Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am still greatly enjoying my quiet time with the horses lately. I've been going out and loving on them, then asking Tonka to do something for a short amount of time. Yesterday I walked him around the house and through the trees, then through some thick brush. This morning I walked him all over the hay field, through some tall weeds, over shallow trickle in a ditch, and down by the creek (he wanted nothing to do with me when I went wading in my rubber boots). When we got done with that I worked on his mane. It still insists on hanging over to the left only at the point where it covers his freezebrand. I don't want that covered! So he got some little ponytails. And I took a LOT of pictures of him.

Tonight we started working on saddling again. First he wore the bright purple Soft Saddle, since that's really light and easy for me to carry. Put it on and took it off several times from either side. Cinched it up, he was a bit weirded out by the pressure on the other side as I tightened it. Kinda twitchy. But he stood. Good boy! Then we did some stuff to take his mind off the saddle (namely, stepped on the evil horse eating tarp) and he forgot all about it. Then took it off and left it there for him to "kill" while I ate dinner. He was having great fun swinging the cinch around in circles.

Here you see him wearing the lighter of my two saddles. I opted for this one since I had to carry it halfway across the property. Turned out to be the wrong choice though, it's way too wide. So I didn't cinch it down. As you can see the breastcollar is lying on his neck. The cinch is hanging on the other side. He really didn't like the saddle, fidgeted a lot, but dealt with it pretty well.

Once he was more comfortable with the saddle I took it off and let him investigate it again. Then lugged everything back to the tack shed. I can't wait to put the other saddle on him and see if it fits. I hope so! We already need to buy a saddle for Lyric, I hope we don't need yet another.

Oh, and back to the tarp. He is SO worried about changes on the ground where he has to step. He is getting a lot better though. Hoses are no problem anymore, nor is the change in terrain from grass to driveway, or muddy ditch crossings. But the tarp is still very scary. It makes noise, and sometimes it moves! He crossed it twice today. The first time he got his front feet on and stood very proudly, and when he finally decided to put his back feet on, the edge of the tarp stayed on the front of his foot and moved with him. He LAUNCHED himself UP and off! It totally reminded me of the "airs above the ground." I think his belly was level with my head, and he kicked out with his hind legs as he passed. Luckily he was not kicking out at me. John happened by at that very moment, and said it looked really pretty. Of course then Tonka had to cross the tarp again, in a more controlled manner. And eventually he did. Not totally calm, he kind of hurried over it, but at least he kept his feet on the ground.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Horse time has been pretty relaxing this week. They're all turned out together in green grass, being a herd, which I always love to see. Since I don't have to trudge around throwing hay, I get to spend my horse time petting everyone. They still get their supplements in the morning, but nothing in the evening. But don't tell them that, because they always come to me in a hurry. I'm pretty sure they think I'm going to feed them in the evening too. Actually they all seem to enjoy getting a good rub down even without food, except for Danni, who I think is mad at me for making her work so much lately. She's shunning me.

Today I had to make the decision between keeping Soxy locked up off grass for half the day, or putting the grazing muzzle on her. She is getting fatter at an alarming rate and I don't want to founder her. Locking her up seemed counter-productive, since she can't move around. So she got her grazing muzzle. Which bothers me more than it does her. She really doesn't mind. Anyway, tonight I went out to take it off, and I was standing there petting Lyric when Tonka came up and started nibbling on it. So I let him take it, and he shook it around. Dropped it, grabbed it up again and shook it. We were laughing, standing back because it has a snap on a longish strap, and we didn't want to get smacked. Well, eventually it got him, pretty hard on the bottom of the jaw. He didn't think to drop it, just bolted in a small circle, then dropped it. Stood for a moment and then started playing with it again. Silly boy. It really is pretty funny. I gave him a Jolly Ball, and he won't touch it. But he loves to play with just about anything else.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Today Tonka didn't seem to be in much of a mood to play. I brushed him, asked him to step into the trailer, took him for a walk, and put him back so we could play more with Lyric. (For details on that, see

If this works correctly, this should show a video of him loading:

Here's a picture with more light, but still not all that good.

And a random turkey shot. I love turkeys. This was their second time outside. Soon it will be warm enough for them to be outside 24/7.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Played with my boy today. You know, I need to stop listening to my sister. She keeps making comments about how bad/crazy he is, so I start thinking, "what am I thinking, with a young horse?" and I need to stop thinking that. He's a good boy, and I love him. We did some obstacles today. He's so good! I think he trusts me, or he's just level headed, because even when he's worried he's pretty mellow about it all. We also did a lot of just hanging out, grooming, and picture taking. You'd be amazed at how many pictures I have of this horse...

We worked on going through the "Cowboy Curtain." It's a tarp cut into strips blowing in the wind. We're using it to get ready for a trail competition in a couple weeks. He did it for me several times, when I walked through with him and made a kind of opening. WOW. He is AWESOME.

I get such a great feeling when I spend time with Tonka. He's very good for me. I hope he likes me too. I know I'm not as important to him as he is to me, since I'm so annoying and all, but maybe that will grow.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tonka was a bronc today! And a race horse! Woo hoo! It was really fun to watch him ripping up and down the pasture, bucking and sliding. Then he'd float along at a trot. He thought my brother-in-law's horse was an alien. It was pretty funny. We had taken away his two friends, and rode away leaving him all alone, and he was a little upset. Unfortunately this is the only picture I got, I was too far away when he was being spunky. Still a good picture though, I think. But then I just like my horse :)