Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Home is where your horse is

I visited Switzerland on the weekend and although I was gone for only three days, it was good to be back at the barn on Monday morning.  I believe Little Love had been waiting for me, because when she saw me, she hiked all the way from the end of the paddock to the gate all on her own.  Usually she isn't too motivated to do this, but apparently being away for a few days makes the heart grow fonder :-)

When in Switzerland, I visited Little Love's old barn and met with her previous owner.  It was strange to be in this familiar environment again, but this time without Lilo.  Her life is so very different now and she is truly not the same horse.  Living in a stall for 20 hours a day in isolation was never her cup of tea.  I also talked to Becky and heard that Col is doing well.  She had taken him to a few showjumping competitions this fall, but apparently their debut in the jumping world hadn't gone as she had planned; the first time Col had stopped in his tracks in the middle of the course and Becky had ended up "jumping" the obstacle without him.  Col has always been opinionated that way :-) 

During my absence, the scratches on Lilo's legs had gotten tons better.  I believe this is due to the tea tree oil we have been using.  That stuff seems to work on pretty much everything I have tried it on. Also, Little Love has most definitely gained weight.  This is a huge relief, because there was a while when I thought it would never happen.  I have no idea what has caused this weight gain, as she has been getting both oil and rice bran (I finally found some in Finland!) and alfalfa.  Well, whatever it is, it worked!  Huge relief.  She truly looks like a big teddy bear with all of her hair, it keeps getting thicker and longer every day.

Today Lilo and I took a long walk through the forest.  Since she has been asking to go back to the bridge, I took her there.  Before taking here there though, I prepared the bridge with fir tree branches to prevent slipping.  I was a tad nervous when she crossed the bridge, but the layers upon layers of branches gave her enough traction to walk over the bridge safely.  We had a great excursion in the forest, Little Love was mostly calm although she did get flustered over crossing a bit of mud.  But the best part of her getting flustered is the fact that she gets over it really quickly. 

Even though the temperatures have not dropped drastically, it has gotten colder.  Especially at night the temperature hovers near or below freezing.  This has caused the ground to start freezing, which in turn makes it quite hard.  I am hoping for some snow soon, but it doesn't look like it is in the cards this week.  I even ordered a new set of hoof boots for Lilo, in preparation for winter.  Her current Easy Boots are a bit too big for her and not in the greatest shape.  They also don't have very good traction, which is what I need when the ice comes in, although the plan is to drill holes for "spikes", too.  Mostly I'm worried about the boots staying on in the deep snow.  So, encouraged by the experiences of others at our barn, I am going to try a pair of Old Mac G2s. 


  1. It'd be wonderful to see some pictures of where you go on your walks; it all sounds so beautiful!

  2. It seems like she's been in boots for a long time. Is she still tender footed out of them?

  3. Kate: will have to take pics! Although it looked at lot more beautiful in the summer...

    Smazourek: She was much better in between, but now has been a bit tender again in the fall (because of always being on soft ground outside = not enough hoof function? Or is it the excessive moisture? Something else?). She always wears boots on our walks mainly because I can't take her on a walk without always ending up on the road at some point and there are tons of rocks on the road because they dumped more gravel on it about a month ago. Today she had only her front boots on and it was alright. Usually in the forest she is fine without the boots, it's just the darn road... but I guess if you want your horse to walk on gravel like it's nothing, she needs to LIVE on gravel. Going from soft pasture to rocks doesn't really work without the boots. In the summer the paddock/pasture was fairly hard.

  4. It does sound beautiful where you all are now!; just the few pictures you've posted show this. The snow will be lovely I'm sure. How sweet that Little Love greeted you so enthusiastically when you returned. She has come so far in her journey with you, the trust has bonded you both to a much deeper connection. And that's a beautiful thing.