We currently have eight horses. Most of them were rescue animals. They vary from 2 years to 23 years of age. There are two Arabians, two Morgans a Peruvian, a Buckskin and two beauties of mixed origins.
It has been fun and challenging while working with them. I have had many resources to help us make their transistion to the new life offered them. Now we have eight sweethearts.
Shortly we will be opening a recreation center and intend to have the horses available for trail rides.
March 27th, 2012
Every morning I toss the hay in and to the feed area and halter Dee up to take her out for her needed extra nutrition. While she eats I do her daily grooming. Once this is completed, I return her to the pasture with the others and shake the halter to jingle it. This signals to the others that I can take someone else out for a walk.
Usually it is Duke, Chevy or Eastwood that respond first. Today Duke came up first, I took him for his lead time and a bit of fun work. After I returned him to the pasture, I shook the halter, and I’ll be darned if Abbey didn’t come up and ‘ask’ to go out!
I tested her by slipping Duke’s halter over her head, knowing it is too small for her. She accepted the test. So I told her that I would go get her halter and be right back. She waited patiently, while I grabbed it, and slipped it on, snapped the lead rope to it and walked out.
This is so far out of character for her. I was trying not to make a BIG thing of it, but wanted to do the Jed Clampette dance right on the spot! I know that horses are fickle, and she may not go so easily the next time, but I was very proud of the step she took today.
March 22nd, 2012 Tonight I was raking the spring clean up hay around the fence line, when the horses all stopped chewing on their feed and looked intently to the north east. The wind break was in my vision range, blocking whatever the horses were fixed on. As I shifted my position, I saw the first , then the second, third and forth whitetail deer lift their heads and check me out.
The horses were nothing new as they saw each other on a regular basis, but I was a new moving thing to them at this hour. After a few minutes of observation, I bent back down to the chore at hand. The horses took the cue and went back to munching away. As I glanced back towards them, the first four bound off towards the perimeter of the bush. What I didn’t see were the other two that were timidly holding back. It didn’t take long for them to join the first group.
I searched the bush line for them and saw three heads looking over the grassland towards us. It was a serene moment, with the sun slowly sinking, casting a purple/grey hue to the few remaining clouds, a soft breeze playing with the hay I was raking up.
It won’t be long before the young ones are out there trying to keep up with the clan. I love spring!
Eastwood We named this little sorrel gelding Eastwood for two reasons. First he tends to like to be on his own and secondly because he loves to snuggle but won’t take any crap off anyone. He reminded Randy of his only screen idol, need I say more…Clint Eastwood. Now I hope that if ever Mr. Eastwood were to read this, that he would not take offence to having a horse named after the characters he has portrayed or how his persona is presented in the media. Randy (and I) think you are a man of character, and we both respect you for that. You have had a career with many followers who have watched you grow!Eastwood is out of sorts right now because his one buddy, who is a stud (that hasn’t quite figured things out yet), is kinda busy with a mare who is in season. As a result, you cannot take a step without him seeing what you are up to. It is funny, when he is harassing someone else, but when you are trying to muck the barn area and can’t rake the poop, it gets a little annoying. So, I have taken to singing while I do chores. At least he stands a foot or more away while I perform for him. I tell myself that is because he wants to take in the whole picture!
General’s Delight We call her Dee. She is a 23 year old registered Arabian. She came to us through a rescue situation. Someone else intervened and we got her through them (along with one other). She is an old Grandma, which is why we nicknamed her GeeMa. She sure must have been a beauty in her time as she has such grace and gentle presence. She is great around children and people who are not comfortable around horses. She is very determined to make you understand what she wants. If we were cattle being selected for something, she would have no problem cutting us from the herd. If it is time for her oats, she will be sure to help you understand her need, in a very gentle way.
When we first got her, she was always putting herself in the position to protect the gelding we got at the same time. She was all legs and underweight, but made sure everyone in the herd knew she was an elder and expected to be respected. She is a joy to have on the farm!
We call him Chevy now. He is the Peruvian gelding that came from the same farm as Dee. He, too, has a few scars that may or may not grow hair over again. He has such a hairy coat – all blonde and yellow cream. Like Eastwood he will go off by himself for a while. He hangs with Dee, naturally, a younger heavy cross mare, Abbey and Duke, the Arabian that you have been introduced to already. The rest mean nothing much to him at this time.
Thoughts are that he is around eleven years old. He will never be a show horse because he has knock knees. I think he is going to be one of our best horses for kids and light weight adults wanting to get their start on a horse.
When he first came, he would decide if you were going to touch him or not. Now he comes on command. I just have to do the come hither wiggle of the fingers and he is there. I put him under saddle late last fall and did some lunge work with him. I was amazed at his ability. So somewhere, before he ended up in the rescue situation, someone worked with him. He was so proud when he was returned to the pasture. I felt like a mom who watched her baby take his first few steps.
I am anxiously awaiting spring and our round pen to be made. Just to work a bit more with him and be certain he is as consistent as I am.
Duke of Marquis
Duke is an 12 year old registered Arabian gelding. He is a man of few words but able to provide the “look” to those of the herd who think they should be of higher status. A little toss of the head tells the others that he is “it”, as he does have a bit of an ego. He is a gentleman, especially with children. He loves to run, too, which is why he has to have a bit of lunge time before being taken out for a ride. Smart guy- but really gets bored quickly. I am trying to get him to say thank you by touching his nose to his right front leg. He was doing it perfectly earlier, but now he won’t do it on command. I was told it is because of his “been there, done that” attitude. I can see that in him.
is a 7-year-old Heavy cross mare. When we first got her, we were warned that she was wild, you would not be able to do anything with her, etc. she was part of a package of horses that were being shipped to probable slaughter. I could not leave her behind. she was part of a foursome, and did not ask to be left to who knows what possibility.
Loading her was a bit of an issue. The previous owners were afraid of her. Yelling and waving and snapping the whip. Randy had enough and asked them to back off. He stood near the fence, and got near her head and spoke gently to her. He told her that she had to get into the trailer to go to the new home. With one look in his direction and a little snort, she walked right in and stood beside Duke. Randy secured her for the journey and all went well.
It was late when we got to the farm. After watering them, we lit a smudge fire near the trailer and left them for the night. The next morning, we were back at the crack of dawn. Sure enough, the other horses were still haltered, but not Abbey! Well, she was at the front of the trailer, so we took out the first two, tried to halter Abbey, but to no avail. So we snuck Duke out and Randy went to have a talk with her again. I stood outside the trailer with Duke, just so she could see him. It took about 5 minutes to halter her, and soon she was being lead across the drive to the gate of the new pasture. She was a little scared, but walked very well. It helped having Duke at her side.
Her halter was removed as we don’t like to have them on when they are pastured. It took 3 days to get her trained to halter on command. Her feet are still an issue, but the vet said monitor them as they were not affecting her. I have finally been able to touch her with a brush, pick up her front feet, but would like someone around when I try her hind feet. She will say yes, when you ask her if she wants her food. So she has come a long way, and provides a laugh here and there. We’re glad she joined us too!
Pepper came to us via a friend. She is an eight year old buckskin. She tends to spook easily, so we are working on helping her get over her skittishness. I think she will be a good solid horse once we have finished her up. She does have a good base for disciplines but has forgotten who is the lead to help her manoeuver. I look forward to seeing her shine.
is the featured horse of the day. She is a 6 year-old Morgan mare. She came with the group of four, with her 3 year-old stud, Beestar, Duke and Abbey. She struggles to be boss mare with Abbey. They take turns.
Dixie was previously ridden. I have no qualms with clamoring up on her bare back with just a halter with bale twine reins on her head, and going. She does not like to have children on her however. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I will not push that issue with her. I would never forgive myself for inflicting pain, injury or worse on a child, just to prove a point.
She has an even temperament, which is nice to see in a mare. Any one who deals with human females can relate to how the hormones affect the person. The same goes for the members of the animal kingdom. While she is not a huggy girl, she does like the attention, especially when being groomed.
Her little guy is still under her protective eye, and I can just imagine what she is going to do when he is put in the trailer on the day he goes to get nipped. I hope that the others occupy her mind while I’m gone 🙂