Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

Hello again, It's me, Pony.

I know that you already know what I am going to ask for, it's the exact same thing I have asked for every Christmas since my first letter to you. I know last year I got a bit testy about it, what with it being 38 Christmases and you STILL not having given me the ONE thing I had been asking for...

But this year instead of asking for a horse I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you... never mind. I'm good. I got sick of waiting for you to come through for me and took matters into my own hands. *raspberry*


Thursday, December 3, 2009

If I had $5 for every time...


*Brego's feather, dragging the ground by 2 inches before I trimmed it level with the ground so he wouldn't step on it*

If I had $5 for every time someone says it must take me a lot of time, effort and/or money to keep up Brego's feather i would have enough money to buy myself a nice wooden Meadowbrook cart. It's horse people, usually, saying how they don't understand why anyone would want a feathered horse because they would rather DO something with their horse than spend all their time wasting it on grooming.

So I thought I would make a post explaining the expensive and time consuming process of caring for feather that I go through daily.

First: Product! My "expensive" products that I use to keep his feather and the skin under it healthy? All but one item I purchase at the dollar store for.... A DOLLAR. A bottle of the dollar store version of Listerine, tube of triple antibiotic, tube of athletes foot meds, bottle of hair conditioner. Do the math, that is $4. FOUR DOLLARS! Wow! How DO I manage to swing that kind of expense?? lol. Then I buy a gallon of mineral oil from Tractor Supply, $14. But I could just get dollar store baby oil... if I didn't hate having my horse smell like baby. Ick. The mineral oil lasts me a LONG time, though.

Next: Most days my routine is... nothing special. I run a slicker brush over his short hair to knock off mud clumps (much to his disgust) and a hair brush over any place that has long hair. Mane, tail and feather. It takes me about 4 minutes longer to do my daily groom on Brego than it takes me to do Sparrow or Mary. Dead serious. I run my hands over all three of them, head to toe. It takes longer on Brego because he is physically bigger, not because he has that feather.

If the weather is wet I use the Mouth Wash more often, just on his heels where he tends to get scurfy in wet weather. Then once the mouth wash is dry I squirt some mineral oil under the feather to protect the skin from the wet. This takes me maybe 2 minutes a foot. "SQUIRT! RUB RUB RUB! DONE! next foot!" It probably took longer to type that than it takes to do it. Then I do my normal daily grooming. Cleaning the oil off of my hands takes me longer than the actual application, lol.

Now the only time it gets to be time consuming is the rare occasion he shows signs of scratches or starts to get a little scurfy under his hair. Which, because I take the 10 minutes or less each day to check under his feather and do the wet weather treatment as needed, has only happened ONCE (and that was after i was in the hospital having a sudden unplanned gall bladder removal so was unable to do my usual care). When that happens I mix equal parts of the dollar store antibiotic cream and athletes foot cream, with about 6 parts mineral oil, and I shake it until it is fairly well blended. I make sure his skin is dry, then use a cheap dollar store mustard bottle like you would use on a picnic to squirt it under his feather onto the skin. THAT is not the time consuming part, the rubbing it in is what takes time because I am trying to make sure i didn't miss any skin AND gently work loose the crusties so the meds get all the way to the skin. Plus I do it as often as the skin loses the oily feel, which can be daily or sometimes twice a day. This lengthy process takes about 5 minutes a leg instead of 2.

Here is the thing though... I do the SAME thing with the legs of the mini horses!! I've used baby oil on them for YEARS because it keeps them from getting snowball or mud buildup on their little tiny tufts of fluff they have on the back of their legs.

Oh, the conditioner. You may have noticed i never mentioned what I do with that. I mix it half and half with the mineral oil and use it as a mane/tail/feather detangler. Especially on the ends of the tail hair during winter. To prevent snowballing.

Now sure, if you only really groom your horses once a week this daily care that I do (which, BTW, not all feathered horse owners do or need to do, even I don;t REALLY need to do this much) probably seems like I waste a lot of time on crap that is a chore instead of doing fun stuff. And if this is the way you feel than it's pretty clear a feathered breed... not for you! And that is FINE!

But i would be doing this ANYWAY, and I enjoy it. Here is a secret, sometimes I go out and run my fingers through his feather just because i like the way it feels. His front feather is as soft and silky as baby hair, his back feather is thicker and wavey. I play with Sparrows little tiny "feathers" too... because I like them. they delight me. For me caring for my horses is FUN. usually even more fun than *gasp* riding! yes, i admit it! I am more interested in hanging out with my ponies than i am in actually DOING something with them! THE HORROR!!! I DO want to be able to "do something" with them. But that is just a bonus side benefit for me. If Brego were, heaven forbid, to come up as only pasture sound and not riding sound would I be disappointed? OF COURSE! But would it prevent me from enjoying him just as much as i do now? Absolutely not! For me chilling with my ponies IS doing something.

I just spent a week mourning a pony that died three years ago who was NEVER actually sound enough for work in the entire time I owned him. When i was living here I fussed with him as much daily as i do with the ones i have now. When i wasn't living here he did just fine getting a good grooming once every two weeks (if that) instead of every day.

So yeah, it does take more time and effort to make sure the feather and the skin under it is kept in good condition, but not nearly as much as many people think... and I enjoy the care it takes. And as long as I keep shopping at the dollar store it doesn't cost me much of anything.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More rain on the way???

I better top off the water tank, oil the big guy's legs and get in any training i want to do before this afternoon and save my indoor work for after the rain starts. I have a ton of stuff i want to do like get the indoor cage set up in the front room for the rabbit (not sure if having him in here will work or not, more daily chores for me but I hate having him outside during the winter. It is too hard to keep him properly watered out there).

I'm having a hard time getting in touch with my hay guy to have him bring over the rest of my hay. I may have to run up to the little store on the corner where his wife works and talk to her.

I started Brego on some alfalfa cubes as a supplement this week. There is some research that suggests the lysine in alfalfa helps keep the feathered breeds from developing skin problems on their legs. It also gives him extra long fiber in his diet that the mini horses don't need without me having to soak it like the beet pulp. I've cut back on his hard feed to compensate for some of the added calores since he is getting pudgy, lol.

"Are you looking at my bum? You bum looker!!"


His mustache and goat beard are getting so long. The 'stache cracks me up...


I took a video with our digital camera of the faces he makes when i scratch his butt. *giggle* The licking and chewing motion is part fo what he does every time I scratch his butt... lol.

Brego's notes: SO SCARY!!!

Brego's note from yesterday:

Last night i had the worst time EVER. I was just hanging out with Mary and Sparrow munching our hay out of the bags in the trees when this HORRIBLE sound started coming from the barn where that crabby old mare lives next door. It TOTALLY freaked me out.

It wouldn't have been so bad if it just happened once but it kept GOING and GOING! I never heard anything like that before, it sounded like something was either VERY mad or getting killed by something! It was so stinkin' scary. I was running around because it was freaking me out and when i ran past the barn I tried to stop but the ground was muddy and i started sliding toward the fence! Oh man, I was SO freaked out!!! I slid RIGHT into the fence and next thing I knew I was getting zapped and i was all tangled up in the fence tape and scrambling across the thing that the humans drive their cars on to get to their barn! Well, I just took off out into the yard until i was away from that fence tape stuff.

Mary and Sparrow were still inside because somehow I only busted through the top part of the fence. That horrible noise was still going on but i was farther away from it and... well, now i was surrounded by grass. hehehehe. So even though I was still totally freaked out i grabbed a few bites of grass to settle myself down. That was when Pony's guy came outside and I heard him say, "Um, we have a Brego in the front yard."

Next thing I know Pony is outside with me checking the fence and Tracy (I think she keeps him as a house pet like she does that funny looking little dog) was walking around me toward the road. Mary started fussin' and I was starting to feel freaked out again so i ran over to the fence. Tracy kept following me and Pony went to get my Stupid Halter. She whistled when she came back out of the barn and I went over to her, which seemed to make her VERY happy (she gets stupidly happy when i come when she whistles. Not sure why, I just know that most of the time a whistle means food, so of course i come over to her when she does it, hehehe).

Anyway, tracy was trying to get Mary and Sparrow in to their stall while Pony held on to my lead rope. That horrible noise was going AGAIN, and freaking me out, but it wasn't as scary with Pony there. Sparrow followed tracy really good, but mary kept coming back over to stand inside the fence right by me. Pony had to explain to tracy how to put a neck rope on her and lead her in to the stall. He had tried some grain first, and she would follow him for a while but then come back over to me because, you know, she loves me even if she is crabby and tries to be bossy. I was kind of surprised by that because she usually prefers food over anything else, but I guess she really does like me a lot after all.

Once they were in their stall she took me back into the barn lot. I was kinda fidgetty because that horrible sound wouldn't stop. Pony said something about "Sandy must have bought some pigs" and something about slaughtering (what ever that means, doesn't sound good), but then she said "You don't have to be killing a pig for it to sound like you are killing it."

Tracy seemed annoyed and said maybe they should tell sandy to warn them next time. He was working on the fence while Pony stayed by me and kept hold of my rope, which made me feel better. That horrible noise finally stopped. I was still really jumpy but not as bad. Pony saw the slide marks and figured out how i had slid through the fence. She put a bunch of hay in the barn to keep our minds off of the scary stuff, then let Mary and Sparrow back out of their stall. I felt a lot better once they had come out to take care of things. She has been coming out to check on us all night, and came over to give me a hug and some scritches while i was laying down to sleep. I think the whole thing freaked her out as much as it did me.

She was really complaining more about how muddy the ground was than anything else. I think all this rain is making her crabby. But once she knew I was OK she seemed to cheer up.

Boy oh boy, was that noise scary, though!! I hope that doesn't happen very often. Pigs must be horrible, terrifying creatures to make noises like THAT!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I had the weirdest dream.

Well, not entirely true, I have had MUCH weirder dreams but this one was weird.

(OK, English language, why do you mess with my head. If the rule is "I before E except after C" how do you explain the word "weird"? I always have to write it three or four times then check the dictionary to make sure I have it right. Listen here, language, stop having "rules" that are more like "suggestions"!!)

So in the dream: I went out to feed the horses and brego was standing next to the barn with NORMAL HAIR ON HIS LEGS!!! ALL his feather was just GONE (he was still GORGEOUS, though). I was freaking out wondering who had been messing with my horse. I was less worried about the loss of leg hair than about what other horrible dangerous thing they might have done to my baby boy. Then I realized that "Brego" had BLACK LEGS. And was about 4 inches shorter and twice as wide. I freaked OUT, ran into the barn and there was the actual Brego, munching hay, but with no long hair on his legs either. I was so relieved to see him there that i didn't even wonder why someone would shave a Gypsy Horse's legs and stick him in my pasture... but I did suddenly realize that Sparrow and Mary were nowhere to be seen.

After freaking out again I found the two of them in Sparrow's "stud stall" munching hay with a weanling. Not a mini weanling but what looked like a very nice blood bay colt that was almost all long delicate legs and long arching neck. No white on it anywhere. I'm not sure what breed it was but it looked very Thoroughbredish which is weird because I do not and never have had any desire to own a TB. EVER. Maybe it was just an exceptionally handsome Standardbred. lol.

That was when I woke up. I had finally wondered why in the world anyone would sneak extra horses into my barn and shave my horse's feather off and i guess questioning the logic of the dream woke me up. lol.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brego's Notes: Humans are weird!

Brego's notes from his facebook page:

Humans Are Weird

Yup. They are weird.

So for the last several months Pony has been putting my Stupid Halter on me and using these long lines hooked to the sides to tell me what to do while she stands around. *rolls eyes* Sometimes she tries walking behind me but man do I hate that. I can't see her back there! I mean, what is she doing back there when I can't SEE her? Anyway, a few weeks ago she put this thing on me she called a "bridle". It is sort of like my Stupid Halter, only it has this thing that goes in my mouth that she calls a "bit". Mine is minty flavored!

I won't say i like it, and i won't say i don't like it... it is just..... weird. But until now she has put the thing on me and just let me wander around with it in my mouth. But th other day she actually hooked the long lines to the bit and told me to walk on. When we got to the corner she started pulling on it and i was like, "HEY? What is up with this? First you stick the Stupid halter on me and make me figure out what you want and now you change the rules and use THIS thingie??" But the nice thing is that it works just like the Stupid Halter! I mean i totally understood what she wanted, and I could tell what she wanted sooo much easier than with the Stupid Halter.

I wasn't too sure about this "bit" stuff at first. It feels WEIRD.

Pony was really happy. She scratched my butt again (I LOVE that) because she was so proud of me for doing so good. I'm really not sure about all this silly weird foolishness she wants me to do but I sure do like it when she is proud of me.

Today she was acting weirder than usual. I think she is sad. Sparrow told me it's because she misses her old friend Jamie, who died when Sparrow was just a baby. It was really rainy today, and she came out to bring us our lunch and she stood by me while i munched and leaned her face on my neck. She seemed to feel better when she went back up to her barn, but she has been out to visit us several times today. I hope she feels better soon.