After a trip that required the coordination of no less than a dozen people, we managed to make the trip to get Echo from Adopted Horse Parent's farm back to our house. Normal people would probably accomplish this move by hopping in the truck, driving there, loading Echo, and driving back home, but here at Wyvern Oaks we try to get as many things done in one trip as possible, and make it as complex as possible, so there was slightly more to it than that.
Last week, hubby and Kiddo #2 were at a big medieval reenactment event in Mississippi. Hubby took Oberon, since there was jousting and mounted combat competitions. Since there was an empty slot in the trailer on the drive home, and since he had to drive right past Adopted Parent's Horse farm, we figured we could just pick up Echo on the way back and save ourselves an 18 hour round-trip drive.
But even that would be too simple. My parents live near Adopted Horse Parent's, and I wanted to take a lesson on Echo before bringing him home. Plus, it's a long drive back after a long week of fighting and horse activities, so hubby was happy to have some help driving home. So, Friday night I flew out to New Orleans and Mom met me at the airport. She'd asked beforehand if I wanted a shrimp po-boy, and when I got in the car, she handed me a bag. Expecting a po-boy, I opened it... only to find two pounds of carrots for Echo! I guess I know where her priorities lay, lol! I did manage to get a po-boy once we got home, YUM!
Saturday morning I visited with the folks until my Dad went and - you guessed it - left for a sailboat race (they ended up getting first place in non-spinnaker, WOOT!). Mom and I headed over to Adopted Horse Parents, where I was reunited with Echo. I'd love to make it all cheezy, but the reality is that he doesn't know me from anyone else in the universe, and proceeded to be a bit of a brat when I brought him in from the pasture. While I groomed and tacked, he pawed, slung his head around, pinned his ears when he felt like it, chewed on the cross-ties, thought about nipping my arm... you know, all the stuff baby racehorses do. He wasn't really being naughty or mean, it's just that nobody has ever told him that those behaviors aren't acceptable. Apparently he's gotten much better about things in the last few weeks, and everybody there kept saying how sweet and wonderful he was. He did have some nice moments where he stood quietly, so we'll keep working on those.
Sorry, no ride pics, just a rolling pic!
I had a good ride. Generally, I'm being too nice and not expecting enough from him. I've also got oodles of position things that I need to work on, most of which I knew about but it's good to hear and really have them sink in. I'll have to expand on that in another post so that I can remember and work on them. Echo is not a particularly forward-thinking horse, which is something I need to concentrate on at all times. Still, we had lovely trots, biiiiig uphill canters, and we finished the lesson trotting a nice X and landing in a canter. He did much better when I rode well and decisively instead of just leaving it up to him - I have to keep remember I'm riding a baby and not a made horse!
Meanwhile, hubby and kiddo had left the site right on time and were on their way to pick me and Echo up at the farm when disaster struck. One of the trailer tires delaminated and blew on the Interstate. It took off the fender with it, leaving us with a mangled piece of metal on the highway. They managed to change out to the spare, but we hadn't checked the tire pressure on the spare before leaving, and it was dangerously low. They limped to a service station, got air, then went back to find the fender.
What's left of our fender.
In the interim, I called around to find a place with trailer tires. Luckily there was a Firestone less than 10 minutes from Adopted Parent's horse farm. Mom and I went and got lunch (another shrimp po-boy, and po-boys to go for Hubby and Kiddo), then met everyone back and the farm. We unloaded Oberon and stuffed him in a stall, then took the trailer to Firestone to get the tires replaced. We debated on getting all of them replaced, but discovered that a second tire was in the process of delaminating so that made it an easy decision. Unfortunately, one of the bolts that holds the lug nuts on sheared off when they pulled the tire off, and another had stripped the threads, so we had to make the drive home minus two lug nuts.
Getting new tires.
After we got the new tires, we headed back to the farm to load the boys. Echo paused at the base of the ramp, no doubt wondering where the heck his 18 wheeler air-ride rig was, but got on with a bit of gentle prodding. Oberon got on no problem (I SWEAR this horse was uber-naughty about loading just weeks ago. Brat!). We finally, FINALLY got on our way at 4 p.m., instead of noon like we had planned.
Echo at a gas station somewhere in Louisiana.
BUT! If you think we simply drove straight home from there, you'd be wrong. See, we have a jousting demo this Wednesday evening at Pin Oak Charity Horse show in Houston. Fuzzypony had brought Red and Taran down during the day on Saturday, and we were dropping Oberon off to meet up with them. We finally arrived at 11 p.m., unloaded, tossed Oberon out with Red and Taran (I'm sure he was wondering WTF had happened), picked up Fuzzypony (she left her rig in Houston), and then proceeded to drive the rest of the way home to Austin. We arrived about 2 a.m., stuffed Echo in the stall and told Cash to keep him company, and went to bed.
MC left this cute note in the feed room. It says "Welcome to Wyvern Oaks, Echo. You're going to love living here. Cash." MC always does the most thoughtful things! This brought tears to my eyes.
Well, we TRIED to go to bed. Cash kept calling for Red, Taran, and Oberon (who were all in Houston), and every time Cash would go around the barn corner and Echo couldn't see him, Echo would call for Cash. One downside to having your barn 20 feet from your house is that you hear everything. And let me tell you, Echo has a LOUD whinny.
This morning I went out to feed, and Echo wouldn't eat if he couldn't see Cash. So I parked Cash right outside his stall, and finally, FINALLY, we had some peace and quiet. After breakfast (which neither of them finished), I put Cash out in the pasture, snapped a lead on Echo's halter, and took Echo for a walk around the pasture to inspect everything. As far as I know he's never seen hot tape before, so we had to check out the fenceline (I had it turned on very low). He figured out to stay away from the fence without even touching it, and proceeded to spend a good 30 minutes sniffing everything. I eventually snapped off his lead and let him explore on his own, but stood out with them for another hour. Cash was hilarious - he kept pretending to charge Echo and boss him, but it's all an act. Echo will figure out in a day or so that it's a bluff, but Cash is having fun for now.
FINALLY some peace and quiet.
Naturally I have no pictures of Cash trying to boss Echo, just this one of them being cute.
By this afternoon, they were companionably sharing a pile of hay and had tidied off the breakfast leftovers. Echo hates bugs, so I've outfitted him in all of Saga's old fly gear (sniff). It's a bit big for him now, but one he gains some weight and muscle I think it will fit him OK.
And now, it's time for me to head out for evening feed. Hopefully everyone will eat everything and tonight will be much quieter - and I'll be able to get a ride in tomorrow!
I HAVE A NEW PONIEEEEEEE!!!