Friday, December 17, 2010


Went in today and never even took my boy out of his stall. I gave him a brushing and combed out his mane and worked on picking up his feet. He's so good about it with me! I say "Hoof" and give his leg a nudge and he picks it right up and holds it up for me. The farrier, different story. Arg! I may have to learn to trim hooves just so that his feet stay up-to-date!

I also got a kick out his "head banging." I walked a little way down the aisle, turned around, and saw that he was bobbing his head at me, so I did it back to him, and then he paused for a second, and did it harder! It was so cute. So now I'm not only teaching him "Smile!" But "Yes!" as well.

And I discovered that the horse in the next stall over, Paige, I think, has a vice of weaving in the stall. That was the first time I've ever seen a horse weaving, and I really hope Siaga doesn't pick up the habit. -Knock on wood!-

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


We delayed last week due to the cold and the fact that I couldn't find any of my gloves. So we are going to go visit my boy on Friday. It's still going to be below freezing, but hopefully it won't be horrible.

Anyways, my boy has to have his feet trimmed up again soon so I think I'm going to work on that with him, the barn 'butler' said last time that Siaga gave the farrier hell, which isn't good, even if Siaga has a perfectly good excuse to be afraid of the farriers.

If I were less of a person, I might have him sedated for the trimming, but I think that's kinda cheating. So anyways, I'm going to spend a good bit of time working him with his feet, and I'm hoping that when next we have his feet trimmed, I can be there to work some of his energy off before hand and try to keep him calm and relaxed while the farrier is working on his feet, especially his hind feet, as those he has the most trouble with.

Oh Siaga... you and your silly feet-phobia.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Get to see him again

So very soon. Next week, actually. I was going to ride bareback, but I think that that should wait a while more, considering everything. So, gonna take him to the indoor and work off some of his steam, saddle up, and go for a ride, again just practicing movement and directions and stopping and going.

I've missed my boy so much.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall is Bot Time

Upon going to see Siaga yesterday, I found myself very proud of him. I took him out and lunged him for a while in the round pen, and when I started grooming him, for once, he just stood there and let me brush him, no tie on. Usually he moves around a lot when I'm trying to groom him and I keep having to put him back in the starting place. Sadly, while grooming him, I came across bot eggs on his legs and had to send Jonathon to hunt down a bot knife so I could scrape Siaga's legs clean.
After that, the sky clouded over and the wind was blowing hard and I knew Siaga wouldn't like to be in the indoor because he's terrified of the wind anyways and that place just amplifies the sounds.

But, he did get good exercise, I took him on a walk through the woods and on the round-a-bout trail.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thought I'd take a few minutes...

To tell you my plans for the future, however screwed up they may be.

When I was younger, I initially had the thought that my future was going to be something with animals. Maybe I'd be a vet... until I realized that hey, I'd have to cut animals open or put them to sleep, and I couldn't stomach that. Then I thought I'd be a horse breeder, till I thought about all the horses without home. Then, a trainer, but then again, few enough people have a need for a trainer at all, and then, there's tons of trainers out there. Next, I decided I would become an Illustrator or a Graphic Designer to go along with my art. So what am I doing, but sitting here in my final year of college to be a designer.

For a while near the end of my first year, I kept thinking, "What am I doing here?" and "Why didn't I go to school for horses?" Well, had I known before I went to college what I ultimately wanted to do, I probably would have tried to do just that. But, what was started was started and so I might as well finish, eh?

So anyways, here's my plan.

First and foremost, after I get out of here, I'm thinking I'll take a job at a design company and freelance on the side. I'll have to save a lot of money to do what I want, but I think I can manage. My friend Jacy and I have talked about saving our money together for ten years or so after college (though she has two more years than I) and then starting up a stable. This stable will be for boarding horses, but not solely. We will also be working a rescue.

Running a rescue is going to be a lot of work, and I know it's going to be a very emotional ride, but who better to carry those emotions than I?

I also want to adopt a few (see that? A few? Is that like... three? four? Who knows, with me...) mustangs from the BLM. A lot of people say it's cruel that they round them up and auction them off, but I think that it's necessary and that it is also a kindness. Mustangs have few natural predators, and if they become over-populated, who's to say how many we save from starvation and early deaths by rounding them up and auctioning a few off? I mean, I wouldn't want them to round up -all- the horses, only enough to prevent such starvation.

I certainly think places like Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch have the right of it. They rescue, buy, and adopt horses of all shapes, sizes, and histories, and the horses in turn help them 'rescue' children with similar pasts. A horse that was beaten makes a friend of a child that was beaten, or perhaps a woman who was abused. It's all very nice. I mean, it's not nice what happened to them, but nice that they get such second chances.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My goal

Guess I won't be making this summer. I can't seem to drag Jonathon to the stable enough to work with Siaga, so I don't think I will on the trail with him by the end of summer, but hopefully out of the round pen.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trail Rides

Hey folks, I know its been a looong while.

I haven't had the chance to do much with Siaga, haven't even had the chance to visit him much, but last Friday I went with my best friend Jacy to Triple S to visit Siaga, check on him (BO said he wasn't lame but that he had somehow got a cut on his front leg, though it's barely more than a mild scrape) and to take Jacy on a Birthday Trip.

Since it had been such a long time since Jacy and I went riding together, she and I borrowed Reggie and Joe (I spared her the experience of Bouncy Reggie, and she spared me the experience of Slow Old Joe) and went trail riding. What an experience!

Neither of us had been on the trails before, and there are so many wonderful places for training Siaga to Endurance. There's a creek to be crossed and many hills that are both shallow and steep. Anyway, even though the BO gave us a map of the trails, neither of us were able to make sense of it and ended up quite lost, and, once, in a large, empty field that could have been a pasture but the fences were broken down in several places. We startled a few deer there, too.

The horses didn't want to get on the trails most of the time, so Jacy and I were constantly trading places. If Reggie wouldn't go on this trail, then Joe would go first and Reggie would have no problem following Joe, and vice-versa.

Anyway, I loved the hills. Going down was okay, Reggie took it slow and never slipped even once, just went one step at a time, while I leaned back and sat parallel to the trees' vertical growth, and leaned forward going up. ... Going up. Oh boy! I thought Reggie was bouncy just trotting and cantering... Uh-uh. He bounded up those hills, and because I was unable to stop him or slow him down, just sat deep, gave him his head, and held on to the saddle horn and his mane. It was over quick, even though it was a big hill, and even though the whole time I was squeaking (yes, squeaking) "Oh Sweet Jesus!" it was a lot of fun, though I felt bad for Reggie because he was panting quite a bit, but he was alright.

BO made me use my own saddle on Reggie. It's not a practice I like the thought of, because you never really know how well a saddle is going to fit a horse and I didn't want him to be uncomfortable, but with a larger girth, it turns out my pretty saddle fits Reggie better than Siaga! That was the first ride of any real length in my saddle, and it took good care of me. My butt was sore afterwords, and while I'm pretty sure my butt-bones were bruised, the insides of my knees and thighs weren't harmed, save for one dime-sized bruise on the left thigh. I think my saddle is a 15in from pommel to cantle- I think I could use a 16in one, and maybe one with a higher front on the seat. I told Jonathon that if I do start endurance riding, I'm going to buy an endurance saddle, they look so comfortable! (Not to mention the amount of d-rings and tie-straps on those things! Mine has none, so I have to make special saddle bags that have a double strap, one to go over the back jockey and one to go over the seat of the saddle, which I would sit on to prevent movement. It would then be tied down to the flank cinch or maybe the flank billets.

Anyways, it went great. Even though we got lost, Reggie and Joe took us straight back to the barn. Smart horses. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I get to go see Siaga on Saturday. :) I really have to take a tape measure this time though, so that I can also get a measure or two over his back while he has his saddle on.

I'm going to make a pair of saddle bags. The main challenge of creating these bags is that my saddle, being of cheap and common make, has no d-rings on the back, nor any tie-down straps. SO... The bags won't have anything to fasten to, therefore, the strap that goes over his back will be divided into two straps, one that sits on the back jockey of the saddle, and the other that is going to go around the cantle and sit on the seat of the saddle, which I will sit on. To keep them from sliding and bouncing on his sides, I'm going to attach strings to the back of each bag which will be tied snuggle to the billet holes of the back cinch, or to the flank strap itself, depending on where I determine I want the bags to sit for ease of reach. I think I might even add a water bottle holder onto the front of the bags for trail riding, though the bags will be big enough that a water bottle or two will fit in them.

I called up Shannon yesterday and asked how the farrier visit went, and she said he did very well with the farrier, but somehow I believe he really gave them all hell, though all of his feet did get trimmed, which is great. So great. I'm so relieved that the farrier survived unscathed, as did Siaga.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I got in my breeches and my boots. Everything fits nice and it's all quite comfy. It finally came in, after much trepidation, yesterday, and the mailman practically scared the crap out of me, since I was sitting facing away from the door and reading and old journal of mine and laughing at myself when he started pounding on the door.

I might have a chance to visit him on Sunday ... I really wish I could go on Saturday, since that is when he is getting his hooves trimmed, but Jonathon will be working then... :(

Monday, May 24, 2010

Muddy Boy

This is the picture I am going to use to draw a portrait of him. I think this will be my tradition for every horse I own, to draw a portrait of them. Starting with Siaga.
I'm not sure if I want to draw the mud in it or not...

His mane got cut shorter after that, so that it wasn't going to over heat him while I'm not looking. I'm also going to try and get some thinning shears and attack the underside to thin it out a bit and pull it some too.

My suggestions for a horse with a mane/tail too tangly to tackle: Mane 'n' Tail Detangler.
Siaga's mane gets big knots in it, and I sprayed it down with that stuff and took a comb to it and the knots practically slid right out. I'm a bit wary about using it on his tail, since his tail is about fifty times worse and dreadlocks, but I think the detangler won't have too much of a problem with it. If you're skeptical, you can buy a sample sized bottle at Tractor Supply that is only 4 ounces, instead of buying the huge 32oz, but trust me, you will love it, and you might as well get the big bottle.

Also, while I was working with him on Saturday, I had on my regular tennis shoes and realized that hey, Siaga's shoulders are now taller than mine, but with my current boots and their higher heels, his withers are at my shoulders. Upon a new guestimation (since I forgot the tape measure) Siaga is more around 14hh, and might even break the pony/horse barrier. It has me hoping. When I get home tonight, I might put on one of those boots and measure to my shoulder to see how high he really is.

Barn Clean Up...

Meant there was no bath for Siaga. I did, however, get him out and work with him, only to discover that his time there, living with horses, instead of me, has completely given his mind over. Apparently, I am no longer seen as a part of his herd, since he called. And called. And called, for the other horses while in the indoor. I'm not really around enough to convince him that I am part of his herd too, not just a lead mare to him.

His feet really need a trim, I'm going to call up Shannon later and ask about the farrier and if he has a website or anything. I also keep forgetting to ask about his teeth that the dentist was supposed to look at.

My boots and breeches have not come in yet, but Jeni, who boards there as well, gave me some nice leather Ariat half chaps. :)

And tomorrow is my last day in school. Then I can laze around the house all day whining about having nothing to do and no way to go anywhere. I have really got to call CVS and set up an interview.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tractor Supply

Oh I love the cheap prices at Tractor Supply. I've got to stop by there tonight and get some grooming products for him, and was hoping that I wouldn't have to spend more than $20. Upon looking at the website, other than for the conditioner, I could get all I need for under $10 collectively. :D

I also have to stop by an art or hobby store to get an illustration board so I can start my portrait of my lovely horse. :)

I'm so excited to go see him tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Darn that Weather

Looks like Saturday is going to be having a few scattered thunderstorms, temperatures in the upper seventies, and a humidity percentage in the low seventies. At least for the Dayton area, but also in the Wilmington area, which is where Siaga is. : | That day is going to be hot, muggy, and full of hard work.

Barn cleanup day is on Saturday, I guess I'm going to help out, hoping I'll have time to ride. After riding, I'll have to give Siaga a bath. He has horrible dandruff in his mane and he's been rubbing his mane out. I don't mind so much if he won't let me bathe the rest of him, I hope he will, but if he won't that's fine, so long as I can get his mane and tail shampooed and conditioned. He isn't bound to like it much but oh well, better to keep it clean and tidy than to have to roach it down to nothing, scrub and comb out the dandruff, and start over.

I guess I'll pull his mane some too, to allow for a thinner mane that will be easier to manage and that won't be so hot and heavy on his neck. If I weren't away from him for so long at a time, I would braid up his mane and leave it braided while I'm away, but since I am so far away for so long, I wouldn't want it to damage the mane ... hurm. I think the only answer is to pull it and trim it shorter, long enough to braid, but short enough to not over heat him while I'm away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Here we come.

Soon, I will be ending my first year of college, and I don't have internet at home. It will become much less frequently that I read the blogs I follow and much less frequently that I make a post.

My last day is next Tuesday, which means I have one week in which to pester you all with mass updates and plans for Siaga.

Speaking of plans for Siaga, I might give him a bath on Saturday, since it is going to be hot and muggy.

Yesterday, I began teaching my boyfriend about horses. It's such an anxiety trip for him when he takes me to visit Siaga because he's so afraid that Siaga will hurt me and that he won't have any idea what to do. So, I told him how to interpret a horse's body language to best assess what will be the next move they make. He also learned a lot about herd dynamics and hoof anatomy. Here's to hoping I can pass my passion on to him so that he becomes more comfortable with horses and more capable to assist me if I need help with anything. This means first I have to teach him to recognize a horses body language directly from the horse, and not from a mere description of mine. Then, I start teaching him to lead, groom, and handle a horse. I told him if he could lead and groom and tack up Siaga, he could just about do the same with any horse.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ok, Fine.

So it is in sadness at the loss of a dream that I come here now to tell you- I no longer believe that my beloved Siaga is a Morab. It was wishful thinking on my part, after hunting and chasing any stray threads that might connect to the six months of his life before me that might tell me his breed and blood, and after having seen photos of Morabs who look a lot like him.

When I got him, all I was ever told was that he was the breed that "did all that cattle cutting." Which meant, of course, that I was excited to find that Morabs excel in cattle cutting. I've been reluctant to believe that he would be of the common quarter horse line, since I've never been fond of them, and the biggest reason I -didn't- believe he was a quarter horse was all the side view images of quarter horses who were bred for the halter class. With all that heavy muscling and those practically vertical pasterns and stupidly dull expressions, they couldn't be of the same breed as my fine boned, highly alert, prancing bay, could they?

Until I found an image of a quarter horse that was a -working- horse, who wasn't all bulked up, at a perfect side shot. I compared the conformation and nearly fell out of my seat. They have the same flat-with-just-a-touch-of-dished-profile-like-God-wiped-a-feather-over-the-bridge-of-the-nose face. The same set of head, the same low withers and high croup, only Siagas front legs seem longer, or perhaps it is that Siaga's shoulders don't drop as low in comparison to his hind quarters.

It is said that quarter horses aren't used much for endurance, but it doesn't matter since I do not plan on hitting really top of the line rides.

After all, when I was in the tenth grade, my little gelding got very ill and at one point, collapsed, the vet gave him an IV of an energy booster, and I stayed up with him all night outside, under flapping tarps in November during a raging thunderstorm. I later wrote in a paper I did for my english class that year, that "I realized I don't a horse who is a champion at any sport. All that matters is that he is champion of life."

And he is, and always will be, my champion.

Even if he is a Quarter Horse and not a lovely Morab.

Why my address?!

It seems that my address is a problem. I ordered $80 worth of breeches and paddock boots from Dover Saddlery, and the package was supposed to arrive today, however, according to the fedex tracking, the address was incorrect (but it wasn't) and so it was "returned to sender. Please contact the shipper/merchant for more information." I mean, come on. Give me a break. I sure as hell am not going to pay for shipping again, but I -will- get my breeches and boots. Blarg.

Anyways, I'm going to go see Siaga on Saturday. Saturday is also barn clean up day, so I guess I get to help with that, and Shannon the Barn Owner is going to ask people what they think about my idea for a costume class in the Fun Show.

The horse dentist is coming out today, and he is going to take a peak in Siaga's mouth for his wolf teeth and stuff... Just great. I really don't have the money to pay for the removal of them, so I'm hoping he doesn't have them and/or hoping it can wait until I get a car and pay for tags on it and everything.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maybe tomorrow

I will visit my boy again. This time, I intend to take a tape measure, and get a full account of measures, including from ground to withers for his height, from the middle of his chest around to his tail for a prospective future rug, and the measurement around the widest part of the cannon bone for and estimate of the amount of bone mass he has.

There are supposed to be some storms in the morning, so all outside work is out of the questions unless it has dried up by then enough to work in the round pen. I will, again, be working with halt-to-walk-to-halt transitions and directional work around cones. I want to also work on backing up and if I have time and he has the energy, some side-pass and leg pressure exercises.

He is such a bright horse, it prides me to see him pick up lessons and learn them well very fast.

I know a lot of people would not agree with the way I'm starting him under saddle, in fact, some would probably hop on and have him trained in rudimentary walk, trot, canter, left, right, go, stop, halt. But I don't want to ask him to go faster when I don't feel that I have developed in him the urge to stop when I say stop or go left when I say go left. After all, -they- may be able to sit through his bucking and/or unsteady motion, but just because I rode through that last buck doesn't mean I can do it again. He was like a tensed spring during the first ride, and I knew that if I were to let the reins looser and give him a nudge, he'd be off in a flash and I would be little more than a passenger with no control. Second ride was much smoother, he was even standing with one leg cocked and eyes closed while I sat on him, having a conversation with the barn owner.

The reason I'm training him this way is that I want to be absolutely sure that when I start to ask him to pick up the pace, he is going to yield to my hands, voice, legs, and weight. It may not be the conventional way to have a horse trained nearly perfectly at a walk before asking for a trot, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. By working him at a walk, he becomes accustomed to feeling me and listening to me while his mind is not occupied with things like moving faster and watching where he is going. This way, responses become ingrained and he will begin to follow them automatically. When I start asking for a trot, it will be no more than a few paces before I ask for a walk, and if he decides he wants to keep trotting, I will turn him into a one rein stop.

This speed control will insure that when I ask for him to trot for longer amounts of time, I will have the control to stop and turn him as I please, and this will work the same for canter.

He's a good horse, I just want us to both get through the training process hail and whole, by ourselves, or at least with as little outside influence as possible.

I've always been told I will never be able to train him. People put me down and put me down and tell me to get a trainer, and I always refused. Here is proof that I can do it. I have a wonderful, usually calm horse who stands still and calm to be groomed and saddle and just as calm for me to mount up. I have a horse who starts walking with a squeeze of my calves and steps away from the fence with a nudge. I have a horse who walks, trots, canters, 'woahs,' and 'easys,' on the lunge with just a word from me (and an occasional tap of the whip on the ground if he forgets) and a horse who backs up when I give the vocal command or at a touch of my hand on his nose, neck, or chest.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plans, Plans, Plans.

I am going to start building up a kit of first-aid things for Siaga. To make a tally of all the things I need to go in it:
Tape measure, plastic thermometer, something to use as lube (poor Siaga.) string, cotton or gamgee gauze, vet wraps, scissors, needle, thread, hydrogen peroxide, anti bacterial salve, and perhaps some medical tape.

I would like to also have a piece of paper in there with things like Siaga's regular temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate written down.

Now, about his training. He's pretty good now with the basic left, right, go, stop. He's beginning to learn things like side-stepping away from my leg and backing up. Stop is a bit hard for him, but he's also learning the one rein stop. Next time I work with him, I want to walk him about in the round pen and then out of it, maybe walk to the outdoor arena and ride around in there, with the cone set up, of course, that I have designed, to work on walking straight and on walking in serpentines around the cones.

Only when I feel he has the big three down pat (stop, backup, and the one rein stop) will I attempt to move faster than a walk, but it may be a while before I ever ask him to canter with me on.

I may want to ride endurance with him, but I know before I can start conditioning him, he has to know what's what and he has to accept me as an unmovable figure when I'm on his back. He absolutely -must- know walk, left, right, stop, one rein stop, and back up before I take him on the trail, and considering how well he is coming along, I have no doubt that I will be out on the trail with him by September.

So I think once I have him going well with directions and going and stopping, we will likely alternate rides between going on the trail for one ride, and going to one of the arenas for technical practice and speed control.

One might ask, how the hell do you plan on teaching him speed control? Well, I fully insist that first, he be fully accustomed to shifts of body weight and position on my part, as well as a verbal command, and a rein command if need be, to slow down and/or stop. Generally, he recognizes "Woah" to be stop, and the frequently used "Easy" means "drop a gear and slow down." In other words, if I am, say, lunging him, and I have him cantering, he know that "Woah" means to slide to stop right then and there, and "Easy" means to drop into a trot. If I say "canter" he will go back up, while if I say "easy" again, he drops to a walk. However, "Easy" has never meant "stop" and he will not "woah" when I say "easy." At least not usually.

So anyways, once he is accustomed to my frequently asking him to slow down or stop, and once he listens to that non stop, I will begin to ask for a trot. I will ask him to trot a few paces, then slow back down. I understand that he may not want to stop, and if he doesn't want to stop, then I will do a one rein stop and force him to come to into a circle and divert his energy, engage the hind quarters, and stop the fore quarters.

I will slowly be working up to longer times of trotting, until I trust him at a trot to not decide it's time for an impromptu dismount and send me flying. When he is well behaving for walk-to-trot-to-walk-again transitions, I will up the notch and ask for walk-to-trot-to-canter-to-trot-to-walk transitions, with the canter time limited again to a few paces before asking him to slow.

While on the trail, I may keep up with these sorts of things, asking him to move up to a trot when the footing allows for a few paces, then back into a walk. Other than that, however, trail rides will be a time of relaxation and fun. At various points, we will stop and I will allow him to graze so that he doesn't associate the trail with a lot of hard work. Since the trail is going to be his working zone, I definitely don't want him to go sour on it.

Now, while I often seem to have a hard time following plans, I do love to make them, I guess that's my virgo side coming out in me. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Boots and Breeches

So I splurged on myself and bought a pair of black riding breeches and a pair of black synthetic paddock boots. I will likely have them in a week or so. Also, I received a job offer on Craigslist asking if I was still available and saying that I seemed perfect for their company. I'm really excited, I hope I get a job that I can utilize to pay for gas and stuff to visit Siaga and to help Jonathon by helping to pay for stuff like food. :)

I did enjoy my ride with the English saddle so much that I think someday in the future I will be getting one. Right now I'm just going to try to master it on Reggie. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bruises, stiffness, and happiness

So yesterday I went to the barn with Jonathon's mom. I had initially told her to be sure to bring a book or something to entertain herself with, but she didn't get that far, too enthralled with the horses was she. :) (I don't blame her. I couldn't read while in the presence of a horse either, except for when I first got Siaga and would sit in the stall, reading out loud to him.)

I got him out of the pasture and took him into the barn and put him on cross ties. Unfortunately, that didn't last long. He hates cross ties. Personally, I love them... if the horse likes them. The cross ties mean I can let the horse stand there while I groom without trying to hold the lead and groom at the same time.

So, when it became obvious that he was too excited to stand still and be safe, I took the ties off and led him to the round pen. I lunged him for a while until he was too tired to move (he just LOVES the word Woah. He knows it so well.) I then had Jonathon's mom get my grooming supplies out of the barn and began to finish what I had started. I trimmed up his bridle path, as well.

Once done with that, I let him wander around in the pen while I fetched my tack, brushed him off again, and saddled up. I ran him around again and let him buck to his hearts content until he bucked no longer, then I switched out the halter and lead for the bridle. Shannon found me a helmet (since mine has gone missing. :| ) and a stool to use to get on. For some reason, I can't seem to pull myself onto Siaga, but I have no problem at all pulling myself onto a horse much bigger than he.

Once on, I nudged. I squeezed. I smooched and clicked... Nothing. Not a single movement out of him. Shannon got the riding crop, and I popped him a few times with it. He moved. We went around at a walk, stopping, going. Turning left, turning right. He did very well. Eventually, I had him start walking with just a squeeze of my legs. It was great.

Here is a picture of me riding him, I apologize for not putting the picture itself up, but blogger is being screwy, I think: Me on Siaga.

I always knew, when I first got him, that someday I would be riding him. I didn't know that it would be just over five years before I actually did. I didn't know, also, that I had it in me to train a horse by myself, albeit with much advice and help along the way. The years of ceaseless study and learning about horses and drawing their anatomy has done wonders for me. Siaga may not always be a perfect gentleman on the ground, but in the saddle, he's fantastic. This makes the sixth time that he has been ridden since he turned 2. The first ride, by the way, was no more than 3-5 seconds long, when he was about 4, dad got him, Siaga bucked him off, Dad got back on, sat, got off. Then when we moved him here, I rode him, then again two months ago, then James rode him, and then me again. Ok, well, 7 times if you want to count the fact that Dillon was the first one to ride him, when I led Siaga and dad held Dillon on.

I also had my first taste of riding in an English saddle on Reggie. It was... an experience. I had no problem riding at a walk. At a trot, I felt way unbalanced, at least I didn't fall off. Reggie's trot is like no other. It's soooo bouncy. Here is me on Reggie.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I get to go see my Siaga. :) First I have to go to the bank and deposit a check and get out some moolah to pay for his dewormer, pay gas money to Jonathons mom, and likely some to pay for the farrier when he comes on June 5 to trim up and balance Siaga's hooves.

I admit I'm really nervous about how its going to go with the farrier. James has little to no problem picking up Siaga's feet, but Siaga hates to pick them up for me. His past experiences with farriers has not been good, and its been a few years since he has had his feet trimmed, since the day my grandpa died, actually. That day was windy, rainy. The farrier was my bosses farrier, and managed to get Siaga's front feet done, but not the back feet.
Before that, Siaga had an experience with a farrier who just -sucked.- Siaga wouldn't stand still for him, and he had a rage moment, grabbed the rope from me, slid it through both side rings of his halter, and under his upper lip. Then, he proceeded to jerk at Siaga, and knocked both front teeth out, granted, they were baby teeth, but I got in and steadied Siaga, let him finish his job, paid him, and never had him back.

I'm hoping they can get it done without having to sedate him, but it is entirely likely that they will have to do just that.

Anyways, Shannon's going to watch and supervise my riding of Siaga, and then I'm hoping that she will allow me the use of a horse so that I can ride a horse that knows what's what. It helps me to stabilize on Siaga when I'm more confident on other horses. I also want to set up some small jumps and trot poles for the other horse, which ever I ride, so that I can do a few small jumps.

I have no doubt that Siaga and I will encounter things he has to jump while on the trail, but I don't want to be getting my first jumping lesson on a horse that's never jumped with a person on it's back.

Since my goal is to be riding Siaga on the trail's by summer's end, it's a lot of work that I have ahead of me, not just brushing up on my own riding and doing things I've never done before but also teaching Siaga. We have a lot of catching up to do, and no time to waste. Such a challenge has two possible outcomes: either we both end up ruined on the process of riding, or we both come out of it hale, whole, and a million times better.

Here's to hoping it's the latter.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

To Dream a Dream of Freedom

Lately I've been really interested in the sport of endurance riding. I know Siaga is no where near ready to take that challenge, but someday, he will be. Even if I never get to do an endurance race, there are long trail rides and camping trips that sound 100% fantastic.

I'm actually currently sitting in my traditional art instructors class room, and I'm looking at a painting he did. I'm not sure where it is of, but there's a rich blue sky with puffy cumulus clouds. In the distance, there's foothills coated thickly with evergreen trees, and in the foreground, the viewer seems to be standing on a rocky ledge, in a bit of a horse-shoe shaped canyon, looking down into a crystal-clear lake.

It's so beautiful. I want to travel all over the place on Siaga, just to see what I can see. Someday, I hope I will have ridden enough miles to know practically every inch of Ohio and Indiana. It isn't likely, but it's a beautiful dream to have. I want to see pretty places and I want to see them with my horse. After the life he's had, he deserves it, and since I'm an artist, I merely want to see it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Money -should- grow on trees

Because I could really use some. Spring shots are coming up, and those are going to cost about $60 or $65, I can't remember which. Thank God Siaga takes shots like I do, though. He's super calm about them. HOWEVER. The farrier is coming out tomorrow and is gonna look at Siaga's feet, which ought to be interesting, but if he decides they need trimmed and balanced (which I already know they do, since it's been a -long- time since he's had a trim) that's going to cost $25.

On top of all of this, I've decided that I need a car right now, so that I can visit Siaga more often. I've found a good possibility right here in Kettering, and for only costing $900, it looks like its in really good condition. However, I only have about $850, So I'm -hoping- that Jonathon or someone can spot me the extra $50 I need, and going to have to tell Jonathon he has to pay for Siaga's shots and feet, too. :(

It saddens me, however, that I'm going to have to use my Sweden Money to buy the car, but I really can't keep delaying in the hopes that my grandma's house will sell so that her husband can buy a new truck and give me his old car. I do, after all, have a horse that has to be trained.

The goal is still to be on the trails by the end of summer, but we shall see how that is going to go. After all, for a going-on-six-year-old, he is only saddle-broke in the absolute -lightest- sense of the word. I'm still quite proud of how well he did on that first ride though. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Haven't posted in a while

Yes, I know. I also haven't seen Siaga since I rode him. I would really love to get down to see him, maybe this weekend, who knows.

I dreamed I rode him last night. Oh it was glorious. I dreamed that I was riding him around my parents property then turned him to go trail riding through the neighbors woods.

I miss him very much, he has always been my shoulder to cry on, or rather, my mane to cry into. It's so stressful not seeing him everyday like I used to, but its hard right now.

I put in an application at a nearby CVS so that I can fund my upcoming overseas vacation (Not this summer am I going, but next summer, I'm going to Sweden) anyways, that way I will also be able to afford to go visit him more often. It's not like it really costs all that much, being only a ten dollar trip, but that spare ten dollars is a challenge to find.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This time of year...

Is what I call the crazy times. Siaga always has growth spurts at the start of spring, not in height (though I would much enjoy that) but in his hooves and his mane and tail. For the rest of the year, his hooves and mane will grow very slowly, but right now, his mane and tail will grow about two or three inches, and his hooves will have to be trimmed up nicely.

I'll have to get the farrier out to work on his feet. ... That ought to be interesting, since he doesn't let me deal with hooves very well, though he puts up with James, at least.

On top of the growth spurts, Siaga is not liking being confined in the barn and not being out in the paddock. I don't blame him. He hasn't been able to get out his energy in a while, in a way that he wants to, other than when he gets lunged, which is not usually what he wants to do, though he does it.

I am reconsidering allowing James to lunge him. It's great and all that Siaga gets a way to get energy out, but with the care thats been given to other horses there I'm nearly afraid Siaga would break a leg and they'd never tell me.

They didn't, after all, call me to tell me that Siaga apparently hates all the other horses there, though I have just determined that he has a case of little man syndrome and is not comfortable being with other horses, since he has never had a chance to get used to it till now. I suppose I have a lot of work to do this spring. I would like to get him comfortable with other horses so that he can be put in a regular stall, and let out with the rest of them.

He is also getting trained to ride, and while I will let James ride him while I'm there, I'll not let him up while I'm gone. So busy busy busy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Respiratory Infections and Hay Dust

So another of the ladies at the barn, who happens to watch this blog even as I watch hers, contacted me a few days ago to say that her horse Rosie has a respiratory infection and that the vet said its very contagious, and that the barn manager had said he had heard Siaga coughing, which is usually a precursor to the infection.

I then called Shannon, the barn owner, to ask about his coughing and if a vet was required. She told me that Siaga tends to eat his hay very fast, and that he only coughs when eating his hay, be it either the hay dust or just from eating too fast that causes it.

He, being the spirited pony-sized horse with Little Man Syndrome, is in the quarantine stall, anyways, and gets turned out by himself, so little-to-no contact with Rosie is ever made, though I did have him cross tied outside of her stall the other day.

I also asked her to check on his legs and have James the barn manager watch him for any sign of lameness when he gets turned out. His back right leg had some problems awhile back, and while the swelling has gone away, I didn't want it to become too much strain on it with me riding him, and he also developed a bit of a limp on the front right leg after riding, but we aren't sure if he had stepped on something and bruised the hoof or if anything else was wrong.

Even though I have great people taking care of him and checking on him constantly, I always want to go check on him myself, being as I know him best and know what is normal for him and what isn't... Though it's not likely that his peak of health is very different from any other horses peak of health, you know? Perhaps a small difference here and there, the same as you could find differences in humans.

So anyways, I don't know when I'll be able to go check on him, but I will likely be working at the school on Saturday, so I can earn some $40 bucks or so to pay for gas money.

Speaking of money issues, I'll be selling my lovely, hated little car soon, the extra money will go to paying off the small loan we took on fixing Jonathons car, and perhaps a special commission for my graphic designs. :D

Monday, March 15, 2010

So very Stiff

I can't tell you how long it's been since I've truly ridden a horse. Years. Not decades, but years nonetheless.

So when yesterday I rode Reggie the school horse at a trot, I received many bruises all along the insides of my thighs and knees. He's a great horse, but he has a horrid trot. And he is so tall! I'm not sure I've ever ridden a horse that tall, other than the draft horses I used to sit up on.

After that, I rode Siaga. He did pretty well. He was very energetic at first, and nearly had me worn out and exhausted within the first three minutes of having him in the indoor. Needless to say, he got a very good warm up to put off some of the energy, then we tacked up. I got on him and then James the barn manager tightened the girth for me, and then he got on Reggie and we started riding.

Siaga did really well. It took him a while to understand that my squeezing on his sides meant go, but he understood very well the principles of turning left and right, and backing up very well. I refused to let him trot, and I refused to let him stop and stand still, I could feel the whole time he was like a squashed spring, just waiting to bounce up.

After making several laps of the arena in both directions, both leading and following Reggie, and also after getting close to the wall a few times, he decided it was time to get me off, and gave a little crow hop- a little rear, and then a buck. Some how, I stayed on, albeit with more bruising on the front of my thighs.

Thankfully, his previous forward movement kept him from getting a lot of power into it, so it wasn't major, and he undoubtedly learned it is not so very easy to ditch me in the mud, which is a good thing.

One thing he has issues with, is standing still while there is a person on his back. Or I guess with me on his back. He didn't have any issues with it when James was on him, in fact, he stood stock still. James squeezed, nudged, kicked, swatted with a crop, and still Siaga stood. Finally James pulled on just one rein and got him moving in circles and then walking, and Siaga did well with him riding, too.

So, Siaga is well on his way to becoming a great horse. :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

I must wait

I'm not going to get to visit my Siaga on Sunday, and now must wait till next Saturday, maybe. Jonathon is off only one day, and that is Saturday. Also, my best friend Jacy is home this week from her college, and I want to see her too... But it's looking like its either going to be me visiting Siaga or her, unless I can get her to drive an hour up to Dayton and spend time with me while I work Siaga.

I would love to have her there with me. I miss her so much and I miss Siaga too, though I haven't seen Jacy in a much longer time. :(

What to do, oh what to do...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Name Tags

Since I have discovered that everyone borrows everyone else's halters, I decided to have Jonathon make a name tag to put on Siaga's halter.

I mean, I don't really mind that people borrow it, but what I hate the most is that they borrow it... then they don't return it and don't set its settings back to normal! I mean, Siaga is the smallest horse there, being only 13 hands and 1 inch high at the withers. His halter is sized at "small horse" from TSC... and is set on the smallest settings in order to fit him, and it fits perfectly.

Also, I did need that halter for his indian hackamore, since it clipped onto his halter, and even though I don't now, still. Every other horses halter is too big for Siaga! If I still had to clip the hackamore on, and couldn't find his, I'd never be able to go riding!

Besides, don't you all have halters of your own, that fit horse better than Siaga's halter? I mean, I understand that if a horse gets out, you grab and go, catch said horse, return it, and then what do you do? Hang the other horses halter on your horses stall? That isn't right.

I don't want to have to go hunting mine down every time I go visit. SO....

I'm putting a name tag on it, and also hanging a sign on the hook that his halter hangs from saying that I don't mind if you borrow it but please return it in the original settings and stuff.

We are going to make the name tag out of a key blank, apparently, with the actual key blade removed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I should be able to go visit Siaga and start riding him sometime next week/end, either on Friday evening or on Sunday.

I'm so excited about it I can't hardly sit still. I crave something to do for him, even cleaning tack! I enjoyed cleaning the leather bridle, even though he wouldn't be using it, since I will have him bridled with the pretty red nylon one.

So anyways.

Shannon is going to watch while I train Siaga. That makes me feel better that if something happens, someone with horse sense is there to help. I have also decided that it wouldn't be too bad for him to learn how to trot with me up there, but of course I will only do that if I feel he understands how to stop and turn and go at a walk well.

When I feel, after riding several times, most likely, that he is understanding what is being asked of him, I will move on to riding outside of the indoor, probably in the outdoor arena. And, when he understands that the rules are no different outside than inside, we start desensitizing him to things we might find on the trail, such as ditches, creeks, tall grass/bushes or branches.

And my ultimate goal for this is, well, I want to be going out on the trail by summer. I don't really care when in the summer, just at some point in the summer. Shannon will go on the first rides with me just in case, but any of the others are welcome, we just have to be careful that Siaga doesn't try to fight any of the other horses. He is quite a silly horse.

Friday, March 5, 2010

How Excited I Am.

Because I have decided that I will be taking a break from my night club that I frequent in order to save gas money for visiting Siaga. I will be missing my weekend night out, but I will survive.

Especially considering that means that I will be saving up money and will be able to visit Siaga every two weeks. Or so.

Also. When Spring gets here, Siaga gets a bath. He is a funny horse, he's terrified of hoses and stuff, but doesn't mind getting his front legs and shoulders and neck washed and sprayed with a hose, but not anywhere else.

I'm hoping he will stand nicely on the cross ties or something... I'll have to ask Shannon how to do this. Or where, rather. I would rather him have a place that isn't going to get muddy and slippery, but I don't think there is a stall specifically meant for washing a horse.

Also, he has horrendous dandruff in his mane that I would like to get out. I'm not entirely sure how to go about that either. I mean. I can wash whatever needs to be washed, including his sheath and his bum, but... Scrubbing the base of his mane with my fingernails like a mother would her child... Disturbs me. I can't hardly stand to scrub my own scalp, let alone all of his. I'll have to grab a fine-toothed comb and go at it first to loosen some up, and when the worst of it is gone, maybe I can find some sort of rubber toothed brush or something to scrub there.

I also intend on learning how to french braid his mane when I ride, so that when I start teaching him to neck rein, the rein can sit flat on the right side of his neck, and not pushed against mane and then neck.

When Siaga was younger, in fact, when I first got him, his mane fell over both sides of his neck, all the way up and down, from ears to withers, equally. Then in the spring after I first had him, I took it all over to the right and braided it into place for a few days. Some of it still flopped to the left, but I don't mind.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nylon Bridle

Is secure. I will be using it for Siaga. I tested the strength of the buckles and they fit well.

Even if I don't train Siaga for a bit until June or so, I can attach the hackamore to the bridle instead of the halter, which means I can take the clips off of it now, yay. :D

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stiff Leather

So I got my other two bridles and my surcingle today from my parents house.

The leather bridle, having been stored in the garage, is very stiff but not beyond repair. I'll start working the cleaning and softening of it after this post. My newest concern is that the tom thumb bit that is already on it will be a bit hard to remove.

The cheek pieces come down, loop through the bit openings, double back, and has a leather lacing that holds it together. The thing is, while I know I can UNTIE the leather laces, I don't know that I can RETIE them after replacing the tom thumb with loose o ring snaffle.

Also, I will be testing the durability of the nylon bridles buckles to see if it will be safe and secure if Siaga starts fighting it. I am also considering just using the bridle to attach to the hackamore instead of clipping it to the halter. At least he will look more stylish. :O

By the way, when I say a hackamore, I don't mean those nasty mechanical hackamores. Yuck.

This is what I mean I refer to the hackamore I use with Siaga, which isn't a real hackamore, but called an Indian hackamore:

So you can see that when the rein is pulled on the left side, it tightens a little on the right tide and causes pressure enough to tell the horse to move to the left, and when the pressure is let off, it slips back to 'neutral.'

Well. This ought to be fun.

Does the Saddle fit the Horse?

Thats the best question ever.

I don't know how many people buy a saddle and have no idea if it fits the horse or not. Myself included.

My grandparents, who are avid flea market goers, have bought me two cheap western leather saddles, one dark brown and slightly falling apart, and another in much better condition that is a yellow tan color.

I used the dark brown one on Siaga to get him used to the idea of a saddle on him, being as if he bucked it off and it went in the mud, no big deal. I don't think I've ever used the light tan one on him, being as I bought myself a nice red canvas and black leather one.

While Siaga has had it on plenty of times, I still don't know if it fits. I'm going to have to work up a sweat with him, so I can see if the saddle fits.

A lot of people don't know about sweat checking the horse or the saddle pad. When you take the saddle off and they've really worked up a good sweat, you can look on either the saddle pad or on the horses back, and the back is probably the best.

Check to make sure the sweat is evenly distributed on the area the saddle sits. Typically, but not always, there will be a dry line right over the spine and withers. If there is a patch surrounded by sweat that is dry, usually on the withers or in the front area, the saddle doesn't fit.

Why? Because if there are dry areas, then that means there's too much pressure there and its cutting of circulation of blood and also not letting the sweat glands work. This can cause discomfort for the horse, muscle atrophy, and skin problems.

So people, check your saddle sweat before you put that thing back on again and make sure it fits!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bridle Paths, Bridles, and Bits

Siaga, although used to wearing and using a bit to some degree, is primarily used to wearing hackamore type thing, which is like a slip loop that goes around his nose and clips onto the halter. When the left rein is pulled, the hackamore tightens on the right side, causing pressure, which the horse then moves away from to turn left.

Anyways. Because Siaga is a horse in a pony body, his head is hard to fit. Pony size is too small for him, and most horse sizes are too big. So anyways, when Siaga was younger, I bought a red nylon bridle for him, and while it fits, I do not trust the buckle style, and I fear that if I for some reason end up fighting his head for something, then the buckles will let loose and the bridle will fall off.

Also, someone, I am pretty sure it was my old boss Erica, gave me a pretty western bridle that has no throat latch, only comes along his cheeks, and around behind his ears with one ear loop. Right now it has a tom thumb snaffle on it, but I will be switching it out for a loose o ring snaffle so that I can start riding him with a bit.

Now, my concern with the leather bridle is that because it has no throat latch, he could very easily toss his head hard or snag it on something, and it would come right off. Also, it is not tight enough to allow the bit to be raised enough to be kept out of the way of his tongue- which usually results in him putting his tongue over the bit, however, it has been a while since I've put the bridle on him, and so I will have to try it and try it with both the tom thumb and the loose o ring snaffles to see what works best.

And while it sucks massively, I have never had his teeth taken care of, so I need to get a vet out to do a float job and a removal of wolf teeth as soon as possible, which likely won't happen until June or July, which is OK. We have time to save up the money to afford the farm call for the vet, the cost of floating and possible sedation (unless I get him used to holding his mouth open, eh?) and also the removal of the teeth. I don't need anything like a professional bit seat or hook removal or anything.

Right now, it doesn't really matter the condition of those teeth, since he does well enough with the hackamore and I can put of further bridle training until later.

Oh right. Bridles. So anyways, I want to take the throat latch off of my red nylon bridle and put it on the brown leather bridle, I know it won't look nice, but if I can't get it to fit right then I need a way to hold it on his head safely.

As for the bridle path... He needs it clipped. For those of you who don't know, a horses bridle path is the area right behind the ears where the headstall of the halter or bridle sits. When the mane grows in there, it can get tangled in the bridle or halter and/or make putting on and taking off halters and bridles very challenging, which is why I like to keep Siaga's clear.

It's almost spring

And I can't wait.

I've been correcting Siaga's (my horse) problems one by one and while he still has issues he is getting so much better. I've ridden him some but he really isn't broken yet. So, next time I get to go to Triple S and see him, I am going to start riding some too.

I think first I ought to teach him to back up under saddle and to turn left or right. What's the point in having a gas pedal, after all, if there is no brake system or steering? While the backing up will be the main point of the lessons, I know he has to learn to go forward too, so I may only have him back up for a few minutes and then go into turning left and right, then let him walk forward and practice stopping and turning throughout going forward at a walk.

If I feel comfortable with him while riding in a saddle, I am going to remove the saddle but leave the saddle pad and put on the surcingle and ride like that, where he will be able to feel how I'm sitting.

It will be hard, but I also have to remember to keep a good form while I'm riding. Shoulders down and back, chin up, back straight, hip bones down, down, down, heels down, down, down. Also, I must remember to keep my arms in. If I am well balanced, it makes it that much easier for him to be balanced.

After he is relatively able to be ridden, I am going to start desensitizing him to things we might find out on the trail, like water ways, ditches, logs, and steep hills. That ought to be fun.

While Siaga is a decent jumper, he does much better with low laying things that stick up off the ground. However, he has never jumped with a saddle on, let alone with me on. Not only has he never jumped while carrying a saddle or a person, I have never jumped on horseback. I will have to borrow a horse from someone, likely Shannon, and learn to do simple jumps so that I know what it should feel like and how to keep my balance on a balanced horse and a better idea of what to do on one that isn't balanced. Oh boy.

Hoof Prints and Far Away Dreams

You might be wondering why I have called this blog Hoof Prints and Far Away Dreams. I shall tell you.

Ever since I was little, and ever since my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a passion that I cannot describe. While I know a lot of little girls experience this, I was one of those who never grew out of it.

I was delighted when people gave me horse books or encyclopedias or horse figurines for my birthdays or Christmas. My parents didn't have the money to get me lessons or a real horse, at least not when I was younger, and so I feasted my mind on anything and everything horse related.

My best friend had horses then, and I loved to go stay at her house and go riding with her, those were my first by-my-self rides. Her horse Taz was a miracle worker. He knew I had little to no experience on horseback, and so even if I asked him to go faster than a walk, he wouldn't. I knew when I had mastered my balance, at least with a saddle, because he let me ask for a trot. And then, he still refused to canter, until I knew I could either sit through the jostling bounce or post. And when he did finally canter, I thought "ice cream."

I know it's a bit funny to be thinking about ice cream when cantering along on a horse, but you know how when you get soft-serve ice cream from the DQ or McDonalds? Well, they swirl it up on itself, making a vertical spiral. If you start at the very top and slide your eyes down, it has a smooth, evenly bumpy surface. Cantering was like that. A soft waving motion. Magnificent.

Now, when I turned 14, and was in the 8th grade, I got a horse for Christmas. I remember that day very well. I was laying sick on the couch, most likely a cold or some thing like that, and dad came in and told me to get up and get a coat and shoes because he had some work for me.

I whined and complained; I wasn't feeling well, but I got up anyways. When I looked out of the door, I nearly dropped over. There was a horse trailer in my drive way!!

I got suspicious then, wondering why in the name of sweet Heaven was there a horse trailer sitting out there?

I then figured that my dad's cousins Timmy and Anthony had come for a visit, because at least the one, I don't remember which one, had always dealt with horses too, and thought they must have been on their way home from Houston Woods which was practically in our back yard and decided to stop for a visit.

I went out there, and first thing I did was notice that it was, indeed, Timmy and Anthony, and then I looked in the trailer. In it was a beautiful, adorable, 6 month old golden-red bay foal. They told me it was a female, and when I asked what breed, they said "Oh you know, the kind that do all that cattle cutting." ... So naturally I figured he was a quarter horse, and while I had never been entirely fond of the breed, I was happy to have a horse of any breed.

I asked where they got him and still didn't get a straight answer, but apparently my horse had been born in the pasture and never had much, if any, human contact, and when my parents put in the order for a "Golden filly with a blond mane and tale" they rounded up the foal, was so very not that color, put it in a stall, and then when my distant cousins (being as they are my fathers cousins) got there they took the foal, put it in a trailer, and brought it to me.

Which meant, yes, there I was, with a $350 foal of indeterminable breed or bloodline, who had never even had a halter on or much human contact, given to a girl who had never had a horse, let alone trained one, and yes, I had to train it.

So of course, after I peaked in at it, I fell head over heels in love, and Mom, who was standing there too, said "Do you like it?" "Yeah!" "Well, he's yours." I was FLOORED. My eyes had to be the size of saucers and my jaw was hanging open I'm sure, and I squealed a few times then said "Oh my God, I have to call Jacy." Jacy is the above mentioned best friend ever in the whole wide world. I called her, but they weren't home, so I left a message on their answering machine that was rather like "JACY! OMG JACY, GUESS WHAT I GOT! A HOOOOOORSE! I GOT A HORSE! OMG! CALL ME BACK!!!"

After that, we had to get him in a barn. We took the trailer up to the old Amish style barn and had to practically round him in to it. It took a long time, but we finally got him in there with a halter on.

It wasn't the best thing we could have done, but I was new to the training process and they weren't, so they got it started.

So I was sitting in there watching the horse one day, trying to think of what to name "her" when I realized that the pretty little filly- wasn't a filly. I had a colt on my hands. That was interesting.

As for the name, my favorite book ever, I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade, by Diane Lee Willson, frequently mentioned this antelope, that while being very ugly, had a beautiful name. It was a Saiga. I loved the name and hijacked it for my horse, switching the first a and the i and calling him Siaga.

Siaga became his "stable name" but I wanted something I could use for a show, too. So I began the search. One day, Siaga was standing in the door way of his stall, being as his stall opened on the outside to the paddock. It was January, and he was fuzzy. This was about the time of the evening feeding, so the sun was setting.

The result was that I was in the barn, and it was dark, and he was partially outside, the golden, setting sun highlighting the long fuzzy hair on him, giving him a bright gold halo all the way around.

So I had to find something about gold, preferably in another language. I settled on "De Oro" which is Spanish for "Of Gold" or "Golden." And so he became De Oro Siaga.

As I watched him grow up, I came to realize he was not a quarter horse. Couldn't be, he didn't have the build. I guessed he was a Quarter horse crossed with an Arab... but a few months ago, I found pictures of a breed called a Morab, which is a cross between a Morgan and and Arab, and the horses in the pictures had the exact conformation of Siaga. So now I am on the hunt to find the place he came from and find out what he is.