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.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Solly and friends

Today was spoil Solomon day. Warm grain mash, carrots, and a miniature watermelon. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and feed him in the wash rack. He hates the wash rack, so I decided to give him a positive experience in it today. Also, it was a lot easier to clean up in there after he ripped the watermelon to shreds. He just loves picking it up, tossing it in the air, rolling it around, and slorping it up. Of course between bites he had to check on mom, which involved sniffing my chest and drooling bits of watermelon all over me.

When I brought him in, I just draped the lead rope over his neck and held it. I had a scoop of grain mash- he was going to go wherever I went, haha! If I trusted him a little more AND had my own land that he lived on, I wouldn't have used a rope at all, but since there are other people there and I only board, I wasn't going to risk him running off to raid a grain room. Of course, if he REALLY REALLY wanted to do that, he's strong enough to get away from me, heh.

I was feeling pretty good today, despite a slightly hurty leg and the usual aches and pains, and decided that we'd trot up the walk to the pasture. It's nice soft mulch all the way up. With the verbal command "trot" and me running, Solly joined me and trotted beautifully, perfectly in time to my own footsteps. That was a great feeling. An awesome feeling. Until I had an asthma attack, haha! But it was wonderful while it lasted. :)

Then Solly got to go back out to pasture. Here you can see Nick Knack being nosy and Solly eating until he notices Venus and just HAS to go to her. Awwwh!

The other day I was grooming my boy and I touched a tender spot that had a tick. He squealed and cow-kicked. Oh wow so not okay. He didn't kick AT me but he is SO not allowed to do that. I've started grooming him in his paddock instead of the cross-ties again. Then if I have to smack him for misbehaving I don't have to worry about him flipping himself over or what have you. And if he kicks, he's getting a firm smack to his chunky Appendix butt!

Oh I wish I had gotten a photo of the utterly SHOCKED look on his face! "Wait, WHAT? You aren't a DOORMAT?" Soon as he kicked out I smacked him and shouted "NO KICKING" and he danced sideways a few feet. Then I kept brushing him, gently, and he did it again, and got another smack and another "no kicking." He got the picture, he hasn't kicked out since, and has been very docile. When I first started working with him I worried that stuff like this would ruin our horse and owner relationship, but it doesn't. I'm not overly harsh, I do nothing that injures him or is anywhere NEAR as mean as the horses out in pasture, I respond immediately after he does something bad, and then I let it go. If anything, it seems to have improved things, because he knows just where he stands.

On that day when I took him out to pasture, he glued himself to me and we walked around a bit. Then I took him to Venus and when I said "hey look, it's VENUS" he went over to her with the happiest, most enthusiastic nicker. Not because I said that of course, because he saw her and was greeting her, but it was so cute. Then they touched muzzles for a bit, he nibbled on her, and they grazed together, noses just inches apart. He really does love that filly.

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