Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hobby Horse Blog Hop 5: Shopping Spree

This week brought some highs and lows as far as the Haffies are concerned. Pippin participated in a driving clinic over the weekend, but we discovered some issues that are impacting his performance. Pippin has always been a tail clencher. He clamps his tail when he is unsure of things, or if I startle him or for any number of Haflinger Tail Clamping stimuli I'm not aware of or I don't understand. Recently Pippin has begun to scoot forward in reaction to things when I am driving him. The clinician at the driving clinic thinks that when Pippin clamps his tail that is now causing some sort of muscle spasm or perhaps there is a pinched nerve involved. The pain of that is what is causing Pippin to jump forward, not necessarily fear or misbehavior. The clinician suggested that I wrap Pippins crupper (the piece that goes under the tail to hold the harness from shifting left or right at
the back of the horse) to keep Pippin from clamping his tail.

We did this for the 2nd driving lesson and Pippin carried his tail very nicely and seemed comfortable.... except, when we worked him his left hind would not extend as far as his right. Without the crupper in place this shortened movement is barely noticeable. I've made an appointment with an equine chiropractor and will share what I know later!

I began to focus on driving Doc and we have had some great workouts! Well, perhaps he doesn't think getting sweaty and wet is so neat! Ever since Doc bolted with me I have decided that he may not be safe to drive. However, I've often thought that driving him in a team with Pippin might still be feasible. I'd like to have the horses pull the drag harrow and manure spreader in the pasture. Nothing fancy and nothing fast! I talked to the clinician about this. I asked him if I was inviting double trouble by driving my 'bolter' with Pippin. He said I might only be asking for half the trouble.... which was what I was thinking. He explained that he has had some horses that function well in a team situation because they have the other horse there with them. They are not as likely to look for trouble and if they do react, the other horse's lack of reaction defuses the situation. So, I'll give Pippin some lighter work until we have his situation figured out and focus more on Doc over the next few weeks. As always, your comments or insight are always welcome!

In case you are new... or as a reminder:

Each week I'll post two or three prompts. 
Write about one or respond to all.

Don't forget!!
Complete your blog post (or comment) by asking a question of us.
I am really enjoying answering your questions,
and look forward to seeing other reposes, too.

Link your post to the Hobby Horse Blog Hop
by using the Linky Tool below.
Leave a comment with the answer(s) to the

Visit other participating blogs on the list
and respond to their questions in your comments on their pages.

Hobby Horse Blog Hop Prompts - 5:
  1. What are your thoughts about providing hay for your horse when you trailer him/her?
  2. You have just won a 2 minute shopping spree at a tack store. What store are you in and what will you grab?
  3. What plans do you have for the weekend?
Here are my answers:

1. Oh my... I don't know the answer to this one. That's why I asked this question of you! I'd love to hear what other's think! Generally I don't provide hay in the trailer but I give the horses a horse cookie when they get in the trailer. However, since my guys are such food hogs, I think that maybe if they did get a hay net in the trailer, they'd be more interested in getting in and going somewhere. My concern about providing hay is that bits of hay and chaff that would swirl around in the breeze could irritate their eyes. 

2. This was my dream as a child! I had items circled on every page of Miller's catalog. Miller's is now part of Dover Saddlery, so I guess that's where I'll go for my shopping spree, even though they don't have harnesses or western equipment. I'd begin my spree by swiping a few bridles off the display wall as I run into the store. Then I'd grab one or two Mylar snaffle bits and a half dozen others since I can't seem to find the right one for Pippin, and I hate to spend $100 (+ or -) on something that doesnt work!) Then, on to the saddle area. I'd pull a dressage saddle off the rack; not sure what make, but I'd want it to have a deep seat and nice, supple leather. Next I'd head to the clothing area. I refuse to pay the price for riding pants, but they do make the ride much more comfy than jeans ... so I'll get a few pair of boot cut pants before grabbing a few pair of Ariat paddock boots. Oops.... I think my time is up!

3. I will be getting together with at least two other bloggers. I'm invited to breakfast at Moondance Ranch. (She still has a wonderful video clip of Pippin at the driving clinic on her blog... before he had the padded crupper installed!) Once Upon an Equine will also be coming. We'll have the opportunity to meet Ben, Boomer, Paj and Reggie. I can't wait!


  1. That is so cool you get to meet up with fellow bloggers!!

    The easiest solution to your hay problem in the trailer is a fly mask. It keeps stuff out of their eyes, but they can still enjoy hay. :D

    Sorry about Pippin. I hope you guys can get it resolved quickly.

  2. Oh and I'll get the blog hop posted asap. I'm glad I caught the last one right before running out of time. :)

  3. As I relax in the safety of my hotel room after getting lost in Tampa all by myself, I am doing the hop!Great questions!
    Have a good weekend!!

  4. I bet the chiro treatment will be just the thing for Pippin.
    I only put hay in the trailer if I'm going for a really long haul, and have the horse loose- I use a stock trailer so they have the whole area to move around in. Also, if I'm hauling more than 1 horse, they are tied and don't get hay.

  5. That is perplexing about Pippin. I hope the chiropractor can pinpoint the issue and help. Ah, yes, grabbing a couple Myler bits is a great idea. See ya Saturday. I'm bringing blueberry breakfast bars.

  6. I of course know nothing about driving horses, but the companion idea makes sense. I hope you will get an answer to Pippin's problem and that Doc works out OK.

  7. David's driving mentor starts all her young horses by teaming them with an experienced horse - works for her.

  8. Why is the Linky Tool list not showing up anymore?


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