Monday, May 31, 2010

Straight scoop on poop.

We all know that 'everybody poops". Some one even wrote a book about it for kids. Its pretty cute and caused quite a stir when it was released several years ago.

Poop is on my mind frequently.

Yes, I said it! I think about poop!

Don't you?

If not, you should- poop is very important, and especially for horses.

Do you know how many times a day your horse poops?

Do you ever look at the poop to see if he's eating well?

Do you know how much a pile of poop (average) weighs?

Do you know how much a pile of your very own horses poop weighs?

These are extremely important things to know!
If for some reason your pony gets sick, the vet is going to want to have answers to these questions and he's going to expect you to know your horses normal ranges.

Have you ever 'saved' poop for a day or two or three to see what it looks like after a day or two or three? ( Indian trackers did!)

Is you horse a loose pooper or a hard pooper?

I have decided that there are two different kinds of pooper in horses-
the Wandering Pooper and the Neat-nic Pooper.

Sometimes the Wandering Pooper looks itinerate, but is actually a Neat-nic,pooping in a pattern ( if you bother to observe).

But most Neat-nic's don't wander around randomly pooping unless they must- such as horse shows and trail rides.

Stallions like to poop in one spot over and over, to mark their territory, even if they are domesticated. These are called 'Stud Piles" Wild stallions will poop on another horses pile as a challenge or to show he was there.

Desi is a Neat-nic.
Bob was a Wandering Pooper, but I tried an experiment. I left a tiny bit of fresh poop in one corner of his new pen. Now he tries to poop as close to that little pile as possible! Not exactly a Neat-nic, but getting better- and he doesn't poop in his stall at all!

Not all horses can be trained to be Neat-nic's, unfortunatly. Some never get a chance to do what comes naturally either, being locked in a 12x12 all day. Makes it tough for them to wander. Turns them into Scramblers- the worse nightmare of the stall cleaner crew.

What kind of pooper is your horse?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Woodland Wind and Winning

It was an extremely windy day at the top of the Central Valley yesterday! We decided that we weren't going to be 'wussey' about showing, we'd go anyway! So we loaded the wily beasts into the trailer and headed out at the butt crack of dawn to get to the horse show in Woodland.

The wind was a blowin'!
Lil Mama kept her cool though and saddled up to work out. Bob was calm and in frame, and we hoped he would stay that a way.

The video is the warm up and he always does good in there. You can hear the wind blowing and see the whiffs of dust being drug away from under his hooves.
She kept calm and took him in the main arena during that warm up and he still stayed calm. I had my hood up, my three layers bundled up to my nose, when they announced the show would go on in the covered arena!

Say what! So over Lil Mama goes to warm up there. It was a little more scary, but I couldn't get photos, too dark and there were no overhead lights.
BUT it wasn't windy and in the sun we even began to thaw out a little.
I didn't mention that it had rained on Saturday, and the Great Sierra Mountains to our East about 100 miles were covered down to the foothills with snow! The wind from the East was just that cold too!

Lil Mama took a deep breath and began to show. She received a 5th, then a 4th and then two firsts! Fantastic!!

Desi on the other hand was not on his best game.
He will not pee when we are at theses one day shows where he is tied up to a trailer all day. About 2 PM he starts doing the pee pee dance, kicking and shaking his head and rearing. By the time we are going into the ring, about 4 pm he is just a frightful mess. He is resistant, and belligerent. He reared, and spun and bucked and would not turn to the left.

During our class he kept resisting, but I was getting him around the pen, no tic's, and at our last obstacle- the gate, he balked. He refused to go through the gate! He backed up to the limit of the rope, which I eventually had to let go of. Of course a balk is a DQ, letting go of the rope was a DQ, and cursing a blue streak like a drunken sailer (should) have been a DQ too.

I took him into another pen to make his life even more miserable, and he reared and bucked and spun in there too. He flat refused to go forward! So after about 15 minutes of 'punishment circles to the left, I had to finally just be finished with him. We scratched our last class.

We tried putting shaving into the trailer and then putting him into the trailer to pee- Nuthin.
We tried putting shaving under his feet where he is tied to the trailer- nuthin.
We tried taking him on a walk so he could smell other horse pee- nuthin.

The only thing that might work is getting a stall for the day ( expensive for a one day show) and letting him stand in a stall all day. Then he'll pee and then he will feel comfortable to compete.
What I am really afraid of is that this resistant behavior will show up again at the next non- one day show. That would be a disaster! I'd really have to kill him them, turn his worthless hide into a nice pair of Uggs!
I am also open to suggestions from you all.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Farm Day at the Kindergarten

It used to be that Contra Costa County, where I reside, was considered an 'ag' county. Nestled next to the Great California Central Valley, it once had the largest population of horses per capita. Sadly this is no longer true. CCC has become a 'bedroom community' county, with the population rising by tens of thousands in just a few years. Where once were fertile farms and orchards, are now four bedroom single family homes. Where 4-H once ruled supreme, now the program is in deep trouble, no one willing to save it.

But my friend Chris has a son in kindergarten and his teacher wanted to have a Farm Day. Seems that though the Teeny town where I live is surrounded by open space, hardly anyone keeps livestock any more. So Lil Mama and I put on our old 4-H caps( figuratively), loaded up some goats from my neighbor next door ( they are pygmies and much easier to pet than the giant Ibex my daughter raises!) and went to school.
Chris brought his absolutely wonderful shetland pony Butterscotch, and a borrowed wool lamb, another friend of Lil Mama's brought her black and white potbellied pig-Suzie. A chicken and a rabbit were also in attendance.

Overheard: This is Butterscotch. She is a mare.
5 year old child: Oh I've heard of mare's- like the 'Mare'(mayor) of a town!

After I quit laughing, we asked the kids what animals on a farm were good for.
Some one said sweaters. Someone said pets. They were agog when Lil Mama told them that some people raise animals for food- like bacon and ham!

All and all the kids enjoyed the animals, and TLC enjoyed the kids. So much so that before we were even home, he had crashed out, crushing a chicken nugget in one hand! Too tired to eat!

Go to Mommy in Spurs blog for some photos, I'm sure she will be posting about this fun day too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Men with Tools

Nieman Marcus- who needs 'em!
Crate and Barrel- bah!

Give me a good hardware store any day of the week. I love barrels of nails and bolts, miles of pine boards and gallons of paint. I like reciprocating saws and hand held nailers. I really love big trucks full of sand, and equipment to move it all around.

I received four loads of sand the other day for our Horseman's Arena. I stood there at the rail, just grinning like a goon! Who knew that sand could make me giddy?

Then the tractor came in and spread it all around. BLISS!

When the Snaffle Bit Futurity comes around, most people leave when the classes are paused and the tractor comes in to fluff the arena. I just sit in my seat and drool over beater bars, automatic watering systems and tine lengths. Ohh be still my heart!

I grin just as hard watching some of my favorite shows on TV too.
Mike Holmes- is he sexy or what? "Fix that! That's not right"" Make it better, make it right!" It's like home improvement porn- I'll tell ya!
Turf Wars and especially Desperate Landscapes- Big men, big tools and landscaping in 8 hours- what on earth could beat that?

Now if I could only get Mike Holmes or one of the other TV shows to makeover my horsemen's arena- I'd be in HOG Heaven!

Extreme Makeover-??? Anyone out there listening?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Busy as a little bee

I haven't posted for awhile ,my dears! I have just been too busy to type if that is possible. So much happening now that spring is finally here.
I'm giving a bridal shower for my lovely niece in two weeks , so I've been busy cleaning and cleaning and gardening and gardening!
My girlfriend broke her ankle and I'm taking care of her animals in the morning and the evening.
I've been babysitting Jr, although that doesn't seem like a chore- its really much more fun than anything else!
And I've been sending out many resumes- but no one wants an old broad like me it seems!
So no pictures to post, or funny stories to recount, at least this week.
Next week- who knows!
I'll be getting Captain Tripps soon, the 13th to be exact! I'll have lots of pictures and stories then!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jerry it is!

The answer is ,

Jerry Garcia!

Yep, the leader of the Iconic Band- The Grateful Dead and probably one of the most brilliant musicians ever created.

He's best known for The Grateful Dead Band, but Jerry's heart and soul were actually in Bluegrass.

His other band, Old and In the Way, played some of the best bluegrass sounds you've ever heard. Jerry played mandolin, steel guitar , banjo and guitar. As a matter of fact quite a bit of the steel guitar that was laid down on other albums of the times was actually Jerry sitting in and refusing to take any credit for the music.

My hubby is a Dead Head, he loves complicated music and through him I was introduced to The Dead. I like them too, but though I went to a few concerts ( and they were memorable!) I never considered myself a Deadhead.
And no, I don't smoke weed and sit in the basement- and neither do my other Deadhead friends. We are all productive members of society ( except for me, right now I'm jobless!)

Listening to the Dead is quite often akin to listening to jazz (another thing I like), it is soothing and melodious. Even what they call 'space' music can be soothing if you are in the correct mood for it. And when the Band breaks into "El Paso', or 'Big Iron' you'll never forget it.
Of course some of my favorites are the sea shanties and historic melodies that Jerry loved so well, "Peggy-O" comes to mind.

And of course who doesn't love "Truckin" or "Touch of Grey?"

So this lil' puppy is a tribute to The Greatest Band Leader, ( in our humble opinion) Jerry Garcia.
Long live Jerry!
Long Live Captain Tripps!