Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lawnmower Go Round

Saturday was mowing day around the ranchette and Remington was one happy boy. From the minute you walk toward the mower and take the cover off, he is right there at the fence, giving his nicker of approval over and over and over. Why, because he knows, there's grass clippings to be had at the end of the chore. And he loves it!

It's one way we've found to keep his attention for more than a nano second. Okey dokey, let's start her up. Varoom, and away we go. I usually start with the big yard on the side of the house, because it's the easiest part to do. Remi and Tank saw me coming toward the back fence and were right there to greet me. C'mon over here and blow us some grass.

Good, I've got your attention and you're staying out of trouble, I'm liking it. I slowly approached the back fence getting ready to blow some nice green clippings their way, when Zoom, off he went thundering across the pasture, with Tank close on his heels. Nuh uh, Remi wasn't having any part of that. He was keeping a safe distance from that big green growling machine that came a little too close to his comfort zone.

He may like the results but he doesn't like the action required to get those morsels his way. So, I continued to the front of the property and looked back to see if my boy was on his way back. Not only was he on his way back, but he was there, nickering for a treat. Both the big kids looked so attentive and serene while I was far enough away with the green monster. Ok, big son, I'll be a little farther away from you this time, let's see if you stay.

Again, I got close to the back fence and Remi's eyes looked like big saucers right before he bolted and ran across the pasture again. I could almost hear him saying "Run for your life, that thing is going to eat us!" It was pretty funny and made my mowing job a lot easier to handle. After all, I had a comedy show to watch, ya know.

The distance to the fence became farther and farther away from the horses, so they eventually started to stay and see what tasty delights they could snuffle up from their side of the fence. After finishing up the front, I moved to the back yard, where Remi and Tank continued to watch me work. I guess work fascinates them because they can watch the humans do it for hours :)

Of course, when I was close the the fence, they once again skedaddled off to the far side of the pasture. Yee haw, get along little doggies. Can't you almost see me waving my hat in the air like I was on a cattle drive or something?

Mowing done and it's time to rake up the big clippings. Remington saw this and went into beggar pony mode immediately. I'm gathering the really sweet grass he loves and he is snaking that big head of his over the fence, popping his lips and just bellowing up a storm. Of course, for him, I'm going too slow and he's getting antsy. "Will you c'mon already. I'm ready for my snack."

I had to throw separate piles out for him and Tank, because Tank certainly lives up to his nickname by trying to snarfle everything in sight. More raking, more snacks. I'm exhausted, but my sweet boy is happy. What a day. I've mowed and exercised the big guy all at once. That works for me.

A little later he had to get a shave and a haircut. Big prom job and some weddings coming up, so he has to look extra spiffy. On the way back to the barn and much to his delight, my boy got to go into weed eater mode and grab some extra mouthfuls of the grass the lawnmower couldn't reach. He was one big happy boy.

Back to the barn he went, with big green lips and a happy tummy. A kiss on the nose and a carrot to top of the salad greens truly made his day. Gotta love it!

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hooficure and Manny Hose

Ok, So it occurs to me that most of you probably don't know the terms. That would be because we coined them.. Hooficure is what it sounds like. He is going to get his feet trimmed and shoes reset.

Manny Hose(pronounced Man e Hose) this is what he must wear during his foot trimming and shoe setting. You see being a Clyde he has tremendous feathers on his lower legs. Shires will also have this, it is a hallmark of these two breeds of horse.

In order for the farrier to work on his feet the feathers must be out of the way. To that end there have been many different ways of trying to do this from duct tape to vet wrap about the only thing that wasn't tried would have been baling wire which fixes most everything else.

The answer finally found is Manny hose. We take woman's panty hose and cut the from about the knee off and do the same with the torso so that what we now have is the widest part of the leg that would fit the thigh. This is put on his leg so that it holds the feathers up and out of the farriers way. VOILA!! Manny hose...

It has worked so well that the blacksmith school now buys the panty hose by the case and a new tradition has begun. When a student works on his first Clyde with "Manny Hose" he must take the top with the waist band and wear it like a hat all day.

In the top photo you see Remington's front feet complete with "Manny Hose". In this photo is a rookie student with his cap. If you will click on the photo it expands, see Remington in the background with his big feathery legs before his hosiery. You might also not the normal size horses next to him that now look like mini's in comparison.

I 'd really like to be a fly on the wall when they try to explain to the IRS why they have cases of panty hose as a business expense. Any way I would like to express my thanks to the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School for the wonderful treatment they always give us and for dressing Remington soo stylishly...

posted for Remi by trainer mom, Bunny

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remi's Road Trip

Having a huge horse like Remi around presents many challenges. You already know about the extra repairs we're constantly making around here. We're always searching for extra large everything from halters to harness to fit him. And, when it comes to his feet, finding someone to trim them and shoe him has sometimes been the biggest challenge of all.

It's very difficult to find a farrier who will shoe draft horses. And, when you do, the cost is outrageous and understandably so because of the extra time it takes. If we do find someone in the area who agrees to the task, they will usually only work on Remington once and then disappear into the sunset.

He is a good boy and stands well during the process, but the sheer size of his feet takes almost three times as long as a standard size horse hoof to do. That's a lot of back breaking work and we can certainly understand why we may never see the farrier again.

Understandable or not, he still needs his feet trimmed and thank goodness we still have a way to get the big boy shod at a reasonable price that won't break the bank. It does involve quite a road trip for trainer mom and Remi, but at least it's a solution. And that solution is the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School where Remi, of course, is always the star of the show.

The trailer is well stocked with a very full hay bag and in the wee hours of the morning, trainer mom loads him up and takes him on his road trip to the shoe store. It's a long drive up and back, but as long as there's hay, there's happiness for Remi.

When they arrive at the school, the students all swarm around Remi with cameras in hand, posing for pictures amidst the "oohs" and "ahs" and "holy cow he's huge" comments. It's quite funny and I have to say, the one time I got to go, I was beaming with pride.

It's an all day event shoeing him and several students take their turn working on him. Tag team farrier service at it's finest. The school absolutely loves Remington and for awhile when we had a regular farrier coming to the ranchette, they missed him terribly. They want horses that will stand well and behave and that's exactly what my boy will do for them.

It's actually quite funny to watch him get his feet trimmed. Because of his feathers, he has to wear manny hose, which he doesn't seem to mind, but don't tell him how pretty he looks in them, or you might just upset his manly self. That just wouldn't be cool, ya know :)

So, Remi will embark on his road trip to get his hoofacure and lots of extra attention in the process. I think if he knew he was going, he might actually be excited. Hmmm, maybe not, but you know what I'm saying, don't ya?

Stay tuned, Stay happy and Stay with us!