Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Intermission, and We're Back

Wes wishing Klein wouldn't ignore him.

Everything has been going great as far as Wes continuing to settle in.  I haven't posted lately because I have been studying for a huge test.  That's over now, so we can get back to our regularly scheduled program around here.

A lot of people have asked if I think Wes will fit in my trailer.  I was 98% sure he would since it's a pretty roomy trailer and it's 7'6" tall.

 I'd call that a win.


 You can see the fit a little closer in the second picture. He does have some room on either side.  He is not squeezed in there.  I wouldn't do that to him if it was a tight fit.  I actually told him before I loaded him "Ok, Wes, I just want you to know that I just want to load you ONLY to see how you fit on the trailer and make sure you would be comfortable.  I PROMISE you that you are NOT leaving this property."  I walked him up to the trailer, he sniffed the ramp, then walked right on no problem. 


 He has still been just the quietest thing in the world.  He'll talk a little bit when we go on our walks.  He wants to meet every horse we see on our walks too, it's pretty adorable.  I'm so used to Klein not acknowledging any other horse's existence.  Moch doesn't give much attention to other horses either, she'll look at them but that's about it.  Wes sees other horses and wants to go straight for them to say hi and introduce himself.  He is the most social butterfly of a horse I have ever known.

Wes trying to be nonchalant about wanting Klein's attention.  He had been standing there looking over at her so I walked her over to him when I went out to get her.

Wes continues to want to meet his sisters.  He KNOWS who they are.  He will stand by the fence that divides their pastures and just look longingly over at them.  I walk them over to him and they are starting to realize he is here to stay.  His expression is always about the same as it is in the picture above.  He can't make it anymore obvious that he is not here to step up to anyone, he just wants to be friends.  He is a follower, he has never been a leader.  He just wants acceptance, not power.

Wes is also running around with his friends on a regular basis.  His hind end is starting to already loosen up too!  I can tell the difference when he gives me his back feet.  When he got here I had to hold them for a minute until he was able to relax and stretch them out to me.  Now there is hardly any wait for him to stretch them back into my hand.  Turn out does a pony good, people!  It hasn't even been a month and I already see improvement!

Our DAEP will be out next Monday to do Klein and Mocha and check Wes' feet.  They are already starting to change too.  They are exfoliating and responding to having no shoes and the new environment they are exposed to.  He is still unaffected by being barefoot, hasn't been sore one bit.  I kind of thought he would be because he's been shod for so many consecutive years.  He has good feet, and our DAEP is awesome so that right there is a winning combination.
 Moch is starting to accept him too.  Look at his expression, these girls could do whatever they wanted to him and he would STILL want to be friends.  He's such a sweetheart.

 Klein was being polite.  I think me being on her back for this influenced her decision to be nice to him.  I kept telling her, he is part of the family and to be nice.

 Speaking of Klein...my girl has been putting in some awesome work lately.  We have been schooling 3'-3'3" and one evening I put up a 3'6" just for fun.

One evening I set up some 3' lines with verticals and oxers.  Here we are working through the vertical line:


 We have worked on some dressage lately too.  We had a really great dressage ride last week but the two since then have been not as great.  Not horrible but I think Klein's attention would rather be elsewhere.  We just have to get back on a regular dressage schedule.

 Fighting the urge to gallop.

 Trying her best to concentrate.

The Most Amazing Boyfriend in the World aka MY Boyfriend surprised me with the book "The Percheron Horse in America" and a really cool black and white print of a Percheron stallion.  I have had to tell myself to put that book down to finish my studying this week!  I can't wait to read it and post some of my favorite quotes out of it on here.  


 Now to pick out a nice frame!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

One of the Guys

 My handsome boy on our sunset walk yesterday evening.

 Wes has continued to settle in and make himself right at home.  I walked him around the upper pasture this week, which is even bigger than the one he was in.  He had to stop and inventory the neighbor horses.

 Checking out the neighbor horses.

I walked him around to show him where all the fences were.  It's so big you can't see one side so I wanted to make sure he knew where it actually did stop.

 The guys and girls meeting at the fence that divides their pastures.  Notice how close Klein is, actually notice how close MOCH is!  She is the grey spot between Wes and the bays.

 Wes, the ladies man.  This is him meeting Nora.

So, he's just one of the guys now, running around with the rest of the geldings.

 Wes also found a puddle to play in, AND notice in the picture below he is taking his first couple bites of grass!  Finally!

 I just happened to be taking video when he did it too!  You can also see Klein watching him in the video.

 When I got to the barn today I found this:

 The Odd Couple suspiciously close to Wes.

 Hmmm...I feel the ice starting to thaw.

I have been thinking of what I call the three of them now.  They can't really be The Odd Couple anymore.  Well, Klein and Moch still can be, but I think I'm just going to start calling the The Collection.

I have had Klein and Moch out hacking around.

Klein just KILLED her flat work last night.  It was a great ride.  She was just totally tuned in.  I feel like we had a little light bulb moment last night.  Well more me than her, because, she's pretty much perfect. I paid extra attention to my body position when asking for down transitions and it definitely made them a little more balance.  Today we jumped around some small fences and then went for a hack with some galloping with a friend.  Klein was super handy around the little jump school today.  When we got back I put Mochi on the lunge line, then Wes and I had our second ride.  Mochi was a little more organized than usual on the lunge line today.  I was happy with her level of concentration today.

With Wes, our second ride was just about 10 minutes of walking around the pasture.  He just wandered around with me.  Our vet was out yesterday to do Klein and Mochi's coggins so I had her take a good look at Wes.  After looking at his teeth she said he appears to be no younger than 19 and no older than 21, so we are calling him 20.  

Wes.  Another picture from our sunset walk yesterday evening.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wes, the King

Wes laid out in the sun the second morning home.

Wes could not be settling in any better.  You would think he has been here his whole life.   He's been eating a drinking great.  I really don't think he even lost one ounce during his trip home.  Actually, I don't think he's lost one ounce in the last eight years.  He seriously looks exactly the same as the last time I saw him years ago.  The only difference I see is a couple grey hairs above his eyes.

 He LOVES his Georgia hay.

The second night he was here we had a storm come in and the temperature dropped into the low 50's with rain most of the night.  I started to put all the ponies in that evening right as the rain started to lightly fall.  Wes saw everybody heading in and he started making his way to the gate to come in too.  He is quiet as can be in the barn.  The stalls here are big enough for a Wes, so he was very comfortable in the barn for the night.  Normally, aside from storms, the horses only come in for a small amount of breakfast grain then they go right back out.  They do not stay in the barn.  Anyway, Wes' stall was nice and fluffy with fresh shavings and he laid down and got some good sleep.

Hanging out before the storm came in.

I have to stand on my tippy toes to get my arms around his neck!

He would let me stand like this forever.

The next day he met our awesome DAEP and got his shoes off and had his first barefoot trim.  He has nice feet, a great base to start with. 

Wes being a perfect gentleman while Cindy pulls his shoes.

Cindy played it safe, because she is smart, one of the many reasons we love her.  She took off what she could and left what she had to.  It will take a few trims to get Wes all squared away, but that is exactly what I expected.  This is years and years and years of being trimmed and shod one way, so it won't take a trim or two to change his feet.

Bye bye shoes!

Wes shoe vs. a light horse shoe.  Wes wins.

Here are some before and after pictures.  Now keep in mind he was long when he arrived because I did not want to have his shoes pulled before he traveled, and to reset shoes for a week's worth of wear wasn't really worth it.  So, he would have been trimmed and reset a couple weeks ago if he stayed on his normal schedule.  The Salt Lake barn doesn't let their horses go, they are all on a regular farrier schedule.

 Left front, before.

Left front, after.

Right front, before.

Right, front after.

Left hind, before.  Yeah we have some thrush going on.

Left hind, after.

Right hind, before.  Yes, thrush in this one too.

 Right hind, after.

As you can see, his front feet are better than his hind.  There are some issues to address all around but nothing major by any means.  His heels are under run, and his frogs need a little work, we have some thrush going on but none of this is the end of the world.  His left hind is his worst.  But he's also stiff in the left hind and I think that is translating down.  I started treating his thrush with Tomorrow.  That stuff is for cows, but it's AMAZING for thrush!  It will dry his feet right out.  The environment here will help dry his feet out also, he'll be turned out 24/7 and his pasture has a slight incline.  So hopefully he'll start naturally oiling his old joints.

Fronts, finished.

Fronts, finished.

 Hinds, finished.

 Hinds, finished.

 Trotting for Cindy after his trim.

I am going to have the chiro out asap.  I think she can help that left hind out.  I'm sure some of you guys noticed it in the videos I posted of him running around the first day.  After this trim he was already walking a little straighter.  Not that he was terribly crooked to begin with but there was a noticeable change.  The next day he was out running around his pasture with his new gelding friend.  He wasn't sore in the least, he was feeling GREAT!  It's going to be fun to watch the changes in his feet over the next six months!

The next day we had our first ride.  I just wanted to get on him because it's been such a long time.  He's never been a riding horse and I don't think anyone has been on him since I was about eight and a half years ago.  Even then, all I did was get on him for five minutes, take some pictures and that was it.  I made sure to get a video of his reaction when I got on him for the first time here.

He's too adorable.  He wasn't sure what I wanted.  That's why I flicked the reins like I would if I was driving him and told him to walk on.  I just let him wander where ever he wanted.  Once I get the chiro out I'll start getting on him regularly and head out on the trails.


 I rode all three of my horses yesterday!

 Today I got to work on clipping him.  It's in the 70's here.  There is no need to be a wooly mammoth.  He was a little sweaty yesterday just standing in his pasture.

Cleaning up his bridle path.

Anybody need a team of minis?  I could make you one.

Just when you thought he couldn't get anymore handsome, check out that clip!

Maybe Klein and Moch will warm up to him a little now that they all three have the same clip.  I can hope.

I haven't put either of the girls in with him again.  They can see him from their pasture.  They also see me go out there with him and bring him in.  Maybe once they realize I approve of him and that he's part of our family now, and not an intruder, they'll warm up.  Right now he is out with a gelding friend, and he is perfectly content.  Yesterday they were running and rolling around having a good time.  I am enjoying every single second of watching him out being a horse.  Has to think someone died and made him king.  He still keeps nuzzling me too, it's the sweetest thing!

My birthday is coming up next week and the other half told me to start watching for my birthday present.  He told me it was ordered a couple weeks ago but had to be made.  It showed up yesterday!  He got me a BEAUTIFUL jumper necklace!  It's PERFECT!!!  It's no replacement for him being in Afghanistan right now but it couldn't be any more beautiful or thoughtful.