Well now, I did it again, didn’t I?
It’s been a hectic time, since I posted last…
~ I went off coffee for 7 days. Yup, 100% off all caffeine. I have pictures to show you why.
~ Our Blonde Girl had a colic day. Not a good time for anyone. More coming about that in a bit.
~ I cut 75% of the waist-high (and growing) grass. I really want to get a farm gate built across our driveway, so I can let the Girls out to graze. Instead of having to use a lawnmower for grass control. We’d have that done already, if it wasn’t for the rain. Every weekend. It’s getting a bit ridiculous. But, we’ll get it done, as soon as we can.
First up, some pictures to share…for Mother’s Day, The Kid bought me a geranium plant. Her school has a greenhouse (I know!!) that sells plants to students and is self-sustaining. How freakin’ cool is that?!?
Anyways, this plant has decided to flower. It was really neat watching it progress, and we all know, there’s a photo shoot in everything. 🙂
Now it’s sitting in my kitchen window, new leaves are forming, and in the very center, it looks like another flower stem is coming too.
Next up, Sable.
Kid has been working on ground work with her. Lunging, reminding her of personal space, walking on the halter…all basics that need to be worked, reworked, and reinforced from time to time. It’s good for The Kid, and good for Sable. Consistency is always key, to keeping a well-trained horse well-trained.
Sable’s biggest problem with working on the lunge line is she’s a pocket pony. She wants to always be beside her human. That’s fine, when she’s given permission to be there, but, not fine, when she’s supposed to stay outside the human personal space. It’s a challenge, sometimes, to remind her of personal space, but it’s 100% necessary. She’s roughly 1200lbs, she has to respect human personal space. I know this is sounding kinda cold and mean, but it’s not. We love her dearly, but, if we say “Back out of my space” it has to be done. We are the leaders, and she has to trust and respect us enough to follow us, no matter what. That’s part of what makes a well-trained horse well-trained.
In this picture, she’s doing very well…she has her ear towards The Kid, and her eye is on her too, watching for cues. The lunge line isn’t tight, but it’s not dragging either.
I also like to include desensitizing in any working session. Mostly because with Cookie, there is a lot of desensitizing that needs doing, but, I also like to do it with all 4 of the Girls. Here’s an example of desensitizing with Sable…
I can’t do this with Cookie.
1. Hats are scary.
2. Hats might kill her and eat her.
3. Hats are scary.
However, seeing Sable (and Astrid) wearing them, Cookie is now willing to sniff my hat. Helps that it smells like me, but there isn’t the instant “Oh shit!! Run!!” reaction all the time now. I have even managed to oil Cookie’s hooves while wearing my hat.
So, even when it looks like the desensitizing is only being done on one horse, trust me, the other 3 are watching and learning that what I’m doing isn’t scary. Cameras used to be terrifying to paints. Now, they both come to see it, and pose. It all comes in time, with patience. 🙂
Now, for the colic episode…
The day after ^^^^ that session, Kid worked with Sable again. She groomed, tacked, fly sprayed, and with the final girth tightening(always do it in stages, never tight all at once. It’s hard on the horse.), Sable’s mood went downhill fast. She groaned and grumbled, and wouldn’t stand still. She pawed with her front hoof, and danced. All stuff that’s out of character for her. I thought, perhaps she was grumpy due to weather, and didn’t want to work. I was wrong. I told Kid to walk her for a bit, and see how she was. Kid walked her about 30 feet away and Sable went down. She just folded her legs and laid right down, saddle and all.
Out of character, and no good! If she rolled, she’d destroy the saddle, and hurt herself. I had Astrid haltered and tied, because I was grooming and fly spraying her, so I just unclipped Little Girl’s halter, sent her off and ran over to The Kid and Sable. I pushed and rocked Big Girl, while Kid undid the girth and got the saddle off. Sable made no move to get up. Just heaved a huge sigh. So, we pushed and yelled, and smacked her over and over to get her up. I’m sure anyone driving by would have thought we were beating her. Nope, just had to get her up. Again, 1200lbs. We needed her to trust, and respect us, enough to do as we said…and that was “Get the eff up!!”
Finally, she heaved herself up, and stood with her head low, cranky llama ears showing.
That means upset tummy. So, bridle off, halter on, Kid starts moving her, and I’m hitting pressure points. In her mouth, the BL25 and BL27 on her back/rump. When I hit the one in her mouth, she let some gas out…Great sign! Not a big fart, but a small one. It’s great because then, I know, it’s not impaction colic <—-that means a blockage, and oh that’s bad!
So, with a fart, I know, we’re dealing with flatulent, or spasmodic colic. Once the fart happened, I got The Kid to walk her continuous, while I went and called the vet. While I had him on the line, explaining the situation, Sable pooped.
See, owning horses is so glamorous, we celebrate farts and poop. LOL! Really, we do. 😉
The vet advised to continue walking, and monitor. If she showed no sign of improvement, call him back and he’ll head out. I love this vet team…he says “If I don’t hear from you, I know your mare is fine.”
And it’s true…she was. We walked her for the half hour, I hit the pressure points repeatedly. By the time the half hour was up, Sable knew exactly what I was doing in her mouth, and she would raise her top lip for my thumb to go in, and step into the pressure. Finally, we got the longest, loudest, stinkiest fart out of her. Yegawds, it was nasty, but the most amazing thing I had heard, and smelled, all day. Shortly after, she dropped another, much larger, pile of manure. Then, it was like a switch had flipped and she was fine. We walked her around the pasture to where the other 3 had gone, I rubbed her back, her legs, and her tummy a bit, and when she dozed off under my hands, we knew, she was going to be just fine. Kid popped her halter off, and we just let her doze, breathing a huge sigh of relief.
Any idea how badly I wanted to go in and have a pot of coffee?!? LOL!
Wasn’t an option…and now, I’ll show you why. First, the inspirational image..
^^^That picture was transformed into this…
And why I couldn’t have caffeine for a week. This was done on the 11th, so I had to quit caffeine a week prior…I bleed and swell like mad, making the work go so much slower. Frustrating for me, because it’s more painful, and frustrating for the artist because she can’t work as long on me.
This picture is from earlier this morning…
Finally, to end this post, I have a fun picture for you…
The great thing, when I look at this, is I see the cracks in her hooves are growing out. When she came home, they were right up to the coronet, and now, they are not. Tells me, I’m doing something right, with this big goof’s care. Having a super patient, and awesome, hoof trimmer helps. A. Lot!!
The plan now, is to get back into posting as much as possible. I apologize for the long times in between. Life happens, and sometimes, all we can do is deal. Well, I’m going to be more diligent in sharing our life with all y’all.
Besides, this is post # 97, and at #100, the farm logo will be revealed. With a giveaway, so stay tuned!!