Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pony Girl's Surprise

Somehow my sister kept a surprise from me this whole entire week. I don't know how she did it! I hadn't been up to see My Boy since last Thursday, due to leaving town this past weekend and our recent un-springlike weather. But today it looked like the rain had let up a little, and My Boy was out of supplement so I headed up.

I stopped at the local farm store to get the supplement. I like that place. It's kind of run-down but it is family-owned and operated. My sister buys her grass hay from them, it is grown there. The owner will even special order you a piece of tack if you need it (he doesn't carry much in stock, mostly halters, leads, and headstalls.) That is where I got my brown nylon with tan trim halter and lead, that I like to use on the trail. When you walk into the farm store you can smell popcorn. And hear old twangy country music playing. The kind my grandpa listens to. And they have issues of those colorful magazines on the wall like Country Life and Farm and Ranch Living. Here is a bird's-eye view of the farm, which I took last summer. It's the metal-roofed barn and surrounding fields. When I got to My Boy's I grabbed his halter and treats and headed towards the pasture. He was way in the back, finishing his hay. I called his name as I unchained the gate and surprisingly he turned and headed right down to see me. He must have thought I had more grain for him. As I looked up to watch him I suddenly noticed that his turnout shed looked completely different! I looked towards the house to see my sister's boyfriend standing in the window, watching and waving at me. He had worked on it last weekend while my sister and I were out of town with our cousins!
The turnout shed was originally built for goats, and later, used for my sister's mare Brandy. It had two partial front panels, which have now been moved forward, and opened up and out (those are the half-walls you now see on the sides.) The way these had previously been designed gave some extra shelter from the elements, but they also narrowed the space considerably. When My Boy moved into that pasture at the end of last summer, he rarely used the shed, except at night. I could tell that he slept in it every night because I had to pick shavings out of his mane and tail. And of course, I was cleaning poo presents out of it regularly. My Boy used the turnout shed without mishap until early January. Then, one late afternoon, I got a call from my sister's boyfriend. When he went out to feed, he'd noticed daylight at the back of the shed and thought, uh, oh. He went to look at My Boy first and saw two 4" scrapes along the inside of his hind legs. Our best guess was that he'd become cast in the stall with his legs up against the panels, which were not kick-proof. In his struggle he probably kicked out the plywood and in the process of reclaiming his legs, scraped the hide off the inside.

Of course, I was sick with worry. I had owned this horse less than a week and already he'd had an accident. I had my sister block off his entrance to the shed (it still had a small overhang he could stand under.) It may have been a freak accident, but I did not want a repeat until we could get the panels fixed. Horses will find a way to hurt themselves and he could have injured himself a lot worse in the struggle. My Boy's leg swelled up but it was mostly a superficial wound and with some antiseptic spray, a few days of bute, and hand walking, and he was healing well within a couple of weeks.

However, My Boy had no real shelter over the winter. He did have a nice turnout blanket with warm fill, and, his favorite trees to stand under. But now he has a new improved hangout! It is nearly 16x14 feet. My sister's boyfriend reinforced all the panels so they are kick proof. He is going to redo the roof, add another overhang, and we will paint it this summer. Both My Boy and I are very, very grateful that he has a place to get away from the bugs and snuggle down in at night. I am going to owe my sister's boyfriend a lot of homemade brownies to make up for all the work he did on this for me. Goodness, maybe someday I will have a cowboy of my own to do this kind of stuff for me, you think?

And of course, My Boy left me a few poo presents, too. I told the boyfriend he just fixed My Boy's shed so I'd have poo to scoop!

I lounged My Boy lightly. The arena was almost flooded. I had to stand in a puddle to find some dry space to work him in. He was feeling frisky and I could tell he wanted to cut loose, but he held it together and just squeezed out a few snorts and prances. I didn't want him to slip, but he needed to move out and stretch his legs.
I had been working My Boy with the Parelli games with great success, but I opted out today. I just couldn't bear to take my new Parelli line and carrot stick out into that mud pit.
After his workout, I walked him out then put his rain sheet on so that he would be clean for the farrier's visit on Saturday. Of course, my spoiled Boy got to bury his nose in all that is green and yummy before I put him away.
I was on my way to take the apple picker to his shed when he zoomed by me (where's the love?) to get to the last few bites of his dinner. Would you look at the focus on that handsome face?
Then, I unloaded his supplement into his garbage can. I lifted the whole bag all by myself! See, who needs a cowboy after all? I bought the wrong size of can last month. Look at how little it is. It's like the size you'd put rabbit food in. It only holds about 3/4 of a bag which is kind of a pain in my Pony Girl neck.
Ah, that's better! My Boy will be much happier now! By the way, I don't fill it completely to the top because I store his containers of joint supplement and probiotics inside the can too, so the rodents and raccoons have no way to access them.

Sleep tight in your new digs, My Boy!


  1. What an awesome surprise!! Way to go Paint Girl's Boyfriend! hehehe

    My Boy is looking mighty fine there Pony Girl. What a great shot of the concentraion on his face heading back to his dinner...hehehe...(Hey, I know why that looks familiar- my two boys have the same expression when THEY head for food too! Hmmm... wonder if Cub and Wrecking Crew have been reading this blog over my shoulder here...hehe)

  2. Hi, what a thoroughly enjoyable blog.

    We enjoy reading it so much we thought you should be given the "Cowboy Friendly" award. The "Cowboy Friendly" award is for websites that hold the true spirit of the West at heart.

    If you go to the Cowboy Friendly page you can select from badges that you can use to display on your site.

    Keep up the excellent work!

  3. WOW!!! An award!!! That's really neat. How nice of your sister's boyfriend to do that for you! It looks like you have been having alot of rainy weather out your way too. I hate it!!!
    Are you looking for a cowboy?

  4. That was awefully nice of Paint Girl's boyfriend. Sometimes those guys come in pretty handy don't they...LOL.

  5. Horsey Mommy- Yep, I am looking for a cowboy. Know of any??

    BEC- yep, he's a great guy. He is the feedman on the farm. And he takes me on a separate trip to get my hay since I don't have a truck (they feed grass hay, and My Boy gets alfalfa.) I am lucky to have such a great brother-in-law (well, not technically. They are not married but have been together for 13 years! ;)

  6. Great digs! Nice boyfriend your sister has.

    Hope he had a good night's sleep.

  7. That's great that the boy has a nice new shelter!

    Here's hoping the weather clears up for you guys to get out riding.

  8. My Boy is looking really great! Isn't is nice to have a family member that thinks of stuff like that and actually DOES it!

    Do you keep My Boy's feed in that bucket when you aren't using it? Seems like it might get stale, just sayin.

  9. How wonderful your boy gets a new run in shed!! That is great! Your sister has a wonderful boyfriend!!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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