Thursday, December 29, 2011

My review of Warhorse

I saw the move "WarHorse," and I really enjoyed it. Sure - it is not the best movie ever made, and it jumps about a bit, but overall it was very entertaining. I did cry of course, I mean I have a horse so emotional scenes with horses are made for me. Mu husband hated the movie, so you may need to be a horse enthusiast to truly enjoy it.

Joey, the TB in the movie was played by a OTTB that was bred in California. You can read more about him
I was lucky enough to get a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and after seeing the movie I decided that my first Kindle Book should be WarHorse. It is a short book, 18 chapters, and it differs from the movie quite a bit. I think I actually liked the humans better in the book, somehow they were more dimensional and their motivations were clearer. I love that the Germans in the book, and the movie, were portrayed as feeling suffering people, and not the devils we so many times see in WW movies.

Anyway; if you have not seen the movie, I would recommend seeing it in the theatre as the scenes are stunning (it is Spielberg after all), and I also recommend you read the book

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'll have Yule - My pretty!

Some people really like this time of year, and some people really don't like it at all. I am on of those that LOVE it!! I really love Yule, or Jul, as it is written in Norwegian. Thought I would share some pics of my Jul decorating and such.

The Dining room with the Jul tree, and Jul goat and the Advent candles.
a little Elf that plays a song and nods

Jul mice that I made last year

Miranda's handprint in the flour from making Gingerbread Cookies. Looks 3D, but it is actually an Imprint.

Jul scents
I purchased one of the very small red crockpots a few years ago, and use it only at Jul to fill our house with the scents of the season. In it I place two sliced oranges, some Cinnamon, Cloves and Ginger, one Bay leaf, and a healthy squirt of lemon juice. Fill to the top with water, set to low and enjoy the scent. Refill water as needed. (Every week I replace the oranges, sometimes I may add some spices if I feel like it. :)
I have a friend who is quite sensitive to potpourri, and scented candles, but this does not bother her at all.

Come to think of, assembling this in a little crock pot, sans water and lemon juice, might be a pretty great hostess or office gift.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coming out of the Closet!

The shame!! The humiliation! The Guilt! that is what has kept me in the closet, but I am ready to come out.

Here it goes: I am a Romance novel reader!! And I don't care who knows it!

 I love a good Holiday Romance Novel, especially an historical one. I heard that most of the books read on the Kindle,  are Romance Novels, and I can so understand that. Finally it is possible to read these books in public without the shameful cover art that gives it away as a "low brow."
In my stressful life, let's face it I hear enough drama in one day to cover a months worth, I can not heavily invest my emotions in deep reading. I need fluff, and adventure, and easy reading.

My husband calls these books "mamma's porn," but quite frankly whenever the bussoms start heaving, I skip until I see quotation marks. There are only so many ways to describe that stuff, and I just want to get back to the adventure, the descriptions of the clothes and the excitement. I think that is the reason the Twilight Books are so popular, it is Romance without the seady stuff. Romance for romance sake.

I have tomorrow off, I think, so I hope to endulge this weekend in some Holiday Romance Reading. I see hot tea, some good chocolate, some Norwegian Potato chips, and the adventures of the "Earl of SoandSuch" falling head over heels with the pennyless, yet beautiful, brilliant, and sassy, outcast daughter of the Discraced "Baron of Thisandthere."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What a splendid hour!

Yesterday we had our first lesson, and it was a very educational hour. She is a splendid trainer, who explains the reasoning behind her requests so that you learn and see how each thing affects the equine partnership. I had a blast.

For some reason I was not nervous at all once we got there. There was another lesson going on, so I was able to get used to the teaching style before it was my turn. She is kind, firm and bossy; I like it!!
She has already tacked up two horses, Selena was being used in the lesson previous to ours, while Beau waited patiently. Came to find out that Beau isn't just patient, he is a bit on the lazy side. Miranda rode him, while I rode Selena.
This was a elementary riding for dummies lesson. Trainer felt that we should start as though this was our first lesson ever, and make sure that we did not have any gaps in our knowledge. VERY good idea. Miranda learned things too, even though all we did was walk/trot, and she was not bored.

Trainer made some very small adjustments to my legs, and Voila! my knee pain was solved. As a matter of fact I was able to climb the stairs at home last night without wincing. Now that was worth the cost of the lesson all by itself. She stated that I had ridden correctly if my inner thighs were sore today, and they are a little today, so I guess my form was correct.

Now a little funny:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lesson is today!! EEEeeek

Today is the day; lesson day. I am nervous, but mostly excited. I just hope I enjoy, and I hope I like my horse.

I am a BIG believer in being connected with our horse. This was just how I felt, and I just went with it. When I meet a new Equine, I always spend some time just meeting them, to see if I feel a connection. Might be a bunch of Mumbo Jumbo to many people, but I tend to put a lot of stock in it. Some horses speak to me right away, while some take a while, and others don't at all. They ones that don't, I don't want any part of.

Although a relative Newbie to riding , I feel strongly that any ride on a horse is a mutual decision between horse and rider. It has to be a partnership, and if I don't think the horse wants to work with me, I am not getting involved. Sure; the human is in charge (we like to think so anyway), but the horse must allow that.

This was all a theory, or a way of thinking, that I had come to on my own. I just knew this to be true, and at times "knowing" this made me a feel a bit foolish. Speaking about it with some humans resulted in some eye rolls, and some head shakes, and I was made to feel as though I was romanticising horses. And Maybe I am......

Our former BO, Suzie, is a horse trainer, and "true horse people." She trains horses for roping, reining and  barrels, and has worked with just about any discipline. While boarding there this past summer, Miranda and I wanted to go on a trail ride. Having just one horse, Suzie offered us Flash for my use. Flash is seven year old gelding, dapple grey, built small, and a true and steady mount. I had seen him around the barn, and knew that Suzie loved him and had trained him since she saw him born. Quite frankly I was flattered that she trusted me with him, and knew that she trusted him with me.
Before I rode, Miranda did, and she liked him just fine. I spent some time with him, and then mounted up. Right off the bat I was uncomfortable. I did not feel Flash at all, he was not connecting with me, and although he was acting just fine, we were not on the same wavelength at all. I got off after trying for about 15 minutes. It was clear to me that Flash and I were not a good match.

Feeling kind of stupid, I dreaded seeing Suzie. What was I to say? Hey, thanks for letting me ride your horse, but I don't like him? Honesty is the best policy, and so I was. Suzie looked at me, and said that she was glad I got off of him because one should NEVER ride a horse that does not "feel right." It is a personal thing, she said, between you and the horse, and nothing good ever comes of forcing a relationship. Turns out Suzie, the Trainer, uses "feel" as her guiding force in all that she does with horses. She says that if she does not "feel" the horse, she passes on that horse, and that she advices all her riders to do the same. Humans are a lot more sensitive to the connection than we give ourselves credit for, says Suzie, and we should all listen to our senses more. Suzie loved Pippi, and I think she misses Pippi way more than she misses us. Pippi was the one in the herd that alerted Suzie to "trouble", so I am sure she does miss her.

So today is my first lesson. I have decided to go early and hopefully get to meet my mount early. Either way, this is a schooling horse, so I am sure it might take a while to see who this horse really is. I will have my first lesson whether I like the horse or not, but I sure hope this Equine and I hit it off. Schooling horses, or boarding horses, tend to be a bit closed off, I suppose it is from being ridden by transient humans over and over again. And who can blame them?

I am really excited!! And nervous!! But mostly EXCITED!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My thoughts are with those broken hearts.....

As much as I try to ignore it, today November 29th, is the anniversary of the car accident that eventually claimed my mothers life, many many years ago now.

Two people I know were admitted into the hospital today, one barely clinging to life, the other one with maybe weeks left. I feel such pain for their loved ones, and hope that they can get through this tough times and hold on to the good memories as best they can.

I know I have............

My Daily commute with Harry Connick Jr.

As anyone who knows me will attest; I have a great love for the Holidays. A GREAT LOVE!! Right after Miranda's Birthday in mid October, I change my CD collection (really need to copy over to the Ipod) for my car over to the Holiday CD's. And just about everyday, I drive home singing along to my Holiday songs, both Norwegian and American (and a few Swedish songs.)

Many days Harry Connick Jr. rides along, and we sing from his CD "When my Heart Finds Christmas," which is really good if you have not had the pleasure. In my day dreams we are putting on quite a show, a la scenes from "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.

No one can belt out "Let it Snow" in harmony quite like Harry and my Prius. We dance and glide across the stage and sing our hearts out............. in my Prius that is.

Please to enjoy:

"Let it Snow"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turning my day around......

I overslept this morning, not by a lot but enough to sort of get me off kilter. I then took a shower, tried to hurry, but the hot water was just so wonderful that I lingered a bit. But that was okay; all I had to do was get ready and head to work. Things seemed on track again..............aaaaaahhhh......

Oh Crap!! It was my turn to feed Pippi, and I was already a few minutes off to leave to go straight to work. Changed into muck boots, grabbed other shoes and headed to the barn. Okay - let's hurry!!

Have you ever noticed how horses force you to slow down? Their easy going nature, just standing around waiting for hay and breathing, tends to slow us down. Gets our priorities in order, let's us enjoy a few quiet moments. I was hoping Pippi would do that for me this morning.

She didn't!
 She had thrown her feed bucket to the ground, and then  filled it with stall bedding, so I had to rinse it out and dry it off before I could feed her.

Breathe!!! In & Out!!

"Okay, here you go Pippi. That's my girl!" Feed delivered.

Water bucket needs refilled.

"Oh - you have got to be freakin' kidding me!!!!! (insert Norwegian curse words at will here)!!!!!!!"

Pink bucket, on the ground, filled with crud, blue bucket still hanging but also nasty.
Normally we have a refill bucket in the barn, so all I have to do is refill two buckets from the big one. That saves time - normally!!! But not today since I was already late.
Grab both buckets, head outside to spicket to rinse out and refill. Rushing back in, and tripped over one of the cats, I think it was "Boots" (so named for his habit to be underfoot and thereby accidentally kicked by boots).
So I spilled ice cold water down my leg!!
Thanks a heck of a lot - "BOOTS!!"

At this point I just stopped for a second. Closed my eyes and reminded myself that I am charge of my own body, my own mind and my own reactions.

It is time to realize that I am late. So what? Who cares? I will be efficient, get things done and get to work as soon as I can, but I will no long scramble, or run around like an idiot.

Hung buckets back in stall, fed hay and opened upper part of door to Pippi can see out.

Chance standing on the ledge (pic from last week)

Grabbed some hay for Chance who will be fed later by Donna when she feeds all the mini's. He was already standing on the ledge with his head sticking over the door waiting for some morsels to tide him over.

Okay - back in the car and off to work.

How nice it was for me to do the feeding so Daughter could sleep in after finishing up her Fall Quarter at college yesterday.
You are welcome Honey!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Fly Bonnet or not, that is the question.

We have a Paint, a loud shining colorful Paint Mare. She is only 15 hands tall, but she stands out in a sea of 16 + hands of Bay Tb's and WB's. Just ask any TB gelding at any Hunter show; that wide white bootie of Pippi's is a magnet.

So I ask you; should we bonnet or not? The wind has never been an issue with Pippi. Any draft through her noggin has never affected her performance, so it would only be a fashion statement. But would a fashion statement such as a fancy Fly Bonnet look silly, or even ridiculous on a Paint?

Would it look as though we are trying waaaaaayyyy too hard to make our Paint look the Tb part? Keep in mind we are Hunter Jumpers, not eventers.

I like the look of the Fly Bonnet. It makes the horse look dressed for Show!!
" I am doing something extraordinary, and I dressed accordingly. Thank you very much."

I image googled "Paint Horse with Fly Bonnet" and found a lot of pictures of paint horses wearing fly masks, and then this horse ---------------------------------->

Now, no disrespect to this horse, but that looks ridiculous. Probably because I hate that kind of bonnet, but still..... What a silly looking bonnet, all frilly and grandma like. How old is this horse? Does it spend its days knitting in a rocker on the front porch?

I want any bonnet for Pippi to make her look distinguished, and special, and classy.

If you want to try out a Bonnet, I do, then you can enter to win a Sanswill Fly Bonnet  here. They are spectacular, and beautifully made. I want one now!!!

Thanks to A Work In Progress for turning me on to these great Bonnets, and the Give away.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Product Review - Equine Pine.

After having some issues with late arrival of sawdust, and using stall shavings, we decided this would be a great time to try out some new stall bedding. After seeing bags of Equine Pine at our local Tractor Supply store, and doing some research online, we decided to give it a whirl.

You can read about the product and company here. 
"Equine Pine is made of 100% pure Pine pellets that absorb moisture and destroy odors naturally. The unique make-up of Pine bonds with the ammonia and neutralizes it fast. Also, because the Pine absorbs moisture quickly, it makes mucking the stalls much easier and less time consuming, all while reducing the pesky fly population."

Since it is November, I can not tell you whether the claim about flies has any merit, but as for the other stuff: right on!

Equine Pine
After over a week of use, and daily muckings of the stall; I am super happy with Equine Pine. It is not dusty, does not settle on/in Pippi's heavy winter fur, and is really easy to muck out. The amount of manure and waste taken from her stall went from one wheel barrow per day, to 1/4 of a wheel barrow of only manure. I sift through the entire stall every day because Pippi is a stall walker and tends to move her waste all over he stall. In the wet area, in Pippi's case that is right in the middle, I take out the super wet, and then put some dry bedding over it from the sides.

Opening the bags

We bought seven bags, not being really sure how much we would use, and ended up using five. We saved the others for the fill in, as stated on the website. After spreading it on inch thick all around on the cleaned stall mats, I was quite frankly a bit worried. It did not look like it would be enough even if it swelled a lot from being "misted."

Spreading pellets one inch thick.

According to the manufacturer we were to "spray water lightly." Now, what the hmmm does that mean exactly? Spray Lightly? So I hooked up the hose, pulled it inside, and misted away. Of course the hose, immediately developed a huge gash and water sprayed all over the place. I tried to cover the freezing hole with my hands, but it was gushing pretty badly. Misting done!! Just to let you know, water the pellets until the top layer looks darker. I was for sure that I had over watered with the gushing, but it was fine.

After watering.

After watering we all stood around staring at the bedding as though something quite dramatic was about to occur. We were of course convinced that I had soaked it, and you will have the advantage of knowing that you may water, and not just "spray water lightly." Soon the pellets looked softer, and by the time Pippi tried it out, she was standing on a nice fluffy bedding.

My fear was that the bedding would move with her, making lines and divets until you could see the mats. That is not the case. I also worried about sifting the stuff, but it falls right through the fork, leaving only the manure. Somehow the bedding in the stall has continued to grow all week, so that every day we have more. We have yet to open the other two bags, to replace any of the removed bedding.

Sometimes while mucking the stall I still think that the wet areas can not possible be absorbed.  However when I move over dry bedding (which still will be somewhat pelleted due to being by the walls) onto the wet spot and spread it around it magically disappears. (I do take out some really soaked stuff though.) I fluff the stall a bit, and it looks like new bedding again. Pippi does tend to track all her manure all around, so that helps me sift through a lot of it daily. Some of the wet tends to clump, almost like clumping litter.

This product is cheaper than shavings, more absorbent than saw dust, and it is a green product! The manure pile is smaller, and with less overall waste, the manure pile is better for composting. It has only been a week or so, and I will let you know how I feel in a few more weeks. There is no need at this point to strip the stall, as we used to do at least once a week with sawdust and once per day with shavings. That in itself is fantastic, and considering the cost savings, I am sold so far.

Did I mention that is comes sealed in bags, so no more dealing with how to keep sawdust dry in bad winter weather. Don't you just hate it when the sawdust freezes in the pile, and you have to hack lose a wheelbarrow full at a time?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ding Dong, the B!$%# is GONE!!!

As I previously stated Pippi has recently become quite grumpy, and even tried to kick me when I entered her stall to refill water buckets while she ate her feed. We wondered if the culprit was the Energy supplement we had started her on. Our new barn has a small field for her to run around in, she is by herself a lot and I think the energy was just making her have "equine cabin fever."

After skipping the energy supplement for two days, the Pippi of old is just about back. Today she was friendly, wanted to be petted, stood in the cross ties and was just amenable to everything. With the constant rain, we did not ride, but I sure wish we could have. She was a bit distracted, but in a few more days we should see even more mood improvement.

I called SmartPak and asked to switch the energy supplement, but they had already sent this months shipment. They stated that they had not had complaints about mood changes with the energy supplement, but I still think that is the culprit in our case. Just goes to show that as with all creatures we have to decide for ourselves, and realize that we all react differently to different stimuli.

I spent today at home, after waking up at 3am with a migraine and severe pain in my neck and shoulders. This afternoon I had a deep tissue massage, and although quite painful, it helped tremendously. Before the massage I could barely lift my elbows, but I am now typing on my blog.  Still went to the barn with Daughter this evening too.

Haven and Stumpy
Mostly I spent the day chillin with the cats.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shouldn't take it personally, but Oh - I do!!

Went to the barn this morning, and there was an incident that left me angry, a little scared and unsettled.

Lately Pippi has been, there is no other word more appropriate sorry, BITCHY!! She has been difficult to work with, pinning her ears and just being a giant grump. She has been on a SmartPak Energy supplement, and I can't help but think that this along with the move is the reason. Her field is small, and so giving her more energy, a small field, and basically no company (since the mini's are in most of the time) I think is making her nutty.

This morning after I gave her the grain, and came back in to water, she actually squeeled and then lifted her hind leg as though to kick at me. I went and got a crop, and came back in. This time I moved her to the side with the pressure of the crop, and she moved with no incident. Kind of wish she would have lifted that leg again, so I could have swatted her butt!

But I was still angry, a little bit scared (they are big animals after all) and quite irritated.

I called Daughter after I got to work, and we have decided to take Pippi off the energy supplement, and see if that helps her overall mood. If it does not, we will add MareMagic or some other supplement to stabilize her bitchy side.

I miss my sweet, gentle, kind Pippi........

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you see what I see?

How many Horses ?

Love this one

How many Horses are in the painting above?

can you see a horse?
What is this?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I love that Feeling!

I was able to get to the barn yesterday, and I really needed a trip to the barn. For the last few days Daughter has been the caregiver, since I had to travel and was unable to make it, she was on her own.

Up until recently we have boarded Pippi at facilities, and so a lot of her care has been done by others. On October 23rd we moved Pippi to Donna and Kevin's house, in our neighborhood, and we are now taking care of her exclusively ourselves. For some reason I thought it would be a lot of work, but with only one horse it is not that bad. We also care for Pippi's stall mate, Chance (mini Pip), whose stall is the only other one in that building. But even so, we are LOVING it. Two stalls to clean, three water buckets, and two feeders, two meals per day, hay and sweeping the aisle; no big whoop! I think after sitting all day in an office, the motion of moving and working just feels like a break. Of course that is easy to say now, it is not winter yet.

Pippi was happy to see me, I was happy to see her. She had chosen to be outside even in the rain, so I dried her off and spent some time just grooming and rubbing on her. I love the deep exhales she does, and the way her body seems to settle as I touch her. I rubbed a towel all over he body, and gently stroked her face with it. She loves that, and will freeze in place for as long as I am willing to do it. I found the spot behind her ear that makes her eyes close, and she got that dreamy expression. She now picks up her feet with just the slightest touch, and was very patient with the long time it took me to clean out all the packed in mud.

We just fiddled around with this and that for a while. Did some clicker stuff as we waited for Daughter to finish her stall, and just enjoyed ourselves. Pawing the ground, touch the item, etc. Pippi will only do clicker training for a few minutes before she decides she has had enough treats and will no longer be manipulated. She then just stands and looks at me. She will comply with things that makes sense to her, but touch the item goes out the window. "Bored!!" she says, and there is a limit to what we can do in a small aisle.

I am so happy to have Pippi to ourselves like this. If you are wondering about taking your horse "home" - DO IT!! It is less work than you think, and it does strengthen your bond with the horse for sure. Pippi now knows for sure who her humans are, and relies on us for everything. Daughter says it has made training easier as well, even without the fancy outdoor arena and an indoor arena. (of course, it is not really winter yet!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What I learn..(not really a horse post)

Blogging, both reading others and writing my own, has taught me so much. Much about horses, but also much about myself. My experiences with humans in the horse world,  and my job has given me a hard edge that I am not sure I like. But how does one turn back?

Recently I commented on a blog post written by Kelly at Princess Diva Diaries, and after reading my own comment I was shocked to realize that I can be a bit callous. Kelly was writing about the uncomfortable switch from one trainer to another, and about whether she should respond to the previous trainers seemingly terse response to being dropped. I wrote that Kelly should make sure she stated what she wanted in her email, and that unless she regretted writing something or felt that she left something out, should leave well enough alone. Although I agree with myself, I started thinking about how I have changed.
Years ago, before current job in Social Services, and Before Pippi, my response would have been different. I now seem to have the attitude "oh, well, if they have a problem they should bring it up" whereas I used to think "I should talk to them about it."

What changed? My feelings about people!

Yesterday I spent the day in a small rural court house, waiting to be called as a witness to a Child Abuse and Neglect case. I was subpoenaed by the Prosecuting Attorney due to this Defendant being a former client of mine. All day case after case was brought up; a never ending parade of defendants walked to the gallows and had their cases either heard (1) or moved to December 5th at 9am. (Yes -all those cases at the same time! No wonder I was there all day!)

There is a lot of client drama in my job (14 years in social services), and having Pippi and Boarding her has at times been quite dramatic as well. The fancy facility that we were at this spring was a nightmare; the manager was the sweetest little liar anyone could ever have the pleasure to meet, another boarder was a little shit stirrer, and meanwhile horses were underfed, feed was stolen, water buckets hardly ever filled, stalls left filthy, and horses left out unfed for hours (once in a huge storm). We moved! In the riding club there is never ending drama, and so I pulled out of that.

All of his has changed me, and I no longer feel as good about people as I used to. But I miss my old sweet attitude. I miss thinking well of people, and believing that people are essentially good. I don't think that now. Reading blogs are restoring some of my faith. People trying to do the right thing for their animals; Kelly worrying about her situation with former Trainer, reading about the meticulous care Chrome gets and his clicker training, and Amy falling off yet getting back to riding, warms my heart. And all the other blogs I read as well.
 So thank you so much for that. And if I sometimes sound hard or calloused in my posts, or in my comments, please call me on it. This is something I want to work on. I don't want to lose faith due to seeing a lot of crap, or hearing more likely, and I hope to find ways to turn back to a more positive frame of mind.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"The Gate, Stupid!"

When I arrived to clean the stall and feed Pippi last night, she was standing by the fence in the "run." I opened the car door, and she whinnied and gave me a look that clearly showed her frustration. She was not amused, and I had no idea why.

Walking towards her I said "what is it Pip? why are you standing here?" The run is just dirt for it is there that the weanling mini horses are turned out. The Mini horses tend to be turned out on dirt so that they do not overeat on grass and founder. Pippi goes from her stall into the run, and through an open gate into her little field of grass. Well, she normally does........

Pippi looked at me, let me pet her face for a minute, a scratch by the ear, and then she spoke again seemingly rolling her eyes." Oh stupid humans, they are fairly impossible to train, and they don't understand the simplest commands."

What is it, Pippi?  I tend to think things, imagining that she can sense my intent more that understand my "crude" human language. Like when I ride, I post a picture of what I want us to do in my mind so that my body will do it naturally, rather than tell myself what I should do. Does that make sense? Might be a bit of mumbo jumbo, but it works for me..........

Pippi at this point turned and walked to get the gate, bumping it to show me that it was closed. Not just closed, latched!! She slowly turned her head, and gave a me a "DUH!!!!"

Daughter had forgotten to unlatch and secure the gate after Chance was out yesterday. Pippi spent all day standing beside a lush green buffet, with no access.

No wonder I got a good cursing!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Kick heard around the farm

As you may know we moved Pippi to a new farm, where they keep Mini Horses. Among them is a mini we refer to as Mini Pip, as his coloring so resembles Pippis'.
Pippi, Daughter,( Mini Pip) Chance and Turnip

After being across from each other in the barn for over a week, and seeing each other outside for a few days, we decided to put Pippi and Chance together in one field. Pippi has been alone in that field since we moved. Chance was excited to be on grass, and ran right out and started eating. At first Pippi just looked at him, and kept munching away. She then moved closer and ate next to him. He never batted an eye.

Speaking of batting, I sent Daughter out there with a lunge whip just in case. Turned out to be a good idea.
Pippi soon circled Chance, ears pinned, and then ate some more. All of a sudden she turned her butt to him, signaled with ears pinned and waited for a second or two for him to move away, and then kicked. She caught him on the side. It was not a real hard kick, but he is a MINI!!!

I already had enough and yelled for Daughter to remove him IMMEDIATELY!!! Donna and Kevin were quite calm, and stated "oh well, we will try it again in a few days." Oh hell no, I can not have it on my conscience that Chance was mortally injured by my, until yesterday, sweet little mare.

I do think Pippi expected him to give ground, and signal to her that yes indeedy she was the Alpha Mare and that he would move when told. But Chance was so excited to eat, and being a mini, he just did not know the protocol and the rules for polite behavior when encountering a Beeyatch Mare.

Donna thinks we should leave the two alone in side by side fields for a few days, and see what develops. Anybody ever put a mini Gelding and a mean Mare together? Any advice?

(btw, Chance is fine. We gave him lots of carrots, and I checked him over this morning; not even a bruise it seems)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Persian Malaise UPDATE!!

I heard from the Vet, and I should add, I love our small animal vet. (I love our large animal vet too). JingleBelle has an upper respiratory infection. They put her on the nebulizer and it brought on a sneeze attack, and seemed to help. She was given a shot of antibiotics, and they recommend I come get her late this afternoon, as they would like to do another nebulizer treatment.

Since she is more likely to eat, and keep her spirits up, and be more comfortable, they are sending her home. She does not have a fever, but her lymph nodes are swollen.

So glad to hear that my little SmellyBelly is coming home. Isn't amazing how much love such a little creature can foster?

Persian Malaise

JingleBelle is under the weather.
When I came home from work yesterday, I was busy putting away groceries and was unaware that she was not feeling good. Well, that's not entirely right as I have been aware of a runny nose for a few days. She normally gets a bit stuffy when the weather turns cold, but this year we seem to be dealing with a little more than a few days of the sniffles.
She was cuddled up on a chair, with a blanket over her body (love my son's kind nature), and was just not being herself. She was listless, somewhat unresponsive, and disinterested. Her head was barely up, and she felt cold. I grabbed the phone and called the vet, and dropped her off this morning.
She did perk up a bit later on, and I handfed and she drank some water. She spent the night alone in the bathroom; I wanted to see how much she ate and drank, and wanted to monitor her little box. (She ate a bit, drank a bit, and her movement was a bit loose.)

JingleBelle is a true Persian cat, she is seven years old, and is on a strict diet of only Science Diet Hairball formula (due to the shape of the feed since it is the only on her flat face can pick up.) I even feed her the same thing as "treats."
She is spoiled and the Ruler of our household. If she wants a chair, she gets it! If she wants to snuggle at 3am, she gets to! When she tells me that the disgusting Pets (the other two cats), left hair in her water bowl, or used her little box, it gets cleaned out! She will meow and look at me with disdain at those times since it is my fault that we have "animals" in the house. "Animals" are gross in her opinion, and belong outside, and should be kept away from decent creatures like herself. Whenever they get too close, the get the claws, or a quick bite to show them who is boss.

I hope to hear from the vet asap, and will leave work to go take her home as soon as she is ready.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

"Trick or Treat" was done on Saturday in our neighborhood, and this was Daughters' pumpkin.
Stumpy, the cat, broke the partitions between the legs when Daughter was carving it, so toothpicks were added to keep things in place.
We roasted the pumpkin seeds, and Son ate those seemingly in one sitting.

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Costume Class - Rudolph and The Elf.

Our local show has a Costume Class at the last show of the season since it is so close to Halloween. This year we decided to dress Pippi up as Rudolph since Donna already had a super cute Elf costume.
I love the deer tail.

Last year Daughter forgot her show number, and was therefore DQ'd, and as you can see the above pic we just about forgot the number this year as well. Right after I snapped this shot I noticed the lack of show number and it is good thing I did, because we got the BLUE RIBBON!!

Here is a pic from last year:
I really enjoy making the costumes, and have now made five I think. The mini horse club has a costume class at every show, so I get a bit of practice.
This year I knew what size to make the sheet for Pippi, so that simplified things a bit. We took an old belt, glued bells and stars on it for the collar. We did have to get Pippi used to it, and wore it for a while to desensitize her to the jinglebells. Bought a clown nose and glued that on a bit of fabric that we attached to a leather halter. We measured it, and made sure it hit her right on her muzzle. She was not bothered by that or the antlers at all. The nose did irritate her when she tried to snag a bite of grass, as it swung out and startled her. Overall Pippi handles these silly Shenanigans with her usual patience and we make sure to reward her a lot. Poor Pippi has to deal with some seriuosly silly humans. No wonder she rolld her eyes at us.

Rudolph and the Elf is making another appearance tomorrow night to hand out candy during trick or treat. At least until it gets dark.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pine pellet bedding - Any advice?

I saw this type of bedding at my local Tractor Supply Store, and wondered about it. Check out the specific type here:

For some reason if you got to the TSC website they only have another product come up, something called Equine Fresh which does not have the "water it to fluff and use" component and seems totally different. I called Tractor Supply where I had seen the product to make sure I was looking at the right thing (so annoying when website does not match in house product).

HorseGirlTV has a webisode featuring the product here (somewhat cheesy production):

I then googled and read this Article:

Have any of you used this type of bedding? If so, what do you think?

Monday, October 24, 2011

The big move, and Pippi gets a pet!

This post encompasses the BIG move. I will also have to post about the costume class we had at the show Sunday, but I will save the pics of the Blue Ribbon Winner and Daughter for later. This is just too cute:

When we first leased Pippi she had just moved from the fairgrounds to a private facility. She was green broke, had been ridden a handful of times, and was easily spooked. The move there a few months earlier, had been her first, as far as I know, and she had left her companion since birth. The owner of the barn, wanted a new barn cat. Her current mouse deterrants were getting old, and the mice were taking over, so she went to the fairgounds and picked up a young stray. (The fairgrounds has oodles of cats that are fed by boarders). This cat was named Fuzzworth, and upon arrival he left the carrier, headed down the barn aisle, and ducked under Pippi's stall door. And that is where he lived as her constant companion; slept in her hay that she left for him until he woke up, killed mice and put them in her bucket and followed her around as we rode in the arena. Many times he would sit in the middle of the arena, calling to her as we rode around him. After noticing their bond we decided to see if Fuzzworth would like to ride Pippi, and lifted him to her back. After that he spent a lot of time riding around on her, and even sleeping curled into a ball, as she gingerly moved arund her stall. Sadly Fuzzworth was killed the next spring by Coyotes, which left Pippi looking out in the aisle for him, and looking around when the other cats meowed. We can only assume that they knew each other from the fairgrounds.

Pippi & Fuzzworth fall of 2009. We still miss him.
Sunday was the day of the last show, and since we were trailering her that day it was the best day to move her to our friends and neighbors house. They, Donna and Kevin, have and show minis, and we enjoy doing that with them. Their barn has become the cat shelter of the neighborhood, and at present there are ten cats living there.  
Dinner time

When we discussed the move, Daughter and I could not help but hope that Pippi once again would bond with a cat. We had picked out a cat, Target,  that looked a bit like Fuzzworth, and looked forward to introducing them.

We placed Target on the stall door a few hours after Pippi moved in.

Bad Pic, but he quickly checked out her feed.

They shared a meal, as one does to get to know one another.

Pippi then gave him a quick sniff.

Target was not shy about his immediate affection.

Target rubbed and purred and was quite vocal about how happy he was to get a horse.

The snugglefest continued for about twenty minutes, until Pippi remembered that she still had feed.

We now wondered how Target would take to riding, and placed him on Pippi's back. She did not bat an eye.

Suffice it to say that Pippi likes her new barn. She is the only full size horse there, but with her new pet I think she will be quite happy. The mini horses found her fascinating, while she was more interested in the grass than in them. Today she was able to go in and out at will, and stood inside while it rained only to go back out when it stopped. Daughter stopped by three times before two o'clock today, so I am being updated frequently on every detail. College classes give her a lot of freedom on priorities like these.

Kevin loves and adores Pippi, and checked on her three times after seven o'clock last night. He just kept saying "I just love that horse," while Donna was learning every detail about Pippi's care. Soon my posts will be about how Pippi is putting on too much weight, with all the treats and loving she is sure to get.