Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Nobody-Got-Much-Done Kinda Week

Well, actually, Al did way more than I usually call upon him to do.
'Cause I was sick.
In bed.
Out of it completely.
I'll spare you the more gruesome details, but suffice it to say I only made it through three hours of school last Monday, then collapsed with body aches and fever and alternating chills and sweats.By Wednesday I could no longer keep even water in my stomach.Thursday the doc gave me some icky tasting but miracle working anti-nausea meds, and by Friday I could sip soup and slurp green jello (which says a lot, since I detest jello, especially green jello).

There was no way I was going to get Jackson to the 4H show Saturday, but I was hoping to find enough energy to go meet and visit with Aarenex of Haiku Farm and her pirate crew, at the Milwaukee Rails-to-Trials endurance ride just north of us at the Boyleston Tunnel trailhead of the John Wayne Trail.
Unfortunately, about 10:00am, Blake from Wild Winds Ranch called. Seems his fire-fighter schedule changed, and he won't be able to show me how Beth's doing on Sunday, as originally planned. Oh, and, by the way, she's almost out of hay.So....change of plans.
Now mind you, Al has been doing both morning and evening chores all week. The most I have managed to do was drag myself out to the barn to let everybody out in to their respective pastures at noon-ish (we're half-way to full day pasture). Al offered to take the hay out himself, but, not only was I hesitant to ask any more of him, I wouldn't ask him to stay and watch Blake and Beth work, as he wouldn't know what he was looking at, particularly. So I bundle up and walk [slowly] out to the barn to show him the two bales of timothy hay I had in reserve for Beth, run the tractor while he loads the bales into the bucket, then unload into the truck, and we're off for the hour drive to the opposite end of the valley.

Blake had said he had other customers coming at 12:30 or so, so he wouldn't get to Beth until 2:30-ish. I figure I may only be up to a brief visit, so I had told him to go ahead and get started with her, and hopefully we would get there in time to see him climb on. But when we arrived at 3:00, he is still on the other folk's horse in the round pen. So we [Al] off-loaded the hay and sat at a distance until they headed out.

Blake worked Beth from the ground first, and noted that getting her attitude "adjusted" was pretty much the first priority in every session. One of the things he made a point to mention was that she was pretty well de-sensitized to the rope around her legs. "You said you had a problem with kicking?" Yeah, sure, but she doesn't kick out of fear--she kicks when she's mad, and sure enough, later in the ground work, when Blake got after her for not yielding her hindquarters appropriately, Beth let loose with a nasty double-barreled shot (which missed the target, thankfully). You can see some of her pissy attitude here.Beth did, however, settle down, and Blake climbed up. The first time or two, she would circle a bit, and Blake would wait until she stopped moving, then drop back down to the ground and walk away, giving her a "release" for standing. She figured out pretty quick to stand quietly for him to mount the whole way (a must-have bit of horsie manners).Lateral bending exercises, first at the stand-still, then at the walk. Beth is listening well to the snaffle. After a few circles, though, another problem arose: Beth had gotten her tongue over the bit. She fussed about it with her head a bit, but didn't do anything naughty, which was good on her part. Blake climbed down and corrected the bridle placement, and got back up. He did a few more circles and figure-eights and called it good.Blake commented that making sure Beth was in the right frame of mind to work was essential, but that it was taking less and less time every workout. If she gets a day off (for weather, or his "real" job) she back-slides a little, but generally she is ready after 15 or 20 minutes of ground work. He likes her athleticism and willingness to learn , once in the right mood. He agrees with me that she needs a regular job to do, and some consistency in her work.

By the time we got home, I was done in for the day, so Al did chores and made himself some pizza, and I collapsed for the night.

On Sunday, the only exciting thing I got accomplished was introducing Maddie to Jackson's "herd." He and Kate have been together now a week, and it was time for Maddie to join them. I expected lots of hi-jinx from them when I let them out, as they've been royally silly all week in their separate pastures.
But no.
Poor undernourished things have to immediately feeding their faces.

When Beth returns from Wild Winds, she'll go in with the bunch. I'll still separate Jackson for his grain/supplements in the evenings, because none of the girls is going to give him any slack, just because he's kewt! Mama Misty and RT are both on the south side of the barn with 24/7 access to their pasture. But the girls don't need quite that option: Looking at Kate from the rear the other day, her round butt-cheeks made me think of an illustration from the story James and the Giant Peach!


  1. Well, we were sorry to miss you on Saturday, but glad to hear you're feeling BETTER!!!

  2. lol! Too funny about Kate's rotund 'peach butt'. hehe!

    Funny how the girls peed as soon as they got into the pasture, too. Funny Jackson sniffing to see who might be in heat.
    The sure do look clean and beautiful, though. Looks like they've shed out, too.

    That cough sounded horrible. Poor thing. I sure hope you keep feeling better and better by the weekend.


  3. Poor you! But, I'm happy to see that you are recovering. It is really interesting to see how you analyze Kate's personality and her progress.
    The movie may have been a "non-event" but it was fun to watch, and I enjoyed your commentary. Nice to hear the voice behind the blog posts:)