Thursday, February 26, 2009

Safe Blanketing

This post is inspired by something that happened with a new client of mine. She has a 3 1/2 paint that i am training/starting. She had "Dolly" tied to the hitching post and and was taking of her winter blanket. (this was happening while i was on the other side of the ranch) I guess she unbuckled the blanket from front to back, and as she was doing the back leg straps Dolly spooked and pulled back. Needless to say, the blanket slipped and got caught in her back legs. She freak, broke free from the post(and the blanket), but was thankfully caught quickly. So now i would like to share with you what I think is the best way to blanket and unblanket a horse. If you disagree, please share your methods!

Lets start with the blanket ON the horse.
Keep your horse UNTIED(but make sure you have control if they spook/move), this way if they DO spook they don't feel trapped.
Start with the back leg straps. If you can safely unclip them both from one side do so, or walk around and do the second.
Next do the belly buckle(s).
Now you have 2 choices, take the blanket off over their head, or off their back.
BACK:Start with the bottom chest buckle, then the top. Now reach back and grasp the blanket right above the horse tail, pull up to the withers. Now the blanket should be all bunched at the withers/shoulder. Slip your arm underneath the blanket and slowly slide off the horse.
HEAD:Same as above but don't unbuckle the chest buckles.

ALL DONE! Now to put the blanket back on, just repeat the instructions backwards.

The reason I ALWAYS do the back legs first and the chest last is because horse tend to panic more easily when things get caught in their back legs. But i havn't seen any big spooks if the blanket slips around thier shoulders or chest.

I would love to hear others thoughts!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I was having a really crappy day... untill i got to the 2nd stop on my daily "training tour" and found this:

Dolly(in training with me) is bottom left, Bailey is center, and lucy is the one with a clean face, LOL! I have never seen a horse rest on another like that, dalring! The 3 of them are BFFs and it is often hard to take Dolly away from the other 2. This totaly made my day 100% better. Who knew 3 cuddling horses could do that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

pretty dull week thus far...

Well this week is turning out to be pretty boring. 2 more days of work, then of to Tahoe for some snow! I personally hate the snow, but Hubby LOVES snowboarding so i tag along. I figure a weekend spent reading by the fire with my doggie can't be too bad.

I did have a lovely ride on my baby(5y/o) horse yesterday. I hadn't ridden him in over a month, but just hopped on and had some great walking a trotting. That little guy is worth every penny spent on him! I bought him SUPER green broke at the age of 3 and he was a stallion. i had him gelded a few month later. He is a VERY well bred QH, ready to do reining or cutting, but don't have the money for a trainer quite yet. So right now i let my students ride him, and i am starting him on the trail, which he LOVES. We saw deer on our first ride out and he just stared at them, then tried to follow them into the bushes. I LOVE MY BABY.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

still yucky...

I almost got trampled by 3 different horses yesterday! It rained on sunday, but was blue skies, cold, and WINDY yesterday! Talk about fresh horses. I didn't go anywhere near the tack room, all ground work today. I got my exersize though. I just took each horse, one at a time, for a walk down our busy road. 2 did fine, 1 tried to kill me. lol Soon i need to sit down and write a little about each of the horses in training, there are 7 of them... all with their OWN personality!

Friday, February 6, 2009

day off?

well sorta. I didn't work any horses today cuz it was raining. Sometimes i am envious of the trainers at big boarding stables. Almost every place around here has a HUGE covered arena. I just have a flat pasture and a round pen. But ya know what, i enjoy my days off, even if it means working an extra day next week. My Hubby came home early from work to hang out with me and we are having a lovely day! Tomorrow should be all sunshine... and nasty, muddy horses. oh yay.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

buy the horse, then take lessons?

WRONG! I about flipped my lid yesterday. I had a lady call me last week saying she wanted to lease my "adult rider only" mare... for her 10 year old daughter. I told her that was a bad idea, but couldn't be swayed so i invited her out for a test ride and evaluation of the daughters riding skills. long story short, the girl came out, was a good rider, but i said she would have to take a month of lessons before we would talk again about leasing a horse.

So they show up 30 minutes late (!!!) walk up to me said, "i bought a horse!" OH DEAR. mom has MINIMAL horse experience, the daughter is only 10, and now they OWN a horse! Now i have 3 more lessons to teach this girl everything i can think of. She is a smart girl, a quick learner, and i hope i will expand her horse handling skills appropriately.

People like this are gonna give me grey hairs too soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hello World

here I am to blog! We shall see how it goes... :)