Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gourmet grains and hoof picking.

Today I met Bright's owner, who is convinced that he wants to live for now. She says her vet agrees with her. I did see him lie down and roll today, and stand up without much trouble, but I still have my own opinion about it. She's not going to let him go anytime soon though, that much was clear.
Guh, and I'm already learning about the local barn politics a bit. There are always barn politics though, aren't there? I smile and nod and offer an opinion if asked or if I feel it's really needed. The horses are what is important.

Anyway, on to what I CAN help with- Solomon.
BO says I can sponsor him, yay! She also said I can ride him if I'd like, but I told her I felt that he needed to bulk up a bit first, which she agreed wasn't a bad idea. I'm a heavy girl, and she says he's 15.3 hands or so.
I got there at feeding time, and I didn't really want to interrupt for walking. I got the "HURHURHURHRUHUR" greeting that I'm pretty sure translates to "Hi nice lady! I CAN HAS CARROTS NAO?"
Yes, Sol-Sol, you CAN has carrots, if you are polite and you back up while I retrieve your food bucket.
The large Middle-Eastern family was there today, and two of the boys went out riding their horses while the kids ran around. The little girl decided to hang out with me for the first part of my visit, which was okay even though I couldn't really understand much of what she was saying. She WAS eager to be helpful, and she helped me clean Sol's bucket by turning the hose on and off for me. Later on the little boy hovered, and he pestered me a lot, trying to convince me that the barn owner said it was okay for him to ride Solomon bareback without a bridle. I did not buy that line, not even for a nickel. I did let him walk Solomon once around the corral because I'd seen the BO ask him to bring him out and the like before. He's a saint of a horse, and I supervised. Said kid goes tearing around on the Arabian a lot too, and that horse is way more spirited than Solomon.
Anyway, lots of people are there on the weekends, but it's still relatively peaceful. I think I might come a little earlier in the day though.
So yeah, gourmet grains. I didn't know where to go to get grain, but I wanted to give Solomon a little something besides carrots, so I stopped by Raley's on the way over. Raley's is a grocery store that is a little bit more pretentious than, say, Albertson's, but not as pretentious as Andronico's. I found some bulk grain gereal that was nothing but grain. Oat, barley, wheat, rye. That's it. About 20 times more expensive than horse grain though. :p Yeeah I'm going to the racetrack tomorrow or the day after.
Today, though, Solomon got gourmet grains with some flax seed oil that I mixed in. Nice high quality OTTB lady told me about flax seed oil. Good stuff. Solomon picked out the bits of carrot first, but he did vacuum up the grain. I'm just giving him a little bit at a time for now- I don't want to make him sick with a sudden influx of rich food.
When he was finally done eating, I took him for a walk. There was a mare that screamed "I am the alpha and I'll kick his ass to prove it" turned out in the arena, so we took a walk around the grounds. Did a small amount of trotting.
After his walk, I tied Solomon up and checked his hooves. I'm glad I did, too- he'd gotten some gravel embedded in the hoof itself. :o Saint Solomon put up with my picking and prying, though when I got the last one out, he was so very, very done. It was sharp and had gone in deep. I'm going to check him out tomorrow before we do anything to make sure his hoof is okay.
That's certainly one disadvantage of going barefoot.
Oh, and I found out what his life was like before he came to the rescue. Rodeo, very likely Charro. He does have scars on his legs. It makes me so angry, thinking about someone roping his legs at a dead run and bringing him crashing down. It's a very cruel sport, and it causes a lot of injuries. He's lucky though, he's sound. But he is the kind of horse they like- really fast.
When I get him in better condition and ride him, I need to remember to NOT make the "kissy" noise. He'll take off, full speed. Eep. I will have to learn how to ride a lot better before I ride him, I think. He's a good boy, and his walk is smooth, but in case he DOES get a wild hair, I want to have SOME hope of hanging on, heh.

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