Wednesday, 28 March 2012


I've been a bad blogger,  I know it.  I'm falling behind on commenting again.  I'll catch up, I promise!  My new job requires me to get up much earlier and do a lot more than I used to so I'm pretty tired and dead by the time I get home. 

I don't have much to report on the ponies, we haven't seen them that much lately.  We're only going to be going twice a week for the most part now instead of three times.  I feel like a bad owner but it's no good if we get out there and I'm just a zombie.  I'm too tired to do anything productive and as my mom'll tell you, I get easily frustrated when I'm tired.  So for the next while we won't be going as much.

Jimmy's doing better.  I haven't ridden him in a bit but he's being better for my mom.  Socks and I...we're going through a rough patch.  All of a sudden she's incredibly attached to Jimmy and Artemis, to the point where if they're in the arena and she's in the asile, she'll start screaming and dancing around.  And I get really annoyed with that because she knows better.  I think the problem is that she can see both Jimmy and Artemis from her pen.  She's right in the middle of them, there are Titan and Mach between her and Jimmy and Charlie and Oceania between her and Artemis, that's it.  In the next month or so all the horses will be getting moved around since all the indoor boarders are coming outside so hopefully Socks'll get moved away from them.  T knows I would prefer that.

She's still awesome at the barrel racing.  We need more speed but that'll come.  She's finally figured out that she's allowed to just go all out and she's loving it.  We have a tentative date for our first rodeo, May Long Weekend.  My dad's finding out more about it but for now that's what I'm aiming for.  I really don't expect to do anything careful.  I'm just hoping for a clean run and some good experience for Socks and I.

Artemis is doing great.  She's been listening really well, she's getting much better about backing up.  She had a bridle on and chewed on the snaffle for a while and then forgot about it.  My big focus with her right now is backing up and standing still at the mounting block.  Obviously I'm nowhere near getting on her, but I figure it doesn't hurt to teach her to stand still now.  She likes to stand diagonal to it.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Such a Patient Pony

I won't lie, I'm a little hesitant to post this.  There are many opinions out there in the horse world and I know some people won't agree with this, but since this is a blog about what I'm doing with Artemis, I felt I should put it in here anyway.

I honestly had no intention of putting a saddle on her when we went out, it was one of those things that just kind of happened.  I was sick so I wasn't going to ride and instead just work with Artemis.  I'm still not really sure how, but somehow this ended up happening.

This is the first time she's ever had a saddle on.  And yes, my english saddle is very light.  She didn't have it on for very long, I led her around the arena a bit with it on and then right before I took it off I took these pictures.  This also doesn't mean she's going to have it put on her everytime I see her.  During this next year I'm planning on getting her used to saddles on her back and all that good stuff, but I have the whole next year to do that.  I'm not planning on cramming it all in the first few months.  She'll also only have the english saddle on her in the beginning because it's the lightest of all the saddles we own.  It'll be a while before she gets my western saddle put on her.

Anyway, now that I have that out of the way, let me talk about her.  She was perfect.  She surprised me yet again.  I put the blanket on her, and she was fine.  I put the saddle on her and she just looked at it and went back to licking the wall.  She did stamp her back foot a bit when she felt the girth tighten around her belly but then she stood perfectly still.  She didn't do anything when I led her around with it, not even when I let the stirrups down and they were bumping into her sides.  In fact, she thought the stirrups were the tastiest things in the world and kept trying to eat them.

The girth is a bit too big for her.  It keeps the saddle in one place on her while we walk and stand but I wouldn't want to go any faster than that.  I kept my hand on the saddle whenever she walked. 

I am very proud of her, she's the calmest horse in the world, I swear.  My mom was riding while she was being led and then M came in with Artemis' boyfriend, Zanza.  Artemis got a little wide-eyed at that but after she smelled him, tried to bite him and then tried to eat his bridle she ignored him. 

One thing I have to say this really made me think about...I can't believe people actually ride babies.  You see ads on Craigslist all the time of people riding horses that don't look any older than Artemis.  I couldn't imagine actually getting on her anytime soon.  I mean, we lean on her and I've stood on the mounting block above her...but there is no way I could get on her.

My next step with Artemis is to get her used to being in the arena while other horses, not Socks and Jimmy, are being ridden.  I'm just trying to figure out which boarders would be good to ask, since a lot of them think being in the arena with Artemis means she will eat and kill them.  For the most part Artemis and I will just be focusing on ground work like usual, and every now and then she'll get to play dress up.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Last of Our Horses

Wild horses have always been the subject of controversy.  Here in Alberta, we have the highest concentration of wild horses in Canada.  That doesn't actually mean that we have that many.  Our wild horses are scattered across the foothills in small family groups.  Each year a certain amount of licenses are given out to people to go and capture this horses.  This acts as a sort of popualtion control.

Well this year, apparently that wasn't enough.  In response to ranchers wanting more land for their cattle graze, over 130 wild horses were rounded up, and many of them sent to slaughter. 

You can find more information here at this website,

This is so infuriating, wild horses tend to be made out to be a bigger threat to livestock than they actually are.  Alberta has so much land and the main area where the wild horses are, the Sundre area, is a very swampy area, not the greatest for farming or even cows. 

Another fear is that horses push cattle away from the good grass.  That's a myth, anyone who keeps horses and cows in the same field can see that.  They eat alongside each other, they don't chase each other away from food.

Pretty soon we won't have any wild horses left.  Here, go google Wild Horses in Alberta and go to images.  The first two pictures are of dead wild horses.  I think that says it all.

Monday, 12 March 2012


Keep in mind he's not standing on even ground.
I finally went up to my dad's this past weekend, it's the first time I've been up since Christmas, and the first time without Si. 

Friday: Didn't do anything with the ponies, got there too late.

Saturday: Got up early and went into town.  We drove out to look at a few places for sale, none of them with houses or workable buildings.  The first two were on a road we used to live on, years and years ago when we had just Socks and Target, the place we lived when we got Si.  The first was in the middle of what we always called "The Villiage" which was basically a collection of huts that some...interesting people I tried to avoid live.  The second was completelty surrounded by land and on a giant swamp.  They were both out.

The third was about half an hour out of town, closer to my city.  It was a nice place, again no house or anything but it was dry, mostly field with some trees.  Very workable.  I'm still encouraging my dad to look for a place with a house so we don't have to build one.

When we got back we went for a ride, me on Thor and my dad on Sadie up the road.  Sadie was...horrible but it was the first time she'd really been ridden in about a year.  Thor was perfect. 

I measured Hades finally, he's 13.1hh, so he's a bit shorter than Artemis and his face isn't as long as hers.  It was nice to hang out with him though.

I hung out with the herd a bit, but that's going in a post of it's own.

As I went up to the ponies in the pen, this is what greeted me.  Meet Kitty...I think her name is actually Midnight but we all call her kitty.  She follows you EVERYWHERE, purring non-stop.  The horses are so gentle with her too. 

This Roger, the bull, and Spartan.  This picture shows us why bulls are gross.  Also, how massive they are.  His head is the biggest thing, he scares me.  I was scooping the ice chunks out of the water and Roger was standing far back from me.  Yeah, Kitty came trotting over to me and Roger thought it was the most interesting thing in the world.  So Roger comes following Kitty as Kitty started rubbing against my leg.  I was up and over the fence in a second flat.  As bulls go, he's nice, but I don't trust him even a little bit.  If he's nearby, I'm not.

Roger and Kitty

Thor and Kitty

Sunday: I didn't see the ponies, they were far off in the hayfield and I am much to lazy to walk through the deep snow for a kilometre to find them.  My dad took me back early, we met my mom and then went out to the stable.  Alex and his girlfriend Tia came out to see the ponies.  I rode Socks, Alex was on Jimmy for a few minutes and M was there riding Mach.  We set up the barrels to have some fun. 

Alex only rode for a few minutes and then Tia got on.  She's in a horse training program so it was great to see her work Jimmy, he really needed it.  It's the hardest he's ever worked I think.

Socks and Mach were the two barrel racing.  The two of them were getting insanely competitive with each other, it was great.  Socks was going so fast around the barrels, and keeping her turns tight.  Having some competition does wonders for that horse. 

Artemis was good, she hung out in Zanza's stall.  M opened the stall window and Miss Artemis was very content to hang her head out and watch everyone.  When we let her go...the silly girl didn't want to go in the mud and instead ran on the opposite side of the creek as the herd.  When she realized that she couldn't get over to them...she turned, stared at us and started neighing.  Silly pony.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I apologize for the lack of comments on other blogs, my computer decided to die and now it takes over an hour to load Microsoft word, let alone the internet.  I've been using my mom's computer...but it's one of the first laptops ever made...(okay maybe not but you get it) and it's really annoying to do things on.  I ordered a new computer and it should come in on the 19th...but we'll see.  Until then, my blog posts will be very few and my comments fewer.  Once I get my computer in I swear I'll catch up, I will.  I can read them but commenting on them takes forever on this computer.

It still doesn't feel real about Si.  Now everywhere I look I see things that make me think of her.  The dog treats in the cupboard, a border collie walking down the street.  I went to see The Lorax and one character, as minor as he was, was named Si. 

It was kind of the last straw for my dad...he's gone out and looked at one place to buy and he has ten other places to look at.  He's had enough, losing Cas, the last of our babies born that year, and now Si has made him decide we need to get out of here, among other problems.  One of his main requirements is a place on a dead end, not at all busy road. 

I haven't been doing too much with the ponies lately.  I've started a new, full-time job that requires me to get up much earlier than I'm used to, so I'm pretty tired by the time we get to the stable. This past week I was bad, It's getting better though. 

Socks has been really good lately, which I greatly appreciate.  Jimmy on the other hand...makes me want to pound my head against the wall.  He's been better in the snaffle but now he's being funny about his back feet again.  He was like this last year, he doesn't kick, he just picks them up for you and after a second slams them down.  Artemis has been good, she still hasn't grown any but she somehow looks taller all the time.  She's shedding like crazy...which is great since we finally got snow this past week (sarcasm).  She's leaving big clumps of bay hair in the barn everytime she comes in.  She's been great with her feet and didn't react at all last time I put the blankets on her.  Her temper tantrums aren't as often.  It's almost time to deworm them and give them their spring shots.  They'll be Artemis' first shots, I honestly don't expect it to be that much of an issue on Artemis' part.  However, I'm absolutly horrible at giving needles and my mom's never done it.  K offered to show us, and by us I mean my mom.  I'm so horrible at it. 

I'm aiming to go to a few barrel races this summer...but I haven't been able to practice.  Every time I go out lately they either have jumps set up or there are certain people there who lunge their horses for an hour in the arena.  By the time they finish, it's late and it's time for us to go home.  I'm hoping that over this next week I can finally get in. 

I don't have much else to say on the pony front.  They're all good.  I'm going to my dad's this weekend so I'll have an update on those guys.  I haven't seen them since Christmas.