Sunday, April 25, 2021

Trying to catch up - 2021 goals, etc.

I have been going through the hundreds of pictures I've taken this winter as I'm trying to get my blog caught up.   So far I am noticing a theme to my pictures/videos:

  • pictures of Rip
  • pictures/videos of the cats
  • pictures/videos of the cats sleeping with the dog
  • random attempts at artsy snow pics
  • memes

I found this silly video I took of Archie having a bath. Turn up the volume if you can for his big purr.  Lol.  Clearly I need to get out more!  I am still working from home full-time, with no end to that in sight. 
Vaccination rollouts are going super slow here, so who knows when I'll be able to get my vaccine.  I haven't seen my family since August, which kind of sucks.  I've been trying to figure out some goals for this year, but well, that is proving a bit difficult. Then I get sidetracked by the cats and memes.

So cute.  

In other news, in 2 weeks, my friend is moving back "home" to the farm where she grew up. It is really exciting for her to be going back there.  Her gelding will leave here mid-May once she has her stalls and paddocks set up.    I think Ivy will also be going to live there (reminder: this friend and I co-own Ivy) and Rip's Mom Lucy will also go once the little man is weaned (late May?).

It's tiring being little!

My friend's sister also just bought a horse and that mare will be at my place until sometime in May when she will go to the "farm".  :-).  I'll be helping ride this horse a bit as well, as my friend's sister is a bit rusty and nervous.  I'm really hoping I can trailer Fred over there this summer and the two of us can go for a hack or something.

So, all of this leads me to my 2021 goals. Thanks to anyone that has read this far down. lol

I'm keeping things simple this year, until we see if there will be any shows.

  • Ride Fred and try and keep him sound
  • Keep Copper sound and happy
  • Breed Ivy (first attempt was done mid-April - fingers crossed it worked!)
  • Learn about training a foal (yikes! lol)
  • Help my friend find another broodmare (I think this is done already - more to follow)
  • Help my friend's sister with her new mare
  • Have fun
And that is about the extent of it. Me being me, I have a more detailed document going with goals and accomplishments by quarter, but I'll share that another time.  For now, I'm just going with the flow and we'll see what we can get done!  

Are you guys going for any big goals this year?  Or being like me and taking it easy and rolling with things due to the pandemic?  Is anyone back to normal post-pandemic?

Friday, April 23, 2021

An update on Fred

 Well, this update is long overdue! I meant to write it in January, but here we are.  Lol.  

Fred went to live with an acquaintance of mine that was looking for a horse to work with over the winter. She just bought a little farm with a nice indoor, so it seemed like a good fit.  I took him there Dec 1 and he is due to come home on May 1. I'll be happy to have him him home- I miss the big red goofball!

The goal of sending him was to get him going under saddle.  He wouldn't be getting formal training rides 5-6x a week like you might expect, but just 2-3 sessions.  This lady isn't a trainer per se, but has started a few horses in the past.

I sat on Fred a couple of times this fall and he was having a hard time figuring out the whole "forward" part of working under saddle.  This was resolved pretty quickly at the new barn.  I went to see him in early January to see how he was going.  

Side note: We've been in and out of lockdowns pretty much since Christmas, so I've really limited any trips to do anything. Fred's barn is over an hour away, so not a quick trip.

He was even doing a bit of trot under saddle at my first visit!

Trotting Fred!

By all accounts, he has been super quiet and hasn't offered to buck or spook, even when the snow came zippering off the coverall roof!  The only thing that got him a bit upset was being nipped at and followed by the lady's two heelers.  Lol. 

He tends to just meander along at the trot so far - the lady says that she has been working on adjusting the trot speed a bit, but that he is still pretty green.  Here is a video from Jan 2, so only a month under saddle at this place.  We noticed that he is just a bit NQR in the front and it would get better as she worked him and it wasn't as obvious some days vs others.  

My next visit was in March and he was starting to canter a bit under saddle! Woohoo Fred.  He is a bit clumsy with those long legs of his, so the lady was just working the canter when he felt steady.  

At then end of March/early April, Fred blew two abscesses - one in each back foot... D'oh!

He needed antibiotics for the swelling and both blew out the heel bulb, so they were not pleasant for the poor guy!  He has been starting back with doing a bit of walk work now, so hopefully he is ok moving forward.  He did the abscess thing to me this time last year as well.  

Moving forward, the vet and farrier recommended shoes for him or possibly hoof boots. I'll be measuring him for hoof boots to start, as I would prefer that over shoes to try first.  He seems to get bruised soles in the transition seasons when there is lumpy frozen mud out in the paddock.  He could also stay in more during those times...there are a few options to check.  I also had him tested for PSSM (negative thankfully!) just to rule some things out.    

He enjoyed his bodywork session.  Lol at the pally mare getting in the photo...

I found a great bodyworker and she has worked on him for two sessions so far. I think he'll need more maintenance than an average 6yo horse due to his wacky conformation and his size.  He is at least 16.3hh now, maybe even 17hh!  (Note to self: buy a proper stick!).   I'm really looking forward to having him home and having eyeballs on him more regularly.  The lady did a good job with him, but he isn't her horse, so some things just don't get done the same way I would have.  That is ok - part of the risk/considerations when sending a horse out for training.  

I'm a little apprehensive about riding Fred, since he is so huge.  I'm really short, so I've never really looked at or ridden tall horses. Spencer was 15hh on a good day!  I'm sure I'll get used to it though, as he is really the only rideable horse I have.  (Note to self: buy a new helmet)

And now I'm all caught up with Fred.  More updates on the rest of the herd/life to follow!  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Rip - The first week(ish)

 Ok - more Rip updates are coming!  I'm going back in time here to keep things sort of chronological where I can.

Rip was born on Jan 17 and we were able to see him the same day, at about 3hrs old.  Our next visit was on Jan 21, which put him at 5 days old.  There was certainly a difference in just a few days. It is kind of mind boggling how fast foals grow and develop.

So cute...

Most of my pics are just of him and Mom in the stall at this point. The barn owner did start turning Mom and foal out in the arena for a few minutes a day later that same week.

Eating is good...

He is curious and friendly, but only if Mom is there to hide behind if things get to be too much!

After we were there for a while, he got to be a bit more brave. He would come over for a sniff and let me scratch him all over.  I sort of fell in love that day.  Lol

scritches plz?

And of course, it didn't take long before he needed a nap.  So cute.  The cuteness overload was almost too much to take! Lol. As much as I was ga-ga over the cuteness, this experience has shown me how much work mares and foals are.  I mean, horses are a lot of work - we all know that - but a mare and foal is a bit on a different level, I have discovered these past few weeks. 

Ready for a nap

What a better way to rest with Mom standing guard. Mom's side eye game is next level too.  ;-)

A few days later, the barn owner sent me a video of the two of them out in the arena.  

More to come this week as I get my pictures and video organized!!!

Farewell Rip and Spunky (alternate title: What a f**ng awful week)

 I've had another spell of radio silence here.  This time for good reason. On Wednesday, October 20th, I lost Rip to colic.  He had just...