Thursday, June 20, 2013

I saddled up.

Before you get to excited, I didn't saddle up George. I did however saddle up a big red horse and rode him around the yard for a bit.

Earlier this week I had a friend stop out to have some pictures taken. She just adopted another dog that she will be training to be a therapy dog. So everyone meet Shiloh.



 

He was a trained service dog who had been surrendered back to the organization because he had been mistreated. They decided for a few reasons to adopt him out to be a therapy dog instead. My friend and her other dog do all kinds of things to help people. It's really quite awesome. Dogs are awesome.

Anyways we used to board at the same barn and we spent a long time after taking pictures just chatting and catching up. Everyone from my old barn had moved to a new barn so I wanted the 4-1-1 on that. And then one thing led to another and she convinced me to saddle up Pistol and go for a little ride.




Pistol is much bigger than I think he is, when I see a picture of me riding. Let's skip past the part of me riding in my dressage saddle, a blingy western headstall, an equine couture polo, jeans and a pair of cowboy boots. If you can cut all that weirdness out, he looks really nice in a dressage saddle! He was a perfect gentleman for tacking up, even with the fact I was struggling to find a girth to fit his massive barrel. Thank goodness for girth extenders! I just rode around the yard for 5 minutes. He is a good boy, but he was really buddy sour. Duke didn't help the fact since he was screaming bloody murder the whole time. George was pacing the fence too. Seriously horses, you can still see him. He will be right back!
His body condition is actually really nice this year. Obviously he could use muscle, but as compaired to last year and, ugh, the winter,  he looks fantastic. It's really silly for me to say, but after Piney died, he just really started to drop weight. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep him fat. But finally this spring he started to come around. He looks younger and better than he has the entire time we've had him. He's still covered in battle scars but he looks wonderful.

I was going to ride again last night, but it was pretty hot and I had 1,000,000 things to do. Why is it there is never enough time?

Liebster Blog Award

I think I am at the tail end of this thing, and by this point everyone has gotten the award. If not, please comment and I will happily nominate you :-) So with that being said, I was nominated 3 times which was really nice of you guys! Thank you! I was nominated by Karley at All In, Kalin at Cash's Steppin Up! and Niamh at Life of Riley. So I went ahead and answered their questions. BUT FIRST the part you've been waiting for...11 facts about me.
 
 
11 Random facts about me.

1.     I was born and raised in Northern, Manitoba. As in, I’ve gone out to see Polar Bears in their natural habitat for a family trip, THAT northern Manitoba. PS polar bears love garbage dumps!

2.     After high school I was a foreign exchange student in Lidingo, Sweden. The only Swedish I  learned was how to order a beer in Swedish, that’s about it.

3.     I’m pretty passionate about being an “ag-vocate” (dorky I know). Agriculture is not only important to just me, but it is important to entire world. A lot of people don’t realize that. I have a dozen drafts of blog posts about agriculture, but really don’t want to upset people, so I don’t publish them.

4.     I love history. Especially the history of people coming into North Dakota.

5.      I am a sucker for really dumb horse movies. Anything with a troubled youth, moving to her grandpa’s/estranged father’s/cousins ranch to train and gain the trust of a rescued lower level claiming racehorse and turn it into a Kentucky Derby winner, I’m in!

6.     I am completely overwhelmed with all of my projects at home and I have a hard time asking for help with them.

7.     I hate shopping malls, and prefer thrift stores and antique stores. I want to cry when shopping at the mall.

8.     There is nowhere in the world I’d rather live than North Dakota.

9.     I was in a sorority when I was in college. Kappa Alpha Theta. “We’re the K-A-T’s we’re the best in the land, and you’ll know us where ever you go!....” Okay I’m done singing now…

10.  I have a very, very strange sense of humor. It can be very dry and some people don’t quite get it right away. But people that do think I am hilarious. I am sarcastic too and it sometimes gets me into trouble.

11.  I’d love a time machine to go back to random times if even just for a day
P.S. I did a lot of copying and pasting for this post so please excuse the fact that everying is a different font...
 
11 Questions  from Karley
1.  What would your ideal last meal be? Steak and potatoes. There isn’t a better food!
2. Ideal riding outfit? Full seat breeches, comfy boots, and a polo that matches my saddle pad…I’m a dork.
3. If you could go anywhere, all expenses paid- where would you go? Stockholm, Sweden. I LOVE it there!
4. What are your top 3 musts for a boarding facility? Safe, clean, no drama.
5. What one beverage can't you live without? Kickstart!
6. Dream car? Psssht…car….My dream ride is a big ol Ram Pickup truck!
7. Where do you want to go with your riding? I’d like to just be able to be confident in the saddle. If I was more confident I could go anywhere I wanted!
8. Where do you shop the most for real clothes? Thrift shops.
9. What do you do to calm your nerves at horse shows? Wine. Kidding. I don’t calm down, I am just a nervous ball of energy the whole time.
10. Favorite bathing products? for the horses? What’s bathing? I have a pasture full of dirtballs. Jk. I love the cowboy magic products.
11. If you could pick 2 horses off http://www.bigeq.com/ which would they be? this one
http://www.bigeq.com/p-Show_of_Approval-American_Thoroughbred-Hunter-10531.php
And this one
 
11 questions from Kalin
  1. How long have you owned/leased your horse/s? – I’ve officially owned George since May 12th. We bought George last April and My husband has owned Duke for like 8 years.
  2. If you were going to be trapped on an island with only three things, what would you take? a swiss army knife or leatherman tool, a big tarp, and a survivalist guide.
  3. What kind of saddle do you use? 8 times out of 10 I am riding in my Circle Y trail saddle.
  4. English or Western? I prefer English. My western saddle just isn’t that comfortable…but everyone says I need to ride in a ‘normal’ saddle when I ride with them. Dumb…but you gotta pick your battles…
  5. When you aren't riding, what do you like to do? I like to play games on my phone or computer. I really, really miss playing the Sims 3. Like really miss it.
  6. Is your family supportive of your riding? They are now.
  7. Favorite food & drink? Potatoes of any kind and milk
  8. What breed is your horse? Thoroughbred and then we have two horses of questionable lineage, but I’m sure they are part quarter horse.
  9. Favorite horse-related movie? The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit
  10. What is your favorite animal other than a horse? Dog
  11. Favorite song? Currently I am obsessed with “Redneck Crazy” By Tyler Farr. Like mad, crazy, obsessed.
11 questions from Niamh
1.    What's your biggest fear as a rider? *I feel like I don't trust people who say "nothing". I have a fear of getting hurt. Which I think is why I would stick to safe horses and never go faster than I was comfortable with. I think this is why George scares me because he is out of my comfort zone…but I am excited to ride him…weird.
2.    Who's your favorite rider and why? I don’t really follow any riders. I follow my blog friend riders and their progress. So I will pick them as my favorite rider, because they are all so different and knowledgeable!
3.    What's the most useful piece of advice someone's given you as a horse owner? Don't be stupid.
4.    How old were you when you got your first horse? I was 24 I think, when I got Yellow for my Birthday.
5.    Burghley, Badminton, or Rolex? Rolex
6.    Quick, you're trapped on a desert island, what three things do you bring?  Haha trick question. I hate the water and would never get into the situation where I’d be trapped on an island! But I would bring a backpack full of survival tools, a survivalist, and my glasses.
7.    If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead, famous or not) who would it be? This answer will blow your mind…. I would have dinner with myself BUT not my current self, my 16 year old self. I would tell her all kinds of things that would help her in her adult life. And I’d tell her not to worry about small things and that things could get worse. I’d also tell her that her ‘best friends’ will only be ‘friends’ (if that) in the future life won’t always revolve around them…Also I’d tell her to go take dog sled lessons…
8.    Favorite guilty pleasure?  I love The Sims 3 I said that already. But I haven’t played it in a long time because I get sucked into that world and neglect everything around me. God I miss it!
9.    Tell me three things on your bucket list.  Gallop a thoroughbred (yep, still haven’t done that and I’ve owned them) Go to the Kentucky Derby, meet some of my blog friends!
10.  If you could ride any well-known horse who would it be and why? Ummmm I don’t know any well-know horses, and chances are if I knew of one, it would be WAY more horse than I could handle!
11.  Would you rather: Ride without stirrups for the rest of your life OR have one arm tied behind your back at all times? Ride without stirrups. Imagine how amazing my legs would look…
 

 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

George's new bff

George and Tucker officially met last night. Tucker is not allowed off of his leash around the farm. Mostly because he is a terrier, and his instincts are to kill anything and everything he comes in contact with. While this may not be true for all terriers, it is true for ours. His little brain just blocks everything out when he is focused on his target. So it's just easier to keep him on his leash. He's gotten out with the horses a few times and he had some pretty close calls. It's a good thing he's quick because the horses are not a fan of him. George wouldn't not leave Tucker alone last night.
 
They kept smelling each other. And at one point my heart stopped with Tucker went up onto his hind legs, and George squealed and stomped his feet. But right after, he went back up to Tucker and kept smelling him.

He just wouldn't leave him alone. Tucker went to the waterer to get a drink, so George went over and sniffed his entire body. He just couldn't get enough of that strange little dog.
 
In  tiny pony news. Dolly is doing a lot better. The first few days she was with us she kind of just stood in one spot, not eating or moving much. But now she is roaming about her little pony pen, and has been eating like crazy.
She is a very sweet pony. It is so weird to groom her though. I'm so used to my horses towering over me and now I am the one towering over her. She really enjoys human contact.
She really likes the cats, and the cats really like her.
 

Still has some shedding out to do.

Why hello there.

These tiny ears and floppy mane!

In other big horse news. The boys have been doing great. Pistol looks the best he's ever looked. I can't even get over how nice he looks. He actually looks younger and happier than he's ever looked in the entire time we've had him. I have been meaning to saddle him up and ride, but finding time to actually do that is almost non existent. Sadness. Oh and I had more pictures to upload but blogger wouldn't let me upload them. double sadness...
Maybe I can get those up later....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ramblings.


Yesterday when I was putting fly sheets back on the horses I came to the realization that George is not Piney. Yes I obviously knew that when I got him. I knew that no horse will ever be Piney. But what I mean, is that with Piney I got away with being super lazy around him because he was in fact super lazy. I knew him and I knew that when I fussed with his clothing he wasn’t going to do anything. George on the other hand hates being clothed. He doesn’t prance, or dance around me. He stands still and lets me drape sheets, blankets and whatever on him but you can’t take an eye off of his head, because those ears get pinned and he will try to eat you. It then hit me, that when I got Piney I couldn’t take my eyes off his legs because he would in fact kick you or try to at least. I remember the first time I wasn’t paying attention to his legs shortly after I got him, and I was chatting with the barn owner and fussing with something on his side, then “BAM” he got me, right in the middle of my thigh. As time went on he stopped his kicking thing. But when he was still new to me I was super cautious about those legs. I even used a stud chain on him for the first few months because I was always expecting him to flip a switch in his head and then become a ‘typical thoroughbred’. There were a few TBs at the barn that you couldn’t lead without a chain either under their chin or over their nose. He never really turned into that ‘typical thoroughbred’ so I just got lazy with him.

I am still learning about George and he is learning about me. It’s a process. An important process that I seem to have forgotten. When I got Piney it took me a while to trust him. Those first couple months riding him I hopped on with the feeling that TODAY was going to be the day he bucked me off, or bolted with me or did something terrible. That day never came so I got lazy. I also got sloppy in my normal cautious horse handling. Not dangerous or stupid by any means, but sloppy. If that even makes sense. I knew he wasn’t going to do anything stupid so I could get lazy.  Usually I was by the book safe in handling horses especially when leading them. When done riding instead of dismounting normally and then taking the reins to go and untack them. I’d slide off like a weirdo, and then start walking away, Piney would just follow me I never had to grab his reins. His personality and temperament made me look like I stuck WAY more time into his training than I actually did. He made me look good and I had people asking me what I did to get him to be so ‘safe’. That my friends, is a good question. I had a dressage judge once tell me that he wanted a whole pasture filled with Piney’s so that he’d look like an awesome trainer.

George, is not there yet. He might not ever get there. And you know what. That is ok. Piney was my once in a lifetime horse. He was in my life for a reason. I call him my ‘gateway’ thoroughbred. He showed me how amazing thoroughbreds can be. I could do anything with that horse, well anything but trailer and canter. He was an amazing ambassador for the breed. Everyone stared at me in disbelief when I told them he was an ex racehorse. “But he’s so calm!” is what I heard most often. I wish more people could have seen him and met him so they could see that not all TB’s are nut cases. They can be calm and even lazy horses suitable for any rider. I had no problem putting a small child on him. He always took care of his person, especially small children. One thing I always wished about Piney was that he had a bit more ‘get up and go’…so enter…George. He has a bit more of a firey personality. Don’t get me wrong he is a dream to work with on the ground (OTHER than his whole pissy attitude about clothing). He LOVES people, much like all ex-racing TB’s I’ve encountered. My vet and farrier were both impressed that for his age and breed he wasn’t like “most thoroughbreds” they work with. I guess right now it’s all a guessing game as to what he’s like undersaddle. He has got all the makings to be what I’ve always wanted in a horse.

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Made me LOL

Yesterday was just a ordinary, regular normal day. Until my husband called me from his work phone about 4:00 as he was leaving our cell phone providers store. Turns out they disconnected his personal phone from our plan because of the excessive roaming he does. Awesome. We'd been thinking of changing plans anyways so now was as good as time as any to move. I'd been with the company for 12 years. It felt like I was breaking up with them. But they let me go easy without early termination fees. We found another provider and were able to trade in our iPhone 4's for iPhone 5's straight up. We didn't even have to pay activation fees. Hooray! But when they went to transfer all my info from my old iPhone to my new one...it ended up taking a few hours because I had over 2,000 pictures saved on it...Oops! I had been meaning to delete some of them...
Anyways we finally ended up getting home at about 10:00, after what ended up being a long day. I walked to check on the horses and noticed something was wrong with George's eye. Panicked, I ran up to him, and sure enough he had a 'black eye' except it was a 'poop eye'. He must have rolled in some poop and gave himself a nice circle around his eye.

Nice work buddy.
 
 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

*WARNING* Someone definately had the case of the Mondays.


 Ever have one of those days. Where everything just seems like it doesn’t work the way you wanted it to? I must have had a major case of the Mondays yesterday. I was exhausted all day yesterday. And I mean it’s not like I did anything major this weekend that sucked the life out of me. But none the less I was exhausted. Then I got a text from my friends at almost 5 asking me to come out to dinner with them. Do you even know how much I’d love to be able to drop everything and meet them for dinner? But a little notice would be nice. Seeing as how I live 45 miles from town, and basically have a petting zoo at home to take care of, I can’t just drop my responsibilities and go meet them. It happens all the time and It makes me sad/mad. When I’m actually able to meet up in town, last minute for whatever reason, they never can meet up. I understand that they have kids and careers and just can’t drop everything to meet me. I’ve come to that conclusion that they are busy and have lives, but no one ever seems to realize that I have stuff to do every day when I get home. Then I said “come out to *my town* and we can go have dinner at the cafĂ©!” and I got the response that…”It’s too far.” What? I live to far away? Please tell me more about how far I live from town. I had no idea and I never make the drive into town. Oh wait a second… My commute is 450 miles a week…not including when we go to town to visit friends on the weekend.  Yet not ONE of my “best friends” has come out to visit me in the entire time I’ve lived on the farm. I get the same excuse. “it’s too far”. Yeah I get it, 45 miles is a long haul. I understood that I’d be giving up a lot when we moved to the farm, but you’d think my friends would care to come visit me, even once. I drive into town to visit friends on the weekend. They don’t’ seem to realize that the interstate goes both ways…When I lived 20 miles away I got the same excuse. I’m sure if I lived 6 miles away It would also be too far.

These days I correspond more with my ‘internet’ friends than I do with my real life friends. That makes me sound super, super dorky. But it’s true. I often email a ‘friend’ who I’ve never met on facebook to help her find a new thoroughbred and to hear about her struggles with the soundness of her current TB. I read blogs and after a while I start to feel like I know the writer and the horses they write about. I consider them my friends, as weird and creepy as that sounds. Some of them I’ve found on FB and it seems that I correspond more with them on FB than I do with my ‘real life friends’.  Last week I skyped with my friend in Australia for 3 hours for the first time. She was my partner in crime when we were exchange students in Sweden. We haven’t seen each other or talked in 13 years! But I needed that 3 hour chat session badly. I was really sad when we were done chatting. Maybe I need to skype with my friends in town. Might be the only chance I get to see and hear them. It’s not their fault that they have lives, and that I live to far away…We had the chance to move someplace even further away but I said that I didn’t want to because I’d be too far from my friends. I’m beginning to think that was a dumb reason not to move. I am currently, halfheartedly looking at new houses on the other side of the state and even a different state because chances are I wouldn’t see any of my friends any more or any less if I lived 40 miles away, or 400 miles away. Pity party, table of one.

When I got home I needed to section off the pasture. The horses are burning up the pasture faster than it can grow. I put step in posts across the center of the pasture, and then untangled the poly wire which took me about an hour and a half. I only put up one string, because the last time that’s all it took. I got it all hooked up and then wanted to test it first before showing the monsters their new perimeter. Well something spooked one of them and Duke took off through the fence, got wrapped up in the poly wire and made a break for it. He still had the main fence keeping him in, but at one point it looked like he was going to keep going through that. Yep, I felt like the biggest failure on earth. Why do I even have horses? I can’t even keep them safe and contained? So glad I spent all that time for them to completely destroy my work in about 1.2 seconds.

I gave up on that process and started to fence off another area of the yard, This time it had more secure, permanent fences on two sides, and I put up two strands of wire on the other sides. I had almost gotten it done when hubby asked what I had planned to do with the round bale that was in there. I thougth the horses could eat it. But apparently we are going to use it later, so I had to undo my fence and then go fence off the round bale. Well I had the fence plugged in and forgot to unplug it before I went to untie the poly wire. I shocked the bejeepers out of myself. I now have frizzy curly hair. Kidding. But not really. My whole arm hurt and my hand still kind of hurts. That fence could keep a t-rex in.
I have a new paint horse...

Me and my shadow!
 

Throughout the time I was out in the pasture working on the fence I kept finding wood ticks on me. No matter how many I have found on me in my life. I still freak the f out and flick them off. I think I flicked 6 of them off of me yesterday. But I still managed to get a few tick bites first. I fricken hate wood ticks. They are disgusting and serve NO purpose on the planet other than to spread disease.

I didn’t sleep well again last night. Not sure why. I think I am just too tired to sleep, and my mind has too much going on to the point where I keep waking up randomly to think about stuff I want to get done. I also worried about ticks crawling on me throughout the night. I hate ticks.

One good thing from yesterday was that Dolly has started to look less mopey. I was really worried about her because she had been standing in the same spot since Saturday. She is still in a pen away from the boys. And I think she was just really sad because she left some horses she was with four years. I know the feeling. She would just stand in that one spot and wasn’t eating. Even though she has more grass in that paddock than she would ever need she wasn’t eating it. I tried throwing her some hay on Sunday, and she seemed to try to eat that. Yesterday morning I gave her a little dish of beet pulp. She ate a bit of that. She just wouldn’t leave that spot. But when I got home yesterday she was in the middle of the pen grazing and she just seemed happier.

So here’s to hoping the week gets better.

Monday, June 10, 2013

questions!


1: A time you've been scared for your life on horseback.
Absolutely. Trail riding up in the mountains in Montana with Yellow, he got nervous about going down a really small icy path and started climbing UP the mountain. The more he scrambled on the loose rocks the more he slid and it caused him to panic more. I looked behind us and saw a 90ft drop onto jagged rocks. So yeah to say I’ve been scared for my life is an understatement, I was most scared for his life.
This was about an hour before we almost died. Yes I have 74 layers of clothing on (it was elk hunting season...hence the orange). Yes I am trail riding in the mountains in a barrel saddle. And yes that is an athletic sock on Yellow's tail...This just screams experienced trail riders.

2: There's a huge party at your friends house or you could have a lesson on the same night, which do you go to?
What friends? LOL I moved 45 miles from home and I seem to have lost all of my friends. But seriously My friends have sort of accepted the fact that horses are kind of a big part of my life, and have always accepted that fact that I might be late to social events.

3: Favorite markings a horse can have.
are dapples a marking? lol

4: Would you rather deal with bolting, rearing or bucking?
umm None of the above. I guess I’ve only dealt with bucking and that wasn’t so bad, I guess it depends on the severity of it.

5: Agree or disagree; To have good eq means to be a good rider?
disagree

6: If you could try any discipline on any horse for 1 day, what discipline and what horse?
I’d love to try eventing, on any horse that can do it well

7: 3 horses you'd want to ride/meet the most?
Well I’ve read so much about So many of your horses that I want to meet them all, but three that come to mind are:
Karley’s Henry

Carly’s Bobby

And Mare’s Missy

8: On a scale of 1-10 how good would you say your seat is?
Hmmm I’d say about a 6.

9: One of your goals for the next year, horse-wise.
Get on the horse. Stay on the horse.

10: Would you rather teach lessons or train horses?
Uhh neither. But I must say I can train a horse to eat treats like no one’s business!

11: Have you ever given a lesson for money?
Yes, when I was taking lessons all the time, I was giving lessons to little kids. It sounds terrifying…but it wasn’t that bad.

12: If you were a trainer, would you want to train little kids, pre-teens, teens or adults?
Little kids. They usually are less freaked out than adults and teens.

13: Have you ever ridden someone's horse for money?
No. But I was asked to breeze some racehorses at the track for $20 a pop. Said no though. 

14: If given the opportunity, would you exercise track horses?
lol. I was given the opportunity, and turned it down. I’d only been riding for a short time by that point.

15: On a scale of 1-10 what is your confidence like in the saddle?
I’d say a 5. But it depends on the horse.

16: 3 things you need to work on, riding-wise?
Confidence!!

Trusting myself

Heels down.

17: 3 things your horse needs to work on.
Each horse has things they need to work on.

Geroge needs to trust me. Pistol needs to stop being a creep when I NEED to catch him. Duke needs to calm the f down.

18. Top 3 favorite riders?
I don’t really follow a ton of riders other than all you blog friends! So you all are my favorite!

19: Is there anyone you'd say is a bad rider ? (don't give names)
 Thankfully I’ve never met the people I say are bad riders. But I’ve seen them, at rodeos and at horse shows. Usually at rodeos it’s at an even that starts with b and rhymes with “carrels” and it’s usually a friend and I have had a few adult beverages and get catty about the flapping legs, cranking on the nose and basically bad riding. But hey those girls have got bigger *ahem*…than I do.

20: Are you better on the flat or over fences?
On the flat, only because I have very limited experience over fences.

21: How high do you think you've jumped?
2’6” so lame.

22: How high do you think your horse would be capable of jumping?
I really don’t have an idea. George can probably jump high, but I want to get his hocks figured out first before I test him.  

23: Opinion on tackless riding.
It terrifies me. But it’s cool when some people can do it. I can’t.

24: Have you ever lied or over-dramatized anything about your riding?
Yep. And I will never do it again. When you go to those dude ranch places where you trail ride and basically follow the leader. Don’t EVER tell them that you have a lot of horse experience. Because they will put you on a horse that is an absolute nightmare and then you will be in charge of ‘training’ it the whole ride. So much for a nice relaxing ride to enjoy the scenery…

25: Do you think you're a good rider?
I know that I am, but I can always get better. And I need to believe that I am a good rider.

26: Ever had barn drama?
Um what barn doesn’t have drama? If you say you’ve never had barn drama. You are a liar.

27: Favorite things about the barn you're at?
My favorite thing is that my barn is in my back yard!

28: Will you show next year? If so in what?
I hope to maybe get my butt to at LEAST a dressage show this year even if it’s a western dressage show.

29: Plans for your horse over the next year?
Get on the horse. Stay on the horse.

30: Would you share your tack with people?
Sure. I have enough of it to go around.

31: Has a horse ever shattered your confidence?
Yes. I was doing so good with riding a few times a week, and even taking lessons on and riding horses that ‘scared’ me. Then Piney smashed my head into the trailer and I was back to square one. I didn’t ride for a long time after that.

32: Ever been scared to get on a horse?
Absolutely. I am scared to get on old George!

33: Do you get nervous before shows?
By nervous you mean crying your eyes out because you can’t find your dressage whip because it’s in your left hand and then going on to utter panic because you forgot your dressage test but are having someone call the test out anyways? Then no…never.

34: Hunters or Jumpers?
Hunters

35: Last time you fell off? What happened? Were you hurt?
I think it was over 10 years ago. I was trying to hop on the little quarter horse mare I was leasing bareback. I went to hop on, had one leg on and she walked off and I slipped onto the ground. No biggie, I wasn’t hurt, but I layed on the ground and laughed. I was not hurt.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oops...

Oops we have a pony!
Okay so it wasn't an oops. We were planning on getting one for months. An old co worker of my husband needed to find new homes for his horses because he sold his farm. This little darling needed  a home and we wanted another equine as a buddy to keep whoever was left at home when we went riding company. Only makes sense to get a little equine as they cost less to feed. 
Her name is Dolly. But I call her Princess Rainbow Sparkles because its obviously the poniest name I can think of. She's used to geldings...but we have to make sure my geldings are used to her. We are going to take it slow on the introduction. Right now she is in a paddock up by the house. She's got enough grass to last her until Christmas. Hopefully everything works out for the best. But I do have a home lined up for her if it doesn't work. He needs a good grooming and a bit of groceries. But she is very, very sweet. She isn't pony-ish and is nice to be around. 


She looks like a little Hereford beef. Ow with a big floppy mane. :-)
 

So it took me 31 years but I finally got my pony!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

expensive week.

Ahhhh the joys of horse ownership, paying for all their maintenance!  

The farrier came yesterday. It was a new farrier that I hadn’t ever used before. My regular farrier has been so swamped that he wasn’t able to come out. I’d been trying to get ahold of him for weeks. So I finally called someone else and she was able to come out within a week. If I had the patience and back for it, I would totally go to farrier school. There is always a need and just never seems to be enough of them to go around!
She was great and my horses were of course naughty. Duke will be working on his manners, Pistol will be working on being caught when the farrier is there, and George will work on being trimmed in the barn. I can’t believe how prancy Duke was. He’d never been like that before. Well maybe a few times. Okay so almost every time, But he usually gets over it within a few minutes. This time it was almost the entire trim. I also can’t believe how naughty Pistol was about being caught. He has been so good lately and will usually bug me and basically beg to be caught. Not when the farrier was there though. What a creep.  George wasn’t a fan of being trimmed in the barn. But once we trimmed him outside he was just fine.
The horses were all over due for trims, so we were charged a bit extra. Not a huge deal. I totally figured as much. I’d definitely use this farrier again.

Today was the vet visit day. I figured I would have the vet out to do spring shots, for the horses and the dogs too rather than having to make multiple vet appointments. The horses had their shots and coggins drawn and then George had a checkup. Geogre was first and obviously he was great for having blood drawn and shots given. I asked about his weight and he said that he was looking good, but could stand to gain a few pounds, but as far as Thoroughbreds go, he was looking normal. His lungs, guts, and heart sound great. The vet checked his back for soreness and when he hit a spot in the middle of his back he tossed his head every time. Vet thought that it could be related to his hind legs. He did a test where he held up his back foot for one minute and then had him trot off to see if there was any stiffness or soreness. And there was. The first leg George was too lazy to trot off right away. But the second time I’d given the vet a lunge whip and he trotted off with very visible soreness. The vet said that with a 10 year old horse, with a racing history it isn’t uncommon for him to have sore hocks. It’s very common and he sees it a lot with ex racers, barrel racers, cutters etc. He wanted to have him in for x-rays and then more than likely he would need to inject his hocks. I know it’s not a huge deal, but I’ve never had a horse that needed it done. I’ve worked with horses that have needed it done, and I’ve ridden horses that have had it done, but I always seemed to dodge the bullet on my own. Oh well not a huge deal. The vet said they usually only need to be done once a year. I had also asked after George didn’t want to trot off if that was normal for 10 year old Thoroughbreds. He laughed and said “no” a majority of thoroughbreds he sees, even older ones are still really feisty and will drag you away. I lucked out again with this bag of lazy bones.

Pistol was a champion for his shots and blood draw. But Duke was an absolute creep again. Thankfully my husband was still home and dealt with him. He just hates having anything put into him or taken out of him. Unless you are putting treats into his mouth, he doesn’t want any part of it. I’m glad the vet gave his shots and not us. Uffda. That is a strong, thick headed horse.
The dogs got their shots and had blood drawn to test for heartworm. It’s nice being able to get them all taken care of at home. I’d much rather have them get their shots and check up at home rather than hauling them all in and juggling them at the clinic. They are good dogs, but they are “farm dogs” and they don’t quite understand proper vet clinic etiquette.

Needless to say I’m not looking forward to the bill when it comes. I hate vet bills, but it’s a necessary evil just like the farrier bill. In hind sight I should have just had George’s back adjusted by the vet, but I wasn’t thinking property first thing this morning. Once I get him used to the trailer I will probably haul him in for xrays and/or injections, so I’ll just have him adjusted then too.
When the vet and his tech were all finished up, and were getting ready to leave they realized that their truck was locked. Yep, my barn cats had been crawling around in the truck and locked the doors. Thankfully though my husband had the tools to unlock the doors for them…why he has a automobile door unlocking kit…not sure, but we are all glad that he did!

Oh and one more thing!  When the farrier showed up yesterday and I brought George up to her, she said “that is a nice looking horse!” And then again this morning the vet said “He’s a real nice looking horse.”  My head is swelling up just like it did when everyone would stop me on my old Palomino and complement me on what a nice looking horse he was. Lets just hope that he rides as well as he looks!
 
OH and one more final, final thing. I am looking for a pair of regular old stirrup leathers. If anyone has any that they were wanting to find a new home for let me know. I have stuff to trade!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

baby steps.

I've been throwing a saddle pad up onto George the last couple days. Just to see if he puts his grumpy pants on. He doesn't. He is actually almost in a Zen like trance when you put on his 'work clothes'. So then last night I put a saddle on his back and again he didn't put a foot out of place or even bat an eye lash. I didn't put a girth on for a few reasons. Mostly because I am taking baby steps and I'm not sure if I even have a girth that will fit him. CRAZY for a tack hoarder, I know! But I do have a girth extender that I bought two years ago when Pinecone was a bit on the obese side. I will hopefully try a few girths that I had stashed away. I'm sure something will fit.
One thing I've found is that George doesn't like to be pushed too hard. He gets confused and then shuts down. When we've tried loading him in the trailer he just can't handle being pushed further than he is ready for. I've heard a few times that he responds best when he thinks what he is doing us his idea. I plan on feeding him in the trailer the rest of the week. And see if he decides that trailers aren't that bad. I am Facebook friends with one of his previous owners who owns a horse transport company. Looks like old Georgie boy is used to being hauled in those fancy semi trailers for horses. More than likely he'd never been in a 'small' trailer like ours before. So we will just continue our baby steps. He will get there. When we brought him home we tried everything and eventually had to put him into a cattle crowding tub and use the gate to push him into the trailer. Once he was in the trailer he was just fine. Its the getting into the trailer that is the hard part. So we will take it slow. He's a smart horse, he will figure it out. I might even try loading him into our old trailer with the ramp. who knows, he might like it.

George has also has a new best friend.
 
 
Pistol and George as besties. While they aren't always attached at the hip. George actually prefers to graze alone, but I do catch them grooming each other randomly and they tend to share their beet pulp dinner each night. I've started putting both of their dishes next to each other because they can pretend to share that way. Pistol was in love with Piney, but Piney didn't feel the same.
I also took a few random pictures of the boys last night. In between storms and then the power outage that lasted a few hours that affected 4 homes in the whole county.  Nice.
Since we actually have grass growing this year, our pasture looks so much bigger!


Duke looks like a tiny pony.


Yummy green grass!


hmmm we need to do something about that mane...



"Hey George, why don't you tell me how you feel about that garbage hay that is left over in the feeder?"



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Transformation Tuesday.

The top picture was the day I met George. The bottom picture was last night. He is starting to look a lot more like a horse and less like a woolly mammoth. His mane obviously still does whatever it wants. I have to admit though (knock on wood) this horse stays relatively clean for a white/gray horse. He's got his share of mud to roll in, but he usually stays far from it. Hooray! Love that fancy pony.
Obviously he could stand to use a few more pounds. I've upped his beet pulp ration. I've actually started to give all the horses beet pulp, they could all stand to put on a few pounds since there just isn't much nutrition in the grass right now. The funny thing when feeding him his beet pulp is that he doesn't want it when you watch him eat. As soon as you walk away he will dig in, but until then, he doesn't want anything to do with it. However he usually wants Pistol's beet pulp, even though the bowls are filled with exactly the same thing, he thinks Pistol's is tastier. So they usually share or I put their dishes right next to each other. They really have become quite the bffs.
The other day when I was out pushing George's buttons to see what makes him grumpy I realized that his bark is worse than his bite (so far). If you adjust his clothing he gets grumpy and around feeding time he gets really grumpy if you bug him. He just sort of pins his ears back and gives you the stink eye. He looks like he wants to bite you, but he's never even tried or even showed his teeth. He also doesn't kick when you are near his legs. Some horses Piney included would get fussy when you'd start to annoy him and would pick up his legs like he was going to kick you...infact he did get me good once or twice. I was always worried about crouching down to put his boots on. When you go near George to put his boots on he plants all 4 feet solid on the ground. Even if bugs are bugging him. He knows better and I'm sure someone taught him a lesson about that at one time.
Picture from Wendy Wooley, This is the face George gives me when I adjust his clothing or am annoying to him. I was told that you need to watch it if he doesn't trust you and are in his stall.
I want to thank ya'll for the kind words on my last post. I just doubt myself too much sometimes. One of my flaws. I need to put on my big girl breeches and deal with it as it comes. And take my time and go only as fast as I'm ready. I was terrified the first time I rode Piney, which is laughable now.  However, we did buy a post hole digger for my riding arena, so we can get that started if it ever stops raining here. Once I have my arena fence up I will feel a bit more comfortable working with him. Arenas are my security blanket of sorts. So thanks again for the words. I really do appreciate my blog world support system :-)