Monday, October 26, 2009

I did it again! NaNa-NaNa-Na!

This time I did it really well. I was in my paddock waiting for Brita to come, and when she got here, she didn't come right out to see me. Instead she went and got that other horse, and let him eat grass. I wanted to go for a ride, or eat grass or something other than be ignored. So I started to squeal and kick the fence.

That didn't work, so I rolled on both sides. She continued to ignore me. The problem was, the sand I rolled in was pretty dry and I only turned an icky shade of tan. There were no chunks or wet spots or anything. So, I ran down to my favorite mud puddle. First I splashed in it really hard. I had muddy water spraying for 30 feet. I got it all over my face...

and soaked my clean tail...

Then I laid down right in the middle of it. I didn't roll, I just flattened right out.

After that I came running back down to see if I had gotten her attention, and Mom was taking pictures of that other horse.

So, I rolled again. And again.

That got their attention. They put him back in the barn and came and got me. I thought we would do something nice then, but instead, Brita got the hose. Mom sprayed me off with cold water, and washed my tail with purple smelly stuff.

The only good point was that after getting my cold shower, I got to graze in the warm sun until I dried. Brita says it wasn't a proper bath and I still have lots of stains and grit in my coat, but I look a whole lot better than I did. That grass was sooooo good!


I wish my people would listen to me and do what I want. We could have skipped the whole rolling in the mud and cold hose business if she had just come and got me first thing instead of making me wait. I hate waiting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A lovely Autumn ride... from the rider's perspective

I have taken W.P. Grey's computer away for the day.... new keyboard...I'm afraid he will get mud on it.
Yesterday the awful cold, wet, snowy weather we have been suffering since last Thursday finally broke. Today was the second beautiful day in a row. I was unable to get to the barn yesterday, so I was really looking forward to a ride today. I even snuck out of the office 15 minutes early. Who wouldn't? It is 65 degrees, clear blue sky, sun shining through the golden autumn leaves... perfect.
I ride on my lunch "hour", which means time is of essence. It generally stretches to a lunch "hour and a half", but in that amount of time, I can change and drive to the barn (8 minutes), dust off Grey, tack up (10 minutes) and ride for at least half an hour (1 mile in any direction, and back). Then, basic grooming and wipe tack (another half hour), check his water bucket and hay bag (4 minutes), rush back to the office to clean up, change and get back to my desk.

Mom tries to make sure he gets turned out to "bounce" in the morning on the days I am expected. This is really appreciated, because although I consider him to be well trained and highly cooperative, he still has his moments and "bounce time" is very important, especially if he hasn't been ridden in a week.
As I drove towards the barn I saw Grey out in the pipe corral in the hayfield. He looked pretty grungy and I remembered Mom said yesterday he had coated himself pretty well. I met Mom on the porch and she said she had just turned him out a bit ago, but he was very fussy about going out into the mud.

When I went to get him, THIS is what I found...

I really don't think the photo properly conveys what a swamp monster he was. He made it worse by crowding me and tasting me as if he thought I didn't mind getting mud, dust and grass slobber on my clean polo.

From the time I got my first pony (35 years ago next month) I have clung to the romantic side of horse back riding. I take pride in my horse and my equipment. I do not go riding in old jeans and dirty tee shirts. I believe that a proper grooming takes an hour and does not include shampoo. Stalls should be cleaned thoroughly and deeply bedded. Blankets should be plaid wool and changed regularly. When I think about riding, I picture myself perfectly turned out, cantering along a bridle path on a fine horse with well oiled leather and shiny buckles. And my busy Career Girl schedule does not allow time to deal with THIS....

I weighed my options. I could put him back in his stall and pretend he doesn't belong to me... spend my time with weanling Ace (who was clean). Devote my hour to a proper text book grooming. Get the hose. Scrape off the worst, and enjoy the day. I opted to scrape off the worst.

With a towel and a shedding blade I removed most of the chunks, went over the saddle area and girth with a stiff brush and decided to skip both picking out his hooves ...

and soiling a clean pair of splint boots. I had a dusty saddle pad from last week in the laundry pile, so we used that. I tried again with the towel to de-muck his head before putting on the clean bridle, and off we went.

It really was a beautiful day for a ride. We saw a blue bird, and chipmunks skittered busily through the yellow leaves storing acorns for the winter. We were even besieged by Lady Bugs. I barely noticed the horse beneath me was still encrusted in mud.

When we returned, most of the mud had dried enough to brush out. His furry elbows remained wet and there was a chunk of something hanging from his throat latch. But the steaming towel trick did go a long ways towards removing the worst of the stains. There is still a beige murkiness to the left side of his head and elbow. I put a clean halter on him, double bagged the soggy one and put it in my bridle bag with the bridle and lathered girth to take home for cleaning.

Mom did her part to restore some civilization to the day by having a snack ready when we got back. She brought out fresh apple cider in a decanter on ice along with a plate of cookies, and she and I had a little party at the picnic table under the maple tree in it's golden autumn splendor while a mostly clean Grey horse munched happily at his hay bag. My romantic notions are still intact.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today was farrier day at the barn and I got new shoes put on. But it doesn't look like I'll get much use out of them. My hopes for an unseasonably warm autumn have been completely dashed. It snowed all afternoon. Snowed. We did have a nice ride in the autumn leaves yesterday though. It was cool out, about 41 degrees.

There has been a lot of wildlife in the cornfield across the road. Yesterday there were turkey that chucked to us when we rode past in the woods. And earlier this week there was a large flock of Canadian geese. And two snow geese... Maybe they brought the snow.

On a side note, I would like to welcome a new friend, Roxie, to my followers list. She has her own blog too. I guess I have a cyber girlfriend. This is like computer dating for horses. I miss my friend Carson though. Looks like someone has taken his internet privileges away after all, 'cause we haven't heard from him in awhile. Gosh, maybe he's snowed in or something?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Get me outta here!

Remember that cute little baby colt I was so enamoured with this spring? Well, he has grown up into a big noisy teenager and he is living right across the hall from me. This weekend they took the poor little brat away from his Mom and he is still whimpering and whining about it. He kept me up all night.

This morning when it was my turn to go out, I wanted to get out of earshot for some peace and quiet. (Editor's note: Mom said W.P.'s face said quite plainly "get me as far away from this as possible!") So I got to spend a pleasant morning out in the "corral" where I have a beautiful view of the surrounding neighborhood.

Then in the afternoon Brita came for a ride. With all this hubub surrounding the colt, my rides have been a bit neglected, and I couldn't wait to get out and stretch my legs. The kid seems to be running out of steam, and when I came back later, it was relatively quiet in the barn. I sure hope I can get some sleep tonight.