Saturday, April 17, 2010

the little green wheels are following me

Today was Nadia's 27th birthday! Last year we had a celebration with cakes and decorations and... oh my! Visit the links for the story. Funny, Yalla! wasn't even born yet and it snowed! This year I kept it kind of "low key". After buying the "new" trailer this morning, I spent the afternoon playing with my horses. First I ran them.
My horses always pair up. Scout and Nadia run together
and Annie and Yalla! run together.
The neighbor's horse, Apache, likes to stand by the fence so that she can feel like she's part of the herd too. I think Yalla! is inviting her to play along. She had fun running up and down the fence with my little herd. See her legs and tail at the far left?
Then I groomed them all. I don't know when they will ever be shed out completely. Annie is the most shed out and I still get lots of hair off of her. I braided Yalla!'s entire mane but I didn't have anything to tie it with. Her neck must be growing because it sure looks long, doesn't it?I decided to ride Anne properly with the saddle and bridle. She was just full of "it", as she always is. I've been thinking that I should rebreed her to get her calm again. lol. If only I could arrange for a home for the foal before I see it so I won't be tempted to keep it. I think Annie makes such an excellent mother. Until just a couple of months ago, I seriously wondered if she'd ever run around again because she was so laid back all the time. Now, she's jittery and flighty and always ready to run and buck, like she was in the old days.

Today, when I rode her, she tossed her head and pranced a lot. Whenever I cantered her she wanted to buck but she did settle down into a nice enough lope each time before I slowed her up. She is willing to stop and almost stand still now and she'll usually jog really nice and slow. She has great turning power and I love to be able to set her up from point to point. I'll pick a spot and ride to it and then ride to the next spot and so on in circles, serpentines, squares, and lines. (She must exactly step where I intend for her to step.) She willingly walked and trotted over ground poles and we even jumped the log! (I keep thinking that I should try running barrels with her. I'm just not as brave as I once was. I certainly think she's got both the speed and the agility.) As a reward, I decided to take her out to eat some grass. I also wanted to take her over to the new trailer. When we drove up earlier, I saw that she got all psyched up about it.

I haltered her and Yalla! and we headed out the gates to the fields. Except that Yalla! wouldn't come along. She tends to balk when I'm leading her new places. She's only ever been out of the paddock area one other time. She didn't want to go through the gate or near a little trench that is getting dug (so I can get electricity back to the barn again.) Fortunately, since we were at the gateway, so I wrapped the lead around the post and we played tug of war for a few minutes. Annie was wonderful on the lead and she ate for a while and then patiently stood with her head in my arm while we waited for her errant daughter to make up her mind and come along with us. I had the upper hand though because I had the long whip with me. I reached over and began tapping her rump. Yalla! was being really stubborn, standing with her legs planted, her eyes half closed, and her neck and head stretched out fully. Finally, she lunged forward and, with a little more coaxing, she came through the gate next to the trench. I tried to let her know how happy I was that she had moved forward. Then she found out what a joy outside can be as she began grazing the new grass with her mother. I found it interesting that she reached under Annie's belly as if to nurse, for just a second, like she needed the comfort. I've seen her do that before too and Annie doesn't seem to mind at all. We wandered around for a while and ended up near the trailer.

Coincidence? Ha ha, no! I didn't ask them to load because I could tell they were both nervous but I did wait until they each touched the trailer, Yalla! sooner than her mother. I rattled the metal a little and I saw that they didn't jump too much. Then we went back to grazing for a while until I took them both back to the arena. Annie ran full out to the other end of the arena with Scout while Yalla! hung around as I haltered Nadia and led her out to graze, hoping she could come back out too, I'm sure. I let Nadia's rope loose and went back inside the arena to catch Scout. I called him and, because he saw Nadia grazing, he hightailed it back to me at a dead gallop. I haltered him up and led him out of the arena towards the grass. I grazed them both with a rope in each hand and I could tell they were really enjoying it. Nadia so loves fresh grass. She refuses to go out in the mornings until she eats some grass along the way first.

Again I wandered towards the trailer. Since it was still hooked up to my truck, I opened the middle partition and the rear door. I led Nadia up and right in. She is such a sweetie when it comes to loading. I took her all the way to the front and gave her cookies and then backed her out. Then I let her go off to graze and asked Scout to come up with me inside. He stepped up with his front feet and then, reluctantly at first, but cookies always win, stepped up into the trailer completely. He hurriedly backed out and raised his head, bumping it on the roof. Oops! I can see that I'm going to need to use those leather and foam helmets I bought the horses when I was trying to trailer train Annie. It always amazes me how low horse trailer roofs usually are, especially in the older trailers, and I have small horses! I knew I needed to get him back in so I cajoled and offered cookies and he stepped back in slowly, but completely. I let him back out and made him come in again. I could see that he was going to load up okay but backing out is further than he expects and he gets in too big of a hurry so he kind of rushes. I'm going to have to work on that, but I think he is getting the idea of keeping his head down.

I think I'll buy some floor mats and change the window panes to clear. One of the panes is cracked and they're green plastic that you can't see out of. I think I will also check into some brakes because it doesn't have any and New Mexico law requires them on 3000 lb trailers so I don't think I'd be legal with a full load. I also bought a chain for the hitch because it doesn't have one of those either.

Overall, I think I'm gonna be real happy with this little trailer. Ahem, happy birthday Nadia, hope you like your present!

the little green wheels are following me - song: Ashes to Ashes, artist: David Bowie, album: Scary Monsters


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Fun post and great pictures. Thanks for sharing.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday to Nadia! Looks like they all had fun running around today for some exercise. Glad to see Apache had fun too.

fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a great day! congrats on the new trailer!

Sydney said...

Aww happy birthday girl!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love seeing your horses running. And it was even better seeing Apache racing along beside the fence, too. I don't know if you heard me call out from across the way, but I was saying, "Thanks for exercising my horse" lol!

Yalla! looks lovely. I like how you braided her mane. I wonder if she will be taller than Annie. She already is getting close in size to Apache and even Annie, even. And she's not even a year old yet. It's good that she got out to explore your yard and the new grass.

Nadia is looking great, too. Hard to believe she's 27. I gave Nadia several cookies yesterday. I was even able to wave Annie away so I could give them to Nadia :)

Happy Birthday Nadia!


lytha said...

nadia is dreamy, those eyes! she should be on posters for little girls' bedrooms.

she and baasha would be great together. do you mind bringing her over? they are both competing for "best winter coat" i think. (and "longest held-onto coat")

(baasha will be 25 this month and i've already bought him a big frozen apple strudel!)

Leah Fry said...

Just remember, nobody says you have to do barrels like a bat out of hell. We do them at a walk and a trot. For me, it's a way to work on my riding in a way that isn't boring to my horses.

Gail said...

Wonderful shots of the whole herd, glad to see Apache joining in.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Nadia! Looking good!

(I had no idea you lived next door to Lisa and Apache - I thought that looked like Apache in the photo, and then I read the comments!

Shirley said...

Happy birthday to the lovely Nadia! I take my yearling out to hand graze her and introduce her to new and different objects; it's a good way to get some one-on-one time with her without the other horses pestering her.

achieve1dream said...

Happy Birthday Nadia!!!!

Congrats again on the trailer. I bet you're so excited. :) I want a stock trailer too. I think they're easier to use.

Silly Yalla!. Sounds like it's time for some ponying. :) I love ponying young horses. That's why it sucks not having a riding horse while I'm training Chrome. Guess I'll just stick to hand walking lol. Chrome loves going on walks. :)

Breathe said...

Boy, Am I behind! I'm still catching up. Glad you have a trailer now - we'll be ready for some adventure in October when I drag my kids over.