Monday, November 25, 2013

Fancy and Life Update

SO, I told you I would clarify how things happened with Fancy. We got a call that a woman wanted to come see her. We scheduled a time for her and her husband to come out and see Fancy Smancy. Shane and I went out on Friday to prep her and make sure that everything was all set for her to be looked at.

Shane worked her on the lunge line. 

She worked really well in both direction. We have been working her half time in a figure-8 nose band and part time without a nose band. This is forcing her to understand that she needs to listen to the bit and accept that it isn't going to attack her. I think she had previously worked in a harsh port-shank bit. She does not like any pressure. So, this pattern of work has really been working well. After we take it off, she seems to really respect the bit more.

She is a really sweet horse, and such a cute mover. 

After Shane lunged her, I got on and worked her on the flat in both direction. She was doing really well. If I keep my hands down, soft, and loose then she really trots and lopes well. The problem is that she fights the bit and is looking for a fight. I think that she wants to have a soft mouth, but that she has been yanked on in the "cowboy" method in the past. So, she is confused about whether she is supposed to be in pain or not. My problem is not giving in the the fight. 

If we had the time and money I would have TOTALLY kept her and trained her to be a killer English Jumper Pony. I think she has the temperament and the brain to do that. 

On Saturday the prospective buyers came out to see her. The woman led her around and checked her out. She seemed liked she really knew what she was talking about. She asked a lot of questions. I was completely honest with her. I wanted to make sure they knew what I knew. They knew I had her about a month and that I thought she was great, but that I didn't know everything about her. 

Shane lunged Fancy for them, and then the wife rode around at the walk for a bit. Then the husband rode around for a bit. Neither got out of the walk. They did all the right things though, or so it seems. They checked her lateral flexion, walk, stop, turn, and backup. They realized that she didn't back up, but I think this is part of the bit issue that I mentioned above. They then had me get on and take her through the paces. They saw the issue that I had mentioned with the bit. The final hat trick was that they wanted to see what happened if the gate was left open. I jumped off and walked away and she just followed me and stood perfectly. The agreed to buy her on the SPOT! YAY!

Goodbye old mommy!

So, we got the brand inspection done on Thursday, and she went to her new home on Sunday. For those not from Western States, I will explain the brand inspection. I have never sold a horse in Colorado so I didn't really understand. The only horses I had bought were from auction and the brand inspection is built in to the paperwork. So, it dates back to the Old West days of horse rustling and cattle rustling. Basically, it is a government oversight to make sure that the horse isn't stolen and that you have the legal authority to sell the horse. A horse without a brand inspection is worthless in the western states. A Bill of Sale and Papers will get you so far, but a brand inspection is the end all be all. If your horse is ever evacuated to a fairgrounds for any reason (fire, flood, etc.) then only the Brand Inspection will get them free. Also, if you don't have one, then you can't ever sell the horse or commercially ship it. The inspector comes out and makes sure that the horse being sold is the horse on the paperwork. They also make sure that you have a brand inspection with YOUR name on it before they write one with the NEW name on it. 

Goodbye Fancy Smancy!

We are very excited to have Fancy off the payroll. We are going to be able to take care of the rest of our family much better. Hopefully one day we will be able to have another second horse. One that is more suited to Shane's needs, and then we can achieve our equine goals. First though, we need to achieve our human goals to become debt free and financially independent and able to save! save! save!

Frosty is still doing well! She got her feet trimmed finally, and so we are ready to get her back to work and get Shane back in the saddle!

In other news, we have found an amazing produce food co-op, called bountiful baskets. For only $15 you get an unbelievable amount of produce. Plus, each week there are add-ons like breads, wraps, extra veggies, a bushel of apples, etc. etc. This is the third week we have participated. The nice thing is that you only participate during the weeks that you want to participate. There is no obligation. You opt-in when you need it and you don't opt-in when you don't. You should all check it out and see if there is one in your area, it is sort-of nationwide! Here is our bounty!

You bring your own container to carry all of the loot home. This is what our basket looked like!!! It is a normal size laundry hamper, not one of those smaller college hampers or something. 

Here is the loot all laid out. It was 1 head of leaf lettuce, 1 bushel of celery, 3 cucumbers, 5 huge normal potatoes, 2 GIGANTIC sweet potatoes, 4 yellow onions, 6 tomatoes, 6 apples, 1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of purple grapes, and 1 bushel of bananas. This all for $15!!! I just want to say bananas in Colorado are running about $5.99/lb! I would say it is a good deal. 

I used a lot of our produce to make a big pot of Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Chili. It was delicious! 

On Sunday mornings, Shane and I do a big cooking escapade. We get all of our meals prepared for the week, so that it is easier to pack lunches and make dinners at night. This makes life a whole lot easier and saves a TON of money. We were getting pretty bad just grabbing food out, instead of cooking at home to save time. Now, food is all made up and we don't have to worry about it. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


So, we sold Fancy Smancy. I will do a more detailed post later, but I know I hadn't posted in a while. Unfortunately, Shane and I sat down and begin assessing our bills and our lives and decided that for now, One horse was enough. We sold Fancy for a profit, but it wasn't as much as we would have liked. It is okay though. We have Frosty and we are happy with her. We are motivated and focused in the right direction for our family.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Getting the babies in shape...

Fancy is not nearly as far along as we were told by her past owner. I think that at one time she was probably a really nice horse, and she may have even done some rodeo. For the past two to three years...doubtful. She is extremely out of shape. I worked her on the lunge on Friday night. We didn't work very long, but she was running pretty fast and out of control. After about 15 minutes she was drenched in sweat.

Also, I haven't figured out a bit for her. I started her in a French Link loose ring and she was NOT having any part of it. Friday I put her in a mechanical hackamore...NOPE. My thought was that she may just be really far out of training. So, we are going back to square 3. I wouldn't say square 1 because she is a smart and pretty little mare, but she needs a lot of work on basics and ground work and obedience. So, Sunday she got put in a small full cheek snaffle, a figure 8 noseband, and side reins.

While Shane and I worked Frosty, Fancy was made to stand in the side reins to adjust to pressure on the bit in her mouth. For the most part she stood quietly, but at other times she was NOT a happy camper! 

She is still pretty cute though! After Shane rode Frosty, he lunged her. He is getting really really good at doing the ground work with the horses. He taught her some really good manners and worked her really hard (for her level of out-of-shapeness). I am not sure why she looks so downhill in this photo. She isn't really that downhill. Maybe the arena was slightly off?


Shane put Frosty on the lunge to start her workout. He wanted to make sure her head was in the right place. She did a really awesome job. So, he legged up and started working on small circles and steering. We decided to get him back to basics. He really wants to learn how to properly ride and understand the horses from the saddle. Like I said, he is doing awesome at ground work, but he still has a lot of work to do in the saddle. So, we are going to lesson format. I am working at him as if he were a lesson client. We have only done one lesson, but I think it is going great!

Frosty is such a cute horse. After he was done lunging, while he was working on steering, I put up the pole bending poles. He worked on getting her through a strange area and steering through the obstacles. He did such an awesome job. I didn't get any pictures though. 

I am working on getting the video rotated.

I then put Shane on the lunge line and he worked on trotting balance. He worked on trotting with no hands and keeping her going. Frosty is also very out of shape, so she is hard to keep at a solid pace. When he was tired (he now respects thigh muscles he didn't know he had), he set out to lunge Fancy while I rode Frosty. I attempted to trot through the poles, but Frosty's steering isn't 100% sound yet. I then knocked all of the poles over and we trotter and canter through the poles. They weren't set right, but she handled it like a champ!

The stupid time change now means that it is getting dark well before 5:15. I get off work at 4:30 and it takes 30 minutes to get to the can see the issue? Shane works evenings, so he has been put on get the ponies in shape duty with side reins and a lunge line.