My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Horsing around

On Saturday we went to visit Mocha, who turned 25 on April 4th! Poor old guy had to have two teeth pulled last month (one was loose and the other rotten), which caused him to have trouble chewing and made him lose weight over the winter. But since his dental procedure he's been eating far more and putting the weight back on. Until they start irrigating the pastures in the next couple of weeks, he's staying most of the time in the big corral where he spent the winter, and where he has a new roommate and best friend - a girlfriend this time - Tina. She's a very elderly mare who eats as slowly as he does so they both get to eat their fill without faster eaters stealing all the food. 

He's looking a bit raggedy since he's still in the process of loosing his winter coat, but was happy to see us and put on an entertaining display of his many remaining teeth! :-)=


Actually, this is how he demonstrates his bliss at having his throat scratched! BW took over the scratching so I could take these photos...


He's always been such an affectionate sweetie...


Perk, owner of the place where Mocha's boarded, took us into her "horspital" to see a new foal. She was born 2 weeks earlier, the smaller member of a set of twins, and was so tiny at birth - just 37 pounds!! - that no one expected her to make it. But she was born a feisty redhead, and now here she was, weighing in at a respectable 80 pounds (a typical weight for a newborn foal), and looking for trouble. :-) (Sadly, her bigger twin was the one who didn't survive - she was positioned wrong in the birth canal, and deprived of oxygen too long). :-(

Little Red here doesn't have an official name yet, but she's sure got a full supply of moxie*, which you can probably tell from her mischievous expression! 

She's wearing "support hose" for a bit longer to help keep her legs straight. :-)

(*I thought "Moxie" would be a good name for her, but was told since her mom's name is "Ghiardelli," they were trying to come up with a diminiative chocolatey name like "chips." I frankly thought that was stupid, so suggested something still along the Italian candy-ish theme: "Dulce." As in "la dulce vita." But was shot down again. So I gave up. If you've got a good name suggestion for this little darling, please leave it in the comments! Not that I'll give it to Perk. I frankly can't take any more rejection. LOL)

It wasn't long before she got up and came over to the stall doorway, where Perk, BW and I were, and tried several times to slip past us and go off on some Grand Adventure! I was crouched down to get her photos, and when I took this one, the sound of the shutter startled her. But not enough to keep her from trying to give us the slip several more times! What a stinker...


All those escape attempts sure worked up an appetite! Perk said that the filly was so tiny that until recently she could walk under her mom's belly without ducking, and couldn't reach her milk...


Exciting stuff for the rest of us, but Mom seemed pretty bored with it all!...


Getting to hike with the girls, visit my boy and meet this new baby and her Mom on the day before Mother's Day made for a pretty nice Mother's Day weekend! Hope yours was too. :-)

24 comments:

  1. Oh I love all the pictures!! What a great post! Thank you for sharing :) I can't help but smile, seeing Mocha getting his throat scratched! And 'Moxie' is too cute - so full of spunk. That sounds like it WAS a perfect way to spend the day before Mother's Day!

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    1. Thank YOU, Maya! :-) Mocha would be pleased to know he made you smile. He's always had a sense of humor! And yes, "spunk" is what that little filly is full of! :-)

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  2. It's always a pleasure to see Mocha's expressive face. You must miss him a lot, and vice versa. I'm glad he had his dental problems attended to so he can eat more comfortably. Poor baby. The little foal is so cute, and you're right, she has a certain gleam in her eye. How about Cacao for her name?

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    1. We do really miss his sweet company, and the pleasure of seeing him out in our (former) beautiful pasture. Can't honestly say we miss some of the chores, though (like hauling and stacking hay during the hottest part of summer, or dragging a hose to fill his trough through three feet of snow, no sirree!) I think he misses us, but not as much, given all the attention he gets and all the horses and activity around him all the time. He's a real social butterfly and has always loved and needed the company of other horses.

      We are very glad they found and were able to remedy his chewing problem. Perk had suspected he had a tooth that was bothering him, but her horse dentist couldn't find anything wrong last Fall, and floating his teeth helped some. But this time, he found the problem and now he's doing SO much better! Poor guy, it's hard when they can't tell us exactly where and how it hurts!

      Cacao would be a good name for her! (So would "Cayenne," given her coloring and personality, and it goes nicely with chocolate even if it ISN'T chocolate!) :-)

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  3. Lindor?
    Mocha's a handsome chap isn't he (despite the missing chompers).
    Jane x

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    1. I can't help but wonder if I'm getting a glimpse into some people's favorite chocolate brands, here. ;-) "Lindor" (which sounds like a Norse god to me, lol) inspired me to think of "Godiva!" Sounds Italian, and even has an equine connection along with a chocolate one.

      Mocha is a handsome chap! He even one a blue ribbon in the Open Halter Class at the Johnson County Fair when he was 2, despite his dreadful behavior (all those other horses around just had him SO excited, he wouldn't stop screaming - I can't call it neighing or whinnying, he had a shrill scream when excited!) and pawing the ground). I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was our first horse show, AND he beat out the FFA and 4-H blue ribbon winners from their earlier classes, so there! (He's also a descendant on his mother's side of Northern Dancer, so although he's a "mutt," he's got some hoity-toity in his DNA. And more importantly, some Canadian). :-)

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  4. Good to see Mocha again! Beautiful pics of the newbie. CG suggests "Red Velvet" for a name and loves to see pics of horses....new and old.

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    1. It is, isn't it? Great suggestion from CG! I'm not sure, because of all the horses boarded at Perk's and hospitalized at Perk's, but Perk's family also raises and trains polo ponies (not that I approve), and that would be a great name for a polo pony, should that be this filly's unfortunate fate. Like so many "sports" that involve animals - who have no choice in the matter - polo looks like fun for the humans, but not for the horses.

      Next time we go out to see Mocha, I'll try to get more photos of the horses out there for CG to enjoy. Lots of them of all breeds, colors and ages!

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  5. Happy belated birthday, Mocha! I hope that he's not going to have a quarter life crisis..... :)

    Poor guy, having to have two teeth pulled. Picturing him with his new girlfriend, both of them chewing away slowly, is just such a sweet image.

    He looks like Rowan does when we rub her neck, putting his head up in the air in pure bliss. So adorable! That little red head foal sure is adorable, too. My, what a fighter! I bet she's going to grow up with an feisty attitude, as she should because it would be well deserved!

    I'm glad that you had a lovely Mother's Day!!

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    1. LOL - and demand a red Mustang? :-)

      It was a sweet image. She is REALLY mellow - another redhead too. Perk didn't tell us her age, but said she's VERY elderly (she looked it, too). Mocha really enjoyed his old friends Prairie and Blaze, but they just ate too much faster than he did, and he wasn't getting enough food (that, I might add, we were paying plenty for!) Things will be better for him now, and it'll be nice when he can be back out in the pastures with a stream and everything. He still loves to run around! That's funny about Rowan doing the same thing when you rub her neck! Rowan probably wishes she had a neck as long as Mocha's! :-)

      I can't imagine that little filly isn't going to be a feisty mare someday, and she's a fighter for sure! Nothing was going to stop her from surviving, and it won't be long before no one will be able to keep her from going on that Grand Adventure she was so eager to have, either! She's quite a firecracker! :-)

      Thanks, Molly, I'm glad you did too!

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  6. Oooh and aaah. I do love visiting you. Magic each and every time. And I think that Moxie is a perfect name for an animal who has obviously been blessed with bucketloads of it.

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    1. Well thank you! That's wonderful to hear, in no small part because I always love your visits! :-) I thought "Moxie" should have been given a bit more consideration, but it was tossed on the metaphorical trash pile almost immediately. *hhmpfh.* So thank you for your vindication! :-)

      (Btw, now that I finally learned your name is Sue (thanks to some comments left on your blog), would you prefer I call you that, or keep calling you "Ellie C?") :-)

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    2. Which ever you feel more comfortable with. I answer (among other things) to Sue, Soo, Soosie, EC and your Ellie C.

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    3. Well, since my friend Sue also comments here (she goes by Susan, but we've known each other since we were 15 and she's always been Sue to me!), and I love elephants, and I like to be different, I will stick with Ellie. But maybe from now on you'll be "Ellie Sue!" :-)

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  7. Oooo - love the horse shots. And what an adorable foal.

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    1. Thanks, and isn't she though? Of course, what foal isn't adorable. :-)

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  8. Just the other day when you made your mother's day post about animals, I got to wondering about Mocha, so glad to see you getting some time with your "baby". Love all those smiley teeth pics. Such fun. I'll think about that baby and a name-I think Moxie is great. Maybe you need to take a can of that awful soft drink over there. Perhaps it pairs nicely with chocolate....or perhaps it never tastes good no matter what you do.

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    1. How sweet of you to think of Mocha! We hope to get to spend as much time as we can with him this summer. (I won't go out there in the Fall because of all the hunting on that ranch and in the area, and winter can often be too difficult because of the unplowed dirt roads. BW often can't get in there to make his UPS deliveries that time of year). Anyway, it's always nice to see him, and to see him doing well and being happy!

      You know, I've never actually tried Moxie so I just now looked it up. What a coincidence! Did you know about its strong connection to Maine??! Especially to Union, ME. How funny! And the Wiki page even has a picture of a Moxie Horsemobile. See - all signs point to that name being her destiny, I don't care if it doesn't have chocolate in it. :-) I sure never see it for sale around here, but I imagine the store shelves are filled with it where you are! :-)

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  9. How fun to see Mocha again! You had told me that he had to get a couple of teeth removed but I didn't realize that he had lost weight as a result of his bad teeth. I'm glad he's feeling better and gaining it back. How fun that he's got a roommate who doesn't compete with him for food! She sounds perfect.

    The little foal is so cute. Thank you for explaining what those things on her legs were. Just as I was thinking "I wonder what those are", I kept reading and there was the explanation.

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    1. It was fun for us, too! (And for Mocha, who got to enjoy all that throat-scratching attention!) :-) We didn't know that he'd lost so much weight till Perk told us when we were out there. Maybe she didn't want us to worry - she took care of him, though, segregating him with Tina up by her Horspital and giving him extra rations and alfalfa hay. She was just sure there was something wrong with at least one of his teeth and her insistence led the equine tooth expert to finally find the two molars that were causing the trouble. I've thrown the teeth away (they were pretty gross, and not how we'll want to remember Mocha someday!), but too late I realized I should have photographed them with coin to show how big they were!

      We didn't know what those "leggings" were till Perk mentioned it, I thought her legs were bandaged for some reason, or that it was part of her yoga outfit. LOL

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  10. Great photos, they brought to mind the phrases "Long in the Tooth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth". Love the soft expression on Mochas face in the third photo and the little foal is so cute.

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    1. LOL, I hadn't thought of that, but they do illustrate those sayings very well! That soft expression is Mocha's usual one, he's always been a very sweet and gentle boy (except for those times he's been mischievous!) :-)

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  11. What beauties! Fabulous photos! Thanks for sharing your special Mom's Day outing so we all could enjoy as well.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed, it was fun to share them! :-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"