Archive for November, 2011

98.75

amywink November 27th, 2011

After Friday’s drive, I hit 98.75 hours in my quest to hit the 100 Hour milestone for the ADS Hours to Drive Program. And then, rain and winter arrived. Saturday, a cold front blew in with heavy morning rains (yay!!!!) and piercing northerly winds (boooo!) in the afternoon. Temps overnight dropped and we are steady in the upper 50s with winds creating a windchill somewhere around 43. So. Too cold to drive today, which means I probably won’t make the November 30 deadline to submit my 100 hours for the year. I will be e-mailing ADS though to see how late I might be able to send that info in. It may take a few days….because this is what the pasture and Will look like after an inch of rain:

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Those are actual balls of mud on Will’s back. He clearly rolled around in ecstatic enthusiasm for the rain. His own little rain dance.
But if I had to trade driving for anything at this moment, I’d happily trade it for rain. It’s good to see mud again.

Blessing, however, is nicely clean and dry since she’s tucked safely inside for her training. I went to visit her again Saturday to see her progress. She was, this time, more enthusiastic about seeing me and did seem to really enjoy her Only Horse time with me yesterday. She doesn’t get much of that with her pesky brother around at home but now we can spend some quality time bonding.
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She’s progressed very nicely this week and has learned a great deal, including learning to have a bit in her mouth:
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And to wear a surcingle and crupper!

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Malen reports no issues with the crupper, which surprised me–pleasantly!–because there had been some reports of her temper and I suspected that the crupper would be the trigger for a big nasty temper tantrum.

She also exhibited a very good stop and stand, which might seem dull but is probably the most important gait for any horse.

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But she also has a pretty nice “go” as well. Here she is cantering for a bit and doing a nice job of it.
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She stands very nicely as well, patiently getting her tack straightened, also an important skill for a driving horse.img_2320.jpgimg_2329.jpg

And she can still go in both directions!
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I’m very pleased with her progress and glad her calm demeanor is coming out well in her training. We’ll see how she progresses next week when I visit again for her 3rd week in training.

Happy Thanksgiving

amywink November 25th, 2011

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Blessing’s 1st Week of School

amywink November 20th, 2011

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Saturdays are visiting days at Francine’s so yesterday I went to visit my girl and see how she’d progressed in her first week. The reports had been good–she can now lunge in *both* directions– and I was pleased to see her relaxed and happy when I got there. She’s made friends with her stall neighbor and was also happy to see me when I arrived. We spent some time bonding and she got her throat latch scratched a lot–apparently, training makes a pony itchy. And after a bit, Malen brought her out and showed me what she’d learned during the week. The photos aren’t great because the lighting is difficult to manage at the round pen but here she is, trotting both directions!

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But school isn’t all trotting in circles. Blessing has lots of other important grown-up horse stuff to learn and some of it is really unpleasant…like getting her face washed and full body bath. Yucky.
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And then she has to stand there to dry off. I think it’s pretty clear what she thinks of that experience!

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She is looking really good, however, and I can see some changes after just a week. Her neck is looking very nice already and she’s gaining muscle in her hindquarters as well. She’s growing up to be a very beautiful mare.

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Big Weekend

amywink November 15th, 2011

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Though Will and I didn’t make the Haven Hill Driving trial last weekend, we did enjoy a blue ribbon-worthy drive last Friday when my friend, patroness, and groom/navigator Mary came up for a long drive Friday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous and the relaxing drive made up for any disappointment I may have felt at having missed the event in Navasota.

Will enjoyed the day as well, though I did make him work for longer than our regular hour drive since the weather and the company were so enjoyable. The longer drive has helped me inch toward my 100 hour goal. This weekend, I made the 95 hour mark as I tick toward the Nov 30th ADS deadline for submitting the paperwork.

This weekend also marked some important milestones for me and my pair of Morgans. Sunday was our 7th Anniversary (Will’s and mine) and we celebrated with an apple. He enjoyed the day as much as usual and I enjoyed thinking about how far we’d come together:

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But Saturday was the more exciting day: Blessing went off to school to learn to be a driving horse like her big brother. I spiffed her up as best I could before we loaded her up and took her off to start her school days. She cleaned up very well:

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She’s a bright and steady young lady but she does not care to load into the trailer. No fireworks, just not gonna do it. So we had a bit of a standoff for a while until she caved and went into the trailer. She traveled very well though and there were no other issues even when we arrived. She just looked around, smelled, listened, ate some grass, then headed into her new digs without so much as batting an eye. This bodes very well for her potential as a driving horse.img_2132.jpg

Blessing enjoyed seeing the other horses and was mildly curious about them, but when Dol arrived on the scene, it was as if she’d found her long lost best friend. She called and called to the grey mare across the aisle and Dol batted her pretty white eyelashes at the newcomer.

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I think she will get along famously, though I have told her not to get too chummy with the Andalusian stallion down the aisle, no matter how handsome and sexy he is!
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I’ll be visiting her on Saturdays to check on her progress. As of now, we’re planning on four months.

Now, Will missed her for about five minutes, mostly when he was alone in his pasture and it looked like everyone else was getting lots of attention. But he didn’t notice her at all once Lisa put Windy in the pasture with him. Blessing? Who’s Blessing?
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Windy is the Popular Girl with all the boys on the place and has some kind of charismatic power over them all. Everyone wants to be with Windy. So now Will is the lucky one and he gets to be pushed around by The Princess.

We’ll see if her charms last for the time Blessing is away.