Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A quick update on Dusty: while there have been times of disrespectful behaviour, Dusty has not once offered to bite or kick a person. She fence fights with the Mare and Vooshka but that is ok. We have hauled to the arena twice. Lyssa rode bareback with a rope halter both times. It's obvious that Dusty had been trained by a knowledgeable person. She will move off pressure and has the basics of collection. We still get some testing, especially if she doen't particularly want to do something. The only thing we have found is that she has to be pushed hard to lope on the line. Because of that Lyssa has only trotted while riding. She says the mare is smooth and responsive. Next step is to get the chiro out to see if her loping problem comes from pain or obstinance.

On another note - lambing has begun. So far the count is even, 1 of each sex. They are singles though so already I am going to have to disappoint some 4-H kids who were hoping for market lambs this year.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meet Dusty

About a month ago, I picked up this nice little Appy mare off Craigslist. She comes with a story. Don't we all?

I pick up odd jobs throughout the year to help pay for my critter habit. I have all sorts of trucks, trailers and equipment so there are lots of things I can do. One of the most steady jobs is moving hay. There was a post on Craigslist: Wanted - someone to move about 200 bales of hay and restack in barn. So I rounded up some 4-H kids and off we went to move hay. When we got to the barn we were told not to go near the pen the Appy was in because she was a known biter. I saw the 4 day old bruise on the owner's back and kept my distance from the horse.

The owner told me that she didn't know what she was going to do with the horse. She felt the horse was dangerous because the bite on her back was unprovoked. I mentioned that if the horse was that dangerous maybe she should be euthanized. The owner said she had considered it. Several people had come out to look at the horse but they were all put off by her attitude.

A couple of weeks passed and I had a message on the answer machine. "Do you know a musher who wants some dog food?" Turns out the mare had gone through a hot electric fence to attack a nine year old girl. The attack was allegedly unprovoked. I say allegedly because I wasn't there. I made some phone calls but none of my musher friends were in town or able to deal with the horse. I called the owner back and told her what was going on. She said she had someone coming out to get the horse.

About a month later I saw the horse back on Craigslist for $700 or best offer. This time I couldn't not do something. My friend Christy and I went over and looked at the horse. This time we messed with her and pushed her around some. Although the horse pinned her ears and acted pissy, there was something about her eyes and the way she held her lips. Two days later I traded a saddle and a dollar for this horse - registration papers and all. We loaded the horse up and brought her to my house.

We changed her name from Destiny to Dusty. She's a completely different horse. I can brush her, blanket her, pick up all four feet. She leads and loads. She moves off pressure. A wave of the hand pushes her off the hay. Today we hauled to the indoor where it was 40* in the barn (which was 20* warmer than outside). My friend's daughter rode Dusty bareback with a halter and lead rope.

Some stories have a good ending. I'm really pleased that this one is heading that direction.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Pioneer Peak from the Parks Highway in Wasilla. See that big white patch on the right side? That's a landslide caused by the 1964 Good Friday earthquake.