Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Sightings

I've seen some interesting things on the farm in the last few days. Usually what I see from day to day is much the same thing with some variations. I can count on seeing Elfin zipping through the pasture going somewhere. If there is a speck of mud to be found anywhere Winston and Asterik for sure will be completely coated in it from head to tail. Ivan and Apollo will almost always be together, and if not right next to each other only a few feet away. Leo will always dream of being a hard keeper and wonder why he is always one of the first to finish eating. These are a few examples of things you can depend on around here.

Gwen, our wonderful farrier, was here on Monday. Farrier days are busy as horses are constantly being brought in the barn to have their feet trimmed and then taken back out to their respective pastures. I usually lead two horses at a time to save me some considerable walking. That being said there are certain horses that I don't ever lead with another horse, they are always led alone, but most of the time we go in and out in pairs. I always write out my list for the farrier the night before. As everyone is being fed breakfast halters are put on the horses that will be coming in for the farrier. I do this simply to make life easier on me. Many of the horses make it clear that they don't want to come in to the barn ever, so it is easier to slip their halters on right after their feedbags are removed than to chase them around later. When it is time to bring them in I just hold out a handful of treats and clip the leadrope on their halters before they have time to realize they've been caught.

Sometimes I don't bother to put the halter on certain ones as they never give you any trouble. Missy is one that always lets you walk right up to her and put her halter on. I was very thankful on Monday that I did go ahead and put her halter on at breakfast. When I walked out to the pasture to bring in her and Cuffie, Missy saw the leadropes in my hand and took off - I was shocked! Missy is old (mid to late 20's) and quite arthritic. I'd noticed she had been feeling better and better lately but I didn't realize that she was feeling quite that spunky.

Of course the mares were more than happy to have any excuse to run, three of them are thoroughbreds and are always looking for an excuse to run, especially Buffy and Harmony. MyLight and Lily didn't think twice about joining in either, and Cuffie certainly didn't have any plans to be the odd one out so there they all went around the field with Missy in the lead. I couldn't believe it. I chased Missy and company around the field for awhile before she finally gave up and let me walk up and put the leadrope on. I felt like I had sweated my butt off out there but unfortunately I checked and it is still there. I'm sure I could have avoided a lot of walking/running/sweating on my part if I'd had some food with me but it never occurred to me that I would need it to catch Missy. Sometimes Cuffie is a stinker about being caught but he's been really good about it lately so I was completely unprepared for that scenario.

My other unexpected sight of the week was Apollo and his feedbag. I was putting feedbags on as usual and as always Apollo went to shove his nose in his feedbag. Except all of a sudden he was flying backwards and snorting. My first thought was maybe a horse fly had landed on him. He stopped and I shook the feedbag so he could hear the food and he came right back up only to repeat the same scenario. I then realized that Apollo was scared of the feedbag. After awhile the bags start to wear out and have to be replaced. A few months ago the manufacturer changed the design and the new bags look slightly different than the old bags. No one else has ever noticed but Apollo was freaking out because his feedbag looked different. After a few more backward runs he finally let me put it on him and he has been perfectly fine with it since then. Apollo is huge, he is an 18.1 hand Hanoverian, and it is just wrong that he is scared of a change in feedbags! The ancient, arthritic pony charging around the pasture and huge Apollo being scared of a change in feedbags have been my interesting sights so far this week.

Leo and Elfin grazing
Levendi and Chance
Apollo and Trigger
Sebastian, Faune and Ogie
Cloudy soaking up some sun in one of the stall windows
Clay enjoys a nice roll
Homer and Levendi were napping together
I put this picture in for Jason as you can see a lot of his mowing efforts in the background
Clay, Lucky, and Lightening in the back
Missy, Lily, Harmony and MyLight
Lucky and Snappy


Anonymous said...

Love the post - there are always surprises!

Like the idea of sweating one's butt off - guess it ain't gonna happen!

Jason - lovely mowing - can we borrow you and the equipment a couple of times over the summer each year?

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Hi Melissa and thank you for the link you left. I had already gone to your posts and found it pretty easily under farm management. We won't be able to do all you did of course because we don't have the equipment or the funds, but it was good information to reference. There won't be stadium lights either!! You lucky girl....I had forgotten how pretty it was! Wild horses couldn't keep me outta there! Your post gave me a good belly laugh out loud this morning already! Yes, the part about your butt still being there! Chase enough horses and it will be gone!! Guaranteed! I did the same thing the other night but the rain cooled me down after Teya's run. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one with horses that like to play dodge the human! She has thoroughbred in her too. Oh and when we bought Derby a new tie dyed halter with bright colors she freaked out and ran away from my husband the first time he tried to put it on her!! Some horses notice even the smallest changes. Thanks for sharing your new happenings and sites.

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

HI Melissa- It doesn't surprise me one bit about Apollo and the new feed bag. As you have noticed, he is not the bravest horse. When I first got him, he used to spook at birds and butterflies. He did get better but if anyone walked by carrying one of those white plastic chairs he freaked out. The chairs were fine placed on the ground but if someone carried one by him, forget it. He is very perceptive- if anything in his environment was only slightly different, he'd notice. He usually came around, though. That is a funny story- I enjoyed it!

Java's Mom said...

I LOVE the pastures, nice mowing Jason! It's good to hear these guys keep you guessing sometimes.

Jason said...

Thanks for the mowing complements everyone. We've had so much rain, I could do it AGAIN right now, and I'm not complaining. Rain in August in middle TN is God's gift and it is VERY welcome.