Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Everyone needs a Little Help Now and Then!

Friday, 28 February 2014
I SO enjoyed Suki and Nikki today!  No, we didn't get to work, and other than brushing their legs and faces and picking their feet I really didn't do much with them.  Well, I did make them do stretches for their treats!

I just get such pleasure from their personalities.  Both girls needed new salt blocks.  I use the ring of Himalayan salt that hangs by a short rope from the front bars of the stall.  Suki has always been a big salt chewer, so the small rectangular mineral block always ended up crumbled and the wire rack mangled. And before someone suggests it, no, she doe not have any type of deficiency, as she is on a good quality feed.  This is more of a habit than anything else.  I once tried to use the large mineral block on the floor of Suki's stall, but it made her angry.  She would trash her stall and fling that VERY heavy block all over the place.  Once removed she went back to her neat stall management!  Nikki is less aggressive about her salt and licks at it with only the occasional bite.  But she does seem to enjoy the Himalayan salt a bit more.

Today as I was tying the ring in Suki's stall she started to "help" by licking my fingers and nibbling on the rope.  I can't tie the rope with my winter gloves on so I had removed them.  Temperature was about 15F, so my fingers became cold rather quickly.  I assured Suki that I really did not need her assistance, at which time she decided to look in my pockets for extra treats.  With both hands occupied tying the salt ring, Suki knew that she had free rein to dig around.  Unsuccessful, she moved to snuffling my hair, licking my cheek and licking my jacket.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Suki is such a clown at times, and yet so serious about other things.  Turnout, for example, is a very serious business!  She must be first out and first in.  Nikki has to go out ahead of her because Suki will crowd the gate, not allowing Nikki to get in.  But today I was outside talking to Christine while she was breaking ice in water tubs, and we could hear Suki banging on her door to go out.....just in case we forgot!

Finished with Suki's salt block I went to Nikki next.  Nikki immediately dove into my pockets, but then followed me with the salt ring.  As I untied the rope from the old one, she too thought that I was in need of assistance.  Licking my fingers, grabbing the rope and eventually licking the side of my face!  I think that was an accident, because she looked surprised!  Moving onto my hair, Nikki snuffled for a bit then grabbed my jacket again.  Finally finished with my task I rubbed Nikki's face then gave her a carrot.  Such funny girls!

Sunday, 02 March 2014
Finally a day warm enough to perform thorough grooming and spa treatments! At 28F I was actually overdressed and removed my coat.  Longing to ride, this winter the extreme conditions have taught me to be satisfied with spending time with Suki and Nikki, reading and watching the occasional video.  It has also given me the opportunity to plan spring, summer and fall (in a perfect world).  The plan will adapt accordingly as I am certain that there will be a need to change course for any number of reasons.  But at least I have a start!

Suki very obviously enjoyed her moisturizing massage, as she rocked back and forth and wiggled her lips as I moved my hands across the top of her back.  And although I had been brushing her face on days when I just did face/legs/mane/tail and picked feet, Suki moved her head up and down, changing angles to fund the itchiest spots while I held the exfoliation mitt in my hand!  After some carrot stretches  (and an ALMOST bow!) I dressed her in two blankets with a mid weight sheet on top.  Probably slightly overkill for the day, but temperatures are expected to plummet following another predicted 8 inches of snow tonight.  Hopefully this will be the last of the snow events!

Nikki too, enjoyed her thorough grooming and even tolerated her belly being brushed with just a slight ear flick.  I use the softest cloth or brush, but she just doesn't like it!  But boy does her mane need to be pulled....yikes!  maybe next weekend?  She absolutely LOVED having her face brushed so I wrapped it in a towel and massaged it thoroughly.  Judging by her "purring" I would say she was quite happy.

Content with the girls' shiny coats, fluffy tails and oiled feet I gave them extra treats as they waited for breakfast and turnout.

Monday, 03 March 2014
The storm that wasn't!  Yay!  we barely had a coating of snow.  Just enough for slick roads which cleared quickly.  The cold and wind were wicked so I was glad that i had bundled up the girls yesterday.

Tuesday, 04 March 2014
As promised, another arctic blast of snow.  I took this photo when I got out of the car by the barn at 7:30 this morning.  At 5F you can see how cold and barren the landscape looks as the sun tries bravely to make an appearance.

But inside the barn I was greeted by welcoming nickers and the warm breath of my beautiful horses on my face.  And suddenly I didn't feel so cold anymore....

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