Friday, October 23, 2009

Jackson made Fugly Horse Of The Day!!!!

Remember the story about my friend who sold the horse and two and a half months later had to repo him and found him in horrid condition?

Well, they made it onto Fugly Horse Of The Day's blog!! Read it here: Bad Buyer Alert!

And see the updated pictures of him with his new mini buddy, gaining weight and getting back to his old self!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Put Sparrow to work...

I needed to recenter myself. The whole "people knocking on my door for no good reason" thing had me riled. Sparrow has been off work since last winter when I worked him "under saddle". (Actually "under bareback pad", hehe.) I had focused back on Mary for a while and getting her transitioned from driving in her halter to using a bit while letting Sparrow decompress and grow up a bit more, then wonder of wonders Brego happened and I went out of my mind for a while.

Well, I sold my mini harness since it was a great training harness but not so hot for actually hitching (no breeching, for one thing). So I rigged up a fleece English girth and two leather straps cut from an old English stirrup leather to make a home made mini horse surcingle.

I gave Brego his lunch, then haltered Sparrow and took him to the work paddock. I got the fancy schmancy home made surcingle on him and the reins and sent him off... and he exploded, hahaha! Full bore, all out, run so fast his feet are scrambling, and when I ask him to rate back he started to buck. Broke in the middle type bucking that would send a cowboy flying and wow the most jaded bucking horse fan. Leaping into the air, twisting to the side and GRUNTING.

I shouldn't laugh. It was very naughty. I kept very stern and forced him forward with the longe whip so he really couldn't keep up the bucking but he was kicking with every stride and still grunting. Then he started to do this really angry stomping with his front feet while he ran since bucking and kicking out weren't working. I pretended he was a big scary dangerous horse and just kept sending him forward until he knocked that foolishness off. Then once he gave in and started to behave I about fell over laughing.

After his temper tantrum he was excellent. stop and go and turn both ways very lightly. He didn't want to move without being pushed but once I got him moving without being an idiot he was delightful. He seems to remember everything from last winter, just did NOT like the fact that his vacation is over.

By the time I wrapped it up it was RAINING gain, I was a lot less upset about annoying people knocking on my door despite my signs warning them not to, and Brego just looked glad that it started to rain before it was his turn for work, hehe.

This time it was the Baptists.

At the end of our drive we now have a 12x18 inch sign saying "PRIVATE PROPERTY! no trespassing, loitering or SOLICITING". And I already posted about the two signs on the front door RIGHT AT EYE LEVEL.

Didn't stop little old lady from pounding away like a jack hammer on my front door and setting the dogs off on a barking spree.

What the hell do I have to do to get the point across here?

Yeah, the Lord wants me to know he loves me and I am welcome at your meeting, but did the Lord also tell you to ignore the fact that you just ruined my husband's "night" of sleep and now he will have to drive over an hour each way to and from work exhausted? Or can you just not freakin' READ?


You know, if they have no way of knowing I can cut them some slack. They are at least putting effort out to spread their faith. But being RUDE enough to IGNORE my signs saying they are not welcome? It just really has me ticked off.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Raining again....

It's supposed to be warm later today but right now it is just wet. I gave the ponies yesterday off. They are getting their winter coats in quite thick and I didn't want to make them all sweaty (lazy day, didn't feel like a lengthy cool out) so I hope it dries up enough to work them this afternoon. It is supposed to be 70 today. They will get all sweaty but it will be warm enough for them to dry without catching a chill. But if it is muddy I won't bother. Brego is just not terribly graceful or coordinated. He tends to slip and slide on those massive pie pan feet when the ground is mucky.

I'm almost done with these socks I have been working on for months now. Size 1 needles and baby weight yarn... takes a lot if knitting to make progress. Mind numbing, repetitive, knit purl knit purl knit purl arg! I think in the future I will stick with worsted weight yarn for my socks. It makes for thick warm socks and I need shoes a bit bigger to use them but they knit up a lot faster, haha!

I'm tired. This rain... ugh. I just want to sleep.

*curls up under her favorite blanky and closes her eyes*

Longevity in horses.....

I get two horse magazines, Horse Illustrated and Horse & Rider. I got the Horse & Rider because I got a cheap deal on it. It is geared toward western riders, and I do not ride western, at least I haven't since I was a teen. In fact I don't REALLY even ride English. I am a driver at heart, who would like to occasionally swing a leg over... But it has general horse care articles and such. And it is about horses, so I'll read anything about horses, hehe.

Anyway, two things in this month's issue just had me sitting here with my mouth hanging open. The first was in their letters column. It was a response to an article called "Size Matters" which suggested perhaps cutters and reiners might have longer careers if they were not started as long yearlings and two year olds, and pointed out that FEI-level jumpers can't even compete until they are 6. One response was "Have you forgotten what side your bread is buttered on? I'd expect this kind of commentary from an English magazine but not one with Western training as it's focus!"

I have to be honest, this left me shaking my head. I come from a horse world where horses are still in their prime into their late teens. They don't even start to compete until they are 4 or 5. They might get their first ride when they are 2, but usually they are closer to 3, 3 1/2. And their work at that age is mild. But then they go on to compete from the age of 5 or 6 until their late teens (I've even seen a few in their early 20's still competing at reasonably high levels).

I guess I was shocked that anyone would think discipline choice would have anything to do with the science behind the fact that a horse's skeletal structure is not mature at "just barely 2" and they might possibly stay sound longer if you wait a year to start them into heavy work and competition. So because Horse & Rider is a Western magazine they should just ignore that fact? Well, if we used that logic we would still be in the dark ages.

So then I read on and saw an article listed that said, "What an aged Quarter Horse stallion has taught Bob about making a horse last." So I flip to the page and see this: The "aged" stallion is 9.


I guess I knew that this was common in race horses. It's part of the reason that I am just plain NOT a fan of the race industry. But to read it about something not related to the race industry has me kind of flabbergasted. Is 9 really "aged" for a competition horse? If so I am glad I am not involved in competition. When I talk about longevity in a horse I am not thinking bout keeping him sound until he is 9, I'm thinking about keeping him sound until he is 23.

I guess I have just been really out of the loop. I'm probably way more shocked by these things than it warrants. I just can't wrap my head around the concept that a 9 year old stallion is "aged". Learning about equine longevity from a 9 year old reining horse sounds a lot like learning about old age in humans by studying 25 year old gymnasts.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stuff and nonsense.

Yesterday our buddy Jer was over and the guys were getting ready to head out on their ATVs. It was 15 minutes past the horse's dinner time. But I'd been pretty busy all day and had not worked Brego and I decided to push my luck. Let's see if the focus he gave me the other day carried over... so I tacked him up and the guys were standing by the fence chatting and smoking and Brego wanted so badly to stop and beg for grass but he went right around still paying attention to me even though he made his sad face every time he went past them. He was very good. When they went to start their atv's he took off running and it took two times around the area before I got him back focused on me (much to Jer's delight as I heard him make a comment to Tsu about "You wife getting dragged around by her horse..." I was actually running along sort of beside/behind to keep pressure on his face without putting TOO much pressure but it must have looked really silly anyway, haha!) but once he turned his attention back to me he was fine.

I'm just so delighted with how he is doing!

I finally caved and got a facebook. Tsu has had one for a while and left it neglected until recently, so I signed up for one. How did it already know I knew so many people? That is just creepy. lol. I tried to upload pictures and it wasn't working. It kept saying "server not found". I avoided getting a facebook for ages because I got sucked into getting a myspace and would prefer to just avoid those things completely but here I am, less than one hour into having a facebook and it is already annoying me.

Did I mention the salamanders yet? To make a long story short (I actually CAN do that, sometimes, you know!) we found a bunch of salamanders at our friends house and I brought some home. I'm feeding them meal worms and earth worms. OH MY GOSH! They re so stinking CUTE! This morning they were already sleeping when I dropped their food in since it was later than usual. I lifted up their piece of bark that they like to hide under and they were all piled around each other looking up at me with their bulging amphibious eyes, tangled together with their fat little over fed bellies... who would have thought I would get so attached to these silly things? I'll have to see if I can get any pictures of them. They are just so adorable.