"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another Pair of Ears



And they are mine.

And yes, I'm shamelessly copying Mel's way of introducing a new horse just because I thought it was so brilliant!

I present to you, my friends, Gracie.





This photo barely does her mane justice!
Charles says she looks like a cool surfer chick: tan with the bleached blonde hair. He insists I should call her Roxy, after the surfer girl's brand. I know a couple of Roxy animals and I just don't like the name for her; she really does look like a Gracie and she responds to the name so well. It's part of the reason why I called Lily "Lily" - it was very similar to the name she came with, "Lely", which means she has responded to it from day 1. Gracie's registered name is "Milli-On-Aire" (Charles asked, "So technically you have a Lily and a Millie?" Yeah that has a ring to it, but no! I don't like Millie as an animal name, personally. Nothing against Millies out there; just personal preference!), which is kind of cool if you think about it..."Aire" would have been an awesome name that would have worked both in Spanish and English, but it sounds nothing like "Gracie". Her mom that loves her so much gave her that name; I'm not changing it.
She is a young Rocky Mountain Horse that I'd been exercising for several weeks now. I've mentioned her in passing in the past - she was the first horse to be switched to field board since our arrival at this barn and was Lily's first companion in the field. She can be a treat hound that loves attention, initially to the point where she would try to chase other horses away so SHE could get first dibs on petting. Lily finally started standing up to her when I walked in the field. Lily didn't care about getting attention from other people but I am her person. Funny enough, Lily and Gracie became friends after that. I think Gracie was the leader of the herd and Lily was the second in command. It was common to see them grazing away from the herd, especially as the herd became smaller in the more recent months (several boarders have moved away; newcomers have been geldings so far, so they have been going in other fields).

Gracie has some of the smoothest gliding gaits I've ridden in a long time. I've ridden Pasos and TWH but had yet to experience the gaits of a Kentucky Mountain Horse. They are one of the few breeds that can maintain that same smooth gait over rough terrain.

I can confirm that this is true.

She LOVES THE TRAIL. LOVES IT.

Looking like an Andalusian while chugging away down the trail!
To the point of being very forward on the trail. Which I honestly don't mind. She had not been ridden in over 6 months so she's being brought along slowly: shorter trail rides while rebuilding her confidence and fitness. She has a slightly wonky stifle so the trail and some basic dressage work in the arena are the perfect remedy.

Gracie loves to lead but sometimes needs mental breaks. She also has questions about obstacles on the trail, like fallen tree trunks and water crossings, questions that are often brought up with a stop and a spin, or a cow kick or buck, all things to be expected of a young horse. However, she is brilliantly smart, with a sense of humor, general good spirits, the spirited nature that I love in gaited horses, and a great work ethic: she will have a question about an obstacle once. The next time, she'll remember the spot where that obstacle was at and will actually accelerate to meet the challenge and successfully surpass it! She gets a kick out of this and it cracks me up. She LIKES to work. But she is also opinionated and you have to earn her trust and respect. So far, so good.  I really, really like her and I think the feeling is mutual! Today when I went to get her in the field I couldn't see her anywhere. Two of the mares were in the run-in shed but Gracie was nowhere to be found. I called her name and she nickered in response, poking her head out from the smaller cow shed where she had been enjoying the shade to see where I was. "I'm here! Where are you? Oh! There you are!" And she came over to me. My heart may have melted a little... :)

I'd been wanting a second horse, a gaited horse, for the last year. I had put the wish out to the Universe, not expecting it to come true for a while.  When you really want something, the Universe really does conspire in helping you to achieve your dreams. The stars aligned and suddenly Gracie was mine. Her mom adored her but already had two other quieter horses and she wanted Gracie to go to a good, loving home where she would be in consistent work with a special focus on the trails. This is not a problem at all!

Lily is so sweet, friendly, serious and shy (she has no sense of humor. She's gotten better, but Lily is somewhat of a type-A personality), while Gracie is sweet, bold, curious and a bit of a clown. I honestly never imagined myself owning two mares, but what mares they are! I may just be turning into a mare person...

"What are you doing in there?"
I was setting up Gracie's feed and had to laugh when I saw her poking her head in curiously.
(She gets 1 cup of Triple Crown Lite + 2 oz of ground flax twice a day. Yes, she is very much an easy keeper! She has been wearing a grazing muzzle from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and it has helped to start getting her weight under control.)
I had Lily on the cross ties the other day when Phoebe asked how did Lily feel about having a sister.

Lily nickered happily. I kid you not!

Every time I bring Gracie up from the field, Lily walks into her stall from the dry lot and nickers at Gracie. Not at me, at Gracie. I think she definitely approves of her sister!

You may be getting some comic relief on the blog from now on because the newest addition is quite the character:

I was trying to get a picture of her in the daylight so you guys could see the shimmery summer coat coming in on her shoulders. Her color is called red chocolate.
"Whatcha doing?"
"What's that in your hand?"
"Is it a treat?"
"Are you sure that's not edible?" *Sniff sniff*
You can imagine my laughter by this point.
Yup, I may be in love with her. :)

In the meantime, Lily continues to do FANTASTIC!! She has been bootless for the last couple of days and is down to half a gram of bute once a day. She has been 100% sound since last Wednesday with no marked pulses on her legs. We were cleared to start 10 minutes of hand grazing a day and so far, so good! She is still on the low starch diet (free choice soaked grass hay, & unmolassed beet pulp with 4 oz ground flax and a cup of Triple Crown Lite twice a day) We are discontinuing the bute tomorrow and if all continues to be well, we'll be starting lunging for 10 minutes a day on Wednesday. On Friday the vet comes out again and we'll talk about starting work under saddle again.



31 comments:

  1. Congrats!! And how fun :)
    Glad Lily is feeling so much better, too!

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  2. She's beautiful I'm thinking the color must be a KMH thing, since our KMH here looks just like her.

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    1. It is! This color is a lot easier to find than the famous silver dapple/black silver that everyone wants so much: the dark chocolate color with the white mane and tail.

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  3. AHHH I have been MIA for weeks and now I come back to this?! She's adorable! Can't wait to hear more! And so glad Lily's feeling better. :)

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    1. Haha Thank you! :) welcome back Brianna! I've missed your posting, but I know your lack of posting often means you're riding more!

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  4. Lily and Millie. I'm with Charles LOL

    So... Two horses. Two butts are needed. Charles, get'cho riding britches on!

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    1. He laughed out loud when he read this comment. :)

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  5. Congrats on your new mare! I just love her color!

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    1. Thank you! Can't wait for her summer coat to come in!

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  6. Isn't she gorgeous! So happy for you, my friend!

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  7. My vote is for Gracie (I may be biased)...! It's funny how the best things in life just work out sometimes, it was definitely that for me and Aurora :)

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  8. So pretty, and that forelock, wow! She sounds like quite a find, congratulations!

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    1. Thank you Irish Horse! Her previous mom had said that she would never ever cut her forelock. I love it!

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  9. Congratulations!!!!!! She's absolutely gorgeous. It sounds like you guys really click and I'm looking forward to hearing all the great stories that you too will undoubtably share. (I'm also very glad to hear lily is doing better!)

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    1. Thank you Mel! I'm so excited about your Merrylegs too. :)

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  10. Ooooo she's so pretty! Thank god she's not named Hershey was the first thought in my head... I know like 6 RMHs and they are ALL named Hershey!

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    1. Oh God if her name had been Hershey it would have been changed STAT!

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  11. Congrats! She's so pretty! Are you going to condition her for endurance as well? I love gaited horses personally - I'm so excited for you!

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    1. That is the plan. :) She seems totally cut out for endurance!

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  12. I'm so happy for you! Lily's on the mend and you've got a lovely new addition to your herd. Can't wait to see you out on the trails again!:)

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    1. Thank you Gail! I hope to ride with you again soon! :)

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  13. Wow, congratulations! And glad Lily continues to improve. :)

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  14. Pretty new mare for you - big congratulations!!

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  15. I'm finally getting a chance to get caught up! Congrats on Gracie! She's beautiful! Also I'm so happy Lily is doing so well. That must have been scary. Sorry for not commenting while I get caught up. I will do better about not getting so far behind.

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