Both Bonnie and Altea have fallen recently while running and playing in the snow and slush. It does not seem to inhibit them in the least. Up and at it again, just like the video in my latest blog shows. Bonnie even jumps a snow covered stump and brush pile.
Yes, winter is certainly upon us in most of the country. Here we usually stick at freezing, with the rare instance of lower temps - though we did see 9F for a couple of lows recently.
We are in a permanent state of slush otherwise, and out in the paddock muddy slush refreezing, melting, etc. on and on. Altea runs through it like it's nothing, just prancing along as Andalusians do, while Bonnie, with her small hooves, goes slow, careful, and dainty.
Except of course if mom is let out first to run to the hay piles down the paddock aways. Then Bonnie does her galloping best to get there with lots of showing off when she's alongside mom, with kicks and bucking, even rearing from time to time.
Yesterday we had elk in the yard, right next to my back deck. Thought they were going to step on up for a cup of hot cocoa for a moment there. Big beautiful creatures in an ungainly sort of way. Bonnie and Altea both tend to have a fascination with wildlife, especially these elk but even the deer that live in the woods around them.
Glad you're all tucked in for the winter with fat ponies running the show and bossing everyone about. All's right with the world when ponies are in charge. LOL
I know! I always love fall. It's my favorite time to work with the horses. And thanks! They are doing great. I'm doing western training with my paint mare to get her ready for the show season next summer and my mini's are just little furballs as usaul lol.
Hi Becky. Thanks for the welcome. You must live somewhere cooler than southwest Georgia. Summer is our down time. Too hot to ride. Looking forward to the cooler days of fall and winter. I downloaded some pictures but they are from last summer. Our filly (she was 2 then) was getting used to having a saddle on. She still needs a lot of training but we're getting there.
Hi, Becky -- Thank you for the warm welcome! We have had two of our Fjords work as therapy horses; Mike worked more with autistic kids and Finn was used with troubled teens. People like to use Norwegian Fjords for therapy work because they tend to have a calm, tolerant draft-horse temperament in a smaller horse body (13.2 to 15 hh). If they are startled they do spook -- they are horses, after all -- but they tend to spook then look, rather than spook, whirl. and bolt. They also are known for having a powerful swinging stride at the walk and trot. A strong rhythmic stride is calming for autistic people ... and it can be helpful therapy for folks with muscular problems in their torso and lower body. --DeeAnna
How very true, Becky. There are dozens of horse handlers of various sorts (I'm very fond of the term horsehandler as it demystifies the special titles some people would assume for themselves or for others) that I've learned from.
For me there are though two sorts of master teachers: the green horse, and the green student. They speak so clearly of what the true issues are for each. Usually they present questions, sometimes directly as a human can, and sometimes more indirectly as both horse and human can.
And in their questions they reveal what is important and if we are clever enough, what some answers, new answers, might just be.
Hi Becky, nice to hear from you. Up until recently my "girls," where doing okay, baby Bonnie especially so, but Altea, her mom, still seemed to be struggling with some weakness in her legs, hip, etc. Then suddenly a couple of weeks ago Bonnie developed the exact same symptoms.
Very frightening, as of course one thinks immediately of things in the environment, feeds, forage, something toxic they got into, even the bedding.
Bonnie started to knuckle forward at the hind fetlock joint, could not have her hind feet picked up without her struggling to stand, like her mother, problems getting up when she lay down, etc.
Terrifying, of course. Called out the vet and at this point, after five days of bute, ending Sunday AM, and a drastic change in feeds, everything seems to be sorting out and both are doing much better. Altea can not only lift her hind leg with no front end tremble or signs of pain, as before, but we took a 2 mile ramble in halter and bareback yesterday.
This is something I've never done with her - ride bareback for more than a few steps. We went up into the deep dark rain forest where Bonnie likes to play, galloping the old logging roads and generally behaving as though every mossy log is a bear, and every forest sound is a creeping lion. Much fun.
Yes, Bonnie is growing well. Even in winter coat still the little beauty.
RE your question about draft crosses as therapy horses. My experience is that it depends on what type of draft cross you're looking at. Percherons can be feisty, cross one with an Arab and you could have a handful at times. On the whole though, most draft crosses I've seen have been fairly rock solid horses. My wife went through NARHA certification in the late 90's. The horses we had available to us were a Dosanko (aka Hokkaido pony), a couple of retired TB's, and a very solid shetland and I think the last one was called a Miyako (another Japanese pony--we were in Okinawa at the time). Good luck with your therapy program. Our experience was very positive for both horse and rider.
I'm glad you finally got into the site. Sorry it was such a pain. I love your window picture with the flowers,that is so awesome! It is very interesting to watch all of the great photographers on that epnet site, there are some good ones there.
About the training...I try to ride every other day, only about four miles or so. Then on weekends I try to get to the forest at least one day and go six to ten miles. It is time now for me to start doing the 14 mile loop and picking up the speed though. The lowest I have checked Bo's resting rate was 28, but most of the time its more like 30something. We can come in at 60 something and by the time I get off and shut the gate he is down to 40 something. He cools off pretty fast and he eats and drinks good. He has no problem relaxing at ride camp and that is another plus. He just gets a bit wiggy on the trail wanting to go too fast and such. Most of the time he is perfect, especially after the first seven miles or so. We are off to a really slow start this year on conditioning due to problems finding a farrier and riding by ourselves. We needed the training time though so it's all good. The Dec 5th ride is out because it is full so our first ride this season is planned for Dec 19th. I'm getting excited already! But you know all about that :)
Any advise you have would be great. I sure do wish we could ride together. That would be great. It was fun back in the day....
Ok Becky, I tried it again and if you copy and paste www.sherryleger.smugmug.com it should work. I have a long way to go to get good at this stuff. I am also participating in a challenge with an organization I belong to called equine photographer network. epnet.com I think. If it will let you, check out the thread for the November daily challenge and look for my name. The challenge is for everyday in November we have to shoot and upload a picture.a day. They post what each days subject will be, such as hair, dirt, blur, etc. It is fun and there are some very talented photographers on there. If we are able to hang in there for the whole month we win three months free membership.
How is your therapeutic riding coming. I saw your stories on your page. That is so awesome that you are doing all this. You are such a great writer. Keep it up!
Try using sherryleger.smugmug.com and it that does not work use sherrylegerphotography.smugmug.com and click on the link that says my photos or photos or something like that. It would be so awesome if we could train together. I was talking with Ron today after I got back from a training ride in the goethe forest....I have lost my mojo. Can't get up the nerve to do a decent trot speed, much less a canter. I worry about getting dumped out there and no one around. Probably a throw back from getting dumped by pea and breaking bones. Any suggestions? If we don't step it up I may as well step out. On a better note, while I was riding I met a girl here from Austraila training for the FEI hundred at the goethe. They shipped the horses over. She was at Kentucky in all that horrible weather too. It is so much fun riding over there because I run across world class riders quite frequently. Gotta love it.
Training is coming along slow but consistent. I ride way too slow enjoying this perfect weather. I have trailered over to the forest a couple of times and done battle with the deer. So far no wild pigs. Our first ride is December 19th. The Goethe Challenge. The one I had planned for December 5th is full already. I just found out today that my neices' straight egyptian colt one first in his class and champion stallion at a north Florida show this weekend..too cool. He is only a yearling and beat out older horses with multiple championships. I guess now I have to step it up and win a ride this year :)
hi, unfortunately i have not taken any clinics or anything, i have only done the home study.i would absolutely love to do a clinic some time though.yes cardinal ranch does do clinics and what not although i just learned of this not too long ago.it is also a good couple of hours away from me and i am on maternity with a 10 month old son for a little longer so it has been a bit hard to get out and do much the past little while unfortunately.but i will be moving him closer so over the winter i will be spending ALOT more time with him! as for the weather, ya, it's definitely pretty cold up here some days still no snow yet though, where chance is is considerably higher then us though so when we go to see him it feels about 10 degrees colder and it's definitly a lot windier and chance doesn't do well in the wind, he never has so we will be much happier once he's moved.