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Hilarious Moments with Sabre

Me: Sabre, we are going for a ride.
Sabre: But we rode yesterday, therefore you won't catch me! Ha!
Me: Hiding behind a draft horse doesn't actually work, but by all means give it a try.
Sabre: Well his arse is big enough, I thought you wouldn't notice.
Me: Unfortunately I wear glasses and can see you.
Sabre: (Licking and chewing) Damn.
Me: There you go. A nice groom and then the saddle.
Sabre: But you aren't ettig eh it in.
Me: Since when were you a Thelwell Pony, Sabre? I mean that is really embarrassing, and if I tickle here...
Sabre: Damn.
This is my 'pony' when *horrors* I atctually wanted to ride him two days in a row. I need him to get adjusted to the new saddle, and not get sores when I take him to the mountains. Resistance is futile, but my God he tries. Clamps his teeth, tucks his head. Stupid thing is he loves the attention. I mean, he knows it all but he kinda has to pretend he doesn't.
Today I restricted grass and he had to bully Pete into cantering around  corrals because Sabre wanted *out*. Someone stopped on the side of the road to ask me about Pete while I am setting up hot wire. Meanwhile the 'boys' are chasing around because, well, if they don't get grass in the next five seconds a horse could die.
I have to work the next few days so maybe Sabre will get a couple of days off, but really, push me any further and that hotwire just might not get moved over to that wonderful green grass you can see but can't eat. BTW, I never did actually light the wire up, but don't tell Pete or Sabre that.

Saddles et al

I never seem to manage to obtain a horse, just go to a store, buy a saddle and plonk it on. While I realise no two horses, like people, are exactly the same, the expense of buying a saddle is not to be sneezed at. However, I am a stickler for having the right one even if I moan and groan at the cost. After all, you wouldn't wear uncomfortable shoes. Why should a horse be pinched by a saddle? I was loaned a great stubben English saddle which fits Sabre pretty damned well, but I have this cowboy challenge thing coming up, and, really, do cowboy obstacle course in a Stubben? Yeah, completely doable and I would have done it but thanks to the dh and finding a saddle fitter at the Mane Event, I think I have it right now. Another Tucker since I really like them. I rode for about twenty minutes and then I said, er, it's slipping. Well, Sabre had done the horse thing of blowing out and actually I was riding with a girth where you could fit a hand beneath. So. Once tightened I am all like, oh, wow, I am balanced. Plus it was an incredibly windy day, I had a pad too long and well, by the time we'd both finished the workout I said, that's fine. It fits him, it fits me. Mine. I hate being watched and I was watched so closely I was all wooden and stupid riding, but I felt safe, and I could run my hand underneath and not be crushed, so... am buying that one and selling my other one.
The Jeep thing. Well. Can Praxis, who I admire, and the GO Topless Jeep girls, held a fundraiser at the local Legion. It pissed down and we weren't going to go but then decided that we'd go, pay the dues, whatever, and leave. But we ended up staying and talking to folk and it was good. So over $1200 was raised for wounded warriors and Can Praxis who use horses as a way of communication between spouses and veterans. In other words, horses sense emotions so acutely you can't hide. In teaching this simple thing Can Praxis draws together alienated spouses. And it works. Put simply, if you can identify with a thousand pound horse, gain its trust, then you can also with your spouse. While it isn't as simple as all that, at the same time when you see the joy on those folks' faces you see what can be accomplished, and that is what it is all about. Hey, you can do this with a horse, what about your spouse and your child? You need to let go.
So we took Rich's Jeep and talked to military wives and horse people and it was all good. Emotional but good.

Decisions

So we made a decision yesterday. Not in a drunken stupor or anything but a sober, carefully thought out and discussed way. Since Mak passed we've both toyed with getting another dog. I wanted to rescue this time around. G wanted a much smaller dog. I applied to foster one of the milk river wolf dogs. They got all excited about me and then I got nothing, so, while I realise it takes a lot of time to rehabilitate a very abused dog, especially a wolfdog, I expected some more feedback about my interest at least.
Yesterday G and I talked about it, looked at each other and said 'wolfhound' in the same breath. The reason we couldn't decide was because we already had the answer. But neither of us wanted to replace Mak, who was and is irreplaceable and of course tied totally with Rich in our minds.
However, I began talking to L, who I know really well and who came to Rich's funeral and I said, daft as it seems, we miss the snot marks on our patio doors and the damned muddy paws throughout the house, the fur everywhere. Of course L breeds Irish wolfhounds. She placed our names on the top of the list for the next litter, which arrives in spring. Simply because she knows us really well and all my wolfies have lived to a great age. So she was thrilled we wanted another one and I said, no show dog, a companion. If it happens to turn out really well and I think it is worth showing I would do that on a limited basis, but mostly, it has to be a home bud.
When we made the decision it was like all the air rushed out of me.. Of course it was what we wanted despite the 'inconvenience' of having an extremely large dog, of which there are many. We miss those hairy grey faces every time we enter our house, and we'd said, no more til we've sold, but neither of us, and bearing in mind G is not the animal lover, can bear that emptiness. G started looking through all the breeders and kept calling me in to look at this hound and that hound. *G*. So, no, it is a good decision.
I don't have to make a decision about a horse because I have Sabre, and we have a few teething probs right now. A few lol moments, which I discussed with Jessica, but truly, Sabre is adorable. I have NEVER had a horse who hugs until now. No kidding. I ride him, briefly so far, get off and he hangs his head over my shoulder. Pure kinship. I'm still learning him and him me and we will get there for sure, simply because Sabre and I so identify with one another. I just couldn't work out why he was trying to almost fight me and put his head down until Jessica said, er, well, I taught him to stretch. I laughed because it made so much sense and I've been pulling the poor boy up and he's prob going - er, human! Simply wanted to stretch after you rode me. Goof.
So now I have to wait impatiently for a puppy to be born and chosen, but I am so glad, because I can train a pup to be with me around the horses. Horses tend to see wolfies as 'coyotes!' because of their size, so there has to be some very gentle introduction going on. Excited I am!

Jan. 24th, 2015

In things weird and wonderful, I was using my pendulum the other day and I asked Rich for a sign. I am skeptical enough that I really don't expect anything. But when I found his Jeep halfway down the drivefrom where I parked, I do begin to wonder. Yes, I know, *scientifically* it was icy and exactly the right conditions for a Jeep to move on frozen, thawed, frozen ground. But even so, this Jeep was his favourite thing ever and it bloody moved three feet at least.
No kidding, I come out to go to work and stand there with a wtf expression. I know I didn't park it there. My first thought was joy riders, but it obviously hadn't gone far. It was just like a tip of the hat to say, heh, been there. |straight after I had asked for some indication that Rich's spirit was still here.

Abscesses

Funny, out of all the horses I have dealt with, I thought perhaps Sabre wouldn't be the type to stand patiently in a pan of Epsom salts and warm water. What I didn't take into account was his smarts. Not only will he stand for 45 mins to an hour rock solid, he will do so without a halter as long as he has a bunch of hay to nibble and a bucket of water to dunk it in. I am guessing once the warmth gets on his hoof he gets relief, so he is more than happy to rest the soreness on a rubber pail and warm water.
The first day I did halter him but I kept having to go get more warm water or more hay or 'something' and I never tied him up, so second day I thought, why bother? Since it is always a bit of a game to catch him anyway, meaning 'put the halter on', if he'll just do what I want without it, I may as well. The halter thing I will work on again in the spring. Meanwhile it is better to be able to easily work on his foot.
Talking to Darlene yesterday I said it may well come out his heel, if it is in there. Even she couldn't completely account for his hobbling, but his heel is pappy, so either it is a very bad bruise which the Epsom soak will help anyway, or there is something lurking, waiting to drain. The one thing we did want him to do was to drink lots since he is on a bit of bute and since I hate the stuff, she said make sure he drinks and if I bring him a bucket rather than make him hobble around to the waterer, he drinks with his hay. He's a great snow eater. I've watched him. Mouthful of hay, mouthful of snow, but right now we don't have any and they kinda get out of the habit of using the waterer. Of course Google wants 'in' on everything, too, but he's been good about leaving Sabre alone while he's standing in his pail. What a curious young boy. Leave him for five seconds and my flask of hot water is rolling around the pasture because it is 'fun'. Darlene said, you could tie him to the fence, you know. I just smiled and said, and destroy his fun? Trying to drink the pail with the Epsom salts in was a tad annoying tho. He wasn't thirsty, he just wanted to investigate. That, along with the hoof pick the halter and rope and anything else I'd bought with me.
Thank goodness the weather has been kind the last couple of days and things aren't freezing on me faster than I can work. Not sure what I might have done otherwise. Stood in the shelter with a haynet I guess and taken a blanket to keep *me* warm. Got one more day of warmish today so I am hoping that is enough to draw the abscess out after I finish work this afternoon. Supposed to be +5 and then back to snow, so we will see. Darlene will come along if it needs to be dug out. So wonderful to have a vet as a boarder, I tell you.

Dec. 12th, 2014

Haven't written lately because I haven't done anything worth really writing about. Sabre and Google continue to be, well, Sabre and Google. Google tries to dominate and Sabre says no, which means some arguments and pretend stallion behaviour. Which I don't like to witness but is basically harmless. Me, I am such a worry wart I see all the things which *could* happen, whereas the boys are all like, whatever and sharing a hay bale five minutes later. I swear they show off just for me.
But, vet says she will truck something rideable over to me so that Sabre gets a chance to go out. I've been riding Pete, a spotted draft, which is good for me because he's a kid camp horse and needs to be reminded that he doesn't have to follow the horse in front, every stride, and good for him because I won't let him. But I needed to get back on 'something' before I got on Sabre who, for me, isn't a known quantity.
In other news, had an army visit where we learned yet more about what Rich got up to in Afghanistan. Apparently he was so good at jamming signals from IEDs that he saved more than a few lives, because he could keep whole convoys safe. Guy who spoke to us said it was uncanny. Not only did Rich's team blow up more IEDs that any other but in convoy Rich could keep them all safe. He just had the knack for reading signals etc,So that when Rich didn't go out, often tragedies occurred. Which makes his death even more poignant, simply because he did all that and died in a bizarre accident. Heartbreaking really. We spoke about the PTSD that the whole team had and why and what and where. Forex this guy couldn't even BBQ because the teams had to retrieve the body parts of guys they knew, many times, and the smell of burnt flesh... I can't even imagine. It was another eye opener of what these guys did for their country. What they did for friends and comrades in arms. To give closure, too, for the families back home. I can't even imagine having to gather body parts which were pretty much unrecognisable as human, but they did it, Rich included. How could they be the same on their return home?
People, meaning the general public, have no idea why these guys suffer, but they flashback because they saw their friends blown into pieces. The Afghan they shook hands with the day before would harbour a bomb in his bicycle the next day, That is a truth, not a fiction I wrote into a particular story. They walked on tenterhooks, and that isn't to negate anything any soldier has ever done for his country, but Afghanistan and Iraq were just.. horrific in ways that no one had experienced before. A different type of warfare; which it is always seems to be as technology grows. It's a scary world and most of us never address that fact. Our soldiers do.

Nov. 26th, 2014

Interesting today. I don't mind being proved wrong at all. I have been saying that Google is a dumb blonde, and sorry to stereotype but because he is such a pale cream it is too easy to do. What I should, in a politically correct way is say, the elevator doesn't always go up to the top floor. Except, I think that I have forgotten bout young horses.
At the acreage the arrangement is that B fills the water tub. Well he hadn't and it stressed me out to a ridiculous degree because, well, there is plenty of snow, but I personally don't believe that snow is enough. So I visit and then return home and fill a five gallon tub, take it back, and I am not kidding you, Google smells it as I get out of the Jeep. He was very patient as I poured and very thankful for the not-too-cold water, as was Sabre. Then I girded my loins and made a point about the water tub not being filled. Which was extremely difficult because these guys are building kitchens and have to do ten before Christmas. Which is fine, except my source of water has to navigate 'stuff' which can't get wet. So I can't simply go it here and pour water. Not sure why I nearly ended up in tears but that was how I felt. Didn't want to interfere with kitchen building but wanted *water* for my horses. I feel I have to discuss this, because I am more than happy to do it, but I need to know when I am allowed to do it. When it was broached, B comes running out with gallons but it made me feel bad to take him away from his work.
Anyway, Google, the two year old, is suddenly a sensible horse. Not sure if he'd ever drunk out of a bucket but he learned PDQ and to tip it to get his big snout in at the end.
This is the same horse who *cough* emptied my feed bin the other day. Luckily there wasn't much in it and it was mild stuff which was meant for Merlin, so I was 99% sure he wasn't going to colic on it, but even so, he reached into my feed shelter and got it. Because when me and the dh bought more hay the other day, the dh had moved the bin and I hadn't realised. My fault for not being more attentive, but there was no way Sabre could of reached it, but I was forgetting the size of Google and his reach.
Google is quarter horse X percheron and cowy with it. In other words he will chase cows quite happily.
He isn't my kind of horse but he is a cracking youngster The type where one day you decide to put a saddle on and he'll be all, like. whatever... But he'll have a bit of spunk, too.
I giggled tonight, because he also has an independent streak. He was in the corral and Sabre was outside of it, but they both know where the gates are etc and they were both perfectly content with the arrangement while still being in sight of each other. I do like horses who *think*.
Sabre had me in stiches yesterday. While I am waiting for Google to poop - since the feed incident I wanted to make sure everything was functioning - Sabre comes up to me and says, I'd really like to do that thing where a human breathes in my nose and I breathe back. I am all like, sure, Sabre, until he steams up my glasses and I can't see. Yeah, it was that cold. But it was kinda adorable, too.
Sabre is very clear when he wants something and it was so obvious what he wanted that I complied. Wasn't his fault I have to wear the damned bins. Google is all - oooh, that' sa bucket! Exciting! And I guess it is like having kids. You've had them, they grow up and they move on. Google is still at the learning stage wheareas Sabre just knows what he wants. He knows to eat three mouthfuls of hay and then take a mouthful of snow. Google doesn't, but he's learning and it is interesting watching him.

Nov. 24th, 2014

Rode a spotted draft horse yesterday. A seventeen hand monster with dinner-plate feet. For a first ride after months out of the saddle it was certainly different. Pete is a kid's camp horse so pretty independent of thought since he has to think for himself mostly, but a nice ride for all that. The weather wasn't too too bad but Pete kept me warm. He was fairly hard work but a good first ride to give me back some confidence. Vet said shed give me something with a little more spunk next time, but I was quite happy poddling along on Pete. Bouncy trot, though, lol, and my seat bones are certainly feeling it, and my ankles, since everything is out of shape. I didn't feel unbalanced in the saddle exactly - no danger of falling off or anything, just a bit one-sided. But that maybe because Pete also pulls carts and these horses tend to get a favourite side, so maybe it wasn't me so much.

In other news I knitted a toque in the round, for the first time ever. Toque turned out perfectly but way too small. Since I counted stitches I must have knitted too tightly or had my tension wrong. Very cute toque but more kid size than mine. neither did I truly enjoy knitting in the round. It really hurt my hands. But I did it. Now I have to decide whether to get some bigger kneedles or just unravel it and make a scarf or something from the delicious wool I have.

Nov. 21st, 2014

A more difficult day. Not because of the day as such, since it was a day off and the weather was mild and the horses were laid back. But I went in for a competition for "Amazing backcountry" which is a site for horse owners. They wanted a story about that special horse and, of course, I had to write about Merlin. Which, of course, leads to Rich because it is all tied up together now.
It was good, because it wasn't a bad thing tow rite about, but I needed to almost distance myself from it so I hope that doesn't come through, because stories like this need to be honest.
Don't care if I win or lose, it was just a good thing to write it. To flex those writing muscles I haven't used in a while since life just keeps getting in my way.
The prize funnily enough is a weekend doing cowboy challenge kind of thing. Id said to G a week ago, I want to do something with Sabre, not just let him be a pasture puff. he's a funny horse, as Jessica will tell anyone, so I am not sure he would do that, but I would certainly take him to see. I feel with him he has such an intelligent mind that to keep it occupied would not be a detriment. Yes he is afraid of many things but when he has a person's trust he changes. I think between the pair of us we could overcome many things. So we'll see. If I don't win the weekend to try this stuff, I might just start something anyway. Not until Spring, but I certainly want to do something, whether it is to take him to clinics on natural horsemanship of some kind or something else. Because I have faith in this horse. It is going to be challenge for sure, but not a bad one.

Nov. 20th, 2014

Just a good day. It is nice to have those. No drama, just good. The dh had a day off while they stake out some new basements and I said, I'd like to go to Custom Woolen Mills, which is an outfit only about 20 mins away. I have been practising my crochet with dollar store wool, which is fine, but I wanted some 'real' stuff.
Such a treat to go into a place with actual skeins and patterns and all the kinds of patterns and colours I love.
I came out with a kit to make a toque, since I have never knitted in the round and thought I would give it a go. So we'll see what I can do.
Then we went for lunch in Linden, the small town where our realtors live. Not only did they pay for our lunch, we visited afterwards. Such lovely people who are so wishing we had managed to get the acreage we originally wanted.
One of the realtors kept her horses opposite that acreage. She had a 32 yr old mare. When a horse gets to that age they are often skinny and look like they need a good meal. It is just their metabolism. But if they are happy, which this mare was; she'd come running knickering and neighing to see them, they are fine. But the new acreage owners called the spca who said, we need to test this mare. That means when a vet takes tests they will say, well, this is failing, that is failing, which it would with an old person let alone a horse. So the realtor ended up having to put down a perfectly happy old horse because of an interfering do-gooder.
I totally understood, but apparently the spca didn't want an old horse to die peacefully in its sleep. Having met the mare in question I can understand her angst and tears. That horse would have said when it wanted to go and she wasn't ready. It was totally well cared for with special food etc and shared her pasture with a gentle pasture mate. So in my opinion this was totally wrong.
On a good note, the vet, whose youngster I care for said, thank you for doing such a wonderful job. Because her young man was totally approachable and well handled. I have to say a lot of this is due to Sabre who 'disciplined' this boy to an nth of his life. Because, Google decided to be studdy etc and Sabre, who is half his size, said, no way. An example today was I went to fuss Sabre. Google comes up behind him. Sabre's ears go flat, he backs up, lifts a back leg and in slow motion shows a kick. He didn't kick the youngster, he merely said, any closer and you get it. I am trying not to laugh as Google meekly backs away and look at Sabre with a 'really' expression. I don't need your protection but thank you all the same.
So the vet asked, I want to debride Google's wounds, would you mind if I sent you another youngster so that Sabre can discipline him? I roared and said, absolutely, go for it.
Yes Google has a few bite marks on him, but I have seen Google misbehave and it is cool that Sabre lets them get away with so much and then says, stop. It means I can walk out into the pasture and have two very well behaved horses. And the vet recognised this and while she treats Google she wants another one there. Not just to keep Sabre company but because Sabre is so valuable as a teacher.
\Jessica you aren't getting him back btw, I have already fallen in love with this horse and have plans.