Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Draw a Picture of Whiskers....Now Draw Silver."

Thursday, I was sharing the Mom's Bench with Dave who is not used to it. He got bored. "I'm bored." Where have I heard that before? Then he said "Draw......" and I did. LOL

Clicking on the pictures gets you the McGoo View.

I have finally decided that this bridle is too small for Janow. He has a big head like George Lopez.

Driving bridles are very strange. It took me a while! The cheek piece buckles in two places, above and below the blinders. The noseband hanger doesn't go over the crown, it buckles into the top buckle of the cheekpiece, under the blinder buckle. You can see in the photo how the noseband strap threads through the buckle above the blinder.

The noseband is too small, maybe. I couldn't get it lower to find out. The throatlatch is too small also.

It's hard to adjust because if you raise the blinder, you also raise the noseband. To lower the noseband, you have to take the blinder strap off the buckle, then put it back on. I could not get the noseband low enough without lowering the blinders. Of course, every time you raise the blinder, you raise the bit too. So you have to lower that with the bottom cheekpiece buckles.

The blinders are connected to each other with a strap that has a wire in it, so you bend it to fit. The blinders would barely go wide enough. They could have been lowered one hole to help the noseband get lower, but they were already spread as wide as they would go and it I lowered them, they would sit at a wider part of his face.

Is this confusing? Yeah, I thought so too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

We Went, Then We Came Back

Joseph and I went to Sparks to visit his Grandparents. My Uncle was there at the same time. He was visiting from Florida. HJoseph tried sledding, but it didn't work. We had a snowball fight instead.

Joseph left this morning with Boy Scout Troop 92 for the annual Bear Paw snow camping trip. They are going to build ice shelters to sleep in. Brrr!

My mom, my uncle, Joseph, my dad, at Squaw Valley where we did not ski, we just had lunch.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Driven Musical Freestyle

Here is a great Dressage Freestyle for you to enjoy.

Janow got to go out into his paddock on Friday. Cherokee saw him coming out and started to nicker. It was kind of cute, but kind of sad because it reminds me of how important social interaction is for horses. Being stuck in his stall was like being locked in solitary confinement.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spring is in the hair.

I have noticed an increased number of comments from "anonymous" that have been solicitations for clicking to websites not affiliated to me in any way. Has anyone else noticed this? Silver's blog has not received any. I have hers set up so that you must type a password to leave a comment, but I don't moderate the comments like I do on this one.

Spring is here, or at least it's acting that way. Even if Punxatony Phil and the calender say otherwise. Dave took this picture of the almond tree in our backyard. We have one almond tree. It produces almonds because their are other almond trees in nearby yards. We don't eat the almonds. The squirrels get them first.

Janow is shedding. Not as gloriously as many other horses at Indian Hill. He started on his ears, then moved to his lower legs, then, yesterday, the upper legs and chest. It moves, like the leaf change in New Hampshire begins in the north and moves south. I noticed that the dashboard of the car has a layer of white hair, but I believe it is hair from a previous shed.

You can see how long the hair is behind his knee. I am tempted to save it and sell it to a wig maker. It's not so clean. In the morning, dew collects in little droplets on each hair. Then dust sticks to the moisture. Then it dries like concrete. The dust can't stick to in now that it is rainy mud season, but it's really hard to get off.

Janow is still stuck in his stall because of the mud. If he went out in his paddock he would sink in too far. He doesn't like being stuck in.

Tuesday, I rode him around the ranch for over an hour, mostly walking, of course. I did it again yesterday. It has been years since I could ride this long! Maybe we'll make it to the trails in Ed Levin this summer! I can have Jay ride him out there a few times so he can get used to going out and not endanger my fragile butt.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pictures of Paula Pullet and Janow

Here are some better pictures of Paula.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Under Construction

Here is Paula outside the family room window. She hangs out here a lot. Usually she goes back and forth like a shooting gallery duck. She likes to be with people and we are inside. She stays outside because she poops at random. Big gooey poops. She poops as she walks back and forth, so she is building a poop rampart.

Poop is flammable, which may not be the best feature for a rampart. If the enemy surrounds you, they can just set fire to your defenses and smoke you out. Poop smoke would be even harder to breath than plain smoke.

The lookout tower is also under construction. I don't know if it is more functional that Paula's rampart.

My SIL gave me this oil lamp for Christmas. I've wanted one for a long time, but it's not the kind of thing you buy for yourself. Me, anyhow. It was good to have when we lost power in the recent storm. Handmade by Roy, who calls his brand Shovelin' Barefoot.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Driving yet?

People around the ranch are beginning to ask when. There is a lot of support for this, but for some people it is going very slowly. I explain that I am taking lessons and when we are both ready, I will take him to the trainer's to get him started with the cart.

I told Susie yesterday that a big part of my training must be to get all the horses on the ranch as ready as possible so nobody freaks out. My message is always that I have a professional trainer, I am taking lessons on trained horses first, I don't want anyone to be afraid, I am concerned for your horses too.

So, here is Janow in his harness. He did not want to stand, but he did when I told him to. His body language shouts that he does not really want to, but he is.

I put the hold backs up through the backstrap. They don't go here, they go on the shafts, but without shafts, they help stabilize the breeching a little when they are here. The traces are not buckled on to the breastcollar so I put the backband through the trace buckles to keep the breast collar from flopping. When there is a cart, the traces will connect it and so the breast collar will be firmly in place.

Janow had been longed in harness several times and it was no longer a big deal. He took a while to get used to having the breeching across his back legs. Monday, I ground drove him. It began with 5 seconds of total confusion, then he went "Ah Ha!" and it was a yawner from there on out.

Yesterday I decided to ground drive a bit and then double longe. We had a lot of bobbles. In the end, it was going better. In fact, it was the end because it was going better. Sometimes you have to move up "the end" to when things are going well so you can end on a good thing.

Now I can see where there are holes that need mending.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday Bunday

This week, Monday Bunday is borrowed from Silver Rabbit's blog: Buns of Silver. She explains why sharing is not always good.