Sunday, June 17, 2018

Foal Pool Winner 2018

How about this, instead of closing the foal pool to begin the wait, I get to announce the winner.

Little man has been fun to watch on camera. I can't wait to see him unfold and fill out.
Using Mom as a scratching post

Tawe before with big belly

Tawe after, amazing huh
So here is how the scoring worked:
The pool started with 20 points
The number of days away from the actual birth date were subtracted from the 20
Correct Gender was +1 point
Incorrect Gender was -1 point
Correct Chrome/Color Bonus +1 each
No points were lost for incorrect chrome/color guesses
Stockings/Socks were counted as the same

And here are the results:

In a year with so many mares going longer, Tawe bucked the trend and definitely threw off the pool. Congrats to Betsy! Please email me at 3 photos we can choose from for your cross stitch and your info I can forward to Two Horse Tack.

And that is it for 2018. Hopefully we will have a bigger Pool next year!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Impatient Foal, It's a Boy!

Well before the pool could close, the foal is here. Tawe looked like she would go earlier than 340 days so the breeder gave me the camera information to prep for foal watch. Wednesday before bed I checked her and she was munching hay.

Yesterday when I checked her she was circling her stall. I wish I had kept watching because 2hrs later she had a boy. And of course my phone was still on vibrate from when I was training at work, so I missed the birth announcement. Little man is just like his dad, impatient to come out.

As soon as I saw the message, I looked at the camera and saw him up and moving. He is a big boy with good bone and angles. Plus he has chrome, blaze, 2 front socks and 2 hind stockings. At first his color was thought to be buckskin, but we think he will end up smokey black like his sister.

He is super friendly. It will be fun to watch him develop. I will post the foal pool results soon. The early arrival definitely hit the scores hard.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Foal Pool Entry Extension

Okay, technically the pool closed on the 5th, but I am extending it because Two Horse Tack may be providing a prize this year too.  I will let you all know the details when I know. So entries are accepted until the 17th.

In other news, we have a positive pregnancy for one of the mares bred last month. Unfortunately the older mare did not take. She will try again this week and hopefully the third mare will be ready too.

And now I can say that Roscoe did not do what Lauren wanted during the lesson because I made Comrade do the exercise and it felt really different. Comrade volunteered to give me my birthday ride and it was great. He has no problem moving his hind end and the exercise began to loosen his pole where he holds  his tension. I seriously have to remember to let go of the inside rein and we will improve. He ended the ride with a long, floppy neck. For Comrade that is always an achievement.

The Castleberry Boys

Roscoe and Rosemary have the make up show in a couple weeks and then I plan on handing the reins to Lauren for the July show. Now I just need to get the mystery problem figured out in my CRV so I know how much I have to pay to the mechanic and what I have left to pay for training rides. Between rain and car bills it is putting a kink in my horse riding plans.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

15m Front, 20m Back

We have had a slew of rain and thunderstorms, which made getting a lesson at home precarious. So I asked Lauren whether we should reschedule or trailer in. She was up for either and we opted to trailer in. With their indoor the lesson could happen.
Uh, do you realize it is raining out there?

And thundering and lightning
As we drove closer and closer, the clouds got darker. I asked for it to wait until we had them tacked and in the indoor. Ha, joke was on me. It poured, thundered and lightning lit the sky as I tacked up Roscoe. My saddle was soaked by time we made it to the barn. I really need a rain cover. Roscoe was hyper reactive... for a Cob and spooked at a bunch of stuff. He gets that way when his hormones are high. I took him over to start walking the indoor. Peggy went to rescue Rosemary out of the trailer and tuck her in a stall Lauren let us use.
Camera hog :)

I planned to have Lauren tune up Roscoe, but I ended up riding him the whole time. She asked what we were working on as Roscoe and I spooked around the arena. I told her our focus was getting him off my inside leg. She laughed as Roscoe was scared of the stallion in the mirror. Lauren said I needed my "cozy" leg rather than my normal "off" leg considering his mood. Once we were warmed up, she put us on a 15m circle in the middle of the arena.

Mother and Son
Then the fun began. She told me to ride him straight on the 15m and then once the circle was established, I had push his hind end out to the 20m circle. That was hard. At times I had to tap him with the whip and/ or turn my heel. The hardest was to ride "ugly" and do things that are only for schooling. Lauren told me to over bend him to the inside, then release. I knew when Roscoe and I were getting it when he slowed and swished his tail. I don't know if we managed what Lauren wanted, but the change was amazing. Roscoe was better in the poll and stepping under with the inside hind. Lauren said he was straighter in his nose. He was energized by working away from home, but the humidity took its toll. We only touched on canter since he was running out of steam. When I asked him to step under at canter, he realized how hard he had been working. Still Lauren was able to see the winter work we did and the improvement in his transitions. So now she wants him to pick up canter out of different  trots. This way he will learn to transition from slow or quick. Now if the rain would stop, we could actually do our homework.

Mother's Day/ Rosemary's B-day gift
Mom and Rosemary worked on activating her hind end. I missed the start because Roscoe decided the wash rack was too scary. When I made it back, Lauren had them slow the trot, but stay active, on corners and then immediately push forward on the straights. Lauren was greedy and wanted more from Rosemary. Mom has asked her to slow before, but this was more than she ever asked. Rosemary looked great. The work allowed her to have easier canter transitions. Mom improved too as her confidence with Rosemary's canter grew. I wish I took  video, dang rain messed me up. So no lesson media. Rosemary turned 11 years old and she just keeps getting better.

Get your guesses in for the Foal Pool, entries close on the 5th. Eventually this monsoon will end and we can look forward to baby pictures.

2016 Cross Stitch

Friday, May 25, 2018

Picky Procreator

Sunday Ember turned 2 years old, can you believe it? It was hot and humid so we decided to give him a bath. I don't think he appreciated the spa day. Then we tried to get some pictures of him. Black horses are hard to photograph and gangly little boys are even harder. Ember looks so much better in motion.

"I would really rather be eating grass"

And then Monday Roscoe had to go for a collection. Peggy chipped him out of the mud before we headed out. Luckily today was a one for two collection. Two mares ended up at the same repro vet and are ready at the same time. Small world is it not? Tawe's owner is breeding one of her other Cobs. She messaged me to say "Hey there is another mare waiting for Roscoe"... "A Paint." I had forgotten that the mare is a paint and looked at her picture again. She has less white than Roscoe. Tawe's owner said she is cute.

Breeding hair

Anyway Roscoe went to work. The vet did not put a tease mare in the shed. Last year that proved to be too much stimulation. This time the main vet actually handled him and another vet managed the AV. I was really impressed with his timing. He let Roscoe act like a stallion, but kept his actions within safe range. Roscoe actually mounted straight on the first approach. But the vet handling the AV was a bit too slow and did not meet Roscoe's exacting preference. So he deflated. After that he said it was too hot to get excited over an empty breeding shed.
The work he prefers
Time for a tease mare. Roscoe went outside with the main vet and got excited when he saw the mare going in. Again his approach was pretty straight, but the other vet did not get the AV on right. One more failure and the main vet decided to switch. This time the main vet got him in the AV as soon as he mounted and provided enough push to satisfy Roscoe's exacting standards. And just like that, Roscoe's portion was complete. Our picky procreator could now take a break.

Normally Roscoe goes on the trailer right after, but we found that Peggy had accidentally locked us out of the truck. Fortunately I had put my window down a few inches. An ERC worker was able to get a fly swatter in and use the little hole to pull up the lock. We were able to sponge off Roscoe and get him loaded while they processed the collection. Once they verified there was enough for two breedings, we headed home. Fingers crossed everyone. In a couple of weeks the mares will get checked. And he has another mare in the works too. She sadly was not ready and has to go another couple weeks.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Grey Horse Curse

This winter I noticed some changes in DaVinci. He is a grey who unfortunately has the curse of melanomas. He has them in his mouth, sheath, tail and anus. Those are the same spots that Barry had them in too. Another grey I knew had one massive one by his ear. I love grey horses, but the melanomas are a sad part of owning them. Winston was the only one to not have them, but he did get seasonal carcinomas.
DaVinci wearing fence paint

So my heart dropped a bit when I saw melanomas developing on his eye lids. His right eye has a pea sized one that causes a gap between his eye and lid. Already he has rubbed it the wrong way and had blood come streaming out and he has gotten dirt down inside to irritate his eye. We keep a fly mask on him 24/7 to help keep irritants away.

Not long ago he managed to roll in the mud and get dirt in the gap. Then he rubbed the hell out of his eye causing an abscess. I flushed it with saline and put some antibiotic ointment in the night he did it. The next day the vet came to confirm. He had a fair size abscess on his eye. We all worried the melanoma caused it, but hoped it was just the dirt. The vet made a serum from his own blood right at the barn. 3x a day he needed antibiotic ointment and the serum.

We had to make sure his eye stayed dilated. She wanted him on stall rest during the sunny times, but that only lasted a day. DaVinci is not one to be kept in a stall. After he did not drink or eat much the first full day in, we double fly masked him and let him out. Better he had a sore eye than colic.
Looking good now!

The problem gap

The vet rechecked him a week later and was happy with his recovery. We can breathe easy for now. Later he may still lose the eye. That will be a scary time. DaVinci did not handle going to the hospital well the last time. Finger's crossed everyone that it will be awhile before he needs that surgery.

Keep posting your foal guesses! So far this year Ember has a new nephew and a new half brother, who is bay. I asked Ember why is he not bay! Ah well maybe someday we will get a bay.

A grey boy cross stitch to go with my post

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Baby Steps With The Big Boy

In some ways Ember is behind where Roscoe was at the same age. Some is due to not having him from birth and some is due to him not getting as much time and attention. We have canceled two attempts to sit on him due to him being too reactive. No problem though, we don't have a set timeline. Six weeks ago, he was in the right frame of mind and I was able to sit on him. I even got on him again when I did not like the picture Mom took the first time. The only thing Ember cared about was getting treats.

Since that time he has worked on the line and had that ponying session. Yesterday, Mom was off and I wanted to try getting on him again. This time we planned ahead for maybe walking around. So we put the western saddle on and worked him on the ground first. Mom and I were really impressed that his bending had improved. He normally likes to travel with his hind end travelling inside. The day was warm and he was pretty settled. We moved onto the mounting block. I wiggled the saddle, bumped him and put weight on him. No problem. He got itchy feet and had to walk around, but the next time I was able to mount.

If you have ever sat on a baby, you know that it is like balancing on a narrow beam. Each movement feels bigger than you expect. Ember was focused on getting sugar from Mom. At one point she corrected his mouthiness, and he just lifted his head. So I picked up the reins to give his mouth something else to focus on. We asked him to walk a couple steps and then halt. At first he was following Mom who had the lead line. Then I could see him begin to recognize someone was on his back and that he maybe should listen to that person. Soon I was able to ask him to walk on, even adding a bit of leg. I used the reins to keep him from walking on top of Mom. His ears were flicking, but he was invested.
After our ride

In total he did about two 20m circles. He was amazing! Taking these baby steps will make starting him next year easier. We may do this a couple more times and then let him be to grow. I am a lucky person to have not one, but two Cobs that are solid citizens in the starting process.