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Showing posts from March, 2013

The Great Name Debate

In a previous post I explained how Katai got her name and was mistakenly named Katai, which means stubborn in Japanese, rather than Kitai, which means harmony in Japanese. I kept the spelling of Katai for several reasons including the fact that I had already named this blog and didn't really want to start it all over to correct the spelling.

I explained all this to my mom and when it came time to ask for Christmas presents the only thing I really asked for was a show sheet for her with her name embroidered on it. I spelled out exactly how I wanted her name spelled and somehow it still got spelled incorrectly on the sheet. I was, and am, disappointed since it was my only present and I really love it in every way other than for the misspelling.

Now it's left me trying to decide if it makes more sense to just use the sheet as it is and risk confusing people on the spelling of her name or just having a new sheet made while using this sheet as a backup. I have toyed with the id…

Myshla Update

So, Myshla is still here and doing very well. She's at a great weight and just needs to shed out her teddy bear fluffies and gain some condition for the summer. This blog was initially going to be about both girls but I am having the exact issue I was worried about. Namely that I have a favorite.

I have a small OCD type issue that no matter how many I have of most things I always have a favorite and that's the only thing that gets any use. All my clothes are this way, I only ever wear one bra or sweatshirt etc., my electronic devices are that way, I only ever use my iPhone despite having an awesome computer and tablet, I always use the same food storage container and so on. It's the reason I try to only have one of each thing because I know it's the only one that will get any use and it's the reason I have tried to only ever have one horse.

Myshla is an absolute sweetheart and I adore her and everything about her. When I first went to see her I initially thought th…

Big Girl

Today it was windy enough that I wasn't comfortable working outside so I brought both girls in the barn for a second time to groom and have them practice standing tied. Neither one of them has a problem with the wind but I do and days like today make me want to curl up inside with a blanket and watch a movie.

I did have Katai wear her bridle with the new bit for the first time since I got the NS bit and it was a success. She was much less fussy and much more relaxed. I spent a bunch of time grooming both her and Myshla including brushing out tails and clipping manes so they look like neat English horses again rather than fuzzy ponies.

Katai did way better at standing tied today and actually figured out how to eat around her bit which was a huge thing since it means she is starting to relax her jaw a little. It's not something I would normally encourage a horse to do with a bit in their mouth but in my opinion its not bad for them to know they can either.

I did get a couple o…

Better Equipment

I was excited to get my recent bonus and so far Katai and my credit cards have been benefiting :-)

Today my Neue Schule bit came from Cheshire horse and I am very impressed and can't wait to try it with her to see what she thinks. Here is a picture comparison of the new bit with the old which was a Korsteel JP.


The JP isn't a bad bit but I've been unhappy with it for a pony that has a low pallet and this picture is a good example of why. The joints, which sit in her mouth the tall way, are almost the size of a quarter and with the large gap I've felt there is a really good chance that she will at some point get her tongue pinched.

 I should also say that I am still not sure whether a bit has a place in my tack box or not. I swore that I would never use a bit with Sora again a few years ago and I'm still trying to decide how exactly I feel about them. They are obviously not natural to a horse but neither is a lot of what we live with on a daily basis and just by ask…

My Little Pony

Look at Katai's new duds!!!

She is going to be fully outfitted in her pony appropriate tack soon. Now I just need a cute matching saddle pad but that needs to wait until I get another good sized paycheck. All this came from the leftover money I had from my bonus after I finished paying my bills and credit cards.

Now I just need a clippers so she doesn't look like a Yak ;-)



Alone Time

The past week has been pretty quiet and not much has been accomplished with Katai. The temperature has dropped again to below 30 and that's pretty much my limit for training so she's been sitting ie. running around like an idiot playing with Myshla. Last weekend though I did bring her into the stall and tie her for some alone time/standing tied time. She is very clingy and while she walks away from the herd perfectly fine she is not good when she realizes she is alone or if she has to watch them leave her. She has started to look to me when she is on her own which is a huge improvement but it certainly needs some more improvement.

After her initial 10 minute freak out she was quite good and I was even able to make some more progress on her hooves. We are on a 1-2 week trim cycle right now so that I can continue to get her heels trimmed properly. The space of time in between is important too though since she needs time to adjust to her new feet each time especially on the foot …

Goal Setting and Delays

I have decided that in order to help me stay motivated I'm going to start to set weekly goals for now until we've made a bit more progress. For this week the goals go like this;

1. Ground drive at least three times and include wearing the bridle while doing it but without the reins attached.

2. Wear the bridle when possible but I don't want to push this too much until I find a bit that I feel more comfortable with since this one seems huge for her tiny mouth.

3. Work more on desensitizing to the dressage whip

4. Feet, feet, feet. I need to do more trimming and continue to get her heels down.


I'm planning on adding the saddle and doing some riding next week as long as ground driving goes well this week but that all depends on the weather and there lies the crux of the current issue.

It has been far warmer recently which means that it has been in the low 30s consistently :P  It has also been drizzling and or sleeting and with the constant cloud cover all I want to do is …

So Much Fun!

I adore this pony :)

We worked on ground driving for the third time today and it was so awesome. She was moving forward without me nagging at all and turning really nice even in small circles. Of course she still isn't great at remaining on a line but even experienced horses have trouble with that. I hadn't planned on trying to trot with her because once I moved up in speed I knew the likelihood of her freaking out as I jogged behind her was pretty high. She was doing soooo well though that I just went ahead and decided to try it out. The first couple of times she would try a couple of steps and then freeze. I LOVE that her way of handling stress is to freeze. It is seriously the best way for a riding horse to handle any situation they are unsure of and I am careful to reward it by letting her whenever I can tell that the freeze is fear or stress based. I actually think that part of her feeling like she was going to rear up under saddle was because in the past she's been p…

Progress

Today I was supposed to work at noon but with all the snow we got I wasn't able to get out of the driveway and since this is the first time I've missed a day in the two years I've worked here I didn't feel too bad. I was also excited because it freed me up to work with Katai some more.

I had put her and Myshla in the large stall that they share last night in preparation for the snow storm and had planned on getting them both out this morning but we got a lot of snow and its still coming down pretty hard so I decided to leave them in. However, since working in even a large stall with two ponies would be dangerous I took Mysh out and tied her and kept Katai in the stall. I had been out this morning before I decided I wouldn't be able to make it into work and did her feet since that was the top priority. That meant that I had some options as far as what to work on and since I had limited space I decided it was time for her to wear a bridle again.

She has had one on a …

Boots

Last night I ordered an Easyboot Glove fit kit to try with Katai. I would like to get her comfy so that she can heal and I can get her hooves trimmed the rest of the way. At this point she needs exercise and to move on her feet so that they can become strong and healthy. I also want to be sure she is comfortable :)

I have a little more trimming to do but I'll wait until we get our snow tomorrow because that will do a lot to pad her feet and make them comfy until I can get her some actual foot protection.

Pictures will be taken for anyone who is curious about fit or how these boots work.

Gear

I feel like my tack wishlist keeps growing and it has been so completely awesome and freeing to be able to think about having fun/cute/popular tack for my girl. Right now the list goes something like this

People On Horses Dressage boots

I'm getting a set of four of these in one of the pink options because they are SOO pony appropriate.


Custom Mattes Pad


I have ALWAYs wanted a Mattes pad but didn't think I would be able to get one in a size small enough for a pony so when I found out how small they come and that you can get them without the fur under the saddle, since I'm worried it will make my saddle tipsy, I knew I needed one. Now I just need to figure out what part of the pad should be pink :-)

Nice Bit


 I have a nice quality bit coming so that I can start to figure out what Katai likes but I've heard amazing things about these bits and if the one that I just ordered fits and she likes it I will eventually get her one of these which are specifically made for ponies wit…

March Goals

Following in the footsteps of several other bloggers i'm going to start setting goals for each month and following up to see how I did at the end.

With that cleared up ;) here are my goals for March;

1. Get Katai's feet sorted.
I was finally able to get a good trim on both her front feet but since they had been so bad, she wouldn't let me even touch them when I got her, I've been doing things a little bit at a time so there is still some heel I need to take down after I give her frog a chance to adjust to bearing weight again. She is a little tender and I think I'm going to fit her for some boots to help with the transition.

2. Get her ground driving polished up.
Once her feet aren't quite as tender I plan on getting her ground driving to the point where I can trot her around the arena in both directions and do some circles before I climb on her again.

3. Saddle time
Until her steering and stopping are good with groun…

Mind Set

Is something I constantly struggle with when it comes to really throwing myself into this journey with Katai. I had no trouble doing it properly with my music because my mom made sure we had plenty of opportunities and I have no problem getting the mindset right with my career because I make the opportunities myself but I still can't believe that I can make things happen with Katai.

Part of it is not having those opportunities with horses when I was little. I never had the correct tack, no transportation for our horses so no lessons and no good instructors in the area for lessons anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful for the fact that we even had horses. I'm bringing it up just because it is affecting how I think about being competitive with Katai.

I'm hoping that as we go into spring and summer and I have more of those opportunities it will start to sink in. It's also really helping that I'm finally able to afford the right tack. I'm not ta…