horse was afraid of her. She said her doggie was afraid of us. She held up a beagle puppy. Oh how cute. I yelled at the puppy in puppy language while I was rubbing Cisco’s neck. Cisco was still on alert, but the bolting tension had gone away. Human beagle owner and I chatted a while and she left. Soon she had disappeared and Cisco was back to calm

I thought I might try for a canter. On the second ask for a canter, it happened. I asked and he cantered. We cantered a very short distance to the short scary end of the arena and broke gait. I praised and praised him. The sun was ready to set and it was time to head back to the barn. Lucky was on the scary far side of the arena. I decided to get the stick and string to help Cisco drive Lucky to the barn side of the arena. Dang! It worked great! I had the string swirling thru the air with a calm Cisco and we got to drive the dominate horse. Cisco herded Lucky! What a night!

PostHeaderIcon The Bird Horse

Where would we be without another Lucky Star story. It has been too hot to ride or too hot to ride two horses, so Lucky has been coasting. What does that mean multiple choice test:
A. Lucky becomes more willing since he’s had a vacation
B. Lucky didn’t want to move. Remember, he wants to be a statue.
C. I wanted him to circle around me at a walk and instead he took off and did his imitation bucking routine.
D. He gave me a squeal and his middle finger.

There for a while tonight Lucky Star could been bought for a dollar!

The answer is surprising. It was C and D.

I had to take the saddle off as it was moving forward to resting on his neck. It was then that he could have been purchased for a dollar. It was still hot out there. The saddle is heavy and I was looking forward to riding Cisco after Lucky. Daylight was on a timer.

Cisco was in the round pen with Lucky. He managed to stay in the middle with me during much of the ensuing Lucky Star explosion. When Cisco got upset and went out running on the rail, I made Lucky change direction and ignored Cisco. When Lucky changed direction, he exploded up and gave me some mighty back end kicks. Those back end kicks are just like an upset human giving you the bird. That is what we used to call the middle finger gesture!

Lucky Star lost his Horse of No title tonight. He has become The Bird Horse. Lord help me. Lucky and I did have a fairly nice ride after his temper tantrum explosion.

I did get to ride Cisco and it was wonderful.

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 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 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 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!

PostHeaderIcon Round Bale Spring Scratching Post

The round bale had been consumed leaving only a cushion of hay on the ground. The horses deserted the round bale to the green grass. It appears that the green grass has been eaten down to the dirt.
Lucky Star has been telling me that he is starving. I retort and tell him both of us need to lose our roundness. He snorts on me and is actively looking for a smart phone that is nicker activated.
Lucky Star hates Siri. She never responds to his nicker activating attempts to contact the Too-much-Horse-Exercise Hot line.
Today I put out a brand new round bale to stop the horse starvation. All the horses ignored the round bale. They all went into their stalls and waited for the horse feed.
I kept telling them that the hay was their special treat today. After they gave up waiting for their horse feed, I saw Cisco use the round bale as a scratching post. Delta laid down and used it as a scratching post.
The starving horses have been eating the starvation dirt grass all the rest of the day.

Did Lucky Star lie to me about starving!

I go now to feed them their sweet horse feed.

Ignored Round Bale

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