Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summertime fun...

Washing the truck.........

The girls found a worm....

Garden Update

Our garden is doing great so far, only one small problem is the bush beans......rabbits seem to get them the minute they grow a leaf or two. Hopefully they will survive.

Horse Treat Recipe (requested)

I had someone ask for the recipe for the horse treats we make for Danny, so here goes:

They are actually called "After Riding Cookies"

4 cups wheat flour
3 cups oatmeal
1 egg
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup applesauce
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup hot water

Mix flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar in very large bowl. Add egg, oil, applesauce, and molasses. Finally, add hot water and mix well. It's easiest to just reach in and mix with your hands like you would making meatloaf.

Bake at 300 degrees on a greased cookie sheet for 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool in oven over night.

I rolled them into 1 inch balls and they work perfectly. You can also roll out the dough to one inch thick on floured surface and cut out shapes or press into the cookie sheet and cut with a pizza cutter when done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Working on Showmanship

We have been working with Danny every other day during the week and every Saturday and Sunday. Lounging, walking, trotting and working on lots of groundwork. We are all bonding very well. C has been working on Showmanship with him and they are coming along good. He is really listening to her. Both the girls have been riding him too. He loves all the grooming attention he gets. The girls and I brush him and clean his feet both before and after we do anything with him. He gets treats after we are all finished (regular horse treats we baked, apples and carrots). He's getting some muscle tone to him and his coat is getting nice and shiny from all that grooming. We also sprayed him down the other night after I lunged him. I was very happy to see that he will have no problem with taking a bath. He gave one of those looks like....ahhhhhhh that feels sooooooo good...of course it was 92 degrees out too so I'm sure it did feel good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dressage & Hunter/Jumper Clinic

The clinic was fun, at least it was entertaining anyway. The horses were a bit clumsy in the beginning but improved as they went along. We learned a few things too. Mostly ways of having some fun while working with your horse. We don't ride English so there isn't too much we can or would do with the information we got tonight. Like I said though it was fun to watch and no one got hurt.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork........

Chelsea and Lindsay are all signed up for Fair now. They seem to be doing soooooo much this year. It's all fun though. We had our monthly 4H meeting last night and tied up a lot of loose ends. We decided on our Fair decorations for the barn (they are going to be soooo cool) of course I can't tell what it's going to be (you never know who reads it's TOP SECRET!!!!!!!
Everyone turned in all the paperwork needed to show at fair so the girls are now all set to go. It seemed like quite a bit of confusion but after almost two hours everyone had all their paperwork in and are set to go. We will be starting next week on making the decorations for the barn. We decided on a logo for our clubs fair t-shirts and signed up to get them. They are going to be very cool too. Chelsea (being the treasurer) reminded everyone that hadn't paid for their club dues or project fees to pay them as soon as they could. Well that pretty much sums up the meeting last night. We will be going to a Hunter/Jumper and Dressage education clinic this Wed. evening, should be very fun to watch. I will update on the clinic later in the week.
I forgot to add that I rode Danny the other night after our trainer rode him for a little while. It was awesome. He did great only one small issue, he is a bit barn sour and was wanting to go back to the barn every time we would get close to the gate out. He was very easy to control though even when he was wanting to go back by his buddies. Both the girls and I will be starting our regular lessons with Danny this week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Banding your horses mane for a show...

Supplies needed include rubberbands to match your horse's mane color, a comb or a brush, a banding comb and some mousse (I am using Shapley's Mane Mousse, there are other products such as Quik Braid or even stuff for humans that work as well.). A foot stool is also helpful to relieve tension on your arms while working. If you can stand above the horse's neck you won't have to reach up with your arms.

I band the mane right after the horse's bath. The mane will still be wet and much easier to work with. You'll need to find a place to work where your horse will stand still for you. I try not to put the horse in a spot where he can eat (too much head and neck movement from tossing the hay around). Cross ties work best for me.

Comb through the horse's mane to get it laying flat. Spray a small section of the mane with the mousse (only about 6 inches at a time). Grab a few of the rubberbands and put them somewhere that is easy to reach. I load up my fingers on my left hand with quite a few bands, some people toss a bunch of bands in their mouths.

I use the banding comb to part the hair into small sections for banding. This gives you an idea of the width of each section. I make my bands 1/2 inch or smaller...that is usually less than two sections wide on the banding comb. For thicker hair you will want to use the smallest section you can. With a thin mane you can use sections up to 1 inch wide.

See how the banding comb makes perfectly straight parts for each band.

After parting the section, transfer a rubberband to your banding hand. Starting at the top side of the mane, take your fingers and work out any lumpy areas of the section to be banded. Grab hold of the section at the bottom side of the mane and gather it together. Slide the band around the section and wrap it around four times. (I've found that four times around works best for me. It stays in place for a long time yet isn't too tight to cause the mane to stick up.) Be very careful when you are wrapping the rubberband that hairs from the other banded sections or the un-done part of the mane do not cross over into the section that you are working on. You will have much neater and cleaner bands that way. It is also a good idea to keep the section laying down on the horse's neck as much as you can while banding it.
After the section is banded, you will be able to adjust the placement and/or tightness of the band. I usually separate the section into two and pull those sections apart so that the band tightens at the base of the horse's neck (much like a person would do to tighten her own ponytail).

When you've finished the banding, take a minute to trim the ends of the mane to give it a cleaner look. I find that standing at the horse's withers and looking towards his head gives me a better angle to find the shaggy looking areas of the mane. I will use a scissors to trim off the ends and make sure the entire mane is an even length.
You do not need to cut your horse's mane this short. The process works the same no matter what length the horse's mane is.

The finished mane:

Now you can put a slinky on, making sure that the mane is laying flat underneath it. When you take the slinky off before show time, you will have a clean and neat mane that lays flat for the entire day.
Thanks to a good friend of mine for this information.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Too much raining going on....

Hello all,
Well it's been raining like crazy here lately....if it's not raining it's still too wet to even do anything. We did however manage to get Danny into the indoor arena and do some work with him the other day, I believe it was Saturday. It was his first time ever in the indoor arena. He didn't spook a bit and a large firework even went off down the road and he never budged. Both the girls and I took turns walking and trotting with him on the ground to do some work with manners and respect. I lunged him a bit with the lunge line. The lunging was a bit awkward since neither of us (Danny or me) were very used to doing it, but we did it and he did well. I guess that means I did too. :o) The girls cleaned him up all nice and spotless in the cross ties. I was told by his old owner that he would get a bit antsy in the cross ties when she did it (which she normally didn't, she just straight tied him to a post) but he stood very calmly for a very long time, I would say almost an hour straight, while the girls and I cleaned him up. While Chelsea was taking her riding lesson with the lesson horse Lindsay and I took Danny for a little walk to eat some fresh grass in the front yard since there was a small break in the rain. I would say it was a very good bonding day for all of us. Well the rain is supposed to stop this Friday so hopefully we will get some riding time in this weekend, either in the indoor arena or the outdoor.