I spent a few minutes the other day scrolling through my facebook timeline and noticing the lack of recent horse pictures. Frosty was ridden once in November and again in February (in Aiken). Chester had a few weekend rides in December, maybe 1 or 2 in January and none since then. This winter really just took the wind out of my sails on the riding front. If this means I am not a dedicated horse owner then I guess I'm not dedicated. The horses have had unlimited hay, grain 2x a day, regular farrier care and blanket changes etc. through the last 4 months just hardly any riding. They are sick of being stuck in the dry lot (pastures are still too soft/muddy from this previous snow melt to turn out there yet). Daylight savings has come and gone and it is light enough to ride after work now, but the motivation is not there. The cold damp weather just has me burned out...add that to the fact that it is unclear if either horse even remembers what a saddle is.
Sorry about the buzzkill post...sometimes I just wonder why I am doing this?
There comes a time in the life of many horse people when we may feel that is no longer cost effective to board or that we would get more enjoyment (this is a lie) out of our horses if they were moved home to our own properties. Here is a simple guide to determining if you are ready to move your horses home, if you can pass all these tests/perform these tasks, congrats! You are ready to embark on the joyous adventure of having your own farm.
1. Find the muddiest place on your newly acquired property and roll around in it, make sure you do this 15-20 minutes before you have to go to work
2. On a day with 40+ mph wind gusts practice haltering and leading 2 horses at once to the barn...make sure this is at 5:30 am or some other time when it is pitch dark out for maximum effect
3. Grab the hose and spray ice cold water down your boots and gloves, this will simulate the conditions after cleaning water buckets and troughs in the winter
4. Take a round bale, tear it apart and spread all over your car and inside the house, now that you have horses at home your car and house will look like this all the time
5. Got a tractor without 4wd (I do not recommend this)? Cool! have fun figuring out tire chains (remember it will be dark and probably sleeting/raining while you are doing this)
6. Become really good at starting your ancient tractor using ether and/or an adjustable wrench across the solenoid
7. Make friends with your local chain saw and lawn equipment dealer, since you will spend more time with your chain saw and weed whacker than you ever will with the horses
8. Are you allergic to bees? Do you have crazy reactions to poison ivy? Time to find out!
9. Practice carefully calculating/titrating the correct amounts of expensive pasture fertilizers and herbicides only to have your pastures still look like mostly shit at the end of the season
10. Remember that Costco and Sam's club sell vodka and boxed wine in bulk