Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Party All Night at the Stable

The night before I work my first grave shift of the week I try to stay up as late as possible. Part of my routine has become going to the stable. It is so quiet and peaceful. The ponies all get a little extra hay and some serious beauty parlor time. Dickie has a WILD mane so I took some length off and banded it over. It sticks straight up on end even when it is long. I actually like the Trojan warrior horse look but I need to pull it and it is hard to know if it is even when it sticks straight up. Bre got some elbow grease on her coat because she is shedding a small pony worth of hair if I even touch her. My arm got tired before all the hair came out. 

Dickie still isn't in love with his bit but willingly takes it everytime because bit=hot mash. 

I found an old western bridle so he doesn't ruin my nice english one with sticky mollases and trying to rub it off on the walls. 

Somehow I don't think this qualifies as a "slow" feed. 

Josey ate her hay too fast and was sure Bre and Dickie had more.  She was NOT HAPPY that I was holding out on her. 

Supervising Bre's grooming sesssion. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where to Ride Dilemna

Now that I am trying to ride Dickie I realize just how distracting the open arena walls are. On one side there are a pair of mares that like to run around on the other side are two geldings. One likes to come peek in the arena and the other likes to kick up his heels. In the long run I think it will be great to have him in an environment with lots going on. If he gets used to all of that going to a show will be no problem. However, right now he has ZERO idea what to do under saddle. I need all of his little baby brain focused on my so I can get the a basic GO and STOP on him. He has been so obsessed with Bre that I feel like I lose him the second I take him out of the field to take him up. Then I head over and have the added distractions of the arena.

Sniffing noses with a pretty mare

I have been thinking that getting on him outside in the round pen might not be a bad idea. Generally mounting outside would be more distracting than an arena but he can only see two horses from the round pen. There also aren't paddocks directly around the round pen. The round pen is in the parking lot so he has to work to look for the other horses. Since it is away from the barn he can't see the horses coming in for dinner or hear them being fed. People coming and going from the three barns are distracting but they aren't running around so it is much easier to keep him focused. The biggest con of the round pen is that getting smashed against the sides make me nervous. Then again he loves to go out to the arena walls  too so I might be just as likely to be smooshed there. And our round pen is solid wood so there is no risk of putting a limb through the rails. The other minor pit fall of the round pen is rain. I don't mind a little rain as long as it isn't so wet I can't see.

Super amazing hand crafted sand round pen. 

I am also considering hopping on him occasionally at his barn. He is so relaxed there because his girls are close by. I don't like the idea of getting dumped on the gravel but I would keep my rides there to mounting manners until he is a pro at "go" and "whoa" in a controlled setting. He isn't a bolter so I don't anticipate him taking off.

What do you think? Is risking being smashed on the round pen walls worth it? Does anyone else ride in a round pen? How soon was it before you rode your babies without any fences or walls to keep you in?

Show Photos

These are kind of funky because they are photos of photos. My mom took some photos old school style and I haven't had a chance to scan them. They are from the end of the just before loading up for home. 

Ride # Five and I Officially Ride Like S*&#

The weather continues to smell of spring. Today we had rain earlier in the day but for the most part it was sunny. And of course because I wanted to ride Dickie it was WINDY. I brought the clicker to keep his attention on me rather than all the exciting things going on outside of the arena. I am realizing that open air arenas have major pitfalls when starting a baby. I love all of the light and the lack of dust but it is really hard to keep an ADHD three old's mind on me when the arena is surround by horses running in their paddocks. We lunged for awhile and he is officially in too fit for me to "wear" him out prior to a riding. I suppose I could lunge him for 45 mins or an hour but wearing those young tendons and ligaments out isn't worth it to me. He was trying to listen but would let out some bucks and scoots every time the other horses ran. I decided to get on even though he wasn't in the perfect mind set. I don't think circumstances will ever be "perfect" with the open walls and paddocks surrounding the arena. I have decided I am going to get on no matter what even if I just get him used to me mounting and dismounting.

He didn't want to stand still at the block initially. I have been revisiting getting him to move off pressure because he's been a little too pushy and he took it too far. As soon as I stood next to him he started moving away. Luckily he remembered the mounting block drill pretty quickly and went back to standing still. I have a clicker that attaches to my wrist and I planned on using it to help him understand how to move forward with a leg squeeze and "walk on". The first time I got on he started to lose his mind when horses were running behind him. He let out a tiny crow hop and wasn't paying attending to me at all. I asked him to stand still, once he did I hopped off. I got him refocused on me from the ground then mounted again. This time he seemed to remember I was up there. When I first got on he turned his neck so far sideways to look at me that I thought we were going to fall over.

After the second mount I started putting some leg on him and asked him to move forward. Initially I got some movement only backwards and at turb speed. I am not sure if he understood the prompt of my leg but he started moving forward. At that point I lost his attention to running horses again. I hopped off and gave him tons of scratches then asked him to do a few things with the clicker. He refocused so quickly that I decided one more mounting was in order. This time we got much more forward steps. We only made about a half lap of a 20 meter circle but it was forward and he let me steer him away from the other horses and the pile of jumps in the corner (loves to sniff the jumps).

Romeo was my next victim. His Girl couldn't make it out today and he has seemed a little more tense lately so I wanted to see how he felt. I have to say I am very disappointed in my riding. I have finally been more consistent in my riding the last few weeks. My lack of muscle is glaringly obvious. My mind knows what to do but I can't back it up. The last two years I haven't ridden much at all. For the previous five years I only owned a close contact saddle and spent all my time trotting and galloping in two point. I can't sit up straight now if my life depended on it. As soon as I stop concentrating I got right into half seat. It is very frustrating. It isn't like I need a lesson or to see myself on video. At this point I can feel exactly what I am doing wrong. I know the only fix is riding more often but I want to be back to my normal self NOW!!!  I also need to actually do yoga or pilates. I always say I am going to do it but never keep it up. An old hip injury is keeping me from lowering my stirrups to a reasonable length which doesn't make being effective in a dressage saddle or western saddle any easier. Some core exercises at home will help with that.

Romeo was a bit spazzy and I think his back needs adjusted. I might start riding him weekly when his Girl can't make it in. It will be nice for my position to get on a trained horse and he needs some fine tuning and conditioning. It is so hard to put my parts in the correct place when trying to train a horse.

ARGH!!! I hope I can get myself together in time to be a decent rider for Dickie......

Thursday, February 21, 2013

KIll All the Horses?


The first day of spring isn't until next month but the horses are sure acting like it is here. Bre is supposed to be injured but she is snorting around like she is the three year old. Dickie is so smart that he has figured out how to do everything I am asking but still gawk around like a space case, buck, and rear. Even Josey has decided she wants to be a prancy fancy pants. She is being all pissified at Bre and takes off after her teeth bared or ass first when the mood strikes. 

Saturday we rode the horses after watching Romeo's Girl compete. I had the brilliant plan of walking Bre and Dickie together. I want to find a faster way to get horses to the main barn. Now I have three horses on the pasture who are full of energy and desperately need to be worked. Walking through the muddy gate of doom (I will devote a blog post to the gate soon) three times is too much for me. Bre and Dickie lead together great. Bre tells Dickie what is up and he walks like an old dog. Things were marvelous until we got over there and I separated them. I put Bre in a stall and she cried like I took her baby away. This is the mare who can be left alone when Romeo shows, will go in front or in back on a trail ride, and hasn't been herd bound a second in the 13 years I have known her. I had grand plans of riding Dickie but he was NOT focused on me at all. He is crazy smart so he can now lunge off voice command and still not focus on me. I don't want to lunge or round pen a baby to death so if I can't get him focused on me fast enough I have to pass on riding. We did end on a great note just not good enough to risk having a bad riding experience. 

Then it was Bre's turn. She was so full of snorts and spaz. She normally stands in the cross ties like a champ. You could forget about her. She was worried about what Dickie was up to and all over the place. She even decided it was appropriate to paw and she knows that makes me equicidal. The whole time we rode I could see Dickie (the arena has open walls) running like in the paddock. The horse next to him was full of crazy too and Dickie was happy to oblige by running with him. Bre was all prancy but she is too well trained to be crazy under saddle. Getting her untacked was exhausting though and by the time I got them both back to the barn I wanted to kill them. 

Monday was more of the same. I took them separately thinking that would help but they were each still full of prance. Luckily Dickie has learned some manners so my toes are safe and he listens when I tell him "AHHHH." I did get on and off of him yesterday (probably wasn't a wise choice but I am alive). I had hoped to walk around a little but his gaze was off in to the distance not at me. He even offered a little buck and I don't want to start picking fights with him under saddle just yet. I decided that rather than working on moving forward off my leg we would just work on mounting and dismounting. That went great. I also moved my legs against his side for the first time. I have been careful not to put any leg on him until now. I want to introduce one variable at a time and dealing with weight on his back seemed like enough. So even though it was a five min ride it wasn't a loss. I am so ready to get his focused mind back though. Were did you go? I think the clicker needs to be involved with riding. He can't resist paying attention to mom when she is a treat machine.

Bre made Dickie look like an angel when I led her over. She was snorting and bumping into me and stepping on my feet. Dealing with Bre when she is acting like a nut can be complicated. She was mistreated by a former trainer so I can't be too firm or she will be super crazy. The best way to deal with Bre when she is like that is just to get on and work her. I did just that and she gave me goose bumps. You wouldn't know she has been out of training for years. She was so good. I just put some leg on her and let her move. She put the hind end in gear and lifted her back up. I am so out of shape that I had a hard time keeping my position when she was in power pony mode. She was so happy and relaxed at the end. I hope she is as good under saddle for the high schooler tonight. And I hope maybe she isn't quite so annoying on the ground.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bre Does it Again

I haven't been blogging long enough for you to know Bre's most annoying little habit, slicing herself up. Bre runs everywhere. Her motto in life is "why walk when you can run?" She also thinks nothing of crashing through bushes or over logs. She takes the shortest path from point A to B regardless of what gets in her way. This isn't necessarily the problem. It makes her a great trail horse. She is bold and coordinated when it counts. However, the problem comes when she has no regard for her physical safety in the pasture. The result is yearly gashes, abscesses from running everywhere despite rocks in her shoes, and  mysterious sprains and strains from galloping through slippery mud.

Last year we got off fairly easy with just her regular spring abscess. The year before she let herself out of the pasture and filleted a palm sized piece of skin off her groin. Last week she decided to get herself into something. I have no idea what. We do have blackberries and trees to get caught up on but we walk the pasture regularly to find anything major. There is also more than enough open pasture to keep herself OUT of dangerous stuff. All the areas where the ponies hang out in a group and might scuffle are clear of anything to cut themselves on. Bre would have to go out of her way to find something to cut herself on. But cut herself she did. It started out small but a little proud flesh took over and the cut got bigger over the week. It looks MUCH better today than when this picture was taken. And the picture is a little deceiving. The tissue swells out of the cut and it doesn't go into muscle.

It is a little amusing that I have had a wild goofy two year old on the property for six months and there isn't a scratch on him. He is always crashing through bushes and eating the blackberries but somehow the 16 year old is the one who gets cut.

It's on the outside of her left hind just below her hock. 

I have been out there twice daily and I think she is happy to have the extra attention. In the morning I wash and put a new dressing on. At night she gets standing wraps to keep the swelling down. The wound is healing well but I am still bandaging it to keep pressure on the proud flesh. It isn't getting any bigger but I think she will heal up with a little lump. She is getting antibiotics twice a day because I wasn't sure what she cut herself on and the cut was so close to a joint. The plus side is she has been 100% sound through all of it. I even rode her Saturday and she moved like a dream.

Silly pony........

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

High School Equestrian

I had yet another marathon weekend. I am so over graveyards. I got off work on Thursday at 730am, changed Bre's dressing, gave her antibiotics, then attempted to nap for a few hours. Romeo and his Girl were supposed to show at 230pm. I made the hour long trek to the show grounds only to find out there were postponed by two hours. An extra two hours of sleep would have been amazing. 

As it turned out it wasn't a wasted two hours. Our Girl was nervous and needed help getting her pattern down. Romeo's mane was also a hot mess and I took a few inches off. In the end they looked fantastic. They also did great on all the patterns we had actually practiced. They didn't bring home any ribbons but the classes had 30-40 kids and many were seniors. I wanted to see her score in the top/middle of the pack and they did exactly that when the patterns were correct. The complicated patterns that we hadn't practiced were a disaster. I was happy with the results though. She was so calm on focused throughout. It just showed us we need to practice more at home. 

Tuesday we are planning a "trail" night. We are setting up poles so we can actually practice the patterns. There is a girl who might take Bre to the next event so I will bring the red mare over. I plan on taking Josey too. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nap Time

I went out to catch the kids on a warm sunny day and could only see the big mares (Bre and Josey). I started to panic because Tari and Dickie recently led a jail break down to the main busy road. They my eyes focused near some tree stumps and I realized that two stumps were actually horses. Dickie was happy to share his nap time with me. 

Not a brush pile. 

Are you bringing the treats to me?

Still such a baby face. 

Road kill

They can't both be dead, right?
Putting on the cute face to get treats. 
What a big tongue to lick you with. 
Mule or horse?

Tari photo bombing. 

Let's go back to sleep and not work, Ok?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Escaping is in the Air

The other day I drove up to the barn and noticed Dickie and Tari were separated in a smaller paddock attached to the barn. I thought maybe the herd wasn't getting along and figured there was a good reason for it so I wasn't concerned. Later on I found out that it had nothing to do with herd drama. The hot ribbon wire wasn't hot (a certain bay horse may have been involved with t-post cap removal) and somehow got caught around her leg. Again I blame Dickie because he for some reason thinks white hot tape is super fun to try and pull off the fence. Poor mare panicked and went through/over the wooden fence and down the street. Dickie went with her and the big mares stayed behind. Big Mares called for their friends and paced in front of the fence that was low enough to step over but were smart enough to stay home. The two hooligans took off down the road and luckily before hitting the main street saw some horses and went to meet them. Tari went through barbed wire to get to those horses. She is pretty banged up but no stiches were needed and she wasn't lame just swollen. Arabs might get themselves into crazy stuff but at least they are as tough as nails.

Dickie was entirely unscathed. Not a single scratch on him or even a hair out of place. They went over every inch of him with a headlamp and so did I. I think he just went along with the girl who was having the most fun but had enough sense to avoid the fences. For all his baby goofiness he is pretty level headed and doesn't panic. More than once he has had blackberries wrapped around his hind legs and wasn't the least bit worried. He just walked slowly like he was hobbled then stood cool as a cucumber while I untangled them. Why my horse feels the need to climb through the blackberry patches that tower over his head is a story for another day.......

Then tonight (about midnight) I went out to love on them. My pre work ritual is to stay up all night the day before I work. That gets me used to overnights again after flipping to a day schedule. When I am up I groom the kids then hang out at the restaurant Josey's mom works at. I was greeted by the four faces peeking out of their stalls. Then I went to the tack room to organize and had a strange feeling someone was watching me. It was totally silent (silence with four horses should have been my cue that something was up) and I turned around to find ..........

"Um, got any treats in the tack room?"

"They didn't tell you I now sleep with my stall open? Don't you know it is bad for  young horses to be in a stall all night?"

Yesterday this was several bales of neatly piled hay. 

Not sure why I didn't notice the halters strewn about and the poop in the hall when I first arrived. 

He was very nonchalant about his new choice of sleeping arrangements. Usually when Bre escapes she knows right away she has been bad and starts to scramble and get excited. The chase is part of the fun of escaping for her. The thought that he wasn't supposed to be out making messes didn't cross his mind. He had no interest in leaving the barnyard. Why would he when he had three girls begging for his attention, access to a paddock full of green grass, and bales of green yummy orchard grass hay? He sauntered (yes sauntered) back into his stall with me when I rattled the grain can. I caught him working the door open again later but ruined his plan by making sure the snap was clipped.

I guess the longer sunny days have the horses thinking they need to be free like mustangs. I need a wild mustang to come over and let these beasts know there isn't orchard grass hay, Redmond rock salt licks, milk jug toys, jolly balls, strategy grain, curry combs, mint horse cookies, or blankets anywhere to be found out there on the range. Stay home ponies it is much better here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

New pad and goodbye yak hair.....

It has been decided that purple is just Dickie's color. Bre is chestnut so anything on the red side of the color wheel looks terrible on her. I haven't been able to use purple, pink, orange, or red for way too long. That means Dickie is going to be sporting some purple and pink for awhile. Poor boy. Do you have a color? Do you stick to it or do you change it up? When I first got into horses (I was an adult) I had a color and everything had to be in that color. Now I am a little more ADD about it. I tend to change it up but for now purple it is. 

The other contraption in my photo is a measuring stick!! I have tried to measure him with a tape but it doesn't work. One time he is 15hh the next time he is 16.1hh. It takes two people to measure him with the tape but once two people get into his personal space he is waaaaay to excited to keep still. I took it out tonight and he is officially 16.05 hands at the shoulders (maybe 16.1 because getting him to stand up straight is impossible) and 16.1 and some change at the hind. I thought he was a little taller at the rump but he has def grown!! I feel more comfortable on a bigger horse but as long he fills out this is a nice size for me. Bre is just a smidge under 16hh and I feel great on her. She is also a stout mare with well spring ribs. 

Are your horses starting to shed out? Bre is shedding like crazy. She gets a really dense flat coat that stays pretty shiny even in the dead of winter. I always forget how fuzzy she is until she starts shedding. Dickie doesn't have much hair but is starting to drop little bits. He actually stood in the cross ties and let me groom him for a good half hour so I managed to groom out some of his winter coat. 

He has also lost a little bit of weight. I remember how much tinkering I did with Bre's grain when she was young. I like to keep them lean when they are young but I did let him get a little on the porky side because I know they usually drop some weight when they change coats. Youngsters also seem to get porky and pot bellied then grow and get skinny. It's only been two weeks since he was a porker and now he's ribby. He will be happy to get more grain. He loves his strategy. It's almost time for teeth too. Hopefully they don't find anything too exciting in there. I need to keep an eye out for baby teeth. I still have two of Bre's baby teeth somewhere from when she was about four. 

"Look at how still I can't stand in the cross ties. Let all the girls admire how sexy I am."
"Wait never mind, must toss my head and demand TREATS!!" On a more serious note-look at how great his top line is turning out!!

Once again standing still and patient in the cross ties. I thought for sure it would be years before we could enjoy a cross tie grooming session. Now we have had TWO in one week. 
"Lead rope, nom, nom, nom...."

"From the side I look grown up, from the front I am still just a wittle bitty baby."

The girls wanted to get in on the fun. Or maybe have some grain. 

Look at those pretty faces all tucked in. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Six Months

Not much more than six months ago that I was getting ready to start my first job as a nurse. Just about that time Dickie came to live with his new forever family in Oregon. It seems like yesterday but it also seems like forever. I think I will feel like a "new grad" for at least another five years but I feel really settled in the new job. It feels like it is where I am meant to be. And I can't imagine my life without Dickie. When he first came home I wondered how long it would take for me to really fall in love. He was gorgeous, charming, and super smart. What's not to love? I only wondered because the biggest reason I love horses is the connection. It bring me satisfaction to know an animal so well that I can predict how he will react in different situations. I had know my other horses for over six months before they became mine. Being in the possession of an animal who was a total stranger to me was a new experience. 

I have to say that I wish everyone would take six months to bond before they ever put a foot in the stirrup. Dickie was too young to get started under saddle until now but I wouldn't trade those six months on the ground for anything. When you are up in the saddle you miss so much. I have been watching him move in different situations for months and this will be invaluable when I ride him. I know how he naturally carries his body so I won't be fighting against it. I know what length of stride is comfortable for him. I know how he carries himself when he is tired. I can tell twenty steps ahead of time when his baby brain is starting to short out. I know how far I can push him when he is feeling stubborn before he will throw a royal tantrum. I don't always avoid a tantrum but at least I can see it coming. And I think this time has also given him a chance to know me. He understands my body language and tone of voice. 

I think that even if Dickie had been older and under saddle taking six months getting to know him wouldn't have been a loss. The connection you build on a ground will carry over when you are in the saddle. There are people who would have started a horse like Dickie last summer. He was big and could care less about weight over his back from day one. I strongly believe though that a year from now we will be light years ahead of the person who started their horse at two and a half. 

If you are in the market for a new horse I challenge you to spend some time just watching them and figuring out what makes them tick. Watch what they do in their stall, watch how they approach new situations, watch them move on the lunge line over different obstacles. I know it isn't feasible to give your new sport horse six months off but why not a month? If not a month surely two weeks of ground work and lunging won't hurt. Trust me it will really pay off. 

I don't have any new photos so share so here are some blast from the past gems. These were taken by the rescue when he was a yearling. 
This is the baby boy as a yearling when Pony Up gave him his first bath. I am not sure how they did it because he vetoed the bath idea this summer.  

Again as a yearly sniffing the nose of a blind mare that had been dropped in the kill pen. Pony Up saved her and they still have her. She has her own facebook page. Iris the Horse
His little baby butt with the auction tag. 

Look at those BIG MULE EARS!!! Sadly I think he is growing into his big goofy ears. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Photo Proof!!

Dickie and I had our third ride last week. I can't seem to get pictures. My ground person for the first two rides had their hands full. I decided to do this ride without a ground person. I know him well enough to trust that he isn't a bolter. He might buck or rear in protest but he won't take off. At this point I want him to start focusing on me more than the person leading him. Sooooo I worked him in the round pen until he was focused and I hopped on. I was sure this time someone would be around for  photos. There were lessons going on in the main arena so people were coming and going from the other barns. 

I had hoped one of those people would snap a photo with their camera. Sadly only one person walked by and she didn't have her phone with her. I was determined to get some kind of evidence. We walked over and I handed her my phone. That was the end of my ride because his attention was now her. She did however manage to get a couple of photos before I got off. 

I am so proud of him!! It was a super chaotic day. The horses were being fed, some were being led in from paddocks, people were heading past the round  pen to lessons, cars were coming and going, people stopped to peek into the round pen. He had a really hard time keeping his attention on me. Even with all that finally gave in and stood by the mounting block (we have never worked on the mounting block outside) and was a rock when I got on. I still shocks me that he doesn't react at all I get. It is a total non issue. Good boy!! 

For every one decent photo I have 20 deleted nostril photos. 

Seeee I really am up there!! No foolin'
Isn't he cuuuuuute!!! He looks so little all tacked up. He still has so much filling out to do. 

Bre's Adjustment Problems

When we talked about moving Bre my biggest concerns were her colic history and her farrier issues. I didn't think colic would be a problem at Dickie's barn because turnout with other horses seems to be the key. We decided we will haul the horses home for trimming if the farrier won't come to our barn. He trims Bre and Romeo because of the boarding stable down the street so he might not make a separate trip for us. I actually love Dickie's farrier but I don't want to change for three months. Plus, Bre is weird about her feet and is terrified of most farriers. She loves her current farrier and I am not going to change that. 

Bre has been out with other horses for the last 11 years and always gets along. She will be the head mare if given then chance but won't pick a fight. The herd she was with for six years changed several times a year and she always adjusted with zero stress. Her past colics where never related to stress over a specific move or show. It was either related to a change in food or living in a cramped chaotic stable. 

When I brought her to Dickie's place she initially settled in just as expected. I thought we might take a few days to get the herd integrated but it wasn't needed. First I put her out with Dickie in the smaller paddock and they trotted around then went to grazing. She let him molest her without even one squeal. I decided to put Josey out int the paddock with Dickie and Bre. There were a few squeals (what do you expect from mares) but they quickly decided grass and enjoying the sun was a better use of time. After 13 years I know my mare pretty well and she wasn't even the slightest bit stressed. I let her eat some grass then took her across to the big pasture. The little mare wanted to make friends and would sniff Bre but if Bre moved an inch she would squeal kick and run with her tail between her legs like she thought Bre was going to eat her. 

Bre did some fancy trotting around the pasture to check things out but wasn't worried. She just likes to run and seemed thrilled to have a wide flat space to run in. At this point I noticed Josey and Dickie screaming for Bre. They were totally fine with Bre in the pasture with them but once she left the screaming started. They always seem to think something better is going on where the humans are. Never mind that they had a paddock of lush grass.

When I took Dickie over he was thrilled to be back with his new girlfriend and they all proceeded to meander to the far end of the pasture. I went back to catch Josey and I was sure she would give me a run for my money. Josey loves that green grass and also thinks the barn is where the fun is. Even on a dry sunny day she wants in at 2:00pm. The paddock is attached to the barn and I stupidly left the barn door open when I went to catch her rather than closing it behind me. I thought there was no way Josey was going to leave the barn when all of her other escapes have been to get back to the barn and stuff herself with hay. Lo and behold miss Josey bolted out that door and made a beeline for the pasture. She waited patiently for me a the gate to be let back in then ran with her big thundering Clydesdale feet to be with her buddies. 

The rest of the day Bre and Josey had odd interactions. They would act like they wanted to be best friends they Josey would kick out and squeal like Bre's mere presence was killing her. Sometimes she would stay away from Bre just staring and other times she would circle around her not letting the other horses in. Then every so often Tari (little arab) would get int he middle of it. Dickie and Bre all the while seemed unconcerned by the other weirdo horses and just wandered happily. 

I brought them all in around five and was surprised by Bre and Josey calling to each other across the hall. They were talking incessantly and reach their noses across the aisle as far as they could. I left thinking Bre was fine and dandy. She had her new buddies and seemed thrilled to be with them. Jump to five hours later when I stopped in for one last check. Bre's pile of hay was untouched (not even tossed around) and neither was her water. Bre will ALWAYS eat unless she is colicky and she goes through two buckets of water a night. I noticed that she seemed alert and comfortable but wouldn't take her eyes off Josey. I also noticed that eating the hay would require her to look away from Josey. I handed her some hay and she wolfed it like she was starving. Then I put the hay in a cart in front of her so she munched happily. I still wasn't sure if maybe she was colicky so I went to her old barn for banamine and her equinet. When I came back she had almost wolfed down her hay (that's my girl). I moved her next to Josey so they could touch noses. The second she touched her nose she then turned and gulped down a bucket of water. I hung the next outside her stall and she was happy as could be. I spend a few hours hanging out with the kids to make sure she was back to her normal self. A week later Josey hates Bre but still goes out of her way to sniff noses and squeal. Maybe Bre loves her so much because it is the first time she has been rejected. What we can't have is always the most exciting. 

Bre is in love? Go figure. 

Bre and Dickie eating some yummy grass in the sun. 

Bre and Josey meet for the first time. 

Dickie sandwich. He's in heaven!!

Bre is already starting to shed out her winter coat. 

Josey batting her eyelashes then playing hard to get. 

I realized how babyish Dickie still looks until he was next to my beefcake QH. 

Josey reaching out to her new friend. 

Bre munching away now the she doesn't have to turn away from Josey.