Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Arabian Archives: *Bask

While I am certainly not an expert, I do love the Arabian horse and sharing information about them.

So with this, I thought I would start a new subsection of "Arabian Archives" talking about influential Arabians, whether in the show ring, the breeding shed, or both.

It does seem appropriate to introduce *Bask as the first horse in these archives.  The asterisk associated with *Bask's name denotes that he was imported from another country into the United States.

*Bask [Witraz x Balalajka]

Foaled Feb. 9th, 1956

Why is *Bask such a well known name?  It seems even people not very familiar with Arabians have heard of this stallion?  

He was imported from Poland to the US by one of the most well known farms in the industry: Lasma Arabians.  He was well promoted and proved himself to be an incredible show horse, winning national championships in halter and park, as well as titles in formal driving. 

But why is this stallion so well known today?  Many horses are champions, yet as the years pass are forgotten.

*Bask was heavily promoted by Lasma and subsequently was bred to some fantastic mares, both of American (and Crabbet) ancestry, as well as imported Polish Arabian mares. 

In my opinion, his offspring began to have a certain look.  Many were quite successful in the show ring.  In the breeding shed, *Bask fever took over.  Before the advent of shipped semen, breeding to a young up and coming son of *Bask was a good bet.

*Bask sired 196 National Champions.  An incredible number and not counting his offspring that were national producers.

His bloodlines can be found in every aspect of the breed.  High stepping English horses, reining horses, western horses, and halter horses can all be found with *Bask bloodlines.

In fact, both the Semi Feral Mare and the Semi Feral Filly trace to *Bask.  The mare has three lines and the filly has four.  

This handsome chestnut stallion is a son of *Bask named Zodiac Matador.  He is the filly's grandsire.

This is *Gdansk, another *Bask son.  The mare is a granddaughter of this handsome park horse.

So here is a very brief overview of one of most influential stallions in the Arabian breed.  Any specific questions about Arabians you would like to see answered?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Freebie Tonight

Some people have experience with commercially marketed pheromones like Feliway.

ConfidenceEQ is a new equine related pheromone that's now on the market.  Pheromones are chemicals secreted and can be received externally.

The advertising spiel is that ConfidenceEQ is using the soothing pheromones that a dam secretes to her foal.

It's to be applied 30 minutes before a stressful situation.

In the life of a semi feral mare, most situations are at least semi stressful.

So, if you're curious like I am, head over to sign up for a free sample.

I'm curious for others input on how it works for them.  I'll update after I find the perfect situation in which to try it.  :) 

But for free, it may be worth a shot for horses that do get a bit anxious in particular situations. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Saving Cents

Horses are expensive.

Just ask my husband.

But as it is heading into winter, in many parts of my area, we are deworming as the frost hits for tapeworms.

I use Equimax in the fall.  There have been oral irritation and ulcers associated with Zimecterin Gold, so that isn't my cup of tea.

If anyone else out there is into saving a couple cents at a time with horses, then feel free to look at these rebates below.

If you are into Zimecterin Gold, here is a rebate for them, but it requires a minimum of 6 tubes, so find some friends.
Zimecterin Gold

I'll try and share more savings with you as I find them.  :) 

Feel free to share any that you find as well and I'll try and share them regularly.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Filly and the Lesson

I take lessons infrequently due to my schedule and lack of finances at times. 

I had hoped to have a lesson with the filly for some time now, so finally got one on board just to get some input on how the filly is doing.  I think she's pretty cute, but I am a little barn blind.  ;)

The arena was crazy.

Really, really crazy.

There was a pony club meeting most of the day so it seems that most of the boarders came out right when pony club ended.  I had posted the lesson on the online calendar, but not sure how many people know to check the calendar and/or know how to ride in traffic with lessons in progress.

But we survived.  My friend also had a lesson going on with the SFM (I'll see if she will let me share or if she'll kill me for talking about her.   ;) ) and so we more or less switched off between mare and filly working at a time.

The filly was great.  Handled the traffic well.  Had a good idea on what to work on.

I do like to micromanage things, so some good ideas about how to let her make a mistake and then correct it, ie when I ask for the bend, let her pick up the bend and hold it.  If she loses the bend, then correct that and go again instead of pick, pick, pick, pick which is simply annoying to the horse.

Did some brief canter work encouraging her to just move forward to maintain tempo and to not quit, which she does like to do at times.  ;)

Basic work on how to have the filly go straight up the quarterlines.  It is enjoyable and fun to be working on lateral work, but this is the first horse I've had with a blank slate that it is good to have input on what needs to be the foundation before continuing onwards.

Straight, then more lateral work.  ;)

It was of course, pleasing to hear that the instructor loved the filly's movement and thinks she has a lot of quality and that I should show on the USDF circuit with her.  Time will tell.  I would love to do so.  :)

All in all, a pleasing evening topped off with a margarita at a local Mexican restaurant.  Can't beat that with a stick.  :)

SFM said she worked too and was really hot, so she got two coolers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pony Time

Barn time tonight. 

I went ahead and saddled up and then realized that someone had a beginner riding lesson, which was fine.  I am happy to share the arena, but it gets more complicated when the novice rider is being lunged, so I went ahead and stopped my regular circles/whatever type riding and stood and chatted with another boarder tonight.

Then the owners of the two weanlings brought their babies into the arena for some more socialization.  The SFM is actually turned out with both, so she didn't really care.  I used that time to do some easy trot work and a brief canter.

Look an actual picture of me riding the other day. 

The babies were pretty adorable.  They were a little concerned about their field mate now having something strange going on and why on Earth was she running??  They skittered around a little bit and I stood and talked to them and tried to convince them that I really wasn't terrorizing the Semi Feral Mare, although there are plenty of days that the Mare thinks that too.  ;)

I ended up talking about ponying young horses and then voila--ended up with the first little weanling who needed some exercise.  Recently gelded, he needed to move around a bit and here I was.  For his first ponying experience, he was great.  Responsive to following and seemed happy go lucky to get along with the program.  He had to do a cute little lope to keep up with the Mare's obnoxiously huge trot, but that was all good.

Baby number two was a little less happy with the endeavor.  He desperately wants to be friends with the Mare, but is still very subdued and a bit terrified of her.  He is also a bit sulky.  But I was very happy and pleased with him too as by the end, he finally figured out how to come along quietly at both the walk and the trot.  

Sorry no babies.  This was Saturday doing bending work ;)

Yay babies.  :) 

The Mare did great too dealing with the slight chaos of the occasional baby skittering around or stopping dead or whatever random hijinks they did.  I think her biggest concern was dealing with the mixed signals when I was wrestling a baby with one hand and inadvertently shifting my weight in the dressage saddle, as it's a bit harder than my typical ponying in the western saddle--less leverage.  The Mare was like...weight?  Leg?  OK, we can move away from this pressure too.  

Lots of laps later the final tally was:
1 Tired Not-As-Feral Mare
2 Tired Babies
1 Human who realizes how sore her biceps now are

But it's funny how just simple baby wrestling made me happy tonight.  No idea why.

Either that or the drugs are working too.  ;)

Anyone else ever have the pleasure/joy of ponying a less than cooperative steed?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Through the Meadows

Of course, horses are good for the soul. 

We know this.  But sometimes, it's imperative to experience this.

Ridiculously cute barn cat napping on hay in the stalls
Friday was my day off from major obligations.  No work, no class.  I had two exams Saturday, so I had that looming, but no actual deadlines to be in one place or another. 

A friend is working to place some horses that a boarder can no longer afford.  I am a horse enabler so I was meeting up with another gal I know to see if she might be interested in one.

When this was done, the clouds had parted, the sun peaked through.  The drab Midwestern weather had seemed to lift for just a moment.

I was at a facility where Alex, the amazing Arabian had landed.  I seized the moment.  Let's ride!
Another person saddled up with me and we headed into the arena briefly to warm our old mounts up.  Alex is 25 although from his sassy, cheeky behavior, he resembles more of a five year old gelding.  Cass, an twenty year old Paint, also seemed particularly full of P&V. 

We headed out, the horse's heads tossing with enthusiasm. 

With each footstep, I felt a bit of happiness and peace returning.  Carrying so much anxiety and stress causes me to shut down and compartmentalize things, but this didn't matter at that moment.  Just the breeze in the trees, the sweet smell of autumn, and two joyous horses.

We picked up a gentle trot.  I collected Alex up and he quietly obliged, a season veteran.  His trot was jarring, but I have ridden him hundreds of times.  No major deal today to sit and hang out with an old friend once more. 

I looked back and Cass and his rider.  A canter?  Yes please.  Such power as they moved forward out into the cut hayfield.  The sweet smell of grass and smooth footing as the horses continued onwards.

How could someone not find joy in this?  Muscles rippling underneath the saddle, a responsive horse, beautiful weather, a good companion.

Thank you dear Alex for bringing my safely through the meadows and once again, back on a path of happiness. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

10 Things I Didn't Know

10 Things I Didn't Know 10 Years Ago

(Keep in mind my background was primarily just trail riding, riding western, and working problem horses).  :)

1.  I had no idea how to ride the correct diagonal
2.  Wrapping polos was a major mystery.  I am still not fantastic, but at least I mostly get it.
3.  The hunter/jumper world.  I didn't really understand how jumping could have a style.
4. I didn't know on an English bridle if the cavesson went over or under the cheek pieces. 
5.  Counting strides.  Still not something I can say I can do well, but at least I understand the point of them.
6.  How to do basic lateral movements on a horse.  The extent of my previous life was a sidepass.  Now there are too many buttons to try and address. 
7.  How to blanket a horse.  Seriously.  So many questions I had to answer like crossing leg straps, what denier, what type of turnout?
8.  The difference between all purpose, dressage, close contact saddles, etc.  It was a bit confusing until I actually rode in all of them.  Sometimes the light bulb takes a bit to warm up & turn on.
9.  Two point was also a foreign concept
10.  How or why to clip a bridle path. 

So how about you?  What things did you not know 10 years, 5 years, or last year? 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Out of the Darkness

Life is busy, but that's how it goes.

Survived the internship, so that's good.  There was a minor car accident, a compromised bank account, and some fun hospital internship drama, but that's in the past, so onwards and upwards.

I had the chance last week to take the little filly on a short trail ride.  It was dusk, but beautiful weather in the high 60s at the time. 

The filly was perfect.  Happy to lead or follow.  Another mare got a little bit antsy and squirrely, so I helped out by sort of body blocking her a bit to quiet her jigging down.

It was pretty much just dark when I got back up to the barn.  Good thing she doesn't mind the flash on my cell phone.

Onwards and upwards, one good ride at a time.  Horses are good for the soul.