Mustang 'n Geese

This is a drawing I did a few days ago of a young mustang sending geese to fly out of his way. 

I ran out of bigger sized paper so you could probably little markings of a previous picture that I drew over. I get pretty desperate to draw and using bigger paper helps so I often draw over old sketches (but I never draw on the other side of a drawing...that always kills me).

Blue Lake Dragon

This picture I drew if of a dragon (not a horse this time). I drew this picture with water color,

Than I took a closer picture of the dragon and drew it over again on my bamboo pad with sketchbook. I made the second picture different, or at least I made the surroundings different. Instead of a cave I made a lake, and instead of a full midnight moon I drew a sunset (And made it really bright! Maybe a little too bright...). 

Oh yes I also was looking at one of my favorite art books. 'Drawing Dragons' is the name of the art book and it's by Sandra Staple who has a website --> http://www.canadiandragon.com

Today's Horse Sense

"Today's horse sense" is a horse/ranch podcast that I have listened to. It's really interesting and it's about all kinds of things, from horses to needs for yourself while working on a ranch. (I listen to the podcast on a iPhone using a app called 'Stitcher'). The man who talks in the podcast actually lives really near where my family lives! He lives somewhere in Northern California right next to the Sacramento river (I also live in Northern CA right next to the river as well), and he has mentioned places where he has been and one of which was in the same county I live in. So I thought that was kind of cool, most famous horsemen or ranchers usually live or have a few ranches in Taxes or some other hot place. 

He mainly interviews ranchers but sometimes a really interesting horse person. Or even once he did a expert, I guess what you would call skin care person. She talked about how bad your skin could get when you're out in the sun working on your horse. He did interview other many other people who had different jobs that would involve horses or at least cattle and other livestock, or even mules and donkeys. There are even interviews with people who ride English or western in all kinds of competitions. 

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/todays-horse-sense/e/episode15-todays-horse-sense-27632320

Rodeos

Rodeos to me are a very American event. Rodeos are really fun to watch but there are sometimes broken bones in the end. It started in Spain, Mexico and later the United States. If you have never been to a rodeo or heard of it, it’s basically western riding that involves horses, other livestock and of course people. The American style rodeos have different kinds of events: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing. There are rough stock events and the timed events. Sometimes there are other events such as breakaway roping, goat tying, or pole bending may also be a part of some rodeos. 

All of these different events in a rodeo is a mixed gender; in fact, barrel racing today is done more by women than men. Bull/steer wrestling and bronc riding is more often done by men. 

Rodeos today in the USA are done a lot in the western United States and in Mexico (which is sometimes done a little differently). Rodeos are really fun cowboy/cowgirl event and I love them! Barrel racing sounds really fun. In fact, I know a few girls older and younger than me who do barrel racing (usually in rodeos). Hopefully in future posts I could write about each of the different fun events.

Party Horse

Ever since I came back from a friend's wedding (best wedding I have ever been to) I was thinking about all kinds of events horses could be in. There were no horses in the wedding I went to, but I heard of weddings with horses in it so I was thinking of all kinds of events they could be in also. I am not talking about game events, I mean weddings, parades and other kinds of parties. If I got married in the future my dream would to be riding on a horse (hopefully one I would own). 

Besides weddings I also have a uncle and aunt who live on a small farm and one of their neighbors own a few ponies. What I thought was really cool is that they would take the ponies to children's parties. They basically rent the ponies for parties. All I know is that they give children rides on the ponies or they could have a party at the house next to the barn that the ponies live in. I saw once after the party was over at all the decorations and especially different colored flowers that that were decorated on the ponies' halters, manes and tails. My sister would have loved that! 

So there are many horses/ponies who would be rented out for these kinds of things. And of course they are trained well for occasions like that. Some horses are even taught to do a little dance or some other kind of trick. 

Horse Pregnancy

I haven't yet talked about horse Pregnancy. I forgot to write a blog about it, but since my cat Felicity just had her kittens recently, I remembered. Also my mother is also pregnant so not only is there a new litter of kittens to the family but a new sister or brother. And on top of that my best friend now has a new baby sister as well.

A horse can be pregnant for 335 days to 342 days or even just a solid 11 months. Big difference compared to a cat (66 days/2-months). A cat can become pregnant as soon as 4 months old. A horse on the other hand can be pregnant as young as two years old, sometimes younger. But it's not always good to have a horse that young get pregnant because they are still young and their bones aren't as strong as they would be when she's older. At that young they might not want to take care of the foal as their own or have a 'motherly' sense. So most horses are bred when they're older and stronger. Cats usually have kittens in spring, summer or fall and rarely in winter. Mares become in heat roughly every 19-22 days from early spring into autumn. Stallions on the other hand are ready to breed anytime anywhere, but a mare will only allow breeding when she's in heat. 

Paso Fino

The Paso Fino breed is a light horse and is born with a naturally even four-beat gait. This is a strange and amazing looking gait, to me it’s like a sped up trot but mainly it's just the bottom part of the legs that are moving. Here is a video of a Paso Fino doing this kind of ambling gait;  The horse in the video is for sale, but it shows the gait.  Some Paso Finos are born with this gait.

This breed is used for western classes such as trail, reining and cow penning.  They are also very commonly used for trail rides. The name Paso Fino means ‘fine step’. Paso Finos are a mix of a breed called barb, Spanish Jennet, and the Andalusian horse and were bred by Spanish land owners in Puerto Rico and Colombia. 

The Paso Fino breed has different body types, from pretty small to large and powerful. The Puerto Rican Paso Fino is known for its fine and delicate steps, as the Colombian Paso Fino has a fast, small step action.

Paso Finos are also used as rodeo horses as well as other western riding. I love their western riding abilities and they remind me a lot of an Appaloosa (besides the different markings).

Understanding and Commanding a Young Horse

As most people know, between a horse and his owner, the owner is always the leader. But not all people know how to be the right leader for their horse. They are either being bossed around by their own horse or they command their horse the wrong way. The real way to become the right leader is to start taking charge of the horse and telling him you're the general and he’s the the private.

Let’s say the horse’s name was Roger, and Roger is a young colt who is just getting used to being a nice trail riding horse. Everything starts with ground working even though Roger already has been ridden before and is already used to that. But Roger is a high spirited horse and is too playful, bossy and is not very well trusted near younger children. As months pass without any training Roger becomes more and more bossy and what used to be a playful and cute nibble becomes a dangerous bite. When Roger was younger it wasn’t much of a bother if the little colt got in the way or jumped around you or nibbled at your shirt.  In fact, the owner thought that was very cute and encouraged him. But what most owners don’t know is that this could turn into very bad habit and could hurt someone. So from the start it is not something to think is cute and encourage because this is a very bad habit and very hard to get rid of when the horse is older. Since the horse is bigger, the nibble becomes a bite, and getting in your path for attention or a treat becomes pushing you around and possible stepping on you which can lead to great injuries.

So it is very important to get rid of any of kind of habit that may seem cute at first but will frustrate you, hurt you, or allow the horse to become the leader of the two. 

Let's say Roger also has a problem of not stopping when asked, while leading. Actually when I was working with a real horse (Raleigh), that same horse used to walk over me which is the same behavior Roger shows. But I learned from Raleigh’s owner that whenever he starting walking in front of me when I had already asked him to stop, then I need to jerk the rope or halter back a couple of times. This is a punishment because in this case he’s challenging my leadership. So doing this goes for many horses and Roger is one of them. If any horse ever starts walking in front of you after the signal was already given to stop then jerking the rope back gives him a warning from you.

Other signs like this may usually mean the horse is been disrespectful, but it also may mean that something is bothering the horse. It’s always very important to understand and watch for signs that could mean many things that you could miss or misunderstand.

When lunging, Roger may sometimes cut part of the round pen across and won’t make a full circle like he’s supposed to. This is very simple to fix! Where ever he cut it’s best to put pressure where he cuts and release pressure where he doesn’t cut. Every time he cuts put pressure but if he doesn’t cut don’t put pressure, this will tell him that you want him to make the full circle. By putting pressure I mean start clicking, whipping the ground and come towards him so he would move and make the full circle again. You can also find out why he cuts across. In this case it’s because he cuts across the opposite side of the gate where he can exit the round pen and not have many more work to do. Which means he wants to skip the part where it’s farthest away from the exit and be nearer to the exit. In this case he’s been lazy. 

Here’s another problem I made up about Roger. He also won’t go very far away from his paddock when rode. He will only go to the arena where he does most of his ground work. Leading him away is fine, but riding him away is big problem. Where Roger is boarded there are many good trails to go trail riding but when he doesn’t go it isn’t fun for either the rider or Roger. The only time you can really enjoy a nice long trail ride is if he goes in a trailer and is driven some where else to go trail riding. But sometimes it’s easier and more fun to just ride around the hills meadows near home. Most people at this point would get upset with their horse when they have this problem. In fact a lot of people will blame the horse because they might think that the horse is dumb or disobedient. Almost always there’s a problem that the owner/rider ignores or doesn’t understand what’s happening because he or she is too busy being upset.

In this case Roger is a friendly young horse who enjoys and loves his neighboring horses, so that means he trusts them and his horse instinct is to stay near his herd where he thinks he’s safe. In fact Roger has always lived with many other horses and is almost always around them.