Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Plan, as it Stands So Far

The borrowed trailer...I've been blessed with the loan of a 4 horse!

The plan, that is to say, the current plan, is to leave somewhere between 3 and 4 am next Weds morning. At first I'd thought around 8, but you know...that Seattle traffic is killer. Even after rush hour begins to die down, there are a lot of cars out on that road. I'm just not digging the thought of navigating through it. By heading out early, I'll be just past Seattle when traffic begins to get real crazy.

Of course...that puts me down in Vancouver and Portland in time for their crazy rush. But I suppose if I've got to drive through someone's rush hour, it may as well be a couple hours closer to my destination, don't you think?

I'll be picking up a couple of passengers along the way; one a 4-H leader and fellow mustang enthusiast in SW Washington. The other is Photogchic from Equine Mine! Photogchic will be getting some video footage of Sandy loading; isn't that exciting?

In Eugene, OR, we'll be making a very special stop; that's where Quiet Storm now lives, and I'll be bringing plenty of kleenex to dry my eyes and blow my nose when I see her again. Of course, there will be plenty of photos for you!

I anticipate spending the night in Medford, then traveling into California and meeting up with Dixie, one of my fellow trainers, in Redding for brunch. We're trying to talk the mistress of Mud Ranch into meeting us, too :) From Redding, it's down to Sacramento where we'll spend the night with another one of the Mustang Challenge trainers.

It's sure to be two very full days down, but I'm excited about meeting so many people who are now only screen names. Of course, meeting Sandy for the first time will be a thrill and a half! I wonder if Sandy's a he, or a she? Nine more days until we all find out...

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I was beginning to think I was going to have permanent nerve damage in my fingers, but a stop at the chiropractor today has provided some hope. A week ago today I soaked in a, make that hot...tub, and when I got out my shoulder hurt like the dickens. I lay on the bed wondering if it would ever feel better, when suddenly I heard a small pop! A huge amount of pressure was relieved and I could actually move my arm without feeling any pain.

However, the lower arm still had something going on, and both my thumb and forefinger were feeling like a pair of fat lips at the dentist office. In other words...numb. Occasionally I could feel the pins and needles tingling, which let me know blood was beginning to circulate, but it was alway followed by severe pain in my forearm. And as it's now been two weeks, when I stopped at the chiropractor today I told him I was beginning to think I'd just have to live with it forever at this point. He told me that since this was originating in the lower arm and not up in the neck (which we'd originally thought), that my fingers would likely recover with no problem, and to just keep stretching that muscle that is so incredibly tight and causing the pain.

So...thats what I'm doing, and I can feel the blood going back into the fingers as I type, but that muscle is not happy :)

Enough about fingers, though. Today I went back down to Curt's and had my second 'colt starting' lesson in anticipation of the upcoming Mustang Challenge. My body isn't nearly as sore as it was two weeks ago. After a 15 year break in any real riding my muscles had gone into shock once I was off the horse. But a day or two later I was feeling fine, and today it was as though I'd never stepped out of the saddle. I sat deep, my legs stayed where they were supposed to, and my body stuck with the rhythm of the horse. We worked on stops (I need to learn to stop a colt rather than a pleasure horse), turns, and then...well...

Curt pulled out the Hyrda Bull!

Now, that's not me up on that horse there, but rather a photo I took this summer of someone else lessoning down there with him. But doesn't it look like fun? I've wondered if I'd ever get to chase that bull of his, and all I can say is What A Blast! No more rail horses for me, I'm afraid. Trotting in circles is a thing of the past. I wanna chase me some cows! Or fiberglass bulls...

JoJo is helping me learn to ride. Not a mustang, but a very talented young mare; a perfect training tool for me because she knows how to do things if I ask correctly. But she's still green and hot enough to give me a work out similar to what I'll be facing with my Mustang Challenge horse.

The days have been so nice here that when I came home, I went out to catch up Firecracker. Darling was just climbing off the bus, so she came out to watch. Up until now it's been just me out there with FC. But with the longer days upon us, and sunshine to boot, Darling's been hanging out at the rail. FC's not so sure about having an audience, but today she had to get over it as I left her in Darling's capable hands for grooming.
Do you think she's enjoying it? I do! Unlike Jet, FC loves to be groomed. Her fear level is diminishing a little each day. I've been able to pick up all four feet, saddle her, walk behind her, and she's even standing tied at the rail. There's a lot left for her to learn, but it's been nice to make such headway.

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ewe's Naked!

Eeek! Ewe's Naked! :o

Ooohhh...and ewe's dirty, too!

Well, as long as ewe gotcher clothes off, grab a bar of Naked Ewe soap and hop into that shower. We clean ewe all up. Lather eweself, then rinse.

There. That's better. If ewe gonna run 'round naked, ewe may's well be clean!

6 bars/$20 plus $8.95 priority shipping. Assortment of six, whatever lands in the box. Bars are roughly 4 oz each; priced regularly at $5 bar. Shea butter and sheep milk; you won't be disappointed! All made right here in the farm by me, the Desperate Horsewife! Purchase helps fund the upcoming trip to pick up Sandy, naturally!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have you Forgotten Me?

Poor Jet.

Poor, neglected Jet. She stands day after day in the field, flirting with the stallion wanna be (and never getting any action), or watching with a woeful eye as I spend my days with Firecracker. Jet wants, and desperately needs, attention.

Which is why I brought out the bridle the other day. I tend to like my bosal best, but figured she could stand around with a bit in her mouth for a few minutes while I did some cleaning and mucking out of stalls.

Doesn't she look happy? Seems this was not what Jet had in mind as a fun afternoon.

Darling noticed the other day that her new horse was short.

"She's short, Mom."

"Yes, I know."

This, of course, is why she sold Quiet Storm. And now she still had a small horse. A great deal more talented in terms of athletic ability, but of course that's not what Darling sees at this point.

"You wanna trade?" I asked her.

"Really? You don't want Jet?" Her little eyes lit up, and before long she was out grooming her new black horse and leading her around out in the driveway. Jet will definitely be tall enough for Darling's long legs. She's also just light enough for Darling to learn to ride, but not flighty enough (or bucky) to get all stupid. I'll need to put a few miles on her, of course, before I can send Darling riding off into the sunset, but I think they'll be a good match.

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cowgirl Up!

Okay, maybe not quite yet. But soon.

Firecracker didn't mind in the least having the saddle tightened up around her belly. She was more concerned with the stirrup sliding across her back, but no bolting out from under it like last time.

I've managed to somehow pinch a nerve in my shoulder and it hurts like mad. No cleaning, no training; nothing but tossing hay in the past couple of days. As you can see by the footing, we've had a great deal more rain and things were a wet mess. Late in the day, however, the clouds parted and today there was blue sky and sunshine! So it was back to work for both FC and myself.

I must say I was really pleased with her acceptance of the cinch. Hopefully the worst of the winter rains are over and we'll be able to dry out some. I'm also going to order gravel this week to build it up a bit in there. Hooray! Perhaps that will help keep things a wee bit drier in there?

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Doesn't this face just have love written all over it? If you're a clever reader, you'll realize this photo has the old halter on, though, and is from Firecracker's earlier days here. Not that it matters, I still get that look.

I recently attended a Ken McNabb colt starting clinic and was reminded of this lovely shot of FC when he told us, "My mom always used to say we could call her whatever name we wanted as long as she never heard it come out our mouth." Pretty much sums it up for the attitude here. Dirty looks are one thing, but I'd better not ever see those teeth coming at me!

In the rain yesterday, I dutifully went outside, put the halter on Miss Love Bug here, and then followed up with the saddle blanket. Barely any reaction at all. Well...barely any for her, that is. She still had a look of concern, but allowed me to approach without climbing the round pen rails. Major improvement over the day before. I pulled it off, put it on, pulled it off, put it on, then reached over the back to pat the opposite side and rub on her barrel. All this was done with her ears twitching nervously and her teeth clenched. But she didn't bolt out from under it, so I went on to phase two... Or by now, perhaps it's phase 22?

The saddle has been sitting on the rail of her stall for two months. Of course, so was the blanket, and we know how well she accepted that. I wasn't sure what she'd say to me carrying the saddle up to her, but she stood (relatively) still, a bit of a tremble, but not darting out away from me. She let me rub it on her shoulder, barrel, then lift it over her back. She wasn't happy about the entire situation and showed just how uncomfortable she was with it when I crossed to the left side, as she swung herself around as quickly as she could, leaving the saddle suspended in air only briefly before it came crashing down into the mud.

Saddles eat Mustangs, you know.

Attempt #2 went smoother. She again stood relatively still and allowed me to place the scary thing up onto her back. I crossed to the other side with no problems this time and rocked the saddle back and forth. Tense, but no bolt. I led her a few steps forward so I could grab my camera and got yet another "I love you this much" photo.

And I might add...have you noticed the pepto pink is gone? Hey, it stayed up until this morning, officially Valentine's Day. But like most of you, I just couldn't stand it anymore! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone, and hopefully your ponies will offer you the same love FC offers me. Okay, maybe a bit more :)

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Go Get One NOW

Go on. Go get one. NOW!

I love these little widgets! Widget? What a funny word.

But this thing that Steve created which sits on the side of my blog and tells me the ten most recent posts from horse blogs far and wide IS. THE. BOMB!

(Watch...homeland security will be all over me for that.)

Trot along now, go get one...

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!

Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Please Excuse the Pink

I know, it's Pepto Pink. Gross. Disgusting. And totally not me. But heck, Valentine's Day is only a day or two away, so I figured I'd toss up something remotely in honor of it. Time will tell if I get sick of looking at it before then.

The rain just doesn't seem to want to stop. Up until now, we've had three or four days of rain, then a day or two where it's dry, and the paddocks get just a bit of relief as the water manages to make it's way into the ground.

But not recently. I think it's rained for over a week straight now. My ground is packed down so solid that the water has no where to go, so sits on top where the horses (and Pokey the ram) slosh through it.

Despite this, I've been faithfully going out and working with Firecracker. Not gobs of time, but enough to at least get a halter on her, give her something good to eat, and take it off a couple of hours later. On Sunday she pulled a new one and gave me a hug. I was facing her, trying to get her to drop her nose and let the nose band slip over her muzzle. This is what she hates the most, and to avoid it she swung her jaw up onto my shoulder, pushing her cheek into mine. Our eyes were a mere two inches apart. And she wasn't ready to move, letting me rub on her cheeks and talk softly to her. Complete aversion to having the halter slipped on, of course, but I'll take all the close contact I can get, so let her hug for several minutes. It was nice while it lasted, but we had work to do.

Although I'm still having to push her a bit around the paddock, I'm finding that getting the halter slipped on becomes easier each time. Now if I could only get her to relax when it comes off instead of shooting backwards like a confused bottle rocket.

One thing that's been added to her daily routine this past few days is letting the lead rope drop over her back and bounce about on the off side. From there, I reach underneath and grab it, pulling it up like a cinch. No problems in this area! Front and back cinches shouldn't make this girl flinch as she could care less about anything rubbing or bouncing about under her belly.

Today we stepped it up a notch and pulled out the saddle blanket. It's been over a week since our scary flag bag incident and I've not gone back to her with the rake or anything else since then, letting her instead just relax and do nothing more than trust me with the halter.

The blanket was received just as well as the mustang eating sock. Her eyes bugged out like she'd never seen that blanket hanging three feet from her feeder all these weeks. After a bit of my flinging it about and slapping against my leg as she followed me around the paddock, I decided to have her step in for a closer look. This is where the time spent doing nothing more than 'hugging' has paid off. For comfort, she looked to me, putting her nose in my face, blowing on me, then finally reaching down to see that the blanket indeed was nothing to fear. Trembling just a bit, she let me then reach it out and rub her wet body with it from both sides before allowing it to straddle her back. Amazingly, it never took even one little nibble.

Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!
Desperate Horsewife

Please notice that I've got some links up to folks who've sponsored me! Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rehab Horse and Cute Little Lambs

Bea EWE tiful!

Friday was busy. As soon as chores were finished up here, I ran to a friend's place to do chores for her. She was on her way with her litter of Border Collie pups to get their eyes checked in Seattle. She had several ewes who'd lambed, one that had lambed a few hours before she left, and one who was due any moment. Sue Ellen, the ewe in question, kept trying to steal everyone else's babies, so desperate was she to have her own. Thankfully for me, she managed to wait until Janet was home later that afternoon. However, I ended up making two trips just to be sure things were going okay.

Frisco, formerly Alladin, was a couple hundred pounds underweight and infested with parasites, looking more like a woolly mammoth than a horse with all his long hair.

About noon, I took off for Arlington. Remember our rehab boy? Well, the little booger had rubbed his halter off his first week there and they'd been unsuccessful getting it back on.

Frisco has some rope issues. He's very head shy and protective. Also food aggressive. Combine these things with the fact that he's put on about 100 pounds and has rid himself of his parasite overload, and you've got a 15 hand horse who's feeling just a bit too good. So down I went in the pouring rain to help get a halter back on him. He wasn't over joyed to see me.

Frisco is good at avoiding the rope of someone who can't throw it very well. I worked him until he was tired and would face up, and given his fear I didn't want to just toss the rope at him, so tried to reach it over to his body and rub him with it. He wanted nothing of it, though, and after an hour he was steaming, my glasses were steaming, and my coat was a muddy, slimy mess. We churned up the clay beneath us pretty darned well. So I gave up the slow approach and started tossing the rope over his back just so he'd get used to it and hopefully start to relax.

Except that the rope slipped off his back and got tangled in his tail.

I caught a wild horse by the tail...

Hey, not conventional, but I'll take it! Frisco wasn't too happy about his tail being pulled around to his face, although he didn't fight it. I got him to change directions so that the rope went from his tail up around the front of him and across his chest. Then I made him turn again, this time flinging the rope up over his back and completely wrapping the boy up like a Christmas present.

Needless to say, I wasn't carrying my camera around with me while out there in the mud and rain, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that I think Santa will be sending me an invitation to come and wrap gifts this Christmas. I'm pretty sure this was the best wrapped pony ever.

With himself wrapped up and the rope now around his neck, Frisco gave up. I walked up to him, rubbed his sweaty body, blew in his nose, talked to him a bit and then slipped the halter on. Once he's at this point, Frisco is a well mannered horse. He leads, he follows, he stops and stands. He needs more work, of course, but someone at some time put a lot of effort into this horse. He's incredibly athletic and a horse that would be a lot of fun to ride.

Frisco is disappointed that he's once more wearing clothes.
Look at the mess we made of the ground! I think we're all looking forward to spring around here.

I left the halter on him as it will make it easier for his new owner to get close and let him know that life isn't all that bad. She can take the end of the lead rope and rub it on his body, or bring another rope in and let him get used to it falling across his back, neck, and face. Or at least that was the plan...

24 hours later he had it off again. He'd rubbed off one ear by night fall. His owner watched in horror from afar as he put his foot on the lead rope near the snap and began to work it off the rest of the way the following morning, unable to get to him before he was once more free.

Hopefully now, though, she'll have taken in how I worked with him and be willing to stick it out no matter what the weather until she can get back up to him. I suggested that she just put it on, give him a treat and then take it off, no matter how long it took. That's his biggest lesson to learn right now; trusting her hands near his face and not fearing the halter. She's just a bit too far away for me to run over every few days :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

It's a good thing I had other plans...

...because other plans helped me stay occupied these past couple of weeks. As I'm sure you realized after yesterday's post, I've not a good waiter. I like to know things and know them yesterday. Waiting just gives me more time to worry!

And yesterday...well...I kinda had a feeling I knew the answer. Because they called and told me they thought I seemed a bit hesitant...

But now I won't have to worry about a trip to Burns in April (unless someone wants to fund my trip) because I'll be too busy with my new mustang here!

Dear Western States Mustang Challenge Trainer:
CONGRATULATIONS - you were accepted as one of the competing trainers

So, how's them apples, eh?

Now, do stay tuned as I'll be doing some major fund raising to help with the gas money. This is going to require two trips to California, although I'm hoping I may be able to share the ride with another trainer (I haven't asked...I wonder if she's reading this???) That would cut expenses considerably for both of us!

In the meantime, a new blog is being born: Desperate Horsewife. From here you'll be able to help contribute, if you'd like, to the care and feeding our make over horse. Yes, our horse. Y'all are just such a huge part of this, and you've been a wonderful inspiration and great encouragement. It's only right that I share this horse's with you!

And in case you're wondering, the horse has a name. I don't even know if it's going to be a mare (I hope so!) or gelding, but I've got a name. Speck of Sand, or Sandy for short. More on that later. I'm off to celebrate by eating something chocolate!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Keep Me Busy or I'll go Mad!


Tomorrow is when we'll find out.

I'm about to burst. My head hurts. My stomach is tied up in knots. I've tried my best not to let this happen, to keep everything low key and not think much about it. I made other plans for April, even, just in case I didn't make the cut.

This is why I don't like applying for things. I hate to lose. Somewhere, way back in the recesses of my little mind, there's a teensy weensy little voice whispering, "What if they don't like you???" And then I'd feel all wounded and rejected. And it's maddening, I tell you, absolutely maddening! Better off just not trying. That's been my motto for over 40 years now. That and Don't Get Even, Get Ahead. Both have served me well over the years. Neither has given me a headache and my nerves have never been rattled. So what was I thinking here? Which one of you put me up to this? Surely I couldn't have hatched this little plan all on my teensy weensy voice must have been sleeping.

Jet and I have been out doing some ground work. The pasture is now thawed out just enough to become slick again, so I've had her out in the driveway working on some showmanship skills. Walking, trotting, setting up. Standing patiently (not her strong point) while I step back and count to ten, then lifting feet and pivoting on the hindquarters like she'd have to do in a showmanship or halter class. I was just at the feed store and completely forgot to check for any small, local fun shows coming up. Typically the local 4-H clubs will start hosting a few in order to put some money in their coffers as well as give their members some practice shows before fair qualifications. I'd like to start getting Jet out in public, so ground manners are simply a must for my big, black butterfly.

I wonder why it is I can walk into a showring and not worry in the least about rejection? A good ride is a good ride, no matter what the placing. I've been happier with good rides and no ribbon than winning a class on a poor ride. Wonder why I have a hard time applying that mentality to applications? If you know, please explain it! In the meantime, it's back out to the horses and mud and manure for me. Tomorrow I go visit Frisco (formerly Alladin), and then to a Ken McNabb colt starting clinic. That ought to keep my mind occupied, right?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Is there a Doctor on the Blog?

Just when you think it's safe to go back in the Just when you've picked yourself up from the bathroom floor and pulled your head away from the porcelain throne and have brushed that horrible after taste out of your mouth, you find your knees suddenly weak and your head swimming with the thought of being tagged twice more!

What is with you people? Have I not played nicely with you in the sandbox? Did I throw sand in your eyes or something? Steal your shovel? Send the cat your way, telling her it was a litter box sent down from the heavens before your mother sent you out to play?

So here's the deal. MiKael has tagged me again. The riding gloves are coming off, now, woman! Did you not read my list from before, when Mudranch tagged me back? Fitzgerald's don't get even, we get ahead. And never fear, my dear, you're in for it now. Deep mudnure is coming your way...

Now, MiKael at least gave a twist to the seven things virus. I get to list seven things about my horses. So here it goes.

I'm a butterfly! I'm a butterfly! I'm a big, black butterfly!

1) Jet believes in her heart that her tail and mane are butterfly wings, and that if she flaps them hard enough she'll fly.

2) Jet is oral. Very, very oral. She stood at the fence and with the help of her long legs was able to reach over the top and grab Pokey, the ram, by the wool. Pokey thought he was being groomed and just stood there for a good thirty minutes. Either that or Jet just wasn't letting go. Could have been either.

3) Firecracker thinks if she doesn't look at you, it means you're not there. "I can't see you, therefore you do not exist" is her motto.

4) Firecracker is playful. She likes to pick the water heater up out of the water tub and then drop it back in and make it splash. Maybe I'll get her a sprinkler for summer.

"What size do you wear? Will you share?"

5) Quiet Storm wanted us to share our boots with her. She didn't care that we were still wearing them, trying constantly to slip her foot in alongside our foot as we'd lead her along.

6) Quiet Storm had so much mane that it parted down the middle and fell onto both sides of her neck, and it was still thicker on each side than any other horse I've owned.

7) Before leaving us, Sunny became an apple addict. In fact, two days before heading to her new home, she took an apple from my hand. It took ten months for her to decide something tasted good enough to risk putting her muzzle on someone's hand.

There. One virus down. And one more to go!

One Cowgirl has tagged me for a bucket list. Five things you want to do before you die, based on the movie The Bucket List.

1) Get a manicure. My fingernails are horrible. Filthy. Broken, torn, jagged... Can someone help me? Is it possible to own horses and have decent looking nails?

2) Hire a maid. Yes. I want someone to come in and clean up after me. I know City Boy is going to say he does that all the time, but I'm thinking maybe he wants a day off?

3) Learn how to make something other than reservations for dinner. I know, at 46 what's the point? You're right. Scratch that.

3) Travel around the country. There's so much to see here in the US, and I rarely get outside of Washington. Not that this isn't a stunningly beautiful state, but I'd like to know what the rest of you look at outside your front doors.

4) Wash my windows. It rains a lot in Washington, and if I could just get the cats to hold a little bit of newsprint full of Windex while they're pawing to get in...

5) Y'know, I think I really ought to cook at least one meal in my life. Something other than hot dog casserole... (oops! Did I just mention hot dog casserole? Oye...)

Now, who to tag? Well, obviously MiKael needs to do the bucket list. I'll also tag Paul, Rachel Whetzel, Andrea and Jean.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Baby Got Buck?

Oh, I hope to say so!

This girl has some serious athletic ability. Didn't take as long to get the halter on this afternoon as it did yesterday. Went relatively smooth, considering she'd rather I not touch her face. Biggest challenge, as always, is handling her near her poll. But we've gotten that figured out and are trying to lessen the stress of it all each day. Tying the knot on the side is another challenge since she can see my hands both there alongside her eye, but she's figured out that I'm not leaving until it's finished.

Because she let me get the halter on quickly, and because she did some light lateral flexation and picked up her front feet so readily (back ones, too, with the rope aid), I decided to bring out my handy little rake again. This is the first time I've had it out in over a week due to the snow and ice. It wasn't just the rake, however, as I decided to tie a plastic bag to it this time.

At first, it was nothing more than it'd ever been. Oh, sure, a bit frightening, but the rake bounced on her hip as she trotted a couple of almost frantic circles, then when she stopped it stopped too, and a moment later I began to scratch her with it. Normally the scratching is accepted, but this time the scratching wiggled that bag, so off we went again, only not so worried this time. We got to the point of it being okay to scratch the hip, down the dock of her tail, and back up to her lower back area. But once we reached the withers it was a few more laps.

Now, mind you, while working on her feet and flexing, I'd stood with my side pressed right up against her and my arm over her back scratching the opposite side of her body. This is something Sunny had the hardest time accepting. Firecracker, however, is a mirror of Sunny in terms of what is and isn't acceptable. Sunny liked having her ears and poll scratched, FC does not. Sunny didn't mind the rake with a flag all over her body. Firecracker, however, turned into a PRCA bareback contender once she realized that bit of white plastic had crossed the centerline.

Man, oh, man...that girl is quick! We've got a lot of work ahead of us if we're going to get that saddle on her back this spring...let alone me, lol!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Head Way! (Literally...)

Yesterday we made progress. The long rope was left aside and I spent about 30 minutes keeping Firecracker calm while I eased my way into her space, close enough to get the halter over her neck and onto her nose. Once it was there, I held it in place for a minute, then released her. Her eyes were wide and she let me know the mustang eating halter was not appreciated, but she survived the ordeal.

Today she wanted nothing to do with either the halter or me, so it was back to the long rope, working in circles and coming to the realization that the halter wasn't such a bad idea after all. Took longer than yesterday to convince her of this, but once she made up her mind that this was the easy way out, I was allowed to slip the halter over her nose and even tie it closed up near her eye without any objections.

Do you like the padding I added to it? It's a wool scarf that I'd had sitting around; I felted it over the top of the rope for added padding over the poll injury. And here's a spot of good news; there appears to be no scarring, the old hair if falling out in chunks and there's new hair growing in. That's right, she let me run my fingers up there just long enough to pull up the loose hair and see the soft new fuzz filling in what ought to have been bald and scarred. Hooray!

To celebrate the halter getting on, I didn't bother to do anything else. I brought some hay in for her to munch on; she shared it with Bessie, who's in the stall next to her. Firecracker is really sweet with the sheep. Jet gets bossy, but Firecracker backs down if they get pushy around food.

I left the halter on so she'd get accustomed to the feel of it moving around on her nose for a couple of hours. It's about to come off now that it's dinner time. I'm really happy with today's progress, even though it didn't go as smoothly as originally planned. I'd hoped after yesterday, today would be a snap. Nothing ever seems to work that way though, does it? But it's on and she let me touch the poll; I'm calling that a good day!