Friday, June 24, 2011

Back to Our Regularly-Scheduled Programming!

Whew, lots to catch up on! As an avid blog-reader myself, I know how suspenseful a break can be!

Hmmm, what's there to get caught up on?

Oh yeah! The Haflinger colts (now named Gotti and Capone) were scheduled to have their little "brain" surgeries a week and a half ago. Alas, a little birdie must have told them they were going to be castrated, and they decided to keep their jewels out of our vet's grasp. Of course they're going to wait until it's swelteringly hot (i.e. August) to drop, or not drop fully at all, in which case they get to learn how to ride in the trailer (earlier in their lives than they would have otherwise) to get extra-special surgery!  Woo hoo!

In other news, the Arabians are doing well. The one mare who chokes often had her esophagus endoscoped by our vet, just to make sure there weren't any strictures that were making her choke. Nope, it turns out she just eats too fast. So we'll continue feeding her very slowly, which means big rocks in her feed bucket to slow her down, with only a handful of feed at a time.

And how could I forget?!?!?! Marsha Parkinson (the woman from whom the Arabians were seized) was charged with 34 counts of Animal Cruelty for Failure to Provide! I'm very curious as to how they came up with that number, as anyone who has seen these horses would agree that she should have been charged for every single one. At least it means the court process has truly begun, and the sooner we can get these mares into good homes! Her trial takes place on July 27 in Queen Anne County District Court.

Coming up on our busy calendar is Plow Days! We've begun prepping Patty and Dee Dee to make a showing. They are the two older Clydesdale mares we picked up from Athens Stockyard on the PA/NY border along with Sunrise and Penny. They are both broke to drive (Patty definitely, Dee Dee more or less), but they have never been hitched together. Below are photos from their first ground driving session. These harnesses are only for ground driving, as the collars are not fitted to these girls. They were made for big, beefy Belgian necks, not the narrower Clyde necks, so they won't be hitched up to pull anything until we find them the right tack.

A little bit of steering work in the indoor arena. Patty is on the left (driven by Paul, one of our volunteers), and Dee Dee is on the right (driven by Christine).

Yeah, we're going to need a little practice!

Outside, in one of the pastures, still "hitched" together (just a piece of baling twine connecting their collars):

The girls look very confused!

Normally, a team is of similar height and coloring.  Patty is a good hand taller or so.  She is the taller, lankier-type Clydesdale that is popular today.  The Clydesdale standard used to be closer to Dee Dee's build: short and stout.  We're just teaming them together because we got them together and they are best buds in turnout.

Dee Dee had enough, so we split them up for some individual work.

Paul with Patty:

Christine and Dee Dee:

Ahhhh, there's that show horse!  Patty was shown at the PA Farm Show by her previous owner.  She likes to show off!

The hat really completes the ensemble!

Go, Dee Dee!

Dee Dee doesn't appreciate having to work in her own field:

If looks could kill:

Back in the barn, untacking:

Now, to learn what the hose is!  Dee Dee is none too pleased:

Patty handled it like the pro she is:



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