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 30, 2009

Work, babies, and hoses.

Solomon has taken to nickering when I approach a lot more often.
Mom means grass and senior feed! Yay!

Of course, mom also means work... but Solly was, by and large, in a nice, mellow mood today.

The trailer is his happy place. It's the rest and get groomed place. It is a part of The Routine. The Routine starts with grooming, has work in the middle, and ends with grass and maybe a pan of something tasty.

I'm still getting used to picking feet with shoes on them. It's a little bit trickier than barefoot, but it isn't rocket science, heh.

Today I also picked out the feet of Teddy Bear and MAGIC, who is the baby's momma. I've been slowly befriending her, and she IS a good girl. The baby also let me pick up one of her little feeties, though she yanked it away pretty quickly. Still, that's a lot of trust from a one month old!

So, Solly got rubbed with fly spray. He got brushed and petted. And then he got saddled up, which he held nice and still for. When Bo approached with the bridle, he actually BENT HIS HEAD towards him to take it, and opened his mouth right up to take the bit. What a good boy! I mean, a year ago when you approached with a bridle he'd run in circles to get away from it. Now he's actually diving right in!

He was still nice and calm.

So off we went to the roundpen to do a little warmup. He was a good boy with the roundpenning, and he only shifted a little bit when Bo went to mount, then held nice and still.

Now, he was still a bit of a Grumpers McGrumpypants while being ridden, but overall he was good. While he expressed a bit of displeasure at working, he did everything that was asked of him in the roundpen. Today we tried a martingale, to see how he would respond to it. Bo rides with a nice loose rein, and used the martingale basically to change the direction of the reins a bit and help guide Sol into proper frame. Solomon has been ridden in parades with a martingale in the past, apparently. Not by us. The hope is again to get him to work the proper muscles and use the proper posture, with the goal of not needing to use such things forever.

Solomon did have a naughty moment when the gate was opened. He wanted to follow mom and was not listening to Bo, so he rushed through the gate, ignoring the signals he was given.

This earned him more time in the roundpen.

Then we went for a little walk down the road! He was a good boy going out, and only trotting for a moment coming back in. Then he spent a bit of time with his arch-enemy, Mister Barn Wall.

Solomon hates Mister Barn Wall. Mister Barn Wall won't move out of the way, even though Solomon insists on getting all up in Mister Barn Wall's proverbial grill. He cannot go FORWARD. He chomps at the bit (the only time he did today) and tosses his head, but Mister Barn Wall will not move, and he is not allowed to go around Mister Barn Wall until Bo says so. Mister Barn Wall time is sidepass and back time. Solomon is learning to back consistently, slowly but surely. It makes him pretty mad, but he does it. His sidepass needs work, as he currently does it in kind of a diagonal position instead of lined up. Sidepassing is sort of a hard math problem for horses who are new to it... walking sideways, crossing one's legs over each other, and not turning one's head in the direction one is going.

Mister Barn Wall time was short, because it tends to upset him a bit. The upside is that he is pretty relieved once Mister Barn Wall time is over, and tends to relax into getting ridden around- hey, he gets to go FORWARD, which he wants. He hates circles. He hates backing up and sidepassing. He just wants to go go go.

Man the ranch is so gorgeous.

But there you can see that he is pretty relaxed. It's good to end a lesson on a positive note.

After work, he was untacked and he got to see me pick up his feed pan.


Translation: "I was a good boy and I worked hard PLEASE FEED ME NUMMY STUFF MOM it's that time right???"

Solomon had his sweat hosed off while he ate. He was not entirely pleased about this, but the siren call of LMF Senior trumps the evil bath.


After his pan, Solomon was allowed to roam the property again, grazing. He spent most of the time under his favorite tree near the big pasture with all the mares, but tried to be as close to Magic and the baby as she would allow him to be. Magic really does not care for Solomon, but he perseveres. He is pretty sure the baby should be HIS, and her momma too, even though momma threatens to beat him up for some reason that he cannot fathom. Bo says that male horses can often be rather paternal. Solomon certainly fits this mold- at Hossmoor, the two youngest horses could often be found sharing a pile of hay with him, or at least grazing close by. He has bonded to the LBG. But the foal is only a month, and he is just in LOVE with her. He calls to her with his special "baby horse" nicker.

Bo took Magic and the baby to the roundpen in order to start to teach the baby about lead ropes. She wears a halter most days, but lead ropes are still pretty scary. Progress was made today, but Solomon insisted on supervising. He was so intent on watching over the baby that he forgot to chew the grass in his mouth!

Isn't that just the sweetest, most watchful face? He really has this special expression just for the baby.

I think when they wean her, he wouldn't be a bad choice for a new buddy.

So near the end of the day, Bo went to refill the water trough in the big pasture. This is always rather entertaining to watch. The two really loud colored paints, Leo and Jewel, just love playing with the hose. It makes a great loud squishy noise, and it feels pretty cool to chew on too. It's fun to play tug of war with, and sometimes it sprays the other horses.

Leo's nose:

(how can anyone resist the urge to snorfle that nose, or at least play with that big pink lip?)

Leo with the hose. Isn't he so striking?

Jewel has a cute nose too. Okay, I confess... I think all horses have cute noses and lips. I like to make Solomon "talk" with his big ol' lips, which he patiently tolerates, haha.

Here Jewel just looks so sly and pleased with herself. She is the 2nd in command mare of the pasture.

And for your viewing pleasure, playtime with the hose- a three part movie.



ariemay said...

I'm all caught up on Sol...thank you for a great smile. I always get one reading of your adventures!

Evergrey said...

Awh thank you, I'm so glad you enjoy them. :D

BuckdOff said...

Evergrey, your blog is endlessly entertaining, not just Solomon, but your outlook on everything around you. This is the way everyone should live, to notice even the smallest things, and appreciate everything.