Friday, October 31, 2008

I have a few interesting things that I would like to spend more time on but I'll just be quick tonight. Probably good to be frugal with words at times...

Toby is actually Max. We found his owner. Turned out to be one of John's employees! How weird is that? He'll go home tomorrow or Sunday. It's a long story if I were to go into detail, but it's really not all that interesting and I'm tired.

We got to help the neighbor kids get their 5 horses back home today. The parents were gone and the poor teenage girl seemed a little overwhelmed. They have a fence breaker who gets out all the time, and this time the others went with. Luckily one of my other neighbors was quick to saddle his horse. He pushed them home and we just put a lead around a horse's neck and bribed them with treats to get them back in the gate. Glad none of them were mean. Just one that was kinda pushy.

Biggest news - The BLM is going to do an emergency gather of Tonka's herd next week. There is apparently a lack of feed. They're going to be bringing in 500-600 horses. I really want to go down and watch but John was not at all interested in letting me go. This could be the experience of a lifetime! I'm going to see what I can do about childcare and maybe, just maybe, I can make it happen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I forgot to give an update on Toby the dog. John said I can keep him! Then he (the dog) promptly got really sick. I had to get up in the night to let him out a couple times (I am so glad he's potty trained) and then he was in obvious gastric distress all morning. I was worried that the problem might be contagious and didn't want him out pooping where my other dogs are, so I left him in the house and hoped he wouldn't make a huge mess when I went to ride. He didn't. His belly seems to have settled now so hopefully he just got into something gross yesterday when we were out on a ride. Cross your fingers for me that he's done and doesn't have something wrong with him.
Another good ride today.
Some scenery:

Melissa and Jewel:
Beautiful Dixie:

Ground tied and napping:
Isn't this a pretty face?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We had a very nice little ride out from my sister's house today. I rode in the dressage saddle and determined that it is not a good fit. Too wide. Oh well. I do like the saddle a lot, but it would have been a little impractical.

Her new little mare is doing well. Still has some odd quirks like lip flapping, staring off to the left, trying to hurry home, but nothing dangerous by any means.

We took her two dogs and Toby with us. I wasn't going to take Toby but my sister talked me into it. He doesn't know his name and doesn't come when you call him. I'll have to work on that with some irresistible treats if we keep him. Luckily he has a natural need to stay with us. It went pretty well, overall.

Tonka really mellowed out about the dogs this time, but I'm sure it helped that they stayed ahead of us most of the ride. He also crossed 3 bridges, one concrete and two wood, and didn't even hesitate on the third one.

No pictures. I did take my camera but the battery was dead. Nowhere to carry it with the English saddle anyway...

I'm going riding out at Melissa's tomorrow. I've got the battery on the charger. :)
Is it Wednesday already? Wow, time flies. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself today. I'm tired of riding at home. But I'll probably do that anyway at some point today.

My sister was wanting to trade her saddle for my livestock panels, plus some money. I don't know, I like having the panels in case I need them. But I'd use the saddle more. So I agreed to try it out. Sorry to bore you with so many similar pictures, but I want to ask a question.

Before the ride:

After the ride:

I'd say it pretty definitely looks like it slipped back a couple inches. But did it slip back too far, or did I have it too far forward to begin with? Does this mean it's too wide (the reason it would slip) or is it possibly just fine?

He worked well in the saddle the second time I rode in it. The first time he was a mess, stumbling all over the place. But I had taken the dog out with me on that ride, and Tonka hates dogs. He was very distracted and didn't want to let the dog out of his sight. I can't wait for the day when he gets over his worry about dogs.

I found out Mack hates dogs too. I guess his original owner, who had him for probably 9 years or so, had dogs that would go out and bite the horses every time they went outside. He chases Toby out of the fence when he makes the mistake of going in.

Toby is a good dog, but he doesn't know not to go inside the fence yet. And he doesn't always come when called. He never goes far though. Other than that I haven't had a problem with him yet. He's just a mellow guy, happy to lie around inside or run around outside with me. It looks like we're probably not going to be able to keep him. John doesn't want him, I'm not sure why. The kids and I really like him but adding a new family member really should be a unanimous decision. It's going to be tough giving him up... But he's such a sweetie and he's kinda cute, so I'm sure he'll find a home.

I better get on about my day. Turns out I might go ride with my sister. Will be nice to get off the home place. But if I'm going to do that I better get my other work done.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Um. Well. He followed me home? That won't really work if I picked him up and brought him home in the truck, will it?This dog showed up at my sister's house last night. He wouldn't leave. She already has 3 dogs. One they just got, a roly-poly little puppy. One of her kids wanted to give the puppy back and keep this dog. They really liked him and they started calling him Toby. But like I said, she is full up on dogs. She was going to take him to the Humane Society. Which I'm sure would be fine, he'd definitely get adopted, he's so sweet and cute. Besides, they're a no-kill shelter.

I went over to see him. I didn't like the way his skin looked so I called the vet and they said they'd do a free wellness check. They found a microchip! Ooh, yay, I thought I might be off the hook (although he's in such rough shape I wasn't sure he deserved to go back where he came from).

"Dog? No, no dog. We no dog." The people dumped him and then claimed he wasn't theirs! Ugh. Well, he deserves better anyway. The lady at the Humane Society said that actually happens a lot.

The microchip lists him as 12 months old, but the vet said more like 3-5 years old based on his tartar. But this was a very young, brand new vet, and couldn't his tartar be worse if he's fed bad food or just not fed right? I'm going to call him a year old. Maybe his birthday can be on Halloween. Like my precious Harpo who died 7 years ago. Oh crap, I just gave him a birthday. I think this means I'm attached. John isn't going to be pleased.

He has a big heart, see?
I think he's an English Pointer. Maybe a mix. Any breed experts out there?

The vet thought his skin is probably inflammed due to allergies and filth (he was extremely oily and dirty). I was worried about nematodes or mites or something, so that sounded good to me. He's underweight, but not emaciated. He's a little banged up in places and has a little limp, but all of that should heal. His collar was on pretty tight and his neck was a little raw, so I wonder if he's been kept tied up. Poor thing.

Here he is meeting Angus and India. India is there, behind the big guy, but you can barely see her. I think they're going to get along fine.
Can you tell I'm falling in love with this dog?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We had another short play session today. I adore my horse. My just makes me grin, he's so good.

Here's a little video of us dragging a tire. It's pretty heavy so we've only done this once before, a long time back. He's so willing. You'll notice we don't quite have the one-handed thing down yet, but we're getting there.

(And I wasn't giving John a dirty look, I was trying to figure out if he was filming us.)

Here are a couple cute pictures. Stepping toward the rope and looking at John. I love the way he looks at people. He's so curious and friendly.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I don't have much to write about today. It was another beautiful fall day, but I had a lot of unhorsey work to do. So I didn't get to have fun with them until the evening. Here are a few random pictures.

The boys having a chat. Tonka was trying to pretend I worked him really hard, but really we just played for about 20 minutes in the field.

Not a pretty picture, but it deserves the title "Hair." They've now been separate for over 48 hours. Poor things.
Here's a kinda-sorta picture of all 3 mustangs. Tonka is the butt. Hee hee.
Interesting, Scout's eyes are not reflecting the flash in the same way... I wonder, if I could get a picture of his injured eye, would it still show the ghostly cloudiness it had in the spring? I'll have to try some more for that. I tried tonight, but he blinked every time.
Indroducing Jewel! Isn't she pretty? This is Melissa's new horse that I wrote about bringing home the other day. She's settling in, doing great under saddle in a new environment, and didn't mind the sheep. Poor Peaches, the donkey, is terrified of her for no discernible reason. So Rosie, the other horse, is keeping Jewel at a distance. They'll work it out I'm sure.

Isn't it funny how much she looks like our Mack?

Melissa was in love with Mack's looks, just not so much his personality. So she found a good one, sweet and gentle.

I rode again last night. Twice in one day! Tonka seemed happy to get out again and do a minimum amount of work. I had Katia take pictures and video of me riding in the Orthoflex saddle, and I'll get some in other saddles, to see how his back looks and how he moves in different saddles. He seemed pretty happy in both saddles yesterday. Of course neither was mine... Will have to keep experimenting while I wait for the perfect saddle.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today is a beautiful day! Sunny and warm and perfect for a ride. I saddled Tonka up and we had a wonderful ride here at home all by ourselves. Normally I hate riding around here by myself. We rode to the round pen, opened and closed the gate, then went down to the creek. He was afraid of the erosion control cloth so I got off and led him across the creek. Then we rode the fenceline on the other side of the property. Something I've wanted to do for years! Finally did it, now that the banks are manageable for crossing.

We have an eating problem. He eats grass constantly, snatching it whenever he can, to the point where he'll fall on his face if he has to. Yesterday he frustrated me to no end. It was a beautiful ride, but I spent most of the ride frustrated with my horse. So today when we got into the grass that was tall enough to tickle his nose, I started backing him a long ways every time he took a bite. I won't say it cured the problem completely, but it made a huge difference. I haven't done anything like that on the trail because when you trail ride, you're going somewhere. I think I'm going to have to start telling anyone I ride with that there's a potential I'll have to do some "work" and will hold up the ride a bit at times.

We trotted some circles and serpentines, trying to get up enough sweat under my dad's saddle to see if it's a good sweat pattern. Then rode back over the creek and trotted some more and went home. He was an angel. I felt like we were being a good team for the first time in a while. He's been kind of a pill lately, flipping me subtle attitude. But he was a cuddly sweetie after our ride today. Hmm... Maybe it's the saddle change. He didn't sweat under the saddle today though. Just on his chest, which doesn't help me a bit. I still think it's not a perfect fit because of the way he travels, but maybe it's better than the other saddle.
Tonka and I had a great ride yesterday with Kara and her mustang mare Catlow. It's really a bummer that she's had her mustangs and been so close for 3 years or so and we didn't even know about each other. And now she's moving. :(

Isn't Catlow beautiful? She's very stout, strong backed, and has a nice hiney. I'm kinda jealous... If I remember right, Catlow is from Beaty's Butte, and her gelding Chico (who I'm now kicking myself for not visiting and getting a picture) is from South Steens.

When I got home I decided to play with Bella since I had the trailer hitched and sitting right there. She got right in and went to the front. I "tied" her in (with the Blocker Tie Ring) and went and grabbed my camera.
Backing out was scarier for her. Yes, she could turn around, no, that's not how I ask them to get out. I figure they could end up in going somewhere in a trailer they can't turn around in, so I want them to back out.

I loaded her again and decided to try shutting the divider. She didn't want anything to do with that. She kept backing and leaning into the divider so I couldn't shut it. It took a little time, but eventually she moved over and I let the divider sit as if it was shut, but I didn't pin it in place.
Here's a worried Bella. Worried but willing. She's a good one.
Here's my two wee boys. Liam was almost hypnotized by the hair swirl there on Scout's hip, couldn't stop petting and brushing him there. Scout was looking at his mama. He's so dull most of the time, just walks around all dopey with his head level with his body. It almost makes me wonder if he's sick. But he perks up for his mom. And he eats and poops normally. Maybe he's just not a high-energy kid. And I think he's a little sad about being separated from his mom so much. Tonka is picking on him a bit too much too. I'm trying to think of a better arrangement for the little guy. Wish I had another weanling to keep with him.

Oh, on another note. I need a different saddle for my boy. If anyone sees an inexpensive Barefoot saddle, Black Forest saddle, or Circle Y flex, please let me know. I don't know how I'd afford it right now, but I'm thinking that's the direction I'm going to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bella and I went for a two mile walk today. It was pretty uneventful. But I did remember to take my camera this time. I think my picture taking skills were on vacation though.

Good news on Melissa's new horse. She unloaded like a good girl last night and she's settling in very nicely and following Melissa around like a puppy. She hasn't been introduced to the other horse and donkey yet. I think Rosie, Melissa's other horse, will be very happy to have a real horse instead of just a donkey to live with. :)

Had a little scare today, thought my computer was toast. Don't know what it was doing, but after some time off it re-booted just fine. Scary. I better get my pictures backed up. Funny thing is, I had just been thinking how much more I could get done if I left the computer turned off. Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What a long day! Melissa and I went up to Newport Washington today to look at a horse. And even though she's superstitious about taking her trailer to look for a horse, we took the trailer. Because Newport is too far away to make the trip twice. We were looking at a pretty black quarter horse who was said to be very well broke and spookless.

Long story short, Melissa fell in love (I liked her a lot too) and she decided to buy her. Assuming she'd get in the trailer.

As we already knew, the horse had a trailering accident in a two horse trailer, jumped into the manger, tried to go out the window and cut herself up. (Sounds just like what one of my sister's colts did years ago). So we weren't sure what she'd do today. Melissa's trailer also has a manger, but it's a stock type, so she was fairly comfortable getting in. Not a great big deal. But once she was in she was very worried and fidgety. We waited until she calmed down to get going. Took it very slow for her on the road. She was really rocking the boat, but once when she was even more bouncy I saw something hit the feed door into the manger really hard from the inside. She had been in the manger and got herself out again. When we stopped we saw scrapes all over in the manger from her hooves scrabbling in there. SCARY. We figured she maybe learned her lesson from that. She tried it, it didn't help, hopefully she'd calm down.

We stopped for lunch and remarked how much calmer she seemed. Not a mile down the road she jumped into the manger again and must have fallen out because her head jerked violently and she broke the snap on the lead rope. We of course pulled over immediately. She was on her feet but had skinned her shoulder a bit. No blood anywhere. She was clearly thinking about trying to jump out in the space above the door now that she was loose. So we tied her back up and stopped at a feed store to get a backup halter and lead just in case (hint - good idea to keep a back up halter and lead in your trailer).

That was the last of the major mishaps while I was along for the ride. Melissa only lives about 15 miles from me so hopefully the rest of the ride and the unloading went fine.

She really is a sweet horse, don't let me prejudice you against her. I think she just has some fears to overcome. She seemed really worried about people coming up from behind in the loading process and while she was in the trailer. I got the impression she'd been beaten or somehow forced into a trailer before. Beating and forcing a horse into a trailer is not training! Makes me mad. Not that the lady who Melissa bought her from would do that. She was a very nice lady and never had a need to haul her anywhere since they had the national forest right outside their back door.

Today really brought back why I used to hate trailering horses. I hate worrying about them killing themselves back there where I can't see them. (Actually Melissa's trailer is better for that than mine, you can see them sometimes in hers, in mine you can't.) I am so glad that my horses don't have major trailer hang-ups. Soxy has some... But just in the unloading and it's getting better. As it will get better with this horse with time and patience and love.

So anyway, wish them luck. Sorry I didn't take any pictures! I don't know what's wrong with me lately.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This morning was loads of fun. I took Bella out and saddled her. This is the first time I've done that with her tied up. She was a little worried about the big pad since she hasn't worn that one before, so I had to put the saddle down and re-approach with just the pad. No problem, just a little tenseness that time. Saddled, and she did a little head wiggling when I cinched her up. Then I did up the breastcollar, which she hasn't worn before. I flapped the stirrups a bit to make sure she was really aware the saddle was there and might move a bit. Then we headed up the driveway.

I was really worried about Scout as we went, I didn't know if he'd push against the fence to try to follow us, and one stretch of fence isn't safe for that sort of thing. He called to her once and went back to munching on his hay. We went up the road a ways where I could still see him, then when he ignored us I headed down by the "horsey neighbors." I wanted to get a good look at their new colt. :) He's really cute, a buckskin with a BIG quarter horse butt.

I swear Bella has no real spook in her. She'll look at things a little, but she's so laid back. She was happy to be going somewhere. When we got next to the neighbor horses she seemed a little afraid of them, unlike Tonka who is really interested in them. I turned around and headed back, still a little worried about Scout.

My neighbor was out getting ready to work on his tractor and we had a nice long chat about the horses. He was kind of excited about the Mustang Makeovers and the training incentive program that the Mustang Heritage Foundation is doing. This from a 70 year old rodeoin' quarter horse guy. Pretty cool. He sounded like he was almost interested enough to do it, but with the horse market being what it is... And I don't think they're allowing mustangs that are anywhere near us in the program. He was also very interested in the new trimming techniques he saw on RFD TV with the mustang roll. He used to shoe horses professionally, does a good job, but he's thinking this barefoot thing sounds good. I told him that's how I've been doing it, and it works well, but I do boot the quarter horse and the appaloosa. I'm going to take him my Natural Balance DVD and the Pete Ramey book.

I didn't get to ride Tonka today like I had planned. A cold sideways rain came in as I was coming home from some errands in town. Bummer.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Today my friend Melissa and I loaded up Soxy and Tonka and headed to Spokane to go for a trail ride with the Inland Empire Mustang Horse Club. We had so much fun! The ride was a bit much for miss Soxy and unfortunately we held everyone up a bit. I hope they didn't mind too much. Melissa was very impressed with all the sedate, well behaved mustangs, and also impressed with the fact that not one person was fighting with their horse today. She wondered if maybe mustang people just have to be better horsemen because they don't just buy their trained horse and get on and ride. I think there's probably some truth to that. Also, it's just a good bunch of people. :)

I didn't take my camera because John had it, so you'll have to check Lea's blog for pictures. I'm sure she'll be posting some within the next day or so. I can't wait to see them!

Let's see, I feel that I must have more detailed things to tell you... Tonka did well with the bikes and joggers and cars and dogs and even a cross-country skiier (on wheels). The first couple bikes were scary, then he just needed to watch them closely. He tried pinning his ears at Pepper and he got in BIG trouble for that. Other than that he did pretty well in the middle of a big group of horses on the road, fairly tightly spaced. Great day for both of us. And Melissa said we look like we fit each other, which made me very happy. I love my horse.

The scariest thing on the trail today: a rock. A big one, granted, but it was a rock. And I'm pretty sure I didn't hear it making any threatening remarks. Maybe it smelled scary. My horse is weird.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My playtime with Mack went really well today. He is such a scaredy-cat! I never would have thought he'd be harder to deal with in that respect than the two green mustangs, but he is. I got out my flag (a garbage bag at the end of a short whip) because he was sluggish when I asked him to circle me at a walk. He blew a gasket, scrambled all over the place and bucked a couple times. We worked with the flag for about an hour. He got to where I could rub his head, neck, shoulder, kinda sorta his girth area and legs, and tap the saddle with it. Not totally relaxed, but he was at least blinking and watching, not standing like a stone. I finally had the inspiration to take it off the whip and he was much less worried about it then. He is afraid of whips, I knew that already. I shouldn't have brought the whip and the bag in at the same time, let alone attached to each other...

Then I did my pre-flight checklist. Lateral flexion of the neck he knows like a pro. Leg cues, not so much. He's almost always been ridden with spurs. And apparently he was dull even with spurs. So we'll have to work on that. We did make some progress, I think.

I got on and did the same things, with the same results, but the leg cues were even worse with my leg rather than my hand pressing on him. His front end worked alright but hind end was very sticky. Vertical flexion could use some work, but only took a few reminders to get him to give consistently.

His walk is weird. I'm used to Tonka's big strides. I had the same feeling on the quarter horse at my riding lessons. Short strided, kind of stubbing the feet into the ground.

His whoa could also use some work. Sit back and say whoa three times and then tug a rein, then he'll stop.

I find it odd to say, but this guy may be too much horse for me. An older broke domestic too much for me, when I ride a green mustang? Maybe. He's high strung and he is athletic. Not a great combo for a trail horse. Change of direction on a dime, at speed, is not what I'm after. If I ever consider a performance bred horse again, slap me. Hopefully with more consistent work he'll be less spooky. I can handle a forward horse, but don't much like a sideways horse. :)

When we were done he was following me around like a puppy and looking relaxed, happy, and curious about what was in the tack room. I think we did good.
This morning I practiced weaning. I decided to separate Bella from the boys during feeding time. They were just across the fence from each other. It was a total non-event. They were apart for a couple hours and neither Scout nor Bella freaked out about it. Scout did nurse immediately when I put them back together.

Scout also got his booster shots. Two shots, poor kid. He did pretty well. And I must thank my wonderful husband yet again for being so good at giving shots.

Speaking of wonderful husband, today is our anniversary. We were married at Cliff Park in Spokane, it was a perfect day for a wedding. Overcast, but no rain, and the overcast made for good picture taking. What a fun day that was! Barefoot in my wedding dress, running around in the woods waiting for everyone to get seated. :D
Thanks honey for keeping me grounded and sane. I love you!

Tonka is moving a lot better today. No real limp, but he is stumbling on the hind end and resting that foot a lot.

Here's a picture of Tonka's hoof abscess.I debated about whether to soak or not. Soaking introduces dirt, might soften the hoof (although with the Epsom salt to dry it out I'm not too worried about that). But it also helps keep the exit tract open and draining, and it helps draw out the ick. I decided to soak it. I think I might soak it in a water and apple cider vinegar mixture next time. I have to look up the benefits of that again, I'm not sure why it's supposed to be good for abscesses.

Look how sweet my boy is. He was an angel today after his little attitude adjustment session yesterday. Here he doesn't yet realize that thing on his hoof is annoying.

"What IS that thing??!!"

"It won't come off!"
I had to stay with him for a few minutes and reassure him that he was okay. He wasn't totally flipping out, but he was worried. Gave me a chance to get him brushed. Then I went off and picked up poo. I LOVE Davis soaking boots. This way is so much easier than standing there trying to make sure they don't spill the water out of a feed pan, with the minutes dragging by. I fill the boot with a watering can with a thin nozzle and just top it off if he fidgets too much. Easy as pie.

I did some housework while Tonka stood tied and dried out. Then I went out to water trees. I lifted 1050 pounds of water today! All by my lonesome. Only about 125 gallons. Which is a real bummer because I filled the whole tank and now I don't want to dump out the excess, it seems like a waste. I might water the trees on this side again to use up the water.

I have Mack in the round pen right now, going to go out and saddle him and play with him. He's plenty bored, hopefully that'll help him want to play with me. We're having a good day so far. I decided I'm going to treat him like Bella, stay nice and slow and calm. I have a tendency to get very mad at this horse. I hate to admit a weakness like that, but with that admission I begin to fix the problem... I hope. Each horse that challenges us makes us better horsemen or breaks us. I've thought he was just a stubborn buttheaded jerk, but I'm starting to think he does the things he does out of fear. So I'm going to be ultra gentle (yet firm) and see if we can be friends.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tonka had a very noticeable limp this morning as he followed me out to the hay. I immediately started thinking all kinds of terrible things. Then I noticed a small abscess exit wound on his heel bulb on the affected leg. Whew. I'm not unfamiliar with hoof abscesses, and I know they're no big worry. But this one is hurting him pretty bad and his leg is slightly swollen, poor guy.

So... I really want to go on a trail ride with the Mustang Club on Saturday. If I do I have to take Katia so she'll be riding Soxy. Which leaves me with Mack as my only option as a riding horse. We don't get along all that well... I've ridden him once, in an indoor arena when we first bought him. He was fine, but... I just don't trust him, and I know he doesn't trust me. We butt heads. So I think I'm going to work with him this week and see if we can make friends.

In other news: My husband is trying to kill me! He brought home a bag of decaf coffee that looked deceptively like real coffee! And he didn't tell me! (He claims he did.) I've been having a terrible time getting going in the morning, bad headaches, etc. Thought I was sick. Turns out my coffee wasn't really coffee! (And I probably have a little cold too.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today was a work filled day. First I fed, of course. Then I found a ladder and picked apples and pruned the tree out front. Oh, I got one last pear too, but I didn't get around to pruning that tree (0r any of the other apple trees). I need an orchard ladder, trying to set a regular ladder on uneven ground is not fun.

Here's my little harvest (yeah, a little bug eaten, but maybe I can cut the bad parts out and make apple butter):

Liam and I did some mowing after that. I did some and then we went out in the pasture and Liam sat on my lap and drove. People are going to wonder why on earth we have such a squiggly mow pattern just in the middle of one pasture. He didn't know he wasn't doing it right or that it really didn't need mowing, he was being big and getting some work done!

Then I put up temporary fence so the horses can't get into the pasture. They've eaten it down to nubbies. So now they're in a decent sized winter enclosure. While I was at it I picked up a wheelbarrow load of poop and took it out of there.

After that I fixed some insulators that had come loose. With Horseguard fencing you use zip ties to put the insulators on the T-posts. Do not use white zip ties! They will become very brittle and break. I guess it's been four years, so they did last a while, but the black ones are not breaking like the white ones are. Glad we didn't use many white ones. I ended up breaking them on purpose today and replacing them so I wouldn't have to do them one at a time throughout the winter.

When John got home he started filling the big water tank. While he was doing that I took the mower and its cart in to clean up more horse poop. Scout thought this was great fun! Bella and Tonka checked it out and then left, but Scout had to hang around and chew on stuff and stand where I was trying to scoop. He's so helpful. He tried to follow the mower out the gate, but I managed to stop him just before he escaped.

Then we went to water. Can't do all the trees in one day, we might empty our cistern. So we just did the ones on this side. Probably about a hundred and ten trees. I need to count, I keep forgetting.

Katia filled the buckets from our wonderful new tank, which we can't find an adapter for so we can hook a garden hose up to it.

John and I took the water to the trees. We did a little bucket filling too. It was a lot of fun, all of us working together.

Liam, he wasn't exactly working. The kid LOVES dirt.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Peeky Boy:
I didn't make that little door so they could have a peeky hole, but they sure like to use it for that. I made it so I could reach through to the light switch and outlet. Then I never put a latch on it. I love starting projects. Not so good at finishing them...

Here we have an example of the deplorable behavior of kids these days. Horse graffiti.

I think Mack and my camera lens both need a bath. Mack won't get one, but I'll definitely get that lens cleaned up.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tonka is a goddess. Hee hee.

Your horse is a ... SECF - The Goddess

The Goddess is loved by most of the other horses and most people. They are expressive and sensitive and emotional. You will know how they feel. They try very hard to please and will worry and be anxious if you are not happy with them. In the negative they can have scattered energy that is hard to get focused. This personality can be loved on as much as you want.

Here's Bella:

Your horse is a ... SLAA - The Lone Wolf

Low key, low energy, low expectations, are what you need to work successfully with this type of horse. The Lone Wolf is not bursting out of his stall to try to fit into your program and to please you. He is easily content and can do a good job for you as long as it is not demanding physically or emotionally. He likes his world predictable and safe. He would rather be a little bored than stressed. If repeatedly put into pressure situations he can react seemingly unpredictably. If you can find a quiet solid job for him, he will perform it repeatedly and safely.

Fairly accurate, actually... Not completely right on, but some of the questions I wasn't sure how to answer.

Take the personality quiz for your horse.
Today was pretty non-eventful. All we did with the horses was take them to different pastures. John led Bella (and totally loved her) and I followed with Scout, then took Mack and Soxy to their new spot and got Tonka to put him back with his little herd. Basically the two groups just traded places. We're supposed to get a snow and rain mix tonight and I wanted to make sure there was adequate shelter. Soxy may end up out in the cold if Mack won't share. We'll have to see how that goes, I may have to keep Mack by himself. That doesn't seem very nice though, he'd be lonely.

Wee man following mama:

Feeling frisky in the new pasture:
(He is huge!)

Mack was pretty excited too, did a bunch of running, sliding stop, pivot, etc. Showing off his performance breeding. Here he's just showing off his big butt and kicking up his heels.

This is a blurry picture, but I love when Tonka does this nice balanced trot.
Speaking of Tonka, he did the neatest thing yesterday when I had Bella out. Scout was slamming his chest into the gate a bit, not pleased that his mama was in the round pen. Tonka chased him away from the gate. At first I thought maybe it was just because he wanted to stand there, but he didn't. I don't know if he knew he was keeping the youngster out of trouble or what. I think he did. He had to chase him out of there one more time, then they went off and did dumb gelding stuff. Tonka has broken two of my feeders now, picking them up and dropping them repeatedly.

The Big News: I sent off Bella's title request today! My vet signed it for me yesterday, and off it went. Finally...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Bella's first ride! Woo hoo!Yeah, I know, I wasn't supposed to ride her yet, but that was only because my vet was worried she would bolt or buck and hurt herself. So I used my own good judgment to override him. I knew she wouldn't do that or I wouldn't have gotten on! Well, maybe my motivation was a large part impatience. And now it's even worse! Because I want to ride her more, really get her going in her training, and I can't! I guess it's just more motivation to get her extra weight off and try to get that tendon to heal. I wish I had Scout weaned. I can't take her for long walks with him freaking out. Although I must say he did pretty well with me taking his mama away today. Granted, they were only about 40 feet from each other, but still. Eventually, after he'd forgotten to be worried and was off playing with Tonka, I took Bella all the way down by the house and he didn't even realize it until after Bella'd had her apples and we were headed back.

Her Just Rewards:

Behaving like an ol' broke pony:
I just added this cool new doohickey (technically I guess it's called a "gadget") to the blog. See left. I wish they hadn't called it "Followers." Reminds me of middle school. "You're such a follower." (Insert proper pre-teen sneer.) It isn't meant that way here. I saw it on Jessie and Remington's Blog and I had to get one for me too. Not that I have a vastly populous following to show off, but maybe I'll discover a new online friend or two?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008