They Are Horses, Afterall.

It’s true, horses are accidents waiting to happen.  I mean, they are a danger to themselves sometimes.  The evolution of horses as domesticated creatures, is on-going.  Leave it to a horse to find even the most seemingly harmless object, to suddenly become frighteningly precarious.  Oh horses!

Part of owning horses is acknowledging what could be harmful in the eyes of the horse.  There are obvious things to stay away from.  Anything sharp, that’s for sure.  But, sometimes horses can’t even contain themselves, quite literally.  Even safe fencing, can’t always hold up to their moments of….intelligence lapse.  

Yesterday Reason found himself in a predicament.  I wasn’t there, but the staff at the barn found him quickly.  Cast in his paddock no less.  He broke a board as he tried to free himself.  Reason has help in the, ‘anti-casting’ department.  He has hot-wire running the perimeter of his paddock, which makes him very respectful of the fence.  It is this hot wire that helps him stay smart about where to roll and where not to.  Apparently the hot-wire was off that day and the previous.  I’m not sure how Reason allowed himself to discover if it was off, but somehow he did.  This apparently made him want to roll close to the fence.  Well, I know it was probably not a move he strategically planned out on purpose…But it happened, silly boy.

I received “that call” from the barn owner letting me know about what happened.  She took good care of my boy and found nothing but a couple small, superficial cuts and burns.  Other than that he seems fine, but we’re keeping an eye on his bowed leg and the others for signs that something else could have happened.  After seeing Reason yesterday, gooping him up with swat, I wasn’t too worried, as I didn’t see anything alarming.  I think he’s just fine.  But Reason, seriously dude?  Was it really necessary to roll so close to the fence when you have a bunch of other perfectly acceptable, sandy places to roll?  Gosh.

The picture above is a little blurry, but that burn you see with swat on it, was pretty much the extent of the self-inflicted wounds.  Phew. 

Besides that, later in the evening we took a walk down to the indoor, where Reason and I hung out observing the many horses and riders hangin in the arena.  This has been the first time Reason has seen this amount of horses in one place that could look similar to a race-track warm-up ring.  He was good though.  I’m proud of his manners.  He’s a true gentlemen.  He’s still young and will try to sneek things here and there, but what else could you expect?

When I Grow Up.

Recent photos of Reason.  I have so many more, I need to update the photo gallery here.  If you’re on my FB friends list, you can view the album, Within Reason.

Reason’s new rope halter I bought at the WSHE.  Disco, woo!

Reason and I.  I’m standing on a large log.  I’m really not that tall lol. 

The Double Whorl Wonder.

Have you heard about whorl patterns on horses and how they are said to reflect the horses personality?  Interesting subject.  I first learned about it from S* .  He mentioned Ink had a whorl directly between his eyes.  Supposedly this was an ideal position reflecting a horse with an even-temperament.  The further up the whirl, the more intelligent, yet difficult the horse is.  The further down, the calmer it is.  And from what I’ve read, the horses with the higher whirls sometimes make talented show horses verses horses with lower whirls.  Hmm, innteressting, indeed.

Look at the statistics here, where there was a study done on 423 horses, 290 of which were CA Thoroughbred race horses.

From this study, only 6% had “rare” whirl patterns which the study described as, “Abnormal whorls were defined as 3 or more on the forehead, or 2 whorls vertically placed on the facial area. Two horses had 3 whorls, one had 4, and the remaining (24 hd) had vertical placement.

I also found this article on whorls; Around the Whorl.

In that article though, it states that the lower the whorl the more intelligent. 

So what does Reason have?  He has two whorls, parallel to each other, not too far up his forehead.  I could relate to double whorls being more difficult and hotter, as he is those things, but not completely.  They aren’t too high up, so maybe that indicates lesser of those things? 

A* told me that double whorls indicate a mixed personality.  A good, willing side and also a naughty, difficult side. 

Yesterday was quite nice with Reason.  He was a bit fresh though as the fog was coming in, a little cool nip in the air and the wind was blowing a little.  I knew, as soon as I stepped out of the truck, what this kind of evening meant.  I was planning on having Matt clean up and rasp a little of Reason’s hooves.  But I wasn’t sure if that was going to be the final plan pending Reason’s, ‘freshness.’  With an injury, I didn’t want to risk it, create a stressful situation or risk Matt’s safety.  If it was Ink, I would have known he would be just fine regardless of if he was having a rodeo in his paddock. 

I went immediately up to get Reason from his paddock, get an idea what he was going to be like and bring him down to the barn.  Yes, he was fresh.  He wanted to play.  But, with the prospect of hoof work going on, I though this wasn’t the best idea, so he stayed up there through feeding time.  After he had a chance to eat, I went back up to see how he was.  He seemed more relaxed and willing.  ‘Ok then’, I thought, ‘I guess we’ll try this out.’

Down we walked to the barn.  Reason was understandably a little on the muscle, but that lasted for only a couple steps and then he began to lower his head and walk like a calm little foal behind me.  Once arriving down at the barn, I prepared his mash of ricebran.  He stayed in his stall to enjoy that while I finished other things and waited for Matt to be ready for hoof work. 

I did a little manners session with Reason to check his “buttons” and overall attitude before moving forward to the hooves.  He was just as relaxed as any other day. 

Racehorses’ work ethic not only appears in their under-saddle routine, but also in general, day to day, handling.  As soon as I get Reason out, he’s on and ready for work, training, exposure etc.  And it’s this mind-set that somehow makes them click-over from bronc horse in the paddock, to prepared work horses as soon as you halter them up.  Gotta love that! 

As I was waiting for Matt and Reason was standing in the barn isle way like a gentlemen, there was a tracor scraping and moving around just outside the barn doors.  Reason never batted an eyelash.  I wasn’t expecting him too, but boy, that tractor was sure making loud and noises that I would have found scary!  However, A*’s kids were having a game of tag or something up by the house, just in eyes distance out of the other barn entrance.  Reason, turned around and looked in utter concern.  Ink would have done the same thing, playing and yelling kids are so interesting to them!  But Reason didn’t offer a spook, he just wanted to watch and figure out what was going on.  All the while, scary tractor was now behind him making additional scary noises.  I love racehorses!

Matt was able to do Reason’s hooves as he stood there calmly and very curious.  He tried to rest his muzzle on Matt’s back and head.  Much to Matt’s dismay because Reason was covered in goopy ricebran.  It makes me wonder, having two ex-racehorses who just relax and love farrier-time, is this seriously comparable to a human relaxing and enjoying getting a pedicure? 

Reason says HI!

 

 

 

 

It’s Rather Boring, But…

It’s know it appears rather boring.  All Reason and I seem to be doing is going on short walks, hanging out, doing carrot stretches and overall slow, steady stuff.  There isn’t much “training” going on.  Except, ground manners, things like that.  The fastest thing we do, is a steady walk down to the barn or arena for a stroll.  Not too exciting.  

I have to admit and say, yes, I can’t wait to now get on Reason’s back.  Having experienced Ink, I am a much more confident person in the saddle.  Odd, I know.  Reason might change that, but I’m up to the challenge.  However, I am having fun doing this slow, seemingly boring, stuff!!!  It’s neat just to see a horse grow in any way.  Under saddle, or on the ground.  It’s fascinating to say the least.  I for one, thank my lucky stars I have an oppurtunity to watch and share this unfolding and learning experience.  If there is something to be thankful for it is to be able to help a horse and learn at the same time.

One of my fondest memories, was recently, in March when Ink galloped through the fields at the barn in the hills.  He was so happy!  I am SO thankful he could experience what a real horse is all about.  Because now, when I think of Ink, I think of him running through the green, grassy fields of heavens above, bucking, playing, grazing and having a good ole’ time like he did when at the barn.  It makes me tear up thinking of it.  One day, I will be able to see him again and we’ll gallop all through the fields.  Gosh I miss you my special boy.

I have found myself a little reservest when it’s come to Reason.  He’s kind, sweet, very curious, very smart, sensitive, attuned, athletic, beautiful, yet, I am not falling head over heels in a deep bond with him as of yet.  I know that sounds sad, but it’s not.  I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ve come to the conclusion that, I’m still grieving, I’m not ready to let go yet.  I’m hesistant to just let myself jump in because, I just can’t right now.  I’m growing closer, fonder and yes, slowly starting to love Reason, but it’s coming slower than it would have without having lost Ink.  So, even though I was torn as to why I am not and have not been completely IN LOVE with this horse like I was right off the get go with Ink, I know it’s for a reason (no pun intended lol) and everything will work out and come as it should :).

Reasoning.

On June 12th, I headed to the 2010 Western States Horse Expo with Matt and my mom.  My mom, although I haven’t written or said anything about this, had been away during Ink’s passing.  My mom, one of my rocks, wasn’t there when I lost one of the most important things in my life, Ink.  It was extremely difficult not to have her support, although I knew she was there, if even miles away.  My Grandpa (my mom’s dad) became ill suddenly.  He’s in his mid 90’s, but before this sudden onset has been as healthy, both mentally and physically, as an ox.  (He’s truly an inspiration in determination, strength and character.)  It was quite a shock, so my mom went up to where he lives (counties away) to be with him.  She was there for about 2 months until a recent visit back home as my younger brother was graduating high school.  Anyway, during my mom’s short return home, we decided to go to the Horse Expo.  Stephen Bradley was there again to do his jumping demo, which I believe was the same format as last year when Ink and I took part. 

I was planning on stopping to say hello to Mr. Bradley after his demo, if he wasn’t already busy.  But alas, as I was scanning through a tack booth, and there he was!  I stopped over the re-introduce myself and say hello.  He asked me how Ink was and I told him what had happened.  He had asked if I had gotten a new prospect, which I told him I did and he said that if he returns next year, hopefully I could ride again with him!  I was excited to hear that.  I think Reason and I might be ready, given how he progresses.  I don’t want to over-face him.  The crowds and, oh gosh those deathly strollers, are quite the subject of nerves with the horses.

I was happy to see Mr. Bradley again.  C*, my riding partner from last year at the expo, told me I should go train under him in Virginia.  That would be exciting!  I look back at that expo experience and hold it dear to me. Ink and I returned home with a new confidence.  It was something that I enjoyed so much.  

Reason is doing well.  I haven’t yet noted this on the blog, but Reason is uber sensitive around his ears and upper neck, near his ears.  I’ve been trying to desensitize him to touch in general, but paying special attention to those areas.  He’s becoming better already.  Oddly enough, Reason takes the fly mask like a pro and has no problem with a halter either.  To me, if a horse is sensitive around his ears, a fly mask seems like a question to the horse.  

There could be pain or stiffness going on causing this reaction though, possibly.  I do carrot stretches (asking Reason to stretch his neck while standing on each side).  He’s a little stiffer on the right side, going about half-way down his side, however on the left he could almost stretch to his flanks!  

Today, as I was going about business at the barn, Reason begins to run in disarray in his paddock.  He doesn’t act like he’s playing, no something appears to have set him off.  Similar to what happened last Tuesday.  This time, I waited, watching from the barn, to see what exactly was going on before I went to his rescue.  After a very short bit I walked to his paddock.  He noticed I was coming, but was in flight mode, unable to ease himself.  Although I was somewhat, literally, walking into an unknown horsey battle-field, I knew I could calm him down.  I walked in and began to apply light pressure and verbal assurance to let him know I was here and he could come to me.  Suddenly, he became quieter, a light bulb went off, he seemed to step out of flight and back into reality.  Mommy to the rescue!  He walked to me, unsure, a little on the muscle, ready to jump back into flight mode, if this plan failed.  

As soon as I reassured him that everything was cool, he calmed right down.  I haltered him and stood at his feeder bin, where he was before the commotion started.  He relaxed, began eating again and once he was back to normal, I took him down the barn.  He was calm, normal and happy for the remainder of the evening.  

 

 

In The Know.

Just so everyone knows, I’m not taking the blog down nor am I switching domains, hosts etc.  If you’re un-aware, I created a new blog for Reason (my new ottb).  If you weren’t there in the beginning to follow Ink and I, step in because now’s the time to get all the low-down from the start with this new project.

I’ll still blog about Errika and continue to write things about Ink, because there is still so much left to say.  But, I might be moving Reason’s blog to appear fore-front.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy reading about Reason!

Are you my Mother?

Had a little photo bit with Reason yesterday.  Although I was not at all dressed for any such thing.  But I did get some good photos of him. 

Yesterday was another day of walking.  This time we explored more and I think we’ve crossed the assurance path, figuratively speaking.  What I mean by this, because I’m not sure if assurance is the perfect word to use, is that Reason and I are bonded closer now.  Approaching new situations and objects, is a breeze.  Now Reason asks me and takes confidence in my ability to maneuver us through anything that he’s afraid of and therefore, he is following my leadership and growing so quickly in his own confidence.  Which in turn, has brought us closer and a more mutual understanding.  This has been a great coming.  It’s our first real big step into the future.

This new coming, has all been surrounded by Reason’s desire to have a “mother”.  He’s kind of like a lost, helpless little boy.  He’s grown up on the ‘streets’ and has some great ‘street smarts’ but isn’t exactly educated or experienced in LIFE and relationships.  Unsure of ‘adults/parent figures’ because he’s had none.  He’s been on the fast track (quite literally).  This pretty much sums up Reason right now.

Reason follows me around like a puppy dog.  But he’s not exactly be-fitting into the ‘in your pocket’ horse-initially.  He’s shy, observant and although he wants to be with you, he’s not always quick to jump in your lap.  He has an opinion, will share it occasionally and likes to hear feed-back but can easily be intimidated. 

I felt like, in the beginning with Ink, I was standing beneath the shadow of a great power.  He mesmerized me and most of the time, I felt like he was my leader.  Now, I feel like Reason is under my wing.  I must lead him. 

I got Reason a name-tag yesterday for his halter…

Reason and I

Saddling up for fun.