Thursday, October 3, 2013

Milo and Moose Updates

Its funny, I have quite a few pending posts that never saw the "publish" button...mostly because I ran out of time, didnt get to add that photo I wanted, or already had a post for the day (I dont like double posting on one day). those moments have passed and its time to give a more accurate update.

Lets see...I will start with the most alarming, which concerns me. Everyone in the country (hopefully) knows about the government shutdown. If you are current on me then you know that I, being a government employee, have been effected. I've tried to stay calm about all this because, well, getting hot headed and stressed doesnt do much considering I cant do anything about it all, but it is worrisome for long term. Even missing one full paycheck gets me behind and we are still paying off the beams for the barn, let alone needing to get the roofing, oh and the other $600 worth of corral panels I have to pay off and pick up for the winter. But I digress.

Two weeks ago I put my feelers out in the local horse world for potential small jobs on the side. I got a few responses back but was able to start one my first day sent home on furlough. The barn is just a mile or more down the road from me, is owned my some local acquaintances, and has riding, mucking, and feeding work needing to be done. I can plan to go out minimum two to three times a week as needed for some weekly cash. Even when I go back to work I can do the extra time down the road and it sure is nice to make more connections with horse people that are close by to me. Their horses are all on the rodeo circuit - barrel racers and roping horses primarily. I told them I'd never ridden "rodeo" horses before, but am more then open to exercising them and learning whats what. I rode a tobiano roping mare named Splash on Tuesday. It is nice to get on horses and not necessarily worry about "training" them as I do when on Milo.

Aside from that, the weather has been horrid here with record breaking rainfall and winds. It calmed down the last two days or so but my shelters have taken a beating and the footing is slick. I cant wait for the roof to go up and the horses to be in a more proper barn.

Yesterday I took Milo out on the trail since it was clear(ish) and hadnt poured in at least a day so I figured the ground would be ok. It was. We had a pleasant ride, I got a little frustrated with Milo's snacking and ignoring my leg aids to move sideways, but was reminded of my ride with Splash where she too leaned in to the left and I corrected it by moving her whole shoulder far off to the right, after a few simple leg requests were ignored. I did the same with Milo and he was starting to hold his shoulder up better. I had to get off a few time for low hanging trees that blew over. I'm hoping I can coax the Husband out with me to cut the trees and they are luckily towards the beginning of the trail. But I reminded myself what a placid horse Milo can be as I led him underneath the low tree branches I held up high enough to clear the saddle horn. I come to expect certain things from Milo now and forget how even those small daily efforts from him should not go unrewarded.

In Moose news, I got him a weatherbeeta midweight blanket for the winter. It was a steal at $45 and is in excellent condition. Its a 51" so is slightly large on him since his Tough1 is a 50", but it will work fine. Moose continues to please me daily, even in the simple act of blanketing him. He's been wearing his orange rain sheet and hasnt been bothered much by it; I can lift it over his head with no fuss, adjust it and he's fine. I have to remember with him too that small efforts daily are a big deal from what he used to be like only a month ago.

Moose has been learning how to move his hip and shoulder over and yesterday I started teaching him to longe. Slow and steady of course, but he was starting to get the idea. I then worked on softening in his face to each side, as he will need to learn that in a bridle if I want to teach him to drive. He has a basic understanding of these things from halter training, but is coming along nicely too. I just love that little guy!

Oh and one more thing. Since I was home on Tuesday I decided to turn Moose out with Milo briefly. Not sure why I decided to but I did. Moose walked in like he owned the place, rolled about six times, then headed into Milo's shelter and nibbled some left over breakfast. Milo stood close to me and watched curiously as Moose wandered around. Then Milo walked towards Moose inquisitively. They both turned butts and I made some growling noises at both of them, but Moose was the one to fire. He double barred at Milo who came running for safety from Mom. Moose rolled a few more times, then approached Milo again, not unkindly. He then casually kicked a leg out to Milo. There was never any squealing or really any excited energy from both of them. Moose basically just walked in and said he was the boss and Milo, surprisingly, conceded to him. I was thankful it wasnt the other way around but decided enough was enough and took Moose out. I cant be angry with him, but I wonder how much I might like to turn them out together....I know they were fine the first night and ate together, but I worry if Moose takes dominance too far and puts himself in harms way. In the meantime, only supervised turnout together will be allowed and Moose continues to have his own paddock. For the winter I plan to have them stalled next to each other with joined turnout but we will play it by ear.

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