Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jaz's Latest Owwy

When it comes to our Delicate Grey Flower, if it's not one thing, it's another. Here's the latest. The first 2 pix were taken last week. The third was taken today after a bath and some Swat.

Love his summer freckles.

We had monsoon rains on Friday, so the arena at Iron Ridge was still too soupy to ride. It was hot and muggy. After roaching Jaz's mane, it was obvious his allergies are giving him hell, so he got a tea tree oil shampoo, Vetericyn on that owwy, and Swat on the wound, and his mane and tail. 

Daltrey, now close to 15 months old, is still getting short bursts of patience exercises, since that's about all his attention span can handle. I hosed him down, including his wound (still open, but clean), washed his face, and brushed his super thick mane and tail, which threaten to form dreadlocks. I did a few minutes work on lead with him, walking, reinforcing moving away from pressure, etc.

Not much else going on, so the Boyz mowed the yard as we sat around telling lies.

Poco is completely over the top. He is unapproachable, surrounding himself with the craziest mares in the herd. I know when they get around to it, Heather and Jason will make it happen, but, uhhh, good luck with that.

My Mom and her beau are visiting this coming week, so I'm a little sorry the Boyz aren't home, but the rain is helping the stressed condition of the land. Another excuse to visit my barn buddies. I can't imagine my mother getting on a horse, but I know her friend grew up around them, so he may ride.

I have off from this coming Wednesday to the following Wednesday. Woohoo! 

What's going on with you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5-Way Win

Mr. Fry and I reached a major decision this weekend: Jaz and Daltrey will be spending a lot more time living at Iron Ridge

There's no set schedule. It will depend on a number of variables, the most important of which is the condition of our land. In the past, we have sent them up for approximately 2 months or so a year. Now, they will divide their time more equally, or the balance may even tip the other way.

Now that Mr. Fry and I have reached an accord, I wonder that we did not come to this decision sooner. It's amazing how one change can have such a positive impact.

Let me count the ways:
  1. Better for our land. If you don't have horses at home, no one can prepare you for how hard they are on it. We have five acres, which sounds like it should be plenty for two horses, but it's not. We have sandy loam soil, with the emphasis on "sand." The damage from their grazing and tearing around has led to serious erosion, especially right around the house (no cross-fencing; they have full access). We have tried to seed, but we lack the proper implements and the money to do it effectively year after year. We have several species of invasive weeds that are slowly choking what little grass and edible weeds we have. When I look at photos from a few years ago compared to today, the devastation is shocking.

  2. Better for the long-suffering Mr. Fry. He has been more than accommodating of my dream, but there you have it: this is my dream, not his. Although he likes and enjoys the horses, his passion lies in the other kind of horsepower. Whether it's hauling hay, fixing fences, or attempting to stem damage to the land — any of the myriad heavy chores — he has jumped in and done them to spare my delicate hands and wrists, which are trashed from making a living hunched over a computer keyboard. Now that he has a day job again, he will have more time do do what he wants to do.

  3. Better for the horses. It's a good thing for them to have a variety of experiences. They become accustomed to new things, which gives them confidence. They get to interact with a large, diverse herd. Although convenient for me, providing free-choice hay here at home is not in their best interest. Jaz has gone from hard keeper to glutton. Having them here for shorter periods of time makes it possible to lay in a small supply of square bales to control portions. There is always someone at home at the farm to spot an injury or illness more quickly than I would if the horses were here. I found Daltrey's leg wound when I came home from work, but it was obvious he had done it hours before. I also know they will interact with the horses, so the progress I've made with Daltrey's manners will continue to be reinforced. If they need him, they'll use Jaz for lessons — he needs the exercise. They use the same vet and farrier, and they are close to Performance Equine, one of the finest emergency veterinary facilities in the area. That's where Jaz was treated for strongyles.

  4. Better for me. I always enjoy the time the Boyz are at Iron Ridge. I get to hang with my Barn Buddies, interact with more horses, and use the arena. It's all good, and I think the cost will even itself out over time.

  5. Better for my friends. What's better than generating a little income for friends? I'm all about keeping money close to home.
It's a 5-way win, and I'm excited about it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Level of Hell

Alternate Title: He is SO Gonna Get It

In my last post I told how Poco put mares between us when I tried to catch him for a spa day last week. Okay, not my horse anymore, and I'm chopped liver anyway.

He did the same thing to Jason (Heather's SO) when he tried to bring him up for grain. BIG, BIG mistake, Poco.

Poco is not a priority right now because O is back for 2 weeks to cover 7 mares for 2012 Sugarbush and Stonewall foals. Balou, O's full sister, is being bred to Quagga (Daltrey's grandsire). Once all that's accomplished and some of that testosterone dissipates, a certain studly wannabe is going to rue the day he was born.

Poco has been getting his dibs on all the mares after O has covered them. How pathetic is that?

Heather's already plotting her revenge. Poco is 14.2 with little bitty short legs and he's built like a frikken tank. It's a big deal for him to get that keister vertical, even though he is no longer fat, but in pretty good condition. Heather will be longeing him over (short) jumps. He hates it.

This gets better by the day. I may have to take a day off work just so I can see that sorry piece of horseflesh get his comeuppance.

I bet you thought I was exaggerating, or that it was just me...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Other People's Children

I went to the farm to see Jaz & Daltrey. They were out in the pasture, but came a-running when I called. Both horses have started to drop weight and look good from running the whole 30 acres.

Daltrey's wound is oozy, but looking good. He has a few more owwies just from being introduced to a large herd. His eyes are irritated and I'll have to try a fly mask. Not sure how that will work, considering what they did to the fly collars.

It was still way too wet to ride after all the rain we've had, so we had a mini spa day instead, after which I closed the main gate and let them "mow" the area around the house and barn.

Poco came up to the fence and I gave him an alfalfa cube. They put him out in the main herd a few weeks ago, just before Heather's accident. I don't think they intended for him to be out there for so long. If you are a long-time reader, you may recall me mentioning that Poco doesn't know he's not a stallion. The very first time I took him up there for training, we tried to introduce him into the main herd. He immediately challenged all comers, and started pulling out mares. He turns into studly macho man when he's around mares. That's why we always kept him penned off with the geldings or by himself. But it makes sense that it's a lot more convenient for them to be able to turn him out like all the other geldings.

My first clue that Mr. I'm-All-That-And-A-Bag-Of-Chips was getting way too big for his britches is that he wanted nothing to do with Jaz and Daltrey. Oh no, now he has "his" girls, and it figures he'd be hanging with the bat-shit crazy ones: Jason's mare Dee, and squirrelly Arden (Daltrey's dam, who is much better since she had him). He also likes Nazar the Belgian, and Hex the Clydesdale, after they returned to the herd following their date with O. Nazar and Hex aren't crazy, but they also aren't broke, nor are they particularly people-oriented.

As I was petting him, I noticed Poco wearing a loose mantle of silver winter coat that's still hanging on. I thought I'd pull him up and include him in the spa day. He took one look at the halter and lead rope and put mares between himself and me! Lather, rinse, repeat. I tried for a minute or so, then blew it off. I had no guilt whatsoever not chasing after the win across 30 acres. If I still owned him you can bet your ass I would gotten that win, too.

I really hope I'm around to see it when they pull those mares up to disband his little harem. At that point, they'll handle him more or less like a stallion, isolating him in a catch pen to allow him to have the massive hissy fit we all know he will. Heather will work his sorry, proud-cut ass into the dirt until he starts thinking with his brains again. If I happen to be there, I promise video. When my hands are free from clapping and cheering, that is.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Break for the Boyz

Time again for the Boyz' annual visit to Iron Ridge while our land breathes for a month or two. I couldn't have chosen a better time.

If you have been following the weather here, it is unseasonably cold, and we've received some much needed rain for several days. If they were here, they'd be slogging in sandy mud, tearing up what little grass we have, but we timed the exodus perfectly. Rather than tearing up our scrubby little few acres, they're running in the big pasture at the farm.

Not to mention that the Cafeteria Lady would have to be out there in all this goop.

Heather put Jaz and Daltrey in a long pen so they could make friends over the fence, then we turned them loose into the main herd. Jaz did his job and put himself between Daltrey and those who would push him around. Daltrey did his part by sticking closer than usual to Jaz. Amber, the meek little champagne filly that spent some time here with us, decided Daltrey was the perfect target to boss around. It appears Jaz made a pact with her, and now she's hanging out with them and not bothering Baby D.

They will be brought up for feed so Jaz can get his Tri-Hist, prescribed because he is/was coughing, and is his normal itchy self this time of year. Daltrey's wound still needs tending, and I also want him to be handled every day. I'm proud of what he knows and how mannerly he is, and I don't want to lose it. So Nita will be working with him for a few minutes each day — that's all it takes, and about all he has the attention span for.

I took my tack with me in case there was an opportunity to ride, but there was way too much going on.
O (Sugarbush Harley's Classic O — Daltrey's sire) is back to cover 7 mares for 2012 Stonewall and Sugarbush foals. Kris helped wrangle draft mares. I was lazy and handled the gate. We put 4 mares in with O: Clydesdales Hex (Scorch and Rico's dam) and her full sister Jinx (Diva's dam), Belgian Nazar (Olivia's dam), and Appaloosa Dove (Tori's dam). In addition, O's full sister Balou is also there to be bred to Q (JKS Regal Quagga — Daltrey's grandsire).

Kris treated, and we all sat back for pizza and pony porn. Although she was standing, O wanted nothing to to with Dove, so Heather thinks we missed her heat. I'll be anxious to see who gets to take her spot. My vote is to let Daltrey's dam, Arden, have another shot with O. The odds are astronomical against another Daltrey color-wise, but the conformation and temperament should be there regardless.

Back home, I miss being able to look out my window and see ponies, but I'm looking forward to weeding and seeding this place. I hope to bring J&D back to a much improved pasture situation. We also have some fencing that needs repair. Joy.

What's new in your neck of the woods?
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin