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Author Topic: Winds of Change.................  (Read 8108 times)

melissah

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Storm is coming along............
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2014, 11:00:54 am »

Will be a week tomorrow he's been at the trainer. He is doing well and making progress. Next weekend David and I will be driving up for lessons. We will stay at a motel so he can do lessons both Saturday and Sunday. We'll do that for the next 3 weekends. And what fun....we will hit the casino in the evening.  ;D David hopped on Reggie last night and accidentally got him to canter. So he brought him around and did it a couple more times. Seeing her beginner Daddy do it gave Hannah the confidence to do it herself. Proud of them both. Here is Storm being worked by one of the gals. They do several "lessons" a day.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Ridin' the Storm Out..............
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2014, 04:29:41 pm »

Ridin' the Storm Out....AKA Storm is coming along. Saturday, David and I leave for the weekend  to drive to the trainers for two days of lessons. He is really coming along. She really does love him and says he will be a great trail horse. He just needs miles. David is missing him but he got his horse fix in over Memorial Day weekend. While Hannah was at her BF's we played around the backyard and he rode Reggie. He experienced the horse "Domino spook effect" Mercy was behind Reggie and she spooked so Reggie spooked. Then a bit later the one side of the yard became the "Ax-wielding-homicidal horse eating raven" area. Couple of big birds were hanging out at the neighbors (Ravens the size of Texas) and although we could not physically see them, the horses knew "something scary" lurked in yonder yard! They did not want to even think of walking that way. David rode Reggie over that way then I decided to tackle the PVC pipe we bought (for obstacles) and rode Mercy over the poles, then a bit more over the "shed in pieces" obstacle when she did the cutest little down on all fours and spider crawl to the right. Silly girl. Guess she realized the Ravens were not her mortal enemy since she  never ended up flying over the Antelope Valley to be plopped feet first into a giant nest. Nope. She's alive and well.


 David is anxious to get Storm back so he can get in as much riding as possible. We'll start slow....ease our way out the gate eventually. I guess the only thing I am VERY nervous about are the dirt bike riders in the area and I hope they know all about horse/dirt bike etiquette. They play nice, I'll play nice. I was on Mercy a few days ago when a couple zipped by our yard. See, we live off the dirt rode that acts as access to the national forest. She stood, ears perked and forward and watched as they went by. Exposure Exposure Exposure. Can't wait to start trailering out everywhere.

And ya know what I really love about Mercy! Her little head nod!!! She is such a cutey. Short clip...........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D-lbs-CZiQ

and a few pictures of my husband on Reggie.








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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2014, 06:32:21 pm »

SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 Years of riding and I never got a blister on my bum!!!! Went out yesterday on a horse I never rode before. Rode in a very comfortable saddle,..,.,a very old Dixieland endurance. Comfortable saddle. Only an hour and a half. I had jeans on and the seat was smooth and slick. The MFT had that TWH like back and forth motion, smooth....well, whatever she or I was doing....I had a blister form and it popped! OUCH! I think I am going to hop on Mercy here soon....pain and all! Then we did that 4 hour ride in our convertible. Can you say SUNBURN.  My whole body is on fire. Oh yeah...had plastic surgery on my arms so I can wear tank tops.....OOPS!!!! Forgot sunscreen! I know better next week. Hopefully I don't look like leather in 10 years....between the horses and convertible....time to get out the scarves ala Marilyn and arthur miller in their convertible!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2014, 08:34:11 am »

Rode my little mare last night after work.  It was windy. Did I ever mention how much I HATE the wind but if I only rode when it wasn't windy I'd never ride. She's a basket case in the wind but what can you do? Did venture off the property but not far. Down the alley way and then down the backside of the other houses. Two dogs came at us from each side of a yard at the same time. She did the drop all fours and spider crawl to the right. Then coming back into our yard I seen David was cleaning a stall. All I seen was the fork moving, his body out of sight so I got ready because I knew when he popped out she would spook at that too and she did that little spider crawl. Silly girl. Guess as time goes on and she is ridden more she will start to realize nothing is as bad as she thinks it is. I just rub her wither and tell her she's being a silly girl and to get over it. lol Like she really understands! haha Can't wait to go to Hansen Dam in a couple of weeks. That will be good for her for sure. I did ask more questions this weekend and found out she was started kind of late...around 3 1/2 - 4 years old. They start them late at the place she was from. Can't wait to ride again tonight...getting the crock pot ready!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2014, 08:39:16 pm »

What a difference a day makes. Went outside alone after work. Hannah and David were still working. Did a lot of ground work with her. Saddled her up and did more. Yes, whoever said groundwork was key said a mouthful. Had her listening to everything I asked. She was incredible. I learned a lot this weekend so applied much of that out of the saddle and in. Plus Hope the trainer told me everything she knows and yes, she still knows it all. Not a spook today either. Kept her mind too busy to even think of spooking. Got on and off at least 4 times and it's great to have a horse that stands stock still when mounting from the block. She is quite the gal! Can't wait for the next ride, and what a wonderful flat walk she has. So..my selfie. She is a ham anyway. And if this picture doesn't say MARE! What does? haha

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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2014, 01:13:52 pm »

Having a blast on my gal!

Went out last night again to get some time in the saddle. Husband was busy in the office and Hannah worked late. So I had the whole area to myself. I had her side passing, moving her front end, back end....serpentine's, figure 8's.....gaiting all the while. Did some lunging.....exiting the corral gate. Love having her walk through halfway...give her the WHOA and back up into the stall. Then back out. She is really something. She's a sharp little mare.

Packing a bag for tomorrow. Going to get on the road to drive out to the trainers again. This time I know not to wear a tank top in a convertible. Got very burnt last week. I guess I should use sunblock and tan slowly, not all at once. Talk about pain! Then stay at a motel and have a nice dinner out Saturday night. Will be back with lots of pictures!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2014, 07:44:47 am »

Wanted to ride last night and even thought about going off the property but it was windy. I ride in wind, if I didn't I'd never ride but it was WAY too windy. Dirt flying 5 feet above the ground windy, dirt get in your teeth windy and I don't do that. So no riding now until Sunday. I hate the wind. Grrr.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2014, 04:24:57 pm »

TOMORROW'S THE DAY!

We pick up Storm. And Hope emailed me to throw Reggie and Mercy in the trailer and haul them up for fun and a trail ride. Yahoo! What a blast. BUT...and there is always a big BUT, we have to be on the rode by 6 AM....so up and showered at 5 AM. We're hooking up the trailer tonight so all we have to do is throw the horses in and go. Going is not the problem....it's driving back when you're falling asleep. But at least I'll have my camera!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2014, 01:22:44 pm »

I feel pretty darn lucky these days!

Rode 3 days in a row.....and riding tonight, Wednesday and Thursday. Going to give them Friday night off since we are trailering out to Hansen Dam Saturday. Plus we want to pretty them up! LOL I prettied Mercy up last weekend.

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have a husband that loves it as well. All those years of dirt bikes and fast cars are over. Well, we have our little roadster we will fix up eventually. We love those long drives in the convertible. Very fun. We will be taking a trip to Vegas next month to see Clinton Anderson in it. Not only will we have a horse filled weekend but a nice getaway for an extended date night.

Speaking of husband's. He has now been on his bipolar medication for just over a year. He is doing well. The change in him is dramatic. You really don't realize how hard it was to live with someone like that until they have the disease under control. As he got older, it got worse. It really did not become a huge problem until the last 2 years before this one. It was all that, that was leading me down the road to no more horses. It was just easier to "give in" and quit, give up what I love than to always be in turmoil.

Hannah is finally happy with her lot in life. She is really liked by the doctor and office she works for. Some of the stories are sad though. Working with geriatric patients, she has already seen one pass. So sad. And she loves having the weekends off. More horse time. She gets off at 5 so by the time she gets home David and I are saddled up and warming ours up. Then she saddled Reggie....warms up and out we go. We all better be careful or all our "to-do" list will be forgotten!

We have also decided we need to put a plan together for riding. Most of the time we ride and if it's later when it's a bit hot....we are done for the day, with everything. Burnt out and time for a glass of wine. That's the weekends. It was like going to the lake or beach in the summer. You would get home and that was all she wrote. But we still have household duties to deal with. I do have a cleaning crew come in every Friday. People have this idea if you work at home you have time to take care of home. No. My job has me at my desk 8 hours a day. Plus I have always hated cleaning. And I refuse to give up my weekends to clean house. But I do keep my home tidy, dishes done, laundry done etc etc.

I think for the first time in years all 3 of us are happy and content. Of course, there are a few things I still want to tackle.....in time.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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EVENTFUL!
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2014, 07:48:49 am »

Another ride but this one was EVENTFUL! Sorta...not really, well yeah. lol

Little windy when we rode out but not too bad. Rode in the same place I did the day before but this time Mercy was a bit more spooky than the day before. Silly horse. All the same sights!

We decided to ride back home then out front and into the neighborhood. There are dirt alley ways throughout with very "busy" yards. So Mercy was a bit alert.Dogs, old cars, junk in yards, horses calling from their corrals....you get the picture. Stayed on the dirt strip on the street, cars coming and going, and when I say that....2 cars :) Not a busy street, only those that live in the neighborhood use those streets. But don't want a car rushing up behind one of the horses sending them into a spook into the street. Seen that happen years ago. Scary. Were riding along a street that turned into asphalt/dirt when I seen movement way up. Looked to be a peacock. Kept going that way because wanted to see how Mercy would do. Luckily....haha it must have went into a yard. Oh, forgot to mention while coming back on the trails ran into 2 bikers. Storm and Reggie just stood there, no biggie while Mercy wigged out. One guy had earphones on and was looking down so did not see us yelling to slow down but his friend did and rode by as Mercy spun and tried to bolt but I caught her before and all she could do was go sideways. This was not a spook but downright fear. Silly horse. Then when we were done and behind our property getting ready to go through our back gate when I looked right and seen a group of young joggers coming up the hill. So I turned Mercy towards them so she could see them and she wigged out. I guess a group of small adults coming towards you is scary. Again she tried to bolt but I caught her again as she spun and David told the joggers to stop. They had no clue. I would have thought all the dirt she was making was a dead giveaway. As I spun her around I seen them all with hands over their faces as dirt flew at them. They went home sweaty with mouthfuls of dirt and dust stuck to their skin! But the thing that got Mercy was the fact that both times the joggers and bikers were coming straight at her. As soon as they stopped and she faced them she calmed a bit. As they ran by I took Mercy and gaited her after them down the alley. Always hear have the horse chase the scary thing. That was one fun ride!

Couple of pictures


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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2014, 04:51:01 pm »

It's Friday! And tomorrow is June 21....The first ride with ETI that has been our goal.

All 3 of us are excited. And this will be great exposure for all 3 horses. I don't think Storm or Reggie will even bat an eye. Those two are so laid back. Mercy? Oh, she'll get there in time. She's not too spooky or nervous. She's level headed but just needs miles. There is so much she has not seen. She will be an awesome trail horse one day and soon. I'm already planning the next trailering out adventure.

I will be calling Darla soon to schedule lessons for David and maybe Hannah. She does have family specials too. Maybe all of us do lessons and the  trail ride after in my old stomping ground!
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2014, 01:35:54 pm »

Another amazing ride with some "Oh My" moments.

I Googled our area on the satellite and found some trails we had not tried and there are miles and miles. But by the time we got in the saddle it was past 6 PM and dinner was in the crock pot.

I have to be very on top of things with Mercy as she is not very experienced with things that are encountered on the trail. It's those little things that can really wig her out. But I got this!  :) The neighbor was out on his quad running around. I heard him making his way back to the alley we live off of so I waited while on Mercy. He slowed down and I asked if I could bring her up to it. She did fine.,....little apprehensive then I asked him to drive away slowly and she was fine. But then it was a controlled situation. Not like on the trail with it coming right at her fast.

We rode up the side of a hill to get to the other side. Not too narrow of a trail but narrow enough for us to be one behind the other. One side was a steep drop off. Didn't want her to spook and do the whole "Man from Snowy River" thing. lol. As we all came to the top and down a bit the horses spotted two men and their dogs walking on the other side of the fence that separates the aqueduct. All of them did the "alert" thing and watched. Reggie got a bit nervous and was shifting around and moving. So on we went. We went as far as I wanted, a bit further and we would have to cross the narrow bridge across the aqueduct and ride on some asphalt....the street. Don't want to do that just yet. So we turned around and rode the trail back. Up ahead I spotted the two dogs we seen earlier on our side of the fence unleashed running across the trail and disappearing into the brush.  Yep, that was my "oh my" moment. I know what to do, how to handle the horse but the last thing I want (as we all do) is to fall off! Fall off and just end up with scrapes and bruises....no problem. Breaking bones and being in pain. Oh heck no. So my husband on his unflappable Walker decided he would go first. Reggie and Mercy are not the most bravest horses. hehe.   We have no idea if the dogs were friendly or scary. There are quite a few pit bulls out this way. The dogs ran out of the bushes in front of us and Storm's head flew up and seen them. We always told husband if dogs get vicious it's always safe to run the horse at them. So off David goes on Storm. First dog ran and ducked under the fence...second one seen Storm and dropped, doing an army crawl scared out of it's mind towards the fence. We could hear the owners calling them. Meanwhile.....Mercy and Reggie were spinning and spooking at them. I always wonder what the heck we look like on these horses when they wig out. Owner of the dogs came to the fence and were asking Hannah and I if we were alright. He apologized up and down. We both stayed on as they fussed and spun and did their spooky horses dance. Luckily she is not a panic and bolter, she's just a panicer!  I just turned her around tightly and faced her back up where storm and David had stopped. She does this  funny spider crawl spook. All four legs drop low and she goes sideways, backwards and spins while looking like a equine tarantula. I had to kick her several times to get her forward. But after this whole incident.....riding back on the trail for the first time both ears were FINALLY in listening position to me. Those ears were always alert and forward with that whole alert thing going on. She seemed to relaxed and was fixated on my voice as we rode back. I would often talk to her but her ears were always alert and forward. one small step. Then we got to the part going down the hill and coming up off that narrow trail that leads home with the steep drop was another horse and rider with a woman and small kid walking with him. A STALLION! These latin guys out this way love their stallions! I was quite happy to see he went right instead of at us. Mercy gets weird about horses coming at her. But it happens and will happen. Then we started down the narrow trail and a family was out for an evening stroll. Another "Oh my gosh, those people might jump on me and eat me" moment from Mercy. LOL I just talked to her as we rode down the hill. It is definitely different going from Amante who could care less and never spooked to my little Mare who just needs LOTS of exposure. We'll get there. I just think about where we will be in a year.

Storm was great. He is really slowing down and needed a lot less checking yesterday. He is starting to learn/realize he does not have to be in show mode 24/7. Plus he is more forward on those big open fire roads and less so on the narrow trails. Mercy is more relaxed on the trails rather than the fire roads.  She is a work in progress.

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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2014, 03:52:16 pm »

When life gets in the way................

The last couple of weeks have been horseless. Guess you can say we have gotten into a funk....husband and wife stuff but we seem to be coming out of this dark hole. Both have been delving into a little bit of depression but it's par for the course.....mental illness and perimenopausel don't make a real good fit. And if anyone has ever dealt with depression you simply lose the ability to feel joy in everything you loved to do before. Which in our case was horses. But we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Plus we have gotten behind in work.....Having a killer reputation is a catch 22. We hate to lose any business so we started working Saturdays to catch up. Six days a week can make anyone cranky. But that is not permanent. That cuts into horse time. We have not ridden in a few weeks because, simply put, have just not been in the mood.  As soon as 5 PM hits all I want to do is fade away into the couch and do nothing. First time I been hit this hard with it. We only work 4 days this week. We leave Friday morning to Clinton Anderson's Walkabout tour in Las Vegas. We need this. We need the motivation to get back in the saddle and go at it like we did before. We will come back Sunday after the tour....Glad we only live 3 hours from Vegas. Then we took Monday off to recoup. A vacation from our vacation. Thursday is my birthday so we will start the weekend by going to dinner (Mexican) and Hannah is our designated driver! It's way past Margarita time.

So.....by next week I hope to feel renewed and have that spark back.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2014, 02:01:22 pm »

One one the horses favorite days! Clean the spilled hay day from the shed! They like their snacks. They got this porta grazer thing down to a fine science and can clean that thing dry in a matter of a couple of hours. I did have to cut back hay especially Mercy's because she was looking like a house and even was forming a crest. I am sure once we start riding consistently again I will need to up her feed. Yep.....free choice is not an option with these guys. Reggie was getting a bit stocky too. Storm is perfect. I will be putting together a crock pot list for shopping this weekend so we can have dinner ready after horse play.

 
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.

melissah

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Re: Winds of Change.................
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2014, 06:10:05 pm »

Finally, after a couple of weeks we got out last night to ride. Just been terribly busy. David was working late and Hannah don't get home until after 6 sometimes so I got out there by myself at first. I remembered something I watched 10 years ago on a Parelli DVD. It was along the lines of just "communing" with your horse. Dragging a mounting block into their paddock and sitting there watching your horse. Not asking anything of it but just sitting. Let it come up to you, etc. I had not really done that with Mercy before. Mostly just give her some scratches and pull her out to work or point her into the direction of her stall when it's time to put her up for the night. So I thought, okay this is a really neat quiet time for us. No one home and I put the other 2 away so we had no distractions. I sat on the block after letting her out. She stayed a distance at first. Then she slowly came over to me. She's not much for giving attention as much as receiving it. I was very careful because we are still in the "getting to know you" stage of the game.   But soon enough she wandered up to me. She let me pet her between the eyes for some time. Even put her head against my leg while I scratched her some more. I played with her ears....did not touch her under her chin....she hates that. Never met a horse that didn't like being rubbed there. lol.

When I first let her out by herself.
 

A little closer


And even more


and then the rubbing began. She loved it. Here she actually put her head against my leg while I rubbed her between the eyes. She is never this giving of herself. She tends to be aloof but still has that quirky personality.



Then I grabbed my halter and bonding time was over! :D We lunged over poles, worked with moving the hind quarters, backing etc. Then I got the saddle out. Husband got home a little later and came out to get Storm. We rode in the back together over poles we arranged, through some wood debris and obstacles. Kept them on the fence, figure 8's.....David could not help himself and kept gaiting Storm all around. Storm was the most relaxed we have EVER seen him. Head was more relaxed and down. He was staying at the speed asked. Doing what he was told. No anxiety UNTIL......Reggie was brought out. Hannah came home and rode Reggie later. Storms whole demeanor changed. How strange. He was edgy. He wanted to be up front the whole time (Storm not Reggie) he was anxious and David really had to get him thinking because it's like he lost his whole train of thought. He could not concentrate and was anxious. Go figure. So lets see what happens tonight.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.
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