Posts Tagged With: rain

Cheeky does not mean Naughty

Okay, I know I’m pretty cheeky – ask anyone – but I have to admit that I’ve been more than cheeky this weekend; I’ve been kind of naughty. And cheeky does not mean the same thing as naughty.

Cheeky is trying to get a bite of the plants in the planter when Mommy’s back is turned, and accidentally pulling the whole plant out. And then dropping it and looking away, like, “It wasn’t me.”

That's cheeky.

That’s cheeky.

Of course, Daddy put the plants back, and as much of the soil as he could fit back into the planter. (Daddy, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for the mess!)

Do you know what else is cheeky? Cheeky is getting to go into a dry paddock for the first time, as I told you before… and finding a way to let myself out!  (…and then proceeding to go on a joy-gallop around the property until Bruce’s Mommy, Marlena, caught me and brought me back in to my own stall!)

Cheeky is also saying hi to Bruce, and then taking a big ol’ drink of his water before walking away!

Thanks, Bruce! I appreciate it!

Thanks, Bruce! I appreciate it!

Daddy filled his water back up, though. (Thanks, Daddy… I don’t know what I’d do without you!)

Naughty, however… Naughty is getting upset because I bumped my head; rearing up, spinning around, kicking out like a Fancy Lippizaner Horse… and accidentally kicking Daddy in the hand. (Daddy… I’m so, so sorry. I promise I’ll never do it again!)

Naughty is also bucking and bucking and rearing and bucking when Mommy tried to have a nice, calm, quiet ride in the dressage arena yesterday.

I promise, I'll be a good boy from now on...

I promise, I’ll be a good boy from now on…

Cheeky is chasing Lily around in the arena, because she didn’t believe my Daddy that I actually would! I like Lily, though. She and her pony, Rocky, are my friends. (Remember Rocky?)

Trotting after Lily!

Trotting after Lily!

Naughty, though… Naughty is bucking Mommy clear out of the saddle on my first day back to jumping in over two months! She said that she got a couple little cuts on her face, a scrape on her elbow… and dirt in her braces!

YEEEE-HAAAW!

YEEEE-HAAAW!

(Mommy, if you’re reading this – and I know you are – I’m sorry I threw you off into the dirt today. I really didn’t mean to… I sort of thought that you just never fell off. Especially because I tried really hard to get you off my back yesterday, as I’m sure you’re aware… and you stuck like glue. Until I knocked the wind out of you, and you jumped off and grew to be, like, ten feet tall and really scary. But anyway, Mommy, I hope you’re not hurting or sore, because I know I sure am!)

I went for a long gallop around the arena when Mommy fell off, and I probably shouldn’t have, because then Mommy got back on and schooled me into the ground. I was exhausted… but not too exhausted to keep acting cheeky! I couldn’t help it; I was just too excited to be jumping again, after all this time! 

We worked through it, though, and there came a point when I had to give in. I just didn’t have the energy to “keep up with the cheek,” as Mommy says.

That's what we're talking about, right Mommy?

That’s what we’re talking about, right Mommy?

My Uncle Jody and his daughter, Skylar, showed up at the barn to watch me jump a little, too.

Uncle Jody and Skylar got the best seats in the house!

Uncle Jody and Skylar got the best seats in the house!

And then, Mommy and I cantered into (and out of) a five-stride line beautifully; the best we did all day! Granted, it was only about 2’3… but hey, we have to start somewhere, right? It’s been two months! And even before I landed, Mommy was already crying out, “ATTABOY, ICCHY!” It felt great to hear some real praise! (I guess maybe I should behave more often, huh?)

We are definitely back!

We are definitely back!

Well, anyway, I got a long shower and a liniment bath after my hard workout, and although I usually hate cold showers and liniment, it felt great today. I was hot and exhausted! 

Chillin' in the wash-rack!

Chillin’ in the wash-rack!

Skylar helped Mommy to hose me down… and then, since we were the only ones up at the barn, Mommy and Skylar started spraying each other with the hose, too! They were giggling and it sounded like they enjoyed it. They just stood there, spraying each other! I rolled my eyes and sighed, because they’re crazy. Skylar even said, “I can’t understand why you don’t like this, Icchy – it’s so much fun!”

I just stood there and napped in the cross ties while they had their fill; I mean, like I said – it was really, really hot today. And after such a long, hard workout, the cold water did feel good…

Anyway, I got to go outside again today, for the rest of the afternoon… but I didn’t escape this time. I knew better. I could hear my Mommy’s voice in my head saying, “Enough with the cheek, Icchy… I’m serious!”

And when Mommy and Daddy came back in the evening, they wrapped all of my legs in pillow wraps so that I’d feel less sore tonight. And I have to say, it really helps. Because I worked hard today. While Mommy wrapped my legs, my best friend in the whole wide world, Rocky the Kitty, hung out with me and checked out the beautiful scenery.

That's Rocky the Kitty, my best friend.

That’s Rocky the Kitty, my best friend.

Rocky the Kitty is awesome. He follows me around and we just chill, wherever we go. He likes to lounge around in trees sometimes, but tonight he just stuck by my side.

Chillin'!

Chillin’!

After my legs were wrapped and Daddy fluffed up the bedding in my stall, I got to go home and eat my hay.

That's my lucky blue wrap.

That’s my lucky blue wrap.

And now, I think I’m going to sleep. It’s nice, falling asleep to the sound of the rain. I’m pretty sure I get the day off tomorrow, too, so maybe I’ll sleep in for once…

Have a great Monday, friends! Catch y’all later!

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Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

The good, the bad and the jumping!

Today was an amazing day; I had so much fun! I was on my absolute best behavior… especially because I was a little bit naughty yesterday.

You see, when my Mommy got to the barn in the early afternoon yesterday, I’d been in the middle of the nap – and the last thing I felt like doing was working. My Mommy even said that she could tell I didn’t want to work, and she would do her best to let me have an easy workout… as long as I did the same.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Just be on your best behavior, and you’ll get to be done quickly!” Right? And normally I know that, but I took the complete wrong approach; I tried to rush through my workout – and I got a little carried away.

I mean, don’t get me wrong; I tried to be good, in the beginning.

Trying so hard...

Trying so hard…

But after ten minutes or so, I wanted to be finished… and that’s when I began trying to rush through the rest of it. So, instead of being done quickly, I had to work longer and harder than either of us had wanted to. But, believe me, I protested. I bucked. I spun. I even reared up once, but the tone of Mommy’s voice told me that I’d better not try that one again…

Finally, I unclenched my teeth from around the bit, took a deep breath (and so did Mommy), and I decided to stop rebelling against the idea of working. What’s done was done, and I knew that all I could do at that point was behave, and get through the rest of the workout. Mommy was frustrated, I was frustrated… It was a moot workout by that point, because all we ended up working on was staying slow and collected; the entire plan had gone out the window, the minute I decided to be ornery.

Anyway, we worked through it and ended up finishing well. By that time, we were both tired, frustrated and disappointed – so Mommy gave me a shower and let me graze a little, and then she put me back into my stall for the rest of the day.

The weather called for intermittent rain and thunder storms all night, so Mommy said I had to stay in my stall for the night, too. I was a little upset about it, especially after being in all day, but I knew she was only trying to keep me safe. I do hate the rain, and the thought of staying outside all night in the rain was not appealing!

To my surprise, Mommy and Daddy came back again later in the night, a little before the sun went down. They took me out of my stall, groomed on me, and let me walk around and graze for a while. Mommy said she knew that I would be feeling restless and stiff – and she was right. I love how well she knows me, and I love that my humans always makes sure to do the right thing for me.

Hanging out and walking with my Daddy.

Hanging out and walking with my Daddy.

It had been raining for a while before Mommy and Daddy got there, and it stopped long enough for us to have a little time outside. When the rain stopped, though, we saw the most beautiful rainbow. It was glorious… even though I don’t see colors in the same way that humans do. It was still an incredible sight to see!

IMG_9447

Wow… Look at that! Nature sure is amazing…

I felt a lot better after getting to walk around and eat grass for a while. So, when Mommy and Daddy picked my feet and put me in my stall for the night, I was no longer upset about staying in… especially because it began to rain again, just as they were leaving!

Today, I made sure to get my nap in early this morning, so I would be fresh and ready to work when they arrived. Sure enough, I was well rested and we had a fantastic workout!

Mommy let me walk for a long time once we got down the hill to the jumping arena; we warmed up slow and stretched out for a while, because she knew that I was somewhat stiff from standing in my stall for so long. We had a long, stretchy flat workout with lots of walking breaks and a few flying lead changes in each direction. As we warmed up, Daddy was setting up the course; by the time he was finished, I was completely warmed up and my muscles felt nice and loose. So, Mommy and I warmed up over a few jumps, and then we jumped a course that was about 2’9 high. Mommy told me I did perfectly, and she asked Daddy to raise the jumps for us again.

Our next workout was a lot of fun; we changed the course a little and worked on doing rollbacks. It was fun and challenging, since the jumps ranged from 3’3 to 3’9, and the turns we took were pretty sharp! I knocked one or two of the poles down a couple times in a row, so Daddy gave Mommy and me some wise advice, and told us to try it again. We took his advice, and sure enough, we got it perfect that time! We make such a great team, the three of us! 

Flying with Mommy!

Flying with Mommy!

When we were finished with our workout, Mommy gave me a shower and let me graze for another half hour while I dried. By the time she put me back into my stall for the afternoon, I was already ready for another nap!

I was happy to find out that it isn’t supposed to rain tonight, so I’m spending another night under the stars with my friends.

Yep… I really love my life.

Catch y’all later!

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

The Great Rising River Adventure

Friends, I’m sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve written; things have been a little bit insane around here lately.

I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

The night after I got my new shoes, it started raining really hard. It poured rain all through the night, all through the next day and that night, as well; the last night of the storm was probably the worst. We were all very nervous in our stalls, because the thunder was louder than we’ve ever heard it, and the lightning lit up the entire sky.

The next morning – oh, wait, that was yesterday morning (but it seems like it was forever ago) – the sun was out and the air was warm; we were all glad that the rain had finally stopped. The arena dried up very quickly… but that was the least of our worries. Because the rain didn’t just leave puddles this time; it left much more water than I’ve ever seen at this farm.

Remember when I thought that my favorite paddock had turned into a lake?

Yeah, well, this time it turned into a rushing river… and the river was steadily rising.

Behind the paddocks, there is a river; it’s deep enough that kids swing into it from ropes tied to the trees. Yesterday morning, the river was so high and had so much more water than it could handle, that it began to overflow. And it overflowed right into our paddocks!

At first, it was only the small paddocks, half of the back field and most of my favorite side field that were submerged… as well as the entire pathway that stretched out in front of the entrances to the paddocks. We could see logs and debris floating by on the strong current of the river… in our paddocks. It was unsettling, to say the least; all of us, horses and humans alike, were afraid that the river was going to keep rising until it filled up the entire barn and washed us all away.

The water is still rising...

The water is still rising…

Assuming that most of the property – and possibly also the arena – would be flooded before the nighttime, my Mommy decided that I needed to have a long, solid workout that morning. We knew that it might be my last chance to work before moving to my new home.

Mommy was going to work me bareback, but then she thought better of it. I’d had two days off – one because of my new shoes, and one more because of the rain – so I was already pretty wound up; seeing the rushing water coming closer and closer was no great help, either.

Needless to say… I couldn’t contain myself. I was naughty. I tried hard to be good, but after I was warmed up and my muscles were loose, I couldn’t hold in my nervous energy. I took hold of the bit and tossed my head every chance I got; I bucked, I spun, I bolted… and I even reared up once, though I’m very ashamed of myself for that.

Mommy was trying hard to keep her patience with me, but when I took off for the seventeen-thousandth time in a row during a very simple serpentine exercise at the canter, she told me that it was the “last straw.” She got off, grabbed the lunge line, and made me gallop in a circle in each direction until I was so tired that I felt like the entire world was spinning.

And then she got back on.

Again, it’s probably unnecessary for me to say this, but I behaved perfectly after that. I mean, honestly, I was too tired to do anything wrong. I just wanted to behave so I could cool myself out and be done.

I actually felt a bit silly when I realized that my Mommy only wanted me to do the serpentine pattern (with lead changes) one time through, and then I could have been finished. So I worked for a little over an hour, when I could have been done in less than forty minutes! I probably won’t make that mistake again… at least, not at this barn!

Mommy wasn’t mad at me for being so naughty, though. She said that she understood. She even gave me a soapy bath with liniment, because she knew that I would be sore after such a hard workout – especially since I’d had two days off before that. After my bath, she walked me around and let me graze in the sunshine until I was dry.

While I was riding, Daddy helped Auntie Paulette clean the entire barn, since no one was able to be turned out. The horses all got to take turns grazing with one of our humans, but we knew that we would be cooped up for quite a while.

Around midday, Mommy and Daddy left, and said that they would be back in a few hours.

Sure enough, they came back a few hours later with a backpack full of their clothes. Apparently, they were prepared to spend the night if they needed to! Mommy got me out again and groomed me and walked me so I could stretch my legs, and then she, Daddy and Auntie Paulette got to work moving the jumps out of the arena.

You see, in the few hours that my humans had been gone, the water had risen quite a bit, and it had also come considerably closer toward the barn.

Wow... I can't believe how fast the water is rising!

Wow… I can’t believe how fast the water is rising!

Mommy and Daddy had to arrange an emergency evacuation plan with the neighbors across the road, just in case it started to look like we would have to leave the barn. Luckily, the nice neighbors said that we could all camp out in their paddocks, if need be.

By the time it got dark out, the water had come all the way up to the corners of the arena nearest the barn… and a few hours later, it was starting to flood into the arena, as well!

To my surprise, Mommy and Daddy grabbed all of my blankets… I thought they were going to bundle me up and get me ready to evacuate to the neighbor’s paddocks, but instead, they wrapped the blankets around themselves and bunkered down in front of my stall! Daddy laid on the barn floor and Mommy slept in a chair. I just knew that they were there to protect me from the water, should it sneak its way up to my stall. I was so happy and excited that we were having a sleepover, that I kept licking Daddy’s face while he tried to sleep. He laughed and thought it was cute. I would have licked Mommy’s face, too, but she kept her chair just out of reach of my tongue.

I can’t even explain to you how cool it was to wake up in the middle of the night and see my Mommy and Daddy there. And even cooler when my Mommy came into my stall at 3am just to give me a big hug and tell me she loved me!

We didn’t end up having to evacuate, although it seemed for a while like it could have gone either way. At about 4:15am, Daddy got up and looked at the water… and it had stopped rising. It wasn’t yet receding, but it wasn’t getting closer anymore, so we knew we were all in the clear.

At that point, Mommy and Daddy both gave me a hug and a kiss and left… to move their blankets into the tack room, where the heater was on! I didn’t feel cold, but I understood that my humans aren’t used to sleeping outside, like I am. They must have been freezing! It’s a good thing they had my blankets; my blankets always keep me warm when I’m cold.

In the morning, as the sun started coming up, Mommy and Daddy emerged from the tack room to feed us our breakfast grain and make sure we were all alright. After I finished eating, Mommy groomed on me for a while and walked me around to let me stretch my legs. We went to look at the water, and it had actually gone down quite a bit!

But the water was still very high.

Well, at least I won't have to go into the little paddocks anymore!

Well, at least I won’t have to go into the little paddocks anymore!

I was sad to see that my favorite side field was a deep lake. Or, rather, a river – because the current was still moving pretty strong.

My poor field... I'll never get to eat grass in that field again!!

My poor field… I’ll never get to eat grass in that field again!!

Mommy left to go do her human-work, and Daddy stayed to take care of things at the barn. But when Mommy came back later in the day, she got me out again to graze. I was so happy to eat some grass, I pulled her all over the place, until she finally decided to get on my back and just let me graze wherever I wanted to.

…Little did I know that I was going to get to swim in the flood waters!

At first, I really didn’t want to. I didn’t know how deep it was, and I was a little nervous. Plus, the water was cold!

No! I don't want to go swimming! I just want to eat grass!

No! I don’t want to go swimming! I just want to eat grass!

But then Mommy told me that all I had to do was walk into the water and then walk back out toward Daddy. And you know how I love my Daddy, so I told her it was a deal. And as it turned out, I had a lot of fun! I even stopped a couple times just to splash around in the water! It really wasn’t that cold, once I got used to it.

Wow, Mommy! This is fun!

Wow, Mommy! This is fun!

We walked over to the other side of the property and down the path to the big field in the back, which backs up to the river, to see how it looked. The field itself wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been, but the pathway was still under water. And there was a lot of debris from the river, which Mommy and Daddy said isn’t going to be fun to clean up!

Yuck, look at all that stuff!

Yuck, look at all that stuff!

After that, Mommy got off and walked with me into the front paddock – the only paddock that didn’t go under water during the great flood of last night – and she led me around so I could eat some tall grass. Leo was turned out in there, and we said hello to each other before going about our own business of eating grass as fast as we could!

Hi, Leo! I miss you! Have a nice time eating grass, pal!

Hi, Leo! I miss you! Have a nice time eating grass, pal!

When it was time for Leo to come in, Mommy turned me loose and let me wander around in the paddock on my own so I could keep eating grass. She put my splint boots on, just in case, but told me that I would have to come in immediately if I tried anything silly, like galloping. I told her not to worry, though; I was more concerned with taking full advantage of my limited amount of grass-eating time than I was with getting out my energy!

Mmm... How I've missed you, Tall Green Grass!

Mmm… How I’ve missed you, Tall Green Grass!

Finally, it was time for me to come inside again. (Although, I did get in a good roll in the mud before Mommy got to me with my lead rope! I was happy about that… it felt good to roll in the squishy mud!) Mommy groomed on me one more time, then gave me a carrot and a kiss on the nose and told me goodnight. I know I’ll see her in the morning… but I feel sad that I won’t get to have another slumber party tonight.

Anyway, I hope y’all enjoyed my story of The Great Rising River Adventure. I’m excited for my next adventure, which is coming up very soon: moving to another new barn! I promise that I’ll tell you all about it! But for now, I need to get some sleep… It’s been a long couple days, and I’m exhausted! So I think I’ll go hit the shavings. Catch y’all later!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From New York to Florida…

You know, all this talk of moving to a new barn brings back a lot of memories. I’ve moved to a lot of new barns in my young life so far. Not that I mind; actually, I like it very much. I like meeting new horses and people and getting to experience new barns and arenas. From what I understand, that’s how my life will be when I’m showing on the Grand Prix circuit, too. I’m looking forward to it.

There was one barn in particular that it was hard for me to leave. It was the first time I had a real best friend… Do you remember when I told you about my best friend, Cooper? Well, I loved my best friend very much, and I remember distinctly the day that I had to leave him behind.

I knew that things were going to change; I had known it for a while, really. You see, my Daddy had already been gone for an entire month – the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing him – and Mommy had been packing things for weeks. There was practically nothing left in my tack box save the bare minimum. I had only lived at Cooper’s barn for about six months; the longest I’ve ever lived in one barn is the one I’m at now, with Leo lives. But after that, it was Cooper’s.

Anyway, on the day of my departure, I knew something was different: Mommy came to the barn and groomed me, then put me back in my stall – and just stayed there, waiting around. A little while later, this lady pulled up and parked on the street… She had a big truck and a huge horse trailer. I mean, in retrospect I guess it wasn’t that huge, but it was the biggest horse trailer I’d ever seen at that point in my life. She and Mommy struggled to get my tack box and grain onto the trailer (that tack box is metal and it’s heavy) and then they came back for me. I hesitated when I walked up to the trailer, before I stepped onto the ramp. I looked back at the barn and whinnied one last goodbye to all my friends, and then I walked into the trailer without looking back.

Mommy said goodbye to me, and she told me she would meet me in Florida. Then, as she was saying goodbye to the lady who was going to drive me to Florida, I heard the lady ask my Mommy if she was leaving immediately.

“I was going to leave early tomorrow morning,” my Mommy said.

“Well, I would suggest leaving no later than tonight,” the lady replied. “There’s a big snowstorm coming through, and you’re likely to get caught in it if you don’t hurry on up and get going!”

After that, I was very worried about my Mommy. She ended up driving all through the night – but she missed the snowstorm and made it to Florida in time to see me off the trailer at my new barn!

The lady who drove me had stopped several times along the way to pick up horses who were also moving to Florida. All of us got off the trailer at my latest home, and the rest of the bunch got to graze while I went to investigate my new stall. Well, I got to graze and stretch my legs for a while before that, but you know what I mean. Mommy and Daddy were both there, and a couple girls that I hadn’t met, who I knew must work at the barn. I was excited to see what the place looked like, but it was nighttime – so it was too dark to see much of it.

When I was all settled into my new home, the lady had to put the other horses back onto the trailer and be on her way. One by one, they all loaded up – and most of them without much of a fuss. But then she started to lead the last horse onto the trailer – and he began rearing and backing up very quickly, pulling the poor little lady with him as he did. He looked like he was terrified, and I remembered that he was the same horse who took a while to load when we picked him up from his home. It took the lady almost an hour to load him into the trailer… and then, when he was finally on, he started kicking – and he almost kicked the lady in the head! He backed up against the partition in the trailer – which the lady was trying quickly to close, so the horse could no longer escape – and the force of it threw her against the back wall.

When she finally got him on and latched in, the girls who worked at the new barn gave the lady calming drugs for the horse, which she fed to him. But before the drugs had time to calm him down, he began kicking again… only this time, he kicked so hard that he actually bent the metal of the trailer! He was very powerful… and very, very scared.

The poor guy cut his hoof very badly, and the lady ended up having to take him to a horse hospital nearby as soon as she left.

And all this time, I was just hanging out in my stall, sleepy after my long journey. But I did hope that he would be alright.

Needless to say, the barn in Florida was beautiful!

Everything is so green!

Everything is so green!

Although, it didn’t turn out to be so nice in the long run. But that’s a story for a different day! For now, I’m going to hit the shavings. I didn’t get to work today, since it rained all day… but being cooped up in the small paddocks still takes a lot out of a horse. So, I’m off to sleep. I’ll catch y’all tomorrow!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another rainy day…

Well, I got to work yesterday, but only for about twenty minutes. Mommy rode me bareback and I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t very well behaved. In my own defense, it’s always difficult for me to behave when I have to work first thing in the morning, especially when my other friends are all headed out to the paddocks! I was trying my best to concentrate, but I just kept getting a little carried away…

Instead of making me work longer, Mommy decided that she wouldn’t push me to work when I wasn’t in the right mindset. (Have I told you how much I love her?) So, once we had warmed up, she asked me to pay attention long enough to do a few nice lead changes, and then she gave me a pat on the shoulder and told me I could be done.

I sure do love my Mommy!

I sure do love my Mommy! She always does what’s best for me!

But… even though I didn’t want to work, I still had a lot of energy… so I ended up going for a long gallop in the field later in the day. Leo even joined me this time! Unfortunately, my timing was terrible, and the gallop took place just before Daddy was going to bring us in for our dinner grain. So, needless to say, he had to walk me for twenty minutes until I cooled down, and then I had to wait an extra hour for my dinner.

Today, Mommy said that Daddy will ride me later if the weather holds up. It rained last night, and everything is pretty wet, but if it doesn’t rain anymore today then I think the arena will be just fine for riding. I guess we’ll see. Either way, I’ll let you know! I hope it doesn’t rain, because I love it when my Daddy rides me!

Alright, friends, I’m out of here. I see Daddy coming this way with some hay for us, so I’m going to go stand by the gate and wait for him. Maybe if I look extra cute, he’ll give me extra hay! Catch y’all later!

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Please, enough with the rain and mud!

Seriously. I’m getting really tired of the rain! I never liked the rain much to begin with, but now it’s just ruining everything.

As you can probably guess, it rained all last night – which means that even the last usable paddock is muddy and mucky and filled with water. My Mommy came by this morning to say goodbye to me. She groomed on me for a little while and put me outside in the paddock with Leo. But Leo and I started playing and running around, and my Mommy saw me almost slip in the mud… so she brought me in, cleaned me up and put me back into my stall. I was upset, but I know she was only trying to keep me safe. I just get carried away sometimes when I’m with my best friend! Of course, Leo didn’t slip because he didn’t run as fast as I did, so he got to stay outside in the paddock.

Anyway, the paddocks are WAY muddier and more slippery today than they were yesterday or the day before, and of course the little paddocks and my favorite big field are all still underwater. The ducks and geese were back again too, swimming around in the “lake.”

It rained a little bit during the day, which made me glad that I was in my stall. It didn’t last long though, and then I began to worry that I wasn’t going to come out of my stall all day! But of course, my Daddy would never let that happen to me. He took me out, groomed me, put on my bridle and took me out for a bareback walk. We didn’t do much because everything was so muddy and slippery, but it felt good to stretch my legs and get out a little of my energy!

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Well, that’s about all I have to report today. I really hope tomorrow is sunny, because I need to do some work! I’m going crazy here!

Stay dry, friends. Catch y’all later.

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The excitement continues…

Well, the excitement for everyone else continues, that is. Because my day wasn’t very exciting at all. Not that it was a bad day. Just… boring. Since it was raining all day again today, and the paddocks were completely soaked with giant puddles and a lot of mud everywhere, my Mommy decided that I should stay in my stall all day.

Another rainy day... Bummer!

Another rainy day… Bummer!

I know; it’s completely unfair, right? And after she didn’t even ride me yesterday!

But, to be honest, I actually didn’t mind staying in all day because of how awful the weather was. Especially when I looked out at my friends in the little paddocks, and they all looked kind of miserable. My Mommy explained to me that standing in water or mud for long periods of time wasn’t good for my feet; it can cause my feet to rot or get something called “thrush.” When she told me that, I realized that she was right – my feet were already a little sore from being out in the muddy paddock for the past few days. (It’s kind of like how human skin gets all wrinkly when they take too long of a bath… except my feet don’t get wrinkly, they really do start to rot.)

Anyway, let me start at the beginning.

This morning, my Mommy told me that I was going to stay in my stall today because of the weather… and yada yada. She said that we could go for a bareback walk in the rain, though. It sounded nice, especially because it wasn’t raining that much at the time and it was really warm outside. So, she hooked me up in the cross-ties and started grooming me. As she was brushing me off, we heard a loud CRACK! and saw Leo come prancing out of his stall! He had broken through his stall guard (which isn’t actually that difficult to do… I’ve even broken mine before, too) and decided to go for a little joy gallop around the property!

Run, Leo! Run!

Run, Leo! Run!

Well, my Daddy ran after him, but Leo refused to be caught. Luckily, after a while, Leo began to head toward the big, long field in the back… and there’s only one pathway to the entrance of that field, so when Leo tried to turn back around, my Daddy shooed him into the paddock and latched the gate! I was hootin’ and hollerin’ and cheerin’ Leo on! I wished I could have joined him! Imagine how much trouble we could have gotten into together…

Anyway, after we all calmed down, my Mommy and I went for that bareback walk around the property. We stopped along the way and looked into my favorite paddock. It was really muddy; there were huge puddles the size of lakes everywhere!

Look at my poor paddock... it's so muddy!

Look at my poor paddock… it’s so muddy!

We walked around for about twenty-five minutes before it started raining harder and my Mommy decided that we should be done. After she finished grooming me again, I got to stand in the cross-ties and eat hay while my stall was clean!

I love being waited on... And I love eating hay!

I love being waited on… And I love eating hay!

It actually wasn’t so bad being in my stall all day, especially because my Daddy was there all day to keep me company. And, like I said before, my friends all looked kind of miserable out there in the paddocks. When my Mommy came back later in the day, we went for another long bareback walk around the property. After that, I got to eat more hay in my stall and watch the rain out my window.

Watching the rain out my back window.

Watching the rain out my back window.

It actually turned out to be a pretty nice day, come to think of it. Unfortunately, it’s still raining… and tomorrow is supposed to be just as rainy. So it looks like I’ll be stall-bound again tomorrow. And, at this rate, probably the next day as well. But that’s okay, as long as I get to eat a lot of hay and go on a couple bareback walks with my Mommy! Or my Daddy. Either one. I mean, obviously I’d much rather work, but I really love that my Mommy cares enough to do the right thing for me, even when I’m not that excited about it at first.

On that note, I think I’ll go eat my night hay and then catch some sleep. You know, because I didn’t rest enough today. Ha! Catch y’all tomorrow… and try to keep those feet dry!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Timing is everything!

That’s right, friends; it’s all about timing. So remember – when you see an opportunity, you have to seize it. You never know when the time will come again!

I know, this is all a bit philosophical for a little horse, isn’t it? I guess I’m feeling silly because I still have a lot of energy.

As you know, it rained all day yesterday, so I didn’t get to do my usual workout. Today was supposed to be rainy, too, but my Mommy got to the barn just in time for us to get in a quick ride before the downpour began! As she got out to the paddock, where I was eating my hay inside my shelter, she said that she felt a few drops of rain – so we had to hurry!

What? We're working now?

What? We’re working now? But it’s about to rain! 

As we walked from the paddock to the barn, a couple more drops of rain fell. And while my Mommy brushed me and got me ready to ride, we saw a few more drops again.

“Okay, Icchy,” she said to me, “I think we’re running out of time. Let’s forget the saddle and just get out there!”

So, instead of tacking me up with my usual gear, my Mommy put her helmet on, put my splint boots and my bridle on, and hopped on me bareback! As we rushed to get into the arena before the rain came, Daddy asked us to stop and smile for a couple pictures. We both smiled, but we didn’t stop… we just kept on walking until we got to the arena! There was simply no time to spare.

Smiling for the camera!

Smiling for the camera!

We ended up getting about twenty minutes to work, which was nice, but not nearly enough for me. Since I had the day off yesterday, my Mommy let me stretch out and loosen up, without asking me to work too hard or come into a frame or anything. We did our usual walk, trot and canter warm up, and then we did a couple flying lead changes (which, might I add, I executed perfectly). By that time, the sky had grown darker and the wind began to blow… so we knew it was only a matter of minutes before the rain came.

Sure enough, after we had cooled down, my Mommy was grooming me in the barn and the sky opened up and let out all the rain. I was glad that we had the chance to work out, but I still have a lot of energy! I’m in the best shape of my life, so twenty minute workouts don’t even begin to tire me.

It’s still raining now, and it’s supposed to rain all night… but with a little bit of luck, the sun will come out tomorrow to dry up the arena so we can ride again! Cross those hooves for me, friends.

Catch y’all later!

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

Memories of rainy days

On days such as today, when the sky is gray and the rain falls steadily from the clouds, I always feel a bit nostalgic.

Watching the rain and feeling nostalgic...

Watching the rain and feeling nostalgic…

When my Mommy brought me out to the paddock this morning, she stayed with me in the shelter for an hour or so – just talking to me, giving me face scratchies, and reminiscing about the old times. I was happy to stand with her and watch the rain as it turned the paddock into one big puddle.

Watching the rain turn the paddock into a puddle...

Watching the rain turn the paddock into a puddle…

While we hung out, my Mommy reminded me that I wanted to tell you about the day I moved to Cooper’s barn, which would be my second home in New York.

It’s a great day to reminisce.

Well, after living at my first barn in New York for a couple months, my Mommy began to realize that the woman who owned the place wasn’t exactly… a horsewoman. She ran everything on her own, changing schedule; as an example, we hardly ever ate dinner at the same time from one night to the next. Now, this might not sound like a big deal to some humans, but horses are very much creatures of habit. And although my Mommy goes through a lot of trouble to prepare me for anything – riding at different times of the day, moving to different barns, loud noises, scary tarps and bags, etc. – she also knows that horses can colic (or get a tummy ache) if their eating habits vary too much from one day to the next. Because of how horses are built, it’s best for us to keep eating all day long… and no, I’m not just saying that because I love to eat. It’s actually true! You see, in the wild, horses graze all day and most of the night; also, wild horses don’t have a safe, cozy stall to sleep in, so they only sleep very lightly, and only for about 20 minutes at a time. And they never lay down to sleep, because they have to be ready to run from a predator at any moment.

Now, although we are not wild horses, some things haven’t changed that much with evolution. Like, for instance, our digestive systems. We’re still supposed to eat mostly hay and forage (plants and grass), even though we also get grain twice a day (and some of us get supplements, too). And we’re supposed to have something to eat all day, even if it’s only a little bit of grass in the paddock to graze on.

Anyway, aside from the changing feed times, my Mommy began to notice that my stall would sometimes look very dirty when she and my Daddy arrived after work. Since they were paying the lady who owned the barn to clean my stall daily, this made my Mommy angry – more for the fact that she didn’t want me to be in a dirty stall, though. Of course, my Mommy or my Daddy would always clean my stall when they got there, even if the lady had already cleaned it earlier in the day, but they weren’t supposed to be the only ones cleaning it. Even I knew that.

More and more things like this kept happening until, one day, my Mommy decided to speak with the lady about it. My Mommy is a very nice person, and probably her best attribute is that she will do anything for me. So, when the lady answered my Mommy’s concerns by saying, “If you don’t like the way I run my barn, then you can just go and find a better one,” my Mommy did just that. She spoke to Cooper’s Mommy, who I came to know as my Auntie Joyce, and my Auntie Joyce did something amazing for us. Since her barn was full, she actually built another stall so I would have a place to live, where my Mommy could look after me and trust the people who took care of me when she wasn’t there.

I had to live in the mean lady’s barn for another few weeks, but as soon as Auntie Joyce said that the new stall was finished, my Mommy made arrangements for me to move to Cooper’s barn.

Well, when I say she “made arrangements,” that actually doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.

As it turned out, Cooper’s barn was only a couple streets away from the mean lady’s barn. Since the entire neighborhood was filled with people who had horses, it wasn’t uncommon to see horses being walked or ridden down the streets. So, my Mommy asked Auntie Joyce if any of her horses would mind accompanying me on a walk to her barn! When “moving day” came, it was raining – just like it is today – so my Mommy decided it would be safer for her to hand-walk me, instead of riding me. She and my Daddy came to the mean lady’s barn to pick up my tack trunk and all of my things, and then dropped them off at Cooper’s barn. When they came back to the mean lady’s barn, I saw that my Mommy was walking a horse named Cody – a sweet, somewhat older Quarter Horse who was very steady and trustworthy. My Daddy put my splint boots on my legs and my halter on my head, and off we went to walk through the neighborhood on our way to my new home!

We met a few different people along the way, all of whom wanted to stop and pet Cody and me. It was so cool to make so many new friends on such a short walk!

It only took us about twenty minutes to walk to my new barn. When I got there, I found out that my new stall was in between Cody and Cooper, my two newest friends! Auntie Joyce made everyone a special bran mash for dinner as a treat. My stall was big, and I had an “in-and-out” attached to it like I did at the mean lady’s barn. (For those of you who don’t know, an in-and-out is an individual paddock that’s attached to your stall, that you have free access to… unless your human decides to close the back door for any reason.) Here’s a photo that my Mommy took that very same day, after I had finished eating my warm, sloppy bran mash:

Looking into Cooper's paddock after eating my bran mash.

Looking into Cooper’s paddock after eating my bran mash.

Yeah, it was a fun and exciting day – that’s for sure. I loved living at Cooper’s barn, especially because he and I became best friends. I really do miss him; I hope he found a new best friend, maybe a horse who is big and sweet, just like my newest best friend, Leo.

Speaking of Leo, I think I’ll head out into the rain and see what he’s up to; he’s in the little paddock right next to mine, and Isis is in the one on the other side of me.

Heading out to see what my friends are up to!

Heading out to see what my friends are up to!

I hope that y’all have a good day! Stay dry out there, and don’t let the mud suck off your shoes!

Heading out to see what my friends are up to...

Catch y’all later!

Categories: A Day in the Life of Icchy Star, Memories and Nostalgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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