Tuesday, May 21, 2019

lower case warning

lower case today. typing with my right hand, petting a rabbit with my left.

we have been to expo and returned. mam oh man, that was work. an info poster, announcer script f or demos, custom gotland ponies shirts and hat, clean ponies, harness and carriage, training a helper who started with zero driving horse experience, vaccinations utd…

and then the stall guards. having to present 12 hand ponies (121cm about) with 4 fot high stall doors to families with kids was a problem I wished to avoid. It took many phone calls and emails to find out what I could do. the facility management gave me permission to install eye bolts for stall guards, if I took them out when I left. it turned out well because, not only were the doors to high for ponies, but the even fronts were semi transparent mesh and even the tall horses were hard to see. in the rare breed barn, my ponies were visible. the american cream draft obtained a stall guard also.

nell had a good rest right after she arrived. pepper made a bedding mcflurry in her stall for two days, recived oral electrolyte paste to make her drink, and dropped from exhaustion on day 3.

the organizer was having trouble with obtaining show entries so I entered my helper and myself in the in-hand obstacle clinic and class. nell got 5th, pepper 6th. my helper decided not to take nell, so I took both. I think we lost points because I am too crippled to run and could not jump the last thing with the pony so we just stepped over it.

my phone takes terrible pics, but it was cheap and can only receive tests at home, the tower is too far away to support voice or data. why spend mega dollars for something that doesn't work most of the time?

we drove 4 demos. saturday they were way ahead of schedule and didn't keep us up to date. it was crazy, they were trying. i managed to get a pair harnessed and put to in under 1/2 hour while my helper wheeled out the carriage and headed the ponies.

I took few pictures. there was a pro photographer. I believe in supporting show photographers so that good photos continue to be available. they don't make a lot of money at shows. you will have to wait for the pro photos

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Equus Survival Trust West Coast Event

Equus Survival Trust, representing equine rare breeds in North America, is having an event concurrent and included in the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, CA. There will also be a Combined Driving Event. All this will be happening at Rancho Murrieta, May 9th through 12th.

I will be there with Pepper and Nell, representing Gotland Ponies. We won't be in the Combined Driving Event, but with the EST Breed Pavilion.

Kinda scary, kinda fun.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Horsey Things that are not the Fun Things

I posted this to the Yahoo Group Recreational Equine Driving. I might as well post it here too. Maybe I'll add some photos.

Its raining again. We get almost all of our annual rainfall between November and March. We are now at about 130% of seasonal average. For horses, that means a lot of mud. Three ponies are in the paddock attached to the barn. The mud is incredible. I have a bigger pasture but the grass is now undergoing its fastest growth. Our grass is the native grass and does all of its growing so that it can produce seeds before the moisture stops and it dies. Its very dangerous for ponies, so they can't go out until it dies sometime during May or early June. The ticks are vicious until then anyway.

My roundpen is covered with plastic sheeting so it will be dry underneath. This way I don't have to wait for it to dry, we just uncover it. We buried a drain at the base of the hill above the round pen so that the water from the hillside will not percolate down into the roundpen and seep under the plastic.

Today begins a non-raining period of about 4 days so we can roll the plastic off and I can put three ponies in there to blow the stink off their brains and so they will be able to have dry legs for the farrier on Wednesday. This is good because the roundpen is by the road and the farrier wont have to take his truck on the driveway and we don't have t worry about him getting stuck and then calling our neighbor with a tractor to get him out.

Yesterday the man road was closed because of all the people in San Jose trying to drive up to the snow. I drove(auto) down and they were hiking up in droves, having left their cars parked illegally to get tickets. They had children of all sizes. its a narrow road without a shoulder. Unless they and their kids were up to a 10 mile hike, they were not going to make it. I counted 150 cars in the section of road before the closure where I might have seen 4 or 5.

I only went down to get chains an quick links because the ponies drag the feeders to the muddiest part and I want to attach them where I don't have to wade in mud higher than my ankles to feed them. I don't like to rinse my mud saturated socks in a bucket to get the dirt out before I put them in the washer.

Coming home, the Sheriff almost didn't let me in. He didn't recognized my Mt Hamilton Range Improvement Association pass. He said "You're lucky you didn't get one of the newer guys. He wouldn't let you in."  The new guy would recognize me. He's came to my house and introduced himself. I see him on the road frequently. My address is on my car registration and my insurance card,  but I shouldn't need an address here to come here. My card signifies that I am a land owner. So today I will deal with that, only because he was jerk.
Two new ponies in November and I can't play with them. Like I said, not the fun part.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Schoolhouse Turn Returns to Sorta Normal

Thursday, last, the three mares came home. Nell and Faye for the first time. Faye is in the annex for now, being on the bottom of the hierarchy and having dental problems, this is best. She can see Pepper and Nell all the time.

Wednesday was the equine dentist for Pepper and Faye. Amy Scripps has seen Pepper before, but it was her first time seeing Faye. Faye has some major problems that may have been caused by an injury as a filly. I had been feeling guilty about taking her from her lifetime herd and vast pasture, but discovery that her dental issues made grazing difficult and would have made grazing impossible, probably within a year, puts my mind at ease. Amy says she has years of eating hay left, and we devised a way of using slow feed nets in a way that she can use them.

We are in a holding pattern for now because air quality is so bad. The Camp Fire, now 60% contained, is 200 miles away, but we are getting a lot of smoke. After last year, and then this year, it is apparent that California will be getting nastier fires from now until forever. We have to do even more to reduce the fuel load of surrounding area. So I have two goats.... and possibly kids due in March '19, we will have 2-4 goats for grass and brush control on slope that is too steep to do by human.

In the meantime: Ready for evac in minutes beginning in May (still green then) until the first major rain.

Now for the pictures:

Nell, Pepper rolling

Pepper and Nell


Friday, November 2, 2018

Temp Housing

All three ponies are at a boarding stable in Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the world. After having ponies at home, I don't like boarding.

South Bay Horse Ranch is a good stable, summer home of the South Bay Polo team. The team is gone south for the winter, southern California has a better climate in the winter.
That means.... I can drive on the polo field!!!

The polo Field is fun to drive on. Pepper likes it. Wednesday, when Faye and Nell arrived, she was antsy. Brandy, the trainer who is fixing the trailering trouble and teaching me to keep it from reappearing, said Pepper had a lot of energy. I drove her after her session and I can attest to that! She would not stand still for harnessing and I had trouble getting the cart put to. As soon as I got the shafts through the loops, she was still. Then I got in and said:
"Pepper, walk."

She sashayed around the field in a perfect and forward walk, and gave me a great drive. Pepper is all about the drive. Not so much for schmoozing, just driving.

Yesterday I put Pepper in the round pen with her future partner Nell. Another boarder was concerned about putting two ponies together, but Nell just came out of a herd of thirty ponies. Pepper came from the same herd 4 years ago. The mostly just screamed at each other from a distance of 15 meters. I kept them moving around until It was obvious that they would just scream. After 1/2 or screaming, I put them away because someone else wanted to use the roundpen.

I didn't take pictures. Oops.

Faye let me catch her. I didn't get her out. She was pretty stressed. I just scratched her. She has diarrhea. She got diatomaceous earth and electrolytes and lunch hay. She is drinking well.

Arrival pics:
Faye is the black dun,
Nell is buckskin.


Friday, October 26, 2018

I Have Returned Triumphant

I have returned triumphant from my pony shopping expedition. I had three ponies to consider: Natalie, Petra and Penny. The new pony I fell in love with was Petra....

Collecting registration and Coggins/Health Certificate documents revealed that Petra was actually Penelope AKA Penny, and that the mix-up began years ago. I have actually chosen Penelope, who shell be known as Nell.

She ships out on Monday, one 12 had mare in a semi full of Thoroughbred yearlings from the Keenland sale.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Working Equitatiopn, Goats and Shopping

I got a new phone. What a hassle. If its not one thing, its another.
Here are some pics from a Working Equitation schooling show I volunteered to help with.

As you know. my pony Yndi died. She left another pony, Pepper, and two goats: Grendel and Peanut. Peanut went away for the breeding season to his own little herd of does to help make kids and milk in the spring. Then Grendel died suddenly, leaving Pepper totally by herself.

So I fetched Peanut back. Pepper became unmanageable unless she was hooked to her cart, in which case she was a totally obedient work-a-holic. So she is at a boarding stable in training. There are other horses, she is happy.

I have made travel plans to shop for another pony. I don't feel ready. Pepper is ready. I need to take care of Pepper.

In the meantime, Peanut, having out grown the name Peanut buy become a total goober anyway, was alone. So now there is Star. She rode from Hollister in the back of my Subaru Outback. A big hit at Evergreen San Jose Chevron Station.