Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nuts!

Worst fears realised.... only one testicle is dropped. I was pretty sure that was the case, but I was hoping the vet could find the second one. Sometimes they're itty-bitty, and I'm certainly no expert at what they're supposed to feel like. He put him out and couldn't find the second one.
While he was down and out, he at least got a tetnus booster. Mom said the vet was suprised at how quickly the sedative wore off and Ace got to his feet. I'm not. This little guy is a real live wire.

SoooOOooo, we can take him to the clinic and have them dig it out there. Or endure his shenanigans for awhile longer and hope the second one drops in a timely manner. If he goes to the clinic, we will do it before he is weaned so he can ride with Copy. But, I'm not really eager to put him through that if it's going to drop on it's own in a few months anyway. I guess we could wean him and put him out with the older geldings and see if he shapes up or not. I'm afraid to buddy him up with Grey Horse, that would be like throwing gasoline on a fire trying to put it out! Copy certainly needs a break from being slammed around all the time, and I sort of want my mare back. I've been wishing I could ride her now for awhile. I guess wouldn't hurt him any to shut him up for an hour and ride her anyway.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Raging Hormones... Oh Vet Where Are YOU?!?


Ace's impending castration has been put off until Thursday, and we can't wait! When I arrived at the barn today, Mom had tried to give Copy and Ace their lunch in a tub in the run in area, and Copy IS.DONE.SHARING. She had her Alpha-Bitch hat on, and Ace was pretty frustrated. He's not used to her telling him no. I went and got a separate pail for Ace and called him inside. That went OK, but he was already ticked off and hormonal, and I could read his little face every time it came out of the bucket..."hmmm, should I bite you're shoulder or just clip you in the knee cap?" I kept wagging my finger at him and reminding him to "be nice". Since he had been running around like a fool, the biting flies were after him making everything worse, so I gave up on the grain and went for a bottle of fly repellent.

In the meantime, Copy came back inside, and the struggle was on again. As I tried to spray Copy, Ace came at her from every direction. When he draped himself over her back and grabbed her withers I realised the only way to diffuse this situation was a "time-out". I went back for a rope, caught the wicked little shit, sprayed him, and tied him to the wall. Peace and Tranquility settled over the barn. Ace has given up trying to pull loose when he's mad, and has been applying himself to learning how to untie knots. He stood casually on three legs and fiddled with the knot while I groomed Copy. Ahhhh peace. What a lovely thing. Copy twisted each leg around showing me where the worst itches were, and I got her nicely polished up.

Then I went back to Ace. He is already a lot better about having his underpinnings worked on, and he got a good rubbing and polishing as well. When I turned him loose, the little rascal grabbed the rag and knocked the brushes down, which spooked him so he darted off with the rag in his mouth. Then he thought the rag was chasing him, so he started to really run forgetting to drop the rag, which was still after him. It chased him all the way outside before he accidentally dropped it and got away from it. ***sigh*** ...children. When I left, they were casually standing around like the whole lunchtime debacle was a distant memory. Thank Heaven!


Edited to add photo and video from Saturday. Ace had just had a successful loading lesson and all was still under control.



video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trial Separation

We are applying ourselves to preparing for this weaning thing which will hopefully take place after he heals from being gelded, which will hopefully take place on Monday if those testicles stay where they are. They come and go at this age, but Mom and I (and Copy) just can't wait to get those suckers out of there.

I signed up three of our horses for a genetic study conducted by Cornell University, which involves, among other things, taking about 30 detailed measurements of each subject. Since it was raining today, I did the Grey Horse, and was contemplating who to do next. Mom pointed at Copy... "is she next?" Now I had in the back of my mind how I was going to contain Ace while I messed with Copy, but hadn't really made a decision yet. There were several options, but when Mom asked "What are you going to do with Stinky?" my reply slipped out confidently "I'm gonna leave him in there." Everyone had been out earlier, but were indoors because heavy thunderstorms have been rolling through all day. So, I just put their halters on and told Mom to take Copy out of the stall and put her on the cross ties which are the next slot down the aisle from their stall. I had complete confidence that Copy would be fine, but I was interested to see how Ace handled it.

Mom closed the sliding door as she left, and I didn't stay to discuss things with Ace. I unsnapped the lead and slipped out the door myself leaving him to figure things out for himself. He was very good. He circled and called, but did not launch himself against the walls, panic, or otherwise try to squeeze through holes not made for horses. Copy, as predicted, could not have cared less. She nickered back for a minute or two confident in the fact that he was still only 6 feet away, but as I went to work with the tape measure, she rested a hind foot, and tuned him out completely. I'm sure she was hoping I would get out the brushes and resume our old spa routine but unfortunately I didn't have time. Maybe we'll do that tomorrow now that we know we can take Copy out by herself.

After I was done measuring (10-15 minutes) I didn't want to just throw Copy back in the stall with the frustrated little monster, who was calming down anyway, so I had Mom take her out in the arena while I went in and got Ace. I cracked the door open, put a hand in and told him to get back, which he did. Then I went in and snapped a rope on and slid the door open. He reared up and wanted to rush out, so I spoke up to him and made him stand. We then walked through at a controlled, yet eager, pace. Again, I didn't want to just turn him loose to run to Copy, so I took him to the wall and tied him in his usual spot for a few minutes and let him further sort out his feelings before I turned him loose.

At no time was he allowed to get panicky or rush around frantically and he returned to Copy in a fairly mannerly fashion. Then we stood at the gate and discussed what a good normal acting equine he had been, and he came over to visit. All in all, it was a very undramatic first separation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Acting like a grownup

I was very please with Ace today. He has been so rough on his Mom, that we are starting to develop a weaning agenda. Today when I walked into the barn at lunchtime, Mom says "the plan is, I'm bringing Copy into her stall, and you're going to hold him back and make him behave for a bit." Apparently, he has been a monster.

So, I put a rope on Mr. Bitey Bitey, and Mom took Copy to her stall. He was fine with that, and stood relatively quietly in the arena. After a bit, I led his down the aisle. Mom was with Copy (who could NOT have cared less) in her stall and she said "keep walking him past". Ace led quietly past, and stood in the aisle visiting politely with everyone though the stall fronts.
I said "if we had someone out right now (flies are bad today), I'd just put him in a different stall". Time to build a portable for one of the older horses. Acey needs a big boy room! I want him to spend the winter assigned to the hay drop which is outfitted as a tie stall (and also has a gate across so he doesn't actually have to be tied all the time), but for starters he needs a sturdy box stall.

Then, before I left my husband stopped by and wanted me to take Ace out to show a friend. I went in and haltered him ("my goodness he's mannerly today" says Hubby), then led him out alone to stand in the aisle while Copy munched hay. Everyone acted so normal. It gives me hope for an uneventful weaning.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ticklish Little Devil

The other day when I was handling Ace, I realised he is pretty ticklish on his sides. So, today when he was having his tying lesson, I got a hand towel to groom him with. Talk about ticklish! He did his best impression of the Tasmanian Devil. I toweled down his side and under his belly. First he tried to reach around and bite, but I smacked his hiney. So, he took out his anger on the rope. Then I went across his flank, and between his hind legs, and the fun really started. First he crouched until his belly was only about a foot off the ground, then he commenced kicking. It's really difficult to grope a horse, and smack them around at the same time! I pushed him against the wall, put my arm over his back, and just polished away. He was kicking double time with first one hind leg then the other. Armed with the determination that this would be a lot less fun as he got bigger, and Bill Cosby's sage parenting advice ("I brought you into this world, and I can take you out") I polished until he gave in.

All the while, he was attacking the rope, and untying himself, or at least letting out more line. A couple of times he did rear up and fight the rope, just because he couldn't stand to be around me anymore, but I could tell he didn't think it would do him much good. After he submitted to the flanks, I started on the chest, which was just as bad, only closer to the biting end. And ended with the neck and face. Then I picked up each leg, and worked with his tail (which oddly enough, he doesn't mind at all).

After about 15 minutes, he had pretty much given up, but he was still pretty pissed off. I can tell you, if I had waited until he was a yearling or two year old to do some of this, he would have broken some stuff. When he was done, I unsnapped the rope, and pulled him away from the wall, telling him he was free to go. He immediately launched himself back to his mom where he shook off all the nasty human, then he came racing back to me, reared up to his fullest height to tell me just how happy he was to be free of me, than started a bucking and running fit as he worked off his frustrations.






Is there any better toy than an old juice bottle?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Certifiable


Acey's registration certificate came in the mail this week. It's Beeea-U-teefull! ASHA was kind enough to redesign their paperwork just in time so I could have a fancy new style certificate.

Unfolded it is a whole 11x17 sheet! I'm considering framing it... it's the first time I have ever had my name on the papers as breeder. In fact, it's only the third set of Saddlebred papers I've had my name on at all. We have had many Saddlebreds in and out of here, but the only ones I've actually owned were my first Saddlebred "Oliver", and Ace's Mom.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Naptime

What a sap!



I went in to worm Copy today while His Highness was taking his afternoon nap. Nothing disturbs naptime. When I scratched his neck, he sprawled right out. He's fun when he's laying down. Even if he starts to get up you can grab him and flatten him and he let's you do whatever you want to. Sort of like a 200 pound dog. After naptime, we had a quick tying lesson. The door was open to the pipe corral, and Copy went outside, but Ace knew he was tied, and didn't test he rope at all. Good Boy!