Spring has sort of come . . . and gone . . . and is thinking about maybe coming again. The grass is green and long and I'd cheerfully go out and mow it if only there weren't standing puddles of water everywhere. Plenty of April showers will hopefully mean nice pasture all year; May flowers are simply a bonus.
Those cute fuzzy babies are big, rambunctious yearlings now, still eating everything in sight and growing well. Both are going to be heading to their respective homes and futures within the next couple of weeks. I will miss their baby shenanigans and cute little faces. But it will be nice to have a barn full of adult horses again. Two years on broodmare/nursery duty has cured me of the breeding bug temporarily.
Bonnie did just one event last year after a maybe-abscess, maybe-sidebone sort of NQR spell during the spring last year. She had the "out to grass for three months" cure and has been as sound as a dollar (well, maybe that term is outdated) since. She went around Beginner Novice like an old veteran last fall--her only outing--and even won the thing. I was hopeful that the Novice horse I bred would have permanently settled into her destiny as such. Well, that remains to be seen. After an uneventful XC school earlier this month, her 1st "real" Horse Trial since 2009 was somewhat of a bust. Erika made a dressage pony out of her, as always, to score a 30.9 in dressage, and SJ was clean and uneventful, but as she has done from time to time all of her life, Bonnie had a mental "check out" on XC, spooking at the trees, the wind, whatever was handy, and although they got around, it wasn't clean OR pretty and so at age 11 Bonnie is still needing to be ridden like a green horse every now and then. I'm not really making any excuses for her--she is a horse that likes to work, likes to go to shows and more or less likes XC, but not one that LOVES XC. Which is a pity, since I do best with one that LOVES it. (who doesn't?) However, I am still hopeful that we can have some fun together and she is going to an unrecognized Novice in a few weeks and if she redeems herself, the Novice Three Day at the Indiana EA Horse Trial in June. Maybe steeplechase, no matter how watered-down, will unearth her inner XC machine. Regardless, she is a fun horse to have and is a dear member of the family.
Speaking of FUN, and XC MACHINES. Keebler has been working like a trooper for six weeks since getting the final blessing from Dr. Stick. He will warm up a little stiff now and then, but after a few minutes is happily bouncing along, nice and steady. All that ACE he needed over the winter? Gone. Earplugs for sanity? Gone. Cranky faces? Mostly gone. He is who he is, after all. But his ears are up, his eyes are bright, he's not looking for trouble, and is even lazy once in a while. To what do I credit this change? Well, probably a lot of things: coming off months of stall rest for one, turnout with some hooligan gelding buddies for another, and he isn't hurting like he was. But if I look at all the things that happened within the past couple of months, I have to give a lot of credit to the Omeprazole Direct "blue pop rocks" that he has been getting on and off for about the past 6 weeks. He hasn't been scoped, but I'm pretty sure Keebs has had his share of ulcers or at least gastritis from time to time. Long story short, he's absolutely thriving on this medication, and although it may seem a little shady to be getting medications from Vanuatu or India, I'm personally satisfied that the product is what it's claimed to be and the price is very competitive with all of the worthless supplements that are out there.
And here's a picture of the happy boy himself from today. Why is this horse smiling? Well, for the first time since early July of 2010, the spotted boy got to J-U-M-P! It was only a 2'3" vertical, and he only did it about eight times, but he did it sound, happily, and with his usual gusto for the "non dressage" stuff. It's still a long road back to a cross country course, but today's was a big, sound step.