Monday, September 30, 2013

All About the Cowboys

So I had a really busy week last week.  My Navy unit is prepping for an exercise, it's nearing the end of the fiscal year so everyone is trying to order all those last minute things, I went to a concert, a parade, and a walk in the park.  Whew I'm tired just talking about it and it was last week.

Thursday evening Superhubs and I went out for a rare night out on a work night.  I wisely took the following day off knowing I was going to be really tired, and I also had a mad amount of errands to run that I never can get done during the weekends. One of which was dropping off a horse blanket to get repaired. I don't remember which heathen was wearing it, but someone bent up the chest strap hardware, and yanked one of the straps completely off last winter.  And since I now how two horses to clothe (Superhubs won't let me blanket Cowboy unless the weather is really bad.) I need all my blankets in good repair.

Plus with two Florida bred OTTB's I am definitely going to need some extra clothing for them.  Between Cowboy and Seneca I have one medium weight Weatherbeeta(High Queens), a 100 weight Amigo(Cowboys, or Seneca's on those iffy weather days), a very old and much patched Weatherbeeta sheet, and a very insubstantial Saxon sheet that pretty much only keeps the wind and light rain off. That was an emergency purchase last winter when I realized Cowboy's old sheet was no longer waterproof and was actually keeping him wet and cold rather than dry and toasty.  So I need at least one more 100 weight Amigo, which I love, its tough, and has just the right amount of fill in it.  I sometimes feel like Goldilocks when I'm blanket shopping. That has too much fill, that has not enough denier, those straps are flimsy.  You get the idea.

The concert was great, The Band Perry, LOVE! and Rascal Flats, eh they were okay.  I could have, however, done without the drunk, loud and annoying college girls behind us.  There was an adorable older couple who were rocking and jamming with everyone else. That was cool to see. But half-way through Rascal Flats I fell asleep.  It wasn't that they were that bad, but when you routinely get up at 4am, staying up late becomes really, really hard.

Friday was for errands, but Saturday was all about the cowboys. My cowboys, Superhubs, and his Spotted Beast.  We belong to a trail riding club, and the club does parades from time to time.  Not my thing, if I had something that was absolutely dead broke (Fox in 10 years) then I'd be okay with it but I didn't want to ride. Superhubs did. So I played groom while Superhubs tried to convince Cowboy that going to the parade was a good time.  It mostly worked. Cowboy was pretty damn well behaved for a five year old with not that many rides under his belt this past year.  Superhubs rides occasionally, but because we only had one rideable horse for most of this last year he didn't ride Cowboy much. I hopped on Cowboy occassionally for a riding fix but I was never comfortable there.

The parade went well I got lots of pictures, and Superhubs made it back safe and sound.  Sunday was a non-horse day.  Not that I didn't rub, and love on my horses a bit but I just didn't want to ride.  I did however want to give my dog some attention. Superhubs and I loaded our two canines in the truck and drove to the park for some relaxing trail walking.  The dogs loved it, we loved it, just a good day over all.  Although my short legged Bull Terrier had to take lots of breaks.  He's good for a sprint, but not so much the long distance.

So what's up for us next?  Probably not a whole lot this fall.  But I'm trying to work in some clinics this late fall/winter/early spring.  It depends a whole lot on my work schedule.  I'd like to be prepared enough to take Fox to some very low 18in/2ft horse trials this spring, but we'll see.

Oh and I almost forgot.  I was put in contact with Fox's breeder and they sent me a baby photo.  Sooo cute!

Until next time everyone, keep it between the flags.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fox on a Field Trip

Sunday's planned trail ride didn't happen, long story, don't even want to go in to it. But I was able to take the Fabulous Fox out for a trail ride with Superhubs yesterday.  Now I may complain about the Spotted Beast. Alot. On most days I really don't like him. But he does have his good qualities.  He loves to trail ride, and almost always the bravest horse in the bunch.  So on the days that he packs Superhubs down the trail safely I forgive his penchant for breaking the gates and ruining my fencing.

Yesterday I got home from work at decent hour, Superhubs had had the day off so he was already dressed and ready to go. So a quick change in to riding clothes and we went to fetch the boys from the pasture.  Here is where my love for Fox really expands.  I tie Fox to the trailer he proceeds to get in to his favorite
"I'm a plow horse" stance, hip cocked, three footed, fourth foot in a ballerina resting toe point. And that is how he stands until I ask him to do something. I think there could be a three ring circus going on behind him and he would still just stand there three legged.

Cowboy on the other hand proceeded his "I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored" dance, flipping around, pawing, licking the trailer. Why do horses do that? Seneca used to do that from time to time. Does road dust taste good?  I'm not sure I want to know.

Off we went out through the main gate of our property, Mr. Spotted Impatience in the lead and Fox ambling along behind in his "out for a Sunday stroll" stride.  He did eyeball the trash and recycling cans at the end of the driveway, and sorted huffed his breath (his version of showing his anxiety)at the neighbors five demon Corgis that announced to the world that there were horses on the road.

Cowboy made the turn in to the farmer's fields that we have access to ride next to as long as we don't ride through the crops. And I didn't see it, but when I got there Superhubs had Cowboy in a one-rein stop. Apparently, for one of the first times ever Cowboy spooked at something on the trail.  And then another miracle happened. Superhubs told he'd wished I'd nagged him about wearing his helmet (an on going war) because for the first time he really wished he was wearing it because it gave him extra confidence. Well duh.

But after that the trail ride was uneventful.  We wandered along the soybean fields and we were going to go down by our neighbors who live behind us, but the trail that is usually there had become a weed filled ditch that we couldn't see the bottom of and couldn't decide how deep it might be. We erred on the side of caution and just turned back the way we'd come.

Fox totally ignored everything on the way back including the trash and recycling cans.  In his head he'd seen that threat and didn't need to acknowledge it again. SWEET! The High Queen would have been dancing, jigging and been totally convinced the world was coming to the end. Not that she was always like that but she was not real happy about new situations most of the time.  She had her rare days where she totally surprised me with her ability to take stuff in stride, but that was not the norm.  Fox seems to be totally the opposite.  YEAH!

We're still taking things slow, getting to know one another, and not going off the property yet.  Superhubs on the other hand has decided to take Cowboy out with our local trail riding club on a parade ride.  Oh boy.  I am seriously hoping Cowboy doesn't loose his mind. And I am definitely going to battle with Superhubs about wearing his helmet.  Freaked out horse, and hard road do not ever make a good combination when they meet an unprotected head.  I will be playing groom, hanging out at the trailer and taking pictures. 

Until next time, keep it between the flags everyone.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby Needs New Shoes

Today my little Baby Fox had a visit from the Farrier Fairy.  I unfortunately had to work. Who the hell decided it was a good idea to schedule equipment training at one o'clock on a Friday?  Damn you Work Gods, damn you.

So Superhubs, love of my life that he is, stepped in to hold Fox for his very first visit from my fabulous farrier K.  Her word is law and gospel when it comes to my horse's feet.  Her first impression of Fox's feet was not good.  In fact she said she could have quite happily shot the person who put Fox's front shoes on, which I'd requested taken off.  He had thrush, cracks, and the last farrier had put the nails for the shoes in to the sensitive part of Fox's hoof walls.  Which meant that my poor baby Fox had been walking around on feet that were in near constant pain.  K. said Fox was lucky to be sound, and that it was a miracle of his sweet disposition that he hadn't tossed every rider off.  It also makes me think his case of the slows, especially to fences was not because he was stubborn or lazy, but hurting terribly.

Since I tend to spoil my horses horribly Fox got his hideous shoes pulled, feet treated, medication given, and a new pair of Easy Boot Glove Back Country boots.  Superhubs showed me how easy they were going to be to put on, and I hope he's right.  Just in case, and because the Farrier Fairy is awesome, we're all going for a trail ride on Sunday so that K. can show me the ins and outs of the boots.

There is one other thing I have discovered about my new pony.  He has a definite phobia of horse flies. I put both boys out in the side pasture to graze for an hour yesterday evening. After I doused Fox in fly spray I left him with Cowboy to munch on grass.  I came back an hour later to see Fox standing at the gate hot, sweaty and staring at me like I'd lost my mind.  Needless to say he was a little unhappy that I'd put him out in the grass without being properly clothed in his neck to tail fly sheet. It was in the wash.
Fox was not amused.

Keep it between the flags everyone.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Fox of Midnight Hill

Thursday afternoon Superhubs and I went to pick up the new horse. After giving my step-up trailer an iffy look he hopped in. Away we went.  We stopped just short of home to pick up dinner and when I went to check the new guy I saw that the hay bag had fallen and was directly under his belly.  I talked softly, touched his leg then pulled it out.  The gelding never even twitched.  I loved him even more in that moment.

After we got home the new guy settled in after a few antics in the pasture. The next day was just grooming and getting to know each other. The day after that I took him for a ride.  I am now the proud owner of the most unmotived TB on the planet.  He is definitely going to need spurs when we start jumping.

Today was the biggest day of all for the new guy. We introduced him to Cowboy for the first time. It was extremely anti-climatic. I thought given the chance Cowboy would come flying up and the squeal fest would begin.  But no. He ambled up, the new gelding warned him off with a lifted hoof and then they began sniffing and grooming one another.  There was some running around later but all in all I see them being best buddies.

Now what everyone has been waiting for. Photos!

Registered Name: Thrill Factor
Barn Name: Fox, aka Pony Toes
Color: Deep red chestnut
Height: 15.2hds (He was advertised as 16hds, but he's really not)