Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wes' First Hack and Klein on the XC Course

The adorable is off the charts every day with him.

I took Wes out for his first hack off the barn property today!  It was a perfect evening and Wes was pretty much perfect.  I put Klein's xc bridle on him, hoping it would fit, and with some adjustments it did.  Her Kimberwicke was just a tiny bit snug but not too tight.  I think I might get him a 6.5 inch, Klein's is a 6 inch.

I was just going to ride him in the pasture.  This was our first ride with a bridle so I wanted to get a feel for how he'd be.  But, it was sooo nice out I just thought instead of going back to the pastures I'd just get on him and head out to see what happens.  Wes and I go way back...remember?  If I didn't trust him or he was making me uncomfortable in anyway we wouldn't have went out alone on our first trail ride together, or bareback.  But, Wes.  We're close, I knew we didn't need a saddle, or a friend.

I got on him in front of the barn and we headed out like it was no big deal.  He wanted to see the sights and he did talk a little bit to any neighbor horse that would listen.  Other than that we moved right along.  His trot is SO comfortable!!! 

We were out for about 45 mins.  Wes couldn't have been any better.  Honestly, what would you expect him to do?  He's worked in a downtown area the last nine years of his life.  He isn't going to care about hacking around a rural area.  Sure, he has a rider instead of a harness and carriage, but Wes loves to go out and work.  I didn't think a rider change that.  I just kept talking to him like I did when I drove him all the time.  He was moving forward with a combination of leg and "Walk on."  There is a very, very good chance this is the first trail ride he's ever been on in his life.  But, like I said, on one hand this is a milestone for us, on the other, this boy has been a professional working horse since he was a colt.  He pretty much takes life in stride.

Our entertainment on our ride was a neighbor I usually say hi to when I'm out riding.  He was out today and hasn't seen Wes yet.  When I walked up he said "THAT is a BIG horse, like, that is the BIGGEST horse I have ever seen.  I mean I've never seen a horse this big in real life.  He is SO BIG."


Pony cuddles.

Before I rode Wes I took my Klein mare out and we had a fun dressage ride.

Excuse her filthy mohawk, please.

Last weekend I took a friend to Tallahassee to ride xc.  We had a great time!

 Getting dressed for some xc fun.

 Still owning the War Horse mohawk.

 Warm up hack.

 Part of the course.

 I love this property!

 Klein with her mare friend Addy.

 Klein showing her disapproval of me not letting her engage her afterburner after a fence.

 Yeah...Me-1, Klein-0.  Silly ponyface.  I always have a great appreciation and admiration for her enthusiasm though, and she got her chance to go all out later into the ride.

 And some video:

Also, that morning before we loaded the horses to go to Tallahassee, look what I found!!!!  Wes was grazing on his own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Go Wes!!!

Wes and his friend Rudy grazing together!!

Oh...anyone want to buy some brand new SmartPak Bradley full seat breeches?  I was sent the wrong size.  They are brand new with tags, size 32L.  They're awesome quality, but way too big :(

$60 shipped, email me at

Monday, March 17, 2014

Too Much Adorable

 Wes checking on his sisters while they are eating breakfast before going back out.

Wes likes to stand as close as he can to the mares.  I thought maybe it was just the mares as a whole until one morning when I let the mares out after they ate breakfast and Klein and Mochi walked to the top of the hill.  Wes followed.  He knows who his family is.  It's adorable.  He stands down by the mares to stand as close to Klein and Mochi as he can. 

 At the top of the hill.

So I put them all in the lower pasture together and yes, The Collection are all getting along together.  The girls have accepted Wes and they no longer want to charge him and make ugly faces.  Mochi is no longer getting a running start on flying round house kicks to Wes.  Klein and Wes were even drinking water together yesterday!

Wes was SO CUTE when I put the girls in with him.  He wants to be near them SO bad but then I put the three of them in together and he acts like he's not sure what to do now that they are so close.  This was his reaction at first:

 So bashful!  It's almost too much adorable to handle.

He wasn't sure what to do.  Maybe he couldn't believe they were in with him?  After they didn't try to be ugly to him he started to test the waters:


 Sneaking closer...


Klein and I have been hacking out and schooling some gymnastics.  During one of our rides last week we found a random turtle in a field.

 Awkward turtle.

 Riding with our friend Michelle and her mare, Addy.

 Took The Odd Couple out together, riding Klein and ponying Moch.

 Wes and I had some progress on our latest ride.  We walked around the pasture with more control than our first two rides.  I'm just riding him bareback in a halter and some clip reins.  If you look at the post before this one, where I'm laying backward on him, that's how we're rolling for now.  He still doesn't quite understand why I'm on his back instead of a harness but he just goes along with whatever.  He knows "walk-on" very well so we just are going off of that for now.  

 Watching the tractor drop hay to the neighbor cows.

While I was laying on Wes backward he decided he was going to go see the mares.  So I sat up and started taking video.  Later I realized that's the third time he's been ridden in about nine years.  I love my horses.  I was riding him bareback, backward, in a halter and clip reins, taking video with two hands.

Here he is yesterday running around with the girls:

As it continues to warm up I have been thinking the rest of Wes' hair needs to come off.  He's just such a big horse to constantly shed out with brushing.  No thanks.  I'll just clip.  Well, it turns out he really does have the coat of a wooly mammoth.  I got one side almost done when I decided my blade was done on my clippers.  So I bought a new one the next morning and continued.  I still have one hindquarter left to do.  I have NEVER had to take breaks from clipping a horse, not even Klein.  I can do a full clip on her in one sitting.  Wes' hair is just ridiculous.  Hopefully he won't grow a coat like this next year in the warm winters here.  That Salt Lake City coat is THICK.

Almost done on one side.

Leslie at Brookledge had told me they wanted to send me something and asked what size I wear.  I assumed it was most likely a t-shirt.  Then THIS came in the mail!

It says "Stacey & Wes" on the left chest!!

Wow, I never expected a nice jacket like that, AND with our names on it!!!  Brook Ledge, you rock.  I can't say it enough.

On the rider fitness front, I've been busy with Crossfit as usual.  I'm there 5-6 mornings a week.

Getting ready for some weighted pull-ups.

Being dumb.  "Have you seen my beach ball, umm I mean bumper plate?  I think it's over that way..."

Woot!  I love weighted pull-ups.

I love rope climbs.

I'm not competing in The Open this year, still doing the workouts this year for it but just not officially.  There are a couple things I'd like to improve on before I do.  Next year...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wes' Barefoot Transition, Second Trim

Wes was trimmed last Monday for the second time in three weeks.  The first time was when we pulled his shoes, you can refresh your memory here with the "Wes, the King" post.  Our DAEP was careful not to take off a ton of hoof on his first trim because this is a horse that has been shod all the way around for the last 10 plus years.  He still hasn't been sore one bit and has been running around with all his new friends.  Klein and Mochi were due this past Monday and Cindy thought she'd clean Wes up a little bit but by the time Monday rolled around Wes was ready for a full trim again.  His feet have just taken OFF with growth!!  The brittle parts of his toe were starting to self trim as well.  Check it out:
 You can also see the substantial length going on in this picture.

So Cindy did a full trim on him and his feet are looking GREAT!  They honestly could not be any better.  I am pleasantly surprised that he is making his transition to barefoot so effortlessly.  We still have a lot of work to do as far as getting his angles correct, fixing his heels, fixing some of his bars, and growing some wall on the inside of his ugly left hind.  But, we couldn't be any more on the right track.

 Eghhh...that ugly left rear is......ugly.  But it already looks WAY better than it did when he got here!!

 Work in progress, don't judge.  They'll be identical in a couple months.

 Front left.

 Left rear, that's the wall and bars I was talking about needing the most help.

Right rear.

 Front right.

Wes being adorable like he always is!