Saturday, May 2, 2009

Farm work and bareback bridleless fun

Well, I'm finished with the first physics course and I got an A!!!! Yay! I've already started the second course and I take my first test on Monday. I plan to take my fourth and last test the day before we pick up the mustangs (May 22nd). I have to take it that soon anyway so that they have time to send it to my instructor for grading and recording the grades before the end of May. If I don't get them in on time, then I can't go to vet school this fall...although I would sure hope that if I was just a few days late, they would cut me some leeway...but maybe not. They were pretty strict that I had to have all my coursework done by the end of spring semester and could not do any required prerequisites over the summer.

So we are hurriedly trying to get the farm set up for the new horses in between times when I'm working on physics (it's taking up most of my time). Today, we set up the second mustang pen. I got to do all the heavy work, since my dad is still one-armed. The mustang pens are not quite completed yet. For both of them, we want to dump a load of sand in the middle so they won't get muddy when it rains, and we need to bolt a board along the bottom of the raised panels so that there is no gap larger than 1 ft between the ground and the top of the panels at 6ft. We also need to put a gate on the back side of the barn. We'll use a panel in the middle of the barn to separate the two horses. I will post a good picture after they are all finished.

The 2 year old is still a stud, so he definitely needs to be separated and gentled as soon as possible so we can get him gelded. I've never actually had one of my horses gelded before (they were always done before I got them). I've seen it done though and I know that they leave the wound open so it can drain and then it heals up from the inside. How bad is it to geld a horse during fly season? And do you have to rinse them at all? I suspect it might not be very easy to treat a recently gentled mustang. I'll be reading up on all this before it gets done...I was just wondering. I would like to have it done as soon as possible rather than wait until after the flies leave in the fall because he'll have to be separated the from rest all summer long if that's the case.

During a break while we were working on the pen, we had some nosy visitors from the pasture. They were quite curious about what we were doing, and they wanted some treats. Chico and Cody are shameless beggers. My dad shared his apple with them.

Chico has a tick bite on his chest and he developed a large itchy welt around it. He kept following me and asking me to scratch it for him. He REALLY enjoyed it.

Then I hopped on Cody. I had to show this picture of me hopping on because it was so funny looking! By the way, I only made it most of the way on, and had to clamber the rest of the way...Cody was a saint - she patiently waited while I scrambled on.

Then we went for a little bareback bridleless ride around the pasture. Cody responds to voice and legs cues pretty well, so I could get her to go where I wanted...for the most part. Sometimes instead of turning with one leg cue, she sped up to a trot, but a firm "Walk" brought her back down. I've never done this with my horses before, so I was glad that she was well behaved. I've ridden bareback before, but usually with a bridle, sometimes with a halter, but only around the yard then.

Then it was Catlow's turn. She was also very patient because my graceful leap onto her back was really not very graceful at all - more of a grunting struggle as I pulled myself the rest of the way after the initial leg over.


Catlow is very sensitive to leg cues and voice cues. I had her spinning in each direction with body and leg cues and then backing with voice and gentle leg pressure.


It's fun when my mom comes out because she always mans the camera. I often forget to get it out when I'm playing with my horses.

Here is the picture of the Turkey Shack with the attached Kitty Kennel, as promised.

The kitties will be able to go in and out. I need to vaccinate them for distemper and rabies, then they'll be moved to their new kitty haven. I do think they'll like sitting outside and watching the goings on, but they won't so much like that they don't get to follow me around everywhere and hang out with me like they do in the house.

And here is how the door side looks from the inside with Ms Turkey in the background.

2 comments:

Enlightened Horsemanship said...

These are great pictures. I love the bare back and bridless riding. It is my favorite way to go.

Andrea said...

I wish I could hop on like that! There's no way I could even come close.

If you geld during fly season you can spray the wound with Catron (I think that's the spelling, it's pronounced k-tron) to keep the flies off. I bought some for Scout but I didn't end up needing it. I never had to hose him either, he didn't swell up much. It worked out well having him with Tonka, they played and ran around a lot, which helped keep the swelling down. I'd imagine in hot weather they might not move around as much on their own.