Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Taste Of Freedom

I'm getting a handle in the irrigating. It's a painfully slow process to get water moving across a new field...but it's coming.

Now that my days aren't e.n.t.i.r.e.l.y. taken up with farming duties, I can spend some quality time with my ponies and start getting them situated. I don't have enough small pens for every horse and I can't put just anyone in a pen beside Beretta and Ruger and it's going to be another couple of days before I have their dry-lot pen foal worthy, so for now they have to go to a different pen.

Beretta as thrilled to get to graze for a little while. She was more interested in grazing than she was worried about what Ruger was doing. But boy, did the mares surrounding them go bonkers when he left. They were all screaming, 'My baby! My baby! Where are you taking my baby'.

Ruger was a little unsure about stepping out into the tall grass...

He walked around very carefully for quite awhile. It's always interesting to me to observe how babies handle new situations. I think it speaks a lot about how they will handle new situations throughout their life (barring handling that would change their natural inclination, of course). Ruger handled it about as well as you could ever hope a youngster would. He was quiet and observant. He didn't start ripping and tearing around until he had taken in the entire situation.

Once he was comfortable though, he let loose...

After a quite a few laps around, he decided to settle in next to momma and check out this green stuff she was so interested in...

That wasn't all that interesting to him yet. A few nibbles and he decided it would be more fun to track The Red Dog...

Red Dog didn't think the game was nearly as fun as Ruger did, so he vacated the vicinity. That left Ruger no one to play with, but me. LOL.

I love how people-oriented he is. He came by it genetically of course. It's not from 'handling'. Handling only makes a foal gentle. It doesn't necessarily make them 'like' people. But Ruger...He loves peoples. LOL

On a random note...I have been wanting to do a rock wall -type planter around this cottonwood in our yard for a couple of years now, I sorted through the pile of rocks I have gathered and brought a bucket of them down to get started on it...

If nothing else, I have certainly gathered enough rocks to build plenty of rock flower beds. LOL.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Not Having Much Luck Lately

Wow... Seems I can't win for losing lately. I was supposed to take mares to SD a week ago. My animal caretaker was out of town and MH insisted on going to AZ to get his bikes, so no one around to do chores...

Wouldn't you know...Frenchie came into heat right when I would have been delivering her to the stallion. So I missed getting her bred for an early April baby. I couldn't leave later in the week because I had already missed Frenchie's ovulation and I knew the gray mare would be coming into heat immediately following Frenchie.

I was going to schedule an ultrasound for Miss on Friday, but the farmer called and said he wanted to fertilize and plant the field on Saturday morning instead of Monday I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get irrigation pipe bought and laid out.

I thought I would have all weekend to do that. :-/. I didn't have enough time to get the assembly completed, I just had to get it all laid out so the farmer would know where to crease the field.

So I scheduled Miss's ultrasound for Monday, hoping she would just be coming into heat.

Oh no...No such luck. She had just ovulated when the vet checked her. So I missed getting her bred this time around too.

So neither mare is bred for early April foals. (insert LOTS of cuss words!!!).

Add in the typical water woes of first irrigation, on a new field...

The fact that I haven't had time to ride a single horse in WEEKS...

And I am thoroughly irritated at the moment.


Since Miss and Frenchie are ovulating within days of each other and most likely I will be delivering Frenchie to SD right before she comes into heat the next time, it looks like I will have to drop Miss off at the vet's and leave her there while I am gone, so that I don't miss getting her bred next time around too. I guess mid-April babies aren't so terrible late for this area. Later than I would like, so I'm just praying that both mares settle immediately.

That is going to leave a gap in my foaling season though. Cindy D. and I did a little horse trading (giggles) and she delivered Miss Sassy to Firewater Fooler for breeding last month. Sassy will stay in AZ through the summer and then come to live in CO. I am so very excited. Obviously, I love that stud and Sassy's breeding is his prime nick. So fingers are crossed (again)...this time, I'm hoping for a palomino filly. :-D.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Moving On

I promised myself I wouldn't bore you guys with any more of the 'farming saga'.... The farm work is d.o.n.e.!! My only focus now is getting water running on it, which still means a significant amount of work for me...but at least it's in sections and a couple hours in the mornings and checking on it throughout the day.

So that means...

It's PONY TIME again!!!

I knew it had been too long when I caught myself staring at one of the neighbors loping circles in the big field next door. The farmer was talking to me about water pressure and scheduling and I was locked on the horse and rider at the other end of the field and I didn't hear a word he said. Poor guy had to repeat everything to me.

I have been getting Flashy out in the evenings and working on a few things and letting him graze a little green grass...

He's looking better than when I brought him home. The pot-belly is coming off and he is starting to fill out. I know he had good feed while he was at the vet's, but, again, I think the filly was just dominate enough that Flash didn't get to enjoy his feed much. Don't get me wrong...he wasn't in poor shape or anything like that...He just didn't thrive as much as I thought he would. It just goes to prove that just because horses are herd animals...It doesn't mean they always do better in a group setting. Let's just say that I won't be wasting my time looking for anyone with another single baby this year to keep Ruger company when it's time to wean him.

The good thing is...there will not be any long-term consequences for Flashy. Now that he's alone and gets to enjoy his food, he is already taking off.

The not-so-good thing is...He has some shitty attitude/mannerisms I am having to deal with. At first, Flash really seemed to enjoy being able to get attention without the filly barging in and taking over, but once he got filled up on getting attention...He started getting shitty when he decided he didn't want attention. Ear pinning, snaking his head and threatening to bite and turning his butt to me and threatening to kick. I could tell these were practiced maneuvers too. I'm guessing the vet's boys spent time with the babies and while they are very decent kids...I can tell they don't really know how to handle horses, much less babies. I find this very surprising considering who their parents are...but then again, horses aren't really their thing. They are more into sports. So I suppose the babies were just a novelty and got treated like pets. Much to their detriment!! BTW...A little birdy told me, Flashy isn't the only one who has some attitude issues. The filly has them too. The only difference is, Flashy just threatens to bite or kick...The filly has no qualms about going ahead and doing both of those things.

So anyway...Flashy and I are working things out. I don't attempt to groom or handle him without haltering him and he is learning that 'momma' is allowed to touch any damn place on his body that she pleases. We are working on leading and ground manners and a little lunging. Not much, but basic lunging training goes hand in hand with the rest of it.

Now that the pasture is planted, I can section off the 2nd area I designated for dry lot space and start moving horses around. The geldings are in the area I would prefer the mares to be in, so they will be coming out of there and the mares going in. There is enough space there that I can divide that pen and put the dry mares on one side and Beretta and Ruger on the other. It's time for little Ruger to get some room to run and play. I find this slightly terrifying. My mind always comes up with a 1000 scenarios that 'could happen'...and yet, it's so not fair to keep him cooped up in a small pen if I don't have too.

I'm going to put Shooter in the pen next to Flashy, so they get to know each other again and then when I get my 2nd dry lot built, I will be able to turn those two out together so Flashy doesn't spend his summer standing in a pen either.

I just keep telling myself...Just a few months!! That's all I have left to juggle horses around. Once my pasture is established all of this hassle will go away!! Not to mention, the reduction in hay costs. The farmer and I were talking about that when he was done with everything. He was joking that with as much pasture as I was going to have, I could probably get more horses!! The look of horror on my face made him laugh. Funny thing of it is...I will have more horses next year. It's just that I don't actually count the babies until they are like 2, or 3...or 5....And I don't always remember to count the broodmare-only mares either. I mean...Aren't 'riders' the only ones that actually count? Shouldn't that be a rule or something? I think so!! Hahahahahahaha