Archive for May 17, 2011

What’s with the Weather?   1 comment

Another cool and breezy day, with a .03 shower overnight.  We had the most beautiful golden light this morning.

This is just not Bakersfield weather.  Not that I’m going to complain.

Lori B. and I worked with Bella this morning, repeating what we did yesterday, but with an added twist.  We walked around the ranch with Lori leading and me walking behind, clucking when we wanted Bella to go and ho-ing for stop.  The idea was to get two ideas across; 1) It’s okay for someone to be behind you; and 2) Commands can come from that direction. 

She worried about the person behind her at first, but relaxed and did fine at the cluck and go.  At the stop, though, she wanted to skitter sideways and look back at me.  We persisted until we got three good straight stops in a row, and then put her up with lavish praise and administration of carrot pieces.  We’ll do it again tomorrow — weather permitting.

No real news on the EHV-1 story, except there was a story about it on the TV last night.  We’re all holding our breath; every day that goes by without another confirmed case is encouraging.  Our local vet has counted a hundred and thirty calls so far.  A horse doesn’t dare sneeze around Kern County.

I remembered my camera when we worked Bella, but it chose to act up and give me a SYSTEM ERROR message every time I tried to get a picture.  Later in the day, it was fine.  It likes taking flower pictures . . . this is a nameless creamy-yellow Walmart daylily.

And this is the aristocratic pedigreed “Wild Horses”.

I wonder what was in the breeder’s mind when he named it?  Anyway, it seems very appropriate for our place.


Posted May 17, 2011 by stablewoman in Flowers

No Pictures?   2 comments

Lori B. and I spent some time this morning fitting Bella’s new harness.  She’s had a surcingle on, but never a crupper; so this was a first.  I took off the breeching — the straps that go around her bottom —  figuring the crupper was enough of a new experience for one day.  I stuck my camera in one pocket, and carrots in the other, and we went to the round pen.

She was very good.  First we put on the surcingle and walked her around on the lead, then turned her loose and had her circle at the trot.  We caught her up and added the crupper.  If there’s anyone out there that doesn’t know what one is, it’s a kind of padded strap that goes under the tail — a highly sensitive area.  Many horses clamp their tails and explode into bucking the first time one is used.  Bella had no problem at all circling to the left, but kicked up a couple of times circling right, so we did it again.  No trouble at all that time.  I’m looking forward to our next session — but I completely forgot about the camera in my pocket.  No pictures — at least, until that next session.

This afternoon, Andrew trimmed her hooves.  For some reason, while I hold her for this procedure, she assiduously licks my hands and arms.  I keep expecting her to nip, but no, she just likes to lick.  Well, except that she keeps trying to remove my watch; she seems to know it isn’t part of me.

One of the best parts of having animals is watching their personalities emerge.  Bella’s got a lot of personality.

And I have very clean hands and arms — if you don’t mind a little pony spit.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to fly about the EHV-1 virus.  One person who called had heard that we had ten dead horses, and had locked all of the pens.  That’s news to us.  It’s like that game we used to play in the classroom; Gossip.  You sit the kids in a circle and whisper a sentence into the first one’s ear.  They pass it to the next, and so on.  By the time it gets back to the first person, it’s never recognizable as the same sentence.

The facts are, as best as we have been able to get them:  one dead horse; one sick horse, now at UC Davis; and a bunch of horses quarantined at Sundance.  No more cases.

With luck — and care — it’ll stay that way.

Posted May 17, 2011 by stablewoman in Uncategorized