Sunday, January 16, 2011

And then there were 4...

I guess I won't complain about not having a horse to work with or ride for a while. (Although I will continue to complain about the rain.)

Denali, take the time to heal...I'm busy.

I got a phone call tonight from a woman I use to board with. She's been sick (edit: back injury), and her horse Duke has been sitting. He's 12 and a Kentucky Mountain Gaited Horse. I've never ridden a gaited horse. She doesn't want him to just sit, and she doesn't want just anyone to ride him (I know that feeling.) She asked me if I'd ride him.

I know nothing, nada, zip, zilch about Gaited Horses. We're going to have a few lessons to go over his buttons and such. He is a beautiful horse. He does have his own opinions about life sometimes, but who doesn't.

This could be fun. (Key word: could.)

So including Denali that makes 4 horses that I'm "working" with. We use quotes until I actually start to do it. It's easy to talk big, but follow through is important. Two of them are sound, Mary and Duke, and then there are the unsound Pete and Denali. Well, Denali is "soundish" we won't push it though. Her suspensory does well for about 10 minutes of trotting. The vet said that's "normal" and that she needs to use it now in order for it to heal the whole way. I trust her, she saved Denali, but I still get nervous and do I ever hope she's right!  It doesn't matter. I wouldn't keep Denali in a stall to heal. She hates it, so if she is going to be broken so be it. She's a pretty broken pasture pet. As for Mr. Pete, after yesterday I can say that he is lame right now. He's had his shoes pulled and is a bit ouchie right now. So not doing a whole lot with him other than love and grooming.

The owner of the Giant Warmblood Barn and I figured something out tonight with Mr. Pete. Yesterday when I was working with him I thought he was just unhappy, and he kept shaking his head. I said something to her about him, and she came over to watch him. She said she suspects he's a head shaker. What in the hell is a head shaker? Regardless, he's also adorable. I'm glad that she thought about me, and about his well being and paired us up.

I decided that Pete's mane needed some tender loving care. I started to pull it while he was eating since I didn't want to pull his mane in the aisle way. He was so sweet. He was so excited to be groomed he stopped eating and kept trying to rest his head on my shoulder while I did his mane.  I LOVE this horse.

His mane is still a little long, but it looks SO much better. I tried to take a picture of him after, but this picture scared him (well the flash did) and I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable in his own house. So another bad picture of Pete. I was trying to judge how tall he is. I can't see over his withers and I'm 6ft tall. Who knows. 17hh?

One of the other horses that I am going to work with is Mary. She is one of the horses who is living with Denali. She is a beautiful Thoroughbred. I'm still waiting to coordinate with the vet to go out and work with her and make sure I'm doing it the way she wants it done. It's so weird to work with other people's horses. The goal is go do groundwork with her there and get her in shape so that I can take her to the Giant Warmblood Barn (MUCH closer than where she is right now.) She can get some miles there and HOPEFULLY find herself a forever home.

Then there is my baby princess ponykins... Denali, oh sweet Denali. We're going to do groundwork again as soon as we can coordinate with the vet. I don't mind working with her, but I don't like working with her with no one around. Actually, that goes for any horse.

And now for your rrandom cute Denali story. I forgot to write about this yesterday. I took out apples for Denali and her friends. Her boyfriend Bailey (another ADORABLE Thoroughbred looking for a forever home) came up to the fence with Denali to eat apples. I gave them each an apple. Denali inhaled hers, and Bailey ate his like a proper horse. He took the half he had left, leaned over and fed it to Denali. It was so adorable! She has him wrapped around her little hooves. I'm pretty excited that I can feed other horses around Denali. She use to be SO SO aggressive. She's doing SO well. I'm so happy that we are where we are today. Especially since I know I should be horseless.

And a photo from Friday evening....the one and only Pia! Sure, she looks sweet and innocent. ;0)

Ms. Pia, being sassy in the cross ties.


Dom said...

Gaited horses are a lot of fun. :)

Laura M. said...

Sounds like you've had a very horse-filled weekend. Pete must think he's died and gone to heaven now that you've found him :) I think horses really do love to be loved on.

Sydney_bitless said...

When your talking head shaking your talking about side to side, like if they had flies on their face. Or are you talking when they bob their heads up and down when in a stall/cross ties.
Head shaking can be caused by a whole number of problems. In my line of work a lot of head shaking is cause by improper bitting or fit of a halter or bridle. Mostly nerve or tissue damages cause head shaking but it can be anything from neurological to problems with back, neck, mouth etc.

Sarah said...

I think it's so sweet what you're doing for Pete...poor sweet boy.

You're a busy girl! I've always wanted to ride a gaited horse, so I can't wait to hear what happens with Mr. Mountain Horse.

Love that Denali has a boyfriend-how adorable:)

achieve1dream said...

Wow I'm jealous! I've ridden once in two years now and it's killing me!! I wish I could find someone who wanted me to ride their horse for them. :) I bet you will have tons of fun. I used to ride a Missouri Foxtrotter for someone and she was sooooo much fun! I loved her and I'm not normally a fan of mares (we butt heads too much). :)

Wow you can't see over Pete's withers?? And you're six feet?? I'm five eleven, so I can relate. Six feet is 72 inches . . . which is eighteen hands . . . so yeah he's probably 17.2hh or so. I didn't realize he was that big. :) My trainer had an Oldenburg filly who was seventeen hands at three years old. She was fun. I hope Pete's hooves feel better soon. He sounds like such a sweetie.

I'm glad D is doing so much better with the food aggression. How exciting that she feels comfortable enough around other horses to share an apple. That's so cool! Way to go.

I'm excited for you getting the opportunity to work with all these horses. It's a great way to gain experience and confidence.

Monica said...

head shaking oh noes! Here is what I know about head shaking, most vets think it is the irritation or inflammation of the trigeminal (facial) nerve that runs from the back of the head, around the ears, along both sides of the face and terminates in the nose and muzzle area. Basically, the horse shakes their head when irritated by this nerve. Seems unfortunate since I don't think there is a cure for it, though some horses experience it worse than others.

Denali's Mom said...

Nope Syd, it's the up and down kind of head shaking. Hey, why have one nerological horse when you can have two?? He was doing it in his stall without a halter on. More-so when I had him in the crossties yesterday with the halter on.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I rode a gaited horse was riding a Puerto Rican dancer! FUN!
How nice for Pete. I've read once that head shakers can build up the addiction by the release they feel after it. It's caused/triggered by something so it'll be interesting to hear more. I'm sure he'll love the attention.
And..awww on Denali and her new boyfriend. I won't tell Laz! ;)

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

oh just saw what you more of a head bobbing. Laz used to do that when he was anticipating something. waiting in the crossties, waiting for food, maybe Pete has some issues to work through and I'm sure the attention you give him will help!

Janie said...

That's cool that you are wanted by so many to work with their horses! I think your baby and Pete are very lucky to have you.