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Category Archives: Horse Training

It’s Been A While

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I’m sorry guys! It’s been forever, hasn’t it? I’ve been pretty busy. In the time since I last wrote we moved, but in a way, we’re not settled. We have unpacked and all, but there’s still stuff to be handled. I sold Lady and Jazzy, because it was only feasible to keep one horse since I would have to board. Rivver has the best possible home that she could have without living with me. She is only a few minutes down the road and I see a her at least once a week. She isn’t as clingy as she used to be, but she still gets excited to see me. She’s 7 months old now. I can’t believe it.

I got my license, finally. *insert clapping sounds* I also managed to snag my dream job! I haven’t officially started yet, but I am looking forward to mucking stalls and getting paid for it!

This winter we have already had 3 snows! We’re just grateful that it isn’t an ice storm like we typically get. Snow seems to melt a bit faster. And we haven’t lost power.

2013 was a very DIFFERENT year for us. It wasn’t the typical year. I’m not sure what a typical year is, but 2013 wasn’t it. It’s sort of ironic. In the beginning of 2013 we had all complained that 2012 had been a boring year and nothing exciting had happened. We wanted 2013 to be much more eventful, and boy it was! Just not quite in the way we had hoped. I do have high hopes for this year though, not sure what or why, I just feel pretty good about it.

Top 13 Events of 2013

  • Became a Whovian.
  • Was in a wedding for the first time as a bridesmaid.
  • Cantered Lady bareback.
  • Met some British people.
  • My cousin became a believer!
  • Rivver was born!
  • Turned 18.
  • Got Rivver to come in the house.
  • Watched the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.
  • Started an all natural skin care company. (See more below)
  • Got my license.
  • Got a job.
  • Watched Matt Smith regenerate.
  • I recently started a small business creating all natural body care products, Eagle Falls. Check me out! You can also like me on Facebook, Eagle Falls Body Care, or on Twitter @eagle_falls. I’ve got 5 scents of whipped body butter for you to check out! Peppermint Rain, Butterfly Kisses, Whispering Oak, Sweet Almond and Spiced Orange!

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    Rivver Storm

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    It’s been almost 3 months since I posted about Rivver. I’ll just post a bunch of pictures, but she has been so much fun! She is OBSESSED with being brushed! Absolutely loves it! She follows me everywhere. She nickers when I come and whinnies when I go. She chews on my clothes (okay, so that’s not a good thing). She licks my hand, and she would suck on my fingers if I let her, but her teeth hurt! She seriously is like a little puppy. Such a different horse than I have ever met before. I love her something crazy! We have a special bond I have never had with a horse. Now, of course, there are things to work on, but I have no doubt we will be friends forever. (These photos were taken with my phone and are probably gonna be blurry.)

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    Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Horse Training, On Our Little Farm

     

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    Rain Rot and Old Age in Horses

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    Lady. 30 years old. Still thinks she’s a teenager, yet her body weight and arthritis say otherwise. Everybody has been worried about her being so skinny. Something you have to understand about senior horses is that lots of them can’t keep weight on. It’s just something that happens. You can’t do anything about it and unfortunately, non-horse people see it as neglect. I took miss Lady to the vet, just to have a professional opinion to back me up. The vet checked for worms, a common cause of weight loss. No worms, totally clear. He asked what I fed, when and how much. I was good there. He floated her teeth, but other than that, he said she’s just old, and old horses don’t keep weight on.

    Arthritis is another common issue in old horses. Lady has only started to show it recently.

    I have decided to retire her, even though the vet said she likely has a few more years left on her.

    We have had a very wet summer. And Lady never bothers to go into the shelter provided. She had this constant wet look. I went out the other day to say hey and lifted up her fur to see if u could fluff it up some. I was shocked and a little taken aback by the results.

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    It just came right off! I had no idea what was wrong with her. So I asked a friend for help. She explained that Lady has rain rot. Rain rot is caused by water pooling on the horse. It’s basically a fungus. Little spores get under the hair, they thrive with lack of oxygen. They kill the hair shaft.

    The way to treat it is to peel/brush off all the nasty, crusty hair. Get all the spores and scabs off. Then you smother the spores to kill them with an oil, I will be using baby oil. Finishing with a water proof blanket to keep her from getting wet again.

    I was amazed at the results after just brushing her. This below picture is taken in the same spot before and after.

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    Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Horse Training

     

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    When Friends Give You Horses… Make Tiny Horses

    8 months ago (October of 2012) I bought my third horse, Lady. The day after I bought Lady and friend messaged me saying that she had a miniature horse that she had rescued that needed a home because she was moving. She wanted to make sure the horse had a good home to go to, because the mare had had some abuse in her recent history. My friend had bought Jazzy (All That Jazz) at an auction three months prior to me bringing her home. Jazzy had been a skeleton when Rhea bought her and she had had a rod stuck in her shoulder and could barely walk.

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    I had decided to have Jazzy, really only as a pasture buddy for Lady and to help Rhea out. I wasn’t really looking for a second horse, and didn’t have a need for a mini. Rhea said to keep an eye on her weight. Mini’s get fat very easily and Jazzy was borderline obese. If I didn’t watch her she could founder.

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    As time went on Jazzy kept getting fatter. A neighbor brought her kids over to meet the horses one day. The 8 year old daughter took one look at Jazzy and asked if she was pregnant. “No.” I said, “She’s just fat.” But, I wasn’t entirely convinced of that. The more I looked at her, the more I wondered. About December I finally text a breeder friend some pictures of Jazzy’s protruding belly. I figured that she would say I was crazy. She didn’t. She said, “That is definitely a baby bump.” I didn’t want to be so certain on that yet, but cautious.

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    Jazzy has taken some work, being a rescue horse with an abusive history. She is terrified of humans. She took a lot of work before we could finally catch her. And 7 times within the course of 36 hours she got out and ran away. I was really considering selling her. I didn’t think I could handle training her. I didn’t though, I just pushed through.

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    A picture of her huge belly. (Probably December)

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    The further along we went, the more I was convinced there was a baby inside. I even felt some kicks. We decided to take her in to the vet for an ultrasound in February.

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    The vet had to shave off a patch of hair, about three inches thick to even get to her belly. He did the ultrasound, claiming he didn’t see anything. We didn’t see anything on the monitor either. He kind of led to the fact that he didn’t think she was pregnant, but he said she could be. If she was she would be due about late May, early June 2013. (Horses gestational period is 11 months. Minis sometimes go 12 months.)

    I kind of dismissed the thought that she was preggers. Mid May I was looking at her again. She had lost all of the three inch thick hair since the vet, and was just as round, maybe even rounder. The muscles around her tail were loose and swollen, her udders were slightly swollen, her belly was v-shaped, she was moving slower… All signs of impending labor.

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    On June 1st, Dad came into my room saying, “Jazzy had her baby!” He woke me up. I flew out of bed, half not believing that he was serious and called my best friend as I had promised I would if something happened.

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    Jazzy had given birth to a beautiful filly (girl) in the midst of a bad storm. I didn’t believe my eyes. But, here she is.

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    I named her Rivver Storm. Rivver is after River Song, my favorite character on Doctor Who (and I’ve always wanted to name a horse that.) and Storm is because she was born in a Storm.

    She is now 10 days old. She is super playful and curious. She is teething and afraid of chickens. She knows her name and I taught her to give kisses.

     
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    Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Horse Training, Just For Fun

     

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    Reddy or Not, Here I Come!

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    I am training a colt named Reddy for Senator Mike Cunningham. Reddy is a year old and has never had any training or gentling done. He has a little bit of halter training, but that’s about it. I thought I would share my progress and training methods as we grow a bond between horse and human.

    Since Reddy has had little to no human contact, the first thing I am doing is to build his trust. I am trying to show him that I am safe and will not hurt him. He is very flighty and skittish. EVERYTHING scares him, like seriously, everything. A dog will sniff and he will jump across to the other end of the pen. The method I use is called the Approach and Retreat method. It is used by many natural horsemanship trainers. It was actually shown to me by a friend in an attempt to work with my own horse. And it works. It takes A LOT of time and patience. And I would advice you to not try it on a really cold day. 😉

    What I do is I walk towards his head, with purpose, not sneaky. The moment he shifts his weight in any direction, I back up. When I see that he is looking at me again, I will move forward again. And so the process goes. Eventually they start to understand that you only want to do what they feel comfortable with. When you can get right up next to him without him moving, it’s time for the next step. Continue what you were doing, but this time, see if he will touch your hand with his muzzle. Eventually he will. And the best part is when you walk backwards, he walks towards you.

    With Reddy it is taking a lot longer than it did with my horse, but I have made progress. He will touch his muzzle to my hand, and the other day I had my back to him, texting somebody, and he came up behind my and started sniffing me all over, touching his nose on me. It tickled pretty bad, but I knew if I laughed or moved, he would flip out and I could end up on the ground, hurting. This was a huge step forward. He still won’t let me touch him, but we’ll get there.

     
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    Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Horse Training

     

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