Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wrangling the Wild Beast

That would be my 10-weeks-as-of-today filly, Sheza Total Brat. It took me 15 minutes of coaxing and treating her like a wild untouched mustang to get the halter on this evening, but I did it. I let her sniff it and played putting the nose band over her nose then pulling it off, all the while scratching her neck which paralyzes her with itchy glee, which is quite helpful. Finally I managed to swing the crown piece over her head and buckle it before she had time to flip out, and once I had the halter on she followed me right away on the lead rope without missing a beat. So, GETTING haltered is a painful process for the moment but once there she remembers we've been doing this since day one. This evening I put my good endurance saddle on the mare instead of the western saddle. The endurance saddle doesn't fit perfectly with the panels right now since Desire is still plump but the girth on the western saddle really gave her a rub the other night and I didn't want to do that again. I considered riding bareback but trying to do that and wrangle the baby with no one home in case of emergency or accident didn't seem wise. I used my usual waffle neoprene girth like I use on Blaze (only the longer one!) and did it up snug but looser than I had been before and it didn't rub her at all this time. It didn't particularly rub her the one time I tried it before but it rubbed a scabby bug bite that was already there and I think that scared me off it. Also I think I was cranking the girth tighter than I usually do because she is so round and I didn't want to risk the saddle sliding but I am getting more comfortable with the mare and I know that isn't necessary, so I did up the girth securely but looser than previously and there were no new rubs. I didn't work her up into as much of a sweat as the other day either, because I was more focused on practicing ponying with the filly. I ponied Sheza around the arena to get the feel of it again and make sure she wasn't going to try pulling back (much less likely to when I'm leading her off the mare but still) and then went outside the arena and around the loop "trail" around the bottom of the big pasture. Again I was a little hesitant to go very far in case the filly or mare spooked and there was no one to find me out there, haha! Better safe than sorry at my old age of 24, eh? The ride was short but it was good practice for all, I also brushed Sheza and picked up all of her feet, and de-wormed mare and filly. The mare is getting better about it, the first time I tried to de-worm her we had a real battle, last time I sort of tricked her and snuck it on her, and this time I let her sniff it and then slipped it in her mouth with no real issues which was nice. The filly was curious and of course let me stick it right in her mouth and chomped at the paste and swallowed it all down nicely. I fed out hay to all (except grossly fat mini horse) this evening for the first time since I moved them to the east side of the property, they have been grazing morning and night for the last few weeks and there isn't much left, plus what is left is getting pretty yellow and unsatisfactory for maintaining an endurance horse and a nursing mare and foal. So back to hay it is. It was nice to have that break on the hay expenditure though! I have bales of 3 grain mix, a few bales of grass hay, and a few bales of alfalfa left at the moment. Hay prices aren't dropping so far this summer as they have in the past and we are still at 10 or 11 bucks a bale which is unfortunate, but I am always grateful to have quality hay to buy right here at my local feed store down the road. I have been out of the mare and foal grain for two days, waiting for the feed store to get more in. This is the first time there has been a lapse in my special ordering the mare and foal and distance feed with our local feed store, in general they do a great job and keep me stocked up with all the quality feed I need. Its certainly preferable to having to drive into town and pay top dollar for feed that usually isn't half as good!
Today was cooler, lets hope for the same tomorrow! My good friend is coming into town for the weekend and we are planning to ride Blaze and the mare in the arena with the filly along too--should be an adventure!!

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