Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Still An Animal...

Not sure how to start this post, wish it was a happy one like they usually are.

So I was reminded again this weekend that no matter how much you love our horse and think you know their temperament, they are still an animal with their own minds and sometimes they just do stupid crap.

I guess I need to elaborate.

Friday afternoon the girls and I went out to the pasture to fish with my oldest's new fishing pole that the 'Easter Bunny' brought her, ;) After that we walked back up the the top pasture where Harold and Chatterbox are and decided to go ahead and feed them for the afternoon and while Harold was eating try and get some more winter hair brushed off him.

After I got some hair knocked off I grabbed the hair spray and got him sprayed down. I was holding Shelby (my 16 month old) most of the time letting her help me brush, but put her down to fly spray him. He of course wiggled around a bit and acted like he was not happy about being sprayed like he always does. When I first started spraying again this season it took me a few times to get him to stop leaving his food and walking off when I started it. But he has gotten where he really just flinches a bit and shuffles his feet now. (His head/neck area is a different story but more on that in a minute)

So I'm spraying him while he is eating and Shelby of course wants to help. She wants to do/help with everything being a curious little toddler. So I let her have the bottle to act like she is spraying him. She moves towards his head for whatever reason and WHAM this happens:

Notice how the horse looks completely calm and compliant, not a care in the world, and then all of a sudden DEATH TO THE CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that was my horse. And yeah that was my screaming kid laying flat on her back in the dirt. (But that WASN'T me smiling and laughing like that mom, good grief)

First I snatched her up and checked her over real quick. I was sure I was going to see blood pouring from somewhere, a chunk taken out of her face, SOMETHING. But thank GOD almighty somehow he missed her. I don't know if he got the fly spray instead, never really connected, or what. I did find a cut on her hand later maybe from the fly spray being ripped out of her hand or something, not sure. 

So after I established she was okay and just scared I ran him off from his grain, hollering and yelling at him. Hopefully he got the message that his actions were NOT acceptable.

The husband had finished mowing at this time and I passed the munchkin off to him while I got my halter and stick to put the fear of God in him. I worked the mess out of him for near 30 minutes. Lunging him around me in a small circle making him change directions often, backing him up fast and long. He was blowing hard and sweating a ton by the time I got done with him. I was still so angry.

So needless to say he didn't get to finish his supper that night.

I'm really at a loss right now. Did I judge this horses temperament wrong? Was this just a 'perfect storm' type situation with the grain+fly spray+little someone = I need to defend my food/self, but something he would never do in any other situation?? If you remember right I have had issues before with him and his grain, pinning his ears etc. But NEVER biting or acting like he would. Even when I took his food away while he was eating it. But he DID do the exact same thing to our miniature schnauzer a few months ago when he got even a little close to his bucket. And knowing that, I had always really watched my girls around him when he was eating. But I never saw anything but a soft eye and no concern. 

As for the head issues, he definitely doesn't like the spray around his head, which is normal, most horses don't. But he has always had a little bit of an ear issue, and when I first started putting the fly spray on his ear (by spraying it into my glove and wiping it on) he had a pretty big problem with it. He has gotten a ton better though. But apparently he thought she was going to spray his head?? And her being small he had no respect for her authority and tried to bite her. :shrug: I really don't know.

Sigh. Any thoughts, previous experience, etc with something like this would be great. I think I'm too close to it at this point to be objective. My mama mind was just off the scale angry and scared, and it was hard to think like a horse person. For several days after I couldn't get the scene out of my head. I really haven't been out there since. Needless to say the girls won't be coming in there with me anymore. But if I can't trust my horse with my kids, really he is no use to me...

On another note. My mom and dad are getting out of horses. I know, I was pretty shocked too. I know she never has time for them, but I didn't really think she would ever actually give them away. 

Well dad offered them both to me for free, if I wanted them. I wish! Which I don't really want moms mare, I'm just done with mares and shes gaited. But I can't think of anywhere that would be okay for Cisco to go without it breaking my heart! He is basically my baby. I was the first one to halter him, put all his training on him, first one on his back, etc. He is almost 15 this year and never been anywhere else but my mom and dads living with his mama except for maybe a few weeks here and there, or a few months when he was out at my house. (If you don't remember Cisco, check out this link to his blog I wrote briefly, The Unspotted Spotted Saddle Horse)

13 years ago...we were both babies!
The problem is I don't have any pasture of my own, and already have barely enough borrowed for the horse I have now. I keep hearing rumors that the people we are renting the pasture from are about to move back and build a house on it, but haven't hear anything concrete. So if that happened I'd really be up a creek. Plus I bet the inlaws would have a hissy if I told them I was bringing over another horse, even though they have 3 completely useless horses on the same pasture they need to get rid of. The other one is a mere shadow of his former self and never gets anything done with it either. (Chatterbox)

So anyway, I guess thats enough whining for now. I'll update later...



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Still here!

But with nothing interesting to report at all! I did get a few pictures the other day so thought I would just yammer about some stuff and put some pics just to make a post, lol.

Who me?
So off and on all winter I got a chance to play with Mr. Harold a few times. Just reinforcing things we have already learned. Mainly lunging for respect stage 1, the hindquarter yield, forequarter yield, neck yield (brain fart on the proper 'term'), backing, etc.

He has steadily gained weight on the senior grain although never gotten where we aren't seeing any ribs. His topline has filled in though and we don't have any pokey hip bones so I'm okay with it. I'm hoping the resurgence of grass will fill him in. Plus I'm going to worm him again soon.
Thirsty pony


The father in laws horse on the other hand seems to be getting worse rather then better. He is seriously a bag of bones. I keep trying to tell the FIL that his goofy mixture of corn, oats and sweet feed is not good for him but he won't listen. -_-
I'm hoping to move him out to the big pasture where some grass is soon, hopefully I can get the father in law on board.

Well not much more to report, until later!




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Feeding and Blanketing, and Repeat!

Wearing Cisco's huge size 82 blankey
That is all that has been going on here lately! And more COLLLDDD weather is setting in tomorrow through at least Saturday I think. Single digits! BOO. This is the SOUTH!!

So I've been stuffing Harold with senior feed twice a day (A scoop, lol, not literally stuffing) which he has been quite pleased with. He greets me with the cutest hungry nickers every time I get there. Also as much hay as he wants. I don't see a huge improvement but I think we are getting somewhere, and at the very least not losing ground anymore. I've been keeping him blanketed on cold nights, or when it will be rainy/cold as well. I was just putting Daisy's rain sheet on but it doesn't have any fill in it, so on the colder days I put Cisco's mid-weight on him that we still have. The father in laws horse wore it once last year and somehow ripped the front gusset seam on it, so he's going to buy my mom a new one. It doesn't cause a problem so I just put it on him anyway, lol.

Picture from this morning, terrible footing for on, o well!
In other news! I've been shopping around for a good using/trail saddle for Mr. Harold. I've almost bought a few older Hereford Tex Tans, but never did close the deal. Well we ended up spending way too much on Christmas so there went my saddle fund -_-. But! I happened to be digging around the in laws shed the other day and found THIS:



It's an old Simco, which I totally did not recognize, but the husband was able to read the writing SOMEHOW on the leather keeper. I can't find a serial number but did find a 885 under the fender way up next to (and almost under) the tree. It also says "for pleasure riding only not recommended for roping", lol. Maybe it was made August '85? If anyone has any more thoughts, let me know!

It's not as good as a older Tex Tan or Circle Y, Bona Allen, or something like that, but I'd say its a 'good' saddle. The leather seems in good shape and not cheapy, even though I know the Simco is a lower level maker. I gave it a good cleaning/condition Sunday. The rawhide is pretty ugly (and dirty) but I can live with it. I might be looking into a seat saver after I do a couple of rides in it, especially on longer trail rides, that seat has NO give to it, lol. So, that solved my dilemma of having my 'own' saddle to use. (I was using the bro in laws some of you may remember, but there was an issue there...yeah, lets not go into that)

I took a wither tracing a couple weeks ago to take to a tack store with me with some coated power wire the husband cut for me, and traced onto a cardboard piece. It seemed to fit up into the gullet well, so hopefully it will fit him AND me. I haven't even sat in it, much less tried it on him. It's been cold, rainy, and dark along with the holidays. Plus the two little ankle biters of course take up a lot of my free time :). (And an ENDLESSLY dirty house does not help!!)
So we have been working on the 'ugly' faces he likes to make a grain time. What I did to begin with was walk into the pasture with the bucket and if he starts coming toward me with a nasty face I'll run him off both directions a few times and then allow him to come up to me again. If he is nice and stands patient, I'll give him a handful of grain. Then I will back him up with pressure on hsi nose a few times and when he stands again nicely he gets another handful of grain. All of this is reinforcing that I can move him around, and he gets to eat when I say, and when he is being pleasant and not trying to call the shots.

Now I can usually go in there and he perks his ears up at me and I just put his bucket down. Sometimes after I adjust his blanket I'll pick it back up to show him that I control his food. He probably got all this from being the low man on the totem poll in everyone herd situation he has been in, and that is what he has had to do to survive and get something to eat! But he still needs to make the distinction between LEADER and FOLLOWER. I am of course to be followed, so he needs to act accordingly. One time my Miniature Schnauzer was in front of him looking for loose grain and he DOVE at him with ears pinned so fast I was shocked. He is usually so easy going I definitely didn't expect that! 

Well not much else to add. Next post will hopefully be about how much I like riding in my 'new' saddle. :)


Monday, January 5, 2015

PAPERS!!



They do exist! Although still not in my possession -_-. I sent the man who has them ANOTHER text (probably my fifth or sixth one) but this time I asked if he remembered his registered name by chance so I could look it up. And he sent me a PICTURE of his papers, I was blown away. CHR Sam I Am is his name. I wish I had known that! I like Sam better then Harold, but the daughter and husband won't let me change it!

So anyway all afternoon I worked researching and tracing his ancestors. Trying to find any pictures/info out on him and his sire and dam.

No luck! Can't find a word about him or either of his parents. I did find a sale ad on an auction site for a full brother. It said he was a big pretty gelding that you could do whatever with and was a great trail horse. No pictures tho :(.I also found another full sibling, a sister on another site. But no info or pictures about her. Apparently his sire and dam were a popular breeding for someone.

Harold's 'grandpa'
So nothing on his immediate family but from grandsire and grandam back there is PLENTY. Lots and lots of big name halter horses. Harold is halter horse to the BONE. His paternal grandsire is Mr Yella Fella who was a huge name in halter and goes back to Ima Cool Skip and Impressive. On his dams side he has Impressive again a little closer and also Obvious Conclusion, who was a gorgeous halter horse as well, although N/H. Thankfully Harold has already been tested and is negative for HYPP.
Maternal 'great-great-grandpa'
I was kind of curious to why so many of his line had initials at the front of their names. I found out the JMK is actually someones initials. And he liked to put them on the front of every horse he bred himself. There is an article about him in the QH Daily I found here: http://americashorsedaily.com/how-halter-horse-breeding-is-spelled/#.VKw4QCvF90c

As for the CHR in front of Harolds name? Haven't figured that one out yet! I'm going to assume it is also someone intials.

So there you have it! Why my horse rides like a pogo-stick at the trot, lol! But he sure is pretty ;). I am hopefully going to actually GET the papers sometime soon, but I was so excited to finally find out his back ground and his registered name!

Until later I will leave you with a picture of Shelby girl helping mom carry hay to Harold, lol.




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pedicure!


Good gosh, what has it been, another 2 or 3 weeks?! Poor neglected pony! But he was as sweet and obliging as ever when I went out last Friday to see him. And he loved all the hugs and kisses from my sweet Chloe :).

So I'm not sure if I mentioned before, but my farrier got her wrist broken shoeing a horse a while back and has been out of commission. We first met her when I looked online for a good farrier for my mom's horse. Who supposedly had white line in all four hooves, (turns out she didn't, phew!). Anyway I loved her so much that I called her to do my horse. But she broke her wrist before she was able to come out, so as soon as she was back to work I booked her!

Thankfully Harold's hooves wore pretty even and didn't crack much at all even though it has been quite a while since he was trimmed. When I bought him he was losing his front shoes so was due even back then.

So Friday I went out to give him a tune up and remind him he has manners. I don't think it was really needed but I had fun playing with him anyway! With my youngest having her 1st birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, the weather, it's been a challenge to get out there!

The original plan was to keep Shelby girl asleep in the car and park by the round pen, bring Harold over there and do some round penning since it's been a while... Well that was going well until I accidentally kicked the side of my door panel trying to unlock Chloe's door from the inside (so I wouldn't have to push the button and make that loud unlocking noise) and SNAP eyes are open and jabber jabber, we are awake! Sigh.

New plan! The girls wagon was sitting there so I plopped them both in there and took off to see Mr. Harold. The horses weren't up by the gate but we called for them a while and finally saw some movement over in the other pasture. They took their time coming but did finally mosey up and I went out and greeted Harold with a cookie which he very much enjoyed!

My little girl takes the neatest shots
I left the girlies in the wagon by a tree nearby with lots of toys and their sippie cups and put Harold through his paces. Which he did excellently! Back up is still stickier then I'd like, but he is doing great with his hindquarter yields and even did quite well with his forequarter yields! Lateral flexing was okay, not quite as good as I'd like. One thing he did so good at was desensitizing. I was doing my standard throw of the rope over his body and legs and before I got done with more then 2 or so throws he would blow out and relax. Lol, he has definitely figured out what makes me stop tossing the rope! Funny boy.

I had forgot my grooming bucket over by the round pen so didn't get to give him a good brushing. I did pick up his feet and he did pretty well. He's definitely lazy so would rather not have to hold his feet up very long. He's also a little sticky with his back feet, he might have a bit of stiffness there, he is middle age after all! Or just laziness, lol.

By then I knew it wouldn't be long before my little one would be done with the wagon so I put him back out and traipsed back to the house!

The next day the farrier got there around two. Chloe and I went out earlier and called the horses up. Grabbed Harold and parked by the round pen and brushed him down. He did great out there, no calling or other nonsense. I had the farrier come out there in case I needed to run him around. I wasn't sure how he did for the farrier and figured I'd be better off safe then sorry. But it wasn't needed! He stood very well! Just relaxed and stood there like a good boy! Yeah, Harold!

My awesome farrier! 
As you can see his condition is taking a turn backwards, ugh. I am kicking the other two out in the back pasture tonight (they pick on him anyway and keep him away from the hay) and Harold is getting senior feed and oil twice a day with all the hay he can eat. Blanket if its rainy and or super cold. I've been hesitant about rocking the boat with the in laws but its just gotten way too bad. I wish I had checked on him better before he got this bad. I also wish it was warmer! He can still communicate with the other horses through the fence.

Anyway my farrier loved Harold and said he was going to be a super nice horse when I got him filled out. She thought he looked like a cutter, lol. She said he toes out a bit, and also his left front has a bit of a growth issue. She said if I start riding him a lot I might think about front shoes to help with soreness. I might shoe him when it gets warmer and I get to ride more. She said his feet looked pretty good besides being a little unbalanced. 

Well thats about all! Still hounding the previous, previous owner for his papers. Still getting all kinds of excuses, and "I will send them". -_- So flipping annoying. Until later!