Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Photo-Spam

'Cause I couldn't wait for Silent Sunday or Wordless Wednesday, please enjoy a thoroughly random picture spam because:

It's been raining.  A LOT...

Pony has been waiting to get her feetsies done (they got done tonight, hooray!).

Parents are up visiting until Saturday.

It's getting darker.

Enjoy some photos.

So smoochable.

Mare-pants in make-shift cross ties.

Roxy dog.

Ty  dog.
My idea of a conformation shot.  

Suzie's idea of a conformation shot.
Overexposed mare face.
Annoyed old mare face.

Friday, October 24, 2014

SFTS BlogHop: That 1 Thing

Due to lack of things to really post about (other than the fact that I pulled my very first set of hind shoes yesterday), I have thus decided to participate in a BlogHop thanks to Stories From The Saddle 
This hop has two parts, so here goes:
"I wanna know: what is the ONE piece of tack (or clothing) that you simply cannot live without?"

To be honest? My boots. I LOVE my riding boots. They are just simple zip-up paddocks, but with my Ariat close contact half-chaps, I just love them. Very comfortable to ride in since I am not a fan of tall boots. However, tall boots have changed a lot over the years (hello, zippers!) and I am keeping my eyes open for something nice.

"Second, I'd like to know what you're currently saving up for or lusting after. Basically, what item do you have your eyes set on right now?"
Come live with me <3


I would like to get myself a badass Dressage saddle with the fancy stirrup leathers - droooool. But, Suzie is primarily Western so it wouldn't be practical. So if I wanted to lust after something? It'd probably be a Western breastplate or just some nice cowboy boots - Ariat Fat Baby's or something.

I guess I'm just super simple.


Octobers 10 Questions

Thanks to L over at Viva Carlos for the "blog hop" of sorts!

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own?
Right now? Only 3. It makes me sad.

2. How many horses have you ridden?
Oh my… probably A LOT, but let’s count all the horses I can remember?

                 °           The Quarter Horses/ QH Crosses 
and Paints: Annie, Mac, Suzie, Pal, Cobra, 
Flash, Monroe, Pippa, Cheyenne, Beauty, 
Myriah, Sunnyboy,
          °           The Arab/ Arab Crosses/ Anglo 
Arabs: Amythst, Flicka, Jazzy, Oliver, Paloma,  
Zephie, Stormy, Smokey

                  °           The Warmblood (X)/ TB (X): Czar, 
AJ, Geronimo, Havana, Bubba, Tally, Lacey, 
Sinclair, Diamond, Peppy, Roxie

                  °           Gaited Horses and Standardbreds: 
DJ, Bumper, Goldie 

                   °           Ponies: Lightning
Total, as of now is 35.

3. How many trainers have you had?
I’m assuming this does not mean clinicians? If not, I’ve only had one trainer throughout
my entire career riding. Otherwise, I’ve taken clinics with quite a few different people, all 
specializing in different aspects of riding. At the moment, my “Old Trainer” doesn’t teach anymore,
so I just take clinics.

4. How many barns have you ridden at?
I’ve ridden at a few for clinics and stayed overnight at some, but I do not board at a boarding barn 
(mine is private).

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? 
Cheyenne and Suzie. 

6. What is your favorite show name you've 
ever encountered?
 I always liked Mac’s show name “Mita Mac Too”. It just rolls off the tongue nicely. Suzie’s is pretty
neat too “Quick Little Coosa”.

7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding?
Getting frustrated/defeated easily.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
That the horses I ride are very forgiving? LOL.

9. Have you ever leased a horse?
Yes, quite a few. 

10. What is the name of the first horse you rode?
 Oh wow… I’m not even sure. But the earliest I can remember [pony riding] was a big grey gelding
named Runaway.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


The feedbox and wall of the run in shelter attached to the barn,
prior to Suzie deciding to attack/eat it.
Yesterday, I headed out to feed after work and thankfully, there didn't seem to be too much additional damage to the feed box or the plywood boards. However, I do think that T over at Project Gingersnap is correct in her theory that Suzie is just bored and is maliciously attacking her feedbin as a result.

 As a general precaution, Jamie and I removed the feedbox out of the paddock, hammered back down the plywood that was lifted, and I am now feeding Ms. Hannibal Lector from nibble hay-nets to keep her mind busy. She has destroyed enough of her poor feedbox and I don't want to come and feed one night and find her choking on inhaled/eaten wood pieces.

So without further ado, I present to you, "The Great Damage of 2014":

The damage speaks for itself. You can see where I had magicianed the feedbox to a round-headed screw [I use them to hold up Suzanne's haynets if/when I feed with them] because Suzie had literally moved the feedbox around so it was perpendicular to the wall. Boredom has certainly gotten the best of her. Also, please ignore the mushy/ugly ground around the feedbox... like I had explained earlier, it has been raining the last couple of weeks nonstop and we've had an influx of severe rainfall warnings the last four days. And, Jamie found that the hose was left on yesterday.... and who knows how long that thing has been on since I haven't had to fill up her trough in nearly five days from all the rain. Eep.

This morning I headed out before work (like I normally do) to feed and Suz was out meandering around the paddock and I plopped her new salt lick on the ground. Suz met me in the run-in shed, waiting for breakfast. She seemed antsy and impatient, and I actually had to smack her at one point for getting all up in my business while I was trying to tie up her nibble net. She definitely has energy to burn, it seems like.

I hate you, BC Coast.
 It had stopped raining overnight, and it appeared as though Ms. Mare decided to wander around and keep herself occupied. The fixed plywood board didn't have a single new scratch on it, and since the feedbox isn't in the run-in shed anymore, she ate from her nibble net and that was that. So, hopefully things continue on the straight and narrow and this weather eases up so my mare can go do more than just stand in her shelter all day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Destructive Wood Chewing

 In the last three days, Suzie has gone from being a normal, crotchety old mare, to being a destructive chewer of wood. I don’t know what has caused this drastic change, but she has started this nasty habit literally overnight.

At first, I didn’t think much of it, and assumed that she was nibbling the feedbox because she was bored or lonely since Tally had left. So when I found little pieces of chewed up wood on the bottom of the feed-box, I'd clean them out/ brush them away to keep her from inhaling them/ eating them. It has been a week today since Tally was taken back home, and at first, Suzie seemed to be fine. She hadn’t displayed any huge signs of being depressed or too frantic – she was still meandering around her paddock, still pooping normally, drinking/eating, and seemed in fine spirits. I felt bad that Tally had gone back home, but unfortunately, the lease had ended and Spud needed a second month of training.

However, now she has become downright destructive. She has been maliciously attacking the plywood that runs along the one side of the lean-to and pulled off a large piece of it this morning. I haven’t had the chance to observe this behavior, as I am certain it only occurs when she is on her own. It has been puzzling me, and has made me rightfully frantic because A) what the HECK is going on with my horse?! and B) what if she inhales/eats the wood and chokes?  

A friend had immediately said, "Maybe she's turned into a cribber now". But I hesitate to call it cribbing, because it isn't on fence-posts and it doesn't seem to scream "cribbing" to me. It just seems... frantic and a bit more malicious than cribbing... I don't know. Maybe I'm just unwilling to admit she is a cribber.

Factors to consider in all of this are the following:

1. Tally has been gone for one week today. 

2. Suzie’s salt lick ran out about 4-5 days ago and I hadn’t had a chance to replace it yet, as the only place that sells salt licks is 45min away and closes before I finish work (conveniently!). 

3. It has been absolutely POURING rain relentlessly. The last two days have had severe rainfall warnings (yesterday 75-100mm of rain anticipated, and today a 50-75mm rainfall anticipated), so Suzie is certainly NOT out grazing on the little grass sprouts or wandering around. 


I hope to have this re-mediated quite quickly. She has also started to move her feed-box around and this morning, when I found it turned right around and the piece of plywood ripped off, I grabbed some lead-ropes and tied the feed-box to a hanging hook for the haynet. I can only hope there isn’t mass destruction out there today. I had my brother run out and get Suz a salt lick, as apparently wood eating can be due to mineral deficiencies.

I seriously hope this gets fixed… and fast, otherwise I may have to borrow a friend’s horse for the next 44 days until Spud arrives. This is very much unlike her, though. When Tally and I left for the BVX Competition in August and Tally was gone for almost a week, it didn’t phase Suzie. She wasn’t destructive. She didn’t even really care. 

Sigh, my brain is going a mile a minute on this... Any thoughts/ suggestions/ hugs?  I'm kind of at a loss.... but my game plan is to start with the salt-lick and remove her feed box to see what happens. My poor mare.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Beginnings

Jamie and I have officially become land owners of approximately five acres of nothing but trees and dirt. It may not look like much now, but over the next few years it certainly will start to take shape and all sorts of interesting horsey additions will be made to make my dream of owning horses at home a definitive thing. I am beyond excited to get started, but for now, we are going to start paying down the loans and all that special stuff, and start shaping the land.

It is pretty much untouched land so removal of trees, leveling, ground fill, drainage, etc are all things that will need to be looked into and taken into consideration. We are both wanting to do as much of this as we can ourselves, so not only is it going to take a lot of time, but also a lot of work. Stay tuned for some exciting updates - I am not certain when that will be, but there will be all kinds of small milestones!

Everything inside the white "box" is ours! Whee!

It actually reminds me of planning a wedding, or some similar event, because there is SO much to think about! I've been "pinning" all kinds of barn designs, fencing options, etc on Pinterest over the last two years and now it's time to actually start figuring out what I want instead of going, "Ooooh, that's pretty!" Of course, it'll most likely be a good year or two before I have a barn up and functional, but we are much closer than we were a mere two years ago!

I'm already being naughty and looking at barn designs, best footing for arenas (because yes, I plan on having my own outdoor arena!), and everything else! It's so exciting, so tempting, and so.... overwhelming at the same time! Commence the suggestions for barns! I LOVE barns with overhangs, and I want the barn to have at least three stalls... it will also serve as a lean-to for the horses, much like my old BO's place pictured below. I also like the fact that my old BO had a seperated "tacking up" station and that the tack room was blocked off from the horse's access. Basically, all they had access to was the stalls in the barn and that was it - the rest of the barn was fenced off around.

The old BO's barn. I love the seperated tack room/tacking up station and that the horse's
stalls also double as their shelter. The overhang is just icing on the cake. LOVE it.
In other news, Suzie had better grow some water wings, because we are expected to receive upwards of 75mm of rain today. Another rainfall warning has been issued for our region and to be frank, I am sick of the dampness. Thankfully, it is not significantly cold, the ground is completely saturated and erosion is taking place all over the ditches, drains and walkways both at work and in the barn.

We did have a brief day where rain was not present, and I took the opportunity to brush out Suzie and take her for a quick hand walk, but other than that, poor lonely mare has been hiding under her lean-to shelter. She seems lonely without Tally and it makes me sad, but I know Spud will be home soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thankful Tuesday

With Thanksgiving coming and going (for the Canadian folk at least!), I've had time to reflect on all the things I am thankful for. Too often we take things for granted, and too often do we get side-tracked by things that don't matter or only cause grief and stress. It's important to look back onto everything we love and appreciate those things, instead of reserving only one day a year to show how we truly feel.

With that being said, I am still going to proceed with the tradition (and spirit!) of Thanksgiving, and give a condensed bullet list of things I am certainly thankful for more than one day a year:

  • Jamie, or otherwise known as the "SO" on this blog. He has been through thick and thin with me and he loves my horses as much as I do.
  • My parents and siblings; something about family just warms the heart... this includes Jamie's mom too!
  • Great friends - self explanatory! 
  • My animals.. all of them. Suzie, Ty, Roxy, Spud, Ratticus and Tia... they are all wonderful additions and they all have their individual personalities and quirks, which I love.
  • A quiet, warm home and a warm bed to sleep in every night. 
  • Health and life; I am very lucky where I am in my life.   

And to keep the ball rolling with this horrendously written blog entry; Jamie and I will officially be land-owners of five whole acres come tomorrow at noon! Exciting changes are ahead, and my dream of being able to watch my horses graze outside of my kitchen window will soon be a possibility. 

My new truck I had bought about two weeks ago :) Need something
to pull horse trailers!!

Additionally, Spud is still doing great. He is working better in blinders now and the trainer is going to be turning him out in the round-pen with his buddy to have a day off from work. I think some "down time" is important, especially because souring a horse can happen so quickly. Suzie needn't worry about that, however, as it has been pouring raining for the last twelve days so she's been eating, eating, chewing wood off of her feedbox (because she's bored of standing around and out of the rain), and eating some more. Exciting stuff.