Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caden helps burn brush

Caden was here last Saturday, helping us to burn brush.

First he watches Pop cut branches.

Then he holds the gate open.  Actually, he likes to twist the chain around, but that's ok.

Caden stands back while Pop is making smoke,

But finally there is fire.

The tree line is cleaned up. Until the next store anyways.  But it sure looks pretty.

Pop surprises Caden with a cowboy hat he found!  He looks pretty snazzy.  My newest cowboy!  Looks just like he daddy did!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shaggy's Side is Looking Better

Only 3 days since we have seen Shaggy's hair loss.

There even seems to be some hair growing back, or coming in.

And he looks like he is finally shedding out, so he won't be hot and itchy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shaggy's Side

Poor Shaggy!

We've had extremely warm days and the horses haven't totally shed.  I had rinsed him Friday before going to my Western Dressage Group lesson.  Saturday, I rode Savannah since I was riding the fields with friends.  Tom had actually caught Shaggy for me while I was getting another horse out, but decided to change horses.  We would have noticed this Saturday or at feed time.

It looks like Shaggy laid down late Saturday or Sunday morning and rolled to get some loose hair off. I only have a dry lot here with limited grass, and I think the dirt clumps stuck to the loose hair, and since the loose hair isn't entirely loose, it pulled all his hair off!!!

 I've never had a horse do this. This looks so sore. I'm treating it with a product like Vetricyn, which sprays on and turns into a gel. I also have Microtek spray for skin problems and fast healing. I sure hope this starts to grow hair soon, and not white hair.

I've heard where you can rub bacon grease on areas and hair won't come in white. What do you think? I sure don't want this area to be white. But, first, I just want him to heal.

I'm just glad that today is windy and the flies that are starting to come are blown away.  The gel is also keeping flies off of it!

Signs of Spring

Last week, spring was popping up everywhere.  I can't believe the difference today.  Here are pics a week ago Sunday.  I'll post what it looks like now, in just a week!  I can't believe how many 70 and 80 degree days we are having.  We are blooming early!

We've been seeing Robins for a long time now.  I understand some may never leave the area over the winter, but I don't usually see Robins until mid-March, not in Jan and Feb!

More spring photos to come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

31st Anniversary

Today was Hubby and my 31st Anniversary!  He left me a lovely card. He sent me a text message and left a message on my cell phone, singing to me ... "Happy Anniversary to you, Happy Anniversary to me,  Happy Anniversary to us, and now I better go!" LOL

I called him to wish him a Happy Anniversary and asked if he wanted to meet me for dinner.  He said he was going to cook me a steak dinner and fix salad as a surprise, but that could wait a day, and we could go out and enjoy a meal.  He had even picked up a good bottle of Merlot.

I had gone shopping and found a perfect card for him.  The first one I found, and it said, I Believe, and part of the message said... "because you are the best thing that has happened to me!"  I had to laugh, as
that is what Hubby says about himself to me!

I've been wanting a hair cut and style, so I walked in to the first place, and they had an opening.  5" shorter and layered, I feel lighter.

I met Hubby at The Steak House and surprised him with my hair cut.  It doesn't look that different, but now has a style!  I gave him my card.  We sometimes don't do cards, so this was a nice surprise for him, too.

We had a delicious steak dinner, toss salad, and baked potato with the toppings!  I had a strip steak smothered in mushrooms and he had one smothered with fried onions.

We went to dinner early enough that we had the room almost to ourselves.  That was so relaxing to sit and talk, without the distraction of other people around us.

What a lovely evening!
Then we came home to put 2 round bales in to the horse lots, with mud everywhere.  At least the rain had stopped.

You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.

Horses need to eat too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

Spring is here.  Birds were chirping as soon as the sun started coming up this morning.  We had a little rain yesterday, but today is a day of a steady, light rain.  We started getting green grass last week, the buds were starting to form and open this past weekend, and I saw a few flowers. With today's rain, I'm sure everything will be sprouting and getting greener.  Geese have long left the area.  Winter is officially over today, at least on paper.

Some history about when the first day of spring is every year:

The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. This happens either on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. On any other day of the year, the Earth's axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the Earth's axis neither tilts away from nor towards the Sun.

Today is the spring or vernal equinox, with the sun shining directly on the equator, and when the day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.

There are also the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year, and the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting shorter.

During fall, or autumnal equinox, day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.

And winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer.

The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Caden and Pop

Caden spent the night Saturday night, so his daddy and mommy could paint the hallway.  He was so excited to come to help Pop pick up sticks around the house!

I didn't get photos of trimming apple trees and picking up sticks, because I was riding.  But here are the end of the afternoon photos.  Pop sat next to Caden to talk about their day, and to pose for me!

I just love this shot!  OOOOO!!!!

and then the amazment and the smiles!

The First Western Dressage Group Lesson

Last Friday evening was the first Western Dressage group lesson. There were only 3 of us, Sandy, Virginia and me. This was actually an extra group lesson, as most of the riders will come this Friday.

We had a great time, learning to keep the horse traveling correctly in the bend of the circle. We parctice "threading the needle" exercise, moving along the rail, riding a circle, going straight, then doing a half circle, riding the rail the opposite direction, doing a circle, etc.

The horses were responding, giving at the jaw, stretching down into the bit, strengthening the neck, learning to lean on the bit. The basics of dressage. Small steps.

I had an individual Dressage lesson last Tuesday with Shaggy, a few days before the group lesson.  My third dressage lesson ever and my first with Dara.  She is a wonderful, kind instructor who teaches in a coaching atmosphere.  She explains what to do clearly, she tells you the moment she sees a response in the horse, and when something is confusing, she explains it another way.  She shows exercises that will help a horse to build up his topline.

"Relaxed Tension" was one way for her to explain how much contact needs to stay on the reins.  I hold with contact, and that is where the change in me is starting.  I hold with a give and take with following hands and elbows.  Dara is teaching that at first, really give so the horse feels no contact when the horse gives.  Yet, there needs to be tension on the reins at other times so the horse knows to go into the bit and search for the bit, not quite leaning on it but feeling it.  So much a fine line to teach the horse where to go and to teach the rider how much or how little to hold.  I will try to explain this more as I learn the steps.  Letting totally go when the horse gives, to maintaining some contact, to eventually have the horse carry the bit.

For now, Shaggy is a fast learning.  We worked on keeping the bend in the circle, leg yielding out, then circling.  He picked up on this and stays in the bend.  Then we worked on having a slight bend, while traveling straight, and asking for a leg yield out. This is a little more difficult for him to give the ever so slight bend and maintain traveling straight. He would start to travel at a faster trot, and I would half halt, with my inside thigh and my seat, and bring him down to a slower trot.  Other times, we would come down to a walk or a halt when he becomes anxious and wants to travel faster. We will work on this a little each day.

Shaggy worked hard on Friday.  I didn't think we were working too hard, and it wasn't even an hour, when he decided he was done.  He showed a little frustration, then decided to go faster into a canter to complete his exercise.  I slowed him down to a walk, left him relax, and we completed one more exercise, then we were down.  I wanted to get him back to a working, relaxed mind, do a simple job, then walk off relaxed to tell him he was done.

He settled down and hung his neck out on a very relaxed long rein.  We ended the moment on a good note.

This Friday is another group lesson and I'll have more to share!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Good Riders Get Good

You MUST get this book. I sat down tonight (really, I did), after chores, with
an ice tea, and outside on the lounge chair. I thought, ok... I'll read the
book cover and intro to see what this book is about. An hour later, I did NOT
want to put the book down. The first chapter even had me leafing through the
book to check out the other chapters. I especially checked out the chapter on
personal characteristics! LOL

"How good can you really be? It's up to you and your choices?"

Are you going for what you want? Find the riding sport that is right for you.
Life circumstances get in the way, what is your support team like, how does your
riding body feel, are you searching for more horse knowledge, is your horse the
right horse for what you want to do,

There are 9 character traits of a successful rider.

It is a nuts and bolts book. Real Life. Tell it how it is. It sounds very
familiar to how I used to be, and somewhere along the way, I've lost something.
This is what the book makes me think, already! I need to get back to my true
self, how I really am, and go for what I really want.

I am anxious to read more tomorrow!

Are you reading this book now, or have read it? What do you think about the
into and the first chapter?'

If you want to join in on my chat, Horses Are Our Lives, request an invite on the chat or at:


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dressage Lesson

I had my first dressage lesson yesterday.   After taking Monday off, and feeling jet lag most of that day after the Horse Fair, I was ready to ride.  It had been 6 days since I rode Shaggy, with all the time to set up and tear down the vendor booth, then unpack at home.

This was my first dressage lesson with Dara.  I have had only 2 previous dressage lessons, and that was early last fall.  I told Dara I was a blank slate.

I ride the trails and ride in competitive trail rides.  Dressage is about training and correct movement.

We worked on Shaggy softening in the jaw.  We worked on bending correctly while walking and trotting a circle.  We worked on leg yielding out before transitions.  And we worked on positive pressure. 

Shaggy needs to learn to lean into the bit without leaning on me.  That's a fine line between too heavy and not enough pressure.  I'm learning the language and more will come with each lesson.

I have a group dressage lesson Friday and hope to be able to clarify this info!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Ahead

Why?  Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours.

Here is an informative article on how Daylight Savings Time got started:

It’s that time of year again. Get ready to trade an hour of sleep for an extra hour of sunshine later in the day. Welcome to daylight saving time!

At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, it’s time to set your clocks ahead one hour to account for the beginning of daylight saving time (DST). That means clocks will "spring ahead" from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. in an instant, causing everyone to lose one hour of precious beauty sleep.

So where did the concept of daylight saving time come from? Well it’s actually still fairly new in the United States.

Some credit Benjamin Franklin with coming up with the idea of Daylight Savings Time in 1784. When visiting Paris, he couldn't figure out why it was getting so sunny so early. He also thought that by adjusting the time, people would save on candle costs. However, DST was not implemented until 1916, when Germany and Britain used it as a way to conserve energy during World War I. The United States used it in 1918, but citizens were against the idea and it was abandoned.

DST came roaring back during World War II. From February 1942 until September 1945, the United States observed the policy year-round. However, it was abandoned again following the war after states and local governments couldn’t agree with when DST should be implemented.

Like a boxer who just won’t stay down, DST made a triumphant return in 1966 when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which mandated that all states opting to observe DST move their clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday in April and one hour back on the last Sunday in October.
That law was amended in 1986 to start DST on the first Sunday in April. The end date remained the same as the last Sunday in October. This new system started in 1987.

Well the whole system changed again in 2005. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended daylight saving time in the United States another four weeks. Now DST begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

This was done in hopes of saving money on energy bills by making the day longer, earlier in the year. However, Congress retains the right to revert back to the 1986 law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant enough.

So now you know why we “spring ahead” in March and “fall back” in November every year with our clocks.

Another fun fact is that the time change will precede the first day of spring and the vernal equinox this year, which is set to take place at 1:14 am on March 20th.

So remember, on Sunday, March 11, at 2 a.m., set those clocks ahead one hour. And then you have until Nov. 4 to adjust to the time change. Have fun!

Vendor Booth at the Horse Fair

3 long days at the Great Nebraska Horse Fair are over.  I'm glad I went and sold a little bit , but the crowd was not a big one! I only did about 1/3 of sales of previous years, but it was still worth going.

Dogs were everywhere though, and I had to tell people they couldn't bring their dogs into the booth.  I hated doing that, but the booth was big enough to walk around, but no extra room.  And dog's shed! I have too many clothes to take the chance. 

We had left the horse trailer loaded with the racks from the store (I had re-opened through Dec for holiday shopping).  Some of the boxes were in the trailer also. We just had to load all the hanging clothes and a few boxes of clothes.  Wed night, we took the racks and boxes and unloaded at LEC.  This took about 1 1/2 hours, so that wasn't too bad, with Jacob, Amber and Caden's help.  Tyler hung out in the stroller!

Thursday was set-up and I worked from 9-almost 6.  The Horse Fair was Fri 9-8 and Sat 9-8, but we starting packing and loading up before 7 on Sat night. Our other son, Micah, came by 6:30, and Tom and him moved the horse trailer closer and carried out saddles.  Then, since we were a little early to pack up, I had them carry out the boots, which went into the SUV and will stay there to take to the Tack Swap at Chance Ridge.  Now, it's about 7, and others were starting to pack up.  I packed up the jeans and they went in with the boots. I'm not sure what else I'll take to the Tack Swap, but the car is packed, about 3 weeks early! LOL  I think I'll take all the winter clothes and mark them 60% off!!!

We had all the racks loaded back into the horse trailer by 8:30, and most of the boxes.  Micah had to leave, and Tom and I had about another 1/2 hour of work.  I am so glad we loaded up last night and not this morning!  Especially since we knew about the time change, but I didn't change clocks, and we slept in!  Then with the time change, we really slept in!  We never do that, but it felt good!!!

I did well enough, considering that the Horse Fair was poorly attended.  I have plans on having a booth at the Chance Ridge Tack Swap and a table at the Shaggy Show in Lincoln (Jennifer, is you still want to help with that).  I'll carry a few things with me to the trail rides, and little by little, my inventory will dwindle down!

I donated a bunch of t-shirts to HETRA for their Blue Jeans and Dreams Benefit Fundraiser.  The event is after the Tack Swap at 5 Star Stables in Omaha. I hope some will go to both!

If you want to attend, it is $50/ticket, I think, but it is a very worthwhile donation!!!!  Let me know if you want to go, and we can reserve a table if there are 8 people!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Full Moon

The full moon was beautiful tonight!!!!
It is hard for me to take photos of a full moon.

Do I take them with the flash on or off?

I like the shots that are further out, with tree branches in the foreground.

But with more tree branches, the full moon gets further away, and then doesn't look so huge in the sky.

The mon was huge tonight, and it looks tiny behind the branches.

oh, well, I will get it figured out.

Any tips with a point and shoot?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Great Nebraska Horse Fair

Messick Tack & Feed

I'll have my Messick Tack & Feed vendor booth at the Great Nebraska Horse Fair in Lincoln this weekend, Friday and Saturday, at the Lancaster Event Center, 84th and Holdrege.

Come visit me!  I'll have great specials as I'm clearancing out everything, 30-50% off!  I can ship items also.

I've posted a lot of clothing on the Messick Tack & Feed Facebook Page at :!/pages/Messick-Tack-Feed/223236051074762


Messick Quarter Horses

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