I started this blog mainly as a personal journal, a place for me to make notes about a return to horse ownership after a long hiatus, and at an age when most folks are settling back collecting Social Security. It will be about the journey my husband and I make with our equine partners.

I AM NOT A HORSE TRAINER, other than the work I do with our own horses. This blog is about the many ups and downs, newly discovered insights, and training breakthroughs that happen along that path to good horsemanship. Most of all, it is about the joy—but also the frustrations—of horse ownership.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Regular Update as of 8-06-2015

Okay, this is how I intend to make these entries, if they are just regular routine updates for my own records. If something more interesting/complicated comes up, I will go into more detail.


She just keeps getting better and better at the mountain trail obstacles. Still hates mounted archery. Still rushes down the lane faster than I like, and gets all wound up over it. Still not sure why MA is such a big deal with her, and will keep analysing the situation to see if there is something that I'm doing that sets her off. Does much better at the RMA lane in Eagle Point, than she does here at home.

The strangle abscesses are almost gone...what I can see, anyway. She is no longer coughing, no longer has a runny nose and eyes. Her appetite is huge. I feed her double what the others get, and she snarfs it up. Has finally decided grain is tasty, if I mix it with alfalfa flakes. She didn't know what to do with it at first. Picking up her feet is going fine. Still head shy...will need a lot of work on that. Any sudden move startles her, but she doesn't bolt off. Last night, while Robert held the lead line, I started on the job of detangling her tail. It is a mess. Like a long, black loofah sponge with guard hairs. As I worked, I found small sticks, foxtails, bits of dried mud...a real treasure hunt. She stood politely while I worked, so that was nice. It is going to take two or three sessions to get it all worked out, but at least it was a start.


He is enjoying retirement. Getting more unstable in his hind end. We were going to put him out in a bigger turnout, but the ground is uneven, especially up by the entry gate. Robert saw Apollo stumble more than once out there, so we pulled him out. Everything is sagging, and even though he eats a ton of food, gets vitamins, and joint supplements, he is showing ribs. But his heart and mind are still just fine.

He and Robert are becoming more and more a team. Strider is getting more confident, and is willing to try more things. It's almost as if he suddenly reached a point where he said, "Oh, wow, um, I think I can really do this stuff." He doesn't freak out at fly spray anymore, bathes without wing-nutting all over the place, and picks up his feet without dogging you. He is also very respectful of our personal space, which he had no clue about when we got him. Bull in the China shop would be a perfect description of him for the first six to eight month after his arrival. But he's a big boy, and needs reminding once and a while.


Really miss our round pen. With Tauriel in quarantine for longer than we anticipated, due to the strangles, getting the all-weather footing will be delayed at least another month. Also, we need to make her future turnout a little smaller, until I can be sure of catching her. I don't want to have to chase her all over a large turnout, so Robert will be putting up temporary hot wire to close in a smaller area...much like we did with Delight when she pulled her check ligament and had to be confined.


A few of me working Tauriel, and a few of the "playground" where Robert has built, and is still building, trail obstacles.

The three hanging bags we call the Dementors, since they float and swing in the breeze in a ghostly, sinister kind of way. Horse and rider must go between them. The crisscross lines are riding trails that go around and through the playground, and then head out to the back ten acres.

All of these obstacles are based on ones we have seen at the Oregon Horse Center (Eugene, OR) mountain trail competitions and clinics...with a few innovations of our own. There are more to come, as Robert never seems to run out of ideas.

The PVC thing is a backup shoot. The top rails fall off if the horse or rider touches them as they back through. Straps are attached so they won't fall all the way to the ground. The following photos are of various stepovers, chaos poles, backup challenges, side pass poles, and the troll bridge.

This last one is looking down our mounted archery lane.

A lot of work done. A lot of work still to do. It's turning out to be a busy, exciting summer.

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