Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring and Sprenger

 If I have learned one thing so far in my multi-horse life and household, it's that no matter how many horses you've ridden or how generally reasonable your current horse is, you are never done experimenting with training strategies and tack. Each individual horse presents it's unique physical and mental challenges, and rising to and taking on those challenges is what truly cements the horse and rider bond in my opinion. I can't pinpoint when or what exactly changed in my brain, but in the last 5 years I have come to see and understand horses in a much deeper way, though I have ridden and been around them since I was 5 years old and owned one or more since I was 14. I am totally enamored with the beasts in their physical form, and in the mental and spiritual forms they take in my life and heart. I have moved to new places because of them, lost a significant amount of weight to be better for them, and run and ridden farther and longer than ever before, purely for the joy of being with them throughout.

Scrap today, rocking the Sprenger bit
Riding my goofily spooking Rushcreek through our gorgeous springtime neighborhood today I was just so incredibly grateful for this gorgeous place and these amazing horses I am lucky enough to call my own. And--I was experimenting, because remember, we're never done with that! Said goofy Rushcreek opened up a new level of spunk at the start of Nevada Derby a week ago, and I quickly realized that the very real stopping power of the mechanical hack I was using was not at all going to help in collection or correct performance when his brain was gone, but instead was stopping forward motion only to cause *upward* motion. Yes, my charming gelding reared, and I was once again reminded that ride starts are exciting, even on the coolest customers.

Today's effort then, was to stretch his legs after a week's rest from the 50 and because I will be gone for the coming week as well. I rigged Blaze's Herm Sprenger Dynamic 3 piece snaffle bit onto Scrappy's simple strip-o-beta headstall, figured out where in his amazingly deep mouth the thing was supposed to sit, and away we went! 

There was a LOT to stare at and snort about, and Scrappy pranced and acted a fool a little so I could really test how he handled in the bit. Thanks bud! ;-)

'hood horses!

'hood bush noises!
 'hood cows!
 lots of gorgeous flowers out right now
 <3 love where I live <3
 marching back up the driveway through the auto gate to the dog greeting committee
 Scrappy watched his mash soak eagerly while I gave him a warm bath AND, and, and--I washed his tail with blueing shampoo! For perhaps the first time since I've owned him, *ahem*  Aww, so purty, for at least 2 minutes. Yeah, he isn't this color anymore already..
 getting all grown up and fit looking, I must say!  :D

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Featured Horse: Sweet 6 Year old Arab Gelding Ready for the Next Step

\
 Location: Oroville, Ca


Breed: Arabian

Sex: Gelding

Age: 6-7

Height: 14.2 hh

Contact: Butte CO AC @ 530-
891-2907 ID# A058993 
OR dmchapek@hotmail.com 530-532-7553
This well built young gelding has been backed but not actually ridden. He hasn't offered any poor behavior being worked from the ground and has a great trot. Available through Butte County Animal Control with no adoption fee.


CONTACT Butte CO AC @ 530-891-2907 ID# A058993 
OR 
dmchapek@hotmail.com 530-532-7553

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lest You Forget

The other day I had cause to consider who the first Arabian that I had ever owned was. Almost to my surprise, since in my brain these days I am very much an "Arab person,"  I realized that my little man Blaze, resident of my heart just these last 5 years, was the first. Not the first I've ever ridden, by any means (actually it was Pretty Lady), but the first owned. And while he is a tiny (14hand) sweet little fella, when kept in his own quarters not bordering another gelding's domain, he has his opinions, and is owed his time and attentions, lest you forget human!

You asked for it, buddy
Everything is gorgeous and green around here lately and all that grass means that Sheza and her momma Desire have been venturing farther down their big pasture in search of all the goodies. This takes them over a hillock and entirely out of Blaze's sight before long, and you may guess that Blaze isn't entirely pleased with this outcome. He did in fact spend a good part of the last three days hurling himself around his paddock in angsty teenage hissy fit fashion, trumpeting for the mares who are out of sight, but not sound--they just don't give a horse apple. Periodically I whistled the mares up to give him, and my ears, a break, but after he started hollering again yesterday afternoon I consulted my calendar and decided to schedule a late morning ride to simmer him down. With the stormy weather pre race and then last weekend's Derby experience, it had suddenly been 3 weeks since he'd been out, and even at 18 he was reminding me! 
 We got 10 hot (80*F) hilly miles in at Lake Oroville today, and Blaze was decidedly more demure and less inclined to holler afterwards. I walked about a mile of the downhill and tailed about a mile up, and aside from my jarred lower back from Blaze's ever lofty trot, I'm feeling great after the 50 and some more.
 taking a breather after tailing uphill
 trailertrailertrailer
 poor tragic exhausted thing ;)

In other news, Sheza turns 3 next Monday and she and Rambo and I are headed for Humboldt county area to a great friend's for some training. Stay tuned for some seriously fun photos and maybe even videos, as my filly and 6 yr old do some growing up. I will be staying to participate in the early process of Sheza's training and bringing Rambo along as well and I can't wait!!

Sheza yesterday