*None of my current horses are for sale. This was written some time back and just decided to add it here.
Selling a horse.
Well, we have all done it. We sometimes have to sell one of our hooves friends. We hem and haw about it, finally deciding one person doesn’t need 6 horses. Also, admitting you are too damn old to take care of 6 horses.
You take the pretty pictures. Write up an ad you think describes the horse in its entirety. You are always wrong. Because no matter what nice things you say about your steadfast lovely horse you have given lessons on and let your 6 yr old grandkid ride, that horse is going to make a liar out of you. It will show impressive backing skills when asked to move forward if you are trying to show the trot. It will try to go anywhere other than where you want it to go. It will not stand still if asked to stand in one spot, whether you are trying to mount, or just trying to come to a stop and be quiet. But if you want to move, it will stand like it has roots.
I listed two lovely mares. They were previously horses I had pulled from pasture and could just take cold to trail rides without a single issue.
Until now. I had someone come look at one of them. Then suddenly this 18 yr old mare Athena acted like she was as green as spring grass. She didn’t buck or rear. But that is all the positive things I can say for her that day. She is also so fat that her saddle wanted to roll. So I am trying to show anything good about this mare, and she is trying to go in any direction other than the one I am pointing her in. She is ignoring every cue I try to give her. She will not collect herself for the trot so looks as if I have never ridden before as I am trying to keep the English saddle between me and her. It is trying to roll.
So the person leaves thinking I am crazy, can’t ride, and know nothing about the horse I am trying to sell, or just plain lying.
After the prospective buyer leaves, the mare suddenly remembers everything. She rides like a dream. Until the next prospective buyer shows up the next morning to look at the 2 mares. Athena has told Jewel how to do this right. They both act like they don’t know a thing. Again I am alone, they both ride like lovely ladies again.
I love saddles. Well, correction, I love vintage saddles. I like just looking at them. I own quite a few. (I could be on the next episode of hoarders. I will be one of those who will part with almost nothing.)
Some people like to use buzz words. But they do so hoping to actually get more money than they have any right to for the saddle they are selling. I have found some terms they use that have different meanings than you might expect.
I have compiled a list.
Vintage = old, possibly a real vintage saddle, but usually just worn out and dirty.
Antique = see above term, with rodent chew marks, a broken tree, moth eaten fleece and no stirrups, possibly no fenders. Also a price tag that makes your butt cheeks clench.
Unique = I actually really like looking at these. It can be hilarious. I was permanently scarred one time though. Found a saddle that the horn was a phallus.
Hand tooled = my cat likes to use it as a scratching post. Or again, no idea who made it, but it has tooling.
Trophy saddle. Marked with someone else’s information, (possibly stolen)they have a well made saddle that actually fits their horse and don’t want this piece of junk with writing all over it.
*( I personally hate trophy saddles. When asked what I want mine stamped with, I beg for nothing. If they insisted on something or already had it marked, I donated every one to the 4-H. Sorry kids)*
Barn find = I think it was a saddle, it is made of leather maybe? Dead cow possibly, maybe some other dried, desiccated, mummified mammal that was locked in the barn and forgotten.
Old, real Cowboy saddle = won’t fit a modern horse, or a modern well fed American ass. Seat is a 13” (no kidding, I have one) needs some reassembly. Well made, plain, but awesome all the same.
Very comfortable = feels good for 10 minute rides, then causes saddle galls on you, the horse, and anyone who trailered in with you.
Custom made = this can either mean,
a) no makers mark, I have no idea when or who made this saddle.
b) made for a deformed obese horse with no shoulder, or my grandpas cow, and will never fit another horse again.
c) hideously ugly.
d) stirrups are not adjustable.
e) trying to sit this saddle will torture your lady bits (female) or make you sing soprano (male), or actually cause spontaneous castration.
f) my cousin made this in summer camp when he was 9.
g) all of the above, so now it is in the 6 digit range.
Here on the 40 acre farm we have 5 horses, 3 dogs, 3 cats and one husband who puts up with the animals, and sometimes me. No trees, lots of rocks, and I have to haul water because we haven’t had a well drilled yet. We are located in the middle of Washington state, usually referred to as nowhere USA.
Rocky is a Shire cross gelding.
A big guy. He is black and 20+ yrs old. He is a little arthritic. He loves attention, and comes to me as soon as I go outside. He follows me around like a faithful dog. (A dog that if he fell on my would flatten me instantly.) He loves belly scratches. He is the sweetest horse, but all but one of the cast members here are all sweethearts. He would love to live inside with me, but I need to keep reminding him that he is not a mini.
I got him about 2 years ago from my old neighbor. Rocky had lived in the pasture across the street from me for several years before he became mine. Before we knew his name, we referred to him as the horse that loves me. I went over and gave him scratches and treats everyday. Along with his other pasture mates, including Fred, who we will talk about later in this story.
Every day he would be at the fence line by my mailbox waiting. I joked with his owner that when we finally sold the house and moved, the horse was going with me. The last year I lived there I finally asked if I could ride him, even though I had other horses. One of mine was 26 and blind.
The owner agreed, and I started riding him. He was amazing, but not able for real long rides, due to his size an age he was developing arthritis. But he still liked to go.
When we sold the house, I was very sad. I would miss the big guy. But the owner surprised me and asked if I was still taking him when I moved! The owner said that he loved Rocky too much to watch him age and eventually have to be put down. I was ecstatic!
Fred is an Appaloosa gelding.
That’s not the name he came with. I used to call all the horses I trained who were unpredictable, erratic or dangerous Fred after a Morgan horse that used to be boarded at my place when my kids were little. He was a girls 4H horse, and seemed like a sweet guy. One day that Fred flipped out and tried to attack my then 8 yr old daughter out in the pasture. If it was not for my daughters little mare, the 2 mules and my big gelding Whoops, she might have been seriously injured or killed!
So anyway, this Fred was named Arizona. He is a big guy, about 16hh, Appaloosa with a blanket. Kind of a seal brown color, not bay, not chestnut. I think he is in his early teens? Since I was messing around with Rocky, and Fred was in the pasture with him. I got to know him. He was pushy. He would randomly spook at something and just about run me over. He had poor manners, and no sense of space. He just isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. So since at the time I did not know his name, I started calling him Fred.
Of course after I started riding Rocky, I asked if I could ride Fred. Now Fred belonged to the neighbors daughter. (The neighbor I forgot to mention is a bit older than me, has trained many, many horses, owns a popular horse camp, and used to do logging with horses. He even raised, trained and used Rocky doing logging. A very experienced horseman.)
The daughter was a grown woman who went out on the road with her husband driving long haul. She did not get to spend much time at all with Fred. So the daughter agreed to me riding Fred as he had not been ridden much in quite awhile.
Well, Fred bucks. Fred rears. Fred lunges forward, to the side, or whatever randomly when he doesn’t want to cooperate. And since he hadn’t been ridden in awhile, he didn’t want to cooperate with anything I asked him the first couple of rides. Fred was living up to his nickname. Finally I got him to stop being a jerk, mostly.
So the neighbor, the Dad with all the horse experience, decided to ride Fred one day after I had ridden him about a dozen rides. I had not complained about Fred being a jerk. And the neighbor had seen me ride him down the road bareback. So thought Fred was fine. Well, their ride went anything but fine. Fred went over backward with the neighbor and the neighbor got hurt! The daughter came home not too many days after Dad got hurt and decided that she and her husband were going to take Fred to her friends place. Her friend was going to work with him. He wouldn’t get into the trailer for them. I wasn’t there, and don’t know what all happened, but Fred was hurt, and I believe they were as well.
The neighbor told me that if I wanted Fred that I needed to take him. If I didn’t they were going to put him down as he is dangerous. I took him. He went in the trailer for me. I don’t let anyone else ride him though. He still randomly bucks. He is buddy sour. He spooks at nothing on a regular basis. I had him vet checked, he is not in pain, nothing wrong with him, just unpredictable. I somehow like to ride him, maybe because of the challenge. He hasn’t bucked me off yet. But he is also the one I never get on without my helmet!
Seamus is next.
He is a little Appaloosa few spot gelding That I was going to train up to be my husbands horse. (My husband likes Fred, but I won’t let him ride him.) He is a rez horse. (They still call them that, even though they no longer call it the reservation) From the Collville tribes. He has the ear notch from the tribe as well.
He is pretty much all white, with just a couple spots. His mane and tail are white, but his spots are kind of a red dun color. I brought him home and started training him. He is the smartest horse on the property. The second smartest horse I have ever worked with in my long life. He is only 14.2hh. But he is all brains and heart. He is a lover. He also thinks he is all that. He runs Fred off, and Fred is much bigger. Cracks me up. He pulls some stuff. He bucks occasionally too, but he is just playing and it isn’t serious.
Calliope I have had since the day she was born.
I owned her mother and father. She is 8 yrs old and a smoke black with white feet. About 15hh and built very well. Nice floaty trot. She has a scar on her back fetlock now, but is not lame at all.
Calliope is a trickster and a character. If you are trying to fill the water trough and set the hose down, she will grab it to spray you, the other horses, the dog, whomever. She likes to get ahold of random things like a grocery bag, an empty grain bag, a coat, anything, and chase the other horses. Especially Fred, with whatever she gets ahold of, flapping it merrily. Fred ran into the side of the round pen one time. He wasn’t hurt, and unfortunately I didn’t get it on video.
Calliope is willing and loving, but now has an issue with her feet. I leased her out for a time. She came back unwilling to have her feet touched, and terrified of letting anyone touch them, let alone pick them up! We are working on it. I have to do her feet myself, when it is quiet and no one else is around. I am arthritic, and not very strong anymore. This sucks.
Finally, we have Cleo.
I don’t know shit about her. My friend gave my number to a young woman who had an unbroke, never haltered, (that anyone knows of) Appaloosa mare. The Woman is moving away to the East somewhere. She had been boarding this horse, and couldn’t just leave it there. Neither, it seems, could she take it with her. So my friend decided that I was the only one to save this mare. I was told the mare was five or six years old blue roan Appaloosa. The woman had never been able to touch the horse and hadn’t done any work with it, though she had it over a year. No one could get it into a trailer to get it off the property. Enter my stupid ass.
So I drove 2 1/2 hours out to this place with my husband, it was a shit hole. I cannot believe anyone would actually PAY to have a horse there. The pens were small and they were on a steep Bank. The pens have never been cleaned, and the only reason that they weren’t waist deep with shit, is because the steepness of the hill. Not a water trough to be seen either! Don’t know how the horses got water.
There was no way to get the truck and trailer down to where this mare was, so we ended up running her up through a couple other pens, to the upper barn. We got the truck and trailer down to the upper barn, and ran her through into a part of the barn, right by the trailer. I then used Seamus to push her into the trailer. Because of the steepness of the hill, and the mud and lack of any kind of maintenance on this farm we had to have them use their tractor to help pull us up out of this shit hole. There was no way in hell I was leaving that horse there. So we have an untouchable horse. I am working with her but she’s only been here a week. She has several rope burn scars around her neck, so she’s been roped at sometime. She is terrified of ropes. I don’t blame her. I’m starting her with at liberty work in the round pen. So we will see what happens.
New horse, The horse with bad feet, Felix. He has his own story
First I need to tell you about whoops, he was my all-time heart horse. He was a Mustang I got when he was three years old, way back in 1985. He was really big for a Mustang a little over 16 hands. I loved that horse with my whole heart he was amazing. We did every event from western pleasure, dressage, even endurance. He could do it all. He was a fantastic trail horse as well. I even gave riding lessons on him. I miss him still.
There will be a story about him, but too long here to tell you how great he was.
So the other day I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw a Mustang gelding a lady was having trouble with. She was thinking of selling him. I am supposed to be retired from training, but still like working with problem horses. Yes, I am aware of how idiotic that sounds.
Now this horse looked gray and my whoops was a black bay. He also looked quite short from the picture, around 14-14.2hh. But I inquired about the horse because he made me think of my horse whoops who has been gone from me for a long time. I got in touch with the woman, and was told that he had some issues, very bad feet and a pushy attitude. He would not let her do much with him. Sounded just like whoops. Whoops was kind of a jerk, but I loved him dearly.
I found out this guy wasn’t all that far away, maybe our hour and a half drive. I hooked up my trailer Monday morning and loaded up my dogs, and decided to go out there and meet this woman and her horse. I was going to do a re-training on him for this lady. That was my thought. She told me she got him from the BLM (No, not Black Lives Matter, but bureau of land management)
When I got there and this horse started dragging her around with no respect at all for her. He is quite a bit taller than I thought he would be, at least a full hand taller. The picture was deceiving as he is kind of a chunk. So he is a big strong horse. I will be measuring him soon.
His neck is very cresty, His feet are some of the worst I’ve ever seen without the horse being completely lame. Possibly foundered, but no heat in hooves. They look deformed, and like they have not been trimmed in years. His feet look much worse in person than the pictures show! I decided right then and there, he horse was coming home with me. The lady gave him to me as she could see that he and I got on well, and that I had plans to help him. So instead of a retrain, I have another horse.
Now one thing that I didn’t expect was it this horse gave me absolutely no trouble at all. He didn’t pull me around, he loaded right into the trailer for me. He gave me no issues, no attitude, he was a really good boy for me. He is a lover. I was giving him scratches and a treat or four. Of course I fell in love with him immediately. I don’t call him a rescue horse, the lady cared for him and did the best she could, fed him very well. So he didn’t need rescuing, he wasn’t in danger, just needed different care and training. The previous owner was not able to help him, so she found someone who could. I call him my sucker horse. Because I’m a sucker for bringing him home. I have five horses here already, all with different needs. I will tell you about those in another story. (Meet the 40 acre farm cast)
As soon as I got him home I called the vet and made an appointment. I go to the vet with him tomorrow, and we will see what can be done for his feet. I cut off some of the worst corners, and I do mean corners, his feet looked square. He didn’t want me picking up his feet, and as I was home alone, I did not push it as I did not want to get hurt with no one here to assist me. I worked with him for about an hour just touching his legs and his belly, everywhere on him picking up his feet just seconds at a time. He let me trim a little bit off mostly with his foot on the ground. Yes, they were so bad that I could cut some off without picking up his foot!
I put him in the round pen with a mare that is five years old and completely untouchable that I am going to train. He somehow opened the side of the round pen, (probably with the help of my way too smart Appy Seamus,) and got out on the 25 acres with the rest of the horses. Letting Cleo, the untouchable mare who was in with him, out with the other horses. He’s running around just fine, he doesn’t seem to be lame, but he should be with those feet! Seamus and him are acting like long lost brothers, running around playing.
I’ve already called my Farrier, we will see what he can do, but cannot make it out for 2 weeks for our regular 6 week appointment. At the vet tomorrow, (April fools day, which is appropriate as I am being a fool.) I’m going to have them examine his feet and give him a shot to calm him down so I can try to cut off some of that bad hoof. I don’t know if he is just stressed out, poorly trained, or in pain. He isn’t letting my pick up and hold his foot for trimming though.
This is going to be an ongoing story. I’m gonna call it Felix’s journey. I renamed him Felix, as he has a new life now. Also because I did not care for his old name and it really does not suit him. I hope you follow Felix‘s story. It’s going to be a long one, with all the Farrier visits he’s going to need, and the vet care, not to mention the retrain he will need.
I was asked the other day, “Why do you need to buy more tack? It seems like you have a bunch you are trying to sell!”
My answer, “because there are things that I need, and don’t have, and things I have I don’t need.”
Like most other people who have had horses most of or all of their lives, I have a lot of tack. But when I need something, I don’t have the exact thing I need. Here is why. I am stupid, and I am a sucker. If I had the money for all the tack and horses I have given away or lent out and never got back, I could buy a new house!
Like the other day, I needed a surcingle and some skid boots to work a little gelding. I didn’t have a lot of time before I needed to be somewhere, but had almost 2 hours.
Great, just need this guy to get a little ground work in. If he isn’t worked with regularly, he gets a bit cocky. So I go to get his skid boots and bell boots. So after searching for some skid boots for 20-30 minutes, I find one larger red one that has the Velcro coming off and one nice blue one. Um, yeah. Not going to work. I gave that nice pair of skid boots to a friends daughter the other day so she had a pair, because they don’t have a lot of money and she is doing barrels.
Ok, well we are just doing ground work. It should be fine. I find 3 bell boots. They don’t match, not even close, but get 2 that will work. Find 2 gloves, they don’t match either, but they are similar if different colors. And a right and a left, I am on a roll!
Surcingle…I just replaced my old one with a fancy expensive new neoprene one with all the bells and whistles. But, cant find it anywhere! Oh, that’s right I lent it to someone……aaaaacccckkkk! I cannot remember who.
Ok, well I will just saddle him and run the long lines through the stirrups and …..oh yeah, I lent the long lines to a woman whose horse needed more ( or at least some) ground work. Horse was (kinda) broke to ride, but did not know anything. I also lent her my videos of ground work. So I call her up, I am going into town later, I will pick them up. She tells me her trainer asked to borrow the lines and videos, and she gave them to her! What the heck? And her trainer is out of town for the weekend. *(Just a note, I would never let anyone use or borrow ANYTHING that was not mine and under my care. I cannot fathom why someone would think that is ok? Either her trainer for asking, or her for agreeing!)
So I have his saddle, his pad, mismatched bell boots, mismatched gloves, finally found a better cinch, (been going to change his out for over a month) it is better quality, but doesn’t match anything else on him. He is wearing a black and red saddle, a black and red pad, and now an orange and green cinch I got on clearance and meant to dye. I braided up some hay twine for long lines, got his bridle and then changed out his bit. Noticed some minor boo boos on his legs, decide to treat them with gentian violet just in case. So this little light colored gelding now has purple spots all over him.
My alarm on my phone goes off. I need to leave for my appointment! I just wasted almost 2 hours chasing down tack, and not working the gelding at all! The positive side, my step tracker says I met my goal for today running around looking for my stuff!
How can I have so much tack, but never have what I need? Because I am a sucker and give stuff away or lend it out. I have too many saddles, lots of bits and headstalls, many reins, several cinches off billets and such. But the stuff I really need, nope.
I get back from my appointment and tack up my gelding. Looks like a trailer park rig with the twine lines. Of course they are multi colored, because of course I don’t have enough of one color. So they are orange, blue, green and porn star pink. Pretty much scared the horse when I tried to put them on him. (Why is it you can never get the stuff untied when you try, but when you want it to stay, it slithers loose?
My friend Della decides to stop by with her new friend. Her friend wants to buy a western saddle, and Della is all English. I am trying to get some work in with my little gelding in my ‘round pen’. That has quotes around it, because my round pen was stolen, yes that’s right stolen. So since I am moving soon I am waiting to replace it until after I move. In the mean time I am using some wire cattle panels tied to T-posts. It looks awful. It is not a good setup in the least. Another friend calls it my “thrift store round pen.”
So I am in the thrift store round pen, working the poor gelding with the ugly hay string long lines, ugly cinch, purple spots and Mismatched bell boots, and me with my one green and one black glove. Oh by the way, did I mention it decided to rain when I started working with him? Well not really rain, but epic deluge? So the saddle has a big black garbage bag over it to try to keep it dry. I don’t have a fancy saddle protector either.
I am assuming that Della’s new friend is not impressed by me in the least. Then I realize that my shirt, (The good new one I wore to my appointment, and meant to change), it spattered with mud and soaking wet. Also, completely see through! My jeans are soaked, my hair is plastered to my head. I had put makeup on, I don’t usually wear it, but it is mostly washed down my face anyway. You got the visual? I wish I had taken a picture.
I put my soggy gelding up and take Della’s new friend in to show her the saddles I have for sale. She is getting out of showing dressage and wants western stuff to trail ride. She finds 2 she really likes and a few others she is interested in. She decides she is going to bring her horses over so she can try the ones she likes on her horses.
Then she blows my mind. She says, “I knew you were the right kind of horse person when I saw you improvised your pen, used what you had to get the job done, and were working your horse even though the weather was nasty. I usually have to improvise a lot too. I have a lot of tack, but never have the right stuff or right size for what I want to do when I want to do it.”
Btw, if you borrowed my surcingle, can I please have it back? I really need one!
Tonight, 2 of my horses are being treated like felons and are in jail. Well, in the foaling pen, which is not very big, but very secure. I am about to have a stroke! 30 minutes before this all went down, these boys were up by my rv. Then I went to say goodnight and feed the horses. It would be dark soon. They didn’t come when I called. I went out on the almost 7 acres of mixed trees, hills, blackberries and grass that is my so called ‘pasture’ for them. I am calling, walking all over looking. Yesterday My husband and I cut all the blackberries and other brush off the electric fence line. The electric fence was all intact. I asked my dog grey to “go find Rocky.” She went right to a hole in the barbed wire fence on the farthest side of the property. Now, the other horses have been in this pasture for 3 years. They were never able to even GET to where the barbed wire is. There is/was a natural barricade of black berries, nettles and all that assorted flora we get in western WA . These 2 turds ate and stomped their way through the brush, and the wire fence. It is old and probably didn’t put up as much fight as the blackberries did. I am scrambling down the hill, in sandals and pajamas, hollering their names, tripping and falling every few steps through blackberries, nettles, and assorted brush and roots. I can hear the little darlings running up and down the road. So I finally catch up to them, my neighbor who has the goats, she is trying to convince them to wait for me. (I dont run. I cannot physically run. I have a plastic knee cap, a bunch of pins, screws and plates one DR calls a “metal appliance” in my left leg as well. And I was already sore as heck from falling down yesterday when cutting down blackberries. Yes, you guessed it, into the blackberries.) I finally catch up to them. I had earlier in the day taken off their halters, as they had learned to stay away from the electric wire. ( I had just moved them to this field yesterday) I do not have so much as a hay string. Not even a draw string in my pj bottoms. Luckily I still had my bra on or I would have had to choose between my pj bottoms or my top. So the pretty pink bra goes around Rockys neck. It just fits. Who knew? My chest is the same size as Rockys throat latch. He wears a 36DDD. Hmmm. I finally get them home and the neighbor I got them from, ( of course it is a guy) pulls in to see if every one is ok. I am trying to be casual, but I really don’t know how. I have my arms crossed and spit out, “I didn’t have a rope so I used my bra!” Rocky is pure black, so the pink lacy bra around his neck is very noticeable. I really don’t know which of us is more uncomfortable at this point. I am completely out of breath. My pink bra is around Rockys neck, and the girls are flapping around under my tee shirt. Both neighbors are now convinced I am completely crazy. But they should all have concluded that because I have lived here a couple years now. They leave. I got my pulse down to 105 from 118, so maybe I won’t have a stroke tonight. The horses? Oh they are fine! Fred has one minor new scratch on him. Not even bloody. Just lost some hair. Me? Pjs full of tiny burrs, and holes, garbage bound.. Several new bruises, a finger nail busted off to the quick and bloody. Big scratch across my face. Tops of my feet and ankles torn to bloody hamburger from the nettles and blackberries, and i somehow ripped the armpit out of my tee shirt and scrapped up my under arm. Thats a new pain. And now I have no idea what I did with my pink bra when I took it off Rocky. I am sure it will turn up when most likely to have an audience and mortify me.
I was a trainer/instructor for many years. I was a single mother as well. A lot of trainers also have part time other jobs, mainly because we are stupid and don’t charge what we are worth. We work long hours, get hurt often, work in all weather, deal with some of the worst people on earth, and some of the best. We work seven days a week, with horses that other people wouldn’t touch.
I loved every day of that life.I have had many fantastic horses. 3 horses who were horses of my heart. 2 have passed away, one is in Texas. I had to sell him when my kids were young and I left my SO because he had a drug problem.
But we get older. Horse trainers limp, have arthritis. Hard lives and hard work, and aging don’t go well together. I ended up with an auto immune disease, Lupus. But I am doing pretty well. It is harder for me to trim their feet. Harder to care for them. I am weaker, I break easier, get tired easy. But it still brings me joy.
So I cut down on horses and got down to just two mares. One mare is a six-year-old daughter of a very old mare who is gone now, the other mare is An elderly mare who I have had for a very long time.
The old mare wasn’t always old. Many years ago, I got a phone call from a friend who said that there was a nice mare on the hundred acres property that she had sold, that they couldn’t catch. She was running free in the pasture, they tried roping her and several people had tried catching her to no avail. She was abandoned by her previous owner who had shown her in halter. She is very well bred, an own daughter of zips chocolate chip. She’s a frosted buckskin Appaloosa. She was gorgeous, still is. They said if can catch her, she is yours. The new owners of the property will shoot her if I can’t get her out of there, they want to bring in cows and calves. I decided to go out and try to catch her. I didn’t approach it the way others did I took a book, a bag of apples, and a bag of carrots. I sat on a stump in the middle of the pasture where she could see me and proceeded to read my book and eat carrots and apples. It didn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes before she couldn’t stand it anymore, and came to see if she could cage some carrots or apples off me. She could, I shared out my carrots and apples gave her a couple of scratches and she liked it. I put my halter and lead rope on her, stood on the stump, jumped on her back and rode out of the pasture. my friend was flabbergasted. She loaded right into my trailer. I have never had a problem catching her since that day.
I have done many things with this mare. She wasn’t quite my heart horse, but she is very special to me. I won a saddle on her for competitive trail. She has given lessons, broke into the stud pen and gave me a baby. Carried my grand babies. Let me cry on her when my son died. Been my friend.
Her name is Pepsi. I have forgotten her registered name, and it doesn’t matter to me anyway.
Found out last year, Pepsi has cancer in her skull. Pepsi is blind and now has been getting confused. She gets lost sometimes on my property. Steroids helped her. Soon they won’t help her anymore and she may start having headaches. Then my friend will have to be let go. It is a very hard thing to say. Harder to do. But I cannot see my friend hurting, scared and confused.
Loving horses means making decisions based on what is best for your horse. Not what is easiest. Not what is cheapest. I have eaten frozen burritos for a week so my horses could get farrier care when I was no longer able to do it myself. When I had kids, priorities were, kids, animals then me. Now it is animals, then me.
I will lose a little of myself when the time comes. I am taking it day by day. Today I dewormed her, brushed her and then just sat on her. We just enjoyed the odd sunny day in winter and each other’s company. That is enough.
I have decided I am going to become an inventor. No, really. 54 years old, I am changing my life’s direction and vocation. Here’s why, hay. Yup. I cannot stand hay in my bra and underwear one more day.
My horses may not like me as much. I am sure that one of the reasons they love me, besides all food comes from me, is associated with my lovely alfalfa aroma. After all, i don’t really have 36DD breasts, half that is hay from feeding this morning!
I am going into making hay suits. They will be a lot like hazmat suits. But, they have to have a sealable pocket for my phone. Well hey, I have to carry my phone out to feed. If I don’t I will lose out on my Samsung fitness app counting those steps! That’s about all I use my phone for now. The pocket has to seal airtight to keep out the hay though.
Timothy hay is bad, mostly because it gives me hives, then there is that pesky shortness of breath. My horses do not really care for it anyway. The hay suit would come in handy if I did get stuck with Timothy. But I really need it for the alfalfa. I am not even allergic to alfalfa, but that stuff gets every where. I can go out to feed in a long sleeved, high necked shirt, tight jeans, laced up boots, feed just 4 horses, and have hay in places my dr never sees!
After feeding the horses their hay, a 20 minute job at most, it takes me several hours to feel as though I am not wearing clothes made out of wool, nettles and barbed wire. That is after I have changed clothes and covered the bathroom floor with 2-3 flakes worth of hay chaff. Now I know why they call it chaff. I also know where the idea for barbed wire came from and why animals stay away from it.
Nothing like going on a cruise and getting frisky with the hubby and he wants to know why there is parsley in/on your lady parts. Trying to explain it is alfalfa when you haven’t been around a horse for 3 days and have showered several times, went snorkeling and swimming in one of the pools just doesn’t cut it. So you end up making up some weird crap about an article in cosmo about parsley and female hygiene. Who knows? It could be a thing, right? I have read weirder things there! I once saw an article in a cosmo that I thought was going to be cool. Going to be relevant to me and my life. Pony play is NOT what I thought. I was traumatized. Really.
So my hay suit will cover you from head to foot. So I can actually wash my hair before feeding. If you don’t understand why that is relevant you have never gotten alfalfa in damp/wet hair. It doesn’t come out. No I don’t add parsley to my hair either. Go stand in line at any feed store, all the women have green leaves in their hair unless they pay someone to feed for them or dependable green headed children. So no more hay in my hair, got my sealable pocket for my phone. A hay knife on one of the Curley springy cord things. Respirator so I do not inhale dust and that chaff. Little rear view mirror so I can see that one horse that sneaks up behind me, you have one too, we all do. Non slip boots for when I step in fresh poo or mare pee). Why is mare pee slipperier and smells worse? Does it smell worse so maybe you won’t step in it and fall on your butt, or does it smell worse so when you fall in it everyone knows why you fell and what you fell in?) The suit will be easily rinsed off, no hair, hay or mare pee will stick to it.
So if you are driving by a pasture, see an astronaut out flinging hay to a bunch of fat entitled horses, stop and say hi.
So I get a phone call today from a guy who has a mare and he wants to know how he can make money breeding her to have babies. He wants to know how many babies a year a horse can have, how much a breeding to a stallion is, and how much he can sell resulting babies for once born. And how many days or weeks after being foaled they can be sold. I ask him a few questions about the mare he’s proposing to breed. First is she registered? How much has she been shown? Has she had babies before? How old is she?
So he tells me the mare was given to him she’s not registered, she’s not broke to ride,she is 24 yrs old and you can barely even catch her. I explained the mares only have one baby every 11 to 12 months, And it is not worth breeding a mare that has never been shown had babies when she is not a useful mare. Also a mare as old as his will likely either not take when breeding, or may miscarry, or have trouble foaling. The mare will need her shots, deworming and feet done during all this time. Plus high quality feed. Also foals must stay with their mother at a minimum 3 months, 6 is better. Also the foals will need to be halter broke and be good with having their feet worked with. They will need their shots and dewormed.
I then went on to explain the costs involved in the 18 months from breeding to sale of foal. These are bare averages, they could be more or less. There are many other costs, but start with these.
Minimum cost of Breeding and mare care.$1000
18 months of farrier care for the mare.$450
18 months of dewormer for mare. $110
18 months of quality feed from a feed store. $3100
Vet care for mare and mare/foal.$400
Immunizations if done by owner. $240
Average price of unregistered foal $400
Poor guy was quiet for a very long time. Then he asked me if I want a free horse.