' throughout these seasons ' a journal of the long trek towards unity
&&: a tiny chestnut filly was born one day, just as thousands of others had before her. It was quite a normal occurance on a ranch of many horses, but something made this little horse different from those before her. The only warning of this was a gleaming, fiery brightness in the little animal's deep brown eyes- and only one girl noticed the spark that would change her life forever.
I've found the long lost teddy bear in Sour, atlast. <3 while most days I'm lucky to her stand still for me to catch her, today I came in and she walked right up to me and nudged my leg! I think we're finally having a breakthrough, although we have minor setbacks regularely. (such as being eagerly patted by people whom she doesn't know, finding new things to be afraid of, etc) We lunged a bit, went for a walk- showed off in front of the boys (they approved xD) and sucessfully got a flymask on for the first time. She looked wonderful, and she knew it =] I'm going to miss her over christmas break!
I went to see my pretty girl today, though I must admit that I wasn't at all ready! It was a spontaneous visit, but I'm glad I made it =] I had to borrow a halter and sweet talk her instead of give her carrots, but still we walked the trails with her half sister Rain and my friend Amanda (she only spooked twice at some cobwebs and then a low branch), lunged just a bit, then walked some obstacles. She couldnt figure out why she wasn't allowed to walk over the bridge sideways, but after a bit she got it...I think .
I decided to have he trot our little one-stride blocks today too (the wooded rails they have to walk/trot through for five strides without touching a rail...basically poles.) but I don't think that was a good idea! After the first stride she decided that she should jump it instead of go through it, and took a flying leap. Luckily she landed alright but it sure did spook her to come falling down on a bunch of yellow rails! Took me a while to get her to go through that thing again, poor baby.
Afterwards we went up to the main building to get her measured! She's 34 inches long from shoulder to the end of her hip, and 46 inches around the heartgirth- meaning she's about 227 pounds. Wow! (and YAY! She allowed me to put something around her girth without getting upset! Amazing!) I can also tell when I look at her that her baby is getting big =] she's carrying it strangely, but I can definitely see it. Praying that the baby will be ok, since it has a LOT of odds against it. :/ They're telling me that there is a large chance that it will have some sort of conformation issue, or even be a dwarf. I'm just hoping she can deliver it on her own though, as the main goal. I doubt she'd let anyone help her if there was trouble. Pictures are of her lunging with Amanda! (I'm so proud of my baby girl =])
And just for kicks, a picture of Amanda's boy- Sparky. I think Sour has a crush on him!
Catching Sour has gone from circling around her pen until she finally gives in (I refuse to corner her) to her greeting me at the gate, ears pricked and eyes bright. We always start out the same way, a piece of vegitable or fruit, a bit of rope desensatizing, haltering, a bit of work on the lunge line, snack break, then lead line work. I've noticed lately that she's gotten a bit touchy with lead lining however, so I think I'm going to taste a step back from the lunging for a few weeks and concentrate on lead line manners. The goal will be backing up, moving left and right, and walking forewards at a lively walk without breaking into a trot without me having to use any pressure. It will take a bit I think, and a lot of food- but we'll get there =]
On a lower note, my suspicions were correct. Sour is indeed pregnate, which alarms me more than excites me due to her very young age. She just finished growing and her bones are still young. She's of turned three by the time her foal comes (Its due in May), but with it growing inside of her now...well... I sure hope she and the foal make it. I'm going to begin working with her on the right side more, and from the back end- just in case she does have complications though in hopes of preparing her for the vets. Until then, well, we'll just have to wait, pray, and hope that she'll let me do what needs to be done.
Every horse and human team has their good and bad days, but it seems like Sour and I have had nothing but bad days lately :/ instead of getting better as her due date approaches, her temperment getting worse. Last week she kicked at me when I walked up to her- and grazed my stomache. Luckily it didn't hurt, but it scared me. This week I came back out ready to start over. She let me bring her our easily enough but as soon as she came out she began to spook at EVERYTHING. She would crowhop when she touched mud, saw a shadow, or got near water- and when I asked her to lunge she backed up and kicked at me. I whapped her with the rope once to say 'no' but as soon as we started again, she got even closer and kicked. I gave up and brought her up front to brush her down then put her back, and she was a MONSTER. She not only tried to kick at me again, but also at a little girl and her pony. She allowed me no personal unless I demanded it, freaked out at every little thing, and was downright terrible. I don't know what to do. :/
I'm beginning to wonder if there is something wrong. Sour is such an angel when I first get her out, greeting me- letting me catch her without any fuss at all, and coming out of her stall nicely. Once we head up front though, she turns into a maniac. Its like her depth preception has gone to zero. She spooks at shadows, water, and mud. She seems to think they're chasms that I'm attempting to throw her into forever. Especially with shadows. She'll reel backwards- eyes rolling and ears pinned, bucking and rearing until she gets away from what is scaring her. After a lot of coaxing I got her to face her fears and cross the shadow- but I don't understand what scares her so much about them now. She used to be perfectly calm as she walked along- not even spooking when we went past blowers or cars. Now, she's afraid of everything. And worse, she's become agressive when she's spooked. Today I was trying to get a picture of her with me for my avatar- and she was absolutely fine until a guy walked past her. Just as he did, she jerked back and bit me in the face! I even have proof of it, because my camera took the picture mid-bite. She didn't get me, but her nose slammed my cheekbone and I felt her teeth graze my face. Ofcourse,I made sure she knew that was NOT acceptable. I slapped her muzzle then made her back up fifteen steps with me going after her- then had her trot circles until she calmed down. This sort of thing is going to get her in huge trouble someday. Its weird though...because if she's over by her stall, she's the sweetest thing in the world. She lets me touch every inch of her body now, and lean against her, wash her, pick up front feet, and tie her with no problem. Its just up front that we have problems. Its strange :/
SEE?! SHE"S BITING ME. That's my face on the right o.o
Sour was actually really good today =] no bucking or rearing for no reason except for when a german sheperd got too close, which I can understand. She's terrified of dogs. We worked on basic ground manners, walking outside of my personal bubble, right and lefthand turns on cue, picking up her feet, rubbing her ears, tying, and grooming. She did very well! Was a bit annoyed by the feet picking, but took it pretty well. I had a major scare though, near the end, when two people came and offered to buy Sour for their backyard breeding program x.x the owners almost said yes, and it scared the heck out of me. She's just beginning to get better. She doesnt deserve to live her whole life pregnate to ugly studs, and having badly formed babies. I'm just glad I was able to talk the owners of it is...this time. :/ as she gets better mannered, more people notice her. I'm afraid.
haha, what a face! I take it that she doesn't like Robin.
Sweety girl =]
Silly girl trying to get her face away from Robin xD
Sour was unbelievable today. We got SO much accomplished. To start the day, she actually allowed a friend of mine (and complete stranger to her) to come catch her today in the three acre pasture! I am SO proud of her. No carrots, no running, nothing. She walked away a few steps, but then stood to be caught. After that, we had a shodding appointment for her (those are always TERRIBLE and end up with either her or the farrier being hurt). I was expecting the worst because all of the horses seem to have spring fever today, and she's bad enough on a normal day. But she was AMAZING! She stood like a pro and let the farrier AND his assistant (BOTH MALES!!!) trim all four of her feet, and even let a little girl come up and pet her. She didnt try to kick or nip even once! Afterwards I rewarded her with grazing time which she gets only rarely, then did some light lunging at a walk and trot just to make sure her feet weren't sore. No bucking, crowhopping our anything =] she even let me feel her udder and sides for her foal! Definitely a great day, I'm so proud of my beautiful girl <3
yet another very good two weeks with Sour =] didn't have any time to update the past two weeks, but they have been wonderful! Not only has she won her first showmanship class (she was absolutely wonderful. No silly stuff or anything at all!) but she has let me give her a bubble bath for the very first time, clip her body, and gone on a trail walk with two yearlings as both the leader and the caboose! Yesterday was just a bit of a 'chill' day. I sat on a bench reading and she dozed and grazed as she wanted by me for two + hours. She slept with her head in my lap for a while, then nibbled on my boots and tried to lick the salt off of my hands. After a while she just laid down and slept by my legs like a big puppy! She is such an amazing little horse. To make it even better, she walked right up to a dog for the very first time without any nipping/pinning of ears/threatening to kick. It was a german shepherd as big as her, too! For months she's bolted and reared at the sight of even little dogs, but she was amazing yesterday. She also allowed a complete stranger (a man!) come right up to her on her RIGHT SIDE (I didnt even notice that it was her right side until I was thinking about it hours later!) and hug her neck/ slap her on the rump (good naturedly ofcourse.) Not a single butt-swerve or attempt to bite! She flicked her ears back a bit, but nothing more. I was so proud of her <3 maybe this whole baby thing WILL work out.
There was one downside though in that I accidently dropped my NEW camera and she stepped on it, twisting the lense. So no more pictures for about a month while I'm having it fixed. :/ oh well.