Monday, June 30, 2008

And now a word from our Sponser

Why oh Why did I order this?

For the past 3 days I have come home to this.....

You'd think I'd learn to put the TP away somewhere they can't reach...or find it. But noooooo. My bathroom looks like a Charmin Bomb exploded in it, repeatedly. And boy do they love to drag the carnage aaaaall over the place. Tiny bits of TP rolls All Over the House!
And then there are the two tiny terrorists in training. Generally they are pretty good about using the scratching post.....but sometimes.... we run into a little trouble. And when the couch isn't readily available they attack the bed night...with me in it...sigh. Just another ploy to keep me up all night.
And yes. I actually did have this happen. Made a horrific mess with water everywhere. I didn't see the actual dunking event. But I saw the aftermath and one subdued sopping wet Merri kitten. Unfortunately she's a slow learner and I constantly catch her on top of the tank...reaching her paw in by the water filter...just trying for fish dinner.

Not much in the horse world going on today. Have many errands to run after work and a sunburn that feels like my neck is being rubbed bad you can't go to work neekid...would be a lot less least for me! Probably scare the beejeebers out of my co-workers!

Time to get back to work.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Now it begins

Ok, it's been a very busy few days.
First my friend Kim and I were off to the eastern side of the state to pick up my rescue mare and 3 more for the trip back over the mountains. It was a L O N G day..but well worth the effort.
You can view the story and pictures of Herbie, now known as Hobo and his friend the yearling appy colt now known as Dingo at SOS (linked on this page).
We also brought back a yearling black Arab filly and I'm sure there will also be updates posted on SOS about her.

My filly was previously mentioned in my first post under the Cast of Characters as Jillian.

Jillian now has a new name...Jasmine...she responds to Jasmine, she really responds to Princess Jasmine, but she doesn't like Jazzy for short LOL.
She settled in really well the first night. I kept her in the round pen just to get her land legs back and check out her surroundings. She barely even blinked at her neighbors the Llamas.

And was very calmly taking in everything, looking at all the other horses in the various fields.

Sat. I got a chance to handle her a little. At first she wasn't sure she wanted me to catch her, but it appears she's had some type of round pen work as she did turn and face me when I controlled her direction after her first evasion. I started out just brushing her and combing her mane and tail, then looped the lead around the rail to see if she would pick up her feet. Her feet may or may not have been handled in the past. She was a little hesitant with the front so I didn't ask for a lot. Just a pick up pause set down. Her back are another matter. She is VERY touchy in her rear area. Any kind of movement towards her back end has her moving away from you. When finally able to rub the leg down and ask for the foot as soon as it comes up she starts jerk/kicking it. So with the help of my sister we just used a soft rope loop at the ankle to teach her to just lift and relax the leg. She caught on real quick and when we didn't get all after her with the jerking but just talked to her calmly and let her work through it she stopped almost immediately. We think that she's probably been hit in the past for jerking her feet away. By the end of the session she would pick up both hind feet eand hold them relaxed with no kicking action. We probably worked with her a total of 15-20 minutes overall and once she figured what we were asking she was quick to pick up the verbal cue of foot and a light pressure on the rope.

After the lesson I put her in one of the smaller fields with not to much grass, as I don't know how much exposure she's had to fresh grass and don't want to overload her system changing diet to fast. So she has little grass and as much hay as she wants. When turned out she very calmly walked herself around the perimiter of the field. Checked out the "neighbors" Cathy's mob =) and settled in. When the mares and foals across the way moved towards the back of their field she ran a couple circles, went whew its to hot for this and went back to nosing around her hay.

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday although I had to catch her in the field. Once again as I approach she would turn and walk away but if you step up and turn her back she is directed very easy. A couple passes back and forth and she just stopped and waited for me to walk up and halter her. Took her to the round pen and worked on her feet again. She remembered the front so well I held them a little longer cupping the hoof and patting the bottom of her foot...just messing with it to prepare her for her first trim with me in a couple weeks. After each pickup, hold and patting session she got lots of pets and praise....I don't think she's had alot of that. Then we moved to the back feet again. She really wants to keep the hind end away from you so we once again just looped her foot to raise and hold it. Then when she was releaxed with that worked on just rubbing the hip and then down the leg. Had some more jerk away with the rub down the leg, but when there was no "punishment", just another request to pick up and hold she came around after just a couple requests.

She is very bright, and catches on quickly what we are asking of her. My impression is that she's been worked with...probably manhandled or worked with a very heavy hand, and little or no praise for a good job. I wouldn't think abused...but there doesn't appear to be much of praise and "good girl's" in her background. And she is responding to that very well. I am also using a lot of voice commands to let her know exactly what is expected. Repitition and a kind firm hand will do wonders with this mare.

AND I think I figured out how such a nice girl ended up at running through the auction without any papers or ID...When we were looking at her teeth closer today, she is VERY parrot mouthed. Not just a slight overbite, but a good inch or so. I'll be calling my vet to ask if there is anything special to take into consideration for a parrot mouth in the way of feeding, teeth care etc. seating a bit next year. While it's something a breeder would not want associated with their stud or breeding program, it's not an isurmountable issue. Just something to be aware of when it comes to mouth upkeep.

I'm looking forward to working with Jasmine. I think she has some minor issues, but nothing realy serious. I think she's going to come around and be a real sweetheart. She's probably 14.1 and 2 years and I'm thinking she'll probably top out around 15 to 15.2.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No More Excuses

The Stitches are out, the Stitches are out!!!

Eye feels great and the vision is settling into where it's supposed to be, I think. Still a little blurry at the distance but it's getting a little better each day.
Now I have to get serious and make some real plans for just what I want to accomplish with the herd.

Had a relatively horsey least horse type activity.

Got Lyric separated from Renegade and into her own stall with attached run. She got to experience the scary wheelbarrow and manure fork invading her territory, going inside the big dark cave of a stall, horse eating white buckets. Spent a few hours with her just sitting and doling out a handful of grass at a time. I learned she is VERY one sided. She really has a preference to keep all contact and interaction on her left side. Which is fine for now, but will need to be addressed once we have consistent contact.

I'm now able to rub her forehead and nose as she takes grass from my hand...however she does have her standards. If the handful of grass doesn't meet her specifications (meaning it's not big enough) she just stares at me. And she scared herself when she decided to get greedy and tried to take the bucket of grass away from me and it fell over. But she got over her fear in about .03 seconds, walked back up to me resigned to getting a measly handful at a time while her face got stroked.

After we were done with the grass we watched Kim work Renegade in the round pen. Periodically she would look at me and sniff and sniff. Once she even poked me with her nose. I think it was her way of saying...Whew, am I glad I'm in here and not still in there getting my fanny worked off in this heat. Little does she know that for me it's easier to work with the unhandled ones in this set up that a round pen (working MY fanny off in the heat!)

Been playing horse roulette in the fields again and got my herd settled back in their field only to get a phone call the next morning saying 3 of the 4 were loose. Seems Diva, Piper and Seven were bored and decided to escape and go take a walkabout. And who could blame them? I mean why stay in a nice field of freshly mown and grown grass when you can wander through the barn, sample Cathy's horses alfalfa on the way through, thumb your nose at all the horses stuck in stalls and greet people at the door as they come out of the house? Remind me again why I have horses?
Take off from work...thank goodness I have a semi-understanding boss...race to the farm and go walk the fence line to see just how they managed their great escape. No great mystery. When the field was mown the back gate between their field and the adjoining field was left open. Usually no big deal...however...the front gate to that field was wide open when I got there...AH HAH...mystery solved. I hadn't suddenly acquired a herd of levitating horses, or Grand Prix Jumper wannabe's. Just a bunch of opportunists looking for some fun.

Get everyone back in their field, shake my finger under all the offenders noses, lavish praise on Aspen for being a good girl and staying put, tell them all to be good and head back to work. Of course I had to stay extra late to make up the time spent doing the horse business. And since I haven't had any more phone calls I'm thinking the girls are behaving themselves.

Weekend is shaping up to be crammed with stuff...need to get hay, pick up Jillian, work 2nd job...pick up hay, did I mention pick up hay? from 2 different sources...on the same day...on opposite sides of the state. Anyone have a cloning machine I could borrow? I need about 4 me's to get everything done.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Aimless Ramblings

Well lets get you all caught up on my life in the fast lane.

I actually got to do horsey type stuff! Of course nothing fun like riding or training...but real down in the dirt horse stuff.

First I head south to where Lyric is still living and helped my friend Kim build a 2nd round pen. Since the kids are still in residence in her main one for a bit longer, she's in need of another option for a couple of her other youngsters. And summer...what few sunny days we get a wasting so I was drafted for manual labor.

So after the round pen is up and round shaped...well sort of egg shaped, it's on to Lyric.
I think this is her best side cause no matter what you do, how you move and try for another "pose"....
this is the look you get......
The round pen was to muddy to do any work so I just found the dry high spot and plopped myself down. Lyric couldn't figure out what I was up to. She's used to me dragging in a muck bucket of hand picked grass to feed her. But Kim had mowed the grass so nothing for me to pick.

Anyway, she just kept standing there using her horse-a-kinetic powers on me to go get her grass.
Don't you LOVE these eyes? SEE the power??!!
I love that she is so curious. She still isn't touchable anywhere except her nose. But we are oh so close. The more I would ignore her the more she just had to creep closer to see what I was doing, where was HER grass and what was that goofy clicking thing I was holding.
I was just looking through the viewer and saw her feet sneak into frame...and yes she needs a trim. But first things first I need to be able to touch her, halter her and lead her to start working on her foot manners.
Then I just slowly look up through the camera and.... there was a nose just inches away watching me!
Still sneaking up and out of frame. Of course for being such a curious bold girl I had to go grub around the field and pick her some grass. She has STRONG horse-a-kinetic powers!
We are hoping to move her out of the round pen this weekend into a stall with a run on it. She doesn't have the flight response her roomie has and separating them will help get them both going a little better. And I am much more comfortable working in the stall and run then the round pen.
Here is Lyric's current Roomie. He is also now a yearling from the Nov 2007 adoption and we want no opsies and unexpected pregnancies!
Then it was off to the farm where the rest of the mob lives. Got a little horsey therapy...petted and hugged some noses. Chastised all for putting more dreadlocks in their manes, went to the feed store with Josie.
I don't think she'll ever take me again. I hadn't been to this store before and I was like a kid in a candy store...but aren't we all??? Well you know the ADOH (Attention Deficient...Oh Hi) that the LGY has? Well I had ADOL!! (Attention Deficient OH LOOK!) I got a new riding helmet (in purple), a grain scoop I didn't need (in purple), a cool horsey T-shirt on sale I also didn't need (in purple), a new halter and matching lead for Jillian (in light steel blue....and you thought I was gonna say purple!) and a ton of other stuff. I tried to bring home 2 baby chicks but Josie wouldn't let me. Hey you can have hens on your balcony for fresh eggs in the suburbs!
Got back to the farm and flagged the field the horses would be moving to in the next couple days and then went to watch Cathy ride the VLC. I have sent her the pictures and need to buy some CD's (ex took all that we had when he left, grrr) to get the video to her.
***DISCLAIMER, as the VLC and the LGY aren't mine I can still refer to them in their acronymized names from their own blogs.***
Had to work...blah blah blah. But those of us with horsey families to support do what we must do. I too have multiple jobs and sometimes it really sucks! Especially when we actually have a sunny day here in the Northwet!
Repeat of Sunday but had to go from job 1 (6 am - 4:30 pm) straight to job 2 (6pm - 9pm). Makes for a L O N G day.
Horsey hard labor day! We are currently undergoing the "Battle of the Buttercups" at the barn. So as the fields get mowed it's a constant game of horses roulette. The field mine were in was pretty much eaten down to the nubs so it was time for them to move on. First I had to repair the gate section of fence that the cows had torn down a'la step in posts and white electric tape.
Chase the cows back out of the field (they walk between the wire strands). This is getting more interesting each time as there is either a yearling steer or bull in the mob who lately has been turning back and trying to decide if he can take me or not. But when his buddies bail he loses his nerve and hightails it out of there.
Next I drag out my water tub from their old pasture, and a long hose from the barn, scrub the tub and fill it. Then it was time to move them, 4 of them, by myself...aaaaalllll the way to the back of the property. Luckily my sister and Josie show up just in the nick of time...3 of us...4 horses. So we halter up 3 and leave Seven lose to follow...past the horse eating goat...the horse swallowing mud puddle...through the barn...past 3 fields of horses charging up to the fence hollering their Hello's and aaaaalll the way to the back of the property. She's so good!
Let them all loose and they promptly disappear from sight (grass is tall in this field...and I have short horses). I think it will hold them for a while, even after they are joined by some of the other residents in the next couple days. Still, I need to get them out and get the training/riding going before my air ferns turn into air oaks!
Nothing horsey today...but making plans for the next few days to get in some horse time...mostly de-dreading manes. Maybe get Diva out and plod around the round pen or one of the mowed fields. Still no arena for dusty....but Soooooon. Working with Lyric over the weekend...Much will depend on what the eye Dr says tomorrow afternoon.
Till then...that's all from the funny farm.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Arrrrr! Avast, me mateys!

As promised, here I am...the deranged pirate in my bat cave at work!
Oh yeah, I've got the look down!

First an eye update.
So the Dr. apt yesterday went really well! The eye is healing great, the inflammation was gone and although a few of those rogue cells crept back in they are not hampering the healing and vision. For the first time in days it was a gorgeous sunny day here in WA. And I was able to drive home with my eye open the whole way!! Only a few long 3 -5 second blinks now and then. AWESOME feeling!
Of course I celebrated by ummmm staying up till almost midnight (my bad), watching Bravo's A List Awards, surfing the computer and basically just reveling in my rediscovered ability to keep the eye open.
This morning the eye was a little sore again and a little red. But with the drops I got through the day with just minor discomfort. Right now it just feels tired, and I'll be going to bed early tonight. I go back again in a week for another assessment. Depending on how everything looks, some of the stitches may come out at that time or we may just wait till the original removal day. OH, and I took my sunglass to the Dr. office and modeled it for them. They loved it!

Soooo, today I am going to poke fun at my friends blogs....totally tongue in cheek of course. But I just had to do it. Without naming names I think you will recognize them right away.

Today's topic is Acronyms.
I work in a company that lives and dies by it's acronyms. We even have handbooks and dictionary's and bibles for them...because you may see an acronym not only one time but as many as five or six...and all mean something different depending which department acronym it is.
So after reading two of my fav blogs I was dismayed to have to keep track of even more. BGY, SSG, CSS or is it CSC?, SHM, head is spinning!!!!!! Why must we acronymize our horses? After all they do have names. Names we sweated and pondered and agonized days over before coming up with them.
Now if you happen to have a horse named Ifyoudontgetoverhererightnowyoupainintheass or Dontyourunawayagainoryoullbesorry I can see using an acronym like ROH (Really Obnoxious Horse) when writing about them in a blog. But if you do have a name like IfyoudontgetoverhererightnowyouPainInTheAss, you would probably have an affectionate barn name like Pita that you could use.
I started thinking...oh man, more acronyms, can I not escape them? Is this the norm when you BLOG? Do I need to have acronyms for all my horses now? Good gravy... what on earth would their acronym be?
After much thought this is what I came up with to adequately describe my horses in acronymeeze.

Lets see I would have DKMMT, Dun Kiger Mustang Mare Trailhorse,
And then there would be PPJSGBM, Pretty Pink Jumbo Sized Green Broke Mare,
And SGKMMITSO, Short Grulla Kiger Mustang Mare In Training Sort Of,
And SSBSGDKMM, Super Short But Still Growing Dun Kiger Mustang Mare,
And WDKMFSBG, Wild Dun Kiger Mustang Filly Still Being Gentled, And finally.....CTBMFFWWBRWT, Cute Tiny Black Mare From a Feedlot Who Will Be Rehomed When Trained.
I think I will just stick with names, personally I think it's waaaay easier than keeping track of a bowl of alphabet soup.

So here is my pledge to you... (places hand over heart) ...I do hereby solemnly swear, that when I BLOG about my horses I will use their name and not an ever expanding number of confusing, hard to keep track of acronyms.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Excuses?? Yeah, I got 'em!

So, I started this wonderful BLOG to track my progress cause according to yesterday's post, "Cathy made me do it" is all well and good to say, but, ya know, no one can really make you do anything you don't want to, not even yourself. Cause the more your are forced to do something, the more excuses your sub-conscious finds for you to not to have to do do them.

That being said...I REALLY really do have a good excuse why I'm not meeting my goals!
DISCLAIMER: This post might not be for the squeamish

My eyeball hurts!

In 2001 I had LASIK on both eyes and all was right with the world. But due to who knows what...getting old...falling off horses...whatever, the vision in the left eye had regressed to the point I was running around all squinty eyed. So back at the beginning of the year I had a vision correction enhancement on my eye. Since then it has been an ongoing struggle to get the dang thing to heal properly.
Normally after LASIK you do get some cell growth that occurs and covers the flap. The eye never heals like we associate with a cut, but the cell growth does cover the flap. Apparently my eyeball likes to grow rogue cells that prefer to creep under the flap and keep distorting my vision. Swell.
You know those nifty vision charts you have to read? Well did you know that the technicians didn't find it humorous when they asked me to say the letters of the smallest line I could read and I rattle off things like... Omega, Zed, Alpha, Theta...hey when did these things go Greek? Because I was seeing everything in hieroglyphics and double images out of that eye. Driving was like a big party adventure! Tail lights looked like I was on a highway full of red Jack-O-Lantern eyes staring at me, and headlights coming at me like huge white candles. Obviously something was not quite right here....obviously.
So I've had 2 sessions of going in removing the rogue cells, putting a contact type lens over the flap to press it down, nothing worked. They kept coming back. Now the Dr decides it's time to get serious, on May 29 they put in stitches. Stitches!, In My Eyeball!!! Ten of them! Owie Owie Owie. This is when the fun really began.
Actually, the first week really wasn't all that bad. Some mild discomfort, but I had this nice lovely clear contact lens "band-aid" over the stitches so the eyelid and eyeball didn't interact with each other. Then it the one week check-up the "band-aid" came out. owe Dr. was very happy with how the eye was healing, everything looking good, no sign of rogue cells, and he recommended...yes... I HAD A CHOICE HERE... to not put another "band-aid" in. He told me there would be some discomfort (yeah...owie...eye was already watering like crazy and scratchy feeling) that would go away as the eyelid adjusted to the feel of the stitches. Like the trusting dork I am I said OK...leave it out. WHAT was I thinking??!!??
Normally I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I think most horse people do...sort of comes with the territory. But OMG, Owie owie owie! And there was no getting away from it! By that night I could not keep my eye open, it was tearing non-stop, and blinking was like rubbing sandpaper across my poor eyeball. I swear I could feel every stitch go down and up with every blink, pulling on my poor eyeball. I took about a thousand ibuprofen for the headache and dull throbbing ache in, around, and behind the eye, put in my drops and went to bed hoping for the best. Next morning, Friday, I woke up in Hell!
I can no longer open the left eye, when I do finally pry it open to put drops in OWIE...stings Owe, make it stop.... no such luck...tears streaming non-stop. Call the Dr. OWIE HELP OWIE HURTS CAN'T SEE. At least I think I said something that sounded like that, either way they got the jest of what I was trying to communicate. Now I have to drive to the Dr. office, in the pouring rain, during rush hour traffic, with tears streaming down my face; because of course the Right Eye, not wanting to be left out of the fun, and has now started streaming tears too!
Get to the Dr. he mercifully puts in numbing drops...Aaaahhhh...relief at last. Checks out the eye and says hmmm the surface has some slight abrasions. Ya think? Thank God he puts another "band-aid" in my eye. I am sent home with more drops and new instructions with the obligatory now call if you experience, pain, redness or changes in your vision and I'm also told they'd see me when the stitches are scheduled to be removed. I go along my merry way, a happy camper with my numb eye, "band-aid" and new supply of eye drops clutched in my hand, thinking to myself... I can do this...just 2 more weeks. WRONG!
Saturday morning... my eyeball is the color of a boiled lobster. Hmmm I'd say I was experiencing redness. Lets check it out in the light...OWIE!!! NO, Turn off the light!!! Ok vision affected, that's a big Check. Eye tearing again. Let's see what are my options...Office is closed on Saturday so I call and talk to the on call Dr. I'm told to keep doing drops, but add more of the wetting drops to the mix and I can also add back in a drop that was previously stopped (the sort of like ibuprofen for the eye one)...but no more than 2 times over the weekend. Oh I was also told that I didn't need to restrict myself from normal daily activites, but, if I was doing something and it bothers the eye...stop. Ok then... so I sat in the dark in my apt for the weekend...yay.
Guess who was BACK at the Dr. office bright and early Monday? Yep, Me! Eye still the color of a lobster, numbing drops in again to examine the eye (wouldn't stay open without them), "band-aid" comes out (whimper). News today is the eye is inflamed and the medication needs to be changed. I now need to put hourly drops in the eye, another type of drop 4 times a day, continue with the wetting drops as needed...oh and the Best news... Because of the hourly drops I can't have a new "band-aid".
Now, I like to think I'm a pretty reasonable person....but continous pain just does something to a person, and by this time I'm ready to hurt someone. Bad. Really bad. And I think it showed in my know the good one...cause the other was all squinshed shut again. The Dr. kind of looked at me and watched my fingers slowly piercing the leather on the armrest of the chair and then wrote me a prescription for some really cool eye lubricant to keep the eyeball and eyelid from feuding like the Hatfield's and McCoy's. This stuff is like putting a cross of Vaseline and Neosporin in your eye. Really gums up the eyelashes but the eyelid slides smoooooth.
Today is Thursday. I have another Dr. appointment in a few hours and I am happy to report... things are getting better. KNOCK WOOD. The eye is still pretty light a matter of fact all lights in the vicinity of my desk at work have been unscrewed so I sit here like a bat with my sunglass on. Yes, sunglass, singular. One of the guys I work with took a pair of those dark glasses you get when they dilate your eyes and we cut off the Right Eye lens and ear piece so all that is left is the nose part, left lens and ear piece. I look like a deranged Pirate....I'll try to get a picture. You have to see it to believe it.
But I digress...back to the eye. The red is mostly gone, I can keep it open most the time, tearing is off and on but nowhere near what it was. It does fatigue easily and by the end of the day it does ache some but wow...I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Stitches are scheduled to come out on June 26, and this had better work! Because there is absodamnlutely NO WAY I am going through this again!

And to assure that I do not in anyway jeopardise, damage, or totally screw things up...I won't be doing any horsey activity that would put my poor tortured and abused eyeball in peril. I may do some outside work in a round pen...possibly even ride in the outside round pen (Please, don't let me fall off!!! I do that occasionally). But no way I'll be riding in the arena where it would be exposed to all manner of dirt and dust.

So, yes, I have an excuse.

my eyeball hurts

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cathy made me do this!!

Ok, so following the "advise" or possibly "orders" of others I have decided to venture into the world of blogging to encourage myself to Git R Done. No idea how frequent the updates will be..but I will try.

My Goals.....Mwahahaha

Diva - just get out and ride! Teaching her to neck rein and pony another horse would be nice.
Piper - lots of wet saddle blankets, steering is a biggie and I'd love to get her out on some trail rides.
Aspen - 1) Groundwork basics in prep for riding, 2) saddle up and ride.
Seven - As long as I'm doing groundwork with Aspen I'd like to get Seven the basics
Lyric - Finish her gentling, halter training, leading and feet handling.
Jillian - Probably the same regime as Seven. basic groundwork in prep for saddle training next spring.

And the Victims.......

The Cast of Characters:

Diva aka Boss Mare:
13 yr Kiger mare that runs the show. She keeps the rest of the mob in line and is my dependable trail horse.
I purchased Diva when she was 4 and I was just getting back into riding after about a 20 year absence. Diva had 30 days of training as a 3 yr old then sat for a year before I bought her. My friend laughed her head off at me cause I kept saying "But she's broke." to which she replied "30 days is NOTHING!" I'm afraid to say she was right.
It's been a long haul but we've come a long way. Built a bit like a barrel I often find myself riding her ears going downhill and her tail going uphill. She still doesn't neck rein, and our favorite speed is mosey along. She could give lessons on snatch and grab snacking on the trails...she's so smooth you don't realize she's doing it. Has the most comfortable smooth gaits (when we venture out of the walk), and is the sweetest mare that and I can put kids and beginners on to plod around the arena with no fear.

Piper aka the Pink Horse:
Adopted as a PMU weanling in 2003 from Foal Quest, Piper is 1/2 Shire and 1/2 paint and some other stuff. Very laid back and the biggest of the mob at about 15.2H (and still growing I think). Piper had 30 days of training when she was 3, sat a year and then I took her to a Jon Ensign Colt starting clinic. She has that nothing phases me draft mentality and is very much a pocket pony...if a 1/2 draft can be considered a pony!
She can be a little stubborn under saddle, and knows she's stronger. So our biggest challenge is steering...going where I want to go and not check out the sights she wants to see. So far she has only been ridden in a round pen or arena.

Aspen: 4 yr Kiger mare. Very sweet and very short, probably right at the 14 hand mark...but...there's hope. She is butt high! Mustangs seem to grow up till their 5th and 6th year...not a lot but teeny tiny amounts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for just 2 or 3 more inches.
You can't tell from this picture, but she is considered the Beauty Queen of the bunch by most the folks who see her. She is one of the first to great you in the field and is an attention hog. Because she is so small I have put off starting her under saddle. She has filled out a lot over the past year so this is her summer for training.....yeah right

Seven: Ahhhh Seven, she is the filly I waited for for 6 years. She's 3 yr Kiger mare out of Diva. Sweet like her mother but also on the short side like Aspen at the moment. She seems to put all her energy into growing mane and tail.
Should have named this one Rapunzel.
Seven is probably around 13.3 and still growing. Her mama is 14.3 and daddy 14.2 so I'm hoping Seven will get to that 14.3 mark.
Seven was my problem baby and has contributed to many of my grey hairs! She was born looking like a concentration camp refugee...all tiny and skinny while mama Diva was a blimp! Where was her baby fat???
She plumped up fairly quickly and then one day at about a week old I come into the stall and she's laying there like she's dead. I had opened the door to the outside run and Diva just left her...saw my other mare with her foal and proceeded to steal it. Not good! Now I have what I think is a dead foal in one stall, a screaming foal trapped by Diva and an anxious mama wanting her foal back. Panicked call to the vet answering machine... "I THINK MY FOAL IS DYING OR DEAD, WHAT DO I DO???!!!" Get the who belongs to who mess sorted out while waiting for a call back from the vet and call all my horse friends in a panic HELP HELP!!! Go back to Seven who's now awake in the stall and can't figure out where her mama is. Call back the vet...she's awake now but lethargic. Friend shows up we do refill tests on her gums and watch her she seems to be ok. Vet calls asks some questions has no clue and says observer her call back if she doesn't improve. Within a half hour she's charging around like a race horse....crisis averted.
Fast forward about 10 days. Diva and Seven are now allowed out in their pasture area 24 x 7 with access to their stall. I come by to feed and Seven is laid out on her side with this HUGE red nasty looking thing on her belly. Another panicked call to the vet... "IT LOOKS LIKE HER NAVEL SPLIT OPEN AND I THINK HER GUTS ARE COMING OUT!!!!" Upon closer examination she had some sort of oozing abscess or wound on her udder. Call back the vet a little calmer... and say ok not her guts but there's some sort of wound and puss and icky stuff coming out of her. sigh
I am usually not one to panic, but Seven is my dream baby. Waited 6 years to get a filly by this particular stallion who in about 11 years of breeding has only thrown 7 filly's to date. And you gotta love a vet that takes calls like that in stride. Best we can guess at is that she probably got bitten by something (wolf spider?) the day she was laid out and that the bite abcessed and burst.

Lyric aka Kiger McDreamy: Yearling Kiger filly adopted in Nov 2007. She is still not completely gentled but coming along nicely. She will be tall (15+ range...tall for a mustang), is English moving and very elegant looking with the most gorgeous kind eyes.
She is a real thinker. Unfortunately I think she is going to be smarter than I am when it comes to training. She watches and watches you. Bolder than the colt that came in with her she is now eating grain, taking grass from hand and allowing small touches to the face/mouth area. I have started some round pen training, controlling direction, inside turn, outside turn, turn and face, approach and retreat. We are getting close to that real first contact.
I have always wanted on straight from the wild and am very pleased with this girl. However the gentling process is taking much longer than I had hoped for due to only being able to go see her at her BLM approved holding home on weekends.

Jillian aka ???: We'll see when I meet her. She is a grade QH type 2 yr mare rescued from a feedlot 6/10/08. More info to follow once I get to know her.

The Peanut Gallery: Rookie, Xena, Merlin and Meri and Pippin (or the two tiny fur covered terrorists as I fondly refer to them). The sole goal of my cats is to ensure that I DO NOT get any sleep at night!
Rookie is now at the ripe old age of 17 and pretty much has reverted to a sleeping bed potato. Her ploy is to continually bump my arm and meow at me all night so I will pet her.
Xena just insists on curling up as close to my head as she can get and tickling my face with her tail all night long.
Merlin, well Merlin is just a trouble maker....and he drools when he purrs. He tries to lay on the top of the pillow and purr...drooling into my hair ICK!!! Constant battle to keep him away from my head.
The terrorists were the survivors of an abandoned litter that I was convinced to take in, hand raise and find homes for. After $300 in vet bills they became permanent residents. When they aren't wrestling on the bed, attacking my feet, burrowing under the covers or pestering the older cats, Meri is pacing across my chest and then staring at me and slapping my cheek with her paw, Pippin turns the purr volume to LOUD and then licks the end of my nose. There is no such thing as a snooze button any longer. Alarm goes off and my entire body becomes a trampoline.
Lock them out of the bedroom you say??? Not after you see the mess they make when unsupervised!

Meri and Pippin respectively, the "Terrorists"

Other supporting characters: Several fish, 2 rats and an EX I can't get rid of!