Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog to the Rescue - Again

Once again, this blogging thing has led to an unexpected solution to a problem.  Last Friday morning, I finally posted about my big decision to find Gabe a new home, a decision that I have been agonizing over and dwelling on for longer then I care to think about.  However, just a couple of hours after I hit the 'publish' button, I got an email from some people I have met a few times who live in a nearby village and have been following my blog.  They are a retired couple who do a lot of horseback riding and they have met Gabe several times.  They even went on a trail ride with him before I ever knew about him.  The timing and circumstances were never right before, but they have had an eye on Gabe for a long time.

Ironically, Riding Buddy and I even had a conversation several months ago about them possibly being a good match for Gabe.  We didn't think they were looking for a new horse though and I never followed up on the conversation, time went by and I forgot about it.  However, unbeknownst to me, they had lost one of their two horses early last year to a re-occurrence of an old injury and they have been trying to find a new horse ever since.  A difficult endeavor that I can deeply empathize with and the main reason I have been so reluctant to part with Gabe.  A good horse is very hard to find.

When they saw my post about Gabe, they didn't waste any time getting in touch with me and came out that very afternoon to see him and discuss things.  We talked about everything and the end result is that Gabe went home with them Tuesday afternoon (he had to hang around long enough to be in the parade on Monday:).

I really think this is a true win/win/win for everybody, including Gabe.  The two things he loves most in life (other then food anyway) are hanging out with his gelding buddies and lots of attention from his favorite people.  He doesn't get much of either here.  There are no gelding buddies and I don't have the time to spend with him that he so craves.  His new home has both a nice big gelding to play with and two very loving, experienced horse people who are over-the-top happy about Gabe.  On top of that, he is only about 20 minutes away and will likely be visiting for trail rides regularly.  Everybody wins.

I'm going to miss Gabe.  His sweet nicker, the convenience of an easy ride with a friend and the stunning beauty of seeing him and Tessa out in the field together.  However, I won't miss the stress and constant worry about him hurting Ramsey, no matter how accidental it may be.

This was a hard choice, but the way everything came together in just the right way, I feel good about it now.  I know I did the right thing, not just for me and the rest of my little herd, but for Gabe as well.  A "forever home" is one that forever takes the best interest of the animals to heart even when that means passing the torch to someone else when the need arises.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Water Cooler Gossip

"Hey kid, did you hear the news?"


"I was chatting with the horses over at the bar and I heard that there could be a big change in the herd coming up."

"It's all to do about you and the big horse."


"I don't know.  I guess we'll just have to keep our ears open for more details."  


Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sunday Stills - Border Collies

This week's Sunday Stills challenge was, "choose one and only one subject and take multiple pics of that subject. If you choose horses, take different kinds of horses, if you choose flowers take different kinds of flowers, you get the idea.."

I had to go over to Farm Buddy's this afternoon do do some work with the lambs and afterward we took the Border Collie Brigade for a walk and I decided to make them my SS subject. 

Work first...

a quick dip to cool off (even though is was freezing today),

some interminable waiting, 

then play.




The way soooo many BC pictures turn out.
The Border Collie Brigade.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Last Straw

Most of you will probably remember that I have had trouble with Gabe being too rough with Ramsey a couple of times in the past (click here if you missed that).  I have been trying to find ways around this and have been working with Gabe as some people suggested.  As long as Gabe is on a lead, bridled, under saddle, tied up, whatever, he is good with the donkeys.  He likes the donkeys.  He especially likes Ramsey and wants to play with him, and that is the trouble.  Gabe's idea of "playing" with Ramsey is going to kill him one of these days.

I got Gabe at a time when I, and and every expert I consulted, thought that Tessa would never be rideable again.  When she proved all of us wrong last summer, I kept Gabe because he is such a nice horse and it became so convenient for Riding Buddy and I to ride out together on the two of them. The truth is though, that I don't really need or have time to work two young horses and a couple of weeks ago, Gabe got out with the donkeys and knocked Ramsey over again.  It was really the last straw for me.

This may seem sudden because I have not been writing about this for a while, but believe me, it isn't.  I have been agonizing over this decision for ages now and after discussing it with Riding Buddy and Farm Buddy as well as the woman who gave Gabe to me, I've decided to put him up for sale.

Chasing Ramsey is not not something that Gabe is going to grow out of, it gets worse every day not better.  Gabe has developed a taste for it and, like a horse who really loves to chase cows, it is not going to go away.  Gelding Ramsey had no impact whatsoever.  Building Alcatraz fencing won't help when storm-downed-tree-limbs wreck a section of fence, which is what happened last time.  This is a farm and stuff happens on farms (as today's little adventure with a stuck cow so aptly proved.  I'll tell you about that in a day or two).  I live alone and am gone to work for hours at a time.  I have to be able to leave my property with at least a fair degree of certainty that all will be well while I am gone.  Worrying about Gabe getting out with Ramsey is just getting to be too much.  If it turns out that I ever really do need two riding animals, there are lots of other critters out there who could use the help I could provide if I had an opening.

So, if there is anyone out there in Blog Land who is interested in a really good, sound, sane, well mannered and beautiful young gelding with tons of riding miles under his hooves who just can't be trusted around smaller animals, get in touch.  My email address is aerissana at gmail dot com.

Also, don't worry about Gabe.  He is not in any danger of getting shipped off to some auction or handed off to just any old warm body.  He is not going to end up in a slaughter house.  He dos not need rescuing, rehabilitating or any other such thing.  This is a good horse, a very valuable horse.  I am not interested in finding just any home for him, but in finding the right home for him.  He deserves it.  Even if he does chase my beloved little donkeys...

"Who me?"

"Do I look like I would do such a terrible thing?"

"I'm innocent I say!  I am sweet and kind and It's just a game...."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Now then, if I get my feet planted juuuust right....

and stretch really hard...

...just a little more...oh man, too bad Ma trimmed my toes...just a liiiiittle more....

HA!  Got it!

YUM....just love these little leaves...yum.

Good thing I'm still taller than the darned pipsqueak.  For now anyways. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trail Donkeys

I've been out in the woods with my trail donkeys again.  We've been taking things very slowly, going out 2-3 times a week starting out with just 10-15 minutes at a time.  I am not really sure how much exercise Ramsey's foot is up to so I am trying to err on the side of paranoia.  He is doing very well though and exercise is the best thing for stimulating healthy hoof growth so we have upped the time to 30-40 minutes for the last two days.

Donkeys, at least my donkeys, love, love, LOVE getting out to explore and they have taken to begging at the gate for hiking time.  Emma, especially, stomps off in a huff if I have to tell them no.  They have both figured out that they have to wear their halters when we go out (it's almost the only time that they do) and they have taken to trying to steal the halters out of the tack room and getting them on themselves.  I so wish I'd had the camera ready when they tried that stunt!

We always start out with both donkeys on the lead rope and we all walk together on the road or in the open.  Once we are well into the woods though, I usually lead just one or the other, which has been working out well.  I just wish I could convince Tanner to join us, but he will have no part of hiking with donkeys.  It just isn't done.

Going out with Emma and Ramsey is a lot like going out with a couple of very happy dogs.  Their sheer enthusiasm is infectious.

I'm envisioning a harness for these two some day....

They both show an almost uncanny ability to find and follow the trail, even newly constructed parts of the trail that have only been used a couple of times.

Ramsey had never seen this trail before, but he knew just where to go.

And just where to find the best bits of tasty moss.