January 25, 2006
I took Layla out for a walk on the road yesterday. She was interested in the activity all around her.
Cars going by, slowly. Children making noise. Other animals. She really enjoyed watching 2 baby
lambs play. They ran and bucked and jumped, it was quite a sight. We also stopped several times for
green grass breaks. She loves those.
I also introduced her to the other horses here at the ranch. Her 30 day quarantine period is up so I
thought we would get on with the meetings. My old guy Dreamer was a gentleman when meeting
her. They sniffed and touched noses. It was a quiet meeting that only lasted about a minute.
Dreamer said hello and then went to find a patch of green grass. Lotta on the other hand was a bit
jealous. They sniffed and then the squealing began. Both of them asserting themselves. This got
every horse here excited. Everyone started running around, bucking and calling to one and other. It
was fun to watch.
January 29, 2006
I was finally able to get all the knots out of Laylas mane today. I've been working on it slowly for
weeks. Shes not quite patient enough or comfortable enough for me to just go at it in one sitting.
But today it looks pretty good. Length is a little uneven but we will deal with that later.
After I worked on her mane we went for another walk down the road. Shes such a brave little horse.
I think she'll make a very nice cart horse in the future. Shes such a beautiful girl.
February 2nd, 2006
Today I took Layla out for a walk around the property. I thought it was time to start introducing her to
everyday objects, esp. The noisy ones. We walked by a big tarp so I picked it up and flopped it
around, she looked but didn't really care. So then we went into the back yard. Lots of interesting
objects back there right now. Several 100ft rolls of black drain pipe. This was much scarier than the
tarp, she had to stare at it for a good long while. Once done staring we moved on to the narrow
hallway between the house and garage. Her eyes can open really big when she thinks something
may come up behind her. She walked thru with no problem and her eyes moved back into her head.
Then I grabbed a plastic grocery bag, possibly one of the most threating items a horse can
encounter, LOL. She thought the noise it made was horrible and there was allot of sidestepping and
heavy breathing, but after about 5 minutes she mellowed and I was able to rub it on her shoulder and
neck. She was very worried about being touched any where else by that thing, so I stopped. We'll
work on that more tomorrow. I promised her that after our walk I would take her to the big green
grazing pasture in front of our house. On our way over there, I noticed my old 2 horse straight load
trailer. I haven't used it in years, we use our slant load now. I decided to stop and open it up, see
what she thought of it. She spent a little time sniffing it, I thought it couldn't hurt for me to step in
and see if she would follow. SHE DID! I was shocked. It was a pretty big compliment really. She trusts
me more than I thought. She was nervous, but she just waited for me to tell her what was next. Since
I hadn't planned it, I didn't know what was next so we got out. I led her over to the big green grazing
pasture and let go. I love days like this one.
February 9, 2006
I think Layla is getting close to foaling; she’s been really cranky the last few days. She hasn’t been
her usual happy self. The weather also been really warm, this may be contributing to her mood.
While it’s great that it’s not raining and cold, I am sure that she’s not to comfortable being so warm
and so pregnant.
I had intended on working with her today, but she really wasn’t in the mood. So instead of regular
work I thought we would just check out some new stuff. I showed the fly spray bottle, the hose and
sprayer, and we stopped off at the tack room to pick up some horse cookies. She’ll do anything for a
cookie, so I turned on the hose and set the sprayer to shower. She was worried about it but calm.
We spent about 10 minutes just making a mud puddle, turning the sprayer on and off. Once that
seemed ok I got her hooves a little wet. It only took a few minutes and few cookies to convince her
that water on the hooves and lower front legs is not so bad. The heat outside helped a little too. I
think it must have felt good.
February 11, 2006
I was able to fly spray Layla today, for the first time. Its been so warm here for the last week that the
flies are all starting to hatch. Downside of nice, warm weather. Layla was looking pretty irritated by
the flies so I thought no time like the present to give a spray bottle lesson. She did amazingly well.
She was very scared for the first few minutes, while I showed her the bottle, rubbed it on her
shoulder and sprayed it at the ground. But after that she allowed me to spray most of her body. She
tightened up but didn't move away. I was really pleased.
February 13, 2006
Today we moved Layla to her new pasture in front of our house. I want to be able to see her at all
times since she is getting close to foaling. Layla loved the new pasture. She ran for the first time. At
least the first time I have seen her run. She circled the pasture twice, it was wonderful to see.
February 14, 2006
I just had the nicest encounter with Layla. She’s been in her new pasture for just 2 days now. Its
right in front of the house so each time I go outside she sees me. She always calls out, because she
knows I am the one with the food.
A little while ago I went outside to do some work and she saw me. She called out and walked over to
the fence, so I went to say hello. Up until’ today she could only stand at the fence for a few seconds
and then she would just have to leave. You can always tell she wants to be social, but the instinct to
flee is so ingrained. Today was different. She put her head over the top of the railing and I
scratched her forehead. In the past this has always been her signal to leave, fast. But today she let
me scratch her head. She didn’t move away so I moved down her neck to her withers and scratched
for a while. She moved closer to the fence instead of away, and before I knew it she had her head
over the railing again, but this time she was grooming me. She rubbed her lips on my arm and the
side of my face. I was thrilled. Today, we became a herd of two. It was a great Valentines Day
February 19th, 2006
Layla is looking quite pregnant . Her milk is starting to come in. Shes getting increasingly
uncomfortable. I have stopped our training sessions for now. I will Pick up again after the baby is
born. It should be very soon.