Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Bye Sunny

Well, I tried. I think I may be getting burned out on rescue. I took in Sunny on Saturday and tried putting her in with the mares last night and it didn't work. She kicked too many times at poor Babe, and had already become herd bound to the ponies.

I don't have a separate place to put Sunny and I don't want her in with the geldings. So she's going back to her previous owners tomorrow evening. I feel bad that she didn't work out but I can't have a horse that won't listen to me and kicks.

I had a bad feeling to begin with and should have followed my gut. A 15 year old won't mesh with a 27 year old unless they've been worked hard and Sunny has never worked hard in her life. She also doesn't have the temperment that matches mine or the mares.

So, good bye Sunlight Siouxdana. I tried. I really tried. Maybe I'll take a hiatus on bringing any more into Borderlands for awhile. I'll save up for an auction rescue where I know they'll appreciate the finer things in life that I can offer them. I have found that horses that come out of an auction really appreciate their new surroundings if you offer them good hay, clean water, a bit of grain, a good brushing, and unconditional love. Those that have always had these ammenities in their life take them for granted. I can see it in some of the horses at Borderlands. They've never run through an auction and don't appreciate the finer things in life.

I just wish it would have worked. I guess I can't save them all. And I know the previous owner is not going to run her through an auction to face a fate much worse. I guess from now on I'll only pull from auctions where their owners have given up on them and their only hope is someone outbidding the horse dealers and kill buyers.

All I want to do is bury my head in a horse's mane and bawl right now. I may go in search of Babe or Queen this evening and see if they can calm my nerves. Watching them always gives my heart joy and right now I need something to lift my spirits.

Farrier Day

Got a call this morning at 6am from my farrier. I'd called him last night but didn't get ahold of him. He tried calling me last night about 9pm but that's when the whole mare/pony fiasco was going on. Good thing I was already up and about ready to head out the door.

So tonight, the farrier is coming out to put shoes and pads on King. I'm hoping I'm making the right choice by putting pads on King. He's been flightly lately so I'm not sure how he's going to handle the extra work. King walks so slow, it would be nice if he had a shorter breakover point and walked a bit quicker. He has such flat feet that require shoes. I'm hoping we can improve the angle of his hooves. Maybe then he'll walk faster, although I'm afraid that's just his personality.

I'm also going to try and squeeze in Queen and Babe to get their feet trimmed tonight. It'll be either tonight or Thursday night. Queen is pretty naughty when it comes to getting her feet trimmed. I'm not sure how Babe will do. She keeps her feet pretty well trimmed. I know it's not technically correct to let the horses go but I do have my farrier look at some of the horses I question and he's pretty good about knowing when to trim and when not to trim.

For sure tonight the farrier will work on King and if there is time, he'll tackle Queen. Otherwise he'll take care of Queen on Thursday. I just hope it all goes well. I hate having to make my farrier work on naughty horses. I seem to give him all sorts of temperments and sizes. I guess we'll just see how it all works out.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Very Upset

I'm really upset. Sunny is not going to work out. She's repeatedly kicked at Babe. I can handle a hoof toss here and there but a blatant kick to a blind horse I can't stand. I emailed her previous owner so we'll see what comes of it. It's just not going to work out. She's attached herself to the ponies and I run the ponies in every which direction.

I'm really upset and starting to fill ill over the whole deal. I was told she has a sunny disposition. Not the case. I should have seen the writing on the walls. Stick to auctions where I can see the skinny horse up front. She's nice and fat and too sassy for me to handle

Uuugh. Very upset tonight.

Weekend Work

To get everyone caught up on the going-ons at Borderland I’ll start you off at the beginning of the weekend.

Friday I pulled up barbed wire to get the start of the new mare pasture. I have an entire stretch gone! I’m excited. The next line of fence is from the manure pile south to the big pasture. It’ll take longer but I walked that fence line last year and pulled much of the fence up to a weed free zone.

Sunlight Siouxdana arrived Saturday morning about 11am. I still haven’t done anything with her other than food and water. I haven’t had a chance to mess with her at all. I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t played with her more. But I figure, this way she’ll meet all the horses from afar and get to know me. And she’s very much herd bound so this will help her adjust to the many changes that occur around the place.

A little later on mom and dad came down and we spent the entire afternoon Saturday putting up more fence and securing the old fence in the old mare pasture. Last year we’d thrown one strand to keep the mares in but with the new mare coming in and knowing that only one strand won’t hold all summer, we decided to do some actual fencing.

We drove fence posts in and strung a second line. I’m hoping to get a third strand in shortly. I’d feel more secure if the mares were in three strands of barbless fence instead of two. There’s too much temptation from the seeing horses to push past the fence and get into the CRP.

By Saturday late afternoon everyone was exhausted. Mom and dad headed home to do chores one last night. I realized then that we needed to unload the alfalfa. Mike and I had unloaded a couple but they were all starting to mold. Some were good but others were bad. I didn’t know what to do but we needed the flat bed. So I scrutinized the bales and any good bales went into the hay barn and the rest that were bad went into the hay shed. It’s so stinking hot in the hay shed my hope is that the heat will burn it out. I’m guessing that wont’ be the case and I really need to just put an ad on CraigsList to get them out of here.

With the addition of Sunny, I had to do some more quick thinking. I put Sunny in the ponies’ night pen but that left the ponies out. So I put the ponies’ day pen back together (we’d torn it down when we were doing waste management) and I never got it back together. So In the ponies went into their day pen. I’m sure they enjoyed it, getting to be so close to the big horses to torment.

Sunday was the big day. We were headed to Madison to pick up the two mares. I was a bit apprehensive on taking them home and introducing the new mare. I’m always worried about what will happen. We ended up spending the entire afternoon in Madison and didn’t head home to Borderlands until 5:30pm.

Then the real work began. I unloaded Babe and Queen and set about putting fly spray on them and giving them their evening meal. Not sure how it’ll work for their evening meal when the new horse is added to the pasture.

I then started setting up corral panels and other fence to release the mares into their mare pasture. I’m hoping that this pasture will hold out long enough for us to get the other mare pasture done. It’s only two acres and it’ll end up holding three horses. I hope to get at least a month if not more out of that pasture before I have to switch to the other pasture, which isn’t done yet.

The girls were excited to be back home. Queen went right for the fence line to hang out with the horses. She is smart. She stood just far enough inside the mare pasture so that the boys couldn’t harass her. Babe on the other hand is a social butterfly and has to touch noses. Of course, since she’s blind she needs to smell to know who is who. So there was a lot of squealing and hoof tossing. I did try to introduce Babe and Sunny but once again, lots of hoof tossing. I’m not too fond of that. I realized that it would be too hard on Babe to dump her into a new pasture and introduce a new herd mate. So I refrained from putting Sunny in the pasture. I want Babe to get her bearings straight and then I’ll add Sunny tonight. I’m not sure how Sunny will do. She’ll get to meet both new mares in the pasture and then she gets to meet the geldings. I’m a bit nervous but I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m a bit overprotective of Babe though. She’s blind so I want to protect her. I’m also a bit over protective of Queen. She’s simply old so I don’t want to put too much stress on her.

I guess we’ll just have to see how tonight goes. I hope to ride Maverick and feed the girls before introducing Sunny into the mare herd. But the sooner I do, the sooner everyone can adjust. I do expect to hear a lot of squealing for the next 24 hours. There’s been a TON of whinnying from Sunny and Maverick over the past 24 hours. It’s never dull around here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Busy Weekend

Oh so very tired, so very, very tired. Busy day today and too tired to go into details.

First things first, Sunlight Siouxdana (aka Sunny) arrived. I need to get pics. Camera batteries died on me.

An hour later, mom and dad came down and we worked the entire day on the mare pasture getting it ready. It's time I bring Babe and Queen home. Tomorrow will be interesting having all 13 horses here at Borderlands. Can't wait but a little nervous.

Since I'm too tired to blog more, here are some pics from just a little while ago.

Bob in his fly sheet. It also helps reflect some of the hot sun. The sun and heat bother him so he hangs out in the leanto (please pardon the poo pile. I haven't had a chance yet to clean out the pens).

Chaos -- camera shy? I'm not sure I'll EVER get a good shot of him.

The mass herd (King, Dude, Chaos, Rain, and Sam)

Naughty Skippy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Banning Barbed Wire

Busy day today! This morning before it got hot, I had planned on unloading the alfalfa bales. I walked into the shed, looked at the trailer, looked at the other trailer in the way, and decided I would unload the alfala bales another day! Call me lazy or call me a genious!

I told Mike later today that I'd thought about moving the bales but he said it would have been almost impossible to hook the trailer up with the truck (which is all that I would have had). The truck doesn't turn sharp enough so it's a good thing that I didn't try.

So instead, I headed down to the northeast corner of the property and started pulling up barbed wire. Boy do I HATE bared wire! I thought at first that Iwould start out with holey gloves, thinking that I would trash them anyway. Yeah, umm, don't do that! Start with a brand new pair cuz otherwise you'll get your gloves stuck on the holes and create new holes.

Anyway, I had walked the fence line earlier in the week (and in the heat) and exposed all the wires. They had been buried under the grass. I had hoped to get this fencing done before the hot season and tick season hit but I guess that didn't happen. This time I only had to pick off two ticks instead of a dozen.

I was able to get all the barbed wire cut and tossed in a pile. I have all the wire gone from the northeast fence post panel to the poop pile, which is about half of the distance I needed to go. I guess I have a bunch more to do but at least the other half should be a tad easier. I walked that fence line last year and pulled up a bunch so hopefully it won't take as long.

It only took me an hour to expose the wires and another hour to pull the fence doen and away. I'm hoping I can have that good of luck at the next go round.

And we are getting a new member tomorrow between 10am and 11am. Sunlight Siouxdana will be joining us. I'll have to blog a bit more about her and add what her previous owners know about her. I just got off the phone with the owner to make arrangements. She's planning on hauling her out so I don't have to and maybe getting me a 12pack of wormer! That would be awesome, although it doesn't cover the cost of her cair but I'll take it. I was going to have to figure out the next round of wormer and get it ordered. I do still have to give her west nile so that's a bummer. I absolutely require her to have it since there are so many mosquites.

So I guess i'm now going to be the proud owner of a Standardbred. Never owned one of those before. So the herd will now consist of:

4 quarter horses
2 appaloosas
1 paint
1 arabian
1 shetland
1 mini
1 percheron
1 belgian
1 standardbred

I'll get pics tomorrow of the new girl and give everyone a rundown.

I also need to frantically get the fencing done. Mom and dad said Queen is tearing up the trees, rubbing up against them. So I need to go like a madman and get as much fencing done as I can, weather permitting. I'm hoping I can get more done before it heats up or while this next cool spell lasts.

We are supposed to get a serious storm tonight that will bring in a cold front. I'm hoping it'll bring in cooler weather so I can tackle the fencing and get at least the east side done in a hurry. I can rig up the other fencing until we can get to it. I'm pretty ingenious (but still can't spell!)

I better go pull the ponies out of the lawn pasture before the demolish the little trees. Darn ponies!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pony Pasture

Not much excitement going on lately. I moved the ponies to a different portion of the lawn. I decided I’d try my luck at their “lawn” pasture just north of the dog pen and chicken coop. This way it might be easier to do some fencing later if the grass is all eaten down. The grass is so tall in that area that I couldn’t even see Skippy or Tommy at one point.

There’s still plenty of grass for them to eat but they’ve taken to eating the thistles, of course! They seemed to like it over there although I needed to move them back to their pen earlier than normal because of the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are always so bad over there. I’m hoping that once they tromp the grass down the mosquitoes won’t be as bad.

On Monday I also walked the fence line where we need to put in the new fence. I pulled up all the barbed wire so that I could at least find it. I was planning on going back last night to start pulling it all out but I was too exhausted from work. The heat is also taking its toll. I’m not sure how the horses are handling the heat.

On Monday I pulled Rain and Chaos out and hosed them down. I pulled Brego out and gave him a wet grooming. I didn’t want to try the hose on him. He wasn’t fond of the wet brush either. It’s going to take awhile to get him used to the cool water brush. I wanted to pull Dude out but he’d already headed back to the pasture so I didn’t mess with him.

I’ve been putting Bob’s fly sheet on to help with the flies and to reflect some of the heat off of him instead of have him soak up all the heat. It seems to help. I’m afraid he’s going to have a heart attack. He has been spending a lot of time in the leanto off the barn. I need to get a fan set up in the barn while he eats and out in the leanto so that there is some air moving around.

Tuesday we had a really bad storm roll through while we were at work. Mike raced home to shut windows and check on the horses. Everyone was fine. I was a bit worried about the ponies. They are in their “lawn pasture” with only one strand of electric and I don’t want them to escape. Mike checked on them. Only the solar fencer was knocked down , the rest was standing nicely.

Last night when I went to put the ponies back in, I decided I would just let Skippy run while I led Tommy back to the night pen. Skippy is so attached to Tommy I figured he’d follow without any problems. I was wrong! Skippy trotted off and disappeared as quick as could be. So I put Tommy away and headed to the pasture but I didn’t see any trail through the tall grass. I headed to the hay shed and found Skippy munching on alfalfa. I figured that’s where he’d head. I need to get that alfalfa out of there in case Skippy does break loose when I’m not around. A mini and a free for all on alfalfa is not a good combination.

This morning we had another storm roll through. It was pretty quick. About the time I wanted to do chores the skies opened up and poured. I decided I would wait it out. Lucky for me it was a fast moving storm so I didn’t miss any work. But I decided that with the amount of rain and wind we got with the morning storm and the previous day’s storm, that I wouldn’t risk putting the ponies back in their small pasture. I figured that another storm would blow through and knock the fence down (since I didn’t walk the fence last night). So instead, the ponies are stuck in their muddy night pen all day until I get home.

So that’s the excitement of the last two days.

I’ve also been torturing myself over bringing another horse into the rescue. Earlier this spring mom and dad said Queen wasn’t doing so well. So I started putting out feelers to see if there was another mare that could take over watching Babe. And of course, I found one.

About a month ago someone posted on Kelo for free a Standardbred mare, about 15 years old that would be companion only. I don’t want that young of a companion only but thought I would ask anyway. I’ve been talking with the lady and know the history of the mare. It sounds like the mare would be a good match for Babe. And with me having to move Babe to a few different pastures this year I need a horse that will look out for Babe. Queen isn’t really the best babysitter for other horses. So this mare would be perfect since she’s the mothering type. The problem is, she’s only 15 and I’ll be feeding her for the next 15 years and all she’ll be doing is eating and pooping. Granted that is what a retirement home is for but 15 years of feeding hay and that’s it. I could rescue an old horse from an auction with an unknown future.

Problem is, the only other person who showed any interest was a scummy horse trader who was looking to make a quick buck off this mare. There really isn’t’ any other option for this horse other than euthanasia which I believe the owner would do because it’s the right thing to do. But really, is it necessary to put down a healthy horse if she’s a good babysitter? But Babe is 27, how much longer will she be around? And how long will Queen be around? Do they need a babysitter? Babe could really use one though. I’ve seen her get lost in the drylot and it breaks my heart. So maybe this other mare would do Babe some good.

And wouldn’t it be fitting for me to get another mare about this time of year. Last year Babe came to live at Borderlands (June 16). The year before, Blondie came to live at Borderlands July 1st. The problem is I’ve been agonizing over it for the past few weeks and I need to make a decision asap. The lady is actually boarding this mare and has decided that at the end of June is the last that she’ll pay for this mare.

So I guess I’m bringing another mare home. The problem now is getting the fencing done. The girls aren’t home yet because we haven’t gotten to the fencing. I guess I’ll throw up a couple corral panels by Maverick and put her in the trees and grass between the red shed and hay shed. That should last about a week. Maybe if it ever stops raining we could do some fencing.

It’s rained almost every day this past month. It’s been a crazy summer so far. I’ve not yet adjusted to the heat. I don’t believe the horses have either.

Once I send the email to the lady about the standardbred mare, I’ll post her information. I’ve been talking with the lady and don’t even know the mare’s name! Sheesh I need to stop bringing them home for awhile. Tommy and Skippy – February 4th, Sam – April 26th.. and now it’ll be this standardbred mare this weekend! Every other month! CRAZY! I need to be in search of more hay!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Picture Day

Awhile back we had a gorgeous but odd sunset. It was a perfect photo op. Figured I'd post some pics since I haven't done so in awhile.

Still pretty upset about yesterday's sale. The constant rain/drizzle today isn't helping the mood. So I'll just share some pics instead.

If Sam had about 200 additional pounds, this would be a gorgeous picture! It almost reminds me of an oil painting.

My Brego baby! He's really fattened up and become a sweetheart.

Too bad the sun was shining on King instead of Dude. It goes to show you can't ever have a clean white horse!

Some of the herd harrassing the ponies, or is it the ponies harrassing some of the herd!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kramers Nightmare

I'm so angry I could cry. I know better than to go to Kramers but I did it anyway. Figured I'd go and see what was there.

Almost every one of them had banged up legs. There was a stallion I fell in love with. Calm as could be, never moved and seemed like he just shut down. There was a paint gelding that was pinning his ears at everyone. He was thin. This was the second time he was run through the sale barn. I remember him from the last auction, although I didn't see how much he went for last time either. I guess I should have stayed.

What really made me furious is a little pony that had seriously foundered. He could barely walk. The hooves were wrapped around and every step was so painful. But he wasn't marked for the auction.

So when I got home, I tried calling but I couldn't get an answer out of anyone. They kept confusing the pony with the others that were actually up for sale. I guess I should have stayed to see what the horses went for and then found the owners of Kramers to find out more about the pony. When I called, they couldn't understand me and then hung up on me.

I'm going to try and call tomorrow but I doubt anyone will be there. If I don't get an answer tomorrow I'll call again on Monday. I HAVE to do SOMETHING! How cruel would it be to let that poor pony stand in a feedlot waiting for the next sale with those feet! Cuz THAT's what they do!

I'm so FURIOUS!! Why did I not just stay and ask questions. Cuz I'm too damn lazy! I'm sick over it. I've walked away from other auctions regretting my decision to not bring them home. Just watching him made me nauseous and it takes a lot to make me nauseous. I need to go before I bawl too much that I can't see the screen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Second Wind or Power Through?

Thursday evening, we made up for not being productive this week. Since it wasn’t raining, we decided we better get over to the neighbor’s and pull the fence posts along the road. The neighbor said we could buy the fence posts along the gravel road as long as we go out there and pull them.

Mike hooked the little trailer up to the tractor and we headed down the road to start pulling fence posts. It worked pretty slick. Mike drove the tractor and was the bucket man, while I wrapped the chain around the posts to pull them out. The weeds and grass were HUGE! I ended up walking into a patch of grass that was a foot taller than me! Granted I am only 5’3” so it doesn’t take much for grass to be taller than me but most of the pasture line the grass was chest level. Oh what I would have given to run the herd out in that pasture.

We were out pulling posts for about an hour. We were able to pull 30 fence posts! ROCK ON! Now when we fence the mare pasture in we can use those fence posts! I’m excited. I swear I’ve been nesting. I’m not sure why though. We now have 30 fence posts, 90 straw bales, and 50 alfalfa bales! And if the weather holds, I should be getting my big squares of hay! YEAH!

After pulling the fence posts I needed to take a break. We went from upper 50s and lower 60s to mid 80s. I’m not used to the heat yet. I had to take a break and grab something to drink. Mike and I both headed for the house. We both made a mistake and sat down in the kitchen at 8pm. After guzzling my drink I started to nod off! I knew if I didn’t get back out there that I’d fall asleep at the kitchen table.

So out I went. Call it a second wind? Or maybe just powering through? Either way, I grabbed my helmet and headed over to saddle up Maverick. I rode Maverick around for a little bit. I think we are both directionally challenged. I can’t seem to figure out how to properly ask him to turn in the direction that I want. I want to try Chaos’s bridle and see if that helps any. I have a feeling that the setup that I currently have for Maverick doesn’t fit him. I may need to go find a different bridle, at a minimum.

I tried to put a breast collar on Maverick to see what he would look like. Unfortunately this saddle I’m using sits weird or something. I couldn’t get the breast collar to fit, it was too small! I’m going to have to see if any of the other breast collars would even fit on Maverick with the saddle I’m using. I also need to get the back cinch readjusted. The current billets are WAY too short. I think I can put them on the pony saddle and they would fit. But otherwise, they most definitely don’t work. I think the only way to keep the saddle from slipping is with the back cinch. I’m not sure if Maverick has ever had a back cinch on or not. But I guess it’s just another element for him to get used to. He really does thrive on change.

After riding Maverick, I quick did chores. It was starting to get dark out. I did take some time to relax on Maverick and watch the horses come in from the pasture and watch the lightening show to the north. Maverick was so content to stand there with me sitting on his back he even cocked a leg! CRAZY! I’m really starting to like him, even if we ARE directionally challenged.

I set the pony pasture up in a different place so keep your fingers crossed that Skippy doesn’t try to escape. I think where I had them the grass was no good. That’s about the same location I had them in when Skippy tried to make a break for it. Right now the pony pasture is directly in front of the barn (the grass was getting tall and I didn’t want to mow). I’m thinking of moving the pony pasture to the north side of the dog pen. The grass is probably as high as Tommy so it would last at least two days. I figure if I put the pony pen to the north of the dog pen and then work them down towards the chicken coop, that when we actually get to doing the fencing on the north side of the chicken coop we won’t have to fight the weeds and tall grass. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I also want to permanently fence in some of the trees behind the tack room and pony night pen. We’ll see how productive I am this weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Missing Pony!

We’ve been running so much lately I haven’t been home long enough to really mess with the horses. I and another lady are trying to start a trail riding club in the vicinity. I really hope that it takes off. There are so many people with horses. If we can give them a place to ride, even if it’s gravel, or just an excuse to ride maybe more people would be inclined to keep their horses or at least give them some miles and experience before sending them on to their next destination.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to take Chaos on a trail ride this season. I’m a bit chicken and I haven’t been on him yet this year so we’ll see. There really hasn’t been a lot of time to do much riding this year. I’m not exactly sure what I’ve been doing.

Last night we were in town until just after dark. I pulled up the driveway and noticed that Tommy had put himself away for the night. I have the electric around the ponies’ night pen. I thought it was pretty awesome that he put himself away. I’m guessing he didn’t want to try and deal with the electric. I have the gate too close to the electric.

Tommy whinnied at me and then Bob whinnied at me. I figured I’d better hurry over and get the gate shut so Tommy and Skippy can stay in their night pen before getting Bob’s supper ready. That’s when I realized it. I was missing a pony! Yes! A pony went AWAL. I couldn’t believe it. No Skippy in the night pen!

I wasn’t sure how long Skippy had been out of the lawn pasture or where he could possibly be. It was pretty dark since it was sprinkling and the moon was completely hidden behind the clouds. I didn’t panic but was very worried that he might end up on the road. I figured there were enough places for Skippy to go and eat grass that he shouldn’t/couldn’t be too far away.

I’ve taken to leaving the hay shed door open so Maverick can see the ponies, in case he starts to get upset about being by himself. For some odd reason I decided I’d go into the hay shed. There was Skippy standing right next to the ¼ pile of alfalfa from last year’s lager bale. I did start to panic when I thought he’d gotten into it. But I looked and couldn’t see where he’d moved the tarp. I think if we would have come home any later he would have been into the alfalfa and I would have been calling the vet!

And of course, his lead rope and halter are in the barn and I’m in the hay shed. So over I went to grab some trusty twine. It works great for just about anything! I looped it around Skippy and let him back to his night pen.

I decided last night that I wouldn’t risk putting the ponies back out on the lawn pasture the next day. I will have to come up with a different place to put the tubby ponies. I was saving a spot in between the barn and the chicken coop but it’s getting over run with creeping jenny/Charlie so I may stuff the ponies in there for a few days until I can get some fencing done in the trees.

I guess even on the quiet days there’s some type of excitement going on at Borderlands.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Four Year Olds

Last night I didn’t do too much with the horses. It rained so the drylot was more like a mudlot. I don’t want to ride Maverick in the mud. I’m not sure how surefooted he really is. So instead I messed with him leading and grooming. He started getting a little uppity with me so I decided it was time to get out of the mud and make him mind. Well, actually, more like make him stand there and think about things while I go do other stuff.

I tied Maverick to a metal pole and did some chores. He really got upset at one point. The trainer always cross tied him, never tied him with just the lead rope. So Maverick circled, and circled, and circled, and circled around the post. He pawed the concrete and messed with the lead rope. I believe at one point he had both front hooves off the ground. At that time I thought maybe I made a mistake. But the horses started coming up to the dry lot so I went to see them and left Maverick standing by himself.

When I got back, Maverick was standing as calm as could be with one leg cocked. I guess he needs some “alone time” to think about things. We may try it again tonight.

Chaos also gave me the greatest gift I could get yesterday. I started messing with him and tried to get on him bareback. Let’s just say I’m too old and fat to try and jump on a horse’s back without some type of assistance. So I pushed him over to the gate and hopped on. I was surprised he let me push him around and hop on. I sat on his back and messed with him. I hung from one side and then the other, much to Mike’s worry. I even stretched out and grabbed his neck and gave him a great big bear hug.

I had my hands wrapped around his neck and my face buried in his mane. It was the best horse hug I’ve had in a long time. I could feel his even breathing and his regular heart beat in my hands. It was the greatest feeling, very calming and relaxing. I actually almost fell asleep. It reminded me so much of Dictator it’s almost scary. How could this four year old gelding be so much like my “ol’ man” that I’m comfortable enough to do just about anything with Chaos? It’s really very odd for me. I always think of Chaos as this little unhandled, wormy, yearling stud colt when really he’s turned into a very magnificent black beauty. I’m really pleased with how Chaos is turning out.

I know some people had their doubts when I first brought him home. And I know others had their doubts when he started getting study and naughty. And I know some people still think I’m crazy for having as many as I do. But I really do think I lucked out with Chaos. Now some of those same people are starting to see Chaos differently and realize that he has so much potential. I really hope to get some miles put on him so that he can become my dependable, go-to guy! And the more I think about it, every horse has potential. You just have to give it time and let them discover themselves. That’s what we did for Chaos.

But last night, just laying on Chaos’s back really made my day. I wish everyone could have a horse like Chaos. He’s definitely one of a kind. I’m sure glad that I took a risk on him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Have Alfalfa Bales

On Sunday we headed up to Madison to spend some life quality moments hanging with the family. I also gave Babe and Queen their 3-way shots. As always, both girls behaved beautifully. I wish I would have had more time to groom them down and spend a bit of time pampering them. I can’t wait to bring them home so I can spoil them rotten. Need to get cracking on the fencing.

After a few hours hanging with the family, Mike and I headed home to get some stuff done. Since we’d spend most of the weekend putzing around not really being productive we decided we better get something accomplished.

Mike and I tackled more of the siding on the garage. I think if we had an entire day, we could have the entire garage done! Hot diggity. As it was, we did get the siding on the front of the garage done so now from the house, the garage looks complete! Yeah! Now we only have two more sides that need just a bit more work. I can’t wait to start parking the truck in the garage!

While we were out working on the garage, our farmer friend stopped by and asked us if we were still interested in getting some small alfalfa bales. Heck yeah!! They were baling up the alfalfa field just to the south of us, the field that has been cut for more than week. Unfortunately that field was rained on for a week steady so I’m hoping the small squares don’t start to mold. I’ll be furious if they are moldy when I finally break into them this winter.

The farmer friend said he was going to start baling that evening so that we should prepare a spot when he gets them done. Since there was barely any wind you could hear him baling up the alfalfa. The farmer friend was actually trying out a new small square baler.

I was so excited. So Mike went back to working on the garage and I rode Maverick around. (We need to do some major work on directions. Neither he or I understand what I’m wanting. I’m asking the wrong questions apparently).

After I got done riding, I talked to Mike and we agreed that maybe we better go and get those small bales. The weather man was predicting rain, again! I didn’t want my bales of alfalfa to get rained on. So we ran down the road and found our 50 sum bales sitting in the field. We asked if we could go ahead and pull them off the field and they said ok!

The flatbed was already attached to the tractor so Mike drove the tractor down while I rode on the flatbed. I owe Mike a set of lights. There’s no approach to get into the field so we had to take the ditch and it ripped off some of his lights he added to the flatbed.

We started loading up the bales, hustling along since the clouds were rolling in and it was getting dark. We didn’t start throwing bales until about 8:30-9:00pm! We got about 1/3 way through and our farmer friend came over and helped throw the rest of the bales onto the flatbed. I’d hoped to get the bales out of the field so he wouldn’t have to handle them. My thinking was that maybe they would be cheaper (and not rained on).

Once we got down the row and had all the small bales picked up we asked how much he wanted for the bales. He said since was trying out a new baler and wanted to test it out anyway that he would cut us a deal. He is only charging me $2 per bale. When I bought the alfalfa two years ago, he charged me $3.5.0. I about fell out of my shoes when he said $2 a bale! I just hope that it wasn’t baled up too wet. I guess we’ll see.

I hoped back on the flatbed and Mike climbed up onto the tractor and we drove home. I have a couple of shots I need to add. Once I fill up the card I’ll get the pics added to the blog. Right now the bales are sitting on the flatbed in the big red shed. I want to wait a couple of days before unloading them. Some of them are really heavy! I need to get my pallets ready. I can’t wait to have a full barn ready for winter!

And to top it off, I talked with my hay guy on Sunday to verify the number of big squares I’ll need for the winter. He also told me that the price of hay wouldn’t be as expensive as last year. Not sure how that works since it’s been so cold and there won’t be as much hay, but I’ll take it no matter what. I have to buy an additional 20 big squares thanks to Maverick and Brego. Those pigs!

So that was my exciting Sunday. I love having the feeling of being prepared for winter and having all the hay ready to go. I absolutely love a full hay barn. It’s a very satisfying feeling to be prepared for the winter when we aren’t even half way through summer. Of course, the hay isn’t cut and it’s not yet sitting at our place but at least I’m on the list. The hay is supposed to be cut this week, weather permitting. Although it’s raining again today so no change of cutting hay in the rain. I sure hope that the rest of the week it stops raining so that they can get my hay cut. I want my hay sitting in the barn, smelling all fresh, and looking pretty.

I guess I’ll enjoy the alfalfa for now!

Farrier Day

Busy weekend. I’ll start out with Farrier Day.

Friday was my flex day so I’d had Dude, Tommy, and Skippy scheduled for a trim since they were in desperate need of it. Unfortunately the weather was awful during most of the day. It started to rain at 8am and never let up until about 2pm. I should never complain about a nice steady straight down rain but after a full week of clouds it does get a little old.

I did chores Friday morning in the rain and became completely soaked. I’ve gotten behind on everything, including the horses’ shots. So I gave everyone their 3-way. I ordered the rabies and it should be here Tuesday afternoon.

I’d locked everyone in the big drylot since they hadn’t had their shots yet and the farrier was supposed to come in the afternoon. Since it was raining out, I decided that I would bring each horse into the barn individually, halter them, and then give them their shots. It went surprisingly easy. I figured I’d have at least one that would be really fussy but everyone was a complete gentleman. I also had to move Tommy and Skippy’s temporary fence around in the rain. So between catching horses for their shots and moving the electric fence, I was completely and utterly soaked. After an hour, my shoes were so soaked that every step felt like I was walking in a puddle.

My farrier called in the morning and asked if we could push our trim date to Saturday. I’d already gotten soaked once in the morning and so did my farrier. We were both ready to call it a day on Friday and wait for it to dry out so we pushed the appointment to Saturday about 2pm.

When the farrier came we started with Skippy first. He’s the smallest but still pretty naughty. It’s a good thing he’s little because he reared on both of us a couple of times. My farrier is awesome. He never lost his cool and was calm the entire time Skippy was pulling stunts on us.

Soon it was on to Tommy who only did a few circles around the farrier. Tommy really has settled down. I figured he would be worse because he’s the Shetland. I guess after seeing Skippy’s behavior he figured he’d stand.

Then it was on to Dude. With Dude’s hips I was pretty nervous that he would do something stupid. So the farrier only did Dude’s front feet. He did take a close look and filed off some of the flair going on with his back feet but for the most part we left Dude alone. Dude is pretty much out to pasture and hasn’t even been ridden in about two years. I’m hoping to contact the chiropractor soon. I want to see if the chiropractor can resolve Dude’s issue. I’m guessing because Dude comes from Impressive bloodlines that we’ll be stuck with a lame horse for a very long time. Oh well.

I also had the farrier take a look at King to see how his shoes were holding up. The farrier was impressed with how well the shoes were staying on. The only problem is his feet are starting to get long again. I want to keep his feet short so that he has a shorter breakover point and may start walking faster. The farrier ordered some pads that will help lift King’s heal. I’m worried that at some point King will develop navicular. He already requires shoes on the front since his feet are soft and flat. I guess in two weeks we’ll see what the farrier does for King.

I also had the farrier take a look at Bob and Sam. Bob stood like a gentleman while the farrier looked at Bob’s feet. He’s in need of a trim too but it’s not as bad as I thought. Sam needs a trim but I’m not so sure my farrier is looking forward to working with Sam. I didn’t see it but Sam did get spooked and I’m not sure if he let out a warning kick or not. Either way, I don’t tolerate bad behavior while my farrier is looking at their feet. I’m going to have to work Sam before we actually do his feet. I guess the farrier is going to bring another person out when we finally do get to the drafts. I know Sam hasn’t been done in over a year. His feet are pointy but holding up pretty well.

So that only left Maverick, Brego, Rain, and Chaos left for feet trimming for the boys. Surprisingly their feet are doing pretty good. I need to get Maverick’s feet trimmed but he’s in no way ready for a farrier. Neither I or the trainer worked with Maverick’s feet. So that’s something I need to work on with Maverick. Maverick did let me touch his legs (even the one with the big scar) and he didn’t care. Of course, it helps that I’m swishing away the annoying flies. Summers are great. I become their best friend because I introduce fly spray, fly masks and other fly relief.

So that was my farrier experience. I’ll blog later more about Sunday’s adventures. Although it seemed like it was a quiet weekend, we sure did stay busy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day in Pictures

Not too much to post about tonight. Farrier came out this afternoon. I'll blog more about it but I think the couch is calling my name.

So instead, enjoy just a few pics.

Chaos and Brego
The herd: Chaos, Rain, Sam, Brego, King, Dude, and Brob

Tommy and Skippy

Rain, rain go away

Finally!! After a full week of clouds, rain, and dreary weather WE HAVE SUN!!! Ok, so we did have a few hours of sun last Monday and um, I'm sure one other day! But the sun has been out ALL morning. And of course I slept through it all. But it's absolutely gorgeous out.

Not too much going on. It's been so dreary I haven't done much with the horses. I was planning on messing with the horses yesterday but right as I as crawling out of bed, it started to rain. DRAT! I ended up spending an hour in the rain messing with the horses and being completely drenched by the time I finally came in the house.

But I did give the horses their 3-way shot. I still need to order the rabies. I can't figure out what's wrong with me this year. I'm behind by about two months. I was going to have the rabies vaccine ordered months ago and I still don't have it done. Guess that's what I'll do after I finish here.

The farrier was supposed to come out yesterday but it was so wet and cold that we decided to postpone it to today. So today Dude, Skippy, and Tommy are getting trimmed. I want the farrier to look at King's feet. I think he's about due for a trim and new shoes. I also want the farrier to look at Bob and Sam. Bob hasn't been done since last fall and I think he's due. I don't know when the last time Sam was done but I'm afraid it was April of 2008. He wears his feet weird so I'm not sure if he'll need it or not. But I want the farrier to decide. Maverick could probably use a trim too but he's not ready yet. I don't have him where he will willingly pick up his feet. And if I'm not comfortable handling his feet yet, I'm darn tooting not going to let my farrier mess with him either. I dont't think it's fair. I'm hoping soon to get Maverick ready for a trim.

It's too nice to be inside, so I'm going to go order my rabies stuff and then head outdoors for a few hours to enjoy the nice weather. I've heard reports that only Saturday and Sunday are going to be nice and then back to rain. Booo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bailing on the Bale Guy

Yesterday we were supposed to get in 100-150 small square bales of ditch grass. The guy who baled the hay had problems with the baler and the hay could only be moved once because of the strings, hence the cheaper price.

After we’d agreed to buy these bales, I found out that it was ditch grass instead of pasture hay. I was pretty nervous about buying ditch grass, sight unseen. The guy sounded pretty nice but I’m still leery of ditch grass. The guy was scheduled to come out Wednesday night about 6pm to unload but he was going to call beforehand.

About 5pm the hay guy called. He wanted to give us a status on the bales. He went on to tell Mike that he’d had two options when baling the hay. It was either leave it down and let it get rained on for who knows how many days, or bale it up wet. He opted to bale it wet and see if he could sell it fast.

That Tuesday I’d read a blog about someone that had purchased wet hay (without knowing) and started having problems. The hay guy checked the bales at 5pm to see how the bales were doing. He said they were pretty wet and that if we would use them up quickly it wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, I was planning on using the bales all summer so that didn’t really work.

So the bale guy bailed on us. Ok, more like we bailed on him. He wasn’t upset that we weren’t interested since it was a bit far for him to haul the bales anyway. So I guess my premonition that the bales wouldn’t be good were true. So now that I’m down to one sliver of the last large bale I guess Mike and I are going to make a run to Madison and bring home one of the emergency bales. I’m glad that I have them but was hoping I could use them this winter instead of this summer. It just means I’m going to have to fork over more money this fall to buy bales to get us through the winter.

So instead of moving hay bales, we moved straw bales. I’d hoped to get a picture of the 90 straw bales on the trailer but I didn’t think to do it until most of the bales were already in the hay barn. It didn’t take us too long and didn’t take up too much room in the hay barn. We could have hefted them up into the barn loft but without a bale elevator, it was easier to just stack them in the hay barn. I’m sure at some point I’ll have to move them around. The hay barn was empty anyway except for 20 straw bales I picked up from family and the leftover alfalfa bales. I think I have a total of 12 alfalfa bales left. I’m hoping to get more alfalfa this summer to last me through the winter. I’m not looking at buying 100 like I did last time. One hundred alfalfa bales took me through two years.

After we moved all the straw bales, I did my chores like normal. It was starting to get dark but I was bound and determined to ride Maverick last night. I have been waiting for the lice to die off but I couldn’t wait any longer. I tried on the saddle a couple days earlier but I still needed to make some modifications. I never did make them last night but I’m hoping to tonight. I really need and want to start riding Maverick. We still have so much to learn about each other but I’m excited to ride. He looks so much like Ace, color and blaze. If I treat him like I did when I first got Ace, I’m bound to depend on him at some point.

Well, that’s it for activities at Borderlands. I’m going to meet up with a gal next Tuesday to discuss getting a saddle club started in our area. Hopefully it’ll go well and we can get some rides scheduled. I’m hoping tomorrow I can email a few people in the area and invite them to the meeting. And if not the meeting, invite them on the trail rides.

Naughty Ponies -- ARG!

The last twelve hours or so have been interesting. I’ll break them into two blogs so I don’t bore you.

This morning I went out to do my normal chores. I was still on cloud 9 after riding Maverick last night. I know I’ve been on him at the trainers and I should have gotten on him right away when I got him back but I waited since I’m a chicken. But it was so great to be on him last night.

So this morning I put on my steal toe shoes (since my tinglies have a hole in them and I didn’t want my feet wet). Tromped on out and fed Maverick his hay and headed over to the big herd to let them out. Nothing too exciting there. There’s usually some fuss. Dude hates Sam and I think it’s rubbing off on Bob so Bob doesn’t like Sam right now either. I’m sure Bob is jealous that Rain is hanging out with Sam instead of him.

Next are the ponies. I haltered them up. They are pretty good about letting me halter them. At first they were real pills but they have improved by leaps and bounds. They were a bit ornery this morning to lead them to their lawn pasture.

I moved the hot fence over to a new section but it ended up being fairly small this time around. I knew Skippy was a tad uncomfortable being that close to the electric on Wednesday. I’m guessing the grass wasn’t all that good. But I am tired of tromping through knee high wet grass and figured the ponies could eat it down for me. They’ve done a wonderful job of eating other portions of my lawn with no problems.

I led, with some difficulty, Tommy and Skippy over to the lawn pasture. Skippy started getting really naughty. I unhooked the leadrope from both Tommy and Skippy. Skippy decided to try and make a break for it. I don’t like messing with the electric fence while I’m hanging on to the ponies so I normally unhook them and then tighten up the fence. Well, I didn’t get a chance to tighten up the fence before Skippy decided he wanted out of there.

Luckily I was able to grab Skippy, literally grabbed him around his neck/chest and hung on for dear life. I was able to get ahold of his halter but right then Tommy came flying by. So then I had a loose horse. As many of you know, I’ve got a pretty bad temper and potty mouth. A screamed a few choice words at both the ponies. Oops. I shouldn’t probably admit that.

By this time I realized that my steal toes are not dry from the last time I tromped through the wet grass. So one foot is completely wet, soaked from the bottom up. I hate wet feet. What’s worse is then they are wet AND cold.

I led Skippy over to the dry lot while Tommy raced back and forth. If I wasn’t so worried about catching him, I would have enjoyed the scene unfolding. Tommy really knows how to fly. He had his tail up like an Arabian and his head held high. He really can run pretty quick. He raced across the yard a couple of times while I led Skippy back to the dry lot.

I threw Skippy in the drylot and watched Tommy race back and forth between the hay barn and the red shed and trees. He really enjoyed running back and forth. The minute I put Skippy in the dry lot he took off running and bucking. He did not stop whinnies for Tommy. If I wasn’t so angry at the time, I would have laughed at Skippy. He has such a high pitched whinny it’s funny to listen to.

After about ten minutes of all out running, Tommy settled down to grab a quick bite to eat. Luckily I’d left a grain dish out to coax him in to letting me catch him. I’m not sure if it was the grain dish (most likely not) or the fact he was out of shape and hungry that made him stop. I know if he didn’t want to be caught, I wouldn’t have caught him. He’s really come around to be a good little Shetland. I enjoy him immensely.

By the time I had Tommy back in the pen the other foot was starting to get wet, from the top down. So now my left foot was soaked from the bottom up and my right foot was soaked from the top down. That might sound funny but you know what I mean!

So the chores that should have taken about ten minutes total took closer to 20 minutes. I guess I shouldn’t be too upset. No one got hurt and the ponies are standing in the dry lot. I’m hoping they’ll think about what they did but I doubt it.

I guess it means I’m going to have to find a different place to put the ponies for tomorrow. I’m thinking I may just put them in the front yard and see what happens. Otherwise I need to do some permanent fencing and get the ponies back into the trees. There’s some really tall grass behind the grain bin along the fence line for the mare pasture. I’ve been thinking of putting the ponies and Maverick in the trees. I guess now is as good of a time as any.

So that was my exciting morning chores. I’ll blog more about the hay guy later. And here I was thinking “ponies aren’t so bad. Why do people think they are so naughty all the time?” HA I know why now! Naughty Skippy. Naughty Tommy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Rode Maverick!

I rode Maverick for the first time since getting him back from the trainers!! YEAH!

Ok so I've only had him back for a week and a half and haven't ridden him until now. oops. But I did it! I rode him.

And to top it off, with everything else going on tonight, I didn't get a chance to saddle him up and ride him until after dark (9:45ish). And to to add a cherry to the top, I saddled him up in the dark, with a new saddle! HAHA Talk about boosting my ego. Ok, so it was stupid on my part to be fiddling with him in the dark but still.

I rode Maverick!

Much more to blog about but it's already 11pm and I still need a shower and then off to bed for yet another day of booooooooring work!

Bale Mistake?

Sure hope I didn’t make a mistake by buying these bales. The guy is delivering the bales tonight. I thought at the time he could deliver to mom and dad’s and we’d just pick them up. But I guess the baler didn’t bale them right so some bales are pretty loose (how many times can I say bale in a sentence?)

So now he’s hauling the bales 40 miles down to us. I’m only paying $2.50 a bale since he had problems with the strings. (Is that right, strings?) And the bales should only be moved once and that’s off the trailer and into someone’s barn. The guy did mention maybe paying for some fuel. I’m a little irritated. That wasn’t part of the ad and I hadn’t figured that into the cost.

And about three hours later, I saw an ad for hay bales out of a pasture/field for $3 and that it would be cut later this week if the weather held. I need the hay NOW but I could have scrounged around for a little bit and maybe gotten better hay. Instead I’m getting ditch grass. So I’m a bit nervous. I thought I learned my lesson last time buying hay sight unseen. I’m pretty picky about my hay quality. I’m also spooked about damp hay, ditch hay, and mold.

I guess if it’s crap hay, I can contact the other person (who will put up about 1200 bales) and sell the other stuff at Kramers. I just need something to get me through the summer with Maverick. I don’t want Maverick on pasture because I’ll never work him then. If he’s near the house, I’ll feel guilty for not working him and go out and mess with him. If he’s in the pasture, not a chance I’ll do anything.

So the hay guy is coming tonight about 6-6:30pm. I got the hay shed ready last night for the bales. I also go the hay barn ready for the straw bales. I want to get the straw bales stacked soon so we can get the flatbed back. We’ve learned that if we don’t unload the trailer right away, it’ll never get unloaded.

Mike called our farmer friend yesterday too. Sounds like I’ll be able to get a few small squares of alfalfa too. He cut the alfalfa already (you can see it from my house). Unfortunately it’s rained the last four days and it’s supposed to rain more. I’m not sure if/when it’ll ever dry out. The alfalfa I bought from him last time was awesome. I hope this stuff is just as good. I don’t know if I’ll have any other horses on alfalfa this winter or not but I want to make sure that I have enough in case I take in an oldster that needs the alfalfa. If Bob and Queen keep up their weight I’ll keep them through another winter so I would currently have three to feed alfalfa. Otherwise, it’ll just be Babe. But if that’s the case, then I’ll HAVE to pick up an oldster for Babe (unless I put Brego in with Babe for the winter). It’s a long story and it makes sense in my head but I haven’t blogged about the possibility that my herd may be reduced due to age/health (of specific horses, not mine).

Mike also asked about borrowing a tractor with a three point on it from our farmer friend. The farmer friend has to do a bit of work on the tractor and then it’s ours for a very short time. So hopefully very soon, Mike and I will be going crazy doing a bunch of major fencing. We have a TON of work to do. I’m going to have to make a list of the materials we need and see if I have enough in my account to cover everything. The fencing around here has been going downhill but I’ve been able to piece things together. Unfortunately, with the number of pushy horses around here I have to do something QUICK before they break through what little fencing is still standing. And to top it off neither Maverick nor Brego respect fences. Dude is starting to push on some fence even though he’s surrounded by grass. I will never figure out the why horses eat grass on the OTHER side of the fence. I need to get the electric up and running soon in the big pasture too. There’s always some type of fencing to deal with.

I’m afraid I may not be making much sense. I think I better go before I confuse you more. I seem to be a bit scatter brained here this morning.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Score! We Have Idiot Bales

Great news! We just scored idiot bales, er, I mean small square bales. I hope it's good hay. It's always so hard to know what you're buying sight unseen. But the guy was willing to sell them for $2.50 per bale and I haven't been able to find anything under $3. It's ditch grass but I think that'll hold Maverick for the summer. I'm going to get stuck paying some fuel costs but it still means I'm paying less than $3 a bale (I think. I can't do math!)

The guy is going to deliver them tomorrow evening. I guess some of the bales have loose strings so it could get a little intersting. Sounds like there's 100 to 150 bales. Yikes! Mike better take some benadryl.

Now I need to figure out where to put them. I never really thought about where to put them when I had Mike give the guy a call. I just knew I needed the hay. I'm guessing I'll just stick them in the hay shed instead of the hay barn. I want to save the hay barn for the straw we just picked up.

I'm just hoping they aren't crap. I guess if they are, I can always take them down to Kramers or save them until this fall/winter and sell them later on. I hate to say it but some people are willing to feed their horses anything. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that it's good ditch grass (although I'm pretty picky about my hay). I don't consider ditch grass high quality but I don't need the high grade hay since it's summer and I'll be putting Maverick out on lawn pasture in a short while. Also, Maverick isn't a hard keeper so ditch grass should be ok.

I was realy starting to panic. I have enough from the last big square to last me through Thursday night. After that, I was going to have to just dump Maverick out on grass and his system isn't ready yet for 100% grass grazing. He needs to work up to it and if he's out on pasture I'll never work with him. So, today really is looking up even more.

Tis the season for small squares. We've now loaded up the straw bales on Sunday and will hopefully start unloading those bales tonight (weather pending). And Wednessday we'll unload the hay. Hopefully it won't be raining. The guy said they've never gotten wet. Keep your fingers crossed that it's good ditch grass.

Rain (as in the moisture not the horse)

I love the smell of rain. It’s my second favorite smell. And no, my favorite smell isn’t horse believe it or not! It’s been rather dreary here the last few days and the weatherman predicts it will be rainy for the next two days.

I did luck out last night. By the time I headed out to do chores last night, the clouds had disappeared and the sun was shining. I decided to try out the “new” saddle on Maverick. The synthetic saddle doesn’t fit and I want to keep my good saddle set up for Rain instead. I also don’t want Maverick to destroy my good saddle if something should happen. I would be much less upset with him destroying this saddle instead.

Unfortunately I was a chicken and didn’t get on Maverick last night. I know I should have but I didn’t. Mike was even there to make sure I didn’t have a wreck. But I want to make sure all the equipment is right and it wasn’t last night.

Mike and I walked around last night and I pointed out some of the stuff I’d like to do. I’m sure it’ll keep him busy now! We looked at the box stall I want to build in the hay shed and the fencing we need to get cracking on. We also looked at where I’ll be stacking the straw bales. I have an idea of where it will all go but it’s going to take me a bit to get everything situated. It does make me happy to see all those bales. I need to get a picture so you can see how full the flatbed is.

I’m now a little panicked about what I’ll do for hay for Maverick. I’ve got the rest of the big square bale that will get me to the end of the week. After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I haven’t seen any ads lately for small squares. I want to save the ten big squares still in Madison for this winter as my emergency stash. I used my emergency stash this year and I’m betting with more horses I’ll need a larger emergency stash.

Anywho, nothing else really exciting. I’m not sure what I’ll get to do tonight with all the rain. At least we are getting moisture. Now if it would clear off and be in the uppers 70s and just rain in the evenings we’d be set!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Close Encounters of the Racoon Kind

I think this weather is starting to get to me. We were supposed to have a trail ride on Sunday but due to the weather it was cancelled. I guess it’s probably better that way. By the time we would have been getting home it was pouring down rain. But I’m still bummed in not getting a chance to ride somewhere.

On Sunday our neighbor stopped over and said that they were moving. So it looks like Borderlands may be getting a new neighbor at some point in the future. The neighbor offered us some of his straw bales for cheap and some other items. We decided to run over there before it started raining to pick up the bales.

The straw bales were tucked into an old single car garage. At one point in time I’m sure it was a nice building but through time it deteriorated. Some of the bales were no good because of the roof leaking. But all in all, we were able to pull out 90 straw bales. I’m disappointed that we’ll be losing a neighbor but I’m always excited to find a good deal.

We did have a hair raising experience while getting the last 10 bales of straw. While we were pulling the bales out, we’d known that something had been living in there. We just presumed it was a cat. Instead, when I pulled a bale out, up pops a raccoon head! Scared the holy bageebers out of me. I dropped the bale and took off running. I could have sworn that I’d seen a baby raccoon but out comes big momma raccoon. She did her “Spiderman” routine and climbed up the wall to the window (which I’d been at not very long before). She then proceeded to climb out the hole and get away.

While I stood there and watched big momma leave, Mike ran over to the neighbor to get a gun. I’m all for leaving things as they are but we can’t have lots of varmit running around. It’s not safe, especially with the number of horses on Borderlands. I was a bit spooked about going back in. I took one step back in the garage and out pops another head! So I wasn’t dreaming! I DID see a baby head. Mike discovered four or five baby raccoons. While Mike was “rehoming” the raccoons, big momma came back. We both heard her jump onto the roof, walk around, and then jump down into the grass.

After the raccoon escapade I decided that we had enough straw and could go. I didn’t really want any of the other straw anyway. All in all, it was a rather exciting day. The hard part now is trying to figure out where to put all 90 bales of straw. We don’t have a bale elevator to get them up into the barn. I have about 20 bales in the hay barn. I’m guessing that I’ll be putting some of the straw in the hay barn. I don’t have any alfalfa bales yet so I’m guessing half the bales will be on one side of the hay barn and the rest of the bales will go on the east side. That should still give me enough room for a few alfalfa bales this next winter.

Mike and I also ran up to Madison to drop off grain for the girls. I’m not sure WHEN we’ll get to fencing. We seem to be avoiding the inevitable. Until the fencing is done, I can’t bring the girls home. I’m not sure how long mom and dad’s pasture will hold out if the girls are on the grass every day. But it does the girls good to be out on grass so I guess when the time comes, maybe then we’ll hustle around and get something figured out.

I did go to Kramers on Saturday but got there too early to see what the horses were going for. I saw few scraggly yearlings and a thinner gelding who was pretty mean but the rest looked pretty decent. I decided that I would be mean too if I was that thin and put in the first pen that everyone sees, with horses, kids, and adults coming and going. After sitting there for an hour watching tack, I decided that we should just go home and get something done. It rained on Saturday so the place was packed. Of course, it was packed full of lookie loos. Even the tack was selling for even cheaper than normal. I’m guessing the recession and economy are starting to finally seep down to this area. It does make me very nervous to know that the recession is finally hitting so close to home. Guess I better start planning now to bring more oldsters into the rescue.

That was pretty much the extent of our adventures this weekend. I’m hoping this week will be calm and I can get some stuff done around the place. It’s supposed to be raining until Thursday but more rain for the weekend. I know we need the rain but I’d be much happier with a thunderstorm at night and bright skies during the day. I need the constant sun.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Maverick - Week One

I’ve been working with Maverick all week. I feel bad that he’s in a fairly small pen (the ponies’ night pen) so I try to get him out and lounge him even if it’s just a little. Fiddling with him forces me to mess with him and be more comfortable around him. Fiddling with him also forces him to adjust to my manners. I may not be working him hard or testing his knowledge but I at least am out there making him think about what I’m doing. Until the lice is gone, I can’t risk contaminating my saddle so I’ll continue to fiddle with him.

Sunday I didn’t do much with him other than put him in the pony pen and let him hang out.
Monday I pulled him out and we lounged for a little while. (I can’t spell longed correctly so please pardon my spelling.) It’s a learning curve for both of us. I know I was starting to get frustrated because I don’t know what cues to ask. Unfortunately, Maverick knows more than I do so he can push my buttons. I know I was a bit upset Monday night after working him. I set too high of expectations and need to remember that he’s only a kid and you don’t push kids.

Tuesday I decided that I would add some extra elements and that really seemed to make him pay more attention. Of course after just a short time we were back to the same old antics. But I lounged him over two logs/posts and two barrels. There’s a lot of work to be done to get him to go in and around each barrel. But I’m game for trying. I also fitted him with a bridle to distract him even more. I know that he can handle a lot since he did just come from the trainers and was being ridden pretty well. So I figure if I throw in each of the elements, he’ll at least not get as bored with me.

Wednesday I pulled out the synthetic saddle and fitted him with it. I definitely need to trade in the synthetic saddle. It doesn’t fit him AT ALL! The saddle hit him in all the wrong places but he stood like a good boy and let me fiddle with tightening and adjusting as needed. I lounged him with the bridle and saddle and he did just fine. He wasn’t fazed by the fact the saddle didn’t fit and kept flopping around, banging him in the back. Working him in both directions, really made me realize I need to get rid of that saddle and buy one that actually fits him. I also decided that I better cut out some of the lice in his mane. When I took Maverick to the trainers, I figured he would cut a bridle path. When I took Chaos, he actually used same cutting blades on Chaos’s bridle path and had the girls braid up his mane. I’m sure it was the girls who insisted on braiding Chaos’s mane and getting the bridle path looking so clean. I on the other hand only use a scissors to cut a bridle path. But when I went to pick up Maverick, nothing had been done to cut his bridle path. I’m wondering now if the trainer thought I didn’t want a bridle path on Maverick so he left it as is. Wish I would have been able to cut it before he’d gone to the trainers so that the trainer could have messed with the clippers on Maverick. At any rate, I decided to cut Maverick’s bridle path. He stood pretty well for letting me mess with him. I may need to teach him to lower his head when I start cutting his bridle path. Instead he raised his head but I’m sure in time he’ll lower it if I work with him. All the others have the naughty habit of raising their heads when I go to cut their bridles paths.

Thursday I decided that lounging him is only good for burning off a bit of his energy. So I decided to change it up a bit. I put the bridle on and worked him in both directions. Then I pulled the bridle off and worked him in both directions. Since I’m not good at making him lounge in both directions we cut out early and I started fiddling with him. I did have him side passing. Ok, so he was actually sidepassing without evening knowing it or me asking. I think I may have been asking but I don’t know how to properly ask and get the correct results every time. Maverick is in need of a trim but the trainer didn’t work with making him give his feet. I started working on his front legs (still too intimidated with his back legs). I messed with both his front legs. He’s not so happy with me messing with his right leg but I believe that’s because he cut that leg just above the hoof and it’s probably still a little tender. But by the end of my fiddling, I was able to touch the scar and he didn’t mind. I need to work on him giving his feet but he’s at least comfortable with me touching his legs. Now if that’ll be the case today or not, who knows. I also decided that I would walk him up and down the driveway to get him used to me and my manners. He followed pretty well although he started getting a little forward and adventurous when I wanted him to stay by my side. I also added in the element of the Mighty Massey while working with him. Mike was working on the garage while I messed with Maverick. I decided to walk over to where Mike was working and see how well Maverick would handle farm machinery. He did get a bit uncomfortable but took everything in pretty well. He only spooked once but I had him on the lounge line so he couldn’t ripe away from my grasp. I let him graze just a little so that he could get used to the tractor running and being near him. I also introduced fly spray in a spray bottle. I’ve been simply wiping it on him but I decided to drench his mane this time around with a spray bottle. He wasn’t too thrilled with it but didn’t totally blow up on me like Dude does. He let me spray his mane (all the way up to his ears) and then his back. I was pretty impressed.

This morning everyone was very calm walking out into the pasture. Rain did a couple Pilates stretches before walking out to the pasture. I love watching Rain stretch. Brego is so fat that he waddles. His tail swishes back and forth because he’s so fat. I’d rather see him fat than skinny like when he first came in. I also am being brave today. I put the ponies out on grass with just one strand of electric. Mike will stop by Borderlands at least once during the day for work related purposes so I’m sure he’ll be able to check in on the horses. I need to start putting the ponies out on pasture/lawn grass so that they get used to it. I don’t want to feed any horses hay. I’m to my last bale I broke open awhile ago. I’m considering buying some small squares to hold me over. I’m planning on keeping Maverick in a small drylot so that I can constantly work with him instead of trying to hunt him down in the pasture. It’ll force me to work with Maverick instead of being lazy.

Last night after I was finished with chores, I surprised Mike. Chaos was standing right next to the gate so I climbed up real quick and hoped on Chaos’s back. Of course, I didn’t have anything with me to guide him so I was more of a passenger than a rider. I think Mike must have thought I was crazy. Chaos is the only horse I can hop on bareback and just putz around with. Ok, not true. I can do the same thing with Dude but I don’t ride him like I need to with Chaos. I figure if I torment Chaos enough he’ll be used to anything and everything and not be surprised when we finally DO go on a trail ride.

So that’s it for my adventures with Maverick up to this point. I think we are both adjusting to one another. It may take me a bit more to adjust to him but I need to remember that he’s only going to try and push my buttons and I can’t allow that. I just need to give it some time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stormy Skies

Ok so I haven't yet figured out how to post pics correctly so please pardon the spacy pic layout.

The other night we had some spectacular skies. Clouds were rolling in but the sun was setting giving everything a golden, errie hue. The picutres don't do the skies justice. I love taking pictures of the horses when the sun is setting. The light bounces off the horses giving them golden highlights.

I can't remember now if we got any rain from these clouds or not but it sure did make for some interseting pictures.

I'd like to put some of the pictures into Photoshop so that I can lighten up the images and remove the spook eyes from some of the horses. I love the backdrop colors of the pic with Sam and Rain.

On an off note, Sam scared the bageebers out of me the night before last. Sam has been so attached to Rain it's pathetic. Sam is pretty much attached to Rain 24x7. I've been saying they've been attached to each other by the brain lately. But Sam scared me. Rain came up into the drylot and Sam didn't follow. I started to panic. Sam is still pretty thin so I started running through the worst case senarios. I really thought that he had died out in the pasture. Dude, King, Chaos, and Rain were in the drylot and Bob was standing in the barn. I started walking down the lane and I saw a body. I was sure it was Sam laying out in the pasture and that he'd passed away. Never mind I completely forgot about Brego! I started running through the pasture to find out that the body I saw was Brego munching on grass while Sam was farther down the hill eating. Good lord! But as I walked up, Brego decided to lay down and start eating (he was too lazy to stand and graze, he decided he would curl up and graze). It took a bit of coaxing but I got both Sam and Brego into the drylot. By that time my heart was back out of my throat.

Sam = 1 / Shanna = 0

More storm clouds over Borderlands.

I love the light that shines down the driveway and hits the barn. It gives the place a golden hue. Brego has really turned into a healthy,happy horse. He's adjusted well to the big herd. I can walk up to him with a halter and he doesnt' care. I can pick on him and he doesn't care.
Doesn't Brego look relaxed and happy? He doesn't look like he has poor comfirmation in this pic either. I'm hoping that he'll go through another growth spurt and not be as gangly but I'm betting this is the way he'll be from now on. But I guess I'm ok with it. He gets along great with the entire herd and isn't aggressive. I love having passive horses who like to hang out with me and not demand much. If I can walk up to them and give them a great big hug without them giving a care in the world, that's the horse for me. Brego lets me give hugs and kisses. I love it.


I’ve come to the realization that I’m still a little uncomfortable with Maverick. It’s nothing that he’s done since returning from the trainers. I’m afraid it’s my problem and stems from when I had him before (all during winter). He’s actually turned into a great boy and I’m impressed with how much I can do with him.

I’ve taken him out twice now and lounged him. I wasn’t going to saddle him until later but I think I need to add in more challenges. He’s going to be the type of horse that always needs to be active. Unfortunately when I got him back, he had lice. I don’t want to infect the rest of the herd so I’m keeping him separate, in the pony pen. Problem is, the only place for me to ride in an enclosed location is the small dry lot and that’s where I have the ponies right now. So now I don’t know what to do. I need to get on and start riding him but I don’t want to infect the ponies, and thus infect the rest of the herd with lice. I’ve been slathering on fly spray to kill the lice but it’s not an instantaneous kind of thing.

So now I’m afraid that I won’t be willing to get back up on him when the lice is gone.

I’ve also decided that even thought all I really wanted was to be able to handle him, I had thought that I would be more comfortable around him. But it’s just his personality that doesn’t mesh with mine. And really, that’s my issue, not his. I realized last night. I wasn’t impressed with Dude when we first got him. Dude only had 30 days of training on him originally and then he sat when he injured his leg. I was expecting Dude to be like Dictator. When I got Rain back from the trainers, I was expecting him to be like Ace. It took until last year (or the year before) to be comfortable on Rain. When I sent Chaos to the trainers, I expected Chaos to be like Rain (after two years of riding after the initial training). So I guess I’m expecting Maverick to be like Rain after two years of riding and like Chaos’s normal temperament. That’s asking a lot and asking something almost impossible. The only reason Rain is as good as he is, is because I’ve worked with him and put miles on him. Chaos would be the same way if I messed with him. And I think Maverick will be the same way. He just needs miles.

I remember when I first got Dictator. I swore up and down that I was going to get rid of him. But then I decided that I would wait six months before making that decision. He didn’t do what I wanted and I couldn’t figure it out. It’s because he sat for a year or so and was testing me. I got over it pretty quick and never looked back. I need to do the same thing with Maverick. I need to treat him like I did Dictator and just ride him constantly. I’ll never be comfortable riding Maverick bareback like I am Chaos. I was never comfortable riding Rain bareback (still won’t ) . But I climb up on Chaos bareback and just putz around. Why I’m comfortable doing that I will never know. I guess it’s because he reminds me of Dictator and I could ride ol’ Dictator bareback without a care in the world. I’m guessing in time, it’ll come with Chaos. But I guess I need to start treating Maverick like I do Rain and just ride him all the time.

Now if I can only be patient long enough for the lice to be killed off. I lounged him just with a halter Monday. After just a few rounds Maverick was bored. So yesterday I added some additional options. I put on a bridle and made him lounge over some posts and around some barrels. My knowledge of lounging is minimal so I need to do some research. I’m thinking tonight of pulling out the spare saddle and saddle pad so I don’t contaminate my saddle (since I’ll be using it this weekend).

I’m thinking of selling the synthetic saddle and getting a different saddle that fits better. I found one that has a high cantle. I’m thinking the high cantle may be good for Maverick. I’d prefer to have two different saddles. One that fits Rain and one that fits Chaos, Maverick, and King. It’s only a few adjustments to my saddle but it’s still a pain. I need to buy a new cinch since mines all yucked up and rusty.

So that’s it for now. There’s going to be a huge learning curve with Maverick. I need to be very diligent about working him every day so that he gets used to me and I get more comfortable with Maverick and his behaviors. I need to get a few more pics of Maverick while he’s still all muscled and looking good. I’m sure he’ll go back to looking flabby in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pasture Pics

King, Dude, and Bob

Chaos and Brego

Rain and herd bound Sam

Monday, June 1, 2009

Welcome Back Maverick

Welcome back Maverick!

I’d talked with the trainer this past Friday and he said Maverick was ready and I could swing by and pick him up on Sunday. We made arrangements for me to pick Maverick up in the afternoon.

When I’d dropped Maverick off in April, I’d shown great concern for being very uncomfortable around him. I actually had him come out to load Maverick and take him out of the trailer when we got there. So I know the trainer knew how uncomfortable I was around him originally.

When I got there, Maverick was a completely different horse, very much assured of himself and self-confident. I love seeing a completely different horse after the trainer works with them. ABOS-FREAKING-LUTELY LOVE it. I’m very satisfied with how the trainer works with the horses.

He greeted me when we got there and took me back to where Maverick was staying. The first thing he did after haltering Maverick was show me the two cuts Maverick acquired while staying there. I of course wasn’t worked up over it at all. Maverick is a fence rubber. I probably should have warned him to put him in a different stall where he might not ruin the trainer’s facility.

The trainer lead Maverick out on a loose lead rope, actually just draped over his shoulder. I think that was to show me how calm Maverick is. He tacked Maverick up, slowly and did a bit of cinch work to make sure he wouldn’t buck. He led Maverick to the round pen where he proceeded to do just a bit of ground work making him go in both directions at a trot and a lope. Maverick responded beautifully. Then the trainer showed me how he decent zed Maverick with the whip and grocery sack. The trainer then got on. Maverick stood like a gentleman. The trainer trotted him around the round pen and then moved out to the bigger arena. May I just add, this facility is awesome. Nice round pen and HUGE arena to work in. The trainer trotted and loped Maverick. He got him into the correct lead and showed me the two different stops he put on Maverick. I think he worked more on stopping Maverick because of my concern for handling and riding him.

I’m really satisfied how the trainer worked with Maverick and focused on areas of my concern. When the trainer got off he had me get on Maverick and try him out. I know it’s going to take a bit of work. Maverick likes to push buttons and will push mine but I need to remember to be consistent and patient. Something I’m not. So from today on I’m going to work on being consistent and patient with Maverick.
I trotted around the arena and walked him. I even got him to move off my leg. I need to remember that to get him to constantly move, to keep bumping his side and when I stop bumping his side, that’s the cue for him to stop. He even put some neck reining on Maverick, which I think Maverick prefers. I think Maverick prefers that I stay out of his mouth, which is what I prefer too!
As the trainer was leading Maverick back to the saddling area, I mentioned that Maverick had had thirty days put on him as a two year old. I told him the name and we both proceeded to tell our stories. We both came to the same conclusion. In fact, that same “trainer” name came up on the Crooks Trail Ride and I believe those people were on the same page as myself and trainer. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there with the same thoughts and feelings about certain “trainers”.
After unsaddling Maverick, we went to load him. Unfortunately the trainer didn’t get a chance to work with Maverick on loading. It took a bit to get him back into the trailer. I think it’s a sign Maverick wanted to stay. Haha Really I think Maverick needs a job and I need to make sure I give him a job!
It took a bit of persuasion but Maverick loaded. To top it off, Maverick stood in the trailer while we gabbed on about horses and life in general. Maverick didn’t paw the trailer at all. I was very pleased with his behavior. He whinnied a couple of times but that’s’ it.
When I got Maverick home, I put him in the smaller dry lot. I played around with Maverick just a little to gain my confidence. I was afraid I would lose my confidence the minute I put him back into the same pen he was in. We walked around on a long lead rope and he followed like a puppy dog.
The trainer pointed out that Maverick needed to be wormed and that he had bots under his mane, which I thought was weird. I looked a bit closer when I got home and found out it was lice. So I doused him with fly spray. Unfortunately that just made the lice crawl to a different spot on him.
The big herd didn’t know he was there until I went around the corner and Maverick whinnied for me. Yes, he actually whinnied for me! Then the herd appeared and that was the end of me messing with him. I didn’t think about the lice until after mom and dad had left and I was sitting there. The horses had been playing across the fence with Maverick and I started to worry that the entire herd would catch the lice. So I pulled Maverick back out and put him in the pony pen. He’s been there before when I first got him. I was a bit worried that he would freak out since he’d be by himself. But at the time he had the ponies to see. But I put the ponies in the smaller dry lot (that’s a story for another day).
I proceeded to completely cover Maverick in fly spray. I’m going to do the same thing again tonight to see if I can’t kill off the lice. Maverick whinnied a few times but settled down to eating and watching the big herd. I checked the big herd over for lice and pulled off a few on Chaos. I think I’ll worm everyone and douse them all with fly spray tonight to make sure I kill the little buggers. I need to buy some luster.
This morning I was a bit worried that Maverick would be upset being alone. This would be the first time he would be completely alone and void of horses. While at the trainers, he was surrounded by horses. But Maverick is pretty comfortable and assured of himself so I wasn’t as worried. I did open the door so he could get peeks of the ponies when they walk by. I’m not sure my panels will hold up to much beating and fighting if Maverick decides he is definitely going to escape.
Both times I put the fly spray on, Maverick stood there like a gentleman. He did get anxious the first time, which spooked me but I need to start treating him like I do the others, and I trust the others. If I’m not afraid of him, he won’t pick up on my nerves. I was a bit wary of Brego and look how much I do with him. I have more stories of Maverick already but I’ll save those for a different entry.

Doesn'tMaverick look like a completely different horse in the pictures? Of course I never really got any good pictures when I had him before. He gained alot of muscle and some weight while staying with the trainers. I'm pleased. I'll have to get better pictures of him tonight and when I put him under saddle (probably not until after the lice is gone).