Monday, December 29, 2014

A Look Back at 2014

Starting off 2014, January was pretty boring, considering the lack of daylight left once I got off of work, but I did blog about my dog and how awesome he is, and that was literally about it.

Speeding onward into February, it was still cold as all hell, but I did manage to sneak in a ride. I basically loved on, groomed, and spent time with my mare since the ground was stiff, hard, and uninviting. I ended my blogging for February with remembering an old friend.

March brought more riding, which was wholesomely welcomed, until Mother Nature decided to dump a gigantic amount of snow on us. We were entered into a Reining clinic, but it was cancelled last minute due to lack of entrants. I started hand-walking more and more, which morphed into practicing a lot of Showmanship. Mid-March had Suzie and I celebrating our One Year Anniversary - with many more to come! I also dabbled into some questionnaires and debated about where to board my lovely mare.

In April I gave Ms. Mare a bath because she was filthy and disgusting, and my sister's dog sadly passed away. We improved some of our showmanship. I trail rode a very hot, very reactive mess to my house, and made some future goals to track our progress. We got a lot of riding done and before I went back to work, Suzie got adjusted and re-shod. Suzie also got her teeth done and I found out just how bad they were considering she had to be on antibiotics which she fought tooth and nail about.

Early May I made the announcement I was moving Suzie to a new barn. She settled in just fine and we had a wonderful trail ride to the outdoor arena where myself and a friend rode. I also admitted some shame when I found out about using a curb strap with her bit. I participated in some blog hops, Transformation Tuesdays, and recounted memories of Geronimo. During this time, Suzie started to cause undue stress [mostly to me!] because she was not drinking nearly enough, had awful rain rot, and was lame. Continuing the theme of stressing me out, Suzie broke out of her pasture a few times and feasted on some delicious grass in the back pasture which still needed to be re-fenced. We fixed fences and I had a photoshoot in my poofy grad dress with a good friend. Towards the end of the month I blogged about Suzie's resistance and how she rode comparatively to last year.

Blogging became more frequent in June when I dropped a bombshell that I was going to be leasing a friend's mare, Tally. Suzie babysat my SO on a brief trail ride. Tally arrived a few days later and I recounted her first week. In riding more with the SO, I realized that him and Suzie weren't going to be a match and progress was made with both mares riding-wise. I participated in more blog hops, questionnaires and posted a lot of pretty pictures. I posted about how I need lessons after watching a particularly bad video of me riding Tally. I also tried, and failed, to start my own blog hop. I rode both mares back to back and loved every minute of it.

July 1st I took Suzie to the Canada Day Parade and I jumped Tally super high [wow!!]. I took Suzie and Tally to a Schooling Show that I had managed and planned, which was a bit of a disaster, but eye-opening as all horse shows are. I went AWOL for a bit but resumed normal posting about my horse's butt. I began to find out about Tally's slightly bi-polar side when being unridden and complained about showing and the heat. Things continually got better with Tally and I enjoyed riding her more and more. Before heading into August, I blogged about my way of developing rhythmic and swinging gaits and had my first lesson in two years.

In August, I recapped my week off with the ponies; riding, lunging, having Suzie pull me in a tykes wagon... I started to become interested in getting a driving mini, because minis are adorable. I blogged about how thankful I am that Suzie is kid safe and essentially bomb-proof. Tally and I headed out to compete in one of the biggest shows I've ever been to and we had a lot of learning lessons, a few ribbons, and a lot of smiles. The wheels of horsey showing never stopped motion and I planned out a hectic week complete with a clinic and a show.

Welcoming September I took my mare to our first clinic together and trail rode both mares quite a bit. I took Tally to the English portion of showing on the Saturday and we didn't place in any classes. I showed Suzie in the Western portion of the show on Sunday and placed Grand Champion in Halter and First in Showmanship. Our flat classes left much to be desired, as Suzie somewhat reverted back to her "drill team" days. I posted about buying Spud, a miniature horse, sight unseen and shared the miniscule progress Tally and I were having, as well as Spud with his driving trainer. Tally and I had a fun jumping night with a few friends and we hacked home in the darkness. At the end of September I felt the need to share more about Spud's training progress, despite the "non traditional" way of it being done.

October was particularly exciting because I met and drove, Spud for the very first time. After returning back home, both Tally and Suzie had their teeth floated (Suzie for the second time this year). I posted about the back-lash I received on behalf of Spud and his training and how sometimes well meaning people really aren't well meaning. The lease on Tally ended and I said goodbye and thanked her for giving me a great year of showing and keeping me safe in the show-ring. With more excitement, I bought a new truck and the SO and I signed on the dotted line for five acres of land! It rained, rained and rained some more and Suzie became bored and turned into an overnight cribber. I also posted a lot of cute pictures.

November brought my want for a new Dressage saddle and I asked my readers what saddle they rode in. I blogged a bit about my dogs, walking, and on Spud's training progress again. I posted about the four year anniversary of Cheyenne's death and what it means to me. In an attempt to become positive after the last sad post, I started up "Building The Dream" blog series about our five acres of land. I celebrated my birthday and rode Suzie in the pitch black. I blogged about owning an old horse and how it is not an inconvenience. The countdown until Spud came home started and I posted a shitload of photos for a 1.5year time lapse of Suzie. The SO and I headed out towards the end of November and brought Spud home. After meeting Suzie and settling in comfortably for a whole evening, I took Spud out for his first drive at home and rode Suzie in her obnoxious blanket and halter.

I started off December by largely participating in blog hops and elaborating on topics posed by other bloggers. I reviewed the Jeffers Expressions blanket and drive Spud a few times. Mid-December brings some interesting highlights into Suzie's earlier years as I track down her original breeder and find out a bit more about her past. I go slightly silent during the Christmas-season, but redeem myself with more Spud driving blog posts and pictures of the horse's wearing bows.

An entire year of blogging down and I am looking forward to 2015. More memories to be made, and more life lessons to be learnt. I cannot wait. Bring it on, 2015.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

We Kinda Have Brakes, Steering and Badassery!

 I decided to take Spud out in the cart today again and worked more on putting his harness on correctly annnnnd, guess what The breeching doesn't fit. Awesome. My little apple-bottom booty'ed mini has too big of a tushy for the breeching that came with the cart. Unfortunately, this means I will really need to get myself a harness that really fits - that Comfy Fit harness might just get ordered much, much sooner.

I wanted to work on a multitude of things with him, so I split up the training session in a few different exercises where I concentrated on certain things. I wanted to work on:

  • Pace. Finding a consistant, quiet, and ground-covering pace. When asked to trot off he likes to lurch forwards and takes a few trot paces to settle down into himself.
  • Down transitions and brakes. I found that he bluges out to the left or right when I ask for a transition and it is almost like he wiggles through it.

  • Straightness. He likes to drift a bit, and I think that has a lot to do with being green, so I wanted to work on walking straight ahead.

As a bonus, I brought out the driving whip I had bought and used it to direct him and oh my god, why is it so hard to hold reins and a whip at the same time?! Spud did pretty good with it and we had some really nice moments, especially during a point where we were trotting along and I had him weaving back and forth across the road (practicing our streering). SUPER pleased with him. We did a lot of transitons halt-walk, walk-trot-walk, and he did get impatient in some spots, but he did get better as the ride went on. We also worked on turning on the haunches in the cart and he got sticky and confused again, so I didn't really press it.

He'll be a badass driving pony soon enough.
Overall, it was a very successful drive and although we still had some arguements, it was probably one of the better drives I've had out of him. I still have to remember that he is green, young, and inexperienced, but more than that, I have to realize that driving a horse is JUST as hard as riding one! I find that I "stop driving" because I'm more apt to sit back and relax rather than constantly support him and "ride" him.

On the Suzie front, she must be feeling much, much better because she did a beautiful extended trot around the pen when Spud and I got back and it was completely sound. What the heck?! I'm assuming that she must've tweaked something the day before and was just sore or had a sprain of some kind. I did pick out her hooves this morning to check for embedded rocks/abcesses and there was nothing. Still no heat and still no lumps, bumps or anything. I swear, she'll be the death of me!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


 The big horse and the half a horse got taken for a nice long walk this afternoon to the Fairground arena and turned loose to play and have fun. I assumed they'd have some energy to burn, and while Spud had fun, Suzie seemed a bit lame and uncomfortable so she only really meandered around quietly while Spud pig-rooted and galloped like a little hyperbike.

The walk home was goddamn painful because Spud seems to think that he can't walk as fast as Suzie and I, so he lagged some serious ass. I ended up tying his leadrope around Suzie's neck and made Mare-face pull his sorry ass home. I also found out that without blidners on, Spud spooks and shys away from pretty much anything. I'm assuming him being a little freak is from being a pretty much rogue horse for a few years before I bought him. Ah well, be prepared little pony, because there are plenty more things to rock your world coming!


Other than the little walk and turn-out time, the horses are doing well. They've been gross, dirty, and stuffing their faces. I am not sure what is up with Suzie's mystery lameness, as there is no heat or anything else, so I've just goven her some of her Equinox and left her for the night. Thank goodness I didn't decide to trailer them out to the indoor arena (1hr away) because I would've gotten there and had a lame horse. Sigh. Poor old mare. Hopefully it is nothing more and I can actually ride her once before the holidays are over for me.

Christmas Aftermath

 Christmas has come and gone for another year and I for one am a bit thankful. The hustle/bustle of the holidays is always stressful and without my own parents here this year, I've been feeling a bit blue. Despite this, I had a wonderful day with the Boyfriend and his family and my Grandma, Auntie and siblings. My parents sent quite a few gifts (mostly ornaments, lol), but I would've rather had time to spend with them than anything.

Suzie says "I hate this shit"
The a few days before Christmas I cleaned Spud up a little bit and I did a complete hack-job on his poor mane (I am NOT used to pony manes, mmkay?!) and cleaned up his little feetsies a bit more. I also took the little man for a spin with my 95 year old Grandmother sitting beside me, which was super awesome. Spud was pretty well behaved, but kept slipping in the slush so we cut the ride short. He also allowed my nephew to sit on his back for a little bit, which was nice to see. Come Spring it'll be nice to get him going undersaddle, which will be another goal for him.

Unfortunately, it has been pouring rain on/off and the days have just had an altogether miserable feel to them. Suzie hasn't been worked in a long while, but I am anticipating driving out to the indoor arena and riding her there because the Fairgrounds outdoor around here is full of snow still. Fingers crossed I get out to ride my pretty and fiesty girl at least once this holiday!

A big bow for a little pony!
On Christmas Day, after breakfast, Jamie and I took Spud out in the cart. He was pretty well behaved (Spud, not Jamie), but I noticed he started to get fussy once he got sweaty. I'm not sure if it is a pony thing or maybe it's just an Appy thing, but he had some major attitude! Nothing malicious or scary, but he was just being a little pissy head. He settled pretty well afterwards, which was good. I can't wait to work with him a bit more and get some good transitions out of him and some quality work.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my readers a wonderful and happy Christmas holiday. Please stay safe and enjoy your time with family, friends, and all the four-legged loves of your life! From my home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

I was hoping to have some photos of the horses all dressed up, but the timing was off and I wasn't able to get decorations until yesterday. Here's to hoping I can get some photos done tomorrow, but in the mean time, know that both Suzie and Spud are doing well!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December's 10 Questions + Pic Spam

Thank you once again to Viva Carlos for yet another installment of "10 Questions". Without these regular blog hops and questions, I'd have literally no content.

Geronimo, 15.3h gelding.
    What size horse do you prefer to ride?
    I prefer horses that are about/around 15 hands. Most of the time I make most horses look like giants because I am pretty much a midget. In fact, most of the pictures in this post will be about me looking like a midget on various horses. Enjoy!

    Tally, 16.2h mare.
     Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots?
    Half chaps and paddock boots - much comfier to walk around in afterwards.

    Cheyenne. 15.2h gelding.

    What do you do with your ribbons after shows?
    They get hung up in the house for a couple of weeks right after the show and then they get put away and forgot about. I really should start writing down classes/ horse name, etc on the backs of them.

    Roxie, 16.2h mare.

    Do you ride/board at a large show barn or a small private barn?
    I have a small, privately owned barn all to myself. Just my two horses are there and I maintain everything.

    Czar, 15.2h gelding.

    Have you ever seen a horse give birth?No - I have seen a foal right after birth, though. (ie. Mother licking them off, standing for the first time, etc).

    Havana, 16h mare.

    What is your favorite breed?
    I don't really have a favorite breed - if it is sane and we mesh well together, I'm cool with that. I do love my Quarter Horses, though.

    Bubba, 17h gelding.

    Favorite tack brand?Nothing particular.

    Lacey, 15.2h mare.

    Would you ever buy used tack?
    Both of my saddles have been pre-owned.

    Stormy, 16h+ gelding.
    Please excuse my grubbiness, LOL. I had no "riding" clothes with me.

    Ever been on a carriage ride?
    Yes, back when I was quite young. I have my own driving miniature now.

    Suzie, 15h mare.

    How often do you go to the tack store?
    No often because we do not have one near our town. I mostly order online.

    TOA Blog Hop: Making of the Horse(s)

    Moving onwards and upwards from last weeks blog hop,  Beka from The Owls Approve asks a rather interesting and thought provoking round of questions. I find that Beka's blog hops are giving me so much more information on other blogger's horses!

    So this week:

    Who trained your horse?  Is your ponykins still in the process of figuring out this whole monkey-on-my-back thing, did you send off for thirty or sixty or ninety days, or did you buy a horse with all the bells and whistles?  Who has helped your horse become what he or she is today?

    Mare says, "HA, this is easy!"

    I will start off with Suzie, as ironically, I know pretty much nothing about her past training or credentials. After speaking with her original breeder I found out she was started by a trainer in Alberta. After that, there is a large 14 year gap that I cannot seem to fill. I do know that she spent some time being a drill team horse and a barrel horse - she must've done it quite a bit, as she knows the pattern and does the entire sequence on her own. When I bought her, I rode her bareback and bridleless on our third ride and have done so ever since. She is a reliable, steady-eddie type horse and certainly knows her job. The lessons we did back in September have helped out a lot and I intend to take many more clinics next year to improve my Western Horsemanship skills.

    This little kid riding shit is the best.

    With Ms. Mare being 21, she is well acquainted with having a "monkey" on her back and is a rather solid riding horse. Although I am uncertain as to how she was broke or what training she ever received, it became glaringly evident someone spent a lot of time training her - and training her well (As found out through the clinic I did this past September). She takes a bit to figure out because if you piss her off she will try and kill you (like most red mares), but once you get a good working relationship with her, you have her heart.

    Green-broke to saddle.

    Ah, dear little Spudlet. I bought him back in September and right away sent him for Driving training with a Trainer who specialized in miniatures (she does drive various other equines as well). Spud had been ground-driven extensively with his previous owner for about 2-3 months and was quite solid in harness tack, he had however, never been hitched to a cart. Additionally, his previous owner also broke him to saddle, although I am not certain how extensive his saddle training was. I knew I wouldn't be able to break him to a cart on my own, so I sent him to the Trainer for just over 60 days.

    For his future training, I will be his primary driver. I don't think I will be sending him away for any more training, as we do not have a driving trainer in the area and I don't think I could justify sending him 12hrs away for more training unless it was a dangerous issue. In the Spring I will also start breaking him to saddle with a rider. I have big plans for this little guy, he just doesn't know it yet.


    Friday, December 19, 2014

    An Elaborate Past

    Since the previous blog hop about the history of our horses, I've delved a bit deeper into Suzie's murky past. Pre-warning, I did not find any impacting information about her - but I was able to contact someone pretty important in her life!

    Initially, it broke down like this: in 1993 Suzie was foaled out in Saskatchewan. I couldn't find out any more information about the breeders or if she was born on a Performance Horse farm or otherwise. It appeared as though someone in Alberta scooped her up as a two year old and kept her for less than a month before she mysteriously "fell off the radar". I know for a fact she was owned by another woman in the Kamloops/108 area other than Emmy, the Rescue owner. Obviously that woman never put herself on Suzie's papers. Figures. It looks like the Rescue acquired her back in 2009, which means Suzie would've been 16 years old.

    So what the heck happened in the 14 years in between?!

    Seems like an awful good chunk of time that no one bothered to put themselves on her papers.

    Sleuthing further, I've found that she has no recordable or registered foals.

    Her Sire, Exclusively Coosa is from Georgia, so I have no doubt that the semen was shipped to Saskatchewan. Suzie's Dam, Tardys Honey Bee was born in Montana and brought up to Saskatchewan and eventually purchased by Ronald Schreiner, Suzie's breeders.

    And then, BAM:

    EXCLUSIVEBEE 3306027 Sorrel Stallion 05/06/1994 HYPP Results:N/N
               Dam- TARDYS HONEY BEE 1480257 Damsire- TARDY'S TEN SPOT 1074185

    A full brother, who is a stallion no less? No way.

    And no stallion progeny record? Hmmmm.. What happened to him?

    So since that trail ran cold, I decided to look up the Schreiners once again... which lead me to this:

    I so called the number and explained myself and asked if he had bred horses. He still does. I then asked if he bred Quarter Horses - he still does.... My heart started pounding in my chest. I told him that, "I think I have one of yours." I told him I owned Quick Little Coosa and oh my god, HE REMEMBERED HER!!!! I was FREAKING out.

    We spoke for about 10 minutes and I told him about how I acquired her and how much she is loved and oh my, I almost peed my pants. He remembers her and he still breeds Quarter Horses to this day. Apparently most of his Quarter Horses have a "DNR" brand on their hip, but for some reason Suzie didn't. Anyways, she was sold in a liquidation sale as he had over 200 registered Quarter Horses at the time and needed to down-size. She was sent to a trainer in Alberta for a while, I guess, and he obviously put a pretty good foundation on her. He said that because they had so many horses, they lost track of a lot of them but was glad to hear she was well taken care of and loved.

    I have his e-mail address and am in the process of sending him some photos. He is going to look for some Suzie baby photos, dam photos, sire photos, and possibly some sibling photos. I AM SO EXCITED. He was shocked to hear how old she was and said that it makes him feel old, haha.


    Schreiner Quarter Horse home of "Chevy Silverado" an outstanding AQHA Impressive bred stallion standing for the 2012 breeding season at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, Sk.  Live cover or shipped fresh/frozen semen. 306-227-4021.  Video coming soon.

    Ron Schreiner Trucking -  horse, cattle, hay transport throught Western Canada, references, guaranteed service. 306-227-4021
    - See more at:
    Schreiner Quarter Horse home of "Chevy Silverado" an outstanding AQHA Impressive bred stallion standing for the 2012 breeding season at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatoon, Sk.  Live cover or shipped fresh/frozen semen. 306-227-4021.  Video coming soon.

    Ron Schreiner Trucking -  horse, cattle, hay transport throught Western Canada, references, guaranteed service. 306-227-4021
    - See more at:

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Product Review: Hamer & Clay Ornaments

    I have been so excited to do this review, namely because I have been longing for some personalized ornaments for quite some time! I find Christmas shopping difficult because I like getting gifts that people will actually use/keep for a long time - trinkets and little gifts that have no particular use aren't my favorite to receive and I try to steer away from them for those I am purchasing for.

    Enter Hamer & Clay.

    Based in Alberta, BC the owner and operator, Kelsey started up her business in 2011. Her studio offers custom and personalized horse [her specialty!] and pet ornaments. The ornaments range from $15-25 and are made from polymer clay. Kelsey is a one-woman-show; molding and shaping each and every detail, matching specific markings, expressions, etc. Adding to the "custom" options, customers can choose a wide variety of small adornments to add (bows, wreaths, etc). Kelsey is a self-admitted tack-aholic and is meticulous in her details - just take a peek at these super awesome customs!

    A three day eventer with a dash of sparkles!

    A Reiner coming to a sliding stop - complete with dust flying!

    Dressage customs - look at that detail!

    I ended up ordering seven ornaments - Kelsey was easy to deal with and was polite to my indecisiveness as I hemmed and hawed over what embellishments I wanted added. As a side note, she does get a lot of orders and I would highly recommend ordering sooner rather than later - Kelsey does her best to ensure customer satisfaction and to ensure the orders arrive prior to Christmas, but we are all human and it would immensely help her out.

    One of Tally for her owner.


    I sent her a multitude of photos of each subject, as well as a brief description of things I wanted added and shipping was timely - they arrived within 2-3 days. All of the ornaments came packaged in bubble wrap and some cute tissue paper, all in a beautiful little box with blue bows tied on the top - I didn't even have to wrap them with Christmas paper! Winning! I found that the pictures on the website certainly do not do these ornaments justice - they are simply beautiful and have massive amounts of detail.

     I have just posted a few of the ornaments I bought, but I encourage you to check our her Facebook page - she's done a few Moose, Cows, etc and is expanding her horizons!

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Wordless Wednesday

    Because nothing else is going on other than work, work, more work and work some more. Ick. Only four more days until my two week Christmas vacation (and I cannot wait)!

    I tried to include some Winter-esque photos from previous years, as it is snowing now (finally) and everyone loves snow-covered landscapes :) 

    Mount Claque, from two years ago.
    At one of the Construction wharfs, about three years ago.
    Don't they look happy?

    Hiking in the snow last year.

    Sorry, I wish I had more input for you all. I DO have a Product Review post coming up, I just need to get photos of my item first!

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Second Drive

    Don't tell anyone I make him stand unattended while hitched!

    On Thursday I managed to wrangle half a day off work - coupling Doctor appointments (for me) and Veterinary appointments (for Ty), I opted to work for only the morning and leave at noon. I had a few hours to kill be productive before Ty's appointment so I ran out to the ponies, cleaned up the run-in shed (FIVE wheelbarrows of poop mixed with hay.... yum), repositioned their water tub, and did a bunch of chores before hooking up Spud to the cart and going for a quick jaunt.

    As I cleaned up the shed I allowed Spud and Suzie to run around in the back pasture, which Spud took full advantage of and riled himself and Suzie up to the point of bucking and galloping. Needless to say, much hilarity ensued at the expense of one certain fluffy, fat mini. He must be keeping Suzie young because she bucked like a bronco and flipped her tail over her back like an Arabian. If you have never had the chance to watch a miniature horse gallop or a Quarter Horse execute an Arabian impression, you are in for a surprise once it uploads to Youtube. Keep your eyes peeled!

    Despite the freshness Spud felt in the field, he stood quietly for tacking up. I attempted to rig on the breeching but did a very awful, horrible job. I have also noticed that the way I rig up the the belly-band is incorrect. So, after I had taken photos and compared them to others, I felt pretty discouraged and defeated. The plan is to head out Sunday evening and re-rig everything and see if I can get it right. Practice makes perfect, right? I am also going to be ordering "Breaking and Training the Driving Horse" by Doris Ganton, as I've heard that it has some pretty good diagrams and explains things at a beginner level. It is unfortunate I have no access to an instructor, trainer, or otherwise. Spud's trainer has been helping me out as best as she can, but unfortunately, I am left to my own devices. If anyone has some suggestions or helpful hints based off of my photos, please do not hesitate to educate me!

    Breeching isn't quite right, but Spud didn't care.
    After hitching Spud to the harness he stood pretty solidly and quietly. He was itching to get going and kept insisting to walk off, but after a minor argument he settled. We ended up driving for about 30 minutes and did quite a bit of trotting. I found he gets quite deep in the bridle and overflexes - he responds pretty well to half-halts but starts to ignore them once he figures he should speed up. We spent some time just still trying to figure out the cart, harness, and his abilities. Every once in a while he'd just completely stop and stand there and I'd have to get him going again - will be introducing him to the whip in the coming weeks to reinforce the "go" button if this continues.

    Other than that, he spooked at a few puddles on the ground but did everything I asked of him. We did some turn on the haunches and he caught on pretty well. I found that he still wiggles around and we can't walk a straight line still - I am certain most of that is my fault, as I am still learning too. On the way home he kept breaking to a trot when I asked him to walk faster - this is something that will take time and patience to break him of. His "nonchalant" walk is pretty slow and I need to figure out how fast he normally walks before he breaks into a trot so I can stop asking/be prepared for when he gets to that point.

    Video still from trotting down the gravel road.

    What a pair we are. A green driving horse with a very, very green driver. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    TOA Blog Hop: History of the Horse

    Made by L at Viva Carlos.
    In honor of  the super handsome gelding Archie's impending birthday, owner and biggest fan (no doubt) Beka, is committing to an 18 week long blog-hop-aganza! Beka is going to be bestowing us with some awesome blog-hops to keep the blogging brain on track and chase away the Winter blues - who wouldn't love this!?!

    The topic that was chosen is one that is both exciting and interesting. I actually contacted Spud's old owner to find out exactly where he came from, because after reading a few of the hops on this, I got curious!

    Before you met, where was your horse?  Who bred him/her?  What do you know about his sire and his dam?  What do you know where he came from?  Tell me about the time before he had a trainer.

    Since I have two horses (well, one and a quarter if you really want to get picky), I'll try and keep it as un-wordy as possible (is that even a word?!). 

    Suzie at the Rescue.
     Suzie's past is largely a mystery and after several attempts to try and find out where she came from, I've pretty much given up. I can piece together most of the puzzle, but a lot of it is still hazy and unclear. I know she was bred and born in Saskatchewan and as a two year old made her way to Alberta. From there, she exchanged hands yet again to who knows where. And this is where it gets dicey.

    From what I've been told, Suzie has had a multitude of owners, many of whom did not transfer their names onto her papers. I've checked and re-checked Google millions of times to no avail. Her trail basically ends in the Kamloops area, where ironically Spud is from.

    Becoming a good trail horse.
    The trail gets hazy because she was owned by a woman who drill teamed and barrel raced the shit out of her and this woman never transferred herself onto Suzie's registration papers. And who knows who owned her before that. I've received quite a bit of info on her "last" owner and was told that she kept Suzie at a pretty decent barn but kept her in a stall most of the time and brought out only to gallop around the arena. I don't know what else occurred (or didn't occur) but Suzie ended up rearing and being a hot mess in the arena (gee, I wonder why). The owner couldn't deal with her hot-headed behavior and took Suzie to a Horse Rescue. The Rescue Owner, Emmy, worked with Suzie extensively and since she couldn't be within three feet of an arena without rearing, Emmy worked with her in the hay fields, trails, and pastures. Slowly, Suzie was lightly used again for barrel racing and was happy to be ridden and stopped rearing. She was used as a Guide horse for three years.

    Riding Suzie in 2009 when I stayed at the Rescue - we took
    her to a fun gymkhana.
    Emmy riding Suzie in 2009.

    Ironically, I met Emmy, the woman who owns the Rescue, back in 2005 and had kept in contact with her ever since I had taken a trail ride at her stables (all of her rescues are turned into trail mounts if they are sound and healthy). I fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams and went up to work at the Rescue in 2009 and fell in love with  Suzie and her personality. Emmy always joked with me that she would "force Suzie" on me as a non-returnable gift. I wasn't in any position to buy a horse, much less one that was over 10 hours away and it wasn't until three years later I was able to actually make the commitment to bring her home. Now, she is here to stay until her last breath. Forever. 

    Spud (L) and his sister (R).
     Now on to Spud. I don't know much about his history, but from his last owner, I found out that him and his full sister were purchased from a breeder by an elderly man for his grandkids. I am not sure how old Spud and his sister were or how long they were with this man, but both minis pretty much sat idle for a long time doing nothing but getting fat and undomesticated. The woman who owned him before me tried to buy Spud and his sister a few times but the man wouldn't sell them for what she had offered to pay and no one could even catch them anyways. I guess she gave up trying to pursue the purchase and yet, in some odd twist of fate, Spud and his sibling ended up at a cattle auction the woman was at. She recognized the two minis and bought them then and there. 

    Green broke with a saddle.

    His old owner maintains a children's petting zoo and thus, has many animals. She put some time into Spud - harnessing, ground driving, etc before posting him on the Facebook classifieds (to my knowledge, his sister was sold a few weeks ago). At the time, I had been posting on the classifieds looking for a miniature and a woman (who later would become Spud's driving trainer!) who had been helping me try to find a broke driving mini messaged me with Spud's ad details. At first, I just glanced it over and didn't think much of him - after all, he wasn't completely broke. Obviously, I relented in the end and took a chance on him.

    I have started looking at some Appy mini breeders and have found one that looks promising. I've contacted her, so fingers crossed she replies and it is the right place! I'll update as I know more.