Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fiera is weaning

I had just the best time at my friend, Teresa's, house Sunday through Tuesday. Teresa runs Woodrock Ranch and has people in to trail ride and puts on trail events. Though it's a small ranch, the trails are fantastic and very challenging and fun to ride.

Teresa is keeping my foal for me while her mom dries up her milk. I didn't really want to send her away, but Fiera is very bold and I could tell she was going to get hurt if I left her in the pasture in the city. Teresa has a lot of space with hills and rocks and terrain to negotiate, so it was a good opportunity to wean my baby and let her get some experience on terrain. I told Teresa I would make myself as useful as I could and while I was there we moved some hay and did some work that was hard for her to do alone and also we got to ride. I trimmed Freeley's feet...the old boy looks good. He's a little thinner than the summer, but for him that's totally normal. He's not too thin and he seems happy to living his life of luxury. The rest of her horses didn't need their feet trimmed as the rocks seem to keep them naturally trim. Freeley only needed the trimming because his bad shoulder makes his right foot grow funny and it has to be rebalanced every so often.

On Monday we took Cayenne, her 18 month old (now former) colt to the vet for gelding. I had never seen a gelding before and it was very interesting. They used a clamp on a drill to twist the parts off and it was very neat, with very little bleeding. We did find some time to ride in the evening, which was very pleasant. Fiera was fantastic on the trail. She followed pretty well, though Freeley clearly showed disapproval to her being loose, and Liberty worried about her. At some point on the trail, she got in front of us and began to lead the trail. She was wonderful, looking at the path, jumping over logs, really paying attention to where she was going. I was just amazed! She got mad when she bumped her back legs jumping the log.

Tuesday Karen and her kids came and we rode some more, without Fiera this time because it was less safe in a big group. We moved her up to the house where she could hang out with Cayenne and Sundancer. She will be there about 3 months I think. Liberty was fairly distraught and when I brought him home, he kept looking for her. Amazingly, Deli's milk wasn't very prolific. I think she was ready to wean her baby.

I checked with Teresa today and she is going to be letting her out of her pen later today. I wish I could be there to see her run around with Sundancer. He is only 5 and has been at her house alone for quite awhile, so I think he'll be happy to have buddies, even if they are young buddies. Cayenne is locked up for another day or so, but soon they will be a herd of three.

I hope to get down there at least once a month and play with her and take her riding on the ranch. It is so cool to have the opportunity to let her run with the herd on the rocks and hills and investigate her own balance this way. I just hope I can be of service to Teresa and earn her keep properly. There is no amount of money I could pay for my foal to get this kind of experience. I'm grateful beyond words.

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