Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cantering in the woods with The Biscuit

Canter in the Woods!!

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas

I went riding this morning with The LeAnn's in Tyrrell Park.  I was late getting there - and bless their hearts they waited for me to drag up The Biscuit, he scarffed down his feed while Lee Ann B held his bucket (he is in love with her) and I threw his tack in the trailer.  He was loaded up and away we went. 

We parked by the bathrooms and tacked the horses up.  Biscuit didn't give me any flack like he did last week which was good.  He didn't mind when I sprayed him with OFF! which was a good thing.  We went in the woods and around to the right.  We went along nicely, stopping once to put OFF! on Legato.  We went out on the bayou and down towards the bridge.  We jogged a little of the way going.  We crossed the bridge and went straight past the land bridge.  Biscuit was going side ways and acting so nervous.  He pooped a big pile of nervous poo...watery.  We got past the water area and he lightened up.  All of the horses seemed nervous.  We went down a ways and then started a jog.  Biscuit held his pace very well.  We got down to the bayou and it was a little warm out in the open.  We went through the top side trail entrance to go down the side of Hildebrandt Bayou.  We were going somewhat slow as there were spiders across the trails and I was whapping them down. 

We crossed over the little cement bridge and around where Kellie and I saw pigs last week.  We started jogging and Biscuit was going sideways again.  That is too hard!!!  We came up to the front and were going to canter a short way when we heard voices.  It was Allison and a colleague from work riding grey horses!!!  We chatted with them for a few minutes and moved on.  We crossed the bridge and were going to canter but Biscuit just trotted fast.  Sigh.....LeAnn said if he went from that trot into a canter it would have been way too fast.  He can't canter slow yet and she said it takes time to learn that control.  We got into the woods and had to stop for a downed tree.  Lee Anne B. got her trusty fold up saw and went to work on it off of Rogue's back.  LeAnn P got down to assist her and I was holding Legato who decided my knee was an excellent rubbing post.  LOL  I didn't mind, slobber and all, until her snaffle bit dug into my knee cap.  LOL  I pushed her back and her she comes again.  LeAnn said don't let her do that to you!  So Princess Legato got a pop on the nose with my quirt.  Darn...she tried again, another little pop on the nose.  I told her she could rub her nose on me but not gouge the knee with the bit!  She is the prettiest little thing...her face is simply to die her eyelashes and her sassy attitude. 

We took off again and got up a ways and we decided to jog.  I gave Biscuit the cue and decided to see if I could kick him into a canter and he did!  Fast canter but a canter...away we went and a few times he slowed and I kicked him up again until I realized the girls weren't behind me.  I stopped and they yelled "are you all right" and LeAnn said she didn't want to run Legato up Biscuits backside if he were running off with me.  LOL  I should have warned them but it was a spur of the moment thing.  They said I looked relaxed but I did hold the horn because I am a sissy. 

Tomorrow we are going to ride in the woods and I am going to work on the canter.  Practice will make perfect for me and for Biscuit. 

We went down the little overgrown trail...whapping spiders and one was crawling up Biscuit's leg and he was stomping.  LeAnn said hold up while she made sure it was gone.  One spider caught him right in the face and I quickly made sure it was brushed off!!!  We got to the trailer and we rode 8.7 miles today.  It was a blast.  The mosquitoes weren't bad at all thank God.  We got back to the ranch and I cleaned Biscuit up and took him on the Gater back to his paddock.  The tack was left in the trailer for tomorrows ride.  I had such a good time is always a good day with my peeps and their horses!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Riding new paths and ride aways

Through the Rideaways  at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas

Got up to ride this morning and I think I left part of my brain at the house.  I hauled out early - went down to Market Basket to get batteries for my Garmin and discovered I hadn't brought my wallet.  What an idiot.  Oh well, onward to the barn...til I looked at my feet with sandals on...Ok...I think I need my Justin Gypsy's to ride in.  I had to haul back to the house to get my wallet, steal batteries out of a remote and get my boots!!

Onward to the barn...FINALLY.  I hauled down and picked up Biscuit and unloaded him at the washrack so he could eat.  I sprayed him with fly spray and we loaded up and off we went.  Rogue is pretty good about getting in the trailer considering he rarely uses a ramp!!! 

I was tacking Biscuit up and he started that buckling of his knees again.  I walked him around to make sure his saddle wasn't too tight - it isn't and tried to pick up his hoof again - more buckling.  What a pill!  I popped his chest and told him to straighten up.  He stopped that foolishness right then!! 

We started out to the right and went down to the last ride away and took a left.  I have never gone down that ride away.  It is much more narrow than the other and more shaded.  Lots of trees down and a few hog wallows.  We went down to the trail and turned right and rode around to the 1st ride away (from the barn!) and turned right, went down and turned left and rode the trail til we came to the little funky overgrown trail that goes to the right.  We went down it - it was pretty over grown and we came out on Babe Zaharias Drive and went to the left til there was a cut in back to the trails.  We went to the right and around the trail back towards the stables.  We kept going and got towards the back and we started jogging.  Biscuit did an AMAZING job of holding his speed for the most part as we navigated the pot holes and some tree limbs.  Twice I dropped my glasses and had to get off.  LOL  the second time I had a REALLY hard time getting back on.  Biscuit kept walking off - he was covered in mosquitoes.  He got seriously pulled up and fussed at.  I  was having a hard time lifting my foot up high enough to get on because my pants were sticking to my legs because of sweat.  I should have taken a video - I bet I looked LIKE AN IDIOT.  I stood on a little stump that started disintegrating to get on!!

Biscuit and Rogue in the Brenderup

Look at all of those logs down!!!

Look at that ride away!!!

Hog Wallow
Twice I felt my hand jerk my necklace when I reached up to take my hat off to make sure I didn't have a spider.  When I got back to the trailer OMG my diamond cross necklace was dangling on my saddle.  Thank you JESUS for saving my necklace that I have had for 29 years.  The clasp is broken so I will take it to be repaired and NEVER wear it on a ride again.  I do have a cross on my saddle so that will do!!! 

I rinsed Biscuit off  and we hauled back to the ranch.  We rode 4.8 miles today. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Otters, Owls, Black Water, Hogs and Spiders

Kellie and I met out at Tyrrell Park Stables to ride Sunday morning.  I tacked him up and picked up his feet to clean them.  He wanted his foot back and ended up going on his knees because I didn't want to give up that foot.  I expected him to bust a gut but he calmly got back up.  What a silly boy.  I didn't put Biscuit's boot's on and I should have.  Kellie wanted to ride around to the Cattail Marsh gate because she thought there would be too much mud in the woods.  We got over there and the gate was locked.  We went to the end of the parking lot and tried to go around down a little ditch area.  It was over grown and the horses weren't too keen on going where they couldn't see their feet.  In the end, we got off and lead them through it.

Oh Black Water, Keep on Rolling, Mississippi Moon Wantcha Keep on Shinin' on Me.
Biscuit was tender on the rocks - poor guy but he made it.  We got over to the bayou and walked down beside it to the bridge.  The water was very dark...made me break out in the Doobie Brother's "Oh Black Waters Keep on Turning".  We crossed the bridge and stopped by the pipe to clean hooves and the water had a giant head of FOAM on it and was very dark and smelled horrible.  OMG it was nasty.

I mounted back up and we went left on the land bridge.  We went around the bridge and headed for the curve and just as we were getting to the curve and little animal darted out from the left and across the trail and up over the little dyke and into the water!   It was an otter!!!   OMG I wish I had had my camera out. 

We went around, down, and curved back to the back and were going down the trail and I did take out my FLIP video and was filming when Kellie said "look, there is an Owl!!!"  I filmed the owl and it was so neat!!!  We saw some sort of orange looking bird too, don't know what it was though.  Biscuit didn't want to turn around to go to the back and was just backing up...LOL what a silly boy.  We went down aways and about 75 yards ahead I saw a hog cross the trail, followed by about 5 young, half grown piglets.  OMG Biscuit was on high alert and we stopped as we heard them splash through the water.  Biscuit turned back towards Elan and then refused to go forward even after popping him with my rein.  Kellie was popping Elan and he lost all interest in moving forward!!!  The horses were so close together Kellie's water thingy was digging into my leg and we were laughing like idiots because it was just so funny how neither one of the horses were very brave today.  I finally had to get off and lead Biscuit...wienie!!!  I mounted when I came to the back of the trail where it curves and it is easy to mount right there. 

We rode across the little cement bridge and into the woods.  Biscuit wasn't really wanting to lead and I was in control of Spider Patrol.  I walked him up and was pulling down webs with him turned sideways.  He was refusing to turn and go on up the trail and I ended up backing him UP A HILL!!!  LOL what a goober.  I swatted lots of spiders, yelled DUCK to Kellie when I missed a spider, sometimes Elan had to go first because Biscuit was refusing and then he would go past Elan later.  GAAA!!!  A huge spider was on me and I slapped it off.  YUK!!!  He refused at a hog wallow...and I got off about 4 times to swat spiders and clear a path for Kellie.  We heard something in the brush that was pretty loud in the place where the LeAnn's said something was paralleling them on one of their rides....I forgot to tell Kellie that!!!  We finally came out on the other side.  We did some jogging today and Kellie was impressed with Biscuit's improvement.  He is getting so much better.  We went over the bridge, past the black nasty water, and down the side of Willow Bayou.  We jogged and trotted some and then went through the woods.

My Garmin didn't track...but I know the ride was at least 8.3 miles. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jogging Again

I went out to the barn and brought Biscuit and tacked him up.  I mounted up at 11:09 AM and walked him around and then started jogging.  He is doing good - not perfect - but good.  I worked on the halt.  He will stop on the trail and just stand there...He doesn't in the arena.  He doesn't want to stand still and we had a fracas over that.  He also was slow to stop where on the trail he is pretty quick about stopping.  I did get him to turn on his haunches once!  I am going to start working with Biscuit on these things during the week in the arena.  He did keep pace well today but there were times he tried to speed up.  All in all, I was pleased with his performance.  I think I did a good job too!  LOL  I am working on it!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jogging with Biscuit 3

I pulled Biscuit up onto the wash rack and Sadda was also up there.  I think Sadda made poor old Biscuit nervous - he pooped twice poor guy!

I tacked Biscuit up and took him into the arena.  I mounted and I was so proud of him!  He generally will take off in the arena when I mount but he stood there and kept standing there until I gave him the cue to move off.  Good Boy!!!  I walked him around a little and then put him in a jog and he did great until I asked Allison to record it on my Flip Camera!!!  LeAnn B and Allison gave me pointers and tips on my riding which I need.  Biscuit gave me some flack in the corner of the arena near the half gates.  I made him go where he needed to go and kept riding him until he was getting it right.  He did better in the arena than he ever has before...much more relaxed where he used to be like a wind up toy. 

LeAnn and I redid his rigging and I took him back in the arena and got back on and YES, it does make a difference in the amount of leather under my right leg!  I took his bridle off and he had hissys like he has been recently.  I did as LeAnn suggested and put it on and took it off numerous times until he quit throwing up his head!!  He finally quit being a jerk about it. 

I am hoping to ride him in the arena 2 times a week to work on his skills.  I did get him to side pass very nicely to the right.  He is a good Biscuit!!

Jogging with the Biscuit #2

Jogging with the Biscuit

Monday, July 18, 2011

Short Ride on a Monday Morning

 Short Ride on Monday at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas

I got out to the barn around 7:00 and Julia was there but wasn't going to ride so I left my rig at the barn and we got in the 3 horse slant and headed for the park.  We tacked up and I set my Garmin to mark the trail.  We went to the left instead of the right in the woods.  I don't want Biscuit to think he can only go one way.  We got around to where the tree is down across the trail with the deadly daggers sticking out of it and LeAnn P got off and sawed the offending limbs off!!!
       LeAnn clearing a trail with Lee Ann's awesome new saw!

We rode through the woods and out onto the bayou.  We walked down until we got on unrutted ground and we started jogging and my water bottle was hitting me in the leg so we stopped for me to move it.  The horses were eating grass and when I pulled up Biscuit's head to take off his right rein had come unclasped from his bit!  I don't know how that happened but I got off and took the snaps off and threaded the rein through the bit and buckled it on.  I remounted with some trouble but was able to get my backside back into the saddle!!!  We started trotting down the bayou to where the retaining ponds are at.  We went down the gravel road at a trot until I finally had to quit - the posting was causing my left leg to cramp up!!  We went into the woods and turned back to the left to go all the way around the woods.  We started jogging and jogged half way around the park and Biscuit did a much better job on the jog today and I think it was because the reins were swiveling and yanking around with the snaps on them.  He is doing fantastic and I was so proud of him.  We only rode for an hour and a half and went 3.9 miles. 

We went back to the ranch and cleaned out the trailer and got the horses to do hooves.  We helped Phil and Forrest with Masterpiece's hooves.  He had some serious issues that just a little trimming helped!! 

Masterpiece is a gorgeous silver Arabian stallion.  He doesn't really have any fleabite/flyspeck marks on him...just a gorgeous silver color with white stocking and a white blaze.  OMG if his mane was either black or white it would be amazing but all in all, he is a pretty pretty boy and very well behaved.  He is always a pleasure to see and to give a pat to.

Masterpiece is a little scared of the rolling seat!

Chipping at the quarters front left hoof

Don't they look better?

Back left hoof, chipping and rolling of the toe

What a difference!

Back right hoof before trimming
Back right hoof after the trim

Back left during trim



Before left front

Before Left Hoof
When I got to Biscuit he was a total pill about having his feet done today.  Probably because since 7:00 AM he had either been under saddle or tied up waiting to have his feet done.  He got in some trouble for it and I got most of it done but it was a chore today!!  I am working on bringing down his heels on his front hooves.  I will work on them again next Monday.  A little at a time is what it takes.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Picture of Biscuit and Barry

Bushwhacking through Tyrrell Park with The Biscuit

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas

Beautiful little mushrooms right where we parked our trailer!

The LeAnne's, Rogue and Legato

LeAnn and Legato on overgrown road on the bushwhacking ride

Legato and LeAnn

LeAnn the super bushwhacker making a path over a rice paddy dyke

You go girl!!  Making sure there is not really a fence there!

Ok....I can make a path here!!!

The county landfill is in the background

Self Portrait

Julia and Shalom at the barn when we got back

Allison and Avery the Thoroughbred
The LeAnne's and I met at the barn this morning at 7:00 AM and loaded up.  Biscuit was tacked up in his new headstall.  He stood as still as a statue when I mounted.  We headed out through the woods.  I had to laugh at Biscuit - he startled at a crack in the ground!!  He looked at it and moved quickly away like it was going to eat him. 

We went out of the woods and out onto the bayou.  We went down to the bridge and LeAnn P was a brave girl.  She rode Legato across - Biscuit was leading and spooked at something in the middle of the bridge but it was an in place spook that he sometimes does.  We went down the track and decided to go down the ride away by the land bridge.  I thought it was the one I had been down before but it wasn't.  We got down to where the county landfill is and turned right down a gravel road.  We went a little ways and then the road was majorly overgrown but we kept going.  It was barely discernible and Biscuit was going through saddle high brush.  He did a fantastic job.  We came to a turn around and the overgrown road disappeared.  We went through the brush anyway...we were in an old overgrown rice paddy.  I ask Biscuit to go over a little dyke and he put his feet up on the top and backed off.  We went down a ways and I asked him to go over the dyke and he gladly went over.  We were going slow because we couldn't see squat doodly!!  We came to another dyke and it was on a tree line and we couldn't tell if there was a fence in it or not.  I went to the right and down to where the dyke came to a 90 degree angle and we were looking at the overgrowth of the dyke and LeAnn P got off of Legato and determined there was no fence.  She bushwhacked through it while I held Legato.  I asked Biscuit to cross it and he wasn't going for it so I straightened him up and asked again and still he refused.  I think his thought bubble said "she bushwacked it so she has to go first!!!"  He easily followed Legato.  We kept going til we hit the other power line ride away and we went to the left down to where it cuts back to Willow Bayou.  Wow wee...we had a great ride.

We went down Willow Bayou back towards the tall bridge.  Lots of banana spiders - ugh.  We saw a baby armadillo!!  The horses spooked in place when something large jumped out of the water and then splashed back in and made a huge noise.  Biscuit did a great job - not trying to speed up.  He kept his pace like a good boy.  We stopped and had a drink at the bridge and let the horses munch on the Bermuda Grass.  We went back across with LeAnn riding!!!  Biscuit spooked again at something but it was just a little spook.  We got almost to the trees and we started jogging and I was collecting Biscuit up and put him behind Legato.  He was going sideways but later LeAnn said I had my forearms stiff at times and I think the new tack will take some getting used to.  The other reins have more give to them.  We started out jogging again in the woods and I dropped my Brighton Sunglasses making sure I didn't have a spider on my hat.  Biscuit stepped on them and pressed them into the mud.  It bent one of the arms of it.  Bummer.  I had to get off twice while riding and it wasn't a very pretty or graceful mount.  Poor old Biscuit just stands there patiently. 

We got back to the trailer and he was happy to drink a bucket of water that Lee Ann B held for him...geez he is spoiled to that!!  We hauled them back to the barn and I washed him off - he was nasty!  I had to scrub his boots - they were caked with rocks and mud.  I turned him out and will go back later and pull him up because Woot!!!  we are going again tomorrow!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 4 of Worming

I had to go to Houston with Barry to the eye doctor and we didn't get back til late and a big storm had come up and it was pouring down rain.  We certainly need rain but it was lightening too....and I needed to get out to the barn to worm them.  The dose is for 5 days no matter what!!!

It finally quit raining and we went out to the barn and Sarge was better today and Biscuit was pretty darn good.  LOL  Sarge decided after being such a pill about this that it tasted good and wanted to lick and put his teeth on the plunger.  Hopefully tomorrow will be easier.

Wednesday was trimming the hooves day

I went out to the barn yesterday around 11:00 and brought up Biscuit and put him on the washrack.  Allison had Jabaree in the arena working with him.  He is such a pretty boy!  He is full of spirit and is going to make a fabulous horse one day.

I got around to The Biscuit on the wash rack.  He pooped on it several times - oh yay, cleaning up poo is the pits.  I got out my farrier tools and picked up his back feet first and trimmed them with the nippers and I used the knife on the frogs.  I was able to rasp with them with the big side.  I get better and better each time - especially with Terry's (DS Farrier Supply Man!) advice.  I got a little closer to getting rid of the spot on his back left hoof.  I was able to bring those heels down just a little bit and I did rasp the fronts a little.  Each time helps.  Biscuit was pretty darn good about it - not perfect but getting better.

Barry went with me in the late afternoon to worm them.  Biscuit was better than Sarge.  Barry had to pop him on the ankles with the lead rope.  Sarge wasn't too happy about being wormed again!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Biscuit has new tack!!

I took Biscuit's new bridle out to the barn and put his bit in it and tried it on him.  I thought it looked fantastic!!!  I went to Sam's Western Store today and bought more leather conditioner and really soaked the bridle.  I took all of it apart so that even under the buckles would be conditioned and not stiff as a board!!!  While I was at Sam's, I bought Biscuit a bucket of treats and had Charles reshape my straw hat.  It looks better.  I think I looked like a total geek before I had it reshaped.  I probably still look like a geek but maybe a little less of one!!

While out at the barn I worked on Biscuit's frog on his front left hoof.  I was sweating like a tush hog as Barry used to say.  LeAnn and I decided tomorrow morning would be a better time to do feet!!!  I did take the Clorox and soaked a little ball of cotton in it.  I tore off tiny pieces and pushed it in his frog.  I am going to get rid of the thrush one way or the other.

LeAnn wormed Biscuit for me - we are on the 5 day Panacar treatment.  He didn't do any better than yesterday but we got it in his mouth.  She went down the road with me to give it to Sarge.  OMG was he ever a pill today.  He was ok yesterday but I think his thought bubble was reading "I did this yesterday and I am NOT doing it again Sister!".  He reared up and acted like a butt.  She finally twitched his shoulder with her hand and I squished it in.  He was NOT a happy camper and was pouting again with his head down.

Barry and I went out there later and I gave him a treat in his bucket and he was all up in my Kool Aide for more....Biscuit doesn't get pushy with treats but Sarge is like a 3 year old little boy with gummy worms!!  We gave them some alfalfa.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

My New Bridle and Stirrups Arrived!!!!

I ordered Biscuit a new bridle to match his saddle and they also sent stamped stirrups that I had originally ordered.  They arrived today and they are GORGEOUS!!  The bridle has a caveson but I may remove that as Western Bridles rarely have cavesons attached to the bridle itself. 

New Headstall, reins and stirrups

close up of reins

Close Ups

Isn't the hardward pretty?

These stirrups are Gorgeous!!!
I like the stamped tooling on it and the reins are pretty too.  Lots of nice concho's that match my saddle!  The stirrups are endurance stirrups but I really like them.  They are more like my crooked stirrups but are covered with leather and are padded on the bottom.  I can't wait to try the bridle on Biscuit tomorrow.  I did condition the leather and will probably have to keep conditioning it til it is soft and supple.  It will be hard to give up my braided reins.  I LOVE them - and I love the feel of them.  But, matching stuff is nice too!!! 

Collecting Up The Biscuit and Thunderstorms - Day 1 of PowerPac Worming

I didn't ride yesterday because my leg was hurting and I thought it was best not to.  The LeAnne's rode with the new lady at the barn, Allison, and I had to miss it!  Her horse had never trail ridden before and they said he did a great job.  Hopefully I will be able to ride with her soon.

I got to the barn at 6:50 AM and went down and got Biscuit.  He was more than happy to go with me to get his bucket of feed!  LeAnn P arrived and then Lee Anne B got there.  I loaded up my tack into the trailer and we loaded up the horses and took off.  We got to the park and pulled into the stables area.  We tacked up and took off.  Biscuit always gives the man hole a wide berth which is kinda funny.  We went around the right side of the woods and LeAnn said my left stirrup was too short so I got off and adjusted it.  I got back on and darn!  I had dropped my crop so I had to get off and get back on but I did just fine.

We went around to the bayou area and a little later we heard thunder.  We decided to head back for the stable and get under the eaves area until it quit thundering and lightening.  It was a good time to practice Biscuit's jog so I collected him up, sat back, chin up and away we went.  He did a fantastic job.  He kept the pace for the most part, sometimes wanting to speed up, but mostly keeping the right pace.  LeAnn said for me to keep my elbows at my side and later to relax them as I was holding them so STIFF!  LOL

We got to the barn and put the horses under the eaves at first but there were wasps flying around.  The horses were more than glad to eat the Bermuda grass.  I was trying to get the radar on my phone but was unsuccessful.  It was cloudy but not super dark.  We called Kellie to look it up for us and it was a huge cell over Port Arthur.  The long and short of it, it passed over and we mounted up and took off again.  We were looking for LeAnn's sunglasses that she dropped.  We went to the left instead of the right and rode the trail from that side.

We discussed different trail options we would like to see in the park.  I spoke with Kenny yesterday and he said he'd be more than happy to cut us some trails with the 4 wheeler.  We talked about maybe a work party of Rockin' R Riders to make nice trails and trim back overgrowth.  Possibly have an obstacle trail - that would be absolutely awesome to build a trail for people to practice trail obstacles like a wooden bridge, gates to open, trees to got over,  etc.  We went around the entire woods and didn't find the sunglasses.  We had stopped and looked at the bobwire fences in the woods and I told LeAnn I bet that is where we overlooked them.  We went around again...looking closely at the sides thinking they may have bounced into the woods.  We got around towards the back and lo and behold, right in the middle of the road and right where the big spider was and the bobwire fence was the glasses.  Right where I said "DUCK....spiderweb!!" and had leaned over Biscuits left shoulder I missed the glasses and LeAnn probably couldn't see them because Biscuit's body was in the way!  OMG we laughed at that.

We went on around the back curve and Biscuit was kind of stumbling and Lee Anne said "Denise, he pulled his boot off!"  It was the left boot this time.  I got off and put his boot back on.  LeAnn said "he is so good...Remember Legato had a fit when her boot came off at McKinney Roughs!"  Biscuit is a very good boy and the longer I have him the more I like him!

I walked him to a low spot and mounted up.  It wasn't pretty but I got my backside up there!!!  We decided to pick up the pace so from the back all the way to the stables I put Biscuit in a collected jog and he did fantastic.  Head down for the most part (I bet he looked so pretty from the side!!!) and he kept a nice pace and even dropped it slower at parts which is the speed I am looking for.  He has caught on to this so quickly and doesn't shake his head like the first time I did this with him.  He has stopped that all together.

We got back to the trailers and gave them water - LeAnn got one of the triangle stand up water tanks for the trailer and wow! that is really handy.  We rested and then loaded up and went back to the barn.  I hosed Biscuit off and hosed down his bridle and reins.  They were nasty and I hosed off his saddle pad.  It was pretty nasty and soaked with sweat.  I sprayed it with the nozzle on as hard as it would go and it got out quiet a bit of the sweat and dirt.

LeAnn helped me worm Biscuit - we started the 5 day pac of Wormers.  He was a bit of a pill about it but LeAnn doesn't take "I don't want to" as an option.  He was wormed whether he liked it or not!!  We hauled him and Legato down the ranch road on the Gator and then we wormed Sarge.  He was a little better about it thank God!  Biscuit will be fine with it after this week because he is going to be wormed 5 days in a row.  Hopefully, Sarge will kick these parasites for good and get better.  I gave them all treats - Sarge deserved it.  He was standing there with his head down pouting after we gave it to him.  He was funny!

Glasses in the MIDDLE of the road!

I found them!!!
Deep Ruts towards the back of the trails

Can you see the bobwire fence?

Lee Ann and Rogue

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Team Penning at Ray's

Ray had a team penning practice at his house.  I had asked Barry if he wanted to go when I got back from riding and he said no.  I went and took a nap - well, was really just resting and at 5:00 he came in the room and said "how long does it take to get to Ray's?"  LOL  I got up, dressed and was out the door driving the Rav4.  We went to the barn and loaded up the horses.  The Brenderup hauls better with both horses in it.  We pulled into Ray's about 6:20 PM.  Sarge was so excited to hear cows.  I walked Biscuit around and let him graze and then saddled him.  Barry got in the arena 3 times and I videoed it.  I am too big of a sissy to team pen with that many people...maybe later if it is just a few folks!  Biscuit was my lawn chair and was pretty good for the most part.  I met some very nice people and enjoyed myself.  We left at 10:12 PM and we still hadn't ate dinner so we ate at Sonic.  We got to the barn at 11:30 PM to drop off the boys and I put Biscuit in the arena as I was going to trail ride in the morning. 

My leg was hurting pretty badly when I got home and I wasn't sure if I would ride.  It was after midnight when I went to bed and I had only got 6 hours sleep the night before.   When I got up I decided it was not in my best interest to ride so I called and left LeAnn P a message.  By then they were at the barn and Biscuit was having a fit because they were feeding their horses.  She took pity on him and fed him before he had a nervous breakdown!!!

It's A Red Letter Day for Susan and Sababba

Red Letter Day for Susan!!!

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Kellie, Susan and I were going riding Saturday morning in Tyrrell Park.  I got up and pulled out at 6:30 AM.  I realized when I got to the barn I had left my Cool Vest.  I called Sue to see if she needed help getting Sababba in the trailer as I had left my Cool Vest and was returning home to get it.  I told her to pop Sababba on the butt with her whip and tell her firmly to GET IN THE TRAILER.

I called her back after I picked up the vest and she said "Do you want me to open the back gate or the front gate?"  I said "Did you get that horse in the trailer, Sue?" and she said yes she had!!!  I was so proud of her!  We got to the park and met Kellie.  I saw a big streak of lightening behind her right after we saddled up.  Sigh.  She looked up the radar on the phone and it was passing over.  She put Elan in the trailer and I covered Biscuit's saddle with my extra saddle pad.  It just rained a little and passed over.  We hopped on and took off around the woods.  We had a very nice ride.  We rode out like last week on the bayou for awhile and around the woods, to the rest room and back into the woods and back around.  We rode 5.5 miles. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Traits of a top notch trailhorse

Someone asked on a forum what made a great trail horse and the following was one of the replies.  I thought it was terrific and is a good "check list" for Biscuit and anyone's trail horse.  I asked the person who posted it for their permission to place this on my blog and she said yes that I could so here it is and a special thanks to Jamison for this terrific description!

* A great trail horse is consistant in its paces. You should be able to put this horse on a loose rein and it will continue to go forward at your desired speed, not stopping nor slowing down and certainly not speeding up. The horse should cruise control at the walk, trot, and canter. Your horse should not change its speed for anything, including heading back to the barn or other horse's trotting in front. Strictly no jigging. No constant kicking. Cruise control.

* Three solid, enjoyable gaits. A medium walk, medium trot, and relaxed, easy canter.

* Neck reining. I mean real neck reining, where you can stop, turn, and shift gears without using more than one hand.

* Independent. No buddy sourness. A good trail horse is focused on its job.

* Stand for mounting, on and off sides.

* Ground tie.

* Stand tied to anything: trees, trailers, posts, fences, cross ties, any kind of ties in those scary horse camps, etc.

* Not be afraid of water in any form. Muddy puddles, small, narrow streams, wide shallow creek crossings, deep dark rivers. You'd be surprised how some horses cross some types of water and are bad about others. My horse use to be able to cross wide streams and rivers, but would jump narrow creeks.

* Climb steep, rocky hills without scrambling. Climb hills quietly without breaking into a trot. Horses LOVE rushing up hills.

* Same with down hills. Horses like trotting at the end of long downhills. It's annoying and sometimes dangerous.

* Leg yield. When you're on the trail and avoiding holes, being able to yield your horse in both directions is nice. The horse shouldn't trot off when asked to leg yield.

* BACK. Backing is important for safety! Horses should be able to back into and out of tight spaces, back through turns, back around trees. If you're on the end of a trail and can't turn around, sometimes you have to back out. Sometimes you have to back out a long way too, so no fighting the back up command. Head down, submissive, and soft in the mouth.

*Sidepass. Sidepassing is the hardest thing in the world for me, but if you're going to do CTRs, they're going to ask. I've also found uses for it in real life, but not as much as backing.

* STAND. Whoa means whoa! Stand means no more motion in any direction. Just standing still is one of the best things a horse can learn.

* Load into a trailer. Never bring a horse that takes a struggle to load to a CTR . For safety reasons, a horse should get into a trailer right when you ask -- no two or three or 10 minute struggle required. If your horse is hurt at a CTR and the "horse ambulance" arrives, your horse should get on. If something happens and you have to get your horse into a trailer quickly, he better get in there QUICKLY. When you're ready to go home after a long day competing, your horse better get in that trailer. One poor lady got struck at a CTR for two days because her horse wouldn't load.

* Drink and eat on the trail. Your horse shoud drink water from the saddest looking mud puddle and eat whatever grass offered. He should eat only with permission. I taught my horse it was okay to eat when I push down on her poll.

If I think of any more, I'd add them.  A good trail horse is tough to train.


I am going to use this as a check list for Biscuit and we have some work to do.  I can see where Biscuit has come a LONG way since I bought him. 

1.  He would break into a gallop instead of a lope and throw up his head when asked to slow down.
2.  As soon as I got on, especially in an arena, he would be jigging and acting like a wind up toy wound up too tight!
3.  Nose to tail way too much and it annoyed other horses.
4.  Would try to walk off before I was seated.
5.  Buddy sour to ANY horse and I could not make him walk away from other horses. 
5.  Would not go out alone.
6.  Can't jog at a slow pace
7.  Was scared to death to have people touch him.  He would flinch and look terrified.

Now, he can lope for the most part but still not consistent but he rarely tosses that head now when asked to slow down or change speed.  He doesn't jig anymore even in the arena.  Working on the nose to tail thing and he is coming along nicely.  It is a deeply engrained trait as that is what they wanted him to do.  He rarely tries to walk off if I am mounting.  This past weekend I got him to go first and go away from other horses.  We are working on collecting up and jogging and keeping that pace.  It is helpful to go out with Lee Ann and jog behind my buddy Rogue!  His little Tennessee Walker gait is perfect for jogging behind!!  And best of all, he rarely flinches anymore.  He still will if something startles him but for the most part he knows I am not going to hurt him. 

What we need to still work on:

1.  Loping slow and consistant - his cruise control is not set yet
2.  Side passing - he can to the right but not to the left
3.  Neck reining - he can to a certain degree but he is not perfect at it.
4.  Leg yield - he will yield on the trail but he often uses it as a cue to go faster.
5.  Hills - he is mostly pretty darn good going up and down hills but sometimes I have to be on him to go slow up the hills!

I'll keep reviewing this list and working with The Biscuit.  He is already a good trail horse and I want him to be an excellent trail horse!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adding pages to organize the blog

I had spoke to Jacque about adding pages to the blog to help organize everything; Jacque is my blog guru!!  I finally did it.  I added one page about Garmin Trails and put a link to EveryTrail where all the rides are labeled.  I also put in a description of each place where we have ridden this year. 

I also want to do a page on Anhydrosis and Health Issues, Saddle Fitting, Bare Foot Trimming, Brenderup Trailers and camping with horses. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Short 4th of July Ride through the woods

Round the Woods at Tyrrell at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Round the Woods at Tyrrell

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Sue and I planned a ride in Tyrrell for this morning.  I started out and loaded Biscuit.  Sue called me when I was almost to Tyrrell and was having trouble loading Sababba.  I went ahead and went over to her house.  Sababba gave me a litle flack but with a pop on the butt a few times she hopped right in like a happy camper.

Sue and I hauled to the park and saddled up.  We started out and Biscuit was stumbling around like he was spooking and I told him to settle down.  We got into the woods and he stumbled again and I looked down and he had pulled his boot off and it was around his ankle!  I got off and put it back on and thank God was able to get back on.  We rode around the woods and Biscuit was leading like a good boy.  He seemed a little nervous at first but then settled down and just went along.  We got to the red pan that freaked Sababba out a long time ago and I warned Sue that it was there.  Sababba quickened her step but that was it.  We got to the stables and turned around and went back as the ride looks different going from the other direction!  We got to a ride away and Biscuit all of a sudden, perked up his ears and as WATCHING!  LOL  He heard voices and two ladies appeared on horses.  We introduced ourselves and one of them is stabling at Tyrrell with Kenny.  We went on and her horse was a little excited but seemed ok.  We went around and later met them on the other side again!  LOL  Her horse didn't seem to be as startled this time which was good. 

We got back to the stables.  I was showing Sue my saddle and she came and got on Biscuit to check out the Allegany saddle.  She liked it and it is kinda last name is on the tree on both sides "TALBOT" and of course, my hoof pick pocket has my initials.  I told her a little about it - that it had been custom made for Biscuit.  Kenny and Tracey drove up and we visited with them. 

Sababba gave her a little poop about getting in but I got the buggy whip and gave her a little pop and she got in!  Kenny said take her out and do it again.  Sue was trying to get her in but she is not serious using the whip so Sababba ignores it.  We told her to get serious and so she did and Sababba got in.  It is just going to take a while.  Training issues do.  There are often no quick fixes.

I talked to Kenny about the age of Biscuit and Tracey agrees that when they got Biscuit in 06 that he obviously was a very young horse and not even full grown. - If he'd have been 7 he would have been full grown.  I said that the only horse Mr. Root bred was foaled in 01 but that doesn't mean that Mr. Root didn't buy a horse that was already bred and foaled with someone else having actually bred her.  I am thinking that has to be it.  Anywhoo, teeth don't lie.  I am going to have Doc look at his teeth next time I take the boys in.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Biscuit is a trail blazer!!!!

Biscuit is a trail blazer

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Kellie and I met out at Tyrrell this morning at 7:30 AM.  I had to readjust my stirrups and then we took off.  I took my crop for the first time with Biscuit.  I gave him a few little taps to get him going and he did ok.

We rode through the woods and out onto Willow Bayou.  We rode down the bayou and past where the gravel road would come in.  We kept going for a short while and then turned back.  OMG what a difference.  There was a cool breeze blowing and it felt so much better.  We went into the woods and we were having to get after spider webs.  I tried to move Biscuit forward a few times and he gave me the same baloney he always does.  I wanted to clear out a spider web and he started backing up when I kicked him forward.  I kept kicking and he backed up all the way to Elan and I thought he was going to go off into the big crater in the middle where it is severely rutted.  I kept kicking and lo and behold, he went forward.  I think my knees have been in such bad shape I couldn't kick hard at all and he was totally disregarding it!  Biscuit led the way the rest of the trail ride.  OMG that is amazing as I have not been able to get this horse to walk off from other horses or even move before they did!  I was thrilled.

Kellie and I went around the woods and out by the pavilion so she could go to the Rest Rooms.  She was cantering along that smooth area inside the road.  I kicked Biscuit up into a canter and he did it so smooth and easy.  Good boy!!!  Kellie said "turn loose of the horn" and sometimes I do and sometimes I don't!!!!

We went back into the woods and around again, passing up the stables and around to the first ride away and we chose to stay on the trails.  We went all around and up to the ride away closest to the stable.  We trotted down the ride away with me making Biscuit collect up and jog.  It was a chore to keep him going right but he is getting it!  We turned into the woods and Kellie had lost her crop!  She said she'd get another one and that is when I noticed I'd lost mine too!  We went half way back down before I spotted Kellie's.  I was actually able to make Biscuit keep going.  He kept wanting to turn around and was weaving but I kept him moving and I finally found mine back almost to where we came out of the woods at the start of the ride away!  I got off and got the crop and prayed Biscuit would stand still as he could see Elan way down the track.  He did and I was able to mount with my stiff legs - it wasn't pretty but my big butt got on!!!  Woo Hoo and Biscuit was a good boy about  it too!!!  We got back to the trailers and we let them graze a little before loading them up and heading home.  We rode 6.8 miles today.  Because we had on our cool vests we never really got hot.  Thank God because it is hot and humid.

Biscuit and Denise enjoying a morning ride

Kellie and His Highness ElanA

We are going to go riding again in the morning....what a way to spend The Forth of July!  Happy Birthday USA!!!!