Monday, May 30, 2011

Hot, Hot, HOT!

Hey, it's better than constant rain, but it's 8:30 pm and still 90 something degrees F out.

Siaga and I had an awesome evening ride, maybe 40 minutes or so, twice around the corn field (which still isn't planted) and then back on the rode.

He got a little excited around the back of the field the first time, and I saw he still had plenty of energy and was excited to get back to the yard, so I turned him around at the far end, and went the other way. He wasn't too pleased, considering he randomly and without warning tried to bolt, though he didn't take two steps before I lifted the reins (not pull, just barely lifted, mind you) and bam. He stopped. I think I had my jaw on the saddle horn. He's getting better at fast stopping.

Then we were on the rode, and the neighbors' dogs were barking from inside their house, so he walked to the far side of the road, nose tipped to the house, ears up, nostrils wide, muscles tense and ready to spring. And then we passed the pond, and he treated that the same way. It was like he was saying "Is it gonna eat me mom?" And I very sarcastically told him "Yes, Siaga, the pond is just going to rear up and get you. It's going to swallow you whole. Kidding."

Other than that though, it was a wonderful ride. He's moving halfway reliably off of my legs, with only occasional reminders with the rein. He moves to the right better than the left for some reason, though. Hrm.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So little he was!

While looking through stacks of photos for pictures of Grandma, my dad found a picture of me and Siaga, maybe about a month after I got him. Just thought I'd share the tiny, extremely downhill-built beastie with you all.

He was adorable, but not exactly the most attractive colt. I can't believe I ever considered naming him BUSTER and MR. ED! When we got him, he was 'supposed' to be a girl (lol) and I had considered GINGER from Black Beauty. But then there was Siaga. And so Siaga he is. And I'm glad I named him that.... he grew into a name of beauty, to be a horse of beauty.


Grandma is gone. She's been fighting for a long time. For a year and a half, she's battled lung, liver, brain, and, recently, possibly bone cancer. She's had strokes, and maybe a heart attack.

She left us this morning and we all were aware it was fast approaching. She left in her sleep, and the most beautiful morning, where mist rose over the lake and sun beams filtered through the trees and dew drops glistened everywhere. She left peacefully. She left quickly.

We're all of us sad, but we are all happy that she didn't suffer and that it wasn't slow and long and drawn out.

I was supposed to go to a meeting today at work, but I won't be. I won't be going to work, either. Siaga has extra hay in his stall, since I know I probably won't be around to feed him his lunch. I'm glad I got in a ride yesterday, but I'm wanting to ride again today.

Like that saying goes, the outside of a horse is good for the inside of man. Or woman. But in my case, all of Siaga is good for me. Grooming, working, mucking, medicating, spraying flyspray, three times daily trip up to the barn, and everything else. It's all good for me.

But anyways. She's gone away now, to be where she will be, her Heaven.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Slip n' slide!

Took advantage of the sunshine today. I was going to work Siaga on the road a little at walk and trot, but it became soon clear that he had far too much energy for me to trust him going at a trot down a road with nothing to stop him. So down into the field we went.

It wasn't as muddy as I had thought it would be. I guessed all the wind (which normally makes him spooky) would flip him out, but it didn't bother him too much. Nor did the semi's, tractors, and heavy trucks speeding along at 40-60mph on the main road while we walked the edge of the field, maybe 20 feet away or so.

And though it nearly scared the poop out of me, it also didn't phase him when we both nearly took a tumble. There are a few spots in the field that I've been avoiding because it's been muddy and these places collected water. This wasn't one of them, and I wasn't expecting it to be muddy and the surface looked dry and secure. However, when he stepped out on it, it held, but as his weight shifted all to that foot as he walked on over, it gave way and Siaga slid a couple inches into the mud and nearly fell to his knees. Not sure how I managed to stay on. I grabbed at the saddle horn with my right hand, turned him to the left with the other, and quickly got him on more firm ground. We stopped and I looked back to see if it was like a quick sand patch that I hadn't been aware of, but it just appeared to be a patch of mud in which the top had dried well before the rest of it.

And Siaga? Completely unphased. And then, unphased as we crossed the ditch, too. Overall, a nice ride. Complete with lots of sweat. And sun shine. :D

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Even though I've kept him inside quite a bit and kept his stall as dry and clean as possible, my horse has (it seems) developed a case of rain rot. Just a little scabby patch on his neck for the time being, and though I'm calling it rain rot, it doesn't really look like his last case, which was many years ago.

It almost looks like a strange, scabby, bubbly, blister. But, he's been in his stall and hasn't come into contact with anything that would sting him or burn him or any poisonous plants or anything. It's very small, the whole patch being nothing more than the diameter of my pinky finger... at the very tip of the finger, too. It's really small.

When I found it last night I was messing around with it, trying to figure out in the low light (at like 10 pm) what it was. I thought at first it was a tick or two there, but it didn't move like a tick would. It's also very sore, judging by the way he laid his ears back and tried to bite my thigh... to which I slapped him away and sent him off to the other side of the stall for.

Anyway, I bought more fly spray today (since I finally ran out) and also a small bottle of Original M-T-G to put on the spots. He also has funky bumps on the insides of his ears that I figured I could wipe a small amount of the mtg on as well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Off to go get hay for my hay-burner tonight.

I've torn into my last bale a few days ago, the one that had suspicious feathers on the outside. Turns out the feathers were from a bird molting in the rafters above, as the feathers were localized to one side and only on the outside. Since there were none inside, I just plucked the feathers out of the edging and gave him the hay.

I'm going to look into the guy's grass hay, so that he won't be getting any alfalfa. Downside is that it does have clover in it, which molds easily. I'll ask if I can get a look on the inside of the hay before I buy a load of it. (A load of hay, to me, consists of about 12-14 bales, because that's all the room for it we have in the barn.)

Anyways. He's not an overly energetic horse as it is, but he is full of attitude. Either way, I think he'll be ok whether I switch him over or not. He's already a pretty calm horse. Well. As calm as one can get for a short horse with little man syndrome...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Training Schedules

I've been thinking a lot about where Siaga -should- be in his training. I mean, if he hadn't have gotten so sick, if I had had help when I was younger, and if I hadn't been so terrified of him in spring time when he would have all this extra energy from not working in the winter time. He and I could be doing what ever we wanted by now. He's in his prime. But no... All those things happened. And because they happened, he's now seven years old, in June, and only green broke. But despite that, he's made amazing progress.

My first ride that I took on him around the front yard here at home, I admit, I was quite nervous. I was afraid that he might decide to give me an impromptu dismount. I was thinking "We'll be trail riding by the end of summer." He's been home for a month and a half. It's not even the end of spring yet, but I've found myself riding him, calmly, happily, around the field, around the woods, in the neighbors woods, over the ditch, down the road.

Despite my first fall, it has been overall uneventful. I know I could have brought him to this point years ago, had he not been so ill in his second year, but he might not have come this far in such a little bit of time. Already, I've started asking him for more, a little each time. I've asked him, each ride, to accept something new that I do from his back. Like spitting from the saddle, in just about any direction. Or talking loudly, laughing, laying forward to avoid branches or to adjust a stirrup. Or moving my arms all around, or patting him on the rump. I've asked him to stand by the creek and do nothing but stand. I've asked him for a trot, and it took him a few seconds at first, but he gave it to me.

I've asked him to always walk up steep hills rather than bound up them, and to pick his way carefully coming down. I find myself riding with relaxed reins and his head relaxed more often than not. And even though he's always paying attention to me and does what I ask, it's rare, unless I say something to him, that he flips an ear back to me. Eh. So long as he is paying attention to me, I guess it doesn't really matter if he doesn't appear to be listening all the time.

When the ground hardens up a bit again, and I don't have to worry about quagmires of mud, I'm going to start working him on a trot more often. I want to have the trot mastered before I ask him to give me that beautiful canter of his again. Despite the circumstances of how that first canter with him came around, I'm excited to ride it again. No. That time, I didn't think of ice cream like I did on Taz. I was far to panicked, though the back of my mind was going "Oh wow.."

Anyways. I know I'm rambling. Rambling in blogform lets me straighten out what's running through my head at any given time.

Also... I really have got to get the farrier out. Like ASAP. ._. *bad horse mom has timing problems while working two jobs*

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Magic Touch

So my grandma and grandpa have these cats. There's three of them, all indoor cats, all of them shy of people. I've always been friends with the more outgoing, a tortoise-shell female, Boo, while Blotches (calico) and Ma (the mother of the first two, who has three legs, and is yellow and white spotted) have been very shy and standoffish all their lives. Well, since I've been over there at their house a lot more, Blotches and Ma will come out and sit with me while i pet them, and my grandpa was like "Well Beth, looks like Ma here just took a shinin' to you." :D I told him in reply, "What can I say? I have the magic touch."

Of course, I have some of Greedy's offspring, three male cats, who live in my barn. The youngest, who my nephew named Butterscotch for the yellow coloring and for the belief that it was a girl and not a boy, is terribly shy. Normally, he stays well away from me and waits to come get his food until I'm away.

The past month or so that I've been home (well... two months, now) I've been trying to build up his confidence in me, and it finally worked today. This morning before I went off to work, he sniffed my fingers, though he darted away again when his nose bumped my fingers. And then, when I went to give Siaga his lunch after I got home from my first bout of working, and he let me pet him! I was elated, to say the least. He even let me scratch around his tail, sticking his butt up in the air while he ate. Adorable. :D

Friday, May 13, 2011


Make Siaga act funny. First audience, a girl on a horse, makes him nervous. Get to the ditch and he jumps and bolts. Second audience, Jacy, walking on the ground, makes Siaga nervous... until we get to the ditch, where he calmly walks across it, back and forth, several times each way. I was flabergasted. I told Jacy "I think he's just showing off to prove me wrong or something."

So anyways, hopefully is dislike of the ditch will be cleared up and he will more calmly walk across it.

Jacy and I ended up walking aimlessly across the field, and I showed her the little grove with the belly high grass that Siaga likes so much. For the first time, we went a lot closer to the actual creek. This is not a ditch. It is not a little stream. It is a wide creek that is twenty or so feet wide in places, and some areas are about 5 or 6 feet deep, though it is mostly shallows and ripples. He decided it wasn't TOO bad to stand in the sand by the creek, but wanted nothing to do with it. I didn't ask him for anything more than that. I just asked him to stand and wait while Jacy explored.

The rest is uneventful.


Are interesting. I took Siaga out for a walk, me on foot, no riding, for some groundwork at the ditch to try and better understand the problem. The really funny thing was... there was no problem. His unwillingness to cross the ditch is entirely an under-saddle problem. I walked him, trotted him, jumped him over various areas of the ditch, with absolutely no problem. Not a single one. He didn't even hesitate.

So what's up with that? Some might say it's crazy of me to think, but I think that he's afraid that crossing that ditch will make him lose me again. I think he understood the last time, that there was something very wrong with me, I mean, I can't have been acting normal at all, or at least I wouldn't think I'd be acting normal while in a state of shock. But then again, I don't remember.

Today Jacy's coming out, hopefully, in about a half hour, and she's going to watch while I take him over the ditch. Again and again and again. Not drilling, just having fun with it. I -am- taking my crop today, in case I need it, since he made it very clear last time that under no circumstances other than turning away was he going to cross that thing. Not like I'm going to beat him across though. I want him to feel confident in himself and in me, not utterly terrified of it.

I also thought, if she's up to it, Jacy might take him for a little test drive around the yard or something. He is, after all, only green broke, but I think she could handle him. He's pretty much a gentleman under saddle, so long as you don't let him get away with stuff. (Like: HEY! Look, lady! See that? It's a big huge thing of GRASS. Let's eat it!... at which point, he starts turning toward it, lowering his nose, shaking his head... which then leads me to give him a bump on the nose and squeeze his sides to let him know he has to keep moving in the way I'm telling him to go, not to the grass.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Went for a ride today

Siaga was back to normal this morning. So after he had his breakfast, I took him out for a morning ride. I decided to give him three tests.

Test number one: Ride through the neighbors woods for the first time to see just how well he is really responding to direction instead of following the normal path.

Results: He was a little ansty and tried to rush things, but he did ok. He needed more rein direction than normal.

Test number two: Ride all the way around the corn field using only my legs for direction.

Results: He did very well. Only on occasion did I have to lift a rein and bump his nose to get him going in the right direction.

Test number three: Leave the riding crop at home and not use it because I haven't been needing it.

Results: I should have taken it. We got around the field to the irrigation ditch which had caused my fall, and he stopped. He would not move. Normally I'm afraid of him taking off with me. But there was no way that rock-pony was gonna move across that ditch. I think he was just a little afraid that if he crossed it, I'd fall off again. I squeezed, nudged, kicked at his sides, slapped his rump with my hand and with the left over latigo, rocked foreward and back... NOTHING!

The only way to make him move was to turn him around. So I finally found a shallower, wider area where he could easily walk across, and he went over VERY SLOWLY. Walking along the ditch on the other side, he kept stopping every few feet and I'd have to turn him away from it a little. After we got away from it, he was just fine.

We also passed a lot of groundhog/fox holes out there, I let him pick his own way around those, because they can be very dangerous, and I figured he would have a better idea of how stable the ground was under his feet than I would.

Over all it was nice, though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maybe it's just the weather...

Ach... hit the "enter" button instead of the "tab"... how did I manage that?

Anyway, the weather today has been... well... miserable. It was nice this morning, but as the day wore on, the air was so saturated with moisture and heat that it was oppressive and miserable.

Greedy, the inside cat, has been a little jittery and antsy, I'm assuming because of the static build up in her fur.

And Siaga... he seemed a little off today, too. He ate, but he ate a lot slower and seemed a little down. When I let him out, he went right away to his roll spot and rolled around twice, but didn't show normal colic signs. After that he jogged around a bit with a good amount of trot-farts. Good sign that there is movement in there.

To tempt him into eating a bit better tonight, I gave him a sliced up apple. (I won't feed him whole apples, because there's cyanide in the seeds.) He like that and munched it up. Hopefully he'll be back to normal in the morning. If it is just the weather, then it should pass soon. I mean, I'm feeling a little off today, too, from this miserable ick.

But I'd rather have miserable ick and heat than snow and ice! Hopefully we'll get some more sunshine instead of rain, and the farmers can plant their fields. Normally the sprouts are already out of the ground at this time of year... The only good thing about this is that I get more time to ride the field.

Also, at the end of my road, there's a big huge hill with one steep side and one not so steep side. When the ground is dry enough, Siaga will start hill training.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Saddle Problems?

What saddle problems?

Yup. It's all fixed up. With a Navajo rug and a leather latigo that won't stretch, my saddle stays where it's put now. There's still plenty of spine clearance (I can bout stick my hand all the way back to the back of the saddle... almost, not quite) and it's fabulous.

Therefore, not only was today the first ride since my fall, it was also the first time I've mounted up from the ground. I was so flipping excited.

Though, I did start the days lesson with my standing on the chair, feeding him apple slices and scratching his back and going "good boy!" while he stood there, munching apple. I figured if he didn't always expect me to get on his back, he'd be more willing to stand still by the chair. Anyways, after that I set about grooming him, and learned that hey, my old hair brush brushes out his knots better than a comb does. So his mane is all floaty and pretty.

Proceeded to groom him and saddle him, and then stuck my foot in the stirrup, and up I went, and he stood like a rock the whole time! :D

Then we just walked around the yard for a while, after a good lunge before my having gotten up, and worked on simple things, like stopping, going, and turning left and right by leg pressure. I had him turning with leg alone, though on occasion he still needed a reminder with a bit of pressure on the rein.

Then we went around the corn field, in the normal direction. About a quarter of the way around, a trailer went by on the road, at the other end of the field, and a horse whinnied. I thought Siaga was going to dump me right there, but I pulled up the left rein and turned him around in circles and then we went onwards, no more problem after that. And then, about half way around, at the very back, there's a wide trail that leads across the creek to another field. No bridge. I walked him into the little grove and let him graze on the belly-high grasses. For this, my reasoning was that he needs to know that it's not a bad thing to be ridden away from the paddock or the barn. And then we left the grove and headed back... in the not normal direction. I didn't feel brave enough or trusting enough to try the irrigation ditch. Did just fine.

Parts of the field have old corn stalks piled up in little piles. I used them for an exercise. I relaxed the reins, and guided him through the little maze with my legs alone, and we got through without walking on any of the piles. And then back we came, walked around the wood trail, then back down to the back paddock and untacked. And yes, instead of loosing both feet from my stirrups and swinging one leg over to jump/slide off, I only loosed one and then stepped down, and the saddle still didn't slip. Lovely.

And now he's happily grazing in the back yard. :)