The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Great day for a ride........

I had ridden Gilly up past our neighbors when I first started to ride and snapped this picture of their building with the new porch. The little building is where my neighbor works on 4 wheelers and dirt bike, he has a back door for getting them into the building. They recently added this neat porch, awning and decorations. I thought it was neat too that she added horse shoes, in various sizes too! Looks nice doesn't it?

Gilly and I rode on but I didn't get any pictures as we rode. We went past another neighbors, they have cows and Gilly was looking around for them but they weren't to be seen. As we approached the bridge and a Blue Heron flew up and over the bridge, Gilly stopped and watched it, we were back far enough that he didn't spook. We crossed the bridge but Gilly was a little concerned that the bird was somewhere around. I assured him that it flew off and horse wasn't in it's diet so he was safe. As we rode on I thought to myself that as soon as we got to the next electric pole we would turn around and head home. I think Gilly picked up on that thought but a little early because at about 10 feet from the pole he started to turn. I turned him back and went to the pole and had him turn on his haunches, which he did and did it well.

Lucy and Gonzo were with me and another neighbors dogs were barking so I am glad we turned around. Gilly isn't much bothered by the dogs but I didn't want to put my dogs are risk. Gilly was watching the bridge again still concerned about the bird but he was long gone.

When we got closer to home I could hear Pokey calling for Gilly. He was standing at the end of the field waiting for us. As we came closer he started trotting up and down the fence, Gilly pays no attention to him.

As we came closer to the house I heard a tractor coming down the road our way. I turned to see a really big tractor coming with a big round bale trailer behind it. Gilly and I got off the road by our barn and turned to watch it go by. He just watched and as it went by I turned him toward it and we started following it down the road. Gilly just trotted along behind it until it speeded up and got away from us.

I stopped at Kim's and the pictures you are about to see she took with my camera. To get the camera to her I had Gilly sidepass over to her deck railing and handed her the camera. Gilly did just what I ask....good boy!

We had moved sideways up the hill a bit from her deck so she could get some pictures of us. Gilly is getting really good at moving to the side or backward if I ask.

Lucy was across the road barking at something so Gilly had to stop and look. Gonzo had walked up on the deck and was taking a nap in the sun. What a lazy dog, if Kim's door had been open he would have gone into the house and got on the couch to take a nap. Kim's house is his second home, since he stayed with them three years ago when Mike and I had to go to Columbus a lot.

Here we are moving sideways down through the yard.

Kim's husband just came out of the house and sit down on the steps and has a big mug of coffee, Gilly is watching.

Now he is really watching and kept nodding his head as if asking if he could PLEASE have a drink of that yummy coffee? He will drink cold coffee, just straight black....uck! Oh, don't worry he has only had some a few times, I am sure coffee isn't good for him.

Here is a picture of my new stirrups, well, Ok, just the one and the horse hair shoo fly isn't attached to my boot either! Yes, the stirrup is a little larger than the English one's I had but boy is it comfortable! The wide foot bed felt great on my feet, it has put my foot at a little different angle so it will take some getting used to.

Here is a close up, it has a leather rough out piece with Velcro holding it on. It is also padded for more comfort. It made for a really nice ride, my feet are happy!!! :-)

After the ride I let Gilly eat grass where Pokey is now. Well, Pokey had a fit running back and forth along the fence where he could see Gilly and he wanted out to eat too. So I put Gilly back in the field after he had eaten about 10 minutes and got the little whiner out so he could have a snack too.

I do have some Sweet William ground cover growing in this mess but the Bermuda grass has taken over. The boys do a really good job of picking it out. I would like to put some cut sandstones at the sides and fill in with some good dirt and have a space for lettuce, carrots, radishes. this is close to the patio and kitchen. Some day!

This is a hind shot of Gilly when he was out there. Hey, Lisa, now this is one BIG butt, I would say bigger than Atta Bay's!!! LOL Looking at this makes me think of how I used to run and jump on my first horse from behind.........not on your life now!!! I bet all I could manage to do is just run into his butt and fall down.....naa, don't think I wanna try it....anyone else want too? Maybe if I back him up to the front porch?


Got to go for a nice ride today. The weather was sooooo beautiful, not many flies, cool breeze... Gilly did have to wear his fly mask.
I got my new stirrups yesterday and wanted to try them out. This is just a sneak peek though, just of Gil...LOL....
Will post more later with more pictures...
Off to fix supper! Be back in a little while!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take a peek.....

(I swiped this from Misha's blog, cause it's so pretty!)

Hey everyone! Go take a peek at Misha's blog, From My Front Porch in the Mountains! Misha has had guest bloggers on her site, I am the second one and more to follow, writing about our life with horses. The good, the bad and the ugly, pretty can read about me and my experience with my 3, yes, all of three horses in my life. Oh, will then there is the ASS....little precious Pokey! What an experience in donkey-dom he was given me! LOL

I know, if you don't already read Misha's blog, you will become a fan. She lives in a beautiful place in the mountains of east Tennessee with her wonderful husband, gorgeous Arabians, little Annie will steal your heart a whole lot of wonderful critters! You can tell Misha is a kindred spirit will all animal life!

Misha, thanks again for asking me to be a guest on your wonderful blog!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Our little 5 year old Chihuahua, Laverne was diagnosed with Cushings disease this week. This is a picture of her last spring and she is much chubbier this year. She really doesn't have any of the symptoms except the over weight and some hair shedding.

My vet did a blood test to find this, I thought maybe she had hyperthyroidism. That would have been much easier to treat than Chushings.

I have been doing a lot of reading about this disease and it's not good. The meds, well, I'm not in favor of the most popular one, Lysodren, is a chemo type pill that kills some of the adrenal gland and has some harsh side effects. Lysodren has to be really carefully monitored so the dog doesn't get too much of it which and throw them into Addison's disease.

Laverne would have to stay at the vet's probably overnight, have lots of testing, poking with needles. I would have to take her in several times a week and the bloodwork, medicines and trips to the vet would be very, very costly. Laverne is a very sensitive little dog this would highly traumatize her, she sure doesn't need that! Also a specialist is needed to treat this properly and I don't know of any around here; Ohio State University would be the ideal place, except it's 2 and a half hours drive, one way, from here. Not an option.

From what I can find most of the dogs that have Cushings are older dogs, at least 4 to 6 years older than Laverne. Also the research says that they only live two to three years after being diagnosed. I am going to try an herbal remedy on her that has had good response. I am also going to work on feeding all the dogs better. Yes, I mean cooking meals for them, chicken, beef, vegetables, rice, good stuff; even healthy doggie cookies!

It's been a long week and a mental tiring one for me. No riding been way too hot and humid outside ....Gilly and Pokey won't come out of the barn during the day. Flies are eating them up, we are all miserable, thank goodness for AC and the fan in the barn for the boys.

Hoping that next week will be a better one.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Ride and other stuff......

I needed to make some new address labels the other day and was playing with pictures of Gilly and came up with this. I think he looks quite handsome as an antique picture. What a handsome face, you would never know that there is a stinker hiding behind that innocent look, would you?

I rode yesterday after working in the round pen for awhile. We are working on him staying out of my space, backing away and staying put when I tell him to. He is really doing pretty well, it's me that feels bad about making him stay away. I know, I know, the horse that is the leader would not tolerate another in his space if he said stay out! I just have to be firm and not mean about it like the horse would (sigh) I can do it and we will get through this and be a better team for it.

I rode him in the round pen for a bit. We worked on giving to pressure. He is still a bit resistant but did much better this time. When he would start to get bracey I would bump, bump, bump on one rein and then he would soften. We worked on leg yields, moving his haunches and forequarters with my legs, backing and some trotting. Can't really do a lot of the trot work in the round pen but some. I don't work in there for long, maybe 15 minutes under saddle.

I moved him into position by the gate so I could reach down and lift the pen to open it, backed him up so the gate could swing in, did a turn and headed out. Stopped and backed up so I could close the gate, inched him forward and sideways so I could reach down and lock it. Then backed up more so I could pick up this halter and lead off the hook on the fence. Then we were off to drop it off at the saddle building.

Finally got him to cross a ditch he has been afraid of, why I don't know it's a really small step and he goes over ditches much bigger. I mow a path in the hay field around the gas well there so we walked around it both ways, keeping a bend to the inside as we went. Then trotted up along the fence, with Pokey running, bucking, farting and whining because he wanted out too. I should have gotten some video of his shenanigans, he was doing some pretty spectacular turns and rollbacks! He must have thought he was in training to be a reining donkey! LOL
I used anything I could, the car, the satellite dish, trees to do training. We backed around things, went sideways nothing really great but it was all good to have him move when I asked.
He was a good boy.

This is my dressage saddle, Thornhill Vienna II, and I am finding that I really like it, a lot! I like it's deep seat and big knee rolls. I sold my western saddle, I loved it too but didn't use it much, the dressage saddle fits Gilly better. I would still LOVE to get an Aussie saddle but will wait and see. I did order something new today for my saddle. These......

They are aluminum, an English version of the Aussie safety stirrup. It has a wide foot base, and has a 5 degree camber to keep your heels in a down position. Since it is wide it gives you foot plenty of support and it says it helps relieve pressure on ankles and knees. Good; I have been having a LOT of trouble with arthritis in both my feet but my right one is the worst. The English stirrups that are on my saddle, peacock safety stirrups, hit my foot right where I have been having a lot of pain in the ball of my foot and they are narrow. These stirrups look like they will be comfortable, I hope! I will post a picture when they are on the saddle with my feet in them.

No, I didn't get any pictures when I rode, no one around to take any for me. It was such a nice evening I wished I could have ridden longer.....but the kitchen was calling.....had to fix supper. Next time I will have things ready and in the slow cooker....I wanna ride not cook! LOL

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Resting and thinking......

I was looking through some of my photos and came across this one that I got from the internet. It's a painting by George Stubbs (1724-1806), an 18th century painter, called "Bay Horse and White Dog". I was thinking of how much it reminds me of Gilly and Lucy; the horse really looks a lot like Gilly, big stocky built horse. It also reminded me of how kind and gentle Gilly is, even if he is a stink pot at times. His attitude is partly my fault too because I have spoiled him over the years and the type of horse he is. He has a strong desire to lead.

It was a rainy, dreary day here today and I am glad because I am so tired from me and Gilly's wrestling match yesterday. I'd say he pretty much wore me down and I need a day to rest. Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer and I think we will have more work to do. Not with the trailer but with moving body parts, his, not mine. He seems like a naughty child that needs to be set straight on who is running the show here. Although I wanted to skin him alive yesterday, he was just being a horse and no meanness was meant by him, he was just trying tell me he thought he was running things around here; just like an unruly child. He also need a job to do to keep his mind occupied and focused on something other than being the boss.

I have been reading a lot of Mark Rashid's books of late and it have given me food for thought about the horse. Mark's book are really great reading and lots of information in them. They aren't training books just his insights on life with horses and the lessons they have taught him.

So I have come to the conclusion that I need to just step back and regroup my thoughts and come up with yet another way to work with Gilly on just who is in charge here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mind reading horse.......

After Gilly's backup experience I was hoping that we had the trailering issues all under control. WELL....NOT....SO .... This horse is the most exasperating animal I have ever worked with in my life!!! I so wish I could climb inside that head to see just what is going on in there. I swear he can read my mind.

He has loaded consistently since we had our problems the other day. Walks on, gets a bit to eat, stands there resting on hind foot just as relaxed as can be...not a care in the world. You can bang and clang around in the trailer and he could care less.

Today I had a riding lesson scheduled eight miles from here at the really neat Coverall arena. Kim came up with the trailer, Gilly was standing tied and we started loading up the trailer with his tack. (Now Gilly likes to go and visit, even if he does have to do some work, he very much likes to socialize. He has never been worked that hard anyway, so I can't think there is a problem where he is going.) He is just standing not a care in the world, I untie him ask him to back up and we do some work backing before I ask him to get in the trailer. No one was in a hurry, we had plenty of time so there was no pushing him to hurry. I walk him up to the door and "you think I am going to get in there, not on your life lady!" I so wish I had gotten a picture of his face when he decided to do this! I will describe it the best I can.

Nose wrinkled, lower lip hanging, teeth clinched, eyes half shut, head flexing back and forth at the pole. Reminds me of a 6 year old kid that is getting ready to have a real fit and saying, "No, no, no, I WON'T, I WON'T, I WON'T DO IT, you can't MAKE ME...the only thing missing was stomping his Pokey!

We backed, we worked in the round pen, we moved his feet, backed some more, through ditches, up road banks, he almost fell down a few times. I moved him like I was a horse cutting a cow.....grrrrr....he did everything I asked him to do except get his big ole' butt in the trailer. We worked for 3 hours, needless to say we didn't get to the lesson. Yes, I know you aren't supposed to stop until they get in the trailer, well, any of you are more than welcome to come here and work with this bugger. I had to quit, I was hurting so bad from trying to get him in there. He didn't get to go back in the field with Pokey though, he got to go to the round pen, in the sun for about four hours, with nothing to do. It was hot and the flies were having a picnic on him, I thought he deserved it!

I came in the house, I had things to do. Got out of my riding clothes and tried not to think about the naughty horse. Then about three I decided to just see what would happen if.......
Kim had moved the trailer back to the field by her house, I went out and got Gilly and led him down to the trailer. Kim was there with Lacy, she isn't loading either but that's a whole other story! Anyway she opened the doors, I walked Gilly up to the trailer, stopped beside it, pointed inside and that @#%&@@ just walked into the trailer, cocked one foot started eating hay out of the hay bag!!!!! What the?????? We did this four times same thing. No hesitation at all just walked in as big as you please!

I swear I think this horse can read my mind, he knows when we are going somewhere and decides "nope, I ain't gonna no where!" I know Gilly is smart but man oh, man how in the heck do you deal with a situation like this one???? I am just about out of ideas as to how to deal with this one. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gilly was one BAD boy...........

Wednesday I decided to work with Gilly and his trailer loading, since we hadn't had time to work on it since the clinic. Kim had the truck hooked up to the trailer so good time. I put on his halter and lead and down the road we went, the trailer was out in Kim's field that is at the end of our long hay field.

I thought this is going to be easy because of how good he did after the clinic. I walked him up to the open door and he say NO NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!! I noticed the gritted teeth and the wrinkled nose, oh, boy this can only mean trouble ahead! OK, so we will play the squeeze game and I had him pass between me and the trailer. I was only asking him to walk through but he insisted on trotting and turns were really fast and sometimes there would almost be a buck as he charged through. Was he scared of doing that? No, he was getting himself wound up for what was to come. I asked him to go in the trailer and again the answer was NO! So I worked him some more on the second pass he started running sideways....well, I know what comes next! He starts jumping to the side turns his head to look at me the quick as a whip slings it the other way and the rope snaps right through my hand, giving me a rope burn (I didn't have my gloves on)....then off he charges running as hard as he can go through the hay field! We were about 1/8 of a mile from home and I watched him shoot through between the granary and the sawdust bend, up the road then a quick turn and into the yard! He hasn't done that trick for a long time, BAD HORSE!!!!

I just stood there in disbelief, thinking, oh, great now I have to walk all the way up there and get him. So off Kim and I go to retrieve the bad horse. When we got to the yard he was there just eating like nothing happened. Ho-hum, well, hi mom what are you doing here, I'm just eating, that's all!!! (Grrrrrr!) So I walk up and pick up the rope (still didn't put on my gloves!) down the road we go again.

So we start over, it just escalates to the in a short time to the rope snap again and he is off and running! Years ago when he did this I could see it coming and run toward him and snap that head around and stop it. But now with the PMR crap I have I can't do it and he obviously knows it and takes advantage of it. Had I been able to run at him I would have put his butt in the creek to see what he thought of that. Once I somehow knocked his feet out from under him and down he went. After that one he was so good you wouldn't believe it!! "You win, you win, I'll be good now" For two days you couldn't have asked for a better behaved horse. LOL

I couldn't think of anything to do to him when I caught him again except just tie him up. He wanted to eat grass or go back in the field with Pokey. But he didn't get what he wanted, instead he got to get tied up and stand in the sun for two hours. A time out as it were, did he care? Didn't seem to, he just stood there. As you can see from the pictures he did find something to do. The door was shut but he opened it, chewed on the wood, picked at his rope would look up at the house where I was sitting on the patio, crying cause I was so mad at him.
I fed Pokey his oats and Gilly could see this, but guess what, no supper for a bad horse! He just stood there swishing the flies off and looking up at me like, hey, come here, why am I just standing here? He didn't paw or fuss around, just stood there patiently.

He has also been really fighting pressure from the reins. If I asked him to flex he would stiffen his neck and grind his teeth, now remember we are bitless so it's not his teeth bothering him he is just resisting pressure instead of giving to pressure. So after this blow up I was starting to get pretty worried about what was coming next. I can't ride the crow hops and other things he may start doing so I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to correct this new wrinkle he was throwing at me. If I couldn't get it worked out, were we going to have to get a divorce? This was breaking my heart, I love his horse but how could I be a stronger leader and have him be respectful to me?

Then yesterday while I was in town doing the dreaded grocery shopping it came to me. Backing up. Horses don't like to back up, it is a submissive gesture and they really aren't in control of their feet if they are being made to move backward. Yes, this just might work!!!

When I got home I called Kim and told her that I was going to work Gilly in the round pen (I had put it back together, had to take it down to do hay; took out my frustrations on the round pen cause Gil had really gotten to me) We worked, I really made him work up a good sweat too. Many turns, side ways and backward and he did this all off line. I think he knew that I had an agenda and I wasn't backing down and not taking any more of his sh@t!!! After about 20 minutes we got out of the round pen, backward I might add and backed all the way down to Kim's about 1/8 of a mile away. He was moving his feet pretty quickly too or he just happened to run into the stick. When we got there I let him rest by the trailer, he put his head inside and stood there puffing. When he got his air back we did more backing, around the truck and trailer, I asked him to go in again, only his front feet went in. Ok, that will do for a try, back around the trailer and truck again a few more times. No going forward only backward, finally he decided it would be a real good idea to get in the trailer! (wow, it's nice in here and I don't have to work, I can rest!) We kept backing and backing and backing, he got in two more times, good enough now time to quit on a good note!!!

I wish I had gotten the camera to take down with me, he was so tired his lower lip was hanging and his eyes were about half shut. He was pooped! When we headed home he got to walk forward this time. A hard lesson for him but hope he will remember what happens when you want to be a bugger. This should also help round up his back too so it has some other good points with it.

I worked him in the round pen this morning and then went for a short ride before it got too hot out. He was still wanting to be a little resistant to the pressure of the reins but gave up pretty quickly; if he had started giving me problems I would have just gotten off and we would have gone for a LONG walk with him walking backward. I think I am onto something; he has to think where his feet are going, his head is always straight pointed at me so for him to try and turn to do the head sling, it ain't happening!

He is one tough nut and I am going to have to eat a case of Wheaties to keep up with this boy!!!

Oh, yea, one more thing. Pokey said he wanted to get out to do something when Gilly came back from his trailer loading class. I got him out and took him to the trailer, he just walked right in twice and acted like he was really proud of himself!!! He got lots of hugs and pats for being a good boy......hope he went back and told that dumb ass horse that if you just do what you are told things are SO much EASIER!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Who is this filthy beast?

Who is this dirty creature? Could it be.....Gilly? I just knew when I put him back in the field he was going to hit Pokey's dust bowl. Pokey has several dust bowls around, he LOVES to take dust baths; it's a donkey thing. Apparently Gilly has watched his little friend and decided it was a GOOD thing to do.

I rode Gilly for about half an hour today. First I worked in the garden and it was overcast, nice breeze blowing and I thought to myself...(when I get this stuff done I'm going to ride for a bit)
I figured that flies wouldn't be too bad, we have the nasty little green horse flies right now, ugh!
So after I finished about 1:30 I went inside to get my jeans on and get some water to drink. I was outside with Gil at 2:00.

Had a lot of brushing to do, dust everywhere on Gil. Then saddled him up and sprayed and sprayed with fly spray, put on his riding face fly mask, worked him a bit first. He was being a real brat and was refusing to give to pressure, the reins. We did some flexing and finally he softened a bit. I wish I had had the camera with me, must remember to take it next time, the faces he makes when he is resisting. He will grit his teeth and wrinkle his nose, "I D-O-N'-T W-A-N-T T-O!!!!

Finally he was behaving and up the road we went, no more problems. Just a nice stroll up the road and back. I was having one of those days where I couldn't seem to get myself balanced in the saddle, finally I just kicked my feet out of the stirrups, awww...better!

When I got Gil untacked he was a little sweaty under the saddle pad, girth area and behind his ears. I decided to get the hose out and rinse him off. I figured he would like that. At first he danced around until I sprayed between his hind legs. He decided that felt pretty good, cool water where he was hot. Then I sprayed the girth area and his back, finally I turned the spray to mist setting and sprayed up in the air so it landed on his head. Oh, boy, he didn't think that was such a good idea at first. Then he wanted to be sprayed in the mouth, he likes to have a drink too. I wish I had someone to take photos of this, too funny, I was almost as wet as him when finished so didn't want my camera wet.

I thought he looked pretty cooled off so I put him in the field......well, you can see what he did next!!!

He rolled on both sides but the left side was the worst!
Out eating his supper with his little buddy, Pokey. Just as soon as Gilly was finished rolling Pokey hit the ground and rolled and rolled too. He created quite a dust storm!

Still getting a cool shower must have felt good, Gilly kept sighing was he ate his supper. When they were finished both of them went into the barn and stood in front of their fan and munched on some hay.


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