Zephyr Moo aka Lord LubbaDuckZephyr Moo

His Lordship was born on November 20th after 11 months of excited intrepidation on my part.

The name Lord LubbaDuck came about as a joke - I had told a friend that if he was colt that was what I would call him - I was convinced for some unknown reason that he would be a she! How wrong I was and the name has stuck - his paddock name being Zephyr.

A fortuitous (if there is such a thing) series of broken bones left me (Cathy Dee) able to spend the time photographing and recording almost every day of Zephyr's growth.

The photo on the right is his Lordship at 2 days at old! You can see how strong and well developed he was! I am certain that the careful feeding of the ProvideIt minerals to his dam (Merlot) ensured his own great health.

A character from the get go - he was up on his feet within 10 minutes of arriving and off to explore the paddock! It took him around 3 hours to finally get around to having a drink - not because he didn't know how, but he was so well nourished at birth - he simply did not need to drink straight away! They were three nail biting hours I can tell you!


The First Month

2 days
2 days old

The first few days were spent exploring his paddock, keeping his Mother on her toes and getting to know what his legs could do - all at high speed with his frantic Mother in tow trying to keep up!

3 days
3 days

At a week old, he was beginning to explore the taste of grass - sucking at stems...

1 week
1 week

Of course, as I was at the birth, I have handled Zephyr from the beginning - all in short bursts -no more than 5 - 10 minutes at a time. This meant that at no stage did he get sick of me comingout to see him and as you see here at 1 week 5 days, he is so calm, he is happy to greet me while remaining lying down.


At 2 weeks he is getting bold. His long suffering Mother puts up with him as he bounces about pretending to be a little War horse.

2 weeks
2 weeks

At three weeks we start his training - we teach him about pressure and release and teach him to pick up his hooves. Jenny was kind enough to help me as I have a broken elbow!

It is all done very gently with no force and each session is no more than 5 minutes at a time. Zephyr looks forward to his lessons - running up to us when we go into the paddock.

At this stage we don't use a halter and if he wanted to at any stage he could get away from us - he never did!

3 weeks
Jenny teaches his Lordship to pick up his feet.

1 month
1 month old.

The Next Month...

1 month, 2 days

At one month and 2 days, His Lordship is starting to boss his mother. He is lucky she is so gentle.

of course all he has to do is apologise and give her a cuddle and she stops being cross with him immediatly. it didn't take him long to work that one out!

Dec 29th

Jan 2nd and he is galloping around practising flying stops just like a working quarter horse. He can gallop unbelieveably fast!

Jan 02

Zephyr and I have now formed such a bond that he Bondwill lie down beside me if I am sitting in the paddock and actually lay his head on my lap while he goes to sleep. Very cute!

January 8thJan 8th and Zephyr's 'Uncle Persil' is finally allowed into the paddock - he has been next door but Merlot has been very worried about him up until now. She is still keeping him away from her boy but at least they are now in the same paddock. Persil has been dying to meet his 'Nephew'.

persil and Zephyr MeetFinally on January 11th, the day was too hot for Merlot to care about whether Uncle Persil was around her boy or not and the two met up close for the first time. There was a lot of mouthing and snapping of jaws from Zephyr but Persil was extremely gentle.

January 15th was Zephyr's first day of real rain. He was not impressed however the cool made him frisky and he and his Mother spronked around the paddock together. his movement is so light and balanced it is a real joy to watch.



Jan 16th - Zephyr had his first hoof trim today. We Hoof Trimtrimmed him after we had done Persil and Merlot so by the time we got to Zephyr, he was asleep.

He refused to get up so I told Ben to ahead while he was lying down - Ben did not think he would stay there, but of course he did. In fact he simply could not be arsed to get up and we had to actually lead his Mother away to get him up so we could finish the job!

Talk about relaxed!

3 Months and on...

Zephyr with his ball
Zephyr loves playing with his ball.

Zephyr float training
Now we start to train him to load onto the float.

Again this is done very gently with no pressure. A soft rope is placed around his foreleg fetlock to encorouge him to place his foot onto the new surface - his mother is right next to him. Once he places both front feet onto the ramp he is scratched and praised and backed off and that is it for today's lesson.

Ze[hyr float lesson2

Zephyr's next lesson is a week later - this time he is very confident. We load his mother on first and then merely ask him to step up onto the ramp and then back him off - he does this again with much praise. We don't ask him in any further at this stage. As soon as he is relaxed and standing happily on the ramp we back him off and that is it for this lesson.

4 Months old4 months

Zephyr is 4 months old now and receives his second trim. This time, after deciding first to lie down and then being asked to get up, he is so blasé about it he decides to hold his own rope.

Zephyr and Persil spend a lot of time playing a game we call 'ad it up to 'ere'...

Zephyr and Persil

Their expressions are priceless. It's great for Persil who is in his late twenties and retired due to arthritis and it's terrific for Zephyr as he is an only foal. They adore each other. Merlot seems to welcome the respite.

Zephyr had another float lesson - this time he loaded all the way in like a pro so, after making sure he was OK about the door being closed and gently rocking the float to get him used to the sounds and movement, we took him for a gentle ride around the paddock (again with his Mum beside him). He was more interested in the carrots I was feeding him than the fact that the float was moving. He is ready for his first actual ride out.

Zephyr in the float!

Finally this weekend we loaded Zephyr and his mum up and took them for Zephyr's first ever outing to Cust domain. He travelled beautifuly and unloaded in the new place slowly and carefully like an old man!
We walked him around and introduced him to all sorts of different sights and sounds. Despite other horses being around, he was amazingly calm. He even walked over the bridge all by himself! I am very proud of him!

Zephyr on the bridge

This is all in preparation to his first Zephyr's bathbig day out - a Golden Horse show next weekend...
Zephyr receives his first sponge bath the day before the show - he is NOT impressed.

Show day arrives and Zephyr and his Mother are loaded into the float early in the morning. He is very calm about it all and is very excited when we arrive. He acts as though his mother is the biggest embarressment in his entire life and struts out in every class completely ignoring her - she has to frantically follow behind. Zephyr was a total star.

Zephyr at the show

Zephyr with his awards

5 Months

Now we get Zephyr used to wearing his jacket.Zephyr and his new jacket

he won't be covered full time as he has grown a luxuriously thick coat - but on the wettest, coldest nights he will wear it and this means he has to be introduced to it - like everything else slowly and carefully.

He almost immediatly works out how to undo the front straps! and then decides its not so bad after all.

In fact, to my horror, after discovering that he is now wearing something we are calling his Smoking Jacket...he decides to take it up...smoking I mean ;-)

Zephyr Smoking

Zephyr has developed quite the sense of humour!

Zephyr Laughing

Occasionally Zephyr's Mother steps out with him - they make a very beautiful pair...

Zephyr and Merlot

This month all the horses were shifted to a new paddock up the road. The new paddock is beside a busy road which will introduce all sorts of new things to Zephyr's life...trucks, motorbikes, fast cars, people on bikes - all that spooky stuff he will need to get used to. The horses have a great time gallopping round theior new pad. Zephyr shows me his beautiful movement! Just look at that extension!

Zephyr moving out!

6 Months

Zephyr is gelded. He is pretty sore and swollen for a week or two but that does not stop him from being cheeky - much to my relief. He sticks close to me whenever I am in the paddock.

The vet is very impressed with his condition and he didn't lose any condition over the weeks that followed his gelding.

Zephyr Gelded

Here he is a few days later 'helping' me clean out the paddock...

Zephyr 'helping'

Two weeks later and I am relieved to see him right back to his old self - all swelling gone and zooming resumed.

Zephyr fully recovered

Stress free Weaning.

Another milestone has passed. Zephyr was weaned at 11 months.
He was used to going for walks without his mother but then I started to seperate them for short periods into ajoining paddocks. These periods got longer until the day came when it was finally time to leave home. He was placed in the paddock next door to Merlot, they could see each other but not touch (in case of legs going through fences, they were taped well back from the dividing fence).


Merlot stayed with Persil and Zephyr went with Danny (see pic) who had joined the herd about a month previously as to enable them to become friends.
When Zephyr realised he was not going back to his mother for a drink, he threw an absolute 'roll on the ground' tantrum. After galloping up and down the fence line a couple of times he then took it out on dear patient Danny, who basically told him to pull his head in and marched him off to the other end of the paddock. That in a nutshell was the guts of the weaning. No real drama, no stress from either horse . About a week later I was able to take Merlot away for a month's stay with Jenny's herd so her udder would dry up. Zephyr barely noticed she had gone. She was upset for a couple of days but soon settled down.

Another month and she was back with Persil and Zephyr weaning well over :-)

Zephyr at 1 year...

Zephyr continues to be a constant delight. He is turning into a real beauty.

20 Months.... (mid winter)
Zephyr is a hairy little boy...

actually he is taller than his mother!

2 years
At 2 years old Zephyr is turning into a beauty...

He keeps his Mother and his Uncle active

Rising 3 now, mid winter with his fluffy coat. Still as cheeky as ever.
In November he will be three and I will start some serious ground work training.

He will not be backed until he is at least 4 to allow his muscles to develop enough to protect the still developing bones - read http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_2008/ranger_piece_2008_pdf1.pdf

He and his 31 year old Uncle spend hours every day playing.