Sunday, April 20, 2008

We Made It!!

We have journeyed there and back again. Sammy was a pro and handled everything like a big boy. We loaded him in the trailer in the dark at 6am and were out the gate at 6:10am. We stopped quickly at a truck stop in Ocala to check on him and to grab some sort of breakfast. He thought that was fun and wondered why we didn't just go through the drive-through. He never made a sound. We got to Alicia's right at 9am and he backed off the trailer slowly and looked around and immediately buried his head in the grass. I could tell he thought I had brought him to a very wonderful place. Once in his stall, he got his breakfast and some hay and then he met Lynne the braider. What a fast and wonderful job she does. It's very impressive and her fingers flew so I couldn't ever study her technique. I think it's a braider's secret. She finished his mane and tail in less than an hour. Then I took him for a walk. This is when I thought he would play a little, but he didn't have time to play with so much grass to graze. Isn't that mane impressive?

As you can see he was very much bothered by being someplace new and different. He actually had to learn how to walk up and down hills. He's never seen one before. Only people from Florida can probably understand this. I think I could see him put on weight right before my eyes from all the grass he had available.
The tail was really impressive. It looked very nice with all his light hairs from underneath his tail pulled to the front in the braid. It was so beautiful that it didn't even look real.
When it came closer to our turn in the ring, we ventured down to the warm up area (after I changed my already dirty shirt). He was being a very good boy and we may have left our best in the warm-up area. :-)
He looked right at home on his daddy's farm.
We made it to the ring and he actually stood for me very well. Much better than I had expected. He and I are both looking at the cheering squad. We may be the only ones that bring their own rooting section.....wait, did we see them do the wave?
He had heard it was a show though and thought he had to show off all he had. We went to trot and he did a flying leap sideways, then cantered and finally trotted. Why didn't we get extra credit for doing extra stuff? It doesn't seem fair. And the red clay really clashes with chestnuts...we want a change of footing. We did not place well, and rightly so but, he was such a good grown up boy I am ecstatic. Besides, he looks fabulous all braided and it's much better to look good than to be good. No pictures of the hair after the braids were removed but trust me, it was very, very curly. We loaded up and got home around 6pm. It was a very long but happy day.

This is Sammy today after his big day yesterday......he's very tired.
And I'm sure he's dreaming of his next big moment in the sun.
Thanks Linda for all your pre-show help (he was sparkling and shiny) and Jinx for your sense of humor and for helping us keep it real and Anne and Chris for your moral support. And of course we could not have made it without Allison. How lucky Sammy is to have so many friends.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A day in the life

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful day and I didn't make it to the barn until early afternoon. The morning had been drizzly and cool and a bit windy, so we waited until it was beautiful and clear. Sounds like a good plan, right? And this little innocent face comes to greet me. Your typical Sammy looking for love. I never suspected he had been up to no good earlier in the day.

Linda had a rough morning with absolutely no cooperation from the livestock. There was a lot of moving the bovines around. The new black Brangus cow made her appearance (yes Ann you have arrived) and the parent Zebus were sent to the Lodge so they could wean the baby and in the process, older brother Goliath made his escape. As Sammy was being lead to the turnout, he catches sight of Goliath, not enclosed and that's the only excuse he needed. He rips away from Linda and takes off down the driveway. This very driveway that leads to the road. (Luckily the gates are always shut) He started on the other side of the building way in the distance and the picture was taken from the gate.

He turned and went back down the driveway where he spotted Goliath by the lake. Goliath was "good" enough to give us a re-enactment in the afternoon. Sammy's Quarter Horse heritage made an appearance and Sammy proceeded to chase Goliath a couple of times around the picture Sammy instead of Malcolm in the golf cart. (Not that Sammy was IN the golf cart, you know what I mean.)
Goliath is a hard little guy to catch. Sammy gave up and ended up in the barn in a stall with a stolen bucket full of Stud Muffins. And then his adventure was over, he was recaptured and placed back in the field where he belonged.
But Goliath was captured that afternoon by some skillful golf cart driving by Malcolm. The girls were heckling him and Sparky gave him an earful.
Sparky had a lot to say about the whole episode but was really concentrating on the new black cow that joined the herd in the morning. (That would be Ann)
Peace was established and Sammy blended in with the good cows. Just a bunch of chestnut colored animals in a field. We never would have guessed how their morning went.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


One week from today, we will have been there and done that. So today was a practice day. Now I can tell you for certain, that getting them to stand is easier for some than others. Sammy will stand for me but I have a really hard time getting him set up nicely. And then Linda takes the reins. So do you like Sammy No.1

Or Sammy #2
Or Sammy #3?
I think it's number 3 for me but what do I know. Keep in mind he was not bathed yet just brushed up so his socks are not as clean as they could/will be. But close your eyes and picture him all braided up. He is butt high right now and a bit ribby but.....I think he looks pretty good.
So I think we are really going to go. T minus 6 days and counting.

Are we done yet?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just another day

I thought I would try to get some pasture pictures today. Sammy is almost completely shedded out and is looking sleek and shiny. He had his feet trimmed today and was a most excellent little man for the farrier. I don't know why I think I'll be able to just slide right in and snap some pictures before they notice......Maybe get some nice ones of them grazing together and then this happens. Hi Mom with the fingernails.....

And before you know it I'm surrounded by them all. Sammy is explaining to Masquerade that I am his and she should not try to share in the attentions. But Masquerade and Sammy have come to an understanding and I see them hanging out together almost as much as he and Vantage. The boys are about to catch up to Masquerade in the height department.....well, Vantage has her height, Sammy has her weight! She doesn't really stand a chance with both boys together.

I think we're all set to go down to Alicia's for our first Hunter Breeding show. Entries sent, braider contacted and we're on her list, Christy's graciously lending us her trailer, Jay is lending us his truck.......I think it's a go. T minus 8 days and counting.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Sammy!

Well, Sammy is an honest to goodness yearling now. He has shown me his cute trot that he has kept hidden for the year. I think he was mainly showing off for his mom Lily.

We measured him today and he is just a smidge over 14 hands at the withers but a good 14'2 at the rear. His measurement from the middle of his knee to the coronet band (in a straight line) is 16 inches exactly so now we wait to see if the test runs true.
It's been a great year and I'm looking forward to playing in the Hunter Breeding world a little. It has given me some guidelines and goals on how to bring him along this year. He stands very well in the crossties for grooming. He lets most people pick out his feet without any trouble. He will let me clip his whiskers and we're working on the ear thing. He knows the words back, stand, ho, and trot and this has to be a good thing when he is started under saddle. Right? I don't know if all this would have been accomplished if I didn't have a show on the horizon. But, even if we embarrass ourselves and I trip and fall or something else equally embarrassing, it will have been worth it just to say we did it. And every experience is a learning experience.....or so they say. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Looking Back part 2

Easter weekend last year was chilly and it was in April. Sammy was about 3 weeks old and learning about personal space. He learned to wait and let me approach him and then he would get all the scratches his little heart desired. But NO jumping up on humans.

And it was a good lesson for him to learn because now, he's this size instead of the little bitty size and we're thankful he learned jumping on the people.
Ok - so he still had a thing about jumping. His mother let him get away with this. Who would have guessed she'd be so tolerant and lenient. She is the herd boss except when it comes to Sammy.
So now, the others have to pay the price. Really, they were both running towards the gate and had a minor crash but as you can see, Sammy has no qualms about jumping on his fellow herd mates.
This carrying things around in his mouth started early. And he also showed us he could sit back on his haunches like his Quarter Horse side.
And he still shows us that. He's actually playing with Allison and teasing her. He's trying to go slow for her. (This doesn't really count as putting her picture up here does it?) He just dinked along going slow for the poor child with only 2 legs.
So I guess the thing to remember, no matter how big he gets, what we saw as a baby is continuing on. Wonder if we'll still be saying that when he's 10?