Tuesday, April 28, 2020

JFC, 2020 can just staaahhhp

What else is in store for us this year?  I was doing ok with all of this stay-at-home stuff and the new way things work up until recently.

The last 10 days have just sucked. No other way to put it.   I'm aware that many people are in far worse situations than I am.  It seems tho, feelings are just a bit raw and it doesn't take much to weigh you down with anxiety and sadness.  Don't worry - I'm ok now, but sheesh...2020 can take a break and maybe we could just coast through the rest of the year?
Coping mechanisms
To start, my hubby got laid off from his job.  Now, this isn't a shock as I have been expecting it since the work from home order started.  We were just hoping maybe his company would hold on a bit longer and ride out the storm.  We have plans and options during this time, but it just sucks.

And then.  On top of all the shit the world is going through, on April 18/19, Nova Scotia had the highest casualty mass shooting that we have ever seen in Canada.   There 22 deaths, including one of our police officers.  The police force I work for is across the country and everyone is connected - I didn't know her personally, but coworkers did - and it sucks.  This fucking situation is just brutal.  The poor families can't even have funerals right now for their loved ones.  The towns where these crimes took place are all very small and community-focused and it must be very hard for them. 

Here is a link to a work-related photo - the officer that died was on the Musical Ride earlier in her career and they did a tribute to her: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10158189310303917&set=a.390936358916

Phew. Sorry for the heavy post. But wait, there's more!

Friday morning when I went out to the barn, Fred was lame.  There wasn't an obvious injury, so assumed abscess.  I soaked and poulticed and crossed my fingers that would drain soon, or I'd need the vet or farrier to come check it.

Update:  I didn't get this post finished the other day so I'm tacking more on here.  I had the vet out for Fred today, since his leg was all swollen yesterday when I went to remove the poultice.  The soaking and poulticing didn't get the abscess to drain, so I was worried there was a soft tissue injury. 
Sausage leg.  Ignore the dings - those are old.  
The vet found a super soft spot on his heel bulb (why there? sigh) and dug around in his hoof, but couldn't get it to drain.  I have to soak, poultice and give antibiotics and see if the farrier can find something on Thursday when he is here.   In the end, I'm glad it is an abscess and not something more serious (although this is Fred we're talking about here - 2 vet visits in a month! lol). 
pink unicorn duct tape? Yessir.  
How are you guys doing?  I hope everyone is hanging in there in these times. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Q1 Wrap-up and goals moving forward

Well, everyone's goals for 2020 have sure taken a hit, haven't they?  It is still to early to tell if there will be a show season here, but it isn't looking great and that is ok, since it is soooo out of my control.  With our weather, outdoor shows past September are pretty tough, as there aren't a lot of facilities with big indoor arenas set up for shows.   In fact, I don't think there is one in my region at all.

I've already had to pivot on my goals a bit and I added a couple of thing to the list.  Who knows what else will happen this year?  I'm not going to give up on my horse showing goals jussst yet.  We'll wait a bit and see where we end up.
So cute. Might not show this year. If ever...? lol
Q1 is usually quite slow around here anyway due to winter.  No shows, no real training, etc. happens, etc.  

I can't believe my 2020 horse goals didn't have the foal on there?  Sheesh.  That is one thing that (fingers crossed) is going well!And I have new horses goals to add for Q2 and onward.

Q1 Personal:
  • read 45 books - I'm at 12 so far
  • back up and organize photos (my computer is dying, so this is urgent!) - meh - this is ongoing. Does anyone have any tips on fun ideas with digital photos? I don't want stacks of prints lying around!
  • volunteer somewhere horse-y - on hold due to coronavirus
  • save $$ for foal hopefully coming in 2021 - this is going well, since I'm at home and not spending any money!
  • exercise program of some sort  - started walking 3-4 times / week
  • stick to a budget - this is one silver lining of the pandemic/SIP - spending is almost down to zero!

Q1 - Horses:  
  • start working Fred in hand, where possible - I was able to start this in March
  • Copper - stay healthy - CHECK!
  • get Lucy in foal - CHECK!!  We had the 45 day ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and all looks good!
  • New! find a second mare for my friend to breed and potentially ride 
  • New! find a bridle that fits Fred properly
  • New! get Fred more comfortable in a bit, if not try a hackamore
  • read/listen to some horse training material - podcasts, youtube, books etc - hard to quantify, but I read a bunch of interesting horse books back in January
  • clean and oil tack - um, no progress in Q1 - I have high hopes for Q2
  • continue to declutter and sell unused tack - um, no progress in Q1 - I have high hopes for Q2 and the rest of the year
work on selfies should maybe be a goal?  lolz
I don't have much going on right now, but I do have my horses at home, so having some extra time at the barn has been a real important thing for me.  I have lots I can do out there and this type of stuff is what I normally try and get done over the course of the year, as I have time.  Now though, having a bit more time in one chunk had me starting an updated to do/goals list for the barn for Q2:
  • clean and organize my hay storage area
  • fix and bury fence ground wires - DONE!
  • check pasture fence and come up with a plan to have fence fixed by mid-May
  • source some 2nd cut hay
  • clean and organize tack
  • try and figure out a bridle/hackamore option that fits Fred
  • repaint jump poles (note: not sure I can get any paint, so this might have to wait)
  • clean and put away winter blankets
  • put away the trough heater and extension cord
  • clean the tack room 
  • daydream about tack room renos/updates
  • clean cobwebs/windows/shelves
Random Archie photo, cause why not?
I'm sure this list will evolve the longer I'm at home, but this is my starting point.  Nothing is urgent, but all these nice-to-haves will make the barn tidier and more organized.

What about you guys? Are you still hoping for some 2020 goals to work out? Have you made some changes?  

Monday, April 13, 2020

Insert witty title here

Man, I'm having a hard time with posting and well, with life in general these days.  I know everyone else is too.    I am back and forth on posting vs not posting, but to heck with it... I want to keep writing as a bit of a record of things that are happening and keep in touch with other horse bloggers where possible.

So cute
Fred's face is almost all healed up so I turned him out and crossed my fingers he wouldn't hurt himself again. I never did find the source of his injury - I think it might have been the steel roof of the shelter - but I'm not sure.  I thought I had the paddock pretty safe - it's not like there are rusty old farm tools and spools of barbed wire out there, lol - but, well, horses...amiright?

Fred proceeded to play around with Bailey, roll in the sand and then did a couple of laps around the paddock before he settled.
zoom zoom
Running makes you thirsty!
He and Bailey then settled into a rousing game of bitey-face.  *sigh*  These two spend a lot of time goofing around.  I guess it is good for them, but Fred always has chomp marks on his face and neck from this.  Anyone know where I can order enough bubble wrap for a 16.3hh horse?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Still here...

I've been having a hard time sitting down to put together even a simple post.  I'm fine, my family is fine, my job is fine.  But the world as a whole - not so fine.  And man it is hard/scary/stressful/ etc etc watching things unfold. 

I'm trying to see this time at home as a gift and while I'm not up to any major DIY projects or anything, I've been spending a lot of time at the barn.  Which is at my house - don't worry - I'm not travelling to see my horse.  I'm torn up that so many people can't see their horses right now and I'm super grateful that I can.  I feel guilty and lucky all all at the same time. 

I've been doing a lot of stuff with Fred and even Copper has some news to share with you guys (he always tells me to not forget him on the blog! lol).

So, seeing as how this one won't have a lot of substance, I'm just going to do a list with a few pictures and notes here and there.

1. My friend was able to have the vet out for the 45 day ultrasound on our mare.  The vet confirmed everything with the foal is looking good!  Woot.  300 more days to go? 

2.  Fred managed to hurt himself and got a big cut/puncture wound on his jaw. I tried cleaning it thoroughly, but it still got infected.  *sigh*  He was due for his vaccines right at the same time, so at least the vet call was 2 birds with one stone.     It is fine now and all scabbed over and almost healed up.

**  warning - gross photo **

ewww...it was about the size of my thumb
2.  With spring arriving in these parts, we also get a lot of birds. Geese move in to the back pasture and we can hear wild turkeys all over the place, but rarely see one at my house.  Well, I can now scratch that off my list! A lone turkey wandered in to the horse's paddock and Copper ran it out of town!  lol  I was scrambling to get my camera, but didn't make it in time. 

The turkey came back the next day, but all it took was a glare from Copper and the turkey gave him a wide berth and kept moving on to greener pastures. 
That's right buster, keep moving. Copper, probably.
3. I went to Costco for supplies and they had a lot of cheese balls.  I took this picture for Stacie!
tasty pandemic snacks!
4. I took some time to get copies made of memberships, registration papers etc and put it all in a binder so I could find it.  I also cleaned up a lot of random papers and finally finished my taxes.
2020 calendar with shows...hahahaha...sob
5. I've been working Fred almost every day since I've been working at home.  We started with handwalking up and down the laneway and some lunging now that my ring is allllmmmmooooossst dry. 
Checking out the hood
The fun adventure has been taking Fred for walks in our neighbourhood.  I was a little worried he would be spooky, but since there is almost no traffic, he has been great.  We do 3-4 kms a few times a week.  

6. Cat pictures. Cause I got nothin' else! lol
A boy and his cat nip stuffed corn chip...
toe floof maintenance
I hope everyone is staying sane during this tough time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Gratitude in uncertain times (blog hop)

I'm always on the lookout for blog topic ideas, so will gladly grab a blog hop idea and run with it.

Liz at In Omnia Paratus did a blog post on things she is grateful for in these tough times we are all experiencing...  I thought I would play along, as thinking positively helps me process all of the difficult information out in the world.

Things I'm grateful for:

* My job and my hubby's job are letting us work from home.  Having our steady income in such a huge relief right now.

* Living in the country:  I can go outside, breathe some fresh air, get some exercise, check on my boys, all without seeing another human being.  Pretty awesome all the time, but extra awesome right now.
Took my afternoon coffee break outside this afternoon!
* Universal healthcare and being a Canadian.  I don't want to get political or anything here, but I'm very thankful and grateful for our health care system and I'm crossing fingers and toes that I don't need to use it during this outbreak! 

* Internet - even my sub-standard country internet.  It is allowing us to stay connected with work, friends and family and sign up for as many streaming services as I can! lol
We even stream cat videos on youtube!  
* My furry critters:  the cats and dog aren't used to having us home, but I'm sure they don't mind the extra cookies and attention.  The horses seem to like the attention too!
My morning coffee routine.  My legs are under this pile!
* The changing seasons: spring is on the around the corner in this part of the world... I think being able to get some fresh air and watch the outdoors come back to life after our winters is one of the best things about this place!
I always get a pair of geese in the back pasture. Fred, as security mgr, had to go investigate this am.
* All of the workers in every field out there bringing us services and health care to keep things running!

* Memes and other cool content being posted right now! 
uhh yeah...this is a problem! lol

Emma had an awesome post today with a bunch of great memes.  And I've been listening to Patrick Stewart read Shakespeare, listened to Sheryl Crow, Garth Brooks and other artists.

Laughter is crucial for me right now, it sure helps with the anxiety and information overload out there.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Weekly round up: SS2020 and viruses

Well, I started this post last week, when we were just monitoring COVID-19 in my region.  It's amazing how quickly things can change in a week....  Amanda at the900facebookpony.com posted about the virus on Thursday am and I glibly commented that things here in Canada weren't too bad.


Things sure went sideways over the course of the day Thursday and by Friday noon, all schools in the province were to be closed until April, the Prime Minister's wife tested positive for the virus and the PM was "working from home" as a precautionary measure.  Our parliament has also closed until April, so that is kind of a big deal (I live near and work in the capital city so the machinations of government affect us a lot).  Since I work for our national police force, I have had a pretty busy week and Friday was the busiest day of all. I work in public affairs tho, so its not like I'm on the front lines or anything, but it still was a hectic day.

We haven't found out yet what our work plan will be moving forward - we all have to come to work on Monday unless we hear otherwise.  My job can be done from home, so that would be ideal.  It is just such a weird situation - I remember SARS and H1N1 and it was never this bad.  I hope we can work from home as that would be the best case scenario, but you never know with our office.

I am trying not to give in to the hype and anxiety over this illness outbreak - but I can't help but worry a bit about the vulnerable population and people that may lose income because their work has been shut down.  Our government is pretty good at helping people in need and they've already announced measures to help, so that is a start.

Anyhoo - enough of the plague-talk.  I meant to do a mini-review on another book, but I didn't get around to it.  In order to help de-stress, I spent an inordinate amount of time window shopping for horse gear that I don't need!

The lure of online shopping has been strong this week, with more and more collections releasing their spring/summer colours.  I normally can resist this stuff no problem, but for some reason, I'm having a hard time this year.

It doesn't make sense for me to be tempted, really, when you look at it.  Let's look at the facts:
  • I haven't sat on a horse in over a year
  • I don't currently own a horse that is broke to ride
  • If I were to ride, I ride western
  • I'm trying to save money for shows and a foal coming next year
Yet, here I sit, clicking through the Hufglocken collection, drooling over the silver-grey and the black/whiskey and the charcoal/blue combo.  Maybe Fred needs some metallic bronze boots or chestnut snakeskin boots? OMG.  lol  What is wrong with me?  Luckily I have been able to resist, but I can't guarantee I will hold out forever!

The other thing I'm obsessed with searching for is denim breeches.  Why?  Who knows? lol  I mean likely because when I ride western, I tend to wear any normal jeans.   I don't really like or need breeches, but when I do, I want a denim pair as they are more like normal jeans??  Lol  Again, I would need to be riding to justify buying breeches, so for now I'll just keep window shopping and resist the little "add to cart" buttons everywhere.

PS of Sweden

 I hope everyone stays healthy and has no issues with work or anything!  Fingers crossed that this virus gets under control and we can all get back to normal...

Monday, March 9, 2020

A little road trip - mares and foals

Yesterday I piled into a truck with 3 friends and we took off on a little road trip.  We didn't venture far, just a couple of hours away to visit a friend's foals.  My friend has 2 mares that she bred - one foal is 22 days old and the other one is about 2 months old.
so cute. omg.  22 days.
And you guys?  I turned into a teenaged-horse-loving-weirdo all over again!  lol  I couldn't get enough of their soft fuzzy coats and soft little muzzles.  I have horses at home and can visit them multiple times per day... but these ones were just extra cute. 
2 months and lots of sass
The barn was full of mares and babies: 2 more mares were about to have babies, 2 yearlings (omg so cute) and 2 older broodies.  What a different place than most barns with riding horses.    The guy that owns this barn has agreed to take our mare Lucy next December to foal her out.   He has been breeding horses for ages and loves the breeding/foaling part of horses the best. He is retired, so he also works with the babies to get them to lead, pick up their feet, etc. 
*sigh* so cute. 
I totally fell for this yearling colt - he just wanted attention and scritches and would nicker if we walked away.  He is out of a reining stud, so not really what I would look for in a riding horse, but man, if I had lots of disposable income, I might have bought him on the spot!   The owner was also trying to sell me one of his broodmares - a cute chestnut appendix mare - who is the mom of the colt above.  I had to laugh at his sales attempt, but my budget is sadly fixed and won't allow for another mouth to feed right now. 

We ended our visit with a few adult beverages and a nice home cooked dinner.  I hope I get to make the trip out here again in a few weeks when there will be even more foals! 

Foal Friday

 I'm going back in time for a bit to get caught up.   These pics take me back to the day Rip and his dam came home from the fancy matern...