Friday, July 29, 2011

Updates - Before and After

Highfaultin Fox 10/10/10

Highfaultin Fox 7/29/11

Show Ticket 3/22/11

Show Ticket 7/29/11

Friday, July 15, 2011

Becoming a Horse

FIRST TIME WEARING A SADDLE!!! (Sorry - it's a cellphone picture)

Bullwinkle went to "big boy school" on Friday, July 8th. He is with the same trainer that has Millie (who is doing very well and walking and trotting the barrel pattern now)

I had made the decision to take Bullwinkle for 90 days of training. He will probably return next spring, but for now, just 90 days.

He loaded fine and hauled quietly. Because he's "My Baby", I had my own issue talking him. It was all mental on my part. I totally trust my trainer with every aspect. I almost turned back three times, thinking I was going to have a nervous breakdown. But I continued on and made it there.

Once at the trainer's, he had sensory over-load. LOTS of horses, all talking to him. Nothing familiar. There was a BIG scary tractor tire which is used for his hay trough. Within 30 minutes, he had figured it out and was over the big scary tire!

He got into an argument with the grey mare next to him and kicked the panel. When they kick the panels, if they hit it just right, it's like they hit their funny bone. Anyway, Bullwinkle packed one back leg. My thought was "Oh crap! Lame already!" But within 5 minutes he was walking around fine and back to arguing with the grey mare. My trainer tells me that by the next morning, it was true love for both of them, playing kissy-face and love scritching over the panels.

Tara gave him the weekend to settle in, then started him Monday morning. He spent some time high-lined in the round pen. I have never tied him, and while Mary (his first mom) had done a LOT with him, I don't remember if he was ever tied or not.

I pestered Tara most of the day Monday and told her when she saddled him, I needed a picture, that me and his gramma (Cathy) wanted updates! So Tara sent me the picture above - first time wearing a saddle!

A lot of people are like "Big deal" For me, it IS a big deal!! Others might start youngsters all the time, but I DON'T!

Tara tells me that he grabbed himself a little and bunny hopped, then looked around, sniffed the saddle, tasted the stirrup, then ignored it. He round penned relaxed and moving freely, willing to please!

She says that he is more mentally mature than Millie, quiet, nice-minded, and eager to please. And that he seeks out cuddles when he has tried and completed something new. Of course, who wouldn't want to cuddle with him??

Tara's challenge - getting on. He is BIG! 16 hands, easy! I am going to take a mounting block down, because he will need to be broke to a step or block so I can get on him. Mike has announced that HE will be riding Bullwinkle also, since his mare Jazzy is unsound due to an old pelvis injury. At this point, my response is always "NO", but in time, we'll see.

For now, I am so very excited about this kid. I'm sure I am driving Tara nuts with all my pestering!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rest In Peace Mya

About a year ago, I saw a post on a discussion board about a horse needing a new home, due to new marriage and the family moving. I responded, saying if a home couldn't be found, I could take the horse as a last resort.

In September 2010, Mike and I drove north of Spokane to pick up Mya. In e-mails, the owners had told me that she was well trained, but that she'd had colic surgery and was "delicate" and that hard work would cause her problems. I thought "As if I ride much anymore..."

Since last fall, Mya has had several mild episodes. I carefully monitored what she ate, watched her for signs of stress or pain. Every time prior, banamine was enough to calm whatever was going on and she would bounce back.

She would "sing for her supper" - nickering and chattering until I gave her hay. If I carried a bucket, the volume and intensity would increase, whether it was for her or not. She also had the annoying habit of peeing in front of the stall door right at feeding time. I would have to dodge the puddle to feed the horse on the backside of the barn.

But for the most part, she was easy. I could halter her with no problem. She stood quietly for the farrier. Deworming was a breeze.

In the past week (since Sunday), Mya has had three "episodes". Last night, the banamine didn't give her relief. Her pain was progressing and she was in obvious discomfort. We made the decision to let her go before it got any worse. She might have recovered. She might have gotten through this. But my fear was that she would progress and suffer longer than she should.

It's always sad to lose one of the herd. But I take comfort that since last fall, Mya has been loved and spoiled, and she now has pain-free peace. She has joined the rest of the herd to run green fields and drink from crystal clear streams. She will be missed.

Rest In Peace Sweet Mya!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Off to a Good Start...

(UPDATE - Added Saturday and Sunday)

Here's how MY weekend is stacking up...


Got home from work at 11:30 am. Mike and I had half a turkey sammich and some homemade chicken noodle soup. Then we took a nap until 1:30. When we got up, Mike went to a movie, then to my nephew's swim meet. When I got up, I turned the horses out, ripped and groomed the arena

Arena looks good, huh! The "lumpy" parts are poop. We spread it in the arena, then work it in. If we ever decide to plant grass, we will have to mow every day to keep it from turning into a jungle!

Then I fixed the fence that Bullwinkle took down, met Tara for dinner, went with her to help her retrieve her panels. I got home a little after 9:00 pm, locked up the horses, fed and topped off water tubs, showered and collapsed into bed. (The day had started at 4:00 am)


I fed the horses while Mike finished putting up the bird screen on the south side of the barn. (Picture below) There are still a few holes to fill in, but it shouldn't take him long.

I pulled him off that task to drive the four-wheeler and trailer out in the pasture to pick up the piles of poop that the "elephants" had left yesterday. Once the trailer was empty, I unhitched the trailer, moved the drag out to the pasture, then hooked it up to the four-wheeler. Mike wasn't feeling well, so he went inside to lay down while I dragged and smoothed that last of the poops in preparation of me fertilizing.

Our drop-spreader has a flat tire, and it's all "boogered up" (yes, that's a technical term), so I had to use the one pictured below.

In all, I think I walked 400 miles up and down the pasture. Lucky for me, I had put the heavy bags in the trailer behind the four-wheeler, so that helped a little bit.

I was mostly done when Mike came back out. While I finished up the fertilizing, Mike mowed the yard, then high spots in the pasture.

When that task was finished, we came in for some lunch. After, Mike went to his last physical therapy appointment and I sprayed weeds. I decided I'd had enough for the day and took my shower. For dinner we're having more chicken noodle soup (unless Mike comes up with something equally as yummy) and Kali is going to dye my hair.

I might even be able to stand a Peanut Buster Parfait at Dairy Queen...


Saturday, I cleaned more stalls and helped Mike finish the bird screening in the barn. There was one baby bird still in the nest, so we left a place open until it is big enough to fly to coop!

We quit early, had an early supper, then relaxed the rest of the evening.


Mike decided to dig up and replace fence posts. There were some in the front pasture that weren't "doing anything", so we took them out. The front pasture now looks like... well... a pasture!

That's Kaci and Jazzy...

So Mike was able to get one post replaced. Note that the BEFORE picture appears to have been gnawed by our "beaver", named Jazzy...

Bullwinkle, in his infinite boredom, helped, I'm sure!

Here's a barn shot, just because!