Thursday, March 27, 2014

Random Five Friday

1.  Its still raining.  We had four storms backed up against each other, hanging out over the Pacific Ocean.  The first two have come through and the third will hit Saturday.  The last one will come ashore and reach our area Monday.  The storms aren't particularly cold; the snow level is staying above 5000 feet but they are windy and wet.  Wednesday evening, there was a tornado watch just north of us.

2.  Lori asked if I soak Jackson's feet when he has an abscess.  His soles are already extremely soft so I do not soak.  However, I do slather his hoof with an epsom salt poultice underneath his bootie.  Winter is hard for him.  Once the weather warms and the ground dries, his feet will harden and he won't have any more trouble.

3.  I have a couple new followers -- welcome!  I use the Friday post to answer questions and respond to questions so please join in the conversation.  Thank you for the kind (and encouraging) words about the property.

4.  Brett and I went to a wine pairing dinner at the Smith Flat House Wednesday night.  We were seated at a long table in the cellar, next to one of the old mining tunnels from the gold rush, with 12 other brave souls.  I say "brave" because of the menu.  The chef at the restaurant is inventive and talented; he likes to push the envelope.  The main course was goat.  Ten people cancelled and another four didn't show.  We tried not to think about Little Bear and Thistle back at home.  I told myself that we have chickens (or will again soon) and we eat that so I should be okay with goat.  My dad assured me that it is tasty -- and it was.

5. I was going to take a lesson on Winston today but, after talking to Sandy, decided that it was better if I wait.  He's still very reactive; blowing up at every little provocation.  I went by to see him and drop off his supplements.  He was standing with his head in the corner; his eyes listless.  He's not happy.  Sandy said he's stressed.  We are going to put him on an ulcer protective medication and perhaps give him a round of GastroGuard "just in case."  I'm concerned that he isn't happy, that I'm not happy, and that Sandy is concerned about his suitability as my partner.  ...I brought the subject up with her today; I've been thinking about it a lot.  I think Winston would excell as an eventing horse; he loves to jump and he loves to go.  He's brave and confident and he has heart.  The problem is that I don't want to jump.  I don't want a horse that is reactive.  I don't want to be bucked off again.  When Winston is good, he's a blast to ride.  But, more and more, the "good" is disappearing into unhappiness.  Sandy advised me to not throw the towel in yet but I'm getting pretty close.


  1. Do you only have two goats now? When do the chickens arrive? About Winston...I wondered if you would come to that conclusion. He is a lot of horse, and if he is still being reactive with the trainer I would be concerned. You don't want to get hurt, and he will know if you are anxious about it. A very tough decision. At the moment, he sounds like he misses home. We should have rain today with warming's about time to get above freezing!

  2. The fact that he looks unhappy, and that he's still blowing up, and that he may be developing ulcers due to stress means something's not right. Is your trainer giving him the space and time to process, and is your trainer giving him soft places to find reliably in the work so he can have moments of happiness and relaxation in the work that he and she can build on, or is it just push/push/demand/demand every second? It may be that she's the wrong person to be working with him, despite her skills. Working with a horse who's learned that the best way to approach life is to be resistant (even if that means he's not really happy) requires real finesse and skill and not all trainers no matter how good can do it. My Red was just like that and I was extremely lucky to have Heather. But who am I to say from the comfort of the internet.

  3. Winston looks unhappy? A good training program should show him pleasure in the work. Even a tough horse can blossom and look happy as he learns to be a better riding partner. I would be concerned, too.

  4. I have to second Val and Kate. He shouldn't be listless in the stall. it's one thing to protest the work, but horse react to the moment and don't dwell on what went before. So I would be worried. He might not be the horse for you but I'm not sure that he's in the best place right now.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.