September 11, 2011

First Dates

Encore is used to having a job, so I decided to spend the weekend introducing him to our trails around the farm.  We've got hours worth, winding through woods and fields, so it should keep us busy for a while!

I met up with a friend on Saturday so that her horse, Diesel, could provide Encore with a steady buddy. Not that he seemed to need one! He trucked right out in a huge TB walk -- I could feel his shoulders swing out beneath me in a smooth, open stride, what a feeling! With steady steps, he booked right by cars, mailboxes, dogs, shady woods, fallen branches, dead leaves and quite willingly dipped his toes in the ponds. Until....


As we came around the corner where a herd of Herefords were calmly dozing in the shade, Encore suddenly grew to 18.2 hands and stopped, shaking and blowing as if his life was over.  I quickly decided that since he wasn't going within 50 yards of them and he had only known me for a day, I was dismounting.  Poor little bugger was convinced they would leap the fence and fang him to death.  We just hung out and watched them for about 30 minutes, until Encore returned to normal size and started breathing less like a steam engine and more like a horse.  He dropped his head and licked his lips a few times, although still keeping a careful eye on the beasts.  I felt that was very good progress and I certainly wasn't going to pick a fight or drag him past them, so we turned around, remounted and headed home.

Project Cow Terrors filed for future work.

Today, we headed out with lifeshighway and Pete for a brief ride just to stretch everyone's legs.  Encore was fantastic and led the way most of the time with eager curiosity.  He seems to thoroughly enjoy exploring new places -- as soon as we got on a trail we had not ridden yesterday, his pace tripled!  When we got back, we walked over two small jumps, a tiny crossrail and an 18" bright green and yellow vertical with flower boxes.  As soon as he hopped the cross rail, he said "WHEEEEE, JUMPS, YAY!!"  He peeked at the vertical but jumped readily over, even remembering to pick up his back feet.

Finishing off the weekend, was a good scrub in the bath, a hair trim, and a brushing-out of everything.  The shine came out in the sun and he reveled in the hearty devouring of clover patches.

He might want to be a poser after all.
Inside of front leg.

Front of cannon.

Encore shows off his pinfire scars.  The theory behind this practice is that you use a red-hot bolt to burn through the outer layer of the cannon bone and stimulate the flow of blood and calcium to heal bucked shins.  Valid?  I'm not sure, but it sure looks insane!

I see shiny-ness!!!  Clover noms...


  1. It's very important to watch out for zombie death cows. Fortunately, you are unlikely to encounter any on cross-country courses, so it's probably all good. ;)

    Encore certainly is a handsome boy!

  2. What a nice guy! (minus the zombie death cows)
    I thought pin firing had gone the way of the dodo bird. :-(

  3. Sounds like you are off to a great start together. Actually at the facility that I ride at schooling shows part of the cross country course runs along side a cow pasture and steady feels the same way about them as encore. Well he is over it now but last year he nearly came to a complete stop on course to give them the stink eye.

  4. Are you sure Solo didn't have a baby? Because Mr. Encore sure looks like Solo Part Two!

    And, yeah, I totally thought pinfiring had come and gone. ??? It certainly doesn't make any sense to me, and I imagine it hurts like hell. Poor Encore!

    P.S. I like that you named him after a Jay Z album ;-)

  5. What a lovely first couple rides minus the zombie death critters! Pin-firing and blistering were things I witnessed as a kid I will never forget it! Barbaric and awful - poor thing. . . I don't understand why its even legal much less still being done. I too thought it was a thing of the past- sad.

  6. Nope, I guess pin-firing is still around. ROFL, Frizz, I am pretty sure Solo didn't squeeze one out overnight -- maybe my brushes just impart orangeness?

  7. GOOOOOO Encore! Sounds like a fabulous weekend! That pinfiring looks like it would have been painful! I have heard of it but never seen photos of it, poor little baby!

  8. My monster has pinfiring marks on both fronts and he's also got freeze firing marks on his left hock. I just can't imagine what it was like to have that done!

    Ps. love the name Encore!

  9. I'd be scared of a zombie death cow, too. Those look freaky.

  10. ROFL, SB, you should have seen their laser eyes!!

    They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, he's sure a tough puppy!

  11. Heh, our Paint sympathizes with Encore about the zombie cows. The irony is that my thoroughbred says, "Ooooh, FRIENDS!"

    Good golly, I've heard of pinfiring, but never seen the scars. I'm officially horrified.

  12. Hahaha, Jen, that's what Solo does -- oh look, furry things! I'm sure they want to be best friends with me! I need him to have a little talk with Encore...

  13. Yes, yes...lovely story, scary death-cows, horrid pin-firing scars...
    You have a new ponee!!! Why are you not updating every day! Pictures! We need pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Seriously though, those scars are icky! Yes, I put seriously and icky in the same sentence. What?

  14. omg....that cow picture.....ahahaha