Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bad Tidings Come in Threes... Part 2

Sadly, the third tragedy did strike after all. My favorite pony, the cutest and coolest pinto pony ever, had to leave this world. SBF Debonaire was a 9 year old pony I had the opportunity to work with in 2006. He was green broke and we took 1st in all four of our walk-trot classes, 1st in Showmanship, and 2nd in English Pony Halter. He was so calm and so beautiful. I loved him dearly, as did his owner. I talk about Debon in the last paragraph of my blog entry "Peeking Around the Corner" and there's a photo of him there. He had a history of colic and this time he just couldn't be pulled through. When his owner emailed to tell me I was afraid the bad news was Banee, her 30 year old mare whose loss I've been preparing my self for years, but unexpectedly it was about Debon. I am very sad, but I know his pain is gone. I like to think of all the horses of my past running through green fields together, swapping stories and playing tag. My friend sent me this video. It's a bit sappy but kind of what I needed.

Enough of that sad stuff.

Junior's friend Max is doing MUCH better. He's able to be turned out with Junior for short periods and both of them are SO happy. We watched them a good part of the day because the weather was so beautiful and they were so funny. I tried to take a Christmas card picture using my tripod today and it was ridiculous. There are like 60 shots and none of them are good! I set my camera to take 10 photos in a row so if you scroll through them fast enough it's almost like a movie. He was not cooperative, but that is SO his personality. He tried to eat one of the decorations on the wreath I hung on the fence. Oh Junior.Here's one of the rejects, but isn't he cute? I just will NOT send Christmas cards with just a picture of the horse. It's just way too close to crazy cat lady behavior. At least if I'm also in it I feel a little better.

On Friday my friend who used Junior for her Nutrition class project came out and we took a bunch of pictures. She painted a Schleich horse to look like him so now he has a Jr. Junior!

I had her take a few photos of us riding so i could show you how much he can look like a western pleasure horse when he wants to! He's been riding well. We got a nice ride around the hay field today for the first time since the corn was harvested. He did one spook but i don't know what it was about and I turned him right back towards where we were going and all was well. I bought reins with clips at Congress and I hate the attachment. Every other ride or so one gets twisted and snaps off. Not cool. Now I've attached them to my swivel hooks and that is helping, but it just seems like excessive hardware. A bit of a kludge, really. Anyway, I still think he's too vertical or behind the vertical here, but you can see the rein is soft so I think he just carries himself that way. I do think he stretches out more when we are along a rail. Both of these pictures I was having to keep him turning a lot to stay in the right light.

And yes, he's still fat.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blanket Info Solicitation...

Dear Calm Readers,

(I figure since I'm about as overanxious as they come, my readers must ALL be calmer than I.) I beg you to share your knowledge with me, yet again. I am thinking it's time to purchase a cooler for Pig Horse/Captain Destructo/Jun-Bug. He is blanketed in the winter, but I've found that he gets sweaty during our lessons. I don't know a thing about coolers. I believe the concept is to wick the sweat off the horse to help dry him faster so that he doesn't catch a chill? Am I anywhere near the truth? Does it work for after bathing, too?

Catalogs never give you instructions, and the books I have only list them as equipment and don't really give a full explanation of their use/purpose.

I am one who needs to have clean blankets so I would like it to be washable. I don't think the wool ones are washable, are they? I see Acrylic ones, but do they work as well (or nearly) as the wool? Do I need one that extends onto the neck? Do I need one that straps on or are the big blanket-like ones with and ear strap good enough? And what's an Anti-Sweat sheet? Is that the same?

I don't have a large budget, but I don't want to buy something so cheap it ends up being worthless. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

What do you use? Hate? Would buy? Wouldn't buy? Any advice at all?

Feel free to send links if you want to help me shop. Rods and EquusNow are right in town but I do a lot of catalog shopping since the stores in town seem to carry more of the high end (and by high end I mean often out of my price range) and have much less variety than the web stores.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grandma's Fall Visit.

My Mom came for a long weekend and we enjoyed some time at the barn on a gorgeous Saturday! Junior enjoys being a Grandpony and was an absolute Angel all day. We put him outside and worked on cleaning his stall.

Junior was content outside until someone brought another horse out to the turnouts, then decided the other paddocks were too muddy and then took their horse back behind the barn to the mudlot. Junior was NOT okay with the tease of a possible playmate and I had to go rescue him as he was tearing up and down the fenceline screaming and getting himself all sweaty and upset. Oh well, we were nearly done with the stall anyway. Though the ground looked pretty dry he managed to find a nice muddy spot and rolled both sides in thick mud. We had to tie him to dry for a bit before we could even start removing it.

My mom had horses in the late 60's (and oh were things a bit different back then) so I always had a kindred spirit and support system for my horsey endeavors. My mom was at every one of my horse shows up until I graduated from high school. Yes, Dad came to most of them and dutifully held the video camera and enjoyed the socialization, but he was also the one who put my western hat on my head backwards during a versatility class' English to Western change. But I digress.

This is Mom on Cody, her grade mare which she paid for with baby-sitting money.

This is Mom on Saturday, enjoying the weather in the mid sixties, the sunshine, and the breezes.

Junior was an angel the whole time. I rode him first to get him a little warmed up and collected. Mom hopped on and walked and jogged around. Before I could even suggest it she asked him into a lope and he was such a good boy.

What she said she'd really like to do is go for a ride around the farm. I agree, but I really only have one horse so that wasn't an option for today. My plan is to ask some of my barn friends if they'd be willing to loan me a horse for a ride the next time Mom comes. I'm sure someone would be happy to oblige and that would be great fun!

I had Junior's shoes pulled for the winter on Wednesday and the farrier kept the shoes for me so we can put them back on in the spring. Anybody know if I should do anything with them in the meantime other than keeping them dry so they don't rust?

I have a lesson tomorrow that Mom gets to come watch.