Saturday, May 29, 2021

Treat Yo’self - Farm edition

This is all part of trying to catch up on the past few months! 

We all know buying tack and saddle pads is fun, but buying actual farm equipment is fun too!! Lol

And I have no pictures because I’m still not great at getting pics while I’m doing stuff! And I’m trying this post from my phone and the app lets me see my pics but won’t actually upload them into the post. 🤷‍♀️

Let’s start with the smallest purchase first: a hay fork! Yes, there is a specific pitchfork for hay. It works great for feeding off of round bales or big squares! I actually had no idea this existed until I was cursing about trying to feed hay from a round bale and pulling it apart by hand. I have now been enlightened to the hay fork and will not look back! 

My next purchase was a bit of a whim. My friend and I bought some hay from someone that is selling her farm. While there we used her hay elevator to move the hay from the barn to her hay wagon. My friend and I commented how nice that was and the lady causally mentioned that everything was for sale at this point.

I’ve always wanted a hay wagon to move hay but figured one would be way too expensive. I got a super deal on this wagon and I bought the hay elevator too, as my friend’s new farm has a loft where I will be storing some of my hay for the winter. 

And, I hauled the loaded hay wagon with my truck!! That was the first time I’ve hauled something and it was nerve wracking at first, but I started to get the hang of it. Backing that sucker up is no fun though, let me tell you!!

I feel like those purchases were meant to be - what are the odds that we not only got some hay to tide us over to this years crop AND much needed equipment for a great price?


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!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I'm still here!


I think I'm currently the world's worst blogger!!! Lol  I didn't meant to take a break, since I've been busy with horse stuff!   Work was super busy over the winter and is just starting to ease up now, so I feel like I can breathe a bit and do some other things!

A few quick updates:

Spring is coming - woohoo!

Rip is fine and growing like a weed! Mom is doing well too.  I have a lot of pictures and video, so will try and get myself organized and post some chronological updates.  I really want to have a record of things with this first (adorable but a bit bitey) foal. 

Mom was enjoying some cookies and Rip can now see over the door!














Fred is fine (mostly) and learning to work under saddle. He has some minor-ish hoof issues that I'll talk about later, once I get myself organized and gets some updates sorted out!  I also have some video of him working under saddle so that is a first that I have some actual media! Lol



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?

---------------------------

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/décor 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

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...