Monday, February 22, 2010

Mud feet - Not for the faint of heart

Just thought I would add to Cheryl's post. For those of you who have never seen what a Clydesdale's feathers look like when they have been in the mud. I took a photo after 2 hours of breaking the mud balls with a channel locks and scrubbing down the legs I couldn't do more. Each leg has about 20 lbs of mud that has mixed with hay to form something like adobe bricks. I will have to periodically break them apart just so he can walk. He is such a good boy about this that we bought him a special treat. His absolute favorite which is too rich to feed regularly but now he has his own fresh bale of the very best fresh Clover Alfalfa that gets sprinkled through his regular hay, kinda like sprinkles on an ice cream. He smells that in his hay bag and immediately starts to burrow his big nose to the center to find the mother lode.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A New Record?

I think I can safely say that Remington should have a new record bestowed on him as the world's tallest living mud ball. He is covered from nose to hooves in splotches of mud that could just about cover the entire county.

We've had so much rain that the ranchette has never had a chance to dry up. To top that off, here came a foot of snow that may look pretty, but great googly moogly, it eventually melts and creates an even bigger and deeper mud pit.

Normally, we keep the horses in their stalls when there is this much mud so they won't have their shoes pulled off or slip and slide and hurt themselves. But with so many wet days, we just couldn't keep them inside, so mudfest 2010 began.

Remi has huge mud balls on his feathers. Trying to get them off of him is difficult to say the least. I swear they are attached as if someone welded them on. And when they do dry, it's like you have to become a sculptor to remove them without damaging his feathers. Some of them are as big as 4" long and 2" wide. Poor trainer mom spent a lot of time bending over with a pair of channel locks to see if she could get them off and let me tell you, they weren't budging easily.

Tank, the white Percheron is no longer white and looks like a Dalmatian, and the little paint pair now have a whole new color pattern. What a mess. It's been to chilly to even think about bathing any of them, so for now we have the horses of different colors and are just dealing with it.

My precious mud ball and I did have a few moments of fun though. When I opened his gate to put him up for the day, he came up and pushed it closed with his nose. Nuh uh, I'm not going in. So, I opened it back up and said, c'mon Remipup, time for supper so go in your room. I swear I could see a grin on his face as he pushed the gate closed again. I'm snickering big time at his cuteness and once again opened the gate. Down went his head and right as his nose came close to the metal poised and ready to shove, I said REMIPUP, get in your room. Up went the head and he looked at me like I was grounding him for the night.

So in the stall he went with mud balls clacking on his hooves to a rather snappy beat and he circled around and stood right by his feed bucket. Ok, I'm in and you said supper, so where is it? Geeze, gimme a minute Mr. bossy :) So off I went to get his supper and hay bag and all was well with the world of Remi.

I am thrilled to see him in a playful mood again. It's been a while since we've had our fun times and it does my heart good to see him have a happy day. That's the Remipup I love. I did try to get some video of Remi romping in the snow to share with you all. With camera pointed and ready to capture the action, trainer mom opened the gate so he could come out and play. Needless to say, he sauntered out and was absolutely bored with it. WHAT? So alas, I have no Remi fun snow moments to share. Betcha if I didn't have the camera, he would have been kicking his heels up big time. Oh well, maybe next time.

There's more rain and snow predicted so mudfest 2010 will continue for awhile. I guess we'll have to do some thinking on how we can remove the mounds of mud from feet and fur when the sun and warmer weather returns to the ranchette. Any one have a chisel they want to donate to the cause?

Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Remi-Tude Part 3

Howdy faithful followers. I'm sorry it's been so long between posts. As much as you enjoy reading about Remi's adventures, I enjoy sharing them with you. I feel like I have been suffering blog posting withdrawal. My job has been keeping me so busy that I don't get home until after dark and my time with Remington has been limited. That also leads to very little antics to witness and write about, even though trainer mom keeps me posted.

For those of you wondering about the new horse, well let's just say it didn't happen and we were left with an empty trailer and a very lonesome Remi still not eating. But, take heart, with hope and faith, all things are possible, and human kindness is still around us.

When some friends of ours heard that Remington was not eating and was not doing well, they offered to let us take one of their horses to keep him company until we could secure another horse. And, this horse has a story of his own. It seems that he was abandoned and our friends were contacted and kind enough to take him in and care for him.

Knowing that we needed to do something quick to lift Remington's spirits, Bunny and I took our friends up on their generous offer and off she went to bring him back to the ranchette. He is a sweet, lovable and very huge white Percheron whom we have affectionately nicknamed Tank because of his massive size. I mean he is about as round as he is tall.

We both had high hopes that Remington would take to him quickly, and let's just say that process is taking time. Oh sure, Remi bellowed with joy and nickered when Bunny led Tank down to the stall. It was dark thirty, so the boys couldn't interact right away. But as soon as Tank was in his stall, Remi went to eating his hay like he hadn't been fed in days. Ok, there's a good sign, but wait, the plot thickens and Remi-Tude is about to show itself once again.

It seems that Remi is practicing his right of passage as the new herd leader. He's making it very apparent that the pasture is his, the hay is his and the people who live here are his. Hey now, that's not nice ya big lugnut. You know how to share, remember?

Tank follows him around to get to know him, and Remi will pin his ears back and shake his head back and forth with big Tude and then walk away. A few times, he would take a nip or two at Tank, who just basically took it, until one nip too many turned into, I'm not taking it anymore and I'm gonna bite you back! Well howdy, whatcha gonna do about that one big boy, huh? He's trying to be friends and you're being a big jerk. What the heck is wrong with you?

Remi is back to not talking to either one of us and we keep hoping that with a little more time, he'll come to accept his new pasture buddy. He won't come up to me right now and he won't let me hug on his neck or kiss his nose. Guess he's mad at me for not seeing him much in the last two weeks. I don't have any idea how long this snit fit is going to last, but somewhere lurking inside Mr. Tude is my sweet boy and neither one of us is giving up on bringing him back from the dark place where he seems to be at the moment. I know he's in there, I have the faith.

He's not being mean really, he's just letting the new kid know that it's his rules applying now. Much like Princeton did to him when he first came to live here.

We don't know how long Tank will be here. If the dadgum rain will ever quit long enough for Bunny to put a harness on him and drive him, as well as see if he'll lift his feet for shoeing, then maybe we'll know more. He's really a very sweet boy who's come to realize that neck scritchin' is wonderful and humans can be nice to be around. We both like him alot although his curiosity can make him quite the pest sometimes.

In the meantime, we'll keep trying to get Remi back to his normal sweet self. I don't know how long an animal can mourn and we're both taking into consideration that his herd has left him and he doesn't understand why. We'll both continue to coax him up to us for a hug and a nose kiss and exercise the patience necessary to help him through this. I suppose we just need to let instinct and horse nature take it's course and see if he'll accept Tank into his herd of one all by himself. Let's hope so.

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us.