Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gorgeous Esmae Photo, and Update

This is my favorite photo of Esmae ever taken so far. The photographer is Cindy Sherman, who did our wedding photos. Naturally we didn't have traditional family photos and instead we had her take photos of the "family" of pets, Esmae included. It's super hard to get a good photo of a black animal and so I am thrilled that in this one her eye shows.

Esmae seems to be doing just fine. She doesn't love her new diet, and I think that the new grain is probably not a big hit overall, nor is the metabolic support supplement, but she is eating it. Arthur the goat wanted to get his share so I ended up having to use feed bags for the horses twice a day to make sure they get their share of the dewormer, supplement and grain without sharing or getting some of the other horse's. Rather a pain. But the amusing part is that Esmae (smart horse!) knows she has a bag on her face and waits for it to get off, giving me a muffled whinny when in her opinion I am taking too long. Buster, in contrast, doesn't seem to get it so he sticks the bag in the water and can't figure out why he isn't getting any. Likewise, he puts it in the hay and tries to eat hay with a bag on his face. I think Esmae and I give him the same look of sort of sad amusement.

Esmae's lunging is going ok, though not great as I am not great at giving her the right cues or corrections to keep her on the rail and she wants to cut in on me on one side. Also, she goes instantly to a trot, and will canter when asked, but getting her into a walk again vs a stop is difficult. I contacted a local Pat Parelli trainer who taught a workshop I went to and I'll see if she can come out and give us some pointers. Buster has been lunging too.

The goats are on a diet too since they now have 4 hours of pasture per day instead of 10 to 12. I make sure they have hay accessible in their goat house - which the horses cannot access - and as they are a little plump, it should not hurt them any. They prefer to be with the horses; I offered them pasture on the other side of the fence and they declined.

Lola and Edwin appear to be in love. They take naps cuddled together and hang out away from the other goats at times. Lola is intact and Edwin is neutered - I think he gets protective of her and affectionate despite his inability to perform. It's nice to see how far she has come, from being a bit timid of people to always coming up to me to see if I have a treat. She also stands still for pets most of the time now rather than trying to leave the scene. She hollered the other day and I think she was stepped on by a horse or something - she took all weight off a back leg and laid down. But, within a half hour she was using it again with a limp, and I felt no breaks. The next morning she seemed fine on it. Poor kid, it's hard when you can't really be of any comfort to them.

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