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"
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.

10 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your “alleyway” - if we had a larger property that’s exactly what I would do, though as you know better than me, it doubles the work of maintaining. But so worth it for horse safety and also giving you a sort of track to ride in. Love it so much.

    I’m super impressed that you have horses back in work. Nothing at all is happening in that manner here. Granted, Keil Bay is 31 so while he’s as fit as can be, I have mixed feelings about riding him now. Cody is plenty young enough to be in work though and I should be doing it. (Sigh, though - there is nothing like riding Keil and while I love Cody immensely, riding him isn’t the same)

    As always, your place is gorgeous and I love seeing photos. Blue - well, what can anyone say - he is and has always been a character. Rosie looks great. I hope you’ll keep us all posted on how things go. If I manage to get on a horse I will sound all the bells and whistles for sure. :)

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  2. The horses have been in light work. Each one gets longed on their "day" and we ride on the weekends. J has taken Hanz down the alleyway and he was very good. I'm planning on trying Rosie soon. She's not as brave as hanz but if she has a buddy she will probably be okay.

    The fence takes forever to clean and it is a lot dirtier where the trees drop sap on it. But it comes out like new with the power washer. Just have to watch I don't run the well dry. ;(

    Keil might be up for a walk about or a light longe to get him back into a program. Or not, maybe Cody would enjoy a ride. The thing is you have to be in the mood to start something and if you're not, so what, you still get to enjoy their company every day. :)

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  3. Nice update, love seeing photos of your beautiful horses & property!!! No doubt your new wide alleyway will serve you well. That sure is a bummer about the trees, go figure. Hopefully they get removed sooner than later. What a handsome character your Blue is! I think it's great to build up routine, so many don't. We haven't gotten that far, yet. I have been pondering about posting an update, just can't seem to sit down and write. It really is too bad, such great reflection happens. It's fun to look back on all the things I would have forgotten otherwise. I miss the conversation, and check for other's updates. Happy to see yours! Not sure what safety measures your area has taken, but Brad & I are extra thankful to have our own space. To breathe in the good, when there is so much bad/mad/sad constantly bombarding us. Take good care!!

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  4. I'm thankful to have the farm and horses and stay safe breathing in the good air. Nobody here goes out without a mask, they won't let you in the stores without them and I'm happy about that. I'm lucky that there is a service around here that delivers groceries. I never get everything I order but I'll take what I can. Actually scored a four pack of toilet paper they finally got in, it's like winning the lottery! So crazy.

    Blue is a character. The vet came for Spring shots and he didn't want to be disturbed while he was napping so the best they could do was get him to lift his head while laying down. After the shot he went back to sleep. That's Blue, nothing bothers him.

    It's good to hear from you and I'll be looking forward to your news when you get a chance to update. Stay safe and healthy.

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  5. Your place looks gorgeous, as always! That double fence setup looks good. And the herd looks great :)

    Aw, Blue! I love reading about what he gets up to, such a character and never a dull moment. The photo of him and Rosie is lovely. What a good girl she is.

    Glad you and the family are keeping well. Looking forward to reading more as the summer progresses :)

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    1. Hi Joy,
      Thanks for checking in. Hope you and your family are staying safe and keeping well too.

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  6. So good to hear from you again! Your farm and pastures are so beautiful, and I love the bridal path!! Wow, that's going to be awesome for hacking about. I had to laugh because your horses have that same round shape that ours do. Good eats and stall potatoes make for happy, fat horses. Kinda like me...I would love to find the time to start back riding Eagle. He's the only rider we've got left in our herd of 5. Seriously, I feel like we're the geriatrics ward...Ladde has ringbone and constantly limps (breaks my heart), Missy's navicular has worsened, Harley's still blind (but sound) and Shad is old (30 now). I still spend the same $$ on feed and farrier bills though. :) Funny how that happens. But, we love them and they deserve a good retirement. Through the years they've served us well. Take care and enjoy those rides!

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    1. Hi Lori,
      Good to hear from you. I hope you start riding Eagle soon and take advantage of the summer weather. Sorry to hear about all the others, but time has a way of taking its toll on all of us. I can see Blue slowing down and Grady has his problems too, but we love them and owe it to them to make them feel as good as they can. Hang in there. Stay safe and healthy.

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  7. Glad to see you back, and what an amazing amount of projects you’ve completed. I can’t believe how beautiful your horse facilities are. It’s like a fairytale!! You’re smart to take it slow and get everyone conditioned. Once you do, you sure will enjoy the riding you’ve set up there.

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    1. I don't know how much of a fairy tale we've got going here but thank you for saying it's looking good. There is still so much work to do but we're working on it a piece at a time. My daughter and I have been riding a little every week, so we're getting closer to getting everyone fit. Thanks for checking in.

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It's so nice of you to take the time to visit. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting on what I've written. Even though I sometimes don't have the time to reply to each comment, I do enjoy reading them.