Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not dead

No, really. I'm still around though the meager amount of blogging the last two months would lead some to believe otherwise.

The choice comes down to writing about the ponies versus spending time with the fuzzy, quirky ponies and you all know what I'd rather do. Or at least what will (eventually) make the best blog fodder. There will be no stories without horse slobber and there will be no horse slobber without horse time, so.. much less blogging has ensued.

Out would be really good, k? Thanks. 
On the plus side, the horses are all doing well. Dixie is a few more days (ten, she says--anxiously counting down) from a paddock. Not a stall. A paddock. With room to wander and cause trouble and likely pester her soon-to-be-overprotective friend Calabar.

Cash and his dorky friend
Cash has been adopted and once he has had all his required vaccines, he will be on his way to Travis AFB to a family who will no doubt spoil him rotten. He says he can handle that burden.

Lena asked me to take her out tonight, but I was out of time. Steve intends to do some spotty horse dancing tomorrow, though, so Miss Lena should feel a little less neglected.

Forrest is quite happy in his very large wooded paddock, accosting walkers, joggers, bikers and baby carriages on the bike path that runs behind him.

If kisses were carrots...
Calabar? Calabar says there is never enough attention. Or carrots. Not necessarily in that order. He should hear how often someone comments on the photo of him I have behind me at work. "He's so handsome!" "Yes, he is," I beam.

And someday I will get back to writing about him and all the other fine ponies in my life on a more regular basis.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jessica who?

Calabar has a right to say that these days and it is only his fundamental desire to get out of his paddock and do something--ANYTHING--that still has him waiting at the gate for me after many weeks of not quite enough attention and riding.

I started a new job, one with real hours, and now--like most humans--have to squeeze in horse time after the work day is done. This would be fine if Calabar and Lena were still my only horses and technically they are. But the other two in my care--Cash and Dixie--both needed a bit of extra attention this last month.

Cash had a bad month working an abscess out of a hind foot, requiring lots of duct tape, icthamol and hand walking to encourage the blob of pain in his hoof to manifest itself. It would get better, then worse, then better again until FINALLY it oozed its nasty way out of his coronary band. Gross, but a huge relief and the boy is now happily chasing me up and down his fence line when I get to the barn. Not to mention allowing me to perch upon him bareback though he thinks I may be a little on the weird side.

I AM on good behavior!
Dixie, well, Dixie has good days and bad days. She is on month three really of stall rest. Her fracture was on November 18th and she got to our barn in mid-December. Her stall needs constant maintenance because she is (as I believe I've previously reported) a stall piggy. It is amazing what the girl can do in a mere 12 hours, let alone a whole 24. She also needs calm, gentle energy and reassurance that it's okay she's not a part of the new routine going on around her--not yet, that is--but there is light on the horizon. She has follow-up x-rays on February 19th and our vet asked me a great question: "How does she feel about things?" to which I responded, "She says it's time to be out." The leg is cold and tight and I'm hoping a paddock outdoors with some room to roam and figure out how to be a loose woman is in her very near future. Then we can really start teaching her to be an ex-racehorse, which will be a very exciting thing and is generating a lot of crossed fingers and toes.

But back to Calabar, who says it's about time to return my attention to his beautiful, handsome, patient, long-suffering brown self.

My tiny human, says the bossy brown horse
He is fantastic. I love him. He is, however, testing me as should be expected with the last few months of inconsistency.

No. You cannot run over me on the way into the arena. Stop pouting, I barely hit your chin with the clip, you big baby. Yes, I do mean it. Stop acting like a turd. Yes, of course I still love you. No, I am not your scratching post. We are indeed going to ride at feeding time. Just like we used to before I got distracted. Yes, it's dark outside the arena. It's winter, remember? I'm pretty sure there are no mountain lions out there this very second.

But then there is the moment where we connect--where he does what I want or I do what he wants and convince him it's my idea. The other day it was a forward seat, hands on either side of his withers, just letting him canter and staying with him. It was a fast canter, just in the round pen, but I found myself breathing in time with him as he huffed out in the race-rhythm and when I went with him and didn't try to hold him, he actually relaxed. We were balanced, we were together, he was happy and forward and all my horse to ride.

He is also an incredible puppy babysitter as it turns out.

My puppy, says Uncle Calabar
So far, he still remembers me when I show up at the barn and still wants to come out and play so we'll just try and keep it that way and dance faster and juggle harder as needed. Because all the ponies should be as lucky as Calabar and I love helping get them there.