Sunday, July 31, 2011

Observations

  • As I was backing up out of my parking space at the barn, I saw over my shoulder LA's husband on one knee in the parking area next to LA's mother's house. He was giving the resident German Shepherd dog a lovely, gentle rub. The dog was stretched out on his side, his tail lazily thumping the dirt. The dog is a retired police dog, living out his retirement with LA's mother as her companion. I watched the scene in my rear-view mirror. LA's husband is not known for his emotional attachment to any animal and I found it particularly touching to see his kindness towards this elderly dog.
  • Gem was grazing next to the bushes bordering one side of his turnout area. As I stood at the gate and called him to "come", a very large female wild turkey made an appearance from the shrubs next to where Gem stood. My immediate thought was that Gem hadn't seen the bird and would be taking off like a maniac as soon as he did. The bird continued out of the brush followed by 8 or 9 chicks. Now these chicks were not little; at least a foot high. Bringing up the rear was another mature female turkey. They walked in a single file beside Gem, just a few feet away. He stood and calmly watched them file by him, one by one. They continued down the field on the edge of the shrubs. Once all of them were well past him, he came to me.
  • Jean and I have been "cooling" our horses down after we ride by walking them around a small field outside of the front paddock. The first time we did it, I had anxiety because I didn't have my "vest of confidence" on. But since that first time, our walks have grown to now include two other fields and a bit of jogging. The last time we rode we went to our favourite shade tree in the "loping" field. All of a sudden we were surrounded by 8 screaming riding camp children trotting their horses in and around us, playing tag. Some of the kids got very close to us as they weaved their way in and out, avoiding whoever was "it". As we walked away from the commotion, Jean pointed out to me that I wasn't even fazed by all of the activity.
  • The barn cats seem to prefer my tack box to others when it comes to finding a place to sleep. I always find one of them on my box. I think it's because they appreciate me keeping Gem's saddle pads and towels clean and folded nicely on top of the box.
  • There are a couple of elderly horses that get special mush to complement their grazing. LA's mother is 76 years of age, 5'3" and probably weighs in at 110 lbs. She is charged with getting the mush ready and feeding these senior citizens. LA's mother has to guard the seniors while they eat so other horses don't push the seniors out of the way and chow down. Last week, I saw LA's mother chasing a nasty mare, yelling and waving a crop over her head. The mare galloped off, squealing. LA's mother is an example that sometimes size and age doesn't matter, attitude does.
  • In attempt to be cooler in these awful temperatures, I tried going sockless in my Ariat All Terrains. The experiment was a failure; I got blisters. The solution was ankle socks. Having my legs bare under my jeans is much cooler.
  • When I put Gem back in his turnout on Friday, his roommate DH nickered and came over to greet him. The two of them stood together, each facing a different direction, but putting their mouths on each others neck. Their mouths moved ever so slightly, sort of tickling each other. I was surprised at how gentle DH was. This only lasted a short while and then they separated and went to different parts of the turnout area.
Hope you are keeping cool!!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Wolfie, I like those observations :D I can almost picture what it's like around your yard.
    Wonder what was going through Gem's mind as those turkeys filed past.
    Methinks the 'vest of confidence' has left an invisible confidence-layer on you! Very impressive, keeping your cool around those kids.
    My favourite observation has to be LA's mother seeing off that mare *lol* And I like that she's in charge of the senior citizens.
    Wishing you cool weather! Joy xx

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  2. My cats love the saddle blankets in the garage--"Of course you put them here especially for us!"

    My paint mare chases chickens, but I've noticed she ignores my Pekin duck, who is much slower and louder than the chickens (maybe that's why she earns extra respect...?). I've been on the trail horseback and had pheasants fly up in my horse's face--not once have I had a horse spook at that, even though it scares the dickens out of me. I think they probably know they're there long before we do.

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  3. We have a lot of geese on the property. Blue isn't spooked by them at all like some of our other horses,in fact, he'll actually charge them if they dare enter his paddock. No patience for anything eating his grass I guess.

    I think your vest of confidence is working whether you wear it or not. Good for you for branching out.

    I like that LA's mom chased off the meanies and stood her ground. I'm sure the seniors appreciate her being there. And it's so nice she has the german sheperd as a companion. One of my favorite dogs of all time.

    Our horses will groom each other for a long time and sometimes switch buddies. Mellon or "Mr. Mel" as we call him will set up shop in the shed/salon and there will be a line of horses just waiting for his grooming techniques. Personally, I think he's really gotten in touch with his feminine side.

    Stay cool. Good idea with the socks.

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  4. My cats love my treeless saddle. They took the cover off and slept on it. I didn't discover it immediately (as if the cover just kept slipping off by itself!) until I noticed the scratches on the saddle.

    My mares don't groom each other at all, but Cassie often offers to groom me!

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  5. We have to carefully check our lockers before we leave the stable. The cats love to curl up in the back corner and fall asleep. One of the cats ended up going all the way to a horse show in the States because she'd fallen asleep in someone's horse trailer and they hadn't noticed.

    I love watching horses groom each other, it's interesting to me to see which ones do it to each other. Just recently I was watching two of our landlord's horses, a big, draft cross mare and this tiny little pony groom each other. It was a funny sight.

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  6. Joy - I also wondered about what was going through Gem's mind when he saw the turkeys. Perhaps he didn't move because he didn't want to scare the chicks. :-) LA's mother is a riot. She's small but mighty!

    Fetlock - I find that interesting that your horse doesn't like chickens but tolerates the duck. Perhaps it's because there are ducks in the wild??

    GHM - LA's mother is one of my favourite people. I will never forget seeing her chasing that nasty squealing mare! BTW, I love that Mr. Mel has clientele!!! LOL!

    two horses - I wonder what it is that makes your treeless saddle so attractive to your cats....the shape? the finish?

    Cjay - Thank goodness they discovered the stowaway and brought her back! I don't get to observe horses grooming very often so when I do I find it fascinating. I can visualize the draft cross and the pony - very cute!

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  7. Sugar & Rally always do the grooming neck thing when one of them leaves and comes back...interesting!
    Also, what a testament to how calm Gem is with the turkeys!

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  8. Minus Pride - If I had the time (actually I should MAKE the time) I could spend hours watching Gem and DH interact. Re turkeys - I couldn't believe it when they walked right past him. I find it interesting that Gem was kind enough to stand still and not freak out the chicks!

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  9. Love the vest of confidence, I think it's working!

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  10. Hi Donna! It has certainly helped!! I keep the vest in my trunk. I like knowing it's close at hand! I still may have occasion to put it on, but I do think some "residue" has remained on my person. :-) Thanks for stopping by. I am looking forward to reading more about your adventures with Missy!

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