Monday, 30 April 2012

Five Day Deworming

It's been raining the past few days.  We chose a horrible time to do this five-day deworming.  Socks also hates the wormer.  I mean, I can't blame her, it doesn't seem like a good experience anyway.  The first two days weren't good at all, Socks-wise.  Tonight we tried to do something different.  This wormer is more liquid than paste so we tried squirting it in her food.  She licked it all up.  It's a much easier way for all of us.

All the indoor horses have been moved outside so Socks now has a new paddock mate.  Streak moved a while ago, I don't remember if I mentioned that.  Now she's in with Feline, a pretty grey mare.  She's pretty nice.  She's at least half Selle Francais if I remember correctly.  Socks is definitly the dominant one, but we all expected that.  There's been only one time in her life when Socks wasn't the dominant one and that only lasted a few days.  That's when we bought Sadie.  Sadie came in, chased Socks off and took over the herd.  Socks stayed by herself for a few days, and then came back and set things right in the herd.  Sadie never challenged her again.

Artemis is doing well, she's been kind of bratty lately.  She's going into Yearling Boot Camp soon to remind her that behaving isn't just for babies, it's still important for yearlings.  She seems to forget that sometimes.  She is doing well besides that though, she's getting really good at backing up.

Jimmy was horrible with his feet but unfortunantly for him, the round pen has been dry enough to use.  I've been waiting for it all winter.  He didn't want his back feet lifted up (that was his new thing) and so into the round pen he went.  He's been much better about it.  Our goal with him this summer is to get him to lunge. 

I know this is a really short update and I promise I'll do a real one soon.  I still need to write about when my sister's co-workers came out.  That was a long day, six long hours of entertaining a six-year-old girl with the horses on a hot day.  I have updates of the horses up at my dad's, although I still haven't been up to see them.  I've been a bad blogger and it probably won't get better for a few more weeks.  I won't be blogging at all next week as I'm gone, but hopefully after that I'll start being better.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Happy First Birthday!

Happy Birthday!  This post is a day late but I was way too tired last night to write it.  I can't believe it's been a year since I got the phone call telling me about the new addition to my family.  If you could ask any of my friends or family they would tell you that I was more excited for her birthday than my own (we're both April babies!).  It's just so exciting for me that she's a yearling now!

I'm not usually a crazy horse birthday person, I tend to bring them a treat and use it as an excuse to buy them a new halter or something, but nothing more than that.  I decided to throw that out the window this year and be as crazy as I wanted.  Which, as you can see, invovled a pink crown that says Birthday Princess and a pink ribbon to fit on her halter that says Birthday Girl.  She wore the ribbon all night and the crown for most of it, until it got too itchy.  She was great for it, she didn't mind having it over her ears.

Everyone came over to say happy birthday to her and E was the only one who shook his head at me.  He doesn't know how I can expect her to be good when she looks so ridiculous.  I brought her muffins as her treat, and she hated them.  I shouldn't be surprised, Socks is one of the pickiest horses alive and Cas was too.  Jimmy ate most of them.

She also got her feet done which she wasn't very good for, but to be far she'd been standing in the barn for a really long time by that point, since Jimmy took a while.  She was getting tired and grumpy by the end of it.

Here's the little monster the day she was born. 

Here she is on her first birthday.  At the risk of sounding like a mother, I can't believe how much she's grown!  I'm very proud of her too, she's been such an amazing horse to work with!  I'm looking forward to working with her over the next year and getting her ready for her first ride!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Windy Again

Last time we just visited with the ponies.  We didn't bring them in.  I've injured my hand somehow and it was insanely windy out.  They were all a little crazy.  Just enjoy some pictures I took.

Griffin, a new horse at the barn.
Tongue #1
Tongue #2
Tongue #3
Tongue #4
Eli, Jimmy's new paddock mate.

Next Wednesday also happens to be a certain baby pony's birthday so we're for sure going out to visit that night.  T already asked me when I'm throwing the party.  I guess I might be a little bit excited for it.  I'll get her some kind of treat, and a party hat.  The hat is to annoy my brother.

We are also going to be doing a five-day deworming with Socks.  She was doing good with weight for a while there but she's starting to drop it again.  The five-day deworming will ensure that nothing is being missed and she's for sure worm-free.  It's worked really well for several other hard-keepers here.
Saturday, my sister is bring two co-workers and one of their daughters out to see the ponies so here's hoping they'll all be on their best behavior!

Thursday, 12 April 2012


It was Show-and-Tell day at the stable yesterday, and by that I mean my dad came down to the stable.  It was both stressful and exciting.  Exciting because my dad has only seen Artemis once before, when she was only a month or so old, and stressful because he was mostly just coming down to make sure we aren't ruining Jimmy and Artemis. 

Before Jimmy came down, my dad's landlords were really harassing him to sell Jimmy.  Not for any particular reason, I mean, he doesn't eat much, he wasn't dangerous, they just decided.  Well they almosst got my dad to, to a daughter of a guy he works with.  I was not on board with this as I didn't want to sell Jimmy in the first place, but if we had to, I absolutly did not agree with selling an untrained three-year-old to a fourteen-year-old girl whose only horse experience was coming out and riding Pawnee a few times.  We did eventually decide not to sell him, but the harassing didn't stop.  So to get them off his case and still keep Jimmy, he sent Jimmy down with Socks.  And then he kind of forgot about him.  This past month though, he's realized he should probably make sure Jimmy was still alive.

Artemis has been a great cause of frustration and anger between my dad and I.  She's not the only reason, but she's one of the big ones we haven't been getting along.  She is the first horse we've ever owned that has had nothing to do with him.  He wanted to come pick her up the day she was born but i wouldn't let him.  He was angry I didn't consult him on her name.  He was even angrier when I decided I wasn't going to to send her up there.  It's only been in the past month or so that we've been able to sort things out.

Nonetheless, I was still stressed out.  I know what he thinks doesn't really matter, in the sense of they're staying down here no matter what, but still, I didn't want him to come down and think we were doing an awful job.

My mom and I arrived at the stable first.  It was busy there.  As we walked into the barn, L, the stable owner's daughter, came running over to us, saying, "You're here!  New horse!  Eli!  Jimmy!  Socks!  I have to get my parents!"  And then ran out of the barn.  We were confused.  We didn't wait around for her to get back, we went out to catch Artemis. 

Artemis has a new best friend in the pasture.  Oceania, the gray mare, is going to be out there for the next three months and she's always with Artemis and Ebony  The three of them are the youngest out there.  Artemis wasn't being overly great.  It was windy and she was being spooky.  As we were leading Artemis my dad arrived. He met us at Jimmy's pen and Artemis, well can I just say I absolutly love her?  Gone was the spooky pony.  She stood perfectly still and did not move a muscle as he was looking her over.  He couldn't get over how much she looks like Socks (although besides her colour, I think she still looks more like Fonda).  She does look good now too, a lot of her fuzz is gone and her summer coat is coming in.

We brought her in the barn to groom her and he was impressed by how quiet she is in there.  Then my mom brought Jimmy and Socks inside.  We saddled them and then my dad and I brought them outside to go for a ride.

They were awful.  Just awful.  I've never seen Jimmy that badly behaved.  I realize now I proably should have expected it.  It was windy, it's spring, it's one of the first time he's been ridden outside in a while.  He was throwing his head around, spooking at absolutly everything.  He was threatning to rear.  He did once (barely, he basically hoped back on his back legs and his front feet went about a foot off the ground).  He tried to bolt.  I've never seen him like that. 

The neighbours foal.
Socks was just feeding off of his energy.  She was trying to run everywhere, tossing her head around.  We loped across the field and when I didn't let her gallop, she threw a little fit and started crowhopping in a circle.  All it managed to do was really hurt my wrist. 

We rode out into Artemis's pasture and tried to avoid the other horses.  Unfortunantly they all crowded around the gate as we came back up.  Jimmy...was perfect.  He didn't do anything, didn't freak.  He just walked through them like nothing.  Socks tried to kick EB (granted EB was trying to run into her).  Artemis was back out by this point and she was the worst one.  She ran in circles around us, tried to kick Socks and I, and then when Oceania came too close, she ran over to her and booted her.  Oceania spun around and kicked Artemis which, I have to admit, she did deserve.  But as I told my dad, this is the Jimmy I usually see.

We unsaddled them and L's little outburst as we came into the stable finally made sense.  There's a new horse at the stable, a big, thick Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding named Jimmy.  They were waiting for us to be there because they want to move him into Jimmy's pen and move Jimmy into jumper Eli's pen.  So we put Socks out and then led Jimmy down to his new pen.  We were all curious to see what would happen.

The neighbour's pretty mare.
As let Jimmy go and he started pawing the ground to roll until he noticed Eli at the bottom of the pen, eating hay.  Then Jimmy took off running towards him.  As Eli came to meet him, Jimmy did a big arch and went straight to the food.  It was now his food.  He wouldn't let Eli eat.  Nothing major happened to be honest.  They smelled each other, Jimmy stamped his foot a few times and Eli gave him space.  By the time we left they were eating side by side peacefully.  It's funny to see them together, Jimmy is 14.3 hh and Eli is just under 17.hh.

Overall it was pretty good.  I did have to point out to my dad that Jimmy wasn't being any worse than the horses at his place are this time of year (don't even get me started on how Sadie was last time I saw her).  He did have a few good tips that we are definitly going to try.  He was impressed with Artemis and was happy to see Socks.

Next week is another show and tell weekend.  My sister is bringing out two co-workers and one of their daughters to come meet the horses.

Friday, 6 April 2012


My horse is very photogenic, don't you think?  Luckily her daughter did not inherit her camera "charms" and tries to keep from making funny faces while on camera. 

Not much has been going on lately pony-wise.  I've only been out riding a few times but nothing has really happened.  Socks has been good.  Shedding like crazy.  Jimmy has been Jimmy.  During our last ride my mom and I switched horses at the end.  Jimmy's turning is much better but he was a disaster at the trot.  He's slowly getting better, I'm still really happy how the deworming went.

Artemis is fine.  Not much to report on her, I've been slacking with her lately.  We've mostly been working on her staying out of my space and backing up, both of which she's doing great with.  It was really windy last sunday so the tractor tool outside her gate that's been there for months was suddenly going to eat her.  We had a quick five minute session reminding her that it is indeed not a monster. 

I have been wondering if she's spoiled lately.  She's spoiled in the sense she gets lots of attention.  She is the princess of the stable, people can't help but come visit with her when she's in there.  She does have to behave though.  In my mind, a horse like Fonda is spoiled.  One that doesn't respect space and doesn't listen.  She gets disciplined immediatly if she misbehaves.  I just really don't want her to end up like her father.

E told us how when he drives the truck out to feed the pasture horses hay, her and Ebony stand in front of the truck and refuse to move.  When they do decide to let him move, they follow behind him, sticking their heads in the back of the truck and eating as he drives.  I'm not sure if that says she's spoiled as much as it says she takes after her mother and is a pig. 

Just tonight my mom found a barrel racing clinic being held in June nearby, by Tammy Fischer.  She's a regular at the Stampede and is just generally an amazing barrel racer.  I'm really considering going, I feel like I've taken Socks as far as I can right now and it'd be nice to get some help, especially from someone so amazing.  I'm trying to find out more about it first, such as how much experience they'd prefer people to have for it. 

I'll leave you guys with Oliver, one of the barn cats.  This is where we found him curled up Sunday night.  Silly kitty.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The World Ended

It's official.  The world ended.  Why has it ended?  We got through needles and deworming without a single rear, in under an hour, without anyone fearing for their life and without a horse's eyes rolling into the back of their head.  And yes, I'm talking about just one horse (and exagerating a little bit, he's not quite that bad).

As I said, it was needle and deworming day yesterday, April 1.  We took them in one at a time.  Socks was first.  My mom gave her the needle (the first time my mom's ever given a needle) and though Socks gave me a "What the heck are you doing to me" look, she didn't move.  She's good for needles.  She was not so good for the dewormer.

I can't blame her, it was apple flavoured, reeked of apples and if there is one thing my horse hates more than anything in the world, it's apples.  She lifted her head up and wouldn't bring it down for the world.  It was time to bribe her.  I fed her a handful of treats and while she was busy chewing, stuch the tube in and squeezed.  She was not pleased.  I know they say it's bad to do that, since there's a chance it'll make her stop eating the treats but that's not a problem with Socks.  She's kind of a pig.  Half an hour later when I fed her another handful she smelled my hand suspiciously and then devoured the treats in half a second.

Jimmy came next.  He was great for the needle.  Not so great for the dewormer.  Despite the fact that we play with his mouth all the time, stick our fingers in the corner, it's completely different with the dewormer.  We decided to give him time to cool off before he became too worked up so we tied him in a stall and went to get Artemis. 

It was her first needle and she was great for it.  There was a lot of noise in the barn that was freaking her out but she still stood quietly for the needle.  Deworming her isn't an issue, she loves it.  It's like a treat to her.

After we finished with her we went back to Jimmy.  We took him out of the stall and I held him while my mom held the dewormer out to him.  He kept smelling it and pushing it with his noise, and then, to our surprise, bit down on it.  Unfortunantly neither of us were ready so he let go before my mom was ready to squeeze it in.  Luckily, five minutes later he bit down on it again and she was ready.  He didn't jerk back as she squeezed it in, he just stood there and waited until we were done.  Apparently he will do these things, if we let him do it on his agenda. 

After that we brushed them.  Artemis lost an entire other horse in fur.  I wish I had gotten a picture.  I can't properly describe how much hair was coming off of her.  I've never seen a horse lose that much, and the best part, she's still insanely fluffy.  You can't really tell how much hair she's lost.

I'm just very happy with how the deworming went, I couldn't have asked for it to be better, especially Jimmy.  Hopefully it continues on like this.