Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tag and a Surprise Visitor

Kachina was still without Fancy yesterday, so I had the opportunity to get the little filly all by herself and play around with her. One of Kachina's favorite games is tag; she loves to run, and she's so incredibly athletic and aware of her space (and where I am in it). She has amazing body control, and can literally run at you full speed, put on the breaks inches in front of you, and spin around and take off in the other direction, all without making you feel the least bit endangered. She can twist herself into a pretzel in midair and hit the ground running. Obstacles are cleared effortlessly, without ever breaking stride, and she moves without any awkwardness at all.

She's also extremely sensitive to pressure, and she enjoys playing stalking games. Even from across the paddock, we'll square up and watch each other; if I take a step to the left, she takes a step to the right, if I move forward, she backs up, I'll run up the paddock and, at the same time, she will run down. It's a very interesting and amazing dance, each of us mirroring the other. I wish I could have gotten it on video.

Unfortunately, by the time we decided to pull out the camera, both Kachina and I were a little exhausted so we didn't get pictures of all the galloping, rearing, bucking and jumping - you know, the good shots. Plus, P was using his new camera, which we haven't figured out yet, so the picture quality isn't great. Still, they're some pretty nice pictures of the game:

While cleaning up the paddock, I noticed that Kachina was very interested in the trees on the hill. So, trusting her to see things I couldn't, I followed her gaze until I spotted what she'd noticed: a surprise visitor!

I guess Kachina wasn't so alone after all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alone Time

It seems the scare was for nothing; Fancy was fine through Monday night and, yesterday, she went off to Davis for her spay surgery, which will take place today. This will be the longest amount of time Kachina's has been alone in the paddock (and possibly in her life), so P and I made an extra trip out yesterday to spend a little time with her.

She was extremely cute and happy to see us, and she nickered to us as we came up the driveway. Inside the paddock she was friendly to the point of being a pest, putting her head over our shoulders, sniffing our hair, and nuzzling out cheeks.

After cleaning up the paddock, I played a few games of hide-and-seek and tag with her, which she loves. She throws her little tail up in the air and bounces around, tossing her head and chasing me, always staying a safe distance. It's amazing how athletic she is, and yet she's so conscious of where P and I are in the paddock, careful not to run into us or jump on us when she's running around, bucking, jumping and rearing in play.

It wasn't long before Odin came down to see us, and the real game was on! She herded her fuzzy cow up and down the paddock, stopped him and turned him around, and herded him the other way. Poor Odin was so tolerant of it, but he eventually opted to abandon the paddock and wait for us to come out to shower him with attention.

Because we wanted to leave on a good note, I prepared Kachina's supplements and grain just before leaving and added and extra carrot. She was so enthralled with her treat that she barely noticed our exit, so I'm hoping she did fine alone the rest of the night.

Donna won't know how the surgery went until later today, but I'll try to update as soon as I get information. The paddock will have to be roped off into two separate sections while she heals, which I'm imagining will be difficult for both she and Kachina.

It's amazing, as a dog trainer spaying is no big deal; it's such a basic operation, hardly worth getting worked up over. But when it's being done on a horse it's a different story. The size difference alone is enough to make me fret, not to mention Fancy's age, the fact that she's already had two foals (that we know of), her compromised physical condition, etc. I'm impatient for any news on how she's doing, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's just a spay, same as any other spay, just different.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Scare

Last night I came later than usual to clean Kachina and Fancy's paddock and I had an awful scare. I came in to find Fancy lying down on her side, unresponsive to my calling or even to my presence. It's amazing how quickly the human heart can go from relaxed and normal to oh-my-god-I'm-having-a-heart-attack in less than a second.

I walked over to her, calling to her, and still she wouldn't respond, although her eyes were partially open. I pushed on her a little and she lifted her head, then flopped back down again. Immediately I thought it was colic, but she wasn't showing any of the other signs (groaning, rolling, pawing, poking her belly with her nose). I pushed again, harder, and she finally got onto her feet and walked away a few steps. Just when I thought I could relax, she whirled on me and tried to kick me!

We spent the rest of the night observant but wary of her, while she stood there and lashed her tail around (and it's freezing here right now, so I'm positive there were no flies) and looking just generally dull. I also noticed that there was some very loose, diarrhea-type poop that I'm 99.9% sure was hers. We stayed with her as long as we could - until almost nine o'clock - and didn't see any further troubling signs.

What worries me is that Fancy isn't particularly trusting, and she's not attached to me at all, and I wouldn't say that she knows me very well, so I find it very odd that she'd remain down on her side when I approached her. I mean, she didn't even twitch her tail in my direction. And then to walk off, turn around, and try to kick me?

I'm just hoping that she was (really, really) deep in sleep, with her eyes open, and me waking her up just startled her into kicking. Or that she was just cranky - I'd be fine with that. Donna and Tony weren't home, but I left them a message explaining what happened. I haven't heard back yet.

Kachina, however, was dashing around the paddock, as happy to see us as always. Although I noticed she was being wary of Fancy too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Heat Wave

It's been a busy couple of days, and the sudden heat wave has made things harder. I've been trying to do more with Kachina in regards to training, before the rains pick up again, but we've both slowed down a little.

The Cat and I took Kachina for a hike Sunday, and I barely made it up the steep hills. Granted, I was pretty dehydrated, but I think Winter has made both Kachina and I soft (she was sweating and tired too). She did, however, take to leaving Fancy a lot better than she has in the past, so that was a lesson in and of itself.

She's turning into a horse so quickly, it's unbelievable. Her body has finally caught up with her hips so her butt no longer looks super high. Her jaws are also getting more Quarter Horse-y and her chest is squaring out, although she still has her tiny baby mouth and chin. She is, however, developing a hay belly. I've heard that it's typical for young horses, because their bodies are still growing, but I think she looks fat. With the nice weather will come more exercise!

I'll take my camera out tomorrow and snap some good photos of her. I'd like to compare them to the picture I was sent when I first bought her (the one in the blog profile). In the meantime, you get one of my favorite pictures of my little painted pony!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Horses of a Different Color

I haven't been updating lately because there's been nothing really to update about. Kachina is growing fast, and she's losing more of her winter fuzz (how is it clinging on this long?!). She's going to end up a very pretty, burnt dun color -- not exactly buckskin, but close.

The cutting horse trainer I apprentice with told me once that, if I want to own Paints, I should stick with the sorrel-and-whites or the black-and-whites because that's what people like to see. Screw that! I like Kachina's unique color!

To be honest, I've never liked Paints. My mom loves them, but I've always thought they looked gaudy and boring (I think the only Paints or Pintos I ever thought were really beautiful was RJ, who starred in the movie Hidalgo and the mustang stallion Painted Desert, but I think I was more attracted to the horses themselves, and that made them look beautiful to me). I've always had a fondness for duns, buckskins and grullos -- especially with primitive markings -- and that was what I found attractive about Kachina's color in the beginning.

After having Kachina, I'm noticing that I've started to develop more of an appreciation for Paints. Maybe it's just loyalty blooming for my little painted pony, but more and more often I'm seeing Paint horses and thinking "Wow, that's a really beautiful horse." Despite that, however, I still prefer the more unique colors. This inspired me to find pictures of other, more uniquely colored Painted horses that I found particularly stunning. Here's what I found:

Bay Roan Paint
Black and White Paint
Grullo Paint (probably my favorite of the bunch! This horse is gorgeous! Here's another picture just for the heck of it!)
Buckskin Pinto (my second favorite -- so cute!)
Buckskin Paint
Blue Roan Paint
Black and White Paint

Starting to see a trend?

I still think Kachina's the prettiest Paint of all.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Kachina now has a Twitter! You can see it updated on the right-hand side here.

Of course, since I'm not with Kachina all of the time, it'll probably apply more to me than her. Hey, I need some spotlight on this blog too!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

She Gets It From Her Mama

I was sent more pictures of Cremello from the website, so here they are. Isn't she beautiful? It's obvious where Kachina gets her stunningly good looks!

I did some research on Cremellos and Perlinos, and this is what I found:

"A Cremello or Perlino horse is simply a sorrel (cremello) or bay (perlino) horse that has recieved two copies of the "creme" gene. This gene, when in it's single form, makes what would have been a sorrel horse into a palomino, and what would have been a bay horse into a buckskin. Every time a palomino to palomino, buckskin to buckskin or palomino to buckskin cross is made, you have a 25% chance of getting this rare and beautiful coloration, but there's more! Aside from being extremely rare, this coloration makes a horse extremely valuable in the breeding shed. Because a Cremello or Perlino horse has two copies of the "creme" gene, making them homozygous, they can never produce a bay or sorrel foal no matter what they are bred to. Most foals that result from breedings with a Cremello or Perlino will be Palominos or Buckskins. A small percentage of black and gray foals can also be produced as these colors hide the palomino and buckskin coloration." -- Cremello and Perlino Educational Association

Well, guess we know why both Kachina and her brother are dun colored.

Brother From the Same Mother

Here's a picture that the woman who owns Happy Horse Haven took yesterday of Cremello (Miss Patch Pilot) and her 8-month-old son, Buckskin Chaps (wow, he's huge! ..or she's really small).

Can you see the resemblance to Kachina? Obviously the dun gene runs through the dam's side. He was born May 25th, 2008, while Kachina was born May 5th, 2007. This makes them almost exactly a year apart.

The woman who runs Hooves of Hope, the rescue that originally saved Kachina, told me that there were about fifty mares sent to slaughter, all with yearlings (that'd be Kachina) and all pregnant, meaning that this little guy was the colt Miss Patch Pilot was pregnant with when she destined for the slaughter house. It's so cool to see them both healthy and happy, living together. I wonder if Chaps is as amazing a horse as Kachina.

I sent the woman a picture of Kachina and a link to her blog, and she may feature Kachina's story on the website, too, as an extension of Cremello's story. If you guys have a minute, you should check out her webpage and read some of the amazing stories; Kachina's dam is just one of many fortunate horses listed there.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More on Miss Patch Pilot

This morning I called the woman who runs the sanctuary where Miss Patch Pilot, Kachina's mother, now resides. The name of the rescue is Happy Horse Haven; if you scroll down, you'll see Miss Patch Pilot (now named "Cremello") and read a little of her story.

The woman was extremely nice, and said that Cremello is happy and healthy, running free on over 120 acres. She offered to send pictures, so as soon as I get them I will post them here.

There may be a chance that she can help with registering Kachina. Regardless of that, it's great to hear that Kachina's dam is alive and doing so well.

Kachina also has an 8-month-old buckskin brother! I hope his life ends up wonderful, and he never has to experience the horror that almost claimed Kachina and their dam.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Long Lost Mother

I found Kachina's mother! And by accident, too. Although I've Googled her a thousand times, I decided to try again just for the heck of it, and a new website came up:

Horse Rescue Faces - Diamond Horses

If you scroll down, you'll see her picture (well, a picture of her eye - she's the Queen of Diamonds!). She's listed as a "Cremello APHA Mare," but they say her registered name off to the side. Although she's registered as a Perlino, I'm sure it's her.

I've just contacted them for more information. Keep your collective fingers crossed!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Registration Drama

I haven't updated about my uphill battle to register Kachina in a while. Mostly because there's been no progress to update about. I sent another copy of the paperwork off to The Son almost two months ago, this time having it directed to my work address, and I still haven't gotten it, even though he claims to have sent off both. Funny how two different copies sent to two different addresses at two different times can both get lost in the mail!

My next effort was to contact one of the previous owners who, supposedly, has the paperwork and offer again to pay her to find it. This is the response I got:

"I know you can not reg her that was my problem. There is NO paperwork for her, she was a rescue and the papers have been lost. I know about papers I breed paints. When I got her I got her as a rescue to help out a friend. When Holly took her I made it very clear to her that there is NO PAPERWORK for the filly. I thought she would have told you that. I hope she becomes something good papers are not everything. If she is a decent horse someone will love her. That is why her price is so cheap. Sorry I couldn't help but there is nothing I can do. All I was trying to do was save her life. If her papers were THAT important to you, you should have bought a horse that could have been registered. I can not help you I'm sorry."

Sheesh! She told me back in January that she had the papers, but she had just moved and they were all packed away and she didn't have time to find them. Now she says she doesn't have them at all (even though I've contacted the woman who runs the rescue who first took Kachina from The Son, and she says that she definitely gave this woman paperwork along with the filly).

I've called the APHA countless times to find out if I have any other option, and it seems like my only chance is to find the dam, have her and Kachina both DNA tested, then send it off. Ack! Even if I had the money to do that, I have no idea where the dam is, or if she's even still alive. Last I heard, she was weak and sick and taken to Texas back in '07.

So what now? I'm going to keep sending The Son registration application after registration application! I'll be worse than a bill collector. He'll have to cave eventually, right?

This woman said "If her papers were THAT important to you, you should have bought a horse that could have been registered." That bothered me. It's not that I won't love her and do my best with her if she isn't registered, it's that I think she deserves the best possible future she can have, and having her registered will definitely help. As a breeder of paints, I'd think she would understand that.

And The Son! Honestly, all he has to do is sign his name. I've filled out the rest, I've done the research, I even sent along a self-addressed envelope with postage! It's no skin off his nose, he doesn't even have to get off the couch to do it. Just sign his stupid name. Then I can register Kachina, and he will never have to deal with her or I again.

In a last-ditch-effort, I think I can at least register her with the PtHA, but I'm not even sure about that.

I'm printing out another copy of the APHA form now. Let's see how many I'll have to send before he breaks.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Horsing Around

Yesterday was a pretty light day, so I mostly just played with Kachina.

I'm amused by silly things, like Kachina playing with my Carhartt (good thing they're durable):

Here's Kachina's super bright face:

And Kachina herding Odin, her "fuzzy cow":