Monday, January 18, 2021

I have a foal!!!!!

I'm sooooo excited!!! The foal has arrived!!!!!!

It is a little colt and his name is Rip.  Anyone a fan of Yellowstone?  ;-) I haven't decided on a registered name yet - I still have time to sort that out before sending in his papers.

This is the first pic that I was sent from the farm where she is boarded to foal out.  He was born at 12:36pm.  Apparently this mare likes to foal during the day and not at night!  This is her 4th foal in 3 pregnancies.  Her last was 3 years ago and she had twins (both survived and are doing well now).  Luckily there was only one this time.

My friend that co-owns the mare and foal with me called and I could barely make out what she was saying since she was so excited! lol. After a minute, I figured out that she was on her way to my house to pick me up so we could go see him. Unfortunately the barn is about 1.5 hours away, but worth it for the care Mom and baby are receiving.

Being smol is tiring!

The little guy was about 3 hrs old when we got there.  He was up and trying to nurse and figure things out.  He has a nice big blaze and at least 2 socks - I was looking at pictures again today and can't quite tell (he was in straw and shavings) if he has more white on his little legs!  

I got to pet his wee little muzzle, so that made my day.  :-)  Is there anything better than soft foal (horse, pony) muzzles?  Not really, in my opinion!

He is just the cutest little guy - his colour is quite light right now - but I expect he will get darker over the coming weeks. Mare and stud are both dark sorrel, so I expect that is where he will land eventually.  We did wonder with the little dorsal stripe you can see in this pic if he would stay this light (red dun?) but I don't think that is possible genetics-wise.  

The barn owners sent this pic this morning - sooo cute!  

I'm clearly gaga for this little guy - #sorrynotsorry!

I'm going back to see him again on Thursday, so I'll have more pics to share.

I also have a good update on Fred, but he will have to wait. He's been upstaged by his little brother!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020 Goals/To-do list wrap-up

Well, Q3 was a bit of a bust and here were are close to the new year! My goals list pretty much turned into a detailed to-do list, but hey, we learned in 2020 that we have to roll with the punches!

I was thinking of 2021 goals, but not sure I'm ready to put words down for that yet! Anyone else a bit hesitant to plan for 2021?

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The most exciting thing for this year is that I rode again.  Guys, I actually sat on not one, but two different horses.  Woot! My friend leased Ivy this fall and told me point blank one day to "just get on her, you won't die!".  I couldn't really argue with her logic, so I jumped on, did about 15 mins w/t type stuff and it was so nice to be in the saddle.  

Not only did I ride Ivy, but I got on Fred. Twice!  The first time was with my friend holding the leadline.  The second time, no lead line, but we didn't do much but stand around. Fred hadn't quite pieced together the cues to move forward under saddle, despite many lead-line sessions, lunging, etc.  Oh well, it was still neat to actually get on him and sit there - since he is almost 17hh, it was quite the view from up there! 

And guess what? I have not one single picture of me on said horses, hence why I didn't bother blogging about it earlier.  #bloggerfail  Maybe next year I'll be better at pictures? 

Horses:

  • 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 againCOMPLETED!!! Sept 2020. I got on Ivy and did some walk/trot! And, I sat on Fred twice!
  • 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!

Fred

  • work as weather permits - we did a fair bit in Q3 - this is the best time of year around here
  • continue under saddle work COMPLETED
  • 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 - COMPLETED, I gave up on a hackamore for now

Copper

  • stay healthy! - Q1 - check! Q2 - check! Q3 - so-so.  He has some stifle issues that are affecting his mobility a bit Q4 - he has been on stall rest (to keep Spunky company) and he seems to be moving better.
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!  Q3 - all good!  She moved to her maternity barn and her due date is early January! Q4 - all good and we are down to under 30 days - OMG!!!!
 Ivy (added Q3)
  • get her weight/body condition up - COMPLETED (and ongoing)! She is responding well to grain and some light work
  • get her going under saddle - COMPLETED! She went to a trainer for 2 weeks back in August and although she got hurt, we were still able to get her going better. My friend has been leasing her and riding a decent amount until the cold and dark hit us.

Personal

  • read 45 books - Q1 was great, Q2 not so much. Q3 - eesh.  Might still save it, but I'm ok with letting it go too
  • 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- COMPLETED
  • exercise program of some sort - ahhahaha!
  • stick to a budget - COMPLETED, thanks to covid-19
  • read/listen to some horse training material - podcasts, youtube, books etc - Q1 - I read lots, Q2, not so much Q3  -spent time doing, not reading, Q4 - considering this COMPLETED
  • continue to declutter and sell unused tack - COMPLETED 
  • attend QH Congress (as a spectator) in October (I've missed the past 2 years!) - sadly, I think this will have to be scratched.  Attend the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.  Canceled due to Covid. *sigh*
  • use up products that are already in the house/barn (added Q2) This is kind of completed. I don't buy or use much of this stuff past Q3 as it all freezes!

House/property

  • complete some minor house renos/d├ęcor updates - COMPLETED - we got a new used couch, rearranged all the furniture and confused the husband and the pets!!!
  • stay on top of yard/flowerbeds/fenceline - fenceline 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 - DONE
    • repaint jump poles - Deferred to 2021
    • 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 roomQ2 - made a spreadsheet with materials list, pricing

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Blog Hop: 2020 Summary; Covid Edition

Thanks to Alaina at Alberta Equest for this blog hop. I was in dire need of some motivation for content!

What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal:  I got to spend a lot of time with the hubby this year, which was especially nice during the summer. 

Horsey: Breeding my friend’s mare! She is due mid-January, so we are in the final stretch now!

a maple old fashioned (or two) by the fire with the hubby

What's the worst thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal:  This is a toss up between the hubby’s job lay-off and work. Actually, I’m going to go with work, as the hubby got a new, even better job in October.  Work has continued to suck since, oh, about May?  It is the first time in 16 years that I’ve considered leaving the organization I work for. It makes me a bit sad, but hey, c’est la vie. 

Horsey: Hmmm – I think the worst horse-related thing this year is the hay shortage.  We had a drought in June/July and it seriously affected the hay supply. It has been very hard to find enough decent hay. I think I’m ok now for the winter, but just barely.

I may have yelled out the window: Hay! It's for eating, not sleeping! There's a shortage! They didn't answer.  Lol

What was your biggest purchase in 2020?

Personal:  Once the hubby got his new job, we decided a new tv was in order, since we are home more and not going out (at all!).  A 65” smart tv was what the hubby went with!

Horsey:  Ivy!!  A new horse counts as a big purchase, even though she was not all that pricey.

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2020?

Personal: Oh, this one is easy! I have taught Archie to give me a high five!  Trainable cats are the best. Our next trick will be to ring a bell for a treat!

Horsey:   I got on not one, but two different horses this year.  Being out of the saddle had me a bit nervous about riding again, but a good friend encouraged me to get on for a short stretch this fall and I did not die!  (Also did not blog about it!)

He offers the high five a lot now. Sooo cute!

What do you feel covid robbed you of in 2020?

Personal:  Family time. 100% My family lives far away and I don’t see them as much as I’d like in a good year.  This year, we canceled our Easter visit and now Christmas.  Boo.

Horsey:  Robbed? Well I don’t really feel robbed on the horse front this year.  I didn’t get to show, but I’m ok with that, really. 

Were you subject to any covid impulse buys in 2020?

Personal: Does the tv count? It wasn’t really an impulse though and it was really the hubby’s purchase.

Horsey:  Does Ivy count?  My friend and I allllmost bought a cute TB mare, but decided against it due to the hay shortage and stupid winter. Lol

Unexpected silver linings in 2020?

Personal:  With all of the job lay-offs and Covid related stuff, I was prompted to get my finances in better order.  We had a great person at our bank help us get everything sorted out and updated.  I feel waaaay less stressed about that now.

Horsey:  An acquaintance of mine bought a small farm with an indoor arena.  She was looking for some clients to build her business of boarding and training.  I happened to have a big red horse that was in need of training.  We made a deal for a very good price, I might add, for Fred to go to her place for the winter and further his under saddle training!

Blurry screen cap of Fred under saddle!
I'm planning to go see Fred over the holidays, so I'll get more pics of him and an update, hopefully!

I hope everyone has as good of a holiday as possible, what with the shitshow that is 2020!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Where does the time go?

So, somehow a month and a half has slipped by since my last post!  Oops!  I keep meaning to write something here, but time just gets away from me.  Which is weird, since I'm actually at home 99% of the time.  I've been moving computers around to accommodate WFH (which has no signs of ending anytime soon) and my personal computer is on the verge of death, so maybe that is part of it?  Who knows?

Since my last post, a few things have happened.  I got a delivery of 10 big square bales to get me through the next few months.  The hay isn't the greatest, but it extremely hard to find this year and it is only October. That is kind of scary for late winter/early spring.  I think I have a source for some round bales too, so fingers crossed I am ok for hay.

In exciting news, my good friend sold her house and was able to buy back the farm she grew up on.  How exciting is that?  I think it is amazing.  Even more exciting is that she will only be about 20 mins away from me.  :-)  That is especially important, since we co-own Ivy and the foal that is due in 2.5 months!

She can't move until May 1 2021, so I have her horses here.  The mare, Lucy, on the left in the pic below is our broodmare.  She was here for two weeks and then she moved to the barn where she will have her foal.  The horse on the right is Spunky, a 10yr old QH gelding. I showed Spunky back in 2016.

They settled in pretty well, considering the hooligans that were outside staring in their windows all the time! LOL  Fred and Ivy were pretty excited with the new guests and spent a lot of time at the windows until everyone settled in.  I ended up keeping Fred and Ivy outside for the 2 weeks Lucy was here, since a) I only have 3 stalls and 5 horses and b) I didn't want anything to happen to Lucy, since is very preggers.  

After Lucy left for the maternity barn, I worked on integrating the other horses with Spunky.   I have been keeping Copper in with Spunky and Fred and Ivy have been staying outside, except for their am/pm grain.   Spunky stays in a lot because, well, he has issues.  lol  He had a horrific tendon injury a couple of years ago and my friend rehabbed him, got him barefoot and on limited turnout in a round pen.  She is aiming to have him on more turnout when she moves to her new (old) farm in the spring.  So, we aren't rocking the boat here and just doing what he is capable of. 
Spunky - so handsome!

Spunky has been going out for 2-3 hours a day in his round pen (lent to me by my friend!). My goal is to get him up to 5-6 hours outside during the winter. Apparently he loves the cold weather, so this is the perfect time to have him here.  Fred and Ivy seem to be fine with all of this and there is a lot of time spent biting each other's faces over the round pen and maybe some squealing from Ivy (she is in love).
Ivy and Spunky are BFFs.  Fred feels slightly left out. 

All in all, things are going well.  The horses are settling and I'm getting ready for winter.  Working from home has been so nice, since I can get out to the barn in daylight and do the bulk of my chores without a flashlight/headlamp!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Still here: yeah and boo edition

Guys: I'm still here.  I think. This new blogger interface is not helping with posts. Why is it so weird? Am I too old to "get" the new interface?  Ugh.

Anyhoooo

It's been awhile and some stuff has gone on, the leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping.  I'm just going to do a quick summary now to get this first post out of the way and I'll do some more updates later.

Ok, here we go, sort of in order:

I got to spend 5 days with my family at the end of August: Yeah!

My Mom and I did a bunch of fun crafts: Yeah!

I took no pictures: boo

I did find an old pic of me and my old gelding Farley. I was 14 in this pic: Yeah!

I think we were at some sort of show? I see a little green ribbon on the bridle! lol

We took Ivy to a trainer for 2 weeks and he made some progress: Yeah!

She got hurt, needed an emergency vet call and 2 weeks stall rest: boo

A few stitches - mostly healed - no tendon damage; we think.

She is fine now and the trainer will come to my place to work with her this fall: Yeah!

My boarder has left: mostly Yeah!, a little boo

Fred is great: Yeah!

Copper has been sore, finally had the vet out - it is his stifle.  booo

My friend sold her house for a profit and was able to buy her childhood farm: Yeah!!

Her two horses are coming here for the winter as she can't move in until May: Yeah and boo to long closing dates

Our preggers mare will be here for 1 month before she goes to her maternity barn: Yeah!  

My hubby worked his butt off and got a sweet new job: Yeah!

The leaves are turning, the temps are dropping and I've become a Starbucks pumpkin cream cold foam cold brew (or whatever it is called) addict:  Yeah?

Cold brew pumpkin cold foam. Delicious. I order it half-sweet so it isn't pure sugar.

I have done poorly in getting more media for this blog:  boo

Covid cases are on the rise here.  I wonder if we will have another shut down?  Mega boo

And that pretty much catches you up on life here.  Hope everyone is hanging in there and doing ok!

Monday, August 24, 2020

My name is Fred, they call me Fred

I've been meaning to write updates for all of the horses, cause this is a horse blog after all... I figured there should be some horse content occasionally.

Before I get into recapping Fred's impromptu training session, I'd like to add that I've made a late Q3 addition to my goals list: get more f*@*ing pictures for the blog.  LOL  But seriously, I could use some current media.  

 Last Sunday the Cowboy was here for Ivy.  He worked with her for about and hour or so and decided she was good and needed a break.  I had told him about Fred, so we decided with the 45 mins left of my time, we'd assess Fred and see what he thought about breaking him out for me.


A pic from last fall with the other trainer

We threw the saddle and bridle on Fred and he was worked on the lunge for a bit.  If you remember, I had someone sit on him a few times last fall, but we never had her off the lead line.  The cowboy quickly ran Fred through some basics to test where he was at: leaning on him, mounting/dismounting stirrups flapping, etc.   I really need to get a video of this for you guys, but this trainer can jump on from the ground - with a western saddle, no less - with just a couple of bounces and Fred is close to 17hh!
Actual footage from that day: Trainer bouncing and chubby me looking perplexed!

Anyway, once he saw that Fred was good with a rider pretty much climbing all over him, he got on and tested out the controls.  This is where Fred got confused - he was fine to back under saddle and even turn on the forehand.   Moving forward was very hard for him, for some reason.  Often if that is a problem, the rider uses an open rein and encourages the horse to take a step to the side to start, then they get some forward momentum.  This sort of worked with Fred, but he didn't really catch on to what was being asked. 

Now, this was his first session under saddle since the fall, so I wasn't expecting any miracles.   Fred was super good in that he never offered to kick or buck or rear when he got a bit confused by the trainer asking him to do stuff.  He has a very quiet temperament and is just maybe a bit less smart than others (lol poor Fred) and a bit stubborn. 

Cute, but confused? 

Without pics to show you, there isn't much more to add.  The trainer kept trying different techniques to get a few steps forward and it would work one time, then not the next. We gave Fred short breaks every few minutes to ensure he wasn't completely overwhelmed, but I think maybe he had had enough.  He is 5, so I was hoping he could work in larger chunks of time, but maybe not.  Anyway, I'm officially considering this ride 1 on Fred and I'm hoping to do more with him over the coming months as the temps have started to cool down.  

I don't have any experience starting a young horse, but since I know Fred is so quiet, I feel it should be safe for me to do some work with him in between pro sessions.  I don't have the budget to send him and Ivy this year (Ivy goes tomorrow for her bootcamp) so I'll have to do a bit of work on my own.  

Right now my plan is to show him a bit next year (if we ever have shows here again???) and get him started under saddle w/t at least, so I can find him a new home or keep him and trail ride him or something.  I have the foal coming (fingers crossed) in Feb, so I'll be busy with that little creature as well.  It seems weird to even attempt to talk about plans for next winter/spring, since we have no idea where the pandemic will take us at this point!  

Monday, August 17, 2020

A chestnut mare - what was I thinking?

Internet update: I've had internet since last Thursday evening. That is 4 days straight. Amazing!

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I've been meaning to post an update on Ivy for a while, but there wasn't much exciting news to report.  The first couple of weeks were a bit stressful, as the little herd shuffled the dynamics and they all had to adapt to the newcomer.  Fred quickly fell in love and the two of them are often quite close.

I was second-guessing myself on her a bit the first month - her heats were atrocious - messy and dramatic with lots of pinned ears and squealing.  Her heat was like that at her previous owners, as we went to see her the first time in the middle of her heat cycle.  

side eye level - expert

I had an acquaintance out to try her under saddle  during that first month to see what we were dealing with.    That didn't go well, as she hadn't yet had her teeth done and was clearly uncomfortable with a bit.  She was also reallllly attached to the herd and didn't want to be too far from the boys.  We decided not to push the mare and have a bad experience under saddle. We determined she was only green broke at best and left it at that. It then got blazing hot for weeks and I was not motivated to do much!  And sorry no photos - I do have a couple of the rider on board, but was too lazy to photoshop out her face!  LOL  (bad blogger!)  

In addition to the other small problems, she was also very difficult to catch in the field.  I could let her into her stall from the paddock no problem, but if you went out with a halter, she was like, "nope BYEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!"

Actual photo of me during the first month with Ivy...lol

After her teeth were done, I noticed her settling in a bit more.  On the advice of my friend, I started her on a herbal supplement for her heat, which I was very skeptical of at first.   By the time her next heat rolled around, it was waaaaayy less messy and she was much sweeter and approachable. I was all of a sudden able to catch her and had less problems handling her overall.  This made me heave a sigh of relief, as I really don't want to deal with a nasty, ill-behaved creature out in the field.  

I'm not sure how much of that is due to the supplement and how much is due to her settling in and relaxing a bit. We'll never know...lol  I'm keeping her on the supplement until the fall when she should stop coming into heat as the days get shorter. 

Heading out to the pasture...

This past week, my friend (who co-owns the mare) found a local trainer, who I'll refer to as the Cowboy from now on.  She knows people who have worked with this guy and had good things to say.  I had him out here on Sunday to assess Ivy AND Fred (yes, Fred had a rider on board again!).  He did a lot of work with her and though she would come along quickly with a few more rides.  She is basically green broke, but willing to try.    My friend and I decided to send her to his place for two weeks, instead of having him come here 1x a week or something. It just seemed to make more sense that he could accomplish more if he worked with her more often.  

And guess what? I was out with the horses and the trainer for almost 3 hours and did not take one. single. picture.  Gosh, this blogging thing would be easier with some media!  lol    I'll do a separate post with an update on Fred...spoiler alert: he is kind and calm, but stubborn AF!

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...