The last few days have been absolutely beautiful. Sunday I didn’t do much of anything. I don’t know why but there are days when I’m just too tired to do anything. Sunday was one of those days. Yesterday was much better, and I decided to work the horses that April, and I hadn’t gotten to. First I took Lizzie out. As I went past Jeri I discovered that either she was just coming into season or just going out. Normally she pays no attention to the stallions, not so yesterday. It wasn’t overt, but she nickered interestedly as we went past. She started out cantering in the round pen, all excited to be doing something different, then settled into a nice trot. At least for a while she did. In her old age she has gotten very lazy. I had to prod her some but we got in a good exercise session. Then when I put her back into the pasture she took off running, and bucking letting everyone know that she got to go out and play. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try putting a saddle on her.
Next came Sadie who despite her age shows no sign of petering out. She has the most beautiful trot, and will do it endlessly if you ask her. She has filled out quite nicely, but needs some exercise to fill out her top line. She now sports a round belly (not too unlike my own), a nicely filled out back, and good haunches. Her croup is still bony, and I’m hoping that exercise will take care of that problem. She’s a total fur ball, and absolutely filthy. I’ve brushed her out, but she manages to get muddy every time there’s even a little moisture on the ground. Marina (our other gray) always looks clean, and Sadie always looks dirty, go figure. Still, and all she really enjoyed getting out, and strutting her stuff like the hussy she is.
Next I took Sierra out. He walked out of his stall like a perfect little gentleman. Unfortunately since he now knew he could run, and play in the round pen he decided that he could do what he wanted, and not what I asked him to do. We worked a lot on the “reverse” command, and he sort of got it, but not quite. Hey it was only his second time out, and he’s still a baby. I did manage to measure him, and no he hasn’t really grown. He’s still 13.1, and he is totally downhill. Typical of a two year old he’s all out of proportion. They’re adorable as a weanling, and through their first year. Their second year you begin to wonder if you made a mistake, and try to keep them hidden as they never look like they will ever amount to the horse you had in mind. It’s not until they’re about three that everything comes together, and they start looking like the horse you dreamed about. Hopefully he will grow this summer. Even though his dam is only 14.3, his sire is 15.2. Accordingly to his measurement at about 6 months, he should come out about 15 hands, which is just right for my taste. Only time will tell.
Now all this time Espree is standing at her gate watching everyone but her get to run, and play. She doesn’t have a halter on because she kept rubbing it off one ear causing the other side of her face to rub raw. I finally just left it off. The only problem with that is that she doesn’t like to get caught. We decided years ago that she must have been ear twitched before we got her. Rudy got her to the point where he could put the halter on easily, but she has not been so good to me. It took forever for me to even be able to come up to her without her running away. Luckily she loves to be brushed, and I used that to my advantage. I wasn’t sure she’d let me put her halter on, but I was very patient, and after a considerable amount of time (playing her runaway game) she finally let me halter her. The funny thing is once you catch her she’s a perfect lady. She has wonderful ground manners. I worked her, and again I was amazed at the power of her stride. Espree is a powerfully built mare. She has filled out nicely, and is back to her normal weight. She needs to build up her shoulders, and chest a bit, but not much. Like Marina she is pure muscle only in a taller package. It will kill me to let her go before we have a foal out of her. Her only flaw is that she toes in slightly. Of course a lot of that could be corrected with a good trimming, but she has black hooves, and I know I don’t have the strength to file her feet. I have to depend on mother earth for that.
She had a good workout, or at least as much of a workout as I wanted to give her. None of the girls have been worked in a while, and just like us they can get sore muscles if worked too hard after not doing anything for a while. I kept all their sessions short, which left time to clean the barn, and get to Marina’s stall. All the stalls need to be cleaned, but just like the horses I didn’t want to over tax my muscles either. It was a good day. Even Marina, and Star got some exercise as I threw them out in the arena while I cleaned Marina’s stall. Of course I chased them first. They are beautiful to watch with endless energy. Marina is a bit stout just now, and needed the workout. Star is young, and so needs to run just to keep her sane. They both had their fun, and I left them to wander, and pick at whatever little dried grass they could find while I cleaned Marina’s stall, and paddock area.
That was yesterday. I felt great then, not so much this morning. I was a bit sore, but not too bad, or so I thought. April was supposed to come over today, only her mother was out of sorts, and she didn’t want to leave her alone. That was ok, I had planned on working Stormy, and Angel with the saddle, but as usual nothing works out the way I plan it anyway so it was no big deal. It was still a beautiful day so I went to tackle Star’s stall. God she’s a pill. Like all the youngsters when you come into the stall they think you’re there to play with them. To some degree they’re all pests, but she is exceptional. First she kept trying to get her halter off its hook, which she could just reach with the stall door open. The gator is against the stall door (for the purpose of collecting the manure), and every time I had a shovel full I had to move her out of the way. She dutifully moved with the speed of a snail, and then went back to playing with her halter as soon as I went back for another shovel full.
That went on until she got bored, and started playing with the gate handle. That was considerable better since then I could go unimpeded to the gator delivering my shovels of manure. Well in playing with the gate she discovered that she could close the gate. That was way more fun because not only did I have to push her out of the way, but I now had to try to open the gate holding my shovel of manure. I finally got tired of that game, and chased her out of her stall into the paddock area where I was cleaning. This was still mildly entertaining. I’d chase her out, and she’d go right back in.
Finally (three loads later), my back was screaming in pain, and I said enough even though I had time to do at least one more stall. I guess I’m out of shape too. With the snow, the wind, and the rain I haven’t cleaned stalls for a while. My body was not pleased in the least. I proceeded to come back to the house, and my heating pad. Everything from my waist up hurt. Every movement was sheer pain. I couldn’t wait until it was time to take my pain pill, to which I added some Ibuprofen, and a Tylenol PM. That of course put me to sleep for a little while at least. When I woke up I could at least move. After feeding everyone I spent the rest of the evening on my heating pad (which I normally do anyway). It will be a difficult night of fitful sleep, but at least I got something accomplished, and that’s a good thing. Tomorrow I may try riding Lizzie before I attack another stall. She should be fine to ride. I just want to get her in shape, and make sure she’s rideable before I try to find a retirement home for her. I’ll wait for April to come over before I work with Stormy, and Angel. Stormy will take a while before anyone gets on his back, but Angel should be fine the next time we work her. Rudy did start her once years before, and she was very good about it then. Still and all I won’t attempt it with no one here but me just in case. I’m not a total fool after all, or am I? One has to be at least half crazy to do all this stuff at my age without having the faintest idea of how to do what needs to be done. At least I’m enjoying myself, and lets face it, I never get bored.