Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And all my dreams would come true

Here is sweet Sovereign grazing. He and I had our best ride to date on Sunday. I have been having the usual barn sour/buddy sour issues with him so I wanted to concentrate on shifting his focus. Just for fun, I removed the criss-cross leather pieces under the jaw on the Dr. Cook's bitless bridle and hooked the reins directly to the noseband rings. Therefore, there is a browband and noseband, but no throat latch.  Sovey loves changes, especially ones that free him up. This set-up has no more control than the halter and reins, but it is lighter on his face.  I am beginning to realize that he isn't uncomfortable in his halter or saddle, but he is uncomfortable leaving Pie and Foggy.

We started out on our ride to the south of our property. Previously, his buddy sour worries manifest in him going horribly slow/balking/ear pinning for the first 10 minutes out away from the barn. Occasionally, he tries to turn around quickly and head back. He also refuses to step on the driveway at all if I am on him, which may be unrelated (sore feet?).  

I decided that I was going to keep him moving forward (almost asking him to trot) with my reins long and if he turned back I was just going to go with that and keep him moving in any direction. That way we wouldn't get into a turning/tugging match, but he would have to keep moving forward.

For some reason, this approach worked. He didn't turn around once and never displayed any hesitation. I think our normal slow, boring, walk allows him time to worry about the other horses. When I am asking for the extended walk, he has to think and forgets his friends.  Once away from the barn, I rode him more collected and he was fine. Good Sovey-boy! 

Monday morning Pie and I had a warm, sunny ride before the vet came for spring shots (this photo is from chilly Thursday).  Our temperatures got into the 80's later in the day and Pie anticipated the heat with a sleepy, perfect jaunt around the farm. 

I put all the horses in their stalls for the vet's visit. Pie thought about throwing a little fit since he was inside and this was clearly NOT part of his accepted routine, but our earlier ride must have taken the edge off. All three horses are good for shots and never moved a muscle. I am so proud of them. They all stand like statues! Their fecals revealed that they are shedding well below the accepted range, so we are just going to worm in May and then recheck in September. I like that!  No unnecessary poison. An errant skunk got in the pasture on Sunday evening and the horses were sniffing it. Good timing for their rabies shots.

The last few days have been extremely stressful for me trying to juggle Foggy inside and outside during our torrential rains.  He doesn't have enough fat at this point to get soaking wet with our below normal temperatures. He was out all night on Monday and I didn't sleep at all listening to the pouring rain. We have the sheds, but he does what the big boys do and they are known to stand outside and eat. I originally thought I would get him a rain sheet when he arrived but I know I could have also taken the money and whipped it out in the street and it would have been just as helpful. This is because my Pie-Pie boy is very naughty and a sheet on Foggy would last about one minute until Pie ripped it off of him and tore it to shreds. Pie is known for his fly mask shredding and wheelbarrow tipping and any other devilish antics he can cook up. Sovey kindly handed me the road apple fork the other day, so he isn't above playing with "toys" either. So, the Foggy inside/outside marathon continues until we get a few consistently warm days!


  1. Sovey sounds a lot like Harley--doesn't want to leave his buddies. But Harley has improved greatly with time. Now, he'll stop, think about going home, but he's no longer whirling. It's something we just keep working on--good luck!

    April is so fickle--to blanket, or not. With the horses out at night now, but the temperatures still dropping, we are keeping Harley blanketed at night so he doesn't drop any of the weight we finally put on him over the winter. It's a rainy 45 degree day, and I expect they'll stay in, munching on hay. When I'm done with work, I'll let Harley wander around inside the barn while I clean his stall.

  2. Pie sounds like my wifes gelding, Morgunn. He loves to move things around, turn them over, whatever gives him something to do.


  3. wheelbarrow tipping - OH NO!!! i caught baasha thinking about it the other day and ran out there "what are you thinking!"

    i know very well the lying awake listening to the rain, wondering if my fragile horse is in the shelter. ugh.

  4. Good for you for figuring out what to do with Sovey. Who would think loose reins would be it and a more forward action. I found that combo to be difficult sometimes but then I realize I must rely on rein balance too much.
    Isn't it funny, how they choose to stand out in the elements? I always wonder if it's a good choice or just clueless? When I see Laz is the only one choosing to stand out in the rain/snow/wind,whatever..I wonder if the lights are on and no one is home? lol! I think the TB's just like to be OUT. Foggy will quickly fill out after this Spring/Summer I'm sure. I'm sure the balance right now is difficult.

  5. I can relate to the schizophrenic Spring weather cycle. I never thought I would see the day that I would be rushing Spring, in favor of Summer!

    There has been a serious outbreak of rabies in horses here in the Shenandoah Valley and I got mine their shots last month. So scary and I would never take any chances. I too am doing the McMasters egg count, for the first time, and was excited to find that I don't have to deworm my Clydey until Sept. Rosie however is the dominant pasture hog and of course, her egg count was higher. Still it feels so much better to not be poisoning them every 6 weeks...

  6. Julie!!!! I've missed you and the boys! So, who's this Foggy fellow?! Can't wait to read his story....I'm off to do that now. Hope you and the family are all well! =)

  7. I'm up all night worrying if there are thunder storms. The thought of my horses mixed with lightning puts a chill through my heart.

    Fortunately for Foggy warmer weather is just around the corner, you won't have to worry about the blanket ballet for much longer.

  8. Ha - I blanketed last night and no rain or cooler temps came. I worried if he was sweating lol :)

    Forward is the answer to a lot of problems apparently - good job on keeping Sovey moving. I guess they have trouble "thinking and chewing gum at the same time" - lucky for us!

    Is the post title from a Rolling Stones song? Exile on Main Street maybe?! (my desert island album choice)

  9. Or is it from Some Girls? I'm obsessing now ;)

  10. Calm, Forward, Straight - It is Some Girls - 1978 - totally a favorite in this household - Far Away Eyes - makes me laugh like crazy every time - funny Mick! You and I must share a lot of music loves!

  11. It is always helpful for me to read about barn sour issues and responses because Dreamer experiments with being the same way.

  12. Very good Jules..shake it up and disconnect the hardwires to some behaviours of them. Makes one have to be on thier toes, I know! Like I said, I'm having a better time with the visual being gone, at the new place..but when I go to the old barn and try to leave from the driveway, then pass the other driveway & patures with horse's nieghing...yup, tough. Sometimes I lasso my quirt around my head..making the whirring noise, as I ask. Never the same thing, works twice though, is my mares rule.
    If I just walk with her, till we are out of sight...out of mind. That actually -always works- But you know...we like to ride away~

    Oh Foggy...he is just so much different than the others in body..lighter and finer. I would worry too with the colder, wetter outdoors...with no heat keeping blanket on. Is there only one turnout with a run in shed?


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