Saturday, February 22, 2014

40 hour goal reached!

40 hour goal reached!
Opal likes to visit with my Daughter.

Day 82/83/84/85/86:

Wow, did this week go by fast!  The week was filled with lots of sun shine and riding.  In fact as of today Opal and I have hit our 40 hour mark for our 12 week riding challenge!   We now only need 15 more rides to complete it.

Given the chance, Opal will walk right off the rail and walk over to my daughter in her wagon or stroller and stop to visit with her.  I love that she loves my kid so much, but it creates a challenge sometimes when we're on the rail at a walk or trot and she tries to walk into the middle of the arena.  She's doing a little better with me on that issue because I put my leg on and open my outside rein.  Sometimes we trot the whole length of the arena at a near side pass.  One thing at a time.

Hey kid.

Opal worked in the arena with Greg and his Mustang Amigo this week as well.   Opal got to follow my at liberty while I set up a pole exercise to work the horses over.  My daughter really wanted to ride again, so I put her up on Opal once I was done working with her.  Opal walks so nicely with my Daughter on her back.  I love that they both love each other.

 In the arena.

Giving kids rides makes Opal sleepy.

Today a couple of my good friends came out to visit and play with the mares.  After a quick hack, I let them walk around the arena on them and when Ehawee was almost done, my daughter got to ride her.  Ehawee listened like a pro, walking and halting each time my daughter asked.  I love these mares.  

 Beautiful day for a ride.

Opal will now roll right next to me and allow me to pet her belly while she is on the ground.  It takes a lot of trust form both parties to do this and safety is key.  I love seeing her have a good roll, even if I cant give her a bath for a bit longer.  Is it summer yet??

 My Daughter riding her horse Ehawee.

12 week challenge 
Total hours: 40

Rides: 15

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Recovering from Colic
 I got goodies in the mail this week!  

The Necklace (left) is Opal's brand number on the front and name on the back from Get Nailed Horse Jewlery.  
Check their site out.

The painting (right) was part of a challenge for a fellow blogger who paints a watercolor of a mustang each day.  
Linda L. Martin asked for new images a few weeks back and she painted Opal for me. 
Check her site out at 

Day 80/81:

It's been several years since I've had one of my horses colic....guess I was due...I still don't care for it.  I hate seeing my animals not feeling well.  On the bright side, Opal is feeling much better.   She's had an easy week of walks, light grazing on the new green grass, and psyllium with her mash.  She was feeling more like herself each day.  

She gave me a startle Thursday when I put her back in her pasture.  She decided to lay down.  I walked out to her and she stayed down, something she had not EVER done until her colic.  She sat up so she was on her belly, let me love all over her while she was laying down, and eventually got up and went looking for her bucket of goodies she gets at the end of the day.  I think someone was just sun bathing.  However, she did stay down with me over her back rubbing her belly and loving on her.  Colic isn't the way I had hoped this would have happened, but at least she will stay down for me now.  

 Happy mustangs.

Friday Greg brought his new horse trailer to the ranch.  We spend the afternoon loading Opal and Amigo (Gerg's mustang) in and out of the trailer until they were comfortable being in both spots in the rig.

Patrice loading and unloading your horse often at home so they are ready when you're ready to hit the road.

By Saturday I could tell Opal was 100% back to normal and was feeling herself once again.  I decided I'd ride her Sunday morning.  I didn't want to over due Opal's first ride back, so I borrowed a bareback pad to ride her.  We've never done bareback prior to today.  She did wonderfully.  While I rode Opal, Sarah Takahashi rode Ehawee and we both managed to sneak in a few pictures of the other riding.  It was a perfect day for it!  

 What's this thing Mom?
 Photos by Sarah Takahashi

Sarah riding Ehawee.

I fell behind recording a few of my hours and ride this week and last.  20 more rides to go and 6 more hours.  Going to have to start doubling up on rides.
12 week challenge 
Hours logged this week: 7
Total hours: 34
Rides: 10

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

That dreaded "C" word....colic!

That dreaded "C" word....colic!

Testing manure for sand to check for sand colic.

Day 78/79:

First real nice day since it rained, and boy, were all the horses happy to get out.  After some time to stretch and graze, I worked with Opal on being around clippers.  She tolerated it alright, letting me trim a few of her whiskers, but not totally thrilled with the buzzing sound still.  

Opal started laying down in her pasture, what I thought was sun bathing.  She would get up when  I came into her pasture, eat her carrots, greet anyone who came by to say hi to her.  After getting home a few hours later, I received a call that Opal was laying down again and not acting like herself.  Sleeping bag, blankets, and jackets packed I headed out to the barn to take care of my sick pony.

After giving Opal some medicine to start helping her feel better, she laid down again.  I sat with her, right next to her head and massaged her ears.  This was the first time she let me sit right next to her while she was laying down, I'm glad she felt comfortable enough with me to let me be that close to her even while she wasn't feeling good.  A hour after giving her meds, she got right up and started moving around, then started wanting food.  After talking with my vet, I started with a bran  mash, and eventually gave her some of her hay.  She ended up with one pile of poop before I went home, which I put in a ziplock bag with water to see if there was any sand in it.  Happily, there was very little.

When I left at 1am she had been spending time sleeping and acting normal.  At 6 a.m. she was given her breakfast and was hungry.  

Opal last night (top) and this morning (bottom).

When I arrived at 10 a.m. she had 3 piles of poop, YAY!  This morning she was moving around, searching for more food.  I fed her the remaining of her breakfast and more mash between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Her mash was mixed with nearly a gallon of water and her hay was sprinkled into water, I wanted to make sure she had a good amount of water before I went home for the day.  Opal was definitely feeling like herself, looking all over for more food and treats.  I'm keeping her in the green pen one more day to monitor her intake and output so I can make sure things are moving along still.

Mom, I'm still hungry...MOM!  MORE FOOD PLEASE!  I'll eat the cookie in your hand.

I hate colic, but at least it wasn't raining last night and Opal is on the mend.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rain, rain, and more rain coming.

Rain, rain, and more rain coming.   

Wet mustangs still want their goodies.

Well, the rain has finally arrived here in California.  Its been raining all week for the most part.  While we do really need the rain, there is only so much time I can spend indoors without my horses.  Today I went out in the rain to check on them and get in some Equine therapy.  Going to be raining all weekend, so it looks like no ride time for a few more days still.

Rainy day ponies looking for treats.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Whether the Weather...

Whether the Weather... 
 Mom, it's cloudy.

Day 76/77 (Opal):

Tuesday Opal (and her pasture mates) got a turn out day.  No training, just run, play, graze, be horses....and come see me if you want a carrot.  Friday I wanted to ride, but the wind was kicking up a chill and after a month of us all finally not having a cold, I really didn't want a sick kid again, so grooming and some ground work was all I did.  Another mustang, Amigo, didn't care much for his hanging apple toy/treat, so he gave it to Opal, Ehawee, and Satin.  Ehawee and Satin sniffed it, then decided not to bother with it.  Opal wasn't sure what to do, until I slathered it with her rice bran.  Talk about a happy horse!

 Where's my carrots Mom?

 The face of happiness!

Sunday, Sunday is suppose to be my all day at the barn while my daughter is having her special "Daddy Day".  Just the two of them, they go out for coffee (for him) and chocolate milk (or cookie, or cake pop, or whatever else she can sweet talk her way into) and play at the park.  Makes my day so much more productive.  Usually I do lots of cleaning.  I had wanted to get two rides in on Opal today.  I had the time, and when I checked yesterday morning, rain wasn't in the forecast until late next week.  As I was making my lunch, my Hubby pointed to our sky light, I could hear the tell tale sounds of rain.  (I know we need the rain, badly, I just would like it to rain from 7pm to 4am is all, not when I need to get rides going) 

I could hear the voice of my Dad (who I never called Dad, father, Pop, I called him Honey, as did my sisters.  I said it as a little kid after he said it to me, it stuck) saying the same phrase he always chanted when we asked what the weather would be like the next day.  "Whether the weather is sunny or not, we're going to have weather, whether or not."  Accurate, yes, annoying, yes....still annoying....yes.  Thanks Honey.

The ranch I board at has its own weather bubble, and a lot of the time its vastly different than places as little as 5 miles away.  I hit the road to try and beat the rain if I could.  I got the arena cleared out of poles, started to clean the pasture, then Sarah arrived.  I asked if she wanted to ride Ehawee, we both glanced skyward and decided to give it a go.  

We got both horses groomed, tacked, and Ehawee was lounged as well, then the sprinkles started.  We had come this far, we were going to at least get a few laps in.  We were on about 2 minutes when the wind knocked a chair over.  Opal spooked a little, jumping to the side, but settled down.  Ehawee spooked because Opal spooked....silly horse eating chair!

After another few minutes, the rain really picked up, and hail.  Not big size stones, but you could see the ice in the small stones.  Ouch, ouch, ouch, time's up!  We jumped off both mares and rushed back to get them un-tacked, but not before Sarah snapped a few shots of Opal being ridden in the rain and hail for the first time.  Horses put away, tacked conditioned, pasture cleaned, their shelter area dry, and our mares show their thanks by standing out in the rain the whole time.  Our silly mustangs.

See, Opal's wet, it does rain in California.  

12 week challenge 
Hours logged this week: 2
Total hours: 27
Rides: 5 

These shots are a few random shots taken by Sarah and Kelly last week while the mares were all running together in the arena, enjoy!

Images above taken by Kelly Moynihan.

Ehawee and Satin synchronized cantering.

Moving along, but Ehawee threw in a buck because she was having fun.

All 3 mares nearly in sync!
WEEEEE!  She can move that big butt!

 Are we done now?

Photos above were taken by Sarah Takahashi.