Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Big Day for Vantage

Vantage has had some visitors the last few days. A father and son team that use Clinton Anderson techniques to teach respect and to actually be the first ones on his back. Young kids bounce so much better than older adults. I missed the first 2 days due to work but was there for the big day. Here is the son (who is in 8th grade) taking that first big step.

After all the other work they had done with him, Vantage didn't seem to mind this at all.

And before you know it the boy is in the saddle and the dad is controlling Vantage from the center of the round pen. No reins, just the halter and a Dad in the middle.

Next step was to give the boy the reins. His goal was to keep them wide and low and not ask for anything but movement.

No posting allowed but the kid looks pretty good.

And then it was Linda's turn.

She has waited a long time to be able to do this.

And what a good boy he was.

You couldn't wipe the smile from her face.

And where was Sammy while all this was going on? Need you ask? He was exhausted for his friend.

See most everybody on Sunday for the big birthday bash.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Has it really been two years????

Ok, lets think back. Where were you 2 years ago?

I was watching Lily like a hawk but convinced she'd never deliver her Escapade baby. It was my first and her first but luckily, not the first for Linda and Malcolm.

It was March Madness season and the Gators were in the running.

I was avidly watching MareStare in hopes of watching a few foalings live on the internet before I got to witness Lily's. Suerte from Glenhill had sucked us all in and we were anxiously watching her for weeks. She had fooled a lot of experienced breeders into thinking that she was going into labor, only to sit back and laugh at everyone. I was convinced Lily had been getting lessons from her. Of course Suerte decided to have her baby after I'd moved into the camper for my own mare stare adventure so I missed it on the live cam.

Allison was living in Ft. Myers undergoing her first fieldwork and having just a wonderful time!!!

This is what Lily looked like at the beginning of March 2007. We could actively feel the baby moving but could not get any milk to test. I was so wanting to test that milk, the chemist in me NEEDED to test that milk. But...nothing doing.
And then I moved into the camper that Vicki and Bruce so kindly lent me. I was really roughing it then. I had to watch Lily all night from here...

With the Lilycam set up so all I had to do was open my eye a bit to see what was going on. I didn't get a lot of good sound sleep but I was most definitely comfortable. Oscar didn't see me for weeks other than when I made it home to do laundry, change out clothes and take a nice hot shower.

And the rear window of the camper was back right up to the lovely foaling stall Malcolm had set up just months before the due dates.

But sometimes I felt that Lily was watching me as I was watching her. Perhaps she felt I had actually provided her with some entertainment, a human aquarium........or is it a terrarium....or maybe just a flat screen RV.....um TV.

The final night of the NCAA tournament I had come home from work to find Lily dripping milk. That night Allison was on the phone keeping me updated on the Gators and I would let her know how many figure 8's Lily was making. This really looked like she might be serious. I called Linda and we both kept an eye on her. The Gators won and then ..... we saw and heard Lily's water break and we were there in a flash. There wasn't much to do but stand back and watch. We knew the front feet had socks and then the beautiful white blaze showed up. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to call Alicia until the foal was fully delivered so I could let her know the gender....ooops. Sorry Alicia. But this is right after I called or maybe right before.

And it's a boy. I had already decided on names....Espionage (no matter what color just to confuse Natalie) with Sammy as a barn name.
And Lily was in love.....and so was I.

And now, here he is almost 2 years to the day later. What an absolutely wonderful experience it has been every day, from the moment we first laid eyes on him.

Thanks Lily, Escapade, Linda and Malcolm for giving me such a wonderful gift.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


It was one of those glorious days we have in the spring. The high was 78 degrees with just a slight breeze. It was perfect. Last Monday though it was VERY cold and windy and of course that was the day the vet came out for vaccinations. Sammy's wolf teeth have come in and because we have started to ground drive him and he has a bit in his mouth, those wolf teeth had to come out. So Sammy had his first dental procedure (and his sheath cleaned while he was under sedation) and the wolf teeth came out. Of course it was very cold, and it took until 1030 that night for my feet to thaw out but all his sharp little baby teeth were filed down and now he'll be ready to rock and roll. Because his little gums are still healing, today was just a play day, he got groomed and some treats and then they went back outside. It is too nice a night for them to be indoors. The sun was getting ready to set as I was ready to leave but I thought I could get a quick picture of Sammy while he wasn't looking for me. His coat is gorgeous with the setting sunlight reflection.

But, I only got 1 picture in before he saw me. This is my usual view of him.

And then he very carefully turns himself around so I can give his butt a scratch or two. I don't think he is going to grow out of this any time soon. Of course I saw Escapade do the same thing to Alicia in a stall in Wellington so I'm thinking it runs in the family. And from his face, you can tell that's exactly what he wanted.
But there are some places he just has to scratch himself! He's definitely up on all his stretching exercises.

And the moon was rising before the sun had set. I love it when that happens.

For anyone reading, we are planning a birthday party for Vantage and Sammy on Saturday, April 4th. I'll be sending out some e-vites soon so if I forget you, I'm sorry, email me. Dinner will be served .... and all are welcome and expected. Time to be decided later but either 5pm or 6pm. Happy Daylight Savings Time....don't forget to set your clocks forward if you haven't already......and thus ends my public service announcement.