Such Trouble

October 17, 2009
Cheryl Angela and Rick

Cheryl Angela and Rick

Rick (Percheron) has been our herd leader for nearly 8 years. Except for one decision, I have agreed with and admired his leadership during all of this time. Then came the other day, when he did two really bad things.

I always remember to lock the doors on the “back 4” stalls. However, on this particular day, my mind was going in too many directions and I completely forgot to shut the back doors.

You see, the “back 4” belong to Rick, Venus (shire) , Dorinda (belgian), and Odella (belgian). These guys get along well and prefer to go into their own stalls. They make meal time easier for me, since I can have their doors open and trust that each of them will go into the correct stall.
I wouldn’t have noticed my oversight until I went to let them out, had it not been for Rick, who left his stall to join Dorinda. Both horses weigh over a ton and are 17.2 and 17.3 hands tall. That’s a lot of horse in a 10 x 12 stall. Although they get along extremely well, Dorinda decided to leave.

Dorinda, Odella, and Angela on Rick

Dorinda, Odella, and Angela on Rick

I probably didn’t help matters. I called to Dorinda that I was going to get Rick out for her. Naturally, he knew he was wrong. The ground was slippery with mud. Both Rick and Dorinda chose to turn around in opposing directions at the same time. When they bumped and pressed each other in the undersized space, Dorinda’s hind end slid out from under her and she went down near the door, trapping Rick behind her.

It’s a good thing her outside stall panel lifts and moves easily. Really good. Ben and Jocelyn were in Syracuse at the time and I had no one to help me. As soon as there was enough space, Rick slipped out of the stall.

But Dorinda didn’t get up. She wasn’t trapped. Thinking she was just shaken, I stood by her head and let her lean her neck on my leg. She was too heavy to support for very long, so I encouraged her to lay her head down and rest. Meanwhile, I used EFT to tap for her, to help her feel like getting up.

After a little while, I began to ask Dorinda to get up, but she refused. It seemed her bottom front leg (her right) was trapped by the mud and vegetation. With some effort, I slid her front legs forward into a similar position to the one they normally use to get up. To my relief, this readily worked. She was up in seconds.

Dorinda was gimpy on her right front and out of alignment in her right hind end. I used EFT to tap for: pain and swelling in her joints and muscles; for the misalignment; and for any emotional issues with Rick and the accident. By the next day, she was moving completely normally.

With Dorinda safely restored, I began looking for Rick. I soon heard Joey’s (Drum Stallion) angry voice and saw Rick pestering Joe. Joey was rearing and fussing. Wow. Rick must be harboring some kind of resentment for Joe, for him to behave that way. Most of the time, this transition of Joey taking over the leadership and control of the herd and over Rick, has been gentle and rather smooth. Joey must have pushed Rick a bit too far lately, for Rick to take such action and say such inflammatory things to Joe.

Joey and Angela on Rick

Joey and Angela on Rick

All I had to do, was come around the station and tell Rick to leave. I apologized to Joe and told Rick to go eat some apples. Rick spent the remainder of the meal in the “1-2 grove” (we’ve got several apple groves). Joe swiftly calmed down with my soothing. And Dorinda consoled herself outside Odella’s stall.

It’s fascinating the trouble one horse can cause in such a short amount of time. I praised the other horses for remaining calm throughout all of the events.

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s “Communing With Horses” is not a therapeutic riding program, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit http://serenityec.webs.com to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at http://www.eftlady.com help support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Thank you for your interest and support!

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Subtle Communication

October 17, 2009

Communicating with horses at Serenity Equestrian Center is full of subtle hints from both people and their horses.

Aurora 3mo Kelli Joey Endy with visitors 50%

(Aurora at 3 mos (Drum Gypsy cross), Kelli (shire), Joey (Drum Stallion), and Endy (Drum Stallion) visiting with guests.)

Today, I met Kelli (colored Shire) and Endy (Drum Stallion) at Kell’s stall. Kell’s new stall is at the top of the food station, isolated with Joey’s (Drum Stallion) stall. In order to help her remember her new location, I’ve been meeting her up at her stall and directing her around to the side with her stall’s open door. By the way, a few days ago, Kell showed me she preferred to enter her stall from this direction. So why not encourage her to do what feels best to her?

There was an opportunity for confusion today, since Endy was nearest Kell’s stall and I was blocking their passage. He needed to “squeeze” between me and her stall in order to continue on to his stall. Meanwhile, I intended to direct Kell to make a sharp turn behind Endy, as he continued to move forward, and go around the back side of her stall. It would be like I was directing traffic – telling the right lane to go straight and the left lane to turn right.

Of course, it was fairly simple. Our horses are quite logical and Endy prefers to go directly to his stall without any detours. Plus, Endy enjoys a good squeeze game with me – it makes him feel powerful.

As he and Kell approached, they slowed and hesitated, asking me what I wanted them to do. Here’s where the fun began. I told Endy to go on to his stall and took a small step out and toward Kell, indicating with my left hand and arm I wanted him to continue past me. While looking at Kell, I told her to turn sharp right by swinging my hand exactly like I was directing traffic.

Only one tiny glitch occurred in the operation. Aurora (Drum Gypsy cross) got caught up in Kell’s wake and followed her around Kell’s and Joe’s stalls. No biggy. Aurora likes her new stall – which used to be Kell’s – and she likes running all around while everybody is getting settled. She just kept on going around the two stalls.

However, after Ben let Endy in, he remained between Aurora and her gate. Something so small, most people don’t see such things. Aurora stood and stared at Ben, but refused to approach her stall. Even with Ben’s encouraging words, she refused to pass him in order to enter her door.

Tess and Jocelyn with friend

Tess and Jocelyn with friend

Thyme with Aimee and Nola

Thyme with Aimee and Nola

I assessed Aurora’s situation while letting Tess (shire) and Thyme (thoroughbred)  in their stalls and suggested Ben move to the far side of Aurora’s door, just in case she thought he was blocking her. As soon as he was past her door, she walked right in.

Such tiny, seemingly insignificant things are such a wonder to me. I’m grateful to have such moments in my life to ponder and enjoy.

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s “Communing With Horses” for veterans,  is not a therapeutic riding program, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit http://serenityec.webs.com to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at http://www.eftlady.com help support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Thank you for your interest and support!

Nyla, Aurora, and Groundhogs

June 10, 2009

I’m short on time these days with Jocelyn in the hospital. Today is day 28 for her and she’s nearly ready to be moved to rehab. Sometime I’ll write about her saga, but for now, I’ll update Nyla’s stories.

Nyla is an amazingly excellent groundhog killer and proud of her self-appointed job of clearing our land of the little cute, but menacing creatures. She’s killed 8 in the past 2.5 weeks! There’s a colony about a 1/2 mile from home – across the big field. When she kills one out there, she proudly brings them home. She’s so cute, huffing and puffing her way down the hill with her mouth full of groundhog.

Nyla continues to enjoy her friend, Aurora, who is now 5 months old and around 300 pounds. She trusts Aurora completely and will lay flat out while Aurora sniffs her from head to tail. Aurora lets Nyla kiss her nose. Nyla loves her Aurora and lets Aurora lip her soft hair.

I love watching Nyla wind in and out of Aurora’s legs. Aurora is so careful to pay attention to Nyla’s comings and goings, too. My recent fun with the two of them was to put Nyla on Aurora’s back. Aurora enjoys having Nyla on her back, but Nyla prefers to ride the tractors and the quad. They’re very cute together and Serenity Equestrian Center is enjoying having such adorable and loving animals as Nyla and Aurora.

Sometime soon, I hope – I’ll post some pix of them together. ‘Til then, I hope this finds all of you well.

Nyla’s Enjoying the Snow

November 29, 2008

Nyla is loving the mild winter temps and snow. She romps and hops and grins, with her ears flapping. Her raincoat helps keep a good portion of her body dry and free from accumulating snowballs in her hair. Nyla’s endurance sometimes outstrips my time. I only had time the other day for a one mile run with her. Even after racing the quad thru varying depths of snow, she was still asking to run some more!

While Jocelyn and I work on fencing repairs, Nyla hunts. She got to chase a little rabbit for a short distance a couple of days ago. She doesn’t do to well with the old barbed wire and briars. She insists on pushing on through. In the marsh paddock briars, she lost one of her reflective collars and removed her raincoat.  I found the coat.  (Finding her collar should be easier now that the vegetation is down. I’ll have to wait ’til the snow melts to look for it.) Yesterday, she removed her raincoat in some barbed wire and Jocelyn found it. Good thing the coat is yellow! 

Nyla has been staying in the house during mealtime with the horses lately. Jocelyn and I have rearranged the food station and while the horses are getting used to their new stall positions, we feel it’s safer for Nyla to be home. However, she gets to visit with the herd when she’s out helping us with the fencing.  

We cont to love this sweet dog with a passion. 

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (right click) Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!

Endy Creates His Own Games

November 22, 2008

2 yo, Drum stallion Endy, is contented, sweet natured, well mannered, and has a high play drive. He lives with his half brother (also uncut), 2 geldings (one to wrestle with and one who rules), and 5 incredibly tolerant mares. (Our herd is the subject for a book on a unique view of stallion and herd management.)
Even when Endy’s hormones double the size of his presence, and one might think he’s not paying attention or might not be willing to cooperate, he is soft and swift to respond.
Some principles that have been of great value in Endy‘s upbringing (who was born on our farm), have been to give him opportunity to be right, listening to what he’s saying, being patient, being flexible, and being creative.

Normally, I go into Endy’s round pen paneled stall to spend some private time with him and to collect his food tub – after he’s polished and played with it. One day recently, for the fun of it, I came around the backside of his stall and asked him to hand it to me. I pointed at the shallow rubber tub (upside down at the time) and said, “Endy, would you please hand me your tub”. He promptly reached down, lifted it with his teeth, and tossed it to me!

BTW – the attached photo was taken just before Endy found the helmet’s chin strap. He grabbed the strap, swung the helmet around a little and tossed it like it was a ball, to his brother, Joey.

 

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (right click) Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!

Endy, checking to see if this was a new kind of salt block.

Endy, checking to see if this was a new kind of salt block.

Cherishing Little Moments

November 13, 2008
Venus with company - in all her muddy glory!

Venus with company - in all her muddy glory!

This is a simple story, of relationship and partnership. I treasure my relationship with each of my horses and they know it.

We dress our horses when we’re expecting sustained rains over several hours at temps of 50 degrees and lower. Until recently, we have always dressed the herd of 8 drafts & 1 TB, in their coats and fly sheets, out in our large pastures at liberty. The herd is so accustomed to this practice, we rarely require halter and lead to dress them.

They’re fascinating. When one is disturbed about something, another will join them to give them confidence while we dress them. Everyone seems to understand and respect our need that they be calm, graze about slowly, and stay within sight. It’s a marvelous partnership that simply delights me.

Venus (17h, 1 ton Shire) is an expert at standing perfectly still at liberty to get dressed and undressed. She loves the praise and attention. She seems to say, “oh boy, it’s my turn”. She regally lowers her head into the neck of her coat, which is sewn shut because the chest buckles broke.

In her 10×12 feeding stall, Venus can sometimes be a very different horse. She doesn’t bite or kick. She just moderately circles when she’s upset. (This story’s event was important to our helping her change her circling behavior.) It’s not her action that is of concern, it’s her bottled up, power-packed energy that must be respected. Entering Venus’  large, energized presence, in such a small space requires alertness and creativity.

On this particular day, a storm was approaching and Venus was eager to get out of her stall. My daughter, Jocelyn and I discussed the fact that she would be totally happy and much safer to dress her out in the fields. My intuition said this was a perfect opportunity to help Venus practice standing quietly in a place she’s in a hurry to leave.

Jocelyn and I started by playing one of my favorite curiosity games, “come see”. Venus’ winter coat is stored in a rubber trash can in a corner of her stall. I set Nyla (4 year old poodle) down in the empty can. I controlled Nyla’s response to being trapped in the can with a giant horse nose sniffing down on her (she was surprisingly calm for only her 8th week with us!) by distracting her with scratches on her head and neck. Jocelyn was in charge of watching Venus’ behavior and intervening if necessary.

Our intention to disrupt Venus’ thought pattern was a success. She began to soften (lower her energy) and break up her circles – stopping every so many steps. She seemed to enjoy the game of “where’s Nyla – come see”. After only a minute or so, I handed Nyla to Jocelyn to hold.  I walked over with the coat and told Venus it was time to get dressed.

I wanted this to be a good experience by working with Venus’ needs and refraining from demanding perfection. I made an agreement with her. As long as she was slow and careful and stopped when I asked, I would let her circle on my cue.

I was reveling in the challenge of getting her to be still and put her head through the coat’s neck. This is something she has to help me with, because her poll rests well over 6’ high. Even on my toes, I don’t have the height and coordination to hoist the heavy coat over her head. I am used to instant cooperation, so for her to take the additional seconds to quite down and oblige me was a long time.

Normally, I stand to the side to lift the coat over her head. But considering her strong desire to be released (lack of attention on me) and the awkward bundle of coat (a mere size 84), I was compelled to stand directly in front of her and capture both eyes. I was confident she would not step into me, but would turn away if she moved. In fact, Jocelyn and I do this direct approach when any of our horses are concerned about the coat going over their head. They seem to appreciate being able to focus on us while the coat is passing their eyes.

Venus thought for a moment and made her decision saying, “okay, I’ll try” and lowered her head into the neck. Here’s where I enjoyed taking advantage of our agreement. As soon as the coat was securely past her ears, I said “okay, walk”. She turned and slowly began her circle. The advantage to me was that she literally helped me lay the coat out on her body as she walked by. That was so much fun and convenient, for a fraction of a second, I entertained the thought of teaching all our horses to do this. However, this was swiftly shot down in favor of maintaining the practice of having them stand still. <G> By the time the coat was straight and I had the near leg strap in hand (in only a half circle‘s time), I asked her to stop. She instantly stopped and let me connect the strap.

There was still a feeling of some remaining agitated energy at this point. For that reason and to fulfill my part of our agreement, I told her to walk again and allowed a full circle.

Just a side note here: my top 2 rules are “It Depends“ and “Follow Your Intuition“. My next move is certainly not what I would do with just any horse in any random situation. However, I do practice this, in most situations, with all of my horses.

Jocelyn and I spend hours every week, observing our herd. We’re writing a book from a completely fresh view of stallion/herd management. Our 2 Stallions (half brothers, born on our farm) live safely and happily together within a herd of 2 geldings and 5 mares.

One of the ways our horses show their dominance to each other is by squeezing between each other and a stationary object. They force the other horse to step aside. For that reason, I also do this with them – most especially with the stallions. Of course, because I see myself as moving them over with my presence, I’m not ever in a position to be pinned. It’s a dominance game we play, in the spirit of fun, and they always move aside for me when I ask.

Understanding this, I intentionally stopped Venus while her side to be buckled was slightly pressed against her stall gate. I came from behind and asked her to move over and make room for me. She instantly stepped over and I clipped her other leg strap. It was clear at this point that she was becoming less concerned with getting out and more interested in what I was doing. It also helped that every time I attached a strap, I gave her a little scratch. She craves scratches like a treat. She was also tuning into my energy of love and delight.

At this point, her energy was dramatically lower and she didn‘t need to walk. I could also see there still wasn’t enough room for me to bend down to get her belly straps, so I gently touched her side and told her I needed more space. She calmly took another step over. I knew I had her mind completely when she calmly, lovingly sniffed my hair as I reached under her to get the belly straps and buckle them.

What joy! I quietly hugged and loved on her and praised her and told her to be proud of herself for being so cooperative.

As you can imagine, the next time I dressed her in her stall, went even better. She stood absolutely still the entire time – that is, until I nearly had the final buckle attached. When I saw her begin to shift to move, I simply said, “hold still – stand – I‘m almost done”. And, as expected, she stopped and waited for my “okay – walk”.

My pleasure in this event is in the taking an everyday “chore“, by some people’s view, and using it to expand upon a beautiful relationship.

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (http://serenityequestriancenter.com) Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!

Thyme Became Sound and Healthy

November 8, 2008

Years ago, our thoroughbred Thyme, came to us in the midst of recovering from starvation. His vet showed us he had arthritis in his hocks and suggested he only be ridden gently on trails, no more than 1 hour a week. With 24 hour turnout and flax to help with the inflammation, Thyme was sound within a few months.

A year later, with his weight and health restored, he began re-training as a hunter 6 days a week. During all this time, he was sound on bare feet. Instead of wearing down his feet, he was growing hoof so fast, he needed trimming every 2 weeks. At the time, we had a master barefoot trimmer. Thyme was 14 years old, a gifted children’s horse for hunting and dressage (3rd level), bomb proof, and I sold him that summer to a young girl.

3 years later, Thyme was dumped at our friend’s stable. He was out of his mind, frightened of everything, underweight, lame with navicular on his front feet, and messed up on his hind end with arthritis. Note: it is amazingly difficult to cause navicular of this severity in such a short amount of time. This farrier not only did a very poor trim, he also attached shoes that were too small for his feet. The combination was destructive to Thyme’s health.

Our friend hoped she could restore his feet and use him in her lessons program. She successfully helped Thyme’s mind calm down and to put on weight. However, she was unable to provide the necessary environment and hoof trim required for healing navicular. After a year, Thyme showed little improvement and her vet said to retire him. So, he was given back to us. Hurray!

Our 1st steps toward Thyme’s healing: remove the shoes, trim down the bars, put on 24 hour turnout, and encourage lots of movement. 2nd step: use EFT and SRH.

At first, without the shoes to help mask the pain, Thyme was even more lame. His bars had cut through the sole within less than an inch of his hoof wall, which was more than 3 times the length they should be, and very close to killing him. It was very simple for us to trim down the bars.

Although it was painful, removing the shoes was necessary to allow the hoof to properly expand and contact as Thyme moved. The more he moved, the more circulation would be able to activate his healing.

To further compound Thyme’s lameness, his soles were dropped, indicating his coffin bones were also dropped. Again, barefoot, lots of movement, and appropriate trimming can reverse this issue.

So, Thyme and I had a list of things to tap about: 1 – the pain; 2 – raising the coffin bones; 3 – raising the soles; 4 – letting the bars come down out of his hoof (when the bars aren’t trimmed, they grow up into the hoof and press on the navicular bone); 5 – reduce the inflammation on his navicular bones; 6 – recede the bars back to proper length (the pressure from too much bar caused them to cut forward through the sole); 7 – believe and see himself pain-free and sound once again. I used SRH to help Thyme “feel” the improvements taking place and tapped on this list for several days before switching to focusing predominantly on tapping thanksgiving rounds each day.

Every day, there was visible improvement in his comfort. I consistently praised him and celebrated his getting better. He seemed to enjoy my enthusiasm and he thrived on my attention.

In less than 6 months Thyme was sound at every gate, including his beautiful floating trot. The coffin bones were nearly back to proper level as was the concavity in the sole. The bars were nearly back to proper length, too.

Oh yes, Thyme’s backend issues… between tapping and movement, he is sound there, too.

 

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (right click) Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!

Nyla, Hunter and Explorer

November 7, 2008

Nyla’s been with us nearly 7 weeks. When she’s not in my lap or on my bed, she is sunbathing, guarding the house, and hunting in the front woods. Every so often, I invite her inside, but she politely refuses.

She is uninterested in following cars (unless I’m in one), but expects to accompany the quad where ever it goes; no matter who is driving it. She understands that she is to remain in the kneewell of the quad when we drive up to get the mail on our busy highway.

As for the quad when outback, she flies on and off it while it’s in motion. Nyla exudes life, health and enthusiasm.

Nyla has enjoyed hunting and exploring while Jocelyn and I have been restoring the miles of electric fencing on our farm. There’s a price to pay — the burrs and leaves that stick to her curly hair — what a mess, but oh so worth it. Her pain tolerance is extremely high. We are very careful – do our best to be gentle – when pulling out the burrs. She is totally adorable when she gets a burr on one of her front feet, she holds the foot out straight with a look of disgust, asking us to remove it.

Yesterday, Nyla allowed Joey to touch her, nose to nose. She is getting much more comfortable with the horses.

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit http://serenityequestriancenter.com to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds.

Rick’s Deductive Reasoning to Distract Kelli

November 3, 2008
I’ve been installing fencing to add a few more acres of pasture. As I’ve worked, “The Trio” (formerly, “the 3 Babes” – 2 & 3 yo and 16h to 16.3 h) – Kelli and Joey, my trail blazers and Endy, who tags along when he’s in the mood – have come down to visit me, to test the lines for electricity, and to complain that they want me to extend the fence further. Ordinarily, they leave when I say, “please go somewhere else” or “step away from the lines“. However, yesterday, Kelli insisted on studying the lines for weaknesses and refused to leave. I don’t enjoy sending horses away when they‘re using they creative, inquisitive minds (even when they‘re up to no good). Well that, and I didn’t want to stop what I was doing and tromp 100 feet through the dense vegetation just to get her mind off the fence.
I had a more appealing idea – ask Rick, our herd leader, for help. We have a partnership where he occasionally steps in to help me with such issues. Rick and several of the adults had also come down to explore the new field. I called to him to please get Kelli away from the fence. He stood there for a moment looking at her. She immediately turned away from the fence to face him and firmly planted her feet, while the colts began heading toward Rick. I have often seen Rick silently (and verbally) call and patiently wait for various herd members to come join the group.

Apparently, Kelli refused to leave, so he changed tactics. Rick turned around and got everyone to run up to the big field with him – EXCEPT Kelli. She stood her ground ’til they all were out of the paddock before she gave in and putter-trotted up to join them.

Rick’s action reminded me of how we play “catch me” with the horses. He could have gone over to send her off, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as fun as drawing Kelli away in a group celebration of being healthy and alive. It was as though he said, “Come on everybody. Let’s see who can get to the big field 1st”.

If this was just a coincidence, the timing was perfect and I still got what I wanted. As for me, I’ve watched Rick’s use of deductive reasoning many times over the years. He uses a variety of leadership tools: a nip on the neck (Joey, when he was ruthlessly pestering Kelli), a kick (once, when Venus was really, really, really bad), posturing, herding, body blocks, drawing them to come to him, and this, running away to get them to follow him. I enjoy watching him make decisions; determining who is to be disciplined and how. All this, from the gentle, 1 ton gelding who kindly rules over his mares and stallions.

 

 

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (right click) Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!

Endy and the Flying Attack Blanket

October 29, 2008
We’re in the middle of our 1st snow storm of the season (we’re in central NY – Cortland) and I’m taking some time listing my items of gratitude: I’ve got electricity, a heater, a toasty warm poodle – Nyla – sleeping in my lap under my keyboard <G>, the 2 trees that fell near the house caused only minor damage to the camper and to one of our tarp garages, we’ve only gotten 5 inches of snow so far, the 30 mph wind dies down every so often (so it’s not a constant roar)… {Our friends who are 2.5 hrs south of us in PA, have been without electricity for nearly 24hrs, have already gotten well over 2 feet of snow and are maintaining 5-10 degrees colder temps than us. I am VERY grateful.}
Feeding this afternoon was a 2 hr wet, windy, miserable adventure for Jocelyn and me. Yet, we had a good time, as usual. We had to blanket the 8 boned-chilled drafts while they ate in their round pen paneled stalls – exposed to the driving snow. (Thyme, the TB, already had his coat on.)
Dressing some of these guys is tiring – Rick is 17.3h and his coat is size 90 inch = a heavy winter coat that has to be hoisted up 6 feet in the air. We used the wind to our advantage – to help blow the coats onto their backs.
The single exciting moment of the day was when Joey’s 78 inch coat blew off his panel and flew nearly 10 feet in the air and landed on Endy’s head – covering his face and draped on his neck and back!!! LOL!!! Nature was certainly showing off with that stunt. Poor Endy was shocked and couldn’t figure out how to get it off his head. But he was too dignified to panic even though he hates having his eyes covered! He willingly listened to Jocelyn calmly (well, half laughingly) calling him to come to the panel nearest her. He carefully came to her and let her pull it off of him.

We made a point of laughing like it was all a game. The herd is used to this light hearted attitude and interpreted that everything was okay. What a doll – I’m so grateful he’s sensible and so very trusting of us.I’ve attached Endy’s and Joey’s pictures from last month (9/18) – wow nature has really changed in such a short amount of time. Endy is trying to undo the knots on a rope halter (his favorite thing to do — he’s with Kelli) and Joey is playing with his doggy squeak toy. They are both 2yo, 16h Drum stallions.

3yo 16.3h Kelli, who was watching Endy’s plight with me, was understandably concerned and needed a few seconds of nuzzle-cuddling with me before I could hoist her coat over her head (the chest was sewn shut and had to go over her head — you know how some of these coats with buckles refuse to stay closed…). 

I’ve attached Endy’s and Joey’s pictures from last month (9/18) – wow nature has really changed in such a short amount of time. Endy is trying to undo the knots on a rope halter (his favorite thing to do — he’s with Kelli) and Joey is playing with his doggy squeak toy. They are both 2yo, 16h Drum stallions.

 

Endy & Kelli - Endy untying the knots on the rope halter - do you see his arrow?

Endy & Kelli - Endy untying the knots on the rope halter - do you see his arrow?Joey playing with his pink doggy toy - and Endy

 

Joey and Endy - Joey playing with his pink doggy toy

Joey and Endy - Joey playing with his pink doggy toy

Serenity Equestrian Center and Feathered Dream Drum Horses are family owned and run. Serenity’s Equine Therapy program is not a therapeutic riding school, but focuses solely upon the emotional wellness of the visitors. Visit (right click)Serenity Equestrian Center to learn more about SEC. Proceeds from Gayla’s personal coaching at EFT Lady and Prayer Lady support the feeding, housing, and clothing of SEC’s herd. Private donations also support the herd’s needs and go toward the playground and building funds. Make a Donation at PayPal. Thank you!