Friday, April 17, 2009

I need a new helmet.

I currently have a Troxel Sport and it just feels like it is huge and makes me top heavy. No matter how I adjust it, the thing doesn't seem to fit my head right. Not because it isn't a good helmet. It is. Especially for the minuscule amount of money it cost me. It's just... tall. Or at least it feels that way.

But I am one of those "Every horse, every ride, every time" helmet folks (despite the fact that I broke my rule when i was training the minis to ride *is ashamed*). I need something that doesn't make me feel like a bobble headed doll. And this thing just feels like it is a mile high. Plus it is past it's shelf life. Manufacture date was September of 2001. I'll use it while I work Brego for now but I have GOT to find something better.

I was looking at the Troxel Legacy in blue camo. It would match my coat, lol!

Anyway, if any of you horsie folks have a helmet you like I'd love to hear about it.

And don;t forget, everyone who comments on my posts during the month of april is entered to win in this month's give away!

Time for work, my handsome lad!

That is what I told Brego this bright and sunny morning.

I picked up that box of stuff from my inlaws house and discovered that one bit I was looking for was in there but the main one I wanted was NOT. :-( I looked at TSC for a nice gentle mullen mouth, looked at the used tack shop for one too. No luck. I have one in 4 inch size but I need a 5 inch. I know I had three of them, somewhere. Just no clue where. On well. No big deal, I am a few weeks away from using a bit anyway.

I tried Jamie's bridle and it is one hole too small on each side. So back on the wall it goes with his old bit in it. Luckily in that box of stuff from the inlaws there was an English headstall or two that will fit. One is old, the other is painfully cheap, but they will work for now. I won't need them until he is ready for the bit anyway.

There was also a horse sized harness saddle and mismatched belly band. Way too big for Brego but I was able to put a back pad under the saddle and another under the belly band and tighten it up enough to be able to use it. As he fills out more he will grow into it some. It is in BAD shape but since I am just using it as a training surcingle it should be fine.

So I repeated our work that we have done a few times, me driving him away from me. Once he was doing that well I put the harness saddle on him and ran my long lines through the tugs on the sides. I kept my long lead on him too. Then I put pressure on the off side rein and waited for him to give me his head. This is a balancing act because his first reaction to everything seems to be to back up. He almost backed into the fence repeatedly. I tapped him with my dressage whip any time he tried to back up and he gradually stopped doing it so much but I think that is something we will need to keep working on.

Anyway, once I got him to stop backing up he finally realized that if he gave me his head in the direction the rein was pulling I released him. We spent a good 10 to 15 minutes working on this while still working at keeping his feet still unless I asked him to move. He seemed to catch on quickly once he stumbled onto what I wanted him to do. Without knowing what he has been taught before, if anything, I don't want to get too cocky but... he seemed to be getting it really fast.

Well, once he was reliably giving me his head when I applied pressure (and he was REALLY giving me his head, I would barely touch the rein and he would turn his head all the way back to his side, haha!) I asked him to move off. It was clumsy, and he was obviously confused, but within 15 minutes or so he was pretty much letting me tell him where to go and stopping when asked.

Only problem is that every time he stops he wants to turn to face me, then starts to back up. But with the long reins I am able to turn him back away from me, and with my dressage whip I am able to touch him on the hind quarters and stop him from backing. It is critical that he learns "whoa" means stop and stand there and "stand" means don't move your feet, period. Those are more important to me in a driving horse than anything.

At any rate, he was very good. The training session went really well. Afterward I spent a few minutes working on him standing tied. He does fine most of the time but if I pick up his front feet he starts going backward. I loop the rope over the rail and let him back up a little and just let the rope slide... then I drive him forward and tighten the rope and go back to what i was doing, then keep doing that until I get his feet picked out and what ever grooming I want done finished. I think part of the issue is that he is still unsure about the barn. But we are making progress on that as well. Working him on giving to pressure will help with that, too.

So far I am delighted with his progress. We have trained 3 times and I was able to direct him around the paddock and do a figure 8 without any resistance by the time I called it quits. I just wish I had a harness that fit him better.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The hat is finished!

Start to finish on the hat, in pictures:



*pretend there is a picture here of it being plied, lol*




I'm delighted with my stupid hat. lol

The hat, in progress, with cat... and the boys are out together.

Mouse and my hat in progress, also you can see my loosely plyed handspun yarn and the awesome circular needle from my friend, Judy:


The boys are out together now. I got video of their getting to know each other but it is going to take a while before that gets uploaded.




Knitting with my hand made yarn, knit gifts, and meeting new "friends"

First, this song has been stuck in my head all week:

Wind of Change, Scorpions

I started my hat with my plyed handspun yarn. It's going to be my heavy winter hat, and heavy it is. So far I like it. I was knitting it on my size 8 wooden double pointed needles to start. But the yarn is intentionally chunky and I wanted something bigger... I just didn't have anything bigger for knitting in the round.

Then a friend from a small private forum I go to sent me some left over yarn and some circular needles she had sitting around and one of the circulars was the perfect size! HUZZAH!!! So I knit it off the dpn's onto the size 11 circular.

I'll post pictures when it is done.

The yarn she sent is multicoloured, three different colorways. One is camo, that looks super fun, I might try a big project with that. The others are blue and brown (that one is super soft and will probably be socks) and earthtones, not sure what I'm going to do with that. maybe a matching sweater vest for me and dog coat for nigel. lol. I actually used to have some yarn the same colour as the earthtones and I used it in crafts because i liked the colours.

Yesterday I took Sparrow over to paddock 2 so he and Brego could chat a bit and get acquainted. They will spend some time next door to each other for a while before they get to share a paddock. I missed the first part of the reaction, but I did get this part:

Before that he took one look at Sparrow, spun on his heels, and hid behind the barn! LOL! Excuse the video quality, I took that on my digital still camera. :-D Shortly after this they both just started to munch their breakfast. I think they will be great friends once Brego realizes Sparrow isn't some mutant hellspawn come to eat him alive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

*A Whole Post NOT About My Horse.* You Spin Me Right Round Baby!!

Just before I left to go on my trip my pay pal account reached $12. I'd been waiting to get enough money to buy some fiber so I could use my drop spindle and make myself some yarn. My eventual goal is to hand spin my own wool yarn to hand knit my own wool stockings. *passes out just thinking about it*

So I bought the "Medium Grade Wool Spinning Wheel Fiber Top Roving Felt" on eBay from Little Barn Fibers. I seriously highly recommend them. I placed the order tuesday, got my wool friday, and was surprised by how nice this $5 bag of wool was! I was expecting something less.... everything! Something I wouldn't mind screwing up with while I learned, to be honest. Instead for almost nothing I got some nice quality wool that I am making poorly crafted yarn out of that will actually make me a nice lumpy hat!I wish I had taken a pictures of the huge wad of roving I got! 8 oz is a ton of wool roving! And the fibers were very consistent in length and nice and soft and with good crimp.

First, this is my pre-drafting in preparation to spin the wool. The loose stuff is a section that is about 1/8 of the total wool I got. Like I said, a LOT more wool than I expected for $5!!!


This is a roll of my first attempt at spinning along with my pre-drafted wool and the undrafted roving:


And here is picture of my third attempt at spinning still on the spindle:


I'm going to ply the first two today, I think. Then I am going to knit a simple voyagers toque out of some of it, if I think I have enough. If not, I will make more!!!! Haven't decided if I want to try knitting out of the plyed stuff or not. I still have to set the twist and all that crazy stuff. DOH! I'm having fun with this for sure.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I was running away from him backwards....

...trying to get some pictures of him this morning. He actually broke a trot chasing after me, lol.




I was winded after a while and got some video, or tried to...