Thursday, December 25, 2008

have a blue (tarp) christmas!

Wishing you all a blue tarp Christmas and a playful new year!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Great pictures! Merry Christmas.

Buddy said...

Merry Christmas!


billie said...

You too, Arlene!

And Buddy! Merry Christmas!

Rising Rainbow said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, Billie?

Love the face boxing donks!!

billie said...

You too, MiKael. The donkeys are having a lot of fun being out with the herd again.

AnnL said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Looks like all the equines at your place had a great holiday. :-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Merry Christmas Billie...and to all your charming critters, too.


billie said...

Ann, you too - give Jeeves a big pat from us.

Lisa, to you and yours as well!!

jme said...

love the photos! merry xmas!

and what a great way to get a horse past any fear of a scary tarp - hide his food under it! very funny :-)

billie said...

You too, jme!

I thought the photos with the tarp were funny too - at one point every one of them (the 4 who were there) had their entire heads under that tarp.

We have done a fair amount of work with tarps in the arena - walking over them, draping them over, etc.

I think the biggest success story is Keil Bay, who came from a home where things were very pristine and perfect, and he had a hx of being spooky if anything in his arena was changed the slightest bit.

When we first got him he was boarded at a small "family" barn, where there were kids and trampolines and a pool, motorcycles and bikes, and the barn owner had set up an equine obstacle course around the perimeter of the big barnyard. After most rides, I'd cool down by taking a few passes through the course, which included walking through a line of pinwheels, pool noodles, over a bridge, over a pile of old rubber tires, past flapping flags, plastic cups tied together so they clicked in the breeze, etc. The blue tarps were over the shavings pile, and there was assorted and sundry barn stuff all around. It was really good for him. Nothing stayed the same two days in a row, and he pretty quickly adjusted.

Now we have a quieter place, but what he learned has carried over - they all will still run around like mad things if a simple plastic grocery bag pinwheels across the field, but we started using one of those in hand in the arena when doing free lunging and that has helped. They "listen" to it similarly to a lunge whip and get to sniff it at the end of the session. Every now and then there's a treat inside. :)

jme said...

wow, i love the idea of the horsey obstacle course! i might try that one (though i'm not sure the neighbors will appreciate it ;-) my boys love games so it might be fun, and so good for them to practice at home in a safe, relaxed environment (rather than in traffic on the road or on the way to the in-gate! aaahhh!)

billie said...

Oh, I forgot - there was a ditch they could walk through (or hop over) and a mailbox with changing decorations hung over it. You could change the flag up or down, open it, close it, etc.

She was always putting new stuff out there. It was a really good idea.

We've despooked to umbrellas and pogo sticks, walkers (the ones older folk often use to get around safely), and because of neighbors we're pretty good with ATVs and gunshots. (one neighbor does target shooting behind his house) It's not my favorite thing about the neighborhood, but at least I know none of ours will bolt under saddle if a gun goes off.

ponymaid said...

billi, I'm out of breath and late getting her but want to wish you and yours a very happy holiday. The best gift of all is seeing young Rafer completely confident on his new and improved leg. I restrict the number of times the woman can look at a photo of Redford - she gets positively maudlin and says "ahhhh" over and over. To be expected of course - Redford's profile is one of donkey perfection.

billie said...

Sheaffer, thank you for the holiday wishes. I have the same reaction when I look at the photos of Redford's profile. He is as cute as a pie, that's for sure.

What do people do who don't have little donkeys walking around being amazing? I have no clue. Once you have them in your family, the time "before donkey" just seems to fade. :)

You and Jack hang in there - between snow and rain I know it's miserable up there. Surely some sunshine will find you both soon.