Spring is arriving in my area. The days and nights are getting warmer. The horses spent their first night naked this year.
Mav is enjoying scratching time with his neighbour. He’s not picky. If they are willing to scratch, he is there. He’s basically friendly with everyone. I've decided that may come from moving around herds through his younger years, or he may just be an agreeable guy. He would have been out with young and old both mares and geldings and stallions and young colts. He literally thinks everyone is his friend, and for the most part they like him.
So it’s spring right? It is the end of March anyways so surely spring flowers are just around the corner? That means it’s time to go see the youngster in Alberta who is coming 2 this year. Well, really it is time because there are airfare deals to be had. The end of March should be fine to go out there. Can you see where this is going? Excellent ground crew member, and fellow young horse owner, and I jump on a plane for the 90 min trip. This is much preferable to our previous 11 hour drives. I am not saying we will not drive there again. Because we are very likely to. However, with gas prices being so high, it is currently much cheaper to fly.
We land and its brown out there, not white. Promising! Maybe we will have escaped the snow they were expecting to fall. Maybe it will be lovely and warm and spring-like out there. We had been warned of mud. We are ready for mud. We have boots on and parkas and were very warm on the plane, since we did not check bags and had to wear everything we had that was warm. When your flight costs basically the same amount as checking a bag both ways, and you are only there 24 hours, you wear everything that takes up backpack space.
The drive is 90 min from the airport and I had the foresight to pick an SUV. I normally pick the cheapest option, but decided it was late March, in Alberta, if I get the SUV then certainly it will be beautiful out and this will be overkill.
Halfway into the drive it gets white. Then whiter and whiter. The last section of the drive is on rural roads and we are the only vehicle. This picture is not of those roads. There is a small black dot of a vehicle in front of us, which may cause you to doubt the veracity of my tale. I can assure you, the last section was only us. This portion of the drive was us plus 1. We decided to take the highway back rather than the more direct smaller roads. I think it ended up actually being faster since those roads were clear.
Fortunately, I have lots of snow driving experience, and we know where we were going this time. We arrive safe and sound. Except that our rental car tells us “reduce oil pressure” at the 3/4 mark of the trip. After checking the oil (for which my job was popping the hood release), it’s realized the vehicle has too much oil, not too little, so we press on. Someone apparently got overzealous putting oil in this vehicle, which only has a couple thousand kilometers on it. It was a VW Taos. I chose it since I had never heard of them. Turns out they are new this year. It was fine. Good on gas. Had too much oil. I am not a car person. But too much oil sounds way better than too little.
It was great to see the breeder again, we have become good friends! Sometimes people just click with you and even if you do not see them much, it is very comfortable when you do. She is amazing with the young horses and knows just what to work on and when. Mav is a tribute to her ground work and every horse there is friendly and kind with great manners (age appropriate of course).
Last time I saw Freddie, I did not own her. I bought her after we left the farm. Excellent ground crew member also bought hers after the fact. This was the first time we would see them as ours.
Out we go to get them (after eating lunch and inspecting the horses in the other fields) expecting to have a bit of a walk. Yet that is not required as our two horses see the three of us and head over. In Sept, Freddie was a bit twitchy to touch and standoffish. Today she comes to me and I put a halter on her.
The 4 of us get our picture taken with a photobomb from one of the yearlings.
It is much warmer in the barn! She follows along obediently, not worried about where she is going or why and happily ties to a stall.
There is a year between the two horses, Ground Crew’s horse is 3 this year and the extra year shows in her patience level. Freddie is happy to tie but if not being actively attended to, attempts to dig under the barn. I’m not worried about this, lots of time to work on her standing manners.
I get a pic with her and I'm wrapped up like it’s the middle of winter. It was overkill and we started to lose clothes fairly quickly. It was surprising how comfortable the barn was. The doors were open but it was so much warmer in there with no wind.
It was quite the outfit, but thankfully we flew out of a small airport and into Edmonton so we fit right in!
Many many pictures were taken. Many many pictures were deleted, or will live on my phone unseen for years. People say it is hard to delete pictures of their kids. I feel the same about pics of my horses.
We swap them to the leather halters we brought to leave for them. I was worried mine would be too big. It was not. I am instantly glad I have kept some of the oversize items Miss H had. I think I may need them again.
Some pictures were funny.
Others showed very nice long manes, with Freddie feeling left out so searching for a snack on the ground. she is much more food motivated than Mav for sure! And already knows what horse cookies are.
We brushed out their tails. They have very nice tails!
Good comparison pic showing Freddie is fairly large for her age. I do not think she will be small! She measured at 15 hands and is not fully two until May.
She thought more attention was needed at this point as you can tell.
There was no round pen work today. For obvious reasons. The round pen is out there somewhere past the snow piles!
So we take more pics.
And Freddie learns about selfies.
And more random shots
I do not think the light colour hair will stay on her legs. But it looks cool. Not enough feather to keep, so she will likely end up clipped with mane pulled. I do enjoy running braids, but I am not sure I can have a long mane with clipped legs. Technically, both Friesian and Andalusian can be left with long manes for showing, but it is frowned upon to have one and not the other.
Sometimes I see little bits of Mav in her. Her eye is similar to his and her desire to sniff necks/hair/faces.
Being groomed is thirsty work!
Excellent Ground Crew members gets this shot! Which also shows the state of the weather. Of course, the following day it was back to sun there!
Then it is time to say goodbye for now!
We both enjoyed our time with the girls. They are friendly and well adjusted for their ages. Living outside as they do is excellent for growing strong bones and understanding of herd dynamics. Mav can literally go beside or with anyone and he greets them like a long lost friend. I am hopeful she will be similar. She is maturing quickly, and I can see a large, beautiful, powerful mare in her waiting to emerge. She seems to be braver than Mav and has more natural confidence for her age.
We will go again in the summer and then we can do some work with them in the round pen. But for now, it's back to the daily working with Mav while Super Breeder cares for them! Plus, in the summer we will be able to see the new crop of babies.
I would take all the horses there if I could. They are all so lovely! Now back to Mav picking away at his training. He is getting much more consistent changes, which are now causing issues with his counter canter. But he is so smart, I know he will figure it all out quickly!