Sunday, December 22, 2013

All is merry and bright.

All is merry and bright. 

 Jingle all the way!

Day 65/66: 

This week both mares got lots of turned out time and lounging.  My daughter has started helping me 'carry' their buckets over to them once they are put away for the day.   Today was my day alone with them.  Time for some holiday pictures! Both mares tolerated the decorations well.


After taking the pictures, I offered to let a newer horse addict Linda walk and work with Ehawee in the horse course with Opal and myself.  We worked through each obstacle a few times before turning the girls out to kick up their heels.

 Working in the horse course.
Have a safe and happy holidays.  See you next year!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Its cold!

It's cold! 
California cold is still cold.
Can I have a carrot?

Day 63/64:

It is my least favorite season of the year.  Winter!  I was not built for cold.  Anything below 70 is cold to me.  Born and raised in Southern California until I moved to Northern California in my early 20's.  It's colder up here than where I grew up.  While I enjoy rain, I really don't care for the mess it makes at the barn.  We have pretty good drainage there, but still there's mud and muck.  I know we need the rain and snow, but I'm ready for summer.

Winter also brings more sick days.  My Daughter brings them home from school and  shares them with us, and we go back and forth and back and forth.  This year seems to be worse than previous years.  

The one good thing in my world about winter is this:  Frost kills the flies!  No more of those little jerks buzzing my face or my horses.

Opal is coming right along nicely.  Content to be turned out to kick up her heels when I'm too run down to do anything else.  We did have a first this week.  Happened twice actually.  Opal isn't a big talker.  I've only heard her whinny a few times away from home.  She greets me at the gate of her pasture with nudges and loves waiting to get out and play.  This week she called out for me when I walked through the gate!  Twice!!!  I spent a lot of time grooming her this week, keeping the knots out of her long mane.  She still loves kids and lets my daughter love on her all the time.  She's super fluffy and has stopped growing for now, and is beginning to bulk up again.  Time to get back in the tack!


Her hoof is nearly healed!  There's only about 1/8 of an inch left to get trimmed off next month.  Ehawee's feet grow so slow and keep up well that she gets a trim every 4 months versus every 2 months like most horses.  The farrier cleared her to lounge more days a week and for longer periods.  11 months of being off has it's side effects.  She's lost a lot of muscle tone and being in a pasture with other mares, she has also lost some weight.  There is more than enough food going into the pasture, she's just a slower eater.  

We had a few nights where we were in the 20's over night.  I know that's not as cold as some area's get in the winter, but Ehawee was put into a paddock for a month or two.  Several reasons went into this.  One reason was in a paddock I could give her alfalfa (our pasture is on grass only at the moment) and rice bran would get fed to her daily to help add weight.  Second reason is she could eat at her pace and eat all her food.  Third reason was I needed to blanket her.  I normally only blanket my mustang mares if its going to be near freezing and wet, but Ehawee needed help.   She has a good coat, but since losing some muscle tone and weight, she didn't have the extra bulk to to burn calories to keep her warm.  After nearly 2 weeks in there, I'm noticing substantial difference in her.  She's putting weight on nicely.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Back from Thanksgiving

Back from Thanksgiving 
My view for the week of Thanksgiving.

I spent the holiday week at my Grandparents in Oregon.  The live right on the river!  I had a very peaceful Thanksgiving and I hope you all did as well.

Day 62:

Since I was out of state for a week, my girls got turned out this week earlier this week to get their 'wiggles' out, and boy did they have them.  On top of running a few laps around the ranch, Opal stood up for herself.  She was quietly grazing on some scraps of hay when a gelding came up wanting her food.  Opal put her ears back, the gelding put his back, she stomped her foot, he stomped his, she bared her teeth, he did the same, then decided the hay wasn't worth the fight.  A few months ago she would have walked away, and she still does when it comes to the alpha mare in her herd.  

Today was trim day!  Opal's second trim since having her.  We trimmed her outside the round pen this time.  She did pretty well, except on one of her hind feet, she kicked out.  Not OK!  I quickly backed her up and moved her hind end and spent a few minutes keeping her out of my space.  She normally likes to be right next to me so having to stay away from me makes a big point to her.  Once she was standing quietly I invited back into my space, and had her go to the farrier.  She stood well the rest of the time.  Since it was her second trim job, I'm pleased.  

Ehawee's hoof is doing well.  The farrier filed it down, but she wasn't ready for a trim yet. Her feet grow pretty slow and steady so she gets trimmed about every 3-4 months, double the regular shoe/trim schedule.  She's got amazing feet. However, with as little that's left, he felt confident she could work more.  Which is a good thing.  This has been a 11 month road. 

Both mares are very fluffy entering California winter.  We've had lows of 28 the last few nights....brrrrr.  I'm not built for cold, but at least they are.

Winter fluff.