Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Checking in with Mom

I'm glad someone is enjoying winter...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baby's First Christmas

May your heart be filled with

the Wonder of the Season....

I would like to add, that Ace has never had anything put over his head. We swooped the wreath right over, and he never noticed. Nor did he fiddle with it. Then, we dragged him out back through 6 inches of snow covering 12 inches of mud. Again, not a problem. That's where the cooperation ended! He is like trying to photograph a two year old on a sugar high... perpetual motion. We have lots of pics of interesting poses, and there was NO choice of background angle. We would NEVER have gotten him to sit still for Santa! The top one with the cute expression was the result of Mom's genius in making weird noises!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pole Dancer

Today I brought a ground pole out into the arena for Ace to step over. He found it to be a very suspicious item. First he snuck up on it with just his front feet.... the camera snapped just as he began his departure.

Then he used it as an excuse to run around like a nut.

After he settled down, I got a rope and led him over it a few times. Actually, I confess, first I tried to lead him to it without a rope, and he balked, then shifted to reverse, and was about to drop the clutch when I saw his little thought process go..."Uh-oh, pulling away from you would probably be a big 'no-no' wouldn't it?" Yes, young man, it would and I appreciate you keeping that in mind... What a good boy!

I left it out there while I groomed my gelding and Copy and I heard him clunk over it a few times on his own for fun. Of course I'm not expecting him to grow up to be a jumper, but he needs to learn to follow me over strange stuff, which he did with no problem. And in doing so, he convinced me he will probably have no natural jumping ability whatsoever as he managed to step on it with all four feet on his way over. I've been told that Copy is quite a bold jumper, but perhaps it skipped a generation!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Measuring Up

I've only seen Ace once since Farrier day. Between awful weather, running errands, and attending my out of town company Christmas party, it just hasn't worked out. When I came to the barn today at lunch Ace was very happy to see me and whinnied loudly. He was happy because #1 it was lunchtime, #2 it was his turn to go outside, and #3 maybe he likes me just a little. I went right in, put my arm over his back and rubbed both sides of his neck, which is the only way you can snuggle him without being promptly bitten. What I notice immediately is that Ace has grown! He no longer fits in my armpit. His withers were hitting my arm about 4 inches further along. I've had it in the back of my mind to measure him, so today was the day. Ace is 13 hands, 3.25 inches. I also noted when he was playing that he looks much less ass-high which is a good thing. I don't really care how tall he gets (I already have a tall one) but I do want him to be built up hill, and I want as much neck as possible. So this is our first bench mark.

Other than that, Ace had a lot of the devil in him today. He trotted happily to the grooming area and stood without being tied because I have yet to figure out a way to keep Mr. Mouth from constantly fiddling with the snaps, and because he will stand there anyway. But, one time he did push the limits a bit, and in a moment had grabbed his brush caddy and emptied it all over the floor. Then he danced around in a circle, not because he had scared himself but because he knew he was in big trouble. After a brief grooming and event free leg handling, he was turned out to play. I tried to get all the hay scraps picked out of the gateway to the round pen, and he took a break from his playing to try to dump the tub. He had a plan. He wasn't simply investigating the tub, he was targeting the yellow rope handle and trying to dump it. Little pest. He was NOT successful, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Buddy Bopper

Ace loves his Buddy Bopper. I have to sneak up on him to take pictures, because as soon as he sees me watching he stops. He spends a lot of time just standing with his chin resting on Buddy, but Buddy gets a lot of workouts and gets dragged all over the place. He's holding up well. He's only deflated once. He does need a little more pressure now that the weather has gotten colder, and I'll try to take care of that this weekend.
Things have been fine with Ace. Last weekend we had a bit of a wrestling match over picking up hooves, and I have the bruises to prove it. I sought some support and advice on COTH, and you can read the discussion here. We made it through, and haven't had any trouble since. The farrier was here this week. I am so thankful for my unflappable farrier. We brought Ace to the crossties, and Kim held him while I wiped the mud off his legs. I thought that might be tricky, but he barely noticed. Then I held him in addition to tying him to one wall or the other. He was well behaved for all but the right front. We had done the left side easily. The right front he always manages to snatch away from me, but not burly Kim. Kim held on, and Ace tried rearing to get away. The third time he got a lot of height and smacked his noggin on the side of the roof trusses. Besides some dust and cobwebs, he was unscathed. It sobered him up though, and he stood still for the rest.