Monday, March 29, 2010

First Trail Ride of the Year and A Dusty Update

On Fridays I usually get Lyssa from school and we haul to the arena to ride. Last Friday was so beautiful that I convinced her we needed to go for a trail ride.

Lyssa rode the Mare since we are not confident enough to let her ride Dusty. We had a plan though. First we would ride Voosh and the Mare around to break trail and see how our horses would be on the first trail ride of the year. The snow was belly deep on Voosh on the trails in the woods. You can see that on the snowmachine/snowshow trails it's only about fetlock deep on the Mare. We took a mile long loop that took us about an hour to complete. We had to stop several times to rest from trailbreaking. I forgot where the ditches were and got Voosh into an area of snow that was midchest high. She panicked for just a minute but worked her way through it.

When we got back to the house, Lyssa worked Dusty on the ground for a while just to get her attention. Then Lyssa got back on the Mare and ponied Dusty in the pen for several minutes while I explored our options for leaving the house. I led Voosh down the driveway. It had been plowed and sanded all winter so there was gravel in the center but glaze ice on the edges. Voosh wouldn't stay in the middle and almost fell several times as she scrambled to maintain her footing on ice. She never did go down.

So the option of going down the driveway was out. We opted to retrace our trail from earlier.

As you can see, the two horses got along well and Dusty ponied like she had done this before. We rode for another half hour. An added benefit of riding in the snow was that the horses' feet and legs got really clean. It was nice to see Dusty's white socks gleam.

The days are getting longer and with DST it's light until at least 8 pm. I can't wait until we can ride in the evenings.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oregon Sunshine - This One's For You!

My Saanan/Alpine crossbred goat named Toonie (actually Petunia since her mom is Clover) was bred to my registered Alpine buck Mr. Ritter. She was due to have her babies about the same time as the sheep since goats are easier to milk than sheep if I had a bummer lamb. The sheep all lambed with no problems. (I pulled Loretta's twins but only because I can't stand to watch little feet go in and out more than five times.)

Anyway, last Wednesday went I went out to feed I found two solid white bucklings in the pen with Toonie. They were dry and their mouths were warm which meant that they had nursed. They were up on their feet and bouncing around.

Moral of the story - they CAN do it on their own. Don't worry so much. And if you need help, you have my numbers. Call me.

Unfortunately, these are bucklings and of no use to me. When they were 24 hours old I put them on craigslist. Buy one get one free $50. They went to a good goat home where one will remain a buck and the other will be wethered.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Things have been rather hectic here for the past week. It snowed twice - 6" last weekend then a foot yesterday (I think). When it snows and I plow. my days and nights get so turned around it's not funny. On top of that my daughter is in Youth Court training every afternoon and my sweety and I had to go to a pesticide certification class Tuesday and Wednesday. And the goat kidded last week so I am now milking twice a day.

We did ride last Friday. Dusty did well under saddle but we have found that she is terrified of trucks, cars and skid steers. Just something new to work on. She's smart though. Lyssa wanted to work her over some ground poles in the arena. So she pulled out some white poles and proceeded to walk Dusty over the poles. Counterclockwise was perfect - stepped over the poles with no hesitation and no ticks. Clockwise - spook and back up. I don't like horses that back up because I'm concerned that if they don't get the release they are seeking from backing they will go up. Lyssa worked and I watched. Over and over with the same result. Voosh walked both directions and Dusty finally followed her over the pole. Turns out it was her SHADOW!

It's almost midnight and I'm running on about 4 hours sleep since Sunday morning. But I wanted to post my Not So Wordless Wednesday while it still was Wednesday!