Monday, August 31, 2009

Long time no post!

I keep waiting to get GOOD pictures of him, but the ones in the indoor turn out blurry and we don't have an outdoor, so I'm just going to do an update post for now and pictures will come later. I have a lot of updates on all of the horses.

The VLC, who, it is true, is technically the VLS at this point, is doing very, very well. He has no problems with his headset and "gets" collection, but things like sidepassing have come hard for him because he's so big and not exactly catty, LOL. He gets kind of baffled at where his feet are and where they are supposed to be, and then he gets frustrated and would prefer to skip the whole thing, but he is learning! He remains calm, quiet and lovable and is a barn favorite. He'll go to his first schooling show soon, and I'll report back how that goes.

I cannot say enough how glad I am that I was super, super, super picky about trainers and only let him go to a barn where every horse looked happy. As a result, he is fresh, happy and has not developed any sour behaviors - and I am delighted. I have a horse who has learned to be round and learned to move laterally and hasn't learned to wring his tail, pin his ears or throw his head. Hooray!

Then there's the difference in my own riding. I have taken lessons on and off my entire riding career but I saw instruction as a second set of eyes - someone to pick on my equitation. I'd ridden with people who were fabulous riders but couldn't explain things enough to help me at all, and people who were not that great but could at least tune me up enough that I would go win an equitation class. And then of course I just exercised horses for years, didn't show, and didn't try to really progress in my riding - at my age, I figured I was good if I didn't slip any further. Well, I finally got that trainer who explains things well enough that I am actually improving. I'm kind of shocked. I kind of figured a lot of my riding flaws were there to stay, and I was stiff and old and set in my ways. Uh, no. A few lessons with her and I went back out and won an equitation class, something I haven't done in 15 years. Yeah, just a schooling show but still - I was excited! Now I'm starting to feel like I might really be able to ride like I used to. Wow.

So the next step - remember the Small Spotted Pony that offloaded me last year? Well, he is in training now and I'm going to take lessons on him just as soon as possible. May even show him at the end of October if he's ready. I am fired up - I'm going to win this one. The noodle-necked bucking pony will not triumph!

Some more updates - the Cute Spotted Stallion became a Cute Spotted Gelding and is riding great and out on lease to someone who may buy him. His buddy, Chaser, who I was working with this winter, went to training to get further along and got purchased before his 60 days were even up! His registered name is Sure to be Spotted and he will be at the Pinto shows next year.

The Drama pony is jumping and going to lessons and available for anybody in the PNW wanting a talented but quirky medium pony. E-mail Jessica if interested. I rode the Gossip pony in the SAFE show and she and I are taking lessons together with an eye to hitting some POA shows and she is also available for adoption (large pony, great to ride, challenging on the ground - you have to be the alpha). She is available through Pony Up Rescue. Class, the red pony I rode in last year's SAFE show, is still looking for a home - she showed again this year and even took 3rd in Hunter Hack! She is available through Cowgirl Spirit.

Bullwinkle is with Karen V. and the last time I saw him, he was over 15 hands. He is the spitting image of his sire. Karen still has Honey, who is a much loved pasture pet due to her old pelvis issues. Libby, the VLC's other oops baby from before I owned him, is growing up to be a beautiful girl and her mom, Bessie, has been enjoying the good life in one of those amazingly picturesque pastures. Lucy is the companion to a 17 hand dark bay Thoroughbred gelding and seems to be very much enjoying that job and relieved no one is trying to ride her. I still have the Crabby Old Bat, who is fat and happy, and Thai, who finally found her "perfect" herd - two llamas and a weanling. She just can't hack it with anything bigger or tougher. Thai got ridden quite a bit this summer and is quiet, easy and available for adoption. The Big Moving Horse I blogged about is fat, happy, and his owner decided to take some lessons on him and give mastering him another shot, which I'm really happy about as I think he's an awesome horse and they could be a great team with a little help.

The gelding who held his breath, unfortunately, turned out to have Wobblers and was put to sleep this summer. It was the right thing to do. The lack of balance explained his fear about picking up his feet, and he was never going to be comfortable enough to enjoy life.

The Moosealoosa got sold to a teenage girl who loves him and I am sure his fat is turning to muscle as we speak. My Big Gold Yearling, now a 2 year old (I must stop with these age-related names), was almost sold and then tore up a muck bucket with his forelegs and re-injured his radial nerve. So he is going out to sit and eat for the winter and we'll re-evaluate in the spring. He is over 16 hands already and looking to outgrow the VLC. Just hoping he comes sound so he can do something with his life!

So that's MY about yours?


A Bay Horse said...

Goodness. That's a lot of updates. Looking forward to pictures. My short, fat gelding and I have been showing this year - a lot. I'm determined to make a real effort. He's getting calmer the more we go out. I've been blogging about it.

Char said...

Hey, 'bout time! Glad to have you 'back'!

Well, so much has happened around here, I don't even know where to start.

My mom sold her grey mare, Sasha, to a girl who doesn't have the fear issues that Mom does, and can take control and have patience with her occasional stubbornness.

Then, she bought a Kentucky Mountain Horse gelding, SIGHT UN-SEEN and BY HERSELF (no input from me whatsoever, she didn't' even tell me about him until he was on his way home).

Turns out that the sellers doped him, and once the drugs wore off at his new home, he turned into a complete skitzo. Major wires are crossed somewhere in his brain. Scared of people, high flight reflex, and pretty much a total danger to her and himself.

Not sure what we're going to do with him just yet. I just don't have the time, nor inclination to deal with all of the issues that he has.

We have him advertised for sale as needing an experienced handler, but as the inquiries come in and we tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God, they quickly lose interest. He might end up being a pasture pet, or hopefully I can convince my mother to euth. That's how bad he is.

I went with her this past weekend to look at a different horse, and ended up giving her the 'go ahead' to buy him.

He's an 18 year old Racking Horse gelding. Been there, done that, got AWESOME legs and feet, a little long in the back and slightly downhill, but nothing major. He's got a really nice attitude, and I think they're going to get along famously as long as she can get some guns to stick to.

The price was right, $400 - that just goes to show that if you look hard enough and know WHAT you're looking for, the really good beginner horses ARE out there!

On a sadder note, I made the decision to euth my old gelding this coming fall. After struggling to keep him sound for the past year, I've decided that it's time. He has navicular, confirmed by x-rays. His good days are being outnumbered by the bad, and it's time to do right by him. He's been my best friend since I was 15 years old.

So, when I'm ready, I'm going to be keeping an eye out for a new project. I'd like to get one of those mutt grey draft ponies, but I'd like one with a tail. :) So, this fall I'm going to start interviewing breeders in my area, and IF I find one that I like, I'll order a colt from the next foal crop. We'll see how that goes.

What's everybody else doing???

icepony said...

Oh wow, thanks for all the updates! Glad to hear the VLC is coming along soooo nicely!

The SOG (slightly odd gelding) has found his niche as an endurance horse for sure. He had his third race yesterday, and despite taking a fall and scraping up both knees early on, was eager to finish all 50 miles. Since he didn't seem to be hurting at all, we took the option to continue, and he finished 2nd! We would have put him up for Best Condition, but for the "playground knees" he would have been dinged too much, so didn't bother. He gets to rest and be treated like royalty this week (exept for a dentist appointment on Wednesday).

As for myself, one of the original ArenaWeenies, I've been doing field rides and the occasional trail ride - and actually enjoying them! We have progressed to where I can ride the SOG alone out in the field without puking, crying or shaking, and I actually CANTERED him last week - I'm embarrassed to admit I've now owned him 19 months and that's the first time I've cantered on him. It was pure HEAVEN. In 30+ years of riding, I've NEVER ridden smoother gaits than my boy's!

We've gone through fear, genuine hatred, more fear, and a whole lot of agony of all sorts, and I'm so happy to say I'm finally loving my horse. I'm glad I didn't give up on him.

Icing on the cake: Saturday will be my 42nd (gasp) birthday, and Sunday I will attempt to ride him in MY first Limited Distance ride. 25 miles seems like SUCH a long way today, and I'm very apprehensive, but we're gonna try it. Wish me luck?

Union Square said...

Well since you ask, I am sitting on a bucket soaking a mare's hoof in Lysol and listening to distant thunder.

I dodged the bloodletting that was the 2009 TB yearling sale and now have two yearlings to star myself, if things don't get better.

I am using the yearlings and my mentally scarred mare Bon Appeal in a book about progressive horsemanship.

I am thinking of posting it section by section to my blog, at unionsquarestables.blogspot. If I get any interest, I will.. Hint hint.. :)

Deer Run Stables said...

Wow... it sounds like this has been a busy horse summer for everyone. That's certainly been true for me, as well.

Where to start? Two of my four former broodmares have sold to new homes. Capri went to live in Florida (lucky girl), and Cressie went to live in Illinois with a couple who breed and race Standardbreds. She may end up being a part-time sidesaddle horse, which is uber-cool because I am also a sidesaddle enthusiast.

Next on the list for sale is my three year old palomino Andalusian/Arabian gelding Caz, who is just starting work under saddle with my trainer (the rider in the mares' videos).

It's been interesting, tailoring the training and, perhaps even more, the marketing, to the audience for each individual horse. Capri was a reining prospect, but we figured she might end up in a trail riding home. Cressie was never going to burn up the show arena, so she was always going to a trail/pleasure home, hence video of bouncing a big ball off of her back, standing on a tarp, standing on her, and all of the other stuff that Fugly loves so much. ;-) She's a quiet but pretty Arabian mare, and that's what her potential buyers were going to be looking for-- quiet, but pretty.

Caz, on the other hand, is a dressage prospect, and so the buyers want to see this. That's his older half sister, by the way, also and Arabian cross-- and not owned by me.

As far as my personal horse accomplishments go this summer, by far the proudest is winning first place at one of the Pine Dell Versatility Challenges by riding bridleless--I took the headgear off after the first obstacle, when it became obvious that Tucker was tuned in and "with me".

What a great natural horsemanship event-- it's laid back, everyone is friendly and supportive, and yet there is still a very respectable cash payout for first, second, and third place ($100, $60, $40). These type of events seem to be popping up in several different areas of the country, and I've got to say, it's almost enough to tempt me back into serious showing. :-) The only depressing thing about it is that, watching the video, I'm starting to *look* like an old woman as well as *feeling* like one. Oy.

Lastly, with two of the mares gone and my wonderful trainer Tori picking up the slack with the three-year-old, I've had more time to focus on the two-year-old Andalusian/Arabian filly that I'm keeping for myself. I've just started ground driving her, and need to decide if I'm going to send her to the driving trainer that my parents used to start their Friesian cross in harness when he was two.

Well, that's about it... great to have a chance to catch up on news with everyone!

verylargecolt said...

icepony - Now that IS cool, both the first canter and congrats on the birthday. We are the same age!

mugwump said...

Well there you are. I'm so glad to hear how the VLC is doing. I mean, can't we keep his name? It could stand for Volumnous Lazy Cuddle- bug couldn't it?
How do I change my password on the other blog? I can't post!!!!

mugwump said...

OK, I wrote a lovely little post, saying how glad I was to see you're writing here again, posted it and it's not here. Whazzup with that?
I was hoping we could keep calling him the VLC (voluminous lazy cuddlebug)no matter what the status of his age or his uh, er....

verylargecolt said...

Sorry, everything's moderated now. I've had enough with hosting an asylum. It got old. Back to talking about horses!

Karen V said...

Everyone's been so busy! Wish I could say the same.

I rode more this week than I have all summer! Same horse, two days in a row. It's a RECORD!!! Poor horse si thinking "What the heck, mom?" Ah well, those appys are tough, right?

The main reason I've been off horses is because of the insane number of horse related accidents and deaths since March. These are barrel racing folks, most I don't know, ALL of them are experience horse people who start, ride, and race youngsters every year. So that's got me a little spooked. And since I don't have a riding partner, I haven't been riding.

Honey is officially retired to pasture. I thought I was going to ride her, but she just can't handle the weight. She can rip around the pasture with "the kids", but add any weight and it's obvious that she's uncomfortable. So, she is my stunning dark bay former race horse that is the absolutely BEST cuddlebug on the planet. I SO love this mare!

Millie, my 2 yr old, was saddled for the first time in June. She had 15 seconds of NFR eligible bucking, then stopped, looked around, and was over it. I wish I could find someone here close to teach me how to ground drive. I'd really like to work on that!

Bullwinkle live next to Honey. He is a HUGE obnoxious monster! And I say that lovingly! I'd forgot how percoscious (sp?) and obnoxious babies are! If the electric tape fence isn't on, he pushes through to terrorize Honey and Millie.

Jazzy She's only 8 yrs old. And since she's not registered QH (long story involving seizure and refusal of papers), she won't be bred. She's a BIG grullo mare cuddly and easy to handle. Available for adoption to the right home.

Jinx - the new girl. 17 yr old Missouri Fox Trotter bought for my husband right before Hades open it's door and released the inferno on Pasco. It's been too dang hot to ride her, though the three times we were able to, she rode like a dream!

Angel - my slimmed down little appy. Still full of appy-tude, still ugly as a mud fence, still the love of my life!

Squirrel - She got kicked and is just now ready to go back to riding. She's fresh and fat, and to be honest, spooks me a little. I'm having confidence issues with this mare, though she's never done anything "bad".

Beau - the new rescue. Sweet, kind, starved. He has sort of taken over my blog.

That's my story!

OTTB-Little Big Red said...

Wow...I thought I was the only 40 something re-rider. Top that with a total breed/type/size changefrom Arabian/Half-Arabians to OTTB.

The confidence is coming back and I wouldn't have adopted any other horse in the world.

OTTB-Little Big Red said...

It was great to find your blog. As another 40 something re-rider, it's great to know I'm not the only one around.

When I first started working with my 16.3 hand OTTB I thought I might have made a mistake becuase I grew up riding/showing Arabians/Half-Arabians and this was a different creature.

Fortunately, it's going great and I wouldn't trade him for any other horse/breed.

quietann said...

Glad to hear about the VLC!

I've spent the past few months in training and really gaining confidence with maresy and I am now convinced she's the horse I want. It's been very expensive so I am backing off arena work for the winter and moving her to a place that is next to an 1100 acre state forest! We'll still have lessons, but no "full training" and heck, it's New England so a certain amount of time is going to be spent in the indoor no matter what, sigh.

I took her to a few shows this year, including a couple of USDF recognized ones I was not quite ready for, and she was at times a bad pony, but no one fell off, and her brains came back into her head (except for one show where I scratched her... the combination of cold, rain, wind, and a zillion little kids on ponies freaked her right out and after the 10th or 11th spook-and-spin, I decided to go home.)

I've been riding her on the road as a confidence-builder and to get more in tune with what might be going on *before* she spooks (hint: watch those cute little Morgan ears!) She is actually a very good road horse.

We also provided comic relief at a Linda Zang dressage clinic, where maresy decided that everything was scary and worth a spook... rode her through it all with Linda coaching, and ended on a very good note with canter and counter-canter.

Char said...

Hey, I just got a new horse last week - Buddy. He's an 11 year old grade gelding of unkown parentage with very little training, other than pointing him down a trail and hanging on. So, I've found myself a project. :)

My best guess is 1/2 Arab, 1/2 Paint, as he is definately "colored", with a Quarter Horse type hip/chest and an Arab head, for sure.

Wish me luck! He seems like a really eager to please little guy, so I think I'm gonna have fun with him. Haven't done much other than establish a few "ground rules" so far.

verylargecolt said...

>>I dodged the bloodletting that was the 2009 TB yearling sale and now have two yearlings to star myself, if things don't get better.<<

I heard it was a train wreck :-( I was almost thinking things would be a little better - I keep HEARING how the economy is recovering but I certainly don't see it affecting horses yet. The horse industry is still in a tailspin except that, thank heavens, the price of hay came down.

verylargecolt said...

Quietann - I LOVE horses with working "antennae" like that - the ones who will offload you are the ones that spook with no warning!

Char - Good luck with the new guy!

Juli said...

Hey! Glad to see your back. I was beginning to wonder if the VLC had been snatched by aliens, and therefore there were no updates as to his progress. I can't wait to hear how he does in the show ring.

Updates, well, lets see. It's been a busy few months. I had to put my 15 year old Paso down, he had gone blind and was spending his time either refusing to move, or panicking and breaking halters, fences, and one picnic table. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but for his safety and mental wellbeing, it was the best thing.

I then picked up my dogs, cats, and remaining horse and moved with my husband from Florida to Maryland. We are here now. Merlin, my little Arab/Paso cross gelding is doing great up here. He's had a major life change, but seems to be handling it very well. He certaintly enjoys the grass here! Because of the chaos in my life, his training really hasn't progressed, and I'm just now getting back to working him regularly, so we'll just see how he does over the next few months.

That's about it in my world. Glad to see you back!

Char said...

Hey, got on the Arab/Paint cross this weekend! WHOOT!

He was great! Very non-spooky, even though I rode him around different parts of the farm that he hadn't gotten to explore yet with chickens and other farm fowl running all around.

Has decent enough manners, although he has an obnoxious "rooting" habit when you ask him to whoa, just about pulled me out of the saddle the first time he did it! That will go away with time and patience, after I figured out his little game and braced for it, he stopped doing it as often.

Other than that, was a perfect gentleman. We walked and trotted out in the field, but he has a MUCH 'floatier' (1/2 Arabian, remember? :D)trot than I'm used to, so I'll have to work on that. :)

Was raining yesterday, so I haven't gotten on again yet, but am hoping to do some more trotting, possibly canter if I'm feeling brave enough! (Open fields are scary, sorry. Arena baby here...)

Anyway, thanks for letting me share! I'm totally STOKED!

Monica said...

Hoping for a quick end-of-the-year update!

Val said...

Just bumped into your blog and LOVE your buckskin colt. Gorgeous!