Monday, June 16, 2008

Ok, I admit it, cows scare me.

I got a reasonable amount of studying done today, and my uncle told me that the horseflies were tormenting my horses, so I drove down to Como early this evening to see them. I stopped on the way and picked up a jar of Swat and a bag of oats. The oats were to keep the wild beasts placated as I smeared goo all over them.

(Oats - JESUS CHRIST - are up to $15 a bag at Tractor Supply. And "cheap" horse-n-cattle sweet feed is $8, up from $5-6 this time last year.)

They looked quite good, overall. They're still shiny and in good weight. I swear I think Silky pulled something in her leg doing her Wild Horse Imitation when I got there. They were back in the back corner of their 40 acres, so I had to drive into the pasture, windows down, yelling for them. Of course the mares decided the truck was a monster come to kill them and they all galloped away. I drove alongside hollering til I got the boys' attention. Poppy was finally like "oh hey HEY HEY IT'S THE FOOD LADY!" and once he came charging over they all came to me. Silly beasts. Anyway, Silky wasn't remotely lame as she went flying away across the pasture but she limped coming up to get her oats. Sigh.

I got halters on everybody and checked them each over for ticks. Just a few small deer ticks on each, but I put on a new dose of that two-week fly/tick repellant just in case. Champ's and Silky's ears were just horrible, all crusted over with fly bites. The other two, oddly, were fine. I smeared Swat all over the bays' ears. Champ rolled his eyes and tried to get away, but Silky was quite the lady about me messing with her ears. I think hers itched. She was quite sweet tonight - after everybody else wandered away, she hung out at the truck with me and begged for scritches. She's so quiet and standoffish that it really delights me when she "asks" for scritches.

I checked everybody's feet. They're longish, but they seem to be self-trimming too. If I had any kind of amenities out there I'd rasp everybody, but tying a horse to a tree and trying to trim outdoors doesn't sound like fun. If I need to, I'll do it, but hopefully their feet will take care of themselves.

Quinn was ragingly in heat. Squatting and squealing and kicking at the boys. I decided discretion was the better part of valor and didn't even try to ride her in that kind of mood.

I did ride Champ though. I saddled him up, then went to put the bridle on, and he pitched a HUGE hissy fit about it. His ears really are bothering him, poor guy. :( Well, if there's one horse I can ride anywhere with a halter, it's Champ, so I snapped some roping reins on his halter and we took off.

Riding through the other horses to get to the gate made me really nervous. Nobody kicks Champ (NOBODY puts Baby in a corner!) but like I said, Quinn was in heat and very kicky. I gave her a wide berth.

Champ was a perfect gentle-horse. He was polite about me getting off, leading him through gates, and re-hooking them. He listened to me as we rode! We rode through two empty fields and into a field of cows. I was planning on riding up to my uncle's house, but when we got to the cow pasture Champ decided we'd gone plenty far and started trying to convince me to turn around. Then the cows got curious.

I don't have a lot of cattle experience. I know they taste good, they're herd animals, and they like to butt instead of kick. And momma cows are protective of their calves. And bulls are irritable bastards. My uncle has two bulls that run with his cows, and all the mommas have babies, ranging from one last little wee baby calf to half-grown adolescent cows.

One cow was all MRRROOOOOO and wandered toward us. I did what I usually do when a dog comes up to us - I spun Champ towards the cow and kicked him up to a canter for a second. The cow jumped and ran away a few feet. We stopped and the cow stopped and I remembered point #3 about cows. What if that bastard cow decided it wanted to headbutt us? Shit. Maybe charging it wasn't such a good plan. But the cows in those cutting videos on Youtube never try to butt the cowhorses. What if that cow was one of the bulls? Bulls will chase you. Maybe I shouldn't antagonize the cow.

We turned back around and headed over to the cow pond for Cersei to jump in and cool off. Then I made the executive decision to turn the expedition around, so we circled around the pond to head back the way we'd come.

All the cows were staring at me and the horse and the dog. And wandering toward us. And MRROOOOO-ing. It was a very tense moment. Where was the bull? Were the momma cows feeling like their babies were threatened? Had these cows ever seen a horse before, or did they think we were just a deformed cow? Did they expect me to pull a sack of Horse'n'Cattle out of my ass and offer it to them?

I pointed Champ to the left of the cow herd, hoped he wouldn't get nervous too and bolt, and kicked him up to a trot. As we headed to pass the mass of MRRROOOOOO, I waved my arms and hollered for them to git. Amazingly enough, they did! We went left, the cows ambled right, and Cersei kept Champ between her and the cows. Whew.

I'll need to go back this weekend and check the bays' ears. Might be time to deworm everybody too - I need to check back and see when I did it last. With gas at $3.82 a gallon, it's a $15 round trip. I need a job! I need to pass the bar and get a job and get a new place to live in Mississippi and move my horses back somewhere I can see them every day! Argh!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh, shit

I'm still alive. Studying for the bar is about all I do right now. It's such a long test, and such a vast array of weird specialized knowledge... Ugh. If I stay on track, I should pass with no problem though.

Cersei is such a good patient dog. I know this has been hard for her - she went from going to the barn every single day to all of a sudden we won't go anywhere exciting for three or four days in a row. I play with her in the apt and take her on little trips - to the grocery or whatever - but some days I just have to stick to my "plan" for the day. If it takes me all day to review property, I just can't stop what I'm doing and take her out to play, or I'll never get started again. Ahh, well. She's a good girl and this won't last much longer.

I'm gonna go to the Germantown Charity Horse Show tonight, and if it's fun, tomorrow night too. And I'm planning on going to visit my own scruffy wild horses this weekend, maybe Saturday or Sunday evening. Just too hot during the day.

Otherwise, it's the rational basis test, Article 2 of the UCC, and common law larceny.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

R.I.P. Girlie

Well, a horse at my former barn died today. Goldie was the dam of the horse James often rides, Surprise.* She was a lovely very pale palomino, grade but gaited. She'd been colicking for two days, but the owner was convinced that she was getting better and refused to call the vet. He did, however, try to give her some mineral oil. By putting it in her drinking water. After she stopped drinking. He was further convinced that she'd be ok because she'd been given two shots of Banamine the day before, and as we all know, Banamine cures colic.

What a fucking dumbass. What a waste of a horse's life. I can only hope he learned something, anything, about taking care of a horse or calling the vet.

*James isn't the owner of either horse.

In other news, I am grimly plowing through property law. Fee simple, life estate, possibility of reverter, and the good old Rule Against Perpetuties. Ugh. I'm going to cook dinner, try and get through the types of concurrent estates (joint tenancy, JT w/right of survivorship, etc) and then watch Battlestar Galactica and drink. If I can get through concurrent estates I'll deserve it.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to go ride lil' Lily again. Yay!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lily, ride 3

Such a sweet little horse. I didn't even gait her, we just walked around, stopped and started, turned, and I got off and on from both sides a lot. Then I let her graze for a while and put her back up with some extra hay. Maybe tomorrow I'll take her across the street on a short trail ride? She's so laid back that I will love seeing her "discover the world."

Oh - apparently redneck horses impale themselves on t-posts just like Internet Horses. One of the rednecks took his horse Hydro (yes, named after the type of weed) to somebody's friend's uncle's place and the damn horse impaled himself. Prognosis uncertain. Looks like The Internet is right about t-posts!