Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung and boy is it about to get busy! I've got so many things coming up this year, I must be living for adventures. First up, Hose Expo in Red Deer. There used to be an equine trade show, pre-COVID,called Mane Event Expo. Well, COVID happened and I guess it went belly up. A new group has taken over the dates and venue and rebranded to Hose Expo. This will be my first experience with these new organizers and I'm looking foward to a busy 3 days. Phillippe and I will be heading down to be part of the demo team with the Alberta Donkey and Mule Club where we will also spend some time manning the booth, I'm sure. Conveniently enough, right beside the booth is the Alberta Carriage Driving booth where I'll also be spending plenty of time when I'm not assisting in demos with that group. The ACDA is going to be doing some grass-roots demos on starting harness and long line training, a talk about carriages and putting the horse to the cart, and a third demo for putting the pieces together and starting a new driving program. I'm still working on securing volunteers to help with the booth and to provide instruction for 2/3 days. There's still time. Falcor and I have been out driving in the field several times already. He is a spicy little meatball. I appreciate that he's likely never had so much space to move in as out in our hay field so the beginning of the drives feels a bit like "hang on and pray" until he's gotten it out of his system. The field is not flat or smooth and jostles me around a lot despite really good suspension! We have not had a run away yet, but sometimes he feels like he'd like to go that direction. Recently he started experimenting with canter steps during our drives. That's pretty neat! I'm really looking forward to the arena getting dry so we can work in there. Hopefully a more cotnained space will help him to get a bit more focused on the program and not trotting like crazy all over the field. Right now it feels like CDE are a long way off for him but that tells me that I need to get some direction and coaching. I don't have enough tools in my toolbelt for him yet. I do feel confident that he is feeling better in his body. We found a friend with a Bemer horse system and have done a number of sessions for him. It really seems to be making a difference. I like watching him learn that he can relax and feel good.
The other fun that's happened lately was taking Jasmine and Phillippe to Kiss 91.7 FM's radio station for their morning show with Pepper and Dylan. It's a small world and a fun situation of someone knowing someone who could facilitate a visit with silly little animals safely. They were very good littles, and the radio persoanlities were just lovely as well. An early morning, but well worth it for something new and different.
Varity is the spice of life, so they say. Mine must be plenty well seasoned! Happy Horseing!

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Winter Wonderland

What sort of exciting updates do I have for you today? Not much, really. Winter has been very slow to get underway this year. I understand it's another El-Ninio year so we've had a lot of spring-like temperatures and not much snow. There was a week of VERY cold and two decent dumps of snow, but it's certainly been dry and mild overall. Wheels were left on carts for a long time before putting on skis only to have the littles out only a few times before I put wheels back on again. Falcor, the hackney pony, got to do some real work recently in breaking trail in the field for the littles. We used a pallet with a couple of tires on top and dragged it around in the field. Falcor decided it might be a really good opportunity to pactice halting. That amused me. I realized this year that I likely won't be able to manage 3 driving animals myself. That's quite a lot to keep conditioned and in work. Two, two I stand a chance, but 3 is unreasonable. So I've offered an on-farm driving lease for someone interested in learning. Sure enough, it wasn't 24 hours after posting that I had a very interested lady contact me. Turns out we've met a couple of times over the years at various equestrian clinics. Really nice person and very enthusiastic to learn harness, hitching and driving. Jasmine took good care of her and they had a great time. I'm looking forward to her returning and driving with her this summer. Uri continues to grow and has nearly reached uncle Jose's size. I'll find a couple of shows to take him to this summer to continue his education before he goes for under-saddle training as a 3 year old. He's still just so keen to do and try. Although sometimes it's irritating, I really do enjoy him. Well, until things start moving again, that's about all I have to share. Stay warm and happy horseing!