Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guess What I Found in My Back Yard

I have horses.

I walked out into my yard and sure as ______  there they were.

I hate to say that I had almost forgotten. It seemed like it had been weeks since I had even seen them.

While that is not actually the case, I did throw some food once in a while, but even TC did that most of the time for me.  It makes me feel like a terrible horse mom, however, none of the four legged abandonees (I know that is not really a work) seemed to mind too much.

I have had so little contact with the Equine populous at my house, I haven't even attempted a blog post.  There was no point.

I did however finally squeeze a ride in Sunday evening after a huge 5 minute storm hit our place and took out the shade for my tack room and our best tree for shade in the dog yard.  Its fine, we can rebuild....without FEMA.

I rode The Princess and I am starting to notice something.  I was hoping when I got her that I would be able to focus more on my riding skills and less on keeping my mount in line.  It really does seem to be the case too.  I am starting to feel more solid in the saddle, less like a bag of potato's.

I have got to get someone to come and help me with the lead change cue though.  I am totally blowing it every single time.

One thing we did this time though was leave the arena.

As in out the gate.....

And out the main gate....

And then down the road and back several times.

She handled it pretty well as long as nothing touched her feet.   Then she looked much like that picture we have all seen on FB with the horse jumping straight up above the water screaming, "Something touched my foot!"

She spends a lot of time doing the looky loo, but that's okay. She even held it together when a car passed us.  However I did turn her to face it so she could see it coming.

We had some discussions about walking between some fence posts. She is still so freaky about crossing over things.  We went in and out of the main gate so she could cross the gate track several times.

I have a video as well, but have not been able to upload it to youtube without either adding music or removing the sound of my son, who was operating the camera and did such a wonderful job showing off his "I'm-a-jerk-and-can-cuss-like-a-truck-driver" skills.  So just suffice to say, she did it, and will be doing it again soon.

I managed to get up early Monday morning and ride Trax.  He was not at all happy about having to work before breakfast.  However, considering the lack of human contact he has had lately, he behaved just fine (once we spent some time in the round pen to give him a chance to "speak his mind").  I wanted to take him out and about as well, but his feet are sore from the crappy job the last trimmer did on him.  I might fire that girl, she clearly was not thinking about what our goals are with his feet when she worked on him last.  Of course she does work pretty cheap.  The girl is me, of course, and I didn't ruin him, but I did back up our forward progress.

He does fine in the arena or pasture or even in his pen, just any place rocky is hard for him.  I suppose I could put the boots on him and take him out.  Perhaps I will do that next time.

Our ride was good. Simple and easy, and he tried hard for me.  I have no complaints.

Today I didn't get up early but once I did get up, I cleaned my pens, and then decided to push through the heat and go. I compensated by riding in shorts and boots, and hosing my self off before we left. I stayed nice and cool the entire time.  This time I saddled up Killian, and booted Sassy and we headed down the road.   TC keeps pushing me to sell Killian, but when I ride him out and about like this, I know that I can't.  I have never had a steadier mount on the trail than this big red horse.

Sassy started out leading the way as always. She was moving just fine for most of the trip.  We didn't go too far, just down our road, up a few streets and then made a big loop around the neighborhood. We trotted slowly when we could and I was really happy with the way she was moving.  About half way through the ride she started limping on the LF again.  This time I just pushed her through it.  It was hard to do, but I think it was, in fact, the right thing to do.  If I kept her moving, at a walk, she favored it less with every step.  If we stopped and soaked up some shade to let a car go past, then she would favor it again. The more we moved, the less she limped. By time we got home she was almost normal again. When it was time to take off the boots she was putting all her weight on it on her own.

I switched her off of the purina low starch grain and put her, along with everyone else, on ADM Ultra Fiber.  Let me just say that I love love love this stuff.  It is affordable, Everyone's hoofs and manes and tails are growing like gangbusters, from the vitamins, and they love it.  They have been on it several months now and I have decided they will stay on it for the duration.  

I have so much grass in my pasture I decided to take advantage of it, and have quit even giving any hay at all.  I have a pair of horses out on pasture half the day, and then switch them out on the other half.  Sassy and Killian get the night shift, so there is less sugar in the grass, and then the spotted horses get the day shift.

The spotted horses are maintaining a nice weight, Melody especially.  Trax is a little heavy but not ungodly so.   If he were getting ridden more it would be perfect.  The Red horses are getting hay bellies...big ones.  However, the big crest of fat on Sassy's neck is gone.  So again, I think exercise would be the key for these two as well.  I do think there may be a grazing muzzle in Sassy's future, maybe Killian's too.

When the horses come in from pasture they get the their grain and a small amount of Bermuda blend pellets.

I'm still trying to decide if I like this arrangement.  The down side is that they go 12 hours with out any food.  But then they have a solid 12 hours of grazing on the other side of it.  I'm trying to determine if that is better or worse than being fed at 7 am, eating for an hour, and then waiting until 7 pm and eating for an hour.

If I give them hay in "slow feed" nets they have it gone in 2 hours- three tops.   The whole point of hay nets is to simulate grazing.  So when actual grazing is available it should be better for them.  Unless of course they are pigs who gorge themselves like those two red horses.

I'm guess I am still tweaking this schedule.  I will get it figured out eventually.   I also quit keeping them all separated.  I have pens big enough to hold a couple of horses easily.  The flies are pretty bad right now, regardless of what I try to do to kill them.  With this in mind I decided to put 2 horses per pen. It gives them the ability to swish flies together.  It seems to be working out perfect.

So I know I have been blogging much lately.  I think I went through a bout of depression, which makes it hard to do anything.  It seems like I am pulling out of now though, so hopefully I will back to riding and blogging regularly.


  1. I noticed you hadn't posted in a long time and was hoping everything was ok. You blog is one of my favs :)

    1. Thanks Laura, I'll try to keep at it more.

  2. My theory is that not riding horses causes depression, and riding them fixes it. The heat also sucks. I hope you continue to feel better.

    1. I must agree with you Nuzz, I was trying to explain that theory to my son, and he doesn't get it. All I can say is that if I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand!

    2. I will tell ya Nuz, the wet t-shirt when riding today made a huge difference. It was 10 am at least by time I got out there, so you know how hot it was. Naturally when it is that hot I don't work the horses too hard, but walking and trotting helped them work up a sweat and burn off some of those calories.

  3. Yup it is hard to keep motivated when its so hot! I been going late at night, although I plan to go in the mornings it never works. Its always a change in management as far as feed goes at my place, right now Jessie is fat and she is the only one getting ridden, her 2 buddies just stand around all day and they are at a decent weight. I find my horses dont graze much in the daytime they prefer to stand in the shade away from bugs and they eat all night, that could be more of why the reds are fatter at your place too

    1. I wish that was the case, but no. Those spotted horses never even lift their heads unless it is to go get a drink. However Melody has more nervous energy and spends a good amount of time pacing when she is locked up. I actually think the red horses are just "super easy keepers".

      When I see how fat they are, it sure does help with my motivation to go ride.

  4. I was just thinking of you, hoping all was well and what do you know? Here you are:). It sure has been a rough year. I hope things smooth out soon, for both of us. More saddle time would sure help.

    1. Oh yeah, we are fine. Funny thing, I was thinking about you too.

  5. Been checking on the blog and hoping, although I probably should have shot you an email or text.... I've been trying to keep things going too and find I only get to ride in the evenings. If you want a riding buddy, maybe we can set something up in the near future. Then we can catch up on things too.