Posts Tagged With: excitement

The Adventures Never End

Friends, I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written; I can assure you that it has not been for any lack of excitement around here! Actually, there has been more excitement than I’ve known what to do with. I have a lot to tell you and a lot to catch you up on… but first, I have to tell you about what happened the other evening when Mommy came out to give me my dinner grain!

As usual, I watched Mommy drive up and get out of her car. I waited (im)patiently for her to come over and say hello… but, to my surprise, she didn’t! She and Kimberly, Splash’s Mommy, were standing by the fence, staring at the horses in the neighboring ranch. When I saw some movement from the ground of the paddock by the hay feeder, I put my head over the top of my stall to get a better view of what was going on. I saw Mommy climb through the fence and run over there, and that’s when I realized that there was a horse down with his legs stuck in the fence of his pipe corral! He couldn’t get up!

Mommy went to the horse and tried to calm him down so he wouldn’t thrash around and hurt himself, and then she looked him over to make sure he wasn’t seriously hurt. I saw her get up and run all the way to the other end of the neighbor’s property where it looked like there was a little barn or a house, and I could hear her yelling for someone to help.

When she came running back alone, I knew that meant that no one was home over there. Before I could even make the suggestion to her, I heard Mommy say that she was going to go try to find the guys who work at our barn to help get the horse free. She asked Kimberly to go and keep the horse calm so that he didn’t injure himself by thrashing around, and then Mommy hopped back into her car and disappeared quickly out of sight.

When Mommy’s car returned, she was followed by Cassie, one of the guys who works at our ranch, and his brother. They all hopped the fence and ran over to where Kimberly and the horse were. Cassie had a knife and some rope, and I could see that they were going to try to get the horse free, even though the owners of that ranch were nowhere to be found.

Just a minute later, though, a big truck came driving up on that side of the fence and a guy and a lady hopped out. Everyone looked both calm and a little frantic at the same time. I strained my eyes to see farther (and by that, I really mean that I lifted my head – because, as you probably already know, that’s how we horses see things that are far away), and I realized that the horse also had his head caught under the raised hay-feeder!

Although this isn’t a photo of our neighbor’s property, their hay-feeder looked sort of like this:

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…and the horse’s head was caught underneath, with his neck resting on the bar on the bottom. It must have been so uncomfortable for that poor guy!

The first thing the “Rescue Team” did was to put a halter on the horse (Mommy got that part done), and then Mommy held the horse’s head up while two people moved the hay feeder carefully away from the horse’s head. It’s a good thing Cassie brought a knife, too, because the hay feeder was tied to the pipe corral fence with bailing twine, and they had to use the knife to cut it in order to move the feeder. Then, Cassie and his brother wrapped some ropes underneath the armpit of the horse’s front legs and more rope around his back legs, and together, Mommy and the two guys rolled the horse over onto his other side, with the other lady helping to make sure that the horse’s legs got out from under the pipe corral fence while they rolled him over.

Later, when Mommy finally was able to come over to me and give me my dinner grain, she told me that the horse had some big gashes from trying to free himself, but that he was otherwise unharmed. I was relieved to hear that! The only bad part was that the poor guy has COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and that he was having a hard time breathing. The lady and the guy who work at the other barn were going to give the poor, sweet horse a shower and then clean his wounds and let him get some rest.

As Mommy was telling me all this, we saw the lady leading the horse out of the wash area. The horse was stumbling badly, and then we heard the lady start to yell to her co-worker. I don’t think he could hear her, because he didn’t come running. Mommy, however, did. She ran over and climbed the fence again just in time to see the horse fall down – hard. I saw the lady point up toward the barn at the other end of the property, and Mommy took off in that direction again. I assumed that the lady had asked Mommy to get the guy that she had been yelling for; sure enough, Mommy and that same guy came running back down toward the lady and the fallen horse.

The guy shoved something in the horse’s mouth – which Mommy told me later was a medicated inhaler – and then the horse lifted his head as though he was going to try to get up. He didn’t, though; I could see his sides heaving all the way from my stall. The poor thing had clearly blacked out from lack of oxygen! Once she knew the horse was okay and that she wasn’t needed anymore, Mommy came walking back over to me. She said that those nice people were going to let the horse lay there and catch his breath for as long as he needed to, and then they were going to continue taking care of his wounds. I was glad for the horse that he had people who cared so much about him.

When I didn’t see that horse for a couple days after that, I began to grow worried; but, as it turned out, the people had just been keeping him up in the barn so that he could recover from this traumatic incident. When I saw them walking him back out to his paddock, I wanted to cheer! Instead, I just shoved my nose into Mommy’s pocket and sniffed for carrots or treats.

So, that about sums up that bit of excitement… but there has been plenty more going on aside from that! Let’s see… Where do I even begin?

Well, the last time we spoke, I had just encountered my first rattle snake, right? Yes, I remember now… I was incredibly brave. I think it was Mommy who ran away scared, wasn’t it? Since then, I’ve done lots and lots of things. For instance…

Mommy has been stepping up the intensity of our workouts. She has this horrid little book – ummm, I mean… this awesome little book with A HUNDRED AND ONE exercises to prepare a horse for jumping, and she’s been pulling ideas from it constantly! That’s right. OVER A HUNDRED EXERCISES. And Mommy clearly thinks these exercises are great. Not that I don’t, of course… At least she doesn’t make me do more than one or two different ones each day. One if I have to practice harder before I can get it right, and two if I seem to pick up on one or both fairly quickly.

We did a pattern of circles with some lead changes thrown in…

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And we did cloverleaf patterns with tiny little circles in each direction at the trot and canter…

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And then one day we did some other squiggly pattern with lead changes thrown in…

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And we even did a crazy little circle pattern that took me the entire second half of our workout to perfect. First, we went over two poles on a circle to the inside, and then turned to the outside for a circle… and back over two poles on a circle to the inside… and so on. (If you still don’t understand what the pattern is – don’t worry. Neither did I!)

All of these exercises have been hard work, but I have to admit that they’re actually kind of fun. They really make me think hard about what Mommy is asking me to do, and they force me to pay better attention. Mommy said that she feels I’m behaving much better in general lately – and I guess she thinks it’s because of that!

Anyway, it hasn’t all been work without play… I got to jump a little one-stride line a few weeks ago, and it was pretty fun. We got up to about three feet high on the second jump, which was plenty for me. It’s a lot harder than you would think, going from one jump to the next with only a stride in between!

I also got to meet a bunch of Mommy’s family one weekend. I got to meet some of her second cousins, as well as one of her great-aunts and one of her great-uncles. And they were all pretty great!

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I even got lots of hugs, which was the best part! You know how much I love hugs.

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And a couple days after that, I got to meet Mommy’s brother and sister-in-law!

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Mommy’s sister-in-law is pregnant with a baby human, so – naturally – she wanted to go over and say hello to the baby horse!

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But, of course, she was much more excited to meet me than any of the other horses… because, you know… I’m a celebrity and all that.

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It was truly wonderful getting to meet Mommy’s human family – and not only because they all gave me a ton of treats! I love making new friends, especially when they’re humans who mean so very much to my Mommy.

The week following the excitement of meeting the family, I got to jump again! That time, though, we worked our way up to a vertical that was three and a half feet high! Now, as y’all know, that’s basically child’s play to me… Except for the fact that I’m still not in my top performance shape, so it was actually just a little bit difficult at first. But then it got easier and easier. I begged Mommy to let me jump higher, but she said that 3’6 was plenty high enough for that day.

Aside from all of that excitement, Mommy and I have just been hanging out together…

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…and hanging out with friends…

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Watching romantic sunsets together…

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Goofing around…

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And just enjoying life in general.

That’s about all the excitement that I have to share with you today, friends. I promise I’ll try not to wait so long before I write again! Stay cool, and I’ll catch y’all later!

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Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A long, hot summer…

Friends, I have a feeling it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Although it has been raining quite a bit lately, the rain hasn’t done much to assuage the heat; that being said, I’d definitely rather it rain while it’s warm outside than while it’s cold outside! It’s much more pleasant standing out in the rain during the summer!

Anyway, after my big jumping day last week, Mommy gave me a semi-day-off the following day, taking me into the round pen to free lunge me and join up with me again.

Trotting in the round pen!

Trotting in the round pen!

I didn’t work for very long – only long enough to play and be silly and stretch out my muscles. After I was finished, Mommy gave me a shower and let me graze for a long time. We stood up on the hill near the round pen and watched the jumping lessons that were going on down below, in the jumping arena.

Look, you can see the round pen behind me!

Look, you can see the round pen behind me!

The next day was dark and rainy all day. Mommy stopped by in the morning, hoping for a break in the weather so we could get in a workout, but we had no such luck. She spent a while grooming me and drying me off from the rain, and then gave me some hay and said she would be back later to try again.

Sure enough, she and Daddy came back in the evening, and the rain had stopped! The farm was preparing to host a horse show the next day, so we only got to have a quick workout; we didn’t want to get in the way! We worked on lots of flying lead changes, and I got to watch while the owner of the barn, Grace, and her daughter, Caroline, made the jumps extra spooky for the competition!

Cooling out with Mommy...

Cooling out with Mommy…

The day of the horse show was filled with excitement and new faces! It was going to be a mini-event, which meant that each rider would compete in dressage, stadium jumping and cross country. Usually, in bigger “Three Day Events,” those are each done on a different day; this show, however, was mostly for kids and young horses who were all just learning to become eventers.

Mommy arrived in the morning and let me stretch in the round pen again; she didn’t think we would be able to do any real work, since she didn’t know how late the horse show would end. But I got to trot and canter and buck in the round pen – just to get out my nervous excitement – and then Mommy asked me if I wanted to try going out to my paddock, so I wouldn’t have to stay in my stall all day. The only thing was that I would be alone, since William had left and Troy was going to be competing all day.

Well, needless to say, I did not want to be out in the paddock alone. I was just too nervous and excited about all the commotion, and plus, it was awfully hot outside!

But I did get a good roll in the mud, and I was happy about that!

Yay! I love rolling in the mud!

Yay! I love rolling in the mud!

Until, of course, Mommy took me to the wash-rack and washed all of it off. At least I got to cool off, though!

After letting me graze for a while until I was dry, Mommy put me back into my stall with a lot of hay and some cold water. I thought she was going to leave, but I found out later that she ended up staying for a few hours and helping out by judging the stadium jumping portion of the mini-event!

A panoramic view of the jumping arena, from up on the hill!

A panoramic view of the jumping arena, from up on the hill!

She came to check on me a few times, and I told her all about the new horses and new people I had met. I was on my best behavior, and I made sure to ham it up for everyone who came by; I made faces, smiled, whinnied and showed everyone what a silly, happy horse I am! I really love making new friends.

Mommy left in the afternoon, and to my surprise, it was Daddy who came back later that night. He got me out and let me go into the round pen to stretch, too – they really love having a round pen where we can work and stretch and play – but I wasn’t really in the mood to do anymore work. So he gave me another shower, let me graze, and put me outside into my paddock with my best friend, Troy.

Today was a hot day. I was even sweating, just standing in my stall! Daddy stopped by in the morning and gave me a shower, then he let me graze until I was dry. He said Mommy would be coming later to ride me, and when she arrived, I was sweaty all over again! It was just too hot, and without any breeze at all.

Mommy knew that it was too hot to do much work, so we had a really easy, light ride on the flat. I was also pretty stiff from standing in my stall (and from the heat, too), so she made sure to let me stretch as much as I wanted.

Stretching out at the trot...

Stretching out at the trot…

We did a couple lead changes and took LOTS of walking breaks; after about twenty minutes, Mommy declared that we had both had enough, so we cooled out and then headed back up the hill. I got to have a nice, cold shower, and then Daddy grazed me in the shade for another half hour. It was much nicer in the shade; I swear it was 15 degrees cooler, and there was even a little breeze!

I was very happy to find that the fan inside my stall was on when I got back! Even though it would only be a couple more hours before I got my dinner grain and then went out to the pasture with Troy for the night, it felt much better inside my stall with the fan on.

I said goodnight to Mommy and Daddy, ate a little hay, took a nap and waited for my dinner grain. It’s a bit cooler now, out here in the paddock – but I do hope that Mommy will come to ride me later in the evening tomorrow. For now, though, I’m going to go enjoy some grass with Troy before taking another long nap under the stars.

Stay cool, friends; I’ll catch y’all tomorrow!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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