Sunday, October 2, 2011

Settling in

It's been a couple days since Moon moved to W's place, and we're both still adjusting. Wednesday I left him wide-eyed in his temporary big box stall, and hoped things would go well.

Thursday I kept my cell phone close at hand, waiting to hear that someone had gotten kicked, etc. I arrived at the barn after work as T was going to pick us up for a trail ride at the park, and Mr. Moon was happily eatting his hay, nose-to-nose with a little chestnut mare (Wiggy I believe). He even trotted over to me to get haltered.

W said he called a bit, but other then that was well behaved. He has been deemed a relatively tidy horse, keeping his droppings more or less to one side nad not walking or rolling in them. Phew.

He hasn't been getting any grain really, just the odd handful here and there so he doesn't feel left out when everyone else is eatting.

Thursday we hauled out, and T brought Black, a more energetic horse then Chico. We had a fun ride, covering more terrain then normal, and Moon was alert and energetic. The trees blocked the wind and when we returned to the barn at dark, I got him tucked in his warm cosy stall again.

Friday morning I awoke early and headed out to the barn by 6 am. I dropped my dog off at my mom's and was at W's before they were supposed to be open. Being the newbie, I hung out in my car and watched the sun rise. It was pretty, and when 7 am rolled around and it was still just me, I figured I'd just let myself in.

The ponies were awake but quiet, and it was nice to bring Moon from his warm stall and groom him in the quiet barn. By 7:30 W and her mom had arrived and the horses were excited about breakfast. The barn came alive with sound, and W was even sweet enough to toss Moon's breakfast in front of him in the cross-ties so he'd be ready for his trip.

T showed up at 8:30 and we loaded and headed out on our journey. We drove for two and a half hours, and then drove down a spectacular valley with a river running along the bottom. It was amazing.

We pulled into the ranch where our guide lived and were dissapointed that no one was home. I suggested we drive up to his tack shop to see if he was working...

...and suddenly were were at the border crossing! With two horses with no passports! Yikes.

T made a 70-point turn on the highway and we went back to the right road. Drove down to the tack store, and no one was there either. And there was no where to turn around!

T tried backing up but we weren't making any progress. : ( She asked if I wanted to give it a go? Um...

Really, I just knew we needed to get the trailer out, and not get stuck on this narrow, deep ditched back road in the middle of nowhere!

And did it! I even impressed myself!

T asked me what I wanted to do? I suggested we check out the Provincial park up the road, since we're in the middle of nowhere and there likely isn't anyone there. So we could just ride around the park and its marked trails!

We got to what turned out to be a beautiful park and...there were 3 bus loads of children there!


Moon posing...until some kid screamed!
Unloaded the horses anyways and just hand walked them around and let them graze. We had our lunches and then loaded them back up just as the little kids started screaming "There's POOOOONNNNIIIEEESSS over HHHHEEEERRRREEEE!!!" Phew. Just in time! Moon's eyes grew HUGE any time one of the kids would start to cry and whine! :P

T suggested we drive back home to Birds Hill. Um, Birds Hill is 3 miles from W's place. We just drove 3 HOURS! :O I'm a little sad and dissapointed.

So I ask if we could go back to his place to quickly use the bathroom. Maybe he'll be back?

Turns out, he was!! : ) Actually, he asked why we were late... : P

The man, Fred, tacked up and we all headed out onto the trails. Up and down the side of the valley, across open fields, through cattle pasture (Moon's first experience chasing cows!), and across little streams. It was amazing country side. I had Moon walk up many of the hills, trying to encourage him to use his back and build some muscle.

At one point, the guide's horse didn't want to cross a really muddy little stream flowing down the side of the valley. He gave it a kick and the horse bucked back and double barrelled T's horse to the chest! Thankfully Chico was okay. Then when he kicked him again, the horse (a very stocky thick 14.1 quarter horse) rocked back onto his haunches and LEAPT across the mud! Impressive.

So I encouraged Moon, who KNOWS how to jump!

...and Moon leapt INTO the mud. Oye.

I was COVERED! It was on my glasses, on my forehead, everywhere. I think Moon thought himself funny...

After 4 hours of solid riding, we headed home. The horses were tired and we were sore. Poor Chico was dripping sweat!

I have to say, it was the most amazing trail ride ever. Just perfect.

Then we loaded everyone up and headed for home. It was dark when I got back to the barn, and Moon seemed happy to go into his warm boxstall.

Saturday I had all to myself, so in the morning I went straight to the barn. I tried on his new saddle, managed to get my aussie girth to work with it and started working him before anyone else was up.

And he called. And called, and called. I worked on just ignoring it and making him work. It wasn't perfect but after about 45 minutes another girl was having a lesson and I decided that I should call it a day.

He was also terrible to mount, wouldn't stand still, yanking the reins and just bratty. Couldn't even tighten the girth!

He refused to stand in the cross-ties, and didn't want any treats. Oye I thought. This whole move thing is NOT going well. Plus, at this point the barn was packed and I just wanted to get out of there!

W said that he drank all of his water and was STARVING. Poor guy. He had feed in the trailer, but he never really seems to eat it...Plus, I think W's hay tastes sweeter...

Oh, and he didn't fit the trail boots. : ( I'm hoping when he's trimmed on Wednesday, they'll fit...

Put him out and headed to spend the afternoon with my dad.

This morning, I was in my car by 7:45 am, and at the barn by 8:10. Again, first one there. W was just leading the first horses out to the paddocks, so I didn't have to fetch Moon.

He was again, nervous and not wanting to stand in the cross ties. Deep breaths...

Tacked him up and out to the arena...

Serpentines, leg yields, trot circles, turn-on-fore, figure 8's...we worked and worked. He called and called.

After 45 minutes, I FINALLY had my horse back. He started reaching and moving. He called less and less. After an hour and ten, I was happy with how he was going. After an hour and a half, I called the practice to an end. FINALLY, he was getting his head back in the game.

So I spent 15 minutes working on getting him to stand while I mount, and stay there till I tell him to move. He did. : ) I think he's just sooo wired sometimes!

Same with the cross ties. Great boy after our ride. I even brushed out his tail!

W said to toss him his hay when I put him out. She also said he was going nice when she got sight of us working...

The other thing we both noticed? He's actually looking a little thin!

His spine is very prominent, you can start to see the outline of his ribs and his hips are visible! I'm not sure what he SHOULD look like to be honest. He no longer resembles that overweight, hay-bellied horse I got in the winter, and I'm uncertain if he should start getting grained or not?! Is my horse truly an easy keeper, or was the other hay such that he always seemed full? Is it all the work lately? Is he stressing a bit from the move???

Tomorrow, I'm going to measure him and see how he's doing. He's normally at 1100 lbs...I also dewormed him just before we came...

And his tie-stall? Still not built! Not sure if it'll go in today, or if he'll continue to live in the box-stall world? I won't complain, and really appreciate it.

I was out of the barn by 10:30 and feeling good. No one was there yet (other then W and her family) and it was nice to have the place and arena to myself. I think I'll remain the early morning rider...

Now, I have to go pick up a mystery parcel at the post office...address is 2 numbers off and my last name is, I haven't ordered anything... ???

P.S. His new hood is more like a small cape... : P He really DOES have a short neck!

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