_

_

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Horse Wedding Photo Inspiration! 16 days to go!

I can't believe the big day is going to be here to quickly! May 16th is just around the corner :)

I still have a lot to do.  But mostly I can't stop thinking about all the fun horsey photos my fiance and I will have with the herd (much to my mother's chagrin!).

Here are a few photo inspiration ideas I like:




 (I'm going to do this exact shot but have "Just" and "Married" signs on the horse's bums!)











I'm still hoping to purchase an "off the rack" wedding dress so I can sit on Apollo for some photos, right now I don't think my current dress me will along me to swing my leg over!

I can't decide if I want the horses to wear plain leather halters (as shown in most of the photos) or if I want to buy cheap halters and hot glue some fake flowers onto them.  I can't make up my mind if that's tacky or not. 

I also thought of doing something with Mystic super long mane, like this:



And maybe something like this for the tails:



Henry is for sure wearing a flower wreath.... he actually looks like the first horse!:







I'm a little afraid to go too overboard and end up with this:


 Here's my horse to-do list before the wedding:
- Trim Apollo's mane
- Trim Apollo's feathers
- Trim Apollo's beard
- Bathe all horses
- Trim Mystic's beard
- Practice braiding and wearing wreaths etc

Any special grooming tips from anyone?  I haven't shown in ages and don't know what products are out there for extra spiffy occasions!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Happy Birthday Mystic!


Mystic turns two today!  I plan to celebrate with a little horse birthday cake on the weekend.  Here are some of my favorite photos of her so far :)

(prepare for photo spam!)

Here is the photo used by the rescue in her ad (Ifell in love instantly):




When the rescue picked her up from her previous home after her mom passed away:





Her poster for helping with a name: 
Hanging out at the rescue:



Winter time at the rescue:


After hernia surgery:



Getting ready to come home to Calgary:



First day together and a "family photo":


Late winter:


Spring/summer:











Fall:


This last winter:



With her ribbon a few weeks ago:

More pictures to follow (with horse cake!)
Love you pony! 



Thursday, 24 April 2014

Connection




I have been without my sweet/crabby TB gelding Blue for about 6 years now.  I think about him often.  He was put down in February 2008, due to an inoperable tear in his colon.  It was a gift to spend 7 years with him. 



I hoped to find a relative of Blue to purchase as my second horse initially but I never had any luck.  I did shop and still do occasionally check for horses that share his bloodlines, the problem is that they are very old lines so there aren’t a lot of horses that share much blood with him.  I had kind of given up hope on ever seeing/owning a relative of him.
There has always been something about Henry that reminds me of Blue.  Even though owning three horses has been a struggle and Henry has the most re-sale value (for the warmblood factor) I haven’t been able to sell him, despite a few interested parties.   I have this funny gut feeling that owning Henry is my second chance to right the wrongs done to Blue in his life.   Blue was not treated with kindness for most of his life and there was a sweet sensitive horse underneath the crabby exterior that I got glimpses of. 

Last week I was entering Henry into allbreedpedigree and thought I would look at Blue’s lines again.  When I had Blue’s pedigree open I clicked into Henry’s TB lines.  And they are related.  Granted – it’s VERY distantly but I would be lying if I said I didn’t well up with tears.

I think it's pretty cool a very small piece of Mr. Blue lives on with Henry.  Miss you old man!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Road Map



After a bit of googling I found this great site that gave me some ideas on how to map out my future horsey plans.   Before you continue reading understand that I have really been struggling with my confidence so this goal is really BIG to me. :)
 
I think a key element of my success will be doing as much with Apollo as I can for the next few years.  The more experiences he and I have, the more skills I can bring when I start Mystic and Henry.  I find myself getting really wrapped up in the young horses....I spend more time than I should brainstorming/daydreaming goals for both of them.  In reality, I have a super quiet and willing partner who is not being used to his full potential.  He also starts to have soundness issues when he is heavier so keeping him in shape is very important to keeping him comfortable. 

Here are my short-term goals for Apollo:
-         Ride outside by mid-late June 2014
-         Have fun at scheduled clinics
-         Increase horse and rider fitness and condition 

    Here's my personalized version of the worksheet from the above website:



Timeline
Exercise
Success Measure 
Days 1-10
Walk/Trot Transitions in enclosed area without other horses & without distractions
Horse responds to cues and both horse and rider are calm by end of session.
Days 11-14
Walk/Trot Transitions, alone, in enclosed area with distractions ie. people walking outside arena carrying unusual objects, or unusual objects in arena - be creative
Horse responds to cues and both horse and rider are calm by end of session.
Days 15-20
Lunge outside on the grass near the arena before/after riding indoors
Horse responds to cues and both horse and rider remain calm
Days 21-20
Ride on the grass outside the arena at a walk
Horse responds to cues and both horse and rider remain calm
Days 19-22
Ride outside at a walk and trot
Horse responds to cues. Both horse and rider remain calm as additional distance is added.
Days 23-25
Mix up days of riding inside and outside, increasing length of ride each time.
Horse is ridden to stop sign using walk/trot transitions, responding well to cues and remaining calm.
Days 26-unlimited
Try to plan a ride with another horse around the neighbours fields (find out which ones I’m allowed in!)
After a few rides with a companion horse, try out just going with Todd walking or leading young horse.
Riding out in the fields – goal completed! 

I’ve been kind of a baby about riding outside at my current facility.  I don’t really have anyone to ride with and I’m not sure what areas I’m OK to ride in.  So I will have to get some answers to these questions before I reach the end goal.  

I’m going to leave my long-term goals with Apollo open for now.  I think I would be over the moon to feel confident out in the big neighboring fields. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Massage Day & Baby Grooming!



It has been such a wonderful weekend so far!  I actually had some time off, woohoo!

Horsey Massage Day (Friday):
Apollo was worked on today by my wonderful friend.  She didn’t find any glaring issues but he did have some tightness in the muscles near his poll.  She gave me a few stretches to do to help him out.

Here’s a photo of the area he’s currently tight in.



My friend also had a look at Henry.  She gave me a huge compliment when she stated he had good conformation, but just needed to grow into himself more.  She wasn’t able to work on Henry due to a bit of time crunch but she got a good baseline for how he is currently.

I hope to have her check in with Apollo once a month, and the babies whenever she has time. 

Spiffy Grooming Day for the Babies (Saturday):

My wonderful fiancΓ© came out with me on Saturday to help groom Mystic and Henry.  It’s so much easier with two people.   Both of them impressed me with their improving ground manners today.  I did a quick measure again and Mystic is holding steading at 15.2hh and Henry is at 15hh.  

Todd was such a great help, and the horses really enjoy having him out there.  He is pretty liberal when dispensing carrots and pets – and they love that!  It was such nice weather to be outdoors with the ponies today.

Here’s the closest thing to a decent photo of me with them.




Other notes:
I am feeling very lumpy and out of shape.  I weighed myself today and I’m sitting at 145.  I prefer to be in the 137 and under range so I will be working on that.   I think I’m going to sign up for a 5km in the next month or so.

I hope to get a ride in on Mr. Apollo tomorrow.  I’m going to try to set up a separate page to track my rides so it’s separate from my regular blog….just haven’t figured that out yet!

That's all for now :)