Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The turtle and the hare!

Right now I have both of them to ride!

The turtle is Casper. Casper is a three year old APHA filly that was rescued and donated to Cowgirl Spirit. From pretty much day one, her attitude about riding has been "okay, whatever, and can I have a cookie now?" Juliane rode her bareback the first ride. I believe she trail rode her on ride #2. I got her after that and the only real challenge we've had is that she doesn't see any reason why she should have to go faster than a walk. Just like Bessie, she is pretty much bomb proof quiet at the walk but now has to learn the other gaits. She is so smooth once you get her going that it's just a pleasure to ride - one of those trots you can sit even if it's fast - and "level" is her natural head set. Casper's only about 14.3 so normally I would think that's a little tougher size to place, but in her case she's a born youth horse. It really isn't going to take much to get her ready to progress with a kid (or petite adult) who has a trainer, so I don't expect to be writing about her for long. If you think you might be interested, let me know! (Please put CASPER in the subject line). She does have papers, in order and ready to transfer, so she's eligible for APHA competitions and programs.
This was ride #4. As you can see, she is not actually awake...

Then there's the hare. The hare is a pony named Drama. My friends rescued her from a scary chicken barn thanks to a Craigslist ad, and they made a great call, because this pony is a "10" mover and I mean a "10" mover. I mean, a holy-crap-this-pony-could-go-to-the-A-shows mover.

The Drama pony, so named because at first everything they did with her involved a lot of Drama, is the opposite of Casper. She is fast, and fussy and will shake her head violently when you ride her unless you braid her bushy forelock. (Ponies!) She was broke out the typical way around these parts, complete with western saddle and shank bit and oversized rider, so I have had to convince the pony that I will not (a) hurt her mouth (b) flop on her kidneys or (c) annoy her in any way and it is ok to (a) slow down and (b) relax. But she is getting it and as I have mentioned before, I love ponies. This one is a medium, 13.1, a POA/Welsh mix. The girls who rescued her got her ground manners solid and did a lot of ground work, and have now passed her along to me for riding. She's five, so a perfect age to begin serious work.

We hope to get her to the A shows eventually (of course with someone else up - I'm too old for ponies even if I'm still reasonably size appropriate for them). But you know, first we have to get the head flipping and, well, drama to stop so you'll be hearing about her for a while! (And yes, she is scheduled for a power float - but she flips in a halter too so it's not just about teeth).

So those are my two new projects. Of course I've still got the VLC, who is the turtle when it's warm out and the hare when it's chilly, LOL! He is very much tuned in to the weather. If it's 85, I could ride him in a halter through a field full of mares in heat and he wouldn't have the energy to raise an ear. Memo for future: Send him to big AQHA shows in very hot climates and watch the points mount up!


Karen V said...

The head flipping thing...is it a verticle nose flip? or just shake-shake-shake?

Jazzy does this, TERRIBLY! CONSTANTLY! To the point where she can't even walk straight. The difference is she's 16 hands and Music Mount bred. She's a powder keg waiting to go off!

I also have to braid her insanely thick forelock. I've ridden her in a nylon halter, rope halter, snaffle, Myler, hackamore, etc... You name it, she shakes it!

THEN....an epiphany. We learned that

(a) she had a minor liver thing going on, which caused super-sensitivity to certain areas of her skin. Silver Lining Herbs Liver flushed the toxins, followed by Kidney to flush the toxins out of the body. Result - Much improved.

(b) She was out at the poll. She has a major thing about clippers. She will barely tolerate them on her bridle path, legs she's great. Forward of the ears...she'll go verticle, pull, etc. We called in a chiropractor - WOW! Totally different horse!

So...if the drama queen has EVER shown resistance to tying, it's a very good possibility that she is out at the poll.

OutRiding01 said...

Omg, I am in love with the Drama pony! Actually I'm in love with basically any cute pony. Why does USEF have these stupid stupid age rules? I'm switching to eventing!

Moonbrain Mare said...

Oh goodness this is really interesting about the head flipping, because I have a 13.1 pony who head flips ... it also ends up being a violent nudge because he'll cuddle up to you and not stop with the nose jerking up. I had actually come to the conclusion that it was a nervous tic and maybe related to a past injury of some kind - he didn't have the best time before we got him, and he has always been extremely sensitive about anything pressing on the lower part of nose. You can't have a halter on him with a low nose piece because he'll non-stop snort and throw his head around till you take it off or tighten it. But anyway he does it all the time, but always more if he's feeling stressed - if he's trying to cuddle up the other horse and the other horse is pissy with him he'll be there going flip, flip, flip. Or when he's seperated from his buddy I've seen him in the paddock doing it more than normal. Now I'm wondering about other explanations/contributing factors ... I'll be watching closely to hear about the hare, and I'm really interested to read about Jazzy as well :)

Michelle said...

Me want pony! My daughter's in pony club and would love a horse that jumps not a trail horse that steps over everything.

verylargecolt said...

The head flipping is a side to side shake and she does it more when she's fresh, so I don't think it's physical...I think it's a combination of being fresh and having been ridden previously by someone with bad hands in a big bit. The pony seemed very surprised the first time I rode her that when she pulled, I simply gave with my hands. She gets better all the time - now she just needs miles. She is a great pony and I love her!

Miss A said...

Argh, the pony is too cute! She's the exact same size as my pony.

Miss A said...

Addition to my above comment, we also have the busy forelock problem. Check out my avatar pic, haha!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Michelle - what would your daughter think of a darling BLACK (true black) TB mare with four socks and a blaze for Pony Club? She is 15.2.

Lucy, my rescue from earlier this summer, is ready to go. She is riding great. Her only issue is she is still ear shy. She needs a LOT of carrots. She is 100% sound. E-mail me with LUCY in the subject line if you are in the PNW and interested. I really want Lucy to get a kid of her own - she is SO sweet.

BritnieAnn said...

OO, we need vid of the pretty pony mover!! Glad Casper is such a great girl. Good luck with both!

TheHorseGirl said...

Yeah, we have ponies like that- brother and sister, one a speed demond, the other incredibly lazy.


Anonymous said...

Hey! My mare flips her head too! She does it in the pasture or on rides, or pretty much whenever. It really doesn't bother me. If that's the worst thing she does, I'll take it. It's like she's saying "Look at me- I'm beautiful and you should adore me!" She also likes to use me as a head scratching post if I'm anywhere within range. She tends not to flip her head in a martingale though.