Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pippi Ground Drives like a CHAMP!! (video)

I am so very very proud of my mare. WHAT A GREAT HORSE she is!!!

Last night I went to the barn, bringing along the surcingle and my homemade driving reins. We don't need anything too fancy for just giving this a shot.

Pippi has not ever tried ground driving, and neither have I. I have seen it done, and slept at the Holiday Inn Express several times, so off we went. BO's hubby gave me some tips in case she refused to go forward, but that proved unnecessary.
I strapped on the surcingle, and turned her bit upside down. 'Happy Mouth' which bends the same both ways, and this would give me a lower place to attach reins to bit, which in my 'extensive' research I had read to do. I googled and read several paragraphs on several sites, so clearly I am an expert. Attached reins to bit, took them through the D-rings in the middle of the sides, and walked behind her. She stood patiently and waited. After putting both reins in one hand, and starting the iTouch we were off:

The filming is horrendous. It was hard keeping the camera on her with one hand and the other trying to steer, and it is quite grainy and dark, but you get the idea.

Pippi rocked it!!

After this I dropped the filming and took the reins in two hands, still no lunge whip, and we did some really great turns, walked straighter and did a nice controlled walk over the "bridge." I was just amazed. Her willingness and calmness is just fantastic. So quick to learn and almost reading my mind.

During the drive home it occurred to me that Pippi has not had an extended break from training since we found her. For 3 1/2 years she has always (even after Miranda broke her leg and rode her bareback) been in some sort of training plan. This nice quiet break may be the best thing in the long run. It will give her some time off, and I can already see the changes mentally. So calm and ready to try something new.
Her concentration is amazing. Everything we are doing she breezes right through, and we are having a blast.

I also think it helps that I have no expectations except what we will work on. Don't care how it turns out, just expect to give it a try and work on it for however long it takes. Pippi and I are having the time of our lives.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Example of my work for 2-Point Bling

This is the Stitched out Drawing....

......based on this photo.

I have been working on doing stitched portraits of my horse Pippi, and the above is my first attempt. I like it a lot, and think that it looks a lot like my mare. Expression and everything.

When I showed the stitching to Donna, she recognized Pippi right away, even though she did not know I was working on this. So that is a good sign, right?

There are a few areas that I would like to change, but overall I am thrilled with the result.

So here is my question; I would love to offer to make 5x7 stitched portraits (on clothing, and/or framed) for sale of customers horses. This takes a lot of time and effort, making the drawing match and look right, and then  digitizing that and making sure it stitches nicely. So, how much is that worth? It will take me 5-6 hours per portrait, maybe less as I get better at it.

Please give me some feedback. Is this even something that you would buy? Thanks!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The move - from highs to lows to?

On Monday october 1st, Pippi moved to the new barn. It was sad, and a little bit exciting. We knew how much we were goign to miss seeing Kevin and Donna every day, and how much they would miss seeing us. By "us" I include Pippi.
When we arrived at the new facility the BO and her husband were there waiting for us. I showed her the health certificate, the shot record and Coggins, before Miranda unloaded Pippi. Pippi jumped off the trailer and perused her new surroundings. She was really up, and seemed thrilled at the opportunity to go somewhere. BO suggested that we let her run around the indoor to explore a bit. Brisk trot around the arena, checked out the open door at the view outside, sniffed and checked perimeter, and then a nice roll in the middle. She was happy.

The new facility is quite small, only five stalls, a washbay, a great tackroom and an mid sized indoor arena. Outside there are two fenced in areas, big enough to roam and get in a quick gallop. Trees, a creek, sloping terrain, YAY!! BO and Hubby are home all the time, so they rotate horses in and out, and take excellent care of the horses and the grounds. EXCELLENT care!!! BO is a Trainer (western mostly I believe, and AQHA), and used to work at a well regarded Equestrian School. BO's Hubby has worked with horses his entire life as well, runs a local riding club, and used to breed Paints. So he was thrilled to see a Paint horse, commenting that it was going to be great to have a bit of color around.

Pippi seemed to settle in well, until I came back the next day when she was completely deflated. No welcoming nicker, no nodding head, no excitement, and no eating of hay. And no interest in her neighbor. I knew she would have a tough time since she is so tied to me, and used to a lot interaction (spoiled as can be) with Kevin and Donna. We played in the arena, and I groomed and massaged. Stood with her in the stall, and she finally ate her hay. Spinning around as soon as I tried to leave, so my visit was extended. Stopped by briefly yesterday and gave her some carrots. She was more up, and was watching the horses outside.
Tonight Donna is coming with me, and we are tacking her up and spending some quality time in the arena. She can not be ridden until healed, and we have no real timeframe on that, but she needs to remember what tack feels like, and so we are tacking up every week. And then doing some groundwork under saddle.

I miss having her down the street, and I miss hanging at the barn with my pals, but I know I did the right thing. Pippi needs a safe dry, and flat place to turn out this winter, and the ability to be out in spurts rather than all in or all out. She will get to out on grass soon, maybe tomorrow, to check out the grounds, but again, it will be in shorter periods. We could leave stallbound, which would shorten her recovery time, but she would be miserable and possibly cause other damage to herself, so we are taking the long wait approach. And that is okay.

I have not taken any pics of the new place yet as I have not asked BO about it. But here is a pic of Pippi from the show where she was hurt:

My stunning Pippi!