Monday, April 23, 2012

Galloping Fun, Snow Days, and Biting Teeth

Remember my last post? Not sure if you noticed, but my cousin and I were sporting tank tops in the photos, because on the day they were taken (a week ago), it was a whopping 80+ degrees Fahrenheit. 
Today was a whopping 33 degrees and overnight, we got dumped with over 6 inches of snow. Most random winter ever. . . 
Photos from today.
Barn cat Gronemeyer
 Daisy had Saturday off because it was raining all day long. Sunday wasn't very pretty either, but it was at least not raining, just sort of misting a little, so I tacked her up to ride. In the stall, when I was brushing her flanks or just above her hocks, she would randomly kick out, like it was hurting her. I faintly remember this being a temporary issue in the past, so I just thought I'd take her out anyway to see how she was feeling and take it easy if necessary. I tacked her in a bareback pad, because it was cold out and... I didn't feel like changing into riding boots that fit in stirrups. ;) 

As expected, when asked for a trot, she very dramatically tossed her head and mane all around and threatened to buck, but from past experience I know this is just her attitude on a chilly day following a day off. We proceeded along on our ride, and heading back we galloped up the usual hill. It's not super steep, but it's long. I let her have her head to go as fast as she wanted, because she had so much pent up energy... we beat our previous record, recorded by the Cardio Trainer as 17.7mph, by going 18.1mph. I thought this was relatively fast, but when I looked it up, some horses gallop somewhere around almost 60mph...but... for a canter, I thought it was fast, and it was so fun! :) 
 Today Daisy also stayed in her stall mostly, because it was snowing all day and the driveway wasn't clear enough to ride really... So I thought I would do some mind games with her in her stall, which I had also done Sunday. I had her backing up, walking, standing still while I walked away, squaring up, etc, for pieces of horse treats. Unfortunately, when I attempted a carrot stretch with her, she'd apparently had enough of the working for treats situation, and she lunged at my hand and had it in her mouth before I knew it. She broke skin on one finger, and bit the other right in the joint. No serious injuries, but I felt foolish for hand feeding her when she was obviously not in a patient state of mind, and my fingers hurt a bit now. I think I need to seriously start feeding only with a bowl, at least for awhile, and in those situations.
Ah mares Daisy. I'm already praying that she keeps herself together without flying off the handle when I leave for Canada and she has two weeks off. *shudder*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Jordan, Jolee, and Daisy

My cousin visited from Connecticut for the day on Monday. We borrowed Jenny's mares and went riding together. The weather was beautiful and we had a lot of fun!

Anika in white on Jordan, I'm in purple on Jolee

We hooked Daisy up to the cart afterward. She is truly getting better and better!

I love that sweet mare of mine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Years of Riding Miss Daisy

April 17th, 2007
On April 17th, 2007, when I was 12 years old, my adventure with Daisy began. Today marks our five year anniversary!

And wow, has time flown by. This has been an incredible 5 years together. I've learned so, so much from Daisy, in aspects of riding and horse care.  Every year, we grow together as a team, and she brings me so much joy. Of course, like any horse and rider pair, we have our good and bad days, but when the days are good, they are so good
Daisy has taught me responsibility, and to an extent, how to love sacrificially. Daisy has opened doors of opportunity in riding and, in my desire to do best by her, she's forced me to open my eyes and ears to search out the truth in the world of horse care, which as any horse person knows, is so full of opinions. She's taught me not to accept the first theory I hear.
Daisy has taught me to 'trust in God, but tie your horse'. 

The experience of caring for and loving a horse in my own backyard has enabled me free rein to study her habits, her likes and dislikes, and how her mind works. I always say that I know and can sense her thoughts every moment that I'm with her. To an outside, non-horse source, it might seem strange when I say things such as "We visited the mini's, because Daisy really wanted to," but to me, things like that are crystal clear. 
She has been my constant companion, and best friend, through middle school and high school. Friends come and go, situations change, but at the end of the day, my sweet mare is waiting for me, nickering hello. And no, I'm not naive, I know she just wants her hay. ;) 

My love for her is evident in the effect her colic episode had on me last month, and the times in the past. I was emotionally exhausted that week from the worrying and wondering and the helpless feeling of being seemingly unable to help her. Even now, any time I see her step strangely, in a way that could possibly be a paw stroke, my stomach drops. When she stands in the corner she spent her time in the week she was so sick, I start worrying. I can't imagine what I would do if she was all of a sudden gone. The stability of our partnership that I've spent nurturing over the last 5 years is something I highly value. My ability to get on her without fear of her hurting me is priceless. I mention this only because I know horse people who have struggled in the past with horses that hurt them, horses they couldn't trust not to rear or buck or take off or refuse a jump. I'm so thankful I don't have that issue. 

She's been my form of therapy, when I need it. This includes rides aboard her, and her stall, which if I can count on nothing else, at least I can count on her stall always needing a mucking, every day. ;) 

Because of Daisy, I found out about barefoot hoof trimming, which I'm so eager to study myself now. Because of Daisy, I've been able to have two lesson students, who pretty much found me. And I've found that I really love teaching and passing on my knowledge, and I'm excited to do more of it in the future.

Thanks to this little mare named Daisy, I'm a true horse person, every smelly, horse-hair attracting, hay covered, matted-helmet-haired, dirty booted inch of me.

Cheers, to Miss Daisy-Mae and I. To many more years to come. :) 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Shedding and Such Daily Occurances

I took the camera out to the barn with me a couple days ago, only to have the battery run out before I could take a better picture from this angle with Daisy's head included... my apologies. 

Daisy and I, on our ride yesterday. My friend gave me a rope halter for my birthday, and I love it! It works really well as a back up under her bridle for rides away from home. 

My road test is next week... (*gasp!*)
I've been practicing parallel back parking on our driveway. After much time spent Monday, I marveled at how much easier it would be to just parallel back park the pony... ;)

How are you all doing with the flying hair season? Are your horses shed out, or hanging on to their winter coats? Are you also spitting hair out of your mouth, like me, too?
P.S. If you haven't, check out the horse movie-documentary, Buck. I watched it last night, and it's quite interesting... :


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