Thursday, July 31, 2014

Colic Scare

The horses have done really well with the move, but for one. It seems DaVinci took it upon himself to absorb all the stress from everyone else. The result being him not feeling well yesterday and us paying an emergency vet call. Plus a boatload of Raninidine , Ulcer Guard and Ace. He stressed himself into a colic and a racing heartbeat. Poor boy looked miserable.
So now he gets 10 tablets of Ranindine 3x a day, half a tube of Ulcer Guard and 1cc of Ace 1-2x a day to help him chill out. We are familiar with this course of action since he did the same thing after he hurt his knee requiring a hospital stay and was so stressed by time we got him home we had to call the vet. This a just how DaVinci is, but he looked normal this morning. Fingers crossed he won't do this again.
Chilling out this morning

The other horses are figuring things out. Roscoe misses his stall, but we can work on rotating so he gets some time. Winston has melded with Sonny and Comrade like he has known them forever. They share stalls, eat each others hay and graze together. The girls love being able to come in and out of their stall. They bat their pretty eyes at Larry hoping for treats.
New friends

For us the stress level has gone down. We know our horses are welcome and that Peggy is happy they are there. Now when we go to get something from the other barn, it feels like the other shoe is about to drop. Not fun at all. At least I only have to go to get food and hay occasionally. Having peace of mind means a lot. I slept better knowing DaVinci was with people who know how to care for him.
Of course with the vet bill, I really need to go through our stuff and sell things. So stay tuned for a sales list :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pony Relocation

So it has been awhile, but you did not miss much. Rain, high humidity, crappy work week, still sore finger capped off with the unexpected death of a coworker. We did hit the Dover Tent Sale and found some good stuff.
Bit for Rosemary $40

Halter for Roscoe $10

Fly Masks for $20 and $15

Fly Sheet for Rosemary $50

New Whips $20 each

The big news is that we moved the horses to Peggy's for a trial month. Since we can't get our own farm right now and since Addie died, we all decided to try having the horses all together. We do have to add some shelter since there is not enough stalls, but it is workable. The girls would share the larger stall, DaVinci and Roscoe would have a run in and Winston would spend days on grass and nights on sacrifice with Comrade. We really want to get Roscoe and Comrade together so that DaVinci can get a break.
Our main motivation for moving is to get to ride more. Peggy has the arena and less grass. Which means we won't have 7 hours of mowing. The vibe at our barn has gotten worse and we come home frustrated more often than not. So while this will be a major adjustment, I hope the benefits will prevail. We will do a month trial before giving our 30 days notice at our barn. Unless they kick us out beforehand :{
I am really excited to get the ponies in shape. Plus Roscoe is ready to be started when my hand is better. Mom will spend today and tomorrow shifting things over from our barn. Then we shall see what happens.
They all loaded like champs, even Winston who has not been on a trailer in years. The boys went in Peggy's stock trailer. DaVinci and Winston up front and Roscoe in the back. Though DaVinci untied himself and turned around to face backwards so he could reassure Roscoe and still be with Winston. Such a good boy. The girls rode in our trailer and got taken off first. They trotted around their area happily.
Girls area overlooks the arena

Door to the stall, She remembers

Follow the pony

Then the boys came off and went to their field. There was a pony pile up at the fence as they greeted Sonny and Comrade. DaVinci was ready to explore and he took Winston with him. Roscoe had to posture first, but he soon looked around too. Winston got lucky because we forgot his muzzle that trip so he was eating grass freely.
With the little time I had, I got a few pictures. I am sure more will be coming as the days go on.
Meet and Greet

Pony Pile



Pulling on Comrade's Muzzle straps

Friday, July 18, 2014

PE Blog Hop: Hauling

Pony Express's Blog Hop about what you have truck and trailer wise is great. I wish I could access my dad's pictures because I took comparison pictures between our old trailer and our new one.

So here is what we have.

Truck wise, A Dodge Ram 1500 short bed extended cab. Mom and I wish Dad had gone a step up to 2500 when he got a knew truck, but this one does a great job. It gets about 15-17mi a gallon and it really likes to haul. Mom says it always drives better after a haul. What I love about this truck is that it reverses in small increments which makes hooking up easier. This truck handled hauling over the hills in WV twice to bring Rosemary home.

Our Truck, pardon the cute baby
Trailer wise: I bought a Gore 2 horse straight load with ramp and dressing room at a Horse Expo 6 years ago. Great way to get discounts especially if you go the last day and get a demo. We had specific features we wanted when we looked at trailers.

Straight load (Sherman hated slant loads and when loose my horses prefer to travel straight)
Ramp (Barry slipped under a step up, made a lasting effect and it makes it usable for moving things)
Windows in the front and in the rain doors (air circulation)
No solid partition, must swing( leg room)
Tack room
Oversize and Tall (Sherman and later Dottie)
No Mangers
2 Escape doors

Our old trailer was a 1989 Cherokee, 2 hrs straight load with mangers, tack stored underneath and escape door in between, we got for $105 from the old Base Stables. That thing was a rust bucket and the ramp took at least two people to lift. When Sherman started bending the ramp we knew it was time. It sold at auction for $400. How's that for a profit?

We originally were looking at Hawk Trailers, but the representative would not give me the time of day when we went to their area. So we continued on and eventually found the Gore Trailers in another area. Let me tell you, those guys we proud of their product and they sold it. The trailer met all our requirements. When it came time for the financial part, I told them what I could pay a month and they came close enough it was a deal. I will say, I totally cried after signing the paperwork. At 14k with all fees, it was the most money I had ever spent.

Side view with another baby
Can see all the way to the front

Can work it so two horse tie on one side
Love this trailer. The divider can come out to make a big stall which was great for when Addie came from MA and Rosemary finished her journey. Having windows on both ends is great for air flow keeping the horses cool. They don't mind standing for long times on the trailer. Best part is that the ramp is so light :)

If I had something  negative to say it would be that the tongue with the jack is really low and we have hit it in dips or some bumps. Makes the ramp a nice grade though.
We always wipe down the inside of the trailer after hauling and we try to clean the outside at least once a year. It has a moon roof in the tack room that had to get replaced since it got dry and cracked. The company was great about helping me get the part and shipping quickly.

Now as to what I would want, I would love a head to head, but would make do with a stock trailer. Since we drive, stock trailers with ramps are great for getting the cart and horse to a location. Peggy's trailer has a front and back stall with a swinging divider which we use when we take more than two.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And The Verdict is...

It seems that I have sprained and maybe even partially torn my deep transverse metacarpal ligament. In normal words when Comrade pulled back on the reins he hyper extended the area between my pinkie and ring fingers knuckles nearest my palm.

My problem ligament

 So the doctor said it was a good news, bad news situation.

Good news: I don't need surgery. This type of injury, even a tear, does not need to be fixed.

Bad news: This injury needs time to heal.

I am almost wishing it was broke so that it would heal faster. After dealing with Barry's suspensory injury I know just how long it can take. At least I have a definitive answer now and the doctor actually manipulated my hand. I only have to keep the two fingers taped to prevent lateral movement. Now if only I could prevent bumps and bends. I am glad I ditched the splint since the wrap was more what I needed anyway. So keep your fingers crossed that when I go back in 3 weeks, things are feeling better.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Selective Pony Pimp

I am still limping along with one hand. A return visit to the doctor only got me a recommendation to go to an orthopedic. So that will be on Wednesday.
In the meantime, I can tell you about an interesting guy who contacted me about breeding Roscoe. After his birthday I posted him with a free stud fee. This was more to get him seen than to actually get breedings. Well one person contacted me about a Sec B mare. I sent them the information about who we use for collection. Then this lady said her husband bred her C mare to a Haflinger. I was a bit confused. Was the mare a B or a C? Turns out they have both. The B mare is still waiting to foal. So they were going to breed the B this year and the C next year. Problem solved right?

Nope. When I told Roscoe's breeder about it, she said don't do it or if you do don't let them register as a purebred. What!!!
Turns out that it is highly frowned upon to breed a B to a D because the foal is going to be a C or a D. This means that the lighter bone and body type a lot of B's have will infiltrate the Cob sections. I totally got it and I hated thinking Roscoe would be looked down on due to the breeding. Until he is working, he only has his bloodlines and breeding to promote him. I was torn thinking I had to let them register as a purebred. His breeder told me to stay strong for the breed. She also said she would talk to them if they called.

My decision was made after a conversation with the guy who owns the mares. He ended up calling me before talking to the breeder. He talked about wanting to breed a bigger bodied driving pony and improve performance. His B used to be a lesson pony so she has a good mind. I figured great, Roscoe has driving in his blood. Plus if he was so into the performance side he would be open to registering as a half welsh. So I told him that if he registered half welsh, I could discount his C breeding next year. He said if he wanted a half welsh he would breed to a Friesian. I said go ahead as I would not compromise on this point. Then he got a bit ugly. "Well it's not like people are beating down the door to breed your stallion." "He is not very Cobby anyway." "You making too big a deal over all this."
Mr Not Very Cobby :P Rocking his mama's pink eared fly mask. The only one he keeps on.

Seriously that is how you think to change my mind. What is even worse, is that he said the same things to the breeder when they talked. Both of us kicked ourselves for not asking why he even want to breed to Roscoe. He came up with yet another stallion to take the B to instead. I figured that was it from them.
Well last Sunday he called me again. This time about the C mare. He said that he did not think the breeder would like her because she has B in her bloodline. So I talked to the breeder and she said that though not a great situation, the B's are far enough back in her lineage to not cause an issue. I let him know it was okay, but have not heard anything more.

I may be a Pony Pimp but I am going to be selective where I can. I wish he had bred this year so that his training was reinforced, but  I won't alienate his breeder or the Cob people to achieve it. Oh, what an adventure we have started.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Making Lemonade

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"
NQR, but too cute to pass up

We have all heard the saying before. Now I am trying to put it to practice. My hand is still hurting and I will probably have to go back to the doctor. I took off the huge splint and went back to the elasticon last week. As long as I don't bump it or bend it, I'm pain free. I do have a new tan line though.

I am constantly trying to find my limits. Can't pick up hay bales, but can manage water buckets. Can't trim hooves, but I can file them. Can hold a manure fork, but long use will hurt. Typing sucks, but  can be done "hunt and peck" method. I am pretty good driving one handed. Riding can be done, but on a loose rein.

Comrade has had a couple rides now with only loose reins. I put him on the rail and he has to stay there. If he drifts, I guide him back and drop the rein again. If he spooks, I make him do lots of turns into the fence by the spooky area. After a little of that he decides spooking is not worth it. Then I upped the speed and we did trot laps both directions. He tended to look to the outside, but stayed relaxed in his neck. His little ears kept flicking back to me like "Are you going to do something?"
Surprisingly he did well staying on the rail and maintaining his pace. That means it was time to move up to canter. I started with the right lead, since he likes to lean in that way. He found a comfortable pace and stayed on the rail, only drifting a small amount. I got one attitude buck when I told him he could not stop yet. So we did another few laps before I asked for halt. I know he was not carrying his back as well with out my help because the saddle shifted a bit. After fixing that, I asked for the left lead. Well remember that "Go" ride I had with him. Yep he took off requiring me to half halt him to let him know this was a different exercise. He actually tried to slow to a trot or buck more this direction. I think he was trying to force me to hold him up. Did not work. I just sat deep and moved him on. So my lemonade will be the pony learning to rely on himself and not use me to hold him up.
Sunday he showed that he learned his lesson on Saturday. He had the same pace both directions. No bucking and no saddle shifting. He did his job until I changed it. And the quality of his gaits was great for him.
I am determined something good will come out of this injury and Comrade is definitely helping. Now I just need to stop seeing all the fun shows happening soon. I really wanted to do derby day this year, but there is no way we could be ready for it. So it goes on next years list :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

VCBH: Interested Parties

Okay, lets start with the oldest and work down on what interested us in our horses. We have been lucky in that most of our horses have found us rather than us finding them. They all bring value and lessons to our barn.


We were lucky enough to know him before we got him, though there was a five year gap in between. This was also around the time Barry had to be retired, so his skill set (schooling 3rd level) was another plus. Being a grey Arab helped in my mind too. We got him for free and his previous owners even paid the shipping from CA. We have had our hurdles to cross, but the benefits he has brought our herd make it all worth it.
DaVinci with his previous owner


She was actually a draw because she would suit a student of Mom's. Her cool draft temperament was a interesting change from our normal quick twitch horses. Plus from day one she was a sweetheart. Her price was low, $500 and her owner delivered her to the barn no charge. Dottie has been worth her weight in gold, filling the babysitter horse role for almost anyone, but perking up for more experienced riders. I will say though, as great as she is, I would not buy another draft cross. They age too quickly due to there size.
Dottie with my niece

First thing that interested me, he was a grey Arab X and second his price $450. We really were looking at him as a resale project. The day we saw him was windy and stormy, but inside the barn he did what we asked. Right away we knew he had a good brain. When we finally saw him move, we were in love. Such awesome movement. As you can see he never sold because he is too sensitive and he kind of grew on us. He is a challenge, but one that has helped us grow over the years.
These are his sale ad pictures that I actually saw:


We had lost Sherman in July and I had started riding Comrade. So I decided it was time to spend money on getting what we wanted and that was a Cob, specifically a Castleberry Cob. Mom and I drooled over the ponies Lisa had listed for sale. I knew I could not afford anything but a weanling so I asked how much they were. I had my eye on this filly

Imagine my surprise when she responds with an offer to buy Rosemary in foal for the cost of the foal. Rosemary was definitely one Mom and I liked. She was already started, just enough for us and we would get a foal too. Plus she was black and I always wanted a black horse. We loved her sale video.
After a lot of deliberation we said yes. And less than a year later we got Roscoe.
Now I just want to get her going to show off all her skills. Time goes by too quickly. Hopefully we will have a solution soon. More to come on that.

One of her training pictures when she was for sale. Picture by Castleberry Welsh Cobs