Monday, February 25, 2008


Quite the eventful weekend. The weather was great, so that always helps.

Saturday was a long day. Got the boys fed, then worked on pushing the snowbanks back to prepare for the next dump of whitestuff. Got all the shavings unloaded and stored away. Gave the stalls a thorough cleaning and started manure pile #2, as #1 is drifted in. Pulled the hay wagon over to the hay guy. Sanded the driveway. Then the Neighbor Guy picked us up at ten and we headed off to Nolan's Arena for the first horse sale of the season. We did not take a trailer - we just went to see how bad the prices are. Grade yearlings were getting $50-$75. Most of these were registerable AQHA, but the owners don't want to spend the money to do it, so they have to list them as grade. Bred brood mares were getting $200. Good well broke horses fetched maybe $800 if they were lucky. The big one of the day got $2250, a dead broke 15 yr. old b.s. Paint owned by Sara's old trainer. WP all the way. If he had a little more white, he'd be worth five times that. He's gotten out of training and showing and has gone back to shoeing full time, so he sold all his show horses. Kinda sad.

Auctions are kinda sad at times, as you can tell when folks are selling truly good family horses out of necessity. But that thought is soon replaced by disgust at the sellers that bring thru the butt ugly manure encrusted non-halter broke crooked legged yearlings by the dozens. Fer the cry-yi-yi.

Sunday was just as busy. I got a path plowed to the gate and shoveled out the bottom rails so we can open it to go use the neighbor's indoor. Got the four-wheeler stuck real good in the process. Donkey and Nadia seemed to enjoy watching me work, so I gave them some scratchins after I was done. Both had burdocks pretty bad so I spent some time getting those out. Nadia (the percheron) is such a gentle soul. I got the brush and curry and she loved it. I was told by Neighbor Guy that she rides, but has horrible ground manners. I don't see it. She stood like a champ when I brushed her. When the hair was blowing in my face, I poked her in the hip to get her to move down wind and she pivoted. Humph. So I poked her in the shoulder, and she pivoted. More humph. Reached up to her poll and she dropped her head like a heavy rock. Humph. I brushed her everywhere and she just stood - no lead or halter. I think we'll be spending more time together this spring. Gonna need a big ladder to get up there, but I'm gonna try.

Sara went to ride Wyatt and she came back all smiles. He's coming along super. She rode him around the yard, and he never so much as blinked an eye at any of the horse eating boogeymen they encountered. If he saw something new, he wanted to go sniff it. Such a good horse.

I brought Hank in and brushed him up - he's shedding heavily. Tossed the saddle on and rode around the pasture in full redneck attire - jogging pants, cowboy boots, ski jacket and Elmer Fudd hat. Hey, my horse doesn't care that I look like a clown. I haven't ridden him in three or four weeks and he did great. We just plodded along in snow that is above his knees. He got a workout.

Sara had a lesson with her new trainer and Jin, so off she went. Her new trainer is very good and honest. If you and your horse don't have what it takes, she won't waste your time or hers perpetuating a dream. If you walk in and say "I want to go to World", but you are average open show material, that's what she'll tell you and that's how she'll work with you. If she sees potential, she'll encourage you to progress. But if you don't want to, that's ok too. Anyway, the lesson went well and the trainer was very happy with their progress. She has high hopes for the two of them, and she's not one to say it if she didn't mean it.

There are a few trainers in the area that are kinda snaky. They'll take you and your horse in, and after many lessons and money, tell you that your horse is good, but they have one for sale that is better. You can buy their horse for $$$, and they'll sell your horse to another client, with a commission, of course. And the horse they just sold you needs finishing, so now you pay the trainer for that, too.

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