Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Minerals, mustang heights, and moving mobile homes!

Today we had planned to move a trailer home that my parents bought for a good deal to its set up location. We thought that the ground had dried out enough to do it after the recent snow a couple weeks ago. The trailer was resting in the yard beside my grandma's house while we waited to move it. The moving plan was to take it through the horse pasture, around through the hay field, then back it down the little valley where it will rest. It would end up making a big S shaped path. My job was to run out front and tell my dad if he was going to hit anything as he turned. As we went through the horse pasture, one side sank deep into the mud and the trailer looked really tippy, but we made it through. We got it through the horse pasture, but only made it to the top of the hill in the hay field. There, we stopped and left it because parts of the field were really soft, and if it was that soft there, there was no way we'd be able to back it up the valley, which is even wetter. The horses were tied to trees to keep them out of the way while we took their pasture down. They were pretty patient, but Cody did paw some. And yes, this trailer is where my parents plan to stick my pets and I (I think they are already sick of us... :). Actually, the current plan is for Todd to move out later in the summer, and the two of us will rent this trailer from my parents. I'll come back from vet school on the weekends to meet up with Todd who will spend his weeks this fall writing up his dissertation. Then he'll defend, and then hopefully be able to find a post-doc position in Madison. At that time, we'll re-evaluate where we think we need to live.

I also checked the mineral cups today. It seems that the horses are eating the ones that have wheat middlings for filler. I'm guessing they are going after the wheat rather than the minerals. That makes if difficult to tell what they need. I guess I'll know they really need minerals when they start eating the ones that are just minerals and salt. I only added a little in the bottom of each feeder because we will be moving the cups soon as we rearrange things in the barn. This evening, I rode Chico around our place bareback. He is so fun to ride because he genuinely wants to be out there with you and looking at things. He wanted to keep exploring and there were a couple of times I turned him back on trails that went toward home, and he started slowing down and weaving and really hoping I'd let him turn back around so he could keep exploring. How fun is that! It's so much more fun than riding a horse that is like a homing beacon that you are constantly fighting to keep heading away from home (both Cody and Catlow can be like this at times). I have a question for you you think that this is a trait more common to geldings than mares? You know, the enjoying exploring and lack of barn/buddy sourness?

We went down to our pond and I convinced him to step in. Once in I could tell he really wanted to lay down and roll, but the weather was just not quite nice enough for me to feel like getting wet, so I urged him out of it. I think it'd be fun to take him swimming. Our neighbors have a deep pond that I'll try taking him through when it gets warmer. I think he'll really like it. We also did some trotting and cantering and climbed up and down some really steep hills. He did great, although I think that he doesn't quite have full range of motion in his previously injured hind leg (gash, sliver, pulled tendon...whichever is bothering him, who knows!) He doesn't limp, nor can I actually feel stiffness at any gait, but there were several times when we were just walking on soft ground (either sand or grass) where he stumbled on his hind...I think what is happening is he doesn't pick that foot up high enough so it scoots along the ground and he catches the tip in the softer footing and stumbles. I really think that's a result of whatever injuries he's had to that leg. I hope it continues to improve, but as it is, it is not debilitating. As far as how he behaved after not really being worked much this winter, I think he needs just a little bit of a reminder what leg cues mean again. He was wanting to jump into a trot with a one leg cue that was combined with a rein aid asking him to just move over. Other than that, he was very good and quite responsive for not really having been worked much this winter.

This is the first time I've tried to upload a video to blogger so bear with me...this is Chico chasing the dogs while I was playing with them earlier in the pasture.

Oh, and I measured my horses today!!! So, Chico's official height is 14.3 hands. He is actually just a hair above 14.3, but not tall enough to be considered 15 hands. I was pleasantly surprised. I knew he'd grown quite tall and that he's taller than he seems. My dad helped me measure him, so I know that our measurement was pretty accurate (we stood him in the garage and lined up the tape well). Next I measured Cody, but I did her by myself and on the gravel driveway so her height could be a tad off. I measured her to be 15 hands even. And Catlow, to my surprise measured out to be 14.2 hands, shorter than Chico! Chico's height is deceptive because he has such a short compact body that he looks smaller than he really is. Cody is only a tad taller but she looks huge compared to him because her body is so much longer (and of course, that means that weight-wise, she is quite a bit larger than he is). Catlow has a short body as well, but it doesn't seem quite as short as Chico's.


Linda said...

What a day! That's a cute little trailer--it's nice that your parents are there for you like that.

Sounds like Chico is just a brave soul. I've had geldings who were or weren't barn sour--as well as mares. But when you find one with a personality like that--willing to go, go, go--they're exceptional!
It'll be interesting to see how he takes to water!

I should measure Beautiful so I can get an idea where she's at right now.

Kara said...

It's really interesting to me that Chico was so much smaller than Catlow when they were yearlings, but now at maturity, he's outgrown her!