Saturday, April 23, 2011


Horray! We did it! Gobie has been successfully loaded in a trailer and delivered to his new home.

It was a group effort. I am so grateful for the awesome help that we had: Michelle, Melanie, Berry, Bonnie, Jason, Patty and Sam. It was truly a team effort. Gobie was being a very good boy without a bite or a kick, just some nervousness. He got to eating grain off the floor, but it took Michelle and Barry pushing on his butt to get him to actually stumble in to the trailer. Once he was in there he was quiet and well behaved.

This trailer's not a-rockin! On our way home...

The drive was pretty quick. The weather managed to hold off on the rain until we actually got to Bonnie where it just sprinkled a little bit. Gobie unloaded like a champ and was good about being lead into one of the pastures. He's in his own big area which shares a fence line with another pasture where the rest of the horses are. His first meeting went great!

Oh hey.

There are four other horses at Bonnie's. Honey (Bonnie's palomino), Cinder (a big white horse with a crippled leg), Bo (a plucky Arab gelding), and Kahlua (a brown 30-something mare). There was a little bit of squealing between Gobie and Bo (as the two bachelors) but their first meeting was pretty mellow.

Okay, I'll see ya later.

Bonnie put out some hay for Gobie in case he wanted it. He ate a little bit, but since he'd had some grain and was grazing all morning he wasn't super interested.

I guess I'll have a few bites.

Bonnie let out her corgis and Sam and I had a good chat with her about logistical stuff. There's a tack area where I could put my stuff, an area for feed and things if I wanted, and smaller pasture areas where I could work Gobie when I need.

Bonnie's Corgis, Furby and Belle, have great manners around the horses. Gobie checked them out, but then went along minding his own business.

Let's all eat grass!

Gobie didn't check out his entire paddock, but he see where the water trough was and checked out the tree.

What IS this crazy thing?

I was glad to see he didn't seem frantic or nervous about anything. He wasn't squealing for his friends, or pacing the fence line or anything. He was curious about the other horses, but not nutty about it.

And he came over to the fence to say hi to us several times. And of course to get a treat or two.

This is Sam's "I have a horse!" look.

And from over the fence Gobie seemed to be making good friends with Bonnie's horse, Honey. She almost started grooming Gobie's back, before Bo got a little bossy about it.


It started to rain a little bit, so we made everything was good and cozy and then went on our way home. Of course, now I can't wait to go back :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

So the Good News Is...

So the good part about the visit today was actually ADOPTING Gobie, although the getting him in to a trailer and taking him home part didn't work out so well.

His adoption fee was a little bit cheaper than I first thought it was going to be. And the contract was pretty straight forward. I'm actually a co-owner of Gobie with HorseNet Horse Rescue. That means he goes back to the rescue instead of being sold/traded/etc. The contract also says:

Adopter is aware of the following: Gobie came to HorseNet in 2004 from a horrible cruelty case in Washington County. It took him a long time to trust people, and will continue to need reassurance. He is a super smart boy and should be a fun project. Gobie requires training both on the ground and under saddle.

The adoption packet also includes his negative coggins test. And lists his markings as star, stripe, snip, right front pastern, left front fetlock, left hind coronet.

My favorite thing in the packet is his History, though. It has two pictures of him as a little dude looking pretty steely gray. It lists his information as:

Breed: PONY
DOB: 2001
DOR: 2004
Weight: 715
Height: 14

As well as his last worming, farrier, nutrition, housing, vaccinations, and so on.

Even though it was pretty discouraging not being able to get him loaded into the trailer, I didn't get a bad feeling from it. Even when he was being naughty about it, I didn't feel intimidated or threatened by him. And even though he may turn out to be more work that I first thought (and way more work than I really should be getting in to) I think he will absolutely be a good "student" as far as training goes. If only we can get him home... ;d

So the Bad News Is...

Gobie would not get in the trailer!

Today was the day I was going to adopt him and bring him "home" to Bonnie's farm. But, Gobie had other ideas. Namely, there was no way he was getting in that deep, dark, creaking cave that he was pretty sure had a horse-eating monster in it.

I can't really blame him though. For some reason I thought to myself, "Well, I can start training him when we get him to the new place." But really, I should have been training him (instead of just bonding with him) for the last couple of months. I don't think that I figured he would just HOP into the trailer. But I sort of did think that after a few tries he would get in. Not so much.

To his credit, he's a 9 year old horse that has probably SEEN a trailer all but a handful of times in his life, and has probably only been INSIDE a trailer ONCE. And it probably wasn't the best experience of his life.

To my credit, I thought he was little more trained and trusting than he is, at least when it comes to stressful situations. The six year old girl in me was pretty sure that if he loved me out in the field he would trust me when I asked him to get a trailer. But the trainer in me knows that was a pretty silly assumption.

He really did TRY though, and I'm thankful for that. He was literally shaking from fear, but he came so close to going in a couple times. And he really didn't try to fight so much as run away and even that was halfhearted.

When we first arrived he was flirting with Magic. I think she must have been in heat or something because he was raising his upper lip and sniffing around her girly bits. And she was acting rather inviting. Lucky for everyone, Gobie is gelded.

Getting him to come in from the field wasn't too bad. He was definitely a bit stubborn, but he eventually came through the gate to where the trailer was parked. Part of the experience definitely confirmed my sneaking suspicion that he's not totally halter broke--or at least he doesn't have great manners probably because he was never told he needed them.

Anyway, we had a bucket of grain for some encouragement and he liked that. Part of me wondered, though, if it didn't get him a little too excited. It took some doing to get him close to the trailer at all. But every little noise--every creak and groan from the metal--would send him backing up again. It didn't help that semis would be barreling down the road, or that dogs would be barking their heads off. He would try running to the left or the right, and if he made a lot of ground we'd have to walk him around in a circle to gain it back. At one point they were trying to use brooms and a rope around his neck to get him to go in. But the broom seemed to wig him out more than motivate him to move forward. And using two ropes was kind of unmanageable. We got pretty close to getting him to load twice, but alas...

Some broken nails and a bruised finger later, we decided to give it a rest. Probably a good thing, too, because it started pouring rain on my drive home.

So we'll try again tomorrow! They're talking about sedating him (yikes) and setting up some panels to kind of "chute" him in. We may try putting him in with another horse. Part of me wants to take it really slow and just get him use to being around the trailer, and then get him eating out of it, and then getting him finally jumping in to it. But I think everyone else has more expedient modes in mind.

I guess we'll see...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Congrats it's a...

My in-laws sent us a card in the email today:

(oh dear..)

and here's the inside:


They are so cute! Plus, I like that it's from the cat also.

Rest in Peace, Lola

we'll miss your big furry newfie face.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Big News!

Adoption Pending! me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Herding... horses.

Today at HorseNet Horse Rescue's New Windsor barn we had to move the gelding herd to the pasture across the street. When it starts getting warm and nice out the geldings go to this other pasture so they have room to run, and grass to eat. It also gives their winter pasture time to recover and grow more grass.

As you might imagine, moving a whole herd of horses is a little tricky. Horses can get pretty anxious about new things, especially when it involves members of their herd going places.

We moved the herd in groups. There were four of us volunteers who were trusted with leading the horses so we could move only four horses at a time. Fortunately all them were pretty well behaved!

Leading the last group up the driveway.

The volunteer coordinator was a little nervous that Gobie would be naughty, but he was a good boy. At first he didn't want to be lead out of his paddock, but we got him moving without too much trouble. He got a little excited once we actually got across the street and saw his pals waiting for him on 20 lovely acres of grass.

Looking pretty tiny out there, Gobie.

It was a productive day. By the end of it the horses and the volunteers were happy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Place for a Pony

Today Sam and I went on a visit to Ellicot City.

The main purpose was to check out a place offering horse boarding. I found out about it on Craigslist and was amazed at the price and then really pleasantly surprised by the location--just 30 or 40 minutes away.

Getting there was a piece of cake. The house was nestled back in a little wooded area a big off a main road. When we pulled in to the drive we were greeted by two adorable corgis. They were vocal but really friendly and enjoyed the scritches and attention. Bonnie, the owner of the place came out to say hi.

To say this place was perfect might sound like over enthusiasm but really, it was perfect. The I-would-like-to-live-here! kind of perfect.

The house where Bonnie lives is central to the six-acre property. When you're coming up the drive there's a paddock on the left, and then two paddocks in the back behind the house. There are trees on all sides protecting the fields from wind and providing some shelter to the horses. There are also at least three shelters.

The fence line along the driveway.

the paddock along the driveway.

Bonnie's house.

The back paddocks.

Some of the shelters.

Bonnie was really nice and easy to talk to. She inspired the kind of confidence in me I was hoping for--really sweet, and really experienced. She said she had three other people who boarded, in addition to her own horse that lives on the property. She goes riding about once a week she said.

She also has indoor cats in addition to the two corgis. And she allows people to bring their dogs if they like!

Some of the boarders' horses, relaxing in the paddock.

She has a trailer and said she was happy to do any short trailering. There are places to ride around her house, but I got the impression that every so often she would take the horses out to ride someplace new.


I told her about some of my past horse experience, and that I've been volunteering at HorseNet Horse Rescue for a little over 6 months. The visit left me pretty excited and happy about what could be coming next...