I’m a bit late getting to the blog today – I was fast and furiously trying to get all my LRK3DE breeding data and articles updated and ready to go to print! I did put up a few stats on the Breed.Ride.Compete. facebook page along with a link to the instant download of the spreadsheet too, if anyone is interested in that.
Ok anyway, on to the subject at hand! As I mentioned yesterday, Hillary and I made a quick overnight trip up to Michelle’s original (or “west”, I suppose now) WTW location in Midland last week. And I like to call it a menagerie, because between Michelle’s animals and all of her neighbor’s animals, you’ve got a veritable petting zoo right there.
Between those guys and baby Quinlee (the filly) I got to pet ALL KINDS of fun things in a very short period of time. 10/10 would recommend.
Visiting in the peak of breeding season also means that you’re likely to find Michelle with her arm up a mare’s butt at all hours of the day or night. This trip was no exception – she was checking both Sadie and Vee every few hours to track their cycles for breeding.
She roped Hillary into giving it a go and scanning Sadie, which I of course documented via video (Patrons, it’s on your dashboard) because Hillary was making some absolutely classic faces. She ended up shoulder deep in Sadie, and found an ovary on the scan! Pretty good for a first shot I think. Of course now we may have created a monster, because Hillary wants to take breeding courses and learn how to AI mares. I’m 100% in support of this idea btw.
I was also extremely proud of how organized Michelle’s breeding area is, especially her MASSIVE white board. I’m a really big white board fan and I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy for it in the past, but we’ve got a convert because LOOK AT THIS THING OF BEAUTY.
It was also nice to finally see Vee and Peyton in person… believe it or not I may have helped picked them out, but I had yet to see either of them in the flesh yet. Peyton is a classic TB type and gorgeous mover, and Vee might be one of the most beautiful mares I’ve ever seen, period. Like, she looked pretty in photos, but in person she’s an absolute knock out. Gorgeous mare with a great temperament, and VERY food-motivated. We already know Peyton is a great producer, but I can’t wait to see a Vee baby too. Fingers crossed!
Back to the actual point of this little adventure: Noodle pickup.
I thought he might be a moron in the trailer, considering that he’s basically been on stall rest or paddock rest for over 6 months at this point, and he’d come to consider Obi his BFF at Michelle’s (which, btw Obi, thanks for taking a chunk out of Presto’s tail despite Michelle’s best efforts to prevent it). I thought there might be fireworks when we loaded him up and drove away. He was pretty good though, and rode the whole way home with minimal complaints, even when the stupid GPS decided for some reason to route us all the way around and through the outskirts of Austin (we love sitting in lights and traffic with a horse trailer, you know) and made it take almost 8 freaking hours to get home.
We turned him out with the other 3 horses, and Henry and Quinnie immediately seemed to remember him (there were definite “oh my god, not him again” vibes from those two) but Gemma had a whole lot of opinions about him. Most of which were expressed via squealing. She’s a pretty submissive horse in general and definitely not confrontational, but Presto just would not leave her alone no matter how much she tried to distance herself. Personal space and respecting boundaries are not exactly his strong suits.
That situation was causing Henry to assert his extreme dickishness and chase Presto into corners to try to murder him, so we had to break them up. That herd dynamic just wasn’t great with the 4 of them together. We split Henry and Gemma into one pasture and Presto and Quinnie into another. Giving each 5yo an older horse (and removing Henry from Presto) seemed to do the trick and they’ve been great ever since.
Well okay, Quinnie isn’t sure why she got stuck with the annoying one, but Presto knows better than to antagonize her too much… she spent some time raising him, after all.
Presto’s feet are not in the best shape from being barefoot for so long, he’s worn them down to little sore nubbins. I’ve got him in boots until the farrier can come out, although I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get shoes on them not. He looks fine in the boots though (aside from the fact that he knows how to unvelcro and remove them) so that works for now. Grow little feeties, grow.
The most annoying thing was that the size boots he needed are of course the ONLY ONES I had packed up and sent in the t!ny h0use (I have an ungodly number of hoof boots and those were literally the only ones I packed and sent ahead), so I had to make an emergency run to Dover and buy him a new pair. Who needs $200 anyway.
The good news is that with the boots on he looks pretty darn sound, despite all the yeehawing he’s done now that he’s back to full turnout. I haven’t even bothered with getting him legged back up yet, I figured I’d wait until we’re all settled in Florida before I even begin trying to wrap my head around that. For now I’m just grooming him every day to try to get the last of the winter coat off, and I trimmed his mane, cut his bridlepath, and clipped off the goat whiskers under his jaw. He looks… slightly more presentable anyway. Aside from all the bite marks and scratches all over him (thanks Henry).
It’s a little frustrating that he couldn’t just go back to the same training program and continue what I’d already invested a lot of time and money into (they didn’t have space), but I’m working on a couple options for him in Florida that could be promising. In the meantime I’m plenty happy to have him back here with me, even if he’s single hoofedly increased the Chaos Factor of the farm by 500%. I sure did miss his big ol’ noodle noggin.