Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Harley!!!!

Another birthday for the last of my babies. Harley is 12 years old today. He's recovered from his recent sole bruise or whatever it was and he's fine as a fiddle now. Harley or Ahkoonkeneku which is his registered name was born April 8, 1997. I actually got to witness his birth. It was truly a miraculous event for me.

We had this beautiful mare we called Scooter. Her registered name was "Mis Star of David". She was built to the hilt and I thought she was gorgeous. We bought her for a song because she had foot problems. Scoot suffered from chronic laminitis which was caused by a hormonal imbalance and no medications primarily used to treat this condition worked for her. Little did we know, that the problem was worsened by pregnancy. Another lesson in life we learned the hard way. So, anyway we selected this handsome dark liver chestnut Quarterhorse stallion named "Happy Impressive Too". Ridiculous name, but he was gorgeous and also built. He had been successfully shown at halter, reining and working cowhorse. He was a beauty, but he was also a kind stallion. The match was made and slightly over one year later, little Harley was born. Yep, Scoot was a full 31 days late and we were scared. The last several months of her pregnancy she rarely got up because of her foot pain and she was living on bute. It would be a miracle if she and the baby made it. My hubby had run a t.v. coax cable from the house to the barn so we could spy on Scoot. We called it the "Scooter channel". We were constantly checking on her...poor girl, no privacy whatsoever. Well, one morning I got up and flicked on the scooter channel and there she was...but something looked different somehow. It looked like she was circling and looking for a place to lie down. Could it be!? I threw on my jacket and mucks and ran out to the barn. I was just in time to fall to my knees and witness the birth of a perfectly beautiful little colt. For a while, I thought we had a solid foal, no biggie, just so long as they're both healthy, that's all that mattered. You see, Scoot decided to take a break when the head, neck and shoulders were out. So, I cut the sack away from the foal's nose and got to know the little one. Whew!! What a beauty!! He/she was drop-dead gorgeous!! Not a white hair could be seen and the foal was this incredibly dark, rich mahogany-liver chestnut. Oh thank the Lord, could we possibly be so lucky? So, anyway back to the business at hand...Scoot was relaxed, so was the foal and mama was communicating in soft little maternal nickers to her baby. All was fine, but when would she finish? I started to get a little bit nervous. Was this normal, should I try to pull the foal? Aaack!! I didn't know what to do!! The little thing was awfully slippery and all my mental facilities had apparently left me...I had no idea what to do! I prayed. I prayed really, really hard for the Lord to please, please, please let Scoot deliver this beautiful baby now and quickly if you please? Oh, and please let them both be perfectly fine too, okay? Thank you Father...Amen. After a few more tediously long moments, Scooter obliged and out slipped the foal. Oh wow!! A beautiful blanketed foal with these huge dark spots all over the rump!! He was about the most beautiful foal I'd ever layed eyes on!! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Everything appeared to be perfectly fine...everybody except me seemed perfectly relaxed. The foal showed no interest in getting up - none at all. He just layed there, looking around, sniffing, blinking and trying to suck on my coat. Well come on little one - get up already. Blink blink. I ran into the house to make the phone call to the vet. This didn't seem right.
Okay, the vet's on his way. More waiting, more soft nickers, more looking around...all is calm, all is right.

Apparently all my worrying was for naught, the vet checked everyone out - declared we had a healthy colt who would get up when he was ready - not to worry. Easy for him to say! But, he was right. A full 2 hours after Harley was born...he stood up and began to nurse from his still recumbant momma. Scooter nursed her foal from the lying down position for a couple of months. When she finally started standing for the feedings, Harley was one peode little man. It hurt his little neck to have to crook it up like that - he'd stomp his feet and switch his little tail to show his displeasure! This little sucker had a temper - a foretelling of things to come...

So, Mis Star of David aka Scooter, had a Harley. Hard to start and slow to warm up. We almost named him Harley David's Son...but for whatever reason, I decided on Ahkoonkeneku. It's a Nez Perce Indian term meaning, "the land above" - like heaven. Yeah, I know - Harley suits him much better. He hasn't changed a whole lot - he still doesn't like to be rushed. He likes to sleep in and take time out to stop and smell the roses...or the clover...whatever. Some things in life are just not meant to be rushed. Harley's one of 'em.

He's always been a snuggle bunny though. It's real easy to get him all doe-eyed and sweet, especially if he's sleepy.

It didn't take long for the little white hairs all over his body to show up. Those Appaloosas! You never know what to expect - and then what you get, is rarely what you end up with. *sigh*
He ruined the screen in the kitchen window. Oh well, we knocked out this wall and put in a slider and a deck anyway. Friendly little guy!

The beginning of the no attention to the outfit. It must have been laundry day.

Below is Scooter and Harley. As time went on, he looked more and more like his momma.

First clinic for Harley. This was with Ray Hunt at my friend's house in Dundee, Oregon. We had a blast!! Harley is very social and non-aggressive, making him a pleasure to ride in most situations. The gal in the lavendar shirt riding in front of us is my friend Mary. The photographer and my savior who was with me at the Ray Hunt clinic where I started Ladde. Her name is Mary and she's riding her colt she raised, "Fargo".

I sure do love my little spotty body. He's a very good boy. I've always felt more comfortable riding Harley than Ladde, probably due to the size difference. Where Ladde is around 17.0 hands, Harley is only 15.3 hands. Much better...

Apparently, Harley thinks it's time for a little nap. I think this photo below was taken at a campout at Mt. Adams in Washington state. He believes that his food should serve multiple functions. He's always slept on his food and nibbled while he lies down.

Harley enjoys some water playtime in the good old summertime too! See his cool shades - they're from "Horses in Black". He's a cool dude!! We've since removed the ear coverings. Hubby said they were not cool.

What a sweet boy...most of the time anyway. We also refer to him as our "fly in the ointment". I think you can figure out that one.

Harley loves to put his lips in the kitty's fur and nuzzle his lips all around. He likes to do this in people's hair as well...makes goosebumps! You're just never quite sure that's all he wants to do...

These last few pics were taken just last week. The big guy all grown up.

Have a happy birthday Harley!!! God willing there will be many, many more to come. I'll make sure and bring the apples home tonight! *wink*
Blessings from cingspots...


Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday Harley! You sure are a pretty boy.

Maria said...

Happy Birthday Harley
(my dad's horse Pride started like Harley, he was so disappointed when she turned all white, but still loved her)
He's still gorgeous with those big ol' spots and is that a wish bone or rabbit ears on his nose, quite distinct?

Maria said...

I was confused with that marking on his nose, because Ladde has it too, I've been getting them confused. Just did a history check through old post and see if I got this right, Scooter is Harley's mom and Ladde's grandmother, but isn't it still odd they would both end up with that unique marking?

Kathleen Coy said...

I didn't know appaloosas could change coat color like that. He is gorgeous! Happy Birthday Harley!

manker said...

very happy happy harley... an extra carrot on your carrot cake... They are sooo special... bdays... you get to reminisce about the "memories of magic" they have brought.

My qhorse alle (so named allelujiah) since she was born 11 years ago on easter! Tho I'll be doing an Easter show on my Arabian Gazi (the endurance mount).. stay tuned and say a prayer :)

gp who will NOT throw matzo balls at the judge :)

Leah Fry said...

He is SO handsome. You're right about Apps though — you just don't know what you're going to end up with.

Carolynn said...

What a lovely story and a beautiful boy. That's some gorgeous property you've got there, too! I really like the photo of him with the cat. Very sweet.

Pony Girl said...

He's so handsome! It's amazing how much the Appy's coats change, isn't it? Hardly the same horse as he was as a young 'un. But that is also kind of fun, too, how they change. I like the picture of him with Scooter (headshot.) That was cute. He's in the prime of his life, the perfect age. I wish you guys many more years of happy riding and snuggles! ;)

Gail said...

Such beautiful horses...Happy birthday, Harley.

Donna said...

I also love the one with the cat, perfect! If I ever have the ability to name a colt his name will be Harlequin, but I will call him Harley. Thanks for sharing your beautiful boy's story.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Happy Birthday Harley David's Son! (Gosh that name just makes me grin huge! The name you finally chose instead is cool, but the other one....even cooler!)

He's such a handsome dude! I loved seeing all the great photos and the story of his life. :)


Jenn said...

Happy birthday Harley, what a handsome fella you are!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking up on me. I know I haven't posted for awhile, but all is well. My company laid off a bunch of people and we're having to pick up the slack, (I even have to bring work home some nights) which doesn't leave much time for blogging or reading blogs, unfortunately. I don't know how much longer we'll be operating at this crazy work-load pace, but I hope not forever!

Jenn at Greenslobber

C-ingspots said...

Maria, you are quite right. Scooter is Harley's mom and Ladde's grandmom. Scooter was momma to Ladde's daddy, Sir Ladigo. I know it can get quite confusing sometimes...this makes Harley, Ladde's uncle (even tho he is a year younger) :)
Kathleen, Appy coats commonly change - however, their blankets never change. Strange huh?
gp, I will say a prayer for your safety at the show (and fun). Enjoy Passover, sure hope you don't get one of those Matzo balls or hot Latkes in your eye!!
You are so silly!! :)
Donna, we call him Harlequin sometimes, as well as Spunky...and a lot of other things too. :)
I hope you do get to raise a foal - it's a lot of fun!

Thanks everybody!!! I love all your comments - each and every one.

fernvalley01 said...

Happy Birthday Harley ,sorry I missed it!