Spotty Bottoms and Hairy Feets - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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Spotty Bottoms and Hairy Feets

Well since I enjoy seeing other folks' progress here on the forum all the time, I thought I would start a journal for this year and share the things I accomplish with my two. A bit of backstory, for those who don't know -

My current heart horse, Dreams, is a coming 4 year old Appaloosa that I purchased as an untouched yearling. I originally bought him to train and resell, as he and I really didn't mesh spectacularly in the beginning, but somewhere along the line he managed to worm his way into my heart. He has turned into the silliest goober I've ever met, and has turned into a gigantic love addict. He loves rubies. He loves scratches. He loves to back up to me slowly so I'll scratch his spotted butt. He loves treats. He loves to stick his head under my arm. He just ... loves love lol. This past summer we attended a 3 day clinic on the other side of the state and I am pleased to say he was magnificent. We do a lot of trail riding so far but in the coming year I'd love to take him to some local shows for some fun competitions. This guy has such a great mind, and is brave as all get out, and every day that I work with him I am more amazed at his awesomeness.

Horse number 2 (and 3 I guess, since he's twice as big as other horses) is Thunder the Shire (Big Sky Tuff's Storm'N Norman). He was a bit of an accident ... I stopped by a local Shire breeder because I wanted to inquire about training Dreams to drive, and several people in the area had told me this breeder also trained, gave lessons, etc. While I was there I happened to see this long legged, fluffy, pot bellied, white faced ... thing ... frolicking about and I just had to go take a closer look. Thunder wasn't the prettiest weanling I'd ever seen but he had a certain look about him. I was instantly smitten (though I desperately tried not to be) and bought him under the erstwhile excuse that, er ... he'll be a good horse for my fiancé once he's broke ... yeah ... that's a good excuse. He will be a ride and drive horse, and while right now he isn't getting messed with too much, I can't wait to start his formal training once he's grown up a bit (a bit more, I mean).

So since we live in eastern Montana, and it's winter, not a whole lot gets done during the first few months of the year. We just finished out a week in which the daytime highs never topped -5, and the night before last was a bone chilling -43. Today, for the first time in over a week, the daytime high was ABOVE ZERO and all the horses in the state rejoiced. So I had to let them run and take some pictures, most of which didn't turn out because my poor phone just can't quite function in the cold weather. Thunder is wooly and floofy so he loves the cold. Dreams, not so much ... poor Spotty Bottom starts to shiver after half an hour sans blankie unless he's being ridden or galloping like a madman across the arena with his buddies.

I'm hoping to ride tomorrow afternoon but we have a union meeting RIGHT in the middle of the day (I hate that, can't get any horse time in!) so I might not get to ride until after dark, and then it will be super cold, and my phone won't work, and my toesies will freeze off ... le sigh. If I get to ride it will be Dreams' first ride in about two weeks so we'll be doing some lunging beforehand! I'll have to see if I can find pictures of his INSANE aerial acrobatics ... this horse can buck harder and higher than anything I've ever seen (did I mention he jumped a 5.5 foot fence as a yearling?) though thankfully he's never offered to do so under saddle ... but I like to hedge my bets!! Pictures below are from today.

-- Kai
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post #2 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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These pictures are from the Great Christmas Cold Snap.

-- Kai
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post #3 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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Aaaand baby pics just because, with nice shots of them CLEAN from last summer to compare. : )

-- Kai
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post #4 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
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Great pics! I hear you about the cold weather. My horses and I are so, so tired of it!

Will enjoy reading this thread!
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post #5 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tehachapi Mountains, CA
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Thunder's baby pix are ADORABLE! Love him! Dreams is very cute; love me a good Appy!
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post #6 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Thunder is adorable as a baby, and gorgeous grown up!!
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Hold on to what makes you happy! If it tries to buck you off, just hold on even tighter!
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post #7 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Beautiful boys you have there! Excited to follow along :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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post #8 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2016
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So cute, subbing~

How tall are they? Dreams doesn't look hugely smaller than Thunder.

Don't judge someone's horse or skill because they don't compete or work with a trainer.

Sometimes they're the most in tune with each other.
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post #9 of 84 Old 01-03-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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I'm 5'5" and I can no longer see over Thunder's withers, so I imagine he's in the neighborhood of 15.2-15.3 maybe? Ish? Dreams is right around 15 even I think. I believe the last time I measured him he was a hair under 15.1 with shoes on. I hope he doesn't get too much bigger, I think he's perfect at this size. lol Bear in mind that at this point in time Dreams is coming 4 years and Thunder is 20 months ... heh heh can't wait to see that fluffy monster in another year or so!

I went out tonight but I forgot to take pictures or video ... I didn't do much with my boys anyway. I just rode Huckleberry (a friend's TWH) a bit, fed grain and left. I haven't been blanketing Thunder, since the lows are staying above 0 and he's SO FREAKIN HAIRY, and he took the opportunity to roll in his own urine - lovely. : / I absolutely cannot wait until it is warm enough to drown him in shampoo and wash what will be 6 months' worth of urine and poop out of his coat. He is such a disgusting pig ... when he's blanketed he doesn't like to lift his tail to poop so now he has poopcicles hanging from his lovely thick tail. Eeeeww.

Dreams was delighted to see me [open the grain bucket] as always, and spent a few moments showing off his new trick, nodding his head vigorously up and down to say "yes". He picked that up all on his own, I never taught him that. But now he knows that it gets him extra attention so anytime he wants ... well, anything ... he will stand at his gate and vigorously nod "yes" until you laugh or scratch him or give him a treat. Just for kicks, once or twice I've just stood there and stared at him, and his nods will get increasingly impressive until his head is swinging in an arc that touches the floor and raises up far above his withers. If you continue to not reward him, he will start waving one front hoof in the air. "Look at me mom! Look! Hey look what I can do! Look! LOOK! MOM! LOOK AT ME!!" lol

Here's a video of Dreams, Thunder, and Dreams' half brother Copper fooling around in the arena a few days ago. This was Thunder's first attempt at playing with the "big boys" - he usually prefers to stand by me and watch. I couldn't help laughing at his big galumphing self trying to keep up with the far more athletic stock horse boys. I think the constantly shifting herd dynamic displayed here is interesting. : )

-- Kai
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post #10 of 84 Old 01-06-2018, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Montana
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Well I felt bad always neglecting Dreams to ride Huckleberry ... today was a comparatively warm 17 degrees and sunny, for once, so I had enough time and daylight to take both Dreams and Huckles for a spin. I am not sure about the fit on my English saddle for Dreams ... I will have to take pictures tomorrow sometime and have you guys critique. If it were a western saddle I could get it pretty close but I'm not at all confident about my English saddle fitting abilities. I currently have all 29 of my bridles in my living room, rearranging bits and putting Lok-Tite on all my Chicago screws, so I just grabbed a random bridle off the pile, which ended up being a teardrop shanked snaffle ... oh well! So we worked on my balance and form from the waist down and his neck reining lol ... and I rode in sweatpants. Because it is freakin cold outside, and I haven't spent the money yet on winter breeches, and heck with it, I ride how I want. ; )

I have decided, since I really enjoy having a horse with such a light mouth, that for now when I ride Dreams on contact I want to go bitless. I have been waiting for an excuse to buy yet another bridle (yay!) so I recently ordered one of these: Dreams is having a hard time distinguishing when I want him to ride on contact (English) and when I want him to come off that contact (western) so I figured, since English riding is something we do for fun and I don't feel like going into a massive effort to help him distinguish between the two, when riding on contact I'll just stay out of his mouth altogether. This bridle will also be a nice change for him when we're doing something chill like trail riding and I want to give his mouth a break.

I also ordered Thunder a halter bridle, because I've always wanted one and the wooly mammoth only has 1 other bridle (sacrilege!!). I can't wait to see them on the guys, it will be super awesomesauce. And of course, because every other piece of tack I own is leather and therefore relatively the same shade of brown, I had to get bridles in their colors - purple for Dreams, and blue for Thunder. They will be so handsome. : )

-- Kai
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