We are settling into our new little farm quite well. I've been meeting my neighbors, going for hikes in the forest at the end of our road and riding my Fjord, Geir around the yard for lack of any formal arena to ride in at the moment.
I had the opportunity to donate a gift certificate to the Vashon Maury Island Horse Association's Annual Competitive Trail Ride and I enjoyed meeting lots of horse folks from around the island. I am excited to say that the woman who won the event whose prize was my gift certificate also has Fjords! I'm looking forward to working with her. I also met a neighbor who may allow me to temporarily use her arena until we get our built so I may be able to teach some riding lessons sooner than I'd expected. And if not that, then at least I will have a place to work my Fjord and my daughter's little POA, Frosty. They are both in need of a little regimented exercise other than rides around the yard and running around the pasture together.
I have found a neighbor's equine who I am going to ask her if I can do a case study on her. She's an older mule and has a bad hip, but they don't know why. The vet did not have an answer for them, but I haven't gotten all the information yet about what tests she did and what ideas she may have had. It's very obvious that something happened in the mule's back or hip because one flank is severely atrophied in relation to the other. I talked to my neighbor about working on her as a trade, but I think I'd like to ask her if I can do a case study, working with the vet of course, to see if we can help the ole girl. I'm at least very interested to see what's going on with her muscles and see if I can bring her some balance and relief. She appears to be quite happy and not in pain, but it must still be uncomfortable to have one side hyper-developed and one side atrophied. I'm very curious to hear what the vet thinks and what she's investigated.
Meanwhile, my daughter's love of donkeys has now spread to a love of mules since we have five living in the pasture across the little dirt road in front of our house. When I let our horses all out together in the morning, they head up to the end of our third pasture out by the street and talk to their mule friends. The mules are so sweet and so incredibly cute with their big floppy ears and their delicate little donkey hooves!
Here is a photo of the three amigos hanging out in the front pasture together. Geir (my Fjord) has been keeping Frosty (the POA) in line. Frosty can be a real butthead about food and attention and left with just my elderly AQHA, Girlfriend, Frosty will threaten with bites and kicks to keep her away from me and food. I put him in his place, but Girl seems to appreciate it (and follow the lead) more when another horse puts him in his place. All Geir has to do is twitch an ear and Frosty knows now he's out of line because Geir is so much bigger than him - and so much more dominant than him. It's been a surprisingly good dynamic having them together.