Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cute little video

Here's pony tonight at dinnertime. I had just moved her into this little mini-pasture area and there were some deer behind the tree that caught her attention. She was very curious about them and would stop and look and then run around a bit and then have a nibble and run around a little more.

Colin came out with me today at lunch time and gave her a little grooming while I was working in the barn. She seems to like the attention and is curious about everything. Since I noticed her watching the other horses for their reactions to things, I thought I'd stand the horses in front of her (on the other side of the fence) and fly spray them in the mornings so she can see - can't hurt!

She seems to have her full appetite back - the first couple days she'd kind of pick at her hay and I think she lost some weight since we picked her up. Now she gobbles it right up and enjoys her twice-a-day buckets as well. The drama seems to be lessened, too - there's less calling from the boys and little pretty princess - and she seems to be settling into the routine of feeding times and moving the horses around the pastures.

I think this weekend I'll put Paddy in the pasture next to her so they can meet over the fence. He's the easiest to get along with and is the least likely to cause trouble so fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday's musings

Today Dee Dee - Dahlia - Dolly was very polite when I went to put her fly mask on. She lowered her head and offered it to me! Well, that was certainly No Big Deal. So I thought I'd see how fly spraying would go. Um, no. Fly spray is the debbil. I actually think that the smell of the fly spray is partly to blame - it IS poison, after all! I had the same issue with Mac when I first got him, the reaction of "get that stuff away from me!!!" so I wiped it on him for a while. Now he will just stand untied while I spray him all over so I'm sure pony and I will work it out eventually.

Since she ate up all her hay during the day yesterday I didn't give her a bucket a night time, just hay. And she didn't really eat her hay overnight. :-( So she got a morning bucket and by the time lunch came around she had eaten all the hay and the bucket and ate all her hay throughout the day today. I decided that it is probably the stall arrangement that kept her from eating the hay, because I had put it outside but I think she hung out inside where she could see the other horses. So tonight she'll get a bucket AND the hay inside!

Yesterday when I was doing chores, it was interesting to watch her reaction to the tractor. I drove the tractor down the driveway and she gave it a big look. But then I saw her look at the other horses and they don't care, so she decided she would follow me along the fenceline while I drove it. She seems to be very curious about things.

She likes to play with her feed tub after she eats - in a 6-hour period I've seen it move from one end of her paddock to the other. I think perhaps she'd enjoy a Jolly Ball!

When I moved the horses around for dinner she was agitated after the Fly Spray Attacking incident, so was running around in her paddock a bit (the other paddock, in the Indian Burial Gr-I mean the Bachelor Pad) and got sweaty. Colin was in her regular paddock making some fencing adjustments, and I took the opportunity to work with her and give her a wet-towel bath. She seems instantly calmed by the presence of me on the other end of the lead rope, which is very interesting. She is also very soft on the end of the lead. I got the towel wet from the spigot and at first she thought it was also the debbil. But then she realized it felt good and stood quietly for her little sponge bath. I wiped her down all over - face, neck, back, legs, butt, belly, udder. She stood perfectly politely for it. Then I picked up all four feet and that went well, too. We did a little leading with me walking on the off side, which is a little confusing because she tries to reposition to me on the near side, but we got it sorted out. We also went up and down the driveway a bit and she was right with me.

I'm really liking this filly! She does like her people, she seems to calm down and be relieved when she's got someone to guide and reassure her, and she's polite to work around. She's very curious about things and playful, too. Oh, one last cute thing. She was very curious about the Bachelor Pad and so would trot in there, have a brief look around, then canter out. Then trot back in, go a little farther, then turn around and run out. I'll at least try to get some pictures tomorrow!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fly mask ON!

What a sweet girl, and what a good job her breeder did in giving her a nice start with good manners (not that I expected otherwise). I stopped at the feed store on my way home from work to get a new fly mask for pony. Before I put it on her, I wanted to have a little leading lesson to see how good she would be. Well. I called her and she came right up to me. Great! Then I slipped the halter on and she stood quietly. Then I led her a couple steps and halted. She stopped with no pressure on the lead rope. Then I went a couple more steps and stopped again. Good. So then I backed up and released when she softened in her neck. Good again. Repeated that process just a couple more times and then introduced her to the new fly mask. Messed around with the velcro a few times to make, well, the velcro noise, and she was curious but not worried or scared. So I put it on, closed it up, took the halter off, and that was that!

I moved her across the driveway for dinner so I could clean her stall and paddock, let Mac and Paddy out of their paddocks (which I put them in so I could move her), and brought her some hay and pellets. She's a little nervous over there (we call that area the Bachelor Pad, but the horses call it the Indian Burial Ground because nobody wants to go in the run-in shed that's in there) so calls out every now and then. Mac will go over to the fenceline (which is across the driveway) and stand there as if to give her comfort, which I think is very sweet of him (even if I am anthropomorphizing). She's drinking and trotting around and eating hay, then trotting around and nibbling, then whinnying and looking at the shed, then walking toward the shed, then away, etc. I think she's trying to get up the nerve to check it out.

Oh, and she cleaned up her hay in her paddock! As of this morning she hadn't really eaten it, but by this afternoon it was all gone. Yay pony!

She's home!

Oh my goodness gracious, what a weekend we had! I had originally planned to have a shipper pick pony up and bring her to me, but after finding out that she'd be coming with two other horses from Texas, I decided to go get her myself. I looked on Google maps and it said it would be about 13 hours one way . . . doable in a weekend. But it turned out to be more like 16 hours each way. I don't know how professional truck drivers do it!

We left home Saturday morning at 6:30 and got there at 10:30 at night. The drive was mostly uneventful save for some traffic in the LA area and heat in the desert. Oh, and lightning storms once we got to Arizona! Colin and I took turns driving in 4-hour shifts. Thank goodness for him deciding to come with me because that is a looooonnnnngggggg drive to try to do by oneself in two days. We got in at 10:30 at night, but since we were amped from driving and trying to stay awake we couldn't of course automatically flip a switch and go to bed. So we maybe fell asleep around 11:30. And then we woke up at 2:30. Ugh! I wanted to be on the road by 4 a.m. because, well, we were in Phoenix where it is hot and they were supposed to have 110-ish temperatures, so I wanted to get the heck out of there before the heat settled.

Our morning went as planned and we met the seller at her place at 3:15 a.m. This was the first time I actually saw pony in person, and she is LOVELY! Nice, nice mare! Dee Dee (nickname potentially to be changed because I know a Dee Dee, and, well, you know how that goes) loaded up well. She was appropriately cautious about getting on a new trailer, in the dark, by herself, and away from her friends who were whinnying for her. She took the bribery of carrots and a little tap on the bum to reward any forward movement and got on without incident. Yay!

As we drove out and away from the neighborhood she pawed for a couple of minutes, then settled down and didn't make a peep for the rest of the ride.

Here's a picture from one of our breaks.

I was really anxious to get on the road and get out of Dodge - I mean, Phoenix. On Friday's NPR news, I heard that there was a sand storm in Phoenix. A 1/2 mile high sand storm that shut down the airport and closed roads. Great. I was worried the whole way driving down there about what we'd encounter. What we got instead was rain, thunder, and lightning! It is monsoon season, I guess! It seemed to keep the temperature a bit cooler, which was nice, but it was another reason I really wanted to get back to California! There were two road closures/detours on the highways (and the detours weren't well marked, but I figured if we followed the FedEx truck we'd be okay, and we were), and it rained our whole drive out. When we got to California and went through the desert, we had the opposite. No rain, but a dust storm! At first we thought smoke . . . but it didn't smell like smoke or have that burning sort of feeling. Fog? No, I didn't think so by the way it looked, and there was no foggy sort of chill in the air. Smog? Maybe, could be, but the visibility was so bad and it was windy that I thought it unlikely, so sand/dust is my best guess. I think it may have bothered Dee Dee's eyes a bit, because we noticed they were runny on our stop to offer her water.

The first stop she nickered at me. She gingerly took a cookie and splashed her nose in the water.

The second stop she splashed some more. I offered her an apple core but she wasn't really interested.

The third stop a stranger came up to me and was interested to see her (a fellow horse person) and Dee Dee was very friendly and said hello.

So, let's see. Thunderstorm. Yup. Dust storm. Yup. LA traffic - we got lucky there and didn't really have any. The Grapevine. Pretty good but mentally exhausting (for those of you who don't know California, The Grapevine is a big, long, steep pass that you have to cross over on I-5 to get from the Central Valley to the LA area. They have signs that tell you to turn off your AC so your car doesn't overheat. Sometimes they close it in the winter. Trucks barely crawl along in low gear. You pray your breaks don't burn down.). After The Grapevine we stopped for lunch (to eat on the go, not leave her unattended!).

After The Grapevine, when I came out from getting lunch at Subway I found Colin standing in the people door in front of her head, gingerly sponging off her face. I think he has a crush on her - it is hard not to, she's so cute. :-)

She wasn't drinking a lot yet, and had been holding her pee so I was a little worried. We bought some apple juice and put it in her bucket with the water and she took some big gulps and finally had a wee and a poop. I'm sure she felt much better.

The rest of our ride and subsequent stops were uneventful (well, all stops were uneventful - she was perfect on the trailer!!). We got home around 8:30. What a long day!

Dee Dee unloaded politely and nickered at the boys. We put her in a paddock separate from them (across the driveway) and Colin kept an eye on her while I got the barn ready. He dutifully reported in that she peed, pooped, and drank water - a good horseman who knows what to look out for! I put hay out for her, a bucket of fresh water with a little apple juice in it, and made her a hay pellet mash with some electrolytes. Put the boys in their stall/paddocks and brought her up to the barn. She went right for her mash and it looked like all would be well so I tucked her in for the night and went to the house.

Today she cheerfully greeted me for breakfast.

I put the boys across the driveway in the pasture and opened her gate to let her out of her paddock so she could explore the rest of the dry lot area.

Got home from work and look who was greeting me when I drove up.

I feel bad that she's on her own right now - I know she's keen to meet the boys, but I need to keep her quarantined to make sure she doesn't have a cold or anything. There's lots of chatting across the driveway, and lots of googly-eyes back and forth - for now that'll have to do.

Later today I'm going to work with her on fly spray and getting a fly mask on because, well, flies suck!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My new pony!

Meet my new pony, Annwylid D'Lite. Dee Dee (nickname to be changed if another one comes after I meet her in person) is a 2012 registered 1/2 Welsh Cob filly by Pro A Resolute (Welsh Cob) out of Carriad Cosmopolitan (1/2 Cob x 1/2 Morgan - Dee Dee is actually 3/4 Cob).

Wait, back up. You may have paused for a moment when I wrote "meet her in person." That is correct. I have not met her in person yet. I have been a fan of her sire for a few years and when I was looking for a young horse to bring along, I found that her breeder (owner of the sire and dam) was selling her two fillies, and Dee Dee caught my eye right away. After looking at lots of pictures and videos and having a long chat with the breeder, I decided to be bold and take a risk and buy her without actually meeting her!

She had a PPE (pre-purchase examination by a vet) on Friday, and when the vet called to tell me the results, she started in a serious voice with "I have to tell you . . . " which right away made me think she found something wrong. But she finished the sentence with ". . . that both my vet tech and I love and want to take her for ourselves!" Hey! No fair teasing me!

I promptly wired the money over, contacted a shipper, and now I wait. Patiently? Well, wait anyway. Hopefully she'll be here next weekend.

She knows how to longe, she's had a bridle and saddle on, she's been in the trailer, had her feet done, and has been handled a lot. What a great start! Now I get to continue the fun stuff of bringing her along the way I want. I have lots of wonderful trainers at my disposal when I need help, and one of them even said that I would LOVE the breed (my first Cob, she's worked with a lot of them) as they have great temperaments and are athletic little horses.

Here are some cute pictures of her that I got from the breeder.