Blog .:. January 2012 7 Entries

Now with pictures and video

31 January 2012 Comments

Aiden ambles though life, so it was hard to get him to go faster than a walk and video at the same time.

However, I was able to get a little bit of him moving around:

And a couple photos. His feet obviously need work, but vet and farrier have both seen them now and are on the same page about what needs to be done and the best way to get there (frequent trimmings, with only small changes each trimming).

Opinionated little goofball, isn’t he?!

Tagged: Horses - Dexter

Defenestrating Logic, or, And Then There Were Two

30 January 2012 Comments

Like many people, I window shop.

I window shop on the big name sale sites, and I window shop on Craig’s List.

So when I saw an ad for an 18 month old grade draft cross gelding, I figured I was, you know, looking at an ad for a horse that held no practical interest for me whatsoever. What do I need with a baby? Especially a draft cross?

This explains why I own him now, right?

Here’s the thing.

His photo in the ad? He looked like he was nicely put together. Very nicely put together, considering his age and that draft crosses tend to have conformation that I dislike.

I waffled for a day and then emailed his owner for breeding information. Apparently, his dam was a Shire cross and the sire is a mystery.

A little more emailing back and forth, and she sent me a brief video. I figured the video would put an end to my interest, to be totally honest.

Instead, the video showed a sensible youngster with, really, quite a nice trot considering he wasn’t doing more than amble about.

The next thing I knew, I was heading to check him out.

He has an average walk, but it’s clearly four beat with no lateral tendencies. His trot is much, much better than the video suggested. He canters both directions and it’s nice and balanced, with decent reach underneath himself. Out in his paddock, he did flying changes on a straight line.

He leads, he stands patiently (very patiently, for a baby), and ties. He let me walk right up to him and handle him, gave all four feet, and let me check out his mouth.

Also: he loads and trailers. I confirmed those last two after money changed hands, obviously.

The bad news?

His feet are a mess. I’m taking a risk here and assuming they can be cleaned up and managed.

It freaks me out a bit, and I actually left him there on Saturday because of his feet, but I decided to throw logic out the window and see what we can do. I tried to get ahold of my trimmer, but no luck. However, one of the guys at the barn trims/shoes his own horse and took a quick look—he didn’t see anything too concerning, and he does a good job on his horse, so I feel a little better about the situation now.

So. I own an 18 month old grade draft cross gelding. I think I’m naming him Aiden.

Pictures/video to come—my camera battery was dead today.

(Ro is unamused. Despite exaggerating her reactions on this blog, I’m not one of those people who thinks horses actually have human emotions—but if horses can feel jealousy, then she is jealousy incarnate. Poor thing. She was not happy with the amount of attention I was giving him, or the amount of attention he was getting in general. But she’s going to have to get over that, and quick.)

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Breeds - Shires, Horses - Dexter, Horses - Ro

Patience is a Virtue (for Others)

24 January 2012 Comments

Ro’s world has been turned upside down and backwards.

At a recent roping evening, I could feel Ro was getting tired and they needed someone to work the chute. The obvious solution: I hopped off, tied Ro to the fence, and prepared to work the chute.

Ro was confused. Then offended. Then she went beyond confused and offended into some other emotional territory that defies description.

She was tied up. Stuff was happening. She was not part of it. No one was petting her, no one was holding her and whispering soothing words in her fuzzy ears, no one was holding her hoof and telling her It Was OK.

Ro spent most of the evening calling out and trying to dig a hole to China, but since she wasn’t freaking out I left her to it. I rescued her once, when she went beyond impatient and started to look anxious, but once she settled I tied her back up again.

Last night, we repeated the lesson—I’ve been kicked off steer pushing duty because one of the ropers is teaching his young kid, well, the ropes, and, um, as shameful as it is to say it, said four/five year old is better at pushing steers than Ro and I. So we’ve been fired. We still hang out with the ropers, but I’ve more or less been demoted to chute duty if I’m not on Ro’s back.

So after we had amused ourselves quietly in the corner for a while and Ro had had her nightly “horses can too hang out in groups without kicking each other” lesson, I tied her to the fence again and went to work chute duty. Where, um, the four/five year old once again proved better at moving the steers around than I am.

Look, the steers and I are great, until they decide they want to go somewhere I don’t want them to go. Or don’t want to go where I want them to go. And I did not get the Boss Steers Around gene, so I stare at them in confusion. And then the four/five year old rescues me.

It turns out I am not a cowgirl, ok? There, I admit it. I am not a cowgirl. I’m a city slicker of the worst sort.

And Ro cannot comprehend why she gets tied to fences and left to cope. This does not happen in her world. In her world, she’s ridden and then she’s put away. Baths are optional, a chance to graze is preferred. But nowhere in her contract is she required to stand quietly while her human is off playing with steers (badly!) and other people are doing other things that do not involve her as the center of attention.

She was better last night than the first night—she called out some, but not incessantly, and she did not dig holes nearly as deep as the night before.

Unfortunately for Ro, I absolutely think horses need to learn to stand tied—quietly—while their people are off doing other things. It is not something I want to do routinely, but I want to know she’s capable of it. All the better if there is lots of other stuff going on at the same time. There may come a time when she needs to stand quietly on a trailer while I run into the show office, and there may be a line. Or she may need to stand tied while I run to the port-a-potty. Or whatever. I don’t really care why—she needs to learn that she can stand tied and unattended without dying.

But Ro is not thrilled, no, not at all. She’s coping, but she is absolutely certain she has enough virtues and Patience is for… well, everyone else. She’s above such things. She’s certain. Just ask her.

Tagged: Cows, Groundwork, Horses, Horses - Ro, Riding, Riding - Roping

Marketing: You’re Doing it Wrong

20 January 2012 Comments

Dear Stallion Owner Whose Horse Appears to be Engaged in Tug-of-War with Invisible Aliens and Whose Fence Floats in Midair,

If I look at the pictures of your $$$ stud and the first thing I think is “Wow. That is a truly awful Photoshopping job,” there is something wrong with your marketing.

Signed,

If Real Invisible Aliens Were Involved and the Foals Will Come With Their Own, Get Back to Me. That’s Kind of Awesome.

Tagged: Advertising & Marketing, Horses

Ro is in Love

18 January 2012 Comments

Ro, I’m sorry to say, is the barn hussy.

When she’s in season, she’ll throw herself at any gelding on the place—and even some of the mares (she’s a modern, open-minded hussy).

But this is merely lust.

Over the past couple months, Ro has discovered love.

The barn manager got a weanling filly. Last month, we got quite a bit of rain (relatively speaking), and there were stretches where the paddocks were too wet to turn out in. As often as possible, I kicked Ro out on the property for an hour or two to at least let her stretch and wander around some.

More often than not, she disdained the grass (it was wet) and tried to wander back in the barn.

For a while, I thought it was coincidence that she was at the filly’s stall every time I caught her.

Then it became clear that she wasn’t stopping by to say hi to the filly, she was stopping by to do the horsey version of “Ooooooh… wook at de pwecious baaaay-beee! Whoooza cootie pie, den?” (Sorry… I don’t do googly baby talk. They all look like Winston Churchill to me. But you get the gist of it.)

When I would go to kick her back outside, she’d balk—something she never does normally when I kick her out—and look back to the filly.

Ro is fascinated. Entranced. In love.

It’s kind of cute, until I imagine her bringing up baby… “Oh, no, sweetie. We don’t go out in the mud and the rain. Mud and rain are for common ponies, and servants like Lady Who Feeds. Let’s go down the barn aisle and clean up any hay or grain offerings from the other ponies. They know it’s their duty to tithe to us…”

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Ro, Winston Churchill

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