Friday, January 30, 2009

So what's in your car trunk?

I've been doing Grey's shopping, collecting up stuff which I will haul into the barn on Saturday, and I have to laugh at what you can usually find in my car. You can always find my saddle, and a scrub brush to knock the sawdust etc off my boots before I get in, but presently my Totyota looks more like a feed truck. After a trip to TSC last night on the way home, then a UPS delivery, the contents of my trunk are... 40# of shredded beet pulp, 40# Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, 2.5# Aniflex GL, 8# Quitt, a bag of carrots and, of course, my saddle. Oh, and my dry cleaning.
Experience tells me I can get only two bales of shavings in the trunk, but 4 fit in the back seat. Yes, a long handled manure fork fits if you put the back seat down (aim the tines towards the back, not the front). I think this must be genetic. My mom can move 8 bales of hay with a Corolla. Or at least she could until I convinced her she would do better with a pickup. The hay barn is a quarter mile away, and she brings hay in from there when the weather is nice saving what's in the horse barn hay mow for the really bad weather. In case your wondering, three bales stuck in the trunk end wise, one bale on top of the trunk to hold them in, on on the back window, two on the roof, and one on the passenger side of the hood.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Pursuit of Excellence

Several things I have read on the internet this morning put me in mind of the never ending pursuit of excellence. I see it in Amateur Owner Trainers everywhere. Congratulations Lynn in your continued success in your pursuit of excellence. The other posts that put me in mind of this are Liz's careful search for just the right wormer to start her new horse on, Julie's dedication to learning the many mysteries of the long and formal traditions of side saddle. Leah and Tiffani are also at the beginnings of new horses. I am expecting a new foal in two months... oh the pressure!

This week someone on COTH suggested that you have to be a little OCD to be a horse person. Well, we all know plenty of people who don't give a hoot about the care or well being of their animals, but I guess none of them are scouring the internet hours a day trying to grasp more of the vast pool of knowledge that is out there. They probably aren't the ones feeding hot beet pulp, and Dumor horse treats by the gallon, call equine chiropractors or dentists and lose sleep over bitting and shoeing. Heck, I toted a whole bag of art supplies to the barn in sub zero weather just trying to get the best wither tracing of my horse, and I guarantee that I would not be hauling my widening butt to the gym and pilates if I weren't worried about my riding.

So, here's to the continued pursuit of excellence. May all our horses appreciate the fussing, and heaven forbid they tell us they would rather be barefoot, unclipped and muddy, standing in the pasture. Seriously, I doubt they would!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

About your gloves....

As I stated before, you can pick up your own damned gloves. Once or twice is fine, but after that I feel like you are picking on me and I will continue to toss them as far as I can so you can bend down and pick them up. Nuf said.

Oh, and the Irish Spring soap that someone rubbed all over my favorite chewing places tastes awful. It smelled so fresh and pretty I had hoped it would taste like green spring grass. How wrong I was.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bitting Rigs and Curb Shanks

Don't you think it is a little early in the year to end our stint as couch potatoes? I have had the bitting rig on twice this week. I admit I was a little reluctant to open my mouth for the bit at all since the last time I did someone strapped on a speculum and shoved a file in there. Not a pleasant experience.
I do appreciate, however, the fact that we eased back to work with the big fat rubber bit. That part was OK. But, it was the pelham one because, I am told, I should learn to work in a curb bit as part of my higher education. How about this? I agree to not put up much of a fuss, if we can agree not to do this too often. I know the reins weren't on the curb, but just having that curb chain dangling and jingling gives me the creeps. And the shanks twitch my wiskers and make me sneeze. But really, I think I did better than usual and handled the whole affair with dignity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm going to take over Grey's blog for a minute for a rider update. Yesterday I was feeling bad about putting Grey in the bitting rig for 5 minutes and actually making him work his neck. That is, I felt bad for him until I went to my first yoga/pilates class last night, and now I feel bad for me instead. I knew my left leg was stronger and more flexible than my right. I just didn't realize how much stronger my whole left side is. Also, I couldn't balance on my right foot. At. All.
Maybe side saddle really is the seat for me! I wouldn't have to use my right side at all!
I'm wondering how sore I will be tomorrow. Right now, the only parts that ache are my left hip, my right shoulder. My abs and lower back are OK. So far. I wonder how Grey's neck is feeling today. I guess we both need to start getting back into shape in anticipation of good weather.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Frosted in

My window is all fogged up and frozen over, and I'm having to peek out through the little clear spots. I wish the sun would melt it so I can watch the driveway for my humans. I love to watch the driveway. I've seen all kinds of interesting things out there. One day when we went out to work, there was a big logging machine out there loading logs. My human was proud of me for ignoring the machine and doing my job but I had been watching it for hours so it wasn't really a big deal. The other day one of the stoopid cows decided to take a drink out of the pond and fell in. Then there was whole a lot of activity in my driveway! I think the whole fire department showed up to pull that silly cow out of the pond. Now I like to play in water, but you really shouldn't try to drink nasty cold pond water in weather like this. Don't they know that Mom brings it out hot from the house for everyone when she brings my hot breakfast? Hot breakfast sure is great on subzero days like this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dear Human....

Pick up your own damned glove. Didn't your mother teach you to pick up after yourself? Maybe you yourself would benefit more from this game of fetch. Yes, I have noticed those 10 extra pounds you are expecting me to haul around. Why don't you.... wait a minute... did you say cookie?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cure for Cabin Fever

My human friend has been exhibiting some strange behavior this winter. She says it's cabin fever. I can see what she means about that. We don't get outside very often. Even though playing in the snow is fun, the driveway is very icy, and getting to where we can play can be very treacherous. She says that to keep us busy, we are going to explore some higher education.
She already taught me to bow. That was pretty easy. She was able to explain that to me pretty easily. Now I like to show that off for visitors to the barn. She didn't seem to know where to go from there though. She has spent a couple of days pushing and prodding me and testing my reactions to things, but I have no idea where this is going.
The other day she was letting me play with her glove. I like to bite the glove. I do that on my own anyway. Then she dropped it on the ground. That was a curious thing to do. I went over and sniffed it to see what was wrong with it so it had to be thrown away. I couldn't see anything the matter with it, but she thanked me for checking it out and gave me a cookie. A little later on, she dropped it again. I reached down and touched it to point that out, and she gave me another cookie. Well that made sense. If she dropped it, and I went over and touched it so she knew where it went, I got a reward.
Today though, she seemed to not to care that she had dropped it. When I showed it to her, she patted me but no cookie. Well, that wasn't right! I wanted my cookie! I begged and begged for it, but she was really stubborn. She picked the glove back up and dropped it a few more times, but I still hadn't gotten my cookie. I tried to get it for myself, but she boxed my nose and told me "No". I was getting pretty frustrated, and apparently she was getting pretty bored too, because she just stood there and ignored me for the longest time. Finally I gave up and decided to entertain myself. I went over to investigate the glove. I had no idea what's wrong with it. I tasted it to make sure it was still the same glove. Well, when I did that, she told me what a good boy I was and gave me a cookie.
Oh good, we're back to cookie dispensing. But no. She is being really stingy with the cookies today. She boxed my nose. I tried to bow just in case that would loosen her up, but it didn't. So, I went back to the glove again because it was more interesting. I picked it up to play with it. That made her so happy she made a big fuss and gave me another cookie. OH ~ I get it! She wants me to chew on the glove. Well, I can do that. From then on I was very alert to when the glove was dropped, and I got a whole batch of cookies. I even threw the glove around for effect. Of course, I have to drop the glove in order to get back to her pocket for the cookie. That doesn't seem to please her very much, but surely she can understand that I'm in a big hurry to get my cookie.
People can have the oddest ideas, but as long as there is a reward involved, I'm willing to go along with it. In fact, I really like trying to figure stuff out. I study my people very carefully because if you don't you could definetly miss a cookie opportunity.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oops there goes the hat!

I was very well behaved for the farrier today. Of course, I had my human tapping me on the shoulder with the "persuader" the whole time to remind me to mind my manners. She even suggested I make a formal apology for my poor behavior last time when I kicked at him.
I did pull his stocking cap off. It was an honest mistake. I've been learning to pick up riding gloves when they are dropped, and I got all excited when she was telling him about my schooling, and I grabbed his hat by mistake. He was very understanding and said you really couldn't scold a young man for being so enthusiastic about his studies. I gave him back the hat.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Since I'm frumpy, I'm catching up on my reading

I've been catching up on my reading today, flipping through the stack of Saddle Horse Reports in the tack room.

Congratulations to my big brother CH Revolver (Preston) for his Reserve Championship at the Royal this year.
Isn't he handsome? And CLEAN! I don't know if I would want to be a fussy champion show horse. I love rolling in the dirt. Preston doesn't look like he has seen any dirt in years!
I can't believe he is still that darkly dappled. I'm going grey a lot quicker than he is. I know his daddy was black, but he must have been using that grecian formula that he used to be named for. Yeah, that's got to be it.

Help! I'm snowed in, I can't see the house!

Thank you everyone for your sympathies. My mouth is still a little sore this morning. I tink I bit ma tong.
Anyway, my Mom (that's my human's mom too, she's everybody's mom) put a blanket on me last night and coaxed me into eating some hot beet pulp. I'm still feeling a little frumpy. Everyone says I guess I didn't need so much happy juice like Hairy the Rhino did.
I hope I get my strength back before the farrier gets here tomorrow. I would hate for him to think I didn't want to play with him anymore.

Here's a note from my Mom to my human this morning. I think I am well cared for:

Morning Brita,
Billy is eating this morning and telling me he had a nightmare about a bomb in his mouth. He is such a sweet horse about everything, that having him feeling bad just messed with my heart bad yesterday.

He loved juicing his hot sugar beets this morning and now is eating his second crop hay. Late last evening I took the hay bag out of his stall. At 7:00pm he was trying to eat the tender hay but he mostly was having a hay bag butting game, he was still so uncomfortable he rooted his nose way into it and pulled hay out and dropped it etc. At 10:00pm when I took it out I thought he seemed improved and was picking at hay on the floor and I couldn't see any of the other second crop in the mix so figured he had eaten something. He was very well bedded and he still has Walker's blanket on. He liked my forehead caresses this morning and had stopped nickering out of distress.

Note: I do that little low nicker thing when I am worried or sick. I can really get my human's going when I do that. They get all fluttery and give me hugs and cookies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year Hewlfth Chckup

Sorry, I can't talk correctly right now. I'm a little sedaytd...sedated. My human has this awful tendancy to address all preventative health maintenance first thing in the new year. A couple of days ago I got a dose of that icky orange worm medicine, and The Vet was just here to do my teeth. I haven't had them done in almost 4 years, when I was a just a youngster and had some wolf teeth knocked out. Now THAT was awful. This was merely unpleasant and the drugs make me knid of woozy. I practically had to be carried back to my stall.
I blame it all on Hairy. He bit his tongue the other day, and has been whining ever since.... spitting his food out, tossing his head around, banging on the walls...My human said she had been trying to coordinate a proper dentist visit for everyone for months, and since Hairy had demonstrated the risk of putting that off, and the tools were out, I'd better have mine done too.
Now she tells me the farrier is also scheduled. But, that's OK. I like playing with that guy. My human was present for my last reset, and she was aghast at my behavior. She said everyone has been letting me behave badly, and she was ashamed of me. She said I would have to learn to stand politely... I'm a little concerned because she schedule the farrier for Saturday when she can be around the barn.