OTTB “Maverick” Hits the Trails, Herds the Cattle, Hollers at Mom and Has a Great Life

OTTB Light Artillery ready for any adventure at any time

OTTB Light Artillery ready for any adventure at any time

It’s wonderful to be home! The weather has been amazing. The mornings are chilly. The days clear blue skies! Oh wow! Horse weather if I’ve ever felt horse weather!

I know I’ve sent just little updates and some pictures here and there since I’ve been home, but the last two weeks have been jam-packed! “Maverick” (OTTB Light Artillery) and I went to go visit Auntie Arlene. And we worked a whole morning in the round pen on giving to pressure and bending at the poll and respecting our space. He turned face in most of the time. Lunged him some too. What was really neat was that we were expecting a lot of work to get him giving to the pressure with just a broke snaffle bit. Well, nope…first try he turned his head and dropped it. Well, he’s been taught that. The low and behold I was on the Bits & Bytes Farm website and saw an update about someone else learning how to do that at the farm. Well…just proves the horse’s extra time at Bits & Bytes Farm does help!

“Maverick” has been such a good boy! I love him so much! While I was away no one could really seem to keep weight on him even feeding the same as I had. His cribbing increased and they would have some difficulty catching him. But let me tell you. I have another “puppy” at the house now. It’s pure comical. I can’t so much as get out of the door before being spotted. And I hear the low snickerin’. “Maverick” makes a B-line to the fence. He’s training me…to HAVE to stop and rub his head or maybe bring some carrots. He’s getting so spoiled that he doesn’t like apples now or the hard peppermints. He prefers Frito corn chips, carrots, or the soft peppermint sticks! He’s such a mess!

Amanda and Light Artillery aka "Maverick".

Amanda and Light Artillery aka "Maverick".

Well two evenings ago I got home, but was on the phone and had some stuff to carry in. I didn’t make the usual stop to tell the horses I was glad they meet me at the gate and hello…and everything even though “Maverick” was a snickerin’. I went to go in the house, got on the porch and I heard a wild stallion like scream! He whinnied with all he had! So I told the phone call I’d call ‘em back. It was so endearing. Even though it was kinda like rewarding a screaming teenager I know he was just like “MAMA- Get over here, I missed you! “

So things are settling back down. The pastures are divided now so there is some good Bermuda and bahaya grass rooting and planted some crimson clover last month. They’ll have rye again this winter. He seems to be putting some weight back on and not cribbing as often. Well not as severely as suck after suck he’ll do one here and there. The cribbing collar just doesn’t work on him. He hates it too! I’m normally the tough love type, but not about that. You’ll notice in some of the pictures that he’s a bit on the trim side, but I can see already some improvement from some of the pictures. He’s been wormed too. And a little late, but the vet will be out for fall vaccines and coggins and fecal and the whole work up this month. He had he teeth floated late last Sept before I left for Texas. The vet said that they weren’t bad, even then, but I like to stay on top of things. Probably comes with my line of work…vet work!

But anyways…normally we double up on the energizer bunny Reba. But I wanted to just see how “Maverick” would do. So about a quarter mile from the house I hopped on with Stacie Marie…and no….ear pinning, no butt pop ups, nada! He went right on just wonderfully! I was very impressed! He keeps doing so well!

I think one reason he looks so dead gum thin now, (not the way I like my horses) is partly due to muscle loss as well. To build him up before I would get him to trudge through plowed fields or pull a cut telephone pole behind him and go up and down ditches. I am taking it slow and don’t want to put too much weight on him, so I won’t ride him double much, but it’s good to know that if there’s ever a need that we can do it.

He’s got this new habit of just leaning into me rubbing him. The neck or shoulder is do-able. But he will plum turn around and put his long legs and butt in my face and lean! It’s hilarious. I know the pictures don’t look “safe” of me in some pj’s barefoot and against the fence, but he loves his ole’ rump rubbed! I’m tellin’ you the horse is rotten!

This former Thoroughbred race horses has turned into a cow horse!

Oh, so on one of our trail rides we go past the dairy farm…remember with the scary, horse eating, Holstein cows? Well they’re not horse eating anymore. But in a field on the way was some baled hay. Well at first “Maverick” was doing his big, airy treetop walk, with ears spiked all high and flingin’ his red mane! Well we get close and he took Zeke right into one of the rolls! And rubbed his whole body and grabbed a mouth full too! He’s too funny.

He’s demanding my attention again while he eats. Which is nice. I haven’t been home to see him race the mail wagon lately. Nor has he been on the porch, it’s screened in now. But he’s still a funny fella, that will “scream for Mama!” He does still meet the nightly dog walkers and gets excited when the lady with the stroller comes by (with carrots). He and Reba love each other too. They are actually right outside. My computer is by the window, so I look out to them. They are standing in the sunshine catchin’ some Zzz’s.

Next plans are…tomorrow 2pm ride. me and Courntey are going. Which means I can call dibs on Maverick! I’m excited. We can have a “faster” ride since no one will be riding double. Also planning on working more around the cows. Me and Reba and Mrs. Arlene enjoy team penning. “Maverick” likes the whole idea of it so far too. He just will get sooo excited that at a trot I’ll feel him coil up under be and spring a buck. So be waiting for stories on how we’re gonna work on that.

There’s also a big trail ride about three hours north of here in GA. It’s a three-day camping trail ride. I’m not sure which horse I’m gonna take yet. Depends which one’s in better shape. Everyone else will be on Quarter horses. But that doesn’t mean anything. My OTTB is the! But we’ll see. I’m dying for another beach trip with the horses. I’ll make sure to have the camera that time! Well I know there’s tons more…but I want to get out there and actually enjoy the day! First thing…poop scoopin…and bathing the horses. My poor baby has some rain rot still clearing up. As much as “Maverick” is a lover. Mrs. Arlene hit the nail on the head when she said He’s a one girl Horse. He is. Poor baby…skin and weight issues when I’m away. I’m not going to Texas again without them! I just love Reba and “Maverick” so much!

Read lots more Success Stories from this pair on the main Bits & Bytes Farm Web site.