Saturday, February 26, 2011

A few steps forward...

My husband and I headed out to the barn today to continue working on my fear of riding. Everything was going pretty well. I was able to mount bareback, sit for a while and dismount without freaking out. Things took a bit of a bad turn when I convinced Chris to hop up. Morrissey was fine with me, but crow hopped a bit with Chris. Once she calmed down, I stupidly convinced him to try to take a few steps on her. She bucked for the first time ever and he came off. I got on her right after, so she wouldn't learn to buck to get out of work. I then worked her on the lunge line, and then mounted and dismounted again.  Chris wasn't hurt, but he was pretty annoyed. He isn't a huge fan of horses in the first place. I may have lost my barn buddy for a while. I'm upset with Morrissey for acting up, but I'm sure that this is nothing that Dot and I can't get through.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sitting Pretty

Despite the fact that I'm a complete chicken, I got on Morrissey bareback today. We didn't move and it was in the barn, but hey slow and steady wins the race.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dog Update

After posting the blog about my dogs fighting, I was lucky enough to find another blogger out there who has even more dogs than me. They have a pack of pugs and bulldogs just like I have, the major difference is that their pack gets along. I asked for some advice and they were happy to help.

Together we decided that my close bond with Dupree, and my lack of leadership at feeding time was causing the problems. I immediately adopted a new feeding plan and stopped giving Dupree free passes because of her cute facial expressions. Since that day there hasn't been a single fight. Coli is happy as can be and I'm sure Dupree with get over it eventually.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spa Day

After what seems like months (or at least a couple of weeks) of freezing cold temperatures, it finally warmed up enough for me to bathe Morrissey yesterday. She is a shaggy beast right now, so the bath was pretty time consuming. She was not a huge fan of the process. Months ago, her fidgeting would have scared me to death, but it didn't phase me at all. I really love this wonderful level of comfort that she and I have developed. We really enjoy each other's company. She is such a sweet girl!

Morrissey inspecting her former mane
While I had her hair wet, I decided to trim her bridle path. I haven't bought clippers yet, so I used scissors. It was nerve wracking sitting there looking at her gorgeous mane and thinking about taking scissors to it. I'm happy with the end result though and it is much easier to tack her up without her thick mane in the way. I also think it makes her look much more sleek.

I used a sweat scraper on her for at least an hour trying to get her dry, but it wasn't happening. As soon as I put her into her paddock, she promptly rolled in the dirt. It is ok though, because when I checked on her today she looked great. I can't believe how soft and silky her mane looked. I can't wait to see my girl in her sleek summer coat.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Coli meets Morrissey

Today we took Coli to meet Morrissey. Despite the fact that Coli is not even the alpha at our house when the only things she is up against are pugs, she still decided she could take on 1100 lb Morrissey. Poor delusional Coli, I don't think Morrissey was worried.

In other news, my American Dairy Goat Association Herd Name has been made official.  My herd name is Gray Stables. All of the goats I breed with have this included in their names. Hopefully, one day Gray Stables will be synonymous with the very best nubian goats available in Texas!

Two of the possible goat mama's are due this month. The rest are due in April and May. I'll keep you updated when my kids are born! Of course I'll post pictures as well.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Memory Lane - Misty

Misty at her first show in 1998
With my new horse and new goats on the way, I've been thinking a lot about my past. This is the first installment of a short series about the animals that started this crazy journey. Fortunately, my mother found some old pictures that I can share with you.

Misty was my first goat. I wanted to show an animal in FFA, that wouldn't have to go to sale for butchering. There were two choices: cows or dairy goats. I chose goats. Goats had not been shown in my school's FFA for quite some time, if ever.  The teachers were not really excited about the idea of allowing me to raise them. Taking no for an answer was never in my nature, so I convinced 5 of my friends to show dairy goats with me and we were official. On my own I decided on a breed, and found local breeders.

Misty Tri-Club Show in 1999
We headed out to Kay Kloecker's farm and I fell instantly in love with one of the doelings. She was a single kid and much younger than the others. I immediately named her after Misty of Chincoteague and when she was finally weaned, I went and picked her up. Soon after, we started a fairly successful show career. Little Misty did pretty well at major shows Like The Houston Livestock Show, and the Ft Worth Stock Show. I was very proud and thoroughly enjoyed the showing process. 

Misty  Ft Worth Reserve Grand Nubian Junior Doe 200
When I was 18 years old and just starting college, my older brother was killed by a drunk driver. My family and I were so overwhelmed that I ended up giving Misty and my other goats away. I truly regretted doing so, only a few years later and tried to locate my beloved goats. I had no luck getting any of them back. I've spent the last 10 years wanting to continue my passion of raising and showing diary goats. I'm so happy to finally be in a place where I can!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Farmish and Coldish

I don't know how people handle actual winters.  In Houston, we don't really have winter, therefore we don't have winter infrastructure. Every few years we'll get a cold front, but this year is like nothing I've seen before. We didn't get snow here, but we did get ice. Even Morrissey's water keeps freezing over. I would have taken a picture of her 50 gallon, hay infused, water flavored slushie but my hand was too cold after breaking it up for her.

My suburban side is coming out, I feel like a frozen fish out of water. The more farmish people in my life are constantly reassuring me that chubby, shaggy, draft horses can handle this weather. They must be right because Morrissey looks thoroughly unimpressed by the whole ordeal. I promise I'll try to update with a photo, the next time I venture out to check on her. 

My goats are due this month. I can't wait to meet them! I feel for the goat farmers delivering in this weather. Hopefully, it will warm up in time for them! I joined a Farmish Link List! Check it out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dog Fights

I'm having dog issues. Dupree, my female pug has hated my female bulldog Coli since they met. 99.9% of the time they tolerate each other, but on occasion, usually when I'm alone with them both, she decides that Coli has committed some serious crime and should be punished.

I pull them off each other and separate them instantly they aren't seriously hurting each other, but it has to stop. I usually see the warning signs and try to prevent the fights, but it almost seems to escalate things. I think the problem is that they have been in a battle for dominance since they met, and it never gets sorted out. 

I have a strong suspicion that I'm the cause of all of this. Dupree is very bonded with me. I think I've been marked as her property. Coli is hesitant to come when I call. I think she's afraid of getting in trouble from Dupree. Both of them usually listen to my commands, but when they are about to fight, it is like I'm not there. They both ignore me. I've tried to "Cesar" them. For small misbehavior it works, but not for the fights. I don't really walk them. They are both older and have the typical smooshed-face dog illnesses. They don't seem to have excess energy. I have tried walking them together in the past to promote bonding, but it never made a difference.

I totally love my dogs but I'm starting to consider finding a new home for one of them. I've had Coli since she was a puppy, for 11 years now. I can't imagine not seeing her every day. Dupree is a pain, nobody who knew her would want to deal with her, and I love her to pieces. Anyone with any experience in multiple dog households please share!