Monday, January 30

A Beautiful Day!

The sun was shining, it was above 40 degrees.... It was a beautiful day!
I played with Eddie for an hour. We rode, went for walks out around the property and played out in the pasture. When I rode, we worked on lightness and feel. For about 20 minutes we played with it and by the time we were done, I could back him up with just a shift of my weight and turn him too without touching the reins. I own a pretty amazing horse.

I took Diesel out next and we went for several laps around the property, through the trees, a lap on the track, around the buildings, through the south line... We had a blast and we were so pooped when we were done. He went to take a nap and I went to go and get their hay around the the night. *sigh* have I ever said that I love the smell of hay & horses? There isn't anything better.

Scout is doing much better too. His feet are cool and he isn't shifting his weight anymore. Also, he went for a little walk today and was perfectly comfortable. Slow. But comfortable. So this evening we're going to take his pads off and let his feet air out. Also, I thought I should share this with you all... If you need any information about horse nutrition, laminitis, or really anything relating to the horse's diet, this is an excellent, excellent, excellent, resource. Take her courses, you won't be disappointed.

Sole Mates Pads

Scout is one happy camper! We put the Sole Mate pads (offered on KC La Pierre's website) on Scout's feet yesterday and he is so comfortable and happy for the added protection and stability during his laminitis. The heat in his feet is also going down and he isn't shifting his weight any more. Which is huge!

So, we are saying a prayer that these will stay on and give him the comfort he needs. The sparkle is back in his eyes and he just seems so much more happy.

Saturday, January 28


You know that moment when you haven't blogged for a week or so and then you have a long list of all the things that you did...
Well... I'm havin that moment.
This past week has been pretty crazy. Long story. Here's the short version: Scout got acute laminitis and we literally caught it on the first day. We gave him bute for 3 days and took one day off. He was looking better, but then went a little downhill and we called our vet. He told us to give him bute for 1 week and that's what we are doing now. So, he's tender-footed, he doesn't have heat in his feet anymore and that's huge, he isn't shifting his weight as much and now he just gets introverted when we give him the bute. Poor thing! But, he is doing better and hopefully this bute will be accumulative and he'll just keep getting better and better.
I know you are probably thinking, 'what caused it?' Well, we got into a bale that had a tiny, itsy, bitsy, amount of alfalfa. Not much... Just a sprig here and there or an occasional stem. I guess it was just enough to set him off.

I haven't really played with Eddie much. 1) because we've been keeping an eye on Scout. And 2) it's icy out. So we've just been running around the pasture together, riding in his paddock and not doing too much. Oh yes, and going for walks, which we are officially cursed this week when it comes to walks. lol! Once it was a rogue garbage can that could have had a cougar in it. Then once it was stray cow that had gotten out at the dairy farm north of us. So, we're not really going for walks until things calm down and Eddie calms down too.

On another note, I got my first Eclectic Horseman magazine in the mail today! I've already half of it and it is really good. Like a Ray Hunt magazine! :-) Can't wait to read more!

Sunday, January 22

More Snow

We got more snow two days ago which added up to about 5-6 inches of powdery snow. Not a whole lot, but enough to be pretty and fun to play in.
Yesterday I rode in the outdoor for quite a while, we took all three of the horses for walks, and we went for a whole lap around the property. Let me tell you, in 5+ inches of snow, that is very tiring! But it was so fun. The sun was shining and it was warm. It has been in the teens for the past week and it dips down to the single digits at night. So 20 degrees feels like a heatwave!
Today, I'm going to get all my playing and riding in this morning with Eddie before the rain comes. Yup. You heard right... Rain. Yuck. That means everything is going to thaw and get all muddy. Ah well, it is still only January, we could get a lot of snow between now and the end of February. I took this picture yesterday when I was going out for a walk. Tundra much? It's so pretty though!
Hope that you all are staying warm and enjoying this wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, January 18

Welcome to the Artic

Today was cold, cold, cold! It was a high of 20 degrees and felt like 6 degrees. And let me tell you, it sure did feel like 6 degrees. Besides keeping warm inside and getting a TON of things done, I took Eddie and Diesel for a nice walk. Eddie and I just went in the backyard out of the wind and I let him graze for a nice long time. He was pretty spooky though, so we couldn't go everywhere, but we did have fun walking around the backyard. :-)
Then Diesel and I went for a whole lap around the property and walked a half mile. It was SO cold! lol! I was freezing by the time we were done and he was so eager to go and so hyper. It was funny... I put him away and he ran to the gate as though he didn't want me to leave. He's such a good boy!

Anyway, I sent in my homework for the KC La Pierre online course, made an appointment for the new horse I'm taking on and going to trim, and responded to all my emails!
Oh yeah! And I also made a huge ramp off of the shed today. My sister and I sledded down it today and it was so much fun. I'll post a video as soon as I upload it to youtube. :-)
Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 17

Hoof Pictures!

Oh! Of course, how could I forget my hoof pictures!
I trimmed Eddie the other day and took tons of pictures. And that reminds me... Time to trim Diesel! :-)
Here are just a few!

Snow Day

It's a blizzard out there! It's been snowing all morning and of course, the horses are inside eating out of their nibble nets. Oh how I wish it would stop and we could go out and play with them! I've gotten spoiled with all this warm, fair weather. On the bright side, the snow is piling up and snow is always fun. At least for me... lol!

I took these pictures yesterday while skiing around the property. Typical northern Illinois winter. Brown and white and grey. Although I wouldn't have it any other way.
The snow is piling up and the horses are warm and dry and happy. Now it's time to wait out the last of the storm and finish up my equine podiatry online course. (Click here for more info)

Monday, January 16

A 'Free' Day

Eddie didn't want to do anything structured today. It was one of those days where we could just go for a walk and he could graze the whole time. So, that's basically what we did! We went for a walk around the whole property, rode in the outdoor for a little bit and then went for another walk. :-) He has gotten so confident with going through the south line, we went back there today and he was walking through all he grass, he ate some grape vines and dead grass, oh yeah, he was having a blast! It was so fun to watch him too and walk with him. He is such a good boy!
When we were riding, he just had a look about him and felt weird to me. Almost like he was ok with me riding, but he really wanted to do something else. So I hopped off, let him get a few bites from his nibblenet and then we went back out over to the pine grove where the grass is uber long. And he was happy and content! It's so interesting how I can tell he's off just by feel. I think we've really developed our feel, sometimes I think I can even read his mind. :-) And it's such a cool feeling. <3

Dressage in the Snow

Wish I had pictures, because Eddie was so beautiful when we rode yesterday. We did our extended trot through the snow, started to do our sidepasses at the trot and lots of them at the walk.
He was so eager and willing! Then we did a collected trot because he was really putting a lot of energy in his trot and I could hardly sit it. So we slowed it down and his trot was much smoother and slower.
I'll have to get pictures of our sidepasses today - maybe a video and I could upload it or something... Anyway, I'd better do it before the rain comes today and melts away all the snow. Say, Eddie, how do you feel about a morning ride? :-)

Saturday, January 14


It's that time of year again! Fresh snow, slippery snow, an eager pony, and two eager sisters.
We skijored this morning and went back and forth in the pasture. Scout was such a trooper and pulled us without a fuss. He did spook a little bit towards the end, but the cinch was pinching him, so I don't blame him. Poor Scouty!
Then this afternoon I played with Eddie and took him for a walk in all the fresh snow. Then we went into the outdoor and worked on our dressage. Eddie was LOVING it! He was offering sidepasses left and right (literally - LOL!) and we trotted through all the big drifts. His trot was HUGE and it was so fun to ride bareback. I can finally sit it now without feelin' like a sack of potatoes! hehe!
It's such a lovely day... I took Diesel for two laps around our property which equates to about a mile. It was so fun and we ran the whole way - he just had so much energy. And plus is kept him from grazing on the really lush stuff.

Well, I'm headed back out to enjoy the snow. I tell ya, I could so live in some place where there is snow 6 months out of the year. Hmm.... Where would that be?
haha, anyway... I'll enjoy the snow while I can and I hope that you all are having a great weekend!

Friday, January 13

Black Forest Treeless Saddles

For a long time now, I've been thinking about buying a treeless saddle. But either they were too expensive, discontinued, or it just wasn't the right time to buy a saddle. However, I think I might just have to save up for this one. It's a Shasta Echo and 1) it looks SO comfortable. 2) it looks sharp. 3) it would fit Eddie really nicely and 4) it would allow us to ride for longer periods of time with more comfort and more security.
I know, I know... Some people don't like treeless saddles, but I gotta believe that this is more comfortable for horses because it doesn't have a tree.

Granted, it would be nice to have one of these saddles...
But it's a little out of my price range. And plus it weighs a lot more than the treeless ones. 10 pounds versus 30? That's quite a bit when you take into consideration that Force = Mass X Acceleration. That's a lot of mass!

Plus, I can also leave the stirrups off of the Shasta Echo.
Anyway... I'll have to think about it and do my research. Altho they say that I can always ship is back within the first week if I'm unhappy with it. So we shall see!! :-)

Thursday, January 12

A Fresh Blanket of Snow

It finally snowed today! We have about 3 inches or so and it's going to snow all night and all day tomorrow. Of course, that makes for bored ponies and a bored me. I'm so used to being out with them from noon to night and playing and doing chores, it feels weird to be just sitting around. But it's been nice to have a break. I have to admit, my legs thank me because they are still sore from doing too many trims. Ah well, it's a good kind of sore. You know how that goes...
But it is so nice to have snow - we've been waiting for it for two months and it's finally here! Hopefully it will be around for a while, the horses love it and I do too!

~Lea & Eddie~

Wednesday, January 11

Wisdom from Ray

"In the boldest print of all, remember the word THINK. Be aware and alert, visualize what you want. realize you are working with a mind. A lot of people think it's just a horse, but there's a mind operating that horse. This mind gets him doing things because he wants to do them. Or you teach him to do things he doesn't like to do but feels he has to do them anyway."

You can't judge a book by its cover. And that certainly goes for Think Harmony with Horses by Ray Hunt. It's this itty bitty brown book that looks like it could be more of Beatrix Potter's illustrated stories than wise wisdom from one of the greatest horseman who ever lived.
In this little brown book, I've found a lot of truths that have changed my horsemanship and shaped it. As Eddie and I progress into more advanced things, these truths are more pronounced and I have to make sure that I continue to live by them.

I used to measure my aptitude in horsemanship by my ability to do things more advanced people could do.
Or I measured it by how many things I could check off a list.
And then I measured it by how happy Eddie was. That wasn't too bad of a way to go, but it was left to my own interpretation. As you can imagine, some days I got it right and some days I got it wrong and misjudged his mood.
Now I've switch my mind around, I did a 180 and after reading a phrase in Ray's book this morning, and after thinking about it long before that...
I don't 'measure' it anymore. We are where we are and that's good enough for both of us. My goal with Eddie and with all horses is for us to someday be in perfect harmony.
Then there's Ray's quote: "It's like a light at the end of the tunnel. It gets brighter and clearer all the time."

We'll always be working towards it and once you get a taste of it (which we have) you'll be chasing it for the rest of your life. You'd rather do that than eat.

~Lea & Eddie~

Friday, January 6

Sidepasses, Ray & Buck

Sorry for disappearance. I've been typing like crazy for the past three days. I wrote up three pages for my Applied Equine Podiatry online course, and then I went on a writing rampage in my 7th book and wrote about 30+ pages. So, my fingers are a little tired and I keep making spelling mistakes by hitting the keys out of order. lol!
But that doesn't mean that I haven't been doing anything with Eddie! Quite the contrary.
For the past three or so days I've played with all the horses and usually several times a day. Eddie and I go for a long trail walk in the morning, maybe it includes a little ride. Then in the afternoon I play with Diesel and take him for two laps around the property at a working walk and trot. He is really getting into it and yesterday we even did it all with long reins. He is such a champ.
Yesterday, I rode Eddie for the greater portion of our play time. 45+ minutes and we were working. I think he liked it and I liked it too. We did hard things that I usually avoid or think that they are too big for us. Not anymore. We were doing sidepasses and when I asked him for the trot, we even did two to three steps sidepassing. He never ceases to amaze me!

This video (in the first 10 seconds) shows you what we were doing. Granted, it did not look that fancy and Eddie was not that collected. But we did it nonetheless and today we'll work at it some more.
I've also been reading Ray Hunt's book over again - Think Harmony with Horses. I tell ya, I could read it over and over.

So, that leads me to my next blog post that I will post tomorrow. I gotta think about it first and make a list. Goals for 2012.
I'll let you know as soon as I make the list. :-)

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