Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Stress-free Picture Taking

Merry Belated Christmas from Artemis!  She was not so pleased that I put my scarf on her.  My sister says she looks British with the scarf, and now all she needs is a top hat and a pipe.  Unfortunately we, for some strange reason, don't have any top hats and pipes at the stable so she went without. 

She doesn't think scarves are her thing and was pretty happy when I took it off of her.  We went out to the stable on Monday in the morning.  We went and caught Artemis.  We stopped to pet Charlie for a while and that made my darling little baby jealous.  Charlie decided to help me put the halter on Artemis, and bit her cheek to hold her into place.  Despite how well meaning he was, I did not appreciate it.  Artemis was perfect.  I usually bring a dressage whip for me because she's of the opinion that while she won't argue about leaving the herd, she is going to walk as slow as she can.  A few taps with the dressage whip usually helps.  I didn't need to use it at all.  She walked beside me, as quickly as I was walking, the whole way up.  It was quite the change from her brother.  I love Hades, but he does not get worked with enough.  I tried working with him but he does not get it.  He pushes into you and does not focus on you.  I pointed this out to my dad, but we'll see if anything changes.  Back to the point, leading her was so nice.  She doesn't walk over you, she doesn't even touch you with her nose when you lead her.  It wasn't something I really thought about before but I'm not taking that for granted anymore!  We brought the three of them in to brush them off and give them love.  We didn't ride, my mom has recently had a gall stone attack so she's not ready to ride yet, and I was just happy to de-stress and hang with them.  My last week was absolutely horrible and all I wanted was to be with horses without someone getting angry or trying to get me to do something I don't agree with.  I gave Socks a good long hug.  Being with them is the best de-stressor there is.

We took Jimmy out first and then led Artemis and Socks out.  Luckily their pens are all in a row, Jimmy, Socks and then the gate to the pasture.  We put Socks in and then came in with Artemis.  We usually let her get a drink before we take the halter off, or else she turns into a mad fool and getting the halter off is pretty much impossible.  We're taking baby steps with it.  There are three new horses at the barn, and one of them is in the paddock between Socks and the pasture.  She decided to come over and introduce herself to Artemis.  We didn't let them for too long, I didn't want either of them to be zapped by the electric fence, but I'm pretty sure that's the calmest the new horse was the whole time we were there.  We let Artemis go (she'll stand like a perfect little lady to take the halter off once she's had a drink) and like always, she took off like a rocket.  It's always nerve-wracking because she goes on the ice, and although she does slow down, I'm always afraid she'll fall. 

She doesn't race back to the herd like used to, she settled into an easy gallop and slowly made her way over to the herd.  All the other horses always lift their heads and look up and watch.  Oceania on the other hand, got super excited.  She started galloping madly up and down her field and Socks, who had been watching her baby run, got insanely angry about it.  My horse cannot stand when other horses are excited, she gets so angry and tries her hardest to put an end to it.  She started running beside Oceania, swinging her head over the fence, ears flat against her head, snapping at the younger mare.  When Oceania started to calm down, Socks slowed too but kept her ears flat against her head.  She was not at all impressed.  When Oceania finally calmed down completely, Socks just turned and walked away, her job finished.

We went back in the barn just as D got there so of course we had to stop and talk for a while.  While we were, S was riding Junior and Oceania's owners showed up.  I have to say, Oceania's excitement outside was nothing compared to what it was inside.  She was pawing, she kicked out a few times.  Hopefully it was just a new place so she was nervous and tense, but first impressions are that her two owners (young girls around my age I would say) are badly over-horsed.  When S brought Junior back in the aisle way, she didn't want him tied up near Oceania and I can't blame her.  I don't want my horses getting hurt, and that includes not having them tied up to an extremely excited and tense horse that could possibly kick them and hurt them.  Hopefully Oceania calms down with time.  She's only had four rides on her and it is a new place.  D was a little nervous about it, because her horse Spirit reacts to other horse's energy by acting the same as them.  Socks tries to calm them down, Spirit gets all excited as well.  Hopefully Oceania calms down soon.  Once Oceania's owners left, D brought Spirit in and I went outside to take some pictures.

The second stop was Socks' pen.  Her and Jimmy are in their own separate pens.  Jimmy doesn't really get along with other horses besides Socks and Artemis.  He tolerates them for the most part, but can be pretty tough on them.  He's easier to deal with if he's in a pen by himself too.  He likes being near other horses, he spends a lot of time having his head hung over the fence talking to Mach, Titan and Storm.  Socks is two pens down from him and for the longest time she was in alone too.  Well, when we got out there was a new horse in with Socks.  Last year that would have bothered me that the stable owners had not mentioned anything to me yet (granted I haven't seen them in a while) but this year, it doesn't bother me at all.  They know me and they know Socks really well.  Like I said earlier, Socks hates excited horses.  She is a dominant mare but she doesn't harass the other horse.  As long as the horse leaves her alone, she leaves them alone.  And her new paddock mate seems really nice.  She's not pushy but she's friendly.

Socks likes to think she pulls off the windswept hair look pretty well.  I have to agree.
Here is Socks' new paddock-mate.  I am 99.98% sure that her name is Streak.  I'm going off of the names on the feed bins, but since I know the names of the other two new horses, and neither of them are named Streak, I'm going to assume it's her.  If not, I'll be sure to change that later.  She's a pretty nice mare, she hangs back, doesn't get too close to Socks but doesn't mind saying hello.
I didn't get to spend too much time with Streak, although she loved my camera, because Socks is a jealous beast.  She allowed me a few minutes to pet Streak, then she made her baby noise (like the noise she'd make when Artemis would get too far from her) and the ears went back.  Streak walked away from me immediately.  My mom found it funny.  Socks was standing, facing Streak and I, and my mom is behind Socks, calling her, tapping on the fence, trying to get her attention, and Socks was completely focused on Streak and I.

On our way back to the car we had to walk past the indoor board horses.  Apparently it was their nap time, most of them were passed out on the ground.

This is Sue.  She used to be boarded at a really fancy jumper barn but her owner wanted a quieter place.  I'm not sure what she does with Sue now, but Sue used to jump at Spruce Meadows (not in the Masters or those big competitions but it's still pretty cool).  Sue is the first and only horse Artemis was free in the arena with besides Socks and Jimmy.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Sue since she didn't kill my baby.

This is Charlie.  She's fairly new at the barn and the tallest horse there.  She's at least 17hh, if not a bit more.  You always know that 17 hh is huge...but I don't think you can really appreciate how huge until you're standing next to one that tall.  It's funny to see her and Artemis standing next to each other.

This is Charleston, the second of the three Charlies.  He's 16 hh but he looks tiny since he's not as thick as all the jumpers.  He reminds me a lot of Fonda, he absolutely loves people.

As you can see, I took the opportunity to take a lot of pictures.  I haven't even posted half of the ones I took.  It was pretty warm, about +3, not counting the windchill which probably made it around -5.  I cannot believe how warm it is!  It's January and we're not freezing!  Knock on wood.  And, as you can see in the pictures...there is no snow...on the ground.  This can't possible be Alberta.  Tomorrow is supposed to be +10 so we're going back out to see the ponies and I'm bringing my camera again.  It was great to be able to take real pictures again, even if the sky was bleh and gray.  Taking pictures inside the barn sucks but it's usually too cold to take pictures outside.  I hope this weather continues and week keep getting Chinook after Chinook.  I'm not sure if I'll ride tomorrow, I'm having a hard time finding the motivation, but I'm definitely looking forward to hanging out with them some more.  And hopefully I'll find out for sure if Socks' paddock mate is named Streak, it drives me crazy not to know!


Megan said...

LOVE the pictures. Artemis looks so cute with her scarf on.

When we first got Sugar, Lady acted all jealous and didn't want her near us. She would get all pissy about it - now she won't be without her lol. I hope streak and Socks become good paddock pals =)

Sue looks a bit like my mare, Lady, except Lady has 3 stockings on her legs and her blaze is all the way down to her lips lol.

17hh is HUGE! Imagine riding a horse that tall, probably not unusual for english riders, but I think the tallest horse I've ever ridden is 15.1hh-ish? That's plenty of height for me haha.

Mare said...

password: notafix

Megan said...

Artemis looks cute with her scarf. Socks sounds a bit like two of my mom's mares, who get jealous if you pet the other horses for too long.

The other day I was reading the classified ads in the Horse Store and I saw a gelding advertised as 18.1. That is very tall! Scarface is 16hh, which is pretty darn tall for a QH, especially since his full brother was 14.3hh.

I rode at Spruce Meadows once when I took jumping lessons at Teesdales. It was in the very lowest level they offer, but I'm still proud of the 3rd place ribbon that says SM on it!

Cjay said...

Megan- I LOVE sorrels with blazes. They're in my top three colours, I absolutly love them.

Socks is 15.1 hh and I don't want to go any higher than that. Unfortunantly Artemis might make me lol. Judging by her granddam and her sire, I think she'll reach at least 15.3 hh, if not more.

The first time I rode a horse that was 16 hh, I bawled my eyes out. I was so scared I didn't stop crying until my dad let me get off of him. Jimmy's the perfect height for me, 14.1 hh!

Megan- I can't even imagine a horse that's 18 hh. I've seen draft horses that big but never a riding horse.

That's so cool that you have ribbons that have Spruce Meadows on it!

Ally said...

I didn't know Jimmy didn't get along with the other ponies. Who'd have thought?

Love the pictures! It's nice getting to see what the others horses at the stable look like. I think that "maybe" Streak is very pretty.

Megan said...

C-jay: I thought for a split second about buying a 16.3hh horse from auction, but I (very wisely) decided not to.

Sugar is 14.1hh as well! They are a match made in heaven. Let's set them up ;)

Cjay said...

I don't even know how you could get on a horse that tall! Not without a mounting block at least. I like a horse I can get on from the ground.

They're perfect for each other! If only they weren't so far away from each other.