Tag Archives: random

Whoa! There’s a big engine in that thing!

Last night I arrived at the barn late, around dusk, and had to really book it to go get Afton in before it got too dark to find him.  Once I got him inside under lights, I groaned… he was COVERED in mud.  He looked like he’d been having a REALLY good time out there.  After a few minutes of totally fruitless scraping (resulting in me breathing in about twenty pounds of dust, I’m still coughing it up this morning.  You know you wanted to know that!) I gave in and decided to introduce Mr. Afton to the vacuum cleaner of death.  At least, that’s what my horse calls it, as he’s sure it’s possessed.

Afton, though, is a different animal.  Only four and with limited life experience, he still decides things are not worth getting too excited about.  In fact, he seemed to like being vacuumed, and wonder of wonders, there was a very shiny coat under all that cemented dust.

So, we can check that off on the list of “things Afton has successfully been introduced to.

After tacking up, it was off to the indoor for a nice little ride.  I was anticipating his usual self- the Afton that takes some urging to get going, and mostly stands at the mounting block, but what I got was something a little different.  Eager to get going, he sprang away as I mounted, and after one circuit of the ring insisted that it was TIME TO TROT.  C’Mon lady, what are you waiting for? 

He was very forward, taking no urging at all from me.  But he’s still quite directable- turning and circling, doing serpentines and rudimentary spirals.  He doesn’t get the bending thing quite yet, and likes to fall out onto his shoulder, but he learns quick.  Even at the canter, he remained that directable despite a little more speed than I’m used to from him.

We did have a little more trouble with “whoa” than we usually have.  He would slow or stop as requested, but the standing still thing?  Not so much.  He tried REALLY hard, but just couldn’t contain himself, wanting to sidle sideways, and starting to bounce a little.  By bounce, I mean “get excited” only, nothing actually came up off the ground.

In a normal horse, I’d attribute this slight change in attitude to things like- he’s being ridden at night, which is new to him.  Or, it’s his first real ride in the indoor.  Or perhaps it’s because there’s no other horses in there with him in that cavernous space.  But Afton is different, special.  Things just don’t bother him, he’s proven over and over that he’s got one of the best equine minds around.

So I came to the conclusion yesterday that Afton may secretly be a vampire horse.  Like Bunnicula (if anyone remembers that besides me, please leave a comment, it will make me feel like less of a dork).  Clearly, he likes to sleep and be verrrrry lazy during the day.  At night, he’s wide awake and bursting with energy.  The vegetation in his field is looking suspiciously sucked-dry of juices lately.  So what else could it be?

In other news, we have discovered Afton does not know what to do with a gingersnap, but likes black Twizzlers and the peppermint cookie things that he stole out of my horse’s treat bucket.

I Finally Have to Ask…

Why is Rosey still here?

I don’t understand.  OK, well I do understand that the folks who tried her out really liked her, but it just wasn’t quite right for them.  But when I look at her, I see a seriously fancy little horse.  She has a good stride and pretty movement despite toeing out on the right front.  She has a great jump now that she’s learning how.  She’s got the best brain and disposition of any mare that I’ve ever ridden, and I’ve ridden some nice mares.  She may be one of the very best horses I’ve ever ridden, period. 

After the first week with her passed, I was sort of amazed that she was still here, and now that it’s been a bit longer, I’m getting sort of mystified.  People, really, she’s FABULOUS!

In other news, there has not been much riding this week- I have made another trip out to the “funny farm” and introduced a potential new volunteer to the horses out there. We did some soundness checks on a few of the horses to see who would be “next” into the retraining part of the program.  Bid is looking ok, but a little off on a foot he had a huge abscess in a little while back.  Whisper, surprisingly, looked pretty good behind (he had a condylar fracture in a hind leg), and was happy to move around and go.  A few months ago he was hesitant about walking very far.  He seems to be getting a more confident personality, too, with his increased soundness.  Hopefully he will be ready for some light trail riding soon (I expect he will be thrilled with that, he seems like a very eager to please kind of horse).

Rosey is getting some pampering this weekend- Saturday she will be receiving a massage, and Sunday she will be getting a new set of shoes.

Funny Farm Update

Because yesterday was the rainiest day in recent memory, I sort of uncharacteristically took the day off.  Didn’t even SEE a horse yesterday, just slept in, ate a huge pancake breakfast, and didn’t do ANYTHING.  Which leaves me feeling sort of like I have to make that up the next day, so today I may have OD’ed on horses, if that’s at all possible.

First I went out to the layup farm to visit the horses there.  I bought them some new brushes, flyspray, wound care goo, and a box of treats.  I also had a mission- with so many horses on the farm, it’s time to get them photographed and listed on the website, so I had a list of horses to take pictures of.  This turned out to be harder than I anticipated, partly because I’m not sure who’s who out there, and partly… well, anyone who has tried to take a “nice” picture of a horse without help surely understands. 

There was lots of “no! whoa! stand!” moments, and lots of photos where a suddenly turned head created a horse that looked like a moose, or a stomped foot ruined a perfectly good picture.  And on the grooming front, I learned who would stand for flyspray and who would try to drag me across a thirty foot field.  I had big dreams of hopping on Wek for a little spin, to see how she’d do, but apparently her quiet demeanor the last time I saw her was largely because she had company.  On her own, outside the field, she got a little snorty and spooky, so I decided to wait until there is at least someone there with me.  But all in all, it was quite productive, I got flyspray on most of the horses, and SWAT on wounds and flybites.  And really, they’re quite fun to spend time with. 

"Whisper"- one of my favorites out at the farm.  Such a sweet boy!

That’s “Whisper”- a gorgeous boy whose track career ended when he fractured a hind leg.  He was nursed back to health and cared for by a track worker who was very attached to him, but he unfortunately had to send him back recently.  Whisper is the kind of horse who just loves some quiet attention, and is also fond of popcorn.

The boys hit the swimming hole

The boys hit the swimming hole

No, I will not put my ears up for you

No, I will not put my ears up for you

Silly horses.  After leaving I went and rode Rosey, who is getting better and better each time I get on her.  She’s getting much more consistent, able to hold herself for longer periods of time.  She’s turning into one of the nicest horses I’ve ever ridden.  And, Um, yes, I need to pick up my hands a little.  I worked on that today, promise!
Fancy Lady

Fancy Lady