Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poor Brego -- Poor Little Hay Wagon

Poor Brego. He just can’t seem to catch a break. I’d planned on working with Brego and Chaos to load in the trailer. But that didn’t happen. The best laid plans never seem to work for me.

Instead, I decided that Brego had had enough of Chaos and that it was time to introduce him to someone else in the herd. Originally I thought about pulling Chaos out and putting Rain in. Problem is, Rain and Bob are best friends and Chaos harasses Bob to no end. So I’d rather keep Rain with Bob and keep Chaos away from Bob (at least for a little while). I don’t want Brego in with Dude yet since Dude is so mean. I was thinking that I wanted Brego and Bob to meet. Those two seem like the best likely pair. They both eat slow and are pretty mild mannered. The problem is, I don’t want to pull Bob out of his normal pen and put him in the smaller pen. I don’t have decent shelter and then how do I separate Bob and Brego for feeding time, especially since Bob has to have his alfalfa.

So I decided to do some major rearranging. I haltered up King and then Dude and tied them to the smaller pen. I then haltered up Brego and took him through the hay barn into the bigger pen. I was pretty impressed. Going through the hay barn is pretty scary, even for the other horses. King hates to go through the hay barn. Chaos is leery of it but Dude could care less. It took just a bit of coaxing to get Brego to walk through the hay barn. He was my good boy and walked through without too much huff and stood like a gentleman for the most part. I let him go and he trotted off. I’m a bit worried I won’t be able to catch him.

I then went back and put Dude and King in the small pen with Chaos. Dude started bucking jumping all across the pen. It’s like he’d been tied up to that fence for HOURS and that he’d never been in that pen before. It was odd. And of course because Dude got excited and roared across the pen, King and Chaos had to join in, but not to the same degree. Dude is just weird. He was acting like he was three instead of twelve. Go figure, I guess that’s the Impressive blood in him.

Because Dude was roaring across the small pen, kicking and bucking, that got Rain into a tizzy too. So Rain came galloping through the bigger pen with his head held high and his tail straight up in the air. That gave Brego the idea that he should do the same thing. There’s no Arabian in Brego but he had his tail straight out and his head held high. Every time a quarter horse sees an Arabian, they have to mimic the Arabian and run like them with their tails held straight out and head held high. It’s a pretty impressive sight but I don’t think that’s Brego’s normal style for loping/galloping.

I was a bit worried that Rain would beat Brego up. But instead they both seemed to ignore each other and were pretty content to share the same pen but stay away from each other.
That wasn’t the case when I let Bob out. Bob tried to attached Brego. Not really attach, but he sure did put Brego in his place. I know it’s the whole pecking order thing but I hate to watch the horse fight. On the bright side, it will give Bob an ego boost. Not all of the herd (Chaos mainly) will listen to Bob so he can’t push them around. But Bob can push Brego around. I’m hoping at some point that Bob and Brego will buddy up but it might take a few months.

This morning when I went out to do chores, poor Brego was standing by himself. Bob and Rain were in the leanto staying out of the rain. Brego whinnied to me. I felt so bad. All he wants is a buddy and neither Rain or Bob are willing to befriend him. I threw some hay out but Brego wouldn’t come near Bob or Rain. So I had to make an extra couple of piles near Brego so that he would actually eat. I may have to pull him out in the winter time and feed him separate. He doesn’t seem to get upset when he’s by himself. So he and Bob may go in to the barn (in separate and far away stalls) and eat during the winter. Poor Brego, always getting the short end of everything.

Since it was raining this morning, right as I was walking out to do chores, I decided to throw Bob’s blanket on. I know it’s too heavy for him but I don’t want him to get chilled. I need to find a waterproof sheet and start using that instead of his medium weight blanket. I don’t want him to shed out just yet but I also don’t want him to have to expend all his energy in staying warm. As it is, he’s too darn skinny. I need to get him out on grass a bit more so maybe he can pick up some of that weight. I’m afraid I may have to start considering the alternatives.

We also had a bit of a mishap the other night with my little hay wagon. Normally when I feed the big herd, I throw the hay on my little hay wagon. The problem is, to get the hay barn door shut, I have to make sure it stays on the tracks. To do that, I really need two hands. Sometimes I can get by with just one but most times I can’t get the door shut all the way. Well, the other night I decided I would let go of the little hay wagon. It normally doesn’t roll too far away, but it does roll away from me (and sometimes tips over if I’m not fast enough). So I let go and shut the door but the horses were in the way. Some have learned to get out of the way of the little hay wagon otherwise they’ll get run over. But others haven’t, including King. So the little hay wagon hit him in the leg and he freaked out (he’s been nutzo lately). When he freaked out, he spun around and knocked my little hay wagon arse over teakettle spilling the entire contents. No biggie really just a pain to clean up the hay. But when I went to do chores last night, I realized that in “wreck” one tire rim got bent so now it doesn’t turn as well as it used to. It still works just fine but it looks goofy and isn’t as easy to maneuver. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for letting go of the wagon. Poor little hay wagon gets the brunt of so much. It’s helped me out so much this past winter hauling hay to the horses. It’s saved me so much time and aggravation, and what does it get, a bum rim. Poor little hay wagon.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Bob and Rain will at least try to make an attempt at being friends with Brego. If not, I’m hoping to bring Sam home this weekend and maybe Sam and Brego can buddy up. Rain and Bob are best friends. Hopefully Brego and Sam can be best friends too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Brego

Since I still have the trailer hooked up to the truck I was hoping to pull Chaos and Maverick out and start working with teaching them to load. I know Chaos can load when he wants to but he needs to be a pro at loading when we start doing our serious trail riding.

Since Maverick loaded with such ease, I'm hoping Brego will load just as easily. I'm hoping tonight that I can maybe try my hand at loading and unloading Brego. Of course I'll have to bribe him into the trailer with grain but if that's what it takes to teach him, so be it. He's pretty easy to train, just the simple stuff I've done with him.

It's now been a week with Brego and Chaos in the same pen. I'm thinking of pulling Brego out and putting him in with Bob and Rain. I'll pull Dude and King out and put them in with Chaos. I'm not sure how well Bob will handle it but I want Bob up near the barn so he can be in the leanto. I don't want to separate Bob from Rain but I want Rain to get used to Brego too. I don't want Dude in with Brego yet since he's so mean.

But there is going to have to come a time very soon that the big herd is going to have to meet Brego. I'm hoping this week I can do some more introductions. Last week was just too busy. The only other option would be to throw Brego in with the ponies... now that I didn't think of until just now. I guess my biggest concern is what to do with Brego when Sam arrives. And what do I do with Brego and Maverick once Maverick returns. I've had Brego and Maverick separated from the big herd for the past six months. Part of it was because I wanted to handle them more (which of course I didn't really do) and I just didn't have time. So now I have to make a mad dash to get the horses all used to Brego.

I'm a bit worried that Brego is really going to get pushed around. He already gets pushed around by Chaos. I just don't want him pushed around so much that he doesn't get anything to eat. I may have to pull him into the barn when I feed Bob and let Bob and Brego much on alfalfa and hay (Bob - alfalfa, Brego - hay).

I guess we'll see how tonight goes. At the very least I want to rearrange the herd so that the non aggressives are together and the aggressives are together for a couple of days. I'm sure Dude, King, and Chaos will be ticked they are in the smaller pen without the joys of the leanto off the barn. But I guess they'll just have to get used to it. Keep your fingers crossed all goes well (and that I get a chance to do some trailer loading with Brego and Chaos).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Warm Up Ride

Yesterday was the WarmUp Ride. It's the official start to this year's trail riding season.

I'm glad I had the chance to do a bit of riding before hand. Otherwise I'm sure I would have been even more sore than I am today. I'm sure King and Rain are a bit sore too.

I woke up about 5am and thought I heard rain. A storm passed through about 5:30 so I listened to the rain before I fell back asleep. I ended up sleeping in longer than I wanted. I caught both of them and got Rain saddled up. It wasn't raining or misting when I loaded the two into the trailer but not even half way to mom and dad's and it started to mist.

It was misting/drizzling when we got to mom and dad's. So I pulled King out for dad to saddle and threw Rain back in so my saddle wouldn't get too rained on. We loaded King back in and headed out to the trail head.

Not as many people showed up as I thought would be there. I guess only the diehards showed up this time. We headed out about quarter to 1pm. My favorite part of this ride is riding through the creek that runs under Hwy 34. The creek wasn't too bad when we rode through the first time. It wasn't even up to Rain's belly and he's a short horse.

Rain also got a compliment from one of the saddle club members. Rain has really come a long way. I need to start working on Chaos so that he too can start receiving compliments. I'd like to start showing him off and telling people he was a rescue. What can I say, I like to brag about my "kids."

We rode up to Johnson's Point and then headed back. We only took one half hour break and one quick potty break. Otherwise it was riding all the way. Unfortunately about the time we saddled up and headed out it started to mist. It misted/drizzled the entire time we rode.

When we turned around Rain started throwing a hissy fit. He definately knows where that trailer is! We finally got back to the pasture area where we got to cross the creek a couple of times. By the time we were back into the creek under Hwy 34 I thought the creek had risen. I wasn't sure if it was just me or not but the water was up to Rain's chest and lapping at the bottom of my stirrups. Least to say I took my feet out of the stirrups. I was wishing I had Bob about that time! I wasn't the only one who realized that the creek had risen about a quarter foot in the hour plus we'd been gone.

By the time we got back to the trailers everyone was soaked, from crossing the creek and the mist/drizzle. It was a pretty good ride. Everyone seemed pretty well beat. As I looked around, almost every horse had their head hanging down practically snoozing on three legs. Wish I would have gotten a few pics. We didn't sit around like we normally do since it did start to rain at one point. But we stood around for a little bit and then it stopped misting all together for a little while.

We decided to load up and head back to mom and dad's for supper. We pulled the saddles off and I blanketed the boys. I figured they might catch a chill what with sweat from the trail ride, the water on their legs, and the constant drizzle. I think they were happy to be blanketed. King and Rain stood around while we had supper. I was pretty well beat by that time.

We'd made plans to go pick up Sam the Belgian Sunday late afternoon/evening but it was already 7pm by the time we headed out of Madison. We didn't figure that we would get home until way past dark. I don't really like dealing with new horses in the dark and then leaving them to stand in a pen for an extra 24 hours while I'm at work. I prefer to be at home to keep an eye on them and get to know them right away. Maybe next weekend we'll be able to pick Sam up.

While I was standing in the barn looking at Bob this morning, I saw a mouse race across the rafters. We are in desperate need of more mousers. Having only one cat who prefers to dine on rabbits means we are being overrun by mice. I've seen three mice in the last two days. It's time we get more cats. And these mice are in the barn where a cat lives! Makes me wonder how many more mice we have in the place (and in the house)! I stocked up on Senior Feed this weekend too and I dont' want those darn mice getting into Bob's senior feed. There will be one ticked off "Big Momma" if I catch any mice in that senior feed. I'm hoping to bring home some more barn cats next weekend.

All in all, it's been a busy last couple of days. I'm ready for some rest and relaxation but I don't think that's going to happen. I'd like to pull Chaos out tonight and start fiddling with him. He really needs miles put on him.

Maverick will also have been at the trainers for a full week now. I'm half tempted to call tonight and see how it's going! There's always something going on at Borderlands!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vet Day!

Yesterday was vet day for some of the horses, well, actually just the ponies. I don't have any problems doing the other horses's shots but I was afraid of doing the ponies. I wasn't sure if they would require less or what all would be needed. So I sucked it up and hauled them to the vet. It went pretty well at the vets. But I'm jumping ahead of myself.

I scheduled the vet appointment for Friday so that I wouldn't have to rush around on the weekends or try to squeeze in yet another trip somewhere. I got up fairly early Friday and haltered up Tommy and Skipp.

I also decided that Dad and I should go for a ride before the WarmUp Ride. We needed to get the kinks out before going on the first ride. I don't want to be the one that causes a wreck. So I haltered up Rain and King. It took a bit of rearranging to get the two bigger horse into the trailer. They are pretty spoiled and think they need to have their own section of the trailer. Once I figured out how they wanted to be loaded I got the ponies loaded.

I didn't realize it but there is a trick with loading Skippy. Since the trailer typically comes to his chest he won't load. The trick is to walk him up to the trailer and then take him away. Then walk him back up to the trailer and he'll fly right in.

It's actually pretty funny to watch the ponies jump in and out of the trailer. Those two little guys fly in and out with no problems. They can really jump. As long as it's jumping in and out of the trailer we won't have any problems. Now if they decide to start jumping any low fences.

I also decided to take Farley, Gypsy, and Trouble in for their yearly shots too. Everyone was due all about the same time so I figured one vet bill would be better than multiple ones.

When we got there, the vet wanted to do the ponies first. So Dad and I unloaded the ponies. I think the vet was very intersted in the ponies. They both receives compliments! Way to go ponies. They were a little bit naughty about shots but who isn't when getting shots?

I was also curious about how old they are. The vet took a peek at Tommy first and he guessed Tommy was about 8-10 years old. He looked at Skippy and said Skippy is a bit older than Tommy but not by much. He was guessing around the 10 year old mark. So to make things easier for me I'm going to say they are both 10 years old. That way I won't go insane trying to keep track of how old everyone is! :-)

The ponies jumped right back into the trailer and patiently waited to go home. Next came Trouble and Farley. We had to do a bit more with Trouble since she's the smaller one and needed nails and other extra done. The vet didn't believe that Farley was 6 years old. I can't remember now if he thought Farley was older or younger. Then came Gypsy. She behaved beautifully. I never know how she's going to behave since she's such a timid sole. But everything went very well.

When we got home, we unloaded the ponies into the barn and saddled up Rain and King to go for a quick ride. So all in all the vet trip was pretty uneventful. I definately breathed a huge sigh of relief when I got two horses, two ponies, and three dogs all back home.

I best get going. I still need to get the trailer packed for tomorrow's trail ride. Keep your fingers crossed that it won't rain. There was a bit of snow on the ground this morning when I went out to do chores.

Since I keep forgetting to get pics. Below are some pics of Brego. I wanted to get some pics of him six months after he came so that I can see the difference between when he came and now. I think he looks pretty good considering he went in to winter pretty thin.

How can you resist those eyes?! He's such a sweetie!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Riding Time

I really do need to get more pics of the herd. Everyone is starting to really shed out and glem with their summer coats.

I forget how much I really enjoy riding. I spend most of my time on the ground, caring for all the horses instead of sitting on their backs enjoying their view.

Last night I decided that I would go for a quick ride around the place. I need to get King and Rain into alittle bit better shape before the first trail ride. I'm not sure they'll really be in shape but at least I'm getting some of the kinks out (at least that's what I'm telling myself).

Rain decided that he wanted to snitch a couple bites of Bob's alfalfa so I grabbed Rain first for a ride. I can't believe Rain can be bought for just a mouthful of alfalfa. Crazy horse! I decided I'd continue riding Rain with the english saddle so that I can focus more on my form. When I switched to my western saddle it felt wrong. I may need to shorten up my stirrups.

I fiddled with Rain for a little bit and watched these dark clouds roll in. The weatherman never said anything about rain so I wasn't expecting a storm.

After riding Rain, I pulled King out. He's getting shoes today so I wanted to stretch his legs a bit and get him ready for the farrier. I decided this time instead of just putzing around that I'd try and make King work a little. King is such a slow walker that it's almost annoying. He also fiddles with the bit if he's not focused on where he's going. So instead, we trotted up and down the driveway and all around the place. I'm not sure how Dad survives King's trot. I swear King was going to trot all my organs out. I felt alittle bruised after all that trotting. I keep thinking King may be perfect for english riding. He has a pretty easy trot to post to (if I could only post).

While I was riding, I kept an eye to the sky. The dark clouds kept rolling in and all of a sudden I saw a lightening strike. I am not keen on riding when there's lightening. It's not bad if I'm riding a short horse but King is pretty big and I'd rather not act as a lightening rod. So King and I trotted around for a little bit more and then called it quits.

I had to spend an additional half hour after riding King, pulling out all the cockleburs. I wanted him to look half way presentable for the farrier. I hate having scuzzy horses when people show up.

I think Brego may be adjusting to Chaos and all his antics. I'm not thrilled with how Chaos treats him when it's food time. I now have to throw out a couple piles of hay to make sure Brego gets any food. Chaos is pushy and Brego would rather starve than go against someone. But I've had Chaos and Brego in together for two full days and it seems like Brego may start picking up on Chaos's lead. Chaos is by no means a leader, but he's a leader to Brego.

I'm hoping to pull Chaos out and put someone else in for Brego to meet. I hate to rush him but I really want him into the big herd pretty soon so I can free up that smaller pen for riding. I'm afraid that once Brego is in the big herd he'll get pushed around and wont' get as much to eat. I sure hope the pastures start to green up so I can get the entire herd out there and not worry about who is getting how much hay. I may need to start setting up smaller pens for at least the night feeding.

The farrier is coming out tonight about 4:30 to get shoes on King. Hopefully I'll have enough time to pull King out and brush him down before the farrier gets here. I prefer to ride them around the yard a bit to get the kinks and extra energy out of them but I guess that won't happen this time.

Tomorrow should be a fairly busy day. I'm hauling Tommy, Skippy, Farley, Gypsy, and Trouble to the vet's for their yearly shots. I'm also hauling Rain and King up so that Dad and I can go for a ride before Sunday's trail ride. I'll have to drop Rain and King off and keep heading in to the vets. I am not comfortable giving the ponies their shots since they are small. I'm sure I'll ask the vet some questions so that next year I can get everyone their shots and not be faced with a vet bill. It should be interesting getting everyone loaded. I think Gypsy will be the hardest one to load! :-)

I'm sure it'll be an experience to blog about! I should try and get some pics of the entire load headed up to Madison. Talk about a dog and pony show! Could be a pretty funny sight to see.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brego meets Chaos

Brego is my sweet but odd little horse. He came back from starvation pretty well. I was worried at first that he would never stand correctly. At first he stood at an odd angle and I was worried it was a mix of no muscle mass and poor hooves. I’ve now had Brego and Maverick for six months.

Yesterday when we loaded Maverick into the trailer, Brego went nuts. I believe this is the first time Maverick and Brego have ever been separated in their four years of life. I hope that it does them both some good to be separated.

However, Brego is so attached to Maverick I was afraid that when we loaded Maverick up that Brego would smash through the fence and try to come with. Brego does not respect fences. We hauled Maverick to the trainers and came back right away to see how Brego was doing. I’d thrown some extra hay in to try and distract Brego. It seemed to do the trick. When Brego saw us pull in with the truck and trailer he whinnied. I felt bad. He was looking for Maverick.

I figured now is the best time to start introducing Brego to the rest of the herd. My initial plan was to pull Rain out and put him in with Brego. Usually Rain is my “Walmart Greeter” but since Rain is at the bottom of the pecking order in the current herd, I figured he’d probably take after Brego. Brego will most definitely be at the bottom of the pecking oder. But Rain wasn’t going to have any of that type of switching. Rain saw the halter and lead rope and bolted to the other side of the pen.

I didn’t want to mess with trying to catch him so I pulled Chaos out instead. Why not have my two 4-year olds standing together. Chaos might give Brego a bit of self confidence. Brego was NOT thrilled and wanted to stay as far away from Chaos as possible. Chaos on the other hand (once he ate all the hay) went over to harass Brego. Poor Brego, he can’t ever seem to get a break. Maverick beats Brego up all the time. Chaos did his notorious tail grabbing method to see what Brego would do. Brego just kept walking away. I sort of wish Brego would have let a hoof fly but he’s too gentle for that. The only thing Brego did was give me the "stink eye" for putting someone in "his" pen.

I’m hoping to put Rain in with Brego tonight and see how it goes. I have 30 days to get Brego adjusted into the herd before Maverick comes back and I have to introduce him into the herd. It may be that I need to create two separate herds, one passive and one more dominant. I’d prefer they all get along but I’m afraid the less aggressive horses will get pushed around. I don’t tolerate anyone getting pushed around. I expect manners. I know, they are horses and that’s their way of working things out but I don’t have to tolerate it. That’s why I’m the BOSS MARE around Borderlands.

We’ll see how tonight goes. Hopefully Brego can adjust and will stop giving me the stink eye for putting someone in with him. He’s definitely a people horse and not a horse's horse. He’d much prefer to be surrounded by people rather than horses. I’m not sure if he even knows what he’s supposed to do around other horses. Chaos will hopefully teach him. I’d also like to see how Bob is going to react to him. I’m not worried about anyone but Dude harassing Brego. But I think I might have a plan for that. Dude is down right mean when it comes to figuring out the pecking order.

It’ll be a slow process of introductions but I want to make it as painless for Brego as possible (and for me for that matter). I really want to see Brego bloom into a self confident little guy. Keep your fingers crossed that tonight’s pen switching goes as well as I hope.

New Brego pics coming this evening.

Maverick at the Trainers

I realize I don’t always give Maverick the credit he deserves. I think he has me buffalo’d. In any case, this past Saturday, my trainer called and said he was ready for Maverick whenever I was. We decided that this past Monday would be a perfect time.

The only hitch was that I wasn’t sure how well Maverick would load. The last time he loaded into a trailer was when the neighbor dropped him off six months ago. I’m not comfortable handling him to work with him so he sat all winter. I was pretty nervous about loading so I asked the trainer if he would be willing to come out and help load Maverick up.

So the trainer showed up at our place at 5:30pm. We stood around chatting for awhile, talking horses and whatnot. We walked back to where I had Maverick penned. We had to swing by and say hello to Chaos since Chaos remembered him and gave him a warm welcome.

I pulled Maverick out and he behaved! I’d pulled him out of the pen and wormed him before hand but when the trainer showed up, Maverick was on his best behavior! That darn bugger! We walked over to the trailer and he never once flipped out. He didn’t try to run me over; he didn’t try tossing his head around; he didn’t try to do anything bad. Mike opened the door to the trailer and there was no response from Maverick. He really must pick up on my nervousness.

We walked up to the trailer. Maverick stood there for just a little while. He sniffed and even put his two front feet in. Then Maverick backed out and we had to do a little maneuvering to get him positioned correctly. After that, Maverick hopped right in. That darn bugger.

Maverick and I walked to the front of the trailer, I shut the trailer partition, and unsnapped his lead rope. I don’t remember now if Maverick is good at being tied so I left him loose. That darn bugger. Here I was SO nervous about handling him and loading him and he made a fool out of me!

So we hopped into the truck and puttered on over to the trainers. I warned the trainer I drive super slow; we’re not talking turtle pace, we’re talking granny pace. The trainer said Maverick turned around a couple times but otherwise he was fine. (The trainer followed us to his place, poor guy.)

When we got to the facility, I told the trainer I really wasn’t comfortable unloading him. So he walks right in, snaps the lead rope on Maverick, and Maverick hops out. That darn bugger. Here he is making me feel like a total idiot for being so spooked. I think he was just showing off behaving and all. That darn bugger.

The trainer led him into the barn/stall area. He stopped once to look around. He wasn’t really even concerned about the other horses. He acted like a total pro. On the one hand I was totally impressed. On the other hand I was totally ticked. How could he have me SO buffalo’d. Almost makes me really upset that I’ve been intimidated by him for the past six months, a little not fair if I do say so myself. But that’s just me being selfish I guess.

The trainer walked him into a stall, unsnapped the lead rope, and threw in a bunch of hay. All Maverick did was grab a bite to eat and check out his other neighbors. I’m pleased he behaved as well as he did. The other horses were curious and Maverick was practically a gentleman. But he did used to play with King over the fence before I put the electric up.

So I guess maybe Maverick has a bit more potential than I thought before. I could see he really did want to try. I could walk out into his pen and he would follow me around. I know I made him out to be some monster but I think it’s more he didn’t know that he’s not allowed to do certain things. I simply don’t know how to teach him that those things are not allowed. So hopefully the trainer will be able to teach him and I’ll get back a well behaved horse. Hopefully his name won’t suite him anymore.

The trainer did once say that those horses with more aggressive names are typically really good horses. Those horses with sweet names are usually the really naughty ones. I’m hoping that Maverick will following in that saying.

Keep your fingers crossed that the next 30 days goes really well and Maverick comes back a total gentleman. I think I’m going to check up on Maverick a bit more often than I did with Chaos. I was new to the training scene and the trainer. Now we have a better understanding of what all we are both expecting so I may be a bit more of an annoying owner and stop out.

On a side note, we have a new member to welcome to Borderlands. Please welcome Sam the Belgian. I’ll add more later but I just wanted to quickly say that Sam the Man will now part of the Borderland family.

I’ll also have to post about Brego, Maverick’s herd mate and how he’s handling Maverick being gone. I think Brego may be a bit lost. But I’ll post more later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Roller Coaster Ride

Sorry I've been absent from posting much. There's been so many ups and downs these last few days I simply can't take it. I swear I'm riding a roller coaster. One minute there's so much exciting news going on and the next I'm down in the dumps, and then stuck half way going up yet another rollercoaster hill. I'm not sure my poor little heart can take much more.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to post more after I take Maverick to the trainers. Keep your fingers crossed that he's a good boy and loads into the trailer with no problems. I sure hope Maverick proves me wrong. Be the good boy I know you can be that's squirreled away deep down inside, not the naughty gelding that bosses poor Brego around all the time.

Keeping my gingers crossed and hopefully I'll stop bouncing out of my chair!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's a Good Day!

This day keeps getting better and better!

Earlier this week someone placed an ad saying they do chiropractic work on horses. So I emailed to find out the details. I'm so excited. I'm trying to figure out a weekend where I can haul Dude down to Harrisburg to get the initial evaluation and first chiropractic work done. It'll cost about $95 for the initial visit with chirporactic work. The dr. will also do some evaluations to see if it's actually chiropractic or if there's something more serious going on. All visits afterwards are $85. I was afraid they'd be more along the lines of $200 per visit which I can't afford. But I can afford $85. It could possibly mean Dude could go back to being a riding horse again instead of a dominant pasture pet. I'm going to call on Monday and see what the next few weekends look like for the dr. I'm thinking maybe I can sneak Dude in next weekend but I'm not sure.

I also got a call this evening from my trainer Jake Jass. He called to say that he's ready for Maverick whenever I am. He was ready for a horse any time this week. I warned him that I most likely couldn't get Maverick into the trailer. So we made arrangements for him to come out this Monday around 5:30 to help me load Maverick up and take him to the trainer's facilities. I'm hoping 30 days of training will really Maverick him straight.

Now I'm going to really have to figure out how to introduce Brego to the entire herd. I have an idea but it's going to require some work. I don't want Dude to beat the snot out of Brego. I'll have to ease him in, start with the less aggressive horses and work my way up.

I also called my farrier tonight too before going out to do chores. I need to get shoes on King before Sunday's first ride. I should have called earlier but I never got around to it. I'm busy all day Saturday so that sort of cut our options down. The farrier is scheduled to come out this Thursday about 4:30pm. I am going to have to hurry home on Thursday.

I need to call the vet on Monday and see if I can make an appointment to bring Tommy, Skippy, Farley, Gypsy, and Trouble in for their yearly shots. I'm hoping for this Friday but we'll see. If that's the case, I'm going to load King and Rain in so that Dad and I can get a ride in before the first trail ride. It's always a good thing to work the kinks out before going on a trail ride. I need to work King and Rain this week and make sure they don't have any bad kinks in them before Dad and I go on our preride. :-) So I'll be hauling King, Rain, Tommy, and Skippy in the trailer. I figure I can throw Farley in the big dog kennel and Trouble in the small dog kennel but that still leaves Gyspy. So I'm going to have to do some begging to see if I can't borrow a dog kennel for the day. I have a couple of ideas of who I can go beg to.

I think I'm on cloud 9 knowing that Maverick is finally going to get to go to a good trainer. I'm going to start counting the hours until he goes!

It rained most of today. Earlier I put Bob in the barn so that he could have his daily allotment of alfalfa. When I went out to do chores tonight I wasn't sure if I should leave Bob in the barn or not. When I opened the door to the big herd, Rain came right in without an invitation. I took it as insight to leave Rain and Bob in the barn. It's a fairly cold rain and I'm sure Rain would get pushed out of the lean too. I'll sleep easier knowing Bob is snug and dry in the barn. I feel a little worried that Bob didn't get a chance to walk around and stretch his legs a bit more before being stuck in his stall all night. I guess he'll be a bit more eager to come out of the barn tomorrow morning.

I think it's supposed to rain for the next couple of days. Or at least be dreary for the next few days. But starting Wednesday we are supposed to be at 70 degrees so I'm going to have to get the horses out and go for a few short rides around the place. Things are really starting to look up. This day keeps getting better and better.

To top it off, some of the house projects are starting to really take shape. I can't wait until the house remodel is done so that I can go back to focusing on the horses and the constant fencing that we totally ignored last year. The more we get done, the closer we are to working on new fencing.

It's been a good day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Rain

Happy Birthday Rain!

I can't believe it. Five years ago today we brought Rain home. Since he's grade I don't know his birthday. So instead, I consider the day we brought him home as his birthday. I can't believe it's been five years already. Seems like just yesterday that we brought him home.

Happy birthday buddy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Adventure

This morning I did chores like normal but noticed that predawn glow. It was so soft and subtle. It really makes me appreciate getting up so early to do chores. The sky was still a dark blue with the stars shining but there was just enough light that I saw pinks, oranges, and reds. Very gorgeous. To top it off, on the way to work I saw the sun rise. Just last week the sun was barely above the horizon as I pulled in to work. Now the sun is above the horizon before I’m even there. It’s rather refreshing to drive in the light. I get to enjoy my surroundings as I head in to work.

Yesterday was supposed to be the nicest day of the week. Today is calling for warmer temps but with more wind. Always wind! I decided that I would go for a ride. I didn’t really care who, as long as I got to ride someone. I let Bob in and Rain came in right afterwards. I figured Rain would try and stay as far away as possible. But I guess those few mouthfuls of alfalfa are enough to bribe him into a ride. I don’t even have to ask him, he goes directly into the barn. Rain and Bob are best friends so it doesn’t bother me that they sometimes share a few mouthfuls of alfalfa (as long as Rain only gets one or two, otherwise I’m afraid it’ll make him sick).

So I pulled Rain out, groomed him down, and threw the English saddle on. I’m really a weiny. My western saddle is getting heavy compared to the English saddle. I caught my shadow on the hay shed and realized I’m not yet centered and balanced, so I worked on sitting up straight. It’s actually getting easier. I slouch so much everywhere. I tried trotting a couple of times but figured I’d better stick to walking and work on my balance instead.

After a bit I decided that I would put Rain back and catch Chaos. He’s so easy to catch. I pulled Chaos out, groomed him down, and threw my western saddle on him. I decided that I would be brave and try riding him outside the horse pen. I wanted to be close to Mike in case I fell off. I’m not sure Mike would know I’d fallen off if I was in the horse pen. That and it gives Chaos more exposure to everything. He’s much less responsive out in the open. I walked him around some of the stuff that Rain was eyeballing. Chaos did the same thing although instead of wanting to flee, Chaos wanted to investigate. Go figure.

I climbed on and Chaos and I simply worked on walking around in circles and having him pay more attention to me than the grass. This was the first time ever he started throwing his head around. I think that was more because I wouldn’t let him snitch any grass while we were walking. It was a bit frustrating but I was able to expose him to a new area and he never once flipped out. We only rode around in circles and serpentines in front of the barn. I didn’t want to go too much farther around the driveway since I hadn’t walked Chaos around those areas.

I doubt that I’ll try riding Chaos tonight because of the wind. It bothers me more than it bothers him. We are pretty protected so I might give it a try. Maybe I’ll try riding him in the horse pen where it’s fairly soft.

I need to start working on King. He’s starting to get flighty and I need him pretty well bombproof before the first trail ride. The first ride is the last Sunday of the month. I’m sure Rain will do just fine but I’m not sure about King. I need to call my farrier tonight. I need to get shoes on King before the first ride. I’m hoping we can use a different method for shoes this year.

Gypsy still smells like skunk but the rest of the place doesn’t smell too bad any more. The only other place that stinks is right next to my track room. The skunk sprayed over there and I think he’s taken up residence under my tack room. Booo! Go away varmints!

Keep your fingers crossed the wind isn’t too strong so I can ride Chaos and/or King tonight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gyspy Girl

Poor Gypsy. She got skunk'd Sunday night. Hopefully it won't take six months for the smell to go away (like last time).

Last night she was such a good girl. We've been trying to teach her that if she wants to be petted she needs to sit at our feet. She sat at our feet multiple times but I couldn't bring myself to pet her. I'm tired of smelling like skunk. Poor Gypsy.

To top it off, she stuck by my side almost the entire time she was out playing around. When I went to go get her some treats, she flopped down by the door. She actually did her dead dog look while we were in getting treats. I felt so bad. She really IS a good dog. We simply aren't using her to her fullest potential and keeping her mind active. Poor girl. We are going to have to come up with some type of plan.

I'm sure the neighbors hate us. Last night something must have startled Gypsy. She started barking at 3:00am and wouldn't stop. Mike went to check on her and she instantly stopped barking. While Mike was out, he could hear all the neighbor dogs barking. Gypsy got everyone in the area all riled up. Poor girl.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bob Crazy

Bob gave me a scare this morning. I'm still not convinced that he's feeling well. Last night we didn't get home until late, enjoying family quality time for easter sunday. I figured that instead of rushing Bob or not giving him any alfalfa, that I would leave him in the barn overnight with his big pile of alfalfa to munch on.

When I opened the door this morning, Bob was standing at the gate nickering to me. I love that. But then he started in on banging the door and trying to body slam through it. It's too early and too loud for that type of behavior so I hollered at him. I think that upset him. So when I came around to get him his treats (which is the only way to get him out of the barn), his head was practically to the ground. I felt bad. Here he was, all excited, and I simply yelled at him.

I wasn't sure if he was sick or simply upset because I yelled at him. I guess I should have put Rain in too so he wouldn't be by himself. I feel terrible.

But at the time, I wasn't sure if Bob was sick or not. He started acting weird. He came out of the barn and I fed him his treats. I went on to feed everyone their hay. In the mean time Bob decided to lay down. I was terrified that he was going to colic. But his bedding was super soaked and there were two piles of poo (minus much of the unprocessed oats like it used to be). So I checked on him a couple times and finished feeding the hay to everyone.

I was totally freaked out. I was afraid I would have to make a call to the vet and have an emergency vet visit. Problem is, I refuse to use the nearest vet and would have to wait a half hour for my vet to arrive. So least to say I was panicking.

I decided to sit with Bob for a little bit to see if he was sick or simply tired. He's been laying down more but I think it could be his joints. I've added weight booster to his diet and that might be causing havoc with his joints. The stall isn't really big enough for him to lay down in. He could but it would be some work to get back up.

So I left him all curled up ( he looked so cute) and went back in to finish getting ready. Of course I'm hystarical trying to justify why Bob would lay down. Of course he's tired and would want to lay down, but still, why right after he walked out of the barn.

But when I went to check on him at 6:15am, he was up and eating hay with Rain. I may need to separate Bob from the rest of the herd next year. Put Bob in with either the mares or create a second pen with the non-dominant horses (Rain and Brego).

I did pull Bob out Saturday so that he could have a little bit of grass. Problem is, I left the barn wide open. So after only about a half hour of grazing, Bob went back into the barn. He knew EXACTLY where the grain is and was headed for his oats and senior feed. Good thing I had a close eye on him (I just KNEW he'd try to pull a fast one over on me.)

I think tonight I'm going to rush home and make sure that Bob is doing ok. I'll not leave him in the barn tonight. Hopefully I'll give him enough time to get through all his grain and alfalfa tonight.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Bunny's Cousin

I guess the easter bunny was too busy to come visit us at Borderlands. Instead he sent his cousin, Mr. Skunk. Gypsy, who apparently loves to great EVERY creature, decided to give Mr. Skunk a HUGE Happy Easter welcome. Mr. Skunk in return gave us the pleasure of remembering his visit for days to come. Oh how I wish Gypsy would learn to stop when I call for her. We could have saved everyone the "pleasure" of the new spring smell, "Le Skunk."

Sure hope it rains soon so that the skunk smell washes away. My only worry now is what if the skunk decides to mosey on out while I'm doing chores in the morning. I may very well have to take a second shower tomorrow morning after chores just to get the smell out of my nose. I think tomorrow I'll carry a flashlight.

What do you get when you mix skunk and polyerathan (sp?), give up? Our house. Least to say, it's pretty stinky around here at Borderlands. Hope today isn't any indication of what this week will be like. If it is, I'll hope for a head cold so I can avoid all the smells!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nothing Says Love Like a Face Full of Poo

It's been a busy day today at Borderlands. I'd hoped to sneak a ride in yesterday and today but that didn't happen. Instead we worked around the place trying to get our many projects done.

We even got the pens cleaned out a bit more. I was naughty all winter and let them go. Now the pens are a fiasco and I'm slowly working at cleaning them up. Luckily Mike was able to get the tractor in to get the really bad spots. As I'm throwing the dry poo into the tractor bucket and getting dry poo in my face, I realized I must really love my horses to handle poo in my face and not be disgusted. I'm not sure how Mike does it. Maybe he's up higher on the tractor and doesn't get any, or he's just a sweetheart and won't say anything. Nothing says love like a face full of poo.

I'm pooped (no pun intended) so I'm going to leave with a pic of last week's blizzard. Hard to believe last Saturday it was a blizzard closing down interstate and this Saturday it was in the 60s. I guess that's why I like living here. It's always an adventure.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Ace

I just realized today is Ace’s birthday. He would have been 28 years old. Happy Birthday buddy.

Normally I try to post some information about one of the rescued horses at Borderlands. I wouldn’t really consider Ace a rescue. He was my long term riding horse for about ten years. He came to me when he was 16. But I can sort of consider him a rescue. When dad bought him, we received his registration papers, which were his original foal papers. No one had bothered to register him under their name. They did have the courtesy to at least write their names down on his papers so I could track his owner history. Poor ol’ guy had about a half dozen owners in the 16 years before he came to me. I didn't know much about his past but he was used hard.

I’d wanted to register Ace but there were problems with trying to register him since no one kept his papers up. I bought Ace from dad for $1.00 thinking I could get him registered in my name. But like everyone else, I got lazy and never did. Too much paperwork.

When the guy dropped Ace off, he had another horse with him that I was more interested in. Ace was just a plain sorrel and the horse I was interested in was a paint. But the paint was already spoken for. Ace really was a better match for me anyway.

The first ride out as his long time rider, I went out with Dad riding Dictator and Ila French (a long time family friend) riding Galaram. A storm started to brew while we were out and the horses started to get a little flighty. Ace took off with me up the hill. We were riding in an alfalfa field and I had no clue where the gopher holes were. Mom thought I let Ace loose to see him run. Nope. I was just along for the ride. Needless to say, the first year of riding Ace we only walked and trotted.

On a side note, right after we bought Ace, Ila offered Galaram. Oh what I would have given to have Galaram. Ila’s daughter (who graduated a year before me in high school) used to ride and show him. I would have given anything to ride a well trained horse. But Ace taught me so much more. A second side note, the little English saddle that I’m riding, used to belong to Ila’s daughter who used to ride Galaram. Small world huh?

Ace and I went on many trail rides, always at a trot. At home we would ride for short periods of time. The horses figured it out pretty quick. The faster they walked, the sooner they would get home. That worked fine except when we went on trail rides. Then Ace and I would trot the ENTIRE trail ride. Sounds like fun for a little while but four hours of trotting gets old, even when you’re young.

Ace finally slowed to a steady walk when he turned 22. I semi retired him when he was 23 years old. I permanently retired him at 24. I typically retire them at 25 but Ace started having serious eye problems and I didn’t want to risk causing any problems. So I put him out to pasture with Dictator. He didn’t seem to mind one bit. He had four years of retirement to enjoy.

It’s so hard to watch them grow old. But I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of his life. We were together for 12 years. I miss him so much. But it is worth the heartache. I was able to give him full care and when the time came, a dignified death. I believe each horse should know that they are loved and cared for until their last breath. I aim to make sure all of the Borderland horses know they are loved and respected.

On that note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ace. You are greatly missed.

Bubba Update

I didn't get a chance to talk to Bubba's owner but through the grapevine I heard that he has improved! Keep those prayers coming! The vet concluded it was an infection in the hock. Poor boy! I sure hope everything continues to progress well and he recovers quickly.

I know how hard it is to cope with a sick horse. The horses are our kids and if our kids are sick, we want to make them better. I know it may sound odd to some but to me, the horses are not just horses, they are family.

Continued prayers on the wind for you Bubba!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm Too Sexy for my Halter

Last Friday the weather was gorgeous. I wanted to go for a quick ride before the big blizzard hit. It was either fight with Rain to catch him or go after the easy horse. I chose Chaos. :-) He's a sucker for attention. I figured I'd better ride Chaos anyway since I haven't been on him in months and I need to really start working with him if I want to take him on any trail rides.

I also had an ulterior motive for wanting to ride. I'd bought a bunch of stuff at the Horse Fair and hadn't had a chance yet to try any of it out. Below is a pic of Chaos with some of the stuff I bought (barrel racing saddle pad, and green nylon breast collar). I also bought the lime green halter awhile back and hadn't tried it out on anyway. Doesn't Chaos look good in lime green?
Aaah Mom, are we done yet?
While I was messing with Chaos, I noticed the storm clouds starting to roll in. I knew it wouldn't be long before the rains started. I had a few good hours before it actually started to rain but you could definately tell that something was coming.
It was so hard to fathom that on Friday it was 50 some odd degrees out and sunny where I didn't need any coveralls and the next day they were predicting a blizzard with no travel advised. I guess that's South Dakota for ya.
First part of the blizzard rolling in.
After I finished my ride with Chaos, which went fairly well considering I hadn't been on him in months, I decided I would spend some quality time with him. He has such a gorgeous mane but it's starting to get ratty and short. I want to keep it as long as possible so I braided it up. Good thing I did, cuz some how the horses found the one spot with cockleburs everywhere. Uugh, cockleburs.
Chaos sporting a brand new halter and braids.

Chaos was a trooper, letting me braid up his mane. He's such a mellow guy. I really lucked out when I got him. To think, I took him sight unseen and found out he was an unhandled stud colt. I really lucked out. I think, given the chance, the trainer's assistant would have bought Chaos. But that's just my theory. He's so mellow. I hope he's perfect for trail riding. I can't wait to show him off. He's such a looker. Can you tell I'm partial to him?
I'm too sexy for my halter, too sexy for my halter.
Earlier in the day, I pulled Tommy and Skippy out of their "night" pen so they could enjoy a bit more sunshine. The only problem is, if I want to work with a horse, I have to tie them up where Tommy and Skippy can pick on whoever I pull out. Luckily Chaos is just as big of a stinker as Tommy and Skippy and they did a bit of playing while Chaos was out.
Tommy and Chaos chillin'

I'm hoping to get another ride in on Chaos tomorrow. I need to ride him more than once a week. I also really need to start pulling King and Rain out more and riding them. I want all of us in shape for this year's riding season. The first trail ride is just around the corner.

Riding Time

Yesterday was yet another gorgeous day. I decided that given the chance, I would pull someone out of the pens to go for a short ride up and down the driveway. Rain didn't seem all the excited so I pulled King out. He needed a thorough grooming anyway. I do have to admit that I did not put his mane back into braids.

I saddled King up with my western saddle. I had to let everything out since it's set for Rain. I'm thinking I'll leave everything set for King since Chaos will probably fit into those settings. Rain is just so small.

King and I walked around the yard for a bit. He's such an onery bugger. Any time you put a bit in his mouth he starts chewing on it. I can't figure out how to fix it. I tried a hackmore and that went all wrong. I've tried other more solid bits and he gets grumpy. My only other option is to put him into a full cheeck snaffle. I'm not sure if he's playing with the bit out of habit, stress, or what. But it's really getting frustrating. I'd much rather fix that bad habit for this trail riding season. I've let it go simply because I didn't have time to futz with him. But now that I want to actually start getting him in shape I need to do something. Otherwise he's going to drive me batty.

After riding King, I decided to pull Rain out. It was almost an effort in futility to try and catch Rain. He knew what I wanted and tried to run away. I guess I have to be the sneaky one and have him follow Bob into the barn. I think tonight I'll try to catch Rain and just groom him down, not ride him.

I threw the english saddle on Rain since the western saddle was set to King. Rain is so naughty. He must know that I can't climb up into an english saddle. I have to find some gate or fence and every time I get near he turns away so that he's facing me. I have to admit I got a little perturbed after awhile and just jumped. I landed half on his neck and half on the saddle. It wasn't graceful and I'm glad no one was around. I'm not sure if they'd be on the ground laughing or simply roll their eyes and walk away. :-)

We didn't ride for very long. Just a few laps up and down the driveway. I don't want to do anything except walk. I'm not stable enough at anything but a walk yet. There's simply no leather to an english saddle. haha But I'll keep at it.

I'm hoping tonight to pull Chaos out and futz around on him for a little while. I need to pull Brego back out and groom him down. He's actually starting to look respectable. The cowlicks and multiple hair directions are starting to get under control. Brego and Maverick's muddy pen is starting to dry out too. We are supposed to be in the 50s for the next few days so I'm hoping that the pens will dry out. My only other hope is that with Maverick and Brego walking in the mud that they get some muscle tone back. After coming back from starvation I didn't really work with them much on muscle tone. I was more focused on putting weight on them. And then winter hit and that was the end of me doing much with any of the horses. It gets so dark so darn fast. But now the weather is getting nicer and I'm outside much later. I didn't come in last night until almost 9:00pm. It's great! I'm loving all the fresh air.

This morning I got to enjoy yet another "PreDawn" show. I didn't get to see the moon since the clouds were rolling in. But the clouds made the predawn show even more spectacular. The clouds turned from a dreary gray to a magnificent pink. Wish I could have gotten a picture of it so I could share.

Hopefully tonight I can post some pics of Chaos I took last week before the blizzard. He's looking pretty good all shined up and ready to go.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Zen Has Returned

There's no better way to lift my spirits than to go for a horseback ride.

After getting all worked up about what's going on with my friend's horse, I decided I would spend some quality time with my herd. I initially opened the gate to let Brego out so he could have some mud free time. Unfortunately he decided against it and stood in the middle of the muddy pen, the little bugger.

It was then time to feed Bob his daily grain. I think for him the world revolves around his evening meal of grain and alfalfa. There's this excited look on his face when I come out to do evening chores. When I opened the door to let Bob in, Rain decided to sneak in right behind.

Rain must have thought he could snitch some of Bob's alfalfa. I took it as an invitation to pull him out of the pens and mess with him. If he sees a halter he disappears normally.

I decided that instead of lugging out my western saddle, that I would try my hand at the english saddle. hahaha There's so little leather to that saddle. I always forget when I switch to english that there's really not much there. I guess that's why I stay in my western saddle 99% of the time.

My theory is that if I start riding english on Rain that 1) I'll focus more on my riding so that I can be more balanced and centered and 2) I won't try to work Rain as hard so he'll want to go on more rides. If we just stay at a walk, I have a better chance of not falling off and maybe being able to coax Rain into another ride later on in the week. He's such an onery guy; he doesn't always let me catch him. I'm also hoping that if we both start working together we'll both be in shape for the riding season. As it is, we are both overweight and out of shape. :-)

Once I was done futzing around on Rain, I gave him a thorough grooming, including braiding his mane. I apparently have a thing for braids right now. It's more quality time with my horses.

I decided after putting Rain back to pull Dude out. He was covered in mud and had darn cockleburs and dreadlocks in his mane. It was really starting to bug me. So I gave him a thorough grooming and deshedding. He'll need more work in shedding out but at least it's a start. He was more interested in the ponies than getting a good grooming. Once I was done getting rid of the dirt and loose hair I tackled his mane and braided it up too. I need to get a pic of him. He looks so cute all braided up. It's hard to tell he's a thug.

This morning I enjoyed the "PreDawn" show. For the last three mornings I've enjoyed watching the golden moon set over the horizon. While I drive to work, I get to watch the sky change hues every so many minutes. And to top it off, as I'm pulling in to work, the sun rose above the horizon. So all in all, I've had an enjoyable evening and morning.

Maybe this evening I'll get to go for another ride to help keep me in my "zen" mood.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

All Worked Up

Unfortunately I seem to be a bit worked up over my friend's horse. There is the unfortunate possibility that she may have to put her beloved Bubba down. That in turn makes me think back five months ago when I had to put down my beloved best friend, Ace. I'm not sure what was the hard part, making the phone call or showing up on that day to have him put down.

To top it off, there had been a mixup on the date I was scheduled to put Ace down. I took advantage of the extra days I had with him. But it only prolonged the pain for me. It was a swift and calm death but it had to be by my hand. I don't like playing god.

April 20th will mark five months from the day I had to say goodbeye to Ace. I still get teary eyed thinking about that day. Next month, May 16th will mark the one year annivesary of me having to put Blondie and Ten Man down. Maybe some day I'll blog about both of them. For now, the memory of their passing is still fresh in my mind. I vow to never go back to that vet.

Not long ago February 25th was the two year anniversary of losing my best friend and dream horse Tiny Dictator. I'm suprised that I can remember the dates. I figured I would want to forget them but for some reason I desparately want to remember each of the dates of their final day, along with their birthday, and day they arrived at Borderlands. I'm not sure why the dates are important, but they are to me. I guess if I hold on to the dates and make them important, than they won't be forgotten. 100 years from now, no one is going to remember Dictator, Ace, Blondie, or Ten Man. I guess that's why I want to leave some type of rememberance to them.

I guess right now I'm rambling more to keep my mind away from what my friend may possibly have to do. My heart goes out to them and I pray that they don't have to experience the same grief I had to go through five months ago. I guess with all life there is death and if you open your heart to anyone, two-legged or four, you have to learn to let go at some point. I can only wish and hope that I don't have to say goodbye to any of "the herd" any time soon. I don't think my heart can take it at this point.

Continuing to pray for Bubba. More prayers on the wind.

Prayers on the Wind

I found out yesterday that my good friend's QH gelding, Bubba, is very lame. The prognosis is guarded. My heart goes out to them. Please keep them in your prayers.

On a happier note, this morning I woke up to the most gorgeous moon. It was the same yesterday morning too. The moon was a golden sphere. I wish the camera could have gotten a good shot of it. Absolutely breathtaking.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Gentle Giant


Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

The storm that hit yestarday was most definately a blizzard. The weatherman predicted that it would blow in about 4pm and it did. I stayed in until 5pm watching a horse race and then headed out to put all the horses in. I'm so glad that I'd had the forsight to get the stalls ready in the morning instead.

I woke up this morning thinking there would still be blowing snow and nasty weather. Nope. Gorgeous out! Absolutely gorgeous, minus the mud. The sun is out with a bit of a breeze but if you're up close to a building it's not a big deal. It's so bright out it hurts my eyes.

The snow is melting quickly now too. I can already see patches of grass showing through again. It just mean that the horse pens are going to be a muddy mess again. But at least it's moisture into the ground. I can't wait to get some fencing done so I can bring the girls back home.

It's so odd to think that yesterday was such a terrible day for weather and today it so clear.

Below are some pics from yesterday's blizzard.

The blizzard at 5:00pm

View from the driveway looking south.

View from the pasture.

The front lawn looking north.

View from the pasture.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blizzard Warning

I hopped on the computer this morning about 9:00am and there was just one or two snowflakes in the air. When I went out to do morning chores (a little late), it was snowing like crazy! No one was thrilled with the weather. While on the computer I found out they upgraded the storm to a blizzard.

So that ended any chance of me getting to go to the horse sale. Probably better that way anyway. I shouldn't be bringing any more home until I have the two younger ones trained. But I'm still really bummed about not going. The more informed I am, the better. Really bummed.

After feeding everyone, I got the barns and boxstalls ready for tonight. I figure everyone is going to be wet and cranky so it's best I just put them in the barn and let them dry off. I'd rather they don't weather the storm outside.

The snow that fell this morning is wet, really wet. The ground is warm enough that it's not really accumulating but it's still enough to get a horse's back soggy wet. I'm not sure what the temps are going to be like, but what's the point of having a barn and box stalls if I can't use them. And the winds are terrible. When it was snowing, it was horizontal, like normal but still.

So everything is ready and waiting. The blizzard isn't supposed to go into effect until 4:00pm so I could have made it to the sale. But the weather is so iffy, I'd rather not risk getting stuck somewhere between the sale barn and home. And to top it off, Kramers is having a sale too but I don't think I want to risk it either. It's only about a half hour away but if this storm comes blowing in, I don't want to be on the roads. Call me paranoid, I'm fine with that.

Now we wait. There's so much to do but knowing that the weather is going to turn worse, I can't seem to get motivated. Am I weird?

I did put Bob's blanket on so that he wouldn't get wet. He wasn't too thrilled with being left outside in the snow. He decided after about a half hour of standing in the snow, to go stand in the leanto and pout. Hopefully he wont' get too depressed. Chaos doesn't help any. The weather simply needs to get better so I can ride Chaos and leave Bob out in the nice lush pasture.

I'll post more pics later. Figured I'd do a little venting about this darn weather. I could be at the sale barn right now if it wasn't for this darn weather. Go away snow!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another One on the Way

Looks like another storm is headed our way Saturday night and Sunday. Earlier this morning they were saying rain starting tonight after midnight. I'm hoping we can work on the garage before the rains.

I'm also hoping the weather holds off long enough for me to attend the Worthing Horse Sale scheduled for tomorrow starting at 12:00pm. Loose horses to follow. Not sure how many horses will be there what with this predicted storm and it not being a catalog sale. So if the weather holds I'm hoping to go and document prices and conditions and if there's one in need, bring him/her home (and hopefully Mike won't shoot me for it!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sky Watch - South Dakota Sunsets

Thought I would post a couple sunset pictures from a few days ago. I did get the camera out tonight to get some pics of the horses but I'll save them for later.

Until then, hope you enjoy a gorgeous South Dakota spring sunset. I guess this is one reason why I love it here so much at Borderlands.

Lego my Brego

I was going to get some pictures of the horses last night but the card was full, so yet another post without any new pics.

Yesterday was such a nice day. The sun was out and I could hide behind the buildings to get away from the wind. I decided that I would work with Brego. I need to get some pictures of him to document how he's improved since coming into Borderlands.

I haltered Brego and pulled him out of his muddy pen. Hopefully with the wind and sun, all the horse pens will dry out. Brego at first didn't seem too thrilled, all he wanted to do was eat. I groomed him down, which is no easy feat. I'm not sure how he does it but his hair goes in every direction except the way I want. The massive direction changes makes it a little tough to make him look clean and crisp after a thorough grooming. I'm hoping this summer I can get his hair to go all in one direction.

Brego didn't really want to stand still very long. So we worked on leading and stopping. After watching Stacy Westfall at the South Dakota Horse Fair, I realized I was teaching Brego all wrong. But at this point, I'm only fiddling with him and not doing too many strenous thinking excercises with him. He's getting better ground manners just in the short time we walked around.

I did lead Brego over to the big herd so that they could touch noses. Chaos of course is always the curious one so he was there right away. King came over and wanted to do the whole stamping feet and squeeling deal. Unfortunately Brego doesn't like that and decided he'd rather continue walking than touch noses with King.

On the next pass all four horses came up, which made me uncomfortable. I'd rather not be squished between the hay barn and Brego when he meets all the horses. So we went for another pass around the hay barn.

On the next trip around Rain charged the fence. I think Rain is going to pick on Brego. I can't tell if they are the same size. But their heads are definately both very refined. I'd like to get them side by side to see how close they match in size. Rain wasn't too fond of Brego so I guess Rain won't be my "Walmart Greeter" for Brego.

On the next pass through Dude came up to sniff Brego. We didn't stay too long. Brego actually seemed more interested in looking around the hay barn and down the driveway. I'm not sure if he was looking at the ponies or what. But he picked his head up and stared intently in one direction. When he does that, you can really see he's starting to come into himself more each day.

I finally decided I'd better put a halter on Maverick and work with him just a little bit. We are both still uncomfortable with each other. So I tied Brego up (so he could dig me a hole to China and learn to stand still) and I pulled Maverick out. We only walked around in a few small circles and then I put him back. I really want Maverick to have better ground manners but I guess I'll be happy with him allowing me to put a halter on him and lead him around without flipping out.

I put Maverick back in the muddy pen after only about ten minutes of messing with him. I then put Brego back in. He's such a charmer. I'm hoping that if I continue to halter both Brego and Maverick, that they'll get used to me handling them more. I'm not sure how much handling they had when they were younger. I have a feeling not very much. If I continue to fiddle, maybe they'll get used to me messing around all the time. Messing with those two has really taught me to slow down and relax when I'm working with the horses.

I'm hoping I'll have a bit more energy tonight when I get home so that I can fiddle with Brego and Maverick a bit more. And I need to mess with Rain. I think he's getting very jealous. He's been off now for the past few months. Hopefully the weather will warm up so that we can go for a ride. I think he needs some one on one time. I think I've solved Bob's depression last year (he was depressed last year but I think I figured out what it was). But now Rain is a bit depressed so I need to find out what it is and fix it. Maybe some one on one time with a bit of hand grazing. The new green grass shoots are starting to pop out. And with Rain's sensitivity, I need to probably hand graze him anyway.

Hopefully tonight I can get some more good pics of the horses. They are really muddy and starting to shed. I'm either stuck with a mouthful of hay (like I was this morning thanks to Brego), or a mouthful of horse hair. I guess that's the price I pay for having horses. :-) But I'd say it's priceless.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cry Wolf

So the big snow storm we were supposed to have missed us. Apparently there was some big protective bubble and the storm stalled out west of Borderlands. No snow is fine by me!

Last night I decided I would keep Bob and Rain in the barn. It was so windy and the air felt rather damp. I didn't want to rush Bob with his alfalfa. I also figured Rain would be the first one kicked out of the leanto and be forced to stand in the snow/rain. So into the barn they went.

Dude, King, and Chaos I decided could get in out of the rain/snow and wind if they so chose to. Dude was very much put out by not letting him into the barn. Even this morning when I went to let Bob and Rain out he gave me this very disgusted look. Sorry buddy. You just wanted to try and snitch some of Bob's alfalfa.

When I checked on Maverick and Brego last night, they were huddled up in a corner of their pen. When they saw me they came trudging through the mud to see me. I felt bad. They kept slipping and slidding all through the pen. The wind was blowing pretty strong so I decided that I would give them a break. So I haltered both and pulled them into their box stalls for the night. I was very surprised that neither of them really flipped out, what with all that wind. Brego is so easy to halter these days. I really do think he likes to be handled. I couldn't get a halter on Maverick right away so I simply pulled Brego out and tied him next to his box stall so he could get out of the wind, but still stay in view of each other. Maverick finally accepted the fact that he was going into his box stall. He's really not too fond of his stall.

This morning I put the halters on like normal. I did come to the realization that I think Maverick has some type of phobia towards ropes. I always throw the lead ropes over their backs and Maverick really gets upset. He tosses his head around until the lead rope is off his back, hanging over his neck, dragging on the ground. At one point, he had the lead rope dragging and he started acting even more upset because he kept standing on the rope. He's fine with the lead rope when it's in my hands, so he can naw on it. But if that lead rope is over his back he gets rather upset. Who knows what happened to him in his past. I know that when he was two he went to a trainer that insisted that leaving them tied long would teach them how to respect the lead rope, or some nonesense like that.

I finally got around to pulling Maverick out of his stall and into the pen. He was more than willing to get out. Brego only pawed once while Maverick and I were busy. Brego stood rather calmly the entire time I was messing with Maverick. I figure if I continue to tie Brego up, maybe he'll learn to stand patiently tied. Until then I guess he can dig me a whole to China.

So all in all, last night and this morning went pretty smoothly. The only one to be upset the entire time was Dude. Even Skippy and Tommy didn't really seem to care too much about the weather. Although I have to say, both Skippy and Tommy are rather opinionated and do like to tell me to hurry with their food.

Even Rain is starting to get more opinionated. I'm not sure if that's because of all the horses that ARE opinionated and like to talk to me or what. Dicatator and Ace never really talked too much unless their was grain involved. Rain is now starting to pick up that habit of nickering to me when I appear with grain. I absolutely love it and wish he would do it more.

I guess we are going to have to keep our eyes to the sky for this coming weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will be in another bubble and miss the next storm. I do believe this last storm was playing an April Fool's joke on us all. I'm fine with that!