May 30, 2014

"The saddle... is... slippiiiiing!"

Whenever I have tried to canter on Ypke, it never goes quite as planned. It usually involves her being naughty because she knows she can intimidate me... or in this case, an unfortunate turn of events. In honor of "Flashback Friday," here is the tale of a very preventable fall that happened early last year.

Ypke isn't impressed with this story
Alas, some of you may remember the tales of the squeaky Wintec and I.  A trusty saddle, that is, until THAT day.  It started out like any other day... then my mom clipped the lungeline onto Ypke so that we could have a more or less safe controlled session.  I had only attempted to canter on her one other time, but she spooked, so I was excited to redeem myself.

Ypke did fantastic!  She has big gaits and is quite the mover, so I felt a little bit off balance at first. I got into the swing of things and had just said "HEY! THIS ISN'T SO BAD!" when it happened.

Squeak, squeak, squeakity-squeak

I had just seconds to scream "The saddle... is... SLIPPIIIIIIING!" before falling off and landing like a deformed pretzel. You know, the kind of pretzel that when kids see they holler, "Whoa, come look at this weird pretzel," and contemplate whether they should eat or save it.  Ypke immediately stopped and looked right down at me with her big brown eyes.  I looked up and the saddle was practically underneath her big ol' belly.

I didn't even attempt to slow her down when I felt the saddle was slipping, I just sat there and went with it.  It seemed more logical to scream that the saddle was slipping with dramatic pauses between the words than to actually do something about the matter.

The one time my mare actually had a good attitude about me cantering on her and I blew it.  The struggle.

May 29, 2014

Blog Hop: Let's Make a Baby

Another great blog hop from Viva Carlos! The question this week is about which stallion you would breed your mare (or gelding turned mare) to and why. The issues of backyard breeding are to be pushed to the side.  I would never want to breed Ypke, but this is a fun blog hop :)
I have always liked GVF Sjokolade of Green Valley Farm Fjords. Nice conformation. Drafty. Handsome. Great pedigree. Versatile. Proven in the show ring. He is one of the top 5 highest NFHR evaluated stallions and Breyer even made a model of him!

Norwegian Fjord Horse Registration evaluation comparison (10 is the highest possible for each category):


Head: 8.0      Neck: 8.75      Forelegs: 8.0      Hind legs: 8.25      Walk: 8     Trot: 8.25

Head: 7.5      Neck: 7.25      Forelegs: 7.75      Hind legs: 8.25    Walk: 7.75   Trot: 8.5
I think that it would actually probably be a pretty well balanced baby. I would hope that it would get Sjokolade's neck and Ypke's trot... not sure how temperament would end up though.

May 28, 2014

The Donkey Dorm

Well, it is official!  Jethro is coming home! By this time next week, I will officially have a donkey weanling, so it seems only fitting to write up a post about his new crib.  Without further ado, here is the Donkey Dorm!

 Front view w/ the doors closed

Front view w/ the doors open

Here is the feeding area of the shelter.  Pretty straight forward: hay trough, salt block, and water bucket along with some extra space for turning around and what not.  The piece of wood on the ground is for keeping the wood chips in his bedroom from mixing in with the dining room.  The purpose for the black U-channel is just for planning ahead.  In the event that we get another donkey and it didn't get along with Jethro, we would be able to stack up some wood, thus making a wall/divider between them.

Jethro's bedroom

Entrance to the pantry/closet

View from the doorway

This is is the pantry.  The hay will be resting upon this; the main purpose is to keep the hay off the ground and to allow some airflow while doing so.

The closet 

This spigot is conveniently located right next to the dorm.  You can also see a wine barrel in the background; there is one barrel on each side of the dorm.  Non-toxic flowers reside in them.

This gate leads into Ypke's pasture.  However, they won't be turned out together until Jethro is a little bit older.  Once he is old enough we will make some modifications that way he can go to and from his area and Ypke's pasture, but so that Ypke can't enter Jethro's Junction.  

Entryway/view of it all

Total - 12x15
Closet/pantry - 4x15
Bedroom and dining room - 8x15

May 27, 2014

The odds are in our favor

The odds seem to be in our favor today!

First off, thank you for commenting- I love hearing other's insight.  The farrier and her son (who wanted to meet a real horse from Frozen) came over.  As it turns out, she is just sloughing off her frogs. The plentiful amount of ricotta cheese is actually just the dead frog tissue underneath a new layer of frog... it was essentially just trapped under there.  In other words, it isn't a big deal at all.  In the time I have had Ypke, I don't recall her ever having her frogs fall off, .  

Definitely not canker, so that is wonderful.  I have to say, I was quite stressed when a lot of sources said it is typically seen in the hind hooves of draft horses and starts out looking like thrush.  

So pretty much the diagnosis is that I am a neurotic, paranoid, obsessive horse owner and Ypke is fine. Note to self: quit Googling symptoms and believing that your horse has a life-threatening ailment. Seek the advice of a professional in-person instead!

On the flip side, I did get to learn a lot about canker and various hoof infections AND a child's dream came true after meeting one of the Frozen horses.  ;)

May 26, 2014

The odds are never in our favor

Well as of lately it seems as if the odds are never in Ypke's or myself's favor.  Help me, please.

Some things to note before I tell the tale:
-I live in the desert, there is hardly any moisture
-Her stall is cleaned daily, so it isn't like she stands in muck
-She is UTD on hoof trimming
-She gets around 3 hours of turnout a day
-She has never had any history of health/soundness problems

I went up to the barn to give Ypke a spa day today.   All was going perfectly until I cleaned out her back hooves. There was a crumbly, white, ricotta-cheese-like substance coming out of her frog in both back hooves. It was SUPER deep, I couldn't seem to stop getting it out. I didn't notice any odor. She showed no signs of pain or lameness while walking around. There was no heat. Just A LOT of ricotta cheese.

My first thought was thrush so I used the diluted bleach solution and attempted to get it nice and clean.  However, after doing more research, I'm wondering if it could be canker? Not sure. Now, I didn't even know what that was until today, but here is some basic info that I have found for those of you who don't know much about it either...
1.) It starts out looking like thrush.
2.) It later spreads to other parts of the hoof.
3.) It is hard to treat.
4.) It is very rare.
5.) It is seen in both well cared for horses as well as poorly cared for horses.
6.) Nobody knows what causes it.

I guess all I can do is research and call the vet out tomorrow.  I'm hoping that it is just thrush or a minor infection. Any thoughts?

May 10, 2014

First Show Ever!

I went to my first horse show ever today! It was a spring dressage schooling show.

I took Intro B twice and was against 9 other riders (one junior, the rest adults). I rode Lena, a lesson horse, for both of them. Lena is the QH mare that I have been riding every other week for the past month and a half; she is super sweet, forgiving, and realllllyyyy laid back.  Considering how this was my first time doing a legit dressage test and my first time at a show, I'd say it went well.  I even got an eight on a movement!

First time around:
+Diagonals correct
+Circles round
-Lacking energy
67% total and I got 6.5-8 on each movement
4th place overall. 

Second time around:
+Diagonals correct
+Circles round
-Lacking energy
-Went down the center line crooked in the end
66% total and I got 6-7.5 on each movement
5th place overall.

Here are some screenshots from a video.


Entering at A
Working walk
Free Walking