Archive for April, 2009

Rails are for falling off of

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

What a Mane Event!!  Thank Goodness for Tricia, our friend and farrier, who stayed with us this weekend; we wouldn’t have managed without her.  Counting the display in the barn, we had three booths, were in the clinic, had Caspian Horse and Anivac demos, and were sponsoring a fund raiser horse wash in the barn with the students from Olds College.  I apologize if anyone came by the Marsh Haven booth an found it empty, as that was where the short shift fell.

In trying to economize, we stayed in the trailer, setting up a bedroom type arrangement for Tricia in the box stall of the trailer, with us in the goose.  Great plan, but at -11 and catalytic heater not working; it was one cold weekend.  Wasn’t bad once you were in bed and had you clothes for tomorrow in with you; but going to bed and getting up was hard.

On Friday, we had a time conflict with the Caspian demo and the clinic, so we brought 2 horses.  The Caspian demo followed the Anivac demo.  This is where we came off the rails big time.  We took Tamara along with us to solve the time conflict.  But Tamara and Texas live together, by the time they trailered down and shared a box stall, they were bound at the hip.

Then it dawned on us, that while Tricia has been driving for me, she had never harnessed the pony to the vehicle.  I thought I had enough time to get to the barn, harness the pony and take a short drive to familiarize her with her surroundings.  By the time we did that, we realized it was a toss up whether we should unhook and then get her ready again, or just keep her out. 

We made the wrong decision; she threw a temper tantrum about being separated from Tamara.  Tricia, having been in a rush to get to Red Deer and then nerved up about clinic, didn’t feel confident enough to settle Texas.  So I got to drive the pony for 40 minutes.  Oh, what a brat; she settled enough for Tricia to take over.  But the clinician Hardy Zantke commented she needed to go back to long lines to learn to stand.  Absolutely, a driving horse must stand, but at that point we were thrilled to have her on 3 legs, instead of two.

 But Glen got his demo done, I got Tamara to the demo area for Brent Seufert to do the presentation and all went well.  But by 3 o’clock I was seriously thinking it was Miller time rather than 6 more hours in the trade booths. 

We did have a great show.  Thank you to all the people who visited us at either booth.  Yesterday was a bit of a recovery, as we didn’t get home until after midnight.  Today, we need to get ready to go to the Maritimes for Greg’s graduation.  He is graduating 2nd in class from his last Officer Training Course.  He has consistently been within the top 4 candidates throughout his 1 1/2 years of training.  He has been posted to the First Battalion of the PPCLI in Edmonton, his first choice.  The only shadow on the horizon is the First Battalion is being deployed to Afghanistan in September, but he doesn’t think he’ll be assigned; I’ll feel better when that’s a for sure.  But it would likely be an inside the wire posting; not like last time when he was on the convoys.

While we will proudly watch the ceremonies, he has been given the honor of escorting his new commanding officer for the weekend, as there is another official parade being held concurrently.  Then a weekend in Halifax and home to catch up and get ready for the Double Dollar Barrel Race Finals in Grande Prairie.

We’re likley going to have a foal next week, so we promise to be better at taking pictures for the “Baby Pics” page.

Visit from Dr. Randy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Busy day today.  Farrier in the morning – vet in the afternoon.  Well the question is answered; Tamara is not in foal.  She hasn’t been in season yet, but tenderness on one side and her heavy shedding suggest she’ll be soon be in her transitional cycle out of diestrus.  So I guess we’ll be breeding 3 this year,  Tamara to Allegra Steck’s “Blaze”, Emma to last year’s stallion auction breeding to P.S. I Love You and Taylor to Illusion. 

 We won’t be using Goldmine this year, as we want more handling on him, although we will present him to North American Sport Pony for licensing.  However, both stallions will undergo phantom training. 

 We knew Goldmine had wolf teeth and consequently we had not attempted to put a bit in his mouth.  He has been a bit of a pill lately, but oh my what a mess in his mouth.  He has been losing weight, but we’ve been so busy it didn’t click.  He also has a pretty good ulcer on his eye.  I knew he had one blocked tear duct, but it was also full of guck.  So I guess he had some cause to be a little “off”.   

We had Izzie’s Caslick stitches removed.  She is due mid May and is bagging up nicely.  Amy, not due until 10 days later is getting ready faster and has begun softening around her tailhead.  Wynona is also joining the foal watch list, so foaling is almost here.

So with vaccinations and dewormer, I just have to figure out how to pay my vet bill.  We’re gearing up to have a great Mane Event. 

Texas Star!!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Tricia Willsher was here this morning to trim some horses and to play.  We harnessed Texas up.  Tricia line drove her while I hauled on the traces.  We hooked up the calf sled.  No worries; so we kept going.  I think you can only do this with a Caspian.  We had her hooked right up.  One down and a few more to go before she is ready to do the Hardy Zantke Clinic “Training the Driving Horse” at the Mane Event.imgp1244.JPGimgp1245.JPG imgp1247.JPGimgp1248.JPGOk, so she wasn’t perfect.  But she was pretty darn good.  We might try a light overcheck next time.

Is she? Or, isn’t she?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

High mud season has arrived and my horses need deworming, so you need to look past that.  We bred Tamara mid July last summer to Allegra Steck’s (Central Asian Equines) fabulous stallion, Blaze.  It was a disaster from the word “go”.  At the stallion station, the available extender they usually shipped Blaze with was suspect, so they used a different extender that he has shipped with before.  The package arrived on time, but I think it was opened at the border, as the ice pack was compromised.  It was an excrutiatingly hot day, so I kept cold packs around the box in an insulated bag.  My vet was out of town, so I used a different vet.  Tamara wasn’t inseminated until 7:00p.m.  The vet only put one straw in despite my suggestion (I know enough now to insist) to put both in, as I thought she would ovulate overnight.    She did.  The bad news was the vet informed me that the sperm had less than 10% motility; but I don’t know where she kept it until she examined it some undetermined time later.  Tamara was ultrasounded open at 30 days.  I know it is highly unlikely she is in foal.  But look at her!!  That looks like a mare in foal to me.  She and Texas are in the middle paddock between 2 stallions.  Texas has started cycling,  but I haven’t seen anything from Tamara yet.  She wouldn’t be due until mid June if she is pregnant.  Plus,  they were removed from the round bale in early January.  Texas has lost weight, as has Tamara, but not nearly as much.  They get two flakes a day and 2 pounds of complete feed per day.It would be so much easier if she was in foal.  No more vet fees to get her that way plus no added expense with  the import permit to get transported semen from the States. Does anyone have experience with this.  Is it possible she is pregnant?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Vet is coming in a couple of weeks to take Izzie’s Caslick’s out, so that should solve the mystery..imgp1249.JPGimgp1251.JPGimgp1253.JPGimgp1254.JPG 

Rub a Dub Dub

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

We are pleased to announce that as of last weekend we have teamed up with Olds College to provide a horse wash in the barn at the Mane Event.  Proceeds will be going 100% to support the Olds Intercollegiate Equestrian Team in their bid to compete against other college teams at the finals this summer in Verona, Italy.  The price of a horse wash will be $15.  This is a great deal as Red Deer does not have their wash racks running yet for the Mane Event.  So if you are a clinic or demo participant this is a chance to show your horse to its best advantage while supporting a very worthwhile cause. 

We still need 1 demo horse to fill our scheduled demo times at the Mane Event.  Yes, Marianne, I am keeping a spot for you and your little Welsh mare.  I could use Texas, but she will be pretty clean by then and the results would not be as spectacular.  So if you are participating in the Mane Event and would allow us to use your horse as demo horse in the Demo area in the main exhibit hall, please contact us.

 We are also proud to announce that we raised $150 for the Equine Foundation of Canada through our charity horse washes held at schooling shows over the past winter.