Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A horse, of course

We went to the local horse auction on Saturday and came home with an Arabian yearling stud colt. He is a purebred, but isn't registered with papers. We have named him Cairo. He is chestnut color with one ankle-high white sock, with a white strip on his nose and half moon on his forehead. At a little more than one year old, he stands 13 hands high to his withers (there are 4 inches in each "hand"). He could grow as much as another eight inches and weigh up to 1000 pounds as an adult horse. We will have him gelded sometime next summer, as we don't want to run a breeding horse farm. Besides, without papers and a competition-winning history what's the point? Cairo will be old enough to ride in 2007, but there is a lot we can teach him in the meantime.

Cairo has been raised in a heated barn and does not have a winter coat. He must wear the horse blanket he is pictured in 24/7 until he grows enough to withstand the cold Minnesota days and colder winter nights. I'm not sure that's he's ever been out in a pasture on his own, as the Sunday afternoon he was out he looked like he wasn't quite sure what to do. Cairo is very friendly, comes when he's called and seems to have been handled a lot. He has been allowed to nip without being corrected, so that's something we need to work on. He does stand quietly when being brushed and will allow his feet to be cleaned. Of course being an Arab he carries his head and tail quite high and has lovely foot action.

Our neighbor Donna, who owns three horses, suggested we borrow her 17-year-old Thoroughbred mare as a stable mate for Cairo. It has been so cold the last two days with a fierce north wind blowing that neither horse could leave their box stalls. We're up at the farm doing renovation most days, so we share the horse care duties with Donna. We're on schedule to relocate to Stanchfield this time next month. In fact, soon, we'll be able to spend some nights there and work longer hours getting the farmhouse into shape.

Now old Macdonald has a horse... E-I-E-I-O.

No comments: