Thursday, February 26, 2015

More on Hooves

Luc did do better with his hoof handling yesterday. I didn't draw it out, there were no preliminary steps, even with the hind feet. I just picked his hooves and then we did something else. He was a good boy!

Scout is very jealous when I play with Luc. I constantly have to keep an eye on him so he doesn't come in with ears pinned. He even tried to move Bella off when I was visiting with her.

Huckleberry found a leg while we were walking yesterday.  He was So Proud.

Look at his jaunty little prance!

I thought these pictures of Bella and Scout were sweet. They do love each other.

Scout has a mustache.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hooves and Clowning Around

Luc did really well with his hoof handling and trimming today. He was pretty apprehensive about the hind feet, but I think we had a breakthrough at the end. The process is pretty boring in print: 1. Rub entire hind leg. 2. Ask for a lift & he thinks about lifting. 3. Lift heel. 4. Lift foot barely off the ground. More baby steps. Eventually tip sole upward and incorporate my leg into the holding process, introduce touch on the sole and frog, pick hooves. Insert some backward and forward progress, building on duration, with a couple walks around the pasture for a break. When I decided I'd taken up enough of his time and turned him loose, he just wanted to hang out. :)

I decided to trim Bella and started with her hind feet. She was a gem, of course, especially considering Scout was harassing her front end and Luc was standing behind her, closely observing. I would have told Scout to leave if Bella was truly bothered, but he's her son and she's very tolerant.

What was really interesting was Luc's behavior as he watched me trim. His attention was glued on what we were doing, and he was breathing VERY deeply and rhythmically, like I know I do during a quick power nap, but he was wide awake. It was like the big sigh they give when releasing tension, but ongoing. I think he was absorbing a lot of information in an alert but relaxed manner. It'll be interesting to see how he does with hoof work next time.

Meanwhile, Scout was playing with Bella's halter, standing where her head should be, (making her stand very awkwardly), laying his nose on my back, and putting his hoof on the hoof stand. Then Luc stole my coat and spooked himself while I was kneeling under Bella. She must be used to their shenanigans because she didn't spook (thank goodness).

When I decided to fill the trough both boys wanted to play with the hose. I think Luc enjoyed rinsing bits of grass out of his mouth with the hose. Then Scout got jealous and chased him off. I decided to hang around and be the hose police so they wouldn't keep pulling the hose out and make a big mud pit.

We found something to do in the meantime.

Comments, and Luc is a rockstar!

Boring part first: If you try to comment and you get that pesky Captcha word verification thing, you should be able to bypass it by clicking on something that says "I am not a robot."  Unless you're anonymous, then I can't make it go away.

Yesterday I approached my time with Luc stepwise.  I wasn't sure we'd even get out the gate. Here's how it went:

First we walked around the pasture quite a bit.

I even asked him to come in one of the grain bins with me.  I think he's been in there on his own, but I wasn't sure.  He wasn't bothered by the narrow door or the close quarters inside.

Eventually we made our way outside the pasture.  Yay Luc!


We walked around quite a bit, slowly increasing his distance from his comfort zone. We only went about 300 feet from his buddies, and looked at a few new things.  Then I took him to show him the trailer.  Again, I had no intention of insisting he load up or even get close, if he was too bothered by it, but he stuck his head right in and started checking it out.  Scout was tied outside, and when he banged the trailer it bothered Luc a little bit, but not much.

Eventually, without being prompted, he put both front feet in.  He really wanted to check out the front divider.  It wasn't in there when he was hauled home.  I rewarded him and asked him to back out, then rewarded him again.  Eventually, with a little ask (and the knowledge that I had treats in my pockets), he put all four feet in and pretty calmly checked out his surroundings.  He was understandably tense, but not agitated or in any kind of hurry to do anything stupid.  You can see his tight lips in the picture below.

He backed out with no rushing and no hesitation, exactly as if he had done it before.  What a guy!  We walked around some more, did some hoof trimming, and later loaded up one more time.  He did great!

In regards to hoof trimming, I really need to make that a priority.  The BLM trimmed his hooves kind of crooked (I'm sure it's hard to visualize hoof balance when they're on their side in a chute).  Now that they've been growing for so many months, they're a little wonky.  He's getting pretty good with his front feet, just kind of impatient.  I haven't done enough with his hinds.  We'll work on that some more today. 

He really blew me away with his courage, curiosity, and quiet willingness yesterday.  I do expect a little punky behavior as he starts to feel more comfortable going out and about.  He gets a little irritated at being told what to do sometimes.  Nothing big as of yet, just facial expression and maybe a tail swish.

Scout got to come out and play a bit too.  Nothing strenuous of course, but he loaded in the trailer twice, and I scraped a bunch of mud off of him, then he stood tied for quite a while.  He seems to be feeling better already.  Very little snot and only an occasional cough.  I think his energy level is down, but he is still alert and interactive, and eating well.

This computer has taken up too much time!  Now I'm off to play.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Scout is Sick

Wednesday while we were walking, Scout coughed pretty vigorously for a minute or so. I thought maybe he had a bit of a tickle. Maybe a piece of food not swallowed correctly, although it had been an hour since he ate his supplements. That night I heard him cough after running in to eat, but they often cough after running. I heard a quiet cough Friday night too. Then when I went out to get him yesterday, his nose was all snotty. So no exercise for him.

I don't know how this could be a virus. Nobody has been anywhere. Unless Luc is carrying something. They were just introduced to each other a couple weeks ago. Maybe he just has some irritation from pollen or hay or something...

 I didn't take his vitals (need to buy a thermometer) but he seems happy and spunky and is eating well, so that's good.

I talked to the vet & she thought he could wait until Monday to be seen. I may or may not take him in, depending on his demeanor. If he stays bright and happy I might just wait and see if his immune system can kick this. If he doesn't, I'll probably take him to a vet with a scope so they can see if there's a foreign body.

So we are going to be way behind in this horsemanship challenge. Oh well, I have plenty of other equines to play with! Wish the challenge didn't include riding, because he's my only rideable one.

 I've been unhappy with my cheap lead ropes for a while now, so I finally ordered some rope. I had a vague memory of handling some New England rope that I really liked, so after looking around I ordered their Multiline II from Columbia Basin Knot Co. When it arrived I wasn't sure I had remembered the right rope, but it is a 3 strand, soft on the outside, tougher than cotton rope.  I think it is the right one. And I even remembered how to splice it. It's kinda stiff compared to cotton, but I think I am going to love it once I actually get to use it. I'll let you know.

Today Luc and I might work on trailer loading. I'm excited to make him my priority today. He is special. Like Tonka, maybe...  I don't want to speak too soon about that, but he makes me laugh, and he's so bright eyed and eager to play. I can't quite put words to it, but he has something inside that reminds me of my Tonka, and makes me happy. Maybe a clownish nature, with a desire to connect.

This is just a picture from my walk yesterday. Love the green!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Just pictures

Beautiful Bella:

 (Scout and Pedro don't like posing next to each other, can you tell?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not Moving!

We made a trip to the Seattle area over the weekend. Originally the plan was to scope out areas where we might want to live. But when we found out the increase in pay wouldn't even touch the increase in cost of living, it turned into a tourist trip. I got to visit with my good friend, Della. I wish I'd chosen quieter pursuits than Pike Place Market. It was so packed we could hardly walk, and definitely didn't get enough visiting in. No pictures either, but I did take some at quieter times.

When we got home there was plenty of time left for some horseplay. I am doing a 10 week horsemanship challenge with Scout, to help keep us motivated and get him in shape for riding this year. I would have chosen Luc but you have to put 20 rides in, and that's not going to happen this year with him. Same for Pedro. Although I was tempted to do the challenge with him as well, I'm not sure whether he's up for 20 rides (he's not really broke to ride anyway).

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Little guy in the big world. He went out to pasture for the first time today, and he's loving it.