Thursday, April 30, 2009

A few more details...

I just wanted to thank everyone that commented on yesterday's post.  Hopefully all the positive thinking will give me a dingy, in heat mare again in a few weeks.  

I know some of you are probably thinking, "geez, I think I would move if that happened to me" and don't think I haven't already thought about it.  A couple things stopping for now though are that, other than this incident, nothing like this has ever happened.  This barn takes great care of my horse.  She is in great weight, she is turned out with a group of horses that gets along and she has never had more than a few bite marks before.  I have also signed a year long contract that isn't up until next September or October.  Although I'm sure there would be a way to get out of it if she turned up bred!  I like the barn manager, I like the facilities and other than wishing it was a little closer to my house I haven't had anything to complain about.  One more little factoid: the stallions weren't there when I first brought Rosie up here.  They didn't show up until January or February of this year and Rosie has been there since late September.  I hoping this girl with these two studs will just move on to the next place.  I have met her once and she seems kind of like that type.  I meant to put all this stuff in yesterday's post but it was getting long winded and I was tired of typing.

One final note for the day, yesterday was Rosie's birthday!  She is now officially two.  Hope she isn't knocked up!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She needs a padded stall

It's a good thing that I got to work with Rosie last Wednesday because things went downhill after that.  I didn't make it over to the barn on Saturday as it was pretty gloomy out and I was coming down with a cold along with my daughter.  Saturday evening I got an e-mail from the barn manager saying he had tried to call me during the day but apparently didn't have my updated information from after our move.  Someone (don't know who) left a gate open on the pasture and Rosie had gotten out.  She got some cuts on her legs but he and the other man who works at the barn had scrubbed her legs with Betadine and put a spray on bandage on and that she would be fine, no need for an emergency vet call.  Okay, I understand stuff happens but who in the heck is going around leaving gates open?  Does this just not defy common sense?!

Needless to say, on Sunday I was itching to get to the barn but since it wasn't an emergency and my husband had stuff he wanted to get done I didn't make it over until after lunch. *sigh* I really wish I could keep her at my house.  Anyways, I get over there and go to the pasture and catch her.  On the way to the barn we have to walk past a couple of paddocks where there are stallions being kept.  I have never had any problem at all getting her past these paddocks.  This day however, I was walking along and then all of a sudden Rosie had pulled back or something because I felt the line jerk and backwards and then she came forward and hit me with her shoulder.  I pushed her back and she was still acting weird, looking over at the black stallion.  I thought, okay, that is strange, maybe she tangled with him yesterday when she got out and is worried.  Finally we get over to the round pen so I can look at her legs and she is acting like a fruit loop.  She just about plowed me over trying to get away from a lunge whip with a bag on it that way laying on the ground, like she had never seen it before.  I didn't want to lunge her but she was acting so strange that I didn't feel safe standing next to her so I sent her out to trot a little bit.  She actually didn't even look sore.  I called her back in and took a good look at her legs.  It looks like she got some wire around her legs.  There is quite a bit of hair missing and few places that are little scabby but the barn manager was right, nothing to make an emergency vet call over.  

At this point the weather was changing, a cold front was coming in and she was still being fruity so I headed out to put her back in the pasture.  Well, this didn't go well.  To get to the pasture you walk down an alley way first with a riding ring on either side and then as you get further down towards the pasture there are two paddocks facing each other.  In the paddock on the south side is the black stallion I mentioned before.  What I didn't think about was that there is a sorrel stallion in the paddock on the north side.  As I get closer to these paddocks Rosie is getting harder to handle.  Once we get about 50 feet in between both the paddocks she is spinning circles around with urine flying out the back end and both stallions coming at her.  Now it it's me what her problem is, she's in HEAT!  Great.  All I can think is A) I hope I don't get killed and B)I hope she doesn't back up to one of these pens and get bred.  Now, I have retrieved and returned this horse to this pasture with these two stallions in these pens and never had anything like this happen.  Of course, she hasn't been in heat since the two studs showed up either.  So back to her stall we go.  I just put her away and then waited for the barn manager so I could talk to him about everything because at this point I am wondering if she may have had a little "encounter" with either of these stallions while she was out the day before.  

While I am waiting for him to show up I called my best friend to see what she would do and went out to do some investigating around the stallion paddocks.  There wasn't anything suspicious around the paddock of the sorrel stallion but I did find some fresh hoof prints around the end of the black stallions paddock.  They looked like they had been made with some force. 

Finally, the barn manager got there and I got the low down on what happened on Saturday.  He had been doing a pony birthday party (that is a service the barn offers, I think I might do my next birthday there!) when Rosie got out but the barn worker had seen her pretty much right away and went and got her.  He also said that she was over by the black stallion.  So I asked if he thought I needed to get her palpated to see if she might have been bred.  He said he didn't think so, that the other guy had been pretty much on top of things and gotten to her right away.  At this point we are both kind of thinking that she scratched her legs up on the fence either rearing up at or kicking at the stud.  I'm just hoping that inexperience (Rosie's) and old age (the studs) will save me from having to abort a foal.  I will not have my now two year old having a foal next year.  I know some people would argue with me on this but right now I feel Rosie is too young, I don't want a foal and the horse market is in the crapper anyways.  Now just is not a good time to be breeding, intentional or otherwise.  So everybody cross your fingers and hope she comes into heat next month.  Here is a picture of her legs on Sunday.  The worst leg is the one on the right side of the picture which would be her left let.  There is silvery medication on there so it is kind of hard to see the scratches.     

I went back over on Tuesday night to check things out and she was still in heat and dingy but I managed to hose off her legs and get a better look at things.  The left leg is going to take longer to heal than the right but I think she will be okay eventually.  There was also seem heat in the left leg I think, I have never tried or had to feel for heat but it definitely felt warmer than it should have.  Here is a picture from Tuesday.

I am hoping to get over and check on her tomorrow.  I really wish I could see her everyday but I just can't.  Suburbia is going to eat me alive.  That is a post for another day however.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Escape to the Barn

On Wednesday evening I managed to escape to the barn for a little bit.  It felt like I was out past my bedtime on a school night or something.  I don't usually go the barn in the evening but with the extended daylight this time of year I made a mad dash for the door.  

Rosie and I had a pretty productive evening all in all.  While I was grooming her I noticed she had a small cut on her right hind leg and it appeared a little swollen but didn't seem to be bothering her so I decided to just keep an eye on it.  After grooming I got her all rigged up in her surcingle so we could do some ground driving.  Last time I attempted this I couldn't figure out how to make her go forward so we just worked on flexing and getting used to the idea that I didn't have to be at her head the whole time.  I talked to a couple of friends who have waaaaay more experience working young horses than I do and they gave me a couple of pointers on how to get her moving.  So, I got her all ready to go and then moved into a position that was more like a lunging position than a driving position.  I also used the lunge whip to encourage her forward as I would when lunging her.  It worked!  We achieved forward movement!  I just kind of putzed around the round pen with her and we even worked up to a trot before just working on some flexing and calling it a night.  We worked on flexing because she started to brace against the lines so we went back to what we knew.  

I'm hoping to get back out there and try it again this weekend but the weather isn't supposed to be all that spectacular.  Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow and then just partly cloudy on Sunday.  I am no good in a thunderstorm.  I hate lightening, I just find somewhere to cower.  

Well, everybody have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wet weekend

This past weekend it rained pretty much all day Saturday after it had already rained all day Friday.  I was getting pretty stir crazy by Saturday as I hadn't left the house since Tuesday for various reasons.  I got out and did a little shopping on Saturday then went over to the barn to turn Rosie out in the outdoor arena for a little while.  When the weather is nasty they don't turn the stalled horses out into the big pasture because there is no shelter out there for them.  I knew since Rosie most likely hadn't been out since Thursday afternoon she would probably like to get out and stretch her legs a little.  She does have a small run off of her stall but that is nothing compared to the big pasture.  When I got to the barn it was still raining but nothing unbearable so I went ahead with my plan to turn her out for a few minutes.  On the way to the outdoor (which is a whole 15 feet) from the barn there was a good sized puddle and I found out that my little spotted pill didn't like the idea of getting her toes wet.  We managed to get through it without Rosie leaping on top of me.  Once in the arena Rosie acted like she wasn't quite sure what to do.  For one she doesn't get turned out in the outdoor arena and another she was all by herself.  She seemed to be worried about the fact that there wasn't anyone else around.  After about 10 minutes in the rain I decided to bring her back in as she wasn't doing anything more than looking for spare bits of hay anyways.  I expected to see a little more action out of a two year old that had been stalled for two days!  On the way back to the barn we again had to have a little conversation about the puddle.  Since I didn't have my water proof boots on I didn't push the issue too much but decided that if it was nice the next day that we would have a little meeting of the minds about this puddle issue.

Sunday dawned clear, finally!  After church I headed over to the barn to work on our water issue.  At first she thought she could just push me out of the way and not put her feet in the puddle but then felt the sting of the end of the lead rope on her behind.  I don't like pushy horses.  They are big enough as it is and I am rather petite so I don't like it when they get pushy.  I had worn my water proof boots so after I stepped into the water and proved to her that the Thing from the Black Lagoon wasn't going to jump up and kill her she decided that maybe it wasn't so bad after all to stand in the puddle.  We walked through so many puddles, I'm sure the other people at the barn thought that I was nuts.  Then into the partly flooded roundpen we went!  Yay, more water!  At this point she did fine.  She tried a couple of squirrely maneuvers but nothing that couldn't be handled and pretty soon, into the water she went.  She really didn't give me all that much trouble and then we worked on some other stuff and called it a day.  It was a good day, all in all! 

All the water outside of the roundpen is not usually there.  There is a small pond over towards the left that normally you can't even see from the roundpen but with all the rain it flooded the horse pens and started to sneak into the roundpen.  If the rain hadn't stopped I don't know how far it would have gone!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just got back...

from checking on Rosie.  She is fine, just like I thought she would be.  She was wet so I know she had been standing out in her run at some point but when I got there she was in her stall searching for remnants from breakfast.  I gave her a couple of carrots and some pats on the head.  We didn't stay very long.  Her stall is on the north side of the barn so when I open her stall door that combined with the open door for her run turns into a pretty nifty wind tunnel.  Not good for a contact wearer such as myself.  I think she would have liked to have gotten out and run around a bit but there was no way I was going to try that while I had my daughter with me.  I did snap a quick picture.  It isn't that great but I will post it anyway.  

Things must be pretty nasty north of here.  On the way home I heard that I-25 is closed from Wellington into Wyoming, US-85 is closed from Ault to Wyoming and CO 287 is closed from Ted's Place to Wyoming.  Soooo, if you are trying to get to Wyoming from Colorado today you are pretty much screwed.  I have been on those roads in the winter before and I was terrified, I can only imagine what it is like for the authorities to close them.  I did see some snow flakes briefly on the way to the barn but it didn't stick and quickly turned back into rain.  

Rain, Rain...

Well, I'm not going to say go away because any rain here is appreciated.  It is a dreary, windy, cold spring day here on the front range of Colorado.  I hear the mountains are getting quite a hit of snow.  They can have it, I'm done shoveling.  I'm going over to the barn later this morning to check on Rosie and make sure she isn't cold.  She has shed out most of her winter coat and while I am sure she is fine, just to ease my mind, I am going to go make sure.  The temperature here today is currently 35 degrees with rain and a 15 mph wind which according to The Weather Channel makes it feel like 25.  Yick.  A nice day to stay inside with hot chocolate and a good book.  I am going to post a picture from our trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico because it was warm that day and I need a little warmth.  The first picture is coming out of Ruidoso headed towards Roswell.  The second picture is of the temperature in Artesia, New Mexico.  Very warm.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Last week we had a really nice afternoon and I decided that I had a saddle that needed to be cleaned.  Really I just wanted to be outside and doing something of the horsey type.  Since I can't keep my horse at my house, cleaning a saddle was the closest horsey type thing I could find to do.  I really miss cleaning stalls.  (This whole horse thing really is a sickness, isn't it?)  

My husbands old roping saddle needed to be cleaned the worst but since I didn't have the back strength to haul it up the basement stairs and out to the deck I decided to clean my English saddle.  It wasn't really that dirty but it did need to be cleaned.  So I hauled it upstairs and got everything set up on the deck. 

I stripped the saddle pad and girth off and got down to work.  Before I knew it I had a little helper show up.

We got the saddle all spiffed up and I threw the pad into the wash as it was covered in the hair of the last horse that I used it on.  In thinking back on which horse the hair belonged to I realized that I haven't used that saddle in about five years.  Yikes!  I need to start taking lessons again to get my butt back in shape!  My riding in the last five years has been pretty sporadic but that is a history lesson for another day.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the finished project.  I had to hurry and put everything away as my daughter was getting a little over zealous with the cleaning.  She kept dunking her sponge in the water and squeezing it out over the saddle.  Finally, when everything within a six foot radius of her was soaked I sent her to play in her sand box so I could clean up.  At least she likes to help, right?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My brother is the adventurous soul in our family.  Last week he flew off for a vacation in Italy.  If you have been watching the news lately you will now understand the title of this post.  If you don't watch the news I will tell you that there was a roughly 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Italy that killed around 200 people last I heard.  So of course we have been trying to get in touch with him since yesterday morning when we found out about the earthquake.  He finally contacted us late this afternoon to tell us that he was fine and he had been in Rome when the quake hit.  He said it woke him up but didn't do any damage to the hotel he was staying in.  He also said he is having a great time and he loves Italy.  Can't ask for much more than that!

I must add, I don't think I will ever vacation with my brother.  Last year when he went to the United Kingdom on vacation they had the worst rain and wind storms that they had seen in like 60 years.  Now this year it's an earthquake!  All I can say his, I am glad that I am on the other side of the world from his vacations!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Trail of Billy's Last Ride

I subscribe to a magazine called Trail Rider which contains tons of information about trail riding with horses.  This is the magazine that I am the most eager to get each month in the mail.  They usually feature a few different places to trail ride each month complete with descriptions and pictures.  

In the April 2009 issue they profiled an organized ride that I would love to attend.  It is called The Trail of Billy's Last Ride and it follows the trail that Billy the Kid took when he broke out of the jail in Lincoln County, New Mexico and ran to Fort Sumner where he was shot dead by Sheriff Pat Garrett three months later.  It crosses some pretty wide open country in eastern New Mexico.  Over the course of seven days you ride 125 miles and can take your own horse or rent one from the ride organizers.  This just sounds like a really cool way to spend a week!  Just as a side note I am in no way affiliated with anyone who puts on the ride, this isn't an ad, just something I have been thinking about lately.  

About a year or so ago, I decided that I wanted to at some point in my life, ride a horse in all 50 states and try and ride my own horse in the lower 48 states.  I have no idea if I will accomplish this goal but this ride would put me one more state down!  Just in case you are curious, I have ridden a horse in Maine, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas and have ridden my own horse in just Maine and Wyoming.  Two down, 46 to go!  Since Rosie won't be two for a couple of weeks she hasn't been a party to any of my rides yet.  But she will be!  I have big plans for her spotted butt! 

I would also at some point like to do the Chief Joseph ride that the Appaloosa Club does every year.  Owning a registered Appaloosa has made more aware of the heritage of the breed and since I am a history buff the whole thing just sounds really cool.  My ideal would be to ride the entire length of the Chief Joseph ride which is 1,350 miles total.  Each year the ride covers a different 100 mile section of the 1,350 miles of trail. 

Anyone else have favorite rides that they do every year?  A ride you would love to go on?  I have many other rides I would like to do and this is just a small sampling of them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What month is this again???

We are scheduled to get another large snowstorm this weekend.  *sigh*  I thought this was supposed to be spring time.  I know, I know, spring time in the Rockies can be interesting.  I just wish we had had these storms in January and February when I was more mentally prepared for them.  I probably won't get to the barn if it is as bad as they are saying.  We are only supposed to get like six inches of snow but we are also getting 20-30 mile an hour winds with it.  I don't drive in that kind of stuff unless it is absolutely necessary.  So, I have a stockpile of books and as long as the power is on things will be okay.  Hope the weather in your neck of the woods is a bit nicer than mine.