Sunday, May 03, 2015

Baby Steps

 I thought I might ride Pedro the other day, but then I couldn't find his breastcollar and his britchen was a pain to put on. Have I mentioned how I hate Conway buckles? I need to buy some snaps to make it easier.

So we Just went for a walk. Isn't he handsome?
 He was stumbling a lot part way through our walk, and he's seemed a little footsore since then. I'm not sure if it's the grass making him sore, or what. I took him off pasture and now he seems improved. He was even loping around a little bit yesterday.

We also worked on giving to the bit. That is the area where he needs the most improvement. Often when asked to go one direction, he belligerently goes in the other direction. But this time he was very light and responsive. I was impressed! I don't know if he was just carrying on from our last lesson, which was so long ago I don't even remember it, or if his mouth is more comfortable now, so it makes it easier to do the right thing.

Luc is shedding and you can see his brand better now. The symbols are so small. I wonder if they use a smaller branding iron on foals.

We had a nice walk last night, exploring in the trees behind the house, fixing fence together, and then hanging out on the road hoping a car would go by (to see if it scared him). He got to eat a lot of dusty road grass.

No cars ever came, but he did meet the neighbor's mailbox and cable box. He was worried about the strange objects, but apparently curiosity won out, because he marched right up and touched them without being asked.
 
When he noticed the neighbor horses, he just stared and stared. Maybe their white appaloosa butts had him confused.

We finished off with some circle work back in the pasture. He was jazzed up at first, but soon remenbered it's about paying attention and making direction and speed changes nicely when asked, NOT trotting in endless circles, staring off at his buddies. I was very happy with our time together.

Baby steps. A little exploratory walk with a horse or standing on the ground asking a donkey for miniscule responses to the bit, then larger ones... It's little, but it's cumulative, and makes the big stuff easier. I think Luc is coming along amazingly well, and if course I think Pedro poops stars and farts rainbows, he's so perfect.

Now I better get outside and continue this horsey love story in realtime. See ya!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Good Morning!

 I needed some quiet time with my donkey, and Pedro obliged, with a lot of funny faces thrown in for good measure.


 He's such a big love.


Bob is too dignified to pose for silly pictures.

Scout rode in a big boy bit for the first time yesterday. Tonka sure loved his Dutton bit, and I think Scout will too.

Luc was trying out a little head flinging and rudeness at feeding time. When I got him out to work a bit he seemed to get over it. We need to spend more time together. I spend so much time separating them to feed Luc and medicate Scout twice a day, that I don't spend near enough quality time with anyone. It gets a little discouraging, exhausting, frustrating, and sometimes downright angrifying (Scout doesn't much like his medicine).
I'm feeding Luc a lot of expensive feed (which he insists on spilling every time) and he's not really putting on a lot of weight. I hope that means he's growing. I could add more alfalfa but he's already acting like he's on jet fuel... I'm just going to try to be patient and remember that growing horses are ugly ducklings.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ridiculous

Scout's new fly mask came in the mail two days early! Love that! But doesn't he look ridiculous?

It's a bit big, but I'm not sure if it's big enough that I need to try to return it. What do you think?

Now I just need to figure out sizing and order some for the others.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pedro's Day

I took Pedro with me to the dentist's house yesterday and turned him out in an area next to her horses. He had a grand time cruising around, grazing, and playing gelding games over the fence. One of the other dental clients, a definite mule man, was really smitten with Pedro.

When his turn came, he motored right up the ramp an ad into the stocks, but then he started to get nervous. After he was injected and started to feel weird, he decided he didn't like it at all, and backed up as far as he could in the stocks. Or so I thought. Turns out he could back up farther until his back feet came off the ground.

Poor Pedro. I felt really bad for him. He got 3 doses of anesthetic to take the edge off, and he held still nicely, but he really was scared.

His mouth was Definitely in need of help. He had a big ramp on the front right molar, where the bottom tooth was way overgrown and the top tooth was ground too short. Because of it, he could only move his jaw to one side. And he had 2 big wolf teeth. Since I do want to put a bit in his mouth, Sarah removed those for me. And it was a very hard job. He had his head low so it was an awkward angle, and they were just big didn't want to come out.

Once we were home and he was awake and settled back in, I watched him eating with his jaw moving freely and it really made it all worth it. And he forgave me, so that's good.

Oh, and she looked carefully at his teeth and she thinks he's in his mid teens. Older than I was told, but younger than I thought, so I'll gladly take it. We've got a lot of years ahead!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Variety

I took Scout on our first solo trail ride the other day.  He was kind of hyper-alert and also started coughing and blowing big gobs of snot, so we hiked more than we rode. He's been on Tri-Hist twice a day and that was working so well I cut it back to once a day, and apparently that wasn't a good idea. Of course he won't eat the Tri-Hist in his grain so I have to give it via syringe. He's a high maintenance kind of guy lately.

"Holy cow! Did you see that turkey?"

Then, when I got back from doing my errands in town, I found a strange pickup in my driveway. Some horses were loose up the road. Weird, but I'd be happy to help. What did you say they look like?

Oh, they might be mine...

So yeah, they were mine, and I'm glad to have good neighbors who know their way around horses. They had them caught already, and were already most of the way home by the time I met up with them. So Luc had his first outing off the property without me. Not to mention the most handling he's ever had by anyone other than me, and both of them men. 

I shouldn't have mentioned how Luc was staying in my pathetic temporary fence... I guess that era is over, now that they know there is wheat growing right next door. Apparently some deer had taken out the fence.  Liam had noticed and forgotten to tell me. It's not really his fault, I know that happens and I should have been checking fence more often. I dream of the day I can fence the whole place. I have the posts, just not the fencing. I will eventually put a track around the property for the horses, and hay the interior. Very eventually.

Today Pedro goes to the dentist. I wish Bob could go but he Will Not Load. I guess he'll die on the place, sooner rather than later if I don't get his teeth attended to. Scout was going to go but I don't want his snot draining backward while his head is up for dentistry.  I can't wait to see what's going on in Pedro's mouth.

Oh, and I decided April 22 Wil be Luc's birthday. So happy birthday to him. He's 3 now, even though he looks like a 2 year old.

I'll leave you with a picture of Blue from our hike last weekend. He looks all majestic until you pay attention to his eyes, and then he'll make you laugh. He looks so empty-headed.






Saturday, April 18, 2015

What a Wonderful Day!

The weather was absolutely perfect yesterday. I started the morning with Luc, trimming hooves and then playing with the saddle blanket again. He started out kind of weird and jittery, but in the end we had a wonderful, relaxed cuddle session.
My sister was able to get away for a while today, so we decided to go for a ride. She's had her boy out already this year, but this is the first time Scout and I have been able to go anywhere.
Of course I had to go all the way to the other side of the property to fetch him. I really need to train them to come in when I call, even if it isn't feeding time.
We had a lovely ride! Scout really is a good, good boy. Not perfect, of course, but maybe perfect would be boring.



Later in the evening I spent some quiet time with Luc. He wouldn't stop following me around after I turned him back out, so I took him out to graze. Bella joined us on the other side of the fence. No agenda, just being together. That was nice.
Oh, and he is staying in the one strand of temporary fence now. So they all have the run of most of the property on this side of the creek. I like having everyone together. Scout doesn't seem to be picking on Pedro either.

Today is going to be just as nice as yesterday, so more fun times to come!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Learning Through Play

I had this grand idea to throw a few things in the round pen and let the boys play with them so Luc can learn about the saddle blanket and jingly bits of tack. Bella would stand around and be the rock, unafraid of the new objects (and get her mane detangled and be monitored for vaccine reaction).



 It didn't go completely as planned because Scout hogged all the toys.

In the end I had to halter Luc and show him the old fashioned way, saying, "Hey, look at this really important thing, and don't be afraid." Which isn't nearly as fun as learning about it by himself.

It feels good to be doing some actual training again, rather than just letting him integrate into the routine and learn to be a domestic horse. I think this extra time to settle has been good for his emotional well-being, but we all have to go to school at some point. Soon we'll be swinging the saddle up.

I still have no plans to ride him this year. Note how little he is in the picture next to Scout. I hope he grows, but if he doesn't, he will at least mature.