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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Massive update

First off, I want to apologize for the 15 days of no updates!
I got really stressed about a number of things and I let things fall by the wayside. I also went out of town for 9 days. I have a lot of pictures and some BIG NEWS though.
First the news:
You all prolly saw this coming.
I now own Solomon.
I'm panicked and scared but elated and relieved at the same time, if that makes any sense. The barn owner and her boyfriend (who owned Sol) had a bog blowup and he was told he had to leave and get the horses out of there asap. BO's ex was getting ready to sell him off to a not-nice at all buyer for yet another charro rodeo.
I wasn't really ready, I didn't have everything set up, but there was no way I was going to let him go off to a shortened life of pain and fear. He has given me so much of himself. He trusts me to protect him. I can't betray that trust. I look at his sweet, scarred face and that look in his eyes that says "I am so glad your found me, mommy," and I know I'll move the world for him if I can.
So a friend of mine rushed me out to the stables before he could get shipped off, contract printed out from the BAEN site in hand, and it was done. Now I'm alternating between smiling and thinking "oh my gods what have I done, oh GODS I own a HORSE."
I will do all I can to keep him safe and happy and healthy. I hope that I can keep him around here. I have found friends who really want to lease him part-time. Good people that I have known for many years, people whom I trust. I'm getting so many inquiries right now. I hope good, solid, caring people can come through.
If I cannot keep him and keep in WELL, there are good people who would happily take him. Joe from TB Friends is full right now, but if it comes down to it, he'll help me get him a forever home however he can. Some people who are known to be good folks are also willing to take him, though I would probably have to fundraise to get him shipped out there. Minnesota, for example, is pretty far away!
I really am hoping that I can keep him here, however. He is my baby and we have bonded quite a bit. So we shall see. I'm scared as hell but I love him so much. And now he is mine. It still hasn't really sunken in yet. Except when I get all panicked. Heh.
But I have photos for you!
15 July:

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17 July:
Our second ever ride:

One day I showed up and found this. Non-toxic paints. Heh. All the white horses were decorated by the kids one day at summer camp. Solomon did not seem to mind, thankfully. Oh and yes, that hay is terrible. They're getting better hay again, which makes me glad. I'm also having him fed an extra flake each day on top of the senior feed.

And finally, this is the day I bought him. He was very very unhappy with me because I was gone for 9 days and he was stuck in that awful pen with all those horses, some of which beat up on him. He had some nasty new bite wounds and his hooves were thrushy again. There was something that looked a hell of a lot like a boot mark on his rump. Instead of coming over and stickign his head into the halter, he faced the fence and made me reach up to secure it, heh. He went into an empty stall and I had to drag him back out again. He doesn't like that pen and he probably thought I'd abandoned him since I was gone for so long.


He didn't know he was saved from charro yesterday, but today all of my absence was forgiven, with the help of some slices of watermelon. <3

Monday, July 14, 2008


Today I found Solomon in the outdoor corral. They're moving him from where he was living to someplace else, not sure where yet. Someplace else at the stables, he'll still be living at the same place.
He does seem to get along better with the horses in the corral, so that's good.
Not so good- on his side where a saddle would touch, there's a couple of patches where the hair is gone and the skin is red. They weren't there when I saw him the day before yesterday.
Today a child who takes lessons there also told me that Solomon gets taken to the rodeo. And has been for a while. When his hooves were 4 months overdue for trimming and his ribs were all sticking out. And adults have been riding him. "he bucked about 3 weeks ago," the boy said. Well yeah, three weeks ago I don't think someone should have been on his back.
I can't even think straight right now.
Solomon was happy to see me, came to me, put his head in the halter, walked out with me and stood there while I closed the gate, then stood for me when I put the lead rope on. I picked his hooves and brushed him and let him scavenge some hay that was loose. I found the wounds. Saddle sores? Or maybe a horse bit him, or maybe it's from lying on the rocks in the corral.
I don't know what to do. I wonder if I could find someone to co-own him with me, and if I could convince the barn owner's boyfriend to let me adopt him, since he is the fellow who they tell me rescued him. Also the guy who takes him to the rodeo, so the kid tells me.
Anyone in the bay area want to try with me? Or anyone who can give good references want to try to upgrade him? I'd miss the hell out of him but more than anything I want him to have a good life.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bringing out the big guns in the thrush battle.

Today Sol got coppertoxed. I used a brush to put it on after I cleaned out his hooves. Was a dumbass and didn't put on gloves. The top of the bottle was broken, as it happened. I can't seem to get the chemical stench out of my fingers, but at least they only have a slight green tinge now.
Of course the way to really get rid of the thrush is to ensure that he has a clean stall every day. Dear gods, please heal my back and give me some cash for bedding. Love Ev.
Actually, a clean dry stall and a pasture to roam around in would be great. I know, I know, I keep saying it. Keep hoping the dream will come true somehow I guess, heh.
Anyway, I brought my friend V____ out to meet Solomon. He liked him. A boarder told me I should use some sort of device to make Sol keep his head down and work out,t o build up his top line. Interesting. He doesn't tend to walk around with his head up anyway though. We'll work on trotting him on the line more for now. I'd like to avoid making him hold his head a certain way if I can. Read Black Beauty too recently to want to do that I guess. She was right about him needing more muscle though. Hah, so do I!
People on the Fugly board are asking for pics of Sol in his new gear. He has a new red halter and a new red bridle with black reins. All nylon, though it will all probably eventually be replaced with leather. Will do for now though, the halter is only on when I have him out, and the bridle is only for walks around the arena. The snaffle bit is really nice and gentle though. A gift from a friend.
I'm hoping I can prove that Solomon will do fine in a really gentle bit. I'm hoping I don't break my neck, ha! But he has been so good with me so far. I haven't tried on the bridle yet, but I will sometime in the next few days. I want to learn how to tack him up properly all on my own. Always best if you are going to ride a horse to know how to take care of him completely, I think. I'm not a princess. I'm just new.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Becoming one

I feel weak and shaky, but it's a good thing!
I didn't go out expecting it, but today ended up being the day. Someone asked me, "so,a re you gonna ride Solomon today?" I get asked that a lot. Today I look at Sol, and he looked at me, and I asked the barn owner and the boarders, "do you think he's ready?" Everyone said yes. Solomon, he seemed ready too.
"Yes," I said, "but if he doesn't like it or I'm too much for him, I'm getting off him immediately."
You know, I hadn't realized how much my confidence had been damaged because of comments (all on the net) about fat women riding. I was so scared that I would be too heavy for him. I was so worried that I might hurt him. Other people, people I know and respect whose opinions I trust, they said "fuck that, he'll be fine." I listened to them, today. I'll admit, I'm like a new, young mom who treats her baby like he's made of glass. I want to be so careful and so gentle.
So we put a nice light saddle on him. I think maybe it was an English saddle. Little thing, light too. I was glad for that, and I think Sol was also. I made sure it was sitting on him right, and I made sure it fit right. He knew a couple of tricks with the bit, but it didn't take too long to get it on him- the barn owner put it on.
So I went down to the arena with the young man who offered to lead Solomon. I was thinking I'd just do that, but it went even better than that!
First off, Solomon turned out to be the perfect height, from the mounting block. Not too short, not too tall. I did the bounce on one foot thing and easily swung into the saddle. I was careful to sit down gently. Solomon seemed to say "ooooh can we go?"
So the young man lead him around a bit, and then gave me the reins. As TB Friends Joe would say, well okay then.
Someone said one has to be firm with Solomon. That he was a good boy but he had an abusive background so he needs a lot of firmness.
But Solomon, he knows me, and I know him. He trusts me. We like each other. He was so good. I barely had to move the reins at all. It was like, I would think it, and he would do it. I did not have to yank on the reins. I didn't have to pull them taut. He was so responsive. And he looked HAPPY! I kept asking people, "am I sitting okay? Is he okay?" Yes, yes. He was listening to me. I was telling him he was a good boy. I would tell him to walk, to ease up, anything, he did it. I worked hard to sit straight and be balanced, to keep my heels down. To hold the reins right. I forgot myself and made the softest click sound. Sol perked up and trotted. I grabbed the horn ot stop bouncing (I know, not supposed to grab the horn) but I learned quickly how to ride and not bounce. His movement is smooth as silk. Even his trot is so smooth. He really seemed to WANT to trot. I let him have his head a few times around, then stopped him, which he did immediately, I am proud to say.
He stopped on a dime... and pooped. Heh. Well. When you gotta go...
After that we walked for a little while. I made sure we went in the other direction for a bit. Didn't want to go all one way.
I decided to stop not too long after we started. Solomon seemed like he'd be happy to do more, though he was walking a little bit slower, but I didn't want to overwork him, and I didn't want to not be able to walk tomorrow, haha.
So we went to the mounting block and when I said "ho" and "stand" he did, and he held perfectly still for me when I dismounted. Then I hugged him and told him he was such a good boy for me, and I told him "thank you" and he leaned his cheek against my cheek and blew in my hair. We stood there for a moment while I stroked his neck.
I took him back up, picked his hooves (as I did before we rode) and brushed him. He hadn't even broken a sweat. He didn't breathe hard or act like he had the slightest issue with my weight. It was an amazing experience, a beautiful experience. He was ready, for sure. I was the one, I think, who needed to be ready. But once I was up there, we just, we became one, it was nothing like riding a random horse that did not know me. We just, we knew each other, and we took care of each other.
He got carrots in his bucket today, I tell you what. :D
I feel so happy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Today Solomon nipped my arm, but it was my fault for falling off the treat wagon and hand feeding him too much. :p Back to the bucket!

The disturbing thing I learned today, though, was about the kids. One of 'em rode Solomon around bareback without permission. Claimed they mistook him for Hollywood, who is a skinny Arab almost short enough to be a pony. Yeah right, not buying it. THEN I found out that yesterday the parents dropped the kids off (he's around 9, she's around 6)at 9am and picked them up at 10pm. All they were given was a couple of sodas and a bag of cheetos. I'm told someone called CPS and they were going to investigate or something, but we'll see. Shit, if it continues like that, I will call CPS. I told the barn owner that if one of the kids gets hurt there they may be liable and that could be the end of them.

So now I'm worried for the kids and I'm worried for the horses. Argh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The lunge whip is not a fishing pole.

Today I did manage to go out there after all.

Once I pulled Sol out of his stall my back loosened up a lot. Unexpected, but good! It hurts more these days, but it also feels better when I'm a little active. It's a very delicate balance between underdoing it and overdoing it.
So. Spiffy new longe whip. Lunge whip. Why are there two ways to spell it?
Anyway, I had my new whip and I had my new lunge line. I had my Sol-Sol and dammitt we were going to DO it!
We went down to the arena and somehow I got him going right away. Nice steady trot, smooth as silk. He moves SO well. People noticed this. I was proud of him. :) Perfectly trotting in a circle.
"Ho... ho ho ho..." I told him. Nope, nothing doing. Not slowing down. I had the whip all the way down, I even crouched down and pilled in. This was the first sign. Heh. But I though, "no, we'll do great, I'm going to get him to stop and turn and we're going to go the other direction, wheee!"
If Sol could speak, he would have said "Oh yeah, you wanna bet?"
He knows how to lunge. He knows quite well. It was hot and he hadn't been fed for the evening yet though. He wasn't happy. He did not want to work, and he knew some tricks, let me tell you.
He came in, but he came ALL the way in and leaned his shoulder on me. And he would not go out again no matter what! I was NOT going to shake the damned rope in his face. I was determined to do this the right way, even if it would take forever and a day.
No matter which way I went he spun with me and stuck to me like glue. At one point he pressed his head against my chest so I pressed back, and he backed up, but he would NOT give me an inch. Dammitt.
The BO's son came by and helped out. He hates the rope shaking thing himself, which I appreciated. He confirmed that Sol knew how to lunge and was being stubborn, and that he knew exactly what he was about with the sticking to me with his shoulder thing. Did the same thing with the BO's son. It took a LOT of goading but he did manage to get him out and trotting again, then a bit of a canter. So yay, he got a bit more of a workout. SO's Son gave him back to me but I wasn't able to get him to go out again. Ended up jogging with him a little bit, but my ankles really don't allow much of that.
Oh but I tried. When he wouldn't back up (and while I'll poke him a bit I won't beat him, I think fear teaches more fear, and I think it's cutting corners, though if he does something truly dangerous I am prepared to be Big and Scary) I sat down in a chair and let him stomp a bit until he got bored and wandered off a bit. AHA! I lumped up and got myself and the whip in that triangle position behind his shoulder. Cracked it. Sol came right on in again and leaned on me. Gargh.
I tossed a bit of carrot out. He went and grabbed it and came RIGHT BACK IN. Okay, well. I couldn't do any more. I did not want to teach him that being stubborn would make me give up, but it was hot, for him as much as for me, and he was hungry and I was thirsty so I let him go in the arena for a bit and let him walk and roll. We will try again tomorrow or the day after, and we will keep trying. He'll trust me more the more we get to know each other. I'll learn how to work him better, he'll learn that obeying gets him more treats and praise, and we'll work through it. People there are being very helpful. They have good advice. We'll figure out a way.

Two of the young kids there have decided I'm cool. They're cute kids, but don't tell 'em I said that. The little boy is at the age where he thinks he is very cunning and clever, and he tries to be sneaky about doing stuff he shouldn't. No kid, the lunge whip is NOT a fishing pole. No, I don't want you to try to lunce Solomon, your head doesn't even come up to his chest! He's a good boy but he DOES have issues, and I don't want him to run over some little kid. I also tried to explain to the little girl that chasing and catching the baby birds could give them a heart attack. Not sure she understood though.
Their older brother is awesome though. He picks Sol's hooves for me, since my back is not up to the task at the moment, and said that id I ever needed his help with anything, to just ask. He also offered to lead Sol when I ride him for the first time, which is a comfort, as Sol knows and likes him.

Anyway, I am determined. I will keep working at it, and we will come to an understanding. I want to do right by Sol, and I will work hard at it.


Dammitt, my back is hurting really badly again. When the hell will I HEAL? I'm beginning to think that I'm going to have this problem for life no matter how careful I am. All I can hope for is that I do not make it worse.
I want to go out and see Solomon. I want to try longeing him without using the "scare the fuck out of him" technique, but I'm having a hard time even walking around.
Today is a painkiller day for sure.

I will do my best to not overstrain myself.
Today is the day when Sol is "mine." I have all the cool new stuff, and I want to try it out. Bwah.

Also, my hoof pick seems to have grown legs and walked away. Actually, I think I like the communal pick a lot better- it has a point instead of a square end, and it gets the thrushy gunk and little rocks out better. Will have to order more.

But damn, the pain is bad today. :(

Monday, July 7, 2008


My stuff from horse.com got here! Also a friend mailed me the black beauty book, the black beauty movie, and a really gentle snaffle bit. Yay gentle bit! :D
The dressage whip is excellent, really long and easy to snap. The cotton longe line is nice and strong and soft with a rubber donut and a swivel snap. The riding crop is very nice as well. I got the sprays, brushes, cleaners, gloves, and wormer.
I was excited, it was like Christmas in July! I took my stuff out to the barn and managed to trick Solomon out of his stall in the middle of feeding time with a carrot. I was an evil evil horse mom today. Got his mane detangled, gave him a quick green spot remover spray and brush, and gave him fly spray, which seemed to relieve him of flies immediately. Yay! Hoof picking went without incident. The little boy who runs around really wanted to pick his hooves, and Sol is good with his feet so I let him pick one hoof. He has his own horse so he knew how to do it, heh. He's always wanting to help, and it made him happy.
But then, dear readers, I pulled out the Evil Tube of Wormer. As it happens, wormer is a concentrated tube of pure Satan. I did not know this, but Solomon did, and he knew what it was as soon as I pulled it out.
In a way, this was encouraging, because it meant he had been wormed in the past. Also we saw that his teeth are actually doing pretty well and do not currently need to be floated.
That being said, it was impossible for me to get him to take the wormer. Hurcules' daddy was there, and he tried and got kicked. KICKED! I'd never seen Sol act like that before! In the end it took 4 of us to get the damned wormer in his mouth. Two very experienced horsemen holding his head and rubbing his withers, one person bribing him with a carrot, and me stroking his head and speaking slowly and gently to him. The carrot was a last resort- we didn't want to reward bad behavior, but that was really the only way we were able to get the wormer in his mouth. At least he only kicked once. It was a good reminder for me though- horses are dangerous, even Solomon.
His top line is really filling out now. I think he's up to weight.
Tomorrow if my back doesn't hurt too badly, we're working on the longeing.
Yesterday my friend Mik came by for a visit, and he came out with me to meet Solomon. He took a picture of me picking hooves as an action shot. Of course Solomon farted on my head while he took the picture. Heh, I'll post it if he sends it to me.
Oh yeah, and Solomon has a secret! I did not tell any of the kids. There is a hen nesting in his stall!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

PS- I was wrong, thank the gods.

I am very happy to say that all 53 horses survived the 4th of July, and there did not seem to be any injuries. I'm glad I was just psyching myself out, and they were fine. The barn owner stayed out there with them and soothed any horses that were afraid.

I like what Joe from TB friends had to say though:
"California is on fire, yet they still have fireworks. Sound thinking..."

Om nom nom nom!

Today Sol got a new treat!
Miniature watermelons were on sale at the local grocery store, so I bought a couple. When I got to the barn everyone was eating alfalfa, which made me happy. Some of the horses there are really REALLY skinny though, and I wonder why. They get fed twice a day, one flake of hay each time, at least that's what I'm told. Maybe that is not enough for some horses? Or maybe they need probiotics and their teeth floated. I don't know. :(
Sol's stall is getting bad again. Tomorrow if it is still bad I might end up trying to clean it out myself, though I'm pretty sure that is a bad idea with my back.
Anyway, Sol got his carrots, which he chomped down immediately, and then I gave him his blue treat bucket with the watermelon, which I broke in half for him. WOW did he love it! He made really really loud slurping noises and got his whole nose red with watermelon juice and pulp, hehe.
Then he started taking a bit of watermelon and a bite of alfalfa and chewing them together. When the pulp was all gone, he picked up the rinds and threw them in the air a couple of times before eating them. I think that's the most playful thing I have seen him do.
I watched one of the boarders lunge his TB without a whip, using only verbal commands. There was a language barrier, but he offered to help me teach Solomon, which is awesome. :) I hope that will not annoy the BO, but I don't think it will- that guy seems to do things around the barn every once in a while.
I discussed lunge techniques with a friend of mine who is a horseperson, and she brought up some good points about why rope shaking is a bad technique for teaching a horse to back up- it not only frightens the horse, but it also teaches him to back up whenever he gets startled. I'm sure you can imagine why that isn't a good thing. I also want to be able to lunge him without making contact with the whip. I really do believe in positive reenforcement, especially when working with a previously abused animal. He has had enough fear and pain in his life, and if I can find a way to get him to do things without resorting to either of those, I will go with it. I'd much rather bribe him, if that is what it will take. I think that fear and pain are often used as shortcuts, and that they ultimately damage the relationship. A quick and brief "I am bigger and scarier than you" demonstration when a horse is doing something seriously unacceptable is one thing- like people have told me, and like I've seen now, that's how horses tend to interact with each other. Beating your horse or scaring the living shit out of him to make him run? Not good.
So today was mostly a treat feeding and hoof cleaning day. The thrust isn't going away as much as I would like, and I might end up trying the bleach solution or getting some of the spendy medicine. What really needs to happen is that someone needs to clean Sol's stable every day, which is what is supposed to be happening, but it isn't. :(
Walked around in the arena briefly, but my ankles acted up and Sol felt hot, so we didn't do a lot of active stuff.
Oh yeah, I also sat in a chair in front of his stall window while I watched that nice fellow lunge his horse, and Sol stuck his mouth right next to my ear and chewed his hay. Haha, startling! I guess he wanted to say hi but didn't want to stop eating. There's probably some alfalfa in my bra. :p
This is a bit rambly, apologies.

Oh yeah, and if you don't know of it, every day you should really check out the TB Friends blog. Joe only posts each entry for a day, and they are always worth reading.
And of course there is Fugly Horse of the Day, which everyone should read through. Everyone should know just what the hell is happening in the horse industry right now. There are also often posts with horses that need to be upgraded, so if you are looking for one, this is a place you can watch, and maybe find a life to save.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bad feeling

Ever get a bad feeling that something is going to happen?
I have that feeling right now. Maybe I'm paranoid or I sound silly, but I am still really worried about tonight. :( I'm worried that the horses in the open pens might run through the fences or something, or a horse will knock his head or his legs in his stall really badly. I don't know. Just a bad feeling. My bad feelings come true when they're as specific as this too often.

Sol was upset today. Lots of fireworks last night, I don't blame him. I picked his hooves with a little more difficulty than the last time. His stall is starting to get not good again. :(
I took him into the arena but a lady yelled down that she needed it soon. She still hadn't gone in when I left, but made a pointed comment to one of the other people there that it was okay if they walked their horse on a lead in there, but she didn't want "people who are being foolhardy" in there. Not sure if she was referring to me because I had Sol alone with me in the locked arena off the lead rope. :p I would have readily put one back on him, but I was working on teaching him to come immediately when called without the use of a rope. He did well with that. We went around the arena once without the rope, which he did with no stopping issues.
Anyway, we left the arena so that the lady could ride her horse around in there without us bugging her, and we went for a walk to the end of the block and back.
Solomon wasn't happy about it today. His head was up and tossing a bit, and he was balking a tad. I thought about turning him around and putting him back in his stall, but I decided that it was better to show him that things were okay and teach him that he could trust me. So we went up the block. I spoke to him in low, soothing tones the whole time, telling him it was okay, saying "easy, easy," keeping his pace slow and gentle. He was jumpy but he was a good boy and he obeyed. We made it all the way to the corner, at which point I decided he'd been tested enough and it was time to go back. I had to keep him from going too fast- he did NOT want to be out there. He felt nervous and exposed. I don't think I was projecting anything, I got the bad feeling mostly when I was leaving. I picked the rocks out of his hooves with my fingernails because I didn't want to leave him standing there feeling so nervous, and then put him back in his stall, took off his halter, and gave him a carrot.
The strange thing is that he stuck his head out the window and put his nose into the halter no problem, but when taking it off him I had to tell him to stand.
I think it's mostly because he was afraid that the loud booming things from the night before might still be out in the street.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just for fun

Ambien art-
I created a new hybrid draft breed, perfect for Florida and water polo!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

PS: kids

One of the kids gave Sol a sour look today and told me this:
"Solomon HATES me! Every time I go over there he turns his back on me and then he FARTS!"
Haha, yeah well, he farted on my head today while I was picking his back hoof. I think it must be a hobby of his.

A very good day!

Aside from getting pulled over, heh.
But at least the police officer who got me just gave me a fix-it ticket for my mirror and expired registration. Ooooops. But he used to run a boarding barn and he has 4 quarter horses (no, that doesn't mean one full horse) so we yakked about horses, boarders, and ban drama for a bit. Not a bad experience, as far as getting pulled over goes. Heh. I don't know why, but sometimes you can just tell when someone is a horse person. ;)
Anyway, Sol was SUCH a good boy today! I was really proud of him.
The biggest breakthrough came at hoof picking time. When I started working with him, I had to haul his hoof up by making him bend his leg. Today when I said "give" he actually picked up his feet for me! He was so good about it. Little bit of struggling with the trushy foot when it took me a long time to get it clean, though it is getting better- there's not even a bad smell any more.
Also, since he has obviously gotten bored with walking around the arena, today I got permission to take Solomon out for an actual walk.
He really came alive out there! New stuff! Something different! He was walking like we were in a parade, heheh. In the arena he kind of drags around slowly, but out on the sidewalk he kept up a good clip. He was very obedient except when we passed a perfectly green lawn. (Hello? DROUGHT? why is your lawn so perfectly green?) He managed to steal a mouthful before I was able to get him going again. :p Crossing the street and stepping up and down curbs went fine though. He didn't even freak out when a giant bus came barreling around the corner just inches away from him. Little bit of an eye roll, but that was it.
When we came back to the stables, I cleaned Sol's feet again (there are always some rocks) and iodined them. A girl tied her mare to the same post as Sol, and he started biting her and making her squeal. Grrr, maybe ask if I can move him instead of assuming they'll get along? Thankfully a "HEY BREAK IT UP" and a strong "BACK" stopped him. I put him back in his stall, heh.
Also met a nice older man who changes the water for the horses. He's from the generation where it was okay to call women "sweethear" and "honey" and "dear." I don't mind it at all when it isn't patronizing. Nice fellow. He complimented Solomon and his progress.
I did spend a little time with some of the other horses again. But yeah, despite advice to not get attached, I'm pretty hooked on Solomon. :p

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Remember when I said ALMOST bombproof?

Yeah, today was the exception to that mostly bombproof thing.
I've noticed that Solomon has gotten more of a personality since he put on weight. Usually if it weren't for the scars, it would be easy to forget that he was horribly abused when he was younger.

So today was bath day. He hates baths, hates them. Stands still for the most part, but paws the ground a lot and voices his displeasure. We managed to get through all the shampooing and conditioning without any major issues. I sponged his face. He tried to bite the sponge. I've seen horses act much worse in the cross-ties though.
So I tied him with a kind of short lead to one of the posts away from the wash area and started cleaning out his hooves for the second time. Got a really nasty rock out. But then it happened.
See, I made a mistake that day.
I ate a big mixed veggie salad before going to work on Solomon.
So I had one of those moments. One of those moments when you know you have to get to a restroom RIGHT NOW.
There was a lady watching her friend take riding lessons on the grumpy leopard appie. I asked her if she felt comfortable watching Sol for a moment while I ran to the bathroom. "Don't worry though, he's an angel," I said, thus dooming myself.
So. I went and had a seat. Moments later I heard the following, more or less:
Oh no. I knew somehow that it was Solomon. Knew it. Could not get up. Heard the BO's daughter and the BO saying "what's going on?" "I don't know!"
So I came out as quickly as I could and there Sol was, calming down with the barn owner and her daughter holding him. Water everywhere. Grooming tools everywhere.
A little while later the lady told me what happened. Apparently he got scared when I went out of sight and picked the slip knot apart with his teeth. I knew he might try that so I put in an extra loop, but that was not enough, apparently. He kicked over the bucket, he panicked, she tried to re-tie him, he "went into a frenzy," almost calmed down, then the water touched his feet and he panicked again. I'm just glad he's okay. Embarrassing, but as long as no one was hurt I'll call it a learning experience. I'm not eating before going to the barn again. :p
They said "oh it's okay, these things happen all the time!" but I think maybe they were being nice, heh, not sure.
Anyway, after that I walked him around for a little while to calm him down, then I iodined his feet again. He is picking them up for me a lot more easily now, but he is also fighting me a bit more when I have his hooves up. I'm trying to be gentle but I also know that I need to get all of that gunk out. Thrush can get serious if untreated- it can eat through a horse's frog really badly.
Eventually he will learn that he cannot scare me away from cleaning his hooves, nor can he just pull them out of my hands. I understand that he was freaked out today, and that he probably wouldn't purposefully hurt me, but I also know that he is a clever horse and that he will remember if he gets away with something, and he'll try to get away with it again.
Thankfully the iodine bit went smoothly. After he dried off a bit more, we went down to the arena so that he could have some more cooling off time, and so that the day would end on a positive note for him.
We walked with the rope a couple of times, and then we walked without it, like we often do. I let him wander around on his own for a bit after that, and of course he rolled. He still looks cleaner than he did before though!
The first time he wandered off, Prince the Pain in the As Pony came up and got some pettings. He's not at all head shy, and will let you rest your hand on his nose, which is good since he also likes to bite, and keeping a hand on his nose lets you keep track of where his mouth is. :p
Solomon decided that this would simply not do, and he ambled up and bit Prince on the butt!
Then he bit a 1-eyed horse on the nose when she came up for attention. Yeah, Solomon is a big man when there's a fence and I'm with him. When he's in the pen with those horses he's at the bottom though. :p
A little later when he wandered off and I called to him he came right over to me with his ears perked, and he stood for rubs and pettings, so I think all was forgiven. Yay!

I get funny looks...

...at the barn.
Okay so the fact is I only own one pair of pants. They are suddenly too loose, so I need to tun them through the washer and dryer on high heat a couple of times.
My laundry? WAY overdue. Way.
So today I'm wearing black leggings, a looong black skirt, and a black T-shirt that I got for free at E-3 years ago. Heh. Perfect for standing out in the sun for hours. :/
On the bright side, this outfit does not stain visibly. :p

In other news, I think I am going to lose my goth card.
I think I actually lost my goth card some time ago. :o Just cant' be bothered with the makeup and all that. Let the college kids spend all that time dolling themselves up.
But anyway, yeah. I have a tan. I did not want a tan, and I put on sunblock, but I have one anyway.
It looks weird.
On the positive side though, I find myself walking differently, when my ankles allow it. More upright. More confident. Longer strides. It's a good thing. :)
I'm going to Rayley's for a bucket, a soft sponge, a tooth brush, and some skin-so-soft oil. Spray bottle if they have it. Lucky's would be cheaper, but it's the opposite direction from the barn, so I would be spending more overall thanks to current gas prices.
I will soon need one of those big grooming supply boxes, heh. There's stuff in the mail, after all.
On the bright side, the barn owner is going to assist me with the sheath cleaning when the time comes. This is good for a number of reasons. She can tell me just how to do it. She can squirt the excalibur so I do not contaminate the bottle. Best of all, it will look less strange to the uninformed with two people working on him, one being the owner of the place, heh.