All About Max
Having already admitted to a love of acronyms and bad puns - said confession is in my bio - I suppose I should also admit to a secret obsession with alliterations (of course if you've been through my other lenses, this does not exactly come as a news flash). Since we've had a high time around here over the past couple of years reinventing Max's name by slapping on all manner of silly surnames and salutations, I've opted to create a lens that reflects his multifaceted personality (or is it multiple personalities?? Hmmm...)
Max is what I would call an "unintentional" rescue; we were not looking to rescue a horse when we happened upon him, but somehow we ended up with him anyway (I just couldn't help myself). He was two and a half when he came to us, and has happily filled in for Katie (who returned to her previous owner) as Junior Vice President of the DD&D (Department of Disasters and Delinquency :o)
Caught on Tape - Mischevious Max in action
MAX the MOCKER: Would you believe that Max decided to see what would happen if he colicked like Shadow? Although this is a classic pose for a horse with colic, the little turkey was absolutely fine (he just wanted to see what would happen).
Fun finds for Quarter Lovers
Max is a Quarter Horse and was two and a half years old when he came here as one of three accidental rescues (Cinnamon and Retta being the other two). He is a chryptorchid*. I believe that his owner was aware of this condition, but neglected to tell us lest we refused to take him (and thank you very much). Fortunately, we were able to locate a vet that could perform the surgery at a cost we could afford; the sale of Retta covered the expense of his surgery with the exception of transportation costs - whew!
Interestingly enough, being the smallest of the three he was definitely the pushiest when it came to meals. After a disastrous first feeding, we tried securing Cinnamon and Retta to eat, leaving Max (who did not yet know how to tie) loose. This turned out to be a mistake; Max was free to raid all the buckets and gobbled up so much feed so fast he developed choke, which resulted in an emergency vet visit. It took the vet close to an hour to get him unstopped and was quite a miserable time for the little guy.
* A stud colt who has one testicle trapped inside the abdomen; generally the result of irresponsible breeding practices (basically a genetic defect). Gelding a chryptorchid requires an invasive surgical procedure that can be quite costly. They are considered completely unsuitable for breeding, and the visible testicle cannot be removed lest he be falsely labeled as gelded when in fact he is still a stallion capable of breeding a mare.
Before you buy a brand new guy... - PLEASE consider a rescue
Based on the reviews submitted, this book looks to be a wonderful resource for anyone considering adoption of a rescue horse.
The History of the American Quarter Horse
Quarter Horses have been around in the U.S. since colonial times. Short distance races (usually a quarter mile) were popular in North Carolina and Virginia. Because the Quarter Horse existed for nearly 300 years prior to the establishment of a breed registry, much of their heritage is unclear.
It is believed that Quarter Horses are a mixture of Arabian, Barb and Turkish lines which was then crossed with the Thoroughbred. The most famous Quarter Horse sire was foaled in 1895; Peter McCue. In the West, they were found to be very well suited to ranch work.
The Quarter Horse is known for their broad chests, well-muscled hindquarters and heavy frame. Their short legs and heavy muscles may give them a low, short stride at the walk but they also allow a tremendous burst of speed from a complete standstill.
ARTWORK: Frank Tenney Johnson
The Quarter Horse Today
Quarter Horses continue to outshine all other breeds when it comes to ranch work, short racing, trail riding for pleasure and rodeo. They are also becoming more popular among hunter jumpers due to their amiable dispositions. Unfortunately, selective breeding for the show ring has produced a horse with a much heavier body and increasingly smaller feet; predisposing the breed to navicular disease.
The breed registry, AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association), is based in Texas, and has well over 300,000 members.
Interested in learning more about the breed? - Pop over to Amazon to pick up this great read!
It's All in the Adjectives - (and boy does he have lots :o)
On Your Mark...Get Set...
MUDDY MAX: We have a very small pond in the pasture, that is Max's favorite place to go in late fall and early winter. He will play in the pond until it is nicely churned up and then lay down in the muddy water. Because the air is chilly, Max runs around in the pasture until he is all dry and suddenly finds himself feeling very itchy; then it's time for the big finish :o)
Beat it chump, it's MY turn
When it comes time to work in the round pen, we usually end up with a small line forming. Max, however, has made it clear to all that he is absolutely going to be next, always.
The minute he's allowed in the round pen, Max will happily put himself "on the rail" and trot round and round on his own, head bobbing slightly from side to side in enjoyment (weird, but true).
PHOTO: Max (L) telling Cinnamon in no uncertain terms that HE is next :o)
And his part-time woman
Being the only girl in the Moo Crew, Retta gets lots of attention from Max and Shadow who take turns vying for her affection and each sneaking her away from the other one (it gets mighty entertaining, I can tell you :o)
Shadow will be munching away on grass with his girlfriend and suddenly find an undiscovered patch of the green stuff (yum!) which - of course - captures his immediate attention. Enter Max (who has been watching carefully for just such an opportunity). The moment he sees Shadow isn't paying attention, he will quickly sneak up and nudge Retta further up the hill so he can keep her for himself. Shadow then looks up to find his woman has left him for another man - sigh - which makes him morally obligated to go and get her back (so then we just start over :o)
What's mine is mine and what's yours should be mine too
Although Max no longer gobbles his feed faster than the speed of indigestion, he still finishes first. This, of course, allows him ample time to annoy Shadow (who eats at the speed of sloth).
For awhile, we had a problem with Max pushing his way into Shadow's stall from behind and stealing his feed, but with a little creative problem solving this is no longer an issue. Now, Shadow's bucket is on the opposite side of his stall next to the door and Max can no longer slip past Shadow's guard. After every meal, Max attempts to put his nose in the bucket from outside the stall; Shadow bites him in the head (dribbling feed onto Max and the ground) and Max pulls away. Shadow is happy he has thwarted Max, and Max is happy he has tricked Shadow out of some pellets: a happy ending for all :o)
Max the Malcontent - Nani-Nani-Boo-Boo :oP
These photos were shot with my cell phone (hence the lack of clarity), but they were so typical of Max I just had to share them here.
On his web page, I referred to Max as the annoying little brother that Shadow never wanted (a description that is SO completely apt that it absoluteloy boggles the mind :o) For whatever reason, Max simply cannot be within a 50 foot radius of the long-suffering Shadow without finding some way to needle him...See what I mean?
Fun with Furniture
For those times that Shadow is unavailable for harassment (you know - hiding), Max is perfectly capable of finding another source of entertainment. This particular day, Shadow was nowhere to be found and Max was casting about for something to do when he came across this chair left near the riding area by some *cough* hapless biped (that would be my husband).
Since the chair was pretty much on its last legs anyway (I just love a bad pun), I opted to see what Max would do when he finished taste testing the arms. While I'm not quite sure what the weight limitations are on these canvas chairs, I AM sure that Max exceeded them.
I shall now state the obvious: The chair did not survive.
Max has opted to emulate fellow Moo Crew member Champ when it comes time to deworm everyone. Champ is always the first in line when it comes to worm paste with Max right behind him. (I'm thinking it's just gotta be an acquired taste - Ew).
Of course this came in pretty handy for the last worming...Shadow was curious about what Max was doing with me off to one side of his stall and came over to investigate. Since Max appeared to be chewing, Shadow's ears immediately perked up in anticipation of a treat. By the time the bulb came on, it was already too late (I'm quick :o)
PHOTO: Max happily slurping up his dose of dewormer, no halter needed (we even leave his stall door open).
The case of the midnight munchies
I got a phone call from the neighbor at the top of our pasture early one winter evening. She asked if any of our horses were missing. Seems she had had a couple of late night visitors several nights running that were enjoying the offerings from their vegetable garden; a big red one and a brown one...Uh-oh. We ran out to check, but since our horses were all accounted for, we thought it was probably the guy down the road (he wasn't big on feeding his, so they were always getting out). I promised to keep an eye out just in case, and we hung up.
A few of days later, my husband decided to get something out of the farm truck which was parked in the pasture. Because it was pretty late, he decided to walk up to the top of the pasture and check things out. And just who did he find at the top of the hill on the wrong side of the fence you may ask? None other than Max and his big buddy, Champ. I couldn't really tell you exactly what he said to them, but when he turned and began walking back down the hill Max and Champ came running after him. Needless to say, we found the "loophole" and fixed it right then and there (sorry guys, no more midnight snacks for you :o)
Geez dude...NOW what??
It was an early fall afternoon, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up slightly; perfect play weather. I had just finished up in the round pen with Max, when the horses in the pasture started playing. Max was in such a hurry to join his pasture pals, he took off to join in the fun without letting me remove his halter first. I shrugged, then returned to the house opting to keep an eye on him through the windows (just in case).
It took him less than 15 minutes to wind up in the pickle you see here by attempting to remove his halter on his own (and you can be sure he waited for me to take it off the next time :o) What was most interesting of all was Shadow's reaction to his pseudo sibling's predicament. Even though I was already on the way, he was turning in circles next to Max and yelling his head off for help (poor Shadow; trauma by proxy).
[it's all about] Me-Me-Me
The split second anyone steps walks into the pasture holding a camera, Max will materialize and insert himself in the photo (rather like Forrest Gump). He is also quite taken with the camera itself; it doesn't seem to matter how may times he's seen it, he feels obligated to get up close and personal (I have an extensive collection of eyeball and nostril shots to substantiate this).
On this particular day, my intention was to get a few more casual shots of Retta. Because she was gone for quite awhile, we don't have as many pictures of her as everyone else. While I did indeed get my intended photo of Retta, the moment I snapped it Max's head popped around the hay pile and he immediately moved to a new location so I would be able to take a much better photograph (in his opinion, anyway :o)