And Boo is such a dude.
I mean, he's getting huge, so I'm always super careful now, but today he was so cute.
I feed them in the stables (door open) every day, so he gets used to going in and out of stables, knows that being inside is no big deal, and if the door is shut then a cool human is coming. So I think I've done ok there.
And he is such a gentleman around feeding time, Mumma's done really well with that.
But today he stood in the doorway. And I couldn't get in with the feedbuckets. But you could see him go, I'm hungry, why is Tarns not coming in? Wait...I have to stand still when Tarns comes with the feed... so there he was, on his best behaviour, with me not being able to feed out and not wanting to teach him the wrong thing.
So I kiind of just stood there. Which is my go to position whenever I'm not sure about anything. It works surprisingly well. Because the horses all just stand there, too, and that's the way we stand until we find a way to communicate what I wish. Which normally goes like this:
I do a vague hand gesture.
Horses: Silence. Ok, is this what you mean?
Me: No. And I try another hand gesture. With words this time.
Horses: Ok, what about this?
Me: Ummmmm....no. And I try again. Also with words.
Me: Yes!! And I give them a pat and a cuddle (possibly a kiss) and tell them how clever they are.
Anyway, Mumma came over and saved the day. She was like, Stop mucking around, I'm hungry. And get out of her way, she can't get in the door.
An awesome end result, but I'm also pretty dam proud of Boo. He stood there like a rockstar, knowing not to come to me when I had food.
That's pretty fucking impressive.
And the bloody little chickadee Rooster died on me.
Seriously. I went out during the day, came home and he had karked it.
No injuries or obvious sign of death. Apart from him being cold and his feet sticking up in the air.
To be fair, he came and did what he was supposed to on Earth, then left.
I gave him a lovely burial, but I'm still a bit pissy about it.
Found new things that Chew likes. Watermelon skin!
That's right, the big outer, hard shell. I had taken a bag of rubbish out to the deck, and while I was mucking round inside Chew goes in the bag, takes some and is munching away by the time I go back outside. Az also loves it, as does Ralph, Suz, Caps not so much, and Mumma's not allowed any.
Quite obviously Boo is allowed nothing but actual horse food.
And Karaka day today!
That was heaps of fun but so very different from last year. Previous years I have gone by what I would like in a yearling. Now I actually have a yearling and a gorgeous, almost 5 month old colt.
Way different game today.
There are those that actually know I'm raising babies, those that have suspicions, and those that still think I will buy already made. I won't be able to get away with the latter next year. Already people, I swear, hand on hoof I have never met before were saying, I remember you, what horse would you like to see... which I did feel slightly guilty about. Others are still in two minds but are a bit on the dodge side, and there are those that know and are like, S.O.B she's checking her horses directly against her horses half-brothers and sisters.
Well, yes, yes I am.
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with how my horses are. Actually, I'm damn proud of them. Belle could stand up with a lot of them, although looking at her vs some of the others, she is nowhere near fully grown. You can tell by Belle's ass, she's still got heaps of growing to do. However, conformation wise, she is beautiful. And I'm so pleased that I did Touch/play with her. I can promise you it has made a huge difference.
And Little Boo, eh?
Even at 5 months he is showing huge potential.
I am so proud of how my horses look. Not just my home ones but Belle, Mumma and Boo. They are horses that are extremely well looked after, and it shows.
Today proved that time and time and time again.
There's one horse I still need to see tomorrow before the sales, but it should be interesting tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.
And I get home and Mumma and Boo are hooning round the paddock. I stood there with the feeds and was like, I am NOT coming in with you guys like that... eventually everyone calmed down but Jeez, and how Boo can run with his c*ck hanging out all the time, bouncing around, is beyond me. That boy has some stamina and a half.
And right at the last minute I got snapped at Karaka.
All because I couldn't leave one horse alone. Well, to be fair, that's not surprising. At all levels of my up-to-no-good-ed-ness there will always be a horse, or something connected to one.
Anyway, so carrying on from yesterday. I was video-ing horses that had similiar pedigree to Belle or Boo. Well, how am I supposed to see how I'm doing without proof? And the video's I took yesterday were not up to scratch. So I had to do it all again today, and the one (actually worked out two) that I missed yesterday.
Now the guy was a bit on the dodge yesterday with me. A bit suspicious like, so I already knew I needed to be a bit careful. However, needs must, so I rocked up again today.
Ready to video.
And he was really suss today. And it went like this:
He gave me a death stare which, to be honest, might have put off a lesser mortal.
I would like to see Number *** please.
He couldn't take the risk that I wasn't a buyer, but he wasn't sold.
He took the horse out. I was very polite and then said, Thank you, now can I see Number ***.
In hindsight, that might have been the straw that broke the camels back.
Horse put back in and then he just looked at me, Are you a serious buyer?
Silence on both sides. Him while he thought about whether to call me out, and me because I had to pull some rabbits out of hats here.
But I only have a budget of $30,000 (liar, liar pants on fire)
You won't get this horse for that. And then gave me a price that took my breath away.
Now the price is particularly important here, because Boo is family related. So then I really, really needed to see this horse.
And hand on hoof, I actually said, If you don't want to show me that horse because it's out of my budget, that's your call.
And then just stood there.
I'll do whatever the fuck I please. Silence. Just be straight with me. And then he brought the horse out.
I took my video and stuff, said thank you, and left. Feeling bad. Got half way to next place, then turned round and went back.
I said, You're right. I'm not in the market to buy. My name is Tania Kettle and I breed my own. And I've been watching you guys. How you race, how your horses are. And I've heard about you. How you present your horses. And that reputation is well deserved, you do a beautiful job. Are you good with that?
So that was my Karaka weekend. It was cool. I met up with people I hadn't seen for a while, met some new peeps and of course, caught up with gossip (both real and imagined), stallions (who had attacked staff), crazy babies (a whole run from one stallion), new and not well known stallions coming through (but with awesome results) and general chitchat.
And I did find myself behind one really successful trainer who was looking at a horse. I took that opportunity to also video that horse. Well, it wouldn't have been one I would have picked, so I will talk to He who knows everything and get him to show me what that trainer saw that I didn't.
Oh wait....and I have to share this because it's bloody funny. So everyone is (naturally) trying to sell their yearlings, which of course, is the whole point of the sales. However, first impressions if you are not a known buyer or owner can often be, No money, won't bother. However, the smart ones then see who peeps with sales books are talking to, and can change their mind quick smart. Which is what happened with me with one person, who I found tailed me, at almost every opportunity.
That's not the funny part.
What is, is that when I first decided to make some babies, I contacted him.
He never returned my call.
* Belle's family member (the one I absolutely, 100% had to see) sold for $75,000 and Boo's family member (the second one that I almost missed, and got me into all the trouble), wait for it....drum roll please...$300,000.
** I have 100% been told, that those horses have mucho big breeding, and Belle and Little Boo do not.
I totally get that.
However, their blood runs in our blood.
And I got up this morning, looked out the window and who is looking back?
Last night in the storm, the gate that separates Mumma bear and Boo from the others, had flicked open and everyone was grazing happily together.
And I'm completely freaking out.
Technically, this is awesome. You know how long I have wanted to run my babies as a herd. They learn manners, how to socialize, and are far better horses overall. The complexities of a herd are also taught. And a human, no matter how much they try, cannot do that. Only a herd can.
Realistically, it's completely freaking me the fuck out.
Boo is looking to be exceptional, and to put him in a herd where he might get hurt, is not ideal. And we have paddocks which have holes and a HUGE freaking pond. It's bloody massive.
These are not ideal things.
However, if he was going to fall in the pond, he most probably already would have, and no one ever falls in the holes because they're taped off. Mostly.
Boo and Mumma seem happy though, Ralph less so, becausse Boo keeps wanting to play with him, and he's bigger and rougher, Caps is doing quite fine, Az is left out and the cows (for bloody once), are complaining. Apparently, Mumma Bear is taking no shite from anyone.
I can't breathe properly.
So that's been our week:
What I started with is not what I ended with and to be fair, as I'm writing this I am freaking the fuck out. I mean, I'm good with raising babies - from the pre-conception to ready-to-wean. I'm your girl. But I've been thrown a few curve balls and I am hoping and praying, that I'm doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, only time will tell.
It's been a good week though, if I take away my freak out bit. I'm starting to see that things might be better than ok in some respects. Of course, too early to tell but you know, there are signs that we may have done well.
And chickens all (well, bloody 4 of them as I am writing this) are all alive and kicking and causing chaos and mayhem.
Big hugs and horsey kisses from us here, to you there.
Caps, me, Spirit, Az, Ralph, Chew, Suz, the Big E, and of course, my beautiful Mumma Bear, Belle and Little Boo, Pat, Chuck and Lightning and 4 little chickadees.