ebooks by anne green 

“from the diary of an animal sitter”   http://www.amazon.com

“following the progress of the 4 rescue horses”   http://www.blurb.com

“cookies from heaven”   http://www.amazon.com 

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thinking outside the box

 There’s a small wooden bridge inside the round pen, well not even a bridge but a bridge simulator that’s really a solid wood square for horses to step on and walk over. Horses check it out and most of them look down at it, sniff or touch it with their nose and then quietly walk over it no problem. Some hesitate but with coaxing agree to try and cooperate quickly. Then there’s Chanoah, an awesome trail horse, about seventeen years old, a beautiful Paint horse. She wants to please and is a “been there done that” horse and even though older still very fast and extremely quick to decide if she should save herself rider or no rider. We have tried the bridge many, many times. She stops, backs up, gets parallel with it, gets sideways with it.


She absolutely refuses to even touch it. If pressured she jumps it. The more one tries the worse it gets. She will bolt, try to leave, pull back and finally jump it but not touch it or walk on it. Having tried every trick and tip for cooperation on her part the most progress was to have the tip of her front feet barely touching the bridge with her sniffing it. Could we use more “motivation”? Sure but quiet cooperation is the result we want.


So now she stands with her toes touching the edge and she leans down and sniffs it but any forward movement is a leap. There are plastic barrels on the sides to keep horses from going around the bridge instead of over and in watching am wondering if it’s the toys the kids left or the barrels or the bridge or the combination that bothers her Removing toys helps but isn’t the solution. Is it the barrels? We remove the bridge and lead her between two barrels. Success with the barrels so add the bridge back and she won’t go. Or, if she does go forward it is jump, leap again and the dangerous part for the person with the lead rope is we never know where she’ll land. Now Sam (Samantha,) today’s helper, is a natural with horses. She has a quiet energy that the horses love and still seeing life thru a kid’s eyes suggests putting sand on the bridge to make it look more like ground, bury it a little. Ok might as well try. We kick sand on the bridge with our feet. Nope, she can still see it but the seed is planted. What if we cover it so she doesn’t see it by moving sand up against the edges and then putting more sand on top. So scooping more sand on the top of the bridge and up against the edges so it looks like the rest of the round pen we try taking her over again and instant results. She calmly walks over, doesn’t even hesitate. She just follows the leader. Now let’s remove sand a little at a time and see what happens.

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We scrape some sand off with our feet and each pass is the same, quiet cooperation. More sand is removed from the bridge until it is fully exposed and the results are the same.   The barrels are changed up, the handler is changed up and again Chanoah walks over and over again, even stops on it and stands on it. Time and time again she goes over the bridge and this was accomplished in just a few minutes when we had literally tried for months to get her to touch it or walk over it and not jump it.

This horse taught us how she sees things and I wonder if this would work for other horses.

Was it just her or was it thinking outside the box…inside the pen?







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the gifts he gave us

He came here to retire or to find what to do next or sit for a bit the decision hadn’t been made. One hind leg had an old wound that kept opening up and he was sore on the other three legs. And then he came here to the herd. Bigger than anyone here my first thought upon seeing him was “I hope you are well mannered or this won’t be good”. Mr Leo

And well mannered he was. Leo was his name and we came to find out how gentle he was. If he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to like getting ready to bother another horse or leaning on a fence I could yell “Leo!” from as far as he could hear me and he’d stop what he was doing. He fit in nicely with the mares but not so well with the geldings. Sampson a part thoroughbred gelding living here seemed to be the horse Leo wanted to move around the most. Sampson was almost recovered from an old hock injury also and the joint was stiff almost locked. Interestingly enough Leo moving Sampson really helped Sampson’s leg get more limber and the flexion he needed returned. So that was the first “gift” from the Leo visit. With the two horses moving over various terrains and around acres of ground they both got more sound. The downside was there was always movement. The herd never really “settled”. After about seven months it was decided he was ready for a new home and owner. An amazing lady appeared after an internet search and since her own horse had died she was looking for a new horse friend. She had health challenges and horse time was greatly needed. The two met and it was love at first sight on her part and he appeared to feel the same.  So it was decided she liked him and he liked her, he would move to his new home in a few days. In Leo’s time here he had made one closest friend in Jade, a part Appaloosa mare who ate side by side with him daily. Another lesson was in store for me in the “Leo leaving” process. In his time here Leo and Jade spent many days wandering the pasture and she would go back and visit her original herd members (Sampson, Bella and Sally) but then go back to Leo. The day before Leo was to leave I watched as he walked over to Jade. He led her to the back pasture him walking slowly her following right behind but the gate was closed. The two waited patiently at that gate looking back at me with that “open please” look until I could get out there and open it for them. Opening the gate and standing back it was amazing to watch the two wander out to their favorite grazing spot alone and serene. It seemed as if he was taking her for the “last quiet time together”.

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To my surprise none of the herd followed as they usually do. They left Leo and Jade alone and the two were finished grazing about an hour later they wandered back in. The next morning Leo was loaded up and taken to his new happy home and Jade never looked for him or called for him. It appeared that whatever their walk was it had settled the “goodbye” stress that can happen when horse friends separate from one another. I say “appears” as it was an observation only and another observation was the first, second and third day that he was gone the geldings were still not sure he was gone. It was like they thought he would jump out from behind a bush or tree. When they decided he really was gone the herd completely relaxed and I noticed many of them getting a “nap”. 361

So Leo would leave and interestingly enough a second “gift” surfaced. It seems the herd had had enough of the constant movement, constant being on guard, constant shuffle and now they all relaxed big time. I thought it might be for just the first few days but the “attitude adjustment” has continued to this day.


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happy day!

Sunday was beautiful weather and the next step with the “rescues” (Sampson, Sally, Bella and Jade) who by now have such distinct personalities.  Deb and Kelly got another saddling lesson and lots of practice by saddling Sally, Bella and Jade and with that done it was head to the round pen with Kelly leading Sally and Bella and looking as comfortable as a seasoned “hand”.   



Jade and Deb came together with Jade leading the way.   Getting on first, Kelly rode Jade practicing turns and maneuvering thru the rest of us and was the first time they roamed on their own with no babysitter (except for babysitter Jade).   Yippee!  Kelly awesome!  Next up was Deb on Sally, the moment everyone has been waiting for and good ole Sally didn’t disappoint. This was their first ride so following behind Jade was the plan but Sally even wanted to pass Jade and lead. Ok Sal, baby steps.   Their ride was a huge step in Sally’s life with this family. So the “Mom and Daughter” ride was smiles from ear to ear and in the pic even Jade was smiling too.

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Now seems like last time when there tears of happiness Jade had tears too. Is this a trend? Does she see the emotion and follow suit. Only time will tell. So that left Bella waiting patiently at the rail and Deb ready to move from Sally to Bella. Well, not hop from horse to horse like in the circus or as the kids sometimes do here but you know what I mean.  Dismounting from Sally and giving her the biggest hug in the world she walked over to Bella.


The two horses couldn’t be more different in personality. Sally is laid back and happy to walk and Bella is “when weight hits the saddle I’m gone!” Although Bella has been learning to walk and did cooperate her absolute best for a successful ride. Cheyenne even wandered out and asked to join us so he came in for a little bareback riding and bridless riding demo maneuvering in and out of the other three other horses. Cheyenne has probably come the most far of any horse we have worked with. Either that or his age and maturity finally won over.



Then it was back to the barn in a leisurely stroll, interrupted briefly by  Snickers flying by showing his jump, buck and kick out skills with Sampson trotting to his girls (either to protect or for safety we’re not sure).  After their “run by” and “run to” it was go un-saddle, brush horses and hang out in the shade to just enjoy these amazing four legged friends.



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tears everywhere..

It’s been a long time coming..there have been a few bareback rides..more sit on’s than rides but today was “saddle..and ride”.  Jade has been ridden two times a week getting ready for the family.   She’s been saying “I’m ready..it’s ok” so Sunday Deb and Kelly accepted her invite.  Finding saddles can be heavy and cumbersome was the first order of the day.  Getting on gracefully the second, which both mastered nicely.  Jade kept her promise and babysat the girls.  And there were tears everywhere.  Tears of joy, of love and  happiness for this beautiful horse that has been thru so much and has opened her heart again to trust people.  Even Jade was teary eyed.  Some might say it was riding in the dust or the sun was too much without her “shades” but we knew..Jade was crying too.021 037 059

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i don’t know what happened..


      Ok so I don’t know what happened but food lady/friend/keeper/helper brought me to the shoe/hitch rack and put me on the longer bungee tie thing.  A bungee that is supposed to give when pulled and the quick release/let me go thing that will let me go when I get in trouble. I was just standing there minding my own business and lady friend went to get a brush a few steps away. That’s when I did what I don’t know what I did.  I moved to my left and scared myself I guess then stood up..when I stood up I slipped on my back feet and down I went.  I was sideways and backwards and up and down in a blink of an eye ending upside down and the let me go thing that didn’t let me go.  I rolled over to help myself and oops rolled the wrong way into the bar things that keep us horses separated from each other. Then I was in a mess.
     I heard lady friend say this is not good. Lucky for me my new rider friend was in the arena riding another horse.  She hopped off to help me too.  Lady friend was very close by and she crawled over the fence fast for an old person and undid the thing that did not undo.  So then I could lay my head down and think.  What I thought was I think I’m  stuck.
      The two lady friends moved slowly to not scare me and didn’t talk much. They have been around a lot of horses and seemed to know it was big trouble.  My one leg was stuck up on another bar and lady friend gently took my toe and pushed my foot up and around  under the bar so now my legs were together.    I figured it best to help them as they seemed to know what to do and I did not.
     They took the rope hooked to my head thing and  pulled but nothing happened.
I layed very still cuz it felt like if I moved wrong I could get really hurt and that would not be good.  So the two lady friends of mine pulled together with the help of unseen forces they said later as they are not strong enough to move my pudgy body. I heard something about a big man upstairs. Maybe it was because where I was but I didn’t see a big man and we don’t have any stairs. Anyway they tried again.  
    One two three pull gently..one two three pull..and pull me turn me they did.  With just two pulls I was turned on the cement to where my front body was in the clear.  Getting me to where I I thought I could help me myself. I don’t think they thought so but I was tired of being down there. It was a little scramble and a little tough but I scooted out and up..
      I could hear them say now one wrong move there might be a broken leg or two. That didn’t sound good to me as they were my legs they were talking about.  After I  squiggled out and up they checked me and checked me.  I was shaking a little so they gave me some terrible medicine even though it smelled like apples.  Listening to them they said it was a miracle I didn’t seem hurt  and no swelling or scrapes or limping and what a dangerous mess that was..whatever dangerous means.
     So I think I’m fine and lady friend is watching me and let me near my friends who came up to the barn to watch the show.  People have come to look at me too.  They all say it’s a miracle I didn’t end up having to be put down. I don’t think they were very smart. I was already down and needed to be put back up!  Anyway ladyfriend is wishing she took more pictures but I’m glad she put me first but then glad she got a couple..no one would have believed me .
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“around” seems to be an interesting concept for a horse..

watching the herd..a herd member feels threatened or needs to escape..it’s “around”..


“around” a pond..a tree..another horse..anything..”around”..

put something between the threat and threatened ..


it works when being chased ..also when trying to catch them..


but when “around” doesn’t seem to work is when asked to go “around”


when i am somewhere and want them to come..


if i whistle and ask them to come they’ll go “around” on their own but if i hold a treat bucket on the other side of the fence and the gate is ten feet down the fence line there seems to be no knowledge of “around”..


it’s you bring it to me..you make a gate here where there is no gate..


so is it “around” challenged..or training me?


in watching Terra, the palomino staring at her barn buddy Snip thru the fence am getting closer to the answer.. photo around.jpgTerra knows the gate is off to the right..she goes thru it almost daily..she knows she can easily join her friend..

but for whatever reason she will stand and stare until I go help her find the gate..help her “around” .. photo togetheragain.jpg..to be together again..


so again is it “around challenged?..sometimes “around” challenged..or training me? 

it appears to be training me..












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she’s graveled..

am feeding in the early a.m…cold..still dark..black sky..few stars still out..
in the darkness notice Jade the beautiful jet black appy cross standing way back from the herd..
can barely make her out..that’s odd..
she’s always by her herd mates at feeding time..
throwing hay to the rest to keep them from milling around and possibly moving her if she’s injured..
then walking to where she’s standing it’s clear something’s not right..
she just looks at me..
not moving to hay in the morning..not good..
it’s getting lighter now and can get a better look at her..
no swelling..no cuts..no nothing..
slowly she offers to move..slowly a hobble sort of walk..
had her shots the day before..could it be a reaction?..
seems to be hind right leg..
would think a shot reaction would be systemic..all over..no it’s the leg..
she toe hobbles over to her hay pile.. got kicked?..
stepped wrong?..kicked something?..but she’s not usually a kicker..
will stay with her and see what she says..
during the day it appears to get more painful..
she’s eating..drinking..moving around then laying down..getting the weight off..
had called the vet earlier..waiting to hear..it’s thanksgiving week..
busy busy schedules..
not an emergency but definitely needs attention..
while waiting for the call a ranch friend drops by..
had been chatting earlier about the hay they got and had mentioned Jade’s predicament..
”how’s the mare?..ok to have a looksee?”..sure..he looks..we look..
she looks at us looking..
i’d place my money on graveled..she’s graveled”..
“graveled some people call it..graveling others say..
hoof abcess most common name ..
infection inside the hoof wall or under the sole when bacteria gets in sensitive parts of the foot..
bacterium enters the hoof wall by a crack or opening..
abscess forms from infection..like a boil in a person..like walking on a boil..
extremely uncomfortable till it passes..
well there’s the bet..he’s seen hundreds of horses many hundreds..
that was my guess too but have only seen a dozen or so..
and we don’t know but we guess..passing the wait for the vet call back time..
and here’s horses..
while vet waiting Jade’s horse buddy decides to graze out of sight a few feet away behind a bush..
she calls to him..hobble walks quickly wanting to go with him..
in the few seconds it takes to bring him back she puts pressure on the sore foot.. half hobble trots two steps..
the pressure apparently bursts what we guessed was there..the abcess..
and it was at the coronary band..where the hoof meets the hair..
had it been on the bottom..on the sole it wouldn’t have been noticeable..
and as luck would have it ..as it’s draining..pics being taken..the vet office calls..
now we really have details to give them..they say hose it off..don’t get kicked..
Jade is immediately better.. offering to walk..pressure appears to be gone..
pain appears to be almost totally gone..
she asks to go with her buddies..we let her go..she walks off..
barely a sign of the can barely can walk mare from before..
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the herd sleeps..

it’s different on different nights..how the herd sleeps..
in watching have noticed their various patterns..
when no bugs are out..they sleep separately..twenty feet or more apart..
some stand..some lay down..curl up in the soft sand of the arena..
when no bugs are out they come up to have flymasks removed..
not sure if it’s temperature or humidity or moonlight
that decides what bugs do..
but when bugs are out they sleep together..this herd anyway..
very close together..standing..side by side..touching..
even ones that don’t get along too well opt to sleep close ..
and opt to keep flymasks on..tails swish occasionally..send bugs away..
they chose a sleep spot near a light.. bugs gravitate to the light..
less around the horses..
on closer inspection..can see the four rescues still in a clump..
side by side..touching..
and looking closer yet..notice Sally the smallest sleeping with her nose touching her friend Bella’s side..
guess that let’s her know when her security blanket moves away..
gives new meaning to the phrase “sleep tight and don’t let the bugs bite”
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they’re always teaching me..

they’re always teaching me..

when the four rescues arrived last Thanksgiving thin and unsure

one of the first things noticed was all four ate off the same flake of hay..

every meal..every time..heads touching..quietly sharing..

maybe that’s all they had where they were..one flake for the four..

maybe over time they would learn to spread out..

learn from the horses already here..that there’s plenty for everyone..

learn to find their own flake..find their own pile..enjoy nuzzling the hay..

it was surprising to see that wasn’t the case..that wasn’t what happened at all..

there’s always plenty of food and plenty of room ..

but in watching something else took place..in fact the opposite happened..

the rescues taught the others to eat with them on their one flake of hay..

and when the flake is gone everyone moves on to the next one..

at first their were four heads..then five on one flake and then six and now more..

then the group moves to the next pile..and the next..

once again..a herd lesson..an observation..how they decide to do things..

for today anyway..

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