Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quzqo T. Butthead

Finally had a day "off" (ha!) and made my way out to the barn after lunch! Quz was "in a mood", I could tell that when I went to catch him and he was so ignoring me that I had to drag his head up from the grass to put the halter on him.

I'll admit I was a little nervous, as I planned to take him off the property, something I haven't done RIDING since last October. Wasn't even going to try to take him the usual route where the antique hay mower stands guard and terrifies him out of his freckles! I did go the full monty in tacking him up...breastcollar and shanked bit, cell phone in pants pocket... just in case.

O, he was a mischievous little scamp of a horse, swinging his butt away from me when all I was trying to do was tie my butt-saver pad to the saddle seat...I just chased him round and round, him doing perfect turns on the forehand as he thought he was being clever, swinging his butt away...we did maybe 10 rotations before he gave up, and was probably surprised that all I did was fuss with his saddle. When the time came to actually get on, I just bribed him with a piece of carrot and he stood stock still, chewing, until my butt ALMOST hit the seat...he took off a split second before that moment, sigh.

Tried to open the indoor arena gate, he was all Drama Llama about GET THE GATE OPEN GET THE GATE OPEN I DON'T CARE IF IT'S ONLY OPEN A FOOT I'LL SQUEEZE THROUGH IT I WANT OUTOUTOUT!, he didn't buck but he did give a little sissy hop of the front end (I wouldn't dignify it by calling it a "rear"). Round and round we went until I managed to get him close enough that I could grab the gate and pull it, then I had to spur him out of the way before it swung over and smacked us!

Then we went OUT!

Of course immediately he was all Mr. Chicken, oh my gosh there's logs and horses and a wagon and a trailer and a dark spot on the ground. Creeeeping along slowly as he could, oh noes, what might be behind that tree!! I just gave him a nudge and he gave up that charade.

Instead of heading inland along the fenceline, I rode him along the road, slightly trespassing in the neighboring hay field. He didn't quite know what to make of that, having never gone that way before. We reached the dirt road about 1/2 mile away without incident.

Then it was "Oh my feet hurt on these stones", he was mincing and limping and tripping and shuffling along...I tried to trot him on the sandy shoulder of the road, and he petered out, like "oh, my feet hurt too much to trot!". That's okay, I did want to enjoy the wildflowers, and he gave me plenty of time to do that, at his arthritic snail's pace.

We neared the top of the hill when suddenly he SHOT to the left and tried to crash into the bushes! WTF???? Had a devil of a time turning him back to the road... THEN it dawned on me...that was the little game trail we take to go HOME! You little shit, BWAHAHA! Better memory than an elephant!!! Got him going straight again, he picked up the pace, was almost walking eagerly...then AGAIN he veered to the right, where a little two-track leads to the same hay field we would go home by! Oh no you don't!!!

We got to the crest of the hill, and he gave a half-hearted Drama Llama performance about not going one step further, but the spurs and the reins counteracted that idea, and he made a big production of going down the hill, insisting on zig-zagging down instead of walking straight (because the rocks hurt his feet you know...funny, the rocks don't hurt his feet when I drive him on dirt roads). Couldn't get him to trot, he just pooped out on me. I took him down a little two-track, past the bright NO TRESPASSING sign, to check for morel mushrooms...we only went a few dozen yards in, because the blackberries are growing up and wrecking that trail as well. I turned him around (beautiful turn on the hind quarters), and came back to the road.

I KNEW what would come next...he tried to veer left to go back, I wanted to go right to continue! O the Dramatics!!! We tossed our head, we balked, we pranced, we spun in circles, we snorted, we tossed our head some more. I had to circle him around until he got dizzy, then combined spurs with a slap on the rump with the reins to get him moving west like we originally did. And he sulked his way down the road.

Without warning I turned him around and we were heading back...and I got him into a canter, and the little turd broke into a hand gallop and just ran like a goofball down the road, apparently the little rocks no longer hurt his hooves!! We galloped until he slowed to a canter, then a trot, and I made him keep trotting just a little bit longer than HE wanted to. No ouchy feets I noticed!!

Uneventful ride home through the hayfield, we even stopped by the scary antique hay mower, and I let him graze a little, he didn't seem to care one way or another. I bet if I turned around and headed back he'd care!

Made it back to the barn unscathed, but both a little sweaty! That was a big personal roadblock to get past! I'm hoping for more nice rides in the future!! Without the drama llama dramatics!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'll Do What I Want!

Rode the horse last night, there was another boarder and her daughter there, riding their new Paint mare (bought from Bob, of course). They had one lone light on in the arena... Bob doesn't want us using the big huge lights because they make his electricity bill skyrocket. So I showed them how to turn on ALL the aisle lights to illuminate the arena (lol, I don't know...does turning on 20 or so incandescent bulbs save electricity over 6 big overhead lights??).

Rode Coos, he was VERY good and actually had a little P&V in him! Enjoyed my new saddle, very comfy!

The mom and daughter left, I finished up with Coos, and was busy untacking him, when this young blond chick comes bouncing down the stairs to the arena, and blithely flicks on ALL 12 overhead lights (6 are enough to illuminant the entire lower barn and arena). I asked her how she gets to use the big lights.

She snottily said "I'll do what I want", and "Nobody's here anyway" and bounced into the arena and downstairs to get her horse.

That pissed me off mightily....Bob specifically mentions each month in the board bills to please use the SMALL lights to save electricity (and keep the board from rising), and this little ditz wants to do what she wants. Well, bitch, I don't want to pay for YOUR electricity usage! So I flicked OFF one bank of lights, flicked off ALL the aisle lights, and when I left, I flicked off the lights to the stairs as well. She was ditzing around with her horse in the arena, not noticing the light had been cut in half.

When she shuts off the lights she'll be in total darkness since I shut off the stairs light, and I also shut off the lights in the viewing room, so she'll have to stumble through that since the light switch is by the front door, allll the way down the length of the room. I should have moved some benches right in the walkway too, so she'd trip, ha!

Hate to be a snitch, but I wonder if Bob would like to know this.

Pissed me off, I'm still pissed. Little bitch. Just the kind of girl I loathed in high school...they had horses too!

Resisted the urge to key the side of her car on my way out.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Saddle...

Is SAAAAWEEEEEETTTT!!! Oooo, comfy, and it fits the horse GREAT, and he seems to like it! Seems light as a feather, love it already! Wish I had a trail to ride on with it, lol!!

Quz survived being back in the Big Brown pasture, no new chomps on him. In fact, he liked it so much that he refused to let Bob catch him tonight. Bob had just given up by the time I got there, he said Quz was more interested in "running in circles" than being caught, lol! Good thing I came out, as he said he was just going to leave him out if he wouldn't let himself be caught. Wouldn't blame him.

Quz was snacking on a corner of a hay pile that Bill the Paint was enjoying, and I had no trouble bringing him in. The Big Browns had already been brought in and were in their stalls, so that was nice.

Lovin' that saddle though, glad I bought it! Now to sell off the old heavy one!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Horse Social Experiment FAIL

Got out to the barn after work, and found Quzqo standing waaaaaay the hell out in the middle of the field, at least 1/4 mile out, all by himself, butt to the wind (and baby, it's a wind! And COOLLLLDDDD)

All the mares were ganged up around the round bale, stuffing themselves, poor Quz looked so little and sad out there. Even sadder, I had to hike out there to get him because he wouldn't come when I called (knee-deep snow anyone?)

Sadder still, his hoofprints in the snow were all but obliterated by the wind, which means he'd been standing there quite a while. He was a little headshy and twitchy, but I managed to halter him and he about dragged me in.

Had to whip our way past the mares that turned from the hay and started coming at us, ears pinned. He dashed through the gate, and I had to whip our way through the geldings from the other pasture blocking the way! I chased 'em all out of there, giving us a good 20-30 foot clear zone, and Quzqo heaved a HUGE sigh! It was pitiful!! Poor boy!

When brushing, I found a HUGE scalped area on his butt, skin, peeled right off by a bite or kick! Dammit!

So, reluctantly, I asked Bob to put him back in with the Big Browns...the enemy you know is better than the enemy you don't know. At least there there's only 4 other horses (as opposed to the 10 mares), and the hay is fed by hand, so it's spread out, not just a round bale plopped in the middle. And again, he'll have the run-in shed, since we're due for some nasty-ass cold weather, that'll be nice. And yes, it's a few feet from the barn entrance and I won't have to whip my way through a seething mob of crabby geldings like Indiana Jones!


I survived Junior High, he can survive this.

On the bright side, my new saddle should arrive tomorrow! Yaay!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Just What I Need!

Another saddle!!

I've been wanting a lighter saddle for quite a while now, because my 28# leather saddle is getting too hard to lift up onto my big, tall horse's back. I used to want to keep it because of its security, but since Coos was able to buck me right up and out like nothin', so much for THAT reason.

A FB friend posted she was selling her Abetta saddle on eBay, I was all set to eSnipe it today, until I did some research, and found what my max. bid for her used saddle was about what NEW ones were going for on eBay, so that wouldn't do! More research also revealed THIS saddle for a very reasonable price, and do I wait and maybe get the first saddle for less, or take the risk of being outbid on the first saddle, and meantime having the 2nd saddle snatched up with that BIN?

So, casting caution to the wind, I snatched up the 2nd saddle, should be here later this week! Wheee!

Need to take pix of my leather saddle & stick it up on Craig's List for a few months, then when spring comes, put it on eBay when there's more of a market for such things.

Quzqo might appreciate a 15# saddle as well! AND being synthetic, it won't go green and fuzzy in late summer with all the humidity at the barn.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quzqo Hefner

FINALLY I was able to get out to the barn in the day time to observe Quzqo in his new pasture situation (even yesterday I got out there around 4 and he was already inside in his stall). He was doing pretty much what I figured...stuffing his face at the remains of a round bale of hay, and off in the distance a small group of horses were frolicing in the snow. He was sharing the bale with that cool varnish roan Appy, happy as clams!

Apparently the mares he's in with are more like teenagers, VERY young looking, maybe 2 yr olds...a couple of chestnuts, a VERY tall, lanky chestnut, a gorgeous dappled buckskin, and they were all cavorting and scampering like young'uns! They saw me walking across the pasture and immediately came over to investigate. They weren't very respectful of my space, especially the frighteningly tall one (she's 16hh if she's an inch!) but I shooed them off with the halter and lead. They just about giggled and squealed and scampered around like junior high girls! Yeesh!

Quz looked at me like "yeah?", and kind of meandered out of the way of the capering girlies. Had a bit of a battle to the gate, so many silly fillies here and there. They weren't being mean or aggressive in the least, just curious and giggly (if horses giggled). Quz was kind of cool and calm and Mr. Suave about it! He even walked out of the gate calmly with no rush or concern (the same gate that trapped him against the hot wire weeks ago)

As we were walking to the barn it seemed he cast a glance at the old pasture where the Big Browns were standing, and I could almost sense him going "neener neener neener!"

One of his pasturemates was being ridden in the indoor ring, and the young girl who is leasing her rode over to say "hi". The mare and Quz sniffed noses, and he took a little playful nip at her nose! The little smoothie!!

Maybe they need to change the name of that pasture to The Playboy Mansion or the Bunny Ranch, ha!

Glad he's happier now. That makes me happy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Pasture for Quzqo

After noticing even MORE down-to-the-raw-skin bites on Quzqo's rump yesterday, Bob asked me how I liked Quz in the new pasture. I said I liked it there, but he doesn't, so Bob offered to move him back to his old pasture, which is full of new horses. So we're going to try that today, HOPE it goes well. Quz has been very unhappy, I can tell, and that one Big Brown with the star on his head charged at Quz yesterday, ears flattened, and I had to shoo him off with the lead rope. Quz also BOLTS out the gate to get away, and slipped on the ice yesterday, scared me, I don't want him to fall and get hurt!!

So we'll try the new-old pasture. It's got 4 mares and a gelding in it, hope it works out. It's also 30 acres, so he's got room to get away, and his usual water trough so hopefully he'll drink something!!!

It's also got two big round hay bales...he'll love that!