Saturday, June 16, 2012

In which plans are useful so there is something to scrunch and throw away

My plan yesterday was to take Fee out for some solo miles:  lots of single track, lots of tricky trail, just a long quiet ride on a rare sunny day.

When I got to the trailhead, Connie and Farah were there...
Farah is registered as an "American Warmblood":
she is arab/saddlebred + appaloosa!
 and they were waiting for Amanda and Cato.  
Amanda is my height; Cato is 4 inches taller than Fiddle!
 We started out separately
 but early-on, Cato was NQR--maybe a muscle-pull from a slip in the mud last week?  Anyhow, Amanda opted to walk back to the trailhead
Canada in the distance; the San Juan Islands a little closer in.
 and Connie and Farah joined up with me!
Sweet, pretty, and level-headed = my favorite kind of horse
 We had a wonderful ride.  The trails are still slick in places, but Farah is still young and green and needed practice with that kind of thing, so that's what we did.  
On a sidehill, overlooking Puget Sound
 No rushing at all, just chattering and meandering along and taking pictures of the blue sky, the wildflowers, and this fellow:
Yearling blacktail buck
I think this little spike-buck just got tossed out of the family home, and was feeling lonely 
because he certainly didn't mind being close to us!
 This was actually the second blacktail deer I'd seen in a day--the first came into the orchard in our front yard around 6am.  Jim woke me up to see that one. He was looking straight into the bedroom window from a distance of about 20 feet!

Looking east, Mt Washington at photo-right.

We wandered up to the top of the ridge to admire the view...
Lake Goodwin below
 ...and then, we explored some new trails back down the hill to the trailhead.
A good horse and a long trail ahead = nothing better in the world.
What a great day!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In which the bob-tailed nag is still fine, and her injury is still strange

The Usual Suspects adjourned to Fish Creek Farm this afternoon after lunch. 
Dr. Patty inspects The Tail.
The goal:  figure out what the heck Hana did to her tail.

Dr. Patty carefully weighs the physical evidence,
and considers the possibilities before rendering
her professional opinion.
The conclusion: 
Scooby-Doo voice: "Ry Runno"
"It looks like this part is dead, and will probably stay dead."
"Whereas, it looks like this part

Still alive. still alive, and likely to stay alive."

Closer examination of the alive  part:
warning: icky photo next.   Hit PAGE DOWN to avoid the image.

Abbreviated Radish

Slightly less icky photo of the dead part:

It looks exactly like an orangutan finger wearing a hair extension.

The alive part is still very cute.

Barbie Horse: just add flowers and ribbons
and nail polish and perfume and...

Barn friends:

Yes, I am "wearing" the tail piece.  You can play with it when I'm done.

It's good to have 'em.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In which Hana shortens herself slightly, and she is fine (but not thin)

Nobody likes getting "those" phone calls, even when the caller reassures us that "she's fine."

Hana:  outstanding in her field.

 Well, she is fine. 

She has not exactly lost a bunch of weight at Fat Camp, but she likes it here.

However, when she was getting new shoes this morning, they noticed that her tail looked....funny.

You can't see it in this photo.
 In fact, the final 2 inches of Hana's tailbone had come OFF!

Yeah, I know:  WHAT?

Torn off?  Ripped off?  Bitten off? 

Nobody knows.  It's one of those Mysterious Horse Injuries. 

She's currently pastured with a gentle elderly gelding,
This is the nice old gelding she lives with now.

after moving (last week) out of the pasture with the Big Jerk. 

We didn't think that the Big Jerk had been eating Hana, but we don't have any other explanation:  there is no blood or tailhair on any fenceposts or grass in her current pasture. 

(slightly icky photo below, hit "page down" to skip it)

So, she really is fine.  It's not in a place on her body that gets held down in the mud, and they dunked it in disinfectant before I showed up.  I'll be checking on her every day.


Meanwhile, here's a nice picture of Dory's puppy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

In which we ride and improve the Dragon's demeanor (a bit)

At Spay Day + 6 weeks, the Dragon is back in regular training again.We ride trails twice a week, and try to take a lesson once a week whenever we can schedule it.

 Lisa had a day off from school last week, so I called Dory and she squoze Lisa into the lesson schedule.  The kid was thrilled!
Pretty pony!
 Our old friend Guy has moved on to the Great Arena in the Sky, so Dory is using Kalief as a lesson horse now.  He's lovely.  
Instructions for posting the trot
 Kalief is accustomed to an experienced rider, so he was pretty confused by the bouncing and squealing of a beginner, but he has an awesome attitude.  By the end of the lesson, he had figured out that Dory was driving the train, not Lisa--so he listened to Dory, and everybody was happy.
 One of Fiddle's biggest issues is tolerating other horses "in her space", so we've been working on that with her a lot now that we aren't tripping over her ovaries anymore.  She was my tripod during Lisa's entire lesson...
...and I kept her in the arena while other horses and riders came in to work as well.  I didn't ask her to work; her entire assignment was to stand quietly in the middle of the arena while I took photos from her back.  The other horses walked, trotted, and cantered around her without paying her any attention at all.  She did pretty well, even when the green horses and riders came a bit closer than she prefers:  she flipped an ear but didn't pin them or try to kick.  This is big progress. 
Watching the lessons
I've been enforcing the "no kicking" rule very strongly now, because she was starting to kick out at the bushes when she got frustrated with me, and that was not leading us on the path to happiness.  Now the rule is "no kicking and no bad ears EVER" even when it's her rider that she's mad at, and not another horse.  

She doesn't like this rule, but I like it a lot.  

She isn't 100% on board with it yet, but she's getting the concept that I now enforce the "no kicking" rule even when there's not another horse within miles.  She still gets frustrated with me, but now she'll have to think of another way to express the frustration.

I know she'll come up with something....interesting.  That's the kind of Dragon she is.  

Warpainted face
 The stupid starlings  have been decorating my horse.  Biggify the photo above to see her warpainted face.

The trails haven't benefited from all the rain we've had this month, but we needed a break from logging roads
Post-wedding:  Skivvies doesn't worry about tan lines anymore.
 so, a-slogging we did go.  And hey, 
Salmonberries:  the freely-growing M&M's of the Swampland
the salmonberries are ripe.  Yellow, red or orange doesn't affect the flavor--they're like M&M's:  they all taste the same.
 Fiddle likes the leaves best.

Trails are the best, even in the wetness.

It's good.