Wolf! Wolf!

Wolf Attack!

Made this a few weeks back to poke fun at a group of very excited people on Facebook who were certain that now the wolves were going to be coming and they’d be unable to ride out safely anywhere without having to bring a shotgun. I tried to point out to them that there are numerous, very much real far more severe threats to a rider and her horse than wolves, to no avail.

Anyway, the presumed wolf attack turned out to be a feral dog.

Thin vs Undermuscled

Thin versus undermuscled.
Thin versus undermuscled.

Throwing this one up here since I am still working so hard on getting Pilar in shape. She’s a bit of both, although mostly undermuscled, and she is making steady improvements. It’s been interesting to observe, though — and Logan certainly looked like the picture of the thin horse when we acquired him a year and a half ago.

Note the different head positions in the two picture. The thin horse’s posture is tired and indifferent, the neck entirely straight. The undermuscled horse, comparatively, has ears perked up and is carrying his head rather than just let it hang off the end of his neck.

More Horse, Less Rider

Beautiful Pilar.
Beautiful Pilar.

It’s been a little more than a month since Pilar arrived at our barn, but it feels like a year already. We have been so busy!

The black lady informed me politely but firmly that water is icky, yuck, and disgusting at first, but we have now reached a compromise that works for us both: Pilar will stand still while being hosed down if she is being served dinner at the same time. That’s fine by me — and by her, hose, what hose, who’s worried about hoses, tch.

Several baths have helped her skin condition quite a bit, getting rid of old dirt, skin flakes, and other irritants. Coupled with her shot against mange and a healthy dose of Frontline, her skin is looking much better, and the new hair that is growing out to cover the once bald spots is lush and black and silky soft. A generously applied bottle of rapeseed oil helps me keep her tail looking neat and well combed. Somebody ought to have warned me that there is so much finger combing of tails to do with Friesians!

Most efficient hedgerow trimmer south of the North Pole.
Most efficient hedgerow trimmer south of the North Pole. Photo (C) Alvin Gellert.

We still do not work all that much. Pilar is underweight and undermuscled, but she is improving and gaining weight at a steady rate. She fully understands the rein signals now, to a point where she aced zig-zagging down a line between coloured cones on the second attempt yesterday (we don’t always go in the direction that I ask for, but that’s not because she does not understand — that’s because she disagrees). She loves going for small trail walks, more so because the hedgerows are absolutely, fantastically yummy this time of year.

I am absolutely, totally, completely in love with my black pearl. I’ve also lost seven kilos.

Friendship in the Making

A friendship in the making.
A friendship in the making.

Alvin and Pilar are bestest buddies already. She follows him around like a little dog — mostly for the treats and the backrubs, but in time those two are going to have a very special bond, just like Alvin and Logan had. It makes me very happy to watch them; there is something genuine and, well, real about friendship and mutual respect across species like that.

Pilar has settled in very well. She got a bit of a rough time from red Icelandic horse Ari the first night, but now her main concern is running up and down the hilly paddock to build up some muscle strength. She aced her vet check Tuesday; she needs to gain muscle and she has skin mites. She took her injection against mites with monastic levels of tranquility, and the hilly paddock is going to do wonders for her physical form and shape, along with generous amounts of hay.

She aced her first riding lesson yesterday during which she learned that the idea isn’t to follow the others around but to walk as instructed by the reins. At first she was a little excited and danced a bit, but she quickly settled into a comfortable pace and even walked over coloured poles on the ground with much curiosity and interest. I only let her walk for thirty minutes since she is so badly out of shape, but I’m absolutely positive we’ll be flying around before you know it.

The first trick she learned is the best though: She comes trotting up when you whistle. So much easier to get her out of the bloody paddock that way!

Beautiful Pilar is beautiful.
Beautiful Pilar is beautiful.