Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MT: Day 2 - Arriving

Thursday was one of those *damp* mornings on the Olympic Peninsula.  Where the fog (although pretty) seeps instantly through however many layers you attempt to wear.  This was particularly unhelpful given the fact that The Boy and I woke up moderately chilly (and already damp) in a boat.  A pretty boat.  But a boat nonetheless. Also, the peculiar shape of the berths (nautical term for bed, point!) made my usual strategy of implementing The Boy as a space heater of sorts totally useless.. darn it.

A quick stop for coffee (and pringles) had me almost back to normal before we made it to the barn.  Both mares looked bright eyed and happy which I took to mean that they must certainly be ready for an adventure.

I started by grooming Pia up.  She is a dirty, dirty yak.  The Boy asked if she was a "different color."  Which technically, I suppose she is now.  I'm sure if you could bottle that color it'd be something like "Nice 'n Easy - Mountain Mud" or perhaps "Garnier Nutrisse - Nasty Ass Mare."

Then I went to wrap the mare's delicate little leg bones and realized that perhaps all of this time out in the herd, without a thought to "turnout boots" has left miss P a bit.... well, feral.

Feral Mare eats her hay straight out of a Bobcat...
This suspicion was confirmed when it proceeded to take me twenty five minutes to get four decent looking standing wraps attached to the beast's legs.  I damn near killed her.  Thankfully The Boy was madly re-rolling my wraps about as fast as P was tangling them up (though I nearly killed him when after finally getting the last hind leg wrapped... I discovered that he had rolled up my bandage the wrong way leaving me with no velcro to fasten my handiwork.  (daaaaaaammmmmit).  But we got over it, and eventually Pia was left to stomp around like a cat in snow hissing at her wraps.

Assuming that my good, sweet, Prairie would sooth my frustrations I pulled her out, brushed her up quickly and started to wrap.  However, in the absence of cross ties - apparently P2 also goes a bit feral and it took another 20 minutes before her big black legs were adequately protected for the trip.  (mares. humph)

(it should be noted that approximately 40 minutes into this silly exercise I nearly abandoned all Pony Club training and considered letting the beasts ride naked in the trailer..but- my guilt persuaded me to persevere with the Sisyphean task of wrapping...)

Once we actually got on the road. It was smooth sailing.  The mares were munching their hay at exactly the right rate to keep them occupied.  We fortified ourselves with Milk Duds, Pringles, Pretzel Thins (delicious), apple juice and cherry coke zero (personal fav).  Moments like this poke a few holes in my "Equestrians are Athletes" soapbox, but I'm ok with that.

We soldiered on through a nasty rain storm which found us just as we hit Portland traffic, but everything dried out as we continued south and by the time we pulled into the Oregon Horse Center, there was (dare I say it) some sunshine.

Mares both came off the trailer cool and quiet and utterly in love with each other.  Separation of more than 10 ft prompted panicked whinnies and stamping, which was less than charming while we were trying to locate our stalls.

Prairie's ears indicate that I have led Pia the maximum 10 ft from her in order to take this photo..
Everyone enjoyed some hay and water (I love that they both drink funny water without batting an eye) while we organized all of our accessories, then we decided that before we fed ourselves dinner, we should at least walk everyone around the obstacles a bit.

The Boy took Pia (he kept calling her his "date") and I attempted to wrangle the Big Black Mare who's lack of ground manners was also less than charming as we bowled through narrow aisles and past braying donkeys/barking dogs/screaming children.

P2's behavior warranted a quick lesson in "keeping slack in the lead" which I'm happy to say only took a few minutes.  As for the actual obstacles, she was significantly less freaked out than I thought she'd be.  Alert? sure.  crazed? definitely not.  obsessed with Pia? certainly.

P2 basically had her nose attached to Pia's butt and followed her everywhere.  I decided this was ok, because Pia was climbing over/under/through every obstacle like no big deal, which Prairie naturally assumed was the party line.

I have no pictures of this little schooling session as The Boy cannot function as both Pia's date and official documentarian.  I failed to really consider the math on how many hands we have between us, and how many horses we opted to bring.
(an important consideration for future planning with regard to more horses, dogs, or god forbid children).

Since everyone seemed to be playing nicely and refraining from any unacceptable tantrums, we called it a night and tucked the mares in with equal amounts of hay and shavings.  Prairie immediately laid down and started snacking on her hay from the ground.  I figure this is probably like me consuming a good portion of my daily caloric intake while reclining on the couch.  nice work mare....I tip my hat to you.

So, in summary.  both mares were terrors with wraps, but loaded politely.  Hauled great, drank lots of water, seem to get along and were champs during our first pass at the obstacles.  So far, so good...

As for us, we headed back to our Holiday Inn (upgrade!) and opted to eat dinner in their "Italian" restaurant.  Not sure what made me think that a restaurant in a Holiday Inn would be remotely delicious (it wasn't), but I suppose technically it was food and after our road-trip-snacking, it was probably significantly better for us than anything we had eaten up to that point - which has to count for something.

Just not a lot.


  1. Your girls are hilarious and your boy is a marvel. Actually leading a horse around? I'm impressed. Next you're going to tell me he rides her...

    1. I didn't get him on one of the girls, but i *did* get him on a horse. I even have video evidence to prove it... :)

  2. This post is a riot. Absolutely jealous of two things
    1) Pia's tail
    2) the boy

  3. You have to give me your secrets for training The Boy. I can hardly get mine to touch my horses, and he needs to be ready to stand in as show groom in a couple months.

    Love that Pia and Prairie and getting along!

  4. Don't you just love men who don't mind helping with the horses? :D

    Sounds like all in all it's starting off really great! I can't wait to finish the story.


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