A cute quick story for today. You see, Kathleen went on a quick trip, and I agreed to feed her old lady horse, Granny (formerly known as Amaretto). Granny’s teeth don’t work well anymore, so she can’t grind up grass enough to swallow it. Thus, she needs her high-calorie food twice a day!
Granny is currently out in the yard so she can suck some grass and spit it out (it’s called quidding). It’s also because she HATES being confined to her pen and paces around nervously.
She gets darned excited when she sees a food tub, though. Yesterday, she ran up to me and I couldn’t get to her pen before she started chowing down. This morning, she followed me nicely into her pen. Since then, every time I go out, she trots up for pets, then follows me wherever I go, at a very polite distance, like a well-trained horse.
She was right with me every step when I was setting up Apache’s schooling patterns, which made me laugh and laugh. I did put her in my pen while I was riding.
But the best thing was when I went to go back into the house. I figured she’d drop off and start grazing before I got there. But no, I heard her clip-clopping on the driveway. When I got to the front door this is what I saw.
No, she could not, because part of her old lady issues includes peeing a lot, all the time. But you know what? It’s nice having her around. She can’t kick and bite the other horses this way, but she gets lots of human love on her skinny frame. We will take care of her as long as possible, too. Kathleen has her closely monitored by veterinarians.
Just kidding! Don’t send us fixer-upper horses! But we DO happen to have two more over here at the Hermits’ Rest, because at least two of us are very soft hearted or see a lot of potential, or something.
This afternoon we certainly tested the carrying capacity of the livestock trailer (well, it’s probably had more cattle in it). First, I went along with Kathleen to get Dusty and Remi looked at by Dr. Kilgore in Rosebud. As predicted, he was popular with all the humans. We waited a long time, but it was fine. I took pictures of plants and butterflies, including one of those bird poop moths. I’ll spare you the photos of the poison ivy, but I did want to show that even Johnson grass can take a good photo. And, there were cute dogs to enjoy.
The horses got wormed and inspected. They were declared fine, other than their feet, which will get dealt with tomorrow. Then, Kathleen said she wanted to go look at these two mares she saw in horse ads. Yes, she was still looking at horse ads. I think she figures Remington is not going to be a great riding horse, and she feels that Dusty (who has already gained weight, as you can see below) is not a beginner horse.
So off we went. The road looked very familiar. Yes, it was in those outskirts of Milano where we got all the pipe and junk a few weeks ago! I’m sure the horses loved that road, poor guys. We pulled in to a property that was just beautiful, and so far off the beaten path…it made me sing “Almost Heaven, East Milano…”
The guy did, indeed have two mares. They were very sad looking mares at first glance. I’m going to put in their “before” photos here, so I’ll have a reference as they get better.
We named them Mabel and Amaretto. But before that, the horse trader guy rode both of them for us. First was Mabel. When she is being ridden, you wouldn’t know this is the same horse. It’s like poetry. Her trot is so smooth the guy didn’t bounce, and her canter was elegant. I’m thinking to myself, geez, this is a gaited horse! Then they stuck me up on her (easier said than done; she is at least 16 hands, so I had to use the trailer as a mounting block). I rode her and it felt like she had air-glide suspension. I was not interested in a giant, brown (okay dark bay) horse with a droopy lip before, but suddenly I was. I hid my joy, of course.
Then he saddled up the other horse, which could not be more different. But, she is only 14 hands, if that, and I can mount her from the ground. Even Kathleen could! Kathleen enjoyed riding her, and wanted me to try. Amaretto reins more fluidly, but rides like Apache, i.e., a normal Quarter Horse. I will enjoy my new saddle on her. She is actually a beautiful horse, but she’s so skinny it’s hard to tell. Apparently the horse trader had leased her out, and she was returned in this poor condition (OMG her feet look so sad).
So, after the requisite haggling, they bought them. And during the chit-chat portion of the discussion, we also were referred to a cool old guy who had some saddles. BUT WAIT. You remember the guy who sold Drew got rid of him because he wanted some beautiful stud horse? Guess where he got him! Yep. We should have just met in Milano and traded. I am glad we have Drew, though.
So, off we went with four horses and two saddles. They let them out with Fiona and the other three horses, then all of us just watched everyone running around and getting to know each other. It was a lot of fun.
When we came in, finally, I got to open my new saddle. It has many pretty details.
Around noon today, Kathleen and I went out to play with all our new toys. I cleaned the saddle they got yesterday. It turned out really nice!
Then I got Apache out to see if he would do okay in my new tack. I got the saddle all adjusted and off we went. He did just fine!
Kathleen put on her “new” saddle and yay, the stirrups were short enough for her! It’s technically a kid saddle. Who cares? Amaretto did fine, too. She’s a good horse.
I got too hot (not my best time of day), so was able to blog a bit. I’m sitting with dear Amaretto, who is completely un phased by welding in her vicinity.
Once I cool off, it’s time to mess with little Drew. By then we may have all the gates up! Enjoy some bonus horse photos!