Friday, February 15, 2013

Freezing rain and fog does not make for happy horses

Sunday (Feb 10) temperatures were above freezing and the girls had a glorious time out in the snow. Suki trotted to the gate to greet me but fortunately toned it down a bit so I would have a heart attack worrying about her slipping and sliding into the gate! Nikki responded to my call with a nicker then casually walked to the gate, knowing that she would be coming in for the night.

Because I had some extra time I was able to stay at the barn longer and reallly get to enjoy Suki and Nikki. I leave for a conference on February 13, so the next few days will be more rushed, and I will be away from my family and the girls. Deb and Toby will do their usually great job in my absence, but still, I worry.....

I groomed Suki first, because she was pacing in her stall while I brought Nikki in, and I knew that she would not give me any peace if I took care of Nikki first! Baby Nikki (who is really not so much a baby anymore) happily munched on her hay while I groomed and moisturized Suki. Well, every time I stuck my hand in the gummy bear bag to bribe Suki into allowing me to moisturizeher poll and ears, Nikki looked up, so that she could have some too! Suki's skin looks really good, so I am confident that the skin care regimen is appropriate. She has also picked up a little weight, so that makes me happy too. I am going to have to put Suki back on a 5 week farrier schedule. She is barefoot and with the constant freezing/thawing of the ground her feet are a mess. She has good, strong feet, so I think that we just have to readjust the timing again. Suki is always very aware of where I am at any given moment while I am at the barn. Running out to the car to retrieve my bottle of water I only opened the barn door enough for me to get through. As I approached the barn to come back in I could see Suki straining her neck to look for me. Then she nickers to me softly as I re-enter. How I love that sound. The single sign that gave me hope when I stepped into ICU for the first time since Suki's arrival after the fire.

Nikki was all over me while I tried to groom her. She just kept wanting to snuggle and lean on me, so I stopped what I was doing and let her rest her lovely head into my chest. She closed her eyes and gave a big sigh of contentment. I wrapped my arms around her and we just stood that way for a few minutes enjoying the closeness. I took in that wonderful Nikki aroma and allowed myself to relax. I am itching to ride, and dream about it nightly, but for now horse hugs will do. Then while I was grooming her front legs Nikki reached down, grabbed my hat by its tassle and yanked it off my head! My phone was in the car so I wasn't even able to get a picture. She really did look funny and was quite pleased with herself for the little prank that she pulled on me.

Monday, Feb 11, 2013
Fog, freezing rain, sleet, rain.....the weather really ran the gamut today. Suki was not as cranky as I had expected her to be after spending the day in, but she did start to bang her stall door as soon as she heard my voice! As I approached her stall I caught her doing something that I have not seen her do in her stall.....PIAFFE! She was nickering and piaffing! She didn't seem agitated, she just wanted out. As I led her from her stall she puffed herself up and started to passage. I allowed her to do a few steps then chirped at her to walk. I swear sometimes she does these things to entertain herself! Suki was happy to be out of her stall, and although started off fidgety, relaxed once I started to groom her. Occasionally she felt the need to make a face at one of the horses in the nearby stall. Nikki is usually not upset about being in, although since moving back to Suki's barn she gets out more so I think that she misses it more than she used to. But still it seems that she is just happy to be with me. With all of the wet weather I anticipate that they will only go out for a short period on Tuesday in the paddocks. But it is better than another day in!

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013
Abbreviated visit today because of my departure tomorrow for the conference. With everything organized I am ready to leave the girls in Deb and Toby's capable hands. Deb will send me daily updates and I will obsess about the weather and what clothing they will need to wear. At home all of Isaiah's homework schedule, piano, etc is organized so I hope for the best.

I feel the promise of spring in the air and look forward to getting Nikki going again. Suki will also start to work slowly first with some lunging to increase fitness and sharpen the aids. Then we will move on to surcingle, followed by long lines. So much to look forward day at a time.....