One of the trainers hauled a large mini to the barn for the day, for her very young students. I mistakenly thought he was a Shetland: the lack of rotundity and uber-bushiness should have clued me in, but I was in love. Fifty two years old and I wanted to snatch him away from a happy five-year old. Fortunately, I controlled myself. He was totally delightful. Very calm and submissive. Totally un-Shetland like. (though I’m sure calm and submissive Shetlands do exist.)
So I went looking for a Shetland fix. I must admit I was surprised at the utter lack of “Daisy Reins” in any of the videos I sorted through.
Mini(s) Movie of the Day fits right in with Temple Grandin’s chapter on how horses learn in “Animals Make Us Human”.
Shetland Dressage The offensive BTV/Rollkur video has been removed. To see original we were discussing in comments, click here. (My apologies, I posted the wrong video. I’m hoping it was an anomaly, as the others of Zorro that I’ve seen do not have him cranked back. Sadly, it may not be. I wonder if the pony had been sold?) This is the same pony. Zorro looks astonishingly like Tiny, if Tiny had been shrunk in the dryer.)
Shetland Airs Above the Ground (Capriole)
Shetland high Jump
Shetland Hunter Course (might want to turn the volume down…) Love to see the kids walking the course!
Shetland Hunter (Nope. You didn’t miss it the first time around. It’s another addition, I tripped over it. As I am learning what to feel and reach for in a hunter, I saw this video and thought, wow nice even hunter rhythm…in a Shetland?)
This espisode of French Toast Friday brought to you by Friday the 13th.
I am not superstitious. It just happened to be Friday the 13th, and the toilet just happened to break down before I went out to the barn, giving me a lovely afternoon of shopping for toilet parts.
I exasperate Shaun with my lack of superstition, I can’t seem to get it in my head that saying, “Isn’t this nice…traffic is light today, we might make it in under an hour!” is a jinx. Now we’ll never make it on time.
This is the first Friday-the-thirteenth I’ve ever had a problem. I may be a convert to the world in which Jinxes exist.
After buying toilet parts, I go to the barn.
Exihibit A: my clean-it-every-time and keep-it-covered dressage saddle…
Daisy usually has photo cards made of her and Barbie to send out for the holidays. I volunteered (read: pestered her) to shoot some photos last week. The goal was to get a useable picture for a card. Daisy wrapped up a couple of boxes in Christmas paper, tied them with pretty ribbon, and off we went. We were both hoping to do the wrong thing and encourage Barbie to put the boxes in her mouth. Barbie was very prim about it: ohhh no, you can’t trick me. You’ve told me a billion times to drop stuff. I’m not going to TOUCH those boxes.
Can you blame her? No, of course not. So we switched gears. Daisy squared her up. Beautiful! The instant Barbie was square, she fell asleep. Since when has Barbie been mellow? It’s 9 am. It’s not exactly nap time. I try to get her attention by snapping my fingers, whistling, throwing a white rag in the air (the rag caused loosely flopped donkey ears…nice), finally I jumped up and down. Oh THAT worked. Blurry photos of a horse with its ear’s pricked. Eureka! An idea. I grab one of the Christmas presents, and whap it on my thigh. Hey! It got her attention. For all of half a second. Half a second is not long enough for me to coordinate hitting self with hitting shutter.
The burden of our family crisis has fallen on Shaun, who is across the country at the moment, performing amazing feats of compassion, advocacy, and stamina, despite extreme exhaustion. The kids miss her fiercely. Dilemma. Need to protect the kids somewhat from the emotional aspects, reassure them of their importance, find ways to stay connected despite the impossibility of much phone time, and also still do things where we can be reached at any second because she needs our help.
One Saturday, we had a large influx of boarders arrive at the same time. Our barn manager decided to try putting Vlad (her personal horse) and Pumpkin (Katherine’s school horse) in pasture together.
Vlad gets along with no one.
He’s the complete opposite of Sunshine, can think circles around every horse I know, and probably most people he’s come into contact with. He’d be off the Mensa charts. While he’s not a misbehaving horse in the usual sense, he does not use his powers for good. Let’s put it this way: to ride Vlad, you have to sign two releases. The iron clad barn release, and the iron clad owner’s release. Like his namesake, Vlad prefers the darkest stall in the barn, or the most isolated paddock.
There was a lot of interest about Queen Victoria and Fyvie. I decided to do Jane’s version of impeccable research, and I Googled horse breeds in Scotland. I spent a whole ten minutes on this, so I expect to receive some sort of scholarly award for the, uh, extreme thoroughness of my research.
(Yup, that’s a disclaimer!)
Fyvie may be a Highland pony, native to Scotland, that ranges from 13 hh to 14.2 hh. Or he may be an XL Highland pony that may or may not be crossed with Clydesdale. These crosses were frequently referred to as a Garron or Garran. The Clydesdale/Highland cross was bred to make a small, tough, draft horse for local farm work. My possibly incorrect conclusion from surveying several (minimal) sources is the term ‘Highland Pony’ also includes the Garron.
We have kids who are sick, have been sick, and have gotten sick again. During summer. When it isSO NOT FAIR, and 100 degrees outside with no A/C. Our very MEAN moms will not let us go swimming! SO UNFAIR.
The thing is, it IS unfair. Not our fault, but unfair nevertheless.
We aren’t at our wits end, but Wit’s End was the last street sign we saw yesterday, before everything went dark. It’s harder for the kids, who have every reason to BE at wit’s end, with one whole summer month down and still not feeling good.
We are experiencing technical difficulties.
Technically, it is difficult to get to our computer. We may be erratic (or stupid) in our posting for awhile. We have faith this too will pass. Sort of.
I know, I know…it’s Saturday…but this blog is like Calivn Ball. (see Calvin and Hobbes) The rules change as we go. I (sob) couldn’t get anything posted yesterday due to my ongoing explorations of Chaos Theory. Read: it was NUTS at Jane’s house.
This is a photo of Queen Victoria on Fyvie with John Brown at Balmoral Castle. 1863: photo by George Washington Wilson.
They both look a little cranky. And what’s up with Fyvie’s front hooves?
Since we’re on English royalty, if I’ve deciphered my notes correctly, this is The Prince of Wales (flat racing) “on a racehorse” at Ascot, Brisbane. In 1920, this could be either Prince Edward or Prince Albert. Anyone know?
Photo courtesy of the State Library of Queensland. 1920. No photographic credit given.
I’m guessing the Prince is in #2 position. To my uneducated eye, the first horse looks as if he’s being held back a little, given the jockey’s position and the horse’s body language.
This episode of FTF brought to you by long suffering horses everywhere, who are eternally grateful there is no such thing as a ‘horse purse’.
To get the best dressage performance of your life: show your horse this video while tsk-tsking, and repeating sadly Those poor horses…they couldn’t make it in the dressage arena. It’s SUCH a shame, don’t you think?
Bingo. Your horse will not even blink at the pink crystal browband, and you’ll hit the high 70′s.
Don’t bother showing it to your horse if he happens to be an Arabian. Won’t help. This is part of their job description: they get the elegant stuff. (But you could point out the clown outfit.)