Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Firestorm's Anarionien

Since she got into so much trouble, I suppose I should introduce Anarionien (Ari) to those readers who might not know her. Firestorm is the reason I own her :)

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I liked Storm so much after working with him even intermittently for the last few years (what am I going to do, when he is here and I see him every day!??), that I really wanted a baby by him. And after riding with my friend Terri for years now and watching her great horse Oliver do so well (he is half Standardbred and gets his stamina toughness, and crazy trotting speed...the 15.2 gelding I ride has a big trot...he still has to put on a handgallop when 14.2 hd Oli lets the afterburner ignite.....from the STB), I wanted an STB mom. Well, Amber (who owned Storm at the time) had a STB mare in her breeding herd that fit the bill. Ari was born and I snatched her right up as soon as Amber (who prob is still kicking herself for it) decided to sell her instead of keep her. It was love on first sight! Here she is at 10 days old.....

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Well, I brought her home in October after weaning (I went to visit her twice before she was weaned and she was as cute and sweet as she looked in pictures). She got right into my trailer with no fuss and hauled great. Once home, I decided to board her at my friend Tracie's place. It is right down the street from me and she'd have a pasture and a couple of Welshes to play with.

She is a playful one...picks up everything!

Her second hoof trim..

Her first day home... I am in love :)

And now, almost nine months after I got her home, she has grown into a HUGE (she turned one in April, and is now already 14hds... EGADS!!!!) but very sweet and wonderful baby girl :)

I sure hope she turns out as nice and calm, reasonable, and fun as her daddy :) She will be a great endurance horse then!

Monday, June 29, 2009

hmmm..pics came out weird in the post..oh well...bear with me, still not sure on how to do this blogging thing! :)

Firestorm's Daughter Decides to play Fish for the the day....

Well, after getting up at 4:30 am so I could take my Dad in to the hospital for an outpatient surgery on his shoulder (why do they need ppl there 3 freaking hrs ahead of time??? sighhh), I got a call around 8:30 from my friend's husband. They live down the street and board my Ari (Firestorm's Annarionien, my yearling filly by the big boy himself) at their place. He wanted me to come down and check on her, cause she'd cut up her lip. Turns out, she was trying to play at being a fish for a day and had given herself a lip peircing with her waterbucket hanger hook (see hook in pics...am switching to screw in wall flat panel holders now...sighhh..only needed hangers to begin with, cause lovely girl LOVES to shit in her water bucket if it is on the ground...). Thank heavens for the quiet and solid mentality of hte Mountain Horses...he found her in the stall just standing there, waiting to be rescued...a ditzy horse could have torn her cheek apart to the mouth or whatnot if she'd set back and struggled. He had to cut the twine the hook was on, unhook the water bucket, then pull the hook out of her mouth. He said she literally had it through the lip like a fish...from inside all the way out. So I cleaned her up (she let me irrigate it with a water bottle ok from the outside, but no way was water going in her mouth...)and took the pics of the cut. Then called the vet (turns out that Tracy, my friend, was taking a friend's mare in for a preggers check in an hour or so anyway and would haul me...much easier than going to go get my trailer and all) and they could fit me in. So I spent the next while grooming her and irrigating/cooling her cut every 10 mins or so to keep the swelling down as much as posissble. She was quite irate that she had to miss breakfast (wasn't sure she should eat with a hole in the mouth) but enjoyed the attention. We hauled her in (jumped right in the trailer, only second time hauling in her life and not the same as the first trailer she was in) and affter the preggers check, she got to have "fun"...As in trying to rear and clobber the vet while he tried to look at her cheek...hmmmm...didn't do that while I was irrigating at home...BAD GIRL...well, he clobbered her once or twice and she stood like a rock after that (me, I woulda just tranqued her first, but whatever, LOL). He decided that yes, stitches would be good (duh....) and THEN tranqued her and we stuck her in stocks (she was not going in without happy juice, LOL..SCARRRRYYYYY!!!!) and she got all beautified :) Now I have to hope the girl will leave her stitches in ok (200$ later, she BETTER leave them in) and not rub em out when they get itchy. So now she's had her first big boo boo and visit to the doctor...
Pics are from the camera phone (still can't find my real camera) so a tad blurry. And I had to help hold her head while he was stitching, so couldn't get pics of the action. Ah well :)
BTW...I STILL can't figure out how to put pics into the text (they just default to the top of the post) where I want them...any clues????

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Firestorm is in CA and endurance the WRONG way...

Talked to the shippers today after I got back from a local e-ride this weekend. They made it home to Oakdale late last night sometime. Storm did great and is currently in a stall/pen at there place, looking out at one of their mares and foals (they breed stock horses as well as ship horses) and apparently adores them. They are going to call the couple up in OR and are planning on hopefully not making the run up there (and dropping Storm off in Redding for me to meet with them) til after the 4th...would be great for me, as then I don't have to miss work... So far, except for the fact that I have to call them for any contact, rather than them calling me and updating me, I really am pleased with the shipper. Still haven't seen Storm of course, but I think he'll be fine.
On another note, if you haven't heard about it yet, there is an "endurance" race in Mongolia right now, that is offering a cash prize for the winner...kind of a relay race ala the original Pony Express... anyway, the organizers have no clue and every yahoo around that wants "easy money" is going to run over there and either get hurt or hurt the horses. What a mess...NOT how endurance should be. You can read the details and sign a petition to maybe get the race organizers to rethink htere plan, by going to Karen Chaton's blog here: http://enduranceridestuff.com/blog/

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Mexico and a GOOD BOY

Well, I talked to Angel (one half of the D+D Horse Transport team) and they are now in New Mexico, where they are going to stop for a few hrs before continuing on. She says Storm is being a GREAT horse. He loaded up just fine at Sheree's and is not making any fuss with the other horses. They originally put Vick's under his nose since he was hauling next to a mare, but said it was not necessary any more as he isn't even talking to her. He is being a total gentleman in every way and not acting "stud-dy" at all. This is great news, as he'll be hauling with either a gelding or a mare if I take him to rides with Terri and I was worried I'd have to start taking my own rig with a stud in tow.... Also great news, as he seems to be his "normal" self so far, and not acting too traumatized by his foray in KY... So I think his downtime to de-frag at Sheree's has helped a ton. Thanks girl! You did good by him :)
She also said he is eating great, and even better, he TANKS every time he is offered water (sounds like a good endurance horse! I can't stand horses that don't trailer well..they HAVE to, exp when many of the rides I do are multidays and are a minimum of 12 hrs away, often 2-3 days of driving...so the horse HAS to arrive well hydrated and fed...a fussy hauler will NOT make it with me...so far Terri and I have been really lucky with our horses...). His only fault is he paws a little when they stop, but that she has seen much worse pawers and he hasn't kicked the walls or anything like that. Considering he really hasn't been trailered very often in his life, that is something I think might fix with time and I also know a few tricks if not, so I am not very worried at all.
Angel says they will most likely be home (Oakdale, CA) on Sat some time (making good time...they don't do long overnight/full day layovers, instead they do multiple short stops of a few hrs each and just "get home")...
I know there is a big debate with endurance riders about that too...stop every 3-4 hrs for a while (Terri and I do that actually), or just get to where you are going and rest there for the night (this usually is a debate for no more than 24hr type travel). Our guys always do great when we stop every 3-4 hrs, let them out to graze (if there is grass, mush is fed if not), walk around or stand around as they want, water, clean the trailer, etc.... Then we also stop for the night (this is on our 2-3 day trips like going to Utah)...I know we take almost twice as long as some ppl to get to rides, but our horses have always arrived hydrated, rested, fed, and happy. We so far have never had any metabolic issues/pulls even on difficult multiday rides (some of these are 250 miles on the same horse, after 3 days in the trailer)...We always get there at least a day and a half early (ie if the ride is on Sat, we arrive thurs some time) on long hauls like that as well, so the horses have at least one FULL day of rest in camp to recover. We also always offer a FULL day after the ride, before they get thrown back in the trailer to go home. So we think it seems to work. In fact, the only time they didn't get a full day after the ride (packed up the next day and left in the late morning/round noon maybe? And went about 6hrs to the overnight rest place), Terri's horse had a mild tie-up on a trail ride at home 5 days later....this last ride also had less water than usual and I think the horses were dehydrated after 5 days of hard terrain, low water riding....hmmmmmmmmm...next time, full day rest! No breaking of the routine!
Anyways, back on track, they said the couple who own the other horses (they are moving from Ohio to Oregon, and this is the load Storm is on the rig with), will be arriving at their new home on Sun or more likely Mon...so when they here from them, the haulers are going to head up to OR and I will then get him in Redding. There is a possibility it won't be til after the 2nd, if the other couple is late getting to OR, as Angel's daughter is going to a rodeo or something on the 2nd and they have to go do that. I would like that best actually, as then my whole trimming schedule will not be thrown out of whack, LOL... It is going to be nuts if I have to drop everything on Tues or Weds to haul to Redding and back..Later that week I am all clear though!
I will talk to them again on Sun (am leaving tomorrow to a local endurance ride, where Terri and I are going to give the 4 and 6 yo girls a camping experience and do the little 10mile "intro" ride so they can learn what it is all about.... and I don't think we have cell service there, but will be back late morning/early afternoon Sun).
Update will follow then :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whoo Hoo! My boy is on the WAY! Just heard that he is loaded up and the haulers are heading out. So now the long wait begins...2500+ miles across the country....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fencing Day 1

Here are pics from our day of fencing today... it will be no climb (well, actually, cheaper stuff than "real" no climb, but the fence ppl say it works just as well) with a line of hot tape on top and at chest height... then corral panel gate and panels by the existing stall setup...
Terri is in some pics as well as our friend Phillip, who is helping in exchange for me trimming his horses...whoo hoo! We got the corner posts and the t-posts set today and are stringing up the wire on Monday... The dogs were being very...helpful....too :) pics are from the cell phone, so a tad fuzzy, but can give you an idea of the area he will be in...the fences will run about 170 ft in length, and...well, not sure how wide as I haven't walked it off...but a good chunk. He'll have a stall to go in if he wants, a large tree to hide under/around as well and plenty of area to run in. The two geldings will share a fence line with him, so he'll be able to "see" horses too. And the two goats (four right now with the kids..but they are boys and are going into the freezer later) can get into or out of his pen via the corral panels and the "walk through" area for ppl (two posts close enough to keep a horse in, but just far enough apart for a human to squeeze sideways through...or a goat :P). So he'll have them as buddies too if he wants or they want :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last for today

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To finish the day, we stopped right next to Shotgun's pasture to see what Storm would do with the temptation of another MAN to bother him.... well, as you can see, he ignored him and decided food was much more exciting.
The next few days were uneventful and I think we ended up taking him out on the trail even (though it might have been on the next trip up...can't remember). I don't remember anything eventful at all, which is a great thing:) We did stuff like that off and on for I think a year, then Amber sent him to a local to her trainer to put a solid 30 (might even have been 60, but can't remember that either....no brain!) days on him. When he came back, he had good basics on him and was nice to start really riding.
Then the excitement came.... Amber brought a nice TWH stallion from back eastwards (maybe KY or TN or something?) out here to stand at her place for the season...Champagne Look. Though a great guy, he kinda got the blood up on the farm and the other two boys didn't get out much. Those are other adventures for Amber to tell. At any rate, next real ride I did with her that was memorable (for good reasons) was in summer of last year.....

And some more....

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Here we are going up and down Amber's driveway...we had to go past mare pastures and Shotgun's stud paddock too and lots of weird farm equipment and buildings and cars and such....he was so good! No issues... I tried a tad of gaiting too, to see if anything was in there, and we didn't get much, but he did try :) He is a real compfy horse and I loved how mellow he was.... I didn't foresee any issues with his under saddle work in the future.

History Continued....

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Ok, so it won't let me move pictures around...ah well... anyway, a few from his first ride in the round pen... he was "SO WILD" we took some goofy shots as well of me "Jockeying" him along and "GOING FAST", LOL....

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So...where were we? Oh yes. Feb '06... So I went up to Amber's to help with Storm. She'd already done the ground driving, saddling, etc... So I was there to get up on him and ride him around. I spent about 1/2 an hour in her round pen just moving him around and seeing how well I could control him from the ground. Seemed all ok and he gave me his attention fairly quickly. Wan't all "hot to go" either. So tack goes on and a mounting block goes next to him. Leaned over, weight over his back....all fine. Seemed mellow. So up I go. No biggie. In fact, trying to make him walk off, he wouldn't go..so Amber had to lead him at first and then we were dandy. Oh yes, and all this was in a halter too. He really was a great boy and got the hang of it all fairly fast. So I went around the round pen for a while and then decided he was so good, let's go outside and play around the driveway (still in a halter)....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some History...

First pics I saw of Storm...his arrival at Amber's....

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Ok, to tide the time over til his arrival, I will post some history about Storm. I would like to start at the beginning, but since I haven't known him that long (though I hope his breeder might comment with some "baby" stories and such..come on Barb!), I will start with when I first met him.
It was somewhere's around late '05 or early '06 (lestways I have pictures of us together labeled Feb '06)...He was up in Oregon, bout 3 1/2 hrs north of me, visiting my friend Amber Applegate. She bought Firestorm to use as a breeding stallion in her then gaited endurance horse breeding program. He came from Canada, where he ran on lots of acreage with another stud, getting to just be a boy and have fun... I absolutely fell in LOVE with him the moment I laid eyes on him. He was so handsome! I hadn't seen a horse with so much presence, yet a self assured calmness and a kind and quiet eye that just asked to love and dote on him. My friend Terri says he and I must have known each other in a former life or something as we just seem to connect...
Anyway, Amber asked me for help getting him started under saddle (ie, I make a great crash test dummy for getting on a horse for the first time). I of course said SURE!. And made plans to come on up for a training weekend (I had previously also helped her with her other very lovely TWH stallion Shotgun starting under saddle and on his first ride to the BIG SCARY RIVER , and he was so good, that I felt it was no big deal). So off I went to OR in Feb '06 for some fun times with studdly boy....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ok, this is a test to see how all this works...never been a "blogger" before, so this is a whole new adventure for me. Much as it will be to have a stallion to work with, ride, etc...
This blog will chronicle the adventures I have while training and possibly endurance riding the 'love of my life'...a 10yo Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse stallion. I was never good at writing in a journal/diary either, so this is not a "daily" blog as such...it will be updated when something interesting or new happens, not "oh, today he ate grass and looked cute" and "today he snorted and tossed his head" type thing, just so I can post every day. But we'll hopefully have interesting stories to tell and great pictures to post and if I hit trouble, maybe some kind reader will have a great solution for me :)