Zipping Around on an Autumn Day

Just another quick series of running red horse. We’re more or less moved now, although there’s still a lot of unpacking to do, so we haven’t had much time to do fun things in the barn. Well, except if you count running around like crazy in the sun as a fun thing. Emilie counts that as a fun thing.

Granted, she's not a gracious little ballerina butterfly, but she's so powerful!
Granted, she’s not a gracious little ballerina butterfly, but she’s so powerful!
Emilie absolutely loves to run.
Emilie absolutely loves to run.
Whoever said draft horses move slow haven't met mine.
Whoever said draft horses move slow haven’t met mine.
This is probably the best picture Alvin has taken to date. Yes, there is a horse in it, look closer.
This is probably the best picture Alvin has taken to date. Yes, there is a horse in it, look closer.

Playing on a Windy Day

Windy autumn is here again and how I wish more of these fall days would be sunny and pleasant like this one. Rushed to grab the camera while the horse and husband rushed to play tag all over the place.

Gotta start with a hug.
Gotta start with a hug.
Meanwhile, the paddock neighbours sneak up for cheap entertainment.
Meanwhile, the paddock neighbours sneak up for cheap entertainment.
If you think you can hear the thunder of those hooves approaching, you're spot on.
If you think you can hear the thunder of those hooves approaching, you’re spot on.
On a day like this, Emilie totally ignores her lameness to sprint around like a crazy 800 kilo spring rabbit.
On a day like this, Emilie totally ignores her lameness to sprint around like a crazy 800 kilo spring rabbit.
You chase me, I chase you ... Actually, Emilie does most of the chasing.
You chase me, I chase you … Actually, Emilie does most of the chasing.
Trot past the photographer, invite her to come chase you ...
Trot past the photographer, invite her to come chase you …
I'm coming for youuuu!
I’m coming for youuuu!
And finally, when we're tired, take a bow.
And finally, when we’re tired, take a bow.

Autumn Photos of Pretty Redheads (And the Occasional Grey)

Just another series of random pictures of Emilie and friends. It’s been a hectic fall for us, selling one house and buying another, but never too busy to pack that camera.

Cassie and Emilie enjoying a rare sunny afternoon in an autumn that's otherwise been wet and icky.
Cassie and Emilie enjoying a rare sunny afternoon in an autumn that’s otherwise been wet and icky.
Pretty blonde girl is pretty.
Pretty blonde girl is pretty.
Light weight rider Cecilie tested Emilie's gait, but she's not quite done being lame yet. Here's to hoping chiropracty and acupuncture will do their jobs.
Light weight rider Cecilie tested Emilie’s gait, but she’s not quite done being lame yet. Here’s to hoping chiropracty and acupuncture will do their jobs.

 

Feets and Cuddles!

Mostly cuddles.
Mostly cuddles.

Emilie is usually cool-headed but there is one thing that used to reduce her to a sweating, shaking wreck: The dreaded hoofpick. We’ve been training, patiently, for two months now, and with the help of our brave barefoot trimmer, Kimmie, cleaning feet is no longer a highly traumatic experience.

I don’t know what caused this anxiety. When we purchased Emilie we were warned that she had not yet learned to lift her feet properly. We were going to train it, but then she had her colic surgery and we had to wait for that 60 cm incision to be properly healed before we started doing difficult work that requires standing on three legs for a while.

Once we did get started it became very obvious that her refusal was not obstinacy or annoyance: She was afraid of being held and losing her balance, causing her to fall. She actually fell. Twice.

We’ve got a working arrangement now. Using positive reinforcement training, patience, and observing her reactions, we have now reached a point where a tap on the front of the knee means that she will lift her hoof — and then we’re allowed to do whatever we want to it as long as we don’t take hold of it. She holds the leg. No feeling of being trapped or restrained.

Moreover she needs regular breaks — a minute at a time with a foot up, tops. Again, not out of obstinacy but due to hip trouble that she likely acquired during surgery (turn a horse over, haul it up in chains around the legs, no wonder …). We’re calling in a chiropractor to sort those issues out, and I expect that once they’re dealt with, she’ll cease demanding breaks.

It’s amazing what patience, grass pills, and lots of praise can do.

Bonus: Positive reinforcement works both ways. As the picture shows, she’s taught me how to give the best chest and neck rubs. And my reward is that she returns them.

Agility at Pitt Stop!

Yesterday we drove down to spectate at Pitt Stop’s first agility meet. It was awesome! The weather was being extremely Danish, sunshine alternating with heavy showers, and the light was not friendly to my camera — but all the same, I captured some moments in time that are worth sharing. If only my camera had not run out of battery half way through!

A view of the agility course. And the cloudscape. Such odd weather!
A view of the agility course. And the cloudscape. Such odd weather!
Jutland drafts also come in black.
Jutland drafts also come in black.
This Shire knows what carrots are for.
This Shire knows what carrots are for.
Gotta hand it to the Shires, they're TALL. Of course, this guy is current the tallest Shire in Denmark.
Gotta hand it to the Shires, they’re TALL. Of course, this guy is currently the tallest Shire in Denmark.
This stallion is one of the most gorgeous horses I have ever seen. If I ever change my mind on Emilie having babies ...
This fellow is one of the most gorgeous horses I have ever seen. If I ever change my mind on Emilie having babies … (I’d need to un-geld him first, of course).
Seriously. Look at that horse. He is gorgeous.
Seriously. Look at that horse. He is gorgeous.
<3
<3
Bloody tall Shires.
Bloody tall Shires.
Not every horse was a gazillion hands tall, of course.
Not every horse was a gazillion hands tall, of course.
Gorgeous and interested, what's not to love?
Gorgeous and interested, what’s not to love?
Interestingly, the idea of pushing the yoga ball ahead of themselves was a very challenging obstacle to most of the attendees.
Interestingly, the idea of pushing the yoga ball ahead of themselves was a very challenging obstacle to most of the attendees.
This little Shetland mare was the embodiment of alert and attentive all the way through.
This little Shetland mare was the embodiment of alert and attentive all the way through.
It -was- a very challenging ball.
It was a very challenging ball.
This lady impressed me. She lead her Icelandic horse with just a halter and her voice. No stick, no rope halter, no nothing. Just patiently explaining to him what to do, even when he was clearly worried.
This lady impressed me. She lead her Icelandic horse with just a halter and her voice. No stick, no rope halter, no nothing. Just patiently explaining to him what to do, even when he was clearly worried.
These two kids faced the challenge and aced it.
These two kids faced the challenge and aced it.
Meet young stallion Michael. Michael liked sucking on my fingers.
Meet young man Michael. Michael liked sucking on my fingers.

Edit: Someone told me Thor and Michael are stallions. They are not. But they’re still big, red, and sexy.

Pretty Lady!

Rock that plait!
Rock that plait!

Emilie is still a very pretty horse. Even when she’s being silly about her feet that are badly in need of a trim. We’re pushing her on the subject these days — need to be ready and willing for the farrier next week.

Once she’s no longer lame we get started on balancing work because she’s really worried about tripping or falling over while lifting feet.