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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yesterday Solomon got to meet a couple of dear old friends of mine, D___ and L___.

They got to experience Solomon in all his horsey glory. Meaning they got to see that he is a big old dorky lovebug.

We discovered that he is sort of ambivalent about raw squash.

And I remembered why I don't usually feed him treats until the end of the day!

Okay yeah, I can see in that photo that I have lost over 30 pounds this summer! Bo told me I would lose weight and I did not believe him. I guess I should occasionally listen to what he has to say, eh? ;) I have a long way to go, and I don't know how far I'll manage to get, but still, I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far.

No, Solomon is not trying to bite me there. He is SO not a biter. He's just begging.

Solomon's feet are in trouble. He has a deep crevasse in both his front feet. I know there is supposed to be some concavity in a horse's hoof, but you can stick most of the metal part of the pick down in the space between the frog and the hoof horn. These deep depressions were filled with black and white gucky crumbly badness. It smelled bad, but didn't reek to high heaven. This is how it starts, though. It isn't even raining yet and already his feet are getting all weird. I know that when the season shifts a horse will shed his summer frog and grow his winter one. But this is not the same thing. This is just... I wonder how it isn't all the way to the bone. Solomon doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort from it. So there's that. But I'll be posting these photos on some farrier forums and see what they have to think of it.

I mean you can stick the better part of an inch of pick in there.

There was a mare wandering around loose on the property. She's one of the horses who has proven themselves to be sensible enough to not run off or get themselves hurt. And it's good for their minds to be able to explore a bit and do what they want for a while without being caged or tied down. This caused my friends a brief moment of distress, just as it did for me when I first came here. Loose horse? OH NO!

But really, a loose HERD of horses would be bad news. They ramp each other up and are much more prone to wander. A single horse, or two horses who are pretty complacent, are not so much of a concern. It depends, of course, on the equine in question. But everything they want is on the ranch. The ranch is a happy place. They are the kinds of horses who will stand still or even come to you when you go to catch them. In his pasture, Solomon always walks to me and sticks his head right in the halter when I hold it up. Outside of the pasture, I might have to use my knee to lift his head off the ground a bit when he is grazing, but that's really not on the level of a horse careening around in the street.

See, it's a give and take thing. The horses here at the ranch are HAPPY. They like the people they are partnered with. They want to be with them. They have motivation. They knows that people mean good things, and yeah they might have to work, but their needs and feelings are not just going to be disregarded. They TRUST us. And respect? Respect is a matter of trust.

So in response to "hey that mare is loose!" I unbuckled Solomon's halter and let him go. Haha. He hung out and snuggled for a while, then wandered over to the paddock the Little Bay Gelding was in and ate dead grass next to him.

My friends got to have a lot of grooming and snuggling time with ol' Solly, who was more than happy to oblige. He is a very kind, amicable horse these days. I always say, he has his quirks but they are so worth it.

At the end of the day, I had L____ lead Solomon back to his pasture, which she did quite well. When he saw me coming, Solomon decided to come back out of the pasture, but a simple "get back in there" and some hand gesturing got him back where he was supposed to be. He understood exactly what I was telling him to do, heh.

For my part, I went and pulled the LBG out of a pen that contained both Leo and Remmy, two geldings who do intimidate me a little bit because they are very insistent at the gate, and very playful. I, however, had an awesome lead rope with a bit of leather at the end. It makes a lovely snap when you crack it in the air like a whip, and those boys quickly decided that they were not going to attempt any shenanigans! They took me seriously and moved their little butts away from that gate! I walked LBG through with no problems. Yay! So, not so intimidated now. Which is good. It isn't like me to be intimidated by horses anyway. :p

So my friends got to have fun playing with the horses, photos were taken, treats were fed, and all was well at the ranch. And thanks, you two, for a great day!

1 comment:

ariemay said...

Huh, I wonder if something like "HoofArmor" would work... good luck!