Monday, May 25, 2020

Home sweet home

Man, am I glad to be home.  I've been trying to write a post since I got back, but haven't had much inspiration.  I've just been enjoying the nice weather, my pets and of course the hubby.  Being out in the world a bit more than the norm was interesting/stressful, but it sure makes me feel grateful for what I have at home and being able to be at home.

The first 2 weeks of May were unseasonably cool and this first week home has been unseasonably warm - like almost 30C, which is approx 90F.  Which is pretty nice when you are working from home and can work on getting some chores done in the early mornings.  We got our pool opened and the back pasture is all cleaned up and open for business. 
The first few bits of sweet, sweet grass. LOL

I'm working the horses up to being out on grass full time but I'll need another week maybe before they are ready.  For now they are up to two 1.5 hour stretches.  

I've been working on fixing fences and I, for the first time ever, have all of the fence lines mowed before the grass is knee high!  w00t w00t!!!  LOL  Usually I start the spring with good intentions about keeping the field mowed so the electric fence doesn't short out, but I get lazy/sidetracked with other things. 
I am also alllmmosst done cleaning out the front hay storage area in my barn.  That area is not only for hay, but seems to be my catch-all for all the stuff that doesn't have a permanent home - rain sheets, coolers, and random tack bits that don't fit Fred, etc.   I just need to finish putting away my winter blankets and give the area a thorough sweeping/dusting/de-cobwebbing, etc and it will be ready for this year's hay.    It feels great to get some of these spring cleaning chores done!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The final stretch

I'm still on my work assignment, but the end is near as I'm heading home Friday afternoon.  It has been an interesting experience and one that I will remember for a long time to come.

We have been able to get out a little bit and see a couple of famous sites and use the fresh sea air to decompress from work.
Beautiful restaurants/shops along the water
It was weird seeing these popular tourist sites almost empty and boarded up.  In both places we visited, we were walking right down the middle of empty streets.   We met a few people also out for walks as the parks have opened up here, but all in all, things were quiet.
rarely photographed without hordes of people
I couldn't help but wonder how these small tourist towns will recover from the shut down - will tourism bounce back a tiny bit this year?  Will some of these business even survive the year? The whole scope of the pandemic just seemed a bit more real being out in the world - ya know?
So pretty...

So goofy.  Couldn't resist this photo op!
My friend that is helping take care of the horses has been sending me a few updates, which is much appreciated.    Copper has been shedding like  crazy since early April.  When will it end?  Is he completely made of hair?  Stay tuned as this story unfolds!  lol
Copper - world's hairiest mini?
She has also been lunging Fred a bit since his abscess is better (yeah!) and since her horses is lame. (apparently he is doing better now too) and she also tested her new horse heart rate monitor on Fred.  
Lunging doesn't make an exciting map, but cool all the same.
I'm sooo looking forward to spending some time in the barn and just being at home in my own bed and not in a hotel eating out of take out containers! 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

A little trip East

Thanks for all of the kind comments on my last post. Rereading it again today it seems a bit too raw for the blog, but hey it is real life for me at the moment.

This week got interesting with work. I went from being a non-essential bump on a log to a quasi-essential worker.  On Monday we were asked if anyone was free to travel to Nova Scotia to provide back up for our colleagues there. I put my name in since I really like seeing how our regional colleagues work and it would be nice to do something useful, even for just a couple of weeks.

We got the call Wednesday and myself along with two colleagues were on our way to the airport the next morning. I was a little hesitant about flying during the lockdown but it wasn’t too bad in the end. We were required to wear masks the entire time and it seemed most people and air crew were being careful about keeping some distance.
En route
My friend that boards at my place was willing to take care of Fred for me as my hubby isn’t up on poulticing and feeding the horses grain. He does hay and water though if I’m away so that is good.
I got an update Thursday from the farrier that the abscess burst through the heel bulb and was draining nicely. He didn’t think it needed any more poultice or wrapping so that is a relief!

I will be here for two weeks and it will be interesting living in another city during a shutdown! We went down to the harbour for a walk the first evening we arrived. There were a few people out walking, but normally this part of the city would be packed with people out for drinks and dinner and just having fun.  My last visit to Halifax was 20+ years ago when I was in the military! I lived here for 4 months doing some training at the military base. 
Flags at half-mast, downtown Halifax
It was a bit hard to leave home at the moment as the weather was just getting nice and I was ready to tackle more home/barn projects. Oh well, it will all be there when I get back and since it seems we’ll be working from home until at least the end of May I should have ample time to stay on top of my to do list when I get home.

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:

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 ** 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!

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...