Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I realized it's been awhile since I last posted. I've been so wrapped up with chores and work that there hasn't been time for anything else. I'm afraid winter is really starting to wear on me. I fell asleep last night before 8pm! I must be getting old!

We had that beautiful January thaw. Unfortunately it brought frozen drifts that are frozen just enough for me to fall through. It also brought lots of ice. Luckily most of that ice is not in the horse pens but I've come close to falling flat on my face multiple times. Ok, so last night I fell flat on my face falling through a snow drift and proceeded to fall again while trying to get up. I know, it's hilarious but still frustrating. :-)

I was caught off guard for this past storm. Luckily we were able to make it out this morning after the plows busted through yet another huge snowdrift at the end of the driveway. And thank goodness for neighbors. Our friendly neighbor stopped over tonight with his truck and plow and pushed away a ton of snow. It's easier on Mike if the neighbor pushes snow with the truck and then Mike can pile up the snow with the tractor. I think we are in need of a different tractor. So I'm now on the prowl for one.

And along with Mother Nature kicking my butt work has me totally swamped and stressed at the same time. So there's really not much time for me to do anything these days except stress. By the time I come in at night from chores I'm so tired I can't even think. Luckily tonight I'm still in "go" mode so I figured I'd post real quick. I have lots more to say but no time to say it. Hopefully things will slow down a little soon so I can actually enjoy the horses again.

But for now I'll leave you with some wintery horse pictures I took during the Christmas Blizzard.

Maverick just after being put into the big herd. Since he still has his halter on in this picture, I must have eiher let him in that day or the day before. Don't worry, he's not wearing a halter now. I've been sporadically putting Maverick in with Jimmy. Hopefully Jimmy will adjust to being here. He's really got me worried. I have to separate Jimmy and Maverick at supper time so that I can pump Jimmy full of food. I've had easy keepers and hard keepers but I've never had a picky eater before. Jimmy really is making me pull out all my knowledge.

Rain with King in the background. King prefers to stand on the poop pile and demolish it. I think it actually helps his feet. He's got such flat feet that any hard surface bothers him. I do think that this colder weather has helped with his muscle problem. I havent' been giving him any of the Equi-Sec since the snow started flying. I'm sure that once spring rolls around I'll put him back on it. My plan is to keep his shoes off and buy boots for the few times that I'll actually ride him this coming riding season.

My beautiful Zeke. He's getting naughty lately but he really is a sweetheart. I can't wait to show him off.

Poor Skippy. I had to roach his mane. He got into so many cockleburs that the only way to take care of it was to cut his mane. So now it really makes his neck look thick. He was enjoying the Christmas blizzard. I swear he must of thought he was a dog. Every time I'd pull him from his stall and put him in the pen, he'd stick his nose into the snow and fluff it up onto his face like a dog. Tommy doesn't care one way or another about the snow. He's only interested in eating.

I have to be careful when I feed the ponies. The big herd likes to snitch from the ponies. But the ponies are rough and tough on the other side of that gate. Both Skippy and Tommy can hold their own when there's a gate in between them and one of the bigger horses. Usually the ponies will play with Maverick, Chaos, Dude, or King. The rest dont' want to be picked on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tackling the ToDo List

Today has been a fairly productive day. It's been so nice out but we've had to run errands the past week so we haven't had a chance to do anything. Today was finally the day to tackle the projects on our To Do list.

Just before Christmas, we ran up to Wentworth to pick up some hay/alfalfa round bales. It's a bit tricky for us to buy round bales since we don't have the right tractor to easily move round bales. Right after we got the round bales home, the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 hit and we had to just pull the trailer into the shed and let it sit. We finally had enough time to widen the path from the shed down to the mare pen. Mike had to move a lot fo snow before getting a place to leave the round bales too.

After the blizzard and "deep freeze", Mike and I went for a drive in the late afternoon to investigate the roads and snow drifts.

Just preping where the bales were going to go was a huge task. Then came the task of pulling the bales off. It's not an easy task since the tractor cannot lift the round bales. All we can do is slide them off and push them around to where we want to go. I swear Mike must have arms of steal. The tractor has no power steering and no live power. I don't know how he does it.

We finally got the bales off the trailer and then it was on to the next task on our list. Jimmy has been done with quaranteen for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunatley with the terrible blizzard and then the freezing temps, it was impossible to move Jimmy to the back pen. So he had to stay in his quaranteen area for an additional 1-2 weeks.

I was able to dig out the corral panels so I could actually lead Jimmy out of there. We also had to do some fencing. The storm prior to the big blizzard had lots of wind which did damage do the wind block. Unfortunately the smaller pen Jimmy was going in to had some fencing issues.

Brego during the Christmas Blizzard. I think this was the first day of sunshine in a while.
The fences around here aren't the greatest. All of the long standing fences took the hit of a herd of cattle. And let me tell you, cows are hard on fences. So we've had to make due with what's here and improvise. Luckily the fence wasn't too hard to repair and I was able to get Jimmy out of his pen.
I figured there would be a huge uproar with lots of running, squealing, bucking, rearing, farting, biting, etc. Nope. I was wrong. Jimmy did a bit of running and bucking but otherwise everyone was pretty calm. Maverick was the only one interested right away. Zeke came over after awhile since he's best buds with Maverick. Dude did go and investigate after eating all the hay. I'd thrown hay out to the herd just to side track them for as long as it took me to get Jimmy into the pen.

Dude with Rain in the background. Pics taken during the Christmas Blizzard.
I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't as much commotion as I'd figured there would be. I'm actually relieved. About this time, I realized it was time to start the never ending task of chores. I was excited to break open the round bales for the mares. I really thought it would make life easier by having the round bales right next to the fence so I couldn't have to crawl through a fence to feed them.
I was, unfortunately, very disappointed after breaking in to them. I was told that I was buying alfalfa/hay bales. After getting into the bale, it's straight alfalfa. I needed the additional hay bales because I brought Jimmy in and I didn't have enough hay. Now I'm in a dilema. I have three alfalfa bales and no hay.
I dont' have enough hay at this point. I've been doing some math, trying to figure out if I have enough. I did buy some small squares when I bought the rounds and that has helped to offset the number of bales I've already burned through. But least to say, I was very angry.
Unfortunately, having those three round bales really puts a damper on my spirits. I'm being over run by rabbits and now I have three bales sitting in the open just waiting for those damn rabbits to dig in. It's practically a smorgishboard.
So I'm now left with a bitter taste in my mouth although we did tackle almost everything on my list that needed to be done today. I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. I'd really like to go for a ride, even if it's just in the small pen. We'll see. I'm betting we'll have more errands to run instead.

Sam resting after being cooped up in the barn all night. This was during the Christmas Blizzard. I did take Sam's blanket off today since the weather has been so nice. I am being brave and leaving it off tonight. The weatherman is calling for rain/snow later this week so the blanket will go back on. I thought Sam might enjoy some time without the blanket for a little while.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sam Goes Searching

I had a laugh last night thanks to Sam. Every evening I let Sam into the barn to have his warm mash. It usually takes him forever. He picked up Bob's bad habit of slobbering all over EVERYTHING! So it takes a lot longer than it should.

By the time Sam is done slobbering on everything and is ready for his hay, it's dark out. The yard light is on so it's not pitch black. I have to admit that I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between horses when it's dark out or I'm far away from the horses. Rain and Brego have a similar dish head. Chaos and Rain look alike becaues they are both black with two white hind socks. If I need to figure out who is who in the dark or from far away it takes me a couple minutes.

I let Sam out last night. I figured Sam would go over to King's pile (cuz he's ornerey that way). But he didn't. He walked over to Chaos, then took a couple more steps over to Rain. Then he stood there for a few minutes and then ambled over to Brego. Sam was looking for Brego but couldn't tell who was who in the dark. It made me laugh. I know I'm simple minded. But it was pretty cute. It took me a few minutes to realize what Sam was doing but after I realized that he was looking for Brego I busted out laughing.

Sam is such a character. I never really figured him to be a goof ball but he really is a clown.

I need to get him a new blanket. He's in one that's too big. We still have a lot of winter left so I'd like to put a blanket on him that actually fits. Actually, I'd prefer not to blanket him at all but I screwed the pooch on that one. He was so thin this fall that I wanted to make sure he stayed dry and warm. So I threw the blanket on him in November and it hasn't come off since (ok not really but you know what I mean). He doesn't have any winter hair on his back or butt so I have to leave it on. But since I have to leave it on, I'd like to find something that fits him a little better. Just my luck, he requires a size 90. Just shy of really large horse size but not a typical draft size. I'm struggling to find a blanket in my price range. I guess that's the price I pay for having a draft. Oh well. Must always have a draft at Borderlands. I need a calming gentle giant on the place. :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yesterday I emailed my trainer. Ok, so he's not really my trainer as far as lessons go since I don't take lessons yet. He's my trainer that I take all my youngsters to. Jake Jass is his name and I'm very happy with the results. Of coures the results vary from horse to horse but he's pretty honest and upfront.

I realized this weekend that Brego is 5 and does not yet have any formal training, or what I would call formal training. I don't believe sending a 2yr old to a bad trainer and then not riding them for a couple years as being trained. So I'm starting Brego off on the right foot.

Two years ago I sent Chaos to Jake for training. Last year I sent Maverick. Both came back as confident horses. Maverick came back with more self esteem and manners. I'm still wary of Maverick but we are getting there. Chaos, well, lets just say he is an easy keeper and a fast learner and now I can do just about anything with him.

I'd debated on putting Brego into training until he was 6 but he's recovered from his starvation, grown just a little, and is now starting to get naughty. It's the naughty stage where I send them away for training. They always come back with better manners and less naughty habits that I don't know how to fix.

I contacted Jake just to see if I could be put on the list. I didn't get a chance to talk when he called but it sounds like I could get Brego in fairly soon. I'm a little hesitatant to put Brego into training right now. It's still so early that I wont' be able to put much time on him becaues of the weather. And then when I do finally have time to ride, I'll be busy doing the final preparations for my wedding. But I don't want to slow down Brego's progress so I guess I'll talk to the trainer and see what he thinks.

I was worried about Brego going into training because of his confirmation. His front end is so narrow and he paddles when he walks (throws his feet out instead of his leg traveling in a straight line).

But I think Brego is physically able and now mentally able to handle training. When I first got him, he physically couldn't do anything. He was skin and bones. You could count every rib, see his hips and his spine protruding. It was like someone threw a piece of leather over a skeleton and pulled it tight. I have pics to explain but I need to scan them in. Brego was also so weak that his back end was starting to fail him. His back legs were tucked under him when he first arrived. I didn't know if he even had enough energy to stand.

But Brego has come a long way. He's not as quiet now as he used to be. I had him in with Maverick until this spring. He's been with the main herd ever since. Almost a year of running with the main herd has definately boosted his self confidence. He used to get pushed around by Maverick. I was afraid he'd get pushed around in the big herd. And depending on who is near him, he does get pushed a little.

Brego however has adjusted to herd life and now pins his ears at Maverick. He's learned where he belongs in the herd and enjoys not being at the very bottom. He picks on Zeke but Zeke pushes back. I've also seen Brego take after Sam and they are best buds (or at least were). I do think that Brego is working his way up the pecking order. We'll see what happens after he goes to the trainer.

I guess I'll wait and see what the trainer has to say but I am excited to send him to the trainers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Having a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heat Wave

Look at these temps!!! Thursday night/Friday morning was 28 degrees below zero and Sunday was 28 degrees above zero. What a swing!

I can tell you that doing chores in 20 degree weather is WAY easier than doing chores in below zero temps. My patience is much better, my hands don't hurt, and the horses are a little less irritated that I didn't get out sooner to feed. Maybe now I'll have enough time to do some fencing and get Jimmy back in the small pen to meet the other horses.

Although I did hear a whipser on the wind that this may be the January thaw and that after this week we'll go back into the deep freeze. I sure hope they are wrong. I actually feel like being out with the horses when the weather is warmer. I don't feel so overwhelmed when it's half way warm out. Sad to think that 20s are warm. But at this point, I'll take it.

For now, I guess I'll keep an eye ot the sky.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Double Trouble

Ok, so normall I only talk about the horses but I took some pics of Trouble the other day and I can't resist sharing.

I actually feel bad. Trouble was starting to not feel good so she curled up in her chair and I started taking pictures. Poor girl... what she has to put up with.

Ever watchful, always on guard.

We finally finished the remodel so now Trouble spends her time in the remodel part of the house. The french doors let in a lot more light and she stands there with her nose pressed against the window watching the world around her... because whatever she sees is her world and she owns it.

It's alway so hard to get pictures of Trouble. She's so small and moves so quickly I can never get a decent shot. The only time I can get a good shot of her is when she's snoozing in the sun or sleeping in her chair. I read some where that min pins are always on the alert and getting in to trouble . And when they aren't moving, they are thinking about getting in to trouble. Of course I read that AFTER she'd already named herself.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snow Drifts

Thought I would add some more snow pictures. All of the following pictures are of the road just to the south of us. Our neighbor tried getting through on this road Sunday to take care of his dog and got about a quarter mile before he had to turn around. Most of the snow drifts are almost as high as Mike's Explorer.

One of many drifts the grader had to bust through.

Some of the huge drifts on this road were actually caused by long rows of round bales. I'm not sure how tall round bales are (fairly tall) and the snow drifts were almost as high as the round bale. The drifts that started after the round bales were as tall or taller than the round bales. If you look close, you can see the actual round bales causing the snow drifts.

The drift in the above picture is actually caused by a row of round bales. This snowdrift is as tall as the Explorer. Right now most of the drifts make the road one way traffic. The grader has done a great job winging back most of the snow except where the huge drifts are at. I know they worked hard to even get the roads passable.

I think this is the snowdrift that stopped the neighbor from getting to his house. He even had a plow on his truck. Of course when the drifts are larger than a vehicle it's hard to do much but turn around and head back the way you came.

This shot is actually the beginning of the road. For some reason I can't get my pictures to go in the order I want. So you pretty much just viewed all the pictures backwards. :-) This is a shot right off the state highway. The grader did a great job opening up this road. Luckily no one actually lives on this road. I don't tend to use this road very much because of the number of hills (and the number of crazy people driving). I'd also rather be on a road where if I did get stuck, a neighbor is close by.
Today's high is four degrees but the rest of the week we are supposed to be in the twenties. I can't wait for warmer weather. If it warms up enough were we can actually stand to be outside longer than a few minutes at a time, we might be able to fix the fence in the small pen. Once that fence is fixed, I can move Jimmy over. He's been here more than a month so his quaranteen time is over. I had to keep him where he's at because of the cold weather and the fact it's going to take me a half day just to dig him out. The snow is now up to the first rung of the corral panels and up to the secong rung in a couple of other spots. Maybe I'll actually get some current pics of Jimmy this weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Pictures

Alright, so I know I've been complaining about Mother Nature kicking butt and taking names. I finally got a chance to download some pics. I'll continue to throw snow pics on whenever now that I finally have them. But I thought you might like to enjoy just a few winter pics.

Maveric in the big herd. I think this might have been the first day he was in with the big herd. Lucky for me it was pretty quiet. It's a good thing he's come a long way. I don't have to worry about catching him. He doesn't run when he sees the halter (not like some of the other naughty horses here).

Skippy hanging out. Surprisingly Maverick and Skippy like to play. I can never catch them in the act but it's hilarious to watch. Poor Skippy has to deal with snowdrifts that are as big as him. I need to get a pic of him next to the snow drift Mike's busted out a couple of times. Skip wouldn't even have to put his head down to eat. The snowdrift his head level on Skippy.

I know a lot of people must think I'm crazy to be so worried about getting home to feed the horses. Mike and I went for a drive here tonight to check out the snowdrifts. I sure hope we don't get too many more. The snowdrift in the above picture is taller than Mike's Explorer. If that drift blows shut, there's no getting home. There's actually about a half dozen snow drifts that are either at or above car height on this road and the other possible route home.

Since I stayed home today I couldn't resist taking a couple pictures of Trouble. She wasn't too impressed. :-)

Another Cold One

I'm not sure we've hit our high or not. I wasn't sure what this morning was going to bring. Last night's adventure to the neighbor's was enough for me. It took us a half hour to go 1/4 mile to the neighbor's place, let the dog out, and head back. We got stuck at least three times. I didn't' figure this morning that the plows would be out early. I was wrong. So of course I puttered and didn't get around to doing chores until much later than I should have. So instead of being a good employee and hustling to work, I'm working from home. I do believe the horses of Borderlands take precedence of work. :-)

The high today is seven degrees below. Tonight the low is supposed to be 28 degrees below zero. The night before last Dude was in the hay shed stall and he managed to pull a tarp and get into the hay. I decided I'd better not put him in that stall again. So last night I put King in that stall. What do you know, King pulled the tarp down and started eating the hay too. Those dirty rascals. I was not impressed. Now I'm not sure WHO to put in that stall. I'm half tempted to put the ponies in that stall but the last time they were in that stall they got in trouble too. There's simply too many temptations in that stall. But with the cold temps tonight, I guess I'll just have to deal with it.

I keep going through all the summer pictures to try and keep me warm. I found two that are helping.

View from Castle Rock in the Black Hills (from our vacation)

Luckily after tonight we'll be on the warm up. They are actually saying by Tuesday we'll be 28 degrees. How can we go from 28 degrees below zero at night to 28 degrees for a high? I don't get it but I'll take it. They are actually saying that it might get up to 30 degrees for the high sometime next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This tromping through the snow in sub zero temps is really starting to wear on me.

Mike climbing off the tractor. We were picking up our alfalfa in the evening just before a rain storm.

But on the bright side, the days ARE getting longer. I now don't have to panic that I won't get everything done before it gets dark. I'm still doing chores in the dark but at least I can relax for a few minutes before heading out. I just have to remind myself of summer (and all the bugs and heat we have to deal with!) Still, I'll take the bugs over the sub zero temps... at least today.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tucked In

Everyone is tucked in for the night. As luck would have it, Mike was able to get another water tub so I could stuff yet another horse in the barn. We made a temporary stall in the barn so the ponies could get out of the wind. If I have them in the hay shed stalls it's a bit tricker for me to get them back to their pen. Skippy's gotten a bit naughty. It's his herd bound issue that I have yet to work with.


I was also able to get a blanket on Jimmy. I worry that he'll get too cold even though he can get out of the wind. I've been pretty disappointed with him so far (and it's been a month and a couple days since bringing him home). He's ready to come out of quaranteen but he's been so standoffish that I'm afraid to even put him in a bigger pen. I'll never be able to catch him. But tonight once I caught him and got a halter on, he was a perfect gentleman. He never once moved while I was fiddling with the blanket and even when I walked away he continued to stand where he was. I don't get it. He was a 4-H horse and yet he's spookier than all get out when there's no halter. Maybe it's just a confidence thing since he's only next to Longhorn and none of the other horses. Oh well, I guess it's a matter for another day.

And thanks to our neighbor, Mike doesn't have to push snow. The neighbor came over tonight and pushed snow with his plow. We would have been ok, but it's so much nicer having a nice plowed path instead of dealing with five or six inches of snow. I feel bad the neighbor keeps coming over to bail us out, but I think he also enjoys it. :-) Boys and their toys.

Rain and Sam
If we don't have work tomorrow, maybe I'll be able to get some pictures of yet another storm in the works and show the quantity of snow. I think we are up to two feet of snow. There's a huge snowdrift in the middle of the yard that comes up to my hips. Granted I'm short, but it's a HUGE drift that spans a few hundred yards. Too big for most anything to push through. Oh for summer!

Snow Storm Round Two

Glad I made it home from work. I think I made it home just in time for the snow to start picking up. At least there isn't a lot of wind yet. I'm itching to go out and start doing chores but it's too early. I'd rather not stick horses in stalls just yet. Queen, even with her joint supplement, still gets stiff standing in her stall. And I'll have the ponies in the barn tonight so who knows what damage those little rascals will do.

The camera batteries are dead again so who knows if I'll get any pics of today's snow and tomorrow's possible blizzard. I still need to post pictures from the last snow storm. Always some never ending task to be done.

I guess I just wanted to post to say we're battoning down the hatches here at Borderlands and waiting out yet another storm. On the bright side, I'm working with a small group of people to create a local saddle club. I'm hoping to promote rescue at that time.

Oh, and my wonderful sister! For my Christmas present, my wonderful sister gathered all the necessary initial paperwork to become incorporated and become state nonprofit. Ok, so it may be the beginning stages but at least someone is out there looking after me! I really do rely heavily on my family. My old neighbor is the one that owns the hay. My uncle bales that hay AND delivers (along with my cousin). Mom, Dad, and Mike are my worker bees who get stuck.. I mean.. have the privilege of fencing and performing odd but necessary jobs around the place. I really don't know what I would do without them! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another One on the Way

Did I mention Mother Nature is really trying to stress me out? I'm sure the image is too small but tonight is 20 degrees below zero and Thursday is 4 degress below zero.. for the HIGH!

I'm going to have to take a tally of all my blankets and get them set up for specific horses. I can't have horses out in that kind of weather!

Mother Nature Kicking Butt

I'll be the first to admit it; Mother Nature is kicking my butt. I had a hard time adjusting from the 40 degree weather to the 20 degree weather in late November/early December. Then Mother Nature made the temps drop even more.

Mother Nature proceeded to dump almost two feet of snow on us in late December and now in January we are stuck with sub zero temps. I'd say:

Mother Nature: 4
Me: 0

Tommy and Skippy in one of their lawn pastures

I keep looking back through some of the summer pics where the horses look so shiny. At least they look fat and happy now. They may be wolly mammoths but at least they are fat wolly mammoths.

I think Trouble has the right idea. For the next three months all I want to do is snuggle in to my favorite spot on the couch with my blanket and snooze. Maybe I'll peek my head out once in a while to see what the world is doing but otherwise I'll just snuggle in for the long haul.
Trouble snoozing
The weatherman is calling for even colder temps later this week. I'm already struggling with trying to find places for everyone to be stalled. With 20 degrees below zero temps I'm going to struggle even more. I need to start planning my morning chores to make sure I have enough time to get everything done so I'm not late for work.

View looking south of Borderlans Driveway

I can only hope as the sub zero days pass along that we'll yet again have nice weather. That's what keeps me going right now even if Mother Nature is kicking my butt.
I will have to blog about it later but have I ever mentioned I love my family. My sister gave me the best Christmas present ever. I'll keep you in suspense until later! :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tucked in for the Night

The horses are tucked in for the night. All was quiet when I went out to do chores. In fact, Maverick was out in the pasture exploring when I went to feed him tonight. I'm changing it up a bit. Babe, Queen, Zeke, Rain, and Sam are in the barn. But I decided to put Chaos and Brego in the hay shed stalls this time and leave Maverick out. I'm not sure if it's a smart move on my part or not, but it's what I did. Maverick may get pushed around a bit by Dude and King but he'll have a better chance of getting in the leanto than Brego.

Creek that runs past the cabin.

Tomorrow we go to Madison to celebrate Christmas since we missed it due to the storm. Luckily we won't have to travel right away in the morning. Since the weatherman is predicting 25 degrees below zero I'm going to be a little slow in going out for morning chores. I can only hope they are wrong but it felt pretty darn cold out tonight while wrapping up my chores.

View from the cabin. I was doing some skywatching.
I really hope that 2010 brings many exciting new adventures. I really want to get Borderlands Horse Rescue and Retirement more noticed and possibly get off my fat fanny and get 501c3 status so that I can start researching and requesting grants. With grants I can save more horses from auctions where their destiny is unknown. I've seen too many good horses go to the KB. It's time I stepped in to pull horses and either offer them a permanent retirment home or rehome them into loving homes.

View from the cabin looking down the valley. It's said that Custer stayed in this valley. Makes me wonder how many hard working horses once grazed in this pasture.

But for tonight, I'm simply happy that the first day of 2010 went off without a hitch. The horses are fat, happy, and healthy (knock on wood). The pictures posted are from my vacation in the Black Hills. I can definately say I don't want to be there now what with all the snow they've had. I simply enjoy looking at the green and counting down until we see green again at Borderlans.

Happy Birthday - January 1

Happy Birthday Borderland Horses! I know that they all have their individual birthdays but January 1st is the official birthday transition. So if I can remember ages, here's what I have:

Queen: 32
Babe: 28
Sam: 21
Jimmy: 21
Zeke: 16
Dude: 13
King: 12
Rain: 12
Tommy: 11
Chaos: 6
Maverick 6
Brego: 6
Longhorn: ?

I could be off a few years on some of them. But for the most part, that's as accurate of ages as I can get.

2010 is going to be a GREAT year

2010 is already looking great and my plan worked! I've kept Maverick in a pen by himself for months now. He was rude and bossy to Brego before he went to the trainers. When he returned I wanted to keep him close so that I could work him (and I was still intimidated by him).

Maverick has been exposed to all of the horses but has never interacted in a herd setting until today. All of the horses can play with him over the fence and have been for a year now. But the time has come where I need to introduce another horse into the herd. I've introduced other horses along the way (Sam and Zeke), but Jimmy is going to be a different story.

Jimmy is alloof and I'm going to have problems catching him. My plan is to put him in Maverick's pen and keep him there for a few months until we can establish a bond. He'll have more room to roam so it may be harder to catch but I want to get him more space. I also want him to be introduced to the rest of the herd.
With all of this cold weather, he'll have to be caught, haltered, and let into a waiting stall. If I can get him to associate haltering with no work, than maybe he won't be so standoffish. I do believe he was beat at one point. Evey time I raise my arms (to throw hay, give him grain, climb the gate) he spooks. Nothing too serious but he is uncomfortable with people being higher than him. So it'll be another thing to work on.
But back to Maverick. I decided that with all of the horses "starving" away, that I would transition Maverick over into the big herd. I figured everyone would be too involved in eating to pay attention to a "new" horse. And my plan worked. I fed Chaos, Dude, and Brego (those three that are left outside but stay in the leanto), and then I let Zeke, Sam, and Rain out of the barn to munch on more hay. I then led King back into the main herd. Boy has he gotten naughty lately. He's really spooky. I guess I need to start working with him more.
And then came the moment I was worried about, introducing Maverick into the herd. I was worried he'd be naughty leading after being cooped up in a stall. Nope. He led like a champ. He was ready to go and explore but listened fairly well (better than King).
I unclipped the lead rope (leaving the halter on in case of an emergency...for today only), and Maverick touched noses with King and then started investigating. He touched a few noses with the rest of the herd and just wandered around. Maverick is food oriented so I figured he'd settle down to business fairly fast and get to eating.
There was absolutely no drama whatsoever. I'm absolutely excited. I'm sure there will be some adjusting to the pecking order but for the most part, I think it'll be quiet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I'm planning on going back out in a little while to get the stalls ready for tonight. The weatherman is saying 25 degrees below zero so everyone HAS to go in tonight. I'm glad that I have enough time to prep the stalls and not have to rush around.
2010 is going to be a FANTASTIC year!