Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dead head, for real

I think Tule might have something with permanent nerve damage on his poll. Today he "set back" on his halter while tied to a rather solid post and he practically went to his haunches...the halter didn't break, the rope didn't give, the post stayed in its concrete...and it appeared to have no effect on him whatsoever. I mean he swung on the end of that rope, practically, like Tarzan. (All because I wanted to use the spray bottle of mane-n-tail detangler, the silly doofus...he hates spray bottles.) A horse is supposed to "give" to pressure on the poll and Tule didn't give one fraction of an inch. He chose to come back to reality and step forward...I watched him do it.

All three got pedicures yesterday. Pepper even got a pretty new set of dancin' shoes. Which means her out of shape tushie is going back to work. I put that into motion today...lift your glass to celebrate a "first" with me...I got on her bareback in the pasture, from the ground no assistance of any kind. No mounting block, no round bale holder, no tree stump, just me. Ta da!

The farm manager moved my trailer, a place where I can't actually hook up my truck. So when I got there this afternoon wanting to practice with Dillon...I couldn't. And I got a little pissy about that too. It's seriously inaccessible, and that means in any situation I can't use it the way it's sitting. He must have used the little farm tractor to move it, not his truck. So now I'll have to ask him to wiggle it around....*sigh*

Beautiful day today. Should have been riding...but had other things to do. Dang it when life gets in the way. But maybe tomorrow I can get out for a least I did get Tule excavated out of the mud.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I see that I've been slacking off on regular posts--sorry! A lot has transpired, and I've been exhausted frequently thus unable to process thoughts in any coherent order.

I took Tule to Biltmore last Friday (the 6th) for a ride with my friend Cindy and her horse April. Tule was amazing for the most part. After about an hour and half of our morning ride, April bunched up about something as we entered a meadow with a road adjacent. A truck was coming down, but not even a big one; nevertheless, when Tule got into April's space, she'd had enough and she threw a temper tantrum. And I'm the one who got kicked. Thankfully, she didn't land a hoof on me, as we were too close, but her hind right hock nailed my left calf. Nearly a week later, I'm still experiencing a lot of pain, my lower leg is quite swollen, and I'm not entirely sure but that I may have suffered some severe soft tissue damage. But I can still ride, which is all that matters.

At the end of the day when it was time to load and go home...Tule wouldn't. And we tried EVERYTHING. Sadly, trying everything led to sensory overload on my poor boy, and he flipped his mental switch to "off" and off he stayed. As my friend Rhonda put it, I know Tule, and he wasn't there anymore. After about two and a half hours, I called for reinforcements (Rhonda and her 3 horse slant load GN trailer). She spent over an hour trying. Then she called for backup, her husband Mike. And he ended up successfully loading Tule...blindfolded. But it was over four hours after we'd started trying to load the silly jackass. I was completely melted down by this point and was swearing up and down that this was it, it was over, I was never taking him anywhere ever again, we could just dig a hole and put him in it. Yes, it got that bad.

So I proceeded to spend time every day since working on trailer loading my horses. The next day, Saturday, we did get all four of Tule's feet on the trailer one time for a brief moment after an hour. Sunday also saw a moment of success. Monday...again. Tuesday, I got him on all by myself on the second approach to the trailer, fastened him in, and took him for a short drive. Wednesday, we rode first and then went to trailer school, and loaded within a couple of minutes. So it's working out, but I won't be so cocky as to say I've fixed this yet. I will say it's been improved.

On Sunday, we went for a wonderful trail ride with Rhonda during which we had a lovely long canter uphill and another series of firsts that Tule made it through with flying colors.

I do love my horse. He just tries me sometimes!