Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to the VLC!

Yes, today the VLC turned three years old. He was a very cute baby - I wish I had more pictures but I do have this one of him hiding behind his mom.

In honor of his birthday, I decided we were going to do ride #5. He was not sure how that was a birthday present, but I promised him lots of cookies afterward - if he was good. I told you guys he was a snot about his girth yesterday. Well, today I warily passed my hand under his stomach to get his cinch, watching for hooves all the time and he decided to do something new. He defiantly threw his head - and whacked it right into the post he was tied to.

Um, not so smart, big boy. He was VERY surprised. Apparently it does not feel so good when you whack your head into a wood post about ten inches in diameter. He was so surprised that he stood without incident for the rest of the saddling. I love it when they train themselves!

That was the only bad thing he did all night. He was absolutely perfect under saddle. We worked on doing nice round circles, and we trotted all the way around the arena once! He gave the goat that was tied outside to graze a look and a sidestep, but that was all. Not one whinny at the mustangs outside. Not one moment of misbehavior. Oh, and we worked on halting and he was so much better than yesterday. He totally seems to get it now that the second you stop and stand, I drop the reins and pet you.

Have I mentioned how much I love this horse today? He is a lifer. I would not sell him for a million zillion dollars. :-)

Oh and before I rode him, I went out and rode one of Save A Forgotten Equine's OTTB rescue mares, Little Miss. This mare is a doll! She was an animal control seizure but now is normal weight (actually she is overweight, LOL). If anybody would be interested in a small (15.1) bay TB mare with a very good brain, let me know. She is sound (hooves still being rehabbed, but legs clean and feels totally sound u/s), light sided but not stupid, has a wonderful "ho" on her, and needs someone to love her forever. She is a thin skinned princess who is bothered by the bugs, so she needs someone who will baby her a bit with a fly sheet. She is in the Seattle area and SAFE only does Seattle to Portland area adoptions so that someone can check on them and ensure they are truly safe forever. I had her pic on the other blog already but I'll post another cute one here today.

Hope everybody has a great weekend full of wonderfully uneventful rides!


icepony said...

Oh my word, I think I'm first for once! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VLC!

Now if it would only stop snowing here...!

4Horses&Holding said...

Hahaha, you can't even tell he's a horse in that baby picture. He has no head!

Happy Birthday, VLC!!!!


My mare used to try very hard to bite the person girthing her up (or mounting). She was bad enough that I would saddle her with a riding crop clutched firmly in my left hand. One time she tried to bite, I flicked my wrist so the crop waved, she snatched her head back and, much like VLC, whacked her head on the post. She cut her mouth a little bit, but NEVER turned around to try to bite again. (It still wasn't a very good idea to stand right in front of her if she was being girthed or mounted, but it was safe to stand next to her.)

ellen said...

VLC's Mama is a looker -- poster child for a breeding quality mare. Love the big motor, the low knees and hocks, and the balance on her. No wonder VLC is such a handsome boy.

Happy Birthday to the VLC -- my little TB-type "spotless" Ap PMU filly has her first birthday Monday.

ellen said...

I can also vouch for the value of inanimate objects as "trainers" -- I had an Ap gelding who, despite being fine when I handled his feet, was obnoxious for the farrier. He managed to knock all the tools down a hill one day, and was just a PIA to shoe.

One day, in mid-fit, he leapt forward straight into a post. He whacked his head hard enough to give himself a nosebleed, which was worrisome, but from that moment forward, was the best behaved horse on the farm for the farrier.

Just as a clue to this horse's personality -- when I put an electric "get back' wire on the barn lot fence, one horse got zapped once and was convinced, another saw the first one get zapped and wouldn't get near it, but he very systematically went all the way around the barn lot "testing" every single section of fence, looking for a loophole....

4Horses&Holding said...

ellen said "but he very systematically went all the way around the barn lot "testing" every single section of fence, looking for a loophole....

Too funny. It's a good thing you didn't have any 'dead zones'!

On our place, I'd been bringing the pony out at feeding time - tying him to a tree, feeding the boys & the mare, and then feeding the pony in the yard and turning him out afterwards.

But, I figured out that (since he doesn't really realize that the boys are eating in the top pasture) I can tie him in the lower section (around a corner and behind trees) - feed the boys and then bring down his & the mares (she's in a separate field) feed. The only problem was he would try to reach under the fence to get her feed. The first time he tried this, I'd had the fence unplugged, for ease of feeding, and so he did not get shocked. :(

Now I know to leave the fence plugged in. ;) It upsets the mare something terrible to have this boy try to steal her dinner.... but not enough so that she doesn't push her feed pan right up to the fence as she's eating. The only problem now has been that I've gotten shocked twice - yesterday on my butt, when I was leaning over cleaning out the mares water trough.

Shana said...

Happy Birthday VLC!

I'm glad you had a good birthday ride.

I rode yesterday. I was really not looking forward to it. It was just before feeding time, there were horses going out riding in the fields beyond the arena and Jade always gets freaked out by anything moving out there. But I decided I HAD to get up so I did. Eventually she was getting jumpy enough I decided to get off, but we got a good 15 minutes in, including some better than normal trotting, so I was somewhat pleased.

EquineSpirit said...

Happy Birthday VLC!!

Sounds like ya had a great ride! :) Glad he's doing well for you! Good boy VLC!!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...
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fuglyhorseoftheday said...
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fuglyhorseoftheday said...

(Boy, I can't get the link right today...)

>>ellen said "but he very systematically went all the way around the barn lot "testing" every single section of fence, looking for a loophole....<<

Ellen, that is an appy for you!

And thanks for the nice comments about Sindy - I like her too! I know I've mentioned before, but she is looking for a new home so if anybody reading this is interested let me know at and I'll put you in touch. She is a sweet mare, sound in all ways, a full sister to an AQHA Versatility Horse of the Year, and in foal with a full sibling to the VLC. I really want to see this mare go to an excellent home.


Just wanted to say that my instructor - who is very good with horses, excellent rider, no parelli crap - started her BEAUTIFUL, great conformation [thoroughbred-sport horse cross] filly about a year ago. "Farrah" is a tall, dark bay and looks great to ride. My instructor rides her wtc and is doing jumps around 2'. She has already taken Farrah to two shows, both of which she did very well in.
Sorry, kind of random. Just wanted to say that.

icepony said...

LOL, I'm a big fan of those accidental "self training" moments too!

I was physically involved in one (my own stupidity, thank you) that turned out beautifully. Just started backing my pony mare, was standing on mounting block in arena with mare in halter, leaning on her back. Mare stepped forward and away, just one step, but mounting block tipped over backwards and I wound up flat as spilt milk on the arena floor with the wind knocked out of me. Mare never even hit the end of the lead rope, and came to stand over me, clearly concerned that she had KILLED me, as I wasn't moving. From that day forward, she stood like a rock for mounting: 'cuz if you don't, your person lays down on the floor and acts DEAD, doncha know!

ROFL...not one of my brighter moments (and I'll admit to no helmet, too), but in the end was a wonderful result.

DietingAnyway! said...

Happy birthday VLC!

Sagebrusheq said...

re: yesterday's last posts on dropping the stirrups dismount. Always a good practice, to which I don't always adhere, but invariably do with shades of green.
I think that 'inadvertent training' successes probably led to some of the rougher techniques in practice when someone noticed how well a strong impression works. Here's to luck, cheers.

Day 6 had a good session yesterday. more of same but longeing with the saddle on now. Still haven't trimmed his feet but holding him in the shoeing position up front and stretching out his backs. Today for sure. Toyed with the idea of grabbing my Tipperary and climbing on today but have come down on the side of thoroughness (and discretion). Headed out there now which will give enough time for a good long pony down the trail after schooling.


rockymouse said...

I got Green Mare to canter a few strides in the pasture. That's big news here.
She's a rescue and was re-started at the age of 11 last year. I haven't been able to be consistent with her, riding and time wise, until recently, and I consider her still green.
She's so prissy and sensitive that she thinks having the *saddle pad* laid on her is an irritation. We've gotten to the point where her cinchyness is much less a Big Deal, and she consistently stands still while mounting. We're working on improving her steering and establishing that she can bend in a nice arc on a circle, rather than doing a trapezoidy circle.
Since we've been doing these most basic of things, I've held it to walk-trot stuff. Lots of transitions. Also, she's coming back from pasture condition, so I thinking loping/balancing with me is a challenge for her.
Three days ago, I asked her for a canter, and though it was most unpretty and brief, I got one. I immediately hopped down and gave her a carrot. The next two tries were easier to get the canter, but still ugly. Kept it to just a few strides. Yesterday, a similar story.
It's a small success, but success nonetheless. She's so light sided that she occasionally mis-reads a leg cue for direction as a cue for more speed. We'll get it worked out. She's also growing mentally calmer when we ride, and that's a good thing.

Horsegal984 said...


So I actually thought I was having a good ride, PITA(Jax) was trotting nicely with no bucking fussing and I'm like woo hoo!! Too soon, we still had to do the canter thing. Did you know dropping your leg back for a lead cue really means buck then canter? We've done it U/S with no issue, so I know he knows what it means. He was not happey once he figured out I was actually still on him! Oh well, he gave up and we got a very nice canter both directions. So I decided to reward him by trotting two small, but new to him jumps. He did great over the first one, approached the second at an angle and still no look no hesitation just popped right over. So we ended on that good note. I'm really starting to think the heat here(NC) is making him cranky right now. Can't really blame him, I'm not enjoying it much either.

Solitaire said...

Heehee...VLC and I share a birthday. Happy birthday, big guy!

Sagebrusheq said...

Things didn't go as planned in earlier post today. Pony mare (Molly) took it ill to be called into work at an unaccustomed hour. I think she's hanging out with a bad crowd and they're having a bad influence on her. Actually she was the instigator, everyone else trotted right up to me and she said come on gang let's blow this joint. And they were gone like Brando. (It's a hard thing for a parent to accept: that their child is the bad one) I said to heck with it we all have our days. Watched the Derby instead. Finally got down to the corral with Merlin and her, at her convenience. More of same, saddled right off and put some weight on him. Let him drag a lead rope around the corral and graze with Molly for awhile after the lesson. It was: "spook or graze? hmm.." graze won. Drank a beer and watched him figure it out, and called it good. No time to pony out on the trail. Didn't trim his feet. Tomorrow for sure.


ellen said...

Worked with midlife career change broodmare today -- first order of business is to restore ground manners and attention span.

I found a saddle that fits her Morgan self, always a challenge, but she needs more work in the caveson before bitting her.

We worked on bending, on work on a relatively short longe line to gain control of her feet, and on getting neck unstuck from shoulders and lengthening the stride behind. All successful.

She's a pretty thing and I'm looking forward to riding her.

Sagebrusheq said...

>>she's a pretty thing<<

a fairly consistent trait of the breed, despite a slew of small time breeders.

which_chick said...

Sagebrusheq: I'm glad I'm not the only person who lets young (or new-to-clue) stock drag a lead rope around some while grazing.

You have no idea how many people have told me that a horse will kill itself in panic if it steps on the lead rope.


Thing is, a horse that is let to step on the lead rope *once* blows up big. A horse that is let to step on the lead rope fifty times or so, that horse doesn't blow up. He just moves the offending foot so that the lead rope is not being stepped on anymore.