Sunday, December 7, 2008

Elvis, Halters, and Dog Treats

Saturday morning was dry, despite the smell of rain was in the air. Even the arena lake had dried up dissapeared. A short yet long-awaited reprive! The pasture was still a mud-pit, and so was my horse. He came up to the gate and I was able to snap the lead onto his halter relatively easy. However, when I went to halter him over the breakaway, he immediately started to raise his head and balk. I gave the lead two sharp jerks and said "WHOA" very firmly. Then I haltered him without further ado. I just think he needed to know I meant it. There is a point where you are helping your horse overcome something, and there is a point where funny business is just funny business and he needs to get over it.

While I was grooming My Boy up at the house, the neighbor's dog Elvis came over to visit. He is a rhodesian ridgeback and the size of a small pony.

He's a beautiful, sweet dog, but not so savvy around horses. I made him sit so I could say hello, then sent him home.

I was dissapointed because although it was dry enough in the arena to ride, I didn't have enough time this particular day. My horse was feeling spunkier than last weekend. I even got a buck and a nice floaty trot out of him on the longe line. When I watch my arthirtic ex-reiner move like that, I always think....hmmm.....maybe a second life in dressage? Of course, getting a horse to move like that under saddle....thats the challenge!

And look, look- a photo of my horse with just one halter on. Kind of like a normal horse! Except this one looks a bit cranky.

We practiced haltering a few times in the confines of the arena. I took the pasture halter off. It was crusted with dry mud and needed a stiff brush taken to it. See Fritzy and Brandy in the background?

They are a loyal pair. They always come to the back of their pasture to hang out while My Boy and I are in the arena. It's the concept of herd mentality, horses like to be in close proximity of each other. Or, here's a theory. Maybe they are just taunting My Boy because he actually has to work!

This is what My Boy has to say about that:

After his workout, I let My Boy graze. He found green grass soaked with dew, it looked rather tasty. Natural forage is a good supplement when you are paying nearly $20 for a bale of hay!

After I groomed My Boy down and put his rain sheet on, Paint Girl came off of her pneumonia recovery couch to walk Sadie up to get the mail. You might remember my post on Sadie the Australian Shepherd, who has some dominance issues. My sister had her evaluated by a pet behaviorist and is working on behavior modification using positive reinforcement. She wears this little blue treat bag on her hip at all times.

Who else do you think noticed the treat bag?

Yep, that'd be my stinker boy. He was pretty convinced Paint Girl had something in there for him.

Sadie, if you don't listen to Paint Girl right now, she's going to give all your treats to me!

Dear horse, you are a vegetarian, must I remind you?

Once My Boy was back in his own pasture, he licked his grain bucket. His head is always in his grain bucket.

Maybe he's slurping up that one little pellet he missed from his last dinner. Or perhaps he's convinced if he waits long enough, a snack will magically appear.

What? Is this all in vain?

Lucky for My Boy, once I had his grooming equipment put away, I went back out and fed all of the horses and goats for Paint Girl. I so rarely get to feed my own horse, unless I am there and it's the afternoon feeding time.

See you next weekend, My Boy!


  1. Elvis is a handsome fella! I've never seen a RR in person but I like their looks and what I've heard about them.

    Do you guys get snow in the winter or mainly rain?

    And $20 a bale, WOW! Not sure what prices are here but they can't have gotten too crazy (my board hasn't gone up **furiously knocking wood**)

  2. Those Rhodesian Ridgebacks have the most soulful eyes! Glad that Paint Girl is up and about - my daughter had pneumonia last year and it took forever for her to feel better. My Boy has the greatest expressions - he's so handsome, and he knows it. So, for $20 a bale, is it the best hay in the world?

  3. cdncowgirl~ Little snow here! Lots of rain here! ;) I WISH we got more snow. I love it! I'm like a little kid, I want snow days!

    Victoria~ It can be nice hay. I say that because some of the bales must be from different farmers, different cuts, etc. It is an orchard grass hay with a small, tiny percentage of alfalfa in it. I noticed last night when I fed My Boy and Paint Girl's horses, that what I fed My Boy was not as green and nice as the hay I fed Paint Girl's horses. (We buy the same kind hay but I keep my bales separate from theirs since I pay for my own feed.)
    The bales are big and heavy- 115 pounds, and they last. So it feels like you are getting your moneys worth. However, while visiting my parents over Thanksgiving, I saw the same type of hay at their feedstore listed for $15 a bale. Although, the bales were smaller, pound-wise. It's a bit frustrating, thats for sure! And straight alfalfa prices have stayed pretty much the same recently, so I can't understand why the orchard grass prices have continued to climb. But I don't want to put My Boy back on the alfala, he just doesn't need it.
    I'm also in an interesting situation because we have limited hay storage. My Boy shares hay storage with 2 other horses and 4 goats, so I only buy the hay needed for each month, not in bulk. I also rely on my generous sister Paint Girl or her significant other to fire up the truck to fetch the hay with me.
    Sorry for the long answer...maybe I just should have just written a post on hay, hee hee! ;)

  4. I love Elvis (the dog), he's just so adorable. My Boy is a real character and
    like my guys sure loves his treats. I hope your sister continues to get well. The holidays are coming and it's no fun being sick.

  5. He is such a beauty. Love the tongue action!

    I hope Paint Girl is feeling better soon.

  6. I love those cranky pictures! The horse I rode always gave me that look. He was an old retired school horse and just the thought of being ridden put him in a sour mood, the old goat.

  7. MichelleSG~ It's funny, My Boy is either the "King of Crank" or the "King of Cute!" :) Either mood usually makes for interesting pictures!

  8. My Boy is handsome even when he's moody. I love those tongue photos.
    WOW- $20 a bale! I paid $9 delivered, whereas last year it was $7.50 delivered, and the year before it was $4.50 - 6.00 in the field. Whew! I'm afraid of what it's going to cost next summer!

  9. Hey Pony Girl, I am jealous how did you get spots on your avitar LOL. My Boy is so pretty and your avitar looks just like him!.

    I am paying 18.50 bale,down here in SW WA for Teff grass. about 170lb 3 string bales. My mares realy like teff, its 12% protien or so but not hot like alfalfa. They seem to prefer it over orchard grass, and its pretty fine stemmed.

  10. Elvis is a cutie ,love those eyes. Did you say $20.00 for hay ? what size bale?

  11. Sorry should have read the comments, those are big bales but still wow that is spendy hay for what I am used to we put up our own rounds here a blend of alfalfa and timothy and the sqaures are roughly 60lbs @ $4-$6 per bale. Boy I am I feeling lucky!!
    Sure love the pics of "My Boy" what a handsome dude even with his mud!

  12. $20 a bale!!! Holy crap! Mike bought a couple square bales the other day and they were $7.50, which I thought was a little high, but not too bad. I think the guy across the road where I normally get hay is out of town. I hope to get a round bale from him, but we'll be doing square bales until I can reach him. And my Boyz would be ecstatic for a little green forage. We need rain so desperately.

  13. Elvis is a handsome dog. I have a mutt, but many people have told me that he has some characteristics of a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I can see some similarities!

  14. Hey there PG! Check out my blog and the appy my son is riding! A dalmation in horse form! :) I also have Rhodesian R. on my blog..between my two friends there are four of them! They are great dogs, can't wait to get one of my own! I had haltering issues (he sat back every time I tied him!!!)with Jackson that miraculously went away when I moved him to my friend's ranch and (this sounds weird) but pretended like they had never happened! I had gone through two leadropes and two halters and now he has only sat back once in nine months! I know you have prob. been there done that, but the rope halters are awesome if you haven't tried one, exert pressure on the nose....My friend also has one just for these issues that exerts pressure on the poll...Hope your hay prices go down, that is insane! Our hay here in Texas is coastal with no alfalfa but is only 4 a bale right now at ~80-100lbs. per bale. I've seen it go up to 10 when we don't get rain tho'! Luckily, my horse is not high performance so we don't need alfalfa. Just pasture all day, Strategy 2x a day, and some hay at night when they get put away!

  15. Elvis is adorable! I love ridgebacks! My friend has one and he is sooo loveable.

    And 20 bucks a bale, I was going nuts at 4.50 a bale!! But your hay looks better than ours. We just have plain grass hay.

    I am glad Paint Girl is feeling better and that her dog is doing better too. I love Your Boy with the treat bag, little stinker!! LOL!!

  16. Ridgebacks are haunting me right now!! Pioneer Woman just posted pics of a ridgeback too! We had two ridgebacks (sister and brother) that we lost to cancer a few years ago. Last month we started talking about getting two pups in the new year and now I am seeing them everywhere! Isnt it funny the way life is like that? Ridgebacks are amazing!!!

    As a westcoast resident, I can apprecaite the daily battle you face against mud (my personal nemesis). I dont think people realize how impossibe it is to keep your horses high and dry where I live (Pacific NW)...Horses are like God's greatest mud makers! They have a way of churning the driest ground into a wet puddle of sticky mud in days. Rrrrr! And it is impossible to get out of their coat with brushing...and washing is impossible because the air is so wet that it takes them hours to dry. I feel your pain:)

  17. My old trainer used to raise and show RR's, but now I hear he has switched to Redbone Coonhounds. Huh????

    An approximately 65 pound bale of alfalfa sells for $22.50 at our local feed store right now. Thankfully we get it from a dealer/dairy farmer who lets us have it for $17.00.
    What is a person to do???

    PS-I am sick of the mus already too! :)

  18. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have always been a favourite breed of mine. They look elegant without doing anything.

    My Boy sure is a sweetheart, although he does seem to have a one track mind. I guess they all do, come to think of it. (I mean food, BTW.)

    I'm glad to hear Paint Girl is having some success with her pup and is feeling somewhat better.

  19. I think My Boy could do dressage..the star horse at the last dressage clinic was a 16 year old stocky paint mare that just started doing dressage this year. Go for it:-)

  20. Okay...if my math is right, it takes 17-18 bales to equal a ton of hay. At $20 per bale, you are paying $340-360 A TON for hay. O.M.G!!! You poor thing.

  21. This is why I stock up on local grass during the summer at $5-7 a bale. But since I don't have enough hay storage I can only get through December with the local than have to pay $20 a bale for Eastern Orchard grass. Pony Girl does not feed local grass so she pays $20 all year round! :)

  22. Elvis is precious. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback and she gives me that same look!

    Thanks for visiting me! Your welcome anytime!

  23. Hi there PonyGirl, I do enjoy reading your posts very much and seeing all your lovely photos. This one is especially amusing to me on several levels. First, good for you on being stern with your spotted stinker!! You're absolutely right - sometimes they just need to know that you're not in the mood for their shenanigans!! PG 1 point - MyBoy 0.
    A brownie point for you my little buddy! Second - Elvis is sooo loveable and cute!! I just love him and his droopy sadsack little face - too cute! Thirdly, I think your narration is stupendous my dear!! You manage to catch the look in the eye or the facial expression just perfectly. I feel like I know My Boy on a very personal level. Keep it up, I love reading. Oh, about those doggie treats and the vegetarian thing. Ladde has stolen my lunch on more than one occasion when I'm not paying attention. He will eat almost anything - seriously, almost anything. I can think of a couple of things he turns his nose up at, but only a couple. But, get this - he stole my tuna fish sandwich one day--and, he liked it! So, dog treats?? In a heartbeat!! They are such porkchops!! My Boy would fit right in with my herd.

  24. I love the pic with him sticking his tongue out, that is sooooo cute. Elvis is quite handsome too!


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