Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Silverback

I set out to finish what I started.
Look at the photos from the last post
to see the difference in color
between woolly and clipped.

Mr. Fry and I call him
the old silverback.

Isn't that sweet?
There's Pokey dots under
that hairy white sock.

The job still isn't done.
His belly and face aren't clipped,
and he needs touched up all over.
Clippers ran out of juice for the
second time and I was out of juice myself.

While I waited for the clipper
batteries to charge the first time,
I dragged tree limbs Mr. Fry had cut
to the burn pile.
From whence came all this ambition?

There's a lot you can say about Poco,
but he was patient for a very long time.
I knew it was time to stop when
he untied himself and walked away.

Yes, of course I caught him and made him
stand there until I said he could go.

As much time and energy as that took,
I will not do it again.

But he sure is pretty in the meantime.

A shower never felt so good
and beer never tasted so good.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


The forecast promised a beautiful day, so I got up and got moving to finish my indoor chores as quickly as possible. I finished about 10:30 and carried grooming gear and tack outside. My plan was to ride Jaz down the road. Then, playing on Poco's distress at being left behind and ignored, I'd ride him. He is usually better behaved when I ride Jaz first and he stews about it. It was very windy, but I knew Jaz and I would be okay. If Poco was too worked up, I could always ride him in the round pen.

Jaz was lying down by the round bale when I walked back to halter him. He stood as I approached. I gave him a cookie, which he took, but rather than chewing it and looking for more, he just sort of rolled it around his mouth, slobbering. Uh-oh. I had noticed earlier this week that he seemed to be losing more of his grain than is normal for him, and I made a mental note to keep an eye on him. Well, here's your sign ... Of course, it's like 12:15pm, and the vet closed 15 minutes ago. Although I'm sure he's uncomfortable, this is not life threatening. An emergency farm call is not warranted.

Jaz's teeth are pretty gnarly on his best day. He still has his canines, both of which are chipped. I was unable to feel or see anything glaringly wrong — nothing broken at the gum line, no areas of swelling. Lots of slobbering, and several points that need to be filed, and that could be all it is. At any rate, he wasn't at all keen on me holding his head while sticking my hands in his mouth.

I called Heather and she suggested I get some senior feed until we can get him checked out. Mr. Fry came home, exhausted from his 12-hr. night shift. He agreed to take him to the vet on Monday, because we're short 4 people at work, and I can't in good conscience take time off right now.

Anyway, there went my ride on Jaz. Meanwhile, it had gotten even windier. I grabbed Poco and brushed a layer of scurf off him. He was only calm on the surface. It was so windy, my helmet, which was weighted down with my little horn bag (cookies, camera, phone, etc.), flipped and was blowing around. I clipped his bridle path and was promptly covered in hair. Pieces of the cedar trees were flying around, and Poco kept spooking, mostly in place. Nope, don't think I'm getting on you either. Since I was already covered in hair, I decided to mess around with the clippers, putting Paint Girl's body clipping tips to the test. She's right: short strokes work best and clip close to the skin. I love Poco's coloring when he's clipped.

I tried to sit on an empty CW container, but it was too windy for me to be that complacent — I had to stand. I got about half of his right front leg (which is where I decided to start for some incomprehensible reason) clipped when I noticed I was working really hard but not much was happening. Hmm, how long have I been using these clippers with that same blade? At least two years and probably more of roaching, bridle paths, and one botched body clip — probably time for a new blade. No prob, since I have to go get senior feed anyway. But it means Poco's walking around all wild and woolly ... except for half of his right front leg. Who is his mom?

I don't know what you're talking about,
I didn't touch that.

I found out how windy it was when I drove across the lake and the wind tried to turn my SUV into an amphibious vehicle. When I got to the feed store, the wind grabbed the door and literally threw me into the store. I crashed into a fellow shopper, which cracked us both up.

When I got back, Jaz was out back nibbling some grass. I filled a bucket about half full with senior feed mixed with a little bran and added lots of water. There's nothing wrong with his appetite.

Please say a prayer that the Million Dollar Pony just needs a float.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wocka Wocka Wocka Wednesday

Joe Bob, close 'at dadgum winduh, will yuh?
There's a helluva draft in here.

If wocka wocka wocka
is nonsense to you,
click here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Partly Snowy With a Chance of Spring

Snow on the first day of spring
that hung around until
the second day of spring.

Where do I live again??

Snow drifted against
my office window ...

... the same window that was open,
allowing Leeloo to sun herself
just last weekend.

Who is that masked figure?

Why, it's Jorge,
our favorite Day of the Dead icon.

Poco, if she was going to give us something,
she'd have done it already.

No cookies. No carrots. No apples. No beer.
We go.

Mama, you know you'd rather
be inside with me on your lap anyway.
I'm the baby, gotta love me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Exercise in Futility

Alternate title:
My Fifteen Seconds of Clean

Poco is usually the better behaved
for grooming
and grooming only.

Today he fidgeted, fussed, danced,
and was otherwise a royal pain in the patooty.

It finally dawned on me:
I usually tie them together.
One waits while the other gets clean.
I did Poco separately first,
because the morning was a little cool
for my Fair-Weather Pony.

Jaz aka Mr. Prissy Feet
took off as soon as he realized
water was involved.
When he made his reappearance known,
Poco settled down.

My angst-ridden, herd-bound
wienie boy b
efore shaking.

BTW, thanks to Linda over at the 7MSN
for the nifty new quick-release knot.
It took me awhile to learn it,
but I like it better than
the one
I had been using.
The knot pictured doesn't have
the second
It will next time,
since it took Poco
no time at all
to figure out how to undo it.

After shaking

I spy with my Appy eye.

Wrinkledy crinkledy speckledy muzzledy.
His cup overflows with characteristics.

Silly me
thought I'd walk him until he dried off a bit.
After vainly attempting to dissuade him
by pulling his head up,
I surrendered to the inevitable.

While Pokey was rolling, I caught Jaz.
Look how huge Poco's halter is on him.

Not a fan of baths,
Jaz was still the better behaved today.

Another sign of Spring:
Jaz gets flea-specked.

When I untied him,
he took about 3 steps
my good work was undone.

I couldn't even grab my camera fast enough.

Sheez, why bother?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Laid Back Walkabout

Shadow rider

Some people don't allow their
horse to graze when on a ride.
I do.
The way I look at it,
it's not all about me.
I want the ride to be a
pleasurable experience
for us both.
It's all good!

However, I decide when it's
okay to stop and graze.

Most of our rides look like this.

That's okay:
boring = good.
Horses do not like surprises
any more than inept riders do.

Still, we have our share
of goobery dogs,
flushed birds,
and nasty geese that take their
jobs as sentries too seriously.

Not to mention chainsaws, wood chippers,
and vehicles towing rattletrap trailers, etc.

Jaz was convinced this debris
was carnivorous,
and it took a bit of convincing
to get past it.

Always carry a crop
so you'll never have to use it —
most excellent advice.

I loop it around the horn
and normally don't take it off.
I made sure he saw me
loop it around my wrist.

I asked him to go forward.
He backed up.
I asked again.
He backed up.
I gave him the lightest
tap on the bum
(just touched him, really)
and we were on our way.

We rode for about 3 hours.

Possibly the only instance where
green foam is a good thing.

Hey, what about me?
Why does he get all the cookies?

Because I worked, wienie boy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

He's All That

Arden and the still nameless
blue-eyed baby boy.

There are mares lined up to her right,
which is why Arden's ears are back.
MY baby, mine, mine, MINE!

The baby is the most gregarious,
jump-in-your-arms friendly
little guy I've ever met —
much to his mama's dismay.

She doesn't want him
more than a few feet away
and doesn't appreciate
that he's not at all timid
or apprehensive.

Sorry about the shadows.
The sun was setting,
Arden was being aggressively protective,
and I had to take what I could get.

There is less visible of O than I thought.
The foal is average size, and isn't drafty at all.
I'm told O's babies start out small,
which is a good thing for the poor mares.

Mama (Quagga's Ardent Sun)
getting neck scritches from Heather.
On this side, she has her father's eye.
The other eye is blue.

We're trying to come up with names.
The challenge is that everything
sounds too serious.
The future gelding is already a goober
and needs a good tongue-in-cheek moniker.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

O Baby!

Blue-eyed colt born 3-09-10
Sugarbush Harleys Classic O x Quagga's Ardent Sun
(Arden has one blue eye)

Arden was a maiden mare.
She dropped that foal in about
a 2-hour window between checks.

He's actually a very late 2009 foal.
They kept Arden with O
long after they thought she was already bred.

I think he's the only foal this year.

He doesn't have a name yet,
though I've submitted a couple suggestions,
one of them a nod to Sig, who bred Arden.

BTW, I haven't actually seen him yet.
Heather took these photos.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sunless Saturday

It didn't rain, but it was an ugly day nonetheless. The forecast said 'partly cloudy' but there was no 'partly' about it. It was warm enough for jeans and a short-sleeve tee, so I can't complain too loudly.

I did my indoor chores this morning, then went out to spend time with the Boyz. I was unable to muster any enthusiasm to ride, so they had a much needed grooming session that lasted close to 3 hours. I didn't take my camera outside, preferring instead to remain in the moment.
Most importantly, they got their March dewormer — a double dose of Exodus (pyrantel pamoate). They didn't like the first one, so it took lots of cookies to get the second one down, but the job is done. I had intended to buy the generic, but it was on backorder. Exodus was $1 more a tube, but I figured it might be worth it, since it's apple flavored. We didn't lose any, so that's gotta be worth something.

They got brushed with every implement I have, faces and docks washed, feet picked, hooves oiled, insect repellent applied, manes and tails treated with MTG, and sheaths cleaned. Jaz has a few spots of rain rot that I treated with MicroTek. They were good, as always, so they got their half flake apiece of alfalfa a little early today.

A few weeks ago, I got a flyer in the mail from Arbico Organics with a great deal on Fly Eliminators, their brand of the gnat-sized wasps that eat fly larvae. We don't have a really bad fly problem since there are just the two horses and no other horses or cattle directly adjacent to us, but who wouldn't want less flies? I got the high-powered program, which they say to do if your method of manure management is 'relaxed.' Um, yeah, that's one way to describe what we do: drag a harrows over it every couple months. I think I get a shipment every 3 weeks, and 2 double shipments; one in June and one in August. Per their recommendation, I also got a solar fly trap that attracts and kills adult flies. Don't know yet where I'll put it, but definitely close to where they eat and where I groom them (unless the destructions say otherwise). Since both those things take place close to the house, I'm sure that will be a big help keeping them out of the house. If you've ever used these (or Fly Predators), I'd like to hear about your experience.

I'm off from work Monday and Tuesday. My youngest brother, his wife, and their college-age twin daughters are in town to do some early wedding planning for their other daughter (my son's age), who lives here and is planning a Halloween wedding. They are coming up here on Monday. Wouldn't you know it, it's supposed to rain tomorrow and Monday? I'm just praying it holds off until Monday night, but it's not looking good already. Oh well. We'll make fajitas and copious amounts of margaritas and all will be well.

Hope you're having a great weekend. Don't forget to smooch your ponies.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Saved From Myself

Wow, a whole weekend without rain. I was feeling the effects of having ridden both horses on Saturday, but decided to take Jaz out again Sunday just on general principles.

We usually ride down our little paved road, but I decided yesterday to take him down the highway that runs on one side of our property. It's paved, 2 lanes and the main east-west thoroughfare in these parts. It's busy, by country standards.

This photo, taken last summer for Aarene's Virtual Trail Ride, shows the probably 20 ft. easements on either side. This barn is several miles down the road, and as you can see there's plenty of room to ride. It was where I'd hoped to turn around and head back.

I walked Jaz across the highway and hopped on. As wonderful as Jaz is, he can be a little toot some days, yesterday being one. With all the rain we've had, I knew the ground wasn't totally dry and there were thin rivulets in low lying areas. Mr. Prissy Feet hates getting his feet wet. He danced, we spun. I kept turning him around and urging him forward.

We went a few hundred yards and he stopped and planted himself. Directly in front of us was a large culvert, which looked weird head-on. I got down, figuring that's what was bothering him, and I would lead him past it. I stepped in front of him and started sinking fast. It was still a lot squishier than I thought, as in dangerously so. Jaz could have easily broken a leg in that ooze. We backed out of it, I got on, we crossed the highway, and rode back down our boring old road.

Thank you, my sweet Jazu, for having sense enough for us both.
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