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Star's Progress

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    #61
    Originally posted by Twisting View Post

    Oh that was mostly tongue in cheek. He doesn't hate it per say, just that if he were the one in charge of our training schedule it would contain more things like "eat all the grass" and "stuff pony with cookies" and fewer things like "increase our daily cardio" and "hills make your butt look cute". He still marches right along, I just have to occasionally remind him that he is supposed to be traversing the field, not landscaping it with his face.

    He is a 15 year old shetland who was mostly turned loose with small children. He has many years of ingrained habits and his instinct to try to get away with mischief is strong. He is generally a good egg though, and his sass just gives him character.
    Oh phew, thank you for clearing that up for me.
    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #62
      So, setbacks.

      First, the Bellcrown won't be ready for an additional 6 weeks, on top of the ten it normally takes. Carriage Machine Shop has been making IV poles and other medical equipment in support of the COVID-19 response, which has delayed their production. I'm okay with that. Small sacrifices for the greater good and all. It does mean our chances of being ready for the event in November are slim. I am slightly regretting selling my old cart, but the logical part of my brain tells me it was the right thing to do. I did see a reasonably priced, basically brand new Frey cart that was the perfect size for my guy for sale on Facebook. It was only a 30 minute drive away from me too! Of course this occurred the day AFTER I sent in the final payment on the Bellcrown. I do not need more than one cart. I do not need more than one cart. I do not need more than one cart!

      Second. The first surgery didn't get all the cancer. My doctor wants to use the surgical "nuclear option" and do a mastectomy and reconstruction. He already took out more than normal for these things, and it is still more extensive (though not invasive). That will have me out of action for quite some time. The folks at my self care barn have been absolutely amazing in their support of me through this, and have already told me that they've got Star handled. Horse people can be awesome.

      Summer in South Texas is too hot to do anything anyway. So maybe it is all for the best.
      For the horse color genetics junky

      Comment


        #63
        If you can fund the Frey without too much peril, and its a good price then go for it then resell when the Bellcrown arrives. Then you have something to enjoy in early mornings or evenings when its not so steamy outside. In the Ohio market, good quality used is rare and doesn't last long for VSE size.

        Comment


          #64
          I agree with sunnytrails, you can always resell the Frey. Nice carts go fast.
          Sorry to hear about your surgery. Hope you can get this behind you soon.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #65
            If I wasn't looking at a 6 week recovery time from my next surgery I might consider your advice to get the Frey. However the two situations combined make it a wiser choice to just hang tight.
            For the horse color genetics junky

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #66
              Another cartless month gone by. COVID is ramping up here in Texas, so my surgery was put on hold until things settle down. This puts me in COVID limbo. I can't afford to get sick, as this thing can take over 60 days to recover from, and I want to be able to have my second surgery as soon as possible. So no going to all the fun things that are starting to open up again for me.

              Star pony is doing well, I found a nice bit that he likes. A half cheek with a comfort mouth. Double jointed but limited movement. Nice and narrow so it doesn't take up too much room in his mouth. He seems to really appreciate the thin mouthpiece and slight give it has. Finding it in a 4 inch mouthpiece wasn't much fun, but I managed.

              I've been doing some free lunging work with him to really get him listening to me and sharped up his responses. It was rough at first. We had to have some conversations about how "aaand walk" meant walk and keep walking, not stop and eat the grass that grows at the edge of the round pen. We have come to an understanding now, and he'll move softly through all his gait transitions with nothing but voice. It's just a lovely feeling when you can talk to them and they understand. Next step is getting the transitions within the gaits down off just voice. It's too hot here in Texas, even early in the morning, to do any real fitting up work, hence why we are focusing on the mental side of training.

              For the horse color genetics junky

              Comment


                #67

                The work you're doing now is going to be invaluable when you get your cart & start driving.
                Voice is all you have when you drive, besides your connection through the bit/hands.

                I did a cllnic yesterday where a lot of the drivers were Road & Trail, little formal training or show experience.
                Clinician stressed how important maintaining the feel is - her example: when you drop contact, horse feels like you have abandoned ship, noone in the cart.
                Getting Star obeying voice w/o question is going to be a real asset.

                As for losing time as whip....
                I have driven exactly once since October - too cold, then too hot for me - yesterday was the 1st time since that 1st drive (all of 20min tootling around my acreage) Bugs had to work over an hour.
                He was A Rockstar
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #68
                  Went out to the barn with the intent of ground driving today. Seems the bugs were especially vicious yesterday evening. He rubbed out a chunk of mane and his legs were worse than normal. (His legs are always chewed up, but not normally this chewed up.) So instead of working he got a medicated bath, SWAT on all his bites and an extra heavy spritzing of fly spray. It's 107 today, so I don't want to have to bundle him up in fly sheets/boots/mask. I also took off the rest of his mane (I left the forelock intact). He looks pretty cute with a roached mane, if you ignore the middle part where he rubbed himself bald. He is going to look adorable with a little shaped mohawk.

                  Can we just skip August? Go straight to September and cooler weather.
                  For the horse color genetics junky

                  Comment


                    #69
                    I don't do heat well, so I really feel bad for him. 107F! I would never get anything done. Your cattle flies bite viciously, poor guy!

                    Manes grow back in short order, or you can continue keeping it short. Doing a search for grooming ideas to shape it will turn up strange things! Ha ha I have seen upright scallops, dagged edges (squared like castle walls tops), pointed manes. Fjord styled taper with the center taller than sides.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Oooooh! Twisting I have been considering roaching Bugs' trolldoll mane for some time.
                      Saw a mini with roached mane at my Driving clinic this weekend & now I think you have sealed the deal for me : D

                      No shows this Summer, so no worries about presentation.
                      I imagine by October's Ntl Drive he will be sporting at least 4" of Mohawk ; }

                      Now I need to get roaching shears or borrow clippers to replace the kitchen shears I use to clip a bridle path.....
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #71
                        Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                        I don't do heat well, so I really feel bad for him. 107F! I would never get anything done. Your cattle flies bite viciously, poor guy!

                        Manes grow back in short order, or you can continue keeping it short. Doing a search for grooming ideas to shape it will turn up strange things! Ha ha I have seen upright scallops, dagged edges (squared like castle walls tops), pointed manes. Fjord styled taper with the center taller than sides.
                        My last equine was a fjord. We didn't see eye to eye on what constituted a full days workload, but I sure did have fun with that mane. It was part of the motivation for roaching Starpony. It's just so easy to take care of. I had been contemplating it for a while, he just made the choice for me with the rubbing.

                        goodhors He isn't overly fond of the heat, but he's lived in the area all his life and tolerates it well enough. He doesn't like being turned out in the heat, and will trot to the gate everytime you walk by if you try to leave him out. So he gets 30-40 minutes in the tiny "recovery paddock" while I do my chores in the morning and that is enough for him. Other than that he is in his stall under his fan and misting system.

                        2DogsFarm Go for it!!! It's so much cooler for them, and think of how cute it will be if you taper the ends of that mohawk into an adorable little arch. The cuteness factor might be illegal when it goes that high.

                        Oh, and I need you all to tell me that I don't need the adorable Highland pony weanling I keep seeing in my facebook feed. Sure, I am finally in a position to easliy afford two horses, but that doesn't mean I need a baby, and certainly not a big stocky baby that probably hates this heat as much as I do. Even if it does currently live in Arizona and manages just fine... TELL ME NO!!!
                        For the horse color genetics junky

                        Comment


                          #72
                          No Highland pony! Does that help? Breeds developed in cool climates just take more care to manage heat. Long manes and feathers are not good in heat and humidity.

                          We may body clip ours if the 90Fs continue. They are in all day, no sun for burns and cool easier when clipped. The change in color is holding us back. Being bright bay, they may turn orange like a previous bright bay horse did! Ha ha Sure surprised us, and his 3 team mates were all dark, dappled seal bay which changed to brown lace after body clipping. He REALLY stood out when driving! Ha ha But they all were cooler, much more comfortable roached and body clipped in the hot months.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #73
                            Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                            No Highland pony! Does that help? Breeds developed in cool climates just take more care to manage heat. Long manes and feathers are not good in heat and humidity.

                            We may body clip ours if the 90Fs continue. They are in all day, no sun for burns and cool easier when clipped. The change in color is holding us back. Being bright bay, they may turn orange like a previous bright bay horse did! Ha ha Sure surprised us, and his 3 team mates were all dark, dappled seal bay which changed to brown lace after body clipping. He REALLY stood out when driving! Ha ha But they all were cooler, much more comfortable roached and body clipped in the hot months.
                            My biggest problem is that I like my ponies on the chunky side, and none of the chunkier horses do well in the heat. There are tons of quarter horses and arabs round here in Texas that would do great, but show me a think boned beast and I'm head over heals. Luckily, I could care less about hair, long manes and feathers are handled quite nicely by a pair of clippers. I will probably end up with something chunky someday, and it will nap through the summers under a fan just as I spend my summers inside. I don't do heat very well either. Texas luckily stays pretty dry, and still gets into the 70's at night. The mister and fan does a fair job of keeping the stall quite cool.
                            For the horse color genetics junky

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Twisting, I don't have ponies, don't drive horses or ponies, don't own a cart or anything remotely related to driving, but....I love reading your thread.
                              I hope all goes well with your upcoming surgery and that you and pony survive the searing Texas heat.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #75
                                Sue B Thank you! I'm glad my ramblings are fun for folks to read.

                                I had an amazing free lunging session with Star Pony today. We worked on "Easy trot", "Trot on" and "Canter on", "Easy Canter". Trotting and Canter on were pretty straight forward, and he performed nicely. We had some struggles with easy canter. He broke a few times as he was figuring out what I was asking for. In the end though, we got a quiet, sitting on the knife edge of trotting, canter with nothing but my voice. He was just so lazer focused on me and on what I was saying. A single "kiss" was all it took to keep him from breaking, and my voice was quiet and low. It gave me goosebumps. If Star Pony were 5 hands taller, he would've been an absolute blast to ride. Responsive but not reactive. Of course if he were 5 hands taller I would not have been able to afford him. I can see so clearly how he failed as a little kids riding pony. He is happiest with adult conversations.

                                I did have an argument with my mother over Star Pony. See a few weeks back she wanted to buy him a cute little set of red polo wraps. I told her he didn't need them and then bought them myself the next day. Well, she saw them in a picture on Facebook and wanted to know why I was denying her the chance to spoil her Grandpony. I had to let her get him a new buckle-nose leather halter before she would forgive me.

                                Oh, and one of the ladies commented (from a safe distance) that Star was looking so much trimmer than before. I guess the diet and exercise are paying off.
                                Last edited by Twisting; Jul. 17, 2020, 08:59 PM.
                                For the horse color genetics junky

                                Comment


                                  #76
                                  I'll enable you, I know plenty of fjords (chunky horses) doing CDEs in Florida, which is not as hot as, let's say, Dallas. But then again, Dallas has nothing on Florida for humidity (Houston on the other hand...) And you can cool down a hot horse faster if you remove humidity (all other things being mostly equal).
                                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #77
                                    Still waiting on my cart. But soon. SOOOON!!!

                                    In the mean time Star has found himself with a new job. One of the ladies at the barn just bought a weanling. He's adorable, and so tiny. Baby is a reining bred QH and might make 14.2 when all grown up. Star pony was selected as the best possible turnout buddy for him for now, when he gets into the rambunctious teenage years he'll probably move on to a slightly larger crochety pony as a companion. Star has proven to be very tolerant, until he isn't, and then correction is swift and decisive. This isn't his first time teaching a baby how to be a solid equine citizen. Baby's big lesson yesterday was that Star is not a source of food.

                                    I'm not entirely certain what Star's opinion on the situation is, but I imagine there is a lot of eye rolling going on. It's good for him, gets him more turn out time, even if he would rather be standing under his fan and mister.
                                    For the horse color genetics junky

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #78
                                      My cart is here!!

                                      I finally got a chance to hook him up to it today, just for a short drive. It was super muddy at the barn, but I wanted to see how everything fit and make any needed adjustments. And adjustments were needed! My breeching definitely did not sit right with the new footman's loops. So that needed to be corrected. Going to try again tomorrow to make sure the adjustments to the harness are working.

                                      This pony though. Between COVID, cancer, cartlessness and these lovely south Texas summers he has basically had 5 months off. Today was overcast and cool (well, cool for Texas). My sweet little guy hitched up and stepped off like he'd been working all summer. Quiet as a lamb and no fuss whatsoever. The vet was there dealing with another horse and I am pretty sure she wanted to stuff him in the back of her truck and take him home with her.

                                      Speaking of cancer, I had the mastectomy 3 weeks ago. It went well and I am healing nicely. Bad news is the cancer was more advanced than they had first suspected. I'm officially Stage 2A. I find out more about the way forward next week. Radiation, maybe chemo. We will see.

                                      Now all I need is for this Texas weather to cut me some slack and let me get out and drive!!!
                                      For the horse color genetics junky

                                      Comment


                                        #79
                                        I was wondering if your cart ever arrived. Glad to hear you finally got it and have put it to use. I've not driven much this summer, just did not feel much like it. Too hot and my goals were put on hold so I lost motivation. Started doing horse agility instead. Hope you continue to heal and the treatment will go smoothly.

                                        Comment


                                          #80
                                          Slow replying. Glad surgery went well and recovery too! That is great news! Fingers crossed for you on continued treatments being successful in stopping the cancer.

                                          Nice to hear the cart has arrived and pony can now be driven among his othe duties! Ha ha Always nice when they act so well, even with a long time off. We always expect to need modifications when we get a new vehicle. Yours sound like pretty minor fix-ups. Hope you have been able to get in more driving since you posted.

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