Monday, March 23, 2015

I am finally over my cold, I think. Even with being sick, I got some time in with the boys. Trimmed hooves on both Luc and Scout. I was so proud of Luc! He put his hind foot up on the hoof stand and stood patiently while I trimmed away, and then when I pulled it forward under his belly and put it on the hoof stand, it was no big deal! I was expecting him to knock it over. He is prettty cool. All this with nobody holding him, just a halter on in case I needed it.

Yesterday we took a walk around the property, following John and Scout. I think Luc was more relaxed when he didn't have a horse to follow, but I'm not sure. We went out and about in the neighbor's trees, then went into the big pasture with Bella and the donkeys. Luc hadn't been in with them in a couple days because he jumped the fence and got out. He is a challenge when it comes to fences. Most horses would stay in any fence as long as there is plenty of grass and all their friends are there. I guess he's an adventurer. Good thing he's easy to catch.

Anyway, Bella was so happy to see her boys she kept trying to incite a riot, galloping around and bucking. Pedro put Bob in the mustang pen, team-penning style, and then galloped back out to be with us. Eventually Bob trotted out to join us too. It's always so weird to se the donkeys moving fast.

Donkeys are more apt to reflect on things than to run.

We played in the pond a little too. Luc didn't march right in but he wasn't afraid to get his feet a little wet, as long as he could eat the pond weeds.

Oh, and we practiced trailer loading too. Luc has to get in the dental trailer next weekend. I don't think it will be a problem.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I have a cold. I got sick of staying in bed, and I had to go get Scout anyway because he was picking on Pedro, so I saddled him up and we had a short ride in the front field.

This could almost be Tonka, with his rock star hair and just barely visible dun ear tips.

Everyone is in the big pasture together, and Luc is loving the extra space to run and explore.

They're sure hard to catch ;)

I should clarify, Scout is all by himself now because he was chasing the donkeys too much. I wish he wouldn't do that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A boring weekend and a good Monday

It rained all of Saturday and Sunday, so we went thrift store shopping. I scored a fold up wheelbarrow for traveling and something that I think will work well as a grooming tote.

Yesterday the weather was nice again so I got some work done outside, after doing some work inside, then we went exploring.

Beaver dam:

Imagine the story behind this old truck, way out in the mountains.

We found snow:

Huckleberry kept photobombing.

Later in the day I took Luc out to feed him some alfalfa. He kept pushing into my space because he was nervous, so I moved his feet around a bit. Mainly just moving his hibdquarters over. I don't know for sure, but I think he needed that reassurance that I was the leader, because when we went for a short walk after that, he seemed more comfortable than usual. He went into a treed area next to our property with just a little worry.

Then Scout and I went for a walk, played in a pond, and had a very nice little ride. :)
It was peaceful, almost dark, getting chilly but warm enough to take my coat off. Scout was more willing to move forward and even gave me a very nice, smooth trot.

Oh, I almost forgot, I found a moose antler! It isn't in very good shape, but it's still kinda cool.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two Good Rides

Yesterday I saddled Scout up and we rode for a about 40 minutes. He is so lazy. He always has been, but I suppose being sick recently doesn't help. He had bus-stop syndrome and kept trying to take me back to the mounting block and ask, "Hey, isn't this your stop?" Going up our big hill was more work for me than it was for him. I wasn't sure we were going to make it, but we did. 

I decided to take Bella for a walk and the boys sure did get some exercise! What a couple of dorks. The galloped and reared and played bitey-face until they were soaked with sweat. So I guess the way to get Scout back in shape is to take Bella for walks. :)

Not the best picture, but here they are, complete with dust cloud:

After taking a break to do some housework, I couldn't stand it, I had to saddle Bella up. She hasn't worn a saddle since Easter, but I can't remember if that was last year or the year before. Anyway, she is a wonder. I don't know many horses that you can hop on and ride in a halter after so much time off.  Especially horses that were once wild and have limited training. But it was hard on her. I think her lameness is worse. And of course she's fat and out of shape.

This is her, "Can I have a treat?" face. She's so cute and sweet.

I spent some time with Luc also. Took him out of the pasture to eat some alfalfa (he's thinnish) and then his attitude left a lot to be desired so we did some slow circles with direction changes and a fair amount of backing out of my space and standing there. Then we had some quiet time. I noticed some really tense muscles in front of his shoulders so I worked on getting them to release. I think he enjoyed that.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Building on basics, Scout Still Sick

I took Scout for a mile-long walk on Saturday, staying on our property in case he's contagious. I realized his cough had gotten worse, although the snot was better and his spirits were still up. So he's on antibiotics now. 

Luc is doing really well with his hoof handling. I've been gradually trimming away the imbalance in his hooves. We're also building on his ability to walk around the property near new things and away from the other horses. I can't wait to start taking him hiking with me but we're a ways from that yet.

One super cool thing is that every single time I walk outside, Luc comes to see me. Even if I'm just getting in my car to leave, he's standing at the fence watching. When I go to halter Scout to give him meds, Luc marches up and asks to be haltered instead. When I put him back in the pasture and move on to doing other things, he watches like he'd rather not be done playing yet. I love it. 

I've been hiking a fair amount, kind of hoping to find an antler or two, since this is when they shed them. No luck so far, but it's good exercise anyway.

Blue is so goofy looking. 
He enjoyed playing in the water, but when I took my shoes off and waded to the other side, it was painfully cold! I don't know how dogs love it so much.

I had a root canal yesterday. Just a little sore today. It wasn't as bad as all the rumors led me to believe. Glad I could finally get it done. This tooth broke over a year ago, and then broke again last week. Perfect timing, I could finally afford to fix it. I'd rather have spent it on something fun, but being able to use that side of my mouth again will be pretty nice.

I am off to conquer another day! Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More on Hooves

Luc did do better with his hoof handling yesterday. I didn't draw it out, there were no preliminary steps, even with the hind feet. I just picked his hooves and then we did something else. He was a good boy!

Scout is very jealous when I play with Luc. I constantly have to keep an eye on him so he doesn't come in with ears pinned. He even tried to move Bella off when I was visiting with her.

Huckleberry found a leg while we were walking yesterday.  He was So Proud.

Look at his jaunty little prance!

I thought these pictures of Bella and Scout were sweet. They do love each other.

Scout has a mustache.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hooves and Clowning Around

Luc did really well with his hoof handling and trimming today. He was pretty apprehensive about the hind feet, but I think we had a breakthrough at the end. The process is pretty boring in print: 1. Rub entire hind leg. 2. Ask for a lift & he thinks about lifting. 3. Lift heel. 4. Lift foot barely off the ground. More baby steps. Eventually tip sole upward and incorporate my leg into the holding process, introduce touch on the sole and frog, pick hooves. Insert some backward and forward progress, building on duration, with a couple walks around the pasture for a break. When I decided I'd taken up enough of his time and turned him loose, he just wanted to hang out. :)

I decided to trim Bella and started with her hind feet. She was a gem, of course, especially considering Scout was harassing her front end and Luc was standing behind her, closely observing. I would have told Scout to leave if Bella was truly bothered, but he's her son and she's very tolerant.

What was really interesting was Luc's behavior as he watched me trim. His attention was glued on what we were doing, and he was breathing VERY deeply and rhythmically, like I know I do during a quick power nap, but he was wide awake. It was like the big sigh they give when releasing tension, but ongoing. I think he was absorbing a lot of information in an alert but relaxed manner. It'll be interesting to see how he does with hoof work next time.

Meanwhile, Scout was playing with Bella's halter, standing where her head should be, (making her stand very awkwardly), laying his nose on my back, and putting his hoof on the hoof stand. Then Luc stole my coat and spooked himself while I was kneeling under Bella. She must be used to their shenanigans because she didn't spook (thank goodness).

When I decided to fill the trough both boys wanted to play with the hose. I think Luc enjoyed rinsing bits of grass out of his mouth with the hose. Then Scout got jealous and chased him off. I decided to hang around and be the hose police so they wouldn't keep pulling the hose out and make a big mud pit.

We found something to do in the meantime.

Comments, and Luc is a rockstar!

Boring part first: If you try to comment and you get that pesky Captcha word verification thing, you should be able to bypass it by clicking on something that says "I am not a robot."  Unless you're anonymous, then I can't make it go away.

Yesterday I approached my time with Luc stepwise.  I wasn't sure we'd even get out the gate. Here's how it went:

First we walked around the pasture quite a bit.

I even asked him to come in one of the grain bins with me.  I think he's been in there on his own, but I wasn't sure.  He wasn't bothered by the narrow door or the close quarters inside.

Eventually we made our way outside the pasture.  Yay Luc!


We walked around quite a bit, slowly increasing his distance from his comfort zone. We only went about 300 feet from his buddies, and looked at a few new things.  Then I took him to show him the trailer.  Again, I had no intention of insisting he load up or even get close, if he was too bothered by it, but he stuck his head right in and started checking it out.  Scout was tied outside, and when he banged the trailer it bothered Luc a little bit, but not much.

Eventually, without being prompted, he put both front feet in.  He really wanted to check out the front divider.  It wasn't in there when he was hauled home.  I rewarded him and asked him to back out, then rewarded him again.  Eventually, with a little ask (and the knowledge that I had treats in my pockets), he put all four feet in and pretty calmly checked out his surroundings.  He was understandably tense, but not agitated or in any kind of hurry to do anything stupid.  You can see his tight lips in the picture below.

He backed out with no rushing and no hesitation, exactly as if he had done it before.  What a guy!  We walked around some more, did some hoof trimming, and later loaded up one more time.  He did great!

In regards to hoof trimming, I really need to make that a priority.  The BLM trimmed his hooves kind of crooked (I'm sure it's hard to visualize hoof balance when they're on their side in a chute).  Now that they've been growing for so many months, they're a little wonky.  He's getting pretty good with his front feet, just kind of impatient.  I haven't done enough with his hinds.  We'll work on that some more today. 

He really blew me away with his courage, curiosity, and quiet willingness yesterday.  I do expect a little punky behavior as he starts to feel more comfortable going out and about.  He gets a little irritated at being told what to do sometimes.  Nothing big as of yet, just facial expression and maybe a tail swish.

Scout got to come out and play a bit too.  Nothing strenuous of course, but he loaded in the trailer twice, and I scraped a bunch of mud off of him, then he stood tied for quite a while.  He seems to be feeling better already.  Very little snot and only an occasional cough.  I think his energy level is down, but he is still alert and interactive, and eating well.

This computer has taken up too much time!  Now I'm off to play.