Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Firming up with Tanka

It's Tanka time.
I have been wondering if I am being too much of a marshmallow and not enough of a firm hand. I think the trainer made it really obvious today. I need to firm up.
Honestly, having a trainer has its good points and its geez-you-make-me nervous points.
Sometimes, I find her words confusing but when I watched her in action today, I understood her actions well enough.
Tanka was really fresh today. Here's what made me nervous to begin with. Hubby and her were following and I was worried the horse would want to run over me as it is a bit tight through that area. Then, the trainer is like "Just walk with confidence."
She got right in the round pen with a lead rope on and told Tanka to walk and when he didn't walk, she tapped him on the shoulder. Tanka looked a bit wild but that didn't scare the trainer. She also backed him up, turned him. She said she was trying to get him a little worn out but mostly engaging his brain.
I had a lot of "scary objects" like plastic bags, white boxes, light colored pillow cases. I felt I needed to get over the whole I shy at stuff that Tanka does. I think things that are contrasting like white scare him the most. She was willing to help me on that.
She worked with him and once she got him walking nicely beside her and behaving, she started sending him by the "scary" stuff. By the end, he was standing by the stuff and going by all of it pretty good. He sniffed the hanging pillowcase. Then, she rubbed the pillow case on herself and then on him. He took it well.
Then, I got in there and I tried. When he wouldn't move out I tapped him on the shoulder and he moved! Having seen how that worked, it didn't seem quite as nerve wracking to me. I worked him on both sides in a circle near the scary stuff but I was firm when I needed to be firm. I had Tanka stop near the scary stuff.
The trainer asked if I could walk him out to the mailbox "I said "Sure, no problem."
Then I walked Tanka out to the mail box and the trainer said "Let's go to the telephone pole". Then we saw the pigs. She said just keep walking normally. Stop and let him look right there. Walk normally, stop there. We didn't walk up to the pigs but we did look at them from across the street. It went really smoothly. We did the pigs twice:) And then I walked him confidently to the mailbox and into the gate of our driveway:)
We let the horse hang out and then Hubby worked Tanka near the trailer. It was nice to see Tanka relaxing and I thought Hubby and I are now sort of on the same page with training.
This is where the trainer gets a little confusing, as an example "Always have the whip with you so you can have it to block if he comes up on top of you." Later, "You don't need the whip just use the rope." Okay, I'll figure out what is best for me as I go:)
I did learn a lot today from the trainer even if I did end up feeling a little nervous. She is so nice and encouraging. Watching her in action helped me learn.
Hubby says I am way less nervous when no one is there watching me. Hopefully, I will be able to do better with my nerves as I gain more experience. I know I am doing so much better driving Wiseguy now that I feel like I know what I am doing.
I let Tanka and Pony hang out together for the afternoon. Pony let me walk right up to him and put his halter on today.
Yesterday, Pony was so upset that Tanka had left him behind that Pony started rearing up and banging on the gate with his front hooves. I was working Tanka in the round pen where Pony could see us. Suddenly, I realized Pony had gotten the gate open somehow but he was still behind the gate. Of course, by the time I got there Pony was out and running around. I called Hubby and we finally cornered him up front where he gave up without a fight! Pony Baloney is a bad Pony!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Working with Tanka

Tanka and I had a lovely time today. I brushed him and combed him and cleaned out his front feet [sort of]. I walked him around the back acre a little bit. We walked over a few logs. I really praised him for that. He pushed the ball and he touched the hula hoops.
What have I learned about Tanka. Tanka is afraid and lacks self confidence.
He is curious and willing if his fear isn't too great. He does obstacles really well.
He's pretty smart. He has learned to push the ball and is learning "Pick it up"
He's definitely overwhelmed and very afraid of animals that are strange and/or if they are moving. On the other hand, he seems okay with the dogs going in and out of his pen and running around. The goats don't seem to be too awful although he still feels cautious about approaching them in their pen. But cars don't seem to be a problem.
How am I going to conquer his fears? I am not sure. We know he already feels better about people being taller than him by climbing up on a rail. He looked okay with having Hubby and his friend walk out to the pen and then around the yard.
Since he and Pony didn't try to kill each other, should I have them spend more time in the big pen? Will that help Tanka?
Any ideas on how to build his self confidence? Maybe help him conquer his fear? Do I just keep doing the ground work and encouraging him to desensitize to new things?
Does my caring about him help? Do you think he knows that I care about him and want him to do well? Any opinions?

 Hi Liz, if you've read my comments you can tell I'm a ground work advocate. You can teach your horse many things from the ground that will translate to the saddle. You can gain respect and a stronger, bonded relationship. That bond increases your horse's desire to please you. Thus, he will try things simply because you had confidence and asked him. As he experiences new things his self confidence and confidence in you grows. That will help him to be less fearful and look to you for leadership in new and unknown situations. As to he and Pony, as long as they are not aggressive I would let them spend time together. Turn them out together for 30minutes, an hour or more so they can chaise each other and horse play. Yes, your caring helps and he knows you do. Best of luck.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It was the best of training, it was the worst of training

Training Day with Tanka. It was the best of times [morning]. It was the worst of times [afternoon].
We had a great session of despooking with the bag on a whip in the morning. Played with the new horse toy. Walked to the big pen calmly and nicely.
Took him outside the yard in the afternoon. Nervous as a cat on hot tin roof! We went maybe a quarter of a mile. Finally got him home and worked in the round pen on respect. Which he didn't have any. Much better by the time we were done. Made him back way off for his special food and then for his hay.
Obviously I need to take this going outside the yard slower. Tomorrow, we will open the gate, go to the street, work a bit and then turn around and come back in the yard:)

For the morning session with Tanka, I had him follow the bag out to the big pen. I worked to get him to accept the bag by his side but not too near him. He touched it a number of times with his nose but now I want him to relax with the bag beside him [not real close] I just wanted him to not turn away from the bag with his rear end. Which he did do pretty good. Watched for the small changes to take the pressure off.
Then, I took his halter off and just walked around the big pen with the bag waving and circling high and low and back and forth. Not asking anything from Tanka. Eventually I circled around him waving the bag but not close. He was curious and watching. Eventually I got closer. He did good I let the bag rest on the ground and took it away when he looked relaxed.
He actually cocked a leg a couple of times and licked his lips. He also looked curious instead of worried sometimes. It's a lot of work over a bag but I want him to be curious and not scared of things that move. I got a long ways towards that today.
I also put on some phone music and danced and jumped around some. Not on top of Tanka but a ways away. He was curious and not upset which is my goal. Yes, people move around and do funny things but they aren't trying to hurt you. Hubby and I did jumping jacks not too near him one day. He's starting to get it.
Of course, there was lots of rubbing down the neck and over the back and onto his butt and his tail head. I pulled his tail over and got a piece of brush out of it.
He got a new toy and I talked him into picking it up once.
I managed to get a photo of him rolling in the sand.
I am hoping to take him out the gate and down the quiet street later today if the wind doesn't come up.
Have I said this before....I love this horse.

Afternoon session with Tanka.
Yes, took him for a walk outside the fence. He was scared of the pig across the street. I managed to hang on to the lead and don't push the horse to go close. I circle Tanka around a couple of times while we are easing our way away from the pigs.
Constantly on the prod the whole time we are going down the dirt road which is the opposite way of the pigs. Looking, head high.
I made it to the side dirt track, went up a little ways, stopped and backed him. He's as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.
I don't think it was all about the pigs either. He was watching at the neighbors place where there are no pigs but the neighbor was out there once.
He stopped and called loudly to his friends. Whomever they may be,
Got him turned around and back on the dirt road for home. Totally on the prod the whole way. Stopped to call to his friends two more times.
I did ask for some backs and some turn fore and did some circles.
He did play very cutely in the mud puddle going both ways.
it is now official. I'm probably the worst horse trainer in America!
Note to self - Why don't I just admit I'm a failure. Okay, lose the bad attitude, Liz .
Got him into the round pen, let him relax for a few minutes. Then, in I went and I asked, nay, commanded that Tanka walk, trot, canter. Kicking his heels up at the canter. Disrespectfully twisting butt towards me! Turn, repeat. Turn, repeat. We did that until he seemed ready to be respectful.
Halter on for some lead work as in back, turn fore, yield butt. Pick up foot.
Firm owner needs to show up at the party. I'll be rewatching the respect videos.
I'll probably work on leading him a very short ways out of the yard tomorrow since today was bit much but if I don't keep working on it, it isn't going to improve.

What am I grateful for in horses, asks one website? Here's my answer.

I'm grateful I found an on-line video course and group that allowed me the courage to get a big horse. I signed up for the group before I got my bigger horse. Although I love driving my mini, I thought about riding and thought maybe I was too old to learn or maybe too old to take a chance on getting hurt. And how would I go about getting a horse? You can't trust the people selling them:) When I saw Tanka online, I had some supportive people to turn to. After some discussion with the group and getting some more info on Tanka from the Kill Buyer, I talked to Hubby. I said, "Good feet, only 4 years old, gelded young, sweet attitude, love the look on his face in the photos, been saddled once but never ridden and a good size at 13.2 hands and a sturdy build...that is the kind of horse I would want." I told him to think about it since it was a big decision. Two hours later, he came back and said "Do it, buy the horse. Why should I stand in front of your dream of riding and stop you?" I would never have considered getting Tanka if I hadn't first worked on my horse skills within the online group. And, by the way, I have a farrier I love, who appreciates the work I do with my horses and supports me with his kind words.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tanka is learning

Today I felt like it was so easy to take Tanka out to the big pen.
 I asked him to stop and back and move ther fore around in a complete circle when he got a little bit like he was looking fro trouble in the shrubbery.
.Later, bringing him back, he said "What's that?" and we went to the bag on a whip where it was leaning on the round pen. He touched it with his nose. I had him follow the bag on a whip all the way to his home pen. Then set the whip with a bag up on the home pen. He wanted to shy away but he stood there. I led him past it and put him in his pen with almost no hesitation.
The big thing I felt was: He really is learning what I am teaching him. He is becoming more relaxed with his head level instead of high and looking around. The trust is coming into play a little at a time. How cool is that?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Training Tanka takes Time

We got a cold and cloudy day here but I am determined to work with Tanka every day that I can. I desensitized to the bag on a whip and he is doing better. I had him follow it out from the home pen and then got it to within about 2 feet of him on his sides. I think my timing was good today.
I also worked on touching and rubbing his face, the top of his head and his ears today.
Then, I left Tanka there to eat near the flapping bag.
I brought the bareback saddle pad out and put it on him with no fuss. I made sure he was comfortable and it was tight enough not to move if he got a little wild.
I ducked out of the pen and called a girlfriend who talks a lot:) I kept an eye on horse and walked around the outside of the pen. Tanka followed me here and there around the pen. So cute.
Tanka also looked at the pad every so often like "Is that thing still here?"
I finally got my friend off the phone.
I ducked back into the pen.
Gave him lots of rubs all over and tugs on his bareback pad on both sides.
I tried to push his hip over and he started to turn his butt toward me so I ran him off. I got back over to Tanka and rubbed him some more. Then pushed on his hip and he yielded.
Tanka followed me around the round pen some more. Still so cute.
I talked to Tanka and rubbed and tugged on the saddle pad. Since he had been doing fantastic and the session was so relaxed, I decided to walk him to his home pen with the saddle pad on.
He saw the halter and stepped over to me. He almost really lowered his head but when I said "Put your face in." he said "Okay".
I took the bareback pad off once we were into his home pen. I took of his halter and called it good.
This is why it takes time to train a horse. Well over an hour and we didn't get to several things on my list :) Which is fine but just saying it takes a lot of time to train a horse.
I totally enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cash at 14 months

Cash is about 14 months old now and a pretty good little dog.  My giant rat terrier fair sized but not actually giant:)  Seen here snuggling the Doggie Daddy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tanka does the farrier for the first time

Tanka did really good for the farrier. The farrier tried to pet him on his face but Tanka hated that and still got over it and did really good for the farrier.
I talked real soft to Tanka when he was getting a little upset and he calmed right down.
Tanka picked up all four feet and he managed to stretch his hind feet out back for the farrier.
Fortunately, the trim went pretty fast and the farrier did not push Tanka past his limits.
All the work of teaching him "Foot" paid off,
I love this horse.
Total cuteness when I put Tanka in the big pen this morning he whooped it up running and bucking and making me laugh. I wanted to make sure he was ready for the farrier to come. The other two little horses went into the round pen and they whooped it up too. My plan worked and the horses had burned off some energy before the trim:) Love when a plan comes together.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tanka plays ball

Tanka Update - Sometimes you just gotta have fun instead of training. I left him in his pen today instead of taking out to the round pen.
The weather is bad.
I got the brush out and brushed Tanka.
Then I rubbed him all over and got up near his ears and even rubbed his face some. We relaxed together and he even turned towards me a few times like "You can do that again."
I pulled on his tail gently and rubbed his tail area and up under his tail some. He doesn't seem sensitive there which is good.
Asked to pick up a foot, front and back on one side.
I cleaned up the pen and then got the ball out.
He is learning to Touch the ball. That is the photo.
He also is learning Push the ball. He did pretty good at that once he figured out there was an occasional carrot involved.
He is learning Kick the ball. I think he starting to understand that one.
Also, Pick the ball Up. The ball cover is too big so I looped the extra up with a rubber band so there is sort of a handle to use.
He was adorable.
I've also wanted to get a picture of him smiling since he does that fairly often. So I finally got one today.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dogs in the snow

The dogs felt left out.  Molly the neighbor dog is visiting outside the fence.

It's snowing

It's snowing.  Breakfast in the snow for Tanka.

Wiseguy looks a little like a floating head in this photo.  

Pony Baloney the bad pony agreed to take a good photo this morning.

The goats wanted their photo taken as they were feeling left out.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tanka gets more training

The trainer came over today. I managed to discuss goals with her when she said "He really hasn't had any real world experience." I said he had not and that is why I thought maybe it is a bit soon for the saddle. He does after all have so much to learn right now.
She stayed on the rail of the round pen while I had Tanka go around. Tanka is getting better but I did have to pressure him to go closer to her.
She noticed a huge improvement in the way Tanka and I worked together in the round pen. She helped me reconfigure some wood logs into some new patterns and Tanka and I worked on that. Obstacles are a good way to get him to pick up his feet.
Showed her drop your head, turn your head to me [she gave me some tips on hand placement] simulating reining. Stuff like that.
This gal is great at obstacles. And she did some stuff to help Tanka get better with people and objects that move without going overboard and running the horse into me. Very happy.
The trainer kept walking up to Tanka and petting him. That is helping Tanka get better at people coming up to him or hanging out near him.
We discussed how all these little things will come together for Tanka later when he is actually being ridden. I think the trainer and I are more or less on the same page. That is a good thing.
I told her it was time to wrap it up so we took Tanka back to his home pen. We stood and talked with him "tied" to the rail. Loosely wrapped roped. Then she and I petted on him and got him used to having hands and such near his face while he mostly relaxed.
I finished up with his muzzle in my hand while he leaned into me looking content and loved.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tanka and I did good

Tanka - Success on two or three fronts. May be four!
We got out of his pen this afternoon looking really relaxed.
Took him through the brushier area in back of the garage, through the fruit orchard and let him sniff the boat. No spooks.
He did reach out to nibble/bite me when I asked him to back up so I backed him up hard and big!
Back through the brushy area to the round pen. Asked for and got good movement on the lead for back, turn fore, turn hind, step up, turn and walk and turn and walk.
Let him stew on that while I went and got treats for all. Had Hubby hand out carrots.
Then Hubby stood back from the rail about 3 feet and Tanka walked smoothly around the round pen. I did have to push Tanka towards the rail a few times but turn, walk, turn, walk. Had Hubby step up a foot. Did it some more. Turn, walk, turn walk. Had Hubby step up one more step. Turn, walk. No bucking, crow hopping, jumping off the rail!!!!
I even bumped it up to a trot a few times. No problems.
Had Tanka turn towards Hubby. Finally got Tanka to take a carrot from Hubby.
Finished up with a few kind words and Tanka followed me to the gate. He's been hesitant to follow but I handed out my last carrot for being so good. And, the plastic bag was no problem when it was spitting out carrots.
It did start falling apart briefly in the middle of my work with him but I stepped back, reminded myself that I should be doing this not that and we pulled it right back together.
Happy dance!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cloudy an dchilly

Tanka - Chilly, cloudy and a wind coming up!

Started with some soft brushing in his pen before taking him out to the round pen.

Today in the round pen, I said "You can buck and act crazy when you go by Hubby but then you have to canter faster on the other side when you are away from Hubby." You can slow down and trot or walk near Hubby but you have to work harder on the other side of the round pen.

I think it helped. Too much acting like a wild man. Bucking, crow hopping or shying when going by Hubby or what ever leads to more work:)

Had Tanka rest near Hubby.

Skipped the whole desensitizing to the bag. Used the shorter whip as a pointer and desensitized with that some. Used the rope to desensitize.

Worked on head down.

We had some lovely soft time together and some Momma is getting tough time:)

He joined up with me in slow motion and I enjoyed just hanging out, talking softly and rubbing his face.

Finished up by walking down the scary driveway. He shied into me a bit due to moving leaves and I got him off me and backed him up. I hung out in the driveway. Hubby popped out of the garage, crawled under the truck, did some grunting and cursing at the truck.. I had Tanka do some work in circles on the lead and yield fore and aft while all this was going on.

Yes, it seems like slow going but we are making progress. It's going to come together.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Curly cu

Waiting for breakfast.

Amazing perfect curly cu of snow.

I thought it looked really neat.

Been 30 to 34 degrees day and night for a couple of days.

Tanka - Desensitized to the bag on a whip again. Eventually got the bag within a couple of feet of him on each side and decided we were doing pretty good.
Got out a bag not on the whip and rubbed it on the horse. He did pretty good with that.
Quit on a high note by having him follow the bag and the whip as I put it away.
Had Hubby walk with us again. Had Hubby stand on the rail again.
Sometimes Hubby gets creative. He decided to hop up on the rail just as the horse went by. I'm glad I didn't get run over.
Had the horse turn gently into Hubby again today. Asked Tanka to go out on a lead and turn and walk.
Kind of a repeat of yesterday.
It's cold and horrible but at least we are doing something.
I decided to call the trainer/neighbor and she is coming out on Thursday.
I'll do it again tomorrow.!

Day 2 of calming powder for Pony.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day one magnesium, calcium, b-vitamins for Pony Baloney

Day one of magnesium/calcium/B-vitamins for Pony Baloney.  The only problem is I put it on top of wet alfalfa pellets and chopped carrots and he didn't get all of it.  I may try putting it on apple slices next.

Tanka and I went out with Hubby today to do some work.  Tanka doesn't like someone walking near him.  We went down the driveway with Hubby next to me.  Then around the circle with Hubby on the other side of Tanka.  Tanka got big snow clumps on his feet...abort training mission.   So back up the driveway with Hubby next to Tanka all the way.

The round pen was free of snow.

I round penned Tanka with Hubby on the rail.  Tanka did not want to go near Hubby.  I got him going around and turning and trotting.  He bucked up a bit when going by Hubby a few times especially on his left side.  Walking and trotting and turning.  Hubby moved to another side of the pen.

Finally, rested Tanka near Hubby.  Then did some fore turns into Hubby a few times working slowly.  I thought it went well.

This afternoon, went back out and desensitized to the bag on a whip.  Went better today.  I started outside the pen and when Tanka made a small change like looking at it or flicking an ear forward, away went the bag.  Got inside and eventually Tanka touched the bag with his nose.  Best I have ever done at desensitizing. Called it good.

Did some brushing and making sure he could be brushed under the belly.  Picked up his feet.

Got the bareback pad out.  Showed it to him, turned and put it on him.  Reached under his belly, got the strap and pulled the girth tight.

We did some work with the bareback pad on.  I wanted him to walk out and then turn, whoa, turn, whoa on the lead.  It was tough going on the left side.  I finally managed to communicate well enough to get that whole thing working for us.

Quit while I was ahead of the game.  Asked him to walk with his attention on me to his pen.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tanka wears his bareback pad

Tanka Update. LOL
Yes, I update frequently because he and I are so new together and we are learning so many new things.
Today Tanka was kind of impatient. I walked to the back fence to see where the dogs are getting out.
He also was easily distracted. I tried to be aware and not come down on him while insisting he refocus on us walking together.
Then I put him in the round pen while I filled the hole and grabbed the bareback pad.
I had him go around a few times, turn, walk, turn, walk, turn trot, turn canter. Just to warm us up.
I got his halter back on and asked him to step a bit here and there, back and forwards.
Decided no time like right now to get the saddle pad, show it to him, desensitize just a bit and then, turned and put it on him like it weren't nothing.
I managed to get the strap where it was easily reachable [score one for me} I carefully reached under and caught the strap. I figured out the D-ring system again [What is it about gear that makes it seem confusing?}
Pulled the strap up a bit, then a bit more. I wanted it tight enough that it didn't come off him if he went a little hog wild.
I took the halter off and got out of the pen. He looked worried, he looked at the pad a number of times while I relaxed in a chair. He moved around a bit. We talked through the fence and he moved around a bit more. I left to see if I still had three dogs and when I came back he was eating from his hay pile.
I decided what the heck, got in the pen and asked him to turn and walk, turn and walk. That went good so I asked him to turn and trot, turn, trot.
Finally, I did have trouble getting him to lower his head for the halter at quitting time. So we worked on that a bit. Finally decided we had improved and the halter was on so I asked him to hold still. I got the strap loose, told him it was going to drop, pulled the pad off and ended on a good note with a carrot.
I'm so pleased. A strap around his middle and no fireworks. He maybe wasn't wanting to work today but he did do some work today. Very nice.
I left him out in the round pen with some hay and water so he can watch cars go by. Later this afternoon, if I can, I want to work with him again on desensitzing and such. Or maybe we will go for a walk on the quiet street.

Snow glowing magically

I couldn't sleep last night so I got up about midnight. The snow was glowing magically. I looked out the French doors to where my horses are. Laying on the ground in the shimmering moonlight, head up, looking around, was Tanka. I watched him for a couple of minutes and thought "I love that horse."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snowed most of the day.

Snowed most of the day.  Got about 6 inches.

I really have enjoyed having a day off.  So much that I am having Hubby pick up a pizza on his way home from work.  Papa Murphy is doing the cooking!  Okay, the making.  I still have to throw it in the oven:)

Of course I fed the critters in the morning and evening but I didn't take Tanka out of his pen.  He would probably like to get out but sometimes I need a break and it was cold and snowy.  I'll do better tomorrow.

I saw a video of a little gall beating on a horse to try to get it in the trailer.  It was said she spent three hours at that.  If only she would try the Carson James or other natural horseman methods, I bet she could have got it done in less than an hour.

It was a little shocking that she calls herself a trainer.  A trainer teaches.  You don't get a love of learning from beating a child or an animal.  Just saying.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

There is a sun

There is a sun!!!! Days of storms are not over but we got a break.
Tanka Update: Well, I put Tanka out into the big pen for a couple of hours while I cleaned 2 horse pens and a goat pen. It isn't perfect out there but it is improved. This storm has been ongoing but I have managed to pretty much keep up!
I got Tanka into the round pen, took his halter off and asked him to walk, trot, turn, canter.
I worked on desensitizing him to the bag on a whip. Went okay but it will take a few more sessions.
Worked with the bareback pad. Didn't try to cinch it up just showed it to him, had him follow it and put it on/took it off on both sides. Trying to watch for those little signs of acceptance. Rubbed his sides/belly where the cinch would touch him .
Asked him on the lead to go out.... turn, go out, walk, whoa, turn, go out, walk, whoa. Back and forth.
You know, it wasn't our best day. The wind was coming up and Tanka was a bit jumpy and a little pushy. Too many days cooped up, I suppose.
I asked him to pay attention to me on our walk back to his pen and not the scary leaves blowing in the wind. We ended with a send through the gate and a horsey hug and some rubs. We ended on a good note.
Was it perfect, nope. It was a try for both of us and I'll take it.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Flood of 2017

Carson River off Ninth St in State Park.

Above Ft Churchill, flash flood entering Carson River.  No stream normally comes in here.

Above Ft Churchill, looking downstream on the Carson River flooding.

Above Ft Churchill, flooding through a barbwire fence.

Downtown, diversion ditch is very full.

Pine nuts are beautiful with snow still on them.

We survived the flood of 2017.  It was pretty big but fortunately not literally devastating.  Lots of road closures and the road up Six Mile is a total mess.  Won't be repaired for quite some time, I think.

Our place is fine since it isn't in a flood area.  The ground thawed out and the pens are back to their normal reasonably dry well drained state.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


It is terrible. It is raining cats and dogs and the horses don't want to get out of the rain especially Wiseguy who has an occasional dry cough. Wiseguy hates his blanket so I can't get him to wear it. The Pony and Wiseguy are eating in the rain. I think I will make Wiseguy get back in his shed
The ground is frozen so the rain has no where to go but is puddling up every where. I've never seen anything like this before in our 11 years of living here.

We live on a sand dune and it never floods like this in the pens. Wiseguy is getting thrush, I think, and he has a dry cough so I am concerned about all the standing water in the horse pen. Pony won't go into the stall without having a heart attack so he is on his own out there but I made Wiseguy go into his three sided shed which is at least dry for his feet. I hope your place will be okay.

The most incredible storm with at least 2 inches of rain here in Silver Springs.  It is still raining tonight.  The Truckee is overflowing in Reno.  The Carson River is full.

Road closures due to local flooding in Mark Twain, Carson City, Dayton.

Mudslide closed I-80 west of Truckee.

Craziest weather in a long time.  The snow has mostly melted but even with all the rain it has not managed to melt all the snow in our yard.

Should stay above freezing tonight.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Weather sucks

Still cold and snowy. Tanka looked grumpy:) I took him out to the big pen for a couple of hours while I chipped manure out of the snow and redid his water bucket.
I did see him trotting a bit back there so hopefully he feels better for getting out of his pen.
We didn't work much but I did ask that he focus on me during our walk to and from the pen and that he pick up his feet for me. The cold and bad weather are no fun.
The sunrises are why getting out early to feed are is worth it. Yesterday the sunrise was amazing.
Snow is supposed to turn to rain but I am wondering if the dire flood predictions are a little overwrought. It looks to me like the rain is mostly further south. We shall see tomorrow. Fortunately, Hubby and I can both stay home for the next couple of days.
Wiseguy seems to have a bit of a cough. I'm keeping an eye on him. He is eating and drinking water.

Amazing Sunrise

An absolutely amazing sunrise yesterday.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cold with snow on the ground

Zero this morning although strangely it warmed up to 8 degrees before dawn. We have at least 6 or 8 inches of snow on the ground.  I spent the day inside reading a book and taking a long nap. We managed a high of 20. It is supposed to improve on Sunday. 

Of course, I did have to bundle up to feed and water this morning and this afternoon. Tanka did not get out of his pen today. I just couldn't make myself go out there to move him into the big pen out back. Tomorrow, I promised him.

Brought in wood, cleaned out the ashes and now I better get some dishes done so Hubby doesn't think I am a lazy girl:)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Carson James and confidence

"you CAN use exposure to certain objects as a lesson to build lifelong confidence and courage into the horse."
This is Carson James in the written word How to desensitize a horse. Somehow, seeing written down gave me a new insight. The bigger picture of doing the obstacles and desensitizing is to build courage and confidence.
When I am throwing a rope over his back and around his feet OR when I am showing him new things and helping him accept them, my goal isn't just to teach him not to flinch or move. My goal is to help him build his confidence and encourage his courage.
It is a confidence builder for me as well when I see we are working together. We can handle this. Even if the horse is having issues, I can figure out a way to present things to help the horse.
If I brush the horse and handle his feet if I am doing my job right I am building confidence in the horse that I will not harm him.
If I show the horse an object like a whip or a ball or a rope and I am doing it right the horse will not only accept the object but will feel more confident.
I suppose part of me knew that but another part of me didn't realize that goal of confidence is the goal I am working to achieve through all the walks in the neighborhood, the work on a lead line, the round pen work, etc. When the horse can look to me and feel confident and look at the outside world and feel confident, we will be doing great.
I rewatched desensitizing video and read the chart and the inspirational email and I am sure I will do the same again. And I am going to keep the confidence factor in mind as I do the desensitizing and the other training I am working with on the horse.

It snowed. Here is Tanka kicking up his heels in the snow.  So cute.

Feeling good! It snowed so I took Tanka out to the big pen so he could blow off some steam.
We had a great session of pressure and release free style with no halter. He followed me like a puppy, turned his fore and did okay on turning his hind quarters. He started pawing at me so I backed him up. All was well until I went to halter him and he ducked out and ran away. Oh no you don't. Chased him off and came in the house to warm up. I will win round 2. Geez, it's cold out there.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Real rain.  Deep soaking rain.  Temp is 40 and the rain just keeps coming down.  The plants will be thrilled even if they are dormant for the most part.

Pony Baloney and Wiseguy insisted on eating in the rain.  Tanka liked being in the shed to eat although I see his butt is out in the rain now.

My only concern is the horses being really wet and then the weather turning to freezing.

Someone rolled in the mud while I was gone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Desensitizing to the rope

Tanka - I went out and worked with Tanka for maybe 1/2 an hour. I had him walk, trot and canter in both directions with whoa and turns.
I desensitized to the rope going over his back and I got his feet moving. He would get a little too close and I would back him up. He was a bit wilder with the feet moving but I think it was a good thing to do. I also used the rope to turn fore, turn aft. Just like in the sacking out video from Carson James.
Hopefully, if I keep this up and I keep working on my timing. He will be a calmer horse with things that move in no time at all.
I'm going to keep working at this.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Desensitizing to Bareback Pad

Tanka - I took Tanka out to the round pen and didn't show him the saddle at all. I took the bareback pad with me.
I free lunged him a bit to loosen him up and establish moving the feet.
I decided what Tanka really needs right now is more desensitizing and I used the bareback pad for that. I rubbed it on him and then fluffed it up and down near him and let the strap touch him and such until I saw a small change. I did that a number of times on each side of him.
I got the bareback pad on him and lightly cinched it by just pulling it through the D-ring. I pulled it up a bit and let it loose a number of times waiting for some small changes.
I'm not sure desensitizing is my best thing but then again I feel a little down about training today:) I am trying very hard to look for those small changes and take off the pressure at the right time.
It's cold and cloudy and I guess I should congratulate myself on getting out there and doing my best this morning.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tanka and the saddle

Tanka - I kept it simple today. I took the saddle and blanket out to the round pen, set it up so he would lunge near the gear and brought him out.
I free lunged him to get his blood circulating but I kept it mellow and did a few transitions from walk to trot to turn and I threw in a canter on each side.
I worked with desensitizing from the whip which he is worried about.
I got the halter back on him and did a few turn fore, turn aft, turn walk out on the lead and circle.
I put the rope over a rail and touched him with the blanket and then put the blanket on him from both sides. I did the same with the saddle. I left the rope loose since I didn't want him to feel a bunch of pressure. That worked fine.
I decided following the scary saddle would be good so I led him in the round pen from both sides of his face with the saddle on my hip. I looked for small changes.
Hubby came out and I had him hold the lead while I put the blanket off and on. Then, the saddle off and on. Jiggled the saddle until he started to relax. Kept it short and sweet.
I think it went fine but it will take a few days of work for the whole incident of the saddle flying off him yesterday to be completely overcome.
I spent some time hanging out with Tanka and then we both decided it was time to go back to his pen to relax.
Happy New Year and here's to good horse training in 2017.