Monday, October 24, 2016

Fun Halloween post: horse superstitions and wive's tales

I have always loved myths and stories about horses. In honor of Halloween here is a small list of some of my favorite horse superstitions and wive's tales. I'd love for this to become a blog hop of sorts, feel free to post along if you know any good ones!:

Picture from Dana's Doodles
1. Horses with the prophet's thumbprint (indentation on side of neck) are fast/lucky

2. Never wear anything new to horse shows or out hunting

3. It is bad luck to change a horse's name

4. All chestnuts/sorrels are hot

5. The luckiest horseshoes are from the hind feet of a gray mare
This is a grey gelding but whatever
6. Hair whorls on a horse's face can predict personality traits (detailed article here)

7. A horse is worth $100 for every time it can roll completely over

8. A promise made on horseback can not be violated

9. Wind knots that form in horses' manes overnight are created by pixies/fairies

10.Untangling a horse's mane with your fingers instead of a comb is good luck

Friday, October 21, 2016

Questions for October

Questions from the always fabulous Viva Carlos!

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself? I don't really jump anymore...I was going to teach Chester but meh 

What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? -- 1 weekday ride plus 2 weekend rides until daylight savings...hopefully!

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? Have my own arena, go to a horsemanship clinic and try western dressage...I'm not sure? 

How many barns have you been at in your riding career? Several for lessons as a kid, 3 boarding barns, and my current place

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? Several as a kid, but only 1 for an extended period, 2 as an adult for (very!) occasional lessons. My riding career was shaped most by a friend who I worked for she wasn't my "trainer" I guess but taught me all the most important things I know about horses today. 

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do? Oh yes! and still do on weekends. Clean stalls, water, turn in/out, first aid/meds, stack hay...other tasks as assigned LOL

Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider? Nope

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online? I don't do it and don't appreciate others who attempt it on me

What is the ideal height of a horse for you? I love my 14.2 mare, but in reality she is probably too short for me. I rode 17.1+ horses for a while and that was definitely too big. I'd say Chester's size (16.1-16.2) is great!



Just right?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A few barn projects: including my foray into stone masonry

It has taken a while to get around to writing this post but here we are! We did a few projects on the barn in the past 1-2 weeks and I have not written a barn update in a while. You can see more about where we started with the barn and some of the biggest changes we made here and here.

Barn wall and floors: 
In the picture but you can see the gap that has formed between the stone wall and dirt floors in the barn. This is not great especially in a stone barn prone to flooding/rodent issues. We decided to attempt to fill the gap with quick mix mortar and see if that improves anything. 

 The mortar stuff is called "quick mix" or "quickcrete" or something like that. I imagine the name is intended to trick you into thinking that working with this stuff is quick and/or easy. That is a lie. Luckily for me I had access to the right tools to mix it (husband=most important mortar mixing tool).

Christa's quick and easy guide to stone masonry: 

Step 1: Obtain mortar mix, lime, water, mortar pan, weird trowel things and husband (DO NOT under any circumstances forget husband).

Step 2: Add mortar mix  to pan and random amount of water. If it is really clumpy and does not stick to anything you need more water, if it is too thin and watery you need more mortar mix (if you get to this point and you are out of mortar mix you are screwed).

Step 3: Realize you are unsuccessful at getting reasonable consistency. Flag down husband. Husband does something involving lime/mortar mix/wizardry.

What is this sorcery?
Step 4: Smoosh wizard mortar into gap between barn and floor until you run out. Realize that a little of this stuff does NOT go a long way. Plan return trip to home depot. 

We still need to add mortar to the walls in the feed room but were able to do both stalls. I am hoping when this is done it will help seal off water/rodents/insects etc. from getting into the barn between the wall and floor gap.

What a difference a door makes: 
This picture shows our new and amazing sliding barn door. This door replaces the ancient/cumbersome swinging doors that used to be on the top of the barn. The previous door hinges were breaking and they would not stay closed without something leaned against them. The hinge on one of the old doors finally totally broke during a wind storm so that door was stuck open allowing rain, leaves, etc. onto the barn floor. The new door is so light and easy to open and close, I think it looks great and was installed just in time for winter and bad weather. Hooray!

So exciting!