dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


you know that expensive spray stuff that I bought to keep Steele from gnawing on stuff??

well today while the farrier was here Steele was being a right pain while Irish was being done- nibbling on everything in sight. So I grabbed it and soaked the boards.

Two minutes later I looked over and there was Steele- licking it off.

I am so doomed.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

toy shopping

The weather continues to be cold. Frigid even. Yesterday I managed to give Steele a quick groom before my fingers froze. He quite enjoyed it (as always). Irish stayed up at the top of his field and wouldn't come down so he didn't get a groom.

It's probably good that the nearest tack shop is 100km away. However, I was close to it for work so I took a quick jaunt. The nice thing about January is that the tack shop has stuff on sale. I got a great deal on a set of  protective boots for when I start lunging Steele this spring/summer. I also bought some toys.

One was a jolly ball. Here's a video of the horse's reaction:
Note who goes first to check it out.

I also bought a likit. I had a holder from years ago when I bought one for Irish when he was younger. He really didn't like it so I hardly used it. I was sure that I still had the holder but despite a thorough search I couldn't find it anywhere. I looked on line and the cost of the holders was around $25!!! This seems rediculous for a plastic holder that probably costs a few cents to produce. So then I thought that maype I would suspend it on a rope like a (Himalayan salt lick). However, Ed asked me to show him what they looked like and in 10 minutes made this:
likit is on the right. the idea is that it keeps them busy but because it's
on a string it's not that easy to eat.
We brought the ladder into the stall so we could hang it from the rafters. While we're hanging it Steele sticks his head in and looks at us. He watched for a bit and then walked in to see what Ed was doing up the ladder. He seemed to be happy that we were there to provide entertainment. Ed got down off the ladder and without warning closed it up so it made this screeching metal noise. Steele danced in place and looked like he wanted to bolt out the stall doro to the aisle. 'whoaaaa' I breathed. He stopped dead and looked at me. And that was it. :)

I wasn't sure what he thought of it. Last night he seemed to be ignoring it. This morning it looked 'licked' and then today when I came back to let them out I heard this odd sound. I grabbed my ipod and used it to take a video:

The lengths I go to keep him amused. It will so much easier when he can be ridden. At least I hope so......

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baaaahd Boys

I live in Nova Scotia- the far east part of Canada. For the past several years our winters have been fairly temperate. However this year winter is back with a vengeance. For the past several days we've been in a deep freeze with temperatures at -15 to -20 Celsius. For those of you who record temperatures in Farenheit this translate to friggin' cold! 

This means that I've not been spending as much time with the horses. I feel guilty that I'm not doing much but I really cannot stand to be out for longer then it takes to do the chores. The frost free faucet has been freezing. I typically will boil water and add it to the water buckets to slow down the freezing but I've taken to lugging a container full of hot water from the house because the kettle doesn't hold enough.

It's funny how quickly horses can 'forget' their manners without regular handling. Earlier this week Irish decided that I was in his way to go outside and actually shoved me aside.. Which led to 10 minutes of work on personal space. Since then butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. I'm not to surprised. I had been boarding him at a place where the BO thought that him being in her space meant that he 'loved her'.   Sigh.

As you know I've been working on Steele staying in his stall even if I have the door open. Tonight I bundled up, grabbed the container of hot water and lugged out to the barn looking like the Michelin Man. I gave Irish his hay and then opened Steele's door to give him his. I then went to get his water. I heard his hoof hit the aisle.
"Steele" I growled.
the hoof retracted.

A few minutes later I was in his stall picking out I heard the hoof again.
'Steele' I growled.
Then the clattering of 4 hooves quickly exiting the stall.

I came out
Steele was innocently chewing on the hay pile.
"you know, if you just left the door open I could help myself and you wouldn't have to work so hard"
"Steele! Go back in your stall"
"hey, I'm just trying to be helfpul"
I prodded him with my hand.
He had suddenly become significantly hearing impaired.
I approached his head.
He turned away.
I turned around and grabbed a lead line.
I walked up and smacked him on the butt with it.
Steele scooted down the aisle. He tried to get in Irish's stall.
Steele: "Let me in before she gets me!"
Irish: "Listen buddy, I've already been in trouble you are on your own!" 

I walked up to him and fixed him with my gaze.
" go"
He shuffled by me, ducking his head and went into his stall.

If ever a horse looked sheepish it was him.
Steele, is that you?'
However, he was happy enough once he got his bedtime carrot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Introducing the bridle

It seems that the way I've been working with Steele is to gradually get him used to things so that when I introduce something new it's not that big a deal.

I took advantage of the post-Christmas sales and bought him a cheap schooling bridle and a very gentle bit. the idea is to spend some time getting him used to having it in his mouth and, once he's used to lunging having him get used to working in it. There is also a man in the area who is an excellent ground driver and I want to get him to start Steele for me doing that.

This is the bit I bought:

A happy mouth d ring revolver bit. I believe it will be nice and gentle for him to learn with.
Over the past several months Steele has gotten used to me putting a halter up over his ears and will open his mouth when I put my finger in the side of it. Last week I decided to try the bridle and bit. Standing beside him I slipped it on. He was definitely unsure as to what the heck I put in his mouth. I let him into his stall to hang out a bit with it. While he wasn't impressed he was not upset nor was he worried.

here's a photo of him in his new bridle:

Fitting him will not be easy. he's too small for a horse size but the cob size is a bit tight. I know the kind of brilde I want to get him. It's like this:
Essentially a flat bridle in black. I quite like the look of the flat bridles. I have had no luck finding one here though. but I have a bit of time to look around.

What kind of bridle do you like?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NIbble, Nibble, Nibble,

So in the past month or so my sweet baby has turned into a rabid beaver.

At first I attributed it to the lack of grass to chew on. Then it dawned on me- he's teething. I looked in his mouth and sure enough- there's an adult tooth coming in under one of his baby teeth. I get it. I really do- it must be driving him crazy. But he's eating every possible surface he can reach. Including, if you recall, Irish's blanket. That I've sort of solved by putting a ratty old blanket over top of his good one. I also spied a spray at the feed store to stop chewing. I bought it without blinking. As soon as I got home I went around the paddock spraying all of the chewed on posts. And I did Irish's blanket for good measure. I also sprayed the opening to his stall door, the door frame, etc etc. It seems work well. He sniffed and did the flehmen response.

Steele of course followed me around like a puppy. I introduced him to ice chewing- it used to work for the kids!

Friday, January 11, 2013

All Dressed up

I saw this cartoon on Facebook and it made me laugh:
J.L. Werner is incredibly talented. Substitue the chicken for Martin and this could be me. If they animals had a youtube account. And I'm not sure that they don't......

When we first brought Irish home I would get up with the dawn, put on some sweats and a sweater, go to the barn and do my chores. Then I would shower and dress for work (or for my weekend). 

That lasted all of 2 weeks. Max. 

I then started going out in my PJ's. I would pull on my rubber boots and my quilted plaid jacket and head out. The first time Ed caught me I tried to pretend that it was my first time. I don't think he bought it. 

Now I don't even scurry when I hear a car coming down the road. 

Now that it' winter I pull on insulated coveralls, my winter rubber boots, a hat with ear flaps and my thick gloves. It's a look my mother referred to as 'sex on a stick'. :) Not sure why sex would be on a stick but hey, it's not my saying. 

This is how I know Ed loves me. Not only did I move him out to a country road where there's a Wrestling ring down the street (I swear to god. it's one of the landmarks that lets you know you are on the correct road), convinced him that a tractor was 'sort of like a convertible', and taught him how to muck out stalls but now he's perfectly fine with a wife that runs around the property in her flannel PJs decorated with snowflakes. He doesn't even bat an eye. 

Be warned if you drive down my street in the early morning. :) However, I do have the coffee waiting if you want to come inside. 

Anyone else do morning chores in their pajamas???  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Terrible Twos

Heaven help me I may just throttle Steele.

Okay, I know that it's not good to threaten the life of a horse. Especially on the internet. It might get, well, misconstrued.

But seriously, he may just drive me around the bend.

He's two now and he's swings between a  swaggering brat to a lovable teddy bear. Kind of like an adolescent boy.

In my previous post I wrote about him attacking Irish's blanket. Today I came home sick from work to find that he had it ripped.

I trudged out through the snow with my can of hairspray and coated it.

I trudged back with  Steele following. He must have not been impressed with my ignoring him because he gave me a nudge with his shoulder. I had to be firm about my personal space. Later I look out the window and he's at it again. So the hairspray can be coded as a massive failure.

I looked in my cupboard. I found some cleaning supplies.

hmmmm. might work

but they are poisonous



fine then. 

I hate it when the voices in my head disagree.

So I trudged back out to the field muttering to myself. After all, don't they realize that I'm sick??? Apparently not. Also, why is Irish tolerating Steele pulling on it? How can he like being a chew toy??? I went out with the fly spray and coated Irish with Steele closely supervising. As I walked back (did I mention that they were at the farthest end of the field?) I realized that to distract Steele from the blanket toy I had to supply another toy. I was not going into town to buy a jolly ball. So I got out a large container that the oil comes in. I put in some snow and ice to rattle around. It seems to be working for a bit.

I will need more toys.

Or a mare.

Does anyone want to loan me a mare?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How Irish came to smell like a Salon


The only thing that's worse than a bored horse is an intelligent bored horse.

Because they find ways to entertain themselves with whatever is at hand. Like wood posts, door latches, pitchforks placed too close to the stall.

and blankets on their buddies.

Today as I went out to clean the stalls there they were- at the top of the field. Steele industrially chewing on Irish's blanket.

I yelled.

They ignored me.

I yelled again.

They looked at me. I think I saw Steele stick his tongue out at me.

So I went to walmart and bought the cheapest, biggest bottle of hair spray I could find. When I came home they were both down in the stall so I seized the moment and ran into the barn. When Irish saw what was in my hands he tried to bolt out of the stall. It was like he knew what I what I was planning. I headed him off.

By the time I was done his straps, tail flap and edges of his blanket were coated in the foul smelling stuff. Irish went outside looking disgruntled. As he passed Steele, Steele's lip curled up.

It will be worth it if it works. Irish cannot go without a blanket and I can't afford to replace them frequently.


What do you do to keep others off of blankets and such?

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Steele here everyone. I hope you had a terrific Christmas full of carrots and apples. But not peppermints.
Now that 2013 is here I figured it was time for me to write another post and what better topic then some resolutions. Mom says that this will be a big year for me so I thought I'd better put some ideas down.

1. I will wait patiently for my servant to open the doors in the morning before I go outside.
2. I will not sneak out of my stall when she's not looking (besides my feet make too much noise on the wood floor)
3. I will not snatch hay out of my servant's hands when they are bringing it into my stall.
4. I will continue with my diligent inspection of the muck bucket while the servant is picking out my stall (note- it's not my fault if it tips over, that's the occasional consequence of doing a good job).
5. I will try to leave my hay in a neat pile and not fling it all over my stall. While it allows me to lay down and eat it gets pooped and peed on. Besides it makes the servant mutter.
6. I keep the dog out of the pasture. He bugs Irish and that's my job!
7.  I will try to figure out this whole going in circles while mom stands in the middle thing. I will not try to eat the whip.
8. I will stand still while the servant grooms me. If I'm patient she will get to those itchy spots and apparently does not need me to show them to her.
9. I will keep growing. For that I need to keep eating. Fortunately I like eating!
10. I will continue being my wonderful, intelligent, funny and lovable self!