A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The new week started with RAIN.

I am hoping this is a good sign of things to come!  It's raining.  So, it's not really raining very hard, and it's not nearly enough rain, but it's wet, and it's falling from the sky.  I will not complain about that!  I mean the grass is even green, not yellow or brown!

My goal today is to get ready for "stun muffin" to arrive tomorrow.  Jae needs to fix a broken board in a stall, I have to adjust where some horses are kept.  And of course, I have some rides to do!

Lady is in training, and I get to ride - er I mean "have" to ride her.  Yeah, this is one horse that I never feel like it's work to ride.  Lady is just sweet, wonderful, and a really quick learner.  Most of what she needs is soft consistent experience to build the right muscles.  Oh sure, she makes mistakes, but they are honest ones, and there's really no fight in her about anything. 

I had planned to get on her and take advantage of the cool breeze this morning, but as she was standing around waiting, the skies opened up.  Well.... it was a decent steady soaking rain, not a down pour or anything, but she didn't care for the sound of it hitting the trailer she was tied to.  I hadn't gotten to tacking up yet (she's still getting some work on how to stand decently when grooming and tacking) so I just petted her for being good, and turned her out in the arena.  Yep, she had a ball bucking and farting in the rain. 

I don't like to work horses in the rain when it's been this dry.  My arena footing is a clay/sand mix, and too much water too fast results in the top turning into a surface as slick as ice.  Horses tend to be pretty sure footed on their own, but when asked to do collected work, the chance of a slip increases greatly.  And besides, it's COOL out, so I'll have a few extra hours today!

Yesterday, I had 3 horses show signs of heat stressing.  Dream, Diva, and Rico.  All 3 were caught early on, in the head down panting stage.  All 3 were soaked, rested, checked, and then soaked some more before being put behind fans.  Today, all 3 are doing well.  It was my young ones yesterday that had issues.  Jaz (the delicate wall flower) tried to do it,  but I'm on him like a HAWK.  Beet pulp and salt for his lunch, and he was sucking back water like a champ.  I have his number now!  He never was panting, but just not quite right.  I'm paranoid about "not quite right" now.

AND!  I'm very excited about this, but today is the day for Cayenne's first ride (again).  Cayenne is my 14.0 hand AQHA orphan filly.  She's 6, but she'll always be a filly to me, as she "is" my baby.  A while back I traded her for a draft mare, and that trade didn't work out because Cayenne came up lame.  There's a big question as to when and why and how she became unsound.  The day before she left, she was riding perfectly.  The day she left she acted like normal, but a week later she came home with a big booboo on her hip/back and was very sore.  Naturally, that means she wasn't going to work out as their kid's horse, so I took her back.

Anyway, we healed up the hip, but she still just wasn't moving right.  When my farrier came out last time, I told him I thought she was foot sore too.  We moved her out at a walk and slow job, and he agreed.  Treatment.... a full set of shoes.  The day ofter she was shod, the difference was amazing!  She was standing up and normal again, and looking perkier then she had since she left.  I was told to wait a week before working her, and then to start very slowly.  So, today's her day!

My plan is to lunge her lightly for about 10 minutes, then to ride her for 5 to 10 minutes at a walk.  Nothing hard at all.  She's going bitless again, in the Dr. Cook's, and we'll see if she remembers her steering.  It's been a couple of months now!

And Poko and I have some canter work to do, if the arena dries out enough.  I need some canter work, and so does he!  I plan to give Jinx a bitting lesson, and maybe a little lunge work.  I also have to lunge Princessa, Arden, Oops, and Phoenix.  It will be one of Phoenix's first lessons (I THINK she's had some work before but can't remember it clearly).  Dream gets out of riding due to her heat issues yesterday, but Doodles and Diesel are still a go.  If I have time left, I want to lunge Katy and Sweetie, and give Nazar some love and a bridle.  It will mostly be a ground work day, but it's a good day to do it.

Because mom is in Dallas visiting my brother, and Dad is with her, poor Jae gets to be my eyes today.  In other words, I make him work in the barn while I work in the arena.  Unfortunately, that also means no pictures, as I can't take them of myself!  It's the start of a good week, and I hope it keeps up like this.

1 comment:

  1. May the rain come gently and the horse work well.