Saturday, April 11, 2009

I couldn't resist...

... I was going to give him a full week of doing nothing but I ended up working with Brego a bit today just to see how he would react to a few things. I started out with him on the long line to see if he would let me drive him away from me on the line but turn when I asked him to. At first he tried to turn toward me but he caught on to what I wanted very quickly. I was pretty pleased with his reactions. When he got confused or just didn't feel like doing as he was told he just planted his feet maybe took a step or two backward. All I had to do was pull his head to the side a bit to shift the weight on his front feet, then ask again and he was out of "balk" mode.

Then I put my bare back pad on him. He just sniffed it then looked at me like, "Um, ok?"

The girth is a tad long right now but should fit well once he fills out some more.

He seems to be left handed, lol.

I was very pleased with the way he acted and reacted. I kept it easy since he is still recuperating from the trip.

he will stand fine outside with his rope looped around a tree branch but in the barn every little sound makes him back up a bit. he stops and leans back when he hits the end of his lead but he steps back up pretty easily when asked as long as I shift his weight on his front feet. By that I mean I ask him to turn just enough to make him pick up one foot while putting all his weight on the other foot and it seems to reset his brain and put him back in "willing" mode. Kind of like making a horse that balks circle and try again, only I don't have to actually circle him.

Anyway, he is still getting used to having free run of the barn so I'm not pushing that issue.

Just as I finished messing with him my ex mother in law showed up with Tiffany and Tiffany's step brother Ryan.

Man, Ryan is growing up. He is going to be a handsome young man. I almost didn't recognize him at first. He seems like such a nice kid (I'm sure Tiff wouldn't agree, just because he is her brother, lol!) and he seemed to enjoy getting to pet the animals.

Well, Tiff seemed to like Brego, and I brought out some of the kittens for them to look at.

Everything White Kitty seems to have Siamese-like points... only they are calico. O_O

Then they left and as they pulled out FIL and niece and both nephews showed up. MIL wasn't able to make it because she was cooking cake for today's holiday dinner.

Brego handled all the company pretty well but seemed to be getting quite sick of it finally. he wasn't doing anything bad, he just was looking tired and kept wanting to wander around back behind the barn. So we let him have some time to himself and went to see the other critters. Then FIL remembered he had some Altoids in his car. Marsha had said Brego liked mints so we decided to try and give him a couple. When I walked around the barn he was laying down in the sun dozing. He let me walk up to him really slowly and took the mint. FIL started to walk up and he acted like he might try to get up then just stayed down and took the goody.

I was kind of surprised. I mean he has known me for what, 4 days now? And he'd known FIL for 15 minutes! Talk about laid back and easy going!

He has also started to nicker to me when ever he sees me. It's sooo sweet! I mean, I KNOW he is just delighted to be getting 4 small meals a day and he always expects me to be bringing him food, but still... it's sweet. lol.

There is more I'd like the chat about but I'm tired. *yawn*

Yee hawww!

I have no shame.

When I asked tsu to take this picture he actually said, "In THAT get up?"

And I said, "Oh course! These are my barn clothes!! The get up is what makes the picture!"


Friday, April 10, 2009

Operation Brego, The Eagle Has Landed!! Part 2

OK, so I'm knitting and sipping my coffee when the other ladies get up. Mary runs to the gas station to fill up while the trailer is unhooked. We get to eat our breakfast to the overly load commentary of Fox News on the hotel TV *rolls eyes* Thankfully after being politely asked if they could maybe turn it down a little we were able to converse without being shouted over by political analysts, hehe!

So we all got our things together and we had some horsie hugs and cuddles and more than a few tears as Marsha said goodbye to her little boy and sent me off with instructions to give him lots of cuddles (not a problem!). I think several of us were a little red eyed as we finished loading up and headed out on our way. We opted to leave Brego loose in his nice big area in the trailer so he could stand however was most comfortable, made sure he had plenty of hay and water and off we went. Marsha headed south and west, us headed north and east. This time we paid close attention to the road signs and figured out where we had messed up the day before that lead us to miss Val's place.

We had a lot more great chit chat. Traveling with Mary and Maddie is SOOO fun! The time just flies by! I had thought once I had him close enough to touch the random outbursts would subside a bit but they didn't. I was (and still am) still having those moments where all of a sudden it hits me and I get a huge grin and start to bounce like Tigger. But I was a nervous wreck worrying about how Brego was doing back there in the trailer. He'd traveled a LONG time the day before, he had to be exhausted already. He wasn't drinking much (but he kept playing in the water and tossing it everywhere, haha!) so I was worrying about him getting stressed and sweating when he wasn't drinking much. basically I was already in over protective mom mode!

So, we find our way to Val's house and because of the size of Mary's rig and the fact that in all the time she has had it she has managed to avoid having to back it up we didn't want to pull into Val's yard and not be able to get turned around and back out. So we drove past and looked for a place to turn around. We found an old barn with a nice driveway (disturbingly nice driveway for an old barn without a house nearby, which was odd) and when we pulled in the circle through the yard looked a tad bit soft where the gravel ended. So.... with some creative "forward and back" travel, teamwork (Mary driving, me saying "turn the wheel this way... little more... ok OTHER WAY!!! STOP!" interspersed with me jumping out and running to the back of the trailer to make sure we weren;t backing into a tree....) we got turned around! After a high five and a shouted "YES!!!" we were on our way back to Val's place. And Mary can no longer say she has never backed up the trailer. Thumbs up

So we pulled up in front of Val's and edged off the side of the road (and had more than one police officer pull up to check us out, hehe) and once they were assured we weren't having vehicle troubles, and once we checked on Brego we got to go visit Val's horses. Brego, by the way, looked like he was standing at home in his stall instead of hours into a long road trip! Not a bit of sweat on him, he was relaxed and alert and the only one who looked stressed was ME! I felt much better the rest of the trip knowing how well he was handling it.

Anyway, Val's baby? yeah, pictures do not even show you half of how adorable she is. And as sweet as Val seems online, she is even sweeter in person. I could have just stuffed her in my over night bag and brought her home. Val, you are just such beauty, inside and out. I enjoyed getting to meet you SOOO much!

So, after our visit and after Maddie getting the hide licked off her arms by the baby we were on our way. We needed to find our way back to our road since we had gone off the map/instructions we had and were somewhere not shown on our map. We pulled into a WalMart parking lot and walked over to the gas station area to see if they had a map. They did not but Mary asked if the cashier knew how to get to the road we needed. She said "Stay right on this road about 10 or 20 minutes and you will go right to it." Her timing was off but her directions were not and in a half hour we were headed north and home!

About an hour later, maybe less, I started to sweat, and have stomach cramps. Maddie had been sick the night before and I guess Mary said Marsha hadn't felt well for a while the night before. Mary and I suspect the salad at the restaurant from dinner since all three of us who ate a salad ended up with some tummy pains. Mine progressed within minutes to severe hot and cold flashes, double-me-over stomach cramps, a headache that felt like my brain was going to explode and me asking Mary to please pull over because, um, yeah... I needed out. For the next hour or so I was in a bad state.

We stopped at a gas station so I could run to the potty and I got some plastic bags "just in case". Poor Mary was obviously feeling horrible for me. I managed to avoid needing the bags OR needing to jump out and be sick in the ditch along a major highway again. Rolling Eyes I was absolutely freezing and couldn't get warm. Then, after feeling like I might die any second, an hour or so later everything but some tummy pains was gone, and another hour later I was right as rain and right back to chatting along and and having random fits of bouncing for joy.

At one point we called to check on Marsha and see how she was doing on her trip home and she had stopped to ride out a storm that was spawning tornadoes!!! Talk about an exciting day for everyone! Sheesh!

But partially because of my sudden onset of food poisoning (or whatever it was) we were running somewhat behind schedule and it became obvious we'd not be home before dark. Thankfully we were blessed with huge bright full moon. A few miles from home Mary's phone rings and it is my husband checking on us. I tell him we are almost home and please meet us at the end of the drive to collect my junk so I don't have to carry it up our long drive. Maddie was in dire need of borrowing our bathroom (I only mention this because she came into the house and all of the animals just mobbed her, plus she got to see the rescue kittens!). I took her up to show her where the bathroom was located and when I got back out Mary was bringing my boy up the driveway.

I can not even find words to explain how it felt to see his hairy little hooves touching the soil on my property. It was like my heart was going to burst. I squeezed back some more tears and took him in to walk the fence line. I took him around twice, worried he wouldn't see the fence well enough because it was dark, but he was fine. Once I was sure he was ok, and once he'd had a good drink of water, I took Mary and Maddie to meet the mini horses. I think if they though they could get away with it they would have stolen my mare in a heartbeat, haha! She was a huge hit. Sparrow was just totally freaked out by my flashlight and had to get all flighty, of course, but MaryMare was mugging them for cuddles. Then I brought Nigel out to meet Mary, and he displayed his massive ears. he was so wiggly because he was glad I was home, the silly dog.

Anyway, after more hugs and thank yours and ear to ear smiles Mary and Maddie headed home. The big adventure was over, at least this part of it. I went out every half hour for a while to check on him and he was confused and a bit disconcerted at first. I'd left the barn light on so he could see and go in and out as he wished but that seemed to be kind of troubling him. He just looked so confused and I felt so bad for him. I hugged him and kept checking on him until about 4 this morning, then I crashed hard and slept in.... until 6am when I woke up in a panic and dashed out to check on him. He was acting like he'd just always been here!


He seems to have settled in just fine now. He is no longer looking lost or disoriented or confused. Instead of looking like he is unsure of himself he follows me everywhere, and now has no issues going in and out of the run in area of the barn. He found his breakfast just fine:


And he dozed off while I was giving him some skritches this morning:


I think this is him expressing his opinion of the long road trip he took:


He is drinking well, eating pretty good though he is distracted and just kind of picking at his hay. he does look really tucked up and tight from the long ride but he is starting to let back down and relax. I watched my neighbor to see when she let her animals out because she has a lovely old QH mare, some cows and a goat and the mare tends to be vocal and a fence runner. I wanted to see how Brego reacted to her. This was his reaction:


I could have showed you video, but the video looks exactly the same only you hear birds in the background and it take longer to download. he never moved, just stood there and watched her. I was cracking up!

So that is where we are now, I'm trying to just let him unwind. I'm keeping hay in front of him, he loves splashing around the in stock tank, and I am going out every little bit to hug on him and make sure he is relaxing and recuperating from his travels. I think that now we BOTH need a nap!!

Operation Brego, The Eagle Has Landed!! Part 1

*copied and pasted from the Harlequin Farms Gypsy Horse Forum where I posted it this morning*

Wednesday: I had not fallen asleep until after 2am, so when my alarm clock went off at 4 my first reaction was to slap it into oblivion. But unlike most days my next reaction wasn't to roll over and go back to sleep, because today, finally, after all these years, was Brego day.

My random outbursts of squealing and jumping up and down had increased to the point where I was mostly just one constant outburst of delight. I'd pretty much packed everything I needed the night before, so all I REALLY needed to do was pack up the stuff I used in the morning and get everything loaded into the car. I did a quick check of the critters, reminded myself that if EMS had to come rescue my husband they wouldn't care about those dirty dishes, and off we went.

Tsu was pretty excited and we were both cutting up and joking around all the way down to Mary's. We got there a few minutes early and I did a lot of running and jumping and bouncing up and down and nervous fidgeting. We got everything loaded up and I gave Mary her thank you gift, a gourd bowl with a design made from a picture of Ace on the front:


She really seemed to like it which delighted me (not that it took much to delight me on that day!)

So we got everything ready to head out, Tsu helped get things hooked up, we said our goodbyes, pulled out of the driveway and we were on our way!!! Until we turned the corner out of the driveway and the power cables on the trailer stopped working and we had pull right back into the other entrance of the drive! Hehe! Well, Tsu was following us and he pulled in behind us and he and Mary fiddled with things and got those lights working again in no time and we were off, again!

Mary's daughter, Maddie, went with us. Now I am NOT much for spending time with kids so know that when i say this it is sincere... Maddie is a HOOT. She is an absolute delight and I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. She is a bright funny child with a quick wit and a great sense of humour who can talk your ear off as much as I can (and that is saying something) but she actually has something to say (I have "tweens" and teens in my family who can talk your ears off but when they are done you have no clue if they had a point or just like to hear themselves talk, which is fine because I think that is pretty normal for the age range, but Maddie is just interesting and fun to talk to and I am glad she went with us, even if she did eat ALL of the apples strudels, haha!). I really did enjoy having her along even if she did almost make me spew soda out my nose (or maybe BECAUSE of that!).

Well, the three of us chatted and had a grand old time until lunch time, lots of amusing stories were shared. When it came to be lunch time we found an exit that had a lot of signs for food places. We turned down a side street to go into a fast food place only to realize that they had signs up saying "No trucks" and had NO place for us to park or even to really pull around in the parking lot. So we turned around in a hotel parking lot and went off the other way in search of food. But there were no food places the other direction nor was there a place for us to turn around!

A few miles down the road off to the side we saw a large parking lot/driveway complex by a huge brick building that looked perfect. So we pulled around and got just far enough down the drive that we couldn't get turned around or backed out without going into the lot when we see a huge sign that says *something or other Islamic Center* and many MANY smaller signs saying things like "do not enter" "no trespassing" "This property monitored by security camera" and "Violators will be prosecuted".

Oh my!!! Well, we were too far in to get back out so we just hoped that if anyone saw us they would understand, and in we went... laughing about it the whole time. The drive ended up being a lot narrower and the corners a lot tighter than we had thought when looking at it from the road, but we got turned around and finally ended up back in the food area of the town and got our lunch... without attracting any angry Islamic believers. *blush*

So we were making better time than originally expected, made a few calls to check on Marsha and Val. On we drove and as we started to look for the exit to go to Val's house we noticed with a sinking feeling that the numbers were going down and we were already well below the 100's (her exit was 104). We were already 40 to 50 miles past her exit! Talk about embarrassed! We couldn't figure out how in the world we missed her exit! The next day we realized that her exit was actually immediately before where the road from MI joined the road by her, so we had not actually passed her exit. But I will get to that later.

Anyway, we finally get to the hotel, and get settled in. We noticed at the desk that they had a sign that said, "Pets welcome!" blah blah blah "$5 housekeeping fee". We start joking around that we should make sure our room is on the ground floor so we can bring Brego inside with us! The lady at the desk realized we were the ones with the big trailer and changed our room assignment so that we could see the trailers from our room window and so that we were closer to Marsha's room.

Maddie basically sets up camp in the swimming pool and I randomly bounce around at odd moments while we got the trailer set up for Brego. A few bent tools and some wood shavings later everything is ready and it is just down to waiting.



Finally Marsha called and said she was just 30 miles out. My heart rate doubled, maybe tripled, and I started standing by the hotel window bouncing up and down. Finally we went outside to wait and every truck and trailer that went by had us asking each other, "Does that look like her? Does it?" Then finally Mary said, "I THINK THAT IS HER! That looks like her truck!!!"

By now I was literally jumping up and down, haha! When Marsha pulled in I started jumping up and down waving to her and when she stopped I tackle hugged her the second she opened the door. After a few quick hugs and welcomes i dashed to the trailer and got to kiss my boy on the nose for the first time. We got him out of the trailer and he was soo tired. He'd already had a long day. He munched some grass for a bit then we settled him into the trailer which was opened up like a good sized box stall, and let him rest. Once he was tucked in I gave Marsha her gift and she gave Mary and I each a lovely pair of her earrings she makes. This is her gift, it has a design made from a picture of her stallion Leo:


Unfortunately after dinner we discovered the hot tub was out of service but Maddie and I went swimming and then I spent a good 20 minutes in the dry sauna. After a good swim and a sauna followed by sitting by the pool chatting with Marsha and Mary for a while and watching Maddie swim we decided it was time to hit the hay. It wasn't late for me, but it had been a LONG day for all of us.

I changed into my jammies and with a lot of chuckling and head shaking my companions watched me walk out to the trailer and bed down for the night. Now before you think I was sleeping on the floor in a pile of shavings, Mary and Maddie were nice enough to put together this bed for me in the goose neck area of the tack storage room:


I stuck the sleeping bag and my good wool blanket under the comforter and i was toasty warm and comfy all night! Brego woke me up twice, once I think he had laid down and again when he stood back up. I checked on him when he got up and he seemed content and relaxed and a little sleepy. So I tossed him some hay and went back to bed.

I ended up getting the best nights sleep of any of us I think. Maddie had a tummy ache and Mary had to deal with the alarm clock in the room next to her starting to go off and continuing to go off until she called the front desk and asked them to take care of it!

I woke at dawn and went out to check on brego and he was just waking up:


I mucked out the trailer and topped off his hay and realized that he was finally mine, I'd just done my first morning chores for him! Writing out a check, signing paperwork... none of that REALLY made him mine... no, dragging my tired rump out of bed to pick up poop at the crack of dawn, THAT is when a horse becomes MINE, hehe.

I wasn't sure if anyone else was up so I grabbed my knitting and wandered in to the hotel to get coffee and muffins still in my jammies, hehe. Shortly after that everyone else joined me.

To be continued after I go spend a few giving the handsome lad his breakfast and some cuddles.

Just checking in...

I'll post the whole long saga of Operation Brego later, but for now just a teaser...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The count down begins!

We are less than 24 hours away from heading out! Next time I post it will be when my Brego horse is HOME!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yesterday, a mini road trip.

Yesterday morning I did my chores and then decided to try a new skill in knitting... cables. These have always baffled me, and look so complicated to do. Once I saw a video (on I decided to give it a try in a test swatch and to be honest it was pretty easy!


Nect I want to try some stuff with colours. maybe intarsia or something.

Later in the day we went on a little road trip to Port Huron with my in laws. We were hoping to catch some ice still in the river but it was already all melted. It was beautiful anyway. We got to see the bridge and the river and a few fishing and speed boats.


The water currents there are all weird and swirly.


The wild ducks didn't seem to mind that it was cold.


This little couple was adorable. She-duck had a bum foot and was limping but they were very cute together. We gave them a few old french fries. He-duck has the prettiest colour on his head, it changed from black to green to blue depending on the angle the light hit it.



The we drove down to the park that is on the lake instead of on the river... and walked out on the beach where I filled my pockets with rocks as I have been known to do since my early childhood.


We also got to see the lighthouse which is right next to the beach and park.


It was a nice relaxing day.