Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh god, they look great and they actually like me.

Go look at my horses! I don't want to try to link each picture. :effort:

I was going to bring them an apple, but I forgot. So I showed up totally empty handed. I honked when I drove up, and when I got through the gate I whistled and hollered for them to come on up. They stopped eating and started staring when I drove up, and when I hollered for them, they galloped up to see me! It was SO COOL.

I always kind of thought my horses liked me. But I was never positive, you know, if they actually liked me or if they liked the food I so often carried. I didn't think they'd run away when I came to visit, but I wasn't sure if they'd actually come to meet me. I hoped, like a huge dork, that they'd come running to see me, but I never thought they actually would.

Well, they did. They came thundering up, slowed down a respectful distance away, and then the boys walked right on in to sniff me and get the scratchin' started. I took Cersei over to jump in the cow pond, and the entire herd followed me. Then we all walked back over to the fenceline and stood in the shade and I spent two hours laying hands on my boys.

Yep, just the boys. I managed to pet Quinn three times, and each time Poppy came charging out of nowhere to run her off. The mares stayed pretty close the whole time, but they're just not as needy and not as domineering. The geldings took turns getting petted and rubbed on and scratched and talked to. I'd be scratching Champ's mane, and I'd feel a tug on the camera case strap. I'd turn around and Poppy would be looming behind me. "Hey." So I'd rub his big white star for a while, getting some of the itchy old hair off of his face, when a very grumpy bay horse would politely put his head between us, shove Poppy away from me, then open his jaws with a huge wet smacking noise and bite Pops. Poppy would run off to harass Quinn or Cersei and I'd love on Champ some more. Then we'd repeat.

They look amazing. Quinn looked pretty good before, and she just looks a bit better now. Poppy is filling out again. (I hope this is the year he starts to really get stocky. I'm really ready for him to stop growing up and start filling out.) And the bays look like new horses. They've gone from skinny scruffy older horses to sleek shiny healthy weight horses. Neither of them looks old any more.


Quinn is SO SUNBURNED. I'd heard that paints burn in the sun, but I thought she'd acclimate to it. Are all those feral paint mustangs running around with pink noses? Poor guys. Is she going to get skin cancer? If I caught her, tied her up, and put zinc oxide on her nose once a week would it help or just make her even more wary of humans with halters? I need to research sunburn and paints. Stupid spotted horses, grumble grumble.

Everybody is covered in ticks. I'd been scritching the boys for about 30 minutes before I remembered that Poppy is a tick magnet, so I started actually checking his mane. Yep, pulled off three of those horrid swoll up nasty fat ticks and smushed them with a stick. Then I started feeling his chest and between his front legs and I started finding more, this time the horrid tiny little deer ticks. You know the ones that are about the size of a freckle? Yep, tons of them. Then for some reason I wondered if Champ was getting ticks too, even though Poppy is usually the only horse who gets ticks - yep, Champ had tons of horrid little icky deer ticks too. I pulled them off of the boys' chests, and manes, and in between their back legs. I got one fat one off of Quinn, too, before Poppy ran up and bit her.
So what am I going to do about the ticks? I guess I need to do some internet research about those spot-on tick control chemicals. I hate dousing my animals in weird chemicals, but there are a lot of ticks this year and ticks carry horrible diseases.

Also, they've got a ton of bot eggs on their legs. No hope of manually controlling the eggs; I'll just have to deworm for bots when I move them.

My god, those are some rude horses.
Let me clarify that. I've always tried to be a benevolent dictator. I do not allow my horses to invade my personal space, unless I invite them in. I feel quite safe out with my horses because they always show me respect. Nobody tries to shove me around, bite me, or run over me to get away from another horse. But I've never tried to make them not fight when they're turned out together. Horses fight. It's like eating - they love to eat and they love to pin their ears and bite other horses.
If I put a halter and lead rope on one horse, I expect the other horses to get out of our way and not bite or kick at the haltered horse. I think that's what I'm going to have to do when I go back - one at a time, halter and tie and groom them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment!