Monday always makes me feel sort of… blah. Especially after a good weekend. It’s like, “hey, by the way? Here’s that thing called Real Life, and it’s going to smack you in the face!” Last week was actually sort of a stressful week between some bad news and some other drama – so by Friday I was practically in “curl up and whimper” mode, but had to keep my head on straight with about eight people who want to come see horses, a track visit coming up, new volunteers, and Archie to ride. Fortunately, the weekend rescued me. It was busy, and Saturday dawned entirely too early (four hours of sleep? NOT enough!) but it all worked out in the end.
Our track visit was very productive – I was able to mark five horses sold (though one isn’t really sold – she recovered very well from her injury and is now racing well enough they want to keep her for a while). When we got there, I had several missions to accomplish – I always have a list, and usually I am lucky to check off one of the specific items, as people are often in and out and it’s easy to miss what you went there for, or you run out of time. But I was able to check off three of my specific things this time (we’ll ignore the fact that there are still five things left, heh), and meet some nice horses.
One of my very favorite geldings at the track just got listed, which was fun. I’ve never actually seen him out of the stall before, I was just completely in love with his face. I know. You don’t ride the head. It’s also the polar opposite of the kind of face I am usually attracted to – no jughead, large nose, or giant ears here. Oh no, George wants to be a bridle model in a magazine (and, funny enough, there is another “George” on the track that ALSO has a beautiful, beautiful head, and is one of my other favorites too!).
We got to meet some other VERY nice horses – including a chestnut sprinter type that looked like he walked out of the pages of a western catalog – big stocky QH build with a big blaze and four white legs – mmmmmmm! And later, a lovely big dark bay fellow with airplane ears:
Oh, how I love some airplane ears. 🙂 In the course of taking pictures of a horse who won’t be listed just yet, I also snapped this, which makes me super happy.
After the track I raced home, and then it was off to Happy Horse Acres. I had someone that I wasn’t sure was coming out, based on one email it sounded like we were on for Saturday afternoon, but then I hadn’t really heard any confirmation, and then I realized I didn’t have her phone number to check. I popped my stuff in the car and rattled off down the road. I was a few minutes late, but no one was there, and it would turn out that no one was coming. Being out there, you can only be slightly miffed by this sort of thing – unless the weather is bad, I really enjoy spending time with the horses. So while I could have been ticked by having made all that effort (seriously, with the amount of sleep I’d had, and all the running around – it WAS a considerable effort!), I instead used it as an opportunity to spend some serious quality time with the new gelding, Palmer, as well as visiting all my other goonies and checking on everyone.
Palmer has already come a long way since his arrival. He has gained weight (not much, but enough that I will actually post pictures today!) and lost some of the tucked up and tense appearance. Along with that change, he has developed a personality. In a VERY short time, he has gone from “don’t touch me! wah! I don’t feel good!!!!” to “hey! How are you? Come visit! Come take pictures! Can I follow you around?” I think he’s been taking lessons from Mikey, and now the main problem is that he follows you too closely, which makes picture taking next to impossible as you end up with a series of nose closeups, instead of well composed portraits.
Yes, he’s still thin. But his coat is developing a sheen and he seems to have relaxed a whole lot. He is a little footsore in front now that he is out of shoes, but not nearly as bad as I expected. He does have small feet (heh, I’ve known another Quiet American like that…) but they seem well formed and I think will grow nicely. He also still has some hind end soreness – which can also take some time to work out. It’s also pretty normal – I remember when Leo came in it was as if every inch of his body hurt. And now, well, he looks great and seems to feel good too. OH! and before I forget, Leo has found a home! YAYYYY!!!!
OK, back to Palmer. Since he was following me around and being friendly, I took him out and gave him a grooming session. He tied pretty well and was very well behaved for grooming. He was a little touchy around the hindquarters, which I think is just from soreness and will probably go away. He was great with his feet, which got a liberal coating of venice turpentine (I did too, and I have no idea how to get it off my shirt. Oil removes it from hands, but can’t use oil on clothing so well! oops). He also knows exactly what treats are, and spotted the carrot bag from a mile away. I will say he was VERY polite about waiting for me to actually give him one.
I was able to get some extra hands and actually get a couple “before” pictures. Of course, the real before pictures should have been taken earlier, but really he was looking so pathetic I couldn’t bring myself to do it. 🙂
This guy strikes me as a really good egg. I do admit to having some pre-conceived ideas with horses. My experiences with horses of his build (sort of narrow, a tendency to hold his head really high and look down his nose at you) is that they are sort of reactive and maybe goofy. But he seems to have a great attitude already which should only improve as he gains weight and feels better (and do note – the state he came in wasn’t too awful or abnormal – he’s just one of those horses who don’t handle the transition from track life to turnout very well, and was turned out on his trainer’s farm for a while before coming to us. We are lucky to have lots, and lots, and lots of grass, which helps them get over that hump pretty quickly!).
I leave you with a shot of everyone’s favorite, Mikey. Who is, as always, too close to get a decent picture of because he insists on following you around everywhere.