Hard to believe that in the third trimester of pregnancy, preparing for the new baby, preparing to be on a six week work hiatus from my day job (aka maternity leave), and caring for 20 horses, ponies, and donkeys made finding the time to blog difficult, but there we are. Shockingly, I didn’t seem to find the time for blogging until almost the fifth week of my maternity leave with family and visitors pouring in to see the new baby, and getting back into the swing of things, but….I’m back!
There are lots of things to catch up on, and I’ve finally found a few moments to write out my training schedule. I’ve had lots of blog topics swirling around in my brain since the birth and a few I fully intended to write before, but just couldn’t find the time or energy to complete. So here’s to getting back to everyday life!
In early December a friend let me know that the Bell County Sheriff’s department had obtained a pony either through surrender, confiscation, or capture that would be looking for a new home. There are procedures to these types of adoptions, but basically if whatever time period ran out without the animal being reclaimed, he would be available for me to adopt. I stopped by the veterinary clinic where he was temporarily being housed, and decided he could be a perfect new addition to the GHLHF and would get me that much closer to to my 6 horse hitch goals.
The only issue was this little guy was still a stallion, and there was no guarantee he would assimilate with Beau Pony and Buckwheat. The veterinary clinic offered to geld him before I took him home, but he was gorgeous with the potential to make beautiful babies. So once all of the steps necessary to satisfy local government bureaucracy were completed, I decided to give the little stud an opportunity to keep the family jewels. It was a decision I almost instantly regretted.
The newest addition that was perfectly lovely alone in a stall with no other equine on the property, leapt out of my trailer, morphing into miniature fire breathing dragon. He screamed at any horse that looked at him, was constantly calling for mares, and would kick or strike at any horse that came within 5 feet of him. He was impossible to work with as he was focused on all things equine, and the testosterone raging through his system left no room to focus on anything but sex. I decided to give him 30 days to learn how to use the brains between his ears rather than the ones between his legs, but alas we were back at the vet clinic a month later for brain surgery.
Unfortunately, the benefits of brain surgery wouldn’t be realized for another 30 days when the testosterone levels in his system dropped. By that time higher priority training projects took what remained of my reserves after a full day of work, farm responsibilities, and the energy suck that was the third trimester of pregnancy. Tinsel received the bare minimum of attention in the form of farrier work, vet care, and a little bit of ground work. Then a few weeks before the baby was due, I decided to try Tinsel at some ground driving in a halter while I was working with another new GHLHF pony resident.
Surprisingly, Tinsel was a very intelligent pony and eager to please post brain surgery. He picked up new concepts in record time. Then….Baby Sparkly (Offspring’s name for the new human baby) was born! So after sitting another 4 weeks, I finally pulled Tinsel out for more work. We reviewed the training concepts he had been taught sporadically during his short time at the GHLHF to see what knowledge he had retained. Then I threw some harness on him and decided no time like the present to begin driving training. I have some rather ambitious equestrian goals for a girl that is 4 weeks postpartum. Tinsel has a role to play in the goals so the faster, he’s driving as a single the better. All in all he handled his first time in full harness and bridle really well, and I can’t wait to see how this little guy progresses!