dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stable Manners

I have been fortunate in my journey with horses that I have lots of good instruction not just on riding but on horse handling. Good manners with horses are extremely important to me. I believe in being clear on my expectations and boundaries. While I doubt that I am 100% consistent I am pretty good at it. In fact I've been told how 'lucky' I am that Irish is so well mannered. I love how people assume that well mannered horses just 'are' rather than made. I believe that there are just as many injuries handling horses from the ground as from horseback.

Steele has had the benefit of good handling from the moment of his birth. That has made my job with him so much easier. Not that he doesn't push it sometimes- he is a youth after all. You have heard me say about how smart he is so it's no surprise that he's learned what I want and typically tries to please. All this work from myself and the people that have come before is paying off for me now.

On Sunday I woke up with a pain in my hip. I carried on as usual but as the day wore on it worsened. I tried medication for back pain and straight advil. Nothing seemed to help. I went to the doctor on monday and now I'm on stronger pain pills and muscle relaxants. And going to physio. It seems that bursa below my hip flexors is highly irritated with me. It's been awful- I couldn't lift my leg without searing pain. I couldn't even put on my boots. Ed was away for work Monday and Tuesday so I was on my own. Tuesday morning I tried to get my mucking out boots on. I couldn't lift my leg.
"Come on leg"
"just lift up and go in this boot"
"screw you"
I ended up putting on my low winter boots. Then began the slowest muck out ever. I had to fill the manure bucket 1/3 full and then empty it. Because it's winter I can't use the hose to fill the water buckets so I had to fill them a bit at a time. The horses have been quite tolerant of my slow gait.

As I may have mentioned before, Steele loves his food. However whenever I go in his stall while he's eating he's very polite. If I come in with water he shuffles to the side and when I come in with hay he shuffles the other way. All without missing a beat in his chewing. It's quite cute- it's chomp-chomp-shuffle-chomp-shuffle-chomp.  A few times I have had to catch my balance on him in the stall and he didn't mind at all. Yesterday afternoon I went in and saw that the water bucket had a bunch of hay in it and needed to be empty. As always when someone is in the barn Steele comes in to see what's up. I gave him  a scratch and went out to dump the water. As I was outside the barn I realized that I had left the stall door open. Crap. I shuffled back as fast as possible. There was Steele standing inside the stall with the door wide open. I'm not sure who was more surprised.

I think he realizes that I'm not at my full potential so there's no sport in it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Race

Irish is half TB and has always loved to run. Steele is young and thinks that running is great fun. I've watched the two of them the past few months and Irish usually wins. However, Steele is growing and is looking like a real horse instead of a baby. Last weekend Ed and I went and picked up some more hay. This, it seems, was cause for great excitement.
"yay, more food!"

I grabbed the camera and this is the sequence I caught:
and they're off!

despite starting behind, Steele catches up

and now he pulls ahead!
It seems that the young'un has been practicing...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Recommendation

Dear Teresa

I know that you do your best to give us the care we require.

Unfortunately, we have noticed that you are not always good about telling time. Sometimes long stretches go before we get our required sustenance.

Irish is pretty good with the internet and found this item that we believe you will find helpful.

Thank you for your attention to this important manner and we look forward to your improved performance.

Steele and Irish

Monday, February 18, 2013

What have you done with me lately?

I find that the more I do with Steele the more attached he gets. When I came back by being away Steele seemed to ignore me. However, I've been spending time brushing him and doing other things and he's back to being my shadow. :)

He's getting used to wearing a bridle and bit. I figure that if he wants to chew on things he might as well chew on that for a while.

Sunday it poured rain. It was cold and sodden and generally dreary. It was too wet to let the horses outside. To amuse the horses I gave them both an extended grooming session. As I was brushing Steele I could see how he's filled out. I weighed him- he now weighs 1017lbs!!! Irish weighs 1090. So I suspect that he'll be bigger than Irish soon. His height is 15'1+ at the whither and 15'2+ behind.

Today I was at work at meetings all day. When I came home Ed had already brought them in and fed them. When I went out to tuck them in Steele was more interested in following me around than eating his hay. For him that's a minor miracle- he does love his food.

I don't think that he'll be a horse that will tolerate neglect....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Okay, so I'm not the most sentimental person. This morning Ed and I wished each other a happy valentines day. A few minutes later he says 'want to go out tonight?' It was so cute the way he said it - like it was a sudden inspiration.

 'No' I say.

I'm not mad, because I'm not all that into the celebration of valentines day. And I've just gotten off the Love Boat for pete's sake. See. Told you I wasn't sentimental.  It's not that I don't want to go out. I don't want to go out on work night. So we're going out tomorrow instead.

I  had a lovely valentines evening though fussing over Steele and Irish in the barn. They enjoyed the extra attention.

Happy Valentine's day from my herd to yours.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Of course I missed you....

After a fabulous time away a terrible separation from my babies I finally made it home. As I expected, our house sitter did a fabulous job with all of the animals. I understand that only Martin and Steele caused a bit of difficulty.

Irish: "You LEFT us"
Me: "well I did arrange for a replacement"
Irish: "But YOU weren't here"
Me: "I had a vacation"
Steele: "What's a vacation?"
Me: "in this case it was a cruise. Where we sat in the sun, ate out every night and visited some fabulous places"

Steele: "why couldn't I go? I bet I would have added to the fun"
Me: "well boats aren't really made for horses"
Irish: "Sounds dangerous to me"
Steele: "I bet I would have been a hit."
Me: "I have no doubt"
Irish: "can we get back to how you abandoned me- I mean us"
Me: "Wasn't Joanne nice?"
Steele: "Very nice but she didn't have much of a sense of humour"
Me: "what do you mean?"
Steele: "well one morning she came in and my stall door was off the rails - through no fault of mine really---
Irish: "humph"
Steele: "you can't blame me for an itch....anyway....she didn't find it all funny. I was amused by her getting it back on though. She knows lots of interesting words...."
Irish: "And she was pretty generous with the carrots. you might want to take notes on that"
Steele: "oh and your friends came to visit and gave us some hay when the storm was howling"
Irish : "yes because you weren't here"
Me: "I know I know"
Me "I missed you terribly"
Irish & Steele: "Really?"


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Be good for the babysitter

Tomorrow Ed and I leave for Miami to go on a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I am looking forward to some days of rest, relaxation and warmth.

Our house sitter is fabulous- she does a wonderful dogs with all the critters. So far only Martin has given her trouble.

I hope that I've done a good job making Steele well behaved. But we'll find out.

Really- what could go wrong???