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, December 18, 2011

Wet face, happy horse!

I got to see my baby twice this month!
Sensei and I went out to the pasture, to bring up some grain, some wormer, and money for the farrier. Solomon's hoof trim was Sensei's Yule gift for me this year!

When we got there, we saw Maggie and Breaker's people riding their horses back to their trailer. Running alongside them was none other than my boy, Solomon.

See how wet his face is? According to Maggie's people, Solomon loves to tag along when they go on trail rides. I'm glad they've decided that's fine, since when they try to stop him coming along, he just bashes down the gate and follows them anyway, heh.
So they went down to the creek, which they tell me Solomon loves to play in. He gets right into the middle, in the deepest part of the water, and splashes around, pawing it to soak his belly. Then he sticks his ENTIRE head under water and shakes it around, haha!

I'm so very happy to see Solomon so full of life. Playfulness is a sign of an emotionally healthy horse. He really did seem to be quite happy, too. Ears perked, tail flagging... he looked like he was 5 years old instead of 29!

After so much time being tied to the trailer at Bo's ranch for treats and pampering, Solomon will happily stand at the trailer with no tie. He put himself in alongside Maggie, hoping to get a share in the treats... which he totally did, haha!

He's sly that way.

"I went along for the ride, right? So I get treats too?" I thanked Maggie and Breaker's mom and dad for exercising my horse for me, haha!

After the horses were untacked, their people let them go. First breaker:

Then Maggie, that wonderful, love-bug, goofy horse.

Then everybody had to have a nice roll.

And then Solomon showed me just how fast he was capable of running still, which was pretty amazingly fast. I wasn't able to get a clear picture. I think the thunderous fart he let loose when he started really gave him that extra burst of speed, haha!

Once everybody had calmed down, and got fed, I gave Solomon his spa treatment. Hey, like my new weave?

(let's just not think about why his tail is so stained, okay?)

I know I spam you all with a million and one pictures of Solomon, but I am so in love with his pretty face!

Haha, I'm a dirty girl.

Maggie is secretly wrought of flame.

Breaker, looking pretty but being standoffish. If I lived in the area, I'd bring him around!

Since Charley is on an all-mash diet now, he gets to eat mash out of a wheelbarrow, heh. Solomon went to make sure there were no crumbs left.

Of course, when he cleaned it off, he flipped the thing over with his nose. He's a gentleman like that. Here he is, looking like he's the proudest stallion in Pope Valley, haha!

Or maybe he's just proud of knocking over that wheelbarrow. But then again, he did fight off that giant black Hanoverian stallion last month. That's pretty impressive stuff for an ancient gelding!

Sensei was much loved by the horses.


After a while, Sensei's back started to bug him, so he went and laid down in the car. I brushed down Maggie and Solomon. Charley was feeling cranky about getting touched, so I left him be, and Breaker still won't let me near him, which is an issue I didn't try to push.

Solomon happily lowered his head until his ears were below the level of my chin, and dozed off, making happy sighing noises while I stroked his face and gently scratched under his chin. It's a little ritual the two of us follow every time I visit now. I am his safe harbor, and he is mine. Our lives might not intersect nearly as much as they used to, to my great loss, but he is still my boy, and it's worth it to see him so very healthy and happy. He always has love to give to me, though, and time as well.

So proud of my boy. His health is great, his feet are trimmed, he's likely wormed by now, he has probiotics and senior feed, nicely-floated teeth, and he has gained a bit more weight, so he is going into winter in excellent shape! The grass is starting to really come in, and everything is going well. There's a blanket waiting for him when it gets cold enough, and I suspect that he will have a very happy year.

I am so very, very full of love and gratitude.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tooth float 2011!

Hi folks,

It was time for Solomon to get his teeth floated again, so out came the vet and the dentist. Heh, the other boarders at the ranch decided that December was the perfect month to do this. :( Well, a happy horse is more important than obligatory gift-giving and conspicuous consumerism anyway.

Solomon had to get a lot of drugs. A shot that was .8, and then a shot that was .4, of whatever non-Ace drug they used. The vet was worried and said "okay, I'm going to take your word on this and give him a big shot, but if he lies down, don't get mad at me, okay? This is on your word." Heh, a while later she gave in and gave him the second shot.

Solomon is a stubborn fighter. He has also gained a lot of independence and status in the past year, so he's a lot less likely to want to automatically obey. I had to work leading out with him a bit too, but he gave in to that pretty easily. I don't blame him for being stubborn- that's what helped him survive the charro circuit.

Anyway, on to the photo spam!

Dr. Stewart is a really sweet man. He does a great job on the horses and is very kind to them.

Solomon, getting his incisors cut so that they will slide together properly.


THE ORAL SPECULUM! *creepy music*

Sensei in his old Air Force cold weather coat, holding a very drugged horse.

I also took this opportunity to remove Sol's beans. Thankfully the vet gave me a couple gloves to do it with- for some reason all my sheath cleaning supplies are at home! The dentist used to do it for free, but now he won't because a horse almost killed him earlier this year. The vet and the dentist were really worried. "That drug won't stop him from kicking!" I just sang some Barry Manilow and talked my boy through it, much to the entertainment of the onlookers. Found 6 beans too... poor baby! D: He swished his tail a bit but never sucked his boybits up into his body cavity (thank the GODS) and didn't offer even the threat of a kick.

"...wha? Whazzhappenin..."

Holding up his head a little bit so he doesn't faceplant. Don't worry, I was crouched and ready to move in case he seriously went down. He always does this- fights like hell against the drugs, and when the procedure is over, they SERIOUSLY hit.

I have a hoss!

Then it was Charlie Horse's turn. I'd been advising the ranch owners for a while to get his teeth floated, but the small animal vet they usually out said he didn't need it. He was feral and abandoned in a field for at least 5 years, and then taken in by them 3 years ago. They decided to have it done for him if he needed it along with the other horses, heh.

He is missing a lot of teeth and the ones he has are bad, but the vet did what he could to make what he has left actually be able to chew. He needs mash from now on though- he doesn't have enough teeth to really properly chew hay. I'm really proud of the owners for getting this done now. Now they know. It's not their fault- they weren't horse people when they got him, they just rescued him because he lived in the abandoned property across the road, and then they trusted the word of the small animal vet. They've REALLY done good things for him this year though, after a number of conversations we've had. They've put him on senior feed and probiotics, and they have him on a worming rotation. They gave him a betadine scrub, they put a fly mask on him during fly season, and he's getting good care now. Now that they know what he needs, they can also go forward with that, and I think he'll do even better.

Tooth floating still looks like some sort of hellish torture though, lol! Charlie tried really hard to have a major wreck, despite the drugs, but no one was hurt, thankfully.

2008- 2011

I just had Solly's teeth done again. There was a vet with the dentist this time. She said that Solomon is in excellent condition, amazing for his age, and that I must be doing everything right!

From November:

Here they are running to the "people-meeting place."

Getting belly skritches:

Visiting with me:

Solomon really loves to "snuggle" like this. He'll put his nose on me, let me rub his face or cradle his head, and fall sound asleep, snoring away like the happy old man he is. Man, look how cresty his neck is, hah! But this is going to be a cold winter, I can feel it... he will need the extra fat. I also got him a blanket this year, just for really cold winter nights, as he is a bit too hold to keep his weight up when it gets really cold.

He really looks like a wise old man, doesn't he? I'm not Christian, but Solomon suits him all the same. The vet said she'd never met a horse named Solomon before, but said "he looks really wise, it feels like the right name for him."

Solomon says that William could use a bit of grooming. Haha, I remember a friend saying "that horse is gonna bite you and you're gonna get really hurt, letting him get so close and personal!" Yeah not so much, heh! He is relaxed and calm and because we trust him and know he's a good boy, he trusts us! As for kids- he would never willingly hurt a baby of any species.

I miss him a lot, since I can only visit him a couple times a month, at the most. I think he misses me too. He has his eyes on me from the moment I show up to the moment I leave, even watching the car drive away. It always breaks my heart to leave him, but he's there because it's the best, happiest place for him to be. And that's what's really important.

He did take a moment to check out Sensei's butt though, lol!

Haha, Solomon in his happy place. "Yay, my nose cushions!"

He heals my heart.

My noble beast, who fought off a giant black warmblood stallion a few days before these photos were shot. So far, Maggie appears to not be pregnant. Go Sol!

Even if he does have the occasional spats with his lady.

He knows what's up.

LOL, he's saying something to Charlie Horse the pony.

*nuzzle love*

Spot the hoss!

A storm begins to rise

A hawk, watching for prey

A rainbow over Pope Valley