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Posts Tagged ‘pony’

Well after a year of having it on my “to do” list, I finally got around to it. I’ve created a more permanent blog space for the ponies over on their own website (with some help from my talented husband).

new blog

Visit the new blog HERE

Eventually this blog will forward everyone over to the new blog URL, so make sure you update your RSS readers to the new blog address. And all future posts will be happening over there!

There are still a few kinks we’re working out on the new blog (afterall everything I know about web design I had to teach myself) – so bare with me if anything looks a little funny.

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Back in June of last year I started teaching Boomerang to bow. We were getting close to perfecting it (In which I tap his leg and ask for bow and he drops his knee to the ground with ease), when I got slightly sidetracked because Boomer in a way taught himself to laydown on command.

Fast forward nearly a year later and I realized I never “finished” the trick. Boomer simply knew to pick up his leg and lower himself to the ground as I help up his foot for him. Not exactly a polished trick, as I really want him to be able to do it himself just like Minnow.

So after a particularly vigorous ride the other day I knew Boomer was sweaty enough to be enticed to put himself in the soft fluffy screenings in our arena. After one or two attempts to ask him to lift and hold his leg himself, he pretty much figured out what I wanted. I started rewarding him even longer while he stayed bowing and eventually started adding a release word for him. Soon I hope that he’ll stay in the bow until I give him his release word.

Not bad for a quick 5 minute training session.

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chesapeake boomerang

Last weekend the ponies and Ammo the Dachshund went on a very special trip. We rounded everyone up and made the 4 hour trek down to Assateague Island, Virginia to ride on the beach with our friends from the Chincoteague Pony Centre.

blitz

I’ve been waiting my whole life to make this trip and ride on the beach with my ponies, and I was thrilled to be able to share this trip with Minnow, Blitz, Boomerang, Ammo and my mom.

blitz and boomer

We left behind a freak October snowstorm in PA on Saturday to head to the rainy (but atleast not snowy) island. We were fortunate to have a place for the ponies to stay at a friends farm and on Sunday morning we drove the ponies out to the island for their very first beach ride.

chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

For Minnow it was a sort of homecoming as he was born on the island 18 years ago, but for Blitz and Boomerang it was a completely new experience.

I’ve been to the Assateague beach before, but riding across the dunes on horseback was an entirely new and amazing experience. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was, the sun glistening off the ocean as the huge waves came crashing down all around us. We even witnessed two bald eagles taking flight off the beach.

bald eagle

All the ponies dipped their feet into the ocean and seemed utterly at home on the island, a special place that they are all tied to. My mom and I vowed that this would not be the last time we galloped along the beach with our boys.

chesapeake boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

After our 2 hour ride I took the opportunity to take as many pictures as possible of the ponies as the waves crashed down behind them. I even broke out their painting easel and Minnow’s super hero ensemble.

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

As Minnow began to enthusiastically pose along the beach he started to draw a small crowd. People began asking questions until someone in the crowd recognized who he was. I felt like we were being followed by the paparazzi as cameras flashed around us and people exclaimed that they were meeting a celebrity. I’m sure Minnow was feeling very important.

Chincoteague Minnow

Chincoteague Minnow

Boomerang also got his turn to shine as I asked him to laydown on the beach – and he happily obliged even as the ocean waves rolled towards him. I even got him to sit, a trick we have only just begun working on. Boomer really is an amazing pony and so willing to do almost anything I ask of him.

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Chesapeake Boomerang

Blitz took his turn in front of the camera and showed off what a super model he is. I’ve always said he’s the most gorgeous of our ponies and he definitely did not disappoint. Blitz also had a very special experience as we were down visiting, because his mom was on the island (and also Blitz & Boomer’s sire).

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

Chesapeake Lightning

We got to meet Tidewater Fable aka L’Eggs, Blitz’s beautiful solid bay dam. We instantly realized where Blitz got his looks from, and also his timid tenancies. I dreamed of L’Eggs nickering and Blitz calling back with an enthusiastic “MOM!” – although of course none of that happened and I’m pretty sure neither even knew the other was there. I can dream though!

Tidewater Fable

Tidewater Fable - Blitz's Dam

 

Tidewater Fable

Tidewater Fable - Blitz's Dam

Chesapeake Powhattan's Promise

Chesapeake Powhattan's Promise - Blitz and Boomer's Sire

After our beach ride we trailered the ponies over to Pony Pines for their end of the year fun show. By this point the ponies were getting very good at loading and unloading on our new 3 horse step-up trailer. It was great practice for them and by the end of the trip they were pros at trailer loading.

At the fun show my mom and I entered in a handful of the fun classes. We won the ribbon race as well as the hilarious wheelbarrow race (where one rider pushed the other in a wheelbarrow while leading a pony). I also took Boomerang in their version of the Extreme Cowboy Race. Boomer impressed me by doing a water ditch jump, mastering a massive bridge, navigating through brush and even jumping a scary black plastic tube. I was very proud of him as he galloped across the hilly terrain course they had created behind the farm.

Ironically immediately following we entered into the Chincotaegue Pony Pleasure Class – I should have foreseen how amped up Boomer would be after racing through the hills. Lets just say we were done for as soon as they asked us to canter and Boomer went bronco bucking around the arena. I had to laugh.

At the end of the evening Minnow got a chance to shine as he dressed up in his Super Hero Costume with best pal Ammo (aka Rocket Dog) for the costume class. They came home with a blue for the most unique costume and I think both of them were very pleased with themselves.

minnow and ammo

Before we headed home on Sunday we took one last trip out to Assateague to get some more pictures and enjoy the view. It was such an amazing trip and I hope it won’t be our last!

the painting ponies

A special thanks to all of our friends who made it possible for us to visit!

You can check out more photos from our trip on our facebook page. I should be back soon with some more photos and videos to share too!

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted something, but that doesn’t mean the ponies haven’t been BUSY! We’ve held a few events at the farm, and all the ponies have been getting exercised regularly in preparation for a very special trip we’re taking this weekend.

We’re loading up the trailer and taking all three ponies down to Chincoteague Island, Virginia to participate in a beach ride on Assateague Island with our friends from the Chincoteague Pony Centre! I’m so excited to ride MY ponies on the beach for the very first time ever – and to also bring Minnow back to the island where he was born 18 years ago.

I’ve had this trip on my bucket list for a long time now and even though the weather this weekend is looking not so great – I’m still excited to go on this adventure.

Part of the adventure is being able to ride on the beach, and considering Minnow has been in retirement since 2008 due to his ringbone, I figured it was time for him to be saddled up. Minnow hasn’t had a saddle on in about 2 years and although I do exercise him to keep his weight down and occasionally hop on him bareback I needed to make sure he remembered what a girth felt like before our beach ride. Mostly likely Minnow will just do some light walking on the beach and Boomerang will take me on the 2 hour ride, but it was still important to get a practice saddling in before the trip.

minnow spanish walk

Minnow practicing his Spanish Walk

So after one of our shows at the farm we decided to run all three ponies through the obstacle course we had set up (none of the ponies had done this specific course before). Below are videos of all three ponies completing the course. Minnow did exceptionally well considering he hasn’t really been ridden in 2 years (he does get exercised regularly in the ring by allowing him to free-lounge himself) – it’s such a testament to how much he really trusts me.

Minnow:

Blitz:

Boomerang:

So if you were our judge who would have won? We typically judge on accuracy, how relaxed & willing the horse is, and how the rider executes the tasks (speed is not a factor) – this would of been a tough one to judge between our 3 ponies – just goes to show what a great attitude these Chincoteague Ponies have.

Anyone else ever ridden their horse on the beach? Did you know that Assateague Island allows beach rides in the fall season, and you can even camp on the island with your horse. So if it’s your dream too – it is possible!

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On Sunday I took Boomerang to his very first mounted shooting clinic. My mom and Blitz tagged along too – although they had been to one other shooting session before.

cowboy mounted shooting

The clinic was held in NJ by the Jersey Devils Mounted Shooters. We started off with a bit of gun safety and practiced firing from the ground at our balloon targets.

cowboy mounted shooting

Surprisingly I was a better shot from my pony than I was from the ground, ha!

cowboy mounted shooting

The guns we fired were fairly loud, so I wasn’t sure how Boomer would react. He’s pretty brave, but any horse would be scared if you fire a pistol from their back.

cowboy mounted shooting

To introduce our horses to the gunfire we rode around as a group while riders routinely shot off rounds into the air. The first few shots startled Boomer as I’m sure he wasn’t expecting it, but being in a group with the other horses that had all done this before – he was quickly put at ease. After a few laps around, and a few clicks and rewards from me, he seemed to hardly notice the gunfire anymore.

cowboy mounted shooting

Next we each took turns running through a pattern and firing at the balloons. In competition you are scored on speed and accuracy, and in my first run through I shot 8 out of the 10 balloons. I was really surprised Boomer hardly jumped at all – shooting next to the horse is much different than shooting into the air, because the sound is louder and they can see the gun out of the corner of their eye.

Below are two videos I put together of Boomer and Blitz running through the patterns:

Blitz is a little bit more of a nervous horse, but he improved greatly with each time he went.

It ended up being a really fun day and a great experience for both ponies. I don’t have plans to join the mounted shooting club (although I was really fun) but I did it as a way to introduce my pony (and myself) to something entirely new. All of the different things I do with my ponies are helping to make them better mounts. I think if the club wasn’t a two hour drive for me I might have considered joining, because it was fun to wield a pistol!

cowboy mounted shooting

And Boomerang was pretty proud of himself in the end, evident by his beaming smile!

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October 4th, 2008 is a date that holds much significance for me. Not only is it the anniversary of my wedding to my high school sweetheart, but it is also the anniversary of when I became the official owner of Minnow.

Minnow had been living with me since 2003, when his then owners had decided to lease him out to me to use as a riding mount. In those 5 years I got to know an amazing pony that has since changed the entire course of my life. I knew he was one of those “once in a lifetime” ponies – and in the back of my mind I always feared that someday he would leave me.

chincoteague pony at wedding

When he was diagnosed with Ringbone in March of 2008 and his competition career came to an abrupt end, it became evident that the “backyard tricks” I had taught him were now more important than ever. Not only were they a way for us to continue to interact with each other, but they became something even more special that we shared together.

I knew that Minnow HAD to be at my wedding, he was such an important part of my life, and when my mom jokingly suggested he should be the flower girl, I set out to train him how to toss petals out of a basket. Tossing the petals proved to be the easy part, it was performing in front of a crowd of wedding guests that couldn’t be practiced.

chincoteague pony at wedding

Until today, I have yet to share the “real” wedding video of Minnow wowing my guests (and me). To FINALLY get it up for viewing I had to film it off of my computer and onto my iphone – so granted the quality isn’t the best. But, I’m proud to share with everyone, the greatest FLOWER GIRL PONY there ever was!

Not only was Minnow simply amazing, but he performed for my sister (and not me). Minnow has always been quite sensitive, and most times will only perform tricks for me – after we built a relationship of trust over many years. So for him to perform for my sister (who never works with him) and in front of a large crowd of people, it was an amazing accomplishment for him.

When I returned home from my honeymoon in Nicaragua I opened a very special card from Minnow’s owners. Their gift to me on my wedding day was Minnow! To know that he would be mine forever was one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me. I know that I’m truly blessed to have him in my life and I’m so thankful that we were able to find eachother.

So Happy Anniversary Minnow! I look forward to many more adventures with you, as I know we are just getting started!

And Happy 3 year Anniversary to my wonderful husband :), thanks for accepting my love for the ponies (and Ammo).

chincoteague minnow, flower pony

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Well, it took me long enough to share the paintings Minnow created during the Chadds Ford Dog Days of Summer Event, but better late than never! Here are some of his lovely new paintings that are now available for purchase in the shop. Enjoy!

mango splash

"Mango Splash" by Chincoteague Minnow

This is such a fun and vibrant painting. Add a pop of color to your walls with this mango inspired painting. Just a splash of silver, yellow, and white make it so much fun!

golden waves

"Golden Waves" by Chincoteague Minnow

A kiss of sun as the ocean waves come crashing down around him. Minnow probably envisioned his days as a youth growing up on the shores of Assateague Island when he painted this.

purple rain

"Purple Rain" by Chincoteague Minnow

Perhaps Minnow was channeling his inner Prince when he painted this purple rain piece (video). Either way it’s a fun splash of colors for your walls!

field of green

"Field of Green" by Chincoteague Minnow

Painted on the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th Disaster, we imagine Minnow was wishing for growth and change as well as fields of green grass when he painted this.

 

remember

"Remember" by Chincoteague Minnow

Painted on the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th Disaster, we imagine Minnow was remembering the event as it shaped the history of the US. Red, White and Blue dawn this patriotic piece.

light at the end of the tunnel

"Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Chincoteague Minnow

Painted on the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th Disaster, we imagine Minnow was thinking of the light at the end of the tunnel when he painted this vibrant piece. Disaster is terrible, but there will always be a shimmer of hope.

Each painting has a different story to tell. Which painting speaks to you?

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