Rotten

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Moisture, I've concluded, is a mixed bag. Sure, water brings life - but is it always desirable life? In Arizona, our horses can't get all their food from grass grown in their very own pastures, but they also aren't constantly battling parasites. Here in the midwest, everything is wet and rich and the environment is absolutely laced with little organisms that want to make Steen's body their home. He's had a mild case of thrush since before I got him, but this at least I had encountered before. Lately, however, he's developed a rough, sensitive area on his neck and, after keeping an eye on it for a few days, I asked Cathi about it. "Rain rot," she said, and went on to explain it is a fungishish thing that crops up on livestock in warm and humid environments. It is not serious, but can be very uncomfortable for the horse. So I smeared an iodine solution all over Steen's pretty wh...

Read more

Grand Visitors

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Steen and I had to part ways for quite a while while I took a trip to Arizona via Chicago and Brian's sister's wedding on the way back. Luckily, Brian stepped up to the plate and went to visit our poor lonely horse twice while I was gone. Cathi also brought Steen in from the pasture when the farrier came so he could get his feet trimmed.

I finally made it out to see him again on Wednesday. Initially, I could tell our relationship was a little rusty, but on the whole he was quite well-behaved. I didn't ride him, but did quite a lot of ground-work and before long I felt things were well back on track between us. He was good, and happy to do everything I asked him, including walking down the scary hallway where the manure spreader used to be.

Then, yesterday, Brian's parents were in town for a visit, so I took them out to meet their grandhorse. Steen was total...

Read more

Padded

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Today I spent several hours at the stable with Steen. It is windy today, and that had him a bit riled up. Also, I can tell I haven't been spending as much time with him lately. He was just a bit more inclined to be fussy today than he has been in a while, although he didn't do anything bad, by any means. And he's back to accepting the bit without the slightest protest, so I count that as a good thing.

The best news, however, is that although the start of my day with him was a bit frustrating due to a very extended grooming session born of his filthiness (it has been rainy and muddy again) and then the utter failure of the first of my two potential corrective saddle-padding solutions, it rapidly turned around when my second attempt succeeded. While educating myself about saddle-fit, I read that some pads can actually cause saddles to sit incorrectly, and I came across ...

Read more

Bareback

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
I have been having some trouble with Steen's saddle - mainly as his shape changed with his new lifestyle of working out a lot and unlimited access to fresh grass, it stopped fitting him correctly. I have been reading and researching and think I've found a way to fix the problem, which required the purchase of a new pad. The pad, of course, could not be found locally, so I had to order it off the internet and wait.

So, the last couple weeks have not been as Steen heavy as the earlier ones. I have still been going out consistently and doing ground-work and grooming and hanging out, but not riding. Yesterday, however, I just couldn't wait any longer. We got another couple of severe storms, so it was too wet to work outside. I decided to take advantage of the reduced number of variables in my environment and ride bareback indoors.

I have not been riding Steen b...

Read more

Video 2

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Here is another not particularly exciting video of Steen. This one features Brian, and backing.

Read more

Easy on the Eyes

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Brian came with me to the stable again today. The sun was out and the day was beautiful so we seized the opportunity to take some new photos. Brian ventured into the pasture all by himself to get Steen, who seemed happy to see him. And what girl wouldn't love to see her guy and her horse getting along so well?. Read more

Reroutes and New Riders

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Things are a bit nuts in Iowa City, but I've managed to make it out to the stable the last two days anyway. I really have nothing to complain about as far as being affected by the flooding goes - I still have a home and a job and a safe place to keep my horse. However, since I can now only cross the river at one point, my route to Steen has changed. The blue line on the above map represents the way I normally take to Steen. According to google, it is 15.1 miles long and takes 27 minutes. In my experience, this is very close to the truth. Read more

Going Strong

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
In spite of the massive flooding that has shut down much of Iowa City, I made it out to Steen today. I have cut back some on the frequency of my visits, but Steen stays responsive and friendly.

Today Steen stood (albeit nervously) while I sprayed him with a water bottle - so very good progress there. I also got him a loose-ring snaffle bit (no shanks) and think I am going to ride him with that from now on. I have been working on his flexibility, and disengaging his hindquarters from the ground, and he's continued to go nicely under saddle.

In related exciting news, Brian got a pair of cowboy boots, so he's going to start putting in some time at the stable too.

Read more

Weekend

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
This week was certainly the most horseless one I've had since my purchase of Steen a month and a half ago. When I arrived at the stable on Saturday, my main goal was to do some ground work and attempt to take a step in the right direction in getting him used to the spray bottle. I did both of these things, but Steen seemed pretty distracted and nervous through the whole thing, and I was a little worried that leaving him alone four days out of five was going to put me back a few big steps.

But today I went out just wanting a nice, enjoyable ride, and I got just that. Steen was good while I tacked him up, good with the few ground things we did and he was just great under saddle. After I rode I fiddled around with the spray bottle some more, but didn't push it too much. Regardless, he seemed less afraid of it today than he was yesterday, so that's a good sign.

...

Read more

A Lag, and Mud

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

Tipped Z - 3 Covers Learn More
Early this week I let Steen go two days in a row without seeing me - something I had not yet done since I bought him. I could have gone on Monday, but I just didn't feel like getting in the car and driving out there after work. I figure the whole point of having a horse is to enjoy it, so I shouldn't set the stage for making the whole thing into an obligation.

On Tuesday, of course, I spent the afternoon at my other barn.

So, yesterday I headed for the stable feeling more than ready to see my noble steed again. Unfortunately, the off-lever on the Iowa rain spout is apparently broken, and it is just wet wet wet around here. Since Steen has the unfortunate gene often associated with primarily white horses that makes him roll in the mud whenever possible, he was more than a little dirty when I arrived. Beyond that, the vet was there doing a few things to Cathi'...

Read more