Tuesday, August 15, 2017

19 Days

I can't believe that Maisie is already 19 days old! She is very sassy and adorable. I'm a little bummed that she's not the most cuddly little baby, despite me handling her a ton when she was born. She likes to be scritched, you can run your hands almost everywhere on her body, but she doesn't really want to hang out and would much rather be tearing around the paddock instead.

video


I have several mom friends on Facebook who post updates every couple months on their babies, what they like, what they dislike, what they've learned so far, etc and I thought it was a cute idea.

2.5 weeks old:
  • Likes:
    • Butt scritches
    • Neck scritches
    • Running
    • Walking into mom's head when she's trying to eat
    • Mimicking mom eating and drinking (aka splashing in the water trough)
    • Nursing
    • Laying in the hot sun on the gravel instead of her nice, deeply bedded shady stall with fans 
  • Dislikes
    • Halters
    • Anyone touching her head
    • Being told no
    • Getting restrained
Zoooom

I love how their blazes match!
Laying outside in the rain

First time she's let me cuddle since she was born




First day in the pasture!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Picture Day

I can't even remember which day it was now with how crazy life has been but a week or two ago, KP and I took Trask and KP's filly to get some pictures done just for fun.

It was pretty hectic - KP had to work night shift and we hauled Trask, momma horse, and baby all together, meaning that I had to drive separate so KP could take my car to work while I took all the horses home.

Trask's one fault is that he's a little bit herd-bound. Of course he fell in love with momma and baby during the trailer ride and as soon as we separated them he got very freaked out. After they were done taking the baby's pictures, it was my turn to try to wrangle Trask. He was not very in to standing still... at all. Finally we ditched all the on the ground photos and I lunged him before getting on. KP wanted me to ride outside but I was pretty sure no good pictures were going to be had since the mom and baby were turned outside and all he wanted to do was look at them with his head in the air like a llama.

Once I was on though, he was very good. I think we had one of the better rides to date. He was pretty hyper still, but it made his canter so uphill and wonderful. We did have a little bit of bucking, but he's not very good at it so it was more like leaping across the arena. Overall, I was super happy with him, he listened to my aids and acted almost like a grown-up horse! (Ignore me, I look absolutely awful, I really just need someone to yell at me all the time to put my shoulders back and look up!)

Hopefully I can have this same photographer out to do pictures of Jetta, Maisie and I this fall, I really like how she did them!

The pictures turned out lovely, these will eventually be used for his sale ad. Most of them are unedited, so if we end up using them I'll probably edit them, but the photographer did edit a couple, which turned out stunning (namely this black background one!):

My favorite









My second favorite




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Merely Gold

((Picture dump! These photos were taken between 0 and 4 days old ))

I can't believe that my baby is finally here! What a week it was too.

Starting at the beginning... I started foal watch on Thursday the 20th. I was coming down twice a week or so just to see how Jetta was doing and help out around the barn. When I came down that Thursday and closed up the barn later in the evening, I noticed she was breathing really hard and seemed uncomfortable. Her heart rate was over 70 bpm and she wasn't eating her hay. I thought for sure maybe something was going to happen! I spread out all the straw and stayed up late to check on her. At one point she was laying down and breathing hard and I thought for sure baby was on the way. But when I checked back at 4am she was up eating her hay like nothing had ever happened.

I ended up coming back every night to check in on her which made for A LOT of driving back and forth. And very little sleep. It did help that I ordered a wireless camera to check on her with. I LOVED it. This way I could check on her without disturbing her and it was nice not to have to get out of bed. Very handy! (This is the camera I got - very cheap and the app you use isn't that great, but for the price it is awesome!)

Not bad quality for a cheap camera! Taken at night even


She ended up going at 335 days, so 5 days "early" means that she was born on July 27th (7/27/17 - according to my mom that means she has to be special because she has 3 seven's in her birthday!). Timing was... iffy. Of course this is the one day in the last week that I didn't go down to my parents. I was exhausted from being on foal watch and it was my best friend's last night in town before she moved away so we went to dinner and stayed up late talking. So of course I did my last check at midnight where Jetta was eating away showing no signs of baby and then passed completely out, missing my 2 and 4am checks. I woke up to a phone call from my dad at 6am: "So, uh, your baby is here. Everything is fine, just thought you'd want to know. It's a filly."

I made the hour drive down as quickly as possible (crying of course because 1) I missed my baby's birth and 2) I was so relieved and happy that she was here!).

Cannot handle the cuteness level

Tiny, perfectly matching back socks
She is literally the most perfect thing I have ever seen. I am not kidding when I say that, because though I would probably think that regardless of what the baby looked like, I could not have imagined a prettier baby with more perfect markings. I am absolutely smitten.


She was up and standing by the time I got there and my parents said she was having difficulty finding the right spot on the udder to nurse at and Jetta was making it hard by moving around so much. She is SUCH a helicopter mom. She absolutely has to have baby in her sight at all times and preferably she would have her nose on baby too. Baby couldn't nurse because Jetta kept following baby around so I had to halter Jetta and make her stand for a bit. Jetta was literally spraying milk everywhere and had been dripping milk for 3 days before she gave birth (not much, but still), so I was really worried about the colostrum. After baby figured out the milk bar, I let momma go and just enjoyed watching and playing with baby.

All the naps
Trying to decide how to get the halter off....
Exploring the water tank (don't worry, it got cleaned shortly after this picture!)


I die over those giant fluffy mule ears!

"My baby"



"Did you say I have mule ears?"
I also gathered up the placenta and examined it. Of course Jetta dragged it around and walked on it so there were several holes in it and I couldn't determine if there were any pieces missing. KP was working a really busy week so she didn't have time to come down and look at it so I took it to the local vet (very awkward phone call with the receptionist...) and he looked at it. He didn't think there were any pieces missing, though it was hard to tell in the non-gravid horn there was a hole near, but not at, the tip. We decided to just monitor her temperature and digital pulses to make sure she didn't have any retained placenta. I also got a foal IgG snap test from him so I could check baby's antibody levels myself. This was the main thing I was stressing about due to the fact that Jetta had lost a lot of colostrum and that she was a maiden mare.

Tasting the wood
Itchy
I needn't have worried though! With a little bit of baby wrangling I got some blood (she was very good for it, but I'm not sure she's forgiven me yet) and the snap test showed she had excellent IgG levels! One less thing to worry about because I was stressed to the max that day worrying about when the baby was going to poop, if she was drinking enough milk, if Jetta was going to step on her when she was laying down, if Jetta was going to founder from toxic shock if she retained the placenta, etc. I am a very worried mom.

Everything's been great though! We decided to go with Maisie for her name. She's a spunky little thing and enjoys bucking and tearing around the paddock. Later this week we'll turn them out on the 3-acre pasture.



Also! Not to be forgotten, the winners of the baby contest! Molly won the guess for the gender/markings while Genny was the closest to the day of birth. I will be contacting you guys soonish about your prizes (my life is still crazy right now, so once I have a second to breathe I will get in touch!)

And lastly, would anyone be interested in more posts on the breeding/foaling process? For instance, foaling kit supplies, cost of breeding, etc.?

Friday, July 28, 2017

SHE'S HERE

My little gold nugget has finally arrived! I have a ton to write about, but I'm not very coherent since I haven't slept in a week. I'll write a better post when I get some sleep, but until then, meet Maisie:


Basically, she's the most perfect little thing I've ever seen and I am 100% head over heels in love with her.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trail Ride Train Wreck

So many interesting (fun?) things to write about but I've been so crazy busy I haven't gotten around to it!

First up, last Sunday, Trask and I had our first trail ride together. He has been on trails before with the trainer, JM, who started him almost a year ago, but I don't think he has since then. Because of that I wanted to go with people for our first time and KP said she'd go with me. She just got her horse, Rogue (Trask's half brother) gelded so he is out of commission for a bit, so she needed a horse to ride. So she invited trainer JM to come with us so that he could bring her a horse. He came with his two stallions, one of whom is 6 years old, and since his niece was visiting, gave her the ride on his dependable gelding Duncan and KP got to ride the older stallion.

Pre-ride ciders for the pony
Apparently he loves cider. A lot.


I really like JM, he's a great trainer and rider but I should always remember how crazy our rides together always go! His horses are VERY hot and VERY fancy upper level horses and VERY big. He hadn't ridden the young stallion in a while and I have never seen a hotter horse I think. Plus he's giant. Like 17.2 hands I think. Anyways, KP and I hauled Trask out to the trails and met JM there. We tacked everyone up, which included the "Great Booting" since all the horses are barefoot. Between boot collections of KP, JM and mine, we managed to fit boots on all four horses. Trask stood very well tied to the trailer (which couldn't have been said of some other horses *cough* baby stallion *cough*).

Everyone hopped on and away we went with baby stallion charging ahead at the front, followed by KP on the more mature and manageable stallion, with Trask and Duncan bringing up the rear. It was an exciting start.

What followed was the most insane trail ride of my life. I felt bad for poor baby Trask, but now that we survived that experience, I am confident we can survive any other experience we can throw at him.

Apparently I should have drank more of the cider instead of Trask and maybe I would've been more relaxed!


It was basically baby stallion trotting or cantering back and forth and back and forth in an effort for JM to get him to chill out. Trask was second in the line since he absolutely hated being in the back of the group. Then KP on the other stallion. She was feeling a little nervous about being on the stallion since he was not putting up with baby stallion's antics and he's a very strong horse. He was being perfectly behaved, but she ended up walking for a while. And reliable Duncan, literally a saint of a horse, bringing up the rear with his rider who couldn't steer or stop.

Trask got extremely worried when baby stallion got too far ahead of the group, complete with cantering in place and feeling like a bomb ready to go off. We had just reached the top of a hill, about an hour into our ride, at a place where we could either go around the long loop or just turn around and go back. JM wanted to keep going - he was having a blast on his fire breathing dragon of a horse (like I said, he's a great rider and seriously nothing could rattle or unseat him. Ever.) but KP was having a mini panic attack and was like "nope, we're going back" and turned around and led the way down the hill. (I think this was a fantastic choice)

The ride back down was much better for the most part, we were able to spend most of it on a loose rein. Trask was confident enough at this point to lead the group. Minus a few hilarious spooks, one when he stepped on a cruchy leaf and all four feet left the ground and then later when he stepped on a branch that lifted up and he teleported about five feet to the left and I landed on his neck. At one point JM got very far ahead of the group and Trask was having a come-apart about this. There was a cliff to our left and he started skittering left, completely ignoring my aids to move in the opposite direction. I let out a strangled yelp and JM turned back quickly, seeing what was happening, to come give Trask some company.

I seriously saw my life flash before my eyes. I thought we were going over the cliff.

After that, KP and I led the group with our horses side by side. They seemed to get along well, and JM and his niece brought up the rear. It ended with us nearly at the end and a mountain biker zooming past up. I heard a commotion as baby stallion spooked at the biker behind us, saw the biker coming for us and leaped off Trask. That was all I needed was for him to be surprised by a rude biker coming up his butt at a fast pace!

I seriously have not had a more rude experience with a biker. Every one (and I've encountered a ton since I trail ride a bunch) have usually either hopped off their bikes and waited for us to pass, walked their bike past us, or called out and asked if our horses were ok to pass. It's just common courtesy. Luckily, Trask only glanced at the biker since I had him tucked behind his new stallion friend.

The ride ended uneventfully and KP and I were stunned that we survived the chaos. Baby stallion is now permanently banned from future rides since we don't want to test our luck at not dying ...

I was extremely proud of how Trask handled that environment. It was utter chaos and while we had some spooks and scary moments, I cannot blame him for feeding off of that crazy energy. I think we will be absolutely ok to ride by ourselves in the future, and I definitely prefer being alone to that crazyness!

Other random pictures:

In other news we had a lovely evening ride a few nights ago!


KP was kind enough to buy him a fancy new halter so he didn't have to wear the purple halter of shame

Weirdo loves just holding the stirrup iron in his mouth...


Monday, July 10, 2017

Lucky He's Cute

I ended up taking Trask to our first show together yesterday! It was... interesting to say the least.

I was pretty sure that it was going to be an interesting show with my lack of preparation. I've had Trask for a month and had maybe 10-12 rides on him with school and being gone so I was kind of on the edge about whether or not it was a good idea to go to the show or not.

Pre-show lunge




We just did Intro A and B since our canter is still pretty iffy. My one goal was to stay on!

Of course the best show prep is to not ride for two days beforehand, right? I gave Trask a bath on Saturday night and loaded up the trailer, but didn't have time to clean any tack or anything. Sunday morning dawned wayyy too early, though it helped that I didn't really sleep the whole night before. Horse shows on 4 hours of sleep are super fun!

I braided Trask as soon as I got to the barn - at least we were going to look good even if we did awfully!

I was pretty happy with my 10 minute rubber band braids


Once we got to the show I tied Trask to the trailer with his hay bag and then went into the tack room to start getting my tack. A piece of paper blew out of the tack room and spooked him, he set back and broke both his halter AND his lead rope before going for a nice jaunt around the property. That was such a fun way to start a show - 20 minutes of chasing a horse around the giant field and getting myself a very large blister in the process. I was not pleased.

We had nearly no warm-up after I caught Trask. Luckily I had an extra halter and a lunge line in the trailer to replace all our broken tack... We had 15 minutes to tack up, get on, and memorize our test. We had a quick walk-trot in the warm-up arena (after convincing Trask that the large blue flappy-tarp building was not going to eat him).

Our test went about in the same vein... the judges booth was absolutely terrifying (after all, they have all those horse eating papers in front of them!) and I didn't have enough time to convince him otherwise. Our test was tense and while mostly obedient (save the judges both), we were not accurate in the least.

We had just a couple minutes before our next ride so I quickly memorized the next test and again only had a couple minutes to trot around warm-up and convince Trask that some sort of softness would be nice. Our next test was much nicer. Still tense, with some nice giraffe moments of looking through the arena windows and whinnying at the other horses, but overall much better and there was only one little spook at the judges booth in one direction.

After our test we had a nice real ride in the outdoor, complete with cantering. It was nice to get Trask around other horses since we tend to only ride alone. Plus he came to terms with the scary blue tarp building so it wasn't all bad.



Overall, it was an interesting show. Not great, but it could have been worse. We got some nice comments from the judge, even managing to get a 63% in our second class which is respectable. Now we have more stuff to work on (can you say desensitizing to paper?!) and someone is now the proud new owner of a rope halter for practicing standing tied.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to redeem ourselves next month, schooling dressage shows are few and far between right now, but we are going to find some sort of show to make it to again!

Only "real" photo of us we had since I failed to sign up for pictures. He's so lucky he's cute!!