Monday, October 27, 2008

Just one of those times...

I don't have anything to write about because I'm busy working on the new web site and all I do in the barn is chores! My stalls are clean, pails are clean and full, paddocks all got mucked yesterday, aisle swept, old mares got baths yesterday and tails conditioned (boy was the Crabby Old Bat so not thrilled with being tied to a tree to dry off...she got me back by rubbing her nice clean neck all over the tree and getting sap on it) and I haven't ridden anything. I was finally going to tonight, and then the barn owner decided to replace the light bulbs in the indoor arena (for which I AM grateful, as it needed to be done).

So, uh, yeah. So much for the training blog 'cause all I'm doing is barn work and grooming! I hope the rest of you have more exciting things to report - fill me in. On the plus side, Lucy is really starting to like people now...she followed me all around yesterday while I was picking up poop and was nosy and everything. I love watching her start to seek out attention and seek out human contact. She was so "shut down" this summer. I haven't gotten her to make a face for wither scratches yet, but I will. In the meantime, the Crabby Old Bat is enjoying them...

I spend a lot of time scratching my horses, and would actually really love to learn equine massage. My best friend does it professionally and I love watching her work on the horses. They all look so darn happy. I figure anything that helps them relax around people and enjoy human company, particularly if they're rescues or horses with questionable past experiences. I was told that the COB was originally trained by a girl who implemented a training device known as a barbed wire necklace. I thought that had to be an exaggeration, but a little investigation and I learned that this training trick actually exists - you use a piece of barbed wire, one would assume wrapped on the ends so that you can hold it, around the horse's lower neck/chest, to force them to rock back on their hocks. The mare is so psycho about having her chest area touched that this story makes perfect sense. Blanketing her takes two people because she will chomp you when you go to fasten the neck. Now I know why. Yes, the more I hear about some people's training methods, the more I understand why there are so many crabby old horses out there who have just had enough, thank you very much.


verylargecolt said...

Editorial comment: It really bothers me that Google ads feels the need to put an ad entitled "Luv Ur Horse But Scared" on my site. Do they not understand how I feel about textspeak? Arrrrggggghhhh...

Latigo Liz said...

You gotta wonder what morons come up with torture devices like that, huh? I mean really! Horses will move away from the pressure of a spiderweb! Honest! I have had it happen!

horsesandturbos said...

Jackie here...I think I managed to get my ID changed (someone else was using "my" there is only "one" Jackie LOL!)

My mare *loves* getting scratched...shedding season, I have to go all over her. Cooper the mini also loves his mane being done. Toby has not had hands on for that in...well, who knows, and I just introduced him to the pleasure of chest/neck scratching...the look on his face went from "what are you doing???" to "oh, WoW! That feels great!"

I too want to learn equine massage ;)

Char said...

Hey, sign me up for massage school, too!

My guy LOVES scrtiches EVERYWHERE. Withers, butt, sides, back, but his favorite spots are his neck and belly.

He thinks that the little hard black rubber curry was created by God because he loves horses and wants them to be happy...coincidentally, that is exactly why I have arms with fingernails on the ends, too. LOL!

SOSHorses said...

Latigo Liz said...You gotta wonder what morons come up with torture devices like that, huh? I mean really! Horses will move away from the pressure of a spiderweb! Honest! I have had it happen!

Well, you know the same morons that come up with that stuff can take good training tools and turn them into evil, horse eating, mind blowing torture devices too.

for example I have a "Noval" in my barn and it is a fantastic tool, but taken even just a little to far does MUCH more harm than good.
So needless to say I won't let anyone use it but me.

SOSHorses said...

Oh and Sammy my rescue mare. LOL, I thought she was going to fall over when I had a EMT come see her.

You can see photos on my post Jello

mugwump said...

Isn't the Luv Ur Horse ad a Parelli ad? One of my ex-students was laughing mightily at me, because I guess I'm promoting him. Sigh.
I am with you there Fugs. I'm not quite sure how my life turned into one where I don't ride.
I'm proud that the COB had enough sense of self to learn to bite.

myhorsefaith said...

Someone donated a box of old horse stuff for us to sift through. 99% of it was junk, save for a few boot covers. But the most shocking and appalling thing we pulled out: these discs that look like spiked bit guards. *shock*

I really hope they are not spiked bit guards...but they sure do look the part. I saved them & threw them in my trunk just to show people.

Deer Run Stables said...

The massage-inclined might enjoy picking up Jack Meagher's classic how-to book "Beating Muscle Injuries in Horses", available on Amazon at

It gives the basics you need to know to get started with therapeutic sports massage.

fernvalley01 said...

I was just thinking this morning that any time spent with horses, whether or not you are riding is time well spent. And the COB must agree getting all that love time. If you are pressed for time it is probably best not to try to school, the only thing that happens fast in those situations is the inevitable wreck

fernvalley01 said...

Why a "barb wire Necklace "??
What possible benifit could that produce??
I guess when their blood volume is low enough they will stop?

Morgan said...

myhorsefaith said...
Someone donated a box of old horse stuff for us to sift through. 99% of it was junk, save for a few boot covers. But the most shocking and appalling thing we pulled out: these discs that look like spiked bit guards. *shock*

I really hope they are not spiked bit guards...but they sure do look the part. I saved them & threw them in my trunk just to show people.

IIRC i've seen those used on racehorses who lugg out or lugg in... they do exactly what your mind is telling you they do - add extra "umph" when a horse swings out to one side ALL THE TIME and when you pull on the other rein to bring them back to where they should be, it embedds itself into the side of the face and "aids" in the horses movement.. supposidly. All I saw it do was make the filly who I saw wearing it more headshy than she already was and she STILL lugged out ALL THE FREAKIN TIME!

so long story short, i think those things are evil evil evil and should be banned, but what are ya going to do? people don't take the time to properly train racers and 90% of the time resort to gadgets.

MsFoxy said...

Well, I'm doing a whole bunch of nothing. Blanket, feed, scoop poop, refill water, repeat.......

Planning on building a roof for an arbor in the back so I can use it as a round bale feeder.....gotta figure that one out this weekend, I guess. With only one horse, even if I buy the smaller round bales, it'll still take a month or more to get through one. It will be on a raised platform with a rail to keep her out of it.....but now it needs a roof to keep (most of the) rain off...

The smaller squares are harder to find (at least quality ones) and the ones I found are expensive and light....with the cold weather and lack of grass, she is going through a half bale a day. So $50-75/month in round bale hay....or $150/month in square bales.

I never realized horse ownership involved so much carpentry! Can I ship her back?

autumnblaze said...

That's about all I've done lately too...thanks to a badly twisted ankle that I retwisted 2 more times since I wouldn't slow down. :/ Better now and I'll ride tonight or tomorrow.

Nothing wrong with lots of scritches! I can almost put Gator on the floor (literally!) if I scratch his very fav spots, which unfortunately are on his butt just above his gaskin. I've had him on his tippy toes of his shoes in the back - I have to stop before he falls. He makes great parrot faces of sheer pleasure too.

I do have a new project I'll start on this week. An open Arab broodie - extensive western training & show experience previously but no one has ridden or worked her in years. I'll start this week with loungeing. The biggest obstacle is I've only ever really ridden english and she's western trained so directional cues will likely be the toughest. Any suggestions? I'm nervous and excited to get started. This is her with her 2008 colt.:

longrides said...

Barb wire?! Training?!?!? Oh, my God the poor horse. I'm sure you'll bring her around tho.
With the shorter daylight hours and 10 hr. shifts w/ 1 hr. drive time each way. Feeding and a pet or two has been all mine are getting.
I try to make up for it on my days off.
Sometimes I think just going out with the brush and a few treats into the corrals is all it takes to keep them happy. Everyone wants their turn with the brush.
Hey, It's my Friday!
Kids! Here comes the brushlady!

autumnblaze said...

By the way, I always hesitate to put their farm website because I don't want them flamed. Granted, they're a very responsible breeding operation and their website is reflective of that. However, some people don't think ANYONE should be breeding right now. It's nice stock to say the least. No flaming, please!!!!

green_knight said...

I'll second the reccommendation on Meagher - good stuff, *very* useful. My entry was through the first Linda Tellington-Jones book, before she went completely weird - it's not massage as such, but it's a useful tool, and you can do a little bit each day while you're grooming. (Ever wonder why people in the olden days used to have such strict rituals for grooming? you pick up every bit of tension and you know what your horse will be like to ride that day, that's why.

la mexicana said...

Suerte (aka Petersburg Knight) injured his back and I have not been able to ride him either. You can see pics on his blog at
The blog isn't as good as this one, and there are issues with the comments, but it gives me something to do with all my useless photos.

His back is healing and should be fine in another week or two. Meanwhile, I have been riding other people's horses and doing ground work with Suerte. I actually ponied him the other day. Unfortunately, my Pony was a complete freak and it made the experience quite a challenge.

I've also been researching high-low syndrome. Suerte has this in his front feet. My trimmer doesn't see it as an issue, but it is affecting his gait, muscle development, and may contribute to the fact that is his lame about 2 days a week.

I'll post more in my blog when I get a chance. The weather here is beautiful...perfect for taking more pictures.

Anonymous said...

We are moving. Be it people and horse or just horse, we haven't decided yet. Our rental changed management, which means they can change the pet addendum according to Oregon law. This may mean we all move.

Otherwise, I found a nice barn with nice people and a nice trainer here locally. The trainer also does equine chiropractic and they have a farrier who lives on site. I'm happy with them and plan to move Casey mid-November.

However, if we all end up moving, I found a 2 acre farm here locally and we're looking at places closer to Portland. We won't know for sure what we're doing or what is happening until we see the new paperwork tomorrow. (sigh)

cdncowgirl said...

Re torturous "training" devices.

One of the best pieces of advice that I've received was from an old school horseman, M. He used to cowboy but after breaking his back (at work, fell off a loading dock) he was now driving teams.
The advice was that when something wasn't working, take a step back and evaluate the situation. IF you are going to change tack/tools don't always assume something "stronger" is needed, sometimes you need to go gentler.
His own story was a Percheron gelding he'd gotten dirt cheap. A fantastic looking horse but according to "everyone" the horse was nuts and couldn't be driven.
He had a history of being a runaway and previous owners had bitted him up so severly that by the time M. got him they were trying to drive him in a bit wrapped with barb wire.
I say trying because apparently he was still a runaway. Nothing stopped him until he wanted to stop, he'd even run through fences.
M. brought him home and let him settle in. When he did drive him he used a plain old thick snaffle on him.
Guess what? Pyscho horse drove like a dream. :)

equus said...

autumnblaze, that mare is beautiful! love the arabs.

re torture devices: it was also a common way to train horses to neckrein in the past, by using barbed wire as reins. of course, when i say 'common' i mean by lowlifes who couldn't train their way out of a paper bag.

our poor horses, what they go through, and most of them still don't try to kill people.

Michelle said...

I have to agree with FernValley. Any horse time, even shoveling poop, is great horse time, and you can even sneak in a little bit of ground/respect work while doing it. Yield HQ or FH, drop head, yield ribcage, step back, step forward, place each foot where you want it, wait politely for me to hang the bucket, etc.

That's all I've been doing for the past month. I've spent every spare moment painting the barn (just added on, and I am NOT climbing scaffolding to paint, so had to paint the boards on the ground so husband can put them up - he's allergic to paint, it makes him nasty).

Now I'm finished painting, and its raining, and raining, and cold and raining. No indoor for me, I'm lucky to have a roundpen.

Then the holiday crazyness will come, then it will be too cold to do anything but throw hay and run in the house, then spring mud season ....... blah.

Love givin' them scritchies -- my mare LOVES it and gets all weak in the knees. The only one I haven't been able to get a response out of is thep ony. The best I can get from her is for her to not walk away.

rockymouse said...

Old Man Gelding, the one who was used hardhardhard in very rough Chihuahuan Desert country, came to me not even knowing that people could do something as nice as dole out scratches.
After three years with us, he does love a good brushing and will stand attentively for scratching, but I've never ever been able to find a place that will feel so good to him that he makes faces.
We do it anyhow!

mugwump said...

autumnblaze-I'm not an Arab person andI like small horses. But I love that 16 hh chestnut gelding on the site from the farm you ride at. I would love to play with a horse like him. Endurance anyone?

robyn said...

That barbed wire thing is really sick.

My Icey friend and I took our ponies up to the mountains for one last hurrah trail ride before winter sets in and there's too much snow to even get up there. We pulled into the parking lot at the trail head to see...NOBODY else there. Just us. Wow--that's a new one! It was a perfect day, perfect weather, blue skies, warm but not hot, a bit of snow here and there, great trail conditions, great company, and the ponies really wanted to move out. We had a spectacular ride--that is, until my boy stubbed his boot on a rock and broke the gaiter, so we turned around. But we were almost ready to turn around anyway. And no matter, his being barefoot--he was still as cheerful and surefooted as ever. I've been doing some stretching and lateral work w/ him and it has shown in his tolt, evening the gait out a lot.

What a great day! =D

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>re torture devices: it was also a common way to train horses to neckrein in the past, by using barbed wire as reins. of course, when i say 'common' i mean by lowlifes who couldn't train their way out of a paper bag.

I have heard they still do it to polo ponies in Argentina. I heard that is one reason why they are so psychotically spooky if they come from there. I haven't noticed Argentine horses in RECENT years having the psychotic spookiness I remember from the 80s though, so perhaps the practice has finally fallen out of fashion.

autumnblaze said...

Mugs - He's the sweetest horse in the WORRRLD I'd buy him in a second if I had the money - she'd make me a deal too! I'd like to do endurance if I coudl afford the truck, trailer and necessary horse. :) My non-horse hubby even loves him.

He's a horse that the wrong trainer would ruin. VERY sensitive. AND HUGE for an Arab. So he needs at least an extra year to grow and find his balance on his own. I think they make keep him - he's the only chance her 6'5" hubby has at riding a pure bred Arab! :)

She has a lot of nice horses and raises them right. I'm good with babies - so she keeps me around also riding the old show horse :) I lucked out since I have no money to pour into a horse now.