Stable Visit

 

Day 13 - Malakai!

Grace Marshall - Friday, October 07, 2016

Hay horses!

Chico had something wrong with his eye, maybe he poked it on something? So he's ordered to stall rest at the moment.


Poor boy, I hope he gets better quickly!

At any rate, since I couldn't work with Chico, I got to work with a different horse. And starts my love affair with Malakai! 

We started slow with just ground work and hanging out in the paddock getting to know each other. He is so different than Chico! He is sensitive to touch, excitable, and more nervous. He is intelligent though and sweet. He will be a challenge of a new and different kind. I'm excited to see what it will be like to work with a horse that has more energy.

Also, there is a new face in the stable!


Her name is Angie.

Adios until next time!

~Grace Marshall

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Day 12 - More Riding with Chico

Grace Marshall - Friday, September 23, 2016

After feeding the horses, I rode Chico again. He had been let out in the pasture so it took some time to catch him. I had to stand around and wait for him to be okay with me approaching. He didn't want to come in from pasture. Since he was on pasture, he hadn't been fed grain and he was grumpy the whole while I worked with him, I think he needs to be feed before working with him. 


I worked with him on the ground for a while then got in the saddle. He's actually a little jumpy under saddle now. I found out the other girl riding him is barrel racing him, which probably explains it. Not sure where to go from here, I'll just take it slow I guess.

 

The good news is that J. Lindsey finally found a horse that will accept his hat! Haha, Chico doesn't let anything bother him.


Adios until next time!


~Grace Marshall



 

Day 11 - Riding Chico

Grace Marshall - Friday, September 16, 2016

When we arrived at the stable, we of course started by taking care of feeding the horses.

Here is Charlie, he is a big boy but super sweet.

Here is Gizmo, the "little horse." He nipped at me! But I whapped him on the nose and he knocked it off. He's newly broke so I guess he's testing his boundaries to see who is boss. He's so cute though! He is not a bad horse at all, just not sure where he stands in the pecking order yet.

Chico, who doesn't seem like the type to admit it, seems to look forward to working with me now. He actually walked away from the other horses in the pen, after being fed, and stood by the gate to watch me.

I know he's not my horse, but I can't help getting attached to every horse I work with! He's so sweet and smart and is going to be an awesome horse! Scratch that, he already is! He just needs someone to work with him.

When I finally was done with the barn work and went to the paddock with J. Lindsey to get him (J. Lindsey was moving Blizzard), he turned from his hay and actually walked toward me a few steps! It might not seem like a big deal but it is to me, especially considering he was completely disinterested in my existence when I started working with him. Now he actually wants to hang out and play!

I tried to start motivating him since when he is ridden he hates to go at more than a trudging walk. I let him eat at corners of the pasture. I would ride him to a corner then wait and let him eat. He actually got so excited that at one point going to the next corner he broke into a trot without being asked! I, of course, slowed him down because we don't want him doing that, but it showed that he was definitely getting motivated! When I would trot him the first time I rode weeks ago he would stop after a few seconds of trotting, now he goes until you tell him to stop and then he can graze.

I don't think he's lazy really, I think he just sees no reason to move and he's smart and stubborn. He's the kind of horse that if you just force him he develops bad habits to get out of things. If you work with him and think outside the box, he really surprises you! I don't have riding pictures, but the session went well. 

Since Serena, the horse J. Lindsey worked with last week, is no longer at the stable, J. Lindsey started working with Xena. She is so pretty!

The owner is starting to use her in some classes and says she isn't being worked with enough and tries to get away with stuff. J. Lindsey says she is responsive and intelligent so he is looking forward to working with her and putting in the time she needs.

Adios until next week!





 

Day 10 - Bareback With Chico

Grace Marshall - Friday, September 09, 2016

So there was some excitement at the stable this week! When we arrived at the barn there were horses out of the fence! The pasture gate and a walkthrough gate were open. This is the scene we drove up on:

 

Okay, so the horses weren't excitable, they were just grazing calmly, but I thought it was excitement! One of the horses, Cadence, stayed in the pasture, such a good girl! After rounding the horses up by enticing them with grain and getting all the horses fed, the owner let me work with Chico again. :)

He immediatley started looking for grain when we went in the arena, he obviously remembered that I hid grain earlier and directed him to it  I didn't have any hid this time though, so his search was unfruitful. I started by doing some groundwork with him. He's so smart and already progressed so far! I'm really impressed! I'm afraid this horse may end up being too smart for me to keep him interested! We shall see, I will have to be creative and search the web for fun ideas. If you have any good ideas, feel free to share and I might use them!

After doing some groundwork, I decided to mount bareback. It was a reminder why I loved riding bareback! English saddles comfortable? Psh! No saddle is as comfortable as bareback! :) I didn't really ride much though, just sat around on him and got us used to me on his back. I still enjoyed it though, in case you can't tell by the ridiculous smile plastered on my face. 

As we were leaving, J. Lindsey finally found a horse that was comfortable enough to let him put his hat on his head! Turns out it was Lito, one of J. Lindsey's favorites!

Hope you enjoyed! Adios until next week!

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Day 9 - Jumping!

Grace Marshall - Friday, September 02, 2016

The day started out normal, with us doing chores. I took some snapshots as that was happening.

Here is the beautiful Cadence, waiting for food.

And here is sweet-faced Becca, doing the same.


Then I decided I'd really like to learn how to jump so I'd take a break with Chico for a day to learn how. Instead I took Blizzard out. I'm thinking I can go back and forth with the horses, work with Chico and work on jumping. J. Lindsey also jumped with me, but he took Serena out as she really needs worked with.

So, I've never really jumped a horse before, other than small jumps in a western saddle. However, I rode English for the first time this week! Here is a picture of Blizzard with the saddle before I got on.


Turns out, I really like it as it's rather comfortable. Though I didn't know you had to attach the blanket to the saddle and when I did groundwork prior to getting on, the blanket started slipping right out! Haha! My hubby and the owner helped me do it right when I showed them what had happened. With practice in the English saddle, I'm getting a lot better at posting though! Riding isn't my strength with horses :P. 

Here are J. Lindsey and Serena after going over the small jump we are starting out on.


The owner actually came to the arena after a while and coached us. It was awesome! The jump was small but it was rather fun and I really look forward to more in the future!


Adios until next week!



 

Day 7 & 8 - More with Chico!

Grace Marshall - Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sorry for the delay in posting, things were a bit crazy around here! We did get to the barn each week though! On day 7 and day 8 I did ground work with Chico so I am going to combine those posts. I took lots of pictures of the other horses.

Here is pretty Xena.

Here is J. Lindsey letting Malaki sniff his hat. He wasn't sure what to think of it.


Here is cutie Hannah, sadly she is leaving the barn. The good news is though horses sometimes leave, we get to meet new ones as well! Who knows who we might met in the future?

Here is Serena, I just thought it turned out to be a neat shot. (She needs ridden more, I guess that's why she is starting to get a little chunky.)

When I went to get Chico on day seven, Blizzard checked me out as I walked across the paddock. It was so cute how he tried to figure out what I was up to.


In regards to Chico, I realized he is sort of bored with humans. He's actually quite intelligent and needs to be stimulated! He's going to be a challenge for me! :)

I tried to do some different things with him to perk his curiousity, such as just saddle him and not ride him.

It was somewhat funny because I saddled him then walked away to see Serena standing at the pasture gate. All of a sudden I hear a protesting whinny from behind me, turn around and Chico is staring at me. I wasn't sure if he was protesting that I went to hang out with another horse or if he just thought I forget about him. Either way, the look was rather amusing.

I also tried to motivate him by hiding grain around the arena and directing him to it. That definitely motivated him! At that point the hard part was keeping his focus because after he figured out what we were doing he kept just trying to go on a search for it. At least I know the food will motivate him! 

The most touching moment happened on day 7. I was in the arena and I took the halter and lead rope off so I could set up some poles for him to walk over and he actually followed me! It didn't last for a long time, but the fact he did so at all shows he's becoming interested in me and starting to view me as a leader! So exciting!

Adios until next week!

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Day 6 - Groundwork with Chico!

Grace Marshall - Friday, August 12, 2016

So the owner was out again this week, but for a different reason, so we met a different stable helper at the barn in the morning. We all got the horses taken care of, and found out the new horse at the barn last week is named Speck (not sure if that is the appropriate spelling of her name).


Then we got to work with horses! Well, I did, J. Lindsey passed this week but did watch me work with Chico. We thought it might be better to work with Chico because he needs more work than Blizzard, plus, well, I might be getting a bit attached to Blizz. Chico was fun to work with though!

I didn't get a chance to ride because it turns out he needs a ton of work that I can do from the ground, which is safer. He doesn't fully trust humans, he won't let me touch his ears, and he clamps his tail down when I pet his rump. Also, when lunging him he only liked going in one direction, didn't like to keep a steady pace, and would throw little fits if I made him go in the direction he didn't want to go.


By the end he was behaving somewhat better, however, it took a long time to get to the point where I thought we could break for the day and it didn't leave enough time to ride. I really don't mind at all though, I love working with horses on the ground as well. I love being around horses, period. 

I think I'll work with Chico more in the future if I'm allowed. I'm looking forward to the journey with this sweet, saucy horse.

Also, when we left, I snapped this photo of Portly, the pig. He cracked me up the way he had flopped down in the corner to nap. (Sorry I don't have better resolution.)

Adios until next week!


 



 

Day 5 - Groundwork!

Grace Marshall - Friday, August 05, 2016

Yesterday I got to spend a ton of time with Blizzard! So, J. Lindsey and I arrived a bit late (my fault mostly) and when we arrived we found out the owner of the ranch was sick. Her granddaughter had already taken care of all the horses and she was there when we arrived, with just a handful to put away. I did notice a new horse in one of the stalls. At least, I think she's new, I didn't recognize her. 


The granddaughter said even though she'd gotten up early and taken care of the horses we could still ride if we wanted. Which gave us a lot of time to work with them :).


J. Lindsey, while content to be around horses, decided he didn't want to ride because he was really tired.

I, on the other hand, jumped at the opportunity to spend one on one time with a horse! I started with some groundwork, since I'd been wanting to do that anyway. After watching for a while J. Lindsey did help with the groundwork.

Then, I rode for a while. :) Though Blizzard is one of the sweetest, gentlest horses I've ever met, he doesn't always do as he's told. He never bucks, rears, or nips, but sometimes he just doesn't really do anything. He is rather lazy, actually. He prefers to stand there and do nothing or go at a grudgingly slow walk. However, by the end he would trot for me and he was responding to cues better.

He seems really intelligent and really pays attention to his rider. I think he's a wonderful horse and I can't help but wish he was mine. :/ One day, maybe, but I feel privileged to hang out with him even though I can't afford a horse of my own!


All in all, it was a wonderful day! I wish I could just live at or next to a horse stable. I'm so glad I get to spend time at one every week. Can't wait until next week! Adios until then.




 

Day Four - UnMasking!

Grace Marshall - Friday, July 29, 2016

There were two new horses at the stable today! Actually, there was only one but J. Lindsey and I thought there were two. 

First, there was Gizmo, an adorable Palomino pony. J. Lindsey was joking they had shrunk Vibe!

However, Vibe was alive, well, and full size, here he is coming to get fed.

The second horse we didn't recognize was this little beauty.

I had a fleeting moment where I thought, "Hey, those legs look like Destinee's." This horse had such a beautiful, expressive face and I knew I hadn't seen it before. J. Lindsey and I were both interested to know who she was! As it turns out, yes, it was the unmasking we were waiting for, it is Destinee!

After feeding time, the ranch owner let us ride again! :) This time we rode different horses, though and we both rode at the same time, so, sorry, but we don't have as many pictures. 

 J. Lindsey rode Hank.

And I rode Blizzard! I'm not sure why but the little flea-bitten horse caught my eye from the beginning. He's so beautiful and sweet, yet I sense a little bit of an attitude. Just my type of animal! After riding him today, I feel even closer to him and I actually want to work with him on the ground some. I like ground work, I feel that it helps you and the horse get to know each other and to work on skills before you are in the saddle. I do, of course, enjoy riding as well. 

This was my view today:


He's a sweetie.

So yeah, that was my awesome day today! Can't wait until next week!




 

Day Three - Riding!

Grace Marshall - Friday, July 22, 2016

Today was the third day volunteering at the horse stable and I wasn't actually expecting to ride. I mean it's been so hot lately and I haven't gotten to ride yet, so it hadn't really been on the brain. Of course I thought I'd like to at some point but I didn't think it would happen yet. I thought it would just be another day of feeding and moving horses, just the same old barn chores. Which doesn't bother me at all, I have fun with that. Being around horses is pretty much always fun.

Here is the palomino Vibe, just hanging out.

I enjoyed feeding the horses today. For instance, I realized that every time we have been there Destinee has had a fly mask on her face. I feel like I have no idea what she looks like. It would be like seeing a person only with a mask on. You don't really know what they look like (V for Vendetta). It would totally throw me off if they took that fly mask off. 

What do you really look like, Destinee?

I bet she's cute. I bet she's adorable.

When we got done with the normal feeding, the owner of the stable offered to let us ride. J. Lindsey said he didn't want to, but ending up doing it anyway. Figures. :P How can sane people refuse horses? (Haha, maybe if they are scared of them or allergic. Otherwise I don't understand.)

 

We also realized that our riding styles are totally different and he ended up calling me "a little Indian" by the time it was over. I tend to ride bareback and bridleless. So I use my legs a lot instead of reins or a bridle, like the Indians, or more correctly, Native Americans. I love riding that way.

He, however, was taught to ride in Western shows so he rides a lot different than me. Poor horse was probably so confused with the two of us. The owner said she'd put me on one of the dressage horses next time so they know what I want with my leg cues. That will probably work out better for everyone. Though I really enjoyed riding Chico. It seems impossible but I forgot somewhat how fun it is to ride. It had been waaayyyy toooo long.



Chico isn't that used to riders making him do a lot. He is used to kid camps where he kind of wanders around the arena for the most part. You could kind of tell that, but he was incredibly sweet. J. Lindsey wants to keep working with him. I, on the other hand, am hoping to take a spin on Malaki or Blizzard who have done dressage and are more used to leg cues. Hopefully it happens! 

 

We had a lot of fun. 

 

Adios until next week! Can't wait to see all the horses again.