Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jonah and the Whale

We practiced Trailer loading again today. And I think I've figured out what was scaring me before. I felt like that poor guy Jonah who got swallowed by the whale. Today, Brita had taken the stalls out of the inside of the trailer. That meant that I could move around more freely. Still, when Mom started to close up the back, I all of a sudden felt as if I was being swallowed whole. But this time, I was able to turn around and see what was closing up behind me. It was only a door, and not the mouth of a monster after all. That instantly made me feel better. I calmed down quite a bit. I even got on the trailer the second time without having to be bribed with lunch. I think this trailering thing might turn out OK after all.

Of course I was sort of tired anyway. When we went for a ride this morning, I saw this awful pile of ROCKS.

I saw them from outside the fence on the roadside a good 50 feet before we got there. I stopped right away and skittered to the other side of the road. When Brita insisted I go on, I bucked and skittered back. That made her really mad and she made me trot a whole mile before I got to rest. After that I was a little better behaved. The rocks were right before the place where the wildebeasts were and I was afraid maybe some monsters were hiding in them. They sure look like a monster hiding place don't they? Probably trolls. I wouldn't want to go trip-trapping over any troll bridges.

On the way back, I was ready for the rocks again, but Brita was already pre-mad, and she called me a bad name and said "stop looking for the #$&@ rocks!" So I looked where I was going instead and missed the rocks on the way back. The good new is, I completely forgot to be afraid of the hay wagon. Then, just before we got home, I got my opportunity to make up for the hay wagon. I saw a motorcycle coming. I've been waiting to encounter one of these creatures face to face for months. Brita apparently didn't see it, or was pretending she didn't see it, and went on ignoring it. But I saw it from a ways away. I always do. It was going real slow, but I got more and more excited as it got closer. When it went by, I bucked twice, and skittered. Brita called me a bad name again. But that was OK, because I was over it, and I sauntered the rest of the way home like I was always a well behaved horse. You have to keep up the well behaved act, otherwise, you will never take them by suprise.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rainy Day Project

Today was a very stormy rainy day, and I have my shoe off again (it wasn't my fault... honest) so we did a rainy day project. Cornell University is doing an Equine Genetics study and Brita signed me up. It involves measuring me all over with a tickly yellow tape, sending in my pictures, and some tail hair. At first I was suspicious of the tickly yellow tape, but I couldn't really see it. She put it between my eyes, and around my nose and neck. All the while I was trying to get an eyeball on it, but I couldn't so I gave up and stood still. When she measured my chest, I thought she wanted a hug and I kept getting my head in the way. She measured everything. What I did learn is that I am built uphill. My shoulders are almost two inches higher than my hips, and after several tries it was decided I am definitely an honest 16.3 hh now. And my tailbone is five inches shorter than Copy's tailbone. And that since I'm so hard and fit, my tummy is barely bigger than my girth. For the finale, she put cookies on the floor and made me stretch down so she could measure my neck. Cookies don't belong on the floor! I kept looking for them midway down, and in her pockets. I almost didn't believe her when she said they were on the floor. I guess the five second rule applies, but really, I prefer my cookies not to be on the floor. Don't we have any buckets or anything? Ptthhhewy! Anyway, she signed up a couple of my stablemates, so we'll see how we all measure up to one another, and prove once and for all who has the littlest ears, the flatest back and the broadest chest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My First Public Performance

I made my debut as a public entertainer this morning!! I was getting anxious to come in, though I had all my fly protection armor on. Mom was stalling on taking me in as she watered her vegetable garden, but I was emphatic and rowdy. Then I saw a small car slow down and an older couple watching my antics. The car had a little guy with a funny hat on. Soooo, I decided I should entertain while the audience was ready!!! I leaped in the air with all four feet evenly lofted three feet in the sky and made the spin of arrogance and the big double hoofed kick to the heavens!! Impressive it was, especially with my silver armor on. Then Mom came to rescue me, since I was being such a devil. She asked me to bow for my audience, which I did, then she elegantly waved and exited with me. We make quite a team I think. I hope the people had a nice Sunday drive.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Shining Armor

The thing I like best about my fly sheet, is how it shines. It makes me feel like a knight in shining armor.

Brita's other horse, Copy, thinks so too. We like to fraternise over the fence. She was telling me how handsome I looked in my new duds.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In the summertime....

...when the weather's high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky

This is my field

This is me outstanding in my field...

Brita has a beautiful hayfield about half a mile from the barn. Several times a week we go galloping in it. We've checked the perimeter, and there are no holes, so it's safe for galloping.

Brita has fun too!

And we do a little actual work.

This morning Mom put me out in the paddock to graze with all my new fly fighting equipment.

Then Brita came at noon to ride. After our gallop in the field, I got pretty hot and buggy. I wish I had my nice fly sheet now!

So we went home for a nice warm bath, and Brita toweled me off after and scratched all my itches.

Mom, who does my laundry, would probably prefer if I took a bath before I went for a ride.

Afterwards I enjoyed a nice bag of hay. My staff has found that any time spent putting my hay in a bag is saved later when they clean my stall.

Speaking of Hay... this week has been hay making time. I'm used to seeing hay making equipment. This is parked right outside my door, and I'm used to walking under it, and stand quietly next to it while Brita gets on....

But these are starting to form a herd. I'm very skeptical of anything in a herd (remember the Wildebeasts?) So I gave them a wide berth and hurried past.

I wasn't sure if maybe there were Wildebeasts hiding behind them You can never be too careful! Other than that, I had a lovely summer day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Good Luck Horse Shoe

You know why finding a horse shoe will bring you good luck right? Because they are expensive, and hard to find when they come off. At least that's what Brita says.

I accidentally took one of my shoes off today. I think it's the first time I've ever done that to a front shoe. I take the back ones off all the time. I just hook them under the edge of a board and pry them off. I can do that before the farrier even gets out of the driveway!

Anyway, my shoes need to be changed. The farrier is coming on Monday. Brita was examining them today and tapping on clinches but she said they all looked like they would stay on. Wrong. I ooops and overstepped in the field pulling off the right front one. We noticed right away, and stopped to pick it up. It doesn't really bother me because I don't have fancy shoes anyway. Brita cut our ride short and made me walk home, which was boring. Really, I was fine. My feet are tough, and I can even walk on gravel barefoot, but she was worried I would feel all out of whack. When we got back, she did a little trimming and rasping on the sharp edge of my toe so I wouldn't crack or chip my hoof.

So, if there are any horses reading this, if your shoe falls off, please remember where it happened so your people can go get it. That will make them very happy. If you have an extra shoe, nail it over your door for luck. You should nail it with the heels up, so the luck won't run out. Or, you can take the other approach, and hang it toe up so the luck spills down on you. Traditionally, it should be hung with 3, 7, or 9 iron nails. This will depend a lot on how many holes your shoe has. And that means there will be empty nail holes. Which seems unlucky to me, because you know every nail is important....

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let's get this show on the road...

Several of my siblings... those who have careers... are in Kentucky this week showing at the Lexington Jr. League Horse Show.

You can click on their names to see pictures from the photographer's website.
Congratulations Foxy Camilla for your third place in the Adult Show Pleasure Driving, and CH Revolover for your third in the Amatuer Fine Harness Stake. I wonder if Paranormal will be showing?
They look like they're having lots of fun. I'm not sure I want to go to a horse show afterall. Brita made me get on the trailer again yesterday, and closed me in. For a looong time. At least it seemed like a long time. I threw a teeny weeny fit. I think she's mad at me. She seems to be plotting and planning.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What's in a Name?

"That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet."

Today the ASHA website was updated, and my new name officially went into effect. Pendleton speaking here.

Now that I have had it changed, I have debated whether or not to reveal my birth name, and have decided against it. It is a shame I have lived with for many years and I am happy to put it behind me. It may have been cute sounding when I was merely a silly colt, but the meaning of it goes against my moral standards, and my good sense So, as they say, I have put my behind in my past. But, since it is important, let me tell you how I came to have my present name.

When I came to live with this family, they knew I would someday find a name more befitting my personality. So they hesitated to give me a nickname and just left it to work itself out. Because my most distinguishing feature was my color, I became known, in general, as The Grey Horse. It was very important, this distinction of coat color, as I was specifically chosen for it. You see, three generations ago, this family bought a first horse.

Mom and Star

That horse was a Saddlebred, and he was grey. For many years they had fond memories of Star, and for many many years they looked for a horse who would remind them most of the horse that started it all. A horse who was not only tall and grey and handsome but who was also exceedingly smart and kind and noble.
Then they found me.

Star 1945 12-13 yrs old. William Pendleton 2005 2 yrs old

It really doesn't come as a surprise that we resemble each other, as we come from the same family of horses. Both of us have a good deal of Harrison Chief blood in us, although, understandably, mine is quite a ways further back than Star's was. Harrison Chief was Star's Great Great Grandsire. He was my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandsire. 7 times. But that's not all. He was and my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandsire 16 times, and my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandsire another 8 times. If you look at my pedigrees, almost all roads lead to Harrison Chief.

So I came home to live with them when I was just a youngster. Sometime during the first winter, my Mom began calling my "Billy". Brita wasn't much a part of my life at the time, but she remembers visiting me in the winter time, and that in my first New York winter ( grew up in the south), I had gotten very shaggy, and had long chin whiskers rather resembling a billy goat.

As I grew older, my Uncle Dad came to live here and married Mom. In his previous life, he had owned Appaloosas. He could see that as a Saddlebred, I was a much more dignified and well educated creature than a mere Billy goat, and he began to call me "William". This name suited us all just fine. However, Brita continued to call me "the Grey", or just plain Grey because the name was short, and rolled off the tongue better than William or Billy.

The years passed, and it came time for me to go to the horse show. A formal name had yet to be decided. You can't rush into these things, as a name may only be changed once and then you really are stuck with the consequences forever. Many were tried out, but fizzled. Nothing was decided and I went to the horse show under my old name. That fact was swept under the rug and ignored.

Then last year, Mom brought up a name she thought might work. Since I have become a hunt type horse, and like to model my habits and manners after the formal English life, an English sounding name was sought. Mom had always dreamt that one day she would have a fancy grey standard poodle as a companion, and that it's name would be Pendleton. When this was mentioned, it struck Brita's fancy. After all, our family matriarch that we knew as Grandma, had much admired me as well as the wonderful woolen fabrics produced by the Pendleton wool company. She had instilled in all her family, an innate love of material and finely woven fabrics. Brita remembered that the first nice riding coat that Grandma ever made her was made from Pendleton wool. When Mom grew up, she and Grandma made much of their own clothing. If a Pendleton woolwas so much prized, she must have gotten her fondness from the name then. Even I appreciate a good plaid blanket, and when I take the trouble can be quite the natty dresser.

We tried that name on, and it seemed to fit me like a well cut jacket. So, I had collected many names. The one I leave behind, the descriptive nicknames "Billy" and "Grey" used by my family, and the new, more dignified and meaningful one Pendleton. One day when I was feeling a bit mischievous, Brita scolded me, and as women will, she dragged out each of my names and strung them together... "why William Pendleton Grey... I can't believe you did that!" And it was decided on. But, I was not in favor of having all my personal names called out to me in public each time. That is more a private affair. I would prefer to be formally addressed, not by my "Christian" name William, but by my surname as is proper English tradition.

So, today, for the first time ever, I address you officially as Mr. "William" Pendleton Grey. And when I go to The Fair this summer, I will be competing under my new, carefully chosen name "Pendleton".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

I discovered the most wonderful new fruit today! Mom took me with her to get the mail out of the box, and on the way back, she stopped at the berry patch. Well I didn't know that was there! Those are wonderful!

Brita stopped by while we were moseying around the yard, and she suggested we have lunch in the trailer again. I helped open it up and looked in all the doors while Mom got my lunch. I hopped right in because I knew there would be lunch in there. But as I was quietly eating my lunch, Mom went around and closed me in. That made me very nervous. My breathing got shallow, and I tensed up. I bounced off the walls a little, but Brita soothed me and reminded me about lunch, so I didn't try to kick my way out. After a bit, the back opened up again. I thought about rushing out, but Mom and Brita reminded me to "whoa" so I composed myself and stood still. Then Brita told me I could get out. She offered to let me finish my lunch there, but I grabbed the bucket and yanked it away. "I think we ought to finish lunch over here. Away from the dangerous Horse Transporter Device."

Afterwards, we went to the barn for some doctoring. My neck still hurts from my shots. I have a big lump there. Brita says it looks like I swallowed a golf ball. Yesterday it looked like I swallowed a baseball, so today was better. Everyone has been very worried, and have been taking my temperature, and putting ice on my neck. I hate ice. Its...well...cold. Yesterday the Doctor even stopped to see me. He said I should be OK. I really don't think the fair is worth this pain in the neck. They have great food there, fried dough, and cotton candy. But, they don't have strawberries!

P.S. It has been raining an awful lot here. I think I may be molding. I don't know, does this look like mold to you?