Friday, February 28, 2014

Breaking It In; Bit By Bit!

Well, I didn't exactly break the round pen in bit by bit. The first time I brought Chester in there, it wasn't anything special to him. (Which was Tuesday.) We weren't in there that long, maybe thirty minutes....why? Well, it's winter here and now (hopefully) spring is on it's way. But, for the past three to four months I haven't been doing much with Chester. So from going to the arena almost every weekend, and working him once a week, to not much at boy has (now had!!) A LOT OF energy. There was one week when I took him for about four walks. Other then that, I have only lunged him a couple times, and a few walks this whole winter.

I had noticed that when I would take him out that he was getting pushy (not respecting my space) and head strong. Plus, last fall he decided he was going to be barn sour. So, a horse with tons of energy + no respect + being barn sour = a "crazy" horse. Now, he was not truly crazy. He was just  "high strung" or something of the sort. I am pretty much a beginner with horses. I have had Chester for two and a half years. I don't really know when you would not be a "beginner" any more. But that doesn't really matter. Before I got Chester the Lord gave me a chance to take care of a friend's horse for ten days and get to know how it is to own a horse. That was a huge blessing and prepared me for my own horse. It was a great opportunity. I also got to take some riding lessons one summer when I was 7 and 8. I started when I was seven and turned eight in the mean time. (If that makes sense.) Those were my only horse experiences before I got Chester.
Chester is the horse that I have learned the most with. He was the one who started my ride through the horse world. =) With that said, when new things happen with Chester most likely it's my first time in that situation and first time dealing with it. He may be just acting like a horse or doing what horses do, and I'm like, "what's my horse doing!?" If that makes sense at all. =)

Ok, now I'll go back to using the round pen for the first time. I didn't know what to do with my horse. He was not respecting me and had loads of energy. After being out there for a little bit, I decided to be done (after ending on somewhat of a good note) and put him away until I knew what to do. Neither of us were too happy. He was the most energetic I have ever seen him. That is saying something since I have had him for two and a half years.

Well, I emailed my horsey friend (aka: my friend who had helped me tons with Chester and even went with me to buy him) and asked her if she could come over and help us both. The wonderful person she is, she actually came over the next morning, on Wednesday, bright and early at 8:15! She worked with Chester for a couple hours and gave us both a reminder on ground work. It was such a blessing and a good needed reminder on how to handle certain situations. Chester was different and calmer just after those two hours. Thank you, horsey friend! =)

I told someone the other day; "the horse ocean is deep and wide. You have to take swimming lessons to learn how to swim and then keep practicing what you've learned to stay afloat. And then, it takes years to become a strong swimmer."
Just think of that all in horse sense. =)

After we had worked him, I brought him breakfast and decided to leave him in the round pen for the rest of the day. To work on his "barn sourness". That kinda sounds weird...oh well! (Sorry about my grammar, Grandma.) =)
Anyway, he stayed out there till about four thirty, to his dismay. He did fine, though, and then I put him out there all Thursday and half of Friday. He's doing better every day! He is very safe out there and I am constantly watching him. I will keep putting him out there for about another week. I feed him his breakfast out there, but so far he hasn't eaten a whole lot of it. Silly boy!

Today I went out and worked him and even hopped on and walked him around. He did really good! I think I am going to set some goals for myself. I probably do a post on them. =)

Chester has done a good job at breaking it in- hasn't he? Well, more like he was running around because he didn't want to be down there- therefore it is 90% mud and dirt now. Not that I wanted it mud; it would have been nice to keep it grass. He's a horse in Washington though, what do you expect?
Isn't he purtty!! =) (Even though he's dirty...) He has a long back. A couple people have told me that. I think it's the Thoroughbred in him.

A quick question for ya'll. What are your opinions on, sweat scrapers? (I know, I know, sorry about the weird sort of question.)
In the past few days he has been quite sweaty, since he has been working and not happy about being in the round pen. Do you guys use sweat scrapers? I know they are pretty cheap, but are they worth your money?

I hope you and your ponies have had a nice week. The weather was nice starting on Tuesday and has been gorgeous! It's not supposed to last and I know it won't since it's only February. (March tomorrow) But it makes me excited for summer. Therefore, I will make goals for this summer and take advantage of the nice weather when I can!  

Have a great weekend!
Warm summer thoughts from Malory and her pony, Chester.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday's Special!

I got this super cute idea! Every Tuesday I will "tack" up on my blog random pictures. And I won't necessarily say anything. Like, Wordless Wednesday. But a little different....because I don't want to do Wordless Wednesday. =)
Here are the name ideas that I have; Tack Board Tuesday, Tack Up Tuesday, Tacked Up Tuesday
TB Tuesday or Tack Board Ts. What do you all think? What one do you guys like best? Any ideas?

Here is a tack board picture!
Note: I am still figuring out how the pictures are going to be "tacked" up. I might try a few different ways before I decided on the, one way, I will do it each time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Guess What?? I'M SO EXCITED!!

I am so excited to tell you guys this! I got a round pen! What does that mean? That means; I have a confined area for the first time ever to work Chester in on our property, I can work him more often, we will both be safer, I can work with him in more ways now, and my wild pony can use up his energy!!!

                                                                        Here it is!

                                                                          It's 40 ft.

                                       It's used but really nice!! I'm so happy and excited!
Every time I think about the stuff I can do with him in the round pen, I get excited! I can now work with him loose and don't have to have him on a lead or lunge line.

                           When the sun starts a shining, this round pen's gonna get a lot of love! =)

 Here is a picture so you can see how it is relative to the other parts of the our yard. That's the garden fenced in over there. 

                             Here, I'm taking the picture from up on the hill that our house is on.

 Now, I'm down by it looking back up there. I was standing on the hill to the right of the house. You can see a little bit of Chester's fence and barn up there.

                                                                Lovely round pen!!
    (Oh, that's our play house over there to the right.)

 When we got home, Chester came over to his fence and watched us unload the round pen from the trailer. Then he stayed out there when we set it up. He's one smart horse!
We are planning on putting sand in it. But we're taking it one step at a time! =)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

One. Simple. Word....Shedding.

Are you kidding me!? Shedding is not a simple word. The word shedding means- four to five months of horse hair floating in the air, getting it in your mouth and ALL over your clothes.
On one hand shedding isn't that bad, yet on the other hand it is such a bother!
The end results though are gorgeous! A sleek shiny horse! Who doesn't love to see their horse shimmering in the summer sun after a long cold, fuzzy, wet winter? Well I sure do! =)
Chester has started shedding and has been for a few weeks now. It's not too bad yet, but I know the worst is to come! =)

Most of my fellow bloggers are experiencing pretty cold winter weather. I BELIEVE you now! (Not that I didn't before, but you get what I'm saying.) I feel for you! Not just feel, I now know how you feel! We have had some cold spells. Where it will be cold for at the most two weeks and then warm up again. But we had one week, that the really cold weather hit us hard. Someone must have packaged it up and sent it our way. =)
Not only was it cold day and night, but we had any icy wind on top of that.
Since we live in a small valley, the wind funnels up through it to our house. When you step out our back door, you get and icy wind in your face. Not too fun....

Well, a little bit about today; this morning I did every horse chore inmaginable. I fed Chester, swept and scooped his mats, scooped manure from the yard, cleaned around the manure wagon and dumped the wagon, then I decided that I needed to clean the spot were I keep the bale of hay in the barn. I only keep one bale up in the horse barn and all the rest down in the big barn. I stand it up in a corner of the horse barn and then the stall stays pretty clean. (Which is nice because I keep my tack in there too.) So I moved a couple boards that are up there and cleaned all the hay and everything all up, brought another bale up and then I gave Chester I good brush down, (which I haven't done in a while. He thoroughly enjoyed that. He even stopping eating his breakfast and just stood there like, awwwww.....that feels good!) Then I cleaned his hooves, dumped his manure wagon again because I filled it up with the hay that I cleaned out of the stall. Then I gave him a peppermint treat and went to fill his water buckets with fresh water.
I headed inside just has the rain started coming done harder and the wind picked up.
It was a good Saturday morning!
    ~How was yours, friends? 

                                                                    ~Chester And Mal~

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hair Cuts All-around!

 Chester is sorta known for his long thick tail. He does have a nice thick, black tail....I will admit. =) He prefers it tangled and dirty, with leaves or ceder branches decorating it. I have to admit though, brushing his tail is not my favorite thing to do! I don't do it that often. =/ I have conditioner I put in it every once in awhile; it helps de-tangle it. Which is really nice. And then for the next couple days after I use it, he smells really good like hair conditioner. Haha, it's kind of odd to walk past your horse and smell a clean soap like smell. =)
Well, it had gotten quite long. So long he would step on it coming out of the trailer. =/ That's when I realized I needed to cut it. It was dragging in the mud and was such a stringy mess! 
I have trimmed it a couple times. Like, an inch and a half one time and then maybe two inches another time; not much. But I have never cut any of his main, tail or anything else before.

After putting it off- as I wanted to bring the camera out there and take pictures- I finally just did it!
Oh my! Does it look great! It looks so nice and neat! I basically cut it straight across. For a while I had in mind that when I cut it, I wanted it to look natural. I changed my mind though and decided I wanted to look nice and neat; I cut straight across! =) And it looks nice and neat!

Note: I put some conditioner in his tail before I cut it- that's why it looks wet. =) Because it is! =)




                                        After! (I think he's taking a step forward there.) =)

                                                   After; I think it looks so good!

Back in December, I decided to cut my hair, too! I have had long hair most of my life. Like, really long hair. In the past few (3-4) years I have started to try different styles. Trust me, my styles are; layers this way, then maybe longer layers that way. Not like black or purple hair. =) Taking it slow, and not doing things too drastic. This is the shortest hair cut I have gotten. It is definitely different for me. =) It has it's pros and cons though. Like you can't make that many different kinds of buns with it. But yet it is loads easier to curl! I like it- it's fun to have something different!

                                                       Before.... (That is straightened)

                                                   After! (And that is curled.)

How often do you guys trim, cut or pull your horses manes or tails? How do you do it? I'd love to hear all about it!! Do tell! =)

New Layout!

I made a new layout! Let me know what you all think! I am staying with the winter theme for a couple more months. I'll enjoy it and take advantage of using winter themes while I can. =)
I think it turned out great; thanks to my sisters for helping me figure some stuff out! What are sisters for, right!? =)
I hope ya'll like it!
I will hopefully be putting a real post up tonight, too! It's kinda slow horse wise around here. But I took a walk today and saw and felt signs of spring! There is hope, in the air!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Tricks And Techniques!

I am finally, getting my "special winter post" out!
This post is all about winter tricks and techniques for taking care of your horse! There were a couple people who willingly gave some advice. I think this was such a fun idea! I hope you enjoy!

American Girl from Paola's Horse Blog shared some of her winter tips and advice.

Horses need extra fiber during the winter, such as hay. This forage ferments in the horse's digestive tract, thus producing heat. Remember that horses don't get as cold as easily as us people. The horse can be fairly comfortable if the temperature is in the 30s and won't need too much extra fiber. However, in the single digits (Fahrenheit) they will need the extra feed and possible a blanket if they have been body clipped. Wind, rain, and snow can also make it feel colder, so remember to take that into account.

 Ruffles from Just A Girl and Her Horse shared these lovely winter tips.

- I always put rugs on my horses - especially as they are on 24/7 turnout. Horses that are wet plus rain equals a very cold horse. Unless you have a very hardy self sufficient horse, they will get cold and drop weight after some time.
- Because it gets darker earlier you may not always have time to ride so a quick lunge or free schooling or even just a groom/hand walk will be fine instead of riding.
- After you ride always make sure your horse is completely dry and warm before leaving the barn.

Yours Truly- The Country Hitching Post.
One of the biggest things for me in the winter time is, water. What I have found to be very helpful when dealing with frozen water, is get a smaller bucket for your horse. Don't try to keep your big 15-50 gallon tubs thawed. That can be so much work and then to come back later that day and have a huge layer of ice on it, is just so discouraging. I got Chester about a five gallon sized bucket and I fill it morning and night. I sometimes go out there in the afternoon and check on it. But I know if you work and have school you can't always do that. So, if the buckets to small for you get a little bigger one.
Another important thing is to keep your hay dry. Moldy wet hay is Not good for horses.

Another helpful tip I have found, is to fatten your horses up in the fall. If your horse as been out on fresh grass all summer you may not have that problem. But if not, you can up the amount of hay you give them to start getting more fat on their body for the winter. That way when the cold weather comes they can sufficiently keep themselves nice and warm.

 Here are a few suggestions that I collected from around. (Internet) (I didn't write these.)

1. Spend time with your horse during winter. Even when the weather is foul and bleak, be sure to sit with your horse in the shelter and talk to him, groom him, and just be with him. He'll appreciate your company and it keeps the two of you connected. It will also help you to look forward to the better winter riding days, and the warmer days to come.
  • Keep a regular grooming time in place during winter, no matter what the weather.
  • If you can't get to your horse as often as you'd like because of winter conditions on roads, etc., have someone else check in on your horse regularly to make sure he's fine.
 2. The worst problem: frozen water
There is no greater aggravation than toting water in the cold when the pipes or hoses freeze. Plan now to get frost-free hydrants installed where the horses are watered. You will bless them daily as the temperatures stay below freezing. You still must remove and drain hoses each day.
When temperatures go below freezing it is easier to fill the buckets half full, if you can check them more frequently. This will keep you from coming down to a bucket full of ice. A little ice on the top can be easily broken and removed. A little ice on the bottom can be defrosted with the water put on top. If frozen solid a few gallons of hot water will melt it.
Keeping troughs from freezing may require insulating or partially burying of the sides and covering the top, leave a hole large enough to allow the horses to drink. Make sure the trough is in the sunniest place available. Water heaters are available and water turbulence from pumps or aerators will prevent freezing. Whatever you do, you must prevent electric cables from being chewed.

3. Hoof care is more important when it is wet

Hooves may need special attention during the winter. Consider having the shoes removed if you will not be riding for three or more months. The nails weaken the walls and the shoe helps hold in dirt. Going barefoot will also toughen the soles. For problem feet there is no better prescription than being barefoot for several months. If ice is a serious problem where you live pulling the shoes may result in more slipping. Instead consider having the farrier add caulks to aid traction on frozen surfaces.
If your horse has problems with wall cracks that originate at the bottom you can do something to help. The cracks are usually due to excessive drying that comes from repeated wetting and drying.
Walls also crack from being allowed to grow too long. Regular application of a hoof wall sealant (avoid moisturizers) combined with timely trimming will insure that come spring his hoof walls will be ready to hold nails.
Another frequent problem in the winter is thrush, that black smelly goo around the frog. Though rarely a cause of lameness itself it can lead to other serious problems. Thrush prospers in a wet, dirty environment. A clean dry stall and regular hoof picking is all that is required to prevent the problem. If you already have the problem, a formalin-based hoof paint will quickly dry up the rotting mess.

Preparing Your Horse for Winter

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

Hot chocolate, mittens and roaring fires keep us warm on cold winter nights. But what about horses? What can you do to help them through the bitter cold, driving wind and icy snow? Below are tips to help you and your horse not only survive but thrive during yet another frosty season.


Your number one responsibility to your horse during winter is to make sure he receives enough quality feedstuffs to maintain his weight and enough drinkable water to maintain his hydration. Forage, or hay, should make up the largest portion of his diet, 1 – 2 % of his body weight per day. Because horses burn calories to stay warm, fortified grain can be added to the diet to keep him at a body condition score of 5 on a scale of 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese). If your horse is an easy keeper, will not be worked hard, or should not have grain for medical reasons, then a ration balancer or complete multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is a better choice than grain. Increasing the amount of hay fed is the best way to keep weight on horses during the winter, as the fermentation process generates internal heat.

Research performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine showed that if during cold weather horses have only warm water available, they will drink a greater volume per day than if they have only icy cold water available. But if they have a choice between warm and icy water simultaneously, they drink almost exclusively from the icy and drink less volume than if they have only warm water available. The take home message is this: you can increase your horse's water consumption by only providing warm water. This can be accomplished either by using any number of bucket or tank heaters or by adding hot water twice daily with feeding. Another method to encourage your horse to drink more in winter (or any time of the year) is to topdress his feed with electrolytes.


It may be tempting to give your horse some "down-time" during winter, but studies have found that muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and overall flexibility significantly decrease even if daily turnout is provided. And as horses grow older, it takes longer and becomes more difficult each spring to return them to their previous level of work. Unfortunately, exercising your horse when it's cold and slippery or frozen can be challenging.

First, work with your farrier to determine if your horse has the best traction with no shoes, regular shoes, shoes with borium added, shoes with "snowball" pads, or some other arrangement. Do your best to lunge, ride or drive in outside areas that are not slippery. Indoor arenas can become quite dusty in winter so ask if a binding agent can be added to hold water and try to water (and drag) as frequently as the temperature will permit. Warm up and cool down with care. A good rule of thumb is to spend twice as much time at these aspects of the workout than you do when the weather is warm. And make sure your horse is cool and dry before turning him back outside or blanketing.


A frequently asked question is: does my horse need a blanket? In general, horses with an adequate hair coat, in good flesh and with access to shelter probably do not need blanketed. However, horses that have been clipped, recently transported to a cold climate, or are thin or sick may need the additional warmth and protection of outerwear.

Horses begin to grow their longer, thicker winter coats in July, shedding the shorter, thinner summer coats in October. The summer coat begins growing in January with March being prime shedding season. This cycle is based on day length—the winter coat is stimulated by decreasing daylight, the summer coat is stimulated by increasing daylight. Owners can inhibit a horse's coat primarily through providing artificial daylight in the fall but also by clothing their horse as the temperature begins to fall. If the horse's exercise routine in the winter causes him to sweat and the long hair hampers the drying and cooling down process, body clipping may be necessary. Blanketing is then a must.


There are a number of health conditions that seem to be made worse by the winter environment. The risk of impaction colic may be decreased by stimulating your horse to drink more water either by providing warm water as the only source or feeding electrolytes. More time spent inside barns and stalls can exacerbate respiratory conditions like "heaves" (now called recurrent airway obstruction), GI conditions like ulcers, and musculoskeletal conditions like degenerative joint disease. Control these problems with appropriate management—such as increasing ventilation in the barn and increasing turnout time—and veterinary intervention in the form of medications and supplements.

Freeze/thaw cycles and muddy or wet conditions can lead to thrush in the hooves and "scratches," or, pastern dermatitis, on the legs. Your best protection against these diseases is keeping the horse in as clean and dry surroundings as possible, picking his feet frequently, and keeping the lower limbs trimmed of hair. Another common winter skin condition is "rain rot," caused by the organism Dermatophilus congolensis. Regular grooming and daily observation can usually prevent this problem, but consult your veterinarian if your horse's back and rump develop painful, crusty lumps that turn into scabs.

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I hope you enjoyed my Winter Tricks and Techniques post! I think there was more winter advice then tricks and techniques. I think it turned out nicely though and am very appreciative for the people who participated!

Special thanks to Ruffles and American Girl! Thank you!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter Months Challenges

So I got to ride Chester, not last Saturday but the one before that! (The 25th) I would say it went pretty good. He had lots of energy...the last time I got on him, I decided to jump up on him bareback when I had him out one day after working him. In the past, I've been practicing jumping up onto his back from the ground. So I just jumped up and was pulling myself up when all of a sudden he bucked me off. I didn't have a helmet with me and I was by myself, so I didn't get back on. (Bad me) =/ That made me sad because my boy has never just bucked me off before. =( So ever since then I've wanted to get back on him. I think that day he had a lot of energy and was excited or whatnot.
That brings us to Saturday, when I tacked him up and got on him. (Before I did, I sent him in a few lunge circles and he bucked a few times. I was glad he got those out.) =) He did great for the most part. After a few minutes he decided that he was done, but I told him I wasn't. I kept at him, as he was heading back towards his barn. (I didn't use a bit.) Well, he started trotting and I ended up stopping him. He was all worked up and started, like, trotting in place. It reminded me of a dancing horse. Then he started walking side ways. Then I thought, hmmm is this what side passing is like? I was more serious then that though; trust me! =) After that he started, (I don't know how to describe it) bumping up his back like he was going to buck. I have to admit, I am scared about being bucked off. Yet over the past couple years of owning a horse, I have gained confidence about being on the back of one; as I have slid off a few times and have fallen off at a lope. I have also been bucked off Chester one time when I was falling off (I was half on and half off) and I think I must have had a foot in his rib. That time I amazingly landed right on my feet right next to him. (Probably because I was half off already.) =) Anyways! Rabbit trail there!
After I got him to a point where I thought I could safely get off, I got off and backed him up letting him know that he was miss behaving and that we weren't going in that direction. Also letting him know I was in charge and we were going to do what I wanted to do. I took him back to where I was originally riding and got back on him and rode him in a couple circles and then ended the ride with me in charge and on a good note.
I think it all goes back to the time and effort you put into your horse. I love this quote- Life does not give you anything. What you get out of it, is what you put into it. I can just think of that horse wise. What I put into my horse is what I'm going to get out. Chester hasn't been worked or ridden a lot at all lately. This is our slow time of year. So, I shouldn't expect this really well mannered horse when we haven't been working on it and keeping it fresh on his mind. I'm not saying that he has forgotten everything. Of course not, but he's a little rusty right now and by george(!), if I hadn't had a good run in months I would be the same way! =)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Glory That Never Fades

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1-2

A Glory that never fades. Is that just awesome or what!? I was thinking about that the other day; that the glory of our Lord God, and Creator never fades. His glory is from generation to generation and from everlasting to everlasting. His glory is so supreme and glorious compared to the "glory" of sinful man.
We as His children, need to bring Him glory in whatever we do. In speech, action or deed. 

Psalm 69:30
I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving

Psalm 86:12
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

I took some pictures of my valley and wanted to share them with you all. They remind me of the glory of our Great and Glorious God. 
He has created all things in wisdom and power. I mean- just look at that beautiful valley! Do you think that happened by chance? No, He created it to bring Him glory.

"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Luke 19:40

Is that not so true? May we beloved friends, always strive to bring glory to our Lord God.

               There is a road on the far side of the valley, that goes up a hill and then to town.

Here's the hill I stand on to look out over my valley. 

This is from another part in the yard. I love this picture! 

And this is where Chester eats in the summer time. You can see a little post, down there, that I move around in the summer for his fence. =) I think the field looks a little bigger then it really is....

       The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Psalm 19:1-2

Have a blessed day dear friends!