Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Paja the trouble maker

Paja went in for his x rays and what not. Too bad there isn't a mileage program from trailering horses. Paja would have earned some free flights by now.

On Saturday it was just me on the ranch. I took Shane and Cody up to the arena and let them stretch their legs. Neither one was very interested in running. Cody more so than Shane. They both wanted to stick their heads between the fence and nibble on the long green grass growing on the other side. I left them up there to graze.

I took out Cajun and let him roll in the round pen. He didn't like seeing the boys up in the arena, knowing he didn't get to join them. I tied him up and groomed him before he got an silly ideals. He is still going through treatment for his left injury. He can't be running around like a maniac. Next month we start the slow process of rehabilitation. I am going to do some research and write up a plan.

After I put Cajun away, I took out Prinze and did a 10 minute mini lesson. I would like to build up his endurance and get him in shape. He is in the prime of his life. Might as well. After wards we walked to the grass and I let him eat. He always eats the grass like it's the last time he will ever eat and he needs to get as much as he can. Kind of like me with chocolate.

I got the boys in the arena back in their stalls and locked up.
It felt good to get 4 horses out in one visit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another funny Aislin Story

Aislin was telling me about her amazing day and I responded, "Whoa!!"
Immediately she stopped in her tracks and looked up at me.
When we both realized what she had done we broke out laughing.

Aislin my dear-- Prinze is not a kleenex and YOU are not a horse.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Naughty Little Prinze

Aislin was walking Prinze in the round pen on a lead and I was on the other side of the fence grooming Cajun. Aislin yells to me, "Mom! You have to get Prinze! He is being naughty!" I immediately look up to see if naughter means dangerous, but they are both just standing there, doing nothing. So I yell back, "What's he doing?
She replies, "He is getting his boogers on me!" And just at that moment he nuzzles his head into her belly. She shouts at him, "PRINZE! I am NOT your kleenex!"

Oh man. It was funny.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Paja is the alpha male on the ranch.
And he has an ulcer.
He also a some nasty thing I can't remember the word for-- but basically his bone is pressing on the tendon in his ankle bone-- it's irreparable-- and eventually the pain will overcome him.

Not a happy day.

So he is now retired.

Cajun's diagnosis is also more serious than we thought. 8 months of therapy and then an additional 6-8 months to regain range of motion. So he is on a walk only regimen until further notice.

Both of these horses are so full of energy and LOVE to run.
It's really not fair.
But it never is, is it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finally made it back out

I had family events the past few weeks so Cajun was a little miffed with me today when I went out to see him. He was a little nippy--- regressing into old behavior-- because he hasn't had any reinforcement in the past few weeks. After the round pen he seemed much better and the grooming routine went really well. No pawing the ground or trying to get to the hay. He once again had lead in his feet when it came time to picking his hooves. He doesn't do this for the trainer or the ferrier. Just me. I think it's a challenge and he is seeing if he really has to listen to me, trying to jockey for position if you will, trying to see just who is the dominant one in the relationship. He has alot of trust issues, especially when you go for his face. I hope in time he will trust me and allow that trust to generalize to all people.

Prinze was a doll as usual. He had alot of energy and was still pretty nervous. He is getting much better at me touching his face and lets the ropes touch him all over, but he is still braced like he is ready to bolt at any moment. In time.... all in time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Peaceful morning at the ranch. Just me and the boys and a morning mist.

I worked with Cajun on ground manners for 30 minutes. And then 30 minutes with Prinze.
They both were very responsive this morning and show a tremendous amount of progress for such a short amount of time. It's especially impressive when you consider they are only getting worked 1-3 times a week.

And I like being assigned to these two boys. It gives me the time to get to know their personalities, to understand their behavior, and to individualize their training.

At one point I was standing in the middle of the round pen, Prinze was busy eating the leaves that had blown in, and I was just standing, staring at the mist. It was so quiet and still. The only sounds were an occasional plane, a few birds, and Prinze crunching on leaves. I am not sure how long I was there, doing absolutely nothing. It was too perfect of a moment to pass up.
I find it very restorative to be with the horses. To be away from the city. To be away from everything. Everyone should have a place like that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cajun diagnosed!

Cajun's phantom injury has finally been diagnosed. He has a torn tendon in his "armpit". He is going to recieve shock wave therapy at the end of the month to stimulate healing. It is a relief to know the source of his pain and also to discover it is something that can he can heal and recover from. I crushed a tendon in my foot several years ago when I dropped a piece of furniture on it. I was in alot of pain for a good 6 months and even now it aches in cold weather or when I spend the whole day walking. It makes alot of sense to me why he has lingering pain even after all these months and why he only limps after a work out. Tendons take FOREVER to heal properly.

The vet doesn't want him overextending so we are constrained to minimal exercise, though I am still able to ride. So I worked with the trainer to go back to basics and try to get rid of some of his bad habits. We spent a good half hour just going over things he needs to change while being lead on a line, being groomed, and saddled. I have done it on my own twice since then and I am really impressed with Cajun's growth. He has sort of an oddball personality, but he is kind and eager to please. As soon as I was able to communicate what I wanted from him in a language he understood, he was very willing to give it to me.

My handicap comes from only owning one horse most of my life and not having an arena or trainer. We kind of made up our own set of rules. She had my back and I had hers. I had some training when I first got her and then attended a week long horse camp once, but for the most part it was just me and my horse on a trail in the middle of Alaska. So the language I spoke with her is not universal and these other horses don't know what I am asking.
Cajun is not the only one going back to basics. I have to relearn everything. The trainer will show me something and I think, 'Did I know that and forget it? Or is this new?" Eitherway, it's like baking with a bowl and whisk and then someone buys you a kitchenaide. You think to yourself, "How on earth did I ever get by before?"