Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Settling in

Sunday morning I went about my usual routine and got up early for my morning ride. The weather was cool and comfortable....the perfect start for a Sunday morning. Even the dairy cows seemed to marching a bit more briskly out to their pasture!

Nikki was a little cranky in her stall as she tried to eyeball her bucket of grain sitting outside her stall! I scooped a handful to her as i set out the tack and supplies in preparation for our ride. All was forgiven as I snapped the crossties to her halter while she tried fishing for treats. Crisp, clean white polos against Nikki's shiny bay coat gave her the appearance of the lovely dressage horse that she is growing into. Our ride on this last morning at VMF went smoothly, and I sighed as I cooled her down. Moving her is the right thing to do so that I can ride more and just generally spend more time with her, but I will miss being at VMF. Everyone is very friendly and the care is excellent.

Following my ride I cleaned tack and prepared for Nikki's departure, crossing my fingers that she would load onto the trailer easily. I witheld much of the rest of her breakfast, with the plan to use it to lure her up the ramp, rationalizing that she would be more likely to want it if she was just a bit hungry! Apparently the loading gods were listening, because Nikki walked onto the trailer like a star. The drive between the two barns takes about 20 minutes, and Nikki stepped off the trailer as easily as she walked on.

Settling quietly into her stall with a mound of hay, I felt comfortable leaving her for a few hours. Suki looked over from her stall with some interest, and called to me for treats and a scratch. I wonder if she remembers Nikki? They were turned out together for almost a year 2010-2011.

Later that afternoon I went back to the barn to give Suki her spa treatment. When I took her out of her stall we walked over to say hello to Nikki. Neither horse squealed (which surprised me), but Suki kept a watchful eye on Nikki while I groomed her! Because Suki has established a relationship with Banker, we decided to not upset that dynamic. Nikki would be going out with Chester. We had tried Chester with Suki, but she basically terrorized him. No physical harm, but she made evil faces and loud noises toward him!

Once the other horses were out Nikki and Chester were turned out in a paddock near the barn to see how they got along. Suki's field is adjacent to it, and the girls touched noses over the fence. Suki proceeded to passage in circles in front of Nikki, then Nikki passaged around the paddock. Chester made it clear that he was the boss, without doing anything more than moving Nikki around to where he wanted her to graze. Suki bored of the passage game, relaxing with Banker. Nikki and Chester also established a peaceful grazing stance which made me relax a bit.

Monday, Aug 27, 2012

In order to take care of both girls, Nikki was to be ridden before the horses were fed. I decided to do a 10 minute lunge first, so that she could see her new arena. When we got out to the ring Nikki called to her new love, Chester, whom she had met a mere 24 hours earlier! Other than that the lunge and ride were uneventful. I was so proud of her!

Timing worked well, and I groomed Suki while she was finishing her dinner. The Aquafor ointment (petroleum jelly based) seems to consistently keep the skin well moisturized. On sunny days I have to remember to use sunscreen on the areas not covered by the fly sheet.

Tuesday's ride was equally as good. A nice breeze and the shaded ring made for pleasant temperatures, although every time we transitioned to the walk we were attacked by bugs! Part of Suki's pasture is visible from the riding arena, so when she and Banker were turned out, Suki came right over to the fenceline to watch! She didn't stay there for long, and I had taken care of her first, so she was happily out for the evening. Once Nikki was taken care of and also out for the night and went to the other side of Suki's get to offer more treats and a visit. As I perched on top of the fence she walked over and rested her head on my leg, without asking for treats (well, not at first anyway!). I love my girls!


  1. You go, Chester! How nice the girls are behaving :)

    1. And Nikki loves him! It is so nice having the girls together again!