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, April 16, 2009

What a wonderful day. :)

Today when I woke up, I was in a good mood, and that mood proved true!

Solomon was in with the Little Bay Gelding, who was being a pain, so he was more than happy to come on out.

First, I gave him some loves:

Eye squeezies! *melts*

Then I cleaned his feet. His frog is shedding a lot at the moment, adjusting to the new dry weather and sandy soil.

(Amazing, the camera actually didn't make his foot blurry!)

I thought it was thrush maybe, but Bo tells me it's just shedding.

I should pick up some fiber to feed him, and some pro-biotics. The pro-biotics are especially important with all the diet changes he's gone through recently. They are good ones- the feed is even better quality here, and he's getting lots of fresh green grass. But it's an adjustment, and we want to be sure the little ecosystem in his digestive tract is good to go.

Next, we decided to try a little experiment. He has been acting a little bit ouchy, especially on gravel, so today we put easyboots on his fronts. Let me tell you, they helped a LOT. He was much more willing. Still out of shape and out of condition, but it was clear that it felt good to have them, so at the end of the month we are putting shoes on his fronts! With all the sand up here, just putting the easyboots on wouldn't be a great solution- ever get sand and little pointy rocks in your shoes? Plus they're not a great thing to leave on out at pasture, and I want him to be comfy all the time.

As for the roundpenning itself, he improves vastly every day. This video is again not the BEST display of it- it was just at the beginning.

Solomon was alert, attentive, and calm.

Here he is, whoaed and NOT coming in!

"Okay, what next?"

After Bo worked him a short while, I went in and roundpenned him- successfully! I got him to walk, trot, AND canter, both directions! I got him to whoa without coming in! I confess that he did not really get a workout today, because I was so happy with him being so good that I soon ran over to him and gave him lots 'o' loves. I know, I'm a big softie. But hey, he was good, and he got pettings and rubs and skritches for it. It's so important to build him up. He's been broken down too much in his life.

After his "workout" (all uh, 5 minutes of it?) I let him loose to graze.

Oh no, runaway horse!
Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly a "Hildago moment." Hah!

Then he got his senior feed. The soil in the area has a bit of a selenium deficiency. Otherwise the grasses coming in are excellent for a horse. Unfortunately they will soon be dead- probably in a week, maybe a little more. No more lying down in the soft green grass and flowers. California will soon be brown and full of pointy poky things. That's the price we pay for a gorgeous early spring.

Anyway, LMF Senior has selenium, and a bunch of other things that are good for a horse. It's also a nice treat after working. And Solomon now has his very own feed pan.

Om nom nom!

Nom nom!


Solomon got to graze again after he was done with his feed. He also got to meet and greet the mare herd from over the fence. This went well, though when he moved one pasture down he learned that Teddy Bear HATES geldings!

We might try putting a mare in with him to see if he is happier. If we can find him a lady friend like Venus, that would be great. I think he does miss her, and the LBG is just not a replacement for his girl.

When I put him back in his pasture, LBG was all nippy, as usual. I backed LBG up the same way I'd seen Remmy back him, by standing in front of him and then just walking backwards with purpose. It worked! LBG wanted to nip me, but I did not give him the opportunity. Hah! He'll probably get me again at some point, but not today.

Solomon got fed up with getting his butt chewed (literally) by LBG. He squealed and kicked out (but wasn't really trying to actually kick him) and came to me. I swear he had a "mom, heeeelp" look on is face. He snuggled up to me, sighed, and when LGB didn't approach and start biting him again, he started snoring. I gave him a lot of mane skritches, as much like the way horses groom each other as I could. He just loved it.

LBG was sticking his hoof through the fence, and Vinny was reaching down and chewing on it. Bo switched LBG with Remmy, who is a lot more alpha than Solomon, but also a lot less annoying than LBG, who is constantly testing boundaries with other horses, trying to get them to play. LBG nipped at Vinnie until Vinnie couldn't stand it any more. Vinnie spun and screamed, kicking out with both back feet- the ultimate threat. LBG backed off then!

Now, Poco Joe (if I am spelling that right) is only two years old, but he actually has the LBG cowed a lot more than 6 year old Vinnie, even though both are higher in the hierarchy than LBG. Poco Joe doesn't give him an inch. If you let a horse get away with little bad things, he'll see what other bad things he can get away with. Now, little things that aren't "bad" in the horse's world, those are okay, but things that they know are bad? Give them an inch and they will take a mile. It's how their minds work. They must feel secure in their role, whatever that role may be. Now, if we were all horses, it wouldn't matter so much, but since we are fragile little humans, we must always be the leader. Always. Watching the herds can teach you so much about horses... how they interact, how they think, what they mean when they adopt a certain posture or make a certain noise... and how to interact with them in a positive, effective fashion.

If you've never done it before, I highly recommend just spending a day watching a herd of horses. You'll learn a lot!

When I got home today, I found that the memory cared I bought a while ago arrived- I'm going from 32 megs of space in my camera to 4 gigabytes! It's unfortunate that videos are limited to three minutes long... but I can now take a lot of 'em!


ariemay said...

What a great day. He looks super!

Gia has been ouchie too... I need to either shoe her fronts or get the boots.

I sure hope I can come out and spend time with you and DD some time!

Anonymous said...

I think he was lame on the RF in the circle. And even from the picture of the bottom of his hoof, I can tell he needs a trim.

Evergrey said...

Yar, his movement smoothed out, but we have a farrier coming sometime in the next couple of days. Hopefully that iwll help.