I am completely enjoying this month as we move into fall. You can smell it in the air as we cool down especially at night so the mornings stay fairly cool for many hours. The nights will start to dip down into the 50’s soon a very welcome reprieve from the summer months. I often mention how time flies as we get older, it just goes by faster each year so it seems. I really do try and savor each day. I have dreams for the future that sometimes feel out of reach, so instead of getting frustrated I try and concentrate on each day to each week. It does make life more fulfilling this way in my eyes! How is your coffee this morning? I had a delicious cup with my oatmeal and english muffin. Or maybe you are drinking tea? I have been having a wonderful time this last month trail riding on my horses, and it took some experimenting but I figured out a way to pony Zack next to Chloe with little to no biting. I’ll explain!
When I started on my trail rides ponying Zack I started with just his blue halter with a stud shank (the chain that is attached to the halter) and the lead rope. For those of you who do not know horses, the stud shank chain adds a bit of strength for us puny humans. Most horses weigh around 1,000 pounds give or take 100 pounds. (Zack weighs about 1,000 pounds, Chloe weighs just over 1,200 pounds. We use a tape that measures their height on one side of the tape and measures their weight on the other side that goes around their barrel/belly and approximates how much they weigh. We use it for treatment purposes, as I have to watch Zack’s weight because he has Insulin resistance a metabolic syndrome older horses sometimes acquire as they age. It is nice to have if you want to see how tall your horse is too!)
Zack knows his strength and my sister and I have had him just put his head down with us holding the lead rope while we lead him and he would trot off pulling us on the other end! He is too strong and he knows exactly what he is doing and so we have to let go or be dragged. I have been working on his ground manners with GREAT SUCCESS! And he hasn’t tried to “run off” like that in some years. But I do not want to lose him on the trail, should he shy or spook at something I want as much control of him as I can while riding Chloe. This chain works PERFECT! It goes over their nose and up the side and they have nerves on their nose which when pressured applied, they will comply. It doesn’t hurt him unless he tries to pull away. He actually LOVES Chloe so he stays pretty close, but that’s where the biting comes into play. He just nips and bites her butt, side or my leg as I ride! He is such a brat!!!
He can actually bite the lead rope through the muzzle I bought him which I show in the last photo above. He can grab the lead rope with the muzzle and lead rope in his mouth and then pull and pull on my arm. UGH! He then bumps Chloe trying to bite her through the muzzle which after awhile she gets VERY ANNOYED! STOP IT ZACK!!
I decided to try a bridle with a bit and I took off the reins. Low and behold he is so much happier with the bit in his mouth. He has an oral fixation and just chews and chews on the bit and rarely tries to bite as we ride along. I finally found a solution to my problem as the trail rides were getting more and more annoying with all the nipping and biting. I was about to give up, but it is absolutely the best thing I started doing because I can exercise both horses at the same time and he really needs the exercise! It is usually 30 up to 50 minutes of walking depending on the trails we choose to ride on any given day.
I am a happy cowgirl, thankful for my ponies and the fun and joy they bring to my life. I was asked on my weekly smile to share a photo of my haircut. So I will share what I took here. 😀 weekly smile
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by my weekend coffee share! I am heading to the stables and am thinking this will be bath day for my ponies. Zack is starting to grow his winter coat and each year I always pray it won’t grow to thick. I know I am hoping for a miracle because he just grows a super thick coat like he lives in Alaska or something. I will just shave the hair off once November arrives. It is just to hard to manage in this warm winter climate here in So Cal. Chloe does not grow a long coat, Love that girl! ❤
Happy trail riding Cowgirl!