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Posts Tagged ‘American Saddlebred’


Sorry, but I’m pretty sure there’s not. It’s probably a futile effort, but I’m going to try anyhow. You can thank me later. 😀

“What’s this?” you might be wondering.

A summary, that’s what. I am pretty sure that I can’t summarize what all has happened since I last wrote, but I’ll try. You’ll most assuredly get the Cliff’s Notes version, full of stuff that I didn’t forget to include. 😀 Hopefully, you’ll enough of the gist to pass the test at the end.

When I last bored you with my drivel, we had just moved 7 horses in a single day.

Magic, Angel, Halo, Blondie and Doodlebug {formerly known as Elia} all went down the road to our friend’s house. As a trainer, her goals were to make sure we could ride both Angel and Magic. Halo needed to continue gaining weight, and Doodlebug needed to be weaned.

Score on all of the above points, more or less. I say more or less, because Magic and Angel both have attitudes, and there have been days where we couldn’t even ride because they were too squirrely. {And yes, I DO know it’s mostly us and not them ………….. :lol:} Combined with an uncontrolled full-out gallop back to the paddock resulting in throwing off my oldest daughter and having her arm stepped on, we can 100% say that a drug drop makes us really stressed out which in turn stresses out the horse and can be a less-than-ideal situation. Ya. Really.

Anyhow.

Horses have been trained, and we’re taking it one day at a time. I am not giving up.

I have, however, learned that show horses and rescue horse, like other rescue animals, come with their own sets of learned behaviors that may or may not be conducive to trail riding.  You might have figured out by now that we’re a particularly stubborn kind of folk, that, while listening to thoughts, opinions, and recommendations of others, may or may not take said advice. We’ll take it all under advisement, but at the end of the day, we’re going to do what we’re going to do.

Clearly, there is a learning curve, but if we’re in for a penny; we’re in for a pound. And there are *lots* of pennies involved here.

Since moving day, all the horses have had the farrier come and do their feet. Boi, for the first time, and Flicka in who knows how many years- both did well, all things being equal. And the day the farrier came, Boi had gotten gelded.

Yep. He did. Right out in the side pasture, our awesome vet laid him down, took off his parts, and off we went on our merry way. Because she didn’t suture, there was no concern about ripping his sutures open to lift his legs for the farrier. We also trotted him the following days as told, to keep him draining.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and all the girls came home. Boi was thrilled to see his love and mother of his children, Halo, and didn’t waste any time mounting her since she was in heat.

Much to his disappointment {after numerous times trying}, as you can imagine, he was unable to complete his business. He hasn’t tried again since that we’ve seen, but he’s been in a pretty foul mood until we separated him out from the girls and started spending a lot of time with him again.

Where do we go from here? I’m not sure.

We are planning on riding again today, since we haven’t put in a whole lot of time since the runaway episode over a week ago. We’re giving them time to adjust. I’m hoping getting back into riding consistently will get Angel to stop cribbing and air/wind sucking. Honestly, she is not bored and is not lonely and is not stabled; we’ll get it figured out.

Halo has taken to getting picky with what she eats. I guess since she’s not starving anymore, she figures she can let her particular palete run wild.

In the meantime, not a lot of painting has gotten done. We’ve had a visit from my parents who had to laugh at the chaos that is 5 horses, 3 dogs and 3 kittens and 4 children.

While the girls were being trained, not only were we heading over to feed twice a day, but most days we were there for training as well. Add to this that during this time, we still had heating contractors in and out on a weekly basis, it’s not an understatement to say it was chaotic.

I have to say, it was *awesome* having the ability to be present for 98% of the training and see what was happening. Depositing a horse off for training and then picking them up at the end of a month is not the kind of training that settles well with me. Clearly, I am too much of a control freak. 😀

Those few weeks, we were feeding 15 horses twice a day. It was all-consuming. We were not home a whole lot. Since you already know that I’m a hermit an introvert, you can imagine what kind of state I ended up in. And I got sick, which is probably no surprise.

Out of everything, I have gotten to the point where I realize the deep-seated need for running and getting back into more of a normal routine. I probably won’t be doing my 8 miles a day for a while, because painting still looms, but I have to find the balance, because my body is revolting against me. My pain level has been consistently higher lately, which tells me I need to get off my rear and get back at it. No matter how much a person tries to not to think about it, chronic illness simply will not be ignored.

In the midst of this, Hunny has managed to get most of the office put together, which I’m hoping means a return to more active writing. Goodness knows, I’ve needed it.

The underlying, recurring theme as I bang my head with the horse stuff is this: “All I wanted were chickens…………..”

So. Let’s recap, shall we?

Horses got moved out. Boi got gelded. Girls got moved back home. Magic and Angel have been giving attitude. Painting has been slow going. Office has been mostly put back together. Unpacking still looms. Despite the horsey issues, no one has gotten seriously hurt {praise God!} and we continue on our merry way of sticking to our plan, which may be sheer folly.

Because you got the edited version, the following test will completely consist of identifying each horse by name. {No cheating by looking at the caption! :lol:}

Horse #1

parked out

Boi

Boi

Flicka

Flicka

Halo and Elia

Halo and Elia

Who’s first? 😀

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It was not entirely unexpected, but it happened a bit fast. We knew this day was coming, but I’ll admit I was completely stressed out about it.

Tonight, I look out and see a lonely 2 horses left in our front pasture. However, we own at least 5. They just aren’t here. 😩 😩

2 days ago, our good friend D called to let me know about another horse opportunity. This was not another rescue; just an awesome opportunity. D and T were going to be in the general area anyhow, and they had 2 horses, 1 pony, and a puppy to go see. They took a saddle and promised to send pictures.

In the meantime, we made a mad dash to Tractor Supply to check on fencing.

The original pre- Thursday plan was to move all the horses. Gone. All 5 of them. Kapoof.

As seems to be par for the course, things changed moment by moment. We had hard decisions to make. And. It. Was. STRESSFUL.

Saddlebreds are a hot-blooded breed. Numerous people told us these two horses would never be good for riding; that we could never control them on the trail because of the breed. The mixes- Saddlebred/Quarter Horse were even worse.

And yet, we knew our two Saddlebreds. We knew how calm they could be; how gentle. We made HUGE leaps with both Flicka and Boi, and probably decisions that weren’t the smartest at the time, like saddling Boi just to see if we could do it. {He was completely calm, by the way, even when we tightened the cinch (or cinched the girth; whichever you prefer 😀 ); he did not even move- and really, we don’t need more of a lecture; we get it. 🙂 }

The tipping point was when we decided to go for the new horse. Where were we going to put everyone?

Halo needs to be fattened up more; Elia {we’ve been calling him Jambalaya because he’s a jumbled mess :lol:} needs to be weaned. We’re undecided what to do with Blondie because we’re not sure she would ever be a good horse for trail riding, and she’s a ways off from being able to be ridden. So, we’re going to give it some time and see what we want to down the road.

Magic needs some attitude work, but she is still an awesome horse. Angel, however, is pretty near perfect. She needs some saddle hours and a thorough evaluation to make sure she is completely child-safe. She already parks out, which means shorty me can probably get on without a bench.

parked out

Magic and Angel got moved first, and that went very well. Then it was time to head home and move the others.

Halo went right in {incidentally, she went back to her first home and original trainer} and Elia followed right away. We had some shuffling around and baby came out and then we had a little bit of work to get him back in. Once they were secured, it was time to get Blondie loaded.

Have you ever tried to trailer a wild filly for the first time? No? Us either. 😆

And let me tell you, that was a lot of work! Obviously, I didn’t get any pictures. It took us about an hour, but we got her.

In addition to moving our horses, D and S (the gal who drove the trailer to get Magic) were doing a horse swap over at his place. By the time he and S got back, Blondie was loaded and we were ready to go.

Horses got settled in and then we came back home for tack. At some point, he called and let us know the Saddlebred “people” were on their way. So home we went. This was going to be the make-or-break decision time. And we were dreading it…………….

At the end of the day, we’re trying to track down registration on Flicka to see what she’s been trained to do. As we thought, she had been broken and most likely shown and can even park out, although she basically needs to relearn everything.

Boi has bonded with our oldest daughter. He is a *completely* different horse when she handles him, and he does very well with Hunny and me, too.

They are both still here, and we’re going to get him gelded before sending them off to Saddlebred camp  training. We realize these two are our project horses, but we are cautiously optimistic.

I really believe God brought us *here*- to this house; to this property; with these horses. I think we were supposed to save them. We realize it may not work out the way we want it to, but we really feel like we owe them a chance. It’s not their fault they were abandoned and ignored. We’re willing to give them a chance and see where we land. And, of course, we are totally attached to them and we love them, so that helps. 😀

We really just want everyone home, and we’re working towards that goal as quickly as we can. Within the next several weeks, we hope to have the horses home and also get our chicken arrangements underway. Even with all our horsey fun, I miss my girlies!

So. That’s what we did today. 😀 Have we’ve graduated from being chicken people to horse people to full-out farm folk? I think just maybe we’re getting there…………………………

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Do you believe in magic? I think I might……………………….

It was purely an accident, us becoming horse people. This wasn’t something we set out to do; yet here we are.

And we are loving it!

It didn’t take us long to figure out that horses are awesome. And then we started looking at our land and coming up with ideas. In a perfect world, everyone who wants to ride would have a horse. At some point, that means lots and lots of fencing redos.

In a perfect world, we’d get the surrounding land {and barns} and we would just have to deal with repair, instead of making new and also clearing some land to accommodate all the horses.

I’m not sure we’re living in a perfect world just yet, but we are still working on it.

The abandoned horses are doing well, all things considered. We’ve gotten halters on all 3 of them, including the two Saddlebreds. We’ve learned that Flicka has been ridden, which we assumed she had been, given her price tag. It’s just going to take a bit of time and effort to get her back to where she was years ago. When horses have been abandoned for so long, it takes a bit to get them trusting people again.

I’m thinking I might need a new category; you know, a “Ooops, I did it again” category. We seem to keep falling into those kinds of situations. 😆

For example, we’re not really set up just yet for horses. You may have learned by now that some of the best things we end up with are not planned, and come on a totally different time-table than we had been thinking of.

Yep. You guessed it- we got a horse. Another horse. That actually belongs to us. 😀

Just over a week ago, I got a phone call from our friend D. He knew of a horse that was being given back to the Diamonds in the Rough Equine Rescue group. The horse was *exactly* the kind we were looking for, and even better, the price tag was unbelievable. She was totally trained and vetted, with a clean bill of health. Did we want her?

I started emailing Hunny, and D sent me some pictures. !!!!!!!!!

By the end of the day, we had it worked out to go get her in Va early the next day. We loaded up the next morning, and off we went, in the rainy cold.

Several hours later, we were home, and getting Magic settled in. It was a rough start; she had been moved around several times in the previous days prior, and was a bit stressed out. We were counting on her being trained the way she was promoted, despite her having gotten loose and having a little bit of a challenge to get her trailered.

But she doesn’t live here yet, because I have a stallion in my front yard that needs to get dealt with so he’s not jumping fences trying to get nookie. Our fantastic friend down the road is letting us house our girl there until we get fencing and get the situation with Boi settled. He’s going to get sick of us, because we’re there twice a day now, for both feedings.

Yesterday, many of us went Magic riding. Well, sort of. We rode around while being tethered to the lunge line.

When you get a new horse and you don’t know much about them, you have to figure out their cues. Obviously, since we’re new to horses, we’re pretty much clueless. Thank goodness for our awesome neighbors!

Because she was a breed that D hadn’t dealt much with personally, he called his neighbor, T, to come on over. She helped figure out Magic’s cues, and we’ve come to the conclusion she was a show horse.

Several things lead us to this thinking. Her tail has a tendon cut so she’ll hold her tail higher, and she primarily uses finger cues for steering. In some ways, I’m glad we’re all “learning” on her!

This is our Magic. She’s a Spotted Saddle Horse and is double registered; also as a Tennessee Walking Horse.

Magic1

Do you believe in Magic? We do! 😆

Because life is a soundtrack, there’s no doubt you know where I’m going with this

.here’s the Lovin’ Spoonful!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaqRwFyoGgQ%5D

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Once upon a time, there was a lady who lived in the desert with her family and her chickens. She was not fond of the desert, and longed and longed for years and years to move somewhere green. One day, after 17 years, it looked like her wish might come true.

She prayed and prayed. And she tried to be patient, even though it was really hard.

After 4 months and lots and lots of patience {and prayers}, her wish came true. There was much packing, and with some tears of leaving good friends behind and having to rehome the 23 chickens, the family made their journey east. The plan was to live in the RV; all of them- 4 kids, 2 parents, 2 dogs and a cat- until their house sold.

The lady knew she needed to get a feel for the local real estate market, so she made a short list of houses to look at. Her number one requirement was that they be allowed to have chickens. Another deep desire was that it was close enough to work so her hunny could continue to come home for lunch. And, of course, it had to be the right space for their homeschooling family of three girls and a teenage boy.

With those things in mind, she made her short list of houses to look at, knowing it would be probably summer or early fall before they could get into a house.

Within 2 weeks, said lady was going out of her mind in that small, small, space, what with 4 kids, 2 parents, 2 dogs and a cat. She began to think that the housing market would have to wait, because she was going to have go back to the desert until the house was sold.

To get her out of the small, small space, she decided she would at least look at a few houses; one of which was a new listing and piqued her curiosity, because the pictures were confusing. That first day, she went to numerous houses, but the one ‘confusing’ listing stole her heart…………

{If you read back, you can see the drama of getting to closing……}

Within the first week of moving into the heart house, a few things happened. Most of the neighbors stopped by to say hello and to introduce themselves. This was very interesting, because in the heart house, there were no other houses that could even BE seen. So, to meet all the neighbor people in the unseen houses was a fantastic and unexpected joy.

The biggest thing that happened, though, was that they began to realize from talking to the new neighbors that the 5 horses in their front yard were abandoned. The neighbors had been sporadically feeding the poor horses.

Upon further inspection, the lady and her family realized that the mama horse with the new colt was actually starving to death, and was going to die in the next week or so, if something wasn’t done right away.

The tipping point came one day when the lady went out front to see the horses in the front yard and realized that not only were they not being fed, but they also had no water. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

The lady saw red.  😡th_rantAfter getting the horses water, she packed up her oldest daughter, and they drove 20 some miles one way to get the horses food. She explained the situation to the nice folks at Tractor Supply, and came home with lots of food for the horses.

Over the next month and a half, the lady and her family continued to feed the horses. They paid for food, for the vet, and for the farrier. They began working on a permanent solution for the horses

And that was the birth of a new horsey family………………………….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can’t begin to tell you how *furious* I was when I realized they had no water. And that the folks we had seen who seemed to be feeding them were another neighbor’s kids who came every now and then to see if they had hay.

I absolutely REFUSE to watch an animal starve to death, particularly one as intelligent as a horse, and in my front yard, no less. Not gonna happen.

So. Here’s what’s out front. There are two Saddllebreds; a mother and her son. Flicka is 16; Boi is about 5 or 6.

Flicka

Flicka

Boi

Boi

She was pregnant when brought here, and we’ve heard her price tag was $10,000. As far as we know, she has never been ridden, but we think she’s had some work done prior to coming here. Boy has not had any work done.

Halo is a 16-year-old champion barrel racer and is a Quarter Horse. She has a three-month old colt (he was just born when we saw the house for the first time) that is a Quarter Horse/Saddlebred cross.

Halo

Halo

Halo2

Halo and Elia

Halo and Elia

Elia earlier on

Elia earlier on

Halo, Elia, and our neighbor D

Halo, Elia, and our neighbor, D

Blondie is also Halo and Boi’s offspring. We think she’s around 2 years old.

Blondie

We’ve got Halo in the pen up front with Elia (the baby) and she’s a bit sad to be separated from the others. She’s getting a ton of food everyday, in accordance to what they vet has told us to do. We’ve got her blanket on her when it’s cool/cold because she has no body fat to keep her warm, and she needs all the calories she can get. We figure she’s gained about 200-250 lbs since we started feeding her, but she needs at least 300 more.

I am not joking when I say death was imminent.These pictures were taken when she had added maybe 100 lbs. Baby was awfully skinny, too, because she didn’t have much to give him while she was starving. Had we not intervened, they would both be dead by now.

Did I mention that none of these 5 horses are even ours?

It’s a complicated situation, but we are hoping to get custody of the horses and also the land that surrounds our property, so that we can add our own horses and not have to deal with a whole lot of fencing.

In a perfect world, we would get the land and end up with a working farm, that would allow us to be a rescue horse sanctuary, without going bankrupt. This is a work in progress, which we pray won’t take too much longer to settle. The horses need hay, but I am loathe to feed a lot of horses that could be sold out from under us. Either way, they need more hay soon, and we’ll keep feeding them and getting the ticks off.

Chickens are on the list, too, but we have a lot of work to do first.

In the process of taking care of the horses, we’ve completely fallen head over heels in love. We are in love with the land, with the house, with the area, and with the horses. We would not have made the leap into horses if it wasn’t for our awesome neighbors, D, and his daughter, S. The girls are exchanging work and feeding for riding lessons, and we all couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Horsey Tale, which will have more pictures documenting our adventure and our creatures…………………… 😀

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Yep. I am. Now I’ve said it out loud and you know.

I really didn’t intend to end up like this. I’m hoping I don’t stay this way for long, either.

I have entirely too much do and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of painting to be done. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of blood spatter in this house. Seriously. {Kids, this is a prime example of why not to do drugs- you’ll lose your house and the new owners will be totally grossed out when they clean and paint it to make it livable……..}

I haven’t really run since we left. I feel like it’s a guilty pleasure that I can’t allow myself to indulge in when I have so much other stuff that needs to get done.

Honestly, I’d be happy to stay curled up with a book and look out the windows……

I did, however, make my son some curtains. He was tired of having to change his clothes in the closet because he didn’t have curtains. At some point, I’ll take pictures of the whole room, once I get the last set of curtains made and he’s gotten it painted. In the meantime, here they are:

curtains3

curtains2

curtains1

You may remember me complaining about the bird nesting happening when I was making my girls their sundresses last spring. I’m glad I didn’t pitch my machine. It worked just fine. Hmmph. I’ll have to diddle with it some more when I get back to the dresses.

Once we get things painted, I am not sure how much time I’ll have to be online. Life is changing, and in a really good way.

Have you ever been somewhere where you know that’s where you were meant to be? Like deep down in your soul you knew you were where God wanted you to be?

Ya. It’s like that here. If I have to be buried somewhere, I’m changing my mind. I’ll forgo Tin Cup, Co, for being buried on the farm here somewhere. {Which is legal here, too- one of these days, I’ll write about that, because it’s fascinating!}

Anyhow. What’s taking up my time? Life is taking up my time; mostly in the form of creatures.

We had been here for about a week before we realized that the 5 horses in our front yard were only being fed by neighbors, sporadically. And they had no water.  th_rant

You can see where I’m going with this…… not only are we feeding them, we’re rehabing the mama horse that was near death from starvation. Turns out, she’s a champion barrel horse. As in, big $$$$$. Out of the 5, she’s the only one saddle broke{n}, so we’re starting with her.

She’s an {American} Quarter Horse. There’s another out there that we know he paid $10,000 for and never broke. Ya. She’s an American Saddlebred- you know, the high-stepping show horses? Ya. 😯 Her son is a Saddlebred as well, and then the foal {colt} and the filly are both a Quarter Horse/Saddlebred mix. Boo.

One of these days, I’ll write the whole thing up, with pictures. Mama is now as happy as a clam out there, with her blanket on and in a separate pen so she can eat undisturbed. Baby is eating solids and is weaning, so that’s good.

Besides the painting (seriously, I have gotten two bathrooms finished, and that’s it- while 12 ft ceilings with crown molding is beautiful, it’s a pain to paint…..), we’ve got chickens to set up for, in addition to our own horses {yes, you’re reading that right} and still get things unpacked.

Kitchen appliances came. Turns out, the ovens are too tall, so the cabinet guy needs to come back out. I didn’t get any Christmas baking done. I’m hoping he can come and get that done so I can get some of my breads made soon.

There are SO many loose ends at this point. I lose an entire day going into town for shopping. So far, I haven’t been able to not make two trips in every week, because there is always something urgently needed. Yesterday, it was horse food. Today, it’s groceries, since the big winter storm blew through and it was pouring rain so I just got horse food and came back home before the worst of it hit.

There’s a schedule to keep to, too. Horses are fed at 8 am and 5pm; mama gets lunch as well until she’s gained the last 300 lbs; and most days, I take the girls to feed over at our “neighbors” house in exchange for their weekly riding lessons.

And then, there is the steady stream of visitors. I’ve decided that I’m going to give it another month, and then after that point, we’re going to start handing out paint rollers to visitors. 😀 We absolutely LOVE the company, but it’s not conducive to me getting the painting done.

On top of all of this, we’ve got a new puppy. That means someone needs to supervise her until we can count on her to go to the door every time she needs out. I had no plans for more pets, of course, but when a friend posted a picture on FB of a purebred border collie pup who was being given away because as the runt, she was going to be too small to work with cattle, I couldn’t say no. 😀

Big dog, you may recall, is a{blonde/red merle} border collie as well, so we are very familiar with the breed. Had this been any other breed, I would have passed, because we don’t have time right now to deal with stubborn doggies {like little dog, for example, who we LOVE to bits and pieces, but is really quite stubborn :lol:}.

But, having lost out kitty a month ago, and seeing her cuteness, I couldn’t resist. So, here is our little Oreo.  oreo1

When I can get out of my slacker mode and get more painting done, I’ll be back to write some more. In the meantime, don’t forget me! 😀

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