Why am I doing this? I hardly have enough time to keep up with one blog, and I'm making a second? Why? Because I feel like it. :)
But first things first:
I'm Maggie, for any that don't already know. As mentioned above, I have one other blog that I keep. That's the blog for the random family updates. This blog is mine. All mine. Every last little pixel of it is mine. But I shall include others in it, therefore claiming ownership of anyone or anything included. Just kidding. ;) This blog is primarily to document my life as it is with horses, though there may be a few random other things popping up now an then. :P
Oh yes, and if you happen to like the seven sentences you've read, please follow. :)
Now, on to the horses...
In October of 2010, we met a lady named June. She was getting ready to leave town for a few days, and needed someone to take care of her two horses for her. Our 4-H leader, Mrs. Miller, hooked us up with her because she lived about 10 minutes down the road from us. After meeting her and her horses, my sister, Kate, and I volunteered to look after them while she was gone.
June came home from her trip with the shingles, so Kate and I said we would stay a little longer and take care of the horses every evening until she was back on her feet. June was sick most of the winter, so we just stayed on. She started teaching us how to work with her two horses using Parelli Natural Horsemanship. She's taught us almost every thing we know about horses- feeding, vet work, hoof care....everything. And she's always got lots of stories to tell about the horses she's owned in the past (she used to breed Arabians, and had two nationally known stallions).
In March of 2011, June said that she would get Kate and I each a horse as long as she could count on us coming every night to help clean and feed. One of her horses is un-ridable (due to being down on his pasterns) and the other is a very advanced horse that neither of us were ready to handle. So we started searching for horses for sale. We looked at a few, but most were too green for us to handle. We ended up getting two horses from Kim Wilson (a longtime friend of Ms. Junes, a natural hoof care specialist, and my employer). She had a Thoroughbred mare that she owned, and a Quarter Horse gelding that she was taking care of for someone else. The owner of the gelding said it was fine if we used him, so we moved both horses to June's barn. The mare's name is Lady, and the gelding's name is Buster. Everyone thought that I, being the tallest, would go for the tall, lean Thoroughbred.
It had to be that short, stocky, adorable little Quarter Horse.
Lucky for me, Katy had the same reaction to Lady, so she got the mare, and I got the gelding! :D
Buster! Ain't he cute? :D
Buster is a 15 y/o?, 15.1 hh, sorrel Quarter Horse gelding, with a star/stripe/snip, 3 socks, and the occasional white spot on his rump. O.O A paint, or is just from scars? Who knows. Speaking of scars...Buster's had a rough past, from what we can gather. His original owner wanted to be a Hollywood star, apparently. He would get on a ramp, run, jump off and land on Buster's back, then spur Buster into a full gallop. And apparently he wasn't a small man either. After that he was sold to a woman who tied him to a tree. Buster would graze around the tree, and then he would have to unwrap himself by going the other way. After he had grazed everything down and couldn't reach anymore, he was starved. He was then sold to a slaughterhouse, and rescued by Mr. Freet, his current owner. Mr. Freet lives up int he city, so he asked Mrs. Wilson if Buster could stay on her property with her horses. He said it was perfectly fine if we wanted to train him using Parelli Natural Horsemanship, and he comes out every now and then to visit.
So, what with the man jumping on Buster's back and Buster's being wrapped around a tree- poor Red (Red is the nickname we gave him) has some problems. Ms. June didn't think he was moving correctly when I started riding him, so we had the vet/ horse chiropractor come out and take a look at him. She said that his right hip either does hurt him, or hurt him a lot in the past. Also, the right side of his neck had a few small problems. She banned him from trotting with someone on his back until he showed some progress.
And so began a month's work of "long walking". When Buster walks, he doesn't use his shoulders and hips- he uses his elbows and knees. He's all short-strided and choppy, and let me tell you, when take a walk that choppy up to a trot, it is near impossible to stay on! We fixed the problem by doing what we call long walking. When I rode him, I would really exaggerate my hips, urging him to stretch out with his arms to take longer strides. This stretched him out to where the vet said I could trot on his back. A few months later, he was cleared to canter! He may never be able to jump (although I know he can...he went soaring over the rail once), but still, to me he's perfect. :)
One of the best things about Red is how he's never gotten nasty. He's been through some tough times (he may have been whipped- there's scars on his back), and he's the sweetest little guy ever. He is a little grabby over food, but I think that comes from being starved.
One more big thing about Buster: He's a Left-brained Introvert. For those of you that don't know, Pat Parelli (founder of Parelli Natural Horsemanship) made a thing called Horsenalities. A Horsenality is the personality of you horse. Get it? :P
You use this chart to determine what your horses Horsenality is. Buster is a left-brained introvert, but he can also get a little extroverted. Any horse can be any horsenaltiy at any time, but their horsenality is the one that they always go back to. Some horse are pretty much all of them.
Extroverts like to move their feet, Introverts need to take things slowly. Right-brainers are usually a little flighty, and Left-brainers are usually smarter than us. :P
So anyway, recapping:
Ms. June, Buster, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship are hug parts of my life.
More to come. ;)