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, September 11, 2008

Deer eat horses.

Oh, the most evil beast around- the FEARSOME DEER!!!!
This is pretty much what I think Solomon sees when he sees a deer, especially if it is mostly hidden in tall grasses.

So yes, today we had an adventure.
After his lovely dinner feast, I took Solomon on a little walk. I decided that we wouldn't do anything hard today. Ho ho ho. So I thought. I thought to myself, "eh, we'll just walk along the bridle path that I want to ride him down eventually." He's never been down this trail, and he was nice and relaxed today.
I was singing my silly walking songs to him, which he was stepping in time to quite smartly,and we made it all the way down the path like that, but then we crossed the little road on the property and went BEHIND THE INDOOR ARENA, oh noes!
I'd never been back there either, and I did not know that there was a field of very very tall, very dry plants and grasses back there. And in that field, there were DEER. Solomon told me in no uncertain terms that DEER EAT HORSES, oh my gods, WE WERE GOING TO DIE!!!111one.
HE was trying to be good, he really was, but he kept freezing up and whinnying and then trying to go whether I said "ho" or not. I realized that it his fear won the battle, I would not be able to stop him from running off. Uh oh. Luckily there was a round pen nearby. He tried to trot there, tried really hard to both run for it and obey mom.
I'd put him in that round pen the day before so it was at least a little bit familiar.
So we made it to the pen and I barely managed to latch the door and get the lead rope off him before he went running around. He didn't try to run me over, and he gave me space, but this was not a happy running around. I figured he was going to do it one way or the other, and that he wouldn't be able to easily hurt himself in the pen, and would eventually calm down and figure out that nothing was coming to get him.
Plus, exercise!
So I sat on the mounting block, which I dragged to the middle, and watched him go tearing around in circles. He trotted, cantered, and galloped. Hey, actually he moved well, and I'm still learning but he didn't look a bit sore in any of his feet!
So it didn't take him terribly long to calm down. There were horses in the indoor arena, which he could see from where he was, and they were calm, which helped him calm down. Eventually he came in to the center of the pen and put his head down, resting it very gently against me, and sighing. I stroked his face and told him it was okay, and when he seemed calm, I hooked up his lead line again and we continued on our walk.
Of course, the stupid deer had to walk right in front of us, like 10 feet away at most, and teleport through the hotwire fence into Solomon's pasture. How do they DO that? Somehow they never seem to get zapped, and they are squirming through.
Solomon took this in fairly calmly, and then when we were halfway to the pasture he spooked for no reason that I could see, heh. He his my leg with his knee, but it wasn't intentional. It startled me though, and I squawked, which startled Solomon enough that he immediately stopped. He gave me this "am I in trouble, mom?" look, but didn't freak out more. I got him to the pasture, and he stood nicely for me while I took his halter off, and didn't walk off unitl I told him "okay."
I tried to check his feet for stones, but he was still too on edge to be that vulnerable. Well, I'm going to call it a win, because he did his best to obey me and not run away when his instincts were screaming at him to do so.

Also today I managed to wash his face with a sponge soaked in warm water. He was very suspicious, but mostly relaxed into it. He also stood at a small mounting block for me, and let me pet him and lean on his back. The small ones are much less scary than the big ones. Foot picking in the stall also went pretty smoothly. He got a rubdown and brushing, and he got fly spray too.

Of course, one other thing he did in the round pen was roll, so actually I am not entirely convinced that he was totally scared. A really freaked out horse isn't doing to take a dust bath. :p But hey, if he wants to get a workout in the round pen, I'm totally cool with that!

Now he looks totally filthy though. I was supposed to meet a friend from the old barn today, and she was going to take pictures, but for some reason she could not make it, so of course tomorrow if she comes, she'll see a really dirty horse and wonder if I ever clean him. :p But dirty or not, he sure looks healthy these days! He only really does it in the evening, but maybe I can get her to see him do his fart-propelled rocket jumping!
Camera is still on the fritz. Will try to fix it tonight.

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