Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Paisley the Blonde Babe and my Horse Spray Recipe

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

On December 11, 2015, I went to look at this cute little butterball horse, and as soon as I met her, I felt like she was the one. I got on her and we took a fews spins around the ring, then we went on a little hack with two other horses my friend was looking at. We ended up in a little field that has a stream beside it, so we went down into the stream and then did some work in the field. There were some logs and little coops to pop over. She was easy, relaxed and fun. I didn't need much to convince me to thrust a check into the hands of her previous owner, this horse was going to be mine!
I mean, just look at her! My daughter immediately nicknamed her "Peewee" for her diminutive size. (she was 15.2 at four when I purchased her, but now she's 15.3) Her first moment turned out at her new home, she jumped the 4-board fence to get to her buddy DeGroot, who had been bought by my friend the same day. They'd ridden side by side in the trailer for four hours, so who knows what kind of bond they made. Aside from that aberration, she has been easy and fun from the moment I got her.  She has only had one major spooking incident, when I was leading a group of three horses at a trot, and suddenly from a grove of Russian Olive trees about ten deer bolted across our path. I hit the ground before I could blink.
The best news is she didn't go far, and although two of us came off, we both got back on and finished our ride. Since I was feeling very confident on her, and she was being so good, I decided to go ahead and hunt her. She was really quite good! Here are my notes from her first time out, January 3, 2016.  The meet was at Groveton (MH). Paisley was amazing. She had ¼ cc ace. Perfect at checks, reverse fields, and managing insanely sloppy terrain through wood and field. Gave cows a wide berth but no big deal. Seemed fit and not really knackered after 3.5 hours. Followed Merrilyn and Abel the whole time.

Our next outing (St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2016) was also a success. The meet was Ellerslie (BRH). She had ¼ cc ace. She was very good! A little up right when we set off but settled in perfectly. She was a saint when I had to hop off to get a sticky gate, Nelly ponied her through, then she stood very well for mounting. She did have to spin quickly round to face some cows but other than that was really wonderful. Stuart was our buddy. 

After these adventures, we had a fun summer of trail rides, jumping things, and really just enjoying being together. Unfortunately, at the end of summer, she contracted both a terrible case of rain rot and a tick-borne illness (anaplasmosis). In addition, she had a very bad reaction to foxtail which was in one of the round bales. So the start of our hunting season was not great. She had two outings at Foxcroft, and the first one was a trail ride, and right at the beginning, as we were going up the big hill by the back gate, a lady's horse went batshit and she went down.  There was a lot of commotion with the horse going bonkers, calling the ambulance, etc... she was literally perfect for all of that. When we left the scene and tried to find the trail ride group, we never could, but she did a great job of trying to convince a horse to cross a little trickle. He never did cross it, but she went back and forth about six times trying to give him a lead. Everyone was really impressed that she was only five!

Next we had a great day at Tir Na Nog, (MH), on November 12, 2016. She had no ace. Great weather, stayed behind Abel on Cassie and Lele on Socks the whole day. Mare was very good, footing was trappy, and there was really not much action, but altogether a great day and wonderful breakfast after, hosted by the O’Connors.

Our next Foxcroft meet was Fox/Hound day, November 19, 2016 (MH) I should have given her ace. She had a sore mouth from foxtail, was recovering from horrible rain rot, and the parading up to Covert and packed together field made for a stressful day for the little mare. It was a lot of stop and go, and a horse with a red bow got right in front of us and made me very nervous. Tried all day to avoid him. Then, another horse behind us crawled up her ass and annoyed her. By the end of the day she was not having it anymore, and was having bucking fits. The only saving grace is that she was very good at checks, reverses, and at keeping appropriate distances. I think her mouth was sore though. Thankfully when I had had enough of her bucking tantrums, the field headed in. Not the best day.

Lessons learned: 

1. My mare has very sensitive skin, so flysheet and rainsheet are a MUST. 
2. I started mixing my own bug repellent so hopefully that will help combat the ticks. 
3. I need to take her temperature daily so I can notice a sudden temp spike. 
4. A good leader is a must and she's really comfortable in the back.

That being said, I'm pretty happy with little blondie. She's a bit sassy, a bit hormonal, very sensitive, but smart as heck and brave. In other words, a blonde version of Babe. Now I know, I'm a mare person.

* Bonus - my horse spray concentrate recipe is below!*

Instructions: use only organic, holistic grade essential oils. I use Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix everything together in a mason jar (I make 2-3 batches at a time) and bring to the barn. Pour entire mixture into a fly spray bottle and add water to top. Shake vigorously before applying.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup witch hazel
1 Tbsp citronella oil
1 Tbsp rosemary oil
1 Tbsp geranium oil
1 Tbsp lavender oil

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