tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Horse Haven 2017-12-06T20:53:52Z Noëlle Harris tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1211999 2017-12-06T05:18:31Z 2017-12-06T20:53:52Z Peppy and Lena

Commissioned 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1206195 2017-11-19T16:21:12Z 2017-11-19T16:33:48Z Art

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1205813 2017-11-17T02:49:52Z 2017-11-19T05:08:35Z Foggy Woods

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1204364 2017-11-10T02:39:49Z 2017-11-14T19:27:03Z Princess Frog (art)

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1203765 2017-11-06T23:21:13Z 2017-11-07T04:42:19Z Cruising Lesson Outside

Lately almost all my training and riding have been outside the arena. This is because, they either been trained enough and don't actually need to be in the arena or their training is now set up outside the arena. Like for instance; trail riding and the obstacle course. Even if I'm doing simple riding exercises I still like to take the horses out to a field where there would be distractions so I could work on both. They're trained enough now to where almost any distraction/spook is very easily handled. But everything had to start in the arena.

The cruising lesson (I've talked about many times before) is really important to me. It definitely helped me get comfortable when I was a beginner rider. When I was really starting out I had a hard time cantering. I've trotted so much that became a piece of cake! But since the horses I started out on hadn't had many miles under their feet my confidence was lost when the horse, instead of taking off at a nice easy lope would usually tear into a gallop. But since I've done the cruising lessons many times it's amazing how easy, gentile and long a horse can go without stopping till you tell them. 

Sugar has an amazing lope! It also seems like she can go on forever unless I tell her to stop. I've been working the lesson outside the arena in a favorite field of mine. I like the field because there's hardly any squirrel holes, there's roads almost surrounding it so there's cars going by often enough, there's a whole set up with a park, lake, community pool, club building and more. Having her able to listen calmly to me instead of all distractions around her is really nice. Especially a horse like Sugar (reactive and used-to-be arena horse only).


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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1203173 2017-11-04T05:20:02Z 2017-11-14T19:27:12Z Dancer

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1203130 2017-11-03T22:43:28Z 2017-11-03T23:09:46Z Horse Care

Not so long ago it was my birthday, and Gail had given me set of first aid supplies for horses. I also got a book for horse care, so I started reading up on that. I've been learning so much on training horses and understand them too, but their actual care was my weaker point. I'm going to be owning horses in my future and since I work with them daily I should know what to do if they got hurt or sick. 

I'm usually more of a visual learner and a lot of the time I don't actually know I learn something till the time comes when I need that information and I remember it. But it's also easier to hear, listen, feel but most of all see it. When the farrier comes out, I like to watch him as well as read about a horse's hoof from a book/manual. I think I enjoy most of all, when the vet comes. Probably because that certain vet tells me everything he does as well as show me, while the farrier is usually quiet (unless he's cracking jokes). 

In the horse care book I've started reading has a lot of basic cares for a horse that I already know. Especially handling one or their behavior. I'm very interested on how to tell if a horse is sick. I hear a lot about colic and causes of it, so when I'm feeding the horses I know how to avoid it as much as possible. I've talked about colic in the past posts as well as other diseases.

I can't wait to get to the part of the book where it talks about wounds! I think that's the most exciting part about doctoring a horse! 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1202831 2017-11-02T18:40:05Z 2017-11-02T18:40:06Z Blue Roan Painting

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1202830 2017-11-02T18:38:35Z 2017-11-02T18:38:36Z Halloween Dressup

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1202829 2017-11-02T18:37:15Z 2017-11-02T18:40:29Z Training on the Trails

Sugar has been my amazing new trail horse now! I've been training her from a arena horse (her whole life) to a first time trail horse. Let me just say that I can tell she loves being outside of the arena much more! Riding in the arena she'll once 'n awhile get grumpy after days straight of just the arena. She may be getting better in the arena but she's not enjoying and will show how she feels if she's always ridden in the arena (aka it's too dull for her). Early times with the horses I would not have understood how Sugar feels and will probably blame it on her and completely misunderstand her. Before, I never knew a horse could get bored of something or prefer doing certain things. 

For example; in the beginning of Sugar's trail riding experience, she's easier to handle in the arena but when I take her out on the trail it's like a completely different horse. She doesn't walk calmly, spooks at everything, not paying attention to me and keeping her eye on everything else. I would of thought "nope, she hates it, there's something wrong with her and she's way too dangerous to take out", in fact some early trainers who took her once said that same thing and gave up. But when I ride her out, she may be terrified but I can tell she's curious. It was hard for me to see that at the beginning because as she was curious, she was more thinking about running home. I've had a couple of really big ugly spooks with her, but I think we're over the worst. 

In fact I'm so used to controlling a spooky horse! I'm pretty comfortable when they spook and can end it pretty fast. I can act like it never happened which is really good to teach a horse. I also feel like I can stay on a horse. Because after all those spooks, bucking, or disrespectful horses...I've only fallen off once!! And that wasn't because of the horse at all. In fact I was riding bareback and I had lost my balance trotting (cantering is much easier than trotting bareback). So I kinda feel like I can stay on any horse, but I better not jinx myself. Okay enough bragging! ;P

Yesterday I rode Sugar on a short trail ride down to one of the creeks. I knew of a small secret trail I explored on foot a few years ago in fall and it was SO beautiful!! It was by the Sacramento river but when I rode Sugar there it was over grown with black berry bushes so I rode near by till I found an opening to a creek (a branch off from the river). 

I worked her up and down hills, ridges, ditches, logs and the creek. I dismounted by the creek and practiced sending by and in the creek. It was nice that she was sweaty and a little hot from the ride there because the creek felt nice to her to cool off. At first she avoided the water but then went in pretty fast. This is actually the first time she's been in water like this. I've taken Ruby to a lake and swam with her but this was Sugar's first time to experience water. After some groundwork I mounted and rode her in the water. She seemed hesitant going in the creek a certain way but went right away the other way. I only let her in up to her knees (I didn't feel like getting wet) but she was ready to go further. I'm really proud of her! I'm so glad we both love exploring!! 

She's going to be an amazing trail horse! I've been learning so much from her! I'm planning on going back and riding down the creek. I'll have to take my trail riding buddy, Amber with me too! 

And of course Sugar isn't a "perfect angel" yet, she always has spooks here and there. But each time I tell her and often prove to her if I can that there's nothing to be afraid of. If she hesitates a lot of crossing a ditch, I'll turn her around and make her cross it a couple of time until she's comfortable with it. If she spooks at something, I'll have her work around it until she's close enough ton touch it and will stand still dozing off. But it's harder if it's a moving "monster" like a deer or birds. So at the least I'll have her stop and face it. When we're at the stables and I see a bunch of deer I'll work my way up to them and now have her follow them. Now she doesn't get bothered by them very much anymore. She mostly get's nervous if she's not sure what it is or can't see it clearly. 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1195808 2017-11-02T18:36:55Z 2017-11-02T18:36:56Z Obstacle Training

Yesterday I worked on Sugar's obstacle training. I wanted to set up a couple of jumps but I wasn't able to find the ones I wanted so I started with sending her up and down little hills. She was very good at it, except for rushing down the hills a bit too much at the starting. Rushing down a hill is actually a lazy way for a horse to climb down a hill. Taking time, picking their way and walking is using their thinking side of their brain. It's good to have them pick their feet safely down a hill rather than rushing. 

When I first brought out Sugar I could tell she was a little reactive and energetic since the last time I took her out. I started with the C Pattern and backing all the way to the obstacles. The C Pattern has her constantly having her think on the 'thinking side of her brain'. Sending her in a arc, yielding her hindquarters, giving me two eyes and sending her back in the other direction. I could do this and move from place to place. 


Backing is a huge lesson for respect. Clinton says if he had to pick only one ground work exercise it would be backing. I did a lot of backing with Sugar. When we moved to a different obstacle I would either do the C pattern or back her there. I was able to back her at a pretty good rhythm and cadence in her feet at a distance. I also checked on steering her backwards. I could tell I need to go back and work a little more on yielding her hindquarters (especially at a distance). 

Working on the little hills I have her collect her feet and I'd say she did very well! I would let her stop and rest on the highest hill whenever she stopped, to let her rest where she feels the most uncomfortable. 

After working a lot on the hills I made my way with her to a gate and a bunch of pens where the cowboys worked the cattle. She always seemed to be afraid of something over there so I had her do a lot of sending, desensitizing, resting and letting her know there's nothing to be afraid of. She was a bit jumpy and started rushing but quickly calmed down and knew from experience that if she stopped where she felt most uncomfortable, I'd let her rest and I did while I 'flogged her with kindness'. After a bunch of sending she didn't rush and even got too lazy when I asked her to go. Near there is a archery range so I did the same there. She wasn't too sure about some of the colorful targets but very soon didn't care so we moved on. 

I eventually went to the actual obstacle course. There were jumps there but mostly logs. There's what's called a cowboy curtain, teeter totter, circle logs, log jumps, barrels, mail box, gate, and some boards.  

The teeter totter and the cowboy curtain are probably the most scariest obstacles for the horses. Especially the teeter totter because the ground moves under their feet and that really frightens a horse. Sugar is really good at going over this so we did the circle logs because she isn't very good at picking up her feet. She's in general kinda clumsy. She did very good going around the circle logs. I sent her back and forth in both directions after a few full circles ending with good cadence, rhythm and she pick up her feet with no argument, fear or laziness. 
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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1192130 2017-11-02T18:36:41Z 2017-11-02T18:36:41Z Building A New Tack Room

Recently we've been building a new tack room in the new paddock!! Gail was able to get two paddocks side by side and decided to make one of the stalls (since we have two now) into a tack room. The tack room is actually designed so the horse can still go in for shelter but part of it is closed off by a gate, that's where we'd keep our tack and everything else (besides the feed).

And since Gail is in charge, it's going to look pretty fancy! In fact it's pretty much going to look like a dressing room! She got a bunch of different decorations for the walls (including a mirror) as well as hooks and shelves for the tack itself. Yesterday evening we worked on painting the walls in the inside a light creamy yellow. She also got some curtains that would drape down to stop any rain from coming in, but will be pushed to the side in the summertime. And of course the curtains have to have rose designs because we're going all out. 

We already have saddle racks that we'll put in there when we finish and some hooks that will be put up on the walls after they've been painted completely. Plus shelves and decorations ;)

The floor/ground started out with just pee gravel but we put down a big wood piece. The gate was welded to fit and it's awesome!!!


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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1190823 2017-11-02T18:35:58Z 2017-11-02T18:35:58Z Trail Riders

Yesterday evening I went on a trail ride with Amber and her horse Athena. I rode Sugar and since I haven't been riding her in awhile I worked her a little in the morning before we went riding in the evening again. 

We started out on the opposite side of the trail instead of the side we usually take to change it up (the trail we took a loop). Sugar did very well and only spooked once at a deer who was laying down in the distance. But after that she did very well. Half the trail is hills that we go up and down on. This really helped Sugar with going up and down hills and through small ditches. In fact usually Athena (Amber's horse) does better but this time Sugar was basically calm the whole time and Athena was the one who came to a small problem. Athena seems to be getting a bit barn sour or buddy sour now. When we went down a hill she stopped and started backing up. She did this a few times along the trail because she didn't want to go. Apparently she does a lot worse when she's not with another horse.

Halfway through the loop on the trail we decided to check out the Sacramento river! So instead of going straight back we adventured along the river and found some beautiful places! It's so much more beautiful on horseback too. 

About 10 minutes before we got back Sugar started acting up all the sudden. At first I thought she just wanted to go home so bad. She started trotting at first and wouldn't stop and then zig zapping and shaking her head when I noticed how many mosquitoes there were. We all got them but Sugar got them the worst. Not only that but she is very sensitive to them as well. It got hard to keep her in control with traffic (we rode alongside a street to get back) and I didn't want to work her too hard so I ended up getting off of her and loosened her cinch to tell her she did a good job and so it's more comfortable. I felt bad for her, those bugs were really bothering her..

When we got back she was covered in bumps! I made sure to spray her down with bug spray, which I did before we went on the trail as well. But besides the last 10 minuets of mosquito attacks and the little spook at the beginning, she did amazing!! Even when we were riding to the river there were jack rabbits jumping close by and she didn't flinch. She spooks at unexpected things, mostly deer and birds when they suddenly all fly up. On the way back there were both and she only looked up at them. I'm so proud of her!

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1182240 2017-11-02T18:35:07Z 2017-11-02T18:35:07Z Spirit (13)

Today is the first day I rode Spirit (besides a little bit bareback). 

The past few weeks were very busy for me, so getting back into working every morning again was nice. But I definitely missed the busyness because most of it had to do with friends from Germany and France coming here to learn English and see America. And boy do I miss them being here...

I was also asked to work Cody (Rose's paddock mate) for a week before he's sold. 

I took Spirit to the arena and saddled her. She has a light weight saddle (but that saddle isn't very good) because she is smaller than an average horse. I did lunging for respect stage 1 with Spirit and practiced putting my foot in the stirrup, standing, mounting and dismounting. Then I actually mounted and flexed her neck from side to side. I didn't use a bridle because of the bit issue, in fact I'm not sure if she's had a bit in her mouth before or not. But I decided to do the first lessons with a halter and clip on reins since I didn't have a colt starting bridle. Although I did see a bridle in her barn, I didn't want to use it for two reasons; 1, it was a curb bit and I prefer a snaffle and 2, because I didn't want to worry about getting her used to a bit just yet. 

We did neck flexing first, then did some trotting. I did cruising with her at a trot and little at a canter. She still has a lot to learn but I know she'll be great! 

The next few times I'll work on a lot of cruising before I do more of steering her. 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1176736 2017-11-02T18:35:01Z 2017-11-02T18:35:01Z Spirit's Training 2 (12)

Every day I've been working Spirit through the ground work. And for fun I even got on her bareback and worked a little on flexing, walked around and then got back off again.

Roundpenning:

Spirit is doing very well with the roundpenning! Her turns are very good! She pays attention and has hardly even complained (besides slowing down when she thinks it's time to be done). She doesn't quite follow me as much as I'd like her too but each time we finish she get's better and better. From just standing there to coming up and soon follow. 

Desensitizing:

Desensitizing to the lead rope and stick and string. I have to make sure I do this at least once (but twice would be better) every time I work with her. She has never been spooky but she always seems to flinch an inch a few times at the starting of desensitizing. It's the unexpected rope or string that is tossed over her back the first time that she flinches. The only time she moved around a lot in the beginning was 'whipping the ground' beside her. Now of course she doesn't care.

Yielding the Hindquarters, stage 1 and 2:

For the fist few lessons I did the roundpenning, desensitizing, backing up and yielding the hindquarters stage 1 before I went to stage 2. I wanted to make sure she was yielding right and all the way. The first day I got 1-2 steps, the next 3-4 steps and the next day I got her to yield a 360 on both sides. THEN I did stage 2! Which I did for the first time today. It took her about two or three faults before she got it down, yielded and faced me. 

Backing up:

I actually started backing up with her a little at the beginning before I did the rest in order. I did the first method, which is called; 'tap the air'. She is fast learner and is backing very well besides not backing straight (which I wouldn't even ask from her at this early stage). So far I've only done 'tap the air'.


So far those are the exercises I've done with Spirit.

 I've still got: 

Yielding the forequarters

Lunging for respect stage 1

Flexing the head and neck

Sending exercise 

Circle driving

Lunging for respect stage 2

Leading beside

Slap and walk, Helicopter exercise, Head shy exercise


I may have taught her 'Flexing the head and neck' before getting to that point. I got some of the training order mixed up but it worked out great! I thought it was going to be really hard to get her to flex and that's what she made me think at the starting when nothing was happening, but as soon as she flexed once she seemed to understand right away what I was asking for. So that means I'm releasing the pressure at the right time!


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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1175263 2017-11-02T18:34:50Z 2017-11-02T18:34:51Z Spirit (11)

It's been going good with the new young mustang, Spirit (aka Snickers). The second lesson I had with her I did lunging but on the lunge line because someone else was using the round pen, and sadly there is only one. 

When I took her out in the arena I first went to the desensitizing with the stick and string, rope and a plastic bag. Snickers is much more of a calmer pony than I thought for her age (3 or 4 years old). Yeah she did spook some but not at all as much as I thought she would. She also calmed down pretty fast. 

I also did a little of a backing method with her. 'Tap the air' backing method to be exact. I was some what surprised on how fast she would try to get things down. I mean, she didn't know how to back very well at all (that's what I'd expect out of her) but I could tell she started understanding when I asked her. 

The hardest training that day with her is probably lunging. It took her awhile to understand that I wanted her to lunge in a circle around me. But I also think she didn't want to leave me either. I got a little frustrated with her at the beginning but I kept it up till she knew what to do. After she started getting it down. I didn't have much time to spend with her but the next lesson with her I want to work on yielding her hindquarters. 

So I have;

Round penning

Lunging for respect stage 1

Backing

Desensitizing

and Yielding the hindquarters


And so far this is just the second day with her. She is the sweetest pony ever!


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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1172613 2017-11-02T18:34:41Z 2017-11-02T18:34:41Z Morning Work (10)

I have mentioned before about a young mustang pony I've been dying to work with. Her name is Spirit and she is about 3 or 4 years old. Had very little training and ridden hardly ever so this will be my kind of challenge. She is also smaller so I thought she would make a great first green horse to work with. But now that I've been working with horses a lot I don't care too much about the size.

Spirit's secret nickname (don't tell her owners!) is Snickers. I'll call her that for now on because it suits her better! XD

I was going to work with Snickers today but her owner forgot to leave a key for me so I have to wait again. I am so glad it's all planned out though! She's a pretty green horse from what I heard so I can't wait to see if I can make a difference! 

I've been asked to work with Rose and work on especially the flexing the neck. She can do it really good on the ground and okay in the saddle. One of the biggest problems is that she keeps walking off right away so I'll be working on that the next time. Yesterday we did a lot of flexing and today we were going to do more but she had something bothering one of her eyes. Rose kept tossing her head and I noticed her eye was very watery and hardly opened. I ended up taking the saddle off and putting her away after cleaning her eye as much as I could. I didn't have anything at the moment to put on but I told her owner. 

I did however take Sugar out. I worked on lunging for respect, backing, yielding and sending for the ground work. Then I worked a lot on teaching her how to rate my seat under saddle. I also did fallow the fence, a little cruising and softening her turns. At the very end I rode her out and went down a street for a little way at a walk. She get's scared of objects, sounds and feels trapped so getting her on a little calm ride was very pleasant. One of the best things about riding on a street is the *click click click* of the hoofs. I think I might end every session like that because I know it will calm her down. 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1170801 2017-11-02T18:34:18Z 2017-11-02T18:34:19Z About That Day (9)

The past two days I didn't ride/work or see the horses because we had company for the 4th of July. But the day before they came I worked both horses from early morning till a little past noon (besides cleaning stalls). I haven't worked Ruby as much as Sugar partly because she had a shoulder issue. That day her health was fine and I did a lot of ground work;

Desensitizing

Lunging for respect stage 1 and 2

Backing (most methods)

Sending

Circle driving

and a little of yielding hindquarters and forequarters.

Starting the lunging with Ruby I did after desensitizing her and saddling her. I knew she would have a little bit of an attitude because she hasn't been worked recently. I've noticed that lunging for respect stage 2 is where she (or any horse who already knows it) would show the most kinks. She did buck a little when I asked her to change directions. This is almost the only time she would toss her head, kick or buck (Ruby isn't dangerous :P).

I rode her as well. She does her stops much better than Sugar does and rates my seat okay. But she doesn't keep her gait the same steady pace as Sugar does. She often slows or speeds and most often takes a gait down. So I need to work with her on that.  

Sugar I did the same training. Except with her I did a little more. I love Sugar's long smooth gaits and she never changes it, slows down or speeds up unless I ask her. She doesn't stop very well and that is probably on the top list of things I need to work with her on. I also did the obstacle course with her too. As far as fear goes Sugar is doing amazing. I still need to work on my lining up with jumps or obstacles and when to keep my feet still. 


For fun and for training (but mostly for fun) I stood on the horses. I also can lay down on them and jump or slip off them from any side of their body. This helps the horses with trust and desensitizing. Whipping the ground and walking around the horses while they stood there is also great desensitizing. I just need a bull whip now! Man can those things make noise! 

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1165986 2017-11-02T18:34:05Z 2017-11-02T18:34:06Z Summer Heat! (8)

It's so hot now these days! I've been gone camping last week so I recently got back to blazing hot weather. It's 112 degrees that week and this week. I didn't get to hang out with the horses since I was gone camping but now since I'm back I'm ready to go! 

The early mornings are the coolest times of the day so that's when I'll go down to ride for the first time since I came back from camping (it seems like weeks since I rode, but only about 4 days). 

While I was gone the girls got new shoes AND water misters! I went down to clean the paddock and say hello to the horses the other day and got to stand under the nice cool misters with the horses. It definitely makes a difference! I didn't even mind when I saw that Sugar rolled after she got wet and ruined the perfectly clean horse I made her into a couple of days ago. 

I am planning on swimming with them too since it's getting hotter. Unfortunately the spot Amber and I picked doesn't have any shade at all...   We might find another place that's equally good but with shade there or at least near by. It get's to be a desert out here!

Trail rides will be fun too! There are some trails I'm not interested enough to go on because of how hot the sun gets on the trail. I like ones with lots of shade or near the water. I'm glad we have our rivers, lakes, pools, and creeks (ponds and streams are usually dried out if they're seasonal). 

I've been talking so much about the heat, but one partly good thing comes out of it. Horses are more lazy in the summertime heat so trail rides are going to be easier to train them on. Although I wouldn't get to gallop them as much...

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tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1163691 2017-11-02T18:33:58Z 2017-11-02T18:33:59Z Adventuring (7)

Yesterday I rode Sugar along with a friend (Amber) and her horse, Athena. Gail and I are trying to get both Ruby and Sugar out on the trail more. Last Sunday I rode with Amber and Gail on a really cool trail! 

My last ride with Sugar yesterday was interesting. I came down a little late so I fed Ruby and took Sugar and saddled her. I didn't do groundwork because I was already late. Then Amber and I rode out together to my grandma's house by going through the hills and woods. It was a shorter ride because I didn't have time for a longer ride. 

Sugar had been eating alfalfa and in general had some energy in her. I did some work on the trail with her but not enough as I should have. Especially since she's very new to trail riding. We were almost to my grandma's house, in between two steep hills behind my grandparents' house where it meets up to the main street. I was have Sugar go in circles before taking her around a gate when a neighbor's dogs started barking. In general Sugar is fine with dogs but she was in a jumpy mind and the sound of the dogs and couldn't see them spooked her. She felt trapped between the hills and decided to the crazy thing of running up the steepest park of the hill (which I didn't know she could do). She scared me to death, I was so surprised and was afraid of her slipping and rolling down the hill. She did slip a lot on her knees but I turned her back down and was able to make it to the bottom without any of us falling or getting injured. I then got off her and started moving her feet back, forward, left and right. I did mostly sending and backing. I worked her on the ground around the gate, up the little hill, onto the main street where it was even scarier for her because of all the houses, people, cars, sounds ect. She's never been or showed signs of been scared of vehicles of any kind and as I worked her down the street the results were amazing. She calmed down very fast and was had her focus on me. Only at the starting did she keep trying to run into my space ( I had her back out of my space immediately). I did the sending exercise down the street with ease and the best part of it was that there were dogs barking on all sides and she didn't care a bit about them. When we got to our grandparents I let her rest and desensitized her. I loved how it all turned out! 

Sugar only spooked slightly when she saw some children come running out to play. I want her to get used to that. Children especially she get's scared of because they are always coming out of the middle of no where and are usually yelling or on fast bikes that make Sugar jump. I'm glad they're there! She needs to get used to that, being a arena horse her whole life. 

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1159040 2017-11-02T18:33:50Z 2017-11-02T18:33:50Z Only Three Days With Shelbi (6)

So I had three days with Shelbi to work with her on the horses. Sadly she is now gone...;(

The first day we worked on the obstacle course, ground work and trail riding. The second day we did ground work, obstacle course and instead of trail riding we had fun finding obstacles to ride the horses on around the EQ center. And we found a lot! It was like a playground that I never knew was there! We rode them up and down ditches and mounds, around trees, around scary objects like metal junk and giant trash dumpsters and lastly out into my favorite field to ride in. In the field we worked on stops, backing, cruising (all gaits), yielding and more. 

The last day we did the obstacle course again and practiced some of the same things we did the day before. We also went trail riding and worked them on the trails. We rode by the water side to look for a good place for another day to work the horses in. 

I'll talk a little more about the obstacle course.  

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1156780 2017-11-02T18:33:43Z 2017-11-02T18:33:43Z Shelbi is back! (5)

Shelbi is back! 

Shelbi (Clinton Anderson Ambassador) came out for a few days and I'm so happy to work with her again! She's helping with the horses for three days and today was the first day. Our goal (Gail's and mine) was to get the girls to be trail horses, but the delay was mostly of our not  knowing how to fix and teach the horses as well as some problems the horses had. 

Ruby's problem;

Ruby in her past years was a trail horse and as far as obstacles and spooky things she's fine. She's not scared of anything on the trail and mostly has no problem staying at a walk. But she's VERY barn sour and buddy sour. It's hard to get her to leave the paddock/barn area where she knows the other horses and rest/food is. Her past owner always trailered her up and trail rides somewhere else so she had no barn to run back to. 


Sugar's problem;

Sugar is almost the opposite from Ruby. She doesn't have too much of a barn sour issue but she's never been a trail horse herself. Her past owner had her as a arena horse. So her problem was mostly spooky things on the trail and staying at a nice clam walk. But what I've noticed with her was that she actually likes being outside the arena much more! As do I


What we worked on;

This wasn't a private lesson with me, Shelbi was to train the horse she rode and I do the other one. She helped me of course but it wasn't focused on getting on me. We saddled them first, I took Ruby and Shelbi took Sugar. I asked about the obstacle course, so after a little of the ground work we went to work them though the obstacles. 

Debbie and Gary were out to go trail riding with their horses so we ended up on the trail with them. The whole time we worked the girls on the trail. Sometimes I had Ruby trot to encourage her but for most of the ride she didn't like being in the front because she likes being near and behind the others. She also learned she couldn't go back so if we were ever too far behind she quickly caught up, not wanting to be left behind. 

Sugar was doing pretty good too. She was curious about everything but willing to go. Shelbi had her working a lot of the time, going in circles, backing, stopping, trotting and loping. 

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1153001 2017-11-02T18:33:34Z 2017-11-02T18:33:34Z Sugar's First (short) Trail Ride (4)

Yesterday I rode Sugar and went for a short trail ride nearby. We (Gail and me) are hopefully going to take the horses out on a trail ride with the other equestrians soon. 

I feel like Sugar does better outside the arena than in and I love taking her out in the open fields to run around. I took her out yesterday to run around a little and than we went on a trail that I take when I go to the EQ center. I have very good control over her and she's been getting lighter in the reins for sure! She can go sharp turns and bends without a lot of pressure. I still need to get her rate my seat better like Ruby does really well. 

Anyway, on the trail Sugar sometimes brakes into a trot so I shut her down and let her know that was mistake. She likes to go go go, so I have to stop her when she does something without me asking her to. Ruby in her past life was a trail horse but Sugar isn't. I expected Sugar to be scared by a lot of things but she was pretty good about it all. The first spooky object we came to (a chunk of concrete) she put her nose down to investigate and than jumped back. So I moved her feet around it until we ended calmly and not a care in the world standing on it. The second spooky object we came to was park of a car hood. I expected her to spook at this and she did a little but not as much as I thought she would. I kept her feet moving around it and rested her on the car piece. I remember seeing Mrs. Fenwick with her horse Peppy riding by that and Peppy spooked a lot more than Sugar did. 

I didn't go too far with Sugar because I was by myself and didn't have a phone to call if anything bad happened so I turned back. But I felt very confident with Sugar's first-ish trail ride and could of made it to my grandma's house a hill over. But like I said I wasn't allowed to go far by myself with a horse who's hardly been on a trail ride before. 


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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1150927 2017-11-02T18:33:24Z 2017-11-02T18:33:24Z Dentist/Vet (3)

Today Ruby and Sugar were scheduled for their vaccinations so I was to meet the vet at the stables. Jessie (the neighboring horse) and Ruby got their teeth floated as well, that was interesting to watch. 

The vet had his assistant with him (and his adorable dog!!) while they gave the shots and teeth.

 For giving the shots the vet showed me how there needed to be someone holding the horse while he gave the shot either from the neck or rump. He'd check the horse all over and also to see how the horse reacted from the different positions he walked around the horse. If the horse was nervous or tensed up when he walked behind him/her than he'd know the horse wouldn't like the needle and have a higher chance of striking or kicking. 

Floating the horses' teeth was more interesting. Both horses got anesthetic before the vet worked on their teeth. I have to admit though, it was pretty funny to see them looking drunk and staggering around, but also sad and pitiful. 

The vet showed me different files he used for the teeth. Jessie's teeth were pretty sharp and the vet showed us (Jessie's owner and me) where they rubbed and jabbed on her mouth from chewing. Jessie doesn't work in any way and is more of a pet so she hasn't had a bit in her mouth for I don't know how long. She's 14 years old and had something wrong in her leg in the past to where she couldn't carry a rider. It sounds like she's only had her teeth floated once which was a bad experience (past vet wasn't a good vet). But since Jessie only uses her teeth for mostly chewing and not in riding with a bit, it wasn't too bad. But some of her teeth were long a sharp! 

Ruby's teeth weren't as bad. She was very funny to watch though! After taking the anesthetic I watched Ruby to see how fast it would kick in. It was pretty fast! She started slowing down, dragging her feet and hanging her head. She could hardly walk and even standing looked like a lot of work. The funniest part was where she had her hind legs crossed and when she as led out she looked like she came out of a bar! Sugar was also funny prancing around in her paddock trying to figure out what we were doing with her pal.

While a few other horses got their vaccinations I groomed Ruby how was still half asleep and hosed Sugar down. After feeding the horses Ruby started waking up and walking around (thanks to some help of bossy Sugar). 

The vet said to give the horses a day off tomorrow so I won't be able to work them. I'm also doing lighter/less work on Ruby because she needs to gain more weight. Sugar on the other hand I have the day after tomorrow! I also have Rose the new horse I'm working so at least I won't be bored without Ruby ;)

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1148213 2017-11-02T18:33:06Z 2017-11-02T18:33:06Z Rose's Second Training (2)

Today I started with round penning Rose but only for a short while because she did it very well. The only thing I didn't like was she would come off the fence too much. 

I did desensitizing (rope and stick), backing (all methods), flexing from side to side, yielding the hindquarters (stage 1), lunging for respect stage 1 and a little of stage 2. 

She does backing very well expect for keeping straight. She seems to back a little sideways with her left hindquarter sticking out. 

Yielding the hindquarters she isn't the best on. She would try to back up which I was more or less able to fix in the end. And wouldn't keep her anchor foot still very well, I'd say that was pretty hard to get that foot to stay planted. 

Flexing from side to side;      Rose is lighter on one side more than she is on the other. Her bad side I'll be working especially on next time. 

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1148111 2017-11-02T18:32:59Z 2017-11-02T18:32:59Z Rose's Training (1)

Yesterday I got to work Rose for the first time. 

When I approached her to put the halter on, I acted like I didn't really care as if I was going to get to her or not. If I ran/walked straight to her or any horse like a predator would it's very likely the horse will be frightened off or run off anyway because the horse knows you want him (probably to work). I've learned this from Clinton, it's especially how to approach a horse I basically don't know.

I desensitized her with the rope and she did pretty well. Cody (her paddock mate) got in the way once in awhile, lol.

I took her to the round pen and desensitized her with the stick and string. I backed her up to see how well she did on that, and I think she did pretty good! I yielded her hindquarters, and I'd say it wasn't the best yield but it wasn't the worst either. I also flexed her neck from side to side. She didn't understand at first when I asked her and backed up or tried to turn around but she got the idea quickly and I was able to flex both sides pretty well. I wanted to see if she could lunge on the lunge line and found she was pretty bad with that. I also could see she had a lot of energy so I round penned her before doing anything else. 

She bolted off as soon as I asked her to move her feet and didn't save her energy with a nice slower lope but instead she was using her reactive side and started wearing herself out faster. I let her go a few times around and then asked her to turn. She didn't turn into the fence but she did hesitate but turned the right way. After that I kept changing her directions and she slowed down a lot and listening much better. After awhile of this I made sure to get in three to five really good turns before letting her come in. I let her rest for about six minutes in the middle with me and then we moved on. She was pretty tired and sweaty from the round penning so I didn't do too much on her after that. She was also nice, calm and listening to me. 

I yielded her hindquarters which is something we need to work on more. I backed her and then tried lunging her with the rope again. She's ether never done it or hasn't for a long time so I had to teach her. I had her going at a nice slow trot and working a little on lunging for respect stage 1. 

Rose is already a really well trained horse so she wasn't that hard at all. Just a few things she doesn't know like the yielding, lunging, flexing, sending ect. Backing she wasn't too bad at but it was a little lazy. 

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1202658 2017-11-02T03:52:38Z 2017-11-02T13:34:22Z Blue Roan Painting

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1201558 2017-10-31T18:37:54Z 2017-10-31T18:37:55Z Training on the Trails

Sugar has been my amazing new trail horse now! I've been training her from a arena horse (her whole life) to a first time trail horse. Let me just say that I can tell she loves being outside of the arena much more! Riding in the arena she'll once 'n awhile get grumpy after days straight of just the arena. She may be getting better in the arena but she's not enjoying and will show how she feels if she's always ridden in the arena (aka it's too dull for her). Early times with the horses I would not have understood how Sugar feels and will probably blame it on her and completely misunderstand her. Before, I never knew a horse could get bored of something or prefer doing certain things. 

For example; in the beginning of Sugar's trail riding experience, she's easier to handle in the arena but when I take her out on the trail it's like a completely different horse. She doesn't walk calmly, spooks at everything, not paying attention to me and keeping her eye on everything else. I would of thought "nope, she hates it, there's something wrong with her and she's way too dangerous to take out", in fact some early trainers who took her once said that same thing and gave up. But when I ride her out, she may be terrified but I can tell she's curious. It was hard for me to see that at the beginning because as she was curious, she was more thinking about running home. I've had a couple of really big ugly spooks with her, but I think we're over the worst. 

In fact I'm so used to controlling a spooky horse! I'm pretty comfortable when they spook and can end it pretty fast. I can act like it never happened which is really good to teach a horse. I also feel like I can stay on a horse. Because after all those spooks, bucking, or disrespectful horses...I've only fallen off once!! And that wasn't because of the horse at all. In fact I was riding bareback and I had lost my balance trotting (cantering is much easier than trotting bareback). So I kinda feel like I can stay on any horse, but I better not jinx myself. Okay enough bragging! ;P

Yesterday I rode Sugar on a short trail ride down to one of the creeks. I knew of a small secret trail I explored on foot a few years ago in fall and it was SO beautiful!! It was by the Sacramento river but when I rode Sugar there it was over grown with black berry bushes so I rode near by till I found an opening to a creek (a branch off from the river). 

I worked her up and down hills, ridges, ditches, logs and the creek. I dismounted by the creek and practiced sending by and in the creek. It was nice that she was sweaty and a little hot from the ride there because the creek felt nice to her to cool off. At first she avoided the water but then went in pretty fast. This is actually the first time she's been in water like this. I've taken Ruby to a lake and swam with her but this was Sugar's first time to experience water. After some groundwork I mounted and rode her in the water. She seemed hesitant going in the creek a certain way but went right away the other way. I only let her in up to her knees (I didn't feel like getting wet) but she was ready to go further. I'm really proud of her! I'm so glad we both love exploring!! 

She's going to be an amazing trail horse! I've been learning so much from her! I'm planning on going back and riding down the creek. I'll have to take my trail riding buddy, Amber with me too! 

And of course Sugar isn't a "perfect angel" yet, she always has spooks here and there. But each time I tell her and often prove to her if I can that there's nothing to be afraid of. If she hesitates a lot of crossing a ditch, I'll turn her around and make her cross it a couple of time until she's comfortable with it. If she spooks at something, I'll have her work around it until she's close enough ton touch it and will stand still dozing off. But it's harder if it's a moving "monster" like a deer or birds. So at the least I'll have her stop and face it. When we're at the stables and I see a bunch of deer I'll work my way up to them and now have her follow them. Now she doesn't get bothered by them very much anymore. She mostly get's nervous if she's not sure what it is or can't see it clearly. 

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1197461 2017-10-11T02:05:29Z 2017-10-11T12:27:28Z Lake Cal Pic

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Harris Family
tag:horsehaven.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1192668 2017-09-20T21:19:03Z 2017-09-21T15:49:47Z Norma

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Harris Family