Friday, March 31, 2017

Pony Baloney Improves

How about we talk about Pony Baloney today since it has been awhile.
Pony has been improving I have had Pony on UlcerAide for about 8 weeks. His nervousness/tense muscles has improved. He doesn't seem to stand in the corner looking sad as much as he used to. I'm think I am going to add something called Total Equine which my trainer uses and which has all the minerals and such in it.
When I went to get the horses two days ago, I caught Tanka first and had trouble keeping Pony away. Pony came in for the nip at Tanka's legs while I was trying to get the halter tied and I decided to get the bag on a whip out. Pony decided to go to the far corner of the pen and stay there.
Tanka was pretty sure he didn't like the bag on a whip but no freaking out by Tanka. I used the bag to run off Pony while holding Tanka's lead rope. I carried the bag on a whip with me after walked Tanka out of the big pen. I put the bag on my off side in front of us and Tanka followed it. I call that improvement.
Pony was and is quite easy to catch. He will walk up to you to be caught and he puts on his halter willingly. He isn't truly a bad horse in that he doesn't rear, he doesn't really bite but I do watch him for that tendency, he doesn't kick.
The trainer and I were sitting out on a bench near the pony pen. We were talking about Pony Baloney's progress. She mentioned that Pony could not go to someone else because I have the ability to observe and work with Pony that other people would not.
I know, I feel the same way. I can't rehome Pony because another home really wouldn't try to understand Pony. He might end up being smacked because they think Pony is being bad when Pony definitely has something going on. And Pony would fall apart if people started smacking him. That would be the end of any progress Pony could make.
Pony is a conundrum. He is bold with the dogs, new objects and is willing to come up to the fence to see people. He picks up his feet for us. He knows how to yield his hind and his fore. He knows how to back and step up. Yet, he has big issues with being tied, being closed into his stall, being touched.
Pony seems to like Hubby. Hubby got home and came out back to find us sitting near the ponies. Hubby haltered Pony and then was scratching and rubbing Pony. Hubby seemed to have found Pony's good spots. Pony actually looked relaxed. Amazing! Pony's upper lip started relaxing and wiggling loosely. I don't know if I ever thought I would see Pony enjoying himself while being touched!
So, while my experiment with giving Pony magnesium [or whatever is helping him in the calcium/magnesium/Vitamin B/probiotics combo that is UlcerAide] hasn't literally been a miracle cure, it does seem to have helped considerably. It does take time for nerve tissue to heal so I am hoping that over time Pony will continue to progress.
I'm going to try the TotalEquine feed recommended by the trainer. It has all the vitamins and minerals in it. I am also looking into the selenium situation in our area. I thought we were in a high selenium area but the trainer says no...low selenium around here.
It is nice to feel like Pony is making progress instead of going backwards. I feel like maybe I can start working with Pony again with some hope of CJ's methods of small steps moving him forwards with his issues.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tanka Time

Tanka Time
I worked with Tanka yesterday and today on accepting people. He took carrots from the neighbor lady and Hubby yesterday. That is a big deal for Tanka.
I also worked him yesterday with the neighbor lady and her new puppy by the rail.
Tanka did not want to lope for me so I got out the bag on a whip and he did some loping in both directions. I made sure to rub him with the bag crumpled in my hand when we were done.
We continue to work on his being head shy.
Hubby did a good job helping me today. Hubby rubbed on Tanka and picked up Tanka's feet. That is a big deal, too.
Hubby also waved his hat around and above Tanka's head. Tanka did move some but we took the hat away when he stopped. Over all Tanka is doing much better with being head shyness.
Hubby also worked really close to Tanka while we walked one on each side of him.
After Hubby left, I asked Tanka to go around while I stood on the mounting block. I got him to circle pretty close to me by starting farther away and getting him closer as he went around. Then, I got him to step, step, step up underneath me and get some petting on his back.
On top of all of that the wind is a bit gusty today. I kept Tanka's attention going to and from his home pen to the round pen.
Yeah, I kept it short. Maybe 30 minutes. I was also pleased to find out that he looked happier to be out there with me today.
A final note, when I got him back to his home pen, he got jumpy and antsy when I went to his right side. I addressed that with some step ups, some walk beside me and some rubbing on that side. Once he settled down, I went to his left side, expected him to keep his face turned towards me slightly and took off his halter.
I rubbed him with the rope and halter a bit and called it good.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I didn't want to do it

I sat on a chair after working with Tanka and got a photo from a more unusual angle. He has a nice butt :)
I am having an off day, I suppose. I thought I should take Tanka and Pony out to the big pen. It's pretty nice out.
Then, I worried about if it would be windy. Which it isn't and I checked the weather and it shouldn't go over 10 MPH. So, I still sit here. Should I or shouldn't I?

I finally told myself I have all these tools in my tool belt.
I can make him move up beside me by throwing the rope behind me.
I have on gloves.
I have the ability to stop him if he runs out from beside me. Tuck that left hand behind me, hold on with both hands and sit back on the rope.
I hold my arm right so he has to hit my arm before he can hit me while leading.
I know how to make him work if he gets a little wonky.
I know how to get his attention by stopping him, backing him, moving his hindquarters {and moving his forequarters if it is safe to do so].
So, I decided to go ahead and get him out. I took my time inside his pen. Haltered him. Asked him to back one step, forward one step. Yield hind, yield fore. Come up beside me. Out the gate we went.
Yes he did show subtle signs he was about to get a little wonky but I cut him off well before he actually spooked. We did a dance of whoa, back, step. Walk in circle. Walk out. Whoa, back, step. Walk in a circle. Walk out.
It was going so well that even though there was a slight breeze, I decided to do a few obstacles. Step over some poles, yield, turn. He did start to drift his attention but I got it back again.
Step over some logs. circle. Through the snake pit, around the logs in a fan shape. Go look at the trash can upside down on a shovel. And into the big pen.
I'm noticing some head shy behavior so that is what I worked on in the big pen. Using the methods of CJ I managed to get all the way from waving my hand near and above his head on both sides to waving a hat [working both sides] and touching him all the way up to his ears with the hat along his neck.
I finished off by taking my coat off in front of him, touching him with the coat after he touched it with his nose. I put the coat on his back. Convinced him to take some steps. Did that on both sides.
I did a few neck bending exercises and I picked up all four feet.
In the end, we had a lovely time together and he is a better horse for it. And I am proud of myself for not making excuses and getting my courage up.
I put Pony in with him so they could "play" for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stunning Sunrise

It was raining this morning then, just as the sun was about to come up, the sky glowed.

It's back to really windy and it is raining, this afternoon but for a few glorious minutes, it was stunningly beautiful.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Is it spring yet?

Must be, irrigation zones 7/8/front/back up and running.  Had to fix a ball valve and a pipe to hose threaded connection for the red hose that goes to the front pond.

Front pond, cleaned out, pump installed and refilled with clean water from the red hose :)

Back pond, cleaned, pump up and running.

Bug zapper, yep, hung up.

Mosquito attractant ordered.

Fly traps ordered.

Horses shedding like crazy.

I have walked the other irrigation zones and have most of them sprinkling and dripping properly but we will still have to work on our manifold set ups and timers will be coming out much later affter any chance of freezing.

It is officially spring here in Silver Springs.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Beautiful Day

Another big first for Tanka. He was ponied today.
The day is gorgeous, 76 degrees, no wind.
First, I put Tanka out with Pony for about 4 hours in the big pen out back today hoping to wear Tanka down just a bit :) It is spring after all.
Then, I put Wiseguy in the round pen where he could see his friends. Wiseguy loves to roll and he dropped and rolled in the dirt. He rolled all the way over a couple of times.
Wiseguy wanted to show off for Pony and Tanka. He started running and bucking and farting. You wouldn't know he is 16 years old or there about.
There is nothing cuter than a wild bronco mini horse :) Every time he stopped, I thought, "He's done" and then Wiseguy would start all over again! I was laughing so hard.
I put Tanka into the round pen after putting Wiseguy back into his own pen. Tanka started galloping around the pen. So cute.
The trainer came over about 2:30pm and we worked on Tanka getting used to a saddled horse being near him.
Then, I walked around the outside of the pen following Brownie the nice training horse with Tanka following on the inside.
After that, I put a halter and lead on him and we walked around the inside with Brownie on the outside of the pen.
Lots of hanging out and learning to turn when Brownie turned.
Then, The trainer took the lead rope and ponied Tanka from the inside with Brownie on the outside. I walked along with Tanka on the other side to help him build up his courage.
She sat with Brownie and had Tanka step up to her. She petted Tanka on the face. Hung out with him.
She managed to turn Brownie still holding Tanka and repeated on Tanka's off side. Tanka did good. He stepped up and got petted again and hung out. The trainer had to ask him to step up several times to get Tanka right up to her.
We did 4 or 5 rounds of that and then she managed to pet Tanka on the neck.
I took the lead back and then we followed Brownie out and around the obstacles in the back area.
We stopped and Tanka sniffed Brownie's stirrup and the trainer's boot and the strings on the trainer's saddle. He is so cute.
She took back the rope and got Tanka to step up and then led Tanka over to the mounting log.
I took the rope back and stepped up on the log. Tanka did jerk back a little but then stood still. I got Tanka to step up underneath me with a little help from Brownie who squeezed him just enough to make Tanka come underneath me.
Tanka got to rest and get scratches.
I hopped up and down of the log another couple of times and we called it good and I led Tanka back to his home pen.
The trainer said that Tanka is fun. You can really see the progress with him. Also, Tanka really has a personality that is coming to the forefront.
A wonderful day even if I didn't get enough done in the yard :) The yard will still be there on Sunday but beautiful days without wind don't come along everyday in the springtime around here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tanka is conquering his fears

Tanka time - I feel like Tanka and I are having a bit of a break through moment around here.
I was super worn out yesterday so I took Tanka to the round pen, I took his halter off and just sat for awhile. Then, I put a carrot on top of a grocery bag and Tanka edged his way up to it and took the carrot. And the bag. I had to get the bag back from him )
I had a toy truck on a string and I walked around the outside of the pen with it. Then, I raised it up and let it dangle from the rail. Tanka followed me the whole way and then played with the truck.
I took a friend's suggestion and put a cone on Tanka's back. I left him in the pen and stepped out. The cone eventually fell off and Tanka was a bit startled. I did it again and the second time it was fine.
I took an old sheet and put it above my head in the wind. It flapped and moved. Tanka was fine. I had Tanka touch it, I rubbed him with it and then I put it over his back. I left it on the ground and Tanka explored it, scared himself just a bit when he moved it with his foot and then he sniffed it again.
I let a grocery bag dangle in the wind from the top rail. Then I let it go and it blew across the round pen. Tanka said no problem.
I spent a lot of time on the top rail of the round pen. Tanka is finding the whole deal much more acceptable. He hung out with me and he stepped towards me when asked.
We just played and he did pick it up several times. We pushed the ball. I rubbed on him. We relaxed and watched the neighbor get in his driveway. The neighbor and I waved and hollered hi.
Hubby walked out to the round pen and Tanka looked curious instead of fearful.
Tanka took carrots from Hubby and Hubby was sitting on top of the rail of the round pen! The first carrot I ended up holding with Hubby before Tanka would take it. Then, four or five carrots, Tanka took right from Hubby's hand.
I finished up by putting his halter on and taking Tanka down the driveway. I asked him to stop and back a few steps and move forward a few steps when he started getting a bit high headed.
Hubby walked out of the garage when I took Tanka down the driveway and Tanka did not startle! We all hung out together and Tanka sniffed the big truck and Hubby's hands.
I feel like we are getting there and that we are almost at a tipping point in Tanka's learning process where learning is taking precedence over fear.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jack the Horse 1st ride on the road for me

I had my first ride out on the roads for me on a horse named Jack.

I went to see Mike and Delores' new horse.  Delores rode him and did good.

Then, Kathy the other neighbor, asked if I wanted to go riding.  We all took off for a ride around the block.

Jack was a fair sized pinto but he was very steady and I did not end up being afraid.  Everyone said I did really good.

I was smiling and it felt great.

Still doing lots of yard clean up and hoping to finish this week.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tanka Today

Tanka's ankle, on his far side rear, is still a bit swollen but looks better. I put him out in the big pen by himself so he could walk around at his own pace.
I went out in the late afternoon and just played gently with him. I asked him to come over to me and then ignored him. Eventually he came over. I stood by his middle and I leaned on his back on both sides and gazed out into the desert with him for several minutes each time I did that.
He is a very funny horse. When I draped my arm over him , my hand would go to his other side. He would turn and look at my hand. "Yep, that's her hand."
I asked for a few hind and fore turns. I asked for a send and walk. I asked for some small backs and some back two, forward two.
I worked with him leading from the "wrong" side. He still thinks it is very wrong to lead from his right, my left :)
I rubbed is neck and face and "accidentally" touched his ears.
I asked him to let me look at his teeth.
A very gentle time with him.
On the way back, there was a little afternoon breeze. I asked him to do a whoa, back, turn fore, turn hind. Went halfway down the driveway and asked for the same again. Don't be looking for trouble Mr. Tanka.
We looked at the empty trash barrel. Tanka tipped it over. Then I told him to push it and he did.

Tanka yesterday

This is me taking a picture of Tanka from above him. This is a great accomplishment for Tanka. He is becoming more comfortable with the climbing up on the rail and getting above him.
I hosed down Tanka's sore ankle again this afternoon and I gave him some light exercise. A tiny bit of backing. A little bit of walking. A little gentle turn and walk send out on the lead.
He is definitely putting more weight on that foot today although he acts like it is still a bit sore it looks like and it definitely looks less swollen.

I am certain that Pony Baloney ran Tanka ragged on Tuesday while we were gone.  The neighbor said Tanka was running and running.  Tanks's ankle looks pretty close to fine today but I am not going to over work Tanka.  I put Tanka out in the back pen by himself today so he would move around some and keep using that foot gently.

Friday, March 3, 2017

So cute

Tanka is laying on his side napping in his pen.

Pony Baloney is napping in the other pen.

And little tiny Wiseguy is being the herd protector.  He is standing next to Pony and watching Tanka.  

So cute!

Tanka Does Obstacles -
Since Tanka is afraid of people and we have a limited number of people over, I have invented "people" for him to see. I use an upside down snow shovel in the shrubbery or move a dark trash can around. Yesterday I came up with an easy and cheap scarecrow. It's an old oak bar stool, a piece of cane, an old coat and a hat.
I placed this scarecrow on the way to the big pen and Tanka said "I dont think so" . I ended up doing the forward/backward, advance/retreat thing for awhile. Walk away do a circle come back a little closer. We got about 20 feet from it. He was not willing to go too near it.
I decided to abort mission to put Tanka in the big pen and put him in the round pen. Pony and Wiseeguy had no problem with it and they hung out in the big pen where they could see their big buddy.
I put the scary scarecrow in the obstacle course area near Tanka in the round pen.
Later on, the trainer came over and we ended up working on the big log round I had put out there. It's pretty stable, I sunk it into the sand a bit, about 2 feet across and about 14 inches high. Tanka got a chance to look at the new item, sniff it and I told him "Touch It" and he did.
I got on the stump and off the stump while she held onto Tanka. Of course, Tanka is amazed and a little upset by my growing taller and shorter in this new setting. He pulled back but he settled down quickly.
I worked with me above Tanka and getting him to turn and walk in both directions as he went around me. The trainer told me to spiral Tanka into me but Tanka kept stopping and turning towards me :) It wasn't real smooth but we did it.
Eventually we worked on Tanka stepping up to be underneath me. We didn't quite perfect that but once we got some reasonable results, I got off the stump and onto the stump and then sat on the stump.
Tanka isn't good with other people so we chatted for awhile with me sitting there and the trainer standing near him. Then we headed for the obstacle course. The trainer sat on the chair/scarecrow while I did obstacles and walked Tanka in front of her and the chair/scarecrow and we wove in and out of my little obstacle course and around the chair with the trainer.
Finally, we parked out and gave Tanka the chance to interact with the trainer. He eventually touched her hand. I gave her the rope and she gently had Tanka move back a little and up a little. We relaxed near the trainer and hung out.
Tanka is still not convinced that the trainer is okay but at least he got to just hang out with us and relax.
I need to keep working on my timing and doing an ask, a firmer ask and then a tell. I am swinging that rope tail a little too much, a little too soon :) The trainer gave me some pointers/admonishments on a couple of things like having Tanka step up next to me and then walking off [let him be a partner and not drag him up to me], a few little things.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Obstacle Ideas.

 A car wash made with pool noodles is perfect. Also, a tarp with a bunch of empty bottles is a good challenge. Esp if they have to step over to get in. Also make a noodle maze by sticking several pool noodles across each other at different heights. You can use cinder blocks lined up.

Old tires are good. The obstacle course I went to used 4 poles or pipes and a tarp to make a "water hole". Old Tractor tires - the big ones. A lot of places give them away if they are ruined for use. Fill with dirt - and wa -la- an obstacle.

FYI...pvc can get brittle and if they step on it can b sharp😉but I use them just because I have them...

I took an old tarp...cut strips...and tied it to two trees with baling twine

If I recall u don't have any trees🤔hmmm

I would put an umbrella out say in a pvc pipe and maybe bury pvc in ground

Stuffed animals from goodwill laying around or on barrels...tree stumps if u have em

Bicycle is always good

I would use everyday objects he may encounter out in the real world

Just some idea

 Your post reminded me to look for some pennant flags (come in a line of 50-100') that I had encountered at a show. These come inexpensive and will flap in the wind. I wanted to put up somewhere they would see daily in places, pasture and arena to get used to. Umbrellas, jumbo jolly balls, cowboy curtain, animal hides, are all scary objects as well. Also got a small cheer pom pom and pool noodles at the $1 store

 Look at eh ACTHA website for some ideas for obstales.

Looks like you are doing great. One of the things we have is an octagon made of PVC to walk around the outside as well as the inside and over. It will help soften the bend in your tight circles as well as getting the horse to pick up their feet. We use 5' lengths of 3" PVC connected by 45 degree connectors

Old tires are good. The obstacle course I went to used 4 poles or pipes and a tarp to make a "water hole". Old Tractor tires - the big ones. A lot of places give them away if they are ruined for use. Fill with dirt - and wa -la- an obstacle.

Suggestion - get a roll of paw proof screening, and cut it into widish strips. These can be hung over the front of a run in, and not only will be something that he can learn to just walk through quietly but also will reduce flies. Also works well on barn doorways. May not be cheap as some of your other ideas, but will serve two purposes.

Dollar store is my favorite for horse toys! Inflatables, bubbles, signs, Pom poms, balloons, squirt guns, cap guns......Also an obstacle I like is something ( I use a Halloween ghost) that you can attach a string or rope to and put it in a muck bucket. You then use the string to pull the object out while backing the horse. Have fun!

Throw a few empty gallon milk jugs down in the sand. Add a 20 foot piece of corrugated flexible 8 inch pvc pipe in the shape of a pretzel and an old life jacket. When they walk over it and kick the sand against the plastic it makes noise.

Use the pvc pipe and attach pool type 'noodles' to make a large octopus type structure. I have used 2 that intertwine. Its a real good one!
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Jan Davis Picture 🤓
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An empty grain bag/contractors bag filled with empty soda cans to drag around is fun. Also, old Halloween decorations on the edge of the arena- the spiders, silhouettes of witches, Jack o' lanterns, etc to line the edge of your fences are a challenge.

Large flag

air horn/whistle/wind chimes

Kid's jeans filled with sand and sewed shut can make some floppy weight that can be fastened onto a saddle. Sewing a vertical tube can determine how heavy you want them and varies the amount of sand needed. Our sand boy is affectionately called "Whip Lash" and is part of our colt starting toy box.