Thursday, June 11, 2020

It’s Been A While

We have been busy around the farm getting ready for the warmer weather and hopefully more riding. There have been a lot of projects to keep us busy. We had a line of new fencing installed down one side of the farm. This particular side of the farm is on a well-traveled road and we just feel better that the horses are safer with an extra fence to shield them from the traffic.  In the past we have had people stop and feed them, which I don’t mind really, except I don’t want to have anyone get hurt. Having the extra fence also helps keep the garbage in one area. The slobs around here throw all kinds of cans and paper bags out their windows when they drive past the farm, which inevitably winds up in the pastures. Nice. Then we have to go out and pick it all up; it’s like being on a prison chain gang cleaning up the highways.

The double-fence also provides a wide alleyway that will let us ride without being harassed by the herd.  It has happened in the past and it’s not a lot of fun.  The alleyway now leads to a gate into the trails in the woods and another gate leads into the grass dressage arena under the trees on the hill.  By the time we walk up to the arena it’s has the added benefit of being a good warm up for us.  I like riding up there in the summer, as it’s a lot cooler.   We haven’t had a chance to ride there yet. As soon as the fence was up, we had a lot of rain and some hurricane force winds that knocked trees down which blocked the alleyway and took out two sections of the new fence…of course it did! Now we’re waiting for someone to actually show up and fix the fence and cut the trees off of it.

New fencing and ,yes, I have to power wash the old fence! That's on the list...

We replaced the split rail in this arena, seems there are a lot of resident beavers who like to snack on wood sometimes! They absolutely wrecked it.
They've got a tough life

As for the herd, during the month of May we started the horses back to work with a gradual training program.  They had not worked basically for the entire winter, so we felt it wasn’t fair to them to drag them out and just hop on and expect them to be fit and ready to go.  They’ve sort of been couch potatoes stuffing their faces with hay most of the winter. So, the plan was for all of them to have as many short longeing sessions as they needed before they were fit enough to ride.  Then we planned to saddle up and see what they’re ready for. 

" Blue"

Blue celebrated his 23rd birthday March 26th with carrots and Stud Muffins. He’s now officially the oldest guy in the barn.  Blue is still in very good condition and can benefit from some light work.  Saturday, I longed him at the walk in one direction and then we reversed directions. He went around twice then took himself into a trot then down to the walk, stopped and came in to tell me, “that’s a wrap for today, lady.”  You gotta love him. He probably thought I forgot to longe the trot in the first direction, so he’d have to do it for me. I think he figures I could use some advanced schooling and he’s just the guy to show me how!

I did take him for a walk around the arena and although he’s always good…well mostly good…he just didn’t seem to be into being ridden.  He’s got a bit of a stubborn streak and he put it to full use in counter bending and no steering.  I didn’t push it and we had a short ride.  I think he doesn’t mind longeing for a few minutes and he likes being groomed but he seems to want to punch his retirement card in my opinion.  We’ll have another discussion about it soon.
Blue & Rosie are inseparable, she's kind of a stalker, she won't leave his side

Rosie has been doing very well with her get in shape program.  She’s been walking and trotting with energy and seems eager to get back to work.  She even took herself into a short canter on the longe. So I decided to ride her at the walk  a few times around the arena and she’s been a super star.  I’m also trying to get myself back in riding shape so I’ve been positioning myself in a half-seat at the walk before we even think about trotting again.  Rosie’s not the only one who could use a little conditioning after this winter!

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and we can all get back to not living in a bad “B” movie sooner than later. 

Quote For Today
Life is short.  Hug your horse.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Free Horses...False Alarm

So I posted this earlier today and thanks to some commenters in the know I was happy to hear that this is a false alarm.  It was originally posted in 2011 and all the horses were adopted. Apparently, it makes the rounds on a regular basis and they've added the covid crisis to it. Can't wrap my head around why someone would do this but I guess it takes all kinds in this crazy world. Sorry for the misinformation.
Original Post
A friend of mine sent me this piece she saw on Facebook today.  I don’t know who this person is and I don’t have Facebook.  I have no idea if re-posting this is allowed or not. If it isn’t I’ll take it down if I have to. 

If anyone were interested in helping these horses I would guess you could call the number below.  It’s a shame, but unfortunately in a crisis this is what happens to horses that people don’t want or can no longer care for. It is sad and a shame that these beautiful animals have to pay the ultimate price with their lives.  I know many lesson horses are also facing being slaughtered because they can no longer pull their weight and make money for their barns. 

Here’s the post if anyone is interested:

FREE HORSES!!!! 52 thoroughbred horses need homes. Will go to Sugarcreek this Sat. for slaughter. Gentleman died due to COVID-19 and his son wants nothing to do with them. Most broodmares are broke and some are in foal weanling, yearlings, 2 yrs. and 3 yrs. old most are gelded. FREE and papered. Friend of the deceased is trying to find homes. (757) 337-4878 Barnesville, OH.
I would hate to see all these horses put down. PLEASE someone help they are FREE and papered!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Week In Pictures

" The Geese"
No idea what they're all looking at in the hay field next door but I'm sure it's very interesting

"Where have you been? Don't you know it's cold and snowing out here!"

" Come on step it up"

Waiting for Dinner

Blue taking a break in the sun today

They've got a rough life

Blue always makes me smile, what a character!

And, that's a wrap, he's out for the count

Quote for Today
Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Holiday Thoughts

" Erik "

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.  We celebrated with family and extended family on Christmas Eve.  It’s always nice to have everyone together and catch up with them.  Now that the holidays are over and we’re heading for a new year I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and extend a wish that all you hope to achieve in the new year becomes a reality for you.

The thought occurred to me that in the current times in this country we need to be grateful for family and friends who make us laugh and love each other no matter what’s happening in the world.  I was very touched with a gift my ten year old granddaughter made for me.  She is such a thoughtful and sweet girl.  A while ago I mentioned that I would like to someday have a painting of my first horse Erik. She took one of my favorite pictures of him and surprised me with a painting of him on Christmas Eve.  She did it in pastels in art class and really worked hard on it.  My other granddaughter baked a special apple cake and cookies and the boys made their version of homemade soap.  Everything was made with love and I’m a very lucky Grandma to have such wonderful grand kids and a lucky Mom to have my children grown into successful caring adults. 

So that’s what I’m thankful for in my life.  I’m sure we can all find things to be grateful for and look for the good in our lives.  It might sound a little kum ba yah but in these uncertain times I’m going to try to look for the bright side of things in the coming year.

Quote for Today 

I get up every morning both determined to change the world and have one hell of a good time.  Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Blue’s Foot

The month of September is winding down and we’re hopefully going to start getting some autumn like temps.  The trees are just starting to turn and the days seem to be getting a bit shorter.  I’m looking forward to more riding with no bugs and a lot less sweating!

It seems every September Blue develops an abscess in his right hoof.  When he was barely hobbling around on three legs I called the vet to come out and have a look at him.  She pulled his shoe and used the hoof testers and confirmed ,yet again, it was an abscess.  She also took a Cushing's blood test on him, he’s now 22 yrs. old, and that came back negative and within range for this time of year.  So that was a good outcome.  In the meantime I had to soak his foot everyday for a few hours and then I put an animalintex on it and vet-wrapped it and then put a boot on him.  He stayed in or wandered around close to the barn while I was mucking stalls and doing the barn chores.  This lasted for three days until he was feeling good enough to trot the fence and call for the rest of the herd that had deserted him.  I finally just let him out with them. He’d do a lot less damage to himself if he just stood around grazing with the herd than making himself crazy trotting and calling them. It all worked out fine, he knew enough to take it easy.  Blue is a bit of a drama queen when he’s injured so I’m sure once he reached the herd he told them just how miserable he was feeling and berated them for flat- leaving him in his hour of need.

The vet showed me a good trick for soaking his foot.  Most of you probably know about this but in case you don’t here goes:  You use an old IV bag (the vet gave me a few)  put cotton in the bottom, then warm water about half way full, then Epsom Salt and Betadine. Shake it up, put the hoof in long ways and pleat/fold it over in the back then tape it up with some very sticky vet tape.  Leave the hoof soak for a few hours and remove it.  Then animalintex, vet wrap and a boot.  It works wonders in a few days. I also had to stop giving him his Equiox until the abscess blew out because that or Bute would slow down the healing process.  Here are some pictures of the hoof soaking:

This worked really well

I’m happy to report that Blue is doing well now and is still wearing his boot and keeping it on (mostly) until the farrier comes in a few weeks.  His heels are a bit sore but the boot comes off at night to let him air out a bit.  So hopefully, there won’t be any more abscesses until his next yearly September one.

Quote for Today

Give a horse what he needs and he will give you his heart in return.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Summer’s End

Blue & Rosie
As the summer draws to an end, thought I’d do a quick update.  This summer was brutally hot and humid and we didn’t get much work done with the horses.  It was too hot to work them and they were as miserable as we were.  I did get in a few rides on Rosie and Blue very early in the morning around 6:30, before the barn had to be cleaned.

Rosie has had a few hacks around the farm under saddle.  She’s a good girl, not really spooky at all.  When she does come upon something she’s not quite sure of, she simply plants her feet and refuses to move until she figures out that the gremlins won’t attack her.  A few gentle squeezes and she sighs and moves on.  After my horse Erik, I’ll take it!  Anything is better than a spin and bolt.

She’s really improving in her gaits, too.  Her trot is lovely when she brings her front end up and tracks up with her rear foot into her front footprints.  I didn’t know she had it in her, but I’m pleased she does.  Her canter isn’t bad, but it is still off-balance and her legs sort of do that egg-beater thing as she canters around.  We’re working on it and she’s coming along.  We found out that she’s a superstar at free longeing, too.  One piece at a time and plenty of time to get there because we’re in no hurry and want to take it slow with her.

Rosie -Free Longeing
Rosie was drawing a crowd of admirers
"Keep your head down Grady or we're next!"

Blue continues to be …well, Blue.  Instead of riding him, we thought we’d give him a break and longe him one day.  Well, Blue walked around twice, took himself into a trot once around, then took himself into a canter for once around and stopped and walked over to get his pets and basically say “I’m done!” When he was unhooked from the longe he took himself into the barn and stood by the tack room door.  He knows after work everyone gets a carrot and stud muffin with a peppermint.  You just can’t argue with an opinionated horse that’s smarter than you!

Blue after a grueling ten minutes of self - longeing
Grady " Um, you know you're drinking from the wrong side of the fence right?"

" So what's your point"

Quote for Today
It is difficult to explain ones love for horses, it cannot be explained, it is simply felt!