Tuesday, July 19, 2016

10 Questions for July

Blog hop from Viva Carlos

1. Do you actually always pick the horse’s feet? Always? Really? Usually I do before a ride, but I only ride around once a week soooo...

2. What is the biggest obstacle/reason preventing you from becoming a professional or competing full time with ease? I really have no desire to compete anymore...I'm not actually good at riding...shows are expensive etc. etc. 

3. Do you think it will ever not be about the money? Nope

4. Was there ever a horse that you loved and really wanted to have a connection with, but it just never panned out? Details. I worked with a mare in college that the owner was afraid to ride, I never really hit it off with her. She was a nice horse though and the owner ended up being able to sell her on after I rode her for a while, so I'm proud of the work I did. 

5. What is one weakness in your riding that even your trainer doesn’t pick up on, only you? I sit crooked/twist my shoulders, some people see it others don't but it is definitely there. 

6. What is the biggest doubt/insecurity you ask or tell yourself in your head? Since I'm not moving forward with my riding and don't ride often there is no point in continuing.  

7. There is a barn fire. You are the first person to discover it and see that the roof is collapsing in slowly, and you can tell that it’s going to come down any time. Do you call people first, or head in straight to save the horses? Open the doors and call 911? I don't think anyone can really predict what they would do in a situation like this.

8. What is one event in your riding career/horse/anything that you’re still not over, even though you might tell others you are? I fell off during an opening day hunt and got reamed for it by the other members for the entire 3+ hours left of hunting afterward, I don't really hunt anymore because of it.  

9. If you could tell off one person you just don’t like, what would you say? I think my success so far speaks for itself, so I wouldn't say anything. 

10. Have you ever seen questionable riding or training practices, but let it go/ignored it? How do you feel about it in hindsight? Probably? How other people ride/train does not really have anything to do with me so I don't see why I would get involved. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Country fried

Fried things that are good:
1. Chicken
2. Pretty much every other food 

Fried things that are bad:
1. My pastures/grass
2. The horses
3. Myself 

We are currently in a hot/dry spell in SE PA that is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon. The ground is rock hard and dusty and the pastures are pretty much done. The bug situation has been insane also, which is surprising considering how dry it has been. There are some upsides to this though, Frosty does not have to wear her grazing muzzle anymore which I'm sure she appreciates and there is no flooding of the usual things around here that flood.
This weekend was mostly based around avoiding the heat as much as possible while still spending some time with the horses and dogs. 
John had his horses shod and picked them up from their "vacation home" field in northern Chester County while I was at work on Saturday. When I got home I bathed both horses and all 3 dogs, I thought they would appreciate this but I was incorrect! Later in the evening when it was a bit cooler and less buggy I trail rode Chester at Spring Valley, we took it pretty easy since he has been off for a little while and just recently had his hind shoes pulled**. 

Angry dog is angry after her bath
I had big plans to go trail riding EARLY Sunday morning but didn't make it out until around 9am at which point it was already hot and the deer flies/horse flies were out in full force, Chester handled the crazy bugs like a champ and I was very proud of him because he really hates bugs but was a good boy anyway! I was getting a migraine during this ride...generally not feeling it, Chester kind of wasn't either...or maybe he was just feeding off of me, who knows! When we returned home I pulled Frosty out of the field and took her for a quick walk around the farm which was nice and relaxing. Frosty recently had her shoes pulled as well**, so again taking it really slow. 

**note: I have pulled Chester's hinds/Frosty's front shoes due to the shoes getting stomped loose from the bugs and me just not riding all that much lately. I unsuccessfully tried to transition Frosty to barefoot last winter and only had Chester for a short time without his hind shoes. Any tips/tricks from people out there who have gone through a barefoot transition would be VERY much appreciated!!**

Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Wherever you go, you take yourself with you"

“It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.” 

I have not written anything in months because I have not done anything with horses in forever between various issues and travelling for work/general exhaustion. However, despite not being very active with riding life on and around the farm has not slowed down!

John's field produced a bumper crop of nice quality 1st cutting grass hay this year. We also purchased four round bales of 1st alfalfa from our neighbor. I am so thankful for John's awesome friends who can drive a flatbed trailer because it means I don't have to! I am also thankful for our skid steer and tractor which give us the ability to handle all our hay in big squares or rounds...no stacking little bales!

I now have an official fenced paddock in my field! I was using temporary fence (which looked a mess) for the past two winters to split the field but now have post and rail fencing. The posts were pounded/drilled by evergreen fence and John and I (mostly John) put the rails/boards up. 

No more ugly fence!

Minimal riding means maximum walking with Roxy, Frankie, and Bliss! We have been to our usual rail-trail, the county park a few times, and even a different rail trail in Maryland. Frankie and Roxy especially seem to have boundless energy and even the longest walks don't make them tired...I wish I knew their secret! Bird hunting season is coming and I need to get my new hunting license and do more training with Frankie so he is ready to hunt pheasants at the preserve (possibly gamelands as well). Frankie is working on:
Whoa training, thinking of trying the place boards again
Drinking water from a squeeze bottle
Continued e-collar conditioning
Will attend a refresher training session at the preserve before season begins

I love food (obv.) and love going to places with outdoor seating in the summer, so I have been doing a lot of that. This photo is from one of my favorite restaurant patios!