Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Crash - My Story

Last Sunday morning I printed out the consignment form for a draft horse auction. After a pretty much sleepless night reliving 'the wild ride' over and over and over again, I decided that the best choice for me was to get rid of the boys. I have lost any trust that I had when it comes to Doc's behavior, and the boys really ought to go together as a team.
On Saturday (last week) my dear husband and I finally finished shortening the shafts for my forecart. I hadn't driven either horse in a month. I harnessed Doc and worked him in the round pen for a bit. Then, with my husband's help, hitched him to the cart. My husband, being the wonderfully supportive guy that he is, ferried cones from the round pen to the pasture (somewhat smaller than an acre) and spent the next 30 minutes setting 'gates' and changing their orientation while I drove Doc in and out and around. I stopped by the barn, where my dear husband was watching our work, to ask him to bring a bottled water over - oh, and please talk to the horse (which he did) while you come, since he can't see you with the blinders on. We chatted a bit. We talked about how well Doc was doing. We talked about the cones. I said that I planned to go through the cones a few more times and then I was going to go out of the pasture and up the road. I took up the reins and released them, saying 'walk on'.  Doc did nothing. I took up the reins again, released them and tapped him with the whip. Doc jumped forward. He trotted a few steps and then broke into a gallop. He may have been startled by the cart behind him, I don't know. I tried to stop. I worked to steer him in a circle in the pasture, which goes downhill  and has many ground squirrel and pocket gopher holes and mounds. In addition to worrying about stopping and turning, my next concern was staying upright. I do recall hanging on and trying to lean to the left to balance the cart. After turning about 270 degrees I relaxed a bit with the realization that the cart hadn't tipped over and that my trainer was right; the Pioneer forecart is ugly as sin, but it is safe! Doc and I galloped toward the barn. He began to slow as he went up the hill facing the barn wall. Then, in a moment of sheer atheltic brilliance, Doc dodged to the left and ran out the open gate. I was saying some very nasty words in my mind as I continued to try to control the runaway. As we exited the pasture and entered my back yard we were faced with numerous trees and gardens. Some of the trees have metal posts driven into the ground at an angle to hold the tree in position. Ouch, these could really tear a horse into pieces. Just as I was beginning to wonder how I would navigate through the maze Doc ducked to the left again. He was less than 2 strides from the hitching post. (Insert more expletives.) BAM! Doc ran into the 6" diameter pole of the hitching post, end on, at a full gallop. He seemed to roll off the hitching post and then, BAM! The cart was caught up on the hitching post. Doc ripped out of his harness, now wearing only the bridle and reins and his collar. He stopped and turned to look at me.
I felt like this nightmare of a ride went on for a long time. I thought we had taken at least two, probably three turns of the pasture. In reality, we went around the pasture one time and the whole ordeal probably took less than a minute. Less than a minute from standing calmly to a total wreck. Less than a minute for this miracle to occur, for it is miraculous that both Doc and I are alive.
Evidently Doc's collar took the initial impact with the hitching post, which saved him from terrible injury. He had a 3" square scrape on the point of his shoulder and some heat and swelling. He's basically sound, only showing a bit of stiffness on a tight turn or on uneven ground. Now I know where the phrase, 'built like a horse' came into our language! I had a bump and bruise on my forearm where it hit the cart when I was thrown forward on impact -seat belts and air bags are not factory installed equipment on the cart. The harness was torn off of Doc. The buckles on the straps of the saddle tore through the leather. The rivets and stiching on the buckle of the hame strap were popped and more stitching was ripped near the beeching. The shafts of the cart are bent. We are alive and we are both going to recover from very minor injuries. The equipment can easily be fixed. Miraculous!
I was shaken by this experience, and as I stated previously had a lousy night. As dawn broke I got online to see if consigments would still be accepted for the auction and printed out my form. Later that day my husband pointed out that I really needed my boys. He's right. I couldn't take them to the auction. By Sunday night I was keeping the horses, but I would ride astride and give up driving. By Monday night I was thinking I might continue to drive Pippin. On Tuesday I agreed to at least talk to a trainer. By Wednesday I was toying with the idea of taking lessons with the trainer and Doc....
So, you can see how it has gone. Life goes on. I enjoy my early morning visits with the boys. I love their antics. I will continue on but perhaps with a bit more caution!

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Pippin's POV: The Crash

    Doc is in big, big, big trouble. And I mean trouble with a 
    capital T
    capital R
    capital O
    capital U
    capital B
    capital L
    capital E

    Normally I'd be gloating, but this is serious business and I am shocked. I am almost speechless, which is pretty amazing for me!
    The other day my Mrs. Owner decided to hitch Doc up to the forecart. She and the guy who is always hanging around her had just finished shortening the shafts so that they don't hit us on the shoulder when we turn.
    Anyway, my Mrs. Owner took Doc out into the front pasture. She made Doc go through the orange ice cream cone turn-around things that we usually have in the round pen. They were set up in pairs and she had to turn Doc every which way to go from one set to another. My Mrs. Owner was having a lot of fun. I was not! I was in my paddock. I didn't have any hay. It was hot. I was bored. I wanted to go out to the pasture to eat some of the grass that Doc was trampling with his big old feet. 
    My Mrs. Owner stopped to talk to the guy who is always hanging around her and to get a drink of water. He brought the water over to her in the cart, just like my Mrs. Owner brings us water in buckets. After a bit, my Mrs. Owner asked Doc to 'walk-on'. I was dozing in the sun, so I didn't really see what happened, but the next thing I knew, Doc was charging around the pasture, with the cart bump, bump, bumping behind him and with my Mrs. Owner hanging on for dear life. Doc came up by the barn and then bolted to the left. He went out the gate and out of my sight. I heard a crash. A bit later the guy who is always hanging around my Mrs. Owner walked into the barn with shafts that were all bent and twisted. My Mrs. Owner ground drove Doc around in the harness for a while. 
    Doc wasn't talking when he came into his stall. 
    I heard my Mrs. Owner and the guy who is always hanging around her talking about an auction.
    Uh Oh! 

    More information to follow.... 

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Mouser - Chapter 1

    Doc seems to have a predilection for killing mice!  I was going to wait for one more example, just to make sure it wasn't chance, before posting about this phenomenon . Despite the fact that one more example has not been observed, I don't think three 'pancake mice' can really be chalked up to chance! My horse is a mouser!
    In December we discovered the first pancake mouse. Interesting, but I guess a mouse could meet with an untimely end if he or she happened to be strolling through the stall at the right wrong time. Then, in January, as I was cleaning Doc's stall, I found another, very flat, formerly fuzzy mouse.  I was amused that this had happened a second time. I must have very slow mice, or very dumb mice...or just maybe, a very talented horse with rather large feet.  The following week I picked up what looked like a tarantula with my manure fork...knowing that there was no way there could be a tarantula,
    in Doc's stall, 
    in Colorado, 
    in sub-zero temperatures! 
    The tarantula-like object, upon closer inspection, held cautiously on the end of the manure fork, was the remains of some hapless rodent that had been stomped on repeatedly, cutting the hide into leg-like strips. Ouch!

    So, I have concluded that my horse is a mouser. I have tried to decide whether Doc's reaction is:
    • "Absolutely not. You may not have even one little piece of grain. I don't get enough of it as it is. Take that....and that....and that." 
    or
    • "Eeeeek! A mouse!"
    I have thought of conducting a test with a mouse. But wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Then, I found this MythBuster's episode:




    Ah hah. I can hollow out a nice, dried out horse pile, acquire a mouse and conduct my own test. Oh, it is so tempting. I would love to see Doc's reaction to a tiny rodent. But, alas, my heart is too soft. I couldn't, in all fairness, subject a small critter, even a despicable, dung defecating, disease spreading rodent to the possibility of being stomped by Doc's size 2's. Nor could I, in good conscience, subject Doc to a 'mouse desensitization' lesson. And, besides, what if the mouse got away?!

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    It's Fixed!

    I enjoy visiting The 7MSN Ranch blog and looking at the fabulous pictures and witty comments that are posted every day. Recently, the site's author confessed that she hates to skip a day due to guilt trips and admonitions from site followers. She posted pictures SOOC (I learned something new: Straight Out Of the Camera) and apologized for not processing them. Serindipity! This could lead to future topics for her site! Based on comments from loyal followers, like myself, we are very interested in learning more about 'fixing' pictures. So, the self-proclaimed PhD (Doctor of Photoshop) began to enlighten us. This led to a contest....and we all love contests! The owner posted the following information:

    The prize: I will Photoshop the digital photo of your choice and make it as perfect as I know how.
    To enter: Give a brief description of your problem photo in the comments. A winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person, please.
    Contest closes: Friday, June 11, 7:00pm Mountain time. The winner will be announced Saturday morning.
    Number of winners: At least one.

     I had the perfect, not so perfect picture that I wanted to submit, and said a silent prayer that I would be a lucky winner and win the opportunity to have my picture photoshopped.

    Last winter I glanced up to see my Haflingers, Pippin and Doc, sparring in the pasture. I grabbed my Canon PowerShot camera, lunged out onto our porch, in my socks, in the snow, and snapped a picture. The picture fairy gods must have been with me because I caught it! I did a little happy dance as I ran in to show my hubby the picture. Sadly, the lighting was awful, the subjects looked like they were soooo very far away and sooo very tiny, and there was a nasty fence marring the beauty of my 'wild beasts'! But, it was still a way cool shot!



    The 7MSN Ranch PhD later announced that she would fix a picture for each person who had responded to her original contest proposal. Yippee! Hooray! Hallelujah! I was so excited....almost like I had won the Publisher's Clearning House giveaway....well, OK, maybe that's a bit of an exageration!

    Yesterday I received a file with my fixed picture. It is BEAUTIFUL! See for yourself:



    I love how the picture has been brightened and I think the warm colors of the Haffies and the dried grasses peeking up here and there are beautiful. The fence has been magically removed...boy, the guys would have a field day it if it were gone for real!

    Anyway, many thanks to the photo wizard at The 7MSN Ranch for taking the time to doctor up my photo.
    Please visit the PhD's site, if you haven't already, to see the before and after pictures again and to read the explanation of everything that she did to fix the photo.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    You've Only Had it Two Days and You Already Broke It?

    These were my son's words when I IM'd him that we had to take the puppy, now named Tucker*, to the vet to have his leg checked. My hubby was walking down to the barn the other night. Tucker was on his left. It seems, in reconstructing the event, that my hubby stepped off with his left foot, Tucker ran between his legs, and when my hubby, who was looking to the left to try to figure out where the puppy had gone, stepped forward with his right foot, it connected with little Tucker's right hind leg. The outcome: Tucker has two tiny green stick fractures of his right tibia. The vet placed a splint on Tucker's leg and gave us some puppy Rimadyl, telling us that Tucker would very soon get used to the splint and would be running around as if nothing was wrong. She was right. By afternoon, Tucker was hopping up and down the steps to get in and out of the house, and romping on the grass.

    Tuckered out by the day's events

    By evening, the splint had begun to slip down Tucker's leg, like a knee sock without elastic. We unwrapped the splint and repositioned, but by morning it had slipped down again. So, off to the vet again this morning. Now, we have no splint and no pain meds. It was decided that perhaps Tucker would take it a bit easier without pain meds and without the splint he would be less inclined to bear weight on the leg, allowing it to heal.

    So, life goes on and Tucker seems to be happy and content. He obviously doesn't bear grudges against big guy feet that hurt him! Oh, and did I mention what a great puppy he is? Maybe my son wasn't making snide remarks about the broken leg, maybe he was referring to Tucker being house broken! Yes, the little puppy who had never been in a house until we brought him home four days ago goes to the door and barks to be let out to do his business!

    *Thank you to Aurora and Once Upon for the great suggestion of the name, 'Tucker'. We both decided that we liked it. His registered name will be 'All Tuckered Out'. Perhaps he will live up to his name and be a little less energetic than most Aussies...or more likely, we'll be the ones who are tuckered out by his antics!
    We cracked up at Mickey's suggested for Haggard, as in Merle Haggard. Clever...but I'd hate to call my cute puppy that name, and we weren't exactly enamored with 'Norman' either!

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Question Without Answer

    I am a gardener and I want to know
    Why I must always weed and hoe.
    Why does my garden get invaded by grass
    It really is a pain in the a$$.
    And then there's my pasture where I want grass to thrive
    Where flowers by the millions grow and survive.
    I am a gardener and don't want to fuss
    But I think God is pulling a prank on us!

     Wildflowers along Greenland Open Space trail

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Something to do on a Rainy Saturday

    I think getting a puppy is a great thing to do on a rainy Saturday, don't you?
    We don't have a name for this cute, nine-week old red merle Australian Shepherd, but once we see his personality come out, I'm sure one will come to mind. If you have any ideas for us to try out, send them my way.
    Tuckered out from his big day traveling to a new home, he took refuge under my hubby's chair.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    One of those days....

    The day dawned shrouded in heavy fog that swirled angrily in the wind. The gear was waiting in the trailer and all I needed was to load Doc and set off for my friend's house. We loaded her gear and horse and headed to an open space park for a group trail ride. We traveled just over 30 miles and descended at least 1500 feet in elevation. The fog lifted. The sun was out. A gentle breeze played in the horses' manes while we waited for the group to arrive. Upon setting out on the trail Doc was startled by large rocks along the trail. You never know what a rock might do to an unsuspecting horse! Beware! We continued on the trail coming out into a beautiful open meadow with a view of mountains in the distance. The calm was shattered by the sound of an engine. In moments a helicopter crested the hill. It flew close to the ground directly over our heads and horses bolted in every direction. Two riders came off. Two horses took advantage of their freedom to seek some luscious spring meadow grass! My friend was one of the unlucky ones and suffered a bad bump on the head. We decided it was in her best interest, as she was a bit unsteady and had a head ache, to return home and have her head examined. (Sorry, friend, I couldn't resist that one!) Although the ride was cut short it was a fabulous experience for Doc. He needs to get in the trailer and go places. He needs to meet other horses. He needs new experiences - although I'm not sure that I had helicopters on Doc's Bucket List! We arrived home, greeted by winds that averaged 25 mph with gusts up to 40. Ugh!
    After a quick lunch I saddled Pippin. Another friend had invited me to come warm-up in her indoor arena followed by a ride in our community area. I did some work in the round pen and mounted Pippin. He stood still - hooray! We've been working on this. I took him around the pen a few times and he was attentive and quite calm. We opened the gate and set out for neighbor friend's house. The wind was howling. Pippin's head came up higher, inch by inch. He began a little dance. It felt like he was going to jump out of his skin any minute. Every little touch made him jump. I decided to bail out and lead him over to my friend's house. Pippin was much calmer with me by his side. He still is very unsure of having someone on his back. He can't figure out where the touch is coming from and he is often surprised when my hand moves into his vision. I have been caught unawares when I've been with friends and I've talked 'with my hands'! His usual reaction is to drop down and freeze. We arrived at the arena and had a great ride. There were three of us. We walked and trotted. We went over some poles and climbed up and over a box. We played 'Follow the Leader' going in and out of cones and around the arena. We played with a mailbox. Pippin settled nicely and I think this may have been one of my best rides on him, ever! We decided we'd go out into the field. As we started on our way, with the winds continuing to blow, Pippin became more agitated. I concentrated on staying relaxed and talked to him, but he came undone. He dropped, but this time he swung his hind quarters to the right and took off. We progressed in a circle, galloping in a spiral until he finally came to a halt. He really didn't go that far and I had him under control quite quickly. I am so thankful my friends' horses didn't bolt as I might not have been able to get Pippin under control so quickly and I'd hate to see my friends' in difficulty because of my silly horse! We continued along, talking amongst ourselves, trying to determine what spooked Pippin. Was it a piece of newspaper on the ground? Was it strings on my chaps that tickled his side? Did one of the other horses signal something? He started to spook again, but I stopped him. After a third 'drop' my arena-owning friend, wise woman that she is, suggested we return to the arena where I could work Pippin again and this time dismount in the arena, on my terms, after some good, positive experiences. Our walk home, with me at the lead, was quiet and controlled.
    Despite the adversity I actually have to chalk this day up as a great day for my guys. They each had good learning experiences and will both, hopefully, be better for it.

    PS: Friend suffered no serious head injury but will probably be sore for a few days as friend's horse threw in some nasty back wrenching bucks before she was thrown face-first onto the ground. Hooray for helmets. The outcome of the ride would have been very different had friend not been wearing a helmet with a visor. Please, please, please....wear a properly fitted helmet whenever you are working with your horse!

    If you don't think you need a helmet, read the following:

    11 Reasons Not to Wear a Riding Helmet
    Top Ten Reasons It's Cool to Wear a Riding Helmet

    Take a look at this picture and video of Oliver Townend's fall at Rolex this spring. His helmet saved his life.

    Also, if you do experience a fall, you should consider purchasing a new helmet. There may be unseen damage to the materials of the helmet that would impact the helmet's ability to protect your head. Sometimes the exterior of the helmet shows little or no damage at all. It is for this reason that you should not purchase a used helmet.

    Read this article about unseen damage to Oliver Townend's helmet.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Clean as a Whistle

    Although Pippin did not particularly appreciate having his sheath cleaned by the vet, it was a whole lot easier than my trying to clean it at home! Even under sedation Pippin registered his disgruntlement with the procedure with a lot of tail swishing and a few half-hearted attempts to block the attack with his hoof.
    I have very little trouble working with Doc in this area, and figured that with Pippin, trust would come. Apparently not!

    For any of you that are not familiar with sheath cleaning, or need a refresher, I found the following instructions to be quite accurate and downright amusing:

    THE CLEANING PROCESS...
    WRITTEN BY: Patricia Harris   [1998]

    1.) Check to make sure there are no prospective boyfriends, elderly neighbors, or Brownie troops with a line of sight to the proceedings. Though of course they're probably going to show up unexpectedly ANYWAY once you're in the middle of things. Prepare a good explanation.

    2.) Trim your fingernails short. Assemble horse, hose, and your sense of humor (plus, ideally, Excalibur cleanser and perhaps thin rubber gloves). [Note from Dreaming: I use Excalibur at home, but the vet used Ivory Soap dish detergent....lots and lots of it! I have heard that Ivory has the proper pH and does not irritate sensitive skin.]

    3.) Use hose (or damp sponge) to get the sheath and its inhabitant wet. Uh, that is, do this in a *civilized* fashion with due warning to the horse; he is apt to take offense if an icy-cold hose blasts unexpectedly into his personal regions ;-)

    4.) Now introduce your horse to Mr Hand . What I find safest is to stand facing the horse's head, with my shoulder and hip snugly against the horse's thigh and hip so that if he makes any suspicious move such as raising his leg, I can feel it right away and am in any case pressed so close that all he can do is shove, not really kick. The horse should be held by an assistant or by your free hand, NOT tied fast to a post or to crossties. He may shift around a good bit if he's not happy with Mr Hand's antics, but don't be put off by that; as long as you are patient and gradual, and stick close to his side, he'll get over it. Remember that it would be most unladylike of you to simply make a direct grab for your horse's Part. Give the horse a clue about what's on the program. Rest your hand against his belly, and then slide it back til you are entering The Home of the Actual Private Part. When you reach this first region of your destination, lube him up good with Excalibur or whatever you're using. If the outer part of his sheath is really grungy you will feel little clods and nubblies of smegma peeling off as you grope around in there. Patiently and gently expedite their removal.
    [Note from Dreaming: I pour Excalibur onto my hand while wearing some sort of plastic glove. The vet put about 15 paper towel sheets into a bucket of water. He would take one at a time, wring out most of the water and add at least 2 Tbs of soap to it.]

    5.) Thus far, you have probably only been in the outer part of the sheath. The Part Itself, you'll have noticed, is strangely absent. That's because it has retired shyly to its inner chambers. Roll up them thar sleeves and follow in after it ;-)

    6.) As you and Mr Hand wend your way deeper into the sheath, you will encounter what feels like a small portal that opens up into a chamber beyond. Being attentive to your horse's reaction, invite yourself in . You are now in the inner sanctum of The Actual Private Part. It's hiding in there towards the back, trying to pretend it isn't there. Say hi and wave to it . No, really, work your finger back and forth around the sides of it. If the horse won't drop, this is your only shot at removing whatever dried smegma is clinging to the surface of the Part itself. So, gently explore around it, pulling out whatever crusty topsoil you find there. Use more water and more Excalibur if necessary to loosen attached gunk.

    7.) When Mr Hand and the Actual Private Part have gotten to know each other pretty well, and the Part feels squeaky clean all around, there remains only one task: checking for, and removing, the bean. The bean is a pale, kidney-shaped accumulation of smegma in a small pouch just inside the urethra. Not all horses accumulate a bean, but IME the majority do, even if they have no visible external smegma. So: the equine urethra is fairly large diameter, and indeed will permit you to very gently insinuate one of your slimmer fingers inside the urethral opening. Do so, and explore upwards for what will feel like a lump or "pea" buried no more than, I dunno, perhaps 3/4" in from the opening. If you do encounter a bean, gently and sympathetically persuade it out with your finger. This may require a little patience from BOTH Mr Hand AND the horse, but the horse will be happier and healthier once it's accomplished. In the rare event that the bean is too enormous for your finger to coax out, you might try what I did (in desperation) last month on the orange horse: Wrap thumb and index finger around the end of the Part and squeeze firmly to extrude the bean. Much to my surprise it worked and orange horse did NOT kill me for doing it and he does not seem to have suffered any permanant damage as a result ;-> I have never in my life seen another bean that enormous, though.

    8.) Now all that's left to do is make a graceful exit and rinse the area very thoroughly in apology for the liberties you've taken . A hose will be MUCH easier to use here than just a sponge and bucket, IME. Make sure to direct the water into the Part's inner retreat too, not merely the outer part of the sheath. This may require you to enfold the end of the hose in your hand and guide it up there personally. [Note from Dreaming: I have used the hose when rinsing Doc. He tolerates it for short periods of time. The Vet used dripping wet paper towels.]

    9.) Ta-da, you are done! Say, "Good horsie" and feed him lots of carrots. Watch him make funny faces at the way your hands smell. Hmm. Well, perhaps there is ONE more step...

    10.) The only thing I know of that is at all effective in removing the lovely fragrance of smegma from your hands (fingernails arms elbows and wherever else it's gotten) is Excalibur. Even then, if you didn't use gloves you may find you've got an unusual personal perfume for a while. So, word to the wise, do NOT clean your horse's sheath just before an important job interview or first date ;-) and of course, there is that one FINAL step...

    11.) Figure out how to explain all this to your mother (or the kid from next door, or the meter reader, or whoever else you've just realized has been standing in the barn doorway speechlessly watching the entire process.)

    Now, go thou forth and clean that Part :-)


    The preceding post is located at: http://www.equusite.com/articles/health/healthSheathCleaning.shtml
    Permission to repost this information was requested from both the author and the owner of equusite.com





    Friday, June 4, 2010

    Pippin's POV: Root Beer Float

    Yesterday my Mrs. Owner was talking while she cleaned out my paddock and stall first thing in the morning. She mentioned something about a float, but I was too busy eating my hay to really pay attention to her. She mumbles a lot when she is cleaning up. Anyway, I have heard of floats. They sound really good. They sound better than my dry old hay. Ice cream sounds delicious and I bet the root beer would be tickle-y-itious!
    So after breakfast she took me out and I hopped right into the big, noisy box. I was looking forward to the float and ha, ha, ha on Doc, he didn't get to come! We traveled up the bumpy road. We traveled down the turny road. We traveled on the fast road where you can hear all kinds of swishy noises. When we got to the float place I thought to myself, 'Uh, oh, something is really wrong here. There must be some kinda mistake.' Because when my Mrs. Owner helped me get out of the big, noisy box (I don't like backing up...I can't see where to put my feet so my Mrs. Owner has to help me go really slow and careful. She tries to tell me when to step down so I am not surprised), I looked around, expecting to see the float thing, but what I found instead, the thing that made my heart kinda go bong-bong-bong, was that I was at the house of the 'horse doctor guy who smells kinda scary'. I was really kinda mad at my Mrs. Owner because she tricked me. She told me I was going to get a float and I thought she meant ice cream. It turns out she said I was going to have my teeth floated....and believe me, that's not ice cream! It's not a piece of cake, either!
    The 'horse doctor guy who smells kinda scary' put me in a a very strong cage. He gave me a shot. What happened after that is kinda fuzzy and swimmy. 
    He forced my mouth open and made me rinse. 
     He forced my head up and my brain began to rattle. 
    He worked a long time. 

    Later my mouth felt like I had been eating hay on the sandy ground. Everything was gritty. 
    But, that's not the worse thing. I am so humiliated by what he did next. The 'horse doctor guy who smells kinda scary' isn't a nice man. Do you know what he did? Oooo, this is so awful....he played with my, well, you know what I mean, uh, he played with my....my....wee, willy winky. I won't let anyone touch me there. I won't even let my Mrs. Owner touch me there. I'm very private about things like that. The 'horse doctor guy who smells kinda scary' said, oh, how embarrassing, that my wee, willy winky was kinda stinky. I blush just thinking about it and thinking about having a man fondle me like that. Thank Gawd my Mrs. Owner had to stand at my head to hold me. It would have been even worse to know that she was watching what that 'horse doctor guy who smells kinda scary' was doing.
    This was not a good day. It turns out that Doc was the lucky one. When my Mrs. Owner brought me home I wouldn't even look at Doc. I walked into my stall and hung my head in the corner. I was mad and sad. I felt so...violated. This was a no good, very bad, awful, terrible day.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Doc's Diatribe: What's de sense of desensitizing?

    My Mrs. Owner took Pippin and me on a long ride in the big, noisy box. When we came out of the box we were at a friend's house for something called desensitizing. Makes no sense to me. I've heard that being sensitive is a good quality. It's something I have to work at because frankly, sometimes I could give a flip how others feel.

    This is a picture of me trying to be sensitive to Pippin's feelings in the friend's arena.


    We did all kinds of things at the friend's house. I didn't really like the blue walls that you can see to the left of my shoulder in the picture above. I just knew that I would hit my head and it would hurt if I tried to walk through the wall. duh! Uh, Mrs. Owner, where did you go? My Mrs. Owner is magic. One minute she was with me, the next minute she had tele-transported to the other side of the blue wall.


    I liked the clip-clop sound I made going over the fake bridge. Who do they think they are kidding by putting a piece of plywood on the ground? Any fool horse would know that bridges don't sound or feel that way.


    The friend had a few tarps on the ground. I've seen those before. Pippin carried one around. I wouldn't touch it. In fact, don't tell anyone but I was naughty. When they weren't looking, I took a whiz on one of them!  Tee-hee, it made a funny sound!


    This is me standing on the box.
    I really didn't want to get up on the box. After all, I'm not some sort of simpleminded, muddle-headed, brainless circus horse. But the friend was very kind and patient. She tricked helped me. She fed me treats. 

    Mrs. Owner was busy with Pippin. 

    That dang, fool horse was practically crawling on her head trying to get to the treats. He hasn't learned how to act disdainful and aloof.

    I had to try on a new saddle. It is called a Barefoot saddle. That's a really silly name because it has nothing to do with your feet. I already have barefeet....four of them. 


    My Mrs. Owner said that I should thank Kimberly of Sallys Saddles for letting me try the Barefoot saddle. It is really pretty. It is really light and comfy. It has a horse head on the saddle flap. You can see it in the picture. What do you think? Does the saddle make my butt look big?

    Pippin and I had a chance to see a lot of different things. I usually won't admit it, because I'm that kind of a grumpy gus, but I had a lot of fun. 



    Mrs. Owner also wanted me to thank Diana for all of the work she did in setting up the arena and for helping me.

    Moving Day

    Or... Things That Go Bump in the Night We let the moving company know that we were ready. We waited. Anxiously. Finally we ...