Monday, June 28, 2010

How did I live without these links????

Ok, so lesson was postponed last night, due to the 102 degree temperature last night at 7:30pm!!!! That type of heat is inappropriate!!! So I worked on spritzing Altivo with a water bottle to de-sensitize him to spray stuff, and it was so hot out, he was leaning into it and at one point, he opened his mouth, and I spritzed water right at him- he loved it. He lifted his lip and stood there with his eyes closed and let me spray water right at him...what a clown!!
Oh, and I had a little bit of fun.....sure, too hot to ride, but not too hot for glitter!!!
MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! He was a good sport- just looked at me like I was nuts and stood there hoping for a treat.

So today I wanted to throw up a couple of links of sites I found, and this first one is wonderful- it's a blog about a big girl with a big horse (hey, that's like me!!!) only she actually seems to know what she's doing.

A Fat Girl & A Fat Horse

She has some really neat posts up there about her, her horse Bronwyn, and her adventures...pretty cool!!

I've been looking for accessories for Altivo- I need a saddle pad and since I don't have alot of experience, I've been reading what others have to say about them- here,


And of course, I still frequent The Worst of CL Horse Ads, whose snark is fun and educational!!!

Lesson was rescheduled for Thursday, I'll have a recap then.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Catching up....

Ok, so I jumped ahead of myself last blog, so we'll do a little bit of looking into the past, and a little sneak peek into the future.

We'll travel back in time first-

Altivo had his feet trimmed- actually about a month ago. When I bought him, his feet were HORRIBLE!!
I didn't take pictures of them before, but I do have a couple pictures of his first foot trimming, and in this first one you can see the trimmed one in the background, versus the untrimmed one in the foreground.
The front left one was actually starting to flare out a little, so the trimmer had to come back 10 days later to reshape it again!! I'm glad I have good resources since I'm so green, my hoof trimmer is John Tucker, a well respected trimmer in the barefoot community.
Here are a couple more pics- I giggle at the next picture since it shows the size of his feet compared to a human sized foot!!

And this next one is the finished product!! He was so good- I guess draft horses can be a pain in the youknowwhat about having their feet poked at but he doesn't seem to mind at all.

THEN, after that fun was done, the mailman letter carrier person showed up, and poof!!!
We haz bridle nao!!! whoooooo!!! Yes, his halter is underneath, since I didn't have my reins yet, and was just trying on the fit....he took the bit fairly willingly, but he also knows that if he holds his head up I can't reach him...brat.

And after that was done, I got to go to the Western States Horse Expo, and we found a drafty size fly mask,

So now pest control is underway, just in time for the icky summer heat.

I ordered my bridle and reins from The Distance Depot, and I got my 6 1/2" bit (yes, you read that right) from eBay.
Now begins the search for a saddle that'll fit the monster little angel.

I have a lesson tonight, and will blog about that this evening or tomorrow- it's the first lesson with his bit and bridle!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where has BGG been?

I'll tell you....she's been working!!! Work has gotten crazy lately, and when I come home late, blogging is on my mind, but I end up passing out before I make it to the keyboard. I am fail.

But Altivo is NOT fail!
He is good. He is teaching me alot about horse behavior, and I'm starting to recognize certain personality traits and am figuring out how to respond in the right way. My instructor says he's a good match for me, and I would like to think so as well. He is a Percheron, and very laid back. Some horses have a lot of "go", meaning they like to move, are energetic, etc. Altivo has a lot of "wait and see". He doesn't spook easily, he doesn't tend to react quickly to things that I've shown him or done to him. If it's an Object, he likes to sniff it or see if it's food. That's his main goal in life, to eat.

I looked at the Parelli horsenality chart and I think, according to that, he's a left brain introvert. He's calm, food driven, has a tendency to stop and is low key. He's not incredibly stubborn that I've noticed, but I suppose he could be if I let him.

So until last week, since I haven't bought a saddle yet, I visited him every day with the occasional day off, and I'd halter him and work on something with him on the ground. Whether it was picking his feet up, standing while I brushed him, working on his mouthy-ness, or taking him for a walk, I made sure to do something with him everytime I set foot in the barn. I also lunged him on a lead and without (free lunging?). He already knew everything I asked of him as far as changing direction, stopping when asked, but the first few times of doing any of these exercises, he tested me. He'd move away from me, bend down to mouth whatever part he could reach of me, chew on his lead rope, or refuse to pick his feet up by planting his weight squarely on all four hooves. He also wanted to try to be in my personal space, or he'd try to run ahead of me while leading. Verbally correcting him and checking him with the lead line worked for the most part, but for the cases when he stopped listening to me altogether regarding the nipping, lead rope chewing, or running ahead, we got Mr. Spanker. Please don't think I beat my horse, nor do I take pleasure in having to use Mr. Spanker, but I needed a more aggressive approach to the 2000lb animal that was taking advantage of me. So here is Altivo meeting Mr. Spanker for the first time. No, I'm not hitting him! I was letting him sniff it and become acquainted.
How can you not name a riding crop something silly when it looks like that?? So Mr. Spanker came out and all I needed to do was wave it at him and he would cease his naughty behavior. I think he has met Mr. Spanker before in another time and place. He learns quickly.

So then last Sunday, my instructor pulled out her Abetta Wide Tree Saddle, and surprisingly, it fit him!!! So we all cheered and then I called it a day and went home.

Are you kidding??? Did you actually fall for that??? Of course I didn't go home...I got on mah horsie!!!

Oh, and I asked Mr. BGG to come and take pictures, and I don't like any of'd think he had no interest in horses or anything, but I got a good picture of him!! Wanna see Mr. BGG?? I bet you do.

Here he is, with Altivo.
Isn't he cute?
Ok, ok, here is one picture...proof that I actually rode him!!

When I ride him it's like sitting on the comfiest couch on earth, with an amazing view of the world. My bit and bridle hadn't arrived yet, so we left him in his halter. I wasn't sure he'd be ok with that, and it made directing him just a little more difficult, but overall he was very responsive. I'd like to go bit-less with him eventually, once I know more about what I'm doing and he is more familiar with me. Oh, and don't worry, my instructor was there the whole time to correct me, give instruction and advice, and to generally make sure I didn't hurt myself. She lunged him while I was on him so that I could feel his trot, and afterwards Mr. Lazy Altivo was a little sweaty....out of shape horsie!!
I have more to say, but I'll put that in another post later tonight or tomorrow.