…and I realized I should post an update. Jasper is doing great. We moved to a new facility in July, but I am moving again to a location 20 minutes from me which I am excited about. Jasper had a hard time moving to the new facility we are currently at and it took a good month and a half for him to settle in. He’s doing well now, but I was still stuck with the long drive to get out to see him. Here he is during a full body clip, his first. Cool nights caused Jasper to grow his winter coat early. With a sudden heat wave and 100 degree days, the poor fella was sweltering. He was a trooper despite the fact it took close to two hours and we went through 2 clippers!!!  Having a bucket of grain to keep his mind occupied didn’t hurt either!

Is that food?

Is that food?

 

Pile of Jasper

Pile of Jasper

Freshly Clipped and shiny Jasper

Freshly Clipped and shiny Jasper

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Good grief, I have not posted in awhile so I thought I would give an update on Jasper. He’s been in training for about 5 months now. We’ve had some ups and downs but things are definitely on track now and he is doing well.  I’ve started lightly riding him myself and he has been great. He is filling out nicely and is in much better shape than when we started. He turned 4 last week. I cannot believe it, time has flown. He certainly has turned into one stunning looking horse and a sweet one to boot. Everyone at the ranch just loves him, it’s really quite comical. Oh, but can he be stubborn. Anyone of you Parelli-ites with a left brained introvert horse knows what I mean! But his spirit is what I love about him, too. Here are some recent shots with his trainer riding him.

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It was time to break out the fancy camera and brush up on my photography. What better subject than Mr. Photogenic himself – Jasper! It was an overcast day which was actually beneficial for his color. I’m truly amazed at how much he has filled out. My little guy has grown up!

Head shot of Jasper running around the arena

Head shot of Jasper running around the arena

You can see how much he has filled out!

Bigger and better!

Lunging Jasper over the trotting poles has been a challenge, depending on what type of mood he is in. But let him loose in the arena and he sails over all four of them like they are 3ft jumps,

Jumping Over Trotting Poles

Made it

Then turns around…

Brake!

Brake!

And does them all over again…just for fun!

Airborne!

Airborne!

Complete with a buck…

or two….

Okay, I’m done now..

Urm, maybe one more round…

I think I shall ponder life for a little while…

Get a load of me!

Check out those dapples!

Get a load of dem dapples!

Hope you enjoy them!

And a mani/pedi, shampoo and cut…okay, just kidding there – that’s what I want!

This clip is pretty cute, his lower lip trembles when he is relaxing, he kind of goes from not sure in the clip to lip quivering, back to not sure…

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper DID get a massage last week. He has had a knot by his left shoulder that has not gone away. Michelle noticed it first and felt it could have been the reason he was reluctant to go in that direction. It felt like a small twig was stuck under his skin – about 5 cm long, thin – and tough. Something needed to be done.

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Kat Ripley is a L/SAMP. I had no idea what this was, so I asked. It stands for ‘Large/Small Animal Massage Practitioner’. She has been doing work on an older rescue mare at the ranch where I board Jasper so I asked her to look at Jasper and made an appointment.

I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, Jasper seemed a little wary of the whole thing, but at certain parts he would lower his head and his lower lip would quiver.

Towards the end he went into a 2 minute yawn fest. He definitely enjoyed some of it!

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Kat really worked on his knot. Just like when a human is getting a massage, it’s a little uncomfortable when they are working on that knot – but its worth it!
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He loved the work around his rear and he promptly pooped when Kat was working on it. She mentioned that horses commonly do that, or pass gas when they are getting massage – – gee, I don’t envy THAT part of the job!

Well, 3 days after his massage, I checked the area with the knot, or I should say the area where the knot USED to be. It was totally gone. I’m so glad. We then had the best session we have ever had.

Don’t you love those times when everything just goes perfect – and nobody witnessed it except you?!?! 

Me want cake!

Jasper turned 3 yesterday! It’s an important year. He’s growing up, I’m looking forward to this year. I’ll be riding him soon. In honor of his special day, I baked him a cake! NOT! I DID MAKE him a cake, though. Ingredients were oats, molasses and carrot shreds. It’s thick and goopy enough that you can mold it into a cake shape and chill. Pictured below.

My non-horsey husband, bless him, picked up the ‘3’ candle. I could barely set it down in the round pen before he gobbled it up! The cake, not the candle!


mmmmmmm!

And licked the plate!

 

First of all I am happy to report that Jasper and I are very happily back on track! More on that in another entry…

I’m trying a new video widget called Vodpod, in the right column so let me know if you have problems viewing the videos.

Jasper has shared his paddock with a pmu baby named Sammy since last summer. Sammy is younger than Jasper by about a year and a half and he has legs like a giraffe. And he is very passive. Although they have gotten along well, Jasper, herd leader that he is, is boss and can be a bit of a pain in the butt as Jasper constantly herds him.

Yesterday Michelle talked with me about putting Honey and Jasper together. Honey is an enormous Belgian draft former pmu mare that has lived beside Jasper and Sammy for quite some time now. I didn’t think it would be much of a problem. Jasper always likes to greet Honey over the fence  when we walk by and give her a playful nip, not one ounce of aggression between them. A big alpha mare type like Honey could be just what Jasper needs.

In my observations, of all the horses on the ranch Jasper is the most respectful of the crabby old mares. The crabbier the better. Heh, as many of you know, in wild herds it isn’t the stallion that is boss. Oh no sir-ee.

It’s the mares 🙂

After all, for up to a year of his life, Jasper lived with a herd of almost 100 former pmu mares and their offspring. Many of them looked a lot like Honey – old alpha types, large girls, who had probably been bred too many times in their life. Being in that situation, he was taught manners and respect from not just one mom, but an entire HERD of moms: 


‘The herd’ in Alberta in 2005. That’s me in the middle taking photos on a chilly October day.
This was only about HALF the herd!


One of the first times I laid eyes on Jasper and not surprisingly, he is first to the
hay bale! I really didn’t notice him all that much at the time, as I had so
many foals I needed to photograph.

Jasper and his mom – can you believe he was only
5 months old in this picture?!? He is starting to look a lot
like her – just bigger

After his lesson yesterday, we decided to put them in the same paddock and see what happened. I could tell Michelle wanted to be cautious. Sometimes these intros can get ugly and considering how big Honey is, she wanted to make sure I stood clear of the gate because that would be the first thing Honey would crash through, and I mean crash. This is one big girl! I saw the gate she crushed soon after she had arrived and I swear it looked like something out of Godzilla. She really is a sweet horse – but very, very protective of her food. If some of the horses in the paddocks next to hers even come NEAR the fence when she is eating, she kicks and screams and gets very angry. But her and Jasper always seemed to like each other, even though they was a fence separating them.

Well, an amazing thing happened. There were no fireworks at all. In fact, violin concertos should have been playing in the background, it was truly a romantic scene !!  4 of us just stood there oohing and aahing over how cute the whole thing was!

(See video in the column to the right of this blog post called ‘Jasper get’s a bit o Honey’)


Honey spent a few minutes in the paddock by herself, then we brought Jasper in. He
walked up to her, then stopped as she walked away. It was clear she was calling
the shots and he would have to ask if he could come up to her.


Jasper politely nosing Honey

(See video in the column to the right of this blog post called ‘I think it’s love’)  

 

 

I think I love you
I think I’m in looooove


Oh yeah, this could work


Do you think he’s smitten??

 
Waiting for dinner together

Dinner was interesting. Since they are both pretty bossy about their food, we expected neither would bother each other. In the picture below, Honey left her food pile and started to circle Jasper, intending to take a bit of his pile. But that was not to be, Jasper shot her a look that said ‘not a chance’, and that was that, Honey went back to her pile.  (See video in the column to the right of this blog post called ‘That’s my food’)

All in all, it seems to be a match made in heaven. They really look cute together and hey, they both have ginormous heads!

Michelle emailed me later in the evening to tell me that HONEY WAS ACTUALLY SHARING HER HAY WITH JASPER! I don’t think she could believe her own eyes. Perhaps they both realized they are Canadian kindred spirits, born from generations of pmus.

They spent the night together without incident.