Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Netflix, no horses today

I didn't get to see my ponies today. Maggie fed this evening and will feed again tomorrow evening. She didn't have cheer leading tomorrow and I thought she might like to go riding, but she's going to have her dad pick up Jena and they are going to come back to the house. She has been so busy with cheer leading and other stuff ever day after school that she says it will be nice to have a day at home. I told her no TV though because it seems that Jena hasn't been doing her homework and she needs to. We seem to have mislaid her orange binder. It's not in the car or the house...not a clue where it went.

So, Maggie is at her dad's and I'm here watching a movie from Netflix. I almost never pick out a movie to watch on my own but I decided to pick out one that someone had recommended to me...can't remember who. It's called Mrs. Henderson Presents...

I want to share my movie lists with my friends so I'm going to post this link so any of my friends can be my online netflix friends.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Parelli Convert!

Since I have been taking lessons with Jennifer at Iron Star Farm in Aledo, I have slowly become a convert to the training ways of Pat and Linda Parelli. I used to think this was the dumbest horse training method known to man until I started seeing that the real heart was in the relationship. Over the last couple lessons, all the bits and pieces Jennifer has given me have begun to make sense and fall into place.

This weekend the Parelli's were in FT. Worth for part of their 2008 tour. While I agree that their merchandise is extraordinarily expensive, I do also think the quality is very high. I'm salivating over the new Parelli Patterns to give me stuff to practice at home when I can't get out to work. They demonstrated how every exercise is a pattern that builds on an old pattern and works with the personality of the horse.

I experimented with some of my learning on Liberty this evening. Linda has a horse who is very left brained extrovert. He runs and plays and runs and runs and isn't ready to be ridden every time. She joked about him being bipolar, which I often feel with Liberty. He also isn't as touchy feely as her other horse and isn't as eager to hang out with her. This is how Liberty is with me. I feel a standoffishness from him, but a desire to be up close and personal...but only if it's really all about him. I think I do some damage early on when I "made" him "behave" I don't think it's irreversible, but I do think that he is less trusting of me in some ways than he used to be. So, I'm trying to speak his language.

Linda said a couple things today that made me think. She said that horses often become a tool and the relationship gets lost (this is definitely a possibility for me) and that you need to place the relationship first. In my lesson last week, we realized that you couldn't draw him in very easily. Tonight, when I turned him loose to work out the kinks, he turned away from me some, but also was way more willing to turn toward me than in the past. I think that I have lowered my energy and he feels more comfortable standing with me now. While I couldn't draw him in completely at Liberty, once he quit moving he wasn't reactive and trying to run away as usual. I noticed his breathing and sweating a lot, even though we hadn't worked very hard and I started to notice the release of adrenaline and the licking and chewing which indicated thinking.

I then had time to play the first four games with him and we had a great time. He did the friendly game, but still flinches on the first sounds/contact of the string, the porcupine game--better on the right than the left, the yoyo game (he's getting good at this) and the circle game. Tonight was the first night I ever got him to circle without always stopping behind me. Oh, he stopped behind me a few times, but then figured out that if he just kept trotting he would be praised and given many treats. He didn't work too hard and when I left I was feeding supper...since their supper consists of low starch feed and timothy cubes, I figured he was "too" hot.

I noticed that he had a lot of trouble ignoring the horses outside the pen tonight. Especially Toots! He was really working with me and focusing and acting like a left brained introvert until I started moving him a little and then he just exploded into a fireball of energy. Toots was running around and he was running around. They were both highly amusing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Busy week, good riding

I had some brief but powerful horsey moments this week. Jena and Maggie rode in the field on the girls and I worked with Liberty in the round pen. I rode in a rope halter, in the round pen. I thought that I was going to work on backing through the round pen gate, but I soon realized that I needed to work on simply getting Liberty's attention on me. I had the girls on their horses distract him a bit and then I sent them off to ride and worked on just stopping and standing. It took a little while...in fact, it got dark on me...but I finally was able to tell him whoa, with no rein contact, stand without him pulling on me or the other way around, and to stand. The ultimate test was when I walked toward the girls in the field and was able to whoa him in the field and have him wait for instructions. I got off a proud mama.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Darn baby

I got up early to mix grain and antibiotic for my foal to eat before work. The little stinker won't eat it. I even coated it in maple syrup and it's a complete no go. I am wondering if i let deli eat it if the antibiotic would go through her milk? I thought about leaving her locked up for the day but I think she's stubborn enough not to eat it even then.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fiera seems better today

This am Fiera was gimping along in her bandage but did seem to feel better. She ate some of her antibiotic, but not all...she's a little picky about having anything added to her food. This evening Maggie couldn't get her to eat any antibiotic, so she and her dad gave her some of what was in the tube. I had pre-dialed it to the correct level in case she wouldn't eat the powder. I had Maggie set the feed in the trailer and I'm going to go armed with maple syrup to pour on the feed tomorrow. I may have to leave her in the round pen tomorrow to eat her food. I hate to leave her away from her mom all day, but I also hate for her not to get her medicine. I have 2 more doses in the tube and if she continues to refuse to eat it, she will be finding herself with a syringe full of applesauce, maple syrup and antibiotic. I don't blame her not wanting it, but she has to have it. Thursday am I will take off the bandage and if it's not significantly better we will be making the drive to Decatur to the buddy of Dr. Whiting to have the joint cleansed. I don't even want to think about what that will cost, but worse, I don't want to think about my baby being lame before she's 6 months old. She did still have a slight fever this evening...it was 101, but it's down a degree from Sunday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Horses are out to kill themselves!

Fiera has had her first official vet bill. Sometime last week she injured her leg. I saw it on Thursday and it looked like a scrape and I didn't think it was a big deal. After all, she wasn't limping, she was eating and drinking and running around and didn't mind me handling it. Unfortunately, now it's 3 times it's normal size and the vet had to come and she's loaded up on antibiotics. The vet was talking about me needing to take her into the racetrack clinic to have it flushed and cultured and I was pretty nervous. He just didn't want to waste my money coming out only to have to haul her to the vet. But, once he got there he was reasonably confident that we can get this under control.

I'm usually pretty quick to call the vet on stuff like this...In fact, I did call one of the vets I use yesterday evening and she said that it didn't sound like an emergency to her and to call her this am if the baby had a fever over 102.5. She didn't have a fever this am and was moving better, but then this evening she had a temp of 101.8 and when I called the same vet again she told me to call my other vet because she couldn't come out till Thursday at the earliest. Since I have to work the next two days, I wanted to get it seen so I didn't miss work so that Marisa didn't fuss at me for missing work, like I did two weeks ago when Merlin died. I just got the feeling that she didn't want to come out. I had that same feeling in April when Freeley colicked, but I just chalked it up to a lot of colics, busy Saturday...now I'm not so sure. It may just have been that she had plans and she's off tomorrow. Maybe she doesn't really do emergency calls? I'm not sure, but I think I will be sticking with the larger practice I have used in the future.

Poor Fiera is wrapped from hoof to knee but she was feeling better already from the banamine by the time I left. I have antibiotics to give her 2 times a day and banamine for the next 3 days. I'm sure my bill will be pricey with the after hours call, but I don't care since I don't plan to raise another baby and she is something really special. If she's not better on Thursday I am to get a referral to take her to one of the equine hospitals to get the wound cultured and flushed, which will be expensive!

Extreme mustang makeover

So far the makeover is lame. It started an hour ago and they have done a lot of talking and very little horse showing. We got in here with no cash and there are no atms in sight. So no lovely beverages for us.

In other news: Maggie and I rode the white trail at the grasslands today and had a nice time with Yvonne, who I met at the last supreme trail challenge. Liberty was very chargy and hard to settle and rate. It's a new problem that he's developed when he has to go behind someone. Instead of adjusting his speed to suit the horse in front he puts his head up and acts very pushy. He will walk fine behind anyone but pick up the pace he's in a hurry.

I found this post in my phone this am. I forgot to send it Saturday when things finally got going.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great lesson today

Peter came with us to Jennifer’s house and brought his camera. He took over 400 photos and ended up with 50 he liked really well. Here is the link:


Unfortunately, when I see photos of myself riding all I think is “oh, gosh, I didn’t feel fat till I saw the pictures” So, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that we just have more work to do and then not beat myself up.

Today Maggie spent time playing with one of Jennifer’s horses while Jennifer worked with Dixie on the ground. Dixie proved to be really good at tuning Jennifer (and Maggie) out and Jennifer spent a lot of time smacking her with the carrot stick and rope. Jennifer hates smacking horses, but she had to get her attention and keep it! For now we have decided to take more lessons and spend less time competing…For Maggie that translates to no time competing. No fall NATRC rides for her or me. We want to wait till Maggie is really good and can be competitive and can have nice comments written on her card. Her next attempt will be the trail challenge at Teresa’s the end of November.

My lesson was another passenger lesson. IT started out by Jennifer showing me some tips for teaching Liberty not to crowd the next horse only it morphed into something completely different. She discovered his draw was broken. HE has never been “drawable” in the round pen and always does outside turns. He never just comes in. So, I rode and she directed. I rode with no bridle at all and when things got fast I was instructed to sit deep and tight in the saddle. It was pretty exciting at times and I felt like I was being whipped right and left, but I stayed on and we had so much fun. She showed me how to actually move him sideways on the ground, which is something that so many people say (teach the sidepass on the ground first) but no one has ever actually shown me how to do that before today. I have pretty light hands (according to past dressage instructors) but every time I go without a bridle, I see how much I’m really pulling. I started teaching him how to backup without reins today and I learned a lot about how to steer him without a bridle too…he wasn’t very good at some of it, and it made me aware again how much I resort to using my bit and reins. I think if I’m practicing this alone, I will have to have a bridle on him because I need the ability to steer if he doesn’t do as I ask but I now have a ton of things to practice.

The practice comes at a good time. Next weekend is the Parelli Tour so I won’t be trailering anywhere, but just riding at home for the next week. The following week is the Benefit ride, but it looks like I won’t be going to that either…I don’t think. I’m torn about taking myself to it and competing, but I know that Maggie would be sad if I went without her.

I don’t think we’ll stay off Dixie altoegher, but I think that we’ll spend more time on the ground trying to get her softer and lighter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cat's boy

Just to make sure that everyone reading about Merlin knows, he was Cat's horse. She bought him as an 18 month old and he was just now five, old enough to start doing some work. He had a nervous disposition and had trouble keeping his fear under control, but he was going to be OK. That's what makes this even worse. Cat was getting braver, Jena was riding him...he was going to be OK and then he died. Cat is better today too. We both feel like we were hit by a massive Percheron cross right in the heart. I went to the field this morning and it was hard not to see him there and to smell the odor of DMSO on the breeze. I was glad they had picked him up. I can't stand to think of him like he was at the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Merlin on Sunday

Peter was taking photos on Sunday and took this one of Merlin. It's a beautiful picture and really shows his soft expression.

It's so hard to realize that he is gone.

The vet came this morning at 9am and Merlin crossed into Rainbow Bridge.
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It doesn't look like Merlin is going to make it. He had some bad reflux before but the vet was hopeful. We left him at 2am and Cat called at 4:30 to say he was thrasing. She gave him one of the pain killers and called the vet who said to give him the second one and wait a bit. The vet had originally said if she had to use them both that he probably needed to be put down. This whole time I have wanted to be hopeful but now I am running out of hope I upset Cat by talking about calling the cemetary to come pick him up. Practical me just thought about how a horse carcass in the city heat was a bad idea...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Colic update: Liberty great, Merlin not so hot

I came out to check on Merlin for Cat because I said I'd take the first shift since I live closer. I got here to find 'erlin laying down not feeling so good and Liberty up looking bright eyed looking for his next handout. The vet was called again and he said we hadn't given Merlin enough banamine. I had some oral and gave him another 1000 pounds worth per doctor's orders. He is still trying to lay down...and he really didn't appreciate the taste of banamine. I told Cat if he were my horse I would call the vet. She is on her way.


Tonight after Maggie and I fed, Merlin began to colic. He cleaned up his entire supper and then started to circle and got up and down repeatedly. I called Cat because it appeared to be colic. I left to go pick up Jena and by the time I got back Liberty was doing it too, only he thrashed and rolled and appeared worse off than Merlin. Merlin would lay down and not move, but Liberty was violent. It began to rain so the girls and I took the horses into the shed. Dixie came in to hang out with Liberty (very cute).

A couple doses of banamine (vet recommended) later, they look better, but I am heading back over to check on them. Cat will follow up in a couple more hours and so on till we're sure they're out of the woods. We can't figure out why this happened. The girls look fine. Everyone has the same feed, hay and water they have always had. No change in the routine whatsoever. Weird.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Elijah's Elation

I accidently deleted a post about this great horse who is for sale. HIs photo is also on my side bar. He is 11 years old and belongs to my friend Karen Haile who used to own Liberty. I really like this horse. He's about 14.2 hh and has beautiful gaits. His temperament is amazing. In the Parelli Horseanlity scale he is a Right Brained Introvert. Dixie is a Left Brained Introvert, which is more Maggie's speed, so they didn't click, but she enjoyed riding him. He has really big gaits for a little horse. I wish I needed him! I'm not sure what she's asking for him, but I'm sure the good home is most important. He is located in Joshua, TX.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wine tasting event and horses of course

Ok this isn't a mostly horse related post but they are involved inadvertantly...

This evening Peter and I were going to a wine and food paring session at a wine store in Denton called wine sqared, which is a little wine shop on the sqare in Denton, Tx. When I signed up for the tasting I thought it was going to be wine and food together but it ended up being wine paired with imaginary food. We will be emailed the recipes and wine pairings so I can replicate it at home. Peter and I have been wanting to entertain, we just don't have the dining space. I think perhaps we have been inspired to do a vertical meal (which as it was explained is a several course meal paired with wine)

We then went to eat some really fantastic sushi. I actually am full!

To make this horse related, before we could get there I had to take care of horsey fencing business and that got complictaed. Fiera has decided that the fence doesn't mean anything to her. This has precipitated early weaning as I don't want to keep Deli locked up with her nonstop in the round pen. So she has begun to spend a few hours alone in the round pen, but I let Deli inwith her at night. I spent the morning adding a third strand to my 2 wire hot fence and I plan to buy aother charger to make a stronger charge all the way around. That littke stinker found all the places she could slip in between wires and testing it to see where it was hot. In the end she was back in the round pen for the evening because she can't be trusted. I am heading over now to let Deli in with her for the night for both of their comfort levels. I will work up to keeping them separated for 12 hours over he next month with full weaning accomplished over next six weeks. I also will have to change my poly wire for tape. I have a plug in charger to try out until I find a solar charger I am fond of.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cute foals rock!

Today the farmer came to mow our field. He was here earlier than I expected so my day started with a bang. I rerouted my fence (lost my leatherman in the process) and took my trailer in for a new handle/latch with a lock and to have the roof repaired. They also said they would give us the once over to make sure it's road worthy.

I had planned to trim tonight but forgot to remove my tools so no trimming.

This is photo of Fiera laying down in the hay while she ate at the same time. She is almost four months old. Hard to believe.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My baby is 11

I haven't talked to Maggie, but I had pizza sent over to her at school today. I hope she liked it. I'm going to see her at dinner and we're going to have Hibachi '97 with Maggie and Shawn. She likes to eat there on her birthday b/c it was the same year she was born.

I have lots of other stuff to blog about...but the silly site ate the rest of my post. It will have to keep b/c I need to get busy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Busy as usual

As usual I have more to post than time to write the post. We went to Ikea today and bought some new furniture that we'd been saving up for. Peter put it together and tonight I will be sleeping in a new king sized bed.

Maggie turns 11 tomorrow. She was born on a Tuesday 11 years ago. Eleven years ago tomorrow they also buried Princess Diana...I watched the funeral on Good Morning America while in early labor (and then later All My Children) It's hard to believe that many years have passed.