Adventures in clipping

I’ve never been super into clipping my horses for the winter. They almost always spend their winters outside and in light work, so I’ve never needed to clip.

This year, I have ambitions of working Moe and Gina throughout the winter in the barn’s indoor arena. They’re turned out during the day and stalled at night; the barn owner is also willing to blanket (within reason- changing blankets three times a day probably won’t fly!).

A few weeks ago I scored a great deal on a pair of Andis clippers through Bit of Britain’s tent sale, and over the weekend I went on a clipping adventure!

I had aspirations of a trace low clip; I knew I didn’t want to remove tons of hair because I didn’t want them blanketed 24/7. The only clipping I’ve ever done was a full body clip on a horse at my previous job, so I made sure to carefully watch all 30 minutes of the Andis DVD (which appears to have been made the year I was born) as well as several YouTube videos.

Moe was covered in filth when I pulled him out of the pasture, so I had to give him a bath.

Mud, hay, who-knows-what all over his belly and shoulders.

He got to stand tied in the sun to dry while I clipped Gina.

Gina napped in the crossties while I clipped…and clipped…and clipped. The woman in the Andis video made it look so easy and quick! Two hours later, I was coated in bay hair and sweat.

“What have you done to me?”

I rinsed Gina off and started on Moe. Poor Moe didn’t get the cleanest or best clip job in the world; he has some patchy spots and jagged edges. But at that point, I was tired and hot and figured that Moe isn’t going out in public (well, except for the hunter pace) any time soon.

Both horses were extremely well behaved. I’ve never clipped Moe in the time I’ve owned him, so I was really impressed that he just took it in stride. Gina continually surprises me with the amount of things she tolerates and/or does well. 
I rode Gina Tuesday evening in the indoor; she cooled out quickly and didn’t get very sweaty, so I’m happy to report that as ugly as they may be, the clip jobs are working!
I’m going to duck out of work early today (it is my birthday, after all) and try to get a jump school in on both horses, so the clips will really be put to the test!

Moe and Gina go to camp

Last week, Moe and Gina attended Green Country Dressage’s annual junior rider camp. I was happy to let them go; their teenage riders regularly have lessons on them, and I figure that the more dressage training the horses get, the better! (Even if it’s teenagers doing the training.)

The camp was held at gorgeous Prairie Lane Farm. There were indoor arenas, outdoor arenas, deluxe stalls with runs attached in a big, airy barn, a covered viewing area with lawn chairs! Camp started on Thursday and I stopped by on Friday to say hello to the ponies and make sure they were behaving themselves.

Gina feeling luxurious
How Moe REALLY feels about dressage.

Moe was hamming it up and reliving his Pony Club days, mugging every possible person for every possible treat, head hanging out of his stall, sticking his tongue out, tossing his head, curling his upper lip back. Gina, however, is too dignified for such behavior and promptly went back to eating her hay after accepting one treat.

The horses also did some work while they were at camp.

Their riders (and Richal) reported that Moe and Gina were extremely well behaved and that both instructors at the camp really liked them. It always makes me feel good when my horses can be useful, especially when they can help young riders learn! 

Moe loves learning! Or treats.

Throwback Thursday

2003, show jumping phase of Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials at Brownland Farm. Moe is 8 here. I am just shy of my 17th birthday. Moe still gets that eager look on his face when jumps are around. At 19, he is very much the same as he was at 8, although I suppose he’s slightly more sensible now than he was 11 years ago. (For example, he no longer spooks if he steps on his own lead rope.)
I consider myself very lucky to have had such a good horse for so many years. I hope there are many more in our future!

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: What’s in a name?

Blog hops are all the style, and I thought I’d try my hand at one (or two) and see how it goes. At the very least, I’m giving y’all something to write about, right??

What’s the origin of your horse’s show name and barn name?

Now, I typically use a horse’s registered name as their show name. This has resulted in some pretty dorky show names over the years, including: Rocky Ridges Alibi, KW’s Flying Bailey, Silk Pajamas, and My Midnight Queen.

Poor Gina has had many names. Her Jockey Club name is hideous: Kimberly K. Who names a horse Kimberly? (Johnny likes to joke that Gina’s name is actually Kim Kardashian.) Her sire is Look See and her dam is True Brilliance, so I can only think that she’s named after her breeder’s daughter or something.

The name on her USEF registration is a marginal improvement- it’s Imagine That. I’m guessing that’s where “Gina” came from.

At the barn, her nickname has turned in “Eugena” (Moe’s nickname is “Mocephus”- you know, like Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Bocephus”.) Eugena is a pretty good name, all things considered. Gina’s whinny sounds like she’s been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for the last 15 years; doesn’t Eugena sound like the name of a crotchety old woman who smokes a lot of cigarettes and yells at kids?

Gina teaching a teenager how dressagin’ is done.

At the last show, Gina’s show name got an addition. You see, I emailed the combined test’s organizer and said “I’d like to scratch Expect Freedom and enter Imagine That instead.” When I looked up my ride time, I was surprised to see Gina entered as ‘Imagine That Instead’. I laughed hysterically. I mean, come on! “Don’t think of this thing, think of something completely different instead!”

Moe’s show name has always been his Jockey Club name: Richnfree. His sire is Richrichrich and his dam is Feelingfancyfree, so it’s pretty easy to see where that name came from. “Moe”, on the other hand, is a total mystery to me. He came with the name, and I’ve always kept it. (He sort of answers to it.)
I’m certainly curious to know how your horses received their names! Are you a registered name user? Do you make stuff up? Get in on the blog hop and let us know!

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Ponies have arrived!

This weekend was pony weekend (but isn’t every weekend?). On Saturday, Richal, Audrey, and I headed to Tulsa to pick up Moe and Gina. After admiring my ingenious tuna can bridle hangers, they helped me load my meager possessions into the trailer. We caught the horses and both of them loaded into the trailer like total pros. Neither horse has ever been bad about trailering, but I am always grateful when they hop right on without any fuss.

They unloaded quietly and were quickly led to their new homes: two stalls with dry lots off the back in the breezy shedrow. They aren’t next to one another- between them is a mare and her cute Paint/Fresian foal. Both horses spent some time pacing and whinnying; Moe was also terrified of the foal. (He’s terrified of all tiny equines.) They settled down after a little while and were munching hay when I left.
“GINA OMGZ WHERE GINA, NEED SOMEONE
TO BITE ME ON THE BUTT”

On Sunday, I went out to see how they were coping; both horses were turned out in a big field. I rode Gina in the small indoor, just to see how she’d do. 

“This looks a lot like work…”
Gina was good; she didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking around or calling for Moe. She put in some really excellent trot work, let me open the gate to the outdoor from her back, and walked around the outdoor arena sanely. (It was a nice change from Fred, let me tell you.) I gave her a good scrubbing after our ride, which she desperately needed. She was grimy with sweat and dirt and general grit. She pulled back once and broke her lead rope (sigh), but I just grabbed the spare in my tack trunk and proceeded as usual.
Monday I rode Moe, who was delightful as always. The minis, Peanut and Charlie, were hanging around in an aisle close to one corner of the arena. Moe was completely terrified of them and spent a few minutes standing completely still, staring at them. He refused to go very deep into the corner (lest a mini attack) and spent the entire ride in the indoor giving the minis some serious side-eye. For their part, the minis ignored him. I took him out into the newly mowed hay meadow and we cantered for a bit; it felt good to have space to run. It also felt good to just ride my favorite old horse. I gave Moe a bath after our ride and turned him out, where he thoughtfully rolled in the grass.
“Did you need us for something?”
I also rode Freddie on Saturday and Monday. Dear old Fred has pulled her right front shoe again, so we are continuing the ever-exciting walking routine. I rode her in a borrowed dressage saddle on Saturday, which made her feel super downhill. She was good, though, and I felt like I was using my seat and legs better, so we’ll keep it in our rotation. On Monday, I dug out my breastplate to see if it fits her; it does, and she looks extra legit in it. 
The best at looking like a majestic creature.

Fred was good. She’s starting to respond to halt requests more readily and seems to be beginning to understand bending. If only we could keep her shoes on!

One last note: Carson has found a new home! A couple of weeks ago, I accompanied Audrey and Richal to a nice hunter barn in Tulsa who was interested in trying him for their lesson program. They thought he was too forward (again, LOLZ) but thought he’d be a good fit for one of their students. He stayed there on trial, and his new owner recently commented on one of my posts about him that she’d just bought him. I wish her the very best with Carson (who is now renamed Moose); he was one of my favorite horses and I won’t say I didn’t shed a few tears when we dropped him off at that barn. 
Back to the work grind today; I hope y’all had a great Labor Day weekend!