Friday, January 2, 2009

Surprise, Surprise......More Snow........and Arabian Horses!

Last night I heard on the news just before bed there was the possibility of snow in the foothills. The weather man said if it did turn to snow it would probably be only a trace to one to two inches. BUT (why is there ALWAYS as but?) there was the potential for three to four inches so that possibility shouldn't be ruled out.

What does that mean to me? Well, I live in the foothills of the northern Cascade Mountains. Looking at that weather map with it's fancy blue and pink patches rolling forward right over the spot of the map that is where I live. I didn't want to believe it was possible.........but I knew.........I was counting on being able to get out of here............that meant this snow was definitely headed my way............and it was..................ALL four maybe even five inches of the stuff looking at the pots on my deck.

The only saving grace behind this particular snow was it didn't fall onto frozen ground. It was not dangerously slippery underneath. By the time the horses had finished their breakfast a lot of the snow had melted or been swallowed up by all the water on this wet ground of ours leaving the white stuff not too be as deep and intimidating to young horses who have never seen it before. That meant I could finally attempt to put some of them outside. The poor dears have been cooped up for far too long for growing youngsters!

I decided to put the yearlings, whoops, two-year-olds out into the little paddock in the front of the house. That way the horses couldn't get tooooo crazy running off all that pent up energy. Only poor Andy stopped dead in his tracks at the barn door. That scary, scary white stuff on the ground would surely swallow him up!

It took me forever to even get him to move a step. Putting snow in my hand and letting him sniff was NOT enough to encourage him to take a look at the white stuff. You've got to wonder what they think that stuff is. Instead the horse just stood there snorting like only an Arabian can do. Head up high and his tail over his back, he blew loud enough to wake the dead! I sure wish I could have taken pictures, he was quite a sight!

Dave came out asking if he could help so I had him unblanket Patriot to bring him out. I figured that the pressure of the other horse wanting out might encourage Andy to finally take a step.

When Dave had Patriot ready we swapped horses. Dave is more comfortable with Andy. At first the colt held his ground but as Patriot tried to go around him Andy acquiesced and stepped out into the snow with Patriot right behind.

Once out of the barn Patriot kept right on moving while Andy huddled up close to the barn. I just keep Patriot moving thinking the other horse would follow. Watching his brother heading for the paddock gave Andy a little courage to follow but only a little. It took Dave twice as long as me to reach the destination. Each new thing along the way swallowed Andy's confidence..........shades of his mother, I can tell you. To this day she does not like any weather out of the ordinary!

Of course there were lots of distractions. Ice puddles seemed to riddle the pathway and Andy was sure each one held at least one troll and maybe even more. Patriot on the other hand was up on his toes trying to contain his excitement at being outside in this new bright world. The horse really didn't get too concerned about strange obstacles that had developed mysteriously since last time he'd travelled this path. The horse did look at each new obstacle and forgot he wasn't supposed to push into me but he easily corrected himself.........just keeping on moving towards that paddock and freedom. That's what mattered to Patriot.

When I did get the young horse into the paddock he could hardly contain himself. I didn't want to turn him loose until his brother arrived. I knew Patriot would harass Andy while Dave tried to turn him loose. Poor Patriot was beside himself wanting free..............the little devil reached down and actually gave a little nip to my hand! Then he looked at me with those big eyes of his........"Come on, Mom!" I felt bad making him wait.

When Andy did arrive Patriot was shaking his head and pawing impatient to be done with this standing still thing. Heck he'd done enough standing in that darn stall. We turned both colts loose on a count of three and each horse headed off in a different direction at about ninety miles an hour for about two steps. Then everything came down substantially as the horses figured out their new footing.

It didn't take long before they figured out the snow. Then they were colts just being colts.....dogging each other and face boxing and ripping around in slow motion, finally enjoying being outside. There was kicking and bucking and all sorts of fun things.

I had to break out the camera and see what I could shoot. I'm still figuring out the new camera so I didn't get nearly the pictures I would like to....but I did get pictures. (I'll have to work on setting still) Then when the colts settled down some I went to get the next horse.

That next horse would be Legs. The poor guy hasn't been out since my surgery so I had to be sure he got some time outside. This horse has had his share of experience with the snow. He came out like a perfect gentleman despite his long term confinement.

The horse did a lot of ground sniffing along with head tossing as we made out way out to the field. He, too like the colts, avoided the ice puddles but then so did I. Legs wasn't sure he really wanted to step through the gate because there was a puddle there too but when I went through he followed.

When I turned him loose the horse was off! He knew just the right amount of speed for this white stuff. I could just tell the horse was looking for the perfect place to roll. I hollered at him not to do it........but he did before I could get my darn camera out. By the time I was ready to shoot he was up and gone. I did get pictures though and you can see the evidence of that roll in the snow in some of them. I really wanted a picture of the horse up next to the creek without the darn fence in the background but Legs did NOT co-operate. What a beautiful Christmas picture that would have made........I'm going to have to learn to be faster or something. Well, and getting my setting figured out will help too.

The stallion did a lot of playing in the snow. I think he romped and snorted and bounced around like it was some kind of old friend. He stuck his nose down into it and blew lots of times. Then bounced his head up shaking it to get the snow out of his nostrils only to drop back down and repeat it all over again.

I kept hoping he would roll again since I know had the camera in hand. But you know how that goes. They never do what you want when you want. Then Legs came right up to me sticking his face in the lens. He knows what that thing is I'm not quick enough with this new camera to make the right adjustments. I ended up with a fuzzy picture of a bridle path that needs to be clipped instead of the pretty picture of the horse's eye I saw through the lense.

After I got done photographing Legs' adventures in the snow, I went to assist Dave in putting out some of the mares. We had decided because of the snow and how long the horses had been inside to only put out a small band thinking that would tone things down a bit.

HA! So much for that! The girls were goofier than the colts and Legs put together. I ended up with absolutely NO pictures because I could barely keep out of their way, let alone photograph them. The ones I took of Vee sniffing Solidare were too dark (that black bay mare against the white snow up close to the barn was NOT good!)

I managed to get a shot of Lucy's head but from a really weird angle. It was a mess. So there are no pictures of the mares!

It was great to get outside with the horses. I did have to do some correcting but I didn't feel anymore pulling on stitches so I think I am good to go at least for working horses on the ground. Still too sore to ride, but I'll take what I can get. It looks like a good start to the new year to me.......other than bouts with the new camera.

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  1. I do love the sound of that Arabian snort. You're right that its a sound unique to them! I really like the picture of Legs running in the snow. Looks like the new camera is getting some good use.

  2. Thanks for sharing your fun time with the horses in the snow! I've never seen a sight like that, but you described it so well, I almost felt like I was there.

    Happy New Year!

  3. I'm glad your snow was the fun stuff. You should have seen our standard poodle try and get control of all four legs on the thick sheet of ice we were left with. It reminded me of Bambi on the frozen lake! It was funny...just not fun. It sounds like your fluffy stuff was way more fun!

  4. Sounds like your horses had an amazing time lol Would love to have seen that

  5. Thank goodness for digital cameras, eh? Just think of the film and development fees that our horses would waste without them.

  6. I love to watch horses play in snow!

    Check my blog for more info on manes and muscle tension in the comments section of the Brand New Day post. It all comes from a book called Know Your Horse Inside Out by Sarah Fisher.

  7. They all sound like they had a great time in the snow today.
    You're right about the mares being goofier than the males. Dusty was a real jerk last night,on the way in she broke free and took off galloping all over the farm, getting every one else crazy. Then decided she'd had enough and walked into her stall. She's such a brat.
    I took pictures today too and some were quite a mess, I'll never figure this out.

  8. ranchette, yes the camera is great. Now if I can just get my setting figured maybe they could actually be clear! LOL

    DJ, it is fun to see them in action that's for sure. Maybe someday you'll get the chance to see them up close.

    Jeanette, yes, we had that dangerous stuff all through the big storm for a couple of weeks. It wasn't safe to put the horses out them. I can imagine what you poor pooch went through.

    Beckz, someday I'll get figured out why the problem is uploading videos from my camera. Maybe then we'll get some live shots.

    NuzzMuzz, I hate to think of that. With all the fuzzy pics I take, it wouldn't be worth it!

    Fantastyk Voyager, thanks I will check it out. I am always intrigued by that kind of stuff although I checked my mare and I think it's more her mane wants to fall to the opposite side than the rest instead of split down the middle.

    Arlene, Yupe, Dusty sounds like a mare to me.....that would be typical behavior. LOL

  9. Hey I have a little 6 month old paint filly that can do a good Arabian impression with tail and snorting LOL so dont feel special LOL.

    I was interested to see Rachel has a Goldie too. Looking forward to hearing more about her.

    I have tried to put some things into writing about your camera but I am just not good at explaining things. Even more reason for us to get together.

    We have had very little snow and at the moment we are just below freezing and no ice so the horses can get out. I hope we have at least one good snowfall, but you are right their bursts of enthusiasm are very short and I have the same problem because I wont carry my camera with me while I am putting the horses out. One warning though, the cold saps the energy out of your batteries very quickly so keep it tucked under your jacket in between shots and any spare batteries in a pocket next to your body to keep warm. Also dont forget your camera outside, I did once and it trashed my storage card!!!!

    Your zoom lens makes it much easier to get closer to them though I bet. Just shoot and ask questions and I will try to help if you send me something that you dont understand. Shooting in snow conditions has it's own set of problems with messing with the camera's light meter, as does a scene with a lot of water or sky. This is why I shoot totally in manual mode, I make the decisions and 9 times out of 10 they are right.

    (((((Hugs))))) and hope you are feeling much better, I watch the weather forecast every morning and keep an eye on your corner of the US and cringe sometimes when I see what you are in for. This has been another strange winter for us so far, but I do hope for at least some snow.

  10. First...sorry to have made you cry. Twice. In one day.

    Second...will it EVER end? Do you realize I had snowflakes falling on me when I returned from CA in JUNE, and that I am blasted tired of it? I know you are, too. Let's pack our bags, what say you? There must be someplace warm out there... I don't like winter.

  11. nothing prettier than horses playing in the it

  12. Oh it's so much fun to watch the horses cut up and be wild!! I bet it was a site to see!! I love the stallion picture! They all look so happy to be out and about.