Friday, November 30, 2012

Downpour but Determined

That's what I get for waxing philosophical on the beauties of my little Arab herd enjoying the fall weather. An absolute non-stop deluge that transformed our good-sized pond from bone dry to overflowing--overnight! I heard predictions of 20" of rain in this storm and crazy as it sounds it just may be happening. Did I mention the 30-40 mph winds?  Still, it IS December tomorrow and all that. Winter I suppose. A cold is threatening to descend on me but I simply don't have the time to entertain such nonsense right now.

My lovely little herd has been in heavy loafing mode for the last 2 days. Luxury stall digs, blankets, warm mashes, and a hay mountain for each of them. Even SuperTurkey Lex ended up with a big private stall to himself but by dinner time last night he had flown himself to Mini Napoleon's stall and taken up residence--clearly he has a very lax notion of safe quarters!

Sheza watching the storm this morning from her corner stall
I'm off to the Bay Area today to be a bridesmaid for my high school best friend. Home by Sunday and, fingers crossed this wild storm subsides, off on my journeys on Monday with huggable doxie pups in tow and adventure in my heart.

I leave you with a couple shots of my amazingly cute and lovable and good-natured GORGEOUS puppy, Rip!
Believe it or not those baby blues have turned green in the last week! Now we match even more :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Arabs in the Fall

The colors are vibrant at this time of year in the foothills of Northern California. It's not quite the rainbow of autumnal splendor witnessed in my childhood home in Maine but the green glow of new grass against cold grey oaks and the rich winter coats of the horses is still quite a visual feast. I love Arabs for many reasons, not least the fact that just loafing in a field they can be so darn gorgeous!

Joey yoga, after rising from a nap
 He looks like a proper horse instead of a weedy runt! Amazing :-)
 the Sheza herd
 Close encounters with the Filly kind
 Mid Hippity-hop. Sheza is 19 months old and is Soooo flaxen, even more so as her winter coat darkens <3
 19 mo old, 14.2 hands, and not exactly petite! Oh boy love her build
 Showing off for mom who just wonders where the carrots are
 1..2..3..Strike a pose! The mini missed the memo
 Out of a grey mare from 2 grey parents herself, I got a redhead who is staying very red, and even getting some blonde like me. I say we were meant to be! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Big Day for a Bay

I'm going to break that new-age rule "Pics or it didn't happen" because Blaze just isn't good with a camera and turns out the dogs are poor paws at photography too. You'll just have to take my word on the following: Joey's two front hooves resided happily and quietly in Renegade hoof boots for the first time today and Joey's two hind hooves--yes, including The Precious-- were picked up and rasped on for the first time today. Cheese and Rice! This is PROGRESS. 

I had to lead with that, but to back pedal a little, I just got back from 4 days on the redwood coast visiting family for Thanksgiving. I took my traveling Georgia dog and we had a great time. We got home yesterday afternoon and I was ready to RIDE, and so on to the Bay Boys, who joined me for a few miles stroll through the neighborhood this morning. 

Blaze channeling his Morgan/mini Andalusian side with wavy locks
 Joey staring down the Neighborhood Terror
 The Bay Boys don't feel the need for personal space
 Such a fine head, and such difference colored Bays!
 Happy trail pony taking a break
Culverts, tires, hubcaps, dogs, dirtbikes, trucks, cars, cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, bridges, water, construction signs...just some of the things Joey takes in stride on these jaunts through the neighborhood
 Photo-bombing Joey :-p
 (mostly) fearless leader
 Bay boys after work and before trims
junior saddle pony!
As for the boot and rasp thing, Joey was so blase about me cleaning his front hooves this morning I decided to put the boots on him for the heck of it and see what he did. I just had a feeling, and I was right. I slid the boots on, he set his hoof down calmly, then lifted each front hoof a few times as if testing the weight--but that was it! He walked out of the cross ties fine in them but my second size 0 is broken and the size 1 on his front right was just too too big, when he turned around it spun on his hoof, which didn't bother him but clearly wouldn't do any good out on the trail, so for the ride he went barefoot again.*After* the ride I cleaned up his front hooves with the rasp and decided to have a go at this hinds, too. He stepped off from it of course and I was pretty tolerant with it as I didn't want to push him into a panic. With quiet patience and a few minutes he *did* let me lift and rasp at BOTH hinds, yes, the Precious right hind was christened with a rasp today! Major major huge progress for a horse that wouldn't even let you lay a hand on his right flank without blind panic a month or two ago.

I am off to be in wedding this weekend and then taking off on a super incredibly awesome and exciting road trip! I'll be driving back to Moab, Utah to ride and visit my Pico Haat Shaat horse's relatives. Sheza's dad, DWA Express, is there as well as her grandpa Blitzen of Pico. And some other relatives, including a blond bombshell that I can't wait to ride and hope to maybe be so lucky as to bring home some day. After some days in Moab it's off to New Mexico for MORE riding! Needless to say I can hardly sleep at night for the anticipation of my "horsey hippie station wagon road trip" as my good riding buddy said--Haha!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to De-worm a 19 mo old Arabian

Step 1: Admire your Arabian filly, just waking up from a nap, very cute.
 Step 2: Continue to mentally coo as she gets up and stretches a little. Halter filly with de-wormer syringe ready in your pocket
 Step 3: Quick hands and quicker head tosses--I swear most of it went in
Step 4: Pay the price as filly eyeballs you suspiciously on next approach in case you are carrying White Murder Paste again. 

Hug your Arabian, because they are never boring and really kinda lovable.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Barn Inmates

It's that time of year again. You know: wind, sideways rain, maybe some hail and a dash of snow if it gets really wild. We are actually only about 8 miles below the snow line, but it's enough and we rarely get a bit of it, let alone anything that sticks--for which I am *very* grateful! When I lived in the wintry wilds of Maine I was very young and just in riding lessons so managing horses in the snow wasn't an issue and there certainly isn't snow falling 12 miles from the Mendocino Coast where I grew up.  I must say I am quite content to continue my ignorance of horse keeping realities in the snow! 

Still, it rained about 2" overnight and despite snug blankets there were some soggy steeds out in the fields this morning. By noon today, all 6 stalls were full. I took pity on Desire first, since she has a virtually nonexistent winter coat and gets cold even in a midweight waterproof sometimes.

Inmate #1, 16 yr old GE Blazunhaat Desire
If she went in the barn that meant that Sheza and Napoleon-mini, her neighbors, had to go in as well. It was raining HARD at this point, I mean streaming down my face hard and it was a minor miracle that mini Napoleon, instead of skipping the barn and making his usual dash for freedom out into the yard, trotted his smart little self right out of the pasture, down into the barn, and into a stall. Since the last storm when I groomed and trimmed his feet and had a sort of bonding session he has been letting me scratch on him out in pasture for the first times ever, and seems to be getting generally less wild and rebellious, though still has that Mighty Mini attitude of course. 

Inmate #2, 6ish yr old Mini Horse Napoleon/Bandito
As usual in stormy weather Sheza tried to evade capture the first time, pulling away from the halter all wild-eyed and spooky, but this time when she saw mom get haltered she promptly rushed up next to me and let me halter her without further issue. She spooked about on the lead line like a spazz going down into the barn and lasered in on the first open door, putting herself into the far stall while Bandito put himself next to Desire where Sheza usually goes. All I saw was bodies safely in stalls so I promptly called it all good and shut the silly things in their respective boxes to sort themselves out ,with lots of hay and water. Despite rain gear and muck boots, a full wardrobe change was necessary after that a.m. adventure!

 Inmate #3 19 mo old Sheza Blazunhaat Xpres
 Around noon my husband, who sometimes pretend to be gruff about the horses and their spoiled treatment, casually but obviously entreated me to put Joey into a stall, too. We can see his pasture with the goats easily from the living room window and Joey's violin playing was loud and clear as he stood at the gate in his blanket with his head down. I immediately got sucked in and went out to "Rescue" him, in the process discovering that it had rained SO hard his hand-me-down but just re-waterproofed blanket was soaked all the way through! No wonder he looked miserable, he was all wet under the blanket and cold in the gusty winds. Sticking with his usual tendency of behaving perfectly when it's really necessary, Joey was a total gentleman for me to stop and collect Blaze on our way to the barn and everyone greeted each other wildly when we arrived and zoomed around their stalls for a few minutes until the excitement wore off. Desire was dry and warm in her midweight blanket already so I snagged her polar fleece cooler and put it on poor wet Joey.

Inmate #4, 16ish yr old Arab cross Blaze, imperturbable as usual 
 Inmate#5 7 yr old DF Touch of Mojo, a little bedraggled but looks sharp in blue I think!
 Inmate #6 Lex, adolescent Red Bourbon SuperTurkey, not to be left out in the rain!
Oh, and I skipped a post so here is a few shots of Joey boy out on the trail the other day. We only went about 5 miles but climbed a couple steep short hills in there and he was much slower and nearer the end of the lead line by the time we strolled in the driveway!  I put my weight in his stirrup from Blaze's back out on the trail after a few miles and he couldn't be bothered to look up from grazing. He is just a different and happy horse out there.
Happy out investigating and grazing
Quiet after the ride..
Just checked out the window...yep, still dark and windy and pouring--so it's off to my arm chair with a book, some cocoa, and a dog or two for my lap!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bay Boys at Work

Fuzzy Blaze steed at the lake yesterday am, listening to some tunes while we wait for a Mustang trail buddy to arrive
Following the Sedona butt down the lake trails
A spot for ponies to BEHAVE 
Tack adjustments, scary bush inspection, the usual
"I know I saw carrots go in that bag back there, GIVE"
Looking chipper after charging the big hill!
Posing after our hill charge, thanks for the great photo J!
Good endurance steeds slurping down. Sedona Mustang and J completed another AERC LD at Lake Sonoma a few weekends ago, woohoo!
Sweaty steed ready for a fleece rug and a full hay net
Ask and ye shall receive
Wild woolly man at home after some good rolling--look at that muscle under the fuzz!
Finally warm enough to shed blankets and Joey got groomed, de-wormed, and a front toes rasping as well
 Why are you crouching down over there and stealing my soul with your silver box?
Joey hooves haven't been messed with in a while. This is  a crappy photo of left front, he isn't as upright and funky look as it makes it look, but shoes toe before quick rasping. It is QUICK because he doesn't have much patience for it and I try to make things short, sweet, and successful with him, especially if he hasn't done mileage yet!
Cleaning up toe
 Left front, need to get his heel back farther
 Right front, need to get that heel back farther and scoop the quarter a little I think
Joey started chomping when he saw the de-wormer tube coming and just agreebly chomped it down when I stuck the tube in his working mouth. I don't know that I ever mentioned it on here but a few weeks ago he got all his annual vaccines and was a gentleman for the vet. Good Boy Joey--and War Horse comes to mind as usual! He's good when it counts.