Sunday, February 28, 2010

Doc's Diatribe

I was told that I needed to write something to introduce myself to y'all. Personally, I think it's a bit silly! I'm Doc, Meriadoc to be precise, although I'm not really fond of that name - or the Lord of the Rings nickname of Merry. What a ridiculous name for a guy, and I like to think that I am the man around here! I am a 9 year-old Haflinger. I was the selling point for our team. Pippin (the little pip-squeak) and I were sold together. We were originally in Indiana working on an Amish farm. Some folks say that I whine a bit too much, but I'm not complaining now - my new life is ever so much easier. I do get to spend a good part of my day lounging around in my paddock and pasture - here I am enjoying a wonderful summer morning Oh, when will we have another glorious day like this again? I just can't tell you how much I enjoy a good sun bath! Will the snow never end? We had an inch today and more is predicted later in the week. When it snows it usually blows and when it blows the snow finds it's way into my stall, even with a 10' porch. What a mess that makes! I really like to keep my stall nice and tidy and between the snow and the wind, the shavings get all nasty. It's been so cold recently that there are frozen poop piles in my paddock - yuck! Then when it warms up, I have mud surrounding the still frozen piles (isn't it amazing how great an insulator poop is?)! I have to be careful where I step. Well, back to me; Occasionally I am asked to pull a small cart or to take my owner for a ride. I don't want to let on that I really enjoy trail rides, but the arena work is for the birds. I don't like to bend around circles. I don't like to trot faster. I don't like to canter....well, maybe when I'm on a trail or galloping across my pasture - now, that's a different story! Oh bother, I think I see her coming with a halter....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pippin's Pondering




Well, hello there! My name is Pippin and I am a 7 year-old Haflinger gelding (whatever that means)! Today I am pondering about my feet. I have four of them. Have you ever wondered about how those of us with 4 feet manage to move around and not step on ourselves with our back feet? Or, better yet, how do we know when to pick up our feet when stepping over a pole or stepping into the trailer? It's not like we can see that clearly what is back there.
My feet are a mess, and I don't mean on account of all of the mud generated by our melting snow! Last year at this time I was a working horse and did a lot of work pulling wagons to collect sap from maple trees for syrup. I was worked really hard that winter on frozen ground. In addition to all of my hard, foot-pounding work, I must confess that I may have overindulged on occasion. I love eating - just about anything! One morning I awoke in great pain. My feet were hot. They felt like they were going to burst apart any minute. It was hard to stand and even harder to walk. My owner at that time didn't call the vet. He believed in doctoring things himself, so he used some sort of gooey poultice. It was supposed to make the heat and the pressure go away. I'm not convinced that it helped, but when my feet abscessed and the infection blew holes in the top of my front hooves that finally relieved the pressure. It took a long time but finally the pain subsided. I was sold to my current owner in the summer. (She tells some folks that she rescued me.) My new owner wasn't told that I had suffered laminitis or founder, but she guessed as much. By then I was sound and she was willing to take a chance on me. It's also a little embarrassing to relate that she tells her friends that I was just too darn cute to pass up!
I love my new home. I have to admit that I have a great life - no pulling the sap wagon for me! I do get to trot around in a pretty harness pulling a small cart. Once in a while she rides me. I think that is really strange, having her legs tickling my sides. Sometimes I forget myself and give a little hop!