Friday, February 18, 2011

after all the jacks are in their boxes

Have you ever had so much fun with your horses that you had trouble finding time to blog?  Well, that is what happened to me this past week!  Riding fun, Foggy fun and...MUD...not so much fun, but it sure keeps you busy!

Since I last posted, I have ridden every day.  My rides on Sovereign have been deliciously perfect and uneventful.  My rides on Pie have been eventful, but still good.  Foggy is the sweetest horse I have ever known and he is starting to fit in perfectly.  The mud, which became insistent on Thursday, is the worst I have ever seen and is tough to ignore no matter how hard I try.  

Just by dumb luck, Pie's riding days ended up being pretty windy.  On Valentine's Day we had huge gusts in the afternoon so I rode in the morning when the winds were considerably calmer, but Pie still was "electric" from the coming wind storm.  He barely kept me on.  He was trying very hard (to be good!) but there were too many distractions.  At the end of our ride, I came back to the barn and circled him around the pastures.  He did manage a few good, quiet steps, but Foggy and Sovey were racing around upsetting the big boy's nerves.  I had to dismount on my own in order to keep him from helping me to dismount.  

I felt like my ride on Pie was so short so I popped Sovey out of the pasture and hopped on bareback.  He was the perfect angel around the entire farm - wind or no wind - Sovey is amazing.  

The next day I tried again with Pie.  It was still windy.  I don't know whether I did something different or if Pie was just calmer and in a better frame of mind, but our ride was probably one of the best I have had on him ever.  He was eager to keep going, attempting to take all our exit trails off the property to nearby woods and to town.  I was mature (very tough for me!) and turned him around at various places to keep him eager.  What a pleasure to have the horse I remember who always wanted to head away from our farm!  He was just the very best.  I don't mean to personify his behaviour too much, but I swear it seemed like he was trying to prove to me how good he could be.  He was more than willing, like he was saying, "See, Julie, I'm a good boy just like Sovey!"

That day seemed like the best day to turn Pie out with Foggy for the first time.  Pie was loving and sweet to Foggy and there were zero problems.  After they spent the afternoon getting acquainted, I slipped Sovereign in with them.  All three boys grazed happily in the warm sunshine.  

I have been putting them together for a little bit each day.  Pie is fine with Foggy.  Sovereign is worried about his place in the herd and is determined to make sure that Foggy knows who is who and what is what.  Sovey will not let Foggy near the water until after he is done.  Foggy is very good about waiting, but there isn't water left for him because Sovey insists on swimming in the trough and pawing all the mud in and all the water out.  I am getting a little frustrated, trying endlessly to provide enough troughs only to have Sovey muddy them all up. Fortunately, Foggy's patience is without limit.  

I had a super week with the boys and I am trying to stay appreciative of our rides and the successful pasture turnouts.  Yesterday, the weak human that I am forgot all the good and only saw the mud and my poor pastures and the empty muddy water buckets.  Also, as soon as I groom them, they roll again.

This is what is waiting for me this morning!


  1. OMG - I stopped at the barn last night to get a little loving in and EVERY SINGLE HORSE was covered in mud from their cheeks to their cheeks. lol

  2. Honestly mine are covered in mud too and I can't even see where it's coming from. Our grass is still very good from the lack of snow but the ground is soft. So soft, in fact, that while lunging, my Rosie slipped and fell. Broke my heart! She was fine and popped right back up in a trot. Silly mare. Scared me to death though. But trying to be positive with you... the mud won't last too much longer... right?

  3. You have been busy!!! Good job on all the riding--I need to get busy with that myself. Love the picture of the mud pony :)

  4. One of the advantages of living in New Mexico is our sand. When it dries, it falls right off the horses.

    Because of my surgery we haven't ridden since mid-December. It will be interesting to see how the horses do when we get back on them in a couple of weeks. We hope to start some ground work next week.


  5. Sounds wonderful. You're so lucky that Foggy turned out to be such a sweetie. I'm glad all three can be turned out together now.
    We're about 2 to 4 weeks away from that mud. A serrated scraper is my best friend at these times, but maybe that's too harsh for a thoroughbred?

  6. It won't be much longer until your three boys are living together 24/7. It must be such a relief to you that they are getting along so well.

    Is it possible to angle the tub so only half of it is in the pasture? There must be a way to make an opening big enough to drink out of but not big enough for Sovey to get into.

  7. Oh gosh..Laz too. I wonder if they are warm with their winter coats still on, and the mud helps cool them down? At any rate, I was happy to have a bareback ride on a clean horse and let him roll to his hearts content afterwards!
    Foggy sounds sooooo kind. When do you think you will start working with him?

  8. We've got sand, which I'm thankful for in mud season. Grey horse and all :)

    What a lovely week you've had with your three guys! Glad they're transitioning into togetherness :)

  9. I KNEW IT...The horses siezed you, and ran away with you!!HAHA!
    Juliette, that has to be the bestest reason ever(aside from Brian whisking you off) to be absent from blogging!!!I really knew it...Love that!
    Happy horse are muddy horses...I'm paying a forturne for blanket cleaning this year already..I must elbows barely take the mane/tail/and partial neck grooming I have to do before they ache.

    I am going to turn Wa in with Pantz this Sunday after a ride i/m doing near the other barn...without her blanket...that should be a good photo op!

    Lovely, lovely rides...AND I'm cooing and oouing with how wonderful it is going with the three! Sovey, he is so palyful with that water! Sorry for the toil though.

    LOVED this...truly, I am so happy for you Jules! Those ponies..are so loved...can't wait to see a threesome POSTER!

  10. I love coming to visit your blog because despite the muddy water buckets and the dirty horses, you are having a great time. Foggy is such a lucky horse to be part of your family, and he sounds like he's finding his way with the other boys. I do think that horses learn by watching each other and that's what Pie did when he saw you riding Sovey. He got the message and settled down. Now, let's just hope that warm weather is around the corner.

  11. I've been absent...too busy at work these days. Glad to see you have been able to ride so much and have had good rides too. Muddy horses are happy, fun loving horses.

  12. The old pecking order! Isn't is fascinating? I could watch the horses posturing for hours. Sometimes it can get dramatic, especially if the mares are involved. Maybe you are lucky to have 3 geldings? Maybe your next horse will be a mare! I am glad you are getting rides in! Every blog I read it seems like snow is vanishing and spring is in the air! Not here. We are still bogged down by winter. I love that Pie was so welcoming to Foggy. I cannot wait to hear about the first Foggy ride! I bet you'll find your way in the fog perfectly!

  13. this is a really great thread and i'm enjoying it totally.

    i have a question for you - why is it that TBs are said to be a year old in january, regardless of when born? curious!


  14. Hi lytha -

    Thoroughbreds are said to be born on January 1 to standardize the age of the horses racing. If a race is for "two year olds" they are all supposedly born on the previous calendar year's January 1. It makes the racing paperwork (and betting) supposedly standardized and fair. It is the breeder's responsibility to have mares foal as close to (but after) January 1 as possible so their horse will not be at a disadvantage. Because of the mild temperatures, Southern breeders (like Sovey and Foggy's Florida breeder) can breed to get January foals. Northern breeders (like Pie's Pennsylvania breeder) have mares foaling in spring. Pie was really born in May and this is a disadvantage because his January 1st "birthdate" would actually have him racing 4-5 months younger than the southern horses.

    It is very similar to the date used for children starting kindergarten or playing in a "10 and under soccer league". They have to pick a cut-off date somewhere. Racing picks January 1 and all horses share that "birthdate" but most owners know the actual date their horse was foaled.

    The saddest cases in this scenario is when a January foal comes early in December. What a disadvantage to this horse who could actually only be a few days old, but is officially one year old on January 1.

  15. Juliette, Oh, what wonderful rides you have had! And so special that Pie behaved excellently on the second day- I, too, think that he was on his best behavior for you! (I wish they could tell us - in English- what their moods are, don't you? How fun if they could say "Today I just want to be your favorite riding horse!" LOL) I am also glad that the three horses are getting along fine. Good, good boys!

  16. Riding all week, how cool is that. I'm jealous. Got to ride one day only because of weather. Now it's snowing and it looks like at least another four days. I'm going to get pretty crabby if I don't get my riding fix. I'm sure glad someone is getting to ride. It's a bonus they were good ones. LOL

  17. Gosh, I feel like I've missed so much here. Just thrilled to read how great everything is going with your three beautiful boys, it was meant to be.


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