April 24, 2015

The Case Against the Fjord

A little while ago, there were a few OTTB posts flying around.  SprinklerBandits had a great post about the case against the OTTB, and Lauren had a nice rebuttal.  Now, during the short three years I have had Ypke, I have received the opportunity to meet numerous Fjords and chat with other owners about the breed.  The majority seem to have similar findings. 

Fjord horse mare

Before I begin, please note that of course this is just grouping my own findings together as a whole. Clearly, this is not the case for all Fjords (or any horse for that matter). There is good and bad no matter what we are talking about. I'm sure your ponykins is just a darling. I personally love the breed and LOVE Ypke. So, without further ado:

1. They are hard to come by and more expensive

A quick browse through the registry revealed that there are only 872 Fjords in the PNW (between Oregon and Washington). Note that the PNW is actually one of the most populated areas as far as Fjords go. For comparison, I randomly clicked on Oklahoma — there were only 48.  As with anything, rarity increases the price. With today's prices, the most common price I saw was $8,000.  This price point was with no super duper fantastic training — just solid w/t/c.

Horse lunging

2. They are too smart for their own good!

Hands down, from what I have experienced, observed, and heard, Fjords are rather manipulative horses. If there is a will, there is a way. Whether it is getting out of work, locating the nearest patch of grass, or who knows what else, Fjords can and will take advantage of you.

Horse bucking

3. Their looks are deceiving

Don't be fooled by the chubby, fluffy, adorable Fjords. I'm telling you — they are stubborn and manipulative! They find your weak points and exploit them.

Fjord horse mane
Don't fall for the fuzzy ears
4. They are "easy" keepers

If there is such thing as TOO much of an easy keeper, Fjords are first in line. Unless the horse had a health problem, every person agrees that they seem to get fat off of air. Many people consider this both a blessing and a curse. Founder is definitely a possibility.

Horse bucking
And they throw fits when they can't find grass
I think that about sums it up!  I will also be writing up a Case for the Fjord soon!

April 19, 2015

Life Lessons from Ypke

Throughout the three years that I have had the pleasure of owning Ypke, she has taught me many lessons.  These particular life skills are useful both in and out of the saddle.  This list may sound cheesy, but since Ypke just turned 13 a couple days ago, I figured she deserved some recognition for the values she has beaten (quite literally) into me.
Kind horse eye

1. Be patient
Getting frustrated just because things aren't going quite right helps nothing; in fact, it tends to escalate the situation, thus making matters even worse.

2. Listen
To be blunt, sometimes you just have to be quiet and listen.  You can miss a lot because you are too busy being demanding instead of listening to the replies.

3. If you fall down, stand up
because you might get trampled if you don't  Unless something is seriously wrong or you aren't ready to stand, then quit wallowing in the dirt because it might stain your clothes and get up.  Laying on the ground whilst having a fit won't solve matters.

Miniature donkey
Jethro also wants partial credit for this list

4. Take responsibility
If you make a mistake, own up to it and move on.  Don't blame your own problems on someone or something else, because really, a.) it doesn't even matter b.) nobody cares, and c.) you can't fix the past.  You waste time by playing the blame game when you could just take responsibility for your own actions and carry on with your life.

5. Work hard
You can't truly succeed if you slack off and don't give things your best effort.

6. Stay humble
Just when you think you are the best thing since sliced bread, you will fail.  And your horse will probably be laughing at you.  And there will most likely be other people around.  And you will be embarrassed.  //personal experience - "Wow!  This is the best she's ever been!" aaaand I got launched literally a millisecond later.//
Horse grazing

7.  Have an open mind
It's easy to get discouraged and close yourself into a pessimistic frame of mind.  If you are always thinking: "Oh, I won't ride over there because I will fall off again," or "Well, I won't use the mounting block today because she gets fidgety," and the list continues, then what are you really accomplishing?  Running away from everything won't solve the issue.  It may be difficult, but you have to actually go out there and do something about it.