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Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of summer

Summer is winding down here in Maine—although from my perspective it barely even got here. Today ranks only the second week in 3 months that we've had 3 consecutive days without rain of some kind, and it's the only week since May that we've had seasonable heat too. Not that I'm complaining about the temperature, it's the endless rain that was hard on human and horse alike. And with fall just around the corner, we have some big plans to get underway before winter. First up: getting Stevie and Ray into training. Stevie is ready, and Deb DuBois of Photo Finish is going to start working with him in September. Ray isn't going to start formal training, but we're going to take the opportunity of Stevie's weekly sessions to start familiarizing him with the whole concept of get in the trailer, go somewhere, do something new and different — it's OK, it doesn't hurt. After LCS, it was clear he needs that added to his routine if we're ever to take him 'round and show him off. And Melissa is going to get a certain amount of that too — once she's fully halter- and lead-line broken, that is. We're still in the process of integrating her and Mist back into the herd. Today was actually the first day they spent the day out in the paddocks with everyone else — they have their own space still, but now they're adjacent to all the others rather than sitting in the round pen next to the barn. The rest of the crew was intrigued; it was funny to see all the heads and pricked ears pointed at Mark as he walked Mist and Melissa into their new spot in the paddocks. Well, Maggie wasn't at all interested, but Bessie, Ray, Stevie and Rusty were totally captivated. Especially Ray — he looked like a kid who was the only child on his block until the new kid moves in. Who cares that she's a girl, and much younger? She's someone to play with, and that's what counts (at least for now; pretty soon, it will matter quite a bit to him that she's a girl!).

After that, I guess our next big deal is to go down to PA and collect Cameo, and see what has become of her. Lyn reports she's grown a lot — everyone is in agreement that she was considerably younger than we were told when we bought her — and has made great progress. I'll be interested to see what she's like. 





3:44 pm edt 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not such fun

Things didn't work out so well at LCS yesterday. Bessie did fine, taking third place in the mares 5-14 class, but next up was Ray—and faced with the new and strange environs of the show ring, he spooked and somehow got away from Mark. By the time they caught him, he was in no condition to be shown, and worse, he transmitted his nerves to Stevie. Even though Stevie has been shown before and knows the routine, Ray's fears were enough to get him going. As Stevie was entering the show ring, he started to balk and throw hooves around, and it became obvious that he wasn't in the right frame of mind to be in the ring. It was better for all concerned to back down and not force the issue. So that's what we did.

Things like this do happen—last year, we saw two horses get loose, one of which was actually hitched to a cart! But it's still disappointing and, of course, you worry about the potential for damage to horses and bystanders. Ray thankfully wasn't hurt, nor was anyone else. So we deal with the disappointment and resolve to do more training and prep for next time.

PS On my end, I brought home a large black-and-white rooster yesterday. He came from a farm that had a number of roosters already, and according to his owner, he was low on the rooster totem pole and was constantly being abused by the other roosters. So now he has a home in our chicken pen where he's the lone rooster among 12 hens, and we've named him Ted. This morning Ted set the dogs barking with his crowing. I think he must be one fairly happy young man now!

8:39 am edt 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Notes on bathing horses

Mark is off to Lippitt Country Show with Bessie, Ray, and Stevie. Bathing them was certainly interesting. Bessie stood for it fine—she likes baths—and Stevie did too, once he settled down enough to realize that, oh yeah, scratches with the water brush, I've done this before. Ray, on the other hand, has never been bathed, is full of yearling-colt hormones, and doesn't much care for water in any case. A real challenge. But we got it done, loaded them up in the trailer, and off they went to the show. We've got Bessie entered in the mares 5-14 class, Stevie in the geldings 4 and under class, and Ray in the yearling colts and Futurity classes. If all goes well, Stevie will also be shown with Heather's weanling colt Moose (Brook Hill Constellation) in a Get of Dam class. I'll update this later when I know how they did. 



6:19 am edt 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How much we love Bessie!
Our girl Bessie is a wonder. My brother and his kids were here last weekwebassets/BessNCady.jpgend from Chicago, and of course my niece Cady, age 6, wanted to ride a horse. So who among them do we pick? Rusty? (doesn't like being separated from his buddies). Maggie? (tendency to be contrary). Mist? (too hormonal, and still needs to be near her foal). Stevie and Ray—don't even think about putting little kids on unruly colts! But Bessie... good, solid, reliable Bessie was our choice, and she did not disappoint. Nate and Cady rode her round and round the barn, even trotted a little, and Bessie was her usual rock-solid self. That's why we love her—that fantastic disposition. 
8:09 pm edt 

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