Day five: Hand feeding

This morning Simeon and I walked down to the EQ center. Mrs. Fenwick as usual was already down there hooking up the hay nets. She cleaned their hooves with a hoof pick. 

The little metal thing sticking out of the side is to help clean horse’s hooves. The metal stick is used for scraping dirt and rocks out of a horse’s hooves. She cleans them two times a day. Most people do it once a day, but Lena and Peppy like to play around and get dirty fast. Mostly Lena does that though! Anyway, the brush part of the tool helps dust any dirt out of the horse’s hooves. They both do the same thing but the metal pick help mostly. Mrs. Fenwick also has another of the same tool, but it is without the brush. In fact she has a couple of them. 

When Simeon and I were done with scooping the poop, Mrs. Fenwick finished with cleaning the hoofs. I am an expert with scooping the poop now! I can get a lot more poop on my rake than ever before! And I know how to get the big rocks out easier and faster! I know where the hardest place to scoop poop and I am getting much faster! Lena seems to be the hardest when it comes to poop scooping though. She always poops in the hardest places! Peppy on the other hand is WAY easier. For one thing he doesn’t poop in random places like Lena does. He always has it in two places (which are easy places) and we know where to go scoop poop instead of wasting are time looking all around in the paddock. 

Also today I brought two pieces of apples with me. I had cut a apples up for my breakfast today and I saved two pieces for Lena and Peppy. I knew that I should make them small pieces or else it is harder for the horses to eat it. You have to put their hand out flat so the horse can eat it, and not your hands also. If you don't he/she might also eat your fingers. 
(Picture by Noelle Harris)
 I used to be VERY afraid a long time ago when I used to give an apple to a horse that was owned by a friend. (I ended up throwing it on the ground instead of hand feeding it to the horses) I was always afraid the horses would bite me. But now it’s like an every day thing! And it makes no sense that I was so afraid! 

So we petted the horses and then my mom and dad came to see if we wanted a ride back up. Well, we where done anyways so we rode in the car back home. Mrs. Fenwick told us that every morning at 8:00am we can come down to the horses! And 4:00pm in the afternoon we can also go down! So this is it for today!

Day four: Hay barn

Day 4:

Today was a lot of learning! Simeon and I thought that today she might not call so I slept in. But just when I was going to read my book, there was a phone call from Mrs. Fenwick. She said to be down there at 8:00 am and it was 7:30! I got out of bed and got ready to leave. We knew we would be late so my mom drove us down instead of walking down.

 It was cold again but not as cold as yesterday. She had already hung the hay nets and we started to get the wheelbarrow and went to scoop the poop. When we where done and finished dumping the poop, Mrs. Fenwick showed us in the big barn where all the hay was kept.
The Fenwicks have the most hay of all the others at the EQ center. She told us why they kept so much hay. It was because Peppy couldn’t eat some of the hay that the other horses eat because he gets sick from it easily.

 So they got a little bit different hay than the others. Lena was fine with the other hay but she ate the same as Peppy. The reason they kept so much of the hay, was that the place where they get the hay would run out during the winter. Even now they couldn’t grow anymore until summer so Mrs. Fenwick would run out really soon. 

Instead she bought a lot of that hay so they wouldn’t have to run out until July! She showed how much hay she puts in the hay nets and she filled two hay nets for tonight in case she was in a hurry. She showed us how they know how much to put in the hay nets by taking a ‘leaf’ (as she called it) from the hay bale. It was as if the hay was cut into pieces like a cake or store bought bread. You know when you get some store bought bread and sometimes it would be cut in pieces already for you. 

That is how it was in the hay! She just got one of the ‘leaves’ and that would be enough for one meal! She said one bale of hay would feed a horse one week! The kind she buys costs $16 a bale.  And she had so many bales of hay! There where also different hay bales that were for cows. Of course she didn’t have any, but I have seen it before! There like big marshmallows! They're not for horses because it is unhealthy for them. 

Horse’s hay has to be clean while cows, goats, sheep or any other animal like that, doesn’t have to have it be that clean. Horses always have to have it in a bin or a hay net because there is a lot of dirt and they might poop in it. That is bad for them and could make them very sick! But the marshmallow bales are used for cows. 

Then there was also two bins full of food stuff. It was to feed the horses kind of like vitamins to them. They love it like we love candy. There were two different vitamin buckets. One just looked like a bunch of pieces of grass mixed up. Which it partly was, but that the grass stuff was good for the horses. The other stuff looked like dog food, or more like bird feed that wasn’t in seeds. This was better for the horses than the other grass stuff, and I have seen it before.

Then she showed us a hay tool.  (Picture by Noelle Harris)

She uses these to help her lift hay bales around. She likes the swinging hay tool (the one on left) because like I said it swings. Or the handle swings more like. Mr. Fenwick made her a couple of hay tools to help. 

I also noticed that they have squirrel traps! In fact almost all of the horse people had squirrel traps! They all don’t like squirrels so they had a lot this summer and fall. 

So anyways we had learned a lot from Mrs. Fenwick today. She even needed more shavings for the horses stables. Those are used for bedding. 
The picture may look like it is big, but the shavings are really small and cut up well. It is kind of like a mattress for horses. Without that, they could hurt themselves when they lay down. Mrs. Fenwick even showed us a couple of days ago that they could get cut very bad! In fact Peppy had a mad cut from laying down.

He had been walking out and in of the stable and the shavings would be shuffled around outside. And the worst is when he brings in rocks and stuff from his hoofs. The cut was actually from a rock that got inside the stable! Mrs. Fenwick put some weird jelly stuff on it so it would heal faster. And also the jelly stuff kept the flies away because they hated that smell. 

So that is a lot of what we have been learning so far. And Mrs. Fenwick said she might ride up to our house with Peppy or Lena today!!!  So that is all for today!


Day three: Frozen weather

This is the third day! Today was even colder than the second day we went out to the horses. It wasn't foggy, but it was so cold! Simeon was with me and it was hard for him. He was so cold and almost wished he didn't come.  He forgot to bring gloves and he didn't have a hood, so his hands and ears where really cold. My nose was the only thing that was really cold and felt like it was frozen. 

When we got to the EQ center, Mrs. Fenwick was already carrying the two nets of hay. 

We walked with her to Lena and Peppy and we saw her husband. Just as Simeon and I started with the poop scooping in Peppy's paddock, our mom and dad came. We knew that the Fenwicks were in a hurry to leave so we didn't go and greet our parents.

 But they left soon anyways so we took a break when we were done and pet Peppy. He was so soft! And warm! I let Simeon use the gloves when we where poop scooping so my hands were cold. 

So it was so nice to have my hands on Peppy's warm coat! Then we went into Lena's paddock and finished that. It was kind of cool to see the water with a thin layer of ice.

 In fact lots of things where frozen! Even our hands! When Simeon and I dumped the load of horse poop, Simeon noticed that the gloves I let him use had frosted ice on it. We couldn't do any more help right now because the Fenwicks had to leave. And there wasn't really anything else to do!

So we climbed Rattlesnake Hill back home. The sun was out so it was nice, and it warmed our back on the way up. And we were even hot by the time we were at the top. So that was all for today. 

Day two: Foggy mornings

Day 2: 

(Picture took by Noelle Harris)
Foggy on the walk there

This morning Simeon and I got up early to leave to the horses. It was really foggy which was very cool. We couldn’t even see the big barn at the horses until we got very near it.

 When we did get there, Mrs. Fenwick wasn’t there yet. But her husband was so he showed us inside the big barn where everyone at the EQ center kept their hay. 

We got two nets full of hay and we started to walk to the paddock where Lena and Peppy were kept. But then Mrs. Fenwick came up with her bike and we all walked together. 
Mrs. Fenwick showed us how the horses eat from the hay nets.

 She hung them in the little stable and Lena would eat from the hay net by taking little bits of hay in between the net. Mrs. Fenwick went into the other paddock and hung the other net for Peppy while Simeon and I scooped the poop.
(Picture by Noelle Harris)

 It was kind of fun scooping the poop, and when we were done we pushed the wheelbarrow to the poop pile that was framed with wood all around. We emptied the poop all by ourselves.

 Then we went back to brush the horses. Mrs. Fenwick showed us how to brush the horses and showed us where the parts on the horse that are sensitive so we have to brush lightly. Then while we were brushing she cleaned the dirt out of the hoofs. 

She said they have to change their shoes every 8 or 10 weeks. After brushing we fed them pieces of apples. 
We had to make our hands as flat as we could so they wouldn’t eat our fingers too. Peppy was allergic to carrots and some other grasses, so they had to give him shots once in awhile so he wouldn’t get sick. 

So we had to go after that but we learned a lot. Mrs. and Mr. Fenwick were going to have visitors so they had to go. 

Learning on the first day

Day 1:

Today my brother Simeon and I went down to the equestrian center to see Mrs. Fenwick. She is going to teach us things about horses, like not to go behind them, how to scoop the poop easier, and so on. 

First we scrubbed two big troughs of water and made it clean.
 She said tomorrow we can brush the horses! She even showed me how to lead a horse and to keep my feet not too close to the horse’s feet or they might stepped on. 

I had boots but Simeon didn’t, so I was allowed to lead and he wasn’t. He was wearing tennis shoes so Mrs. Fenwick told Simeon it would hurt bad if he got stepped on by a horse. Mrs. Fenwick had two horses, a brown horse and a gray horse. 
The gray mare’s name is Lena and she is 10. The brown stallion’s name is Peppy and he is 9. But he is bigger than Lena and likes to go faster. Lena can stand still better and doesn’t want to always gallop. 

Mrs. Fenwick had a cookie tin full of rocks and shook it near Lena. Lena hates that tin because of its loud sound. She would jolt away and get very scared, but after awhile of training, Mrs. Fenwick got Lena to relax when she shook the tin. Even when she put the tin over her back and shook it, Lena stood still. 

Then she told us that she once took a tarp out to see if Lena was scared of it. Lena wasn’t at all scared of the tarp and walked right over it. Peppy on the other hand was really scared of the tarp.  He wouldn’t go near it. But when Mrs. Fenwick tried the tin with the rocks, he didn’t mind at all. So Lena and Peppy are different in many ways. 

They're both really great and I don’t know which one I like more! She showed many ways of training and my mom even came down to watch. One of the training she did was she put Lena in a round ring and she made her go around and around. She pointed her finger one way and Lena followed that direction always going around the ring. 

Mrs. Fenwick could even make Lena go faster or slower, or signal for her to come in. She said that when she goes around the ring, horses always have their right foot leading when they are galloping if they are going the right way. When she makes Lena turn the left way around her left foot leads. She has been telling us many things about horses! So I can’t wait until I get on one! She said we need to get used to them, and they get used to us. 

So that is what I have learned the first day! And there are more days to come!

(Picture took by Noelle Harris)
(Picture took by Renee Harris)