Friday, July 3, 2020

Q2 Wrap-up

Things have certainly being challenging thus far in 2020!  I went back to re-read my Q1 goals post and I had a chuckle at my optimism that things would pick up for shows and things around here.

Note: I’m having internet and blogger issues so I can’t seem to add any more photos. Sigh. #firstworldproblems

Needless to say, I've bit the bullet and totally scrapped most of my horse goals for this year and made some modifications.  I have done ok on the barn/pasture stuff, but need to really focus on the house in Q3 before things totally get away from me.

I think Charlie Mackesy summed up how I feel with this post on Instagram:

I'm also sad that attending QH Congress in Columbus is 95% out - who knows what the travel restrictions will be like by then (the border is closed until late July at least), the US dollar exchange rate is horrendous and I honestly don't know if I want to be around large amounts of people for a few more months. 

My plan B for a big horse show/shopping event was the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in November, but it was canceled on June 25th, so that plan is toast as well.  I guess I should really just focus on saving money so next year can be a good one (fingers crossed!).

  • earn Fred's ROM (AQHA register of merit - each time a horse hits 10 points in a discipline/level, you get a certificate) in halter - we need 1.5 points in open and I think 3.5 points in amateur  - shelved until 2021 due to covid-19
  • show at a different venue/different club (I've shown at the same 2 places for 98% of past shows) shelved until 2021 due to covid-19
  • ride again - might still pull this off
  • attend a clinic of some sort shelved until 2021 due to covid-19
  • find a mare for my friend to ride and maybe breed (added Q1) - COMPLETED! W00t!
  • work as weather permits 
  • continue under saddle work - leaving this on in case I'm inspired to try him under saddle again
  • work on showmanship and in hand trail - maybe show at a schooling show? shelved until 2021 due to covid-19
  • find a bridle that fits his big head - COMPLETED for now with the world's ugliest bridle, found in a heap of old tack at the volunteer place
  • get him more used to the bit and/or try a hackamore
  • stay healthy! - Q1 - check! Q2 - check!
Lucy (my friend's mare)
  • get her confirmed in foal - Check! 45 day u/s done on 04/01 and all good!  Q2 - all good!
  • read 45 books - Q1 was great, Q2 not so much.  There is still time to save this goal!
  • back up and organize photos (my computer is dying, so this is urgent!) COMPLETED!
  • volunteer somewhere horse-y  - COMPLETED-ish early this year.  The therapeutic riding centre is still closed to outsiders due to covid-19 so nothing further for this year.
  • save $$ for foal hopefully coming in 2021- this is going well, thanks to covid-19
  • exercise program of some sort - ahhahaha!
  • stick to a budget - doing ok here in Q2, thanks to covid-19
  • read/listen to some horse training material - podcasts, youtube, books etc - Q1 - I read lots, Q2, not so much
  • continue to declutter and sell unused tack - ongoing - more work to be done here!
  • attend QH Congress (as a spectator) in October (I've missed the past 2 years!) - sadly, I think this will have to be scratched.  
  • use up products that are already in the house/barn (added Q2) - Ongoing - I'm on a mission here to use up as much stuff and not buy anything new unless urgent - like fly spray or something.
  • complete some minor house renos/d├ęcor updates - nothing in Q2
  • stay on top of yard/flowerbeds/fenceline - fencline yes, flowerbeds, uh hells no.  LOL
  • keep barn tidy
    • clean and organize my hay storage area - DONE Q2
    • fix and bury fence ground wires - DONE! Q1
    • check pasture fence and come up with a plan to have fence fixed by mid-May DONE Q2
    • source some 2nd cut hay - DONE Q2
    • clean and organize tack - ongoing, with more motivation now that there is a riding horse here!
    • repaint jump poles 
    • organize electric fence supplies/spare parts - added and DONE Q2
    • clean and put away winter blankets DONE Q2
    • put away the trough heater and extension cord DONE Q2
    • clean the tack room DONE Q2
    • daydream about tack room renos/updates DONE - LOL
    • clean cobwebs/windows/shelves DONE Q2
  • look into and start a plan/budget for some barn renos - eavestrough, upgrade lighting/wiring and maybe refinish the tack room - Q2 - made a spreadsheet with materials list, pricing

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A new face at the farm

And no, it isn't a corgi puppy!  lol

The last week has brought a new equine face to my little farm!  
So cute...
Ivy is a 13yo reg'd paint mare, owned by a friend of mine.   My friend would like to eventually breed this mare, but for now, she is living at my place and I'm going to help ride her and see if we can get her going decently under saddle.
New girl on the left. Notice Copper hiding behind Fred. lol I'm in love with this picture - I might have to get it blown up and printed or something.

She has been good to handle so far and has adapted to my routine without much trouble.  She and Copper had a bit of a rough start for some reason, but she is ok with him now.
Not much grass left and it's only June!

All we know about her under saddle training is that she is a) broke to ride and b) the previous owner saddled her up and went on trail rides.  Not a lot to work with!  lol  Another friend might come over and help if I run into any major issues.
She gets an A+ for standing in the cross ties and for being groomed

 We actually know more about her early and  most recent years, with a big gap in the middle.  She was bred and shown in halter by an acquaintance, so we were able to track down some cute foal and show pics!
The picture for her registration papers 

Weanling Ivy - at a futurity in the US

She was sold and then bought by another acquaintance several years later and he used her as a broodmare and had 3 foals off her.  He sold her last fall to a lady a couple of hours from here and my friend bought her just last week.
Ivy on the far right with a neck ribbon

I had the farrier out on Monday as she was in desperate need of a trim.  That alone made her look better and move better.  The vet will be out in a couple of weeks to get her caught up on shots/dental, etc. as I have no record of her history.

She is in need of some TLC and some good feed, but other than that she is a nice little mare. I might actually have a "between the ears" pic sometime soon...  I'm normally a gelding person, but there is always time to change and try something new, right?  lol

Thursday, June 18, 2020

An update of sorts

I've been having a heck of a time getting myself motivated to write something here.  So this post will just serve as a bit of a photo dump and catch-up of sorts. 

I was very lucky to have a friend loan me his tractor for a week back in late May. I quickly got to work cleaning up my manure piles and scraping the problem spots in the paddock.   I love tractors AND clean paddocks, so I was pretty happy to get this major job done for this year.  I like to have a tractor in once a year, as our equine friends happily keep producing manure!
Not quite a between the ears view, but the next best thing!
It took me a bit to get the controls down for the bucket and the box scraper, but after a couple of hours I got more agile and quicker with my work.

Fred was very curious the whole time I was working outside. He is such a funny guy.  I was trying to get an "after" picture, but Fred kept sneaking in to the picture, so I just went with it.  I told him he couldn't poop in the new cleaned up area, but I don't think he quite got it. lol
So clean and smooth! 
With some help, I have both pastures all set up for grazing.  We fixed the fences and made sure all the fencelines have lots of juice, in case Fred decides to lean on the fence.   The horses sure seemed happy to have more room to wander and lots of grass.  Copper is in a grazing muzzle, since he can't handle that much grass. 
As is the case with a lot of my pictures, when Fred hears/sees me outside, he comes over to say hi. 
So cute...
Things are slowly opening up here in our province, so a friend asked me to go with her on a road trip to a neighbouring province.  She had sold a mare and bought a new filly and needed to deliver the mare.    The farm we visited is a well known AQHA and APHA breeder and I had met the owner a few years ago at a show, so I was interested to see his farm.

And yes, this is a pic of a horse butt.  lol  What can I say?  My friend asked me to take this picture, so I was just doing as asked.  This is a cute little double registered AQHA/APHA filly that my friend is hoping to show next year.

These people also breed corgis and border collies, so I spent a lot of time cuddling cute dogs and even a few puppies.  Luckily all were sold, so I didn't come home with a new creature.  ;-)

I snapped this from the side of the road on an early morning drive - this time of year in this part of the world is pretty amazing - I try and find time to appreciate that.  The long days of sunlight make up for the opposite that we get in the winter.
5:40am drive
On the other end of the spectrum, the sun doesn't set until around 9pm and the sky is still light until 9:30 or so.
And finally, a picture of my peonies, just about to bloom.   I've been busy with the horses/barn/pastures, but have sort of neglected my flower beds.  Clearly gardening is not my favourite thing to do...!  This house has way too many flower beds for a place that has horses to take care of.  My goal before the end of the month is to get the outside of the house tidied up as well.

Hopefully this post will help me get back into the routine of posting...we'll see! lol

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Black Lives Matter

I wanted to take a short moment to post something here - I've been waffling on what to say for many reasons - but those don't matter.  I'm sure I'll make mistakes, but you can't start out perfect.

My anxiety has been high this week - as I do work for the police and police actions are a part of my day to day life - but that's ok, I'm just trying to sit with the feelings and not judge or hide, but learn.

Anyway, I'm reading, listening, learning and trying to find ways to to take action to become an anti-racist.  Cause, guys, racism exists here too.  And just saying it is only a US problem is not good or remotely true.

Please check out L. Williams post, if you haven't already - she generously shared resources and her story and for that I am beyond grateful.

In addition to US resources, I'm making it a priority to find and support Canadian groups/charities and resources to further my awareness.

Edited to add:

Huffpost article - Cdn resources

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.

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...