A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's February, I should be expecting this!

It was cold today.  Not as cold as many places, but cold.  I want to say high was in the mid to upper 50s, but honestly I'm not sure.  Jacket glove and hat weather though!

My friend Rachel decided to come "help" for the day.  I don't know if she knew what she was getting into!  I gave her a Rico, and a set of clippers, and said "make the hair go away".  She and Rico got to spend a few hours together having quality time.  And now, Rico is nicely tucked in a blankey in the barn.

BB and Beaudreaux, I'm going to skimp on typing out all we did, because I already told their owner.  I did learn something new today though.  BB informed me that he has ESP.  If I look in a direction, he will head that way!  It's the subtle shift in my body position that he reacts to.  NICE!  Beaudreaux was a wonderful boy today as well, and they are getting better about being separated for work outs.  They are getting used to this working thing, and coming along VERY nicely.  I think BB even decided that it's ok to be affectionate with me!  YAY!

Cruz had a ground driving lesson.  He proceeded to show me that he has trouble grasping the idea of left.  When I put pressure to turn left, he would stop, or even back up.  We had a bit of a physical demonstration (me standing beside him, stretching my arm over his back to turn his head away from me, and praising the smallest effort) and he started to get it.  I went back to actually driving him (walking behind him with lines through the stirrups to his bit) and when I asked him to go left, he did.  Ever so slightly, but he made the effort.  Some love and lavish praise later, and I started getting a real left turn from him.  Right and woah were great.  I didn't work on backing up yet, because I didn't want to confuse the poor kid after he made the break through.

Tomorrow, Cruz and I will repeat this, and if he's doing well, then up I go again, to see if he will lead and turn.  He's SO close, but it's always best to be sure of the foundation rather then rushing through to the "fun" part.  I did have to desensitize him to the stirrup leather sound again.  He hates that noise, and gets all jumpy.  Every time he gets spooky though, I keep at it, and just ignore his antics, and as soon as he stops, I quit and praise him.  I'm sure I look like an idiot walking beside a spooky horse slapping the stirrup leather, but it works.  He's also getting used to "stupid human tricks" and relaxing more.  Now, he's still a bit twitchy, but he's better.  I actually have more moments of true relaxation and him enjoying it, then we do of "I'm being still but I'm SO tense!".

Of course, there's Poco.  hehehhehehe.  After spending the night with Scorch, and almost all day with the boys... and running a LOT, I took him out and got some quick work done on him.  I was quickly losing daylight, but I got it done.  He was tired when we started, and REALLY tired when we finished.  I admit though, I whimped out.  After a head shaking session with BB that pulled a shouler/neck muscle, and some work with Doodles resulting in aching seat bones, and a ride on Cayenne yesterday resulting in sore inner leg muscles (you know, the ones that push in down by your knee?) and cold that just wouldn't quit... I decided that a tired Poco was good for now.  Truth be told, it was really a tired Heather!  Oddly though, Poco was....good.  Hmmmmmmm.

I did sneak in a ride this morning on Doodles.  Lately, he's been pushing his limits.  When Leah rode him this weekend, Doodles was just not good.  He's been reverting to his hollow back self, and some other bad habits.  I put a quick 30 minute ride on him, got him working properly again, and tuned up some habits he was trying to get.  Doodles is one of the lesson horses that is known for packing the true novices, so you can imagine the chances he has to get sloppy.  He's also recovering from one of his ulcer bouts (he gets meds, and special everything for it, but flare ups tend to make him lose weight and muscle tone FAST).  So, while we're working to pack the weight back on, I'm hoping to stretch him up, and get the muscle building properly.  He's officially on "light duty", so our little ride was good for his mind and body.

And poor Rachel.  I'm sure she has white, red and black hair in places she never expected!  It'll now be all in her car, all in her shoes....but Rico looks great!  I mean, there's still more horse to shave (I'm on my back up clippers, because my main set, the loudest clippers in the world, died on me) and one day I'll break down and buy a true super uber set of power clippers.  I keep saying that, and I keep not doing it!

And sadly, I learned that there was a quake in New Zealand, right in the town one of my horse friends lives in.  I haven't heard a word from her in hours, nor has any one else I know.  So here's hoping that all is well down there.




6 comments:

  1. Is that the lady that has Love Story?

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  2. Good for Cruz! I am glad he is getting the hang of turning. Hopefully your next ride he will figure it all out. He's making progress, yay!

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  3. Both Love Story's owner, as well as Sig's best friend are there. But I have heard this morning that one is fine, shaken and possibly stirred, but fine.

    And Cruz is progressing very nicely. It feels so weird to be at the start of training after they have been here so long, but I keep having to remind myself that winter happened, and he hasn't been in TRAINING that long. He's such a sweet boy though. Hoping his lesson today is even better!

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  4. Well, the last couple weeks of groming have sure been helping me with my leariness of stallions. ;-) Having all the the fur on my clothes was definitely one way to take Rico home with me. I'll have white fur in my gloves for a while. lol You haven't scared me away yet. :)

    I'm glad to hear that your friend is ok.

    Rachel

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. Well, the last couple weeks of groming have sure been helping me with my leariness of stallions. ;-) Having all the the fur on my clothes was definitely one way to take Rico home with me. I'll have white fur in my gloves for a while. lol You haven't scared me away yet. :)

    I'm glad to hear that your friend is ok.

    Rachel

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