Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 year in review...5 words or less

January-Really cold everything frozen
February-More of the same

March-Holy shit new jobs
April-Paper chase season starts
May-I have a new car 
June-Weedwhacking and smashing trees 
July-Frankie comes home
August-Anniversary wolves 
September-A show, also modeling

October-Paperchases fun, fun, fun
November-Sometimes falling off, sometimes not
December-Unseasonably warm? Yes please!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Farm Hacks

In no particular order, some unexpected things that have made my life easier over the past year and a half of having horses at home:

Stock trailer with no ramp: Horse doesn't want to load? Hauling a few bales of hay? Have a horse that prefers to haul loose? You need one of these, I LOVE a trailer without a ramp and the horses like the open, inviting space provided by a stock trailer.

4 wheeler: I have a Polaris Sportsman Ace (in picture). Four wheelers are great because 1) Fun 2) Can fit muck bucket or hay on the back 3) Can set up with sprayer for applying herbicide to pastures 4) Habituate horse to ATV traffic 5) Fun 

Zip ties: Just go ahead and get the mega-pack that comes with all different sizes. One of my favorite uses for these are halter/haybag/trailer tie break-aways. They look clean and neat and break easily in panicky situations. 

Weedwhackers that don't suck: Thinking of getting the "homeowner" model? Think again. It is absolutely worth it to shell out for a pro weedwhacker that will actually hold up for farm use (ie. you will spend more time actually weedwhacking, less time searching for the pieces of the head that blew apart because you tried to cut through something rough). I love the Stihl weedwhackers.

Extremely high tech, expensive hay feeding device: This is a "harvest bin" designed for storing fruit. It also works great for keeping hay off the ground and reducing waste, plus if the horses destroy it you are not out $700+.

What do you think? I want to hear everyone's farm hacks and tips!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"I am not lost for I know where I am, however, where I am may be lost"

The quote in the title is from Winnie the Pooh if anyone is wondering.

It has been a very eventful past 2 weekends since I last wrote (including the thanksgiving holiday "weekend" during which I had Thursday off but worked Friday all day and Saturday morning).
My first adventure was a trip to Swatara State Park, this is near Pine Grove, PA and is a bit of a drive from my place in is even more of a drive when Siri sends you to a trailer park with the same name 45 minutes out of the way before you reach your destination. That aside, this was a great place to ride with wide beautifully groomed trails. I rode Frosty in her new western bridle and western myler bit for the first time and she did pretty well, this was my first time trail riding with split reins and I can't decide how I feel about them, I was pretty paranoid about dropping one!
Really longggg bridge over 2 creeks at Swatara State Park

Western poneh doing western things

This past weekend I attended the shortest paper chase in the history of paper chases located in Upperco, MD which is an area kind of like Unionville, PA or Middleburg, VA...except in Maryland. We finished the paper chase in approximately 15 minutes. There was a variety of jumps and I jumped Frosty over 2 coops (my first time over a coop on this horse) a wood panel thingy and some logs in the woods. By the end Frosty was just starting to get warmed up so John decided he wanted to go trail riding on the way home. We tried to find a natural resource area...which ended up being a Christmas tree farm...which was not designed for horse trailer traffic. Long story short John had to back the trailer out a REALLY LONG road/driveway, this type of thing is why John drives the trailer NOT ME. We ended up skipping on that idea and had bagels and stopped at Spring Valley on the way home, I jumped some more things with Frosty at Spring Valley and we rode for another hour or so before heading home. I like bagels, I like Frosty, and I like jumping at Spring Valley, good day.
I don't have any pictures from the shortest paper chase ever, but here are my dogs eating yogurt

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blog hop! Questions!

A fun blog hop from That Red Mare

Here we go!

1. Mares or Geldings? Why?
A good mare will work harder for you than any gelding.

2. Green-broke or Fully Broke?
Fully broke

3. Would you own a "hotter" breed (ie. Arabian, Trakhener, etc).
Nope, nope, and nope

4. What was your "dream horse" growing up?
Any horse!

5. What kind of bit(s) do you use and why?
Full cheek JP snaffle and bit keepers. Improved steering and my horse likes the JP curved bits.

6. Helmets or no helmets?
I always wear one.

7. Favorite horse color?
Bay roan!

8. Least favorite horse color?
Chestnut+white socks

9. Dressage or Jumping?
Trails! Duh.

10. How many years have you been riding?
20 this year

11. Spurs/whip or no spurs/whip?
Nope, horse doesn't need them

12. Your first fall?
I was like 6 and landed on my feet, so it hardly counted!

13. When was the last time you rode and what did you do?
I took John's horse foxhunting

14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
My Dixieland western saddle

15. How old were you when you started riding?

16. Leather or Nylon halters?
I have rope halters for home and leather for hauling, I don't turnout in halters

17. Leather or Synthetic saddles?

 18. What "grip" of reins do you like?
Softgrip rubber from Bartville Harness...THE BEST

19. English or Western?
Used to be English but I am liking western more and more!

20. Do you board your horse? Self-care/full board? Home board?
I don't board, they live at my house. This is great.

21. How many saddlepads do you have?
I have one western and probably 4-5 english

22. Slant-load trailer or straight haul?

23. Why do you ride?
Because I am nuts.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend fun and some farm projects

As the weather gets colder and opportunities to ride get to be few and far between I am trying to squeeze in as much pony time as possible on the weekends since riding during the week is mostly out of the question because it is always dark (boo!). In addition to riding there are also a bunch of obnoxious "get read for winter" projects.

I had work in the morning and then headed up to Michaux State Forest. This is one of my favorite places to ride and I was really happy to make it there one last time before the weather gets really bad. I got to touch up Frosty's chaser clip, roach her mane and do some trimming on her face and legs before heading up. It was chillier in the mountains than I expected and I did NOT dress warm enough lol! We went pretty fast and Frosty was STRONG so I warmed up really quickly. I rode western for this ride, this was Frosty's second time as a western poneh and she did really well.

Friends! Yay!

Frosty making a cranky mare face
Sunday was the Beaufort Hunt's second junior hunt of this year. This was a really great time and they had an excellent turnout! We took John's horses.
John is in front (blue saddle pad) and I'm in back (teal-ish saddle pad)  

When we got home from hunting I set up Frosty's fence to it's winter configuration. Our land is really hilly and I like to keep the horses off the hills as much as possible in snowy/icy/muddy conditions for safety and to reduce erosion, hence this fence set up.
Early morning picture of fence
John also did some (much needed!) tree removal of the two huge pine trees next to the barn. This will eliminate the pine needles which get everywhere and allow more sun to reach the hill/barn area this will hopefully lead to less ice/snow sticking around in those areas.

Picture from last year of 2 pine trees next to barn
In addition to these projects John's awesome friend Harry was in town a few weeks ago to help with some improvement which I am THRILLED about. The first was installation of our custom made "inner" barn doors. This will allow the dutch doors to be left open and increase airflow in the barn while allowing the horses to see out. The second was a NEW WATER LINE and spigot located closer to the horse water troughs and barn. I am freakishly happy about this and it should make my life much easier this winter when it comes to watering horses.
Another early morning photo of the new inner barn doors...I need to get a better one in nicer light

Friday, November 6, 2015

Horse husband!

 Found these questions on the Jumping Percheron Blog ( and just had to share, since John (horse husband extraordinaire) is such a huge part of my life with horses!

Real Name: John

When Not Busy Being a Horse Hubby You Will Find Him: Selling tools, hunting

Height: Taller than me

Favorite Thing to do With the Horses: Foxhunting or trails

Can be Found at Horseshows: 
Talking to the other horse husbands, being the "go-fer" for me

Least Favorite Thing About Horseshows: Waiting around

Super Power: Fixing things! Lawncare! Driving the trailer!

No Matter What Barn We Go To...: He ends up fixing something or giving someone diesel truck or horse trailer advice

Permanently in Charge of: Trailer driving!!!!!!

I Know He Doesn't Like it, But He Does it Anyway: Taking Frosty and I to the indoor

Best Trick: Backing up any trailer, anytime, anywhere

If He Gets an Attitude: I'm the one with the attitude problem

When He's Been Really Good: Beer.

I Can Always Count on Him to: Be there for me and fix all the stuff I break~!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Quick fall season overview

It's been forever, I've been busy with horse and non-horse things and have been to some fun events this fall.

9/27-Beaufort Hunter trials:
This was located at the gorgeous South Branch Farms facility. It was a pleasure to ride there. I did the walk/trot division and ground poles with Frosty, we got reserve champion in our division.
10/11-Pink Poker Prance
Breast cancer awareness ride at Fair Hill. This was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with how Speck handled all the horses and riders in costume/pink decorations. I definitely need more pink if I do this next year!

10/18-The Pacemaker Fall Fest
Pace event at Lancaster county central park to benefit mounted police. This involved driving the horse trailer through Lancaster city (husband driving NOT ME). The park was really different! It had a little bit of everything, wedding venue, frisbee golf course, fountains, pool, a skate park. Frosty did excellent despite the cool and breezy weather. Added bonus=getting to ride with the mounted police officers. 

 10/24-Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunter Pace
Located at Spring Valley Park very close to home! A nice long ride with a little bit of everything, woods, open fields, some jumps, water crossings etc. Frosty settled in nicely after a long trot at the beginning of the ride. No photos from this event as I was running a bit late due to having to work that morning! 

11/1-Beaufort Hunt Opening Meet
At a beautiful farm in Dauphin County, PA. A rough day, Speck was a bit of a nut. Oh well!
Pic not from opening meet, but a nice photo of Speck looking reasonably clean!

Its been a great season overall and we have really been lucky with the weather, it has been excellent!


Friday, October 9, 2015

4 things...I was really sarcastic and ridiculous about this and I apologize

Four Job's I've had:
1. Canoe rental person
2. Manure transfer engineer (shit shoveler)
3. Dairy nutrition
4. Boss b-tch in charge

Four Movies I've watched more then once:
1. Isolation
2. Idiocracy
3. Wreck it Ralph
4. Harry Potter movies

Four Books I'd Recommend:
1. American Gods
2. January First
3. Rant
4. Harry Potter books 

Four Places I have lived:
1. Upstate NY
2. Delaware (I would not recommend this)
3. Tennessee
4. Where I live now

Four Places I have visited:
1. Middleburg VA
2. Tioga county
3. Vermont
4. Cancun

Four Places I'd rather be:
1. Farm
2. Farm I work at
3. Other farm I work at during foaling season
4. Outside

Four thing's I'd rather not eat:
1. Anything green
2. Vegetables
3. Also vegetables
4. Vegetables

Four of my fav food:
1. Chocolate
2. Ice cream
3. Chinese food
4. Ramen noodles

Four TV shows I watch:
1. I don't have a TV
2. ...
3. ...
4. ...

Four things I'm looking forward to this year:
1. Not winter
2. Working
3. Having the manure spreader tire fixed
4. Drinking more coffee so I can do stupid things faster with more energy

Four things I'm always saying:
1. DON"T LICK THAT (I have 3 dogs)
2. Nope.
3. The laundry goes IN the basket not next to it
4. This weather is bullshit

Four Horse Breeds I've ridden:
2. Poneh
3. QH
4. Hairy draft cross

Photo credit-Kathryn Thomas photography

Four Dog Breeds I like:
1. Greyhound
2. Jack Russel
3. Corgi
4. Bird dogs

Four Horse Events I want to participate in:
1. Poop shoveling speed event
2. Late night catch horse in the dark race
3. Removing hay from bra discreetly Olympics
4. Tractor driving obstacle course

Four of my fav animals:
1. Horse
2. Dog
3. Dairy cow
4. Beef cow

Four places I would like to go:
1. Benezette, PA
2. Florida
3. Montana
4. Wyoming