Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So many wonderful memories - Happy Birthday Ladde!!

About a week old
6 weeks

First birthday with carrot cake

Learning...2 years

Ladde, me and Ray.  3 years old

 Mount up and prepare to be flagged!

Me & Ladde on the right, his little Paint love on our left with Ray.  Day 1 colt starting class.

 First day in the big pen.  Ladde feeling his oats!

 We had survived!!  Seneca, OR - Ray Hunt Colt class - 4 grueling days, but some of the best ever!!

 Sisters, OR  Me and my boy years later...
It's been an awesome journey...
My big, bold and beautiful Ladde turns 17 years old today.  Happy Birthday big guy!!!!!!  :)

We are having a very windy and rainy introduction into spring today.  So, just to keep everyone safe and dry, and mainly to give us some peace of mind, we left the horses inside today.  Just before heading off to work, I made my way out to the barn to wish my big boy special birthday wishes.  He really has been a blessing to us, each and every single day since he was born.  He fills my heart with happiness and gratitude that we can share our lives with this amazing and wonderful horse.  I don't like to brag, but Ladde's pretty much perfect!  :)  Truly.  Well, except for one tiny infraction...he really, really, really likes to get dirty.  *sigh*  And when Ladde gets dirty?  Well, let's just say he knows what he's doing.  He doesn't just roll in the mud.  Nope.  He grinds the mud in, and joyously arches his neck up and throws his head back and twists and groans in ecstasy while the mud (and grass) gets embedded into his forelock and forehead.  There are days when the mud looks as though it's ran down his sides and dried, it's that thick.  And to brush him out takes a lot of time, and effort.  I have to stand on the mounting block just to reach his back and the top of his butt comfortably, and still my arms are aching and sore.  Who needs a gym?  That's a lot of horse brushing!  We don't just call him the big guy.  He is a big guy!!  He stands a true 17 hands tall, and although we've never actually weighed him, we've been given estimations that his weight is likely around 1500 pounds.  Give or take.  That's a lot of horse, especially for a Foundation Appaloosa who came from my feminine, and oh so refined little 15 hand mare, Kadie.  No wonder she quit after one child!!

I recall to this day how that morning 17 years ago played out...I don't think I'll ever forget.  I missed the birth, but happened upon the newborn in a precarious predicament within a few hours time...perched upon a pile of very large rocks that were stacked in a corner of the small pasture where Kadie had been confined awaiting her eminent birthing.  The only place that he shouldn't have been in the whole place, was the one spot he'd chosen to lay down - outside wall of the barn on one side, gate leading outside on adjacent wall and about 6 feet of space to the fence where all the other horses were rubber-necking to get a glimpse of the new arrival.  Kadie had placed herself between the others and her foal, and had been pawing the wall for a long time, judging from the marks she'd made above the foal perched on the rocks. Apparently, he couldn't get his footing and lay there like a stranded ship on a corral reef unable to do anything.  He also had a huge and extremely bright pinkish-red abrasion on his rightt hip from who knows what...he has a scar to this day from that first-day wound.  So, he didn't have the gentlest introduction into this world, but he's always been a tough little cuss.  Mule-kicked me into the corner of their stall when he was only 4 days old, but that's another story, for another day...  We had a meeting of the minds that day, although it rather resembled a wrestling match between a woman and a foal...after catching our breath, me removing straw and some other vegetable matter from my hair, a hierarchy or pecking order, if you prefer, had been established that remains to this day.  Don't mess with gammy, she'll take you down...we've built on that foundation and have forged a relationship that I wouldn't trade for anything.  I adore that horse. Truly one of my greatest blessings of all time.  He's one cool dude.

Somewhere on this blog in my archives is the complete and unabridged, or as close as my memory serves, story of that wonderful day in history.  If I weren't so technologically challenged, I would create a link here for anyone who's interested to read in its' entirety...but I ain't that good!  So, iffin you're so inclined to read the story, you'll have to find it in my archives for yourselves.  :)

I'll head to the grocery story at lunch time today and make a purchase to celebrate this special used to be carrot cake, but at his age he needs to start watching his diet and be more health-conscious.  So...pears and carrots it is!!!  Ladde loves pears!!!  What am I saying?  The boy loves food, of all kinds!!  Big boys have big appetites don't you know?  A small gesture to bring my birthday boy pleasure...and when Ladde is happy...I'm happy!

Happy Birthday "Wagtail Ladde" !!!!!!  aka LaddMonster, Ladde, Petite Flower, Big get the picture.

Oh, and Happy Spring Equinox everyone!
Lorie @ Cingspots


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Ladde! From all of us over here at herdlife!

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures and the stories! Happy birthday to a grand boy!

Jeanne said...

Foal pictures are so cute!

Oak Creek Ranch said...

Happy Birthday to Ladde. I had no idea appys could be so tall!

Karen said...

Just found your blog from another, LOVE appaloosas, although I have QH's and minis. Can't beat their temperment and versatility. Your countryside is beautiful!...

aurora said...

Happy Birthday Laddie! Great story, and wow he is a big boy! Had to chuckle when I saw his baby pic. Our Nemo was darker in his younger days too, and has never stopped changing color. I love Appy's!!

Jenn said...

Happy birthday big guy! He sure lightened up a lot after he was born, didn't he? What a good looking boy!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday big guy! He's gorgeous and it's so nice to have such wonderful memories of his life with you.

allhorsestuff said...

You're' telling me- Spring's first day was horrendous! Oh HAIL and lightening storm up happy our PBO's left all the horses in too!

Happy remembrance of the arrival of your "Petite flower"!
He was born, and soon made his own Memorial stone (pile)! I am about to do a post on that, he really brought it home...NEVER forget , "I am the most special"!

Loved hearing ans seeing all the landmark(ers) times. How very cool that you rode with Ray Hunt. A time that will always be central to you and the "Big Guy"!
He will always have his "Gamma memory" too, an understanding!
Cracked me up, that did!


Carolynn Anctil said...

Happy Birthday, Ladde, from one Spring baby to another! You don't look a day over 15.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Hapapy Birthday Ladde from Sage, Ditto, Rosie, Raven, Wrangler, Pepper, and oh yeah their mom Lea. With the mustangs you don't get a birthday to celebrate. He is one big dude.

Blessings, Lea

RURAL said...

He's your once in a lifetime horse..and what a blessing to be part of his life.

Animals come in such a variety of shapes and sizes, but when we connect in such a way as you's amazing.


C-ingspots said...

Thank you all for your comments! This horse is one subject I could go on and on and on about...he's that special to me! :)