Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers

Here is a Sovey head photo from today. He looks like his father, Suave Prospect (below) I think.

I am sorry to report that our Sovey boy was not very good today on our ride. He uncharacteristically rushed throughout the whole affair. His legs were walking, but his upper body felt like it was trotting. His head was bobbing, working to walk FAST.  When he did trot up hills, he made that gelding sheath sound that means he is very nervous. 

In this photo you can see that the offending equipment from the other day was moved by the farmer, so there was no reason for the identical pricked ears. Two things were unfortunate about this afternoon's worried ride (three things if you count that the early sunshine disappeared behind clouds). First, I was on bareback again and Sovey was nervous for the entire ride, not just for brief moments like the other day. I would have preferred to have a saddle for such tension. Second, Sovey had a big bite gash on his face. I put Neosporin on it and checked to make sure the bridle would not hit it. Typically, Sovey is so calm that the bridle rarely comes into play at all. Today, though, my bareback seat and his freaky behavior made me worried that the bridle might bump his cut. 

My mom usually walks along when I ride but she was playing tennis today. I think Sovey gets used to her presence more than the other horses do. He treats her like the lookout horse and falls asleep on rides when she is along. He was on his own this time, so it was a rush job complete with nervous teeth chomping. No fun for either of us. Broke my #1 rule - the horse should enjoy the ride as much as the rider or what is the point? I don't think Sovey had fun. Back to small strolls, to and fro, around the outbuildings and trees and shrubbery, close to the barn for my next Sovey ride, sans mom. That always helps him forget his herdbound nervous tendencies.  

Warning:  I am going to post a photo of the cut below to show how close it was to the bridle. Don't look if you are squeamish. There is Neosporin all over it which makes it look worse than it actually is. I keep the Neosporin company in business with all the reindeer games my geldings get into. (Sorry about the prepositions ending sentences - too tired to fix!) Pie is a hock biter when playing and a butt biter when he isn't playing. The butt bites tell everyone where to stand and where not to stand. He only warns first, but if they don't move, then his second bite is real. The Brothers January, though, are head and face and neck jabbers. They like to play with each other best. Pie is just too rough. The brothers stand perfectly still - their feet don't move but they twirl their heads around and around playing and biting and jabbing each other. I believe Foggy to be the instigator which is amazing really, because Sovey could really hurt Foggy if he wanted to be mean. This is what Foggy did to Sovey today. These heal very quickly and don't seem to scar, thank goodness!

Our snow is melting making everything muckier than before. As I walked into the ring and sunk up to my arse, I was thinking that our little farm has become like the state of Florida. You think Florida is shaped like this:

 but you are wrong. There is not that much land at all. Because of the Everglades, it is really shaped like this:

When I fell into the mud in what was formerly known as our ring pasture, I realized that the Pennsylvania maps will have to be changed soon to accommodate the new swampland in south central Pennsylvania - our sweet,  Honeysuckle Faire Swamp!


  1. Hah, I love your map of Honeysuckle Faire Swamp. I think we're in for a heck of a mud season what with the frigid temps and little snow cover. The frost has surely gone deep!
    Good for you, braving the ride bareback. I definitely would have opted for the saddle. Your ride sounds similar to some of mine. Something scary was out there, I remember it, even if I don't see it now. And I'm all by myself--so scary! Yes, Harley has days like that. We haven't been out in over a week, so I'm sure he'll be spooky.

  2. You are the cutest blogger out there, I swear! I love your maps and seeing the swamp of Honeysuckle Faire! Just remember, when you are quite done with your swamp, you are mightily welcome to relocate to my neck o' the woods! However, at the same time, I am also jealous that it is warm enough where you are that your mum was playing tennis! or was she playing inside? I love the idea of your mom as a look out horse! That is ADORABLE!!! Talk about a partnership. You mom must be the Alpha Mare!! And a small word about that sheathy noise: when I first started riding and had lessons, my lesson horse was making that noise and so I called out to my teacher: His belly sure is rumbly today! And she just laughed! Now when i hear it at Bill's I call it the "man noise!" Wouldn't it be funny if men made that noise? That would be funny and terrible! I am sorry about that cut! It does not look pretty! But luckily, these things heal! That is the glory (or part of it) of having a healthy horse!

  3. Ugh on the face bites!! I know TOO well those marks and they way they shark bite each other. Oh well, they seem to enjoy the playtime. I've always wondered why the sheath pocket makes that noise!! It's such an odd yet happy sound to me, reminds me of riding as a youngster in our quiet indoor arena, lol! WHONK WHONK WHONK

  4. Sovey looks a lot like his father. Very handsome! I think you and Sovey did very well to leave the herd without incident when he's used to your Mother being there. Doing it bareback and being careful of the bridle makes it even more impressive. Although he was nervous he contained himself, with lots of calming influence from you I'm sure.
    Hope things get a little drier for you soon. It's pretty muddy here in NS too.

  5. Juliette, Poor Sovey! I'm sorry he has an injury on his face. Maybe the bridle pressed down on the skin near the injury, and that adjacent skin was a little sensitive. Plus he didn't have his comfort-person, your mom, and maybe he missed her on your ride because he wasn't feeling 100%. We know that feeling. I'm sorry you had such an uncomfortable ride. But your remaking of the Florida and Pennsylvania maps cracks me up!! You are so imaginative!
    But I also want to say that the first photo of Sovey is wonderful - he is so regal looking and striking. Very much like his father. So impressive.

  6. Thank you for writing about herd bound nervousness. My comments seem to be working...hmm...should I dare to hope? :-)


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