Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Mountain Hounds Hunter Pace

I convinced a friend at work to ride with me in the Red Mountain Hounds hunter pace last weekend. She loves horses and took lessons for 5 years, but hasn't ridden in about 10 years. I met her out at our new boarding barn on Saturday to let her meet Tucker and ride for a bit. She did great and wasn't discouraged at all about going to the hunter pace the next day. We loaded up the next morning and upon arrival, Maggie decided she didn't want to get OFF the trailer! We tried everything, and finally we ended up folding the rear tack so she could go off front-ways! (Thanks TJ!) We met up with a friend I had made at the Horsemasters meeting the previous week, and the three of us came in fourth in our division! Of course it was the slowest division, the "strollers", but we had a ton of fun, and Maggie did great on her first hunter pace. We have big plans to ride in the next one on November 1. It's great to be meeting so many people in the NC horse community, and I love the Horsemasters club!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

moving to North Carolina

OK, I've been horrible about updating the blog, but a lot has happened since I did! I've taken a new job in Durham, NC and already moved to an apartment in Hillsborough, NC and been at work for a month. I brought Tucker, Maggie, and Sandy up Labor Day weekend. I will be moving them from a boarding farm in Stem, NC to one closer to Hillsborough this Saturday. We are planning on going to our first NC show on Saturday as well. I am considering bringing Nick, Gem, and Rosie up to NC the weekend of October 24.

Katie and I looked at two houses (potential farms) yesterday, but I think they both will require too much land-clearing to be worth it. I'm hoping to find something with established pasture, but we'll see. Our Lexington, GA farm is on the market, and as far as I know, there hasn't been any interest yet. Wish us luck on finding a new farm, and if you know of anyone looking for one in the Athens area, tell them about mine!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rosie update 3.5 months old

Rosie is so inquisitive and smart. I've adopted the habit of sitting on a bucket in the paddock while she and Gem eat, and as soon as she's done, she's snuffling my hair, my shirt, and asking for rubs. She's an amazing filly.

Haltering was an interesting show. I had tried a few times to no avail before the shoer came last month. He and I ended up getting a halter on her after a "rodeo" in the stall. She's quite agile and definitely has a mind of her own. She stood relatively quietly for her first trimming; I like to say it's because I'd been handling her legs a lot, but maybe I give myself too much credit

It seems that Rosie will be bigger than her mom. Gem is less than 15 hands, but Rosie's dad Pepper is 15.2 or 15.3. Everyone makes a comment about how big she is.

Tonight I'm working on registration papers for her and Gem. I'm going to register Gem with ICAAP and Colorado Ranger Horse Association, and hopefully I can get Rosie's ApHC Foundation Pedigree Designation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rosie at one month

Below are links to some pictures and video I took today. I was able to capture a few seconds of Indian Shuffle! Rosie is doing great, she's so cute and friendly. She loves scratches and walks right up to get them. I'm trying to handle her head more and more to make haltering easier. I ordered a foal-size fly mask because of the pink skin around her eyes. We'll see how long she'll keep that on...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rosie update

Rosie's front teeth started coming in right on time last week. She is trying harder at grazing and sharing her mom's grain. And I've had to discourage mutual grooming when I'm scratching her to avoid any biting habits because she's starting to catch my shirt in her teeth! I've been allowing them to graze in the back yard most evenings, but it's a challenge since they have to share the yard with the dogs. TJ the old lab mix doesn't even notice, Lucy the Dachshund watches and follows with interest, but Alex the greyhound with the broken leg thinks it's a great game when Rosie runs around. It's the craziest sight seeing the greyhound running on 3 legs chasing the filly around the yard with me bellowing at Alex trying to make him stop. It's not easy to make a chasing greyhound stop, even one on 3 legs. So far I don't think he has scared Rosie, but I'm trying to avoid that completely. There's few things worse than a horse who's scared of dogs. Alex just thinks it's a great game, and Rosie is not much bigger than him, so apparently it's even more fun with someone just your size. Hopefully this weekend the new pasture's fence will be complete, and I can move Tucker and Spartan over there with the other horses to give Gem and Rosie some grazing space besides the back yard.

I think I've produced an Indian Shuffler! I thought I saw it right after Rosie was born, but I wrote it off as learning to walk. When she figured out cantering, it seemed to be all she did. But I've seen it a few more times now, a funny amble between a walk and a trot. Her dad is Ulrich bred, but I didn't think shuffled. I've never ridden her mom, but I don't think I've ever seen her shuffle either. I'm so excited, I can't wait until she's old enough to ride! Now I'm wondering what I'd get if I bred Gem to a known shuffler. I just have to figure out how to encourage the shuffle in Rosie. I don't want to lose it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Animals can be a pain in the...

After work yesterday, I picked up Katie from school and took her to soccer practice. It was ridiculously cold and windy for April, and I forgot my coat. Luckily I had an extra sweatshirt in the truck. Anyway, practice ended a little early, and we headed home only to find a pile of dog poo from TJ, our 15 year old lab mix. Not his fault, I always have to remind myself as I clean up the mess. He just can't hold it anymore. I got the dogs' dinner ready while they were outside. Soon after they thundered in and began scoffing down kibble, I noticed some blood drips on the floor. Looking around, it was easy to identify the source: the tip of TJ's tail. He must have caught it on something in his rush into the kitchen and tore a chunk open. There was a quickly-growing puddle of blood forming under his tail as he ate. I grabbed some vetwrap and gauze (which of course was handy thanks to the frequent bandage changes of the greyhound's broken leg) and did a quick wrap of the tail until I could shuttle him outside. When they finished their dinner, I ran them all out and went to work cleaning. When I was satisfied with the disapperance of the blood spots, I went to check on the dogs outside. TJ had slipped off the quick wrap and wagged all over the back porch spewing blood all over the side of the light gray house. UGH. I fetched more vetwrap and gauze and wedged him between my already blood stained knees to bandage his tail all the way up the the top. I knew it needed elasticon to stay on, but my next priority was washing off the house and deck. So I proceeded to hose off the side of the house on the terribly blustery day. Upon completion, the dogs and I went back inside. I had missed a call from my daughter's riding instructor, so I sat down for a minute to call her back. She had come by earlier in the day to pick up my Katie's pony Sandy to borrow her for a riding lesson, and she had called to give me an update. Kelly got home while I was on the phone, and in TJ's excitement, the tail wrap came flying off again. Blood all over the kitchen AGAIN. This time, with Kelly's help, I got the elasticon over the third wrap, and we cleaned the kitchen AGAIN and treated the blood stains on our clothes so I could do an unexpected load of laundry.

I went out to feed the horses later and Rosie has decided to play the I-wonder-what-kind-of-game-she'll-play-with-me-if-I'm-on-my-hind-legs game. She soon learned that I play the I-don't-let-horses-get-up-on-their-hind-legs-around-me game. She gave up pretty quickly and settled for scratches and pets. But she started anew this morning. This time bigger and stronger. So I got bigger and stronger. I never scared her, but I think she got the idea by the second or third time. We'll see what's next...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Agile filly

I took a few 3-day-old pictures with my phone last night because I didn't happen to have my camera with me. I'll take better pictures this weekend.
Rosie LOVES to canter! She seems to either be walking or cantering wherever she goes. She does the most beautiful flying changes, and she seems very agile. She throws in little feel-good bucks now and then. She's inquisitive and becoming more and more friendly as she learns how good it feels to be scratched! She grooms me while I scratch her. She's interested in her mom's grain and already attempting "grazing" (it's awfully hard to graze successfully with no teeth!) It's amazing to see her develop so fast.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Foal update

My 5 year old daughter Katie decided she wanted to name the filly Red Rose. We compromised and will call her Rosie. I think her registered name will be Gems Phat Red Rose, but I haven't entirely decided. Dr. Nicole Ferguson came out Tuesday evening to check up on Rosie and Gem. Both were perfectly fine, and Rosie's IgG was adequately high. Rosie had become a handful at less than one day old, but we were able to contain her for the exam. Later that evening when I put the girls in their stall, I attempted to dip Rosie's umbilical stump in iodine. I soon found that it was no small task. Rosie had decided that I was a big monster, and iodine ended up everywhere. Last night I decided Rosie needed some undemanding time near me, so I pulled up a bucket and sat in the stall for a long time. Curiosity of course got the best of her, and she came over to check me out. She still wasn't sure, but she wasn't running away. I left it at that. This morning after I turned them out, it started raining pretty hard. Rosie was a little agitated by this new feeling. When the rain slacked off a bit, she cantered and bucked around the paddock occasionally pausing to rub her front legs with her nose to counter that strange tickly water-running-down-the-legs feeling. When she came back over to check me out again, she rubbed her wet head on me which gave me the opening to start scratching all her itchy spots. She soon realized that I wasn't so bad since I had awesome grooming fingers. Yay, I think we're over the scary monster stage! Let's hope she remembers by the time I get home from work tonight!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A new filly!

Gem has finally foaled!!! I went into the house around 8 and made dinner. I went back out to check on Gem around 10:30 and there was a new foal! Gem had already passed the placenta and was standing. The foal was still wet and lying down. She had not gotten up yet, so I didn't miss it by much! After telling Gem what a great job she did, I did some imprinting on the foal. I helped her get up since she kept falling over and banging into the walls. The filly was trying to suckle everything in sight, so eventually I helped her find colostrum. It took her a while to figure it out, it was so cute to watch! She passed meconium around 12:30 and was figuring out the whole walking thing. I left them a little while ago to come in and download pictures. Gem was contentedly munching on hay while her filly took a nap. What a beautiful filly! Here's a link to the Picasa web album:

More pictures obviously will follow!

Monday, March 30, 2009


OK, last night when I moved Gem to her stall, I noticed a little milk leakage. This morning when I let her out, there was waxing!!! So, my googling research has shown that waxing means she should foal anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days. I'm hoping for tonight, but who knows, she's fooled me before. I really wish I knew her previous foaling history. She supposedly had two foals for her previous owner, and I'm not sure before that. I'll update when something happens...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I give up...

Now that the weather has cleared, Gem gets to stay OUT in her paddock. She wasn't entirely happy being locked up in the hay shed (aka foaling stall) at night. And since it rained for 3 days straight, and the hay shed wasn't built to be a foaling stall, the bedding is soaked, and I had to keep spreading hay over the top. By morning, Gem would be standing in wet bedding after eating all the clean hay. If it weren't for the rain, it would have been an excellent stall. Now I'll strip it and let it dry out and if she hasn't had the baby, rebed it for her.

Sunday night I went out to check on Gem around 3:30 AM. She was lying down in her stall, so I was getting excited. She got up and started pacing around the stall whinnying like crazy at her friends (who wouldn't answer her!). I thought it could be the beginning of labor, but within half an hour, she had settled down and started eating the fresh hay I spread for her. I didn't see any of those mild colic signs on Monday, so I didn't check on her at all, and sure enough, this morning she was standing in her stall, bored and out of hay. I give up. She's been bagged up for two weeks, but it really may be another two weeks before she foals! So I'll wait for more signs...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Foal watch in the rain...

So my friend Deb and I REALLY thought that Gem would have her baby last night. Yesterday she would occasionally show mild colic signs like looking at her belly. Then she'd go back to eating hay or grazing. I prepared her stall yesterday, so I put her in it last night because it had been raining all day and was supposed to rain all night. I didn't think she'd foal in her paddock in the rain, and I thought a nice dry stall might make her more comfortable. I kept going out to check on her, and finally just took a chair and sat in the stall with her. Since I converted the hay shed into a foaling stall, it's hard to sit outside of it and stay out of the rain! She continued to occasionally stop what she was doing and look back at her belly, but she would eventually go back to eating or cocking a hind leg or whatever. There was one time she raised up a hind leg like she was kicking at her belly, then later she did it with her other hind leg with a mad tail swish. And once she did a crazy full body stretch. But she never started pacing or lying down or anything. I came in and took some naps, and every couple hours I'd go back out and check on her or sit with her, but nothing happened. I was hoping she was waiting for daylight since she has night blindness, but still nothing happened this morning. I finally put her out to graze this afternoon while we went to a foal shower (baby shower for pregnant mares!) at my friend Brenda's. She has a maiden mare that's due in April, so it was sort of combined foal shower for her horse Crazy and Gem. When I put her back in the stall tonight, I could see the baby moving all over the place. I hope that means it's getting in position! I have to work tomorrow, so foal watch won't be quite as vigilant tonight. Wish us luck...

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This morning I was able to get a drop of milk from Gem finally! Maybe we're getting there. I was hoping the change in weather from super hot 80 degrees to cold 40 degrees with rain would kickstart her labor, but not yet.

I've been cleaning out the hay shed to make a foaling stall. Alex, the greyhound with the broken leg, has decided that the hay shed is his absolute favorite place. He LOVES the big pile of hay I've raked up and lies flat out right in the middle of it. He didn't want to come in this morning, he just wanted to lie in the hay shed! I'm going to keep Gem in it at night, I think, and start checking on her several times a night. I don't think Alex is going to approve...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

False alarm...

This morning, as with all mornings recently, I got up and looked out the window towards Gem's paddock. Unfortunately, there happens to be an enormous water oak between the house and the paddock, so peering through the branches can be tricky. I got excited today when I apparently envisioned in my head a tall dark foal standing behind Gem. I quickly discovered after hurriedly pulling on some dirty jeans and sprinting for the door that there was no such foal. Gem was as I had left her last night, moseying around her paddock, waiting for her morning hay, still full of foal. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gem's foaling soon!

Our Appaloosa mare OK Truly A Gem should be having her foal any day! Her udder is filling, and she seems slightly uncomfortable (as any extremely pregnant lady is). She has started separating herself from her herdmates, so tonight I will put her in a paddock alone. She is bred to a leopard foundation Appaloosa stallion named Ulrich Red Pepper. Can't wait to see this baby!

OK Truly A Gem

Ulrich Red Pepper

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Welcome to the Weblog of Phat Horse Farm! We are a small horse farm in NE GA about 20 miles east of Athens. We've currently got 5 horses plus one friend's horse, but our Appaloosa mare is due any day! Our horses include 2 Appaloosa geldings, 1 Appaloosa mare, 1 foundation Quarter Horse mare, and 1 Haflinger cross mare. Also on the farm are 3 dogs: a lab mix named TJ, a retired greyhound named Alex, and a Dachshund named Lucy.