Monday, August 23, 2010

Special moments

I have just been outside to muck out the yards before I go to bed, as I do every night in winter. It's nearly a full moon so it's quite light so I didn't take a torch, when I got there I couldn't hear anyone eating and realised by their breathing Garbo and Maraschino were each lying down in their yards.... Maraschino flat out.

Garb's is the closest yard so before I turned the stable lights on, I crept under the railing and lay down next to him, I have only ever crouched next to him in the paddock, but I lay right down along side him - he sniffed me, checked if I had carrots and we just lay there for a while.

I heard Maraschino sit up and then Garbo got up, so I crept under the next rail to Maraschino and lay next to him, he sniffed my face for ages and eventually just rested his nose on my cheek. It was so special. I've not been close to Maraschino when he has been lying down before.

Then he got up, I got up with the same legs as he did, at the same time.

Then I turned the lights on and cleared out the poop, and leant under the rail to see Coco, he sniffed me for a bit then nuzzled my cheek..... awwww..

Off to bed with a smile now....

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The boys are all moulting like crazy - giving up their winter coats.... in Garbo's case he loses his lighter hair and Maraschino loses his darker hair - and Coco goes more chocolate.

Mud boots!

By the time I had finished there was hair everywhere - all over me, each other, and the washbay floor. They all enjoyed the groom. At one stage I was combing Garbo's mane and Maraschino and Coco were both grooming my top. even got all the knots and twigs and bits of hay out of their tails, added top tails and combed Coco's mane too!

I must say this all the time but he was the best he's been yet - today. He let me scratch his face, his ears, under his mane, give him a hug, even put some more repair cream on his bald patch on his nose.

Coco giving me a Coco hug

Garbo started off a bit grumpy while I was grooming him, trying to boss me round about where I was grooming him - with my grooming arm I just extended my grooming action so my elbow reached up towards his nose each time and when he turned to grump at me his nose and my elbow collided. He was much more polite after that.

A kiss from Garbo

Maraschino was very placid - he just adores being brushed whereas Garbo - it seems to be only on his terms. Coco loves it too of course. I used the head down porcupine game to comb their forelocks and manes - even Garbo was good at it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lambs galore

It was such a lovely day that I decided to take Garbo and Maraschino up the road to have some grass and to see the new baby lambs next door. My hubby kindly took Garbo - well actually Garbo took him for a walk... and I took Maraschino.
They were both really great - on the way back maraschino came across a large piece of carton that had got wet and soggy in the rain - I thought he may have spooked or snorted but he just checked it out and kept walking.

After a while we returned and it was back into the yards for dinner.
I was very pleased with how calm Maraschino was. Like he'd been up there a million times before.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Battling on in the mud

We have had more rain just after it was nearly all dry again (well nearly)... but Coco has been getting really brave - having to interact with me every day in his yard. I found he had an area on the side of his face where he's obviously been itching where the hair has all rubbed off and he's broken the skin - so I managed to get some cream on it - I know! Amazing. He's really only just allowed me to touch his face just recently.

Every day I try and get him more used to his ears being touched too - he doesn't like that much - and also to pick his feet up. He's getting braver with strangers, he backed up to the lady giving the boys a massage until he was pushing on her.... she gave him a bit of a rub.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunny afternoon

Jools trimming Garbo while he supervises

It rained all night but the sun came out this morning - and stayed out.

I left the boys in the yards and opened the washbay gate (letting Coco out) and Coco spent most of the day in the washbay... it was so wet I thought they'd most likely hand out up there anyway with nice hay.

This afternoon I got some time to play with them all for a little bit.

He's always first.... lol - funny how you procrastinate over the things that are difficult. I have never de-wormed Garbo by using a syringe in his mouth - so today I was armed with a syringe and some apple sauce. I managed to give Coco a little taste first - he got a bit of a fright when it squirted apple sauce into his mouth - then I tried Garbo.... he flicked his head up just as I was squirting it out and he got the sauce all over my sunglasses, my forehead and in my hair - thanks Garbo. Hmmm ok - we need to work on that a bit more - and I need some less chunky apple sauce!! I couldn't syringe it up...

Next we got the plastic bag flag out - and oh my goodness - he was pretty calm about it all over him - not 100% but 80%... I upped the ante a little and waved it above my head - he didn't like that much so I kept going - walking away from him with him following till he could walk without stopping. Then I stopped. He sniffed the bag and licked his lips.

Then we did some sideways with the flag - I am bot sure if his sideways has got worse since his hip was sore or if it's something else... we made some small improvements at walk anyway.

Then - but wait there's more - we tested out head down and yay finally - he kept his head down for about 30 seconds - major breakthrough (this is from porcupine at the poll - he always did fine with using the halter to bring his head down - probably because I was down there too lol)... he tried quite a bit throughout the session to sniff me for treats - so I had to use some blocks - the habit was creeping back in and becoming a bit dominant.

Well - I sat on the fence and rubbed him while he stood next to me (both sides) - interestingly the farside was so much harder for him to line up next to me (and the fence) yet if I moved my stool away from the fence he was ok with me being next to him up high in Zone 3. I spent ages rubbing (we'll work on the fence tomorrow).... and then I leaned over his back with my upper body and dangled my arms down the other side and rubbed him. He did several things, one after the other, he would turn and look, try to groom me, try to itch an itchy spot under me, and then he just relaxed. I rubbed him all over and then just folded my arms under my chin and leaned on him for ages - about 5 minutes.

Then I got the plastic bag flag out - he didn't even blink an eye lid - I was waving over his neck, all round - nothing - then I waved it in the air - and he followed (same as what I did with Garbo - he was pretty good. I then got the carrot stick and string and tried helicopter... he was a bit wary but mainly because he's so tall the string was nearly touching his ears!

After that he had a big syringe of apple sauce which he loved - I even put it in like real de-wormer - he normally tries to bite the syringe.

He didn't move far away with the plastic bag or the helicopter, and he enjoyed the apple sauce... every day I try and lift his feet just for a second... today I asked him to lift his foot off some poop while I picked it up - and he cocked his foot while I scraped it off his hoof sole too.

It was 17 degrees today - for early August that's just crazy!

I listened to half of the July CD today (got home too soon)...all about not making assumptions when you haven't ridden all winter.... I kept that in mind today with Garbo - because it's getting to the point where I am dying to ride him again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rose the Strawberry Roan

I rode another different horse today. It's quite fun since Garbo is still "recovering" from his sacroiliac injury... to be able to give my friend a hand and also get to ride a different horse (and to have the confidence to correctly read her well enough before I got on).

Needless to say the ride was uneventful - but I used my spare hackamore - and she relaxed pretty much straight away. She has no lateral flexion what so ever - her neck was like a plank! So teaching her one rein stop was an exercise in dizziness to say the least! Still she was very sweet.

Bronwyn then had a wee ride too and towards the end Rose was making halt walk halt transitions like a pro. Sorry - no photos - forgot my camera! Doh.

Bronwyn is going to feed her treats from the saddle to help her get a bit more flexible in the neck... so then we'll see how she is in a few days.