Monday, July 26, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday 7-26-10

Busy weekend as usual!

I decided my dear Silhouette, gaga mare, had to vacate the backyard after she ate all the peaches off my tree!  This would have been the first year in nine years we were going to get to try them, but that greedy brat wiped them out! I thoroughly enjoy this mare and she's truly a spoiled brat, but she's my favorite and knows it.

The horses in the hoof issue/fat pasture are doing well, even though they do not like the enforced diet.  Woody's feet are no longer inflamed. Lalique and Charm are both doing well.  I did put Dipper in there as she's just to chunky.  Tomorrow butcher-fat Ray will be joining them.  He looks like he's 14 months pregnant with twins, so time to trim down.

Met up with some of my equine friends for lunch - always enjoyable - to talk horses, have good food with friends what better way to spend the day?  Always, always fun, plus a visit to Sonoma County I get to catch up with friends there after lunch and just enjoy one of my favorite places!  Not to mention getting out of the valley heat!

We had a mother/daughter team come out Sunday to look at the Minis, and they ended up taking three home!  Hot Topic, Kiega and Sassi left Sunday late afternoon to their new home with Brandi and Paula (and family!).  Looking forward to hearing how well they do with all of the family's plans which include 4-H and performance showing.  Very excited for them!

ET (Kiega's dam) and Libbe (I steal babies and think Kiega is mine) were both upset about an hour after he left.  Haltering him and taking out of the pasture was okay, but it finally dawned on them he was actually gone.  Fortunately it hasn't continued today.  I don't like to generally wean foals that way, but he was a very precocious five month old that was trying to mount mares!  And he has Sassi for company through his transition there.

I think next year we're breeding Una to Ringo definitely.  Everyone that comes out wants to buy their daughter, so either I hide her on the other end of the property or see if they can produce copies.  She is gorgeous though and the best personality too.  So she should have a full sibling in 2012 that will definitely be for sale!

The boys pastures is looking positively sparse with Miramax off for the next month or so.  Demon and Little should be both off in the next month and then it will feel empty with just Ringo, Topper, Zydeco and McLuvin left.

I did get a big package of paperwork from AMHA today - yeah!  Not all of it, but a big chunk of registration and DNA testing kits.

This week is tackle the other outstanding paperwork, get all the DNA kits off to UCD, and a list of any outstanding photos that need to be taken actually taken!

Heads up for aspiring drivers or those that want a fun place to spend driving in the Aptos/Santa Cruz area -

Good friend Julie Mabie is hosting at her place.

Whisper Equestrian Center Driving Clinic followed by a day of driving at Fort Ord. Aug 21 is the clinic. Sign up now. :)  Her website - Whisper Equestrian Center  If you want to learn or tune up driving try to make time for this!


1. Husbands are less expensive to shoe than horses, BUT THEY LIKE TO PICK THEIR OWN OUT OF FASHION STYLES

2. Feeding a husband doesn't require anything that even mildly compares with the hassle of putting up hay, BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO BUY THE FOOD AND COOK IT AND SERVE IT NICELY ON A PLATE.

3. A lame husband can still work, BUT YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO HIM WHINE

4. A husband with a bellyache doesn't have to be walked, BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO LISTEN TO HIM WHINE LOUDER and; YOUR COOKING IS TO BLAME

5. Husbands don't try to scratch their heads on your back, BUT THEY WANT YOU TO SCRATCH THEIR BACK

6. They are better able to understand puns HOW?

7. If they are playing hard to catch, you **may** be able to run them down on foot , BUT WHY BOTHER ?


9. They usually pay their own bills, HAHA

10. They apologize when they step on your toes, WHY DID YOU HAVE YOUR TOE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, ISN'T AN APOLOGY

11. No saddle fitting problems, WON'T GO THERE!

12. They seldom refuse to get into the vehicle, UNLESS YOU RE DRIVING

13. They don't panic - running and yelling all through the house when you leave them alone (unless you've left the kids with them too!) AND IF YOU LEAVE EDIBLE FOOD

14. For a nominal fee, you can hire someone else to clip them 'YOU CAN HIRE' BEING THE OPERATABLE WORD

15. They don't like the lady next door just as well as you, just because she fed him for 3 days straight UNGRATEFUL, SAY'S IT ALL!

1. If they don't work out you can sell them
2. They don't come complete with in-laws
3. You don't have to worry about your children looking like them
4. You never have to iron their saddle pads
5. If you get too fat for one, you can shop for a bigger one
6. They smell good when they sweat
7. You can repair their "clothes" with duct tape
8. It's possible to keep them from "jumping the fence"
9. You can force them to stay in good physical condition with a whip if necessary
10. They don't want their turn at the computer
11. They may turn white with age, but never go bald
12. They have never heard of PMS
13. They learn to accept restraint
14. They don't care what you look like as long as you have a carrot or an apple

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Farrier Fun

The morning started out with the load noise of the workers spraying the orchard with clouds of I-don't-know-what, so I called Tomas to give him the heads up.  He didn't mind when he arrived so off to wrangle the days victims.  Yes, my horses (almost all) view farrier visits as some sort of torture I've devised to ruin their day.

Today is the babies first (or second or third) trims to we know it will be fun.  Thankfully Tomas has the patience of a saint and loves the babies.  Kiega is the first baby, although at five months old he's pretty substantial compared to month old Fifa.  Tomas trims a few mares while we're locating the appropriate foal sized halters (halter's disappear here faster than socks in a dryer), change out lead ropes - we're in favor of the thick soft cotton ones.  Foal size look good but, OMG rope burn and I don't have child-size hands.

Kiega is sure we're torturing him as we tie him next to his dam, while Bruiser and Fifa inspect the implement of torture (i.e. halter).  Then it's his turn.  Kiega is very sweet, personable and actually likes people - well not today.   He was out to prove the rodeo was missing a star!  Tomas picks up hoof one and he goes straight into Tomas and knocks him on his ass.  This is a first!  In all the years he's been here (two times a month for five plus years), and Tomas was caught off guard by the dingleberry.  Thank goodness he laughed about it.  Kiega then impressed us through his whole trim with his above the air moves, ability to rear and overall I'm going to be a real @#$%-head today!  He got me a couple times and almost landed on my broken toe, fortunately hitting the others.  His reward for such a great display of a temper-tantrum.  Dewormer and being tied up, messed with continually, while we did ALL the rest of the horses.

Fortunately the rest of the gang were in decent moods even with the noise (thank God it wasn't hot today!), and the mares were all done calmly and quietly.  Rose and Bruiser both did great for their second trims, very little antics and Rose (being female we're sure she's smarter!) did the best walking on the lead rope. Fifa surprisingly for his first time on a halter and getting trimmed was really good.  He's so funny, he'd plant his feet and close his eyes straining against the lead, but wouldn't notice when it was completely slack on the ground, as his concentration was so hard.  I'd talk to him, and it was an "Oh!  I'm suppose to be hating this moment."  He really is a nice colt, and it looks like the blue eyes are going to stay blue.

The worst news of the day, Woody is trying to founder again.  We don't know how or why he keeps cycling about every 3-5 months but he this is the third time.  Tomas is wondering if he's having early stages of Cushings (Woody is eleven), as we've really been keeping his weight down, he's on crappy pasture, gets plenty of exercise and only gets alfalfa for breakfast, but something isn't working right with him.

I'm of the opinion its bad genetics as Woody is our only horse that has such bad feet.  He grows so much toe, no heel and even trimmed you look and want to do something to them.  His sire's side though, had a few iffy foals (the D word), and we purchased Woody as a pet and he was gelded at nine months, which I've never regretted.

So, he's locked up with Charm and Lalique for the next....?  At least he has company, this time around.

On a good note, my favorite gaga mare - Silhouette - is in the backyard.  I'd have her in the house if I could, but at least she's in the backyard.  She's such a good horse, and is the last one I'd ever let go.  She has the most interesting personality, as I'm not sure she thinks she's a horse.  I've never actually seen her groom another horse, she tolerates her foals, but never misses them, and doesn't ever scream or nicker to be back in the herd.  She's perfectly content to hang out by herself, although she does have friends here, she's not particularly attached to any of them.

So, why is it so exhausting on farrier day when the farrier is doing on the work?  LOL!  I've yet to figure that out, but Tomas' visits wipe us out and it's all of 2-3 hours.  Next visit is in August, more mares and likely Woody to be checked again.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Misc Monday

It's hot.  Summer has arrived finally, don't get me wrong I've thoroughly enjoyed our coolish June, and would gladly have a summer in the mid-70's, but it's not to be in Northern CA.  We're hovering in the 90-100 range this week which is normal, but - dry and hot - bleah. Fortunately all the horses are doing well - fat and shiny.  

The alfalfa we had delivered last week, is absolutely gorgeous - heavy, leafy, green and, you know the smell of really really good hay?  Yeah that's it!  So we're having zero waste and the horses are being pigs.  I wish I had the money and storage to safely keep a years worth - no more stemmy stuff midwinter.  It would be lovely.  Or maybe only a herd of horses that consumed 100 bales a hay a year (the max I can safely store)!  What a thought!

Sales have been a bit slow, but I haven't been doing much to change that.  Life's been busy, and when you make your priority list, some things have to drop down on that list!  It would help if I'd put ads out, but again that ol' time thing...

Lalique and Charm update
I should mention - Lalique and Charm are both doing well.  Continuing to drop weight (I wish someone could do that with me), and after the last trim, Charm is actually taking steps, not a full stride, but she's no longer on full hobble.  Lalique is still angry I'm not letting her out with the balance of the mares, but until Tomas green-lights her that she's truly past any danger (founder, etc.) she's being restricted.  So screaming at her old buddies when they go out on the hills and visit through the fence, is her options.

For those that missed the Lalique and Charm adventure.  They are two mares that I were released back to me by their owner.  Life gets in the way at times, and both had gorged into obesity on too much feed, and a lack of a good farrier had foundered with severely overgrown hooves.

I called them the hobblers the first month they were here as they couldn't really take a stride.  Tomas (my wonderful farrier), thought likely a year to rehab them, and then they'd have to be monitored on feed in take and hoof trims.  

Lalique, 14,  is doing really well, down to one really troublesome hoof, but she can bear weight on it and walk - looking forward to hopefully seeing her run one day.  Charm, coming 5-6, has issues with all four hooves, so her progress is slow, but she can walk now versus the shuffle she had when she first arrived.  They both do think they're in hell though on a straight grass diet (okay I cheat and they get a few handfuls, only handfuls!) of alfalfa sprinkled around their pen.  

Upcoming Posts
I have started a couple of posts on more of our older herd.  I'm actually enjoying going through old photos (which I have a ton of), and pulling out information on the gang.  Coming up - Lady, Tina, Maria and Houdini, then we'll start working on the younger (mid-teens) horses. 

Another post I'm working on, questions I ask first time buyers.  Yes, I tend to quiz people when they come out!  It gets me a feel for them, and the potential home they'll provide.  Plus I'd one day love to have a really good FAQ of the most often asked things.

Posionous Plants

Something we all need to be aware of - what will kill your horse!  

We tend to have an abundance in the summer of yellow star thistle (grown locally for cattle feed and the wonderful honey), which my horse's ignore except for the yellow flower.  

I hate it more for the vicious thistle's that go through everything and the tenacious ability for it to survive almost everything to eradicate it!  It sets seed after its out of the ground - argh on it!

In all the research I've done over 11 years, I've yet to get any conclusive information on how much and for how long a horse needs to eat star thistle - the whole plant? stems? flowers?  It's always good to know, although my horses do not believe in the 'list'.  We just try to keep the majority of the super-toxic ones out and away from them.

Poisonous plants link at Cornell University -

A Horses View of the World

  • Arena - A place where humans can take the fun out of forward motion.
  • Bit - A means by which a rider's every motion is transmitted to the sensitive tissues of the mouth.
  • Bucking - A counter irritant
  • Cross Ties - A gymnastic apparatus
  • Dressage - A process by which some riders can eventually be taught to respect the bit.
  • Farrier - A disposable surrogate owner, useful for acting out aggression without compromising  food supply!
  • Fence - A barrier that protects good grazing
  • Grain - The sole virtue of domestication!
  • Hitching Rail - A means by which to test one's strength
  • Horse Trailer - A mobile cave or bear den.
  • Hot Walker - The lesser of two evils
  • Jump - An opportunity for self expression
  • Latch - A type of puzzle
  • Lunging - A procedure for keeping a prospective rider at bay
  • Owner - A human assigned responsibilities for one's feeding, care and expenses
  • Ride - Owner overstepping its bounds
  • Trainer - Owner with mob connections
  • Veterinarian - Flightless albino vulture

Monday, July 12, 2010

West Coast Buena Callita


We first saw Callita in 1999 when purchasing our first Minis.  She was and is truly eye-catching with her gorgeous color, presence and attitude.  Daughter of National Champion, Kay’s Calico out of Hobby Horse Patches, Callita has the wonderful movement her sire was known too.

As Callita wasn’t for sale at that time, we ended up purchasing her daughter (Mardi Gras) and son Val (Spiriwalker) a year later.  While both have since gone on to other homes, we still have down-line through Mardi Gras (Calypso>Jamaica>Vanna) in our breeding program as well as Val’s full brother Eagle (Una>Blessings).  The unfortunate side affect, is we’ve lost Callita’s knockout color, but have had three generations of under 28” in Calypso’s line, while Una is keeping us in the B size with her daughter Blessings.  We also have her daughter Baybee (my Callita replacement), sired by Grosshills Littleman’s Anticipation, which we look forward to continuing Callita’s line yet again.


Her son Frenchie (Wesco Farms Frangelico Flashback, sired by Little Kings Russian Revelation) has sired some of our nicest foals and is now in Oregon as a breeding stallion and learning to drive.

We do miss Frenchie, but not his jumping abilities!!  Although we’re very happy with his contribution this year, joining his spectacular foal crop from last year, Fifa (Wesco Farms World Cup Special FF), out of his half sister Bayee.  Proving good lines do cross well!  We’re expecting a couple more ‘surprise’ foals from Frenchie this summer as well.

All her down-lines have Callita’s great conformation, presence, performance ability and abilities.

Callita lived here for two years, as the lead mare of our substantial broodmare band, before we were able to purchase her in 2004.  Not aggressive or mean-spirited, she’s been a good leader with her best friend, Libbe until she was retired in 2008.  We’ve enjoyed Callita and she’s on the very short list of horses that stay no matter what.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Las Doradas Etoile de Mar

Las Doradas Etoile de Mar, (French for the star or March), affectionately known here as ET,was our first Miniature Horse along with her daughter Silhouette and nephew Woody that we purchase in 1999.

ET's been a wonderful mare to learn about Minis with as she's very intelligent, a bit hard headed in what is right (in her opinion), tolerant of my noobish ways over the years and a great teacher.

She's a fantastic broodmare - gets pregnant usually in one cover, foals out without assistance and is a fantastic mother - all the desired attributes.  Along with a sound mind, robust health, smart, well conformed, great feet - things I consider very important in a breeding program.

We bred ET successfully for six years and in 2005 decided to retire her.  Not for any glaring fault or bad genetics (she is a bit older style for my current very leggy tastes, but not a walking dumpling in anyway!), but we never sold her foals, so had to stop collecting them!

Silhouette, Una, Ray, Bug (doa), Ivan, Rohan and Cookie were her contributions up to that point.  She tends to breed somewhat to the stallion as her foals are all over the board on looks (and heights).  She is black and gifted us with three black daughters, one silver daughter and a variety pack of silver based sons (until blue roan Keiga).

We recently sold Rohan to a wonderful lady in Colorado where he seems to be doing well.  My daughter's two Ivan and Cookie are also for sale as she's lost interest in Minis.  As circumstances dictate I reduce the herd, I've regretfully agreed with her. (My ET's babies Sissy, Una and Ray are not for sale - lol - although I think Kiega needs to go before I get attached!).

Friday, July 02, 2010

Random photos

Took the camera out while feeding and snapped a few photos.  Nothing special, and not very good.  I don't think all the photography lessons in the world could make me into a photographer!

This is what greets us at the fence in the morning, our patient herd of horses.  They're very 'intune' when we'll actually feed them as the time varies depending on the time of year. Winter we wait until it's not freezing cold so usually 10-11 a.m., summer we feed before the head, so usually 6-9 a.m.  They monitor the movement in the house and around the yard from the hills which overlook our house.

A close up of the munchkin squad - April, Vanna, and Jamaica (Sarah, April's dam is behind her) and Woody's big ol' 37.50" roany-appy butt is on the left.  Jamaica, her daughter Vanna and niece April are all under 28" (close to 27" on Vanna and April).

What I DON'T want to see when I go out to feed.  Butcher-fat Ray!  He's going in the fat pasture for awhile before he ends up foundering.  Ray is very old style Mini as was his sire (but he's one of our gaga pets, and we love him). Right now he's a good 50-75lbs overweight which doesn't help that he always has a huge girth and the fact he's right under 30".

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Had Tomas out yesterday to trim. As we only had ten to do, it went fairly quickly (less than three hours!)

The two guests here, Lalique and Charm are doing much better.  They've dropped a bit more weight and they're both able to finally get around without incredible pain.  Charm can actually take real steps versus hobbling everywhere.  She still has a long road to recovery and soundness but seeing her able to walk is wonderful.  Lalique thinks she's fine and desperately wants out with the rest of the herd.  She's looking better, and can stand and bear weight correctly on her front legs.  She can actually walk fairly well, but her one front hoof, well we're not risking until Tomas says she's as close to 100% as he can get her.

I'm very pleased to see both of them getting the sparkle back in their eyes and showing an interest in everything going on here. They both should full recover over the next year.  I'm going to be so happy to see them able to run and play again one day.

I forgot to take photos of them, but I want to show the wonders correct trimming can do for a horse.  I'll post next week the before and after.

 The boys were also in spectacularly good moods so it went very smoothly with them.  They're all really good anyway, but even Hot Topic who hate's being caught actually stood for me to put his halter on.