Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zephyr moves to a new pen...

Poor Zephyr has been in a pen of mud and it was time to move her.  Brian set up a pen on the other side of the barn.  She will be closer to where the outside group eats, so maybe she will make friends...

While Brian was getting Zephyr, I was watching a goose at the other end of the hay storage area...she was making a nest.  Oh how fun it would be to have babies out there! 

EEK!  Spider on the hay bale tarp.  The coloring was so pretty....but also very creepy.  EEK!

Here comes Brian with Zephyr.  I was curious what she would do going by the others. 

I am happy to say it was very uneventful.  She followed Brian without even glancing at the others.

Aren't they a cute couple?

Brian walked her around the hay storage area first...and the first stop was the bridge.

ZEPHYR:  "Yep, smells like a bridge..."

ZEPHYR:  "Guess I will walk across it to make the Boy happy..."

After Brian worked with her a bit, he let her go and she decided to stretch her legs.  I think she was happy to be moving on dry ground (which was short lived....they had over 6 inches of rain at the house the past couple of days)

ZEPHYR:  "Woo hoo!  Watch me trot!"

ZEPHYR:  "I am glad that sounds doesn't come through know what goes with bucking....nicker snort!"

Zephyr has some admirers...

...and more admirers....

The only young mare we have in the outside group is Epona.  She and Zeph squealed at each other a couple times but other than that, things went pretty smooth.  We are hoping that Zeph knows she is home, and that she will bond with her new brothers and sisters.  The boys are more than willing to give her a chance to bond.  Ha ha! 

Brian tells me that Zeph is shedding like crazy!  I can't wait to see her flea bitten gray color when she sheds off.  I had an Arabian that was that color... :-)

Until later...Karen and Tripp who is enjoying his time off 'work'...

Wyoming gets his trail debut after a long break...

Wow, where do I start with this one?  I the beginning.

Wyoming's story (he has many blog entries starting January 31, 2009 when he arrived)
Here is the short version...I got Wy as a TIP mustang and we found him an adopter.  He did not work out for them, so they asked us to take him back and help find a good home for him (we still keep in touch...she still loves Wy but he was too young and green for their family).  A ranch down the highway tried him out thinking he would be great for drill team.  I thought he would do great at it...and the ranch had years of horse experience.  Anyways, they tried him out and he came back to us skinny.  I was heartbroke for Wy...he came back to us a totally different horse...not only physically but mentally.  We got weight back on him and I decided at that time that he is going to stick around.  If someone shows up and falls madly in love with him, then we will talk...but other than that, he is a Cooper.  I always joked about Wy being an endurance horse because he was always moving around, and I thought it was great he self conditioned himself.  :-)

He hung out a while at our place, I went thru a few confidence issues and was busy so did not do much with him other than love on him.  One day last year I decided it was time.  I needed another riding horse.  I would work with him around the barn lot and that was it.  The next thing I know I am riding Tripp more and everyone is on the back burner again.

This past weekend Tripp was not himself and seemed foot sensitive on the trails, so I decided Wy was going to the conservation area Sunday.  My main thought was to saddle him up and take him for a walk.  If I got on him - great.  If I did not get on him - great.  I wanted to have a nice time with Wy, and let him get used to being out just like old times.

Wy is a mud puppy...he loves being dirty and is always caked with mud if there is any to be had.  It makes me laugh because some of the others can't get dirty if they had to.  Like Tripp, I just brushed the areas that were going to be covered with the saddle and did what I could with the rest.

Wy doesn't look one bit impressed about being out here...where are his friends?  And what did he do to deserve this?  :-)

Saddling went very well...he was more interested in his surroundings rather than what I was doing.  He has matured...he was 3 yrs old when I brought him home, and my older Arab saddle fit him great.  He is now 6 yrs old and his back has changed.  Now the CSI pad and my big saddle are on him.

It was very windy and he was on alert...I was thinking to myself "Yep, this will be a walking day."

Nothing like a couple self portraits to get us in the mood for a walk...

Yep, Wyoming is totally getting into this self portait thing...ha ha !

Okay, Wy says one good self portrait, then let's get moving.  We have places to go...

The plan was to walk a while, and I was going to keep track of my distance.  If I only walked, then I would know how far I went, and if I ended up riding, my distance would qualify for the Distance Derby.  We started out walking and we did some ground work along the was such a pretty day and I was already having fun.  Wy has a busy mind and was checking out everything.

We walked by some logs and I decided to get on.  I got on and we did a couple of circles, then I got off.  I walked some more and realized that it was ME that was nervous.  I never gave him a chance to do good or bad.  So I found another log and got on again, got my right foot tucked in the stirrup, tried to relax, then asked him to walk on.  Away we went.....I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!  We got to the hill and he got tense and started whinnying.  He is not a vocal horse, so this made me nervous.  I asked him to do a couple of things, which he did nicely, then I got off and walked him down the hill.

We walked by the corn field...

Then we walked to the creek....he played in the water....

....then he ate some creek grass....he is thinking this taking a walk thing is a pretty good deal!

While Wy was playing in the water and eating grass, I checked out the critter tracks in the mud.  I love critter tracks...makes me ask questions like what were they doing?  Did they find food?  Did they sneak out after dark because their critter parents didn't want them to date?  Ha ha!  Okay, I just made that last one up!  :-)

After creek time I got back on and away we went.

Those darn cut logs sure do get the horses attention.  Tripp still stops to check them out and sometimes spooks from them.  Wy didn't let me down...he was wondering what was looking so funny up ahead.

ACK!  MYSTERY MANURE!!!  I let him sniff and explore...

Interesting....what is that dark thing up ahead that is the right height of a critter?  Hmmmm....

Hmmmm, that isn't a critter!  I don't know what it is....I will get a bit closer....

Sniff sniff....does not smell familiar...

ACK!  MORE MYSTERY MANURE!!!  After a couple of sniffing episodes, I decided to ask him to move on.  I did not want him thinking that he could stop and sniff every pile on the trail.  I realized that if I let him keep doing this, I was creating a bad habit.  So it was up to me to make it right.

The ride was great!  At one point a deer ran in front of us and he did the giraffe neck move and was tight as a tick!  I kept talking to him and petting his neck to remind him that I was up there.  It went into the woods, he relaxed, then he started trotting and headed into the woods after it!  Ha ha!  Now that is my old Wy!  I laughed and steered him back to the trail letting him know that I appreciate him wanting to chase the deer, but this ride was going to be walking and getting to know each other again.

There were a couple of times the wind roared behind us, and we got hit with a wall of leaves.  He was not happy about it but we both handled it well.  There was another time that something spooked him but he didn't try to run...he jumped and was touchy after that, but not in escape mode.  I made like nothing happened and kept him moving like normal.

This is Wy sporting his Fabio hair....he prefers we call him Wyabio, and if that is too hard to say, he will settle for Wybio.  I think I will continue to call him Wy.  :-)

We were on the home stretch to the parking lot when I heard a roaring sound behind us.  I thought the wind was going to hit us again when this truck went by.  Wy watched it go by and that was about it. 

Back at the parking lot...

WY:  "Are we done yet?  Are you just gona sit there taking pictures?  Hello!  Girl!"

WY:  "I know...I will mesmerize her with my wild flowing hair...then maybe she will fall off.  Nicker snort!"

Girl:  "Wyoming, you were such a good boy and I am so proud of you!!!"

WY:  "Can I go eat grass now?"

Self portrait of us walking to the grassy area...

I am so happy....and so is he.  Each for totally different reasons.  :-)

This moment made me happy we did not see any other riders.  Wy went crazy when the guys on mules came by.  I had to stand up and I worked him a while to get his attention....

....then he went back to eating again.  He did peek at them every once in a while, but he settled down pretty quick.

When we got home Tandee and Wy sniffed and rubbed on each other.  It was so sweet!

I was so excited about this ride.  He was not near as responsive or soft as I would like, but time and repetition will help that.  Why did I decide to ride when he was not soft or responsive?  I remember a trainer I respect saying that there are things that can be done better from the saddle depending on the horse and situation.  I am still learning so I really don't know if this was the horse or situation, but it felt good to me at the time.  I am hoping that Wy still loves getting on the trail and covering territory.  We used to come out here and trot and was so smooth and he seemed to love it.  He is not an 'in your pocket' kind of horse.  When we used to head out to ride we had an understanding.  He would act like he liked me hugging all over him, and I was to take him out to see the sights.

It is hard for me to not compare the horse he used to be to the horse he is now.  He is much more insecure now that he used to be.  Harry Whitney said that we are not training the horse we had before...we are training the horse we have now.  I need to remember that.  After our ride I realized he is still the same horse, he just has extra stuff going on in his head, and it is up to me to help him with that.

I am excited for our future...

Until later, Karen and Tripp who thinks Wybio is a stupid name AND he wants a reminder send out that his mane is much longer and more flowy than Wy's....he said "Just sayin'...nicker snort!"

A trail ride before I leave town...

I found out Friday evening (April 12th) that I was needed out of town for work...I would be leaving Monday.  This time is a two week tour instead of a three week tour.  The first thing Brian said was "You need to be sure to get a couple rides in this weekend."  What an AWESOME husband!  :-)

I headed to the same place I always head, and things are starting to spring!  Yay!

Okay, the shelf fungus is not starting to has been springing all winter long.  I am going to keep an eye on this stuff.  Does it thrive in the winter and pooter out in the spring and summer, or is it happy year round?  I don't know....

I was trying to get a picture of the mossy rock, and Tripp threw in a nose photo bomb!  Ha ha!

Now....the mossy rock. 

Another beautiful day and others thought so too...there were folks at the lake fishing. 

DOH!  Self portrait, and a mighty fine one if I say so myself!

As we were saddling up a local saddle club came riding by.  I did not count them, but they were a large group.  Western, English, young, not so young, big horses, little horses, hairy horses, horses that were already slicked off.....a big variety with one thing in common.  Everyone was smiling!
(I know one of the guys in the group - he has adopted mustangs in the past)

They invited us to join them, but I had just started knocking mud off Tripp and knew it would take a while. I thought I would catch up to them but never did.

Family time on a horse....priceless!
(I work with the guy on the left)

We had a good ride, but Tripp seemed a little out of it, and his feet were touchy.  I knew that I would not be taking him out Sunday....

I rode him beside the road a while.  Partly for the soft footing, and partly as a test to address his grass diving issues.  He got away from me twice on this ride, which is not bad.  He has been doing MUCH better.

We got back to the parking lot when a father and daughter team went riding by.   Both were wearing helmets I might add.  Helmets are not something I see out here very much.  The big trail riding group had a couple of them, and that is the first time in a very long time I have seen someone wearing one. 

After our ride I let Tripp eat grass a while...and I untangled a big chunk of his mane.  It is now curly...

When I got home I soaked it with Mane & Tail.  I am hoping it is still untangled when I get back home.

When we got home, Tripp did not even wait for his alfalfa cube treat.  He headed to the rolling spot.

All better!

Until later...Karen and Tripp who is happy to be 'clean' again.  :-)