Friday, May 23, 2008

I got tagged!

By DJ at BlogNPonyShow...
Anyone who wants to can consider themself tagged :-D

1. What was I doing ten years ago? Still in school, and thinking/dreaming a LOT about what I wanted to do when I grew up.

2. Five things on my to-do list: Vacuum, get hay, write some people, clean a saddle, organize magazines...

3. What is a snack you enjoy? Anything chocolate, shrimp (not really a snack, but I was just craving some), banana with peanut butter.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire? Personal: Buy a bigger piece of land than I would otherwise afford in my goal state, build the same things on it that I want to, but a lot quicker, start getting some really, really, really good Paints, and have fun! Hey, I would also be able to afford personal lessons with any trainer I wanted to.... I would not want to ever get more horses/belongings than I could take care of myself. Charity: I would love to get one of each selection in the Heifer and World Vision catalogues, and give a lot to Gospel for Asia, Lifewind, and sponsorship organizations like Compassion. Horse charity: I would definitely establish a few of the type of races in my post listed below, and found competitions in the reining, cutting, western pleasure, dressage, and other disciplines which would be for mature (not shown before that year) horses, which would have BIG prizes. I would also set up a section on my farm to give old 25+ horses a wonderful last few years of life together in a herd environment, and get a new oldie for my birthday every year. Doing random acts of kindness to strangers would also be very cool. It would be fun being rich!

5. Do you have any bad habits? Who doesn't? I try to conquer procrastinating...

Consider yourself tagged if you want to!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Triple Crown Races

I admit I am a fan of racing, at least the Triple Crown races. The sport has a LOT wrong with it, but I have been hoping my whole life for a Triple Crown winner. That would be so amazing to see! I actually hoped that Big Brown would NOT win the Derby due to his bad feet, but since he won both the Derby and the Preakness, I hope he wins the Belmont too. I just hope his feet are either not a genetic problem, or he turns out not to be very fertile in the breeding shed. The racing world doesn't need his particular genes enough to have a thousands of offspring who need their hooves glued together with plastic constantly. It would be too much to hope that if his feet are that bad genetically, that breeders would be gutsy enough to only breed him to mares with excellent feet.

Oh, speaking of breeding, I was tickled to hear that he will be standing at Three Chimneys Farm, where Andolu's sire stands!

I wish somebody with a few million in the racing world would endow a race for older horses, preferably unraced ones, that was worth as much as the Triple Crown races. I am not sure why nobody has done that before, but if you can spend a few million a year on a couple prospect foals and the huge expenses of training, you can afford to set up a race with a $500,000 purse for 6-year-old maiden racehorses (for example). That would take care of SOO many problems with the race world. Breeding for early maturing, sprinting, fragile horses would start to reverse, you wouldn't need poly tracks (which I firmly believe are worse than dirt tracks) because the horses would have mature bones, you would be able to wait until a horse was fully mature to start it and so it would probably be able to race for several years and earn a lot of money before getting a bit slower and being retired SOUND, drug use would decrease due to less need, and etc. etc. All of this without changing a single law! Just imagine! I have no idea why some of the big guys haven't gotten together before to do this. There is enough money floating around out there that it would actually be quite possible for there to be several races like this - and I for one would certainly donate to help establish something like that.

I have been thinking a lot about possibly writing Barbaro's owners and Eight Belles's owners about this, and asking them if they would consider heading up an effort like this. It would be the single best way they could possibly honor their great horses' lives, in my opinion. What do you guys think? Any other ideas on who to contact, etc?


One of Andolu's Favorite Things

Man, it is sad when you get busy enough that you don't even visit your own blog for several days. Sheesh. Anyway, here is the promised photo of Andolu's crazy "lead rope." A plastic bag. Yes, it's weird... The way it happened was several weeks ago, when we still had nice grass, I was down at one end of the pasture, picking grass from the other side of the fence for The Dude. He did not come when I whistled for him, and seemed to be distracted. I had already dumped the grass out of the plastic bag I gathered it in, so I went over to get him. He was too focused on the alfalfa in front of him, and turning his head didn't get him started following me (usually it would). So, I had an idea, and split the plastic bag down the middle to make a long piece, which I wrapped around his neck right under his ears. I tugged at it, and being a nicely halter trained horse, he followed me down the hill to the treat.

The reason I laughed about it, and thought it might be worth posting, is that my horses would really mess with a Natural Horsemanship trainer's mind. Any of those guys who like to use plastic bags for desensitizing would be really puzzled when my horses just followed the bag everywhere! Since my feed area is pretty close to the horses, they know exactly what comes in bags. Anatolian does not care in the slightest when I do rub him with a bag or lead him with one - he just wants to see if it has anything to eat!


Thursday, May 8, 2008


Just a quick shot of the goofy boy. Sorry for the disapearing tail...

Both horses are doing well. The day before I got sick, I had washed Mira's fly mask, and during the day that I was so sick that the kids fed the horses, I forgot to ask them to put it back on her. After that one day, she got a mild case of pinkeye. Argh. What was really frustrating about it was that I had JUST started them back on the Thorvin kelp a couple days before, after them being off it for weeks due to me running out. So, it's possible that if she had been on it the whole time that she would not have gotten it. Regardless, it cleared up very quickly with terramycin. Of course, she only had it in her right eye, which caused me some worry about if I had the right diagnosis or not. But she was not acting in any pain at all, so I was pretty confident it was not a reinjury.

Anyway, she has always loved her fly mask, and will turn her head to help me get it on. If she doesn't have it on and you hold it up, she'll walk across the pasture to get you to put it on. Andolu, on the other hand... Well, he thinks fly masks spoil the fun and at first he kept taking his off as soon as I would put it on. I left it off for a couple weeks and then tried it again, and I think the intervening time with the flies has convinced him it really is a help, because now he will often leave it on until dark!

Sadly, however, he did manage to destroy his fly sheet. Not sure how, because I never saw him being mean to it. Oh well. I got him one first, as I was sure that whatever he did to his, he would do double to Mira's, so I guess we'll table that idea for now.

Suggestion time:

The 3-year-old boy that is riding here once a week is a very active child. He loves the horses but the newness has worn off enough that he is hard to keep occupied on one thing at a time. He'll brush the horse 4 strokes and then want to give it a treat. He'll want to ride and then get down and lead it. There is only so much pulling him back and convincing him to finish something before he'll get sour from so much correction...

I am thinking about making a chart with skills like "Leading horse up road," "Clipping lead on halter," and things like that, and giving him a sticker each time he learns something thoroughly. That way if he knows he's earning something he might be better motivated to focus. Do you guys have any suggestions? Lists of skills, other games, anything useful for toddlers? Part of the point is for him to learn that "boring" stuff can be fun, but I don't want him to think horses are all about routine. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ambushed by Flu

Which explains why I haven't posted the last few days. Sorry! I'm feeling much better today and hopefully will be back to normal tomorrow. This is just a post to let you know I'm still alive. ;-D