Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunshine on My Shoulder...

...makes me happy. It's amazing how relaxed the horses can be on a warm day without wind. Check out Lostine relaxing next the the same tarp that freaked the horses out just last weekend.

The deer are still coming around at night. My Corgi Midge caught them in the neighbor's yard last night. I find it interesting that my dog can run at the fence barking, and the deer just stand there and look at her. However, when I moved toward the fence, the moved away. One was standing on the shoulder of the road right around a blind curve that is notorious for killing people. In fact, we almost got hit head on by a dually coming home this afternoon. The driver was too lazy to stay in his own lane when taking the curve, and he pushed us off onto the shoulder. Anyway, I brought Midge indoors, because I didn't want either of us to be responsible for pushing the deer out into the road.

This is Gabbrielle's latest injury...

I'm not sure if the deer caused it, but on the morning I found her with this gash on her face, her Arabian dish was more like a Roman nose, all swollen and bloody. I worried that she might have fractured her skull, but it doesn't look too bad now.

I decided to take Lostine for a spin, and discovered that her padded neoprene cinch had cracks all over it...

This is an argument against getting padded neoprene cinches. They split between the bulk and the elements.

I like my flat neoprene cinch better that I use with my other saddle. I knew I couldn't ride her with this cinch, because the cracks would pinch her skin. Fortunately I found a spare in my tack room.

The spare was also padded, but much better quality and crack-free. I wondered why I hadn't been using it, and then I remembered my horse trainer asking me to replace it, because it was too long.

Lostine and I had a grand old time on our ride. She was her usual pissy self at first, so I worked on trying to get her to relax. I decided a big part of her problem was that she was bored going in circles in the round pen. She remembers her side-passing lessons well, so I moved her up to the gate, leaned over, threw it open and steered her through.

Of course, by doing that, we magically passed out of her comfort zone and she locked her legs up as if she'd never seen our property outside of the round pen before. The head went up, the snorting began, and right on cue, a suburban came up the street and pulled into my neighbor's place just a few feet away from us. The door slamming commenced as I squeezed and clucked and tried everything to get my horse to move forward.

I said, "Come on, Lostine! You walk around here all day. It's not any different now with me on your back."

That must have been a good enough argument for her, because she started walking. Each time we circled a little wider, getting her closer and closer to the edges of the property. Then the suburban came back out of the driveway, stopped behind my barn, and the door slamming started up from that location. The horses went on alert and I said, "Is somebody doing a Chinese fire drill back there or what?"

Suddenly, the suburban came racing backwards up the street and into my neighbor's place with a dog chasing it. The visitor deposited the dog into my neighbor's house and made a second attempt at leaving. Once the suburban was gone, Lostine and I trotted all over the place until she was out of breath in all her winter lard. My neighbor came out of her house to walk her dog behind my barn. We trotted up to her and I asked her if she'd seen the deer that have been coming around. I was curious if they'd been eating her hay. She didn't know anything about it.

Once again I explained to her the my horses get nervous when people or animals go behind the barn while they are trapped inside. They can't see what's going on, but they can hear and smell that something is back there, and they panic because they assume it is a predator. I also told her about all the injuries I've had to nurse thanks to the deer and "other activity" behind my barn. She just nodded and smirked, as if she thought my horses getting injured is a humorous thing.

When we were done with our ride, I decided to trim Lostine's bridle path just enough for the bridle to not get caught in her mane, but not too much because the nights are still cold.

You can see the tuft, which marks how far I trimmed her back last year.

Then I trimmed Gabbrielle's bridle path...

Then Bombay's...

I found it funny that all three horses seemed so eager to be brushed and shaved. I think they are tired of all the shedding and itching. Bombay actually walked up to my razor and started shaving his own beard by rubbing his chin on it as soon as I turned it on.


Katharine Swan said...

Bombay is such a hoot. So he will clip himself -- think you can teach him to saddle and blanket himself, too? :o)

I guess your security camera behind the barn isn't working anymore, huh?

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like overall a good ride on Lostine. Bombay is a doll shaving himself? what a sweetie,he could give lessons to the others!

Breathe said...

I trimmed my first bridle path the other day. I was ridiculously excited about it. I believe Cibolo thought I was going to take off an ear.

Glad you got some riding in!

photogchic said...

I know everyone seems to be using neoprene girths and breastcollars...I just can't bring myself to buy one. I hate the feel of them. They seem like they would be "hot" and not breathe. When you buy a new girth you going to get neoprene again? Wondering why people like them so much?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Crazy about those deer. I hope noone gets hurt or killed because of them.
I'm surprised your neighbor knows nothing about the deer, as nosy as they are. Weird!

Horses often look so odd when they get their bridle paths trimmed the first time, especially when they have leftover tufts growing out from the previous year.

I'm glad you were able to ride some. Sounds like it was fun, even with the 'distractions' going on at your neighbor's house.


Leah Fry said...

Funny you should say that! Poco and Jaz did the same thing with the clippers yesterday. I did think for a moment that it might have been a way to get out of work. "Go ahead and clip us Mom, so we can stand here and eat cookies for hours."

Anonymous said...

Nice your neighbor is so concerned she's causing injuries. On, wait. She thinks it's funny? Honestly, what is wrong with people?

JeniQ said...

Ouch! look at that gash!

Good for you for getting a ride in, in spite of your rude neighbors and their "friends".

You want to come give my girls a trim???? LOL

I tried doing Rosie's bridle path (it's never been done) the other day. I had brought good sharp scissors to cut the length first. That's when the BM started to drop hay from the loft. I made her stand for two good "snips" of the scissors then gave up.

Enjoy your day!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Katharine - I've noticed that she does seem to stand just outside of the area behind my barn where the camera points, or she hurries past the camera. I guess I need to get a revolving camera, or better yet, one that is triggered by motion and follows the motion.

Photogchic - I don't care for sheepskin or netted coverings on cinches, because I drop them all the time, and I don't want them picking up burrs and fox tails. The neoprene doesn't let anything cling to it. The only thing negative about it is that when the horse gets sweaty, it can slide back and forth making your saddle less sturdy. My horses haven't complained about the cinches, so I'm pretty sure that they don't cause any discomfort.

Lisa - I had the same thought. You'd think she'd be aware of everything that is going on in the neighborhood, but then again part of her M.O. is to act clueless. She tries to make people believe that she isn't paying attention, so that they won't pay attention to her and she can sneak up on them. Our conversation was weird, to say the least. Each time I tried to ask her a question about herself, she'd change the subject by throwing a question back at me. It doesn't surprise me that someone so nosy wouldn't want to reveal anything about herself, but as soon as I rode off, she ran into her house to report to her husband on what I said.

Everyone - I forgot to mention that when the visitor drove up to my neighbor's house, she honked to announce her arrival. She's one of the horse boarders. You'd think she'd be a little more sensitive about not honking her car horn around someone who is riding a horse. I suspect she did it on purpose, because she thought it would be funny to spook my horse. I know these people don't like me because of all the effort I've put into keeping them off my property, but when they moved into the neighborhood, they bought their house -- not the entire neighborhood. They need to learn their boundaries.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wonder what she konked herself on to get that kind of swelling??

I have a flat neoprene cinch that has split like that too so it's not just the rolled ones that can be a problem.

Lulu said...

I've found that the neoprene cinches actually slide/travel/slip less than other cinches. They also don't stretch like a woven cinch will. I've been using the flat neoprene cinches for years and love them.

My horses also got bridle paths this last week, and I also clipped their legs (in preparation for their first show)... It is super nice to have one horse already shed out; now if the other would just follow suit!