March 24, 2014

Exciting Updates

Sorry for being such a bad blogger lately.  The weather has been awful this year (thus not a whole lot of ride time), but this past week it has actually been sunny!  Of course, I had to go and get super sick when the nice weather rolled in, so I haven't actually ridden in a week.  Figures.  Anyways, to the main updates.


1. Ypke is alive and as sassy as ever.  The green grass, warm temperatures, and lack of riding have made her turn into a fire breathing dragon.  


2.  I will be visiting (he lives 4 hours away over at the breeder's farm) Jethro over spring break!  You can expect a lot of photos and a post when that comes.


3. Jethro's special pasture set up is in the process of being created.  The stall/run in (12x15) is in the process of being built right now; it will be a mini replica of our horse barn.  You shall see a post of the Donkey Dorm soon enough.


4.  I have been riding someone else's horse, a QH mare named Lena, every other week to build up my confidence at the canter and in general.  She is about as bombproof as a horse can get, so she is a good match for me right now.  I am hoping that some confidence will be built so that way I am less timid with Ypke.  From what my trainer said, it sounds like I will be allowed to show her in dressage once or twice!!  It has always been a goal of mine to show Ypke, and having some good experience at shows (with an actual show horse) prior to taking Ypke to one is probably wise.


5.  My trainer says that there are two other horses I can ride as well: Her daughter's gelding and then someone else's tall gelding (I cannot for the life of me remember his name or breed, but I think he is a QH).   Some days I will ride Lena and other days it will be one of those two!


6.  I got myself some new tall boots and a dressage coat. 


In summary: I am sick right now, Ypke is alive, I will be visiting Jethro over spring break, I am riding other horses, and I will be (95% probably) showing in dressage this year


**I apologize for the lack of good grammar... my mind is too foggy from being sick. 

March 13, 2014

Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?


I couldn't resist joining in on yet another wonderful blog hop started by Viva Carlos!

What is the story behind your blogname/url?

I started this blog in early January of this year.   There were three main reasons why I wanted to start a blog:
  • Get tons of followers so companies would send me products to review (I truly am terrible)
  • Keep track of my progress with Ypke
  • To make posts that people could relate to and laugh at.
I considered several names, but it came down to either Fjord Fever or Chronicles of a Moody Mare.  Obviously, I decided on Chronicles of a Moody Mare in the end.  I chose that name because I thought it was relatable.  It has a more serious side for those who are struggling with their horses and need to know they aren't alone with the troubles.  However, it was also a name that guaranteed some wild escapades for those that just need a laugh.









March 11, 2014

Two Years: Then & Now

March 10, 2012, was the day that I met Ypke.  Little did I know that that big round barrel of a horse was about to become my frenemy (that is, my friend and an enemy).   She was absolutely gorgeous and had a kind eye, nothing really seemed to phase her.  When I tried her out I couldn't even really steer her and had extreme difficulty trotting on her.  Nonetheless, I knew I just had to have that gem.  I figured that with more riding lessons, we would be a great pair in no time.

On March 11, 2012, we brought the trailer up and signed the bill of sale.  I couldn't believe it, I had purchased my first horse! A teenager's dream come true. Things were going well for several months, she was acting like just the horse I had purchased.  I would free jump her, ride her around bareback, go out into the fields, haul her to new places, etc.  Ypke was just carefree- other horses could be flipping out and she wouldn't bat an eye.

Horse transformation tuesday
March 2012 - This photo explains how she got ruined. Thosehighhandsthough
Gradually, my beloved horse changed.  It started out small enough, maybe she balked at picking up a hoof or fidgeted while she was tied.  My beginner self was clueless and so I ignored the issue.  Sure enough, those small things grew bigger and bigger and bigger; she began to literally drag me around as I was leading her and would take off bucking whenever she was on the lunge line.  July 4, 2012, is when her "spooking" issue began after I got thrown... then somewhere around that time she became a terrible loader.

Horse transformation tuesday
July 2012, just before issues arose
Month by month, our issues got worse and worse.  I was scared to be around her and practically had to force myself to ride her.   People would invite me to ride or go to shows, but each time I would decline.  I was scared and embarrassed.  Fast forward to spring of 2013; I discovered the clicker training method.


Clicker training a horse to target
Target practice - Spring of 2013
With the help of clicker training, I am slowly starting to get Ypke back to how she used to be.  She is way better about standing still and having her hooves cleaned, I no longer get dragged around as I lead her, and her manners under saddle have improved a lot.  She still throws tantrums while being lunged, she still has big spooks, she still doesn't enjoy loading, but we have finally had a turn around point... riding in the Veteran's Day Parade with zero issues is proof of that.

Dressage Fjord horse
February 2014 - If only my hands weren't quite so low
Ypke has taught me a lot in the two years I have owned her.  She taught me the values of humility and the power of patience; I have also learned how to correct certain groundwork and undersaddle issues.  Her dominance issues have made me better at working with other horses, which will help me a lot in the future.  I often think that I never really taught her anything, she was just teaching me.  I wasn't waiting for her to learn, she was waiting for me to learn. It has been a great time Ypke!  Here's to many more years to come!  Love you, Ypke... although I think I have caught Fjord Fever from you.

Standing and bareback comparison:

March 2012 - First 4-H meeting
March 2012 - Bareback


Dressage Fjord horse
January 2014 - Petting the pretty little pony after a dressage ride


Bareback horse riding
November 2013 - Bareback trotting... now if only those hands were closed

Equitation and balance comparison:
March 2012
August 2012

March 2013
February 2014

March 9, 2014

SURPRISE!!! **Warning: Cuteness Overload**

Unless you saw my Instagram posts, you will most likely be very surprised at this surprise....


Drumroll please...


Wait for it...




I got a miniature donkey!!!


I found a very reputable breeder with outstanding miniature donkeys in my state.  My goal was to find a calm, healthy donkey with great bloodlines.   After looking at seven of her donkeys (if you were there with me, you might have just died of cuteness when I came across a 1-day-old donkey) I found Jethro.

Baby miniature donkey
Jethro!

Jethro was born on January 25th of this year, so he won't actually be with me until May when he is ready to be weaned.  The thing that made him stand out was that he just wanted to be loved on.  He was following us around everywhere, but definitely wasn't being obnoxious.   He let me pick up all four hooves and pet him everywhere (legs, ears, belly, tail, chest, etc.) and he stood like a complete gentleman the whole time; his sire and dam are the exact same.   The other donkeys, except one that was sold, were at a super squirmy, feisty stage and weren't quite as approachable as Jethro.  At first I was wondering if he had an illness or disability because he and his penmate were so calm and sweet.


Baby miniature donkey
Jethro and his dam, soaking wet from the rain!

As it turns out, he has yet to have a sickness or any known disabilities.   From what I have read and heard, donkeys are very hardy animals.   Their main health issue is getting overweight, they don't really commonly suffer from anything else.

Baby miniature donkey
Photo credit goes to his breeder
Jethro will be shown in showmanship and in-hand trail at the 4-H fair this summer, being the first miniature donkey ever shown at our large county fair.   He will be my new walking buddy and I am sure he will keep me great company!  I also hope to walk him in parades and have him visit nursing homes.  Above all, he will be Ypke's minion (term completely stolen from Adventures with Shyloh) and a beloved pet.

I am hoping to get another miniature donkey to come along with him, but the others that I met just weren't quite what I was looking for.  You never know, maybe you will see another one of these posts!  As of May, this will become a miniature donkey and Fjord blog.   I will do a post on his special pasture set up within a couple of months. :)




March 6, 2014

Blog Hop: 7 Deadly Sins



L. from Viva Carlos came up with this great blog hop!

Pride

Seven great things/strengths in your riding life
  1. Ypke - While she may challenge me a lot, she truly has taught me tons.  Everybody needs to ride a naughty pony at least once in their life!
  2. Humility - I am not afraid to call myself an idiot and accept that I make mistakes.  Live, learn, and be open to learning new things! 
  3. Clicker training - I am so glad that I that I stumbled across clicker training.  It truly does help!
  4. My trainer - She works well with Ypke, and she explains things in a manner that is (typically) easy for me to understand. 
  5. A truck and trailer - Makes hauling to vet for emergencies, and going to events much more easier.  Having a truck and trailer truly does make your mind more at peace, knowing you will be ready in case of certain emergencies or events. Now if only my horse was a good loader... all in due time, all in due time.
  6. My facility - Several acres of pastures, an obstacle arena, a 55' in diameter roundpen, a wannabe dressage arena, a decent tack room, a stock, four 12x12 stalls with additional 12x12 runs, etc.  You can view it here. Definitely isn't anything super fancy, but it is better than a lot of places!
  7. A fantastic vet and farrier - Seriously, I need to do a blog post dedicated to Ypke's beautiful barefoot, rock solid hooves; they are gorgeous.  Ypke's vet is so patient and dedicated; I love how he explains everything as he goes along and is more than willing to answer any questions.  I also like how he won't swindle you into paying a whole lotta $$$$ on tests if he knows they aren't nessarcary.  .

Envy

Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse

  1. Unlimited funds - Does this need an explanation?
  2. Confidence - I envy people that have unshakeable confidence.  When I see people keeping their cool on rearing, bucking, and crazy horses, all I can do is wonder how they aren't crying out of fear.
  3. Indoor arenas - I have never really wished for an indoor arena; the weather around here isn't typically bad.  These past three months as far as weather goes? HORRIBLE!  I so want an indoor arena.
  4. Miles upon miles of trails nearby - It would be so nice and convenient not have to haul anywhere. 
  5. Good weather - Is there even such a thing this year?
  6. Horses who have minions - Yes, I am looking right at you, Shyloh. Ypke needs a set of minions.
  7. Designer/custom apparel and tack - Let's face it, who doesn't want to upgrade?

Wrath

Seven things that make you angry

  1. Horses that refuse to load - Ypke will be a good loader one day.  One day, I say!
  2. Wannabe horse trainers - Need I say more?
  3. Unpolished/dirty tack - Honestly, I would polish people's tack for free.  It looks so pretty and smells oh-so nice when it is clean.
  4. Abuse and neglect - Two questions: 1.) Why take it out on the horse? 2.) Why own a horse if you don't want to take care of it?
  5. When the Kraken escapes - You can view the story of the Kraken (aka the crazy pyscho horse) here.
  6. Increasing prices - This goes for everything really.
  7. Ignorance
I must be butter 'cause I'm on a roll!

Sloth

Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on 

  1. I am too lazy to take pictures.
  2. I let Ypke's snazzy mohawk get too long.
  3. I don't wash saddle pads super often.
  4. I don't wipe the dirt/mud off my boots before entering the tack room. 
  5. I always let the grain supply run low.
  6. I don't brush Ypke's tail very often.
  7. Not blogging frequently! 

Greed

Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding
  1. Trailer - 2013 Exiss straight load w/ ramp, warmblood sized.
  2. Ypke!
  3. Pasture fencing - 3 rail vynl fence
  4. My helmet - Charles Owen AYR8
  5. Saddle pads - EquiPedic, ImpactGel, Fleeceworks, Thinline, Back on Track, etc. 
  6. Saddles 
  7. Hay - After all, Queen Ypke of Narnia can't consume anything except top of the line hay.

Gluttony

Seven guilty pleasures or favorite items
  1. Owning a Fjord
  2. Watching people drool about how cool looking Ypke is -  Please continue to stroke my ego.
  3. Polishing tack frequently  - To most people tack polishing is a mere chore, but I absolutely love it.
  4. Having Ypke on my family's property
  5. Riding
  6. Ypke never having a lame day in her life - *knock on wood*
  7. Giving Ypke a spa day - She doesn't really enjoy it, but I do!

Lust

Seven things you love about horses and riding
  1. Stress relief - There is something about horses that just sucks away any ounce of stress.  (Unless of course, you are stressing over an injured horse)
  2. The smell - Nothing like the smell of horses, leather tack, and grain!
  3. The feeling of accomplishment - Who love that sense of accomplishment that comes along?
  4. Happiness - It is hard to stay sad when horses are around.
  5. The mental and physical benefits 
  6. The versatility - You can do a lot with horses!  Cattle sorting, reining, western pleasure, trail riding, jumping, dressage, cross country, eventing, vaulting, etc.
  7. The friendships - It is always great to make friends that have things in common with you (aka: a love of horses)