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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunny Days, Keeping the Clouds Away. . .

Meet Sunny

Sunny



Sunny is the latest member of the Neophyte Homestead. He officially belongs to my middle son.


my horse

Sunny is 21 years old. He is undernourished, needs a farrier, and some teeth work done. As you know this isn't our first time with an older animal or one that is in need of extra love.

Our middle son has been begging for a horse for well over a year now. He has been learning how to care for horses at a neighbors house. We received a phone call about Sunny, and he was given to us for free. My middle on knows the most about horses around here, so it was decided to go ahead and take the horse and allow our son to be his keeper. With help from us and the neighbor, of course.

Our son is thrilled! He goes out with me every morning, and while I milk the cows he tends his horse. He goes out in the late afternoon with me as well.

Sunny is an old Barrel Race horse, and there are some things we have to be careful of because of those years of racing. One would be flying towards a fence and abruptly stopping. It will be a little while before our son will be able to ride solo. He (Sunny) might be old, but he still has a great deal of spirit, and when I lead him to the barn, he wants to run. ( not as in run away, but move faster then I am walking)

Sunny should be a great learning experience for us all, especially our 6 year old.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I suggest you guys get your hands on some Kelly Marks books as soon as you can. They're very well written, practical information on natural horsemanship and how to deal with things in general horse handling. Kelly Marks is a student of Monty Roberts but has more down-to-earth approach. There's a LOT of totally loony horse books available nowadays and there's a great risk of getting the horse or the kid hurt by dangerous advice. From the safety's point of view, I'd rank Kelly Marks as the best teacher of horsemanship. And yes, there are zillion opinions and you will get tons of contradictory messages from "just whip the horse with a broomstick" to "give flower remedies and talk about fairies" but I guarantee you that Kelly Marks is firmly on the ground and yet understands the horse from modern, psychologically valid point of view. Congrats on the new member of the homestead!

farm mom said...

Look at that happy face!! So happy for your son and his new responsibility. He looks much older than he is, btw!!:)

Robbyn said...

ohhhh mannnnn...he is living my childhood dream!!! Congratulations :)

Alissa said...

I've been lurking and reading your blog for a few weeks now and I have to tell you how much I look forward to your posts. Your writing is personal and readable and it feels great to learn about your family and life. I'm the "green queen" in my little corporate world in Downtown Kansas City. I live in Gladstone, MO and have started doing some gardening, composting, line drying and gradually trying to get rid of my lawn. Not as normal of a thing in midwest suburbia as I would like. Eventually would love to be able to go the rural route and you give some inspiration and truth to that option. Keep up the great blog!!

Country Girl said...

Your son must be delighted. Nice looking horse, enjoy! ~Kim

Stephanie said...

I've been asking for a horse since I was 3...he's very lucky, what an awesome gift for both family and horse.

Tom said...

He certainly looks like a proud horse owner. Congrats! Our son has been asking for a horse off and on lately. I just don't think we are ready for anything larger than chickens and ducks... I can't wait to hear about your experiences with Sunny.

Em said...

All I could think of when I saw the pic of him sitting on the horse bareback was OUCH! Reminds me of the time I was testing out a friends new horse to see how he would respond to being ridden bareback. I jumped on and he was well behaved, walked nicely, moved smoothly into a trot...it was at that point I learnt he had a really hard mouth and was not inclined to slow down back to a walk..

Bony horse + bareback + trotting = bruises in delicate places! Needless to say I didnt try that again until he had gained a bit of weight! :D

Jennie said...

Aw bless - will you look at the honesty in that horse's face . . . What a poppet, but quite a big challenge for your son. I echo what anonymous said about the Kelly Marks books - I've been to a few demo's of hers, and she is very good. Your old lad looks like he is going to be expensive to start up with, what with worming/teeth/farrier/feed etc, but I'm sure he will appreciate your love and care and repay it tenfold. With a dippy back like that, saddle fitting will be fun!

I've only just discovered your blog but will bookmark it and visit again. If you check mine out, you will find we have some things in common . . .

Stephanie said...

He looks so proud!

sugarcreekfarm said...

That's the way we started - older horse for our middle child. She also is the horse "expert" around here and teaches the rest of us. I'm gradually becoming less frightened of them :)

Phelan said...

Anonymous, thank you for the book suggestion.

Farm mom, I know he does! He is the tallest kid in his class.

Robbyn, here's hoping that this excitment doesn't fade.

Alissa, thank you!

COuntry girl, we will.

Stephanie, so have I.

Tom, we built up from chickens. Don't worry, you will too. ;)

Em, our neighbor is fitting him with a saddle. Hopefully he will start gaining weight.

Jenni, we have some wonderful people around here willing to help us with him. I too thought it was going to be a big expense getting him fixed up, but we have been getting some great deals on needed things around here. Will update with details soon.

Stephanie, the horse or the kid? ;)

Sugar Creek Farm, um I am still trying to get over the fact that I have a friend that is missing an ear because a horse bit it off. Things like that doesn't seem to phaze my son. I am trying to to be a freak about it. He has been learning for a great horse trainer.sigh

lisa said...

What a nice looking animal! My son's horse was a nice older mare who was easier to handle and more calm like that. In fact, she had been shown by teenage girls who tried to push her to "perform", and she behaved better for my son than me! My old BF bought an underwieght mare, and after worming we fed her higher protein "performance" sweet feed (has molasses in it-horses LOVE it), mixed with about a cup of calf manna. (Along with some hay of course) The transformation in about 7 mos. was nothing short of amazing! That bit of calf manna really seemed to give them amazing hoof quality too (we fed it to all the horses), no cracks or splits to be found. The farrier went on about it all the time. :) Now, higher protien feed can make them a tad more spirited/energetic, but frankly we never found it to be a real problem. Temperament is generally the same, regardless.

lisa said...

BTW-I should mention that any change in diet should be introduced slowly. Horses can be sensitive to these things, and if they get into the feed and gorge themselves for instance, it will cause foundering, which affects their feet and ability to walk. As for how much we used to feed, it was a "big scoop" of grain, roughly a half gallon, with the 1 cup calf manna, morning and night. But to start on less and more slowly would certainly work well, too. (Heh, or ignoring my suggestion completely would be a money-saver for sure :) My old BF kept the horses for a tax write-off (as well as fun), so the cost wasn't a big issue. But from reading your blog awhile now, I'd say Sunny is in great hands and will muscle up just fine, no matter what!

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