Monday, February 16, 2009

Ideas percolating...

We sure did get a lot of snow with that last storm. At least 4 inches, but probably more like 6. For our area, that is a very heavy snow. It has turned back to intermittent downpours now, but the snow was so beautiful! Fortunately, despite the horses' liking to stay out in the snow/rain when not eating a meal under the shelter, they neither of them got very cold. I didn't really see any shivering this time, so that is good.

I think I just might have had an idea about Andolu and the hoof boot situation. It could be a great idea or it could be a total flop - so I am going to test it a whole lot before I tell my idea, if ever. I am pretty excited about trying it, though.

Meanwhile, back in the house while snow piled up outside, I had fun this weekend. I was able to get my work done quicker than usual and we had company, which is always fun. I actually got to play a board game - Risk, which I love, although I didn't win this time. Must be losing my touch...

I am trying more and more different recipes and ways of preparing old favorites. I thought I was a pretty good cook, but now I am learning so many new things with this different style of cooking that we have had quite a few "interesting" meals lately. Fortunately the boys don't mind. It probably helps that they have both had their own not-quite-as planned meals too lately! I am really having a ball though, much more than I ever expected. I always felt kind of bad that I wasn't one of those girls who talks about how much she likes cooking. I wanted to be interested in it, but didn't really get why some people thought it was so cool. For you horsey people, just think of it as searching for the perfect supplements to add to your horse's diet, or the pleasure of getting an area totally clean and free of manure, or taking the time to groom until the horse's coat gleams. For lack of a better word, the housework is very "zen" to me just like horse chores are, although of course my counters lack fur and a personality. Thank goodness! :-D

None of us has much time to do chores, though, so we are still trying to get the living room and some other areas clean and organized. Right now my living room has my saddle, bridle, a couple new brushes, some wormer, and SmartPaks in it. I think that's fine, but I realize most people feel more comfortable sitting down in a living room not a barn, so I will need to relocate that stuff soon before we have company again. Bummer. The kitchen and dining room are probably the cleanest rooms nowadays. We'll just keep trying to take little bits of time here and there to clean things and hopefully the house will start to look really nice and neat soon.

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's day. The weather should clear up here soon and I want to take some pictures of the horses to put up as soon as possible.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Now for Snow!

Wow, it is coming down HARD out there. It looks to me like several inches before the storm is done. I guess this will be a four or five meal day for the horses. I try to save bran mashes for days like this, so I'll probably do a nice hot bran mash in mid afternoon. I guess I'll also be going through some rags drying them off - Just now as I was looking out the window getting pictures of the snow I noticed that they were both standing under a tree (which gives about three inches total of shelter) and had quite a bit of snow on their rumps. Well, if that's what you prefer!

By the way, Anatolian is almost back to being sound on asphalt. He's such a weird horse! I'm not going to try to exercise him for a few days though, I don't have the "worry energy" right now.
Gotta go. I hope everyone is having a nice, snug day.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rain, sleet, mud...

I'm very grateful for all the rain in the last few days. It is much needed and I was really hoping for a good rain. Of course, I had just given Andolu a bath with shampoo right before it rained. Below: His tail then and his tail now - that is about the cleanest part of him, as he keeps rolling. I took more photos of him today, but he's too muddy even after getting some of it off to ride. Sorry, I'll get cleaner pictures of his whole self soon!

I did ride him today since the rain cleared up long enough to go out. It is rather frustrating though, because lately he has been off again on the left front. He is somewhat tender anyway with being barefoot again, but on wet, slightly soft sand his left front still was not happy. I have wondered about his knees ever since I got him and I am wondering even more now. So I hardly rode at all today, basically just enough to say, Yup, he's not sound. Mira was happy to be out, though - as usual. She kept (politely) asking my brother who was holding her to let her run. After a bit I handed him Andolu and took Mira running up and down a bit. She has always been so sound around the legs that if it weren't for her arthritic back I'd still be able to ride her. It is fun to watch her trot really big. Of course, when they lope together she is like a dainty toy next to Anatolian's big motor. :-) Anatolian was snorting and "getting big" as he usually does when watching her run, but he didn't try to pull my brother in order to follow. So yeah, he's not comfortable. If I thought shoes would help I would have him reshod, but it does NOT seem like a foot issue other than a bit of tenderness on harder ground.

The other frustrating thing is that after all this time he still really hates his boots. I have not been able to get him used to them at all, really. He tolerates them but does not like them or go well in them.

Oh well. Mira is happy and he at least is healthy, if not earning his keep. One of these days I'm sure I'll get Andolu's knees and fetlocks x-rayed to see what exactly is going on. Hopefully he'll snap out of this and be better soon, though.
And I am really, really hoping to start taking lessons in March so I can ride whether or not he is sound at the moment.
A few days ago I went out after dark, I believe to let Mira out after eating, and it had temporarily stopped pouring rain. I could see dimly that Andolu was lying down in the (COLD - why is that better than dry pea gravel?) mud and I had to go past him to get to Mira. I talked to him a bit as usual and he moved his head as I went by, but didn't bother getting up. After letting Mira loose I came back past him and said good night and he just looked at me. When I was almost to the house I heard him get up and mosey over to check to see if Mira had left anything, but he didn't bother to move until then. It was nice to see that he doesn't feel the need to jump up when I come by :-)


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am Horsaii!

Mugwump coined this word here and I think it is great. Read all the comments, they are very cool. I was going to comment but then I decided to put it into a post. Like the other horsaiis that posted, I cannot remember when I fell for horses. I probably saw horses first in story books. Anyway, I do think I was born with horsaii, because I don't remember ever discovering that horses were cool - they were always amazing and wonderful to me. The first time I ever got to ride one was when I was seven or eight at a circus. We were in the US on furlough and my grandparents took us to a circus and I got to ride the pony ride. (The adults knew they couldn't escape their fate as soon as I saw the ponies!) I believe my pony was a black pinto. I remember wishing desperately that they could untie the pony and let me ride him around. I was sure how I would do great and the pony wouldn't be bored then. I sat very solemnly the whole ride and petted the pony and tried to soak everything in as much as I possibly could. My little brother was really nervous on his pony, I remember that, and my older brother didn't want to ride, as I recall. Weird kids... I talked to the pony some and petted it as much as I could before I absolutely had to leave, looking back the whole time.

My second time riding a horse was later that same summer. My cousin, who was a teenager, had her own horse. I thought she was the luckiest person ever! He is still alive as far as I know - a bay pinto quarab named Classy (just about Mira's age, as a matter of fact). I got to ride Classy two or three times on our visit there, and got to experience my first fall there, too. It wasn't his fault, he just tripped when trotting fast and I flew off in a graceful arc and landed in a clumsy heap, losing my glasses. Maybe that was when me being horsaii was confirmed. I remember feeling really stiff and sore as I got up, but no WAY was I going to WALK back to the house. I couldn't lose my precious and limited riding time just because I fell off. So, I got back on right away. Classy was cute - he obviously was surprised and sorry that I fell off and happy that I was OK.

When I couldn't ride him, I spent every minute available out next to his paddock feeding him pieces of grass and talking to him and, yes, drawing him. I learned a lot about horse conformation during that visit and finally started drawing identifiable horses! :-)

My mother fortunately saw to it that us kids had plenty of books, including lots of horse ones, when we were in the jungle and I spent lots of time playing I was a horse, drawing horses, wondering how much it cost to feed them and how much land an acre was and trying to figure out how tack was arranged from pictures, and hoping as hard as I could that I would see a real live one again soon. Meanwhile, I read all the Black Stallion books and others and absorbed every possible bit of horse handling knowledge. At one point I remember that for a month or two I even collected all the weeds and tall grass I could find and put it in a pile behind our house and hoped and prayed that a "stray" horse would come wandering along (in the slum?!) that needed a home. If I was prepared already then of course my parents would have to let me keep it! Eventually my parents wouldn't let me keep stacking it up anymore...

What is your story? Do you remember the first time you saw a horse, petted a horse, rode a horse? Tell us about it!