Friday, January 30, 2009

Something to look forward to...

Saturday is going to be a big day for Olliver. He's going to get to meet the rest of the family. My parents, my brother, his wife and my niece will be coming to meet him for the first time. My brother (Eric) and his family live in Indiana and don't get to Minnesota all that often. Luckily, Saturday is supposed to be pretty decent weather-wise. Traci and I are planning to saddle up Tubby and maybe Winchester to give Emily (my niece) a ride. Hopefully Mikayla will take another ride too. I can't wait for Olliver to meet his grandparents! LaDel is going to be coming by to see him on Saturday too, so it's going to be a big reunion.

Y'know, I called this blog, "Watching Olliver Grow"....last night, I actually noticed how much he's grown in the two months since we brought him home. We haven't measured him, but I'd guess he's grown at least 4 inches (a full hand) since then. He is so GORGEOUS. I love my boy so much!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Online Horse Home

In the age of the internet, everyone seems to have online home, community, or some such place where they spend the majority of their time. They make friends, share advice, gossip, gripes, and on and on. I've found an online home for my horse life.

The members there have really made me feel at home. I've been lurking there for quite awhile, but finally took the time last week to introduce myself. It's been a lot fun reading about their horses and drooling over their pictures. Been learning a lot too.

One of the members over at "HT" has started a blog on her new horse -Dillon. She loves him "almost" as much as I love Olliver. It's a new blog, but take a minute and check it out....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bracing for another deep freeze...

Temps are expected to drop again I'm bracing for another round of sub-zero temps. I think I might run out to the farm for a little time with the boy while the sun shines. I had a good visit with him last night. He almost fell asleep during his brushing....with a big pile of hay in front of him. He was in heaven....getting all of his mommy's attention.

We got an update on Dancer from the trainers...she is doing fantastically! That makes me feel much better. Apparently they are seeing none of the behaviors from her that we were seeing - so I guess she just really hated Olliver. That makes me sad. But life at the farm is so nice, and mellow, and quiet. And we are so excited to get Nick home. Dancer will be happy with her job and the girls at her new home, so this is really for the best.

Next week is the last week of January. Which means February (short month)...then March. Spring IS coming. I can't wait to start riding again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Falling in lurve with a shiny, black horse...

Let me introduce you to Nick. Nick will soon be the new kid at the farm. Traci and I went to take a look at Nick at the recommendation of our farrier, Larry. Traci fell in lurve. I kinda did to. He's gorgeous. Don't let the brown in the picture fool you. That's just summer fade. This boy is jet black. And there is just something about a shiny, black horse that does funny things to a girl.

Please forgive the picture. I lost my mind a little (lurve...shiny, black horse) and forgot that I was supposed to taking pictures...this is only good picture we got of him from his current owners.

Nick is a Morab (75% Morgan and 25% Arabian). He's 9 years old, but wasn't started under saddle until he was 5 years old. He has kind eyes. A very willing personality. A very easy-to-sit trot (I rode him, so I know this). He hadn't been ridden in two years before Saturday, but you'd never have known it.

Traci broke every rule there is when it came to horse shopping. She put money down on him without getting a vet check. And he's underweight. Hasn't had his shots in two years. His feet are in horrible shape. He needs finishing. And she agreed to the asking price without even trying to haggle down, get them to agree to a farrier/vet visit, nada. Yup. Lurve. Shiny, black horse.

Traci did come to her senses later on Sunday, once we got away from Nick's aura. She will be talking to his current owners about vet check, farrier visit, shots, etc. He'll most likely be coming home to the farm on Valentine's Day.

Ahhhhhh....a big, shiny, black horse for Valentine's Day. What more could a girl ask for???

Friday, January 16, 2009

Semi-frozen but still alive

I've survived the start of the 2009 ice age. It was -25 degrees this morning...but a balmy 1 degree right now, with promise of continuing to warm up overnight. I really think that Al Gore should visit Minnesota in January before he makes anymore a sequel to his movie about global warming. UGH!!!!

I went out to the farm to chores for Traci tonight. The little trooper did chores every night this week. Including hauling water one night when the power went out and the automatic waterer froze up. It was SO GOOD to see "the Boys". WOW. The dynamics have really, really changed with Dancer gone. We took her down to Iowa last weekend to get some training before she's sold. There are two teenage girls (sisters) who are really interested in her...and they'll be good to her, so we're happy that she'll be going to a good home, instead of being sold at auction.

I hated to see her sold, but she had gotten all "hormonal mare" and evil, witchy mean. She tried to go through a metal stock gate to get at Olliver two weeks ago. She was beating up on Shadow (her son)....she was causing much unrest in the herd. Traci was ready to let her go. The trainer in Iowa is the person that Traci bought her from and will make sure that she goes to a good home.

In the meantime, there is nothing but peace and love at the farm now. Nothing but geldings...well, technically, Olliver still has his little testiculars, but he's young enough that it doesn't matter a whole lot yet. There is no tying up at feeding time...they respect each others space and food. Ahhhhh.....Shadow told me tonight that while he misses his mom, it's pretty cool with just "the Boys"...they can fart and scratch their butts all they want to...and drool over the cute little mares down the road...and not get smacked around for it. Tubby just rolled his eyes, "Kids..." LOL.

Olliver was happy to see me tonight, and I him. I missed the little bugger something awful this week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Holy Shiz-nit!

I need to vent. Seriously vent. It's so freakin' cold...I mean ridiculouly, inappropriately cold. Cold enough to make me question my sanity as to why I live here. It's supposed to -26 degrees in the morning. That's below zero, folks. And without factoring in the windchill. That's cold enough to freeze your fingers off in about 0.2 seconds. I can't stand this. I haven't seen Olliver since Saturday night. It's just too cold to risk the drive out to the farm - and we've had snow this week too. - so the roads are crappy. I'm satisfied just to make it back and forth to work everyday. UGH! I honestly cried this morning before I left for work. I'll probably have to take a valium just to get myself to leave the house in the morning.

On the bright's supposed to be close to 30 degrees ABOVE zero on Sunday. That's a 50 degree temperature swing to the positive. I can suck it. It will get better. (yeah...just keep telling yourself that...)

I put a pot of decaf on when I got home tonight....already curled up in bed with the cats. They are sooooooo snuggly when it's cold like this. I swear I'm moving south when this economy straightens out. I just can't take these Minnesota winters anymore.

GRRRRRR.....or should I say, BRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! If you don't hear from me in the next week, send out the search party with the big furry dogs with the barrels of brandy :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here I am...

I have been sooooo neglectful of the blog. It's winter. It's cold. I'm basically house-bound. And yet, I'm neglecting the blog. I promise to be better.

Olliver got to meet his new farrier last week. Larry came out on Thursday evening. Olliver got his pedicure. He was a pretty good boy. He did get a little wiggy, but overall he handled his trim quite well. Only clipping - which was great! Larry (who I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) couldn't say enough good things about my boy. Apparently he has perfect feet. Strong, hard, slow growing hooves. Naturally sloughing frogs. He had no bruising on his soles. Phew! Larry thinks he can fix some of the issues with the cow-hocking. Said Olliver's issue is pretty normal for his breeding at his age. Larry also breeds horses, trains (using Clinton Anderson's Natural Horsemanship) and he and his wife give riding lessons. Best part, he just lives a couple miles up the road from Traci. Traci and I are looking forward to spending LOTS of time at his place if winter ever quits.

Once Larry was done giving pedicures to the ponies....he and were chatting. He told me that it was very obvious that Olliver and I have a very strong bond already. He said that Olliver was instantly calm once I got to the farm that evening...and he responded really well to me. Larry totally made my night!

Sickeningly cold temperatures forecast for this week...along with blowing snow. We got about 5 inches of snow so far today. UGH! I'd give anything for a January thaw right about now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work Monday...

Back-to-work-after-1o-days-of-vacation-Monday today. Reminded me of why I hate being a supervisor. Wish people could just follow the rules and not have to push their limits all the time. My daughter is more mature some days. Why oh why can't I win the lottery so I can spend every day playing with Olliver and the other critters?????

So I guess I owe you a report on sheath cleaning. I hope you did your homework and read the article "Meet Mr. Hand." Well, I hate to disappoint you're not going to get one. There take that! Heh. Just kidding. I really don't have much to tell you because I didn't have to do it :) Traci, bless her sweet heart, was the one that stuck her hand and forearm up into Tubby's nether regions...poor woman. He was a good sport about it all and got lots of treats and lovin'. He even got his favorite peppermints for being such a good boy. He's still swollen, but no longer walking like he's got a stick shoved up somewheres...

While Tubby was eating his peppermints, Olliver was just sure that he needed some too. He'd lip one up from my hand....his eyes would bug out, he'd toss his little head around and spit the peppermint out. It was hysterical. He finally decided after trying a couple that I must be trying to poison him, and he took off, rip-snorting around the corral.

We kept Tubby in with Olliver for a couple of days. They get along great! Lots of playing going on...very cute. It will be really interesting to see how the social dynamics in the herd change once Dancer and Shadow are gone...which could be as soon as this coming Saturday.
The best part of vacation was all of the time that I got to spend with Olliver. I took him for long walks down the road and back every day. Traci came along with Tubby on New Years Day. We did lots of groundwork. He is such a smart kid. And he tries so hard to figure out just what I want from him and wants to please me so much. I can tell he thinks about his lessons too, because the next time we work, he just that much better at his exercises. He remembers what he if I have to go a few days between working with him, he doesn't lose what he's learned. He is just an absolute joy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

OMG It's Saturday!

I woke up this morning and realized it's Saturday. Saturday. As in the day before Sunday. And Sunday is the last day of my vacation. Monday means back to work. And the rat race at TWRMC. ARGH!!!!

Vacation has been wonderful. I've sooooooo needed this break. I've had such a great time. Hanging out with Mikayla. Spending time at the farm with Olliver and the rest of the herd. Chilling with Traci. It really has been a busy vacation. No wonder why I'm still TIRED!

One of the highlights of my vacation was an impromptu trip to Winona to see my parents. We went over to Winona last Sunday. I got to watch the Vikings game with my dad. Then....I got to spend a couple hours drinking coffee and catching up with Dorkchic. She was home for the holidays from LA. Oh...who's Dorkchic?? We grew up together in Winona...but lost touch after high school, but thanks to the power of the intranet we've been chatting online on occassion. She has a wonderful blog - which was the inspiration for this here blog. She knits beautiful things with yummy yarn. And she thinks Olliver is cute. So - she's very, very cool. Anyway, this is my official shout-out to Dorkchic and her blog. It was wonderful to see you guurrlll...hope to see you again soon!!!

Oh plans for today....I'm procrastinating getting out of bed this morning. One of the most unsavory things about owning a gelding is having to clean their sheaths. Yes, that sheath. His weenis. YUCK! Traci hasn't cleaned Tubby's in a long, long time. And now his sheath is swollen and ouchy. He's walking funny and we're worried now that he may get an infection. So....I get to help with that today. Yippee. In preparation for my upcoming story on cleaning Tubby's sheath, here is a funny article/instructions about how to clean's a humorous take on an unhumorous task (Meet Mr. Hand). Take a few minutes to read will make you giggle. I will write all about it'cha can't wait :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve... Mikayla hosted a sleep over with her girlfriends - "retro-80's" theme. The girls got a good laugh when I told them that I was their age in the 80s...There was lots of food and revelry and piles of confetti for me to vacuum up yesterday morning (lucky me)...
Hang in there...An update on Olliver is coming soon with some new pictures...