Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who's the Boss??

I took hay out to the girls for their pm feeding.

I put one pile down, and Joy got to it first. I walked about 15 feet away and Heddy came up and pushed Joy off the first pile, so naturally she walked over to the second pile.

I walked anoth 20 feet or so and put down the third pile. Honey Bunny Boo Boo Bear (ack - I know...sorry) met me there and stood munching while I pet her and looked her over.

When I walk back to the gate, she followed me and pushed Heddy off pile #1.

Heddy went and pushed Joy off pile #2.

Joy went and pushed Honey off pile #1.

Honey pushed Heddy off pile #2.

Heddy went and pushed Joy off pile #1 (with a little nip to the back side, I might add)

Joy went and pushed Honey off pile #2. At this point, Honey said "screw it" and went over to pile #3.

That where they were when I left them, and despite all the round and round hay pile switching, I still don't know who's the boss.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back to pasture....

Everyone has been locked off pasture and to honest, they have been hating it! They don't get to eat whenever they want, they have to wait impatiently for mom to get to them, they don't get a whole lot of exercise, and it has pretty much just sucked!

Remember...I had drug the pasture and spread the poop. I wanted it to water in for a couple of days...

Anyway, last night, I took Honey and Heddy out to the neighbor's pasture. Of course since it was 5:00 pm, they were DYING of starvation! I put the halter on honey and led her out. Heddy followed only as far as the haystack (like 6 feet). I decided that I didn't want a replay of the run-around-the-house show, so I returned to the barn door with Honey and called to Heddy. After a couple minutes, she called for Honey and I heard her trotting in my general direction. After that, she followed right along and they were turned out together.

Then I went back in to get Joy. No problems. The girls were happy to all be together again and ambled off in search of grass.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Herd






Sunday, September 21, 2008

FLY!! We're free!!!!

Saturday morning we brought all the horses back to the barn so that we could fertilize the pastures.

NORMALLY...when I put a halter on Honey or Heddy and lead them somewhere, the other one follow right behind. I mean, we don't have far to go, maybe 50 feet.

Mike was taking him time, so I put the halter on Honey and let Heddy and Joy out to come along with her. It went fine for about 30 seconds.

Joy, with her limited eye sight, walked past the barn. I didn't worry, because she would realize that she was alone and turn back, right? WRONG!

Heddy followed as far as the hay stacked inside the big door, but after grabbing a bite or two, she follow Honey to the stall, right? WRONG!

Joy contiued away from the barn, and Heddy, instead of following Honey, decided to join Joy. They went over to my neighbor barn, pooped in her driveway, and started eating her hay.

I ran them out of the barn, and they trotted back to my barn, right on target! They'll go into the barn, stand outside the stall and desperately want to be let in. Right? WRONG!!!

By this time Honey is screaming and hollering and racing up and down the pasture. Not good, because if they tried to get to her, it would take them to the road. All the other horses joined in the fracas and were running and squalling too!

About the time the mare rounded the house for the second time, Mike decided that I might need some help. We took down tapes, opened gates, and between the two of us, ran them in to one of the pastures. Then we locked them off the pasture and put them into their stalls.

We took no chances with Shyanna and Dobbs, put halters on them both and Mike helped me lead them into the barn.

We got to work on the pastures and when we came around, there stood my neightbor with Shyanna. We'd forgotten to put the tapes back up and close the gates.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

...and then there were seven

Kaci, my hunter/jumper rescue, has a new home with Kimberly Hogue in Yelm, Washington.

I came to own Kaci's Friend when I responded to a add for a free TB gelding. His owner had a new horse, and Kaci needed to go. He had been taken from the show barn where he'd live for almost 7 years and taken out to the owner's ranch in the middle of nowhere. This sensitive show baby had his shoes pulled and was turned out on 160 acres of tick infested sagebrush.

I picked him up on May 17 - my birthday! He was skinny, clingy, depressed, insecure, and cover in tick and old tick bites. He was a MESS!

Over the last 4 months, he's eaten his fill of grass in his very own pasture, next to his favorite mare. He's gained weight and confidence. He's healed mentally and physically. He now needed to go back to work. But I am not the person to put him to work. His training, and my style of riding, didn't match and never would.

He need a kid to teach. I told Cathy, who told Shelley, who knew that Kimberly was looking for a horse to show and jump. After weeks of e-mails, phone calls and questions, I decided that Kimberly would be a good fit.

So yesterday, we loaded Kaci and drove to Yelm. He was a complete gentleman, calm and "old pro". Kimberly fell in love with him. I left with a little bit of money, to cover my gas, and a sad but quiet heart. I'd gotten attached to this "tossed away" horse and had nursed him back to health. It's now up to Kimberly to put him back to work. He will be well cared for in his new home and I anxiously await photos of Kaci and Kimberly.

The Herd

We brought the other horses back home to the barn today. Honey and Heddy are sharing a stall/run. Joy is in the small pen at the back of the barn, sheltered from the wind. Dobbs and Shyanna are side by side, in their own stalls.

The countdown to good-bye for Joy continues.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Passing of the crown..

Joy is no longer the herd boss. That title now goes to Heddy. Initially, when I turned the girls out with her, she squealed and postured, and raise her back foot to kick. Now she acts like she's content to be with the girls. She gets a lot more exercise than she did because they are always moving around the pasture. She looks wonderful, and though they got to playing yesterday, she was walking normally this morning. She's totally digging her life as a pasture puff!

I don't know when it happened, but it did. One day, Joy is top hoss, bossing the girls around. Yesterday, when I tossed out some hay, there was some milling around, jostling for the best pile. I mean sheesh!, there were three piles.

I returned to the barn to check waters, and finish the morning chores. When I came back outside, Heddy was at the middle pile, and she was running Joy back to the pile where Honey was eating. Thus saving TWO piles for herself. She wouldn't let either of the other two walk around her to the free pile. It was HERS!

Mike and I went out to the pump area to clean out the filter. The sprinklers had been off for almost a week over there and we couldn't figure out what was happening. It was clogged. BIG TIME! Little miss Heddy was the leader, coming to check on us.

Heddy has always been a little difficult to get a halter on. She walks away, won't stop and stand while you put it on, unless you get the nose band on and give her a tug. She also hasn't been overly friendly, mostly standoff-ish. She came and stood while Mike cleared the filter so I could give her some love. It was a "WOW" moment for me.

The horses are putting on their winter jammies. Joy is no exception. It's cool overnight, but warms during the day. A migraine yesterday prevented me from doing any riding. I hate migraines! I lose an entire day every time! If I'm going to spend the day in bed, could it at LEAST be on a work day???

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ah...the change in weather...

When I was out in the pasture last night, visiting the "kids", fly spray bottle in hand, I made some observations.

FLIES - they are different. These aren't the barn flies, they're the little nasty biting ones, tormenting my horses and leaving scabs on their bellies. The BEST repellent I've found so far is a marigold based all natural spray. Get 'em off and keeps 'em off. It sort of smells like candy!

Winter Fuzz - It's coming on! Their bellies are no longer sleek and smooth. They are laying on the winter jammies! And it's only September 10th! That tells me that it's going to be a cold winter. Whoopee. I have heated tubs for six horses. There are currently eight horses at my place. There will be seven through the winter. sigh..

HAY!!! - Or is it "HEY!!" The horses are all out on pasture full time, and have been for the last three weeks. Its getting to the point now though, that the grass doesn't interest them as much. If I toss a flake out in the pasture, they'll leave off the grazing and fight over the hay.

As a rule, I don't blanket my horses in winter. I have a neighbor who puts blankets on when the over night low hits 45 degrees. She DOES ride most every day in winter, but still... Her horses never have a winter coat. The ONLY time I will blanket is in January and IF someone got sweaty. But the next morning, the blanket comes off, the winter coat poofs out, and it's business as usual!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Those lazy days....

Joy is still the herd boss and is attached to “The Girls” – Honey and Heddy. When I brought The Girls to the barn to have their feet trimmed, Joy paced and called until they were returned to the pasture. Then they all got to running around. I so love to watch horses run in the pasture. Joy doesn't really “gallop” she more like “hops” short choppy strides. She is always so sore after play time.

Honey was a living dream about getting her feet done. She stood quietly and politely, offering all four feet. Heddy, on the other hand, acted like a mule-eared donkey and actually got popped on the chest.

Dobbs, the sorrel Smooth Town gelding, is not nearly as stiff as he was the last time the farrier worked on him. He actually had so problem standing with his sore leg up to be trimmed.

Jazzy and Angel were their usual selves, but on good behavior.

Kaci drools like a Labrador at Thanksgiving! I had to laugh, but the farrier, who wore some of the slobber down the back of his neck, didn't think it was as funny as I did.

The weather remains very pleasant. It’s been in the 50s at night and lower 80s for the high in the afternoon. Joy is usually with The Girls out grazing and at nap time, they all stand under a tree in the shade. There is currently no rush to euthanize Joy since the weather is so nice. Once the frost comes though, her pain and stiffness will be much harder to manage. Until then, she is enjoying just being a horse, grazing to her hearts content, and living these last weeks in horse heaven.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I sat on the back porch the other night watching the horses play.

I had Dobbs (the sorrel gelding)and Shyanna in the back pasture at the neighbor's.

Angel, Jazzy, and Kaci were at the barn.

Honey, Heddy, and Joy were in the front pasture at the neighbor's.

All eight got to running and bucking and playing. Joy joined in with "the girls", blowing and having a great time. Yesterday, I had to give her an extra snort of bute. She was so sore she could hardly walk.

But she looked like she was having a BLAST!