Saturday, May 30, 2009

It is not breaking the rules...it is changing goals...

Okay, here is the deal...you all know I am finally able to get on Wyoming, thanks to weather that is cooperating more, and today I wanted to get on him bareback. Tiger was not ready yet, blah blah blah. I am not graceful and what better way to get him used to movements all over him than for me to crawl up there? I do use the bucket as a step to hop on to guarantee me the success of actually getting up there!

He did great! We walked around while he got used to the feel of me up there, he stopped and gazed around at the others on the outside of his pen, and he even got tense a couple of times. Once when I laughed and the other when I coughed. I got to thinking it is because he is feeling me differently too! He can feel me better just like I can feel him better...neat!
Brian was moving hay bales around with the tractor and saw me up on him and ran over to take a couple of pictures. Thanks baby!

Here is Wyoming and I...



And here we are again...



This is where "it is not breaking the rules, it is changing goals" comes in to play...
After I was done playing with Wyoming, I let him out of the pen and was going to let everyone out into the yard to munch grass. When I came back out of the barn Tiger was standing in his pen next to the mounting bucket and just looked at me. Our eyes met, we communicated...he gave me the sign. I needed to hop on that bad boy! :-)

So I did!!!



He was relaxed enough to drop his head and scratch it on his foot...



And to let me swing my legs all over the place and lean over his neck...



It was fantastic! The last time I layed over him he started to walk and he got very concerned that I was still moving with him and he skaddled away from me while I slid off. He did not have a problem me laying over him again, he just wasn't sure about moving or seeing me on the other side too much.
This time he was 100% different! I layed across his back, got my leg up and over him in case he had issues, I slid off and hopped back on (thanks to the mounting bucket), I finally put my leg all the way over him and slid off the other side, hopped back on, and then JUST SAT THERE! Upright, while petting him. We stood there a long time before he started to walk...no problems at all! In fact, I was getting more movement out of him by the time I was done than I was with Wyoming.
WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!

Funny thing...Brian was still moving bales and we have both talked about it - I was not going to get on Tiger until he reacted less to scary stuff. Period! He was across the yard and had moved a few bales when he finally looked my direction. He looked - he looked again, then looked off to the side because he saw Wyoming and then you could see the recognition in Brian's eyes when he looked back and his eyes were like saucers! He just laughed and shook his head! He moved a couple more bales then came over to take pictures. He said once he realized what brown horse I was on, he should have known because of the big cheese eating grin I had on my face! Hee hee!

Batman is getting his top teeth and he is trying to show them off...if you look real close you can see them.



We have 4 panels set up in the yard on the grass for Batman and Robin. We have to carry Batman to the pen because he is a little too independent, and when he wanders the others chase him and he freaks out and takes off. I don't want him running into a fence or into something and hurting himself beyond repair. It really is a challenge to have a 'little' and so many 'bigs' that just want to run when he runs. :-)



No story here...I just thought it was neat to have such a great reflection...so I guess that really is a story, eh? ;-)



There is a big garden at the place I work, and it is a great place to hang out and eat lunch, or just go walking. Flowers are blooming all the time, so I took a few pictures. I was playing with the Macro (close up) settings again.







It was a fun day!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

I was hoping it was a dream.....

....it rained last night. They were calling for scattered showers, and it appears we were in the line of "scattered". The bad news is I did not get on Wyoming this morning, everything else is good news...well, so far. :-) It rained enough to make everything slick, but it is supposed to get very warm today which means it will be muggy, but if that wind blows like I am hoping, it should dry stuff out pretty quick. We shall see....

So, I have time to play with the blog! I am not even going to organize pictures - it is going to be random how they loaded...

The other night Brian spotted something moving along the fence line. It was this cute little snapping turtle! If he was on the other side of the fence, the neighbor would have shot him because "Karen, they eat all my fish in the pond!" Well, he is on our side of the fence, so he lives.



Mustang ears...



We let the group out on the hillside and I took a walk the other evening. There were several daisy's scattered across the hillside so I was experimenting with my new camera. I had great ideas in my head, now let's see if they transferred to the camera.

Daisy's with Nevada in the background...



More daisy's with a small group in the background...



Nevada wondering what I am doing...sometimes I wonder that myself!
Hmmm, it is a good way to keep 'wonder' in your world! ;-)



More daisy's, more mustangs...



I make time to spend with Batman just about every night! He either follows me around while I am filling water troughs, or we run and play.
Here he is on the dirt pile (that will be moved to the front yard for wild flower seeds very soon) looking over his herd...



Batman is big...he is at the salt block.



That is all I have for now. I have a lot of video to go thru, hopefully soon!

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Video of Wyoming's First Ride...

Wyoming's first ride was on Saturday before the rain. Since then, we are in the same boat as a lot of other people...mud, mud and more mud.
Wy really did good and tried real hard to understand what I was asking him to do. I am so excited for some great weather so we can keep working on this...he has a busy mind and loves to learn. I just know that he will love getting out on the trails and seeing new sights and smelling new smells!

video

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wy walked with a rider...

My goal this weekend was to get on Wy - goal accomplished.
My other goal was to have Wy walk around with me on him - goal accomplished! Woo hoo!

Before I got started Wy headed over the fence where Batman and Brian were.



The wind was blowing and Wy was a little full of himself. I let Tiger out with the others so he was out of the way, and Wy did not like being left behind. After a little round pen work I got on. Wy did not want to move. When I clucked for movement I know he was trying to figure out what I wanted, but he just was not totally understanding. I asked Brian to come in the pen and walk around in front of him - it worked for Tripp, and I thought it might work for Wy. Brian had to lead him around a bit, Wy got excited, Brian let go, I just held on because Wy has never made a move to buck, and we just trotted around the pen until he decided to stop again. Wy was very tense, so Brian came back and this time led us around the pen without as many nerves. Then Wy just followed him. He has a very smooth walk! Hee hee!

He was sort of getting the hang of turning...



And he was sort of getting the hang of walking....



It was good! I thought we had a great session and we ended on a good note. After the ride I did a little ground work, then brushed and massaged on him before I took him out to the grass.

Little Batman loves to hang out by the big saddle. He says he has seen a mustang wear it on his back, and he wants to be a mustang too! Mustangs are cool! :-)



After I was done with Wy, I headed out to visit Batman. I just sat out there and we talked and played a while. He is a very social little guy. OH! He is getting his two front teeth on the top. They are so cute!



It was a great day! Last night we had rain for several hours and it is very slick out there. I won't be getting on Wy today because he is still learning to walk with the extra weight on him, and I am afraid of him getting excited and both of us going down. The good thing about the rain is we got our garden planted last night, so it got a nice soaking. :-)

Until later....Karen and Tripp

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I sit on Wyoming!!!

I finally got to do it! Woo hoo! We were due for several days of dry weather, so it was safe for me to make a goal for this weekend...I was going to get up on Wy. There is still lots of ground work to do, and I am not organized as to having an order of doing things, but the end result should be the same. I do have a list I found with training broken down in phases. I am going to use that to make my own list so I will have a guideline....

Anyways, to the fun stuff!

Standing in the stirrup on the 'off' side...and he did very well.



Standing in the stirrup on the 'on' side...notice my spotters! The chickens are there for me! :-)



Alley Oop! I am on! He knows this feels much different than me leaning over him. He never did react to seeing my leg come over the other side - good!



He is relaxing a bit...



I got on and off several times and he just stood there. I rubbed my foot all over his butt as I was getting on the 'on' side...not quite coordinated enough to do that on the 'off' side, so will practice that one later.
We only had one small incident while I was on him...one of the balls came rolling by him real slowly and he watched it, then snorted and moved away from it in a not so controlled manner. Tiger was in the pen too, so we ran into Tiger's rump and that was when I wondered if I should try to get off. But I kept getting his head turned and he finally stopped. Yep, he was very stressed out. I sat there a bit, rubbed on him and talked to him, then got off. We walked back to the flat part of the pen and I got right back on. He was very okay with it!
As far as him reacting to the ball - sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I think I might have tensed when he snorted and moved away from it, and part of his reaction was to my reaction. I will never know for sure, but it is something I will pay attention to.

We then went out of the pen to do some light lunging to practice our direction changes and "Whoa"....

Robin (Batman's Mom) is in heat...so when we came out of the pen she was over by us talking sweet nothings. I did not give him time to talk back to her, we started moving around and she followed him. He still does not realize he was gelded, so I was very proud of him for listening to me instead of letting instinct take over.



Tiger did not get off so easy either. He wore the Wintec saddle again, and again it was a very scary thing until I got it on. It is like he says "Oh yeah, I remember now...this isn't so bad." I have leaned over him like a sack of taters several times, so I thought I would try it with the saddle. I lowered the stirrup so I could be more comfy leaning, and he did great! I beat around on the saddle and stirrup on the other side and he paid attention, but he did not try to escape.



After doing that a while, we went out and played on the dirt pile. I lunged him both directions, and asked him to go up and down the dirt pile. I think he had fun! I wish Brian was closer so I could get him to take pictures, because Tiger was coming from the downhill side and was leaping up to the top of the pile. He was gorgeous!!!! :-) Brian was taking out some fence. Sooooo....I had to wait until almost dark to show Brian what we were doing. Most of the time Tiger will trot with me leading him...

Both horses are very different.

Tiger has been doing some things longer than Wy but isn't as comfortable with it. Like me bringing out the pad and saddles, and any sudden movements. Kicking the balls at him still freaks him out, and I think Wy runs because Tiger runs. I am getting to the point of 'tapping' the balls to him and he will check it out, so there really is progress. I just have to be patient, and I am not the type to force the issue with them. Why force it when it will come?
But he is great at paying attention to me, even if he freaks out and takes off around the pen I can usually get his attention real quick and he will follow me back to square one. He really focuses on me and wants to be close. He is going to be one of those best friend horses who loves attention.

Wyoming has not been handled as long as Tiger, but he does great with the pad and saddles. He still doesn't like balls being kicked at him, but I can bounce them around and take them to him without any blow ups. I can use his body as a backboard and bounce the balls off him. His reactions to scary stuff are very short, then he just stands and pays attention. He is very smart but he has a short attention span. I think he is about a year younger than Tiger, so we are working with the maturity level, and the hormones right now. As soon as those hormones even out, I don't think his brain will fly in so many different directions. But during all of this, even tho he still doesn't come to me and follow me as easily as Tiger, he still tries and gives a few steps. He is paying attention, he is learning, he is less reactive, and I can't wait to get him out on the trails! I really think he will love being out there getting to travel and see new things. Watching his eyes is like watching a little kid see something new...

So, that was my Friday evening!

Everyone have a great weekend!!!

Karen and Tripp

Friday, May 22, 2009

Batman meets some of the crew...

Here are some misc pix from the past couple of days. Batman and Robin have had time in the evenings to run off some of their cooped up energy, then we put them in a small pen on the grass for a while. Batman got to meet a few of the others...of course I was not fast enough to get him meeting all of them! But here are a few...

Batman meets Wy...



Then he meets Tiger, who is a big doll baby with him!



He also met Snoop the Dog. Snoop is all innocent acting, but I keep my eye on him! He will chase Batman the first chance he gets - and I am working hard to make sure that chance never happens!



Tiger and his horse eating ball.



Batman heard this was a horse eating ball...not so scary for BATMAN!



Tiger and Tandee on the hill...



Batman is gumming grass...



Now you all tell me...is this just a coincidence? We have a BATMAN, and now we have a BAT IN THE BARN! I think it was meant to be...when I told Brian that he just rolled his eyes and smiled. I believe that sometimes he thinks I am a wack job! But not as wacky as my friend Jacquie, who I work with, thought I was today when out of the clear blue I announced that I think aliens live inside of me...but that is another story!



Okay, I will tell the alien story. I am fascinated with the idea of aliens, and I find it hard to believe that we are the only life forms out there. By the way, I highly recommend the book The Host, by Stephenie Meyer. She also wrote the Twilight series, which was awesome! Oh, got sidetracked - probably the aliens messing with my thoughts...HA HA! Anyways, you all know how sometimes your head might tickle in a spot and you instantly think you have a tick or some other bug? Then you can't find anything? That happened to me a few times today at work, then I decided it was probably aliens looking for an exit. That is my alien story. :-)

Everyone have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Karen and Tripp

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Batman Video...(clips of him over the past few days)

Hello everone! Here are a few 'running' clips of Batman over the past few days. They sure grow up fast! :-) Hope you all like it...
(just a little F.Y.I. - when you get to the end, and the music stops, listen to his little snort)

video

Until later...Karen and Tripp

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can Batman conquer the Guineas???

Anybody with Guineas knows that they are great watch dogs, and when they get excited about something that they are not used to seeing, EVERYONE knows about it!

Batman is trying to take a nap - fighting crime is hard work.
The Guineas circle to the right...



Then they circle to the left...



Then they circle behind...Batman appears to have conquered the Guineas - all for a nap!



Chase and Wyoming are in the yard eating grass.



Tiger, Chase and Jester who appears to be headless are running and having fun...



Grass was picked for Batman and Robin...



This was all just for fun...
Until later...Karen and Tripp

Noodling....

Okay, some people know Noodling as this: Catfish noodling. Noodling is the practice of catching catfish by letting them latch onto your arm.
To begin, a noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet, placing his hand inside a discovered catfish hole. If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver in order to try to escape the hole. If the fish is particularly large, the noodler can hook the head around its gills. (AND IF IT DOESN'T GO AS PLANNED???)

Here is a horsey girl's version of noodling.

This was a few days ago...Wyoming is wearing the Wintec saddle and some noodles. He wears them criss-crossed over his back...



...and down low like he is practicing to pull a cart (I had them up along his neck too and turning was weird for him, but he did it)



...then there is the head piece...



Tonite we start out with Tiger wearing the Wintec. This is a pretty huge thing for him. He just isn't sure about seeing things on both sides of him, and when he can't get away, he stresses, but mostly in place. We worked long and hard to get to this point, and he is wearing it with the girth tightened. After a walk and some bouncing the noodles around on it, he didn't mind. Okay, he probably really minded, but he did not let it show. :-)



Then we added a noodle...Tiger did much better than I expected! I was very proud of him. I put it in each stirrup and let it move around while we took a walk up and over things. Good boy!



Wyoming got to wear the big heavy saddle today. It is his first time and considering how I have to get momentum to get that thing thrown up that high, he did GREAT! It flops on his back, the back girth gets stuck under the saddle along with the strings, I move it around and yank stuff out from under it...yeah, he did alright!

Then I tied a noodle on the back so he could see it out of both eyes. That did not phase him either. Good! I like that! We spent some time going thru the box both ways. We have been working on direction changes, and the box and the timbers are simple, but they are enough to make him have to pay attention to where his feet are, plus do the direction changes.



We went for a walk and climbed the dirt pile. After I did it first, I sent him up there changing directions as we played. His attention span is very short, so I can't wait for the ground to really dry out in a big spot so I can work him the way he is begging to be worked! He loves to learn, and when I am teaching him something, or doing something a little different, he will focus, but if I lolly-gag along, it doesn't take long for him to move on mentally. The good thing is he comes right back.



After working with both of them a while, I put them back in the pen wearing their saddles and noodles. Now this turned out better than what I expected - I did not expect anything big to happen, I just thought they would mosey along. Well, they played with each others noodles, which made the noodle wearer jump in shock when his noodle was moving! Then Wyoming would walk real close to the panels and his noodle would rub. He reacted the first time but after that he did not seem to care that much. Tiger was the same way. They both got to running and they did scare each other when their noodles made a louder scraping sound on the panels than it did when they were walking! I could not help but laugh...it was neat watching them work it out.



Batman was checking out the Big Boy's saddle...



This is totally off topic! CoCo found her place in the bathroom window...I don't blame her. If I was a cat, that would be one of my places too.



It has been a great few days.

OH! Did I mention that I trimmed Wyoming's feet? Yep! All four of them! Now there is a lot of clean up to do, but I got them as balanced as I could for now, and I will go back for clean up and to take a little more off. I am happy with them considering it was his first time, and he was so patient! They sure were long and it was driving me crazy!
I got Tiger's front hooves done - ran out of daylight. Same thing on him - will clean them up and take a little more off very soon. He let's me clean his rear hooves no problem, so I am hoping he is as good as Wy was. :-)

Until later...Karen and Tripp