Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pedicure day!

Today was pedicure day for the horses. Duke’s feet were absolutely perfect, and in no need for a trim. Yay for the checkbook! Piney is still trying to get his feet back to where they were. He’s by no means a horse with great feet. His right front flares out pretty bad especially when he isn’t kept on schedule, which due to miss communication last year at adventure camp happened. We’ve been working to get him back to where he was, and it’s slowly getting better. The farrier thinks that by September/October he should be looking normal again. Ugh. He has bad feet. He’s never been lame since I’ve moved him home but he just has bad feet. The farrier is happy with how his feet are starting to look since he’s been here, which makes me happy.

I was pretty nervous with how Pistol was going to do. I’ve given him some time off… so I can do some thinking about how to handle him. Dumb? Yes, very. But I want him to settle into life at the farm. I interact with him every day and he’s been doing great about me rubbing on his face and ears. I hadn’t tried haltering him in a few weeks though. Last night I realized that I should probably have him haltered for the farrier. It wasn’t a fun process. At.All.  I walked all over that pasture last night. Duke thought it was great fun to trot around with Pistol avoiding me at all costs. Piney well he’s a great boy, he ALWAYS comes up to me in the pasture. Love him.  I kept them moving until at one point they stopped and came up to me. I loved up on Duke. And then reached over and loved up on Pistol. Then back to Duke, then back to Pistol. I had the halter in my hand. Each time I raised it up, he would tense up, so I would lower it down, I kept lifting it up until he finally relaxed when I lifted it up. I even lifted it up and dropped it by his head, holding the crown piece. When he didn’t tense up when I dropped it, I went for it. I put my arm around his neck and he even dropped his nose down into the halter. I don’t know if I’ve ever loved up on a horse as much as I did right then and there! I wanted him to know that he was awesome and the last thing I wanted him to think was that I would ever hurt him so I made him feel like a champ. Small victories. I moved him up to the small north pen for the night so that he would be a bit easier to catch when the farrier showed up. He seemed happy and not too stressed out over the fact he was separated from his best buddy Piney. It’s funny watching those two. Pistol just loves Piney and is always trying to be as close to him as possible. Piney can’t stand him. It’s funny seeing Piney be a grumpy old man.

Pistol made it through the night without his buddies and when the farrier showed up bright and early this morning, he was easily caught. We trimmed him in the pen, I didn’t want to think about what would happen if he got loose and was roaming all over the countryside. The farrier was amazed at how well behaved Pistol was for his trim. He didn’t once jig, pullback, stomp, kick, nothing! He was a rock! I was amazed at how well behaved he was!  Such a good boy! My farrier thinks though that Pistol might be older than 13. He was thinking that he was closer to late teens. Could be true, I’m still working on getting the vet out for a full checkup, and get his teeth done. Time is a major factor in this…trying to find an appointment that works for the vet and myself is HARD! But the farrier thought that if Pistol rides well under saddle, that Pistol is definitely a keeper. He probably said that because he was a champ to trim :-)
Kitties spent their first night roaming the barn free last night. They were all snuggled up ontop of their kitty condo when I got to the barn this morning. They are loving their freedom! I just love the little darlings. Even if one accidentally scratched the heck out of my hand last night.
Jumps are paid for :-) and my friend is picking them up for me today. The auction was actually in a place down by the twin cities. I happened to have a friend who lives near the auction site and happened to have this afternoon off, and will be coming up to this area next weekend! HOORAY! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Auctions are awesome.

Well I do love me an auction! But this time I didn’t buy another horse! I’ve been addicted to an online auction that has sale sites in my area. All the fun and excitement of an auction, but you get to sit at your computer! My first experience with the auction site I ended up buying an Australian saddle, in excellent shape, in my size for $40! I haven’t used it yet, but I have it, and it was a great deal!  Especially for a tack hoarder like me! One auction I recently won was for an extremely old photo album, filled with pictures. I’m a history and photography nerd so I collect antique photos. Some call it weird because I don’t know the people, but I just love the glimpse into the past the old photos give me. The album had 32 portraits in it and I date them to be around 1860-1890. About 1/3 of them are Tin type photos! So awesome! Total cost $10.00.

Yesterday I won an auction for these beauties…

Winning bid...$3.00! A set of 4 jumps for $3.00!! BUT they only go up to 36inches and unfortunately I am guessing they are for miniature horses, since the poles are only 5ft long. However I am thinking I can modify them to accommodate bigger poles, if not...heck I'm out $3.00! Maybe I can use them for agility for my dogs, or make them into a fun party game, people show jumping...which, sounds like it could be a lot of fun after a few adult beverages if you know what I mean! *LIGHTBULB* I'm bringing these to WeFest (the largest country music festival in the country and located 5 miles from my lake home) this summer! Bascially a 4 day party, sometimes we make it up to the concert bowl and see the shows ;-) A lot of people set up their campsites with games, and other fun things to do. One year we were by a steep hill, and brought a wagon  to ride down it, so much fun, until the securtiy came and shut us down, after watching a few runs of course. But I can set these up at our campsite and have people compete for prizes (drinks)! I mean you can only play bean bags, or Norwegian golf so many times before you get bored and want something more exciting to do! Awesome Idea KK, awesome idea! lol These jumps are already more fun than I thought they would be!

Last week I bought this quilt rack for $2.00.
I have re purposed it as a saddle pad rack. Even my big western pads fit PERFECTLY on it. I had been looking for a quilt rack that I could use as a saddle pad rack, but never had much luck because they were all a bit too small, and cost too much money. This one is really nicely made and pretty sturdy. It works perfectly for what I needed it for.

I also won this old kerosene stove.
Hubby was NOT impressed when I picked this up. It cost me a whole $2.00. I am still not sure what I am going to do with it. I invisioned re purposing it as a plant stand outside by my barn or next to the house. I want to find some old tea pots or just pots to plant flowers in and put them on the burners. I think it will look pretty cute! But I might just end up cleaning her up a bit and then selling her at the antique flea market this summer that me and a couple friends of mine are setting up a booth at.

So that is my current online addiction...auctions. I just love getting such great deals! and I am just overly excited for my jumps! Hours and HOURS of fun with those this summer  I can already see it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

19 Horses That Hate Their Lives

If you are in need of a few giggles go check out

19 Horses That Hate Their Lives

Newest additions to the zoo

We finally got ourselves some ferocious barn cats! Ok, so they are cute and cuddly at the moment but I just KNOW they will become vicious hunters! A friend of a friend of mine on facebook had some kittens that she needed to give away and I just so happened to need some kittens! They are 3 grey kittens from the same litter, two girls and one boy. They are pretty stinkin cute.
It's been pretty hard to not bring them into the house! If it was still winter, you better believe that those little babies would be snuggling in the house with me! But I have them in the barn in a cozy little home. I want them to grow a bit more before they get free range of the barn. So I currently have them in an extra large wire dog kennel with, food water, blankets, a litter box and a scratching post, I let them out in the morning before work and again at night to roam around. When I come into the barn they all climb right up to the top of the kennel, it's super cute. I love them. I need to remember they are barn cats, and they have a job. But they are so darn cute!
I've named them but I can't really tell them apart. Their names are Cory, Trevor and Bubbles. I wanted to name one "Church" after the cat in pet semmetary...hubby vetoed that one.  Said it was too creepy. Anyways I just love those little kittehs!

Get ready for cuteness overload!

This one is in training to be a killing machine.

Out for a kitty stroll

Oh my aren't you cute!

This is a barn cat. This is a barn cat...I have to remind myself daily...

I just want to snuggle you!

not too sure about this whole grass thing...

"Let's fight and be super adorable so mom brings us in the house!"

halloween cat impression

Be strong! They need to live in the barn....

Barn cat...barn cat...barn cat....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I just don't know what to do...

Piney is a funny, funny fellow. He loves being with his people. Last night he was acting exactly how he did the first day I met him. When I got into the pasture he came up to me, and then proceeded to block my view of the other horses. He was also not very keen on the idea of me interacting with any horse other than him. The ear pinning and charging the other horses is a new behavior that I’m not too fond of. But I spent a bunch of time with him yesterday. I even took him out to the yard to lunge him. Yeah, I’m def going to need a roundpen/arena without grass. It took a LOT of effort to get him to focus on me, and not the fresh delicious grass all around him. But once I got him tuned into me he was great. We only did walking and trotting. I cannot for the life of me get that monster to canter. Voice, swinging the end of the lunge line, whip nothing was effective. But come to think of it, when we were at my old barn and working with my riding instructor even she had a hard time getting him to canter on the lunge. Maybe I’d have better luck free lunging him in a round pen or smaller arena? I don’t know. Some horses like to run, Piney just doesn’t. Which was what his breeder told me about him. He ran because he was a good boy, but he never really had the heart for it.

don't EVER google wood ticks and then hit images...gag.
He is a really sweet horse and I just love him. The ticks have been eating him alive. I have been pulling ticks of him nonstop. I lost track of how many all I know is that it’s been a lot! Tonight I plan on getting the rest of his long, disgusting winter coat off of him. It’s stubborn, and has been holding on long enough! He looks like a hag! I wish I knew how to pull his mane. It is also long and I don’t think it’s a good look for him. Haha. His tail is also SLOOOOOWWWLLLLYYY coming back. It’s definitely not where it was 2 years ago, but it’s coming back around. Lets just say no one would have tail envy like they used to when looking at him.

 I tried to catch Pistol last night, each time I got near him one of the other two would charge him, and then he’d flee from me. Everyone has some learning to do. But I was able to stuff treats into his mouth without the other horses seeing me do that. If they saw that, they’d be all over me. I am sure I’m over abusing the treat giving, but I want him to associate me with good things like treats. He’s gotten better about coming up to me, but the other two usually just chase him away.  Pistol has a halter on 24/7 because he’s pretty hard to catch. If you grab his halter he will flip his head up and then get the hell out of there. It’s best if you just snap on the lead rope in one quick swoop. I don’t want him getting away with the head flipping. So I’m going to do some research on the head shy horse, because he’s headshy…big time. Other than that, we are taking it slow.
I wish I had him at my old barn, mostly because I would have help figuring him out. I don’t know what saddle I should use on him. I don’t know what bit or bridle I should use with him. I have NO clue how to deal with a head shy horse. Obviously these are things that happen when you buy a horse from an auction. You are usually left to figure them out by yourself. I am so worried all the time about my horses. Yesterday I was super late for work because as I was leaving I noticed Duke lying in the pasture. He usually isn’t curled up in the morning. He likes to curl up at night, but never in the morning. I went up to him and got him up, then listened to his guts, and observed him. He wasn’t kicking or biting his stomach, and he was eating, pooping and peeing like normal. He’d just had a long night, but in my mind he was colicing badly and was dying. Hypochondriac much? I’ve always been this way.  I know more than I give myself credit for, and I am also a better horsewoman than I think I am. But I still kind of want someone to come out and put a ride or two on Pistol before hubby or I does. If hubby rides and it goes badly, than we will more than likely get rid of him. While it makes sense, that we don’t want to feed a horse we can’t ride, I don’t want to give up right away. I also don’t want anyone getting hurt. So more than likely this horse was a mistake for me to have. I just feel so down about the whole situation and it’s only just begun! In the last couple years I’ve gotten on some horses that I wouldn’t have even considered getting near 10 years ago, but I am still a big chicken. Ugh. Snap out of it. What it all boils down to is that I’m scared and scared of ruining this horse. I want to do the best for everyone involved.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

three red horses

Pistol seems to be settling in just fine at the farm. He seems more calm and relaxed out in the pasture. He even came right up to me last night when I got home from work and went to check on him. We also reintroduced the other horses to him. On Sunday we had put them all together but it was basically a great big power struggle. While it was beautiful to see the horses galloping full speed across the pasture, I figured it was a lot of stress on Pistol, so we pulled Duke and Piney and put them back in their smaller pen. Piney was pretty pathetic in their pasture race. I wish I had video. He was like the little kid trying to keep up with the big kids. Not.even.close. If I didn’t have photographic and video proof that he was in fact a race horse…a WINNING racehorse, I would honestly not believe he was even a thoroughbred. He tried to play a few times, but then gave up and came back to snuggle me.  That’s my boy.

When we re-introduced them last night, it was pretty uneventful. They sniffed each other and then went to grazing. I was doing something in the yard when I heard thundering hooves, when I looked up it was just Duke and Pistol having a little “I’m the boss here” match race. Piney couldn’t even be bothered to join in on their reindeer games. I have noticed though when I threw out some hay Piney got pretty aggressive towards Pistol and kept chasing him off. I had about 6 piles scattered around, so he was able to find some. Hopefully he will stop being such a creep. That’s how all the other horses treated Piney when he first got to his adventure camp last year. It really is interesting to watch horses interacting with each other, especially when there is a newbie.

Both Piney and Duke crave human contact. While I used to think it was because they only wanted food (which is true about 50% of the time), they will come up and snuggle, often fighting for my attention. When I groom Piney in the pasture, Duke will inch closer and closer to me. He loves being groomed, as does Piney. They just love being loved on. Pistol still has that distant look in his eye and once he is on the end of a lead rope he seems to enjoy human contact, but he still hasn’t completely warmed up to the idea of us. He is pretty head shy, so I’m hoping we can get that figured out. Piney isn’t a fan of having me monkey with his ears, he is tolarent of whatever I do to him.

When I wormed Piney the other day, I was thankful that he was an ex racehorse because squirting wormer into his mouth didn’t even faze him. I squirted it in his mouth and he was like “whatevs!” Duke looked at me like I was going to shove a lit stick of dynamite in his mouth. Pistol had the same look. Soooo we had to trick them. I had treats in my hand and shoved them  in, and while they were grabbing for a treat, I shoved the tube in and pushed up the trigger. I wasn’t their favorite person after that. But hey it worked and they still accept treats.  

I am happy that everyone is getting along for the most part. I’m sure it will only get better with time.  I love those three red monsters...most of the time ;-)