hit the repeat button

What a great last weekend of summer!!  We headed out of the pasture/arena to ride again, a bit later in the day. We rode yesterday's path, in reverse. Unfortunately there were more mosquitoes. We decided it's worth a try to look into fly masks...the boys are sooo good and give us there heads so we can squish the little blood suckers, but it's just not fair. We don't want to ask them to ride in discomfort, and one never knows until you head out. It's worth a try to be able to continue to expand our horizons, in comfort. 

The four of us rode up together, and yes now I can say it appears we have over come "the corner" since we came around the same bend (same angle vs head on) - at least today ;) The boys continued on a bit hesitant at first, we think because of their sun-cast shadows.  They soon got over it. 

Let's face it, life is more interesting out on the trail - even tho we didn't see any wild fowl, deer or other critters today. We did ride further along the highway, and went behind the other farm buildings. A future wooded trail looks promising!?! Once the corn is down, we will be able to ride even further, including up to our house. I'm wishing for a hitching post.

We were all hot and sweaty when we returned, which meant it was a good time to clean pads and boots. Our old lattice deck came in handy.


bottle it

I wish I could bottle days like today, and open them up when needed.

The weather was warm and sunny, with a nice breeze to keep you from getting hot. Mosquitoes don't thrive in it, which means we do. I suggested to hubby we mix things up and try heading out on the trail. If we started getting eaten alive by the skeeters, we could always turn back. Brad thought it was a good idea. He was already in the pasture leveling out the "stump removal" area, and said it wasn't buggy. I arrived to find peaceful grazers.

Nemo and Koda
We lunged, did a short warm up ride in the pasture and headed out. Harmony tends to get herself all wound up when we take the boys out of sight, but she took our departure well today.  Barbie the resident pony on the other hand, got all spun up and was zooming around.

We each took an unplanned different route up the path. Koda and I got to "the corner" first. He was skeptical and took two quick side/back steps, I answered with timely correction...and we continued on. Brad and Nemo rounded the corner shortly thereafter, and joined us. 

It was a gorgeous ride, and a welcome change of pace for all of us. We did hit a pocket of mosquitoes half way through, and had to stop to brush them off the boys a couple times - but nothing major. It was right around the area where we kicked up some turkey, which raised some ears as they scurried off into the woods.

It was sooo nice to be riding out! After we got back to the pasture, we continued riding along the highway. A few new pieces of random trash had blown across and got stopped by the corn stalks, including a large bright yellow bag. I am proud of our boys, they looked at some and rode over others. Further down the road we came across a large hawk that had landed, and was preying on something. We got somewhat close, glad he flew away. It was a good ride, definetely made my day.



Our trio of horses are doing great together. We always ride Koda and Nemo first, but of course give Harmony attention too. She has gotten used to waiting for her turn to work. The boys crack me up, they have already been ridden, hugged, and loved - but they are still jealous when Harmony gets her turn.

They stand behind by the boards

and peek over them just below their eyes, watching Brad and Harmony.
Koda and Nemo stand side-by-side and peek,
unfortunately my pic of the two of them didn't turn out well enough to post.
It's pretty cute the way they watch.

Harmony gets her turn.
As you can see the sun was setting, had to use a flash hence the glowing eyes.

feed, scoop, hug and run

We’ve only had a couple opportunities to ride this past week. Work, Football, and the never-ending Hockey commitments have once again taken over our lives. Koda and Nemo are growing up and seem to be doing okay with less riding, but it’s such a bummer to just feed, scoop, hug, and run. With that said, we wouldn’t miss our kid stuff. We just keep trying to find a balance. All horses do better when ridden consistently. As the days keep getting shorter, the balance will only be harder.

We squeaked a second ride in Tuesday – it was short and sweet, but well worth it. Warmed up with pasture riding, and wasted no time heading into the arena. I called it good when Koda gave me a full effort, once around the arena, with a half way decent lope both directions - even through the deep end. His lope wasn’t as pretty as when Patty (our trainer) rides him, but we are working on it.

Koda tries hard to avoid the north end of the arena. It is a newer section and the footing is deeper, not to mention it's the opposite end of the gate. I consistently have to work on keeping him wide, mostly to avoid us taking a digger. Not sure why, but I’m not much for hitting the dirt. We have been taking our rests at the deeper end. He seems more accepting of the extra effort it takes to ride through it, and breaks less. Looking forward to our next ride, in the deep end.


Our muggy weather finally dissipated, and has been replaced with a stretch of beautiful sunny days. Which is great, IF you can get outside and enjoy it with your favorite equine?!

As soon as our weather cleared up, Brad went back to digging stumps out of the lower pasture. The boy who doesn’t like horses was happy to help pull out the equipment that was stuck in a muddy sink hole, and even happier that he didn't put it there. Funny how he “doesn’t like horses” but is always willing to help when there is a different kind of horse power involved. 

When asked how many stumps got pulled out, they were…stumped.  Around 25 the first day, 16 stumps the next and today, ummm...well lets just say they stopped adding them up after 50. The stumps needed to go. I know our horses are smart enough to go around them, but it still bothered me. We all know when something bothers mom, it bothers everyone. I am happy to say Brad is officially done with stump removal. All that remains are a few enormous stumps, that aren’t going anywhere.

The photo above is the biggest stump, it's massive. Photo doesn't do it justice. Sad they had to cut them down, especially the big ones. Hopefully the other two large ones that are out in the middle, will eventually be ground down. We want to improve that area so it doesn't hold so much water. Brad is going to do more work down there this weekend, leveling the ground out. Our plans are to try seeding it this fall. We could use the space, who doesn’t want more pasture?


four words

hot, muggy, wet, buggy

Four words describing the conditions that prevented us from riding
last week. Finally got back in the saddle last night. I could really tell it had been a long time. Not sure who was happier, us or the boys?

Brad also started lunging Harmony after we ride, to keep her limber. They are figuring each other out, and she seems to enjoy it. Nemo on the other hand watches his human’s every move with **gasp** another horse. He is handling it well, and gets extra love from me while they are busy. It’s not the same, but he suffers and takes what he can get. He is such a sweetheart. Nemo knows he has to share his Brad, but he doesn't have to like it. He just patiently waits and watches.

On another note, I finished the ground poles! Won’t win any awards, but they’ll work just fine for our purpose. I ended up painting 19” bands of red. Painting 8 poles took much longer than I expected. If I had it to do over again I would sand the poles first, and use better tape. However, I’m pretty sure our horses don’t care either way. 

Nemo checking out the new poles.


Iron Horse tune-up

We trailered up to Iron Horse for the afternoon, had a great visit and tune-up lesson. Our first time traveling with Koda and Nemo since we brought them home found us in a huge traffic jam on the interstate, in the heat. 5 slow miles of 3 lane bumper-to-bumper, the fastest we went was 10 mph. Didn't seem to faze the boys just the humans, lots to look at I guess.

One of the first things trainer Patty asked me was "how did Koda load?" and to that I smiled and replied "he did great". I'm sure that's music to her ears, and mine. Thankful his loading issue is behind us, and hopefully stays that way.

It was sooo nice to ride with everyone at Iron Horse, in their huge outdoor level arena!! They had all kinds of fun practice trail stuff set-up. I didn't get around to using it alot, but Brad and Nemo did. I am sure we'll be seeing a few similar additions at our place in the future. Patty watched Nemo's gaits, and would like to see him back in a martingale to bring his head down and work on his top neck muscles.

She briefly helped me with the backing stuff Koda does, and mostly worked on his lope. I told her we had not worked on it much at home, combination of our terrain/weather. He is blocking with his shoulder. She got on him to fix it, and show me how. Wow is he ever pretty when she rides him!! He was a good boy for her, got many good boy pats and even an "I love you Koda". They love her too. I tried sooo hard to see his shoulder blocks from the ground....I only wish I could see what she see's. His combined head-thrusting is easy, but seeing his shoulder was hard. I need practice watching, and repetition - alot of it. It was much easier to feel (and therefore see) once I got on him. He did correct for me too, but I need to do it earlier, harder and consistantly. Nothing new there, it's something I'm sure I'll be working on for a long time. We got praised on our trot gait, and circles. We've done lots of that at home. Patty was really pleased with how Koda and Nemo looked, and responded. Can't wait until next time!!


swamp logging

It was hot. It was buggy. It had standing water. It felt like a swamp.

A large tree was down right smack in the middle of the woods. Amazing how small the tree looks in the photo, it wasn't small at all.

Another tree was hung up, high above.

But that didn't last long....timmmmber! I was surprised the horses didn't care, it was loud.

Checked on the horses, before getting back to work.
Harmony had only been home for a couple hours. They were eating hay, the great pacifier.

We hauled lots of muddy piles of branches.

Cut and hauled piles of logs.

The boy who doesn't like horses was a huge help.

However Koda wasn't much help.
Harmony agrees.

Harmony comes home

Our girl is back home with us (no fault of the stables she was at) where we can see her more, and get some things taken care of. We are getting her checked out later this week,
she may need some chiro work done.

It didn't take long for them to bond again. Left-right is Koda, Nemo, Barbie the resident pony, and Harmony.


spun up

Koda and Nemo have had the past couple days off from riding, so we could get some of the extra work done. Brad weed-wacked the wooded area, the boy who doesn't like horses helped me pick up the scattered wood that washed up from the recent storm, mowed the pasture and dragged the arena. For whatever reason, Koda and Nemo spun themselves up while in the back pasture. Not sure what brought it on, the weed wacker wasn't even running, but they sure were. I opened the gate, and Koda came out bucking and running.

Koda slowing down while rounding the corner

I didn't get a good shot of Nemo, he did his running in the back pasture. They both got a better workout then we would have given them. Thankfully they didn't hurt themselves in the process. Silly spun up boys.