Dear Pampered Pony

Dear Pampered Pony,

Even though you are under 14.3 Hands doesn’t mean you have to show your attitude all the time. You still get treated like all the other horses.

You get your hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

You get groomed almost every day. And don’t forget bath time every once in a while.

You get hosed down in the summer after a hot ride.

Your feed arrives promptly on time almost every day. (We’ve learned by now not to face the wrath of the pony).

Your stall is clean.

Your water is fresh.

You have a fan in your stall. A fan. I don’t even have a fan in my bedroom. 

You have turn-out unless there’s a storm or if it’s too cold, or if fall leaves are blowing around. (Count yourself lucky that you’re in for that).

You have at least 5 halters, several duplicates of that matching lead rope I just had to buy for you, whips in every shape, color and size you can imagine and treats in every flavor. Oh those treats.

Quit begging for those wretched treats.

You look like you ate a small child. You are not starved.

And you definitely don’t need another treat, even though almost every time I give twice as many as you should really have.

Also, would you mind not trying to knock me down for a scratch? Thanks.

But I love you, my pampered pony and I wouldn’t change any of it.

 With love, 

The Pampered Pony Owner

P.S. You’re going on a diet.

Advertisements

Join the #Purpuoise Team!

As promised, the Purpoise Team is now underway! If you don’t know what this is, stay tuned for more information!

What does purpuoise mean?

It’s turquoise and purple squished together to make one awesome gradient. Plus, they’re my favorite colors and most of my horse stuff is purple or turquoise. It doesn’t really have a special meaning, other than that this would be all of my favorite things smooshed up into one, big ball of happiness.

What does the Purpuoise Team do?

The Purpuoise Team is both an email list and a Facebook group. To join the email list only, specify in the application below. As a team, we motivate each other. We are an equestrian team by sharing tips, tricks and our favorite thing— pictures of our horses! When you sign up, you’ll be the first to get FREE printables and you’ll be able to get sneak peaks of YouTube videos, plus behind the scenes videos!

How do I sign up?

To sign up, you’ll need to fill out the form at the end of this post. It has to be FULLY filled out, otherwise you can’t join the Purpuoise Team. There is a deadline for when you can join for the month. When you’re signed up, you’ll get an email back from J’adore Equine that you are officially signed up as a member. After you get that email, you can post this picture:

overlaypurpuoise.png

On any of your social media accounts with the hashtag, #Purpuoise. Your friends can join in on the fun too! You’ll be able to find posts just for Purpuoise with this tag. (That means they’ll have some content you’ll want to see!)

How often will I get emails?

Emails won’t start until Monday, June 19th, 2017. You will only get an email for the Purpuoise Team once a week on Sunday nights. It won’t be an annoying amount of emails, so don’t worry.

Can I quit at anytime?

Yes. Just send an email to jadoreequine@gmail.com with your name and email. You will be removed from the email list and the Facebook group. Don’t worry— you can rejoin anytime! When you rejoin, your contact form should look like this:

Registration for Summer 2017

June 15th — June 18th

July 5th — July 9th

August 2nd — August 6th

Registration for Fall 2017

September 7th — September 10th

October 4th — October 8th

November 1st — November 5th

Registration always begins on the first Wednesday of the month (except for June of this year) and ends on the following Sunday. Be sure to get your registration within the four days of registration!

I would love to see you join the Purpuoise team! I can’t wait to see everyone of you very soon!

Join now!

Copy and paste this form below to join the Purpuoise team! (Paste it in the message field in the contact form).

Horse(s)’s Name(s):
Riding Discipline:
Years of Riding Experience:
How did you find out about J’adore Equine and the Purpuoise team?:
I want to join both the email and the Facebook group: Yes or No

Thanks for joining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stay Cool at the Barn (Human Style)

Summer is quickly creeping upon us. Unfortunately as equestrians, we have to wear breeches and boots in 90° heat. Let’s face it. It’s m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. Riding and doing barn chores in the heat can be a bit unfortunate.

Now, you’re probably thinking, let’s get to the post! That’s why I came here! Okay, okay. I get it. On with the post!

Stay hydrated! Take care of yourself in the heat. Pack plenty of water for yourself and keep it in the fridge, if available. Avoid drinking too much caffeine and pop, because it’s dehydrating. I pack a Yeti Cup of water and/or a bottle of water just about every week.

Dress appropriately for the barn. Avoid wearing dark colors at all costs. They make you hotter and it makes your whole day annoying. If you aren’t going to ride, consider wearing shorts or capris. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes. White shirts (and sometimes pants) will become see-through if it becomes wet. Wear a light colored shirt and thin breeches for riding.

Store sunscreen in the fridge. Personally, I haven’t tried this yet. You want to keep sunscreen with you anyway, but if there is a fridge available, stick your sunscreen in the fridge before apply it to your skin.

Put peppermint essential oils in your sunscreen. Again, I haven’t tried this personally, but peppermint is a cooling oil. It’ll cool down your skin and the sunscreen will protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. Some oils you can put in your water as well, just check with a health specialist before doing so.

Bring veggies and fruits for a snack. Fruits and veggies are yummy for snacks— especially at the barn! Plus, you can share carrots with you favorite pony while you’re at it. Eating this foods will help keep you cool instead of foods high in protein.

Braid or wear your hair in a ponytail. If you have long hair, I suggest wearing your hair in braids or a ponytail. It’ll help keep you nice and cool, and it’ll help tame your helmet hair.

Bring a cooler. If a freezer isn’t available, and if at all possible, bring a small cooler with you. Pack it full of ice-filled Ziploc bags so you can either put it in your drink or use it as ice packs to keep cool.

Pack a fan. If you can, pack a small fan. It doesn’t matter if it’s battery powered or electric, just as long as you have a place to put it. For Neville, I use a Ryobi 18V battery powered fan. We use it just about every day. With Avery, we use a regular, electric box fan.

When you’re out in the heat, be sure you know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

  • High body temperature. If you’re temperature is above 104° F (or 40° C) you may have heatstroke.
  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing rate might become very fast and very shallow if you have heatstroke.
  • Headache. You might have a headache if you have heatstroke.
  • Vomiting and nausea. If you have heatstroke, you might experience a sense of nausea or vomiting.
  • Abundant amounts of sweating. You may start sweating large amounts if you experience heat stroke.
  • Tired feeling. Heatstroke can make you tired.
  • Dizziness. You might feel light-headed or dizzy.
  • Muscle and/or abdominal cramps. You could get cramps in your muscles or abdomen.
  • Dark-colored urine. If your urine is dark, this is a sign of dehydration. This could also be a sign of heatstroke.

If you think you have heatstroke or if another person has it, seek medical help immediately. 911 is literally the easiest number to dial on your cell phone. If you don’t think you can make it to the hospital quick enough, call 911.

 

Where’d the Site Go?

Hello, fellow equestrians and readers!

The site will be under maintenance temporarily from today (June 1st, 2017) to Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 for site updates. It has become quite outdated and I figured it was time to give it a little more…pizazz. 

What will be added to the site? I’m going to add a few things to the site from a better home page to a calendar of upcoming blog posts. I’m also going to be working on a new logo, header images and a place to subscribe to a new program that will be announced once the site is updated. Plus so much more!

Will I be able to access the blog still?  As of right now, yes. But as the site is going under maintenance, the posts might not be able to load as quickly as it normally is. I would wait to get back on until the end of the upkeep.

Thank you for understanding.

Posts will resume Wednesday, June 7th, 2017. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me below.

Riding Diary Week Six

I had an amazing lesson today. The weather was perfect for being in the barn, so Grammy came to watch us ride today.

Avery’s leg is much, much better than it was last week. We might have to put front shoes on him for the summer, but we’re going to talk to our farrier about it and see what we’ll have to do about it.

He perked his ears forward as he heard the container of sugar cubes being opened. Avery was excited about the lump of sugar in his corner feeder. With a couple chomps of his teeth, the sugar cube was demolished.

Autumn haltered him and lead him to the cross-ties like last week. I grabbed my purple Kensington grooming tote that I got at the tack swap on Saturday and pulled out the curry comb— Avery’s favorite brush.

I rubbed circles on his neck, then his shoulders, his back, belly and sides then his hindquarters. Avery kept wiggling so I could get the really itchy places that he was informing me of. I took the curry comb just a few inches behind his ears, where he loves to be scratched, and rubbed it on his neck. You would’ve thought that that was the best thing in the world!

After the curry comb, I took the Farnam grooming block I have and took it across the same locations that I had come across as the curry comb. Farnam grooming blocks are miracle workers honestly.

I grabbed the dandy brush and flicked away the dirt, followed by my finishing brush. The purple comb in my bag was going to be used next on his mane, tail and forelock. I brushed through the tangles and got my tack.

I used my normal hunter green Roma saddle pad, the black Roma half pad and saddle G. Avery took the bit like he normally does and I pulled the reins off of his head and handed him to Autumn. She took him in the arena to walk him around for a little while.

On Sunday afternoon, we go to my Grammy’s house after church for lunch and to spend time together. I brought my breeches that I got at the tack swap for $5 to show everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot them at Grammy’s.

Grammy was coming to the barn today so I had her grab my breeches before she left. I quickly changed into my breeches before my lesson and slipped on my riding boots. My helmet made my Laura Ingalls style braids look weird.

I mounted Avery after adjusting my stirrups and gave him a squeeze to walk. Miss Kim’s granddaughter was there and wanted to come in the arena with her Nonna to aid in my lesson.

We worked on trotting circles and some canter work today. We were trying to get Avery to respond to my seat in the canter after relaxing at the poll. He collected at the canter for a few steps, then went back to his big canter.

After working on some canter work and trotting, we jumped at the trot again. Instead of jumping one time and leaving it at that, we jumped four times! In fact, Avery was so excited about jumping that he tried to go over it again once we were trotting along the wall.

Avery was a very happy boy after he got a couple more sugar cubes after the fantastic ride we had after that “injury” last week.

Autumn even jumped Avery at a walk today. She was quite excited about doing so. They have been working on balance a lot lately on Avery.

I unsaddled Avery and put the saddle pad, half pad and the saddle on the arena gate. Grasping the reins in my hands, I brought Avery over to the mounting block to ride bareback to cool him down.

We walked for a lap and then he stood at the gate forever, trying to get attention from my Mom, Miss Kim and Jordyn (Miss Kim’s granddaughter’s mom), who were all talking. Grammy left a bit earlier because she had to show a house to one of the ladies in our church.

I dismounted and we took Avery over to brush him. Mom brushed him while me and my siblings swept so she could have a chance to spend with Avery. I grabbed my Bronco fly spray and sprayed him down for the night. He was a happy boy.

Avery had a lesson with one of the barn’s students that he absolutely adores. He loves all of his little riders. Poor Avery last week was so upset that he didn’t get to help with this particular lesson, so he was quite excited to see his student today.

I turned him out and he went trotting up to his pasture mate, Bear. Bear wasn’t going to deal with Avery today and so he went to bite at Avery. He did a beautiful half-pass in the field and stopped dead in his tracks to eat some grass.

pegasuswingsequinephotography 005.JPG

The picture above was from today when we were leaving the barn after Pap and I finished our volunteer chores. We said our goodbyes to the ponies and headed to my house, where Pap was going to drop me off.

pegasuswingsequinephotography 070.JPG

Neville was waiting very patiently for me to come and take his fly mask off of him for the night. Poor pony had to wear it until his 8 PM feeding, which was about 45 minutes away. He was a very happy boy to have it off.

 

Riding Diary Week Three, Four & Five

After an amazing trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Ocala, FL and Orlando, getting back into the swing of riding can be a bit rough. The reason why I included three weeks worth of riding into one diary is because I forgot to post for the past three weeks!

Avery was an amazing boy week three. He listened very, very well even though it was a beautiful day outside that he could be spending in the pasture. We didn’t have a lesson that week because the barn truck broke down on the way to our riding instructor’s lesson at another barn.

We played around with Avery in the arena for a little while. He trotted and cantered with the slightest ques and listened to the tiniest half halts.

After riding for a while, we took Avery outside for a small wall up half way up the driveway and back. He didn’t want to walk on the gravel and took a little detour to the grass in between his pasture and the driveway. He kept leaning his head down as we walked to get a bite of grass, nearly pulling me out of the saddle.

Next week was the week after we got back from vacation. Avery wasn’t as forward as he usually is on chilly days because Kayla had just rode him in her lesson before. My lesson with Miss Kim was after Miss Kim’s lesson on Bear and Avery was quite excited to see Bear in the same arena.

Avery chilled out in his stall for a short break while we watched Miss Kim’s lesson. I got Avery’s halter and haltered him, leading him to the cross-ties. He snorted nervously at the new tack room being built beside the wash stall. The silly pony hates change and so he’ll snort at anything new.

I took the dandy brush and brushed him down with simple flicks of my wrist. He seems to enjoy being brushed. I put my Roma hunter green saddle pad and scooted it up on his withers, followed by the black fleece Roma half pad I borrow from the barn. I placed saddle G gently on his back and grabbed the girth off his hindquarters (I keep it there when I’m adjusting the saddle).

Tying my hair back into a bun, I tucked my undershirt in my breeches and pulled down my purple sweatshirt. After smoothing down my hair, I put the helmet on front to back to make sure my hair didn’t look stupid.

I put the reins over Avery’s neck and unhooked the cross-ties from his halter. I undid the gold colored metal clasp on Avery’s leather halter and hung it on the hook beside the cross-ties. Avery opened his mouth to take his bit and I bridled him. I tightened the throat latch and the chin strap before taking the reins off his head, grasping them in my fist.

The arena gate was opened and I lead Avery through it. He stepped through without any hesitation. We walked around the arena until we got to the mounting block. I adjusted my stirrups to the 3rd one from the top (I am very, very short) and mounted. He took a couple steps before halting so I could make sure I had both feet in the stirrups. I gave him a gentle squeeze and he walked along the wall.

Miss Kim set up a small cross rail jump by E down quarter line. Today was the day I’d finally get to jump! We worked on trotting and posting on the right diagonal. It was really happening! I was going to jump! Avery was excited too because he loves to jump. His ears perked towards the jump as we walked beside it along the wall.

“Go ahead and take him over the jump at a walk so he knows it’s there.” Miss Kim said.

I rolled my wrist to my hip and walked him over the jump. He stopped before we were able to go over the cross jump and attempted to spook. I turned him around and he walked over the cross jump without hesitation.

We went along the wall and once we reached A, I turned left. “You’re such a good boy!” I scratched the top of his neck— his favorite spot to be scratched. He loves to be told that he is a good boy.

“Alright, bring him up to trot.” Miss Kim told me. I nodded and brought him up to a trot with a simple cluck of my tongue. He understood and went up to a trot after I clucked my tongue several times.

We changed directions before we turned right at A. I rolled my wrist towards the jump and got ready to lean up in jumping position. It might be a small jump, but if he decided to leap over it higher than it really was.

“Grab a bit of mane, just in case he decides to leap over it!” Miss Kim called. My hands clasped around a small bit of mane around his withers.

Avery’s ears perked forward at the jump. We leaped over it with ease. I leaned up in jumping position, although it was pitiful looking. I’m a dressage student, not a jumper for Pete’s sake!

We only jumped over the cross jump once so Avery could have a break. But, he did want to go over it again. We worked on cantering and making him collect his canter. I had to scoop with my seat smaller than I usually do to make him collect his canter. He only did it for a few steps, but at least I got him to do it.

The next week Avery didn’t seem like his normal self. He was laying in his stall, but he normally does that until he hears the tack trunk being opened and a candy cane wrapping being torn. He didn’t want to get up for the treat and wanted us to bring the treats to his lazy little self.

He stood up and Autumn put Avery’s halter over his ears. The chestnut gelding refused to get out of his stall. She led him to the cross ties and he did his normal snorting at the new tack room. He didn’t put that much weight and was standing weird on his right hind leg.

We didn’t think that much of it and tacked him up anyway. We got to ride him for a little while before my lesson. “Can you bring him up to trot for a minute? It looks like his right hoof’s hurting him.” Miss Kim asked. I brought him up to a trot and he was definitely favoring his left hoof over his right.

I dismounted and brought him into a wash stall after untacking him in the arena. I took the hose in the wash stall and cold hosed his right hind leg from the top of his hindquarters where it was hot to his hoof.

We didn’t get to do our lessons, but Avery got to chill out in his stall after getting lineament on his rear. Buck took his lesson that night.

I was cold hosing Avery again that evening and when I was leading Avery to the wash stall, Avery spotted his little student and dropped his head. He seemed like he was upset because he didn’t get to help his little rider this week.

He seems to be feeling much better. Miss Kim said he was racing Simon down the field for breakfast the next morning. We had to drop off vendor passes back to Miss Kim Saturday night and Avery was in the field with Bear.

Avery was being a bit of a turd and wouldn’t come see us until Eve and Luna did in the field across from the geldings. Avery was a jealous little pony and came over. I gave him and Bear half of a peppermint stick and they both chomped it happily. Avery turned to Bear and tried to nip him in the neck.

Bear wasn’t taking any of Avery’s bratty attitude and bit him right back. Avery stuck his head in Bear’s butt and sighed. Poor boy knows his ranking now.

 

 

Respect Barn Safety Rules!

Barn rules are set for a reason: To keep everyone in (and out of) the barn safe, including our four legged friends. If you don’t respect them, expect to be loaded up into an ambulance on its way to the hospital.

Young kids and even some adults seem to not understand some barn rules. When I first started volunteering at the barn, there was a group of teen girls that needed community service hours every week for a few months at a time. Most didn’t understand the reason why we still wear our shoes in the barn after taking ponies out to the very nasty, knee-deep mud pit of a field. Others would scream if they saw a spider, occasionally spooking your average therapy pony. Some would fling horse dung over stall walls or run up and down the barn aisles.

When in a barn, you need to turn on your ears and have quiet feet and mouths. Yelling and running in the barn doesn’t help a nervous horse. You need to ask about barn safety rules before you even step foot into the barn door.

Don’t feed a horse by hand, especially if it has a tendency to nip or bite. I wasn’t paying attention the other day when I gave Neville a treat and he bit my finger, leaving that nasty blood blister in the picture above.

More serious injuries can happen if barn rules aren’t respected. Some people have gotten their bones broken and others have lost their lives doing what they loved to do. But, you have more chances being struck and killed by lightning (averaging about 31 reported deaths per year) than you do than being killed by a horse (there are only about 20 fatalities per year related to horses).

One thing you have to take into consideration is; will you, the horse and others around you be safe after your action? If not, rethink your decision and try a different route. If you need to do it the original way you had planned, then wait until the horses are turned out and everyone who could be in danger is away from you.

Always ask permission first! Especially if you’re a volunteer or just a boarder. You need to ask permission from a paid employee before you continue with your plans. You can be destructive if you don’t watch.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. A barn isn’t where you can take off your shoes and lay in the middle of the floor. You need to be aware of what’s going on because you never know when a horse might get loose or a fire might start. Just be aware.

Don’t be nervous. You don’t need to be nervous about anything. Horses can pick up on your nervousness and they can become nervous as well. Just chill out, but still be aware.

Know the basic safety precautions. Don’t run in the barn, don’t yell unless it’s an emergency, don’t wrap lead ropes around your hands, don’t stand directly behind a horse, don’t wear open-toed shoes. Just know the basics and then ask one of the staff members about the safety rules specifically for that barn.

If there is an emergency in the barn, you need to know who to call if a horse or another person is injured. At the barn, we have a list of who boards what horse and their phone number if there is an emergency.

If a horse is injured, following these steps.

Call the vet. We have the vet’s phone number by the phone along with the boarders and their phone numbers if their horse is in danger. Call the vet first. You need to give them the address of the barn and follow the next step.

Get the facts straight. Know what happened. The more accurate you get, the better you can help the horse. The vet will be able to paint a better picture of what happened and know how serious the injury is.

Get one of the staff members. The staff will be able to help you. Whether it’s a matter of just holding the horse while you contact the vet and owner, or the other way around. They can help.

Call the owner. If you don’t own the horse, call the owner of the horse and let them know what happened. They deserve to know, especially if it’s their horse.

Keep the horse calm. You need to stay calm so that the horse will stay calm. Horses pick up on emotions and if you get worked up, they get worked up.

If a human is injured, follow these steps.

Call 911. State your emergency and give the location of the emergency.

Know what happened. If you witnessed it, tell the 911 operator exactly what happened. If you didn’t witness it and the victim is unable to speak and can’t speak, tell the operator that you don’t know what happened but they need an ambulance.

Call emergency contacts. Ask a staff member to do this. They have access to the volunteer files and other staff members files with the emergency contacts. The family deserves to know.

 

 

Riding Diary Week Two

Last week’s riding diary entry: Riding Diary Week One. * This week’s entry is a day late, I forgot to post it last night, but it does have yesterday’s date. (4-12-17)


Gentle breezes blew through the barn doors and the smell of horses fills your nostrils as you walk in. Horses swish their tails impatiently as they wait inside their stalls to be able to go out.

Two new horses, Nick and Victory, had arrived just a few days ago and so they are on quarantine. Simon, a 16+ HH solid black Tennesee Walker, and Buck, a smaller buckskin Rocky Mountain Horse, waited for their turn out in pasture because Nick and Victory were in the neighboring field.

When horses are on quarantine at the barn, they are kept in their stalls at night and put out in the field in the morning while the neighboring horses are in. They rotate who is in the pastures so they don’t touch noses and possibly transmit diseases. The horses are usually kept on quarantine or 2 weeks.

Avery’s nostril poked through the bars on his stall and it flared with steady breaths. His brown, always worried eyes glittered from the light in his stall. He knew what day it was and seemed to understand it was time to go get groomed out.

I rubbed circles on his neck with the curry comb, his winter coat falling to the ground. Avery’s summer coat is coming in nicely and he looks more and more like a shiny penny. I could’ve made another horse with all the hair I took off of him!

17904121_10212957604518479_4730098324091218104_n

Autumn rode Luna for her lesson again today. Our instructor (and Luna’s owner), Miss Kim, lunged Luna while Autumn practiced posting the trot. Autumn has been working on the posting trot for about 3 lessons now and has picked it up pretty quickly. With just a few more lessons, she should be able to ride just on the wall at a trot.

After untacking Luna, we swapped saddles. Avery uses saddle G at the barn and so does Luna. Saddle G is an old dressage saddle that was donated to the barn a long time ago. I put my hunter green Roma saddle pad on his back, followed by the black fleece half pad.

Avery wasn’t as forward in the beginning of my lesson than he was towards the end of it. He barely picked up his feet in the walk and his trot wasn’t as bouncy as it normally is. We set a ground pole on quarter-line by B to practice trotting over.

We worked on more 10, 15 and 20 metre circles by A and C and some on our trot-canter transitions. Our transitions were a little bit better than last week, but I definitely would like to improve on them more.

Several weeks ago, we started working on posting diagonals. But, we dropped that after a while because there were some other things I needed to improve on before we continued.

“Rise and fall with the leg on the wall!” Is the phrase that will be forever stuck in my mind when posting diagonals, thanks to this lesson. I looked down for a few minutes to watch for his left leg stepping forward (we were going clockwise) as he trotted. I rose and fell with the leg on the wall, then crossing diagonals from H to F.

As we crossed the middle, I sat for two beats to change my posting to the opposite diagonal. Turning my right shoulder in to turn the corner instead of pulling my rein far out to my hip, we rounded the corner between F and A.

Later, we worked on posting diagonals as we did 3-loop serpentines. We started at C, then went to M, then between E and H, sat two beats, then to F, then turning my right shoulder in. We trotted a lap, then worked on another serpentine from A, to K, to B then between E and H.

When we finished up our serpentine drills, we worked on our circles again, but turning to go to the ground pole. Avery was very excited (and so was I) about trotting over the ground pole again.

We have been trotting over ground poles and my homework was to canter over them after my lessons. In fact, my friend who works at the barn is going to jump Avery over cross rails just to get him back into the swing of things, because Miss Kim said we’re going to be jumping over small cross rails in my lesson next week!

We ended my lesson like we did last week by circling the hay barn. Avery enjoyed being outside, but eyed the skid loader like he’s never seen it before. But, he stayed calm and continued to walk.

Avery and I enjoyed our lesson today and he was a very, very good boy in his lesson with his little rider that night. He gobbled up several treats by the time everybody left the barn and when I turned him out, he looked for treats before taking off to the top of the field where one of the stablehands was throwing hay.

Surprisingly enough, Avery wasn’t picking on poor Bear when we left. The horses were happily eating their hay and chilling out with their pasture-mate as they ate. They swished their tails to get rid of unwanted, pesky flies that bit at their hides.

We said our goodbyes as we drove down the long driveway and returned home.

Neville’s little whinnies filled my ears and a smile grew across my face. He was informing me that it was almost feeding time and I needed to get my butt out there to feed him. Go figure.

pegasuswingsequinephotography 225.JPG

Neville a couple days ago.

Farrier Appreciation Week!

We all know what day it is when you walk in the barn and the smell of sparklers fills your nostrils. Horses are being shod and the farrier is hammering away at the fiery, hot piece of steel on the anvil.

It’s #FarrierAppreciationWeek! Be sure to tell your farrier thank you. Not only just because they take care of your pony’s hooves, but because they deserve a thank you.

Our farriers drive down the back roads and argue with their GPS on where our farms are. They treat our horses like royalty (most of the time) and even some try to win over your pony with carrots (and it works).

They not only take care of our horse’s hooves, but they care about your horses. Some let your little brother help with the horses and let them watch him fit the hot shoes onto the horses.

They spend their workday hunched over to trim and hammer shoes onto hooves of horses big and small.

Don’t forget to thank your farrier this week. And give him a bottle of ibuprofen. His back will thank you.

Riding Diary Week One

*Note: This is from last Wednesday (4-5-17). I plan on writing another entry for tomorrow. It’s going to post with that date so it won’t be so confusing.


A great horse, a great riding instructor and a great lesson? What more could I ask for? Avery was very, very forward and was excited from the warm weather and the audience he had to show off for.

The little chestnut pranced around the arena, his neck stretched and his muscles moving with every step. His trot is very bouncy and slightly uncomfortable until I found the right diagonal and rose out of the saddle.

We took several laps around the arena before attempting to slow the pace into a walk once more. He was happy, I was happy, everybody was happy. Well, except my aunt who was sneezing her head off. She’s allergic to ponies.

He would stop and glance outside the arena gate to the great outdoors. His pasture mate stood by the water fountain in the field, mocking the little chestnut. Avery (the 14.1 HH Morgan cross gelding) is the bully in the field to Bear, the 16+ HH Appendix Quarter Horse gelding. So Bear enjoyed the Wednesday mornings where Avery is inside the majority of the day.

After trotting several 10-15 metre circles by C and A, I asked for a canter with a gentle tap on the side. He seemed to understand and quickened his pace until he fell into a canter. Finally, he stayed on the circle we were performing and went straight after we returned to C.

We ended my lesson by walking outside by the hay barn with my instructor’s granddaughter who loves ponies and isn’t even a year old yet. My kind of kid!

17800058_10212908612413707_1994943790192221038_n

My 2-year-old cousin riding Avery.

After my lesson, my 2-year-old cousin got up in the saddle and rode for two laps. He seemed to enjoy it and had a death grip on the saddle. His little smile stretched from one ear to the other. After asking who he was riding, he said, “Abbery!” He slid off into his Mom’s arms and went to go see “Ebe and Wuna.”

17523376_1022918034506967_4817266454711232868_n.jpg

My 6-year-old cousin riding Avery.

My 6-year-old cousin climbed into the saddle after my 2-year-old cousin. He rode independently for a few steps then I clipped the lead back onto the leading Y attacthed to Avery’s bit. He claimed he was a real cowboy and kept saying, “Yeeehaw!”

They had to leave because both of my aunts are allergic to horses to the point that if horse hair gets in their eye, it swells up.

When they pulled out of the driveway, Alex was riding Avery. He only rode a few laps before deciding to get off because Avery wasn’t doing what he wanted. Autumn mounted after her little fall off of Luna. The girth became loose after several laps of lunging and Autumn’s posting went a little sideways.

Avery barely picked up his feet to walk for Autumn and she eventually got off as well. I grabbed hold of Avery’s reins and jumped up into the saddle after readjusting my stirrups.

He definitely wasn’t the tired pony he portrayed himself to be with my siblings. Avery returned to his very forward state and went into an unasked for trot around the corner. I let him trot for a several steps until asking for the canter. He was excited and full of energy and we cantered for 5 laps.

Avery was especially excited and went into a small gallop for about three steps and slowed back into his normal canter. I nearly panicked, but I stayed calm. I didn’t want to freak him out and get us both hurt.

He finally slowed down into a trot after he realized that this was hard work. He walked for about half a lap before returning to a trot, then back to a walk. He was a sweaty, nasty mess and he didn’t smell too good either.

I took off his saddle, girth and saddle pad and put it on the gate, then jumping on him bareback to cool him down. He seemed to enjoy it better than having the tack on. He didn’t try to trot or to canter at all, he just stayed at the comfortable pace of a walk.

He was a very good boy. I have to say, he seemed to be quite relieved that his lesson couldn’t be there that night. He loves his little riders, but when he’s tired, he’s tired. There’s no making him move faster than a walk.

My Pap took him out in front of the gate to their field while I had his pasture mate, Bear. I took both of their leads because Pap was wearing his dress shoes from work. Avery was overjoyed to be outside again. He was inside from about 8 that morning until about 6 that night.

He took off as soon as I got his halter off of his nose and galloped towards the top of the field. Bear looked at me as if he was saying, “You really have to leave me out here with him? Did you see the way he just ran up the field?”

Avery and Bear stood at the top of the field finally getting along again after picking on each other for a while. They are best of friends. The boys might pick on each other, but deep down inside, they love each other.

We drove down the long, gravel driveway and stopped to say bye to Avery and some of the other ponies before Pap took me home. A perfect pony, a perfect instructor, a perfect lesson, a perfect day at the barn, a perfect way to end the day.