Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A year ago Tonka and I had already been out on the trail several times. Not this year. I don't feel like riding if I can't ride Tonka. And there have only been a couple decent days anyway, and I was busy. And I just plain have too many horses here. Anyone want one?Speaking of too many horses - Grace isn't taking to being domestic. But she's started to make forward steps again. Unfortunately this morning she ate half a piece of baling twine. I managed to get a hold of it while she was still chewing but only got half of it, the rest was well-chewed and broke off. She eventually swallowed it. She's not colicking, but she burped and coughed tonight. I can only hope she'll pass it safely. I've never had a horse eat baling twine before. It makes me nervous.

Tonka has become an escape artist, which is funny because he's terrified of being shocked by the fence. Turns out there was a problem in the connection. I thought I fixed it but he got out again. So I'll do a little more work tomorrow and try again. He just hangs around and mows the lawn for me so it's not a huge big deal but not good for a horse to realize he can get out. Right now he's with the other boys in the fencing that I know is secure.

Bella and Soxy are very happy in their huge pasture. Bella seems to have Tonka's skin problem. The two of them got betadine baths on Sunday. Bella was so pretty and shiny. Tonka rolled in the dirt before he dried so he never got to the pretty & shiny stage. I bought some medicated shampoo and Schreiner's to see if they will help.

In other news, parenting isn't all sweetness and s'mores. Sometimes it's work. Shocking, eh? My kids are awesome, don't get me wrong. Sometimes I feel like I could definitely do a better job.

And my sister's new cancer scare? Put off for a couple months. They're going to watch it and see what happens. She was very relieved. We all were.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What a great day we had. The weather was glorious.

First we got ready for the day, including some good chicken bonding time. Look how well their feathers are coming in.

This bird cracks me up. A lot.
Then we went into town to a Powwow. It was awesome. I love all the outfits. If I were to make one I'd have so much fun working on it for hours on end. It really made me miss my friend James from Albuquerque, a lot. He loved dancing. Pow wows were always very exciting times. One of the guys there today had a dancing style similar to James'.

Liam was quite taken by this guy's face paint. He was very intimidating.
(sorry for the blurry pictures)

Notice his little guy at his side. The kids there were absolutely adorable, and having such a good time.


This is not a great picture, but I love the woman's smiling face (toward the middle).

Liam couldn't pass up this souvenir. Yes, it is a skunk pelt. He likes to stick his arm inside and use it like a puppet. Boys! :)
Later - my other boys coming to see me.

And even later the adults colored eggs while the kids sat around. How backward is that?
I got the chicks out - thought it might inspire them.

What Easter basket is complete without a dead skunk?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today was weird. And not in a good way.

My sister found out today that she has to have a suspicious lump removed on Monday. It may be the cancer coming back. I'm choosing to believe it's not.

My son and I butted heads all day. It wasn't entirely his fault. He was feeling stubborn and I was feeling distracted and intolerant.

Tonka wasn't able to do his daily exercise. I walked him but as we got into the trotting it was clear he couldn't do that today so we stopped and I groomed him instead. Today I think it was clearly a muscle issue, not a gut issue. His hind end muscles were tighter than I've felt them before, although not rock hard.

Scout was pretty good today even though he started out by wagging his head and moving into my space. He's never done that before. I think he was pissed off about his bit. But all I did was ask him to wear it while he did groundwork. He settled into his job pretty quickly.

I love his nice crisp dorsal stripe on his butt.
I spent some quality quiet time with Bella and Soxy today. They're both shedding like crazy and loving being scratched in all the right places.

I also got to play with Grace a little bit. I need to quit doing that, but it just happens. I don't want to step on John's toes. On a whim I hooked a lead rope to her halter, meaning to take it right off again. She backed up slightly, creating drag on my sleeve and a little noise, so I dropped the rope. I didn't want her getting spooked. After that she bobbed her head a lot, picked the rope up in her teeth, got it wrapped around a front leg and pawed at it. No over reacting or freaking out of any kind. Just curiosity. Then I walked up and unclipped it and went on my merry way.

Mama Cat took advantage of my presence to flaunt herself in front of the dogs.
(Look how our mud is drying up!)

Huckleberry - ready for action.
(He has freaky muppet eyes sometimes)
(and he's not deformed, he's just sitting funny.)

A lap standoff.

And a fun, cold, windy, giggling game of badminton with the kids. Liam wants to grow his hair out. He's already part way there.
I didn't get a picture of Katia because she was moving too fast.

Our grass is getting pretty long in places but we're waiting on a part for the mower. It will look so civilized after we mow. I always love that first mowing. Then it gets pretty tedious after that.


She was very distracted by the mares I'd turned out in the adjacent pasture.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My silly goober was being very photogenic today. He let me take hundreds of pictures.
He stares at me.
What does this mean? What does he want from me?
Probably food.

Sweet eye. The shape of his ear. The curve of his back.


And yet, this is the photo that fills me up with love:
In it I see his patience, his curiosity, his silliness, his seriousness.
His expectations of me.
His willingness to be with me.
What would I do without him?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grace had a big breakthrough and I have no pictures! John went out to play with her after work and she was still really not ready to stand still while he reached out with his hand to rub her neck. So he tried reaching out with a training stick and she stood there no problem! She's itchy, shedding her coat, so she really enjoyed being scratched all over her neck and chest with the stick. He inched his hand up and before you know it he was scratching all over her head, neck and shoulder. I got to scratch her jaw, under her chin, and around her ears from outside the pen. What a good girl! It'll be no problem at all to attach a lead rope when the time comes, and it looks like work with haltering isn't too far off. But for now she's really enjoying being scratched.
Today I managed to work with three horses.

Tonka worked on the lunge line, 5 circles each way at the walk, and then three each way at the trot, with a couple circles at the walk to finish off. He looked wonderful up until the end of the last trot circle. His tail came up and he looked uncomfortable and then he knuckled over on his inside hind and stumbled. I might be tempted to say it's because of the muscle problem, but today I cut out the flax in his supplement and I think maybe it made his gut feel better, which is why he didn't look bad the entire time. I have high hopes. I know flax can be very irritating to people with bowel problems.

Scout worked on pretty much the same program but more of it, but I also touched up the trim on his hind feet. He was a very good boy. Then he got to go greet Grace. She didn't love him quite as much as she did Tonka. He is a big dumb baby after all. :)

Then I got Bella out and worked on her mane. I didn't realize she had these dreds hiding in there until just the other day. They're gone now, after much time, elbow grease, and detangler.

She got to take a nap while I visited with a friend who came to meet Grace.

Grace was very interested in the dogs, who were milling around us, and the two humans who were hanging around talking and mostly ignoring her. She kept sticking her nose on us or through the fence to check out the dogs. She's very curious.

Bella worked briefly on the lunge line after that and then we called it a day. I let her go over to say hi to Grace, but Grace just ignored her. I guess she's not interested in visiting with girls. How rude.

If the weather would stay at least halfway decent, I could see myself working with 3-4 horses a day, which is what I really need to be doing. I'd have to give some more time than others, based on their training level. I doubt I'll do that though. The only consistent thing about me is that I'm inconsistent... Some horse(s) will have to go on to new homes. I'm just not ready for that yet though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kissing Grace:

I need to learn to dress nicer for the camera.

I put the rope over the rail for her to get used to. She pulled it in, thoroughly checked it over and pronounced it boring.

John went out and played with her as soon as he got home.
First body touch! And first touch instigated fully by the human.

I thought it was fun posting pictures of the views out my windows yesterday, so here's another. This is what I saw through my big living room window today.

I got to play with Grace, Tonka, and Bella today. It was a good horse day. Bella wasn't sure about having to move around on the lunge line. She was worried and indignant all at the same time. But we had a good grooming session afterward and she was happy. Tonka was a bit naughty, but that's probably partly my fault because I've been babying him. He's also been kinda mean to Scout these past few days - biting him on the butt and driving him around some. I don't know what that's about. (I had to rearrange horses when Grace came home, so now Scout is with Tonka and Cisco is all alone.)

I worked in the garden today! Hopefully I'm not being premature, but I planted some sugar snap peas. It was fun playing in the wormy dirt and lovely black compost.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nice but my wee man is still sick, so we'll be staying home again. I'll still get in some riding time. He's an extremely easy kid to take care of when he's sick.
As you can see in this picture of her brand, Grace still has some winter coat to shed out. I had thought she looked pretty well shed out from a distance, but now I can't wait to brush her. And scratch her itchy spots.John gave me permission to play with her since he had to be gone for a couple days. So I did. But I promised not to touch her.

She gave me a vigorous lip wiggle a few times though.
I lied about her being the sweetest horse ever. She does have a bit of an attitude. Not much, but it's there. Which means she's getting braver, which is good. She's wondering if she really needs to put up with us annoying two-leggeds. Maybe she'd rather toss her head and shoulder into our space and eat her hay. (That didn't work well for her.) I think it's time to start doing things on the human's terms, but that will be up to John. If it were my horse I'd be getting out a pole to lay on her and touch her with, let her have a tizzy fit and then show her it feels good to be rubbed.

We had some gross weather yesterday.
Here's the view out my bedroom window:

And the kitchen window:
Bella and Cisco were instant appaloosas! Just add snow!

The chicks are growing like crazy, and that red one is always watching...
We've been sick, Liam and I. He has a high fever, sore throat and cough. Judging by the look of his throat it's that virus I got a couple months ago that keeps coming back. I have some kind of stomach bug. It's not too bad, really, but it was pretty uncomfortable yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tonka meets Grace. (Or John may spell it Grayce.)They were instant sweethearts.

Here's a photo to show her color as of now. Her face is grey too. And her mane is a little curly and her eye is sweet.
She's getting closer
More often
And John is just tickled.

Tonka says hello.

I rode him for all of 5 minutes today. It was wonderful to be back on my good horse. But he's still not feeling great so I didn't push it. After I unsaddled him I sat on the ground and took his picture, as you can see. We went wandering around the yard, he got a partial bath with betadine scrub on his scabby skin, and then he got to go play with Scout again. As soon as I put him back he pushed Scout around, bit him on the butt, picked up his feed pan and chased Scout with it. I don't know, maybe he was showing off for the new girl next door?

Oh, and by the way, Grace was not the least bit afraid of or worried about seeing me ride Tonka. She just wanted to follow us around and hope for another chance to visit my handsome boy.